Having realized that mundane dana practice is necessary as an antidote for unrighteous greed/covetousness and for overcoming stinginess in order to enter jhana and the stream of N8P, I come back to this old thread to discuss how dana should be practiced in daily life.
Should we practice dana when opportunity presents itself naturally, or should we actively create opportunities? I think that dana practice is to get us into right concentration for our inner mental training, instead of becoming distracted toward outer virtue acts, therefore in more cases I tend to practice dana when opportunity presents itself naturally, when not adversely influencing myself and others.
Thanks to khalil bodhi's very helpful practice blod http://khalilbodhi.wordpress.com/
, I learned how he practiced dana and caga. Inspired by his practice, I plan to focus on my dana/caga practice for a period of time in the following ways (some are borrowed from khalil which I'm sure he wouldn't mind):
1) Read/listen to a sutta daily on dana/caga
2) Mindfully practice dana and caga in daily life with wise reflection and right thinking (with no greed, no ill will/aversion, and no cruelty)
a. Donate to some worthy recipients
b. Carry some changes so that I could give to every person who ask, with care, compassion, and respect
c. Be generous in giving tips
d. Give more time and attention to my parents and relatives; call them more often and do more things for them.
e. Be of service and assistance to those around me when appropriate and do so as unstintingly as possible
f. Contribute more in the service committees and activities
g. Forgive those who have harmed me
h. Share my knowledge, understanding and practice of the Dhamma with the Dhamma friends
3) Reflect on my dana/caga practice at the end of a day and mark the calendar for fulfilling at least one of the above-listed dana acts that day; share the merits of my dana practice with all beings
4) Strive not to "break the chain" of the practice
I'd love to know your dana/caga practice. Would you share how you practice dana and caga in daily life?
Thanks and metta!