He or she who knows that enough is enough will always have enough. Lao-Tzu (6th Century B.C.)

In Hello Dolly, Dolly Levi is heard to say, “Money, pardon the expression, is like manure, it’s not worth a thing unless it’s spread around, encouraging young things to grow.” This is a very succinct way of saying that wealth that is not shared may begin to rot and destroy our lives. And the important thing is not to give our wealth away indiscriminately, but rather it is shared “encouraging young things to grow.” Wealth is not given away to rescue or enable people, keep them co-dependent and give us a feeling that we have done something noble and good.

Living with enough is not limited to material things but extends most especially to the religious and spiritual. As we grow in our relationship with the Divine Essence we realize that more is less and less is more. We appreciate the wisdom of the unknown author who says, “He who buys what he does not need steals from himself.” As we give away material things that are superfluous we begin to give away religious and spiritual practices that we no longer need. We claim once again the wisdom, simplicity and freedom of a child. The life of a little child embodies Leela, the Sanskrit word that is often translated as play. A little child is a reflection of all reality and the cosmos which is the creative Leela of the Divine Essence. As we allow ourselves to participate in the dance of the Divine Leela, our lives become simple and mystical. We experience deep inner peace and freedom in every circumstance of our lives.


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15 Responses to He or she who knows that enough is enough will always have enough. Lao-Tzu (6th Century B.C.)

  1. Paul, due to certain circumstances that I have experienced in my life I find the concept you have explored of knowing when enough is enough is so pertinent and meaningful to me and I am sure that there are countless others who feel or will fell this way when they read about the wisdom you have shared.

    In saying that, I still need to learn this concept further and practice it on a daily basis and learn from the mistakes I have made in the past when circumstances were different and when money and material possessions were more important than they needed to be.

    Thank you for sharing and reminding us about simplicity and just doing the things that will bring joy and inner peace into our lives.

  2. sevil says:

    Thank you Paul for the wisdom of enough. It is really a deep spiritual concept. To me , enough has nothing to do with the material content. Enough is how complacent I am, how calm and peaceful my soul is. I believe I was born with enough, and that is not necessarily and entirely a family trait. I enjoy Leela for the most. Her moves, energy, love, emotions and tribulations. I know I will never be left out or cast out of the Universe. I will always give, and will always receive.

    But I am not entirely against material possessions, on the other hand. If they represent beauty of creation, and any spiritual value, or help me gain more knowledge. The point is to balance. And trust the Universe.

    Thank you for your sharing a joy of Leela.

  3. Gary says:

    Paul, As always your reflections R like manure helping young things to grow as I reflect on my wealth I look at how blessed I am to have earned what I have in one lifetime what I struggle with is when knowing enough is enough and when is too much too much depending on who I consult with regarding this I get a wide variety of responses how do I take care of myself and yet be generous to appoint that does not harm me good book I recommend it is when loving you hurting me Gary

  4. Henri says:

    “Encouraging young things to grow.”

    “We appreciate the wisdom of the unknown author”

    God grant me the grace of being an “unknown author” allowing Your life, in each one, to flow through that they might find themselves growing more and more into You – not one not two.
    Grant me the grace to “allow myself to participate in the dance of the Divine Leela, experiencing deep inner peace and freedom in every circumstance of my life.”

    Birthday blessings to you dear Paul. Thank you a millionfold for everything you do for us.

  5. Kathy Janson says:

    Wonderful words of wisdom as we start a new year. Thank you Paul

  6. As always profound. Today I heard a fellow writer write about wonder vs ponder. Mary pondered events in her son’s life but never lost her sense of awe and wonder at God’s creation.

  7. Barbara Hagelstein says:

    So much to reflect on! Thank you for your blog, and sharing. What is enough? I will be praying and reflecting on this. Once again you provide a call to look deeper. Thank you all.

  8. Mary O. says:

    “Wealth is not given away to rescue or enable people, keep them co-dependent and give us a feeling that we have done something noble and good.” This is the statement that caught my attention. It reminded me to always check my motives. Am I doing more harm than good by helping someone who could, but is unwilling, to help themselves.
    Thank you, Paul, for your blog.

  9. JoAnn Rulo says:

    When we are truly grateful for all that we have we realize that it was all a gift. Meister Eckhart said, “If the only prayer you ever say in your entire life is thank you, it will be enough”. As we become aware that all of life is interconnected we realize that we own nothing but everything is a gift meant to be shared. Gratitude allows us to be truly present with what is; knowing that we have all that we need so we need not cling to anything. As David Steindl-Rast said, “Gratefulness is a measure of our Aliveness.” To him Aliveness is being present to the Divine Essence. Gratitude allows us to sit in the stillness and be present to the moment not clinging to anything not even to an image of what we think God is – we only need to sit in His Presence. As Anthony De Mello once said, “Sometimes you have to get rid of God to find God”. Clinging to nothing we are at last free to fly.

  10. Joan says:

    Superb food for thought!

    “Wealth is not given away to rescue or enable people, keep them co-dependent and give us a feeling that we have done something noble and good.”

    “…keep them co-dependent” these three words stood out in the above para because all around I see this happening within the family, friends-circle and also those who become “co-dependent” on Church-support! They don’t want to grow or go! We want them to become independent, stand on their own feet and carry their own weight – not to remain a “millstone around one’s neck” for a lifetime! It’s v difficult, because the moment u reach out to help someone tide-over a crisis – they keep coming back for more help!?

    Your writing is very thought provoking!

    Keep blogging…THANK YOU!

  11. helenqed says:

    Thank you for the insights, Paul. Now, can you just explain exactly how we can “allow ourselves to participate in the dance of the Divine Leela”? I don’t get it! Helen

  12. Pat Shannon says:

    All is never enough.
    Always more…
    I want more.
    Swiftly satisfaction ceases.
    Hunger’s hollow haunts me.
    Desire demands.
    Relentless longing leads.
    Temptation follows, teases, promises.
    A morsel of more takes not away my longing, Lord.
    What’s this more moving me?

  13. Jacklynne Guimond says:

    Thank you, Paul, for this.
    In her book, ‘Co-dependant No More’ Melody Beattie has a quote” Gratitude unlocks the fullness of joy; it makes what we have enough, and more.” ..dancing with Leela!!??!
    I am saddened by the lack of simple ‘thank-you’s’ in our youth today; entitlement has taken over.

  14. Ellen says:

    Thank you Paul and thank you all who shared.
    Paul, you have said “My experience is my truth” . As I have begun to trust this, the peace I have experienced is beyond. Life is simpler and it allows me to simplify. Do I have enough? Absolutely!
    Clearing away the clutter that has caged the “child” is a process. I trust my experience of the Divine. I have enough.

  15. Jennifer says:

    Deep reflection and prayrer is asked of me as I read your blog Paul, which is full of wisdom and spirituality. Enough is never enough when the Divine takes hold of me and is the centre of my life. My relationship with HIM keeps on growing i.e. He increases which is the more and I decrease which is the less and the surrender. May I grow in holiness and grace and allow the Divine to touch many more I encounter along lifes journey. Keep well and thanks.

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