True wealth

010_Dhammapada_Page_1,_Kuthodaw_(8919103030).jpg,_Kuthodaw_(8919103030).jpg – CCBY Photo Dharma from Sadao, Thailand

In listening to some friends talk about the difficulties in their lives, it brings me back to some of the core teachings of many who see the long view.  When you mention wealth or capital, the first thing that jumps into many people’s mind is that of financial wealth; money.    Many, from Tony Robbins to Chris Martenson have commented on this, and a search for the ‘N types of wealth’ will give you plenty to sift through. It is a relief that at least some in our electronic world still see these truths.

In the financial world of stocks and bonds, advisors will tell you to ‘diversify’ your portfolio, so your financial wealth isn’t in one spot.  It may be that one’s true wealth should also be diversified.  Yes, it is nice to have cash about, but without health, neighbors, family, that financial wealth won’t mean much.   Likewise, if you have solid family, you still might need a bit of financial wealth to pay for things like medicine, food, transportation and so on.

Of all the types of wealth, perhaps only a few of them are immune from outside influence.  Money can be stolen or taxed; your family can pass away; even your good name and health can be gone in an instant.  Is there one that is most immune to being swept away?   Perhaps a bit of the Buddha (from the Dhammapada; verse 204) can clue us in:

Health is the greatest gift, contentment is the greatest wealth, a trusted friend is the best relative, Nibbana is the greatest bliss.

Yes, it isn’t fun when the rent is due, your car needs new tires, and your job is a bit shaky.  Even the Buddhists know ‘talk doesn’t cook the rice.’ But if you are content and are at peace, that is a great wealth that can’t be taken from you.


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