As I mentioned in my last blog post*, Devon and I have started doing our meditation coaching entirely on a donation basis. This has led us to ask a pretty basic but somehow destabilizing question - could we do other things by donation too?
Like, could we offer workshops by donation? And what would that look like?
Typically we teach workshops in one of two ways. Either an organization or individual invites us and pays a flat rate, or we do the workshop ourselves and charge person by person.
This has worked pretty well for us. We don't make a lot of money, but we cover our expenses, go to fabulous places around the world, meet wonderful people, and gather some pocket change along the way.
But what would it look like if we stepped out of the transactional space - as I spoke about in my previous blog post - in the context of workshops?
Well, for organizations, the first step would be to abandon the flat rate model. Instead, we could have a verbal conversation with a stakeholder in the organization - the head of HR or Wellness Programs or whatever.
Maybe we'd come up with a way to present to them our vision for a non-transactional space. A space in which we freely offer the meditation instructions and teachings that have been so helpful to us - and then the organization freely offers the resources that "feel" right to them.
This might strike some people as pretty hippy-dippy and vague. But there should be a way to orient even the most capitalist franchise to this way of thinking. Perhaps an online article? Maybe this blog post?
We'll have to think it through. Any suggestions anyone might have would be appreciated.
And how about for the workshops we host, which mostly take place in Ashland? So far we've been charging a very reasonable rate and giving scholarships to anyone who asks. Would it work to simply have people offer donations?
I'm just not sure. Again, I think we could orient people to this way of thinking. In the registration email that we send out to all participants, we could include something that clearly articulates this non-transactional space - hopefully a lot more clearly than what I'm doing here - and then invites people to offer freely for what is freely offered.
I don't know, friends. What do you think? Could this work? Will we starve? Will people get it? Maybe it's too complicated. A simple flat rate is clean and easy and maybe what our workshops participants want is something familiar.
Or maybe they want something just slightly radical and supra-capitalist. I don't know. Open to ideas any of you might have . . .
*Many thanks for all the emails from people talking about their own views about offering services/teachings by donation. Interesting diversity :)