The Meaning of Dana ?
Dana is the Pali word for giving. The practice of giving is universally recognized as one of the most basic human virtues, a quality that testifies to the depth of one’s humanity and one’s capacity for self-transcendence. In the teaching of the Buddha, too, the practice of giving claims a place of special eminence, one which singles it out as being in a sense the foundation and seed of spiritual development.
Giving can also be identified with the personal quality of generosity (caga). This angle highlights the practice of giving, not as the outwardly manifest act by which an object is transferred from oneself to others, but as the inward disposition to give, a disposition which is strengthened by outward acts of giving and which in turn makes possible still more demanding acts of self-sacrifice. Generosity is included among the essential attributes of the sappurisa, the good or superior person, along with such other qualities as faith, morality, learning, and wisdom. Viewed as the quality of generosity, giving has a particularly intimate connection to the entire movement of the Buddha’s path. For the goal of the path is the destruction of greed, hate and delusion, and the cultivation of generosity directly debilitates greed and hate, while facilitating that pliancy of mind that allows for the eradication of delusion.
For further reading, go to:
Dana: The Practice of Giving
Selected essays edited by Ven. Bhikkhu Bodhi
Ways to Give:
Offerings to the Sangha
- Soap, toothpaste, toothbrushes, mouthwash.
- Basic Food Staples Needed.
- Unsalted nuts such as walnuts, cashews, pecans, pine nuts, and almonds, raisins, prunes, oatmeal, dried lentils and garbanzo beans, noodles, pasta, rice stick noodles, brown rice, virgin olive oil, balsamic vinegar, vegetable oil, “natural” peanut butter, jelly, vegetarian oyster mushroom sauce.
One of the most important ways to give of yourself is in time, effort, and skill. The maintenance of our monastery and the management of our programs require assistance from the lay community to make it all happen.
- Dana for General Purposes
This dana will be allocated by the Sangha for whatever items or purposes are of greatest need in the general administration, functioning, and development of Bodhi Monastery.
- Dana for Food
This dana will be allocated specifically for the groceries purchased for the Sangha’s meals.
- Dana for Sangha Requisites
This dana will be allocated specifically for the general requisites of the monks for items such as robes, toiletries, slippers, medicine, etc.
- Dana for Dharma
Though the Dharma taught at Bodhi Monastery is put on-line for all to take freely, we welcome financial assistance to help in the proliferation of Dharma. Dana would be allocated to such things as costs incurred in keeping the website up and technically advanced in order to post the Dharma from Bodhi Monastery. It may also include allocating money for travel costs for teachers, translators, etc. It may also go towards producing audio CDs of Dharma talks, as well as producing any literature, and peripheral Dharma materials.
- Dana for Specific Designation
If there is something more specific you would like your monetary dana to go towards, you can simply write to us about your suggested offering at contactus so that the Sangha can take it into consideration as to its necessity.