How much do I want to read more? 10/10
There might be some deeper wisdom out there, but so far, it is the deepest I have ever understood. This man is wise!
The Master always shows up to the disciple at the right time.
If it doesn't resonate with you, don't force it, just tackle your Master.
As the author beautifully says it:
When the conditions are right - when an insight is articulated from a place of inner clarity and when it meets a reader at the right moment of receptivity, an age - old truth turns explosively alchemical.
I recently had transformative insights in my life, and wrote it this way in my journal: as you gather insights through your life, it's like aseembling pieces of a big puzzle. At first, it doesn't make much sense, but as it connects with each other, you start to see the whole picture.
I am in such a moment in my life, and it's amazing.
It's a mind shift that produce a series of haha moments. Suddenly, not only everything you faced before in your life is starting to make sense, but everything you see in the present looks different.
You suddenly have a new way of perceiving your surroundings. Your own thoughts provide additional insights that feed themselves.
I don't know the size of the puzzle, or how many puzzle in the puzzle, but I'm so grateful for finally getting what I missed for decades.
That's a magical moment that actually last for days and improve your overall well-being in a deep way.
It gives a sense of serenity: Whatever your current situation is, you are confident. You're suddenly grounded.
It's like you just got this elusive secret from which all your life depends.
One's man "magic" is another man's engineering.
-- ROBERT A. HEINLEIN
The Four-Letter Word
Shankaran Pillai’s box of laxatives is emblematic of the type of solution being peddled all over the world today for those in search of well-being.
“Guru” literally means “dispeller of darkness.”
The function of the guru, contrary to popular belief, is not to teach, indoctrinate, or convert. The guru is here to throw light on dimensions beyond your sensory perceptions and your psychological drama, dimensions that you are currently unable to perceive.
The guru is here, fundamentally, to throw light on the very nature of your existence.
The advice “Be in the moment” is dangerous. As if we could be somewhere else.
If you live, you live in this moment. If you die, you die in this moment. This moment is eternity. How are you going to escape it, even if you try?
Right now your problem is that you suffer what happened ten years ago and you suffer what may happen the day after tomorrow.
Both are not living truths. They are simply a play of your memory and imagination.
Does this mean then that in order to find peace you must annihilate your mind? Not at all. It simply means you need to take charge of it.
Your mind carries the enormous reserves of memory and the incredible possibilities of the imagination that are the result of an evolutionary process of millions of years.
If you can use it when you want and put it aside when you don’t, the mind can be a fantastic tool.
To shun the past and neglect the future is to trivialize this wonderful faculty. So “be in the moment” becomes a crippling psychological restriction—it denies our existential reality.
“Do only one thing at a time” has become another popular self-help slogan.
Why would you do only one thing when the mind is a phenomenal multidimensional machine, capable of handling several levels of activity all at once?
Instead of harnessing and learning to ride the mind, why would you want to obliterate it?
Another one is "positive thinking".
You may be mislead with sugarcoating your reality. As a tranquilizer.
It might seems to work in the short term. But in the long term, if you deny or amputate one part of reality, it gives you a lopsided perspective of life.
Another one is claiming "love" is the core of the Universe.
Human isn't the only one to feel love, just see your dog full of love.
The assumption that existence is human-centric made us commit to the most heinous crimes. It continues to this day.
As a guru, I have no doctrine to teach, no philosophy to impart, no belief to propagate.
the only solution for all the ills that plague humanity is self-transformation.
Self-transformation is not incremental self-improvement.
Self-transformation is achieved not by morals or ethics or attitudinal or behavioral changes, but by experiencing the limitless nature of who we are.
Self-transformation means nothing of the old remains. It is a dimensional shift in the way you perceive and experience life.
Knowing this is yoga. One who embodies this is a yogi. One who guides you in this direction is a guru.
My aim in this book is to help make joy your constant companion. To make that happen, this book offers you not a sermon, but a science; not a teaching, but a technology; not a precept, but a path.
The inner dimension is uncharted terrain. If you are exploring terrain that is unfamiliar to you, isn’t it better to have signposts? You could find your own way, but who knows, it could take lifetimes.
GPS: Guru Pathfinding System!
All this promise in a simple 4 letters word.
Just to make things doubly easy for you, I thought I’d make it eight: Sadhguru.
A Note to the Reader
This book doesn't claim to be a self-help book. It has a strong practical orientation, but there’s more to it than that.
Another way would be to turn theoretical. But this book is not an exercise in scholarship either.
I come from inner experience. It was only late in my life when I skimmed through some of Patanjali’s Yoga Sutras, those significant yogic texts, that I realized that I had a certain access to their inner core.
I approach them experientially, rather than theoretically.
To reduce a sophisticated science, like yoga, to mere doctrine is just as tragic as turning it into a cardiovascular workout.
The first section of the book maps the terrain, the second offers you a way to navigate it.
The first section seeks to offer a series of fundamental insights. The bedrock on which the next practical part is architectured.
Those insights are signposts on a journey that can be made by no one but you.
They are core perspectives that have emerged as a consequence of the state of heightened awareness that has been mine since a life-transforming experience thirty-three years ago.
“sadhana” in Sanskrit means a device or a tool. It's for you to test each insights, and see if it works for you.
A philosophy or belief system can be old or new. But gurus are always contemporary.
Truth is timeless, the technology and the language are always contemporary.
No tradition deserves to live on as anything more than a museum piece if it has outlived its relevance.
I am not interested in offering anything new. I am only interested in what is true.
When the conditions are right—when an insight is articulated from a place of inner clarity and when it meets a reader at the right moment of receptivity, an age-old truth turns explosively alchemical.
All of a sudden, it is fresh, alive, radiantly new, as if uttered and heard for the very first time in history.
When I lost my sense
Then I was a man
I only went up the Hill
As I had time to kill
But kill I did all that was
Me and Mine
With Me and Mine gone
Lost all my will and skill
Here I am, an empty vessel
Enslaved to the Divine Will
and infinite skill
Until that moment, in my experience, my body and mind was “me” and the world was “out there.” But suddenly I did not know what was me and what was not me.
My eyes were still open. But the air that I was breathing, the rock on which I was sitting, the very atmosphere around, everything had become me. I was everything that was. I was conscious, but I had lost my senses.
The more I say, the crazier it will sound because what was happening was indescribable.
What was me was literally everywhere. Everything was exploding beyond defined boundaries; everything was exploding into everything else. It was a dimensionless unity of absolute perfection.
When I returned to my normal senses, it felt as if just ten minutes had elapsed. But a glance at my watch told me that it was seven thirty in the evening! Four and a half hours had passed. My eyes were open, the sun had set, and it was dark. I was fully aware, but what I had considered to be myself until that moment had completely disappeared.
here I was exploding into a completely different dimension of existence of which I knew nothing, drenched in a completely new feeling—an exuberance, a blissfulness—that I had never known or imagined possible. When I applied my skeptical mind to this, the only thing my mind could tell me was that maybe I was going off my rocker! Still, it was so beautiful that I knew that I didn’t want to lose it.
School bored me because I could see that the teachers were talking about something that did not mean anything to their lives.
Thwarted, as I often was, by what I regarded as a dull and unimaginative adult world, I simply turned my attention elsewhere and found something else to do.
I would often climb to the topmost branch of a big tree, with my lunch box and water bottle. The swaying motion of the branches would transport me to a trancelike state.
Much later, I realized that unknowingly I was becoming meditative at this stage in my life.
I found the classroom dull but I was interested in everything else—the way the world is made, the physical terrain of the land, the way people live.
Even today it is like a video in my head. If I want I can replay the whole thing, those years and years of all that I observed, with vivid clarity.
I had even more questions. In school, they said the planet was round. But if the planet was round, how did one know which way was up?
Later in my life, I couldn’t help noticing that people coming out of restaurants always had more joyful faces than those coming out of temples. That intrigued me.
I had lots of questions about everything, but never felt the need to draw any conclusions. I realized very early that I knew nothing about anything. That meant I ended up paying enormous attention to everything around me. If someone gave me a glass of water, I stared at it endlessly. If I picked up a leaf, I stared at it endlessly too.
I also saw that language was no more than a conspiracy devised by human beings. If someone spoke, I realized they were only making sounds, and I was making up the meanings.
My dear father, being a physician, began to think I needed psychiatric evaluation. In his words, “This boy is staring unblinkingly at something all the time. He’s lost it!”
It has always seemed to me odd that the world does not realize the immensity of a state of “I do not know.”
Those who destroy that state with beliefs and assumptions completely miss an enormous possibility—the possibility of knowing. They forget that “I do not know” is the doorway—the only doorway—to seeking and knowing.
Who was I? Human, divine, devil, what? I tried to stare at myself to find out. It didn’t work. So, I closed my eyes and tried to find out. Minutes turned to hours, and I continued to sit, eyes closed.
When my eyes were open, everything intrigued me—an ant, a leaf, clouds, flowers, darkness, just about anything. But to my amazement, I found that with my eyes closed, there was even more that grabbed my attention—the way the body pulses, the way different organs function, the various channels along which one’s inner energy moves, the manner in which the anatomy is aligned, the fact that boundaries are limited to the external world.
Instead of leading me to a simplistic answer that I was “this” or “that,” it gradually brought me to a realization that, if I were willing, I could be everything.
From knowing myself as an autonomous person, this exercise melted me down. I became a nebulous being.
Despite all my wild ways, the one thing I did manage to do in a strangely disciplined fashion was my practice of yoga.
It started one summer vacation when I was twelve.
Both jumping down and climbing up were a challenge. If you didn’t do it properly, your brains could become a smear on the wall. While you were climbing up, there were no steps; you simply had to clutch at the rock surface and claw yourself up. Your fingernails often bled out of sheer pressure. Just a few of the boys could do this. I was one of them and I was pretty good at it.
One day a man of over seventy years of age appeared. He watched us for a while. Without a word, he jumped into the well. We thought he was finished. But he climbed out quicker than me. I cast aside my pride and asked him just one question: How? “Come, learn yoga,” said the old man.
three months after starting yoga, my body started coming awake at three forty every morning, without any external prompting, as it does even today.
After I woke, my practices would simply happen, no matter where I was and in what situation, without a single day’s break. This simple yoga—called angamardana (a system of physical yoga that strengthens sinews and limbs)—definitely set me apart in any group of people, physically and mentally. But that’s about all. Or so I believed.
my dominant quality even at this age was clarity.
I have never looked for anything in my life. I just look. And that is what I am trying to teach people now: if you really want to know spirituality, don’t look for anything. People think spirituality is about looking for God or truth or the ultimate.
The problem is you have already defined what you are looking for. It is not the object of your search that is important; it is the faculty of looking.
The ability to simply look without motive is missing in the world today. Everybody is a psychological creature, wanting to assign meaning to everything. Seeking is not about looking for something. It is about enhancing your perception, your very faculty of seeing.
Between breakfast and dinner, my only sustenance was books.
I read widely, from Homer to Popular Mechanics, Kafka to Kalidasa, Dante to Dennis the Menace. I emerged from that one year more knowledgeable, but with more questions than ever before.
I spent most of my time outside the classroom rather than in it. I found that all that was happening in class was the dictation of notes, and I was definitely not planning to be a stenographer!
I once asked a lecturer to give me her notes so I could photocopy them; it would save her the trouble of dictation and me the trouble of attending. Finally, I made a deal with all the teachers (who were more than happy not to have me in class).
When I look back now, I realize that I never thought about what I wanted to become in life. I only thought about how I wanted to live my life. And I knew that the “how” could only be determined within me and by me.
My father said, “What am I going to tell people? That my son is rearing chickens?” But I built my poultry farm and I built it single-handedly, from scratch. The business took off. The profits started rolling in.
The rest of the day was spent reading and writing poetry, swimming in the well, meditating, daydreaming on a huge banyan tree.
Everyone said: “Oh, we thought you’d make something of your life, but you are just wasting it.”
I took on the challenge. In partnership with a civil engineer friend, I entered the construction business. In five years, we became a major construction company, among the leading private contractors in Mysore. My father was incredulous and delighted.
When everything you do is a success, you tend to start believing that the planets revolve around you, not the sun!
And that was the kind of young man I was that fateful afternoon of September 1982 when I decided to get on my Czech motorcycle and ride up Chamundi Hill.
I had no clue then that my life would never be the same again.
Later, when I tried to talk to my friends about what had happened that day up on the mountain, all they could ask was, “Did you drink something? Did you pop something?” They were even more clueless than I was of this new dimension that had suddenly exploded into my life.
the experience returned. It was a week later. I was sitting at the dinner table with my family. I thought it lasted two minutes but it was seven hours. I was sitting right there, fully aware, except that the “me” I knew as myself was not there anymore; everything else was. And time flipped.
I remember various members of my family tapping me on the shoulder, asking me what happened, urging me to eat my meal. I simply raised my hand and asked them to leave. They were accustomed to my strange ways by then.
The experience began to happen more frequently.
My relationship with everything around me, including the planet, went through a dimensional shift.
Within six weeks, a huge flood of memory descended—literally, lifetimes of memory. I was now aware of a million different things happening inside me in a single moment. It was like a kaleidoscope.
Slowly, I began to realize that it is life that is the ultimate intelligence. Human intellect is mere smartness that ensures survival.
I could not believe the states of misery that human beings were capable of enduring when here I was, simply bursting with ecstasy for no reason at all.
Moment to moment every cell in my body was exploding with nameless ecstasies. Right now people glorify childhood because a child can laugh and be happy for no reason at all. But I saw that it is possible to be ecstatic in one’s adulthood as well. It is possible for every human being because all we can ever experience happens from within us.
I realized that this experience I had had was really yoga. This experience of union with existence, of oneness with all life.
Human nature is such that we always yearn to be something more than what we are right now.
If we just looked at this closely, we would realize that this longing is not for more; this longing is for all. We are all seeking to become infinite.
My whole aim since then has been to somehow rub this experience off on other people, to awaken them to the fact that this state of joy, of freedom, of limitlessness cannot be denied to them unless they stand in the way of the natural effervescence of life.
The way out is in
Everything you have done in your life so far has been in pursuit of a single thing. Joy.
But somewhere along the way, life got complicated.
If you had been born a creature, A full stomach would have been equivalent to a great day.
Never before in the history of humanity has such a thing been possible (food without moving from your home). even royalty could not afford.
We are the most comfortable generation to have ever lived on this planet.
we are definitely not the most joyful, or the most loving, or the most peaceful.
How can we continue to do something that has not worked for a thousand years?
It is time for a paradigm shift.
what do we consider to be a state of well-being?
If your body feels pleasant, we call this health. If it becomes very pleasant, we call this pleasure. If your mind becomes pleasant, we call this peace. If it becomes very pleasant, we call this joy. If your emotions become pleasant, we call this love. If they become very pleasant, we call this compassion. If your life energies become pleasant, we call this bliss. If they become very pleasant, we call this ecstasy.
This is all that you are seeking: pleasantness within and without. When pleasantness is within, it is termed peace, joy, happiness. When your surroundings become pleasant, it gets branded success.
human experience is only a question of pleasantness and unpleasantness in varying degrees.
But how many times in your life have you lived an entire day blissfully—without a single moment of anxiety, agitation, irritation, or stress? How many times have you lived in utter and absolute pleasantness for twenty-four hours? When was the last time it happened to you?
The amazing thing is that for most people on this planet, not a single day has happened exactly the way they want it!
People manage to get there, but it keeps collapsing. The simplest things throw people off balance.
When you are in a pleasant inner state, you are naturally pleasant to everyone and everything around you.
pleasantness has to be the fundamental quality within you.
The only thing that stands between you and your well-being is a simple fact: you have allowed your thoughts and emotions to take instruction from the outside rather than the inside.
Story: she asked, “What will you do to me?”
The man said, “Well, lady, it’s your dream!”
What’s happening in your head is your dream. At least your dream should happen the way you want it, shouldn’t it?
Even if the world doesn’t happen the way you want it, at least your thoughts and emotions should happen the way you want them to.
You are the greatest piece of technology, but the problem is you don’t know where the keyboard is.
As a result, the simple life process is taking a toll upon humanity. Just to earn a living, to reproduce, to raise a family, and then one day to fall dead—what a challenge! It is amazing how human beings struggle just to do what every worm, insect, bird, and animal does quite effortlessly.
technology will only bring comfort and convenience to us, not well-being.
unless we do the right things, the right things will not happen to us: this is true not just of the outside world, but also the inside.
Story: The bird is told by the bull to pick his poop every day to reach the top of the tree. Incredule, the bird try it, reach the top, and got shot by a farmer.
Moral: bullshit may get you to the top, but it never lets you stay there!
So you can get misguided for a fake happiness, but it won't last. You may try shorcuts, but a shaky foundation will get you back to the ground.
Even if it doesn't collapse, living in anticipation that it might is torture.
So, as long as your inner life is enslaved to external situations, it will remain a precarious condition.
You just need to see that the source and basis of your experience is within you.
You may be stimulated by the outside, but the source is within.
Pain or pleasure, joy or misery, agony or ecstasy, happens only inside you.
Human folly is that people are always trying to extract joy from the outside.
Everything that ever happened to you, you experienced right within you. Light and darkness, pain and pleasure, agony and ecstasy—all of it happened within you.
If someone touches your hand right now, you may think you are experiencing their hand, but the fact of the matter is you are only experiencing the sensations in your own hand. The whole experience is contained within. All human experience is one hundred percent self-created.
If your thought and your emotion are of your making, you can mold them any way you like.
the body is capable of producing its own narcotic. It can manufacture its own bliss with no external stimulus.
The reason why certain chemical substances, like alcohol and recreational drugs, are dangerous is because they can reduce your awareness, ruin your health, create addictions, and destroy you. But here is a bliss narcotic that is created and consumed by your own system—and which has a tremendous impact on health and well-being!
It means that the human system is wonderfully self-contained.
We can infer from this that happiness is just a certain kind of chemistry. Peace is another kind of chemistry. In fact, every kind of pleasantness that we experience—whether peace or joy or ecstasy—is a kind of chemistry. The yogic system has always known this.
There is a technology for inner well-being—for creating a chemical basis for a blissful existence. This is one dimension of what I call “Inner Engineering.” If you are aware, you can activate your system in such a way that simply breathing is an enormous pleasure. All it takes is a willingness to pay a little attention to the inner mechanism.
Peace and joy are the basic requirements for a life of well-being. They are not things you attain at the end of life.
Don’t walk the spiritual path for peace. It is because most people are so deprived of peace that they consider it to be the ultimate aspiration.
In India certain communities worship food as God because they have been deprived of food for a long time.
Spiritual quest is a natural longing.
When being peaceful, blissful, and joyous are not efforts anymore, you naturally start seeking, want to know the nature of life. Mysticism on this planet evolved only in those places where people learned the technology of being ecstatic by their own nature.
only when you are blissful will you be in the highest state of receptivity, and truly willing to explore all aspects of life. Otherwise, you would not dare, because if keeping yourself pleasant is a big challenge, you can’t take on other challenges.
Choices that you make out of inability are not life solutions.
An inability to be joyful by your own nature is a problem.
In pursuit of human happiness, we are ripping the planet apart.
The one thing they miss is life—the life process itself, the essential life that is you.
The moment you make this fundamental mistake of identifying something that is not you as yourself, life becomes an unnecessary struggle.
You are capable of experiencing only that which is within the boundaries of your sensation. But if you throw the boundary of your sensation out in an expanded form, you can sit here and experience everyone as yourself. You can stretch it further and experience the very cosmos as you experience your own body.
If you do not identify with anything you have accumulated over a period of time, including your body and mind, you will be able to experience this.
Enlightenment is not an attainment or an achievement. It is a homecoming. Your senses give you the impression that you are experiencing the outside, but you have never experienced the outside. When you realize that all that you experience is within, that absolute homecoming is enlightenment.
an experience of absolute inclusiveness has to happen to humanity. And it is possible.
The reason why everyone is not naturally enlightened is simply this: people have categorized the world into good and bad. These are parallel lines that will never meet.
Once you have fractured this existence within yourself, there is no way to reach a state of enduring well-being and freedom.
If you first label someone your enemy and then try to love him or her, it’s going to be torturous! Once you have fragmented creation like this, there is no way to arrive at a state of absolute inclusiveness.
Our physical and social worlds are governed by boundaries. Our inner world needs none.
To attain the ecstasy of borderless unity, which is our natural state, all you need to do is live by the guideline that all human experience is generated from within.
Up and down, good and bad, sacred and profane: these are all assumed. But inward and outward: this is the one context we are sure of.
This is Adiyogi’s most significant contribution to humankind and it is a profound and enduring one: “The only way out is in.”
If you go outward, it is an endless journey. If you turn inward, it is just one moment.
In that one moment, everything changes. In that one moment, you are not in pursuit of joy anymore. Instead, your life becomes an expression of your joyfulness.
Design your destiny
Destiny has become a popular scapegoat. But turning inward is the first step from passivity to agency—from being a victim toward becoming a master of your own destiny.
A variety of diseases that people believed to be “God’s will” until a hundred years ago, are in our hands today.
To be human means you can mold situations you are living in the way you want them. But today most people in the world are molded by the situations in which they exist.
This is simply because they live in reaction to situations they are placed in. The inevitable question is, “Why was I placed in such a situation? Isn’t it my destiny?” Whatever we do not want to take responsibility for, whatever we cannot make sense of logically, we label “destiny.” It is a consoling word, but disempowering.
To mold situations the way you want them you must first know who you are. The crux of the matter is that you don’t yet know who you are. Who you are is not the sum total of accumulations you have made. Everything that you currently know as “myself” is just an accumulation. Your body is just an accumulation of food. Your mind is just an accumulation of impressions gathered through the five senses. What you accumulate can be yours, but it can never be you.
You are trying to live your life through what you have gathered, not through who you are.
Everything in this existence is happening naturally according to a certain organic law. If you know the nature of life within you, you can completely take charge of the way it happens.
in the last one hundred years, managed to fly. How? Not by breaking the laws of nature, but through a deeper understanding of the laws of nature.
Your destiny is written by you unconsciously.
If you have mastery over your physical body, fifteen to twenty percent of your life and destiny will be in your hands. If you have mastery over your mind, fifty to sixty percent of your life and destiny will be in your hands. If you have mastery over your life energies, a hundred percent of your life and destiny will be in your hands.
Even now you are choosing your life, but you are choosing it in total unawareness.
But whatever you do in unawareness, you can also do in awareness.
It is the difference between ignorance and enlightenment.
Unpleasantness is happening to you, in the form of anger, fear, anxiety, and stress, because your basic faculties—your body, mind, and life energies—are doing their own thing.
Taking destiny into your hands doesn’t mean everything will happen your way. The outside world will never happen a hundred percent your way, because there are too many variables involved. Wanting the outside to happen exactly the way you choose is the path of conquest, tyranny, dictatorship.
When pain, misery, or anger happen, it is time to look within you, not around you.
To achieve well-being the only one who needs to be fixed is you.
The only one that needs to be fixed is you, but just to understand this simple fact people take lifetimes!
Creating your destiny is about steadily heading toward your well-being and your ultimate nature, no matter what the content of life is around you. It simply means making yourself in such a way that, whatever the events and situations around you, you don’t get crushed by them; you ride them.
The spiritual process is not about imposing your ideas on existence; it is about making yourself in such a way that the creation and the Creator, and every atom in this existence, cannot help yielding to you.
When you pursue your own likes and dislikes, you feel alone in this vast existence, constantly insecure, unstable, psychologically challenged.
But once existence yields to you, it delivers you to a different place of grace—where every pebble, every rock, every tree, every atom, speaks to you in a language you understand. Every moment there are a million miracles happening around you: a flower blossoming, a bird tweeting, a bee humming, a raindrop falling, a snowflake wafting along the clear evening air. There is magic everywhere. If you learn how to live it, life is nothing short of a daily miracle.
if you don’t water your garden, will it flower? You need to do the right things if you want results.
Judgments about good and bad are essentially human and socially conditioned. These are fine as social norms. But existence is not concerned with these conclusions. Existence is not judgmental. It treats all of us the same way.
No boudnary, no burden
who is responsible for the way you are right now?
Ask someone, “Why are you in this situation?” Pat comes the response, “You know, when I was a child, my parents…” The same old story, with just a few variations.
We are enslaved if we have allowed the nature of our life experience to be determined by our circumstances.
Being fully responsible is to be fully conscious.
What you consider to be your body is what you have gathered through ingestion. What you consider to be your mind is what you have gathered through the five senses. What is beyond that—which you did not gather—is who you are.
Being alive is being conscious.
Everybody is conscious to some degree, but when you touch the dimension beyond body and beyond mind, you have touched that which is the very source of consciousness.
You realize then that the entire universe is conscious. You inhabit a living cosmos.
The physical and psychological dimensions belong to the realm of polarities—pain-pleasure, love-hate, masculine-feminine, and so on. If you have one, the other is bound to follow. But when you move into the fundamental dimension of who you are, you are beyond all polarities. You now become blissful by your own nature.
Responsibility does not mean taking on the burdens of the world.
Responsibility simply means your ability to respond.
All it requires is for you to realize that you are responsible for all that you are and all that you are not, all that may happen to you and all that may not happen to you.
This is not a mind game. This is not a self-help strategy for easy living. This is not a philosophical theory. This is a reality. Your physical existence is possible only because of your body’s seamless ability to respond to the entire universe. If your body wasn’t responding, you wouldn’t be able to exist for a moment. Do you see that?
What the trees around you are exhaling, you are inhaling right now; what you are exhaling, the trees are inhaling at this very moment. This transaction is ongoing. Whether you are aware of it or not, one half of your pulmonary system is hanging up there right now on a tree!
Once you take responsibility, you will invariably start exploring ways to address the situation. You will look for solutions.
If you are frequently in this mode, your ability to craft your life situations will keep enhancing itself.
If you assume absolute responsibility within yourself for all that is around you, you will become the center of any situation at home, work, or even the universe. Since you become indispensable to these situations, there is no sense of insecurity or incompleteness within you anymore.
Only if you realize you are responsible do you have the freedom to create yourself the way you want to be, not as a reaction to the situations in which you exist.
Reactivity is enslavement. Responsibility is freedom.
When you are able to create yourself the way you want, you can create your life the way you want as well.
the first reaction—anger—usually provokes unintelligent action.
do not see that stress is entirely self-created and self-inflicted. Once you take charge of your inner life, there is no such thing as stress.
When you are angry, your very chemistry is altered, and your system turns toxic.
Human beings are in a perennial state of complaint. They carry their complaints with them.
The choice is always before you: to respond consciously to the present; or to react compulsively to it. There is a vast difference between the two.
instead of growing wise, most people become wounded.
it is possible to use every life situation—however ugly—as an opportunity for growth.
if you habitually think, “I am the way I am because of someone else,” you are using life situations merely as an opportunity for self-destruction or stagnation.
“You idiot! Don’t we have enough trouble on our hands? We don’t know where our parents are, we don’t know where we’re going! And now you go and lose your shoes? What am I supposed to do with you?”
About three and a half years later, the girl came out of the concentration camp. She discovered she was the only one alive in her family. Everyone else had vanished, including her brother. All that remained was the memory of the harsh words she had uttered the last time she had seen him alive.
That was when she made a life-changing decision: “It doesn’t matter who I meet, I will never speak to them in a manner that I regret later, because this meeting could be my last.” She could have spent her life in defeat and remorse, but she made this simple decision, which transformed her life phenomenally. She went on to live a rich and fulfilled life.
The most horrific things in life can be a source of nourishment if you accept, “I am responsible for the way I am now.” It is possible to transform the greatest adversity into a stepping-stone for personal growth.
You come into this world with nothing and you go empty-handed.
No matter what the nature of the situation you are in, it can only enhance your experience of life, if you allow it to.
Resentment, anger, jealousy, pain, hurt, and depression are poisons that you drink but expect someone else to die. Life does not work that way. Most people take lifetimes to understand this simple truth.
Imagine: Your pen falls off a table.
If you're responsible, could simply bend down and pick it up. If you are unable to do that, you could ask someone to help. Or if you aren’t inclined to act on it right now, you might pick it up later. You have a variety of options.
If, on the other hand, you don’t take responsibility for it, what can you do? Nothing.
Which is freedom? To have choices or to have none?
Your logical mind tells you, “Give up all responsibility and you will be free.” But in your experience of life, the more you are able to respond to everything around you, the freer you are!
If you handle your entire life with logic alone, you will end up a mess.
people often confuse responsibility with reaction.
One is awareness, consciousness, freedom. The other is the opposite.
There's another distinction: Responsability is not reaction, and it is not action either.
The ability to respond gives you the freedom to act. It also gives you the freedom not to act.
Action has to be judiciously performed, depending on a careful analysis of resources—strength, capability, energy, age, situation. Your ability to act is always limited, but there are no limitations on your ability to respond.
Your sense of responsibility for your chldren makes you do certain things for them and not do others.
How, you may ask, are you responsible for the violence and injustice in the world?
Certainly you are not to blame for any of it. But the moment you become conscious of any of these events, you do respond.
If you make this ability to respond into a willing process, that marks the birth of a tremendous new possibility within you. Your inner genius begins to flower.
Can you then respond to the moon? You can.
you already do. You can just choose to do it—willingly, consciously.
Fourth misconception: Many think responsibility means capability.
When it comes to action, capability could play a role. But when it comes to response, it is just a question of willingness.
If you see someone dying on the street, are you responsible?
If you are willing to respond, you will explore various options. At least you can have concern in your heart.
But if you are not responsible, you will just sit there like a stone watching someone die before your eyes.
Your ability to respond is the way you are. Only your ability to act is connected with the outside world.
Responsibility is not about talking, thinking, or doing. Responsibility is about being.
That’s the way life is—not an independent, self-contained bubble but a moment-to-moment dialogue with the universe. You don’t have to work at making it that way. You just have to see it the way it is.
Are you capable of responding to a plant?
To a stranger on the street?
every subatomic particle in your body is responding in a limitless way to the great dance of energies that is the cosmos.
The only reason you are not experiencing the life process in all its majesty and profundity is your current state of mental resistance.
If you are willing, every moment of your life can be a fantastic experience. Just the act of inhaling and exhaling can be a tremendous love affair.
Why is the mind resisting this?
Because it is crippled by its own limited logic. Ex: "Taking responsibility for just two people already gives me a headache"
Through millions of years of evolution, nature has caged you within certain boundaries—this is the human predicament. But this imprisonment is only on the level of biology.
you are like a bird in a cage without a door. It is only out of long aeons of habit that you are refusing to fly free.
Life has left everything open for you. Existence has not blocked anything for anyone. If you are willing, you can access the whole universe.
“Knock and it shall open.” You don’t even have to knock, because there is no door. It is open. You just have to walk through, that’s all.
This is the sole purpose of the spiritual process: to point out that the cage door does not exist.
Whether you fly or choose to remain in the limitations of the cage—let that be a conscious choice.
Do you want to live a life of voluntary self-imprisonment?
Limiting your responsibility is to suffocate yourself on various levels—physically, intellectually, and emotionally.
But people think it is the way to safety and security.
Take the case of a seed. If the seed constantly tries to save itself, a new life is impossible. The seed goes through the tremendous struggle of losing what it believes is its identity—losing its safety and integrity and becoming vulnerable—in order to grow into a many-branched leafy tree, abundant in fruit and flower. But without that vulnerability, that voluntary openness to transformation, life won’t sprout.
One of the biggest problems in the world today is loneliness. Quite paradoxically with 7+ billions of persons.
If someone enjoys being alone, there is no problem at all. Most people can't.
If you are lonely, it is because you have chosen to become an island unto yourself.
It often comes to a point when you believe you are not even responsible for what is happening within yourself!
What the mind forgets is that the ability to respond is the basis of life.
If the ability is acknowledged willingly, you become blissful.
In taking responsibility and beginning the journey toward conscious living, you are putting an end to the age-old patterns of assigning blame outward or heavenward. You have begun the greatest adventure life has to offer: the voyage inward.
Misconception about Love.
we must love our neighbors, and so on.
But when you try it is difficult and often ends up pretentious.
But to be loving is simply this: a willingness to respond freely and openly.
Right now, it may be limited to one or two people in your lives. But it is possible to extend this ability to embrace the entire world.
Does it mean going out into the streets and hugging everyone? No. That would be crazy—not to mention, irresponsible. As we have said, responsibility is not about action, but a way of being. Love is not something you do; it is just the way you are.
Right now, you have left one window in your life open—for a few people. You did that because somewhere you understood that if you closed that window, you’d go mad. Your only options would be insanity or suicide. But there is another way to approach this.
why don’t you just demolish the wall?
Love has nothing to do with someone else. It is all about you.
It essentially means you have brought sweetness into your emotion.
If a loved one passed away, would you still be able to love them? You would. Even if a loved one is not physically with you anymore, you are still capable of being loving.
So, what is love then? It is just your own quality. You are only using the other person as a key to open up what is already within you.
Why are you fumbling with keys when there is no lock, when there is no door, when there is no wall? You create illusory walls and doors and then create illusory keys—and then you fumble with the keys! And once you find the key, you are terrified of losing it!
For most people, love is initially a joy, but after a while it becomes an anxiety. Why? Because this “key” has legs and a will of its own. You can’t keep it in your pocket or hang it around your neck.
Once your joy come from your self, You are no longer enslaved to an external source—whether a person or a situation.
You are now capable of being loving and blissful without doing anything in particular, just sitting here, no matter how anyone in the outside world behaves.
Once you experience this inner freedom, you will never experience insecurity in your life again.
when you are a truly blissful human being, everyone will naturally want to be around you.
So, how does one upgrade one’s inner technology?
a fundamental step would be to recognize consciously just this:
“My ability to respond is limitless, but my ability to act is limited. I am one hundred percent responsible for everything I am and everything I am not, for my capacities and my incapacities, for my joys and my miseries. I am the one who determines the nature of my experience in this life and beyond. I am the maker of my life.”
Absolutely nothing is required—no reaction, no action, no capability—other than being aware of the basic fact that your responsibility is limitless.
You could sit in one place and be aware of it. You could walk the street and be aware of it. You could be working, cooking, or even lying in bed, and be aware of it.
You may see Gos as that which is responsible for everything in the universe.
So, responsibility is the simplest and easiest way for you to express your own divinity.
The whole effort of the spiritual process is to break the boundaries you have drawn for yourself and experience the immensity that you are.
You can live the way the Creator made you—utterly blissful and infinitely responsible.
In life, there is no “this” and “that”; there is only “this” and “this.” This means everything is here and now.
You can either react to life with “yes” and “no,” which will mean a perpetual division of this existence, which is the basis of repetitive cycles of conflict and misery. Or you can become one big YES to life.
Limited responsibility is a way of drawing boundaries.
What you think you are responsible for will be within your boundary.
What you think you are not responsible for will be outside your boundary. But limitless responsibility extends itself way beyond your present level of understanding and perception.
There is more—much more—to life than you are aware of right now.
Once you choose to become conscious of this simple fact—my ability to respond is limitless—suddenly life within you reorganizes itself in a completely different way.
Life is now a wonderful and exhilarating journey of self-discovery.
Wars were violent because there were some people who were willing to change and there were some who were unwilling.
But in the inner life, there is only one kind of revolution and it is a silent one. It is about moving from unwillingness to willingness.
do you want to be a full-time human being or a part-time human being?
If you restrict your ability to respond, the scope and dimension of your experience will be unsurprising, predictable, limited, narrow.
But to be an absolutely full-time human being is to be a constant full-blooded response to everything. You don’t have to do anything in particular. You just need to become a willing piece of life in this glorious living cosmos.
Responsibility is not burdensome. Boundaries are burdensome. If you draw yourself a boundary, whether of ideology, caste, creed, race, or religion, you cannot move beyond it .
These boundaries only end up breeding fear, hatred, and anger. The bigger your boundary, the more burdensome it becomes. But if your responsibility is limitless, where’s the boundary?
No boundary, no burden.
This is the turnaround in human consciousness that needs to take place.
Once this happens, it is not that the cosmos begins to happen your way. Instead, what you are becomes cosmic.
This is not transcendence; this is homecoming.
Don’t simply believe what you are reading. The only way to find out whether something is true or untrue is to experiment with it. Stop the internal debate and simply put it to the test. The yogic path is not a path of inherited belief; it is the path of experiment.
When you have your next meal, do not talk to anyone around you for the first fifteen minutes. Just be in active conscious response to the food that you eat, the air that you breathe, the water that you drink.
As I have said earlier, your entire system is responding anyway. Just become conscious of it. This apple, this carrot, this piece of bread—don’t take them lightly. If you do not eat for a couple of days, you won’t think about God. You will only think about food. This is what is nourishing you and making your life right now. This is the very substance of your body. Respond to food absolutely, with total attention.
This fruit, this egg, this bread, this vegetable—they are all a part of life themselves, but they are willing to become you. Would you be willing to do this for anyone?
You are not willing to lose your identity and merge into anyone.
But food, which is a life unto itself, gives itself up completely to become a part of you.
Think “My responsibility is limitless; if I am willing, I can respond to everything” — into the entire day.
Be conscious of it until the last moment before you fall asleep and remind yourself of it the first thing when you wake up.
If you sustain this awareness of your limitless nature for just one full minute, you will achieve a tremendous transformation.
Just one minute can elevate you to a different dimension.
Right now, your awareness is erratic: this moment you are aware and the next moment, you are gone. It is okay. Every hour, remind yourself. Experiment with this awareness, allow it to deepen and see what happens.
Conscious response brings you to a profound and enduring state of connectedness with life.
In this willing, active involvement with life, you are embraced by it and that embrace takes you to the very source of creation.
That is all it takes to touch the Creator—just willingness, nothing else.
And now… Yoga
Patanjali’s Yoga Sutras, one of the most profound documents on the yogic sciences, begins with a strange line: “…And now, yoga.”
A gread document on life starts with just half a sentence, why?
because you arrive at yoga only when you realize that your desire is essentially for the limitless, and that absolutely nothing else will settle you.
Every human being lives in a perpetual state of insufficiency. No matter who you are or what you have achieved, you still want a little more than what you have right now. This is human desire. But the fundamental desire within every human being is for boundless expansion.
Most people are not aware of the nature of their longing. greed, conquest, ambition.
When their longing finds conscious expression, we call this yoga.
If you still believe that everything will be okay the moment you find a new girlfriend or boyfriend, get a raise, buy a new house or car, then it is not yet time for yoga.
Yoga is not a practice. It is not an exercise. It is not a technique.
The science of yoga is, quite simply, the science of being in perfect alignment, in absolute harmony, in complete sync with existence.
The many fluctuations of the outside world have their impact on each one of us. But yoga is the science of creating inner situations exactly the way you want them. When you fine-tune yourself to such a point where everything functions beautifully within you, naturally the best of your abilities will flow out of you.
You have surely noticed that when you are happy, you always function better. You seem to have an endless supply of energy.
A simple headache can turn what is most precious to you into a source of vexation or even misery.
But with the practice of yoga, your body and mind can be maintained at the highest possible level of capability and efficiency.
And yet, yoga is not just a self-help tool for greater mental and physical efficiency—and freedom from headaches. It is all that and much more.
Modern science tells us that all of existence is just energy manifesting itself in different ways and in different forms. This means that the same energy that can sit here as a rock can lie there as mud, can stand up as a tree, can run like a dog—or be here reading this book, as you. So, you are essentially a morsel of energy that is part of the much larger energy system of the universe.
Your life is not independent of it.
from the same material of this planet, what an incredible journey has been made, from stones to spacecrafts, from an amoeba to a human being!
It is the same with our inner energies. Yoga is the technology of upgrading, activating, and refining these inner energies for the highest possibilities. Suddenly, your capabilities reach a level of brilliance that you never imagined possible. An accidental and limited life turns near-miraculous.
Literally, yoga means “union.” When you are in yoga, it means that in your experience, everything has become one. This is the essence of the science. This is also its deepest aim.
Right now, you are aware of someone called “me” and someone called the “other.” This “me” and “other” can be extended to groups of people, communities, and nations, but fundamentally “me” and “other” is the basis of conflict in the universe.
The whole point of yoga is to bring you to an experience wherein.
if you sit here, there is no such thing as “you” and “me.” It is all me—or all you! Any process that helps you to reach this union is yoga.
the whole process of yoga is to take you, step by step, and stage by stage, from the known into the unknown. It is a hundred percent empirical science.
It does not ask you to take anything on trust. It urges you to experiment every step of the way.
the word “myself.”: Right now, in your understanding, this “you” is constituted by your body, your mind (which includes your thoughts and emotions), and your energie.
if your body and mind function as they do, there must be some kind of energy empowering them.
These three realities—body, mind, energy—are what you know. They are also what you can work with.
Your fundamental area of work, is only with the realities that you are aware of.
Yoga tells us that we are actually composed of five “sheaths,” or layers.
The first laye is the physical body, the food body.
The second is the mental body.
what happens in the mind affects what happens in the body. This is because what you call “mind” is not just the brain. It is not located in any single part of the human anatomy. Instead, every cell has its own intelligence, so there is an entire mental body, an entire anatomy of the mind.
Whatever happens in the mental body happens in the physical body, and, in turn, whatever happens in the physical body happens in the mental body. Every fluctuation on the level of the mind has a chemical reaction, and every chemical reaction, in turn, generates a fluctuation on the level of the mind.
The physical and mental bodies are like your hardware and software. Hardware and software cannot do anything unless you plug into quality power. So, the third layer of the self is the energy body.
If you keep your energy body in perfect balance, there will be no disease in your physical or mental bodies.
Except the fundamental aspects of the DNA, everything can be changed, including the genetic trends of susceptibility to ailments. Infectious diseases happen because of external organisms, but chronic diseases are manufactured daily by human beings.
I could introduce you to thousands of people who have gotten rid of their physical and psychological ailments just by doing certain simple yogic practices.
These practices are aimed at bringing a certain harmony and vitality to the energy body.
These are the three dimensions of the self you are aware of right now: the physical, the mental, the energetic.
They are essentially physical in nature, though each is more subtle than the preceding one.
It is like a lightbulb, electricity, and light—all these are physical.
fourth layer is the etheric body. Gnana means “knowledge.” Vishesh gnana means “extraordinary knowledge”.
that which is beyond the sense perceptions. This is a transient state. It is neither physical nor non-physical. It is like a link between the two. It is not in your current level of experience, because your experience is limited to the five sense organs which cannot perceive the non-physical.
Those who report near-death experiences are those who could have slipped accidentally into this state. Such an experience occurs when, for some reason, people’s physical, mental, and energy bodies have become feeble. If you learn to find conscious access to this dimension, there will be a quantum leap in your ability to know the cosmic phenomenon.
fifth sheath is beyond the physical entirely. Ananda means “bliss.” It has nothing to do with the physical realms of life. A dimension that is beyond the physical cannot be described or even defined, so yoga talks about it only in terms of experience.
When we are in touch with that aspect beyond the physical, we become blissful. It is not that a bubble of bliss lies within your physical structure. It is just that when you access this indefinable dimension, it produces an overwhelming experience of bliss.
But bliss is not a goal in itself. Once you touch this dimension of nonexistence, blissfulness is guaranteed. In this state, you are no more an issue in your own life. When you are no more an issue, you can fearlessly explore the beyond.
When you touch this dimension beyond definition, the impact of time and space is obliterated. This accounts for the many stories of yogis sitting unmoving for incredibly long periods of time. This is possible not because of physical endurance, but because in these states, they are not available to the process of time. They have touched a dimension beyond all the contradictions of here and there, now and then; a limitless ocean of emptiness where there is neither bondage nor freedom—an existence beyond existence.
Yoga does not ask you to work with anything other than what you know. It simply tells you that if the physical, mental, and energy bodies are perfectly aligned, you will find access to the bliss body.
Your work is only with the first three bodies.
Each human being is differently capable. What one does, the other may not be able to do. But when it comes to inner realities, all of us are equally capable.
making your inner life blissful is something that everyone is capable of. It cannot be denied to you, if you are willing.
Once you master certain basic yogic technologies of inner well-being, your journey through life becomes absolutely effortless. You are able to express yourself at your fullest potential without any stress or strain. You can play with life whichever way you want, but life cannot leave a single scratch upon you.
How does one reach this ultimate union?
If you employ your physical body to reach this ultimate union, we call this karma yoga, or the yoga of action.
If you employ your intelligence to reach your ultimate nature, we call this gnana yoga, the yoga of intelligence.
If you employ your emotions to reach your ultimate nature, we call this bhakti yoga, the yoga of devotion.
And if you use your energies to reach the supreme experience, we call this kriya yoga, the yoga of transforming energies.
Every human being is a unique combination of the same ingredients. All these aspects—karma, gnana, bhakti, kriya—have to function in an integrated way, if one wants to get anywhere.
Yoga is, quite simply, the science of bringing the four idiots together.
Your mind is thinking one way; your emotions pull you another way; your physical body another way; your energy another way. This makes you a potential calamity. you are being pulled apart, in four different ways.
With Yoga, you're both alchemist and experiment, subject and object at the same time.
A human being is fully capable of joy, of love, of peace. Why do you want to export these to heaven?
There is so much talk of God and heaven mainly because human beings have not realized the immensity of being human.
The source of your life is also the source of every other life and the source of all creation. This dimension of intelligence or consciousness exists in every one of us.
The deliverance of every human being lies in finding access to this deathless dimension.
To be joyful and peaceful within yourself every moment of your life, to be able to perceive life beyond its physical limitations—these are not superhuman qualities. These are human possibilities.
Yoga is not about being superhuman; it is about realizing that being human is super.
A note to the reader
In the process, you may find some assumptions, some clichés, some commonly used terms redefined, and some unusual perspectives explored.
But you are required to take nothing on faith. Yoga, as we have said before, asks you to experiment—and encourages you to do so fearlessly.
You may not feel inclined to implement each of the exercises offered in the “Sadhana” boxes. That is absolutely fine. The reason for offering you a range of practices and tips is so that you can zero in on any that appeal to you.
These steps are simply intended to help you make the transition from the page to the business of daily living, to offer you the freedom to test every hypothesis in the laboratory of your own life. This section aims at turning you from a passive reader, an armchair yogi, into a dynamic participant in the magic of a life consciously lived, freely chosen.
Go to the exploration of the incredible life that you are.
The Ultimate Machine
The physical body is the first gift of which we are aware. It is also the ultimate machine. Every other machine on the planet has come out of this.
The yogic sciences, as explained above, do not speak of the mind or the soul. Everything is just a body—whether it is a food body, a mind body, an energy body, an etheric body, or a bliss body. There is a deep wisdom in this approach. It does not allow us to escape into deluded psychological states or into flights of metaphysical abstraction. It grounds us firmly in the tangible, even as it leads us into subtler realms of physicality and, gradually, into the beyond.
The physical body is designed and structured to function by itself without much of your intervention. You don’t have to make the heart beat, the liver perform all its complex chemistry, or even try to breathe; everything that is needed for your physical existence to manifest itself is happening on its own.
The body is a pretty complete and self-contained instrument. If you are fascinated by machines, there isn’t a better one! This is the most sophisticated piece of machinery on this planet—it embodies the highest level of mechanics, the highest level of electronics, the most sophisticated electrical circuitry you can imagine.
According to Charles Darwin, it took millions of years to make a monkey into a human being, but in just a few hours you are capable of making a banana into a human being! Obviously, the very source of creation is functioning within you.
There is an intelligence at work within you, way beyond your logical mind, which can transform a bit of food into the highest piece of technological excellence. If you could achieve that transformation consciously (instead of unconsciously), if you could bring even a drop of that intelligence into your daily life, you would live magically, not miserably.
It is because he experienced the source of creation throbbing within him that the twelfth-century Indian mystic Basavanna famously called the body a “moving” temple. “My legs are pillars,” he says in one of the well-known verses of South Indian mystical literature, “the body the shrine / the head a cupola of gold…”
“Something there is that doesn’t love a wall”
It takes a certain amount of awareness for a person to see the limitations of this fantastic machinery.
As a machine, the body is actually faultless. The only problem is that it does not take you anywhere. It just springs out of the earth and falls back into the earth.
Life is one thing, but the source of life is another. In every creature, in every plant, in every seed, this source of life is at work. In a human being, this source of life is even more magnificently obvious.
Though you have the compulsiveness of the physical, you also have the consciousness of being more than just physical.
There are two basic forces within you. Most people see them as being in conflict. One is the instinct of self-preservation, which compels you to build walls around yourself to protect yourself.
The other is the constant desire to expand, to become boundless.
These two longings—to preserve and to expand—are not opposing forces, though they may seem to be. They are related to two different aspects of your life. One force helps you root yourself well on this planet; the other takes you beyond.
Self-preservation needs to be limited to the physical body. If you have the necessary awareness to separate the two, there is no conflict. But if you are identified with the physical, then instead of working in collaboration, these two fundamental forces become a source of tension.
All of the “material-versus-spiritual” struggles of humanity spring from this ignorance.
“spirituality" is a dimension beyong the physical.
The human desire to transcend the limitations of the physical is a completely natural one.
To journey from the boundary-based individual body to the boundless source of creation—this is the very basis of the spiritual process.
The walls of self-preservation that you build for today are the walls of self-imprisonment for tomorrow. Boundaries that you establish in your life as a protection for yourself today will feel like constraints tomorrow. Robert Frost captured a deep truth when he wrote, “Something there is that doesn’t love a wall.”
Because your self-preservation instinct keeps telling you, “Unless you have walls you are not safe,” unconsciously you keep building them.
You are struggling with the walls of resistance that you have built around yourself.
the yogic system does not talk about God. It does not talk about the soul or heaven. Such talk invariably makes people hallucinatory. Yoga talks only about the barriers that you have set up, because this resistance is all that needs to be attended to.
You have no work with existence. You only have work with the existence that you have created.
We are rooted to the planet right now because of gravity. We have a body today only because of gravity.
grace is a force that is trying to lift you up.
As gravity is active, grace too is constantly active. It is just that you have to make yourself available to it.
If you are strongly identified with the physical, gravity is all that you will know. But with grace, you have to make yourself receptive. Whatever kind of spiritual practice you do, ultimately, you are just working toward making yourself available to grace.
Suppose you were the only one who could ride a bicycle, you would begin to seem magical to everyone else! It is the same with grace. Others might think you are magic, but you know you are just beginning to become receptive to a new dimension of life.
You may have noticed this about yourself: when you are feeling pleasant, you want to expand; when you are fearful, you want to contract.
Try this. Sit for a few minutes in front of a plant or tree. Remind yourself that you are inhaling what the tree is exhaling, and exhaling what the tree is inhaling. Even if you are not yet experientially aware of it, establish a psychological connection with the plant.
After a few days, you will start connecting with everything around you differently. You won’t limit yourself to a tree.
Life Sense: Knowing Life Beyond the Senses
How does the human body make sense of the world?
The answer is obvious: through the five senses.
Whatever you know of the world or yourself is information you have gathered only through the five sense organs—by seeing, hearing, smelling, tasting, and touching. If these sense organs fold up, you would know neither the world nor yourself.
When you sleep every night, suddenly the people around you disappear, the world disappears, and even you disappear. You are still alive, everybody around you is alive, but in your experience everything evaporates, because these five sense organs have gone into “shutdown” mode.
The sense organs are limited. They can perceive only that which is physical. If your perception is limited to the five senses, naturally the scope of your life will be restricted to the physical.
Additionally, the senses perceive everything only in relation to something else. If I touch a metal object and it feels cool to my fingers, it is simply because my body temperature is warmer.
They are turned on at the moment of your birth because they are essential to your survival in the outside world. But if you are seeking something more than survival, they are not enough.
If you are really interested in knowing life in all its depth and dimension, it is imperative that you look inward, not out.
the essential nature of life does not lie in the physical or psychological expression of body and mind, but in their source.
the very seat of your experience is within you, but your perception is entirely outward bound.
Yoga is fundamentally aimed at enhancing your experience beyond the five senses.
fundamentally, it is your quality of perception that determines how effective and successful you are and how much you can do on this planet. The expansion of your sense perception beyond its present boundaries can achieve phenomenal results, bringing a completely new and seemingly magical dimension to your life.
The only reason it has been inaccessible is that you are either busy or preoccupied with what is happening outside or far too engaged in your own psychological drama.
It is just a lack of attention which has denied people the possibility of discovering what lies within.
Turning inward does not have anything to do with thoughts, ideas, opinions, or philosophies. It has nothing to do with the psychological activity of your mind. Enhancing your perception means enhancing your ability to receive life, just as it is. If you are willing to dedicate just a few minutes of your life to this every day, you would see the change. The simple process of paying a little bit of attention to your inner nature will transform the quality of your life in remarkable ways.
Start by paying attention to everything you think of as yourself just before you fall asleep: your thoughts, your emotions, your hair, your skin, your clothes, your makeup.
Know that none of this is you. There is no need to make any conclusion about what “you” are or what “truth” is. Truth is not a conclusion.
If you keep the false conclusions at bay, truth will dawn. It is like your experience of the night: the sun has not gone; it is just that the planet is looking the other way. You’re thinking, reading, talking about the self, because you’re too busy looking the other way!
You haven’t paid enough attention to know what the self really is. What is needed is not a conclusion, but a turnaround. If you manage to enter sleep with this awareness, it will be significant. Since there is no external interference in sleep, this will grow into a powerful experience. Over time, you will enter a dimension beyond all accumulations.