It’s easy to think we’re generous and magnanimous people when we’re sitting here reading. We think, "I’m not attached. I’d be happy to share whatever I have with others.” But should somebody ask us, "May I have the food in your cupboards?" We would probably respond, "No! Why should I give it to you?" Or if somebody took our shoes that we left outside the meditation hall, we would be upset. "Who took my shoes? How dare they! I want them back!"
Fear often lies beneath our excuses. We falsely believe that possessions will bring us security in cyclic existence. In fact, our attachment to them keeps us bound in a prison of dissatisfaction. We constantly crave more and better, yet are never satisfied with what we have.
–Thubten Chodron, from Tara the Liberator
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