What do you focus on every day? Is it things that make you angry? Is it things that you don’t like in your life? Are you a complainer? Do you complain, “This isn’t right; that’s not right. This should have been this way; that should have been this way; why is this this way; why is that that way? And, ababla-bla-blable, ablabla-blablalba.....”
“Why me?” Are you one of those “why me’s”? So, if you are a “why me”—good luck. That’s not a nice note to end with, “Why me? Nothing is right. Why is everything so unjust?”
Remember Yudhishthir! Same thing, he’s caught in the injustice and he cannot go. He’s caught. The cycle of birth and death, the inconvenience of the birth, and he’s caught in it. Because he’s also caught in his concepts of “what is right, what is wrong, what is right....”
He’s caught up in his concepts of what is right and what is wrong. And this is then driving him to start looking at what is just and what is unjust. And so far he’s going in his life, going, “This is just; this is unjust; this is just; this is unjust,” he’s caught in fear; he’s caught in anger; he’s caught in all those things that he doesn’t really want.
When he frees himself from that, severs those.... I like the word “sever”; just to, “Kkkch,” indiscriminately. Not like, “Where should I do it?” No, just do it. It doesn’t really matter, if you’re going to cut a rope, whether you cut here or you cut it—and just cut the thing.
And then, then that comes; then comes the freedom. Then comes the freedom. And the freedom? And, when you are free, you can feel. Now you are free to feel this life; now you’re free to feel the gratitude; now you’re free to feel what that beauty is.
The life should never be about, you know, three things only. Life is giving you a lot more than three. Take it all! “No, no, we should only have....” Not one.
“What is the most important—well, what is that one most important thing to you?” God knows who started that. But it’s the same people who said, “Take that little ball and put it in the little hole.”
Trying to explain to the aliens, you know, again, “Yeah, they just—somebody has four important things, but this guy only wants three!” I won’t mention your name, Mitch, in case there is an alien.
So, just to keep that focus and continue to enjoy this life, this is what it is. And that is the best way to pay the tribute to what is the past—whatever you have learnt that is good, keep it, and move forward with it.
- Prem Rawat
There is something in you that wants to be generous. See, it’s not only that you have generosity in you, but there is something in you that wants to be generous. Not only that you have love in you, but there is something in you that wants to love—and something that wants to be loved. But this is buried under garbage.
In life, as you grow older, you always have to keep focus and perspective on what is important.
This garbage that we accumulate in our lives, what does it do? The biggest harm it does is it frustrates us. And when a human being starts to feel the frustration inside of them, they can no longer see straight. They can no longer prioritize. They can no longer understand. They can no longer see beyond the realm of their problems.
And that’s why problems become the biggest thing.
And the things that are important will get buried in garbage. Got to keep your house clean every day—if you can—every day! Every hour if you can! But if you can’t, at least, every two days. That’s to sit down; be with yourself!
And say, “Okay. What is important to me?” Not to the world. Not, world’s expectations of me. But, “What is important to me? I want to feel good; I want to be in peace.... And I want to help the ones I love—that I want to be there for them.” Once you have this? This is your “house cleaned.” You know where everything is—and do it! Because you can.
And that’s the simplest wisdom, you know? Simplest wisdom—and you have that in you. You—of course you have that in you. You always have that in you—you have the ability to vacuum clean up, and make your life shine—and that’s what you should do!
Not be victimized by all the garbage that everybody keeps—because once the room, once the house looks like garbage, people are going to dump more garbage in it! That’s what’s going to happen. And then everybody will come, “Oh, we know a place to dump the garbage....” And that’s what happens.
Clean, clean, clean. That’s called “conscious,” being conscious, being aware.
- Prem Rawat
People go, "Well, you talk about peace. Tell us how we can be in peace." What I have to say is shocking. Shocking. Why is it shocking? Because you don't have to do anything. Peace is already there inside of you. You don't have to do anything. And if there is anything you have to do, it is to give up the idea of doing anything.
What you will see in the mirror when you hold it in front of your eyes is your own face. When you open your eyes, you will see; you close your eyes, you stop seeing. Will the mirror stop reflecting? No. Will you stop seeing? Yes. What has to happen? Simply, you have to open the eyes. You don't have to wind up the mirror; you don't have to put batteries in the mirror, "Oh mirror, please reflect." No.
Do you realize how simple it is for you if you want to see? Open your eyes. If the lights went out—and I hope they don't—if all the lights went out, would you all disappear? Are you sure? But I won't be able to see you and you won't be able to see me. So we all disappear? No, you're still there. Light doesn't create you. Light allows you to see what is there. That's the value of light.
People think, "Oh yeah, let there be light." Boom, something will be created. No, that's not what light does. For a wise person, enlightenment isn't to have a road free of obstacles. For a wise person, they're not looking, they're not looking for a road free of obstacles. They merely want the light to be able to see the obstacles because they know when they can see the obstacles, it's no sweat to go around it—no sweat whatsoever. But if you can't see, that's when, my friends, stubbing of the toes on those rocks, twisting the ankle on those rocks, is the pain you so desperately hate. You don't like it. And when you get enough of those toe bumps and twists of the ankle, you consider yourself unlucky, and you feel that you don't belong.
Don't pray for a road free of obstacles. Don't pray for that; that's not necessary. Pray for the light, because you've been given the possibility to see. Go this way and go that way. And I guarantee you when you start doing that, you discover new things.
- Prem Rawat
Tom Price: (host)
And here’s—this is my question. And then we’ll get to yours in a sec; don’t worry. Great indulgence for me to be able to ask Prem a question.
I love the analogy of opening a gift; I love this idea of a gift. But the thing I kept thinking when I was listening to you is, “Once you have opened that gift, how do you stop the gift from rewrapping itself up?”
Well, that’s a valid question—except, all that time, you realize that the gift never opened itself; it took you to open it. So it will take you to rewrap it and close it. And, of course, you can always do that. So, a gift is a gift; and unless you accept it, it’s not a gift.
There is a story—I mean, this analogy is a little bit backwards, but I think it’ll make the point—where one time Buddha was walking with one of his disciples. And everybody in town was criticizing Buddha, saying, you know, “You’re no good; you don’t do this; you don’t do that....”
And so the disciple said, “Buddha, doesn’t that bother you, all these people saying all these nasty things about you, criticizing you?”
So when Buddha got back, he took his bowl—and his disciple was sitting there—and he took the bowl and he moved it. And he goes, “Whose bowl is it?” And the disciple said, “It’s your bowl.” So he moved it a little closer to the disciple and says, “Well, whose bowl is it?” He goes, “Yeah, it’s still your bowl.”
He kept doing that and asking him, “Whose bowl is it; whose bowl is it?” And the disciple kept saying, “It’s your bowl; it’s your bowl.” And then finally he took the bowl and he put it in the disciple’s lap and he said, “Now, whose bowl is it?” He goes, “It’s still your bowl.”
He says, “Exactly right! If I don’t accept this criticism, it’s not mine!”
And it’s the same thing—that if we don’t accept this gift, it’s not ours. And it just lies there dormant.
And we come into this world and then one day we have to go. And then we wonder—and this happens to way too many people—at the last minute, they’re going, “What, what did I do?” you know? And yet, that’s just not enough time to sort it elegantly out, the way you would like to have it done.
But now is the time—and now you are alive and you can do things—and you can waste your life. And the thing is, what’s amazing is that the life isn’t going to come back to you and say, “You’re wasting me.” It would be nice if it did: “Khow, pow, khow,” you know? But it doesn’t!
And the other beauty of it is that, whenever you decide to accept this gift, instantly it’ll become yours. So, it’s never too late! It doesn’t matter, you know, if you’re saying to yourself, “Well, yeah, well, I’m eighty-four. It’s too late for me.” And no, it’s not! Or it’s, or, somebody’s saying, “Oh, well, I’m too young.”
No! And, you can’t be too young; you can’t be too late with it; the day you accept it, it’s yours.
You as a human being, you have a choice. And you can choose. You can choose to gain victory over yourself or you can choose to try to pursue for the rest of your life trying to gain victory over your problems. In one, you will never win, in one you've got a fair shot.
Nobody, nobody has won over their problems. And now there are many people who think they have. Many people would like to, many people would imagine they would. But nobody has yet conquered their problems. And it is only when you begin to understand that that is the nature of problems. They're not to be conquered. If they get conquered, they're no more problems. That is their nature. They will morph to something else, to something else, to something else. Just when you get everything settled, your cat will run away. Just when you find your cat, your dog will run away. Just as you find your dog, your wife will run away. Just as you find your wife, you will run away. No, no, it's never one thing.
Because you build your house, you like your house and the longer you live in your house, the more leaks it's going to have. The more maintenance it's going to require. That's just the nature of it. The nature.
But we are not set up to be victorious over ourselves. We're not set up for that because the world tells us, "No, conquer your problems, conquer your problems, conquer your problems, conquer your problems." Even if you asked the world, "Okay, I would love to conquer my problems, would you tell me who has won? Give me one name. One. Just one. Just one."
I mean you can imagine a family starts off in some country somewhere—oh I have a dream, and I have this imagination, I'm going to work really hard. I'm going to become successful—and they make it to America. Well, their problems have just begun. And that's what happened. And when will it go away?
- Prem Rawat
How many of you worry? I’ll raise my hand too—just, it makes it easier for you. Now, please explain to me how worrying is going to take away your problem?
And here’s a good one—look up “worrying” or “worry” in the dictionary—and it’s really funny. It says, “Something that makes you unhappy.” Something that makes you unhappy...?
My goodness! I like to worry. I like to worry! But I never asked the question, “Why am I worrying? Is this actually going to solve the problem?” No! Because, where action will solve the problem, thinking about a possible solution will solve the problem, worrying will never solve the problem—but I like to worry.
And worrying will make me unhappy—that’s according to the dictionary—and I can vouch for that. And yet every time I am faced with a problem, I worry.
And then one day when I was really into worrying—and feeling quite unhappy—and this may come as a surprise to you—I said to myself, “Why do you want to feel unhappy?”
“Yeah, but it, you know, it’s not in my control. I didn’t do it. This is happening to me; it’s other peoples’ fault; it’s, yeah, da-da, the other people are the....”
I said, “No, no, no.” And this is me, having a conversation with myself, silently, by the way. And I’m saying to myself, “No, it’s you. That even in this moment, you have a possibility not to be unhappy.”
And it is taking a more proactive and a positive approach, which is to find the solution to the problem—and if you don’t know it, find somebody who does.
- Prem Rawat