Student: Sometimes you can't be generous without harming either yourself or both yourself and the other person.
Chogyam Trungpa: The general idea is that, if you open yourself to what the given situation is, then you see its completely naked quality. You don't have to put up a defensive mechanism anymore, because you see through it and you know exactly what to do. You just deal with things, rather than defending yourself.
S: But then the feeling might be that you have to refuse somebody.
CT: Sure, yes. Openness doesn't necessarily mean that you have to make yourself available to the other person all the time. Openness is knowing the situation -- if it's healthy and helpful to the other person to involve yourself with them or if it is more healthy not to involve yourself, if showing this kind of commitment is not healthy for the other person. It works both ways. Openness doesn't mean you have to take everything in at all; you have a right to reject or accept -- but when you reject you don't close your self; you reject the situation. Whether you accept or reject it depends on whether it's a healthy situation for the other person or not; it's not purely what they want. Openness doesn't mean that you are doing purely what the other person wants. Their wantingness may not be particularly accurate....So you just work along with what's valuable there.
From TRANSCENDING MADNESS: THE EXPERIENCE OF THE SIX BARDOS edited by Judith Lief, pages 89-90