Giving (dana) is one of the essential preliminary steps of Buddhist practice. When practiced in itself, it is a basis of merit or wholesome kamma. When coupled with morality, concentration and insight, it leads ultimately to liberation from samsara, the cycle of repeated existence. Even those who are well-established on the path to emancipation continue to practice giving as it is conducive to wealth, beauty and pleasure in their remaining lifetimes. Bodhisattas complete the danaparami or perfection of giving to the ultimate degree by happily donating their limbs and their very lives to help other beings.
Like all good deeds, an act of giving will bring us happiness in the future, in accordance with the kammic law of cause and effect taught by the Buddha. Giving yields benefits in the present life and in lives to come whether or not we are aware of this fact, but when the volition is accompanied by understanding, we can greatly increase the merits earned by our gifts.
The amount of merit gained varies according to three factors: the quality of the donor’s motive, the spiritual purity of the recipient, and the kind and size of the gift. Since we have to experience the results of our actions, and good deeds lead to good results and bad deeds to bad results, it is sensible to try to create as much good kamma as possible. In the practice of giving, this would mean keeping one’s mind pure in the act of giving, selecting the worthiest recipients available, and choosing the most appropriate and generous gifts one can afford from “Dana: The Practice of Giving” by Bhikkhu Bodhi.
If you would like to provide Dana, please click on the button below or calendar icon above to access the Vihara Dana Calendar and add an event for a free date and time of your choosing. Please do not replace/edit any existing Dana events that were created by others. Please contact the Vihara if you need information about the timing of meal offerings. As a general rule, Buddhist monastics restrict themselves to two meals per day (breakfast and lunch) and do not consume food after Noon (12 PM).
Thank you for your generosity!