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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mikenz66
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Re: the ethics of lay teachers who charge money

Post by mikenz66 » Sun Mar 04, 2012 8:29 am

But there is a fairly clear expectation that the invitation means to come and have a meal then have a chat about Dhamma...

And as for refusing food, is this the Sutta that is being referred to?
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
It doesn't really seem to be refusing to take food in exchange for teaching. It's a bit more complex than that...

But perhaps there are other suttas being alluded to...

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Re: the ethics of lay teachers who charge money

Post by retrofuturist » Sun Mar 04, 2012 8:34 am

Greetings,
mikenz66 wrote:But perhaps there are other suttas being alluded to...
Yes, there are... and that's not one of them.

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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Re: the ethics of lay teachers who charge money

Post by Cittasanto » Sun Mar 04, 2012 8:41 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.
Goodwill
Daniel
lack of charge does not mean they are trustworthy, or know what they are talking about.
Blog, Suttas, Aj Chah, Facebook.

He who knows only his own side of the case knows little of that. His reasons may be good, and no one may have been able to refute them.
But if he is equally unable to refute the reasons on the opposite side, if he does not so much as know what they are, he has no ground for preferring either opinion …
...
He must be able to hear them from persons who actually believe them … he must know them in their most plausible and persuasive form.
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Re: the ethics of lay teachers who charge money

Post by mikenz66 » Sun Mar 04, 2012 8:51 am

retrofuturist wrote:
mikenz66 wrote:But perhaps there are other suttas being alluded to...
Yes, there are... and that's not one of them.
OK well it would be good to refer to some then, since I can only recall ones like the one I linked to where the Buddha accepts an invitation for a meal and a chat...

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Re: the ethics of lay teachers who charge money

Post by retrofuturist » Sun Mar 04, 2012 9:04 am

Greetings Mike,
mikenz66 wrote:OK well it would be good to refer to some then
Sorry, I can't be bothered digging around the suttas just to prove this to you. If you care enough to look, the general theme is that someone who wasn't a follower of the Dhamma is convinced by the Buddha on matters pertaining to the Dhamma and then they make offerings which are rejected because they are interpreted by the Buddha as 'payment' for received teaching. That is not the basis upon which the Buddhadhamma is taught.

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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Re: the ethics of lay teachers who charge money

Post by mikenz66 » Sun Mar 04, 2012 9:05 am

OK, I'll await someone who cares to support their assertions with facts then...

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Re: the ethics of lay teachers who charge money

Post by tiltbillings » Sun Mar 04, 2012 9:09 am

retrofuturist wrote:Greetings Mike,
mikenz66 wrote:OK well it would be good to refer to some then
Sorry, I can't be bothered digging around the suttas just to prove this to you.
Seriously.
If you care enough to look, the general theme is that someone who wasn't a follower of the Dhamma is convinced by the Buddha on matters pertaining to the Dhamma and then they make offerings which are rejected because they are interpreted by the Buddha as 'payment' for received teaching,
It would be interesting to actually see the text (or texts, if there is, in fact, more than one in question). What presents itself immediately is that this concerns a person who was initially a non-follower, so it would interesting to see the full context. Sorry you cannot be bothered, however.
>> Do you see a man wise [enlightened/ariya] in his own eyes? There is more hope for a fool than for him.<< -- Proverbs 26:12

This being is bound to samsara, kamma is his means for going beyond. -- SN I, 38.

“Of course it is happening inside your head, Harry, but why on earth should that mean that it is not real?” HPatDH p.723

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Re: the ethics of lay teachers who charge money

Post by retrofuturist » Sun Mar 04, 2012 9:13 am

Greetings Tilt,
Seriously.
Yes, seriously... I know Zom is correct. It's not going to bring me any closer to enlightenment to hunt around through the Sutta Pitaka for the benefit of those who don't believe him. I have other things to do.
tiltbillings wrote:Sorry you cannot be bothered, however.
If I could think of a combination of unique keywords to search by I would... but I can't think of what would return the sutta(s) in question. I'm pretty sure it is multiple suttas too...

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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Re: the ethics of lay teachers who charge money

Post by tiltbillings » Sun Mar 04, 2012 9:24 am

retrofuturist wrote:Greetings Tilt,
Seriously.
Yes, seriously... I know Zom is correct. It's not going to bring me any closer to enlightenment to hunt around through the Sutta Pitaka for the benefit of those who don't believe him. I have other things to do.
I don't disbelieve him. I'd simply like to see the text(s) for myself. It has been the common courtesy here to provide the text one refers to. I'd hate to think that that is changing.
>> Do you see a man wise [enlightened/ariya] in his own eyes? There is more hope for a fool than for him.<< -- Proverbs 26:12

This being is bound to samsara, kamma is his means for going beyond. -- SN I, 38.

“Of course it is happening inside your head, Harry, but why on earth should that mean that it is not real?” HPatDH p.723

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Re: the ethics of lay teachers who charge money

Post by mikenz66 » Sun Mar 04, 2012 9:29 am

retrofuturist wrote:Greetings Tilt,
Seriously.
Yes, seriously... I know Zom is correct. It's not going to bring me any closer to enlightenment to hunt around through the Sutta Pitaka for the benefit of those who don't believe him. I have other things to do.
But this issue is important in thinking about the possible shape of Buddhism in the West, so it would be nice to have some sutta references to support opinions.

The Sutta I quoted, and many others with the same scenario, appear to indicate a symbiotic relationship between the laity and the Sangha, where the laity supported the Sangna, expecting them to not only practise for their own awakening, but to communicate Dhamma to the laity.

As in this case:
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
"There is the case, Bharadvaja, where a monk lives in dependence on a certain village or town. Then a householder or householder's son goes to him and observes him with regard to three mental qualities — qualities based on greed, qualities based on aversion, qualities based on delusion:
...
When, on observing that the monk is purified with regard to qualities based on delusion, he places conviction in him. With the arising of conviction, he visits him & grows close to him. Growing close to him, he lends ear. Lending ear, he hears the Dhamma.
...
:anjali:
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Re: the ethics of lay teachers who charge money

Post by marc108 » Sun Mar 04, 2012 6:41 pm

I dont think we can compare giving a Dhamma talk after a meal to charging 150$ an hour :rofl:

from here: http://www.dhammawheel.com/viewtopic.ph ... 20#p132799" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
"[4] The Dhamma should be taught with the thought, 'I will speak not for the purpose of material reward.'"
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
"One should not make the Dhamma a trade."
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
"Monks, there are these five forms of stinginess. Which five? Stinginess as to one's monastery [lodgings], stinginess as to one's family [of supporters], stinginess as to one's gains, stinginess as to one's status, and stinginess as to the Dhamma. These are the five forms of stinginess. And the meanest of these five is this: stinginess as to the Dhamma."
"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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Re: the ethics of lay teachers who charge money

Post by 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.
“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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Re: the ethics of lay teachers who charge money

Post by 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.

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Re: the ethics of lay teachers who charge money

Post by pilgrim » Mon Mar 05, 2012 1:28 am

Goofaholix wrote: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.
Perhaps, as an adaptation to the circumstances, lay teachers could use the "Suggested dana" model. But this should not cause him to reject students who can only give less or nothing at all. The Goenka centres seem to be working well on a dana basis, and the teacher is not even physically present, and people give only after the course when they have every opportunity to leave. So the dana model is possible but I think the teacher has to explain how the system works as an ongoing education.

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Re: the ethics of lay teachers who charge money

Post by Goofaholix » Mon Mar 05, 2012 2:37 am

pilgrim wrote:The Goenka centres seem to be working well on a dana basis, and the teacher is not even physically present, and people give only after the course when they have every opportunity to leave. So the dana model is possible but I think the teacher has to explain how the system works as an ongoing education.
The Goenka model is a very good example of how to make it work.

Mind you DVD's don't need to eat, and don't require international air tickets, this helps a lot.
“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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