Ask Zen Dog

“What happens to your donations”



Where Your Donations Go

To the left is a button where you can make a donation for services received through this site. Your funds go to the support of a monk, and thus constitute dāna.

Dāna is word of Sankrit origin which means 'generosity' or 'giving', but especially connotes the generosity of the laity in providing food, robes, or other gifts to monks. In all Buddhist cultures, such giving is highly esteemed, and deemed to be karmically-meritorious, along side ethical acts and personal mental development. It is also traditional to distinguish between the outward act (the amount of the donation) and the underlying intention and volition.

All funds donated via PayPal from this site go to directly to Wayne Coding, the Zen monk who puts the Zen in ZenDog. Dr. Picard’s participation in this website and online advice-column is itself an act of dāna in support of this monk. You can support the philosopher by visiting www.philosophy-shop.comor by purchasing his books, audio products or other services.

The Meaning of Donation (dāna)

More broadly, dāna expresses the mutual dependency in Buddhist societies between laity and the monks. In short, dāna is about how societies support those who take vows that prioritize spiritual rather than worldly values. Householders have responsibility to family and employers; those who, in a search of higher values, recognized by laity and monks alike, opt out of the benefits and burdens of householder’s life are considered worthy of respect, deserving of support, and proper recipients of dāna. Dāna is not charity for the needy, or alms given in pity to the poor. It is a higher kind of giving extended out of respect and gratitude for services, such as advice, instruction or guided meditation. In a market-oriented society, at least we can say that the donations model we adopt here allows the consumer to set the value of the service. We are willing to trust to that.

Zen monasticism differs from Western monasticism in various ways. One of these differences is that, for most Zen monks, residence in monasteries is temporary. The vast majority of Zen monks leave the monastic community and lifestyle and return to lay life, working or finding a place the spiritual life of their communities and support themselves by accepting donations. These donations are generally anonymous, completely voluntary and a direct expression of gratitude. Zen monks are not entitled to charity.

In Western spiritual traditions, the vow of poverty is a recognized spiritual commitment. It is comparable to the Buddhist vow to live by donations, in other words, on the good will of others.

Support your Local Zen Monk

As a Zen monk living in the world, Wayne Codling supports himself by teaching meditation and accepting donations. He keeps himself accessible to the public through this online venue, but also by holding regular meditation sessions that are open to all at no costs. Personal interviews are also available to those in or traveling to the Victoria, BC, area, and are available from time to time online via Skype video-conferencing.

If you have in some way benefited from zendog, or believe in its benefits for others, please consider clicking on the PayPal donate button and making a contribution.

Thank you very much.