White Wind Zen Community

A Community practising and teaching Dogen’s Zen since 1985

Information on Dana

from the Administrative Council

The Practice of Generosity

Note: Financial difficulty is never an obstruction to practice. Please contact the treasurer if you are unable to contribute due to illness or other extenuating circumstances.

Dana is the traditional term used to describe donations made to the Zen community. Dana allows each of us to take responsibility for what we receive through our practice, and help to offer it to others. Students are asked to contribute monthly dana, as noted below. Participation in such events such as Dharma Assemblies, Daruma Kata-aiki classes, retreats and meals also call for a dana contribution. Suggested dana levels are set by the Administrative Council, with the approval of the Practice Council.

Suggested Monthly Dana

  • Associate and associate public students $95 per month
  • General and general public students $120 per month
  • Formal students (deshi)  $150 per month
  • Monastics $150 per month

Dana for Preliminary Students

  • Preliminary practice interviews $10 per interview

Dana for Practice Activities

  • Retreats $50 per day/$40 partial day
  • Residential training $65 per day (includes food, laundry facilities and wifi).
  • Sesshin $35 per day
  • Dharma Assemblies $40
  • Yaza/Joya $25
  • Temple Dana $108 (offered upon acceptance as a general student, general public student, or formal student)

Other Contributions (not eligible for charitable tax receipts)

  • Breakfast $5 
  • Lunch or Supper $10 

Contributing Dana by Pre-authorized Remittance

Pre-authorized remittance is the preferred means of contributing dana, with benefits to both students and the White Wind Zen Community. The monastery relies on dana and residents fees to meet sizeable monthly expenses (the mortgage and property taxes, utilities, repairs and renovations, and expenses for practice programs). The regularity of pre-authorized remittance ensures the funds are available when needed and significantly reduces the bookkeeping time needed to process dana. You can make regular dana contributions through pre-authorized remittance (automatic monthly debit from your bank account of a pre-determined amount) thanks to a low-cost program run nation-wide by the United Church of Canada. To sign up or for more information, please contact Mishin godo (Treasurer) at mishin at gmail dot com.


Please make cheques for dana contributions payable to "White Wind Zen Community". Post-dated cheques are preferable as they simplify book keeping procedures. Please direct information about the amount that you will be contributing, or any questions about dana, to the Office of the Treasurer using the contact page. White Wind Zen Community operates financially on a very narrow margin of cash each month, and the suggested level is what will be assumed.

Financial Hardship

If you are experiencing severe financial hardship and so are unable to offer the suggested amount of dana, please email Mishin godo, the treasurer, to let us know at mishin at gmail dot com. When a student living within commuting distance of the monastery is not able to offer the full suggested dana contribution, it is appropriate to offer a regular samu contribution of 8-10 hours per month; please contact Saigyo ino at saigyo at gmail dot com to arrange a samu schedule.

For students living outside of commuting distance of the monastery:

As a preliminary student, the instruction you receive initially by email will be for the purpose of clarifying your understanding of Zen practice so that you can eventually apply as a student. There is no expectation that people contribute dana (financial contributions) until they apply as a student and are accepted. It normally takes at least two or three months of email correspondence to complete that process of establishing a foundation, so you needn’t be concerned about any financial obligation until then.

Once accepted as a student you will be using more of the resources of the monastery, including our Media Site. If your financial situation is such that you cannot make the full recommended dana contribution as a public student ($95.00 a month Canadian), then you can write to the treasurer to let her know your situation and contribute what you can until it changes, even if it’s just $5.00 a month. You would just need to keep her informed as she has to budget from month to month and our financial situation is always tight. We subsidize the practice of a number of students. Some are unemployed; some are ill, some are university students; some are single parents and so forth. None of this is a problem as long as we all agree about how we define “financial hardship”. If the choice is between a dana contribution and being able to pay one’s rent, that is one thing. If the choice is between going to the movies and drinks with friends and ordering pizzas or making a dana contribution, that’s another. I think you will get my drift.

We do ask you to remember that dana provides over half of the revenue needed to cover monthly expenses for White Wind Zen Community. Your contributions provide a significant proportion of the financial means to support this practice environment, undertake the necessary repairs and renovations to this heritage property, and pay the mortgage. Traditionally, it is the contributions of lay students that support the work of monastics to make this practice available to students. To date, however, this has not been the case in White Wind Zen Community and monastics have paid for much of the Community's expenses, undertaking paid employment in addition to significant samu (Caretaking) work. Monastics each offer countless hours a year without remuneration from the Community in order to support the practice of students like yourself. This work includes presenting teisho and Dharma Talks; meeting students in daisan and practice interviews; offering Introductory Workshops; email correspondence with students and face-to-face meetings with those in preliminary stages of practice; making the Teachings available through copying teisho tapes and CDs, transcription, re-mastering deteriorated teisho tapes and tape mailings to public students; producing the weekly newsletter, the "eMirror" and maintaining, updating and upgrading the WWZC website and media site. None of this is possible without your financial support. Thank you for your generosity.

"May all beings be happy
May they be peaceful
May they be free."