the ethics of lay teachers who charge money

Buddhist ethical conduct including the Five Precepts (Pañcasikkhāpada), and Eightfold Ethical Conduct (Aṭṭhasīla).
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marc108
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Re: the ethics of lay teachers who charge money

Postby marc108 » Sun Mar 04, 2012 6:41 pm

"It's easy for us to connect with what's wrong with us... and not so easy to feel into, or to allow us, to connect with what's right and what's good in us."

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Goofaholix
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Re: the ethics of lay teachers who charge money

Postby Goofaholix » Sun Mar 04, 2012 6:58 pm

One thing that hasn't been pointed out is at the time of the Buddha India had already had a long tradition of people feeding and generally looking after the needs of "spiritual seekers". So Buddhist monasticism was built on this tradition and it spread throughout SE Asia.

We don't have this tradition in the West, in our culture it's more about standing on your own two feet and a days pay for a days work. Many western Buddhists/meditators try to incorporate dana into their practise but most of us aren't very good at it.

If it weren't for the asian immigrant community probably most monks in the West would starve, and if you consider this then what hope do lay teachers have?

I think it's really quite wonderful that in some cases some western lay teachers can live on dana, so l think better to look at this as a glass half full.

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mikenz66
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Re: the ethics of lay teachers who charge money

Postby mikenz66 » Sun Mar 04, 2012 7:52 pm

Thanks Marc for some good quotations, and Goofaholix for some excellent observations about various models of support. As I said above, genuine, sustainable Western Buddhism not dependent on immigrant dana, is not a simple matter and models of support is not a simple issue.

:anjali:
Mike

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pilgrim
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Re: the ethics of lay teachers who charge money

Postby pilgrim » Mon Mar 05, 2012 1:28 am


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Goofaholix
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Re: the ethics of lay teachers who charge money

Postby Goofaholix » Mon Mar 05, 2012 2:37 am


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Ferox
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Re: the ethics of lay teachers who charge money

Postby Ferox » Tue Mar 06, 2012 4:19 am

I don't think i'd ever go to a facility or deal with a teacher who wanted money out right.. it just seems totally the opposite of the dhamma being an exoteric teaching. Now every time I go to a monastery I usually give money, because I want to support them, but I wouldn't pay for a retreat.

Starting this Thursday I'm doing a 8 day meditation retreat with Bhante Gunaratana at Bhavana Society in West Virginia. Sometimes the Lay coordinator of the retreat will talk about how the place is supported by donations at the end of the retreat, but other then that you are never even hinted to donate.

what is wrong with a lay teacher getting a job? if your gonna be a teacher full time, why not become a monk? I in all honestly do a little teaching myself to very beginners and I also have a job and a business, I couldn't imagine charging for the dhamma or my insight.
-just one more being treading the ancient path of Dhamma-

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Kim OHara
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Re: the ethics of lay teachers who charge money

Postby Kim OHara » Tue Mar 06, 2012 7:02 am


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pilgrim
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Re: the ethics of lay teachers who charge money

Postby pilgrim » Tue Mar 06, 2012 7:39 am

Kim,
I think most people feel there is no issue with people voluntarily giving money for teachings . Its when the payment becomes a necessary pre-requisite that we have problems with. Do you really feel that it is OK for a teacher to turn away a student who is to keen to learn the Dhamma because he cannot pay the required fees?

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Kim OHara
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Re: the ethics of lay teachers who charge money

Postby Kim OHara » Tue Mar 06, 2012 11:05 am


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Ferox
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Re: the ethics of lay teachers who charge money

Postby Ferox » Tue Mar 06, 2012 12:29 pm

admittedly for myself, I'm moving towards ordaining eventually, preparing myself for no debt etc. So I will be able to teach more obviously. I agree with people here saying that there are many ways to go about this, but imo it just feels wrong to charge for meditation and dhamma instruction. There is just a core thing that gets lost, a trust not seen much in this society today and an openness to all beings, regardless of if they can afford it or not.
-just one more being treading the ancient path of Dhamma-

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Dan74
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Re: the ethics of lay teachers who charge money

Postby Dan74 » Tue Mar 06, 2012 12:35 pm

I have never heard of a centre (whether Theravada or Mahayana) who turned away a person who was genuinely unable to pay. Have people heard of such places?
_/|\_

santa100
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Re: the ethics of lay teachers who charge money

Postby santa100 » Tue Mar 06, 2012 2:35 pm

And if there're such places or teachers like that, then you'd better not get involved with them at all. You could be pretty sure that they'd only bring more suffering to you instead of lessening it as you originally wished... :tongue:

locrian
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Re: the ethics of lay teachers who charge money

Postby locrian » Tue Mar 06, 2012 3:52 pm

I used to be a firm believer that one does not charge for spiritual purposes, but I and my world have changed. I am not a teacher, but I see teaching just as I do any relationship and can see why people would be in a position where they have to charge. Now I'm not talking about people who choose to make a commodity out of what is generally given freely, but people who are being asked to give of their time and selves to pay extra close attention to one person (or a few or whatever the case may be). It's like this with everything...if a friend asks me to go to movie and a diner and I've just put in 9+ hours at my job, want to finish that piece I've been working on and am tired as hell I might say "no" or "not right now." If they then offer to treat (aka pay the tab) and express a strong desire to speak with me I might shift my schedule about at my own expense (knowing I might be worn out tomorrow, or may not get my personal projects completed as quickly). When you accept anyone into your life in any capacity you accept all of them and sometimes a person can't see how to make room or it would be too costly on a personal level. Money can sometimes balance that out. I mean, don't monasteries even have people cook or clean in exchange? In my world that is as good if not better than money. I mean, these relationships aren't as cut and dry as "I'll meet with you for an hour on Monday." They can really penetrate every aspect of one's life and *sometimes* money can help balance that (aka, well...I'll hire someone to clean the house this week which frees 3 hours for other stuff...).

To sum it up, it's not the money I have a problem with...it's what is being exchanged for what and why...

danieLion
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Re: the ethics of lay teachers who charge money

Postby danieLion » Thu Mar 08, 2012 3:44 am


befriend
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Re: the ethics of lay teachers who charge money

Postby befriend » Mon Aug 20, 2012 12:48 am

nothing can destroy a man who has lived a pure life

Maarten
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Re: the ethics of lay teachers who charge money

Postby Maarten » Sun Sep 23, 2012 12:15 pm

In the book eight mindful steps to happiness Bhante Gunaratana describes a sutta where the Buddha was on his almsround and he came across a man who was feeding his workers. The Buddha asked the man if he had some food to spare, to which to man responded: “What work have you done?” the Buddha pointed to his followers and said he had been teaching those people all day. After hearing this the man agreed to give the Buddha some food but the Buddha declined saying: “No thanks, I work for free.” And he did not eat that day.

Maybe someone knows the actual sutta?

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Hanzze
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Re: the ethics of lay teachers who charge money

Postby Hanzze » Sun Sep 23, 2012 12:27 pm

Seems to be more a nice story/but not sure (there are many who believe that there is a teaching for alms dependency). Maybe it comes from the Sutta.

Here are tow essays which make the stringless Dhamma giving more understandable:


and
Just that! *smile*


BUT! it is important to become a real Buddhist first. Like Punna did: Nate sante baram sokham _()_

morning mist
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Re: the ethics of lay teachers who charge money

Postby morning mist » Sun Sep 23, 2012 12:42 pm

Dhamma was intended to be a gift and should remain a gift. It should be given freely to all who wish to receive it. Lay people who wish to share the gift of dhamma to others are more than welcome. Please consider it an offering of dhamma, a meritorious work, a selfless voluntary work . Whether it is spending time to volunteer in Tzu chi or sharing dhamma, it is considered wholesome actions. If an organization wishes to support the person's mission in sharing the dhamma , they can do so in the form of donation and it should be voluntary.
with metta,

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kiwi
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Re: the ethics of lay teachers who charge money

Postby kiwi » Sun Sep 23, 2012 9:07 pm

I do wonder how much the lay teachers that want payment , paid for their dhamma teachings .

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Hanzze
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Re: the ethics of lay teachers who charge money

Postby Hanzze » Mon Sep 24, 2012 12:59 am

A good question, I guess it's more rarly that disiples do different then there teacher. But there are three kinds of children in this world. Some do better, some do equal and some do worse then their parents.
Just that! *smile*


BUT! it is important to become a real Buddhist first. Like Punna did: Nate sante baram sokham _()_


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