A friend of mine, ex-scientologist OT7, is moving forward in his spiritual quest into Falung Gong (www.falundafa.org). He sent me this quote from a conference held by the Falung Dafa founder Li Hongzhi.
What an interesting viewpoint for ex-scientologists.
Question: I often tell myself to use my heart and everything I have to provide for Master.
Teacher: I understand everyone’s feeling. Let me tell you, that is a legacy of religions. Shakyamuni indeed said—since his disciples needed to beg for alms—that giving food to monks was something that would bring boundless merit. But he never said that providing for him or giving him money would bring boundless merit. Religions are no longer able to follow the requirements of Buddha. That’s why some monks are very greedy nowadays. They want lots and lots of money, so they promote this idea: “Only if you provide for me will you have boundless merit.” So how are you supposed to provide for them? Supposedly the more you give them, the better. They even think that it’s great if you provide for them to the extent of exhausting all your financial resources. Think about it, that is extremely selfish. Those selfish thoughts, even to the extent of taking all of others’ possessions and still not feeling satisfied, are even worse than evil demons. How could they possibly be cultivators?
Dafa cannot be measured by money. You, too, are a cultivator, so why should someone else provide for you? Why do you accept others’ money? (Applause) From another perspective, the person that you want to provide for you is also cultivating Buddhahood. Otherwise, why would he provide for you? He might have cultivated better than you! What gives you the right to be provided for by him? You should provide for him! Of course, nowadays people are accustomed to seeing religions going after money and power, and getting involved in politics, so they no longer find it surprising. Lies may seem to be true after they’re repeated three times, so the more people hear them, the more acceptable they become, and people stop thinking about whether they are correct. Of course, some students are concerned with Master’s living conditions, and often think about helping to resolve some of the issues concerning Master’s living. You don’t need to think about that. I know how you feel.