Sunday, January 10, 2016

How to win the lottery ($1.3 billion)

Editors, Wisdom Quarterly UPDATED; AP via, Jan. 10, 2016

Even celestial devas and brahmas need more merit (West Virginia Wisdom).

US states in on gambling syndicate, poor tax.
Lottery officials say the prize has now swelled to an estimated $1.3 billion -- the world's largest ever.

"Biggest jackpot in the history of the world. Absolutely confirmed," Texas Lottery executive director Gary Grief said.
The jackpot is so big that billboards in Texas and around the country have to advertise the price as $999 million because they're not built to show billions. The lottery computers will handle the decimal point without a problem.
No one matched all six Powerball numbers [last] Saturday night, leading to the astronomical [gambling] prize. And that is all but certain to grow before the next drawing Wednesday [1-13-16], according to lottery officials.
"We've never been at these levels," said Grief, whose state lottery is part of the Multi-State Lottery Association that runs Powerball.

The odds to win are one in 292.2 million. [But that doesn't matter because people, we say, do not win by chance.] Seventy-five percent of all the possible combinations were purchased before Saturday's drawing, Grief said, and he expects that enough tickets will be sold to cover about 80 percent by Wednesday. About 95 percent of Powerball tickets have computer-generated numbers. More
  • Wisdom Quarterly has had this conversation before (How to Win the Lottery), more than once. Here's an updated compilation of advice on winning tremendous riches.
How to win the lottery
Wisdom Quarterly (OPINION)
Long before you set out to win, be sure to prepare for it. Everything is dependent on a cause. Everything that happens comes out of a cause (multiple causes) and nothing happens otherwise. But it is not the cause most people would think.

Ven. Pa Auk with two American students.
So even if you were able to win a lottery (say by cheating), you would not be able to hold onto the winnings if there were no sufficient karmic basis for having money.

Ven. Pa Auk Sayadaw, a remarkable and enlightened Buddhist scholar-practitioner, has an insightful interpretation of the Dharma. He points out that unless one has the supportive karma for business success, a business will not succeed. Even a fraudulent or criminal business will not be able to succeed. Therefore, even a bad individual needs "good" karma to support his or her success.

Books in English by Pa Auk Sayadaw available due to the generosity of supporters.
Don't gamble. Gambling entails certain loss. Take a gambit with something behind it, an edge. (Even if you think you won for nothing better than picking up a ticket, as in the expression "You gotta be in it to win it," it isn't so. Buying the ticket is not the cause. Karma is. A person can win without buying a ticket; the ticket would come. But buy one -- and one is enough -- if there is a feeling to do so because what is causing that feeling? It may be a knowing of what is to come.

Sadly, the habit of trying to win by the odds is gambling, and it is a miserable addiction wracked with greed, craving, and disappointment that feeds the obscenely lucrative "gaming" industry. Gambling is losing. If you wish to make money and don't care about morality or karma, get other people to gamble in your own lottery; you'll "win" as they lose, and they will lose. It's built in.,

What is suitable or sufficient karma for winning? Giving gold/money or support (particularly to an enlightened person because that person's morality is so good at its roots, the defilements having been cut off by insight-wisdom) is sufficient karma.

The question is where to give it to produce the most profitable results. With the recipient in mind, the Buddha taught, the most important thing is virtue (sila). A virtuous recipient produces the best (most exponential) results.

Virtue may take the form of the Five Precepts, Eight Precepts, Ten Precepts, the 200-300 monastic training rules (Vinaya), or simply living by any code that reduces or at least suppresses the four roots of all "bad" karma:
  1. greed (craving)
  2. hatred/ 
  3. fear
  4. delusion (ignorance)
How does one give? Equally important is the giver: our state of mind before, during, and after giving are crucial. Be happy and looking forward to give, happy while giving, and happy to have given; this produces superior results.

The purity of the intention of the giver is enough to purify the gift even if the recipient is lacking. Superior results are gained from superior goals. The best reason to give is simply because it adorns and ennobles the mind and because it serves as the basis for reaching nirvana (making it a perfection or parami). Long before one reaches that "complete end of suffering," one enjoys the five strands of sensuality, great riches, beauty, long life, and influence.
Finally, having established a basis for a monetary windfall (without being reborn into a vast inheritance), purchase a lottery ticket. Either depend on the universe to provide a winning ticket (without trying to discern the winning numbers), or simply choose numbers based on inspiration.

Choosing numbers the way most people do (based on a "lucky" number) has a predictable result: most people do not win. Most people are not tapping into intuition or inspiration.

Two Cautionary Tales
Prize divides two elderly sisters
HARTFORD, Connecticut - Two once-inseparable octogenarian sisters are divided over lottery winnings. The Connecticut Supreme Court has ruled that one can sue the other for a share of a winning $500,000 ticket. The court said 83-year-old Theresa Sokaitis, of Middletown, can try to enforce a written contract she signed with her 87-year-old sister, Rose Bakaysa, of Plainville. More
Following a Hungry Hunch
A story is told of a man who awoke while dreaming of the number five. He smelled a warm and wonderful aroma from his kitchen. His wife had arisen before him and unexpectedly prepared him a pile of five syrup drenched pancakes. He gobbled them up, she offered him five more, and announced she was pregnant with their fifth child. His jaw dropped. He grabbed the paper, turned to the horserace listings, and noticed that at 5:00 pm that day, a Number Five, a horse named Cinco was running. He raced to the bank, pulled out $5,000, and greedily placed his bet. Sure enough, his horse came in fifth place. (Moral: inspiration is an intuitive-knowing not a "hungry hunch" or simple set of coincidences).
  • Karma: Entire village wins lottery, minus one (Another way to win is to join in a group purchase because someone in the group has the karma to win. Ride that person's karmic shirt tails, which will be possible with sufficient karma). 

Karma works (itself out) in mysterious ways. Those who act together sometimes even experience the results together. Why does anyone win the lottery?
It is not because s/he buys a lottery ticket. If that were a sufficient reason, every buyer would have won. Nor is it the number of tickets one buys. If that were the reason, those who buy more tickets would win with greater frequency (twice as often for every doubling of number of extra tickets).

Now, even if one were to win by chance alone, one would not be able to hold onto the winnings for very long. One would revert to the previous state because there was no karma to sustain the new elevated state. Merit (profitable karma or deeds willed, engaged in, and accumulated) is the real reason behind winning.
Good things do not always happen to "good people" because such individuals were not always "good." We opportunistically inherit the results of past deeds from a countless number of lives when deeds good and ill were done.

Moreover, what are "good things"? Winning the lottery is not boon because human life is short. Had that merit come to fruition in a longer lived plane of existence, it would have benefited the recipient much more than a mansion or yacht in old age on this plane.

When we judge who is or is not "good," what anyone deserves, or when karmic results would be most beneficial to receive, we completely go astray.

We are in no position to judge. Impersonal karma knows (and much of its "choice" depends on what we are doing NOW). What position are we in?

We are in a position to be greedy, to complain (gripe), and to condemn ourselves and others when we should be happy for everyone and happy for ourselves knowing that the merit we accumulate (sow) now is sure to follow us into the future looking for an opportunities to ripen.

Here is one case of a village that must have planted beneficial seeds in the past, minus the one interloping resident who got left out. He on some level knew not to buy a ticket.
  • The same collective karma idea came up very controversially when Hollywood celebrity Buddhist and Dalai Lama fan Sharon Stone blamed the Chinese government's treatment of Tibetans for a massive quake. That is not how karma works. If it were mechanically and clear, no one would doubt the power of karma.
Village wins lottery, minus one resident
Back in December, the tiny Spanish village of Sodeto collectively won a major stake in the annual $950 million Spanish national lottery. Today, the village of farmers and construction workers is enjoying a minimum payout of $130,000 per resident.
And yet for all of the new wealth making its way around Sodeto, one villager came away empty-handed. Costis Mitsotakis, a Greek filmmaker who moved to the village for a woman, is the only resident of Sodeto who did not purchase a ticket. Mitsotakis says he is no longer with the woman and now lives in a barn he is restoring just outside the village:

Mr. Mitsotakis said it would have been nice to win. But he has benefited nonetheless. He had been trying to sell some land without much success. The day after the lottery a neighbor called to say he would buy it. The next day another neighbor called. But Mr. Mitsotakis refused to get into a bidding war. "This is a small village," he said. "You don't want bad feelings." More

Winning Future Lotteries
Wisdom Quarterly

Winning the lottery and happiness
( Jim McCullar, the retired Boeing worker who won $190 million in the Mega Millions lottery this week, had better beware. CNN's story on the perils of becoming suddenly rich beyond imagination shows how quickly the predators can come out of the woodwork. It's fun to think about what you would do if you played lottery numbers that brought in millions of dollars. But, disillusioning as it may seem, big winnings can come with big costs, especially because of the greed of others, experts say. More
Enlightened advice on winning
CC Liu (Wisdom Quarterly)
I want you to get rich, rich beyond your dreams. And I want to win a lottery jackpot, too. But an enlightened Buddhist teacher taught me something about that that had never occurred to me. 
As background, the reason someone wins and keeps mega millions is not because s/he bought a ticket. That's part of it. But what makes it possible is the fruition of the karma of generosity. And not proportionate generosity as some people think. It's all out of proportion:
Give to a human who asks, give to an ordinary good person, give to a virtuous person, give to a partially enlightened person, and it multiplies the result exponentially. Find a stream enterer, or give to the collective noble Sangha, and the result will fruit beyond all measure.

That's not the thing she said. That's common knowledge that comes with a Buddhist understanding of The Workings of Kamma (karma). What she pointed out was how unfortunate it would be win such a large lottery. You will win it, say, in middle age. You won't be able to spend it all (not because you couldn't, but because you'll cling to it out of fear of running out of money). You'll enjoy it for 50 years. Then what? There goes the result of that good karma.

If instead, she pointed out, that karma came to fruition when you were passing away, you would be reborn -- on account of it -- in some long lived state, in a better world (say, a deva world). Then your good fortune would last eras, epochs, or aeons. The very same karma coming to fruit would serve you and result in much more happiness than it ever could in this world as a lottery winning.

So when you win, do some good with a portion of those winning -- give, give, give to the virtuous, to the spiritual, the enlightened, and thereby ensure your future happiness for a long time. If instead out of greed multiplied by the winnings you were to behave like a miser, neglecting family, friends, the virtuous, and the needy -- how would that possibly serve you?
To do good, one needn't win the lottery at all. It really is not the size of the gift. It's in the giving -- the intention of generosity, sharing, and helping others as yourself -- and the recipient. Giving with an understanding of karma is better than giving with no thought to the result. Think of the result, that's fine.

(Why Jews and Christians think acting/feigning total disinterest and "selflessness" magnifies the gift is beyond me. There's no correspondence in the Dharma that I have found). Take pleasure in doing good, and do it over and again. Altruism comes from caring about someone else the way we do about ourselves, not martyring oneself as if that's doing anyone a favor.

So buy a ticket. One is enough -- since it's not about odds. And remember, winning has nothing to do with "luck." The blessing (or beneficial fruition) is the result of karma. And with that in mind, make for yourself many future winnings rather than worrying about winning now.

Not in a mood to give? That's fine. There's another thing you can do to make merit (beneficial karma) -- rejoice, take delight, commend the giving of others! It's called mudita, and one share in that karma without diminishing that person's giving. We'll all be rich.

Not everyone actively supports Wisdom Quarterly and our Dharma-dana offering. But if they could all rejoice (sadhu sadhu sadhu, xie xie) that we're here increasing understanding of the Dharma (as well as the esoteric and wide array of topics we cover) in the West, then that is sharing in whatever merit is made here. We wholeheartedly share that merit with our readers.

Two lottery wins in one year
Edward Williams won $75,000 in September, but his recent jackpot is much bigger. Earnings after taxes
Lottery results
Wisdom Quarterly
It is inspiring that Wisdom Quarterly has readers in Maryland, Illinois, and Maryland.

CHICAGO (AP) - Maryland lottery officials announced early Saturday their state sold what could become the world's largest lottery payout of all-time, but it wasn't immediately clear if that ticket holder would get sole possession [she would not instead having to divide it with at least two others who each won at the odds of 170,000,000:1] of the $640 million jackpot or have to split it with other winners. More

Mega Millions lottery hits $640 million
The already record-breaking Mega Millions jackpot has surged again — to an unprecedented $640 million. The Mega Millions game is played in 40 states, along with Washington, DC and the U.S. Virgin Islands. #IfIWonTheMegaMillions has been trending on Twitter this week, with players offering ideas on how they'd spend the record-breaking jackpot.
How to Win the Lottery in 3 Steps
Wisdom Quarterly (EDITORIAL)
$640 MEGA MILLION - Why do things happen? That is the central question motivating Wisdom Quarterly. Perhaps the question is better understood as, Why do things really happen?

Common sense leads us to answer, "God only knows," which is to say that no one knows.
The uncommon explanation of this statement is karma determines it. But there are two karmas, this one and that accrued in the past. It would be easier to understand "God" (Maha Brahma) than to get a handle on karma. Experiencing nonduality is relatively easy, and that will mean feeling like GOD (Brahman) through the Divine Abidings (Brahma Viharas). Brahma figuratively means the "supreme" or divine, a superlative for the ultimate.

You (don't) have to be in it to win it
While not technically true, it helps. (Couldn't you, wouldn't you find it or come into possession if it is "meant to be"?) Karma means intentional action. The important karma in this case is in the past, for it cannot happen that one would win the lottery (or mega millions by virtue of gambling and "luck") and hold on to such riches without the karmic support for doing so.

At some time in the past, whether proximate or remote, one has to have performed some intentional action of a superlative sort. Due to the number of past lives in our past, nearly all humans will have a cache of merit (punya). Will it be enough? If it is not, one can win as a part of a group and have her or his cut be commensurate with the quality of the deed coming to fruition (phala). Most karma takes time to ripen, but its result can technically be experienced opportunistically at any time after the seed is planted.

This being the case, how will it be brought forward. Think only good thoughts -- either in memory or out of faith (saddha) in the good done any from this moment back. For example, in the past I did such and such. Or in the present, at this very moment, I am cultivating the intention to make this a better world with the winnings: What would make it better?

Normally meritorious deeds can be done any time anyway. So this will require a higher order of profitable karma. What is the gift that excels all gifts? The Dharma excels all gifts. It is certainly the most valuable. But here riches are defined more broadly. The value one is aspiring towards is material and of a much lower order. Giving or intending to give in kind is more important.

More important still is the purity of consciousness generating this intention. Concentration is the way to purity. The mind absorbed on a single object is, by virtue of exclusion, temporarily purified, freed of mental defilements and effluents (inflows and outflows).

With all this theory in mind: Here is the way to win in three easy steps.

Volvo bumper sticker wisdom: "Karma: It's everywhere you're going to be."

STEP 1. Be ready to withdraw a great deal of good karma that would have served you very well in the future. You will not have it because you are spending it here to be rich for no very good reason during this very, very brief lifespan. At the end of this life, all the money will be lost. (You can't take it with you, and you can't keep from going). The only way to "hold" onto it will be to give it away. If you are not willing to give it away, you will surely lose it. If you intend to cling to it, since it is certain to go, you are better off without it. If you are generating the karma now, remember: Mental karma is very powerful as is verbal. So delight in appreciation, admiration, approval, and applaud those who by right and honest means have gained as much wealth as you imagine.
  • (The problem is obvious. We want a kajillion, and the only people we can think of with that kind of money are the scum of the Earth, the One Percent, thieves robbing this world blind by dishonest capitalist means. So the rich, of the present or the past, need to be admired, appreciated with mudita, sympathetic or altruistic joy, and by doing so one will share in their store of karma for having become rich while engaged in right livelihood.)
STEP 2. Concentrate on a single thing -- not the money or the diversity of how it will be spent. Focus on an absorbable object of meditation. Enter the absorption, emerge while standing in line, ask for a ticket using either an INSPIRED number, one divined by some means unseen external agents are able to manipulate in your favor, or LET THE MACHINE PICK. Greed stands in the way of winning, and most people will simply choose their baby's birthday or other drivel while thinking they are being original. The number that is going to come up is not set, it is matched with the one having been chosen, so let the machine decide.

STEP 3. Be open to receiving, and that includes coming into possession of the ticket. The easiest way to do this is to buy one. The key is ONE. This is NOT a statistic, not a game of chance, not a probability. One is enough. Technically, one is more than enough. One dollar, one ticket, or whatever the price may be.

If you win, remember who helped you, huh? But keep the money for yourself. Don't send us any. We'll make do with our karmic inheritance helping living beings find what they wish for as they search samsara. The amazing thing is if people answer why they want hundreds of millions of dollars, what they say they want (like happiness, contentment, security, or enlightenment) cannot be bought but can be gotten without winning a lottery. 

Kent Brockman offers advice (FOX TV)
An enlightened Buddhist nun, whose wisdom has gone beyond, observes that if one were to become rich as a human on Earth, that would be a tragedy. Asked why, she explains that that person's karma came to fruition at a time and in a place where at best one could only enjoy the money for at most 120 years, likely many fewer years.

If that same karma had come to fruition during rebirth in a superior state, that would benefit the individual for much longer with much finer strands of sensual pleasure to be gained. If it ripened outside of the Sensual Sphere, say in the Fine-Material Sphere, the benefit would be exponentially and inconceivably superior to anything in this sphere.

Be happy if no one wins because the $640 million will become more like $1 billion a week later. And these instructions will prove fruitful for some with more time to cultivate samma samadhi, right concentration. And our greed and depravity during times of economic uncertainty will have a chance to come into sharper relief.

The winner, there is only one, will instantly become twice as rich as Willard Mitt Romney but have only 1/45th the riches of a Koch Brother with very few prospects of doing anything but losing it. Remember, riches beyond imagination are only three steps away, and the key is karma.
How to WIN the PowerBall Lottery

Dhr. Seven, Ven. Karunananda, Ashley Wells, CC Liu, Wisdom Quarterly (KARMA CLASS)
Lucky arhat Ven. Sivali
The interstate Super Lotto Mega Jackpot is overheating. No one beat the odds, and the pot is rolling over -- with a payout of over a billion dollars.
This means long lines at liquor stores all over Los Angeles (City of Dreamers) and throughout the Golden State, which now accounts for 11% of sales. After just a few short weeks of being in the official POWERBALL dreamer-tax scheme, aka "lottery," California is set to set the records on sales without a single win.
So you've decided to gamble. It's only $2.00, and the excuse is that it's fun, when in fact it is a reasonable investment with a slim chance of winning but big rewards if the "karma gods" (not literal devas) will allow it.
The enormity of Anathapindika's monetary generosity to give a gift to the Buddha
Pray: Petition, no! Isaiah-Effect, yes! (Ding_Zhou)
STEP 1. Get a hold of two dollars because ONE ticket is enough. (Do not borrow them). Contrary to what mathematicians and actuaries can clearly "prove," one does NOT double one's chances by buying a second ticket. One may, in fact, be jinxing oneself with doubt. One ticket is enough.

STEP 2. Generate uninterrupted thoughts of being deserving based on past wholesome karma (kusala kamma), such as acts of generosity, reverence, contemplating the Marks of Existence, veneration of the enlightened, giving peace to others, and so on. (There are at least Ten Courses of Wholesome Action). Tap into the karma of others -- such as the Buddha, the arhats, Ven. Sivali, Anathapindika, and other accomplished individuals -- by bringing it to mind then approving and applauding their acts, which is wholesome mental and verbal activity for the one so engaged.
  • NOTE: Karma is NOT "cause and effect," a definition which stipulates an "equal and opposite reaction." It is not that. Karma is exponential, redounding in deisrable and undesirable consequences, like a rock thrown at a target that continues on its path, initiating a cascade of effects (karmic results, of which there are two distinct kinds, fruits or phala and mental-resultants or vipaka) and further causes.
STEP 3. Choose numbers intuitively rather than deductively, going with unthought-through series of selections. Each number is an individual choice. Of course some numbers do occur more frequently, particularly those in the 40-49 range. This is denied by officials in spite of the fact that there have been many complaints. Unless one is prepared to conduct a statistical study for no remuneration, which is a lot like purchasing tickets weekly or more often, it is best to follow one's heart. If one is able to hold uninterrupted thoughts (beneficial memories) of well-done deeds, then do a quick-pick, that is, allow the computer to choose the numbers. Otherwise, come prepared with the number choices written out and confirm that those are what the purchased ticket show.

STEP 4. Now preparing one's heart to win is vital if one is going to follow it. For "it will be a long time before the mind knows in detail what the body already perfectly understands." The best preparation is purification through concentration. 
Motivated by greed or karmic-result?
"Concentration" (samadhi) does not mean straining, but rather soft focusing, bringing attention back to a single point or object until it delights in the stillness and remains absorbed as all other stimuli drop away. Samadhi means something like altogether whole, with consciousness working undiluted. It may be possible to pull the numbers from a more natural hypnogogic state when one is awakening from sleep in the morning or from a nap. (Binaural beats may accomplish the same thing). 
  • NOTE: Will an intentional bubble of protection before opening in meditation as there are inimical influences around that can take advantage. And aspire to meet with the results of all beneficial acts, the greatest being those of one's own development.
Sivali amulets/charms from Thailand
For example, the Buddha said contemplating radical-impermanence for the duration of a finger snap was more beneficial and fruitful than a great deal of generosity and giving to unenlightened beings such as gods, spirits, moral individuals, ordinary persons, immoral individuals, and inferior being on lower planes. But he meant practicing insight/vipassana in line with the 12 Links of Dependent Origination  after emerging from absorption/jhana, not simply thinking "Things are impermanent" in a prompted or unprompted manner.
RECAP: 1. Get two dollars, 2. again and again reflect and contemplate the merit or wholesome karma accrued over many lives, 3. choose the numbers intuitively while doing this or hold it powerfully when the computer is randomly generating a quick-pick, and 4. rather than hoping to win or staying in a state of lack give gratitude. Time is mutable, and what we choose now affects the past by means of what Europeans called the way of the wyrd. Reality is strange. Hold an intention, and it will have a way of manifesting that could not be mapped out by the mind/heart wishing it.
KARMA "It's Everywhere You're Going To Be"
SPECIAL NOTE: According to an enlightened Buddhist nun and teacher alive today, winning will be a kind of spending or cashing in on merit (good karma), which can then be enjoyed for 50 years or less, depending one when one wins. If, instead, that merit were to come to fruition as one was passing on, it would lead to a fortunate rebirth that might last millions of years, with celestial bliss. Therefore, when you win, earn more: Keep generating more and more merit, more and more wholesome karma in addition to enjoying yourself. It will come in handy everywhere and in every endeavor through the cycle of endless rebirths prior to nirvana.
Buddhist boy wins island in lottery
Reuters (3/5/09)
What would it be like to own your own tropical isle? Penghu Islands (travel-in-tw)

TAIPEI, Taiwan – A 4-year-old boy has won the use of an uninhabited tropical island, with white sand beaches and clear turquoise waters, in a Taiwan lottery aimed at boosting spending during an economic downturn.

Officials said Yeh Chien-wei, who won the prize at Thursday's draw, will get exclusive rights to the tiny plot in the Taiwan Strait from May through September.

Penghu County, an offshore archipelago, will provide food, drinks, water, and electricity to the boy. He has been quoted in local media saying he wants to play in the sea.

"Penghu has a lot of islands, and that one has water and electricity, so someone can really enjoy it," said county economic promotion official... More

What did the Buddha say? In the opening to the Dhammapada:
    • "Mind (citta) is the forerunner of all conditions. Mind is their chief. They are mind-made. If one speaks or acts with a tainted mind (heart), because of that, sadness follows one, even as the wheel follows the hoof of an ox-drawn cart."
    • "Mind is the forerunner of all conditions. Mind is their chief. They are mind-made. If one speaks or acts with a pure bright mind, because of that, happiness follows one, even as one's shadow that never departs" (Dhp I.1, I.2).

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