Charging for Dharma

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Johnny Dangerous
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Re: Charging for Dharma

Post by Johnny Dangerous » Thu Aug 02, 2018 8:19 pm

Crazywisdom wrote:
Thu Aug 02, 2018 8:05 pm
There’s no better way to weed out people who are just there to screw around
Heh, it has definitely not been my Dharma experience that the people who are willing to shell out big bucks for teachings are always the most dedicated, or most likely to delve deeply into what is being taught. Unless you consider just showing up in your cool Zen to collect as many initiations as possible "not screwing around"...there are legions of people who pay lots of money for teachings and still completely fail to recognize their value.
"it must be coming from the mouthy mastermind of raunchy rapper, Johnny Dangerous”

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Aryjna
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Re: Charging for Dharma

Post by Aryjna » Thu Aug 02, 2018 8:19 pm

People should be happy to have the opportunity to spend what money they have to receive teachings, and create vast amounts of merit in the process. If they are not happy, that just shows that something is wrong. Then again, if someone really has no money at all, as in their bank account is actually almost empty, or it contains half the rent and they are saving up to pay the rent at the end of the month, it seems a bit harsh not to allow them to attend. Then again, unless they are dying, or have not received an empowerment before, it is not something that can severely damage them.

I am under the impression that in many cases, when it is a retreat of a few days with accommodation and food included, the money actually goes only to the organization to cover the costs for the event, and not to the lama. If one is going to make a donation to the lama it has to be done separately and is not mandatory.

Sherab Rigdrol
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Re: Charging for Dharma

Post by Sherab Rigdrol » Thu Aug 02, 2018 8:22 pm

Malcolm wrote:
Thu Aug 02, 2018 6:57 pm
Sherab Rigdrol wrote:
Thu Aug 02, 2018 6:52 pm
ChNN’s recent retreat policy change is pretty amazing. Retreats are free and the one’s who organize (and who can afford it) foot the bill. Then each student pays what they can. That’s the why it should be in the west at least.
This is something that should be up to each and every guru's individual discretion, including making some people pay and allowing some people to attend for free, even for the same teaching. :D
I agree 100% that it should be up to the teacher, but you and I both know that sometimes, especially in larger organizations, that crusty, rich old white people use cost setting as a way to keep new students away from their dear Rinpoche.

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Aryjna
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Re: Charging for Dharma

Post by Aryjna » Thu Aug 02, 2018 8:24 pm

Sherab Rigdrol wrote:
Thu Aug 02, 2018 8:22 pm
Malcolm wrote:
Thu Aug 02, 2018 6:57 pm
Sherab Rigdrol wrote:
Thu Aug 02, 2018 6:52 pm
ChNN’s recent retreat policy change is pretty amazing. Retreats are free and the one’s who organize (and who can afford it) foot the bill. Then each student pays what they can. That’s the why it should be in the west at least.
This is something that should be up to each and every guru's individual discretion, including making some people pay and allowing some people to attend for free, even for the same teaching. :D
I agree 100% that it should be up to the teacher, but you and I both know that sometimes, especially in larger organizations, that crusty, rich old white people use cost setting as a way to keep new students away from their dear Rinpoche.
Hopefully that is very rarely true because it is vile. I have not noticed that, but I am quite new so that may be why.

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Re: Charging for Dharma

Post by Johnny Dangerous » Thu Aug 02, 2018 8:26 pm

Sherab Rigdrol wrote:
Thu Aug 02, 2018 8:22 pm
Malcolm wrote:
Thu Aug 02, 2018 6:57 pm
Sherab Rigdrol wrote:
Thu Aug 02, 2018 6:52 pm
ChNN’s recent retreat policy change is pretty amazing. Retreats are free and the one’s who organize (and who can afford it) foot the bill. Then each student pays what they can. That’s the why it should be in the west at least.
This is something that should be up to each and every guru's individual discretion, including making some people pay and allowing some people to attend for free, even for the same teaching. :D
I agree 100% that it should be up to the teacher, but you and I both know that sometimes, especially in larger organizations, that crusty, rich old white people use cost setting as a way to keep new students away from their dear Rinpoche.
:thumbsup: Unfortunately, this is a problem that exists, senior students wanting to act as gatekeeper in a questionable way, including finances.
"it must be coming from the mouthy mastermind of raunchy rapper, Johnny Dangerous”

-Jeff H.

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Aryjna
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Re: Charging for Dharma

Post by Aryjna » Thu Aug 02, 2018 8:33 pm

Johnny Dangerous wrote:
Thu Aug 02, 2018 8:26 pm
Sherab Rigdrol wrote:
Thu Aug 02, 2018 8:22 pm
Malcolm wrote:
Thu Aug 02, 2018 6:57 pm


This is something that should be up to each and every guru's individual discretion, including making some people pay and allowing some people to attend for free, even for the same teaching. :D
I agree 100% that it should be up to the teacher, but you and I both know that sometimes, especially in larger organizations, that crusty, rich old white people use cost setting as a way to keep new students away from their dear Rinpoche.
:thumbsup: Unfortunately, this is a problem that exists, senior students wanting to act as gatekeeper in a questionable way, including finances.
This may qualify as a root downfall, though it may depend on interpretation. But it doesn't sound good in any case.

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Malcolm
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Re: Charging for Dharma

Post by Malcolm » Thu Aug 02, 2018 9:06 pm

Johnny Dangerous wrote:
Thu Aug 02, 2018 8:08 pm

With the traditional stories, few of the masters in question seem to have had huge organizations or infrastructure that would have factored into the decision of costs, etc. as they do today.
Yes, and they charged far more money for Vajrayāna teachings in those days, compared to now.
Buddhahood in This Life
འ༔ ཨ༔ ཧ༔ ཤ༔ ས༔ མ༔


[A]nything at all that is well spoken is the word of the Buddha.

-- Ārya-adhyāśaya-sañcodana-nāma-mahāyāna-sūtra

The different sūtras in accord with the emptiness
taught by the Sugata are definitive in meaning;
One can understand that all of those Dharmas in
which a sentient being, individual, or person are taught are provisional in meaning.

-- Samadhirāja Sūtra

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Malcolm
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Re: Charging for Dharma

Post by Malcolm » Thu Aug 02, 2018 9:07 pm

Sherab Rigdrol wrote:
Thu Aug 02, 2018 8:22 pm
Malcolm wrote:
Thu Aug 02, 2018 6:57 pm
Sherab Rigdrol wrote:
Thu Aug 02, 2018 6:52 pm
ChNN’s recent retreat policy change is pretty amazing. Retreats are free and the one’s who organize (and who can afford it) foot the bill. Then each student pays what they can. That’s the why it should be in the west at least.
This is something that should be up to each and every guru's individual discretion, including making some people pay and allowing some people to attend for free, even for the same teaching. :D
I agree 100% that it should be up to the teacher, but you and I both know that sometimes, especially in larger organizations, that crusty, rich old white people use cost setting as a way to keep new students away from their dear Rinpoche.
Just another obstacle to overcome, and if you really, really, really want that teaching from that guru, you will overcome it.
Buddhahood in This Life
འ༔ ཨ༔ ཧ༔ ཤ༔ ས༔ མ༔


[A]nything at all that is well spoken is the word of the Buddha.

-- Ārya-adhyāśaya-sañcodana-nāma-mahāyāna-sūtra

The different sūtras in accord with the emptiness
taught by the Sugata are definitive in meaning;
One can understand that all of those Dharmas in
which a sentient being, individual, or person are taught are provisional in meaning.

-- Samadhirāja Sūtra

Crazywisdom
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Re: Charging for Dharma

Post by Crazywisdom » Thu Aug 02, 2018 9:31 pm

Johnny Dangerous wrote:
Thu Aug 02, 2018 8:19 pm
Crazywisdom wrote:
Thu Aug 02, 2018 8:05 pm
There’s no better way to weed out people who are just there to screw around
Heh, it has definitely not been my Dharma experience that the people who are willing to shell out big bucks for teachings are always the most dedicated, or most likely to delve deeply into what is being taught. Unless you consider just showing up in your cool Zen to collect as many initiations as possible "not screwing around"...there are legions of people who pay lots of money for teachings and still completely fail to recognize their value.
There’s big bucks and Big bucks. If it hurts you meant it. Tantras are talking about giving everything you have even your wife. Let’s s get real. Not $100-1000 for a couple days. I know I’ve handed over drug lord piles.
I got my Chili Chilaya.

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Re: Charging for Dharma

Post by Grigoris » Thu Aug 02, 2018 9:55 pm

ford_truckin wrote:
Thu Aug 02, 2018 7:09 pm
If they are bodhisattvas wouldn't they want to make teachings available and affordable?
Why would this be the case? Not all teachings are suitable for all beings, and not all beings are suitable for all teachings.

Bodhisattvas develop compassion AND wisdom for a reason.

If a child asks for a 0.45 Glock would you give it to them, so they would not suffer from being deprived of it?
"My religion is not deceiving myself."
Jetsun Milarepa 1052-1135 CE

"Butchers, prostitutes, those guilty of the five most heinous crimes, outcasts, the underprivileged: all are utterly the substance of existence and nothing other than total bliss."
The Supreme Source - The Kunjed Gyalpo
The Fundamental Tantra of Dzogchen Semde

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Re: Charging for Dharma

Post by Grigoris » Thu Aug 02, 2018 10:02 pm

Fortyeightvows wrote:
Thu Aug 02, 2018 6:38 pm
Putting words in my mouth
No, I didn't put words in your mouth, the quotes are there for everybody to see.
and swearing.
Friggin' A! Nothing punctuates a point better than an obscenity.

When I get worked up listening to BS I tend to swear, I never claimed to be an Arhat.
Typical Greg.
Like it or lump it! :tongue:
"My religion is not deceiving myself."
Jetsun Milarepa 1052-1135 CE

"Butchers, prostitutes, those guilty of the five most heinous crimes, outcasts, the underprivileged: all are utterly the substance of existence and nothing other than total bliss."
The Supreme Source - The Kunjed Gyalpo
The Fundamental Tantra of Dzogchen Semde

Crazywisdom
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Re: Charging for Dharma

Post by Crazywisdom » Thu Aug 02, 2018 10:02 pm

Grigoris wrote:
Thu Aug 02, 2018 9:55 pm
ford_truckin wrote:
Thu Aug 02, 2018 7:09 pm
If they are bodhisattvas wouldn't they want to make teachings available and affordable?
Why would this be the case? Not all teachings are suitable for all beings, and not all beings are suitable for all teachings.

Bodhisattvas develop compassion AND wisdom for a reason.

If a child asks for a 0.45 Glock would you give it to them, so they would not suffer from being deprived of it?
Your dharma is a glock. Mine is a Zig.
I got my Chili Chilaya.

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Johnny Dangerous
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Re: Charging for Dharma

Post by Johnny Dangerous » Thu Aug 02, 2018 10:17 pm

Crazywisdom wrote:
Thu Aug 02, 2018 9:31 pm
Johnny Dangerous wrote:
Thu Aug 02, 2018 8:19 pm
Crazywisdom wrote:
Thu Aug 02, 2018 8:05 pm
There’s no better way to weed out people who are just there to screw around
Heh, it has definitely not been my Dharma experience that the people who are willing to shell out big bucks for teachings are always the most dedicated, or most likely to delve deeply into what is being taught. Unless you consider just showing up in your cool Zen to collect as many initiations as possible "not screwing around"...there are legions of people who pay lots of money for teachings and still completely fail to recognize their value.
There’s big bucks and Big bucks. If it hurts you meant it. Tantras are talking about giving everything you have even your wife. Let’s s get real. Not $100-1000 for a couple days. I know I’ve handed over drug lord piles.
Good for you, changes nothing about what I said.
"it must be coming from the mouthy mastermind of raunchy rapper, Johnny Dangerous”

-Jeff H.

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Johnny Dangerous
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Re: Charging for Dharma

Post by Johnny Dangerous » Thu Aug 02, 2018 10:17 pm

Malcolm wrote:
Thu Aug 02, 2018 9:06 pm
Johnny Dangerous wrote:
Thu Aug 02, 2018 8:08 pm

With the traditional stories, few of the masters in question seem to have had huge organizations or infrastructure that would have factored into the decision of costs, etc. as they do today.
Yes, and they charged far more money for Vajrayāna teachings in those days, compared to now.
Yes, the social situation was entirely different, What's your point?

I'm not arguing that individuals should not be willing to sacrifice material wealth to encounter Vajrayana, i'm simply stating that there is an institutional and cultural setup, including commodification and bureaucracy, that has very little to do with the traditional stories regarding giving large sums of gold to one's Guru.
"it must be coming from the mouthy mastermind of raunchy rapper, Johnny Dangerous”

-Jeff H.

Tenma
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Re: Charging for Dharma

Post by Tenma » Thu Aug 02, 2018 10:18 pm

Grigoris wrote:
Thu Aug 02, 2018 5:10 pm
A myth says that Drukpa Kunley paid 500 gold pieces just to have an audience with Je Tsongkhapa.

Seems that some of us here consider ourselves greater than the mahasiddha Drukpa Kunley.
Wait, but Drukpa Kunley was born on 1455, 36 years AFTER Tsongkhapa's death.

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Malcolm
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Re: Charging for Dharma

Post by Malcolm » Thu Aug 02, 2018 10:36 pm

Johnny Dangerous wrote:
Thu Aug 02, 2018 10:17 pm
Malcolm wrote:
Thu Aug 02, 2018 9:06 pm
Johnny Dangerous wrote:
Thu Aug 02, 2018 8:08 pm

With the traditional stories, few of the masters in question seem to have had huge organizations or infrastructure that would have factored into the decision of costs, etc. as they do today.
Yes, and they charged far more money for Vajrayāna teachings in those days, compared to now.
Yes, the social situation was entirely different, What's your point?

I'm not arguing that individuals should not be willing to sacrifice material wealth to encounter Vajrayana, i'm simply stating that there is an institutional and cultural setup, including commodification and bureaucracy, that has very little to do with the traditional stories regarding giving large sums of gold to one's Guru.
My point is that no one has any cause to complain.
Buddhahood in This Life
འ༔ ཨ༔ ཧ༔ ཤ༔ ས༔ མ༔


[A]nything at all that is well spoken is the word of the Buddha.

-- Ārya-adhyāśaya-sañcodana-nāma-mahāyāna-sūtra

The different sūtras in accord with the emptiness
taught by the Sugata are definitive in meaning;
One can understand that all of those Dharmas in
which a sentient being, individual, or person are taught are provisional in meaning.

-- Samadhirāja Sūtra

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Johnny Dangerous
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Re: Charging for Dharma

Post by Johnny Dangerous » Thu Aug 02, 2018 10:56 pm

Malcolm wrote:
Thu Aug 02, 2018 10:36 pm
Johnny Dangerous wrote:
Thu Aug 02, 2018 10:17 pm
Malcolm wrote:
Thu Aug 02, 2018 9:06 pm


Yes, and they charged far more money for Vajrayāna teachings in those days, compared to now.
Yes, the social situation was entirely different, What's your point?

I'm not arguing that individuals should not be willing to sacrifice material wealth to encounter Vajrayana, i'm simply stating that there is an institutional and cultural setup, including commodification and bureaucracy, that has very little to do with the traditional stories regarding giving large sums of gold to one's Guru.
My point is that no one has any cause to complain.
You think all financial setups in Vajrayana in terms of paying for teachings are simply beyond reproach? Why doesn't this logic also apply to abusive Gurus? Apparently we can talk about them, but it is impossible that there could be any negative aspects when it comes to how Vajrayana teachings are paid for, or what they cost? That seems inconsistent to me.

It's one thing to say "oh the teachings should be cheaper because I can't be bothered", and quite another to (sometimes rightly) suggest that Vajrayana teachings have been commodified, and sometimes paying a lot for something does not indicate valuing it, particularly in our culture. While it makes sense to me that one has to sacrifice what one otherwise would not to receive Vajrayana teachings, I don't agree that "no one has a place to complain"..sorry, but some financial setups are a bridge to far, in my opinion. There is also an element of initiation collecting that is worth questioning from the student's side.

Maybe the question comes down to examining a Guru before taking teachings if this is a concern.
"it must be coming from the mouthy mastermind of raunchy rapper, Johnny Dangerous”

-Jeff H.

Fortyeightvows
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Re: Charging for Dharma

Post by Fortyeightvows » Thu Aug 02, 2018 11:41 pm

Are children allowed free?
How about an elderly discount?

If I pay more do I get a better seat?

Do they have stamp cards, buy 10 and the next one is free? Something like that?

Or a half price tuesday?

Or do we get a discount coupon if we buy something at the store next door? Or coupons on wechat? Show this at the door and get a discount.

Give us a good review and get a discount!


Or maybe a 10% discount for the teaching if you eat at this restaurant.

Can we but tickets in advance?
Can we sell those tickets?

Maybe people will stay the night to get the best seats?

What about people who go for lunch on the break and then come back? Should we mark their hand like a night club?

Pay full price in advance and receive free T-shirt!
Last edited by Fortyeightvows on Thu Aug 02, 2018 11:51 pm, edited 1 time in total.

ford_truckin
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Re: Charging for Dharma

Post by ford_truckin » Thu Aug 02, 2018 11:43 pm

Grigoris wrote:
Thu Aug 02, 2018 9:55 pm
ford_truckin wrote:
Thu Aug 02, 2018 7:09 pm
If they are bodhisattvas wouldn't they want to make teachings available and affordable?
Why would this be the case? Not all teachings are suitable for all beings, and not all beings are suitable for all teachings.

Bodhisattvas develop compassion AND wisdom for a reason.

If a child asks for a 0.45 Glock would you give it to them, so they would not suffer from being deprived of it?
What are you talking about? If I'm not mistaken Dharma teachings are meant to purify the afflictions of beings, not further damage them.

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Quay
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Re: Charging for Dharma

Post by Quay » Fri Aug 03, 2018 12:53 am

Malcolm wrote:
Thu Aug 02, 2018 10:36 pm
My point is that no one has any cause to complain.
Good point. And as more than one Vajrayana Lama has said, "Vajrayana is not a democracy." There are Dharma paths where the consensus of the group is key and there are those others. To each their own desire.
"Knowledge is as infinite as the stars in the sky;
There is no end to all the subjects one could study.
It is better to grasp straight away their very essence--
The unchanging fortress of the Dharmakaya."

– Longchenpa.

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