Day 16 : Generosity
“Nobleness and generosity are the soul’s ethereal firmament; without them one looks at an insect in a dungeon” – The Mother
Let's rise in love, together!
Generosity is the ability to give selflessly and specially to those in need; being liberal in giving or being willing to give. And also, to forgive.
Restoring Gender Relations: Whole Man, Whole Woman, One Dance
In our work aimed at restoring gender relations, we also run ‘Whole Man
– Whole Woman’ circles. This is a process in which an equal number of men and women are invited to sit in concentric circles. First, the inner circle is run for women, while the men are asked to simply sit in the outer circle, hold the space, and bear silent witness, without judgment or resistance, to the voice of ‘everywoman’ they hear as a set of collective, universal themes. Next, the places are exchanged: the women sit in the outer circle and the men voice their deepest hopes, fears, and needs. They answer the same questions, starting with the words, ‘As a man…’ Needless to say, what unfolds is poignant and deeply revelatory for each group about their own reality and that of the other. Men especially have not been socialized to truly feel their feelings and allow themselves to be vulnerable in a safe way. Both groups are usually shocked by the surfacing of the lesser known but extremely significant ‘masculine wound’ around issues such as feelings of inadequacy in their fatherhood, their ability to provide for their loved ones, and their personal legacy.
A profound compassion, what Buddhists call mahakaruna, takes over the space, as each group is able to better understand and forgive themselves and each other. All take away a lasting sense of respect and acceptance of their interdependent existence.
In an interview with Nilima Bhat and Raj Sisodia on 27 March 2015, author and activist Lynne Twist offers a compelling metaphor to describe the metamorphosis that we are collectively experiencing:
Something that’s happening right now in the world is what I call the Sophia Century – the century when women will take their rightful role in equal partnership with men. There’s a wonderful prophecy from the Native American people called the prophecy of the eagle. It says that, for many centuries, the bird of humanity has been primarily flying with one wing, and that wing is the male wing. The female wing has not been fully extended; it’s been held back and not been fully expressed, while the male wing, in order to keep the bird of humanity afloat, has gotten overdeveloped and has actually become violent, and the bird of humanity has been flying in circles as a result. This is the century when the female wing of humanity, or feminine expression, will fully extend itself. When it does so, the male wing will be able to relax and the bird of humanity will soar, rather than fly in circles. That metaphor is so moving, because it doesn’t make men wrong. I feel that in myself; when I’m fully expressed in both the energy of the masculine and feminine parts of who I am, I soar. I soar as a leader; I soar as a follower; I soar as a human being. When I’m withheld or stymied or feel oppressed or weak as a woman and try to compensate by using my male energy too much, I fly in circles.
- Where in the excerpts do you find the need for Generosity?
- Do I consider Generosity as my strength?
- In what situation do I find myself being Generous? In what relationship do I find myself being Generous?
- On a scale of 1-10 how do I rate myself as Generous and why?
- If I were to relax something that blocks me from being Generous, what is it? And what can I relax and let go, offer up to my higher-self, for release now?
Invitation to Commitment
- What specific behavior will I adopt, that demonstrates Generosity to me and others?
Practice for Generosity
Today, let’s take up the practice of Karuna or Compassion, one of the four higher emotions cultivated in Buddhism. The ability to not pass judgment on someone who may be lacking in some way, but instead to allow a profound feeling of compassion to well up in ourselves towards them. This is a true act of generosity, a ‘generosity of spirit’. It is the natural nobility of our soul.
Co-author – Shakti Leadership