Generosity is a type of powerful positive thinking that is often—but not necessarily—accompanied by an activity of giving. You can actually offer anything you like or desire even if you don't presently possess it, by thinking like this, "I really want or need this and therefore I offer it to all beings who would also want or need it. May it become a condition of their happiness."
Whenever you offer something out of generosity, be it something material or immaterial, you can create the maximum benefit for yourself and others by engaging in the following steps for creating powerful karma. This version of these steps has been tailored to fit into the activity of making monthly donations to the Circle of Compassion, but you can apply these same principles to any type of generous thinking or actions.
Your generosity is truly the root of your future prosperity.
Steps for Creating Powerful Karma
- Intention – Start with pure and correct intention by generating Bodhicitta, the great intention of wanting all beings to become True Happiness. For example, think with clarity and logic that, "I want to create conditions that lead to the True Happiness of all sentient beings, therefore I will support the Dzogchen Retreat Center." Make sure you don't expect something in return or give too much so that you develop regret after the giving action.
- Object – Be clear on the object of your generosity. In this case the object is the Sangha taking the form of the Dzogchen Shri Singha Foundation and its property, the Dzogchen Retreat Center USA. You are supporting the Dzogchen Lineage's Dharma Base and our Sangha's Dharma Home. You can also think that your object is the prosperity of the Dharma since the Foundation's ultimate goal is the perpetuation ofthe Dzogchen Lineage.
- Action – The actual action of generosity is a key to generosity activity practice. In this case, signing up for the Circle of Compasion is a great example of a generous action. Respectfully and confidently fill out the giving form and then click the "Continue" button. The "Confirmation" page will be displayed.
- Completion – Upon the completion of any act of generosity, be sure to think "I did it." In this case being described of giving online, you can review the "Confirmation" page. When you click the "Donate" button at the bottom you have completed the action and are ready to rejoice!
- Rejoice – When the "Thank You" page is displayed, immediately rejoice. Rejoice in your own good karma and the merit of all those others supporting the Foundation in the past, present and future. Repeatedly rejoice. Even if you only were able to give $1, you should develop a genuine feeling of joy and knowing that you are participating in something that is based on Bodhicitta which will create many positive effects for countless beings.
- Dedication – After rejocing it is important to use dedication to seal your merit. Dedicate the merit for a good purpose, for example, you can think or say out loud if you are in private, "I dedicate all my merit gathered in the three times, and especially any merit from my act of generosity today that I may develop the skills and resources to help as many people as possible in this life."
- Aspiration – Think about your highest aspiration for all the positive results of your ongoing donations. Contemplate and focus on the maximum benefits that will result. For example, "May I become Buddha in this very life so that I can truly help all beings."
- Supplication – Supplication is a humble request or a prayer or even an ernest pleading to Buddha, all Buddhas, or to Enlightened Beings for your aspiration to be fulfilled. For example, you can pray, "Please Buddha, if it is good for me and all beings, may my positive aspirations come to pass as swiftly as possible." By engaging in supplication, you help to open yourself to receive the blessings of all Buddhas, Bodhisattvas and Dzogchen Lineage masters. These blessings are always present, but supplication is the secret to receiving more of them. Blessings come in many forms, but the ultimate blessings are understandings, experiences and realizations of wisdom and compassion.
- Frequency – Frequency means repeating your generosity. For example in the Circle of Compassion, by giving monthly, you will automatically repeat the giving action again and again on the same day every month. Every month you should get an email reminding you of your recurring donation, and that is a perfect reminder for you to repeat in your thinking the above steps. You can actually repeat these steps every day, or several times every day if you you want to really multiply your merit.
- Location – This is a "bonus" point. If you can perform your act of generosity in a special location, such as a sacred or auspicious place, this will multiply your merit.
- Time – This is another "bonus" point. If you can perform your act of generosity at a special time, such as on special days, or at sunrise or sunset, this will increase your merit. However, any time is good to engage in generosity.
Using the secret supernatural power of truly rejoicing in other people's generosity, it is even possible to gain more merit than those who engaged in generous activities. See the Concluding Practice of The Buddha Path for more details on this.
To practice generosity and assist in providing the financial resources needed to make the Dzogchen Retreat Center a success, consider participating in the Circle of Compassion.