by Sudha

What is it to be poor? To be impoverished? Most would answer that to be impoverished means to make less than the state accepted level of income each year ~ to live below the poverty line. Some would say to be unable to meet one's basic wants and needs. Most answers would have to do with money. There is however an even more important kind of poverty: spiritual poverty. Spiritual poverty is embellished by and also leads to suffering. It is a depleting cycle. Spiritual poverty is based in a lack of faith. Lack of faith is produced when we focus on the 'negative' ~ inviting the seed of doubt to set in the fertile soil of our hearts and take sprout. Fed & strengthened by negative thoughts, actions, environments, and circumstances, this seed produces a strangling vine that cuts off the circulation of positivity and leaves only a very constricted space where dreams can not flourish, knowledge can not be embraced and patience is near if not completely absent. After all, who can be patient when it feels like the life is being squeezed out of them? We can rectify spiritual poverty much more easily than we can financial poverty because financially we are constantly at the whim of institutions and individuals who sell us on the idea that money and their opinions about it have some real power over us, when in fact money and its institutions are false and imaginary. While we have some ability to move way from such institutions it is hard to find somewhere on this earth where they don't 'exist' and there are even laws in place to try and force the masses to conform to such ways of thinking ~ they are called tax codes, etc. Alternatively, spiritual poverty is rectified through internal awareness. It is truly not a complicated matter at all. To become spiritually wealthy stop all actions, thoughts and endeavors that steal your spiritual wealth. Stop listening to negativity. Stop taking part in negative actions that hurt yourself and others. Choose to care. Choose to be compassionate. Choose to serve humanity and the world. Choose peace. Stand beyond the reach of the opinions of others in any circumstances that don't serve your peace. Don't be swayed by their fears or by your own fears. You may lose a few friends along the way to reestablishing your spiritual wealth and people may judge you harshly out of jealously and fear but eventually you will realize that those people are simply not serving your journey any longer, other than through the opportunity to part ways gracefully and with great compassion. We talk about how the political economic system is failing horribly and we work to change that system ~ yet we neglect our spiritual economy, when in fact that is the one that matters more... and it is the one we can actually affect to our own Self Realization. Lokah Samasthah Sukhino Bhavantu. May all beings be happy and free from suffering.