Prisoner


For years and years and years all I cared about was my work, my success and making money. That was my life. Anything that got in the way of those things was not acceptable. I’ve tasted that! I know about those things. Then I was given a gift.

One day I woke up in the morning and I said to myself that there’s got to be something else in life besides the daily routine of my being a prisoner of success and money.

We may think that we control those things, but really they control us. We become their prisoners. So there came a time when I realized that there had to be something else. I started searching for something that would be different—searching and searching and searching. I dedicated basically all the energies I had to finding something that was more important than fame, power, wealth, and sex. So I studied many things. I read many, many books. I explored many, many traditions.

Each time I studied some new path,

I realized that the answer was not there.

I talked to a lot of people who had accomplished much more than I had in life. The older they got, the more unhappy they seemed to be when they started to see that time was running out for their physical life here. The closer they got to this transition, the more profoundly sad they were for having wasted a precious birth. So I learned this, too.

Then I went to India where I was blest to meet my teacher Poonja-ji. He was introduced to me by my beloved son who had been with him on a prior trip. Poonja-ji straightened out so many ideas that were running around in my head about what was important. It was a blessing for me to somehow trust that I was talking to a person who really knew what he was talking about. Many times we know somebody who knows the truth, but we don’t trust that he knows what he knows. And then the opportunity passes.

I tested my teacher to make sure that he was right. I had all kinds of requirements he had to meet for me to accept him, not knowing that in reality it was just the other way around with what was taking place. I thought I was controlling everything because that was the way it had to be according to my upbringing. We have to be kind to ourselves, very tolerant, and take into consideration where we come from and how we look at things.

As it turned out, he passed all the tests that I had set up for him—or maybe I passed all the tests he had set out for me. Regardless, I felt I could trust him. And then he untaught me many things.

My teacher didn’t teach me many things,

he un-taught me many things.

That’s a big difference! It’s easy to teach somebody things. But to un-teach is where true teaching is. He untaught me all this garbage that I thought was so precious. He started me thinking about how useless it is to have so many ideas and concepts about how things have to be and what is important. When we put all these ideas and concepts in perspective we realize they don’t mean anything.

But we have to be willing to let them go.

That is how Poonja-ji un-taught me things. I still know things, but they are not so important to me. That’s the difference. We can know many, many things but they’re not so important. They’re not important.

Get rid of all the notions

that you have entertained and

that have kept you a prisoner

and just Be Free.

I was blest by my experiences with Poonja-ji. And I hope that in my small way I can save you much time in your search for freedom.




SEPARATION ANXIETY


I was haunted by a fear

that I did not belong or fit in,

that I had lost my connection with nature,

that I had lost my union with something more,

that I had been orphaned—or worse, abandoned.

And so I began a spiritual journey

to find what I thought was missing.

But what was missing was only

my willingness to accept

that nothing is missing.


Shivakti




IN MY HUMANITY


Much of my life I have longed for the Infinite

and labored to rise above my humanness.

What a surprise after all these years

to find the divine comfortably at home

in my own human heart.

What a surprise after all the searching

to find the Beloved so firmly imbedded

in my humanity.

What a relief to discover

there is nothing I need do,

nothing I need become.

I sigh and relax a little—

becoming softer and less fearful

in my humanity.


Shivakti



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