a note on generosity
I’ve been sitting on a meditation cushion for a few years now, thanks to the initial inspiration of my kid brother Graham: a Priest in the Soto Zen tradition. Sitting on the cushion means not turning away from our lives and experience. Not turning away from what is really happening in our reactions, hearts and minds. Meditation is a foundational practice of understanding that has been handed down person to person for over two thousand years.
Meditation is not the only wisdom teaching of Zen Buddhism. Generosity is another, one of the paramitas, or perfections – sometimes translated as ‘reaching beyond limitation’.
To give is to liberate. To hold is to live in fear. A note on generosity.
Going beyond our selves means literally learning how to shift our perspective to where we become grateful for what we have, rather that slighted by what we don’t. It means sharing what we do have, freely and in trust. Every day. It means doing the work to see and un-learn the lies we have internalized through our destructive conditioning, lies that tell us we are separate, not enough; lies that prime us to live in fear and buy all the bullshit we are sold and marketed.
None of this is new. But I am saying it here for you to read anyways. Generosity means listening to our hearts, hearing our true longings for connection and purpose, our true longing for a better world of respect, right relation, and non-harming.
Generosity means not turning away. When we bravely aim our arrows of desire towards our true experience of being interconnected and interdependent, the need to grasp tightly to what is ours for our own protection reveals itself as a fear-filled short-sighted tactic which will never fulfill our true needs.
I choose purpose, clear-seeing, and connection…
and so I give you what I’ve got.