The Enlightenment Meditation

When I try to change what I dislike in myself by fighting it, I merely push it underground. If I accept it, it will surface and evaporate. What I resist will stubbornly persist. I consider the example of Jesus, who set himself the task of moving mountains and battling with exasperating foes. Yet, even in his anger, he is loving —he combines a keen desire for change with an acceptance of reality as it is….

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The Secret Meditation

I set out in search of the source of happiness. I look minutely at the life of a happy person who is poor, then talk with him, attempting to discover what makes this person happy. I think of a joyful person in poor health, in physical pain, and talk again, searching for what it is that makes her joyful. I do the same with a happy person who has lost his reputation. I walk into…

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The River Meditation

I look up at the sky and see the morning star burn brightly in the heavens. I imagine what it sees as it looks down on me and my surroundings and this portion of the earth. I visualize what it must have seen a thousand years ago . . . five thousand . . . a hundred thousand . . . five million years ago. I attempt to see in fantasy what the morning star…

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Where Does Self­-Worth Come From?

Where does self­-worth come from? Do you get it from success in your work? Do you get it from having a lot of money? Do you get it from attracting a lot of men if you’re a woman or a lot of women if you’re a man? How fragile all that is, how transitory. When we talk about self­-worth, are we not talking, really, about how we are reflected in the mirrors of other people’s minds?…

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What the “I” Is Not

Let’s concern ourselves with something practical—deciding what the “I” is not. Am I my thoughts, the thoughts that I am thinking? No. Thoughts come and go; I am not my thoughts. Am I my body? They tell us that millions of cells in our bod­ ies are changed or are renewed every minute, and that by the end of seven years, we don’t have a single living cell in our bodies that was there seven…

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Who Am I?

The great masters tell us that the most important question in the world is: “Who am I?” Or rather: “What is ‘I’?” What is this thing I call “I”? What is this thing I call myself? You mean you understood everything else in the world, and you didn’t understand this? You mean you understood astron­omy and black holes and quasars, and you picked up computer science, and you don’t know who you are? You are…

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