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Wednesday, December 05, 2007

Selflessness Brings Spiritual Growth

We've mentioned the importance of building character and obstacles to mindfulness. The one charasteristic we have left out is selflessness.

The Dalai Lama says that the goal of humanity is to increase happiness and avoid suffering. One of the best ways to do this is to put the welfare of others ahead of your own. This means doing the right thing even when it is uncomfortable, or you won't get what you want.

This isn't the same as martyrdom. Selflessness means taking care of yourself as well because others are depending on you.

By focusing on the needs of others, you will find that you don't need as much as you thought. Alot of what we call "needs" are actually "wants." Helping others makes you appreciative of what you do have. When I think that my life is the worst, all I have to do is look at the fact that I have alot more than other people do.

Giving to others makes you feel good. It's not the same fading feeling as when I buy that new purse or a pair of shoes. I get true satisfaction and a feeling of calm from putting others first.

Tis' the season to be giving. There are tons of things you can do: volunteer at a local soup kitchen, pass out blankets to the homeless, donate used clothing and shoes to local shelters, or buy a gift for a family or child in need.

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