Begging (Updated)

Looking for handouts is generally frowned upon here in the west. Nevertheless I have seen a few websites and also listened o a podcast doing just that.

In the past I have contributed to my local monks, and I will continue to do so. I like them. They provide a service.
I enjoy supporting them when I can.

But mixing the Buddha Dharma and money is a prickly subject for me. From another perspective asking for handouts on the web; or via a podcast has got to be tough to do. But I get really irked when people say “I have been trying to keep this site add free, and I depend on your donations to do that.” I say bring on the advertisements. It might actually do some good! Other than that, unless I go to see you or you come see me with your begging bowl face to face, sorry I am not giving squat unless I see you doing something really worthwhile. Not that I have much to give anyway.

Like most Americans, I am again in debit over my head again anyway. I am not one of those folks common in America traveling on the “Upper Middle Way.” For me I walk on the Lower Middle Way, and I do not really mind that much. I chose a life of service and plan to continue with it until I can’t any more.

All that said, I am not one to refuse a handout either. Over the years I have benefited from the kindness of others and I truly appreciate it. If you happen to be on the Upper or Executive Middle Way and feel like helping me out there is a wish list in my profile. In addition to that some things that I just think would be cool that are not on there are:

A Tengai Hat (for no other reason other than I think it would be cool, I’ll even take pictures of me with it on in inappropriate places!)

A Kapock Zafu( I have a couple of buckwheat ones because they were cheaper, I just want to know how the other half lives)

Sencha Tea (I am totally out and can’t justify the expense anymore, seriously I want some tea!)

Matcha Tea ( see above)

Shakuhachi Notation
(Kinko Ryu please, not that I am sectarian or anything I just get confused by Tozan Ha!, Oh and I will promise to post up my interpretation of the songs as I learn them at a rate of about .5 songs a year, or 5 a decade)

My address is:

10514 NE 96th St
Vancouver, Wa, 98662

(Update 2)

Please, If you do decide to send something on, be kind enough to include a return address so I know who to send thanks too!

OK, this post was at least partly made in jest, but for those who have sent stuff in the past, thank you! For those who have not, thank you too!

And for those who are feeling truly magnanimous:

Portland Toys For Tots

Another update, following my own advice,I have added adds!

Take care and have a happy holiday season!


Uku said...

I just bought some new kapock for my zafu. Old kapock was still ok but I needed to raise my zafu's height. I have plenty of it left but it will be enough for a half-zafu. Maybe if someone else can send you other half's kapock, then you get whole stuffing for your zafu. :D

I'm not kidding, I can actually send you the rest of the kapock but it won't be ok for filling the whole zafu.

I live also in Lower class or what ever but I believe in helping each others. So, if you need a little bit of kapock, drop me your postal address and I'll send you some filling. And Finnish chocolate too. :)

Your brother in Dharma,

Anonymous said...

It is a bit of culture clash with the west. Monks from China traditionally are self-supporting. Monks from other cultures - Tibet and Korea in particular are used to being supported.

The churches in the west are supported by donations still. When I was attending a church I made arrangements to send money to them on a regular basis.

So I believe two contradictory things at the same time.

I think that if you can afford it it is beneficial to practice giving money away; it doesn't matter how much really - perhaps enough so that you notice but not enough that you suffer. At the same time I think it would be better if monks in the west were self-supporting or largely self-supporting.

Somewhere there is a cross-over. When a monk is full-time involved or near-full-time involved in serving the community then it might be appropriate to live off a donations or a salary from a charity.

However, I suspect that the amount of time spent by a typical monk outside of a monastary in the west being monkish would amount to no more than the time many spend on a hobby.

To be frank, Monks who cite teaching the dharma as a reason for dana often struggle to offer anything above mediocrity.

Meanwhile GM are begging for money to carry on producing cars that people don't want to buy. Go Figure!

Mike Cross said...

"I chose a life of service and plan to continue with it until I can’t any more."

Those words have a ring of truth about them. Sounds like a noble plan.

Keep on keeping on!


SlowZen said...


The shipping prices for getting stuff across the big pond might discourage you, But the Finnish chocolate would be a big hit here!

I updated the post with the address towards the end.

Sinun on säädetty laissa,
(that's from the google translator, I am totally clueless on finish, it is supposed to say yours in the law)


SlowZen said...

Mike H,

Your getting Ted like in your word count. HA!

Please don't be frank, be Mike H!
And try not to judge yourself to much OK?


SlowZen said...

Mike Cross,

I will!

Thank you!


sweetpersimmon said...

If you have a craving for matcha, you are welcome to come to class and have a sweet and drink a bowl of matcha with us.


Curator said...

As I am in that lower middle class section as well (only because, as work and my money ran out I ended up moving back in with my father,lol) I can only afford to do this, im gonna post that cake recipe, along with notations on what I altered which is probably what lead to it messing up,lol...

Anonymous said...


Ted's lent me his spare words and it would be a pity to waste them.

As for not judging, who said I was judging?

SlowZen said...

Thank you for the gracious invitation. Are you still teaching at Odd Fellows Hall on Friday Evenings?

SlowZen said...


Thanks again for the recipe!

SlowZen said...

Mike H,
Who, what, when, where, why, how?

Anonymous said...

I also live a life of service, so at this point in time I cannot send you anything, but your post really made me smile and I thank you for that. Peace to you. And if and when my book publishes and I have more of a disposable income, you'll be getting yours. Promise :)

SlowZen said...

Thanks for the intentions!
And good luck on the book!
I like exclamation points!

I am really appreciating your destinationthejourney.com blog.

Thank you for your efforts,

Mike Cross said...

Your update and change of advertizing policy has been duly noted! Evidently and naturally, as a cash-strapped father of a young family, you want to make some money out of your blog, if you can.

So-called "Soto Zen" practioners of shallow views generally think that the Buddha exhorted us to serve buddhas without any expectation of personal gain.

In fact, knowing human nature better than that, the Buddha encouraged us just to follow his example of serving buddhas for countless lives, even WITH expectation of gain

In practice, if we waited until we were totally free of expectation of gain before we started serving buddhas, when would we ever start?

Keep on keeping on!


SlowZen said...

Hi Mike,

Thank you for the link!

Funny as it may sound I had never considered putting ads on this blog until I read my own post. That inhibition I am sure came from my own shallow view that the Buddha exhorted us to serve Buddhas without any expectation of personal gain.
But here is the fault in my logic I found; whatever is made will ultimately be used for serving Buddhas. So how can it be wrong?

I have doubts that the advertisements on this little blog will produce much, But
I have already considered transparency in whatever earnings I do get from it, even to the extent of being open as to where it goes. Again, that comes from those fundamentalist roots (or reptilian faults?) so I may drop my attachment to that idea too.

In your translation there is a reference to a desire to gain something, what about a desire to give something?

I will keep on keeping on!

Mike Cross said...

For example, when a very young child gives her father a cuddly toy, her desire to give something is very pure. But around the time of the terrible twos, she starts becoming able to think about my, me, and mine. And that may be where a lot of the trouble starts! So how to recover our original pre-terrible-two child-mind is the problem we are struggling with -- even me and Ted with our mammoth word-counts are struggling with that essential problem!

Thank you for giving me the means-whereby to make the link.

Mumon K said...

You're almost in my neighborhood. We should practice together at some point; and although I don't have sencha there is an abundance of Chinese green tea in my house.

My e-mail address is jmk666 at {extraneous characters} yahoo dot com.

Although my wife has a different opinion of "abundance." ;-)

SlowZen said...

I think that is a trait my wife shares with yours!

Curator said...

I was going to mention this be4, but I forgot, www.uptontea.com my favorite place to buy bulk tea, has both matcha and sencha for much much cheaper than the links you provided, I believe they have varying grades of each as well...so one can buy according to what they can afford...they have some exceptionally good deals on Sencha right now... like Sencha Special Grade Yamato is only $49 for the largest size they offer...1 kilogram!!! they also sell it in smaller amounts too of course... but yeah, you should go there and search for sencha and matcha, you can get it for really cheap there compared to most other places cause they are wholesalers...

SlowZen said...

Hey, thanks for the tip!

Thanks for looking!