the practice of generosity
+ giving from the heart
1. How is dāna different from donation?
Dāna should not be looked upon as a business transaction or simply a payment for services or goods rendered.
It is a gift given from the heart, expressing one’s gratitude and appreciation for the teachings, considered priceless by the ancient tradition of Buddhism.
The practice of dana shows us the way by removing the capitalistic exchange for services and replacing it with heart centered opportunities to give in generosity.
2. How does dāna work?
It is vital to understand that dāna is the practice of generosity. Although we all have the innate, generous capacity to give and support one another, the conditions of our system have obscured this quality of the heart. Just as we practice loving-kindness and mindfulness to help reawaken those innate qualities of the heart-mind, so too we have the practice of dāna to reawaken the gift of generosity.
Ultimately, giving is receiving and receiving is giving. This is a practice that feels good for both parties involved.
For me, when I get to do what I love, from a place without expectation, and just pour my time, presence, and energy into the moment with another soul- that is what lights me up. For the person who receives this medicine- they know it is coming from the heart versus from an exchange of goods/ services/ or money.
While money may still be involved, it is given as an offering and an opportunity for the giver to GIVE and receive the joy that generosity creates.
3. Why dāna?
We live in a capitalistic society where nothing is free and everything is given only upon exchange. I want to change this. I want to move toward heart centered ways of being and acting in the world. I want to trust in the universal gifts of abundance, love, and reciprocity.
Prosperity flourishes when you continue to open the flow of giving and receiving.
May we all step into higher states of being and acting… And may I be the proof- the light that leads the way.
Buddha taught about three poisons of the mind: greed, hatred, and delusion. These states of being cause all suffering and discord in the world. The practice of dāna (giving) is the antidote to greed. Dāna is the way to heart centered living and being.
4. How do I give dāna and how much do I give?
It is very important to treat dāna as part of your spiritual practice and not a purchase transaction.
It is encouraged to take your time with this process. Consider what it means to you to receive these offerings, teachings, guidance and support in this way?
What does it mean to you to support a model of living based on generosity?
Do you feel that it’s possible to create ripples of social change by working together in this way?
What comes up for you?
Take time to sit, close your eyes and listen to your heart. When you attune to your truth, your capacity to give, with respect and congruent alignment- what we can afford to give will become obvious. Trust informs this practice. Giving from the heart leads to prosperity, seen and unseen, immediately and in time.
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