By Kristine Freeman
“Yoga says you must give money in charity. Yoga is not alone in promoting this spiritual principle. Every spiritual tradition and every religion says the same thing: give 10% of your income away. This is not because those organizations rely on your support for their existence, though they do. This is because giving to others is a human principle, not just a spiritual principle. Those who share their resources with others are happier people. When you open your heart, you want to open your wallet. And it works the other way around, when you open your wallet you open your heart.”
Swami Nirmalananda, “The Yoga of Money,” March 2012
I had experienced this spiritual principle in the most unlikely place. Standing outside on a cold rainy day, filling my tank at our local gas station, I noticed the red neon sign: Powerball Jackpot, $361 Million. I thought about what I’d do if I won. I’d be able to pay off the mortgages on Lokananda and the Ashram. I’d be able to give Lokananda a new roof. I felt such joy as these thoughts arose.
Then my tank was full and the pump clicked off. I felt so happy that I went inside the convenience store and bought a ticket in gratitude for the joy I’d received. Later I realized I’d given my $3 to the wrong source. The source of my joy was not the Powerball sign but the Self. Thoughts of Lokananda and the Ashram connected me directly to the bliss of my own being. Those thoughts spontaneously arose because I’ve developed a regular practice of financially supporting SVA with monthly and annual donations. The support I receive from SVA opens my heart, which makes me want to open my wallet, which in turn opens my heart even more deeply. Such a bliss-full cycle!
In gratitude for this experience of Self, I’ll be increasing my monthly donation by $3.00 a month. Swami explained the critical importance of monthly donations in a previous Ashram E-Letter…
On the practical side, set monthly donations allow us to budget and plan. The individual spontaneous donations are beautiful, and I am so moved when someone is moved to donate, so I do not want to minimize that. But the monthly commitment is about regularity; it is about relationship and supporting your practice by supporting the organization that supports you. Its not about the dollar amount of the commitment. When you make a commitment, you will tend to avail yourself more frequently of the relationship and services available (such as going on the website, listening to the free satsangs, coming to visit, etc.). Because you have made a commitment, you will see a difference in your spiritual growth. I want to see that difference for you.
Plus I get Swamiji’s new recording of “OM namah shivaya” as a donor gift for increasing my monthly gift. Giving and receiving!
This spring we ask for your ongoing support. Your monthly or one-time donation, in any amount, supports the organization that supports you. You choose your level of support, because it’s all about you. What support do you receive? What support will you return to the source?
How happy can you be?
Click here to donate.