Giving is the first step for the absolute beginner in the Buddha's Method.
This Method is based on what we might call a "Law of Physics" called kamma.
This view of kamma holds that
the reaction - return - rebound
consequent upon an action
depends on the power of the actor,
the power of the deed, and
the power of the recipient of the deed..
The power of the deed
is proportional to its ability to assist the recipient
along the path toward detachment.
Therefore deeds of mind are the most powerful,
deeds of word and body are less powerful.
A passing thought is not a deed of mind.
For a deed of mind to take place
there must be intent attached.
[i.e., "O,O,O, If only so and so were such and such". Wish. Will.]
The power of the actor and that of the recipient is proportional to the clarity of their minds.
Clarity of mind is proportional to the detachment of the individual.
[The attached mind is necessarily biased and therefore unclear and of divided power.]
"The wishes of the virtuous, beggars,
come to fruition
because of their clarity."
This view holds that
there is no doing of a deed without experiencing the consequences thereof,
but that the consequences are subjectively experienced
in accordance with the intent of the deed
and the mental state of the individual
at the time of the experience of a deed's consequences.
This allows for the subjective escape from kamma
by the alteration of one's intentions and behavior
as well as by elimination of one's attachment
to the things of this world.
Take the case, beggars, of a rich man who steals a poor farmer's pig,
and take the case of the poor farmer who steals a rich merchant's pig.
What is the case here?
When the poor farmer steals the rich merchant's pig and is caught,
he is beaten to within an inch of his life and is made to pay for the pig as well.
When the rich man steals the poor farmer's pig and is caught,
the poor farmer begs the rich man to pay him back and maybe he is compensated and maybe he is not.
And, take the case, beggars, of a small cup of water into which is placed a large spoonful of salt,
and take the case of a large barrel of fresh rain water into which is place a large spoonful of salt.
What is the case here?
When the large spoonful of salt is placed into the small cup of water,
it renders the water undrinkable,
but when the large spoonful of salt is placed into the large barrel of fresh rain water
it is hardly noticed if at all.
Unless it leads to giving up,
giving necessarily involves activity which precludes it from being a path to detachment.
The primary purpose of giving in this method, then,
is the creation of good kamma
for the purposes of attaining calm..
The primary purpose of the method
is not the creation of good kamma or calm,
but the escape from kamma.
Having the idea that one has some good kamma out there
confidence instills calm,
calm instills detachment.
You go up ahead a bit
and there are some potentially very scary things
you are going to have to deal with.
Having a bankroll of good kamma
is very handy for such times.
- Fear and trembling are a hindrance in this method.
In terms of kamma, there is no act of giving which is insignificant.
"Why, beggars, if one were to scrape the dishes into the sewers with the idea of feeding the small creatures that are living there, that would not be without fruit."
When to Give
Give to one arriving
Give to one departing
Give to one in need
Give to express gratitude
Give to make friends
Give the first fruit of orchard or garden (the fruit of one's labor)
Give to the self.
Give to one's parents.
Give to one's mate.
Give to one's other relatives.
Give to one's friends.
Give to one's servants and employees. From time to time give treats that servants and employees could not otherwise afford.
Give to one's teachers.
Give to beggars and sorcerers of good moral habits.
Give to fellow seekers right down to the bottom of the bowl.
The PATTA MULA: The root of the bowl.
Give the essential. Give food, clothing, shelter and medicine.
The Food Giver
The food giver
both gives and gets
life, beauty, ease,
energy and strength of wits.
Give the Dhamma
The best of gifts. This is the gift of every good thing a person needs to know expressed in a way that offends no one because of sex, race, color, creed (except those in every creed that say: "our teacher's words alone are the truth, and every other teacher's words are wrong!"), state of consciousness or location in time, that is unless they are the type of fool that believes good is bad and bad is good, and then what can you do?
Be open handed,
a master giver.
give good things,
with your own hand
at the right time
with a generous heart
believing in the great fruit of good deeds