Live from the heart, not the wallet

Back in 2008 I went on a meditation retreat where speaking was allowed. The teacher at the retreat was a psychotherapist, and as I learned during the week, one of the students was his patient.

The patient came from a wealthy family, and he went to see the therapist because he had always “lived from his wallet” as he told me, meaning that money was the primary concern in every decision he made in life. He was obsessed with making money and not spending money, and it was causing a lot of problems in his life, including creating stress and ruining relationships.

I noticed that from time to time he would tap himself on his chest, or otherwise place his hand on his chest in the area of his heart. One day at lunch I asked him about this, and he told me that the therapist taught him that every time he thought about money, he should tap himself on the chest as a reminder that he needed to learn to make decisions based on his heart rather than on his wallet. His slogan had become, “Live from the heart, not the wallet.”