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The Beloved Mystery Within You

by YUDHISHTARA What Do I Teach People have asked me what religion or path do you teach? They want me to have a definition. If I dont have a definition, they dont know what Im going to share. So what is my definition? I have everything within me. I am defined by everything and nothing. I have taken value from every teaching that has been passed on to usteachings from Christ, Buddha, Lao-Tzu, Confucius, Zoroaster, from Islam, from the Greek thinkers, especially from the Indian shamans, from religions that have no names, and more. I have studied many, many things and they are all within me now. If I were to pick just one of these things, I would be defined only by that. Then I would have all the boundaries of that particular thing around me. It would put me in a place where I would not have much freedom. So what do I teach here? There are so many ways of looking at these things. There are so many facets to what we are. Sometimes some of us want to look at things in one way only and, if we hear them in another way, we get impatient and say, This doesnt fit me now. Sometimes the facet we want to hear things from doesnt happen to be the facet that is being talked about at that timeat other times it is. So we need

to be patient with these things. There are many, many facets to our being. Sometimes we need to be told things. Sometimes we need structure. Sometimes we have to follow something or believe something. Sometimes we dont want to hear anything at all. Sometimes hearing anyone attempting to speak about things that cannot be spoken of makes us feel frustrated because these things cannot be spoken of. And sometimes we long to hear and speak about these things. We are very complicated beings! But I think that, if we are honest with ourselves, most of us want to be happy. Most of us want to not be so afraid. Most of us want to have a good life here. Many of us want to feel whole and at one with something that we cant even name. We want peace in our hearts and we want to feel free. And, I think, most of all we want to be able to open up and to love. And so these are the things I speak of because I have been asked to. At the same time I want to make it very clear that I am not perfect and I do not wish to be perceived as perfect. Like you, I am now occupying a human form with all of its characteristics. Just because I am sharing my experiences, knowledge, or lack of knowledge with you does not mean in any way shape or form that I have some type of higher position than you or that you have to attain something I have or am that you are not.. In your own heart, in the depths of your own being, in your own inner knowing is the magnificent beloved Mystery which I try to give voice to. Remember this, when you think the Mystery is in methat It is fully within you too.

My eternal gratitude to those who know me as imperfect and still choose to love me.

Using This Book (by Shivakti)

This book is not meant to be read in a linear fashion, page after page after page. Its meant to be tapped into in random, free choice, orderpreferably in small bites. (That may be a tall order in an on line presentation!) Nevertheless, there is no sequential learning herebut there are opportunities for expansion. Each little chapterette stands alone, and offers something to consider and be with for a while. Certain themes will be repeated because they are essentialand, as is the nature of free discourse, they may be re-visited often or approached from slightly different angles. So start anywhere. Go anywhere. There are no rules. These chapterettes have been taken from a selection of the numerous, spontaneous talks (satsangs) that this remarkable man has given over many years. Although it is impossible for me to capture the first-hand experience of Yudhishtara in satsang, I hope that in transcribing his words, I may have been able to convey at least some of the intensity, integrity, compassion and wisdom that is so evident when this teacher speaks. Since we also learn from each other, on occasion I have included some italicized comments and questions from individuals in the audience along with Yudhishtaras response. So often someone elses question or comment will shed light on our own experiences. I couldnt resist a few sprinklings of the prayers Yudhishtara has offered as they reflect so much the nature

of our humanity and the simple direct dialog all of us can have with the Mystery he calls the Beloved. In the same vein, I offer some poetic reflections of how the things Yudhishtara has taught (and modeled) have flowed through my life. Finally, I have to say that sitting with these words through the hours of transcription and compilation has profoundly transformed my life. So it is with a sense of deep gratitude that I now turn these pages over to you.

Table of Contents
INTRODUCTION What Do I Teach Using This Book FOUNDATIONS Prisoner Our Search Truth Between Absolute and Relative Beyond our Form Movie Screen Enlightenment Meditation The Ocean Overwhelmed Myth of the Quiet Mind Ultimate Relationship HEART OF THE MATTER Not Complicated In Everything Falling in Love Facing Adversity Change Unity I Never Love Enough Being Human Finding Balance Decisions Not Predetermined

Religion Rays to the Sun Exploring the Rays The Basics ONWARD Extreme Love One or Two Service Trouble with Now Time Expectations of Enlightenment Tight Energy In Awe Science, Religion and the Beloved A Relative Life Wisdom from the Dying Into the Unknown Keeping It Simple The Next Adventure THE WAY IT IS Death Look at Life Sabotaging Ourselves Gratitude Dont Be Fooled Paying for the Truth Search for Perfection We Are That Instrument of the Beloved Complaining

Diligence Natural Gratitude Awareness and Choice Energy Comfortable with Ourselves PEACE Impermanence Surrender Spiritual Snobbery No Student, No Teacher Tolerance Balance When It Hurts So Much More FREEDOM What to Believe Enlightened Free Will Waste of Time Nonsense Reality Check A Free Being HERE The Lie Spiritual Slavery Fear of Dying Wider, Wondrous, More Inquiry Misinterpretation

Speaking with Compassion Compassionate Understanding Getting Over the Past Moving On Relationships Everything Is Within Perspective I Know What It's Like ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS Dedication Special Thank You

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. Ive 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 theres 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 dont 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 himor 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 didnt teach me many things, he un-taught me many things. Thats a big difference! Its 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 dont 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. Thats the difference. We can know many, many things but theyre not so important. Theyre 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 orphanedor 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

Our Search
It is my hope to share with you many facets of my composite experience. I want to put the wide variety of traditions, teachings, non-teachings, religions, science, etc. that I have played with into perspective. The essential core of all of them is very, very simple and straight forward. It is not meant to be complicated. It is my desire to simplify not to complicate. So before we start you need to know and to remember that many of the things we talk about are beyond words. They are beyond explanation. They are beyond the comprehension of our brains. We value our brain so much because it protects us. It takes care of us. Weve been with our brains since the time they were born. Obviously we have to listen to our brains for all kinds of regular things that we do on a day to day basis such as what were going to eat, what kind of work were doing, where were going to go, how were going to entertain ourselvesall kinds of things of this nature. But when it comes to figuring out who we are, what this thing that we call I is, the brain cant help us. And thats where the problem comes in. We try to do all kinds of things with our mind, with our brain. But to try to figure out the things were talking about here is beyond the ability of the mind. We ask questions. What is god? What is creation? Where do we come from? Where do I fit in? What is all this about? We try to figure these things out. We read books

and we go to different teachers. We ask questions and we want answers. Sometimes we join certain religions. We follow all the different instructions and rules of these religions. And still something is missing. Something is missing and we cant put it into words. We dont know why something is missing. We do what we are told. We pray and we read the appropriate scriptures. We do penances and we sing songs. We do and we do. We do all these things right and somehow something is still missing. Nothing really explains how we feel about the things that truly matter. Some of us change teachers. Some of us read different books. Some of us decide to go to the Himalayas. Some of us decide to become monks. We decide to join this group or to follow that path. We are searching and searchingalways looking to another being to tell us something that we think we dont know. We go from one teacher to another. Sometimes our hearts get wounded because we give so much of ourselves to the search. Then things happen so that once again we intuitively know that these teachings are not quite right. Again we are not satisfied. We find ourselves saying something like, If I want to, I can pray in the park or on the beach. I dont have to go to this church. I dont have to be doing all these things. This voice comes from inside of us, but we dont pay much attention to it. We dismiss the voice. After all, how dare we contradict what we have been told. How could we know just as much

or maybe even more than all those learned people that have been telling us that they know all these different things! Then we have fear. We have fear of what weve been told might happen if we dont do certain things the way they have been prescribed. We may go to hell, or purgatory, or some other fearsome state for the rest of our time in this universe. So we have all this turmoil. But if we stand back for a moment, we can ask ourselves a fundamental question: Who am I? Who is this being that I refer to on a daily basis as I? I am driving my car. I am going to school. I am doing my job. I believe in certain things. I am searching for something. But who is this I? What is it? We spend a lot of time asking other people who are you? And they tell us, I am so and so. They give us their name, their accomplishments, their occupations, how many children they have, where they were born, and all kinds of information about themselves. Basically they are describing what they have done with their bodies and minds. This is how they classify themselves. And this is how we have been taught to describe ourselves. As time passes, we tend to identify more and more with our occupations, our families, our successes and our failures. And it comes to pass that we have solidly identified ourselves

with all of our descriptions. But all this identification is still just identification with the forman identification with the body, an identification with the mind, an identification with the definitions of the mind. And we stop there. We stop there and, through conditioning and through all that we have done, we believe that who we are is what we touch, what we feel, our personalities, our emotions, our accomplishments and our social status. But we are something much, much more than that. We are something so much more than just the body and the mind.

WHO AM I? Will I ever know the truth of me? Will I ever find one solid unchanging thing of me? Is there an unchanging part of me? Or am I a flow of electrons, a stream of energy, a nebulous filament of shifting consciousness not a person, nothing solid at all? I used to know who I am. Now I do not.

I stop asking the question and turn to what seems real to me somehow I am. Someday it will be said of me, she is not. But I am not is impossible for me to say. The most basic truth I know is that I am. And however that came to be, I am grateful. However long these moments of being last, I am grateful. Shivakti

The truth is very, very simple. It is so simple and so beautiful that we think this could not possibly be so, and we try to make it complicated. When we try to make it complicated, we lose the essence of what the truth is. It is the nature of our minds to want to make things complicated. Weve been told that easy things are not as beautiful as complex things. Weve been told that we always have to strive for things. Weve been told that we have to accomplish things and that we have to acquire certain things. We have been told that we have to do a lot of work in order to be able to understand complex things. And we have been told that this same thing goes for all the things that pertain to the Spirit. We have come to believe that we have to understand something very complicated, or be something very complicated, or do something very complicated in order to know what the truth is. And so we are always on some type of a search, some type of path. We are always trying to accomplish something. We are always looking for something that is beyond us. This something is something we can never quite reach, something that we believe is for someone else but not for us because were not worthy. We havent done enough. Were not pure enoughand on and on and on.

Our minds keeps bringing up obstacles, different things that we have to do or accomplish in order for us to attain some stage of purityor some state where we can believe ourselves worthy of calling ourselves enlightened or awakened or free. And somehow or another we always fall short. We always say that it couldnt be. It just couldnt be. We think that it is arrogant for people to think or believe that they are not in bondage or that they are enlightened. How arrogant is that! But it is arrogant, it is silly, and it is false to say that we are not free. We are all free. We are all enlightened. We are all beautiful. We are all part of That which we cant define with words. We are all part of Consciousness. We are all part of that magnificent Mystery. And the problem is that somehow or another we forget it. Dear Beloved, Help us to see the truth. Help us to be the truth

May we always love you.

Between Absolute and Relative

We have absolute truth and we have relative truth. We have both! Absolute truth is about mysterious things, about things that we cannot define and therefore cannot talk about. But at the same time we want to discuss these things. Because we love them, we do our best to talk about them. Nevertheless that subject is absolute, unspoken, unwritten, indescribable. Lets say this is the absolute (holds up right hand). In this particular place there is no one, there has never been anyone, there will never be anyone occupying this physical form that has the authority or the ability to speak about the absolute. We can accept this or not. If we decide to accept what Ive just said, it will take a big load off our shoulders. If we choose to think that there is somebody that can address this, then I say, Good luck! Absolute truth is the place that everybody talks about as being oneness. It means that we all have the same isness, the same being, in this place. There are no categories of distinction here. And on the other hand (holds up left hand) we have relative truth.

Relative truth is the field of conversation. This is the field of opinions, ideas, and concepts as to what absolute truth is. Relative truth is the field where we discuss how to live this life, how to be wise, how to have days that appear to be more beautiful than others. Here in this field of relative truth, we can do all the talking that we wish. In relative truth we have wisdom or lack of wisdom. In relative truth we have knowledge and lack of knowledge. In relative truth we have characteristics and each and every one of us is different. We all have strengths and weakness, opinions and ideas. It is in relative truth that all these things come out. As we become wiser and we participate in the ideas and concepts of relative truth, once in a while we may come up with something that makes this life to be a little better. But making this life better doesnt change or touch absolute truth. Some of us would say that we wish everything about us was absolute truth. We want only to be in absolute truth. And some of us would say that absolute truth is not important and all we want is to live this daily life of relative truth. But these things have to come together. [He brings left and right hands togetherS.]

It is intriguing that this is also how we prayuniversally! We put our hands together because we are at the center of the absolute and the relative. You can go to any place on this earth and find all kinds of beings following various traditions, concepts and ideas. If you spend some time with them, you will find that in a moment of real importance to them, their hands come together. Their hands come together to signify a wise place of acknowledging that the absolute is giving us the gift of living in relative absoluteness. The absolute is giving us the gift of living in relative-absoluteness. And that is where we live! We live here in the middle. Some times, some days, some years were much further towards the absolute side of things. And some times we are much more on the relative side of things. When we feel that we are totally involved on the absolute side, then we start to become arrogant in the miserable way of thinking that we know everything. However when were immersed in the relative side and were having terrible days, we forget that there is more to things than just terrible days. We have to be conscious of these things and find our way to the middle. Sometimes finding this middle point, this dynamic balance between the absolute and the relative is difficult because of apparent surface contradictions. All the different teachings and all the different things we get involved with

sometimes contradict each other. Sometimes we say one thing and then the next moment we say something else that could sound totally different. Because of that a lot of confusion arises as to what it is that we actually mean when we say something and why it is that one day we can discuss a particular subject in one way and the next day say something that is totally different. Because of that confusion a lot of people end up being too harsh on themselves or too rigid in trying to hold on to what was said. One reason why we talk about things in different ways is because of the way we talk about truth. Truth can be talked about in absolute terms. And truth can be talked about in relative terms or in what we call worldly terms pertaining to how we live our regular life. So we discuss a particular subject. If we want to approach it with absolute truth we can discuss it one way. And we can discuss the same subject in a different way when we approach it with relative truth. Even though nobody can speak about absolute truth, we try to talk about absolute truth by making statements such as: We were never born and we will never die. Everyone is enlightened. Nothing has ever existed and nothing will ever exist. The Beloved is always with us. We are the same as the Beloved. We inquire as to who we are and

find out that there is nothing that we can find. All of these are statements about absolute truth. Sometimes we become caught up in these attempted descriptions of the absolute. I think it is much easier, wiser, and perhaps more accurate to say that absolute truth is a Mystery. It is such a magnificent mystery that we dont have the ability to talk about it because it is beyond definition and human understanding. But then we have our lives here which are involved with relative truth. Within relative truth we can discuss many things. If we refuse to touch and understand relative truth, we might never be able touch absolute truth. What this means is that we have a life to live here. And when we are suffering, statements about absolute truth often dont make too much sense. If somebody talks about our lives in absolute terms when we are not ready to hear things in absolute terms, we look at what they are saying as unbelievable, or as useless, because it doesnt help us in our daily lives. Thats the dilemma with these things. But as soon as we decide to differentiate how we talk about these things, I think we can start getting a lot calmer about what all this is about. Even this conversation we are having, in absolute terms, is just another concept. But we need a few special concepts in order to go beyond concepts.

Beyond our Form

Most of us have an easy time dealing with the reality of our physical body. We can see it, touch it, and do things with it. We are comfortably familiar with our body and with the different parts composing this body. Even when we come across people who may not have an arm or a leg we can still see them. We can identify that they are still beings. They can still call themselves by their names. We can keep removing different parts of our body and as long as we have the mind, we can still say that I am this person. We can remove almost everything of our form and still be who we areexcept when it comes to what we call the mind, the brain. Thats where the difficulty really begins! To think of ourselves beyond the mind is the most difficult thing that we can do. Once we say to ourselves, I am not the brain. I am not my mind, then all of a sudden this fear comes up and says Im gone. Im nothing. Everything has vanished. I no longer exist. I have disappeared. But when we look at the mind, it is just a bundle of thoughts. So what are thoughts? Thoughts come and thoughts go. They come and go. They come from someplace and they go someplace. The mind is a bundle of these thoughts that come and go. Once we realize that the mind is a bundle of thoughts that come and go, then

the mind can no longer deceive us. We know what it is made of. As for the brain, it is composed of cells just as our hand is. It is all composed of mattermatter in different forms. So beyond the mind, beyond the form, beyond what you see as a physical being, is what we are. We can call this thing that we are Consciousness. We can call it Self. We can call it God. We can call it That. We can give it no name. We can call it emptiness. We can call it fullness. We can call it love. We can call it peace. We can call it any name that we want to call it. Whatever name we call it, the name and the description it implies came from our mouth and from our brain. But what we are has no name. What we are has no form. What we are is what pervades everything. What we are has always been and will always be. What we areis! What we are is beingness. We are manifestations, beautiful manifestations,

of That. In order to see this, weve got to step back. We have to step back, especially at the beginning, and gently remind our minds who we are. We gently remind this bundle of thoughts that we are That, that we are Consciousness itself. Then when the mind or the brain gets involved in the melodrama of day to day life, in good things, in bad things, in indifferent things, we can always stand back. We can look at a terrible event. We can look at a wonderful event. We can look at a non-event. We can look at whatever is happening from a different perspective.

Movie Screen
Once we rest in who we are, we dont have to tranquilize the events that happen to us in life because those events give us the greatest of all pleasureeven in tragedy, which we naturally would still rather not have. But if it does happen, whether its tragedy or happiness, we know we are not those things. What we truly are cannot be affected by happiness or by tragedy. Happiness and sadness are creations of the mind and the body. Poonja-ji liked to relate this to a movie screen. We go to a movie theatre and are waiting for the movie to start. The projector hasnt started yet. We look at the screen and the screen is blank. Theres nothing on the screen. Nothing is playing. Then the projector starts, light hits the screen and the movie starts. We can be watching a love story. We can be watching an action film. We can be watching a cowboy movie. We can be watching a documentary. All kinds of things are happening on the screen. People are getting killed. People are making love. People are hungry. There are earthquakes, fires, all kinds of things. If a movie is really to our liking there are times when we get so engrossed we can even feel that we are taking part in this

movie. Eventually this movie finishes. Then we have to bring ourselves back and say, Well, it was just a movie! But lets say in the movie there were a lot of bullets that were fired and we look at the screen after the movie was finished. Does the screen have holes in it? Lets say there was rain in the movie. Is the screen wet? Lets say there was anger, hatred, love, earthquakes, any catastrophe or any good thing we can imagine. Are these things affecting the essential nature of the screen? The Screen is still there. The Screen is still blank. The Screen was there before the projected images started. The Screen is there after the projected images end. So if we start to understand that we are the Screen, then how can any of these things that take place with the mind affect what we really are? Theyre just composed of a bundle of thoughts that come and go. How can that affect our essential nature? It can try to affect us, but all it takes is just a little vigilance to remember that we are not those things. We say to ourselves, I can see those things. I can feel those things. I can play with those things. But I am not those things. I am the Screen. I am Consciousness. I am That! All we have to do is just to say to ourselves, I am That. It doesnt take too long before we dont even have to say it any more because we start to realize that even these are just words and what we are really meaning goes far beyond mere words and ideas. I am CONSCIOUSNESS. I am THAT.

And that is how it is. This is basically the whole message. Its very simple and simultaneously complex because this beautiful brain of ours just refuses to accept the fact that it could be so simple. The brain wants to be active in trying to figure out what is beyond its ability to figure out. That is what I call arrogance. Arrogance is for us human beings to believe that we have the mental capacity to calculate, to postulate, to talk about, to figure out the infinite unknown. How much more arrogant can somebody be than to say that I have this brain, and this finite thing can figure out the Infinite. Thats arrogant! But its not arrogant to say I may not know what it is, but I rest in it. It takes care of me. And I take care of it. I am going to remove from my shoulders this burden of trying to figure out this thing which I know I cant know with my brain. And I give up. This is a surrendering to the truth of who we are. It is a magnificent thing. It is a victory!

When we can accept that what we are is beyond name and form, when we can accept that what we are is isness itself, then we can see that no matter what is happening, the essence of what we are cannot possibly be affected by these things of name and form. Only the mind can be affected. Only the body can be affected. But our essence cannot be affected. This understanding, is what is known as enlightenment. Enlightenment isnt any complex kind of a thing. Contrary to what we may believe, its not cannons firing into the sky and all of a sudden we know something that happens only to a select few and not to others. It isnt that suddenly we are above it all and everything is perfectly smooth in our lives or that we no longer have to face the daily situations of life. We tend to say to ourselvesHow could I be enlightened? How can I think of myself as knowing, when I have done these terrible things or I have had these terrible thoughts during my life? It cant be. That title has to be given to somebody that we revere and put on a pedestal. But all these things we are saying to ourselves are just conceptions of a mind. Every being is enlightened.

The only difference is that some people may not want to believe it. The mind believes that a holy person is supposed to do certain things and an unholy person does other things. The mind says that only holy people are enlightened and for me to be enlightened and to understand the truth, I must do certain things. I have to follow the footsteps of a great teacher. I have to read 55,000 books on the subject. I have to spend 10 years as a monk in some monastery. I have to go to Tibetand on and on and on. And we do these things. But eventually there comes a time when we have to become courageous enough to say Ive had enough of all these various teachings. I know who I am. Ive had enough of being a follower of this or that. I know who I am. If I know that I am consciousness, if I know that I am That that cant be identified, if I know that I am beingness, who can possibly teach me anything of more importance on that subject? We call these meetings we do satsang meaning association with truth. In association with truth, a true teacher is really not a teacher because in these things that I am discussing there is no teacher, no teaching, and no students. But we have all become accustomed to either being a teacher or a student. We feel comfortable in being one or the other. It requires bravery to listen to someone like me say that there is nothing further to do, nothing further to hear. We have to trust in our own intuitive Essence.

We have to trust in this very, very tiny voice that once in a while tries to talk to us. But so often we slap it in the face and put it down. We say, I couldnt possibly be That. Im not worthy of It. But we are! It is already what we are. So if there is any practice to be done it is just being alert when this intuitive voice comes. Be with it. Spend time with the best friend that you will ever have. Spend time with who you are. Spend time with Consciousness. This little voice gets louder as time passes. It gets a little louder and you become better friends with that little voice. That voice becomes bigger and soon you fall in love with it. Your physical form, your mind, and who you are become a beautiful circle all of you loving each other without being enemies to each other.

ENOUGH So often Ive wondered when fate turned me back upon myself and there was so much aloneness Would I be enough to fill the emptiness? When my idea of God was dismantled by my searching,

leaving me with just myself Would I be enough to fill the void? When my framework of right and wrong and what ought to be was disassembled Would I be enough? When my reliance on what others said, or thought, or taught was dissolved Would I be enough? I dont know if it was courage, desperation, or the thrust of Grace itself that drove me to find out if I would be enough. But a time came when I had to turn within just me, by myself, alone. And into that trembling emptiness I haltingly whispered, I love you I trust you And what has come from that is so much more than merely enough. Shivakti

ASPECTS OF ME There are aspects of me

which seem to be bigger than me which are most mysterious. There are aspects of me which call things into my life in the guise of coincidence and synchronicity. There are aspects of me which provide me with unexpected gifts in alignment with my deepest intent the mechanics of which are beyond my comprehension. Some people call this God and see it as a personalized entity existing outside of themselves. For me it is a magnificent Mystery beyond my personality yet still so intimately ingrained in me. I call it my Beloved. Shivakti

Our minds have a hard time understanding that we are free, enlightened and an integral part of That that cant be spoken of. Our mind brings up obstacles, doubts and questions. There are all kinds of things that we can do to ease our minds. There are all kinds of yoga studies, books that we can read, and practices that we can follow in order to make our minds peaceful and to make our minds give up all these different trains of thoughts for a while. There are many things people do which I like to call concentration exercises as opposed to meditation. Concentration exercises are things that make us temporarily peaceful. They are types of things like repeating mantras or songs, looking at candles or flames, following our breathall kinds of things we have done for various reasons at different times in our lives. They are very beautiful things. They help us while we are doing them. But they are temporary aids. Concentration exercises are temporary things. Were in this concentration. We step out of the concentration. We step back into it. We step out of it. Were always stepping in and out. And were always saying, I was so peaceful yesterday when I was sitting for a half hour quietly by myself. I was peaceful two weeks ago when I was doing

this. I was peaceful then, but I am not peaceful now, and I wish I were as peaceful as I was before. We keep going from one state to another state, back and forth. That is why all these things are really concentration exercises no matter how beautiful they are, no matter how fancy they may be, no matter how they have been portrayed as doing all kinds of things for us. And the more complicated they are, the more appealing they seem to be because more effort is required. Therefore we think that, if we put more effort into it, we will become skillful at it and we will receive the benefits from doing it. But there are no long-term benefits because these are just concentrations. They are not meditation. On the other hand, meditation-as-enlightenment is not so much about having a peaceful mind all the time. Meditation is knowing what we are continually24 hours a day. Meditation as enlightenment is being in touch with who we truly are even while we are distracted by the fretful things of life. Once we know who we are, once we are in touch with what this entity we call I is, there is no need for any concentrations to put us into a state of any further knowing of this. We are always aware of what we are and there is an abiding sense of security that comes with this. When we know who we are, we can then do concentration exercises, if we want to, because we enjoy them or because we may need our minds to be at peace for a few

moments amid the things that are happening in our lives. But underlying all these things, we are always in the position of knowing what we are. Thats the essence of the teaching of Poonja-ji: stopping, resting, asking ourselves, Who am I?. Who am I? What is this thing that I keep referring to on a daily basis as I? We use this word thousands of times every day. But who is this I? We never are really able to define that. In fact, no one ever has been able to define it! And then we remember we are something beyond words, beyond definitions.

The Ocean
I want to tell a little story that may give an example of how these things fit in. We can all visualize the ocean. We can see this beautiful ocean and how deep it is. We can see how many different colors it has depending on what time of the day it is. We see waves way out in the ocean and waves that are breaking on the sand. We see that the waves are all slightly different. Some waves are tall, some are short. Some waves as they crest look white, some bluish, some yellowish, some have foam on them. We see all these different waves. Just pretend we are one of these waves and we are having a discussion with the other waves. We can be discussing things pertaining to waves and water. We can be running around having a lot of funjumping up and down and looking at the foam, comparing our height to somebody elses height. We can talk about all our accomplishments and adventures as waves. We are playing and looking around. Suddenly we hear a tremendous noise that we havent heard before. We look harder and some of us see that pretty soon we are going to hit the shore and the sand. Then this gigantic natural fear takes over us and we say. My god, we are going to disappear. Were no longer going to be waves. Were going to hit the sand. Whats going to happen to us? Im no longer going to be this color or that color. Im not going to be skinny. Im not going to be fat. Im not going to be high. Im not going to be low. Im not going to be

the most intelligent wave. I am going to disappear. And this horrible fear takes over. We try to fight it. We try to go with the riptide back into the ocean. But we cant do it. Eventually we hit the sand or the rocks and become droplets. And then we get pulled back and back. We go back into the ocean. We look around and say to ourselves, Why was I so afraid? I was water when I was a wave. I am water here in the ocean. I have always been water. How silly of me that I thought I was a wave and that I was going to disappear. I have always been water. The same thing goes for us. We identify with this body and we think this is all that is. We play our games and do what we do. The years pass. Our bodies change. Were not as handsome or as beautiful as we were before. Were not as fast. Were not as intelligent. And the time comes that this unbearable thought of death comes to our mind. Its the same kind of thought the wave hadthat we are going to disappear. And in a way we are going to disappear. Our form is going to disappear just as the wave did. But That that we are will not disappear. Just the form changes. That that we are was never born and will never die. In That there are changes of formwaves, raindrops, snow, hail, lakes, rivers, oceanbut its all essentially water. So this is who we arespend time with That. Start to acknowledge it. Be with it.

Give up searching, reading another book, going on some other expedition, needing to have someone tell you something that eventually enslaves you or puts you in bondage. Stop searching. What you are searching for you already are. This is what freedom isnot to have a teacher, not to have a teaching, not to have students, not to have a preacher that says you must do these things to have a future life. There is nothing to follow. There is nothing to do. Just understand that who you are, what your true nature is, is indescribable, indestructible, and ongoing. And this understanding comes without charge. There is nothing to follow. Everybody is a leader in this situation once we understand that there is nothing to follow.

We spend so much time inquiring about other people. We find out many things about themwho they are, how they define themselves. We discover that all of us generally define ourselves by our accomplishments, our education, our family, our nationality, our age, our health, and all kinds of things that are transient. We are always defining ourselves by these things that come and go. We never step back for just a fraction of a second to see if there is something more than these things. Maybe theres something more than my being a doctor, a waitress, a mail carrier, a teacher. Maybe theres something more than my being a father, a husband, a wife, a mother. Maybe there is something else. We may not know what this something else is. But just the stopping and asking, just the acknowledgement that there might be something else is enough to begin opening our eyes. Our minds, however, are not capable of ferreting out something that is beyond our capacity to understand. As human beings we are very arrogant to think that our minds can figure these things out. Because we have been successful in understanding so many things, we think that this is also something that can be understood by the mind.

But it isnt possible for the mind to understand and comprehend what this is. We use some words. But even these are impossible for the mind to comprehend. What is consciousness, infinity, love, emptiness and fullness, everything and nothing? What am I? How can a mind figure out any of these things? But we are so harsh and difficult with ourselves. The more we get involved with our spiritual search, the more we give our minds an overwhelming task. We give this task to our mind. We say, Figure it out for us. Tell us what all of this is. We want to know. And we go from place to place, from teacher to teacher, from book to book, from one set of circumstances to other sets of circumstances. We search and search trying to find the answer until eventually something happens. It is unexplainable how it happens, but something happens where we are able to say to ourselves, I give up! This giving up is not a giving up in defeat. Its not a giving up as if weve lost some kind of war. Its an I-give-up meaning that I am no longer asking my mind to figure out things it cannot possibly know. It is a surrendering to the reality of the situation that some things remain a mystery. I give up into the grace of the Unknown. I give up into the Beauty and Infinity of all these things that are such a Mystery. I dont know what they are. In my heart it really

doesnt matter what the form is, what it came from, why it is here, where it will go, or how it all started. What difference does it make? All I know is that something is and at the same time I am. And whatever that something is, I am also a part of it. How could I be separate from That? Since I am part of That, what could possibly take place that could damage this underlying, magnificent essence of who I am? Embracing this understanding can ease so much of the burden we carry, so much of the anxiety that we have that we are somehow separate from what we instinctively know is the Essential nature of everything.

Myth of the Quiet Mind

There are all kinds of forces that can have an impact on our bodies and on our minds. There are all kinds of things that can impact our relationships with people. But all these things are things of the form. Once we know the difference between our essence and our form, everything can be put into perspective. There are a lot of religions and spiritual paths that make a big point of saying that, in order for us to become enlightened, the mind must be killed or we have to put a stop to our thoughts. They say that an enlightened being, a being that knows the truth of what is, does not have any thoughts that come to the mind. But we do have thoughts! We may judge them to be appropriate or not appropriatebut they are there. There are thoughts which come to the mind which we have no control overbut we have them! According to these traditions, the only way to attain enlightenment is to somehow devise a method for the mind to become totally quiet so that it does not get hindered by these things. So we try to do that. And we fail because it is impossible to have thoughts stop coming to the mind. Thoughts come, stay for a while, and go. New thoughts come. They stay and they go. It has been like that for as long as we can remember. The only way to have thoughts

stop coming into our mind is to get a frontal lobotomy, acquire a disease that destroys the brain, or take certain drugs that alter our mind. Thoughts are going to be coming and going as long as we are alive and healthy in this form. Thoughts dont mean anything. Thoughts mean something only when we pay attention to them. They mean something only when we let them take over our lives by either focusing solely on them or by believing that thought is totally who we are. But thoughts come and go. Some thoughts make us feel good. Some thoughts are not so pleasant. This is natural. When we try to take all thought away from our minds we get to an unnatural point of not being much different than a vegetable. Then we dont feel very much. We dont feel much happiness and we dont feel much sadness. The question isis that really living? According to some traditions we can then say to ourselves, I am enlightened. I dont feel anything. Everything is just moving by me and I am in a state of total bliss because nothing is affecting me one way or another. But thats not the way of being I am talking about. What Im talking about is being able to experience the most magnificent things that we can feel and at the same time experience all the things that are not pleasurable. To feel themall of them. To be here. To be present. To be! To know that all these things are happening only to our bodies, to our minds, to our forms. And also to know that the underlying, beautiful, magnificent thing that we are is

having a wonderful time with this play! It is all a magnificent playand we need not take everything so seriously, even the spiritual game. But people dont like to hear this. They like to hear that we have to do 25 exercises in a precise order. But the truth is that we dont have to do those things! We just have to be. We have to experience our life. We have to be with what takes place and remember that part of us which is indestructible and which is beyond all the puny things that may be affecting us on a daily basis. That is who we are. That is what is!

Ultimate Relationship
People come to see me for various reasons. Some come for spiritual reasons. Many people come because of some particular thing that is affecting their lives: a divorce, a death in the family, loss of work, jobs, identity, or some psychological situation that has to be dealt with. Other people have been going to see spiritual teachers their whole lives, and theyve been getting the wrong message. Now they want to be with somebody who will finally tell them what the truth is. There seems to come a time in our lives when we have the desire to finally put all these things behind us. Something happens. Something inside of us, some kind of voice arisesmaybe we call it intuition, maybe we call it grace, maybe we call it the Self. This tiny little voice whispering to us says, Just stop and listen to me for a moment. Stop all this nonsense that youve been involved in for all these years. All it takes is just to be quiet for a fraction of a second and to listen to this voice inside of us that is telling us that what we are is more than we thought. If we listen to that little voice, it becomes a little louder next time and a little louder the time after that. Then we start falling in love with this little voice and this voice falls in love with us. As we keep growing, this friendship grows.

Without any exercises or formulas, we just naturally start falling in love with that part inside of us that is a Mystery. And we know that this is who we are. We may ignore it, but we know thats who we are even when we get caught up in all these games. So we become more alert to this voice. This is what is known as being vigilant. If you want to make it an exercise, which it is not, we can make it a vigilant exercise of reminding ourselves who we are. Eventually we dont even need any reminding because this knowing has taken over and then were always resting in that indescribableness. Its just like when we fall in love with another person. We fall in love with somebody and we want to be with them. We want to see them. We can hardly wait for the time to come when we will see our lover. Were wondering what they are doing. We talk to them on the phone. We can hardly wait until we see each other. We cant be apart. And its the same type of relationship with the Selfbut its a thousand fold more intense. Its a million times stronger to be in love with who we are and to be loved by who we areas opposed to being in love with another form that comes and goes. Being in love with That that we are is not a selfish love or an arrogant love. That love is the most magnificent of all loves. Its a relationship that builds upon itself,

that guides us, that loves us, that protects us. Once we open ourselves up, we may see many things happen that we call strange. But they are not so strange! We may need or desire something, and it comes to us and we wonder how that happened. Or we are about to cross the street and we dont see that a car is coming but something tells us to stand back. How do we explain these things? The mind wants explanationsbut forget the mind. The mind is good for telling us when to get up, what kind of work were going to do, what were going to eat, how were going to dress, and all these different things. But when it comes to our essence, we need to give our minds a rest. Take your brain off the job. Give it a break and it will thank you very much. You will be amazed at how many more things you can do on a daily basis when you remove such a big load from your mind. You will be amazed at the peace and fulfillment that can come from giving your mind this rest.

Not Complicated
Falling in love with the Beloved is very, very easy. It doesnt require any great expertise in anything. We become involved with all kinds of different spiritual paths. We want to achieve many different things. We want to be enlightened. We want to be wise. We want to be the best Christian, the best Buddhist, the best this, the best that. We do all these different things. And thats fine. Theres nothing wrong with any of these things. But along the way we often forget the simple matter of being in love with That that has made all these things possible. We go looking for complicated practices. We think that if something is complicated, it has to be good. If its simple, anybody can do it. But when we start looking at most of the simple things that we know of, theyre really quite something! The simple things are often very, very special. But we get caught up in all kinds of complicated things. We get caught in the trap of accomplishment. We get caught up in being given rewards for achieving certain levels of knowledge, for rising above the ranks or for being more important than somebody else. We do all these different things year after year. And I dont think we get anywhere.

Eventually we realize that all of this was a lot of fun but, nevertheless, its not getting us closer to the essential wholeness were looking for. We can learn many practices. We can learn to sit quietly for hours and hours and hours. We can follow our breath coming in and going out. We can be very peaceful and very relaxed. We can do any number of things that give us pleasure and make us feel peaceful. But if were not thankful and if we are not in love with our Beloved, whats the use? As time passes, even though I discuss all these other subjects because they are a lot of fun to talk about, I am realizing that all I really truly care about is that I want to be friends with that Mystery I call the Beloved. All I want is to be as close as possible to that Mystery. And at least occasionally, I want not to recognize any difference between me and the Mystery. In all honesty, I dont care anymore about who said what to whom about why. I dont care about what this religion says or what that religion says. I dont care about who is right and who is wrong and all these different subjects. The more that I look at all these different things, the more I start to see that they are just beautiful toys to play with. They are beautiful toys and we spend a lot of time with them. But they tend to distract us from sitting down and doing the real work of what this is all about. All of this time we could have been in love

with That that we cant speak about, with That that is in our own hearts and its very easy. This is why many times I get angry at myself for not seeing how easy and straightforward it is and for allowing myself to get so complicated.

SOMETHING Once in a while I feel as though I catch a whiff of it a telltale fragrance in the air, a faint track in the sand, a fleeting motion in the corner of my mind. But when I turn to look, it is gone. Nothing is there. Nothing is there and so I have doubted, feeling an anguish more than I can bear. Deeply have I considered the implication that nothing may be there. And yet my heart will not agree and insists that something is something I might not be able to identify,

something I might not be able to detect, yet something I subtly sense everywhere, something that like the sirens song calls to me and sets a resonance in me, something Ive come to love but cannot give a reasoned why, something I simply do not want to live without. And so I cast aside my doubt and let my heart speak to the unknown Oh, my Beloved Shivakti

In Everything
The proof of the Beloved is so abundant. It is all around uscontinuallyin everything! How can I miss it and get caught up in all these distractions when I can simply look at my body and see what a magnificent machine this is. Its right here in front of me! Look at all the things that our bodies can dohow our arms work and move, the magnificent way the lens of our eye functions, all the things that have to be going on in our brain in order for us to do anythingall of this! We see our physical form. We see all the plants and the animals and the earth. We see how alive the earth is and how the earth takes care of us, feeds us and is part of what we are. We look up in the sky and see the stars and planets and galaxies. We see the immense size of all these things. We begin to grasp the possibility that besides our own universe there may be many, many other universesinto infinity. We look into the small scale of things under a microscope and see the most magnificent things that are alive. Even though we cant see them with our naked eyes, they are thereand they are alive and flourishing. All these things are around us and we dont stop to say, Hey, look at this! What we say is, Im not happy with

my life. Im not pleased about this. Im not pleased about that. This is not right. We dont stop to say, Look! Ive been given the gift to be alive and to see and be a part of these things! When we say that, we cant help being grateful to be here. It is a natural response to be thankful to That that made all of this possible. Being thankful is sometimes all it takes. Im saying these things because I want to save you a lot of time. I just dont want you to waste this precious birth on all kinds of things that are beside the point. You can do all these practices and paths as hobbies, as interestsno problem. But dont do them because somehow or another you are going to get some kind of reward that you wouldnt have if you didnt do them. You have to know why you are doing these things. But making friends with your Beloved is one thing that is well worth the effort. Making the effort to become friends with your Beloved, with God, with Consciousness, with this Mysteryand to trust in Thatis well worth the effort. Then you will see

that no matter what happens in this life, no matter if you are having so-called good fortune or if you are having what appears to be bad fortune, you will always have your Beloved within you. No matter what happens, you always have your Beloved within you.

Falling in Love
Falling in love with Consciousness, God, the Beloved, or the Mystery of all of this is what spiritual wholeness is about. Everything else is just a side trip. Falling in love with the Beloved, remembering the Beloved during the day, making friends with your Beloved, trusting your Beloved is all there is. It may seem to be a difficult thing to make friends with the Beloved, especially when things are not going very well in our lives. When we face a lot of adversity or when things are not going right, we may say to ourselves that if the Beloved was truly our friend these things would not be happening this way. So at the very time that we need the Beloved the most, we seem to turn away. But this is a mistake. Even though it may seem like it is work in the beginning, it is very important to set aside some time every day to fall in love with That that we cant speak about. It is important to pay some attention to falling in love with That that made usto fall in love with That that loves us, to fall in love with That that has created all these magnificent things that we are privileged to be part of, and

to spend a little bit of time to appreciate and be grateful for all the gifts that we have. By doing that we change our mentality. We actually change our brains chemistry. And thus, we change the way we experience. We change our way of looking at things. Instead of looking at all the things that we dont have, we start to look a little bit at some of the things that we do have. And we all have a lot of giftsmore than we can ever imagine! Its not easy to be in this room with me or to be reading these pages. Being here means that something within you is so much in love with That that you cant speak about, or you are longing so much to be with That that you cant talk about, that it makes you come hereits not because of me. That that you love makes you come here. It seeks the company of other beings that are in love with the same thingand you come. Poonja-ji used to say that you can count on your fingers the people who are really in love with the Beloved. So even if you think that you dont have anything else, youve still been given the greatest giftto be interested in finding and discovering and spending time with your Beloved. With this gift you can face everything!

Facing Adversity
Ive been helping a friend of mine who is the president of a major company which is facing a lot of difficulties. Ive been going there almost every day. Hes trying to figure out what would be the best way for them to stop losing money and to stop laying off people. He had found it very easy to lay off people on the basis that it was good for profits, good for the business, and good for the stock price. But in the last few months he hasnt been able to do that. On the one hand he has to do things like this. On the other hand he cant. So it becomes a decision as to how many people does he hurt and how many people does he save. We are living in difficult times. There is a lot of stress. Many people are losing their jobs and dont have any work. Its especially difficult when people are working very hard. They come to work every day and do what they are supposed to do. But because of things beyond their own control, whole departments, whole divisions are closed. It makes them wonder what do they have to do to keep their jobs and pay their bills and to continue with their lives. Some of these people have seen all their savings disappear because of bad and sometimes very dishonest decisions made by other people. Those are very difficult things to face. If we have no underlying strength of being friends with our Beloved, of looking at something

beyond these things that come and go, then these kinds of difficulties are even harder. What happens is that we start to say to ourselves that the only thing of importance in my life is my job. The only thing of importance in my life is my children, my wife, my husband, my home. But all of these things come and they go. Its not that they are not important, but they come and they go. They are important, but they comeand they go. So if there is nothing else that we decide to identify with besides things that come and go, then, if something is taken away or if something doesnt come, were in deep trouble. Im not saying that identifying with something that doesnt come and go will remove all problems. As in this case, if somebody doesnt have any work, it doesnt mean that all of a sudden everything is going to be great and that its time to go have a party. No, that is not the case! Its going to be difficult. Its not easy. Many, many things have to be done in order to be able to survive. But underneath all these things, there is always a conversation with the Beloved saying I love you, I rest in you, guide me.

Without that whom do we talk to? Maybe we talk to a lot of well meaning people who want to give us advice about all kinds of things. But in reality, for our own sakes, weve got to have that internal foundation. That foundation is basically essential. I dont know how I got myself involved in this thing with my friend, but somehow or other I am involved in it. Its the kind of a thing that is not easy, but it has to be done. Being there for the last few weeks has made me realize, personally, how blest I am. Maybe I was starting to forget that. I take things for granted, and I forget. When I face these things that have been affecting peoples lives, their families, their children, it reminds me again of the many blessings I have.

Its just as easy to put some good positive thoughts in our minds as it is to put ugly ones there. Its just as easy to be thankful about things as it is to be complaining and wishing that things would be different. The more that we complain and the more that we think that, if things were different, somehow our lives would be better, the bigger the mistake we make. Its a huge mistake! One of the reasons why its such a big mistake is that we take the arrogant approach that somehow or another we know what is best for us all the time. We seem to think that if something bad is happening its going to be bad forever and if something good is happening it truly is beneficial. The reality is that we wont know until later if something that appeared bad is good or if something that seemed good is bad. We know these things only in retrospect.

Many, many times the things that look as if they are the end of the world are the kind of things that push us in a totally different directionto feel something different, to experience something different, to do something different that weve never done before. And then we feel alive! Sometimes it takes a great shock in order for us to snap out of our routine and out of a life that is the same day after day. We have to take many, many steps to assure that every day is not the same as yesterday. Do not make tomorrow to be exactly the same as today or yesterday or the day before that. Life isnt meant to be boring. Why is that important? Because it lets us taste life in so many different ways! We get to feel different things. Then when the time comes that we are faced with the change of not being here in this physical form, we are not going to be afraid because weve already done many changes. Weve already experienced many changes. So it is important to learn to welcome changes. Change is a sign of life.

True surrender happens when, within our own essence we say, I love you. I want to be with you. Show me the way. We make a step forward and That that we cant speak of makes an even bigger step towards us. And sometimes we forget. We all forget many things. We get busy. We do all kinds of things. But once weve tasted the beauty of this surrender, its something that we cant totally forget. We dont really forget. It may seem like we forget, but underneath we have not forgotten. Its just like having a battery that gets rundown because its been too long since weve used it. Sometimes we have to recharge the battery a little by strengthening our ability to remember. I have used many tricks for myself. I dont need to use them as much now, but for many years I used many, many tricks so that I could consciously remember more and more every day to be in love with my Beloved. It would take effort in the beginning because I would forget. But I would make myself rememberlike

remembering appointments. In the beginning I would say to myself, Im going to remember three times a day to say thank you. As easy as that sounds, there were days that I didnt remember three times to say thank you. There were times when I remembered once. There were times I didnt remember for days and then it would dawn on me and I would think, Gosh, I couldnt even do that! But then I realized that it was much more important for me to remember my Beloved than for me to remember to do a lot of other things. I started to realize that all the other things Im remembering are really beside the point. If I do forget those other things, its no big deal. But not remembering to remember That which has given me the ability to remember is not how I want to be. So after awhile we start to remember 3-4-5 times a day naturally. Then without much effort at all we begin to remember many, many times a day. Then everything about us and everything we see is a continuous remembrance of That that we love. Its like being in love with another person, somebody that you really love a lot. But this is much more. Youre in love and you want to be with that person. You dont care what you do. Whether you go to the movies or to a top notch restaurant or to Mc Donaldsit doesnt matter because you just want to be with that person. And the same thing happens when we decide we are going to be in

love with our Beloved. Then remembering is no longer a job. Its no longer an effort because we realize that everything around us and everything that there is about us is That which we love. We talk about these concepts of duality and unity and all kinds of things, but unity and duality are just words. In final essence unity means that we fall so much in love with something, that after awhile we start to imitate what we love. We all do this naturally! We see people that are in love and they start dressing the same. They start smelling the same. They start talking the same. They begin to think alike and act alike. Its the kind of a situation where we start to imitate our ideas about our Beloved. Then soon enough something happens so that we can hardly tell who is the Beloved and who is us. Then we go through a stage where it is difficult to say any prayers because we dont know what we are praying to, or whom we are praying to, or why we are praying in the first place. But soon we realize that its our brain that is praying because that is its way of acknowledging That which we cant speak of. And it makes us happy to do it so there is no problem with that either. We go through all

these different stages, but we are always aware that we are in love. We have decided to be in love with That which is always loving us. That is the important thing! When we fall in love with another being, many circumstances arise and maybe that person wont love us anymore. Or maybe we wont love that person. But that situation doesnt happen with the Beloved. The only thing of importance in this life is love. Everything else is beside the point. If we dont have love for our own self, if we dont have love for That that we are, if we dont have love for our Beloved in our heart, then nothing else matters very much. If we dont have love for other beings, if we dont have forgiveness and kindness, nothing matters about anything else. Its a lot of fun to talk about all the other things; but at the bottom of all this, what is essentialis to be in Loveand to be Love. Otherwise its just a lot of talk. Its not easy to be in love. Its much easier to be angry. Its much easier to close up and protect ourselves so we dont

get hurt. But when we do that we end up being cold and lonely and miserable. We end up wondering what this life is all about. So its much better to be in love even though it may hurt at times. Sometimes to be in love with the Beloved that we cannot see but we know is there, yearning to get closer to the Beloved and maybe not seeing the Beloved or not feeling the Beloved, is the greatest of all pains. But at the same time it is also the greatest of all pleasures. Its such a paradox. Many poets, mystics, and sages have written about this. Many of them agree that the actual longing for the Beloved is even more beautiful than union with the Beloved. Perhaps longing for our Beloved may be even more important than being with the Beloved. That is something else to contemplate!

I Never Love Enough

[From the people gathered around Yudhishtara, one voice arises in a sorrowful lament. Yudhishtaras reply speaks to all of us who sometimes feel this way tooS.] Yudhishtara, I never love the Beloved enough. Thats not true! Youve been hard on yourself. Youve been saying things like you just said over and over again and there comes a time when you have to be kind to yourself and say, I love my Beloved and Im not going to over analyze it. This is the situationI know you! This has been one of the things that has been bothering you, that you believe your love is never enough. We can always claim that we never love the Beloved enough. We can always say, Ive thought of my Beloved a 100,000 times today. But my goal was 110,000 therefore I have failed. But this is not the way to look at these things! The fundamental thing that comes along with real love is kindness. Love and kindness go together. One of the most difficult attitudes to hold is to be kind to ourselves. We know ourselves too well. You know yourself better than anybody. I know myself better than anybody. We know all

the faults that we have. We know all the things that we should have done differently. And we judge ourselves very harshly in retrospect. But there comes a time when we have to stop thinking like that. Otherwise we can never put it behind us. We have to make a decision to be kind to ourselves just as we so often decide to be kind to a stranger. Many times we are kinder to a stranger than we are to ourselves. Many times! And then we are not in balance. Sometimes something may appear to be a flaw in usand it may, indeed, be a flaw. This is one of the things that happens to people who love these spiritual things that were involved with. Its the kind of a thing where we start out as a person who has all kinds of gross tendencies that never bother us. We are very thick-skinned. We do all kinds of things that are considered in our society as not good, even though in essence these so-called good and bad designations arent even a consideration. We do all sorts of things and dont worry about the consequences. Then as we progress we start becoming more refined about things. We begin to understand the implication of various events and of our behaviors. We start to see that some of the things that we are doing are not very appropriate. So, we changeand we changeand we change. But there always seems to be something missing. It seems as if we ought to change even more because now we can witness things that are very, very minute. Now we worry

about things that we wouldnt even have given the time of day to before. So we still keep trying to improve. But at the same time we have to stop the criticism! We need to be kind and acknowledge that in the balance we are doing many good things now. Furthermore we have to remember that we are something indescribable that is occupying a physical body and that this physical form sometimes acts and reacts in ways that cannot be predicted. Sometimes we do things that we wish we hadnt. So what are we going to do? Are we going to spend day after day criticizing and further inflicting pain on ourselves? Or shall we say, Im sorry. Now I realize this was not a good thing. I forgive myself and I am moving on. I love my Beloved. My Beloved created this body that I am occupying and, on purpose, this body was created not to be something of perfection. We are not perfect. If we were perfect it would not be the same game here. We would not be sitting here. None of us would be discussing anything. It would all be beside the point. By design…we are not perfect. By designwe are different. By designwe have lives that unfold. By design!

In all my prayers for us I start by saying, Let there be peace. Let there be kindness. Let there be forgiveness. If any one of those things is missing, then we get ourselves in troublebecause by design we are not perfect. So you may not agree with this, but I know that if I were half as kind as you are, then I would be very, very pleased with myself. If you . No! Dont say anything. Did you hear what I said? If I was half as kind as you are But you . Never mind what you think of me. I am telling youif I was half as kind as you are in your heart, I would be very pleased with myself. I love you. It is because of situations like this that I get so upset with paths that teach us in so many ways to think that we are no good. I see all these things that get imprinted on us that tell us we are terrible. We are hopeless. We are dirty. They tell us our whole lives should be spent in a gigantic effort to improve everything about us in order to conform to some particular ideal that somebody else has defined. We are given instructions day after day to do this and do that so that we will someday be something better than what we are now. And we fall prey to this stuff! We hurt ourselves and waste so much timeand it blinds us to the Beauty that we are. It blinds us to the Beloved within us. So this

situation aggravates me.

SURRENDER TO LIFE I surrender to life knowing that within its play there are many roles I may read for and only a few Ill choose. But regardless my choice I cannot escape lifes vicissitudes, its progression across the stage, its full complement of experiences and feelings. I surrender to Life and I accept, with gratitude and awe, this gift of consciousness, this being here at all. Shivakti

Being Human
If there are any heights to ascend or levels to attain, if there is any state that one can yearn to achieve, it is the state of being at ease with oneself. We have a lot of fancy words about things, but I think, when we can be comfortable with what we are, that is really quite somethingto be at ease with what we are! To be at ease with being human, to be at ease with all the different things that a human being can do, and the things that a human being cannot do. To be at ease with all of that. To stop wishing that this form could do things that it was not designed to do. To recognize the limitations that this form has, and the strengths that it has. To be at ease with all of that! To recognize, when this form gets angry, that this form simply got angry. Its not the beginning and end of everything. When we feel our emotions or have some

thoughts, dreams or desires, we have to recognize that these are the natural conditions and processes of the human being. Theyre not things pertaining to some other species. But so many different paths, religions, and philosophies try to make us not be human beings. They try to reformulate our humanness. They try to make it something else, as if there were some gigantic reward in that. But I dont know when these rewards ever arrive. In the meantime, we have day after day passing and we dont understand what it is to be a being. We inflict a lot of damage on ourselves. We get down on ourselves. We feel as if we have failed because we set up things for us to accomplish that are not to be accomplished as human beings. Even if these things were to be accomplished, some of them are absolutely ridiculous. Poonja-ji continually tried to show everybody he came in contact with that it was all right to be a human being, that we dont need to strive for some other definition of what we are. He did that by example through his life, by the things he did, by the things he talked about. Thats one of the reasons I love my teacher so much.

Even though people often didnt want to see how human he was, he continually demonstrated that there was no difference between him and any of the people coming to see him. He kept saying over and over again that there was no difference. And if there was a difference, it was only that he was comfortable with his being-ness. So to be comfortable with what we are is not an easy thing. It sounds good, but its not easy. All kinds of things come up on a daily basis that make it very difficult to be comfortable with what we areand we have to get up every morning and deal with our lives. We have no excuse for not looking at our daily lives, no excuse for not making some changes when we think they are appropriate. We are not helpless. We have choices.

Finding Balance
Life is very, very complex. It doesnt have to be complicated Its quite a paradox that on the one hand we want to be alive and on the other hand we embrace all these complexities that make it appear that life is not worth living. Because of all the problems we have, all the suffering that we have, and all the different sets of circumstances that our lives go through, we sometimes wonder why it has to be this way. For many of us, from the time we were very small children, it seems that we have been having some kind of a problem. Something isnt going right and we struggle. We do the best that we can, and we go through all kinds of trials and tribulations. We go through loving others and others loving us. We go through hatred, ambition, fame, fear, lossall kinds of things. We have friends in this life, people that we are very close to. Then something happens, and we dont see these people any more. We have someone in our life, and we think that everything revolves around our relationship. Again something happens. The years pass and they become a vague memory. And sometimes, incredibly, we dont even remember their names. But at the time they were in our lives, it was a matter of life and death. It was so, so important.

We can all go back in our personal history and see events that had us so anxious, so excited, and so much on edge about how things would turn out. Then time passes, and those events dont seem to be so important. But at the time they were happening, they were very important! Taking the attitude that nothing matters about anything is not very wisenor is it very kind. Taking the attitude that nothing matters about anything means we pass our life ignoring life; and, therefore, we might as well not even be here. Then again we can take things so seriously that life is running us instead of us running our life. There has to be a middle point someplace. And that middle point can be determined only by us for us. Nobody else can tell us where that point is. Nobody has the right to tell us where that place is. I notice the older Im getting, I am starting to realize that life is very, very precious; and to take the gift of life for granted and not to live life is a big, big mistake. Even though time does not exist (thats another conversation), in this state that we are in now we are continually living in the past and the present and the future. We are continually living in those three places all the time. It is very difficult many times to recognize where we are.

There are many, many traditions that try to eliminate the past and/or try to eliminate the future. They want to deal with the present only. But the present is an instant. And the present is always made up of the past and the future. We have many moments that we call now. But all the now moments we have are also made up of the past and the future. And we must balance these things.

Each and every one of us has a different way of looking at life. Thats the way its supposed to be. Each and every one of us has something about us that is of importance to ussomething about us that we think we should either continue or change. And its up to us to have an honest straight forward conversation with ourselves to reach some conclusions about these things. These conversations are not to be publicized. They are not for anyone else to determine if they are right or they are wrong. Its a one-to-one board meeting with our own essence as to what is important. We have to make the decision! If a decision seems to be somewhat plausible that, in fact, we could do it, then weve got to put everything that we have at our disposal to make it to be. Otherwise we dont do it and later we will have regrets. In life we learn that we have to win the war, not the battles. It is up to us to decide what is of importance. While we are here, we worry about all kinds of things although many times there is nothing to worry about. We spend so much time contemplating things

that are really beyond our ability to do anything about. We also waste so much precious energy in things that dont mean anything. We waste much effort and attention on what is going to happen in this concept of death. There are many theories about that. But we dont really know. When it happens, it happens. So life is complex. At the same time, for myself, I thank the Beloved that my life is complex. What fun would I be having if my life werent complex? What would I be doing if everything was laid out and it was always 1-2-3-4-5? I would get up tomorrow morning and it would be 1-2-3-45. The following day it would be 1-2-3-4-5. And everyday would be like that. There would be no fires to put out. There would be no excitement. There would be nothing different to do. But at the same time, if life gets way, way too complex, then something inside us says, I wish it was a little simpler today because I can take only so much of this complexity. A trick that Ive learned is that I have to make a decision as to who is in charge of the complexity. Is the complexity in charge of me? Or am I in charge of the complexity? Depending upon who is in charge, we can see what happens. If I feel that I am a helpless pawn in a complex life, then I am in deep, deep, deep trouble. But if I can stand on my two feet

and welcome the complexity of life, if I can look at life with all its shifts and twists as a magnificent game that I am playing here, then its a different story. Then it is an awesome gamewith millions of characters and all kinds of situations, places, and things to experience. Look at the fun. Is there a Broadway play that could match this! Is there any play that can match life when it is in full bloom and we are alive!

Not Predetermined
There are many practices and belief systems that make a huge effort to convince us not to be alive while we are alive. Many people follow beliefs that are geared to take a human being like us and pacify us into a state of vegetation. And, when weve reached that state, they say weve made it! But what Im saying is totally opposite. This is why some people dont like what I say. Life is life. As long as we are somewhat healthy, as long as we more or less have a few things of consequence that are important to us, life is very, very good. Life is very good. When life gets super, super complex for some particular reason and we feel it is just too much for us to handle, there is always a safety valve that is at our command at any moment we want. When life gets too complex, we always have the ultimate solution of the love of the Beloved. We can look at that Mystery that has created us and say to ourselves that in spite of this complexity, in spite of the misery that it appears Im having now, maybe there are some things that I dont know. Maybe there are some reasons and some non-reasons for these things. I still trust and love my Beloved that made me and gave me this gift.

To me that is the ultimate solution in life when everything becomes too complex. Thats the atomic bomb, the ultimate weapon. And its at our total disposal. In my opinion, having that at our disposal automatically makes life a lot less complex when it gets to be unbearable. In wisdom, each and every one of us has to learn that fine line between caring too much and being too indifferent. Its a fine line. Its not easy to define that spotand it changes all the time. It changes according to situations, conditions and all kinds of factors. But its a very, very fine line between being too involved and not being involved enough. And we have to make decisions! I have said many times that we have to make decisions. Since I have said we have to make decisions, obviously you can read between the lines that I dont believe in anything being predetermined here. Otherwise, whats the point of making a decision in a predetermined life? If everything were destined and we are here living a life of destiny, a life of no free will, a life where everything has been planned right down to the last minute, there is no point in being here. The Beloved has given us free will. The more we look at these things, the more we will see that we have free will here. We have the ability to do many things. And the more the scientists are discovering about what is happening here, the more they start to see how independent even the smallest of particles are.

It doesnt matter what religion we talk about. It doesnt matterit doesnt matter! It always comes back down to the same kind of process. Eventually what happens is that a group of people find it very, very important to convert everybody to their particular belief system. They find it very important that everybody follows their religion because they believe so much that theirs is the right one. For many of them its not that they are dishonest or are trying to create trouble. A lot of them have studied some segment of wisdom and then they believe that this is the only truth that exists. Then it becomes a situation where, for everybodys benefit, they want everyone else to hear about this, to learn about this, to follow it. This is when the trouble starts. This struggle has started how many times in our history? Thousands of times! Eventually a group of people becomes so adamant about how correct they are that they end up killing and destroying others that dont believe the same way. When these forces get too pushy, then the other people start rebelling. Then all these arguments and fights take place. But when we look at all these religions they are essentially the same. The essential elements of any religion, are not different in any way from the basic, basic teachings

of any other religion that exists. But we have beings that are in different facets of their lives and in certain facets some particular thing strikes them as more appropriate than something else. In that particular facet of their lives, maybe more specific structure is required. When structure is required, then we have to pick something among all these different paths that somehow feels good and seems to resonate with our life at that time. Many times structure is very, very important and is necessary in certain facets of life. When we come to satsang, we are in place where all the facets have to be combinedand where no one facet is of any importance by itself. For me that is the most beautiful place that exists. But that place can also become a difficult place for many people. Its not an appropriate place for them. And one can not be in a place where it is not appropriate. So for meand only for me because I cant speak for anybody elseits very, very, very difficult for me now to be in only one facet. To give an example, we have a beautiful diamond cut in fifty-five facets. Why would I want to look at it only through one side? Furthermore, I cant look at it only through one side. But there was a time in my life when I was looking only at one little side of things because I was trying to find something. And Id say, Well, let me study this. And what about that? And what about this book? What about that religion? There were many times in my life where I

was very comfortable in one of those particular places and I didnt want to be in another place. Thats why we have the saying that there are many rays and all the rays lead to the sun. But when we have arrived at the sun, what happens to the rays? When were in the sun, the rays are gone. We and the rays are one and the same as the sun. We are one with our Beloved.

Rays to the Sun

Every religion, theology, and philosophy that we want to imagine, are all rays to the sun. They are all rays! Depending on where we were born, who our parents are, what traditions we were raised with, which neighborhood we live in, whom we speak to and where we happen to be, we catch a ray. And it either takes us somewhere or it doesnt. But eventually weve got to get off the ray. One of the wisest things that Ram Das ever said about this has to do with traveling. Lets pretend that we wanted to go from Los Angeles to New York. So, we caught a plane. And the plane served us very well. It took us to New York quickly. But once weve arrived in New York and we go to Manhattan what are we going to do with this airplane? We are going to leave it at the airport! We are not going to carry this airplane on our shoulders walking around in Manhattan. We have to thank the airplane for taking us to New York, but once weve arrived in New York, the plane stays at the airport. If we want to follow a particular tradition, we follow it. And if we arrive some place, we leave it. We thank it, but we leave it. But many beings never leave the tradition. One reason they dont leave the tradition is because they get engulfed by the politics, the fame, and the importance of the

tradition. Perhaps they have elevated themselves by being good members of the tradition. Then of course, there are the social aspects of tradition which we dont have here. All this stuff goes together. When we have a tradition, we have an institution that has been there forever. We get to see many other people who think and feel the same way that we do and it gives us comfort. To stay with that tradition gives us strength as opposed to standing alone. It is tough being a loner. But even though we are loners, it doesnt mean that we are alone. This is the difference. A lot of these things eventually have to be given up. So I think of satsang as a place for beings who not only want to be here but also are ready to be here. This is a place that is beyond all traditions, beyond all definitions, beyond all thoughts, beyond all concepts, beyond all rights and wrongs. Eventually we see within our own hearts that it is fun knowing all these different things but that true knowledge is in a place of not knowing anything with such rigidity.

Exploring the Rays

Theres a lot of wisdom in many traditions. There are also places in them that take away a lot of our strength, particularly if we want to be independent and powerful and fend for ourselves. They can make us very weak. And that is something to consider. When I was studying all these different practices, I fell in love with all of them. It was really quite something. When I was doing them, I would really do them. I would delve into them. I would be with them. I would live that practice as much as I could. Then I couldnt stay there anymore. We have to see that everybody is different. We all go through different times in our lives with different ideas and concepts that we want to explore. Look at meI explore these things. Why would I say that someone else doesnt have the right to explore the same things? This is life. Each of us has to explore whatever we want to explore. Nobody has the right to tell somebody else not to explore. Christianity is a good subject to explore. When we look at the Christian religion and all the different variations of Christianity, there are many different ways of interpreting what Christ had to say. When we look at all the different

possibilities within Christianity, some of them are so opposed to each other that it makes one wonder why they call themselves Christians. And the same thing goes when we study Buddhism. When we start looking at Buddhism very carefully, it has just as many sects and as many different traditions as Christianity. Again many times these are totally opposed in certain beliefs. Or we can look at the Hindus. There are more variations in Hinduism than one can imagine. The Jewish traditions vary all the way from complete orthodox traditions to very, very loose interpretations. Then we have all the pagan religions which existed before organized religions. We have all the religions of no-religion where nothing existsnothing. Thats why everything is so complex. But as Ive said before, the Mystery is a mystery. The Mystery is a mystery. The Mystery is not something that we know. The Mystery is not something that anyone knows.

The Basics
So, what do we believe in? This is the core question what do we believe in? What we believe in is inside our hearts. What we believe in is what makes us feel comfortable with life. What we believe in is what makes us adore everything around us and helps us to see how beautiful and magnificent nature is. Our whole universe, our existence, our physical forms, this whole mystery this is what we believe in. Through his wisdom Poonja-ji helped me to see these basic things. The conversations I had with him led me to see that, in fact, he had been through a lot of these experiences in his own life. I could actually see that I was being saved all kinds of heartache and many, many more years of worthless investigations. Without that I dont

know if I would be in the same place I am right now. I doubt it very much. So once in awhile I think we get lucky and are given a short cut. What we have here is a short cut. Its a short cut that makes us see that its a hopeless endeavor to go out and compare Christianity to Hinduism, Buddhism, Islam, etc., etc. to try to find the right one when, in fact, the true essence of all of these agrees that the basics are love and kindness, peace, gratitude, and mystery. Everything else is definitions and dogma and rules that have been put together by people to control others. If we dont want to be controlled and we want to stay with just the basic concepts that all these beautiful original teachers put together, then weve got to embrace the basic teachings love and kindness, peace, gratitude, and mystery. You have to put the rules and regulations into perspective because, when you look at the rules and regulations, you start to see how hopeless they are. But there are times in ones life when the rules and regulations are very important. At these times such things have to be followed because they give structure to life. Without that structure then many, many times what Im saying now about a more open structure would be a detriment to somebody. Thats why many times I find I say things that may be totally different to one person than I might say to another. There is a different set of

circumstances at different times for each person. In the beginning Id say to myself, How can I do this? Ive got to stay with the same story. But we cant stay with the same storybecause what good is it if people arent ready for it and it is not what they need to hear? In the beginning I thanked you for coming here. I thank you for coming here for two reasons. First of all, I thank you because you came to see me. So, I thank you. But the second reason I thank you for coming here is because I know, from my own personal experience and from what has taken place in my life, that it takes a lot to come here. It takes a lot to be able to stay in a place where you are not asked to do anything and where there is fundamentally no difference between any of us. There is nothing to do, nobody to convert, nothing to preach. I hope that eventually each and every one of you will actually see and feel within yourselves that there is no fundamental difference between you and me. Yes, I have done a lot of things, it is true. Maybe I studied more than you in some fields. I have to be given credit for some of this stuff because I have done a lot. But fundamentally we have mystery and no difference.

In that place of Mystery where I raise my hand up in Absolute Truth there is no rank of any kind. There is no senior teacher and all of the crowds. Because that place is a Mystery. We speak, but that place is unspoken. Because I love that unspoken place, I try to talk about it. I cant speak about it, but I love it and I do the best I can to speak about what I love. The Mystery is unspoken. It is unknowable. It is not within the ability of anybody to say that they are going to know it because they are going to study it more than somebody else. It is unknowable! Its unknowable not because somebody says we havent applied ourselves, and if we were to study it another 55 thousand years, then we are going to know this mystery. It is unknowable! We are not going to know it in this physical form. No one is going to know it in this physical form. The brain is not capable of knowing this, so leave the brain alone. Give it a rest! While we are here, the Mystery has given us the gift of life which is complex. And this gift, which is given with no conditions and no attachments, must not be taken for granted. Our Beloved is always to be thanked for the gift of life.

And when the time comes that this life is no longer given to us in this form, then we will rest in the hands of the Beloved for whatever else may await us. In the meantime we do the best that we can to be loving and kind and forgiving and to live as fully as we can day after day.

Dear Beloved, thank you for all the blessings and gifts you have given us. We have many questions as to all the whys in this life. We know that it is normal to have all these questions, and that you have given us the gift of the ability to ask these questions. But we ask that underneath all these questions

you allow us to love you to be with you to taste you and to someday be one with you.

Extreme Love
We have love. And then we have extreme love. Maybe we should get involved more with extreme love than just love. When extreme love happens, life is much more beautiful. But its dangerous to be in a place of extreme love. When we dont have any love at all, thats easy. If we have love, then we have more considerations. But when we have extreme love, we are totally exposed with no weapons in our defense. If we have no defense, what happens? So, extreme love is reserved for the Beloved. Maybe once in a while it can spill over into relationships into love for other beings or entities or things that exist. But extreme love is love for the Beloved. It is unconditional. It doesnt ask for anything. And it is always there. With that kind of love, we can stand all kinds of things that may not appear to our liking. If we were to visit places that are not as civilized as we think we are here, we would see that people are not so reserved and they dont try to protect their self image so much. They act in ways that indicate they know they are truly, truly in love. They are not afraid to show it.

But if we did things like that here, people would look at us strangely. They would wonder what happened to us. They would think that we shouldnt be walking down the street in that condition; maybe we should be put away some place. So we become reserved. Many times we dont have the outward signs of these things because we have adapted to our society. However, not showing it outwardly doesnt mean we cant have the same joy inside our own hearts. We dont have to be walking around singing, jumping up and down, or sitting someplace in isolation. Extreme love of the Beloved flows ever more readily when we look around and really see what the Beloved has created for uswhen we see what we are and what gifts we have been given! When we stop to see the gifts of existence and what all this is about, we cant help being so much in love. Maybe once in a while we forget. Once in a while were caught up in daily life and all the activities we have that are so importantand they are important. But underneath all that, there is an awe that exists in us. Extreme love carries with it a wondrous awe of how anything could exist and of how we could even be. Existence seems so magnificent. The more we look at it, the more spectacular it becomes. And we immediately start to see

that nothing can compare with the fact of existence. So thats extreme love. We have all kinds of extreme sports. People ride 100 ft. waves out in the ocean and jump off buildings, sometimes with no parachutes. We have all kinds of extreme things that we do. But to be extremely in love is something that goes beyond riding 100 ft. waves. Maybe we should get more involved with extreme love.

LET ME BE LOVE Oh, my Beloved, the only thing I want is to be one with you. Yet this form you have pulled from yourself as individual does not hold oneness well. So while I am in this body, if I cannot be one, let me be love. Until I can be one with all my human heart,

with all my human soul let me love you. Let me love you every where, in every thing, in every one. Oh, my Beloved Shivakti

One or Two
I received a message on my answering machine that told me that if I truly believed the teachings of Ramana Maharshi, Poonja-ji, and some of the other beautiful beings that existed, then I would not separate myself from the Beloved: All the teachings say that we are one. If you are one and the same with the Beloved, then you cant speak about the Beloved or to the Beloved because you are one. You cant make any differentiations if you are one and the same. Thus, by making a differentiation, you are implying that you have not reached the place of oneness. And that being the case, you dont understand oneness. There is a part of me that agrees with this comment and says, Yes, I should give these things up and not speak to the Beloved as if the Beloved were somebody else. This thing about being one is true. We are one. We cant be two. Everything that exists comes from an underlying oneness. In That everything is one. But within the oneness there are facets; and there is something in me that says, If I feel like I want to speak with a Beloved as something outside of me, then I will do it. So I dont know what is right or what is not right. The appearance can be given that if we dont make any distinctions or any separations, then we have reached oneness ourselves. Therefore everything is finished. We are enlightened. We are in oneness. But then there is no more appreciation left.

I guess we are supposed to be in a state where thats fine. But I think awe disappears and we start getting colder. We start to get nonchalant and much more detached. Then nothing matters about anything. Thats exactly how I felt for many years. Then something inside of me said, Yes, even though we have oneness, this human form has to give respect and thanks to something that I call the Beloved. This form wants to love that something that we cannot talk about. Something in us longs to thank and to be in love with That! So I guess this is a deviation from the so-called purity of some of the teachings. Its easy to take one side in all these things. To take one side of something and to say this is the side. But there are many sides. Its like a beautiful diamond with many facets. What makes the diamond so brilliant is all the different facets. One facet alone doesnt make it bright. Its the reflections of all the facets that make the whole thing brilliant.

DUALITYS BEAUTY Across the street I see jacaranda trees their purple glory fallen away, barren between bloom and leaf, a thousand naked limbs reaching for the sky

doubled against a mirrored wall. A familiar wetness slips my eye and with cool finger traces the contour of my cheek as I am overcome with joy and a longing to melt into oneness with such Beauty. So the Beloved replied: Oh, my beloved, dont ever think that raising your head out of the sea of oneness and saying I is anything less than a holy event. Why do you spit upon the face of I? To declare I is a miracle of consciousness, a deliberate thrust of the Beloved to burst apart and become two thus becoming both explorer and the explored, seer and seen, knower and known, lover and the beloved. Dont ever think that seeing Beauty is less than being Beauty. Dont forget in your love for the Oneness that Duality is Its sacred child. Duality is the blessed consciousness by which I come to know how splendid I am against a mirrored wall.


THE BELOVEDS INVITATION See me touch me know me. Dont hold me to a higher purpose aloof and apart There is no purpose higher. Hear me taste me smell me. I have laid myself before you in infinite array. Why do you wait to partake? Feel me sense me. Let me see who I am through your eyes. Come, my love, I have poured the wine and called forth the music. With trembling breath I await your embrace. Let us dance this time together. Know me love me aum. Shivakti

What a life Mother Teresa had. Thats extreme service! Can you imagine spending your whole life with people who are suffering so much. To be giving every day under those conditions and not be concerned that you are going to catch one of the diseases they have. And then to balance that with all the rules and regulations of the church that she had to follow. But her love for the Beloved gave her strength. There are many beings like that. And there are many beings like that who dont get any publicity at all. Sometimes we do service in a visible way so that more people can join and help. Sometimes we do it in an invisible way and nobody knows. Its claimed that its best if its never known. But thats when it starts getting into ridiculous comparisons of what is better between two beautiful things. The Toltec traditions say if anybody knows that we have done something of benefit, we didnt do it well enough. Their goal is to reduce our egoistic self importance down to zero. That being the case, no credit is desired of any kind for anything that was being done. This is a totally different approach to things, but it is not the only beautiful way of serving. The important thing is that these things are done

because there is a need for them to be done and because people are in love, they do them. Its done because they realize the beauty of this existence that we have. A lot of these people that help have the ability not to be bitter about the people they help or about the circumstances that caused these kinds of a situations. When one sees people suffering from leprosy and they have such grotesque disfigurements, the natural inclination for many beings would be to question how a benevolent Beloved can allow this. Many, many times this question leads people to say that there is no Beloved or that they hate God. They feel that way because the misery is too much for them to handle. They become bitter and they wont do anything. Then there are beings that say, I dont know what the circumstances are or why these conditions exist. I wish it werent so. But here I am and I will do whatever I can. Their eyes close to the reasons why help is needed. With that kind of an attitude they start to see that, although a lot of these beings are grotesque in physical appearance and have many problems, a lot of them also have an inner beauty that is magnificent. They start to see that those socalled ugly people are truly beautiful. And the people who are helping do not want to leave. Over and over again they say that people who appear to be so ugly are really the most beautiful beings because they possess tremendous strength to be able to live even one day under the conditions of their lives. Imagine not to be

able to do any of the things that so-called normal people do. Imagine living in tremendous pain day after day with no medicines, no food, no help, no attention from anybody, with nobody ever holding them. Once the people who are helping start to participate, they start to see that being beautiful on the outside is just irrelevant and ultimately empty. Sometimes it even seems as if the healthy beautiful people are ugly by comparison. And this is how the people who are helping can stay and actually enjoy their lives there. There are also people that go to help because they want to inflict punishment or some sort of penance on themselves. But after a while they are not helping themselves. They are not helping anybody. For the long term, it has to be a situation where, in fact, the ones who are helping truly see beauty within the ugliness.

Trouble with Now

So what do we do here in this world? I wonder about that. What is this whole situation here? Really! We do all these things. But what is all this about? Its an incredible question. We will be here the rest of today and tomorrow and we hope for many, many days. So what do we do here? What do we do with the rest of the time that we have here? All the other things that we talk about are beautiful things but what are we going to do today, tomorrow, three or four days from now, and four or five days after that? Some of the purists will claim that thinking about that is living in the future and we are in the presentso why are we discussing it? All these things run in my mind with the purity of the now teachings. We have to live now. Now is all that we have. This is true. Now is all that we have. But at the same time I have a feeling that tomorrow is coming! It is magnificent to appreciate everything right now. But tomorrow is also coming and the day after that. Eventually death is also coming. What about that? We have all the yesterdays. The yesterdays are important, too. If it werent for some yesterdays, we wouldnt have any memories of anythingugly or beautiful! So why do away with yesterdays? Why do away with tomorrows? Some people say that we have only now. But then, when

we try to define now, it is just a fraction of an instant between before and after. What does that leave us with? All of us have to decide what is best for ourselves. For myself, there are yesterdays, there are tomorrows, and there is now. I have all three. I have my yesterdays. I have some beautiful memories of yesterdays, and I have some memories of yesterdays that I dont like. I have plans that I make for the future which allow me to look forward to things in my life. Maybe they will happen and maybe they wont, but I want to have plans. This may not agree with many teachings, but it is how I want to live my life. So I have to be careful in balancing this stuff. Its just like everything else. Its a balance of things. I could sit someplace and visualize the future for the greater part of a day. I could think about living in the future, the future, the future. But that doesnt seem to be such a good idea because, obviously, Im not doing anything now. Or I could be sitting and thinking about my past life and all the different things that have taken place. I could find myself thinking about events that bother me. I could spend an exorbitant amount of time with those particular things if I let myself. I could keep thinking about those things and keep thinking about them and therefore be living in the past, the past, the past. Or I can take the position that Im going to try to live now, now, now, now. Then I would make no plans of any kind for the future. I wouldnt plan to go someplace for a vacation. I wouldnt buy a ticket. I wouldnt go to school to study something to improve my life. I wouldnt do anything

because there is only now so whats the point? All these things require a balance. If we are honest with ourselves, we know when we are spending too much time on one spot. We can fool other people but not ourselves. Especially when we are spending too much time in things that are negatively affecting our lives, then something has to be done. The time comes that we have to say this is enough. Enough exploring and rehearsing past history over and over again! Enough worrying about unknown future circumstances over and over again! There has to be a balance. And when we get thrown off balance, because we will get thrown off balance from time to time, we have to be kind to ourselves and forgive ourselves. So, we have today and we have tomorrow. Hopefully, we will have many, many days in this most magnificent gift that the Beloved has given us.

There is no greater gift that can be given than to be what we already are. Its hard to imagine that is true especially if were suffering from something that we think is very important. But life here is a very precious gift, and it doesnt last very long. We have been given a gift of this form which lives in a context of time. What we truly are is timeless, but thats another story. This form that we have is living in time. Its a finite concept. It comes. And it passes quickly. We talk about spending money. Money is a tremendous asset. People accumulate money and they spend money. Money is very important. In this society we need money to do things. So we have money and we have time. But time is more valuable. It passes. And we cannot regain it. Time is more valuable than money. We can regain money but we cannot regain time. Not understanding and not appreciating the gift of time is a big, big mistake. Every second of our life time is being spent just like a commodity. If we could make dollar bills out of time, every day 24 time-dollars are gone. With each day, I have 24 less and Im not getting them back. Maybe some of us who are a lot younger than I will be able to buy back more time. Its very possible with science. But thus far time spent is spent. That being the case, we have to make a decision as to how we are going to spend this time.

We are very good at knowing how to spend money. Im going to buy this. Im going to buy that. So we have to figure out how we are going to spend this time-money. Or we could look at time as if it were energy and we have to figure out how to spend our energy. What is of importance to us? What is not so important? What is it we are going to allow ourselves to be bothered by or not bothered by? What kind of plans are we going to make or not make? But the awesome gift that goes along with all these questions is that each and every one of us has a different idea and a different concept about how we are going to spend time. Thats another magnificent gift that we have. We dont have to make identical decisions. There is no set formula. My way of spending time isnt yours and vice-versa. Thats what makes it so beautiful here. Everybody can do what he or she wants with this thing called time. But as time passes and we get older, we start to get opinions on these subjects. Then we get even wiser and keep those opinions to ourselves because nobody wants to hear them. In that regard, a lot depends on what society we are living insome societies want to hear from experienced beings; other societies do not. It is helpful to take the concept of time and give ourselves a certain amount of time that we think we are going to be here. It is natural and good to think we are somewhat infinite so that we wont worry about facing death two seconds from now. It is natural to hope that things are going to continue as they are for the foreseeable future.

Using the concept of time in this way is a very good thing that helps keep us alive. But the down side of all that is that it tends to make us postpone life. It makes us postpone the consideration of how we are really spending this timemoney. We feel that because we are going to be here for a long time it doesnt matter if we do or dont do something today or tomorrow. Were going to be here a long time, so next year is just as good as todayit can wait. When he used to talk about taking action, about doing things, Poonja-ji used to say, Do it now. Do not delay a moment. He went to the extreme of saying do it immediately. Hes right because there is no guarantee that I will even be able to continue this sentence. I dont have a guarantee that I will be here by the end of satsang. I would like to be here. Most likely I will be here. But the problem we have in our lives is waiting too long to do what we think we want to do. Its not so important what we want to do, the important thing is doing it. I have tried different time frames to deal with this problem. I could set up a week time frame and say, My life is coming to an end a week from now. So I will live from now on knowing I am only going to be here a week or only a month, six months, or ten years, or whatever. Everybody picks his or her own number. Obviously, the bigger the number we pick, the more ability we have to postpone things. So I dont recommend a ten year number. Ten years is basically saying I dont want to deal with this conversation at all. One year is reasonable. For myself, I

pick six months. Basically I say, What would I be doing in my life if, in fact, Im not going to be here in six months? This process puts many things into perspective. We may not like the answer to the question because sometimes we many have to do some things that are not very pleasant. But it doesnt mean that we have to complete them within our time frame. It means we have to start them. It means we have to contemplate what really matters to us. Doing this makes life seem much more meaningful and much more important. Life becomes much more vibrant when we begin doing the things that matter to us. Im saying this because many, many times when I meet with people who are dying within the next hour or so, I hear over and over again that they wish they had done something or another. It doesnt matter what it is. The wishes are different for all of us. We all have our own unique life and our wishes are most important for us. The variations of these unfulfilled wishes are so extreme. One would think that people would always be saying something of great substance. Many times I hear some things and think, That was so easy. Why didnt you do it? I dont hear that I wish I were the greatest scientist in the world or I wish I had won the Nobel Prize. Once in a while I hear big things, but most of the time I just hear things such as I wish I had gone to the Bahamas on a vacation. Or I wish I had done more reading. I wish I had been kinder to my daughter, to my father, to my son. I

wish I had done different kinds of work. These things are not so complicated. So what does this mean? This means that their lives have passed without having been lived! But if we have six months, and hopefully we have dozens and dozens more of six months, how about doing just one of these things Or maybe a couple of them! When I go through the list of things that can take place in a six month period of time, I start to notice that the most important things in these spans of time are pertaining to relationships, often pertaining to not facing up to someone and saying either we love them or we apologize. It weighs a lot upon us to carry that kind of a burden. And its not necessary because it could be taken care of very quickly. So I think living in six month increments gives us the ability to live in the now, to live in the future, and to take into consideration the past. It allows us to spend time in a good way if we want to help and be of assistance to others. If we want things in our lives to be different from what they are now, then we have to start doing these things. We talk about suffering in this life. One of the greatest sufferings that takes place is when beings know they are facing death and they feel they have not lived.


May I live in such a way that when I die this ad will never appear in the classifieds: Estate Sale Dreamcatcher Never Used Shivakti

DONT WAIT Hurrydont wait! Dont wait to love. Love whatever is near. Why lose one moment of this delirious ecstasy? Dont wait for a special someone to come along. Love what is close at hand. Love a tree, a caterpillar,

the stranger who bumped into your grocery cart. Why wait another minute? Let us feast right now on this delicious expansion. Love now! Shivakti

Expectations of Enlightenment
We have come from many places and many different paths with a wide variety of backgrounds and interests. Thats what makes us different. Thats what the beauty of this life is. We all have a history and ideas and opinions. We all feel comfortable with some things and we dont feel comfortable with other ideas and concepts. But somehow or another we are here. Weve all been through a lot. Weve done all kinds of searching about what these magnificent things mean, how they affect us, what is right and what is wrong, and what may be worth more than something else to us. Sometimes the more investigation we do, the more confused we get. And life continues while we wonder about many, many things. There are many practices and paths to follow. Some practices are very complicated and some are very simple. Some of them are confusing and some are very, very direct in telling us exactly what to do. With Ramana Marharshi and Poonja-ji we have a tradition of inquiry where we are to look inside ourselves and find a place of silence. We inquire as to who we are. Who am I? Some of us are successful in looking at that and being peaceful in determining who we are. Some of us keep looking as to who we are and nothing happens.

Then we hear that, if we look carefully as to who we are, eventually we end up in a place of saying that who I am is hidden in silence. Who I am is indescribable. What I am is something that has no beginning and no end. What I am is that place between my incoming and my outgoing breath. There are all kinds of ways of talking about who I am, but basically who I am is a place of no definition and nothing to say. Many times that way of looking at things gets us to a place of feeling comfortable. Sometimes it doesnt do anything for us. Another way we try to get into peace and love and quietness is by trying to understand what these things are. We try to figure out reasons and we read all about these particular subjects. We try to find out everything we can. We even try to come to a place of love and silence by being with people who know and love these things. Then maybe by association we get to be in love and have knowing, too. And there are other paths, such as being in service to other beings who may want to have our help. So we try to find that place of beauty and silence within us by being of service. Many beings have tried all of these approachesto be of service, to be in association with other beings, to study what there is to know, and to inquire as to our true nature. When they have done all of these things, they come to the conclusion that it makes no difference which approach they take. All of these things take us to the same place.

They all take us to the same place, but what is that place? As human beings we have a need to call that place something. With everything that we do we want to have a word to indicate that we have accomplished something. Enlightenment is a word that we use for this place. Enlightenment or wisdom. We begin to have a feeling within us that says, I think, I believe, or I feel that even though Im the same right now as I was yesterday, something about me is different than it was yesterday. I dont know exactly what it is, but it feels slightly different. I wish I could say specifically how I am different and how I am the same, but I cant. So, for lack of better words and for the sake of discussion, I say I feel that Im enlightened and Im wiser than I was before. When we get this feeling its a wonderful feeling and it makes us more peaceful. But at the same time expectations start to arise as to what it means to me now that I have this feeling. We wonder: What is going to happen to my daily life? I wake up in the morning. Because I have this feeling that weve decided to call enlightenment is my day going to be the same or is it going to be different than it was before I had this feeling? When we think that it will be different, expectations start to arise. Maybe we instantaneously got this feeling of enlightenment or maybe it grew upon us gradually. It doesnt matter how it happens. However we get this feeling, one of the things that happens is that we try to relive the feeling over and over again. We try to capture it. We try to be with that exclusively over other feelings.

The more that we try to hold on to the feeling permanently, the more that we fail. Then we say, Well, I never had it in the first place because, if I really did have it, I would be able to have it whenever I wanted it. So thats one event that takes place. Another event that takes place is that we start to expect that our lives here are going to be lives of no problems and no difficulties. We expect that each and every day will be a most beautiful day with birds singing and flowers blooming. There will be no pain, no misery, and no sorrow because, after all, we are enlightened. Before we were enlightened it was all right to have misery and problems and bad things happening to us, but now that we are enlightened it must not be that way. Yet it is. Therefore, whatever idea we had that we were enlightened must have been wrong. Thus we declare that we were not enlightened because truly enlightened beings always have perfect days. These are ideas and concepts that we have accepted deeply within us. But when we start investigating this more closely, we start to see that daily life isLIFEwith all its vicissitudes! We start to see that the greatest gift that has been given to us by the Beloved is the gift of life in all the forms that it takes. That may be hard to accept especially when it feels as if we dont have too many good days in a row or our lives are not going the way we want them to. But feeling and being with life

in all our perceptions of its ups and downs is what being fully alive is.

I love you, my Beloved. I love you. Im not telling you I love you because I want something. Im not asking for any favors. Im not asking for you to give to me. Its justI love you. Youve already given me more gifts than I can ever imagine. Weve all been given more gifts than we can imagine. Ive been given a tremendous gift just to be able to say I love you. With my love for you and with the love you have for me

sometimes I cant tell who is loving whom.

Tight Energy
Every day we have a life. And every day we have the ability to create a totally different life. Every day! Every 24 hours we can change the play. In wisdom and enlightenment we learn that creating different plays every day is one of the most beautiful things that we can give ourselves. Trouble arises when we decide at the end of the day, at the end of the week, at the end of a month, or at the end of a life, that the drama we have played is not a good one. Trouble comes when were writing the play in the morning and we decide ahead of time by the attitude we adopt that were going to write a miserable play. Then we have a miserable daybecause we designed it that way. It has taken me many years more or less to accomplish what Im going to tell you now. Im not perfect at it. I have a lot of work to do still. On many occasions I have to remind myself to stop the judgments about what kind of a day I am having. When I stop judging what kind of a day I am having, its almost like a miracleit becomes a beautiful day. It doesnt seem possible that it could be that way, but it is. Then what happens is I can allow my day to unfold. I allow my day to shape itself

and to show me all kinds of possibilities as to what life is about. But if I walk through my day with my preconceived ideas that I should do this, I should not do that, I like this, I dont like that, and on and on, then I cannot be alive. With all these preconceived restrictions we cannot be alive. All we are doing is just thinking in a tiny, narrow frame of what should be or should not beoften in accordance with someone elses standards. But if we make an effort, we can catch ourselves being judgmental and opinionated about life. Even if we just catch ourselves two or three times a day, thats something. And each time we catch ourselves we can change our attitude. If we are very opinionated and very judgmental, we end up being very, very tight and rigid. We end up being very tight and rigid because we continually have to defend positions. Its beside the point if our position is right or wrong. Its the defending of a position which makes us rigid and tight. We spend a huge amount of energy protecting these ideas. I may not know too many things for certain, but I know this for certain: What we are in this physical form is a very, very special bundle of energy.

It is a most beautiful energy. Our body, as solid as it looks, is not solid. It would be beneficial for us to visualize and to start accepting that this solid looking body is not solid. This form is not solid. It feels solid. We want it to be solid. But its not solid. You can take my word for it that our body is not solid, but better still, you can go to the library. Look at some books that have high resolution photographs of our skin, or of the cells in our body and you will see that these structures are not solid. They are actually separated by more space than by stuff that appears to be solid. We owe it to ourselves to see that we are not solid because the perception of being solid gives us a lot of problems. If we are solid and something happens to this solid thing, then we are in trouble. Death is one of the things that happens. If we are solid it means that the definition of what we are is just my body and your body. If we are solid, everything that is happening is always happening to our bodies and that is all life is. But if we are not solid, we start to see that what we are is a most magnificent field of energy and consciousness.

Things look different then. Things are the same because we still walk around with a body, but just the idea that we are not solid, that we are made up of energy, changes our perception. This energy that Im talking about is far beyond the electrical current that we have in a house. Its not an energy that we get by burning oil. Maybe we have to create some new word for it. This energy is different. With all the work that Ive done in the Olmec and Toltec teachings and in other traditions, with things that I have studied and felt, with the things that I have traveled into, I know for certain that what I am is this energy I am discussing. If you look into that, you will see that is what you are too. That being the case, what do we do with this consciousness, this energy, that we are? What do we do with us? When we are opinionated and judgmental, when were unkind and unloving, when were negative, when were protecting these solid bodies and all of our ideas and concepts, we end up becoming very, very rigid in this energy field. If you were to look at this tight energy field, it stays in one position. If there were pictures that could be taken, you would see this field to be about the size of my palm. And, like a fist, everything is closed and tight. Inside we have all these ideas, opinions, concepts, misery and whatever it is that we have; and its right there tightly bound up.

But the idea is for this energy field to start to open and open and openlike a hand with spreading fingers. Then it can be very, very wide. If a photograph could be taken, it would look somewhat egg-shaped around our whole physical formall these energy fields with tentacles and points and receptors opening up to whatever may be around us, as opposed to being very, very contracted. In satsang and in all these different traditions we take up (it doesnt matter what they areBuddhism, Hinduism, Christianity, all these different traditions) what the original teachers tried to show us is to not be so tight. Its not easy to undo this tightness. Its a lot easier to be tight. Tight means heavy with definitions. Tight means having very, very correct opinions. Many times we follow certain religions because they do have very tight definitions of what life is about, how we should behave, how we should not behave, what happens to us upon the time of death, and so on. When we accept these particular things, we can get really tight within this structure. So in satsang, I am trying to have you throw away all these ideas and concepts that make us so tight. When you discard them, then you start to open up. Then what happens is that you start to see that life is very different. Life is very, very beautiful. You also start to see that other things are possible about what may happen at the time that our life is not here in the way that we know it. Its our nature to want to identify with something that is specific. Here we have to identify with something that is not specificsomething that is very, very wide.

Once we identify with something that is very, very wide, we start to see the beauty and the mystery of life, the beauty of the mystery of everything around us, the beauty of the mystery of ourselves.

In Awe
So we have a mystery. The word mystery means that we have no answers. We have no definitions. This is what mystery isno answers, no definitions. But at the same time, using the senses we have been given we can look at all kinds of different perceptions that we receive. When we look at them carefully, each and every one is awesomely mysterious. It is so mysterious that, in fact, one can tremble with that mystery. When we are really in that mystery we can actually tremble. It can pervade us with the greatest fear. Fear prepares us for battleand for knowledge. We could be in such awe that we can even lose consciousness when we look at the mystery. From the smallest to the largest things that we can perceive, it is such an incredible thing. Just to call it mystery is insulting it. But I just dont know what other words to say. We owe it to ourselves some time or another to look at some thingjust using the sense of our eyesight to look at something in great detail, to focus in on it. I guarantee that you will be awed by whatever you happen to be looking at. You will be amazed at how beautiful it is and awed by how it could even come into being. Look at insects, look at flowers, look at the carpet that is in front of us. When you look at this carpet, each one of

those threads is a whole universe of things. You will see the smallest little microscopic life that has adjusted to live in this carpet which is its universe. Each little ripple in the carpet represents another terrain of existence. Then we look at the realm of our existence. To be living in this place where physicists say we have either eleven or twelve dimensionswhat does that mean to us? What kinds of travels can we have? So in satsang we have to prepare ourselves for the travels. We have to prepare ourselves for the excitement of travel and adventure. But when we are tight, where are we going to go? I dont know. We wont go very far if we dont want to open up to all the things that exist. So the mystery is to be respected. Part of this life is to observe and fall in love with this mystery. Fall in love with different things. Being in awe of this mystery is essential if we want to have a full life here. When were in awe of this mystery of what we are, when were in awe of the mystery of our existence, when were in awe of the mystery of That that created all these things but which we cannot conceive of, something unexplainable also happens to us. When we are in awe of this mystery, somehow or another we get to see more of this mystery.

We dont get to see the whole mystery because, obviously, we cant. But we start to see more. When we start to see more of this mystery, then life does become different. We start to appreciate life much more. We start to appreciate all the ups and downs of life. We start to appreciate that if we were creating life, we would not change a thing even though it appears temporarily that many changes should be made. We would see that That which has made us really knew what it was doing. Even though we complain as to why we have a hurricane here or why we have something happening to us, when we start to see from a broader perspective, we see things differently and we begin to appreciate from a very deep place within ourselves.

Science, Religion and the Beloved

Many books and papers have been written on the subject of science vs. religion. Usually its a situation of opposition. Science against religion. But I havent come across anything that talks about science, religion and the Beloved and how these three fit with each other. In science there are many facts and data. There are also a lot of premises, theories, and opinions. Many physicists, mathematicians, and cosmologists are trying to figure out the fundamental equations that govern our universe. It is an exciting and awesome adventure. Many of you know that these things interest me very much. We are looking for an underlying theory that will explain everything. The latest theories are super-gravity and string theory. There are a lot of books on this subject if you are interested. Recently these theories have become part of a larger theory knows as M-theory. Each theory contributing to M-theory works some of the time and breaks down at other times. In some of these theories we have space with 9 dimensions, in others 11 dimensions, and so on. Other parts of M-theory produce a huge number of possible universes. Cosmologists talk about the existence of universes in the realm of 10 to the 300th power and 10 to the 750th power. Do you realize how many zeros a number like 10 to the 300th power has? This is beyond imagination. This is MYSTERY! If these numbers are even close to being correct

they are saying that there are more universes in existence than the number of atoms in our universe! What does that say about our whole universe. what does that say about our earth what does that say about our brain which is trying to figure out this wondrous mystery! What it means is that the importance of our whole universe is much less to the Multiverse than is the significance of an electron in our own universe. If that doesnt inspire awe and suggest mystery, I dont know what does. Someday we will be able to see another universe, or several universes. It will be awesome. But what will we have explained? I have talked about Stephen Hawking before and how much I admire his brain. He recently said that he was glad that our search for understanding will never come to an end. This is as I have told you also: There will never be an end to our questions about something that has no beginning or end. It is a MYSTERY. Another brilliant scientist, Godel, came up with a theorem a few years ago which basically says that discrepancies and inconsistencies arise if we try to prove statements that refer to themselves. (This is called self-referencing.) What this means is that since we cannot see our universe from a point outside of our universe (because our theories and we ourselves are all part of what we are trying to explain), therefore whatever we come up with, by definition, will be incomplete, inconsistent, or just plain wrong. This is the same as asking our brain to use its own resources to figure

out who it is and what its existence and purpose is. It is futility. It is a futility to describe the Mystery, but it is a lot of fun trying. Many, many brilliant people are trying to find answers to very basic questions pertaining to how life started, how the universe started, and how all these magnificent things that we feel and touch happen to arise. They go back and research. They find out more and more things, and some of the data they find goes directly against or negates some of the beliefs that various religions have. Some of the religions then modify themselves to fit the scientific information we have now. Some other religions dont do that. And everybody is fighting with each other as to who is right. Then within religion we have religion, and we have the original teachings of the beings that started these religions. Those two things are also different. Along with that we have the question of whether to take teachings literally or to understand them figuratively. These are more fundamental differences. So we have fights within religions and we have fights within scientific circles. But very seldom do either the religious people or the scientists stop and say to themselves that underneath all this bickering and underneath all these things that exist between science and religion there has got to be something. It doesnt matter what its called!

There has got to be something that is underneath all these thingssome type of energy, some type of consciousness, some type of something. Thats what I call the Beloved. Thats the Mystery that underlies everything. There will never be an end to scientific discoveries. Scientific discoveries will never come to a final understanding of the Mystery. Nor will there ever be an end to religions. We are going to have many, many more religions that start up. Depending upon the times and circumstances some will get stronger, some will fade, and some will changeand on and on as they have been doing since they began. But underneath all that, the Beloved never changes. The Beloved is always there and its always the same. Hence, we can complicate our lives or we can simplify our lives. It is much easier to be simple and straight forward and to love the Beloved. All the other things are a lot of fun. They are interesting things to do and to contemplate. But underneath all that is the Mystery I call the Beloved. There is nothing more and nothing less. Period. Accept the MysteryLive in the Mystery Play with the Mysteryrest in the Mystery. The Mystery will bring you Peace You are the Mystery.

CALLED TO AWE When I hear the bells of a church and the format of religion calling me to worship, I cannot go. For many years I answered that call and threw myself to the floor as if I were dirt. But now I cannot go and pretend that I am nothing. And so I am branded as proud. But it is not a thing of pride for me. It is a thing of honesty of knowing I am something more than merely a body of dirt. The something more that I am of which I am unable to speak clearly is part of the grandest of Mysteries. To throw That on the floor would surely be sacrilege for me. I look around and everywhere I see the Mystery of Mysteries in birds and trees, in mountains and seas, in the existence of every thing universes entwined in universes unto infinity. I see it in you and feel it in me and I am swept into a wave of awe. Some are called to worship. Once I was too

but now I am called to awe. I have risen. Shivakti

A Relative Life
We have been given a life in this relative truth and we have all kinds of questions about it. We say to ourselves, Is this the way to live? What do I do? What kind of work should I have? Does anybody love me? Do I love anybody? What about my relationships? What about this and what about that? This is what life here is. Its all of the aspects of lifeand its our life. Ive got to remind myself many times that its my life. Many times I see that other people want to tell me how to have my life. When I really look at it, I sometimes wonder if I am being arrogant to want to run my own life. Is it better to have somebody else run my life? Is my life to be somehow or another run another way? I dont know. But I have noticed that when I think I am having miserable days, they occur when Ive given away my right to run my own life. Either Ive given it away because I was too weak, or because in my strength I felt sorry for others and gave my life to them to run. Maybe I was feeling guilty. There are all kinds of relationships that are involved in thisblood relationships as well as relationships based upon a variety of associations. None of this, by the way, has anything to do with the absolute side of things. All of this is relative. I have decided that as long as Im here, this is my life

and Im in charge of my life. One of the concepts that I know truly does not exist is this concept of karma and that everything about me is predetermined. This is nonsense. If you agree with that, fine. If you dont, its also fine. But I am in charge of my life and you are in charge of your lives. Does that mean that because I have decided I am in charge of my life that all of a sudden I am automatically unkind or uncaring? Does it mean that I dont love anybody around me? Does it mean that I dont listen to anybody else or that I do whatever I want for my life without consideration of others? No! That is not the case. As time passes when we are in charge of our own lives, everything around us benefits. I dont know how that works either. Its just the opposite of what I used to think. I used to think that if I would do exactly what I was being asked by people around me that I would be pleasing everybody around me. That being the case, everybody around me would be as happy as possible and everything would be great. But it was just the opposite. The people around me were miserable because they could sense that I was miserable and that I was not in charge of my life. Once you are in charge of your life, you become wiser and you start to see that you can say and do certain things that make other beings happy or pleased and it doesnt change the fundamental way of how you look at things.

This is possible because with wisdom you know that not much really matters. However, it is wise and compassionate to pretend that it does matter if it helps another being. That is how you can be attached and not attached at the same time.

Wisdom from the Dying

What I have really noticed has been from people I see who die very soon after I have talked to them. They have taught me more than anything I could teach myself. What they have taught me is that, at the time when they know they are not going to be here in this solid-looking body, a lot of them have huge regrets about how they lived this life while they could have lived it. Of all the things that Ive noticed, this is 100 times stronger than anything else that comes up. All these other things are really nothing compared to this incredible need to say I should not have lived my life the way that I have lived it. Then the details vary. The details dont matter. Different people have different regrets over different things. But it is always regrets about how life was lived which comes back to this business of being rigid. Without their even being able to say it, they have perceived their lives as being rigid with definitions; and they regret it because they didnt feel alive here. They were here, but they didnt live here. Thats why poets say its better to be alive 5 minutes in fire than 100 years in ice. Its about self-imposed limitations and regrets.

Within these regrets the number one thing is their fear of allowing themselves to change in this life. They fear that it is not right or not safe for anything to change. They want everything to be as it was before. This tremendous fear of changing adds to the problem of being totally rigid. Some examples of these regrets are: I didnt speak to my son or daughter for the last 20 years. I was totally unkind to this person or that person. I should have told this person Im sorry. I should have taken a trip to visit Kyoto in Japan because I always wanted to do it. But I never went. Instead of every day in my life going to work in this miserable job, I wish that I had had the strength to make a change even though I would have made less money. I could have done something else to let something blossom within me. And on and on and on. Most of these regrets are about not giving enough love. Not loving others and not giving love to themselves, they were never in change of their lives enough to give love to themselves. So while were alive we can do a few things. Im not talking about absolute things, and I dont want these things to be confused with absolute things. This is just about things that Ive learned for this life here. Maybe you dont want to hear them. Maybe you have better ideas. Im just sharing with you what I have found that has been worthwhile for me. It has to be perfectly clear that Im not perfect in what Im saying. Where Im perfect is in the absolute just as you

are. But Im not perfect here in the relative. I make many mistakes. But I have noticed that Im getting better, and Im allowing myself to get better. Ive also noticed I dont pay so much attention to whether Im getting better or not getting better. Im not keeping a ledger! Somehow or another I catch myself more often every day in these things. But Ive also noticed there are many times I dont catch myself. When I dont catch myself, I dont punish myself by saying that since I didnt catch myself I have now failed forever. I used to do that. Just because I didnt catch myself today and I got myself tangled up in a great miserydoes this mean that everything else that is good about me is forgotten? Of course not! But I had to go through all these things.

Into the Unknown

Life here is very short. It goes by very, very quickly. We cannot waste it. So what does this mean? It means that we must not postpone for too long what it is that we want to do today. Its all right to postpone some thingsbut not too much. If we postpone too much, as time passes we end up in regret. We end up regretting all the things we feel we should have done that we didnt do. But many times we become trapped in a particular position or a particular place because we are afraid. We are afraid of making some kind of a change or of taking control of our lives where the outcome might be a lot worse than what we are dealing with now. It takes a lot of strength and bravery to face the situation and basically jump into the unknown.

We have to be warriors to do that. We cant be cowards. Weve got to be strong because its much, much easier to put up with an existing situation than to take the plunge. The unknown is very, very difficult for many of us simply because it is unknown. Wed rather have the known, no matter how bad it is. But there comes a time when we develop enough strength. We develop enough foresight. We develop enough trust in our hearts and in our whole essence, to see and to actually understand that the unknown is not such a bad place. The unknown may be the greatest adventure. Dear Beloved, I love you so much. I rest in you. Please let me see, Let me smell, let me touch, let me feel. Let my heart open. Let me love. Let me rest in the mystery that you are and make me the way

that you wish me to be.

Keeping It Simple
Although I have a very complicated life, the basic structure of my life now is quite simple. Within these simple days, I have all kinds of complications which I want to have. I dont wish to be without these complications. I want them. I dont want to live this life in a state of vegetation. I dont want to live this life where I have no thoughts, no ideas, no concepts, no anything. I dont want that. I want more diversity. The more, the better. So thats what I want. But how do I handle that every day? For me, its now automatic. I dont have to think about it. I get up in the morning. I open my eyes and the first idea that comes to me is: I thank you, my Beloved, for my life and for having another day. In the beginning it was like a little practice for me. I had to make an effort to remember to say it. There were days I would forget. There were days I didnt remember until around 11 oclock in the morning and Id say, Gosh, I didnt thank my Beloved when I got up. I got busy with the things I was going to do today and I forgot the most important thing I have to do. Then I would criticize myself. Id get upset. Id resolve to find ways to remind myself just to be thankful that, in fact, I can open my eyes and my clock is still there and my bed looks the same as it

did yesterday. Everything still looks more or less the same even though it isnt. And Im here. This is such a foundation for my life during the rest of my day that I cant even begin to tell you. It takes 10 seconds. People get involved with 10 hour meditations every day. But that doesnt compare with 10 seconds from your heart to say, Thank you, my Beloved. Done! Then do what you want to do. Its a life. Then at night when Im ready to fall asleep, I thank my Beloved again for my day. I say, Thank you for this day. Thank you for all the things you have brought me. Im going to sleep and I rest in you. While Im sleeping Im not as conscious as I may think that I am, even though I am, so Im resting in That. And when Im resting in That, it means I let be what may be. Im not resting in That with expectations that tomorrow will be a certain way. Im trusting and resting in That because That is always taking care of me. If it doesnt appear that Im being taken care of, it just means that I dont know whats really going on. I am always taken care of! So thats what I do in the morning and at night. For myself I find that, since I am in awe of this mystery that Ive told you about, many times I thank this mystery just because of the things that come to me. It doesnt have any clock work to it. It doesnt have any rigidities to it.

Im always doing my best to see this mystery. So if you do those two things and you are also in awe and in love with this mystery, how could it be possible that you would have a miserable life? I guess it is possible, but I dont think it will be probable. I am not minimizing problems here. Its just that no matter what problem may come, how can it stack up against what I have just been saying? How can we allow a problem to become bigger than gratitude for our existence? If we allow it to become bigger, it just means that we perceive a particular problem to be bigger than the mystery that I have been discussing. How can that be! Is the problem more important than to be in love with the Mystery? I dont think so.

The Next Adventure

While we are alive, we must be alive. Then when the time comes that we step into this concept of death, we can say to ourselves, I have lived a life. Also, if we have any unfinished business before that time comes, we should finish it. This is why its a good idea to look at our lives and say, I have six months left in this life. We hope we have a lot more time, but we can live in six months increments. People talk about living now. Its very hard to live now. There are plans to be made. But six months is a good time or a year, or some period of time like that. Then if this moment to leave here were to come, the question would be how much unfinished business would I have? How many regrets do I have? How tight am I? In six months we can loosen a lot. We can take care of some things that are importantthings that preoccupy us. And in this six months we can try to live with more compassion and more love. Then, when were ready to go, were ready to go! This is the final part about leaving and what happens when we go. Recently I have been given the gift of better perceiving what happens when we go. I dont know how this has come, but it is very clear to me that when we go it is not the end.

When the time comes that we are in this place called death, we will continue to exist in ways that we cannot perceive now. What is given up here is basically this body. What is given up are the memories of what this body has created. But what is gained is a freedom that is not to be hampered by the constraints of a body. We are free to explore and to do the things that this energy and this consciousness can do. When were open, we start to see that it is not necessary nor is it important, that this energy and consciousness follow the same principles or the same ideas and concepts that it does while it occupies a form here. If we are not afraid of change, we will see that some of the changes that these energy fields can do are quite different, quite spectacular, and quite amazing. These changes are to be looked at in a good way. This is the adventure. This is why it is important to open up our fields of energy and to be ready for this adventure that is awaiting us.


Sometimes I wonder where you are when the beauty I see in the world becomes so commonplace that the thrill of seeing you dims with the familiarity. For a while I grieve the loss of the thrilluntil, in the emptiness, I begin to notice that my heart is smiling still ever so quietly within. And my sadness seems a trifle phony like an old routine that has lost its vitality because my heart is smiling still ever so quietly within. Oh, there you are, my Beloved. Have I told you lately that I love you? Shivakti

I wonder why the concept of death is portrayed by ugly costumes and frightening images. Why do we do that? These images try to generate a fear that with death we are going to be turned into some ugly or inferior type of being. Weve been fed these kinds of images for eons. To get a different image or concept of death is very difficult. We are conditioned to think that all that we are is our body our legs, our arms, our face, our brain, our ideas, and all our thoughts about things. But we are much, much more than that! To get to the point where we can feel inside of ourselves that we truly are much more than a physical body is basically all the work that anybody ever needs to do on this subject. We talk about enlightenment and other complex ideas but if we feel inside of ourselves that there has got to be something more about us than skin and bones, even though we may not be able to describe what this is, that is all we need to do on the subject. But if we want to believe that we are only skin and bones, then all the concepts and fears about death cannot be taken

away. How could we remove the fear of death if our body is all that we are? Its impossible. We can talk from now until the end of time and the fear will be there. Depending upon which concept of death we have, there will be varying degrees of fear. It could be death with all kinds of images of difficult times facing us. It could be a form of death where we are placed in a definition of hell forever with no chance of ever coming out. It could be a definition of death where we may be in a terrible place for a certain time; and, if we do good, we will be brought back into another place. And on and on and on. All these things are concepts rising from our initial concept of death. Once we get taken in by that initial concept of death, we have to make many other concepts to back it up. Its like a house of cards. We keep building all kinds of ideas and concepts around that word. Soon we are so full of definitions that its no wonder every time we feel the heart beating a little differently we say, Oh, my god, Im going to dieand that will be the end of me! When we are born its a celebration. Weve been told that coming into this world is a great event. Everybody celebrates with us on our birthour mothers, fathers, sisters, brotherseverybody. Later, everybody asks us when was our birthday. Nobody asks when is our death day! We cant ask somebody that because they would be upset. But if they had any inkling of being more than a physical body, such a question would not generate anger towards us or undo fear within them. They could see that death of the body will happen. It is inevitable. It is natural.

Death happens to every body. It is the dissolution of the physical form. The body, the brain, and all the organs we have are no longer the same. Thats all. Those things are no longer thereperiod. But that spark, that energy, which makes these things move is always there. Its always there! For myself, I have always wanted precise definitions of death. Ive studied this a lot because I think its at the bottom of everything. I wanted to find something or be with somebody who could give me a definition that would make me feel more comfortable. I wanted to be given a definition that would not scare me. But the more definitions I got, the more I realized that none of them were correct. When I visited my teacher Poonja-ji in India, he used to make fun of the serious questions I had about death. Hed ignore them as if he didnt hear them. Its true that he didnt hear well, but sometimes I knew he just didnt want to hear my questions. He didnt want to deal with the subject. Eventually he told me that the only way we can discuss death is for two dead people to have a conversation on the subject. We cant have a person that is so-called alive and one that is so-called dead and have a discussion of these

things. Both beings have to be dead and then they can talk about death. Thats just like it is here. All of us are socalled alive, and we can talk about things pertaining to life. So I wont talk too much more about death. But I want you to know a few things that make the concept of death one of the most beautiful friends that you can ever have. Its strange to think that the concept of death could be a friend. Nevertheless, we can say to ourselves, There will come a time that I will not be in this physical form. I dont know when this is going to be. I dont know. I dont think anybody knows if its going to be today, tomorrow, next year, or many years from nowor if its going to be painful or instantaneous. No one knows these things! We dont know when death is going to happen, but we do know that it is going to happen. Nobody has escaped it. Since we know that at some point this form is not going to be here, this information immediately tells us, if we want to be a little wise about these things, to look at what we do with these precious moments that we are so-called alive and here. Death is the friend that reminds us to pay attention to life!

Death says to us that we are going to be so-called dead someday. Were not going to be in this form. There will be things that continue but, without speculating on these things, since were going to die sometime in the future, what are we going to do between now and then? We need to ask ourselves, How am I going to live this period of time? It could be a very long period. It could be a very short period. It may not follow any logical order. It may be that we may go before our son or daughter or it may be that our son or daughter may go before usor any combination of any of these things. We can not take it as a fact that we know how much time we have. So because of that, if we want to be wise, then immediately we look at our life. We look at our life because whats the point of looking at death! We can do something about our lives. But what can we do with death?

WHAT AM I TO DO I asked my Beloved: What am I to do with this time on my hands? By Beloved replied: Live, my dear, LIVE! Shivakti

Look at Life
The Buddha said that he didnt want to discuss concepts like death. He wanted to discuss what do we do when we are alive. What do we do to live life here? We can look at our lives in a scientific manner. Look at life as if it were being inspected by a scientist through a microscope. Look at what has transpired so far. Look at it critically but without being biased. Look at it and be open to truly seeing. It will become very clear to you how you want to live this life. Its your choice. No one has the right to tell you how to live this life. This is your life it has to be lived in a way that satisfies you. Life can be lived in such a way that, when the moment of death comes and our body is not going to be here anymore, we can go with strength, power, and wisdom and without fear. Or are we going to be trembling? Are we going to say, I wish I had done this, I wish I had done that, I need more time? I hope, I wont find you in that kind of situation. I find many people in that spot, and the fear is beyond imagination. The fear is very intense.

Poonja-ji said there is no effort required. There is nothing to do. At the same time he said that there are some things to do. And sometimes that statement is confusing. There is nothing to do to that part within us that will survive death. That part is perfect. There is nothing to do about that. But what we have to do is to try to become wiser in our life here while we are in this form. That wisdom requires some work. It doesnt come with a snap of the fingers just because we say we are going to be wise. We cannot be wise unless we look at our life. Then we either make certain changes or we live with the way that we have been in satisfaction. Just looking at our life doesnt mean that we have to change it. After we look, then we can decide within ourselves that this is what we want or this is not what we want. This is not just a one time look. It has to be done on a continuous basis. Maybe weve agreed to something six months ago, but today we may feel differently. So every day we look at these things. After a while it doesnt take very much time to assess the memories and descriptions of who we are. It doesnt take much time to see if we are suffering from some addiction, if we are not kind, if were dishonest, if were doing some things that, when were alone by ourselves, we know are

not right. And we know when something within us says that enough is enough. All these things are very private conversations. These conversations are not held because we want to impress somebody by saying all these big things. It has to be private and it has to be honest. It doesnt matter if what we discover is not good. It has to be honest. Then slowly we do things. Slowly. We cant take on the whole world in one day. We do things slowly and we change. Every slight change that we make based upon a larger perspective of what really is gets us one step closer to our Beloved. It gets us one step closer to things that we think of as being Consciousness, God, Freedom, and Enlightenment. It gets us closer because we are starting to be lighter. We dont have to carry so much weight with all kinds of definitions and defenses. When we look at ourselves and we start to review our own history, we will notice that we have all kinds of memories that come from many different things. So we go back in time and look at events that took place which have had a gigantic negative impact upon who we are now. As we remember these things we get a sense of being the same person with the same feelings that we had when we were five years old or whenever these things happened. But we are totally different now. Totally different!

Every seven or eight years every cell in our body changes completely. There is not a single cell here that was here seven or eight years ago. There is nothing about us that was there seven years ago. Its all different. All these things are different. We can look at prior history and use it to our advantage by putting into perspective all kinds of events that continue to hurt us now. That process is very different from analyzing things ad infinitum. We can spend years in psychotherapists offices analyzing all kinds of events, examining who did what to whom and the reasons why we are behaving the way we are nowand on and on and on, instead of looking at an event and having a slight amount of wisdom to say that it took place when I was eight years old. What ever it was, it took place when I was eight. That is not me now. That was somebody that was eight years old and now I am thirtyeight. And we drop it. We drop all these things. As time passes, we will have less and less history that we think is so important. But many of us want to have a lot of history. We carry our history like a whole bunch of medals on our chestall the things weve accomplished and done. And, God forbid, anybody should want to take away one of those medals!

We are going to have to be the ones to drop those things. Who cares about all those accomplishments? Nobody does! Out of the billions and billions that have lived, how many people in history can we remember who have accomplished something? If we get buried in a cemetery, after 300 years it is legal to take us out of there and make room for somebody else. Why did they come up with a number like that? Because after 300 years no one is going to be around who has known us. No one is going to know the physical body and all the memories it has generated. Also I think we have to decide to become gamblers! Whether anyone believes the things I say or not, its a situation of pondering the two opposing views: One viewpoint is that when the time comes that my physical body is going to be gone, a mystery awaits me. Another way of looking at it is that when my body is gone thats the end of everything. So which one of these two views would make your life here more beautiful? You decide!

Sabotaging Ourselves
We say that all is one. Then we look around and there are many beings here. We say, It may all be one, but I am seeing many and we all seem somewhat different. In this place, we have a physical form. My form is separate from many other forms. Sometimes my body is working well and sometimes it isnt. I know a time will come when Im not going to be in my body any more, but right now in this physical place I have a lot of work to do. In this place we are very busy. By definition, when were here, we have to be very busy. If Im having a miserable day, what can I do? Do I let it be a miserable day? Do I make it a miserable week? Do I make it a miserable month? Do I make it a miserable year? Do I make it a miserable life? Or do I stop and look at these things, and get some ideas and opinions from people that appear to be somewhat wise? These people are not perfect. However, once in a while it appears that, because all of the difficulties they encountered, the searching they have done and the various kinds of experiences they have had, they have some gems of wisdom that can help make life beautiful. This life is a great gift to have and most of us want to feel it as beautiful. One of these gems of wisdom is that at some time we have to stop criticizing our form.

This is very important. We have to stop sabotaging ourselves over and over again by complaining about all the deficiencies that we think our physical form has. Im not handsome enough. Im not pretty enough. I dont have this. I dont have that. Im not intelligent. Im not Im not Im not ! For starters, just making these assessments about all these things we dont have is evidence that weve been given a great gift in the ability to assess our situation. Even if it appears that were the most miserable person that weve ever come across and our situation seems to be hopeless, just our saying those words assesses our situation. So we have to be thankful that in fact we have come to a conclusion! If this is our conclusion, then we must be slightly kind to ourselves and ask if we can do some little thing to slightly change this onerous perception? I dont have any friends. I dont have any job. Nobody appreciates me. Nobody likes me. My family hates me. I hate my family. And Im waiting for something to change. Is it possible for me to do something about it? In wisdom we have to take a little step to make a change. We need not be afraid of rejection. Obviously weve already been rejected, so what difference does it make if weve been rejected 10,000 times or 10,001times? We need make a move and extend ourselves to someone. Perhaps we need to say, I love you, or, Im sorry about this situation. The whole idea is just to start to go forward.

The reason why we say we are sorry is that we are beginning to understand that there could be millions of ways of looking at the situation that is bothering us. There is not only our way of looking at these things, but there are millions of ways to look at that them! So weve made a gigantic step towards peace and taking down defensive walls by saying, Im sorry. Or we say, I have no friends. I have nobody that likes me. Yet if we make a small move forward, we are going to have so many people that love us that we wont have enough time to be with all of them. We could start by visiting small children in an orphanage. Its not so difficult. When life looks bleak and nothing is working right, I dont know of any other medicine that could be more potent for us than to walk into an orphanage and hug a little person and say that we love him or her, rather than being at home saying, Nobody loves me.

We have to set the stage right for our daily lives here. Although there are some days I forget, this is what I do. I wake up in the morning and the first thought that I allow to come to my mind as Im opening my eyes is of my Beloved. And I sayThank you for another day. Either I have accustomed myself to do this or my Beloved has accustomed me to remind myself of this. I dont make any big, gigantic, complicated prayers. Thank you for another day! It took me only a fraction of a second to do that. I didnt have to get a mat and sit down in a corner and start meditating for twenty minutes or singing all kinds of songs. Im not doing all this stuff in some kind of big ceremony where I never really, really say thank you. I just say thank you with sincerity. And then I have my day. Sometimes I remember my Beloved during the day and when I do I say thank you. Sometimes when I get caught up in all the stuff that we all get caught up in, I dont remember. Honestly, I dont rememberand I still have my day just as you do. Sometimes we have so-called good days. Sometimes we have bad days. And sometimes we have in-between days. By thanking our Beloved when we first wake up,

by just saying thank you for another day, we dont put conditions on how we are to have a day. We didnt say thank you for a good day. We are not telling our Beloved to give us a good day. We said thank you for a day of whatever this day may bring. If we thank the Beloved for what this day will bring, we can handle whatever comes because it was brought to us by our Beloved. No conditions. No results. We dont say thank you for this day as long as certain things take place. The Beloved wasnt placed here to be our servant. Its not like that. Then we say thank you during the day when we remember. When we see how awesome some particular thing is, or we look up at the sky in the night time and see all the stars and the planets and the things that are out therehow can we not say thank you once again! Its not an exercise. Its just a naturalthank you. We may see some tiny, tiny things that exist. They have their lives just as we have. And who knows what they are thinking about, what they are doing. But they have whole colonies, whole civilizations. We look at them. We say, Thank you for my seeing these things, and hearing them, and smelling them, and being with themas opposed to saying Im only going to be thankful if the day was a great day. So this is my number one advice thank the Beloved for another day.

We thank our Beloved for another day until the time comes when we are not going to be in this form anymore. Then when we are not going to be in this form, we thank our Beloved for whatever forms or no-forms are going to be in store for us. And when that happens, it happens and if it doesnt happen, it doesnt happen. Under those circumstances well see our lives are a lot better. I dont think this requires a gigantic piece of work. I dont like to give work. But if we dont want to thank something I call it the Beloved, but it doesnt matter what we call it if we dont want to thank something for the beauty of what we are, then I get very aggravated when Im asked how to be enlightened. What kind of nonsense is that? What kind of nonsense is it to have a teaching to become enlightened when we cant even thank That which made us to be here? So, we say thank you when we wake up. We say thank you whenever we happen to remember. We dont judge the day by how we think it should be. We just accept the day. We cannot know until later if it was a good day or a bad day. I tell you from direct experience, that many times I thought I was having the most wonderful dayand days, months, or years later when I remembered that day, Id say that was the worst day I had in my life now that I see what the circumstances were pertaining to that day. And vice versa.

Sometimes we have a totally miserable event that takes placetotally miserable! And we say this is the most horrible thing that ever happened. Then later we say to ourselves that if this had not happened, I would not be who I am today. But we only know these things later. So we give thanks for having a day. We give thanks for the experience. We give thanks for the kindness. We give thanks for the love. We give thanks for being able to hear and to see and to touch and to feel. Then we give thanks that we have become wise enough to love That which made these things. So we keep thanking for things. Then we will start to see that life is better, I promise. And finally, when the time comes that we are going to leave our physical form, we will have a moment to say thank you for my having had a life. It does not matter what the circumstances are for our leaving our form. It may be some type of a quick event or a longer time, but there is always a fraction of a second, no matter what the circumstances are, that we can say Thank you, my Beloved; take me. We have to train ourselves to be this way. Then at that moment of so-called death we are not going to have all these other fears about all these things that Ive mentioned. We will be able to sayIm yours my

Beloved, take me. So thats the main teaching that I have for this life here.

HOW DO YOU FALL IN LOVE If you want to open up, start by saying thank you. If you want to feel life in a positive, joyful way, start by saying thank you. If you want to have peace within your being, start by saying thank you. If you want your spirit to soar, start by saying thank you. If you want to know the Mystery, start by saying thank you. So how do you fall in love? You start by saying thank you. Shivakti

Dont Be Fooled
There is no teaching for the absolute side of things. We need not go to different places trying to find somebody to teach us about That which cannot be spoken of. They dont know. And as for a teacher that tries to teach us about the absolute truth, I cant think of any worse disservice that can be done by one being to another especially when they charge us for it. The Absolute has to be left alone. It has to be left alone but it is also our foundation! It is like a beautiful, majestic tree that is very, very tall. The tree is resting there. We see all the branches. We see all the leaves. We see all the fruit. But underneath the earth there is a huge structure that is holding this thing up. The tree of our lives is being held up by That that we cannot speak about. We have to give credit to That. We have to give the Beloved credit. We cant just walk around day after day and only do things of the body and say that nothing else is there. Thats what I want to leave you with. I dont know how much longer Im going to be doing these things, but I hope you listen to this part. Dont be gullible.

Dont be tricked into thinking that somebody can enlighten you, or that somebody can do these things for you. They dont know. They dont know. Thats why I love my teacher Poonj-ji so much. He was the first person to tell me that. As wise as he was about life here (and he was one of the wisest beings one could ever hope to meet on this side of things) he told me he didnt know what this other side was. The absolute was a mystery. But it is still there. Even though he did not know, he did not say it didnt exist. Even though we dont know does not mean it is not there. We just dont know about it. So we have to appreciate That which we dont know. And That that we dont know is a beautiful, awesome Mystery. And then on this relative side, we have all the days that weve been given here on this most beautiful earth of ours. We start seeing how beautiful the earth is, and what a magnificent set of circumstances must exist here on the earth for us to have life. Maybe some of us have studied physics. We should look at some of these things to see the conditions that have to exist on the earth in order for us to be here. When we look at that, we end up being speechless. The slightest variations in gravity would not permit us to be here. Slight variations in the amount of light or water and we could not

be here. If any of these things that exist were only slightly different we could not be here! There are many books on this subject. All these things that we are finding out show that all of this is not an accident. It is not a haphazard situation. The more the cosmologists and the physicists and the astronomers are looking at these different things, the wisest of all of them eventually say, in the privacy of their own company, that they dont know. With all their knowing, they dont know about the initial sparkor the spark that created that sparkand on and on and on. That is still a Mystery.

Paying for the Truth

Absolute truth that cannot be spoken of belongs to no one. There can be no proprietary ownership of absolute truth. No one can give it to someone else because it already is intrinsic within everyone. Period. Therefore, paying (or donating to) a so-called spiritual teacher for absolute truth is ridiculous. Absolute truth is a mystery. No one has the right to charge for something that is priceless to charge for the Beloved, to charge for the Mystery, to charge for That which is already there. To enrich ones pocketbook in the name of the Beloved and at the expense of the open hearts of students is supreme misunderstanding and may be outright deceit. No matter how cleverly these so-called spiritual teachers, preachers, or whatever they may be called package their programs, they are just commercial ventures. These people are very smooth. They talk the talk. They dress the dress. They have their staged helpers. They disguise payments within the beautiful word called donations. They have non-profit organizations. But

when we look at the ownership of these entities, we find that it is all a subterfuge leading back to their personal accounts. Their approach is to keep you as slaves. You have to keep coming back again and again to climb a ladder to Absolute Truthand to keep those donations coming in. You have to keep cleaning your mirrors, making yourselves purer, when the truly tarnished mirror is the so-called teacher who is fleecing you. Why am I saying these things? Someone has to. I care about you and I dont want you to be misled. So be alert. Remember for the Absolute, there are no students, no teachers, no teachings. Absolute truth IS and it is a MYSTERY. You are that MYSTERY. You do not need advice on improvement from beings occupying tight, compact, and self-serving energy fields. When you feel compassionate, when you can afford to share your blessings, please give. But give directly to someone that needs help. You dont need any

intermediaries for this. You are the best judge of these things for yourself. Here it is all Free because we are not commercial. The diamond I speak of cannot be sold, but you can have it in an instant. Poonja-ji

Search for Perfection

All paths eventually lead to the same place assuming that when weve arrived we decide to leave the path! If we dont leave the path, we can never arrive because were always walking and walking and walking. Some paths are very, very long and we get sore feet. We walk and we walk and we walk. Also we can get tricked along the way. We say to ourselves that there is always somebody else who is so much farther ahead on this path than we are. And then we follow the one we think is ahead of us. We follow a path or we follow a book or we follow a teacher or we follow an idea. We follow it and follow it and follow it. If nobody tells us that there comes a time when weve got to get off the path, then were never going to get off. When we go to places where they have so-called holy teachers, nobody talks. Nobody says anything. We dont get into big conversations with these teachers because the stage is set that they are some kind of superior beings. It is set up so we feel that they have characteristics we dont have because we are inferior. No matter what we do, we will never be like them.

But here in satsang with what I am saying, we have anarchy! Everybodys got an opinion about everything. Everybody has a different idea about how things should be. And how things should be isfreeand without set patterns or definitions. Thats why some people who come to our satsang dont like it here. This is not the correct place for them because this is not a place of definitions. In fact, I try to take away all the ideas people have about how things should be. The more precious the idea, the closer it is to their hearts and the harder it is to give up. But I try to take it anyway so that people can have a taste of freedom. If people want to keep their definitions and their shoulds, they can keep them. But these things become a very, very fine chain around the neck which is choking them because they dont want to let go of it. Sometimes its so fine they dont see it. We cant be making this chain thinner and thinner. We have to cut it. We make things thinner and thinner, but they are still always there. And there is no end to it. So the only way to do away with the chain is to cut the chain. Its the same thing when we are told by teachers and well meaning people to clean our mirrorto clean up who we are. They want us to clean our mirror and not to leave any specks on the mirror. They give us all kinds of exercises for cleaning our mirror. Basically they need the exercises to clean their mirrors. They make us clean our mirrors while their own mirrors need cleaning! But again how clean can we make a mirror? We have to get finer and finer clothscloth with fewer and fewer

threads, cloth that leaves less and less lint. We have to keep using purer and purer cleaning compounds. And there is still always going to be some speck there. So this is the same as the search for perfection. Perfection is impossible. We are human beings. But if we do want to get very clean and light, we drop the idea of a mirror we break the mirror so that we have no concepts about how we should be. And that is freedom.

REST IN IT What does it mean to rest in the Mystery? To stop struggling with it. To not worry about definitions even though I play in definitions. To trust that what Im resting in exists and to stop trying to prove that it does. To accept that it is there naturally there, intrinsically there. I dont have to earn its being there for me.

It simply is thereperiod. To rest in it means I can take a deep breath and relax. The something more Ive been trying to find simply is and it is there, in me. I belong. I am home. Shivakti

WHO IS THE BELOVED Within myself I asked, who is the Beloved? There came this knowing reply: How many days over the eons have you asked that question! If you multiplied those days a million times a million, there would not be enough time to say all the words describing the Beloved. Better for you to tell me

who you think the Beloved is not and there we shall see your own divine limitation. Thank you for asking. I love you. Shivakti

We Are That
THAT that we cannot talk about we cannot talk about. THAT that we are and that we cannot explain cannot be discussed. THAT that we are that has no beginning and no end cannot be classified. We say things like THAT that has no beginning and end because we dont even know what to say! We try to search for something to say, but it is beyond the ability of language to express or define. However, it gives me pleasure to try to search for something to say about That that I cant say anything about. We have THAT. We are THAT. THAT is perfect. There is no exercise for THAT. There is no path for THAT.

There is nothing to follow in THAT. In THAT there is no difference between any of us. In THAT there are no followers, no leaders, no knowledge, no lack of knowledge. In THAT we are totally identical which is why we hear things like its all one. So we have THAT whole category which is a most magnificent mystery! For me, I am very, very comfortable with this whole category. I have stopped. I do not need any definitions for this. I am perfectly happy to call it a mysterya mystery of love. It makes me feel good. I dont need anything else in this place.

PERIOD My teacher said he loves the Mystery and the Mystery loves him. Period! Something inside of me thrills to this certainty. Something in me is light and free and joyous with this simplicity. Indeed, I love the Mystery, and the Mystery loves meperiod. That is all I need. I love and I am loved. This is the base in which I rest, the substratum that supports me,

the prevailing belief-attitude I chose to hold. This is the truth of meno further explanation needed. And now what I do with my days, hours, and minutes is whatever I want to do because I know that: I love the Mystery and the Mystery loves me. Period. Shivakti

Instrument of the Beloved

The Beloved takes many different forms depending upon what may be needed by someone who loves the Beloved. When we love the Beloved we never know what gift we may end up getting. We accept the gift without judgment, without saying I liked the gift or I didnt like the gift. We dont know all the ramifications of the giftwe just accept it. So why do we suffer? We all have different degrees of suffering. Sometimes its very difficult to get out of it until we get a little present. We might be all alone and suffering. Then somebody does the smallest thing, but at that time it is enormous for us. And we accept it. Thats why, after weve come to satsang for a while, we start to see a lot of things. We start to see that we have a duty. We have a responsibility. Its not enough to say, I love my Beloved. That is most beautiful but at the same time, once in a while, we have to do some things to help the Beloved. It doesnt matter if the outcome is not appreciated. I know weve done many things that are not appreciated by

people. But the appreciation doesnt matter. It truly doesnt matter. It doesnt even matter if no one says thank you. It happens many times that we can go out and scrape up everything we can to help somebody and then they get angry with us. They get upset because we helped them. It can happen that way. But this reaction doesnt mean we stop. It doesnt mean we go inside a shell and never do these things. These things are not done for publicity. These things are not done for everybody to know about. They are things that we do and if nobody noticesno problem. Were not in the advertising business. But a lot of people do things because they want to be noticed. They want credit. So there is that, too. But we have to become an instrument of the Beloved. If we love the Beloved, we cant help ourselves. We become an instrument of That which we love and we do the best that we can whenever we can. There will be many times when we cant do anything. If we cant, we dontperiod. But it doesnt mean that because we couldnt do it, that all of a sudden we are now something less than we were before. It doesnt mean that at all.

Dear Beloved, Thank you for the gift of life

and for letting us be part of this most awesome mystery. Help us to be loving and to be kind. Help us to forgive ourselves for all the intimate details of this life of ours that we think are not right. Help us to be more caring and thoughtful of others. And when the time comes when we will be in a different place than we now know, may we continue to love you and to thank you for all the gifts we have.

When we have the ability to speak, nobody pays attention to speakingwe just speak. Or if our eyes can see, we just expect to see. But if we cant see anymore, we have a problem. The same goes for hearing or walking or any part of our lives. So often we dont pay attention to these things. We dont say, Thank you. What we do is complain about the things that we dont have. In our culture we have been trained to look for something that is wrong so that we can fix it. In our jobs, in our work, in our lives, we look around for things that need to be fixed. We look for problems. In business, the quicker we can find the problem and do something about it, the more successful we are. By always focusing on things that are lacking, eventually we dont even see all the beautiful things that we do have. So what helps us in one area can backfire on us and prevent us from being grateful for all the gifts that we have been given. Also, no matter what we have, we want more. Im peaceful, but I want to be more peaceful. Im loving, but I want to be more loving. Im enlightened, but I want to have perfect enlightenment.

For us here in this room or reading this page, even if we didnt have anything, we can appreciate that something within us could be in love with the Beloved. I think this kind of love is more than most people have. It is the greatest of all gifts and we cannot take it for granted. It is important to remind ourselves during the day that the Beloved is here, that the Beloved loves us, and that we are an inseparable part of That. And nobody can take That away from us. Then we have to make some adjustments in our lives so that we dont spend this precious life that we have here in always looking for things that we dont have. That is such a big mistake. Its a very big mistake to waste this precious life in wishing that everything were different about our lives. If only we had the following, then we would be happy. If only this were different, we would be happy. If only this were not this way, we would be happy. And we waste precious moments. Then, when the time comes that something is really severe in our lives or when we are suffering from something very real, many times it is too late to make up for wasting so much of this precious life. From the smallest gifts we have to the largest we must remember that they are all gifts! We cant take the attitude that just because we have a gift

that we are guaranteed to have it a moment from now. Whats the guarantee that everything that we have now will be here a few seconds from now? There is no guarantee of this type. And that is why we need to appreciate what we have. Then we will end up losing patience with ourselves when we are complaining or getting down and feeling bad. We will lose patience with ourselves and start saying, Enough of this complaining. Let me look at the bright things about this life. When we look at all the suffering that exists in this world and at how many beings live in such absolute misery, I think that we become very, very arrogant if we are complaining about our lot in this life. Im not saying that everything about our lives is perfect. But how can we compare our situation to that of someone who has nothing to eat, or who has no way to take care of the family, or who is caught in some type of a gigantic national disaster and is totally helpless, or who is suffering from diseases that are beyond comprehension? To say that my life is totally miserable because I dont like my job how can we equate things like this? We hear ourselves saying, I dont like the kind of car that Im driving. Id be much happier if my nose were a little bit straighter or if I had bigger lips or if my breasts were bigger, but I dont have enough money to get the silicone injections. Id be happier if I had more hairor who

knows what. Who cares what size lips we have if we cant open our mouths to eat! But we suffer from these smaller things because we take the important things for granted.

Dear Beloved, I pray to you and sometimes I dont know what to tell you. Sometimes I ask you for things. And sometimes it feels like you are so far away. Sometimes I cant ask you for anything because whom am I asking? Sometimes I feel like I know and sometimes I feel like I dont know. Sometimes I love you so much. And sometimes I get angry because if you love me so much why didnt you make me perfect? Then I laugh and then I cry. I think I know and I think I dont know. I speak and Im wise and Im stupid. I am a being and I forget it and I remember it.

I get myself into things and I get out. I live! And I love you! Sometimes I ask you to forgive me and sometimes theres nothing to forgive because after all you made me a human being so Im always left with I love you.

SALT Suffering is like salt. Too much dries us out, wrinkles and hardens us like a pitted prune. Too little and our minds and bodies fail to function well. In the soup of life a certain amount of salt brings out the flavor and adds enjoyment to the meal. Too much makes the whole meal inedible. Thank you, my Beloved, for the salt in my life. One of us is a very good cook!


Poonja-ji used to say we have to be diligent. For a long time I didnt really understand what he meant by being diligent. This was because at the same time he said to be diligent he also said there is nothing to do. So if there is nothing to do, how can we be diligent? Its confusing, but its also very clear. There is nothing to do. Obviously there is nothing to do because that that we truly are, that that we cannot discuss or comprehend or touch or talk about, that is perfect and there is nothing that can be done in that. But we walk around now in a human body. We have a brain. We have desires and we have thoughts and we have opinions. We have a life that we live here. Taking all these things into consideration, we have to be diligent to make sure that this life, this gift that has been given to us here, is not a wasted gift. Being diligent means that we have to be alert. When we start seeing that our life, our actions, the way that we behave, and the way that we live dont seem comfortable or appropriate, we have to be alert and ready to do something about the situation. If it doesnt seem as if we have a life that is worth living, then we have to be diligent and do something to change that.

We have to see that, in fact, we have the power to do something and that we are strong enough to do something. We are not helpless. We cant take the attitude that we are helpless. We cant take the attitude that everything is pre-ordained, that everything is of no consequence or of no importance. Because that is not the reality of the world we live in. We have a tremendous amount of strength, power, energy, and ability to do, to change, and to create things. We have power and strength far beyond our imagination. We have that ability. We have to pay attentionto keep looking, to keep seeing all the things we have that we must be grateful for rather than looking for things to complain about. We have to keep reminding ourselves whenever we start to feel that things are not right, that no matter how bad they are, there is something that we have that is worthwhile. My hope is that you will pay some attention to what I have just said and try to apply it to your life. I love you so much and I want you to have a good life. Im not doing or saying these things for any other reasons.

I know that you come here and youre glad to see me. And Im glad to see you. Sometimes I ache because I know that you ache. I feel it because weve been here a long time together. Im a lot closer to you than you may think I am. And I want you to know that I feel a lot of what you feel. So what I wish is that you make a decision that this life is a good life. Life is a great gift. And when sadness or unhappiness or despair or other negative feelings come up continually, they have got to be stopped. We have to develop a strength so that we recognize these negative feelings and basically tell them to go away. Tell them to go bother somebody else that is ignorant and cant see through this veil. We have to learn to recognize negative feelings and thoughts. We see them coming. We see them changing our whole complexion, our whole attitude about the beautiful beings that we are. And we stop them. As soon as they come in they have to be taken out. Even as simple and trite as it may appear, learn to say, I recognize you, my problem. I see you comingnow go! You fooled me for the last 15-20 years. Youve been telling me this stuff for the last 30 years. I dont want to

hear it any more. Youve told me this same story for the last 38 years. I dont want to hear it for another 38. Enough is enough. I dont want this to continue. It doesnt continue once we dont want it any more. Its only when, in some part of us, we want it that it keeps coming. Its only when we want to keep ourselves in a place of misery that the misery keeps coming. Misery rejoices with those thoughts. But by being a warrior, by being strong, by being powerful, by recognizing that we are much more than just these thoughts that come and go, then they crumble away because we have taken their power. What I am saying now is not reserved for some few beings that have somehow or another mastered these things by doing who knows what. It is just a conscious, diligent decision that, in fact, this is the way I want to have my life. This is not something reserved for others. It is for us! How long am I going to suffer? Its a question we have to ask ourselves. How long am I going to suffer over certain events in this life no matter how important they may appear? How long am I going to mourn somebody that is not here anymore? How long am I going to hate somebody that has not been nice to me? How long am I going to remember memories that, in fact, have caused me so many difficulties for so

many years? Now Im seeing them, but when am I going to put them in perspective? Those are the questions. And the answer to all those questions is that I am going to start immediately. I know that I am going to fail many times. But I have the right to try it againand again and again and again and again. This is what is meant by being diligent. Eventually we will succeed in taking control over these things. The help of the Beloved is always there for us. Even if worse comes to worse, we can always say, I need help. I love you. I try my best and I rest in your hands. I thank you for the gift of life. I thank you even for the misery that I appear to be having. Its very, very strange to think of thanking the Beloved for the misery that we may be having. What it means is that, in fact, we are still feeling and sensing. We still have life because we are feeling, even if it is misery that we are feeling at the moment. So in that sense even misery is a gift.

Natural Gratitude
[There are times when someone with Yudhishtara shares a personal experience, such as happens here, and the sharing not only reveals what the process of expansion feels like, but also becomes an affirmation for all of us that this is, indeed, what happens for us as we growS.] Yudhishtara, I just wanted to share something that is happening now for me. I can be really present with an object. Then I see the object, like a tree, and spontaneously I am just so overwhelmed by how beautiful it isas it isand not according to any description I have of beauty in my mind. Whenever that happens, a natural gratitude arises. Its not a decision to be grateful. Its a natural gratitude that arises that this should be so. And the more that happens, the more gratitude pervades my life slowly from within. It is for me more powerful than trying to make a decision to be grateful the way you have taught. Natural gratitude, if anybody wants to compare different kinds of gratitude, is the best gratitude. In the beginning, it is more often like an effort of diligently bringing up the awareness of being grateful. It feels like an effort because were thinking about it and we say that were going to be thankful about something. So we do that. It is more like work at first. And we are diligent. But then it starts to change.

It starts to change our whole essence because we begin noticing all the things we could be grateful about. Its like an exercise even though there are no exercises. Its an exercise that says, Gosh, Im walking. Im talking. I can smile. We look at insects. We look at birds. We look at the sky. We look at the sunset and say, Gosh, look at that! But for years and years and years, many of us never do that. All we do is say, I dont like this. I dont like that. I dont like the other thing. We never say anything is nice. Many of us even think that it is very chic, very cool, to go out there and not appreciate anything as if nothing is good enough for us. We put everything down. We dont appreciate these things and we dont have any gratitude. Soon we dont know how to have gratitude. Then we have to redevelop a sense of gratitude. Theres nothing better than to have gratitude without knowing what its for or what the reason is. A feeling comes inside of us and we are grateful. Theres no definition of why. We are just grateful. When we see things without any judgments gratitude comes naturally. We talk about opinions and judgments. We have judgments. We have opinions. As soon as we make a judgment, then something is right and something else is wrong. When we have a very strong opinion about

something, then something is not appropriate on the other side. Eventually we become somewhat child-like. We are adult but at the same time we have a lot of a beautiful qualities that small children have. We see something and we appreciate it. We like it and were happy. We dont spend much time and effort in criticizing how it could have been better. But once we have many things in this life, once weve seen many things, once weve experienced a lot of things, we cant help comparing these things. We start saying, This is nicer than something else. A 5-star restaurant is the best restaurant, so if I cant eat at one then Im not going to be happy. But if we have a throat operation and they took our tonsils out, any kind of food would taste good. It could be in a C restaurant! But it does not have to be that way if we pay attention. We can get up in the morning and actually set the mood for the day. We open our eyes. We know that we are awake. The first thing has to be, I love you, my Beloved, and I thank you for another day. I love you, my Beloved. I thank you that I am awake. Not that Ive got to get up now and Ive got to go do this and I have to do that. And nobody likes me and Im fighting with somebody. As soon as I get up, Im going to start screaming at my wife or my husband because I remember what they told me last night, or who knows what. Thats not the way to start.

Its very simple. We use very simple sentences. Its not a prepared statement. Its not a poem. Its just a couple of words that come from our heart. Then we do the same thing at night when we go to sleep. Thank you for my day. Im going to sleep and I rest in you. Once we decide that we are not going to complain all day, once we decide that just having a day is a great and precious gift, then we are going to live an enlightened life. We are going to live an enlightened life!

THANK YOU NOTE Sometimes when I feel lost or gripped by ennui, I turn to natures grandeur or beauty like a flamingo sunset or the stars in the galaxy. I give thanks for these and feel the shift in me as if the purpose of my life (at least for the moment) may simply be to acknowledge what I see, to say, Ahhhhh yessss! to thank and to bless. Oh, my Beloved, what I have seen!

What I have loved! What has touched my soul! If my life is nothing else may it be a thank you note. Shivakti

GRATITUDES WAY There are reasons to say thank you, millions of them the mind cannot deny. But I love you comes harder to the lips, as if the tongue were bound and tied. I love you is surrender, a melding in the heart from which theres no return and the mind has little part. Sometimes it is easier to fill ones mind with gratitude, more honest to say thank you than to say I love you. So Ive found things to be grateful for blue skies and mountains high, grassy meadows, a dancing horse and miles of trail to ride, food on my table and shelter from the rain, coffee with a friend, a way that eases pain, eyes that can see, ears that can hear, a mind that remembers. All these things I hold dear

the ability to wonder, the strength to breathe, the way things work out to settle my needs, dew drops on spider webs, music that thrills, finding a way to pay my bills, surviving my youth, enjoying my age, being able to sit with a wonderful sage, my successes, my losses, my loves and my life. The list goes on and on with thank you, my Beloved my constant song. As my litany is growing slowly flowers a knowing of what I really long to sayI love you, my Beloved. And somewhere deep inside a boundary line melts away. Shivakti

Awareness and Choice

One of the things that many people do with thoughts is to try to stop them from coming. They say Im not going to have any kind of a thought that I dont like so Im going to stop the thoughts. Thats very, very hard to do. Maybe it can be done for fractions of seconds but basically it becomes a full time occupation to stop thoughts. Who wants to spend their lives doing that? Or to give a job to myself to stop thinking about a particular subject? Well, just in telling ourselves Im going to stop thinking about this particular subject, we are thinking about this subject. So anyway we look at it, we fail. Do you want to do that? I dont. What Poonja-ji said many times is true and it works very well. He said that the thought comes and we have the choice to play with it or to say to it I hear youThank youGood-bye. Many times its an instantaneous choice if were going to stay with it or not. Many times we get caught up and we dont recognize it right away. But eventually, maybe a minute later, an hour later, or five days later, we are going to recognize that weve been playing with these particular thoughts. Then at that time we must say enough. Papa used to refer thoughts as automobiles. Lets say were out there in the middle of the street and we see all these cars coming by. Are we going to start chasing all these cars? What car are we going to start chasing first? With all the thoughts that come and go and come and go,

which ones are we going to chase? We keep chasing this thought and then we chase the other thoughtchasing and chasing. So, what can we do? We cant stop the cars from going back and forth. So all we can do is say, Yes, all these cars are out there and they are coming and going. So what? But, if there is a particular car that is very interesting and we want to chase itmeaning that there is some kind of a thought or desire that appears to be very, very important and we want to do something with itthen, by all means, we should chase it! But we need to do the best we can to catch it. We dont want to just be chasing it. Chase it and try to catch it. Then, if we catch it, we can feel good because we caught it. But, if we try our best and we cant catch it, then, in fairness to ourselves, we have to say, Well, maybe this car is going too fast. Maybe this is the wrong car for me to be chasing. Maybe this is the same old car that has come around the block over and over again and enough is enough. So Ill use some wisdom and stop chasing it. All this interaction can be negative and it can be beautiful simultaneously. A lot of people would not recognize that the same car is coming around and around and around. They would think that this is a different car. And it would be a different problem, a different thing because they think it is always new. But if somebody sees the same car, the same idea, coming around and around, that becomes familiar. Then we can say, Look, car, I recognize you. Ive seen you. Youve come around this block fifty times now. I dont want to see you any more.

You see, its a great advantage to be able to recognize that, in fact, these things are happening. If we want to compare ourselves with other situations and possibilities, there are many, many beings that cannot detect that they are being bothered by this stuff. If you cant detect it and you are being bothered, thats a more severe thing than being bothered and having the ability to recognize the situation. The recognition is a gift. And when we can recognize what is bothering us or what we have been chasing over and over again, we have many choices of how to handle it. When we become aware, we also begin to become aware that we have many choices that we didnt think we have. We have choices and we have the freedom to choose.

We have no guarantee how long this precious life is going to be given to us. This is the problem. We all think that we are infinite. Part of this is natural for us so that we dont get morose about this concept of death. We dont want to go around all the time thinking that I may have only another five minutes of life. Theoretically we may really have only five minutes. If that is so, what could be of such great importance to pester us? This is why I talk about death being the best adviser that we have because death reminds us of the gifts that we have right now. Its not because death is a good or bad thing. Death reminds us that in this life we have many gifts but they could change instantaneously. What awaits us after death are experiences and ways of being that are going to be different from what this life is. When that change takes place, we will deal with that. But when we are here, we have to deal with what we have here. This is why our lives here must not be taken for granted. In the past Ive talked about enlightenment and wisdom and all kinds of philosophy. Afterwards, I think everything I said was beside the point because to be enlightened is to finally put the show together in this life and to have a good life. Never mind about trying to be enlightened so that when we are dead maybe we are going to go to some spot that benefits us much more than here. Enlightenment is for here!

To be enlightened is to finally put the show together in this life and to have a good life! Its also a matter of attitude. Its a matter of deciding how strong we are. Its a pretty basic question. How strong are we? How much power do we have at our disposal? If we dont have a big store of power inside of us, then its difficult to make changes, difficult to do all these things. Many times the reason that we dont have enough power in us is that we end up using a tremendous amount of energy in maintaining a certain status quo or defending certain positions that we have decided are important. It requires a tremendous amount of this energy field for that. Then there is very little energy left over to address difficult situations we may have. It takes a lot of energy to be able to say, and really mean, that as of this moment I am changing the way that these things have been in the pastperiod. Things are being changedperiod. Im not going backwards. Im not going to be affected by any conversations I am having. I am changing them. Period. That decision requires strength. It requires energy. It requires commitment. It requires confidence. And sometimes we are weak in all these different things. But just the fact that we are weak doesnt mean we cant build ourselves up.

When it appears to us that we are weak, we have to start telling ourselves, Yes, it feels as if I am weak but I have a lot of reserves that I havent used. We have to start talking to ourselves. Just as we go to the gym and we want to exercise. We pick up a five pound weight and it seems like its pretty heavy. Then we get a two pound weight and we do a few things and pretty soon we can lift five pounds. Then we can lift ten pounds and fifteen pounds. We have to start some place. But many, many times we say to ourselves, Its hopeless. I cant start anything. I dont have anything worthwhile about me. Im going to be defeated and Im going to lose no matter what I do. When those thoughts come up, they are very tough to fight. But somehow weve got to find just a little bit of comeback and say Im going to try and if I fail, give me the strength to try again, my Beloved. Its an amazing thing that doing just that gives such a tremendous strength. It is truly surprising what strength that can give us! There are tools that can be used to help with many of these things. A lot of the Toltec teachings that I talk about are based upon creating very beautiful ways of substituting one thing for another in order to develop more strength, more energy, and more confidence in life to deal with things.

One of the basic tools in creating more energy for us to be able to deal with life is to slowly give up self importance. Defending self importance is a tremendous drainage of energy. We defend definitions of what we think we are. I am this, this, this, and this. I have done this, this, this, and this. We are always defending this and as soon as some information, some input, comes from other places to challenge this definition, tremendous energy gets put forward. By giving up this idea that we have to defend our self importance, huge quantities of power are released for us to use. Defending self importance has to diminish along with defending opinions that this is right and that is wrong. Just let it be. This is! If people want to do whatever they want to do, let them. If you want to do something, do it. By just doing these two simple things over a short period of time we have a lot of strength left over to start doing some other things. But, if were going to defend our ego, defend our personality, defend our actions, defend, defend, defend and if were going to have to say, Im always right; nobody else is ever right; Im going to win every battle and every discussion that comes to me, then we lose all the wars. Then Im right and nobody wants to speak to me anymore because Im always right. After a while were lonely because we are always right. So we have to do a few things now that will give us the energy to do more things later.

I choose to live, to laugh, to love and to do the things that stir the aliveness in me. I choose to learn and grow and change inside and out, and not to trap myself in rigidities. I choose to let myself feel curiosity and wonder and awe, and to have respect and gratitude for all things. I choose to feel my emotions, all of them, rather than fear them and thus castrate my humanity and my compassion. I choose to be responsible for my attitude, my outlook, my perspective responsible for the way that I live my life. And when I am confused or over-whelmed or unsure, as I sometimes am I choose to trust that something in me loves me and will assist me and so I am quiet and listen when it speaks. I choose and it makes all the difference in the world. Shivakti

Comfortable with Ourselves

Part of wisdom is understanding that all these things come from a basic desire of wanting to get along with ourselves. Eventually all of us have to say to ourselves, I want to like myself. I want to be able to be alone with me and get along with me. I want to make friends with me. I know its hard to make friends with me because I know everything about myself. I know all the good things about me, all the bad things, all the things I should have done and didnt do and vice versa. I know all the arguments and fights and all the things Ive done in my life. I can bring up a ledger of all these things and many times I dont like me. But I have to make a decision that somehow or another I have to make an effort to like me. I have to be able to spend time with myself without needing distractions. I want to feel comfortable that I can be alone with myself and not be lonely. Nobody can do this for us. We have to decide to have this conversation with ourselves. You get up in the morning and while you shave or are putting on your make up, you look in the mirror and you say, I want to like you and Im going to try. But if I fail, I will try again. If I fail I have the right to fail and I am

forgiving myself for failing. But I want to give myself the gift of trying to have a good life here. And if Im not having a good life here its because I have not stopped to be grateful for all the gifts I have been given. I have to stop complaining about my life. If I start to think about it, I could find things that could be worse. So this is a tremendous shift in attitude. Its also a choice. We always have a choice in our attitude. I can always find things that would appear to make life better for me. Our culture is always advertising ideas for this. Or I can start thinking about situations that could be worse than what I have right now. Then I would realize that my life is already pretty darn good. Dont make this life complicated. It does not have to be complicated. This life is very simple. When we complicate things, everything becomes difficult to deal with. I dont think its out of line to ask you, a few times during the day, to pay attention, to be diligent, and to be thankful about something. To be truly thankful about something in this life! Be thankful. Appreciate things that you have. Be in love with the Beloved.

Forgive yourself for knowing all the things about yourself that you dont like. Treat yourself like you would treat a good, good friend. I love you so much. Its really so. I hope that you will hear me.

MOVE OVER HAFIZ I no longer separate the relative from the absolute. Everything that is relative, separate, unique, individual, is intrinsically infused with the absolute. It is my joy, as well as my pain at times, to participate in knowing, touching, tasting, seeing, smelling, hearing, and feeling these infusions. But I would not have it any other way. I am the beloved,

wrapping my heart around an unnamed One with a billion names, kissing a mystery I can only fleetingly know. I stretch out my hand and lead the Beloved into my life. (Move over, Hafiz. You arent the only one who knows how to dance!) Shivakti

I dont think there has been any being in our history that has talked better about relative truth than the Buddha. Many, many, many beings have said all kinds of beautiful things. But if we look at the things the Buddha said to simplify the way that we live, its very, very difficult to find somebody that has actually spoken more clearly on the subject. But his teachings have become very complicated because many Buddhist traditions and religions have sprung from the Buddhas teachings. Many times these things are very different from what the Buddha actually said. At the time the Buddha was speaking, we didnt have tape recorders as we do now and a lot of his teachings were passed on to us from memory. The monks would remember these things. If I remember correctly, it was at least 300 years after he left his form that what he said started to be written down. So there were many opportunities for a lot of misconceptions. Basically what he said is that we can reach a state of well being in our lives. By deciding to diagnose what is the reason for our suffering, then taking the appropriate medication to neutralize those reasons we can alleviate huge amounts of unnecessary suffering. The Buddhas medication was basically the eightfold path of noble living. So the Buddha said that: It is possible to live in a state of well-being

as long as we understand why it is that we are suffering. And once we understand why we are suffering, we can take the appropriate medicine to relieve it. This is very straight forward. He didnt have many complex concepts and philosophies, and practices. He just said we can be very peaceful and happy in this life as long as we understand why it is that we suffer. When we understand what the reasons are for the suffering, we can take appropriate action to eliminate it or reduce its impact in order to be happier. This is the basis of all of Buddhas teachings. In order to help us diagnose why we may be suffering, he mentioned quite a few things that cause suffering. One of the things he mentioned is this thing called impermanence. We human beings want things to be permanent, especially the things we like. We want them to be permanent, but by their very nature they are not permanent. They are not! And we suffer. One of the major reasons why we suffer is that things are not permanent. We dont stop to think that things are indeed truly beautiful because of impermanence. If things were permanent, there would be no possible way to make any changes in anything. If we lived in a

repressive government, it would always be that way. If we were totally, totally unwise, we would always be totally unwise because there would be no opportunity for change. If we were sad or hurt or lonely, it would always be that way. But none of these things are written in stone. If it werent for change we would not appreciate the beauty of a flower. As it is we see a flower and we know it is not going to last very long. So we look at it and we appreciate it because we know that soon enough it wont look this way. If it werent for change, we would not be able to have children. In fact, if it werent for change, we couldnt be here at all! Impermanence can be one of the best friends we have. Along with our wish for permanence we tend to think of ourselves as beings that are linear in naturethat we are born and we die and in between we have a lifeand its all one dimensional. That is how we define ourselves. But if we accept change and impermanence, we can look at things in other ways and start seeing things very differently. We start to open up and experience life much more fully. This can lead us to live with more respect and gratitudeand even joy. Another thing the Buddha talked about was this idea of no self which is so often badly misconstrued. The way that the Buddha explained no self is that when we look at ourselves and at how we are made up, there is nothing that we can find that we can identify as something

that is continuous or as a substance that didnt come from something else. That bears repeating: When we look for a self, there is nothing that we can find that we can identify as something that is continuous or as a substance that didnt come from something else. We look at a flower and wonder how was a flower made. A flower was made because somebody decided to do some gardening or it grew wild. It took some soil from the earth, some sun, some nutrients, and some inorganic substances and eventually became something that was totally alive. Then when it turns and decomposes it goes back into the earth, into different elements to create perhaps another flower or another tree, or some other substance. And this goes on and on and on. But the flower is not made up of any one particular thing that continues in the same identical way. If we dont understand what this means, it is a cause of great suffering because all of us would like to continue in the same identical way that we perceive ourselves to be.

Even in the concept of death, speaking in relative terms, we want to continue in some kind of an image that would be acceptable to us because we dont want to become some other substance that is not recognizable. This is what we fear. But the fact is, we have been everything! When we look at it from absolute terms nothing can ever be destroyed. Everything rotates, recycles, and comes back in all these different ways. So this is why it is important to look at our existence in both waysin terms of the absolute which is our core existence and in terms of the relative which is what we deal with while we are living here.

Dear Beloved, I cant speak about you. Yet I know that you are always with me and I am always with you. Help me in not attaching too much to all the things of my form. Help me put these things in perspective. When I forget my true nature, please remind me.

We come to hear a teacher for all kinds of reasons. Many of us think that we have to go some place for enlightenment. Many of us think that, if certain things were to happen to us, our lives would change substantially; and we would become enlightened or very wise, and every day of our life would be most beautiful. Many of us think that a teacher can do these things for us. These things are possible. But when these things happen, they happen in a way that we dont even sense at first. Often times we dont realize they have happened because of our own definitions of the way they should happen or how we are to be when we become so-called enlightened. And our definitions just dont match up to the way things really are. Thats the irony of the subject. We miss our own enlightenment! We think that if we want to become enlightened, we have to define what enlightenment is. So the brain defines enlightenment. It says, For me to be enlightened I have to be a certain way. We work to become that way, and then the brain says, That was too easy. My definition must have been wrong. I have to do more and more things. Then we stop and say, Who is it that wants to be enlightened? What is it that is asking these questions? And on and on and onits never ending. It becomes a lifes work. It can be a very complicated lifes work. I know from experience that until a time comes that this game is given up

its one of the most miserable things that we can go after. There is nothing that I know of that is more difficult and more cruel to somebody who is honest and sincere in trying to define these thingsbecause it is elusive and it doesnt happen! We go from place to place, from teacher to teacher, from book to book, trying to find specific answers to questions that by definition do not have answers. The time must come in all of our lives when we have a private conversation with our selves. Theres no audience involved. There are no grades. There is nobody looking at us. Its just a conversationme with meto look at this whole thing and to then to say, I have looked. I have investigated. I have searched. I have studied. I have done all this, and I have arrived at the conclusion by myself that all these things that we try to talk about simply are most mysterious. This is a gigantic step to take because we dont want to say things like that. We want to say, If I continue to investigate this for the next six months, for the next year, for the next twenty years, if I do this or I do thatI will be successful in defining this mystery. Nobody wants to be a failure. Thats why it is so difficult to actually face up to this situation that this is a mystery. Its an awesome mystery. Its a most magnificent mystery. But it is a mystery! And then we surrender. In all these holy books that talk about surrender, this is what is meant.

Once we surrender to this mystery an incredible thing happens. We realize that we may not know what this mystery is but somehow and in some form we are a part of this Mystery and we rest in it. We rest and we become naturally peaceful. We see that this is a mystery. There is no possible way that we cannot be part of this mystery. We cannot escape being part of the mystery. We are satisfied that we belong! And then we see that everything else is just an awesome conversation.

Spiritual Snobbery
There are always many facets to any of these conversations. I used to say there were various levels of conversation. That was wrong. There are no levels of things, there are facets of conversation. Levels indicate that something could be higher or lower or more important or less important. However, a diamond has many facets and the light goes through all these to make it bright. The same thing goes for our lives. In order for us to be bright, to shine, and to have a good life here, all these different facets have to be considered. It is not enough to say I am that I am. It is most beautiful, but its not enough. It is not enough to say that I am my work, my occupation, my relationships. Its not enough. All of these are thereall of them. We have to understand that we are very beautiful and very important, and that we are much, much more than what we appear to be.

We have to give credit to what we are. We have to become courageously arrogant in order to realize what we are. Actually we become humble and arrogant simultaneously. Its very difficult to speak about, but its true. We become arrogant once we know the immensity of what we are. And then simultaneously we become very humble because as much as we think we are, it hardly compares to the immensity of what is. But to be able to say I am That I AM, to be able to say I am one and the same with That that made me does require courage and a beautiful kind of arrogance. Then at the same time we also recognize that this is a great, great mystery and when we say that, we become very humble. We also become very fluid. This is what the Tao teachings talk about. We have to be very fluid. We have to give up our rigidity about things. Once we become fluid, we become strong. When we are fluid, we are very strong; when we are rigid, we break right away. This is a practice of being fluidof being like the wind, of having things flow with us and through us. Of seeing things, of being compassionate, of being loving, of being

forgivingespecially to ourselves. Of being kind, of being humble, of being arrogant. Of being willing to listen and willing to extend help when it is required so that, when the day comes to a close, we are relatively satisfied with ourselves. Then we can say that today was a pretty good day. Yes, I could have done many things differently. But I was alive today. I was alive! I wasnt dead today; I was alive. I got up. I ate and I enjoyed my food. I took a walk and I talked to somebody. I hugged somebody. I spoke to somebody. I did some work to earn my living. I talked to my children. Maybe I got into a fight. Maybe I got into an argument. Maybe I went to the doctor. I did all these things. I am glad that I am doing all these things, as opposed to sitting in a corner of some room meditating about the existence or non-existence of the universe while my whole life passes and I wonder why nobody loves me, why I dont have any friends, or why I havent accomplished anything. But often we dont make that first move! We dont make that move to tell somebody, I love you; I like you; I want to be your friend. We dont make the move to look at all beings that come across our path in an open way and not to immediately judge them based upon their appearance, their degrees, or their accomplishments. We dont allow for the possibility of hearing somebody who doesnt fit our requirements coming up to us and saying something wise to us. Weve got to listen and hear. We cant continue to be snobs. There is nothing worse

than a spiritual snob. We may think weve reached a high place, a holy place, and all the other people are way below us. And that is just not so! Its true there is nothing that can give us a better feeling about our existence than to know that we are That that we cannot speak about. It equalizes many things in this life. Things are put in very good perspective that way. At the same time we need some wisdom to make the days we have in this life productive to open our hearts, to be loving, to be compassionate, to be kind, and to make those first moves.

And the ultimate truth the highest attainment is to be natural about life.

If anybody is interested, the ultimate truth is be natural to be. To be a human beingbe. That says it all. In be-ing, everything that comes to us is part of this mystery. Everything that we attach to, everything that we see, everything we dont see, is this mystery. For myself, I know the Beloved has decided for me to have this form that I have now. I behave and act according to the way I am now. I am satisfied that this is how things are. I dont spend my whole day wishing that things were some other way. I fall prey to things many times. Im not perfect. But whatever may be happening today, it is a day. And I am thankful for a day. I am thankful for the things that I touch and feel and taste, even though many times I wish for things to be different. Sometimes I can do things to make conditions different. Sometimes Im successful. Sometimes Im not successful. Sometimes I wish that I had magical powers to change situations that I really, really want to change. Sometimes I think I do have power. Sometimes it appears that I am just totally inadequate for whatever is surrounding me and it seems I have no power of any kind with these things. And then I remind myself of this mystery that I keep talking about. So the practice here is very, very simple. By falling in love with our Beloved in our hearts, by falling in love with that mysterious thing that we are,

and by knowing, without any question and regardless of appearances, that we are well taken care of our spiritual search is finished.

ARROGANCE Its such an outrageous arrogance, even though its quiet and makes no demand to be heard by anyone except me. I no longer pour over spiritual texts nor contort my existence into strangeness in order to feel worthy of my life or in order to feel I belong. I have done enough. I no longer hungrily attend workshops, seminars, or retreats incessantly seeking to clarify my philosophy, change my character, or improve my soul. I have done enough. Changes within myself happen now with a gentler morphing. There is nothing new for me to hear, and there is no expert out there more relevant for me than me.

How did I get to this state where I no longer feel the insatiable urge to be fixed or an anxious desire to grow? Have I become so complacent with myself (as others might say) or has a deep confidence in my Self arisen to claim the day? Its such an outrageous arrogance who would have thought it of me? Who would have thought it of me! Shivakti

FINISHED Oh, my Beloved I can go no further than those three words. My most fervent prayers have been reduced to this all-inclusive simplicity Oh, my Beloved I can go no further before something rises up within me and I am swept away. Oh, my Beloved I was going to say I love you, but you already know

and have answered me before my words are formed. I wanted to say thank you; but before my thought was finished you have showered me with even more gifts. You have silenced me, my Beloved, and have left me with just your name beating as my heart Oh, my Beloved. Shivakti

No Student, No Teacher
Every time we find ourselves chasing something spiritual, we must remember we are chasing stuff that is mysterious. Its a lot of fun to chase stuff. I dont mean for us not to chase things. We can chase anything that we want, as long as we know we are chasing mysterious things. Then we wont be fooled by thinking that someday we are going to grab it or by believing somebody who says to us, I have grabbed it and you havent, therefore I am better than you are. I can teach you how to grab it, and you are to give me whatever I ask for teaching you this. The people who say that have never grabbed anything except us! So we dont allow ourselves to be grabbed. We arent fooled by fancy words or by people who are wearing different clothes than we are and who have an entourage of followers that keeps kissing their feet and obeying every word that they may say. We arent fooled because we know that the absolute is a mystery. Its not to be known. It is mysteriousperiod. As we become more and more beautiful, as our hearts open more and more, as we love our Beloved more and more, sometimes we dont see too clearly. And there are beings around that find us when we are vulnerable and they try to take advantage of us. So its a fine line. We want to be loving. We want to be kind. And at the same time we need to become strong.

We have to be kind and loving but we also have to be strong. One of the ways of being strong is to know that there is no difference between us. I keep saying over and over again that I never want anybody to think that somehow or another I have something no one else has. I may be sitting here as a teacher but in that place that we cannot speak about there is no difference between me and anyone else. This is another concept that has to be broken, but many times nothing is said about it. The greatest gift that I can receive from you, is for me to know that you dont need me at all. This is working myself out of a job. This is what I desire. Obviously, I want to see you and I love youbut not because you need me or you think there is something about me that you dont have. This is what my teacher tried to do all those years that he was giving satsang. This is the gift that I was given. This is the attitude he fostered. This is why he said so many times that there are no students. There are no teachers. There is no teaching. What does that mean that there are no students, no teachers, and no teaching.? That could be just empty words going in one ear and out of the other. But just let them sink in for a minute. In the absolute, with infinity, there is no teacher. There is no student. There is no teaching. And that is the truth. But if somebody wants to be a teacher and somebody wants to be a student, then we have to invent a teaching. To invent the teaching we form concepts. Depending on

where we happen to live and in what historical times we happen to live, we can create a teaching that fits that time. We create the teaching. It fits the conditions. People follow the teachingand we become saints. But there are very, very few beings saying that there is no student, there is no teacher, and there is no teaching. This is a mystery and within this mystery we exist. Then we are thankful to that which has given us breath and life. When the time comes that we may not have breath and life the way that we know it now, we feel that our Beloved will always love whatever it has createdand we do not to waste time and effort as to what the next creations might be. Whatever will be, will be in the hands of the Beloved.

Being in love with our Beloved, with That that we cannot speak about, does not require any knowledge. It requires love. To love god, to love what we are, to love everything around us. What knowledge do we need in order to love! The only time we need knowledge to love is when we expect something in return from somebody that we are loving. We need knowledge if we are keeping score as to how much we have loved and how much they have loved and who is ahead of whom. But to love That that can not be spoken about, what tools do we need besides love? It doesnt matter what the parameters are. It doesnt matter how we describe That which we love. Thats why it doesnt matter what things we believe in. We become very open minded about these things. It doesnt matter what the names are that we use. It doesnt matter! All that matters is that we have decided to start loving That that made us, That that is part of us. Eventually we love That so much we cant differentiate it from ourselves.

Some people have told me it is very difficult for them to love something that they cant describe. They say, Its very difficult for me to love something that I cant put my finger on or that has no parameters. The answer to that is build a parameter! Make That fit whatever it is that you wish it to fitand love it. As time passes, the more we love this thing that we have put the parameters around, we will naturally be extending those parameters. It will start becoming bigger and bigger and wider and wider until the time comes when we cant call it any name any more. We wont be able to describe it physically any more. It is still the same thingand a different thing. This is like peeling a gigantic onion where we keep taking off all these layerslayer, by layer, by layer. Eventually we notice that the layers are unending. This is what happens. And we surrender to this situation. This is also how we start to get a tremendous patience for the way that other beings feel about things, how other beings believe, and how they are. We dont become a spiritual dictator about things. In fact, its just the opposite. We find that it doesnt matter what other beings believe. It doesnt matter how they feel about these things. We all have our own agendas and paths to follow. If we really LOVE, we are not going to force anybody to believe the way we do. Even what Im saying right now must not be forced on anybody.

Sometimes it is helpful to separate things that are absolute truth and things that are relative truth. In absolute truth nothing can be spoken. In absolute truth nothing can be done. It is in relative truth that we say and do all things. It is in relative truth that we all try to improve our lives. We want to improve this life because we are here for a long time and we need to learn how to be wise in order to have a good life here. Sometimes we act from absolute truth. Sometimes we are so much into the absolute side of things that we lose awareness that we have a physical form and that we have life here. Sometimes we act or talk only from the relative world and we dont even have the faintest idea there could be something else. Sometimes we act from the middle. The absolute is very important. And the relative is also very important. Both these things come together in the middle and marry each other.

This marriage is the state of beingness. In some of the most magnificent practices, the name they give for an ultimate state, beyond even samahdi and nirvana, is the state of beingness. The state of beingness is an acknowledgement that all things that are perceived within us, no matter how they are perceived, whether its by our hearts or our brains or by something within us that we cant speak about, are all things that are naturally accepted by our whole essence and we are in love with That that made us feel all these things. We must not tie ourselves to only one road in these things. Weve got to widen our perspective. There is more than one freeway in Southern California. What would be the fun if we just decided to go up and down the Harbor Freeway every day? Every day up and down that particular freeway because somebody told us that this is the only way that exists to go from downtown LA to San Pedro. So this becomes our world. We go back and forth, back and forth, back and forth on the same road because weve been told that if we get off the freeway or take some other street we are going to get lost or we are going to disappear. If we are a little bit wise or curious or alive, we will trust somebody or trust something inside of us that tells us to go on the 405 Freeway. So we try that and we start to see that this other way is different but it gets us there too. And we widen our perspective.

And the same thing goes for our lives. Weve got to break the rigid patterns of life. Im not suggesting that all of a sudden we start doing everything totally differently. Then nobody around us would be able to stand us. Weve got to use some common sense. Just by breaking the patterns of how we perceive ourselves to be, we can drive on many freeways. By breaking the patterns of what we think we can do, we can do things we never imagined. What we are is much more than what it seems.

When It Hurts
We enter a form that we call human and with that form we have inherited certain characteristics and qualities. We have the ability to think. We have the ability to decide things. We can see things. We can touch things. We can smell things. We can question things. We have emotions. We have feelings. We have desires. We have plans. We have all these things. In addition to all these things we have something inside of us that creates these things. Something that is looking at all these things. Something that is yearning for our brain to see that this very something is also part of us at the same time. To be comfortable being a human means that we are comfortable with our nature and at the same time we are comfortable resting in the unknown that creates us. When we go through this daily life of ours, when we go through our stories, when we go through all these different things, if we allow ourselves to have just a tiny glimpse of our Beloved in our own heart, we will be reminded that everything is all right and that nothing can affect our true nature.

It doesnt mean that we are not going to hurt if some perceived thing comes our way that we judge to be negative. We will hurt. This is the design of our form. Our form was designed to feel. Our form is designed to feel so-called good and bad things. Whether we think we are one with our maker or not doesnt matter, we are still designed to feel things. But when we rest in the beauty of the essence that creates this form, things appear very different. This does not minimize these things; its just that they appear different. And that is how we can have beautiful days even though they may be filled with ugly events. When we rest with our Beloved we see more clearly that all these things that we take so seriously are only part of our form and not of our totality. Thats the difference! We realize that we are not only our ideas and our thoughts. We are not only our feelings. We are some other things as well. Realizing that is the only way we can be in meditation continually. Once we rest in our Beloved, every thing that comes our way, still comes our way. But we dont have as much need anymore to be judging if this is good or if this is bad. We observe things. We see things. They come. They go. We try to hold some of them. We try to avoid some of them. We want to play with some of them. Maybe they do or maybe they dont want to play with us. We do all these

things. And we knowwe know that they are not our totality.

So Much More
Enlightenment is the ability to put things in perspective. We all want to be enlightened. In order to be enlightened we have to put everything in the correct perspective. Its not complicated but it has to be in the right perspective. So what is the foundation of this right perspective? The first thing is that somehow or another we have to believe within our own hearts that what we are is more than our physical body. Maybe sometimes thats not easy to do. But if we can gather up the strength to realize that what we are is much, much more than what we see, that starts putting everything into perspective. That starts to show us very clearly that when certain things are happening to our body, these things dont necessarily affect the whole essence of what we are. It may appear that thats the case, but we know its not the case. So putting things in perspective is number oneto somehow or another understand and accept that there has to be something more to what we are than only what we can see and touch and feel and define. When we do this, we start to realize that what we think we are is just a lot of words and definitions. We start to see that what we have accepted ourselves to be is a lot of history and opinions and ideas. We start to see that

although these things are important they are not all of what we are. They are not all of it at all. But if we cant break away from the old definitions, then every day each little thing that happens to us, whether its good, bad or indifferent, will always be perceived as something that is affecting our core nature. This condition will prevent us from thinking and believing and feeling that we are enlightened. After all, how can we have the feeling of enlightenment, if we only believe that what we are is flesh and bones and ideas and concepts and we are constantly affected by everything! So thats number one: We must put things in the correct perspective by accepting that we are more than what we appear to be. The second thing is to be able to muster some gratitude for the gift of flesh and bones that weve been given. First is to put flesh and bones in perspective of what it is and what it is not. But number two is to say that weve been given a gift of the body. Once we have this gift, what are we going to do with it? Are we going to waste it or are we going to do something that is of importance, something that makes us feel good, something that benefits others, something that we can look at and say this was a good life? To be grateful is a decision we make. To say thank youeven though many times its very difficult to say thank you because at the moment it doesnt appear that there is anything in our lives that we could be thankful about. To say thank you even though everyday seems to hold a days worth of misery. But still we have to

bring up the energy within us to say thank you despite all the difficulties that appear. How do we do that? We do that because we know that what we are is beyond the body. We come back to the basic premise that what we are is something beyond the body. If the body is suffering then it is suffering but the suffering is not permanent. The body is not permanent. None of this is a permanent situation. We have to be vigilant and cognizant to find things that are positive that we can be thankful about. So instead of running our lives by negative comments or running our lives by all the things that could have been, should have been, or would have been if only etc., we have to be thankful. We have a life! And if we look we will see that we have been given gifts. We need to have gratitude for these. By doing that I think that we can honestly say to ourselves that we are enlightened, meaning that we have understood and have put things in perspective. But you might say, Its very difficult for me to visualize that I am something more than my body. It seems like my body is all that I actually know and to think that I could be something more than my body is stretching things a bit. There is no proof and I require proof. I require at least a photograph of that other part that I cant speak about. I require some data. I want something to show me that I am more than just what I see. If that is your position, then

you will refuse to feel that you are anything more than your body and everything that I just said will not make any sense to you. There are many people who feel that way. They are entitled to that. Many of us do want to receive precise proof of this subject in order for us to feel that we could be something more. But on a daily basis if we open our eyes we can see thousands and thousands of examples of the most magnificent beauty that exists most of which we take for granted. The more that we open, the more we can see all kinds of situations that formerly we would have said were impossible. But, in fact, they are not impossible. They were always there. We just did not see them. So as time passes and we are open to all these other possibilities, we will see as natural things that we once called miracles, unbelievable or just coincidences. We wont wonder why they are there or how they happened. They are as natural and normal as anything else in this life. The thing that gives me the greatest joy is for me to be able, somehow or another, to save you precious time in seeing what I have just finished describing. We have a very short time here. We realize we have a very short time here especially when we come in contact with people who dont have a long time here left. When we see people who are suffering from various diseases, physical or mental, and they dont feel good, or when we see a lot of desperation and all kinds of hardship in this life, then we see how blest we are. Just the idea that we are interested in these things and we are here in this room is a great blessing.

So we are very, very blest and we cannot take that for granted.

Sharing a Personal Experience: I want to share an experience I had which points to the fact that we are so much more than what we think we are and that there is so much more to existence than we know. It was an experience in which I saw my beautiful teacher Poonja-ji again. In the old days I would say this was a very strange set of circumstances, that its not possible that this could be. I would try to find all kinds of logical reasons and explanations for it. I would have doubts as to what actually was taking place or not taking place. All these questions that a logical mind would ask would come to me. But even with all the questions these things still happen. One of the places I visited this summer was Istanbul, Turkey. I took a tour with a tour company. We got on the bus and went different places to see the city. We stopped at a couple of really beautiful mosques. After that we went to another place and looked around. I was appreciating what was there, and all of a sudden I decided I just wanted to walk around on my own. I left the group that we were with and I started wandering off. I walked to the back of this place and was walking around not paying much attention to where I was. Nobody was therejust me. All of a sudden I turn around and I see a person that was sitting down on the ground. I walked by and in English he

asked if I had a gift to give him. I figured he wanted money so I reached in my pocket to give him some. Then he looked at me and said, Yudhishtara, I have been waiting for you. I looked at the face and I didnt recognize who it was so I kept looking. Then I said, How do you know me? And he said, I know you. I have been waiting for you. Then I looked again and somehow it looked like it was Poonjajis face. But I looked again and it became the face of somebody else. I looked again and it was Poonja-ji. And then it was another face. He kept saying, Im waiting for you. I tried to put all this stuff in perspective and it was very, very difficult to put these things in perspective. I was just wondering what is this. It must be Im hallucinating. I kept looking and the face kept changing. It was Poonja-jis face and then this other faceback and forth and back and forth, rapidly changing. I tried to get the face to stay the same and I couldnt do it. It kept changing back and forth and it kept repeating Ive been waiting for you. Part of me was getting frightened. What is this thing that is waiting for me? What is going to happen? Eventually he reached out and gave me a present. He said, This is a gift. Remember. Then I looked around and the whole thing was gone. The whole thing was gone! So how do you explain things like this? I was debating about even telling you this but the reason I decided to say it is because there are so many things that happen that we dont see because we have decided not to see. Ahead of time we have been trained not to see. Then by training ourselves not to see, we cant see.

Obviously, what Ive just finished telling you is very, very hard to put into perspective. What do you do with this information? Logically it is not possible. I was going back and forth in my mind as to if this is possible, if this is not possible, if I was hallucinating. There was the fear I had in putting all this stuff together and at the same time still being there. Because of these things maybe it was necessary to be given a gift that says that, in fact, this did happen. Maybe it was something I needed. Maybe I was forgetting things. Maybe I was reminded again. We all have to be reminded. We all have to be reminded because we forget. That being the case, what can I do for you to make you see that there is more than what appears? I dont know. I try to figure out how I could possible tell you. But Ive come to the realization that I can say what I say, do what I do, or do what I dont do, but something inside of you has to somehow or another open up to the possibility that some of these things could be so. Not all of them, just some of them, just a tiny fraction. I wish I knew how it happens that somehow or other people decide they are willing to accept certain types of data or information and just ponder it. Maybe its a matter of trust. Maybe its a matter of surrendering. Maybe its a matter of grace. Maybe its a matter of having looked so hard we finally dont want to look any more. It may be an affinity we get for somebody who finally says it could possibly be so. And were finally willing to listen. It could be none of the above. In the meantime all that I can say is let new things come in. Keep whatever it is that you want to cherish. Keep it. But in addition to whatever you want to cherish, just let in some new possibilities.

Let in the possibility that there could be much, much more than what appears to be. Ive talked many times about energy. Were just going to call it energy because I dont know what else to call it. This energy, this strength that is required to see things that weve been trained not to see is very, very low when we spend it for protecting our identity, our ego, our history, our concepts and our accomplishments as opposed to being more open. We have to make a conscious effort to be able to say to ourselves that all the different ideas we have about ourselves and all the different ideas others have about us, are just ideas. But we are more than those ideas. They are just ideas as to how old I am, what kind of health I have, what kind of work I do, who is my family, who is not my family, who are my friends, who are my enemies and on and on and on. So perspective is a good subject. Straightforward! What comes first, what comes second, what comes third. If we are going to concentrate on item 100, how are we going to deal with number one? If every day all that we care about and think about is some particular problem that weve had for the last twenty years and we think about it day after day after day in various ways, how are we going to move on to number one? Not to minimize number 100, but number 100 is not as important as number one. When we are so-called dead, number 100 doesnt mean anything.

So the more that we can contemplate and discuss the subject the more it comes down to the situation of what all the teachings say. All of Poonja-jis teachings, Ramana Maharshis, the Toltecs, Buddhas, the Taosall the different teachings we can look into basically say, either directly or indirectly, that what we are is more than what it appears to be. What we are is more than what it appears to be! But then we take a statement like that and we complicate it. We start saying is this real or is this unreal? Is this a dream or is this reality? Is this permanent or is this impermanent? What is going to happen later? What is going to happen now? Why do we have suffering? Was I born before? Will I be born again? Is there a heaven? Is there a hell? Is there this? Is there that? And on and on and on. And we forget again about number one. No matter what the particular details are, number one is very definite: We are beyond what it appears. Im very thankful, personally for myself, that I can now feel, I can sense, and I can perceive what Im explaining. It feels very natural to me and I can talk about this without having any qualms about saying that this is so. So I think it would be a great benefit to accept what I just finished saying by at least 5%. Not too much because then it would be the kind of a thing where I would be telling you what to do and you know that I dont like thatso 5% is a good number. Not 95%, just 5%. I think if you take the 5% and you start pondering that within yourselves and you start accepting that at a 5% level, you will start opening and seeing or knowing in a different way.

Thank you, my Beloved, for what you have given me. Thank you for the gifts that I have received. Maybe I dont know what you look like. Maybe I dont know where you came from. Maybe I dont know any of these particular things. But I know that Ive been given more gifts than it is possible to imagine. And I thank you.

WE,VE COME A LONG WAY Weve come a long way from the days when we worshipped the sun as god. We know what the sun is. We know so much more about the composition of our universe. And once we know we cease to worship. Sometimes when we cease to worship, we throw everything out that it touched.

I know I did. And the years passed. But my heart wasnt happy, my soul wasnt full until I re-claimed gratitude and awe into my knowing and re-installed love as the way I would be. Ive come a long way to clear my mind of out-dated perceptions and return to my heart its freedom of expression. Oh, my Beloved, I love you. Shivakti

What to Believe
We come from many backgrounds: many paths, teachers, books, opinions, ideas, and facts. Sometimes I wonder, of all the things Ive been through which one makes the most sense? Sometimes we get very confused. Sometimes we dont get confused at all. Sometimes everything is very, very clear. Other times nothing at all is clear. And this is life! We have so many religions. Sometimes I wonder, was a religion made by humans for us to have something to believe in? Does a religion come down from That that we cant speak about and it makes us feel good? Does it come from both places? Is there a difference between the religions and the teachings of the beings that started these religions? There are many, many differences between their times and our time. Ive looked at some of the things that Christ said and that Buddha said and that so many other magnificent beings said. The things that they said and the things that they did are very different from some of the religions that we have now which are supposedly based on these beings. It makes me wonder. Then we have concepts such as free will, karma, and predestination. I wonder about these things. The way we think about all these things makes a big, big difference in how we experience our lives. And we have many teachers that have spoken on these subjects.

Then we have our daily lives, we have personality and self, and we have the word enlightenment. We have many things to consider. So when Im here to talk about things that cannot be spoken about, which one of these things do I start on first? Which one of these things is more important? We also have the desire to continue. If we are honest with ourselves, I think most beings want to continue. When we hear someone say there is nothing to continue, we have a problem. Then if we have emptiness, what is emptiness? What is nothingness? Can something be nothing? The Buddha talked about having fullness in nothingness. How can we have fullness in nothingness? Sothere are a lot of questions! What do we do with these questions? We can decide that were going to follow some kind of a path that has definite answers to these questions. If thats our choice we can explore something that gives definite answers to any one of these topics. If we feel comfortable with those particular answers then we can follow this path, and we can move on within it. Thats one choice. Another choice is that we have no choice. Everything is predestined and therefore there is nothing we can do about anythingperiod. So there is nothing to do. A third choice is that there is nothing to follow as far as the absolute is concerned, but much to do in the relative world. This is very difficult. We have to take each one of the topics I just mentioned and look at it very carefully.

We look at every one of them with our hearts, with our brains, with our experiences, with everything about us. We finally come to the conclusion that there is no one, there has never been anyone, who knows all the answers to these things. Is that good news or is that bad news? I dont know. I think we have to be strong to take that news. Looking at all these different things and trying to find answers is the struggle I have had my whole lifelooking at this and looking at that, trying to find out what is the difference between this and that. What is good about this particular way of looking at things and what is the advantage of the other way of looking at them? Trying to pinpoint the differences, and find something that made sense to me, led me to tremendous confusion. The reason I was so confused was that I was focused on the differences between all these things. I was looking at differencesas opposed to spending some time finding out what is the same about all these things. Is there something similar underneath all these teachings? Poonja-ji helped me with that problem. When I went to see him I wanted to have an involved discussion about all the differences between these things and to finally come to a conclusion that made me comfortable. So right away he

dispelled this notion. He told me that we have to look at what might possibly be the same about all these beliefs. When we look at things that way, we start to find beautiful things that we like among all these teachings. And they all feel good! They all feel right. We dont have to worry if something comes from this place or if it comes from that placeit just feels right! Then our knowing becomes much broader and is made up of all these things mixed together. Then we have no explanation about what we are. We are many, many things. But we still try to find some kind of a word or idea to express these things. Finally, we come to a conclusion that says there is nothing that can be said about what we are. Nothing at all. We have fallen in love with something we cant express. We have a natural desire to speak about it. But it is something that is unspeakable. Thats the dilemma. Perhaps we eventually call this indefinable something absolute truthor love, or consciousness, or god. We call it whatever we wish. And THAT is the essence that is underneath and determines everything else. Symbolically we can put That on one hand (holds up hand), and it will be the absolute truth of things. When we look at absolute truth, if we are honest and careful observers, we come to the conclusion that absolute truth is a magnificent mystery and it cannot be fully deciphered.

It is a mystery beyond all mysteries and cannot be deciphered because in it are all the ultimate questions. Why are we here? What is the purpose of life? How are we to live? What is our place in all of this? What created god? What created god before god? What is the universe? How many universes do we have? What am I? What is going to happen to me? There are always questions. Those kinds of questions are interesting and we can talk about them, but theyre the questions that, as far as we can tell with the way the human brain is right now, we cannot possibly find the answers to. So, absolute truth is a mystery. Something is there that we can feel with our hearts even though we cant explain it or discuss it. Something must exist, when we know we are here. When we look at the sky, at the trees, at the stars, at everything around us and we see the magnificence of existence, it doesnt seem possible that there isnt something underlying all of this. When we look at the way we are made, the way our universe exists, the way our body functions, the way we have billions and billions of cells inside of us, the way we have a whole universe inside of ushow can this just be for no reason? So we haveThat!

What do we do with the gift of life in this form that has been given to us? There are a lot of religions and teachings that say its a curse to be in a human form, that somehow to be human is one of the worst things that could possibly happen. Well, that may very well bebut for now we are here. Were here. We have a form. We have a body. So what do we do? By separating these conversations about absolute things and relative things, we can see with much more clarity. We are here in this world on a relative basis. We have a certain amount of time that we are here. And this is a gift a great gift. When we look at the required conditions that have to take place in order for us to be what we are, its astounding. It takes an incredible combination of things to be what we are here. Maybe we dont like this or we dont like that, but still its an amazing set of circumstances. To be able to see and to speak, to be able to feel and to touch, to be able to cry and to laugh and to have emotions, to have a consciousness and to be able to decipher things, to be able make decisionsthese are incredible gifts!

Weve been given a gift of having free will. We have tremendous free will. Were not pawns in the game of life. We have free will. Therefore we can decide on things. We can create things. We can do so many things. But we dont stop for a moment to say, Thank you, my Beloved, for my being here. Instead, we spend our time in wondering what we are going to be doing when we die. Well, when we die, well die. But right now we are not dead. Or maybe we are dead even though that doesnt appear to be the case! There are practices that say in order for us to be enlightened we have to die while were still alive. They say, Die before youre really dead, then you can live. What they mean is for us not to attach ourselves to a lot of things because hard-held attachment causes us much unhappiness. But there is a caveat in this too because, if we dont attach to anything, we also dont feel anything. So we have an important choice about what we want to do and how we want to balance these things. All the ideas that we have pertaining to enlightenment, freedom, improvement, and anything else we want to think about and discuss belong over here (holding up hand) in this subject called relative truth. On this other side called absolute truth (holds up other hand) everything is mystery and perfection. What can anybody do to improve on That? Nothing! Its an insult to think that were going to improve on it. There is nothing

we can do to it or for it. But improving on our daily, relative livesthats another subject! Knowing how to live our lives and improving the way that we live is truly a different situation. As long as we are here, we might as well live here in a way that gives us happiness and joyas opposed to living here in a situation where every day is a difficult day. With this way of looking at things, there are fundamental changes that we can make or things that we can look at in different ways. As time passes and we do these things, we learn from our experiences and we become wiseruntil we can eventually say that we are enlightened. We are enlightened from the point of view that we understand the situation. We are enlightened to the way of life. Were enlightened. We are wise. We are going to take advantage of this life and live it in such a way that it is meaningful to us and to others. We examine this idea of a self, of a personality, of an ego in order to understand what it is. We take our memories and our experiences and we work on these things until the time comes that we can see things from a larger perspective and we come to peace with them. But on an absolute basis, the word enlightenment is meaningless. There are no words in the absolute,

no terms of enlightenment or non-enlightenment. So while we are here in a relative world, if we have a goal to become enlightened because we think that at the time we are no longer in this form that we are going to go to this place of absoluteness and have a badge on our shoulder saying we are enlightened, we are making a big mistake. If we say we are going to try not to have a small-self and then at the same time we want the small-self that we dont have to have the title of being enlightenedhow can that be? This is why its very funny when people say, I want to be enlightened because I will have a special place in the world of enlightenment, now and forever, where everybody will know me as an enlightened being. Its sad and its funnyand its the truth of the way we think. I dont know how many people Im going to make angry today with all these things that Im saying, but eventually all these things have to be looked at. One of the reasons were here in satsang is that sometimes somebody elses experience may save us a lot of time and a lot of heartache. Then we might possibly say to ourselves, Well maybe there is no point in continuing in this particular concept because, if I do, then what happened to so-and-so will be the outcome for me also. I think this is a great gift.

TOLERANCE I know people

who are not involved with nor attracted to the spiritual journey. They appear to live happy, healthy, normal lives. That is something to consider when thinking that spirituality is the only avenue to bliss. And so I see that the only thing I need to know is what works well for me in my own heart. My path may not be the road for you. But our destination is surely the same. I think we will have many interesting tales to share with each other. Shivakti

Free Will
With all these conversations pertaining to the way that we are, we have to evaluate carefully whether we believe that we have free will or not. Thats a very fundamental questionand it makes a huge difference for us here. Do we believe that our present existence is a result of prior lives or karma? If we believe that way, what we are now is a direct result of prior lives and our subsequent existences are going to be based upon our current behaviors which, incidentally, we have no ability to change because they were pre-determined in those previous livesthats one way of looking at everything. Another way of looking at things is that That which we cant speak about has created something called a being and has given this being the freedom to be able to act accordingly in the environment that it has created for us. Our Beloved has given us the freedom to be able to act as we see fit. By having this freedom, we find that things look very different. If we dont have freedom, there is not much we can do about anything. However, if we dont have freedom, we can become very comfortable because we have no responsibility to make decisions. Everything is predetermined, therefore everything is okay.

To be free is not easy. To be in chains and to be bound is easy because somebody else is telling us what to do. The most common way to be bound and to feel good is to believe that we are bound under the guidance of a Beloved that does everything for us and leaves us no choices. In life we fall in love with other human beings. I cannot think of a worse love than one where the person that loved me was controlling me all day long and vice versa. Maybe some people are happy with that situation, but for me I would want somebody to love me without questioning me all day and without directing me all day. I would want somebody to love me the way that I am. That would also be the greatest gift that I could give to somebody that I loved in this world. So I know that my Beloved that made me would give me the freedom to love my Beloved and to love others as I see fit without any restrictions. If I were the creator of all these things, what would be the greatest gift that I could give them if not the freedom to live in a way that was not restrained? To create an atmosphere, an environment, where the beings that were there could discern things, where they would be able to sense joy and happiness, sadness and sorrow, and where they could experiment and choose among these things. If I made everything perfect for them and everything was predetermined, it would be such a robotic existence. What kind of life would that be? In my heart Ive always known this to be true even though my teacher Poonja-ji totally disagrees with what I just

finished saying. He believed that everything is predetermined. So its our decision. Ultimately, it is for each of us to decide on our own. It is wise for us to look historically at how some ideas and opinions arise pertaining to free will. As we go back in time, we see that a lot of ideas and philosophies that people had were based upon their knowledge of physics and cosmology and things of this nature. At one time everyone believed that the earth was the center of the universe and the sun and stars went around it. Everything in the sky was very orderly, exactly the way it was supposed to be, and nothing ever changed. That being the case, they believed that our behavior would be ordered in the same way. Thats how the field of astrology sprang up where our whole behavior is based upon the unchanging movement of the planets and stars and the position of all these things at the moment we were born. Of course, at that particular time they didnt know about quantum mechanics. They didnt know all the characteristics of particles and atoms and the unpredictability of their behavior. But we know now that total predictability cannot be. We are made up of things that are totally unpredictable! And if theyre totally unpredictable, they cannot be orderly. And if they are not orderly, they must have some sort of free will.

Also, going back for many, many centuries in India, the idea of the wealthy and powerful people there was to keep all the other people under control. The easiest way to keep people under control is to tell them that their condition is a certain way because god created it this way and therefore they have no way of getting out of it. They are meant to live in this particular situation which is their destiny based upon all the wrong things they have done in their other lives. I find that unacceptable! So, I feel that I am free. I feel that I can decide on things. I feel that I have the strength, the energy, and the power to determine how I live here. Based upon these different things, I can design the life that I have here. When the time comes that I am not in this particular form, then lets see what happens. Regarding this, each of us will need to decide on an individual basis what feels comfortable in our own heart.

Dear Beloved, Because you have given me the freedom not to love I love you even more. ing enemies to each other.

I WASNT STRONG UNTIL I wasnt strong until I knew until I could see until I could accept deeply inside of me that I have a choice. Indeed, I am always choosing to either do or not do, to be or not be certain ways. I can accept the results of my choosing without passing responsibility to others because it has been my choice. This is the grandeur of freedom. This is how I create my life. I claim my choices! Shivakti

Waste of Time
I used to be very afraid of dying. I did a lot of thinking about what it means to die, and what is it thats going to die. The more we dwell on this particular subject, the more we start answering fundamental questions about who we are. There are many beautiful teachings about who we are. Ramana Maharshi and Poonja-ji talked about this as did many other teachers. Inevitably we have to ask, Who am I? Who is this I that is asking these questions? What is it that is concerned about these things? We cant help asking ourselves these questions. The more we truly ask Who am I? the more we arrive at a place where we dont have an answer as to what we really are. We dont know what we really are. No one does! But in the meantime, we start to see that we have memories. One of the most definitive things that we say to ourselves is, I have a lot of memories; therefore I must be all of my memories. I have all my memories of all my ideas about the things I have done, and the things that I want to do. I have all these memories; therefore I must be my memories. Then if we study the human brain, we start to see that memories are stored in one specific part of our brain.

Many people have had accidents and that part of their brain doesnt work very well, or they have some disease or chemical imbalance, and that part of their brain isnt functioning. They have no memories! If they have no memories, are they still here or have they disappeared? When the time comes that our bodies and our brains die, what happens to our memories? Can the memories continue to the next place or do the memories get erased? If the memories continue, then do we continue to the next place as separate individuals with memories? If we go to the absolute Beloved to be with That as one, how can we be with That as one if we hold our own separate individual memories? So what do we want? If we go to be as one with That which we cant speak about, then our memories have to be left behind! So maybe the ideal thing, when the time comes that we leave here, would be to have our memories and our experiences, and to take them with us someplace so that we can have them whenever we want them. Then, at the same time, if we dont want them because we dont like them, we can discard them. Maybe that would be a good plan! Thats why the Buddha said, Do not waste time and effort in this life pondering subjects and discussions that have no answers. This was one of his greatest teachings. The Buddha said many things, but I think this was his number one teaching: We should not waste this life by pondering things like this and getting into discussions about things that basically, if were honest, have no answers. We should spend the time that we have here in

other things. Spend this time in life. Spend this time in life because this is lifeand this is where we are.

People would ask Poonja-ji, Are you enlightened? Sometimes he would say, Yes, I am enlightened. Sometimes he would say, No, Im not enlightened. I used to get very confused. Well, are you or are you not? Now I have come to know that when he was dealing with things pertaining to his human body, to daily events, he was enlightened because he was very wise. But when it came to the absolute magnificence of what we are with our Beloved, there are no words of enlightenment. There are no words! Words, even so-called words of enlightenment, are concepts carried by a person. When we are in That place with our Beloved we are not persons anymore and there are no concepts, no words. Many teachings misunderstand this and say for us to do the best we can to kill our personhood while we are here so that we do not to have a self. They tell us not to have a self. Do not have a personality. Do not have any ideas. Do not have any thoughts. And all these things are the biggest nonsense that can be given to people. People become prisoners to those ideas. But the truth is, as long as we are in our bodies and our brains are working,

we are going to have thoughts. As long as we have thoughts, we are going to have a personality and we are going to have definitions about who we are. Period. We have to be at ease with that. With wisdom we realize that, even though we do have a form, even though we do have thoughts and ideas and personalities, we are not totally attached to those things. They do not make up the totality of what we are. Then when we leave our forms, we can do without them. We are not so afraid to be without them. The truth is we cannot existwe cannot LIVEin this form without having ideas, thoughts, and opinions. Otherwise what are we going to do here? Furthermore when so-called teachers tell us they have no thoughts, they are telling us they have no thought while they are speaking from the thought that they have no thoughts! Its ridiculous. But when they say to us that they have no thoughts, we look at them and say, Wowthey say they have no thoughts! They must be so much better than I am. Ill never be like them but I want to be like them so I will follow them forever. Who is free under those conditions? We need to consider these thingsnot because weve become arrogant in a bad or obnoxious way, but because weve come to understand in a broader way. We reflect on all the different teachers weve had, all the different situations weve experienced, all the variety of things weve read. When we look at everything that has come to us, and we see from a broader perspective, then it becomes

natural to feel gratitude for all these things that have touched us and that we have been through. We know that if they hadnt happened, we wouldnt be what we are. So we thank all these things. Were not upset. Were not angry. Were not trying to prove anything. But at the same time we become arrogant in a beautiful way because something inside of us says: I may not know very much. I may be confused, but I have a very strong feeling inside my heart that this confusion is the case everywhere. This is the case everywhere! And there has never been, nor will there ever be anybody who is in a physical form, who knows more or is wiser about That that we can not speak about than my own heart. Is that a statement made by a free person or by a person in bondage? Is that an arrogant statement of saying I know better than every body else? Or is that something beautiful, wise, and courageous that comes from the truth of our hearts after we realize how complicated these things are? So this is my teaching, if there is a teaching. The only thing we can teach about absolute reality is that there is no teaching. Thats the teaching! Once we feel comfortable with this, we can stop running around looking for something that is not to be found. We can stop running around from this place to that, from this book to that, from this person to that personall of

whom say, If you do what I tell you, youre going to be enlightened or youre going to be saved. If you dont do what I tell you, then you will never be enlightened. If you do what I tell you, then youre going to go to heaven. If you dont do what I tell you, youre going to go to infinite varieties of hell. And on and on and on. Its all just bondage! We think that were being free, but were burying ourselves in more and more bondage than we can imagine. What happens in spiritual life is that we bury ourselves in finer and finer and finer details. This is referred to as the golden chain which I have talked about many times. First we start out with a very obvious chain around our necks. So we say, Im a slave. In the beginning the chain is big and made out of iron, but after we become so-called good we get one made out of gold. It is still quite thick because we can see it clearly. This chain around our necks is all our ideas about how everything should be. And time passes. We become wiser. This chain becomes finer because all these ideas and concepts become fewer and fewer and the chain is not as thick. But the chain is still there. We work and we work. The chain gets finer and finer and finer. But the chain is always there. So how do we go to the next step? We have to break this chain. Then we have nothing around our necks.

When we have nothing around our necks, we find that there is no idea, no opinion, no single notion that defines us or holds such importance for us. It means we realize that so much of what we thought was true is really a matter of opinion, belief, conjecture and whatever personal perspective we have at the moment and the truth is we are always in a state of flux. We say we know nothingnot because we are suddenly unintelligent, but because we are willing, at last, to regard everything with a sense of wonder and open curiosity and fluidity. When we know nothing in this way, something inside of us makes us very satisfied. In the beginning we thought we knew everythingand now we can smile at such ridiculous rigidities. The greatest wisdom is in knowing that we know nothing. Then we are open and we see everything around us. We see all these things and we dont have any great desire to prove anything to anybody about anything. We dont have any desire to prove anythingbecause we know how things are.

Reality Check
Its taken me many years to be able to honestly say what Im going to say now. I have done more things and have forgotten more things than I even care to remember. What Im going to say now is the kind of a thing that I wish somebody had told me when I was young. How much time I would have saved! But at the same time, maybe it was best that I did it on my own. So, for whatever its worth, here it is: In terms of the Absolute there is nothing to worry about. In absolute terms, I know from what I have felt and I have seen, that there is nothing to be concerned about. Period. If there is something to worry about, it is what to do to have a good life here. That is where all conversations eventually end up. That being the case, I had better figure out what kind of work I like. Whom do I want to spend my time with? What are some of the things that are meaningful? If I have to apologize to someone, Id better do it soon. If I have to tell somebody I love him, Id better do it today instead of tomorrow. If I want to sing some songs, I better sing them now instead of later. If I want to do some other thing that Ive never done before, like jumping off a mountain with a

parachute, Id better do it nowbecause I dont want to have my time here pass and be down to the last two minutes when obviously I dont have enough time to go buy a parachute! We are alive and we do things. We can make love. We can sing. We can cry. We can have every kind of emotion. We can have and experience all that has been given us. When we act and behave this way, we have to understand and be prepared that we are going to make many so-called mistakes simply because we are doing things! We are going to do many things that we may think are mistakes. So we find they were mistakesassuming that we could tell the difference between what is a mistake and what is not a mistake. What are we going to do now? Are we going to shoot ourselves because we think we made fifty mistakes? But what is it that we have we have really done? We have livedwhich is just what we are meant to do here. And with a little wisdom we can live and have a beautiful life here.

Dear Beloved, Help me to be kind. Help me to be loving. Help me to forgive.

Help me to live. I love you so much.

A Free Being
A lot of the Olmec and Toltec teachings that I have been involved with for many, many years are very beautiful because they teach us how to become a warriornot a warrior that goes out and fights and kills people, but a warrior that lives as an independent free being. This means that we know our strengths and we know our weaknesses. We know what desires we are going to follow and which ones we are going to leave behind. And we take action. After we take action, we dont continually re-inspect our actions. We have acted! Weve acted and we do not double-guess all our actions. We have acted. We cannot split ourselves into halves and make one part go this way and the other part go that way. If we do that, we never do anything because we are not able to act. If we are living with somebody that is causing us continuous misery day after day after day and were allowing iteither we like the misery at some level and choose to stay with it, or we get out. But this has nothing to do with absolute reality which we can not speak about. It has nothing to do with That! This is simply the wisdom of being honest with ourselves. Maybe we want to deceive other people. But we have to be honest with ourselves.

We have to be honest with ourselves in really finding out what we want. What do I want? Without trying to justify it to anybody else, what do I want! If we want to prove something to somebody else, if we have to justify something to somebody else, we are a slave! The goal of Poonja-ji and so many beautiful teachers, has been to create lions. And lions are lions. They are not sheep. We have the right to tell somebody, No, I dont want to do this. We dont have to say, I dont want to do this because because because. Its just, I dont want to! Period. Then we claim that such a response is impolite. But many, many times all the reasons we come up with are lies anyway. Why not just say I dont want to? Everybody knows that were lying when we dont want to do something and we say I have to do this and that instead. Its just I dont want to. Or how many times are we caught by other people wanting us to be only theirs. We have to do things and behave in a way that pleases them all the time. Then we have no ability to do anything on our own. If we ever do something different, were not considered a good person any more. So before we get so focused on enlightenment enlightenment enlightenment, we have to do many things on our own to make ourselves free. It requires some effort to free ourselves of our entrapments. When we are free, we become very loving.

Its an amazing thing how loving we become when we are free and how kind we become when we are free. I used to think it would be just the opposite, that when we become very free we would end up hurting a lot of people with our freedom because we would not be doing many things that others want us to do. But it turns out to be just the opposite. When we really know that we are free, then whatever we are doing is a choice made in freedom. Then we become lighter, more content, happier with whatever we are doing. And when we do something for others, it is because we want to. Subtle resentments disappear and everyone benefits. Were doing it because we want to. Were not being coerced. Were not being forced. Were not doing it because were keeping a ledger where we say, I did twenty-five good things for you last month and youve done only ten. So you owe me fifteen. And if I dont get those fifteen things in the next month, Im going to be mad and I wont speak to you. Many times the other person doesnt even know what happened. Meanwhile weve been angry all this time. So now in my life I do two things on a daily basis. I get up in the morning. I open my eyes and look around. Automatically, I find myself saying, I thank you, my Beloved. I love you. And then I move on in my day. Whatever happens or doesnt happen, I just have my day until Im ready to go to sleep. When I know Im ready to fall asleep I find myself saying, I love you, my Beloved.

Thank you for my day. Im in your hands. And thats all that I do now. I dont meditate anymore. I dont sit someplace staring at something. I just do what happens during the day whatever happens or doesnt happen. I just do what I do, or I dont do. And I get curious about all kinds of things. I read things. I do this. I do that. I talk to you. Im talking and talking and talking about things that cant be spoken of but Im here doing it. The days come and the days go, and I try to live them as fully as I can. Sometimes I think Im helping somebody. Sometimes Im not helping anybody. Sometimes when I think Im doing the right thing, I find out later it was the wrong thing. Sometimes I do so much and nobody appreciates anything. Sometimes I do hardly anything and the greatest appreciation takes place. Sometimes I get totally attached to something and I cannot escape from my attachment to that thing. Some other times I do something and Im totally detached from the outcome. Sometimes I ask, Why is this, and why is that? Then I remind myself, Why are you asking all these whys? Sometimes I forget, and sometimes I remember. When I come to talk to you here for a while, talking helps me to remember. Then people come to me and say, Yudhishtara, thank you very much for telling me this. And I tell them, No, thank you. But often they dont believe me when I am thanking them. And its all a mystery. We could do well to remember that.

We could remember the wordmystery. We can remember the wordlove. And we can rememberBeloved. And theres nothing else. With these three things life is very, very special. And we have everything we ever wanted within ourselves. The most beautiful beings that weve ever had in this worldin their last moments before theyve left their forms, have all said more or less the same thing. They all have said, Look within you. They have all said that. Why would they say that as their last words? They know they have only a few seconds. Theyve already thanked their Beloved, but they have a few seconds left. Whats the final advice they give to somebody who happens to be there? Look within yourself. Look within yourself because you have within you everything that is required.

It is not for somebody else to give it to you. You already have it in you. Do we hear what that means? Look within your own hearts. You have everything there. Dont follow somebody because theyre wearing different clothes than you are, because theyre wearing some kind of a robe and they have a turban and they tell us all kinds of stories and untruths so that they can control you and lead you to donate to their personal accounts. We can have conversations with a huge variety of people but we must look within our own hearts because all the answers are there. And all the answers are mysterious.

I DANCE We do our dance of love wherever we can with whatever is near. For some it will be with their children, for others with parents, or family, or friends. Some will lavish their love on a pet. Some will embrace trees and flowers and all things of the earth. Some will pour their hearts into causes filling broad categories of service. Some will not even be able to name whom or what they love. Once I thought there was a hierarchy to these things. Better to love a dog than a dandelion. More valuable to love a man than a mountain.

How foolish I was! Now I know it matters not what we love, only that we love. The deepest fulfillment in any life is simply to love. To loveperiod! And to let loves dance lead us where it will. My heart smiles in happiness for I do know that I love. And so I dance. Shivakti

The Lie
In our society we dont want to face death. But acknowledging death forces us to acknowledge life. When we think that we are immortal and death does not apply to us in a physical way, then we take life for granted. This is why we say that death is the best adviser for life. Death shows us that for now we appear to be alive. And if were alive, then we better be alive! So the concept of death is very, very important. It actually provides us with one of the biggest lessons that we can have in this life because by looking at death we can look at life. Life is a most precious gift. Yet there are many teachings that belittle life. They want us to learn how to negate life. Its amazing how many religions are based on diminishing life with all kind of threatening instructions. They teach that we have to be socalled pure; therefore we must not do this and we must not do that. We are told that to be pure we have to mutilate the form that the Beloved has given us or learn ways to stop its natural functioning. There are many behaviors we have to learn to follow certain paths. Because many of us are interested in being the best that we can be, we believe this information. It sounds reasonable because it is presented to us by saints and by holy beings. We are given information that says that the

worse we treat this physical form, the more pain we subject it to, the more restrictions we give it, the more happiness we deny ourselves, the better life will be for us from that point into forever. So we say to ourselves, I guess Im better off to sacrifice in this life and then benefit forever. When we look at it that way, it doesnt seem so badexcept its not true! Its an absolute lie. The Beloved gave us a form, a body, with its ability to perceive certain energy fields through its many senses. To say that this gift is not good and is something we dont want is an insult to the Beloved. Ive read so many books and Ive heard so many people say that to be in a human form is a punishment; that weve reincarnated and its a punishment to be here; that, if we were great and beautiful beings, we would not be in this form, we would be something else. But what we have been given here is not a punishment. This form, this life, is not a punishment. When we are thinking that we are having bad day, a bad month, a bad year, or a bad life, it may appear that we are being punished. When those ideas and feelings come up, we have to put an end to them very quickly because they are a waste of our life and our energy. Just to have the ability

to discern and to think and to feel anything is, in fact, an incredible gift. One of the tricks that Ive spoken of is giving up defining what kind of a day we are having. If we just give up defining every day as good or bad it will make a big difference. We are having a dayperiod. And we owe it to ourselves not to classify it. Whats so important about having to make a decision that this was a good day or a bad day? Why do we keep doing that? Why cant I just say Im having a day? If it appears to be a miserable day, thats just the attitude that I have chosen. We have complete control of the kind of day we want to paint with our attitude. We are not pawns in the games of life.

Spiritual Slavery
It would be nice to be a pawn in the game of life because then we wouldnt have to do anything here. We would have no responsibilities. Everything would be done for us. But there also would be no hope that we could have the power to make any changes. What kind of a life is that? If you were the Beloved, would you design us to be so robotic in nature that everything we do would be based on your exact instructions for each and every one of us at every moment? If you were the Beloved, wouldnt you look at this creation and be absolutely bored with it? What would you have you done? But to give the spark of life and to give consciousness and then say, Godofeel! Then if you are witnessing all these things, you could say, How interesting! I love all the ramifications of this creation. This is why the Beloved loves us. How can the Beloved not love each and every one of us no matter what we may or may not be doing. After all, we are part of the consciousness that is the Beloved Itself. But weve been taught that only if we do this and do that, will we be loved. If we dont do this and that, then we are not loved. And all of that is just nonsense! These are ideas that we have to rebel against. We talk about being free and being enlightened. The result of words like that is to finally say, Ive had enough of all this propaganda that tells me Im insignificant and just something obscure and of no importance.

Then a voice from our social conditioning comes up and says, How dare you make those kinds of statements. Those kinds of statements are arrogant. Yes, they are arrogant but they are also humble and necessary. They are arrogant statements but they are not an obnoxious arrogance because they are the truth. They are also humble statements because they acknowledge the greater mystery of the Beloved Itself. Or we can have the opposite approach that we are, in fact, nothing more than slaves. Sowe choose! Which will it be for us? To be a slave is very easy. Even going back to the unfortunate days in our history when we had slaves in the South, when the time came that the slaves were freed, many of them didnt want to be free. We wonder, why wouldnt they want to be free? Well, maybe its because one can get accustomed to being a slave. We can get accustomed to others providing for us. Even though they may be treating us badly, they are providing for us. They are taking care of us. But, if we are free, we have to fend for ourselves. We have to think for ourselves. We have to be independent. We have to be strong. There are all kinds of consequences that arise from freedom. There is little difference from this in the spiritual adventures that we have. To be a slave means that we follow a particular dogma, a particular teaching, a particular tradition. We follow it to its exact wordsand we are a slave to that! But when the only thing that we hold in our hearts is that we are consciousness,

that we are energy, that we are the Beloved in one of Its forms then there is nothing to follow. But in some respects this frightens us. It makes us afraid of the possibilities. That kind of fear is a beautiful fear where we tremble with the prospects of what awaits. And that kind of fear is a very welcome fear. We need not be afraid of that kind of fear, nor need we be afraid of changes. What awaits can be an exciting, magnificent adventure.

Fear of Dying
As Ive said before, when I look back at my life to see what were some of the things that got me interested in the spiritual path, one of the most important things was my fear of dying. Id say to myself that the time will come when Im not going to be here any more and then what will happen to me? I started studying all the different traditions and religions trying to find answers to that question. I went from one to the other to the next trying to make myself comfortable that I would continue. We want to make ourselves comfortable that we are going to continue. So we pick a particular religion that makes us feel good about this. We pick a religion that says our future lives will be determined based upon this singular life and we will be going to a heaven or a hell or places in between. Or we pick other traditions that say that we have infinite chances of being reborn over and over and over again depending upon what we do in this life. Reincarnation gives us a feeling that we are continuing. We wont die in reincarnation. We come back. Maybe we will come back better or well come back worse, but were coming back. If were afraid of death, its a lot better to come back one way or the other than not to come back at all. So the concept of reincarnation is very, very popular because we will be coming back somehow or another.

The other idea that having a perfect life here will guarantee us infinite happiness later is also a very good ideabut absolutely frightening because if that definition of perfect is even slightly off we are in for a terrible time forever. Its not very fair to suffer in eternity for one lifes mistakes. I dont think the Beloved demands that. Nor does the Beloved want us to keep proving over and over for ten thousand reincarnations that we love the Beloved. Its just nonsense. I know that Im offending some, but those concepts are simply not the way that it is. I spent many, many years of my life trying to determine these things. I went from one philosophy or tradition to another and back and forth trying to find some kind of composite idea of everything. But I couldnt find something that was composite. When I tried to discuss death with Poonja-ji, he basically said that the only way we can discuss death is when there are two people who are dead that are having a conversation with each other about death. When one is alive and someone else is dead, we cant have this conversation. And this is true in many ways. That gave me a peaceful feeling for many years because it put death into the realm of the absolute and death became the same as the mystery. And I left it at thatthe mystery of death period. But this question of what happens to us at the time that we are not here has not left me all these years. It left me temporarily and it gave me peace during a time when I needed this peace. But it has resurfaced for the last year or

two, and I have decided to look into this much more than I have before. One of the tools that I have used to look into this further has been the teachings that I have spent years and years and years studying, starting with the Olmec and then the Toltec traditions. In an effort to see things that I have not seen before, I have learned how to dream and I have learned how to take travels that are beyond words. I have seen things that make me comfortable to share now what I hadnt been able to do before because I wasnt sure. Now I am certainwithout a doubt that death is not the end of things. Its an incredible thing to be able to say definitely that this idea of death is not the end. Its the end of our physical form, obviously. Its the end of our body and its the end of insignificant memories. Its the end of the insignificant definitions of who we think that we are. In this life we have structured our personality. We have become what we call ourselves. We have learned things about ourselves and we reinforce these things. We grow these things just like a tree. We start out as a small baby and we get older. We end up calling ourselves by a particular name. We define ourselves by particular ideas and concepts. We defend this ego, this personality, this concept of what we have. We have all our memories. We have our past. We have our history. We have our ideas about the future. We have ourselves in all these great definitions. But at the time of death all these details about who we are will be gone.

What remains is an essence, a fragrance of our overall entity. Its like a smell, an aroma. Its an energy. Its something that cannot be defined with regular words but its a composite of what represents us. This composite continues. This composite energy, this composite consciousness, does not have any desire to be defined by the way we have defined things in this life. It does not have a body like the one that we have now. So, if it does not have a body like the one we have now, it does not have to continue in the same way that this energy did in the body. When this body doesnt exist anymore, then this energy becomes something that is beyond all imagination. It becomes something that is not to be feared. It is something that is to be welcomed. It is something that is an even greater gift than the one that we have now. Our energy changes. The best word that I can use for that is that it has a different smell for each and every one of us. Its like perfume. It smells slightly different based upon what we have or have not experienced or felt through our present energy fields. Each and every one of us feels and experiences different things and the smell changes a little bit and becomes slightly different with each of these. This smell, this essence, these slight modifications of our energy fields are

directly related to how loving and kind one is here. If we become as loving and kind and compassionate and forgiving as we can, then this essence smells very beautiful. This is also coupled with taking the energy fields that we have and opening them up when we are alive.

Dear Beloved, I pray to you and ask you to give us the wisdom and the strength and the love that is required in this life. And I ask that someday I wont be asking.

Wider, Wondrous, More

We see with our eyes, and we can see with the energy we have within us which is a different vision than seeing just with the eyes. The eyes are designed to see in one way. And what we are is able to see in a different way. We limit ourselves by thinking that what we are is only what we see and feel with our physical eyes and our senses. But once we say to ourselves that what we are is something more than that, then we start to see much broader aspects of existence. When we start to see things, not with our eyes but with our energy, we must not dismiss what we see. This is how warriors have used some of the Toltec teachings to become a seer. To be a seer is to be able to see without our eyes. We see that underneath our physical appearances we are, in fact, pure energy and consciousness. One of the things that we have to give up is thinking about ourselves as being solid. We are not solid. I recommend going to a library and looking at some pictures of physical things that are magnified. We owe it to ourselves to see how things really are beyond what we see with our naked eyes. There is more space between

little dots of matter than there are little dots. There is more space. When we know that, in fact, we are not solid, then we start to see that we are magnificent energetic fields of consciousness that live in this body. That changes everything! When we start to see that its not the body that is creating us but that it is energy and consciousness that is creating a form, the fear of disappearing fades away! If we are really honest with ourselves and we do some introspection, we will see that even though the subject of death is not a very pleasant thing, it is underneath many of the problems that we have here. So we are in training here to become fearless over the idea and concept that we come to an end. Although many things about us are going to come to an end, many other things are going to be different and, in fact, they are going to be more magnificent. In this life many aspects of things come to an end and other aspects come forth. Some of the greatest misery that Ive seen is when people dont want things to change. It seems many people never want anything to change and, when the smallest thing changes, its always negative to

them. But in truth change is not always negative. We do the process of change a great disservice. Changes are inevitable. We would be wise to understand and accept this. Then we will be able to prepare ourselves for changes where we can. Very briefly what this means for us now is that while we occupy a physical form, the energy that is occupying this physical form can become very, very tight and compressed because of the training that we give it. We have been taught to be very opinionated. We have been taught that things are either right or wrong. And somewhere within ourselves we agree with that. Then we are not open to the idea that maybe things could be neutral. We tend to see only that these things are either right or they are wrong. We think that this is the only way of looking at things. We say to ourselves, My life is to run in only one particular direction and I will not allow any experience that is different. My friends are all going to be the same type of friends. My work is going to be only one thing. And on and on. Then we become a tight, defending, limited energy. We determine that our ego or personality is never to be insulted or violated or made fun of by anybody and we will give our lives to defend the idea of who we think we are. We create hard and fast boundaries between countries and ideas and concepts and languages. And it makes us tight, and limited. We think we are free but we have built a cage for ourselves. When we spend our life taking this magnificent energy and compressing it down to a tight, tiny spot, then this magnificent energy gets ugly. When it gets like that, we

cant be very loving. How can we be loving if we are coming from a place that is totally guarded? What kind of love can we give to somebody who is guarding something else as tightly on the other side as we are on this side? Then everyone is guarding and hiding and fighting and arguing and proving things. And as time passes all that we are is this tight energy. Then when the time comes that we are so-called dead, this energy stays tight just like my fist and it is very, very difficult for it to start opening up to see all the other energies that are there and the new things that are possible. Ive seen tight energies like this and I, personally, dont want to be part of these kinds of energy fields. So this is life. Its not a complicated thing. It may sound complicated, but it isnt because intent is even more important than actions. Intent carries incredible power. Intent! What is the intent of something? We all make mistakes. If our intent is to be loving and it turns out that we did something that didnt look like it was loving, it could be that our action wasnt interpreted right and maybe we werent successful. But if our intent was loving, thats what counts. Its our intent that will naturally motivate us to alter our behavior if that is what we need to do. If our true intent is to be loving, to do the best that we can, to be kind, to be forgiving, especially to ourselves, that will guide us. So its a two-pronged situation here. First, we have to have the desire, the intent, to be loving and kind, forgiving, and to be more open. We couple that with the effort, the

actions, that go along with our intent. And the second part is that weve got to come to a decision of whether we think that we are an energy field, a consciousness, occupying a form or whether we are a form that has generated consciousness. Its one or the other. I hope that someday you decide truly in your own hearts that what you are is a magnificent consciousness, a part of the Beloved, that is occupying this form. That being the case, you are indestructible and you are beyond wordsperiod! Then if theres any work to be done in this life, it is to take this consciousness, this energy that has been given to you, and to open it very wide. Open it very wide and do not allow it to get tight. The idea is to slowly and gradually open up these energy fields so that when the time comes that we leave here, this energy field is very, very wide and it gets embraced by the overall energy that is there. And magnificent things continue from there. I have seen beautiful open energy fields. They come together and create combinations that are awesome

beyond all imaginationbeyond normal comprehension! By uniting, these fields can manifest and do much more than individual singular wide fields. These combined fields are not restricted or hampered by conventional rules or laws of movement, behavior, or existence. We get glimpses of these combined energy fields, these fantastic beings, when we are open and receptive. But its just a glimpse. We dont need to chase this. All we have to do is to open a little and not be so automatically rejecting. At critical times these fields, if we are open, are present to assist in any way possible. Under some conditions, combined fields also unite and are absorbed by the Ultimate FieldConsciousnessthe Beloved. And the Mystery continues.

Some people get a lot out of inquiry. They somehow determine what they are without ever being able to fully explain it to themselves or to anybody else. They try to find some wordswhat I am is the breath between two breaths, what I am is silence. And they get very comfortable and say, This is itperiod. Then these same beings get up in the morning and have a day facing them. Some of those who are very, very comfortable in this position knowing they are the breath between two breaths can have wonderful days, day after day. And some other beings who also know the same thing get lost in some of the miserable days. Some of these beautiful beings acknowledge that they are having a miserable day and they begin to wonder if being the breath between two breaths was maybe just some mental image that they had. They say to themselves, Maybe I didnt really get it because if I truly understood it I would not be having a miserable day today. Then they get into all the definitions of what enlightenment is. And it becomes an agonizingly vicious cycle. So we have to make some adjustments in our in our daily life of relative truth, to put absolute truth into context. And these adjustments will vary with different beings.

So what am I? This inquiry is a question that has to be asked in confidence within ones own self. When we ask What am I? we end up eventually with a clear no-answer. Coming up with a clear no answer may be satisfactory for some of us. But it may not be satisfactory for others of us. This clear no answer means the final answer is mysteryperiod. Yet in between there are many, many aspects in this mystery. I remember very clearly there was a satsang that I attended with Poonja-ji. He was contemplating this idea. And the thing with Poonja-ji is that we also have to set his history straight. Even though he knew that the mystery was a mystery and he knew who he was, until his last gasp he did not stop inquiring into the depths of the mystery. How could he stop inquiring if he was in love with the mystery? He could not. We cannot. Its impossible! In his writings, on his scratch pad, until the time he left his form he would write down different things about what he thought the mystery was. And he made tremendous explorations. Poonja-ji was a master traveler of dreams. Not too much is known about it, but he was a great student of the Toltec and Olmec teachings. He spent years in

Venezuela and Brazil learning these things. So he was very, very interested in the details of the mystery. He used to sayimagine yourself to be a water droplet. You are traveling down a river as a drop of water. You see a lot of other water droplets around you and you are having conversations with these other water droplets. Everybody looks slightly different and youre talking back and forth. Ive done this and youve done that. Youve got your own ideas and thoughts and you move on. Soon you hear this big gigantic thunder that you have never heard before in your whole life and you get scared. You are getting close to where the river discharges into the ocean and you are going to disappear into that big sound. You get scared and say, Oh my god, this is the end! Then you get into the ocean and you say, Gosh, this is still water. I havent disappeared. Water is water. So you start traveling in this great ocean and pretty soon you get into the deeper part of the ocean. You go deeper and deeper. You get to the bottom and you are exploring the depths of the ocean. You see many different things as you explore the depths of this new mystery. Then you start moving to the top of the water and the sun heats you up and you become very light. You evaporate. You go into the sky and travel around having adventures in clouds but you are still water. Eventually you condense and become rain and you come back down. Its all a huge gigantic circle of things. It is very, very important to see how these things interrelate with each other

and to put them into perspective.

Dear Beloved, Help me to be kind to myself and to be forgiving to myself especially because I know so much about myself. Help me to be loving. I rest in you. I love you. I dont ask for anything except to see you, and someday not to see any difference between us.

WELCOME HOME For so long I thought home was in a different place, far away.

So I wandered the universe to different towns over many hills, into many philosophies and religions of grander and grander truths, among varied peoples with seemingly warmer arms always seeking a different existence at higher and more rarified altitudes. And at each place I visited another version of welcome home awaited me, until I understood the truth is I have always been home whether I recognized it or not. Shivakti

One of the things with Poonja-jis teachings that people have misinterpreted is that he said so many times that there is nothing to do. There were many years when I used to say there is nothing to do here. I would not expand into anything else because there is nothing to do. And truly there is nothing to do when we are referring to the absolute. But this energy that we are is occupying a form here now. And the question is how do we have a life here that appears to be somewhat productive, somewhat useful, somewhat loving, somewhat satisfying? How do we have some kind of a life here while it appears that we are having a life? Many people who embrace Ramana Maharshis and Poonja-jis teachings have taken it to the point that, since there is nothing to do, therefore let it ALL be nothing to do. And I have noticed first hand that most of them are very, very unhappy and most of them live very miserable lives. So what was a gift of ultimate understanding of our essential nature has been misused by mistakenly applying it to our physical nature. What we have to do here is to appreciate both sides. Its a balance of both the relative and the absolute. We are balancing depending upon our inclinations, depending upon our interests, depending upon everything

that makes us to be somewhat different from everybody else in this room. So everybody will have a different balance point. By the way, the whole intent was for us to be different! Its good to be different from everybody else in this room, contrary to the ideas that we are all one and the same. Yes, we are all one, but we also are all different! And we come together here where we can be loving and kind and still respect the differences we have within us, knowing that each and every energy field in this room is slightly different. We have many journeys in this unspeakableness that we are and what I am discussing is preparation for these journeys.

PEACE IN PARADOX What freedom! To live lifes paradoxes not with explanations but with wonder and gratitude. Shivakti

Speaking with Compassion

We always must remember the absolute truth. The absolute truth is the absolute truth. I also call absolute truth the mysteryperiod. Mystery with a period after it. Not mystery with question marks or commas, not a 99.999999. Its 100period. This is indescribable. This is what we are. This is the beginning and end of all things, no conversations, no discussions, no comments. Anybody that wants to speak about that particular isness has nothing to say because no one can speak about it. Period! But once we start talking to people, once we start seeing life, then we know that we have to address things that are not part of the discussion of the absolute in order to help in this life. We have to address the fears and ideas that people have. Even though they may say that they rest in the absolute, it isnt so, unfortunately. It isnt so not because of any particular detail that we can figure out, it is just something that happensand its not a plus or a minus. Its not a plus or minus because underneath all of this it always comes back to mystery. That is the isness of things. But we have to see that we appear to be alive here now

in this strange relative aspect of the mystery. So if we become loving and kind and compassionate and we see a being that comes to us who is yearning to know more about That that cannot be spoken about, we have a choice about how and what to do in this situation. We can take the so-called high road and say to this being, Theres nothing to do. Look inside yourself. Find out exactly who you are. Good luck. Good bye. Once in a while this would be enough. But most of the time we have to look at the history of people and see that they may need more. They need something more so that they can start falling in love with That. And then we get involved with words. Its a fine line. We can do much to guide somebody to a particular place but eventually they have to go there on their own. Im now at a stage of my life where Im convinced that sometimes it is cruel to look at somebody and refuse to see what might be the best thing to do at that particular time to treat the situation. Sometimes some of us snap out comments and things that have very, very deleterious effects upon all of us. Even though our comments may be well-intentioned, we have to be conscientious of the impact of our words. Many times I have noticed that it seems as if what is being said is, Look at me. I have been able to answer this question as to who I am. Im perfectly satisfied with who I am and who I am not. So why cant you do it? Go over there in the corner and come back and tell me when the time comes that you know you are the breath between two breaths.

And the person goes to the corner and spends years and years looking to see that he is the breath between two breaths. And he says, No, Im still breathing so I cant be in between breathing. In that case we have taken somebody that was, in fact, very beautiful and weve put them in a place where they cannot accomplish what they think that we have accomplished. So its a very, very fine line that we walk! Or someone makes comments like Stop thinking. What you are is a thought between thoughts And the person say, But Im having thoughts and Im thinking and I cant stop these thoughts. Even the inquiry as to who I am is a thought process. So huge problems can arise. I know that I have created many of those problems myself when basically I was speaking of things that were comfortable for me because I had felt them. But, in fact, they were not the way that things had to be even though they were comfortable for me. When we behave from the place which we recognize as our heart, then weve done our work. But when we do it because we have an ulterior motive of trying to convince somebody one way or the other, we are not coming from our heart. Then we have a problemand so do those listening to us.

THE NATURE OF LOVE Love makes me laugh. Love makes me cry.

Love breaks my heart. Love lets me fly. Blessed be the nature of love. Shivakti

LOST AND FOUND Sometimes in my growing knowing it feels as if I have lost connection with everything outside of me as if I have lost my Beloved in the jacaranda trees and my compassion for others has grown distant It feels as if I have lost god and good and all my altruistic ideals upon which I relied as my foundation. It feels as if I have lost all I held dear and in a sense I have. But when my tears have stopped, this still remains: that even with everything gone, still I am; that all aloneby myself, still I love. And it is the being-that-loves who unfailingly transforms the edges of my perceptions and allows me to see again

with renewed wonder the splendor of my Beloved in the jacaranda trees. Shivakti

Compassionate Understanding
Tight is tight. And we can be very tight even in the position of absolute truth. When someone takes the position that a certain viewpoint is the only way to explore things, this is tightness! It may be a beautiful tightness but nevertheless it is a tightness. And this tightness is like a chain around our necks, too. It may be such a fine, fine chain that it is almost invisible but it is there. So how do we get rid of a chain completely? We cut it! We dont make it finer and finerwe cut it. We have to cut, not refine, the opinions and ideas we have about what is and what is not. Then we can come from a place of openness and fluidity and love. It is amazing what happens when we do that. When we are open, we are flexible in all these areas. When we are flexible, we become freer. Then we have much, much wider perspectives. When we are presented with a difficult situation, we can see many more possible ways to handle it. When we think we have

made a mistake, we understand that it was one approach we took among many possibilitiesand we dont judge ourselves so harshly. I make many mistakes. Im the first to admit that I make many mistakes. Many times I contemplate some of the things I have done or not done. And I see sometimes that some things that I have done were not very good or not very effectiveand I learn from them. But I do not get paralyzed about all the errors I make because I still want to live and do and be. When we are only coming from the position of the absolute, its easy to say to somebody, Do not bother me with the things you are telling me. They dont matter Its so easy. And it can be so cruel. Lets say somebody comes up to us and says that they are having this problem in life that is consuming them. And then we say to them that their problem means nothing. Their problem means nothing because in absoluteness there are no problemswhich is true. But at that particular time when somebody is thinking that this problem is the biggest, most gigantic problem that has ever been created in the history of problems, we will have slapped them in the face with the biggest slap that could ever have imagined with those words. Then we have added to that problem! So if we are compassionate, we can use the Olmec and Toltec teaching that is known as controlled folly where we put ourselves in this big problem. Then both of us are having this gigantic problem and everything is a problem until eventually we can make some move in understanding or in action to see that this is not such a big problem.

But its very cruel to slap people in the face with their problems from the position of somebody who knows there is no problem. Its very cruel. When we are in a place where we know there are no problems, we cannot be tight and say that nobody has a problem. We must be very, very loose in this place and say, Yes, this person is having a problem. And then with compassion we can address the problem.

Getting Over the Past

We have to recognize within ourselves that we have to become truly loving. We hope we dont have too many ulterior motives in loving and we come from a good place. And we do the best that we can. Then we can walk with our heads high. Never mind if theres another life or not another life, we know that we have done the best that we can. And this is intentthe intent to be loving, the intent to be kind, the intent to be forgiving, the intent to be compassionateespecially to us. Most importantly, weve got to learn to be that way to ourselves. It isnt arrogant or selfish to spend the time and effort to be kind to ourselves. It is necessary! We look at our actions and say, What I did was so horrible that I cant speak about it. But dont we deserve some forgiveness for ourselves? We tend to treat ourselves worse than the worst enemy that we can imagine. We tend to pick on things, often the most insignificant things, in our lives and keep rehearsing them over and over again and never cut them. We have to break the habits that run our lives and make us tight. It is much more effective to break them than to lessen them. If we break one component of a habit, the habit is gone. If we try to lessen it, it doesnt lessen. We can break

it by breaking just a part of the habit. It is most important to make a break with the importance we give to our personal history. We must make a break with negative personal history. We all have negative personal history. We all have events that we remember that we dont consider to be good things in our livesthings that we think we caused or things that we think were done to us. Either way, we keep these things of the past ever present in our mindsand they are ruling our lives. We could have been frightened when we were small about some particular thing. We could have been molested. We could have been treated in horrible ways or have treated others in horrible ways. And we keep bringing these notions up over and over and over again. We dont let them go. We dont take the time to see and relive those events with eyes of more wisdom. Ive said this many times before but its got to be said once again. Suppose something terrible has happened when we were 6-7-8-9 years old. Now were 35-40-50-60 years old. We have to spend the time to look at this event that happened when we were 6 years old and say, Im looking at this event now and Im 60 years old. Am I seeing something in this event now that is different from what I saw through the eyes of a 6 year old? If we are honest, I guarantee we will. Then we can say, Im putting this behind me. It is finished because I am looking at this with more wisdom now. I am not reliving this event with the eyes of 6 year old for my whole life. This is what recapitulation is.

These things have to be done to clear this lifeand bring peace to ourselves. We have all heard stories about the time when people are ready to die and they have visions of lights and tunnels and other things that appear to them at that particular time. Many of these things are the final recapitulations of all major events in life. The brain remembers all the things that have been done and summarizes them in the end. The whole life gets recapitulated in the end and thats how our essence gets ready for what awaits in the Mystery. One of the things that we can to do is to recapitulate our lives while we are still alive. When we do this while were still alive, then when, the time comes that we are leaving, our energy field is even wider. So there are many advantages to recapitulating our lives now.

Moving On
In the future I may be talking more about recapitulating life, about deconstructing the ego, moving assemblage points, increasing energy fields, and as always, being more loving, kind and compassionate. I wont spend as much time with inquiry as I have in the past, even though its important. I have covered that for many years. For a long time Ive debated about sharing some of the things Im saying now, but until we get to that ultimate mystery, its good to know some of these things that now I know. It is good for us not to be afraid when we feel and see and experience what is generally considered in our society as unusual or not quite normal. We do not need to worry about it so much. We limit ourselves so much when we dont allow ourselves to see and experience anything that our society considers unusual or beyond normal. If we have a vision of something that is not so-called normal, then its a gift. We need not fear that were going to be put into the psychiatric ward of the corner hospital because we saw something that is not considered possible. It is the closed, tight beings that want to protect their narrowness who right off the bat will automatically say that this is not possible. But that doesnt take away from the way that things really areand the way things are allows for many incomprehensible things to happen.

The more receptive that we become to unlimited possibilities, the more we start to see and feel things that are even more incredible. At the same time we need the wisdom to be able to keep quiet under certain circumstances. So we have to be wise to keep quiet at the right moment. We need to have some practical wisdom.

THE PAST The story of my past, my personal history, is like the empty shell of a used cocoon whose function is finished. For an important but ultimately tiny moment it held a shape for me while growth occurred. But neither the form that entered nor the life that has emerged bear any resemblance to that hollow casting. Why spend another minute examining the wrinkles and ridges, twists and turns of such an old and temporary skin when beautiful wings fan the air lifting me to a broader reality. Shivakti

[Because Yudhishtaras talks are spontaneous, he willingly accepts questions and comments from the audience. The following three questions about various aspects of dealing with others brought forth some tools for skillful living which many appreciated S.] 1) Yudhishtara, do we have to have vigilance with whatever comes up in families? Vigilance is just being aware, being cognizant of what is happeningbeing aware and taking action, if it is called for, when we become aware. Be vigilant with the Beloved. We must not only be vigilant that this is our Beloved that we cant speak about, but also be vigilant to love the Beloved. When I suggest that we get up in the morning and say, I love you my Beloved, this is being vigilant and attentive. Its paying respect and being straight forward. If we say, I love you; thank you, we are vigilant. We are paying attention. We didnt just ignore everything. We need to do this until the time comes that, without any effort, we are saying thank you. It becomes a good habit as opposed to the habit of not doing it. We also have to become vigilant and aware of forces around us

that are trying to mold us to the way that they think we should be. We have our own energy. And there are energies from other places. All these energies say that they think we should live this way or that way. They say, I dont think you are going to amount to very much in your life if you dont follow our traditions, if you dont follow the way that I have done it. If you dont do what Im telling you, you are not being good or youre worthless. They tell us that either directly or indirectly. We hear this and we say, I want to pay attention and I love you. I know that you are telling me many things because you love me, but you dont seem to understand that we are different. You dont respect that we are different. But at the same time I can understand that you dont understand me. So its a big struggle. Then we have to face the fact that eventually we have to break this hold on us that prevents us from fully being our own energy, our own consciousness, and having our own life. Otherwise we are living the life of somebody else. We are living their instructions. We are not free. Were slaves. That bond has to be broken. Now how do we break this bond that has to be broken? We can break that with anger and say, Dont ever talk to me again. Dont tell me what to do. You dont know anything and dont ever speak to me again. Or we can use controlled folly. Controlled folly means there comes a point where we realize that we are not going to change someones mind

about certain subjects because they are too ingrained. That person is just too tight for change. We can have conversations from now until the end of the world, but he or she is not going to change. So what we do in this situation is that we have controlled folly, meaning that we are in agreement with what is being said. We acknowledge what he or she is saying. This is making the other person feel comfortable that we understand what he or she is saying but at the same time we do what we think is best. Theres no point in arguing forever. This situation is controlled folly. In the end we do what we think is important. Eventually the other person starts to see that there is not much that can be done anymore. But we continue loving and say, I love you. And Ive got to do this my wayfor me. I love you and I have to do this this way. Blood relationships are the most difficult things to change things pertaining to mothers and sons and daughters and husbands and children. Those situations are very difficult to change because there is so much emotion invested in them. People take too many liberties when they say, Because I am your father or your mother or your brother or sister, I have the right to tell you. I dont have a right to tell a stranger because we are not blood related but I have a right to tell you. But this blood relationship stuff goes too far. The fact that were blood related, doesnt mean that they have the right to tell us how to dress, how to speak, how to behave, how to breathe. This is especially true when we are older. When we are small children, of course, they

have to take care of us because we dont know very much. But when we become older, they have to let us breathe. Many parents cannot let their children breathe and they want them to be children forever. But children have to be allowed to grow and to breathe. When the time comes and parents do not let us breathe, then we have to start breathing on our own regardless of what they say. But the love for them must remain because they are acting from a loving place. But doesnt this cause a conflict? Should we be open to this reaction in a way? Eventually this situation will not have a reaction eventually. It will be the kind of a thing that you will say to yourself, These are comments and statements that they are making. These are their ideas. These are their opinions. They have the right to have them and express them. And I have the right to accept some of them or not to accept any of them. I have the same kind of rights. Now do I argue or what do I do? Arguments are just about trying to prove that youre right and theyre wrong and vice versa. Controlled folly is, Thank you for telling me what youre saying. I appreciate what you are saying. Thank you. After we thank them, we choose whether we are going to do what they say or not. Part of my problem is that I might agree with what they have to say. If we think that some of the things they have to say are right, there is nothing wrong with that. If they are not right, then they are not right. But deep down in our hearts

we know if they are right or not right. So who are we fooling? We dont want to fool anybody. We want to be happy. We want to have a life of our own. At the same time we dont want to insult or harm our parents. So its hard to do both things. Its very hardso Im suggesting a helpful tool. We have a choice of being argumentative. Sometimes we want to argue and to prove that the ways we want to do things are better than what they are saying. But that often hasnt worked. Another choice is not to speak to them again. So we say, Okay, Im leaving. Good-bye. Dont ever speak to me again. As far as Im concerned youre nothing in my life. A lot of people do that. And then years later they regret it because they say, How could I treat my parents this way. So I think that the pain of that behavior is a hundred times worse. And then we have the choice of saying, Thank you for telling me what youre saying. I appreciate what you are saying. I love you and thank you. Then we do whatever we feel is right for usregardless of what anybody says. Eventually they will realize that they dont have much power over us and that were not being disrespectful. Even though it seems as if we are being cruel and that we are not listening to them, we are not being cruel because they do not have the right to tell us how to run our adult life. But at the same time they gave birth to us. Theyve brought us into this life which is a great gift, so we owe them respect.

The Buddhist traditions say many beautiful things about this subject. No matter what our parents do, we owe them much, much gratitude. But we do not owe them slavery. So we thank them and we start doing what we feel in our own hearts is right for us. 2) Yudhishtara, changing the scenario from a parent to a spouse who wants to twist and control and move your thoughts. How is it best to handle that? Have you been argumentative so far? Yes Why dont you try the approach of controlled folly by agreeing with everything she says. Thank you but? No buts! Thank you! Its an incredible thing how that calms people down. They say to us, Youre incompetent. You havent done this. You havent done that. And we say, Thank you very much for telling me. And then we just leave it. Thank you very muchperiod. No buts because a but starts an argument. Thank you! Thank you for bringing that to my attention. Weve got to be vigilant to say only thank you for telling me thatthank you. Eventually, what they are saying is not going to have so much of an inflammatory effect. Then with a clearer head we are going to start seeing what the situation really is and we can start addressing the true cause of the problem.

But in the meantime we can see how this works. Many times people will change their ways when they feel they are being heard and acknowledged. Its incredible what happens if we say thank you for the information and then we dont say anything else. Over time this approach also teaches us that negative comments that are made to our egos, to our personalities, dont have to stay with us so much because we have reduced their importance by not fighting them. If we just thank for the information, were not defending ourselves against those comments and therefore were not so susceptible to other kinds of problems that escalate from being defensive. We learn to say, in as genuine a way as possible, Thank you for the information. Thank you for the data. Period. 3) Yudhishtara, I am dealing with a couple of people that I really care about that have all the teachings and all the understanding. They claim theyve got peace or whatever, but its more like a theoretical peace. They are stuck in negativity about themselves. They are sticking themselves in a box of limitation; and, no matter what I say, they are just defending their position and they cant get out of the box. They cant climb out of the box even though they say they understand everything. And thats their defenseI already understand everything but this is where I am. And they refuse to climb out of it.

So we let them be in the box. They want to be in the box. They are comfortable in the box. Otherwise what is going to happen is that we are going to try breaking their box the rest of our lives. We let the box be! They are so attached to their limitation it is just unbelievable. It doesnt feel good to know that people we care about are in a box. So we want to get them out of the box. We know how to get them out of the box. But if they dont want to get out of the box, they have a right to stay in the box. So we just let it be. Our efforts are better spent getting somebody else out of the box who wants to get out of the box. I guess I just have to see that its perfect. They are doing exactly what they want to do. But they are expressing misery all the time and asking for help. But then they cant seem to accept any kind of help. Its very strange. Its very strange, indeed. But it isnt strange. This is life. This is typical. This is normal. This is the way it often is. Now we have to make the decision of what to do about this if it is affecting us. As long as we can be there with them in our heart and are loving, we can stay there. But when the time comes that we start noticing that this is affecting our own lives and we begin putting ourselves in a box of trying to break another boxthen were in that box and theyre in this box and now we have a lot of trouble! So you have to notice and you have to be vigilant. When we find ourselves in a box

of having to convince someone to change, then we have to break your own box and give it up.

DIFFERENCES My teachers hold certain concepts dear. I have other ideas that I cherish. And you, my friend, treasure thoughts of your own. I find myself at ease with these differences no desire to reshape myself around anothers beliefs, no urge to mold you around mine. Our differences entertain and expand me. Like children peeping into the house of reality, each of us looks through a different window and sees a separate room. Yet our different points of view do not diminish the underlying truth of who we arethe essence of you and I. So why should we be threatened by our playtime differences? Let us relax and enjoy this game. Sometimes we engage in animated debate; sometimes we do not. It really doesnt matter. Amid all this play I stop a moment

and look into your eyes where I see no difference. In wordless silence I know I love you. This is the only reality. Shivakti

SPIRITUAL MATURITY I seem to have fallen out of spiritual life into Life itself. When did that happen? Yet my perceptions are still infused with melodies of awe, gratitude, and love. My actions echo my perceptions. I feel whole and I am at peace. My mind, though curious, knows satisfaction. I love the way I see through these eyes now. Om, Shanti, Om Shivakti

Everything is Within
In India there is a day where we celebrate our teachers. We thank our teacher for showing us that our ultimate Teacher is inside our own hearts. Poonja-ji, who has left his form, is still with us in our hearts. He is always in mine. If it werent for him I dont know where I would be. I had searched and searched and gone from place to place and from book to book. Poonja-ji was the one who showed me that everything was inside of me and that there was no place to look outside of me. I will always be grateful to him for showing me that! Poonja-ji always made it a point to make sure that everybody understood that he was a human being. He always wanted people to think of him that way. Many times it was difficult to think of him that way because he was so beautiful and awesome in so many ways that we could easily think of him as an image of what God may be. But immediately he would remind us that God and our own selves are one and the same. There were many occasions where people could not believe that it was possible for him to be doing what he was doing without having any ulterior motives. Were not used to things like that. Were not used to having someone teach that way without having some ulterior motives for power or money. But he didnt have any. So I have total respect for him and am totally in love with him.

Even when he was leaving his form he told those around him to look within themselves, that that is where everything is. Why is it so difficult to accept that everything weve always wanted, everything weve always yearned for, everything that is essential, everything that is true is always within us? Why do we find that so difficult? We look to other places. We look at other things and at other beings mistakenly thinking that somehow or another they will tell us something that we dont know. We dont give credit to the Teacher in our own hearts that speaks to us all the time. We dont listen to That. Its a lot easier to listen to somebody else. We dont listen to what we already have in our hearts. Thats why enlightenment seems so difficult were trying to get from out there something that is inherently already within us. Often it appears that we are not getting any where because we make this thing so complicated. We make it so difficult. We tell ourselves the first great lie, Im not worthy of these things. And then we amplify that with,

Ill never figure it out; Ive got to do this and that; Im missing this or missing that; Ive got to go here and I havent been there. Instead, if we could just be still for one second to have a conversation in our quietness with our own mind and heart to say to ourselves, Everything is all right. There is nothing to find. Ramana Maharshi told Poonja-ji that Krishna (God) was in his own heart and that he should stop looking outside. That advice did it for Poonja-ji. But it seems we need to hear this over and over and over again because we refuse to entertain the possibility that God and we are not separate. We refuse to accept that we could possibly be one and the same with this word that we use for the Mystery. It also takes courage and arrogance sometimes to make a statement like this because we have to set aside our physical imperfections to say that we are one and the same with God. If we concentrate on our physical imperfections which we all know so well, we can never think we are one and the same with God. We think that, if we were one and the same with God, we would not be involved with all the puny things that we involve ourselves with every day. But God also has a tremendous amount of fun with puny things! It would be very boring if all we were involved with were high-powered important things every day!

[A conversation which reflected a beautiful evolvement of wisdom took place at one of Yudhaihtaras talks. I wanted to include it here in celebration and because it reflects the journey many of us take. So let us eavesdrop on this special conversation in which wisdom and acknowledgement flow from both sidesS.] Yudhishtara, as you know, I have been interested in people who are pure jnani and the dream of oneness they speak of. It is natural for such a person to talk a certain way because they really feel it that way. You cant really expect people like that to talk differently. The problem is not so much that they say certain things, its that we judge ourselves in relation to them even though we need not. Its really fine that such people go around saying these things because thats their truth. For others its just pretend. I was sitting for some time with somebody who really was only in the oneness in the extreme way. I really felt he was telling the truth. I didnt find anything that wasnt the truth about it. But it just doesnt necessarily apply to me. The important thing is we just mustnt judge ourselves in relation to others. Absolutely! And as long as they feel that and they come from a place of their truth, this is perfect.

Then really its nothing but truth because they share the truth of themselves. But that also takes the ability on your part to put that into perspective. Yes, Im learning that more and more. If you didnt put that into perspective, what would that do to you? Then Id judge myself in relation to them. There you are! And what would happen after that? Well, when I judge myself, then I dont feel very good about myself. Right! And what happens after that? Then I try to force myself into something that I am not. So, is there more harm than good that is being done in the kind of situation where one is subjected to this before having the ability of being able to put this in perspective? Thats hard to know. Youve told me at other times that sometimes we have to shake ourselves out of our own past. So that also happens when we go to a person like that. Even though we may judge ourselves, sometimes they challenge us. So I dont really know. Its like we all kind of grow in the ability to put things in perspective. And we do the best we can in that. Yes! And now you know. This is the beautiful part of all these thingsnow you know! You can see all these things and you can put them in perspective. You can see the

bigger picture. This picture has a lot of different things in it. And you can see this picture and appreciate the whole picture. Putting the whole thing in perspective is the most beautiful thing that we can do for ourselves to put the whole thing into perspective and to be open minded about this! This is why I keep saying its not necessarily what is right and what is wrong about any of these things. If people are coming from their hearts and they feel good about this, this is beautiful. Sometimes you would criticize people who would say these things. But I think if they really feel that way and they are loving in it, they should say those things because that is their truth. I have a purpose in doing those things. I criticize them in order for you to revolt against the criticism as you are doing nowin order for you to see and also to say that anything is possible. People are entitled to do anything they want as long as they dont give the impression that theirs is the only way. It could be a way for them if one wants it to be so, but it is not the only way. That is a very important distinction! But we have to be in a place where we can see the big picture in order to accept the small parts in this picture.

Even though the small parts may be important parts, they are not the whole picture. There is a book by different people in which they describe what they call their enlightenment. The Dali Lama wrote the introduction and he said a very beautiful thing. He said that: All of these people realize some different aspects of the mystery. For some reason I always thought there was one way of realizing. This has slowly changed. But I used to think that there was only one way. The mystery is so great there have to be many different ways of realizing the truth. Exactly! There are many, many ways of seeing parts of this mystery. The more open we become to the idea that there could be other parts, the more we see other parts. But if we say that the only thing in this mystery is this certain part, as beautiful as that part is, then all the other parts are not seen. Yes, but purity is very beautiful. When you meet a jnani who is really a pure jnani it is really very beautiful. Its a wonderful experience. One also has to give credit to that so people are open to that because if you discourage that too much, then people are not open to that kind of thing. Theres a unity in those people that is very beautiful. But you may or may not be made like them. So one might not have the same unity. But it is very beautiful. Purity is very beautiful. But I have found it to be a disservice to people. I have found it to be of disservice because I have found that on balance there are many, many more that are

pretenders to this beauty. When we do find someone that within his whole essence he is very pure, of course, wed be fools not to be thankful that we have seen someone who truly feels and acts in a way like that. But there are many people in this spiritual game that take advantage of other beings. But today you said something much more important than Ive heard you say all these times. Today what you said is that you have put all these different things in perspective as to what has been happening here all these years. You said to me that there are some beings that are very, very beautiful on their own and they should be respected because they come from within their own heart and this is a very magnificent beauty that they have. So once you spot those beings and within your own heart you agree that this is where they come from, there is nothing more beautiful than to give your respects to them and to love them. But at the same time, you now have a bigger picture within yourself so that when you spot a fake or when you spot all kinds of ideas that intend to make you a prisoner or to define you to be like somebody else, you are revolting. So on one hand we have the beauty and the respect for these things. And on the other hand we have the strength of our own convictions

so that we have the ability and the strength to be what we want to be without somebody directing us. If anything ever happens in satsang, this is what eventually must happenthat people are in a situation where they can tell the difference and appreciate the difference and see what is actually going on. This is what it means to be free. Yes. And the picture that you described was a very, very wide picture. What I felt from that description was that at that particular time that you described it to me it was a very wide and beautiful picture. Ive never heard that kind of a description coming from you before. It was very beautiful. So I dont want to let go of that. I dont want to dismiss it that quickly. I want to take that description you gave me and I want to make that a very big important thing. I dont want it to be just a conversation. That is why we are spending all this time on it. This is not because Im picking on you. This is because what you said was a very wise, very encompassing, very, very big thing. So that being the case, Im not letting it go. Im not letting it go like it was some kind of a side comment that was not very important. To be able to say what you said requires a lot of things to have taken place in your life. A composite of many, many things have taken place for you to be able to appreciate the beauty of somebody who truly believes whatever they believe, and

to give them credit, to appreciate them, and to love them is very, very beautiful. And at the same time you see that there are other things in addition to that. That double combination is basically where we want to be. So you have to be kind to yourself, to give credit to yourself for your acknowledging this stuff in a very real way. If it is possible to make comparisons, this is more beautiful than being a jnani only. This is appreciating both the jnani and the bigger picture at the same time. Its just that beauty is beauty. Beauty is beauty. But in your particular case this is the first time that you have been able to see that beauty is beauty in one area and to see the beauty of the bigger picture, too. They are all beautiful. None of it is ugly. But it is a very, very big picture. And I, for one, am very happy for you that you said that. I am very happy that you said what you said. What Im hoping is that maybe you are going to be happy for yourself.

A MYSTERY IN ME I sense there is more than just me living my life somethings there that is me yet isnt fully defined by just my personality. There is something more beneath it all something basic, something I cant define even though I try.

Whatever that something is, it pervades all that I am and all that I see. It provides for me, bringing things to me in the most unanticipated ways. And so it seems more than me, bigger than me, outside of mea mystery! And yet this mystery is actively in me, flowing through me, pushing the edges of me sometimes, somehow reaching through me to touch others. I feel it happening but I know not how it worksonly that it does. I feel so elated to have participated and yet so humbled in this process. Sometimes all I can do is whisper Thank you. I love you, whatever you are. I love you so much. Shivakti

I Know What Its Like

I have tasted so many things. Because of that, I can share with you what I have learned and what I have unlearned. I hope you may contemplate what I have said. It will save you much time and many heartaches. I am not saying any of this because Im imagining it. I have tasted these things and I am asking you to not waste this precious life. Find That that is always therein you! Remember Our True nature is an Awesome Magnificent Mystery This Mystery Is beyond the ability of the human brain to analyze to comprehend to dissect to figure out to

This Mystery is not knowable It transcends knowing This Mystery Is It simply Is You are this Mystery You are this Truth You are this Peace You are this Beauty You are this Love Stop searching There is no one out there that knows something that you dont already know in your Heart Look within your own Heart Be Quiet Throw away all becoming, all ideations, all notions, all concepts Simply Be Quiet Be Still

Surrender Surrender to the Source Surrender to Awareness Surrender to the Beloved Fall in Love with this compassionate mystery and Silence will have you The Beloved will embrace you

Thank you for coming to satsang. Thank you for reading these pages. I love you so, so, so much.


Truth is Priceless In the highest teaching, one does not see a separate teacher Next best, is when one happily praises the teacher Much worse is when one fears the teacher But the worst by far is when one pays him. Lao-Tzu

Special thanks go to Fred Beck who, over the years, has so faithfully tape recorded these talks and to Shivakti who has put them to paper. Without you this manuscript would not have been possible. Yudhishtara