monks practicing dana

Discussion of ordination, the Vinaya and monastic life. How and where to ordain? Bhikkhuni ordination etc.
befriend
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monks practicing dana

Post by befriend »

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.
Take care of mindfulness and mindfulness will take care of you.
David2
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Re: monks practicing dana

Post by David2 »

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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Bhikkhu Pesala
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Re: monks practicing dana

Post by Bhikkhu Pesala »

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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cooran
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Re: monks practicing dana

Post by cooran »

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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Chris
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Re: monks practicing dana

Post by befriend »

harmlessness is considered the greatest dana is this correct? is just following sila a form of dana in a bikkhus case?
Take care of mindfulness and mindfulness will take care of you.
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Bhikkhu Pesala
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Re: monks practicing dana

Post by Bhikkhu Pesala »

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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befriend
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Re: monks practicing dana

Post by befriend »

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

Post by daverupa »

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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bodom
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Re: monks practicing dana

Post by bodom »

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:
This is our foundation: to have sati, recollection, and sampajañña, self-awareness, whether standing, walking, sitting, or reclining. Whatever arises, just leave it be, don’t cling to it. Whether it’s like or dislike, happiness or suffering, doubt or certainty... Don’t try to label everything, just know it. See that all the things that arise in the mind are simply sensations. They are transient. They arise, exist and cease. That’s all there is to them, they have no self or being, they are neither ‘us’ nor ‘them’. None of them are worthy of clinging to.

- Ajahn Chah
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Re: monks practicing dana

Post by befriend »

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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Zom
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Re: monks practicing dana

Post by Zom »

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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Bhikkhu Pesala
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Re: monks practicing dana

Post by Bhikkhu Pesala »

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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fabianfred
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Re: monks practicing dana

Post by fabianfred »

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...
befriend
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Re: monks practicing dana

Post by befriend »

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.
Take care of mindfulness and mindfulness will take care of you.
fabianfred
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Re: monks practicing dana

Post by fabianfred »

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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