Ways of Practicing Dana

The three types of Dana:

1. The gift of material goods (財施 zai-se): To share of one’s wealth and property for the benefit of the community and those in need.

2. The gift of Dharma (法施 hō-se): To share one’s appreciation of the Buddha’s teachings.

3. The gift of freedom from fear (無畏施 mui-se): To share the courage of true wisdom, so that the difficulties of life can be met with a calm and peaceful heart.

Seven gifts that do not require any possessions and yet bring great results:

1. The gift of kind eyes (眼施 gen-se): To see goodness and beauty in all people and not look down on others.

2. The gift of peaceful and joyful facial expressions (和顏悦色施 wagen-etsujiki-se): To refrain from frowning and making angry faces even in times of difficulty.

3. The gift of kind words (言辭施 gonji-se): To speak gently to others, refraining from coarse and rude speech.

4. The gift of a kind and helpful body (身施 shin-se): To reach out with a helping hand for those in need.  To show attentive and respectful body language to all people.

5. The gift of a generous heart (心施 shin-se): To be able to see things from another person’s perspective, sharing in their joys and empathizing with their struggles.

6. The gift of a comfortable seat (床座施 shōza-se): To offer the most safe and comfortable seat to a guest, even it means giving up one’s own favored seat.

7. The gift of welcoming hospitality: 房舍施 (bōsha-se): To warmly welcome all guests, making them feel at home in one’s company.


References

『大智度論』(Taisho Tripitaka 1509, vol.25, p.162, b, ll.20-25)

浄土宗大辞典 無財の七施

西本願寺 読むお坊さんのお話 和顔(わげん)『にこやかな表情』 -日々の生活の中で実践を- 藤井 邦麿

“The Seven Kinds of Liberality” are described in The Storehouse of Sundry Valuables, Chapter VI, Parable 76, available in English translation on page 157 of the BDK Translation Series edition:

https://bdkamerica.org/download/1858