Millionaire gave away his wealth.

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Millionaire gave away his wealth.

Postby Wind » Fri Feb 12, 2010 6:52 pm

Looks like he has gain some valuable insights. :namaste:

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldne ... rable.html
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Re: Millionaire gave away his wealth.

Postby Ben » Fri Feb 12, 2010 9:47 pm

Nice article. One can only hope that it might inspire others to give.
metta

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Learn this from the waters:
in mountain clefts and chasms,
loud gush the streamlets,
but great rivers flow silently.

Taṃ nadīhi vijānātha:
sobbhesu padaresu ca,
saṇantā yanti kusobbhā,
tuṇhīyanti mahodadhī.

Sutta Nipata 3.725

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Re: Millionaire gave away his wealth.

Postby BlackBird » Fri Feb 12, 2010 11:56 pm

Ben wrote:One can only hope that it might inspire others to give.
metta

Ben


Hopefully their time and non-monetary resources. It's easy to chuck money at something, if you have it.

On a partially related note:

Every so often here at DW you see people saying "Oh I've given X to Y" that's great, good on you, but in my opinion that's something you should keep to yourself. Sure talking about your Dana may inspire others to do the same, but I think it's just as likely to make others feel guilty or resentful that they're not doing more to help. As we well know, incomes are very diverse and we all come from different economic backgrounds. That's the problem when you start stating that I'm going to be giving $XXX to such&such organisation this year, because not everyone's going to have the resources to follow your lead.

As human's we're always looking for comparison to see the benchmark for any particular act, i.e. what we should be doing - We have a heard mentality in that regard. If we start talking cash amounts on our dana, we're (unconsciously) setting a benchmark people just won't be able to meet.

(by you I don't mean anyone in particular, just in the general sense - Please, nobody take this personally eh :))

metta
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Re: Millionaire gave away his wealth.

Postby seanpdx » Fri Feb 12, 2010 11:59 pm

BlackBird wrote:
Ben wrote:One can only hope that it might inspire others to give.
metta

Ben


Hopefully their time and non-monetary resources. It's easy to chuck money at something, if you have it.


Is it? I'm not so sure.

On a partially related note:

Every so often here at DW you see people saying "Oh I've given X to Y" that's great, good on you, but in my opinion that's something you should keep to yourself. Sure talking about your Dana may inspire others to do the same, but I think it's just as likely to make others feel guilty or resentful that they're not doing more to help. As we well know, incomes are very diverse and we all come from different economic backgrounds. That's the problem when you start stating that I'm going to be giving $XXX to such&such organisation this year, because not everyone's going to have the resources to follow your lead.

As human's we're always looking for comparison to see the benchmark for any particular act, i.e. what we should be doing - We have a heard mentality in that regard. If we start talking cash amounts on our dana, we're (unconsciously) setting a benchmark people just won't be able to meet.

(by 'you' I don't mean anyone in particular, just in the general sense :))

metta
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I once gave a quarter to a homeless person. Fear my dana!
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Re: Millionaire gave away his wealth.

Postby Guy » Sat Feb 13, 2010 3:02 am

Inspiring story, thanks for sharing!
Four types of letting go:

1) Giving; expecting nothing back in return
2) Throwing things away
3) Contentment; wanting to be here, not wanting to be anywhere else
4) "Teflon Mind"; having a mind which doesn't accumulate things

- Ajahn Brahm
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Re: Millionaire gave away his wealth.

Postby retrofuturist » Sat Feb 13, 2010 10:43 am

Greetings Jack,

I know what you mean - there's a fine line between rejoicing in others merit, and mana.

Metta,
Retro. :)
If you have asked me of the origination of unease, then I shall explain it to you in accordance with my understanding:
Whatever various forms of unease there are in the world, They originate founded in encumbering accumulation. (Pārāyanavagga)


Exalted in mind, just open and clearly aware, the recluse trained in the ways of the sages:
One who is such, calmed and ever mindful, He has no sorrows! -- Udana IV, 7


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Re: Millionaire gave away his wealth.

Postby alan » Sat Feb 13, 2010 3:11 pm

Seems impulsive and stupid. What were his reasons? He was unhappy at a nice resort in Hawaii. Boo-Hoo. Will he be happy now? I don't see any real change in outlook from this guy.
Money does not create unhappiness; lack of money does not create happiness.
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Re: Millionaire gave away his wealth.

Postby David N. Snyder » Sat Feb 13, 2010 3:58 pm

alan wrote:Seems impulsive and stupid. What were his reasons? He was unhappy at a nice resort in Hawaii. Boo-Hoo. Will he be happy now? I don't see any real change in outlook from this guy.
Money does not create unhappiness; lack of money does not create happiness.


:goodpost:

I agree, it is all in the mind, regardless of your finances. Don't get me wrong, I admire his generosity, but if he thinks he will be "happy" for doing so, he is wrong. He complained that the workers at the 5-star hotel were all just 'actors' catering to him only because of his money. Well, welcome to life. There are actors in all sorts of places. And why does he have to go to a 5-star hotel, just because he is rich? I know plenty of wealthy people who are down-to-earth, don't go to 5-star hotels, don't even have maids or servants. It is all in how you handle the situation, how you handle what life throws at you, regardless of finances.
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Re: Millionaire gave away his wealth.

Postby seanpdx » Sat Feb 13, 2010 6:44 pm

Why do people have to get down on this guy? Why speculate on what may or may not be going on inside his head? If someone quits their job because they're unhappy with it, do you tell them that it's a stupid thing to do? That it's just all in their head? If someone is unhappy in their relationship, should they stick it out because it'd be stupid to break up? It's just all in their head? This guy presumably saw a problem -- that money was getting in the way of his happiness -- and took steps to remedy that problem. Who's to say that's the extent of what he's doing? Maybe, just maybe, renouncing his wealth is his first step on a new path.

Nah, that's just stupid. Renunciation never got anyone anywhere. Right?
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Re: Millionaire gave away his wealth.

Postby Cittasanto » Sat Feb 13, 2010 7:13 pm

seanpdx wrote:Why do people have to get down on this guy? Why speculate on what may or may not be going on inside his head? If someone quits their job because they're unhappy with it, do you tell them that it's a stupid thing to do? That it's just all in their head? If someone is unhappy in their relationship, should they stick it out because it'd be stupid to break up? It's just all in their head? This guy presumably saw a problem -- that money was getting in the way of his happiness -- and took steps to remedy that problem. Who's to say that's the extent of what he's doing? Maybe, just maybe, renouncing his wealth is his first step on a new path.

Nah, that's just stupid. Renunciation never got anyone anywhere. Right?


:goodpost:

Obviously he saw a problem and a remedy to that problem, I will happily rejoice in his happiness, even if it is potentially short term.
I will also happily give money to a charity such as Cancer Research UK, Shelter, or anywhere that actually needs money to do its work.
This offering maybe right, or wrong, but it is one, the other, both, or neither!
Blog, - Some Suttas Translated, Ajahn Chah.
"Others will misconstrue reality due to their personal perspectives, doggedly holding onto and not easily discarding them; We shall not misconstrue reality due to our own personal perspectives, nor doggedly holding onto them, but will discard them easily. This effacement shall be done."
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Re: Millionaire gave away his wealth.

Postby jcsuperstar » Sat Feb 13, 2010 8:44 pm

if this guy has inspired anyone to give away their money i'd be happy to take it off your hands...

just trying to help out

jc
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Re: Millionaire gave away his wealth.

Postby David N. Snyder » Sat Feb 13, 2010 11:58 pm

seanpdx wrote:Why do people have to get down on this guy?


I said the generosity is good, but he was focusing on happiness, not generosity and if you look at the source of his unhappiness, this will not make that change.

Why speculate on what may or may not be going on inside his head?


This guy presumably saw a problem -- that money was getting in the way of his happiness -- and took steps to remedy that problem. Who's to say that's the extent of what he's doing? Maybe, just maybe, renouncing his wealth is his first step on a new path.


Now who's speculating? :tongue:

Nah, that's just stupid. Renunciation never got anyone anywhere. Right?


Renunciation is a good thing, such as those giving up their wealth to ordain or those giving large amounts. But there is no indication of this guy ordaining or what he plans to do to provide for himself and his wife.
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Re: Millionaire gave away his wealth.

Postby ando » Sun Feb 14, 2010 3:40 am

Perhaps this is a good place to repeat the question I posed in this thread which had no replies to date.

Greetings,

I have a question about this sutta, extracted from AN 7.49, regarding the topic of generosity.

When the Buddha was speaking with Sariputta about the motives and fruits of giving, he said,

"... instead of thinking, 'When this gift of mine is given, it makes the mind serene. Gratification & joy arise,' he gives a gift with the thought, 'This is an ornament for the mind, a support for the mind.' He gives his gift — food, drink, clothing, a vehicle; a garland, perfume, & ointment; bedding, shelter, & a lamp — to a priest or a contemplative. What do you think, Sariputta? Might a person give such a gift as this?"

and the sutta continues on to say:

"... with the thought, 'This is an ornament for the mind, a support for the mind' — on the break-up of the body, after death, he reappears in the company of Brahma's Retinue. Then, having exhausted that action, that power, that status, that sovereignty, he is a non-returner. He does not come back to this world."

Could someone elaborate on the meaning of ornament for the mind, a support for the mind?

Thank you.


Quoting AN 7.49, further,

"Having given this, not seeking his own profit, not with a mind attached [to the reward], not seeking to store up for himself, nor [with the thought], 'I'll enjoy this after death,'

" — nor with the thought, 'Giving is good,'

" — nor with the thought, 'This was given in the past, done in the past, by my father & grandfather. It would not be right for me to let this old family custom be discontinued,'

" — nor with the thought, 'I am well-off. These are not well-off. It would not be right for me, being well-off, not to give a gift to those who are not well-off,' nor with the thought, 'Just as there were the great sacrifices of the sages of the past — Atthaka, Vamaka, Vamadeva, Vessamitta, Yamataggi, Angirasa, Bharadvaja, Vasettha, Kassapa, & Bhagu — in the same way this will be my distribution of gifts,'

" — nor with the thought, 'When this gift of mine is given, it makes the mind serene. Gratification & joy arise,'

" — but with the thought, 'This is an ornament for the mind, a support for the mind' — on the break-up of the body, after death, he reappears in the company of Brahma's Retinue. Then, having exhausted that action, that power, that status, that sovereignty, he is a non-returner. He does not come back to this world.

"This, Sariputta, is the cause, this is the reason, why a person gives a gift of a certain sort and it does not bear great fruit or great benefit, whereas another person gives a gift of the same sort and it bears great fruit and great benefit."

— AN 7.49

It would appear that the millionaire's motive is the one highlighted in red, which is still a wholesome motive in my books.
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Re: Millionaire gave away his wealth.

Postby David N. Snyder » Sun Feb 14, 2010 4:04 am

ando wrote:Quoting AN 7.49, further,
"Having given this, not seeking his own profit, not with a mind attached [to the reward], not seeking to store up for himself, nor [with the thought], 'I'll enjoy this after death,'

" — nor with the thought, 'Giving is good,'

" — nor with the thought, 'I am well-off. These are not well-off. It would not be right for me, being well-off, not to give a gift to those who are not well-off,' nor with the thought, 'Just as there were the great sacrifices of the sages of the past — Atthaka, Vamaka, Vamadeva, Vessamitta, Yamataggi, Angirasa, Bharadvaja, Vasettha, Kassapa, & Bhagu — in the same way this will be my distribution of gifts,'


Notice the words "nor" above as in one should not toot one's own horn when giving. But giving up that much (pretty much the entire estate) I suppose might be kind of hard to do without expecting some recognition, especially for ordinary worldlings.
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Re: Millionaire gave away his wealth.

Postby retrofuturist » Sun Feb 14, 2010 4:53 am

Greetings David,

David N. Snyder wrote:Notice the words "nor" above as in one should not toot one's own horn when giving.

That's true... yet if someone does a meritorious deed, it offers us the chance to rejoice in their merit. As I said earlier - it's a fine line between the two, and may be a matter of perception than anything else.

Metta,
Retro. :)
If you have asked me of the origination of unease, then I shall explain it to you in accordance with my understanding:
Whatever various forms of unease there are in the world, They originate founded in encumbering accumulation. (Pārāyanavagga)


Exalted in mind, just open and clearly aware, the recluse trained in the ways of the sages:
One who is such, calmed and ever mindful, He has no sorrows! -- Udana IV, 7


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Re: Millionaire gave away his wealth.

Postby David N. Snyder » Sun Feb 14, 2010 5:08 am

retrofuturist wrote:Greetings David,
David N. Snyder wrote:Notice the words "nor" above as in one should not toot one's own horn when giving.

That's true... yet if someone does a meritorious deed, it offers us the chance to rejoice in their merit. As I said earlier - it's a fine line between the two, and may be a matter of perception than anything else.


Yes, I agree it is a fine line between the two. As I mentioned in my previous posts, the generosity is excellent and worthy of rejoicing. But his reason was for "being happy." He complained about the perceptions he received from people in the '5-star' lifestyle. If he is out there placing high expectations on others (not expecting them to be 'actors') and his perceptions of them, he will still suffer. Those kind of attitudes can keep him in suffering with or without the wealth.

Like alan wrote:

Money does not create unhappiness; lack of money does not create happiness.


The generosity is wonderful, the happiness issue is another matter.
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Re: Millionaire gave away his wealth.

Postby Ben » Sun Feb 14, 2010 6:50 am

My attitude is that with every act of generosity, there is present the wholesome paramita of dana, even if the main motivation is based on greed, delusion or aversion. In his case his motivation is his own mundane happiness, or for someone else it could be something like tax concessions or recognition, or to avert civil litigation. His act of generosity may not be perfectly pure, but it is still meritorious.
kind regards

Ben
Learn this from the waters:
in mountain clefts and chasms,
loud gush the streamlets,
but great rivers flow silently.

Taṃ nadīhi vijānātha:
sobbhesu padaresu ca,
saṇantā yanti kusobbhā,
tuṇhīyanti mahodadhī.

Sutta Nipata 3.725

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