The Acceptance of  Offerings at Gyobutsuji
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With no-mind, the flower invites a butterfly

With no-mind, the butterfly visits the flower

When the flower opens, the butterfly comes

When the butterfly comes, the flower opens

I am the same

I do not know the people

And the people do not know me

Without knowing

We follow the heavenly emperor’s law. [1]

--Ryokan

 

This poem by the Zen monk Ryokan expresses the essence of dana paramita, the practice of offering. Without clinging to distinctions between giver, receiver and gift, we practice offering as a natural expression of our life energy, caring for others as we care for ourselves. It is in this way that the flower of universal life blooms. Sawaki Kodo Roshi stated this understanding in this way:

Heaven and Earth give themselves. Air, water, plants, animals and humans give themselves to each other. It is in this giving-themselves-to-each-other that we actually live...

The world in which people give and receive things without saying “give it to me!” is the truly beautiful world. It differs from the world of scrambling for things. It is vast and boundless.[2]

At Gyobutuji our practice is our offering, our way of taking care of our shared life.

Because we wish to ensure the practice here is available to everyone, visiting practitioners are not charged for lodgings or sesshin attendance. We believe those who are able to make a financial offering will do what they can to support our practice.

In the tradition of early Buddhist monasteries, Gyobutsuji is supported solely by donations. Offerings are tax deductible.

Some donors commit to making a monthly offering to the monastery. This is very helpful since having a monthly estimate of our funding enables us to set a budget for items such as meals, property maintenance and monastery development.

All levels of gifts, whether given as a single donation or as a monthly commitment, are deeply appreciated and help us to continue to nurture the blossom of universal life in practice.  

We trust that our simple lifestyle of  zazen, study, and work, is a valuable offering, promoting the realization of joy, nurturing, magnanimity, gratitude, and wholesome humility in the world.

We give flowers blooming on the distant mountains to the Tathagata, and offer treasures accumulated in past lives to living beings. Whether our gifts are of the Dharma or of material objects, each gift is truly endowed with the virtue of offering, or dana. [3]


[1] poem of the Zen monk Ryokan,  translated from the Japanese by Shohaku Okumura

[2] from The Zen Teachings of “Homeless” Kodo

[3] from Dogen Zenji’s Shobogenzo Shishobo, translated by Shohaku Okumura

 

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