Dāna (Generosity) in the West

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Chula
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Dāna (Generosity) in the West

Postby Chula » Wed Nov 25, 2009 6:03 pm

A great article by Thanissaro Bhikkhu about Dāna:
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/lib/authors/thanissaro/nostringsattached.html

Coming from Sri Lanka, I can really relate to what he is saying. Even though the practice of meditation has stagnated and rites & rituals have taken hold in Sri Lanka, one thing that thankfully still lasts there is a culture of generosity. Now, living in the West, it's one of the obvious things that I see missing. Retreats and talks almost always include a fee or a "suggested" donation, and there is a dāna talk at the end on how you "should" be generous.

Dhamma books are mostly sold (although that is not just a western practice) and very rarely offered freely. I find it particularly surprising that most of the "non-profits" that distribute core books don't do it freely - especially considering how easy it is to do now with the internet. The entire Tipitaka in Sinhalese script and translation is available online (http://aathaapi.net/Thripitaka.html) - something that can't be said of the English translations that are protected by copyright.

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Cittasanto
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Re: Dāna (Generosity) in the West

Postby Cittasanto » Wed Nov 25, 2009 6:28 pm

have a wider look around access to insight!
I recently got rid of all my books except the for free distribution ones ad I still have a sizable collection, you really should have a look arond the net there are plenty of places which have free retreets and free book distrbution.
Blog, Suttas, Aj Chah, Facebook.

He who knows only his own side of the case knows little of that. His reasons may be good, and no one may have been able to refute them.
But if he is equally unable to refute the reasons on the opposite side, if he does not so much as know what they are, he has no ground for preferring either opinion …
...
He must be able to hear them from persons who actually believe them … he must know them in their most plausible and persuasive form.
John Stuart Mill

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Chula
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Location: DC

Re: Dāna (Generosity) in the West

Postby Chula » Wed Nov 25, 2009 6:40 pm

I agree that there are free retreats and books available - I was talking specifically about the ones that involved payment or suggestions of payment (also my experience is mainly in the US). Also with regards to the Pali Canon, there is no complete English translation available online to my knowledge - just anthologies here and there. I think that's quite disappointing since the internet is predominantly English.

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Cittasanto
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Re: Dāna (Generosity) in the West

Postby Cittasanto » Wed Nov 25, 2009 7:07 pm

there are sites (mailnly wiki's) trying to collect the whole tipitaka, but not all of it has been rendered into english except by PTS which isn't the best translation as it is quite old so the laguage is of its time, or the research into translating the terms has move on.
Blog, Suttas, Aj Chah, Facebook.

He who knows only his own side of the case knows little of that. His reasons may be good, and no one may have been able to refute them.
But if he is equally unable to refute the reasons on the opposite side, if he does not so much as know what they are, he has no ground for preferring either opinion …
...
He must be able to hear them from persons who actually believe them … he must know them in their most plausible and persuasive form.
John Stuart Mill


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