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D A N A

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Zen Center of Asheville is a non-profit 501-C organization, supported completely by charitable contributions (tax deductable). If you would like to support ZCA please consider becoming a sustaining member by giving a monthly, quarterly, or annual pledge. Of course donations of any amount at any time are accepted with heartfelt gratitude. Your contribution may be placed in the dana basket set out in the zendo vestibule at zazen or mailed to the following address:

MAIL ADRS: Zen Center of Asheville - PO Box 25, Asheville, NC 28704

 

Material Goods, The Teachings

both are perfectly complete offerings, the value of which cannot be measured.

Perfection of Giving (Dana Paramita)

is a means sufficient to permeate the entire Dharma World with equal benefit.


In Asian countries, this verse is chanted by Buddhist monks in appreciation for a gift received. It is a description of the term "dana" (generosity) which in Buddhism is one of the six practices of perfection. Generosity as a practice of perfection means giving that is not tainted. Whether it is material goods or teachings, when given without expectation or judgment the result is that the purity of the action permeates life beyond what we can imagine. This is the kind of giving we can cultivate through spiritual practice.

A monk's practice is to give the Dharma to all who ask, regardless of feelings of like or dislike, and without expecting any particular result. This can be done through the example of one’s practice or by speaking about it or chanting sutras.

As a way of sharing in this practice, lay practitioners can offer food, money or whatever they are able to the temple or to a monk. This is another way of supporting the Dharma. Giving either material goods or teachings helps us to perfect the practice of Dana. In this way, when we give we can do it purely, without the taint of expectations and judgments. At Zen Center of Asheville, the priest is not given a stipend but depends upon separate donations. For that reason at our temple there are two dana baskets: one for the center and one for our priest. They are located on the entrance porch below the bulletin board.