Not a day goes by where I don't question my own sanity at starting a publishing business. Yet still, something deep inside, urges me on. A while back, I handed the Helm of Tandava Press to my darling wife Natasha Rivers, who took to it like a duck to water. (an in Joke)
Yet, with a feisty 2 year old daughter (our darling Grace) and a husband who is in chronic pain and struggling to get well, my ...wife has her work cut out for her. We pay our authors very high royalties, why? Because for us, its all about our authors and the gems of wisdom their books offer to their readers.
Most big publishing houses pay about $1:50 per copy, if your lucky, (or so I've heard). We pay way above that and always will. For us, it is a "lot of work" formatting, cover design, trying to find spiritually minded editors who will do the job as a service, (as we can't afford the general $2000 to get a book professionally edited) there is the marketing, creating and maintaining author websites. Its basically a lot of tinkering about to get everything just so. Even then, mistakes slip through and more than we would wish.
But we are just starting out. Its no small endeavour getting into publishing. After we pay our author's their royalties and pay marketing expenses, the left overs are scantly enough to cover our running costs. (often they don't cover our costs). But, there is a big reward for us in doing what we do.
Poverty has nothing to do with how much money you have, (it does from a certain, very valid, point of view) and I don't deny that. But, there is another type of poverty. The poverty of spirit, where one sees "only money and possessions" as being equivalent to wealth. At Tandava Press, we hold to the tenet, that "true wealth is found in giving", for giving's sake.
For us, it is found in helping an author, who's book sums up their lives spiritual journey and shares the hard won insights and gems of wisdom, they have gained along their Journey.
The way we tend to see poverty, is that poverty would be to live in the "mind-set" that says "If I have this much money or that lovely house, then I am not in poverty" This is generally the way the world thinks of wealth, with poverty being the lack of money to buy all the comforts of life.
Yet the view of poverty we hold at Tandava Press, is actually the total opposite to the way the modern world thinks.
I am reminded of an old Eastern Mystical teaching tale, that goes something like this: An old monk, who lived in a thatched hut on a hill was attacked by bandits one night. He said to the Bandits "Im terribly sorry, but I don't have very much to offer you, although I have just cooked this soup and you are fee to join me as my honoured guests"
The bandits fell silent, not expecting this kind of response. The monk then said "Ahh yes, I know what I can give you, its a cold night, surely you could use my coat, I made it myself, its very warm, so he took of his coat and now completely naked, he handed his coat to the bandits.
The monk also gave them the large bowl of soup saying "You will need this for the long walk back into town". He also gave them all of his left over food, plus his pots and pans. He said, Im very sorry, I know how far you have travelled to get to my remote little hut, you must be very disappointed' The bandits took everything and ran, one with a tear in his eye but in their hearts a seed had been sewn.
"If only I could have given them this beautiful moon", the monk thought to himself, as he gazed upon the bright full moon in the beautiful star filled night sky.
Having said all this, ones lot, is ones lot. For some, God decrees that no matter how hard they try to avoid money and riches, they shall live as Kings. For others, God decrees that no matter how many seminars and get rich quick schemes they put countless hours and "dollars" into, they are destined to live a simple life, living day to day.
If this is so, as has been said by great Sages such as Ramana Maharshi, then it stands to reason that neither poverty nor riches have anything to do with spiritual awakening.
If you take the time to read the great texts of the East, you will find stories of Kings of great opulence who attained the highest state of Realisation. You will also read about plenty of great sages who 'actually lived" in stinking garbage heaps, or who roamed about naked, or whom just sat on the street corner, indistinguishable from any other beggar.
I personally was blessed to meet one such saint. I was staying in Mumbai, visiting Ramesh Balsekar, hanging out with a girl from Germany named Bianca, whom Ramesh had declared enlightened (I don't know or care if she was enlightened but she sure did radiate silence and peace)
So, one day Bianca said she wanted me to meet a realised Being who had attained God Consciousness, apparently after receiving Shakti Pat from the great Bhagawan Nityananda of Ganeshpuri. So we went to see Him, He made His living with a simple weight scale, that people could stand on for a small fee, to see their weight.
After siting in silence with him for quite a while, he suddenly stood up and silently "spoke to me" in gestures alone, which somehow, I intuitively and instantly understood.
Now the question is, who is in poverty? The man who rushes about, thinking of money, trying day after day, to plead with his boss for a raise? Or the man thinking obsessively of making his "next" million but with no peace of mind.
Or, is it the man, or women, who, rich or poor, have realised the transient nature of this world and are thus unattached to possessions? Realising that all the money in the world won't make them or anyone else "truly" happy.
True Happiness is our real nature. It can be found within, by the rich or the poor. I find I am ending a lot of posts with a line from Jesus, who said "Seek ye first the Kingdom of Heaven and all else will be added to you"