Money and Spirituality, Money and Love, Money and Freedom
This Satsang came from a spontaneous inquiry, investigating the truth of what was underlying the beliefs and myths about Money and Spirituality, Money and Love, Money and Freedom
Satsang : Money and Spirituality – 19th June 2018
( This is the first part of an excerpt transcribed from a 2 hour Satsang with Yantra-ji on 19th June 2018 – note: it has been edited to maintain privacy of the participants )
Part 1 :
Satsang isn’t always this meditative, quiet, inquiry that ‘just’ points us back to silence – This Silence is ALWAYS HERE regardless.
Regardless of what you think, how you feel, how you act, how you live – you are free!! ( Laughs )
That may not be your everyday living experience of this life.
In Satsang we are speaking about being free ! Already !! here now !! Already!! Not becoming free by coming here, not becoming free by investigating – already free!!
Sometimes it’s useful to come in from another angle, and ‘upset the apple cart’ ( laughter ) shake it about a bit, throw those apples on the ground, ( laughter ) and really see the truth of what is going on. Seeing how we are being a certain way, looking a certain way, living a certain way, feeling a certain way, thinking a certain way – that keeps us in the ‘belief’ that we are separate and not free!
We put our stake in the ground and say ‘I want to be Free ‘but’ – we have something unseen, something un-investigated going on, an opposing thought that says ‘but’ I want this’, and it’s like having an elastic band pulling us both this way and that way at the same time. We don’t know that, and so we ignore and we distract and we avoid, we avoid looking at it.
How do you use having, or not having money, wealth, abundance, whatever you want to call it – as an idea that skews your perception of the truth, really?
See, this that you are, doesn’t care if you are rich or poor. This that you are, doesn’t care if you have money or not. We live in a world and in our society, where this (money) is our form of exchange. Even if we choose to take ourselves out of this way of operating, we could live on the land, someone used money to buy the land, or maybe you have parents or benefactors, or … it’s still money do you see, it is still money, coming from somewhere, in order for this agreed upon exchange. In the world or in the society we live in.
There is no problem with having money.
However, you may be using ‘having money’ as identity, as who you are, to have it as who you are, or as how you show up in the world, how you look, getting recognition, getting security, whatever it is, using it for any of that, avoiding what is deeper. Or the lack of money, or the idea that money is bad, money isn’t spiritual, to be free means whatever, on and on and on..
I wanted us to investigate first of all – what is money?
Here we have this little piece of paper, or plastic – we give this value, to be able to trade with each other, it is we who give it value. When we go to a different country it has a different value, it is an agreed upon means of exchange, that is all.
So, there is nothing inherently good or bad, there’s nothing to be avoided, but a lot goes on around money.
I heard a phrase, ‘I love money and money loves me’, and we’ll all have a certain reaction to hearing that. So I’ll ask – What is it that we love really ? Nature, life, a flower, colours, things that have name and form that show up in our life – and on that level this here (holding up a $note) is no different, maybe you love the colour, some are purple, blue, green, or orange. This phrase ‘I love money and money loves me’ ! ( laughter ) – what is there to love or not to love ? To like or not like ?
It is worth investigating what we have going on around Money and Love, and this phrase ‘I love money and money loves me’ – what and where are we loving? in love ? I’m talking about truthful love, not the idea that it is going to give me something or get me somewhere. Where are we really just open, or in avoidance?
When we have this thought, ‘that I don’t like money’ or ‘I don’t love money’ it’s not about the $note !!! When we have the willingness to open, to investigate, to really experience what is this dislike pointing us to ? We discover – always to the Freedom that is deeper. Because this ($note) in and of itself is nothing.
So, what do you notice, in your own life?
Maybe you want it, maybe you repel it, maybe you can see you use it as a crutch for safety, security, survival. Maybe you are wanting it, while not wanting it? Doing this elastic band dance.
I can’t be free unless I have money, I have to have money in order to survive – but – I can’t be free if I have money. ( laughs ) See, some people might feel they are going to die without it, and some people might feel they are going to die with it. ( laughs ) It is useful to investigate this, it’s about facing what’s not yet been faced.
Ramana said to Papaji ‘If you know that this life is just a dream, then what is the problem for you to go and do your duty?’ This was to get his family, bring them to safety and take care of them, so Papaji needed to work. It did not change his experience of ‘This’. It did not change who he is, and I say is, rather than was!!
Where do you see what you have to do, or are called, or being asked, or moved, or motivated to do in the world, that somehow you have a resistance to, and a pushing away? You know I use the phrase, ‘Include everything reject nothing’ – Where are you rejecting Money? Or where is there some opposition to Money and Spirituality? Money and freedom? – if you can be as you are – and – in the world – unchanged.
If you believe that to be free is to have this endless experience of peace and bliss and sitting on your meditation cushion – how are you going to work if you need to, if that is what life is calling, how are you going to feed your family, how are you going to give back if that is what life is calling – if you have this idea of what being free is?
Where do you use it as an excuse, either having or not having? An excuse to not be free as you are?
If we look at this, if you have – let’s use these words – if you have too much, too much money, in your view, and your idea of being free is to have none – because there is all kinds of religious and spiritual beliefs like this – well you are not just going to get rid of it all are you? If there is something running underneath about love, about respect, about survival, maybe it’s taken you a life time to accrue, to build this up … but oh, now, to be free means – this !! You have an idea that to be free means this, are you going to turn your back on it?
So, it is worth investigating what you have running – because there is no formula to being as you already are !!!!! ( laughs )
Somewhere along the line it must have been decided that poverty, was spiritual or religious. We can see that in lots of traditions. We can see the usefulness to withdraw from the material world, to have silence, and respite from taking care of the material needs.
But we are not living in a monastery, we are living, all of us here in this room, we are living in this life, here, in this country, in our families, in our homes, in this society, with our friends, and commitments.
So, what are you noticing?
It is like opening a can of worms, isn’t it? and then there could be that internal voice saying – Oh I didn’t come to Satsang for this one ! I like that peaceful one (referring to coming to a Satsang). I didn’t come for this one.
We have come for all of it ! – To be Free Fully as we Are in Life! – Fully!
( response to a participants sharing )
You say “being wealthy is being free because you can be generous”. What if being free has nothing to do with being generous? What if being as you are has nothing to do with what you can do, or give to another? Or what if you are so poor, that you feel you can never give back? Does that affect, Freedom? This, that you are?
( a participant ) “….everybody has different ideas around money, wherever these ideas came from – it’s got nothing to do with where you are free or not.”
That’s right – yes – Nothing to do with being free !
( a participant ) “.…so, if we have thoughts about money, like you just said ‘what if you think that you can never give back’ it is that thought and that feeling that separates or creates the perception of separation from freedom, not the money”
Yes, the perception, yes that’s it, the thoughts and the feelings are all tied, because we are thinking it about this, thinking and feeling – ‘I can never be free, because I’m too wealthy’, ‘never be free, I’m not wealthy enough’, ‘can never be free, I’m poor’.
( a participant ) “….looking back I can see that not having or having money was absolutely directly related to how I perceived my happiness, it’s not now ( pause )… but then then when I investigate, I actually see that I thought money is not related to my freedom – and then it came to me, yeah but that’s because you don’t have to worry about money – so there it is, it still is!!
Yes, it’s just covered over, isn’t it?
So, it’s not that the circumstance has to change, you get to see in the willingness to investigate – ahhh – there is this little thing, this safety mechanism in place, that was covering the fear of ‘not having’, obscured, by now ‘having’.
I just want to be really clear, it’s not about changing your circumstance, it not about suddenly going, ‘oh well I shouldn’t have this’ or ‘I should have that’ – it is in the willingness, in meeting this that has not been investigated. It is just the perception of it – because This that we are, is unaffected by any of it. This that we are, is always unaffected, regardless, it just gets overlooked. This that we are, gets overlooked, because we put our attention on something else – on covering the fear, the greed, the ‘whatever’ it is.
There is the possibility, to open and meet this that been covered. So, nothing has to change, we don’t have to suddenly get rid of everything, we don’t have to change the circumstance, or the jobs, or anything like that. It is just the meeting of this that has been hidden from view.
We set up our lives, in certain ways, to avoid certain things, and it is all an opportunity – because if that comfortableness of ‘having’ wasn’t there, there may be a shzzzz, an edge – so here is the opportunity to just meet the edge now you know, and to soften and open. At first we have that safety net and we don’t know it’s there – then when we know it’s there, we get to see it has us avoid meeting the fear, the fear that life is impermanent really ( laughs ) and when we are willing to meet the fear…..
Yes… Wow… the possibility, of the discovery, and then you just get to enjoy it, however life is, and there is no shzzzz under the surface, it is just as it is, innocently, as it always was. ( laughs )
( response to a participant speaking about budgeting )
Let’s be clear, there is nothing wrong with budgeting and living within our means, nothing – and yet when we set our life up to be safe, and secure, in order to avoid, then that is just a thought on top. It is useful for everyone, just to check this – see, this is what I’m interested in, where are you not meeting something, where are you using either having or not having money as an excuse? As an excuse for avoiding, for not living totally, Free, here as you are?
We have beliefs that go along with accumulating – of rich and poor, of us and them, of money, wealth, assets, things – and the identification of ‘who would I be with’ or ‘who would I be without’ ?
We all have this set up, this idea, this picture, whatever it is that seems to hold us away from being free as we are ! There is this edge that we keep moving away from, whatever that edge is. We keep moving away from it – but I’m asking you to meet the edge, to sit on that razor and feel that ! Who wants to do that ??? No One !!!
So, this is really what it is, the willingness to meet the edge, discover what the edge is and to open…
( a participant )…”How do you find the edge?”
Well what is here right now? Your words were ‘I don’t like money’, or ‘I don’t like having money’
Let us meet what is here,
“neediness … that I’ll not need other people to help me, not ever need anyone, that if I can financially be able on my own, I’ll never need any one again”
Ahhhaaa … do you see then – how amazing – then I won’t be ?
(Participant laughing) needy!!
Then I won’t be needy! Needy or needed – Either
Then if you are needy – other people will – give you love and money – because you need it – and then you feel loved.
So, you see, all this is, is this point of investigation that pierces the lie, and you get to rest here, as you are, as you’ve always been, without maintaining something on top that is not real – beautiful, thank you – ( so much laughter in the room ) and this grace then, it’s like there’s space instead of this contraction, this space for this grace, that you already are, to just move through easily, effortlessly –hmmmm it is beautiful.
( a participant ) “….I can relate to it – mine is similar, being independent, not being connected, isolated somehow, inaccessible, or loose myself somehow”
So then how beautiful to meet the isolation, regardless of whether you have money or don’t have money, to meet the isolation.
Then what is here – what do you notice ? and just welcoming this because it is here, this that’s here – and you see like this – the willingness for all of us, to not use either having or not having as an excuse to not meet whatever’s here – and then there’s some energy, in the body, and it is just an opportunity to fall deeply into this, there is a physical sensation, so before that there was emotional sensations and to just fall in to whatever’s been avoided, and discovering what’s here when we no longer avoid – and what do you notice?
When we are willing to really stay here where we are, here, to not move, into an idea, a thought, a pattern, a belief, a desire, a fantasy, towards or away, from something that we’re liking or disliking – then we are just here as we are wide open, meeting life, life being lived through this form, no setting up no maintaining – and I don’t mean that in the way we maintain the physical body by eating and sleeping, or exercising, that is just part of the form – I’m speaking about the maintaining a certain way of being, maintaining and manipulating, the way our life looks, managing – yes, we can all go ahhh ( sigh )
( referring to a participant ) Nothing is there, there is just nothing, you see nothing going on, nothing to be done, just nothing. But prior to that, there was a lot of something, not real, ( laughter ) and then there is just this, here ! we are just here ! Whether we have or don’t have, and regardless of what the scales say about the amounts of having or not having, it’s not determining us anymore.
(referring to a participant ) Ok so you can, we all can, investigate where things have come from, or as I’ve said before, we have a stake in the ground – if we do – for freedom – or for truth, or love or whatever it is – in being still we get to experience the truth, that we no longer have to maintain something, being free is calling you to return home empty handed.
Yes – we are asked to come home empty handed, really, here, truthfully, empty handed, how can anything be brought here? – and then you feel the truth of, here ! Already being home, where nothing is needed, not ‘having’ or ‘not having’, just the freedom of home.