Giving too much?

Buddhist ethical conduct including the Five Precepts (Pañcasikkhāpada), and Eightfold Ethical Conduct (Aṭṭhasīla).
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Strive4Karuna
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Giving too much?

Post by Strive4Karuna »

Hi guys

It makes me happy to purchase people gifts and be as generous as possible when the opportunity presents itself.


My dilemma is that I don’t want to be “that guy”. That person who tries to outshine others by purchasing people extravagant gifts. That is not my intention, I just love to see people happy and don’t mind sharing what I have with others around me.

What do you guys think? Am I over thinking things?

I know that I’m doing no wrong, but sometimes I feel myself being hesitant because of my concerns of what others will think of me.
Spiny Norman
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Re: Giving too much?

Post by Spiny Norman »

Strive4Karuna wrote: Fri Nov 27, 2020 9:04 pm Hi guys

It makes me happy to purchase people gifts and be as generous as possible when the opportunity presents itself.


My dilemma is that I don’t want to be “that guy”. That person who tries to outshine others by purchasing people extravagant gifts. That is not my intention, I just love to see people happy and don’t mind sharing what I have with others around me.

What do you guys think? Am I over thinking things?

I know that I’m doing no wrong, but sometimes I feel myself being hesitant because of my concerns of what others will think of me.
I'm just the opposite. Does that help? ;)
Buddha save me from new-agers!
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cappuccino
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Re: Giving too much?

Post by cappuccino »

Sutta wrote:Once, householder, there was a brahman named Velāma. And this was the nature of the gift, the great gift, he gave: He gave 84,000 gold trays filled with silver, 84,000 silver trays filled with gold, 84,000 copper trays filled with gems. He gave 84,000 elephants with gold ornaments, gold banners, covered with nets of gold thread. He gave 84,000 chariots … To say nothing of the food & drink, staple & non-staple food, lotions & beddings: They flowed, as it were, like rivers.
Velāma Sutta
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rightviewftw
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Re: Giving too much?

Post by rightviewftw »

I have some opinions on this. Ie there are obvious things like one won't borrow money and give it away to a non-profit with no means of paying it back because there is an obligation to the lender. Similarly if one has debt then one has an obligation to the lender in general, if one owes money then it is a claim on surplus that you might want to allocate otherwise ie buying gifts, i think this is the general theory.

Likewise if your spending is not sustainable and is harming you, then it's a problem. A rich person might get a lot of joy from giving gifts to the Sangha and become poor and be just as happy giving according to his means. Another person might not enjoy this much at all and people give away money to sects often.

In general there is no problem in becoming financially poor because monks are generally homeless and with few possessions as well. However it is a huge problem if it is not voluntary and one undergoes great hardship because at such time it is difficult to train whereas the monks are of few duties one who is poor is with a lot of duties and has many things to do.

Also one should give primarily to the Sangha, it is a flaw in a disciple if he seeks primary beneficiaries of dana among outsiders. My personal opinion is that it is best to support people whom one thinks are or might be noble sangha, or just sangha, or oneself as sangha or one supports outsiders.

I think like you buying lunch for someone is a great ornament and a support for your training but you also need resources to do the training and to do it comfortably you will need time and money. It is difficult to find an opening to train for a long period on retreat as a householder. Therefore it might not be optimal to allocate resources into doing good when they can go to a greater good.

Giving is easy when one gets into the habit of doing it and one has to be reasonable about it and not give too away what ought not to be given away. Buddha says in the Sutta;
a layman fit for household life,
in portions four divides his wealth:
thus will he friendship win.

One portion for his wants he uses,[7; This portion includes what is spent on good works: gifts to monks, charity, et (guess this is comy)]
two portions on his business spends,
the fourth for times of need he keeps.
I think as a householder you have to manage money wisely and buy gifts when you can afford it, ie when the money is yours to give, when your aren't outsourcing the suffering one person to another person ie if one let one person starve to feed another or starving yourself in place of someone else (rather than sharing food and starving together). When giving becomes such that it is cruel to oneself or someone involved then one shouldn't do it imo.
'Bhikkhus, possessing three qualities, a bhikkhu is practicing the unmistaken way and has laid the groundwork for the destruction of the taints. What three? Here, a bhikkhu guards the doors of the sense faculties, observes moderation in eating, and is intent on wakefulness. He should develop perception of unattractiveness so as to abandon lust... good will so as to abandon ill will... mindfulness of in-&-out breathing so as to cut off distractive thinking... the perception of inconstancy so as to uproot the conceit, 'I am.
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confusedlayman
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Re: Giving too much?

Post by confusedlayman »

Is it ok to give gifts onky yo sangha and parents..but no one else other than them?

I want to supoort my family and buddhist sangha but dont want to supoort others .. is my thought of donating still has stinginess?
I may be slow learner but im at least learning...
SarathW
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Re: Giving too much?

Post by SarathW »

Don't think like this when it comes to Valentine's day and your girl friends birthday.
“As the lamp consumes oil, the path realises Nibbana”
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confusedlayman
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Re: Giving too much?

Post by confusedlayman »

SarathW wrote: Sat Nov 28, 2020 10:55 am Don't think like this when it comes to Valentine's day and your girl friends birthday.
I don't have one and im relieved from that bondage
I may be slow learner but im at least learning...
Strive4Karuna
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Re: Giving too much?

Post by Strive4Karuna »

cappuccino wrote: Sat Nov 28, 2020 3:02 am
Sutta wrote:Once, householder, there was a brahman named Velāma. And this was the nature of the gift, the great gift, he gave: He gave 84,000 gold trays filled with silver, 84,000 silver trays filled with gold, 84,000 copper trays filled with gems. He gave 84,000 elephants with gold ornaments, gold banners, covered with nets of gold thread. He gave 84,000 chariots … To say nothing of the food & drink, staple & non-staple food, lotions & beddings: They flowed, as it were, like rivers.
Velāma Sutta
Thank you for this sutta cappuccino.
2600htz
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Re: Giving too much?

Post by 2600htz »

Hi:

Well when it comes to purchasing expensive gifts you just have to give at the proper time and be sure it would not offend the other, while also not being of bad taste.

Regards.
Inedible
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Re: Giving too much?

Post by Inedible »

The best things you can give are free. Your time, your attention. Dharma.
sunnat
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Post by sunnat »

Give until you feel the clinging, then let go some more.

Thus, bit by bit, happy, detach from what is clung to

and let go of self and be content with what is
Inedible
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Re:

Post by Inedible »

sunnat wrote: Mon Nov 30, 2020 12:43 am Give until you feel the clinging, then let go some more.
No, don't do this.

If you are determined to do without money or property you can set it aside and experience not having it for a while. You don't have to actually get rid of things.
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