Giving material goods is one form of generosity, but one can extend an attitude of generosity into all one’s behavior. Being kind, attentive and honest in dealing with others, offering praise where it is due, giving comfort and advice where they are needed, and simply sharing one’s time with someone – all these are forms of generosity, and they do not require any particular level of material wealth.
– His Holiness the Dalai Lama
Generosity is one of the core attitudes cultivated through mindfulness training and can be found in many spiritual and ethical teachings. We can practice generosity, just like we train in mindfulness and it can be a conditioned part of being in community or family life. Bringing awareness to others and their needs, even establishing habits of extending your time, patience, attention, effort, and even material goods to benefit others are all ways of extending generosity. For me this was part of the fabric of my family and therefore one of the values and habits planted in early life that I continue to nurture in all aspects of my life. I feel blessed and honored to be a “Wise Triber” and participate in all the programs they have created to build a wiser, more sustainable world. The photo used with the quote above was one of the most exhilarating and joyful days of this pandemic. Lizzie and I set out to volunteer our time and muscles to sort and deliver food to families in need. In the blazing hot sun, we worked with the most amazing volunteers, a handful of fellow wise tribers, who moved about the task as if it was a well-orchestrated musical. In fact as I recall, I felt as if I was in some magical land and I left feeling a high that can only come from the energy of pure love and bliss. This is the feeling I get when I am extending pure generosity.
In July, the Sacred Treehouse and the Therapeutic Oasis, partnered with Wise Tribe, a community of change makers, who responded to the needs of our community during COVID 19 with a FEED 40 program, to collect food and money to fund the families in need. The response was astounding from from our building neighbors in both locations, our employees, clients, friends, and families who have all pitched in to extend with generosity what then can afford. Many offered to help deliver and even funded an entire family for a month. We decided to extend this drive, as the need for funding continues and we hope that others join us in this effort or simply wake up to offer what you have to people, animals, and the planet.
Just like the hungry, there are many more in our community who need emotional support, to feel loved and connected. There are endless ways to give from the heart, not because you have to, you think it looks good, or you want to please someone, but because you care. I used to thank the program coordinators at an Alzheimers day program every time I left my volunteer shift, because I left with an overflowing feeling of love and joy. True generosity works like that, when you give from the heart you get tenfold in the heart.
I have also found generosity to be a natural consequence of deepening mindfulness practice With practice, there is a natural process of letting go; releasing selfish desires, cravings, and even fears. With these internal changes, the heart and mind naturally opens and is free to recognize and respond to the needs of others. When one is caught up in their own striving, and fixated on meeting just their own desires, they lack awareness, they do not know that a lack of generosity will become a trap. They are not conscious. They do not know.
May all beings be safe, healthy, loved and free.
May all being be generous in thoughts, words, and deeds.
May all beings be truly happy.
Last day to donate food items at Oasis in Boca Thursday August 6th. Last day to lend a hand or donate funds….NEVER!
Become a wise triber…#1000wisetribers
Patty and The Sacred Treehouse Faculty
Patty Thomas Shutt, founder of Sacred Treehouse, is a licensed psychologist and co-owner of Therapeutic Oasis of the Palm Beaches. Dr. Shutt is passionate about helping others discover the benefits of mindfulness and meditation. She offers Beginner Meditation & Advanced Meditation classes at Sacred Treehouse, in addition to Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction, Mindful Self-Compassion and various book studies throughout the year.