In October, the Insight Dialogue teaching community gathered for their annual retreat and meeting at the Barre Center for Buddhist Studies in Massachusetts. For the first time, the retreat was offered at no expense to the teachers, as a result of generous community support, organized last April via a fundraiser.
During the gathering the teaching community took some time to contemplate the gift of this generosity. The tradition of dana has been passed down from the time of the Buddha, to touch our lives and our experience in this present moment. We explored quite deeply what it’s like to receive this giving, this generosity and support from others whom we may not even know. We learned that contributions had been received from 27 groups and individuals, from five different countries, totaling over $9,000! Some of the messages that came from the donors were read aloud as a part of the contemplation.
We also gathered notes that each teacher wrote, encapsulating their experience of the contemplation about receiving this generous support, and expressing their gratitude to the community. Some of the sentiments collected are included below.
It moves me deeply that you hold an image in your hearts of our teaching community… and more, it reflects back to me our commitment and generosity with the Dhamma and inspires hopefulness and joy.Thank you! We contemplated your generosity and for me it became a true teaching in itself. Something sprouted and became alive about the unconditioned value of dana.Your donation comes together with a sense of joy and freedom of mind… The heart opens in receiving, and a commitment to strengthen the purity and integrity of the teachings takes form. The learning that comes from your act is deep.Your generosity supports my turning towards the sense of non-separation that is at the heart of ID, and the care, the willingness to dedicate my life to addressing human suffering this inspires.Your generous offering of support provides a sense of stability, a grounding in the larger community, that cherishes the teachings and nurtures their capacity to travel freely across the globe. I am humbled to receive this support. May we be worthy of your gifts.Contemplating the sky, I feel aware of being under the same sky, sharing goodwill and meditation practice. And I am deeply touched by the generosity that helped me come all the way to the USA from Switzerland. With a heart full of the strength of sharing, thank yo all.Your gift feels to be part of a wider stream of grace that carries me forward on this path. May the generosity you have offered resound with a note of joy in your heart as it sounds a note of gratitude and humility in mine.
So, a big heart-warming thank you to each of you who contributed to this beautiful act of generosity that moved us so deeply. Also, much gratitude to the community members who organized the fundraiser that made this happen.
May the deep joy of generosity keep flowing through all of our hearts.