Friday, April 25, 2008

Doing dana does not need to involve money

To practise getting rid of greed, Buddhists often do dana in the form of giving food and robes to monks, donations to the needy and so on. If you don’t have much money, can you do dana?

As a matter of fact, Buddhists can do dana without involving money if they do not have extra money to spare. There are a number of ways this can be done.

1 If someone is organizing a donation campaign to collect money to help some fire victims and you have no money to donate, what you can do is to wish that the campaign will be successful. That very thought that it will succeed constitutes dana.

2 Someone is too scared to walk through a dark alley. You can do dana by accompanying him or her to walk through it. Your help in overcoming his or her fear is a form of dana too.

3 If someone is so sad until he wants to end his life and you manage to talk him out of it through your knowledge of Buddhism, you do dana too – saving a life through dharma.

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