There is no business like religion business.

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gelukman
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There is no business like religion business.

Post by gelukman »

I see a lot of webcasts and live courses that isn't reasonable priced at all.
And there should be a option to participate for free. Not criticizing, every
one has the right to do what they want. It just curious how the great masters
have become greedy. Maybe they do it just for the money? Maybe their compassion is a
myth, just like their realization is?
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Aryjna
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Re: There is no business like religion business.

Post by Aryjna »

gelukman wrote: Tue Jan 24, 2023 6:59 pm I see a lot of webcasts and live courses that isn't reasonable priced at all.
And there should be a option to participate for free. Not criticizing, every
one has the right to do what they want. It just curious how the great masters
have become greedy. Maybe they do it just for the money? Maybe their compassion is a
myth, just like their realization is?
Do you have any specific examples in mind?
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KeithA
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Re: There is no business like religion business.

Post by KeithA »

edited

oops, deleted...in the wrong lane. :)
When walking, standing, sitting, lying down, speaking,
being silent, moving, being still.
At all times, in all places, without interruption - what is this?
One mind is infinite kalpas.

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jet.urgyen
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Re: There is no business like religion business.

Post by jet.urgyen »

i do openly criticize the stupidity of having to adhere to a foreign culture for practicing buddhadharma in general.
and also the nerve some have (high lamas or not) of charging money in exchange of mahayana teachings.
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Johnny Dangerous
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Re: There is no business like religion business.

Post by Johnny Dangerous »

It cost money to support Dharma centers, organize teachings etc. Indeed, some teachers may be greedy. Flip side of this is that some students are stingy.

Btw, every teaching I have ever participated in (and that’s quite a few tbh) had some scholarship or assistance option for people who needed it.

There are definitely overpriced teachings, but expecting to not contribute is IMO not reasonable, these things have to be funded somehow. That often means direct contributions of some kind from people who can afford it. If one is destitute there is usually help to fund your attendance.

When I can I usually pay beyond the normal price for this reason. Not a ton, but what I can afford.
Don’t you see what’s wrong with the world today? Oh Everybody wants somebody to be their own piece of clay.

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conebeckham
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Re: There is no business like religion business.

Post by conebeckham »

Asking that Dharma be free betrays a complete lack of understanding of Dependent Origination and "Tendrel," IMO.

I don't dispute that greed can be a factor. Sometimes it may even be the only motivator. But......in Dharma, as in most areas of life, you get what you pay for.


I find it useful to reflect on what hardships our lineage founders had to endure to obtain teachings and empowerments, and I gotta say...we have it easy.
དམ་པའི་དོན་ནི་ཤེས་རབ་ཆེ་བ་དང་།
རྟོག་གེའི་ཡུལ་མིན་བླ་མའི་བྱིན་རླབས་དང་།
སྐལ་ལྡན་ལས་འཕྲོ་ཅན་གྱིས་རྟོགས་པ་སྟེ།
དེ་ནི་ཤེས་རབ་ལ་ནི་ལོ་རྟོག་སེལ།།


"Absolute Truth is not an object of analytical discourse or great discriminating wisdom,
It is realized through the blessing grace of the Guru and fortunate Karmic potential.
Like this, mistaken ideas of discriminating wisdom are clarified."
- (Kyabje Bokar Rinpoche, from his summary of "The Ocean of Definitive Meaning")
stoneinfocus
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Re: There is no business like religion business.

Post by stoneinfocus »

Teachers can't teach and do Dharma activities full time if they can't get paid and survive. Just how it is, sorry bout it.

Plus, you expect to be handed this stuff for free? Some of these teachers have spent decades and decades of hard, hard work learning, studying, practicing, and spreading these teachings. This is their job. You want them to do it for free? On the contrary, I find this attitude to be the greediest attitude of all. Gimme gimme gimme.

Many, many teachers will work with a students circumstances and give teachings for free or reduced price anyway, which is in itself very kind and compassionate.

And yes, there are some that charge extreme amounts. There are plenty that don't. You have choice.
Cinnabar
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Re: There is no business like religion business.

Post by Cinnabar »

I've been on both sides of this.

I have been turned away at the door of teachings for not being able to make payment of the "dana".

And I have been the person hosting the event, hemorrhaging money for venue costs, transportation, translators. Because we were chartered to only accept "dana" and people felt teachings should be free. Same with sadhanas. They should be free too-- no charging for dharma.

Things don't pay for themselves.

There is a difference between need (people with no money) and people who have ideas that dharma teachings must exist outside the conventional world where goods and services have costs, and dharma events can happen without them. There is a difference between dharma teachings and things that are that, but also, fundraisers.
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heart
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Re: There is no business like religion business.

Post by heart »

Free Dharma just mean someone else is paying the actual costs, and there is always a lot money to pay for an event.
"We are all here to help each other go through this thing, whatever it is."
~Kurt Vonnegut

"The principal practice is Guruyoga. But we need to understand that any secondary practice combined with Guruyoga becomes a principal practice." ChNNR (Teachings on Thun and Ganapuja)
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PadmaVonSamba
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Re: There is no business like religion business.

Post by PadmaVonSamba »

gelukman wrote: Tue Jan 24, 2023 6:59 pm I see a lot of webcasts and live courses that isn't reasonable priced at all.
And there should be a option to participate for free. Not criticizing, every
one has the right to do what they want. It just curious how the great masters
have become greedy. Maybe they do it just for the money? Maybe their compassion is a
myth, just like their realization is?
You don’t always know why people ask for money.
Maybe everything should be free. Rain and soil are free, so why should we pay for food?
So, why target buddhist teachers?
Why not all teachers?
Actually, many teachers raise money for worthwhile projects. Even monks I know whose temples take in large mounts of money on a regular basis own almost nothing themselves.

And frankly, there are people who won’t consider anything unless it’s expensive. Those people need the dharma the most.
EMPTIFUL.
An inward outlook develops outward insight.
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tobes
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Re: There is no business like religion business.

Post by tobes »

I'm a bit with the OP on this. Not all the way.

I like HHDL's approach - there is a big cost to big events that he holds, and attendees pay a fee. But at the end, the organisers read out a painstakingly boring balance sheet, and if there is any leftover, it is donated.

Yes there is tendrel and this or that siddha giving gold. But there is also the Buddha Shakyamuni never charging a cent for anything that he taught, and look at the legacy. There is no doubt that charging for Dharma opens the door for all kinds of worldly concerns, institutional corruption et al.
jet.urgyen
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Re: There is no business like religion business.

Post by jet.urgyen »

tobes wrote: Wed Jan 25, 2023 1:14 am I'm a bit with the OP on this. Not all the way.

I like HHDL's approach - there is a big cost to big events that he holds, and attendees pay a fee. But at the end, the organisers read out a painstakingly boring balance sheet, and if there is any leftover, it is donated.

Yes there is tendrel and this or that siddha giving gold. But there is also the Buddha Shakyamuni never charging a cent for anything that he taught, and look at the legacy. There is no doubt that charging for Dharma opens the door for all kinds of worldly concerns, institutional corruption et al.
i learned, in this very forum, that it's traditional to charge a fee for vajrayana teachings. that's ok also imo, it is correct.
but imo, it's definitely a horrible crime to charge for sutrayana teachings.
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Kim O'Hara
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Re: There is no business like religion business.

Post by Kim O'Hara »

jet.urgyen wrote: Wed Jan 25, 2023 3:23 am
tobes wrote: Wed Jan 25, 2023 1:14 am I'm a bit with the OP on this. Not all the way.

I like HHDL's approach - there is a big cost to big events that he holds, and attendees pay a fee. But at the end, the organisers read out a painstakingly boring balance sheet, and if there is any leftover, it is donated.

Yes there is tendrel and this or that siddha giving gold. But there is also the Buddha Shakyamuni never charging a cent for anything that he taught, and look at the legacy. There is no doubt that charging for Dharma opens the door for all kinds of worldly concerns, institutional corruption et al.
i learned, in this very forum, that it's traditional to charge a fee for vajrayana teachings. that's ok also imo, it is correct.
but imo, it's definitely a horrible crime to charge for sutrayana teachings.
Everyone has been explaining that events do cost money to run, and presenters do need to pay for transport and food. That's true whether it's vajrayana or sutrayana, so how do you justify that distinction?

:namaste:
Kim
jet.urgyen
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Re: There is no business like religion business.

Post by jet.urgyen »

Kim O'Hara wrote: Wed Jan 25, 2023 3:35 am
jet.urgyen wrote: Wed Jan 25, 2023 3:23 am
tobes wrote: Wed Jan 25, 2023 1:14 am I'm a bit with the OP on this. Not all the way.

I like HHDL's approach - there is a big cost to big events that he holds, and attendees pay a fee. But at the end, the organisers read out a painstakingly boring balance sheet, and if there is any leftover, it is donated.

Yes there is tendrel and this or that siddha giving gold. But there is also the Buddha Shakyamuni never charging a cent for anything that he taught, and look at the legacy. There is no doubt that charging for Dharma opens the door for all kinds of worldly concerns, institutional corruption et al.
i learned, in this very forum, that it's traditional to charge a fee for vajrayana teachings. that's ok also imo, it is correct.
but imo, it's definitely a horrible crime to charge for sutrayana teachings.
Everyone has been explaining that events do cost money to run, and presenters do need to pay for transport and food. That's true whether it's vajrayana or sutrayana, so how do you justify that distinction?

:namaste:
Kim
in vajrayana the guru owns the teaching. in sutrayana the preceptor doesn't.
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tobes
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Re: There is no business like religion business.

Post by tobes »

Kim O'Hara wrote: Wed Jan 25, 2023 3:35 am
jet.urgyen wrote: Wed Jan 25, 2023 3:23 am
tobes wrote: Wed Jan 25, 2023 1:14 am I'm a bit with the OP on this. Not all the way.

I like HHDL's approach - there is a big cost to big events that he holds, and attendees pay a fee. But at the end, the organisers read out a painstakingly boring balance sheet, and if there is any leftover, it is donated.

Yes there is tendrel and this or that siddha giving gold. But there is also the Buddha Shakyamuni never charging a cent for anything that he taught, and look at the legacy. There is no doubt that charging for Dharma opens the door for all kinds of worldly concerns, institutional corruption et al.
i learned, in this very forum, that it's traditional to charge a fee for vajrayana teachings. that's ok also imo, it is correct.
but imo, it's definitely a horrible crime to charge for sutrayana teachings.
Everyone has been explaining that events do cost money to run, and presenters do need to pay for transport and food. That's true whether it's vajrayana or sutrayana, so how do you justify that distinction?

:namaste:
Kim
He did justify this, via the notion of tradition. i.e. there is a precedent for this in the Vajrayana, in a way that there isn't in other traditions. Everyone knows about Marpa collecting as much gold as he could before traveling to India to receive teachings......
Malcolm
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Re: There is no business like religion business.

Post by Malcolm »

jet.urgyen wrote: Wed Jan 25, 2023 3:43 am
in vajrayana the guru owns the teaching. in sutrayana the preceptor doesn't.
No, that’s not the principle.

The principle is that the guru is embodiment of the three jewels, so,offerings to the guru is of greater merit.
Vases, canvas, bucklers, armies, forests, garlands, trees
houses, chariots, hostelries, and all such things
that common people designate dependent on their parts,
accept as such. For Buddha did not quarrel with the world!

—— Candrakīrti. MAV 6:166
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Kim O'Hara
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Re: There is no business like religion business.

Post by Kim O'Hara »

Malcolm wrote: Wed Jan 25, 2023 4:25 am
jet.urgyen wrote: Wed Jan 25, 2023 3:43 am
in vajrayana the guru owns the teaching. in sutrayana the preceptor doesn't.
No, that’s not the principle.

The principle is that the guru is embodiment of the three jewels, so,offerings to the guru is of greater merit.
Fine.
But that's gifts, not charges.

:namaste:
Kim
Malcolm
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Re: There is no business like religion business.

Post by Malcolm »

Kim O'Hara wrote: Wed Jan 25, 2023 4:30 am
Malcolm wrote: Wed Jan 25, 2023 4:25 am
jet.urgyen wrote: Wed Jan 25, 2023 3:43 am
in vajrayana the guru owns the teaching. in sutrayana the preceptor doesn't.
No, that’s not the principle.

The principle is that the guru is embodiment of the three jewels, so,offerings to the guru is of greater merit.
Fine.
But that's gifts, not charges.

:namaste:
Kim
It’s the same. Some masters, like Ra Lotsawa, literally had price lists.

Vajrayana is just different on this score.

Longchenpa nearly left his teacher because he couldn’t afford the fee. The teacher, Kumaraja, slipped him the fee on the sly.

Indeed, the empowerment fee is built in, and mentioned in the tantras.
Vases, canvas, bucklers, armies, forests, garlands, trees
houses, chariots, hostelries, and all such things
that common people designate dependent on their parts,
accept as such. For Buddha did not quarrel with the world!

—— Candrakīrti. MAV 6:166
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Kim O'Hara
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Re: There is no business like religion business.

Post by Kim O'Hara »

tobes wrote: Wed Jan 25, 2023 3:51 am
Kim O'Hara wrote: Wed Jan 25, 2023 3:35 am
jet.urgyen wrote: Wed Jan 25, 2023 3:23 am

i learned, in this very forum, that it's traditional to charge a fee for vajrayana teachings. that's ok also imo, it is correct.
but imo, it's definitely a horrible crime to charge for sutrayana teachings.
Everyone has been explaining that events do cost money to run, and presenters do need to pay for transport and food. That's true whether it's vajrayana or sutrayana, so how do you justify that distinction?

:namaste:
Kim
He did justify this, via the notion of tradition. i.e. there is a precedent for this in the Vajrayana, in a way that there isn't in other traditions. ...
The trouble with that as a sufficient explanation is that we don't live in that world any more.
Back in the good old days, monks of all traditions were supported by the community in which they lived and taught.
That doesn't happen - or not reliably enough - in our own times in non-Buddhist countries. If we want teachers, of any tradition, we have to make provision for their food, housing and (often) travel.
Suggesting that students should support vajrayana teachers because of a precedent somewhere long ago and far away, but not sutrayana teachers because there is no similar precedent, seems totally disconnected from those realities.

:namaste:
Kim
Malcolm
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Re: There is no business like religion business.

Post by Malcolm »

Kim O'Hara wrote: Wed Jan 25, 2023 4:44 am If we want teachers, of any tradition, we have to make provision for their food, housing and (often) travel.
Of course, that’s just reality.
Vases, canvas, bucklers, armies, forests, garlands, trees
houses, chariots, hostelries, and all such things
that common people designate dependent on their parts,
accept as such. For Buddha did not quarrel with the world!

—— Candrakīrti. MAV 6:166
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