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Practicing Generosity

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The Buddha recommended that people make acts of generosity with their own hands.

How does a true person give gifts? Here a true person gives a gift carefully, gives it with his own hand, gives it showing respect, gives a valuable gift, gives it with the view that something will come of it. That is how a true person gives gifts.

MN 110.23

The Buddha encourages us to have some discernment about where the generosity goes. If our intention is to maximize the adornment of the mind we should give where we have confidence and in such a way that it brings joy.  The difficulty with this teaching is that people can ignore the people who need it the most.  It might bring joy to support the monks but the monks may not need anything and the people living outside the monastery may be starving.

A good person gives in five ways: out of faith, with respect, at the right time, generously, and without denigrating the other."

AN V.148