I do not generally accept any "Dana
" financial contributions for Treeleaf, as we have sufficient resources for what we are doing. However, I do ask (strongly) people to make financial donations in lieu to charities that help folks, e.g., feeding the poor, finding a cure for a disease. In fact, it is truly a part of Practice, one of the great Virtues of a Bodhisattva.
What, you thought Treeleaf was a free service? It is a "freeing" service, but not free.
The same with "Samu" (daily work practice) ...
Samu is vital to Practice. In fact, Samu --IS-- "working Zazen"!
I have not been too insistent on people doing "Samu" work practice at Treeleaf, but I think I should crack the whip a little from time to time. If someone will do community volunteer work, preferably, it should be hands on actually helping people in need like the sick or elderly or kids in need (not just folding envelopes) However, for those already loaded with work and family obligations, an intentional commitment to non-do some of those activities is "Samu" practice. That is fine (nurturing children and family is a Bodhisattva's work, and enough if that is truly all you have time for). But if you can get out, and have the time, work in the community is a wonderful road.
Both donations and Samu work should be a bit beyond the point where it starts to hurt. In fact, it is even good to choose a volunteer activity that you resist ... hands on
work with the sick, the abused or suffering.