Local Alms Round

What is alms round (pindapāta)?

Buddhist monastics rely on the generosity of others. The alms round or pindapāta is a tradition where lay people offer food to monastics to sustain their spiritual practice for the day. Monastics walk silently with their alms bowls through the town or village, and if people feel inspired, they may offer food as a gesture of generosity and kindness.

Going for alms is not begging. The monastics simply walk or stand silently and receive what is offered. It helps to develop contentedness and humility in the monastics, and generosity and service for the people offering.

When and where is Empty Cloud’s alms round?

Currently, the monastics walk for alms on Saturdays through West Orange, NJ. The route begins around at Empty Cloud Monastery at around 9 a.m. and ends at the West Orange Farmers’ Market. They remain at the Farmers’ Market until around 10:30 a.m.

Can the monastics walk by my place?

Potentially! If you live in West Orange and would like the monastics to pass by so you can make an offering, contact our dāna coordinator here. If you have other questions feel free to ask the monastics in person, or contact us.

What can I offer?

Sādhu, anumodanā! The monastics are happy to receive whatever food you may like to give. Please note that our monastics are vegetarian, and that one of the monks is allergic to food from the USA made with non-organic pesticides and herbicides. Your kindness and generosity is very much appreciated!

Fun fact: The word pindapāta is a combination of two words, pinda and pāta in the Pāli language. Pinda means “a lump of food” and pāta means “bowl”. So pindapāta means literally “placing of food in a bowl.”

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