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Fund Raising

Monday, January 31, 2011

It occured to me that fund raising is yet another form of begging. I looked it up on Wikipedia and found this rather dry definition:

Fundraising or fund raising is the process of soliciting and gathering contributions as money or other resources, by requesting donations from individuals, businesses, charitable foundations, or governmental agencies. Although fundraising typically refers to efforts to gather money for non-profit organizations, it is sometimes used to refer to the identification and solicitation of investors or other sources of capital for for-profit enterprises.
Ok... yes, it applies generally to non-profit organizations and enterprises. And those organizations and enterprises are usually in the business of helping people right? So why not cut out the middle man and go straight to fundraising for ourselves? And isn't that what we are trying to do here at the project? Raise our funds?

With that in mind, here's a link to a bunch of free do-it-yourself fundraising ideas at Fundraising Ideas.Org. Here's what they have to say about the list:

Our do-it-yourself fundraising ideas come in a variety of sizes and shapes. Some contain detailed instructions while others are just brief summaries of past fundraising activities of other organizations. Hopefully you can adapt some of them to have fun and raise funds for your group. We often include similar information from multiple sources to reflect possible variations. You will definitely find some repeats but ... just maybe ... that's because they have proven to be successful!
So, having begged the "Master of the Universe" or your guardian Angels, or God, or Allah, or whoever it is that you've been petitioning, why not put forth some action, maybe you could actually get out there and "do" something. What do you think, guys? Anything useful here?

And for those of you following our first project on prayer, here's that link: Talking To God. It's a nice little post and well worth the read.

Playing Catch-up

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Well guys, it looks like I got a little behind schedule here. So today must be catch-up day! Let me see... my successes thus far in this project include the following:
  • I actually have enough money to pay my bills this month despite the fact that I have had more than a week off work unpaid due to terrible winter weather.
  • I was able to get the DVD's I wanted... how cool is that??
  • Thus far, I have not ended up in a ditch or wrapped around a tree even though the dead end gravel road I live on is a solid sheet of ice, and I've had some close calls.
  • One of my health issues has been resolved - and that's nice!
  • Oh, and my neighbors have been court ordered to clean up their mess.
Does anyone else have anything to report? What's working for you? What isn't? Any ideas, thoughts, experiences, insights, questions, stories, etc that you'd like to share? We have been getting some good comments this time around which I love! Thanks guys!

As for the posts from our original project on Praying for Prosperity, looks like It's a list.

A Guide To Successful Begging!

Saturday, January 29, 2011

It is a beggar's pride that he is not a thief.
- Japanese proverb

Ok guys... I found a "how-to" for panhandlers! How cool is that? I find it interesting that "panhandling" seems to have a better connotation than "begging" even though as far as I can tell they are one and the same.

What is a panhandler?

A panhandler is a person who depends on the spontaneous charity of strangers for their survival. In some parts of the world, begging is the only alternative to starvation, especially in the context of a poor economy or an oppressive government; in other parts of the world, panhandling is illegal because of its association with addiction and irresponsibility.

Need a good reason to learn the successful panhandling techniques?

You never know when you might have to ask strangers for help, whether you've been mugged in a foreign land, and need enough money to make it home; or life deals you a particularly harsh hand of cards (like abuse, disability, illness, war); or you become so dissatisfied with your existing options that begging seems like a better alternative.

You can read this article at WikiHow, or watch the video below:

That was fun, wasn't it?

Interestingly, back in my hippie days, I lived by panhandling. I'd ask for "spare change" and most people would cough up a couple of quarters, maybe some nickles and dimes. Sometimes, though, I got a hot meal instead. Another thing I used to do was go to concerts and look for dropped money. The most I ever found in a night was $47. That was a lot of money back then! Still to this day I look for dropped money, but very rarely find more than a penny here and a penny there. How fun to remember the "good old days" of being young and reckless!

Appropriately, the post on our original project, Praying For Prosperity, is called Something Scary.

Wishing vs Asking vs Begging

Friday, January 28, 2011

So what was it about wishing that is different from asking or begging? Here's what I came up with via the MacMillan Dictionary:

  1. Wishing means to want something to happen although it is unlikely.
    For example:(I wish I was rich!) or (Andy wished that he could think of a way of helping) or (I wish Beth would stop interfering.)
  2. To wish is a way of saying you feel sorry or disappointed about something you did or did not do.
    For example: (I wish I’d never come!) or (Now he wished that he had listened more carefully.)
  3. To wish is a formal way to express a desire.
    For example: (Please do not hesitate to contact me if you wish to discuss the matter.)
  4. Saying, "if you wish"  implies that permission is given.
    For example: (You may have a look around, if you wish.)
  5. Wish is also used for saying that you hope that someone enjoys something or that something good happens to them.
    For example: wish someone a Happy Birthday/Merry Christmas etc: - (May I wish you all a very Merry Christmas.) or wish someone luck/happiness/success: (I wish you every success.) or (The crowd wished them well as they left for their honeymoon.)
  6. "As you wish" is used for telling someone that they can do or have whatever they want. It is a formal giving of permission. (Even if it is not what you want them to do.)
    For example: (You can sit as close to the stage as you wish.) or  (Of course. As you wish, sir.)
  7. Can be used to tell someone what you want.
    For example: (I wish you’d stop going on about all your problems!)
  8. "I wish" can be used for saying that something is not true, although you would be pleased if it were true.
    For example: ('Did she give you some money?’ ‘I wish!’)
  9. "You wish"  can be used for telling someone that the thing that they want to happen is completely impossible.
    For example: (‘I told Ben that Sally was my girlfriend.’ ‘You wish!’)
  10. To not wish something is to not want something to happen to someone because it is very bad.
    For example: (It’s such a disgusting task, I wouldn’t wish it on anybody.)

As you can see, wishing means wanting, it gives permissions, and yet, at the same time wishing implies impossibilities and improbabilities. That being said, we continue to do it... At least, I know I do. What about you? Do you have a wish list? Do you wish on stars? birthday candles? dandelion fluff? What do you think it is that makes a wish come true? Is it blind luck? a random blessing? What?

Now for a blast from the past, we have this post for those of you following our original Praying for Prosperity project: Words of Wisdom. How about it? Any words of wisdom you'd like to share? Please? Please?? I wish??

What Is a Wish?

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Karla's comment about her nightly ritual of "wishing on a star" got me thinking about wishing, so I did some research and came up with this article from Suite 101.

What is a Wish?
Wishing Methods and Definition by Arden Wikberg

Making wishes links us to our spiritual selves. Wishes express our hopes, dreams and desires. They teach us about healing our lives and wishing can create happiness in the moment.

In the Walt Disney Movie ’Cinderella' is a song called, ‘A Wish is a Dream Your Heart Makes,’ and this perfectly describes the concept of a wish.

A wish is usually defined as a desire, to long for, to hanker after, to have a mind or disposition towards something. From blowing candles on a cake to wishing upon a star, virtually everyone has been compelled to make a wish at some point.

Finding Power in Wishes

Wishes express our heart’s desire. Whether they come true or not wishes are important, they help set ‘intention’ to create something new in one's life. In doing so, it's believed that one becomes open to receiving it.

Wishes are regarded as a wonderful way to shift the mind into the realm of the positive and the ‘now’ moment. As adults, it is easy to dismiss the power of this process as something that's only suitable for children. Yet many find power in wishes, hence the warning phrase, “Be careful what you wish for.”

The History of Wishes and Wishing Methods

Since ancient times, man’s spirituality has been linked with the process of making wishes. A way of believing our needs and desires could be met, and something outside of ourselves existing to help create it. Wishing recalls the innocence and magical energy of childhood.

Wishing isn’t about making a plan and formulating a goal which is the world of adulthood. Wishing is a playful journey into the unknown, an invitation to play with forces outside of our everyday lives.

Here are some common wishes you may recall from childhood:
  • Blowing dandelion seeds in the air – By taking a dandelion that has gone to seed, making a wish and blowing all the down off in one breath was said to make your wish come true.
  • Throwing pennies into a fountain or well – Close your eyes make a wish and toss the coin into the water. This is a wishing method that is still practiced today.
  • Blowing out the candles on a cake – This is the most common form of wishing still used today. By making a wish closing your eyes and blowing the candles on a cake out in one breath it is said your wish will be granted.
  • Using wishbones – Wishbones are found in cooked fowl. Once they are dried two people each take an end, close their eyes, make a wish and pull it apart. The one with the biggest piece will have his wish come true. On the rare chance that both pieces are even, it's said that both wishes will come true.
  • Wishing upon a star – When the first star of the evening appears in the sky, close your eyes and make a wish.
  • Falling/shooting stars – To make a wish on a star, you must personally see the shooting star. Then, make a wish. Multiple people can wish on a falling star simultaneously.
  • Lady bugs – Should a lady bug land on you say, “Lady bug, lady bug fly away home.” If it flees, make a wish.
Wishes help keep faith and hope alive. The next time you see a fountain or the first star of the evening, close your eyes and make a wish. Belief in change and the power of believing can be inspiring and motivational.

And for those of you following the original project on prayer we have: A Sense of Adventure

Begging Exercises For Better Health?

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Continuing on with my exploration of the various positions one could assume when praying, begging, asking, entreating, imploring, importuning, or conjuring, I discovered that certain "prayer positions," in particular, the Islamic "salah or salat" has been proven to directly benefit your health. So, I'm thinking about formulating my own set of "begging exercises." 

prostration in prayer is healthy

Here's the article I found at at

An important aspect of every religion is prayer. A prayer is an action or practice of communicating, commonly with a sequence of words, to a deity or spirit for the purpose of worshiping, requesting guidance, confessing sins, or to express one’s thoughts and emotions.

The great spiritual traditions offer a wide variety of devotional acts. There are morning and evening prayers, graces said over meals, and reverent physical gestures.

Prayers exist in many different forms. Some Christians bow their heads and fold their hands. Native Americans dance. Some Sufis whirl. Hindus chant. Orthodox Jews sway their bodies back and forth. Quakers keep silent. Almost every religion has it’s own form and structure.

What you might not know:

Prayers, apart from nourishing your soul, are also good for health! A Malaysian study suggests that prostration in praying is benefic for one’s health. Salah (or Salat - the Islamic prayer), is an exercise which is good for hearth and spine. It also enhances memory and concentration abilities.

The Islamic prayer consists of the following steps:

  1. standing with hands on top of each other at chest level
  2. bowing down with hands resting on knees
  3. standing up from bowing with hands by the side
  4. going in prostration (Sajda) once
  5. lifting face up from prostration but sitting on the ground
  6. doing a second prostration (Sajda) and then getting up
These physical movements that a Muslim does during prayer strengthen the joints and muscles and stimulate blood circulation. Consequently, they also prevent the stagnation of blood in the veins of the legs (which may lead to coagulation and other problems).

Here's an illustration:

Sajdah (prostration) is a unique position or stance in the regular prayers, which a Muslim is supposed to offer at least five times a day. Although the basic purpose of obligatory prayers isn’t to provide physical exercise for people, it is being increasingly recognized that it has plenty of medical advantages.

Sajdah is a unique position as this is the only position in which brain (or head) becomes lower than the heart and hence for the first time the blood gushes towards the brain with full force whereas in all other positions (even when lying) brain is above the heart when it has to work against gravity to send blood to the brain.

In the position of Sajdah, due to the increased blood supply, the brain receives more nourishment and this has good effect upon memory, vision, hearing, concentration, psyche and all other cognitive abilities. People who offer their prayers regularly have more will power and can cope with the difficulties of life in a much better manner. They have fewer incidences of headaches, psychological problems and other defects of cognitive function.

Prostration in prayer

Muslim prayers are not the only ones to have such benefic prayer movements.

References to kneeling and prostration to express one’s humbleness before the Almighty abound in the Bible and are practiced by such notables as Abraham, Moses and Aaron, Joshua, Elijah, Solomon and Jesus.

Prostration in prayer is still practiced by some members of the Russian Orthodox Church and some Catholics still maintain kneeling in prayer. In contrast, Baptists and other Christian denominations have abandoned kneeling, and the Jewish liturgy has eliminated it altogether. The only exception perhaps is the Samaritan Jew, whose prayer is similar to the Muslim’s prayer, but for the language.

I’m Christian, and I haven’t abandoned kneeling. Seems like a good thing.

While getting up from Sajdah the perennial muscles are one of those muscles which have to pull the trunk back to sitting position and they contract actively.

Similarly while standing up from Sajdah, the perennial muscles are again actively mobilized and this gives much strength to the muscles important for manpower.

The unique position of Sajdah also has positive effects upon the back muscles as while going into Sajdah and getting up from it the back muscle contract actively and they become stronger. Probably it is because of this reason that a person who is regular in prayers will uncommonly get backache.

Although prayer in religion is not meant to be an exercise, there are lots of medical advantages associated with it. Still, the best thing a prayer can offer is peace of mind.

I think I should be praying more…

I thought that was pretty cool! Did this trigger any thoughts or ideas? How do you feel about assuming a specific position or series of postures when begging, asking, wishing, or praying?

And once again, for those of you following that first project here's a link to Shaking Things Up. Which makes me think of Shakers, and possibly shaking and begging - and could that be accomplished, and if so how effective would that be? I wonder...

Assuming The Positions

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

While researching for this project, I discovered that there is a kind of "science" to the different body postions for prayer. And I wondered if these positions would be useful for begging as well. Here's the article. I'll be curious to see what you guys think!

People pray in many physical positions. For instance:
  • laying flat on the floor, face down, with hands stretched out (also known as 'prostrate');
  • standing, hands raised and spread, palms up, looking upward;
  • sitting, head bowed, eyes closed, hands folded (the most common position today);
  • kneeling, head bowed, hands folded;
  • kneeling, head to the ground, hands face down on ground next to head;
  • standing, eyes forward, facing the altar;
  • sitting eyes closed, hands in front, palms up;
  • laying flat on the floor, face up, palms up;
  • slow leisurely walking (or sitting), eyes open, in a place where one can safely pay very little attention to where one is going.

Each of these body positions (and others) can be done for any kind of praying, but each has special meaning for different kinds of prayer. Standing with hands raised is typical of praise, celebrative prayer, and thanks-giving. Kneeling and prostration show humility and recognition of a superior, and thus are especially well-suited to prayers of confession, repentance, or awe. (If you're someone who bows to no one, please consider praying while laying prostrate. In public. With everyone watching. If you're too proud to do that, you're too proud to speak to God.) Slow wandering and lotus-sitting are especially good for meditational prayer and for quieting yourself so you can listen. Standing facing the altar is part of an act of worship with other people who are also worshipping.

Other positions have been used, too; for example, Elijah crouched low to the ground and put his face between his knees. (He must've been a prayer contortionist.) The Bible doesn't mention arm gestures in prayer except the raising of hands; however, starting as early as 800 AD and maybe earlier, some devout Jews have been known to sway while studying the Torah, chanting Psalms, or praying. Christians praying together are known to link hands and raise them together.

These positions can help you pray right, by getting your body into (or, sometimes, out of the way of) your prayers, and as a way to express what the prayer is for. Prayer is done with your whole self, and the body is part of that. But the body positions themselves are unimportant to God, who has seen them all before and has seen liars and fools use them all. They are useful to know for your own benefit. The key is that you are having a living response with God, speaking and listening. Whatever prayer position your body is in, God is still paying attention. And that is ultimately what counts.

A good set of experiential prayers (prayers that involve the body and the physical senses) is found at the Embody UK site. You may laugh over a few of these. A few others are more of a meditation than a prayer. These prayers are not just 'experiential', they're 'experimental', and they're a wonderful example of faithful risk-taking and discovery. These experiences carry forward a true sense of prayer. In several of them, ritual and symbol are well-used for what they are meant to do, something that's usually lost in pop-ritual and by ritualists.

My favorite is listed as "Body Prayer"; it's in the spirit of early Celtic Christian prayers, but acted out with the body and with open hands faced out and placed together in a triangular (Trinity) shape. As the Embody site describes it:

"Stand up with your arms straight out to your side and your palms pointing to the ceiling and pray: "Creator God". Bring your hands together in front of you, forming a triangle with your thumbs and forefingers, and pray: "The three in one". Keeping the triangle shape, move your hands down to touch the ground and pray: "Be in this place". Stand up again and place the triangle over your chest praying, "Be in my heart", and over your forehead praying, "Be in my mind". Take the triangle above your head and pray: "I love you and adore you". Bring your hands down to the starting point and you can start to pray again."

This article was found at Spirit Home.

Well, what do you guys think? It's interesting, isn't it? I'm thinking about trying some of these positions out. If something really resonates, I'll let you know. In the mean time, I'd love to hear your thoughts and ideas on the subject...

As a side note, and for those of you also following our Praying For Prosperity Project, from back in 2006, here is a link to Getting Centered. And yes, I know it's out of order, but this post feels more relevant.

A Begging Success Story

Monday, January 24, 2011

We've all heard this story, I'm sure. A 53-year old Brooklyn native Ted Williams, homeless man with ‘golden voice’, gets a full-time job and home offered by Cleveland Cavaliers. He also gets a bunch of help from Dr. Phil, and I don't know who else...

The story goes like this:

A Columbus Dispatch reporter found Ted Williams on the side of the road while he was panhandling. A sign he was carrying reads:

“I have a God given gift of voice. I’m an ex-radio announcer who has fallen on hard times. Please! Any help will be greatfully appreciated. Thank You and God Bless You”

Here is the YouTube video that went viral:

So, this gives me hope! What are the odds, I wonder...

If you were homeless, living in a tent, scrounging for scraps, alchoholic, drug addicted, flat broke, would you, in your wildest imagination think that overnight you'd become a celebrity with a job, a house, and all the psychological counseling you needed to keep that job and that house? And if such an amazing piece of luck could befall Ted Williams - why couldn't something equally amazing befall you? or me? us?

And yes, you are all in this together. That article at the Onion is pretty funny - definitely worth a read!

Something Fun For Today

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Too funny!

So how are we doing? Anyone having successful begging? Successful asking? Any comments, questions, ideas, issues, answers, experiences, doubts, observations.... ???

By the way, back in 2006, we were Exploring the Concept. Anything there of interest or worth talking about? It seems like we always start out with a bang and then next thing you know we're in the doldrums. 

Now What?

Saturday, January 22, 2011

I wasn't quite sure where to go from here... so I took a clue from the related 2006 post on prayer, Exploring The Concept and went on an exhaustive internet search. Here's what I came up with for today.

It's by Mark Victor Hansen and is all about How to Ask for What You Want ... and Get it! and yes, I realize that he is referring to asking people. That being said, I do think a number of these concepts can also apply to prayer and begging the Powers That Be for aid and assistance. Here's the article, I'll be interested to hear what you think:

One of life's fundamental truths states: Ask and you shall receive. Isn't that simple? Of course it is. The world responds to those who ask. Most people in this world, however, find themselves in settled lives, never really achieving or receiving what they hold in their dreams ... because they just never ask.

The truth is, when you take control of your life by asking for what you want and need, you can accomplish anything your heart desires. No doubt, you know of people who seem to walk into any situation and any relationship expecting success. They achieve success again and again because they've learned — and acted on — one simple truth: You will reach your goals only with the help of others.

Here are seven ways to ensure that your asking gets results.

1. Ask with confidence.
If you ask with confidence, you will get more than those who are hesitant and uncertain. A confident state of mind will affect everything else: your body posture, eye contact, tone of voice, and choice of words. Confidence, however, does not mean being brash, arrogant, or conceited. When you've figured out what you want to ask for, do it with certainty, boldness, and confidence. The only downside is that your request may be denied. You are in no worse position than before, and it simply means that you need to look for another route for results.

2. Ask clearly.
Be precise. Think clearly about your request. Take time to prepare. Use a notepad to pick words that have the greatest impact. Words are powerful, so choose them carefully. Ask for what you want, not for what you don't want. At the same time, be careful what you ask for. More often than not, you get exactly what you've requested!

3. Ask someone who can give it to you.
Before you ask someone for something, make an assessment of whether or not that person will be able to give it to you. Some people are very qualified and motivated to help. Others just aren't capable of delivering. Watch people and review that capacity. Do you know that this person is capable of delivering what you're about to ask him or her, or are you just hoping the potential is there?

4. Ask consistently.
Some people fold after making one timid request. And they quit too soon. Keep asking until you find the answers. In sales, for example, there are usually four or five no's before you get a yes. Top producers understand this. When you find a way to ask that works, keep on using it.

5. Ask creatively and with humor.
Humor captures our attention and breaks down our defenses. Creativity disarms our resistance and opens our minds to new possibilities. In this age of global competition, your asking may get lost in the crowd, unheard by the decision makers you hope to reach. There is a way around this. If you want someone's attention, don't send an ordinary email, fax, or letter. Use your creativity to dream up a high-impact introduction. You may not want to go so far as the saleswoman who sent a chief buyer a homing pigeon with her card attached to one leg, and on the card she had written, "If you want to know more about our product, just throw our representative out the window." Think of what you could do to create a powerful impact with your most important prospects and don't be surprised when those impenetrable doors swing wide open to welcome you in.

6. Remember: You must give something to get something.
As Zig Ziglar says, "You can get everything in life you want if you will just help enough other people get what they want." When you're asking, always be sure to explain how the other party will benefit and win because they've acted positively on your request.

7. Ask sincerely.
You can have anything you want if you want it desperately enough! Keep that unbridled passion for your purpose, project, or goal stirring in your mind as you begin to ask. When you truly need help, people will respond. Sincerity involves showing a willingness to be vulnerable. Tell it the way it is, lumps and all. Don't worry if your presentation isn't perfect; ask from your heart. Keep it simple and honest, and people will open up to you. Maintain eye contact throughout the entire asking process. This further demonstrates your integrity, trustworthiness, and passion for the subject.

You can turn your life around, regardless of the obstacles you currently face. Get clear. Get passionate. Take a giant step past that fear. And if at first you don't succeed, take this minor setback as a signal to you ... to ask again!

Defining Begging

Friday, January 21, 2011

I asked Websters Dictionary for a definition of the word beg. Here's what I came up with:

transitive verb
1: to ask for as a charity
2a : to ask earnestly for : entreat
2b : to require as necessary or appropriate
3: evade, sidestep (see "beg the question" below)

intransitive verb
1: to ask for alms
2: to ask earnestly (begged for mercy)

— beg the question
1: to pass over or ignore a question by assuming it to be established or settled
2: to elicit a question logically as a reaction or response (the quarterback's injury begs the question of who will start in his place)

adjure, appeal (to), beg, besiege, beseech, call on (or upon), conjure, entreat, implore, importune, impetrate, petition, plead (to), pray, solicit, supplicate,

Synonym Discussion:
  • beg suggests earnestness or insistence especially in asking for a favor (children begging to stay up late)
  • entreat implies an effort to persuade or to overcome resistance (intreated me to change my mind
  • beseech and implore imply a deeply felt anxiety (I beseech you to have mercy) (implored her not to leave him)
  • supplicate suggests a posture of humility (with bowed heads they supplicated their Lord)
  • adjure implies advising as well as pleading (we were adjured to tell the truth)
  • importune suggests an annoying persistence in trying to break down resistance to a request (importuning viewers for contributions)

The companion post from 2006 - The Inner Dad - is interesting. Our parents, both inner and outer, have such a profound effect on how we "do" and "don't do" life.

Begging As A Spiritual Path

Thursday, January 20, 2011

I've done some research, and it looks like we are in good company. Turns out begging is an ancient spiritual practice, accepted and respected in many parts of the world. Not only that, but giving to begggars is also a good thing.

Here's what I found on wikipedia:

In many, perhaps most, traditional religions, it is considered that a person who gives alms to a worthy beggar, such as a spiritual seeker, gains religious merit.

Many religious orders adhere to a mendicant way of life, including the Catholic mendicant orders, Hindu ascetics, some dervishes of Sufi Islam, and the monastic orders of Buddhism. In the Catholic Church, followers of Saint Francis of Assisi and Saint Dominic became known as mendicants, as they would beg for food while they preached to the villages.

In many Hindu traditions, spiritual seekers, known as sadhus, beg for food. This is because fruitive activity, such as farming or shopkeeping, is regarded as a materialistic distraction from the search for moksha, or spiritual liberation. Begging, on the other hand, promotes humility and gratitude, not only towards the individuals who are giving food, but towards the Universe in general. This helps the sadhu attain a state of bliss or samādhi.

In traditional Shaivite Hinduism, old men, having lived a full life as a householder in the world, frequently give up materialistic possessions and become wandering ascetic mendicants (sadhus), spending their last months or years seeking spiritual enlightenment. Villagers gain religious merit by giving food and other necessities to these ascetics.

In Buddhism, monks and nuns traditionally live by begging for alms, as did the historical Gautama Buddha himself. This is, among other reasons, so that lay people can gain religious merit by giving food, medicines, and other essential items to the monks. The monks seldom need to plead for food; in villages and towns throughout modern Thailand, Cambodia, Vietnam, and other Buddhist countries, householders can often be found at dawn every morning streaming down the road to the local temple to give food to the monks.

For those of you who are also following our first project on prayer - Praying For Prosperity - here's a link to  A Work In Progress - the next post in that series.

A Nice Surprise!

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Back in 2006, I shared a prayer for Unexpected Income. Today, I am happy to report that I actually did have an unexpected income! I was going through my mail, and there was a letter that looked like it was probably from a creditor. I opened it, fully expecting to read something calculated to scare me into sending money I don't have, and what came fluttering out was a $1 bill. My first thought was, "That can't be real." But it was. So, how's that for cool?

But wait, that's not all. Remember how I said that my "wish list" this time around included some DVD's? Actually, what I've been wanting to have all 7 seasons of Buffy the Vampire Slayer. And I've been totally sure that there was no way I could afford to get them. So, yesterday, my local video store called out of the blue, and offered to sell me their entire set for $10 per season. Now, that's cheap! And they're willing to hold them for me while I scrounge for the money! And what's really fun about this is that I never said one word about wanting them. It's like the Universe, my Angels, or I dunno... the Gods of Entertainment - have decided that it's important for me to have Buffy at my fingertips. So, I'm fully expecting $10 bills to fall out of the sky, show up in my purse, or fall out of envelopes. If I can get one,, surely I can get ten!

And I'm also thinking that if I can manifest stuff without even asking for it, without it even having a desperate pressing need, why do I worry about anything? And maybe, it could be, that when I was begging last month for my life to be better, and more enjoyable, the Powers That Be decided that a surprise dollar and Buffy for cheap would be just exactly right for me on a day like today.

And maybe it would be fun and interesting to ask for more fun surprises to pop up unexpectedly. I think I'm going to add that to my daily "please" and "thank-you." What about you guys? Anyone have stories to tell? Experiences to share? Insights? Ideas? Oh, and by the way - there is some wonderful conversation in the comments of that post on "The Unexpected." Definitely worth reading - and I'd love to hear what our thoughts would be now! Have we changed our minds? Do we have deeper understandings? A better perspective?

Asking For Help

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Naturally, when asking for help from a divine source, there are no set in stone, my way or the highway, rules and regulations. I do think it's good to be aware that asking is different from affirming, commanding, and demanding. Also, asking is not bargaining, baiting, or bribing.

Asking is a simple "please," followed by what is requested. Preferably the attitude is humble, and keep in mind that willingness, gratitude, and openness is more appropriate than petulance, resistance, and feelings of entitlement.

With that in mind, here are some suggestions for how to ask our Angels, Guides, the Higher Power, the Goddess or the God, the Powers that Be, and/or the Master of the Universe, for help.

  • PLEASE help me...I can't see my way through this, but you can.
  • Solve it or dissolve it, please. And thank-you.
  • I request a Most Benevolent Outcome for my problem with .... and may the results be even better than I can hope for or expect, thank you!
  • I love you. I know you love me. Here's the situation. Thank you for helping me with it.

If you are also following our original project on prayer, here's that post - Getting It Right.

Begging vs Asking

Monday, January 17, 2011

In the comments on our post Begging For Mercy - Lets Get Started, Erica shared something from Tom T Moore's newsletter, and it got me thinking about begging vs asking. What's the difference? Is one better (more effective) than the other?

Here's what I came up with:

Begging is for when you're desperate... begging is for when you have so much emotion attached to the situation that a simple request feels inadquate and ineffective. When you are desperate, up against the wall, terrified, and/or totally freaking out, asking isn't even possible - you've way passed the point of even being able to ask nicely... Begging is for when you have exhausted every avenue, knocked on every door... for when you are lost in the woods and your map and compass fall into a badger hole... stuff like that.

Asking is for situations that don't fit into the above category. You're not up against the wall yet, water isn't spewing out of your pipes and drenching your whole house in the middle of the night in the dead of winter... you're not at the end of your rope and dangling over a cliff, real or imagined... you can still think straight and you can still breathe...

And actually, when I think about it... we do have a third category here. It's the action part. Because if my pipes are broken and spewing water, I'm not going to take the time to do any begging... I'm going to be running to the main shut off valve... then I'm going to be calling family and friends, banging on the neighbor's door and I'm going to be asking... it's when no one is home, when I'm standing outside freezing, and my phone isn't working because it got wet and frozen, that's when the begging would start... I've done what I could, I've reached out to where I know to reach out, now I'm up against it... now I'm desperate...

Begging for mercy isn't our "go-to" technique, it's our when all else fails high drama "I-give-up-you-fix-it-please-please-please" technique.

So, if during the course of this project there is no high drama - why not just try asking for help? Tomorrow I'll post some ideas on that subject, and I'd welcome any input, comments, suggestions, insights, and etc... please

As for our sister post, The Prosperity Puzzle...

Back in 2006, I posted something about inner work being as important as outer help when it comes to putting together the pieces of a "whole" life. Which brings to mind the question of what is a "whole" life anyway? And maybe that would be something interesting to explore for 30 days... putting our own puzzle pieces together... getting our lives together... etc... In the comments section, Grace mentioned Byron Katie, and The Work which is something I have on a waiting list for potential 30 day projects. And Michelle said something about love and fear - which is another potential project. So many good ideas! So much stuff to think about.

Begging - How I Do It

Sunday, January 16, 2011

This is what works for me. First, I have to be feeling desperate about something in particular, or totally freaking out. I close my eyes and think about who could possibly help me - is it my Angels? my guides? the Master of the Universe? the Goddess? the God? who? Sometimes I beg everyone - and sometimes I pick just one or two.

Then I say to them something to the effect of, "Hey! I really need help here. (I describe the problem, situation, and/or issue) and I can't figure out what to do, I can't fix it, I can't seem to do anything about it! I need help. Please, please, please help me!" (This part can go on for a while because what I pretty much do is try to pull out all my worry, fear, angst, frustration, and etc and express it, as well as what I want the outcome to be and why.)

I find that the more detailed I am with what I'm begging for, and the more general I am with the actual end result, the better it feels. So (for example) I give every little gory detail about how terrible it would be for my house to burn down, everything that freaks me out about that. And then, with the outcome, a much more general scenario of how I really want everything to work out for my own happiness and peace of mind, and for the safety and comfort of my pets and family.

When I feel like I've said everything that I can say, I let it go by saying something like, "so... there it is... please please help me. I give you permission to do whatever is necessary to fix this, I'm willing to let go of whatever I'm clinging to that's causing the situation - but please understand that I might not actually let go of it, and if that's the case, you have my permission to pry my fingers loose... in fact... please do so if that is what's required. Just please fix it. And if I'm mucking things up all day long by what I say, do, and think... then please please please work on it while I am asleep at night. I beg you! I don't care how you fix it, just please fix it!!"

Now comes the most important part. At this point I have to actually let go of it. I have to let go of a need to control the outcome, and I have to stop with the begging. So, for example, when there was a huge grass fire, and my house almost burned down, I did a fair amount of begging... and it took me a while, but when I finally let it go, the first thought that came to me was, "Well, if it does burn down, I guess I'll getting a bunch of new stuff!"

So here's a link to our "sister" post from way back in 2006: Prosperity Updates. Did you find anything interesting there?

Finding Money

Saturday, January 15, 2011

If you are following our current project, you'll know that we are revisiting our first project, "Praying For Prosperity" - but with a twist. And the twist is that instead of praying, we're begging. And we're not asking someone else to do it for us, we're doing it for ourselves.

So far, it's been very interesting! This morning I read the comments from the "sister" post back in 2006, Still Praying For Prosperity. In my comment, I mentioned that I had found a $49 dollar check in my purse which I thought I had deposited... And guess what! Yesterday I found a $300 check in my purse that I was sure had been deposited. Fascinating! Coincidence? Synchronicity? What?

This brings up the question of why am I still having issues with getting money and then not depositing it? Do I feel undeserving? Am I trying to hold onto it? What?

Now, on to our current project - does anyone have any questions? Have you done any recent begging? If so, what are your experiences? Do we all know how to beg? What are our thoughts and feelings about begging? Do we have issues around asking for stuff for ourselves? Is it way easier to beg for help for someone else? How well did begging work for you as a child? How well does it work for your children? Let's get some dialogue going!

Begging For Mercy - Let's Get Started

Friday, January 14, 2011

Now we get started. The first time around I wasn't quite sure what to write about, as you can see if you take a look at that post - Praying For Prosperity.

I did do some begging last night, and in the process I discovered something interesting. Here's the situation I was begging about:

We're currently in a deep freeze, and the overnight temperatures were expected to be -5, so I was really worried about my water pipes.

Especially since I live in a mobile home with melted siding on the entire west side. The night before I let water drip in all the faucets and the bathtub faucet leaked badly so I woke up to wet bathroom floor which - which totally freaked me out because I could just see all that water getting my insulation wet, and freezing the pipes, and me having to crawl under the trailer and fix it with my not great plumbing skills and no money.

My begging went something to the effect of "Please don't let the pipes freeze... please please please." And the more I begged, the more I worried about it, and it occured to me that maybe I was focusing so much energy on something that hadn't happened yet - that maybe what I was doing might actually cause the pipes to freeze!!

Also - I wasn't getting a clear idea of who I was begging to... Was it my angels? The God of Water Pipes in Winter? The pipes themselves?

But that's not all - I also realized that I wasn't having the intensity of desperation that tends to accompany my most successful begging. So, right away I stopped. And I said to my Angels, "I know you will take care of me no matter what so I'm going to sleep now. And by the way thank you, thank you, thank you for all that you've done for me so far."

This morning, the pipes are fine. The floor is still wet - (what kind of a moron puts carpet in a bathroom anyway?) - but all is well. Did the begging help? I dunno.

What I do know is that whining and worrying is not the same as being truly desperate. Plus it's important to have a clear idea of who you are talking to when you beg, and it's always good to be grateful.

I Couldn't Reisit!

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Ok, so this picture was just too perfect for our current project and I couldn't resist!

Begging For Mercy - Getting Started

That was then:
Getting Started - This link will take you to the first venture into goal setting. As you can see, we had lots of comments! What a nifty little trip into the past... all those goals, hopes and dreams... How fun was that?

This is now:
Setting clear and specific goals will enable you to determine just how successful begging is for you. So, if you're up for it, log on, post your name, your goals, and share your personal begging experiences. If you decide to call for prayer, we'd be interested in that too.

Logging on and sharing your goals and experiences is easy, just click on the "comment" link at the bottom of this post. The idea is to make a commitment to the project by participating every day for 30 days, and then posting your experiences (good and bad). At the end of the 30 days - we will evaluate our progress and determine if begging for prosperity does indeed work.. and if so are the results consistent.

We look forward to sharing the journey with you.

Revisiting Our Project on Prayer

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

On Oct 15, 2006 I made my very first blog post ever and so began the Prosperity Project. What a journey! I'm thinking it might be fun now to revisit that post (Does Prayer Really Work?) and read the comments we made.

So that was then... and this is now. How much has changed in your life since Oct 2006? How much is still the same?

As for me, I've seen quite a few changes, suffered a number of grievous losses, found new friends, stepped out in several new directions, made a number of terrible mistakes, and also a number of astonishingly good choices. Yet it's still me and it's still my same life. Interesting, isn't it? No matter where you go, or how far, there you still are!

My idea for our next project is to link back to each post from our original project about "Praying For Prosperity," and then talking about whatever seems pertinent to our current project "Begging For Mercy." I'm also really curious to see where and how we've grown, and what kinds of changes have taken place - especially with regards to our experience of and ideas about prosperity.

So, with that in mind here goes...

The first post (here) talks about "why" we decided to do a project on prayer, and why we chose Silent Unity. What wasn't said, and which was also true, is that we (Daniel and I) were currently working at Silent Unity, praying with people for their prosperity and yet not experiencing it for ourselves. I think we wanted to see if our prayers really did work, or if we were just getting (not very well) paid for a lot of "bla bla bla."

As for the current project, here's the "why" for this project about begging. For one thing, isn't that usually what we are doing when we pray? Something to the effect of: "Please please God, don't let the bad thing happen... and please please God make the good thing happen..." ??

So, when I made the decision to begin a project on begging, I began to actully do it in earnest, and surprisingly, begging seems to work pretty well for me. Plus, I've been doing so much of it lately that I'm starting to feel like an expert in the subject.

What's the thing about begging that makes it work? I'm not sure, and that's something I'd like to explore over the next 30 days. The idea is to set some goals and then track our progress over the course of the project. Feel free to jump in at any time with ideas, insights, etc.

So, how about it guys? Anyone out there? Wanna try it? Please please please??

Looks like I fell asleep on the job! I didn't even get the Secrets of Millionaires project wrapped up properly! As a matter of fact, it's been 87 days since we finished it! I feel like Rip Van Winkle!! So... I'm up and at-em now, got that last project wrapped up, and I've even got some new ideas for our project.

It occured to me that we have so much useful information here, so many techniques, tips, and tricks... and it might be a good idea to revisit each of our projects. However! I do not like to be bored by doing the same things over and over again, so I thought maybe it would be useful and interesting to revisit each project but with a twist. In other words, do them again, but differently.

With that in mind, I spent some time mulling over our very first project "Praying For Prosperity." How could we do that one over again without repeating ourselves? And then I thought, why not do our own praying, which for me usually amounts to pretty much a begging thing. So, with that in mind, I came up with "Begging For Mercy." I'll be posting about it here pretty soon. So stay tuned...

Secrets of Millionaires - Project Overview

“If you don't do what you love you are not going to be good at it. And if you are not good at it you are not going to make any money doing it."

~Donald Trump.

Here is an overview of our project on Secrets of Millionaires. This post provides links to pertinent aspects of this project for those of you who are interested in exploring it, as well as a complete listing of everything we explored.

If you are curious about the results that we experienced, you can find feedback, comments, and other insights at Wrapping Things Up For my own insight into what I think is the real secret to being a millionaire you can read Millionaires - The Real Secret If you would like to try this project for yourself, we'd love to hear how well it works for you. How you work the project is up to you. You can begin at the beginning and work through each post one day at a time in chronological order - or you can skip around.

Please feel free to post your thoughts, ideas, results, joys and disappointments as you go. This is an active blog, and if you post, we will notice and reply.. and give you the benefit of our own experience and our support if it seems pertinent or appropriate. Even though we love you, comment spam is deleted when discovered. Anonymous posting is discouraged, but if you have problems with the comment box, feel free to use that option.

We do have a recommended reading list if you are interested in expanding your understanding. I don't know how up to date it is, but there are a lot of really good books listed. Feel free to add titles and authors that you would recommend. We have a nice collection of quotes posted here on the project, and you can also visit Way Cool Quotes and find a bunch more.

As promised, here is the complete listing of all the posts for our Secrets of Millionaires Project:

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