The Homa Therapy in-residence drug/alcohol de-addiction program.
Class 5: DAAN
Much of what has gotten us to a state where we are out of control, or slaves to our addictions, is our own self will or better said our own selfishness. We addicts would be hard pressed to tell what good our drinking or using has done for our fellow man. In the Homa Therapy Mind Training Program we are literally training the mind to react and respond differently to life's circumstances. The grooves of habit run deep. What may seem totally foreign to us, just may be the "need of the hour" to get us out of our old habits. We have spent countless hours, days, months even years looking out for number 1. The only problem is we did not do a very good job of that because all the time and money we spent on ourselves has done nothing but cause us problems.
There is an antidote for our selfishness and it works miraculously to reduce the tension on the mind caused by greed and attachment to our material possessions. The antidote is learning how to share a part of your income and your possessions with others in all humility. The key words for us to focus on are, LEARN HOW TO.
It is important that you understand the difference between mere donation and what we are speaking of. The English language has no words for it, so we will refer to a Sanskrit word to describe the process. The word is DAAN and it means to share your assets in a spirit of humility.
We practice Daan to reduce attachment to our possessions which subsequently reduces tension on the mind caused by attachment, greed, etc.
Giving in the spirit of duty serves to pull down the barricades which separates us from one another. You help yourself by practicing Daan. A little practice of this virtue will totally change your reactions to the conditions in which you are placed and you land into a happy state. The cultivation of this attitude prepares us to face possible adverse circumstances in the future.
Unless certain strict disciplines are followed in the practice of Daan it is not Daan but merely donation.
"A rich man has many things and he is attached to them while a poor man has nothing but he is hankering after them. Both of them tend to put a premium on unhappiness because of attachment. Practice of Daan helps to remove the tension which comes due to attachment."
Daan has the following disciplines (teacher discusses at length):
1. You give Daan because it is your duty to do so. This means you are not obliging the person to whom you give. You should consider yourself obliged by the person who accepts your gift. He is the instrumental cause enabling you to transform your mind; hence, he is obliging you.
2. Do not give Daan for name or fame. If you give cash or material possessions for recognition, it is not Daan. Daan has to be done in secrecy. "Let your left hand not know what your right hand does." If you talk about it to others it is likely to nourish your pride and our aim of removing tension on the mind will not be achieved.
3. Everyone wants to be happy; hence, everyone has to share his assets in a spirit of humility. A rich person has to give and a poor person has to give. A rich person can receive and a poor person can receive Daan.
4. Daan needs to be made out of one's own earnings.
5. The person to whom you give needs to be a proper person. A hungry man is a proper person to receive food. A person in need of necessities of life is a proper person to receive them in kind or cash. In all other cases Daan should be given to a person who is normally given to what according to you are good habits. If you give Daan to somebody who you think is likely to spend it on wrong purposes, then it is not Daan. Not only have you not done a good act but you involve yourself in a bad act as you become instrumental in pushing him into wrong actions and you become a partner in his guilt.
Money in English is also called 'currency'. The word is not 'stagnancy'. It means, like the current of a river it has to be kept moving in Daan.
If you practice Daan with all the discipline involved, what happens? You part with one hundred dollars and within a short time you get back a little over a hundred dollars in cash or some material benefit. This is a super physical law of nature and hence inviolable. Daan is therefore called a material aid to happy living.
"You will also notice that in times of your need things come to you without asking for them. More importantly, you do not feel the tension when things go bad materially as you get into the habit of non-attachment to worldly possessions."
Daan operates on the same principals as positive thoughts attract positive things and negative thoughts attract negative things.
The mental aspect of any activity is closely associated with the physical.
One of the worst things we can do is waste time worrying. It is better to spend the time in action than in worry. If the action is a positive one then it is likely to attract positive results. These results should not be confused with immediate self gratification, or with the results of a previous negative action.
If one has been careless with their money or other material possessions, or has exhibited grandiosity in giving away everything in sight to anyone who comes along -- this is not a positive action, but one of pride and will bring about the opposite effect of Daan.
As a checkpoint in the proper practice of Daan one should not spend a lot of time worrying over who or how to give. One should not think twice about the action after it is done.
It is important that one strictly adhere to the disciplines of Daan. If done properly practice of Daan leads to a detached attitude to material possessions and this reduces the burden on the mind.