Thursday, September 16, 2010

Giving Away Zucchinis

Zucchinis are a joke in my community. Once i found a big green dude strapped into my passenger seat with a seat belt. After a carpenter-friend had fixed some lighting in the bedroom, i found a baseball bat of a zucchini under my pillow. I myself have left zucchinis anonymously in neighbors' mailboxes.

You might call this generosity. Or you might not.

The Buddha defined 3 types of generosity: "cheapo" giving, which says, "I'm going to get rid of this anyway, so I might as well give it to you." Then there's the medium level of giving, which is sharing something that is valuable to you with others. However regal giving, or raja dana, is the most powerful form of giving. It is giving what is most precious to you.*

While putting junk zucchinis in unexpected places is good for a laugh, my heart feels happiest when I give my extra vegetables to the local food shelf.

*Thanks to Ajahn Amaro for this delineation of generosity.

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