Alone, writing in my journal, my server met me with gentle eyes, speaking with a servant’s heart. Connecting immediately and having moments of deep conversation.
Leaving, he follows me outside and asks, “What are you doing in town?” We talk about mutual friends, the nearby, self sustaining, Circle Yoga Shala, where I was staying the night, and then, he invites me to the next days sweat lodge. As I start to leave, he said, “They’ll know me as Yeshe’.” and that was it.
The next day, I find a Monk in maroon and yellow wraps, chopping wood. Beads of sweat rolling down the sides of his face, focussing entirely on the task at hand. This is Yeshe’. Whether washing windows, dishes, chopping wood or in deep conversation,Yeshe’ is always in the present moment.
After a long, hot sweat lodge, a joyful potluck with friends and a few tears shed from the opening of chakras (or just plain sweating out every thing I am), we sat atop the back porch of Circle Yoga Shala’s barn studio watching the sun set beneath Mt. Shiloh. Respecting one another’s presence, Yeshe’, a Buddhist Monk, and me, a corporate impact advisor, helping one another manifest a dream of what matters most to us.
I ask him about his understanding of wealth. He says, “Wealth is more than just how much money you have. Money is purchasing power. Wealth comes from your own definition of inner values. The sum of your talents, creativity, dreams and fears. It is all the qualities that are uniquely yours and make you happy – therefore, determining quality of life.”
As with all my clients, I ask, “What matters most to you?” He took a deep breath, in through his nostrils and exhaled our his mouth. “Understanding who I am, what I want and what I need. Until I know this, I’m just spinning wheels of life.”
Yeshe’, knowing how to “just be”, was still and deep in thought. He listens carefully to me and everything making up his being – inside and out – taking it all in. His breaths rhythmic and slow, choosing his words with care, he says, “To be wealthy and free, I need scarcity.”
Despite my 15 years having conversations about wealth and impact, there are some stratospheres I just can’t fathom. Unlike most Americans and people around the world, Yeshe’s definition of wealth is like nothing I’d ever heard. Instead of building assets to become financially free, and making a positive impact on others and the world, he wanted to give away all his worldly possessions and retreat to the mountain top of his Buddhist Monastery, in silence, for three years. His own definition of wealth and freedom.
We talk for hours, me, learning more about Yeshe’ and he about me – and how we’ve become a product of the environment we created – our past, education, trials, tribulations, fears and dreams. We embrace and part ways with a clear understanding. A respect of where each individual is now, and where we want to be in the future and set a time and medium to follow-up on the next steps of how to create a “road map” of sorts, to get from point ‘A’ to point ‘B’.
The goal is to Minimize chaos, focus on what matters most and do more of what you love. The process is to prioritize what matters most. organize your resources and align them with what matters most. Most of all, simplify, an easily understood and doable process and plan to enjoy life.
Throughout the next year, Yeshe’ and I would communicate, update one another on where we are in our plan, ask questions, voice concerns and basically leverage one another as a sounding board and creative think tank.
Exactly one year later, February 2015, we met again, at Circle Yoga Shala. After the sweat lodge and potluck with friends, we sat inside the barn studio and filmed a conversation about manifesting our dreams. It was beautiful. Yeshe’ is beautiful.
The next day my family, wife and two daughters, met him at his Monastery. He showed us the sacred grounds, nestled deep in the Ozark Mountains near the Little Buffalo River. We prayed, feasted, and thanked God for the opportunity for Yeshe’ to spend three years in prayer for others.
Thank you,Yeshe,’ for reminding me of my true wealth, which is independent of how much money I have. Thank you for helping me realize the suffering on monotony and the beauty of diversity. Thank you, Yeshe’ for helping me realize who I am and what makes me happy.
CHARLES KOCHEL lives in the Arkansas Ozarks. He serves a non-profit, helping people through therapy, education and support reach their full potential.
Charles owns Yield Wealth Management, the first Benefit Corporation, Motif Advisor and pure impact advisor in Arkansas. Learn more at http://www.yieldwealth.com or contact Charles at firstname.lastname@example.org.