24 May
Posted in: Money
By    2 Comments

10 Things

I’ve just finished an interesting exercise on Cultivating Contentment, from Mindfulness and Money, by Kulananda and Dominic Houlder.

Here’s the exercise. First:
“List the 10 most significant things you’ve acquired or done in the past 3 years. By significant, we don’t mean only the things you spent lots of money on, though you should include those, we also mean the things that have been important to you and made a difference in your life.”

Here’s my list (in no particular order):
* Enrolled in the Dedicated Practitioner Program (DPP) at Spirit Rock
* Bought a new Fiat 500 — convertible!
* Found Benedetto, un bravissimo Italian tutor
* Started DharmaTown.org
* Took a trip to Wales
* Went to Barre, to meet with Mirabai
* Put replacement windows in my almost-100-year-old house
* Subscribed to Fair Shares, an awesome CCSA (Combined Community Supported Agriculture)
* Cleaned out all my closets and de-cluttered my entire house!
* Organized the Cafe Sangha, Maplewood Metta and 3 Kalyana Mitta groups


Then: “Rank them in order of cost.”

Then: “Rank them in order of value.”

And then: “Graph them on a chart relating cost to value.”

This makes for an interesting, but not too surprising graph.

But then: “List the 10 things that are most important to you at this moment, and their cost.”

Here’s where it becomes clear that the most important things are impossible to put a price on. Which is where we discover our hidden wealth…whose “value is infinite and economic costs are low.”

For the last part of the exercise: “List your hidden wealth. Write down why the items on the list are valuable to you.”

Give it a try.


  • Jan,

    What lit the fire under you three years ago? This is an impressive list of accomplishments.

    • Thanks, Christy. The spark was ignited at a Spirit Rock retreat with Sylvia Boorstein, which got me searching around on their web site, where I found out about the Dedicated Practitioner Program. It took me two years after that to get the qualifications to apply to the program, but once I did…..and then actually got accepted and went to the first retreat….there was no holding me back. Frankly, this feels like just the beginning!