Information Regarding Course Donations
An update from Lama Zangmo concerning course donations -
As you may be aware, Kagyu Samye Dzong London made a commitment at the beginning of 2015, in honour of our Founder Choje Akong Tulku Rinpoche, to offer our Dharma courses without a course fee, on a donation basis (see below). We decided to try this for one year and at the end of the year assess how it went. It therefore seems appropriate to give you some feedback now on this past year.
We have been very encouraged by the number of people attending the courses; numbers have risen dramatically, which is a good thing. The fact that the Dharma is available to everyone is wonderful, and we are very happy to enable that.
However, we have found that now, when people reserve places on courses, they either do not turn up or just come to some of the classes, and so each week the attendance varies greatly. This means that those people we had to turn away, due to a course being fully booked, are missing an opportunity to learn. If people are very casual about attendance, it also gives a feeling of lack of respect for the teachings and lack of commitment.
For that reason we ask that you only reserve a place on the courses if you are able to attend the complete course. We ask people to commit to coming to all the sessions of the weekly courses, and not just turn up when they can. There may be occasional exceptions and good reasons, but generally we ask you to please respect this.
In terms of the Dharma being given freely, we are happy to continue this into the future. The Dharma is priceless; how can we possibly put a fee on something that brings liberation from suffering? However, practically there are great expenses involved in running a Dharma Centre, providing conditions for study and practice, bringing teachers and maintaining a spiritual community.
Therefore, in order to make the Dharma accessible in this way, we need the support of the wider community, and we ask you, out of your love for the Dharma, to continue to offer whatever you can afford when you attend events at the Centre.
Your generosity directly supports the Centre now in the present and also helps to sustain the development of the teachings of Lord Buddha into the future.
With all good wishes for your health and happiness
A letter from Lama Zangmo concerning course donations - December 2014
You may already be aware that Choje Lama Yeshe Losal Rinpoche, the Abbot of Kagyu Samye Ling, made a decision this year in honour of Choje Akong Tulku Rinpoche to offer the Dharma courses in Samye Ling without any course fees.
Here in Kagyu Samye Dzong London we would like to follow this example, and so from January 2015 all our Dharma and meditation courses will be offered without a suggested course fee. We do this with the motivation to make the precious teachings of the Dharma accessible to everyone, and no-one will be excluded due to lack of funds.
Traditionally the Buddhist teachings are given freely because they are considered priceless. In the Buddhist tradition one practices generosity, or Dana, by making monetary offerings for the teachings. This generosity is not payment for goods or services rendered; it is an offering given freely from the heart in appreciation of the Dharma.
There are considerable expenses involved in running a centre, providing all the conditions for study and practice, bringing teachers and maintaining a spiritual community. Your generosity is an offering that supports the centre, the teachers and also helps to sustain the development of the teachings of Lord Buddha for many centuries to come.
Like Samye Ling, we will try this for one year and we hope you will support this step within your means, however great or small, so that it may continue, and so that we can make the offering of Dharma the tradition in the West as it has been in the East.
Please note that courses by external organisations who hire our venue, as well as non-Dharma courses, will continue to have a course fee.
With all good wishes for the coming year.