Those of you who have taken refuge with the Triple Jewel should know that whenever you live at a Way-place or a temple, you should not think you can get a good deal by not making a donation. Since you are a layperson, you ought to want to make offerings to the Triple Jewel no matter which Way-place you go to. You should make offerings to the Triple Jewel instead of letting the Triple Jewel support you. If you ask the Triple Jewel to make offerings to you, your lot will be more and more miserable in each successive life.
Why are some people noble and wealthy? They gained blessings from having made offerings to the Triple Jewel. Why are other people poor? They didn't make offerings to the Triple Jewel, and so they become poorer in life after life. People who have taken refuge with me should wish to make offerings to the Triple Jewel, no matter what Way-place you visit in the future.
... Chinese people like to wear small Buddha images for good luck and protection. Regardless of who you are, when you wear a Buddha image, the Buddha will protect you. However, you should donate some money and make an offering when you request a Buddha image. I'm trying to teach you that no matter how rich or poor you are, you should at least donate a little when you acquire a Buddha image. In fact, you ought to make offerings to the Triple Jewel even if there are no Buddha images. From now on, when you request Sutras, Buddhist books, Buddha images and other Buddhist items from a Way-place, you should make an offering. Do not think you are getting a bargain by not donating; you won't gain anything if you entertain that idea! You will not have merit and virtue if you don't make offerings. Thus, you should resolve to do so.
Venerable Master's Dharma Words
Cultivators should practice effortlessly, accumulating merit and good deeds without becoming attached to them.