Dana is a Pali word meaning “offering” (“donation” might be a word we are more familiar with). Traditionally in Asia, teachings are offered free of charge, and in a way that makes the teachings equally accessible to all who desire to learn and grow from them. This way of offering teachings is done from a place of generosity, with no expectation of reciprocal exchange of any kind. Recipients of teachings in the East will then usually make offerings based upon their own means.
This is a concept most people in the West have some difficulty with, since we are used to having fees and prices dictated to us based on someone else’s determination of value, and often if there’s no fee attached, our perceived value can be affected.
I find the concept of dana worth exploring, along with what we value in life, how we spend our time and energy, and what we do with whatever money we have access to.
I think it was the book “Your Money or Your Life” that introduced me to a different way of relating to time and money many years ago. The film “Pay it Forward” had a profound effect on me, and I had seen it in action a few times. More recently I’ve been exploring the Gift Economy and Charles Eisenstein’s book Sacred Economics (which you can also read online now).
Crowdfunding might be the closest system we have to the concept of dana here, but it seems to be geared towards raising $ for specific projects rather than on-going needs or occasional support. I mention it for those with projects that might be able to benefit.
I am happy to share what I know, and the resources I find as I do my best to improve awareness of life with a serious “sensitivity” to pollution and other environmental health issues that affect us all. As my health and abilities improve, I will continue to add resources and refine the way they can be accessed here.
I am also housebound as a result of a disabling and serious “sensitivity” to pollution, and a toxic brain injury, which I am still recovering from. I have to avoid exposures to everyday toxic petrochemicals (like those found in almost all personal care and laundry products, among other things), and since avoiding these disabling substances is impossible even when I isolate myself in my safer home (due to the winds bringing in neighborhood laundry fumes, deliveries being cross-contaminated, etc), I am unable to function consistently or work to earn an income and am therefore completely dependent on ODSP (Ontario’s “welfare for the disabled”) which provides less than poverty level assistance towards meeting my basic needs, but not enough to actually meet them.
Medically required, basic needs for non-toxic daily living are expensive, especially by delivery and mail-order, as shipping, handling, exchange rates and cross-border fees can add significantly to the cost of things that are otherwise not available from fragrance free supply chains. There are no disability related allowances that take these extra expenses into consideration.
I won’t list in detail all of things I need, but some things, like:
– a non-toxic HEPA vacuum cleaner,
– stainless steel interior (no plastic drums) top loading, (not-HE) washer and dryer (which I desperately need after over 5 years of having to hand-wash whatever I can manage),
– a digital camera without rubber or wi-fi, and with a re-chargeable battery and good zoom lens (for taking photos through my windows),
– a ROHS certified wired keyboard and mouse,
– a new low EMF, ROHS certified computer or laptop that won’t off-gas toxic plastic and other fumes when running (this one is getting on in years and needs a new OS),
– car insurance and repair fees for a 1994 Tercel I inherited from my grandmother (I don’t have access to other transportation),
– plus ongoing expenses for things like medically required organic foods and supplements, shower filters, organic bedding, clothing, socks, underwear and the like… – as well as the fees paid to WordPress to make sure you all don’t see ads when you read the posts on this blog, are things I could use some help with.
So, if you find anything on this blog valuable, and have any extra dollars to spare as a gift, I’ll be forever grateful for your kindness ♥
If I can also ask people in the US to donate in US dollars, that would be so helpful now, as there are many things not available in Canada, and the exchange rates are beyond painfully prohibitive these days.
P.S. The 2 donate options actually take you to the same place. I am always confused when I see the 2nd one because it doesn’t say PayPal on it, so I added both in case there’s someone else out there who is equally confused when it comes to these things!