One of the gifts that I have been given by my Beloved is that of being able to simplify things. Maybe sometimes I simplify things too much, but when I look at things I’m always trying to find a simple answer to complicated questions. I try to find an answer that is, in fact, useful to us here, now.
For many years of my life I was searching and trying to find answers to such stupendous questions. But, as time passed, I had to get rid of so many of the answers. I learned something and then had to get rid of it. Then I learned something else and I would try to simplify that. If I couldn’t simplify it, it didn’t feel right in my heart. I was doing that for years and years.
Because of that, I ended up getting involved with and learning about many different religions and cultures and sects and sub-sects. In all these different things I was trying to find something that felt right within me. For a tome I was trying to find the right religion for me to follow in order to have a good life here and hopefully upon my death to have some type of good life after that.
There was a lot of searching. And it was very, very painful because I wasn’t finding that “something” that was close to my heart and that felt right within me. One of the wisest things the Buddha said was, “Discard everything that does not sit right within you own heart, including my own teachings.” So, for many years I searched and I searched and I searched. If I had been in graduate school I would have earned a Ph.D. in comparative religion!
I was very blest that I ended up meeting my teacher, Poonja-ji. I went to see him in India with the idea that he would help me answer all the questions I hadand also that he would help me find the right religion for me to follow. I felt that once I found the “right” religion then everything would be over.
So when I went to see him. To my surprise, what he told me struck me in my heart in the right way. He told me, “Stop looking at all the differences in these religions and see if you can find something that is the same in all these things.” I had spent years trying to compare the differences while I should have been looking for the common thread in all them. When I realized that, all my searching was finished because I realized that the common thread in all these different religions and beliefs was basically that of love and kindness.
I think all of you reading this, believe it or not, are here by invitation. Maybe you didn’t get a notice in the mail, but you are here by invitation. We are very blest to be here and to have the consciousness of wanting to know more and wanting to be close to That that I call the Beloved.
I use this term, “the Beloved,” to try to talk about something that cannot be spoken of. I decided to call it the Beloved because when we have other names, like God or consciousness or the name of some beautiful being who existed in the past, then our mind gets trapped in the ideas and dogmas and traditions that have sprung up around those beings or concepts. But when I use the word Beloved, I don’t want it to have any definition.
To me the “Beloved” is all that I cannot speak about. It is all that has no beginning and has no end. It is indescribableand it is the everything that we all are. So when you hear me say Beloved, that’s what I’m trying to say.
We can spend a lot of time talking about very specific things and discussing the multitude of concepts and ideas that we all have and that we all have learnedbut how do we simplify all this?
In simple terms, I think that all of us, deep down in our hearts, want to have a good life here and many times we question some of the difficulties that we have to face here. We want to have a good life and on occasion we may even say to ourselves that we’d like to be enlightened. We’d like to be wise. And we also say that we wonder what happens when we are not here anymore.
Those are very the basic concerns and questions that we have. So do we spend our time and effort in deciphering certain teachings and debating and saying to our selves, “Are these the true teachings or are they the wrong teachings?” And I think that in doing this we are wasting our time!
I think it is a tremendous amount of fun to study all these different things. But in our lives we have to simplify what all this is about. For me, I have accepted in my heart that there is something unexplainable. It is something beloved and mysterious. It has no beginning and no end. It is the source of everything that exists.
This incredible thing that has no description is before the big bang and after the big bang. It’s on its ownwith its own will, its own volition. There is nothing outside of it. This magnificent, divine entity, this benevolent mystery, this Beloved, is at the beginning and end of everything. This energy, this force, within its own will and volition, decided to create all kinds of forms and objects and things that we see and don’t see. This Beloved has created all these universes. It has created all things out of itself. It is all these things.
This Beloved did not enter a form separate from itself because separate-from-itself does not exist. It created a form consisting of itself which is an expression of itself. So what we are is the Beloved’s own expression of Itself. We are the same as this Beloved.
We have been given physical senses. We have eye sight. We can hear. We can feel. These things are traits of the human form that this Beloved is occupying. We also have a magnificent brain. We interpret everything through our physical senses and through our brain. Because of our reliance on our senses and our brain we have fallen prey to the idea that we are separate from the Beloved. That is such an arrogant, ignorant thing for us to do.
By saying that we are separate from the Beloved, it means that somehow or another we have established ourselves as some new substance different than the Beloved. But all that there is IS the Beloved. So such “separation,” such new substance cannot be. Logically it makes no sense.
Because we have been so conditioned from the moment we have opened our eyes by well-meaning parents, teachers and all kinds of cultural situations, we have come to believe that all that we are is a physical form. When we believe that all that we are is a physical form, then we get all the problems that go along with being only a physical formincluding feeling separate from That which created us.
When we feel separate from That which created us, we start saying to ourselves that all these different characteristics that I have are not worthwhile. We get down on ourselves and think that we are no good. We get preoccupied in the turmoil of daily life. And we forget that we are one and the same with the Beloved.
The Beloved lives in us and we live in the Beloved. I think Christ said that “the Father works in me and I work in him.” I think that’s probably the wisest thing that Christ had to say. I think we get too busy in our lives to actually spend a little bit of time pondering how it is the same for us, too.
Many times I have asked you to make a little effort to help yourself realize this connection between you and the Beloved. When you wake up in the morning make the first thing you bring into your mind be, “Thank you, my Beloved, for another day. Thank you for the gift of my having another day.” Then in the evening when you are ready to fall asleep may you again say, “Thank you, my Beloved, for my day. I rest in you.”
I don’t think that’s a very complicated practice. But you would be amazed how few people do it. We would rather remember an appointment at 10 o’clock or at 11 o’clock, or a TV show at 1:30, and all the ultimately unimportant things we have to do instead of remembering to just say thank you to That that we cannot speak of.
Now I’d like to add one thing to that simple practice. When you thank the Beloved for another day and the gift of your life, would you also be kind enough to yourself to say to yourself, “My Beloved lives in me and I live in my Beloved.” It will help remind you of who you are. So I think that is as simple as it will ever get.
If you want complications, I can complicate everything. We can talk about any subject to a great extent. All these subjects are interesting and fun, and there are such magnificent questions that we have within us. But once we can feel inside ourselves that the Beloved lives in us and we live in the Beloved, we will have great peace. This is what is called a realization or enlightenment.
So do this simple practice for the next month. And then we will talk again.
You are in my heart.