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….

Continue reading

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…

Continue reading

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…

Continue reading

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?…

Continue reading

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…

Continue reading

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…

Continue reading

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…

Continue reading

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…

Continue reading

Driving With Your Brakes On

Society and culture determine what it means to be a success and drill it into our heads, day and night. Stop to consider this: Having a good job or being famous or having a great reputation has absolutely nothing to do with happiness or success. Nothing! It is totally irrelevant. 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…

Continue reading

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…

Continue reading