Friday, March 29, 2019

Develop the heart rather than material things

Ajahn Maha Boowa via Ven. Sujato; Ellie Askew, Dhr. Seven (eds.), Wisdom Quarterly
Beloved Theravada Buddhist nuns of the re-established bhikkhuni order, California (DV).
Let go of things...put problems in the past.
In practicing the Dharma, aim at improving the qualities of the heart -- virtue, concentration, and wisdom -- more than at material things.

As for material things, if we have just enough to get by, that’s plenty enough.…

We are born from human beings; we monastics come from people. People have homes; we monastics need places to stay -- enough to provide ordinary shelter -- but they should be just enough to get by.

Don’t make them fancy. Don’t go competing with the world outside. That would simply foster one's own defilements and make one known throughout the world in a way that the defilements would ridicule.

Better to make oneself known instead for one's virtue, concentration, and wisdom, for one's confidence in the Dharma and persistence in the practice. Better to make oneself known for having striven to cure oneself, to extricate oneself, to find release from the defilements and to be free from this entanglement of suffering that is the cycle of rebirth.

Letting go is the easy part. Move on.
This is what it means to genuinely and directly enhance one's stature. Strive in the effort. Make it to the other shore of this churning cycle in this very life -- which is much surer than any other lifetime, any other time or place.

And don’t forget, wherever you go: Don’t get involved in construction work. Everywhere we go these days there’s construction work with monastics involved in it. It’s enough to make one sick.

As soon as they meet each other they ask, "How’s it going with your meeting hall? How’s it going with your school? Finished yet? How much did it cost?"

Whenever they have a project, whatever the project, they go around harassing laypeople, gathering funds, so that laypeople have to spend money and get embroiled, too, without respite.

Let laypeople have enough money so that they can stash some of it away as savings for their own use.

Letting go gives us freedom (Thich Nhat Hanh)
They practically kill themselves just to scrape together a little cash, but instead of being able to use it to provide for their stomachs, for their families, their children, and other essentials, or for making merit at their leisure, they end up having to hand it over to help monastics who harass them by fundraising to the point where they’re left empty-handed.

This is the dispensation (sasana) of harassing the world, which the Buddha never practiced and never taught monastics to practice. So I want you all to understand this: The Buddha never acted this way.

This is the dispensation of material objects, of money, not the dispensation of Dharma following the example of the Buddha.

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