Musings about money

Why Sacred Groves is donation only

I have consciously chosen a lifestyle of voluntary simplicity for my adult life. “Live simply that others may simply live” is a prayer I have carried in my heart for 30 years. I feel a great responsibility to being a global citizen as regards the precious and limited resources of our Mother Earth. As a result of my travel abroad and my global awareness, I am aware that my status as far as material possessions and money goes is far better than most people’s around the world.

I have decided to run Sacred Groves and is more like a ministry than a business, on a donation basis rather than setting fees. I have long been irked by high price tags on supposedly spiritual services, so this is an opportunity to “put my money where my mouth is”, so to speak. I feel I am living prosperously in my simple dwelling on this lovely land, having the time to enjoy the birds and all the nature spirits here. I want to offer my services and this land in trust that Spirit will bring what I need to meet my basic needs. I feel a deep sense of joy at making this decision. My services and land are available to anyone who needs or wants the opportunities I offer; not just those who can afford to pay me a certain set fee.

I believe the “abundance” that is available to those of us on a path of Spirit has more to do with joy, love and satisfaction, not with money, material possessions or travel adventures. To be “prosperous” means that life brings what I need in exchange for what I give; that I have everything I need with a little extra to give away to others working on good causes. I have always lived within my means. If I didn’t have the money to pay for something that I wanted, I let it go and figured it wasn’t meant to be. I have never felt lacking. My voluntary simplicity has never felt like a sacrifice. I have lived a rich and rewarding life. I believe that because I have been happy with less, I am blessed with more.

Truth is, most of us white Americans live in the lap of luxury compared a vast majority of the world’s population. We have far more than the basics; we have options unimaginable for many. Our lifestyle is gobbling up resources and creating such a serious inequity in the world’s distribution of resources that things like happened on Sept 11th will continue to happen. I believe we need to streamline our excesses and start giving-away. Lord of the Rings is a perfect myth for our time. In my mind MONEY is the ring. People think they will use it for good; they think they can handle it. But it has a way of corrupting. Many people who have much want more, find it difficult to give away, don’t feel satisfied because there’s never enough! We are living with more riches than 90% of the world’s population, but still want more, buy things we cannot afford, justify it with “I deserve this!”. The fact is: we’re spoiled, we have too much, we are overwhelmed trying to keep up with all our possessions and over-stimulated by endless adventures, activities and events. There is a phenomena that has been called “Spiritual Materialism,” a greed for pleasurable spiritual and psychological experiences. These don’t necessarily bring one any closer to authentic Spirit, which cannot be purchased.

Spirit requires discipline and a daily spiritual practice that gets us out of our endless thoughts and cultivates our capacity to be fully present in the here/now. Spirit needs quiet time, stillness, silence to emerge. Endless activities, however wonderful, can be a distraction from Spirit. Thomas Merton says: “The rush and pressure of modern life are a form, perhaps the most common form, of its innate violence.”

By “being” rather than “doing” we are also able to tap into the creative potential of the feminine, an energy long neglected and greatly needed on today’s Planet Earth. So…..SLOW DOWN and give Spirit and the Goddess a chance to speak to you! Create moments when you can listen. There you will find the true riches of life.

Peace Pilgrim is an amazing example of somebody who truly lived a spirit-based life. She gave away everything she owned and spent 28 years (from the time she was 48 until she died in her 70’s) walking with nothing, not even a backpack, no money. She walked until she was offered shelter, fasted until she was given food, sharing her message of trust and simplicity. She is one of my heroines, a true role model for simple living. I am not ready for that lifestyle (yet), but I aspire to being that connected to spirit and living with that much trust that I will be taken care of. There is more info about Peace Pilgrim on the web.

All of this is just words and opinions, nothing more. True spirit is in here/now presence. Best to get off the computer, sit in the quiet and darkness with a cup of tea and hold love in your heart. None of what I said here is more important than honoring all the living and non-living beings of this planet with love and compassion.

I pray that you might have some wisdom or insight from these words that will help you along your path to finding true Spirit.

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