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Gift Economy Mission Statement
I offer all my teachings on the principle of the “gift economy,” aka on donation.
To put it another way, this means I give all my teachings from a spirit of generosity, without the expectation of return. It is up to the community at large to decide if/when/how they would like to reciprocate the gift.
The gift economy doesn’t mean “free” or something is of “low value,” but instead proposes a radical shift in how we do money, work, life, and determine value.
Four Reasons I Teach on the Gift Economy
- It keeps me in integrity with my lineage, Theravada Buddhism, which has run on the principle of generosity for 2,600+ years (often called “dāna“)
- I genuinely believe that these teachings are priceless, and want to make them accessible to all, regardless of their financial means.
- I wish to help create a culture of gratitude & generosity, where we bring a spiritual dimension into our financial life, making choices not from how much can I have, but rather, how does my heart move me to act.
- Living from the gift economy tends to strengthen social connections and leads to a greater sense of contentment and appreciation for what really matters.
Gift Economy Resources
An alternative to the “Market Economy,” a Gift Economy is a system of exchange based on the principles of gratitude and generosity, where gifts are given freely among a community without expectation of return.
Whether it starts with our families, friend groups, spiritual communities, Buy Nothing Groups, or society at large, there is something contagious & life-affirming about a system of gift-giving! Here are some helpful resources on how this system works:
- The Gift Economy in Buddhism: A 30-minute Dharma Talk by David Sudar
- The Gift Economy: A 4-minute TED Talk – by Alex Gendler
- The Gift Economy in Ecological Systems & Indigenous Wisdom — by Robin Wall Kimmerer
- The Gift Economy in the Buddhist Monastic Tradition — by Thanissaro Bhikkhu
If you really want to do a deep dive into the Gift Economy, I’d recommend the full-length Sacred Economics book by Charles Eisenstein. For a shorter version, here’s a 12-minute video summarizing the essence of the book.
Offer a Donation via Paypal, Venmo or Credit Card
If you’re a little confused on how to relate to a donation-based work model, I wrote this article answering the question, “What Is the Appropriate Amount to Give?” Although, the whole idea is that there is no appropriate amount — it’s all about whatever you feel moved to give!