The practice of “giving alms”, or Dana, in Buddhist culture is a way of voluntarily offering materials, energy, or wisdom (dharma) to another, with clarity and intention. It is a practice in renunciation and generosity for the one that gives, and a practice of gratitude and dharma stewardship for the one who receives.
Financial donations made to White Lotus Haven Zen of Connecticut are used solely to support teachings and programs, liturgical ceremonies, and events throughout the year. A portion is also used to provide limited retreat scholarships for those experiencing financial difficulty. The ongoing work of maintaining an active and welcoming community of practice is all achieved through the generous gifts of time, energy and presence of WLHZ sangha volunteers. Clergy and Board Officers receive no financial compensation.
Dana Sutra and the Six Factors of Giving – On one occasion the Blessed One was staying near Savatthi in Jeta’s Grove, Anathapindika’s monastery. And on that occasion the lay woman Velukandaki, Nanda’s mother, had established a donation endowed with six factors for the community of monks headed by Sariputta & Moggallana. The Blessed One saw with his divine eye, surpassing the human, that the laywoman Velukandaki, Nanda’s mother, had established a donation endowed with six factors for the community of monks…On seeing this, he addressed the monks… “The donor, 1.) before giving, is glad; 2.) while giving, his/her mind is inspired; and 3.) after giving, is gratified. These are the three factors of the donor…The recipients are 1.) free of passion or are practicing for the subduing of passion; 2.) free of aversion or practicing for the subduing of aversion; and 3.) free of delusion or practicing for the subduing of delusion. These are the three factors of the recipients.”
— Angutara Nikaya 6.37