I want to share something personal here, some personal karma that I see myself facing at the moment. Maybe some of you will reorganize something. Maybe you already had your thoughts about this or it never crossed your mind, or...
It is about asking money for the Local Group meetings.
The meetings of Being Present Together in Local Groups are purely and directly based on the teachings of Eckhart Tolle. Actually all the materials we watch and contemplate about are directly to be find on the internet or on the website of Eckhart Tolle Official Site. The content of the meetings depend further completely on the input of the attendees. And still I ask people to pay to participate! Although I thought this aspect it is quit clear and righteous for me, I learned that my unshakeable attitude got shaken when I had to justify this to a dear friend. Thank you friend!
I want to take you back in time, to 2012 - 2019 the time I had a yarn store. At nights I had organized a workshop-program. From beginners knitting to advanced knitting and crochet and embroidery, I offered all sorts of classes. The prices varied from €23 to €55 per class. Expensive? Some costumers where courageous and debated this with me, but from a lot of others I could feel they withdrew because they decided it was expensive and 'not worth it'.
To determine the price of the workshops I had to calculate the rent, the used materials, taxes and of course a fee for the workshop-giver. So to say that 5 lessons for €150 is expensive depends on how you look at it: If you compare it to sitting next to a neighbor or grandma who loves to knit, and freely likes to share some knowledge with you, if she/he is up to it, than it could be called 'expansive'. But if you count in all the things that are in the price included (as written above), and the fact that I raised the level of a workshop from a cozy group of chitchatting friends who randomly come together, to an atmosphere of a professional learning space where the attendees can hold me accountable for the possibilities of actually learning something, than I know I mostly asked just the minimum price.
I'm not saying that €150 (or more) is a lot of money, because it is. I just wanted to give you my content to the numbers. My intention with this fair price was to up scale the craft workshops to a professional level; it was completely drawn out of the personal level.
Funny enough I see myself faced with exactly the same dilemma right now: I want to organize Local Group meetings to share the Eckhart Tolle teachings, to do this I have to make expenses and because I do this typically my way I can calculate a fee for myself. (Do I have to add that this takes a considerable amount of time wherein I can not earn money in an other way?) So I meet people who question the contribution;)
My intention with these Local Group meetings are also the same: I want to up-scale these meetings to a professional level, from a solid group of lovingly friends holding meetings in the intimacy of somebodies home, to a meeting in an open space where everybody is likewise welcomed and can expect the same as others. And where I can be held accountable for doing the best I can to meet the needs of the participants.
The only difference between now and then is that I can write a blog about it! Wonderful to share this in all openness;)