I am planning to do a talk on Dana about Monday as part of the "Zazen for Beginners" series. I will be sitting at the local shopping mall, which I think is a good place for such a talk.
PS- Live as you feel is right, act as your heart tells you, be true to yourself ... try to do the best you can in light of the Buddhist teachings and seek to do no harm, to be helpful and generous ...
... then don't give a darn what people think about you. I think.
(Gee, I hope everybody liked that.) :wink:
Hey Jundo, I forgot to thank you for the "Zen for beginners" series. It's been really helpful and healthful (heh).
Anyway, thanks for bringing this over, Will. I like what the author says here:
I think it is interesting that Dogen Zenji uses the negative expression in order to define dana instead of using a positive one such as “Dana is generosity. To be generous means such and such.” By doing this, I think he is urging us to reflect on our deeper motivation when being generous to others. Often we can see, even when we are giving something to someone who is in need and the action looks really generous on the surface, if we take a close look at our mind, we almost always see that greed is still working there. We may expect some return from the receiver or we covet the receiver’s gratitude. We may want to think we are generous or expect others to think that we are great people. Of course on the level of social morality, it is good to do good things. However, Buddhism is not merely a teaching of social morality. If the deeper motivation is greed, no matter how much we give, it cannot be dana paramita; perfection of offering. To practice dana is to be free from greed.