A response to "Commercialization of Buddhism in Singapore"

by Kong Meng San PhorKark See Monastery, The Buddhist Channel, Feb 28, 2014

This letter is a response to Poor Singapore Buddhist's recent letter titled “Commercialization of Buddhism in Singapore”.

We share "Poor Singapore Buddhist's" views that the Dharma should be freely accessible regardless of a person’s status and affluence, like our name “PueJue”  which means universal liberation for all.

To that end, the monastery conducts various Dharma events and programmes on a regular basis for different age groups such as weekly cultivation sessions, pujas, Dharma classes, youth programmes, children Dharma programmes, etc.

The weekly meditation practices, sutra recitation on every Saturday and Sunday, Three Refuges and Five Precepts ceremonies that are held frequently and most Dharma talks are free and do not require any monetary sponsorship. All prayers at all halls, except the Inner Shrine, of The Grand  Puja that Blesses All Beings conducted annually by the monastery are also open to public to participate freely. In addition, the monastery also produces various quality Dharma publications that are distributed freely to members of the public to read and learn more about the Dharma.

The Heart Sutra course which was mentioned in the letter is a 10-session course with a fee of $40. That works out to about $4 for each session of 2-hour teaching. Like our other Dharma Classes, the charged administrative fee was to cover costs such as printing of materials and utilities.

However, the monastery also has a system in place to support those with financial difficulties in their Dharma learning. Anyone who is keen to attend Dharma classes but cannot afford the nominal fee will be assessed upon request and have their fee waived.
The monastery is open daily from 7.00am to 9.00pm, with Dharma classesthat end at 9pm on most weekday nights. At times, a few different courses and programmes can also be running on a single evening.

During weekends, the monastery has a full day of Dharma and Lifestyle activities that operate from 9.00am to 5.00pm. The monastery runs the Awareness Place stores, TLC student care centres, PKS Saturday Sunday School, crematorium and columbarium daily. In addition,the monastery also runs the Buddhist College of Singapore to trainSangha from all over the world. The daily operations and logistics of these activities require staff to be employed to ensure smooth and reliable running to provide for the Buddhist community and general public.
Once again, we want to ensure Poor Singapore Buddhist and all others that the monastery is not commercializing the learning of the Dharma as the Dharma is priceless. We appreciate his forthcoming thoughts, and hope to assist him and others in the learning of Dharma at our monastery.

Join us online at www.kmspks.org or www.facebook.com/kmspks to find out more about the monastery’s activities or visit us today!