By Parveen Chopra December 1996 You will probably not lack anything, be it love, health, happiness, knowledge or money, if you understand that your outer, material fullness is not really separate from your inner spiritual wealth, that both together mean a lifetime of abundance HOW TO ACHIEVE ABUNDANCE• Identify your heartfelt desires versus fantasy yearnings. Focus on one thing at a time, be willing to admit need. Make a commitment to manifesting it. • Prioritize. One way to do this is to make a list of things you would do if you were told that you have only 24 hours to live. Then, find out what you need to do, set up steps to do it and set yourself deadlines. • Use visualization. Cut pictures related to your goals, put them on your pinup board. Imbue what you choose with love. Enthusiasm changes the body chemistry, breaking down the chemicals connected with mental blocks. • Be grateful to God, the universe or whatever, for favors granted, even when they are still waiting in the ether to happen. • Be willing to receive, without doubting your worthiness. • Now, ‘make it so’ (tathastu in Sanskrit) with your word. Take action. Center yourself and ask, ‘What do I need to do today to further my goals’. Then go out and do it. • Finally, surrender. Surrender your little self to the True Self. Let go of the plan. Two common misconceptions: A short cut to sainthood—renounce the world, drop all desires for material things and devote all your time and energy to spiritual evolution. A short cut to success—work hard, make a lot of money, neglect and negate the inner life. Both these ways lead you astray. In India, of course, for many centuries people resorted to the first short cut, believing that materialism militates against spiritual goals. The end result was mass poverty in the country. Worse, thinkers in the West started labeling Indian philosophy as life-negative. As for the second short cut, the rising concern with making money and acquiring goods today is partly a backlash against the past and partly a result of modernization. Our sages had, however, taught us the ideal of a 200 per cent life: fullness in the outer, material world, and fullness in the inner, spiritual realm, each complementing and supporting the other. When that ideal was followed, India was known as sone ki chidiya (the golden bird). Today, we are like that American millionaire who, when asked by a journalist how much was enough, replied: ‘Just a little bit more.’ ‘Just a little bit more’ implies lack, which has become an inseparable part of our lives. Lack is what you feel while envying or trying to keep up with your neighbors. Lack is the message advertising drums into us. It almost appears as if society has a vested interest in keeping us discontented and unfulfilled, forever. But rather than how much you have, it is your attitude to what you have that determines your level of abundance. And the lack in one area of life disallows success and fulfillment in all the other areas. These insights are again getting a hearing with the focus on abundance in New Age circles. Many books on the subject have been published. Seminars have also been developed, which are now available in India. But what is abundance? And what are the ways to let it flow into our lives? Abundance is certainly not something we can acquire; it is something we tune into. It is a state of being. Of feeling that ‘I have enough’—time, energy, well-being, loving relationships, wisdom, everything. Enough money too. It is not the ascetic’s way of dropping desires. Nor psyching myself into believing that I have enough, while, in fact, I don’t. It is about actually having what I need and want, or manifesting what is missing in my life. And believing that I will always have enough. Although abundance is not confined to prosperity, a majority of people who sign up for abundance seminars are motivated by money. Quite understandable, because material well-being has become an all-consuming concern in today’s world. For many, money is the stumbling block in moving towards the higher things in life. So it is better to address this issue first. At the outset, know that money has no intrinsic value. It is a means to get something else you want. But be clear about what you want. In one of his workshops, recalls Delhi-based Sukhdeepak Malvai, a reiki master who has worked with the Landmark Forum and has now evolved his own abundance seminar, this is the conversation he had with one participant: ”I want to be rich,’ said the man. ‘Why?’ I asked. ‘Because then I will be famous.’ ‘But why do you want to be famous?’ ‘Because people admire and love famous people.’ ‘You have chosen a very long-winding way, my friend, to get approval and love,’ I said to him.’ Malvai, who attended the money seminar conducted by est (the earlier avatar of The Forum) some years ago, states that to attract money and abundance in your life, you must complete monetary issues from the past and focus on the abundance that is already there in your life. All the negative, limiting beliefs have to be confronted and thrown out: ‘Money is the root of all evil’, ‘Too much money is bad for you’, ‘Greed is bad’, ‘You may get it but only after sacrificing something else’, ‘If you have it you will lose it’ ‘I don’t deserve it’… and so on. Also mind your self-talk, continues Malvai. Seeing a fancy car or a bungalow, do you say with a sigh: ‘No, I cannot afford it’, or, ‘Only people with black money, earned by dubious means, can enjoy these luxuries’? Replace such thoughts with statements such as ‘Yes, I might have a house better than that’. Closing monetary matters, literally, also helps: therefore, settle old debts, update your bank books and so on. Declare for yourself what you want. Be specific in setting goals. Saying ‘I want pots of money’ doesn’t work. The millionaire benefactor of the protagonist in Mark Fisher’s The Millionaire’s Secret makes him fix a target of $2.5 million to be earned from writing a screenplay, that too within three months. Then, the millionaire prescribes to him repeating his goal morning and night like a mantra ‘to make your goal a part of you, to communicate it to your subconscious mind which, in turn, nourished by your commands, will set to work. You will be amazed at the power your inner wisdom will put at your disposal as soon as you give it clear and precise instructions’. While setting goals, don’t undersell yourself. Be realistic, but be expansive, too. When Malvai started conducting reiki workshops, he targeted Rs 12,000 (about US$ 265) as his income from each weekly workshop. Now he finds that his average income in a month from these workshops is stuck at Rs 48,000 (about US$ 1065). In his book Creating Affluence, New Age guru Deepak Chopra shares another secret of prosperity. Talking about Lakshmi and Saraswati, the Hindu goddesses of wealth and knowledge, respectively, he points out that if you pursue and pay more attention to Saraswati, it will make Lakshmi extremely jealous, forcing her to pay more attention to you. ‘There is power in knowledge, desire and spirit. And this power within you is the key to creating affluence,’ Chopra concludes. Focusing on what is already there in your life and not on what you don’t have may sound like good old positive thinking, but it is an important principle. It relates to the Biblical promise: ‘To him that hath, shall more be given.’ For instance, if you have been married for a few years and start looking for the bad qualities in your spouse, you are likely to find them, but if you look for good qualities, you will find many of them too and can make them the basis of intimacy and harmony in the future. After identifying a thousand things that you do have, be grateful for them. Express gratitude. A key teaching of reiki is to live constantly in an attitude of gratitude. The more thankful you are towards what you have, the more you will have. Also believe in the abundance in the universe. To begin with, think of the things we need to survive: air, sunlight, food. Is there any shortage? As a matter of fact, is there any shortage of money in our world? Once, Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, known for his penchant for thinking big, started talking enthusiastically about a project costing a few million dollars to set up. In those early years, his transcendental meditation movement wasn’t that flush with cash. Naturally, his associates asked him: ‘Where is the money going to come from?’ ‘From wherever it is now’, was his simple, confident answer. Truly, all material things circulate and re-circulate-nobody can own them. ‘If we internalize this notion of not being able to own anything, ironically it frees us to have anything that we choose, without being attached to owning or possessing it,’ writes Dr Wayne W. Dyer in You’ll See It When You Believe It. Paula Horan, the first foreign master to introduce reiki in India, has also brought her one-day Core Abundance seminar here. Based on her new book, Abundance Through Reiki, the workshop alludes to the raag-dwesh (craving and aversion) polarity highlighted in Indian philosophy. We desire what we think will bring us pleasure and happiness and resist its opposite. But both craving and aversion signal lack and block the creative forces that express abundance. The exercises in her seminar are aimed to make the participants empty themselves of desire and resistance. Horan points out that through our desires and goals what we really seek is security
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