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
There was a man. He had saved up some money, and one day he came across a piece of land, and the piece of land had been totally abandoned. So he went to the owner and he said, “You know, you have this land. Could you sell me this land?”
And the owner realized he wasn’t using it; it was abandoned. So whatever little money he could get would be welcome. So he made a deal and sold the land pretty cheap. Well, the man got the land. He went in; he started to clean the land. Picked the rocks, put ‘em aside; started to plow. He took care of the land. He plowed the field.
And before you know, he had a beautiful crop. And more he took care of the land, the better his crops were. And he started to get one crop, and then second crop, and third crop, and he just was taking four crops. And soon he saved the money and he became rich.
He got married; he had children, built himself a beautiful house—saved, saved, saved, and he bought gold with the money he saved. He took all the gold, which was substantial, that he had saved and he put it in a box. And he took the box and he buried it in the field. But he didn’t tell his children.
When the time came for him to die, he called all his family and called his children, and he said, “I am going to give you one piece of advice. And if you follow my advice, you will never be poor. And my advice to you is, ‘plow the field.’ That’s all.” He died.
The children were not into plowing the field. They wanted to live in the city; they wanted to have parties; they wanted to have everything else happening. They were not interested in being a farmer.
So, the land fell in disrepair. Weeds started to grow; people started to throw garbage on the land. Years passed by. One day a man came to them and said, “You know, you have this land—it’s completely abandoned. Sell it to me. This is all the money I have.” He had a little bit of money. He said, “Sell it to me.”
The children looked at each other and said, “Yeah, we’re not using it. At least we’ll get a little bit of money from it; that’s good.” And they always kept wondering, “Why did father say, ‘Plow the land and you will never be poor’?” So, the question in the back of their mind...but, they were happy to sell the land and get rid it.
The man who bought the land, he went in, and he plucked the weeds; he threw away the garbage, started to take care of the land. And one day he plowed the field. And when he did, guess what he found? He found the box with the gold.
You are the field, and in this field there is a box. And in this box there is a wealth, and this wealth is more expensive than gold. It’s more expensive than diamonds. There is a wealth—a wealth that, more you share it, the more it grows. There’s no wealth like that in this world except this inner wealth that you have. More you share it, the more it grows. What a wealth.
Some people say, “Oh, destiny! It’s just destiny.” And I say, “Choice.”
– Prem Rawat
How many of you think something has to be done to have peace? A few! There’s more. Come on, there’s a lot more. Because we are the doers! We’re the doers.
If we want to make okra, it has to be made; it has to be cut. It doesn’t come that way from the okra plant. You have to pick it; you have to cut it; you have to clean it. Then you have to put it in the frying pan. “Do something to have something”—except for peace.
It is what we have been so busy in doing that is preventing the peace from being felt in our lives. And what has to happen is, please, let peace emerge. Emerge. Emerge. Not create. Not think. Not sit there and go, “Now, I am in peace.” And then somebody there, going, “Yes, yes, yes, now you’re in peace.” It’s all we need, right? No! Peace has to be real. Do you think peace is an option?
If you think peace is an option, how many of you are busy in your daily lives and think it’s kind of not possible to sit there and pursue peace because you’re so busy from morning ‘til evening? You’re getting your education; you have to go to college; you have to go to your shop; you have to go to your business; you have to go to your job, your government job, your, you know, whatever! How many of you think, “No time for peace”?
Nobody? This is what people say: “I don’t have time! I’m busy! I am busy being miserable. I have no time for happiness.” Then all I can say is, “Will you please reconsider? This is your life. Reconsider your priorities of what is important to you.”
But we sit in the grand illusion, thinking that it is so. And this is what I said: “All is not as it seems to be. All is not as it seems to be. All is not as it seems to be.”
– Prem Rawat
So, my question to you is, “What do you practice?” Because whatever you practice, you get good at it! How long does it take you to become angry? How long does it take you to become angry? That means you practice anger, and you have become good at it! How long does it take you to get confused? That means you practice confusion, and you have become good at it.
How quickly can you lie? That means you practice lying. And you have become good at it. How long does it take you to become frustrated? That means you practice frustration, and you have become good at it.
Practice what is important to you! Practice clarity! Practice consciousness! Practice peace! And you, too, will get good at peace. That’s how simple it is.
– Prem Rawat