Dana is a Pali word (Pali is the language of the original texts of the Buddha’s teachings) that can be translated as the cultivation of generosity.
All of the retreats / events at Sunyata are offered on a dana basis; there is no charge to attend and the teachings are freely offered. This means that retreats are accessible to all, irrespective of financial circumstances.
At the end of each retreat, retreatants are given the opportunity to offer a voluntary financial contribution to the centre if they wish to support it.
Sunyata is sustained by the efforts of a group of volunteers. The organisation and management of retreats, the preparation of meals on retreats, the general day-to-day maintenance of the centre, and all the other tasks that are involved in the upkeep of the centre are taken care of by volunteers. In this respect, generosity is the currency of the centre.
All donations received go towards the ongoing running costs of the centre.
On some retreats there will also be a separate donation bowl for the teacher.
When given the opportunity to make a contribution to the centre one might reflect upon the following:
This retreat has been made possible by the generosity of others who have attended previous retreats.
Rather than ask oneself “how much was this retreat worth to me? ” or “what did I get out of this retreat” one might consider “how much would I like to give (within my means to give) in order to support others in receiving the same gift that I have received?”
All donations are made anonymously and are graciously received.
We are asked sometimes for guidance regarding donations towards the centre and we calculate that €45 per person per day meets the running costs of the centre for all of our retreats throughout the year. If one wishes to give more than the guided amount, then one is welcome to do so.