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 🙂

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