The practice of dana was one of the first teachings of the buddha. Dana (pronounced “dah-na”) is a Pali word meaning generosity.
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 interconnectedness 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. To this day in the East, 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.
As this ancient teaching moves to the West, we hope to keep alive this joyful tradition. At OAOR, our goal is to minimize costs in maintaining the house, providing for the monks, and in offering programs so that everyone in our community may participate. To allow the monks at OAOR to continue their dharma work, support from the community is needed.
The practice of dana is an expression of appreciation for something of great value that has been freely given. Your support allows OAOR to flourish and others to benefit from the teachings.
You can find ways to practice dana on our support page.
“You give what is appropriate to the occasion and to your means, when and where your heart feels inspired. For the monastics, this means that you teach, out of compassion, what should be taught, regardless of whether it will sell. For the laity, this means that you give what you have to spare and feel inclined to share. There is no price for the teachings, nor even a ‘suggested donation.’ Anyone who regards the act of teaching or the act of giving requisites as a repayment for a particular favor is ridiculed as mercenary. Instead, you give because giving is good for the heart and because the survival of the Dhamma as living principle depends on daily acts of generosity.”
Ṭhānissaro Bhikku, in his book: “Refuge: An Introduction to the Buddha, Dhamma, & Sangha”