Part 1: Money and Spirituality – Giving More

woman-henna-painted-hands-close-up-young-showing-her-61354515As human beings we need to sustain ourselves and our lives. Everything is influenced by money through the job or business we have, the house we live in, a family to sustain, food to eat, dressing ourselves accordingly, holidays, gifts, workshops, books etc. And it even seeps into our spiritual life, as in fact our spiritual life and our mundane life are inseparable, and just a reflection of each other.

 

This is a broad theme into which we can dive from all angles (such as toxic money, dependency on money from someone else, self-worth, valueing oneself and others, money as a distraction, money as a drug), but let´s stick to one teaching from India for today.

 

I had the brilliant idea being here in India that I could donate 5% of my earnings from workshops and private sessions to people who have very little or plain nothing, living on the street, or wandering around in the mountains. So I started giving dedicatedly to the Babas for their strong will and dedication to God. Buying them lentils and rice, bringing them chai, giving them cash. Which made me feel very good about myself. Because I thought, these poor men don`t have anything, let me give them something.

 

Which sounds quite good from the outside, but by spending over a year with one of these old Babas here, who teaches me through his actions, not through words (because he only speaks Hindi and I only English), it totally struck me one day that I was doing complete nonsense! We went to the chai shop with me on top of the street and ordered us two chai, then gave the women owning the stall (having three children) the double amount for both chais.

 

PITYING OTHERS FOR HAVING LITTLE IS AN ILLNESS OF THE MIND it came to me. It´s like saying: ‘I have so much and you have so little, oh poor you!’ By doing this you put yourself in a position of power and the other person in a position of helplessness. Which produces more of the same, according to the Law of Attraction, one of the principle laws of the Universe. Energy flows where attention goes. There is no balance in that and the giving in this case does not come from the heart, but from the ego and a sense of self-gratification.

 

Furthermore, he showed me that my thinking was really twisted in that sense, because I gave a lot and almost every day to the Babas, but I was bargaining hard with every person on a chai shop if they wanted to charge me a few rupees extra, with the fruit vendors in the market (as I know the exact kilo prices by now) and the shop owners of the small stationary shops. Which in itself is also ok, because I want to pay what the real price is, and not be overcharged for being a Westerner…

Anne Haack _ Rishikesh- Baba

 

BUT, if I was truly so generous to spend 5% of my earnings to people in need, I should truly have my eyes wide open to SEE, who is desperately in need of these few 5 rupees extra and who might not need my alms (aka the Babas), because essentially they have chosen a path of renunciation, so why ask me for dinner even. Whereas the people, who are trying to earn their living by all means might simply have no other choice than to do what they do and ask for a few rupees more here and there, if the money they earned during the day is not enough to feed their children.

 

So then all of a sudden I realized, this very lady at the chai shop, who had always given me double the chai I asked for, but never charged me more for it, needed these extra 10 rupees for the chai. Whereas, some of the Babas I had bought food, didn´t even give worth to it, taking it for granted and then having it stolen by the monkeys.

 

So I changed my mindset around it, saying let me see if any of these Babas can actually manifest money themselves, and let me keep my eyes open in the daily exchanges in shops and small street stalls, where I can give more or buy more simply to support them.

 

So then my Baba and another quite funky old one started inviting me for chai, one time, two time, three time, magically producing their own little 10 rupee notes here and there. Having nothing else then two blankets and a cotton cloth to themselves, but the abundance to invite a Western lady for chai. I let go of the belief of them being poor, so they started being prosperous. Gotta love India for these lessons.

 

Since money obviously is such a deep dive theme, I might write a few more posts about it from a chakra, emotional and psychological perspective, as it goes down to the roots of our family, how our parents treated money, themselves and us in regard to it, which feelings it produced in us, and now influences us in the way we handle it. But let´s keep it at one lesson for today.

 

So, I invite you to have a close look at where you spend your money this week, on what and where you might be able to give more, because it´s needed and it´s supporting a small local business, and where you might not need to spend any money anymore, because it´s not supporting the right cause?

 

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