Andrew108 wrote:Progress indeed concerning DC in the U.S. I can't think of anything more. Lets hope our brothrs and sisters to the East and South who are short of funds can be given some relief.
Oh come on Andrew. I can think of lots more they could do.
1. They could allow the regular membership discounts so those on reduced membership (and especially from other poorer countries / Gars) could know that they could attend for $150 without having to go begging to the Yellow Gekyil. Last year I did not attend the Tseygyalgar retreat, because I felt that the fixed price of $300 they were asking was too much for my budget. I offered $150 which they turned down, so I stayed home and happily listened to the web-cast. Note: most Dharma centers pricing structure includes a reassurance, "No one will be turned away for lack of funds." This statement signifies that those in authority WANT everyone to get the Teachings. The absence of this statement implies the opposite. Why is this so hard for Tseygyalgar and the DC to understand.? Go figure?
Again, the free web-casts are great, but these then create unfulfillable expectations for a poor person, to be able to attend retreats, buy practice materials and buy recordings of the teachings. Perhaps this is Dharma as a cause of suffering.
2. They could allow reasonable work-study for all who want it instead of just a limited number of people. If they have 20 spaces and you are the 21st applicatnt, where is the common sense or kindness in this system. They could match the work-study to the capacity of the workers, rather than have everyone doing the same physical labor.
3. They could allow the retreat costs to be linked with the actual costs of the retreat, with proportional refunds to everyone, from any surplus, as allowable. Yearly operating costs could be obtained from membership dues.
4. They could provide full scholarships, including transportation, room and board, from a legacy endowment set up for that purpose, to those who truly cannot afford to attend.
5. They could provide free, photocopied practice material relating to the retreat, so that there would not be hidden charges to buy the required materials at high prices. Those who can afford it, can buy the high priced books.
6. They could set up car pools from different parts of the country to help those who cannot afford air tickets to get to Conway.
7. The local Sangha could open their homes, and land, for retreat people to have a free place to camp, sleep and cook.
8. They could include the cost of the retreat CD / DVD in the normal cost of the retreat, rather than have this be an additional, hidden cost at the end of the retreat.
9, They could de-link the Breathing course, and "Public" Yantra Yoga, from anything to do with the Dzogchen Community, because these are Fabiol's, not ChNNR's, creation.
10. They could link new-comers to an old-timers support desk so the new-comers wouldn't feel left out and could get their practice and practical questions answered.
11. They could allow a free retreat, or almost free, to anyone who could prove that they had already attended a retreat on that subject.
I dunno? That is just in two minutes off the top of my head.
There should be low cost, multi-media practice modules, using recordings of ChNNR's teachings, for each secondary practice made available, so that new-comers can learn the practices easily and old-timers can get get the pronunciations right.
Some of this exists already, but the Gars could fill in the blanks where needed.
Some of these ideas are doable for this retreat.
I'm happy to stay home again, if they charge a price that I feel I cannot afford.
If anyone feels that the published prices are too high, or that they are given a hard time by the Yellow Gakyil, they should write to ChNNR and inform him.
The key point is that there are many mix and match and other creative solutions for monetizing the teachings that could allow more people to get the benefit and raise more money for the Community. One size fits most, pricing structures are not kindly and many normal people take one look at this lack of flexibility and run away.
DC retreats are getting a reputation as a club for the rich.