Can you say something about the significance of money?

Lama Ole’s answer:

Money is a form of energy, something we can work with. I myself was born in 1941—the war generation—and I remember my first piece of white bread up to this day. My handling of money was shaped by my childhood and the post-war period. So in financial matters, I am rather conservative. This is why I advise all my students to never get into debt. The Tibetans say that if you die with debts, you will be reborn as a horse. And all your former creditors ride around on your back treating you badly.

Once you’ve checked out the situation, you can also take a risk sometimes. It’s just important that you never end up in a weak position where you’re unable to feed yourself and are dependent on others. Freedom lies in keeping your daily needs small. The less you need for yourself, the more surplus you will have for others. If you need a luxurious house, an expensive Mercedes Benz, and designer clothes, you’ll then need to put enormous effort into finding something you can still experience as special. But if you also like to drive a used car, go shopping for clothes at second-hand stores, buy food from the supermarket, and occasionally sleep in the car instead of a hotel room, then there is also something left for others.

Everyone has some things they consider particularly important. For me, it’s moving fast in a car or on a motorbike. If you fulfill a few of your own wishes—the ones you find particularly important—you’ll easily come into a state of surplus where you can do all sorts of things. This is my advice. To become a big consumer is really not a goal—that I can tell you. You’ll just end up around snobs and difficult people, and you’ll be bored all the time.