IT BEGAN SOME TIME AGO. When the Buddha began to teach, he created an interdependent Sangha (community) system between the lay followers and the monastic monks and nuns based on Dana (the Pali word for Generosity). He taught the monk and nuns meditation (including dana and Cila (the Pali word for Ethical Conduct) and he taught lay people practices of Dana and Cila.

The monastics, bound by rules of conduct, were not permitted to handle money or store food. Every day they made alms rounds, begging for their one meal. Lay people generously supported the monasteries and those who had taken robes to devote their lives to practice with food, clothing, shelter and medicine. From this practice field, the monasteries and monastics freely offered lay people spiritual refuge.

SO WE SEE Generosity is a practice not only of giving but also of receiving. Giving and being open t