Spirituality and money
Within spirituality, money is often a complicated topic.
When I started giving energy healing sessions in our home in Saigon, Vietnam in 2010, a German neighbor came up to me.
Did I charge for my sessions?
Of course, I said, I have to live off it too.
He said it was all wrong. Spirituality should not cost money, he thought, also my gifts would diminish if I would ask money for them.
It was easy for him to talk.
He also gave energy sessions. Only he could do that for free…
Because he had a high-paying job on the side.
Over time, I encountered more people who thought the same way as the German neighbor. People who resented the fact that I charged money for my services. All of them had either a secure job or inner issues with money.
The argument usually is that spirituality should not cost money because it belongs to everyone
I can relate to that to a certain extent.
Spiritual knowledge, wisdom and vibration is Universal.
But the time and skill it costs the person passing it on may well be calculated. Just like a doctor, or a lawyer. They also draw on Universal medical and legal knowledge. As I draw from spiritual knowledge.
Nowadays I don’t do 1 on 1 sessions anymore. Everything goes into training groups, retreat groups, workshop groups. And then you automatically enter a new dynamic where team members are paid and location, promotion and catering costs are added. The bigger your reach gets, the more costs you’re going to incur. My previous life as an entrepreneur often comes in handy in this work. You’d be surprised how much has to be arranged behind the scenes for a training course, an event, or an online course.
The idea that spirituality should be free is pretty old-fashioned. But not right either. Spiritual traditions in which free lessons and healing are given do have sources of income. Whether it was the Apostles of Jesus, or the Cathar Church, or Indian Yogis, shamans and medicine men, or Buddhist monks, all were funded from the environment. People gave them food, money and shelter which allowed them to share their lessons. Or they worked at it.
When I meditated for three weeks in 2011 in a traditional Theravada Buddhist monastery in Thailand, I didn’t have to pay anything for it. I was allowed to make a donation according to my own means.
During that period I was allowed to go on a begging tour with the abbot and the monks of the monastery.
We walked at sunrise with a wooden begging cap around our neck to the nearby village and there the villagers were ready with food and drinks.
They donated them to the convent.
Beautiful symbolic gestures.
However, the monastery and all its monks, guests and buildings would never survive on the scoops of rice, the packets of drinks and the stews that these people brought.
On Sundays the parking lot of the monastery was full of Mercedes and BMWs.
Then the rich from the area came for their special sessions with the abbot.
They made the big donations.
They paid for the renovations.
They arranged for the trucks with food to arrive.
They made it possible for the monks and for yogis like me to meditate and live in the monastery.
In Asia it has been normal since time immemorial that the wealthy, through donations, maintain spiritual institutions for the use of the less wealthy. At another meditation retreat in Nepal, local donors lined up happily at the entrance to the meditation hall so that the yogis could thank them, on the way into the hall, for their dana – an ancient Indian (Pali) word for generosity.
Spirituality has never been free.
Only those who have the security of alternative sources of income can afford that luxury of giving away spirituality.
When Monique and I, pregnant with our eldest, returned to the Netherlands in 2012 we had nothing left.
No money, no house, no employment record.
We could not rent anything, buy anything and had to make do with a house of friends that was for sale.
There we started all over again.
And now, eight years later, we have it good.
With its own centre near the Pyrenees, with a thriving Academy and so much more.
Abundance is part of spirituality.
When I was at the Osho International Meditation Center in Puna, North India in 2011, I learned how the great master
Osho combined abundance and spirituality.
He said goodbye to the old paradigm in which spirituality was linked to chastity, celibacy, poverty and asceticism.
Of course those roads also work when it comes to Self-realization, but there are more roads that lead to the same city.
Modern spirituality is no longer about stepping out of life and abstaining from sex, wealth and abundance.
We are not people who want to achieve spiritual awakening.
We are spiritual beings seeking human awakening.
For me, it’s all about bringing spirituality into all dimensions of life.
Of course there are conditions. But these are individual to each person.
For me, those conditions include daily meditation and yoga, regularly transforming my dark parts, abstaining from killing, stealing, lying, sexual misconduct, giving much and generously to people and animals in need, and abstaining from meat consumption. It all contributes to raising my vibration.
For you, that may look very different.
I believe that abundance is part of life.
A quote from Brazilian visionary Ricardo Semler fits me well:
“I want to upgrade the lives of others, without downgrading my own.”
And that’s how I see it.
I have a certain idea about quality of life and I work hard for that. With the money that comes in, I can live the life I want and at the same time help others who need it more. (For example through our ANBI foundation Bridgeman Foundation).
Having trained over 200 Transformation Coaches over the past 8 years, I see how remarkably many coaches and healers struggle with charging money for their services.
Most of the time these are not based on principles, but on deeper traumas and limiting beliefs from the family atmosphere and other lives.
When the coach, or healer resolves these within themselves, the fees can be asked and the door to abundance opened.
By the way, a big misconception in the minds of many coaches and healers is that the hourly rate symbolizes the value of the coach.
That’s deficit thinking.
The hourly rate you charge doesn’t determine your value, it determines the target audience you work with.
If you ask little, you serve a target group of people with little money.
If you ask a lot, you serve a target group of people with a lot of money.
It’s that simple.
I myself have segmented my services so that I can help everyone.
My training zen retreats cost a little more and attract people who can and want to pay that.
And for people in it with less disposable income, I have numerous podcasts, meditations and online courses that are free, or very affordable. Also, some of the Transformation Coaches I’ve trained focus on people with small budgets.
That way my material is available to everyone.
Through our foundation we organize a sponsored youth program so that the material can also reach them.
And together with my friends Tijn, Juno and Janosh we set up the Facbook platform From 3D to 5D where everything is free.
I’m not describing this to pat myself on the back. But to show you how to experience and share abundance with others.
As a spiritual teacher these days, you are also a social entrepreneur.
Once I learned from a teacher to see myself as a divine distributor. Spirituality comes to me in many ways in bulk and I let it flow back to others. Money comes to me in large amounts and I let it flow back to others. Energy comes into me in a big way and I flow it back through. Et cetera, et cetera.
I hope I can inspire you with this post to be a little more generous with your money and thus be able to contribute more to others and the world.
Abundance is there for everyone. It is your beliefs and old blockages that are holding you back.
If you work on that, you too may live in abundance.
And don’t think of the multimillionaires who try to suck all the money on earth to themselves and shamelessly leave billions of people in poverty.
If you are a tonnonair, or even a millionaire, you are not even close to these super rich people.
Therefore, do not be ashamed of your abundance. It only shows that you have done your inner work. So in, so out after all.
Finally, a few tips for you to open the doors of abundance in your life:
- Many people do not seem to understand that money is not matter, but energy.
One of the best ideas that ever came to me is to open an energetic bank account.
On that (energetic) bank account is 10 million euro.
And every time I need money I take it out of that bank account and make the energetic money physical.
Since I’ve had this account I don’t worry about money at all. Every time I want to buy something, the money comes to me automatically. No matter how big the investment.
- Another thing that has helped me tremendously is an affirmation from Bob Proctor that I learned from a Proctor coach in 2008. This one goes like this:
“I am grateful and happy now that money, through more and more channels, in ever-increasing amounts, is constantly flowing into me”
Recite this affirmation as often as you can, feeling the money flowing into your life from all sides.
- To live in abundance, it is essential to dissolve your inner blocks to making money. Doing transformational work allows you to allow abundance into your life.
There are still countless tips and tricks about opening the doors of abundance and about manifesting your desired reality to give. Hence, I am going to give an online manifestation course for you.
So that you too can optimize your life. Because I assume that you, like me, can and will only mean more to the world if you have more resources.
The German neighbor in Saigon from the beginning of this blog was wrong.
My gifts have only increased and my vibration and spiritual powers are completely independent of money and rates.
What is most important is that you let go of the importance of money.
I have no idea how much comes in to us and what most things cost that we offer.
I don’t want to deal with that at all.
My work consists of teaching, creating and helping people.
Fortunately, I have excellent companions and team members who are willing to do so. Thanks to them, I can do what I do.
Thank you dear friends!
Live long and prosper!
X Robert Bridgeman