The Wisdom of Not Misunderstanding “Money”
(Minghui.org) There are times when practitioners ask me how much money I earn. I don’t think money should be anyone’s concern, as it is the root of all evil.
What Can Money Buy
My daughter was taking drawing classes some years ago, for which I paid 10 yuan a month. Later, the tuition increased, but so did our salaries, and I could afford for my daughter to buy art supplies.
My daughter went to a school to take extra lessons after school, for which I paid more than 10,000 yuan annual tuition. Yet, she failed the university entrance exam. If my daughter was admitted to the university she’d applied to, the tuition was 21,000 yuan per year.
Then, when she repeated the school year, every morning, my daughter and I studied Zhuan Falun. After school at noon, my daughter would do one or two exercises but didn’t take any extra classes. It turned out that she was admitted to a university that charged only 8,800 yuan a year. Quite a savings in tuition for a four-year course of study at a university.
However, if a practitioner is worried about “money,” there may be other attachments he or she needs to find and let go of.
Being Tempered: Things Follow Their Own Course Whatever One Wishes
One day, the head of my office asked me for my daughter’s university acceptance letter so that I could be awarded a certain amount of money. When I told him to please forget it, he said, “No, you have to take it.” He then showed me a notebook that listed the amounts due to employees whose children were studying at elementary school (200 yuan) and those whose children were going to university (500 yuan) and said I had to accept it. But when he asked me to sign a list, it was for those due 200 yuan. I was a little surprised but immediately thought that I should get rid of the attachment to greed.
After I signed, I picked up the 200 yuan in the finance office. But in a short while, the head of the office asked me to sign another list. When I asked why, he said, “The cashier told me that you were shorted 300 yuan, that the 200-yuan amount is for employees whose children are going to elementary school.” I said, “I am afraid that you will leave a bad impression when you ask the manager to sign it again because of your mistake.” He answered, “That’s all right. I often make mistakes. Here’s the list signed by the manager.” I was given the additional 300 yuan.
This made me realize: “Everything will happen as it should, regardless of one’s will. Through this issue, my heart was being tempered, and I could discern if I was affected. Only when I really let go of my personal interests can I improve.”
Feeling Unconcerned about a Raise
One day, a colleague secretly told me, “We’re getting a raise. We’ll both get 2,970 yuan per month, nearly 3,000 yuan! Our manager told me about it when I changed his lamp, and he was pleased for us.” I calmly said something neutral.
I later read a text message from our bank that indicated my salary was less than my colleague’s, and I started to feel uneasy, thinking, “We are doing the same job, so why is his salary higher than mine? Perhaps he makes more effort than I do. In addition, he has an unmarried son who needs money. Since he earns more than I, I should be happy for him.”
At noon that colleague told me, “Look! My salary is not that much. Maybe the manager made a mistake when he signed the payroll.” I saw that the message he received from the bank was the same as mine. There is nothing trivial in cultivation practice. Everything will test you to see if you have attachments, such as jealousy and personal interest.
Different People View Money Differently
Because of the difference in moral standards, the meaning of “money” in each person’s mind is different.
Money is only generated for the convenience of trading. Long ago people exchanged goods for other goods, until it became inconvenient for trading. In the Song Dynasty, they invented banknotes. Now when Chinese people go abroad, they have to change Chinese currency into US dollars or Euros, as the Chinese currency cannot be used overseas. With foreign currency such as US dollars or Euros, people can buy the goods they need.
When ancient people exchanged goods for goods, they had no concept of money in their minds and just satisfied their basic needs. With the development of society, the concept of money has emerged. With the decline of human morality, money has become a carrier of greed, desire, and so on.
In fact, I have personally realized that if you have a strong attachment to money, you will be possessed by it, although it is not like with “foxes, weasels, ghosts and snakes.” However, when people are in pursuit of money they will be controlled by evil. Talking about the issue of animal possession, Master Li said:
“He thinks that it is right and proper to make money, seek money, or make a fortune, and that it is correct. Therefore, he will harm and do damage to others. To make money, he will commit any sin and dare to do anything. Without losing something, the animal will not gain anything. How can it give you something for nothing? It wants to get things in your body. Of course, we have said that one gets into trouble because one’s own values and mind are not correct or righteous.” (Lecture Three, Zhuan Falun)
If a practitioner is attached to money, he is actually pursuing a so-called good life in this lifetime because he is lost in the maze. Therefore, behind the desire for money, there will still be attachments to fame and personal profit. When we are disturbed by the thought of “money,” we should look internally and try to find out what attachments we have so that we can remove them with righteous thoughts.
“Indeed, practitioners will say: "Ordinary people have their pursuits, and we don’t seek them. As for what ordinary people have, we also aren’t interested. Yet what we have is something that ordinary people cannot obtain, even if they want to."” (Lecture Nine, Zhuan Falun)
Money is something external, and it will be fine if we have enough to cover our clothing, food, shelter, and transportation. I remember Master said: “The lives there are your riches,…” (“Dafa Disciples Must Study the Fa,” Collected Fa Teachings, Vol. XI)
So we should focus on how to clarify the truth and help more people learn the truth about Dafa instead of being obsessed with money.