Giver, Receiver, & Gift

The Spiritual Practice of Money

A Four-Week Experiential Online Course

With Kate Levinson, the author of Emotional Currency,
and Eijun Linda Cutts, San Francisco Zen Center’s Central Abbess.
What does it mean to explore money from a spiritual and psychological perspective? Curious about how the instructors will draw upon life experience, personal reflection, and small group exercises to uncover your relationship with money?

Join Kate Levinson on Tuesday, January 24, at 5:30 pm PST
for a free 45-minute Preview call for Giver, Receiver, and Gift.

To sign up, email

The Giver, Receiver, and Gift four-week online course is for anyone interested in the connections between your relationship with money and spiritual practice.  Untangle the knot of love and money, learn how the practice of dana or generosity opens your heart and connects you to the world, and explore how greed, a hallmark of this culture, is expressed in your money life.


Breaking a strong cultural taboo, we will write and speak with each other about money and the different spiritual and emotional meanings it has in our lives. We will find out that we are not alone. All of us have money dilemmas, whether we have too much or too little. Teasing apart the web of emotions, beliefs, and attitudes we have received about money from our cultures, our spiritual traditions, and our families, we will learn what has shaped our relationship to money. And with this knowledge we can make choices about our money lives, see what needs to be healed, and cultivate more spiritual awareness in dealing with money.


Using life experiences, personal reflections, small and large group exercises, Buddhist stories, and course readings, we will explore money from both spiritual and psychological perspectives. Some of the topics we will consider are:


  • The value of adding emotions to our exploration of money.
  • What can our relationship with money teach us about spirituality, and what can spirituality teach us about our relationship with money?
  • How have different members of our family shaped our relationship to money? What can we learn from them?
  • Can money truly protect us, nourish us?  Explore how this culture’s emphasis on greed influences our relationship with money.
  • How does seeing our life as a gift, open our hearts and allow us to give in ways both small and large?

Dr. Kate Levinsonkate-levinson

Dr. Kate Levinson is the author of Emotional Currency, a lecturer, and workshop leader focusing on issues related to money. A licensed Marriage and Family Therapist with a PhD in Clinical Psychology, she consults with individuals and couples in Point Reyes Station and virtually. She is the founder of the Women, Money, Spirit Conference, to be held in April 2017 at the California Institute of Integral Studies. Kate resides in West Marin, is the co-founder of Black Mountain Circle, and is the former co-owner of Point Reyes Books.

Eijun Linda Cuttslinda_cutts

Eijun Linda Cutts came to San Francisco Zen Center in 1971 and was ordained as a priest in 1975. Having served as Abbess of San Francisco Zen Center from 2000 to 2007, she was appointed Abiding Abbess of Green Gulch Farm Zen Center in 2010, and Central Abbess of SFZC in 2014. She continues to teach and lead practice periods and retreats at Tassajara, Green Gulch, Mexico, Italy, and elsewhere, and has been leading Yoga-Zen retreats and workshops for many years.


From wherever you live, you can join Linda and Kate, starting February 1st, by signing up for this online course. During the four-week course, we’ll examine the inter-connectedness of money and spiritual practice through the lens of psychology and Buddhist spiritual teachings. We will learn about the practice of ‘dana’ or generosity, right livelihood, and living within our means.

Course Starts on: February 1st, 2017 

(LIVE sessions will be held every Wednesday  starting Feb. 8, 15, 22 and March 1 at 5:30 – 6:30 PM PST for a total of 4 weeks.)
All live sessions will be recorded so you will never miss a session, and can listen at your convenience any time.

Course Fees:

20% Early Bird Discount (on General and Member registrations only)

$119 – General
$111 – Member
Discount ends on January 15, 2017.

$149 General
$139 Member
$129 Limited income

A limited number of need-based scholarships are available. Please fill out the online programs application here. 

Emotional Currency:  A Women’s Guide to Building a Healthy Relationship with Money may be purchased through

Course Guarantee & Cancellation Policy

Thank you for choosing SFZC’s Online Programs. If for any reason you wish to withdraw from the program, you may do so within the first 15 days of the program’s start and receive a refund, minus a $20 processing fee. There is no refund if you cancel or withdraw more than 15 days after the start of the program.

Register here for Giver, Receiver and Gift

What You Will Learn

In Giver, Receiver, and Gift, you will explore your relationship with money from both an emotional and spiritual perspective. You will:

  • Trace how your family has shaped your relationship to money
  • Reflect on how fear and envy, shame, and greed are expressed in your money life
  • Untangle the knot of money and love
  • Consider how the mind of giving opens our hearts and strengthens our connections with ourselves and others.

Emotions about Money

During the first week, we will break the taboo and begin talking about money. In our conversations, we will shift from thinking about money from a purely intellectual or rational perspective and bring in emotional and spiritual points of view.

  • Look at our personal stories about money. What can these stories, small interactions, and responses teach us?
  • Begin uncovering our feelings about money. Which words do we use to talk about money?
  • Hear two Buddhist stories about treasuring yourself. What is your treasure?

What Shapes your Relation to Money — Family

During week two, we will trace the different ways in which our families have shaped our relationship to money, including psychological, cultural, social, and spiritual influences.

  • Examine how giving and receiving operated in your family. In what ways were you given to as a child and in what ways were you not given to? Are there any memories of difficulty around giving or receiving?
  • Learn about a spiritual view of past and current influences as karmic formations – a topographical map of shifting peaks and watersheds.

Money Dilemmas and Decisions

In week three, we will continue unpacking our emotions and beliefs about money and consider how they come into play in our money decisions and dilemmas.

  • Explore shame and how we experience it in relation to having too much or too little. Learn about a Buddhist perspective on purity and shame. Can shame ever be helpful or bring us back into alignment with our intentions?
  • Consider fear and envy. When is there a very real danger in attracting envy or jealousy? How do we deal with financial inequalities in our relationships? How can meditation settle us when we get caught up with worries about the future?
  • How does greed, the hallmark of this culture, operate in our lives? Is there ‘never enough’? Do we believe that money will protect or nourish us? Or does greed appear as samsara? Do thoughts of ‘if only’ keep us looking for a solution outside ourselves?
  • Untangle the knot of love and money.  What has love taught you about money and what has money taught you about love? How does adding a spiritual perspective help us to use money in ways that connects us to ourselves, others, and the world?
  • Reflect upon a personal money decision or dilemma of your choice. Unpack the inner and outer conflicts using free association. Examine the dilemma from all angles. Deeply listen and discover what you already know.

Giving, Receiving, and Gratitude

In the fourth week, we explore generosity or dana as a core teaching in Buddhism and how the beneficial practice of giving affects everyone around us. We will consider what it means to experience life as a gift and how this sense of gratitude can open our hearts and allow us to give of ourselves and our resources.

  • What is this mind of giving which transforms an exchange into a gift? How does the mind of giving highlight the deep connection between giver, receiver, and gift?
  • Why are gifts meant to be kept moving? How does this flow of generosity and spirit enhance our mental well being and our sense of interconnection?
  • How do we possess or hold our resources? Are they ours to hold permanently or for the time being? In this culture, money touches everything. How do we find our right size — a balance between being overly inflated or deflated?

Each Week You Will Receive

Two to five videotaped teaching sessions with Kate Levinson and Abbess Linda Cutts.
(Total 166 minutes of teachings.) Available to download or stream.


Access to a private highly interactive course website for all participants. This is the hub for all things related to this course including our community. All the materials on the course site will be available to participants for 60 days after the course end.

Participation in discussion forums with Kate and Linda and fellow participants from around the globe.

Four hour-long LIVE teaching sessions via MaestroConference call. Participants can engage directly with Linda, Kate, and their fellow practitioners. Recordings will be made available if you are unable to attend the live dharma sessions.

Encouragement in your email inbox from Linda and Kate with inspiring quotes, suggestions, and questions to support and guide your practice.

Online zendo. Begin or enliven your meditation practice by joining others in an online meditation sitting sponsored by SFZC. Offered every weekday morning.

What People are Saying about

Giver, Receiver, and Gift:

The Spiritual Practice of Money workshop

“An opportunity to gift oneself time to think, reflect, and listen.”

“Blunt, unspoken things spoken about openly but respectfully.”

“The exercises enhanced insights.”

“Truly excellent. I loved every part — the depth, compassion, balance, and sharing.“

“Sharing– knowing that others feel the same way I do.”

“Excellent balance between what Kate offered and what Linda offered. . . psychological and spiritual. Realistic, open, non-judgmental, supportive examination of our relationship to money.”

Emotional Currency

“Kate Levinson shows how money is both mercilessly public and intimately personal, stirring up our deepest feelings about independence, status, attractiveness, and the terrifying confusion between net worth and self worth.” — Robert Reich, former Secretary of Labor, author, and Chancellor’s Professor of Public Policy, UC Berkeley

“Kate Levinson’s book shows how money permeates every nook and cranny of our inner mental and emotional world. . . it offers a warm, guiding hand to anyone seeking a healthy relationship to money and everything that money touches.” — Jacob Needleman, author of Money and the Meaning of Life.

“This not just the best book about women and money that I have ever read, it is the best book about money–beautifully written, wise, accessible, practical, and profoundly healing.” — Rachel Naomi Remen, MD, author of Kitchen Table Wisdom.

Recent SFZC Online Offerings

Gathering the Mind

“Reminded, enriched and enliven[ed] my understanding around the precepts.”

“Loved the content of the teachings and Fu’s ability to be present, transparent, and kind. The website was easy to navigate.”

“Sharing the experience with other people. . . Fu was so accessible, fun and open.”

“The weekly videos are amazing! . . .Having the time to meet with others to focus on such an important part of the spiritual practice.”

Photography © Clare Hollander