Money and the Buddha

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Kenneth Folk, modified 6 Years ago.

Money and the Buddha

Posts: 439 Join Date: 4/30/09 Recent Posts
Which, if either, of these propositions is true?

1. People who charge money for dharma instruction are doomed to Buddha Hell.

2. People who perseverate about the evil of charging money for dharma instruction are reactionary nincompoops with no real understanding of either Buddhism or culture.

Discuss.
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Daniel Leffler, modified 6 Years ago.

RE: Money and the Buddha

Posts: 292 Join Date: 9/9/14 Recent Posts
Kenneth Folk:
Which, if either, of these propositions is true?

1. People who charge money for dharma instruction are doomed to Buddha Hell.

2. People who perseverate about the evil of charging money for dharma instruction are reactionary nincompoops with no real understanding of either Buddhism or culture.

Discuss.

3. Sarcastic and insulting OPs started in order to stir up anger are unnecessary and at odds with Buddha’s teachings on Right Speech

4. No one should be turned away from the dharma due to a lack of financial resources
C C C, modified 6 Years ago.

RE: Money and the Buddha

Posts: 953 Join Date: 3/9/10 Recent Posts
Daniel Leffler:
Kenneth Folk:
Which, if either, of these propositions is true?

1. People who charge money for dharma instruction are doomed to Buddha Hell.

2. People who perseverate about the evil of charging money for dharma instruction are reactionary nincompoops with no real understanding of either Buddhism or culture.

Discuss.

3. Sarcastic and insulting OPs started in order to stir up anger are unnecessary and at odds with Buddha’s teachings on Right Speech

4. No one should be turned away from the dharma due to a lack of financial resources

Let the market decide if your classes/talks have any value.  Charge whatever you like.  Number 2 rings true for me.

As a prince, Buddha had a shit load of money, assets and pussy before he flew the coop.  He didn't go to Buddha hell did he?  And anyway, the story of Buddha might not even be true.  When the good book says "don't charge for dharma", they obviously mean "don't screw people in attempt to become rich whilst peddling dharma".  Right?

Consider that enlightenment might not even be possible for most people on the planet. Guys on meditation forums assume that it is possible for everyone, but they might be completely mistaken with that belief.  That never gets discussed.  If you want a discussion, that would be a good topic:  "should I charge money when 999 out of every 1000 students will not get anywhere"... or whatever the stats are.  The success rate on Dho is woeful.

I leave this place for a few months and look what happens.  You all get more and more entangled in your own buddha bullshit.  DHo has become extremely cloistered and weird.
C C C, modified 6 Years ago.

RE: Money and the Buddha

Posts: 953 Join Date: 3/9/10 Recent Posts
As a potential customer, my main concern is "can you deliver what I want/need?"

I don't care about lineage or strict adherence to scripture.  I care that the person is honest and skillful and I care about results.  So if someone advertises "hey I can teach you how to get to 3rd jhana", I'd be in that.  I'd pay for that, maybe $1000 if I could readily reproduce it and get into full blown bliss/ecstacy. 

But it would have to be under certain conditions, like if I do the work and it doesn't happen, I'd expect to pay only a small fraction of the cost.  And I wouldn't undertake the training if the teacher said "you have to work hard for 3 years", because I don't have the patience to do that sort of work.  And I would want to be able to define that we're talking about real jhana, not just a calm, spacious mind.

How about an answer Ken?
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Kenneth Folk, modified 6 Years ago.

RE: Money and the Buddha

Posts: 439 Join Date: 4/30/09 Recent Posts
C C C:
As a potential customer, my main concern is "can you deliver what I want/need?"

I don't care about lineage or strict adherence to scripture.  I care that the person is honest and skillful and I care about results.  So if someone advertises "hey I can teach you how to get to 3rd jhana", I'd be in that.  I'd pay for that, maybe $1000 if I could readily reproduce it and get into full blown bliss/ecstacy. 

But it would have to be under certain conditions, like if I do the work and it doesn't happen, I'd expect to pay only a small fraction of the cost.  And I wouldn't undertake the training if the teacher said "you have to work hard for 3 years", because I don't have the patience to do that sort of work.  And I would want to be able to define that we're talking about real jhana, not just a calm, spacious mind.
This is interesting, CCC. I don't know if a business model like that would work for meditation instruction, but I appreciate that you are thinking creatively about it.

The model I use is very much like that of a personal fitness trainer, so let's run with that metaphor, which will turn out to be surprisingly apt. My job is to help you get physically fit. I give you proven techniques and conceptual frameworks, we work out together, I observe your form and give you feedback. You work out on your own and come back in a week or two, or a month, or a year, and we talk about your progress and how to keep making progress from where you are now.

Since it's up to you to do the work, and since your progress will depend on many factors, including your talent level and the level of fitness you came in with, I cannot guarantee your success. Maybe your goal is to do ten pullups. You may or may not succeed. But I am committed to helping you become as physically fit as you can possibly be, given your unique strengths and weaknesses.

Substitute "contemplative fitness" for physical fitness in the paragraphs above and you have my meditation training model.

There is some very well-vetted research showing that one-on-one academic instruction outperforms one-to-many instruction by an absurdly high margin. This makes sense to me, and in my observation, meditation instruction is no different. I'm very pleased with the progress students make in individual sessions and I think it's great that it exists for those who can afford it. It is expensive, very much like personal fitness training. I wish it were possible for everyone to get private tutoring in all sorts of activities, but I don't know if that will ever be feasible. 
Tom Tom, modified 6 Years ago.

RE: Money and the Buddha

Posts: 466 Join Date: 9/19/09 Recent Posts
Kenneth Folk:
Which, if either, of these propositions is true?

1. People who charge money for dharma instruction are doomed to Buddha Hell.

2. People who perseverate about the evil of charging money for dharma instruction are reactionary nincompoops with no real understanding of either Buddhism or culture.

Discuss.

Your recent posts on this forum do not seem representative of a wise and noble one with great understanding.  You seem to have become increasingly close-minded and dogmatic.  You are pontificating left and right and your brief disclaimers of lack of actual omniscience seem to be resigned to the margin after long proclamations of your beliefs.  Evolve toward omnisicence or get off the pot and stick to teaching only the technical aspects of meditation to those willing to pay the fees and who benefit from having paid them.  
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Kenneth Folk, modified 6 Years ago.

RE: Money and the Buddha

Posts: 439 Join Date: 4/30/09 Recent Posts
Tom Tom:
Kenneth Folk:
Which, if either, of these propositions is true?

1. People who charge money for dharma instruction are doomed to Buddha Hell.

2. People who perseverate about the evil of charging money for dharma instruction are reactionary nincompoops with no real understanding of either Buddhism or culture.

Discuss.

Your recent posts on this forum do not seem representative of a wise and noble one with great understanding.  You seem to have become increasingly close-minded and dogmatic.  You are pontificating left and right and your brief disclaimers of lack of actual omniscience seem to be resigned to the margin after long proclamations of your beliefs.  Evolve toward omnisicence or get off the pot and stick to teaching only the technical aspects of meditation to those willing to pay the fees and who benefit from having paid them.  
Hi Tom Tom,

These are valid concerns. Your use of the phrase "wise and noble one" interests me, as it is archaic language, poetic and evocative of the kind of special person often mentioned in ancient texts. There is no question that Buddhist suttas and commentaries speak extensively about noble ones who have purified their consciousness, come to the end of dukkha, and gained not only magical powers, but omniscience, which means "the capacity to know everything there is to know." I believe it is our responsibility to think critically about whether such people exist, or are likely to have existed in the past.

In my own experience, people are just people. Some are wise, yes, but not in any magical way. In some cases, they are unusually gifted or well-trained in working with other people, or in understanding the likely consequences of actions. This is a very real kind of wisdom, but not at all magical, and not directly correlated with meditation practice. Another understanding of wisdom is deep insight into impermanence, unsatisfactoriness, and our inability to find an abiding self within experience. This is the Buddhist interpretation of wisdom, and it does indeed come from hands-on practices like meditation, especially vipassana meditation, which aims at finding out the true nature of experience. (Many types of meditation aim at putting the meditator in an altered state, or communing with a unversal consciousness, but these do not lead directly to either of the kinds of wisdom I'm describing here.)

Both kinds of wisdom are valuable beyond measure. But neither depends on magic, or purification of consciousness. Rather, they depend on processing information in an unusually efficient way and/or gaining access to perspectives that most people don't have by default. Both are influenced by training and innate ability.

It is tempting to believe in magical or perfected "beings." In fact, the word "being" is often used in the context of highly advanced practitioners of religious or spiritual traditions, maybe to separate the special beings from the ordinary ones. However seductive, though, the ideal of the spiritually perfected being does not pass the test of reality.

Having spent a great deal of time around some of the most accomplished spiritual practitioners of our age, I can tell you that I don't believe any of them were free of ordinary human emotions like irritation, anger, craving, pride, and so on. All of them were/are special in their own way; some showed unusual wisdom in the first sense described above, some were especially gifted at accessing and stabilizing altered states, some had penetrating insight into the three characteristics of early Buddhism. And they were/are all flawed, each in his or her own way. Ironically one fairly common flaw is the tendency to consider oneself without flaws, or to believe that even though flaws exist, one has transcended them. This so often goes hand-in-hand with abusive behavior that it becomes possible to form a practical rule of thumb: the more a teacher claims to be flawless, the faster you should run in the opposite direction. Claims of infallibility (including failure to deny it when someone projects infallibilty upon you) and abuse of the student/teacher relationship are so tightly correlated that the first might even be an inevitable consequence of the second.

As for the "nobility" of awakening/enlightenment, it probably has to do with the Indian caste system of the Buddha's time. Brahmins, the scholar/priest caste, were considered nobles, and Dalits (untouchables) were considered the lowest caste. As I understand it, the Buddha was a reformer in this regard, and declared that someone who practiced the Noble Eightfold Path and succeeded in attaining one or more of the Four Paths, was noble, even if that person came from a lower caste, even if that person was a Dalit.

In other words, when we say "noble ones" today in a Buddhist context, we are simply referring to people who have attained to at least one of the Paths. The question of what is meant by the Four Paths is a vast discussion, and I won't go into it here. Enough to say that the term is circular; one is noble if one has attained a Path, and if one has attained a Path one is noble. It has no further descriptive power, and as such, I would argue, isn't very relevant to us. Nowadays, it is mostly tossed around by Buddhists to praise someone, as in "this person is a noble one," aka enlightened, or to insult or criticize, as in "your behavior does not seem representative of a noble one."

Then there is the question of omniscience. Do you believe omniscience is possible for humans? I don't. Let's imagine what that might look like. Let's say there is someone on this Earth who knows everything there is to know. Since she knows everything, she must know how to make better solar panels and super-efficient batteries. If we could make better solar panels and had super-efficient batteries, we wouldn't have to burn much fossil fuel. We could stop pumping so much CO2 into the atmosphere. This would be a boon to humankind and the planet. If there is such a person, and she hasn't come forward to tell us how to solve fossil fuel dependence and a thousand and one other technical, social, and governmental problems... you see where I'm going with this. I conclude that there is not and never has been an omniscient human, because if there were we would know about it. We would see the wonders everywhere. 

Most of all, I want to point out that our belief in magical enlightened people who know all there is to know, and could not violate the Buddhist precepts, is standing in the way of our own awakening. There is research to suggest that vague or unattainable goals are highly correlated with depression. This makes sense; if we set impossible goals, we experience only failure. If we set reasonable, attainable goals, our mental health improves along with our self-esteem. Perfection and omniscience are vague and unattainable goals. We've never seen anyone who has attained these goals, so we wouldn't know how to go about attaining them for ourselves.

The real awakening, the kind that happens in real life to real people, is much less glamorous, at least from the outside. It doesn't make you perfect, it certainly doesn't ensure that everyone will like you, and it doesn't solve your problems. On the other hand, it is attainable, and there are real people you can talk to who know a very systematic way to attain it. What is more, if you ask people about it, they are very likely to tell you that although they aren't perfect, they believe that the kind of enlightenment they have is, in its own way, even better than perfection; acknowledging reality in each moment is a wonderful way to live, even though reality is as likely to disappoint as to inspire.
Tom Tom, modified 6 Years ago.

RE: Money and the Buddha

Posts: 466 Join Date: 9/19/09 Recent Posts
Hi Tom Tom,

These are valid concerns. Your use of the phrase "wise and noble one" interests me, as it is archaic language, poetic and evocative of the kind of special person often mentioned in ancient texts. There is no question that Buddhist suttas and commentaries speak extensively about noble ones who have purified their consciousness, come to the end of dukkha, and gained not only magical powers, but omniscience, which means "the capacity to know everything there is to know." I believe it is our responsibility to think critically about whether such people exist, or are likely to have existed in the past.

In my own experience, people are just people. Some are wise, yes, but not in any magical way. In some cases, they are unusually gifted or well-trained in working with other people, or in understanding the likely consequences of actions. This is a very real kind of wisdom, but not at all magical, and not directly correlated with meditation practice. Another understanding of wisdom is deep insight into impermanence, unsatisfactoriness, and our inability to find an abiding self within experience. This is the Buddhist interpretation of wisdom, and it does indeed come from hands-on practices like meditation, especially vipassana meditation, which aims at finding out the true nature of experience. (Many types of meditation aim at putting the meditator in an altered state, or communing with a unversal consciousness, but these do not lead directly to either of the kinds of wisdom I'm describing here.)

Both kinds of wisdom are valuable beyond measure. But neither depends on magic, or purification of consciousness. Rather, they depend on processing information in an unusually efficient way and/or gaining access to perspectives that most people don't have by default. Both are influenced by training and innate ability.

It is tempting to believe in magical or perfected "beings." In fact, the word "being" is often used in the context of highly advanced practitioners of religious or spiritual traditions, maybe to separate the special beings from the ordinary ones. However seductive, though, the ideal of the spiritually perfected being does not pass the test of reality.

Having spent a great deal of time around some of the most accomplished spiritual practitioners of our age, I can tell you that I don't believe any of them were free of ordinary human emotions like irritation, anger, craving, pride, and so on. All of them were/are special in their own way; some showed unusual wisdom in the first sense described above, some were especially gifted at accessing and stabilizing altered states, some had penetrating insight into the three characteristics of early Buddhism. And they were/are all flawed, each in his or her own way. Ironically one fairly common flaw is the tendency to consider oneself without flaws, or to believe that even though flaws exist, one has transcended them. This so often goes hand-in-hand with abusive behavior that it becomes possible to form a practical rule of thumb: the more a teacher claims to be flawless, the faster you should run in the opposite direction. Claims of infallibility (including failure to deny it when someone projects infallibilty upon you) and abuse of the student/teacher relationship are so tightly correlated that the first might even be an inevitable consequence of the second.

As for the "nobility" of awakening/enlightenment, it probably has to do with the Indian caste system of the Buddha's time. Brahmins, the scholar/priest caste, were considered nobles, and Dalits (untouchables) were considered the lowest caste. As I understand it, the Buddha was a reformer in this regard, and declared that someone who practiced the Noble Eightfold Path and succeeded in attaining one or more of the Four Paths, was noble, even if that person came from a lower caste, even if that person was a Dalit.

In other words, when we say "noble ones" today in a Buddhist context, we are simply referring to people who have attained to at least one of the Paths. The question of what is meant by the Four Paths is a vast discussion, and I won't go into it here. Enough to say that the term is circular; one is noble if one has attained a Path, and if one has attained a Path one is noble. It has no further descriptive power, and as such, I would argue, isn't very relevant to us. Nowadays, it is mostly tossed around by Buddhists to praise someone, as in "this person is a noble one," aka enlightened, or to insult or criticize, as in "your behavior does not seem representative of a noble one."

Then there is the question of omniscience. Do you believe omniscience is possible for humans? I don't. Let's imagine what that might look like. Let's say there is someone on this Earth who knows everything there is to know. Since she knows everything, she must know how to make better solar panels and super-efficient batteries. If we could make better solar panels and had super-efficient batteries, we wouldn't have to burn much fossil fuel. We could stop pumping so much CO2 into the atmosphere. This would be a boon to humankind and the planet. If there is such a person, and she hasn't come forward to tell us how to solve fossil fuel dependence and a thousand and one other technical, social, and governmental problems... you see where I'm going with this. I conclude that there is not and never has been an omniscient human, because if there were we would know about it. We would see the wonders everywhere. 

Most of all, I want to point out that our belief in magical enlightened people who know all there is to know, and could not violate the Buddhist precepts, is standing in the way of our own awakening. There is research to suggest that vague or unattainable goals are highly correlated with depression. This makes sense; if we set impossible goals, we experience only failure. If we set reasonable, attainable goals, our mental health improves along with our self-esteem. Perfection and omniscience are vague and unattainable goals. We've never seen anyone who has attained these goals, so we wouldn't know how to go about attaining them for ourselves.

The real awakening, the kind that happens in real life to real people, is much less glamorous, at least from the outside. It doesn't make you perfect, it certainly doesn't ensure that everyone will like you, and it doesn't solve your problems. On the other hand, it is attainable, and there are real people you can talk to who know a very systematic way to attain it. What is more, if you ask people about it, they are very likely to tell you that although they aren't perfect, they believe that the kind of enlightenment they have is, in its own way, even better than perfection; acknowledging reality in each moment is a wonderful way to live, even though reality is as likely to disappoint as to inspire.


Kenneth you have made the mistaken assumption that my language is coming from Buddhist scriptures.  My statement is coming from direct personal experience with a person I know who has access to total omniscience and she is not a Buddhist. If someone has a question about it they can private message me. 

All I see is that you have spent a great deal of time around the "most accomplished reductionist materialists" of all time.  You are not seeing beyond your western biases which lead you toward the notion that matter is dead and life arises from "the brain."  You spend your time going to buddhist events, but avoid pagan or magickal-type communities which I highly recommend you immerse yourself in to see beyond your biases.  Given that you largely believe that Buddhism is only a religion you should have no problem seeing what other religious and spiritual traditions see and their commonalities with the Buddhist notions of awakening.

The reason I engage you on this topic is only because you are THE Kenneth Folk.  Rebirth is very real and you are doing a great disservice to the dharma as explicated by countless others (Buddhist/Hindu/Pagan/Occult/Shaman/etc)  by promulgating your false views under the guise of Buddhadharma.  This is only because you are THE Kenneth Folk and many people assume you to be a wise and great sage.  When a wise and great sage of the dharma starts positing the truth of all kinds of nonsense this nonsense will trickle down into the entire community of practitioners who will assume you are telling them the truth when you are not.  

If you wish to continue your reductionist-materialist teachings then I urge you to cease the notion that you are teaching the dharma and create your own system as Richard and the Actualists have done.  If you do not desire to do this then please claim agnosticism on rebirth and parinirvana or other metaphysical questions and stick to teaching only the technical aspects of meditation.  I am only saying this because you are THE Kenneth Folk and what you are doing is dangerous to the spiritual evolution of your students and anyone listening.
Tom Tom, modified 6 Years ago.

RE: Money and the Buddha

Posts: 466 Join Date: 9/19/09 Recent Posts
Then there is the question of omniscience. Do you believe omniscience is possible for humans? I don't. Let's imagine what that might look like. Let's say there is someone on this Earth who knows everything there is to know. Since she knows everything, she must know how to make better solar panels and super-efficient batteries. If we could make better solar panels and had super-efficient batteries, we wouldn't have to burn much fossil fuel. We could stop pumping so much CO2 into the atmosphere. This would be a boon to humankind and the planet. If there is such a person, and she hasn't come forward to tell us how to solve fossil fuel dependence and a thousand and one other technical, social, and governmental problems... you see where I'm going with this. I conclude that there is not and never has been an omniscient human, because if there were we would know about it. We would see the wonders everywhere.


I will be disregarding your questions about "perfection" because your questions about being a "perfect" human was a misinterpretation of what I was saying.  I was only talking about someone with the power of omniscence and/or great psychic insight into supramundane reality.  Once you see this for yourself it is beyond beyond beyond beyond beyond the level that anyone in this community has even come close to being able to see, that I know of.  

There is a great arrogance in this community that I now see everywhere among more advanced practitioners. This arrogance I now see is entirely unwarranted.  No one on this forum even comes remotely close to being able to see and know what the Buddha saw.  People with the power of omniscence are very real since I have already stated in the above response that I have seen it and you are quite simply mistaken.  Your eyes are open Kenneth, but you do not see.  
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Ryan Kenneth Johnson, modified 6 Years ago.

RE: Money and the Buddha

Posts: 129 Join Date: 2/19/14 Recent Posts
Tom Tom, 

I'm going to quote one little piece of your text as it summarizes much of what I have found the heart of the issue at hand in this thread and many others, even many on BuddhistGeeks and many other sites I could list.

You say, "No one on this forum even comes remotely close to being able to see and know what the Buddha saw."

To me, such certainty of this statement speaks as if you and the Buddha hang out every Thursday night at the local dive bar for happy hours to hit on all the nice looking ladies while shooting the shit, cuz ya just know the guy like he's your bro. Ya get what I'm saying dawg? All the people hating on Droll in the Tantra thread, and the many other topics, hinge on this core assumption which cannot possibly be true. I would expect this Dhammawheel, but not this site.

Now, let me agree with you. I think there is a little bit of arrogance with the more hardcore practitioners. I don't really think in terms of the progress of insight maps. I think we have yet to see some really cool things and I agree with you that the ocean is probably much larger than the hardcore practitioners believe, whoever that audience is?

Will you grant me the possibility that you just aren't quite sure what the Buddha asserted and also that perhaps he could have been wrong or simply outside our context on a few things?
Tom Tom, modified 6 Years ago.

RE: Money and the Buddha

Posts: 466 Join Date: 9/19/09 Recent Posts
To me, such certainty of this statement speaks as if you and the Buddha hang out every Thursday night at the local dive bar for happy hours to hit on all the nice looking ladies while shooting the shit, cuz ya just know the guy like he's your bro. Ya get what I'm saying dawg? All the people hating on Droll in the Tantra thread, and the many other topics, hinge on this core assumption which cannot possibly be true. I would expect this Dhammawheel, but not this site.


This is actually correct.  You must be tapping into omnisicence and your Buddha-nature because we do go to the local dive bar often.  However, it isn't a he it's a she.  I will also say that everyone has the potential toward Buddhahood and that the potential for omnisicence and buddhahood is already there.  When I said the Buddha I wasn't only specifically referring to Siddharta Gautama Buddha, but to all "Buddhas."

Will you grant me the possibility that you just aren't quite sure what the Buddha asserted and also that perhaps he could have been wrong or simply outside our context on a few things?


No. Omnisience is omniscience.  "The Buddha (Gotama)" knew the ultimate truth of all just as any other Buddha does.  This is true of every other sentient being, but it is obscured.  The body of Siddharta Gautama Buddha was merely a channel for this knowledge.  To say that "he" knew everything is to posit an actual human person there who knows everything.  

I grant that any knowledge that came from that particular body that has been translated into language and then into English is going to have inherent distortions and flaws.  However, the answers are within and encoded into this reality itself and thus book knowledge is not necessary at all.

Also I realize that this post might sound like I'm trying to troll.  I am not trolling AT ALL.
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Ryan Kenneth Johnson, modified 6 Years ago.

RE: Money and the Buddha

Posts: 129 Join Date: 2/19/14 Recent Posts
Tom,

That's fine. My favorite example of an awakened person, Stephen Jourdain, talks about omniscience that he realized 'All there is to know'. Even though, in his own words, "I don't know a God dammed thing. I don't even know that." I believe he's telling the truth. In fact, he says it here:

"Yet, I did persist beyond good sense, showing a considerable aptitude for folly. Nevertheless, it would appear that this inner capacity to drive myself on like a madman was not without its virtues, for, all of a sudden, everything exploded. How can I describe the sudden nature, the total abruptness of the “event”? I detest using the word “supernatural,” but it’s the only one I can find that properly describes the suddenness of the awakening. With indescribable rapidity, I passed through to the other side of the mirror and found myself waking to an infinite wakefulness in my very center, in the center of that wakefulness which, itself, wasn’t an object but an intemporal act I was able to perform. I knew that I knew all there was to be known, that I had attained the infinite value, touched the essence of the essence of all things and of myself. . . I knew." https://pankajdewan.wordpress.com/2009/06/20/radical-awakening-cutting-through-the-conditioned-mind-stephen-jourdain/

The thrust of my post has been about what seems to be a sort of intellectual exploitation of awakening. Meaning, "Oh, this scriptures says we can't do x, y, and z with our lives. It's ancient, so it must be true." Type of thinking that usually carries with it a sort of hostility towards anyone who disagrees. I have all sorts of magical beliefs, that isn't my intention of discussion. I call into question the morality aspect of things.
lama carrot top, modified 6 Years ago.

RE: Money and the Buddha

Posts: 49 Join Date: 6/12/12 Recent Posts
Alright, I'm getting some popcorn.
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Droll Dedekind, modified 6 Years ago.

RE: Money and the Buddha

Posts: 634 Join Date: 11/15/13 Recent Posts
Same. This is gettin' good
John M., modified 6 Years ago.

RE: Money and the Buddha

Posts: 135 Join Date: 2/11/12 Recent Posts
My statement is coming from direct personal experience with a person I know who has access to total omniscience and she is not a Buddhist. I have posted the details of this on the dharmaunderground website and you should join if you wish to read the details about it, because I will not be posting the details here on the DhO.  If someone has a question about it they can private message me as I will not be explaining the details here.


If you don't want to talk about it, why bring it up here at all? Basically you've made an outrageous and untenable claim, declined to discuss it further here, and are now holding others to the ridiculous gold standard it establishes.
Tom Tom, modified 6 Years ago.

RE: Money and the Buddha

Posts: 466 Join Date: 9/19/09 Recent Posts
If you don't want to talk about it, why bring it up here at all? Basically you've made an outrageous and untenable claim, declined to discuss it further here, and are now holding others to the ridiculous gold standard it establishes.


I brought it up because it is extemely important that Kenneth speaks the truth to others or is very clear in being agnostic when he does not know the truth.  This is because Kenneth is a major hub of "dharma"-translation and his words have extreme power to influence very large numbers of people and the future of dharma teachings.  He needs to stick to teaching meditation and only meditation until he is able to see the truth on metaphysical questions.

Because I have been delegated the task of translating for another person and various dharmic-entities I am currently maintaining her and their request for privacy at this time.  The dharmaoverground is a public forum that anyone can see and is not private.  If you wish to discuss it further you can private message me.  I absolutely did not decline to discuss it further, I simply do not want to discuss it further in this public space. EDIT: I simply do not want to discuss it further in this public space at this time
John M., modified 6 Years ago.

RE: Money and the Buddha

Posts: 135 Join Date: 2/11/12 Recent Posts
Because I have been delegated the task of translating for another person and various dharmic-entities I am currently maintaining her and their requst for privacy at this time.  The dharmaoverground is a public forum that anyone can see and is not private.


I'm sure that's all well and good. That said, you're making a very public claim (edit: concerning a public figure, to boot) whilst simultaneously insisting that the evidence for that claim is private -- I'm sure you can spot the disconnect.

Still, I'd be curious to hear what your experiences have been. If you could query omniscience for my cell number I'd love to chat.
Tom Tom, modified 6 Years ago.

RE: Money and the Buddha

Posts: 466 Join Date: 9/19/09 Recent Posts
I'm sure that's all well and good. That said, you're making a very public claim (edit: concerning a public figure, to boot) whilst simultaneously insisting that the evidence for that claim is private -- I'm sure you can spot the disconnect.


It's not in my will (at the moment) to share the evidence publicly.  You are free to not believe with me or private message me.  That's all.
John M., modified 6 Years ago.

RE: Money and the Buddha

Posts: 135 Join Date: 2/11/12 Recent Posts
It's not in my will (at the moment) to share the evidence publicly.

Then, on balance, perhaps refrain from making public assertions until it is.
Tom Tom, modified 6 Years ago.

RE: Money and the Buddha

Posts: 466 Join Date: 9/19/09 Recent Posts
Then, on balance, perhaps refrain from making public assertions until it is.


No.  This is part of the process of cleaning up this forum so that I/we are in a position to able to do so.  Talking to people individually first so that I/we are not misinterprated and so I/we can have a dialogue with each individual person directly if they choose to message Tom Tom.  In messaging us we can work with people directly and that will in turn create a better atmosphere for public disclosures.

I could have messaged Kenneth, but I also think it's important that the now largely avoided damage that Kenneth would have done here and across all time/space needs to be undone and needed to be explained in a public and forceful manner.  This is part of what is happening with Katy as she is sensing that Kenneth is running astray in his teachings of the ""buddhadharma"" and he is feeling the brunt of that energy through her rants. He is getting more flack than others would because he is THE Kenneth Folk and the causal ramifications left in his wake could be disastrous due to his great power on the present and the future.  This is especially true in this particular culture where such beliefs will be accepted willingly and easily.  Even if Kenneth is still firmly trenched in his beliefs and believes them true, it would not hurt him to simply stay agnostic on metaphysical questions and stick to teaching technical meditation.  If he wishes to hold and publicize those beliefs he can choose another system such as Actualism or create his own.  
John M., modified 6 Years ago.

RE: Money and the Buddha

Posts: 135 Join Date: 2/11/12 Recent Posts
Tom Tom, modified 6 Years ago.

RE: Money and the Buddha

Posts: 466 Join Date: 9/19/09 Recent Posts
Turn your head and look away.  You can always look back when you're ready.
John M., modified 6 Years ago.

RE: Money and the Buddha

Posts: 135 Join Date: 2/11/12 Recent Posts
Hey man, I'm nothing if not open to amazement. Feel free to have your omniscient friend get in touch -- she has my info.
Tom Tom, modified 6 Years ago.

RE: Money and the Buddha

Posts: 466 Join Date: 9/19/09 Recent Posts
Hi Jenny,
So far I have received a private message from one person.  I have not received one from you.  Perhaps you sent it to the wrong person?  I will message you and you can reply.
Tom Tom, modified 6 Years ago.

RE: Money and the Buddha

Posts: 466 Join Date: 9/19/09 Recent Posts
If anyone is having trouble messaging me you can type "vit" instead of "Tom Tom" into the search bar and Tom Tom will come up.
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Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem, modified 6 Years ago.

RE: Money and the Buddha

Posts: 2198 Join Date: 10/27/10 Recent Posts
Tom Tom:
Kenneth you have made the mistaken assumption that my language is coming from Buddhist scriptures.  My statement is coming from direct personal experience with a person I know who has access to total omniscience and she is not a Buddhist.  I have posted the details of this on the dharmaunderground website and you should join if you wish to read the details about it, because I will not be posting the details here on the DhO.  If someone has a question about it they can private message me as I will not be explaining the details here.

I am interested in knowing more. However, I can't seem to select you as a recipient for a private message because of the limitations of Liferay... could you PM me and then I will reply?
Tom Tom, modified 6 Years ago.

RE: Money and the Buddha

Posts: 466 Join Date: 9/19/09 Recent Posts
I am interested in knowing more. However, I can't seem to select you as a recipient for a private message because of the limitations of Liferay... could you PM me and then I will reply?


I messaged you.  If anyone has any trouble messaging me, then leave a post and I will message you. EDIT: try typing "vit" instead of Tom Tom into the search bar.
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Simon Ekstrand, modified 6 Years ago.

RE: Money and the Buddha

Posts: 248 Join Date: 9/23/11 Recent Posts
Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem:
I am interested in knowing more. However, I can't seem to select you as a recipient for a private message because of the limitations of Liferay... could you PM me and then I will reply?


There's a workaround for that, I'd create a sticky post describing this as it comes up a lot but the stickys don't show up in the recent posts view so there isn't much point. emoticon

Anyway, what you do is find a post by the person you want to message, then click their name/icon so you get to their personal profile page. There, check the url for that page, in tom toms case its:
http://www.dharmaoverground.org/web/t-om/home

See the t-om there? That's his screen name in liferay. Use that in the recipients box when sending private messages and you should get an exact match for tom tom.

TLDR: use t-om as recipient to send to tom tom.

Simon
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Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem, modified 6 Years ago.

RE: Money and the Buddha

Posts: 2198 Join Date: 10/27/10 Recent Posts
Simon Ekstrand:
Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem:
I am interested in knowing more. However, I can't seem to select you as a recipient for a private message because of the limitations of Liferay... could you PM me and then I will reply?


There's a workaround for that, I'd create a sticky post describing this as it comes up a lot but the stickys don't show up in the recent posts view so there isn't much point. emoticon

Anyway, what you do is find a post by the person you want to message, then click their name/icon so you get to their personal profile page. There, check the url for that page, in tom toms case its:
http://www.dharmaoverground.org/web/t-om/home

See the t-om there? That's his screen name in liferay. Use that in the recipients box when sending private messages and you should get an exact match for tom tom.

TLDR: use t-om as recipient to send to tom tom.

Thanks! A good trick to know. Maybe worthwhile stickying anyway..
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Kenneth Folk, modified 6 Years ago.

RE: Money and the Buddha

Posts: 439 Join Date: 4/30/09 Recent Posts
The following is cut and pasted from UCLA Newsroom. The article is reproduced here in its entirety for your convenience.

http://newsroom.ucla.edu/stories/two-cheers-for-the-buddha-astute-85231

The Buddha was a businessman. But don’t take anyone’s word for it — it’s written in stone. 


Of all the iconic scenes found in the earliest Buddhist art from India, none are more striking than the most venerable monasteries: The transaction, involving 10 million gold coins, clearly shows that, far from being an ascetic, other-worldly religious tradition, Buddhism was, in fact, “deeply entangled with money – and a very great deal of it at that,” according to Gregory Schopen, chair of the Department of Asian Languages and Cultures and an authority on ancient Indian Buddhism.

Schopen spoke March 10 at the 106
th Faculty Research Lecture at the Freud Playhouse on a topic that has much to say about why our world has sunk into a recession: “The Buddha as Businessman: Economics and Law in an Old Indian Religion.” The prestigious event was attended by Chancellor Gene D. Block and hundreds of faculty, staff and members of the public. Dressed casually in jeans and sporting a colorful tie, Schopen delivered his hour-long lecture with iconoclastic wit, verve and vitality, prompting frequent bursts of enthusiastic laughter from his audience. 

Partly because of popular culture, it’s hard to imagine the Buddha as anything other than a great sage, “seated in what appears to be serene and deep meditation,” or surrounded by students craving enlightenment, said Schopen. Neither image suggests that the Buddha, who taught that “all things are impermanent,” might, in fact, be “pondering how to avoid paying custom duties and taxes” — or that he might well be teaching his followers “how to write a loan contract and not make unsecured loans.” 

Indeed, Wall Street bankers would have benefited from being in the Buddha’s audience, said Schopen — a sobering reminder that, despite the world’s progress, much of history remains repetitive.

Neither the language nor the organizational structure of the Buddha’s monastic community suggests that it was a religious institution, said Schopen, who has been separating Buddhist fact from fiction for the past 30 years. Buddhist sources, he said, refer to their organization as a “sangha,” a term used in early India to denote a commercial guild or economic enterprise that functioned in some ways like a modern bank. 

These groups were led by a “pramukha,” or chief, which is how the Buddha is repeatedly referred to, Schopen explained. As in modern unions, the status of the guild’s members was determined by seniority — not spiritual attainment — and their training in the group was structured on a system of master and apprentices, the scholar added. 

What’s more, Buddhist guilds used seals to mark their goods, which were subject to taxes. “The Buddha, according to some sources, devised a number of clever strategies to evade them” and even admitted that they weren’t always successful, said Schopen. 

For all that, it was customary for the guilds to inscribe copies of legal documents on monastery walls or on porches. These inscriptions, like many others elsewhere, not only recorded gifts to the monastery, but also publicly advertised the fact that the monasteries held large sums of money intended to generate interest and were “therefore presumably available for both personal and commercial loans,” said Schopen, adding: “Given this kind of publicly available information, it is not surprising that Buddhism in early India was attractive to the mercantile class.” 

If the Buddha was a businessman, what stopped him from being greedy? 

Schopen’s reply to this question from an audience member squarely addressed one of the major issues at the heart of our troubled economy. 

“I think perhaps the Buddha foresaw in his wisdom what happens to greedy businessmen,” he said. Alluding tongue-in-cheek to disgraced financeer Bernard Madoff, he added: “What’s his name, now, in New York City …?” The Buddhist doctrine, Schopen noted, was also presented as the Middle Way, which is “a very good business principle.”

The Buddha’s life is a reminder that poverty, not money, is the root of all evil. In fact, modern research is making it increasingly clear that monks everywhere were overwhelmingly middle-class, and in early India, said Schopen, “the predominant ideology was not, in spite of representations in bad movies, particularly ascetic, and certainly not averse to the accumulation of wealth.” 


Despite widespread Western fascination, both scholarly and popular, with India’s wandering monks, “it has always been clear that they were never more than a tiny minority,” Schopen said. In fact, he quipped, they were often perceived as an “idiot fringe, respected in a way, but more often feared and grouped in Indian secular literature with criminals, charlatans, lunatics, spies — and probably university professors.”


http://newsroom.ucla.edu/stories/two-cheers-for-the-buddha-astute-85231
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Daniel Leffler, modified 6 Years ago.

RE: Money and the Buddha

Posts: 292 Join Date: 9/9/14 Recent Posts
Wow Kenneth that is an interesting and depressing article, thanks!
btw I googled 'dharma for the rich' and this interesting Salon article came up second 
I don't want to give it away but if you google the same phrase you can see what comes up first
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Bill F., modified 6 Years ago.

RE: Money and the Buddha

Posts: 558 Join Date: 11/17/13 Recent Posts
Daniel: Isn't that an example of the "insulting and sarcastic" speech you said was at odds with Right Speech. Can't we challenge withut insulting? It makes me sad. And yes, I have done the same. -Bill
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Daniel Leffler, modified 6 Years ago.

RE: Money and the Buddha

Posts: 292 Join Date: 9/9/14 Recent Posts
Hi Bill,
I was trying to be funny, not insulting - google just googles, don't ask me how
And Kenneth actually does charge for teachings, so I wasn't saying anything new or controversial - it's a fact that he unabashedly defends
On the other hand, Kenneth insinuated that Katy was a 'reactionary nincompoop with no real understanding of either Buddhism or culture'
I'm sorry, I think they're different things
Whereas I don't feel very strongly about charging money for meditation teachings (I'm a capitalist) I can totally understand why others do
I am middle class, so I could swing the $125 if I chose to - many do not have that choice
I think the path that your teacher takes is commendable. 
My good friend and hatha yoga teacher teaches only donation-based classes (real donation classes with no suggested donation and true anonymity). The result is a wellspring of his student's trust and goodwill over the years - though he does live close to poverty - so it is not my suggestion that everyone do this
There is a reason why Goenka retreats (for example) strictly do not charge for the dharma
Money may not be intrinsically the root of all evil, but until we are all fully awakened and wealthy, IMO there are too many subconscious traps involved with money that it makes it a tricky business at best
Vipassana involves opening up the depths of the mind to degrees beyond any other practice that I know of, it is delicate and dangerous and so many other things, money can surely (as we see here) complicate
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Bill F., modified 6 Years ago.

RE: Money and the Buddha

Posts: 558 Join Date: 11/17/13 Recent Posts
O.K. That reads much more clearly to me.
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Chris J Macie, modified 6 Years ago.

RE: Money and the Buddha

Posts: 863 Join Date: 8/17/14 Recent Posts
Kenneth Folk:

The following is cut and pasted from UCLA Newsroom. The article is reproduced here in its entirety for your convenience.

http://newsroom.ucla.edu/stories/two-cheers-for-the-buddha-astute-85231

The Buddha was a businessman. But don’t take anyone’s word for it — it’s written in stone. 


Of all the iconic scenes found in the earliest Buddhist art from India, none are more striking than the most venerable monasteries: The transaction, involving 10 million gold coins, clearly shows that, far from being an ascetic, other-worldly religious tradition, Buddhism was, in fact, “deeply entangled with money – and a very great deal of it at that,” according to Gregory Schopen, chair of the Department of Asian Languages and Cultures and an authority on ancient Indian Buddhism....


Quite a fitting citation -- a revealing choice of evidence.

For a lengthy analysis of this scholar's positions, strengths and weaknesses, and relevance to the whole picture of what is known and how of history of Buddhism ... see

https://sujato.wordpress.com/2011/01/22/the-ironic-assumptions-of-gregory-schopen/
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Bill F., modified 6 Years ago.

RE: Money and the Buddha

Posts: 558 Join Date: 11/17/13 Recent Posts
I guess I don't think either of these statements are true. Both seem to be charicatures, and I see some value in both of the opposing perspectives that have come up on this topic.
I think that people whose lives have been vastly transformed by meditation may hold it as sacred, and think that it should somehow not be within the realm of transaction or commodity. The assumption here is that transaction is inherently a dirty word. And, in fairness, often when money is involved this can influence the way that something is presented to make it more attractive, but I do not see Kenneth doing that, i.e if he were operating as a businessman he would be promising bliss, and not talking about extinction of experience. That he is not doing so and is speaking in a way that seems open and unattractive at times, suggests integrity to me. 
I also wonder if those same people who oppose meditation instructors charging for 1:1 instruction -I've seen many over the years- feel the same sense of wrongness when paying for a dharma book or paying to go on retreat. Those teachers are receiving money as well. My own teacher, Reggie Ray, is willing to meet with indviduals 1:1 through skype/other means, does not charge and offers free meditation instruction through many instructors at his Dharma Ocean site, but he does however publish books and run retreats for which there is a charge, and subscriptions to the audio and meditations on his website. I feel no scruples about buying his books or subscribing, and I know he did not know I did either when agreeing to work with me despite his busy schedule. 
One possible downside of not charging for money may be that people who otherwise may have taught, may not teach because it is their time, and they'd rather do something else with it, or they may pursue something else financially that may not have been as useful as their teaching others.
Most importantly, we are all autonomous. There are good teachers out there who don't charge if you don't want to pay. There are good teachers who charge. And everyone can pick however they would like to respond to the options in their life.
Tom Tom, modified 6 Years ago.

RE: Money and the Buddha

Posts: 466 Join Date: 9/19/09 Recent Posts
i.e if he were operating as a businessman he would be promising bliss, and not talking about extinction of experience. That he is not doing so and is speaking in a way that seems open and unattractive at times, suggests integrity to me.


I do not see Kenneth as a businessman.  I see him as highly dependent on the money from his students and thus will get very defensive when questioned about it since it is his livelihood.  There are some benefits such as increased time to help people awaken, as you have mentioned.  He can charge if he wishes (even with no free options in his "business-model"), but must accept the consequences of the decision: the knowledge that certain people will react in a certain way, the vast array of complications and personal reactions that arise when mixing money with teaching the dharma, and the lack of respect that will arise in some, etc.  

I had a few interviews with Kenneth in the past many years ago and he said they were donations which I fully expected to give when I had enough to give the suggested amount, but he became defensive and angry when he did not receive the payment in proper time and began to talk about how he needed the money to pay for his groceries, etc. I assume that he now has such a great stream of endless students that he no longer has this problem.  It seems he has also solved this problem by flat out charging which is at least more genuine of his real interest of charging to support himself instead of pretending that isn't what it is.  I felt slightly lost at the time with the false assumption that I needed a teacher, but eventually I realized I did not need a teacher as Daniel and others had provided more than enough information for me to awaken on my own.

As far as your other point:

Extinction might be attractive to some, not to others.  Certain people may be relieved, others may be terrified at the possibilty.  It should be mentioned as a possibility, but not presented as truth unless it is known as truth.  This is the same as his statements on rebirth.  Rebirth may be comforting to some, but highly frightening to others.  The bottom line is that he does not know. Kenneth does not have access to supermundane truths or psychic powers and his statements are beliefs and nothing more than simple human beliefs.  Many in this community respect Kenneth since he is seen in this community as a high-teacher and thus has the potential to influence the beliefs of many others since they assume that he might know certain truths due to his high status in the community.  He is not behaving or speaking as a "Buddha," in my opinion, nor does he have the knowledge of one.
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Bill F., modified 6 Years ago.

RE: Money and the Buddha

Posts: 558 Join Date: 11/17/13 Recent Posts
Tom Tom,

       Valid points. Thank you sharing them. Do you feel that money mixed with dharma is bad when it goes to pay for a retreat or dharma book, and if not, why not?  And yes, we leave ourselves open to criticism throughout life based on our actions, and we are free to pursue what options make sense to us. I think those are both important to point out.

Bill
      
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SeTyR ZeN, modified 6 Years ago.

RE: Money and the Buddha

Posts: 113 Join Date: 9/9/14 Recent Posts
1 is false
2 is a judgment

rightfull or not .. intent is the difference
2 is clinging .. .. hmm what else ?
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Kenneth Folk, modified 6 Years ago.

RE: Money and the Buddha

Posts: 439 Join Date: 4/30/09 Recent Posts
Now that I have your attention...

May I be so bold as to offer some free teaching?

All of this is a distraction. You don't have time for this. Awakening is hard. It takes diligence. For most people, it takes a lot of time.

If your goal is to awaken, you don't have time to obess about how things ought to be. People will do things you don't like, and your complaints and criticisms are unlikely to change them. Like you, other people are patterns, built up over a lifetime. You don't have to fix them. Worry about yourself. You are the only one you can wake up.

Paying attention to your experience will lead to awakening. Start now. This can be done.
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Simon Ekstrand, modified 6 Years ago.

RE: Money and the Buddha

Posts: 248 Join Date: 9/23/11 Recent Posts
In my mind this discussion draws parallels to health care.

As long as there are govenment run hospitals which anyone can visit to get the help they need, there is also room for private doctors that you pay for yourself but that also supply a more personalized, quicker service.

Simon
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Ryan Kenneth Johnson, modified 6 Years ago.

RE: Money and the Buddha

Posts: 129 Join Date: 2/19/14 Recent Posts
Simon Ekstrand:
In my mind this discussion draws parallels to health care.

As long as there are govenment run hospitals which anyone can visit to get the help they need, there is also room for private doctors that you pay for yourself but that also supply a more personalized, quicker service.

Simon

This.

The point is that people awaken and that they have appropriate teachings to facilitate this.

If we really care about having teachings available to people then I suggest giving credit where credit is due. Particularly to Arpanet, the US defense department, the scientific revolution and the European enlightenment figures that influenced the founding fathers to create a society in which we can so casually share information so freely without being burned at the stake from the religious institutions that be. I suggest adding some statues of Ivan Sutherland to worship, maybe some people who worked at Xerox Parc too. I'm being fascisous. 

I mean to say this, if you really care that much about teachings for awakening being available, see the bigger picture. Teachings have never been so available and at such a high quality before. Never have so many people taken up awakening, which historically appears to be for only a very very select few. It's thanks to science that we get to have the best of both worlds, an increasing plethora of teachings for all shapes, colors, sizes of people, and more dedicated teachers that one can pay for.

I would bet the free teachings I have available to me so vastly outclass everything available 50 years ago it brings tears to my eyes just thinking about it.

Furthermore, I want absolutely nothing to do with recreating the feudal theocratic systems of the past that once held all the power and information that would have given one a serious chance at awakening. How tame paying some money for coaching is compared to this history that just happened, is still happening somewhat.

All of this doesn't even address we are talking about a text that was written in the BC era, 400 years removed from the man in question, who, if he existed, was a man, who only speaks for a part of world mysticism. I will not debate this. I'm saying, I think we live in an increasingly golden area of teachings for awakening our ancestors could never have even imagined, so the discussion itself is just so god dammed irrelevent. I would much rather someone who is well versed in serious industrial strength meditation involved with money than not, because if such people don't then the really shitty sociopaths will abuse people's lack of discernment of what's quality and what's full of shit. And with meditations increasing popularity, these people will com with increasing frequency and manipulative skill. I'm more concerned with cluster-B personality traits, because that's where the real trouble lies.
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katy steger, modified 6 Years ago.

RE: Money and the Buddha

Posts: 1745 Join Date: 10/1/11 Recent Posts
I would bet the free teachings I have available to me so vastly outclass everything available 50 years ago it brings tears to my eyes just thinking about it.

+1! Oh my lord, I look at my lightbulbs and my computer and think these siblings are both binary and in such a shorty-pants frame of time. Strikingly amazing. And I can just go right on over to MIT or Stanford and have a class for free. Amazing. 
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Ryan Kenneth Johnson, modified 6 Years ago.

RE: Money and the Buddha

Posts: 129 Join Date: 2/19/14 Recent Posts
You mean like coursera.org, which I signed up for a Stanford class in algorithms? It's great, from Stanford, and free! Albeit, Tim Roughgarden of Stanford won't answer my questions in depth because the scale doesn't permit him to do so. But nevertheless, it's world class teachings made available because of science, maybe honorable mentions to western philosophy?

Sorry if I'm a little dense, are you being sarcastic or happy there's a lot of available quality information out there thanks to the internet?
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katy steger, modified 6 Years ago.

RE: Money and the Buddha

Posts: 1745 Join Date: 10/1/11 Recent Posts
Ryan Kenneth Johnson:
You mean like coursera.org, which I signed up for a Stanford class in algorithms? It's great, from Stanford, and free! Albeit, Tim Roughgarden of Stanford won't answer my questions in depth because the scale doesn't permit him to do so. But nevertheless, it's world class teachings made available because of science, maybe honorable mentions to western philosophy?

Sorry if I'm a little dense, are you being sarcastic or happy there's a lot of available quality information out there thanks to the internet?

No, no. I'm happy. I'm actually behind in that class at the moment. Love it. I totally agree. People are sharing information so freely.

When you see the discrepency between views of science-technology and American society, it's big. So I love that universities and professors realized, "Hey, our best life and the best life of our children and their children is in sharing the knowledge that is great. We are all better for it and we'll figure out the economics as well go." I love a MOOC.
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Chris J Macie, modified 6 Years ago.

RE: Money and the Buddha

Posts: 863 Join Date: 8/17/14 Recent Posts
quote: Ryan Kenneth Johnson (to Katy):
You mean like coursera.org, which I signed up for a Stanford class in algorithms? It's great, from Stanford, and free! Albeit, Tim Roughgarden of Stanford won't answer my questions in depth because the scale doesn't permit him to do so. But nevertheless, it's world class teachings made available because of science, maybe honorable mentions to western philosophy?
...


I forwarded this to my domestic-partner, Trudy Roughgarden, as she's quite proud of her son Tim. And she went and forwarded it on to Tim, who found it gratifying -- discovering not just one, but a couple of motivated students here in this s/w out-of-the-way place.
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Ryan Kenneth Johnson, modified 6 Years ago.

RE: Money and the Buddha

Posts: 129 Join Date: 2/19/14 Recent Posts
Chris,

Wow! What a small world! The world of coursera and the dharma overground are so far removed in my mind, the notion they could ever somehow interact is amazing. I'm glad you forwarded it.
John M., modified 6 Years ago.

RE: Money and the Buddha

Posts: 135 Join Date: 2/11/12 Recent Posts
I'm actually a big fan of dharma for dough -- and this from someone who's flat broke. If we'd like our teachers to keep teaching (yes, please) then it only makes sense to support them somehow. Especially in cultures where dana isn't really an established thing. Actually, separated from the soteriological implications of dana / merit, charging for instruction strikes me as a more honest exchange overall.

Side note: how is it OK to buy a dharma book, but compensating a teacher for their time and expertise in person is somehow verboten? I'd welcome the naysayers to explain that one.
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katy steger, modified 6 Years ago.

RE: Money and the Buddha

Posts: 1745 Join Date: 10/1/11 Recent Posts
John M.:
I'm actually a big fan of dharma for dough -- and this from someone who's flat broke. If we'd like our teachers to keep teaching (yes, please) then it only makes sense to support them somehow. Especially in cultures where dana isn't really an established thing. Actually, separated from the soteriological implications of dana / merit, charging for instruction strikes me as a more honest exchange overall.

Side note: how is it OK to buy a dharma book, but compensating a teacher for their time and expertise in person is somehow verboten? I'd welcome the naysayers to explain that one.

The interdiction reads: not to teach dharma for the purpose of material gain. 

One publishing their translations of the Nikayas or the Sattipathana, for examples, can have any income from proceeds distributed to the publisher and other causes which are not one's material gain.



For $125 you can have a phone call with Kenneth who "coaches to awaken", happy endings, (who's own website is not apparently effective enough for advertising/publicity),  or...

-- you can help an orphan of disease get educated and fed for about 10 months (see the awakened 4-year old girl Sweetie Sweetie in the article "Do you want me?" in the December 2014 New York Times and ebola);
-- you can sponsor an entire garden and its watering in a community or your own;  
-- you can bump your shopping cart with organic/local harvests and stay out of the ocean-- or buy from small net, local harvesters;
-- you can support the end of groundwater-dryingout in places like California via the almond industry;
-- you can deep-insulate your house with jeans or humane wool;
-- and you can lindy hop with friends : ) while patiently taking up the freely shared practice of just learning what mind does by watching it with the breath and seeing what promotions the mind makes are worth following and what promotions are troublesome.



_____
edited 1: les typoes.
edit 2: removal of last name
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Bill F., modified 6 Years ago.

RE: Money and the Buddha

Posts: 558 Join Date: 11/17/13 Recent Posts
Katy,

       I appreciate your input in this area, as it is clear you have given it some thought. To my mind, the list of causes at the bottom would be a far better way to spend my money, but to each their own. Except for the Lindy Hop. I had to google that. Too fast for me.
      Regarding what you wrote about the interdiction not to mix dharma and material gain, I am asking for a personal response from you: If you had bought a dharma book, and paid for a retreat, and the money went to pay for gas, or groceries, or electric bills, would you feel as strongly about it, or is there something about the way Kenneth presents his teachings and how you see that as being connected to money that you find disagreeable? I can not make out the difference for myself, so I am simply trying to understand. I know that some posters assume their positions and don't like being asked their origins, but I trust you have given this some thought, and can reply in a way that will help me to understand.
     As a hypothetical question that will help me further understand: If a man has a family and he can support the family through teaching the dharma, but does not charge high rates, and does not deny students, but also accepts money from those who can offer, do you think it would be better that he teach, or work a job somewhere where he is not able to spread teachings that may be able to alleviate more suffering, for ex. working at a factory sealing cardboard boxes for a corporation. To be clear, I am asking for your thoughts specifically, and to be clear, I am not suggesting this is an exact paralell of the situation at hand. Thank you.

Bill
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katy steger, modified 6 Years ago.

RE: Money and the Buddha

Posts: 1745 Join Date: 10/1/11 Recent Posts
Bill F.:
Katy,

       I appreciate your input in this area, as it is clear you have given it some thought. To my mind, the list of causes at the bottom would be a far better way to spend my money, but to each their own. Except for the Lindy Hop. I had to google that. Too fast for me.
      Regarding what you wrote about the interdiction not to mix dharma and material gain, I am asking for a personal response from you: If you had bought a dharma book, and paid for a retreat, and the money went to pay for gas, or groceries, or electric bills, would you feel as strongly about it, or is there something about the way Kenneth presents his teachings and how you see that as being connected to money that you find disagreeable? I can not make out the difference for myself, so I am simply trying to understand. I know that some posters assume their positions and don't like being asked their origins, but I trust you have given this some thought, and can reply in a way that will help me to understand.
     As a hypothetical question that will help me further understand: If a man has a family and he can support the family through teaching the dharma, but does not charge high rates, and does not deny students, but also accepts money from those who can offer, do you think it would be better that he teach, or work a job somewhere where he is not able to spread teachings that may be able to alleviate more suffering, for ex. working at a factory sealing cardboard boxes for a corporation. To be clear, I am asking for your thoughts specifically, and to be clear, I am not suggesting this is an exact paralell of the situation at hand. Thank you.

Bill
Lindy hop --- I think it's trending, funnily enough. Someone on this site reminded me of it in December and now I see it's quite available... so I joined my mom and friends in doing that for the first time in about 20 years yesterday :] 

So about people who teach meditation for money: There's a place for that. Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction is a well-studied brand, I think, offered through a northeast university.

And for those who don't want to pay for that brand of breathing meditation, there is a 1:48 second video by Daniel Goleman (featured by Edutopia, a product of Star Wars legacy, George Lucas, who funds a lot education studies and practice to determine and test great learning techniques and teamwork for all children) where Goleman highlights the freely availble "breathing buddies" (which technique goes anon). 

We know these secular sources of breathing meditation help the brain exit the brainstem and the amygdala (where the instincts of fight-flight-freeze action live and lock-up and prevent/restrict a lot of whole-brain creativity and connectivity). So, for me, it's nice to know that nearly everyone I run into knows the grandmotherly: "Take a deep breath... and calm down" and schools are even codifying it will pillow-beds for kids who just need a nap to de-escalate and get whole-brain again (there are about 25,000 homeless children in NYC and the disruption of shelter-hopping/no-shelter hopping causes this 'cohort' to really struggle, naps and breathing buddies can be short, free miracles to recover their potential to them and to me a lovely society of kids who know they've got the means to develop their skills).

So anyone can teach this in-and-out breathing meditation attention and anyone can use this. A few minutes can lower blood pressure and restore whole-brain thinking (unless there's TBI). And I'm glad to see it in use, this secular breathing meditation. I'm glad to be learning it, and applying it throughout the day. It is a process for me to reduce my own reactionary nincompoopism (DSM VI?)

In many way, these threads with Kenneth are like an aggitated Good-bye to pay-per-dharma folks because the clear skill in breathing meditation has gone beyond the pay-per-dharmas and its common sense saturates everywhere. 



Now teaching dharma for the purpose of material gain (Anguttara Nikaya 5.159, http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka/an/an05/an05.159.than.html, Udayi Sutta):
It's not easy to teach the Dhamma to others, Ananda. The Dhamma should be taught to others only when five qualities are established within the person teaching. Which five?

"[1] The Dhamma should be taught with the thought, 'I will speak step-by-step.'

"[2] The Dhamma should be taught with the thought, 'I will speak explaining the sequence [of cause & effect].'

"[3] The Dhamma should be taught with the thought, 'I will speak out of compassion.'

"[4] The Dhamma should be taught with the thought, 'I will speak not for the purpose of material reward.'

"[5] The Dhamma should be taught with the thought, 'I will speak without hurting myself or others.'[1]

I have found this to be an immeasurably useful tool. I am not a dharma teacher, nor do I want to be one. I'm waaaay to open to the unknown to want to suggest to anyone what is their own discovery and life. I like the investigation and the just sitting and the life that comes from this.

I hope Kenneth has a nice life and finds a nice livelihood. I think like the others he can probably fund his food,water, housing, purchases, dating, movies, what-have-you needs by just being himself. Eckhart Tolle had a brilliant and admirable awakening from massive depression and he relates his awakenings to other people (often freely though he is beholden to no traditional precepts and interdictions); as far as I know does not say he followed someone or a tradition into having his awakening. If I recall, it just happened to him on a park bench during profound and long-term depression and it was so powerful and moving, his own authentic experience  and he didn't need to recruit anyone, historical or modern, to validate him.

So it seems Tolle teaches from that and correlates it to others' awakenings, without recruiting the authority of personages like Kenneth both recruits and rejects (effectively, he cherry-picks) the historical buddha for his profit. 

[redacted: as this paragraph contains my view that there is a trinketized version of the buddhist enlightenment ideal via coaching meditation with the intent to cause awakening for $125/session and Kenneth notes my view is defamatory. Objectively, I see there is an interdiction to charge for material gain in the Theravadan system to which he accredits years of his training. But he also noted he had an drug-induced state of peak experience and in comparision to taking an unregulated drug from an illegal vendor, then I'd say a $125 sessions coached meditation sessions would be a bargain I'd prefer over illegal drugs from an illegal vendor.]

With meditation-for-enlightenment products I have drawn one analogy of the commoditization of water in bottles. Water in bottles, too, is not an evil idea-- sometimes bottled water is vital (after storms, outages, to polluted communities of West Virginia and to waterless communities in California). Today, water remains both essential to everyone and also is trashable depending on who can consume easily or not. And the source, natural waterways and the ocean host these flotillas of plastic-- the result of cheap commoditization of something truly good and vital, putting a polluting fabric around a needed source.

Edited: I feel if buddhist awakening has value, then an enlightened teacher would probably spread it freely as its founder the Buddha did. Also, I feel that if people refute the ideals of buddhism --- and they certain can ---  it would be authenic for such people who like buddhism but refute its tenents if they just taught something authentic to themselves, not re-write and cherry-pick a world religion to suit them and to suit a profit-motive.

Finally, a teacher can always accept dana, the generosity of students, which may come in any form. So if a woman/man has a family and she teaches well (to your question, Bill) then, yes, she may well be housed, feed her husband and children though monetary, food, housing, education funds-- all manner of donation, dana. He or she is not teaching for the purpose of material gains, but students are donating their generosity to their teacher's community-wise understanding and generous sharing of it. If a teacher recieves no dana, no problem; their message may be useless or the community may have other interests and the "teacher" in buddhism lacks the conceit to force themselves on others. If they have a wise understanding of causality, it will serve them well, students or not.

______
edit: removal of last names and generic restatements
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Daniel Leffler, modified 6 Years ago.

RE: Money and the Buddha

Posts: 292 Join Date: 9/9/14 Recent Posts
@Bill & John,
I think buying a $10 to $20 dharma book is much different than spending $125 for a 45 minute session with a meditation teacher (again I am not anti-money for teaching necessarily but I see it as problematic to say the least)
It's different for a couple of reasons, one the cost alone excludes people. Many can afford $12.50 for a book while less can afford $125 for 45 minutes of instruction. 
Also, there are libraries, where I usually get my dharma books from bc I'm cheap
It also costs money to edit, publish, manufacture and distribute a book, the author sees a small percentage of the total (too small maybe)
Retreats are similar (but different still). Money goes to one's own food and housing (and/or the food and housing of future students) as well as the facility itself and the maintenance involved. A small amount (most likely not even $125 per student) goes to the dharma teacher
It's a tricky subject - donations are a lot cleaner, but the income would surely suffer
I think Daniel Ingram (and others) have built up a lot of goodwill by offering their books for free online. There is a long tradition that the dharma was given freely to us, and it should be given freely to others, with the open hand of dana
Listen, if we're commodifying everything than, yes, why not charge for Buddha's (or Kenneth's) teachings. But I am one of those liberals that think that clean water, education and health care should be provided to all people regardless of financial resources or any other measure
Dharma (as we know) is even more basic sometimes than those most basic needs. 
Spirit Rock tries to get around this by having programs for minorities and those with financial hardship, but it's limited and far from perfect. Goenka threw the whole mess out and said, you will not pay for food or housing or teachings if you come to my center. People said he was crazy and it would never work (he started in poverty stricken India!). Still, the Goenka Vipassana tradition may be the largest and most expansive promulgator of buddhadharma the world has even seen - it is a successful model. It also produces very strong feelings of gratitude in the students and strong paramis of compassion in the volunteers - a big support for the eighfold path. Money is by it's nature transactional and promotes other (many times non-virtuous) thoughts and feelings
I am not insisting all teachers follow Goenka's lead, but I think very creative and broad measures need to be taken by serious dharma teachers so that those without money are not excluded from the teachings. Smart people could come up with a range of solutions I'm sure
Writing dharma books (as income for oneself as a teacher) is a very happy medium and IMO possibly a part of that solution 
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Bill F., modified 6 Years ago.

RE: Money and the Buddha

Posts: 558 Join Date: 11/17/13 Recent Posts
Daniel,

       Thank you for writing that out. I really am seeking to understand. I don't feel any great need to defend Kenneth, I am just curious where people's ideas come from. 
        To clarify: You don't have a problem with money mixed with dharma. You have a problem with the cost of the teaching sessions, because you see this as excluding some people? If cost were lowered, you would not oppose? Since no one should be turned away from the dharma you perhaps see this as putting money before teaching? I just had this thought, I don't know if it's yours, and the dharma is available elsewhere free of charge, so perhaps you are denying there is anything unique or worth paying that money in Kenneth's teachings? Not putting words in your mouth, just thinking out loud.
         How did you deduce that around $125/student goes to a teacher at a retreat? I actually was thinking the number might be smaller, but I don't know why I thought that.
        I have heard many negative complaints about Goenka's retreats, and the instructors. Happy to provide sources. Not being snarky, but just for source material: How are you defining successful, and how many different programs are you aware of to compare it to?
        Regarding the books as a happy medium, do you think if someone wrote an amazingly transformative book they should give it out for free to meet the needs of the most people, or should they keep some around for those who can't afford it, and sell some? How is selling some better than giving it out for free? Or some other method I haven't thought of?

Bill
      
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Daniel Leffler, modified 6 Years ago.

RE: Money and the Buddha

Posts: 292 Join Date: 9/9/14 Recent Posts
Bill F.:
Daniel,
       Thank you for writing that out. I really am seeking to understand. I don't feel any great need to defend Kenneth, I am just curious where people's ideas come from. 
        To clarify: You don't have a problem with money mixed with dharma. You have a problem with the cost of the teaching sessions, because you see this as excluding some people? If cost were lowered, you would not oppose?

Sure thing Bill. As I said, I don't really have a problem with any of this, but I can understand why those with less may, there's an excluded feeling to being poor in general (I've been there) and things like this may exacerbate those worthless type of emotions. Of course, we can just observe the thoughts and sensations and all is ok - but someone must teach us how to do that, ideally with no money changing hands

Since no one should be turned away from the dharma you perhaps see this as putting money before teaching?

I would give Kenneth the benefit of the doubt that he didn't become a dharma teacher for the money. I disagree with many ultra conservative capitalists that money is the prime motivating factor for most people, although of course it is for some - hence all the F-ing lawyers everywhere. I think if school teachers got paid more we'd have better ones, but it's probably not the number one motivation why people become teachers in general. Same goes for health care workers, though if we paid them like school teachers we'd be in a pickle

I just had this thought, I don't know if it's yours, and the dharma is available elsewhere free of charge, so perhaps you are denying there is anything unique or worth paying that money in Kenneth's teachings? Not putting words in your mouth, just thinking out loud.

I think there are many paths and (newly acquired view for me) more than one destination. I think Kenneth has a unique voice like any other teacher worth their salt and I appreciate those teachings of his that have been made available to the public free of charge (such as batgap, youtube vids, and the time he's taken here). The free stuf is my only knowledge of Kenneth's teachings and I respect him as I would anyone that has immersed themselves in the dharma for such a long period of time - which is plenty

How did you deduce that around $125/student goes to a teacher at a retreat? I actually was thinking the number might be smaller, but I don't know why I thought that.

I pulled it out of my ass, but I think you're right

I have heard many negative complaints about Goenka's retreats, and the instructors. Happy to provide sources. Not being snarky, but just for source material: How are you defining successful, and how many different programs are you aware of to compare it to?

Successful in that the centers flourish, new students become old, and people there (IME) seem to be immersing themselves in the eightfold path. I've done three Goenka retreats and served on one, and I can say they were extremely powerful and transformative of my life in general, and I'm not exaggerating.
Goenka's actual teachings, and those of his teacher, and teacher's teacher, are hard to argue with, IMO it is straight buddhadharma. Goenka also demonstrated (through video) many of the strong paramis within himself that we are meant to cultivate, like joy and compassion and dana. 
The major knock on Goenka's method, as I've been one knocking myself, is that the assistant teachers are undertrained and under-empowered to deal with what comes up for retreatants when they've been practicing such a powerful method for days on end. It's a tragic flaw really, and the quality of teachers may be directly related to the fact that they (the few I have personal experience with anyway) do not have enough cushion time or scriptural knowledge or personal attainments to lead others. The traditional approach was obvioulsly the monastic organization, and Goneka's retreats rely on worldlings that are able to donate some time to teach. Spirit Rock teachers came up with another method (pay for it) and Kenneth followed their lead, but without building in anything (that I know of) for the financially less-fortunate. It's too bad for them

        Regarding the books as a happy medium, do you think if someone wrote an amazingly transformative book they should give it out for free to meet the needs of the most people, or should they keep some around for those who can't afford it, and sell some? How is selling some better than giving it out for free? Or some other method I haven't thought of?

I think selling books is ok because mostly everyone can afford a book and those that cannot can go to the library, as I said, $12.50 is different than $125 in the same way the $125,000 is different than $12,500

I believe this is a worthwhile subject and a good argument for mediation teachers earning their living from psychotherapy since the overlap is kismet. Whole other ball of wax of course...
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Bill F., modified 6 Years ago.

RE: Money and the Buddha

Posts: 558 Join Date: 11/17/13 Recent Posts
Daniel: OK. Thank you for writing that up.
Paweł K, modified 6 Years ago.

RE: Money and the Buddha

Posts: 45 Join Date: 5/12/13 Recent Posts
I wonder what percentage of people bitching about Kenneth financial model do some services for free.
How much people would be left to throw stones if only those who do offer services for free remained?

What is the goal of this holy war against pay4dharma ? Just bitching for bitching?
There is more Dharma books to last lifetime. There is lot of meditation teachers who can help and are either cheaper or free. There are retreat centers. Lastly there are Internet communities. There is place for Kenneth with his $125 per hour price for those who have the money and want someone with good references. Like really, world is big, information access better than ever. Stop bitching, it is not making you more enlightened, just more bitter.

I would only wish Kenneth to render himself more available on DhO, maybe just so focus of this site shifted back toward Mahasi Noting
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Daniel Leffler, modified 6 Years ago.

RE: Money and the Buddha

Posts: 292 Join Date: 9/9/14 Recent Posts
I am not bitching Pawel, and I don't think katy is either, I actually hear you bitching
I consider this a worthwhile subject, on a thread that Kenneth started with an insult
My recent posts have just been to answer questions and I've repeatedly said I don't personally have a big problem with charging money for dharma either, but I understand why some do. There is an argument that the practice conflicts with Buddhist teachings for one thing
Paweł K, modified 6 Years ago.

RE: Money and the Buddha

Posts: 45 Join Date: 5/12/13 Recent Posts
Yes, I am bitching.
You and Katy are the good ones and this money talk is absolutely within parameters of what Daniel intended DhO to be about. We need more talk about money and dogmatic views about morality and such, and less talk about actual dharma...

This pay4dharma war cannot give any positive results, it just cannot. It is obvious, it is also obvious that it is unskillful and produce dukkha for both sides, even if subtle. Source of bad karma, which truly moral Buddhist would not produce in such way.

Skillful thing to ask Kenneth would be if he considered some cheaper of free of charge ways he could help others, not ranting about hundred bucks. What is $125 for U.S. citizen? Just gimme a break. U.S. is not some third world country where people cannot afford it. Many people are glad he charge some money because that make him more available for them when they need advice. Ofcourse this is kinda Osho-like issue all over again and I am 100% behind his reasoning. There are gurus for poor people and those for those with money. Self regulating law of market.

Now trying to fight laws of market is at least silly if not just purely stupid. But go on, if you do not know what will come out of it then try it out. Just be sure to notice all the bad things this kind of behavior bring.

I am not even going at issue that to have any effect everyone have to practice and that Kenneth from what I see is not promising anything for anyone, just advices in meditation. With general attitude "there is no ultimate state, just multitude of states of mind" he can talk about witnesses and other nice states and not feel even slightly guilty of misleading anyone. If someone mistaken "this is NOT ultimate state" for "this is ultimate state" then it is not Kenneth fault.

See, I am bitching again. I should be morally more like you guys and gals, frustrated at my own practice and financial status and blaming Kenneth for all of it ^_^
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katy steger, modified 6 Years ago.

RE: Money and the Buddha

Posts: 1745 Join Date: 10/1/11 Recent Posts
People can and do pay for whatever they want, as I've said before here.

If a person teachers and claims within the Thervadan system, they can be queried about transgressing its own standards for who can teach.

I don't know why such a teacher doesn't just easily answer questions straight-up, "Because I want to be paid money to coach enlightenment and I can." That is a simple, authentic personal position and it's easy for others to fullow suit.

Versus attemping to mount a massive justification for industry, "You must be a religious zealot if you think in this era..." To try and build a broad, impersonal industry wide justification is always going to be in a position of broad debate. 

Just consider addressing everyone equanimously, honestly and authentically and move on: "I chose to charge because.. I chose not to divulge by business about number of students needed, but I understand the interest you and others have... I don't take questions about my business, thanks," whatever, personal, authentic.  That is not a debatable terrain and shows the teacher who operates as such does not feel the need for a big, whole-culture recruitment defense. Analogy: just be your own little buttercup, not amplify as giant imposing field.
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Jane Laurel Carrington, modified 6 Years ago.

RE: Money and the Buddha

Posts: 439 Join Date: 4/7/14 Recent Posts
Okay, Katy, we get your point. I got it days ago. The mods stepped in, which gave you further fuel for a meltdown, so all your posts were reposted. Now I would like you to look at the definition of "repetitive rant" as it appears on the home page. Then, review the meaning of "right speech." You have violated both the rules for this forum and an important tenet of "sila," for days and days. And no, I will not reply to any shrill responses to this post. Any disagreement or discussion with you is obviously hopeless. Even if Kenneth were Donald Trump, I would not see that as justification for your attacks. 
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katy steger, modified 6 Years ago.

RE: Money and the Buddha

Posts: 1745 Join Date: 10/1/11 Recent Posts
Jane Laurel Carrington:
Okay, Katy, we get your point. I got it days ago. The mods stepped in, which gave you further fuel for a meltdown, so all your posts were reposted. Now I would like you to look at the definition of "repetitive rant" as it appears on the home page. Then, review the meaning of "right speech." You have violated both the rules for this forum and an important tenet of "sila," for days and days. And no, I will not reply to any shrill responses to this post. Any disagreement or discussion with you is obviously hopeless. Even if Kenneth were Donald Trump, I would not see that as justification for your attacks. 


Here is that royal "We" again, that big recruitment.

Just let Kenneth handle this as himself and answer as himself, "Hi, thanks for the questions on business." "I get it. It comes with terrain." "I don't get into that sutta." "I get paid because that's my system."  Just the personal, authenic reason. That realy answers a questions and moves on.. 

To front a big, cultural-historical justification to his decisions, that's always losable because not everyone is "his culture".


Edit:
And really Jane Laurel, who are you to  judge the Trump. Seriously, why do that? As far as I can see he doesn't want or need his name here, and yet you're demoting that person and through no fault of their own. What do you learn at Kenneth Folk Dharma anyway?  
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Kenneth Folk, modified 6 Years ago.

RE: Money and the Buddha

Posts: 439 Join Date: 4/30/09 Recent Posts
Jane Laurel Carrington:
Okay, Katy, we get your point. I got it days ago. The mods stepped in, which gave you further fuel for a meltdown, so all your posts were reposted. Now I would like you to look at the definition of "repetitive rant" as it appears on the home page. Then, review the meaning of "right speech." You have violated both the rules for this forum and an important tenet of "sila," for days and days. And no, I will not reply to any shrill responses to this post. Any disagreement or discussion with you is obviously hopeless. Even if Kenneth were Donald Trump, I would not see that as justification for your attacks. 

Thanks, Laurel. You said it better than I could.

The conventional wisdom is to ignore personal attacks, but it's not always so simple. Smear campaigns are effective because the target of the smear is hurt either way. If s/he engages the attacker, s/he is reduced to the level of the attack. If s/he says nothing, even the most unreasonable of allegations are assumed to have some validity by others who read the attack posts but don't have time to find out if they are justified. This is what makes online invective so dangerous; everyone is guilty in the court of public opinion by virtue of having been charged. Both accuser and accused are sullied by the exchange.

I've called on the moderators to review this thread. I'd like to bring it back to the discussion of money and dharma. I don't mind a little mordant humor (after all, I began this thread with a snarky comment), and I encourage provocative or contrarian discussion. But I hope we can move beyond the targeted personal attacks and defamation.
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Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem, modified 6 Years ago.

RE: Money and the Buddha

Posts: 2198 Join Date: 10/27/10 Recent Posts
Jane Laurel Carrington:
Okay, Katy, we get your point. I got it days ago. The mods stepped in, which gave you further fuel for a meltdown, so all your posts were reposted. Now I would like you to look at the definition of "repetitive rant" as it appears on the home page. Then, review the meaning of "right speech." You have violated both the rules for this forum and an important tenet of "sila," for days and days. And no, I will not reply to any shrill responses to this post. Any disagreement or discussion with you is obviously hopeless. Even if Kenneth were Donald Trump, I would not see that as justification for your attacks. 
Actually the mods have not, as yet, stepped in. Katy's disappearing posts appear to have been/continue to be a technical glitch.
Paweł K, modified 6 Years ago.

RE: Money and the Buddha

Posts: 45 Join Date: 5/12/13 Recent Posts
Hi Katy

What kind of effect do you want to accomplish here?
What exactly is it in for you?

I ask because so far it seems you are destroying only your own reputation and Kenneth is just fine. Was that the intended outcome of this whole thing you started?

If your little war did somehow caused few less clients for Kenneth then would that made your existence somehow more bearable?

I ask because I really do not get your angle...

With metta
Pawe?
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katy steger, modified 6 Years ago.

RE: Money and the Buddha

Posts: 1745 Join Date: 10/1/11 Recent Posts
Pawe? K:
Hi Katy

What kind of effect do you want to accomplish here?
What exactly is it in for you?

I ask because so far it seems you are destroying only your own reputation and Kenneth is just fine. Was that the intended outcome of this whole thing you started?

If your little war did somehow caused few less clients for Kenneth then would that made your existence somehow more bearable?

I ask because I really do not get your angle...

With metta
Pawe?

Hi Pawel:

My point why does Kenneth Folk teach in a system with which he is so at odds (to re-cap two point only that have already been mentioned: his position on oblivion despite that annihiliation is refutted in Theravadan sutta (MN 22)  and his position to teach dharma for the purpose of material gain, an interdiction in Theravadan sutta (AN 5.159).

As I have said: if his own enlightenment grants such a vastly reliable awakening, he could easily teach that well and without leaning on historical figures and cherry-picking their canon. Many do well sharing their awakenings authenically.

Two, if his purported enlightment is such a wortwhile awakening, he would be the first beneficiary to tell it as far and as widely as possible so that many, many humans would be awakened in his way: he would have a community around him that cannot be bought for $125.

Do I want to reduce Ken's clients? You tell me. Last night a long-dormant DhOer wrote me, unaware of the current debate, about possibly returning to the site and also possibly returning to Kenneth Folk Dharma. Here is my reply verbatim and timestamped (no other content of the email is relevant here):

My reply to a DhOer in abstentia about Kenneth Folk
Thu, Feb 5, 2015 at 12:44 PM
"About DhO and practice, well, I've been there a long time and I think new blood and new folks need to come up. And I'm also in a debate with Kenneth there right now about his teaching Thervadan systems and claiming enlightenment while disregarding the Therevadan system's interdiction against teaching for the purpose of material gain (Anguttara Nikaya 5.159) and my own feeling that if there's a full enlightenment to be had then the teacher of that is best served by spreading it far and wide as fast as possible so that all are enlightened. But, outside of the Theravadan explicit interdiction, I also get that lots of traditions in buddhism and without are paid and that's okay, too. 

So that said, if Kenneth Folk's teaching and his personality work well for you, I say go with your instincts! And I have told people this before: it's a personal choice and the requirement to pay versus the exchange of dana-- it's up to the teacher and student or the client and customer. So if he works for you, that could be very helpful and I wishyou both the best working together. Also, I've never called {anonymized other teacher}, also a paid provider, I think; one friend reports to me and swears by him and another friend reported to me that he was unhelpful." 



Now each may always consider doing what practice works  reliably when alone or with others.


_______________________________
edit: anonymizing another paid teacher mentioned in my email.
edit 2: trying to get indent to work
edit 3: okay, color and quotes where indent won't work
edit 4: Pawel, as seen many times and stated openly by myself here, what's in it for me: In addition to my practice-study of anapansati sutta method of simple breathing medititation I consistenly and directly contact dharma providers about both i) dark money in dharma non-profits (when 501( c ) 3s do not disclose or are not properly disclosing, and ii) paid systems of dharma. There is one other aspect (iii) of dharma communities I track that is not relevant here, but all three that I watch and inquire directly about them from the providers. These areas (i-iii) can strongly impact newbies.

Now unless there is slander/misrepresentation or the like, that's my last post. Some of you may bust out the champagne now =]
Paweł K, modified 6 Years ago.

RE: Money and the Buddha

Posts: 45 Join Date: 5/12/13 Recent Posts
Hi Katy

Two, if his purported enlightment is such a wortwhile awakening, he would be the first beneficiary to tell it as far and as widely as possible so that many, many humans would be awakened in his way: he would have a community around him that cannot be bought for $125.

Enlightenment as state goes like this: you think up a state of mind, wait for it a while... here it is.
If it somehow didn't work then you have noisy and untrained mind and have to meditate some more to quieten it. Nothing more to it, no ultimate state other than dissolving bunch of lies you cling to. Just practice concentration and mindfulness without trying to fit any system and rather see what is possible. Here you go, no more need for any teacher, they are not needed. Will put their own experiences to your mind like it was only way to attain something. Kenneth seem to go either in similar direction or exactly the same direction. There is nothing special or unique in it because experience reveal it if you are open to various possibilities.

Whole point for paid teacher is that people believe they can buy anything, even mind states. So they pay and feel better afterward and this works because they believe it works like that. Some however pay to prove "you cannot buy happiness" and remain sad and miserable. Their loss. Kenneth is there only to cash out the money, he can have little practical knowledge, actually the less the better because he can relate more to people when he talk in language they understand.

My point why does Kenneth Folk teach in a system with which he is so at odds (to re-cap two point only that have already been mentioned: his position on oblivion despite that annihiliation is refutted in Theravadan sutta (MN 22) and his position to teach dharma for the purpose of material gain, an interdiction in Theravadan sutta (AN 5.159).

That is strong argument. I do not know however how Kenneth advertise his views. I got impression that he was rather implying that his views evolved, so that mean typical Theravada dogma was superseeded by more experiential knowledge and that is his advertisement, not "I am teaching pure Theravada". Does he really need to start another 'tradition'? If anyone want pure Theravada teacher then there are countless monasteries with real deal Theravada teachers monks in them, no need for the likes of Kenneth without proper monaistic tradition and without proper titles. If someone intent to buy healthy groceries then he goes to food store with certified healthy food and not to mall where everything have more chemicals than vitamins. Not cutting Theravada cord is maybe some omission on his side but why make such a big deal out of it?

Now unless there is slander/misrepresentation or the like, that's my last post. Some of you may bust out the champagne now =]

That kind of behavior strikes me as kinda childish. I can understand it though. Hope you get over whatever cause your agitation and such emotional reactions as this.

With metta
Pawe?
John M., modified 6 Years ago.

RE: Money and the Buddha

Posts: 135 Join Date: 2/11/12 Recent Posts
That there are other things one can do with their money and that you might deem them more worthwhile strikes me as a total non-point. Also, it's not your money.

As far as material reward and the interdiction against this, this seems entirely out of touch with what being a lay teacher in western culture realistically entails. I find it a valuable admonition against exploitation, but that's about it.


It's different for a couple of reasons, one the cost alone excludes people. Many can afford $12.50 for a book while less can afford $125 for 45 minutes of instruction.

Precise values aside, it's still paying for dharma. Yes, free publication services exist. No, they do not support lay teachers whatsoever.

Further, I cannot afford individual instruction. But it doesn't seem to follow that I should expect it for free, or to rightly expect that those that can afford it ought to be excluded along with me.

I understand the gut impulse toward equality. And in a perfect world, yes, all sentient beings would have access to free and individual dharma instruction. Unfortunately, one has to touch base with reality. 
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Daniel Leffler, modified 6 Years ago.

RE: Money and the Buddha

Posts: 292 Join Date: 9/9/14 Recent Posts
John M.:
It's different for a couple of reasons, one the cost alone excludes people. Many can afford $12.50 for a book while less can afford $125 for 45 minutes of instruction.

Precise values aside, it's still paying for dharma. Yes, free publication services exist. No, they do not support lay teachers whatsoever.

Further, I cannot afford individual instruction. But it doesn't seem to follow that I should expect it for free, or to rightly expect that those that can afford it ought to be excluded along with me.


Hi John,
I'm replying because you quoted me above even though you were replying to katy
It's not a matter of expecting things for free - we expect to pay for things in the west, almost everything
When people give freely (or highly discounted) we have the opportunity to develop strong paramis of gratitude and the teacher has the opportunity to develop in dana. That is one benefit among others that does not exist so much in a transactional relationship where money changes hands. There's actually quite a bit more expectation involved in general when there's money
Do you expect clean water for 'free' or healthcare, sidewalks and roads? Sure you pay taxes, but what if you were unable to work, should you stil get clean water? Should orphaned children be cared for for free? Do you consider healthcare and education rights of all people regardless? We may simply differ politically, or you may just be drawing your lines in another location than me. I put dharma in the same category as healthcare and education, higher even
Also there is clearly a difference in how much things cost, whether a $10 book or a $100 teaching session. If the cost was not an issue how about charging $1000 per teaching session? Clearly more lines are drawn and we all have our own ideas of where those should be
John M., modified 6 Years ago.

RE: Money and the Buddha

Posts: 135 Join Date: 2/11/12 Recent Posts
Do you expect clean water for 'free' or healthcare, sidewalks and roads?

These are false equivalencies, no point in comparing or ranking whatsoever.

Also there is clearly a difference in how much things cost, whether a $10 book or a $100 teaching session. If the cost was not an issue how about charging $1000 per teaching session? Clearly more lines are drawn and we all have our own ideas of where those should be

There is a difference, but that difference is purely monetary. Please understand that I'm arguing against the absolute "thou shalt not" attitude that is sometimes held toward paid dharma instruction -- when, in fact, in certain forms it's already well established and accepted. Your points re: pricing, exclusion, and the potential for exploitation are well taken, but seem to represent a more nuanced discussion that can only take place after the basic acknowledgement that it's happening anyway.

When people give freely (or highly discounted) we have the opportunity to develop strong paramis of gratitude and the teacher has the opportunity to develop in dana.

Absolutely. But here in the west, the closest thing we have culturally to dana and merit are credit ratings. Try explaining to a landlord that forgiving this month's rent is a great opportunity to generate merit. Ideals are lovely and fine things to aspire to, but again: reality beckons.
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katy steger, modified 6 Years ago.

RE: Money and the Buddha

Posts: 1745 Join Date: 10/1/11 Recent Posts
That there are other things one can do with their money and that you might deem them more worthwhile strikes me as a total non-point. Also, it's not your money.

As far as material reward and the interdiction against this, this seems entirely out of touch with what being a lay teacher in western culture realistically entails. I find it a valuable admonition against exploitation, but that's about it.

Yep, you totally can shop [redacted] meditation teachers, John M. and I've said this several times.

Kenneth credentials himself through the Theravadan lineage (Mahasi notage and years of training in Theravadan centers), so it's reasonable to question a teacher who credits that system with their training but who refutes their standard (Anguttara Nikaya 5.159) and beliefs (like rebirth and non-oblivion) and I do see that I have plenty o' right to state me olde opinion on this.  I tend to think such a teacher who has such strongly different conclusions about awakening than from Theravadan, that those teachers could advertise themselves more accurately outside of the system with which they are at odds.



[removed; Kenneth might redact some unskillful/harmful comments he made as well]



Crud, look at the time! We've both missed the Church of Stop Shopping meeting tonight...
_______________________
edit2: generic restatements
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Kenneth Folk, modified 6 Years ago.

RE: Money and the Buddha

Posts: 439 Join Date: 4/30/09 Recent Posts
Katy, why the hostility? Rarely in my life have I been subject to such a sustained personal attack, beginning on the Q&A with Kenneth Folk thread and continuing here. What is going on for you?

As far as I know, you and I have not met. Certainly you are not one of my students. You are criticizing the quality of my meditation instruction, but you have no experience of it.

Have you spoken to my students or former students about the quality of my instruction? To criticize something without first experiencing it firsthand or at least thoroughly researching it by speaking to those who have, is not a responsible act. It is, in fact, a breach of ethics. When done by an influential member of a public forum, it might even be seen as an abuse of power.

There is also the question of religious beliefs and coercion. You believe money and dharma instruction should be separate. I get it. You are free to believe that. But you cross a line when you seek to enforce your religious beliefs on others through intimidation or public personal attacks, or to destroy the professional reputation of someone who does not share your beliefs.

I call on you to stop these attacks on my personal integrity, my reputation in the community, and my professional competence as a meditation instructor. Your recent behavior is unethical, irresponsible, and cruel. I do not deserve it. The community should not have to be subjected to it. And you will almost certainly feel remorse later as you begin to understand the harm this kind of behavior can bring to a human being and to a community. 

Let's put this behind us now.
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katy steger, modified 6 Years ago.

RE: Money and the Buddha

Posts: 1745 Join Date: 10/1/11 Recent Posts
Kenneth:
Katy, why the hostility? Rarely in my life have I been subject to such a sustained personal attack, beginning on the Q&A with Kenneth Folk thread and continuing here. What is going on for you?

As far as I know, you and I have not met. Certainly you are not one of my students. You are criticizing the quality of my meditation instruction, but you have no experience of it.

Have you spoken to my students or former students about the quality of my instruction? To criticize something without first experiencing it firsthand or at least thoroughly researching it by speaking to those who have, is not a responsible act. It is, in fact, a breach of ethics. When done by an influential member of a public forum, it might even be seen as an abuse of power.

There is also the question of religious beliefs and coercion. You believe money and dharma instruction should be separate. I get it. You are free to believe that. But you cross a line when you seek to enforce your religious beliefs on others through intimidation or public personal attacks, or to destroy the professional reputation of someone who does not share your beliefs.

I call on you to stop these attacks on my personal integrity, my reputation in the community, and my professional competence as a meditation instructor. Your recent behavior is unethical, irresponsible, and cruel. I do not deserve it. The community should not have to be subjected to it. And you will almost certainly feel remorse later as you begin to understand the harm this kind of behavior can bring to a human being and to a community. 

Let's put this behind us now.

Kenneth, 

I reply to you again, idenifying myself as secular as before*. 

Why do you teach a model you are at odds with? Why do you attack (or even use) the tenents of a religious system like the Thervadan system then accredit yourself through it and try to teach its models?

Why are you trying to initimidate people who ask real questions about your teaching and its effects?


Never in my life have I seen a person so determined to validate himself by a system he does not value, one which he negates, and one in which he violates its dear principles.



Why don't you value yourself enough to then leave behind what you don't believe in (Theravadan) and teach whatever is your teaching and teach it authentically? 

I have seen your teaching for years now, Kenneth. I have heard from people who've left your system, paid a fee and struggled and has less money for it. I have also read as much here. I have heard you state your own embarassment this month by your own process. 

I wonder why you are embarassed by your own practice, the witness? Perhaps if you would just not keep claiming enlightenment in new cloaks, and just accept yourself for your old processes (not being embarassed by your learning and learning from your mistakes along the way, as the rest of us do).  If you would take it easy and without grandiose claims to enlightenment, then perhaps  you wouldn't feel embarassed with yourself when you don't feel "enlightened". A lot of us go through goofy misteps and we support each other, we call each other out, and we practice, we share practice.

So why be embarassed, Kenneth? You said this about yourself and your own process. Why be embarassed. We all goof up, brush off and try again. Many people practice and also never need to claim themselves enlightened, and they live full, satisfied lives. Perhaps in overselling to yourself (claiming enlightenment) you keep cause embarassment to yourself.  

This is a tiny calm practice. It is the undersell, the smalling of ego to be practical and less harmful/more helpful in the world. A practice is full of mistakes; that's the nature of practice and why it's called "practice".

I welcome your hand in that, Kenneth, and wish you strength and kindness with yourself.
Try just the simple practice, no grandiose claims that leave you embarassed to yourself falling from your own claim, no one else's.

I think you'll find good people stand by you in this.

But you are welcome to teach and if you have were good, you'd thrive on dana. I've seen that, too. Perhaps a better editor and a book.  I don't know what's going to work for you, but I know if you need x-income to be happy and you make that your goal, having that goal is going to make you much more likely to get it.

So go for it, if that's your happiness. Try to do it on what's you, though maybe not through the credentials of a buddhism you don't like or agree with.*

I call on you to stop these attacks on my personal integrity, my reputation in the community, and my professional competence as a meditation instructor.

I know this is important to you. It is a pity you conducted yourself today and this week and name-called, for example, insinuated persons here are "reactionary nincompoops".

You see, no matter who you blame for your failings, your competence and reputation as a meditation instruction depend on your conduct not mine or anyone else.  No one forced you to communicate as you have here. This is your mind, forerunner of your actions. "Choices".

Just as I didn't force you to become a meditation teacher or to argue here and to post insults at people, I don't force you to pass or fail. You inherit the outcomes of your own actions. Just take responsibility, learn and move on. This is the same as taking payment for services rendered; you deposit outcomes of your mind paying up its chosen actions. To chase others with blame for your teaching you show your teaching to be blameworthy.

So many of us do this here over the years of practice and community. If someone arrives with a bombast of enlightenment, they are welcome if they backtrack. Everyone has an 'oopsy' in learning. Oopsies are learning. Who is enlightened then?

And so, too, when you succeed you can credit yourself and friends whose support you've earned through trustworthiness, which is hard to buy.

I challenge you to go back and learn to teach on your own merit, not use historical figures and schools for your validation and manipulation, not to insult people here and elsewhere and do offer yourself something reliable of mind and to thrive accordingly. Then offer what is good and reliable to whoever finds you authentic and true. 

Best wishes. 


Edit x3
*Edit x4 redacted in response to defamation threat. Yes, I am secular (as in here in the world) -- I'm also trained in the sciences and can take a materialist view when it's practical, attend houses of theistic worship, and I also am in the Theravadan system to study their science of mind-- so someone can say I am religious and that's okay. But I reject the gender bias in that system, so I can also call myself secular. 
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Kenneth Folk, modified 6 Years ago.

RE: Money and the Buddha

Posts: 439 Join Date: 4/30/09 Recent Posts
Katy,

My reason for participating here on the DhO is to express my views on dharma, even when they are unorthodox. I believe this is a fair hope, given that the DhO was founded for this purpose.

I am not asking for your blessing or your advice. I am not asking for your permission. I am asking you to stop attacking, so I can share my views with those who may be interested, without them having to wade through dozens of venemous rants whose only purpose is to hurt me and create confusion.

What you seem to be missing is that if you are allowed to shout down anyone who disagrees with your rather narrow interpretation of Buddhism, this forum will become increasingly uninteresting to those of us who are interested in exploring other points of view. Most importantly, some of us believe that hands-on practice is more important than beliefs, and that hands-on practice leads to a kind of transformation that does not come about through thinking alone. Orthodoxy is directly opposed to this pragmatic understanding. In order for the DhO to fulfill its stated mission, people like me must be able to speak without being constantly hectored by the self-appointed thought police of dharma.

I get that you don't like me. I get that you don't like my teaching. I can accept that. What I have difficulty accepting is your trolling. Your repetitive attack campaign is unethical and intellectually dishonest. Again I ask you to stop.
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katy steger, modified 6 Years ago.

RE: Money and the Buddha

Posts: 1745 Join Date: 10/1/11 Recent Posts
Kenneth :
Katy,

My reason for participating here on the DhO is to express my views on dharma, even when they are unorthodox. I believe this is a fair hope, given that the DhO was founded for this purpose.

I am not asking for your blessing or your advice. I am not asking for your permission. I am asking you to stop attacking, so I can share my views with those who may be interested, without them having to wade through dozens of venemous rants whose only purpose is to hurt me and create confusion.

What you seem to be missing is that if you are allowed to shout down anyone who disagrees with your rather narrow interpretation of Buddhism, this forum will become increasingly uninteresting to those of us who are interested in exploring other points of view. Most importantly, some of us believe that hands-on practice is more important than beliefs, and that hands-on practice leads to a kind of transformation that does not come about through thinking alone. Orthodoxy is directly opposed to this pragmatic understanding. In order for the DhO to fulfill its stated mission, people like me must be able to speak without being constantly hectored by the self-appointed thought police of dharma.

I get that you don't like me. I get that you don't like my teaching. I can accept that. What I have difficulty accepting is your trolling. Your repetitive attack campaign is unethical and intellectually dishonest. Again I ask you to stop.
Kenneth, 

Did you troll today deliberately? How dare you be sanctimonious.

You purposely brought in the UCLA article as bait and then got very bouyant to grab a stage justifying your teaching for material gain: "Now that I have your attention..."

You state in print that I have feelings that I don't have, that I don't like you. You are slandering. You clearly have no regard for your own name or reputation risk and are reckless with everyone's name including yours.

How dare you do this to a person, Kenneth?

People have noted here today that you made them feel bad about money and you ignore their posts. You fully ignored Sawfoot's questions.
Apparently, you wanted a fan club staged in a home other than your own and what you got was genuine interest in who you are and what you do. 

You have ignored several people's concerns about your speech and business and you've targeted me.  

So you're slandering me, you've patently written lies about me in the face of what I've said for myself. You be quite careful with that now, Mr. ___. 

If you're enlightenment, yours is a real call to anything but what you've got.

_______________________
edit 1: removal of last name
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katy steger, modified 6 Years ago.

RE: Money and the Buddha

Posts: 1745 Join Date: 10/1/11 Recent Posts
I suggest, Kenneth, you start a new thread and be specific about what you want to do and I, for one, will not enter.

If you insinute insults or slander and the like or encourage it, that would be another matter.


edit 1: removal of last name
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Fitter Stoke, modified 6 Years ago.

RE: Money and the Buddha

Posts: 489 Join Date: 1/23/12 Recent Posts
What you seem to be missing is that if you are allowed to shout down anyone who disagrees with your rather narrow interpretation of Buddhism, this forum will become increasingly uninteresting to those of us who are interested in exploring other points of view. Most importantly, some of us believe that hands-on practice is more important than beliefs, and that hands-on practice leads to a kind of transformation that does not come about through thinking alone. Orthodoxy is directly opposed to this pragmatic understanding. In order for the DhO to fulfill its stated mission, people like me must be able to speak without being constantly hectored by the self-appointed thought police of dharma.
For the record, "Katy" is the reason I do not participate here anymore - for all the reasons on display in this thread. I also know I'm not the only person who has stopped participating here for exactly the same reason.

This is the first I've logged in to read things here in a long time, and I'm happy to see others are as disgusted with her "Take No Prisoners/Make Absolutely No Concessions/Torch The Infidels" behavior as I was. And why shouldn't they be? DhO was set up to combat precisely the kind of dogmatism evident nearly every time "Katy" sits down at a keyboard.

Unless "she's" banned or radically changes "her" behavior, I will not share anything of myself or my practice here.

Arhats, not asshats, people. C'mon.

(edited a few times for humor)
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Incandescent Flower, modified 6 Years ago.

RE: Money and the Buddha

Posts: 87 Join Date: 10/27/14 Recent Posts
Katy, I just don't a get a sense of any sincerity in your post beginning, "I reply to you again, identifying myself as secular as before." Granted, Kenneth probably could have thought of a more skillful way of initiating this topic, which for sure is somewhat interesting, but the attention it's gotten thus far has been, in my opinion, disproportionate to its relevancy to anything actually useful. What's said has been said; I don't think there's much more to be gained in pursuing this any further, but obviously that's up to you.

-Kyle

EDIT: In fact, I'll say the same thing for Kenneth. This desire to get the last word in would probably feel great if it were flat out dropped, no?
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katy steger, modified 6 Years ago.

RE: Money and the Buddha

Posts: 1745 Join Date: 10/1/11 Recent Posts
Incandescent Flower:
Katy, I just don't a get a sense of any sincerity in your post beginning, "I reply to you again, identifying myself as secular as before." Granted, Kenneth probably could have thought of a more skillful way of initiating this topic, which for sure is somewhat interesting, but the attention it's gotten thus far has been, in my opinion, disproportionate to its relevancy to anything actually useful. What's said has been said; I don't think there's much more to be gained in pursuing this any further, but obviously that's up to you.

-Kyle

EDIT: In fact, I'll say the same thing for Kenneth. This desire to get the last word in would probably feel great if it were flat out dropped, no?
Kyle, 

This is becuase despite my saying this elsewhere Kenneth has misrepresented me in print here as a religious zealot.

And, frankly, any Theravadan person or any person -- no matter how they self-identify -- has every right to ask,

"What? You say you're enlightened through the Theravadan processs, you purport that you teach its methods to 'awaken' and yet you are somehow the teacher outside its parameters when it suits you???" 

Further, somehow the modern era makes breeching their financial rules okay, but the modern era still depends on its techniques for awakening?

Like, how did you work that legal trade? "The clause about no material benefit for teaching is too old; the awakening methods, oh, they're fine; we'll keep that."


And you pay for that kind of cherry-picked, obviously self-interested guidance?


The thing speaks for itself. 


Further, Kenneth, to your requirement to be paid --which is certainly your right no matter-- versus to be a teacher of dana (the system you choose with its generous donation tradition). Edit: I think the buddhist ideal of enlightenment was probably taught for free, or dana, but its founder because the reward of having a great awakening of wisdom and compassion spread throughout the community is probably worth morw than any coaching fees.

Not trusting them or your own teachings' merits, do you encumber a Thervadan model with the requirement to pre-pay in case the lessons don't add up to awakening? What happens if "enlightenment/awakening" like your technique, as exhibited in your own admission, results in a community of willfull snarkiness? 

Looking at some people's exhibit of "awakening" makes me quite happy to be a regular person practicing.  


Edit:
1x  Good luck, folks.
2x removal of last names, edited 
Tom Tom, modified 6 Years ago.

RE: Money and the Buddha

Posts: 466 Join Date: 9/19/09 Recent Posts
Mercury retrograde.  I'm going to blame all of this on that. 
John M., modified 6 Years ago.

RE: Money and the Buddha

Posts: 135 Join Date: 2/11/12 Recent Posts
Suddenly we've gone from a general discussion of the monetization of Buddhism (which is interesting and useful) to straight-up personal invective (which is anything but). No thanks.