In a recent email, I boldly approached the topic of Enlightenment & Prosperity, an obvious and simultaneously unlikely combination. It was my intent to create inquiry… because I am shameless at inviting the conversation of how enlightenment is sustainable in a modern world.
By nature I am controversial, not because I want to cause harm, but because I am designed to create awareness and conscious awakening on this planet and arguably, I believe you are too.
So this is what came into my inbox in response to the rise of enlightenment as a multi-billion dollar industry (respectively under the titles of meditation, yoga, and mindfulness):
“Anandi, there’s an elephant in the room……if so called “enlightenment” leads to prosperity, why then are some so called enlightened beings (and I don’t subsribe to a done deal in this regard at all, as in FINISHED and now I’m enlightened sort of thinking) why are some “gurus” so poor/NOT very prosperous?……ya know?….I’m in mystery here……..not trying to stir the pot, just really flummoxed”
By all means… STIR THE POT!!! If we are truly interested in Truth, we have to be willing to communicate and start the conversation about the things we don’t understand (me included). So, thank you (you know who you are ;)!)
I will start by saying I am just as flummoxed as you are, and I totally agree! This is a tough question to respond to, but it is one worth having which is not only an elephant in the room… it is an elephant in spiritual communities everywhere. Let’s break it down, and expect that you may get triggered. Ours is a world where communication is the most challenging connection to remain clear within, so my apology and best efforts to do so.
1. Enlightened folks of the highest order have made choices that have given them the greatest prosperity(wealth) in the world, Truth.
2. That they are often poor and destitute is more a reflection of us, than their enlightenment.
3. We don’t value Truth, we value the dollar.
Ouch, I know. This is a really crappy way to look at it. If you have ever had a spiritual or enlightened experience you might understand that in a myriad of ways, all of which I could argue are valid, and eventually lead back to what I have already said.
So what is to be done? How does enlightenment create prosperity and vice versa?
It is one thing to have an enlightened experience, it is another altogether to live an enlightened life. This type of life, while idealized and altruistic is extremely difficult (not impossible) in modern times. While awakening/enlightened consciousness is gaining momentum and attention as profitable, it slowly gains value.
I promise this ends on a high hope note…
We now have organic foods, local products, permaculture, naturopaths, and a whole host of outlying commerce that supports another way of living. The way of living that supports one on the journey to not just the concept of enlightenment and eventual knowing the Truth of who they are, but being able to sustainably LIVE aligned with that truth. The body and environment is just as much a part of this whole scheme as the mind. Our world is a reflection of the internal environment of her people.
Historically “guru’s” were found by disciples. More specifically, wealthy men. You had to give everything to your guru, which included your money, cows, and anything else of value. In exchange? You served your guru (sometimes as long as 12 years) before you were invited into initiation or being taught the mysteries.
Are you cringing?!? It’s pretty intense. No wonder people carry a lot of suspicions around about gurus (another topic). But let’s keep in mind this was a tradition, at a different time (though people still pay thousands of dollars to sit with gurus) and in a different part of the world. I am not advocating or bashing this tradition- just putting it forth as a frame of reference.
This happened(s) in part of the world where people value spirituality and enlightenment and it is seen as customary and noble to give everything up and go into spiritual life.
These same people beg every day in the village for their food and survival (not only for themselves but for their guru). The most incredible part (for me) is how the villagers (householders) respond with excitement to give their food and money to these people. It is understood as an opportunity to relieve their karmic debt and a joy and honor to support people who are doing tapas (penance) which in turn, serves the villagers as well (since Yoga is based in the metaphysical fact that we are all One.)
I am not vying for Westerner’s to adopt Eastern traditions, as intrigued and inspired as I am by them. What I am saying is that
this is more about looking at how we define prosperity, and how we perceive value, in an attempt to satisfy our personal and collective desire for happiness.
This is a conversation to begin the dialogue about how we manifest our own enlightenment in our personal life, and align it with Western systems and conditions that already exist to shift the collective consciousness into a more sustainable system.
It’s not reinventing the wheel as much as improving it.
Ultimately Truth always wins and prosperity is delivered, but wouldn’t it be nice if it would also sustain our livelihood?
Since you made it to the end of my post, I have a special gift for you!
I’m offering a FREE LIVE 2-hour workshop online Saturday, October 13th @ 10am EST “3 steps for Manifesting Spiritual & Material Abundance.”
Maybe… it sounds campy, but trust me, it’s awesome! You can register here for FREE and decide for yourself 🙂
So grab your coffee or tea and join me, I look forward to connecting with you!
2 thoughts on “Enlightenment & Prosperity”
How much is enough? Not just money but any thing – I can only drive one vehicle at a time, be in one home. How do I land in a place where I feel/believe/embody ‘I Have Enough’ and still meet my basic needs?
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This is a great question, David.
I think the short answer is… its a process. A process where we learn to discern and attend the way this manifests in the different bodies.
The answer is different for all three, and unique unto you. This is the path and the journey of yoga 🙂