Re: [U-Zendo] Maha Ghosananda
- On 2007/03/15 01:58:31 PM, Pat Stacy (pstacy@...) wrote:
> Just out of curiosity, does anyone on this list think having money or
> having money have anything to do with awakening?Like sex, it all depends on your mind.
Lee in Mashiko, Japan
>I think there's a relation. Money is easy to get hung up on, like
>From: <mailto:weaseltrax@...>Weasel Tracks
>I think some of the national vinayas of the Theravadan monks prohibit
>contact with money, though. Might need to rely on novices or
>laypeople to handle that.
>Just out of curiosity, does anyone on this list think having money
>or not having money have anything to do with awakening?
sex. Celibacy is another thing those vinayas prescribe.
I've known sincere spiritual people to explore voluntary poverty, and
I've been close to it myself, though I never had the faith to make a
I've heard that among the Russian Orthodox there was a custom for a
person so moved to renounce all effort to further their own lives,
but working freely on behalf of anyone else in the village. They gave
away everything they did not immediately need. Such people were
readily supported by their villages, and were considered spiritual
elders. Seems hard to fake such a commitment, since village life was
Such a life might give awakening an opportunity. Such a life might be
a good expression of awakening.
That said, the conscious and clear handling of money and the whole
economics of life is no less a vehicle for spiritual expression. In
one way, more money equals more freedom. The judicious use of money
can greatly enhance the functioning of the Dharma, individually and
But money is like fire, like sex. Terrible to let it get out of
control or addicted to it.
- On Wed, 2007-03-14 at 20:58 -0800, Pat Stacy wrote:
>First a comment on Weasel Track's comment. I am not a specialist in the
> ----- Original Message -----
> From: Weasel Tracks
> To: U-Zendo@yahoogroups.com
> Sent: Wednesday, March 14, 2007 6:05 PM
> Subject: Re: [U-Zendo] Maha Ghosananda
> I think some of the national vinayas of the Theravadan monks
> contact with money, though. Might need to rely on novices or
> laypeople to handle that.
> Just out of curiosity, does anyone on this list think having
> money or not having money have anything to do with awakening?
Vinaya but I've read enough to know that Weasel Track's comment is
correct but things change so we should not be surprised if we meet
Theravadan monks handling money.
Now, to address Pat's question. Let me first say that what follows here
is an ad lib on Pat's question. I'm not responding to any specific
position, either real or imaginary.
I do not think that having money by itself is a sign of delusion and not
having money by itself a sign of awakening. Everything in Buddhism is a
matter of relationship, since there is no substance (no self) to hold
onto. So the question is: what relationship do we have to money? If we
are aware of that relationship we can see how we use money to further
our egos or even how money uses us. If I work like a dog to keep a
flashy lifestyle, perhaps my money is using me!
Another angle to this question is: should we forcibly give up material
things in the hope of awakening? I don't think so. My take on practice
is that if we practice correctly, we'll eventually see for ourselves
what we should give up. We'll be ready to give it up and when we do
give it up, it won't really be "giving up" because (to me, anyway)
giving up implies sacrificing something. If we truly find that a
certain thing is just plain harmful, we can abandon it without the
feeling that a sacrifice has been made. This is a view of the path that
relies on the faith that we're all able to attain wisdom and are able to
act wisely once we've attained wisdom. This being said, some sort of
seclusion from material things *can sometimes* be a good practical
device to break attachment. In the example of someone working like a
dog to keep a flashy lifestyle maybe a temporary seclusion to a remote
area to live with very modest means for a while can bring about the
realization that a flashy lifestyle is not necessary to be happy. But I
think this works only in some cases and should not be made into a rule:
"thou shall give up sex, money and booze otherwise you're not a good
Buddhist". My experience with forcibly giving up is that whatever is
given up comes back with a vengeance because I was not ready to give up
but when I'm ready to give up, I give up although in fact I'm not giving
up. (See above for the exegesis of this last thought.)