The Next Buddha is Sangha

It has been cold and snowing in New York! And it feels appropriate in this season, which we often describe as the time to be “jolly.” Yet, there are many people who feel the sting of inequity and poverty in the world, even more at these times of year, when the hustle and bustle of consumerism is annually at its peak. One sixth of the world still experiences hunger every day. Need is great everywhere, including in our own communities.

In this season of giving, can we contribute generously to those who are in need, and be generous and kind in every aspect of life? We can give of our time and money; we can embody patience, offer kindness in whatever way is appropriate, pay courtesy to every being–with a warm smile and glow of connection. As practitioners, we are ever mindful of our interconnectedness, that our happiness is interdependent with the happiness of all beings.

The Buddha famously said: “Thousands of candles can be lit from a single candle, and the life of the candle will not be shortened. Happiness never decreases by being shared,” and “If you knew what I knew about generosity, you would not let a meal go by without sharing.” What did the Buddha know? He knew that through generosity we learn to let go, opening to happiness and freedom.

May this season be full of light and love and your new year be safe, peaceful, healthy and easeful. May generosity grow ever more deeply in you.

with metta,
Gina Sharpe
Guiding Teacher