A note on dana

08/10/2015 18:20

Patrick is a full time dharma teacher and lives on dana, or gift. In Buddhist tradition, the dharma is felt to be of such great value that it cannot be bought or sold. It is not a commodity. It can be received and transmitted only as gift. The dharma cannot be found in the economy of the market, but only in the economy of gift. 

What are the implications of entering this economy? The teaching is given. How do we respond when we recognise we have received a gift? We are moved to give something in return, thus completing the gift. This natural response marks our entry into the economy of gift, where buying and selling are replaced by giving and receiving, and where the defining relationship is friendship. 

The act of giving is a declaration of mutual respect. Giver and receiver recognise they share the same fundamental values and concerns. The gift takes us beyond the limitations of our normal self-interest and opens us to a life of mutual care, called good friendship (kalyāṇa mittatā) by the Buddha. 

When Patrick teaches retreats, he does not charge for his services as a teacher; he does not sell the dharma. Rather, he provides his teaching as a gift. His students may be moved to return this gift, by providing him with financial support so he can continue his work.

Another way to support Patrick in his work would be deposit money directly into his bank account. You might consider making small but regular gifts into his account. This is very helpful as it gives him a steady income. However, any gift is greatly appreciated, and helps him to continue to nurture the dharma in Australia and beyond. 

Patrick’s account details: 

Bank: Members Equity
BSB: 944 300
Account number: 9288538
Account holder: P J Kearney 

May the virtue of your gift be a support for you and for all beings to attain nibbana,
the complete cessation of pain.