Series | Lockdown
Lockdown, Day 13
Hello, everyone. I hope you’re doing wonderfully. Besides all these crazy things happening with coronavirus and all that stuff, that you yourself are doing well—and that’s what’s important.
So, today, what do I want to talk about? And I was thinking about that last night—and I thought of something that would be really wonderful to, at least, talk about and consider, if nothing else. So, let me begin with this little story.
So, a man had graduated and he was going home, very happy he had graduated and that he knew that he’s going to be now looking for a job and doing, you know, all the things that, once you have graduated, you want to do!
So, he’s on his way going home and he sees an old man. And the old man has got a big, big, big, big load of wood on his shoulders, on his back, and he’s hunched over and he’s walking very slowly.
Upon seeing this, the man had an idea. He says, “Well, you know, I, I’m just starting off in life—and this man here, he has been traversing this road of life for a really long time. So why not ask him of how best to be in this world, how best to take advantage of all the things that would be wonderful? Because maybe I can learn something from this old man.”
So, as he caught up to him, he tapped him and he said, “Hey, old man, tell me how to make the most out of life. Because I’m just starting off—and obviously, you have been doing this for a really long time; you must have something you can tell me.”
The old man stopped. He took the big bundle, the load off his back. He stood up straight. Then he put the load back on his shoulders again, on his back again and he hunched over and he walked away.
Well, that’s the end of the story. Did the old man give this man a message—oh, absolutely. And the message is that in life, we walk hunched with a heavy load on our back, really heavy load.
And load of things that, you know—that it’s just like, “Oh, that person said that to me and that person said that to me. And he did that to me and I’ve got this problem with that person. And oh, that person doesn’t like me because of this and that person does this,” and all this weird stuff that we accumulate.
“Oh, you know, I am a failure.” “I am a successful person.” “I am a failure because of this; I am not good at this and I can’t do this and I can’t do that....” And I was thinking, “My God, you know, that is such a load that we carry on our shoulders.”
And now, here we are in this situation of a lockdown, don’t have too many places to go. What, what would it be like—and nothing else, to just consider resetting, resetting that button? What would it be like to just let go? And accept the beautiful, simple reality of existence. That, like a child, to wake up every day....
And I certainly remember waking up when I was a little child—and I was ready for the day; I was ready to accept the day. I was ready for the day’s challenges. Nothing was a routine; nothing was “Oh, I have to do this and I have to do this and I have to do this,” no. It didn’t matter.
Whatever the day was going to throw at me, I was going to accept it; I was going to accept the challenges. And I was excited, excited to be alive, excited to have that morning, excited to have that beautiful opportunity—and to accept those opportunities from a very open and a clear heart and mind.
Not already pre-contaminated, “Oh my God, you know, the day is going to be really terrible; the, but this is going to be that; this is going to be that.”
It’s like, one day there was a king—and he came out to his balcony. And he was looking over and he saw this man. And he was walking away and the man saw the king and he acknowledged him and, you know.... And that day the king had a horrible day, absolutely horrible day.
So, the king called this guy over—in the evening, he called him over and he says, “Put him to death.” And the guy says, “Well, why do you want to put me to death? Why are you killing me?” He goes, “Because—I just, this morning when I woke up, I saw your face. And I had such a terrible day that, you know, I’m putting you to death.”
The guy looked at the king and he said, “Sire, you just had a terrible day; I’m about to lose my life! And I saw your face—and that was the first thing I saw in the morning. So, you are even more unfortunate than I am”—to look at, anyways.
And so that, you know, it’s like, every day we get up—and already the tape recorder starts playing, “You’ve got to do this; you’ve got to do this; you are late; you are this; you are that. You know, that person doesn’t like you. Oh, you have to tell this person that. And you have to do this and you have to do that.”
And it goes from your family to your colleagues, to your friends, “Yeah, we’ve got to answer this; you’ve got to answer that. You’ve got to do this; you’ve got to do that. You, you, you know”—and I know there are people; they write a message and they need the reply right away. If they don’t get their reply right away they start freaking out and it’s like, “Oh my God, something is wrong.”
And you’ve got to look at the world and then you’ve got to—you’ve got to say, “Okay, you know, what’s going to happen here; what’s happening there; what’s happening? Oh my God, we’ve got to share this,” and all of this tape recorder that’s playing.
And, you know, in a way, should I blame anybody for this; should I think that that’s wrong? In one way, I can completely understand there’s nothing wrong with that. It’s perfectly okay. But the only thing that I see remotely wrong with all that is that it distracts me from me!
Now, there is a call that I have too—and maybe I don’t hear it every day. And certainly when I am mesmerized by all the problems of the world, maybe I don’t pay attention to it. But there is a call. There is a call from within, 24/7, 365. And that call is saying, “Be fulfilled. Be real. Be true. Be. Understand. Court clarity. Make all the things that are good part of your life.”
And that’s the heart’s call to action. And our call to action is, “Answer that; get the mail; get, look at the messages, you know; look at the news, the, do this and do that. And respond to this and respond to that.” And these are—tons of responsibilities.
So, the question is, can we just hit a button that can reset us? And maybe there is no such button that can reset us. But maybe in here, we can start to appreciate that life is trying to tell me something. That I am trying to tell me something. That indeed, this universe is trying to tell me something.
And when I look at—I look at everything. When I look at dirt—and this is who I am. I am that dirt. From these elements, the very thing that I look at and call just “dirt,” that’s what made me. This is—this skin, these bones, this blood, these muscles, the organs, that’s what they’re made out of.
And then the day that I hit the other wall; I’m gone, that’s what I’m going to become—dust. From dust we come and to dust we go. And yet, what about life?
Well, a lot of people go, “Well, what about life?” And the question comes up, “What about life,” because nobody pays enough attention to it. Nobody is saying “That’s what’s important.” Not all the other things that happen. What’s important? What’s important is the coming and going of this breath.
How sweet and powerful is this breath! How incredible is this breath—that it comes into you, and what does it bring you? No ordinary gift—an extraordinary gift. And it is the gift of life itself.
Sweetly, simply, to come into you, to fill you so that you can be alive, exist. You can think. And there is no limit to what you can think about; you can think about anything you want. And you should. You should be able to think about anything you want. But you should also think about your basic needs. And I’m calling them “needs.” Not wants, needs.
You have a need in you to be fulfilled. You have a need in you to be content. You have a need in you to be in joy. These are your needs. Without them, the consequences are horrible. Without them there is sadness; there’s depression; there is confusion.
And you know, it’s one of those things; it’s like, we talk about doubt. And doubt—fine. Well, should you have no doubt, ever? Well, no. Every chef, every cook, you will see them do one thing. After they make their dish, they’ll taste it. Why are they tasting it? They’re tasting it because they’re doubting. They want to know; they want to know for certain, the salt is right; the taste is correct.
They doubt it. They doubt it—but they do something to get over the doubt. And all they have to do is taste it. Tasting it, now they have no question whether it is good, whether it tastes good, whether it tastes correct like it should, whether the salt is right, the chilies are right, whatever—the seasoning is right: “Everything is good.”
So, doubt is not the issue. It is to get over that doubt. And when you’re stuck on the other side and you’re doubting, doubting, doubting, doubting, doubting, doubting, doubting, doubting.... I mean, right now, are you doubting? You shouldn’t be. Get over it. Get over it, because here is the opportunity.
And we know, somebody, I’m sure, is sitting there going “Why is this happening to me?” Well, you can sit there and question yourself till the cows, you know, come home in the evening that, you know, wondering, wondering, wondering, “Why is this happening to me?” Or you can say, you know, “What can I do that would truly benefit me at this time? I have room for improvement. I mean....”
I mean, I am sure there are people who don’t think they have any room for improvement, but take my word for it, everybody has room for improvement. And can you improve? Can you accept in your heart, in your mind, that you have a choice? And you can choose. You can choose all that that your needs are. You haven’t paid attention to them.
And what an incredible way to be able to reset, by listening, simply listening—and then doing something about those needs that you have, the need for joy.... To go outside, that’s not the need. That’s a want. The need is, you need to be safe.
But there are other needs too; there’s a need to be fulfilled. And that has nothing to do with “outside.” For that, you have to turn inside. For that clarity, you have to turn inside. For that beautiful understanding, you have to turn inside. Because that’s where you will find it. In you! In you—exists all those things that you think are so far away from you. And that’s the irony.
How beautifully Kabir describes that. “That that deer, the musk deer is looking for the scent of the musk. And it searches the forest—but that scent is actually coming from the deer’s own navel.” That’s where the musk is.
And it’s a tragedy. And how? That Kabir says, “Like there is fire in the flint, like there is oil in the sesame....” Little seed, sesame seed. You don’t think there is much oil in there but you squeeze a bunch of those seeds and there is a lot of oil, sesame seed oil. “And like in the flint, there is fire, so the divine is in you. And if you can awaken to that, awaken. If you can open your eyes to that, open.”
And where there is the divine, there is the clarity; there is the serenity; there is the understanding—all that is good is in you. Always has been, always will be. You will look for it outside—because that’s your habit. Now, nobody carries ice cream in their pocket. So when you want ice cream, you look for it outside—of course.
But the divine, you carry inside of you. The clarity, you carry inside of you. The understanding, you carry inside of you. The joy, you carry inside of you. Fulfillment, you carry inside of you—the true fulfillment. And that’s where you have to look for it. That’s where you have to see. That’s where you have to understand.
It’s not a question of “Oh, yeah, I know that.” It’s not a question of “Oh, yeah, I know that.” It’s a question of what are you doing with that—and if you know that the divine is inside of you, what are you doing about it?
Are you excited? I mean, how excited should you be? It should be no limits of how excited you should be that the divine is inside of you. You should be so excited that all those things that you look for, that you need, are inside of you. That that—that is another reality. We consider this world to be a reality—but there is another reality. And this is as real as it is. And sometimes it’s not very real.
I mean, you know, I had the best-laid plans. If somebody would have said, “In 2020, you know, there’s going to be a long period of time you’re not going to be doing events,” I would have said, “That’s not true. I want to go do events.” But the situation changed. I’m not going to invite people to a hall—open them up for contamination; I’m not going to do that.
So, here I am, trying to do my best, you know, to reach out to you, to talk to you through these videos. It’s not like there’s a ton of people in this room; there’s nobody else except me. I come in; I turn on the lights; I turn on the camera; I shoot. Then I take the card and upload the file and it, off it goes.
I’m used to talking on video but usually, there are a lot of people around—you know, somebody’s watching the camera; somebody’s watching the lights; somebody’s doing this; somebody’s doing the audio. But this is all just set up and—I do my thing. So, which one is real; what is real?
In April of 2019, there was no hint, (at least, to us), of any coronavirus. Everything was good. Everything was great. And all of a sudden, come around December, we start to hear, “coronavirus, coronavirus, coronavirus.” And everything starts to change. Then the next thing you know, lockdowns are happening. Lockdown here, lockdown there, lockdown everywhere.
But the reality of this breath has not changed. And because I was talking to somebody today on a phone call—and they said, “Oh, you know, everything has changed because of this.” And I said, “No. No. This is an obstacle, perhaps, in our plans—but the reality, the true thing has not changed.”
The breath still comes into you—and that’s what was keeping you alive before, is keeping you alive now—and hopefully, if you take those precautions, it will be keeping you alive for a lot longer than you want to, maybe. That would be great.
So, your life, your existence—a great time to even think about resetting. Let go; let go of all that burden that you carry on your shoulders—and stand up straight for a change. And walk this life, learn from this time. And enjoy being alive, even in this weird circumstance.
Don’t let it affect you. It doesn’t need to; it doesn’t need to affect you. It is what it is. All you need to do is take some precaution. And if you take those precautions, you’ll be fine. You’ll be fine.
So, take care of yourself. Be. Be safe. Be well. And most importantly, be.
I’ll see you tomorrow. Thank you.