In my twenties, I used to lament the fact that I had been diagnosed with a mental illness and I couldn’t understand why the universe had cursed me with such a traumatic condition. Since childhood, I always knew that my brain was different than my friends’ and families’ brains but being diagnosed was too much.
As I matured, I continued to struggle with acceptance and coming to terms with a life-long challenge that wasn’t going to go into spontaneous remission (though at times I thought I’d spontaneously combust). Now, instead of lamenting on what I can’t be like, I focus on as much of the positive aspects of my life – both past and – present and I look forward to what’s yet to come.
Every day, I try to think about what the universe has given me – a loving family, amazing friends, creative talents, a roof over my head and so on. I finally feel like the many traumas that I’ve endured over my lifetime have made me uniquely qualified to help other people in need. And, when I’m in a manic phase, it’s usually manageable and I’m a whole lot of fun!
No one has it easy but if we can keep our lights shining even if they’ve gone somewhat dim, with our human spirits we can endure so many things.
I’m a very big proponent on the positive aspects of work and business culture. We NEED to change our corporate system and instilling Buddhist and non-religious spiritual values can be a way to go. Here’s a link on a place to start and a quote from Chogyam Trungpa:
“Work is something real, just as much as spiritual practice. Work doesn’t have to have any extra meaning behind it, but it is spirituality in itself. Work doesn’t need another philosophical reinforcement. Maybe you think that you can’t relate to work unless you have a good philosophical reason, and without that, your work remains mechanical. In that case, you may be missing the point of spirituality altogether. Spirituality is not other than work, just to make the point clear. Work is spirituality, work is real—as much as anything else.”
Mindfulness and Money: The Buddhist Path to Abundance
by Kulananda and Dominic Houlder
Kulananda and Dominic Houlder are Buddhist teachers who have also been highly successful in the business arena. They have observed that one of the greatest causes of suffering the wealthy West is our love/hate relationship with our money: No matter how much we have, we don’t feel it is enough, or we fear losing it, or we mourn the way we are forced to earn it. In Mindfulness and Money, the authors use their Buddhist understanding, and the examples of others on the Buddhist path, to reveal the key to financial peace, whatever one’s income.
The root of suffering in our financial lives, Kulananda and Houlder say, is our desire to use money to make us feel complete, and the problem is that money cannot do that — in fact, nothing can. That sense of incompleteness is an indelible part of our human experience, and fighting it can cause us to live pinched, defensive, fearful money lives. Instead, Kulananda and Houlder offer us the Path of Abundance, which suggests practical strategies for countering our suffering. The Path is formed of five precepts — kindness, generosity, contentment, honesty, and awareness — which together teach us to earn and spend creatively: the key to living peacefully with money.
Mindfulness and Money lays out the Path of Abundance with practical wisdom, exercises, meditations, and real-life examples that speak to Buddhists and others alike. When we follow the Path, the authors promise, we not only avoid suffering about money; we also move closer to knowing who we really are, and we set ourselves free to live with our life’s true purpose.
Even if you’re not in business, you still have to realize that business is what runs our world. The sooner our countries take care of each other and promote healthy global economics through interconnectedness and community, the more successful our species and world will be.
I used to dread the concept of making money and believed in the delusion that the pursuit of money would lead to selfishness, greed and countered my Buddhist beliefs until I read Geshe Michael Roach’s Book “The Diamond Cutter: Managing Your Business and Your Life”. The book had a powerful effect on me as it merged Buddhist concepts of interconnection, financial health and helping people and our world. This was a mind-blowing revelation to me because now I could see money as an integral part of our lives and that it could not only make my life better but also my friends and loved ones.
The basic’s of Roach’s concepts are that by planting a seed in your mind for success in whatever endeavor you pursue, you can succeed if you also help a friend, family member or someone who has the same sort of goal for achievement. This takes the concept of thriving financially and materially to a new level where it’s not longer a selfish pursuit but one that can help people and the world around you.
Now I perceive making good money as a healthy and rewarding pursuit that will enable me to not only help those close to me but also aid me in growing my business. By making my wellness business thrive, I will in turn be able to help other people as well as being able to donate to great causes in the world.
For more info on Roach’s work, check out some Youtube videos and The Diamond Cutter Institute.