Dana can be translated as cultivating generosity or giving. The teachers who lead our retreats receive their travel costs and ‘out-of-pocket’ expenses but do not receive any payment for their teaching. However they are happy to receive voluntary contributions from participants in the events they lead. These offerings are traditionally called dana. Most of our teachers depend on dana for most or all of their livelihood.
Our teachers are following an ancient tradition, offering teachings freely just as they received them freely from a previous generation of teachers. In this way the dharma (the teachings of the Buddhist tradition) is not made an object of commerce, and the relationship between teacher and student is based upon trust, freedom, and mutual generosity.
If you attend one of our events and appreciate what the teacher has offered, we warmly invite you to make whatever contribution you feel appropriate. If you do so, you will be making a vital contribution to their livelihood and helping them to continue teaching on this generous basis, particularly in situations where people cannot afford to pay anything.
For more information about the principle of generosity in the Insight Meditation tradition, please visit this page on the Gaia House website.