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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Happiness Is Not An Achievement

Happiness is not an achievement; love is not an achievement; holiness is not an achievement. They are each a grace—grace called awareness, a grace called looking, observing, and understanding. If you would only switch on the light of awareness and observe yourself and everything around you throughout the day; if you would see yourself reflected in the mirror of awareness the way you see your face reflected in a looking glass—accurately, clearly, exactly as it is…

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What Is Happiness?

What, then, is happiness? Very few people know. No one can tell you because happiness cannot be described. Can you describe light to people who have been sitting in darkness all their lives? Can you describe reality to someone in a dream? Understand your darkness, and it will vanish. Then you will know what light is. Understand your nightmare for what it is, and it will stop. Then you will wake up to reality. Understand your…

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Driving With Your Brakes On

Do you want to be one of those people who society says made it? Made what?! Made fools of themselves because they drained all their energy getting something that was worthless. Do you call that a success? These people are miserable. They’re unhappy; they don’t enjoy life. They are constantly tense and anxious. If you contemplate this long enough, you will experience a disgust so deep that you will instinctively fling every attachment away as…

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Life’s Symphony

You also falsely think that your fears protect you, that your beliefs have made you what you are, and that your attachments make your life exciting and secure. You fail to see that they are actually a screen between you and life’s symphony. It is quite impossible, of course, to be fully conscious of every note in life’s symphony. But if your spirit becomes unclogged and your senses open, you will begin to perceive things as…

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A Farmyard Tale

A man found an eagle’s egg and put it in the nest of a backyard hen. The eaglet hatched with the brood of chicks and grew up with them. All his life, the eagle did what the backyard chickens did, thinking he was a backyard chicken. He scratched the earth for worms and insects. He clucked and cackled. And he would thrash his wings and fly a few feet into the air. Years passed, and…

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