For clients who have known me for some time, I have recently begun a new fee policy: DANA.
Dana (pronounced "DAH-nuh") is a Sanskrit word meaning "generosity" and is a powerful and active spiritual practice. Dana is not a payment for goods or services; it is given from the heart. The practice of generosity is the essence of the path to freedom — the first crack of light in our ego-protected lives. Moments of generosity open up spaces in our hearts, alleviate fear that we don't have enough, and allow us to relax our clinging.
In Buddhism, Dana has been the traditional approach for thousands of years. Through the cultivation of Dana, we leave habitually-formed states of mental poverty behind, and start to cultivate a new reality of psychological, spiritual, and material richness. Generosity allows us to experience one another more fully, opening up a space for receiving and learning. Because of this, it's generally recommended that Dana is given at the beginning of a session with a teacher or healer.
However much we offer, the key is to give Dana with a heart of generosity, a sense of abundance, and a strong intention for our and others' unfolding. One way to approach the question of "how much?" is to look at what we pay for other things. Maybe we will happily pay $15-20 for a night out at the movies, or $80 for a nice dinner, or even $150-400 for a session with an experienced life coach or online course. When and if we offer less Dana, when it comes to our mental, emotional, or physical health, we are making the choice that other things have more value to us than the opportunity to receive healing.
Part of the beauty of Dana is that no one is excluded through lack of money. If you are sincerely having financial difficulties, then you can offer less. If you are in a good financial position, you can offer more and know that your generosity is helping (my) services remain sustainable and available to all.
Check with your heart and mind on what amount feels both consistent with your situation, and expressive of your aspiration and deeper longing.
Reflections before Giving
"May this practice of Dana open up a space inside me to learn and receive."
"May this Gift support the practitioner, as she supports my own healing, and therefore benefits not just me, but other people in my life."