What Is Dana?

Dana is the Pali word for giving, the active expression of generosity.

In keeping with the Buddhist tradition, our teachers offer their time and guidance as a gift. In turn, we Sangha members express our gratitude by offering dana to our teachers and to the Center.

The idea of dana is rooted in an understanding of our connections and our dependence upon each other. This aspect of reciprocal care may be expressed in forms other than financial support. So, please consider these additional ways to nurture our center and the teachings:

  • Volunteering time to sustain the organization, such as help with IT, organization, or cleaning.
  • Giving feedback to the teachers for their lessons.
  • Supporting special events through your volunteer assistance.
  • Providing suggestions for how the organization might operate better
  • Becoming a Board member.
  • Hosting a Dharma Friends group.

VIMC is run almost entirely by volunteers with one part-time administrative assistant. Our Board of Directors is essentially a working Board, who make the monthly organizational decisions. So, if you’d like to work with others on VIMC projects, please contact us>>.

More about the Historical Context of Dana

The first thing the Buddha often taught to lay followers was the practice of dana, or generosity. When we give freely from the heart we feel a natural sense of joy, connection and belonging.

The spirit of generosity is woven into the fabric of traditional Buddhist societies where the lay and monastic communities have lived in dependence upon one another for millennia. Traditionally, monks and nuns offered spiritual and religious guidance to the lay community, and the community offered material support in the way of food, medicine, clothing, and shelter to the monks and nuns. So, our practice of dana is part of our way of honoring 2500 years of freely offered generosity and thanks.

How to Give at VIMC

  • To give online or find information on how to mail a check, please visit our Donate web page, vermontinsight.org/donate>>
  • Donations may be made in the Meditation Hall in the appropriate box/basket.
  • For classes, it is best to register using PayPal, but it is possible to send a check.
  • Dana for the teacher can be offered by visiting our donation page. A suggested amount is offered with each course listing>>.
  • For teacher-led, in-person community sittings such as Sunday mornings, it is customary to donate to the teacher as well as the meditation center.
  • For practice sessions led by practice leaders, an offering may be made to support the Center.

Tax Deduction Information

VIMC is a tax-deductible 501(c)(3) not-for-profit corporation. When writing a dana check for a teacher, please make it out to VIMC and put the name of the class or event on the memo line.

Do You Have Further Questions?

Like our larger meditation practice, the practice of dana might seem easy and clear at times, while at other times it might seem unclear and difficult to balance. Please feel free to talk about this with our teachers, board members, or volunteer staff.