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Paid dhamma teachers - Page 2 - Dhamma Wheel

Paid dhamma teachers

Organisational work, teaching, Sunday school syllabus, charitable work, outreach, sharing of resources, artwork, etc.
rowyourboat
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Re: Paid dhamma teachers

Postby rowyourboat » Thu May 26, 2011 10:04 pm

Well the Buddha clearly said that the dhamma is not to be taught for personal gain. I am comfortable with the free or not for profit option. I think Kirk has a point - if you want to make a living off it, maybe you are not cut out to live a lay life- in which case you better deepen your practice real quick!

My worry with paid for dhamma (unless it is a direct translation of the suttas) is that at some level the author may have succumbed to the the pressures of 'demand and supply'- it is after all not a secret that the dhamma goes against the grain of existence.

With metta

Matheesha
With Metta

Karuna
Mudita
& Upekkha

Jhana4
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Re: Paid dhamma teachers

Postby Jhana4 » Thu May 26, 2011 11:58 pm

In reading the scriptures, there are two kinds of mistakes:
One mistake is to cling to the literal text and miss the inner principles.
The second mistake is to recognize the principles but not apply them to your own mind, so that you waste time and just make them into causes of entanglement.

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Alex123
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Re: Paid dhamma teachers

Postby Alex123 » Fri May 27, 2011 12:03 am

There are suttas which say:

""[4] The Dhamma should be taught with the thought, 'I will speak not for the purpose of material reward.'"
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html

"One should not make the Dhamma a trade."
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html


"Monks, there are these five forms of stinginess. Which five? Stinginess as to one's monastery [lodgings], stinginess as to one's family [of supporters], stinginess as to one's gains, stinginess as to one's status, and stinginess as to the Dhamma. These are the five forms of stinginess. And the meanest of these five is this: stinginess as to the Dhamma."
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html
"Life is a struggle. Life will throw curveballs at you, it will humble you, it will attempt to break you down. And just when you think things are starting to look up, life will smack you back down with ruthless indifference..."

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Goofaholix
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Re: Paid dhamma teachers

Postby Goofaholix » Fri May 27, 2011 12:27 am


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mikenz66
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Re: Paid dhamma teachers

Postby mikenz66 » Fri May 27, 2011 12:47 am

I agree! :goodpost:

:anjali:
Mike

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kirk5a
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Re: Paid dhamma teachers

Postby kirk5a » Fri May 27, 2011 1:03 am

"When one thing is practiced & pursued, ignorance is abandoned, clear knowing arises, the conceit 'I am' is abandoned, latent tendencies are uprooted, fetters are abandoned. Which one thing? Mindfulness immersed in the body." -AN 1.230

danieLion
Posts: 1947
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Re: Paid dhamma teachers

Postby danieLion » Fri May 27, 2011 8:21 am

I do not know if my perception is typcial but as a newcomer it turns me off.

Kaktus
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Re: Paid dhamma teachers

Postby Kaktus » Fri May 27, 2011 9:49 am

Probably my viewpoint may help within this discussion.

In the last years i spent a good amount for different projects. A big part went to the upkeep of a local sangha. At that time they asked for some generous people to help as there was temporary not enough income through dana to hold the rooms. Beside myself one other person anonymously helped out for about a year until the income increased and no further help was necessary.

But times changes and at the moment there is not so much money available to be as generous as in earlier times.

Now i´m planing to go on an retreat in July. I know right now, that i can´t pay the amount that is suggested from the organizer. The course is offered only for dana, no other fee.I´m very aware of this fact but the question is to accept not paying as much as would be perfect or not to go at all. And i decided to go. So you can call me a parasite now.

But this will be my first retreat. And it was complicated to generally get the free time. With travel costs (not really much) and loss of earnings during the retreat i spend more than i probably could afford.

From birthday and xmas presents i´ve saved some cash and will be glad to give it to the organizer. I could also get some money out the the housekeeping costs. But in this way my family would have to suffer from my very own cravings for a retreat. It should be clear that i don´t spend much money for my own desires. Ever so often i put some cash aside that would otherwise be spend for a DVD or novel. I also don´t drink or smoke or have any other expansive hobbies.

And to top it all i´ve just donated half of the saved cash for another purpose. One which i think is most important right now. So even less is over for the retreat.

All this, and the retreat as a whole, wouldn´t be possible for me if there were a fee. I intend to donate later whatever is missing to the suggested amount. Or more, whatever will be possible.

Am i a bad person therefore? Should i have postponed a real heart's desire to go on a retreat up till i´ll have enough revenue but almost surely no time to go for?
English isn´t my native language. So please accept my apologies for my kind of spelling and grammar ;-)

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tiltbillings
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Re: Paid dhamma teachers

Postby tiltbillings » Fri May 27, 2011 9:53 am


rowyourboat
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Re: Paid dhamma teachers

Postby rowyourboat » Fri May 27, 2011 9:01 pm

Goof seems to be agreeing with Kirk, from what I could understand.

So people seem generally against the idea of lay dhamma teachers going full time and being paid a fee/salary for it. I think.. I guess I wouldn't mind even that, as long as the content of their message isn't influenced by the payment. I am surprised I must admit that more people aren't concerned that they will be sold flowery ineffectual 'dharma', which would sell better, than the real thing warts and all.
With Metta

Karuna
Mudita
& Upekkha

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pilgrim
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Re: Paid dhamma teachers

Postby pilgrim » Sun May 29, 2011 10:15 am

Godwin Samararatne of the Nilambe Meditation Centrre in Kandy was one of the most well-known lay teachers in recent times. He taught for more than 20 years at the Centre. Does anyone know the model that was used there to sustain his teaching?
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Godwin_Samararatne

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adosa
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Re: Paid dhamma teachers

Postby adosa » Sun May 29, 2011 3:03 pm

"To avoid all evil, to cultivate good, and to cleanse one's mind — this is the teaching of the Buddhas" - Dhammapada 183

rowyourboat
Posts: 1952
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Location: London, UK

Re: Paid dhamma teachers

Postby rowyourboat » Sun May 29, 2011 3:39 pm

A mixture of foreign exchange currency and local donations seems to be sufficient.

Also similar arrangement here:

http://www.nirodhatrust.org/NT/Home.html

With metta

Matheesha
With Metta

Karuna
Mudita
& Upekkha

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pilgrim
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Re: Paid dhamma teachers

Postby pilgrim » Thu Jun 02, 2011 1:05 pm

The website states that some payment is expected from those who make use of the teachings and facilities at the Centers. Can we then assume that the management of the center then pays some money, however small to the teacher? I believe it'll be difficult for a layman to commit so much time to teaching, if his expenses directly incurred in teaching, plus perhaps additional sums to cover normal expenses of living a lay life are not taken care of.

danieLion
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Re: Paid dhamma teachers

Postby danieLion » Sat Jun 04, 2011 1:20 am


rowyourboat
Posts: 1952
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Location: London, UK

Re: Paid dhamma teachers

Postby rowyourboat » Sat Jun 04, 2011 1:53 am

The conclusion I came to after this thread and others on DW is that if I am to 'safeguard the Truth' what I teach/others teach must not in anyway be influenced by personal gain (especially money). The Buddha I feel is 'on the money' once again, on this matter of not teaching the dhamma for personal gain. I rather be able to say/hear the dhamma according to the suttas, in all it's effective rawness than these flowery concoctions which inadvertently lead to subtle attachment to the 'spiritual'.

With metta

Matheesha
With Metta

Karuna
Mudita
& Upekkha

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cooran
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Re: Paid dhamma teachers

Postby cooran » Sat Jun 04, 2011 4:21 am

Hello all,

Patrick Kearney always gives a talk during the Retreat on the Economy of the Gift. He does not charge for his teaching of retreats (I was recently on a 16 day Retreat of his in Perth).

In the Buddhist tradition, the dhamma teachings of wisdom and compassion are felt to be of such great value that one cannot put a price on it, it can not be bought or sold in the market place, it is priceless.

The teachings of liberation have been passed down through the generations by this ancient practice of dana: receiving and transmitting these teachings as a gift. All fees charged by the Organisers for retreats are simply to cover the basic expenses, food, accommodation.
Patrick does not charge a fee, the teachings are given freely - as does Sobhana and the other insight meditation teachers in Australia.

When we hear these teachings we are touched and moved, and the feelings of appreciation and gratitude naturally express themselves in the act of generosity by offering dana to the teacher, thus circulating and completing the gift. This natural response marks our entry into the economy of gift, where buying and selling are replaced by giving and receiving, and where the defining relationship is one of spiritual friendship. The act of giving is a declaration of mutual respect. Giver and receiver recognise they share the same fundamental values and concerns.

The gift takes us beyond the limitations of our normal self-interest and opens us to a life of mutual care, called good friendship (kalyana mitta) by the Buddha. The practice of generosity is consider to be one of the highest virtures in the Buddhist tradition, as within every act of generosity, there is also the act of relinquishment, thus cultivating the spirit of letting go.

The teachings, meditations and retreats offered through his website are all offered on a dana (gift) basis. If you wish to support this work one way would be to make a payment into Patrick’s bank account. Any gift is greatly appreciated and will help to continue to nurture the dhamma in Australia and beyond. May the virtue of your gift be a support for you and for all beings to attain freedom and liberation … the complete cessation of suffering.

Patrick encourages those who wish to give Dana to do it face-to-face with him. It is amazing just how hard that was to do the first time. In the West, we are so used to donating anonymously or via credit card or internet, that we feel almost embarrassed giving the envelope into the hands of the teacher. But the smiles and exchange of greetings and appreciative remarks during the process (from both sides) are interesting and beneficial. It was a growth experience. Though those who couldn't do it, could still put a note in the Dana box.

So - in my opinion, accommodation and food may be paid for, but the Dhamma Teachings are not to be bought and sold.

with metta
Chris
---The trouble is that you think you have time---
---Worry is the Interest, paid in advance, on a debt you may never owe---
---It's not what happens to you in life that is important ~ it's what you do with it ---

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Kim OHara
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Re: Paid dhamma teachers

Postby Kim OHara » Sat Jun 04, 2011 11:58 am


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Kim OHara
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Re: Paid dhamma teachers

Postby Kim OHara » Thu Jun 09, 2011 10:39 am

Bump.
It's a real-life question, it has been bothering me for months, and I really would appreciate your input.

:namaste:
Kim

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kirk5a
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Re: Paid dhamma teachers

Postby kirk5a » Thu Jun 09, 2011 3:04 pm

"When one thing is practiced & pursued, ignorance is abandoned, clear knowing arises, the conceit 'I am' is abandoned, latent tendencies are uprooted, fetters are abandoned. Which one thing? Mindfulness immersed in the body." -AN 1.230


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