(The Nonsense That Keeps you Unhappy!)
A: The only thing that’s in the wrong place at the wrong time is your thinking. It’s impossible to be in the wrong place at the wrong time. I know you’ve heard all this nonsense about sabotaging yourself, not listening to yourself, not being intuitive enough etc., and yada, yada, yada…but it’s ridiculous. I want you to know that What Is does not make mistakes. There are no slip-ups.
You are exactly where you could “ONLY BE.” So, please do not drive yourself crazy with this lament, “If only I wouldn’t have been there, if only I wouldn’t have done that.” Drop it!!! It could not have been different. Time to learn a different mantra and say, “If it could be different, it would be different!”
Q: I believe in affirmations, they have worked for me in the past. Why don’t you advocate them instead of making fun of them?
A: Look, it’s not that I don’t want you to do them. I just don’t want you to get hooked on them as if they’re a magic formula to get you what you want. It’s the nature of thoughts to be just that –“thoughts that come and go.” And your affirmations are thoughts that come and go, like everything else in your waking, changing dream. Sometimes thoughts manifest and sometimes they don’t.
Wasting your time and your fun by constantly praying, hoping, repeating, singing and playing subliminal messages, and writing your thoughts all over the house in hopes that they’ll manifest doesn’t bring you peace or satisfaction. It just causes anxiety and feverishness in you, wondering when they will manifest and what you’re doing wrong to keep them from manifesting.
Can you see how obsessive this thinking is? Haven’t you noticed how sometimes your affirmations manifest, but most of the time they don’t? And that when they don’t manifest, you console yourself with thoughts like, “Maybe, when I’m enlightened enough or evolved enough, I’ll be able to manifest my desires better. I just need to get more in tune with myself, more disciplined and focused. Maybe what I need is to do affirmation on getting more focused, and then I can get that red Ferrari so I can get to satsang more regularly.
This is your rationalization for spending hours, days and years being unhappy with what you don’t have, hoping someday to be more abundant and fulfilled. You are wasting a perfectly happy moment, on the hopes of a better one. Please my darlings give it a rest. Stop with the useless repetitive affirmations day and night.
Maybe they’ll work and maybe they won’t, but either way, it is how It is – and no reason for you to lose your fun. Let life be a surprise, without your constant desire to control it. Affirmations are actually fine; like everything else that floats in and out of your mind, it’s your unhappiness filled with expectations that screw it all up.
Q: All the spiritual organizations talk about “peace on earth.” When will it come?
A: There are times when it’s more peaceful than other times. But for the most part, peace on earth, the second coming, the age of enlightenment, the messiah and of course the Matreya are ridiculous – another way of you avoiding your joy right here and now. However, if you want to hold your breath waiting for all the promises made by your so-called “holy channels” or you want to prepare the way for your next lifetime, good luck!
I’ve seen you all praying for decades for the great Matreya to come. I’ve seen you waste your money on psychic after psychic, hoping that Merlin or Jesus will save you from the big flood, so you can be one of the chosen few to see the New Age. I’ve seen you chanting and playing your drums, frightened like children, in anticipation of a “second sun” lighting up the skies and possibly causing heaven or hell on earth.
If there is a fantasy that can be thought, you have thought it and made it your very own distraction. Anything and everything to worry yourself and distract yourself from What Is.
You want heaven on earth? You want peace for all mankind? You want the Second Coming? Fabulous! Then my darlings, “Shut Up and be happy!”
Q: Can I have sexual desires and still evolve and get enlightened?
A: Darling, who knows? You ask questions that are irrelevant to enlightenment. It’s a happening – it’s all a happening. One day you’re celibate, the next day you’re desiring a prostitute, and the next instant you’re a free, enlightened person, living “la vida loca,” completely happy and free from all your misery. One has nothing to do with the other.
But in your ignorance, you think, “If only I didn’t have sexual fantasies and desire the girl next door, then I could progress on this spiritual path.”
I tell you, forget it! There is nothing to struggle with. Have a sexual desire or don’t, make love or don’t, either way, your enlightenment or freedom is a happening, it’s a natural occurrence of finally being yourself, of finally being happy with What Is.
So again, sweet darlings, relax with all this nonsense. Just live your life and be happy. A desire comes, a desire goes, and it’s nothing to get freaked out about.
Q: I’m afraid if I eat fish or chicken, I won’t get enlightened. My Guru told me not to do those things, but somehow I still do. What’s going to happen to me?
A: What do you think is going to happen to you? Maybe you’ll turn into a chicken or a fish next lifetime and lose your chance of being enlightened for another hundred thousand million years. Come on, smarten up – different cultures eat different ways. What’s considered a hindrance in one culture is pure milk and honey in another.
Now, if you’ve got a Guru who tells you what to do, great! Listen to Him, because it gives you peace of mind when you do. However, if it happens that you find yourself with a piece of chicken in your mouth — then, hey, swallow it, say thank you, or spit it out – either way, move on to your next meal in a couple of hours. Remember, my darlings, “If it could be different, it would be different.” So, stop getting stuck on every event, and enjoy the unexpected happenings of your life, even if you don’t know what you’ll be doing next.
Q: My friend just recently died of cancer. She suffered a lot. I just don’t get it. She seemed to do everything right (she was spiritual, prayed a lot, helped other people, loved God). Why did she suffer so much? Maybe she just didn’t have enough faith?
A: See, this is the kind of thinking that keeps you miserable and in fear. First, you blame other’s shortcomings for getting sick or dying, and then you worry yourself sick that you might have the same deficiency. No, it’s not because she didn’t have enough faith or strength or holy water. It was just her time. Do you get it? It was just her time! Now, I don’t know why she suffered, and I feel great compassion for her suffering, but again, it wasn’t her fault, she just did.
I know it’s hard to accept that, because we want a reason for everything – but all I can say is that it was written in the script and the script was played out. All we can do is love them, meditate and pray for them, and know deep in our hearts that they are truly all right, because death and suffering are also thoughts, which are products of the mind.
Q: How can you say it doesn’t get any better? I feel stronger, happier and better now than I ever have.
A: I didn’t say it doesn’t get better. I said it doesn’t get permanently better. Things will always be changing. Today you’re healthier than you’ve ever been, the next instant you stub your toe and are limping with a cast and feeling terrible. Things only appear to get better, but actually, YOU were always “completely fine.” It’s your life that continues to change from better to worse, to better to worse, ad infinitum.
Enjoy the better, but don’t get stuck on wanting or expecting it to get better. Just live what comes up and know
it will always change. And, darlings, don’t get so apprehensive of all the changes; it can’t be helped, it changes, and there is nothing you can do about it. So ride the adventure. It’s usually more thrilling than most movies, because you’re the leading character.
Q: I’m stuck in my meditation practice. What am I doing wrong?
A: Again with the “What am I doing wrong?” Nothing. You’re doing nothing wrong. Things are always changing and that includes your meditation. Stop lamenting your loss of “great experiences” and just relax. They’ll come again or they won’t, but who cares? They don’t mean anything anyway, you’re just attached to being in a good space for an hour or so, and you love thinking you’re getting somewhere on your spiritual path. Well, darlings, again, let me give you the good news! You’re getting nowhere fast, with or without a vision of Krishna!
So take it as it comes and enjoy every meditation for what it is – a meditation with a lot of different experiences, period. Your expectations of “peaceful holy visions” just put you into more regret and inadequacy as a candidate for enlightenment. It’s all more nonsense, full of thoughts that keep you unhappy.
So again, darlings, please, “Shut up and be happy with every meditation you have!” And remember again, for the millionth time – NO, NO, NO, you’re NOT doing anything wrong! You are just doing what you’re doing.
Q: What’s my purpose in life?
A: You think there’s a purpose out there somewhere for you, otherwise life isn’t worth living. What you don’t realize is that it’s “you” that made a purpose necessary. It isn’t part of life’s equation. It’s a mind glitch! It’s another thought that keeps you from enjoying your life, living What Is.
Your constant search for meaning, has given you no meaning, only a never-ending search for happiness. Purpose comes and goes like everything else. One day you’re on a hot new project, the next day, the project is gone and you’re looking for another one to give your life meaning. Even the so-called “spiritual path” loses its “purpose” at one time or other.
Purpose in life is an illusion, an ever-changing thought that comes and goes, like everything else. But your acceptance of What Is, your chuckle in What Is–that’s permanent, and your only true purpose in life.
Q: I have no discipline, how will I ever get anywhere?
A: Have you ever heard the expression, “You are not the doer?” I actually think it’s an unfortunate expression, because it’s so confusing. It really doesn’t make any sense at all. You do, after all, “appear” to be the doer, even though all the scriptures and saints say otherwise. Why even the Buddha said, “Events happen, deeds are done, but there is no individual doer thereof.”
Now, that’s all very nice, but honestly it means nothing to most people, it’s just a thought, another so-called “meaningful saying” to get hung up on. Why confuse yourself with all these theories? Just assume you’re doing it all. However, know deeply with pure conviction that “if it could be different, it would be different!” And in fact, there is NOTHING you could have done about it! Period.
Now this thought, although like all the other thoughts floating around in your mind, will give you peace. Because now you are free to stop lamenting what you can’t do, or didn’t do, and start living in what’s happening now. Now you have a chance at discipline and enjoying it while it lasts.
Q: You essentially said that we don’t have a soul. I can buy that you are your own soul mate. But how is it possible not to have a soul? It goes against the history of Western Theology. Of course we have a soul!
A: My darlings, Open your eyes – be revolutionary! Just because someone tells you something, even someone you read about in the ancient holy books of yore, doesn’t mean it’s true. I can’t believe how ignorant theology is – thoughts upon thoughts of ignorance and hope for the masses so they won’t live and die in vain. Such total stupidity. Darling, don’t you want to wake up? Isn’t that why you’re here? Haven’t you suffered enough with someone else’s fear and theories?
Be Adventurous. Be a Hero. Be the one that finally gets the awesome, incredible joke – then runs up on stage, pulls back the curtain and shows the grown-up crying children that Lassie didn’t die, it was only a show.
You are greater than a word called “a soul” passing in time and space. You are Everything.
Q: I can’t find a sacred place in my house to meditate or be in silence.
A: My darlings, you are silence – you don’t have to go anywhere to find it. Close your eyes anywhere and you’re in a sacred place. It’s all sacred, every disgusting bit of this reality or any reality is sacred. It’s all radiating from the same source.
So be at peace and meditate in any reality you’re in. It’s all your home.
Q: How can things be “only as they can be?” What happened to free will?
A: Ahh, the “free will” question. You want to exercise your free will, so you can do what? Eat pizza, instead of eggs? Or perhaps marry Jane, instead of Gertrude? This free will is very important to you, isn’t it? It’s that one big thing that sets you apart from the ants and turkeys and gives you your identity. You certainly don’t want to be identified with a turkey.
Well, darlings, good news again – although it appears that you have free will, and you desperately want to be smart and wise enough to have free will, and you’ve convinced yourself with all your intellectual and spiritual knowledge that you have free will – you absolutely don’t even have a smidgen of it!!!
You only “appear to be a big shaker and maker,” but in truth, it’s shakin’ and bakin’ you. It can only be, as it is, in spite of all your so-called decisions and choices. But again, even though you may know with absolute conviction that you don’t have free will, it’s still smart to function as if you do. Otherwise, it’s just too confusing and really doesn’t make sense, because the appearance of free will and making choices is so strong.
So relax. What does it matter who has free will, as long as you accept your “apparent” choices and know with deep peace that, “If it could have been different, it would have been different.” Now you can go have fun, without constantly regretting your choices and boggling your mind with the concept of free will.
Q: I used to be so creative. I’m so dull now. What’s happening?
A: Nothing. As usual. It’s just a change, a simple second frame of the movie. Stop getting so hung up on every little change that takes place and blame yourself or something else for that change. It’s the nature of life to change.
Sometimes you’re creative and extraordinary, and sometimes you’re not. Get used to the idea that everything is in flux and is always changing – even you. Tomorrow perhaps you’ll be creative again. You don’t have to run in desperation to the next seminar or healer on creativity. Relax. Everything comes full circle and happens in its own good time. Go to the beach, play with your children, watch “I Love Lucy”– but please, stop this constant yearning for the past. Be at peace with what’s happening now.
Q: I used to have great meditations, what happened? It’s been months and I’m still dull with the same thoughts over and over again and no peace.
A: Same thing that happened to your creativity. Again, things change all the time. It’s not your fault that things change and are different. If you’re meditations are lousy, go have fun in some other area of your life, or (God forbid) stop meditating for a while. Be adventurous, not so defeated. So what? So, your meditations are lousy. Big deal. Go have some fun – do a cartwheel or eat a lemon – that ought to give you a memorable experience.
Q: Why do I keep sabotaging myself? I make a plan, I promise myself I’ll do it, and then I’ll go do something else instead. When will I ever learn?
A: Now. Learn Now. Who told you about sabotaging yourself? Did you read it in a psychology book? Perhaps it was one of those “Seven Steps to Spiritual something or other…” Or maybe your spiritual friends are always complaining about how hard they try to stay on their path but “keep sabotaging themselves.” Either way, forget it – another piece of nonsense that got stuck in your head, and now you’ve got to try hard to evolve to the point where you don’t sabotage yourself. This is just more mind chatter that you’ve bought into, another theory that some Ph.D. student thought up.
How about this scenario: Sometimes you sabotage yourself and sometimes you don’t, and it’s all part of the cycle of your life. What you call sabotage, I call change. Sometimes it goes your way and sometimes it doesn’t. And when it doesn’t, you think you did something wrong. So you run to the nearest book or self-esteem seminar and try to fix yourself. And it all seems to work until next time, when you wonder what you did wrong again.
So let me repeat again: You’ve done nothing wrong, you’re not sabotaging yourself – you’re just living your life and your life changes in patterns. Be with the changes, they’re natural. They’re the happening of your life as it is.
Q: You keep saying, “If it could be different, it would be different.” That means that everything is exactly as it can only be. Everything is right. How is that possible? How about the innocent child that’s raped or the thousands that are murdered each day because they happen to live in a war zone? How can that be right? Can’t we take responsibility and place blame and then demand a change? If we don’t take responsibility, the atrocities and injustices will continue, and it will be our fault, my fault.
A: It is heartbreaking to see the unhappiness in the world and the “apparent” injustices. And it is heartbreaking to see the guilt and misery and blame that people live with. It’s all heartbreaking – from a baby’s first cry for milk to an old man’s last cry for breath – life is heartbreaking. Like every classic drama, life is filled with raw emotion and every possible scenario of joy and misery in a scriptwriter’s imagination. Nothing is left out in one of Tolstoy’s screen dramas. And like every finished movie, once it’s put on the screen of life – it is what it is.
You watch the show in awe and amazement, anticipating each new frame. Sometimes you want to change a story line, but you can’t alter the movie from where you’re sitting in the audience. All you can do is watch the show – sometimes with tears of joy and laughter, and sometimes with tears of horror, fear and anxiety. Either way – it is what it is – and you’re helpless to do anything about it, except stay for the ride until the movie is over.
In life, when tragedy strikes, you’re also in for a ride that you can’t change. You feel helpless, and you curse your fate and your circumstances. “If only I could do something, if only I could change my prior actions, maybe I could change the outcome,” you cry.
But, I tell you, this feeling of helplessness is your greatest blessing and ticket to peace. The more helpless you feel and the less you struggle to change what can’t be changed, the closer you are to accepting the exquisite, peaceful truth of, “If it could be different, it would be different.” Then you could stop blaming yourself and others and finally drop the bitter heavy load you’ve been carrying of guilt, regret, and “if only’s.”
War and all the other atrocities in life are what they are – the unfortunate horror of a particular drama, a natural happening. If your character is one that works towards alleviating misery and injustice, then you will focus your life in that direction – serving where you can, offering what you can. However, you will only do what your character is structured to do, what is possible for you to do.
Now, if you want to do your part and serve efficiently in this world without freaking out every time it doesn’t go your way, or doesn’t go well in general, you will need to go into the depth and presence of your new “Serenity” mantra. And with a full helpless heart know –“If it could be different, it would be different.”
Q: How do I combine my spiritual life with raising a family? I don’t have time to meditate, and the kids are always taking me out of my peaceful state.
A: You are Peace. Relax. Your very nature is peace and spirituality. Meditate when you can and don’t worry about it when you can’t.
Meditation may make you feel more peaceful, or not, but either way – it’s another “cool thing” that you do. Enjoy it when you can and the rest of the time have fun with your family and kids. This is your life, the only one you’ve got right now. Be with it. And remember, “You don’t get spiritual, you are spiritual already – it’s your very nature.”
Q: You’re always talking about “the waking dream” or it “appears to be.” What are you talking about?
A: Things are not always as they seem. I was sitting on my sofa one day when the colors of the rainbow appeared on my hand. I looked at my hand, and it really looked as if those colors were permanently painted on. However, when I moved my hand they disappeared, because the sun’s reflection didn’t shine there anymore. Yet, when I put my hand back in the light, the rainbow appeared, and the colors again “appeared” permanent.
Appearances can be deceiving. Some things that appear permanent are in flux and in changing illusion. We appear to be moving on stable flat ground, but in reality, we’re moving in space. You’re standing on top of the world walking around in pure space. If gravity didn’t hold you down, you couldn’t walk to the nearest Starbucks. You’d be floating in space without your cup of coffee.
In the same way, we appear to be living a meaningful life full of joys, disappointments and purpose. And we appear to be in the school of life, moving towards enlightenment or preparing for the life hereafter, or whatever…but the appearance is far different from The Real. The truth is unimaginable and impossible for your mind to comprehend. You’ll have to go beyond your mind into the deep space of What Is to recognize the waking dream and fathom the incomprehensible illusion of the hypnotic Divine Maya.
Meanwhile, my darlings, relax. This life, your waking dream, is up for reexamination and discovery. Somewhere along the line, you’ll notice a rainbow reflection on your own hand, and wonder very deeply how it came to look so permanent?
Q: According to many well-known New Age thinkers and healers, you’re not in control of the events that happen to your life, but you’re in control of how you deal with those events. That suggests a degree of control and free will. Could you comment on that?
A: Honestly, I don’t know what they’re talking about. It’s sounds like goobly-goop to me, another theory to peddle to people so they can feel safe and in control. THAT which structured the events, also structured how you dealt with those events. You’ll notice that when unexpected things happen to you, regardless of your spiritual or psychological training, you’ll deal with things differently each time. Sometimes you handle things well and sometimes you don’t. Either way, relax with the results of your attitude or actions. It is what it is. The events couldn’t be different and your thinking and reactions couldn’t be different. So forget all this third-rate psychological mind manipulation to feel safe and in control. In reality, you’re already safe and the Big Kahuna is in control.
Q: I know it’s all a waking dream, I know no one ever dies, but my son was killed in an accident a year ago and he was all alone when it happened. I can’t seem to get that image out of my mind, and my knowledge falls flat when I think of him. What can I do?
A: Do the Art of Living Course – and darling, know you’re loved. That Big Beautiful Peace that you are has enveloped you and your son. Both are safe in the arms of What Is.
Q: I’m scared of my anger. I don’t know what I would do if I didn’t harness it.
A: It’s your fear of getting angry that’s driving you crazy, not the anger itself. When was the last time you harnessed anything? Did you stop yourself before saying that stupid thing, or did it just come out? Did you stop yourself from getting angry when your husband left the toothpaste out? If you examine your anger, you’ll see that sometimes you could harness it and sometimes you couldn’t.
You’re going to have to trust me on this one, and relax. Don’t get so caught up in what you do. Do the best you can, and then relax and move on to the next moment without the same old mind tape of misery and regret. Say, “I’m sorry,” try not to do it again, and continue with your daily adventure.
Q: Why can’t everyone be more loving? If they would just try a little harder, the world wouldn’t be in such a mess.
A: Darling, have you tried to be more loving? I assume you have. Has it worked? If it has, congratulations. Now go out and try to force everyone else to be more loving. Does it work? Is it a loving thing to do? Are people more loving due to your efforts? Don’t bother to try and change others – just try being loving with yourself. If your mission in life is to be more loving, go for it – but leave others alone.
The world isn’t in a mess because “we’re” not more loving. The world is in a mess because that’s what the world does…it goes in and out of messes. Our job and peace is to accept the mess. However, if your system is inclined to clean up the mess, then you’ll be out there with shovels and peanut butter sandwiches, helping the mess police…and that can be a very loving thing to do, instead of forcing others to be more loving.
Q: You said people don’t have a purpose? Do Gurus have a purpose? I read my Guru is here for a mission, that his mission is to bring a certain number of “souls” back Home.
A: Darlings, I’m blown away by your desire to believe everything you read. Where is home? And what happens if he doesn’t meet his quota? Do “they,” whoever they are, take away his Gurudom? What nonsense! The Guru is everything – absolutely everything. He doesn’t have to “do” anything; He is everything. Home is our very nature, it’s not some place to go. It’s WHO WE ARE!
Believe what you want, but why fill your mind with other people’s old stories, when discovering your own story is so much more fun and meaningful. Discover the Guru for yourself. Write your own Guru stories.
Q: I heard that my Guru is the reincarnation of Krishna, Jesus, and Shiva. He hasn’t denied it, so it must be true. Can you comment on this?
A: Let me say it again. The Guru is Everything. Past, present and future. So, if you want to call him Krishna, Jesus, Shiva, Shankara or Pancho Villa, be my guest. How about discovering who the Guru is for yourself?
It’s so boring and easy to say, “Yep, there’s Jesus again,” or “Yep, there’s Krishna dancing with his gopis again.” Why not wonder about this vast blissful sight and presence called “the Guru?” Be a little adventurous. Grow some…(you know what I mean), or at least grow some mistletoe and kiss yourself under it. Think about something outrageous instead of the same old recycled religious and spiritual fabrications. Wake up!!! It’s time to delight in the fragrance of newly discovered roses.
Q: How can you say that we don’t learn lessons before we become enlightened? In the Bible, there’s the story of Job and the lessons he had to learn. And even Jesus had to go through his trials before he came to God. What do you have to say about this?
A: Nothing. Darlings, believe what you want, what else can you do? However, if you’re asking me, I say, “Shut up and be happy!” Why in heaven’s name would God need to test you? He is everything, knows everything about you and what you’re capable of, why would he need to test you? Think about it. Honestly, it just doesn’t make any sense. It’s your imagination again playing old tapes from the archives of past memories. Drop all this barrage of useless thoughts and come into the cool, vast freshness of the Here and Now.
No one is testing you. You’re free to have fun and live your life without this constant nagging discomfort, feelings of inadequacy and struggle. You’re Here. You’re already free, and you passed the tests before you were ever born. Now live in peace. It’s your very Nature.
Q: One more question. If in fact peace is our very nature, why are we so restless?