Category Archives: sacred work

Can Giving a Gift Land You in Debt?

GiftThe custom of gift-giving is one that is missing in the United States, even as we prepare to celebrate Christmas. Why? Gift-giving in other cultures does not stem from a capitalistic commercialism, but rather from the spiritual interaction between a gift giver and a recipient. It has less to do with what you give, and more to do with how you give and to whom you give. It is a practice of cultivating a generosity of spirit that includes rightful action to a community.

Dana

In Buddhist philosophy, dana was the spiritual practice of giving that helped to reduce the imperfection of greed in a person and improve their karmic score. Hindus give dana and have very elaborate rituals over what type of gifts will produce what type of karmic benefits. Give a gift of sesame seed to a temple and you get a karmic bonus of fertility. Beyond giving a gift, the recipient also has certain obligations. They must respect the act of the giving as a sacred act, just as the recipient offers it in that same attitude. If the gift is not respected, it is said to lead to the downfall of both the giver and the recipient. Also, giving certain types of gifts actually boomerang on you karmically, rather than raising your karmic score.

It is also suggested that you should not give gifts to people who are not in your spiritual lineage. Some traditions say certain people can only receive gifts. I’ve even heard of other teachings where women must always give, but never take. In Hindu gift-giving one should try to seek out Brahmins to gift as the act is considered “rightful giving” and reaps many spiritual benefits, unlike giving to someone who uses the gift but returns no spiritual teachings to a community. Obviously, I’m not here to argue over whether these traditions are correct or not. I am just suggesting that the act of giving is intrinsic to spiritual wealth, but it comes with some responsibilities. It also has to do with why so many people land into debt.

Generosity

There are supposedly five stages in the Buddist practice of dana. In the conditional giving stage, you give something because you expect something in return. That is not considered bad, but merely somewhat ignorant. You are expected to do this practice until you can give without expecting anything in return. In America, this amounts to our ideal of “earning one’s wage” or even a fair business transaction. It is tied into our beliefs about integrity and work. We expect that everything we work at will yield some result. However, that’s just not realistic. There are plenty of hard workers that never get the fruits of their labor, for various reasons. I am not about to dump more on them to suggest that they have bad karma either. There are plenty of people who give of their time and efforts working for companies that destroy our environment, steal from people with usurious interest rates, and generally have unethical business practices. And, they make a fortune at it while they’re doing it. I’m not going to suggest they are due bad karma either for doing it. For one thing, this type of teaching has no effect on people who willfully sow bad seeds and it does nothing to help those that have sown good seed, but failed to reap a harvest. Thus, for me at least, gift-giving is not about bettering my karmic odds at all.

Maybe I’m a Miser

I admit that I have no patience for a consumerist Christmas, whether it is giving out tons of presents or sending out Christmas cards. The earth is not going to jump up and down for joy because several forests were decimated over the practice of giving out Christmas cards. I don’t like the unspoken obligation that stems from our puritanical roots that when you get a gift, you’re supposed to give one in return. For one thing, some families have no understanding that the annual Christmas-giving frenzy is a horror for single individuals, with or without children. One family of four (a couple and two children) can give one present of high worth to one individual, but the expectation is that that individual should give back four presents of similar worth each because “the kids are too little to give.” This is despite the economic inequality of that family earning twice as much as the individual that is now responsible for four “gifts” of similar value. In a commercial and “equitable” way of looking at things, the gift recipient is a miser for not giving gifts to everyone on Christmas of similar worth. In a spiritual sense, the GIVER is the one committing a sin against the sacred act of gift-giving. Regardless, that gift-giving act then becomes something that puts both people in debt. The kindest thing one can do then is to opt out of this madness.

Proper Gift-Giving

Do I know what the proper way is to give a gift or receive one? I really don’t think our American culture has an inkling about that. It is something we need to learn from Asian or other similar gift-giving cultures. I know that I have plenty to learn in this area. For one, I have learned over the years that it is not proper to give for altruistic reasons alone. One MUST consider how the gift will be used and who is getting it. I suppose that’s rather judgmental of me, but I consider a gift given to a stranger of far more value than one given to someone who will feel obligated to return something to me. I consider my time at work a gift and that means that sometimes I don’t give as freely in some projects that I consider will produce a negative community result or uphold ideals that will bring down the company or harm others – despite them being framed in altruistic terms. On the other hand, sometimes I give way more than is expected because I know it will be of benefit to others, even when it is framed in commercial terms. In this respect, I do not believe giving one’s life in a fruitless war is appropriate gift-giving unless it is to defend a nation’s peoples. Similarly, some people who work in companies that are unethical are there to plant good seeds in a field full of thorns. You really can’t tell the wheat from the tares until it’s time for the harvest. You might think that an individual or company that gives lots of money to a specific cause is generous and altruistic, but later you find out that they are trying to “greenwash” themselves to fool buyers into trusting their brand. They may give with the right hand a little and take back way more with the left hand – causing tremendous damage to the community all for the sake of hidden greed.

For instance, the IMF has been accused of giving loans to struggling countries only to later use those loans to bankrupt and take over an area. This trickles down to farmers losing needed credit to farm their lands and losing a heritage that might have been in their family for generations. The bank takes the lands and it is not even worked or harvested. It is used to amass wealth and control territory and gain political power by buying politicians. That same land may end up being “gifted” to people in support of the corrupt political system as a thank you for their support. This is a prime example of gift-giving at its worst and the giver and the recipient land both in debt. Ultimately, I think that if we figure out the proper attitude towards gift-giving we may be able to heal what is wrong with our capitalistic system. After all, how many experts have said for years that we are headed for a “gift economy”? Yet, we still have no idea what the proper way is to give and take in a responsible fashion that does not harm others and creates abundance for the community.

How a Person of Integrity Gives a Gift

These five are a person of integrity’s gifts. Which five? A person of integrity gives a gift with a sense of conviction. A person of integrity gives a gift attentively. A person of integrity gives a gift in season. A person of integrity gives a gift with an empathetic heart. A person of integrity gives a gift without adversely affecting himself or others. – http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka/an/an05/an05.148.than.html

*This is the first part in a series I am going to be doing on gift-giving and the gift economy.

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Who is in charge?

DSC00076-protest-wikileaksWe live in interesting times, and right now the rule of leadership is unraveling before our eyes. I am going to take a side-step here to notice some of the belief systems about jobs from a social perspective and then get back to how you can create your own job. It’s important to have a sense of humor about what is going on in the world, since much of what is happening is interrelated, but we just tend not to notice. So, get set to dive into some pretty wacky territory when I start talking about the concept of a boss. Remember that if you want a job, in the traditional sense, you are also saying you want a boss. Implied in your search for a job is the ideal of authority, contracts, and rules. However, something very strange is happening, and right now, it may not be the best time to want to be an employee nor a boss.

Leadership

The past’s ideals of leadership have become a true modern nightmare. While it is true that there is a certain amount of cooperation we need to feed and organize our societies, there is a difference between distributed leadership and hierarchical leadership models. The ideal of centralized authority took hold, even in jobs, and hierarchy was born which worked well for a while. There’s nothing wrong with centralized forms of organization, however, it is when they control the resources instead of merely managing them that they become mini-dictatorships. Think about any centralized board right now that was set up initially to just manage something, and you see gross abuses of power because of the power abdicated by members to these centralized boards. We get mad at banks for foreclosing but many seem to agree when homeowners’ associations do the same thing. Even if you don’t have a homeowners’ association you can still get sent to jail if a local city government does not like you growing vegetables in your front yard.  Workers in France have gotten so fed up with leadership abuses they’ve taken to kidnapping their bosses and threatening to blow up factories! Companies still want the same level of commitment and loyalty from their worker’s but they do not want to reciprocate in wages or benefits. Many companies will drop health benefits for their employees and pay the fine to the government rather than add mandated healthcare to their employee roster. Thus, a job is no longer what we once thought it was. It is no longer defined by a 40 hour work-week, compensation for good work, benefits, or even security. Instead, it is being completely defined by ideals of leadership and authority, which are crumbling left and right. As Facebook poster Mike Winters suggests, “it should not be amazing in a country where a woman can be involved in the murder of her 2 yr old and get away with it…this woman [with the vegetable garden in her front lawn] will probably get time in jail while casey anthony goes free…the world is all screwed up in it’s thinking.”

We Need Social Leadership Models

There is a paradox in business right now. Management is actively trying to recruit employee participation, but the only thing left in their arsenal of persuasive skills is the word “job.” Jobs are scarce, right? Maybe they are not so scarce,  instead think of scared. Jobs and bosses, in terms of authority and leadership, are scared. Large companies that they thought were rock-solid have vanished into Wall Street dust. What’s left of other companies is being scavenged by the corporate government and con artists. People in other countries are rising up and taking back their own industries. It’s not a good time to be a boss. The incentives used to motivate good behavior have disappeared. The incentives for bad behavior have increased and the penalties are almost non-existent. What’s left are organizations where bosses instill insecurity so they can control their resources (employees) better hoping to make them more scared than they are. They are hoping to keep them from doing the inevitable in such a situation. However, the paradox is that this tactic never ever gets participation, it instead triggers revolution or complete non-participation and their subsequent demise. Positive participation only happens when both sides have something to gain by cooperating, in which case it is no longer a boss/employee relationship, it is more of a relationship between equals. I bet that the Founding Fathers understood that principle quite well.

It’s All About Jobs…

painting dayPresident Obama recently had a Twitter forum on jobs and the economy. Anyone from the Interverse could log in and ask the President a question and he would reply. Did it create a job for anyone? Can the President of the United States create jobs? If we believe that You Create Your Own Reality YCYOR philosophy, no one can create a job for anyone else, no matter how politically powerful. The job must be something the person creates for themselves and also loses for themselves when the appropriate time comes. Yes, people do get fired and laid off, but the YCYOR philosophy states that underlying that movement is a greater subconscious movement of learning that instigated that person to fire or lay you off in cooperation with your own personal choices. There are no victims, there are only volunteers. So, the question is not how do we create jobs, it’s how do I create the job that I want, regardless of the economy or political forces?

People Want to Know

I am not a job counselor. I can’t tell you that crafting your resume in a certain way will get you to the top of the pile. I won’t have any advice on what to wear to your interview or what to say once you are there. I do train people for added skills that can get them into other jobs, but again, it is up to the individual how much they learn and how they apply those skills. Yet, despite this, I can’t tell you how many people have asked me how to get a job or at least work like freelance writing that can give them sources of income. The answer I give them is something they don’t expect. You don’t look for a job, you create it. Then, they want to know how to create a job. The answer again is not that simple. You can have 20 years of experience in Information Technology (IT) and I still won’t recommend that you go out and wallpaper IT companies with your resume. It’s a pointless approach because you still haven’t addressed the reason you don’t have a job. Do you know why you don’t have a job? Odds are, you don’t. The reason you don’t have a job is because (and please don’t shoot the messenger) you haven’t aligned your energies properly to create your new job – it has little to do with the economy or the President. Your job only appears when all your energies are properly aligned. If you hate IT and you are convinced you can’t get another well-paying job in any other profession, you keep engaging behaviors to try to get a job in a field you don’t even want to be in, consciously and subconsciously. You keep bidding on IT jobs and the likelihood of generating another IT job is minimal until you find that you appreciate your IT skills more and that choice more. This is not all conscious reasoning, unfortunately. The higher Self has an agenda and it may want you to go somewhere else, but you are so focused on one path that you don’t listen to what your inner guidance says, and you lose opportunities.

Start with Your Life Intent

One woman who asked me for advice wanted to know why she couldn’t get another retail job as hard as she tried and with the experience she had. I told her it was because she had constantly told me how much she hated retail work and it most likely did not align with her life intent. People forget they are here to realize an intention and the more you uncover about your life intention, the more you work in alignment with the higher Self goals. I gave her an exercise that I had received from my own teachers to discover her life intent. It’s simple.

  1. Review your life from your first memory to now – not just your previous jobs.
  2. Find a common theme throughout ALL your experiences.
  3. What do you think you are attempting to learn or do via these experiences?

That’s your life intent and that is also your point of power. That’s where your next job lies. For this woman, she said all her experiences dealt with many different people in a specific function and role. All the time. Yet, that role was not available in retail. The only thing that matched about her life intent in retail was the fact that she was interactive with many different people, a part of her intent but not the whole story. So, we discussed other jobs that might suit her life intent more, she went and applied for them and within a week she was employed again at better pay and in a position she actually wanted. Why? She consciously went out and created that job in alignment with her higher Self goals and the Spirit said, “Now, that’s what I’m talking about!” You may find that your ideal job is not what you had before or even previously envisioned, but there is no doubt that everyone has the ability to create their own job, as long as they are in alignment with their Higher Self. It may not be as simple a skill as posting your resume on Monster.com, but it is a skill that will get you at least moving in the right direction. It is not the only step towards creating a job, but it is definitely the first step.

Continue to Part II

The Inception Labyrinth

plasticine labyrinthI’m always the last person who watches a movie, so I hope nothing I reveal here is going to spoil it for anyone else. I am going to discuss it in detail, so if you haven’t watched it yet, you need to skip this blog post (spoiler alert). While it has nothing to do with finances, it has a great deal to do with how you create your reality. There are numerous theories about what Inception is all about, and they all come from the view of a person who believes they are awake in real life and dreaming when they sleep. That’s the wrong viewpoint, in my opinion. The way to really see deeply about what Inception is showing us is to view it as a lucid dreamer who already has an idea of what should and shouldn’t occur in a lucid dream, which is essentially what Inception is. It’s for those people who wish they were awake in their dreams, but never really got that far. Me, I used to dream this way repeatedly, so I’m going to venture to use this viewpoint to explain the dream. While it’s important to know whose dream you’re in to understand the dream, the real message is that it doesn’t matter whose dream it is. It only matters how well you see through the labyrinth.

Why a Round Laybrinth?

The scene where Cobb is testing Ariadne to see if she can be a good architect is pivotal. She tries a standard square maze a couple of times and it’s easily solvable by Cobb. Then, she builds a labyrinth and suddenly, he’s impressed. Is it coincidence that Ariadne’s namesake in Greek mythology is the daughter of King Minos, owner of the labyrinth where the minotaur lived? That Ariadne helped Theseus escape the labyrinth using a ball of thread and a sword. The labyrinth, like the mandala, has always stood for a symbol of Divine Self in a journey of self-discovery, the torturous path of the ego towards the God within. But, instead of finding center, here we’re trying to escape the labyrinth, which is clearly impossible from the viewpoint of the dreamer since only the Architect knows the grand design. To escape the laybrinth, one has to be aware the Divine Self created it in the first place.

Which Way is Up?

Another great technique in the movie, of which there were many, was the use of elevators, mirrors, and staircases to try to fiddle with our sense of perception or direction. A dreamer is tethered by gravity, so that up is always away from ground. But, for the Architect, there is no up, down, left, or right. That would never work in a round labyrinth. It would only be highly confusing. There is only in or out. What is within me and what is without, which obviously is a gray matter anyways. Now, I’m going to quibble with the film a bit, simply as someone that knows what would work in a lucid dream for an experienced dreamer and what was completely bogus. Most of these had to do with these elements used to warp our sense of perception.

  • Elevators – Completely laughable, creating gravity by falling was even more so. Gravity doesn’t exist in dreams, only the dreamers create that one, and it’s not done via elevators. That would be like using an atomic bomb to kill a fly. It’s simply ridiculous and too much work, and quite destructive of a lot of energy. It clearly indicates that if they’re trying to fiddle with gravity using elevators that they’re not just asleep, but stupidly asleep. However, it does a good job of screwing with a dreamers sense of direction, so in essence it is Christopher Nolan’s visual kick for the audience. For me, it was simply boring and I couldn’t wait for that ridiculous scene to be over. It worked quite the opposite for me. Instead of kicking me out of my current perception, it made me feel like I was falling asleep and had to be dreaming for it to be so obviously silly. Too much work!
  • Mirrors – Ariadne starts to learn how to create a dream world and starts to fiddle with mirrors. Mirrors are classic devices in lucid dreams, yet here they are showing up as a reflection of an existing world, right down to the minutest detail, just like they work in real life. It works so well, in fact, that Cobb warns Ariadne after he says he recognizes a place she’s created in a mirror that he knows, that she should never build dream worlds of places she knows as it is confusing and the implication is you’d get lost in your dreams. Ha, ha. Very funny! Must be why mirrors never show the exact duplicate of a real reflection in a dream world when you stare at them long enough. Besides, she breaks the mirror instead of stepping through it. A really dumb beginner’s mistake. Only someone who is still convinced they are awake while dreaming would do such a stupid thing. For one thing, mirrors are hard to conjure up and once you do, they are very valuable. You’d never just break it. For another, it shows you still believe that there is a real world and it’s the one that you’re currently perceiving. There is no in/out direction for you. It’s all out. That’s why it never occurs to her to walk into the mirror. Your world is only what you make it, and whether it’s from prior memories or not, it makes no difference. You’re still quite lost in the dream.
  • Staircases – The Escher-like staircases that go into infinity were clever only because they were a visual way to defy the sense of direction in many ways. Were they going up or down? If they were going down, how can they get someone who is running away, down the staircase? Maybe they are going in or out? You can’t tell because they are rectangular, not circular.
  • Falling Off Bridge – Here the directions have been deliberately reveresed. Falling off a bridge, falling down, is now going to take people UP through the dream levels when they reach bottom. So, can we really say that we’re on a certain ground level or are they all existing at one time, as the movie insinuates? If they do all exist at the same time, then why do we perceive up as a north and down as south relative to how we stand? If falling down on the second level is above the third level, then it is up, isn’t it? Maybe it is both?

Who Are All Those People?

Finally, I loved the explanation of why the people start to chase you in a lucid dream. Your subconscious has problems with your waking ego being present there and acts as a guardian of the dream world, and sees awakening you as a virus in the sleeping dream world that needs to be attacked. Something to that effect, anyways. Yet, all the attackers are no one other than you. In actuality, all the people in the dreams are projections of you. There is no outside them. Everything is a reflection of you in the grand multiverse, but their mission is to kick you back to reality. By this time, you may have figured out that it may just be another level of dream world. The problem is not whether the multiverse exists, as it most certainly does within every dreamer’s mind, the thing is when do all these others integrate back to Self and what happens then? What made them splinter off in the first place? Does the dance stop, does time stand still, but the dance goes on from another level? Are there truly physical guardians standing ready to make sure you don’t awaken on this level before it’s time? Does that mean they are more awake then us so they can keep us asleep? Why send out disinformation about what can’t and can be done in a dream? It’s almost as if someone is trying to influence us into believing that our dreams are limited and it all depends on whose dream you’re in whether you can escape it or not. Even when we think we’ve awakened, we’re still on another level of the same game and meanwhile, the guardians smirk at us. They had us sleeping soundly so we never even knew there was another level to the dream. It never occurred to us, but now some of us know there is. So, to keep us asleep they have to define the rules of the game and get us to believe them. Otherwise, we might awaken and for some reason, their mission is to make sure we remain asleep. Why? I’m sure if we knew the answer to that one, we’d be expelled from the game forever.

There is much, much more I’d like to discuss from the totem (another silly device, but has great metaphorical meaning) to the shapeshifting, which only one person in the movie exhibited, and for good reason. It would make people start to wonder why that person can change everything they look like, and yet if everyone has that power, they should simply heal the bullet wound, sprout metaphoric wings to fly, or become invisible so no one sees them in the dream. I mean, once you are in total control of your dream aspect, why do you need elevators, right? What is death, right? They then might ask themselves why it’s not possible in real life to change everything too, simply through being awake in the dream and that would kill the illusion that what you’re viewing on the movie screen has anything to do with waking up or reality.

If you opt to try to solve the labyrinth though intellect instead of insight, you find yourself going deeper and deeper. It may be towards a fake notion of reality or it might end up into a different perspective. It will be somewhere you haven’t been before. However, as the ultimate Architect of your own dream, you find the maze follows you wherever you go. There is only ambiguity and new openings or doorways until you finally exhaust all possibilities and the mind should then still long enough to find the insight in the movie meant for you alone.

Finding Our Inspiration

Vancouver B.C. - Stanley Park's Painters Circle "Yuri Gordon"My productivity is taking a dive, as obvious as it is with this blog that seems to be really haphazard now. I’ve been contemplating motivation for a long time. Many of us are motivated by money, since that’s important to having nice things in our lives.  Others are motivated by achievements. Still others by security. Entrepreneurs can be motivated by the first two and then also the thrill of risk, not security. Much of what we  value depends on where we find ourselves in life, and what motivates us. I thought maybe I wanted more security and so I got a part-time job. That’s really been helpful for sorting out my feelings about where I want my life to go, now that my daughter is all grown up and that part of my motivation is waning. I feel a sense of curiosity about my world and my surroundings that I haven’t in a while, and I realize that curiosity is always what gets me in trouble, but seems to be part of my main intent in life.

Are You Bored of the Same Old?

I do a lot of online reading in social networks, blogs, newspapers, and books. I have a very quick mind, but often that can lead to boredom.  I enjoy tasks that are both left and right-brained at the same time, and I realize that much of that is because I get bored otherwise. Online teaching marries both of those and I enjoy it a lot, but now I’m actually feeling something strange: a desire to build my own courses. It’s almost as bad as the feeling of wanting to write another book. These things are like giving birth to babies who are dependent on you to sustain them for many years, and because of my financial situation, it’s a high risk for me. I need some stability to pay back debts and yet, I’m having the rather overwhelming desire to be productive in an area that, frankly, won’t return anything for years, if at all.

If I Were Smart?

I’m studying new markets for freelance writing right now. There are some areas that I could obviously make money on if I wanted to write sex novels or fear mongering articles. Problem is that I don’t want to do those things, and I often wonder when the heck people will get tired of all that anyways. I mean isn’t there enough of that in the market to saturate it? What the heck is so appealing about it? Why is it that people get hooked on stuff like that but positive stuff doesn’t have an addicting quality? That’s when I realized that therein lies the root problem of my lack of motivation lately. The social norms right now are extremely unappealing to me. I want beauty, riches, happiness, and positivity in my life. That other stuff may sell, but at what price? All that outer stuff is having the opposite effect on my creativity and inspiration, instead of motivating me it makes me want to put down my pen, so to speak, and remain silent. Now, I understand why I took all those years to nurture and cultivate an inner connection to Spirit, realizing it wasn’t producing a single dollar bill and sometimes heavily indebting myself in other areas of my life. It’s the only place I find inspiration and hope.

Finding My Inner Inspiration

The inner me is what gives me my Source of inspiration and the trick to actually getting it out of me and multiplying my inner world is probably my key to spirit wealth.  Yes, it has no dollar value.  It does increase my joy in my daily actions.  However, something occurred to me more. It also inspires others and helps people to cooperate in innovation by producing a better vision of the world around us and claiming it Now.  It’s a way of manifesting a powerful world vision that can go “viral” and infect others as we bring things out of the hidden resources into the light of conscious reality. Isn’t that what all great art is about?

Do you care?

Broken WindowWhen someone comes into our lives for a season, sometimes you get far more from them than what they take. That was the case with Sergio, a Hispanic boarder who spent five months in my home. I’ve spent a lot of time in contemplation over Sergio, after he left, and now I’m ready to tell you what I learned most from Sergio. I learned I care. However, it’s not the type of personal caring you might be thinking of, no it’s something quite unusual that I never noticed until I saw it manifested in Sergio’s every move within my household. You see, I didn’t understand it at first, but Sergio cares. About me? Not so much. I think he cares about life, and that’s what truly puzzled me.

Taking Time To Notice And Heal The Past

You see, Sergio had some odd personal habits that I realized were to my advantage to emulate, but no one had ever modeled them for me. I explained to him when he first came into the household and he started discovering broken items hidden away in cupboards, closets, and sheds, that I knew they were broken. It pained me so much to be unable to fix them, that I hid them away rather than have to look at them. Then, I would forget about them, until something else broke. I attributed this behavior to a lack of money, but Sergio just shook his head and took it upon himself to start to clear out all my cupboards, my closets, my sheds, and one by one fix everything. The broken weed eater: Fixed. The broken pipe: Fixed. The broken washing machine: Fixed. Then, came the cleaning and re-organizing. My daughter said to me:  “Sergio’s obssesive-compulsive.” I told her in all seriousness that he was giving us a gift and that we should pay attention, appreciate it, and try to emulate these behaviors instead of criticizing them. However, I too was puzzled for a while.

Why Don’t We Do It Ourselves?

Finally, Sergio sat me down and asked me why I never did these things myself, and I told him the truth. I had no idea how to. No one had ever taught me to care. In the garden, for instance, I had tried to grow tomatoes the previous year and failed miserably. It wasn’t until he told me to be careful with the watering that I realized my mistake with all my vegetables: I had to water underneath the plant in the morning or in late afternoon instead of mid-day so as not to get water on the leaves and have them burned when the mid-day sun evaporated on them. No one ever told me that, until he came in. Instead, what made the most sense to me was that the plants were “thirsty” in the middle of the day when the sun was brightest, and they would be cooler if I sprayed them all over, thus effectively killing off all my vegetables. All I had to do was take more care, not earn more money or waste more water, and I found I produced more than enough to eat during the summer months.

The Spiritual Lesson Of Poverty

Where did Sergio learn all this? He grew up dirt poor in Mexico, the eldest of four children from a single mother who worked in a factory to support them. His grandparents had orchards to sustain them. However, he was so poor, his school backpack was his mother’s worn out purses and he had no shoes. From this life of what we consider extreme poverty in the US, he learned to care for each and every little thing in his life. He learned to appreciate it and make it last. He learned to fix it, when it broke. I can’t help but think that this is what is missing in our American culture. We’ve forgotten how to care in the same way that Sergio cares. Millions of Americans are facing hard financial times. Instead of cursing the darkness, let’s look at how we can care more about our lives. If we would open our hearts and look at everything from the smallest blade of grass to the large houses we live in, and really care in a deep and intimate way that respects all of life, I’m sure even a lack of money would be no obstacle to creating a life of pure joy and perfection.

Magnifying Your Manifestation Powers Through Purity

angelMedicines that are pure are more powerful and act more quickly on the system than those that are impure. In the same way, if you are trying to use the power of consciousness to manifest things in your life, you have to pay attention to purity. This has come to my attention more as I realize that most of the things that spiritual traditions advocate for their followers is a measure of raising consciousness through raising purity. So, they ask people to stop doing drugs, stop drinking alcohol, stop gambling, deceit, etc. These are all impurities that affect how well you manifest and what things you manifest in your life. It seems common sense, but these days, purity is a four letter word and no one wants to be told that you can’t sleep around with everyone and expect not to catch something, you can’t use drugs and not expect to develop addictive tendencies, and you can’t pollute your body with smoke, food, or drink that is bound to weaken the immune system. How can we be pure when every bit of our society tells us to let it all go and there are no consequences? There may be no consequences on a physical level for a very long time, but then one day you reach that tipping point and there’s no going back to what you had before. However, if you live a pure life, the effect tends to be protective in your emotional, psychological, and physical systems. It has a cumulative effect of protecting your consciousness from things that will eventually lead to confusion and an inability to create what you want in your life.

Here are some ways to purify your life so that your consciousness can create with laser-like power and precision:

  • Reduce the amount of meat, alcohol, sugar, and caffeine in your life.
  • Wear bright colors that uplift your spirit, in particular, purple has a very high vibration and is excellent for purification of the environment.
  • Indulge less in sex or even try periods of celibacy. It’s said that celibacy is the the elevator lift to higher states of consciousness that increase your power of manifestation.
  • Refrain from gossip and slandering talk.
  • Meditate more and seek to clear your mind and emotional state from discordant thoughts.
  • Read spiritually uplifting materials.
  • Volunteer for service to help some organization or someone.
  • Always seek to see the Divine in everyone.
  • Stop watching television or reading the news.

While you don’t have to be a saint to do any of these, many people find them nearly impossible to do. That’s because self-gratification is so rampant in our society that we are also pulling against the norm when we try some of these things. The more your practice, however, the more of a habit you develop and you can definitely increase the powers of manifestation much faster when you are within a pure state of being. If you are experiencing a very difficult obstacle that has failed to shift and you are using the power of consciousness and self-development to shift your reality, seek purity in your life – whether it is through your diet, your habits, or your spiritual practices. You will find that what was difficult before becomes a simple stepping stone for you to bypass many problems in your life with a simple act of self-control.

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