Dana (pronounced “DAH-nuh”), noun. Sanskrit, Pali, roughly “gift, alms, donation”; voluntary giving of materials, energy, or wisdom (dharma) to others; generosity; regarded as one of the most important Buddhist virtues.

Simple acts of giving—whether material, emotional, or spiritual—are often riddled with ambivalence arising from craving and attachment. This section provides suggestions for our most common dana dilemmas and poses questions to help you determine where you are on the path to true generosity.

Read all the articles on our special section on dana:

The Wisdom of Giving: Q & A with Andrew Olendzki

The Prince and the Elephant: The Vessantara Jataka Tale

The Gift That Cannot Be Given: Q & A with Marcia Rose

Three Grapefruits

Dana Worksheet

Giving Full Circle

The Power of Receiving