Dana - A Practice of Generosity

Dana (pronounced “DAH-nuh”) is a practice of generosity through simple acts of giving—whether material, emotional, or spiritual, and is regarded as one of the most important Buddhist virtues. An important element of giving is the joy and happiness that we experience when we are able to give from the heart, without any expectation or attachment to the result.

One of the ways we practice Dana each Monday Evening is to offer an opportunity to make a monetary gift to a non-profit charity. The Sangha Caretakers select a different non-profit to receive those monetary offerings each month. See the list of selected charities below.

Since we are now meeting virtually, the caretakers ask that for each month you wish to offer this dana (1) write a check payable to Jean Bramer, the Sangha treasurer, (2) note the name of the charity in the memo line, and (3) mail your check by the end of the month to Jean Bramer, PO. Box 5408, Ventura, CA 93005.

Dana calendar of donations for 2022

  • January 2022 - Unitarian Universalist Church of Ventura

  • February 2022 - Doctors without Borders - Human Global

  • March 2022 - Sierra Club Foundation- Environmental Global

  • April 2022 - Food Share - Human Local

  • May 2022 - Thich Nhat Hanh Foundation

  • June 202 - Gentle Barn – Animal Local

  • July 2022 - Sierra Club Foundation

  • August 2022 - Deer Park

  • September 2022- Channel Island Restoration - Environmental Local

  • October 2022 - Thich Nhat Hanh Foundation

  • November 2022 – Rainforest Alliance – Animal Global

  • December 2022 – Homeboy Industries – Human Global

Personal Dana Worksheet: The Practice of Giving, Tricycle SUMMER 2003

Here are some questions to help you develop your own practice of dana. Your answers will suggest what you might like to change—and what you might like to keep the same—about how you give and receive. Answer these questions now, and again in a month or two, and see how your responses differ. Then pick a few key areas on which to focus your practice.

    • In what ways have you given over the past few months, and to whom?

    • What do you find easiest or most enjoyable to give?

    • What is most difficult for you to give?

    • To whom is it easiest or most enjoyable for you to give?

    • To whom is it most difficult for you to give?

    • From whom is it easiest for you to receive?

    • From whom is it most difficult for you to receive?

    • To whom are you able to give with no expectation of return or thanks?

    • From whom do you feel you can receive without an expectation of return or thanks?

    • Do you ever presume selfish motivations in people who give to you?

    • Do you ever feel indebtedness to people who give to you? Which people, and why?

    • Do you ever feel resentment at being asked to give? To whom, and why?

    • Do you have trouble figuring out what is the appropriate amount to give—either emotionally or materially?

    • Do you have any past experiences that might affect the way you give and receive today?

    • Have you encountered situations where you’ve had the opportunity to give, but have held back? Why?

    • Have you encountered situations where you feel you’ve given too much, or too little?