In this day and age, people seek to increase their energy levels by taking nutritional supplements.
They consult gurus or chase material wealth to increase their happiness. They look to social institutions and political parties to provide safety. Then, in order to survive death, they avoid the subject completely. None of this works, unfortunately. They still lack energy despite the supplements, and they still feel unhappy despite their sessions with gurus and a nice sum of money in the bank. Despite empowering political parties to protect them, they still feel in danger. Ultimately, they have an inevitable and fatal encounter with death, an enemy they never considered in life. They never thought to prepare for this.
People sometimes ask me how I find the energy to handle such a busy schedule while only sleeping for four or five hours each day. There are a couple of reasons for this. Firstly, I understand that a lack of energy comes not from the body but rather the mind. Secondly, I know a very valuable meditation practice that helps me to live and die.
In short, the mind makes decisions about everything, such as deciding on the energy level to use. It does this in two different ways, namely actively and passively. The active portion relates to the power of your mind, as well as how fearless you are. If the mind realizes that a lack of energy is actually a lack of happiness and fulfillment, it can conquer both the lack of energy and the lack of happiness and fulfillment. How does it do this? Well, this relates to the passive portion.
When we talk about meditation, people see it either as a practice of imagination, where the mind actively explores its imagination, or as a practice where the attention is focused on something, such as your breathing or an object. However, meditation is a vast subject that must be practiced under the guidance of an experienced tutor. There are many meditation techniques, but I will teach you a lesser-known yet invaluable method that you can practice as soon as you finish reading this article. We refer to this meditation as “the meditation of remembering our own generosity.” Buddha himself taught this meditation technique to help people reach the deepest possible state of mind. For thousands of years, having been dominated by methods that focus on actions such as breathing, this valuable meditation technique has been underestimated. In fact, this method not only enables us to reach a deeper level of consciousness—it also provides us with the experience of a perfect life and a perfect death.
One of the highest forms of human consciousness is service and generosity. One of the greatest secrets of both Tao and Buddhist masters is the virtue of generosity. Generosity means gaining wealth through compassion and the act of giving to others. This contradicts traditional logic, because it’s a practice where we gain by giving, but as modern psychological research shows, the fulfillment of spending the 20 bucks in your pocket on someone in need is much greater than when you spend it on something trivial for yourself.
It’s a newly discovered secret that generous people live longer and enjoy better, more successful, and happier lives.
Buddha said, “If you had known what I know about generosity, you wouldn’t have spent a single day without a generous act.” Generosity isn’t limited to giving money to others, though. For example, it’s a generous act when you clean the leftovers off your plate and hope that some living being will find it useful. Most of us don’t realize that making the time to listen to a friend’s problems and helping someone on the street are also generous acts. Generosity is an act of compassion, and it should be practiced constantly. One generous act I very much like doing is to stop for a moment before every meal and wish only good for everyone by thinking, “May all living creatures be fed and content. May no parent need to see their children suffer hunger. May no children have to see their parents go hungry. May all living beings eat well in safety. May they all be happy and at peace.” This simple act of generosity and goodwill turns even the simplest meal into a great banquet. Happiness is always there—we just don’t always see it.
Generosity is awesome at any level, but a person on the verge of enlightenment understands another meaning of it. Buddha said this about a person close to enlightenment: “He bears with what is difficult to tolerate. He gives away what is hard to part with.”
Giving away something that is difficult to part with is the deepest form of generosity. For example, say you’re working on a project. You look at your colleagues and realize you’ve all been working till the twilight hours for the second day in a row. You say to them. “Go and get some rest tonight, I’ll finish up the last part.” Sleep is a very difficult thing to sacrifice at such a moment, but you give it up with generosity and compassion. Say you’re a high school student, and you give up your lunch money to help an orphan kid. You might be hungry that day, but you’d reach another level of happiness and energy. Generous people do not easily become sick, nor do they easily get unhappy. The importance of being generous is evident, and although almost everyone misses out on this, no one denies its importance.
What is not well known, however, is that we must remember our generosity. Every night when you lie down on your bed, recall the generous acts you did that day. Think about how you helped people and animals, such as who or what you fed, whose problems you listened to, and so on. This recalling of events is one of the deepest meditation techniques. You should definitely relax and remember your acts of generosity. Next time you feel like you may be getting sick, remember your most recent generous acts. Whenever you feel your energy is getting low, but there are still chores to be done, sit down and recall some of your generous actions. You’ll see how you soon feel much better with energy rising up through your spine.
Recalling our own generosity not only helps us to reach a deeper consciousness level that brings us closer to awakening and increases our energy levels—it also provides us with the perfect death. Death is the ultimate moment of recall. Death can come to you loaded with sorrow, loss, regret, and fear, or it can come with inner peace, happiness, satisfaction in having completed your mission, and even joy. All that is important is what your mind will remember when the moment of death arrives.
What would you like your mind to remember? Perhaps you would like to recall your generosity.