Sangha Dana: The Gift of Support for the Monastic Community
When the Buddha designed the spiritual life for his monastic and lay followers, he created a system of mutual dependence. Lay people who lived in the world would provide the basic necessities of food, shelter, clothing, and medicine to the monks and nuns. The monastics would then be free to learn and practice the Buddha’s teachings to the highest level. By providing material support, lay people get to practice material generosity and monastics get to practice spiritual generosity by sharing the teachings they have learned.
This spiritual relationship is maintained to this day by the monks living in the monastery in Tampa, Florida. Every day lay people have the opportunity to come and offer breakfast and lunch to the monks. This then gives them an opportunity to listen to teachings and ask questions.
The relationship that develops through this commitment to mutual support is a rewarding one, and the spiritual friendship between lay and monastic communities is a precious gift.
The Meaning of Dana ?
Dana is the Pali word for giving. The practice of giving is universally recognized as one of the most basic human virtues, a quality that testifies to the depth of one’s humanity and one’s capacity for self-transcendence. In the teaching of the Buddha, too, the practice of giving claims a place of special eminence, one which singles it out as being in a sense the foundation and seed of spiritual development.
“When one’s house is ablaze
The vessel taken out
Is the one that is useful,
Not the one left burnt inside.
“So when the world is ablaze
With the fires of aging and death,
One should take out one’s wealth by giving:
What is given is well salvaged.
“What is given yields pleasant fruit,
But not so what is not given.
Thieves take it away, or kings,
It gets burnt by fire or is lost.
“Then in the end one leaves the body
Along with one’s possessions.
Having understood this, the wise person
Should enjoy himself but also give.
Having given and enjoyed as fits his means,
Blameless he goes to the heavenly state.”
Dana for General Purposes
This dana will be allocated by the Sangha for whatever items or purposes are of greatest need in the general administration, functioning, and development of Mahamevnawa Florida Monastery.
Dana for Food
This dana will be allocated specifically for the groceries purchased for the Sangha’s meals.
Dana for Sangha Requisites
This dana will be allocated specifically for the general requisites of the monks for items such as robes, toiletries, slippers, medicine, etc.
Dana for Dharma
Though the Dharma taught at Mahamevnawa Florida Monastery is completely free, we welcome financial assistance to help in the proliferation of Dharma. Dana would be allocated to such things as costs incurred in keeping the website up and technically advanced in order to post the Dharma from Mahamevnawa Florida Monastery. It may also include allocating money for travel costs for teachers, translators, etc. It may also go towards producing audio CDs of Dharma talks, as well as producing any literature, and peripheral Dharma materials.
Dana for Specific Designation
If there is something more specific you would like your monetary dana to go towards, you can simply write to us about your suggested offering at contactus so that the Sangha can take it into consideration as to its necessity.
Donations For Monastic Support and Health Care
Health care is a basic human need and right. Unfortunately, even with the Affordable Care Act, many of our US-based monastics are not able to enjoy health insurance coverage. This is primarily due to the lack of state options. In an effort to ensure that funds are dedicated for the health of our beloved monastic community, the Foundation has created a Monastic Health Care Fund, which supports the health care costs for monastics in Mahamevnawa Meditation Monastery FL. (SUNSHINE MEDITATION CENTER)
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100% of your Donations will be received.
Mahamevnawa Meditation Monastery Florida
Giving can be considered an antidote to the poisons of greed, hatred, and delusion.
Through the practice of giving (dāna) and letting go, this facilitates the development of moral conduct (sila) which is followed by mental development (bhavana.)
If beings only knew—
So said the Great Sage—
How the result of sharing
Is of such great fruit,
With a gladdened mind,
Rid of the stain of meanness,
They would duly give to noble ones
Who make what is given fruitful.
Having given much food as offerings
To those most worthy of offerings,
The donors go to heaven
On departing the human state.
Having gone to heaven they rejoice,
And enjoying pleasures there,
The unselfish experience the result
Of generously sharing with others.