With my mother( 78 yrs young )living with me and my son in College since last year; I really hesitated in making the determination to up my goal from last year. On top of that I need to move soon.
This Monday at our Region Leaders meeting I decided to up my contribution by 3 times for May and 5 times more for the whole year. That way if I missed the contribution target I still have the rest of the year when I do my monthly zaimu. For 4 years I worked the Contribution table and still do the spread sheet for our Area.
One day a was discussing contribution with a co-worker who is Baptist. When she asked me how much I gave a month ( zaimu) she told me I was lucky. Her pastor has all of the congregation give 20%.
Then a thought occurred to me - How sincere was I in supporting World Peace if I had attachments to money? She was more sincere in her religious beliefs than I was. Ever since that conversation last year it has always bothered me that I did not have the money to give 20% of my salary. I have been to many seminars were the speaker will always say give 10% to your church, save 10% , invest 10% and live off of the 70% left.
So I made a determination to up my contribution by $1000 + plus see how I can give at least 10% a month.
I go into work today and because we are upgrading the financial system yet again!!! the Asst Controller said to us what ever it takes to close out April in the old system and open up May in the new system we need to do it. All the time she was scowling at us like you better do or else. She and the Controller are giving us all the most impossible task's to do. My soon to be ex-boss is suffering because the biggest burden was put on her to so she could fail. I was happy inside that I now can make my goal and that just maybe , maybe can re-shakubuku my soon to be ex-boss again. Maybe this time she will listen. Anyway I will let you know how it goes.

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Dear Faith,

Your determination is very encouraging. Thanks for what you are doing. I know I don't do enough when it comes to the green stuff, but am trying to do better. As Buddhists, the virtue of giving is very important. Last year I came by an article that talked about giving. It struck a cord with me. Please let me share....

Despite the fact that there are obvious and limitless benefits to practicing the virtue of giving, may of us choose to lead our lives in a merely self-centered and self-satisfying way. We are often reluctant to put others ahead of ourselves, choosing instead to focus on our own comfort and success. Competition to be the best and have the most permeates contemporary society, making it quite challenging at times to regard the welfare of others with much concern. We strive to be better than others, and we often measure the quality of our life by how we compare with those around us. This worldview is the root cause of human conflict and prevents us from being generous to others. People who are so focused on their own survival and status have no qualms about taking; however, when it is their turn to give, they make all kinds of excuses. If we deeply understand and apply the Buddha's teachings on the truth of life and the universe, we will change our ways; our natural tendency will be to give to others and not take from them. If we understand that every cause has its effect, then we will not be so hesitant about giving.

The follwing story was taken from Buddhist literature to help us open our eyes to the true meaning of the saying that we are sometimes unwilling to accept: "It is better to give than to receive".

Once there were two men from the same village; one of them was miserly while the other was generous. They both happened to pass away at about the same time. In death, they appeared before King Yama, who was about to pass judgment on their past actions. He told the two men, "I'm going to let both of you be reborn into the world. One of you will always be giving, while the other will always be receiving. Which one would you rather be?"

The miserly man did not mind being the one who would continually be receiving, and so he nodded in agreement. Both of them stood waiting for final instructions about where they would be reborn. King Yama picked up his staff and pounded on the ground a few times. He said to the miser, "Since you choose to be receiving from others, you will be reborn as a beggar. This will give you plenty of opportunities to be on the receiving end." He then turned to the other man and said, "You will be reborn into great wealth. Share your wealth with those less fortunate and give alms."

The two men learned a poignant lesson from King Yama's clever decision: the experience of giving is much more fulfilling than that of receiving.

Some people may wonder how you can practice giving if you do not have any money or possessions. How do we build affinity with others through generosity, if we have nothing?" Actually, we do not need to have great wealth, or even any money at all, to practice the virtue of giving. When you meet someone on the street, give the person a nod or a smile. This is giving. When we show concern for others or when we give compliments, we are practicing giving. Even simple gestures like saying, "Good morning," or "How are you?" are giving. These are acts of kindness which do not cost anything and which we are all capable of performing, and what a tremendous difference they make! Never overlook an opportunity to give - you will have a direct encounter with affinity.

Happiness (shakubuku) is an especially wounderful gift to give to someone. This may mean giving our time, sharing our expertise, or helping those in need. We need to think of happiness as a finite entity. Happiness is something that grows when it is shared with others, and when we share it with others, we help affinity to flourish that much more making it meaningful and enjoyable. We should not be afraid to share our happiness. If we keep happiness only to ourselves, we cannot fully experience or appreciate it. In keeping happiness to ourselves, we suffocate the affinity that would naturally arise if we extended it to others. Happiness, like the Dharma (NMRK), cannot be fully experienced apart from others....

Unquote....

It's a fact that Jesus never built a church. The people did. We are the followers of the Mystic Law. We have lots of building to do, and vow's to fulfill....
Hi Bob!

Thank you for that article. Would you mind citing your source?

Thanks!
Nikola
Hi Nikola,

The post is an excerpt from an article titled "Living in Harmony with Others" that I received from someone in Malaysia. I don't know this person personally but I believe he owns a company called Weison Multiple. (http://weison.8m.net/favorite_links.html) He has been a great help to me and others in our quest for human revolution.

The complete article is at the top of the General Board at:

http://groups.msn.com/sokagakkaisgi/general.msnw

Hopefully you will find lots of informative reading there.... Best to you....
thank you for the article.
I think of each time there is a blood drive at work I am the onlyone that will give blood. I never thought of that as a gift!!!! I appreciate you taking the time to post this article. I was turned down to co-sign a loan for my son's 2nd year at college. However, I did shakubuku on the way home. He chanted 3 times with me and continued to chant as we walked away. As a chapter leader or team leader I grapple with showing the example of having many many guests at discussion meetings. Just today I made a vow to have 3 guest this month. 2 more to go.
Thanks again for posting "May Contribution 2008." And again, thanks for the things you do. Your name says it all, Faith.... I'm glad to be here with you....

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