If, at the end of each day,
I can say
I gave all I could
then I can die happy
knowing that I lived fully.
what better fulfillment is there
than emptying oneself
of selfish motivations
and receiving the love
of the whole universe?
filling yourself up
with wonder, joy, and awe,
until you have no choice
but to live generously,
which is, in the end,
what living is all about.
Just when I thought I had no more energy left,
there it is, rising up in me to get something done.
How does this work? Is it motivation alone?
To take a full breath in, you must first exhale to emptiness.
To live a full life, you must die to empty expectations.
It’s simple really. What do you have to give?
Give all of yourself, and quickly.
Empty yourself of everything you have.
Life will come rushing in to fill you again.
Giving of yourself completely
and feeling the pull of contraction
only means you’re ready to receive
what life has been longing to give you.
Embracing the necessity of emptiness
as it blossoms into gracious receptivity.
This is true fulfillment.
I’m teaching about generosity
a week from tomorrow
so I figure I better learn more
It turns out that performing a generous act
stimulates the same part of your brain
that is stimulated when you:
eat fatty food
Instead of getting off on
and instead of looking
to sex or new information
to feel fulfilled,
you can get off on giving,
you can be fulfilled by giving.
Instead of focusing on
your own singular pleasure,
you can derive pleasure
from helping someone else.
And when you help someone else,
the whole world benefits.
My studies bring me to the subject of generosity,
and I’m looking at myself and my life
through the lens of giving and receiving.
I see that it is not so much about the objects given
although they are certainly important–
it is much more about the kind regard,
the compassionate understanding,
offering the benefit of the doubt,
placing a comforting hand on
the shoulder of someone who needs reassurance.
It is a genuine smile,
a willingness to be patient,
to overlook the inconsistencies
of actions and deeds
and to see to the heart of a being.
It is not conferring wealth
but inferring the profound worth
of each person,
and treating everyone–
from the greatest to the smallest–
with the respect one would show for royalty.
For we are all rulers of our own domain,
we are all kings and queens in our own right.
The difference between the generous person
and the impoverished one is this:
while the impoverished person
organizes everyone in a hierarchy of importance,
the generous person sees
the royal nature of all beings.
And now it’s time to give.
(And it’s always time to give.)
What? you say, Give? Me?
I am going through a tough time
and I don’t have so much at the moment.
There’s nothing really I can spare.
I don’t have much. I’m sorry.
If you truly believe you have nothing to give
then you are very poor indeed.
And if you know
that it is a privilege to give whatever you can,
then you take your place
among the wealthiest in the world.
It is not about the material wealth,
bequeathing huge sums
for buildings that will bear your illustrious name.
No, giving can happen in secret…
in fact, that might be the best kind of giving of all.
Don’t believe me?
You don’t have to take my word for it.
Go do something nice for someone without
expecting anything in return,
and do it without their knowledge.
Pay close attention to how you feel
after such an act.
You’ll be privy to one of the greatest,
most obvious, and most overlooked
secrets passed down through all generations
Giving is living.