Tiarana in winter

The Winter Chapter of the Dana-Offering Program for Tisarana Buddhist Monastery

The winter chapter of the Dana-Offering Program for Tisarana Monastery is set to begin in January, which is the start of the annual winter retreat for the Tisarana monastics. During this three-month period from January to the end of March, the resident community puts aside work projects in order to dedicate itself to more solitary practice. Although people are still welcome to visit the monastery to participate in the pujas, offer the meal dana, or drop off other requisites at this time, there are usually fewer visitors coming by, which also means fewer food offerings. So the OBS Dana-Offering Program is particularly helpful to the Tisarana community during its winter retreat, when food supplies fall to their lowest levels of the year.

In an effort to increase winter food donations for the monks and lay residents, the OBS invites you to offer dana support at the following events in 2017:

1)  The QH and DoM on Jan. 20th and 21st.
2)  The QH and DoM on Feb. 17th and 18th.
3)  The OBS’ non-residential retreat with Jim Bedard and Randy Baker on March 11th and 12th.

The Quaker House is located at 91A Fourth Ave; the Day of Mindfulness is held at Trinity United Church at 1099 Maitland Ave.; and Jim and Randy’s retreat will take place at the Ron Kolbus-Lakeside Centre at 102 Greenview Ave. in Britannia Park.

Participants are warmly encouraged to bring groceries that don’t require refrigeration — with the one exception of cheese, which doesn’t take much fridge space. Vegetables and fruits that don’t need to be refrigerated for several days may also be donated. These food items will then be transported to Tisarana by a volunteer driver. There will be specific areas set aside at these locations to store the dana. We ask that you please consult the “OBS Dana Program” page of the “Contribute” section of the Tisarana website (http://tisarana.ca/contribute-food-and-supplies/obs-dana-program/) 3 to 4 days prior to these events to see which food items are most needed by the monks and lay residents.

Dana Drivers Needed for January and March of 2017

The OBS is also looking for volunteer drivers to transport the collected dana to the monastery within a week of the events listed above. If you’re able to help out, please contact Lisa at danaoffering@ottawabuddhistsociety.com and indicate whether you can be a driver for the January or March collection period.  (We already have a driver for the month of February.) Please include your phone number in your email. While it would be ideal if you could pick up the food yourself at these locations — particularly at the Jan. 21st DoM and the March 12th retreat date — we may be able to find another person who can store the dana in their home until you’re ready to receive it. Thank you for your kind assistance!


In keeping with the monastic tradition dating back to the time of the Buddha, the Tisarana monks rely entirely on food donations (dana) offered by lay supporters. The idea of “dana” – which is the Pali word for “generosity” or giving with an open heart – is central to Buddhist practice. The Buddha’s first teaching was on the importance of cultivating generosity as a way of encouraging non-attachment and a concern for the well-being of others. The practice of giving allows both the giver and the receiver to experience a genuine gladness of the heart. In setting the intention to practice generosity, the giver experiences the happiness that comes with sharing and letting go of selfishness. And in graciously accepting the gift, the receiver experiences deep gratitude for another person’s kind act.

The OBS greatly welcomes your participation in this Dana-Offering Program for Tisarana Monastery