Honorable Patron of the Fellowship

An Honorable Patron is someone who helps fund the work of the Dharma Fellowship in a significant way.

Keeping Our Spiritual Life Pure

According to traditional values, a meditation center, an institution such as the Dharma Fellowship, does not charge money in the practice of the spiritual life—does not make money off the "sale" of Dharma.

It is inappropriate to charge money for Dharma. Imagine if the Buddha had charged his students for attending his teachings? Imagine if Jesus had charged people to listen to his sermons? Or to receive spiritual healing? Imagine how a wandering yogi, like Tilopa or Milarepa, would have fared if at the gates of the monastery, entry was barred because residence depended on the payment of a fee? In the East, temples, monasteries, ashrams, places of refuge from the world, are open to all sincere seekers of Truth who wish to study and practice the path of Enlightenment.

We adhere therefore to the ancient way. In accord with the wishes of our head Lamas, the Dharma Fellowship keeps spiritual work entirely separate from all forms of profit making or commercialism. For this reason the Dharma Fellowship does not charge for meditation practice sessions, meditation retreats, prayer or healing services, Dharma instruction, blessings, or meditation guidance. Nor does the Fellowship engage in the trafficking of "Dharma objects." Attendance at our Hermitage meditation retreats is by donation only. Donations alone have to cover everything: food, bedding, lodging, electrical bills, firewood, cooks and staff, support for the teacher, and all else.

How Does the Dharma Fellowship Survive?

The ancient way depends on patronage. An Honorable Patron—in Tibet known as a Jindak (sp.: sbyin-bdag), a "master of charity"— is someone who supports and promotes pure Dharma-activity in the world. This they do because they appreciate the great value that spirituality and meditation can have in the lives of people. They recognize that their funding of an institution such as the Dharma Fellowship is what makes the conduct of spiritual life possible.

It is surprising how much good that well-meaning people can actually do, particularly if they work in unison and in fellowship. They can make important changes in the world around them, without necessarily being themselves "important" people at all.

When someone becomes a patron of Dharma, great good can be accomplished. People become empowered.

The Dharma Fellowship survives entirely thanks to those who understand the importance of patronage. The Fellowship would not even exist, where it not for the generosity of people like yourself, making the effort to donate toward its support.

What It Takes To Be An Honorable Patron

The Dharma Fellowship honors its patrons, because it is they who make the work of the Fellowship possible. Their generosity alone funds our pure Dharma-activity in the world.

There are many projects.

  • Having acquired a property such as the Hermitage, there is the need to build living quarters and support facilities, a meditation hall and teaching spaces.
  • Critical to this spiritual work are "meditation huts" (kutis) for deepening meditative practice. An average little kuti costs from $4000 to $5000 dollars to construct.
  • Additionally, to fund a meditation center, fairly large donations from many people are needed: $50,000 dollars, $25,000 dollars, $10,000 dollars, $5,000 dollars. Please consider donating to the building fund.
  • Direct support for monks and nuns (or of persons taking temporary vows) is a time honored means to sustain the practice of spirituality in the world. Monks and nuns need your support so that they can enter into deep meditation practice. In turn it is the presence of these monks and nuns who create and support the true environment of a meditation center.
  • Likewise seasonal retreats for Dharma instruction and community service require considerable funds.

All amounts are important. Some patrons very generously send $100 a month, since that is all they can afford. They know that their sacrifice is doing tremendous good. Even $10 dollars, if sent each month, is valuable. More about recurring donations.

It is not necessary to be a member in order to help contribute to the work of the Dharma Fellowship.

If you would like to be an Honorable Patron of the Dharma Fellowship, please contact us.

The Hermitage Needs Your Support! Learn more about how you can help with the development of our meditation retreat centre »

Dharma Fellowship