what is dana

Teachings and meditation retreats offered at Stanley Ave Studio in conjunction with or for  Melbourne Insight Meditation are offered on the principle of dana. Dana is an ancient Pali word meaning “generosity”,  “giving” or “gift.” It is directly related to the Latin word donum and through this to such English words as donor, donate and donation.

Dana is intrinsic to the 2500 year-old Buddhist tradition. Going back to the days of the Buddha the teachings were considered priceless and thus offered freely as a form of dana.  The early teachers received no payment for their instruction, and in turn, the lay community saw to it through their voluntary generosity, their dana, that the basic needs of food, clothing, shelter and medicine were provided for these monks and nuns.

Beyond the practical dimension,  dana also plays a crucial role in the spiritual life of a Dharma practitioner.  It is the first of the ten paramitas, or qualities of character, to be perfected. The act of giving itself is of immeasurable benefit to the giver for it opens up the heart, diminishes for a moment one’s self-absorption, and places value on the well-being of others.  The simple gesture of offering a flower, an act of service, a kind thought or a simple meal is in fact a sincere form of practice.

Teacher support

We do not have a strong monastic tradition in the West however our Insight teachers still follow the ancient model of dana (generosity). Teachers do not receive any payment from Melbourne Insight Meditation. Retreat fees cover only the cost of your accommodation, food, retreat management and the teacher’s airfare.  Teachers receive financial support solely by voluntary donations (dana) given directly to the teacher by students at the retreat.  Many teachers are dependent almost entirely on dana.  We ask you to consider that these teachers invest the bulk of their time serving the dharma and that they have the same living expenses, rent/mortgage, transport, education, that we all do.

During the retreat there will be a dana box where you can contribute to the teacher via cash or cheque.  Our teacher’s paypal and bank details can be found here.

Teacher support

We do not have a strong monastic tradition in the West however our Insight teachers still follow the ancient model of dana (generosity). Teachers do not receive any payment from Melbourne Insight Meditation. Retreat fees cover only the cost of your accommodation, food, retreat management and the teacher’s airfare.  Teachers receive financial support solely by voluntary donations (dana) given directly to the teacher by students at the retreat.  Many teachers are dependent almost entirely on dana.  We ask you to consider that these teachers invest the bulk of their time serving the dharma and that they have the same living expenses, rent/mortgage, transport, education, that we all do.

During the retreat there will be a dana box where you can contribute to the teacher via cash or cheque.  Our teacher’s paypal and bank details can be found here.

Suggested amounts

You are free to give any amount dependent on your financial situation. Any amount is more than welcome. Bank account details announced at event. The following is a guide for those wondering how much to give.

DHARMA TALKS
Suggested base dana*  $10- $20
Suggested supporting dana** $20 – $50

DAY RETREATS
Suggested base dana* $60
Suggested supporting dana** $100
Suggested strengthening dana*** $140

*supports the teacher for the time taken to prepare and present the teachings

** supports the teacher for the time taken plus support their day to day life to dedicate to the buddha dharma

Volunteering

You can support the work at Stanley Ave Studio by volunteering – often referred to as Karma yoga – selfless action performed for the benefit of others.  We need volunteers to support our weekly sits. This may be by way of helping set-up and pack-up, facilitating and/or general support. Please email hart@stanleyavestudio.com.au if you are interested in being involved.

THANK YOU FOR YOUR GENEROSITY!

Your support is deeply appreciated. Giving Dana allows Stannley Ave Studio to offer dharma teachings via Melbourne Insight Meditation and to keep the teachings alive in the modern world.

More about dana

visit: Patrick Kearney – The Economy of Gift (http://www.dharmasalon.net/page5/page5.html)