Why do students prepare to pay to learn Dhamma?

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SarathW
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Why do students prepare to pay to learn Dhamma?

Post by SarathW » Wed Jan 04, 2017 8:25 am

I some times wonder why some students prepared to pay so much money to attend a retreat while there are so many free retreats available.
Are there any special attractions in the paid retreats.


Some discussion related to this topic.
https://discourse.suttacentral.net/t/is ... mma/3860/8
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mikenz66
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Re: Why do students prepare to pay to learn Dhamma?

Post by mikenz66 » Wed Jan 04, 2017 8:50 am

Are there really a lot of free retreats that are easy for westerners to access? Goenka retreats are free and easy to access in the West. Other free retreats I am aware of are connected with monasteries, and I imagine would generally be difficult to commit to without some familiarity with the monastery.

There are certainly plenty of opportunities in SE Asia, but unless one is quite adventurous, or has some contacts already, it's not so straightforward to figure out.

Furthermore, I don't think these retreats are actually "free". Someone, either the participants or wealthy donors pays for the facilities and food via donations.

:anjali:
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CedarTree
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Re: Why do students prepare to pay to learn Dhamma?

Post by CedarTree » Sat Jul 22, 2017 6:39 pm

SarathW wrote:I some times wonder why some students prepared to pay so much money to attend a retreat while there are so many free retreats available.
Are there any special attractions in the paid retreats.


Some discussion related to this topic.
https://discourse.suttacentral.net/t/is ... mma/3860/8
They have the finances and want to help support the community so events, places of practice, and teachers continue and are well developed. :)

This is why giving is so important if possible.


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Caodemarte
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Re: Why do students prepare to pay to learn Dhamma?

Post by Caodemarte » Sat Jul 22, 2017 11:16 pm

CedarTree wrote:
SarathW wrote:I some times wonder why some students prepared to pay so much money to attend a retreat while there are so many free retreats available.
Are there any special attractions in the paid retreats.


Some discussion related to this topic.
https://discourse.suttacentral.net/t/is ... mma/3860/8
They have the finances and want to help support the community so events, places of practice, and teachers continue and are well developed. :)

This is why giving is so important if possible.
Most retreats that I am aware of (or interested in ) use the money to pay expenses and cover those who cannot pay. So if you have the money it is good to pay, but no one is turned away for lack of funds if they really can't pay. There are are obviously fraudulent groups that charge a lot of money and implicitly promise enlightenment for cash. Avoid them.

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CedarTree
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Re: Why do students prepare to pay to learn Dhamma?

Post by CedarTree » Sun Jul 23, 2017 12:17 am

Caodemarte wrote:
CedarTree wrote:
SarathW wrote:I some times wonder why some students prepared to pay so much money to attend a retreat while there are so many free retreats available.
Are there any special attractions in the paid retreats.


Some discussion related to this topic.
https://discourse.suttacentral.net/t/is ... mma/3860/8
They have the finances and want to help support the community so events, places of practice, and teachers continue and are well developed. :)

This is why giving is so important if possible.
Most retreats that I am aware of (or interested in ) use the money to pay expenses and cover those who cannot pay. So if you have the money it is good to pay, but no one is turned away for lack of funds if they really can't pay. There are are obviously fraudulent groups that charge a lot of money and implicitly promise enlightenment for cash. Avoid them.
Well said Caodemarte, if the teacher is wearing a rolex, has rings with more jewels than you can count on them and drives a fancy car. Stay away!!!! Lol Good old "You will know them by their fruits"


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seeker242
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Re: Why do students prepare to pay to learn Dhamma?

Post by seeker242 » Sun Jul 23, 2017 2:01 am

SarathW wrote: Are there any special attractions in the paid retreats.
Food, hot water, electricity. :smile:

The nearest free retreat that I know of is a Goenka center, about 500 miles away. Not exactly convenient!

You don't "pay to learn dhamma". You pay for food, hot water, electricity, etc, etc.

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Maitri
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Re: Why do students prepare to pay to learn Dhamma?

Post by Maitri » Sun Jul 23, 2017 9:30 pm

SarathW wrote:I some times wonder why some students prepared to pay so much money to attend a retreat while there are so many free retreats available.
Are there any special attractions in the paid retreats.


Some discussion related to this topic.
https://discourse.suttacentral.net/t/is ... mma/3860/8
Nothing is free. Someone, somewhere is paying for it.
"Upon a heap of rubbish in the road-side ditch blooms a lotus, fragrant and pleasing.
Even so, on the rubbish heap of blinded mortals the disciple of the Supremely Enlightened One shines resplendent in wisdom." Dhammapada: Pupphavagga

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ieee23
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Re: Why do students prepare to pay to learn Dhamma?

Post by ieee23 » Sun Jul 23, 2017 11:52 pm

seeker242 wrote: Food, hot water, electricity.
.
The by donation retreats I have been on have monasteries and Goenka centers. Plenty of food, hot water, and electricity at all three.

The monastery is a long, but doable drive for me. The Goenka retreats were a plane ticket and a taxi bus ride away -----> as would other monasteries be.

The one time I was planning to go to a "pricey" ( strong emphasis on suggested donations all over the site, with high suggestions ) retreat it was for a teacher I was really into. A death in the family a month out forced me to cancel.

Unless there was a teacher who I felt had particularly useful and relevant guidance to give me beyond all others, there is no way I would go to a secular retreat center which vociferously asks for suggestion donations with high donations suggested.

I can do "book learning" on my own. Minus that, and unique guidance, sitting quietly in a mediation hall is about the same anywhere.
Whatever a bhikkhu frequently thinks and ponders upon, that will become the inclination of his mind. - MN 19

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seeker242
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Re: Why do students prepare to pay to learn Dhamma?

Post by seeker242 » Mon Jul 24, 2017 11:26 am

ieee23 wrote: I can do "book learning" on my own. Minus that, and unique guidance, sitting quietly in a mediation hall is about the same anywhere.
I agree. Which is why I do the local paid retreats instead of driving 500 miles or hopping on a plane just to do it for free. :smile: I don't understand the resistance of giving money to a Buddhist center/temple. :shrug:

ieee23
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Re: Why do students prepare to pay to learn Dhamma?

Post by ieee23 » Mon Jul 24, 2017 1:49 pm

The resistance is the aggressiveness about suggesting the "suggested donations", the high amounts of the "suggested donations", and people using the dhamma as a business/livelihood.
Whatever a bhikkhu frequently thinks and ponders upon, that will become the inclination of his mind. - MN 19

binocular
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Re: Why do students prepare to pay to learn Dhamma?

Post by binocular » Mon Jul 24, 2017 2:49 pm

seeker242 wrote:I don't understand the resistance of giving money to a Buddhist center/temple.
That resistance might have something to do with the person not really wanting to do the Buddhist practice, not being sure whether they want to be a Buddhist, being ambivalent about the teacher at the center/temple, not really wanting to do the practice at an advanced level, and possibly other similar concerns.

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seeker242
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Re: Why do students prepare to pay to learn Dhamma?

Post by seeker242 » Mon Jul 24, 2017 3:03 pm

ieee23 wrote:The resistance is the aggressiveness about suggesting the "suggested donations", the high amounts of the "suggested donations", and people using the dhamma as a business/livelihood.
Alright, but simply because there is a fee to attend doesn't mean any of the above is true. The local retreats here have a fee but no one is aggressive, the amount is not high and nobody is making a living off it.

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BasementBuddhist
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Re: Why do students prepare to pay to learn Dhamma?

Post by BasementBuddhist » Tue Jul 25, 2017 3:52 pm

Before I moved, my local temple often held retreats. These mostly had a small fee attached because the locations these retreats were held in cost money. Nothing is free. Not even the dhamma, really. Not when you stop to think about what you are giving up. Everything has a price.

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CedarTree
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Re: Why do students prepare to pay to learn Dhamma?

Post by CedarTree » Tue Jul 25, 2017 6:37 pm

This would be a good time to say: The Dhamma is priceless. Having a chance to do an extended stay/practice at an Ajahn Chah monastery or speak with Ajahn Thanissaro or practice mindfulness and noting as intensely as is done at Panditãrãma or sit Zen meditation in America at Gyobutsuji Zen Monastery and manifest the Unborn is literally life altering. It is not a small day to day thing. At minimum it can change how you think and approach everything that is and arises in ones life. In between powerful experiences that many never get the chance to have because of not knowing the Dhamma and practicing it.

The dhamma is not a thing amongst other things. This is important wisdom to always keep in mind so one orients ones life around truly meaningful and powerful things.


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binocular
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Re: Why do students prepare to pay to learn Dhamma?

Post by binocular » Tue Jul 25, 2017 6:42 pm

CedarTree wrote:This would be a good time to say: The Dhamma is priceless. Having a chance to do an extended stay/practice at an Ajahn Chah monastery or speak with Ajahn Thanissaro or practice mindfulness and noting as intensely as is done at Panditãrãma or sit Zen meditation in America at Gyobutsuji Zen Monastery and manifest the Unborn is literally life altering. It is not a small day to day thing. At minimum it can change how you think and approach everything that is and arises in ones life. In between powerful experiences that many never get the chance to have because of not knowing the Dhamma and practicing it.

The dhamma is not a thing amongst other things. This is important wisdom to always keep in mind so one orients ones life around truly meaningful and powerful things.
But one has to believe this to begin with in order for the Dhamma to have such an effect, does one not?

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CedarTree
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Re: Why do students prepare to pay to learn Dhamma?

Post by CedarTree » Tue Jul 25, 2017 7:22 pm

binocular wrote:
CedarTree wrote:This would be a good time to say: The Dhamma is priceless. Having a chance to do an extended stay/practice at an Ajahn Chah monastery or speak with Ajahn Thanissaro or practice mindfulness and noting as intensely as is done at Panditãrãma or sit Zen meditation in America at Gyobutsuji Zen Monastery and manifest the Unborn is literally life altering. It is not a small day to day thing. At minimum it can change how you think and approach everything that is and arises in ones life. In between powerful experiences that many never get the chance to have because of not knowing the Dhamma and practicing it.

The dhamma is not a thing amongst other things. This is important wisdom to always keep in mind so one orients ones life around truly meaningful and powerful things.
But one has to believe this to begin with in order for the Dhamma to have such an effect, does one not?
Believe no, but practice what is instructed yes most likely.


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CedarTree
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Re: Why do students prepare to pay to learn Dhamma?

Post by CedarTree » Tue Jul 25, 2017 7:32 pm

I will clarify a bit, the context of what I said is within the context of this:

The world and the individuals within it spend a lot of money on many mundane things. For those already within a Dhamma perspective the idea that you would not invest in the Dhamma and your practice is foolish.

For those outside this perspective this kind of logic could apply to food, exercise, healthy living. Wanting to retire with a ton of money or have a ton of expensive things and so scraping on the essentials only to die very early due to this mis-emphasis of value and having wasted ones efforts and life/time.

There is a reason a sutta says that those that have heard the dhamma and or started on the path are incredibly fortunate.

If you have the chance to develop and experience incredible things way beyond the scope of ordinary mind and possibly have purity of heart and a unconditioned happiness with every arising moment with complete fulfillment and the end of stress it would be silly to toss this potential away to keep those things yet hold onto some paper with ink on it.


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binocular
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Re: Why do students prepare to pay to learn Dhamma?

Post by binocular » Wed Jul 26, 2017 2:12 am

CedarTree wrote:Believe no, but practice what is instructed yes most likely.
To practice what is instructed, one has to believe it.
CedarTree wrote:If you have the chance to develop and experience incredible things way beyond the scope of ordinary mind and possibly have purity of heart and a unconditioned happiness with every arising moment with complete fulfillment and the end of stress it would be silly to toss this potential away to keep those things yet hold onto some paper with ink on it.
People in every religion that I know of say such things. Why not practice their religion?

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CedarTree
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Re: Why do students prepare to pay to learn Dhamma?

Post by CedarTree » Wed Jul 26, 2017 3:29 am

binocular wrote:
CedarTree wrote:Believe no, but practice what is instructed yes most likely.
To practice what is instructed, one has to believe it.
CedarTree wrote:If you have the chance to develop and experience incredible things way beyond the scope of ordinary mind and possibly have purity of heart and a unconditioned happiness with every arising moment with complete fulfillment and the end of stress it would be silly to toss this potential away to keep those things yet hold onto some paper with ink on it.
People in every religion that I know of say such things. Why not practice their religion?
I'll leave it at what I've already stated. Have a good night. :anjali:


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binocular
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Re: Why do students prepare to pay to learn Dhamma?

Post by binocular » Wed Jul 26, 2017 3:47 am

CedarTree wrote:I'll leave it at what I've already stated. Have a good night. :anjali:
And that's why people are reluctant to pay for the Dhamma: because of such ignoring and silent treatments.

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