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the cost of online courses

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the cost of online courses
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9/12/20 7:57 AM
First of all, let me say I am certainly no expert in Buddhism, meditation, nor much of anything else. I have been interested in Buddhism for many years, having spent a great deal of time in many countries in Asia. I have had the distinct privilege of hearing His Holiness in a appearance many years ago. I have been meditating for the past several years and do so each day around 4 AM. I am certainly a "rank amateur" and at 78 years I am sure I will never come close to what some have accomplished. Maybe my next life. My wife and I moved to Ecuador 8 years ago and are very content in our small village in Northern Ecuador, living at 8000 feet. I have looked at several Buddhist centers but of course due to Covid they all seem closed, and most are in the larger cities. I would hope in the coming year, the Covid virus will subside and some of the centers will be open. In the meantime, I read and listen to the things I can find, from books to online courses. I must say, that there seems to be an ever increasing commercial side to many online courses which is a bit disturbing. I have been a business man, boat captain, bartender, and many other things to earn a living and fully understand the need for all of us to be fairly compensated, but some courses seem rather expensive; and as we are very active in our community helping people as much as possible, $195 feeds those in need, as opposed to my personal journey. 

Thirty years ago, when I saw a Buddhist monk, I was not sure exactly what he represented and now it seems to be the rage with a number of people my children's age. I have no criticism of this at all, as I fully believe Buddhism can help save a planet in dire distress. I mean no insult to anyone, but would rather hear opinions from others. I have been fascinated by the life led by Tenzin Palmo and her struggle for the recognization of women achieving high status in Buddhism, and she has dedicated her life to her practice, and is a great example of someone that has never spent time trying to gather personal possesions. My wife and I have learned the lesson of "less is more". Since this is my first post, I hope I have not violated any rules or regulations. Namaste

RE: the cost of online courses
Answer
9/13/20 7:28 AM as a reply to bobby suduron.
dear Gin,

you have not violated any policy.

It's just that the topic of "money and dharma teachers" has been discussed endlessly on this forum since its begining some 15 years ago. It created a few overly heated debates, even some exoduses from this forum, and many prefer to stay away from discussing this further.

Having said that, I believe you are very much right to be wondering why some people who call themselves dharma teachers sell meditation instructions for amounts that would make a high level corporate lawyer salivate over their their hourly rates : ) Me, personally, would encourage you to be suspicious of these people.

And there is lot of quality free stuff out there too. (And by free I mean free in original sense of the word. Not "free" as in freemium, a marketing strategy trying to entice you to purchase after a "free" introduction. The so called freemium selling models. Explored and validated by online porn and digital games, and now more and more adapted by some/many a dharma teacher : ))

(I am sorry, I could not resist. I intend no harm : ))

Best wishes and I hope life is treating you well in Ecuador...what a life you are describing!

P.S.

One of truly free and fairly secular options how to meditate and practice is provided by University of Oxford, i .e. 

https://www.oxfordmindfulness.org/free-online-mindfulness-course-sessions/ - especially sessions with Chris Cullen

RE: the cost of online courses
Answer
9/13/20 9:19 AM as a reply to Jano Pavuk.
Jano, thank you so very much for you polite and informative answer, as I see answers on other pages and blogs many times unnesecarily rude. Being a man born in 1942 I was taught early on the importance of civility and respect for everyone. I may not agreed with an adult as a child, but always remembered what I was taught about respect. I would hope to find a place that questions could be asked and answered by people much farther down the path. I would wonder how many really practice ahimsa to the extent of killing nothing? Growing up a hunter I have killed many things but long before I knew the word dharma, much less ahimsa, I had stopped. I once had the rare opportunity to hunt with indigenous people I Colombia, and like Native Americans they truly honored all living things. I have many such questions and would love to find a sangha of people with similar ideas. Once again, thank you so much for your willingness to answer my questions and I hope we will perhaps see each other one day. I must also thank Silas Day, the only person I could call "my teacher" for giving me this link. Namaste