I suggest that dana–in all its wonderful, profound simplicity–is a necessary and significant part of what Dr. Buddha would prescribe for our times. It can be understood without hours of study. It liberates us from acquisitive and protectionist habits. It mitigates individualism and nourishes community. Its meaning spans the most basic levels of practice through to the ultimate. It challenges “me” and “mine,” fostering letting go. A reinvigorated and updated understanding and practice of dana can serve as a powerful antidote to consumerism’s ills. I see this as essential for Buddhism to stay on course as we navigate this bizarre postmodern world seeking genuine peace and liberation.
From Hooked!: Buddhist Writings on Greed, Desire, and the Urge to Consume, edited by Stephanie Kaza, quotation from Santikaro, page 200