Using buddhism to sell stuff

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Using buddhism to sell stuff

Postby Nosta » Thu Jul 05, 2012 3:43 pm

I really didnt like this site about Medicine Buddha! It really gives the feeling that Medicine Buddha teachings are just new age crap for selling!

Selling audio stuff of Medicine Buddha??!!! That should be free!! Like sutras.... Its really a shame! And if you scroll down the website, everything there is for sell.

http://www.medicinebuddha.org/dharma_dv ... _video.htm
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Re: Using buddhism to sell stuff

Postby Indrajala » Thu Jul 05, 2012 4:00 pm

Buddhism has been commodified and is profitable when marketed and sold as an article.

I suppose it was inevitable given the nature of modern society.
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Re: Using buddhism to sell stuff

Postby Wesley1982 » Thu Jul 05, 2012 4:07 pm

I think you purchase the book then take it to class.
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Re: Using buddhism to sell stuff

Postby seeker242 » Thu Jul 05, 2012 6:27 pm

Personally I think it depends on how they are using the money. Are they using it to support a monastery of thousands of monks? Or are they using it to buy themselves a new car? There would be a big difference there I think. :)
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Re: Using buddhism to sell stuff

Postby PadmaVonSamba » Thu Jul 05, 2012 6:36 pm

Generally, Buddhist teachings are free. How you get the teachings, via book, dvd, a visiting teacher at a dharma center...all of this costs a lot of money, and that is what you are paying for. I am always amazed when people complain about having to pay for teachings. If you look at Christian churches in the United States, some of them are huge, with millions of dollars in assets. By comparison, Buddhist temples scrape to get by. Why is this? Does God have more to offer than Buddha? No, it's because their followers really believe that they are getting something worth the money. Conversely. if you look at Buddhist temples supported by asian communities, they may not be lavish, but they are generously supported.
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Re: Using buddhism to sell stuff

Postby Nosta » Thu Jul 05, 2012 6:38 pm

Its more the way they expose the products. I understanf perfectly that some things like books, should be sold. I also understand if they try to win some money with it. Besides that, i dont get why they sell audio files, while they could provide them for free. Even books could have their electronic version for free, but they dont.


In buddhanet website, every thing is for free, except real books. Even so, the money is just enough to pay expenses for the book itself. Buddhanet site seems to be really interested on spreading Dharma, not on acquiring money. I have my questions about the Medicine Buddha site...
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Re: Using buddhism to sell stuff

Postby Wesley1982 » Thu Jul 05, 2012 7:33 pm

If you want to you can borrow my camera. :thanks: . . . :meditate:
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Re: Using buddhism to sell stuff

Postby Wesley1982 » Thu Jul 05, 2012 7:41 pm

PadmaVonSamba wrote:Generally, Buddhist teachings are free. How you get the teachings, via book, dvd, a visiting teacher at a dharma center...all of this costs a lot of money, and that is what you are paying for. I am always amazed when people complain about having to pay for teachings. If you look at Christian churches in the United States, some of them are huge, with millions of dollars in assets. By comparison, Buddhist temples scrape to get by. Why is this? Does God have more to offer than Buddha? No, it's because their followers really believe that they are getting something worth the money. Conversely. if you look at Buddhist temples supported by asian communities, they may not be lavish, but they are generously supported.
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I see your foaming monk avatar . . . I was never ordained as a Buddhist monk, so I don't worry about that.
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Re: Using buddhism to sell stuff

Postby Dave The Seeker » Thu Jul 05, 2012 8:09 pm

Nosta, Buddhanet if I remember what I've read has lost their biggest contributer and need donations to keep the site up.
The thing is everything costs money, and it is donations from people who can help that keep many of these things free to the public.

Kindest wishes, Dave
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Re: Using buddhism to sell stuff

Postby Nosta » Thu Jul 05, 2012 9:40 pm

Again, the problem is not donations or buying/selling stuff. The problem is that the medicinebuddha site looks like a LOT commercial. They show themselves on such a way that it seems more like a shop. Thats no buddhism! if they want to sell things and earn money (because everybody needs money even if we dont like it) they should it in a different manner. Just my opinion.
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Re: Using buddhism to sell stuff

Postby dharmagoat » Thu Jul 05, 2012 9:44 pm

Do you notice that the shinier and redder the apple, the less taste it has?
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Re: Using buddhism to sell stuff

Postby Dave The Seeker » Thu Jul 05, 2012 10:36 pm

I see what you mean Nosta about it "looking commercial". But that is society today, if it's not got flash to it some/many think it's behind the times.
I'm sorry you feel the way you do about it though, as being associated with FPMT they are lucky to have the resources to be able to have such a nice looking and accessable site.

Kindest wishes, Dave
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Re: Using buddhism to sell stuff

Postby PadmaVonSamba » Fri Jul 06, 2012 1:41 am

Nosta wrote:Again, the problem is not donations or buying/selling stuff. The problem is that the medicinebuddha site looks like a LOT commercial.


Buddhism teaches us not to cling to the outward appearances of things.

But while you are at it, I run this webpage to raise money for the construction of a new place for nuns in Sikkim.
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Re: Using buddhism to sell stuff

Postby Tilopa » Fri Jul 06, 2012 3:41 am

Nosta wrote:Again, the problem is not donations or buying/selling stuff. The problem is that the medicinebuddha site looks like a LOT commercial. They show themselves on such a way that it seems more like a shop.

It is. It's the digital dharma archive section of the Land of Medicine Buddha website (http://www.landofmedicinebuddha.org) where DVD's are available for purchase. I don't see a problem. If you go to a Buddhist book store you pay for the item. Don't you live in the real world?
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Re: Using buddhism to sell stuff

Postby Nosta » Fri Jul 06, 2012 1:57 pm

If so, i think that every single ebook about Buddhism on internet should be payed.
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Re: Using buddhism to sell stuff

Postby practitioner » Fri Jul 06, 2012 3:15 pm

NamseBangdzo.com is a Buddhist bookstore. They sell dharma books, statues, etc and make a profit. The profit goes to the KTD monastery in New York so they can promote the dharma. I see nothing wrong with this, I think it's great. I buy from them even though amazon is cheaper because it goes to the monastery.

Evidently that medicine Buddha site is run by FPMT. That's great, that means the profits are going to find dharma activity. What's the problem?

If you want free Medicine Buddha teachings Thrangu Rinpoche's teachings are online for free. I see no problem here.
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Re: Using buddhism to sell stuff

Postby conebeckham » Fri Jul 06, 2012 4:09 pm

In old Tibetan tradition, you didn't "buy" a Thangka, for example. You had to "ransom" it, or pay a ransom price.

The Land of Medicine Buddha website seems to reflect a desire to differentiate between pure commerce, and this sort of "invite the teachings to your home for only $19.95 (and if you act now, we'll throw in ANOTHER amazing Ginsu Knife for Free--you just pay shipping and handling!!!! :smile: )" ....

But seriously, it does strike me as just a bit odd. It would be better, I think, to just list the price. Land of Medicine Buddha is a really nice place, it's part of the FPMT, I believe, and it's run and maintained largely by Western students and Western teachers trained in the Geluk lineage; the "vibe" I pick up is a sort of mix of traditional Geluk presentation, combined with aspects of Dharma adapted to address Western culture and Western lifestyles, with their attendant neuroses and problems. This "mix" is reflected in the materials for sale, and also in the way the marketing is conducted.
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Re: Using buddhism to sell stuff

Postby PadmaVonSamba » Fri Jul 06, 2012 4:44 pm

There are many Buddhist publishing companies in Asia that rely on the generosity of their supporters, and they give away the materials for free. It just depends on the publisher. Either way, if somebody else pays for it or you pay for it, the cost of publishing & shipping is the same. You can practice generosity and get the merit or somebody else can. I don't think it amounts to "using buddhism to sell stuff" as much as it is using stuff to sell buddhism!
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The Chinese characters are Fo (buddha) and Ming (bright). The image is of a student of Buddhism, who, imagining himself to be a monk, and not understanding the true meaning of the words takes the sound of the words literally. Likewise, People on web forums sometime seem to be foaming at the mouth.
Original painting by P.Volker /used by permission.
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Re: Using buddhism to sell stuff

Postby underthetree » Fri Jul 06, 2012 6:46 pm

This seems like a rather cheesily-conceived bookshop supporting a worthy cause. It's the cause that's important, and the info on sale, not the cheesiness.

But it has to be said that there is a lot of Buddhist-related tat on sale out there in the world. It's completely true to say that Buddhism in the West is being commodified and commercialized. There are some things you undoubtedly need to buy in order to practice, but in true Western style we're setting up the notion that you can buy your way into being a Buddhist.
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Re: Using buddhism to sell stuff

Postby Nosta » Fri Jul 06, 2012 8:14 pm

Well, i really see the arguments that all of you were posting here. What i wouldnt like to see is Dharma being degenerated or people avoiding it, just because the way they sell their products. One must be careful always when dealing with the way that Dharma is expound.

But i also feel that it is a good thing to give the money to temples and/or to support websited dedicated to Dharma.
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