Maharaji's world wide addresses
The subject matter of this magazine is taken from Maharaji's world wide addresses.
One Breath 45
A CONVERSATION WITH MAHARAJI
"True love has no strings attached. The intensity of that love, the feeling of how real and how beautiful it is cannot be talked about. It can only be felt."
Interviewer: Maharaji, what are some of the things that are important to you?
Maharaji: Birth is important to me. Life is important to me. Death is important to me. These are the three things that constitute who and what I am. Birth allowed me to be, to exist. Something is happening in my life right now that is allowing me to continue. I have consciousness, I have breath, I have feelings, I have emotions, I have so much because I have this existence. And to put it all in context, one day, this will all end. I have to remember that, too.
Beyond that, I have a family and that is important to me. I have many responsibilities. They are important to me. But I cannot forget that all of these other things are possible because I am alive. Because one day I was born, I am here. Because a very simple thing is taking place within me, I breathe, I exist. Because there is appreciation in me, I enjoy. Because there are feelings in me, I like and I dislike. And, one day I will go.
There is a thirst within me that is also important. Without that thirst, I would be a dry well.
I don't know if you have seen a dry well, but eventually, it gets covered with sand and dirt and nobody goes to it anymore. It has lost its purpose. It has lost its sense of existence and it begins to deteriorate. It may still look like a well, but nobody visits it any longer because the water is now gone. My thirst pushes me, my thirst evokes feelings in me, my thirst forces me to move on. I need to quench my thirst every day. That is important to me.
I cannot point at just one thing and say, "That's what's important," because everything is tied to something else. Ultimately, everything is tied to the three most important things: birth, life and death.
Interviewer: I think we are able to accept two parts of that equation really easily. First,
birth, which is something which we have little or no control over, and life. But death as part of the equation seems to be a mystery and also, perhaps, an event that not many of us even want to discuss. How would you describe death? What is it as part of this equation that you just mentioned?
Maharaji: One, I know it exists. Two, I know nobody has been able to evade it. It is as certain as the most certain things in my life. I cannot tell you what death is like because I am not dead yet. Am I looking forward to death? No. That would be against the principles of life itself. However, I know it will come.
wisdom is, to know that. There is no reason to distrust. The sunrise this morning, the sunset this evening - all made possible by the courtesy of this one breath in and one breath out. I can say I've had terrible days, but in retrospect, they were all good. When I was going through them they were terrible. In retrospect,
Am I afraid of it? Yes and no. It is unknown, and yet from the nine months that I was in my mother's womb something has cared for me every living moment. I have absolutely no reason to distrust this feeling, this power, this grace - whatever you want to call it. Just as I don't distrust it for the moment I have now, I have no reason to distrust it when it comes time for me to leave.
So, in a nutshell, I trust. I don't know if I will wake up tomorrow - no one does - but people assume they do. By force of habit we say, "Tomorrow, I will do this," or, "this will happen." We don't know that, and it's always a great shocker when somebody doesn't wake up in the morning.
The only survival kit that we have is our moments of enjoyment and trust. That's what
I was alive and I lived through them. Wisdom? To learn from that. To know that I need to trust even more. I'm not trusting in something blind. I'm trusting in something very real. Nothing is more real to me, personally, than this one breath in and one breath out. This is about as real as something gets. Everything else comes and goes. Believe me. I could be looking forward to a project that I have planned for a long time. But, if in the moment that it is about to happen I started running out of breath, would I sit there and say, "I don't care about my breath because this project is happening?" No. At that moment, I could care less about all my planning, all my dreams, all my ideas - because I know what I need. Without that, I am nothing.
Interviewer: The words that you used - grace, kindness - suggest a benevolence. Is there a love? Is that part of this equation
as well? Is this part of what we should expect as people - to experience as individuals?
Maharaji: Real love. Love not for a reason. Love that doesn't have strings attached. Not a definition. Not a thought. Not an abstract object sitting on a shelf. Love is something that human beings need to feel. Either you do, or you don't.
There are so many loves. Yes, I love my new dog. But if this dog turned on me and started attacking me, I don't know if I could make that statement. So it is love, but it has strings attached, like so many relationships.
True love has no strings attached. The intensity of that love, the feeling of how real and how beautiful it is cannot be talked about. It can only be felt. When something makes my existence possible, how can I not love that
one thing the most? Without me doing anything, a gift unfolds in the most magnificent way each day.
I'm not saying there are no problems. Of course, there are problems. And when the problems come, the first thing that goes is clarity. Unfortunately. Of course, once you have lost clarity, you are blinded. If you were driving in a car and your engine went out, but the windshield was still clear, at least you could steer. If your tire went, maybe you could control it. But if the first thing to go was your sight, then it would become very difficult to steer. I know that I have to insure that my clarity is not the first thing to go. Sometimes, it does. But, to learn - even from that. To know that through my ups and downs, something still continues to give me love.
When I feel that love - not talk about it - then my heart fills with gratitude. And when my heart fills with gratitude, I would have to say that it is one of the most wonderful feelings in life.
Interviewer: You mention we have our problems. But it seems almost the human lot to have, on the one hand, sorrow. And then, on the other, joy. Is there something that
connects them? Is there a line that passes through - or beyond , if you like?
Maharaji: Well, as the saying goes, if you are having a hard time, wait a few minutes. And if you are having a great time, wait a few minutes. Like the wheel, it will always come back around.
But also, within each human being, is a joy that can be experienced as long as there is consciousness within the being. It doesn't go up and down. It's always there. It is not the kind of joy that you get when you go for a picnic or when you are hot and sweaty and you jump into a nice, fresh, cool pool. It is the kind of joy that emanates from within.
Traveling around the world - at first, I saw the way people looked. I was fascinated by how they spoke, by what they ate and how they did things. I saw the differences. The more I travelled the more I began to see the similarities. Even through their languages, people were trying to express the same thing. Through their food, they were trying to satisfy the same hunger that all people have. That's why we eat food. Everybody needed water, everybody needed to breathe. All had struggles and all had goods and bads.
Maharaji: The differences are irrelevant. Strip away the differences, and you begin to see just a human being. You begin to see what a treasure chest has been placed inside the being. Each human being carries joy inside of them - wherever they go, whatever they do. They carry a beautiful feeling of contentment, of being. It is always there. So, on the one hand there is the joy and sorrow of the world. And on the other, elation - elation buried deep inside the being, unfaltering, unchanging and endless. So, yes, in the routine of living, there will be good and bad times. But you can always come back to that feeling inside, because it is real. It is there and it doesn't falter.
Interviewer: It almost sounds too good to be true.
Well, breath sounds too good to be true. How important is it? Do we think about it? No. But look at somebody who has just passed away, who has stopped breathing. Then breath takes on new significance. From something so simple comes so much satisfaction.
This feeling inside is the same way. It is inherent in each human being. Every human being wants to know how can something so simple be so profound But that's how nature is. That's how we are. Look at people. We have our justifications for wars, but if you have ever been present when a little baby is born, every explanation for war goes away. This incredibly beautiful little baby is moving, is opening its eyes, is breathing - it is so profound. And yet, it's so simple. It happens automatically,
Interviewer: I was present when my son was born and it was an exquisite experience. It's such a simple thing, but somehow, we forget. We forget about that simplicity. So many other things want to involve us and call themselves "life." How do you see that?
Maharaji: Look at a baby. Do you know what a baby's agenda is? To be happy. But the mother has her agenda too. At first, when the two
agendas conflict, the mother's agenda is put slightly aside. But, as the baby grows, the mother's agenda and everybody else's agenda prevails. From then on, it's an agenda that we follow. When we start to go to school, we will have our teacher's agenda, our school's agenda. When we get out and get a job, it will be our boss's agenda. And the boss is following his boss's agenda. That boss might be following his wife's agenda and so on.
But what is our agenda? Has our agenda really changed, or is it still the same one that we always had? A simple thirst, the simplicity that is inside. That's our reality. Here we are, alive; that is about as real as it gets.
When are we left with any time to even contemplate, design, or discover our agenda of this life? It is perhaps a one-line agenda that says, "You must be content." The thirst is there. We feel the thirst from inside and ask, "What am I missing?" We have lists of possible ways to figure out what the real feeling of missing something is. We have explanations of what reality means, of truth, of heaven and hell, of what's going to happen after we die. You are alive now. Get on with fulfilling your own agenda.
You are but a page in a book, not a chapter. It's a big, thick book. And every human being - if you follow that analogy - is a page. When you pick up the book, you've got to read your page because that's what is relevant to you. But we grab the book and read everybody else's page except ours. We read the good and bad in it. We contemplate, we talk, we
think, but we never get to our page. As this page was put into the book, one day, it will be taken out. When that happens, all of this will cease to exist for you - for me. Will the beautiful ocean still be there? I think so, but not for me. The lovely sunsets - they will be there, but I won't. I have important priorities. I have to fulfill my agenda. I have to fulfill my thirst. I cannot go on trying to figure out everything else and not figure out me.
Interviewer: There is a sense of magic in what you are saying. I'm left with a feeling of wanting to discover more about what you are talking about. I have looked at life as being a rich tapestry, with certain conditions, with certain qualifications, if you like. But you seem to be talking about a rich tapestry of life inside.
Maharaji: As there is an expression of so many things on the outside, there is a beautiful expression of something on the inside, too. I'm not the first one by any stretch of the imagination who has said, "What you are looking for is inside of you."
We're in this big party, this big drama. Deep within ourself lies the real us. In a little bit of silence, listen to the want, listen to the thirst that is inside of you.
It's very clear. Feel the thirst. And then, you will be ready to respond. Without having felt the thirst, the response will only be a show. Feel the thirst. When you do, respond to it. Time or age is not the factor here. You are.
Once you have acknowledged the thirst, then and only then can you respond. It has to start with you. This one has to begin with, "I feel the thirst."
When we feel the thirst, there are no dilemmas.
THE CONSCIOUS DREAM
"Each one of you has a dream, but to dream this very special dream, you need to be awake; you need to be conscious."
Every morning that the sun rises, it brings hope. It carries with it nothing from yesterday and nothing from the day before that. It spreads its light. It welcomes everyone, and everything starts to become alive. Alive. Life starts to go about. It has had the opportunity to rest, to contemplate, to think, to ponder."
And then in the evening, the sun sets and everything starts to calm down, as if it were saying, "Rest. Understand. This is your life.
This is your existence. In reality, there is nothing more precious than that."
Sadly, you will not think so. Sadly, you will make everything else a priority, and everything that you make a priority will accept your effort - will engage you, will draw you in, will pretend to need you, And then one day, just like a castle made out of sand, it will be gone. There will be no trace left.
Time is like that. It takes us, it runs us and then it takes us back. And there's no trace. Eventually, there will be no trace of you either. None, whatsoever. All your thoughts, all your ambiguities, all your ideas, all your love, all your hate, all your passion - there will be no trace.
Think how many before you have been on this planet earth and each one has gone through all the things that you go through. You are not the first one to cry. You are not the first one to laugh. You are not the first one to feel pain,
wasn't, but is and won't be. Not a big mystery. Pretty simple.
So, what do I use to recognize what? Do I use the infinite to recognize the finite? Do I utilize the immortal, which is within me, to recognize the mortal? Or do I use the mortal to recognize the immortal?
you are not the first one to feel joy, you are not the first one to feel anger, you're not the first one to feel ambiguity, you are not the first one to feel fear. Many, many before you have felt all these things. And many, many have gone and have nothing to show. Just like the tide. The water takes the sand and erases all traces. This will happen, but we don't have time to think about these things. We have said to ourselves, "There are other things that need to be done." People have this famous opening line, "Let's be practical." And I have to ask, "What do they mean by 'practical?"
"Be realistic," they say. So, what does it mean to be realistic? What is real? A long time ago, Tulsidas said, "As far as these eyes can see, consider it all an illusion."
Which part of this life is real? What is a human being? In my view, when there is a union of the immortal and the mortal, the indestructible and the very destructible, the infinite and the finite - when these two things meet, fuse, there is a human being. No more, no less, One thing was, is and always will be; the other
Don't get confused. You don't have to be a rocket scientist to figure this out. Should you transport the car or should the car transport you? If you have a horse, should the horse ride you, or should you ride the horse?
Because the infinite has no need to recognize the finite, the mortal - the destructible thing - is made to feel. Plug it into the right thing and there will be magic. Sit on top of the horse, and you may go somewhere. Try to carry the horse on your back and you may not get very far. You may, in fact, get a divorce between the immortal and the mortal if you try to put a horse on your back.
When you last felt joy, when you felt ecstatic, where exactly did you feel this feeling? Many people I have asked say, "It came from within me. Within me. It permeated my whole being." They never say, "The happiness was over there and I could see it and I could feel it bouncing off my skin - like the sun." They always say, "It was emanating from within me." Well, that is a really good clue. The very thing that you are looking for is also within you. Has been? No. Is? Yes. Will be? I don't know. But, is.
This moment is unbelievable. Have you ever taken two magnets and tried to put two similar poles together? You can't, because there is a resistance. The stronger the magnet, the stronger the resistance. Well, time is a very powerful thing. On one hand you have the past, and on the other you have the future. When these two things come together, they can't quite meet. Something pries them apart just a little bit, and all the power, all the technology in the world, can't fuse together the past and the future. There is a little bit of a space left which is so powerful that nothing can take it away. In this little space is the moment called "now." In this little space -and only in this little space do you exist. You are, by the law of time, not allowed to go back even one-one millionth of a second. And you are not allowed to go into the future one-one millionth of a second. You must remain in this tiny, powerful, little slot called "now." And as long as you remain in this place you are with yourself.
The driver is in the driver's seat, the engine is in the engine compartment, the fuel tank is where it should be, the fuel is flowing, and everything is humming along. However, you, as the driver, have been given an amazing capability - you can project into the future. You really don't know what it's going to be like; it's a simulation. Or, you can fly into the past. But you must always come back to "now." If you get stuck in the past, or get lulled by the simulation, you will not be with yourself. And when you are not with yourself, there is ambiguity. Nobody is driving anymore. The result is unconsciousness and from unconsciousness comes pain from the past, manufactured by pain. From the past comes fear. You can fly from one place to the other place in your head. And you do. But not really. You dig fear from the past and project it into the future. All for one reason. Not to repeat the pain again.
And yet, no matter how much you shuttle, you will never avoid the pain. There is only one way that you will achieve it. The pain began in the first place because nobody was driving. It was a lapse of consciousness. You do not avoid pain by digging up fear. You avoid it by sitting on the seat and saying, "I'm not leaving. I'm staying right here." And that's not easy.
Each one of you has a dream, but to dream this very special dream, you need to be awake; you need to be conscious. This dream is about you, about your life, about reality. This is a dream of the love and the gratitude that lies trapped in each human being. Let it sing.
"Within you lies the simple silence
Be quiet and listen."
THE GREAT SEARCH
"We look for solutions in many places. But where is the solution? The solution is in the human heart. The solution lies within - not outside."
There was a time in which nothing existed, not even the earth. Over a long period of time the process of creation began. How, doesn't really matter. But one day, there was this planet without man. Slowly, according to certain people, life evolved. At one point, life was a very primitive shape. It had no legs, no eyes, no brain. Nonetheless, it was the beginning of life. Can you imagine that life having the problems you do? Missing the bus. How can this primitive life be feeling bad because it missed the bus? How can it be so sad because it got fired from its job? This primitive life has no job. It has no bus to catch. It has nowhere to go. It merely exists moment to moment.
Ultimately, human beings appeared, and what was their problem? "Should we live in a cave, should we live in a tree or should we live down in the ground?" Their problem was, "I hope I don't get eaten by a big lion." Their problem was, "I feel hungry, let's go hunting."
Even then, the human being wanted to be happy. Just like a child. A small baby cries when hungry and sleeps when content. The baby has no curiosities, does not plan the future, does not say, "Let's have a meeting about tomorrow." In fact, whether tomorrow will come is not something that the baby actually thinks about. The baby looks at its needs and responds accordingly. You can tell the
baby in any language, "Cry." But, if the baby is content, it will not cry. If the baby is not content, you can tell it in any language, "Stop crying," and it will continue to cry. Because the baby only responds to an immediate need.
The question is: do we have any immediate needs? Has growing up meant that we simply stop responding? What does the mother say? "Shhh. Don't cry." There was a time when we learned the etiquette of when to cry and when not to cry. When to be happy and when not to be happy. When to smile and when not to smile. When we can say, "Okay. We can rest now, it is Sunday. Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, we must work." In some countries, it's Saturday, "We don't need to work. We can rest. We can be with ourselves."
Through all the learning, what has man actually learned? Don't talk to me about definitions. Let's talk results. Report cards. If your son comes to you every day and you ask him, "Son, how did you do in school?" And he said, "Father, I did the best." If at the end of the year, he brings you a report card showing he has failed every subject, what difference does it make if he did well every single day?
Let's look at the report card of this world. All the great philosophies, all the great resources, all the great ideas, everything that human beings are doing - what is the end result? "F, F, F, F." And with all the "Fs," who is passing? The world will tell you every day, "Isn't this great? Isn't that incredible? Isn't this wonder-
ful? You should do this, you should do that." But the report card is fail, fail, fail, Human beings say, "We need to search." Where? For what? Do human beings know what it is that human beings are searching for?
There was a man who was coming back to his village after making a lot of money. It was a three or four day journey. While he was walking, he was joined by a thief who looked at the well dressed man carrying a big bag and asked, "Where are you going?" The man said, "I'm going to my village." The thief said, "Oh, I'm going there, too. Can we travel together? It will cut the time down." "Okay." Then the thief asked the guy, "What do you do?" He said, "Well, I left my village a few years ago and went to town. I earned a lot of money, and now I'm taking it all home." The thief said to himself, "Thank you. I'm going to be rich. I'm going to steal this guy's money."
That night, they checked into a small inn where they each had a room. The thief said to the man, "Are you going to come down for dinner?" "Yes, I am." And so, the thief waited until the man went downstairs, and then he
went into the man's room and searched for the money. But he didn't find any. He was puzzled, so he went downstairs, ate and pretended everything was okay. The next morning, they started off again and the thief asked again, "So, did you really go to town and earn a lot of money?" And the man said, "Yes, I did." The thief said, "Oh, is that really true?" "Oh, definitely true."
So, that night, again, they stayed in another inn and the same thing happened. The man went down for dinner, the thief went into the man's room and searched but couldn't find anything. By this time, the thief was really puzzled. The next morning, they got up and as they were going to be in the village shortly the thief said, "I am very puzzled. I have asked you three or four times whether or not you have money. I must tell you I am a thief, but you have truly puzzled me. Every night, you went for dinner, I searched your room and I did not find any money. I'm not going to steal from you now, but I'm puzzled. Do you have money or not?" The man said, "Of course, I have money." and he opened his bag and showed it. The thief said, "Where did you hide it?" So, the man said, "Every night before I went to dinner, I took the money and hid it under your pillow. I knew from the first day you were a thief and after my money. I knew that you were going to look in my room, but I also knew that you would never look in your room under your pillow." It's the same for us. We look for solutions in many places. But where is the solution? The solution is in the human heart. The solution lies within - not outside.
People ask me, "How can we reach God?" And I ask, "Which God are you trying to reach?" There are two Gods - one that you created and the other that created you. The one that you created is very much like you. It is only natural. This is all you know, so you created a God after your image. Your God is very judgmental. He sits and he looks at everyone and if you steal a tiny little mango, he's watching you. He writes it down in a book just like you would. When you die and you go in front of this God, he will say, "You stole a mango; you're bad and you will be sent to prison."
Then there is another God that created you. Powerful. Everywhere. Has no reason to say, "You stole a mango," because he is also the one who has created the mango. He is also the one that created the palm tree, the ocean, the sun and the moon. The Creator has not judgment, but love, Because from that love, the Creator has created you. With
that love, the Creator created the breath, the air, the sun, the moon, the rivers - created everything so that you could exist.
The question is: the great search. For what? If you are looking for the God that you created, you can't find him, because that's how you created him. If you are looking for the God that created you, you do not need to search. For he dwells inside you. And that is such a difference.
I see perfection and I see an incredible beauty. I see problems, but I know that the problems have not been created by the Creator. The problems have been created by man. The mango was created by the Creator, as were you, so what makes stealing the mango stealing? The wall that you made. On the other side of the wall, everything is not yours - on this side of the wall, everything is yours. So, what you take from this mango tree is okay, but what you take from the other
mango tree is not okay. It is human beings that must face this dilemma, not the Creator. It is so sad for people to say, "Why has God done this to me?" God has given you life. God has given you wisdom. God has given you a precious gift. What do people do? They sit there and blink. Everywhere you look around, people are sitting there asking, "Why?" People talk about the beginning. "What was it like in the beginning?" What beginning? People think the day nothing existed was the beginning. You want to know about the beginning? It was when you were born. That is your true beginning. One day, it will end. And that, for you, is the true ending.
Here you are. What is the magic, the gift that makes it all possible? That is what has to be explored and understood.
"All roads have an end
and thus all journeys upon them
will someday end.
Find the universe within you
and you may journey forever."
A CHALLENGE UNPARALLELED
IT WOULD BE EASIER TO MOVE THE MOON
AND TIE ALL THE STARS TOGETHER IN ONE STRING,
THAN TO ENJOY THIS EXISTENCE TO THE FULLEST.
IT IS A CHALLENGE UNPARALLELED.
TO LISTEN TO THE HEART - TO LET THE HEART WIN.
TO TRUST. TO UNDERSTAND.
TO HAVE ALL THE KNOWLEDGE OF THE WORLD
AND BECOME IGNORANT FOR A MINUTE.
TO HAVE WISDOM AND IN THE WISDOM.
FIND THAT TO BE BLANK IS BETTER.
TO HAVE ALL THE COURAGE OF THE UNIVERSE
AND REALIZE HUMILITY IS BEST.
TO HAVE THE STRENGTH TO DO ANYTHING
AND REALIZE SURRENDER IS THE BETTER OPTION.
I PERSONALLY THINK THERE IS NO NOBLER ENDEAVOR
THAN TO FULLY REALIZE THE GIFT
THAT A HUMAN BEING HAS BEEN GIVEN.
WHEN I LISTEN TO ME,
TO MY HEART,
AND WHEN I BEGIN TO ENJOY IN EARNEST.
I AM FACED WITH INFINITY.
THE JOY THAT I HAVE. THE ENJOYMENT
THAT I HAVE WITHIN ME. IS INFINITE.
WE TRY TO FIND THE DEFINITION OF THE INFINITE
WHEN THE INFINITE IS WITHIN US.
WE TRY TO DEFINE GOD WHEN GOD IS WITHIN US.
WE SEARCH IN EVERY SINGLE HOLY PLACE
WHEN THE HOLIEST OF ALL PLACES IS WITHIN US.
WHICH PLACE DO YOU THINK IS MORE HOLY?
THE ONE THAT THE CREATOR PASSED BY
OR WHERE THE CREATOR DWELLS?
YOU SHOULD HAVE NO DOUBT,
YOU SHOULD HAVE NO DOUBT.
THE OPPORTUNITY INSIDE
"Grab the opportunity that is inside of you. Take it. Enjoy this life, Enjoy this existence."
What is existence all about? What is life all about? Because we have a life, we all take it for granted that we know what it is like to live.
I started thinking the other day of a taxi driver who needs to make a living so that he can feed his family, pay the rent, take care of his debts. He works day and night and that's fairly normal. There's nothing right with it, but there's nothing wrong with it. It's acceptable.
In the car, there is another man whose boss has sent him to a town a few miles away on business. He doesn't want to go, but he has a family, and debts and problems. He wants to be secure in his job so he listens to his boss and agrees to go. Now, there's nothing wrong with that. That happens. There is a third person in the car who has to attend a big family reunion.
We have described three people. Normal situations. They all get together and hire the taxi cab to drive all night so they can be there in the morning. They are driving along; it's dark and it's late. The taxi cab driver who is very tired, goes to sleep while driving, and the car proceeds to go over a cliff.
Now, let's do something unusual. Let's freeze the taxi as it's falling off the cliff. Suddenly, the driver wakes up and sees way down there - big ocean, big rocks. The others wake up, look out the window, and everybody panics. These four people from different backgrounds, with normal problems, are about to share exactly the same fate. As soon as this taxi cab is taken off pause, it's going to drop the rest of the way. Let's look at everybody's plight.
The taxi driver is saying, "Oh, my God. I shouldn't have fallen asleep." He shouldn't have. He is absolutely right. But he's wrong. Why? Because the nature of a human being dictates that when you work too much, you get tired and the body wants to fall asleep. Now, he shouldn't have fallen asleep driving the car, but he has to drive the car because he has to pay the debts. He's equally wrong and right. Everything that has happened is totally justifiable. It's normal.
Now, the person who has to go to the meeting says, "If I had only settled for another job, I wouldn't have this stupid boss who is sending me to this meeting and I wouldn't be in this predicament." But that's not true. Because he could have told his boss, "Fire me, I'm not going." But he didn't, so he does want the
job. Now, he is making it easy on himself by saying, "Oh, only if I…… Now, in hindsight, he is trying to make sense out of something that never made sense.
And then the man on his way to the family reunion is saying, "If only I wasn't married to that stupid woman, I wouldn't be in this predicament." Maybe today that woman is stupid, but when he went to marry her, she wasn't. But he has a legitimate complaint. He does. Because it's true, right? But no, it's not.
So, you can only keep them paused so long, right? Here they are and they all have something legitimate to say. They all have an excuse, except excuses are no good anymore because as soon as the pause button comes off, they will all share exactly the same fate. What can be done? People might say, "Well, they can all start praying, they could all hope for a miracle." But the miracle happened the day they took the first breath in their life. What is the point of throwing miracles in front of a person who can't even recognize the biggest one of them all? For every moment of the life that they existed, a miracle was happening. A breath in and a breath out. The ability to see. The ability to speak. The ability to hear. The ability to experience. These were all miracles, given without asking every day.
So now, if another one were to happen, would that do the trick? No. What can be done? Gravity is not an unnatural thing. The car has proceeded beyond the point where gravity can keep it on the ground. It's airborne and the outcome is inevitable. My point is this: we are also in the car. We have all set forth on a journey of our choice and we all have our explanations. Don't you realize that it
doesn't matter where you live, what you do, who you are, how intelligent you are, how educated you are, how good you have been? We all share the same fate. One day we all have to go. Nobody is exempt.
Living in our little bubbles we feel that through our logic, we are safe because we have explanations. But none of these explanations slow down, speed up, stop, or in any way hamper you on your journey of life, moving towards that one final day when you all have to go. None of these explanations have anything to do with it. They are not going to make you happy. They cannot bring you contentment. They cannot bring you joy. People want to be free, but nobody knows what freedom is. People want to love, but
they don't know what love is. People think love is what happens between two people. When a man loves a woman, a woman loves a man, right? Wrong. Love is, by definition, something very different. Love is impartial. Love does not look at the age; love does not look at the habits; love does not look at all the things that we look at. Love is love. We judge. Love doesn't. Love has no reason for exchange; it can only flow in the direction where it can be reciprocated. Love is not a one-way street. You can only love that which can love you back ounce for ounce exactly the same. If you want to call the love between people "human love" as distinct from "the love," I'm game. True love does not change. Human love is subject to everything -from moods, to times of the month, to jobs, to kids, to financial statements, to government, police, dog, fleas, headaches, toothaches, thieves, burglars, bad food, delayed aircraft. Real love has nothing to do with any of that.
The amazing thing is that only while you are alive are you capable of feeling that true love. Every human being on the face of this earth can feel it. It does not start from here (indicating head), but here (indicating heart). There is love, peace, joy, hope, but unfortunately, these things only come alive when this (indicating head), goes silent. It has to go silent.
In the silence, you begin to hear the simplicity of you. The beauty is incorruptible. It exists. Put aside your excuses. Hard request. One day, you will. But then, of course, you will be out of options, too. People think wisdom is something only wise people have. Wisdom is simple. It's just doing what you will one day do, but doing it now. Just as simple as that. One day, you will be all by yourself. So, try being all by yourself now. Because now, you can recognize the beauty of it.
The trick is just to be conscious. Just to say, "Here I am. My life, my gift, my joy - me." What a miracle.
I need to be - I want to be - celebrating in the festival that is happening inside of me. Problems will come and go. Family situations will come and go. Everything will come and go. Wisdom is in choosing that which can bring you home sooner.
Choose that which your heart wants, that which your heart desires. Do not even attempt to fulfill the wishes of this (indicating head). Its nature is such that it will make a desire and it will watch you fulfill it. Just as you have nearly fulfilled it, it will come up with a new one. It is not its fault. Do not blame it. It is its nature. This is what it has always done.
So, simplicity, the life, the passion. That joy. Grab the opportunity that is inside of you. Take it. Enjoy this life. Enjoy this existence.
"Learning to learn can last a lifetime."
SEIZE THE MOMENT
"Learn to embrace your heart. Learn to embrace this life. Learn a step at a time to be conscious of this existence, and then enjoy it to the fullest,"
Somebody told me just before I came to London that someone I knew had just passed away. And before coming to this city, I had just said, "Goodbye," to them. And it was like, "How can this be?" It brings you right back to the point of what life is all about? What made it work for her? What happened for this person? Their life in which they tried and did enjoy themselves.
For her it was all very sudden. I was sitting in my room, thinking. My life. My existence. My gift. Yes, on one hand, there are problems and somehow, I am able to separate myself from all those issues. I was thinking, "But isn't this what happens to all of us?" Knowing that nobody wants to be sad. Nobody wants to be tortured or tormented. But do we not weave, do we not chart, do we not create the very road that will take us to it? I sat down and I started writing a letter to this woman's husband. I said, "It's tough, it's rough, it's difficult, but don't look at her as being a 'was'; look at her as being an 'is.' Because now she is and forever will be.
We look at the body and we say, "This is it." And I said, "The love, the memories, the understanding cannot fade. You can cherish them and they go on and on. What was, has now become that which cannot be destroyed, which no man can rob, no one can burn, and no one can deprive you of. Because now, it is."
I read the letter and it hit me again. Do I really understand what I have written? I need to remember every moment of my life, that this is what I am. I'm not my problems; they come and go. That's their nature. In that moment,
sitting in my room, I realized that even though I am on an insignificant little boat, I am a part of something so vast. I am a part of something that can never die. I am a part of something that can never be destroyed.
Somebody was telling me, when this woman finally passed away, everybody, including the doctors, was there. She said, "I need to be alone. I need to focus." And she did. There wasn't all that, "Oh, my God. I'm going." It was very simple and very beautiful; a fitting end to the story of existence, It came in a beautiful way and it left in a beautiful way. No violence, no drama, no trauma. She was able to lie there and to accept, to give thanks and not, "Oh, but I didn't do this. Oh, my God. I can't go yet."
What do you think this is? An appointment with your doctor? No. When the time comes, you've got to go. Make peace, not war with yourself. All we have succeeded in doing is to make a great war with ourselves. If this war doesn't manifest now, it will manifest when the time comes to go. Just be. You are very fortunate, because you are alive, because you have a heart. Dive into those beautiful fortunes. You are graced because you are alive. You are graced because a heart has been placed inside of you.
Learn to embrace your heart. Learn to embrace this life. Learn a step at a time to be conscious of this existence, of what's around you, of who you are, and then enjoy. Enjoy it to the fullest….
There is a beautiful magic in the air and I suppose it has always been there. I feel it because maybe I'm ready to feel it. To feel that magic every day. The capacity grows. Nothing has to be shortened. Nothing has to be sacrificed. Allow this heart to dive into this heart and appreciate every single element of this incredible beauty.
Somehow, there is a divine pleasure inside of each one of us. Seize the moment in your life, each one of you. It doesn't matter how old or young you are. It doesn't matter what your background is, what you've been doing, how stupid things are around you. Just seize the moment. Seize the magic. Seize this existence and know that all the joy and beauty is for you to enjoy. Allow your heart to be filled with gratitude and take as many moments as you can to give thanks for everything that you have been given.
THE QUALITY OF LIFE
"Find the humanness that you have lost. Live. Exist. Breathe. It's not fear that we need to live by, but joy, hope."
As I see it, human beings need to regain the power to observe. We need to look around and understand certain things that are going on.
What balance have we achieved? We have inherently held on to certain values. We have said we should be all educated. To tell you the truth, more people on the face of this earth are educated now than ever before. But, proportionally, ignorance has grown leaps and bounds. More gold has been excavated than ever before. More money has been printed than ever before. More riches exist -but there is more poverty. How can this be?
So, what does that tell me? Something is not happening that should be happening. Our sorrows, our lamenting, have all been expressed before. When a problem strikes you, it seems as if you are the only one being singled out. But that's not true. There are people hundreds of miles away from you going through the same trouble.
What if you were to stop today and look at what we as human beings have accomplished. You could say, "We have gone to great depths in the ocean. Great heights in
space. We have created watches that can tell time in a hundredth of a second which the human eye cannot even read." You can walk into a weather bureau and find out the exact prognosis for the next 48 hours. You can find out within a few meters where you are on the face of this earth at any given time. You do not need a compass anymore. You don't even need to know which way is north.
So, we have made these incredible strides, but what has been the overall effect? Nothing. The fact that people have cellular phones doesn't mean that they know what to talk about. Is a human being, ultimately, any happier? I'm not saying we should throw away technology. But wasn't the intention of all this technology to improve the quality of life? As far as the quality of life is concerned, technology has missed its mark by a mile. People are fighting, people are lamenting.
What is quality of life? What is true happiness? Happiness has to be redefined. How do you know when you are happy? What part of you actually feels happy? Is it your brain? Your thoughts? If you feel happiness in your thoughts, you feel happy one second and not happy the next. Where is that happiness? Is it hiding? Or, are people too ashamed to say it missed its mark? I'm not ashamed to say that. I am quite happy to say this is all great stuff, but it is not what it is supposed to be. In contrast to everything else, there has to be joy in a human heart, not conceived of thought. Do you realize how mechanical you are becoming? There was a time when people ate lunch because they were hungry. Now people eat lunch because it is a social protocol. A bell rings and now everybody can have lunch. When we were little, we were taught that when the bell rang we stopped playing and walked into the classroom. Then the bell rang again and we walked into another classroom. Anybody can tell you that it is literally impossible for everybody to be hungry at the same time, to get thirsty at the same time, to go to sleep at the same time. What has happened to us? Somehow we
have gladly accepted this without making a peep, without saying, "Wait a minute. I'm me. I don't want to become a bell. I don't want to become a cow." What option do we have?
I do not see my job as changing the social order of this world. What I am interested in is to remind you that you are a human being. You were born and one day you will die. Wake up. There are no second chances. Be content now. Find the humanness that you have lost now. Find it. Live. Exist. Breathe. It's not fear that we need to live by, but joy, hope. Look at it. Think about it.
A long time ago, in the ocean a couple of
thousand miles west of America, there was nothing but ocean. Then one day, at the bottom of the ocean, the earth shook and spewed out a little bit of molten lava. Then, maybe thousands of years later, the earth shook again and more lava came out. Finally, all the lava, all the rock, broke the surface of the water. This did not happen in one year or even in 10,000 years. It took aeons.
Through all its struggle, through all its fury, there it was. Nothing could grow on the surface until it cooled. The waves came, and slowly, the rock was taken and converted into soil, Journeying through thousands of miles, a little seed came and planted itself. A little bird came and probably died there. Through a long time of shaping, of success and defeat, there today is the magnificent island called Hawaii.
Inside of you, in your ocean, maybe it's also barren. But way deep within inside of you, something shakes and rumbles. Every time that happens, something cries out, something wants to be born, to exist. In your ocean of wilderness, maybe there is no hope, no kindness, no joy or no reason for happiness. But deep within you, undeniably, something still wishes to be born. You must allow this joy to come forward. You must allow this hope to exist. Otherwise, you will be no more than a flash on the face of this earth. The very fact that your pain, your hope, your dream is no different than the ones that have walked this earth before you, tells you that you are walking on the same path as everybody else. They were stuck; so are you. Through your thoughts, your imaginations, you create joy. You create and win your own games, because perhaps you have forgotten how to play the real game.
What is the real game? The game in which the heart is entertained. The game in which the human being is entertained, the game that you will win. This is, to me, so much of what we have forgotten. We have accumulated much knowledge, but our ignorance soars high. Without the sun, no matter how much light you artificially create, darkness will
prevail. But when you have found the source of that joy, of that happiness, you will have one hell of a job trying to keep it out because it will permeate every corner, every fiber of your being.
When is the dignity supposed to return?
When can you really be you? Not a label, not a number, not a tag. You are olive. By an incredible miracle, a gift, a kindness, you came to be. By the most profound miracle, you took your breath, and no buttons had to be pushed. Better than a computer. Automatically. How well you were taken care of. When you arrived, your food came with you - the milk, the perfect sustenance for your body. Not too much, not too little, just the right amount - more accurate than a doctor's dose. The most therapeutic assistance already provided for you. By that, you were born. By that, you exist. There you are, the greatest miracle.
The gift of life is the real miracle. This breath is the real miracle. To be awakened is the real miracle. To give the blind sight. Who are the blind? Those of us, with eyes, are the blind. And we are the ones who need sight because we are the ones who are not seeing what we need to see. We are the crippled. We, with two functioning legs who have never walked. But somebody says to the crippled, "Move. Walk in this beautiful pavilion of life." We have ears, but we do not hear. We are the deaf and the deaf need to hear about this life because we do not. Hear the music, hear that joy, hear that feeling, hear that beauty that resides within every human being.
That's how simple it is. It really is simple to awaken. To open. To accept. To see.
To cherish. To know, because you need to know.
THE BEAT OF THE INNER DRUM
"Have you listened to your inner drum? Your beat. Your metronome. Your pulse. The drum that beats one beat at a time in every human being."
We have made many assumptions about existence during our lives. How many people wake up every day, and say, "This might be my last. Thank you for yesterday, thank you for today and thank you for this moment." Yet somehow, in the back of our minds, in the deepest part of our souls, we know that there are no guarantees.
Deep down inside each human being, there exists a thirst, a cry, a want; there is a wish. It doesn't matter what language you speak, what religion you follow or what culture you are from - these are some of the imposed grids that have been placed upon us.
When we were born, we were not rich or poor; that comes later. When we were born, we had no name, no ideas or concepts of this world. We were. We didn't need a name to be alive. We were existing with the very fundamentals of life - breathing, growing. Blood was running around, the heart was beating. Whatever the process of life is was unfolding. But as we grow up, we forget the fundamentals, and our perspective changes. We lose
the ability to look at another human being and say, "That person is alive, like I am." Period. That is the fundamental thing, the bottom line, the only thing that counts.
Instead, when we look at another person, we have filter cards which we place in front of them. "Is this a good-looking person? Is this a bad-looking person?" This is how we go on. "He's dark, he's light, he's well-dressed." It is like a dumb little computer which doesn't know what's going on. With computers, it is possible to set the time at midnight when the actual time is quite different. You can go into the control panel, set the clock eight hours off, create a new folder and the time on the new folder will be eight hours off, The computer couldn't care less.
Everything is on/off, good/bad, right/wrong. Maybe we enjoy being that way. Maybe this is how society has trained us. Maybe this is how we have allowed ourselves to be trained, and yet what have we sacrificed? It's one thing to tell a computer it's midnight, but it's a whole other thing to tell yourself it's midnight. If you look at the sun in California when it's twelve o'clock in the afternoon and say, "It's midnight," you've got a problem.
We have turned this formula of good/bad, right/wrong on ourselves. We no longer have the ability to see life as life is. We now need things to believe in life. We need a book to tell us, "life is wonderful." We need somebody to put a little bumper sticker on their car that says, "Smile." Why?
Have we lost the ability to understand? Have we exchanged reasons, causes, circumstances, ideals, thoughts, for understanding? Maybe we have. Today, so much has been traded for the real thirst. No longer are people getting in touch with their thirst. They are getting in touch with other people's ideas, not their own. Case in point: if a thirsty man in the desert wants water, but is delivered a truck full of books on the subject of water, will his thirst be quenched?
Look at what is happening. The facts are in front of you. You were born. Inevitably, what do you suppose is the next thing? Suspended animation? No. Nature doesn't believe in that. What do you think is the other side of the coin? Birth/death. Coming/going. Sandwiched in between, existence.
What is this existence like? Incredible. In good times and terrible times it's there. Mind-rackers, heart quenchers, gut wrenchers; it doesn't
matter. You are still there. One breath at a time. Not two, not three, not four - one at a time. "Wonderful times, magic everywhere, and everything is coming my way." Still, one breath at a time. Your beat. Your metronome. Your pulse. Beating. One at a time. But have you listened? People like drums, but there is an inner drum, too. A drum that beats one beat at a time. Beating in every human being regardless of who they are, what they do. Beating, unbiased even in the bad guys - the really terrible ones. Still beating. The pulse of life. Beating as though it were impervious to all the other ideas that we have.
What is this amazing thing? What is this amazing miracle of existence? What has happened here? Is it really a trial? A game? Have people been put in an arena like the Colosseum to see if they will win or lose? Or is this existence a blessing? It can't be both. It's either one or the other.
Don't think for a moment that I don't understand what pain is, but don't assume I don't know what joy is, either. Both are here and when I look, I see a blessing. I see a kindness of existence in which I am awarded this time from birth - a limited time, not forever.
The marriage of the infinite and the finite. The marriage of the immortal and the mortal. Fused together. Brought together. Consciousness. Through which I can remember, I can go forward, I can go backwards or I can be in this moment now where I can find pure bliss. Joy. Contentment. Harmony. Happiness. It doesn't make any difference what you want to call it,
Me. Time within. When I can begin to experience through my incredibly infinite means, I can start to feel the infinite. And when I do, and I feel something that has no beginning and no end - has no dimension, and is no slave to time - then my heart delights.
My brain wonders and my heart delights. To some people, that's an ambiguity. To me, that is the nature of each. It is not in the realm of my brain to understand, which doesn't bother me, because in my kingdom within, I recognize the sovereignty of my heart.
"Make preparations no more,
for the guest has arrived.
Go and welcome him."
THE SIMPLE ACT OF EXISTENCE
"That which is perfect has no reason to change for it is not seeking anything. It is in itself complete, perfect."
What is life really like for all of us? I was thinking about a simple example - the lotus. Somehow, the lotus blooms in a dirty pond with a beauty which does not reflect its surroundings. It has a way of absorbing from the mucky water the nutrients that make it beautiful. While we don't want to get close to the water, the beautiful lotus is something that we want to look at and hold.
The relationship is incredible. In this world, there are many kinds of people. There are people who are like a sieve that will let go of the good and hold onto that which is worthless. You turn on the television and it's wild. You see the problems of the world, the problems that leaders have, that the common man has. Is that what this existence is really all about?
Is it really that you were born, you breathe, you sigh, you experience a little joy, you experience a little pain, then pack up your suitcase and go? Is that our lot in life? If you are thirsty, and someone turns around and says, "Well, you've already had a glass of water," you would say, "If I have, I'm still thirsty. I need
another one." Somebody gives you another glass of water, you drink it and your thirst goes away. How simple is that? You don't have to read a thesis, you don't have to go to lectures to figure out if your thirst is gone or how much water you should have.
But with this life that's not the way we look at it. We want everything to be black and white. No gray areas. And when it comes to the life inside, we have a little bit of a problem. We have way too many gray areas.
I travel a lot and I see a fundamental similarity in people amongst all their differences. I know that the way the Italians speak is very different from the English. But I also know even though they speak in a different tongue, they talk about the same thing. "You are late. You are early. You missed your flight. You are wrong, you are right."
Can we even begin to recognize the similarity in every human being? What are we all about? The answer to that is not in a book. People think that the way to be happy must be extremely complex, but it is extremely simple. What you have to look at is not ideas, theories or definitions.
What have you been doing in your life as far as you can remember? Nobody taught you to do it, but you did it anyway and you are still doing it. It sounds like a puzzle, but it's not. You have been breathing. A breath in and a breath out. That's what you have been doing. Do you have any idea how long you are going to be doing that? Until the very end.
Think about it. Everything will change for you. Talk about reincarnation - it finally hit me. We are all reincarnated, but in the same lifetime. You get another chance, but in the same lifetime. It's not that you die and you are born again. No. Chapters are closed and chapters are opened every day. So, yes you are reincarnated, but you are reincarnated here. In this lifetime.
So, what does that mean? A breath in and a breath out. A simple act of my existence. It's not complicated. I don't have to think about it. You can't have two breaths at the same time. It's very systematic. But how much have you given thought to that simple breath? I know you have given thoughts to many, many things. You have given thought to how the world can be saved. I have given up on that idea, because I finally realized it's not the world that needs to be saved, it's every individual.
In that dirty, mucky water is the possibility for a lotus to grow. Like the cow that eats the green grass and gives white milk. Right here is the possibility. People talk about salvation and they say it will happen after you go bye
I was listening to a unique little song which says, "My salutations to my Creator who can make the blind see, make the mute talk, make the deaf hear and make the crippled walk." Then it hit me. I, too, was blind. Even though I could see, there was something that I was, indeed, blind to. What was it? I could see the world, I could see color, I could see everything that I could say is everything. But then I have to look at my definition of what I consider everything to be. Maybe my "everything" doesn't really include everything. Maybe, in my definition, I have not included what is inside of me.
Until you know the meaning, the understanding, the feeling of that breath that has been with you and will stay with you until the very end, you really don't know everything. You may know a lot of things. More than average. You may even be slightly overloaded, but everything? No. Because you must include this heart. You must include this existence. You must include what you really are. Then perhaps, you know something. Still not everything, but something.
I was blind and then I was given the ability to be able to see the realm within. I was deaf as well. Because even though I can hear very well, as there is the symphony outside, there is the symphony within. As there is a view outside, there is the view within. And I did not know. And then when I heard the incredible symphony in which it wasn't the instruments that needed to be tuned, it was me that needed to be tuned to the instruments so I could hear what the twang was all about. And the deaf did hear.
And the mute - how could I talk about that which I did not know? Then, when I knew, I could talk about it. And the mute shall speak. And the crippled shall walk. I did not know the way. I had no legs to be able to walk inside that place. Not out there, but in here. And when I was given the ability to go within, I could walk. I could visit the territory inside. I could enjoy the enjoyment that is me. I could be with me. Not my name. Not my accomplishments. Not my bad deeds, not my good deeds. Me.
Somebody said to me, "I need to forgive myself." I didn't say anything out loud, but in my head, I said, "How can you forgive yourself if you haven't first accused yourself?" And who is the accuser? You are the accuser. You are the jury and you are the judge. And who is the lawyer in your defense? The only
defense lawyer you have is your heart. It is the only thing that comes along and says, "Go on, just go on."
But what do I know? How many times have I heard the heart? Can I hear it through thick and thin? People say, "Oh, a disaster hit my life." Well, no. You hit the disaster. The way I look at it is disasters are stationary, thank God. But they are everywhere. You make one wrong turn and boom, in you go. Everything shatters. What does the heart say? "It's okay. It will be fine," Not blindly, but that's the way it has been since birth. Things have come, things have gone. You have changed,
Everything has changed. Even as the mountains have changed, people have changed. My outlook has changed. But there is one thing that definitely has not changed. It cannot change. It will not change. Why?
Because it has no reason to change. Change can be brought about in those things that are changeable for they seek perfection which they have not yet achieved. That which is perfect has no reason to change for it is not seeking anything. It is in itself complete, perfect.
That perfection is a world in itself. You all know there are two distinctly separate views. One is the view that the whole world takes. "This is what's important. Better job, you need this, you need that." Is there something else? Yes. Who is going to give the answer? You are. How? You have to go inside and answer your own questions. You have to go inside and quench your own thirst. Nobody else can quench it for you.
The day when people who go to satisfy the quest within stand on their feet - that is the day when truly it can be said, "the crippled shall walk." Because an incredible miracle takes place. The crippled get up. Those who have not walked during their whole life now stand up. They will find their own inspiration, and they will find their own solution. They will find their own answer, recognize their own thirst, and listen to their own heart - that is the day the miracle will happen.
They will begin to search. And the day you begin to search, that which has the answer and fulfillment to your search will be next to you. It always is like that. Once you ask the question, the answer is never far behind. It is those people who do not know that they are lost who keep getting further and further lost. Those who find out they are lost are actually well on their way to being found. And that's just how it happens.
It is a challenge to be free. We don't even know what enslaves us. We are like the prisoner who has been born and raised in prison. Every time he is asked if he would like to go outside, he is taken to the yard of the prison. What does he know of what it is like outside? What is it like to be free? Free from what? We don't know. We don't even know of all the things that we do in our lives to make this life miserable. How would we know how to get away from it if we don't even know that much? What is it like to be free? Ask those who are free and they will tell you. When the
heart flies, then there is joy, then there is peace, then there is happiness. Let it be.
The two realities will not change because one part of the contract has already been executed, You were born. That's a reality. The second reality is coming. You will go. What do we have? We have the moment of this lifetime, Grab it. Take it, No hypotheses, No speculations. No confusion. No room for anything else. Just grab the moment and grab it now. Then you can say, "I have it. I have won. I have found my freedom. I live I exist and I enjoy. I am blessed. A miracle has happened in my life."
I'm not here to tell anybody what to do or what religion to follow or to establish a new one. I follow a very, very, old religion. It's so old, people have even forgotten its name. It's a very different kind of religion. There are no big ceremonies, but there is a huge church. It's so big, it's staggering, Do you know where the church is located? A one word address: inside. Do you know what the difference is in my church? My God actually lives in my church. I don't have a picture and I don't have a painting and I don't have a book. In my church, it is not remembrance of my God, it is the company of my God that I have.
Each one of you also has a big cathedral inside of you, and the songs that are sung in the church inside are truly divine and inspired. And they are very real. They have no words, no sound, no chant, They have no meaning because they don't need to. It is the song of awe. It is the song of beauty. It is the song of being allowed to be totally consumed by what I feel. There is no clock.
In my church, there is no preacher, there are
no pews - just a single seat for me. Nobody else can come into my church. Not permitted. There is a great pedestal where my God sits in my company, smiles at me, and we both exist, and I enjoy. What does God do? I don't know, but at least I enjoy his company. I don't have to go around weighing the universe on a scale. I don't have to count the stars. I don't even have to be fascinated by them, although I am. When I cannot see the sun, I can turn inside and see my own sunset. Because there is a universe inside of me, too. When that door can be opened to me, I will know. I can find out.
That's what the blessing is. Life is the gift we have been given, To enjoy. Every day in my life, there has been magic. Good times, bad times and I'm very thankful for that magic. That real magic continues every day in my life and I know that it can be in your lives, too. It is a wonderful thing. Everybody can grab that moment.
A CONSISTENT THEME
"Life is not a bunch of formulas and neither are you. Just remember; one breath in and one breath out."
Let me start by presenting a picture to you. A child is born, It takes the first breath and it's not an "it" anymore. It's a him or a her, It's alive, The baby starts to turn pink. The eyes are closed, the heart is beating, the breath is happening. There is life. And it continues to unfold. Every day, every hour, the baby needs to breath, Now, you as a parent can't relate to this because, even when the baby is being born, your life continues. You have so many things happening, but for this tiny existence, there is nothing. Whether peace talks are going on or another religious war has broken out is irrelevant. All the baby can do is breathe. The heart goes on, the body functions, because there is life.
Let's take that very basic scene and overlay what you and I would call "reality." Things are in motion about which this tiny baby has no idea. Names are being thought of, there is excitement, telephone calls - "Send us pictures. I need to come and look at the baby." Mother is recuperating; father is ecstatic. Everything is wonderful, everything is great.
But what is happening for this baby? The name doesn't matter, nor does caste or clothes, parties or grandmother. Pictures don't matter. Nothing matters, Just breathing, feeding when it feels hunger, crying, sleeping, opening eyes, Looking around. Basics. The picture keeps emerging. Jumping ahead, the school is being selected - very important questions are being looked at -discussions are happening, The parents take the child to school and the first day is terrible. There is the child in the middle of strangers, getting two distinct messages: "I love you," and "I'm leaving," "If it's such a great place, Mommy, why don't you stay, too?" But no, this is how we all grew up, so why should the child be exempt? Very interesting logic.
For the child, what is still happening? What was happening in the very beginning is still taking place. A breath coming in and going out, Time is there as it always was. Changing, evolving. Destroying, creating. But the fundamental thing has not stopped yet. The breath is there, There is life. But now, the child learns about competition. "That's my toy. I want your toy. You can't have my toy." Crying, jealousy, fear, anger are all introduced. Laws are being taught and this little mind is being shaped,
Then come the pre-teen years and they want to be old, They absolutely admire that, They want to be able to do all the things the adults are doing. Isn't it amazing? When you get to 30 or 40 you want to look like teenagers and they want to look like you. They'll do anything that it takes. Remember kindergarten when you wanted to get them started in the world? Well, guess what, they have. Now, you would pray and give limbs off your body to stop it, but you can't. So much is in progress that even if you wanted to stop it, you couldn't.
There is no going back. Responsibility has to be taught. Perhaps a job is in order, Learn to
manage money. Do chores around the house. After all, this person has to be shaped, created, so they can survive in the world. They have just turned 13, but one fundamental scene doesn't seem to change. They're still breathing. There was a time when they accepted their surroundings. The baby looked up, saw the moon, was fascinated, and did not question.
Now, the child wants to control everything around him or her and is no longer satisfied with just looking at the moon. If it's a full moon, let's have a party on the beach. The child is learning according to the guidelines set forth. Learning too much, but still a breath comes in and a breath goes out. The heart is beating, and like an ever present absolute, time marches on. Construction, destruction -molding, unfolding.
Now it is time for college, time to break the bondage. What bondage? People have it all figured out. But, you cannot look at old ways, new ways, different ways, weird ways, eastern ways, western ways. You have to recognize a human being for a human being. We have lost that. We recognize people as Americans. Indians. Chinese, Japanese. We have taken our value system, discarded the human being, and kept all the negative interpretations. We look at everybody's differences instead of looking at the one string that makes this instrument work. Are we as multifaceted as we think we are? Or, are we still that basic thing that breathes, that exists?
Jumping ahead a few more years, maybe the child has been through college, learned responsibility, wants to set up shop, but has problems. The parents have by now disappeared into the background. He is well placed in society, but what does he have? His whole life has been transformed. But has it? Isn't the basic thing still there?
Isn't that what is really happening to you, too? The same breath. Same life. It's like a big painting, every part of which is different. But it's the same painting. One part is painted in blues, another part in yellows and then reds, oranges, greens, and purples. If you are too close to the painting, all you'll see are the imperfections. Back off, and you will see a whole painting, because it is made to be viewed only from a distance.
We all need to look at our own selves and say, "What do I really have?" What is fiction and what is fact? The age old question: what is reality, what is truth? Stay with the subject. Who should I say I am? Should I weigh myself by my accomplishments, or should I measure myself from the day I began. And not measure the number of days, but by the standard that there is life within. When that stops, it
does not seem to make any difference what I have accomplished. It is all neutralized, as if nothing happened.
We try to find meaning in life and where have we looked? Why not begin with yourself? Look at what is really happening? Yes, your brain is going, Hopefully, your kidneys are functioning, your liver is doing its thing. We have to boil it down to basics. Whatever it may be, the simplicity, the magic has to be there. Each individual awakening, wanting to know, taking a step to be fulfilled. We need to be at that basic level. Just the magic.
The magic has to unfold the same way as it unfolded for any other person long ago. When Mira and Kabir got thirsty, they drank water, and their thirst was quenched the same way as yours is today. It has not changed. Pain is pain, laughter is laughter. Joy is joy. Sadness is sadness - for everyone. These are elements in themselves, independent of your sociological roots,
You possess the very things that you think you do not have. You think happiness is a whimsical thing. That's not true. It is there within you all the time, You are not without help. You look for love. You want to be happy, But you have happiness and you have love. We look for formulas. But life is not a bunch of formulas and neither are you. Just remember that one breath in and one breath out. You cannot take two at the same time. Very precise. It is happening all the time and when that stops, it all stops.
So, remember to prepare yourself. Awaken, Awakening means to look around. To see, "I do have joy within me," Enjoy your happiness, Enjoy a newfound trust in life itself. Stand on your own feet, You are who you are. Find yourself, You cannot be like any other person.
So, think. More than that, feel. Feel joy that you have the gift of life, Don't wander away. Stay with it. In all honesty, it will take you a long way, Don't allow yourself to be confused, What happens when people get confused? They question whether there is life after death. You don't have to worry about that. You'll find out. Patience,
Remember this life, remember this gift. Enjoy it.
"There is your clock - every breath you take. It always runs. And when it runs, it tells your time. Not the time to go to sleep, but your time."
We live by clocks, One clock is in the sky - the sun rising and setting. Another clock is the wrist watch. By that watch, we function, we wake up, we go to sleep, we eat, we bathe, we meet people. The wrist watch is more than a piece of machinery. As it wraps around our wrist, it also wraps around our life.
But there is a third clock. Do you know where that clock is? Do you know that clock is the most important? It is your clock. It is every breath you take, One breath in, one breath out, Like the wrist watch, it cannot show two seconds at once. It always runs. And when it runs, it tells your time, Not the time to meet, Not the time to eat. Not the time to go to sleep, but your time.
But, unfortunately, we have forgotten about the real clock. Now, we live by the clock on our wrist. What we need to do is to start living by our clock, because it is the important one. When my watch stops, I will change the battery, and if it still doesn't work, I will send it to be fixed. And if it can't be fixed, I'll throw it away. But when the inside watch stops, I cannot send it to be fixed. When ultimately it stops, I stop. Yet, knowing its importance, why is it that we forget? The beautiful dreamer. The person who knows the definition of reality, but doesn't believe in it. We all know the definition of reality, but we don't ever use it. We look at the world and say, "That's real," when we know that it is the most unreal thing that there is.
This journey of life is passing every day, Nature - giving birth, giving life, taking life. One breath, another breath, another day, another
existence, another seed. One seed falls, a tree grows. One seed falls, it will be made into food. One seed falls and it will merely rot and go back into the roots of the tree that it came from. Impervious to each day's activities. Impervious to everything.
And you - in the middle of this huge rotating universe. Stars zooming around. Do you know at this moment in time of all the things that are going on? Just imagine.
Somewhere, it's raining; somewhere, it's snowing; somewhere, it's windy; somewhere, it's hailing; somewhere there are big waves. Somewhere in the universe, stars are exploding with a force you cannot imagine. Fusion, explosions on the surface of the sun. And people coming. Somebody being born. Maybe it's a little cat, a little mouse. Maybe it's a little bird as it pecks its way out of an eggshell and tries to breathe. Maybe it's a little seed that just fell, And maybe it's a little seed that just fell, and a little squirrel came and grabbed it. Winter is coming. Storing food.
And you? What have you got? What is the gift this amazing God has given you? Do you know? Do you know how strong time is? Time? Everywhere, time: cutting, sawing, shaving, pushing, forming, deforming. Everywhere. And this God has pulled time apart, has peeled apart the two forces of the past and the future, and between them, has created a narrow slot. In this slot - this God, this being, this energy, this kindness, this Grace, this love, this divinity, is allowing you to exist.
Do you know how this is happening? Do you know in what shape and form that blessing is coming to you? The universe being held at bay. Death held at bay. Time held at bay. This feeling, reaching out through the entire universe, touching you. Do you know how? One breath at a time. One breath in and one breath out. That, to me, is the power of that one breath. The kindness that is being manifested. Can I ignore this? Should I ignore this? Can I afford to ignore this? What problem would be so significant in my life that I would trade the two? I am me. Just like a little leaf floating by in this vast ocean.
This body, one day, will be gone. I know that. And when this body goes, all my ideas will go with it. All my thoughts, all the things I have experienced will be gone. And what will be left?
Ultimately, at the end of the day, there is only one thing that belongs to me. There is only one thing that I can take with me. And that is the thing that I need to be with now. That is my companion. That is my friend. That is my intellect, that is my knowledge, that is my kindness, that is my love, that is my life. That is my reality.