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Giving, without a gift being given
June 22nd, 2018
illustration

illustration (attribution, if any possible, is at the end of the article)

Giving, without a gift being given…

« What [the Buddha] is saying is that when we give something to a particular person, or when we try to do something good for someone, we often attach to that person. We might ask who the person is, whether he or she is worth helping, wonder whether our help will be appreciated, or whether our gift will be really helpful for the person. If we value that person, or if the person is one of our children, for example, we probably offer our help without any question or hesitation. But if this person is someone we don’t know, we start to question whether he or she is worth helping, or whether our action of helping really will help or not. Even when we have a good heart, somehow our heart is limited. And after the action of helping, if our gift is appreciated by that person, we become happy. But when someone doesn’t appreciate our gift, we often become sad or even angry. That is because our giving is influenced by three poisonous minds. We expect something even when we try to help others; we attach ourselves to the person, and we attach ourselves to the gift. What Buddha is saying here is: without being attached to a particular person or a particular thing, and without being attached to the merit of our action, just do it — just offer your gift. But that is really difficult — almost impossible for me at least. According to the Diamond Sūtra, however, that is the practice of a bodhisattva. Without attaching to anything, just offer whatever it is you want to give. That is the practice of dāna-paramita. »
— Shokaku Okumura (https://buddhismnow.com/2015/06/02/4-zazenshin-acupuncture-needle-of-zazen-by-shohaku-okumura/)

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illustration: "selflessness" (muga) calligraphy
Buddhism has no specific guideline on supporting teachers, it simply asks for you to consider causality: if you want this living tradition to survive, how are you participating, in practical terms, to make this happen? Nice words, exposure or social media ‘+1’ might feel good, but they do not actually help with the basic necessities: http://koan.mu/donate.htm