dakshina - the double helix of giving and receiving!
Our approach to Dakshina is that two offerings – two creative / spirit / energy / Love cycles, each a complete loop of giving-receiving – are joined as One. The dharma of Dakshina is giving for the Love/generosity/spirit of giving while simultaneously receiving for the Love/generosity/spirit of receiving, and this applies to both “guru” and “shishya.”
So, how are there two offers / cycles intertwined as One? Well, one person gives freely from the heart just to give (“guru”) and the other (“shishya”) receives freely from the heart just to receive, completing one giving-receiving loop. Simultaneously, the second person (“shishya”) also gives freely from the heart just to give and the first person (“guru”) receives freely from the heart just to receive, completing another giving-receiving loop. The two cycles are independent in that each is inherently and uniquely worthy (both offerings being invaluable!), and the giving in each is not a reflection or measure of what was given in the “other” loop! The two loops allow both participants to practice total faith on both ends of the flow of generosity – initiating it (giving) and completing it (receiving). (Unconditional receiving can be an even more challenging aspect of generosity than unconditional giving, as it humbles one profoundly to realize that there is no way to pay off a debt, and that in truth, there is no debt owed in the first place!!**) Paradoxically, the independence of the two cycles also means that they are actually beautifully in Union – synergistic, co-creative, intertwined as One, like the double helix of a DNA strand!
So, how does it work in practice? Each student in the music circle sets a Dakshina of their choice – a monthly amount given at the beginning of each month. Their Dakshina is a (private) commitment with themselves, and works as an inspired investment in the sacred music space we are creating together, rather than payment for any service. It can be raised (or lowered!) per the student’s intuitive wish at any point, not tied to “reasons.” As such it is not a transaction, i.e. based on number of hours or size of the class, classes missed due to any circumstantial events or vacation, or any other count/measure… if you find your mind doing math, you’re already off alignment (and that’s okay too!)! And Dakshina is also not a "donation" or "charity" as in a non-profit set-up. It is simply a freely given, loving investment. People typically give via Paypal or direct bank transfer before the 5th of each month.
** Once this approach is fully internalized, most have the enlightening and humbling “Aha!” that we are all only receiving. In receiving well, we organically give off something ineffable – Love – and so it appears that we are “givers”!