Teacher Support (Dana). In keeping with longstanding practice in the Insight tradition, the price you pay London Insight covers only the cost of running the event. It provides no payment to the teacher for their teaching. This is unlike most other services and events where the fee includes remuneration for the lecturer or teacher as well as covering overheads. The livelihood of most teachers depends wholly, or to a large extent, on the generosity and voluntary contributions from retreatants who value their guidance and wish to support the ongoing teachings of the Dharma.
At all LIM events, you will be invited to make a voluntary contribution to the teachers. This voluntary contribution is called Dana. Dana is an ancient Pali word meaning generosity. The livelihood of most teachers depends wholly, or to a large extent, on the generosity and voluntary contributions from retreatants who value their guidance and wish to support the ongoing teachings of the Dharma. This tradition of generosity goes back to the time of the Buddha when monks and nuns would rely upon the wider community for their material support. In turn they would offer teachings and guidance to the community in a mutually supportive way. This is a challenging tradition as our teachers share all the costs of modern living that we do, but without the predictability of a regular income.
People often ask how much they should give. There is no easy answer to this but in deciding how much to offer, we invite you to consider:
- what you can afford
- what you would pay a highly trained and experienced teacher in another field (eg music, fitness, psychology)
- the value of supporting the teachers to continue the transmission of the teachings in this way
- the importance assigned to cultivating generosity in the Buddha’s teaching
The last of these merits particular attention. The Buddha’s gradual teaching typically began with a discourse on generosity. In simple terms, giving is good for us – it helps us in life, and helps us on the spiritual path.
Giving is the expression in action of ‘letting go’ in the mind! Generosity softens our hearts towards others, and loosens our attachment to worldly things! There is great pleasure in great giving – honour the impulse to be generous!
On behalf of our teachers, we thank you for your generosity.