Shouldn't lay Buddhists be very successful ?

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purple planet
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Re: Shouldn't lay Buddhists be very successful ?

Postby purple planet » Mon Mar 10, 2014 4:24 pm

:woohoo: a supporter

:goodpost: the link is great - reminds me that there are some motivating suttas out there

i guess there are some really good motivations - i should just make sure i put my worldly duties first place - and do my best to advance in the path side by side with my duties
Please send merit to my dog named Mika who has passed away - thanks in advance

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Re: Shouldn't lay Buddhists be very successful ?

Postby David N. Snyder » Mon Mar 10, 2014 4:37 pm

Thanks. The pursuit of wealth and income is not the principle duty of duty of Buddhists, but certainly there are some wealthy Buddhists now and during the Buddha's time. Visakha and Anathapindika were wealthy and donated generously to the Buddha and the Sangha. Anathapindika was the banker who purchased that large land for the Sangha by placing the gold coins on every square inch of the property for the purchase price.

See my post in this other thread about happiness and the diminishing returns as one gets wealthier. However, if the income and wealth is used wisely there can still be happiness and especially the generosity can be wholesome.

viewtopic.php?f=12&t=18843&start=20#p264239

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Re: Shouldn't lay Buddhists be very successful ?

Postby lyndon taylor » Mon Mar 10, 2014 4:57 pm

Statistical studies have shown that even poor people give a larger percent of their income to charity than the very rich, when a billionaire gives a million dollars to a school, thats like us giving a penny, not much at all. Truly generous rich people are few and far between, money corrupts the expression says.
18 years ago I made one of the most important decisions of my life and entered a local Cambodian Buddhist Temple as a temple boy and, for only 3 weeks, an actual Therevada Buddhist monk. I am not a scholar, great meditator, or authority on Buddhism, but Buddhism is something I love from the Bottom of my heart. It has taught me sobriety, morality, peace, and very importantly that my suffering is optional, and doesn't have to run my life. I hope to give back what little I can to the Buddhist community that has so generously given me so much, sincerely former monk John

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Re: Shouldn't lay Buddhists be very successful ?

Postby David N. Snyder » Mon Mar 10, 2014 5:34 pm

lyndon taylor wrote:Statistical studies have shown that even poor people give a larger percent of their income to charity than the very rich, when a billionaire gives a million dollars to a school, thats like us giving a penny, not much at all. Truly generous rich people are few and far between, money corrupts the expression says.


It depends on if you are measuring from annual income or net worth. For example:

1 million donation out of 1 billion net worth = 0.1% to charity
Another person gives $450 on a net worth of $45,000 = 1.0% to charity

Then certainly based on net worth, the lower economic classes are much more generous as a percentage.

However, if we compare by annual income, the scenario may very well be as follows:

A billionaire who makes 4 million in annual salary per year gives 1 million to a school = 25% of his income to charity
Another person gives 450 on a $15,000 annual salary = 3%

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Re: Shouldn't lay Buddhists be very successful ?

Postby Justsit » Mon Mar 10, 2014 8:52 pm

David N. Snyder wrote:However, if we compare by annual income, the scenario may very well be as follows:

A billionaire who makes 4 million in annual salary per year gives 1 million to a school = 25% of his income to charity
Another person gives 450 on a $15,000 annual salary = 3%


That is very misleading, as statistics often are, because the billionaire does not rely on annual salary to meet daily living expenses. Indeed, they likely won't even miss it. The person who makes $15,000 is subsisting (at least in US) below poverty level; a donation of $450 means actually doing without something else or not paying some bill.

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Re: Shouldn't lay Buddhists be very successful ?

Postby David N. Snyder » Mon Mar 10, 2014 8:59 pm

Yes, certainly as I said the lower economic classes on average pay a higher percentage. You're right, a billionaire probably wouldn't need a salary although in some cases they do. They most likely have enough dividends and interest to survive just on that. In regard to net worth, it is a little more complicated. To give an example:

A man owns an air conditioning company. He has a net worth of $4 million. He's loaded, right? Not necessarily. His net worth might be his house, his warehouse, store, several brand new air conditioning units from small to large, numerous parts, and a fleet of trucks used in the air conditioning business. All of those count in his net worth, but they are not liquid, not easily transferable. And he needs those in the operation of his business. In other words, he is worth a lot on paper, but may not actually have that much liquid assets, i.e., cash in banks as he has numerous business expenses, payroll, supplies, etc. But in terms of net worth he is still officially considered a millionaire.

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Re: Shouldn't lay Buddhists be very successful ?

Postby Goofaholix » Mon Mar 10, 2014 9:14 pm

purple planet wrote:so a new question : are "advanced lay buddhists" better at there jobs and more successful (focus better - preform better - work harder) in what they do than others ?


I don't think that's a valid question, those "others" could be people who have dedicated their lives to the accumulation of wealth and power etc, or people who are naturally gifted in their chosen profession.

A better question would be are "advanced lay buddhists" better at their jobs and more successful (focus better - preform better - work harder) in what they do than they were before they started practicing Buddhism?

In my experience, yes.
"Proper effort is not the effort to make something particular happen. It is the effort to be aware and awake each moment." - Ajahn Chah
"When we see beyond self, we no longer cling to happiness. When we stop clinging, we can begin to be happy." - Ajahn Chah
"Know and watch your heart. It’s pure but emotions come to colour it." — Ajahn Chah

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Re: Shouldn't lay Buddhists be very successful ?

Postby lyndon taylor » Mon Mar 10, 2014 9:14 pm

The study I referenced was based on comparing the percentage of yearly income given to charity, not the percentage of net worth. And of course much of the poors generosity involved paying full tithe and offerings to their church, for instance Mitt Romney gave about 15% to charity, a lot of poor Christians give 25% etc. Obama gave considerably less percentage to charity before he was president, as little as 1 %, but about the same as Romney some years as president, including his gift to charity of his not well deserved IMHO noble prize winnings.

Here's one link showing the poorest giving almost 3 times the percent of the richest; http://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/arc ... ve/309254/
Last edited by lyndon taylor on Mon Mar 10, 2014 9:27 pm, edited 1 time in total.
18 years ago I made one of the most important decisions of my life and entered a local Cambodian Buddhist Temple as a temple boy and, for only 3 weeks, an actual Therevada Buddhist monk. I am not a scholar, great meditator, or authority on Buddhism, but Buddhism is something I love from the Bottom of my heart. It has taught me sobriety, morality, peace, and very importantly that my suffering is optional, and doesn't have to run my life. I hope to give back what little I can to the Buddhist community that has so generously given me so much, sincerely former monk John

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Re: Shouldn't lay Buddhists be very successful ?

Postby David N. Snyder » Mon Mar 10, 2014 9:24 pm

In that study it says that the poor gave 3.2% of their income. In another study, it was reported that millionaires gave 9.0% of their income to charities:

http://www.cnbc.com/id/49596515

There are all kinds of studies out there with all kinds of misleading stats as justsit stated. Some that don't show the amounts given to religious organizations, for example and others that do. Rather than engage in class-warfare, suffice it to say that generosity is a virtue in the Dhamma and a wholesome endeavor, regardless of one's economic class.

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Re: Shouldn't lay Buddhists be very successful ?

Postby SarathW » Mon Mar 10, 2014 10:34 pm

I think successful people become Buddhist!
There are some famous people who became Buddhists or behave like Buddhists.
Buddha was a prince with lot of wealth!

:shrug:

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Re: Shouldn't lay Buddhists be very successful ?

Postby seeker242 » Mon Mar 10, 2014 11:45 pm

David N. Snyder wrote:I agree with you. I agree with the basic points you are making in the OP. If one has greater concentration, greater focus, less greed, etc., then yes it is possible to do your job or career to the best of your ability and likely to succeed. See: Sedaka Sutta.

A few very successful Buddhist celebrities:
Ellison Onizuka, NASA Astronaut
Tiger Woods, professional golfer
Steve Wynn, Las Vegas casino mogul

However, there are other factors involved, such as the economy, your bosses, co-workers and other things which could prevent an otherwise very focused person from getting ahead.


Jackie Chan
Jet Li
Richard Gere

Even though they are all actors. :tongue:

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Re: Shouldn't lay Buddhists be very successful ?

Postby binocular » Tue Mar 11, 2014 8:29 am

purple planet wrote:When someone has lower levels of sloth and torpor he has energy to work well - (if only to help his boss or not make his boss frustrated or to prevent him from getting fired so he can feed his family )
he has less greed and aversion so less chances he will surf the internet while at work
he has more focus and less distracted so he would work better
he will less likely get into arguments
by less aversion and understanding annicha antta and dukkha he wont feel bad if his boss will ask him to work a few extra hours
once the mind is clear from hindrances one can find solutions to problems better
ect ect

all this things should come natural to him without any desire or effort so i dont think its a matter of ambition


So where do you draw the line?

Would an "advanced Buddhist" be willing and able to work 12-hour days, 6 days a week, with a 90 minutes commute in one direction - and all this in top psycho-physical condition, producing excellent work, for decades, even if for relatively small payment?

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Re: Shouldn't lay Buddhists be very successful ?

Postby Doshin » Tue Mar 11, 2014 11:29 am

I think of the buddhist path, as one where you let go of things, not one where you get more (things/status).

Generally I think your thread/theme is based on comparing one (self) to others, i.e. am I being better, worse or equal to others. As far as I see that is a conceit, and I don't think it is a productive train of thoughts.

purple planet wrote:...
Ok what i think now : the dhamma does help deal with mundane life and does help to do better in life ...


Better then what ? And how do you know that that measurement of "better"/"best" isn't wrong, but only seen as right due to delusion ?

purple planet wrote: ... - and i do belive that buddhist (Advanced ones) should do better in their job performance - its just logical they would -


Again, compared to what ?

Compared to what/how they would be doing, if not being buddhists ? That can never be known, and would purely be a belief.

Compared to others ? People are all different, and their skills as well; i.e. you would not be able to see if they are just "better", or if it is due to their spirituality.

purple planet wrote: ... they wouldnt work for nothing and wouldn't work just for the sake of working


Is there such work, that never is good for anything ?

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Re: Shouldn't lay Buddhists be very successful ?

Postby purple planet » Tue Mar 11, 2014 11:35 am

Is there such work, that never is good for anything ?


yeah i wont work for my boss to get more money so he can go party - but i will work for my family - i wont work for the sake of working - its time wasting and lots of times health damaging

but i understand doshin that there are many factors to calculate in this issue


No binocouler

part of the sappaya dhamma - 7 supporting factors is avoiding over work (others are over eating/sleeping/talking ect)

its all about moderation BUT - a buddhist will preform a bit better because of the practice

he might use it to end early and go home early - but if his family needs the money he can work harder - and he wont feel depresed cause of it
Please send merit to my dog named Mika who has passed away - thanks in advance

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Re: Shouldn't lay Buddhists be very successful ?

Postby Doshin » Tue Mar 11, 2014 11:48 am

purple planet wrote:
Is there such work, that never is good for anything ?


yeah i wont work for my boss to get more money so he can go party ...


That would (probably) make your boss happy, wouldn't that be nice (being nice to others) ?

purple planet wrote:- but i will work for my family - i wont work for the sake of working - its time wasting and lots of times health damaging


Making people you like happy, is very easy to see as good. Is it bad to help people you don't like, or even people you don't know ? Maybe if they see good in others, they might be inspired by the path, or some aspects of it.

purple planet wrote:but i understand doshin that there are many factors to calculate in this issue


It's just like trying to evaluate Khamma, or trying to predict the outcome of Khamma. But I think you have seen my point, as I tried to formulate it.

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Re: Shouldn't lay Buddhists be very successful ?

Postby purple planet » Tue Mar 11, 2014 12:12 pm

Yeah i understad - you make good points

for sure its not such an easy subject - cause some efforts are wholesome and some are not

i cant say your wrong on anything you said actually - still not convinced somehow but cant explain why
Please send merit to my dog named Mika who has passed away - thanks in advance

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Re: Shouldn't lay Buddhists be very successful ?

Postby binocular » Tue Mar 11, 2014 1:49 pm

Doshin wrote:Generally I think your thread/theme is based on comparing one (self) to others, i.e. am I being better, worse or equal to others. As far as I see that is a conceit, and I don't think it is a productive train of thoughts.

Actually, I think the implicit topic is about the role and goal of spiritual practice in one's life.

Some people believe - and I've heard even William James was one of those - that the whole point of any kind of spiritual or religious practice is to become a well-adjusted, well-functioning citizen in ordinary worldly society; and that one's spiritual advancement is to be measured by how well-adjusted to life as it is usually lived one is.


/William James/ followed the Romantics in saying that the function of religious experience was to heal the sense of "divided self," creating a more integrated self-identity better able to function in society.
/.../
Drawing on Methodism to provide two categories for classifying all religious experiences — conversion and sanctification — James gave a Romantic interpretation to both. For the Methodists, these categories applied specifically to the soul's relationship to God. Conversion was the turning of the soul to God's will; sanctification, the attunement of the soul to God's will in all its actions. To apply these categories to other religions, James removed the references to God, leaving a more Romantic definition: conversion unifies the personality; sanctification represents the on-going integration of that unification into daily life.

Also, James followed the Romantics in judging the effects of both types of experiences in this-worldly terms. Conversion experiences are healthy when they foster healthy sanctification: the ability to maintain one's integrity in the rough and tumble of daily life, acting as a moral and responsible member of human society.
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/lib/auth ... icism.html

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Re: Shouldn't lay Buddhists be very successful ?

Postby binocular » Tue Mar 11, 2014 2:05 pm

purple planet wrote:part of the sappaya dhamma - 7 supporting factors is avoiding over work (others are over eating/sleeping/talking ect)

Again, where does one draw the line?

For a particular person, the amount of work considered minimum in some jobs, may already be overwork.

An ordinary worker cannot set these norms themselves; they are instead set by the boss or employment policy. And it's not easy to live up to that norm, at least for some people. And if one struggles to even just live up to the minimum - what hopes can such a person have for anything more, anytime soon?


a buddhist will preform a bit better because of the practice

he might use it to end early and go home early - but if his family needs the money he can work harder - and he wont feel depresed cause of it

Theoretically, this seems like it should be true. But I find it a bit idealistic. What you describe might be like that for someone who has no doubts about the Dhamma, no major problems and questions in their practice, who is solidly established in the practice. But who is like that ...

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Re: Shouldn't lay Buddhists be very successful ?

Postby purple planet » Tue Mar 11, 2014 2:20 pm

Theoretically, this seems like it should be true. But I find it a bit idealistic. What you describe might be like that for someone who has no doubts about the Dhamma, no major problems and questions in their practice, who is solidly established in the practice. But who is like that ...


thats why i said "advanced buddhists " but maybe regular buddhists like myself can have this affects on a very small - tiny scale

by the way another thing is when your mindful of what you do you tend to do less mistakes - so someone who is practicing - he might preform not-complicated simple physical tasks - with fewer mistakes - he might be a better waiter cause a buddhist would drop less glasses on the floor

Again, where does one draw the line?

For a particular person, the amount of work considered minimum in some jobs, may already be overwork.

An ordinary worker cannot set these norms themselves; they are instead set by the boss or employment policy. And it's not easy to live up to that norm, at least for some people. And if one struggles to even just live up to the minimum - what hopes can such a person have for anything more, anytime soon?


not sure - i re-read my posts and they seem very confused - so this would be my last post on this thread - hope others will answer your question its a good one - but i will give it a try :

a buddhist might except better that he cant work better than he does now and wont get frustrated about it - and also wouldnt think its the end of the world if he lost his job - unless he does it for his family and then he will deiced what he prefers

A buddhist might know better when he is just lazy and emotional - and when its actually something that hurts his health and is not worth the money ... cause he will be mindful of laziness and aversion better then other non-buddhists ( buddhist=advanced buddhist - for the record im not advanced so its not about me lol )
Please send merit to my dog named Mika who has passed away - thanks in advance

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Re: Shouldn't lay Buddhists be very successful ?

Postby Sati1 » Tue Mar 11, 2014 3:25 pm

Isn't it a bit like asking why there are no arahant celebrities displaying their psychic powers (iddhi) publicly? Psychic powers, like the other faculties and strengths that arise as one walks the Buddhist Path generally accompany a loss of interest in wordly pursuits and yield a sharp recognition of the dangers implicit in seeking fame, wealth and power. Thus, the more "Buddhist powers" one has, the less one will want to use or display these powers for "success".
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----
"I do not perceive even one other thing, o monks, that when developed and cultivated entails such great happiness as the mind" (AN 1.10, transl. Ven. Bhikkhu Bodhi)
"So this spiritual life, monks, does not have gain, honor, and renown for its benefit, or the attainment of moral discipline for its benefit, or the attainment of concentration for its benefit, or knowledge and vision for its benefit. But it is this unshakable liberation of mind that is the goal of this spiritual life, its heartwood, and its end," (MN 29, transl. Ven Bhikkhu Bodhi)


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