The Beloved has given us many, many gifts. All these different abilities that the physical form has are all gifts. Life in this form was a gift. It wasn’t a penance. It wasn’t as so many disgusting teachings say that the only reason we have a human form is because we are being punished. Punishment for what? Nobody is being punished. We are the embodiment of the Beloved.
So we have this physical form and we have the ability to be able to do all kinds of things. And we have an amazing consciousness. The more that we are in love with the Beloved, the more we can do. The power is immense.
So since we are alive, let us be alive. What I mean by that is that every day that we have this gift of life we should try to live it fully. We should try to live it in such a way that when the time comes that we think that we are not going to be existing here any more, we go with no regrets. We have none of this stuff that I should have done this and I could have done that. I should have; I could have; I should have; I could havebut then it’s too late.
Each day you can live a complete life. Never mind this concept of reincarnation after death. You can reincarnate every day! You can write a different play every day. But if you wish to write the same play every day between now and this theoretical time that you are not going to be here in this form, then you’ve only lived once. If every day you get up and you do the same thing day after day after day and you do not vary anything because you are comfortable or because any kind of change is dangerous or threatening, then you are only living one kind of life.
But remember: The only unchangeable thing is change itself. Whether we like it or not there will be changes. So why not practice making some little changes, frequently, in our regular lives so that when bigger changes come we are not so shocked. We get used to adapting to changes and then we are not so afraid of any change.
So while we are alive, it’s up to you and up to me to look at our lives and decide if there is anything we want to change. And then we must take action, if we think that action is required, to do certain things to make this a better life. If no action is required, no problem. But if an action is required, we can’t put that action off indefinitely. By not taking any action we have, in fact, made a decision not to act. So this business about “well, I’ll do it later” really means you have decided that you are not going to take any action, which is all right. But just don’t fool yourself by thinking that you haven’t made a decision when, in fact, you have.
Along those lines, as I have said before, we should try to find a time span for ourselves, and it varies for each one of us, as to how long we think we may be here. We don’t know for sure. We could be here today, but it could be somebody’s last day. Or it could be many, many years. This does not take any orderly fashion. Accidents take place, diseases, all kinds of things. So we could say to ourselves, “If I had x-amount of time what would I be doing?”
For me I’ve tried various time framesone day, one week, one hour, one month, etc. I have found that six months is a comfortable time frame for me. Other people may do something else. So for me I’ve said to myself, “If I’m only going to be here for six months more what should I be doing, if anything, that may be different from what I am doing?” If there is somebody that I should apologize to, maybe I should. If there is somebody I should tell them I love them, maybe I should do it. If I’m in a relationship that is absolutely going nowhere and I have tried everything I possibly can to get things to be better, maybe I should put an end to it for the benefit of both of us. Maybe I’ve dreamed about painting my whole life, maybe I should do it. Etc., etc., etc. Then this becomes a revolving time frame and you keep changing whatever may be there.
We also have this concept that says we must live nowfor the now. And I tried living in the now. Most of the time I tried to live in the now but there are many, many things in our lives that require some planning. But we are made to feel that if we are not living 100% in the now we are some kind of a spiritual zero. However, if you want to go on a vacation, you have to make a reservation to get a plane ticket. You’ve got to do a few things that appear to be in the future. There’s always a practical balance that has to be reached with these ideas.
So, there are many, many religions. But there is really there is only one religion.
We have many names but there is only one religion and that religion is the supreme understanding of our union with the Beloved. That is enlightenment.
And now we have time for a few questions.
Yudhishtara, I sort of mentally get that we are not separate from the Beloved. I get the concept and I feel very comfortable with that. But it seems that there is something morelike an experiential consciousness of connectedness, a whole body thingand I personally don’t experience that. I’m grateful for what I have and I go through emotions of just incredible gratitude. I’m happy with what I got. I’m not complaining that I don’t have the feeling of it. But it seems like the feeling is there and I don’t know how to get it.
That’s a very good question and I get asked that all the time because everybody wants to receive some type of proof. It would be real nice if there was some kind of bolt of lightning that would hit at the same time that we say to ourselves that we understand these things. It would be a sign.
Actually, each of us “gets it” in different ways which are uniquely appropriate for us at the time. But we get jealous of how we think someone else is “getting it.” And so we dismiss our own getting. Some of us will be more intellectual in how we get it. Some of us will be more emotional and we will “feel” it. A few may have an unusual event spotlighting the getting. But we all got it. So why all this spiritual envy? It’s absurd! The real question is, once we get it, how do we let that into our lives? Or do we let it in?
Still, we want a sign and unless we get this kind of a sign, we say, “I haven’t experienced it. I really don’t feel it; therefore it could not possibly be so.” And then we minimize what we have come to know. So the only thing that can be done to circumvent this minimization is basically to go into training and to remind ourselves quite a few times every day about this unity.
This appears to work if you do it for 3-4-5-7 days a week and you become serious about it. It’s just like any other thing that you take seriously in your life. So take the time to say to yourself, “I am one and the same with the Beloved. The Beloved lives in me. I live in the Beloved.” And keep repeating that. It’s almost like a mantra. Then after awhile it kind of takes off on its own. It becomes an automatic thing where the brain which is asking this question basically is releasing itself from all the stuff that it has heard before and is retraining itself in the new perception. You have to give it a little time.
Eventually there will come a time when proof is of no importance or consequence to you. At that time you will know everything there is to be known. But in the meantime, we have been trained that proof is the only reality.
So when we feel that we need some proof or a sign (which, by the way, will never come in the way we think it should), it is because, in fact, we have decided that we want to stay separate. Did you hear me? When we feel that we need a sign, it is because we have decided that we want to stay separate.
And why do we want to stay separate? Often it is because we want to feel “special” or “better than.” We want the Beloved to feed our ego. And we refuse to accept the truth of our oneness with the Beloved until we are fed.
You see, it a decision. You have to decide that you are not going to be separate from That. It’s a conscious decision! And then you surrender to it.
We have been given this gift to be able to make conscious decisions. Even though we criticize this brain, we still have an awesome instrument up here. So this thing up here which questions all these things also has the ability to be able to put this stuff into proper perspective.
Yudhishtara, why do we seem to have ups and downs in our spiritual understanding?
We have ups and downs because we have not acknowledged that everything is permissible. It’s our brain that says, “Today I am spiritual and tomorrow I’m not. Today I remember and yesterday I forgot.” We go through all these ups and downs because we have adopted false beliefs. We believe in things that come and go and we sway with the wind. We go back and forth.
But it is impossible to step out of the Beloved, even if you tried. You can’t do it. There may be times that you don’t seem to remember the Beloved. But just because you don’t remember doesn’t mean that it’s not there.
It’s the same kind of an example as when we are newborn babies. Very few of us remember what we were doing when we were two weeks old. But our mother and father told us that when we were two weeks old we were doing something. So we were there and we were doing something. Just because we don’t remember, doesn’t mean that it wasn’t happening. So if we don’t seem to remember our Beloved, it doesn’t mean that the Beloved isn’t there. And our Beloved is still loving us!
So we have to get the correct spiritual understanding which requires a letting go of all the garbage we have assimilated.
Poonja-ji used to say that when you come to satsang you have to leave your brain outside. And I would say to myself, “What do you mean ‘leave my brain outside?’ How can I leave my brain outside?” What it means is, if our brain is full of all kinds of opinions and dogma and rights and wrongs and we sit here justifying all these opinions that we have, there is no room left over for the Beloved to speak to us. We’re already full of all this stuff. So we’ve got to leave all this stuff behind. It’s just baggage. Leave it behind and you will be much lighter.
There is another beautiful Buddhist story that I just happened to remember: This enlightened Zen master and his student were going to cross a bridge to go from one side of the river to the other. It was a very tiny, shaky bridge. At the same time they were getting ready to cross the bridge, this lady-of-the-evening was also wanting to cross the bridge. She was afraid to go on this tiny bridge. So the Zen master decided to pick up this woman and carry her over to the other side and put her down.
And the student walking with the master was very upset. Very irately he said to the master, “How dare you defile yourself and dirty yourself by carrying this filthy postitute over the bridge! How could you carry that baggage on you? Everything I’ve respected about you I have to take back because of this terrible thing that you did.”
And the teacher looked at him and said, “I carried her over the bridge and I set her down. I no longer carry any baggage with me. You’re the one that’s carrying this baggage with you.”
Does witnessing our emotions or situation bring us into the present? How important is witnessing it?
Witnessing our emotions, our situations, our life brings us into the acknowledgement that maybe something has to be done to either correct or change or accept a certain situation. It’s very, very important.
When you witness something it’s like you stand a little bit aside from what is taking place. To witness something puts you in the position of being a third party. There’s a big difference in seeing and witnessing something, as opposed to being immersed in the situation. When you look at your own emotions, your own life, your own problems, your own existence, as a witness, it gives you a lot of clarity because it allows you to be able to look at certain things in a more unbiased manner. When you are not so directly affected by your own ego and desires, you can often get a much bigger perspective on the situation.
So it’s a very wise thing to be able to witness your emotions and your ideas and your feelingsto look at them critically and to make appropriate decisions.
Yudhishtara, is it possible to love someone and to be their enemy at the same time?
We can love someone and we can be their enemy. But the love we have for them is that love of the Beloved that has nothing to do with their ego and their personality and the way that they decide to run their life. So, yes, it is true that those things can go together. You can love and you can also be the enemy of somebody. But eventually being the enemy of somebody also has to be given up because the only being that gets affected and hurt by having enemies is our own essence. So it’s best to forgive and move one.
And to be flexible is one of the most important things that we have in life. If you are rigid, you are weak. If you are flexible, you are young and pliable and not much can affect you. When you decide to be rigid, you’ve got a problem. In the Tao teachings they say that there is nothing better than water because water is fluid. If you have to choose between the rigid vessel that holds the water or the water, take the waterbecause the vessel can shatter.
So always remember that you exist within and of the Beloved. You are not separate from That. You are the Mystery.
Thank you so much for being here.
I love you
and I wish the best for you.