In the teaching of the Buddha, the practice of giving claims a place of special eminence, one that singles it out as being in a sense the foundation and seed of spiritual development. This publication was compiled by Bhikkhu Bodhi to explore this cardinal Buddhist virtue in greater depth by featuring essays in which four modern writers (Elbaum-Jootla, de Silva, Walshe, and van Gorkom) and a classical commentator (Acariya Dhammapala) set forth their understanding of giving and its relation to the wider body of Dhamma practice.
"The most excellent motive for giving is the intention that it strengthens one's efforts to attain Nibbana.... If we aspire to ultimate peace and purity by practicing generosity, we will be developing the dana param - the perfection of giving, building up a store of merit that will bear its full fruit with our attainment of enlightenment. As we progress towards this goal, the volition involved in acts of giving will assist us by contributing towards the pliancy of mind, an essential asset in developing concentration and wisdom, the prime requisites of liberation." (From "The Practice of Giving" by Susan Elbaum-Jootla)
- "Introduction" (Bhikkhu Bodhi)
- "The Practice of Giving" (Susan Elbaum Jootla)
- "Giving in the Pali Canon" (Lily de Silva)
- "Giving from the Heart" (M. O’C. Walshe)
- "Generosity: The Inward Dimension" (Nina van Gorkom)
- "The Perfection of Giving" (Acariya Dhammapala)