Abundance is largely a state of mind. It can come simply from appreciation of others and of what we have, appreciating beauty, giving selflessly, being given a lovely smile. These are the sort of things that can give rise to joyful moments in everyday life, and when they occur it is because there is a sufficient degree of positivity in our mental make-up. Positive seeds have been sown and have sprouted.
Positive and negative seeds
To create the experience of joy and happiness more, we need to create more positive seeds than negative ones. Eventually we should aim to sow no negative seeds at all but we are human and it is inevitable that there will be moments when we think, speak and behave less than perfectly. But the more positive seeds we sow, the more abundance we will feel and the weaker the negative ones will become.
So what are these seeds? Each time we are selfless, we create a positive seed and each time we are selfish, we create a negative one. Sometimes, too, we can neutralise a positive act by feeling unhappy about it. If, for example, we give to a charity out of kindness or compassion, that will give rise to a positive effect. There will be a tickle of joy in the heart. But if we give to avoid being pestered or because we don’t want to feel guilty, or even so that we look better in the eyes of others, that act of giving does not carry the same positive effect. The giving might be the same, outwardly at least, but it is our attitude at the time that determines whether it has a positive, neutral or negative on our mind.
Creating abundance with the mind
It is possible to create an abundant mind. Although joy is more often experienced and understood as a feeling, it is also a mental state. The mind is where we sow seeds or causes that will result in joy. The secret is to make positivity a habit.
There is a lovely story of a businessman approaching the Buddha for advice. The businessman said that he understood much of what the Buddha was teaching about becoming a better human being but felt he was unable to do so because of his own avarice. On his own admission, he was extremely mean and couldn’t let go of anything. The Buddha had the man put something into his left hand and then practise giving it to the right hand. Silly though this might sound to us, it was the first time the man had practised giving in any way at all. That was how it started and, because he was determined to overcome his own miserliness, he gradually expanded the practice until he was able to give small things to members of his family and later became a most generous man indeed.
The technique of giving with the mind is a very powerful one and this following exercise is wonderful for increasing a sense of abundance in us:
A simple visualisation for abundance
- Sit comfortably and totally relaxed. Create an image in your mind of being very rich. You are a controller of great wealth, of abundance of all sorts.
- Now visualise passing all that wealth onto others and, at the same time, others still are passing great abundance to you. Feel, if you can, a great circulation of energy which is passing freely to you and from you. Wonderful!
Energy must circulate
This is what life is like – a great circulation of energy. If we circulate physical resources, we will gain physical wealth and enjoy physical abundance. If we circulate joyous resources, we will gain joy, joyous abundance. Whatever we circulate, we gain. This is a natural law.
Thanks for reading – there is much more in The Great Little Book of Happiness from which this is adapted.
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