We’re all in the change business, aren’t we? We want to change ourselves; we want to change the world. You’re not here to change the world. You’re here to love the world. But you don’t want to love the world, you want to change it. You don’t want to love yourself; you want to change yourself.

People often ask me, What do I need to do to change myself?  If you are one of those people, I’ve got a big surprise for you! You don’t have to do anything. In fact, the more you do, the worse it gets. That’s why people are so tired, so weary. You don’t need effort. Don’t “fix” anything. It is enough for you to be watchful and awake. Just watch! Observe! Watch everything inside of you and outside, and when there is something happening to you, see it as if it were happening to someone else, with no comment, no judgment, no attitude, no interference, no attempt to change, only to understand. The trouble with people is that they’re busy fixing things they don’t even understand. We’re always fixing things, aren’t we? It never strikes us that things don’t need to be fixed. They really don’t. This is a great illumination. Do you know what they need?  They need to be understood. If they understood them, they’d change.   You cannot change by an effort of the will; you cannot change through ideals; you cannot change through building up new habits. Your behavior may change, but you don’t. You only change through awareness and understanding. How do you do that? You become aware.

Four Simple Steps 

  1. The first thing you need to take is to get in touch with negative feelings that you’re not even aware that you have. What negative feelings? Gloominess, for instance. You’re feeling moody, depressed. You feel self-hatred or guilt. You feel that life is pointless, that it makes no sense. You have hurt feelings. You’re stressed, nervous and tense. Get in touch with negative feelings first.
  2. The second step is don’t interfere. Don’t “fix” anything. Watch! Observe!  Self-observation means watching— observing whatever is going on in you and around objectively almost as if it were happening to someone else.
  3. The third step is to understand that the negative feeling is in you, not in reality. That’s such a self-evident thing, but people don’t know it?
  4. The fourth step is to not identify with the negative feeling. Don’t define your essential self in terms of that feeling. Don’t say, “I am depressed.” If you want to say, “My experience is depression” or “depression is there,” that’s fine. If you want to say “anxiety is there” that’s fine. But not, “I am depressed;” “I am anxious.” You’re defining yourself in terms of the feeling. That’s your illusion; that’s your mistake. Don’t define your essential self in terms of that feeling; the feeling does not affect the essential “I.” It’s similar to when you throw black paint in the air; the air remains uncontaminated. You never color the air black. No matter what happens to you, you remain uncontaminated. If you find yourself condemning yourself, judging yourself, or even approving of yourself, don’t stop the condemnation and don’t stop the judgment or approval, just watch it.. Just look at it, period. Don’t try to change it! That’s what it means to be nonjudgmenal,

Throughout, let your experience be as it is. Leave it alone. It will pass. Everything passes. Everything. Your depressions and anxieties and thrills are the swings of the pendulum; they have nothing to do with happiness. They have nothing to do with your essential Self, the “I.”

If at first there is a sluggishness in practicing awareness don’t force yourself. That would be an effort again. Just be aware of your sluggishness without any judgment or condemnation. Step by step, let whatever happens happen. Real change will come when it is brought about—not by your ego, but by reality. Awareness releases reality to change you. In that moment of awareness, but you have to experience it.

Do it, and you’ll make the biggest discovery in your life. As illusions begin to crumble, you begin to know things that cannot be described. It’s called happiness.