Meditation on money, mindfulness and motorcycles

March 26, 2011

As a proponent of living mindfully and with a desire to bring mindfulness into my daily life in terms of: communication, work, family life, friendship, abundance, skillfulness and simplicity I have been thinking about mindfulness and money. I’ll write about the motorcycle in a bit.

I grew up with parents who wanted me to “understand the value of a dollar” and to “work for what I got”. These messages have been deeply ingrained. As a result, I have worked hard and believed what I have should be a result of the work I performed, so I had difficulty accepting gifts, especially gifts of money.

That being said, I do desire material things. I like to … Read more »

Ex-RAF officer who won his home back from a cult has spoken out for the first time

February 15, 2011

A former RAF officer persuaded to give his home to a spiritual healing centre has spoken out for the first time.

Richard Curtis, 53, won his house back last month after bringing a court case for undue influence against the Self-Realization Meditation Healing Centre.

The Somerset-based centre, a registered charity, is appealing against the ruling.

Mr Curtis, from Brecon, told the BBC’s Inside Out West programme he wants the law on charity donations to be changed.

He said: “I am fighting a battle not just for myself but for all the other people that have given all to god and guru and been left with nothing.”

‘Presumption of influence’

Mr Curtis had been a follower … Read more »

Review of “Super Rich,” a self-help book by hip-hop promoter Russell Simmons

January 23, 2011

Russell Simmons Super RichThe transformation of hip-hop mogul Russell Simmons from the recreational drug-using, model-chasing manager of seminal 1980s rap artists Run-DMC, LL Cool J and Will Smith into a serene 21st-century prophet of veganism and meditation may be surreal, but it’s also quite real.

Even in his dark days of excess, Simmons had a lot of light around him. As 1990s entrepreneurs like Suge Knight made the rap business virtually synonymous with invective and violence, Simmons stood above them as a relative paragon of virtue, achieving unmatched success with humor and hustle rather than brutality. As he matured and embraced his holistic lifestyle, Simmons became “Uncle Rush,” purveyor of hip-hop brands but also philanthropist and father-figure.


Read more »

Have less, give more

August 8, 2010

handsI’m fascinated by the psychology of giving and/or financial exchanges. Just this morning I was noticing my hesitation in committing to pay 99¢ for an iPhone app without having tried it first. But when I go into a coffee shop I happily plonk down $1.50 or so for a cup of Joe, without hesitating or asking for a free trial. The coffee will last me for 20 minutes, while I might end up using the app on a daily basis for an indefinite period of time. There’s no guarantee I’m going to find the coffee pleasant. Screwy, but normal.

One peculiarity regarding money is that people who have less of it are more willing to … Read more »

“The Heart of the Buddha,” by Chogyam Trungpa

July 29, 2010

heart of the buddhaTrungpa Rinpoche was a deeply flawed man, but an inspiring teacher. A new book gives Suriyavamsa a chance to reflect on Trungpa’s genius, and on the visceral and striking teaching it gave rise to.

I remember studying with my teacher Sangharakshita in a group of Triratna Buddhist centre teachers a couple of years ago. He expressed his admiration for Chogyam Trungpa and, using Gurdjieff’s distinction between the narrow saint and the broad genius, considered Trungpa to be a flawed genius of intelligence, flair and imagination. Sangharakshita went on to encourage us all to become ‘geniuses’ – to be broad and other regarding, and to develop the many diverse talents necessary to spread the Buddha’s teachings.… Read more »

Mindfulness over market matters

March 29, 2010

The next time the stock market takes a sickening plunge, perhaps you should take time out to meditate.

That would be the recommendation of certified financial planner Graham Byron and meditation coach Maria Gonzalez. The pair recently published a book called The Mindful Investor. The book’s subtitle makes an impressive claim: By maintaining a calm mind, you can obtain both inner peace and financial security.

Gonzalez, president of Toronto-based Argonauta Strategic Alliances Consulting Inc., says the book was conceived after Byron noticed how practising “mindfulness” and “equanimity” helped his clients when the market crashed.

Mindfulness meditation involves cultivating the simple awareness of whatever is arising in the moment. “It enabled him to work with … Read more »

Meditations on ‘lazy investing’

December 29, 2009

Commentary: Turning to Buffett, Bogle and Buddha for wisdom on how to invest

By Paul B. Farrell, MarketWatch

ARROYO GRANDE, Calif. (MarketWatch) — Last May, 35,000 shareholders crowded into the Berkshire Hathaway annual shareholders meeting. One of the faithful asked a fundamental question: “What is the secret to value investing?”

According to an article in Harper’s Magazine — “The Church of Warren Buffett: Faith and Fundamentals in Omaha” — Buffett replied with all the serenity of the Buddha: “Independent thinking and inner peace.”
Billionaire’s bright lights bring big cheer

WSJ’s Alan Murray shows us the latest extravagant light display decorating the home of hedge fund manager Paul Tudor Jones in Greenwich, Conn.

Independent thinking? Traditional … Read more »

“To Buy Or Not To Buy,” by April Lane Benson, PhD

June 24, 2009

To Buy Or Not To Buy. April Lane Benson.A new book offers help to those caught up in the painful compulsion to over-shop, from advice on how to untangle the financial mess that results from living beyond one’s means, to exercises for uncovering the unmet needs that drive the addiction to over-consume.

“For every Imelda Marcos — who fled the Philippines leaving behind more than three thousand pairs of shoes — there are countless unknown overshoppers: a businessman whose collection of fountain pens has grown obsessive; a language teacher whose closets are stuffed with unworn, still-tagged garments; a waitress who’s succumbed to the Jewelry Television Network.”

April Lane Benson, PhD has written a self-help book that could quite easily be transposed to other … Read more »

Dharma on zero dollars a day

November 23, 2008

Urban meditation

In a time of global financial meltdown, it may be wise to consider that many of the best things in life are indeed free, including self-awareness, happiness, and the freedom to explore one’s own experience. Bodhipaksa shares some reflections from a former monk.

“Rise before dawn and bow three times to the Buddha within you. Bow three times to whatever Buddha image you may already have. If you have no Buddha image, trace the outline of a footprint or a circle on the wall and bow to that. Bow three times to anyone else who may be doing this practice at this very moment, to those who have done it in the past, and to … Read more »

Dazzling treasures of the heart

August 27, 2008

RatnasambhavaKarunachitta introduces us to Ratnasambhava, the Buddha of abundance, and issues a challenge: Dare we discover the extent of our inner riches?

When I was a child I kept going back to certain fairy stories. There was King Midas’s quest for riches. He was so delighted at the beauty of trees and flowers when his touch transformed them into gold but horrified when those he loved became solid gold statues.

Then there was Aladdin with the lamp that could grant all wishes. I used to wonder what I would wish for, especially when in some stories people were granted three wishes but could only think of stupid things that changed nothing.

I had a glimpse … Read more »