History, Vision, Community, and Theravada Buddhism

Bhante G requests that meal offerings contain no oil and no strong spices, including chili peppers.

It is a tradition for Buddhist lay followers to offer meals to the monastic community.  Monastics are dependent on lay people to provide food each day because they are not permitted to cook or store food.  Traditionally a meal offering is made to honor a special event in someone’s life, such as a birthday or a marriage. It is also frequently done in memory of a family member on their three months or one year death anniversary. But meals can be bought at any non-retreat times and for any reason.  What matters most is that it is done in the spirit of generosity.

Many monastics, residents, and visitors to Bhavana have digestive trouble with heavily spiced and/or spicy foods. Out of compassion for them please heavily limit or avoid the use of spices in food offered. If you will be providing the whole meal it is a good idea to contact the Kitchen Manager concerning diet restrictions for Bhante G’s diet and that of other residents. There should always be a simple American dish (meatless ones such as vegetable lasagna, macaroni and cheese, cheese pizza, green bean casserole, deviled eggs, etc.) offered to accommodate those who cannot eat Sri Lankan or International foods. Thank you for your understanding.

How to Arrange a Meal Offering

If you will be providing the whole meal contact the Food Dana Coordinator: Bhante Rathana at: (626) 420 2182. You may call, text, or leave a voice mail message at this phone number; or email:

Please consult the dana calendar tab on this page to determine the best days to offer food. Due to limitations of Bhavana’s well water supply (that cannot accommodate being taxed beyond its ability to recharge from the water table), delicate septic system, and limited housing Bhavana is no longer able to accept Meal Dana during formal retreats.

Reluctantly, we are forced to make this request. When too much water is used at one time mud will actually flow out of our faucets damaging the plumbing. To protect Bhavana we must “use it” gently and mindfully.

Bhavana follows the guideline of accepting up to 12 (twelve) overnight visitors at one time. Limiting how many can be accepted for overnight visits when no retreat is in progress is essential for the harmony and both the Bhavana community and the visitors.

Large family groups offering Dana are requested by Bhante G to: “Bring Dana in groups of 12 (twelve); possibly three weeks in a row, not all coming at once in a group of 36 (thirty-six).” Visitors, even those considering offering Dana, are asked not to come to Bhavana for overnight stay during the Resident Retreat (held annually January and February) or formal public Retreats. Visitors requesting to offer Dana are asked to come on the day of their scheduled Dana for a day visit only.

Also, please understand that during retreats monastics are also “in retreat” and may not be available for discussions.  During retreats, there can be up to sixty or more people here so offering Dana during the dates for a Retreat, you should be prepared to offer enough for the entire group.  If you would like to offer “a few dishes,” please contact the Food Dana Coordinator. Thank you.

Offering a Financial Donation instead of Providing a Meal

Bhavana Society accepts financial donations instead of bringing and preparing the meal here.  If you are interested in offering a donation towards a meal, we offer multiple variations of processing your request.  You can simply send a donation through regular mail, letting us know the date and if requested, the name of the person(s) in which you would like the meal offering made.  You can also use the PayPal link on this page. Once on the PayPal site, click the link “Add special instructions to the seller” (“seller” in this case means the Bhavana Society) and kindly note that your donation is offered for a meal along with the name and date.  You can also call or send an email to the Food Dana contact person, letting them know this information and it will be placed on our Food Dana Calendar for our monastic community to acknowledge during meal time.

No payment method connected. Contact seller.
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