Keeping Our Minds Righteous Regarding Money
(Clearwisdom.net) During the seven-year-long effort against the persecution, practitioners both inside and outside of China have been trying to save money on food and clothing in order to save more people who have been brainwashed by the lies and deception of the Chinese Communist regime. There are practitioners around me who have not bought any presentable clothes in the last few years. A practitioner in his sixties has given all of his savings (over 30,000 yuan) to produce truth-clarification materials, while he is reluctant even to buy himself a bowl of tofu that costs only 50 cents. The house of one couple is in a very shabby state, but they would not spend their money on maintenance; instead, they donated their savings for printing Dafa materials. There is also a practitioner who, after taking the buy-out package at work, used the money to set up a Dafa informational materials production site. While working at the site, he drinks tap water and takes a cold shower to save time and money. He seldom buys fresh vegetables; when he does cook fresh vegetables, he makes it rather salty so it will last for several meals. It is due to these unselfish sacrifices, made by countless practitioners, that our truth-clarification materials site has been running steadily to date under the protection of Master.
One or two individual practitioners, however, have used the money donated by other practitioners in a slipshod manner. For example, they have left money here and there. They have not taken it seriously when their family members took and used some of the money, or they have spent a yuan or two to buy their children something to eat. Some have even misused the money to purchase houses for their children.
They have, in effect, been embezzling the money that should have been used to produce truth-clarification materials. Those practitioners involved should search their consciences and ask themselves: "Fellow practitioners have given up all they have, and now I'm squandering it; how can I have a clear conscience? Isn't the gap huge? How would the countless law bodies of Master, law guardians and righteous gods view us?" We really need to think about this carefully. How many people whose lives are in danger are desperately waiting to know the truth so they can be saved? Have we fulfilled our obligations? Furthermore, the old forces are staring at us like a tiger eying its prey, and all they want is to pull us down. If we take a wrong step, wouldn't it be an excuse they could use to take advantage of us?
We, indeed, need to maintain strict requirements for ourselves when it comes to our handling money and material things. I find that I have not done well enough either, and I have failed to always live up to the Fa standards when purchasing items for making truth-clarification materials. Although I did not misuse any of the money fellow practitioners have saved on food and expenses, I was rather careless when spending money. Sometimes I bought things that we could do without, or I bought more than necessary due to a lack of planning. I will correct these bad habits in the future and do things according to what the Fa requires of us.
Everything we do is recorded in the universe. Master said in "Teaching the Fa in the City of Los Angeles,"
"However, make sure the funds are not handled inappropriately. I know we have had problems with the management of funds for some projects and in some places. I don't want to get into that, though. If there is a problem with you in this regard, it seems to me that you don't want to cultivate anymore. All the gods are watching you. If a cultivator has this problem, it is terribly serious."
Cultivation is a very serious matter. When some practitioners handed their money to the coordinators, they may not have specified that the money is for producing truth-clarification materials, but they absolutely trusted that those coordinators would use the money to produce such materials. What excuse can we use for misusing their money? We, indeed, should not try to satisfy the endless desires of our family members, out of sentiment (qing), when we do not have the financial ability to do so ourselves. When you use the money given for making truth-clarification materials on personal things, are you not pushing your family members into hell? And where are you positioning yourself? Master said in "Cultivators' Avoidances" (in Essentials for Further Advancement),
"Those who are attached to affection for family will definitely be burned, entangled, and tormented by it. Pulled by the threads of affection and plagued by them throughout their lives, they will find it too late to regret at the end of their lives."
Master also said,
"If you want to cultivate in Dafa, you must let go of attachments to money and possessions. Otherwise, how could you meet the standard for being a Dafa disciple?" ("Principles for Disciples Who Are Monks and Nuns" in Essentials for Further Advancement)
To be able to obtain the Fa is an extremely precious opportunity that only comes once in millions of years, and it is our great fortune that we have accumulated over numerous lifetimes. We should truly cherish it, and we must not hold up our mission of saving sentient beings and destroy ourselves and harm our family members due to our own wrong notions.
Of course, when there are practitioners who have behaved this way, every practitioner in that area should also look within and examine why such things have occurred and if it has something to do with their own cultivation state. Master said in Zhuan Falun,
"Also, after seeing the demeanor of the disciples who travel with me, some people will imitate them without realizing whether they are good or bad. In fact, it does not matter who the person isthere is only one Fa. Only by observing this Dafa can one meet the genuine standard." ("Lecture Six")
Master also said,
"Actually, for being a good person among everyday people there are heroes who serve as models, but those are models among everyday people. If you want to be a practitioner, it all depends on cultivating your heart and on you, yourself being enlightened since there are no role models. Fortunately, today we have made public this Dafa. In the past, if you wished to practice cultivation, nobody would teach you. This way, you can follow Dafa and perhaps you will do better. Whether you can practice cultivation or make it and what level you can reach all depend on you, yourself." ("Lecture Four" in Zhuan Falun)
I suggest that at our group Fa-study, after we have studied Zhuan Falun, we should also spend some time studying Master's articles. We must use the Fa to guide us and not follow others. Therefore, we must let go of human notions and always look within ourselves when we come across any issue, under any circumstances, so that we can keep up with Fa-rectification and be responsible for ourselves on the path of cultivation. Each of us is a person in charge, and we must be responsible for ourselves, the Fa and the salvation of sentient beings. No one can cultivate for us, and we each must solidly cultivate ourselves to higher levels. Only by following what Master has taught us to do and by regarding the Fa as our teacher, can our path become brighter and brighter as we walk forward. Let us review what Master said,
"A cultivator cannot achieve Consummation when laden with human thoughts, laden with karmic debts, or laden with attachments." ("To the Chicago Fa Conference")