January 3, 2011

1st Paramis: Dana or Generosity Practice Guide (and other goodies)

Hello Everyone,

I wish you all a relatively peaceful transition back into your daily lives. As promised, below are some quotes from the Buddha about dana practice as well as the reflection I left you with last night for the week. Attached are the practices to consider doing in as a kind of resolution for the New Year and our flyer for the February daylong at Island Yoga.

The Buddha emphasized the joy of giving. "Dana should not be done reluctantly or with a sense of obligation, but RATHER the giver should be delighted before, during an after giving."
Remember to practice small gestures of generosity, i.e. sharing food, donating clothes to a shelter, spending extra time with someone who is aged and/or lonely. Stop and feel in your body both the energy and sensations that arise with the giving of generosity. Try to do this when you decide to do an act of dana and then also after the act has been completed.

Lastly, reflect upon how we can envision ourselves responding with dana during a time of chaos, tragedy and crisis, like Katrina or the tsunami in Asia. How would we be able to respond as a community if crisis stricken individuals came en masse to the island of Alameda seeking shelter, food and other basic provisions. (This is a hypothetical situation but I think a very useful way in which to actually reflect about practicing dana on a larger scale before something actually happens).
Looking forward to hearing about your revelations and/or dana practice this week at check in on Sunday the 9th when I will be presenting the second Parami which is sila or virtue.

Have a fruitful week of practice.

Much metta, Pauletta


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