Hana, Hawaii, is more than fifty miles of pristine paradise””largely untouched by the onslaught of seasonal tourists””stretching all the way across the north side of Maui. Almost at the end of the winding road that cuts through this idyllic expanse of exquisite canopies, deep cliffs and waterfalls is an oasis within an oasis called “Laulima,” a vestige of true manifested abundance. Flourishing crops of bananas, coconuts, avocados and tropical fruits of all shapes, sizes and scents creates a veritable Garden of Eden; it is a landscape overflowing. The ocean is just in view of the yoga room and represents the infinite possibility that this place represents. It is not a big surprise that Matthew and Terces Engelhart, the stewards of this spectacular paradise, where people have the opportunity to work on the land and grow their own food, are also the creators of San Francisco”™s CafÃ© Gratitude, the gourmet raw food restaurant with a soul that has taken the city by storm. They understand what it means to live in a state of abundance that transcends finances and have made it a personal mission to share this message with others. To support their mission, Matthew and Terces founded With The Current, a company that expresses their mutual interest in helping people understand the distinction between wanting to be abundant and “being abundance.” As a means of sharing years of acquired knowledge, they created a board game called The Abounding River, as well as a workshop by the same name that they offer twice a year on their Maui property.
Spending a week in their presence on the land of Laulima (which means many hands or hands together in Hawaiian) is like taking a deep plunge into the pool of awakening. Surrounded by beauty and people who all share the same intention, we soon learn that abundance is really about developing the ability to move away from our desires and truly connect with the splendor of life. When asked what brings abundance into their lives, they answered, “We are being abundance.” As a result, people experience themselves being at the source of unlimited supply. Abundance is a quality of Spirit, just as happiness, joy, health, love and peace are. It is not doing or having more. Using the metaphor of the current of a river for the entire workshop, Matthew and Terces led us through an extraordinary process of discovering new understandings of words and concepts pertaining to wealth, time, money, love and fear, which all seem to come back to the realization that the mastery of life does not happen without the mastery of serving and that true happiness resides in the gratefulness that keeps you in the present moment.
There is something remarkably different about these two entrepreneurs when you compare them to the classic image of the hard-nosed business person whose focus is forever on the bottom line and who sacrifices a personal life for long hours at the office. They seem to be living in a constant state of relaxed serenity that pervades everything they do. It was clear that whatever it was, we wanted to learn more about it.
In such an individualist society, being in the business of shifting the world consciousness is not the norm. Yet these two individuals have made the choice to devote their energy to spreading the idea that there is enough for everyone to as many people as they can possibly reach. Matthew and Terces could well enjoy the success of their restaurants, and spend time showing their abundance versus sharing it. But they are not the kind of people who place priority on their own status. Instead, it is their natural inclination to give to others what has been given to them. Seeing others open up to receiving more than they could ever imagine seems to be the inspiration that gets them out of bed every morning.