There are two walls. You came through one wall when you were born. Then you were going. You're going, going, going, going... You are, by the way, you're on the train of time. There is a train of time. You're on it. And it runs exactly at the same speed. It doesn't go any slower; it doesn't go any faster. It keeps running, it keeps running, it keeps running, and then it hits this other wall and then you disappear.
This is the fate of every single human being. One day you will be gone whether you like it or not. So whatever is happening is happening between these two walls.
Now a lot of people are sitting there going, "What's on the other side of the wall? What is on the other side of the wall?" There are 7.5 billion people approximately on the face of this earth and they don't know. There's been a few billion before you and they couldn't figure it out.
Aren't you fascinated? "What happens when you go on the other side of that wall?" You should be fascinated by what is on this side of the wall. Not that side of the wall! You're making a grave mistake if you're fascinated about what's on the other side of the wall but not this side of the wall. Because you are on this side of the wall. And this should be fascinating. "Wow! Life!" Life is about presence; death is about absence. You're fascinated by absence; you're not fascinated by presence.
When you were born, what did they look for? That you're a boy or a girl? Did somebody open your hand..."What is his future, what is his future?" No. The first thing they look for - breathing or not breathing. I have been there for the birth of my children. And at that moment when that baby comes out, it's not about a boy, a girl. It's about breathing, not breathing. And everybody in the room literally, literally is like “Huh!”
Waiting for that first "waaah" and as soon as that happens, that "waaah" and the breath begins. You have no idea when the first breath is taken. Oh, the miracle! My goodness, what a miracle it is. When that first breath is taken, this is the first time the body of the mother is told, "This baby is here. This baby is alive." And you know what happens? Slowly, the blood from the placenta that is flowing through the umbilical cord starts to wane away. Because up till this point the baby is only being sustained by the mother and no other means. And if it doesn't breathe on its own, it won't happen. But as soon as the baby starts breathing, the baby's color starts changing from blue to pink. What a miracle! What a miracle! Blue to pink. And then slowly the umbilical cord starts to stop sending; the placenta stops sending the blood to the baby. And a hormone is triggered inside the mother to start releasing the placenta from the womb. The baby is on its own.
"Why is he talking about breath?" Well, shouldn't I? It comes into me and it brings me the gift of life, and because I am alive, I can see you. Presence, absence. My choice. I need to make a choice. Who are you? Presence or absence? Are you your beliefs? Because if you do not know yourself, you're just beliefs. Absence, not presence.
When there's a possibility to know, you don't stay in beliefs. You come to knowledge. Knowledge of the self is the most beautiful knowledge there is.
- 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
Life is about understanding. This breath is the manifestation of life for you. That power that ripples through the whole universe comes through you in the form of the breath, and it makes it possible for you to be.
To be, so that you can understand! And only then, and then alone, does this breath become timeless—because your understanding, your understanding is timeless. You have exchanged the finite for the infinite. You have exchanged—you have become the ultimate alchemist.
You have taken earth; you have taken dust and truly converted it to the priceless. You have taken something that is so common and converted it into something that is uncommon—that all the ones before you did not have; you have done it. The greatest alchemist, the true alchemist.
That you have understood that this being here is not simply about the passage of time—but you have reached out of this and dare to touch the timeless. The finite, which you are, has dared to reach for the infinite. And that’s when this breath becomes timeless. That’s when this existence becomes timeless.
- Prem Rawat
I’m just a human being. And I am not sitting here claiming I don’t have bad days—that would be stupid! I do! But I also question, "Why am I having a bad day?"
I’m having a bad day, not because the day is bad! Uh-uh-uh, the day is the same!
You think the sun comes out and says, “Here, I’m going to nail that guy.” You really think so?
There are people who believe in the cosmos—you think all those planets and all those stars know, “Hah, huh, oh, let’s nail that one.” No! Mars doesn’t know you exist. Saturn has no idea you are here and you had a burned toast and slipped in your bathtub and have diarrhea … and flu!
I mean, do you really think Mars goes, “Yeah, let’s get that guy. He’s—just keep that train going. So far, we’ve gotten him to slip in the bathtub, burnt his toast, killed the electricity, no coffee in the morning. Let’s just keep going with that thought! I mean, just…the flow is on."
No! No! It has nothing to do with it. You need explanations, so you create an explanation. And this is the beautiful thing about human beings: they have used their creativity, not to create clarity, but to create an explanation which has no head and tail. Point: “Why is this happening to me?” “It was your last lifetime."
All right. Would somebody please tell me what is it that I did, so I won’t do it? I mean, the whole point of punishment should be that you don’t repeat! I mean, what is the point of a punishment—that you are not told?
Somebody walks up to you, hands you a ticket: “What is this ticket for?” “Parking violation."
"I don’t even own a car. How can I have a parking violation? What did I do? Please! So I won’t do it again!"
"No, that’s a secret. You…you figure it out."
I mean, I’m not saying there isn’t karma—there is! But it’s much more recent. It’s nothing to do with the last lifetime. It’s now!
– Prem Rawat
People go—and they go, “I want to live in the moment called now.” And I’m like, “Noble thought! But you don’t even know what that is. You have no clue what is now.” Because it’s gone by the time you say “now.” It’s gone! It’s not there anymore. It’s—it’s gone!
And in fact, the reality is, the things are happening very fast—really fast: “Gone, gone, gone, gone, gone, gone, gone, gone, gone, gone, gone, gone, gone, gone, gone, gone, gone, gone!” And I, as a human being, I have no idea of the speed that this is going by—no idea. I’m like, “Oh, it’s okay; I’ll do it tomorrow.” Do you know how many “nows” will go by between now and tomorrow?
Somebody actually wrote me this question, “You know, people tell me you should think about tomorrow.” And she said, “People tell me to think about tomorrow, but I just want to be in the now.”
And I am like, “But what else can you do about tomorrow? Only think about it.” What else can you—but, by the way, what else can you do with tomorrow? You can imagine it; that’s all. Just think about it. Sit there and wonder what’s going to happen—if things will go your way or won’t go your way.
And you’re waiting for things to go your way. Aren’t you looking for the ultimate justice where everything will be put right? The only problem is you’re going to hit the wall before that happens. Because you have no idea how quickly that wall’s coming.
But, never underestimate the power of what’s keeping the two walls separated. Never underestimate the power of this breath.
Understand it, and you will understand what there is to understand about tomorrow, and what there is to understand about today, and what is there to understand about now—and what is there to remember about yesterday and what is there not to remember about yesterday. Because you’ve got to ride this moment called “now” to understand what now is about!
Think of it—think of it as this board, beautiful board—and they’re flying, whshew, whshew, whshew, whshew, whshew; you’ve got to catch one. And you’ve got to catch one, and you’ve got to get on it and ride it! And then you will understand. Then you will understand what now is all about.
It’s like, have you ever flown a kite? I have. And it’s a lot of fun. And logically it makes no sense whatsoever. It’s just a piece of paper or a cloth with bamboo in the case of paper or a fiberglass rod in terms of those big kites. And you have a string. And of course, you need the wind to fly it.
So you’ll get there in the field; you hold the string in your hand; the kite goes up, and you’re just looking at it. And it’s flying, and that’s a lot of fun. Does that make any sense? Because you could get somebody else to hold it and hold the string. And that guy can run out 300 feet and hold the kite, and you could just look at it. But that’s not any fun!
It flies in this wind, and you feel that power of that wind through that kite, through that string, in your hand. And to keep it up there you have to be with the game. Because when the wind starts to go down, you need to run backwards. And it goes back up, and the wind picks up, and now you can let it go, slowly, slowly, and you can get back to where you were.
It’s something about flying a kite; I don’t think anybody can explain to anyone why it’s so much fun. And it’s the same way, riding that board of the moment called now, of what it is like to get on it and go, go with that moment called now! And be there. And to ride—take that ride, and take that ride inside, not outside.
And all of a sudden, slowly everything starts to fall away; everything doesn’t matter. The only thing that matters is the ride itself, the ride with the breath—to slide with this breath, like those waves in the ocean, this breath coming in, this mighty force that has been made so gentle, holding apart those two walls: “I exist. And I appreciate my existence.”
And it’s okay. I’m full! I’m not full because of some thing, but I have found the fullness of my clarity in me. I have taken that plunge and dove in—and loved, and know—I know I did not touch the bottom. And for as far as I could see, I saw clarity. There was no end.
And if that wasn’t enough, I’ve taken a dive in the ocean of kindness, and I did not touch the bottom; I didn’t even try. And I was overwhelmed by its vastness.
I am full because I have been shown the fullness of this life. This is what you should do too. I tell you this—I tell you this—because if I can do it, you can do it.
- Prem Rawat