Pay What You Can
PWYC, which stands for "Pay What You Can".
In my opinion, the Pay What You Can approach is completely in line with Buddhist thought.
Indeed, the Buddha did not say "give me this price and I will teach you", but received offerings in terms of places to sleep or food, traveling for 35 years, delivering the teachings along the way.
It offers several advantages :
. appreciation: we are invited, when engaging in a "free participation" payment, to reflect on the value of what we are receiving. What benefits will I receive from listening to and following this practice or teaching? What importance can this teaching or practice have in my life? What changes can this teaching or practice generate in my life path? From this reflection, you will be able to evaluate your motivation, in relation to the chance to receive this teaching or practice.
. generosity and solidarity: once the value of the teaching or practice has been estimated, we are invited to reflect on our capacity to give. Can we afford to offer more and thus practice generosity? Generosity in the sense that by paying more than someone else, we can allow someone else who does not have the same financial capacity to also benefit from the same teaching or practice.
. the provision of the teaching: we are aware that the teacher has his expenses to pay (room rental + transport to come to the place of the teaching + accommodation + 47% of the revenue paid to the government (yes...! as much...)). If the value of the whole is correctly estimated, and that the approach allows at least to pay all the expenses (for a personal income, we will see later), then the teacher will be able to renew the teachings over the months.
In 2019, I took my ordination as a Nagkmo (Ngakpa for men). This is the White Robe Sangha, created by Guru Padmasambhava. The taking of vows is similar to that of the monks, except that we have long hair, and above all, we live normal lives with families, a job, etc... We are not in a monastery and we have to manage the household finances while delivering the teaching. Traditionally, the Ngakpas lived on offerings, supported by the villagers of the villages they lived in if they were sedentary, or of the donations from the villagers of the villages they passed through if they were nomadic. I think that Pay What You Can concept is a way to get closer to the original approach. This way, i can develop no expectation, no aversion and transform money into energy.
Personally, I don't like having to charge, to decide of a price. Teaching under the umbrella of Buddhism and Tibetan Medicine is for me a passion, an inner need. I am happy when I teach. I fade away when I am away from teaching. I love to carry my students, to know that they too, over the years, manage to find this space of inner freedom, this wealth of peace from inner silence, and that thanks to this, they discover the strength and happiness to face the problems and jolts of life with an unshakeable power and confidence, a light acceptance.
Buddhism has saved me, so to guide others in this path, in this way that has done me so much good, is for me a duty. When I teach, I always learn more, when I teach, it is a bit like "listening to the teaching that my mouth delivers". Teaching feeds me.
In the past, there have been times when I could not receive instruction because I could not afford a retreat or travel. These were difficult times, unfair to me, so I hope that establishing Conscious Participation will allow everyone to be able to receive the teaching. Some people will give less than the real value of the costs involved in organizing the course, others will give more, everyone will be able to participate, so let's hope that this way of working will allow me to continue to move in this direction for the benefit of all.
I am therefore opening this new mode of operation from 2022, in a progressive way on all the activities except those for which the selling prices are imposed on me as it is the case for the teachers' training and we will see if i allows me to keep going this way.
See you soon,