People who choose dharma as a career.

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People who choose dharma as a career.

Postby Andrew108 » Mon Aug 06, 2012 6:25 pm

Just recently I've noticed a few posts from a person who works for a dharma organization and who I think is trying to promote that organization here on DharmaWheel. The person I'm talking about has chosen to 'pursue a career in dharma' (their own words). They have also included multiple links to their organization in their sig. Is this o.k? Personally I have no problem with this person posting their own thoughts and ideas here but I am wary of their motives. Would it be appropriate to say that organizational affiliation should be hidden and not made explicit? Especially as the person in question has decided on dharma as a career.
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Re: People who choose dharma as a career.

Postby Nemo » Mon Aug 06, 2012 7:52 pm

Best Dharma job in North America is Monastery caretaker/janitor. No politics and you get to be Mr. Invisible. PR and fund raising bullshit is intolerable to me though. To each his own.
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Re: People who choose dharma as a career.

Postby JKhedrup » Wed Aug 08, 2012 3:58 am

Monastery janitor sounds cool, depending on the monastery. I wouldn't want to be in charge of sweeping all the floors at Sera!

Part of the reason I decided to learn Tibetan was to have a skill to offer to dharma centres. Because the unfortunate reality is there are few who are interested in continuously supporting someone's practice and/or study, especially in the West where such a proposition in expensive.

I try to never see translation as a "career" however, more as a service by which to repay the kind support I receive from the laypeople. And as a service to my kind teachers.

At the same time, if one needs to have a "career", one is fortunate if it has something to do with dharma rather than working for, for example, a mining company.
A foolish man proclaims his qualifications,
A wise man keeps them secret within.
A straw floats on the surface of water,
But a precious gem placed upon it sinks to the depths
-Sakya Pandita
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Re: People who choose dharma as a career.

Postby Andrew108 » Wed Aug 08, 2012 9:12 am

Actually in this case I was thinking of people who's job is to boost the online presence of their organization. I guess it's kind of a new type of dharma job. The problem I see in this is that the web becomes like a honey trap with people being drawn towards those organizations that have a big online presence. Then when you have an online presence you have to manage it and massage it. So you try to be nice and make posts in forums that are designed to reflect well on your organization.
The only reason I'm mentioning this is because I have a thing about being genuine. But anyway no one else seems concerned so I'll just drop the issue. I do hope that in the future people who are interested in dharma will be drawn to genuine sources and not just to those organizations who have a strong web presence.
The website that I'm thinking about sells pujas for things like helping you in a legal dispute; helping you improve your ability to study; helping you to get rich and have success and so on. These pujas cost quite a bit of money. I guess this is what it was like in Tibet back in the day. They also claim that their teacher performs miracles. So it's quite interesting to look at this from an Anthropological point of view at the same time as seeing it somehow disturbing.
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Re: People who choose dharma as a career.

Postby Tilopa » Wed Aug 08, 2012 11:50 am

Andrew108 wrote:Actually in this case I was thinking of people who's job is to boost the online presence of their organization.

Some promote an organization, some promote their teacher, some just promote themselves and their own opinions but on an internet forum that's not really so surprising, more to be expected than anything else.
The website that I'm thinking about sells pujas for things like helping you in a legal dispute; helping you improve your ability to study; helping you to get rich and have success and so on.......it's quite interesting to look at this from an Anthropological point of view at the same time as seeing it somehow disturbing.

It's not disturbing if they work.
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Re: People who choose dharma as a career.

Postby Andrew108 » Wed Aug 08, 2012 12:10 pm

Tilopa wrote:It's not disturbing if they work.

It would be 10 times more disturbing if they actually worked.
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Re: People who choose dharma as a career.

Postby Tilopa » Wed Aug 08, 2012 12:18 pm

Andrew108 wrote:It would be 10 times more disturbing if they actually worked.

Bad news I'm afraid...they often do.
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Re: People who choose dharma as a career.

Postby Andrew108 » Wed Aug 08, 2012 1:13 pm

I guess I'm behind the times.
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Re: People who choose dharma as a career.

Postby JKhedrup » Thu Aug 09, 2012 4:32 am

I don't think it is the case that others don't question it, but it is more of a case of live and let live.

To this person's credit, they were pretty open about their intentions and their dharma career and what it involved from the moment they joined the forum. So in fact, they were quite honest IMO.

It is a concern that dharma organizations without the resources to pay someone to post on the internet will not attract as many people, but Dharma Wheel is pretty diverse and most people do a pretty good job advertising for their lamas without being paid. Whether a dharma organization would be better served using the money for promotion to print texts or fund charity projects is another question.

As long as people source things that a teacher said, when they are not their own ideas, I have no objection.
A foolish man proclaims his qualifications,
A wise man keeps them secret within.
A straw floats on the surface of water,
But a precious gem placed upon it sinks to the depths
-Sakya Pandita
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Re: People who choose dharma as a career.

Postby Andrew108 » Thu Aug 09, 2012 11:21 am

Hmmm we'll see. Let's come back to this post in a few weeks.
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Re: People who choose dharma as a career.

Postby Knotty Veneer » Sat Aug 11, 2012 10:42 pm

One think I've noticed that is new in the Dharma coming to the West, is the professional Dharma person.

I am talking about people who are not monastics or academics but who make a living writing books or magazine articles or conference papers on Buddhist related topics.

Some even hold courses/"retreats" on "Buddhism and..." or meditation/psychology.

I thinking about the likes of Stephen Batchelor, Helen Tworkov or Stephen Levine. Not saying it's a bad thing just new.
You cannot polish a turd - however a pleasing effect can be attained by rolling one in glitter.
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