January 1, 2013
Abundance. The word means more than enough. Not necessarily piles and piles of money and supplies but all that you really need, and at least a little more. Prosperity seems to mean something similar, but with a slight difference. This word suggests the continuing condition of abundance. So once you possess abundance, you want to couple it with prosperity – those conditions that sustain abundance. Let’s call them A&P like the supermarket chain located in some parts of the country – an appropriate metaphor and a little quicker to refer to as I write.
Ideas of abundance change from person to person and from time to time. A superficial understanding of A&P will most often bring to mind money. Though not a bad place to start, it does not adequately cover the concept. A person stranded far from support systems may need food and water that no amount of money could purchase because there are no stores or water to drink. A person experiencing failing health may have the care of the best doctors, but as conditions deteriorate, the already highly paid doctor’s skill does not increase with another infusion of cash. And, any one of us – each one of us needs a true friend – something that money cannot buy.
With this New Year coming, I wish you all A&P. And I wish you something better. I wish you peace. With so much change – so many things changing in the world – it’s rare now days to hear anyone say, “Wow, Aren’t things going great!” So let’s look again at what we really need if we are to ever posses abundance sustained by prosperity – enough of each that we could feel at peace.
Wisdom teachings speak of a peace that passes understanding. This level of peace suggests that I may be hungry or experiencing thirst but I am still at peace – not frantically searching for satisfaction. Peace that passes understanding suggests that I, or one I love, may be facing death and yet… without separating from a sincere appreciation for life or pulling away from the reality of my lovers failing life force, I am at peace, and in a healthy sense, I am free to feel grief and to move on when I know the time is right.
Returning to the issue of money, we have all heard or even experienced circumstances that leave us without the money we need in spite of our best effort to responsibly steward our resources and apply our marketable skills. What we need most at this time is peace. From this peaceful state of mind and heart, nothing can distract you as you go about your business earning or arranging the finances you need. Because you are at peace, you are not projecting fear. Because you are unafraid, people will be much more receptive to your plans. One way or another you will find the money you need. Or not. Sometimes, in spite of all we think or do, things just don’t work. If ever we needed peace, this would be the time.
I have wonderful news for all who are reading this. You already posses this peace and it cannot be taken from you. At the same time I have some less than good news that you really must take to heart. Peace is our native, natural state of being, but we often squander or dissipate this peaceful state. Sometimes we are fortunate enough to be able to take it back and sometimes we forget that we ever had it. Even so, it is still there, inside you, waiting to be reawakened.
We can use many different words here, but the essence of the matter is that Peace is who we are. But if you forget – forget who you really are – if you place too much attention for too long on external, temporary distractions, come your time of need, you may have dissipated, weakened the place inside from which peace flows.
Peace flows from your spiritual heart, the core of not only who you are, but all that is. That’s a big statement. Let’s just let it stand on its own. Because the heart is the source of all that is, because it is the core of who you are, well… do you get it? This is why you already possess peace; the primary ingredient of A&P – Abundance and Prosperity. And this is why, even if weakened, it cannot be taken away. What is important is to keep your reservoir full. When the time comes to drink deeply, be sure your heart is full, that you possess an abundance of peace and the life practices which assure prosperity.
What must be done to keep our hearts full of peace is our personal work – work that we can only do ourselves. Part of this work is to keep our hearts clear and to live from our heart, not just from our minds. How this is done is the subject of many good books. Rather than suggest one, I suggest you search for yourself. I recommend this because there are so many different ways to say the things we need to hear. Let your heart guide your hand to just the right book – newer books of instruction or ancient scriptures – containing the teachings of those who have accomplished this work and written of their experience just for you and I – just for this time.
Consider setting aside time for spiritual exercises to both build and maintain clarity in your heart and the strength that is often required to settle down when distractions or trouble come near. It is very helpful to set aside a special dedicated place, where you spend time regularly, clearing and strengthening your heart thereby building strength of will and a calm mind.
This may sound rather superficial to some. To others, it may be more than they have been able to confront until now. If you are further down the road and currently enjoying imperturbable peace, no doubt there will be someone you can see or find to encourage. If you are in need of peace – if you find yourself a little short of A&P, now is a great time to begin to cultivate the seeds of peace that the great giver of life placed in your heart long ago.
The measure of abundance and prosperity will vary from one time to another but peace, the peace you need to replenish and restore, can be yours for a life time.
Jesus spoke these words – a reminder of what is available to everyone – anyone who will reach inside of themselves. He said.
“Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid.” And, “Then God’s peace, which goes far beyond anything we can imagine, will guard your hearts and minds in union with the Messiah, Jesus.”
Remember, as I have mentioned, I speak with a Christian accent. But these same words – this same promise is made to men and women of all faiths. All who would cultivate healthy spirits can possess peace that passes understanding. Sounds rather nice, doesn’t it! And it’s our first step in assuring you the freedom of true A&P.
Actually, it’s the last step. Better still it’s the one and only step – the one and only quality of being required by those who would live abundant prosperous lives.
“I know how to be humble, and I know how to prosper. In each and every situation I have learned the secret of being full and of going hungry, of having too much and of having too little.”
The man who wrote this fought bitterly against Christ’s teachings and followers. Later, he became one of Jesus’ most zealous proponents, recommending that we all adopt a transformational experience – he had put on the mind of Christ. Having done so, the Apostle Paul had come back to – remembered his natural state. Being satisfied with whatever his immediate condition might be, he was at peace. Having reclaimed his natural state of deep, imperturbable peace, he felt satisfied and complete under all conditions. Paul was abundantly prosperous.
We are all invited to put on this same mind – to be renewed by the transformation of our minds. All wisdom teachers across time have invited us to share this same experience. Peace that passes understanding. Along with which comes A&P that cannot be taken from you ever again.
I wish you all Abundance in this New Year. And I wish you prosperity – whatever prosperity means to you. And I speak of peace with the sincere wish that you will both enjoy and endure with serenity, all that comes your way. Happy New Year, everyone!