Cost of retreats USA vs. EUR

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Mantrik
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Re: Cost of retreats USA vs. EUR

Post by Mantrik » Thu Feb 07, 2019 9:21 am

The value of teachings is the same in the spiritual market as in other markets. It is worth whatever someone is willing to pay. It shouldn't be that way, but even the dharma businesses which are 'charities' seem to operate with an eye on the bottom line.

Make the most of it while you have the health to do so, and if you really really want a teaching, practice and ask for the causes and conditions to be there for you.

Once old, your joints scream at you when sitting trapped for long periods, your stomach can't cope with the strange food, you simultaneously want to nod off but desperately need the toilet, which is a rancid stinking pit with no paper. And then you have to get off the plane and do the retreat! ;)
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Re: Cost of retreats USA vs. EUR

Post by ratna » Thu Feb 07, 2019 9:54 am

lama tsewang wrote:
Thu Feb 07, 2019 12:13 am
I just read an advertisement online for the sukhasiddhi foundation on their
Website .they are holding an advanced mahamudra retreat,that's not residential , and that's being held in their Center, and they asking people for 600 dollars for this .This kind of thing makes me incensed.is mahamudra a commodity to be sold. It changes the teaching.
PLEase Comment.
Drogmi Lotsawa paid five hundred ounces of gold to Gayadhara for precious oral instructions of Lamdre. That would be worth about three to seven hundred thousand US dollars today, depending on what the fineness of the gold may have been. (I'm not sure if his retreat was residential or not.) Granted, that fee was high even by the standards of that era, but there's certainly historical precedent for substantial fees.

Marpa considered fees required by Drogmi to be exorbitant. But even the fee he required of Milarepa was substantial if you consider the value of labour Mila provided as part of his work-study scheme. What would the cost of labour involved in building a nine-story tower be nowadays? Although I'm not sure which of the stories about Marpa and Mila are true and which are later embellishments.

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Re: Cost of retreats USA vs. EUR

Post by Nemo » Thu Feb 07, 2019 12:45 pm

Tibet was dominated by community. The west is dominated by capital and property ownership. We don't really have a commons particularly when it comes to Dharma. So if Dharma in Tibet depended on and strengthened communities here it depends on capital. Those with capital attach strings and unconscious values when supporting. How could they not? It is all they have ever known.
"Don't give this away for free. Don't you know it's valuable." For them the only way they understand value is as a commodity with a price in dollars. So the spiral into materialism and fake Dharma begins. There was reason why the Buddha forbade monks to touch money. Those with no capital have no voice. It's 1$ per vote.

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Re: Cost of retreats USA vs. EUR

Post by passel » Sat Feb 09, 2019 5:09 am

If you are in the US, about half of zen and about a quarter of vipassana will give you the most bang for your buck in terms of uninterrupted practice time in reasonably supportive settings. Quite reasonable. And once the teacher shuts up you are free to practice according to your own lights.
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Re: Cost of retreats USA vs. EUR

Post by Bristollad » Sat Feb 09, 2019 10:53 am

tingdzin wrote:
Thu Feb 07, 2019 8:45 am
Good thread. Glad somebody is complaining about the commodification of the Dharma.
Except to my ear, people don't seem to be complaining about that commodification, they just want to haggle over the price...

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Re: Cost of retreats USA vs. EUR

Post by jake » Sat Feb 09, 2019 10:58 am

Bristollad wrote:
Sat Feb 09, 2019 10:53 am
Except to my ear, people don't seem to be complaining about that commodification, they just want to haggle over the price...
:thumbsup:

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Re: Cost of retreats USA vs. EUR

Post by tobes » Sun Feb 10, 2019 1:40 am

I think HHDL has a the right kind of model.

When he holds big multi-day teachings/empowerments, there is usually a ticket price which is quite reasonable - plus scholarship options etc.

Then at the end of the event, the people in charge of accounts give a balance figure, and if there is any profit, it is donated (usually back towards a future upcoming event). The costs for these kinds of things is usually very substantial in the west, so I don't think it could happen without a ticket system. However, in India, there is no charge.

Everything is transparent, and there is not the slightest sense of 'charging' for the Dharma.

Everyone needs to arrive at their own view on this question. My own is that although in Tibetan-Vajrayana there has been a culture for monetizing empowerments etc, I think that this contradicts the quintessence of danaparamita. I think even holding/ascribing to the notion of intellectual property (in the case of Dharma teachings) is very problematic.

From the Dharmic point of view, nothing at all can truly be owned - even our own bodies. So how could Dharma itself be owned?

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Re: Cost of retreats USA vs. EUR

Post by tingdzin » Fri Feb 15, 2019 10:20 am

Bristollad wrote:
Sat Feb 09, 2019 10:53 am
tingdzin wrote: ↑Thu Feb 07, 2019 3:45 pm
Good thread. Glad somebody is complaining about the commodification of the Dharma.
Except to my ear, people don't seem to be complaining about that commodification, they just want to haggle over the price...
Well, things do have to be paid for. To think otherwise is to live in a dream. But some people are definitely more interested in building personal empires than in transmitting Buddhism.

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Re: Cost of retreats USA vs. EUR

Post by Bristollad » Fri Feb 15, 2019 4:42 pm

tingdzin wrote:
Fri Feb 15, 2019 10:20 am
Bristollad wrote:
Sat Feb 09, 2019 10:53 am
tingdzin wrote: ↑Thu Feb 07, 2019 3:45 pm
Good thread. Glad somebody is complaining about the commodification of the Dharma.
Except to my ear, people don't seem to be complaining about that commodification, they just want to haggle over the price...
Well, things do have to be paid for. To think otherwise is to live in a dream. But some people are definitely more interested in building personal empires than in transmitting Buddhism.
Of course the cost of things need to be met. But centres having to charge, IMO points to a failure in our practise of generousity. Ideally, the dharma would be given for free, and the costs associated with that would be generously met by people always giving what they could. These two need to be in balance for "dharma to be free". I volunteered at one centre which ran an evening meditation class that was by donation - barely £5.00 would be donated from more than 30 people which wasn't enough to cover the cost of the tea and biscuits they enjoyed afterwards nevermind the running costs of the building. When the board decided to set a suggested donation of £2.00, many started to give more than £2.00. I think the practise of generousity is underdeveloped in many of us in Western countries, and sometimes needs a reminder or a bit of kickstart.

Also, we live in a world where things are mostly valued by their monetary value - the closer it is to free, the less regard or concern we have for it. Sad, I know. My mother used to make shawls and blankets that she had spun, dyed and woven herself. When she first started selling them, no-one was interested. It wasn't until she doubled the price that people began to look closer and buy them.

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Re: Simhamukha Retreat @ Tara Mandala, May 19-27

Post by Josef » Fri Feb 15, 2019 10:59 pm

zenman wrote:
Tue Jan 29, 2019 11:21 pm
Personally I could afford going to Tara Mandala or place like that but that would be once or max twice a year. With lower rates I can join a retreat almost every month.

More examples:
4 day retreat with James Low, incl. meals, camping and teachings: 180BP/236.64 usd
14 days with Keith Dowman in Spain, incl. meals, room and teachings: 800€/1 051.73 usd.
Another item of note here is that more people in Europe tend to attend retreats. More tuitions, more affordable options. The economic structure in the US makes purchasing retreat land or even renting space cost prohibitive for most sanghas. So, in order to host retreats we need to charge more because our costs are higher. This in turn makes dharma unaffordable for many Americans because many Americans cant afford to spend money on anything other than their living expenses and live in fear of getting sick.
Kye ma!
The river of continuity is marked by impermanence.
Ceaseless flowing of appearance.
Beautiful and repulsive.
The dance of life and death is a display of the vast expanse.
With gratitude the watcher and the watched pass through the barrier of duality.

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Re: Simhamukha Retreat @ Tara Mandala, May 19-27

Post by Sherab Rigdrol » Fri Feb 15, 2019 11:25 pm

Josef wrote:
Fri Feb 15, 2019 10:59 pm
zenman wrote:
Tue Jan 29, 2019 11:21 pm
Personally I could afford going to Tara Mandala or place like that but that would be once or max twice a year. With lower rates I can join a retreat almost every month.

More examples:
4 day retreat with James Low, incl. meals, camping and teachings: 180BP/236.64 usd
14 days with Keith Dowman in Spain, incl. meals, room and teachings: 800€/1 051.73 usd.
Another item of note here is that more people in Europe tend to attend retreats. More tuitions, more affordable options. The economic structure in the US makes purchasing retreat land or even renting space cost prohibitive for most sanghas. So, in order to host retreats we need to charge more because our costs are higher. This in turn makes dharma unaffordable for many Americans because many Americans cant afford to spend money on anything other than their living expenses and live in fear of getting sick.
I think the baby boomers need to be more generous in supporting the teachings for younger generations in the US TBH.

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Re: Simhamukha Retreat @ Tara Mandala, May 19-27

Post by Josef » Sat Feb 16, 2019 5:38 am

Sherab Rigdrol wrote:
Fri Feb 15, 2019 11:25 pm
Josef wrote:
Fri Feb 15, 2019 10:59 pm
zenman wrote:
Tue Jan 29, 2019 11:21 pm
Personally I could afford going to Tara Mandala or place like that but that would be once or max twice a year. With lower rates I can join a retreat almost every month.

More examples:
4 day retreat with James Low, incl. meals, camping and teachings: 180BP/236.64 usd
14 days with Keith Dowman in Spain, incl. meals, room and teachings: 800€/1 051.73 usd.
Another item of note here is that more people in Europe tend to attend retreats. More tuitions, more affordable options. The economic structure in the US makes purchasing retreat land or even renting space cost prohibitive for most sanghas. So, in order to host retreats we need to charge more because our costs are higher. This in turn makes dharma unaffordable for many Americans because many Americans cant afford to spend money on anything other than their living expenses and live in fear of getting sick.
I think the baby boomers need to be more generous in supporting the teachings for younger generations in the US TBH.
Agreed. And stop legislating and voting away the benefits that they received so others can enjoy the same opportunities.
Kye ma!
The river of continuity is marked by impermanence.
Ceaseless flowing of appearance.
Beautiful and repulsive.
The dance of life and death is a display of the vast expanse.
With gratitude the watcher and the watched pass through the barrier of duality.

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Re: Simhamukha Retreat @ Tara Mandala, May 19-27

Post by Johnny Dangerous » Sat Feb 16, 2019 6:33 am

Sherab Rigdrol wrote:
Fri Feb 15, 2019 11:25 pm
Josef wrote:
Fri Feb 15, 2019 10:59 pm
zenman wrote:
Tue Jan 29, 2019 11:21 pm
Personally I could afford going to Tara Mandala or place like that but that would be once or max twice a year. With lower rates I can join a retreat almost every month.

More examples:
4 day retreat with James Low, incl. meals, camping and teachings: 180BP/236.64 usd
14 days with Keith Dowman in Spain, incl. meals, room and teachings: 800€/1 051.73 usd.
Another item of note here is that more people in Europe tend to attend retreats. More tuitions, more affordable options. The economic structure in the US makes purchasing retreat land or even renting space cost prohibitive for most sanghas. So, in order to host retreats we need to charge more because our costs are higher. This in turn makes dharma unaffordable for many Americans because many Americans cant afford to spend money on anything other than their living expenses and live in fear of getting sick.
I think the baby boomers need to be more generous in supporting the teachings for younger generations in the US TBH.
My meatspace sangha is 95% baby boomers, even they can barely break even with the cost of rental and other expenses.

One thing that hasn't been directly touched on, the US is in an escalating affordable housing crisis, and rent on everything and nearly everywhere is through the roof. unless land/structures are owned, renting anything is always going to be a headache almost anywhere where people actually have the money and time to do so.
His welcoming
& rebelling are scattered,
gone to their end,
do not exist.
Knowing the dustless, sorrowless state,
he discerns rightly,
has gone, beyond becoming,
to the Further Shore.

-Lokavipatti Sutta

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Re: Cost of retreats USA vs. EUR

Post by tingdzin » Thu Feb 21, 2019 7:55 am

Johnny Dangerous wrote:
Sat Feb 16, 2019 6:33 am
My meatspace sangha is 95% baby boomers, even they can barely break even with the cost of rental and other expenses.

One thing that hasn't been directly touched on, the US is in an escalating affordable housing crisis, and rent on everything and nearly everywhere is through the roof. unless land/structures are owned, renting anything is always going to be a headache almost anywhere where people actually have the money and time to do so.
There are, believe it or not, a lot of boomers having trouble making ends meet, for a large number of different reasons, many not their fault.

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Re: Cost of retreats USA vs. EUR

Post by Johnny Dangerous » Thu Feb 21, 2019 5:37 pm

tingdzin wrote:
Thu Feb 21, 2019 7:55 am
Johnny Dangerous wrote:
Sat Feb 16, 2019 6:33 am
My meatspace sangha is 95% baby boomers, even they can barely break even with the cost of rental and other expenses.

One thing that hasn't been directly touched on, the US is in an escalating affordable housing crisis, and rent on everything and nearly everywhere is through the roof. unless land/structures are owned, renting anything is always going to be a headache almost anywhere where people actually have the money and time to do so.
There are, believe it or not, a lot of boomers having trouble making ends meet, for a large number of different reasons, many not their fault.
Of course, all kinds of people are struggling.
His welcoming
& rebelling are scattered,
gone to their end,
do not exist.
Knowing the dustless, sorrowless state,
he discerns rightly,
has gone, beyond becoming,
to the Further Shore.

-Lokavipatti Sutta

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Re: Cost of retreats USA vs. EUR

Post by smcj » Thu Feb 21, 2019 6:01 pm

My meatspace sangha is 95% baby boomers...
Vajrayana in the West is 95% baby boomers. It doesn’t bode well for the future.
1. No traditional Buddhist sect, Tibetan or otherwise, considers deities to be fictional. (DW post/Seeker242)
2. I support Mingyur R and HHDL in their positions against Lama abuse.
3. Student: Lama, I thought I might die but then I realized that the 3 Jewels would protect me.
Lama: Even If you had died the 3 Jewels would still have protected you. (DW post/by ?)
4. Shentong] is the completely pure system that,
Through mainly teaching the luminous aspect of the mind, holds that the fruitions--kayas and wisdoms--exist on their own accord. (Karmapa XIII)

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Re: Cost of retreats USA vs. EUR

Post by Johnny Dangerous » Thu Feb 21, 2019 6:03 pm

smcj wrote:
Thu Feb 21, 2019 6:01 pm
My meatspace sangha is 95% baby boomers...
Vajrayana in the West is 95% baby boomers. It doesn’t bode well for the future.
I see a small contingent of younger people too. The trouble is that they come and go.
His welcoming
& rebelling are scattered,
gone to their end,
do not exist.
Knowing the dustless, sorrowless state,
he discerns rightly,
has gone, beyond becoming,
to the Further Shore.

-Lokavipatti Sutta

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Re: Cost of retreats USA vs. EUR

Post by lama tsewang » Wed Mar 20, 2019 12:41 am

Again there is a retreat that took place in Washington state the retreat buildings were all paid for before they started. They did a year long retreat, and then after held athree year retreat there. They charged 1600 a month for the retreats. It sounds more like a retreat for wealthy retirees. This place is run by the Kagyu Center in Portland led by a layperson a Michael Conklin.
What is most troubling about this is that, probably these people running it don't consider that the fees and how they administer their institutions is part of the dharma they present, it's not separate, the container for the teachings is part of the teaching.

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Re: Cost of retreats USA vs. EUR

Post by Tata1 » Wed Mar 20, 2019 6:05 am

lama tsewang wrote:
Wed Mar 20, 2019 12:41 am
Again there is a retreat that took place in Washington state the retreat buildings were all paid for before they started. They did a year long retreat, and then after held athree year retreat there. They charged 1600 a month for the retreats. It sounds more like a retreat for wealthy retirees. This place is run by the Kagyu Center in Portland led by a layperson a Michael Conklin.
What is most troubling about this is that, probably these people running it don't consider that the fees and how they administer their institutions is part of the dharma they present, it's not separate, the container for the teachings is part of the teaching.
Lol i can leave 6 months on that money without being in retreat

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Re: Cost of retreats USA vs. EUR

Post by Johnny Dangerous » Wed Mar 20, 2019 7:39 am

lama tsewang wrote:
Wed Mar 20, 2019 12:41 am
Again there is a retreat that took place in Washington state the retreat buildings were all paid for before they started. They did a year long retreat, and then after held athree year retreat there. They charged 1600 a month for the retreats. It sounds more like a retreat for wealthy retirees. This place is run by the Kagyu Center in Portland led by a layperson a Michael Conklin.
What is most troubling about this is that, probably these people running it don't consider that the fees and how they administer their institutions is part of the dharma they present, it's not separate, the container for the teachings is part of the teaching.
You know, i'm not saying this is legit, I don't know this person nor anything about them but...

Do you realize how expensive living is in WA state, particularly in and around Seattle? Are you from here?

This does seem pretty exorbitant, but when you consider rents and cost of living here, perhaps a little less so. Undoubtedly this is marketed to a certain demographic, but it is less outlandish than some might think for the area.

I'll ask once again:

What is a reasonable amount in this context? Do you know how they calculated the costs or broke them down?
Tata1 wrote:
Wed Mar 20, 2019 6:05 am
lama tsewang wrote:
Wed Mar 20, 2019 12:41 am
Again there is a retreat that took place in Washington state the retreat buildings were all paid for before they started. They did a year long retreat, and then after held athree year retreat there. They charged 1600 a month for the retreats. It sounds more like a retreat for wealthy retirees. This place is run by the Kagyu Center in Portland led by a layperson a Michael Conklin.
What is most troubling about this is that, probably these people running it don't consider that the fees and how they administer their institutions is part of the dharma they present, it's not separate, the container for the teachings is part of the teaching.
Lol i can leave 6 months on that money without being in retreat
You can't live most anywhere in WA for six months on that money though, not even remotely close. Hell I live in Olympia and it's getting to where the monthly rent on a crappy apartment or house approaches that figure.

If it really bugs you then you should actually be looking at the financial transparency or lack thereof of the organizations doing these things, complaining about costs when you don't know how they are being calculated is somewhat pointless.
His welcoming
& rebelling are scattered,
gone to their end,
do not exist.
Knowing the dustless, sorrowless state,
he discerns rightly,
has gone, beyond becoming,
to the Further Shore.

-Lokavipatti Sutta

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