“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
Supporting Clear Mountain Monastery
In the Theravāda Buddhist tradition there exists a lovely, deeply rooted interdependence—built on respect for practice and generosity—between the monastics and the lay community. Your open-hearted support allows monks the opportunity to devote their lives to meditation and right practice (sammā-paṭipadā) in a forest refuge while we in the lay community benefit from their teachings. Clear Mountain also aspires to provide a place of retreat for sincere practitioners and center of practice for the wider Buddhist community. Listed below are the various ways to give, or dāna as it is called in the Pali language, to support the monastics’ noble efforts.
Any and all support offered—whether time, work, materials, or practice—is deeply appreciated and kammically wholesome. Sadhu!
For those inclined and able, please consider a monthly donation, as such giving allows the monastery to plan for upcoming needs and provides a welcome level of continuity as the monastics continue their work in the world.
Clear Mountain is currently searching for land near Seattle on which to begin building a monastery. While Clear Mountain’s vision is still evolving, we hope to find a location that balances seclusion with accessibility and allows ample room for growth. Ideally, the property would measure at least 10 acres, though larger plots or ones bordering parks or land that might be purchased in the future are welcome. Eventually, the monastery would likely feature one or more central buildings along with several monastic kutis, or huts, and be forested enough to provide a measure of seclusion to residents. The property, however, must still be accessible and not too distant from the city. Clear Mountain hopes to exist in the space between the suburban and rural, no more than a one-hour journey from downtown Seattle.
Additionally, it must be close enough to a population center that the monks can go for alms daily, even if they must ride public transport to do so. Finally, the monastery aspires to eventually serve as the hub of a growing community of families and practitioners who visit regularly or even purchase homes nearby, integrating monastery activities—such as morning and evening chanting and meditation—into their daily lives.
Generally, monasteries have a policy of not going into debt and must purchase land with funds already available. To acquire property and build the necessary accommodations will require the community to come together in faith and support. Those in the community continue to give every day in large and small ways, and current and pledged contributions have reached over $450,000. You can join them here.
Many Ways to Give
Monthly Donors allow the monastery to plan for upcoming needs and provide a welcome level of continuity as the monastics continue their work in the world. We rejoice in your generosity!
Leaving a gift in your will to Friends of Clear Mountain is one way to ensure that your values and compassion will continue to be felt for generations. Your legacy gift will help sustain a home for monks and their teachings long into the future.
Donation of securities is the most efficient way to give charitably. While Friends of Clear Mountain does not directly accept securities, stock may be given through an intermediary service which immediately sells donated shares and gives the resulting funds to Friends of Clear Mountain.
Sponsoring a Robe Offering Ceremony (or ผ้าป่า “Pah Bah” in Thai) is a beautiful way to financially help the monastics meet their material needs and fund special projects for the monastery.
A History of Giving
During the past 2,500 years, support for the Sangha has been entirely provided from lay supporters through daily acts of generosity. In this spirit, support in the form of food, medicine, building materials, labor, capital, or other assistance is both appreciated and essential. Your generosity allows the Sangha to survive and to flourish.
Over the centuries, Buddhism has managed to keep the rich and vital interrelationship between lay and monastic communities set forth by the Buddha intact. Theravāda monastics, although renunciants, are not permitted to be recluses. To ensure this, the Buddha required that they be totally dependent upon the lay community for their physical support. Monks and nuns cannot handle money and they can only eat or drink what is offered to them. At the same time, the monastic community plays an important role for the lay community by helping care for their spiritual needs, and by providing moral and spiritual teachings and examples. The two communities, each essential to a balanced society, support and enrich one another.
For the lay community in the West, it is important to understand how the monks and nuns of the Theravāda Buddhist Sangha live from day-to-day. In Southeast Asia—Thailand, Myanmar, Sri Lanka, Laos, Cambodia, and in pockets elsewhere—the monastics are visible each morning, walking through the nearby villages with their alms bowls, receiving offerings of food for their daily meal. The cultures of these countries are ones where the lay community fully acknowledges the dependence of the monastic community upon the laity for their physical needs such as food, clothing, and other requisites of life. The monastics, because of their vows of renunciation, cannot buy these basic items for themselves. If the laypeople do not provide for them, they will go without. If we do not feed them, they will not eat. If we do not provide for their electricity bill, they will have no heat. If we value the presence of the monastic community, it is important that we remember they need our support. The relationship that develops through this commitment to mutual support is a rewarding one, and the spiritual friendship between lay and monastic communities is a precious gift.