Non-greed              (mental element 28, NGr)

Non-greed is like a drop of water on a lotus leaf that does not stick to the leaf. Its main characteristic is non-clinging. It is manifested as real happiness and real wealth.
Non-greed should not be understood merely as the absence of greed. It also should be understood as the opposite of greed and as the means by which we can get rid of greed. It is an active parameter. For example, mere absence of greed does not arouse generosity (the opposite of greed). However, it is due to non-greed that we become generous. Similarly, mere absence of greed does not arouse non-attachment to sensual pleasures (also the opposite of greed). But it is due to non-greed that we can shake off attachment to sensual pleasures and renounce objects of desire.

Likewise, non-greed is the reason behind the mental ability of reducing self-interest and serving selflessly. In this way, non-greed is the root cause for the arising of wholesome consciousness in which it is present. It has its own intrinsic nature.

How can we develop non-greed? The easiest way is to develop disinterest towards worldly and mundane things. This does not mean we should develop aversion for them. If we are greedy about food, for example, we can arouse non-greed by recollecting the impure, organic, earthly, and decaying nature of food. If we are lustful, we can arouse non-greed by recollecting the repulsive qualities of the human body (its excretions, hairiness, disease, and so on).

Another way to develop non-greed is not to take delight in pursuing materialistic goals and not to engage in sensuous activities or in sensuous and egoistic relationships. If you find it hard to develop disinterest in sensual objects due to your temperament, non-greed can be developed through an ascetic practice (deliberate abstinence). Aim to arouse strong will (wholesome desire), resolution, and vigor for this course of action. In advanced stages of practice, you will realize that non-greed is always present in an ascetic state of mind. You will also realize that along with elements of non-hatred and non-delusion, non-greed imparts the distinction of asceticism to any spiritual practice. 

A meditator practicing true asceticism soon realizes that he cannot succeed in refraining from sexual activity unless he develops non-greed for sensual pleasure, non-hatred for arisen sensual desire, and non-delusion about what is actually happening. However, if he forces himself to avoid sexual activity by torturing or mortifying his body, he realizes that he cannot succeed in attaining abstinence from sexual activity. The practice of non-greed does not require you to practice sexual abstinence. I am just using this as an example of one way to work on the development of non-greed when you are having difficulty.

Non-greed manifests as happiness as well as wealth. This statement may seem contradictory to those who think we can become wealthy only by being greedy.  Materialistically speaking, this may be true, but psychologically speaking, a greedy-wealthy man is not truly wealthy. His mind-consciousness is infested with poverty. A greedy-wealthy man hangs onto his money. He clings to it. For him, money simply becomes a number in an account book, which gives him a false sense of security and prosperity. No matter how big the number grows, real security and real prosperity never arise for him because the number itself is a cause of insecurity and fear of loss. Moreover, due to clinging to money, he becomes self-centered, corrupt, and thus poor.

No matter what, if greed is present in matters of wealth, sooner or later poverty consciousness arises and manifests as lack of self-esteem, worry, fear, corruption, cheating, lying, distrust, dishonesty, and so on. This is precisely why many greedy people have amassed considerable wealth and yet are still corrupt. When greed is present, there can never be enough. Many such people are extremely egotistical and live in constant fear of loss.

It is best to become wealthy by being non-greedy. In fact, this is the only way truly to become wealthy. A non-greedy wealthy man is not attached to money, therefore he develops the courage to take risks, invest, create, and expand his wealth. His non-attachment to money generates freedom for the flow of money, due to which it grows and benefits one and all. A non-greedy wealthy man becomes truly wealthy because his consciousness is imbued with courage, creativity, generosity, carefreeness, selflessness, and so on. Such a man becomes truly happy and wealthy because he reaps the fruits of non-greed.