Inspired from his years as a Buddhist monk in Thailand and India (1970-1976), Christopher does not charge for offering teachings on his retreats, workshops or public talks.
At the end of such programmes, he invites donations (dana) to support his daily life.
He accepts whatever a publisher offers for publishing one of his books.
Christopher only teaches in centres where he considers the daily rate affordable to cover the running costs of the centre or facility.
If you wish to support the teachings of Christopher, please Donate to offer a donation with your credit card or with an existing Paypal account.
The Buddha on Dana
-gifts, acts of giving, the practice of generlosity-
The Buddha encouraged a lifestyle of easy maintenance for the Sangha and dharmasalas (dharma centres) to keep such environments simple and sustainable. He advocated dana to serve as an antidote to desire. In the 45 years that the Buddha walked the length and breadth of the Sakya kingdom and neighbouring countries, his students were often referred to as ‘savakas' – meaning ‘the one's who listen' (to the Dharma). Upasaka is the Pali word for householders who follow the Dharma. - upa – up close' ‘as' – ‘to sit') Upasakas are men and women who sit up close and listen to the Dharma teachings.
Through the act of listening, men and women explored the Dharma. The insights that emerged from the act of listening found expression in dana, including the understanding of the importance of acts of giving between from the donor to the donee (receiver). The teachers gave the teachings as a dana and the listeners gave as a dana various forms of practical support for the teachings.
Dana belongs to the Buddha's practical strategy to encourage letting go, loving kindness and compassion thus ensuring giving and service a pre-eminent place in the Dharma.
The Buddha spoke of saddaya danam deti – to give with confidence. He made it abundantly clear that the Sangha of noble men and women of practice are truly worthy of acts of support, hospitality and generosity while the giver of dana makes merit – meaning there are personal beneficial result through acts of giving. ‘A deed of merit brings one happiness' said the Buddha.
Since dana relates directly to ethics, practice, values and social justice (available for one and all regardless of financial circumstances) then it will demand from one and all in the Sangha both teaches and students, a determination to ensure
this tradition sustains itself through commitment, taking risks and a love of unmeasured giving.
The Buddha said:
“Some provide from the little they have
Others who are affluent don't like to give
An offering given from what little one has
Is worth a thousand times its value” (SN 1.107)
In his typical free spirited way, the Buddha urges Upali to give dana to the Jains, since the Buddha regarded the act of giving as so significant, even if it meant to those following a point of religions view that the Buddha did not altogether feel comfortable with (M.1.371) in every aspect. When rumours went around that the Buddha expected only dana to go to him, he told people that they should give dana to those they ‘have confidence in,' to those of ‘upright character.' In his encouragement to examine our intentions, since motives can be healthy, unhealthy or mixed, the Buddha explained there are eight ways of giving (A.8) that require particular vigilance.
Out of fear
S/he has given me a gift so I must give one in return
It feels good to give
I serve but they (spiritual seekers, meditators) don't
To develop a reputation
To adorn the mind
To ennoble the mind
The act of the gift requires clarity of intention of the giver and clarity of intention for the beneficiary. It is important that donations are used in a prudent and respectful way to cover costs of the necessities of daily life.
The Buddha said that dana ranked alongside truth, inner clarity and patience in terms of its importance for humanity. While praising those who donate ‘a dharma residence as giving a great deal.' He said 'the one who teaches the Dharma is the giver of the Deathless (an unending liberation).' (SN.121). He described such teachings as the greatest gift.
Our practice acknowledges the significance of acts of kindness and generosity as expressions of a wise and thoughtful life.
MAY ALL BEINGS LIVE WITH KINDNESS
MAY ALL BEINGS SUPPORT EACH OTHER
MAY ALL BEINGS LIVE WITH COMPASSION AND WISDOM
For donations for Christopher Titmuss,
please transfer to this account:
Living Dharma (name of Christopher's account)
Account Number: 59022841
Sort Code: 60 21 48
BIC: NWBK GB 2L
IBAN: GB 28 NWBK 6021 4859 0228 41
Nat West Bank
9 Fore Street
Devon TQ9 5DB