Money Mindfulness Practice #1 – Becoming Aware

Money has the potential to be an agent of transformation in your life, your community, and the world. To harness the power of your money, you must become mindful I your relationship to it. Being committed to being present with our financial situation – including our hopes and fears, can lead to greater prosperity and fruitful outcomes. Mindfulness is like a muscle: the more you use it, the stronger it becomes.

Mindfulness is the practice of simply being aware of whatever is happening in this present moment. This includes being aware of the stories and thoughts that shape our actions around our finances, as well as unpleasant sensations that arise when we are engaging with our finances or when we are caught in collective societal fear. This idea of a spacious, attentive, compassionate quality with our lives and our finances is the path to ease suffering for yourself and others around you.

Here is a simple, practical meditation practice to understand and skillfully meet change as it arises and passes. Start by sitting in an upright position in a comfortable chair. Feel gravity anchoring you, and begin to bring awareness to the ways change is presenting itself to you even now. Set a timer, if you’d like, and spend about two to three minutes on each of the following aspects of your mindfulness experience.

  1. BREATH: notice your breath coming in and out. The breath is such a powerful reminder of change and also is so symbolic of how money comes and goes. It’s also a great way to consciously come back to what connects you to your essential life force.
  2. THOUGHTS: As you sit still, notice how thoughts come and go. You can’t stop them even if you wanted to. I once heard a teacher say that in a thirty-minute meditation session, some 350 thoughts or so pass through our mind. Trying to control or stop your thoughts would be like trying to control the wind or the climate. Instead, simply notice as they come and go. Don’t control them, let them flow.
  3. SOUND: Listen carefully and notice how sounds around you rise and fall, and how each sound is unique compared to the next one.
  4. BODY SENSATION: Notice both pleasant and unpleasant sensations in your body. Not all change is comfortable to be with. Shift in whatever way you need to be comfortable.
  5. OPEN UP TO EVERYTHING: Sit and open up to everything that arises and passes away; sound, thoughts, feelings, and sensations. Develop a container to hold it all. If it becomes too much, go back to one area of focus. The breath is a good home base since it’s happening all the time and is so life-giving.

I hope you will incorporate this practice into your daily routine. Commit yourself to just seven minutes once or twice a day. Many people find their best focus times to be upon waking and just before they drift off to sleep. As you incorporate these practices into your lifestyle, you may also find that it is also beneficial to practice a modified version of money mindfulness in your daily routine. You can become mindful while sitting in traffic or walking the dog. Find what works for you.

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