Sunday, February 13, 2011


photo: B Kriegler

What is prosperity? What is abundance? What is wealth? Obviously, it’s not thousands in your checkbook---I know quite a few people whose bank accounts are full and yet they experience a sense of lack every day.
            To look more deeply at the nature of prosperity (and, in truth, because as a freelance writer money has always been an issue) I recently decided to attend a Kundalini yoga workshop on the subject. For six consecutive Saturdays we met to discuss our goals, examine our understanding of prosperity, and dissect our attitudes about money. We also did a short meditation each morning at home (one could chant for three to 11 minutes—I opted for the “Full Monty” because 11 minutes was supposed to yield the greatest results).
            In case you’re unfamiliar with the practice, Kundalini is a unique style of yoga: often called “the yoga of awareness,” it is based on the teachings of Yogi Bhajan, who brought the ancient techniques here from India in the late 1960s. While it can be very vigorous and physically demanding, it’s also a great workout for your spiritual side. The classes encourage you to get in touch with your own inner wisdom. 
Working together throughout this series under the guidance of an extraordinary Kundalini yoga teacher, I could sense the shift that many of the students experienced. Some of the participants got jobs during the process—new opportunities arose that hadn’t been offered before. Others broke through some roadblocks in their own thinking about wealth and money. One woman received so much additional work that she began praying for the stamina to get it all accomplished!
            But those things didn’t happen to me. My phone didn’t begin ringing with lucrative writing assignments (I’m still wondering where my next $100 is coming from—not where my next $100,000 is coming from, which is what one “successful” Hollywood writer once told me he worries about). I didn’t snag an agent, or land a hefty book deal.
            Yet thinking and meditating on the topic of prosperity wasn’t a waste of my time. In fact, the practice caused me to realize more fully that what I really want is already here. I have more time to do what I love (read, write, and practice yoga), than anyone I know.  Financial resources may be scanty now and then, but I am rich in family, friends, and –knock on wood—good health.  Simply the fact that I’m practicing Kundalini yoga has enriched my life in ways I never before could have imagined.
            I wouldn’t even trade my “riches” for Bill Gates’ bank account: after all, there’s no amount of money that could buy my family, my friends, or my outlook on life. Prosperity isn’t so much about raking in the cash as it is about recognizing the incredible wealth that you already have. And, I have every reason to believe that I’m just going to keep on getting richer and richer, because once you are filled with and surrounded by love the “dividends” just keep on growing.

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