Giving is a basic Buddhist virtue that goes back to the practice of selflessness, without which one can hardly call oneself a serious Buddhist practitioner. Giving consists not so much of the act of giving, but of the intention to give or share what one has with others. This feeling of wanting to give or share something beneficial is often the first manifestation of one’s spiritual life.
The karmic result of giving is to be reborn in happy states with an abundance of material wealth. Conversely, the lack of giving leads to unhappy states and poverty. Hence the practice of generosity is one of the six paramitas or perfections, which a Buddhist should aspire to achieve along their spiritual journey.
There is an image that we commonly associate with Buddhism, which is the lotus flower. It is said that after Buddha achieved Enlightenment, he had a vision of the world being like a lake with lotuses in different stages of growth – some still beneath the surface of the water, some buds just above the surface, some half-open buds and yet others open and reaching way above the water’s surface.
He saw living beings as these lotuses, representing the different stages of spiritual development. Many of us are like the buds just peering above the water but still closed within ourselves, protective of ourselves, looking into ourselves, and concerned with ourselves. There are also some amongst us who are like partially-open buds where we experience feelings of budding generosity, which indicates the beginning of the spiritual path.
As spiritual practitioners, we must ask ourselves whether our generosity is still something that we have to fake, or if we have reached a level where it come effortlessly to us. If we haven’t achieved the paramita of generosity yet, fear not – like all aspects of spiritual training, it takes ‘practice’ and practice makes perfect!
Shohaku Okumura wrote in the Soto Zen Journal that for a time he didn’t want to receive gifts from others, thinking that he should be giving, not taking. “When we understand this teaching in this way, we simply create another standard to measure gaining and losing. We are still in the framework of gaining and losing,” he wrote.
Wisdom teaches us that there is no giving without receiving. In that sense, giving and receiving are one. If giving is “good,” then receiving is equally good. Furthermore, what we should give is not so different from what we want to receive. Whatever we want – love, appreciation, friendship – we should give also. One cannot help oneself without helping others thus when one helps others, one is also helping oneself.
Hence, if one is looking for the perfect gift, what better than a gift to that special someone of a practice which would help them in their spiritual journey? For that matter, why not gift yourself with the same?
The Dorje Shugden English Gift Set is a complete introduction to Dorje Shugden’s history and practice. The gift set comprises of a graphic novel illustrating the history of Dorje Shugden and an introductory book about Dorje Shugden’s practice and its benefits. A Dorje Shugden pendant and tsatsa is also included to complement your practice.
The first of its kind in the world, this well thought out gift set is perfect for anyone who wishes to start their practice immediately. Suitable for use at home, in the office or even when traveling, the Dorje Shugden English gift set doubles up as a portable altar, giving you protection and a focus for your meditations wherever you are.
So get yours TODAY and make that difference in your life and the lives of others.