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Thursday, February 26, 2009

Sangharakshita's Financial Life Story

Sangharakshita as a boy, image courtesy of the ClearVision archives, FWBO News continues its series of articles about money by publishing an interview with Sangharakshita on his financial life-story.

Siddhisambhava, Fundraiser in the FWBO Development Team, conducted the interview last spring to help her with an appeal for the Order to take on the financial support of its founder. It reveals aspects of his life rarely mentioned in any of his memoirs. The interview begins with his childhood conditioning around money and covers the twists and turns of his financial fortunes from his twenty years in India – as beggar, monk, house-owner, farmer, employer and benefactor – to his return to Britain in the 1960’s, and how he ‘got by’ while he set up the FWBO.

Originally published in Shabda, the monthly Order newsletter, FWBO News is pleased to make this fascinating account more widely available. The appeal for Bhante was launched at the Order 40th anniversary celebrations last spring and was concluded successfully on Bhante’s 83rd birthday on 26 August 2008. It shifted his financial support from two of the movement’s institutions that were struggling to financially maintain this commitment, the European FWBO Centres and Windhorse Evolution, to over 400 Order members making individual standing orders.

The appeal’s success – as is the case with all fundraising – reaped more than financial benefits, by strengthening the connections between Order members and Bhante, as well as the bond between all those Order members who took on this commitment. If you’d like to see a short film about the appeal for Bhante, including some remarks by Bhante himself, visit videosangha.

“Ask of any money situation: how well is this facilitating relationship?” 
from tuesday’s article on money

Looking at out money history, or telling our financial life-story, is one of the exercises suggested in ‘Understanding money, understanding ourselves’ published on Tuesday. Perhaps you could find the money thread in your own life-story? It’s there and it has meaning. What patterns of behaviour emerge? Did you create debts or savings? What degree of stinginess or generosity is revealed? How much control did you exercise? Most important of all: were you, are you, able to fund the things that matter most to you?

Sangharkshita's financial life story is on FWBO Features here:

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