"Before giving, the mind of the giver is happy. While giving, the mind of the giver is made peaceful. And having given, the mind of the giver is uplifted."
- Anguttara Nikaya 3.6.37
Dana: generosity, giving, gift
The Buddha’s teachings are offered according to the principle of dana, an ancient Pali word meaning “generosity,” “giving,” or “gift.” Dana has played a central role throughout the history of Buddhism. In the early days of the Buddha these teachings were considered priceless and offered freely. Early teachers of the dharma were supported solely by the lay community, who voluntarily provided monks and nuns with food, clothing, and shelter.
Today, 2,600 years later, the dharma is still being freely offered to all who want to hear. Through your generous contributions of dana, you not only support the continuation of the dharma but also provide the opportunity for others with less financial means to hear it as well. Of course, today such generosity is only possible through your monetary donations.
Following this ancient tradition, the Seattle Insight Meditation Society is fully supported through your generosity. Dana pays for all of our operating expenses including venue rent, insurance, a newsletter, website costs, reimbursement of guest teacher travel costs, capital needs, and other administrative expenses. Admission is not charged to any of our events or for the teachings and no one is ever turned away for an inability to pay.
In addition, our guiding teachers and our guest teachers on Tuesday nights, nonresidential retreats, and for other dharma talks depend upon your separate generosity for their livelihood. These teachers have all of the same expenses you do, including housing, food, clothing, medical expenses, and retirement. Your teacher dana provides support not just for the teachings you see and receive but also for the teacher’s ability to study, reflect, write upon the dharma, and teach those who cannot pay without the worry and the need for a traditional job.