“This is your wake-up call! You may not have even realized you were sleepwalking. Most of us are most of the time. Awareness is an eye-opener. It’s Anthony DeMello telling you gently but firmly, ‘It’s time to get up now.’”

A guru was once attempting to explain to a crowd how human beings react to words, how they feed on words, live on words. One of the men stood up and protested; he said, “I don’t agree that words have all that much effect on us.” The guru said, “Sit down, you son of a bitch.” The man went livid with rage and said, “You call yourself an enlightened person, a guru, a master, but you ought to be ashamed of yourself.” The guru then said, “Pardon me, sir, I was carried away. I really beg your pardon; that was a lapse; I’m sorry.” The man finally calmed down. Then the guru said, “It took just a few words to get a whole tempest going within you; and it took just a few words to calm you down, didn’t it?” Words, words, words, words, how imprisoning they can be.

You’re surrounded with joy, with happiness, with love, but you have no idea of this whatsoever. The reason: you’ve been brainwashed by society into believing things that are not real or true. You’ve been hypnotized; you’re asleep.

Your society and your culture taught you to believe that you would not be happy without certain persons, and certain things, and certain outcomes. Stop for a moment and contemplate in horror the endless list of attachments that you have become a prisoner to. You are not alone. Everywhere you look, people have built their lives on the unquestioned belief that without money, power, success, approval, a good reputation, love, friendship, spirituality, or God, they cannot be happy.

If you wish to be happy, the first thing you need isn’t effort, or even goodwill or good desires. You need a clear understanding of exactly how you have been programmed. Striving to rearrange the world around you so you can attain and maintain the objects of your attachment leaves you little energy for the business of living and enjoying life fully. It is also an impossible task in an ever-changing world that you simply are not able to control.

To recognize your programming, you need just one thing: the ability to open your mind, to listen. It isn’t easy to listen to someone like me who challenges the programmed ideas that are so ingrained in people, but challenging that programming is where happiness begins; it’s where enlightenment begins; it’s where your eyes begin to open to the divinity surrounding you. When we listen with an open mind, things have a way of becoming clear all by themselves.

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Below you will find a curated collection from the Happiness Podcast meant to help you open your mind and advance on your journey toward happiness.