“Why do the students seem so unhappy? They’re meditating. They’re here. But they seem so grim and not at all like they’re enjoying themselves.”
After thinking about it, his translator responded: “They know how to meditate, but not how to practice dana (generosity).” Insightfully, the translator saw a direct link between the lack of happiness and the lack of generosity.
Commenting on that incident, writer Ajan Pasanno adds:
“One of the doorways out of suffering is generosity. It’s important to realize that dana is not just about material giving. It also involves service and keeping one’s eyes open for what needs to be done. How can I help? Who is in need of assistance? In order to feel comfortable helping others, we have to leap over the hurdle of self, of me and mine. Acts of service invite us to step out of the conditioned boundaries that we set up for our imaginary selves.”