These guidelines have been written by students and practitioners of dāna (Sanskrit for “generosity”) as an offering to other students wanting to learn more about dāna.
Cultivating dāna when booking an appointment
The practice of generosity is the essence of the path to freedom – the first crack of light in our ego-protected lives. Moments of generosity open up space in our hearts, alleviates fear that we don’t have enough, and allows us to relax our clinging. For this reason, dāna is most effective if given before an appointment, to opens a trusting space for learning.
How much dāna to offer?
Everyone wonders this but, since money represents survival to us, we rarely feel comfortable talking about it. Here are some guidelines as seeds for reflection. Remember what you offer is at your own discretion, and is a balance between a heart of abundance and what is financial sustainable. The suggested amounts are for an individual teacher; if you need to speak with both together we suggest only to be mindful in your dāna that both will be dedicating their time and attention towards your unfolding.
NOTE: the amounts below are in US dollars. We recognize the US dollar is very strong currently; if your income is in a non-US currency please adjust as appropriate.
- $200+ helps Planet Dharma to be more generative, and develop the teaching and the community further. You’ll also be generating merit by supporting the teachers to share time and energy and teachings with people who otherwise might not be able to afford it.
- $100 helps the teachers move to a sustainable level, with some room to begin investing resources. This helps further develop the teaching and community, so that they can become even more valuable for you and others.
- $75 allows the teachers to continue to be dedicated to offering the teachings on the basis of dāna.
- $25 ~ $50 if you are struggling financially and are wondering what is the baseline minimum amount to give as an offering. The teaching is offered by dāna partly so that it is accessible to everyone regardless of their financial situation. If you are genuinely unable to afford this, offer what you can, and make a strong commitment to yourself to “pay it forward” in the future when you are in a better situation.
A short guided practice
- Take a few quiet breaths and center yourself.
- Spend another few moments contacting as best you can a sense of health, strength and abundance (noticing without judgement if this is hard to contact)
- Offer an aspiration (using the below, or your own words).
May this practice of dāna open up a space inside me to learn and receive.
May this gift support the teachers and teachings for the benefit of many other people.
May this gift directly support my own awakening through a strong dāna practice.
This gift, myself the giver, and the teachers are all impermanent – with this in mind I give lightly and generously, for the benefit of all beings!
- Now check with your heart and mind what amount feels both consistent with your situation, and expressive of your aspiration. Remember, you are free to offer whatever amount of dāna feels good for you right now.
- Now simply, with a joyful abundant heart aspiring for awakening, and awareness of the preciousness and impermanence of life, enter the amount you choose to offer below, and click the “Donate” button.