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. 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 and will not be meeting in person in the near future to collect your dana due to the pandemic, 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.
If you wish to donate to one of our selected charities for the past months of March, April or May, please mail your check for those charities by June 15th. Jean will total the dana for each month's charity and make the donation online.
Monthly Non-Profit Dana Recipients Selected by the Sangha Caretakers
October 2020 – Seva Foundation- Eye Care Charity
November 2020- Thich Nhat Hanh Foundation
December 2020- Planned Parenthood of California Central Coast – Human Local
January 2021 - Doctors without Borders - Human Global
February 2021 - Environmental Defense Fund- Global Environmental
March 2021 – Unitarian Universalist Church of Ventura
April 2021 - Food Share - Human Local
May 2021 - Deer Park
June 2021- Channel Islands Marine and Wildlife Institute-Local Animal
July 2021 - World Central Kitchen-= Global Human
August 2021 - Thich Nhat Hanh Foundation
September 2021- California Native Plant Society - Environmental Local
October 2021 - World Wildlife Fund-Global Animal
November 2021 - Deer Park
December 2021 - CAUSE(Central Coast Alliance for a Sustainable Economy)-Human, Environment Migrant Local
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?