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PostPosted: Wed Feb 15, 2012 5:39 am 
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maybay wrote:
286. 'Here I shall dwell in the rain, here in winter and summer,' thus the fool meditates, and does not think of his death.
287. Death comes and carries off that man, praised for his children and flocks, his mind distracted, as a flood carries off a sleeping village.

This is universal Nangwa. The question is not about your state but your expectations.


Well aware of this Maybay.
What is it that makes you think we can't do both?
How do you think practitioners of the past established retreat centers, monasteries and the other means of supporting our tradition?

Just because one is utilizing finances as a support for their practice and circumstances does not mean they are disregarding the truths of impermanence and the necessity of renunciation.


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PostPosted: Wed Feb 15, 2012 5:56 am 
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Despite what many new Buddhists think, money and Buddhism are not mutually exclusive.
It's our minds and circumstances that determine how we can work with things like money.
A general aversion is naive and can be counterproductive.


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PostPosted: Wed Feb 15, 2012 6:08 am 
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Nangwa wrote:
Despite what many new Buddhists think, money and Buddhism are not mutually exclusive.
It's our minds and circumstances that determine how we can work with things like money.
A general aversion is naive and can be counterproductive.


But how many people think, "I will earn money so I can aid others and support the Dharma," meanwhile they own a huge house, save for a comfortable retirement, have three cars and their children are pampered?

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PostPosted: Wed Feb 15, 2012 6:13 am 
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Huseng wrote:
Nangwa wrote:
Despite what many new Buddhists think, money and Buddhism are not mutually exclusive.
It's our minds and circumstances that determine how we can work with things like money.
A general aversion is naive and can be counterproductive.


But how many people think, "I will earn money so I can aid others and support the Dharma," meanwhile they own a huge house, save for a comfortable retirement, have three cars and their children are pampered?

I'm sure it has happened to a lot of people.

We could make generalizations about so-called renunciates too, but they will be just that, speculative generalizations.


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PostPosted: Wed Feb 15, 2012 6:19 am 
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better we don't talk about our plans then

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PostPosted: Wed Feb 15, 2012 6:24 am 
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Nemo wrote:
People who are always about the money have neither renunciation or generosity. They are "practical". Bodhisattvas are not. We are just a hobby Buddhists. Posers. Amateurs.


This is well said, though what comes to mind is that, at least here in Taiwan, Buddhist organizations are presently thriving because they are both practical and utilize people with practical skills in worldly matters (such as accounting, web design, book publication, etc...). This enables things to get done quickly and efficiently and leaves the door open for practitioners to practice with 100% support.

Unlike in Tibetan Buddhism, monastics in Taiwan don't need sponsors. They have food, shelter, clothing, medical care and anything else they need. As a layperson you can also just show up, get three square meals a day and a place to sleep, and they won't even ask you to pay for anything either.

I constantly see Tibetan organizations struggling, and so they have to charge money for anyone wanting to stay and eat lunch. Again, here in Taiwan the organizations are tied in heavily with worldly matters, but the result is that things get done, resources are plentiful and the renunciates can be supported without any worries. The general laypeople in accounting or web design might not be doing Dharma practice, but they still earn merit and cultivate connections. There is a place for everyone and anyone can contribute something.

There is a trade-off of course. Buddhism here is half Buddhadharma and half a social organization. You don't hear much about suffering and samsara. But such a system seems to work pretty well given modern day circumstances.

In other words, being practical is necessary in some contexts. As an individual yogi renunciate, that can be tossed out the window, but if you want your Buddhism to thrive in the world and have the resources to support a lot of people who do both practice and benevolent deeds for others, then practicality when it comes to worldly matters is essential. Bodhisattvas need to be realistic.

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PostPosted: Wed Feb 15, 2012 6:52 am 
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maybay wrote:
better we don't talk about our plans then

I don't see why not.
We have the responsibility of supporting one another. We can't really do that if we don't share experiences and other insights.


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PostPosted: Wed Feb 15, 2012 7:24 am 
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Nangwa wrote:
We have the responsibility of supporting one another.

Sorry?

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PostPosted: Wed Feb 15, 2012 7:29 am 
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maybay wrote:
Nangwa wrote:
We have the responsibility of supporting one another.

Sorry?

The third jewel.


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PostPosted: Wed Feb 15, 2012 7:34 am 
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Huseng wrote:
Bodhisattvas need to be realistic.

I think the age of heroes has passed. We're in the age of lunatics now.

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PostPosted: Wed Feb 15, 2012 7:41 am 
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maybay wrote:
Huseng wrote:
Bodhisattvas need to be realistic.

I think the age of heroes has passed. We're in the age of lunatics now.


The only reason you have access to the dharma right now is because countless people in the past were kind enough to maintain organizations and the canon so it could be passed down.

Acting like a lunatic is not going to help anyone.

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PostPosted: Wed Feb 15, 2012 7:48 am 
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Weren't we talking about renunciation?

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PostPosted: Wed Feb 15, 2012 7:50 am 
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Oh, I get it now. We've moved on

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PostPosted: Wed Feb 15, 2012 12:16 pm 
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Hi Paul....re Chanteloube:

I just dug out some info I was sent by them a while back (but not so long ago that the costs will have changed I don't think...)
The current retreat finishes this march, they don't think the next one will start before the end of 2012.

I've copied this below, if you want the whole pdf I can send to you over email.

"The fact is, however, that, before starting, it
is important to be quite certain that you have enough money to cover the entire period of the retreat.
In practical terms, this means that you will need to have a minimum of 380 € a month for about 43
months (three and a half years). This covers food, lodging, basic heating costs and various items
needed by the group as a whole (cleaning materials, washing powder etc.). This sum is no more
than the minimum needed to subsidise life in retreat. It includes no more than a small contribution
to the administrative costs of the centre, but not to the expenses implied in the invitation and
reception of the lamas, the cost of which is covered by another budget.
You will also need to provide for various other expenses according your personal needs. These will
be specifically connected either with the practice (e.g. rice and saffron for the mandala offering, oil
for lamps, tsok offerings and offerings to the lamas who come to teach in the retreat (the latter only
if you have the means), or with your studies (stationary, audio equipment, photocopies etc.) Then of
course there will be various items of an entirely personal nature (toiletries etc.). It is naturally very
difficult for us to give an estimate of these expenses, which vary from one person to another. But as
a bare indication, we would suggest an average of between 20 and 30 € a month."


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PostPosted: Thu Feb 16, 2012 5:33 pm 
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Huseng wrote:
Nemo wrote:
This is well said, though what comes to mind is that, at least here in Taiwan, Buddhist organizations are presently thriving because they are both practical and utilize people with practical skills in worldly matters (such as accounting, web design, book publication, etc...). This enables things to get done quickly and efficiently and leaves the door open for practitioners to practice with 100% support.

Unlike in Tibetan Buddhism, monastics in Taiwan don't need sponsors. They have food, shelter, clothing, medical care and anything else they need. As a layperson you can also just show up, get three square meals a day and a place to sleep, and they won't even ask you to pay for anything either.

I constantly see Tibetan organizations struggling, and so they have to charge money for anyone wanting to stay and eat lunch. Again, here in Taiwan the organizations are tied in heavily with worldly matters, but the result is that things get done, resources are plentiful and the renunciates can be supported without any worries. The general laypeople in accounting or web design might not be doing Dharma practice, but they still earn merit and cultivate connections. There is a place for everyone and anyone can contribute something.


I have been amazed at the difference in attitude between Asian and western Buddhists. Some men and women were at a retreat last year who I think were Taiwanese, and they were very, very generous. The centre needed a new PC and one woman was happy to pay ~£500 for a new one at the drop of a hat. Several of the other Taiwanese guests were also very generous in a similar manner. The only thing I can put this apparent difference down to is that they have a much stronger belief and appreciation of merit.

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PostPosted: Thu Feb 16, 2012 11:04 pm 
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Paul wrote:
Huseng wrote:
Nemo wrote:
This is well said, though what comes to mind is that, at least here in Taiwan, Buddhist organizations are presently thriving because they are both practical and utilize people with practical skills in worldly matters (such as accounting, web design, book publication, etc...). This enables things to get done quickly and efficiently and leaves the door open for practitioners to practice with 100% support.

Unlike in Tibetan Buddhism, monastics in Taiwan don't need sponsors. They have food, shelter, clothing, medical care and anything else they need. As a layperson you can also just show up, get three square meals a day and a place to sleep, and they won't even ask you to pay for anything either.

I constantly see Tibetan organizations struggling, and so they have to charge money for anyone wanting to stay and eat lunch. Again, here in Taiwan the organizations are tied in heavily with worldly matters, but the result is that things get done, resources are plentiful and the renunciates can be supported without any worries. The general laypeople in accounting or web design might not be doing Dharma practice, but they still earn merit and cultivate connections. There is a place for everyone and anyone can contribute something.


I have been amazed at the difference in attitude between Asian and western Buddhists. Some men and women were at a retreat last year who I think were Taiwanese, and they were very, very generous. The centre needed a new PC and one woman was happy to pay ~£500 for a new one at the drop of a hat. Several of the other Taiwanese guests were also very generous in a similar manner. The only thing I can put this apparent difference down to is that they have a much stronger belief and appreciation of merit.
Or they are more expecting of a monetary return. Don't assume :tongue:

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Without attachment, self-liberating, like a snake in a knot.
Through the qualities of meditating in that way,
Mental obscurations are purified and the dharmakaya is attained."

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PostPosted: Fri Feb 17, 2012 12:40 am 
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Many Asians look at giving money to monks as being very rucky. They give thinking they will win lotto or something. Generosity is good. Practice is better. There are more than a few empty Tib Buddhist retreat centres kicking around yet still asking for money. I can think of a few who I consider good practitioners who I only hear from when they need money. I don't know how I feel about that sometimes.

I think I will agree with Longchenpa and Jigme Lingpa. Vagrancy is the life for a practitioner. The Buddha as well found commerce distasteful. A ban from touching money sounds awesome to me. The Buddha promised that no monk would starve. Based on his merit and aspiration. With this in mind saying the Dharma would not survive without lay people looks like a bit of undeserved bragging. You have failed If respect, gain, comfort, pleasing others worldly demands or needing to feel safe are still ruling you. Even more subtly damning is wanting to be "happy" without understanding how much of your mental activity is motivated be shallow neurotic grasping. Pretending that giving a few bucks makes you special and that you are making some kind of difference is sad. You are lucky to be able to give to a real practitioner.

Hardship is so easy when you are young. Best to practice first and worry about worldly things if you fail than the other way around. Be realistic. The monastic route is poverty, no sex and being told what to do. You will be very lonely. At times very sad. I've watched many go insane. I secretly considered it a form of entertainment on long retreat. The alternative is an eternity of Samsaric suffering.


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PostPosted: Fri Feb 17, 2012 5:55 am 
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Nemo wrote:
Many Asians look at giving money to monks as being very rucky. They give thinking they will win lotto or something. Generosity is good. Practice is better. There are more than a few empty Tib Buddhist retreat centres kicking around yet still asking for money. I can think of a few who I consider good practitioners who I only hear from when they need money. I don't know how I feel about that sometimes.


Need I remind you what the first pāramitā is?

Dāna. Generosity. Giving.

You have no right to generalize and assume "many Asians" think they will win the lotto or something by giving to monks. This is an outright poor and misguided assumption. By shooting off your mouth like this you only create negative karma for yourself by condemning the generosity of others.



Quote:
You have failed If respect, gain, comfort, pleasing others worldly demands or needing to feel safe are still ruling you. Even more subtly damning is wanting to be "happy" without understanding how much of your mental activity is motivated be shallow neurotic grasping. Pretending that giving a few bucks makes you special and that you are making some kind of difference is sad.


Maybe this just applies to you?


Quote:
Hardship is so easy when you are young. Best to practice first and worry about worldly things if you fail than the other way around. Be realistic. The monastic route is poverty, no sex and being told what to do. You will be very lonely. At times very sad. I've watched many go insane. I secretly considered it a form of entertainment on long retreat. The alternative is an eternity of Samsaric suffering.


Monasticism is no guarantee against an eternity of samsaric suffering, either.

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PostPosted: Fri Feb 17, 2012 5:59 am 
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Paul wrote:
I have been amazed at the difference in attitude between Asian and western Buddhists. Some men and women were at a retreat last year who I think were Taiwanese, and they were very, very generous. The centre needed a new PC and one woman was happy to pay ~£500 for a new one at the drop of a hat. Several of the other Taiwanese guests were also very generous in a similar manner. The only thing I can put this apparent difference down to is that they have a much stronger belief and appreciation of merit.


This is why you can have a Buddhist university built from the ground up in relatively little time in Taiwan, but it would take a few more decades in any western country, if it is even possible.

Generation of merit is strongly emphasized, and it isn't just giving money. Even doing the little chores around the temple like cleaning toilets or washing dishes. They are all done by volunteers.

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PostPosted: Fri Feb 17, 2012 6:30 am 
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<To nobody in particular>

If we are concerned about our requisite during renunciation, then I think we need to consider how much time and effort we've put into accumulating our requisites for awakening (bodhisambhara). The material side come through dana, in all it's forms. Better to consider how we can give to others, than how others can give to us.

~~ Huifeng

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