It boils down to what works and what doesn't - and even helping one person is a wonderful turning of the wheel and should be applauded.
Facts on the ground. (No pun intended.)
So here I am on beautiful Margarita, at a well planned center of ChNNR,http://www.tashigarnorte.org/eng/index.html
that was established more than 10 years ago and has had around 3 million US, invested in land, houses, infrastructure and Gompa.
Yesterday, 4 people show up for the 5:30 AM webcast from Tenarife, 20 or so show up for the Ganapuja, and 20 or so showed up for the World-wide Transmission, Anniversary of Garab Dorje, including 2 new-comers.
As of this morning one person is signed up for the retreat of Mandarava (2-6 March) with a VERY qualified Teacher, Nina Robinson, and 8 people are signed up for the one week Zhinas retreat with ChNNR that starts in 10 days.
Neither retreat appears to be listed on their website or Facebook page, either as an event, or calendar, item. For Nina, if I recall rightly, they had originally adopted a price of $150, no discounts, (I am told at the advice of the International Gakyil) which has now been dropped to $60, NO DISCOUNTS, perhaps at the sad laughter of oldbob. Hopefully more people will sign up now that the price is more in line with what people can afford. Still I am told that the average wage here in Venezuela is $100 per week. Many people cannot afford even the $60 on top of the transportation and hotels. NOT TO GIVE DISCOUNTS FOR STUDENTS AND THE ELDERLY IS JUST SILLY, OR SAVAGE, depending on how you want to frame it.
The retreat of ChNNR is priced at $200, with discounts. Sanity prevails, (UNLESS YOU MAKE $100 PER WEEK) until you inquire what the payment rate is for karma yoga (for those who want to have work / study) and are told: 25 Bolivares an hour which is a little more than 1$US. This means that someone would have to work for 100 hours (13 or so, 8 hour days) "even at the reduced, 50% off, poor peoples discount rate." IMAGINING THAT ANYONE WOULD WANT TO DO WORK STUDY, AT THIS RATE OF PAY, IS EITHER SILLY OR SAVAGE, depending on how you want to frame it.viewtopic.php?f=48&t=8836
This thread gives a fuller blah blah of my thoughts (and those of others) on the issue of Dharma pricing.
There has to be a better way.
Everything IS completely pure - just as it is - just sometimes it is a little hard to integrate bodhicitta and the pricing structures of Dharma centers.
No cognitive dissonance here!
Long life to the Dzogchen Masters, in good health and with success in all things.