As the world grapples with the global pandemic, it is heart-warming to see many rallying together to help others in need. In various capacities, some provide food and necessities to those whose livelihoods have been devastated, while some sew protective garments for frontline workers. When we give without any expectations or reservations, we develop a mental state of relinquishment called ‘cāga’ in Pāli.
Aside from giving material items and our service, cāga is nurtured when we are able to let go of unwholesome habits, emotions, and views. Especially when working with others, many unwholesome mental states may arise such as anger, jealousy and hatred. If we are stuck in these unwholesome mental states, then we are stuck in suffering.
The more we let go, the freer we are from the bonds of attachment. This allows us to experience freedom, calmness and peace. This purified mental state creates the conditions for us to work well together with others, thus developing unity and harmony in the community.