“Divine Mother,” I prayed, “You seem to want me to write a monthly letter for Ananda’s ‘Thank You, God’ tithing ministry. So…my commitment to You is to make my own tithing a more conscious spiritual practice—prayers, meditation, service, tithing.
For decades I’d been shoving checks in variously designated envelopes—support for aspects of Ananda’s work as I became aware of them. One envelope was marked “Thank You, God”—in would go the check, always for the same amount. I loved it all—any way to be a part of, to help actively this noble work for God and Master. Now another doorway beckoned. The feeling I have about this doorway? The closest in my experience has been the time leading up to my first Kriya initiation—a happy anticipation of wonderful adventures ahead.
But how to tithe? My mind began tensing up and pulling me into a bookkeeping mode—what income is fair game? What about reimbursements? Repayments of loans? I was not having fun! “Divine Mother,” I prayed, “how do I do this?” I stared at my latest bank statement. My eye fell on the part called “deposits.” “Forget the details,” I heard inwardly, “JUST DO IT!”
Even as I reached for a pen to write the check, I heard my mind muttering in the background: “This will double the total amount of your monthly donations.” How embarrassing—I was observing myself negotiating with Divine Mother about something that had come from Her in the first place. If it were a friend in need, I thought, I wouldn’t hesitate. The muttering stopped. The pen wrote. My heart felt a happy flow.
Now, I thought, we’ll see what happens. The next day Divine Mother followed up on Her advance by making me aware that an old friend had lost his bangle, one that had been a gift from Swamiji in the early days of Ananda. And here in the “Ananda Villager” was a bangle advertised for sale. With a mild attempt at prudence I called up a friend whose intuition I trust. She had no hesitation—just do it! Soon the new bangle arrived. Jyotish and Devi placed it on their altar to ask Master’s blessing. Another friend devised a way to lock the bangle in place, lest this one go the way of the bangle given by Swami Kriyananda
A few days later an unexpected check arrived, and an unanticipated outside job—between the two almost twice the total for bangle and tithing. Soon, I thought, the next bank statement will arrive and I will again have the joy of tithing—writing that check feels more and more like an odd sort of love letter to Divine Mother.
Everything comes from You, Mother, and everything must return to You. Bless us all that we may open ourselves to Your cosmic flow, and so enter into the bliss of our true selves.
“All that I have and am is Thine. Divine Mother, dispose of it as Thou wilt.” (Swami Kriyananda)
In divine friendship,
For Ananda’s “Thank You, God” Tithing