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Sufficiency and Spiritual Practice

Money is neither god nor devil,

but a form of energy.

Like love or fear,

it can serve you or bind you,

depending upon how you manage it.

By clarifying your goals

and using your gifts,

you can make good money,

doing what you enjoy,

while serving

the highest calling of your soul.Using money wisely, and well,you share your material and spiritual wealth with the world.

Road Map: The Flow of Money

In the context of personal growth, money is more than a means of exchange or ready cash. Although most of us have experienced periods of financial scarcity, our relationship to money reflects our relationship to energy and service and spirit, our ability to function in society, our openness to pleasure and abundance, our reality check. Money mirrors the quality of our interactions with other people, our ability to receive and to give. Money represents survival, security, safety, shelter, food, family, livelihood.

More complex, it turns out, than balancing your checkbook.

If spiritual life begins on the ground, money forms a foundation on which to build. Shivapuri Baba, an Indian Saint and yogi who walked around the world on a pilgrimage when he was nearly 120 years old, was once asked about the best way to begin a spiritual life. He advised, "first build a foundation—manage your money." (He had acquired a small bag of gems in his younger years, through hard work and simple living; he drew upon these gems as needed.)

Everyday Enlightenment by Dan Millman

Money in Everyday Life

Pam, a friend who read an early version of this manuscript, said, "I don't think that the chapter [in Everyday Enlightenment], Manage Your Money, is as important as the chapters about taming our mind or facing our fears—" Abruptly, she looked at her watch. "Oh, my gosh, look what time it is! The bank’s closing in ten minutes!" Wondering about why money was so important, Pam had to run to the bank.

On the way to the bank, Pam later told me that she realized how much of her time, thoughts, and attention revolved around money—paying the bills, balancing checkbooks, discussing costs of the room addition for their growing family. After the bank, she went food shopping, then stopped by the furniture store to check prices on a new bed for one of her children. All activities dealing with money. Like Pam, most of us have money concerns of one kind or another—striving to make more, or make do with less—learning to live simply, comfortably, spiritually.

Poor people may be forced to think about money a lot of the time, related to food, shelter, subsistence, and survival. Rich people may also think about money a lot of the time, related to status, travel, freedom, influence, and options. But managing your money does not depend upon becoming wealthy or declaring vows of poverty. Rather, it is about creating stability and sufficiency—a balanced flow of monetary energy through your life. This kind of management liberates you from survival issues, so that money concerns no longer occupy your mind or monopolize your attention. When money flows in, you spend it in a matter-of-fact way where it needs to go, where it will do the most good. You pay bills gladly, knowing that your money helps to support other people who in turn provide services for you. If something breaks, you write a check and get it fixed without further concern. Free from cycles of scarcity, your attention can ascend to higher levels of awareness and experience.

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Simple Principles for Sufficiency:

Live Below Your Means

Pay Yourself First

Earmark Your Money

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It is easy to get lost in the practical details of managing money and forget the higher purpose of this gateway: to provide a foundation for spiritual practice and to free your attention from the task of survival. Lynne Twist, co-founder of The Hunger Project, put it this way to Michael Toms on New Dimensions Radio:

Money is an inanimate object [but] we can assign to it a spiritual meaning and voice and power if we choose to, and give it some soul. Money doesn’t have any soul, but we do, and we’re the people through whom money flows and with which money speaks ... And when our spirit is unleashed, what’s unleashed is the prosperity of the soul, of the heart... and in that truth, the whole world belongs to you.

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Please click HERE to read the entire article, including an expansion of the "Simple Principles of Sufficiency"

Confused about money? About wealth? About the obligations of money and wealth? Please see Jesus' discourse on money and wealth HERE

163:2.11 Jesus never taught that it was wrong to have wealth. He required only the twelve and the seventy to dedicate all of their worldly possessions to the common cause. Even then, he provided for the profitable liquidation of their property, as in the case of the Apostle Matthew. Jesus many times advised his well-to-do disciples as he taught the rich man of Rome. The Master regarded the wise investment of excess earnings as a legitimate form of insurance against future and unavoidable adversity. When the apostolic treasury was overflowing, Judas put funds on deposit to be used subsequently when they might suffer greatly from a diminution of income. This Judas did after consultation with Andrew. Jesus never personally had anything to do with the apostolic finances except in the disbursement of alms. But there was one economic abuse which he many times condemned, and that was the unfair exploitation of the weak, unlearned, and less fortunate of men by their strong, keen, and more intelligent fellows. Jesus declared that such inhuman treatment of men, women, and children was incompatible with the ideals of the brotherhood of the kingdom of heaven.

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