Dāna (Generosity) in the West

Theravāda in the 21st century - modern applications of ancient wisdom

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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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.
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: 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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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.
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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