from“Megumi~ 108 Compassionate Blessings”
(by Toshihide Numata, published by BDK)
The word fuse is the translation of the Sanskrit dana, “giving”. Dana is also transliterated as danna, using characters that mean “a rich master.” But being a “rich master” does not simply mean having a lot of money. A rich master is a person who freely gives what he possesses. A truly rich master is one who never refuses to give and never brags about it. Households that give donations to support temples are called in Japanese danka, “donor households.” Temples that provide the Dharma to followers are called danna-dera, “giving temples,” or shisho-dera, “teaching temples.”
When we hold on to our material possessions or to the Dharma, we often make our egos even stronger and lose the ability to see things as they are. By simply giving our possessions, dana becomes a practice of the Buddhist path for overcoming our ego. When we practice giving we are able to overcome our attachments to our possessions or to the Dharma.
Therefore, it is not a true practice of dana if one is attached to the idea of the one who gives, what is given, or to whom something is given. In the process of practicing dana, “who,” “what,” and “to whom” are called the three wheels, which must always be in a pure state, free from attachments.
In the practice of dana, in addition to giving wealth (zaise) and the Dharma (hose), there is also the practice of giving fearlessness (muise). Later, the seven kinds of dana practice without wealth, the Dharma, or anything at all (muizai no shichise) were also taught. These include sich things as greeting others with a gentle expression and kind words (wagen aigo).