Some Thoughts on Cultivators Accepting Money from Others
(Clearwisdom.net) As Fa-rectification has come to the final stage, we Falun Dafa practitioners should do well in every respect and have strict requirements for ourselves. We must cultivate ourselves well and correct our behavior.
Master taught us,
"he is full of great aspirations while minding minor details." ( "Sage," Essentials for Further Advancement)
In terms of cultivating ourselves well, we need to do well in every respect, including taking seriously whether or not we should accept money, donations and gifts from other practitioners. I would like to share some of my thoughts in this regard.
Some practitioners have financial difficulties and accept other practitioners' monetary gifts without too much self-restraint. I think this is because the recipients do not take personal cultivation seriously. Although they run into financial difficulties, it has not come to the extent of not having enough to eat. In addition, I believe as long as we Dafa practitioners can walk our path righteously, we will not run into desperate situations.
Master taught us,
"Going through hardship and suffering is an outstanding opportunity to remove karma, be cleansed of sin, purify the body, elevate your plane of thought, and rise in level--it's an extraordinarily good thing. This is a correct and upright Fa-truth." ("The Closer to the End, the More Diligent You Should Be")
Therefore, a cultivator is able to cultivate himself or herself under all circumstances.
Although some cultivators are not rich, it simply amounts to a lack of delicious food and fine clothes, which is indeed of little significance to a cultivator! Moreover, bearing hardship is a good thing. Shouldn't we cultivators "take hardship as joy"?
However, some practitioners think their awkward financial situation is a result of spending a lot of money on Dafa projects to validate Dafa. They even complain about living in poverty, or they think, "Dafa practitioners are a big family; what is yours is mine, and mine is yours." They take accepting other practitioners' donations for granted, to the extent of being greedy and demanding. With such a strong monetary attachment they became more and more like the person Master described in Zhuan Falun:
"Gradually, this person would accept small gifts. Later, she would also accept big gifts. In the end, she would even be offended when the gifts were few." (Lecture Three, Zhuan Falun)
Anyone who accepts donations from others will have to exchange what he or she receives for virtue. Master had told us:
"There is a principle in this universe called, 'no loss, no gain.' To gain, one must lose." (Lecture Seven, Zhuan Falun)
An ancient story goes like this: A man found a very precious gem in the mountains and decided to present the gem to a lofty man of high morals. The lofty man did not accept it. He explained to the person presenting the priceless gem, "You think only persons like me with lofty morals deserve to have this valuable gem. However, my heart is as pure as the gem. If I take your gem, I would lose the gem in my heart, and you will lose the gem you found on the mountain. If I don't take it, we each preserve our priceless gem."
In ancient times even an ordinary person was lofty. He only cherished his purity of mind and remained unmoved before treasure. We as cultivators should conduct ourselves according to even higher standards and constantly get rid of attachments.
On the other hand, those practitioners who offer help to others have reached a certain realm so that they are able to sacrifice and help others out of compassion. Nevertheless, we must measure our conduct with the Fa's standard and not go to extremes to help others. If a practitioner goes all out to offer help to another practitioner, he may end up ruining the other practitioner rather than helping him, because the other practitioner's attachment and greed was encouraged and magnified. As a result, the one being helped fails to walk on a righteous cultivation path in this respect.
As a matter of fact, some practitioners who lead a frugal life and use their spare money to help others are not rich themselves. Some of them provide food and cooking oil to fellow practitioners. Some relatively wealthy practitioners help poor practitioners by giving them money and personal items. Actually, some practitioners are helping other needy practitioners from the mentality of ordinary people's emotions. Such emotions are like a seductive trap that has caught these practitioners who are now unable to extricate themselves.
It was not my aim to criticize practitioners when writing this article. I hope those practitioners who accept money and donations from others take this matter seriously and correct their thinking. We cultivators should be considerate of others at all times and not cause others trouble or inconvenience. Those who have offered help to others should also enlighten to higher Fa principles and help fellow practitioners improve in cultivation instead of only helping them get through financial difficulties.
This is my personal understanding. Please kindly point it out to me if there is anything inappropriate.