2013 Dana Dinner

Our first Dana Dinner was amazing. The essence of dana, great generosity of spirit and mindful presence, expressed by the (approximately) 150 attendees, manifested as a true community event. In the spirit of inter-being and interdependence we took true refuge in each other.

The moment-by-moment unfolding of loving kindness expressed throughout the evening was exemplified in the wonderful story presented by Reverend Patrick Johnson, Pastor of the Frenchtown Presbyterian Church. Thank You Reverend for joining us and your support.

Mayor Warren Cooper, your words touched us all and thank you for all of your support on a very short notice!

Julie and Mike, Pepper, Carolyn, Dot, Jen, Chad, Angel, and all of the staff of Lovin’ Oven: you were and are incredible. The generosity of spirit that you expressed through your enthusiasm and hard work made this event possible and so welcoming, and tasty, to everyone. The amount of food that you provided (for no cost!) and prepared so well, as you always do, made an entire community warm, comfortable with each other, and just plain happy! Thank You.

Matt Branham, my friend, your warmth and love of community and your great generosity has impacted the Frenchtown community in a very skillful way. The Dana dinner would not have been possible without you. Thank You.

Pete and Amy Ryan, Pete Jr. and Charles Ryan, and the students from Tinicum Art and Science school: Wow! All of you helped so much. Amy, your loving presence made everyone feel so welcome, and your practical service was amazing. Rose, you are a beautiful and wonderful example of Dana, as are Evelyn, Morgan and  Aaron. Your mindfulness and and warm enthusiasm simply got what needed to be done, done! Pete, thank you for all of your hard work and dedication to the Dhamma (and for all the dishes you washed!) Thank You all!!

Moira, you are a living example of Dana and your words expressed dana eloquently. This dinner is your vision fulfilled. Thank You.

Neil Podgurski, your loving presence, amazing talent, and true dana, expressed through your smile and keyboard, set the perfect tone throughout the dinner. Thank You.

Ed Burke and Lisa, thank you for all your help. You made some very special men feel a part of our community and happy and well fed! Thank You.

The generosity from all who attended was and is almost overwhelming. The dishes brought were all extraordinary and the practical gifts so thoughtful. The warm and open presence from everyone was and is the whole point of the dinner. The picture below portrays what happiness through community truly means. Look at those smiles!

To all of you from the Cross River Meditation Sangha you proved what the Buddha said was most important of the Three Jewels: true friends on the spiritual path. Moira and I are so grateful to receive your dana and to be a part of your Sangha!  Thank You all.

We will be doing this again in about six months!

With deep and abiding gratitude, John

PS: Here is an article with many pictures about our dinner from NJ.com! Thank You Mayor Cooper. Dana Dinner NJ.com story