Rama, Dr. Frederick Lenz, on Career Success: (c)
People who are involved in self-discovery lead different types of lives. The lives they lead are not necessarily the lives of renunciation. Rather, it is a structuring of the elements in your life in a particular way.
Some people have a very strange idea that material success does not coincide harmoniously with self-realization, which is absurd. Material success is as much a part of the universe as anything else. To assume that wealth or sexuality or the usage of power, any of these things are not void in nature, gives them a reality they don't actually have.
People use ideas of non-duality as an escape from reality. It is very easy to say there is no winning and losing and justify the fact that you didn't do a very good job. Duality is a part of reality, and there is definitely winning and losing. If you don't think so talk to someone who has beaten cancer, talk to somebody who hasn't.
I meet people who neglect career. Their lives aren't centered at all. They don't have much money. They have this spaced-out look in their eyes. Their chances for enlightenment are very small, unless they change the way they live.
We live in a competitive society. To pretend that it is not there is ridiculous. That is how the whole planet is set up. If you are not competitive you do not succeed, you do not survive. Money equals the ability to be mobile in this word, to travel, to live in a place that is suitable, to not be brought down or drained, to not to be a victim.
Money is very useful in this particular world to buy you space. In the old days, there were not too many people on the planet. Today everybody owns the forests and woods and there are "No Trespassing" signs everywhere.
Without money, you are powerless in this world. You are totally subject to whatever happens. To be without money in the physical world is to be powerless.
We live in a world of careers. Work, as Sri Krishna points out in the Bhagavad Gita, is a necessary path for everyone attaining enlightenment. It is something that we all do. If you don't meet the challenge, if you don't learn anything new, if you kind of just veg-out in this lifetime, then you will be right back in the same place in your next life.
It's very important for the coming times to have a sound economic base and to be as mobile as possible. The energy lines will be shifting strongly as we enter into the end phase of the earth's cycle.
Naturally, the Zen Master Rama philosophy is to have a high state of awareness and material success. The two really go together. You should be able to draw the power of material success through you.
Economics is important because it's possible to buy the places that are necessary to live in relative inaccessibility and seclusion, or to move with a bit of style and chic-ness into the middle of civilization.
Many people spend their life always worrying about whether they have enough to cover expenses. They experience unhappiness. The obvious answer to money is to have tons of it - simply figure out how to make more money than you really need and go for it.
Since we spend more time and energy doing it, Career becomes the most important item on our agenda to turn into a meditative form. Next to meditation itself, I really can't think of anything more important than the development of your career.
A Buddhist is working not just to get paid, but working to advance spiritually. You shouldn't create a syntactical break in your mind between your career and your religious practice.
Most people want to make maximum money for minimum work, and that does not result in a happy life. Work does not become an active force to advance your awareness into higher states.
Work perfects you if you do it properly. It is a chance to exercise control, restraint, discipline, creative inspiration. If you are mindful in your work, if you put your best effort into it, then something comes back to you.
If you want to succeed always associate with winners, people who have understood something. You will notice that they all share something in common, tremendous attention to detail in their personal lives and associations.
Pick a profession that will give you enough money to give you economic freedom. You are setting up your life as a field of power. It is nice to pick a career that really taxes your mind. Use your mind in new and creative ways. You will find that your mind will develop and become stronger.
Combine meditation with career as a yoga. You will find that your practice will not be any less powerful than a person who lives in a monastery. You might even excel because practice in a monastery can get very one-sided.
All things are divine. And yet, we pick and choose among them what's appropriate.
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