This is an old-time favorite practice of giving, one I find simple but powerful. Every time someone does something for you, pass on a similar deed to someone else within twenty-four hours. For example, if someone lets you go ahead of them getting on a bus, make a vow that you will do the same for someone else within twenty-four hours. And when you forget, and perhaps remember later, think back to where your intention to carry it forward got lost. Remember, none of the practices are intended to cause guilt. Guilt is just some thing that the self adds on. We're trying to wake up to patterns of thinking and acting with openness and curiosity. The power of this practice is that it heightens our attention to what we are receiving and encourages us to give in simple ways.
Here are some simply daily practices:
- Water a plant that looks like it could use a drink, even if you don't own it.
- Pick up some trash or litter your find as you walk along the street.If you bring something for yourself to eat or drink at a meeting, bring a little extra to share with others.
- Pay the toll for the car behind you in the "cash" lane of a toll station.
- At a busy intersection, give another car the right to pass.
- When waiting for a parking spot, give the space that just opened up in front of you to the person waiting behind you.
- Give someone who you find difficult to listen to your full attention for at least sixty seconds. (This is a particularly powerful practice in developing the Paramita of Practicing Patience.)
- Give someone the benefit of the doubt.
- Take in your neighbor's barrels.