Food & Material Offerings

Birken is supported solely through the ancient tradition of 'dana' (generous giving) in the form of monetary and material donations.  Generosity is a quality of the heart which the Buddha greatly encouraged for its benefits to the giver in this life and beyond.  For ways to make offerings to the monastery, please click on the links below:

Useful Dana Items

Food Items:

  • Fresh fruit (other than apples, oranges, bananas)
  • Tetra-Pak soy milk
  • Whole bean dark roast coffee for monastics
  • Ground dark roast coffee for residents and guests
  • Dried fruits and nuts (walnuts, almonds, sunflower seeds, raisins, etc.)
  • Nut butters
  • Butter (regular and unsalted)
  • Maple syrup
  • Cheese
  • Crystalized ginger for teatime
  • If you would like to donate tea, please be sure each tea bag is individually packaged and labelled.


Other Items:

  • Facial tissues
  • White paper towels
  • White paper napkins
  • AA batteries
  • AAA batteries



  • We currently have a large abundance of dry legumes, rice, pasta, towels, soap and socks.
  • We are no longer are accepting homemade canned goods.
  • Please do not bring large amounts of foods that need refrigeration or freezing; our fridge and freezer space is limited.
  • Non-perishable food items are ideal.
  • On arrival, dana items can be given to a Kitchen Steward, or brought to the kitchen area.


Dana Meal Offerings

  • Preparation of a whole meal is always welcome and considered a very meritorious act.  Please email us ( to book a date well in advance.  We will then give you an approximate headcount one week before your planned dana day.
  • You can use our kitchen, or bring a meal that is ready to heat and serve. There is approximately 2 hours of prep time available to prepare the whole meal on any given day (the main meal is served promptly at 11:00am; 11:30am during Daylight Saving Time).
  • Preparation of a single dish using our kitchen is sometimes possible; please consult with the Kitchen Stewards before using any kitchen resources.
  • If you are bringing a main dish to serve a substantial number of people, please ensure that it can be reheated quickly.  Many commercially prepared items require more than 2 hours preparation starting from a cold oven; this does not fit into our meal preparation schedule.

Anumodana ~ We rejoice in your good merit!