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Free The Dharma

lobsterlobster Veteran Veteran

Should we pay for the priceless? Can it be freed?

I have been on paid retreats, voluntary contribution retreats, monastic Christian retreats, free day retreats, even ... sponsored retreats (I was sponsored by Esso for one week long monastic/organic food growing retreat :p) 🤦🏼‍♀️🤷🏼‍♂️⏳

Sure it costs money to travel if not local but I can probably find a free group within walking distance [lucky lobster] <3

What is the real cost? Not attending training? :)

A lot of my sangha type links is from the cybernet. For example I recently started using twitter again. Very hard work now they advertise/promote, reweet and bubble you (herd your thinking) ... However I am a dharma geek, so am relearning how to get 0 followers (the ideal) ... who needs them ... to be inspired by (yes) and not to be twitched, bombarded and manipulated by ... ;)



  • BunksBunks Veteran Australia Veteran

    It's a good question @lobster

    I have been attending a Theravadan monastery regularly in the last couple of years that is well supported by the Sri Lankan community. Dhamma talks are given free of charge and the monks and nuns are always happy to answer questions.

    All accommodation and teachings are free but there is an expectation that one will do some work around the place and / or bring food and other requisites for the monastic and lay community that are living there.

    Recently I met an ex Thai monk at my kids school. Turns out he's a teacher there. We chatted and he suggested I join a meditation group he sits with nearby on a Monday night. "Sure" I say!

    So last week I get a message from him asking if I still want to come and directing me to a lady to "book a place". Turns out I have to pay $100 for 10 classes plus dana for the teacher.

    Maybe it's because I've become entrenched in the Theradavan community I am with now but I was sort of offended that they would ask me for money to meditate. I knocked back the class.

    Too harsh? :)

  • lobsterlobster Veteran Veteran
    edited October 10

    Not too harsh at all. My teacher paid all my expenses. <3 It was very difficult for me to contribute anything :)

    So I have a hard core example to follow if I ever had the capacity. Back to the beginner section ... again :'(

  • KeromeKerome Love, love is mystery The Continent Veteran

    Here in the Netherlands for group meditation sessions they often ask for a 10 euro contribution per session towards the room and costs. It seems a bit high to ask 15 people for 10 euro’s each just to sit together for an hour... and then often they have package arrangements for paying for so many sessions in advance!

    I’m relatively poor, I don’t have a lot of money so I have to avoid unnecessary costs so I don’t generally go to these sessions. If I had the money to spend I wouldn’t mind too much, but finding a really good meditation teacher is very hit and miss here, a lot of them have just had a 10 hour course of training and were set loose on the world. To find someone who is genuinely developed in this way is pretty rare.

    Some of the temples such as the Tibetan temple nearby are supported by the community, but they don’t really provide a service.

  • personperson Don't believe everything you think the void Veteran

    To be able to support a meeting space and a full time teacher costs money. Where I live there is a large Tibetan community that supports them and sufficient interest among westerners to support several western sanghas through dana rather than a fee based approach. I don't think that is often possible in many places.

  • lobsterlobster Veteran Veteran
    edited October 11

    to tame/train the mind is free

    Freeeeeeee .... yipeeeeeeee! [lobster open trap sutra] 🦞

    Imagine everything is your sangha/teacher/sacred bovine ... what can you learn, unlearn? 🙈🙉🙊

    In most Buddhist villiages, the holy sacred cow is referred to as Gaumata (cow the mother) or Aditi (mother of gods)

  • KeromeKerome Love, love is mystery The Continent Veteran

    @lobster said:
    In most Buddhist villages, the holy sacred cow is referred to as Gaumata (cow the mother) or Aditi (mother of gods)

    I didn’t know buddhism had much to do with cows, how interesting. There’s the ox herding pictures, but for the rest I thought cows were a hindu thing...

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