Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Wealth Distribution

These, monks, are the seven treasures- 
The treasure of confidence,
The treasure of discipline,
The treasure of integrity and decency,
The treasure of listening, generosity,
and wisdom as the seventh treasure.
Whoever, man or woman, has these treasures
is said not to be poor, has not lived in vain.
So confidence and discipline, faith and a Dharma view,
should be cultivated by the wise,
remembering the Buddhas' instruction.

~Buddha Shakyamuni

Much can be said about the distribution of wealth in our society or rather the abundance of destitution that many of us face.  It is our habitual tendency to think that we need to do more or have more before we can feel happy, content, find a sense of inner peace and joy.  

It seems like most of us are engaging in a never ending battle with people and institutions looking to hoard wealth and rob us of our right to live as we choose.  The tendency is to feel that we are the victim, that we are powerless and and thus we only experience anger and animosity with the world around us.  We should recognize this as our own ignorance, our own delusion.  It is our own poverty mentality that makes us feel afraid and cheated.  It is our own self-grasping that produces states of loss.  

Wealth can be experienced, real universal wealth that is beyond the confines of social hierarchy, market conditions, time and place.  The Buddha taught the Seven Noble Riches because he knew the limitations of material wealth.  He knew that the feeling of wealth did not spring from material goods or massive bank accounts but rather from the fertile mind of bodhicitta from which infinite qualities and realms of enjoyment arise. 

All experiences are fleeting and impermanent like a water bubble.  We all leave this life empty handed.  Whether or not you walk in wealth or destitution depends on your own mind.  Thus you should cultivate these Seven Noble Riches:

1. Confidence
2. Discipline
3. Generosity
4. Learning
5. Integrity
6. Decency
7. Wisdom

What steps are you taking to develop your wealth?  

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