mind transforms the gift
and the gift transforms the mind.”
“Dana” is the Pali word which translates as:
Giving / Freely Giving
Dana is often the first in many lists of different practices set forth by the Buddha:
6 Paramitas: In Mahāyāna Buddhism:
Giving, virtue, tolerance, diligence, concentration, and wisdom
The Ten Wholesome Actions:
Giving, virtue, mental cultivation, humility, service, sharing merit, rejoicing in the merit of others, listening to the Dharma, teaching the Dharma, straightening out one’s views. D.A. III.999
The Four Bases of Social Harmony (or Dogen’s Four Methods of Guidance):
Giving, kind speech, service, being equitable. D.N. III.152; A.N. II.32
Ten Virtues of a Ruler:
Giving, virtue, altruism, honesty, kindness, self-control, non-anger, non-violence, patience, uprightness.
In both South Asian and Southeast Asian countries, dana/giving to Buddhist ordained persons was part of these cultures. When Buddhism moved to China, it became less so and therefore, finding other means to support themselves (hence, work/samu), became part of monastic practice. In the United States, this is an especially challenging endeavor for those of us from convert-Buddhist lineages.
It is from this place that we at Access To Zen (“A2Z”) are trying out new ways to ask for assistance for our efforts to share the Dharma. As such, various methods of asking for your support are presented throughout this site. The intention for their placement is for encouragement towards the practice of dana, not as a means to keep the teachings from anyone.
The teachings are always freely given.
Access To Zen is an independent sitting group, renting the space each week. Additionally, as Rev. Liên is not supported by any institution nor persons. Your practice of dana keeps the sitting group community (sangha) going and ensures the teaching is available to all.
Please feel free to contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any questions or comments on this or would like a coupon code to access any of the offerings.
May all beings benefit from dana practice.
Photos by Deb Svoboda. Go here for her amazing work!