In the Insight tradition the Buddha’s teachings of freedom and compassion are considered to be priceless and are offered freely by our teachers. They are following an ancient tradition, offering the teachings freely just as they received them freely from a previous generation of teachers. The teachers who lead our retreats receive no payment for their teaching.
Dana is a Pali term meaning “generosity” or “giving”. At each of our retreats there is an opportunity to participate in the ancient and beautiful tradition of offering Dana, a voluntary financial contribution to the teachers to support them in being able to offer their teaching. Many teachers rely wholly or partly for their livelihood on this generosity.
Offering Dana is an opportunity to participate in the spirit of generosity that has sustained this tradition and teaching for more than 2,500 years. Over the centuries it is this generosity that has enabled the creation of retreat centres, the support of monasteries and a whole range of social/peace practices and projects. It enables teachers to continue offering the teachings, and so also supports the very life and sustainability of the teaching.
It is a very beautiful practice to consider what you might offer. There is no correct amount to give. The amount depends upon your financial circumstances and on your wish to cultivate the practice of offering Dana. When considering what you can offer, our invitation is to reflect on the value of receiving these teachings, whilst also bearing in mind your financial situation.
Coming on retreat is an invitation not only to participate in the practice of meditation it is equally to participate in this ancient and rich tradition of Dana.
Your generosity to the teachers is greatly appreciated; it is truly what enables the continuation of the teaching.
In addition to the invitation to offer Dana to the teachers, when you book your retreat we charge a small booking fee for our face to face retreats to cover the on-going costs of running the retreats (including printing the retreat programme, website expenses, hall hire, insurance and teachers’ travelling and accommodation expenses). When you register for our online events there is instead an opportunity to make a donation to Oxford Insight Meditation to help cover our operating costs (which though reduced in an online world, still accumulate) (Booking information).
The trustees and volunteer coordinators of Oxford Insight Meditation generously offer their time for free.