The Peaks of Poverty

Last night, at home with the parents in Cincinnati, Padre asks me, “Brad, how’s your book coming along?  You’ve got a book to write!  Why do you choose to live in poverty?”

And, to honor the Truth, it might be best for me to say that the above is not a direct quote…although it’s close…alas 😉

“Why do I choose to live in poverty?”  What a funny question.  Rarely do I ever consider my lifestyle one of poverty.  More so I consider it a lifestyle of abundance, even superabundance!!!  Sure, I wear only white clothes, eat basically bananas, dried fruits and hemp seeds, occasionally sleep on the floor, have no car or official place of my own and no cash money…but poverty???  I guess this reverts back to the legendary question asked at the baccalaureuate service by the CEO of Habitat for Humanity, “How do you define rich?”

In the same way, I could have asked my dad, “How do you define poverty?”

As Mother Teresa supposedly said, “We think sometimes that poverty is only being hungry, naked, and homeless.  The poverty of being unwanted, unloved, and uncared for is the greatest poverty.”

There is poverty of the material world and material riches, which perhaps I’m living in, but as far as the other realms of riches in the world…being wanted, loved, cared for, flourishing mentally and emotionally and spiritually…I’d say I’m much more aligned with abundance than scarcity.

Perhaps we cannot have everything in the world, but we can have what matters most to us.  As Jesus shared in the Sermon on the Mount, “Store up for yourselves treasures in Heaven, where neither moth or rust can destroy nor where thieves can break in and steal.”  Concerning Heaven on Earth, these treasures Jesus speaks of just might be friendship, family, education, and an awareness that provides a sense of peace that passeth all understanding.  Another one of my favorites, Bob Proctor, once said, “All you will ever need for fulfillment in life is awareness.”

What I’m after is Heaven, is Fulfillment, is Awareness, is everything that’s good and quite possibly eternal.  Wonderfully so, all of these things are free and are qualities of consciousness.  They are not embodied in external possessions but rather experienced as “The Kingdom of Heaven Within You.”

If physical poverty is the gateway to emotional, mental, social, and spiritual abundance, so be it.  Seems like a small price to pay for something so wonderful 🙂

Too often we seek fulfillment and happiness in the external world.  Really, it’s with us all the time.  Each moment is the opportunity for learning, for growth, contribution, happiness, and fulfillment.  The time is now to experience what you most deeply desire.  And the best part is, you don’t have to go looking for it.  As Anthony de Mello said, “Seek and you shall miss.”  Instead of seeking, stop.  You already have it.  It is within!

So long as your seeking in the external world, connecting with the Kingdom Within and storing up the Treasures in Heaven can be tricky business, but this isn’t to say you cannot balance the two. After all, the yin-yang is a classic symbol for balance.  Connect with the Kingdom Within and realize the Kingdom Beyond.  The Kingdom is everywhere.  God is everywhere!

One of my favorite lines from a recently read book titled Feel the Fear and Do It Anyway…“It’s all happening in a perfect way.”

In so many ways, creation is perfect.   For the very best experience in life, you need nothing but awareness, which you always have.  So just stop, breathe, smile, listen.  Enjoy the breath.  Enjoy awareness this moment.  Look up.  Hallelujah!

A miracle and a mysterious before us all the time in all ways.  It’s a fun world to play in, a fun world to love in.

Warren Buffett said the best investment is education.  So store up those Treasures in Heaven!  Jesus says to do, Warren Buffett says to do it – both ends of the spectrum are fully aligned!  The riches are within.  The best things in life are free.  The mind/body/heart…the gift of all gifts.  Cherish this gift!  Creating a more compassionate, caring, conscious world starts with yourself.

Every time you spend a dollar, you’re voting.  What are you voting for?  Compassion?  Nonviolence?  Simplicity?  Health? Happiness?  Peace? Joy?

Another great thing about physical poverty…you can really love people.  Instead of ‘loving things’ you store up all of that wonderful emotion to give abundantly to the people in your life in the present moment.  And not just the people, but the trees too.  And all the animals!  Ah, so much life to love.  Even lying down in the grass, feeling the insects crawling on your arm, knowing we’re all connected.

You know around seven billion creatures are living inside your human body right now?  You’re like an entire Mother Earth by yourself!  A great way to care for all those residents living inside you, feed yourself only the healthiest, purest, most nourishing foods.  This is best for the body and mind and heart and soul and everyone and everything.  Might I just say…fruits! As Jesus says, “By their fruits you shall know them.”  😉

To summarize…physical poverty is awesome because it allows you abundant opportunity to become more conscious and aware and care for those amazing gifts freely bestowed upon all of us at birth…mind…body…heart…soul…consciousness! Purifying consciousness is a lot easier when not squandering exposing the mind to  crazy ideas via television and music and news sources.  It’s amazing what happens when you turn off the external world and tune into the reality of the Present Moment.  Perhaps hearing about international conflict might somehow aid you on the spiritual journey, but isn’t that just taking away time from educating yourself further and praying and thinking wonderful thoughts that create positive ripple effects to serve the Highest Good of All?

One time my brother asked me on the phone, “What do you believe?”

I told him, “The best things in life are free and the Kingdom of Heaven is Within.”  Could it be so simple?  Of course, all of life and nature is totally abundant and awesome and wonderful.  And, in so many ways, we can only realize the abundance all around when we are tuned in.  Internally align, then you see how wonderful everything is.  Nothing like complete calibration of your internal thoughts with external actions and perceptions of the world.

Regardless, either way, in all matters, forever, always, Hallelujah 🙂

How can you realize more Peace in your life?

“Fearless, free, the Power of Peace!”

A chant that came to the mind while walking to this computer…holding up peace signs no less!

Walking on the street holding up peace signs, hundreds of cars driving past filled with passengers potentially staring at you, even judging you…sounds terrifying, right?

Well, As Emerson Guru said something like, “Do the thing, and you’ll get the energy to do the thing,” me thinks he was on to something.   Said this time and time again but it bears repeating…however you want to be…whatever you want to do…fake it until you make it!  Fake it until you become it.  “Act as if,” what you seek is already yours, and soon it will be.

As the intelligence governing this body (heh ;-)) guided the body to hold up peace signs with the peace fingers, a little bit of fear rippled throughout the consciousness of the body.  Soon enough, though, as the body continued to walk, step after step, confidence bubbled up and the fear dissipated.  As Jesus Guru say, “Perfect Love casts out fear.”  So too, Peace casts out fear.

The Power of Peace…the Power of Purity…the Power of aligning your consciousness with any pure intention and pure energy field…that’s been said to be the great teaching of all spiritual masters throughout the ages.  As Ellen DeGeneres Guru wrote on a notecard on her dressing room mirror, “Choose love.”  It’s just that simple.

The other day a friend mentioned to me that he didn’t want to work.  I told him, if he simply aligns his life with loving everyone and everything unconditionally, he’ll never have to work.  Or, at least, if he does “work,” he won’t consider it “work,” because it will be a labor of love of his own choosing.  The only reason people do work they don’t enjoy is because of fear – the fear that perhaps they are not worthy of doing what they love, or the fear that if they do what they love, they won’t survive.

For some reason, choosing Love can stir up a bit of fear.  Perhaps it’s because the choice of love goes beyond reason, as science has yet to ‘objectively prove’ the Power of Love.  So, that’s where trust comes in.  Try it out for yourself.  Experiment and explore.  Simple focus on loving yourself, all people, all forms of life, Mother Nature, and the Entire Universe.  Simple, right? 😉  Just Love, Love, Love, and see what happens.

How can you bring more Love into your life?  How can you love your physical body more?  How can you take better care of your body and brain?   How can you care for your spirit more abundantly?  How can you care for all human beings more and all forms of life?  How can you be more compassionate towards Mother Nature and the Universe as a whole?

When you think about bringing greater Love or Peace to your life, you can also consider Joy, Gratitude, Health, and Happiness.  As you grow in any of the aforementioned capitalized words, you’re bettering everyone and everything.  And the words are just a few examples of energies aligned with Power, rather than Force, as discussed extensively in the profoundly awesome book written by David Hawkins, Power vs. Force.  Align with anything that is Power instead of Force, and you’ll experience a much more wonderful quality of life, or rather quality of present moment, because, after all, Life is moment-to-moment, and we’re continuously choosing what we focus on and what energies we align with.

Personally, here are some ways on increasing the amount of Love / Peace / Joy / Gratitude / All That Good Stuff 🙂 into my experience…

– Sit down before I eat or drink any food, and spend a few minutes in prayer, thanksgiving, and gratitude.  Also, take a few deep breathes to come into the present moment and connect more abundantly with the universe’s gift of food and water.  Such wonderful gifts, yet so easily taken for granted.  Ah, imagine the abundant consciousness if for every sip of water or bite of food, we experienced profound gratitude, realizing the great significance of the moment and the gift.

– Go to bed early and wake up early / sleep on a regular schedule.  This is one way of increasing energy levels, giving the mind/body the gift of regularity and a schedule.  The same principle goes for eating.  Eating food at the same time every day is a wonderful gift to give the body, and probably helps it digest food a lot better because it expects it and prepares itself accordingly.  In a similar way, you can even do this with entering flow states.  If you allow yourself to “enter the flow” at the same time every day, wow…I can only imagine how much more effective you’d be!  Dan Kennedy Guru says he writes at the same time every morning, around 7 AM before breakfast, and he’s definitely one productive dude…maybe not all that abundantly happy…but then again…I don’t know 🙂

–  Entering the flow.  If you want to think about major definite purpose in life…I think us humans might be around simply to enter the flow.  Flow states are so amazing.  They are ways in which we connect with the highest part of us and express ourselves in a creative way that challenges us and helps us grow and contribute to the global community.  Flow states allows us to dig deep into the wealth of gold within ourselves and discover thoughts and ideas and abundance that we might not have known was there to begin with.  Then again, as much as we live for flow, I think we also live for relationships, which is why…

– Alliance!  Ahh, how great it would be to participate in a “Knights of the Round Table” type group.  Gather together once or twice a week and talk about goals, vision, values, purpose, abundance, the universe, God, Truth, etc…working together for the summum bonum, the Highest Good of All!  Nothing like collaborating to co-create a more compassionate world.  Heaven on Earth 🙂

– Meditation!  The more time I spend sitting still, the more abundant I find my days to be.  And I have yet to find the point of diminishing marginal returns…so far it’s only increasing returns!  Then again, I’m only sitting for about 30 minutes in the morning and sometimes throughout the day and in the evening…but I guess the key here is to practice compassionately.  No point in lengthening the amount of time sitting if it’s not enjoyable!  To be able to sit still, silent, peacefully and joyfully, full of love and gratitude, that’s a huge gift to mind, body, heart, spirit, and everyone and everything – because then you are truly living the reality that we all have everything we need to enjoy our here and now – There is nothing lacking!  Nothing lacking, nothing lacking.  Just this precious moment 🙂

How can you bring more joy into your life? More Love? More Peace? It’s all your birthright!

How can you love yourself more?  How can you love humanity more?  How can you choose to love more often throughout the day?

Remember, loving is its own reward.  Nothing like overcoming compulsions to judge or criticize or condemn or complain and instead simply choose to unconditionally, universally love, no matter what.

Also, if you please, remember…”The person who cause you the most trouble in your life is the greatest gift from God.”  Ah, what a gift!  People who move us to frustration or anger or worry or anxiety or fear or pride or judgment.  They are allowing us to become more aware, more accepting, more joyous, more loving.  Embrace all those points of pain and suffering as wonderful learning opportunities for you.  Great opportunities to expand and evolve and heal abound!  Heal and evolve away, friend 🙂  Love more and more.  Hallelujah 🙂

Why not love strangers?  No reason not too, right?  I mean…at the very least…love them for not pulling out a gun and popping a cap in yo ass 😉