From the 2018 Open Your Heart in Paradise Retreat on Maui, old friends Joseph Goldstein and Sharon Salzberg join forces to explore generosity as a form of mindfulness practice.
Don’t miss out on Sharon’s Salzberg’s Metta Hour Podcast – only on the Be Here Now Podcast Network!
There is a Body
Joseph primes us for the talk about generosity as a practice with a guided meditation centering on the phrase, “there is a body.” Within this framework, we may become aware of our thoughts, bodily sensations, and external stimuli. Simply note it all without judgment. Joseph reminds us that the great gift of mindfulness is that in doing nothing, we become aware of everything.
“Don’t be bothered by your thoughts, simply let them come and go. Sometimes we’re not aware when a thought appears, and it carries us away on a train of association.” – Joseph Goldstein
Generosity as a Practice (13:54)
Sharon talks about how generosity is both an internal and external practice, and that it’s really a practice of awareness. She offers a generosity practice based on following through with strong thoughts of giving. Joseph shares a story about how we can often overthink acts of giving, but his mantra when it comes to generosity is there’s nothing too big and nothing too small.
“Watch what it feels like when you have an impulse to share, to offer, to give. Watch what it feels like when you withdraw, when you hesitate, when you’re scared… This is an opportunity to see for ourselves.” – Sharon Salzberg
The Generosity of Non-Harming (34:33)
Joseph explores the importance of ethical behavior and the generosity of non-harming. Sharon talks about how our heart is the ultimate guide to our actions and whether or not we’re being generous to ourselves. Joseph brings us into the arena of Right Speech, and how it’s a gift to others not to waste their time with useless talk.
“When we are committed to the ethics of non-harming in our speech, in our actions, what we’re doing is offering the gift of fearlessness to everybody we meet, because we’re saying with our lives, with our behavior, with how we act, that there’s nothing I will do that you need fear.” – Joseph Goldstein
Ram Dass offers his perspective on the practice of generosity and sharing the gifts of spiritual life on Here and Now Ep. 129