The Buddhist tradition has always tried to cultivate a different relationship toward money than mainstream cultures, both ancient and modern.
The teachings are not a commodity to be sold and purchased, yet the conditions that support the sharing of the teachings are embedded in a network of resources that require money.
In the modern world many teachers and centers try to walk this fine line by charging fees for basic services, and inviting voluntary donations (dāna) to augment these fees.
The model adopted by the Integrated Dharma Institute is to charge a low standard fee for the creation and delivery of its courses, and to appeal to the generosity of participants to help one another access these courses as needed.
For some people the course fees are easy to cover; for others it is more challenging. We all want anyone and everyone with a sincere interest to benefit from these teachings, and we thus want the courses to be available to all.
Scholarships are therefore offered on a "helping one another" model, which encourages the expression of generosity among participants:
- Those who are able to give more than the full course fee, and are willing as an act of generosity to help others participate, are invited to offer dāna (a voluntary donation) over and above the base rate of the course.
- Those who are unable to afford the full fee, and would like to participate in the generosity of others, may offer only what they can and ask for help with the balance.
- All dāna offered in this context will be put aside and matched to requests for help. Whatever funds are available will be shared, and will be used for no other purpose.
So if you are able to give more to help others, please do so.
And if you need help affording the courses, please ask for it.
This model is particularly valuable for encouraging people from less privileged parts of the world to participate in this program.