Dana - The Practice of Generosity
What is "Dana"?
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. The teachings are given freely, since they are considered priceless. Registration fees go for the building rental and supplies. None of this money goes directly to the teachers. To allow the teachers to continue their work, support from the students is needed. There will be an opportunity to contribute at the end of each class.
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. 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.