Those things that lead to passion, not to dispassion; to attachment, not to detachment; to amassing, not to dispersal; to ambition, not to modesty; to discontentment, not to contentment; to association, not to seclusion; to idleness, not to energy; to luxury, not to frugality, of them you can quite certainly decide: This is not the Dharma, this is not the Discipline, this is not the Master’s teaching.
(The Buddha, Vinaya Pitaka, Tripitaka)
The above list attributed to the Awakened One is an interesting one. It is interesting because it challenges us to examine our practice of Buddhism in light of the Blessed One’s standards, seeing if we are up to the task of Awakening to the Truth taught by him. In worldly life, passion, attachment, amassing, ambition and several of the other states referred to as negative are viewed as worthy qualities to cultivate. We Buddhists, then, need to make a choice: to live according to society’s standards or according to the Dharma. Which is it to be?