Ajahn Brahm for sale?

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Ajahn Brahm for sale?

Postby plwk » Mon Mar 11, 2013 3:11 pm

Yup, it's all here folks....
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Re: Ajahn Brahm for sale?

Postby oushi » Mon Mar 11, 2013 3:19 pm

I wonder what would be the winning bid for a week with Sakyamuni... ?
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Re: Ajahn Brahm for sale?

Postby uan » Mon Mar 11, 2013 3:20 pm

plwk wrote:Yup, it's all here folks....


Ajahn Brahm, too cool for words. :applause:
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Re: Ajahn Brahm for sale?

Postby Indrajala » Mon Mar 11, 2013 5:08 pm

That's so cool.
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Re: Ajahn Brahm for sale?

Postby Karma Dorje » Mon Mar 11, 2013 9:00 pm

What? Nobody complaining yet about how the $450 registration fee and the inevitable auction cost is an affront to egalitarianism and symptomatic of bourgeois consumerist greed that excludes those poor practitioners that would jump at this chance for a week of Ajahn Brahm's time?

:broke: :tantrum:

I'm shocked! Shocked, I tell you! :lol:

Very cool that he is doing this. What a great idea.
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Re: Ajahn Brahm for sale?

Postby BuddhaSoup » Tue Mar 12, 2013 1:27 am

He's brilliant. When there is so much to lament about Buddhism in the West, he and a few others are examples of what is so very right about the BuddhaDharmaSangha as it is expressed in the West. I'm reading now his "Truckload of Dung" book of stories, and one can sense his combination of sharp earthy humor learned from Ajahn Chah, combined with the mind of a theoretical physicist, the ethics of Ananda, wrapped up in the entrepreneurial sense of a Richard Branson.

I hope someone jumps on the chance to enter this auction and make the venture a huge success for the Bhikkhunis.
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Re: Ajahn Brahm for sale?

Postby ball-of-string » Tue Mar 12, 2013 5:46 am

I highly recommend "Truckload of Dung".
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Re: Ajahn Brahm for sale?

Postby practitioner » Tue Mar 12, 2013 6:38 am

Huseng wrote:That's so cool.


There are many threads where you suggest that retreats should be free and nobody should have to pay for the dharma. This guy auctions off a week of his time and you have to pay $450 just to even bid and that is cool?? :shrug:
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Re: Ajahn Brahm for sale?

Postby ball-of-string » Tue Mar 12, 2013 8:32 am

It's a fundraiser. I bet (a poor word choice, I know) that if I fronted the cash and paid the airfare, and organized a free retreat, the event would generate enough in donations to cover the costs. So back to the Dharma, offered freely, to the benefit of all.
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Re: Ajahn Brahm for sale?

Postby BuddhaSoup » Tue Mar 12, 2013 9:59 am

There are many threads where you suggest that retreats should be free and nobody should have to pay for the dharma. This guy auctions off a week of his time and you have to pay $450 just to even bid and that is cool??


Ajahn Brahm, if you look carefully, isn't selling the Dharma. In fact, he teaches for free and places all of his talks and Sutta lessons on youtube for free viewing. As he states in the video on the ajahnbrahmforsale.com website, he is asking for donations for the Bhikkhuni monastery and makes it clear the auction is a fundraiser for this project. It seems to me the $450 entry fee is a barrier to ensure that only those able to bid a high amount for the Bhikkhuni project will enter the auction. Think of the number of people selling on ebay.com that relist because of people bidding on an automobile that never had the intention of paying and completing the sale. The $450 ensures (to some degree) authentic bidders that will actually be able to perform should they win the auction.

You could argue that he should give away all of his books, a la Thanissaro Bhikkhu, but my understanding is Ajahn Brahm sells his books so that funds can be raised to support his monastic projects. This is not selling the Dharma per se, and the ulterior motive is an ethical one...he himself lives a renunciate life.
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Re: Ajahn Brahm for sale?

Postby seeker242 » Tue Mar 12, 2013 10:30 am

"Ajahn Brahm is auctioning 7 days of his time, to raise money for Dhammasara Nun's Monastery. All proceeds go to Dhammasara Nuns' Monastery building fund."

I think the Buddha would approve of building more monasteries. :smile:
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Re: Ajahn Brahm for sale?

Postby Indrajala » Tue Mar 12, 2013 4:57 pm

practitioner wrote:
Huseng wrote:That's so cool.


There are many threads where you suggest that retreats should be free and nobody should have to pay for the dharma. This guy auctions off a week of his time and you have to pay $450 just to even bid and that is cool?? :shrug:


None of the money goes to him. It goes to build a nun's monastery, which is necessary, especially in our day when the bhikkhuni ordinations have only been recently reintroduced. Bhante does not accept donations himself -- he always asks people to forward the money to his monastery.

I suspect whoever wins the auction will make use of Bhante for a public talk or something, and not monopolize his time for a whole week.
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Re: Ajahn Brahm for sale?

Postby oushi » Tue Mar 12, 2013 8:06 pm

"And look... you cant take it with you." (about the money). Convincing, isn't it? And the fact that 10 or 20 bucks wont make a difference, because he needs your 1000$ or 2000$ is beyond me (from his talk). Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh also had nothing right? Entire wealth of the Church was build around the idea of helping others. It likes to gather around the middleman spontaneously.
It is something great to help others, and help the Dharma to spread. But money gives power, power that corrupts, even if it is the power to build monasteries.
His initiative, to sell his time, so work for the money, is totally fine, but the way he talks about them....

And think about people that really wants to be guided by him, for a week. There will be many like that, left with the message: "sorry dude, you cannot afford the Dharma".
To be honest, I can't believe it is true. I mean, this page and initiative. It looks like a joke... not even a funny one.

Image
:shock:
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Re: Ajahn Brahm for sale?

Postby uan » Tue Mar 12, 2013 10:37 pm

oushi wrote:"And look... you cant take it with you." (about the money). Convincing, isn't it? And the fact that 10 or 20 bucks wont make a difference, because he needs your 1000$ or 2000$ is beyond me (from his talk). Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh also had nothing right? Entire wealth of the Church was build around the idea of helping others. It likes to gather around the middleman spontaneously.
It is something great to help others, and help the Dharma to spread. But money gives power, power that corrupts, even if it is the power to build monasteries.
His initiative, to sell his time, so work for the money, is totally fine, but the way he talks about them....

And think about people that really wants to be guided by him, for a week. There will be many like that, left with the message: "sorry dude, you cannot afford the Dharma".
To be honest, I can't believe it is true. I mean, this page and initiative. It looks like a joke... not even a funny one.

Image
:shock:


I don't know how aware you are of Ajahn Brahm, but before passing judgment one way or the other, I'd recommend you watch some of his teachings and get a sense of him. Written humor doesn't always convey well.

Personally, I don't think 7 days out of the loop for a donation is equivalent to telling people, sorry, you cannot afford the Dharma. It's not like he's making a living as a public speaker making $10k + a speech and travel 360 days a year, year in year out and you need to buy a ticket to see him. You can actually just go to his monastery in Australia and chat him up. (I should add, I haven't personally done that-chat him up-but I've heard him mention that on a number of occasions.)
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Re: Ajahn Brahm for sale?

Postby uan » Tue Mar 12, 2013 11:58 pm

uan wrote:You can actually just go to his monastery in Australia and chat him up. (I should add, I haven't personally done that-chat him up-but I've heard him mention that on a number of occasions.)



Go to about 5:10 into the video where Ajahn Brahm talks about just going see him, see where he sleeps, where he meditates, etc. - he's talking about spiritual honesty:

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Re: Ajahn Brahm for sale?

Postby ball-of-string » Wed Mar 13, 2013 4:03 am

I once met Ajahn Brahmali, Ajahn Brahmavamso's "second", at an event in San Francisco. I was trying to convey a message of gratitude for all of the Dharma talks they have out on the Internet, for free, so I can hear the nuns and monks in America without traveling to distant Australia. I had a difficult time of it, though, because I felt pretty choked up about it. They publish two or more podcasts every week. One is the Friday night talk for lay-people. The second is a sutra teaching, a talk given to the novice monks and nuns, but they make the talks available to anyone who wants to listen. I know a lot of teachers who put their stuff on the Internet for free, but it is a short list of people who have transmitted teachings at that quantity.

Yes, companies, professional associations, and wealthy people pay Ajahn Brahm's travel expenses to have him come to speak at their convention. He needs to build a new nuns' monastery, and has to raise capitol. How are monasteries built in Korea or Japan? With the help of wealthy benefactors. I don't see a difference.
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Re: Ajahn Brahm for sale?

Postby mikenz66 » Wed Mar 13, 2013 8:22 am

See also the discussion at DhammaWheel:
http://www.dhammawheel.com/viewtopic.php?f=13&t=16465

It's interesting that opinions over there appear much more negative than here.

Personally, based on listening to his talks, I thought of Ajahn Brahm as a bit lightweight. Then I met him at a weekend that included several talks and a one-day retreat in Hong Kong back in 2007. In person there was no doubting his seriousness and wisdom.

:anjali:
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Re: Ajahn Brahm for sale?

Postby oushi » Wed Mar 13, 2013 9:14 am

Thanissaro Bhikkhu wrote:The teacher, meanwhile, must make sure not to regard the act of teaching as a repayment of a debt. After all, monks and nuns repay their debt to their lay donors by trying to rid their minds of greed, aversion, and delusion. They are in no way obligated to teach, which means that the act of teaching is a gift free and clear. In addition, the Buddha insisted that the Dhamma be taught without expectation of material reward. When he was once offered a “teacher's fee” for his teaching, he refused to accept it and told the donor to throw it away. He also established the precedent that when a monastic teaches the rewards of generosity, the teaching is given after a gift has been given, not before, so that the stain of hinting won't sully what's said.

All of these principles assume a high level of nobility and restraint on both sides of the equation, which is why people tried to find ways around them even while the Buddha was alive. The origin stories to the monastic discipline — the tales portraying the misbehavior that led the Buddha to formulate rules for the monks and nuns — often tell of monastics whose gift of Dhamma came with strings attached, and of lay people who gladly pulled those strings to get what they wanted out of the monastics: personal favors served with an ingratiating smile. The Buddha's steady persistence in formulating rules to cut these strings shows how determined he was that the principle of Dhamma as a genuinely free gift not be an idle ideal. He wanted it to influence the way people actually behaved.

He never gave an extended explanation of why the act of teaching should always be a gift, but he did state in general terms that when his code of conduct became corrupt over time, that would corrupt the Dhamma as well. And in the case of the etiquette of generosity, this principle has been borne out frequently throughout Buddhist history.

A primary example is recorded in the Apadanas, which scholars believe were added to the Canon after King Asoka's time. The Apadanas discuss the rewards of giving in a way that shows how eager the monks composing them were to receive lavish gifts. They promise that even a small gift will bear fruit as guaranteed arahantship many eons in the future, and that the path from now to then will always be filled with pleasure and prestige. Attainments of special distinction, though, require special donations. Some of these donations bear a symbolic resemblance to the desired distinction — a gift of lighted lamps, for instance, presages clairvoyance — but the preferred gift of distinction was a week's worth of lavish meals for an entire monastery, or at least for the monks who teach.

It's obvious that the monks who composed the Apadanas were giving free rein to their greed, and were eager to tell their listeners what their listeners wanted to hear. The fact that these texts were recorded for posterity shows that the listeners, in fact, were pleased. Thus the teachers and their students, acting in collusion, skewed the culture of dana in the direction of their defilements. In so doing they distorted the Dhamma as well. If gift-giving guarantees Awakening, it supplants the noble eightfold path with the one-fold path of the gift. If the road to Awakening is always prestigious and joyful, the concept of right effort disappears. Yet once these ideas were introduced into the Buddhist tradition, they gained the stamp of authority and have affected Buddhist practice ever since. Throughout Buddhist Asia, people tend to give gifts with an eye to their symbolic promise of future reward; and the list of gifts extolled in the Apadanas reads like a catalog of the gifts placed on altars throughout Buddhist Asia even today.

Which goes to show that once the culture of dana gets distorted, it can distort the practice of Dhamma as a whole for many centuries. So if we're serious about bringing the culture of dana to the West, we should be very careful to ensure that our efforts honor the principles that make dana a genuinely Buddhist practice. This means no longer using the tactics of modern fundraising to encourage generosity among retreatants or Buddhists in general. It also means rethinking the dana talk, for on many counts it fails the test. In pressuring retreatants to give to teachers, it doesn't lead to gladness before giving, and instead sounds like a plea for a tip at the end of a meal. The frequent efforts to pull on the retreatants' heartstrings as a path to their purse strings betray a lack of trust in their thoughtfulness and leave a bad taste. And the entire way dana is handled for teachers doesn't escape the fact that it's payment for services rendered. Whether teachers think about this consciously or not, it pressures them subtly to tell their listeners what they think their listeners want to hear. The Dhamma can't help but suffer as a result.
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/lib/authors/thanissaro/nostringsattached.html

Still wondering why it is uncool?
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Re: Ajahn Brahm for sale?

Postby Andrew108 » Wed Mar 13, 2013 10:55 am

He is not selling any teachings.
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Re: Ajahn Brahm for sale?

Postby oushi » Wed Mar 13, 2013 12:21 pm

Andrew108 wrote:He is not selling any teachings.

And what is he selling?
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