January 19, 2012

Tricycle Talks: Ken McLeod speaks to Richard Eskow, Part 1 of 3

This post contains audio. Listen here.

At the 2011 Ken McLeodBuddhist Geeks conference (the next will be in Boulder in August 2012) Tricycle Contributing Editor Richard Eskow got into a bunch of stimulting conversations. One of those he spoke with was a fellow frequent contributor to Tricycle, teacher and translator Ken McLeod. They decided to meet up after the conference and continue their conversation, and they were gracious enough to share it with us. Part one of their conversation is below.

In this wide-ranging discussion, they touch on a fascinating point that Eskow characterizes as a "dirty little secret" of the dharma: the question of paying for teachings. Listen below.

Part 2 of this discussion is here.

Past Tricycle Talks have featured filmmaker Ed Herzog, Patrick Groneman of the ID Project, and Bon teacher Tenzin Wangyal Rinpoche.

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Ken McLeod speaks to Richard Eskow part 1

cobham's picture

I agree that the different economic models are suitable because people are so different, both teachers and students. This means that some teachers will offer the teachings as donation only and some teachers, through circumstances, will have to charge. The students who are attracted to "donation" teachings may feel that the best things in life are free and through feeling appreciation and gratitude will donate. Through feeling the generosity of spirit, the student will also benefit spiritually, I guess. Whereas, some students may feel that you get what you pay for; they don't appreciate teachings that they don't have to pay for, so they won't value any free teachings anyway (which doesn't seem like a good thing either). The teacher, in return, will feel compensated for the time, effort and can pay for their overheads.
After reading criticism of teachers who don't have a strong lineage, I wonder how the lineage of Western teachers play a role in this economic discussion?

micko's picture

At a time when the monetary system is on the verge of implosion it seems strange that "western" teachers want to use that model. I am new to Buddhist thought and find myself unwilling to "pay for play".Our town has a beautiful new Bhuddist Temple but I'm remiss to involve myself because once you're past the "free introductory offer" everything has a price. I get by on Social Security ,so guess riding the "Tricycle" will be my dharma..._/\_

erik_jul's picture

Buddhists discover market economy: a willing buyer and a willing seller.