How to be generous? Simple really, just act to help someone else at some cost to yourself!
In the Buddhist tradition, understanding how to be generous (dana) is an essential practice. It is about generosity, openness, and your capacity to embrace others with compassion and love.
This is a generosity that is grounded in the inter-connectedness of everything.
Zen Master Thich Nhat Hanh says that: "when we understand the fundamental truth that we exist in interbeing with all of life... when we truly see ourselves as others and others as ourselves... we naturally want to do everything we can to secure their happiness and well-being, because we know that it is also our own well-being and happiness."
In the Christian tradition, the practice of how to be generous, is synonymous with giving to the divine, the presence of God, who is within the other: "Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me."
From the perspective of your own self-interest generosity is beneficial to your mental, emotional and spiritual health.
This is partly because when you give to someone you care about they are likely to reciprocate and you in turn will give to them setting off the regions in your brain associated with social connection and pleasure; and partly because learning how to be generous is closely linked to the renewal of your mind and the benefits of transformation that follow from that.
Underpinning all of this are 4 science backed reasons why giving will make you happier
The Key To True Generosity
In this powerful and moving video, Rachael Chong who is the Founder and CEO of Catchafire, an innovative platform that connects nonprofits with professionals looking to volunteer their skills, shares the key to true generosity!
Chloe Wigan is an award-winning Certified Life Coach and writer with a background in psychology. She has a site called "One Infinite Life" and she has featured a wonderful article: "76 Simple Ways To be Generous"
Sandra Pawula describes herself as a writer, mindfulness teacher and advocate of ease. She runs a site called "Always Well Within" and she has posted a piece "How to Be More Generous" which provides some very practical tips on how to be generous from a mindful perspective.
This matters because we live in an energetic and participatory universe and developing and sustaining a positive dominant energetic state has a direct bearing on the results we see in our lives.
"It takes time to practice generosity, but being generous is the best use of our time."
Thich Nhat Hanh
Return to: Renewing Your Mind