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In the Moment: Dec. 2006, Vol. 13
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This issue of In the Moment offers teachings on the practice of dana, or generosity. Dana is the first of the Six Paramitas, or the practices of the Bodhisattva. It is the gateway to Buddhist practice. What does it mean to be generous? How is generosity defined in Buddhism? Is dana only the giving of material things? In "Generosity’s Perfection," Buddhist teacher Sharon Salzberg views the practice of generosity as the first step toward spiritual awakening. In "Just to be Alive is Enough," Blanche Hartman explains how cultivating the experience of gratitude supports the practice of dana paramita. Pema Chödrön teaches about the three kinds of giving in a short excerpt from her book, No Time to Lose.

It is fortunate there is a season of the year when it is traditional to practice generosity. Not only do our loved ones benefit from this practice, but also the needy who live among us. Shelters teem with volunteers who want to serve the hungry. Closets are cleaned to find winter coats for the homeless. Is this the practice of dana, or merely the relection of our own gratitude? Do generosity and gratitude go hand in hand? Why does it seem that when our hearts are truly grateful, generosity is the natural expression of this emotion?

So, during this traditional season of giving, we ask you to close your eyes, take a deep breath….and experience the gratitude that lies within your heart. Then breathe out…and send your deepest, most heart-felt wishes for peace, safety, and happiness to the countless suffering beings in this world.

We hope you enjoy this issue of In the Moment; and, we wish you Peace, Health, and Happiness— this Holiday Season and always.

In lovingkindness,
The folks at DharmaCrafts

In This Issue:  

Our New Home, Our Commitment - Worthy Causes in Lawrence, MA

In March 2006, DharmaCrafts moved to Lawrence, MA, an historic mill city struggling to rebuild and reinvent itself. Once a thriving city and the hub of the U.S. textile industry, the City of Lawrence has never recovered from the devastating economic decline it suffered when the mills began to close in the 1960's. The more we learn about the City of Lawrence, the more we feel compelled to reach out to the people and to use DharmaCrafts as a vehicle for positive social change within our new community. We invite you, our Dharma friends, to join us.

We've selected three stellar non-profit organizations whose work exemplifies the grassr-oots, community - based movement of hope within Lawrence — the movement that gives current residents of Lawrence, especially youth, the power to shape and change their environment, and most importantly, to dream about their future. While you browse through our store today, we invite you to read about these wonderful programs for change and empowerment.

Make a tax-deductible donation to one or more of these organizations by following the special links on our site, and know that your gift has gone a long way in empowering Lawrence youth or serving poor families in our community. For each organization, *DharmaCrafts will match your donation, dollar for dollar, and a local Lawrence benefactor will donate an additional $1.00.* That's $3.00 to the organization for every $1.00 that you donate! 

Thank you for your help. We appreciate your time, thoughtfulness, and generosity.

read more about how to help >

* up to $1,000 each

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Generosity's Perfection by Sharon Salzberg

The cultivation of generosity is the beginning of spiritual awakening. Generosity has tremendous force because it arises from an inner quality of letting go. Being able to let go, to give up, to renounce, and to give generously all spring from the same source, and when we practice generosity, dana, we open up these qualities within ourselves. Letting go gives us profound freedom and many loving ways to express that freedom. Generosity is the beginning of the path. When the Buddha taught, he always began with more >>

Reprinted here by permission of the Shambhala Sun Magazine.

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Just to be Alive is Enough by Blanche Hartman

There are two related practices that guide my life these days: cultivating gratitude and cultivating generosity. Generosity, dana paramita, is the first of the perfections of the heart of a bodhisattva. It is deeply supported by the experience of more >>

Reprinted here by permission of the Shambhala Sun Magazine.

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Generosity by Pema Chödrön (excerpted from No Time to Lose)

According to the teachings, there are three types of generosity, three ways of helping others by giving of ourselve.

The first kind of generosity is the giving of material things, such as food and shelter.

The second is "giving the gift of fearlessnes." read more >

Reprinted here by permission of Shambhala Publications.

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This Moment @ DharmaCrafts

Get it there on Time - Holiday Shipping Schedules
Make sure your gift arrives on time. We provide calendars and maps to help you insure a timely delivery.

Last minute shoppers never fear! We offer 2nd Day Express and Next Day options up to noon EST on Thursday, Dec. 21st. Please call 1-800-794-9862 for pricing and availability.

Extended Customer Service Hours
Customer Service will offer extended hours to answer questions about products, shipping, returns, etc. Looking to place an order after hours? You can call 1-800-794-9862 any day any time or place an order online at

Fabric Donations to Local Technical High School
In an attempt to make use of our extra fabric that is left over from stitching our zafus and zabutons, DharmaCrafts has teamed up with a local technical high school in Lawrence. The fabric will be used for their Interior Design and Fashion Program to make backpacks—a favorite project for the students. We are exploring other options to make use of the smaller fabric scraps, such as a local senior center and the Essex Art Center, which would use the fabric for crafts. We hope to be continually conscious of small changes we can make to positively affect our environment as we settle into our new space.

Learn more about Recycling at the Work Place

Bamboo Shoe Racks back in stock!
The racks are very similar to the ones featured in our catalog, but larger. The new dimensions are (approx.): 31" w x 15 1/2" d x 13" h.

View the new Bamboo Shoe Rack.

DharmaKids Flannel Cushion and Mat Sale
Save up to 40% on DharmaKids flannel zafus, zabutons, yoga nap mats, and dream pillows. Hurry! Supplies are limited.

Consider pairing our cushions with a special book from our DharmaKids book collection. Truly a gift to inspire the little yogi on your list!

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Learning @ DharmaCrafts

Related Products from DharmaCrafts
The Force of Kindness (CD and book)

No Time to Lose

Living Wisdom (DVD, book, CD, and cards set)

Because Brian Hugged His Mother

Offerings: Buddhist Wisdom for Everyday

Related Articles from DharmaFriends

In with the Bad Air, Out with the Good by Gehlek Rinpoche

Giva and You Shall Receive, by Reginald A. Ray

Kagyu Asia
Generosity, a Buddhist Perspective - An Interview with Topga Yulgyal Rinpoche

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The Worst

Worst has hand-picked this link especially for the DharmaCrafts community. Check it out for a first-hand look at the intersection between Buddhism and pop- and sub-culture.

"Body Vows" — Buddhist tattoos (?!)

Every tattoo of course has a story. Here, next-generation Buddhists share the meaning behind their Dharma tattoos — proving that they can run far deeper than some might think.

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DharmaCrafts gratefully acknowledges the participation of our Dharma Friends who have contributed learning content to this issue of In The Moment:

- Buddhadharma

- Shambhala Sun
- Shambhala Publications
- The Worst Horse

DharmaCrafts publishes In the Moment, our email newsletter, as a source for learning more about meditation and the teachings of Buddhism, and as a venue to interact with you, our DharmaCrafts community.

We love to hear from you. Email us at:

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or call us at: 800-794-9862, Monday - Friday, 9 am - 5 pm, EST.

Copyright © 2006 DharmaCrafts, Inc.