In 2004, 2 weeks after I finished school I had a one-way ticket to India and a big dream. To study meditation and to find masters to teach me more about the mysteries of life.
It became a very long, many years long journey that took me all around Asia and the rest of the world with a never-ending hunger to study meditation, yoga and any other practice that I could find.
I was lucky as life in Asia could be very cheap and my hard-working parents reluctantly, but lovingly supported my studies that they did not quite understand. But they still held my back and I am very grateful that they did.
So Money was not such a big issue and as I was living outside of any system, I had big judgments about the western world or any kind of regular lifestyle that involved having an income and contributing to society.
I strongly believed that all spiritual offerings should be for free, otherwise it was impure. I did not contemplate much on how that should work or how a moneyless society would look like, I just did not want to deal with the pressure of having to provide for myself and just wanted to give my full attention to the practice and study of meditation and yoga.
It was a beautiful and very magical life. I was living my dreams of studying meditation and yoga.
However I also realized how far away and disconnected my life was from most peoples life experience and while I studied and preached “Oneness”, the reality was that I mostly lived in beautiful little bubbles of spiritual communities that had hardly any contact with most people in society.
At some point, I opened my first Meditation Center in Peru with a business plan that pretty much looked like “I give everything for free, trust and pray and somehow the money will come”
It went for beautiful 4 months and had a not so pretty ending when I realized I could not pay the rent anymore and had a house full of (beautiful hippies) friends who refused to pay as they shared my views that everything should be for free. It was not a nice ending 🙂
That was the first time I realized that being financially responsible was somehow important.
It took me a few more years. When I returned to Germany in 2014 and met a very inspiring teacher with the name of “Thomas Huebl” who seemed to be a spiritual teacher but was very different from what I was used to.
He did not speak badly about the “western world” or condemned having a regular job. Actually, most of his students were very grounded people with regular lives.
This was the first time I really realized how much I had separated myself from the majority of most people on the planet while teaching meditation to reveal Oneness 🙂
It was quite a humbling experience.
I always had big dreams and a strong desire to contribute to the well being of our planet. But now I realized that to really do something in reality, I had to change some of my views and approaches.
I understood that money was a valuable tool and an absolutely necessary resource of creation in this world.
I started to include it in my planning when I was organizing retreats, I studied marketing, web design, leadership and many other skills that were needed to make airy dreams into a grounded reality.
It was a bumpy ride. But I persevered and realized more and more that the beliefs in my subconscious mind were not so easy to be changed and that it was an ongoing journey of self-discovery.
Things really began to move when I started to work with a money mindset coach. You might think “Whats that?” She basically helped me to see all the false beliefs that have attached themselves to the topic of money, but on a deeper level basically, affect any aspect of our lives.
I realized that any judgmental belief that I held about money and spirituality was based on fear and false beliefs and was disempowering to myself and the projects that I was continuously trying to set up.
Lack of self worth, an ancestral belief that life is a struggle and a sense of separation from “normal” people were only a few of the topics that came up. It is a long list.
I am still very much in this process, and writing this blog post is part of the therapy 🙂
But I clearly see and feel that every time I identify a false belief that I had created around money, I realize how it affected so many more aspects of my life. And once shifted, it feels so much better.
I realized that organizing meditation retreats in magical places in Peru and around the world is a great mission and receiving countless loving emails by happy guests makes me see that we really provide value to peoples lives and growth.
I, and our entire team really dedicate ourselves to the holding and organization of the meditation and yoga retreats at lake Titicaca and it is very fulfilling to see that we actually created a functioning organization that is contributing other peoples lives.
Sustaining our lives though this work feels very fulfilling and is also benefiting countless others, like the indigenous local family, who owns the retreat center on the island amantani, who is often telling us how grateful they are for the income of the retreats as it allows one of their sons to study in university.
Recently we also started to give regular donations to the NGO “Amistad Sagrada” which is supporting the indigenous people of the sacred valley.
Sometimes we receive emails from people asking if they can join the retreat for free, because they think meditation should be free. When I read those messages I remember my old days, when I was walking barefoot through the Himalayas in India, sleeping in temples with old ascetic wandering monks. I look back on that version of myself and am grateful that I had this experience. But I am also glad that I learned how to build a sustainable organization that can pay its employees and even taxes and is really contributing to society.
I also understood the difference between todays world and the world of Buddha. Today, as we are living global lives, are interconnected, fly airplanes, have all information available on our smartphone and have a level of freedom that has never existed before, it is important to learn how to navigate in THIS world with presence, instead of denying it.
I have become a part of the system that I once judged so much. And it feels very nourishing to contribute to it and to receive from it at the same time.
Money and Spirituality have been quite an eye opening and ongoing journey for me and I am glad that I am able to say today that I love to sell (and serve) Meditation Retreats!