Dharmagiri runs on a mix of charges and free will offering. The following charges apply for overnight accommodation which supports the practical running of the hermitage. Retreats are either priced separately or use the basic fee structure plus a surcharge to cover teacher travel expenses. This cost does not include remuneration for those who teach at Dharmagiri. We encourage Dana offerings (please see an explanation of Dana below) for our teachers who often give their time freely in order to support the continuation of Dharma teachings.
During each retreat there will be a talk on the principle of Dana and baskets are made available for offerings to Dharmagiri, the teachers and managers. Dharmagiri bank details are also available from the office, including details on how to make a Standing Order should you wish to support Dharmagiri in an ongoing way. We appreciate whatever you can offer, including your meditation practice and work service in support of the daily routine. All of this contributes to the stability and continuity of the hermitage, and the flourishing of the Dharma in South Africa.Please note that we welcome everyone, regardless of income, and offer dana based bursaries for all retreats.
Dana means 'generosity' or 'free will offering' which follows the ancient practice of the Buddhist lineage where teachings are offered freely. Dharmagiri has been made possible through the generosity of others and likewise the gifts of our guests make it possible for future practitioners to benefit from their time at Dharmagiri. In this way Dana allows those who have few resources access to the teachings and practice at Dharmagiri.
Dana is rooted in the practice of wisdom and compassion. Wisdom informs us that nothing ultimately belongs to us and that we are all deeply interconnected. It also informs us that without the gifts of others, we would not have life, education and the resources we enjoy. Compassion encourages us to act on this understanding by striving for a more equitable society based on sharing and generosity. This understanding is also within the ancient African principle of Ubuntu which states ‘we are who we are through others.' As the consciousness with which we engage society conditions the societies we live within, the spiritual practice at Dharmagiri encourages the overcoming the mindset that seeks self benefit at the expense of others.
Dharmagiri enters a relationship with our guests and fellow practitioners, not as providers of a service for a consumer, but as a wholehearted human relationship as collaborators in the transformation of the heart, mind and society in order to bring about a greater well being for the whole. And so the fundamental spirit at Dharmagiri is one of offering.According to the Buddha sharing whatever we have, whether it be money, time, work, nurture or resources, is one of the central pillars of a spiritual life. In the act of giving we develop our ability to let go and cultivate a culture of caring. An act of generosity can be a spontaneous outpouring due the heart or a more considered practice of supporting that which we are aligned to. Generosity is also a practice that undermines grasping and helps us move beyond self preoccupation in ways the enable connection, abundance and mutual support. On a larger scale generosity enables a stable and cohesive family, society and world.
Dating back to the time of the Buddha the teachings are given freely since they are considered beyond monetary value. There has always existed an inter-dependence between those who offer teachings and those who receive them which is symbolized in the daily alms round of Buddhist monks and nuns who rely on the generosity of lay people for support in continuing their spiritual life. In kind the monastics devote their time to preserving and practicing the teaching. This relationship of mutual giving embodies a ‘sacred contract’ that enlivens the teachings and keeps their transmission pure.
At Dharmagiri we hold faith to this principle which offers an opportunity to connect with a 2,550 year tradition of transmission that is deeply bedded in a web of devotion, offering, and commitment. Dana also supports the teachers who give their time, expertise, and experience freely and supports those who live at Dharmagiri as community members and as managers, (who are unwaged or stipended) without whom the hermitage could not operate.
According to the Buddha sharing whatever we have, whether it be money, time, work, nurture or resources, is one of the central pillars of a spiritual life. In the act of giving we develop our ability to let go and cultivate a spirit of caring. An act of generosity can be a spontaneous outpouring due the heart being touched or the desire to support that which we are aligned to. However generosity is also a practice that undermines grasping and helps us move beyond self centered-ness. On a larger scale generosity enables a stable and cohesive family, society and world.
When you make an offering it is encouraged to do so with mindfulness, with a heart that lets go, with a heart of loving kindness and with no manipulation or agenda regards the result. This doesn’t mean there shouldn’t be careful monitoring of the results of sharing our resources and consideration of wise gifts, but in the moment of actually offering, free the heart from grasping and wish for the welfare of the other.The karmic result of generosity is to live with abundance, to live fearlessly and to live open hearted with a strong sense of kinship and interconnectedness within the web of life. May it be so for you!
There is the giving of wealth, of Dharma and the giving of fearlessness.