Kim O'Hara wrote:
The difficulty here - in Australia - is that we have no tradition of donating to the teacher in circumstances like this, so donations, as I said before, go to charity once expenses (photocopying, venue hire, etc) have been paid.
I bet the venue hire cost is the heaviest. What if advance lay practitioners like her hold the event outdoor in nature, similar to the teachings that the Buddha held. This is what the following group did and I thought that is such a fun idea. It was first started by Tricycle. Also, maybe she can contact local forest monasteries to let her gather with others and study the dhamma there on weekdays. Someone has done that too.
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Actually, in monasteries where there are buildings available to give talks many teachers still give talks beneath the trees . It can be very peaceful and pleasant to listen to dhamma talk followed by a guided meditation session outdoors. People have a chance to spend time in nature. Also , it is very suitable for walking meditation. Even if people don't enjoy the talk, just sitting outdoor is pleasant enough.
I think the park or beach can be fun. Walking meditation on the surf is wonderful. All people need to bring is a small beach mat and cushion. Maybe someone from the group can sell some drinks and snacks for tea breaks. She might want to get together with a few other advance lay practitioners .
A group I went to offered free snacks and tea after guided meditation & walking meditation , right before dhamma talk. That makes the event even more relaxing and enjoyable. It makes me want to donate to support all the services they have given.
These days we are used to being indoors , between the four walls. We are so cut off from nature. Since there is an environmental issue going on, connecting with nature can also serve to motivate people to conserve it.
I think the idea jumpstarted by Tricycle is great, what do you think.