rowyourboat wrote:there is a sutta which talks of building parks and ponds which seem to generate merit for long periods. I always thought my monthly direct debit as something like that! it doesnt matter eventually- the whole point of dana for me atleast is to give rise to wholesome states of mind.
Cariyapitaka Atthakatha, translated by Bhikkhu Bodhi
The perfection of giving is to be practiced by benefiting beings in many ways — by relinquishing one's happiness, belongings, body and life to others, by dispelling their fear, and by instructing them in the Dhamma.
Herein, giving is threefold by way of the object to be given: the giving of material things (amisadana), the giving of fearlessness (abhayadana), and the giving of the Dhamma (dhammadana). Among these, the object to be given can be twofold: internal and external. The external gift is tenfold: food, drink, garments, vehicles, garlands, scents, unguents, bedding, dwellings, and lamps. These gifts, again, become manifold by analyzing each into its constituents, e.g., food into hard food, soft food, etc. The external gift can also become sixfold when analyzed by way of sense objects: visible forms, sounds, smells, tastes, tangibles, and non-sensory objects. The sense objects, such as visible forms, become manifold when analyzed into blue, etc. So too, the external gift is manifold by way of the divers valuables and belongings, such as gems, gold, silver, pearls, coral, etc.; fields, land, parks, etc.; slaves, cows, buffaloes, etc.