monks practicing dana

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monks practicing dana

Postby befriend » Thu Nov 17, 2011 6:04 pm

hi,
how do monks practice dana. i know some of them teach. but some do not. isnt dana an essential part of the path. im not judging im just curious.
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Re: monks practicing dana

Postby David2 » Thu Nov 17, 2011 6:58 pm

Proper practice is the best dana. There does not need to be something material.
With proper practice one inspires others to practice.
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Re: monks practicing dana

Postby Bhikkhu Pesala » Thu Nov 17, 2011 7:15 pm

Giving gifts to lay-people is not usual, and may be the wrong livelihood of "pursuing gain with gain" if the intention is to curry favour. However, we are allowed to give things to lay people who perform some service for the Sangha. For example, if someone does some cleaning or repairs we can share food or whatever with the workers.

We can, of course, give things to other monks or novices, sharing our almsfood or other requisites.

Mostly, we practice dhamma dāna — the gift of the teaching, by publishing books and articles free of charge, etc.
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Re: monks practicing dana

Postby cooran » Thu Nov 17, 2011 8:13 pm

Hello all,

Yes, Dhamma Dana is the priceless gift received from the Ordained Sangha.

(Recently though, at Dhammagiri, we entered into an agreement with a neighbouring property to exchange the neighbours slashing our acreage in return for two or three of his horses being able to live on and graze the land. Some of the lay people brought packages of carrots from the local vegetable and fruit shop and donated them to the monastery. Our Bhikkhu takes a package to the horses who run up to the back fence - he can then give dana carrots to each horse).

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Re: monks practicing dana

Postby befriend » Thu Nov 17, 2011 8:32 pm

harmlessness is considered the greatest dana is this correct? is just following sila a form of dana in a bikkhus case?
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Re: monks practicing dana

Postby Bhikkhu Pesala » Thu Nov 17, 2011 8:54 pm

The Gift of Truth Excels All Other Gifts

The gift of Truth excels all (other) gifts.
The flavour of Truth excels all (other) flavours.
The pleasure in Truth excels all (other) pleasures.
He who has destroyed craving overcomes all sorrow. (Dhp v 354)

Or, again, paying homage to an Arahant is better than any offering of alms.

In this world whatever gift or alms a person seeking merit should offer for a year,
all that is not worth a quarter of the reverence towards the upright which is excellent. (Dhp v 108)
Last edited by Bhikkhu Pesala on Sat Nov 19, 2011 4:19 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: monks practicing dana

Postby befriend » Sat Nov 19, 2011 4:04 pm

like bowing to an arahant in person, or what about bowing to a buddha statue.
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Re: monks practicing dana

Postby daverupa » Sat Nov 19, 2011 4:20 pm

befriend wrote:like bowing to an arahant in person, or what about bowing to a buddha statue.


What about setting aside ritual, and focusing on one's state of mind? :stirthepot:
    "And how is it, bhikkhus, that by protecting oneself one protects others? By the pursuit, development, and cultivation of the four establishments of mindfulness. It is in such a way that by protecting oneself one protects others.

    "And how is it, bhikkhus, that by protecting others one protects oneself? By patience, harmlessness, goodwill, and sympathy. It is in such a way that by protecting others one protects oneself.
- Sedaka Sutta [SN 47.19]
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Re: monks practicing dana

Postby bodom » Sat Nov 19, 2011 4:36 pm

daverupa wrote:
befriend wrote:like bowing to an arahant in person, or what about bowing to a buddha statue.


What about setting aside ritual, and focusing on one's state of mind? :stirthepot:


For many, paying respects too Buddha images and shrines is a skillful means (upaya)of generating wholesome mind states of mindfulness, compassion and faith in the the triple gem. This is a way of focusing on ones mental states and is not merely ritual for those who use it in this way.

:focus:

:anjali:
The heart of the path is SO simple. No need for long explanations. Give up clinging to love and hate, just rest with things as they are. That is all I do in my own practice. Do not try to become anything. Do not make yourself into anything. Do not be a meditator. Do not become enlightened. When you sit, let it be. When you walk, let it be. Grasp at nothing. Resist nothing. Of course, there are dozens of meditation techniques to develop samadhi and many kinds of vipassana. But it all comes back to this - just let it all be. Step over here where it is cool, out of the battle. - Ajahn Chah
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Re: monks practicing dana

Postby befriend » Sat Nov 19, 2011 5:58 pm

bowing cultivates humility, and sukha in my experience. i would do it out of respect for buddha even if it had no tangible benefits. not because its a empty ritual but because i love buddha.
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Re: monks practicing dana

Postby Zom » Sat Nov 19, 2011 6:39 pm

My opinion is that the best Dana that monks can do - is their own intensive practice. Because when they do it - their mind is clean or is being cleaned. And any layman who gives dana to such a monk - receives a huge merit. If a monk doesn't practise, doesn't put effort to fight with defilements, then dana to such a monk doesn't bring too much benefit for the giver.


From MN 31:

Venerable sir, 'It is great gain for the Vajjis
that the Blessed One abides perfect and rightfully enlightened and also these
three sons of clansmen, venerable Anuruddha, venerable Kimbila and venerable
Nandiya'.

Dãgha, this is so, from whatever clan these three sons of clansmen went forth,
if those clans recall these three with a pleasant mind, it will conduce to their
happiness for a long time. If their family circle,----the people in the village
from where they went forth--- from whatever hamlet,--- from whatever town,----
from whatever state---whoever warriors recall these three sons of clansmen---
whoever brahmins -whoever househoders--- whoever outcastes recall these three
clansmen with a pleasant mind it will conduce to their happiness for a long
time. Dãgha, anyone in this world of gods and men together with its Màras,
Brahmàs, were to recall these three sons of clansmen, it will conduce to their
happiness for a long time. The Blessed One said thus and the demon Dãgha
delighted in the words of the Blessed One.
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Re: monks practicing dana

Postby Bhikkhu Pesala » Sat Nov 19, 2011 6:40 pm

daverupa wrote:What about setting aside ritual, and focusing on one's state of mind? :stirthepot:
What about setting aside pride, and focusing on one's state of mind while bowing to a monk, nun, Buddha image, or pagoda? :bow:
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Re: monks practicing dana

Postby fabianfred » Mon Nov 21, 2011 8:24 pm

As we know there are ten different ways to make merit...
giving; teaching; studying; working; keeping precepts; congratulating; paying respect; sharing merits; bhavana (chanting/meditation); right view...
*As a monk I teach the dhamma to those who have the desire to learn....
*On alms-round I encourage those around me with a friendly smile (especially passing schoolkids) to show respect with a 'wai'.
*Surplus food and offerings obtained on alms-round are shared with the poor and needy..... the odd drunk who wanders into temple grounds; schoolkids on their way home stop by my guti for any leftover sweets/cookies/milk/fruit; workers who come into the temple and help cleaning/sweeping are offered food...
*My own practice of meditation and chanting and sharing the merits obtained....
*walking meditation practiced whilst upon alms-round...
*daily study of the dhamma and reflection....
*using donations to buy warm clothing for poor villagers/hill-tribe kids and other help to refugee/displaced persons/schools etc.

as a monk i have many opportunities to make merit...giving being only one of them...
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Re: monks practicing dana

Postby befriend » Mon Nov 21, 2011 9:46 pm

is there a proper way to greet people? ive heard that a bodhisattvas conduct is so fine that they dont neglect any part of there behavior. or is it just a typical handshake and bow and a friendly expression.
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Re: monks practicing dana

Postby fabianfred » Tue Nov 22, 2011 11:10 am

Monks do not usually shake-hands...but then nor do most Asians which is where most monks come from. Culturally Asians prefer to put their hands in Anjali although some Western monks shake-hands with Westerners who don't know anything else.
How would you know how a Boddhisattva behaves??...do they declare themselves to be such??
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Re: monks practicing dana

Postby befriend » Tue Nov 22, 2011 12:58 pm

no no, i read in shantidevas way of the bodhisattva that a bodhisattva has a certain way they greet someone but i dont think they mention how, or atleast i didnt get to that part in the book. i was always curious though.
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Re: monks practicing dana

Postby 2600htz » Sun Dec 25, 2011 4:16 pm

Hello:

A person can do bodily, verbal and mental generosity.
Because of that, a person can practice dana in a variety of ways besides doing physical gifts.

With metta.
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Re: monks practicing dana

Postby Gena1480 » Sun Dec 25, 2011 4:54 pm

Damma is the best gift
best give to Buddha is practice
one who practice see the Buddha
that is complete truth
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Re: monks practicing dana

Postby fabianfred » Fri Jan 06, 2012 10:55 pm

The merit obtained from giving to animals, even 100 times, is less than the merit from giving to a human, even if it is a person without morals.
Giving to a human without morals, 100 times, is less than giving to one who keeps the five precepts just once.
Giving to one who keeps the five precepts, 100 times, is less merit than giving to one who keeps the eight precepts, just once.
Giving to one keeping the eight precepts, 100 times, is less than one who keeps the ten precepts (Novice).
Giving to one keeping the ten precepts, 100 times, is less than giving to a monk keeping 227 precepts.
Giving to a monk keeping the 227 precepts who is still Putuchon, 100 times, is less than giving to a Sotapanna.
Giving to a Sotapanna, 100 times, is less than a Sakgdagami.
Giving to a Sakgdagami, 100 times is less than an Anagami.
Giving to an Anagami, 100 times, is less than an Arahant.
Giving to an Arahant, 100 times, is less than a Padjekha Buddha.
Giving to a Padjekha Buddha, 100 times is les than a Buddha.
Giving to a Buddha, 100 times, is less than building a Viharn, Bote, Chedi, Sala, Guti etc.
Constructing these buildings, even 100 times, is less merit than teaching Dhamma to those who are ignorant of it.
Teaching Dhamma, even 100 times, is less than not getting angry, wanting revenge or to harm any beings, even enemies.
Forgiving, even 100 times, is less than keeping the five precepts just once.
Keeping the five precepts, 100 times, is less than keeping the eight precepts even just once.
Keeping the eight precepts,100 times, is less than keeping the ten precepts just once.
Ordaining as a Samanera (novice) keeping the ten precepts, even for 100 years, is less then one who ordains as a monk keeping 227 precepts, even for a single day.
Ordaining as a Monk keeping the 227 precepts absolutely unbroken for 100 years, is less than practicing Samatha meditation and making the mind still and quiet (kanika samadhi) for only as long as the flick of an elephant's ear.
One who achieves the yana in samatha meditation, even for 100 years, is less merit than one who sees the truth of the three characteristics, (suffering, impermanence and non-self), even if only for a moment. (Vipassana).
One who has the wisdom to know the truth about the three characteristics, that this body is only subject to suffering, impermanent and not-self, even for only a moment, as long as the flick of an elephant's ear, is better than one who lives for 100 years but hasn't the wisdom to see the truth.
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Re: monks practicing dana

Postby cooran » Fri Jan 06, 2012 11:06 pm

Hello fabianfred,

Could you give a link and reference to the above information please?

with metta
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