FMBR Editorial: Nov, 1996
The following letter from Adrienne Juliano is reproduced here with her permission. It seems particularly relevant to the Thanksgiving season.
Your editorial in the May 1996 newsletter (Gebo) triggered some memories of a major turning point in my life during the mid-1970s when I was deeply involved with spiritual studies. I had discovered India and its philosophy/religion through Swami Muktananda and other gurus, alive and dead. I was also studying Science of Mind.
One of the important practices I got involved in was personalizing the universe-at-large. Basically, every time I spent money -- whether through cash, credit card or check -- I meditated on all the people who were in some way part of the exchange. Although it did not come easily at first, gradually the lessons of the teachings sank in: everybody gained something from the transaction, including me. A "divine spark" seemed to jump from person to person, allowing each to be materially supported by their trade, product, service or profession. It required visualizing the process all along the chain: dozens of hands touching the money, having what they needed/wanted, doing their work, etc.
For example, when I paid my utility bill, I would see in my mind's eye the clerk who opened the envelope and would track the check as it went through various stages of processing. This was the process that allowed me to turn on the switch and have light in my home. [As a side effect, I learned to refrain from "cursing" PG&E during blackouts, and instead to read one of my inspirational books by candlelight.]
Same thing in grocery stores and other shops. Granted, with modern technology, a lot of mundane tasks are being done by automated equipment and, as a result, it is much harder to visualize people doing certain tasks. But with some effort, I can see along the chain of farmers, field hands, packagers, truck drivers, grocery personnel, etc. And I try to remember to give silent thanks even to the garbage truck drivers who collect the residue from my groceries. They too are part of the transaction.
It takes some discipline to always keep this practice alive -- especially during the most recent gasoline price hike, the result of our controversial dependence on Mideast oil -- but I can no longer keep my head in the sand about how things circulate in the physical world. To this day, I use a little code on my checks as a reminder to give thanks for everything this is being provided, and that I am part of the continual circulation of supply.
I am especially grateful when the divine spark triggers a reminder of what might be one of the secrets of living in a personalized universe.