Offering and Sharing Lunch Dana?

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Offering and Sharing Lunch Dana?

Postby Yana » Sun Dec 23, 2012 11:08 am

Hi everyone,

I am going to visit a Buddhist Temple soon and i noticed under the activities there was a "Lunch Dana".I know it means offering or sharing food for the monks or nuns.i think.

1.But how would I go about doing that?Do i bring my own plate?Do i use a takeaway style box and give it to them or Do I literally share it off my plate and put it into their plate or bowl etc..?

2.What kinds of food would you think is proper for them?Like can i serve them meat or are they strictly vegetarian.Should i serve hot foods or cold foods.I live pretty far away and take public transport so i don't know how the food's going to remain hot.Like i don't think i can serve them steaming hot soups or something.Are the foods i am supposed to serve already cooked like ready to eat or are they still in the packaging,Like noodles for example.

3.Is it strictly just food or Can i serve them drinks too.Like orange juice or fruit juice or milk.They can drink water after noon right?so it's not necessary to offer them a bottle of water.

What types of food would be suitable for the monks and nuns.I want to offer them something that i know they could really use..certain foods that will really help sustain them during the day so they can practice more.

any advice.Thank you. :anjali:
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Re: Offering and Sharing Lunch Dana?

Postby James the Giant » Sun Dec 23, 2012 11:31 am

Which place are you going to visit?

I always take salad when I visit. You know those salads that come in a pre-packed bag from the supermarket? Lettuce leaves and baby spinach leaves. Two or three of those bags. They have been totally finished off by the monks every time, I think they must be starved for leafy greens.

There will probably be serving bowls already there.
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Re: Offering and Sharing Lunch Dana?

Postby appicchato » Sun Dec 23, 2012 1:15 pm

Anything will be appreciated...you've basically answered your own questions...just go with what you think best and can comfortably cover...and carry...

You won't be eating with the monks, but taking a plate is not necessary...they've got them...prepared food is the way to go, no need to be hot when you get there...drinks are fine, juices, sodas, dairy...up to you...but not light on public transport...

Checking with the temple first to find out if it's vegie will tell you whether or not meat is suitable...

Good on ya...
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Re: Offering and Sharing Lunch Dana?

Postby Cittasanto » Sun Dec 23, 2012 4:01 pm

Hi Yana,
Where are you going?
This offering maybe right, or wrong, but it is one, the other, both, or neither!
With Metta
Upāsaka Cittasanto
Blog, - Some Suttas Translated, Ajahn Chah.
"Others will misconstrue reality due to their personal perspectives, doggedly holding onto and not easily discarding them; We shall not misconstrue reality due to our own personal perspectives, nor doggedly holding onto them, but will discard them easily. This effacement shall be done."
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Re: Offering and Sharing Lunch Dana?

Postby Anagarika » Sun Dec 23, 2012 4:12 pm

Yana, sometimes the monks will take their food in a pindabhat-like procession in the temple, and place the food into their alms bowl. This means that the food is going to be mixed together in the bowl, so something like soup might not be a good choice.

I was watching a recent Ajahn Brahm video and he commented that his favorite item to eat from the bowl was sticky rice with fresh mango. If the Bhikkhus at the Wat you're visiting are Thai, something like this might be nice and would sit well in their bowl along with the curries and other items they might get from the sangha.

My point in this is to suggest that whatever you bring have it be something that plays well with other foods, or that complements with sweetness the savory nature of the curries. Even something like a tapioca with fruit would be good if you can't find or make Thai sticky rice.
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Re: Offering and Sharing Lunch Dana?

Postby Monkey Mind » Mon Dec 24, 2012 1:01 am

The answers to some of your questions are dependent on the temple itself. How many monastics are in residence? And will other laity be offering food, or is it just yourself? What is the ethnicity/ national origin of the monastics?

Somewhere on Dhammawheel is an thread/ article about how monastics in Thailand are at a higher risk for diabetes and other health problems because the laity tend to serve food high in sweets. Monastics at vegetarian temples might be protein deficient. When I offer Dana meal, I use organic ingredients, & cook from scratch. (Usually I make a casserole, because I can make it ahead of time, transport it, and reheat.) I always bring a green salad. I am vegetarian myself, and gluten free, so I try to provide a veggie protein. However, one time I brought a pizza. The Angarika grinned ear to ear, and assured pizza was fine. I have witnessed other people serving meals as simple as granola and yogurt, and as complicated as a Thai 5-course meal. Often I see other people attend to details like dessert, coffee, etc.

I do serve soups and stews. I offer this in pre-served bowls, and present this on a seperate tray. This practice allowable at the temple where I go, not sure if that is universal.

One time I offered tacos with a full taco bar. I had to offer each food/ condiment item, separately, and it was quite time consuming. I would do it again, be remember "the devil is in the details."
"As I am, so are others;
as others are, so am I."
Having thus identified self and others,
harm no one nor have them harmed.

Sutta Nipāta 3.710
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Re: Offering and Sharing Lunch Dana?

Postby appicchato » Mon Dec 24, 2012 1:42 am

Monkey Mind wrote:One time I offered tacos with a full taco bar.


Come to Thailand!... :smile:
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Re: Offering and Sharing Lunch Dana?

Postby Ben » Mon Dec 24, 2012 3:17 am

Yana,

For the first time, i would see what else is being offered and then use that information for next time.
If you didn't want to go down the salad path, I reckon the lamingtons would be a big hit.
kind regards,

Ben
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Re: Offering and Sharing Lunch Dana?

Postby Yana » Mon Dec 24, 2012 3:25 am

Ben wrote:Yana,

For the first time, i would see what else is being offered and then use that information for next time.
If you didn't want to go down the salad path, I reckon the lamingtons would be a big hit.
kind regards,

Ben


Everybody loves lamingtons!LOL! :tongue:

Cittasanto wrote:Hi Yana,
Where are you going?


To Buddhist Society of Victoria (BSV) Melbourne. :smile:
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Re: Offering and Sharing Lunch Dana?

Postby Cittasanto » Mon Dec 24, 2012 7:31 am

can't do what I was going to do.
Last edited by Cittasanto on Mon Dec 24, 2012 7:45 am, edited 1 time in total.
This offering maybe right, or wrong, but it is one, the other, both, or neither!
With Metta
Upāsaka Cittasanto
Blog, - Some Suttas Translated, Ajahn Chah.
"Others will misconstrue reality due to their personal perspectives, doggedly holding onto and not easily discarding them; We shall not misconstrue reality due to our own personal perspectives, nor doggedly holding onto them, but will discard them easily. This effacement shall be done."
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Re: Offering and Sharing Lunch Dana?

Postby cooran » Mon Dec 24, 2012 7:40 am

Hello Yana,

This might help:
Buddhist Society of Victoria
Giving Meals

http://www.bsv.net.au/?id=giving-meals

with metta
Chris
---The trouble is that you think you have time---
---Worry is the Interest, paid in advance, on a debt you may never owe---
---It's not what happens to you in life that is important ~ it's what you do with it ---
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Re: Offering and Sharing Lunch Dana?

Postby Yana » Wed Dec 26, 2012 11:22 am

Thank you for your suggestions everyone :anjali:
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Re: Offering and Sharing Lunch Dana?

Postby Monkey Mind » Wed Dec 26, 2012 8:21 pm

appicchato wrote:
Monkey Mind wrote:One time I offered tacos with a full taco bar.


Come to Thailand!... :smile:


I would love to, Venerable. Missing tacos?
"As I am, so are others;
as others are, so am I."
Having thus identified self and others,
harm no one nor have them harmed.

Sutta Nipāta 3.710
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Re: Offering and Sharing Lunch Dana?

Postby Anagarika » Thu Dec 27, 2012 5:53 pm

Ben wrote:Yana,

For the first time, i would see what else is being offered and then use that information for next time.
If you didn't want to go down the salad path, I reckon the lamingtons would be a big hit.
kind regards,

Ben


I had to google to see what lamingtons are...I was afraid it was something with vegemite in it or on it.... :shock: :D
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