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Expressions 105: Consider spirituality in your financial plans

Most of my initiates and seekers are educated and smart people. However, very often I find that even smart people don’t make any plans for their spiritual growth. They plan for career growth, kids, friends, entertainment, vacation and retirement but ignore the most important aspect of this life - spiritual growth. Many believe that spirituality is free and that an occasional temple visit, fasting or just being good will evolve them. This understanding is incorrect. Spirituality is the foundation of one’s life. A shaky foundation can not provide stability no matter how strong of a house one erects on top of it . 

In a similar way that one tries to look for a house in the best neighborhood and tries his or her best to afford it, one has to painstakingly plan to associate oneself with the best spiritual path one can find. This may require you to adjust your career and your family obligations to find time and energy for spiritual practice. This may require spending time and money to travel great distance to be in a spiritual place and benefit from the tradition and spiritual energy of such places. This may require saving vacation days to attend events that will enrich you spiritually.
When individuals who are well placed in life come to me and say that they have no money or time to spend on their spiritual practice, I am unable to hold myself from smiling at them. Even if one is making a modest income, time and money are a matter of prioritization. The truth is that spiritual longing has not moved many of us from within to find our own true self. As a result, many of us end up living a life chasing mirages while being emotionally and mentally imbalanced within. This imbalance eventually leads to physical sickness, jeopardizing the very body, mind and the family for whose comfort most people work day and night.
Make spiritual investment part of your planning. Educate yourself to see how happiness and stability are connected to your inner condition. A human being needs to have faith, inner security and conviction to live life fully. It is true that God doesn’t ask for money but as a human being who lives in an inter-dependent society it is important that you significantly contribute your time, energy and money to uplift the standards of spirituality in this world.
- Shailesh


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When a Yogi feels unsettled, he must remember this...

Expressions 103: There are times in a Yogi’s journey when he feels unsettled; whereas everyone around him feels settled and confident in the place they are in. During such unsettling times, the seeker Yogi must remind himself that he is doing double duty, lifting double the burden compared to an average world-oriented person. A Yogi has to fight two battles at the same time. The first battle is that of education, livelihood, relationships, responsibility and achievement of the material world. This battle has to be fought by the laws set by a partially evolved world. The second battle is an inner one. It takes an equal amount of strength to overcome one’s own deluded self. A Raja Yogi must value his willingness and his ability to fight two battles at the same time. This valiant act leads to “para-krama” - achievement so great that it is beyond logic.

Most people, unfortunately, find it hard to fight the first battle - the battle of their daily lives. They find themselves routinely entangled in their own web of workplace pressures, business worries, relationship complexities, motivation issues and, plain -and simple, greed - to earn more, to buy more, to acquire more, to be more. The forces that challenge the worldly person don’t spare the Yogi as well. The Yogi is also subjected to the duality, insecurity and competition of the world. Additionally, the Yogi has to also maintain the fitness of his faith lest he will be pulled back into the very delusion that he aspires to get out of.
The Yogi, with special grace from Divine, reaches out to his inner being to muster all the remaining power he has to go deeper within and find the God that resides within him; the God that is the meaning, purpose, miracle and mystery of life. This act of “para-krama” spiritualizes the purpose of the Yogi’s life and keeps enlightening him day by day.
Therefore, O Yogi, if you feel unsettled in the material world - put your feet firmly on the ground and use the power from your inner being to bring life back into focus. Remember the two battles that you fight and remember why it is critical that those two battles be fought. Remember that one leap in the discovery of your Self is more than a hundred leaps in temporary material progress. The world will remember great worldly achievers; they are important. The Universe, however, only remembers great Yogis for they transcend humankind, planets, space and time.

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