I agree there is many misconceptions about generosity. Like usually people think generosity is something only worldly benefits or sometimes the people think is like only enlightenment benefit. So people forgot there’s more than that, you know like, there’s more than that. There is many levels of benefits from the generosity.
For instance, there is four categories you can categorize as a four different generosity. One is the materialism gift like to give a wealth. And then of course uh, you can give the protection you know like, security gift. You save other people’s life these things. The other thing is Dharma giving. So dharma given, you have to be careful, because if you’re not qualified, then you can guide the wrong way.
Also more importantly, you have to be a role model. You have to be perfect, your behavior, your conduct. You have to set a good example. It’s not enough that you just intellectually knowing information and try to tell other people that. But the most important you have to be a good example, and then is a really giving dharma. So that is the best gift and best generosity.
So these people don’t have to focus on given material or those things, you know. The other one is given kindness, love, and kindness. So that means people have nothing to give like material wealth and even don’t have so much knowledge or wisdom, but still kindness as always their real gift.
So what the benefit is usually people think is somebody who is generous is good and everybody think it’s good, that’s all and people respect, and that’s only the care or sometimes even they just showing off. So that’s no good this is wasting your generosity, but some people think it’s all only generosity you need for a enlightenment, but it’s not that is because Buddha himself said it. If you want to be wealthy, if you’re even materialism or health and youth and very healthy or wisdom whatever, any kind of richness is important that you be generous. So that’s what Buddha himself said. So and, that means yes es of course, many people want to be prosperous and rich they want to have a lot of good luck and want everything to go well and always successful. People want that. And then people try to do many things for that, and some people just working very, very hard and you make yourself unhealthy.
And you know some people very, very stingy and then you try to save money. Some people like to try to steal or whatever things there to do.
But the most important, be generous. Be generous means, it’s not you have to keep everything away, but always try to think this four ways to be generous, which one can you do, like, are you qualified given dharma? (this one is not so easy), But you are definitely capable to give kindness to people and then kindness means usually more come to the action, so that means you help other people, you work for other people. You’re not always thinking something you have to payback. So that is already you are generous and also come to the materialism and you should always try to see the opportunity to give something. It’s doesn’t necessarily have to be something very big and something more than you can afford, but you have to see is something connected with holiness, something is holy or otherwise, something is very poor or like fragile, so wherever you see a need, you always you see it as an opportunity to make yourself to be a rich, to be wealthy.
Every time you see something to offer or to give something, either your work or either your time, either your energy, either your kindness, either your material gift or anything; you should see the attitude. You should see always like an opportunity, not like something to avoid, and even you buy something for somebody you try not to bargain too much. Instead, you have to think oh they should have the profit, I should give them a benefit and their livelihood, and their wishes, whatever their goals. Think that way and have opportunity for this, this way is the best.
In the west sometimes we have problem, because if somebody give free or very cheap, then they think it’s maybe not worth much. If it’s expensive, then you think it is really good and not necessarily, you have to think of the generosity you know. And Asians, I think some people pay for everything and the majority of people want to free for everything, and then always looking for the cheapest possibility. So that is long time habit, like a bad habit because Asia has been poor for a long time.
Like myself as a Tibetan, we have been poor for a long time. It’s kind of materialism is the poor. So that’s why I always shortage. So then it has already built a bad habit. So then even if you have enough of everything, still you feel like you don’t have enough and you are scared to lose everything. This is why in Asia we have the opposite to generosity, we have a problem that we bargain for everything, bargain down. So this kind of attitude is very hard to fulfill the accumulation of merit. Because merit means like the propensity to become a rich, to become rich means not only wealth, it also includes wealth, material wealth and the wisdom and the confidence, all the good qualities.
So that’s why it is very important when we say karma, I have no karma, karma means merits and high level merit means karma is different. Some people are free from karma and then still accumulate merit. But the lower level of karma and merits it’s the same, I mean not 100 % same and bad karma we don’t call merits, but all good karma you can call merits. So then if you not necessarily have so much merit, but everyday you have to see as accumulation of merit opportunity. In that way, you don’t have to be incredibly stingy. But also its important to sometimes like very generous to people, pay and, everything, and then you try to take advantage everything. And that means you making yourself longer and longer poor and other, the rest of your life and other future lives, you making sure yourself is a kind of poor poverty always have to be with poverty. So that’s what I’m doing.
So you have to realize no matter other people rich people and generous people how much help you, but also you need to realise I need some for myself for my own side. So it is not, you always receive something. You are not focused on receiving sometime, instead you should focus on how you give it, how you offer anything, this should be your focus and attention should be, not the receiving.
So receiving is in any way you receive. If you are a container, if you don’t have an offering nature, a kind of generous in nature, that means if you are like a container then your container is poor, it has holes. So it doesn’t matter how much you receive, it goes. Doesn’t matter how much you receive, it always goes, and you never become a rich, because your own accumulation merit is so poor. It’s is poor means, your accumulation merit is poor so it’s better to always have a generous attitude no matter what your capacity is currently. That’s why the Buddha during his time met a very, very poor woman, she has only little bit of oil to make the hair shiny and nothing else. And then she offered this to make lamps for Buddha. So then the Buddha realised that is more merit than the kings offering billions of dollars to offer the monks many days. Like today, even the rich people are paying something but you have to know their attitude. If their attitude is like ego, demanding competition or showing off, then it doesn’t matter how much they offer, they will receive incredibly little merits. But some people may be very poor, but their attitude is that they see it like an opportunity and honour to pay. So that’s why their merit could be huge.
People want to be rich and have prosperity and healthy or even a fast enlightenment path or anything, you should always feel honored whenever you have opportunity to offer anything, like your kindness, your action, like your work, your time, your money, and everything. If you have this kind of attitude, a offering honoring attitude, then doesn’t matter how small and your capacity because you are always accumulating merit and you will be rich very soon. And rich of everything, not only materialism, but everything rich. But currently no matter how wealthy you are, if your attitude is only showing off and pride and like that, then maybe better than zero, but your capacity to earn the merits could be too small. So that’s why I think you should be really careful and we have to watch our own attitude. Is it an honouring attitude, or it’s just bargaining attitude, this is what we really need to be careful of.