Your Greatest Desire is your Greatest Obstacle

Your Greatest Desire is your Greatest Obstacle

Desire is not just limited to the mind and body, but we have become so obsessed with the idea of our minds and bodies. Since our entire identity is built on this life – our life – then desiring becomes just a way of fulfilling the already-existing desires of the mind and the body. All kinds of desires simply become extensions of one fundamental desire, which is your body and your mind. That desire is your obstacle; it’s your biggest obstacle, because it blocks out your existential desires. It blocks out your deeper questions. It blocks out solutions, while only projecting problems. That’s why our desiring process is so deeply connected to our day-to-day problems. We desire to go beyond our daily problems and our obstacles. In a way, the entire process is trying to find solutions for imaginary problems which appear to be tremendously real, while real problems are not even addressed. What if you cannot find peace of mind, certainty, or happiness before resolving the fundamental questions of “Who are you? Where did you come from? What is life?” What if these deeper philosophical questions are the basis? If you don’t solve those questions you will never be able to find certainty. What if existence functions that way? Then, you’re not even scratching at the surface of your problems. You’re not even looking in the direction of solutions. You are simply obsessed with the mind and body.

Existential Desire

So, our desires are our biggest obstacles. Without the very process of desiring, you would not be able to ask fundamental questions. There’s got to be a desire inside you to know, to explore, to understand. That existential desire is a part of us; it’s already there, but we rarely acknowledge it. We rarely give it space, because the mind is so crowded already. The conversations are set. The mind has already decided, These are my priorities, these are the things that I want to think about. What is it based on? It’s not based on you, it’s based on what’s happening around you. Many of our desires are simply mental projections of the desires of others. 

Where are we Going?

Think about it: Many times you cannot even make the distinction between your desire and a desire that is being imposed upon you; a desire that you just picked up subconsciously, unconsciously. In fact, the whole world is gripped by this collective desire to go somewhere. If you ask you – the individual, “Is this going somewhere accomplishing something?” Becoming successful, striving for something that you’re not, is not a part of you, because there’s a part of you that knows that your happiness does not come from that; it’s just a mental projection. “If I’m not able to find my happiness here in this moment, with whatever my mind is capable of now, whatever my body is capable of now, by fully acknowledging my limitations, by fully realizing that this is my life, it doesn’t matter whether I’m rich or poor, successful or a failure, my happiness is independent. It is not connected to any of this.” 

Chasing Desires

The moment you realize that, you will see the futility of all your desiring process, and that’s when you realize these desires did not come from you; they were added on to you. You picked it up as a child, as a process of growing up, as the noise of society. In fact, your individual desires more often than not are simply society’s noise constantly buzzing in your head: You have to be there, you have to be that, you cannot be this, you cannot be that. You’ve got to be sensitive. You’ve got to be caring. It doesn’t matter whether these desires are good or bad, if it is not yours it can never be good. It can never satisfy you, because even if you find a solution, even if you’re able to satisfy all the desires that you have, you will still feel empty and hollow because you have not acknowledged your desires. You have only been trying to chase desires of your images, projections, of people, and experiences. 

Drop your Desires

If, for whatever reason, you decide that I’m going to stop desiring for a few minutes – just remember that it’s only temporary, and you can always go back to your desires. You’re not going to lose them; they’re always floating around. Make a conscious decision and say, “For the next ten minutes I’m not going to desire anything.” If you’re able to stay in that zone of no desire, you will hear your existential desires loud and clear: The desire to be, not to become. The desire to experience and not just entertain. The desire to feel life pulsing through you and not just contemplate on it. The desire to accept yourself without any judgments, because all judgments come from the mind – comes from the thought process, That’s when you realize there is something beautiful happening right here. I can recognize it as life, as aliveness, as consciousness, as my being. Maybe that is the solution to all my problems. Maybe my fundamental desire is simply to be. What else can be the objective of life? If being is not the objective of life, then why are you perceiving yourself as a being? Why do we call ourselves human beings, and why do we call existence exist-ence?

Don’t be a Ghost

The whole purpose the game of life is about being and to move in that dimension, experiencing a few other things. But the fundamental purpose is to be. You can be an artist, you can be a dancer, you can be a cook, you can be a mom, you can be a friend. Being is the most important thing. You’re not trying to become those things, because becoming is an illusion. Becoming is a desiring process gone wrong. Becoming is desiring for the sake of desiring; Not to find yourself or find something meaningful, but desire for the sake of desire. Just like any other process of life; when you forget the fundamentals and when the periphery becomes all important, when your desiring process becomes more important than you, then that desire is an obstacle, because desire has taken over you. Buddha said, Desire is the root cause of all suffering. He was absolutely right. Where is suffering without desiring? 

As simple as it may sound, it is actually that simple: Drop your desires and you will experience peace. Peace and desires cannot coexist, because peace is a state of not desiring. In fact, peace has the very opposite definition of desire. This word desire is a very cunning word. It’s actually another word for disturbance. If you think about it, there cannot be desiring without disturbance. What is desiring? You are trying to become something that you’re not. You are trying to go somewhere where you’re not. You’re trying to do something that you have not done. You’re trying to experience something that you’ve not experienced. That is what desiring is. Desire is an emptiness that you’re trying to fill. By its very nature, it’s got to be disturbing. How can you experience peace, certainty, serenity, or bliss when you are all the time desiring? You have to come to the conclusion that peace is a real thing; it’s not some ephemeral magic stuff that can be here, there, everywhere at all times, irrespective of what you’re doing or thinking. 

Peace is a physical thing, literally like a desire. You can only accommodate one thing on your plate at a time: You can either have peace or you can have your desires. Once this becomes clear: I cannot accommodate both. This is life. When I’m desiring, I’m just desire. I am no being, I am no mind, I am just a desire. Desire has no existential root. A desire is a ghost. It has no home, it is trying to find something, and it is just floating around. That’s what a desire is. So when you are desiring, you’re not you. You’re just a ghost. How can you find peace and certainty when you’re a ghost? The very definition of ghost is that you are not there; you’re not a being. I’m a human being, I’m not a ghost, because I have some basis in existence, in reality; I have a body, I have a mind. You are a ghost because you don’t have anything real. You are just a desire floating around. 

Hard to Let Go

Fundamentally, you have to come to the conclusion that peace is very physical, it’s a real thing. Once you understand that it’s a real thing, then you have to make a choice: What do I want this moment? I’m not even saying that you have to only be desiring for peace. But at this point in time your desires have taken over you so completely that you’re not even able to accommodate peace, even for a few minutes in a day. If you tell your mind, For ten minutes just stop desiring and be peaceful, your mind goes crazy because it has identified itself with its desires. Once that identification breaks, once you

realize that desiring is happening to you, you are acknowledging it and you don’t have to become that desire. You can have control over it. You can choose. So that’s what gaining control is. To say, For the next ten minutes I want peace, which means I cannot have any desires. So just sit and drop your desires and try to find that peace. It’ll take a few days, it might take a few months, it might take a few years, it doesn’t matter. 

Eventually, you will get to a point where those ten minutes will be yours and yours alone. That is what we are searching for. We’re searching for that one minute where we have full control over our lives, which means we have full control over our thought process. We have full control to think or not to think, to be or not to be. Whatever you want to do, you will have full control. That’s what we’re striving for. That is what peace is. Peace is knowing that you are above your mind, you are above your thoughts, and you are above your desires. Disturbance is to not find you amidst all these desiring processes. There are so many desires, so much happening, but you are lost. Think about it: The world is a perfect example. Your so-called successful people, people who have made lots of money, who have become really famous, just look into their lives. You will see anything but peace. You will see anything but certainty. In fact, they’ll be more confused, because now they’re filled with so many desires and so many false self-projections and images. They are totally lost. A person who has fewer desires might be confused about life but if he decides to find himself at least he can find himself because he only has to navigate through those few basic desires:  How do I take care of my mind? How do I take care of my body? How do I take care of my identity? A few simple questions. But for a guy who’s built his life on his desires, his identity is built on that. Now if he tries to get rid of it, it’s like trying to get rid of something really big.

Silence, Peace, and Stillness

Imagine that you work all your life to become the president of the country. Here a meditator comes and says, “Even if you become the president of the country you will not find peace, because that is not your desire. That is still a projection of society that is gone into your head, taken root, and it has grown, and you’re trying to nurture it.” Even if you become that, you will still lose yourself. You will still not know who you are. That is when you start thinking, Okay, how do I drop this? I’ve worked all my life for this. So, you have a bigger problem than someone who just wants to be himself, who’s not trying to become a president. I’m just giving an example. We can get lost in any of our desires. That is why desire is an obstacle – is our biggest obstacle – because it’s a projection; it’s not a real thing. When projection replaces reality, the natural consequence is disturbance, lack of certainty. 

When we come back to the fundamental question, the fundamental process of desiring; which desire has nothing to do with our minds, which desire has nothing to do with society, it’s about existential desires. To listen to that existential voice that says, “Silence is what you’re searching for, not noise. Peace is what you’re searching for, not disturbance. Stillness is what you’re searching for, not movement.” Then you realize that all these things are abundant gifts of nature. You don’t have to run after these things. These things don’t belong to somebody. There’s no tax for these. You don’t have to pay to get these; it’s all right here. How stupid and how dumb I should be to be running behind these things all my life without realizing that it’s right here within.

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One Minute to Enlightenment

One Minute to Enlightenment

Listen to a voice recording of this talk on SoundCloud here

Is Language Good or Bad?

Is language our gift or is it a curse? Is language a boon or a bane? Is language helping us or hurting us? That’s a fundamental question because somehow we have assumed that language has to be good; language has to be beneficial. It helps us to communicate our ideas; it helps us to connect with people; it expands our understanding of the world and so many other things. But, if you ask a spiritual person, if you ask a meditator, an enlightened person, they will tell you that language is your biggest obstacle. In fact, my entire effort in trying to teach you silence and meditation is to help you go beyond the language that you are stuck with. Your teacher will tell you that you are nothing but your language. If you can manage to keep quiet, absolutely silent, for one minute – if you are able to not use language for one single minute, you will become enlightened. 

Just a Minute

The difference between an awakened state, an enlightened state, and a state of eternal confusion and chaos is language. Language would be a beautiful thing if we had control over it. If language controls us, then it is not our gift, but the chains that bind us. We are actually bound by the chains of the language that we use. For a single minute, we cannot be conscious without using language. You might find this surprising, but try it: Just sit in a corner somewhere and close your eyes. Tell yourself for the next one minute – not one hour, not one day, not one year, Just one minute I want to be quiet, I don’t want to say anything. I’m not just talking about verbalizing like saying it aloud, but even internally. 

What Controls Your Life

When you sit and try to be completely quiet and thought-free for one minute, you will realize the tremendous hold language has over your life. Language controls you completely. In fact, you are just a puppet of your language. The constant conversation that is happening in your mind is what is deciding your life, not the other way around. You’re not giving instructions to your mind; the mind is giving instructions to you. The mind is creating its own connections. It has its own language. It has its own ideas and expression, and you are the one who is being acted upon. That should scare you! As human beings, we believe deep down that we have control over our lives. We forget about what’s happening around us. We might not have control over somebody else’s life; that is a given, we know that. But, at least we believe that we are in full control of our lives. 

Thinking Grooves into our Minds

When we dig a little deeper, we see the reality that we have no control over our lives. It is the mental noise, the voice in our mind that is controlling us, and we have no control over what we tell ourselves. That’s the scary part! Can you consciously dream? No. Dreams happen and you acknowledge it. Can you consciously generate a thought process and hold on to it? You can trigger a thought process, but you can never decide its course. If you think about it, it’s like you have a different range of emotions – happiness, sadness – and let’s say all these emotions have different colors in the form of different colored liquids. What you can do with your mind is simply pour that liquid into the grooves of your mind. The mind has ridges, it has grooves which have been created over days and months and years of continuous conversation. When you pour that, the mind will decide in which direction it should take that liquid; you have no control over it. The mind will move that liquid in the veins of the mind that are already created. 

Controlling the Triggers

The only thing you can control is the trigger; that is if you’re fully conscious, if you’re fully aware of what’s happening around you, you will be able to say, “Now this is creating anger in me. This can lead to happiness. This can lead to confusion. This thought process is leading me into uncertainty.” You can acknowledge it, but once it happens in your mind, you are a victim of its processes. Why? Because you don’t have control over your mind. 

We can predict nature, we can predict the weather, how animals act, the movement of the planets, our solar system – everything to a certain degree of certainty. You cannot predict what a human being will do in the next moment, because we are totally unpredictable. We are being driven, not by some central ‘all-important force’ that knows what we want, we are actually driven by our language. We are driven by the conversation in our minds. I’m not saying that there is no such central force; in fact, there is. The whole effort of meditation is trying to get to the central force which is responsible for positively controlling our lives; responsible for all the best of things that we are searching for. Instead, we are actually listening to the conversation in our head which has no purpose, no meaning, it is just a repetitive habit. 

Why meditation?

So, why do we need meditation? Why do we need spirituality? Why do we need a process which is so different from the usual things that we do? Instead of going about our lives in a regular fashion, why do we choose to be silent? Why do we choose to break away from things to sit quiet and put in the effort to meditate? The reason you have to do it is to silence that constant noise in your mind. You have to understand the language of your mind. You have to understand how it is controlling you. Only then would you be able to go beyond it. 

For only a single moment, if you can be totally quiet without using any language, you will know that single moment is the door: It is the door to certainty, it is the door to peace, it is the door to all the best of things that you’re searching for. Without that access, we are simply stuck in the world of language. That is why we have such a strong emotional association with language. That is why it is so easy to trigger an individual by simply using language. You don’t have to do anything physical. You can disturb an individual’s mind more using language than any other force because we simply live in the world of words and ideas, and that is our reality. If somebody disturbs our arrangement of ideas, that’s enough to trigger us. 

No Disturbance Without Peace

Reality is something else. In reality, we are so much more than our words, we are so much more than just the language that we’ve been using. In reality, we are the stillness and the silence that accommodates these words, that accommodates language. Without silence, there cannot be sound. Without stillness, there cannot be movement. If there is disturbance, know that there is peace that is accommodating the disturbance. If there was no peace, if there was only disturbance, then you would not even know how to recognize that disturbance. There are moments when you are peaceful, there are moments when you are silent, and there are moments when you are still. That is what keeps pushing you to experience those moments more and more. Whether you articulate it or not, whether you consciously express it or not, you are obviously searching for silence – inner silence. 


Because we are never silent, we are always talking to ourselves, we are always telling something to ourselves, and that is where our neuron associations are being built. That is where our habits are being created. That is where the foundation of our emotions are being created. Our fears, our frustrations, our understanding of the world – everything is created in those silent conversations. When you speak, you are only expressing what was already there. When you are actually using words and you are speaking out loud, you’re not creating anything. You’re just bringing out whatever that’s already there in your mind. When you are quiet, when you’re just taking a walk, doing nothing, those are the moments when what you call you, that identity called you is being shaped. From the outside, you are silent the majority of the time; when you sleep you are silent, when you are sitting in front of the computer you’re silent. Only when you’re interacting with people, when you have to get certain things done, when you feel like sharing something, do you speak. Otherwise, you are entertaining yourself all the time by talking to yourself, criticizing, arguing, complaining, cracking jokes. You do this all the time on the inside, and that is why even when there are no people around you, you are still sane, you’ve not gone mad. 

You have created these multiple personalities, these multiple voices with whom you can have your conversations, fight with, or you can even cry without any external input. You can just close your eyes, keep talking to yourself, and at the end of the conversation, you can actually cry. The source of it is right there. All you need to do is bring out a painful memory, start having a conversation with it, starting interacting with it, and you will cry. It’s the same with laughter; if you want to laugh, just access a nice, wonderful memory, a joke or whatever you would like. 

Suspicious Mind

The point I’m trying to make is that you are noisy. Inside, there is no silence. You are constantly talking to yourself. From the outside it might appear like you are quiet, but on the inside you are constantly engaging with your mind. If you don’t pay attention to this, how would you be able to gain control over your life? Just imagine that there are five or six people living in your house, and they are having a conversation. For some reason, you cannot understand the conversation. They are speaking in some gibberish language. When you look at them, you can see that there’s something suspicious. The way they look at you is suspicious. They are looking at you and they’re talking to themselves. How would you feel? Would you feel comfortable? Would you say, “No, it’s just them. I don’t have to be worried about it.” But they’re looking at you and they’re talking. 

This disturbs you. It’s the same with our minds. Our mind is looking at us and having its own conversation. It’s creating its own judgments about who we are. Your mind is secretly conspiring against you. If you don’t pay attention to it, then at some point in time, all the conspiring will turn into some action. Once your mind reaches a certain point it says, Okay I have enough information to conclude something. It will conclude you are useless, and because this thought process has been going on in your mind for such a long time, what if in a single moment you just accept that, “Oh yes, I’m useless. Yes, I’m dumb. My IQ is -10.” These are totally arbitrary ideas that have no basis in reality. It’s just your mind’s voice. 

Stop Searching, just be Quiet

Your personality can never be defined by your mind, but that’s exactly what we do. We let our minds decide our personalities. We let our minds decide our strengths and weaknesses, whatever they might be. Eventually, we let our minds completely control our lives. And then, we worry about our personal identity, finding enlightenment, when everything is right here. Whatever it is you’re searching for is already here; it’s just blocked by this constant conversation of the mind. 

So, what is language? Language is pain. Language is your enemy. You have to accept it. It has its uses though, when you are using it, when you are in control of it. When language is controlling you, there is no bigger bondage, because there’s no way to put your hand inside your head and grab it and throw it out. It permeates you fully. It’s so subtle, that even for you to recognize that constant language, takes some effort. That is why meditation is a challenge; it’s not easy. People find it hard to meditate, because What is it that I am trying to fight against? Who is my enemy here? What am I trying to gain control over? It’s language. 

Choosing when to Speak (and not)

Learning how to be above and beyond language, learning how to be quiet, that’s the greatest trick of life.  You can crack that code. The day you are able to get to that point where you can choose when to speak and when not to speak internally – not outside. Outside of course, we have control; we can we can decide whether we want to say something or not. Well, maybe not everybody, but a majority of them. When we are in a nice, peaceful, state of mind, we can control what we say on the outside, but the bigger challenge is: Can we control what we tell ourselves inside? An even bigger challenge is: Can we not say anything? Nothing. Not even say, “I’m quiet now.”  That is language. When you tell yourself you are silent, you are not silent. When you tell yourself you’re peaceful, you’re not peaceful. 

When there is nothing but the absence of sound, absence of conversation, absence of language –  Do you want to know what bliss is? Do you want to know what enlightenment is? Do you want to know what eternity is? Do you want to know what life is? Do you want to know where you have come from, where you are going? Do you want to know the secret of life? Become silent. As long as you’re noisy, you’re only listening to the language that is introduced to you by society, by the people around you. To listen to your own inner voice you have to become silent.

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Exploring Your Inner Space

Exploring Your Inner Space

As a student and volunteer at Inner-Revolution, one of the tasks I work on daily is editing and uploading Avi’s video talks to YouTube. I truly enjoy listening to all of them, but once in a while one of them really resonates with me. One of the students asked Avi “What is Space” thinking that the question would stump him–NOT! I uploaded four separate videos from that one talk, all of them amazing, but this one just blew me away. I know the description on the YouTube channel isn’t very professional, but truly, I was at a loss for words.

When I began my spiritual journey, I searched constantly for inspiration that was not full of bullshit. Avi speaks the Truth and it shows. If you watch his videos, the puzzle will slowly start to piece itself together.  As I wrote in the description–“Wow, just freaking wow”.

To get more from our YouTube videos, you can click on Avi’s picture in the upper left corner to subscribe to our channel and never miss a beat!

Now, for the video…

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From Religion to Individuality

From Religion to Individuality

Christianity is the last big religion

Another Christianity, another religion like the way Christianity has happened, is an impossibility, so Christianity is the last big religion. Islam is also there, but Islam is still new. If one of these two religions goes away first it will be Christianity, because people are becoming totally different. People are becoming more scientific and logical. That is why even in America, look at the youngsters; they are not gravitating towards Christianity. The children are not turning towards the churches; they are turning towards something else.

Islam is completely different. Islam is a very new religion compared to Christianity, and Islam has a completely different force and grip over people that you could not believe. Do a simple experiment: take a group of Christians and a group of Muslims and devise a game to break them apart. In this game, the objective is to stay together longer than the other group. Take my word: Play this game one thousand times and every time Christians will lose, because their sense of being together is not as strong as the Muslim sense of being together. The Muslim sense of being together cannot be compared to any other religion in the world. If there are four Muslims in a group of a hundred people, they connect more to their religious heritage and their Islamic roots than any other connections made in the group. Islam is very deeply rooted.

Slowly, however, the world is moving towards the individual. There was a time for kingdoms and there was a time for governments. There will be a time for individuals, too. A time when only an individual will matter. People will not identify someone with the country he is from, or what race or religion he is. Nobody will care. Twenty years ago, the first questions people would ask each other were, “What religion do you belong to?” or, “Where do you come from? What group?” Now this has almost become a “politically incorrect” question to ask, and does not happen as much.

A time will come when people will ask you what your qualifications are and what you are capable of, and that will be enough. When people become smarter, they will realize that an individual’s qualifications are what he has accomplished in life, not what he has been given. The understanding will be that a child is born into a religion, but it is neither a sin, nor a boon, to be born into a certain religion. A child is just born into a religion, that is it. What will matter is what did they do after that? What have they done in their life? This is what will matter.

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What is Mysticism

What is Mysticism

“One of the most beautiful qualities of human existence is this sense of mystery”

One of the most beautiful qualities of human existence is this sense of mystery, which says there is something out there worth striving towards, something that cannot be grasped by any of our senses. Everything we do seems to be moving in the direction of that mystery.

Somehow science does not like mystery; it wants to unravel mystery, because mystery has been mistaken as ignorance. Mystery however, is not ignorance, and neither is mysticism. Mysticism is not about not knowing something. Mysticism is a deep understanding that there is something we do not understand about life—something that is still elusive to us, beyond our reach.

Einstein never believed in any personal god, although he was a part of religion. His entire endeavor was to create an objective science that could be empirically proved through experimentation. He moved away from all dogmas, concepts, and ideologies that were in the domain of religion. He wanted to experience and explore life scientifically. In fact, he was one of the greatest scientific minds ever to have lived among us, and still he had a beautiful understanding of mystery. Here is a passage of Einstein’s:

“The most beautiful emotion we can experience is the mystical. It is the sower of all true art and science. He to whom this emotion is a stranger is as good as dead. To know that what is impenetrable to us really exists, manifesting itself to us as the highest wisdom and the most radiant beauty which our dull faculties can comprehend only in their most primitive forms. This knowledge, this feeling, is the center of all true religiousness. In this sense, and in this sense only, I belong to the ranks of devoutly religious men.”

Although Einstein spent all his life in scientific endeavor, he deeply believed in the mystery of existence. In fact, all of the greatest artists, the greatest minds, have come through the process of embracing this mystery. When you accept this mystery you can start inquiring newly. Only then can you ask, “What is this mystery? What is life? Who am I?” All of these questions are a part of mysticism.

In fact, the whole journey of humanity is to understand mysticism. This existential quest of man has led to the disciplines of meditation and yoga, as well as the mystical practices of silence, solitude, and prayer. All of these practices have been created to understand the mystery of existence.

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Why I Dumped Religion

Why I Dumped Religion

“Life is much more of an individual responsibility than the church wants us to believe.”

I didn’t grow up in a “religious” household.  I mean we didn’t pray before we ate, but we did the cursory “Now I lay me down to sleep” at night, and we didn’t attend church as a family.   My parents took my sisters and me to a Baptist church and dropped us off.  Then they would go back home until it was over and then come back to pick us up. I always wondered “why?”

Then “it” happened.  I was twelve years old, had just finished choir practice on a Sunday afternoon, and the choir director said, “If anyone here hasn’t accepted Jesus Christ as your lord and savior you are going to hell.”  WHAT?  Going to hell?  What have I done so wrong to deserve to go to hell if I died today?  

So, I did the most natural thing to do.  I went up front and told him I didn’t want to go to hell.  That’s it.  Nothing else, I just didn’t want to go to hell.  The next step was to say this in front of the whole church—scary!  When the invitation time came at the end of the next church service, I went up front and stood in front of the preacher.  I was mortified and couldn’t speak.  Not an  “in the spirit “ sort of way, just terrified of being in front of all those grown-ups!  He sort of guided me through the appropriate things to say, I was dunked in the lukewarm water of the baptistry a couple of weeks later (I always wondered if people peed in that water) and I was saved—whew!  No hell for me.  I did always wonder what about everyone who never heard of Jesus?  What about all the millions of people who lived before him?—I got no answers, and that was just the beginning of questions without answers. 

Fast forward to adulthood, several years of not going to church, then my late husband and I decided to go to church.  We selected a Baptist church and started attending.  It was wonderful.  The preacher was one of those talking/teaching type preachers whom everyone loved.  You almost felt as if you could raise your hand and ask a question during one of his talks.  There were so many nice people close to our age, and the Sunday school class was amazing…. Everything was going great.  Then the preacher “got called” to Texas—for more money, I’m sure. 

The church leaders set up a pulpit committee to find another pastor.  They searched for about a month or so, and one Sunday morning we heard “Dr. Wonderful”.  He stepped up to the podium, started shouting and slobbering, blowing his nose and crying, and it was like that throughout the entire sermon.  It was really hard to get past all the drama to hear a message.  The “hallway talk” was that no one liked him and we were worried that he might get chosen.  I’m serious—I heard of no one who liked the man. 

A business meeting was called for one Wednesday night, and if you know anything about Baptist churches in the South, you know that Wednesday night has a very light crowd.  This Wednesday night the church was packed—probably 350-400 people came to vote.  The chairman of the pulpit committee stood up and asked for everyone in favor of the pastor to say “Aye” and someone shouted out “Let’s have a written vote”.  The chairman went nuts!  They didn’t want people to vote their true opinions.  Ended up that we didn’t do the “aye” thing, but actually had to stand up—lol. 

Here’s the dramatic ending—when he asked who was in favor of this man, THE ENTIRE CHURCH stood up except for my husband and me and one other couple.  We were dumbfounded.  When he asked who was opposed, we four stood up, gathered our belongings, and walked out.  I was appalled at the blatant display of hypocrisy!  Everyone was afraid to express their opinions in front of their fellow church-goers. 

I was always told oh, just look over the people in the church, it’s the Lord you’re seeking.  Excuse me—religion IS people.  Church IS people.   Since that time, I’ve figured out that what Jesus was teaching is an individual thing, it is inside us, it can’t be found in a church, and it’s not hanging on a cross. We’re not born sinners, we’re just born.  One man dying cannot save the entire world–if you think about that, it’s a ridiculous idea!  Jesus said that the way is narrow and few will enter.  Sooo, another question I have is, if the way is narrow, then how can it be the right way if soooooo many people are going that way?  If Jesus were to come back tomorrow he would be astounded that we’ve clung to the cross instead of his teachings.  He wanted us to be free, and all religion has done is put shackles and blinders on people so they have absolutely no idea that Truth even exists, and much less where or how to find it. 

I’ve also learned that the Bible has been grossly misinterpreted and edited, and nobody is going to hell—or heaven for that matter.  Life is much more of an individual responsibility than the church wants us to believe.  The Bible was written by men, edited by men, used for political purposes, and shoved down people’s throats with threats to kill them if they didn’t accept it. 

This, along with questions like If they knew that Jesus was so special when he was born, then why wasn’t someone following him around taking notes and remembering stories? He didn’t show back up in the Bible until he was in his 30’s.  If he could walk on water then why hasn’t anyone else?  Why is he called “Jesus of Nazareth” when there wasn’t even a town called Nazareth?  How did Noah fit 2 of every animal on one boat?  If we were created naked, then what’s so freaking bad about being naked?  Why can’t anyone explain what the Kingdom of Heaven is?  Are we going to wear robes and sing all the time?  That won’t be fun, and honestly, really, none of it makes a bit of sense. 

Getting rid of the religious “baggage” has been without a doubt the most liberating experience possible.   I’m on the spiritual path now, under the guidance of an amazing teacher, Avi.  The path is narrow because it’s not easy.  Jesus said to keep knocking and it will happen.  I’m knocking relentlessly, have never been surer of anything before, and I’m happier than I’ve ever been in my life. 

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You are dreaming

You are dreaming

Everything you are is a thought. That is why Buddha said, “You are nothing but your thoughts.” The inquirer has not even taken birth. It is thoughts who are inquiring. That is why to break away from the clutches of thoughts you need a trick, not just effort. You need to figure out a way to trick your own mind into letting you be all alone. One part of your mind should leave another part of your mind alone. That is the biggest challenge in meditation, because all thoughts are interconnected.

This is where silence comes in. By introducing silence into your world of thoughts you are saying, “No, this is my zone of silence and I don’t want thoughts to interfere.” That zone of silence will eventually expand and you will entirely step away from your thoughts. When the first cloud breaks and you watch the sky, that will be the moment, and it always happens suddenly.

Just keep seeking. Remember, it is not you who is obsessed with thoughts; it is thoughts that are obsessed with thoughts. And they just keep passing like clouds. They are never still. They never ask one question long enough. If they ask one question long enough, then they will realize the sky that contains them. They are simply going somewhere, and in their unconsciousness they are asking questions like: Where are we going? Where do we come from? Why do we look like this? In all their inquiries the sky is not involved at all.

“In a spiritual inquiry, you have to observe your very questioning process.”

So, that is why a spiritual inquiry is different from all other inquiries. In a spiritual inquiry, you observe your very questioning process. In a spiritual inquiry, it is not the question that is so important, rather it is the one who is asking the question. Being with the question, and continually asking the question are the most important things. You have to continue to ask a question till it dissolves completely.

When you realize the truth, you will see how simple it is. You will wonder as to how stupid you must have been to think that all this was real. How idiotic we must be to believe that all of this is actually physical and is happening somewhere outside. Everything is a part of our imagination. Everything, including our bodies, our minds, and the world we live in belong to the imaginary realm.

You have been projecting this whole reality on your screen of consciousness. You have been giving it the perception of depth, the perception of space, and the perception of distance; you have been supplying all of this to your dream. If only you can become still and watch what is happening, you will realize how close you are to the truth.

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You are something else

You are something else

Question: Why am I obsessed with my thoughts?

You are actually not obsessed with thoughts. Try and understand this. You do not even know that there are thoughts. You are so far away from thoughts that you do not even have a clue that all of these thoughts are happening to you.

What you think you are, at this point in time, is itself just a thought. Therefore, one thought is contemplating on another thought and asking the question, “Why am I obsessed with another thought?” It is because they are in the same family, they share the same origins, and they are all living together. You are not at all in thoughts. In reality, you are somewhere far away from thoughts. You never indulge in a thought, and you never want to entertain a thought.

It is like this. Let us say that you are the sky, and being the sky you ask, “Why am I obsessed with clouds?” I will say that it is not you who is asking this question, but rather it is a cloud. One cloud is asking the question, “Why am I obsessed with other clouds?” However, as the sky, you do not even know that clouds exist; you are so far away from clouds. You tend to think that clouds are inside you, but clouds are not inside you. Clouds occupy one small layer of you. You are vast. You are much bigger than clouds. Similarly, when you inquire about thoughts, it is basically one layer of thoughts that is inquiring about another layer of thoughts, although you yourself are much, much vaster than thoughts.

“Only a process of being silent and still can reveal what is hidden behind the cloud of thoughts.”

That is why only a process of being silent and still can reveal what is hidden behind the cloud of thoughts. You will never be able to intellectually answer the question of why you are obsessed with thoughts, because you are not obsessed with thoughts, you are too transcendental. You are just a pure consciousness, a pure awareness, and you never indulge in anything. You just know how to be alive and observe everything, that is all.

But thoughts can conspire against you. They can gather in thick clouds and completely block you out. Just like a bunch of clouds can block out the sun. Even though the clouds think they have blocked out the sun, we know how vast and far the sun is from the clouds? If the clouds try to get any closer to the sun they will just disappear, they will just evaporate. It is the same relationship between the Self and thoughts. Thoughts occupy a certain layer that you call your mind. Your body is also a part of that. Everything you know as of now is a part of that layer of clouds. The real you is somewhere very far away, simply sitting, and experiencing everything. You are too close to your thoughts when you are inquiring. As you step away from thoughts, you will leave them far behind.

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