You and I—as human beings—have much in common. You are fundamentally no different than I am. I am alive; you are alive. A breath comes into me; a breath comes into you.
I’m not talking about our achievements, our potential, or the things we’ve been through in life. It is the quest for happiness that you and I yearn for, regardless of the ways we try to achieve it. We are caught in a tornado of change because everything around us is continuously in a state of change. Our thoughts change, ideas change, and perceptions change.
You and I change and change and change, and we fight the changes until at some point, we come to the conclusion: enough fighting—let them come. There is something inherent within us that seeks the unchangeable—so we can have stability. Could it be that peace has been placed inside our heart, so we will know where to find it? Can I accept change and retain my dignity? In the middle of all the changes on the outside, is there something that doesn’t change inside of you?
People say, “Oh, I’m just me. It’s no big deal.” But it is a big deal. You are alive. There is no one like you on the face of this earth. The way you smile, the way you see, the way you think, the way you laugh, the way you cry, the way you walk, the way you understand and the way you don’t understand—is completely unique. And because you are, once you are gone, you can never be replaced by anyone else—ever.
When you see something beautiful like a sunrise or sunset, it evokes a sense of appreciation in you. When you hear something beautiful like a guitar played perfectly in tune and with feeling, it strikes a chord in you.
You can think, you can understand, and you can feel. Your assets are your clarity, consciousness, and the ability to experience peace. These are miracles taking place inside of you. You already know this. All that you need to do is to play the drum of clarity, which evokes the rhythm of peace. What you are looking for is inside of you. It’s that simple. Breath comes into you; you are alive. It’s beautiful by design that you are here.
Everybody has a story. What is your story? Being alive on the face of this earth might be the most trivial thing to you: “I’m alive. So, big deal?” But it is a big deal, in fact the biggest deal there is.
Right now the story goes: once upon a time there is a human being. And this being has all the possibilities. No limits. And of all the choices that the human being has, he, she can choose clarity.
In your life story, how many times would you be clear? How many times do you ask yourself, “Why am I here?” How many times do you wonder, “What’s going to happen to me?”
You can choose clarity every single moment of your life. Or you can choose confusion. Both are in you. How much? Exactly 50-50—not 51 or 49. 50-50.
Strength and weakness are also in you. How much strength? Exactly 50 percent. How much weakness? Exactly 50 percent. And you have to choose.
When I was growing up we had a little Lhasa Apso dog, and he had a temper. One day, this dog was barking and barking. “Who’s out there? What’s wrong?” So we ran outside. And there he was, this little thing, in front of a mirror that somebody had left outside. He saw himself in the mirror, and he wanted to tear that other dog into little pieces. It was very funny for us to watch. It was like, “But doesn’t he know that’s him?!” And the answer is, “No!”
That’s what happens to you as well, to the whole world, when we don’t know who we are. In your life story, do you understand that this is the most precious time, that life is the most precious gift? Do you know your self? Not the idea of yourself, but do you know your self?
- Prem Rawat
As human beings, we have a need–not a need created by society, but a fundamental need to be fulfilled, to be in peace. It is easy to toss around the word “peace.” But what is peace?
Is it just hearing wind chimes? No traffic? No airplanes or trains buzzing by?
Or is peace a feeling–an undeniable feeling not born of thought. Everything that comes to us is born of thought. We get good news and we think, “Things are going my way.” We get bad news and we think, “Why is this happening to me?”
It doesn’t take much for us to get unsettled. It happens when we’re in traffic and somebody honks their horn. Your son or daughter tells you, “I failed,” and you get upset.
So is peace simply not being upset? What is peace? Something that is not born of thought, but felt. Something that resides in the ocean of answers, not in the ocean of questions Your life. Your being. What does it mean to be here, to be alive? I want to understand it as clearly as possible before I lose the ability to understand it. I want to know what this life is.
Breath–the coming and going of this breath–out of nowhere it comes and to nowhere it goes. From this breath comes the gift of life. You can be. You can admire. You can be thankful that you exist. You can feel and give kindness. Know that all is well.
We only think of this in times of trouble. Do you know that you’re fine? You always were and always will be. We live in a world of fear. But there is something within you that you should not be afraid of. It is the ability to enjoy and appreciate this life.
Imagine you are in a park—beautiful lawn, trees, flowers. Suddenly, out of nowhere, a little boy comes over to you. With a smile and a laugh, he hands you a flower. What would you do? Then he goes to a group of people and hands them a flower. The first question is, “Where are your parents? Are you lost?”
Then somebody asks, “Oh! Is that for me?” Somebody else says, “What a nice flower.” Another person asks, “What’s your name, little boy? How old are you?
Where do you live? What are you doing here?” What would you ask?
There are times in life when it is essential that you understand something.
You didn’t ask for it. You weren’t looking for it. But a situation presents itself and calls you to acknowledge something. Some people don’t like it when that happens.
And others realize, “Here is an opportunity for me to learn.” I will tell you who I want to be in that garden. With the same innocent smile as the child offering me the flower, I want to extend my hand and accept it—no words exchanged.
It is not how I see myself; it is who I want to be. With the same innocence, I want to accept that gift. I am in a garden. Every moment comes with incredible innocence and joy. This remarkable gift of existence keeps unfolding and unfolding. This magnificent power of life is handing me a flower of breath.
One day, we all have to go. You know that. Some days, it’s in the back of your mind. Other days, you don’t bother to think about it. For most people, the subject is unpleasant. But the issue is your existence—you being alive. What does that mean to you?
People everywhere know they want to be happy, to be content, to feel good. This is our nature.
We seek equilibrium. Yet the storms in our lives can be difficult. When a storm outside comes, we seek shelter. We don’t say,
“This is the perfect time; I’m going to go out for a walk in\nthe storm now.”
We know we need the equilibrium. There are certain things that work for you, and certain things that don’t. Feeling good works. Feeling bad doesn’t.
When you are feeling bad, you want to get out of that situation. But you never get bored with feeling good. This is your nature. Are you in synch with your nature? Do you try to nurture a good feeling and perpetuate it as much as possible? Or do you carry around a pocketful of band-aids?
A pocketful of band-aids means: “I’m not going to be conscious or perpetuate happiness in my life. Instead, I will do things unconsciously and when I get hurt, I will simply pull out a band-aid and get through it."When you don’t listen to your own fundamental needs, something will happen and it won’t be pleasant.
What is pleasant is when the priority of your life is acknowledged and your heart begins to fill with gratitude.
You are alive!
Gather your strengths, not your weaknesses.
What are your strengths? Your strengths are consciousness, kindness, understanding, appreciation, and love.
When you walk with these, the outcome is beautiful. Every second you spend with the beauty inside of you liberates you. You feel free.
There is no promise life will last forever. But you have the potential to experience true and unconditional love. And that resides in your heart. When you experience that, you begin to live.
Life seems too short, doesn’t it? It would be nice if you could make all your mistakes, get it all together, show up somewhere, and say, “Okay, I’ve figured it out. I’m ready.”But it doesn’t work like that. We’re given some time, and we don’t know how much.
In the beginning, we’re not aware of responsibilities, about right and wrong, about being human. But we have a thirst—to be happy—whatever that means. As a child, the level of optimism is at an all-time high. Whatever happened yesterday happened, but today is today. We call this innocence, and this state is beautiful.
Then you go through the period of learning, the alphabet—A, B, Cs.... You don’t know why A is A. It just is. You don’t know why one is one. It just is. And you are tested on it. This keeps on going; you are being prepped to go out into the world. You give up on your ideas and take on the ideas that society gives you. This is defined as responsibility.
Then, one day, an amazing thing happens. You hear: “The happiness that you want in your life is within you.” You recognize that joy is embedded within you—not in logic, but in the innocence of the heart. This need for fulfillment is a human being’s true passion. This is a passion that, against all odds, has survived all of our discoveries, turmoil, successes, failures, disasters, and catastrophes. Though languages have been forgotten, customs that survived for thousands of years have been forgotten, somehow, however fragile it may seem, the quest to be fulfilled has survived.
Today we have an opportunity to be fulfilled, to be happy. There is no rewind button. When I come home to this moment called now, I find my gratitude. Every fiber in my being comes alive and my heart dances. I have no quest for tomorrow, or even the moment yet to come. Now is a moment I could live in forever.