illustration (attribution, if any possible, is at the end of the article)
I believe many of my followers appreciate that I don't only focus on old texts but also try to find explanations that may easily be relatable to by present readers.
I clearly don't discard the sūtras (be they from the Pāḷi Canon, or from the Mahāyāna schools); however, I try not to merely parrot them (as if the world had not changed over the last 26 centuries).
While I may adapt teachings as I see the need arise, I refrain from overly 'modernising' the teachings (e.g. I'm not defining myself as a 'secular' buddhist rejecting rebirth). I focus on expressing old wisdom with a modern form: same Unconditioned, different context (circumstances and conditions).
For all the appreciation of modernity in form, as soon as I mention the funding of the teachings, many retort with old forms (based on 'local' monasteries / communities —i.e. based on 'others' shouldering the costs,— or internet-less wanderers…).
It is traditionally considered in Japan that a "family temple" needs around 300 families as regular supporters to live. My 'local' community is approaching 10 if I consider direct more-or-less-formal students, is about 40 if I consider all donators so far (one-offs or regular), is approaching 200 if I consider people requesting notification of original posts and maybe 500 if I count all people 'regularly' reading my posts. I guess this isn't traditional Japan though, where the social fabric was culturally valued (even in Japan, temples now struggle due to the individualistic evolution of society)…
This being said, the initial reason for the call remains: maintaining full-time availability and generating free content requires food and shelter.
When I started calling for donations, some people expressed anger and/or fear that I might stop teaching for free… as if I had made them dependent on my stream, only to later start charging them for this new 'necessity'!
Six months later, I hope a simple observation of my stream has dispelled the worst fears: I have no intention to put the teachings behind a paywall, a membership, a closed community… nor do I plan to stop helping those in difficult situations.
So, on the advice of , I created a new way for you to support my work, a more 'consumerist' way somehow, a way where you can 'tip' me low amounts (fractions of a dollar, if need be) for each original post.
You get 'charged' only for my original content… thus, if I don't create, then nothing is charged!
At the moment, I aim for about 10–15 original posts a month. On the other days, I share —or quote— others' content… or I'm just too busy commenting on previous posts, moderating communities and responding to individual private requests / questions.
You get 'charged' only once a month, and you don't have to repeatedly enter your payment details for each 'tip'… You may also set a maximum monthly amount (e.g. equivalent to 10 tips), so that your budget wouldn't go off rail if I had a burst of creativity.
The generic 1'01'' video presentation of Patreon is at
What is Patreon
Thank you in advance for your consideration and your support!
PS: fees are taken by Patreon on top of Paypal, so if you can acknowledge that I didn't reduce my commitment to the saṅgha over the last six months, it remains more cost-effective (as well as more predictable) to donate via koan.mu/donate.htm … but if you prefer the 'tip' model, or simply cannot trust me to optimise my resources (notably when it's out of public sight) for the benefit of all,
Photo: "pensive mechanical bodhisattva" by © Wang Zi Won