In the Diamond Sutra (or Vajra Prajna Paramita Sutra) Buddha says to Subhuti:
a Bodhisattva should not dwell anywhere when he gives. He should not dwell in forms when he gives, nor should he dwell in sounds, smells, tastes, tangible objects, or dharmas when he gives. Subhuti, a Bodhisattva should give thus: he should not dwell in marks.
Below the passage Venerable Master Hsuan Hua (pp.91-94 in the link) explains that this comes down to giving without being aware of or paying attention to:
- the one who gives,
- the one who receives, and
- that which is given
I have read this explanation many times, have attempted to meditate on the matter, and have tried to practice such "giving thusly" actively by being kind, helpful, donating to charities when prompted and to beggars when asked on the street.
However, I cannot help but feel that the manner in which I give is ultimately still contrived and pre-meditated - not free of "conditioned deliberation".
Specifically silly thoughts such as:
- "Do I have any change on me to give to this person in the street? - I'll make sure to have change on me at all times in the future."
seem very contrived and not in line with the idea that one must simply "give". Mindfully, perhaps, but not based on logic, not purposefully, or, for that matter, ostentatiously.
Does anyone have any advice in how to practice giving thusly? (practice in the sense of "get better at")
References to relevant literature would be most helpful. We practice Tibetan Buddhism in our family, but as can be seen from the text above, I try not to be a stickler for school-purity.