Tithing is a spiritual practice, a conscious expression of gratitude given without condition to the source of your inspiration– God.
We invite you to try it. Hear the stories of others, but test this teaching in your own life and see what transpires.
Harmonizing with God’s Abundance
My wife and I were almost $13,000 in debt and made a resolution that we would have it paid off in two years. We didn’t have any extra money, and had no idea how we were going to get it. We needed a plan, and this is what we did.
- Twice a day we repeated material success affirmations together to convince our minds that God’s abundance is also our abundance. We then journaled our inspirations afterwards.
- As an act of trust in God, we started tithing consistently, something we weren’t doing before. Not only that, we upped our tithe from 10% to 11% to push our faith just a little bit more.
- We actively looked for other small jobs and took anything that came to us.
In short, we tried to harmonize all of our energies to tune in with divine abundance. Tithing, affirmations, faith in God, and putting forth dynamic energy were our ingredients. We felt it wouldn’t have been enough just to do one of the above things. They all worked together to lift our consciousness away from thoughts and feelings of lack, to God’s unlimited supply of abundance.
Not only did we pay off our debt, but, miraculously, we did it in only six months! All of the money came from unexpected sources that our little minds couldn’t have even envisioned six months earlier. The most important lesson we learned was that abundance means much more than numbers in our bank account.
—Sundara and Nandadevi Traymar
I feel deep gratitude for all that God has given me in my life. In that gratitude, I want to share with God whatever I can. Nayaswami Lalita
After several years of experimenting with tithing, I finally added it to my “Do Always!” list of spiritual practices. It is one of the most joyful and freeing practices I have. I am very grateful, for it has brought faith into the fearful realms of day-to-day practical life.
Interview with Tyler on His Personal Experience with Tithing
What was your inspiration to tithe?
In my church I observed a connection between those who were prosperous and the amount they gave to the world. As someone who was struggling financially, I realized that, instead of dwelling on a difficulty and thinking I am in a hole I couldn’t get out of, I could find a way out with God’s help.
I wanted to be more financially secure, to welcome more prosperity into my life, and to develop a healthy relationship with money. And I wanted to do good with that money. How could I do that? God gives me hope that I can. Our relationship with Him applies to all aspects of our lives.
Did you have any resistance at first to tithing?
There was a lack of understanding of where that request to tithe was truly coming from, and why I should be tithing.
How did you work through these resistances?
My motivation to tithe was aligned to experiencing firsthand how the practice helped build my faith. I had experienced a lot of pain and suffering in my life, and that suffering broke through my heart’s resistances, allowing me to explore and be more open to God in a way I hadn’t before. Before tithing, I thought, “I am going to conquer life.” And yet I felt, “I am failing. I am not succeeding. I am suffering.” Clearly my way was not working. Through this process I became open to what God had to say.
I was reminded of the Bible saying: ‘God asks you to have the faith of a grain of mustard seed.” I applied this small, fledgling faith to tithing. I started with a belief in God, and then sought to experiment. As I tested this practice, offering a little more and a little more, and seeing the blessings come into my life, I continued to water that mustard seed. My faith grew, and I was able to conquer my doubts, until I reached a point where I knew firsthand that this practice worked. It had made remarkable changes in my life. Click here for a full interview with Tyler.
When we tithe, we attract a lot of abundance to ourselves. Any blockages we are experiencing in life, any difficulties, any closed doors, they all get blessed and turned into open doors. Gaurja Prashar
The Mystery of Ananda and the Miracle of Tithing
The secret of Ananda’s survival has always been one simple practice: “Seek ye first the kingdom of God, and all these things will be added unto you.” God is the great Giver. To receive the most from Him, we need to be on His wavelength of Giving — spiritually, energetically, mentally, and materially.
Ananda is fundamentally different from “the world.” Many people look at what life is giving them. In that world, you earn a certain amount, you spend a certain amount. It is easy to calculate.
Nothing material can explain how Ananda exists today.
Many people don’t know the story behind tithing at Ananda…
When Ananda began in the late 1960s and early ’70s, we were a basically money-less economy. Many of us lived without checking accounts, cars, medical appointments. We had no bills, and very little income. When the collection basket was passed at Sunday Service, we held our hands over it in blessing — feeling that because we had offered our lives in service, we needed to offer nothing more.
In the late 1970s, one of our members researched tithing, a spiritual practice in many churches. The underlying principle is that everything in life comes from God — health, energy, ability to serve, and all income. To acknowledge and honor God as the Supreme Giver, the tither vows to give some percentage of his income to its true Source. Since God has no checking account, the tithe is given to the source of one’s spiritual inspiration.
What happens then is profound. In some inexplicable way, the tither enters into a relationship with God, one that includes not only prayer and meditation but material wealth as well. By expressing gratitude to God through giving back to Him in a material way, His support and blessings are drawn into one’s material life, often in dramatic ways. Click here to read full blog.
Tithing did not come easy for me. However, bit by bit I had found that it helped me to understand the concept of money as a flow of energy, rather than as a set amount, which I received and gave away every month. This tremendously helped my faith in God, and the conviction that He is taking care of me. When I find myself worrying about money, the first thing I do is write a tithe check. This is such an effective way to stop holding onto things, which affirms a sense of lack. Instead, I can have the feeling of abundance, if I so choose!R.G.
In God’s Hands
For two years I had been living at the Ananda Meditation Retreat, happily experiencing Swami Kriyananda’s ideal of “plain living and high thinking.” Getting by on a modest stipend, all of my needs were covered except for the lingering student loan debt I had accrued in nursing school.
One evening class with Nayaswami Anandi Cornell, I was introduced to the spiritual practice of tithing. Compelled to put God in charge of my finances, and to experience firsthand how this practice could deepen my faith in Him, I went to the mailroom after class and wrote my first “Thank You, God” check. A week later I received a job offer for a nursing position in Los Angeles that came with a greater-than-modest paycheck. Was it coincidence, or spiritual law in action?
A few months into my new job, I was uninspired and frustrated in the institution I worked for. My heart was drawn to serving with Ananda full time, but in doing so, I would be right back to my previous dilemma: working for a modest stipend and unsure how to pay the student loan. Offering this problem to God and Guru, I prayed for guidance.
Working merely for a paycheck felt dishonest. Following the sloka “Where there is dharma, there is victory,” I quit my job at the hospital, began serving with Ananda Los Angeles full time, and again put my finances and loan in God’s hands. Click here to read Gayatri’s full story.
I had my bank account number stolen by someone, who then proceeded to write checks against it before it was discovered. Normally, I would have been terribly flustered. However, shortly before, I had begun the practice of tithing. I felt that I had opened that part of my life to Divine Mother to be ‘cleaned up’ of old karmic tendencies. Her grace was such that the sorting-out process with the bank went unbelievably smoothly. I lost no money! The problem with my checking account only increased my conviction that tithing has made me freer, by allowing me to feel that God is my partner in every situation.J.C.
Story of a Beggar and a Wealthy Man
A beggar was sitting beside a road, when he saw a splendid carriage coming toward him. The carriage shone like the sun from the gold and precious gems which adorned it. The beggar thought, “Here comes a great and wealthy man. What will he give me?”
The carriage stopped, and a man, regally arrayed, emerged and approached the beggar. To the beggar’s astonishment the man asked,“What will you give me?”
The beggar was confused. He reached into his meager purse and pulled out the smallest grain of rice he could find. He handed the rice to the wealthy man, thinking, “What can he possibly need from me?”
After thanking the beggar, the wealthy man went on his way. Later that night, the beggar emptied his purse to count his possessions. To his astonishment, he saw lying there a grain of rice, which had turned to gold.
Now the beggar realized Who It Was he had met on the road. He cried out, “If only I had given Him my all!”
The meaning of this beautiful story is that whatever we offer to God will be returned to us, spiritualized and enriched, a hundredfold.
When we offer our hearts in devotion, our love is purified. When we offer our thoughts, they become inspired. When we offer God our money, it too, like the beggar’s grain of rice, becomes spiritual gold.