Planning for Yeshe’

IMG_6406We’d met the day before, as I ate lunch in Jasper, after a long morning of fly-fishing the upper Buffalo River. I was alone, writing in my journal about my day and he was my server. He met me with gentle eyes and a servant’s heart. We connected immediately, and as I left, he followed me outside and asked me what I was doing in town. We had a short conversation about mutual friends, Circle Yoga Shala and the next days sweat lodge. As I started to leave, he said, “They’ll know me as Yeshe’.” and that was it.

The next day I found a Monk in his maroon and yellow wraps, chopping wood. Beads of sweat rolling down the side 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. We respected one another’s presence. Yeshe’, a Buddhist Monk, with a dream, and me, a humble wealth advisor, helping him manifest it.

The first step, with mindful wealth planning, is understanding the definition, wealth. Wealth is more than just how much money you have. Money is purchasing power.

Wealth comes from our 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 asked, “Yeshe’, What is most important to you? Understanding who you are, what you want and what you need is the starting point. Until we know this, you’re spinning the wheels of life.”

Yeshe’, knowing how to “just be”, was still and deep in thought. He listened 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 said something of this nature,

“To be wealthy and free, I need scarcity.”

Despite my 15 years experience having conversations about wealth, there are some stratospheres I just can’t fathom. Unlike most Americans and people around the world, Yeshe’s definition of wealth was like nothing I’d ever heard. Instead of building assets to become financially free, 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.

cowboy and monk

We talked for hours, me, learning more about Yeshe’ – and how he’s become the product of the environment he created – his past, education, trials, tribulations, fears and dreams. We embraced and parted ways with a clear understanding of where he is now and where he wants 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’.

  1. Prioritize – What matters most to you.
  2. Organize – Your finances and align them with what matters most to you.
  3. Simplify – a process and plan to make it easily understood and doable. Most of All, Simplify Life. Minimize chaos and focus on what matters most and do more of what you love.

Throughout the next year, Yeshe’ and I would communicate. He’d update me on where he was in his plan, ask questions, voice concerns and basically leverage me as a sounding board and creative think tank.

Planning for YesheExactly 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 his 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.


ck photoCharles Kochel is the founder of Yield Wealth Management, a fee-only investment advisory and wealth management firm in Arkansas. The opinions in his writings are his alone and should not be construed as investment advice.

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