“What we will do for love will always be far more powerful than what we will do for money. What we can do together will always be far greater than what we can do alone. And when we cultivate the heart of giftivism within ourselves, our companies and our communities, we begin to unleash our true prosperity.”
—Pavithra Mehta, Giftivism: Reclaiming the Priceless
The East Bay Meditation Center operates on gift economics, generosity-based “All-Dana” model. Dana is the ancient Pali language word describing generosity arising effortlessly from deep gratitude. Our belief is that everyone has an inherent capacity for generosity, and that together we can co-create a welcoming and thriving spiritual community based in the transformative values of abundance, trust, and connection, rather than scarcity, fear, and separation.
We charge no set registration fees to attend our events (except fundraising programs), and EBMC receives very little outside funding. We rely on joyful reciprocity within our community expressed in different ways, as people are moved to give of their resources, time, and skills to EBMC, according to their ability. In a spirit of paying it forward, the generosity of those before you have made it possible for us to offer the teachings today, and your generosity in the present moment will allow us to continue offerings these teachings into the future.
What is Dana?
Dana is the ancient Pali language word describing Generous Giving, which arises effortlessly from deep gratitude. Many of the teachings offered at EBMC have been offered for over 2,500 years in parts of Asia following an All-Dana model. Monks and nuns offer teachings out of generosity, while the community supports the teachers and the centers, generously giving to the level of their ability.
EBMC is following that tradition by offering its programs with no set registration fees. The practice of Dana invites us to participate in a world where the expression of gratitude and generosity help to keep the wheel of the Dharma turning. EBMC also draws on the indigenous value of Reciprocity, as a way to maintain balance and harmony in community. This principle honors the interconnection of all beings and encourages a heart inclined toward appreciation, joyous contribution, flow of resources, and right relationship with one another.
Though we do not charge set fees, EBMC programs do not come for free. Here is what the approximate costs are to sponsor our different programs at EBMC:
- EBMC’s costs for a One-Day Retreat, Class, or Workshop: $1,770
- EBMC’s costs for an Evening Class Series: $885 per class
- EBMC’s costs for a Weekly Sitting Group: $335 per week
The above costs do not include any income for EBMC teachers, who are not paid by EBMC. EBMC teachers rely on voluntary financial contributions given to them by participants at our events and programs.
Program and event participants are offered an opportunity to make a voluntary gift to EBMC during the registration process, or at the event itself. If everyone who participates in events at EBMC practices generosity, and gives, to the Center and to the teachers, to the level of their ability, the Center will continue to thrive as a spiritual home accessible to all.
Opportunities for Generosity at EBMC
As a Gift-Economics based center, EBMC relies on your generous financial contributions to bring ancient wisdom teachings to the diverse communities of the Bay Area. Your donation to EBMC is tax-deductible. (EBMC is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization.) Donate Now!
Giving Time: Volunteering
Over 150 community members give of their time and skills to help operate the center, and we are heavily volunteer run. Click here to find out more.
Gifts of appreciated stock offer many tax advantages to the donor, in addition to benefiting the East Bay Meditation Center. Click here to find out more.
There are a number of items that would make our spiritual home even more warm, efficient, and accommodating.
Ask your employer how to access their matching gift program and mail/FAX us the form. We will take care of the rest!
BART Tiny Tickets
Do you have a stash of BART tickets in wallets, pockets or drawers that have tiny bits of value left on them? Do you have an extra ten cents on your card each time you take BART to EBMC? These tickets can be turned into cash for EBMC as part of the “Tiny Tickets” program through the East Bay Community Foundation. Please drop your Tiny Tickets into the labeled box at EBMC.
Why rely on Gift Economics and Generous Giving (Dana), instead of charging fees?
We rely on Dana for several reasons. The Buddha and other wisdom teachers emphasized that Generosity is an essential component of spiritual freedom. We also rely on Dana instead of fees, because we believe that our Generosity-based system will allow the greatest accessibility to the Dharma for the greatest number of people.
EBMC was created by volunteers in our community and is heavily run by volunteers with few paid staff, so generosity is embedded in our culture. We see the practice of gift economics as an opportunity to support the inherent gratitude and generosity in one another and all around us. Through our individual and collective acts we can transform the world around us to one of individual and collective liberation.
Lastly, we rely on gift economics because “we know in our hearts that there is a different way to be, a different way to live. Our generosity with one another is indeed resistance to the greed and fear that oppresses us. We provide for one another out of love for each other and love for ourselves. When we give, we acknowledge that all beings want to be happy.” (quote by Jacoby Ballard)