The Money Chant
by Wayne Ren-Cheng
Wade was confused. According to the receipt from the ATM machine he had $7.40 in his checking account. He knew it had been so long since he had anything extra to put into a savings account he’d closed it, now he put everything into checking. Sticking the receipt into his pocket he reflexively rummaged in his other pockets. Wade found two wrinkled five dollar bills, three quarters and a couple of pennies. “I wonder what happened to all of it?” He stood staring at the ATM screen until someone behind him said, “Excuse me, are you done?”
“Yeah, sorry about that.” He turned to find a tall red-haired woman waiting behind him.
She smiled. “I used to wonder that too.”
“Wonder . . . about what?” Wade usually was more aware of who was around him at the ATM. The woman said, “I’m Nancy. I figured you were talking about money just then.”
“Wade.” He took her hand. “Was I thinking out loud again?”
She said, “Yes you were. I used to wonder where all my money went too.” Nancy gestured to the mala beads wound around Wade’s left wrist. “Buddhist?”
“Have you tried chanting the Money Mantra invoking Vasudhare?”
“Nope, never heard of it.” Wade thought about Chusheng Shi, his teacher. Shi was aware he was having money problems but hadn’t mentioned any mantra that might help.
“The Buddha said that those who recite, read or listen to the dharani will be blessed by Vasudhare, the bodhisattva of wealth, prosperity and abundance. Chanting OM VASUDHARE SVAHA (pronounced as OM WA SU DHA REI SWA HA) 108 times a day has improved my money situation. I don’t have cash problems any more. It’d do the same for you.” Nancy bestowed a warm smile on Wade.
Chusheng Shi stepped quietly among the sangha as they meditated. Later, as the people were leaving Chusheng beckoned Wade over. “Wade, how is your meditation practice?”
“I’ve got a lot on my mind but on the whole it’s going okay. ”
“You were chanting to Vasudhare this evening.”
“Oh yeah, you noticed that.” That took Wade by surprise. He’d been chanting to himself trying to catch-up to the 108 recitations for that day.
“You are having issues with money.”
“Yes Shi. It is creating a lot of stress and messing with my practice. I met a lady named Nancy who said I should chant the Money Mantra 108 times a day and Vasudhare would hear.”
“Haven’t won the lottery or found a forgotten Pablo Picasso in my attic yet.” Wade laughed.
“What is your intention in chanting the mantra?”
“To get enough cash to settle debts and not have to worry so much about paying bills. Having a little left over to enjoy would be good too.”
“What actions are you taking appropriate to how you want this change to happen?”
Wade came to the realization that he had deluded himself into thinking and acting like intent without action and want without effort would lead to fulfilling his desire. “Thank you, Shi.” He bowed to his teacher.