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A culture of generosity


In Pali, the traditional language of the Buddha’s teachings, dana means “generosity.” It is the very heart of the culture that has carried the Buddha’s teachings over the centuries and is the foundation of our organizational ethics.

In accordance with tradition, all Vipassana Hawai’i teachers offer their teachings free of charge and are supported through the freely-offered generosity of students and supporters. Costs associated with retreats cover the expenses associated with food, lodging, and administration but not teacher time, training, effort, or energy. We believe that this commitment helps keep the purity of the teachings alive and thriving, as it has for millennia.

Many of our greatest teachings regarding dana have come from our time in Burma when we participate in the ancient Buddhist communities that operate solely on the basis of generosity.


Each time we visit we are struck by the powerful wisdom, humility, and beauty of heart that motivates and is manifested by this practice. Dana is a cultural practice as much as a spiritual one and we aim to support a culture of generosity in the west based on these experience and insights.

Supporting the work of Vipassana Hawai’i enables a mutually beneficial relationship between all members of our community from the Board of Directors, to the teachers, to the sangha, the HIMC land, and local community, as well as our humanitarian programs in Southeast Asia. Your generosity is the only thing that enables us to do our work throughout the year.

As one of our teachers in Wachet village, the Mya Taung Sayadaw, always reminds us,

“Each time you give dana you should dedicate it toward your own full enlightenment.”

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Sayadaw U Lakkhana’s give-away celebration for village elders