Dana, Sanskrit for “giving” or “generosity,” is fundamental to all Buddhist traditions. Giving expresses appreciation and opens the heart. Giving embodies letting go and the practice of giving is a way to study our attachment. An act of generosity is an act of kindness and love.
Giving is the first of the six paramitas or “perfections,” which also include ethics, patience, enthusiasm, meditation and wisdom. Giving opens the way into the practice of all the perfections, and the other perfections celebrate and complete giving.
Giving expresses the truth of non-separation, which is how in each moment, everything gives us life, and we give life to everything. Generosity thus embodies and gives living manifestation to our fundamental nature.
Stone Creek Zen Center exists through the generosity of its participants. Giving is a vital way to support each other’s practice together. The generosity of members and participants at Stone Creek Zen Center supports the community of practice by allowing us to enjoy a dedicated space for practice, and also by supporting the teachers. Stone Creek relies on this support, and offers the support of teachings, practice and community.
In the Buddhist tradition, giving is associated with deep joy. Giving as an act kindness and appreciation is also a true gift to ourselves. May we all enjoy the joy of generosity!