Who says Making Money is not Spiritual?


Spirituality, simply, is the flowering of inner awareness. When there is awareness, when you are awake, everything is spiritual _ including making money!

 

One of the most preposterous myths we psyche ourselves into believing is that making money is not spiritual. If being happy is spiritual, so is being wealthy. If seeking bliss is a honorable pursuit, so is seeking money.

 

The problem arises when we confuse the pursuit of wealth creation as the purpose of our creation. Money is a good, useful invention. And therefore must be used. It is when we cling to the money we have or crave for the money that we don’t have, which is, when we get used by money, that we suffer! We deny ourselves the opportunity to live fully, meaningfully, when we get addicted to making money and we are struck by avarice. Or when we don’t make or have enough money and when we look at those who have and either feel jealous of them or pine for more for ourselves.

To understand the Power of Money, recognize that it is but a cog in the wheel of Life and not Life in its entirety. The cog is important for the wheel to turn smoothly. In its absence, the wheel will still function, albeit struggling. That only means we must slow down the wheel and not waste energies trying to rue why we are without this cog called money. That’s scarcity thinking. Abundance thinking means that so many important cogs in the wheel of Life are working just great: health, family and career, for instance.

 

The other way to leverage the potential of money is to use some of whatever we have to share and to enrich another person’s Life. Half the world’s population goes hungry without even one square meal daily. This is no longer a problem if the other half recognizes that all they have to do is to feed one hungry person one meal a day. However broke we may be, if we can read this post, it means we have the ability to feed one hungry person in our circle of influence today. And every single day. So, seek money by all means. But make the pursuit meaningful by undertaking to feed another daily. And watch how your own Life transforms from pining for money, or feeling insecure about it, to being blissful about wanting it not just for yourself but to make our world a better place.

Be aware therefore of money’s incredible potential to make Life simpler, but don’t let it come in the way of your happiness. Money can enable and it can cripple. Money can attract and it can distract. Be conscious of its power to make or mar you. Then, you will be perpetually rich with happiness__something which no money can buy!


Don’t let your money matter more than you!

Employ money to make your Life comfortable. Don’t let it enslave you!
This morning’s papers had a shocking story of girl from Kochi suing her father for gifting her ‘fake jewelry’ at her wedding. It’s yet another instance of how money keeps us from being human! It got me thinking.
Money is important. No doubt. It can buy you many things that will make your Life simpler and comfortable. But letting money buy over your peace of mind is hara-kiri.
Our entire attitude to Life has become money-oriented. Life decisions are being taken basis whether it can help make or save money. Not basis whether it can give you joy! Another dimension worth considering is that you can never say what people want of you. Do they want you and respect you for what you really are? Or do they want your money and respect how much of it you have? So, when money, which anyway is impermanent, stops coming your way, you suddenly discover that your durbar has dispersed. People don’t want you anymore. Because you don’t have what they want with you. You feel lonely, unwanted and unhappy. That’s when your big realization happens. That money is just a means. It must not dominate your Life, your emotions or your actions. Instead if you let happiness dominate your Life, emotions and actions, you will still make money. More important, you will then know how to use it!
I remember the movie Forrest Gump, which has a very relevant line that Gump says: “Don’t own nothin’ if you can help it. If you can, rent your shoes.” This whole desire to amass more and more in the hope that we will be secure and happy makes us slaves of a lifestyle we have long stopped enjoying. It fills our lives with grief every time something goes wrong with our Life __ as it often will and does! You lose your job or an important business contract and you imagine it is the end of the road. You plunge into depression. Or you lose your sanity over trying to protect what wasn’t worth protecting at all in the first place. I love LAMY pens. And I collect them as well, besides using them. A few years ago, when on a flight, I lost my favorite blue LAMY pen. For weeks I agonized over it. I felt a part of me was lost. I hunted high and low for one in India. At that time, Indian stationers did not retail LAMYs. And so I couldn’t find one in India. Years after this incident, my Firm went bankrupt and we entered a phase of complete pennilessness. One day, while practicing my daily silence period, it suddenly struck me how stupid I had been in agonizing over the loss of a pen, when in reality, my family and I had lost everything material __ all our money, all assets. And what remained was just us and our love for each other! It was a beautiful moment of awakening. The light that appeared in that moment continues to drench my Life with its brilliance!
Azim Premji: Keeper not Owner
A recent issue of Forbes India has Azim Premji, one of the wealthiest Indians, and chairman of Wipro, share his views about ‘employing’ his wealth to make a difference to others. His son Rishad, who works with Premji, both in the corporate and also on the board of Azim Premji Foundation, the Group’s philanthropy arm, says that they (the Premji family) are only keepers of the wealth (estimated to be $ 12 billion) and not its owners. “He’s (Azim Premji) always told us, ‘I am comfortable giving you something in Life but if you want anything above that, you have to earn it for yourself. The rest is meant to be given away, it is an obligation to give it away’,” says Rishad to Forbes India’s Mitu Jayashankar.
Important perspective that. You or I may not have the billions. We may be giving. Or we may plan to give. But the least you__and I__can do is to not grieve over money or let it enslave us. Let’s put it to good use __ to make our lives comfortable and to make a difference to someone else’s!


To avoid feeling miserable, avoid making assumptions about your Life!


To avoid feeling miserable about your Life, stop making assumptions about it. It is almost often the fear of how your Life will end up that cripples you and brings you suffering.
Think about it. We have been created to be able, yet we often become miserable. We fret and fume over our situations, our environments, our relationships, our jobs, our governments and so many, many other things! One of the reasons why we invite misery upon ourselves is we imagine a lot of scenarios that don’t exist. What we assume to be a worst case scenario never really happens. Yet we constantly fear it will and that fear debilitates us.
The other reason we are miserable is that we are all attached, particularly, with anything to do with money. Money is important, no doubt. It is fine as far as you are in possession of money. But if money has started possessing you, well, you certainly have a problem. The greatest wealth you can have is this Life. Intelligent living is the ability to employ discretion and to use money, to the extent one needs it, than be consumed by trying to protect it. Again, the truth is that everything that you__and I__need is provided for. Our needs never bring us agony. Our wants do. So, simply being happy, despite your circumstances, can make your misery vanish.
That is not to say that you will not face problems. You will. Such is the nature of Life. But when you understand that imagining something that has not happened yet, fearing it all the time, is what causes you misery, and you realize that money is impermanent, your ability to deal with the problems you are faced with improves substantially!
So, be present when Life is happening to you. Don’t cling on to anything. Don’t imagine stuff that hasn’t happened yet! Your misery will make way for peace and bliss!

Detachment is neither impractical nor impossible!


To stay detached is neither impractical nor impossible. 
You have heard of detachment before. You have been advised to stay detached too. Chances are you may have tried it and failed. Even the Bhagavad Gita’s profound teaching __ “Do your Duty while staying Detached from the Outcome”__ often times, while sounding beautiful, seems so, so difficult to internalize and implement. 
Well, it really is not so. 
 
Here’s a ‘Detachment for Dummies’ perspective. You may want to consider it.
First, just give up trying to evaluate every opportunity in Life on the basis of money. Making money is not a bad idea. But recognize that money can only buy things. It can make Life comfortable. But it can’t ever make Life meaningful. 
Second, simplify Life. Give away anything that you have not used in six months except your passport and important documentation! 
Third, every day, forgive three people who come into your life who will not matter three weeks from now. 
Fourth, every now and then, forgive yourself for the poor decisions you took, the sad choices you made and for any of your irreverent and irresponsible actions. 
Finally, understand the impermanency of Life and money. Our biggest tragedy is we love things and use people. We love (and stay attached to) things that money can buy and use people (to make that money)! Flip that paradigm: love people and use things. And when you love people know that they too will be gone, someday, because Life is such __ impermanent! 
Detachment for Dummies
 Really, intelligent living is about doing what you can do best and staying calm, accepting whatever comes your way. Because try as hard as you may, you really can’t stop the course that Life takes. All of our frustration comes because we want to control Life. Nothing can be more absurd. More stupid. It is like trying to squeeze water in your palm! When we can’t control our own lives, how can we control the lives of others in our circle of influence? Yet, we expect people to behave in a manner that we desire, we expect Life to give us what we want and at those times, when neither happens, we bury ourselves in self-vested, ruinous emotions.
Countering this tendency is what detachment is all about. Detachment is not a difficult word nor is it impossible to practice. It simply means:
1. Exercise your right to righteous action and don’t crave for or worry about the outcomes.
2. Own the outcome of whatever you think and do, but don’t get burdened by it.
3. Love people. Forgive people. Let them go when they must!
This way, you may win some, lose some, but you will always be blissful, ever be detached and never be miserable!