Tag Archives: Giving

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Thomas Merton

The mature person realizes that life affirms itself most, not in acquiring things, but in giving time, efforts, strength, intelligence, and love to others. Here a different kind of dialectic of life and death begins to appear. The living drive, the vital satisfaction, by “ending” its trend to self-satisfaction and redirecting itself to and for others, transcends itself. It “dies” insofar as the ego is concerned, for the self is deprived of the immediate satisfactions which it could claim without being contested. Now it renounces these things, in order to give to others. Hence, life “dies” to itself in order to give itself away and thus affirms itself more maturely, more fruitfully, and more completely. We live in order to die to ourselves and give everything to others. …This “dying” to self in order to give to others is nothing more or less than a higher and more special affirmation of life. Such dying is the fruit of life, the evidence of mature and productive living. It is, in fact, the end or the goal of life.

— Thomas Merton – Love and Living (p. 102.)

(image source: http://www.newcastle.anglican.org)

Life Affirms Itself In Giving

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Sri Anandamayi Ma

Widen your shriveled heart, make the interests of others your own and serve them as much as you can by sympathy, kindness, presents and so forth. So long as one enjoys the things of this world and has needs and wants, it is necessary to minister to the needs of one’s fellow men. Otherwise one cannot be called a human being. Whenever you have the opportunity, give to the poor, feed the hungry, nurse the sick – do service as a religious duty and you will come to know by direct perception that the person served, the one who serves and the act of service are separate only in appearance.

— Sri Anandamayi Ma

(image source: unknown – I am sorry but I don’t remember where I found this picture on the Internet)

Make the interests of others your own

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Widen your shriveled heart, make the interests of others your own and serve them as much as you can by sympathy, kindness, presents and so forth. So long as one enjoys the things of this world and has needs and wants, it is necessary to minister to the needs of one’s fellow men. Otherwise one cannot be called a human being. Whenever you have the opportunity, give to the poor, feed the hungry, nurse the sick – do service as a religious duty and you will come to know by direct perception that the person served, the one who serves and the act of service are separate only in appearance.

— Sri Ananadamayi Ma

Make the interests of others your own

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Thousands of candles can be lit from a single candle, and the life of the candle will not be shortened. Happiness never decreases by being shared. - Siddharta Gautama

You give but little when you give of your possessions.
It is when you give of yourself that you truly give.

For what are your possessions but things
you keep and guard
for fear you may need them tomorrow?
And tomorrow, what shall tomorrow
bring to the over prudent dog
burying bones in the trackless sand as he follows the
pilgrims to the holy city?
And what is fear of need but need itself?
Is not dread of thirst when your well is full,
the thirst that is unquenchable?

There are those who give little
of the much which they have –
and they give it
for recognition and their hidden desire
makes their gifts unwholesome.
And there are those who have little and give it all.
These are the believers in life and the bounty of life,
and their coffer is never empty.
There are those who give with joy,
and their joy is their reward.
And there are those who give with pain,
and that pain is their baptism.
And there are those who give and know not
pain in giving, nor do they seek joy,
nor give with mindfulness of virtue:
They give as in yonder valley the myrtle
breathes its fragrance into space.
Through the hands of such as these God
speaks, and from behind their eyes
He smiles upon the earth.

It is well to give when asked, but it is
better to give unasked, through understanding:
And to the open-handed the search for
one who shall receive is joy greater than giving.
And is there aught your would withhold?
All you have shall some day be given:
Therefore give now, that the season of
giving may be yours and not your inheritors`.

You often say,”I would give, but only to the deserving.”
The trees in your orchard say not so,
nor the flocks in your pasture.
They give that they may live,
for to with-hold is to perish.
Surely he who is worthy to receive his
days and nights, is worthy of all else from you.
And he who has deserved to drink from
the ocean of life deserves to fill his cup from your little stream.
And what desert greater shall there be,
than that, which lies in the courage and the
confidence, nay the charity, of receiving?
And who are you that men should rend
their bosom and unveil their pride,
that you may see their worth naked and their pride unabashed?
See first that you yourself deserve to be
a giver,and an instrument of giving.

For in truth it is life that gives unto life –
while you, who deem yourself a giver are but a witness.

— Khalil Gibran – The Prophet (excerpt)

Windhorse

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“We can afford to open ourselves and join the rest of the world with a sense of tremendous generosity, tremendous goodness, and tremendous richness. The more we give, the more we gain — although what we gain should not particularly be our reason for giving. Rather, the more we give, the more we are inspired to give constantly. And the gaining process happens naturally, automatically, always.”

— Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche – Training the Mind and Cultivating Loving Kindness


“The essence of generosity is letting go. Pain is always a sign that we are holding on to something – usually ourselves. When we feel unhappy, when we feel inadequate, we get stingy; we hold on tight. Generosity is an activity that loosens us up. By offering whatever we can – a dollar, a flower, a word of encouragement – we are training in letting go.”

— Pema Chodron – Comfortable with Uncertainty

Generosity and Giving