[Buddha-l] Enlightenment for Sale!

Barnaby Thieme bathieme at hotmail.com
Wed Jun 30 14:51:14 MDT 2010

Thanks for your thoughtful reply, Franz -- you make several strong points. I've been involved with numerous Dharma centers ranging from tiny to huge that managed to subsidize retreats without charging anyone $50k, but I suppose that's one way to go about. But then, many of them /have/ relied on large donations so perhaps this is another model. Perhaps this is a way of transmuting surplus wealth into dharma by the alchemy of practice. 

But I doubt it -- in my experience if it looks like a duck and quacks like a duck, it 
probably could bear a conventionally-valid nominal imputation "duck." Humans being what they are, my personal estimation is that cases of basic human avarice outnumber skillful means by about a thousand to one. 

Interesting quote from McMahn's book, which is already on my reading list. I'll be interested to compare it to Gregory Schopen's argument that early Indian Buddhist monastic communities were essentially organized and run on the guild model, and that the renunciate ideal had little to do in practice with what we see in the historical and archaeological record. That is, maybe Buddhism is always already co-opted. 

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