Within the Buddhist tradition there is a practice of Dana. Dana means generosity. It is known as the first teaching of the Buddha and one of the Paramitas or ‘perfections’. Dana is not a transaction for services rendered and goes beyond the idea of exchange. It is an intentional offering from the heart.
Practically speaking the teachings are offered freely with no financial barrier to accessibility. No fixed monetary value is given to teachings that are deemed to be without price. At the same time, there are costs involved and the teacher needs to be sustained, so each participant is asked to contribute financially.
We are asked to reflect upon how much we can give. Here are some of the questions that can help this reflection:
How much do I value these teachings? How important have they been in my life? How have I been touched by these teachings?
What does it mean to sustain the teacher? – she has costs and needs to earn a living to be able to offer these teachings.
Can this arrangement be viewed as a mutual support? – where we receive support from the teachings and teacher and in turn we support the teacher?
Can this arrangement be seen as building solidarity within our community? – that it is something we do together to support the community, some have more financial means than others.
What am I able to offer at this time? – being generous while respecting our limits.
Where does your money go?
Dana for meditations, forest walks and retreats goes to our registered non-profit organisation Roots ASBL. Roots is the structure and sustenance for the activities of Yogaroots and abides to ethical & sustainable practices. Its principal cost is to provide a salary to Susie. Your donation directly supports Susie and enables her to be dedicated to the teaching.
Our relationship to money tends to be complex and conditioned, it can be sticky. Our capitalist economy might assume that when there is no price, there is an opportunity to give less and get a good deal. Or that price predicts value. Can we question this way of thinking?
If it feels difficult, and you would like to have more guidance as to how much to give, there are plenty of fixed-price weekend retreats and classes out there, a simple internet search will give an idea of prices to act as a guide.
We receive your generosity with much appreciation and warmth of heart – thank you!