Donations and Support for Bodhisara
Those who offer support to Bodhisara are following the ancient Buddhist tradition of "dana." Dana is a word in Pali, the language of the Theravadin Buddhist scriptures, that means "generosity," "giving," or "gift." Since the times of the Buddha it has been the tradition to offer the teachings for free, as a "dana" or "gift," because they are considered priceless. Until the last century, it has been almost universally monks and nuns who have offered the teaching, and monk and nuns are wholly dependent in turn upon the generosity or dana of the laity to provide for their basic material needs: food, shelter, clothing, and medical care. Thus dana is a reciprocity of giving and concern between those who teach and those who receive the teaching.
The Bodhisara Dharma Community is not yet able to honor this tradition of offering the teaching completely free of charge. The board has made it a higher priority to be able to offer the teacher, who is a householder with children, reasonable financial support for the approximately 15 hours per week of teaching, administrative, and office management responsibilities that he has. The community does this in the form of a housing allowance. To meet the requirements of our budget, courses have a suggested level of donation for those attending. Anyone, however, is welcome to attend regardless of ability to make a donation, and we encourage those who are able to donate extra to provide scholarship funds to cover those who are unable to pay.
The donations from courses cover only 70% of our budget, and we rely upon pledges and donations from members to make up the rest. We also rely upon volunteers, who perform a variety of tasks. Please consider donating to the Bodhisara Dharma Community
How to donate:
Send a check payable to Bodhisara Dharma Community and mail to:
28 Autumn Lane,
Amherst, MA 01002
Bodhisara is a religious non-profit organization under chapter 501 (c) 3 of the federal tax code and contributions are tax-deductible to the extent allowed by law.
More about the place of dana in Buddhist Practice:
In the Buddhist tradition, dana is the first of the ten parami or "perfections" of character that allow one to live a good and happy life and provide the necessary foundation for progress in meditation. Developing the virtue of generosity is thus an essential part of spiritual practice in the Buddhist tradition, especially for lay people who are immersed in the world of money and property. Acts of generosity are thought in Buddhist tradition to create "merit" (in Pali "punna"), a force that produces benefits to oneself ("good karma" as they say) as well as to others. Traditionally one's "storehouse" of merit is considered the cause of one's good fortune in this and other lives.
But we need not hold a belief in karma or future lives to see the benefits of this force in our hearts. Generosity frees the heart from grasping and releases us for a moment from preoccupation with ourselves and our desires. It lessens the hold that fear of want has on our hearts. Generosity also expresses the recognition that all things are interdependent and that we receive in countless ways many things we can never pay back. The air we breath is a gift from the plants; our life itself a gift from our parents. In generosity we thus respond out of gratitude to what has already been given. Furthermore, we recognize that the quality of our life in society depends upon our willingness to contribute in turn to the common good from which we draw. Generosity reflects a relationship of non-ownership to what we have, seeing beyond the social conventions of property that label what is "yours" and "mine" to a deeper or more ultimate reality where property lines do not exist. Generosity therefore is a profound expression of wisdom.