The temple exists on the ancient Buddhist tradition of dana, or what we know as 'generosity of spirit', the giving and receiving from heart to heart. The practice of dana dates back 2,500 years to the time of the historical Buddha, Shakyamuni. The Buddha in His wisdom purposely set up a practice of direct interchange and interdependence between the monastic and lay Sangha. He foresaw that reciprocal respect and kindness would develop between members of the Sangha in following the practice of dana, which in turn would assist each one of them in bringing their training to fruition. Whether we live the homeless life of monks or the life of a householder, generosity makes the heart grow brighter. Generosity is the first sign of Enlightenment and the practice of generosity opens one’s heart to the Dharma. Pine Mountain Temple has no source of income other than your kind donations, which are the traditional way to show appreciation for the Teaching of the Buddha.
It is traditional for members of the laity to make offerings to the monks of the basic requisites of life. This includes food offerings, donations in kind of clothing, medicine and shelter; to support our temple as a place of practice and retreat from the world we also need offerings of money to pay our bills and maintain our buildings. To make a donation for an overnight stay, a meditation group meeting or a ceremony or other event at the temple supports the entire Sangha, making it possible for us to continue our training and teaching.
For the past 14 years we have been able to offer retreat time and teaching to anyone, without asking for a set fee which might otherwise prohibit someone from coming. We owe this solely to the financial support of members and guests, as the temple does not receive other organizational support. Regular monthly or occasional donations, however small or large, bring great blessings and are gratefully received.
Donations to the temple are tax deductible and may be made via our website. Longer term support of the temple and the Dharma might also be to include the temple in your legacy or bequest.
If you have taken the Precepts and wish to widen your commitment to practice or make the temple your spiritual home, you may consider becoming a member. Members make a pledge to financially support the temple, and are invited and encouraged—but not required—to participate actively in ceremonial, members’ meetings and all other aspects of temple life (see Membership).
Another vital offering is of ones time to help with the work of the temple. This includes a variety of tasks, from helping to maintain the buildings and grounds, to animal care, cleaning, looking after the library and meditation hall, assisting with the newsletter, website, shopping, transporting monks, or making tea, etc. Work days are scheduled on our calendar.
You are welcome to be at the Temple for whatever part of the day suits you, and please share our meals with us. Working together as a Sangha is a helpful way to not only give to the Temple, but also to take refuge in the brightness and willingness of our fellow trainees and to get to know one another in different ways. If you are able to take on a regular task or contribute a few hours of work, please contact one of the monks.
Open Letter from a Lay Practitioner