Dana: Nurturing the Heart through Generosity

Thai monks receive the day's food

Thai monks receive the day’s food

I follow the ancient Buddhist tradition of “dana,” offering the teachings at no charge.

They are priceless, given freely in the hope they will bring peace and wisdom to all.

This provides an opportunity for those who benefit from these resources to cultivate their own generosity, by making donations to keep these offerings available.

Buddha said generosity benefits us before we give, by making the mind happy, while we give, by making the mind peaceful, and afterward, when the mind is uplifted. (AN 3.6.37)  Practicing dana has long been considered a prelude to meditation, to help the sitting begin with a tranquil mind.

You can donate online here.

3 Responses to Dana

  1. raquel baker says:

    So many times my brain has been ignited by something in a Dharma talk, and since attending the Alameda sangha I’ve been enriched over and over by the words and the practice encountered there.First I have found a deep desire for immersion in the peace of this community. Taking refuge in the dharma has gradually begun to have meaning in my life. Then, I have begun to treasure the teachings–such as finding that Everything (literally) everything is part of my practice. Finally, becoming aware of metta has led me to readjust my perception of humanity, and human relationships.

  2. Susan Haumeder says:

    There are so many reasons I think dana is important that I keep putting off leaving a comment. So I’m going to try a different approach. Each time I think of one I’m going to leave a comment. I hope this works for more people than just me.

    Right now I am struck by how important it is to experience a relationship that is not transactional. Our world if full of transactions. Always you give me this, I give you that, or visa versa. To have relationships with the dharma and teachers that live outside of the transactional world is a blessing and a teaching in itself. We can connect on the basis of generosity! We can love and accept love.

    The Buddha taught from generosity and we receive the gift of his generosity and the generosity of the many laypeople and monastics who have shared their understanding of the Buddha’s teachings for these thousands of years. It is there for us to enjoy.

    And likewise we can give of what we have, when we are motivated by gratitude and for other reasons. And we may choose to give as a practice, not motivated by a specific talk or event, but just to nourish our generosity as we nourish our mindfulness in meditation.

    For me, the sharing of the dharma on a dana basis is a welcome retreat from the transactional world.

    Thank you for this opportunity to share.

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