Selling the Dharma

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Selling the Dharma

Postby plwk » Fri Jan 04, 2013 3:25 am



Does she make sense to you? If yes, why? If not, why? :thanks:
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Re: Selling the Dharma

Postby windsweptliberty » Fri Jan 04, 2013 5:17 am

It's approach and application appears to be grounded in alturism and sensibility. Seems pretty practical: The Dharma is priceless but paper, ink, supplies etc. etc. come at a price so, sure, It makes sense to me. And the west is consumer driven so giving consumers something healthy is a plus. :popcorn:
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Re: Selling the Dharma

Postby nilakantha » Fri Jan 04, 2013 6:43 am

The True Dharma can only be bought for the price of your life. The spiritual kitsch for sale at Sounds True has nothing to do with the Buddha's Dharma; it is only for those who want to adjust to living here, the worst of all possible worlds, under the control of Kāma (Māra) and his minions.
May I be a poet in birth after birth, a devotee of the feet of Lord Avalokiteśvara,
with elevated heart, spontaneously directed towards his Refuge,
wholly occupied with the solemn duty of saving others.

--Lokeshvarashatakam of Vajradatta
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Re: Selling the Dharma

Postby Sherab Dorje » Fri Jan 04, 2013 7:32 am

Creepy. Gave me the feeling of a Buddhist "pyramid sales" pitch. I can understand where it is coming from, but...
:namaste:
PS May I ask you plwk: what was your intention behind posting this video?
"When one is not in accord with the true view
Meditation and conduct become delusion,
One will not attain the real result
One will be like a blind man who has no eyes."
Naropa - Summary of the View from The Eight Doha Treasures
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Re: Selling the Dharma

Postby futerko » Fri Jan 04, 2013 8:10 am

If you go for hypnotheraphy to stop smoking, getting exactly the same treatment, it has been shown to be more effective the more you pay for it, the logic being that the higher the price, the higher your motivation.

Certainly there was a time when practising dharma would take a great commitment and enormous sacrifice. I'm thinking of stories of students having to trek many miles over mountains to seek out some elusive Master, who would then refuse to teach them until they had proven themselves.

What she is saying makes good sense to me - that the money is used to drive the spread of teachings, rather than using the teachings to be driven towards profit... I'm just not really sure why it would need saying.
we cannot get rid of God because we still believe in grammar - Nietzsche
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Re: Selling the Dharma

Postby Sherab Dorje » Fri Jan 04, 2013 9:15 am

I'm just not really sure why it would need saying.
That's because the staff here busily keep track of people that need to hear it. If we were not here to deal with the spammers and advertisers (Dharma and non-Dharma) then you would realise why it needs saying! :tongue:
"When one is not in accord with the true view
Meditation and conduct become delusion,
One will not attain the real result
One will be like a blind man who has no eyes."
Naropa - Summary of the View from The Eight Doha Treasures
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Re: Selling the Dharma

Postby futerko » Fri Jan 04, 2013 9:42 am

gregkavarnos wrote:
I'm just not really sure why it would need saying.
That's because the staff here busily keep track of people that need to hear it. If we were not here to deal with the spammers and advertisers (Dharma and non-Dharma) then you would realise why it needs saying! :tongue:
I'm not sure we're talking about the same thing here. I was just wondering the motivation for that talk was, and if it was solely a response to people expecting dharma talks to be free.
we cannot get rid of God because we still believe in grammar - Nietzsche
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Re: Selling the Dharma

Postby Sherab Dorje » Fri Jan 04, 2013 10:00 am

futerko wrote:...rather than using the teachings to be driven towards profit...
Oh, I can assure you that we are most certainly talking about the same thing. ;)
"When one is not in accord with the true view
Meditation and conduct become delusion,
One will not attain the real result
One will be like a blind man who has no eyes."
Naropa - Summary of the View from The Eight Doha Treasures
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Re: Selling the Dharma

Postby windsweptliberty » Fri Jan 04, 2013 8:50 pm

nilakantha wrote:The True Dharma can only be bought for the price of your life. The spiritual kitsch for sale at Sounds True has nothing to do with the Buddha's Dharma; it is only for those who want to adjust to living here, the worst of all possible worlds, under the control of Kāma (Māra) and his minions.

I see that point of view and yes surely Mara is distorting, especially when money is involved, but don't you think that a little dharma is better than none - I'm not familiar with Sounds True but after her speech I'm assuming they distribute widely. Perhaps it helps get the ball rolling for deeper inquiry to consumers who wouldn't otherwise cross the dharma. And didn't she say that she used her money for donations rather than pocket it?
Last edited by windsweptliberty on Fri Jan 04, 2013 8:58 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Selling the Dharma

Postby windsweptliberty » Fri Jan 04, 2013 8:55 pm

gregkavarnos wrote:Creepy. Gave me the feeling of a Buddhist "pyramid sales" pitch. I can understand where it is coming from, but...
:namaste:
PS May I ask you plwk: what was your intention behind posting this video?

Hahaha, pyramid scheme, that's pretty funny. A sense of humor is always refreshing. :lol:
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Re: Selling the Dharma

Postby plwk » Sat Jan 05, 2013 3:20 am

PS May I ask you plwk: what was your intention behind posting this video?

Image

Meta-discussion is second-order discussion: discussion about the discussion
– for instance, about its style, its participants, the forum in which it takes place, and so on – instead of about on-topic matters....


:focus:
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Re: Selling the Dharma

Postby Sherab Dorje » Sat Jan 05, 2013 9:44 am

I'm not trying to impress anybody, I was just wondering why you posted the video. Like, does it make any sense to you? I mean did you post it because it made sense to you or because it didn't? You started a discussion but you are not participating in the discussion, so feel free to cut the passive-agressive posting.
:namaste:
"When one is not in accord with the true view
Meditation and conduct become delusion,
One will not attain the real result
One will be like a blind man who has no eyes."
Naropa - Summary of the View from The Eight Doha Treasures
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Re: Selling the Dharma

Postby wisdom » Sat Jan 05, 2013 10:06 am

The video doesn't make any sense to me personally. Granted I only watched 77 seconds before I felt like my brain was being pulled apart, so I skipped around and found more of the same throughout the 20 minutes of the video. Not worth my time really. If I wanted to waste my time I'll go on reddit :tongue:
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Re: Selling the Dharma

Postby plwk » Sat Jan 05, 2013 2:02 pm

Yes, some sense to me as her general points balances the importance of proper motivation and the 'business', prosperity vs greed, prosperity as a fount of possibilities, sustainability, access and availability, good values and accountability?

And no in the sense, if and when monastics are involved in this, their rules and grounds may, just may differ from the laity or even secular ones, 'sacred and profane' do have context and boundary?

Marketing? Strategic points for the dana basket? Well connected and wealthy sponsors/disciples? Which Dharma group/centre/temple hasn't utilised these?
It's just an upaya IMHO as long as there's check and balance and the choice/caveat not to be arm twisted into the deal...

Can Dharma organisations learn from businesses and its values? Why not? Vice versa too...

Mara? Is this a convenient excuse to keep ourselves in the 5th Cent BCE or fantasising that everyone should be a yogi in a cave with bare necessities OR that motivation for an upaya must be coupled with prajna and bodhicitta in this venture?
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Re: Selling the Dharma

Postby oldbob » Wed Jan 16, 2013 1:05 am

plwk wrote:

Does she make sense to you? If yes, why? If not, why? :thanks:


All good comments.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sounds_True

If you go to the Sounds True website and read Tami's blogs and interviews, I think you can understand where she is coming from better.

You can Google,

tami simon blog

For example:

http://worldwidetippingpoint.com/2012/0 ... at-a-time/

My take is that she is a serious person and is working through the implications and demands of an evolved, and evolving, spiritual AND business practice and I have respect for what she is trying to do.

Some of her points are very very good.

"Buddhist Geeks charges a lot of money to attend, but then allows free web streaming."

Hmmmnnnn - ChNNR?

"Commerce can be applied to increase access to the teachings."

HMMMNNN, in most Dharma centers, written materials are bootlegged and circulated by xerox, and same with CDs and DVDs. No one has ever been sued.

"You need to honor and respect everyone in your ecosystem." I am curious how Sounds True honors those who cannot afford their products, or are the poor considered outside their ecosystem?

Looks like lots of low cost / no cost suff on their site.

The "True" Buddhist ecosystem has no limits as to who can get the teachings. What happens to a poor person who wants something from "Sounds True?"

I would be curious if anyone has tested Sounds True's good will by writing to them to request an item for free, because you need it for your practice / spiritual development.

I would be curious how ST handles these issues. Are people turned away if they are poor?

Please PM me if anyone has experience with this, and is willing to share their experience.

Curious - ob

PS I also have a :soapbox: for this subject under the title, "Is Dharma Pizza?" Haven't published it yet. :smile:

Note I found these following two items by Googleing, "Is Dharma Pizza?"

http://www.flickr.com/photos/jareed/4635653789/

and if Dharma is to be sold like pizza it might as well be healthy style as seen literally here:

http://www.thedailygreen.com/healthy-ea ... za-recipes

So the question could be phrased, "How can you sell healthy Dharma in a healthy way?"

I think Tami is "working" the issue.
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Re: Selling the Dharma

Postby Knotty Veneer » Wed Jan 16, 2013 3:58 pm

The arrival of Dharma in the West since the ‘60s has seen the creation of a new animal – the “Professional Buddhist”. Previously, the only professional Buddhists were monks or nuns or yogis. Now day we’ve got all sorts of people who make a living (or some of their living) by writing about Buddhism, teaching meditation (or more latterly “mindfulness”) as well as selling Buddhist artefacts.

The problem for me is that the need to make a living in some cases can turn into the main goal. The Dharma gets watered down into what can be sold or is acceptable for a given media type (reduction to sound bites).

Looking at the Sounds True website – most of it is talks by the usual suspects. Most of it is pretty generic, "Dharma Lite" kinda stuff. Don’t even know if it qualifies really as Dharma teachings, more general “self-help” type stuff.

The real market – in a sense – for the Dharma is all sentient beings. When you decide to make a living from it you are most likely going to have to choose a market segment and that invariable means those who can afford to pay you for the Dharma you dispense/comment on. If you selling Dharma to allow you to further your own practice or support a practice community, I don’t necessarily see a problem with it. But if you are doing it to make a living first and foremost, then you have reduced the teaching to a mere commodity. I don’t think that can be justified.
You cannot polish a turd - however a pleasing effect can be attained by rolling one in glitter.
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Re: Selling the Dharma

Postby ocean_waves » Wed Jan 16, 2013 5:08 pm

On occasion I have received free ebooks from Sounds True [most recently the Dalai Lama's "The Middle Way: Faith Grounded in Reason"]. My experience is that there are as many doors to dhamma as there are beings in this universe, it stands to reason that some of these doors may have an entrance fee. I can choose to pay that fee and use that particular door or I can bypass it and look for a "free" one.
When living in a capitalist society what does free mean? Just about everything we do in a capitalist society has a cost attached to it, that is the nature of capitalism, and quite simply... information sells well!!!
Money, after all is said and done, is just a symbolic representation of resources being exchanged. We have become so attached to the symbol that we forget what it represents. That is why so many of us spend large sums of money and get very little in exchange! As they say, "don't hate the players... hate the game!" :smile:
The reality... the dharma cannot be found in a book, sutra, CD, or DVD. The dhamma is discovered through the experience of our true nature, which cannot be defined by words [even the words of a sutra!!!]. Sounds True is not/cannot sell the dhamma. They are simply selling information, and in this society they are free to do that!!!
I have read posts encouraging individuals to support the translator's of sutras by buying their books. Should we interpret this as "selling the dhamma?"
"True seeing is called transcendence;
False seeing is worldliness:
Set aside both right and wrong,
And the nature of enlightenment is clear."
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Re: Selling the Dharma

Postby tobes » Wed Jan 16, 2013 11:53 pm

I haven't watched the vid, but this comes up from time to time - and I have a pretty clumsy, heavy handed response: how about giving the dharma?

I agree with what Knotty Veneer said - about the professional class of Buddhists. I would include in that, academics who need to commodify their understanding in certain ways to create value for themselves, receive grants etc. Sure, it's right livelihood, but I think something hugely important is lost once that move is made.

And my clumsy position on this, is that if one feels they have something to contribute - in terms of written work, a practical method, some kind of teaching - well, one should give it not sell it.

At some point or another, I feel as if we need to actively resist commodification and give freely without considering the cost.

Simple, radical, effective and beautiful. Do we want to be siddhas or bourgeoisie?

:anjali:
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Re: Selling the Dharma

Postby greentara » Thu Jan 17, 2013 10:10 am

Smooth and super creepy! Corporate, watered down, devoid of anything spiritual.
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Re: Selling the Dharma

Postby oldbob » Sat Jan 19, 2013 5:33 pm

greentara wrote:Smooth and super creepy! Corporate, watered down, devoid of anything spiritual.


Nah - She may appear this way, on first listening, but Tami is creating access for thousands of people who otherwise wouldn't start the spiritual journey. A lot of the material on her web site is new-agey, feel-good stuff, but that presentation is appropriate for many beginners.

I think Tami deserves a LOT better than, smooth and supper creepy.

Just as the DWs provides contact points for the general public to get a smorgash board of Dharma, so Tami's web-site serves the same function. Maybe it is Dharma Lite, but many so are many of the posts here, too.

For those who have never seen a smorgash board:

https://www.google.com/search?q=smorgas ... 0&bih=1066

Spiritual smorgash boards could, and do, lead to further seeking, real TRANSMISSION from a Master, and spiritual practice within a transmission lineage. Tami also does a lot of low/cost no/cost, and charity stuff too.

Whomever points to the exit signs in a burning building is turning the Wheel. :buddha1:

I think Tami is turning the Wheel. :bow:

What may be smooth and super creepy for some, may be REALLY helpful for others. You have to start somewhere, and Tami's good work is making a spiritual connection for thousands of people.

Sounds True to me.

That is why Lord Buddha taught 84,000 different teachings (means a lot), so that there would be something for everyone. Tami, and her web site fulfill a real spiritual purpose, and she should be very proud of what she has accomplished.

:twothumbsup: GO TAMI GO! :twothumbsup: :thanks:

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