ADI
PREM RAWAT
SPOKEN WORDS

ISSUE #4

PEACE BEGINS
NOT WITH COUNTRIES,
NOT WITH GOVERNMENTS.
PEACE BEGINS
WITH YOU, WITH ME.

Peace begins withyou and me, page 31

ADI MEANS ANCIENT: BEING OLD IN WISDOM AND EXPERIENCE; DATING FROM A REMOTE PERIOD; OF GREAT AGE; HAVING THE QUALITIES ASSOCIATED WITH AGE, WISDOM, OR LONG USE; VENERABLE.

PREM RAWAT AND HIS MESSAGE OF PEACE

As an advocate for peace, Prem Rawat, widely known as Maharaji, has dedicated his life to helping people find peace within themselves — not as a utopian ideal or an absence of conflict, but as an immanent personal experience.

Born in 1957, he began his mission of peace and humanitarian outreach as a young child. By the age of 13, he started addressing global audiences in response to invitations to speak in London, Los Angeles, and other major cities around the world.

Over the course of his life, Prem Rawat has personally delivered his message of peace to over 12 million people in more than 50 countries. From small, informal gatherings to major international events, from university auditoriums to open-air stadiums seating hundreds of thousands, his message has been welcomed by people from all walks of life.

Currently, his award-winning television series, Words of Peace Global TV, reaches over 115 million households globally, with subtitles or translation in more than 20 languages.

In 2001 he founded The Prem Rawat Foundation (TPRF), a not-for-profit organization dedicated to bringing his message of peace to people around the world and providing vital food, water, and emergency aid to people most in need.

YOU ALREADY
KNOW THIS

One of the addresses by Prem Rawat featured in this issue of ADI begins: "What I want to talk about really comes down to one thing: the recognition of what we have been given, of what life is" (In an ever-changing world, page 41).

In another of his talks in this issue, Prem Rawat ends with these words: "I just remind you about something you already know. You have known this since you were a little child, but you forgot it because everything else became important. Now, maybe the time has come for you to remember" (Peace begins with you and me, page 31).

During the past four decades, Prem Rawat has been speaking to people all over the world. He has often noted that if he has said something new, he has failed, but if he has said something that people already know, he has succeeded.

"How can it be interesting to hear what you already know?" you may be thinking. Remembering some of my schoolteachers explaining something I already knew over and over again, I can appreciate that.

But as you read ADI, you will notice that Prem Rawat's words are uniquely fresh and interesting. This is because, unlike some of my schoolteachers, he doesn't talk about a theoretical knowledge; he talks about knowing by feeling, not by thinking.

And when it comes to the truly profound feelings that life offers, such as love, joy, being happy and content, we don't mind having them again and again. And besides, they always feel new.

Unfortunately, even knowing these feelings, we tend to forget them in the midst of all the things that are going on. At least, I do. And when I have forgotten, I don't mind when someone reminds me. I am actually grateful.

So, welcome to the magazine that tells you what you already know.

Kind regards,

The Editor

"Looking for freedom,
I found slavery."

In an ever-changing world, page 4

ADI MAGAZINE logo During a year of almost constant traveling on all continents, Prem Rawat delivers his message of peace to many different people — young and old, rich and poor, and those from cities and villages alike. The articles in ADI MAGAZINE are Prem Rawat's spoken words from these occasions. They have been edited for brevity and readability, but still maintain the flow of speech. The pictures of people in ADI MAGAZINE have all been taken at events where Prem Rawat spoke, but not necessarily the same events that are featured in this issue.

If you would like to write your reflections on the content of ADI or share your thoughts about the magazine, e-mail the editor at: adi@wopg.org.

Editor: Ole Grunbaum
Editorial staff: Mary Wishard and Sherry Weinstein
Art direction: Rasmus Olesen
Photographers: Christy Blake, Mehau Kulyk, Jacques Masraff, Marie-Catherine Toulet, and Michael Wood

ADI Magazine is printed on FSC-certified paper, from responsibly managed forests and verified recycled sources.


THE PIVOTAL QUESTION PAGE 7

The definitions of peace are abundant, but where does the desire to be in peace come from? This question is pivotal, because if the desire for peace is innate, if peace is a fundamental need for every human being — like food, air, sleep, water — then we cannot live without it. Without it, everything is out of balance.

FACT NUMBER ONE PAGE 12

We spend a lot of time and energy to make sure our body is comfortable. Do we also spend time to make sure that our existence is comfortable? Or do we learn how to live with disparity? How to live with anger? How to live with confusion? It would be akin to buying a pair of shoes that has a nail sticking into the foot. They look good, so you say, "Perfect."

RELIEVING, REASONING OR KNOWING PAGE 20

Today we have become very good at reasoning. We reason. And we believe. There was a time when things had to be factual. The knowing had to be very real. It couldn't just be a belief. Now we have traded knowing for believing. But some things you have to know.

PEACE BEGINS WITH YOU AND ME PAGE 31

People say that there needs to be peace in the world. No. There needs to be peace in your world. If there isn't peace in your world, there isn't going to be peace. Peace begins not with countries, not with nations, and not with governments. Peace begins with you. Peace begins with me. Peace begins with each one of us.

IN AN EVER-CHANGING WORLD PAGE 41

There have been only two constants in my life. One is change. And the other is the desire to be fulfilled. To be content. To be happy. To feel a heart full of gratitude again and again. The desire for that feeling has been a constant in my life. So has everything changing on the outside.

THE PIVOTAL

QUESTION

You were never taught the desire to be in peace, just as you were never taught to cry or to laugh. A baby knows how to cry, how to laugh. A baby knows how to be. These attributes are innate. They are fundamentals that nobody has to teach you. The desire for peace is also innate.

Peace is a need from the heart. And every day this desire is pushing us to be content, to find the missing piece of the puzzle.

Everybody has their own definition of peace. Some people think peace is the absence of war. Some people think peace is the absence of noise. Some people think peace is looking at beautiful scenery.

There is no shortage of beautiful places in the world. And there are places that are extremely quiet. So why don't we have peace? Is peace something on the outside only? Or is it a manifestation of something that happens within a human being? The definitions of peace are abundant, but where does the desire to be in peace come from?

A FUNDAMENTAL NEED

This question is pivotal, because if the desire for peace is innate, if peace is a fundamental need for every human being — like food, air, sleep, water — then we cannot live without it. Without it, everything is out of balance.

If you put a person in the most beautiful room with a comfortable sofa, gorgeous wallpaper, and an incredible view but with no air, that person will not enjoy the room. They will bang on the door to be let out.

You cannot explain to them, "Look. Air is only a small part of it. You have the wallpaper, you have the room, you have the sofa, you have a great view. Relax!

Enjoy yourself." When something fundamental is missing, explanations alone are not sufficient. You cannot explain to a hungry person, "It's okay. You don't have to eat." You cannot explain to a tired person, "It's all right, you don't have to sleep." When a need is basic to a human being, there can be no compromise. It has to be satisfied.

Who are we? What are we? Are we the sum of all the technology that exists in the world? All the tall buildings, the roads, the airplanes, the cell phones, the cameras, the satellites in space? Is that who we are — just the builders of all that?

Imagine that a tiny nail gets stuck in your foot, and it hurts. Then somebody explains to you, "Look. How can a little nail bother you? After all, you are the creator of all these big ships and airplanes."

But all you care about is getting it out, because you are feeling pain. Explanations won't do. Only removing the pain will.

The feeling of peace is the same way. You were never taught the desire to be in peace, just as you were never taught to cry or to laugh. A baby knows how to cry, how to laugh. A baby knows how to be. These attributes are innate. They are fundamentals that nobody has to teach you. The desire for peace is also innate. A human being is simply not complete without peace.

Peace is a need from the heart. And every day this desire is pushing us to be content, to find the missing piece of the puzzle.

THE WIND OF THE WORLD

If you are putting together a puzzle that has a piece missing, you will keep trying and trying to find the missing piece. That's what the whole world is doing. Trying and trying. Somebody comes up with a better word, a better formula, a better description. Somebody comes up with a better book. And we say, "That will do it."

Once it was said that we all came from the same place and landed in the same place. But as soon as the wind of the world hit us, we became fragmented. When we look at people, we say they are "young" or "old." These are our qualifiers. We listen to a few words from someone and wonder, "American? Italian? Chinese? Japanese?"

When we look at a designer bag, we don't just see a bag — we see a designer bag and say, "Nice!" When we look at another human being, we don't say, "Nice." We say, "Where are you from?" This is the wind of the world. We have forgotten how to view a human being. We have even forgotten how to view ourselves. We see our face in the mirror, and we look at the imperfections — beard, hair — and say, "What's this? What's that?"

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The peace

I am talking about is

the peace that a

soldier can experience

in the middle

of a battlefield.

Who are you? You were born, and that was an incredible miracle. I use the word miracle. In some parts of the world, many people think it's a miracle if milk comes out of the ceiling. That's not a miracle. It's very relative. If the milk comes out of the ceiling of your neighbor's house, it's a miracle. But if it is your bedroom that is leaking milk, you say, "Agh! This is inconvenient!"

MIRACLE

What is a miracle? You are a miracle. That you are alive is a miracle. Do you know that?

Do you understand that? That the breath comes into you every day is a miracle.

That you exist is a miracle, and that you can feel is a miracle. And that you can know this — that's another miracle. And that you can understand it — that's also a miracle.

In the heart of every human being — and I mean every human being — dances the desire to be in peace. Not our definitions of peace, but the real peace. The peace that is within us. We want social peace, but where does all the turmoil in the world come from? Who fights? People fight. That's where the turmoil comes from. And if that turmoil is to be taken away, first it has to be taken away in people. In people like you and me.

Then, and only then, can one begin to imagine the possibility, the reality, of this sweet, sweet peace.

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Many people are trying to bring peace to the world, but peace does not need to be brought from anywhere. Peace already exists inside of you. It always has, and as long as you are alive, it always will.

LOOK WITHIN

The peace I am talking about is the peace that a soldier can experience in the middle of a battlefield. It is a peace that a prisoner can experience in the middle of a prison.

A lot of people say, "I have been looking for something all my life. I don't know what it is, but I have been looking for it all my life." Could it be peace? Could it be contentment? Same thing. Different names.

It doesn't matter who you are — rich or poor, educated or noneducated, tall or short, dark or light — as long as you're human, you want to feel peace. That's something we all want. Unquestionably, irrevocably.

Very humbly, I say to you that what you're looking for is within you. Peace for you as an individual is entirely possible. Not impossible, but very, very possible.

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What is a miracle?

You are a miracle.

That you are alive is a miracle.

Do you know that?

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We don't like pain. We will do whatever is necessary to get rid of pain. We always want to be comfortable. This is our nature. This is how you are. This is who you are — make no mistake about it.

Looking at these facts, it seems that we are here to enjoy. We want to enjoy everything we do. What does our heart want to do? It also wants to enjoy. And what can our heart enjoy? This is the question.

Because you exist, you will make a voyage. What will this voyage be like? You don't know. No one knows. You are given a vessel — the human body — and by the very fact that it breathes, that it exists, it will make a voyage. It will go where truly no one has gone before.

You might say, "Isn't my voyage going to be very similar to the person sitting next to me?" No. Because there are infinite little variables, and that will make your voyage unlike anyone else's. How you perceive, how you think, how you understand, is completely unique to you.

STATISTICS AND REALITY

We tend to generalize, and everything becomes an average, but if you go a little bit

beyond the average, you will realize that all the numbers are unique.

When driving somewhere, your risk of having a flat tire is maybe only 0.01 percent. Fine. But what if you do have one? It wouldn't help you to say, "I didn't bring a spare tire because there was a 99.99 percent chance that I would not get a flat."

When you average, you preclude reality. And reality is what you have to deal with every single day, not averages. What will your day be like today? What will your day be like tomorrow? Even if you have the same job and you do the same things every day, no two days will be alike. So what do these averages represent? Nothing. Only after you die can those numbers be calculated to say, "Right, these numbers actually

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agree with this person's averages, because he or she had two years' worth of a really bad time, five years' worth of a really good time, and so on."

But while you are alive, every day is different. It is not just a question of good or bad — it is a question of how you view the good and bad. One day things could actually be really terrible, but you view them as good because you're feeling good inside, so you say, "It's okay; it's not so bad."

Then there could be another day where things are actually going really well, but you're not feeling good inside, so you think, "Oh, no. What's the point? Everything is bad." It is all variable.

POINT ZERO

So, how do you make this voyage? Who are you? What is the purpose of the voyage?

And why does it have to be made?

To understand this, you have to begin at point zero. Not point one hundred. You've heard a lot. You have read a lot of books. You have a lot of information floating in your head — like who God is and where God is. Don't you? "Where is God?" Everyone points and says, "Up there." Then you're told that if you do good things, you will go to heaven; if you do bad things, you will end up in hell. Hell is terrible. You don't want to go there. Heaven is good. You do want to go there. And so you should be like this and like that, and if you do all these good things, you will get to heaven.

All this information is floating around in your head. That's why you need to begin at point zero — with no information. And then look at facts, not ideas. Fact number one: you are alive. And who are you?

You always try to make yourself comfortable. You want a soft bed. You want a nice, soft pillow. Maybe you don't want to go searching for water at night when you get thirsty, so you put a bottle of water next to your bed. You don't want to sit there and wonder what time it is, so you put a little clock by your bed.

What do you do when you go to buy shoes? You don't just walk into the store and say, "Give me a pair of shoes." You try them on. And then you walk a little bit. Why? To make sure that the shoes have not been worn before? No. You walk in those shoes to make sure they're comfortable. When you go to buy glasses, you don't say, "Just give me a pair of glasses." No. First you try them on to see how they fit. And then you look in the mirror to see how they look.

When it gets hot, you are uncomfortable, so what do you do? If you can't avoid the heat, you might use a book or a booklet as a fan. Anything will do because you have to get comfortable.

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We spend a lot of time and energy making sure our body is comfortable. The question is, Do we also spend time to make sure that our existence is comfortable? Or do we learn how to live with disparity? How to live with anger? How to live with confusion?

If this is what we are doing, it would be akin to buying a pair of shoes that has a nail sticking into the foot. When you put them on, they hurt, but they look good, so you say, "Perfect, this is what I want." It cannot be like that.

We don't like pain. We will do whatever is necessary to get rid of pain. This is our nature. You talk, think, see, hear, taste, smell. And you also like to smell that which brings you enjoyment. Bad smell? Instantly you say, "Ugh." Good smell, you say, "Mmmm."

What do you like to hear? That which brings you enjoyment. What do you like to see? That which brings you enjoyment. This is how you are. This is who you are — make no mistake about it.

THE ULTIMATE EXPERIENCE

Just looking at these facts, it seems to me that we are here to enjoy. You want to enjoy everything you do — and you should enjoy everythingyou do. What does your heart want to do? It also wants to enjoy. And what can your heart enjoy? This is the question.

We have been given a body that loves to enjoy. It doesn't matter who we are or what circumstances we are in, we always want to be comfortable. And we also want to be comfortable inside of us. So perhaps the purpose of this voyage of life is not pain and suffering, but to be able to experience the ultimate experience. Now.

What do you think the ultimate experience is? I would have to say that the experience of the ultimate is an ultimate experience.

What is the ultimate? The ultimate is the power that makes everything possible — that moves the whole universe.

I'm not going to try to define the ultimate, because one of the definitions of the ultimate is that it's indefinable. I'm not going to try to explain what infinity is. You and I cannot understand what infinity is.

And forget about understanding the universe — it is ever-changing. We will never grasp the scale of it. No measurement is big enough.

What is really fascinating is not understanding the universe, but understanding that which powers the universe. It also happens to be within us — and we can experience it.

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Are you comfortable

in your existence?

Why should you experience it? This is where it gets really beautiful. Because when you experience the ultimate, you get filled with peace. When you do, you get filled with clarity. When you do, you get filled with joy. When you do, you experience the truest, truest happiness.

Those sound like very good reasons. So, when I look at this voyage of life and understand what it can make possible, I really want to take the voyage.

PRESENCE AND ABSENCE

What do you need on the voyage? Do you need anger? Do you need fear? They have been given to you, but so has kindness. There's confusion, but there's also clarity. There is pain, but there is also joy. And it's very important to know which one is an absence and which one is a presence.

Darkness is not a presence. It is just the absence of light. Cruelty is not a presence. It's just the absence of kindness. Pain is not a presence. It's just the absence of joy. Suffering is not a presence. It's just the absence of peace.

In many civilizations, people prayed to the sun. The sun was very important to them. It brought warmth, light, life, so they prayed to it. But they couldn't do very much in the dark. Well, light removes darkness!

We learn that Edison invented the lightbulb, but the understanding that light removes darkness existed way before him. That's why people used to light fires at night. You don't have to make a machine that removes darkness, because darkness in itself is nothing. Bring light, and darkness will go away. Bring joy, and pain will go away. Bring clarity, and doubts will go away. Is it that easy? Yes.

YOUR "NOT" LIST

To remove the doubts is impossible, but to bring clarity into your life is very possible. Do you have a list of the things that you do not want in your life or the things that you do want? It's a very good question, because most people do not even have one single item of what they do want on their list. It's all what they don't want: "I don't want confusion. I don't want poverty. I don't want pain. I don't want this. I don't want that."

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Maybe you say, "God, I don't want to get lost." "God, I don't want to go to hell." "God, save me from pain and suffering." Wrong prayers. You are trying to invent the darkness-removing machine. Your prayer should be, "I want to experience heaven now." Not, "Don't send me to hell." What is hell? It is all that heaven isn't. Hell is not a presence. It's just the absence of heaven!

If I want to build a house, and I say to the architect, "Let me show you all the houses I don't want my house to look like," how many photographs would that take? How many tours would have to be made? I would be saying, "Let's go and explore the southeast section of the city, where I will show you all the houses that I don't want my house to look like. Not that, not that, not that…"

The poor architect would say, "What can I do with a list of nots? I need a list of what you do want." So what do you want in your life? You want peace. Why? Because it feels so good. You want joy because it feels so good. You want clarity; you want understanding. And you want to feel your heaven. Now!

LIGHTEN YOUR LOAD

Many people say, "I am not enjoying my voyage. It's terrible." Of course. You have overpacked. You can't carry your luggage; it's too heavy. Your back hurts from carrying all those ideas. Lighten your load. Carry the essentials; they are all that you will need. Clarity will see you through most problems. That's how clarity is.

You don't need to have an elaborate machine to remove the darkness; just carry the lamp. And wherever you find darkness, light the lamp.

It's really amazing. Confusion, even though it's an absence, weighs so much that its weight is almost incalculable. Clarity weighs so little that when it comes to you, you hardly feel any weight. Have you noticed that?

Pain weighs so much. And joy? It weighs so little that it even makes you feel lighter. These are good things to carry with you, because they hardly weigh anything, and they make you lighter, too. You get the best of both worlds.

This is the possibility. Take the voyage. Don't be shy. It's a good voyage. Feel heaven here, now. It's no mystery. Your existence on this earth was designed for you to be in peace, to be in joy.

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You don't have to make a machine

that removes darkness,

because darkness in itself is nothing.

Bring light, and darkness will go away.

Bring joy, and pain will go away.

Bring clarity, and doubts will go away.

Is it that easy?

Yes.

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ELIEVING, REASONING

OR KN I WING

Remember when you were little and you were fascinated by airplanes? You would run around your house, extending your arms for wings, saying, "Wheee!" as you turned. You weren't able to just jump on an airplane, so you pretended, because that was all that was available to you.

But if you come across a pilot who has an aircraft, he could say, "Let's go flying." Then you don't have to pretend. You don't have to hold out your arms. You don't have to believe. You don't have to just reason. You can know.

We judge our lives by what happens around us. And that is always changing. There are people who say, "Changes are good." But it isn't always so. Changes are good if they are according to your plan. Changes are good if they happen in your timing — not just abruptly. Changes are good if the end result is to your liking.

A long time ago, our ancestors lived in trees. They were afraid of all the animals that wanted to eat them. So they'd climb up a tree. It was uncomfortable, but if somebody tried to explain to them that changes are good, they'd say, "No, no, no. You have to start your day alive, and hopefully, when you go to sleep, you'll still be alive, and when you wake up in the morning again, you'll still be alive. That is good."

It must have been terrifying. But slowly they made a change by going into the caves. And from then on, a lot of changes have taken place.

The way we think has been the fastest to change. The human body has not adapted as quickly as the mind has. It's hard to believe, but our eyes actually don't always see in color. Our peripheral vision is in black and white, likely for faster image processing. If something enters your peripheral vision, you can detect it quicker in black and white. In the days when a person might have caught sight of a tiger or a lion leaping out, they

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didn't care about its color; they didn't care about its stripes. Today you do because most likely you're going to be there with a camera. Just a few years ago, it would have been a gun.

REASONING AND BELIEVING

If you were a caveman, and you heard a mobile phone's ring tone, you'd be terrified, because you'd think it was a new monster, a new animal that was going to eat you. And it was not that long ago that we lived in caves. But the way we think has evolved.

Today we have become very good at reasoning. We reason. And we believe. There was a time when things had to be factual. The knowing had to be very real. It couldn't just be a belief — you had to know. Now we have traded knowing for believing.

Here is an example. You have invited two friends over. One of them has arrived and the other one hasn't, so you ask the friend who has arrived, "Do you think so-and-so will come?" And he says, "I believe" — and the key word is believe — "that he will be here shortly." When you ask him why he thinks so, he says, "Because" — and here is the reasoning behind the belief — "he is always on time."

This reasoning is flawed. It doesn't take into account that the friend might have had an accident, and no matter how meticulous he is about being on time, he's not going to show up.

Or, let's say you're driving along, and somebody asks you, "Do you think you have enough gas to get where you're going?" and you say, "I believe so." What is it based on? "Well, I know that my destination is fifty miles away, and I still have a half tank of gas. I know that with a full tank of gas, I can go two hundred miles, so I still have plenty of gas." Right? No. This reasoning doesn't take into account that you could get lost in the next fifty miles. In some places, the exits on the motorway are few and far between, so once you get on the wrong highway, that's it.

We have our beliefs, and we have our reasoning. And this, for the most part, seems to suffice. So, to the often-asked question, "Do you believe in God?" many people reply,

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"Oh, yes. I believe in God." They are told that the stars, the moon, the sun, and the earth are the proof that God exists. This means they have reasoned that there must be a God.

A lot of times when people are in trouble, when things are not going their way, they wonder why, like when they get a flat tire and don't know if there is a spare tire in the car. Then when they dig through the trunk, and sure enough, there is a tire, they say, "There is a God after all!" because things just went their way. When they got the flat tire, they didn't say, "Wow! There is a God after all — I have a flat." No. They probably said something totally inappropriate.

The world will have you believe. The world will have you reason. But some things you have to know.

There is a big difference between reasoning and believing — and knowing. Remember when you were little and you were fascinated by airplanes? You would run around your house, extending your arms for wings, saying, "Wheee!" as you turned. You weren't able to just jump on an airplane, so you pretended, because that was all that was available to you.

But if you come across a pilot who has an aircraft, he could say, "Let's go flying." Then you don't have to pretend. You don't have to hold out your arms. You don't have to believe. You don't have to just reason. You can know.

WALKING ON COALS

Now the question is, What do you choose to do in your life? Being unconscious is a choice. And being conscious is a choice. Being unconscious seems the easy way. You think that being unconscious conserves energy, but it doesn't. When the consequences strike, it takes a tremendous amount of energy to deal with them.

What is the consequence of unconsciousness? Pain and suffering. If you have ever suffered, you know how much energy it takes. First, you can't sleep. And then it costs a tremendous amount of money. You have to buy tissues; you have to buy

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books; you have to make phone calls. You have to try to find some relief from this stupid, agonizing suffering. And any relief will do. That's the consequence of unconsciousness.

It might seem like consciousness would take more energy, but it actually doesn't. It saves you on tissues, on books, on all those phone calls — because you're happy. Happiness doesn't cost anything. Everything about happiness is free. When you're happy, you don't think, "Do I have to call somebody? Do I have to do this? Do I have to do that? Do I have to cry? Do I have to read a book about it?" No, you just relax. Everything is wonderful.

Unconsciousness is not economical at all. It costs you time, and it costs you money. You have to go on vacations to try to get away from where you are. Your body is telling you, "This doesn't feel right. What you are doing is not right." It screams. It's called stress. And what are the consequences of stress? Ask a doctor. And what does society say? "Let's teach you how to handle stress."

These, by the way, are the same kind of people who would teach you how to walk on coals. Back in the '90s, this was big. People used to have seminars where you learned how to control all these things, and as the last step, you would walk on coals. Now, where would you need to walk on coals? The only place where this could be even remotely useful is in Argentina, where they have huge barbecue pits. They're on the ground, and people have long paddles to handle the food. So if these guys could walk on coals, I guess it could make their job easier.

This is what reasoning does. It tells you that you have conquered something, because you have walked on coals. And if you look back at the whole chain of unconsciousness that led you to walk on coals, how many reasoning links will you find? This is not a small chain. You have believed and believed. And believed some more. And reasoned. And reasoned some more. Till you reached the point where, even if you wanted to get rid of this chain, it is so wrapped around you that your hands literally aren't free to start cutting the links.

And to make matters worse, you want to be free, but you have forgotten what it feels like to be free. You want to understand, but you have forgotten how to understand, so what happens? Confusion.

KNOWING OR BELIEVING

There is no confusion in knowing. I started speaking to people publicly when I was very young. A man who was in the army heard about me somehow, and he wanted to come and see me, but he was still wondering, "What is a little kid going to teach me? Maybe I will teach him a thing or two."

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You want to be free,

but you have forgotten

what it feels like to be free.

So he came to my house in India. I was doing homework, and some other people were sitting on the veranda with him. I could hear everybody talking from where I was. The man from the army was having a great time arguing with them, because they were all, in their own way, intellectuals who had abandoned know-how for reasoning. When you know something, there is no argument. But when there is reasoning and belief, there's plenty of room for argument.

After they argued for a while, someone came to me and said, "There's someone here who came to see you." So I got permission to stop doing my homework, and I went into the living room. The veranda was right outside the living room, which had two sets of doors — one glass and one screen. I opened the glass doors, and as I was listening through the screen, I heard the man saying, "You know, every day I pray to the light." And all this argument was going on, so I sneaked out and sat down quietly. He looked at me, and I looked at him.

And I said, "So, what do you do?"

"Oh, I pray. I pray to the light."

I said, "Oh, that's good. I'm sure that there's no harm in praying to the light, but surely there is no harm in seeing it, either — is there? Have you seen it, too? Or do you just keep praying?" That changed his life.

"Praying to the light" is like knocking on a door. It's not opening, but you keep knocking. The knocking becomes a ritual. What will you do if somebody actually opens the door? You won't know what to do with yourself, because nobody has told you about anything besides the door. You are stuck in the realm of knocking.

DANTE'S HELL

In the fourteenth century, a pope sends Dante into exile. Dante doesn't like that. He sits down and writes a book, The Divine Comedy, describing hell. He really gets into it. It's cold, and it's horrible. And once he has finished describing hell, he places

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When the heart finally feels full,

you become content.

The moment becomes endless.

Each breath becomes precious.

All is put together.

The fog is gone,

and you begin to see.

It is so beautiful, that it is perfect.

All that was dark, all that was hidden,

is illuminated.

And because you can see,

there is no fear.

Do you know what it is like

to be without fear?

Do you?

the pope right there. Next thing you know, we have a description of hell. There it is — in black and white. We know what hell is like. And Dante was just trying to take his revenge.

And then there are artists. They have never seen hell. But they read Dante's description, and they paint it. This is why we have this perennial problem. On one hand, we have a very detailed explanation and detailed paintings of hell. The teeth, the nails, the eyes, the temperature. It's so cold that Satan is blue, yet there are fires everywhere.

On the other hand, we have only very general paintings of heaven. It has a gate, blue sky, some clouds, a little light, a little winged angel. That's all. Very plain, boring, contemporary type of decor.

Reasoning says, if there is a God, he must be like us — very judgmental. Everything is divided into good and bad. Very little ambiguity. "If you do this, this, and this, you're going to hell." Every religion has a hell and a heaven and a list of which actions will get you to hell and which will get you to heaven. If you are heading toward hell, there's a list of things you can do so you end up in heaven. Very convenient.

I'm not going to say, "What if heaven is here?" I know it is here. I am not going to say, "What if hell is here?" I know hell is here. Compared to some of the pain and suffering that human beings endure in their minds, it seems that boiling in oil would be just a bath in tepid water.

And heaven? The feeling of joy, the feeling of contentment, the feeling of peace. The feeling of being in love. When a human being is in love, there is a fullness inside. Is the described heaven, the reasoned heaven, any match for that? No. When a human being is content because they have felt peace within them, it surpasses all reasoned descriptions of heaven. In heaven, the temperature is supposed to be perfect. But when a person is content, it doesn't matter whether it is freezing cold or burning hot. Being content is being content. That's pure, pure heaven. That's when true divinity dances on a person's face, and it's unmistakable.

Divinity dances? Yes, it does. And clarity. And simplicity. All of these come to you one after another. It's never just one. They all come. For you. The possibilities are endless. All questions are resolved. This is what happens when clarity comes. You're left with understanding. Answers become apparent. Fulfillment comes, too. Here comes peace. Here is tranquility. Here is serenity. Here is joy. Just one after another.

When the heart finally feels full, you become content. And the moment becomes endless. Each breath becomes precious. All is put together. The fog is gone, and you begin to see.

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It is so beautiful, that it is perfect. All that was dark, all that was hidden, is illuminated. And, because you can see, there is no fear. Do you know what it is like to be without fear? Do you?

When something is not illuminated, and you don't know what it is, there is fear. Maybe you are the boss of six hundred people. You are in charge, and you have no fear. Really? Yes, you do. As soon as you cross the threshold of your home, fear comes. In the office, everybody follows your rules. Now, at home, you have to follow their rules. Everybody in your office was hoping you would not reject them. Now, you're home, and you're hoping your family will not reject you. The result: fear.

You don't have to be in fear. You can have the feeling of a true heaven within you. You don't have to reason it and believe in it. You can know it.

PEACE BEGINS

WITH YOU AND ME

There are so many people saying, "Peace, peace, peace." Yet, every day, there is war, war, war. They are talking about the wrong kind of peace. True peace is always inside of you. And when you can experience that peace, there will be peace. In your world.

War does not grow on trees. War grows in the hatred in people's minds. Peace does not grow on trees, either. Peace grows in people's hearts. That's where you will find it — within you. Look for it. Do whatever is necessary to find that real peace in your life and be content.

There was a businessman who had a small trade. Of course, being a businessman, his desire was to make as much money as possible.

One day, somebody knocked on his door. When he opened it, there was a man standing there, a very beautiful person. The man took a stone out of his pocket and gave it to the businessman, saying, "Let me explain the power of this stone. If you take this stone and touch it to metal, the metal will instantly turn into gold."

Then the man gave him a warning. "I'm not giving you the stone," he said. "I'm just letting you use it for a while. One day, I will come back to collect it. When I come for the stone, there will be no extensions. No negotiations. No tomorrows. You will have to give it back."

For the businessman, his wildest dream had come true. Now he could be wealthy beyond imagination. All he had to do was touch this stone to metal, and the metal would turn into gold. So he was very happy.

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People say that there needs

to be peace in the world.

No. There needs to be

peace in your world.

But he was a businessman, and he did not want to spend money unnecessarily. He wanted to be very careful. So he called to find out the price that metal was going for on the market. That day, the dealer said, "It's a little expensive." The price had gone up. So the businessman thought, "I will wait till the price comes down." And so he waited.

Every day, he called again to see if the price of metal had come down. But every day, the price kept going higher and higher.

Then, one day, the businessman heard a knock on his door, and there was the man again. And the man said, "I want my stone back."

Startled, the businessman said, "Just one second. I'll see if I can find some metal somewhere in my house."

But the man said, "No. Remember? This was our deal. I have come back, and you have to give me back my stone." And he took the stone and left.

Who is the businessman? We all are. Someone came to us and gave us the stone — the gift of life — and said, "With this, you can fulfill your dream. You can be happy. You can be content."

And what have we said? "Not right now. I'll wait. Maybe when I am a little bit older. Maybe when I have a little more time." But the amazing thing is, as we get older, we have less time and less time and less time.

Then one day, somebody knocks on our door, "I want the gift of life back."

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What do we say? "Oh, I wish I could have done this; I wish I could have done that. I feel terrible about this; I should have done that." But there is no negotiation. When the gift of life must be returned, it must be returned. There is no tomorrow, no day after tomorrow, no day after that.

THE GOOD

We have a lot to do, many responsibilities to take care of in our life, but we have one more responsibility. And that is to recognize the gift of life, to recognize the joy and the beauty of life. Because that is the only thing that can truly fulfill us.

I go from country to country. I see different cultures. But I also see the similarity of each human being wanting — from the heart — to be fulfilled.

We all have the same need. We all have the same want. We all need to be content, to be in peace. A peace that is just a thought does not suffice. We need to have a peace that we can actually feel every day. Every moment. Every moment of our lives is most precious. It cannot be wasted.

When will it become precious foryou? The wisdom is not in realizing the preciousness of something when it is gone. The wisdom is in recognizing the preciousness of what you have — not what you don't have.

But our ambitions are based on what we do not have.

There is a beautiful saying: "The beggar dreams that someday he will become a king. And what does the king dream oft In his nightmares, he dreams that he is becoming a beggar." A king does not dream of becoming a king. A beggar does not dream of becoming a beggar. The beggar dreams of becoming a king, and the king dreams of becoming a beggar.

All that goes on in the world, all that changes and changes and moves and moves, is happening in everyone's personal life. Sadness. Happiness. Good times. Bad times. Richness. Poverty. And no matter what culture we come from, we all want to avoid the bad.

In all cultures, people want to have the good, the auspicious. So the question is, What is most auspicious in your life?

THE POT

It is the coming and the going of the breath. Every time it comes, it brings you the gift of life. It brings you your existence. Not tomorrow. Not yesterday. Now — in this moment. And in this moment that the breath comes, there is no bad. It's good. It's good, and it is good, and it is good. Because of it, you have life.

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If we never understand the meaning of the gift that we have been given, we will try to look for meaning in everything else. And we do. We look for meaning — the true meaning of this existence — in everything else.

There is a saying: "You came into the world empty-banded, and you will leave empty-banded." It's no accident that this saying exists. This is what people have observed — that all the things we do to be fulfilled ultimately do not bring us fulfillment. Ultimately, everything has to be left behind.

Imagine a clay pot with a big hole in the bottom. You can pour the water of all the oceans into this pot, and not a single drop would remain.

If we fail to recognize the value of our lives, then we are like that pot with a big hole in it. The hole is our ignorance, and it doesn't matter what you put in the pot. You can put all the gold, all the things that are beautiful in it — it will not be able to retain anything.

Put even one drop of water in a pot that has no holes in it, and the drop will stay. Place the understanding of this life in the pot. Place the beauty of your existence in it. Do you see what I am saying? It's very important. Many people think there is no difference between what happens on the outside and what is on the inside. There is a big difference.

I see people I know who have gotten old. Their faces look different; their bodies look different. But their heart is the same, because the heart is timeless. The immortal that you seek on the outside is on the inside.

THE HEART IS PART OF YOU

Within you is magic. Within you, the dance of life is unfolding. Within you, a beautiful play is unfolding. Do you want to witness it? Do you want to see it? Do you want to understand what you have been given? Not what you have created, but what you have been given?

There's a beautiful Chinese saying: "It's good intelligence to know your friendr, but it is true wisdom to know yourself."Thousands of miles away, a Greek philosopher said, "Know tbyself."And in India, someone said, "What you are looking for is within you."

Is this an accident? Today, we hear somebody say, "What you are looking for — the true beauty, the pure joy — is within you." And people say, "Very wise. Very good." And then… nothing.

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War grows in the hatred

in people's minds.

Peace grows

in people's hearts.

Why not find out what is within you? Why not get in touch with the perfection that is within you? Why not understand what your heart is trying to say to you? The heart is a part of you.

Would it be comfortable for you if somebody tied up one of your legs and said, "You cannot use that leg — you can only use the other one"? You would have to hop everywhere. Then why do we ignore our inner self and only try to do what the outer self wants? That inner self is a part of us. And if we have not heard its simple request, then we have not heard the whole story of our life.

WHAT DO WE TAKE WITH US?

If it is true that empty-handed we came and empty-handed we have to go, then what is life all about? Good times will happen and bad times will happen. Then more of the same, more of the same, more of the same.

You get up in the morning. You leave your house to go to your office. You leave your office to come back to your house. It's back and forth, and back and forth, and back and forth. And what do you think of? You think of your problems. "I have to do this; I have to do that." Problems, problems, problems.

There was another thing I read — a very interesting saying: "You work so bard to make money tbat you lace your bealtb. And then you spend that money to gain your bealtb back."

Not very good business, because you lose, lose, lose.

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We know so much, but do we know the value of our breath? We know so much, but do we know how to fly in the realm of the heart? If we don't, then one day, the time will come when what we know will be of no use.

FORMULA PEACE

There are two kinds of peace in this world. There is one peace that is a formula. And there is one peace that has to be felt. The formula peace, many people have. Some say, "I have peace. I've got a good family, I've got a good job, I've got a good house, so I'm happy. I'm fine." But all that disappears one day.

If you ask a rich person, "Do you have peace?" they say, "Yes, I have peace." "Why do you think you have peace?" "Well, I have this; I have that — I have peace. I'm okay." If you ask a monk, "Do you have peace?" they say, "Yes, I have peace because I don't have this and I don't have that."

This is the peace of formulas. Everybody has formula peace, and that's why there are so many wars, because formula peace does not bring peace.

Even if you take a picture of the sun, you can't pull it out at night and expect it to light up your house. I wish it could — that would save a lot of electricity and a lot of money, but the picture of the sun does not produce light. The sun does.

Conceived peace is just like that picture of the sun. People talk about peace and read about peace, which is good, but at some point in time, you have to know it; you have to feel the peace.

If you want real peace, it has to be felt — not once, but every day of your life. You need to be able to turn inside every day and feel that joy, that beauty, that serenity, in your life. Every day.

PEACE IN YOUR WORLD

People say that there needs to be peace in the world. No. There needs to be peace in your world. In your world. Because if there isn't peace in your world, there isn't going to be peace.

There are so many people saying, "Peace, peace, peace." Yet, every day, there is war, war, war. They are talking about the wrong kind of peace. True peace is always inside of you. And when you can experience that peace, there will be peace. In your world.

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War does not grow on trees. War grows in the hatred in people's minds.

Peace does not grow on trees, either. Peace grows in people's hearts. That's where you will find it — within you. Look for it. Do whatever is necessary to find that real peace in your life and be content.

Peace begins not with countries, not with nations, and not with governments. Peace begins with you. Peace begins with me. Peace begins with each one of us.

And, by the way, I just remind you about something you already know. You have known all this since you were a little child, but you forgot it because everything else became important. Now, maybe the time has come for you to remember.

Why not find out

what is within you?

Why not understand

what your heart is

trying to say to you?

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IN AN EVER-CHANGING

WORLD

There are two kinds of teachers. One says, "I will eat the candy, and then I'll tell you about it. I'll write about it." But when you ask a real teacher, "What does the candy taste like?" he reaches in his pocket, pulls out a piece, and says, "Here. Eat it." The first kind of teacher will say, "It has a touch of sweetness, slightly burned, sugary…" And they don't stop there. They waste paper — logs and logs and logs — trying to describe the indescribable.

A real teacher says, "You want fulfillment? Feel it. It's possible. Peace? No problem. You can have peace in your life."

Mir What I want to talk about really comes down to one thing: the recognition of what we have been given, of what life is. I want to celebrate every single day and every single moment that I am given, because that is the only anchor I have in the journey of my life.

Everything is transient. That is its nature. The universe is never still. It is constantly moving. Nothing in the universe — even the universe itself — lasts forever. Once it was not, and once again it won't be. At one time, you, too, were not. And once again, you will not be. Your life is not about when you were not. And it is not about when you will no longer be. It is about when you are.

I was watching a TV program about a book on what will happen when you die. And they were going on and on, saying that this book was incredible. But I have to say, for a living person to be obsessed with death is crazy. It would be equivalent to waking up in the morning, taking a shower, and covering your body with Band-Aids, thinking, "I could get hurt here; I could get hurt there." And pretty soon, you wouldn't be wearing clothes at all — just Band-Aids — all because of what could happen.

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You shouldn't be obsessed with what could happen. You should be obsessed with what is happening — that you are alive now, because that is where the celebration is. And it is not about contemplation, but experience. It is not about a theory; it is about reality. Do you know that reality does not exist in the past? And do you know that reality does not exist in the future? There is only one place reality can be, and that is now.

If there is a truth, that truth is now. And there is no greater truth that can be spoken than to say, "I am alive."

WHAT DO I CHOOSE?

I came into this world — I don't remember it. Most people don't seem to. There is a picture of me when I was little that I can remember being taken. And from then on, I remember things. A lot has happened in my life. Many stories, many war wounds. And I know that everything in my life has changed.

Everything that I thought would never change has changed. Everything I didn't want to change has also changed. And, conveniently, everything I did want to change also has changed. There have been only two constants in my life. One is change. And the other is the desire to be fulfilled. To be content. To be happy. To feel a heart full of gratitude again and again.

You can acquire a lot of objects in this world, and you will grow tired of them, believe me. But you will never, ever grow tired of a heart welling up with gratitude — no matter how many times it has happened before. Every time your heart fills with gratitude, it feels like it is the first time. New? Yes. Exceptional? Yes. Gratifying? There is no greater gratification.

The desire for that feeling has been a constant in my life. So has everything changing on the outside. Every day I have to make a lot of decisions. Sometimes they come fast and furiously. Some days, I'm just inundated with questions wherever I turn — question, question, question. Right down to the point of what I want to eat.

But those are not the important questions. The important question is, What do I choose every day? I have to invest. Time is pouring down. There is nothing I can do about it. Nothing. I can't slow it down; I can't speed it up. It just keeps coming, coming, coming.

What do I do with my time? Do I save it? Do I conquer it? Do I capture it? Or do I just let it go? Came/went, came/went, came/went. And keep being surprised. "Huh? Huh? Huh?" That's what can happen.

I remember when I was young, older people always used to tell me, "The older you get, the quicker time will go." I understand that now. But I also understand that it

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There is no greater truth

that can be spoken

than to say, "I am alive."

doesn't go any quicker or any slower. It's flowing at the same rate — it's only my perspective that has changed.

THE MUTE EATING CANDY

The human being seeks immortality in a mortal world. Excuse me. You shouldn't be

seeking immortality. You won't find it.

Seek the immortal; it resides in you. It always has, always will. And then you can make time work for you instead of you working for it.

Do you know that you have integrity? Not because of your accomplishments — but just as a human being who walks this earth, who has been given the chance to be, to feel, to understand. And in this world, you are robbed of your integrity. You are robbed of your understanding of who you are.

How do you avoid being robbed? How do you save your integrity? The fifteenth-century Indian poet Kabir says that nobody — nobody — is poor. And Kabir was so poor that he even wrote that he had no idea where his next meal was going to come from.

What did he mean, then, that nobody is poor? "Nobody's poor — everybody's rich. But we have forgotten to open the package that was sent with us, and that is why we are penniless." This is what he said. What package? Did we come with a package? Yes. Where is it? It's right here — in this human existence.

This package of human life has riches beyond belief. Gratitude, fulfillment, understanding, joy. Do you really understand what the word joy means?

Joy comes whenever you feel the immortal inside of you. That's what fills you with joy. And what is joy like? Indescribable. What does contentment feel like? It cannot be described. What does peace feel like? Again, Kabir says, "It cannot be described. It is like a mute person eating candy."

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oati,

Just because that person cannot describe the candy doesn't mean he cannot enjoy it. His enjoyment has nothing to do with his inability to describe it. Even if he wanted to describe it, and he wasn't mute, all he could say was, "Mmm. Mmm. Mmm."

There are two kinds of teachers. One says, "I will eat the candy, and then I'll tell you about it. I'll write about it." But when you ask a real teacher, "What does the candy taste like?" he reaches in his pocket, pulls out a piece, and says, "Here. Eat it." The first kind of teacher will say, "It has a touch of sweetness, slightly burned, sugary…" And they don't stop there. They waste paper — logs and logs and logs — trying to describe the indescribable.

A real teacher says, "You want fulfillment? Feel it. It's possible. Peace? No problem. You can have peace in your life." But when this teacher pulls out the little piece of candy and hands it to people, they say, "What's this?"

"It's the candy I'm eating. You wanted to know what it tastes like. So here, why don't you taste it for yourself?"

And then people say, "No, no!" Why? People don't know what they want.

HARD TO PLEASE

Let me illustrate with a little story. One time there was an emperor in India by the name of Akbar. There are many stories about him. He became emperor when he was quite young, and he ended up unifying India into a huge empire. Anyway, he used to hold court, and in his court, there was a courtier named Birbal who was very bright.

All the other courtiers were very jealous of Birbal, because Akbar really liked him. He always had his wits about him. One day he was late, and the emperor asked, "Where is Birbal?" The other courtiers said, "Your Majesty, he's late. He's late coming to your court!"

And they went on and on about how bad this was, until Akbar became very upset. "Why is he late? Doesn't he know I'm the emperor, and I am here, and he's not here?" and so on. By the time poor Birbal finally showed up, the emperor was furious.

"Why are you late?"

"Sire, I was taking care of my nephew. He has come to visit me, and I was taking care of him."

"Oh, so your nephew is more important than I am?" the emperor asked.

"No, sire, that's not true. But as you know, I have to take care of him, and he was being very obstinate."

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"Anybody can satisfy a little kid!"

"If you say so, Emperor. Maybe they can, maybe they can't. I don't know." "I'm the emperor. What is it that he would want that I could not give him?" "I don't know, sire, if you could really appease him."

Then Akbar thought to himself, "Oh, this is good. I've got Birbal now! I've got him. With all his wit, he can't do something so simple." So he said, "Call your nephew."

When the nephew came in, a little boy about five years old, Birbal said to him, "Bow down to the emperor."

And Akbar said, "Yes, what would you like?"

The little boy answered, "Uh, I want some sugarcane."

"No problem."

The sugarcane was brought and offered to the little boy. He took the sugarcane and started crying.

"Why are you crying?" asked Akbar. "You wanted sugarcane, and I gave you sugarcane."

"I'm crying because I can't eat it. It's still got the skin on it, and it's not cut."

Akbar said, "No problem." He looked at Birbal as if to say, "You're crazy." Then he told someone to peel the sugarcane and bring it back.

So, they peeled it, cut it up, and offered it to the boy. But the boy just grabbed the bowl and started crying even louder.

"What is it now?"

The little boy said, "I've changed my mind. I want a whole one."

Akbar was still thinking, "Birbal, you made such a big deal out of this." So he gave the order: "Bring him a whole sugarcane."

The whole sugarcane was brought, and the boy started crying even louder.

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What does contentment

feel like?

It cannot be described.

It is like a mute person

eating candy.

Akbar said, "Why are you crying now? You wanted a sugarcane. We brought you one. Then you wanted it cut. We got it cut for you. Then you changed your mind and wanted a whole one, so we brought a whole one for you. Why are you crying now?"

The boy said, "No. I don't want a new whole one. I want the same one that was cut to be whole."

That was when Akbar understood the words "hard to please."

We are the same way. What do we want? We don't know.

YOUR ROPE TO THE IMMORTAL

Imagine you have gone into the catacombs beneath the city of Paris. It's pitch dark, and you feed a rope behind you so you can find your way back out. You've come quite a way into the cave, and all of a sudden, even though you have been carefully laying down a line of rope, you can't find the rope anywhere. It just happened. What are you going to do?

It's common sense. You need to find the rope, because if you can do that, you can find your way back out. That's why you laid the rope down. If you suddenly realized you had dropped it somewhere, you'd stop right on the spot and search for it — and hopefully find it. And you'd say, "I got it!"

The thirst for peace and fulfillment is like that rope. Find your thirst. That is your rope to the immortal — your guide to what you have been looking for all your life and what you will be looking for the rest of your life. And what is that?

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FREEDOM OR SLAVERY?

When you were young, you wanted to be older. You thought things would be better.

You would be able to leave home, have your own place to live.

So you get your own place. But then you scratch your head and think, "That was just freedom from my parents. I don't quite feel free. Oh, okay. I'll get my own car. I'll get my own job. I'll become financially secure. That's it!" Off you go. You get your job. And you get set for your future.

And then you say, "What happened? I've got all this. I should be happy by now. I should be feeling free, but I feel like a slave. I have to work for this person who bosses me around all day long. All my colleagues boss me around. It's just work, work, work. Looking for freedom, I found slavery." Then you think, "Ah, now I know. I'll get married! Have a family." Freedom, freedom, freedom. And where do you find yourself?

You were just looking for freedom. All of a sudden it's "for better or for worse" and "till death do you part," and, "Yes, I do." And you think, "Now I'm free. I found freedom." Till you wake up the next morning and hear, "Honey…" The word honey is a precursor to, "Where is my breakfast?" "Why is the living room such a mess?" "Who made this mess?" "Clean up after yourself." "Be back by this time." "No, you may not. You will not; you cannot. You must not."

And then freedom becomes, "Baby, baby, baby! I want to have a baby!"

So you go through the fun part. Soon there's a baby in a sort of sac below the stomach. Everything is fine, and you think, "So cute. Yes, we'll have our own football team or our own hockey team, and we'll do this and we'll do that. We'll go out there and we'll accomplish this and .."Then baby arrives.

There you are. You've had a long day, especially the mother. She would like some rest, but men usually feel they have had just about as long a day.

And the baby? Of course, the baby doesn't have a clock or a watch. "Waaah. Waaaah."

"Honey, go check on the baby."

"What? Whaaat?"

And then? Promotion, promotion, promotion. Money means freedom. A promotion comes, but by the time it does, there has been so much inflation that you've actually been financially demoted. You are more in debt than you could have ever imagined.

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Now, don't mistake me. I'm not against having babies or families or finding a job and all that, but put it in perspective. Why do you want a family? Why do you want a job? Why do you want to move out of the house? Don't do it under false pretenses, because when you do that, guess who will be the most disappointed? You.

Meanwhile, ever since this freedom business began, and even before that, something has been sharpening its knife, waiting for you. Do you want to know the definition of patience? rime. Time has patience. It waits.

It's hyper-intelligent. Sees absolutely no difference between a beggar, a king, an emperor. To time, everyone is the same.

WHAT IF GOD WAS LISTENING?

Today, people pray for everything. I think they've got Santa Claus and God mixed up. On TV, I saw soldiers praying before they went out to fight. "God, give me strength to kill all my enemies." Can you imagine if the enemy was also praying? "God, give me the strength to mow down my enemies." And God's probably laughing. "They're both asking for the same thing."

What if God was listening? Is that really what you want to say? Imagine that the maker of the universe, the creator of time, the infinite is listening — just to you. What would you say? "Make me pass my exams." Really? "Give me a longer life." Really? "Make me a richer man." Really? I mean, really?

Think about it. The creator of every speck of dust and every star, who will be there long after human beings have been erased by time, is listening to you. What would you like to say?

Let me put it more in context. Imagine that your spouse has been in the hospital in a deep coma for a long time. The doctors have predicted that he or she will come out of the coma for five seconds. Just five seconds. And then after that, your spouse will be gone forever.

What would you like to say? You have tons of questions, but you love this person very much. You have five seconds. That's all. Just five seconds. What would you say? "Honey, uh, where is that lawn mower you bought?" "I was wondering where the latest will is." Really?

If it were me, I would boil it down to what matters the most. Forget about the lawn mower. Forget about the will. Forget about where the keys to the house are.

All I would say is, "I love you." Not, "We've only got five seconds. Do you love me?" No. "I love you."

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'Looking for freedom,

I found slavery."

GRATITUDE

There's a very simple reality when everything is boiled down to what is important in life. And if my God were hearing me, the only thing I would like to say is, "Thank you."

There is an amazing grace in the life of every human being. But maybe you look at your life, and you see in it what isn't. I suggest you start to look at your life and see what is. Maybe you look at your existence and make a list of all the things you do not have.

I suggest you start to see the things you do have. Maybe you look at all the things you have not achieved. I suggest you start to see the things you have achieved. And that is not about psychology or pumping you up to make you feel good. The achievement I am talking about is the breath. It's a miracle.

Do you like miracles as a sideshow? Or do you like real miracles? If you like miracles as a sideshow, you will have to work very hard for them. But if you like the real miracles, then just look at your breath. It is an incredible miracle that is taking place every moment of your life.

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If peace is a fundamental

need for every

human being,

like food, air, sleep, water,

then we cannot live

without it.

Without it, everything

is out of balance.

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Do you know that reality

does not exist in the past?

Do you know that reality

does not exist in the future?

There is only one place

reality can be, and that is

now.

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I want to celebrate every

single day

and every single moment

that I am given.

That is the only anchor I have

in the journey of my life.

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