True Generosity Online Retreat - Session 1 - The First Pillar of Happiness

The First Pillar of Happiness

Jack Kornfield & Trudy Goodman (78 minutes)

“The gift of generosity is that it makes you happy. It’s the first pillar of happiness in Buddhist teachings.” – Jack Kornfield

We live within the generosity of life itself, and being able to share it with others is a real gift.

In this poignant teaching session, Jack and Trudy invite us to question how we live our life and what is possible through the exploration of generosity.

How can we step out of the fictional story of our small sense of self in order to cultivate generosity for the sake of our own heart?
How can generosity serve as an invitation to step out of our separateness?
Why is it so important to include ourselves in the circle of generosity, and what are the implications if we don’t?

Jack and Trudy explain generosity through the metaphor of “planting a seed” – you don’t know if it will bear fruit, but even the smallest gesture of generosity and love can change the world, even in the direst of circumstances.

The session finishes with an exploration of the three levels of generosity from Jack, and both Jack and Trudy finish the session by leading meditations and practices on the generous heart and stepping back from our lives in order for receiving the generosity that is present all around us.

Day 2- Practicing Generosity of the Spirit

Sharon Salzberg (75 minutes)

Can we allow joy and delight into our lives? Can we wish ourselves well? All of these are practices of the generosity of the spirit.

In this practical and elucidating session, Sharon gets real about the negativity bias that most of us carry and teaches us how to flip our perspectives to focus less on self-judgment and more on the good in our everyday lives.

We all want basic happiness and to feel at home in our bodies and our world, but ignorance and cultural conditioning cause us to turn a blind eye and lose sight of what actually makes us happy.

Sharon weaves in the practice of generosity towards ourselves as a pivotal tool for developing compassion and loving kindness. Generosity doesn’t have to involve material goods – it can be simply paying attention to those we normally discount.

Sharon dives deep into the 4 Brahma Viharas (Buddhist Virtues) and explores how compassion and generosity are ultimately interrelated.

She then finishes on a loving-kindness meditation and a short Q& about receiving generosity and reconciling devotion with loving kindness