In the 1970s I was in India studying with my guru, Maharaji. One day he called me in and said, "Your father has a lot of money. . . . You are not to accept an inheritance." I was startled by his mandate, but it felt right to me.
I hadn't been aware that I wanted my dad's money and was waiting for him to die, but once I let go of the inheritance, the effect was profound. Suddenly, I just wanted my dad to be happy. He had worked hard, and I wanted him to enjoy spending his money. I helped him to remarry and became close buddies with him and his new wife. I was freed up to love him—and he recognized that.
I knew that my father, as a Jewish, middle-class, responsible family man, made money with the justification that he would pass it on and his kids would be secure. I knew he would feel rejected if I told him I wasn't going to accept any inheritance, so I never spoke to him about it.
After Dad died I put the $300,000 he left me into a special account to give away. I also set up a foundation, so all the fees I earned as a traveling teacher and speaker could be given there instead of to me personally. The amount has varied between $100,000 and $800,000 a year.
Through my foundation I have supported a variety of projects such as helping prisoners and dying persons. I love to give money impulsively. Sure I've made lots of mistakes, including loaning money to people who then ripped me off. But that's their problem, not mine. I did it with a good heart and the best wisdom I had available.
I was the Board Chair for the Seva Foundation, helping to cure blindness and other health problems in Guatemala and other developing countries. We learned in Seva how to give to others without taking their power. Deciding with others about how to spend my time and money was a great experiment for me surrendering control. But I think a group acting together on their care for the world is the highest game people can play together.
Keep what you need for your personal needs and family responsibilities. Then be a trustee for the rest of the money; pass it through you as a way to heal the universe.
| West | 60 plus Years Old | Under $1M | at least 90% | Inheritance | Profession |
| International | Social Justice | Faith | Simplicity |
Posted on May 27th by Ed Mowrey
This is my first visit to this site, having been introduced to it by Rob Kanzer. It won't be my last visit. I'm already uplifted just by being at the site.
Posted on April 13th by Anne Ellinger
Just FYI for the readers – About 30 people attended this dynamic evening, held at a Bolder Giver's home in SF. We'll be holding similar evening events in Seattle this June and Boston in September. Feel free to contact us if you'd like to host a gathering.