Special Section: Generosity

Generosity, or dana, lies at the very foundation of Buddhist practice. As vipassana teacher Gil Fronsdal writes, “the Buddhist path begins and ends with this virtue.” In the following section, Gil Fronsdal, Professor Dale Wright, and the Buddha himself teach on this transformative practice so central to all Buddhist schools.

We invite you to read more about the practice of generosity in a free e-book available to Tricycle Community Members at tricycle.com.
—The Editors

The Treasure of Generosity

These five are a person of integrity’s gifts. Which five? A person of integrity gives a gift with a sense of conviction. A person of integrity gives a gift attentively. A person of integrity gives a gift in season. A person of integrity gives a gift with an empathetic heart. A person of integrity gives a gift without adversely affecting himself or others.
—Anguttara Nikaya 5.148

So when the world is on fire
with aging and death,
one should salvage [one’s wealth] by giving:
    what’s given is well salvaged.

What’s given bears fruit as pleasure.
What isn’t given does not:
    thieves take it away, or kings;
    it gets burnt by fire or lost.
—Sutta Nipata 1.41

Even if a person throws the rinsings of a bowl or a
cup into a village pool or pond, thinking, “May
whatever animals live here feed on this,” that
would be a source of merit.
—AN 3.57

And what is the treasure of generosity? There is the case of a disciple
of the noble ones, his awareness cleansed of the stain of stinginess,
living at home, freely generous, openhanded, delighting in being
magnanimous, responsive to requests, delighting in the distribution
of alms. This is called the treasure of generosity. —AN 7.6

A gift of dhamma conquers all gifts
—Dhammapada XXIV. 354

These are the five rewards of generosity: One is dear and appealing to
people at large, one is admired by good people, one’s good name is spread
about, one does not stray from the rightful duties of the householder, and
with the break-up of the body at death, one reappears in a good destina-
tion, in the heavenly worlds. —AN 5.35

Translations by Thanissaro Bhikkhu. Available for free at accesstoinsight.org

Image 1: Photograph by Ahyndraya Parlato
Image 2: Photograph by Olivier Follmi

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herbalhoggett@gmail.com's picture

would love to get a hold of this ebook, is it still available for access?

ila@ilaseltzer.com's picture

Still can't find the link to download the book!

Sam Mowe's picture
mowgwie01@gmail.com's picture

The add in the Winter magazine says, "If you bought Tricycle on the newstand, you can become a Tricycle Community Member FOR FREE and immediately start to enjoy the benefits of Tricycle Community membership, including your free e-book"

So I did, but it appears that if you join for FREE you can't really get the FREE e-book, you have to upgrade to a paying membership. I really hate it when Buddhists lie!

Sam Mowe's picture

Hi mowgwie01,

If you enter the offer code printed in your newsstand copy in the offer code box on the upper right corner of the join page, then you will be able to access the e-book for free as advertised.


Jikai's picture

The ebook link doesn't seem to be on the 'upgrade' page any more.....can anyone tell me where to access it? Thanks. Janet

Sam Mowe's picture

Hi Janet,

You should be able to access the e-book here: http://www.tricycle.com/join?offer=EBOOK1110


Sam Mowe's picture

Hi g,

You can download it here:



gpkogut's picture

hello, i'd love to get the generosity ebook and am an online member of tricycle, but i see no link to it! what should i do?