ADI #12, Your Moment
Rawat claims he doesn't want to change your religion but this is nonsense. He claims to be able to teach you to actually know not just believe. And he says that the Knowing he reveals is higher than believing
24 times he says "you have to" and another 40 times he tells you what you have but these are non-existent or metaphorical.
Be in peace, and you will look the most beautiful.
In these 3 edited speeches you says "been given" 3 times. In the 60 transcripts and edited copies of his speeches that I have, Prem Rawat has averaged saying "been given" twice in each speech.
ADI #12, Your Moment
EXECUTIVE EDITOR: Premlata Rawat Hudson
MANAGING EDITOR: Ole Grünbaum
ART DIRECTOR: Jaro Mewes
EDITORIAL ASSISTANCE: Pegi Hope Cohen, Lorraine Chamberlain, Rani Thoms, Cynthia Lategan, Willow Baker
Prem Rawat delivers his message of peace to diverse audiences around the world. This compilation, Your Moment, was derived from his talks and edited for brevity and ease of reading.
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 was born in India in 1957. At age four, he began to speak about the topic of peace to large crowds that would gather to hear his father, a respected teacher. At age thirteen, he was invited to London and Los Angeles to share his unique perspective on peace; that peace is a fundamental human right and can be felt by everyone. Since then, he has continually travelled the world sharing his message with millions of people from all walks of life, from world leaders to subsistence farmers. An accomplished aviator, Prem Rawat has personally flown countless times around the planet to make his message available to those who wish to hear it. In 2001, he established the Prem Rawat Foundation to promote dignity, peace and prosperity for all people. This publication is based on his spoken discourses, which are unrehearsed and delivered extemporaneously.
FROM THE EDITOR
Recently, my father Prem Rawat stated, "Peace is going to be mankind's finest achievement. Not technology … but peace. And all of us have a part to play in making that possible."
For over five decades, Ambassador of Peace
Prem Rawat has been traveling the world speaking to audiences large and small about the topic of peace. For my entire life, I have been listening to my father's talks. Of course, for much of my childhood I was oblivious to the impact and import of what he was saying.
When I finally did understand, it was a pivotal moment in my life. I realized that at the core, what I am looking for is already within me. That peace truly is possible because if I can be in peace, anyone and everyone can be in peace. And that peace in this world cannot be manufactured by governments or institutions, but will come when human beings recognize themselves as the source of peace. In our current culture so saturated with technology, it can be challenging to carve time out of our busy lives to sit quietly and read. But I find that when I do, my preferred reading is material from my father's talks. There is something about reading his words rather than listening or watching that allows me to absorb his perspectives and insights in a unique way. I've always enjoyed reading ADI magazines, and now as the new executive editor of ADI Publications, I have had an opportunity to effect some radical changes to the look and feel of the magazine. A new compact size, colorful pictures that reinforce the text and consistently compelling subject matter culled from my father's discourses all combine to make this issue both entertaining and edifying. I sincerely hope you enjoy reading "Your Moment" as much as we have enjoyed producing it!
Premlata Rawat Hudson
Executive Editor, ADI Publications
ADI MAGAZINE #12
THE PRISONER'S SMILE 8
I went to see some prisoners who had invited me to come and talk. It was a very strict prison. We saw barbed wires, razor wires, electric fences and so on. And I thought, "I'm sure the prisoners are not happy." Then I started talking to them and I looked at them. They had smiles on their faces.
UNDER THE FALLING PIANO 18
A man walks over to the tallest building in the world, and he's looking up to try to see the top. Unbeknownst to him, they are hauling a piano to the very top floor, and the piano has just broken loose and it's falling. We live in a world that is constantly tugging at our attention. All these mundane things are going on, but the piano is still falling …
A FUNDAMENTAL REALITY 28
You are three-dimensional. There are many, many layers to you. There isn't one single element that you can put your finger on and say, "This is who I am," because it isn't about the composition; it isn't about ideas; it isn't about theories. It is actually about a very fundamental reality that you are here, that you exist. So what does it mean to be alive?
YOUR MOMENT 34
All you have is like a moment. In this moment, you have to grow up, you have to learn something, you have to find your peace and you have to feel your peace. And before it is over, you have to be filled with that joy, with that peace. You have to recognize the value of being alive.
TRUE STRENGTH 42
As human beings our strength is our humility. Our forte is our kindness. When we exercise these, we become truly strong. Confusion is not our forte. It's okay to ask questions if you get the answers. In this life, the possibility of joy is always there. It is only the doubt that gets in the way. Through your strength, you can overcome that doubt.
READY, NOT WAITING 48
In nature, nothing is waiting. It's ready. Is the ocean ready? Yes. Is the vapor ready? Yes. Is the sun ready? Yes. Is the cloud ready? Yes. Is the wind ready? Yes. Is the rain ready? Yes. The breath that comes into you is your drop, and it splashes you with life. So please ask yourself, are you waiting? Or are you ready? I looked at them. They had smiles on their faces. And one of them — I still see his face and his smile.
I can't even smile that big. He was so profoundly happy. I was shocked.
PEOPLE GO TO SEMINARS AND TO LECTURES or read books because they want to be better. They want to progress in their job, to be rich, to be better cooks, better mothers, better drivers or better pilots. But what I talk about is not becoming better.
It is about seeing your self, realizing who you are.
You begin to realize that life is passing by very quickly.
And the question is, have you accomplished what you truly wanted to accomplish?
For so many of us everything in life is about achieving. Achieving name, achieving fame, accomplishing something. But we fail to see and appreciate what already has been accomplished. And without this appreciation, life is like food without flavor. It is like eating ice cream that has no sweetness. So what is it that we need to appreciate?
We live our lives. We have our jobs. Some days, things are good. Some days, things are not so good. Some days, it feels like you're dragging your feet. Other days, it feels like you're flying a little bit, until you hit a wall. Then you have your Saturdays and Sundays off. And then Monday comes, and you do the same thing, then Tuesday, the same thing, and so on. Saturday and Sunday, the same thing. Until one day your birthday cake has so many candles it's hard to blow them out. Then you begin to realize that life is passing by very quickly. And the question is, have you accomplished what you truly wanted to accomplish? In this world there are only two ways to survive: one is that you find the joy, the beauty, the wonder that fills your heart; or you suppress the feeling. This is sad, but that's what many people do. They learn to live without the feeling of wanting the real joy, because we think our happiness is associated with what we have accomplished. When we have a nice house: "Oh, yeah. This is great." When we have a nice car: "This is great." When we have a nice wife, that's great. When we have a nice husband, that's great. When we have nice children, that's great. But do you know happiness has nothing to do with any of that? Lots of people say that, and it sounds good, but I am in a unique position to say it because I have just witnessed something that even shocked me. I am the one who talks about happiness, about peace, about joy. So people have an expectation of me that I am in a constant state of happiness or a constant state of joy, which is not true.
I was shocked when I went to prison. Not that I had done something wrong. I went to the prison to see some prisoners who had invited me to come and talk. It was a very strict prison. As we approached, we saw barbed wires, razor wires, electric fences and so on. And I thought, "I'm sure the prisoners are not happy." Then I started talking to them, and I looked at them. They had smiles on their faces. And one of them — I still see his face and his smile. I can't even smile that big. He was so profoundly happy. I was shocked. And at the same time I know
that the reality and the joy exist in the heart of every single human being. I know that the peace exists in the heart of every single person. No one is void of these most essential human treasures. No one. Everyone comes into this world with the most incredible treasures one can imagine. Look at the world. We fight and we fight. And there are people who accept the fighting as legitimate. And I say to them, "Why do you have a mouth? Do you know how many dictionaries there are? Do you know how many thesauruses there are? Why? If you're not going to talk, why do you even have a language?" But some people say, "No, no, no. Don't talk with the enemy. We have to fight."
I'm not trying to change you. I'm just trying to tell you that what you are looking for is inside of you. Always has been and always will be. Who are you? Think about it. Here you are on this planet Earth, and not for a very long time. Sorry. But who are you? I have something in my pocket that I show to people. It's a bottle with the content that makes up ninety-nine percent of a human being. It's just hydrogen, oxygen, calcium, carbon, nitrogen and phosphorus. That's it. This is you. This is me. This little bottle, what it has in it, represents seven billion people alive today. And one day this ninety-nine percent of a human being will be burnt, or buried or thrown in the sea. This ninety-nine percent has been here for a long, long time and will be here for a long, long time. When somebody dies, people say, "Oh, he is gone." He's not gone. He's still here and will remain here. Remember, "Dust to dust" and "Ashes to ashes." Well, that's where it came from, that's where it's going to go and that's where it's going to stay till it comes back again. Nature started recycling a long time ago. That's a fact. So are you this ninety-nine percent? Or are you something more? Are you something that I cannot take out of my pocket?
I'll tell you a story. There was a jungle. And in this jungle, there was a lion. And the lion was the king. And he was ruthless. Every time he'd get hungry, he'd just go out there and pounce on the animals and kill many of them. And then just eat one. So all the animals realized that pretty soon there wouldn't be many left. So they went up to the lion and they said, "We have a request. And the request is that we will voluntarily send you one animal every day, so you don't ruthlessly kill the ones that you're not even going to eat. That way, you don't have to go hunting. An animal will
10 YOUR MOMENT THE PRISONER'S SMILE 11
Who are you?
I have something in my pocket that I show to people.
It's a bottle with the content which makes up ninety-nine percent of a human being.
It's hydrogen,oxygen,calcium, carbon, nitrogen and phosphorus.
come to the mouth of your cave every day, and you can eat it and be happy."
The lion said, "Okay. That sounds pretty good." It was very sad for the rest of the animals, but it was better than what was happening. So they would choose one animal. The family of that animal would be very sad, and everybody else would be very sad, but they would send the animal. Then it would get eaten.
One day it was the turn of a little rabbit. He had no choice. So he started walking towards the cave. And he's walking, and he's walking, and he is walking. And he's thinking to himself, "There has to be a way. This lion must have a weakness, and I must exploit this weakness." So he's walking and walking and walking, purposely as slow as he can, taking his time. And he arrives hours late. The lion is furious. "Come here! I'm going to eat you! This is disgusting. All bets are off. I'm going to start killing everybody like I used to. How come they sent you? You're not even a mouthful, and you arrive late!"
The rabbit said, "Hang on. Let me explain what happened. All the animals realized that one little rabbit is not a full meal. So they sent five of us for you. And as we were coming here, there was another lion. And this lion said that he was going to eat us. And we all explained to him, 'No, no, no. We are for the big lion.' But believe me, this lion was even bigger than you are, and he said he doesn't care about you. And so he ate the other four. I ran for my life. Here I am. Eat me." Now the lion is even more furious and says, "Who is this lion? Where is he? I am going to settle the score before I eat you." And the rabbit says, "Okay, come with me. I'll show you." So the rabbit leads him to a well. And the rabbit says, "He's in there." The lion looks down and roars. And he hears the echo from the well and he sees the reflection in the water — and it looks bigger! And he immediately backs off. He says, "This is a bigger lion."
So the little rabbit says, "See? I told you. He is bigger than you. He's more ferocious than you. Looks like your days are over. You're going to have to run." And the lion said, "No, I will fight with that lion!" And the rabbit said, "Are you sure?" "Absolutely! I have to do this. There can only be one king, and I want to be the king, not him!" And immediately the lion jumps into the well, and the rabbit and all the other animals are very happy.
What was the lion's weakness that the rabbit exploited? The lion did not realize that
THE PRISONER'S SMILE 13
In the one lifetime that you have,
to not have embraced peace
would be a tragedy.
the sound he heard was the echo of his own roar and the reflection he saw was of himself. That was the weakness: not knowing who he was.
There are people who can hold their breath for a longer period of time, but the generally accepted rule of thumb is you can be without air, without breathing, for three minutes. You can survive three hours of freezing cold without any protection, then you will get hypothermia. You could live three days without water. And three weeks you could live without food. These are important things. That's why we need clean air. That's why we need a clean shelter. That's why we need clean water, and that's why we need clean food, not contaminated food. This is well known.
But what else do we need? We need clean thought. If your thoughts are contaminated, no matter what you do, peace will not be around you. Yet nobody pays attention to this. Every day, "What am I doing? What am I doing? What am I doing?" Doubt, doubt, doubt, doubt. You think believing is easier than knowing? No! Believing is much more complicated. Knowing is a lot simpler. People have been trying to believe for a very long time. And those believers keep writing new books and coming up with new definitions, because nobody knows. But when you know, there is no reason to sit there and try to define anything. You know.
Another story. Once upon a time in the court of a king, somebody brought a mango. Seeing this curious fruit, the king asked, "What is it?" The ambassador said, "A mango." The king said, "What is a mango?" "It's a fruit." The king, still wondering, ordered his ministers to tell him how it tasted. The mango was cut open and sliced. A little portion was given to one of the ministers. He ate. And he said, "Actually, it tastes very good. It's kind of sweet." The king said, "I still don't know what a mango is." The second minister gets up, "I will do it." So he eats a little bit of mango and he says, "Well, actually, you know, it's got this really nice nuttiness to it. A little bit of sourness in the background. But it's nice and sweet, and has a beautiful pungent aroma." And the king said, "I still don't know."
Then it went around and around and around, and everybody explained, but the king said, "I still don't know, I still don't know, I still don't know," till there was one little piece left. And one wise man took it, put it on a plate and offered it to the king. The king tasted it and said, "Now I know!"
There is one thing you never have to search for. Do you know what that is? Peace.
Know. Don't just read about peace. Don't just discuss peace. Feel peace. Don't just hear the descriptions, don't just hear the definitions, don't just hear the discussions. But feel the peace.
That's what has to happen. I know people are saying, "How is that possible?" Easy. Very, very easy. Why? How? Whatever you are looking for is inside of you. There is one thing you never have to search for. You know what that is? The peace. There are people who have been searching for a long time. They've searched here and they've searched there, because of definitions, discussions, ideas, concepts. "Where is
peace?" "On top of a mountain." Only on top of the mountain? If you haven't found it at the bottom, you won't find it at the top. Peace is the only thing you cannot search for. Joy is the only thing you cannot bring in, because it's already inside you. I have been saying this for such a long time. And every time I say it, it brings me a tremendous sense of joy. What you are looking for is inside of you. End of definition. End of discussion. What do you have to do? You have to know the art of looking within. It's an art. Do you know it? You know the art of creating. Do you know the art of admiring? Do you know the art of witnessing? Do you know the art of appreciation? To see, untainted. To admire, with no other wishes. To acknowledge, with sincerity. To accept, with understanding. To feel, with no barriers, the beauty that is within you. That's all it takes. To see, and for the first time, truly see. To understand, and understand things for what they are. Open your eyes. Open your heart. You feel the cold and you feel the heat. You feel the silk and you feel the carpet, and you feel each other's cheeks. And I'm not saying any of that is wrong or right. I am saying, you can also feel the peace
that is within you.
Joy is the only thing you cannot bring in, because it's already inside you.
14 YOUR MOMENT
THE PRISONER'S SMILE 15
Is this spiritual? No. There are people who like spirituality. I must make a confession. I am not one of them. If you are into spirituality, more power to you. I'm not going to talk you out of it. You are entitled to believe whatever you want to believe. I am just saying, "Know." In the one lifetime that you have, to not have embraced peace would be a tragedy. I'm trying to stop that tragedy from happening.
What people believe in doesn't matter to me. This is a big world. There are seven billion people, and they all have their own version of how it all happens. Let them have their freedom to believe what they want to believe. We all need that freedom. But when it comes to peace, there needs to be knowing. Not one day, but every single day for the rest of our lives. Apprec Admire the most admirable that dwells w your heart. In that knowing you will exper freedom like never before.
Know the art of looking within.
Do you know the art of appreciation?
To see, untainted. To admire, with no other wishes. To acknowledge, with sincerity.
To accept, with understanding.
To feel, with no barriers, the beauty that is within you.
That's all it takes.
Who are you?
Are you something
that I cannot take out
of my pocket?
16 YOUR MOMENT
THE PRISONER'S SMILE 17
Illustrations by Premlata Rawat Hudson
We live in a world that is constantly tugging at us for our attention. So many things are going on in a day that we forget how it all began and how it all ends. To put it in perspective, let's say there is a new building. It has just been constructed and it's the tallest building in the world. And this person wants to see it. He walks over to the building, stands in front of it and he's looking up to try to see the top of the building. Unbeknownst to him, they're hauling a piano to the very top floor and the piano has just broken loose and it is falling. It is falling at enough of a velocity that when this person gets hit with the piano, he's going to be pretty flat.
Now, let's talk about something else. The piano is still falling. But let's talk about something else. What is there to talk about? Oh, there's so much. There's this war going on, that war going on. There are crises happening all over the world. There is, of course, the great economic crisis going on in the western world. And people are just trying to dodge bullets left and right, trying to make a better life for themselves. And the piano is still falling.
All this is going on in the world. Literally every single part of this planet has got some issue going on. And yet there is one issue, which is this piano headed for this guy. He doesn't see it. If you are the person for whom the piano is headed, what do you think should happen? What would be important for you?
I'm trying to draw a scenario and compare two things. On one hand, there are a million conversations going on in any city. People are talking about how they were late today, about how this and that isn't happening, how they have to fire their contractor, how they have to change their carpet, how they haven't gotten their contract for their cell phone. All these mundane things are going on.
But the piano is still falling. And what should be of concern to you? To dodge the piano? It's not going to happen. People have tried. They have been trying for a really long time. I'm starting to notice one thing about us human beings. On one hand, we are really smart. We can go to the moon. We have come up with all these inventions, but sometimes we just don't get it. The
18 YOUR MOMENT
UNDER THE FALLING PIANO 19
YOU HAVE THE DESIRE TO BE CONTENT.
YOU HAVE THE DESIRE TO BE FULFILLED.
AND YOU HAVE THE SOURCE OF THAT FULFILLMENT WITHIN YOU.
same failure keeps on happening for thousands of years. Not for one or two or three or four, but for thousands of years. And we still say, "Uh, it might work!"
Talk about optimism. In some things, our optimism is so way out there that it is actually bordering on lunacy. It's no longer optimism. But that's what we do. We do not accept that which is obvious, which is real. People are actually afraid of it. And they have even concocted the idea that to get peace, you have to give up your job, you have to give up your kids. You have to give up everything and move into a monastery.
Who came up with that? Of course, in a monastery, you're going to be less bothered because there isn't that much to get bothered about. You don't have to cook or decide if you're going to go to a restaurant or wherever. The bell is going to ring and that's your food, whatever it is. But even the monks weren't satisfied with that. Some of them invented cappuccino, incredible desserts, champagne! You know why? It doesn't matter who you are. This thing in your head is going all over the place, from here to there, to here to there.
Why is it going from here to there? We want gratification. Do you agree? Nobody has a problem with the word gratification. "Oh, yeah, that's obvious. I want to be a lawyer, and I want to have a good practice. Because that brings me gratification!"
I don't have to prove this to you. You know this. But do you know what gratification actually means? Contentment. Look it up. (This is not in any dictionary) But when I say contentment, the reaction is, "Ah, no, I don't agree with that. I don't do anything for contentment." Do you think contentment is mandatory or optional? The piano is still dropping, by the way. But is contentment mandatory or optional? It is mandatory. Thank God it is mandatory.
It's no more complex than the baby crying. And when the baby is comforted, the crying stops. The mother knows this little secret. When the baby is really, really young, there is no point in telling the baby, "You shouldn't cry." The baby is not going to understand it. But the mother knows there's something wrong. And usually, the culprit is the diaper. So the mother goes for the diaper. If the diaper was okay, next thing, "Are you hungry?" And if it isn't that, "Maybe you are tired?"
Now you have grown up, but it is the same for you: when that gratification happens, when that contentment is there, a person is in the state they need to be in. And all that we do in our lives is to try to have that gratification. Now we're getting to the bottom of it. What do you think truly gratifies you? If you say "family," I'm not disagreeing with you. Family can be very gratifying — if they're nice. If they're not, that can make it very, very bad. Your career? Your friends? Your hobbies? I still agree, but there is one more. And the source of that gratification, the source of that contentment is none other than you.
You are the one. You've heard that before, right? "You are the one." Have you ever thought about "one?" One is a whole, complete. Anything less than one is a decimal — point-ninenine, nine-eight. Not one. Two is only a replication of that one. Three? Three of that one. But there is the one. Who is the one? You are the one—on whom the piano is about to fall. That's just how it is.
Now what can this one do till the piano hits him? This is what I talk about: that you have the desire to be content, that you have the desire to be fulfilled and you have the source of that fulfillment within you. Within you is the source of joy. Within you is the clarity. Within you is the thirst. Within you is the simplicity. Within you is the well that can quench your thirst. Within you are the answers. Within you is the magic of existence.
A lot of people say, "If this is true, how come I don't know about it?" Because there is an assumption that everybody makes, that what you are looking for is not within you. It's somewhere else. When you go grocery shopping, first thing you do is you check your refrigerator to see what you have. Then you make a list of things you don't have, and then you can go and buy them. What is the point of buying those things that you already have? Yet we do that with what we need in our existence.
What do I have? Who educates us on that subject? So many assumptions are made: "The good is far away from me." When the reality is, the good resides in the heart of every human being. Always has. We look at the complexities of our societies. We look at the technology and we are bewildered. "Wow. Where is the world headed?" "What will they think of next?"
The real genius actually was the person who said, "We need to communicate with these people who live on the other side of the valley. Maybe we can use drums." They're still trying to perfect that. Because before, when you went to
20 YOUR MOMENT
UNDER THE FALLING PIANO 21
Joe the Drummer and said, "I need to say this to this valley. Could you drum this out for me?" Joe would say, "Listen, this better be important." And of course, Joe had to be a reasonably sane person, because one wrong beat, and you got a war on your hands. So Joe had to be competent. And Joe knew that if he was going to beat out this drum, it better be exactly what it needs to be—and important.
And today? Everything that's unimportant: "Where are you? How are you? How come you haven't SMS'd me?" Phone rings: "Hello?" "Hi. I just wanted to call and see if you were there." Did you think I was dead?
Remember, the piano is still falling, so whatever this person decides to do, they need to focus. Don't you think so? The piano is the piano. You are you. And just because of what is happening in the predicament, in the situation, you need to focus. The question is, do you focus in your life?
As human beings, we are not focused at all. And the consequence is, we are all over the place. Destruction has become our forte. If destruction becomes our forte, are we destroying the time that we each have on the face of this earth? 25,550 days is the number you get with a lifetime of seventy years. And it is not a lot. So where is the focus?
The question becomes, is the focus to have that joy in this life? Is the focus to be content, to be fulfilled? Or is the focus on bewilderment? What do you entertain as a thought every single day? Gratitude? Or, "I wonder what's next?"
You have both possibilities. You have the possibility of being in a place where you entertain that one singular, most beautiful thought of gratitude, of fulfillment. Or you have the possibility of bewilderment. Bewilderment will not bring you gratification. Never has, never will. Knowing, feeling, experiencing will.
Don't get me wrong. I'm not talking about believing. I know there are believers, and I have news for the believers. Knowing is one grade up. If you are a believer, knowing encompasses believing. Yet believing does not necessarily encompass knowing. So do you know the one you? Do you?
I quote Socrates, Kabir and all these wonderful people through history who have told people that whatever they're looking for is inside of them and so they should be focusing on themselves. And I say that to people and people say, "Hmm, eh? What are you talking about? 'Know thyself.' I don't see anything in the self!" There's a reason for this. It's very simple. The further away you go from an object, the more you can see. Right? You're standing on the surface of this earth. You can't see much of the earth. Higher you go, you see more of it. And higher and higher and higher, you see more and more and more, until you see all of it. And then, you even see the surrounding space. But this comes at a price.
When you get so far away from earth, there will come a point where you won't see the earth any more. That's the price you pay. When you cannot see the self, the reason is you are so far away. When you cannot see or feel the heart, the reason is you are so far away. And when you cannot see the preciousness of every second, when you cannot see the preciousness of every breath that comes into you, the reason is you are so far away. And the reason you can't see the piano that is falling is because it is so far away.
I started giving this analogy some time ago. And I've been thinking about it. You can apply this to everything in your life. If you do not see sanity in your life, it's because you're too far away. Come a little closer to yourself and you
22 YOUR MOMENT
UNDER THE FALLING PIANO 23
TO WHAT IS TRULY
IMPORTANT TO YOU.
AND BE IN SYNC
WITH YOUR EXISTENCE.
will understand the preciousness of this existence. You will understand this time that you have been given. You will understand how important it is to be content, to be thankful for what you have.
No one appreciates a gift like life until it is too late. And that is a tragedy. So many people call me when the doctor has called them. The doctor says, "Ahem, ahem! You have but just a few months to live." I know what happens. "It's the worst news I've heard. Oh no. I'm not going to be around anymore."
Excuse me. You really thought you were going to be around forever? See how far away we have come from reality? "I should put my life in order." If you say that, that means it is in disorder. And you should have put it in order without the doctor's call.
People think a doctor's word is God. I mean, doctors are never wrong. Ever! I work with a lot of doctors and I have no problem giving them a piece of my mind. None whatsoever. I respect them, because they studied so hard. And they perform a very important function. But to start believing that you're always right is problematic.
We're all human beings. We are always fragile, always. Cards were drawn the day you took your first breath. Do you understand the value of breath? It begins with that. When a baby is born, everybody's focus is, "Is it breathing? Is it breathing? Is it breathing?" Not breathing is not good at all. And then, a miracle of miracles happens: the first breath is drawn. The blood begins to circulate and the skin color changes. Up until that point, the blood is coming to the baby through the umbilical cord from the mother. And now the signal is sent: "Good to go." And slowly the blood starts to wane. First breath. The miracle of existence!
How does it end? Same way. It begins with the first one coming in — not out — in! And it ends with the last one going out — and not coming in. Each breath is a one. And then another one. And another one. And another one. And as long as this happens, you are alive. Alive!
So why am I bringing breath into this? Are you grateful for the breath? Do you recognize the value of the breath? If you don't, you are so far away. Come closer. Come closer to yourself, to your being, to your existence, to your heart. And flourish in the gratification that comes from knowing the self. It's the sweetest gratification there is.
Portable? Yes. Goes wherever you go. You want gratification? Turn within. There it is. Does it work in war zones? Yes! Because when you recognize the self, peace is there. Your peace is within you. Always has been and always will be. Call it whatever you want. It doesn't matter.
So come closer and be in sync with your existence. What you're looking for is within you — and you're looking for it everywhere else. Will you ever find it that way? Impossible. Come closer to what is truly important to you. This commitment to be clear has to be made every single day. And indeed, maybe even every single moment. That's what it takes.
Hey. The piano is still falling. Focus. And if you focus, maybe, just maybe … you could get out of its way. That doesn't mean there won't be another piano, but maybe not this one.
The good news is what you're looking for is within you. The bad news is, you're so far away.
24 YOUR MOMENT
UNDER THE FALLING PIANO 25
LET THE PIANO FALL.
DON'T LET THE DAYS
GO TO WASTE.
LIVE YOUR LIFE
AND PROSPER AND BLOOM.
Come home. Come home to you. And know. Give this business of believing a break. Go for
knowing. Try it. It hasn't been tried for thousands of years. People
were simply satisfied by believing. Some people said, "Believe
this," and other people said, "Great. I believe."
Is there peace in the world? Why not? Because people are so far away from the peace. People fight. And what is the excuse? Dumbest one. "We have been doing it for such a long time." That's like telling the police officer, "But officer, I wasn't just speeding here. I've been speeding since the time I left my house. So it's fine!" And you can imagine the police officer. They'll probably start laughing and thinking how dumb you are, volunteering that information.
You don't think we have the possibility in us to have peace? People say that to me. "There's too much greed!" I know. And this incredible believing. It really sunk the financial boat this time. People said, "You are worth this much." And the others said, "Wow. Great." Nobody said, "Give it to me, then." No, no, no. "In theory, you are worth this much." And who did this?
Some of the most brilliant minds, educated in some of the finest universities. Nobody told them not to be so
greedy. And why did they do it? Gratification.
Know. Make a habit of knowing. Because it's a habit. Whatever you do
most, you will get good at it. Make it a habit to know, to know the value of the breath. I'm not telling you to believe me. I never say, "Believe me." I say, "Know what I know."
You feel it too. And only then you will know. So if you want to feel that feeling within you, come closer to the self. Focus. Get out of the way. Let the piano fall. Another day, another day. The chances are you're going to get another day. And another and another and another and another.
Don't let the days go to waste. Live your life consciously, in gratitude, in knowing, in clarity, in simplicity. And prosper and bloom. Not like a flower that has been cut. Bloom like a flower, as it is meant to be.
26 YOUR MOMENT
UNDER THE FALLING PIANO 27
My message is about the shortest sentence there is: "I am." It is the shortest — and most complete. What does it mean to be alive, to exist? Nobody can come up with a magic answer to this question, because there isn't one. You are three-dimensional. There are many, many layers to you. There isn't one single element that you can put your finger on and say, "This is who I am," because it isn't about the composition; it isn't about ideas; it isn't about theories. It is actually about a very fundamental reality that you are here, that you exist.
And it is the most profound for you, if you can understand it.
It is the most complete for you, if you can accept it.
I see people pondering what they were in their last lifetime. And my question to them is, "Why are you so interested in that?" If you go to buy a used car, you want to know its history. Has it been in a wreck? Where has it been? Et cetera. But then you must look at the car as it is now. You will not be satisfied if somebody says, "Right now, you're seeing just a little part of the car because that's all that is left. But it was once upon a time the most beautiful car in the universe!" What's obvious is, as the car sits in front
Imagine somebody comes to you and says, "I want to sell you a house." You show up where the house would be, but there is just an empty parcel of land, and the person says, "You know, this was the most beautiful house. And let me show you the pictures." You'll say, "Yeah, well, the history part of it is interesting. But it's not there now. I can't move into it. I can't live in the pictures."
It's the same way with our existence. What is obvious to you, as you are today? Not yesterday, not the day before that, but as you are today? And the other thing that preoccupies us? "What's going to happen tomorrow?" We are so attracted by these two things: what happened in the past life and what's going to happen tomorrow — and even after we die — that we forget all about being here now. And that, to me, is wrong. It is just plain wrong, because you as a human being should understand the value of that shortest,
28 YOUR MOMENT
a FUNdaMENTaL REaLITY 29
most complete sentence. It is not, "Who I was." It's not, "What I will be." But it is, "I am."
If you need peace in your life, you're not going to get it from where you will end up and you are not going to get it from where you were. You're going to get it from where you are. Where are you? You are on the most magnificent little planet called Earth, which is so incredibly unique that it's unbelievable. People look at the pictures of Mars and they get excited, "Wow!" Where the interest should be in enjoying, in understanding, in adoring the magnificence of this earth that we are on, the focus is, "Oh, look at that. Mars …!" But you're not on Mars. You're here.
Some people say, "We need to discover other planets because we may not be here one day." Is that why everybody is hell-bent on destroying this little place, because it may not be here one day? Would you do that to your car? Would you do that to your house? "Well, you know, one day it's not going to be here, so I'm destroying it now, so my prophecy can come true that it's not going to be here!"
What happens is that the emphasis on what is gets lost. What is the value of now, for you? What does a moment mean to you? Anything? Life pulsed through you. Were you alive? Yes. Do you understand what that moment means? People say, "Well, it's too short, too short. I want to look at my life as a context from the time I was born to the time I die." Okay, how long is that? Do the math. It is really simple. Even if you live to be a hundred years old — chances of that are slim, but wishing you the best — all you have is thirty-six thousand and five hundred days. That's not a lot. Now let me add a little bit of spice to that stew. For many of us, most of those 36,500 days are already spoken for. And that is why it is important for you to ask the right questions and get the right answers.
Don't ask other people's questions like, "What was I in my last lifetime?" The question you should ask is, "What can I do today to be in peace now?" Do you concur that that's a pretty good question?
And here is the most beautiful part of it all. The answer, the one that you are looking for, is inside of you. Now "I am" is starting to sound very nice. I'm not the sum of "not's." I'm not the sum of somebody's imagination. I am not the sum of somebody's ideas. I'm not the sum of theories. But I am. And there is a lot more to me than I realize, because the most real is residing within me in this moment.
Some people say, "Well, I don't know. What is the self?" "Oh, um, yeah, well, you know, over the years I have gotten to know myself. And sometimes I get mad. And most of the time I'm okay. And …" You think that's the self? What is the self? You've heard, "You should know yourself." So what is the self? "I" and "am" denotes existence. "I am." So what is this "I"? Do you know? Because you
I'm not asking you to believe anything. I want you to know. Know the beauty of being alive, know the beauty of existence, know the beauty of what it means to be here on this earth.
don't know, anybody can come and give you an idea: "I think you are 'bla-bla-bla'." And that's what triggers your brain. "Oh yeah, I read that." That's one of our weaknesses. If we read it in a book, it has to be the truth. How did that happen? We live in a world where people lie without hesitation. They don't even think for a second, the lies just flow. Then people are supposed to sit down behind a keyboard and all of a sudden they start speaking the truth? No. Whether it is said, written or thought, it is being sparked by the same mind.
But we think that if something is printed it's the truth. "Because it says so." What happened to knowing, to knowing for yourself? It's gone. And I want to bring it back.
If you want peace, you will find it within you. Nowhere else. And let me tell you this, don't believe a word I say. Don't! Know for your own self. Experience! Oh yes, you're very good at thinking. How about experiencing? Can we bring experiencing back, where you feel rather than speculate?
You're leaving home and your wife, or husband, says, "I love you." And the answer is, "I love you too!" Now what's going on at the same time in your mind? "Oh my God, I've got to finish that report! I mean, otherwise I'm going to get fired." And now you don't even have to say that you love someone. You SMS, and there is the heart on the little display. That's it?
But to say, "I love you," because you feel that love. To say, "I am thankful that I am alive," because you feel alive and you feel thankful. To say, "Good morning," because you savor the goodness of the morning. To say, "Good day," because you understand, you feel that it is a good day. Can you imagine, just imagine how rich your life would be if these simple, trivial things were acknowledged by you — but most importantly — felt by you? There is no age restriction to this. Love you can feel, regardless of age. Did you know that? Kindness you can feel, regardless of age. Truth you can feel, regardless of age. And joy you can feel, regardless of age.
In life you have choices. There's doubt; there's clarity. Doubt can bring confusion. Clarity can bring joy. Pick one. Just pick one. So what about in your life? Did you keep choosing doubt over clarity? If you did, it would be good to change the track.
And if you did choose doubt over clarity, it would explain a lot of what's going on. Because if the predominant choice has been doubt: "Who am I? I don't know, I don't care," that's not resolved doubt. That's still doubt. And some say to me, "Oh, this is all eastern philosophy. I'm not interested in eastern philosophy." If I say, "Sun rises in the east," are you not interested in the sun? What has east got to do with it? Are we the seekers of truth? Absolutely not. Because it is an error when you do not know yourself. The first thing you should know is the self. And then you can know everything else. Now you know everything else, but not the self. Who are you always going to have to live with? With everyone? No. With yourself. And yet, when the self is invited on the stage, the most beautiful thing happens, regardless of the circumstances. The self dances. And it is the most elegant dance you have ever seen. Because it is of understanding, it is of clarity, it is of gratitude, it is of the deepest wisdomm. There's your answer. This is what the self is.
I'm not asking you to believe anything. I want you to know. Know the beauty of being alive, know the beauty of existence, know the beauty of what it means to be here on this earth. Because, inevitably, one day this will not be. However magnificent this show is, however incredible it is, one day it will stop. It has to. But that doesn't mean that you
30 YOUR MOMENT
a FUNdaMENTaL REaLITY 31
Illustration by Annika Dahrén
people laughed and you cried.
you laugh and people cry.
shouldn't fill this bowl of existence with joy overflowing.
There's a beautiful saying: "When you came into the world, people laughed and you cried. Do something, so when you go, you laugh and people cry." Be fulfilled. That's the way to laugh. It's a different laughter. It's not orchestrated. It is real. It is true. And unstoppable. That's how every moment of your life should be.
We should be collaborating with ourselves for our own happiness. It doesn't take a genius to figure that out. But we're the non-collaborators. We're like, "No. Ah, no. I'm not touching that happiness stuff with a ten-foot pole." No wonder Socrates said, "Know thyself," because he figured that's got to be a start. This is what we have forgotten. We have forgotten who we are. We have forgotten our humanity. What have we done to each other? Do we care about each other, the way we should be caring? Isn't that the purpose of society? So what kind of societies have we created that don't even care about human beings?
I don't know how to cure society, but I know one thing, and I'm not guessing. I know this for sure. Peace dances in the heart of every human being. If we want peace, it has to begin with us, not with somebody else. If you're waiting for some angel to arrive out of the heavens, then I have news for you. The angel is here. And you know who the angel is? You! You are most qualified to save yourself. So get on with the business of finding the peace in your heart. Get on with the business of being a human being. Get on with the business of enjoying the self.
32 YOUR MOMENT
a FUNdaMENTaL REaLITY 33
Somebody comes up with a new idea, a new philosophy. And then they go out and they try to explain it. I don't do that. I don't talk about a new philosophy. I don't try to change anybody's religion or political views. In fact, everything that I'm saying you already know, because it comes from within you.
I'll give you a little story. There was a wise man. He was sitting very quietly, contemplating, thinking, admiring. And some people from the village wanted to go and disturb him. So they went up to him. Their idea was that one of them would ask a question that truly could not be answered. So they said to him, "We want to ask you a question." And the wise man said, "Okay. Ask me a question." And this was the question: "How many birds are there in our town?"
You realize this is a stupid question. But the wise man thought, and he said, "38,043." The idiots were shocked. They asked, "How do you know this exact number, 38,043?" And he said, "You don't believe me? Go count!" So one of the idiots says, "What if there are less?" He said, "If there are less, that means some birds are visiting their friends in other places." And the other one said, "What if there are more?" He said, "Well, then their friends are visiting here."
The logic takes over, not the reality. And in one way, you cannot argue with it. But what do you get out of it? Nothing! In essence, a stupid question has been answered by a stupid answer. And this is what is going on so much in our world.
What question should we be asking? "Who am I? What is a human being?" And the answer is so beautiful you will be shocked. You are the ocean of hope.
Have you ever felt hopeless? Why? Because when you are not in touch with that ocean, you do not know of its existence. So when I say, "You are the ocean of hope," I see two things happening in people. One is, "Mmm? Hmm? Hmm?! Really?" And the other? Their heart saying, "Of course! I knew that. It is obvious."
You are the ocean of kindness. Same thing. "Aah? Human beings, kind? Never!" And the heart? "Of course." You are the ocean of joy. Same thing. "Ahh? No!" "Of course!" Do you understand that you are the ocean of peace? That's my message.
I know some people are hoping that I will tell them which thumb to rub to feel peace, which aromatherapy to try, which incense to burn. Sorry. If it's the thumbs, it's easy, though. You only have two. Try one. If it doesn't work, try the other. And if that doesn't work either, it's not the thumbs.
In you is an ocean — not a river, not a lake, not a pond, not a pot, not a spoon — but an ocean of peace. I'm not asking you to believe this. I want you to know it. I want you to feel it. Is this too challenging, or not challenging enough for you? Would you like one of those other answers, like 38,043? And then for the rest of the time, I try to explain about the birds and their relatives?
Peace doesn't need to be imported. Peace doesn't need to be created. Peace needs to be felt, because it resides in you. So what does it take? It takes a mirror to see yourself, to understand what you have been given. The point is to understand what you already have. And what do you have? You have the most beautiful gift of life. Do you not? Is there any question about it? Oh, for you, maybe, "Am I rich? Am I poor?" How many children I have. What job I have. Where I live; what I drive. And the most important thing, "What do other people think of me?"
So who am I? Who are you? When you feel peace inside of you, it's like a beautiful lake. When it is calm, you can see the sun perfectly — like in the sky, like in the water.s, and the body sees and the body talks. But what? It doesn't know. It doesn't understand.
In a puppet show, the man or the woman is speaking and the puppet jumps and the puppet moves its hands. And the puppet turns and the puppet sits down and the puppet dances, but it is not alive. To be alive you have to embrace existence — when it means something to wake up in the morning and have a heart full of gratitude.
What is your heart full of? Anger? Fear? That is the relationship we have with tomorrow. Fifty percent, we fear tomorrow. And fifty percent, we put our hopes in tomorrow. We don't have a choice. We fear what might happen. And where can we put our hope? We cannot put the hope in yesterday. Gone. Today? Going by too fast.
not a river, not a lake, not a pond,
not a pot, not a spoon,
but an ocean of peace.
36 YOUR MOMENT
YOUR MOMENT 37
If you compare how long you are on the face of this earth with the age of the earth — it's about 4.5 billion years old, and even if you live to be a hundred years old, all you have is like a moment.
In this moment, you have to grow up. In this moment, you have to learn something. In this moment, you have to find your peace. In this moment, you have to feel your peace. And before it is over, you have to be filled with that joy, with that peace.
So in this moment that you have, you have to recognize the value of being alive. Are you ready? That's the problem. We're not ready for anything! When we were born, we weren't ready. "Wow! Already?" Your parents weren't ready and you weren't ready.
And then, who is ready for the first gray hair? No one. Before you know, there is a progression, and it's a very distinct bell curve. You start off with one candle, first birthday. Then two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight, nine, ten. Twenty. Twenty-one. Then it starts to get too much!
And then the candles start to decrease. It becomes one for ten and another one for twenty and then maybe another color for five, till the other side of the bell curve is, you don't have anything left in you to blow the candles out. And nobody's ready for the last day. Nobody! "Already? Few more days, just ten more days? Twenty more days? One more year?"
You need to be ready — not for the last day. No, no, no. Don't even go there — and not for yesterday, and not for the candles. You need to be ready for today. Today!
I will tell you a little truth. Because you have been lied to. Somehow you have been told about tomorrow. And somehow you have been told about yesterday. But the fact is your entire life will be spent in the day called "today." Every day that you will be alive will be today. Today. Today. Today. Today. Today. Are you ready for today?
Another story. There were two donkeys. And one donkey thought the master loved the other donkey. Very jealous. The other donkey knew that was not true. So he kept quiet. One day the owner of the two donkeys had to take some material to a village. The material was salt and cotton. The owner knew that one of the donkeys was always complaining. So he put the light cotton on that donkey. And the owner knew that the other donkey was hard working, would never complain. So he put the salt on his back, which was obviously heavier.
They set off to the village, and the donkey with the cotton is complaining. "It's unfair! Look at how much bigger my load is, and look at your load. It's hardly anything." The other donkey kept quiet. Walking, walking, walking. The owner realized the donkeys were hot, so he let them go and drink some water from the river.
The donkey carrying the salt thought, "I can actually lighten my load. If I sit down in the river, some of the salt will dissolve and my load will get lighter." So the donkey sat down in the river. Upon seeing this, the jealous donkey could not stand it. "Oh my God. Look at him, luxuriating. Look at him lightening his load." Of course he forgot the load he was carrying was cotton. As soon as he sat in the river, the cotton absorbed all the water, and the donkey drowned under the heavy load.
So, are you caught up in all these ideas, "Who's that person? What is their life like?" when you should be concerned about what you have been given? The simplicity — because it is simple — of the breath coming in and the breath going out is your whole dance. And in this moment of time, you have to recognize the value of what this miracle is.
People search, but not within themselves. Some search on top of the mountain. Some search in a holy place. And where is it? In you! In you is the hope, in you is the joy, in you is the peace, in you is the kindness, in you is the clarity, in you is the understanding. Open these eyes and see. Open these ears and listen.
The other day I was thinking about something and I wrote it down. "Cooking is about what and when." Heat, when? Heat off, when? Onions, when? Oil, when?
And that's what a dance is: what and when. That's what a season is; that's what a river is; that's what a wave is; that's what a wind is; that's what a tree is; and that's what a painting is: what and when.
And that's what this life is: what, and when. Consciousness, when? With every breath. Joy, when? Every day. Peace, when? Now!
And your creation was also what and when. If only you knew that, if only you understood that. You have a limited time to understand this. And that's it. You will go back to this earth, back to these elements.
Earth is 4.5 billion years old. Even if you live … …a hundred years, all you have is like a moment.
There is a pot made out of clay. And maybe it does not have very nice decoration. But every day maybe it gets filled with water. Maybe some days it gets filled with milk. Maybe some days it gets filled with corn. Then there is another pot. It's very pretty, it's very beautiful and it lives in a museum. And many people come and see it. But as pots go, it's always empty. Empty. Nothing in it.
What kind of vessel do you want to be? Full? Or empty? You have the choice. And you have to make this choice in a very little time — your moment of life. So let me just put this all together. You have a moment of life. You are full of peace, but don't feel it. You're full of kindness, but don't feel it. You're full of joy, but don't feel it.
You've got all these things, but you're not feeling them. It's like the little baby turtle that went up the tree, climbed out on the branch and jumped — big thud — landed on the ground. Slowly back to the tree, up the tree, down the branch, thud! Back again, up the tree, down the branch. Off, thud! And back again. The parent turtles were watching. And the mother turned to the daddy and said, "Should we tell him he's not a bird?"
That's like what I do. I go place to place and I say, "You're a human being. Be one!" Be a true human being, who is filled with kindness, who's filled with love, who's filled with peace, who's filled with joy. And to do this, you need to know the self. And, yes, you can know the self. Yes, you can discover the peace that lies within you.
People are trying to change the world. Look at history. It hasn't been successful. Now you could be extremely optimistic. Most people are, in fact, bordering on a disease of optimism. Three thousand years, four thousand years have gone by. Can you imagine if your child failed one year in class? No big deal. Not good, but no big deal. Two years? Three? Four? This child called "our civilization" has been failing for a few thousand years. My goodness, try something different. Try this: focus, not on the society, but on the building block of society. And the building block of society is the individual human being.
Changing the society doesn't work. But we, the individuals, have to give peace a chance, because we have been without that peace for too long. Now is the time when peace has to happen. I know there are people who say it's not possible. And to those people I say: they went to the moon, and the mission was made successful not by the people who said it couldn't be done, but by the people who said it can be.
That's all I have to say. Whatever you do in your life, always remember: you carry the peace in you. And not just a little bit. The whole ocean of peace is within you.
With every breath.
Joy, when? Every day.
40 YOUR MOMENT
The choice is, either you can doubt
or you can be clear.
And the only way you can have no
doubt is by knowing.
If peace was not within us, if it was somewhere else away from us, then we should have maps and someone could show you on the map: "This is where peace is. If you make a left and then a right and go ten miles this way, you will get there." But the reality is that the peace is inside of us. And so the issue becomes, if peace is inside of us, why don't we feel it every day? Why does it remain so elusive? You have the desire to feel it. What gets in the way? Doubt. Now, here's an interesting question. Do you have any idea how much doubting you do in a day?
Relationships are broken because of doubts. Families are destroyed because of doubt. People fight because of doubt. Children fail because of doubt. We doubt that peace is within us. "Oh, it's not possible." Some doubt one thing. Others doubt the other. But the end result is that we doubt and we doubt and we doubt. And our whole life is spent doubting.
I want to tell you, you have a choice. The choice is either you can doubt or you can be clear. And the only way you can have no doubt is by knowing. Not by conjecture. Not by discussions. So then, what do you need to know? You need to know two things: how fragile you are and how strong you are.
I'm sure some people think, "Hmm, this sounds philosophical." But when you are going to sit on a chair you have never sat on before and it doesn't look all that strong, what do you do? You slowly sit down on it. Because you know it might break. So you slowly sit down on it, because you need to know two things: how fragile it is and how strong it is.
Do you know how fragile you are? Many people think, "I'm not fragile. I'm very strong!" Not really. One word could destroy your life. That's
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TRUE STRENGTH 43
how fragile you are. If one day you asked the person you truly love, "Do you love me?" and that person looked at you and said just one word: "No!" It would be devastating. That's how fragile you are.
Your existence hangs in the balance of the breath. Did you know how you started? You came out. The doctor wanted to know that you were breathing. And if you weren't, you were not going home in a cute cradle, but in a box. The difference between the cradle and the box is only one thing: breath. Not a diploma. Not an astrologer's paper saying you're supposed to live a prosperous, healthy life for seventy years. If you're not breathing when you come out, everything is over.
If you are in a hospital and you've got all this machinery hooked up to you and everything says you are dead — the curve is flat — but you're breathing, they'll say, "Something is wrong with the machine." If you are still breathing, nobody's going to say, "Something's wrong with this man. He should be dead, and he's breathing." No. Something is wrong with the machine. Hit the machine!
This is how fragile you are. So how strong are you? Do you know that the material you are made of is also what the universe is made of? That water, that ocean that everybody likes and that you see in these magazines, where they have pictures of beautiful beaches. And people like to go swimming or take a cruise on the ocean. You and the ocean are related, because you're seventy percent water.
And our skin is very similar to the stuff that's out there in space. Likewise, the bones, the teeth etc. That's how strong you are. You are made of the same material the universe is made of.
The picture I'm trying to paint is that what we think is so far from us resides within us. But there is a doubt. "Really? It dwells in my heart? Not in some temple, not in some institution?" Doubt, doubt, doubt.
And so the story keeps on going. One doubt after another doubt after another doubt after another doubt. Will you be able to meet someone in your life, in this lifetime, that could show you, point out to you, that space inside of you where you could feel peace? "Mmmm. No." Doubt!
People come to me. I can see it in their faces. I say, "You know what? Peace is inside of you — and you can feel it. You can be in peace in this lifetime, you can be satisfied in this lifetime." Doubt: "How can that be?"
The first thing that has to happen is you have to get rid of the doubt. But you cannot get rid of the doubt. Why? Because doubt is not an element in itself. It is just an absence of clarity. When there is knowing, the doubt goes away. Automatically. When there is no knowing, when there is ignorance, doubt comes.
How simple is that principle that you don't actually remove darkness — all you have to do is bring in the light and the darkness disappears? If I told you that the process of knowing is that simple, would you believe me? Doubt: "How can it be that simple?"
When I was a young kid, people would come to me and ask me questions. And I'd say, "You're asking a teenager these questions. You are so much older than me. Don't you know?" And I still say, "Don't you know? Don't you know that there is a peace? Don't you know that there is a joy? Don't you know that there is a happiness that is the same for everyone?"
On one hand, it is obvious what's going to happen to you, to me, to everybody. It's not a pleasant topic, but eventually we have to leave. When is it going to happen?
Nobody knows. It really is a wonderful plan. Either it can drive us crazy or it can make us sane. Crazy: "Oh, I don't know when I'm going to … Wait a minute. My grandmother lived for eighty-four years. My grandfather lived for ninety-four. So I am sure, no problem …" And you get run over by a truck and don't even make it to twenty-four.
Nobody knows. Law of averages doesn't work. Nothing seems to work. You can pray for it and it doesn't work. You don't pray for it and that doesn't work. So much ego: "I am so-and-so. I have done this. I have done that. I accomplished this. I accomplished that. So-and-so is my friend. And I can do this and that …" Don't go there. Ego is not your strength. Somebody will always be better than you. You ran the fastest mile? Somebody will beat you, absolutely.
Be in peace, and you will look the
Your true strength is in knowing, in understanding. Your true strength is in clarity. Your true strength is being in peace — that is when you shine. Women put on makeup. Men don't have to, but they shave. Close. It's a huge ritual because you want to look good.
Do you want to look really good? Be in peace, and you will look the most beautiful. People want to look young. Nobody wants to be old these days. This is the big thing. Even the people who are old want to look very young. In America they will even wear those very strange pants, very low-slung, and a t-shirt. Of course, they can't see anything and can't hear anything. And they have this hearing aid that they'll bury in the ear canal, so nobody will know they can't hear. We all want to look young, except the young ones. They want to look old. But for all of us, our beauty is in that contentment. We need to be free. Doubt: "Oh, we're already free. We are free people." Are you? From morning till evening, the thing in your head goes: da-da-da, da-da-da — and can you stop it? I saw this billboard. It was an advertisement for a little drink. "Are you always tired? Take this." You know why you're tired? Because you are. You have not rested. Do you know what restless means? No rest! Do you know how to rest? Or, from morning to evening, is your head spinning?
Day in and day out: "How will I make more money, more money, more money?" So you're free? No, you're not. Even if you find yourself free for five seconds, this thing in your head will make sure: "What? Why am I here?" At home: "Need to get to the office. Gotta get those jobs done. Gotta get that file filed." In the office: "Gotta get home. Ah, sit in front of the TV. Relax. Have a little food." You're free, right? No, you are not. And in this prison, what are you looking for? Peace? In this insane asylum, what are you looking for? Sanity?
Then there are all the pundits who tell us how we should be, what we should wear, what is the fashion, what is the way everything should be. What is right, what is appropriate, what is
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not appropriate. So what do you want to do? You want to follow.
Everybody has a disease, and there's no cure for this disease. Wanting to be normal. Why do you want to be normal? What is "normal"? I'll tell you what your normal is: "I want to be just like everyone else."
It is a disease when somebody says, "Everybody ignores me." And it's also a disease when people say, "People think I'm different." So you cannot be different, and you cannot be the same. And I say, "Find your strength." I say, "Find that clarity in your life." Because without that, you're not going far at all.
If I say to you that the greatest gift you could have is the gift of the breath, would you believe me? Or a little doubt? But it is true. It is the gift of gifts, so abundantly given, without you ever having to pray for it. Don't you find that interesting?
There are people who go to holy places and they ask for children and they ask for shoes and they ask for wives and they ask for husbands and they ask for boyfriends and they ask for — whatever. God only knows what-all they ask for!
And nobody says just, "Keep giving that air, please. That breath coming in and out, please keep that happening." Nobody does that. It's too common. But what if that was the blessing? Because as long as that's coming, you can think, you can see, you can know, you can understand, you are. And without that gift, in an instant, you are gone.
Instead of searching for peace, instead of searching for clarity, people argue. I say to them, "How do you know this?" "I read it." Read what? Somebody wrote something. It got printed. If it's written in print, that's it? No mistake?
Truth, you doubt. Lies, you have no problem with. If somebody came to you and said, "You have just won ten million dollars," your reaction is going to be, "Really? You're kidding! I didn't even buy a lottery ticket." If somebody comes to
you and says, "You have a flat tire on your car." "Oh, not again! But wait a minute, I don't even own a car." How can this be? This is no way to live. You want to live, to really live? Then live free. Live in that beauty. Live in that existence that you should have.
Some people say, "I'm just a married person. I am no holy person who lives in a particular place and who has renounced everything." The "holy ones" have renounced nothing. Because in their heads the same thoughts are going on, "Na-da-da-da, da-da-da …" It is that doubt that you need to remove.
change. But one thing has never
changed in the realm of human
beings and will never change:
that peace is inside of us.
What you are looking for is in you. You! Why do you look here and there, here and there, when you should be looking in the heart? In the heart are your answers, your joy, your fulfillment, your reality. This will never change. Never, ever.
Has everything else changed? Of course. So many things have changed. Which is a better system of government? This has changed. One time it was, "Socialism is it!" in a lot of countries. Now, "Oh, maybe not." Then, "No, this will be a better president." Then, "Maybe not." Then, "This is the best system for having a good economy." Then, "Maybe not." So many things change and change. But one thing has never changed in the realm of human beings and will never change: that peace is inside of us.
People have a million questions. And nobody asks the obvious one. If you find somebody who can help you, then ask them this, "Can you help me feel that feeling of peace?" But no. People ask, "And so what do you think about such-and-such chapter, on such-and-such page?" And, "Could you define that?" — and they're still defining it.
Peace? Good news is, it's here, within you. You search for it, because you doubt. What do you doubt? That it's in you. That's why you search outside. What do I do? I help people stop doubting. I tell them, "It is within you!"
As human beings our strength is our humility. Our forte is our sweetness. When we exercise these, we truly become strong. Confusion is not our forte. It is okay to ask questions if you get the answers. In this life, the possibility is always there. It's never too late, never too early. Know that that joy is not far away. It is only the doubt that stands in the way. Through your strength you can overcome that doubt.
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I talk about something that is very simple: the possibility of a joy, of a peace, that exists because you are alive. given this fantastic possibility, what would you say if somebody were to ask you what you would do with it? Would you squander it or would you embrace it and make the most of it? Which one?
The theoretical answer you get from people is that of course they would make the most out of it. Well, if that's true, then why do we squander it? Why do we waste moments? A moment is not redeemable; it is not reversible. One moment lost is a moment that is never coming back. Such is the severity of the subject that I talk about.
Life has to be lived consciously. You cannot afford anything else than a simple singularity to pursue fulfillment every single day. To be fulfilled. To be in joy.
This is what every drop of water does. Not too long ago, I was taking pictures of drops of water. And when you shoot this little drop doing its thing, you see sheer magic. Because there is nothing you can do about it. The drop is going to fall, not because you caused it to fall; it's going to fall because of the good old thing called gravity. Water plus gravity equals falling. And all you can do is be a witness and be able to snap it at 1/64th of a second.
It takes a lot of patience. You're waiting for the drop to fall and you go, click. And there's nothing there, nothing. You missed it. Try again, nothing. Then, try to get in rhythm. Closer and closer and closer. And then, magic.
And what you have just taken a picture of is something that'll never be duplicated. It can't. In one session I took 1,800 pictures. And the pictures with nothing on them were completely alike, amazingly enough. But when there was the magic, none were alike.
That's the way it is with our life, too. You are the photographer and, if you are not in rhythm, every time you turn to the screen, there's going to be nothing there. And then there may be an accident. And when that accident happens, there might be something. And then you go again. Nothing, and nothing, and nothing — and then the warning, "Card Full." That's it. No more.
Isn't that what happens in our life? Somebody tells us, "There's magic out there." "Oh, yeah, I want to be part of that magic." Somebody says the word peace. "Uh, that sounds good. Where is it?" It's within you. "Okay, let me get my rig together. I'm looking for peace now. Peace, peace, peace." Nothing. "Peace." Nothing — nothing, nothing, nothing, and then, click, "Oh, my God. I think there's something glimmering there. Is that peace?"
What is peace? It all begins with personal peace — peace within you, not world peace. Is there such a peace? Yes. Then the question is: What does it feel like? And this question can only be answered with another question: Have you never felt it? If you haven't, you should, because it is important. And when you have felt that peace, then in your life you begin to see and appreciate how beautiful every drop is.
It's not complicated. It's a simple story. You came, and you were given this opportunity to be. Of all things in this world, in this universe, you were given the most supreme gift, the opportunity to be alive.
And when you open your eyes — not when you were born, much later — you understand the rhythm that is flowing through, the dance that is everywhere. This beauty that is vying for your attention is dancing, saying, "Look at me. Feel me. Experience me. Let me fill you."
Have you ever seen a river merge with the ocean? From an airplane, you can actually tell where the river ends. There's a distinct line. The river is not flowing anymore and the sediments in the river are starting to settle. The river has reached the sea. It has nowhere to go. It's content. This is what it was aiming for. This is why it relentlessly went over the rocks and never slept and never took a break, never — even in a moment — had any hesitation, just kept going and going and going, till it met with the ocean. And that ocean is where its journey began.
How simple. The vapor rises from the ocean, becomes the cloud, gets transported and falls as rain. All this water is divided. One part here, one there. Divided but to be united again, and not only to be united again, but to be united with the source from where it began.
So now that the river has joined the ocean, the journey is complete. That is peace. That is fulfillment: to be a part of the cadence of this song of life, this rhythm — not to analyze, but just to take in the moment of life. Unfortunately, a lot of our thoughts turn to these things only when we are saddened by the situation.
Embrace this life, not from sadness but from great delight. Embrace the moment from great delight. Take in the joy that your heart wants you to feel. Not from frustration, but in simplicity.
This is the story. These are the possibilities. It's hard to write a book about it, because it's so living. It is to be felt every day in the contrast to everything else that goes on: this happening, that happening, "this is this way", "that is that way", and you're trying to cope — cope and cope and cope — and trying to make things better and better. And you have your hopes and you have your dreams and you have your ideas. You look at the world and you look at yourself, and some days you want to be good and some days you want the world to be good; and some days you want your neighbor to be good and you want
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your cat to be good, or your dog, and you want your car to be good. You want all these things to be good and this becomes your pursuit. Sounds ridiculous. Your clothes, your shoes, your car, your friends. After all, is that what life is about? And in the midst of all this, you have skimmed your time right down to the last second. And you can't find the car keys. You look at your watch, which you just synchronized with the atomic clock in Colorado. Now you have no doubt. "I'm going to be late."
And in this business of being late — one day, it will become too late. And that's the reason I am going around talking to people. I never want it to be too late for you to be fulfilled. It doesn't matter who you are, how old you are, how intelligent you are — that doesn't matter.
We are all just human beings. What else can you be? Don't say, "I want to be something different. I want to be some enlightened little firefly." It's impossible. You're human and, of course, you're going to make mistakes. And you're going to try not to make mistakes, and then you'll make more mistakes, because trying not to make a mistake is a mistake. That's taking on something that human beings simply cannot do.
But instead of learning from it, we will learn how to ignore learning and accept making more mistakes in our life. "Oh, I made a mistake. I wasted today." Okay. Fine. What about tomorrow? Will you waste that, too? You've got to have a plan. What is it? If I wasted today, I'll not waste another second lamenting that I wasted today, but I'll come up with a plan for tomorrow. And the plan is I will try a little harder. That's all it takes: to be a little more conscious. To see. To appreciate.
Appreciation begins not from other people. Appreciation begins from within yourself. To appreciate, first of all, that you are alive and that there's something in you that calls you again and again to be fulfilled. And to be thankful for that. Because without that prompting me again and again to be fulfilled, I would be lost. That call from within is what gives me the courage to move forward every day so I can be fulfilled. So I can understand.
Are you here in this world to change things or to understand things? As that prayer of St. Francis says: Some things, all you can do is accept them. Some things you can change. And what you've got to figure out is the difference between the two, because we all spend way too much time trying to change the things we cannot change. It makes us think, "I'm being a hero."
One moment we want to be heroes; one moment we are beggars. One moment we are know-it-all's; one moment we don't know anything. This is your contrast. And it is not pleasant. A lot of funny things going on in the background, and you're trying to look handsome. Sometimes you see on the news channel, there is the presenter talking about the most serious subject and there's some guy in the back making faces and doing weird things. And they try very hard to get that person out of the picture so you can focus.
So here is your background — a whole lot of things are going on. Sometimes it's this; sometimes it's that. And the hero in the picture is looking for stability in the middle of the storm.
I was watching a TV documentary. It was showing the desert. On lakebeds, when it starts to get really dry and there's no more water, and it gets dryer and dryer — it starts to crack. Crack, crack, crack, crack, crack, crack.
I was thinking: what's the point of this cracking? Then I saw the raindrops starting to come — come, come, come, and if it wasn't for those cracks, all that water would just run off. But the crack allows the water to go in between and get to the roots deep, deep down, to the depth of the thirst. That crack is the earth saying, "Come. I'm ready." And then it begins. Lightning. Thunder. The heralding of the coming of the thirst-quenching water. What a trumpet the thunder is. What a show the lightning is. And the air begins to fill with humidity, because it's the coming. And then one big, fat drop after another, after another, after another. How thirsty are you? Because here it comes. The air fills with the perfume of the soil being drenched with this pure, magnificent water for which it has been waiting.
In that moment, the wait is no more. It begins to fill and flow. And fill and flow. And everything that was waiting — it is such a funny word, "waiting." Because in nature the word isn't "waiting." In nature, it is "ready." Ready, ready, ready, ready. Waiting is for people at the airport. Completely zoned out because they know their flight isn't coming for another three hours. That's waiting. At doctors' offices people are waiting while their head is going a hundred miles an hour, "Am I going to live? Am I going to die? Is it going to hurt? I'm waiting. I'm waiting. I'm waiting."
So this person is waiting and that person is waiting, where in nature, nothing is waiting — it's ready. Here comes the drop, ready — ready to accept, ready to be, ready to be a part of it. There is the green grass, ready. There is the little acorn, ready. Ready and ready and ready.
So please ask yourself, are you waiting? Or are you ready? Because if you're waiting, it's not going to happen. But if you're ready, it will. Always does. Always. That's the difference. Is the ocean ready? Yes. Is the vapor ready? Yes. Is the sun ready? Yes. Is the cloud ready? Yes. Is the wind ready? Yes. Is the rain ready? Yes. And that little seed, lying in some desert, lying in some land, somewhere, is it ready? Yes. Wherever. Whenever. Then there will be fulfillment.
The breath that comes into you is your drop. It comes into you and it splashes you with life. Are you waiting? Or are you ready? Don't wait. The breath is too quick. It's quicker than that drop of water. You need to focus. And when
In nature, nothing is waiting. It's ready.
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there is that rhythm, the picture will be taken. And when that rain comes and when that seed is ready, the grass — how fragile that little seed must be and yet, how strong that seed is, to be able to say, "I'm ready. Just come. I'm ready." Then the rain comes.
That is the most magnificent kindness there is — that it does come in all our lives. Some people will look at their life and they will weigh it by what has happened. Some people will look at their lives and weigh it by what could happen. What could happen? There could be that sweet sound of thunder at a distance and the display of lightening. And the coming of the rain. And it wouldn't be wishful thinking, because on the face of this earth it has happened again and again and again and again.
What difference does it make with all those contrasts in the back? You will never see them. You don't have eyes in the back of your head, fortunately. Pay no attention and they'll be gone. Pay attention to what is at hand.
Whenever you find a moment in which you say to yourself, "There's nothing happening; there's nothing going on," stop. Turn inside and know that even when there is absolutely nothing happening, there is something going on. And it is the most magnificent, the coming and going of the breath.
And if it wasn't happening, you wouldn't ask yourself, "How come there is nothing happening?" Love it the way it works. Because of it, everything is happening. Everything. Good, bad, right, wrong. The world just keeps going around and around and around. Disasters, joy. As though somebody put their finger on a coin and gave it a flick and it just sits there: joy, disaster; joy, disaster; joy, disaster. And then somehow, in this joy, disaster you see something shining and you say, "Wow."
So many have called the world an illusion. Some magician showing you something and you see the ball disappear and you say, "Wow." Do you know what the trick of a magician is? One very important rule in that magician's trick is distraction. Because the distraction gets your attention over here, while the magician puts away the ball over there.
When you are distracted, the wool is pulled over your eyes. When you're distracted, you're made a fool of. Because the magician didn't really make the ball disappear — the ball is still there.
I have a problem with movies. People get so involved with them, they're crying. But it's just a movie. "Oh, but he dies at the end." No, he didn't. He's still alive. But he played a scene in which he convinced you he's dead. And not only did he part you with your hard-earned money, he made you cry. And you loved the crying so much, you would gladly pay again so that this crying can be further inflicted upon you.
But when somebody close to you — like your child, your husband, your girlfriend, your boyfriend, your wife — makes you cry, you don't give them any money. When your husband makes you cry, you don't say, "Honey, that was good! Here, let me give you ten bucks." When your child comes in, "You know, I flunked in everything," and you start crying, you don't give him some money, "Oh, that was really good. You made me cry!"
When we get distracted, that's when the whole world takes advantage of us. Don't be distracted by anything. People say, "On such-and-such a day, a miracle is going to happen." Really? Tell me about it. No. Because a miracle is happening every second inside of you. What miracle? Unbelievable! Here comes the breath, just brought life; here, it left. Where did it go? And here comes another one.
This is what's going to keep happening your whole lifetime. We ask our spouses, we ask our girlfriends, we ask our boyfriends, "Will you love me for my whole life?" We never ask the breath, "Will you love me for all my life?" Because the answer is: "Absolutely!"
That is love. The world may say, "You've been a bad boy; you're terrible." Your husband might say, "You've been terrible." Your wife might say, "You've been terrible." Your child might say, "Oh, Dad, you're the worst!" And the breath? Coming, coming, coming. Another one, another one, another one — and no judgment. How can this be?
This is giving. We write a check; we think that's giving — that's not giving. The breath is giving, in abundance. We meet somebody, "Oh, I'm charmed." The breath is charming — of course, it is charming. If you don't find it charming, I don't know what is. To appreciate your life you don't have to do anything — you just appreciate. It's not like a cake that you have to cut and eat it. It's just to appreciate, "Wow!" And if you can't appreciate yourself, how are you going to appreciate your children? How are you going to appreciate your family? How are you going to appreciate anybody? But to appreciate that you are alive is an art. It's the true art, and for this, there is no book called "Contentment for Dummies." This you have to feel.
And then it begins.
The coming of the
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