The Second Arrow

Heartfulness eMagazine|June 2020

The Second Arrow
MEREDITH KLEIN shares her thoughts and experience on self-generosity, and especially how to avoid the Buddha’s concept of the second arrow.

A teacher of mine offers each cohort of students she works with an exercise where she asks them to make a list of all the people they care for in their lives. At the end of five minutes, students put down their pens, and then she asks how many people included their own names on their lists. People rarely, if ever, list themselves.

Similarly, if I asked you now to make a list of the people for whom you practiced generosity, would your name make the list? Most likely not. For most of us, when we are asked how we practice generosity, we bring to mind transactional acts of giving between ourselves and something or someone external to us – whether another person, institution or organization. Perhaps something tangible is involved, or perhaps what we give is intangible (like our time or presence). But almost always, generosity is thought of as an act that binds two parties via the act of giving.


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June 2020