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This is What Happens When Exercising Generosity:

// What “Dana” really is //

The Pali and Sanskrit word “Dana” is frequently used in contexts of retreats. In the Buddhist tradition, the offering of teachings is for free because they are considered priceless. For thousands of years, “Dana”, or “generosity”  has been practiced by making monetary offerings for these teachings. “Dana” is not a payment done in exchange for a good service received; it is giving from the heart. It is a very powerful and active spiritual practice.

The exercise of “Dana” can be done by offering time, energy, money, food, clothing, gifts, prayers or by embodying an appreciative and supportive attitude.

Through the cultivation of “Dana” we progressively leave behind the habitual mental state of poverty and start developing a sense of psychological, spiritual and ultimately material richness. Generosity allows us to diminish the fear of poverty, relax our clinging and open our heart. It also alleviates others from suffering, and frees them through the expansion of wellness and joy.

How Much to Give?

The core of the answer to “how much to give?” resides in giving from the heart of generosity, a sense of abundance and a strong intention for us and others´ unfoldment. In practice, we give in a way that it is sustainable for us.  It sustains the teacher and the teachings we want to experience.

It is a good practice to reflect on how much we pay for other things. Are we prepared to pay more for perhaps entertainment or fancy clothing? Then, we are sending a message to ourselves that those things are of a higher value to us than the opportunity to receive.  

 So, next time you are invited to be generous…Why not reflect about the deep meaning of  DANA before to decide about your offer.

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