Zen is the school of Buddhism noted for its emphasis on practice and experiential wisdom. Although Zen differs from basic Buddhism in subtle ways such as ZaZen and Koan meditations, the fundamentals of Buddhism as taught by the Buddha himself over 2,500 years ago is imperative to the philosophy of Zen.

Gautama Buddha, born nearly 600 years before Christ, based his philosophy on what he called the ‘Four Noble Truths’. The Four Noble Truths are simply stated as:
1. The nature of suffering – in other words, we must acknowledge that there is suffering in this world.
2. The origin of suffering – to understand the main cause of suffering.
3. The cessation of suffering – we are comforted that there is a definite end to suffering.
4. The path to the end of suffering – Buddha created the ‘Eight Fold Path’ as our step-by-step guide to lead us out of suffering.

Buddha also taught that in order for a community to become spiritually evolved it must be prosperous. Yes, poverty cannot lead to spiritual evolvement, as many of the western religions have taught over the centuries.

Esteemed psychologist, Abraham Maslow (1908 – 1970), developed the famous psychology model known as the “Hierarchy of Needs” to explain that people are primarily motivated by unsatisfied needs. The five major needs are: physiological, safety, love, esteem and self-actualisation. As Maslow explained, we cannot focus on self-actualisation, if all our attention and anxieties are distracted by our daily concerns about the lack of money.

Also, according to Buddha, a lack of economic stability is considered as suffering in the concept of the Four Noble Truths and the cause and cessation of suffering.

So what is the missing link? The cause of all suffering, according to the Buddha, is – ‘clinging’. Yes, as we’ve been taught when working with affirmations, to have something is to create the idea, a picture in our mind, the resolution that we will have it – and then let go! Stop worrying every day about how, when or where it will arrive.

When we constantly cling to something, then we suffer. When we release that clinging, we are at peace. It doesn’t mean that we cannot have it. It just means that all things are transient. Nothing in our lives is permanent. There is no past and no future – only now.
All Zen masters and students faithfully follow the practice of concentrating simply on the Now. The ever evolving Now. Everything we do, is always done for the first time. Each breath you take, you take for the first time. You will never take that same breath again.
When we continue this practice on focusing on the Now, we eventually find ourselves letting go. We no longer need to cling to any attachments. Whether it be money, relationships, or what our future holds in store for us.

Living fully in the present and letting go of the constant worry of ‘when will I have what I want’, or ‘why can’t I have it’, is a destructive process and always leads to suffering and discontentment.

In manifesting money, we apply the same principles. Create the picture in your mind, say your affirmations, let go of the past and know that the money will come. It will. It always does – only as long as you do one thing. Get out of the way.
And once the money comes and to allow it to grow and prosper, it is important to let go and not cling to it. People WITH money often have more problems than people who don’t. They are too busy clinging to their money - worrying about how to keep it, or anxious about losing it.

Money is a universal measure for the value of goods and services, and as previously discussed can be stored for the future. Once we put everything in place - our beliefs, practices and systems (to be discussed in the following chapters) - we will come carefree with money, and our money will grow.

According to the Zen saying, ‘there is nothing worth clinging to’. Everything we need is always ours to have. There is always a path to the cessation of suffering in this world. All we need to do is follow it.

Author's Bio: 

Copyright © Ann M Marosy 2008.

Ann Marosy is an accountant, author, teacher, and an ongoing student of philosophy. For her books, eBooks and advice on practical & inspirational money management, visit her website at www.moneta.com.au.