Where to locate a US center for accessiblity?

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Where to locate a US center for accessiblity?

Postby Yudron » Sat Mar 09, 2013 1:58 pm

This is no commentary on this center, which I have never been too. Given the huge expenses of running a retreat center in the popular parts of the U.S., centers really need to operate successful businesses to fund operating expenses and staff, in order not rely on making a profit on Dharma programs. That's not easy, though!

The other alternative is to build centers in the cheapest places in the country--way down in Texas near the border, where they eat liberals for lunch, and those young folks who want to camp will have scorpions and rattlers to deal with:

"The town with the nation's lowest cost of living is Harlingen, Texas, located in the state's southernmost tip and with a population of 74,950. The after-tax cost to maintain a standard of living enjoyed by the average company manager or other professional is roughly 17 percent lower than the national average. A pound of ground beef in Harlingen costs $2.35, compared with $3.30 nationally as of January, while a night out at the movies will run you $9. The average price of a home is $229,558." CBS News

"Brownsville, TX--This metro area, which includes Harlingen and San Benito, is at the southwestern tip of the Lone Star State, hard against the Mexican border. The Gulf of Mexico and the popular beaches of South Padre Island are just a stone’s throw away. Rents in Brownsville average $659, that's 4.2 times less than New York, the most expensive city in our annual rankings, where rents average $2,778. Utilities can be pricey, but costs for groceries and other consumer goods are exceptionally low. An affordable South Texas alternative to Brownsville is the McAllen metro area, just an hour’s drive away along the Rio Grande."-- Kiplinger

Yeah, but did they count the cost of air conditioning?
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Re: Dzogchen Community of Chogyal Namkhai Norbu

Postby MalaBeads » Sat Mar 09, 2013 2:47 pm

Funny you should mention those areas. I worked in McAllen, and Brownsville years and years ago, before Dharma as it were. And I have vacationed in South Padre Island as a result. Life is strange. I was doing some community organizing at the time and i remember going to a border crossing with one of the locals and he said to me that if this event we were planing failed, i would be blamed. I guess I didn't care because i never followed up as to whether it was a success or not.

It's always interesting to talk money. My current rent (I live in a one bedroom apartment in a beautiful area) is lower than the figures you cite for southern Texas (it includes all my utilities as well) and the last time i bought ground beef I paid less per pound than what you cited also. (Of course i bought it from the "reduced for quick sale" counter). I've never had an air-conditioning bill and i guess I'm counting my lucky stars right about now. Everything could change in the blink of an eye.

Money is a strange phenomenon. I've heard one dharma teacher call it an illusion and I've heard others describe it as just energy.

The way things actually are and the way the are reported to be (as in the sources you cite) are often quite different.
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Re: Dzogchen Community of Chogyal Namkhai Norbu

Postby Yudron » Sat Mar 09, 2013 3:43 pm

MalaBeads wrote:Funny you should mention those areas. I worked in McAllen, and Brownsville years and years ago, before Dharma as it were. And I have vacationed in South Padre Island as a result. Life is strange. I was doing some community organizing at the time and i remember going to a border crossing with one of the locals and he said to me that if this event we were planing failed, i would be blamed. I guess I didn't care because i never followed up as to whether it was a success or not.

It's always interesting to talk money. My current rent (I live in a one bedroom apartment in a beautiful area) is lower than the figures you cite for southern Texas (it includes all my utilities as well) and the last time i bought ground beef I paid less per pound than what you cited also. (Of course i bought it from the "reduced for quick sale" counter). I've never had an air-conditioning bill and i guess I'm counting my lucky stars right about now. Everything could change in the blink of an eye.

Money is a strange phenomenon. I've heard one dharma teacher call it an illusion and I've heard others describe it as just energy.

The way things actually are and the way the are reported to be (as in the sources you cite) are often quite different.


Huh. I lived about 10 miles from ChNNs center in Massachusetts, and for New England it was relatively inexpensive. I was surprised at the figures and places cited in both those sources. 25 years ago, people were just walking away from payed off houses in far Northern Minnesota, abandoning them when they needed to leave... because they were unsellable. Anyone could walk in and take them over. But, of course, you need a lot of heat oil there, and snow plowing. I also would have though rural Arkansas or Mississippi would be cheaper than Texas.
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Re: Where to locate a US center for accessiblity?

Postby Jikan » Tue Mar 12, 2013 4:04 pm

I've split these posts from a discussion in the Dzogchen forum to highlight an important issue: siting and planning major retreat and residential practice centers in the US, with an eye toward cost-savings and accessibility.
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Re: Where to locate a US center for accessiblity?

Postby Jikan » Tue Mar 12, 2013 7:33 pm

http://www.tendai.org

http://www.kunzang.org

http://www.kagyu.org

http://mro.org/zmm/

...and others.

These centers are located at the apex of a triangle (sort of) between New England to the east and New York & Philly to the south: relatively close to two major population centers, but far enough inland to be comparatively much, much more affordable. It's not an accident that the Hudson Valley is home to so much Dharma.
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