One of the major complaints in the probably over-cited Buddhadharma article was that Buddhism is too expensive. Retreats cost so much that centers now offer scholarships. The Buddha Dharma is supposed to be a life-altering experience, so why aren’t Buddhists forking up enough to support their community through simple donations?
One might guess that Buddhist centers have excessive budgets and could use some fiscal restraint, but I doubt this. I’m more convinced by conclusions drawn in Nicholas Kristof’s recent piece, “Bleeding Heart Tightwads.” My favorite part is Kristof’s quote from Arthur Brooks:
“When I started doing research on charity,” Mr. Brooks wrote, “I expected to find that political liberals — who, I believed, genuinely cared more about others than conservatives did — would turn out to be the most privately charitable people. So when my early findings led me to the opposite conclusion, I assumed I had made some sort of technical error. I re-ran analyses. I got new data. Nothing worked. In the end, I had no option but to change my views.”