A guiding principle for IMC has always been that the teachings of the Buddha are priceless and, in that spirit, we have been dedicated to offering our programs and services freely. We are still firmly committed to that idea. However, the reality is that things cost money, more so now than in the past. The churches that used to be able to offer us meeting spaces for free now find that they need to charge us rent in order to continue their own mission. Retreat venues now require a sizable deposit up front. We must pay for web hosting as well as software and equipment in order to run virtual meetings and conduct other behind the scenes functions. And, finally, it is not prudent to continue offering our services without providing liability coverage to our teachers and volunteers.
In the Buddhist tradition, the teachings are given freely because they are considered priceless; in the Buddhist tradition we also practice dana, or generosity, by making monetary offerings for the teachings. Dana is not payment for goods or services rendered; it is given from the heart. Your generosity is a gift that supports not just the teachers, but also the Sangha, the larger Dharma community, and your own practice.