Offering food to monastics is a traditional Buddhist practice.
The Buddha established that bhikkhunis and bhikkhus should not have paying jobs and should live on food offered by laypeople. He did this in order to ensure that the relationship between monastics and the lay community was one of interdependence and deep connection. By offering food to the Sangha, laypeople provide monastics with the nourishment on which the monastics' very lives depend. Laypeople thereby contribute to the existence and spread of the living Dhamma, and they benefit from the teachings that they receive from monastics. For the monastics, eating what is offered helps with the practice of humility and renunciation as we let go of attachment to our preferences about food and develop contentment with what we are given.
There are several ways you can offer food:
You might sponsor the cost of a day's food for the monastery, either on a one-time basis for a special event, or recurring monthly. You can make arrangements to make your donation here.
You can also contact us to make arrangements to bring a meal to the monastery.
And if you are coming to visit, you can make a grocery offering. To offer groceries, you may bring what you wish, and we also welcome you to contact us to see what we might find useful. We try to eat simple, healthy food in order to support our practice. Some staples that we generally use include:
Brown, red, or black rice
Oats (rolled, not instant, quick, or flavored)
Ezekiel sprouted grain bread
Unsalted nuts/seeds: cashews, walnuts, Brazil nuts, pecans, almonds, pumpkin seeds
Dried fruit: prunes, dates, raisins, figs, goji berries
Dried beans: chickpeas, mung beans, black beans, adzuki beans, green split peas
Fresh veggies: carrots, broccoli, cauliflower, sweet potatoes, beets, potatoes, parsnips, butternut squash, green beans, cabbage, Brussels sprouts
Fresh fruits: apples, oranges, bananas, lemons
Nut/seed butters: peanut butter (made with just peanuts and salt), almond butter, tahini