A verse chanted at mealtimes when there is a special donation of food from a lay patron:
The two gifts, of wealth and dharma,
are incalculable in their merit.
The perfection of giving
is completed and perfected.
zai ho nise 財法二施
kudoku muryō 功徳無量
dan para mitsu 檀波羅蜜
gusoku en man 具足圓滿
"Wealth" (zai 財) refers to money and material assets and commodities of all kinds. In general, lay donors give material support to the monastic order, which in turn gives the dharma (the Buddhist teachings) to everyone. Both kinds of giving are good deeds that produce a great deal of merit (kudoku 功徳). The "perfection of giving" (danparamitsu 檀波羅蜜, S. dāna-pāramitā) is the first of the six perfections (roku haramitsu 六波羅蜜) or practices of the bodhisattva, which is accomplished when one gives without clinging to the idea that there is a giver, recipient, and gift. ☞ "perfection of giving."