Keep Your Money

Posted: March 15, 2015 in Our Broken World

The most important thing I’m doing here is drawing attention to how greed and power, in the form of money and our attachment to ‘things’, is devastating our entire world.  You may not agree with this position – that’s fine.  I’ll write about this subject in greater detail elsewhere.

These days I carry a small sign out onto the streets with me that says “Sharing the Secrets of Enlightenment”  At the bottom it says “Keep Your Money”.  One cannot use fire to fight fire when we are already engulfed in the flames.  I cannot and will not take money from others.

If you see me on the street and ask how you can best help – I would tell you to offer healthy food (fruits, vegetables, and nuts), clean water (filtered or bottled), sleeping bags and sleeping pads, blankets, clothing, etc. to people on the streets.  With no strings attached.

I would also ask you to suspend your preconceptions and your judgements about them.  To see the homeless through eyes of love, no matter how they may respond to you.  This does not mean to pity them – it means to show them loving-kindness and see them as equals.

Yes, there are few of us who really and truly do choose to take on a homeless life out of love for all of humanity, as ascetics who renounce worldly pleasures to show others what it means to live a joyful enlightened life of true freedom from all things.  This is not ‘normal’ though.

The lives of people living on the streets are HARD!  They come from troubled backgrounds, have struggled through impossible personal hardships, suffer from mental illnesses and addictions, and a host of other problems.  They need help though – as equals – not pity!

One of the most fundamental aspects of this reality – a reality hidden to those who are blind to it – is the oneness of all beings.  This is what Jesus taught, what the Buddha taught, and what has been taught by all enlightened masters since the dawn of mankind.

When I tell you to embrace the homeless as equals it goes beyond asking you to open your heart to another.  I am asking you to open your own heart to yourself.  For you cannot be truly healed, truly whole, truly one, so long as any other being in this world is suffering.

Money is not the answer to the problems we face in this world.  Love is!  The more we focus on money, the further we distance ourselves from love.  The more we focus on money, the deeper we sink ourselves into a darkness that is indescribably subtle and horribly deceitful.

This is where I need to divert into a bit of a spiritual conversation.  As a former atheist, before my awakening, I realize that some people shrink from dialogue about spirituality and religion, contracting against the words that we don’t really want to hear.

I’ll make it easy for you though.  Labels don’t matter, nor do dogmas and interpretations, beliefs, or any of it.  There is a beingness that exists beyond our being of which we are all a part.  You can call it whatever you want to – I call it God.  God is infinite love!

Because so many people get caught up in their respective dogmas and lose sight of God as love, I’ll just reference Love here instead – a type of selfless love that embraces all of humanity and all of existence.  This is the love that I am asking you to offer others.

When you interact with a homeless person, or you give of your own resources to help make their lives a little better, you are offering them love.  You are also showing your love for God – and for yourself.  Indeed it is all connected.  Love is a universal quality.

So when people ask me how they can help – I say to give of yourself, share your resources with those in need, and then question your own life in ever-deepening ways that speak to your heart.  Keep your money, but give with your heart.  Money isn’t the answer…

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