Author Topic: Why do Buddhist groups in the Western world charge money to attend services?  (Read 201 times)

Offline squidproquo

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I live in the US. Any Buddhist groups I have ever found, no matter what part of the country, charge a ridiculous amount of money to attend any kind of service or event. I find this pretty abhorrent and and wondering why this seems to be standard practice? I would really love to be part of a sangha and meet other local Buddhists. Why do I have to pay some guy $65-300 to do so? I always thought Christianity's money grubbing was bad, but this has got them beat. How is Buddhism allowed to be a business? Why do you have to register and buy tickets to services? Why aren't things done by donation only? Am I the only one that thinks this is gross?

Offline pureleaf

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Money can't buy me Nirvana

Offline IdleChater

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I live in the US. Any Buddhist groups I have ever found, no matter what part of the country, charge a ridiculous amount of money to attend any kind of service or event. I find this pretty abhorrent and and wondering why this seems to be standard practice? I would really love to be part of a sangha and meet other local Buddhists. Why do I have to pay some guy $65-300 to do so? I always thought Christianity's money grubbing was bad, but this has got them beat. How is Buddhism allowed to be a business? Why do you have to register and buy tickets to services? Why aren't things done by donation only? Am I the only one that thinks this is gross?

If you find it abhorent, then find something else.  The truth is, while the dharma is free, presenting it is not.  There are rents, utilities, room,board and travel, none of which is free.

Offline stillpointdancer

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I live in the US. Any Buddhist groups I have ever found, no matter what part of the country, charge a ridiculous amount of money to attend any kind of service or event. I find this pretty abhorrent and and wondering why this seems to be standard practice? I would really love to be part of a sangha and meet other local Buddhists. Why do I have to pay some guy $65-300 to do so? I always thought Christianity's money grubbing was bad, but this has got them beat. How is Buddhism allowed to be a business? Why do you have to register and buy tickets to services? Why aren't things done by donation only? Am I the only one that thinks this is gross?
To be fair, I live in the UK and the Triratna Buddhist Order run on donations for people who attend centers. They do charge for special events such as retreats to cover expenses.
“You do not need to leave your room. Remain sitting at your table and listen. Do not even listen, simply wait, be quiet, still and solitary. The world will freely offer itself to you to be unmasked, it has no choice, it will roll in ecstasy at your feet.” Franz Kafka

Offline IdleChater

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I live in the US. Any Buddhist groups I have ever found, no matter what part of the country, charge a ridiculous amount of money to attend any kind of service or event. I find this pretty abhorrent and and wondering why this seems to be standard practice? I would really love to be part of a sangha and meet other local Buddhists. Why do I have to pay some guy $65-300 to do so? I always thought Christianity's money grubbing was bad, but this has got them beat. How is Buddhism allowed to be a business? Why do you have to register and buy tickets to services? Why aren't things done by donation only? Am I the only one that thinks this is gross?
To be fair, I live in the UK and the Triratna Buddhist Order run on donations for people who attend centers. They do charge for special events such as retreats to cover expenses.

For a time I associated with a Buddhist group that had a very active fund raising program.  They asked for money a lot.  It made me a bit uncomfrtable, mainly because I could not keep up  financially.  It was a factor in my leaving for another group.  That said, I never saw anyone turned away because they couldn't afford dues or tuitions.  In fact, I have yet to encounter a Buddhist group in my area for those who had need.

Offline meez

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Unfortunately, religion and religious orders are breeding grounds for shady practices in order to advance personal gain.  Doesn't matter which religion or which teachings they promote, there are frequent examples of people trying to take advantage of others.

For a standard service like you have on a Sunday at a church, if there is a charge to attend, walk away and keep your distance.  There is literally no need for that type of organization in your life.  For retreats and other things, those often come with greater expenses that simply can't be covered by the group's budget (just like in Christian churches where people usually have to fund their own way for things like mission trips).  Granted, there can often be some sort of fundraising event that leads up to such a thing that can help offset those costs, but whether a group decides to embark on that effort is up to them.

Use your judgement.  If it doesn't feel right, step away.

 


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