Inspire Electronic Magazine, Volume 3, Issues 93 - 115
The Prem Rawat Foundation
5/1/2006 - 22/12/2006
Inspire v3 i93, 5 January 2006: Potential for Joy (translated from Hindi)
Why are you here? Who are you? Where did you come from, and where are you going? How many days are you here for? What is pain? What is joy? What is the soul? As human beings, we have these questions. And we look for their answers on the outside. We look everywhere: we read the paper, we go to the movies, we travel to different countries. But have we ever looked within ourselves: What have I been given?
All those questions are telling us that there's one thing missing. There's one thing we have not understood. What is it? It is what is within.
When will peace happen? Where is peace? Why do people fight? When a human being cannot understand who he is, what he is–when a human being becomes a stranger to himself, then everyone else is a stranger, too. And when everyone is a stranger, who is he going to become friends with? Who is he going to love? Who is he going to look at and say, "This is a human being, and I'm a human being, too"? Everything becomes separate.
Every human being is one–no matter who you are, how you are, where you're from. Even in pain or happiness, you're one. You've come here as one and will have to leave, as well. In the life of each human being, there is the possibility to experience supreme joy. The greatest potential is the possibility of that joy in a human being's life.
When a human being is born, it is their opportunity to experience peace and joy, to fulfill this life. Everything else they can attain and let it go. But peace is one thing the human being can attain and hold onto.
It is because of the calling of our heart that we want to complete our life, to capture what has been given. We can catch onto something that will be with us throughout our entire life, that will support us.
Fulfill this life. This is your life. It's been given to you. What you do with it is completely up to you. You can throw it away or save it. You can attain joy and fulfill your life. Every day is precious, priceless. Will tomorrow come? Nobody knows. All we can do is hope it will. Every day that is given is a blessing.
We talk about miracles. What is a miracle? When the sun rises, isn't that a miracle? The miracle is what is going on within you. The fact that you exist is a miracle. This life that comes day after day is a miracle. And when you start seeing that, your life will be filled with joy.
So if you want that, then accept it–not with blind faith, but from an experience. Only through experience can a human being move forward and take the next step.
The story is still being written–yours and mine. It's not finished. What the ending will be like is up to us. If we want the story to be that this person understood the supreme joy, fulfilled their life, and spent their life in joy, then that story can be written. It's up to us.
Inspire v3 i94, 19 January 2006: Foundation of Reality
What does it mean to live, to exist? To feel every day the solidity, the firmness of this breath? To many people, breath is just air going in and out. There is more to it. There is a firmness. And within its simplicity, tremendous solidness has been placed.
What is your foundation made of? Does your house rest on that which is solid and real? Or does it rest on assumption after assumption? What is your safety net? You venture, you think, you imagine, you go out, you do things. You weigh realities, and your realities change from day to day: "Right now, this is real; right now this is what's happening, this is what's important."
Somebody said to me, "I just became a grandfather." I said, "Congratulations." And I started thinking, "You became?" One day you became alive. That's the main day. After that, things have happened, and things will continue to happen. They will be what they
are. Some you will call good because they will fit perfectly into the little shell that you have created.
How many days do we live paying attention to the sweet call to be content? People talk about peace; I talk about peace. I say peace is possible. Some people like that. Some say, "No. That's not the way the world is." Why? A picture has been painted of what peace is.
There is a reality. And that reality is bright and it is beautiful. It's more beautiful than any one of those pictures you could ever make. Every day, it is fresh and real, and it is dynamic and beautiful. It has no constraints. Is there sorrow? No. Is there joy? Yes. Is there darkness? No. Is there light? Yes. Is there discontentment? No. Is there contentment? Yes. Is there complication? No. Is there simplicity? Yes. Is there hate? No. Is there love? Yes. And that is the foundation that is the reality of your existence, of the gift you are given every day.
What does it cost to have all that? Nothing. All you have to do is
open this heart and let it in. That's all it takes for the sunshine to come in. When the sun is shining, open the window and let the light come in. Let that breeze come in, because it is blowing, because it is happening.
Peace is dancing inside of you, waiting to be felt. People create expectations. The world's definition of peace is: "Everybody's always smiling, nobody's fighting each other, they're saying only polite things to each other." If that really happened, this would be a weird place.
What about the heaven here? This is where heaven makes the most sense. This is where I have the simplest ambition from my heart to be content. This is where I have the opportunity to build my house in which I can be content. It is not a house of imagination, but a house built on very, very real foundations.
That safety net is made out of breath. When even your power to speak goes away, this is the only thing that will still rumble through you, and it will be the last thing you know as it fades away. The challenge is to be in peace in the middle of all the turmoil. For as long as you are alive, you can experience the joy that is within you.
Inspire v3 i95, 3 February 2006: Incumbent upon Us
What I have to say is really quite simple because it deals with every individual. Recently, I was going for a walk, and I found myself in the midst of some really tall buildings. And it hit me that what I see is a massive building, but what is it? I see the face of it, the windows, the decorations, but what is this building?
I sometimes forget that a building is standing on a foundation that I can't see because it is buried. Only when something like an earthquake happens does my attention even go toward the foundation, hoping that it will stand. I also forget that, however tall this building is, it is built of blocks, of components that are much, much smaller than the building. And the integrity of the building actually relies on the integrity of those far smaller components.
When we talk about peace, it isn't any different. We look at the world. We see huge nations, countries, cities. What we forget is that all these countries are actually built on little components called human beings. We are the components. And the integrity of each country depends upon the integrity of the individual components.
We talk about countries. What we don't talk about is people. But if a person does not have peace in their life, whatever they are trying to achieve will never succeed.
Peace begins with our understanding what we have been given. The entire world is telling us what we do not have. Nobody is pointing out what we do have. What we have been given is this life, this existence. And this existence needs to mean something. When existence means nothing to us, human life–that one thing that is irreplaceable–loses its value. Then any cause can take on a greater meaning for war than for peace.
You are alive, and that needs to mean the most to you. You, yourself, need to understand the preciousness of your existence. Do you want peace in your life? Or do you want chaos? The potential for both exists in every person's life.
What is it that we are looking for? Everybody has their own definition of what will bring them happiness. That's what we're looking for–happiness, contentment. So we look, and we search, and we do what is necessary. And in all our searching and in all our doing–who do we forget? Us.
What is it that you want in your life? In whatever equation you have created for happiness, please put yourself there, because otherwise it will mean nothing. Without you, without your heart, without your understanding, without peace in your life, there can never, ever be world peace. This is where war starts, and this is where peace resides–within you.
Peace begins with you. Peace is possible with you. Yours is this life, the gift that you have been given. Realize what a gift you have been given. Understand the beauty that is dancing in front of your very eyes. Don't wait. This is your time. Grab the request for peace in your heart; find that contentment in your life. That's what peace is. Peace is beautiful. Peace is real. Peace is that passion for existence, a feeling, an understanding of what life means–what every day means, what every hour means, what every breath means. Then I can begin to savor what peace is all about.
Understanding the value of each person finding that contentment, one at a time, is the only possibility for world peace that has never been tried. To solidify every brick, every block and to say, "Yes, indeed, this building can stand tall because every block is solid, has integrity. When the earthquake comes, it will not fall down." That is the integrity that is needed.
The people of this world are the bricks and the mortar and the steel girders of this structure. It is incumbent upon us to at least try to make a difference. Rather than to offer logic of how it cannot be done, to at least try to see the possibility of how it could be done. And then maybe, at least the hope indicates, there will be peace on earth.
Inspire v3 i96, 17 February 2006: The Most Incredible Dream
I'm here to remind you what is important. It is important because it is important. Then there are those things we give importance to because they are not important. A tremendous amount of support has to be found to give importance to those things, because in your heart of hearts you know they're not important.
So what is important? What is important by its very nature? It begins with the most beautiful gift you have been given: the gift of existence. If this life were an instrument, when placed in the right hands, with passion and knowledge, this instrument would produce the most enchanting melody that would move anyone who heard it. But the most tuned instrument in the hands of somebody who does not know how to play it will make a lot of noise that sounds like scratching.
Do you have a role to play in making this instrument sound incredible? Yes, you do. For the instrument which is me, I'm responsible. For the instrument that is you, you are responsible. Somebody comes and sees a potential that this existence is perfect–it's not dented, broken, corroded; it's perfect. And when this person says, "I see something that's not imperfect; it's perfect," there will be arguments: "How can it be? Look at this. It is not possible."
In your life, what do you see? What do you dream of? Do you dream of contentment, of peace, of fulfillment, of joy? Do you dream of a passion? Do you dream of that perfect melody? Or do you dream of a two-story house and a cute little pudgy dog that gets along with a grey cat? That's it?
Have you encouraged that passion in your life? It is extremely important to nurture in your life what you hold precious. Ask a farmer; that's how it works. If you nurture joy, your fields will be filled with joy. If you nurture serenity, your fields will be filled with serenity.
Then this life starts to become a beautiful dance, because it is a beautiful dance when you give it the freedom to express what this life wants to express, when this heart can be filled with gratitude and not pretense.
Freedom is being able to express your heart, to accept today. Freedom is being able to say thank you that you are alive. That is freedom. And the truest of all freedoms, no one–but no one–can take away from you. So, what is your expression of your existence? What is it like for you? You wish peace and goodwill to others. Have you wished peace for yourself?
If you want to shine for a lifetime, it begins with every day, every hour, every minute. Consciousness–to be conscious that you are alive, that you exist. The most incredible dream, the most incredible wish anyone could wish for, has come true. Tragedy should not be your teacher; let consciousness be your teacher. You can awaken every day with admiration and a full heart. These are the possibilities. This is when you sound melodic–not scratchy, melodic.
Beneath the whole facade of this world, this is what is going on: the simplest of wishes to be happy. How wonderful is this realm of joy, of peace, of fulfillment. How fortunate are those who walk in the company of peace, of joy, of fulfillment, of truth.
Coming and going keep happening on the face of this earth. Trillions have come; trillions will go. There'll be new problems, new things, old things. There'll be memories, memoirs, history. There'll be lies, and people will want truth. There will be someone who will try to define what truth is. And then there'll be the ones who say, "Feel the truth in your life."
In your life, you have so much if you have peace. It is not automatic; you have to work for it. If you want peace in your life, if you want serenity, it is very, very possible, but you'll have to garner it.
I say to people, "Take a little time out in your life for you." How beautiful is it that you can be content, that you are alive, and reality dances within you. The most important thing is don't let the dream stop. The biggest mistake people make is they stop dreaming. It's not about being old; it's stopping to dream. When you were young, all you did was dream. Don't ever stop dreaming. Dreams are free.
Anything is possible. The joy, the love, the feeling, the understanding, is truly possible in your life. It is. How beautiful to be able to say this, and I will say it again and again for as long as I am around. When I was young, I had so many dreams. They all came true. There are people all around the world enjoying this peace. And yet, I can't stop dreaming. The next dream will be much bigger, more spectacular. The possibilities are endless. And the dream continues to unfold. Part of that dream is that it also unfolds for each one of you–that you find that joy, that happiness in your life. That is what I've been working on. That is what I do.
Inspire v3 i97, 2 March 2006: The Basic Wish
Coming back from a tour recently, it was very foggy driving home. We had to drive so slow. The fog was very thick–like soup–and we couldn't see. Being in that fog reminded me of what happens to us. When the fog comes, it obscures our vision and stops us from seeing what we need to see to proceed on this path of life.
This is important because this is but one life. It isn't just, "Here I am." This is everything. It isn't a question of comparison, of my problems, my dramas, my traumas. Is this a better day? Will tomorrow be a better day?
It is that you exist, that you are alive. It is about listening and understanding your own passion. Your passion. For me, it is to be quiet enough to begin to hear what my heart is trying to tell me. There is a lot going on, calling me, "Do this; do this; do this." There are a lot of things that disguise themselves as "fun," but my life, my existence, is not about the "fun." It is about feeling contentment, feeling joy. These are the needs of every human being–the wants, the desires, the wishes–above and beyond everything else.
People talk about noise pollution and air pollution, but there is a real pollution; it's called "thought pollution." A person is constantly bombarded, "This is important; that's important; yes, that's important."
Do you realize what is being sacrificed? Your time on the face of this earth. Your possibility of being fulfilled every moment is being sacrificed. And only you can answer this question: Can you afford that? What is the most important thing to you?
I realize that I cannot afford the fog, and that's a good realization. Drama, trauma comes–I cannot afford that. I want to understand the passion of my heart. Somehow, this person was created and given the ability to feel. And of all the things that I can feel, I can feel joy, I can feel peace, I can feel that feeling within me, and that is the most magnificent.
What is the basic wish that has already been given to you? Listen to it. Understand what it is saying, how it is addressing you. Then you can fulfill it. But first you need to know what it is. And it has always been the same.
Unless that one thing is fulfilled, all the explanations and ideas can be there, but if that basic and fundamental need is not fulfilled, what is the point? And who are you going to rely on? This is something that you have to do. You have to understand that this is your life. You can make it happen–that joy, that beauty–every day in your life. And it's very easy. A lot of people think the only way it will happen is if I change the world around me. That's not easy.
People think they need to change their kids or their job or retire. Waiting–just think of all the things you're waiting for. You don't have to wait anymore. You don't have to change all the things outside; you can't. All you need to do is change your priorities. Just rearrange. Take the priority to be content and put it at the very top. That's all.
Contentment in your life is very possible. That is your possibility. Recognize it. Understand it. Grow with it every day. This is one of those things that does not stop growing. There is no limit. There is no limit to enjoyment.
There is no limit to clarity. There is no limit to joy. There is no limit to truest learning. There is no limit to understanding. You can never say, "I understand this too much." There is a limit to ignorance, but what limit is there to understanding? Understand every day that there is a beauty that I can fill myself with today. Again and again and again.
Inspire v3 i98, 17 March 2006: Lake of Joy
(translated from Hindi)
Every individual wants to progress in their life. The farmer plows the field, sows the seed, and every year, he hopes that he will have a better crop. We hope for some kind of progress in our life. What do we have to do for this progress?
In this world, there is no shortage of people who will give you advice, but it is all just words. It is not practical. What I say is words, but if you want, you can have progress in your life–practically. If just by saying "money, money, money," a person could become rich, there would be no trace of poverty. But no one becomes rich that way; a person has to work hard. If a person wants peace in their life, chanting "peace, peace, peace" won't bring peace. They will have to find something that can actually help them experience peace. To experience the supreme joy in one's life is the best thing, and not to experience it is the worst thing. It is like a person who is thirsty, goes to a well with flowers around it,
plucks the flowers, and goes back. He did not do the one thing he had actually come for. If he did not drink the water,
he will keep feeling thirsty.
Whatever you do, you do it for joy. Within every human being, there is a voice–a desire to be fulfilled, to experience supreme joy. Why do you feel nice when you look at something beautiful? The work of eyes is to see, but where did that nice feeling come from? When you smell something nice, you feel nice. Where did this "bad" or "good" come from? Everything has a law. The human being has just one law–the law of good. You need something good, something nice. You want something that gives joy. When you experience that supreme joy, your life will be filled with joy.
What is it that makes a human being dance? If you tell someone, "Your car has been stolen," he won't dance. But when a person is filled with joy from within, he starts dancing. And it is the kind of dance he can keep on dancing throughout his life.
People think you need to experience peace just once. Do you need to eat only once, as well? Do you need to sleep only one night? No. You have to sleep every night. You have to eat every day. The day you don't, you will feel hungry. The same is true of peace: you have to experience peace every day. Whenever you need it, you can turn within and experience that peace, that joy. Without dancing, you start dancing within.
Start understanding what is within you. When you experience it, you won't need questions. Without experiencing, all you have are questions: "Why am I here? What is the purpose of my life?" Every individual has been given the gift of life and can experience peace. This world will not give you peace. The only thing that this world can give you is unrest.
Look for peace. Wherever you find it, it's good. And if you can't find it, come to me. I have a lake full of joy. I invite only those who are thirsty. Jump in that lake, swim, drink, and fulfill your life. When there is sorrow in your life, remember that within you there is a mine of joy. If you think you are poor, there is a goldmine of joy within you. All you need to do is dig. You can dig as much as you want. There will never be a shortage.
These are not just words. I stand behind every word. I can take you from the ocean of questions and put you in the ocean of answers. If you want, you can experience that in your life. If you are thirsty, I have a lake. The thirsty need water, and I have water.
Inspire v3 i99, 31 March 2006: The Importance of a Drop
(translated from Hindi)
Today, we are here to listen. It's good to listen, to think, but I always say that people should experience. When I was a kid, someone in my family used to buy lottery tickets. After buying the tickets, he would say, "We'll definitely get this number, and then we'll buy this, we'll buy that." There was no end to our happiness as kids, because whatever dream we could imagine, we thought it would happen. Day and night we talked about what we would do. And the day the numbers were in the newspaper, and our number was not there, everything closed down.
This also happens to us. We make our plans. We have big dreams: "We'll do this; this will happen; that will happen." Human beings have a brain and can think. Sitting here, through my thoughts I can reach America, Australia, England, Sri Lanka, Delhi. But where am I actually? Then one day, the time comes to go from this world. Everyone has to go. No one can stay here. You have made things yours, but those things have not accepted you as belonging to them.
The car that you say is yours doesn't say it's your car. The house that you say is your house doesn't say that you belong to it. Once you are gone, that home will be someone else's. Your wealth remains as it is. It just goes from here to there. These are the rules. I did not make them; I'm just talking about them.
A drop falls in the ocean. We don't give much importance to a drop, but so many rivers are there, and all of them started with a drop. When it rains and there is a flood, even the rain comes drop by drop. And when all the drops come together, they become rivers. A drop cannot harm anyone, but when a drop joins with others, it can destroy cities and countries.
In our life, we are like a drop. We want to unite with the ocean of joy in our heart, but we don't know how to do it. We can be united with such an ocean; the heart is there in all of us. As long as you are alive, you can experience that joy. Life is about experience, not just words. We have a mind, and we think a lot, but we never think that there is something that is beyond this mind and thought. How can we catch that with this mind? That is why we need to have an experience from the heart.
People say, "You come in this world empty-handed, and you'll go empty-handed." I say that you came empty-handed, definitely, but you don't need to go empty-handed. Take something with you. Take that enjoyment with you. Recognize that supreme joy and then go.
When you understand just how important that is in your life, you will understand your thirst. And the day you experience your thirst, you are not far away from water, because thirst is within you and the water to quench it is also there within you. I tell people, "Look for it everywhere. Wherever you go, look for it. Find it." It's about finding. For the thirsty, it's about water not the well. I don't have a well. I have a map. And I have a big spring. Those who are thirsty, come, jump in it.
Being a human being, you can fulfill your life. As long as you have breath, you can fulfill your life. Fulfill your life now. What will happen later on, no one knows. If someone wants help, I can help. You only need to understand your thirst. I don't just talk. For those who really want help, I'm ready to help them. I go to different places, and I want there to be happiness in people's lives. I cannot make your house good
or get you a promotion, but you can be happy in your heart. This should happen in everyone's life.
Inspire v3 i100, 10 April 2006: The Reality of You
(translated from Hindi)
What I say to everyone is very simple: You were born. You have come in this world. People ask, "When I leave, where will I go?" They can talk about this for hours, but no one knows.
I talk about the peace, the fulfillment that is within you now. Go wherever you want to, but know that. If you don't, an inner thirst will not be quenched. If you do not recognize yourself–the reality of youwhat is there? It is because of this that you have all your friends and relationships.
That fulfillment is the same for everyone. It is not related to any religion, caste, creed. There is no difference between you and me. You are a human being; I am a human being. The human body that we have is not the gift of a government. It is the gift of the Creator, and it has been given to everyone.
Open your eyes and see. The truth is that you can fill your life with happiness now, a happiness that will not go up and down, but will always remain the same. Whenever you are thirsty, you can go within and quench your thirst.
Until we recognize that the real peace is within, we are here but don't know why. We have questions: "Why have I come here? What am I doing here? Am I doing it right?" It's like a driver who doesn't know where he is going. But you are the driver of this bus of life. You have been given the key, and you cannot give it to anyone else. You cannot even give one breath, one moment, to anyone.
What is it that can bring real happiness in your life? What is the thirst that has been there within you since childhood? I travel to different places and tell people: Try and understand yourself. Something is there within you to give you happiness. What you have always been waiting for is dancing in you. Know that. Recognize that. It came when you took your first breath, and it will be there until you take your last breath.
Look for your thirst, and when you find it, I'll give you water. Until you recognize your thirst, you won't be able to understand what water means. People who are not thirsty talk about the cost of the water, where it has come from, the bottle it comes in, and the label. When you are thirsty, nothing else is required.
I am not here to tell you what you don't have in your life. Try and know what you do have. If you want to know, it's possible. If you really have the thirst and have recognized it, then you can know. The thirst is within you, and the water is also there within you. You just need the desire for it. The day you have that, your eyes will start opening, and you will understand how fortunate you are.
Know yourself. If you want to know what is there within yourself, you can understand it. That's possible. You have the possibility for all things. You have the possibility to recognize. And you have the possibility to know yourself.
There are your responsibilities in this world, but there is also your responsibility to make your life fulfilled. You can fulfill your life. You need water. Look for it–wherever you can. If you don't find it, then come to me. If you need help, I am here. Whatever you want to do, do it now.
Inspire v3 i101, 28 April 2006: The Ocean in the Drop
Recently, I was speaking in India at a lot of events expressing that the most important thing we have is this existence. When you are born, you're presented with an experience called life. And in this life, what do you have? You have a breath. You have a day. You have an hour. You have a minute. You have a second. These are your realities. This is not fiction. This is not some concept. What I talk about, what I want to experience in my life, and what I want you to experience is not fiction. It is reality. Reality that you can touch, that you can feel, that you can understand. Acceptance in your life should be of that which you know, understand, feel. Not in thought, but feel. There's a beautiful couplet from India: "That the drop resides in the ocean, everyone knows; but that the ocean resides in the drop, very few know this." I want you to be those very few who understand this.
That incredible thing–in it everything is, but that incredible thing is in you, too. You are the drop. Not the liquid drop, you are the drop. The ocean is in you. And yes, you can feel that. I understand that, because the same energy that is everywhere comes in me in the form of breath–touches me, brings the gift of life.
To so many people, life means, "You have a job, you have a kid, you have a house, you have a cat, you have a dog." That's not life. Those are things in your life. There are all those things that are relative, and there is one thing that is absolute, and that is within you. You have life. It is absolute. One day it won't be. But as long as you are alive and you have the capacity to be conscious, be conscious of that which is the real life. Be aware of this existence that you have because being aware of that existence brings joy, being aware of that existence brings peace. Real peace.
What is real peace? Some people say, "Give it all up, then you will have peace." No, it doesn't work. If giving it all up made people peaceful and happy, they would immediately shut down the prisons, because this would be a reward: you do something wrong, and instead of being punished, you're placed in an environment where you're peaceful and happy. So that proves the point: giving it all up doesn't do it. But regardless of any circumstance, there is a place inside of us, and if we can access that place, we can feel that peace.
This is who you are. This is who I am. Truly in this drop that we are resides an infinite ocean of peace. Be one of the very few who know this, because it is an achievement unparalleled. You need peace, you need happiness, because you are a human being. This is your nature. You cannot fight it. This is not a problem that you have to solve.
That request to be happy comes from within you. Don't underestimate it. For as long as you are alive, that request to be in happiness and in peace will be there. How convenient it is that the ocean resides within you. Wherever you go, it is there. One day the drop will go and reside in the ocean. But for as long as this miracle of breath is happening, the ocean is residing in this drop that is you, that is me. When the drop mixes with that ocean, it will no longer be a drop. It'll just become the ocean. But for a relatively brief period of time, something incredible has happened. The miracle of miracles has happened. The drop is separated from the ocean, and the ocean has moved into the drop. This is reality. This is what is happening. Grab it. Be fulfilled. Follow that nature. Be in peace. Be happy.
If sorrow is a knife, then happiness is the healer. Be in happiness. You have a lot of wounds, and those wounds cause pain. You do not need to be in pain. Be. Exist. For as long as this miracle lasts, behold it. Don't budge, because it will all be over way too soon. Find the source of joy inside of you. Have that peace in your life every day.
Inspire v3 i102, 12 May 2006: Rich Beyond Belief
Spring is here, and after the winter comes the season that brings life. Another expression of things awakening. Spring needs to come in our lives, too, because we are on this earth. This earth is incredibly unique. There's nothing like it for millions and millions of light years.
You're set loose on this journey of life. What do you have? What are your tools? So simple. A want to be happy. You may not think of it as a tool, but it's one of the most important tools. A want to be content in every single human being. They are beautiful if we really understand them to be our assets–not weaknesses. We search, but we don't know what we are searching for. We know what we are dis-attracted to. We know about our distractions, but we don't know what we are attracted to.
What is your nature? We have so many ideas, "I have to do this, I have to get this done, this is my responsibility, I am this, I have to have this, I want to move forward in my life. …" And there is a definition of what it means to move forward. There are bullet points saying, "You must accomplish this and this, and then you have made it." The question is: Who has made it? A lot of people say, "I think I've made it," and the next thing you know, they're going through hell. We say, "I want to make it, I want to be there, I want it to be this way."
In the process, we find ourselves hungry and poor–hungering for we don't know what. I'm not talking about food, but being hungry for it to be good, to be right. And then we find ourselves poor–in all the things we don't have. People say, "I wish I could fly a plane, I wish I could paint like that, I wish I could sing like that, play like that." The two conditions–poor and hungry–not good in this world.
A 14th century poet, Kabir, says, "No one is hungry and no one is poor. Everyone is rich beyond belief." Everyone has an incredible package with them, but they haven't opened it. That is why they have nothing. He is addressing human beings on this earth making the journey we have been on for so many centuries.
The purpose of your existence and what you could accomplish in this world should not be confused with each other. When the heart is full, there is a simplicity. There is a clarity in life. What is the one thing that satisfies my heart? When do I feel alive? Feel alive? It's not about figuring out. It's about feeling. Feel. Falling in love has to be felt. To feel alive, to feel true, to feel as unique as you are. Your life. Not somebody else's life, not somebody else's biography. Your life. You. Who are you? Are you a being that has felt your heart and bathed in that contentment, bathed in that understanding, that silence, that tranquility? Jumped into the ocean of serenity and felt cleansed, felt renewed, felt fresh? Or do you feel the dirt of all the confusion on you–sticky, dirty, gritty? What do you feel?
What I offer is the possibility of being cleansed, of being fresh without that grit and dirt. It's not how it got there, but that you can get it off. That's the point of it. People say, "Let me figure out a way to avoid it." They've been trying to do that for a really, really long time. It's not about figuring it out. It is about feeling. It is about taking that bath in the crystal clear waters of clarity. Jump in! Bathe. Be cleansed and feel free. Feel freedom. You are unique on a unique planet. This is what makes everything so special. No two moments are alike. Here you are. You don't know what's going on out there. It is hostile. The day you start feeling sorry for yourself, think of this: There are solar storms that hit this earth with such ferocity that, had it not been for our atmosphere and a magnetic core the earth has, there would be nothing left. That thin air above you is protecting you.
Be in awe of this existence. Be in awe of this breath. Be in awe of this life instead of the long list of everything that is wrong in your life.
I go place to place and tell people about that package that you have been given–an interesting package that has everything in it. Nobody is hungry, nobody is a beggar. Everybody is rich beyond belief. Read your own book. Your book. Your heart. Feeling lonely? You should never feel lonely because you're never alone. Always, wherever you go, your best friend comes along–in good times and bad times till the very end. Form a relationship with that friend. That's what needs to be.
Inspire v3 i103, 25 May 2006: The Drum of Breath
There's a beautiful couplet from India that says the topic of the infinite is not a topic of conversation. All you can do is feel it, experience it, and then you will understand. The whole world wants to talk about what is infinite, about what is God, about what is life. But you cannot talk about life. Life needs to be felt. Do you feel alive? When I say this, people think, "Of course, I am alive because of this and this and this." But these are not the things that make you feel alive.
You have been given the opportunity to be alive. In you beats the drum of breath. You have consciousness, the possibility of awareness. You have the possibility to remember; you have the possibility to forget. You have the good; you have the bad. You have the right; you have the wrong. All of the possibilities are in you. Nothing is limited. What do you want? The answer must come from your heart, from the one place in you that is sincere, that is calling out to you.
A human being struggles in ignorance because he is living in uncertainty. He is not certain about tomorrow. And when a human being is not certain about something, two things happen: Either he accepts that and says, "I am going to do something about it," or–like most people–he makes up a story about tomorrow. And once the story has been made up, he will do anything to believe in that story, whatever it takes. But it's a story. And a story does not remove uncertainty.
Knowledge. Understanding. These are the only things that can remove uncertainty from this life so that I can begin to welcome what tomorrow is. Not what tomorrow brings–what tomorrow is. Existence is an incredible miracle. My yearning, my truest want is to feel alive, to feel this existence. I want to be dazzled by that miracle. I want to witness it.
It truly is about knowing the freedom inside–the freedom to understand. Are you free to understand or are you a slave of other people's ideas that prohibit you from understanding anything else? Because if you're not free to understand, you're not free. Are you free? Are you part of a fairy tale, a story that doesn't exist? Or are you part of a story about your time and your life in which there is no limit to appreciation?
Every moment in your life is unique. You will never have two alike. Never. This is the science of living: when you begin to appreciate every moment. To have a heart so open, an understanding so beautiful, and a yearning for appreciation so complete that when that moment comes, you see exactly what it is.
To rest in the most profound way. To come home for real, not in a fantasy. To feel alive, not because somebody gave you permission to, but because you feel alive yourself. You're not borrowing somebody else's understanding, but you understand. It's not about the words. It's to break through the wall of words and go into reality.
You are not about a story. You are alive. Listen to the drum of that breath and dance to it. Be excited because you're alive today. Inside, understand. The point of existence is to view this beautiful painting that
God has created called you in the most beautiful way. Only when that is happening in your life can you begin to say
that you are alive.
When people find that reality within them, joy is the reward. It is not a fantasy, but reality. And the reality is more beautiful than any fantasy.
Inspire v3 i104, 8 June 2006: An Endless Mine of Peace
There is something that we are all given plenty of, but it's never enough. What is it? Time. We're given lots of it, but we want more. Everybody pretends they don't have enough of it, and it just keeps coming. All the time we get is ours, but we don't get to keep any of it. It comes and goes, and the only thing we are left with is what we do in that time.
What should we do in that time? We are such "Do" creatures that we forget certain fundamental things. We are driven to do so much. So much of what we think we have to do is not from us, it's from somebody else. For once, it would be nice to feel what we really want to do and the quest come from within, not driven by the outside world.
There is another quest, something that moves and inspires each human being. And that is the desire to be fulfilled–not in thought, not in imagination, but in earnest. Peace–the state where there is no confusion, that place which doesn't dwell on tomorrow, but now, where the value of presence is true, and the value of absence is nothing. That there is an understanding of what it means to be alive. What a gift.
What is so special about a human being? It has been said that this is the doorway to knowing how to tap into peace–a peace that resides in every human being. It's not about the good and bad, winning and losing. It's not about solving problems, because every time you have solved a problem, there will be another one. It's feeling the gift that we all have been given.
We have had a dream for a really, really long time–a spectacular dream, an incredible dream which said, "Be in peace." Not fear, not doubt, not pain, not sorrow, not confusion, but clarity. To feel that understanding, to be in joy, to be in reality. True reality is a feeling.
What is your reality? Your reality is that you exist but one day, you won't. It's not about your plans. There's only one game you can play, and it is the game of being fulfilled. That's it. When you awaken and feel your heart full of gratitude, when you awaken and feel peace, you know you are winning. Whenever you feel that, you just won.
The call for peace cannot come from the intellect. It has to come from the heart. Peace is the reward. Joy is the reward. A life fulfilled. That is the most incredible reward, the highest honor.
The quest for peace is always noble, because there's no end to it. It is the truest victory for every human being. It is not about all the deserts you could cross or the mountain you could climb. It is about feeling, admiring the space within. This is life, not the things that happen in it.
Feel the ultimate feeling. When you dig an endless mine, it really doesn't matter how much you've gotten out of it. The only thing you can do is just keep digging and digging and digging. Till you can't.
Feel peace in your life every day. Feel gratitude in your life every day. When you have that contentment, you truly have a life. That's how simple it is.
Inspire v3 i105, 23 June 2006: The Lion Who Believed He Was a Sheep
What I talk about is really simple because it is about life. Life, for so many people has become incredibly complicated. We are all drowning in the sea of definitions. A simple question is asked: " Who are you?" And the number of answers you get is unimaginable.
Recently, I was speaking somewhere and they had this motto: " Service above the self." I said, " But if there is no self, what is it going to serve? There has to be a self." This is what Socrates said: " Know thyself." What does it mean to know the self that you are?
I have a simple little story that my father used to tell. One day, a farmer was walking through a jungle and he came across a tiny lion cub that had been lost. He picked it up, brought it home, and put it in the barn with his sheep. As time passed, the cub got bigger and bigger, playing and grazing with the sheep. This was all he knew.
One day, while the sheep were grazing, a big lion stepped out from the jungle. All the sheep got scared and started running around, and so did the little lion. The big lion went over to this little lion, who wasn't that little any more, and said, " Why are you scared of me?" He said, " I am a poor little sheep, and you will eat me!" The lion said, " You're not a sheep. Come with me." He took him to a pond and said, " Now, look." And when he looked, he was shocked: " I'm not a sheep. I am like you!" The lion said, " That's right. You are like me. Now stop mimicking sheep and roar like a big lion should." So the big lion roared and the little lion roared. And the little lion began to thank the big lion. And the lion said, " All I did was show you who you truly are. Even before I stepped out of that jungle, this is who you were, because this is what you truly are."
We, too, lose who we are on the face of this earth. Your ability to feel joy is unique. This is your nature–a part of you. You have an aversion to suffering and an attraction to joy. Then find in your life the joy that never ends, the joy that you cannot leave behind, the joy that you carry with you wherever you go.
If you have a boat and want to dock it in the harbor, you need to tie it to something that will not drift. That's why people bring an anchor with them. What is it that does not drift? To find the answer, you need to be able to know your true self, because the true self does not drift. In thought, the lion was a sheep, but when he could see the reality, he understood that he was not a sheep.
Your reality is simple. The want to be fulfilled has always been there. The want to be content has always been there. That is not new. And this want will be there till the very end. It is there from the beginning; it is there to the end. That want to be in peace does not change. That thirst to be fulfilled does not change. Anchor then to that reality, and you will not drift. Anchor to that beauty that is inside of you, and you will not drift. Everything else will change as it always has. As it always will.
Everything keeps changing, but you. There is something about you that does not change. Find the changeless. And tie well this boat of life to the changeless. Then, relax.
Inspire v3 i106, 6 July 2006: Where Is Freedom?
My message is not about what you could do in this world. My message is not about your neighbor, world politics, or the economy. My message is about you. Just you. In this world, you have been forgotten. You have forgotten yourself. I go around the world to remind people of themselves –you, who were given the opportunity to be alive.
What we need in our lives is to understand what we have been given. We judge our lives by the amount of troubles we have, and we pray, "Take away the troubles." We never say thank you for what we have been given. If we understood what we have been given, we would understand that our troubles are trivial. They come and they will go. They come like a fly, and all you have to do is let it go. But we don't understand, and we struggle. We struggle to be free.
I don't have to struggle to recognize my freedom. Within me–within you –is a light so bright that never again do you have to be in the darkness. And the majesty that is inside of you is unchanging.
Where is freedom? Freedom is within you. Where is joy? Joy is within you. People want to grow trees of joy, to plant memories so they can have joy. But joy is something that is fresh every day, like a crystal clear spring that wells from the depths of a human being. You are the well. And from this well comes the spring of clarity. Clarity, joy, simplicity are beautiful angels that reside within you. These are your companions, but you don't know it.
You have never been introduced to the clarity inside of you, to the simplicity inside of you, to that beauty inside of you. When you are, the journey of life begins, not ends. You understand that you don't have to be confused. You understand that you don't have to be in sorrow. You understand that you don't have to be in doubt.
There is a plan here. And in this plan, you're here. Life is happening. And one day, it will not. Your troubles will be over. Nobody will bother you anymore. You won't be there to be bothered. People will come and say nice things about you finally. But you won't be able to hear. That day, you won't have uncles, you won't have aunts, you won't have brothers. Everything–gone.
When people hear this, they become worried, but the wise begin to see how precious an opportunity it is that they are alive. You shouldn't feel worried; you should be thankful for having this life.
Inner contentment is there. It never goes away. All you have to do is turn inside.
In this life, you don't have to wander. We don't have to walk around confused. We don't have to wonder, "Where did I come from? Where am I going? What am I doing here?" The wondering should be changed to knowing. You should know. Know where you are. Know what you have been given. Know the truth about you.
I'm not here to change your religion. Follow whatever religion you feel. I'm not here to teach you other things. I'm not here to teach you how to try to fly. I'm here to teach you to recognize your true self. That's all.
Inspire v3 i107, 20 July 2006: Whatever It Takes
Let me begin with a little story: There was a lion who was feeling very good one morning, very happy. He came out of his den, saw a little rabbit, immediately pounced on it, and said, "Who is the king of the jungle?" And the rabbit, terribly afraid and shaking, said, "You are."
This made the lion even more proud. Bouncing along, he found a deer, jumped on it, and said, "Deer, who is the king of the jungle?" And the deer said, shaking, "You are."
Now the lion was feeling really, really good. He was the king. So he goes along, sees an elephant, jumps on it, and says, "Elephant, who is the king of this jungle?" The elephant spun the lion around his trunk, pounded him on the ground again and again till he was senseless, then let go of him. The lion looked at the elephant and said, "Don't get upset if you don't know the answer!"
Sometimes we accept other people's definitions of things, but forget about one simple thing, and that is you. What I am talking about is not what you can accomplish, not what you can do, not about your hopes, dreams, and ideas–but, you, as a gift that came into this world.
It was no mistake that Socrates said, "Know thyself." Know who you are. Understand who you are, your nature. Understand that if you do not feel peace, you may not be able to give it to anyone. If you want to quench the thirst of another, the least you need is water. The water of peace flows within you. The serenity of understanding flows through you–your life.
In all that you are trying to understand, add one more–understanding about yourself. In all that you're trying to complete, complete one more. And besides all those you are trying to help, help one more person–you. You need to feel content regardless of what is going on. You need to feel whole. Yes, you are the building block of your existence. And if that first step is missing, the next and the next and the next will also be missing.
It is not impossible. It is not mysterious. It is not strange. And, indeed, it is not selfish. To unwrap a gift that has been given is not selfish. If I do something at the expense of others, that is selfish. But if I feel an itch and I scratch it, not at the expense of anyone else, it's not selfish. The gift has been given; the gift is you. Life has been given; it is in progress. Your understanding is there, your thirst is there, and the idea of peace is at hand.
I invite you to take a peek inside to know what this existence is all about. The person who said, "Know thyself," didn't make it up to make your life more difficult. But, there was something there, some mystery that could be solved. Humanity will face many, many challenges, and one of the biggest challenges is to find the peace that is within every single being. That has been an incredible challenge. People say, "Peace is not possible." But the personal peace–the peace that you have inside of you–is very possible and has always been there, and that is why it is said, "Know thyself."
It begins with the simplest of understandings, to listen to what something simple is saying to you. It's not about your responsibilities, but about the chance to be fulfilled. The want.
I remind people that what you are looking for is inside of you–not outside. Always has been and always will be. Even if you decide not to discover it, it will always be inside of you. Always. The answers will come from within, not from the outside. The true sense of accomplishment will happen here, not somewhere else. Be who you are.
Be fulfilled every day so you can fulfill others. Be fulfilled every day so you can fulfill the responsibilities that are ahead of you. But it begins with you. What I talk about, you have, whether you decide to pursue it or not. Search if you must. Do whatever it takes to find that self and fulfill that self, so you may serve and serve well. Be fulfilled. Be happy. One lifetime. And only one like you on the face of this earth. You are unique. Shine with that uniqueness.
Inspire v3 i108, 3 August 2006: Love That Which Is Within
I was driving recently in a place where there were mango trees, palm trees, and pine trees. And I started thinking, if somebody were to shape a mango tree so that it looked like a palm tree, would it change its nature? Would it start giving dates? No. You can try to change its appearance, but you cannot change its nature.
Yet, sometimes we think that if we can change our appearance, we will change our nature. We give ourselves labels: I'm a father, mother, son, doctor, lawyer. But who are we?
On one hand, we seem to have the potential to move mountains, go to the moon, create huge cities, and we try to alter nature. We seem to know so much about so many things. But when it comes to us, to our nature, we have no idea. Who are we?
I raise these questions because the answer, surprisingly enough, is beautiful. When we look for our truest nature, we will find that there is peace, understanding. There is the truest love.
Do you know that wherever you go, whatever you do, there is love in you, and there is hate in you? There is pain in you, and there is joy in you. Do not be under the misunderstanding that the love is in someone else. No, love is in you.
There are catalysts. Today, they spark love in you; tomorrow, they could spark hate in you. But when you are in pain, joy is really close. When you are confused, absolute clarity is not that far away. When you are lost, being found is very close. When you are suffering, relief is as close as it can be. And in this world, the one that we are looking for is always within us–not where we think, but inside.
Have you searched for that which has always been within you? You have searched outside, but have you searched inside? This is why my message is so different, because everybody points outside; I point inside. I say: what you need, you already have.
People want a magic formula. We have faster chariots, better forms of communication, big houses, but we still don't have peace. And the request for peace has been there as long as there have been human beings. This is the accomplishment that has to happen. There has to be peace. No exceptions. No excuses. The time has come to stop making excuses.
This is where peace begins. It doesn't begin with big buildings or with big government. Unrest begins with you, and peace begins with you, with every single human being on the face of this earth. It is not the palm trees that need peace; it is not the whales that need peace; it is not the North Pole that needs peace; and it is not the equator that needs peace. We, the human beings, we are the ones who need peace.
Search. Whatever it takes, find peace in your life. This is what's important. If you cannot find peace, come to me. I can help. As one human being to another, one to one, I go to people and say, "If you need this, here it is." Understand your true nature. Understand what this life is. Understand what you have been given because it is magnificent. Be in love with this life, which means see the good in this life of yours.
If you want to be in love, begin by loving each breath. Begin by falling in love with understanding, with clarity, with the truest sincerity. These are the angels in your life. When all is dark, they come–all lit, graceful, beautiful with clarity. One second of clarity, and all the darkness vaporizes. Don't try to remove the darkness–it won't work. All you have to do is usher in the light. Fall in love with living. Fall in love with that which is within you.
Inspire v3 i109, August 2006: Looking Deeper
I have been to many places, told many stories, talked about many things. But it always comes down to us. Who we are. Having this time on the face of this earth, being alive. What does it really mean? There are so many ideas, arguments, philosophies, but it's not about that. It's about what we know.
In this world, everybody wants to be credible: I am right, you are wrong. Every argument is looking for credibility. And to find it, we ask: Who said what? Was it a long time ago? Who was this book written by? But consider for a moment that what we know to be true is not from what we have heard, but from feeling, and feeling requires no credibility. If somebody said, "I slept wonderfully last night. The bed was so comfortable," this would not be a question of right or wrong or of credibility. How did I sleep? Knowing needs no justification.
So the question is: What do you know? Not what you have heard or read. What do you know? What do you know about your life, your existence? This is not an easy task. Trying to separate what you know from what you have heard is almost impossible. There are things we have believed in because we heard it from a credible source. Now we don't know if it is something we know or something we believe. Nevertheless, it does not change the fact that there is something we want to know.
I wonder if we're looking for something, searching. Not knowingly–unknowingly. The nature of a human being is always to try to find a comfort, to try to find a joy, not even knowing that's what we are looking for. Perhaps much deeper. Looking, searching for a tranquility–a peace, yet undefined. Not an absence of war. Not a reconciliation between two people. A peace that perhaps can even play out on a battlefield. Looking for a freedom even in the middle of a prison. Looking for friendship not defined by friends, but a friendship that feels real.
Searching every day, looking for stability in a world that is so changing. A breath just came and changed my life forever. We do not pay attention to the breath. We do not see it as a major factor in our existence till the day it starts to leave, and then it becomes everything.
If we're looking for peace, it is within us. If we're looking for joy, it's not far from us. If we're looking for that friend, it always has been and will be within inside. If we're looking for the place that does not change, that place is inside. You know this. But you need to understand what you know–not ignore it, but understand it.
The day you begin to understand what you know is the day you truly begin to live, not just survive, because living is a celebration of existence. You need to live, to thrive, every day. Not once a week or a month, but every single day that has been provided to you.
In juggling all the balls in my life, do I ask: Who put all these balls in my hand? Me! "I'll do this, and this, and this, too." Somebody says, "You mind taking care of this problem, too?" "Okay." That's the day I became a juggler. Not understanding my primary responsibility is to that thirst inside of me that is calling out to me every single day to be fulfilled.
We forget our true nature. We accept the nature of those around us. Look in the mirror within you and see for yourself who you are: Beautiful, ageless. You're not the sum of your wrinkles. There is something in you since you were a child, and it will be there till your very last breath. Get to know it. Live your life consciously. Be aware of every day because it's irreplaceable.
If you are looking, look, but know what you are looking for. If you are searching, search, but know what you are searching for. If you are waiting, wait, but know what you're waiting for. And if you're looking for the companion, then know who the truest companion is. The truest companion that will be there till the very end. This is all within you.
Inspire v3 i110, 2 September 2006: Our Nature
What I talk about is very simple because it's about you. Most of us think about ourselves, about what we are doing here, in the most complicated ways. Ideas abound. But if you can begin to understand your naturewho you are–maybe some simplification can begin to happen.
Simple as it is, it's worth observing what our nature is. Why is it that when you are content, when you are happy, you actually become kind? You forgive. If somebody cuts in front of you on the road, it's okay. When you are not content, when you are frustrated, if somebody cuts in front of you, you honk your horn.
Contentment, peace, joy, fulfillment–when we have that, we actually act and react to things totally differently. How we talk, how we react, how we actually cope with problems is totally different. The child comes up and says, "Dad, Mom, can I have some money? I want to buy ice
cream." "Sure, and while you're at it, get me one, too." The outlook is different: Things are good. The sun is shining
even on a cloudy day. Food's burnt in the kitchen? "No problem. Let's order pizza and have fun!"
But when something inside is not fulfilled, any little thing is intolerable. If you concur even slightly with that, what should you try to work on? What should you try to do in your life? The keyword is try–to make some effort towards feeling that peace, that contentment.
The idea of peace did not start yesterday. This goal was set a long, long time ago. Civilizations are very proud of what they have achieved, but that goal that was established a long time ago for the whole of humanity has not been accomplished. Going to the moon has been accomplished. But peace has been ignored.
Whoever came up with the idea of "world peace," did a great disservice because it took the burden of peace off of us and put it on the worldthis myth called world. Peace is the responsibility and charge of every single human being. And it is that individual peace that needs to be sought, acknowledged, and achieved in this lifetime. This is what has to happen.
Where is that contentment? It is within you. What you are looking for is within you. People spend thousands of dollars trying to alter their
behavior, and yet it is so easy. Be content and your behavior automatically alters. Outlook? Positive.
You weren't made with a cookie cutter. But someone, something, created all these people, and no two are alike. Not even twins. That is so personal–to craft every single being with so much care. Every day to have that breath come–that is an amazing amount of detail. Every day, to have the heart sing out a song that is never the same–and always the same.
How do you begin to say thank you? How do you begin to feel that magic in your life? How do you begin to celebrate that kind of beauty? The answer: Look within. Listen. Listen to your longing without fear. Listen to how sweet it is, how delicate it is, how strong and persistent it is.
There's only one life–many days, but one life. From the bottom of your heart, enjoy every single day. It is the most priceless thing there is. Every breath that comes into you–you cannot buy it, you cannot exchange it, you cannot give it. It is yours.
Inspire v3 i111, 13 October 2006: Personal Peace
It is a privilege to talk about something that may be a little different, but very familiar. For me, this is a personal quest–the importance of peace. A peace, not of consequences, but a personal peace, an individual peace for every human being. People want to stop wars and conflicts, but nobody addresses the individual with whom peace has to begin before one can even dream of stopping the wars and conflicts that exist in this world.
We live on planet Earth. We have an opportunity to do something so unique that it cannot even be imagined. We have the most incredible planet. And yet, it is so sad to see that people don't have clean water when that's what rains down.
Nature, in its infinite wisdom, says, "You need clean water. You need food. You need the sun. You need air to breathe." These are things everyone needs. They are obvious, but placed in the heart of every human being is also a want, a wish to be content, to be in peace. Food is important, water is important, clean air is important–all the basic necessities–but so is peace. Without peace, whatever structures are built, they crumble.
The fighting decimates. These conflicts are a disease. And like any disease, they affect anyone involved with them. The solution does not come from words, ideas, debates. The solution comes from within the heart of each human being. This is our humanity. There is a cry from within every single person that has been there since time immemorial, wanting to reach out and say, "Let there be peace." Personal peace. Individual peace. The peace that is for everyone. The peace that can be felt on a battlefield or in a prison.
Relationships change, but there is a relationship that you need to have with yourself, a relationship of reality built on fact, not fiction. Built on bricks that you can hold in your hand, not dreams and imaginations in midair. And that is called experience. When a thirsty person tastes good clean water, it is automatically sweet–without sugar. The experience of peace also has a very sweet taste.
We try to resolve all our problems. But when the baby cries, it doesn't matter how many times the mother says, "Don't cry," the baby will keep crying till the problem has been resolved. And then the baby will start cooing. Let's for a minute think of cooing as peace–people feeling something real within them, not created, but something inherent to every human being.
You are here, and that means something. Of all that you can accomplish, there is one more, and that has something to do with you. Generations down the road will scrutinize us, looking at our wars, our failures, and our successes. They will say, "Oh, they were so excited when they got to the moon." Will they say, "One of the most important things they pursued was peace"?
The face of peace has not changed. It has nothing to do with technology. It was talked about by the Greeks, the Romans, the Indians–the idea of people being in a state where they feel real joy. The expression of peace, of joy, is distinctly different from the expression of anger, frustration, conflict. Self-conflict is a war that rages. Only one thing can bring it to an end, and that is the individual peace, felt and understood.
Personal peace. The time has come to do it. It is incumbent upon our generation and generations that follow to pick up this banner and bring peace to this world.
This is a subject that is very, very close to me. Three years old, standing in front of people and speaking: Be happy. Be content. Be in joy. I am so fortunate that, 40 years later, I am still saying that: Be happy, be in joy.
Inspire v3 i112, 26 October 2006: Work in Progress
Today, a breath came into me and brought me the gift of life. For this, I am filled with gratitude. For this, I'm eternally thankful because today I am alive.
What does that mean? When I am in that thankfulness, aware of what I have been given, it doesn't have to mean anything. When your child was a little baby and looked at you and just smiled one of those smiles that melted you, did it have to mean anything? In that moment, all that was needed was a smile back, and everything was said. I don't think there is enough paper on the face of this earth to write what it meant.
In this existence, what I have understood traveling so many places, seeing so many people, is that there is a song that has been written but never sung. There is a symphony that has been composed but never played. There is a poetry that has been written but never recited. And each one of us carries this song, this poetry, this symphony, within us.
There's a lot more to every moment of your life. The question is: How much do you take home at the end of the day? Is it enough to satisfy your hunger? There are many kinds of hunger. Some people hunger to be more successful. Of course, that kind of hunger will never be satisfied no matter how much you have. But do you recognize the one thing that you can satisfy? The one thing that is real–not a definition from someone else. That is the most important thing.
When I begin to understand that, something incredible happens. When you are fulfilled, something amazing happens automatically. People spend a lot of money trying to make it happen, but sometimes all the money and effort in the world doesn't do it. Then something happens, and when it does, it does amazing things. It's contentment. Once in awhile, you find yourself content. And when you are content, you become happy. And when you become happy, all of a sudden, you become kind. Your level of tolerance goes sky-high. Could it be that kindness is automatic for you, that gentleness is your second nature, that you appreciate peace, that you like love, that you wish another human being well who you may not even know? All because you happen to be content for a few minutes? If that's true, there is a chance for peace. Maybe peace is not that elusive after all.
Kindness towards yourself, kindness towards another human being–kindness. Instead of so much noise, a symphony begins to play that is so sweet, and every moment begins to fill with gratitude.
Living life should be a beautiful thing every single day. For me, it is work in progress. A conscious effort has to be made. Every day, I have to be able to turn within and find my reality. This is about living your lifeeyes wide open–with a feeling. For the first time, to dance to a song that comes from within you. To not just think of being alive, but to actually feel alive every single day. That is the possibility.
Peace was set as the threshold for humanity a long time ago. It is only one of the dreams that we have not been able to fulfill. We have gone to the moon. Now the real challenge is: peace. Peace begins with every single human being.
I love peace. I have found peace in my life. I'm so thankful that I have. I want you to also find that peace in your life. And for those who have found that peace, to feel it every day. If I can feel it, you can feel it. It is possible. It's not a dream; it's not a philosophy; it's not an idea. I'm talking about a well where you can quench your thirst. I'm talking about an ocean, and I'm saying, "Come. Swim. Jump in. Feel yourself refreshed every single day. Not just one day. Every single day."
Inspire v3 i113, 15 November 2006: Beyond Success
Each one of us judges our day, our year, and indeed, our lives by what has been accomplished. "Was it a good day?" People will say, "I accomplished this, I went there. I did this, I did that, and, yes, it was a good day." Or, "No, I had problems. My tire went flat, my car broke down, this problem happened, that problem happened. So, no, it was not a good day."
What is really important? Is it really the breaking down of the car that can destroy a day? I agree that it is inconvenient. Things happen in people's lives and they say, "I am ruined! I am destroyed!"
I want to point out that there's something happening in your life that is more important than the sum of all your accomplishments and your mistakes put together. What is it? It is so simple. It is the coming and the going of each breath.
This is the greatest miracle that you will ever witness. No miracle in your life will ever be greater than the coming and going of each breath. In times of trouble, it doesn't leave you. And it is one thing that never judges. Each breath brings the possibility of being fulfilled. Each breath brings the possibility of being in peace.
I know that everyone has an idea of what peace is. When people hear the word peace, they think of world peace, no more wars. Take a look at it from a different angle and you will see real peace. Peace is something that manifests inside of human beings.
I will tell you what I am talking about. I received emails from people in Lebanon and Israel who have experienced peace within. And what do you think these emails said? "Thank you. Thank you for what you have shown us in our lives." They were being bombed, but even in the middle of the war, there is a gratitude for the peace they feel inside of themselves.
You see, what I talk about is not just words. I have nothing new to say. Everything I say, you know. Your heart, your being, your self, has been saying this to you again and again and again and again: "Be in peace. Be content."
To be content. To be in peace. To understand. To enjoy this life. Look at this journey not by failures, not by successes–but as the most precious gift. That's what it is: the most precious gift that could possibly be given to a human being. And here, you have it. It is the sum of all desires fulfilled. It is everything that you have always wanted. And it is everything that you will ever want.
This one place within you is where there are no doubts and no questions, where there is clarity and understanding, where there's a celebration of life going on and you are welcomed. You are welcome to take part in the celebration of existence. You are the only one who can go there. No one else. Only you can go there. It's made for you.
Each one of us can experience that peace in our lives–not in words, not in concepts, not in ideas, but in reality–every single day. The peace that I'm talking about is the peace that people experience in the middle of rocket-falls.
This is not about religion. Follow whatever religion you want. This is about finding the place within inside of you that still remains untapped. I'm not here to offer formulas to you. I can put you in touch with the peace that is within you. As impossible as it may sound, it's happening right now. Somewhere in the world, somebody is being put in touch with that beauty that is inside of them. And it is no surprise that when a person feels the beauty within, the next words they say are, "Thank you. Thank you for letting me feel the peace inside of me."
Inspire v3 i114, 4 December 2006: The Reflection of Peace
Everybody wants peace, everywhere you go. Not long ago, I was talking to some prisoners, "Do you want peace?" "Of course!" You can speak to people in the Army, "Do you want peace?" "Yes, of course!" So everybody wants peace. And then, you ask, "What is peace?" And here, you get a surprising answer. Everybody has their own version of peace and everybody looks at it from a totally different angle.
The other day, I was talking to my niece, and she said, "Oh, I love that color." I said, "You love that color? Or you like that color?" She said, "What's the difference?" I said, "There's a very big difference. 'Like' is really what you want to say, and you can emphasize that, 'I like that very much,' but love is a little more interactive than that color can provide you."
And in the same way, when it is quiet, people say, "Oh, it is so peaceful." All it is, is quiet. People think the absence of war is peace. They have their ideas of peace. There are people who think peace is when everybody walks very slowly, wears flowing robes with flowers in their hair, and everybody is greeted by the peace symbol. You don't shake hands anymore. Perhaps you just touch two fingers and say, "Peace." Well there's no limit to it, is there?
Let me tell you a story. Once there was a queen, and she had a very beautiful necklace. One day, after her bath, she was on the balcony drying her hair. She took her necklace off and put it on a hook. A crow was flying by, saw the necklace shining in the sun, and flew off with it. But the crow dropped it in a tree, and it got caught on one of the branches.
Beneath the tree was a filthy dirty river. Now, when the queen reached for her necklace and found it missing, she threw a tantrum. "Who stole it?" She had everybody searching for it. Nobody could find it. She said to the king, "If I don't find my necklace, I'm never going to eat again." The king was very concerned and sent all his army and others looking for it–but nobody could find it. So the king finally made an announcement. "Whoever finds the necklace gets half of my kingdom." Then people started seriously looking.
One day, a general walked by the tree and saw the necklace in the river below it. He immediately jumped into the sewage-filled river because he wanted half the kingdom. The minister saw the general jumping in, and he, too, saw the necklace, and jumped in. The king saw his general and his minister looking for it, jumped in, and now all three were fishing for it. By then, more soldiers and the villagers had come, and they all jumped in.
Finally, somebody with a little wisdom said, "What are you doing? The necklace is not down there; it is up there. You're jumping after the reflection." And so the king said, "Since you found it, half of the kingdom is yours." And the wise man said, "I don't need your kingdom. You keep it."
Why did I tell this story? Because that's what we do, too. We just see the reflection of peace. It's nice when there are not wars, but that's a reflection of peace–that's not peace in itself. Peace begins with every single human being on the face of this earth. That's the necklace. Everything else is a reflection.
When the heart is full, when the human being is full, then automatically, the person is not in duality, is not in questions, but in answers. Not the complicated, but the simple–that we are. This is what we favor; this is who we need to be. This is our nature. When we are in that equilibrium where our hearts are full, our true nature shines. And the true nature that we have is beautiful. It's real. And that is the place of true peace. We look for it far away when it is so close to us.
Even in the most hopeless of situations, there is hope. This is who we are. There is a resilience, there is an understanding, there is a strength to every human being. And that is the strength to march towards the gateways of inner peace.
Inspire v3 i115, 22 December 2006: Where Peace Begins
When I travel and speak to people, my message is about the very real thing that peace is and the possibility of feeling that peace in this life every single day. So where does it begin? Let me tell you a little story that might put it in perspective.
One day a tourist arrived in a very remote village where the people were very simple. The next morning he put his mirror on the wall to shave, but forgot to take it down. Later on, an elderly villager with gray hair, bright eyes, and a beautiful shining face came across the mirror on the wall. He had never seen himself before, and so when he saw his reflection in the mirror, he was mesmerized. "Today," he thought, "I have seen the face of God." He left completely happy.
Then came a beautiful young girl. When she saw herself in the mirror, she was taken aback. "I have seen the most beautiful woman on earth, and when I grow up, that's how I want to look!" Next, a man came along who had lost his father. When he looked in the mirror, he said, "Oh, my God, I saw my father again!" And he took the mirror with him.
Now, these three people who had seen themselves in the mirror started to get very upset. They started arguing, and before long, fights broke out throughout the entire village. Soon everybody was unhappy because whoever looked in the mirror saw something they liked, and they all wanted the mirror for themselves.
Finally, a wise man happened to come along and asked, "Why are you fighting?" One said the mirror showed him God, another that it showed him his father, and others told him what they had seen. So he called for this magical thing, and when he saw it, he smiled, "Do you know what this is? This is a mirror."
He called the old man and said, "You did not see the face of God. You saw yourself."
He called the young girl and said, "You did not see the most beautiful woman–you saw yourself." He called the young man and said, "You thought you saw your father because now you look like him. But it was you." One by one, he called everyone and he said, "Look. What you see in this mirror, what you like in this mirror, is not the mirror. It's you!"
How does this story relate to peace? Peace begins with us. Try to understand where the idea of peace came from. Was it somebody's invention? Was there some intelligent person walking along high mountains somewhere who said, "Peace. That's a good idea. Let's have peace." No.
As long as there have been human beings, there has been a desire for peace. The need for peace comes from within. Peace is the desire of the heart. It is as simple as the coming and going of breath. The movie of life begins with the first breath. And we all know how the movie ends.
We are fascinated by the in-between part. This is what we live for: "Who am I? What am I? What have I accomplished?" That's all fine, but never, ever forget the importance of where it began and where it ends.
Within you lies the possibility of peace. Peace does not belong to any nation, any society, or any religion. Peace belongs to people like you and me. Where will peace manifest? It will manifest in the cathedral of the heart. That is the only place where peace is welcomed. It is people like you and me who want peace and welcome it in our lives. It is here in our existence that peace resides.