A quick thought experiment for you. You can take a pill to extend your own life by six months. Alternatively you can give the pill to a stranger who is similar to you and add five years to their life.
Which would you choose in this hypothetical test of generosity?
This question was posed to a number of groups, including Tibetan Buddhist monks, non-religious Americans, American Christians, ordinary Buddhists in Bhutan, and Hindus in India.
You’d think that becoming a Buddhist monk would make people particularly compassionate and generous, but it turned out that this wasn’t the case, and that the monastic Buddhists were less willing than any of the other groups to give the … Read more »
Meditations for Happiness (3 CDs) When you consider all this, it’s clear that we spend a lot of time giving to others. It’s the most natural thing in the world. Most giving is small, in passing, hardly noticed, the breath and wallpaper of life. It’s not hard to overlook. And with all the attention paid in the media to images and words of destruction and horrible mistreatment, it is easy to conclude that the true home of humanity is on the dark side of the force.
Yet, while it is certainly true that we are animals atop the food chain and capable of great aggressiveness, it is even more true that we are genetically programmed … Read more »
The Enlightened Brain: The Neuroscience of Awakening, by Rick Hanson (7 CDs) The specific meaning of “dana” is giving, which is related to the quality of “caga” (in Pali), or generosity. The one involves doing, while the other involves being.
While this distinction is useful in its comprehensiveness, in actuality generosity and giving, being and doing, are intertwined and inextricable. Being is itself a kind of doing, as you cannot help but radiate certain qualities out into the world. And every doing – at each endlessly disappearing and regenerating instant of NOW – is a microscopic slice of being.
Giving and generosity can be expressive or restrained. For example, we might give to our child … Read more »
Last year we had an amazing response to our Free Bodhi campaign. Until last year I was up to my eyeballs in administrative tasks, like publicity, financial planning, and even buying office supplies. The Free Bodhi campaign was to raise funds so that we could take on Mark Tillotson as my business manager, and to free me up to teach and to write.
That’s worked out wonderfully! We reached our target, and now I spend my time writing and teaching. This has allowed Wildmind to run massive events as part of our Year of Going Deeper, like our Sit Breathe Love meditation challenge and our 100 Days of Lovingkindness, which both have had … Read more »
Our Indiegogo campaign, Free Bodhi, is going well. We’ve raised over $13,000 of our $22,000 target, with six days to go.
Why are we raising funds?
Wildmind is raising seed-funding for a business manager post so that Bodhipaksa (a.k.a. Bodhi, a.k.a. Mr. B.) can be freed up from admin and spend more time teaching and writing.
One of the first fruits of the Free Bodhi project is Wildmind’s Year of Going Deeper which is a year-long program of free meditation events, spanning the whole of 2014.
What’s in it for you?
If you’d like to support our efforts to promote the practice of meditation, please contribute to the Free Bodhi project on Indiegogo.
Brendan, who lives in a small town in Sardinia, far from the nearest meditation center, talks about the benefits he’s experienced because of Bodhipaksa’s work here on the Wildmind web site, where we offer thousands of pages of meditation instruction as well as many guided meditation videos and audio recordings, and on Wildmind’s Google+ Community.
We already do a lot. For example:
The Buddha really emphasized giving. In fact in you think about it we wouldn’t have any Buddhism today. The Buddha’s life, after his Awakening, was a life of giving. His time and his talent in communication was spent in giving people the tools they needed to become awakened. His energy was spent traveling around India, teaching.
The entire community of monks and nuns likewise gave their time and energy — their lives, really — in order to help others.
And if it wasn’t for 2,500 years of householders donating to the sangha, none of that teaching would have been passed onto us. It wasn’t just a question of lay Buddhists putting some scraps of food … Read more »
As the Buddha said,
“Looking after oneself, one looks after others.
Looking after others, one looks after oneself.”
(Attānaṃ rakkhanto paraṃ rakkhati.
Paraṃ rakkhanto attānaṃ rakkhati.)Ã¯Â»Â¿
Over the last 33 days of our 100 Days of Lovingkindness, I’ve written a blog post every day. Here’s a list of all the posts I’ve written, offering teachings on developing lovingkindness and compassion.
I hope you’re finding all this useful. If you haven’t had a chance to read these posts yet, then of course they’ll be there for you in the future.
Many people have said that they’ve benefited from this writing I’m doing, and it’s even been suggested that I turn all these posts into a book. … Read more »
At Wildmind, ee sit, we develop lovingkindness, and we express that love by sharing our experience though our blog and through our structured guides to meditation.
And we hope that this will in turn lead you to sit, to develop love, and to give back so that you support our activities.
Wildmind is increasingly supported by dana (the Buddhist word for donations) these days. We’ve received lots of one-time donations, but we feel particularly grateful to those who make a regular monthly contribution to our running costs.
In fact, people who have set up a recurring donation will receive free copies of any creative work that I produce during the time they’re giving to Wildmind.… Read more »
Wildmind has been on the receiving end of a lot of love these days. Needless to say, this has been an enjoyable and even inspiring experience.
Not only have a lot of people been writing to express appreciation, but we’ve received many donations, which are all very much appreciated. (If you don’t have time and want to skip to the tl;dr — too long, didn’t read — version, then click here.)
We’ve always tried to self-fund our work (encouraging the practice of meditation), by charging for classes, selling guided meditation CDs and, more recently, selling other meditation supplies. That went well until the recession hit, and we’d been increasingly struggling until the end of … Read more »