Generosity

General forum on the teachings of all schools of Mahayana and Vajrayana Buddhism. Topics specific to one school are best posted in the appropriate sub-forum.
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bikunbodhi
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Generosity

Post by bikunbodhi » Fri Oct 19, 2018 11:54 pm

I have a question to ask here. When a homeless drug addict appraches you at a red light stop, should you give him money or not. I would give to homeless people who dont look like addict. But for some one is either young and strong or who looks like addict, I won't. For the reason I feel I am either feeding the laziness in the first case or giving them the chance to overdose and kill themselves. I would rather donate real food or clothes to them if possible. What do you think from a mindful point of view?

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Wayfarer
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Re: Generosity

Post by Wayfarer » Sat Oct 20, 2018 1:55 am

I agree it's a difficult question. When recently in the USA I was approached by numerous people asking for change in New York and Chicago. Sometimes I responded, other times not. I do agree that it's impossible to tell how what you're giving is going to end up being spent, and that often it will end up supporting an addiction, but it's obviously a very difficult question to deal with in a general way. I don't know if there's anything specific in Buddhist codes about it, although of course in the traditional cultures, it was the monks who were requesting alms, but there it was in a social context which amounts to an implicit 'social contract' i.e. the monks receive alms-food to support the overall spiritual aims that they are serving. (For that matter, I did see some pretty bogus-looking 'Buddhist monks' approaching tourists on the streets in New York.)
Only practice with no gaining idea ~ Suzuki Roshi

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Monlam Tharchin
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Re: Generosity

Post by Monlam Tharchin » Sat Oct 20, 2018 2:42 am

You will not save an addict by refusing to give some change. Once you're a buddha, you'll be better placed to help them. For now, do what you can towards that end. To me that means giving a few dollars and reaffirming your vows to save all beings, such as this one. YMMV.
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The Buddhas and Bodhisattvas have unobstructed vision in all directions. Everything is in their presence; and I stand in front of them. -- Shantideva

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Johnny Dangerous
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Re: Generosity

Post by Johnny Dangerous » Sat Oct 20, 2018 8:27 am

bikunbodhi wrote:
Fri Oct 19, 2018 11:54 pm
I have a question to ask here. When a homeless drug addict appraches you at a red light stop, should you give him money or not. I would give to homeless people who dont look like addict. But for some one is either young and strong or who looks like addict, I won't. For the reason I feel I am either feeding the laziness in the first case or giving them the chance to overdose and kill themselves. I would rather donate real food or clothes to them if possible. What do you think from a mindful point of view?
My two cents:

It's really not our place to decide who is and is not deserving, give in the way that makes sense to you with homeless folks, but spend as little time as possible measuring who is "worthy" of our help, because everyone is.
"it must be coming from the mouthy mastermind of raunchy rapper, Johnny Dangerous”

-Jeff H.

shaunc
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Re: Generosity

Post by shaunc » Sat Oct 20, 2018 11:05 am

I'd be happy to give goods like food and clothing but I wouldn't give cash.

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seeker242
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Re: Generosity

Post by seeker242 » Sat Oct 20, 2018 1:36 pm

I don't think dana should demand anything in return, including the demand to use it they way we prefer it to be used.
One should not kill any living being, nor cause it to be killed, nor should one incite any other to kill. Do never injure any being, whether strong or weak, in this entire universe!

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Vasana
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Re: Generosity

Post by Vasana » Sat Oct 20, 2018 2:02 pm

https://www.newstatesman.com/politics/u ... NvQEcgTRIQ
Many street beggars are addicts, yes. Do addicts not deserve food? Wouldn’t you want to drink if you were in their position? Don’t you get drunk every weekend to cope with work stress anyway? Who are you to tell them what to do with their bodies?

]As the founder of User Voice, a charity led and staffed by former homeless addicts, says: “If your money funds the final hit, accept that the person would rather be dead. If your act of kindness makes him wake up the next morning and decide to change his life, that’s nice but not your business either.”

Of course, it is true that your drinking habit and theirs are fundamentally different. Addiction is rooted in material circumstance – alcohol is the obvious example, but think how many skiing accidents end in courses of opiates far stronger than anything you’d find on the street without any long-term compulsion developing. It can only be tackled by raising people out of poverty, and a brute-force severing of cash flow is not going to starve people into seeking help from authorities they know will not, or cannot, help them.
'When alone, watch your mind. When with others, watch your speech'- Old Kadampa saying.

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javier.espinoza.t
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Re: Generosity

Post by javier.espinoza.t » Sat Oct 20, 2018 10:19 pm

bikunbodhi wrote:
Fri Oct 19, 2018 11:54 pm
I have a question to ask here. When a homeless drug addict appraches you at a red light stop, should you give him money or not. I would give to homeless people who dont look like addict. But for some one is either young and strong or who looks like addict, I won't. For the reason I feel I am either feeding the laziness in the first case or giving them the chance to overdose and kill themselves. I would rather donate real food or clothes to them if possible. What do you think from a mindful point of view?
You should give a small amount in order to make a connection, an amount small enough for this person think and doubt on the worth of drug against the effort to attain it. Our expression at that very moment should reflect that doubt.

One should not make easy the trade of poison.

Some alcoholics, drug addicts, whores, thieves, etc. know that there is a infinite small possibility to change; they feel cursed, like condemned to do what they do. So, for strange reason they can perceive people who can help, and try to call for attention.

This is what i do
what are you doing

bikunbodhi
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Re: Generosity

Post by bikunbodhi » Mon Oct 22, 2018 4:03 am

All sounds fair.Thanks.

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