Spending Money at the Center

Spending Money at the Center

Date of Advice:
January 2015
Date Posted:
March 2017

Rinpoche gave this advice to a Dharma center about spending money to benefit others.

Lama Zopa Rinpoche at Sera Je Monastery, Mysore, India, 2013-2014. Photo: Bill Kane.

It is important to understand that the center is there to benefit sentient beings. Therefore spending money to benefit others by having the necessary people to look after the center is a necessary investment. The center isn’t there to look after itself and protect itself.

Here, I’m sorry to say, my philosophy is this: general people in the world—no matter how high their education is —now that the economy is going down, generally people tend to want to hold onto their money. This creates a lot of miserliness.

My philosophy is to spend [money] to benefit others, especially with the good heart caring for others’ needs. So then our action becomes virtue. This becomes charity, because the definition of charity is the thought of giving. From that good karma we receive the result, success. Of course if it is done with bodhicitta then we have the result enlightenment, which includes freedom from the oceans of samsaric suffering forever, and we receive inner wealth realization and outer wealth, the means of living and so forth.

All we have now—our jobs, our money, etc—all comes from past charity we have done for others. There is nothing including our precious human body that didn’t come from our past good karma and from Dharma. So Dharma is the most important thing in life. Without Dharma there is no money. Without good karma there is no money. This is my experience.

By giving, success comes. Not giving, then there is no success and there is poverty. Having miserliness or not giving, then there is poverty. For example, the poverty of being born in places that we hear about today where people live in violence, and taking advantage of others [their situation] gets worse and worse. This happens in many parts of the world today.