I am reading this amazing book called “The Second Miracle: Intimacy, Spirituality, and Conscious Relationships” by Richard Moss. This book is blowing my mind in 108 different ways, dimensions, and planes of thought. One of the most prevalent passages I read the other night has stuck with me, and has really reflected some of the “inner work” that I am currently embarking on, and I want to share it with you. I found this book in a “Little Free Library” in the parking lot of my Homeopath’s office. WHAT? Thanks, serendipity…
This work revolves around the concept of abundance, and about what abundance REALLY is. The realization of, receiving of, faith in, ABUNDANCE has been a challenge for me as long as I can remember. I experience a lot of fear and anxiety about concerns of financial ruin, emotional betrayal, not-enoughness, and the over-arching myth of inner-poverty. My yoga practice has certainly helped me to heal and soothe some of this fear and anxiety. I remember years ago standing in a temple in India, gazing at this tiny black stone Lakshmi statue (the goddess of abundance) in a candle-lit alcove, and having the most amazing realization that the whole world was literally my gift, my playground from the Divine. I have done specific yoga practices and rituals to ignite my experience of abundance, and to liberate myself from this deep-seeded fear of loss and tragedy. I have written hundreds of sankalpas, with intentions of invoking an experience of living in a state of abundance. I have worked with healers of various sorts to release the traumas that have created my fears about lack. I have journaled. I have prayed. And still, there is work to be done.
What IS abundance? Up until I opened this book, I would have defined abundance as, having more than enough; more than enough MONEY, more than enough TIME, more than enough LOVE. I have identified how I have stood in my own way, by squandering or wasting MONEY, TIME, LOVE. And yet, the fear has remained. I would also say that abundance has meant freedom from worry, a sense of security, a fall-back plan in case the shit hits the fan. The problem is, that this definition of abundance is a moving target, which is influenced by my need to feel safe, to feel in control and to get what I (think) I want, all things that change on a daily basis due to a thousand different internal and external experiences.
So what IS abundance? Richard Moss says the “contemporary meaning of abundance is ‘great plenty, an overflowing quantity, strictly applicable to quantity only.’” This seems to fit with my view of abundance of having more than enough. Yet, Moss discovers than an earlier Latin root of the word abundance abundare, means to “flow as the river flows.” He goes on to explain that in “most early societies, the river’s flow meant life. But a river is also a source of mystery and contemplation. Rivers flow slow and deep, fast and wild; they meander; they flood and destroy, even as they replenish the soil of the valleys. To flow as a river flows suggests so much more than wealth or plenty. It suggests fluidity, strength and softness, patience, and power and, above all, movement (104).” Woah. Wait a minute. Maybe THIS is why my prayers for abundance seem to have fallen on empty ears. Because I didn’t know what to really ask for. I thought abundance would keep me safe, would prevent the unexpected, would insulate me from the unknown. Where did I learn that having lots of money would keep me “safe” and keep things from “changing?” And, is this what I really want?
Moss goes on to discuss how our modern definition of abundance implies “a degree of immunity to change; if we are abundantly wealthy there is no anxiety about recession, and so forth.” He describes true abundance, abundare, as having a more spiritual than materialistic essence. Ok, so if abundance ISN’T just having more than enough, and if it’s actually not even a PROMISE that I always will have more than enough, than what is it that I really want? I want to FLOW like a river, with strength and softness, patience, and power. I want to MOVE. I don’t want to stay in one place, even if it means that I’ll never be afraid again. I want to skillfully and joyfully move between experiences of more and experiences of less, without creating some separation from the Divine when there is less. I want to stop interpreting the experience of austerity of any kind as some form of punishment, some karmic payback, or retribution from an act of sin – known or unknown. When did I start believing that having less meant I was being punished? Meant I did something to deserve it? Meant there was something wrong with me?
What if I could flow like a river right now? What if all I had to do was change my verb? This is something that HAS changed recently in my morning sankalpa/intention-making. For many years I’ve gone through periods of practicing morning puja – a simple ritual that invokes communion with the Divine through mudras, mantras and purification practices. It also includes the writing of a sankalpa, which is spoken aloud and then offered on an altar. Many of my intentions have started with the words: I WANT.
I WANT TO BE FREE FROM ANXIETY.
I WANT TO BE FREE FROM THE MYTH OF POVERTY.
I WANT TO BE CONFIDENT AND EMPOWERED.
I WANT TO EARN WHAT I AM WORTH.
Uh. Oh. All of these intentions are kind of open-ended. When? the Divine asks. NOW? TOMORROW? LATER? In an earlier passage in his book, Richard Moss discusses the challenges of prayer. He states that “humanity’s greatest ignorance can be to pray to God to ameliorate our personal suffering or fulfill ego-driven hopes, for in so doing we often obstruct our deeper growth. In our fear of nothingness and our dream of salvation, God simply accommodates us. After all, as an object-of-consciousness, this God is our own creation, becoming either loving or wrathful depending on how we are really engaging ourselves through prayer (58).” Moss goes on to discuss how eventually, as we mature, meditation and prayer “merge our personal awareness ever deeper into a more universal stream of consciousness,” until we experience life as a continuous state of prayer and union. To me, this means that it makes no sense to ask for what is already ours. It makes no sense to wish for things to “possess,” when, if we live in a state of abundare, we are constantly navigating the ebbs and flows of a conscious, fully integrated life, because that’s what GOD does, and that’s what GOD is, and that’s who WE ARE.
This awareness began revealing itself to me BEFORE I read these passages, in the sankalpas I have been writing. I want to share some of them, though they feel so very personal, because I want their energy to inspire you and uplift you to really look at what you are asking for, and how you are asking, and IF you really need to ASK.
So, abundare, I am ready for you. I don’t wish for you, I don’t want for you. You are here, and so am I and we are one. And I ask you my friends, are YOU ready? Are you ready to change your “WANTS” into “BEING?” Who ARE you? What do YOU stand for? What is your greatest SANKALPA? INTENTION? RESOLVE? How is the DIVINE revealing itself to you RIGHT NOW?
OM. AMEN. HALLELUJAH.