Some Thoughts about Using Money and Material Goods
(Clearwisdom.net) It has been a while since the idea came to my mind to write a sharing on this topic. However, I haven't done so until now, because I have felt my thoughts were not pure enough. Having read a few articles about this issue, I feel I should also share with fellow practitioners about some phenomena around me, in the hope that we can improve together.
As far as I know, practitioners in our area (a small circle) generally fall into three categories in the way they make financial contributions. An extremely small number of practitioners can contribute large sums of money, such as several thousand or even ten thousand yuan, when there is an urgent need. A slightly larger number of practitioners often contribute small sums of money, varying from dozens of yuan to over a hundred yuan. There are also some who do not contribute any money, and even take books or CDs for their own use without paying for them. They take it for granted that these should be provided for free.
In my opinion, to do well in dealing with money and material goods is the most fundamental requirement of a cultivator. As long as we can meet our basic needs, we should be able to afford the cost of the books and tapes for our own use, because practitioners usually make Dafa materials on a voluntary basis, so the cost of these items is quite low. As for Dafa materials, practitioners usually try to find time to make them. Some practitioners have even given up their jobs to make these materials. Even so, they often quietly pay for the things that are needed to make the materials. If you simply take without giving, you would owe fellow practitioners a debt, to say the least. To put it more seriously, you are owing Dafa a debt. As for practitioners who truly have financial difficulties, they should still pay for the items they themselves use.
There is a fellow practitioner in our area who lives in the countryside. He comes to pick up materials once or twice a month. Each time he pays for what he takes. As far as I know, those practitioners who often contribute to the cost of materials and who pay attention to the issue of money are not necessarily better off, and those who seldom contribute are not necessarily poor.
Under the Communist regime, most practitioners in mainland China are not well off. With rapid price increases, many practitioners have to save on food and clothing to keep the Dafa materials materials production sites going, and to make sure that there is no delay in saving sentient beings. At least, we still have money to buy snacks for our children, and we still have money to buy fruit and nice-looking clothes. Although nobody asks us for money, when we take books and tapes for free, we should think about how much we have contributed to saving sentient beings.
Some practitioners are struggling financially and often accept things from fellow practitioners, such as rice, flour and cooking oil. By and by they take this for granted. I think if they are not really in a difficult situation, it is better they try to solve their own financial difficulties. One can only elevate in cultivation by overcoming difficulties. As long as we have a strong determination and strictly require ourselves to act according to the Fa, I think Master will help us out. If money is borrowed from fellow practitioners for validating the Fa, then the money must be used 100 percent for validating the Fa and saving people.
On the other hand, practitioners who provide such financial support to others should also reflect on themselves. They should not help others out due to a human favor, and should consider whether those practitioners they help do indeed need this kind of help. We must not give rise to fellow practitioners' attachment to money and material goods. Of course, I don't mean to say that there should not be any giving and taking among practitioners. For practitioners who are often together, there is no problem at all with them paying reciprocal courtesy.
I have also realized that we won't become poor just by contributing money to Dafa materials production sites. My personal experience is that when there is a need for money at a critical moment in validating the Fa, if we cut our expenses and make some contributions, we can actually get rid of some of our bad habits of spending money on impulse, and when we keep a righteous mind, we can easily earn this money back, with very little inconvenience to our daily life. Sometimes when I contribute more money to the sacred mission of saving sentient beings, even though things may be a bit tight for me, still I feel very happy and peaceful inside.
Please kindly point out anything improper.
November 30, 2007