I have receive the following question:
Do you pay your own way or do you receive some financial compensation from your sangat?
To which I respond:
This is a question that I do understand some people are really concerned about. I am in the fortunate position that I donate to the temple, classes, CRS buildings, etc. more than I financially receive from them. But does your question imply that if a spiritual teacher relied on the temple or classes he teaches for income it would be a bad thing? If so, you may want to reflect more upon that. You may want to read my blog called “Money, Money, Money” written 10/17/13. I do know that in other cultures people generously donate to support the teacher. Therefore, they have no need to charge in order to have a place to sleep and food to eat. That tradition does not seem to be as popular in the west. There are so many such superficial standards that people go by to evaluate others. It can be particularly misleading when people from one culture are judged by standards of another culture. This is unfortunately common in not just the spiritual, but many arenas of life.
Allow me to end with an old tale. There were two monks, one old and one young. While traveling on foot, they came upon a stream to cross. At the same time a young woman needed to cross the stream as well, but she felt unable to do so on her own. The old monk picked her up, carried her across and set her down at the other bank of the stream as the young monk followed along. Walking several miles more, the old monk turned to the young one and said, “I can tell something is troubling you. What is it?” The young monk said, “We are monks and are not to touch women, yet you carried that young woman over the stream.” The old monk said, “Yes, that is true and I set her down on the other bank. You have been carrying her all this time.”
My point is that we all do well to look deeper than the superficial. It is important to under-stand, not over-stand. As one of my books is titled, “Look Deeper, Live Better.”
When Brahmarshi was in the Bay Area for class my husband and I gave him a ride to his hotel. He thought he should give us something in return. All I could think of was you have given so much, we could never repay you enough. To someone who hasn’t experienced Brahmarshi in their life this could sound like a real eye roller. However, as an American that was brought up that you don’t give away hard earned money, this is new to me also. With that said, he is giving away something extremely valuable. I can easily attain money, but what he has to give is not so easy to receive. I just feel lucky that I am open enough to know that he does know.
This is a good blog. However, it is also none of people’s business.
My father was a Methodist minister and every church he served supported our family. He was the primary ‘spiritual teacher’ of the church. I believe many spiritual teachers are supported this way. It is, after all, your occupation.
Personally, I feel sad that we cannot support you financially as you deserve to be honored and supported.
Wow! The issue of money. I guess whatever the person’s motivation for asking such a question, it begs a question in return. It speaks to what Brahmarshi has spoken of many times, “relationship with.” What is this person’s relationship with money? If a compassionate psychotherapist who cares deeply about the client, requires payment for his his services, is he somehow a fake, not sincere, doesn’t really care? Secondly, I pose the rhetorical question: what is the “going rate” for such profound knowledge these days? Priceless!
To judge Brahmarshi by whether he charges money or not is just plain missing him, missing the Knowledge, and missing the point. His teachings are so precious. I wish I could do more. I, too, am sad we don’t support Brahmarshi better.
Thank you Brahmarshi, I don’t care about the money actually, but I did really get how we carry junk around in our mind that doesn’t matter really. And the moral of the story….the monks!
I can give so much better than I can receive. Something for me to work on!
You have given so much to myself, Gary and all your other students. Love your blogs…helps me keep as level as I can be right now. I look forward to seeing a new one on my email.
Thank you, Tracy. Your response resonates.
Money so they say
Is the root of all evil today
But if you ask for a raise it’s no surprise that they’re
Giving none away