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The practice of giving and the virtue of generosity is at the foundation of Buddhism since the time of the Buddha. Generous giving is a wonderful entry point to Buddhist practice as well as expressions of mature practice. At its essence dana is revolutionary because it is a giving freely without any expectation of receiving something in return. Not only is it is an alternative to selfishness, greed, and possessiveness, it is an alternative to the commercial economy that is the basis of our society. In the four weeks of the retreat, Gil Fronsdal will discuss the radical nature of dana, how it can be practiced, and its connection to the path of liberation.
Gil Fronsdal is the primary teacher for the Insight Meditation Center in Redwood City, California; he has been teaching since 1990. He has practiced Zen and Vipassana in the U.S. and Asia since 1975. He was a Theravada monk in Burma in 1985, and in 1989 began training with Jack Kornfield to be a Vipassana teacher. Gil teaches at Spirit Rock Meditation Center where he is part of its Teachers Council. Gil was ordained as a Soto Zen priest at the San Francisco Zen Center in 1982, and in 1995 received Dharma Transmission from Mel Weitsman, the abbot of the Berkeley Zen Center. He currently serves on the SF Zen Center Elders’ Council. In 2011 he founded the Insight Retreat Center.
Gil has an undergraduate degree in agriculture from U.C. Davis where he was active in promoting the field of sustainable farming. In 1998 he received a PhD in Religious Studies from Stanford University studying the earliest developments of the bodhisattva ideal. He is the author of The Issue at Hand, essays on mindfulness practice, A Monastery Within, and the translator of The Dhammapada, published by Shambhala Publications. You may listen to Gil’s talks on Audio Dharma.