Consider These Donations for Merit Making
In White Fat Cow I often talk about how important it is to make wise donations, and that one of the ways to increase your merit for spiritual attainments is to help sponsor the translation of sacred works. Translations are expensive, translators rare, and it takes years of effort to often produce even a single volume of some holy library regardless of the tradition. How often I've wished to be able to read some particular Sanskrit, Egyptian and Persian works that just weren't available in English yet.
I've used translators, helped coordinate translation efforts or made donations for the translation of all sorts of spiritual books -- Buddhist, Taoist, Hindu and so forth. So I know how difficult it is to get things translated. Most of my own progress has been because I've relied on the translated texts of countless traditions to help piece things together. If a book in English can help someone increase their level of wisdom or gong-fu, then I'm all for it. If it can be trasnlated into another language for another culture, I'm for that too, especially if it can be done ont he cheap (because I know how expensive it is). You see, I'm very careful how I spend my money when it comes to charitable donations.
For instance, I would never give to the American Cancer Society because it spends hardly a cent of its budget on cancer prevention education when they flat out admit that diet is the major role in cancer causation. It also has a vested financial interest in chemotherapy, and supports witch hunts against individuals pursuing other cancer cures less than blessed by the billion dollar cancer medical establishment. The American Diabetes Association is another example -- diabetes is a blood sugar problem and due to what I consider a conflict of interests, the doctors of the Association have flat out said there's no relation between the amount of sugar you eat and getting diabetes. Nonsense....look who's donating to them. The American Heart Association? Well the cholesterol fixation is a overblown hoax (just as is terrorism), chelation that can help people is attacked, surgery is preferred over dietary changes, and supplement research should be sponsored for how to make them MOST effective rather than trying to rule out anything in one go. Most of the large orthodox organizations (including the Wildlife foundations) seem to grow so large that after a point they lose their way, their focus, their purpose and end up, in my own opinion, doing very little to help people except maintain the status quo of vested financial interests.
That's just my opinion, so ignore it. But note that you can see how strict I am. What passes the strict test certainly passes the loose tests of worthwhileness. For years I would watch which efforts my teacher supported and did not, and learned a little bit of his own thinking process which I usually found, in the end, surprisingly accurate even when we disagreed with him.
I'm no expert but when an organization passes my muster, like www.Kiva.org for micro-banking, I dare say it's usually pretty good.
Well I found a great way to help contribute to the translation of enlightenment texts -- http://www.daitangvietnam.com/index_en.htm. The TUE QUANG WISDOM LIGHT FOUNDATION has developed a computer program to help trasnlate Buddhist sutras into Vietnamese and I dare say it is so good, so cost effective and so quick that I had to contribute.
As they write on their website,
If you're looking for a wway to generate merit of the path, then consider donating to an effort like this. I encourage you to do so. There is a link on the page.
Here's another one I like -- for $30 giving light to some family. Geez! Only $30 to change a life. Think about what you normally spend $30 on ... and what you do with light such that you tak eit for granted.
Now, double, triple or evn quadruple that for the dharma, because if you weren't able to get in touch with cultivation knowledge of any kind - Taoism, Advaita, Buddhism, Kashmir Shaivism, yoga, Esoteric School, etc. - you'd be as lost as the billions of other people in the world following organized paths and just generating a bit of worldly merit for better behavior, that's all. Think about. You only get the dharma because you help support and spread the dharma. I don't care what path I support with my money as long as it helps lead other people to the ultimateend, is virtuous and does not promote desires. So if the Kashmir Saiivites wanted to build a temple in India, I'm all for it. Same for Taoists -- if they have the real Tao school. See? So nothing beats trasnlating the mother texts themselves.
Once again: http://www.daitangvietnam.com/index_en.htm.
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