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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.
Public Offerings on the Gift Economy
Here is a short list of my public offerings. If you value these things being offered to the community, and would like to support me being able to continue offering them, your monetary donations are gratefully received:
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!