WORDS OF WISDOM 27.5.2020
In the Vinaya Pitaka, the Buddha told the monastics that one should avoid duality in life. Duality mentioned in Madhyamaka is the eternalist and nihilist view, whereas in the context of the way of living, duality denotes the impoverished and self-indulgent life.
In the case of ordinary people, an impoverished life means to deliberately live in a poverty-stricken condition. But to some practitioners like Milarepa, poverty is not an obstacle but assistance to their practice. Obviously, not everyone can attain the same state in practice as those masters. For us ordinary people, it would be very difficult to consider matters like renunciation, bodhicitta and liberation if we must struggle constantly to eke out a living. A harsh living condition may be helpful for some to generate renunciation, but renunciation developed under this circumstance is not real, as genuine renunciation must include aspiration to seek liberation. Poverty alone may not be enough reason for people to forsake samsara. Only those who have grasped the essence of the Dharma may possibly generate true renunciation. Therefore, Buddhists in general need not and should not deliberately live too poorly.
~Depicted from THE RIGHT VIEW -A Buddhist’s Mode of Life