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Generosity of Heart

Ajahn Pasanno

I spoke about respect last night, and I’d like to continue with this theme today. When we are working together and interacting with each other, it’s so important for a community to have mutual respect for each other and recognize that everybody is here because they have the intention to do something good, something wholesome. On the level of personality it’s easy to exercise our critical faculties—we’re pretty adept at that. Especially when you live together over long periods of time, you get to know each other’s quirks pretty intimately. It doesn’t take much intelligence or wisdom to pick up somebody’s quirks. It takes a lot more wisdom to really attend to one’s own wholesome intention and honor and respect the wholesome intentions of each person. This doesn’t mean that suddenly people are no longer irritating. But it does mean that you’ve got a lot more space to deal with and support each other because you sense the opportunity for generosity. We usually think of generosity in material terms, but generosity of heart means giving each other respect, space, encouragement, and support for our spiritual endeavors. That is a big act of generosity which helps to transform the heart.

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