Dana - The Practice of Generosity
Dana (pronounced "dah-na") is a Pali word meaning generosity. Dating back to the time of the Buddha, there has existed an interdependence between those who offer the teachings and those who receive them.
According to the Buddha, generosity, or sharing what we have, is one of the central pillars of a spiritual life. In the act of giving, we develop our ability to let go, cultivate a spirit of caring, and acknowledge the inter-connectedness that we all share. It is a basis of wholesome karma. The Buddha created a system to develop this quality of open-handedness whereby those who share the teachings are dependent on those who receive them. Monks and nuns go on daily alms rounds with a begging bowl, relying on the generosity of lay people for support in continuing their teaching and spiritual life.
It is the practice of dana that has kept the Buddhist tradition alive for more than 2,600 years in Asia, where committed supporters have given generously to establish networks of monasteries and retreat centers providing for millions of teachers and practitioners. At Spirit Rock, we carry on this joyful tradition in the form of inviting donations from the community so that we can continue to offer the Dharma to future generations who will get to explore the path to waking up because of our efforts.