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[Book Summary] Abundance: The Inner Path to Wealth

Abundance (2022) offers a new way of releasing you from a life of lack and scarcity. By using its meditation techniques, you can transform your life from one dogged by limitations into one where you want for nothing.

[Book Summary] Abundance: The Inner Path to Wealth

Content Summary

Genres
Introduction: What’s in it for me? Use the tools of Yoga to increase your inner and outer wealth.
Living your best life is the key to ongoing abundance.
Awareness is essential for fostering abundance.
Meditation hones awareness.
The journey to abundance begins by connecting with bliss, intuition and authenticity.
Healing, power, desire and security complete your journey to abundance.
Final Summary
About the author
Table of Contents
Overview
Review/Endorsements/Praise/Award
Video and Podcast
Read an Excerpt/PDF Preview

Genres

Mindfulness, Happiness, Personal Development, Religion, Spirituality, Alternative Medicine, Health, Eastern Philosophy, Meditation, Spiritual Self-Help, Psychology

Introduction: Use the tools of Yoga to increase your inner and outer wealth.

When you think of the word “Yoga,” you’re probably more likely to imagine simple living in an ashram than material wealth. But the tools of Yoga can be used to achieve anything – even financial gain – if they’re employed in the right way. That’s because Yoga doesn’t discriminate between the inner and outer worlds. And this essentially means that if you can imagine it, Yoga can help you bring your dreams into reality.

In this summary, we’ll explore how you can use the seven chakras of Yoga to flood your life with abundance. By connecting with your chakras through targeted meditation practices, you can tap into your inner power and make your dreams come true, no matter what they are.

Living your best life is the key to ongoing abundance.

If you’re reading this summary, you’re probably hoping that you’ll soon know the secret to being wealthy. And if that’s the case, you’ve come to the right place! That’s exactly what’s going to happen. But we’re not going to explore investment models or financial planning. We’re going to look at how you can access abundance by being connected, aware, and authentic.

Before we jump into it, we need to understand the context a little better. Specifically, we need to define Yoga – with a capital Y. When most people talk about yoga, they’re referring to the combination of exercise and meditation, where you contort yourself into all different types of shapes and feel chilled out afterward. That’s yoga with a lowercase y.

Capital-Y Yoga includes exercise and meditation – and much more. It’s a practice that aims to unite what’s happening inside you – your thoughts and feelings – with other people and the physical world. When the inside and the outside exist in harmony, you feel whole and happy. And the way you achieve this is through raising your consciousness.

This leads us back to the reason why you’re here – money. Most people think of money as currency, or numbers in a bank account that are ideally increasing. But Yoga teaches us that money is actually a tool of consciousness. When you start increasing your consciousness, it transforms how you view money. Ultimately, your goal will shift from getting money for the sake of being wealthy to using money as a tool to help you live your best life.

So, what is your “best life?”

Well, when you’re living your best life, you have absolutely everything you need and aren’t struggling to get anything because abundance is flowing through you. When you have the support of your consciousness, you’re in a state where you can be endlessly generous in spirit. This has nothing to do with how much material wealth you have – it’s about attitude. Even the poorest person can be loving, wise, compassionate, creative, and honest. A person in this state is said to be “in their dharma.” And being in your dharma is the key to being wealthy.

You already possess all the qualities you need to be in your dharma. But if you’re like most people, you probably don’t know how to tune into them. That’s where consciousness comes into it. When you tune in, you start living according to your values – and that’s when abundance can transform your life.

Awareness is essential for fostering abundance.

So, how exactly do you use consciousness to tune in?

First, let’s have a look at what consciousness means in this context. Yoga teaches that consciousness is dynamic – always on the move. Imagine it as an electric current flowing out into the world, on the hunt for something to connect to. In humans, consciousness is always looking for ways to create, discover, and experience joy. You can see this in toddlers. They’re innately driven to learn how to talk and walk, and they get so excited by each step they take and each new sound they make.

When consciousness is in action like this, Yoga calls it creative intelligence. But for the sake of simplicity, let’s refer to it as awareness. Awareness is responsible for evolution on both a large and small scale. Take, for instance, ancient humans who witnessed forest fires. All the other creatures fled or went into hiding. But humans looked at fire and saw potential. They imagined taming and creating their own fire so they could stay warm and cook their meals. This is awareness in action.

Awareness is the most powerful driver of change. If you don’t realize that something needs to – and can – change, everything stays the same. Our egos tend to tangle us up in hopes and fears, and this stops us from seeing a clear path to change. But if we increase our awareness, we can identify the path to wealth and abundance.

Dharma helps us recognize each change we need to make; it’s like stepping stones on the path to success. Your mind wants to be in a state of dharma, because that’s where you feel happy and at peace. So all you need to do is get into the habit of creating the right circumstances that’ll put you in that state.

The way to do this is through simple awareness. Simple awareness is a state of mind that fosters insight and revelation. If you’ve had an “aha!” moment, you’ve experienced simple awareness. These moments happen when your mind experiences quiet between two thoughts. The problem is that our hectic, modern lives often don’t allow for much of a gap between one thought and the next, so there’s no room for that quiet moment.

Picture it this way: Imagine your mind is a bow and your thoughts are arrows. If you give your mind a moment to draw the bowstring back as far as possible, your arrow will shoot further, faster, and more powerfully. But if your mind is moving too quickly to pull the bowstring all the way back each time, your arrows won’t pack as much of a punch.

Practicing meditation regularly is a great way to quiet your mind so you can shoot those arrows as far as possible. But, of course, it’s not always convenient to put your schedule on pause so you can meditate. To counter this, pay attention to how you’re feeling. If you’re stressed, distracted, or disturbed by your thoughts, you’re not in a state of simple awareness. Ideally, find a place where you can be alone so you can close your eyes and take a few deep breaths.

Even if you can’t step away from the situation you’re in, you can still give yourself a moment to pause, breathe, and recenter. This will encourage your mind to quiet. And just by being aware of how you feel means your battle is already half-won.

Meditation hones awareness.

So, how does this all come together to increase abundance?

Abundance occurs when we have everything we need and feel fulfilled. That second point is important. There are plenty of miserable wealthy people out there who don’t have the attitude of abundance we talked about earlier – who aren’t generous in spirit.

Practicing simple awareness will help you develop an attitude of abundance. That’s because when your mind is quiet, it’s impossible to feel like you’re lacking in anything. And if you want for nothing, it means you’re in your dharma.

Yoga teaches that there are seven key areas of awareness, known as chakras. Connecting with each of these areas through meditation will welcome abundance into your life. If your goals align with being in your dharma – meaning they speak to an attitude of abundance – then you can manifest them and transform that attitude of abundance into actual abundance.

Let’s have a look at the seven chakras in more detail now.

The journey to abundance begins by connecting with bliss, intuition and authenticity.

The chakras, which are located in your head and along your spine, are seven points associated with different parts of your body. Together, they create a pathway from your mind to the outside world. Every chakra is like a milestone on that journey, offering you a specific gift. When you’re connected with each of the seven chakras, the course is clear of obstacles – and abundance can flow through your life with ease. Following this pathway, we’re going to start our exploration of the chakras at the top of the head and finish with the final chakra that connects you to the Earth.

The crown chakra, known as Chakra 7, is the source of bliss. In Yoga, bliss means heightened consciousness; true bliss comes from truly knowing that you exist.

The crown chakra’s gifts are wholeness, oneness, and joy. It connects you to the source of abundance, where lack can’t exist. When you’re connected to the crown chakra, you know that you’re enough, just as you are. You may not yet have reached your full potential – but you know that the potential is already there, waiting for you to tap into it. Ultimately, Chakra 7 is what carries you to enlightenment, where you unite with being so deeply that your sense of self completely falls away. In everyday life, this takes the form of feeling inspired, alive, and awake.

To connect to the crown chakra, meditate on the mantra “So hum,” or repeat the centering thought “I am” in your mind. You should also be generous every day. This will deactivate your ego. Your ego is what keeps you in a state of lack, telling you that you aren’t enough or that you don’t have enough to share with others. That makes it your biggest obstacle to abundance. Being generous, which could be as simple as smiling at a cashier or helping a stranger carry their stroller up the stairs, honors abundance and shuts down your ego. Sharing what inspires you – a piece of music, a book, or a fact about a scientific wonder – is another way to connect with the crown chakra while lifting someone’s spirit.

The next milestone on the pathway to abundance is the third eye chakra located on your forehead. Chakra 6 is the source of highest intelligence. But we’re not talking about IQ or book smarts here. In Yoga, intelligence refers to insight, intuition, and imagination. Using these tools, the third eye chakra can provide a solution to any problem you encounter.

The third eye chakra connects you to knowingness – understanding important subtleties that carry insights. If you’ve ever experienced a breakup, you might’ve thought, If I’d known what my ex was really like, I never would’ve gotten into this mess! Statements like this suggest that you weren’t connected with your third eye chakra. If you had been, you may have seen your ex for who they truly were.

When you’re connected to Chakra 6, your mind is open and receptive. This means your perceptions aren’t blurred or muddied by your ego or biases. You feel confident and comfortable taking the time you need to think and reflect, and you aren’t swayed by fears or other peoples’ opinions. Your connection assures you that the solution to every challenge – even financial ones – is available. You just need to use awareness to identify it.

To connect to the third eye chakra, meditate on the mantra “Om,” or repeat the centering thought “I know.” You can also use the third eye chakra to shift away from busy mental activity toward intuition, where deep knowing lives. This is what leads to breakthroughs. Before you go to bed, state your problem clearly, followed by the outcome you’d like to have. Then, give your problem to the universe and detach from it. In the morning, listen quietly for the answer. It may not come to you immediately, so stay open and attuned to flashes of inspiration.

Chakra 5, or the throat chakra­, is the next location on our journey. The throat chakra is all about self-expression in its truest form, and the gift it brings is authenticity.

You may have noticed that all the methods of connecting to your chakras involve words – repeating mantras or centering thoughts, or making clear statements. Words are powerful. We all know they contain meaning and subtext. When we speak them, they also carry tone, emotion, and power dynamics. By using words with awareness, you’re choosing to express yourself authentically. When you do this, you can speak without fear because the crown chakra has already grounded you in the knowledge that you are enough. This lifts you away from scarcity and into abundance.

When you’re connected with the throat chakra, you can use your words to communicate clearly and respectfully. You’re honest and authentic without being hurtful to others, and you feel heard. In a relaxed and peaceful atmosphere like this, mutually beneficial solutions surface quickly because everyone is at ease.

To connect to the throat chakra, meditate on the mantra “Ham,” or repeat the centering thought “I speak my truth.” You can also use your connection with the throat chakra to change the harmful stories you tell yourself about who you are. For instance, if you weren’t loved unconditionally as a child, you may find it hard to believe you’re enough just as you are. You may have repeated this story to yourself so many times over the years that you think it’s the truth. But by connecting with the throat chakra, you can change that story. Perhaps your parents’ behavior had nothing to do with you. Perhaps they were trapped by their own harmful stories. Using awareness, you can uncover new narratives that are more accurate than the ones you’ve been telling yourself. This will help you move toward knowing that you’re enough.

Healing, power, desire and security complete your journey to abundance.

We’re now going to move into the chakras associated with points in your torso. First is Chakra 4, or the heart chakra, which sits in the center of your chest. The heart chakra encompasses all emotions – but particularly love, happiness, and empathy – and its gift is truly transformative. The heart chakra offers you healing by helping to release emotions that are stopping you from tapping into abundance.

Many people experience emotional poverty; they feel sad, helpless, and anxious or are afraid of intimacy. When we experience these difficult emotions, we often try to numb them, deny them, or avoid them because they’re too painful. But the heart chakra is your internal healer. Connecting with it will help you understand that deep happiness is always available to you – and that you don’t need to keep suffering.

In everyday life, this means paying attention to your feelings and acknowledging or expressing them. Doing this allows you to build close, healthy relationships with others; you’re able to share your feelings without the fear of being judged and can draw on the support of loved ones. Being connected to Chakra 4 allows you to gently blow away the buildup of experiences that cause inner pain, in the same way that you might blow dust off a mirror.

To connect to the heart chakra, meditate on the mantra “Yam,” or repeat the centering thought “I am love.” Meditating on a memory of a time you felt joyful will also foster your connection with Chakra 4. Visualize that moment in detail – it might be a wedding, watching a sunset with a dear friend, or listening to beautiful music. Focus on your heart and the joy that the memory evokes, and let it flow through you.

Moving down the spine, we arrive at the next chakra – the solar plexus chakra – which sits just above your navel, or belly button. This chakra is the domain of physical health, determination, and positive activity. Its gift is crucial; it brings you focused energy that transforms you into an agent of change.

In the frenzy of modern life, it’s easy to feel like you don’t have much personal power. You’re constantly being swept up by the demands of work, family life, and ever-present smartphones. Yoga teaches us, though, that personal power is inside us – which makes it infinite and completely unrelated to external forces. When you tap into this power, you have the strength and energy you need to put your goals into action.

If you’ve ever been “in the zone,” you’ve already connected to Chakra 3! In this state, your actions almost seem to happen on their own. You feel calm and confident about what you’re doing. Obstacles fall away, and you get a sense of joy from being fully immersed in your activity. Success is inevitable because you’re attuned to what is unfolding; you’re able to navigate challenges like a soccer player weaving through other players on the field.

Sadly, Western society has placed a lot of value on the complete opposite of this – multitasking and busyness. All this does is divide your attention and disconnect you from abundance, limiting your success. This is why so many people feel frustrated, stressed, and unmotivated at work.

To connect to the solar plexus chakra, meditate on the mantra “Ram,” or repeat the centering thought “I am in my power.” Give yourself permission to do just one thing at a time. Pay attention to how you’re feeling; if you become stressed or unfocused, pause for a moment to collect yourself. And turn off your phone for at least 30 minutes every day. Ideally, do something creative during this time, or practice yoga or meditation. You’ll be amazed by how quickly you start seeing results when you allow yourself to connect with your inner power.

You might have noticed that as we’ve moved along the chakra pathway, we’ve transitioned from the internal world of thoughts, knowledge, and feelings into the more external world of action. Chakra 2 – the sacrum chakra – takes us a step further into that world. Associated with the lower back, it connects us to everything sensorial, sensual, and sexual.

The gift of the sacrum chakra is desire. Desire motivates us to achieve our goals, no matter what they are. In that way, Chakra 2 is what drives us to fulfill our goals so that we can experience bliss.

You might be wondering what that has to do with physical sensation. Well, our senses shape our desires. When we see, hear, smell, touch, or taste something, we either want more of it – or we don’t. If you can shift beyond satisfying only what your ego wants, you can connect with desire in a way that will open the floodgates to abundance.

When your awareness is activated, your focus is on what you truly need in order to grow, evolve, and experience bliss. When you experience bliss, you don’t crave anything at all because you feel fulfilled. This is quite different to how the ego behaves. Its desires aren’t sustaining; instead, it forces you to feed it the same thing over and over again.

To connect to the sacrum chakra, meditate on the mantra “Vam,” or repeat the centering thought “I embrace desire.” Just before you go to sleep, get into the habit of visualizing a moment of happiness that happened during the day. It doesn’t need to be anything major. You might have felt joy while watching your kids play or singing along to a song on the radio. Let the feeling of joy soak through you. This will train your mind to pay attention to bliss.

We’ve now arrived at the final milestone of our journey: Chakra 1, or the root chakra. Associated with the base of the spine, the root chakra provides safety and security. Its gift is that it grounds you so deeply into existence that you are unshakeable, no matter what’s going on around you.

When you’re connected with the root chakra, you become free to embrace absolutely everything – inside and out – without any fear. In practice, this looks like being solid in who you are, being comfortable in your skin, feeling physically and emotionally safe, and living in the present moment.

The root chakra connects us to the Earth, and then to the whole universe. Yoga teaches that awareness is in everything – in every single atom, including those that science would classify as nonliving. That means awareness has existed even longer than humankind. It also doesn’t distinguish between you and everything else; it merely is and is in everything – always.

This is what makes manifesting your goals possible. If you have an intention, like meeting the right partner or finding the right job, you can make that intention a reality. Creating and maintaining a clear pathway from your crown chakra, where your goal begins its journey as an idea, all the way through to the root chakra, which connects you to the Earth, can transform your intention into the outcome you seek. This happens because there is no “I” as far as the universe is concerned; there is only universal consciousness and awareness.

The deeper your connection to the root chakra, the greater your powers of manifestation. This is what delivers dreams and thoughts into the realm of the physical world.

To connect to the root chakra, meditate on the mantra “Lam,” or repeat the centering thought “I am always safe and secure.” Foster your connection by regularly lying on the grass, somewhere sunny and peaceful. With your back to the ground, imagine yourself sinking into the Earth until there’s no distance between you and it. Feel Earth’s energy rising up to infuse you. Along with this energy, you’ll experience bliss and a deep certainty that abundance is available to you.

Final Summary

It may seem like chakras are an outlandish way to increase your wealth. But if you dive a little deeper, it actually makes complete sense. That’s because chakras are tools you can use to increase your awareness. If you have a clear vision of what abundance looks like, you can tune into your awareness to evaluate whether each action you’re undertaking aligns with that vision. By strengthening your chakras through meditation and targeted daily practices, you’ll propel yourself forward on the path to abundance – which is already waiting for you, ready to help you live your best life.

About the author

Deepak Chopra, MD, FACP, founder of the Chopra Foundation and Chopra Global, is a world-renowned pioneer in integrative medicine and personal transformation. Chopra is a clinical professor of family medicine and public health at the University of California, San Diego, and serves as a senior scientist with Gallup Organization. He is the author of more than ninety books translated into over forty-three languages, including multiple bestsellers. Time magazine has described Dr. Chopra as “one of the top 100 heroes and icons of the century.”

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Deepak Chopra

Table of Contents

Overview

An enlightening guide to success, fulfillment, wholeness, and plenty, offering practical advice on how to cultivate a sense of abundance in times of fear and insecurity, from New York Times bestselling author Deepak Chopra

“To attain wealth of the lasting kind, the kind that gives your life meaning, value, and sustenance, base your daily existence on the generosity of spirit.”—Deepak Chopra

Many of us live and operate from a mind-set of lack, scarcity, and limitation. We focus on what we don’t have—financial security, confidence, an intimate relationship—which keeps us feeling insecure and inadequate. We think “if only I could have those things, I could be happy.” But measuring wealth by money or material possessions leaves us feeling drained and spiritually empty. Constantly striving for more often means our ego is driving our thoughts, actions, and reactions, which prevents us from reaching something greater: a true sense of inner peace, acceptance, and fulfillment.

Yet, there is an inner path to prosperity and wealth that, once charted and explored, provides access to the great riches of the universe and life’s unbounded possibilities.

In Abundance, international bestselling author Deepak Chopra illuminates this road to success and wholeness, helping readers tap into a deeper sense of awareness to become agents of change in their own lives. Mixing ancient teachings and spiritual practices with the wisdom he’s garnered over four decades as the leading figure in mind-body medicine, Deepak demonstrates how to transcend self-generated feelings of limitation and fear in order to experience true abundance in all aspects of life. To do so, he offers a seven-step plan along with meditations and mindfulness techniques to help you focus and direct your attention, energy, and intuition so you can experience stability, affluence, insight, creativity, love, and true power.

Video and Podcast

Review/Endorsements/Praise/Award

“An engaging guide meant to ‘transform consciousness into wealth’ through yoga and meditation.” – Publishers Weekly

Read an Excerpt/PDF Preview

Part One

The Yoga of Money

Yoga provides us with the greatest way to make and handle money, to give money its true value, and to use it to achieve success and happiness. I know how surprising this claim sounds. Indian spirituality is identified with renunciation and detachment from the world. Our typical image is of a white-­bearded hermit, meditating in a cave high in the Himalayas. But, in reality, Yoga isn’t spiritual in the religious sense. Yoga is the science of consciousness.

When you know how consciousness actually behaves, you find that something startling happens: You change with it. Learning about anything else doesn’t have this dramatic effect. You might be enthusiastic, even delighted, to learn about anything else—­history, geography, physics, etc.—­but you won’t be changed on the inside; you won’t experience the personal transformation caused by Yoga.

There is an immediate connection to money, strange as this seems at first glance. At the soul level, there is generosity of spirit. This manifests as the following:

  • Infinite abundance
  • Infinite possibilities
  • Unlimited creativity
  • Mercy, grace, and loving kindness
  • Eternal love
  • Boundless giving

These gifts are innate and human awareness is designed to express them. If you embody them in your own life, you are wealthy in the truest sense of the word. Measuring wealth by money alone is spiritually empty. (I know nothing about reggae music, but the great reggae musician Bob Marley spoke like a yogi when he said, “Some people are so poor, all they have is money.”)

To attain wealth of the lasting kind, the kind that gives your life meaning, value, and sustenance, base your daily existence on the generosity of spirit. Everything else you desire will follow of its own accord.

Once you make the connection between consciousness and money, you have stepped onto the right path. Money isn’t all the gold in Fort Knox and all the dollar bills floating around in pockets and purses. Money is a tool of consciousness. Therefore, your state of awareness determines how you see money, how you gain it, and what you use it for. Consciousness is always in motion, and so is money. Consciousness motivates us to seek more out of life; money follows this journey and eases the way if you have enough of it.

If you shift your attitude away from money as the goal, but instead intend to get more out of life, you will have the support of consciousness. In Yoga this support comes from dharma, which comes from a Sanskrit verb that means “to uphold or support.” If you are in your dharma, as it is usually phrased, abundance follows. If you are out of your dharma, you experience lack. Without the support of consciousness, nothing valuable can be achieved.

The concept behind money is powerful, and once it took hold (archaeologists trace the first money to the Mesopotamian shekel around five thousand years ago), money exploded as an idea. Behind modern life, the idea still flourishes. Seen as an invention of the mind, money accomplishes four different things that are necessary to human society. Money serves us as reward, value, need, and exchange. Pause and consider why you personally need money, and you’ll see that all four things are present in your life.

Reward: The money slipped into a child’s birthday card, the salary every worker is paid, and the tip left for the waiter in a restaurant are all rewards.

Value: The money slipped into the birthday card is pure giving, not needing to be earned. But it conveys that the child who gets the money is valued. The salary you earn expresses the value of your work, and for many people this becomes a way to measure their self-­esteem.

Need: We live in a service economy that exists to fill people’s needs much more than to provide physical necessities. When you need a doctor, a college education, a set of new tires, and a thousand other things, money brings you what you need, even seemingly superfluous needs, like this season’s new fashion in sneakers or a bigger flat-­screen TV.

Exchange: Money makes up the difference between two items that do not match in value. If you have a mountain bike for sale and I have only a dozen eggs to offer as barter, money has to be exchanged to make the bargain fair.

All of these ideas, and many more swirling around money, are the products of consciousness. This much it is easy to show. Yoga adds a missing ingredient, which turns out to be all-­important. Yoga teaches that the closer you get to the source of awareness, the more power your consciousness has. By translating this power into things you desire, and the money to pay for them, you transform consciousness into wealth.

Money can’t be sorted out from this tangle of good and bad choices. Because it is tied to everything we need, value, reward, and exchange, money is actually the coin of consciousness. You gain and spend joy, you experience love, friendship, family, work, opportunity, success, and setback, and money is always somewhere in the mix.

As Yoga sees it, consciousness is creative. It gives the mind thoughts, feelings, inspirations, breakthroughs, insights, “Aha!” moments, and everything else we value, including love, compassion, joy, and intelligence. The closer you are to the silent wellspring of consciousness inside you, the more you will receive these benefits. In the Judeo-­Christian tradition, these benefits got translated into the fits of a merciful God, or Providence. But Yoga retained a focus on the self, not an outside divine power.

By keeping the focus on the self, we are not merely higher primates, but the expression of infinite pure consciousness. We exist to fulfill any creative possibility that we desire to pursue. There is no value judgment in Yoga. It is the science of consciousness, not a set of moral rules. Desires are all equal the instant they are born in our awareness. What kind of desire is good for us, however, is our personal responsibility.

Dharma and Money

The generosity of spirit is infinite. Therefore, nothing is more natural than abundance. What is unnatural is scarcity, lack, and poverty. I know that these are loaded words. All kinds of beliefs swirl around rich and poor, haves and have-­nots. Social forces often work against the poor, and in no way am I casting blame or making a value judgment. Underlying all the inequality and unfairness, spirit isn’t harmed or even affected. Take a snapshot of anyone’s life anywhere in the world, and there is a path of dharma that spirit will support. It is always an inner path, and yet few people, East or West, rich or poor, understand how to gain access to their spiritual birthright. Yoga is the storehouse of the knowledge that is required before anyone can truly live the life they were meant to live, in fulfillment and abundance from the inside.

The key to wealth is being in your dharma, staying on the path that is best for you. “Best for you” is not defined in advance. You have a choice, and in fact you have been making choices your entire life that led to this moment in time. Look around, and the situation you find yourself in was mind-­made. The physical appearances of a house, a job, possessions, salary, bank account, etc. are the results of consciousness. In and of themselves, material things have no intrinsic value. A mansion can be a place filled with unhappiness, a cottage can be filled with joy. A job can be a source of personal fulfillment or a grind. Your salary can bring you what you want out of life or barely keep your head above water.

If you want more out of life, construct a vision that dharma will support. In a moment I’ll ask you to write down your personal vision of success, wealth, and fulfillment. But before that can be useful, you need to know which values dharma supports and which values it doesn’t.

Dharma will support you if . . .

You aim to be happy and fulfilled.

You give of yourself to others.

You make other people’s success as important as your own.

You act out of love.

You have ideals and live by them.

You are peaceful.

You inspire yourself and the people around you.

You are self-­reliant.

You listen and learn.

You expand your options.

You take responsibility.

You are curious about new experiences.

You are open-­minded.

You have self-­acceptance and know your worth.

Because being in your dharma is the most natural way to live, these things are just as natural and easy to follow. But modern life doesn’t guide us according to what is dharmic, and often quite the opposite. We are influenced to believe in a way of life that produces stress, distraction, unhappiness, and constant stimulation. These results come about when you live on the surface of your awareness. On the surface there is a constant play of demands and desires that have no deep roots. Their spiritual value is nil, meaning that there is no connection to dharma.

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