Monday evening, December 4, 1972.
On Exploiting Situations
Ven. Master Hsuan Hua
At Gold Mountain Monastery, monastic and laypeople, male and female, should all know our three principles:
Freezing, we do not scheme.
Starving, we do not beg.
Dying of poverty, we ask for nothing.
Do not spoil the good reputation of Gold Mountain Monastery. Donít try to exploit the situation as soon as some laypeople show up at the monastery. When influential or wealthy people from another country come and visit, you shouldnít ask them to do favors for you, saying things like, ďIím out of books. Could you get me a sutra?Ē Or, ďIíve run out of clothes. Please have some clothes made for me.Ē Or, ďIíve run out of this and that; please get them for me.Ē You may have thousands of ways to get laypeople to do things for you, but you are making a big mistake if you use those methods. In the West, where Buddhism has just begun, everyone should be high-minded and incorruptible. Donít cause others to look down on you. If you do, you will be of no help to Buddhism.
The bitterness that we undergo is part of our lot. We donít want anyone to pity us. Some laypeople saw that we were living in this cold icebox and offered to install a heater for us, but we refused the gift. Why? Because the colder it gets, the less we are afraid. We want to be like the hardy pine tree that remains evergreen even in winter. Every one of us should aspire to be like the lofty and noble cedar. Donít make yourself totally worthless.
Timely Teachings. Page 129.