By the common definition of ascetic, I am not an ascetic. I live the life of abundance. There is nothing I don't need or want but what is right here and now. When I lived with money, I was always lacking. Money represents lack. Money represents things in the past (debt) and things in the future (credit), but money never represents what is present. If a dollar bill represented itself, it would no longer be money. It would simply be a piece of paper with pretty art on it.
To be bound to money and possessions is asceticism, self-flagellation, lack, need, debt. Forgive us our debts even as we forgive our debtors. To be released from money and possessions is freedom, the end of self-hurt, the end of lack, the end of debt, the beginning of wealth. To accumulate stuff is to take on poverty and suffering.
Why own petty mansions and cars and lands when you can own the whole universe? When you own nothing, you own everything. When you own a house & stuff, you have to be in your house & have your stuff to be secure. When you give up your house & stuff, then you start to realize that every place is your home, everything is yours. There is no place you can go where you are not home. There is nobody you have to fear. You find that everything you need is right at hand and everybody becomes familiar, becomes family. You can love your neighbor as yourself because your neighbor is yourself and everybody becomes your neighbor.
All that I'm saying you know by direct experience, direct proof. Deep down, you know that it is impossible to enjoy the things you have if you take more than you need. Eat just enough candy, and it is delicious, it is wealth. Eat too much candy, and it is sickening, it is poverty. Our society has become sickening. Those who take only what they need are wealthy. Those who take more than they need are in poverty.
Taking more than you need betrays you. If you don't think you are lacking, then why would you take more than you need? Stop being needy. Nobody sincerely likes being around a needy person. Faith is realizing everything you need is right here and right now. If your hand is grasping something, it can't be open to receive the next blessing. Take climbing a ladder: it takes faith to let go of one rung of a ladder to reach the next rung. Climbing is faith. It takes faith to lift your foot off the ground to take a step. You take walking for granted, but every step you take is balancing on the brink of disaster. It is only because of grace and faith that you can walk!
Give up possessions. Start trusting! Be grateful! Be Grace Full! Be Generous! Be Open! Start walking! Then walking becomes automatic, natural. This is faith. Every particle in the universe is walking. Every particle in the universe runs on faith. That which doesn't run on faith is illusion and delusion. So get out of delusion and join the universe. Start enjoying life.
In old English, want means lack. To want is to lack. To lack is to want. When you trust that everything in the universe is under sovereign control without your manipulation, then that 23rd Psalm you hear on Hollywood funerals will finally take on meaning, and you can say "I shall not want."
It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for somebody who takes more than she needs to enter into the Present Moment.
Also see FAQ 31. Why are you an extremist? Shouldn't you follow the Middle Way between extremes?