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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Goofaholix
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Re: the ethics of lay teachers who charge money

Post by Goofaholix » Sat Mar 03, 2012 7:26 pm

marc108 wrote:right, here exactly is my issue. I have less of an issue with teachers receiving money, because as was mentioned, teachers need to eat too and if they can spend more time teaching by being paid then its probably better. the issue is holding back the Dhamma or turning away a sincere seeker because they cant pay, which is poor ethics of the highest caliber imo... and I'm not saying they do that, because I don't know for sure, but it sure seems implied that you will not receive teachings if you cant pay..
There are plenty of teachers around who teach on a dana basis so if a teacher is charging a fee one can vote with your feet and go to somebody else.

I guess it's only a problem if you live somewhere where you have little choice.

One thing to bear in mind is that charging a fee does make a teacher more acceptable to a different audience. Some people won't engage your services if you don't charge a fee because you're not considered professional enough, or they are scared you are just interested in proselytising religion.

An example is that most Theravadin Dhamma books are given away free, if you go to a "spiritual" bookshop you'll find almost all are Mahayana so that's a potential audience lost, lets face it a "spiritual" bookshop is often the first place people start looking into Buddhism. For this reason the forest sangha publish a book for sale through normal channels from time to time, because that way they will reach a different audience.
“Peace is within oneself to be found in the same place as agitation and suffering. It is not found in a forest or on a hilltop, nor is it given by a teacher. Where you experience suffering, you can also find freedom from suffering. Trying to run away from suffering is actually to run toward it.” ― Ajahn Chah

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

Post by Kim OHara » Sat Mar 03, 2012 11:19 pm

pilgrim wrote:
Kim O'Hara wrote:Zom, Pilgrim,
Idealism doesn't fill bellies.
If a teacher starves, he can no longer teach.

:namaste:
Kim
If the desire of a "teacher" is to enrich himself with the sale of his services rather than to assist others in reducing dukkha, then obviously his teachings to reduce greed and aversion did not work for him.
True, but not relevant to my point.
I'm talking about plain ordinary hunger. Sleeping under bridges because he can't afford accommodation.

:namaste:
Kim

danieLion
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Re: the ethics of lay teachers who charge money

Post by danieLion » Sat Mar 03, 2012 11:39 pm

This is only a dilemma for those who believe they need a teacher; but even then, there are plenty of good free ones. IMO, ordained teachers are more trustworthy because they don't charge. So, if you feel you can't live without a teacher, find an ordained one and prevent the issue of payment from even arising.
Goodwill
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DNS
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Re: the ethics of lay teachers who charge money

Post by DNS » Sun Mar 04, 2012 12:05 am

Here is Ven. Dhammika's opinion, which I agree with:
During the Buddha’s time people knew that teachers of other religions charged a fee (ācariyadhana) but that those teaching Dhamma expected nothing more from their students than respect and attentiveness (A.V,347). There is nothing wrong with charging for the food, accommodation etc. used during a meditation course. Nor is it improper for a teacher to accept donations. But to charge a fee, even if it is called ‘sponsorship’or to announce that a ‘donation’ of a certain amount is expected, contradicts the most basic ethics and ideals of Buddhism. Those who teach the Dhamma should see what they do as a rare and wonderful privilege and an act of kindness, not a means of livelihood.
from: Charging for Dhamma

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Re: the ethics of lay teachers who charge money

Post by thaijeppe » Sun Mar 04, 2012 3:29 am

If you have very simple questions, we may be able to respond to these briefly by email.

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As much as I understand all your postings that people need to earn money for a living, and there is nothing wrong with that.

But Lord Buddhas Dhamma are free and should continue to be so.

Above you have the advertisment we are talking about, and the problem is in the bold words "Dhamma".
If you take "Dhamma" out of the context, then we ar talking about counseling, and of cause anyone can charge whatever they want for counseling
if anyone is ready to pay, but when you are talking about Dhamma practice, it is not correct to charge according to The Dhamma.

:anjali: Jeppe
If you let go a little, you will have a little peace. If you
let go a lot, you will have a lot of peace. If you let go completely,
you will know complete peace and freedom.
Ajahn Chah

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Goofaholix
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Re: the ethics of lay teachers who charge money

Post by Goofaholix » Sun Mar 04, 2012 4:22 am

danieLion wrote:This is only a dilemma for those who believe they need a teacher; but even then, there are plenty of good free ones. IMO, ordained teachers are more trustworthy because they don't charge. So, if you feel you can't live without a teacher, find an ordained one and prevent the issue of payment from even arising.
Ordained people need to eat too.
“Peace is within oneself to be found in the same place as agitation and suffering. It is not found in a forest or on a hilltop, nor is it given by a teacher. Where you experience suffering, you can also find freedom from suffering. Trying to run away from suffering is actually to run toward it.” ― Ajahn Chah

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sankappa
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Re: the ethics of lay teachers who charge money

Post by sankappa » Sun Mar 04, 2012 5:02 am

I recently attended a retreat that was led by a lay teacher. While the cost of the food and accommodation was a set cost, any payment to the teacher was by dana. The teacher gave a very inspired talk explaining that Dhamma is not part of the orthodox economy, but part of the economy of the gift (dana) that was central to Dhamma and which can never have a price attached, as I'm sure most of us are aware is because it is essentially priceless.

This is an excellent example of how teaching the Dhamma needs to be approached IMO. By lay teachers making people aware that they survive by dana, you will find most people are more than willing to give generously, and importantly it enables people with limited funds not to be excluded. Once a price is put on Dhamma, it's on the slippery slope to becoming a commodity and losing it's purity.

:anjali:

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Re: the ethics of lay teachers who charge money

Post by mikenz66 » Sun Mar 04, 2012 5:13 am

Goofaholix wrote: Ordained people need to eat too.
Exactly. Anyone who thinks that the Dhamma is provided without someone paying is kidding themselves. At typical monasteries in the West the immigrant community (Thai, Sri Lankan, etc) provides enough support so it really doesn't matter to them whether those doing retreats contribute anything. Which is great, since different people have different capabilities for paying.

:anjali:
Mike

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sankappa
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Re: the ethics of lay teachers who charge money

Post by sankappa » Sun Mar 04, 2012 5:25 am

mikenz66 wrote:Exactly. Anyone who thinks that the Dhamma is provided without someone paying is kidding themselves.
Hi Mike,

I don't think anyone is saying that there should not be some form of payment for Dhamma, but that this transaction needs to occur by dana and not be part of the orthodox worldly economy of set prices.

:anjali:

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Zom
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Re: the ethics of lay teachers who charge money

Post by Zom » Sun Mar 04, 2012 7:57 am

Buddha refused to give Dhamma for food.

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Ben
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Re: the ethics of lay teachers who charge money

Post by Ben » Sun Mar 04, 2012 8:03 am

Zom wrote:Buddha refused to give Dhamma for food.
How do you know, Zom?
“No lists of things to be done. The day providential to itself. The hour. There is no later. This is later. All things of grace and beauty such that one holds them to one's heart have a common provenance in pain. Their birth in grief and ashes.”
- Cormac McCarthy, The Road

Learn this from the waters:
in mountain clefts and chasms,
loud gush the streamlets,
but great rivers flow silently.
- Sutta Nipata 3.725

Compassionate Hands Foundation (Buddhist aid in Myanmar) • Buddhist Global ReliefUNHCR

e: ben.dhammawheel@gmail.com..

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retrofuturist
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Re: the ethics of lay teachers who charge money

Post by retrofuturist » Sun Mar 04, 2012 8:05 am

Greetings,
Ben wrote:How do you know, Zom?
It's in the suttas.

Metta,
Retro. :)
"Do not force others, including children, by any means whatsoever, to adopt your views, whether by authority, threat, money, propaganda, or even education." - Ven. Thich Nhat Hanh

"The uprooting of identity is seen by the noble ones as pleasurable; but this contradicts what the whole world sees." (Snp 3.12)

"One discerns wrong view as wrong view, and right view as right view. This is one's right view." (MN 117)

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Ben
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Re: the ethics of lay teachers who charge money

Post by Ben » Sun Mar 04, 2012 8:07 am

retrofuturist wrote:Greetings,
Ben wrote:How do you know, Zom?
It's in the suttas.

Metta,
Retro. :)
Thank you Retro, I was just encouraging Zom to provide a citation with his comment rather than just an unsupported assertion of what the Buddha did or did not do.
kind regards,

Ben
“No lists of things to be done. The day providential to itself. The hour. There is no later. This is later. All things of grace and beauty such that one holds them to one's heart have a common provenance in pain. Their birth in grief and ashes.”
- Cormac McCarthy, The Road

Learn this from the waters:
in mountain clefts and chasms,
loud gush the streamlets,
but great rivers flow silently.
- Sutta Nipata 3.725

Compassionate Hands Foundation (Buddhist aid in Myanmar) • Buddhist Global ReliefUNHCR

e: ben.dhammawheel@gmail.com..

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mikenz66
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Re: the ethics of lay teachers who charge money

Post by mikenz66 » Sun Mar 04, 2012 8:12 am

There are many suttas where the Buddha accepts an invitation to a meal, has the meal, then teaches the Dhamma.
See, for example: http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

:anjali:
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Re: the ethics of lay teachers who charge money

Post by retrofuturist » Sun Mar 04, 2012 8:18 am

Greetings Mike,

Exactly - a gift is offered, and then a gift is offered in return.

Metta,
Retro. :)
"Do not force others, including children, by any means whatsoever, to adopt your views, whether by authority, threat, money, propaganda, or even education." - Ven. Thich Nhat Hanh

"The uprooting of identity is seen by the noble ones as pleasurable; but this contradicts what the whole world sees." (Snp 3.12)

"One discerns wrong view as wrong view, and right view as right view. This is one's right view." (MN 117)

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