Dan74 wrote:Personally I am pretty uneasy about charging money for Dhamma/Dharma but as others have said monastics need to pay the bills too.
On the other hand, if you are "dirt poor" as you said, are there any opportunities for you to earn money? I think it is important to do what we can to support ourselves and if possible to support others (relatives, friends, Dhamma centers, etc). Hard work is good practice though if people have a disability or otherwise unable of course that's a different story.
I have two jobs currently, one as a gas clerk and the other as a veterinary lab technician. I am also attending summer class and will be interning full-time at a zoo come September (along with my 2 other jobs). Also, I donated $1190 to volunteer for a whole month at an elephant rehabilitation center in Thailand (I leave August 6), which is incidentally located on temple grounds. So, I suppose the short answer is: I'm doing what I can.
In any event... $10 to meditate is still way too much, and like people have said, there shouldn't be a charge for the dhamma. I understand that they need to support the monastics, but by the looks of this place, there aren't any monks that live there...? At least at the Zen temple I've been to, monks definitely live there.
Anyway the issue is not why I won't donate or if people should charge for the dhamma or how much money I have and where I should be distributing it.
I just want to know people's opinion, if any, of Tibetan temples. Specifically if you've had experience with the Shambhala branch of the Vajrayana.