I have reason to disagree on both points. Here's why.
I think the choose-your-own-adventure approach to selecting a spiritual path (that is, picking and choosing what you agree with out of the fragments you collect in the Eastern Spirituality aisle of Barnes and Noble) amounts to fashioning a religion out of one's own ego. What's the final arbiter of truth? Whether I like something or not. Where do likes and dislikes come from? My ego's house on bullshit street. Approached from another angle: if you want to accomplish a method, you need to find a method you can work with and really dig in and do it. If you're switching up or patching over whenever the going gets tough or as the mood strikes, you're not really getting anywhere with any one method. We call it Aloha, Amigo!*
I think mining the world's spiritual and cultural traditions, taking what you like, and cashing in on that is a form of theft. In doing this, one is lazily profiting from the labors of others without reciprocating in any way. It's parasitic and hence counterproductive. It's a form of epistemic violence. Teaching Dharma is not a vocation; you don't go into it for fun and profit. So if this is one's intention, thinking that teaching meditation or "Waking Down" or whatever is an easier career path than any other, then one is seeking a path of ease for oneself and a position of respect and admiration, rather than trying to do the good work of helping people out of their ego's house on bullshit street on honest terms.
*here's an explanation of the Aloha Amigo thinghttp://dctendai.blogspot.com/2010/07/al ... hical.html
Thanks for the response, Jikan. It is greatly appreciated.
Let us discuss the first paragraph in your response, the subject of picking and choosing what one agrees with. Realistically, what other approach is there? Blindly accepting certain teachings because it is part of some "tradition"? Following a belief system that you don't entirely agree while still calling yourself a follower? Should a person disregard other teachings and not adhere to the ones that make sense to them because it would be considered picking and choosing from another tradition? This is extremely problematic and is a classic example of clinging and attachment.
You mention finding a method you can work with and really dig into it. It seems the method in this case is understanding different religions, teachings, etc. in order to find your own beliefs, just as you have done by following your own tradition. Being flexible and open minded to other teachings, or in this case switching up and patching over as you describe it, is the only way to proceed with finding your own beliefs. The other method is to have them dictated to you, which doesn't seem like a healthy approach.
As to your second paragraph, I'm not sure how he is "mining" traditions to make a profit with no reciprocity. What he is giving is a way for people to understand different viewpoints, something that doesn't seem like an ill gesture at all. Tolle isn't capitalizing on the Dharma, but on the commentary, that is the distinction and there is nothing that shows he is doing otherwise. Lazy profits don't come from writing numerous books, having them published, and much more. It seems like it would be very difficult to achieve those things while approaching the tasks in a lazy fashion and with that being the case it doesn't appear to be an easy career path.
I'm sure there are many people who have found his and others that teach through similar methods to be very helpful in helping people out of their ego's house on bullshit street on honest terms.