Non-Thought for the Day
February 10, 2016
A Valentines Day Gift for You
If you are looking for a Valentines Day gift to send your loved ones (or even your liked ones), here it is. Includes beautiful quotes on love, vocals by Daya Rawat, lyrics by Jennifer Edwards, and music by Stuart Hoffman. Pass it on. (What if 7 billion people had a chance to see this show?)February 09, 2016
There's a Bee on Your Cheek February 06, 2016
VIDEO: A Heartful of Gratitude February 05, 2016
The Beautiful Sadness of Longing
There is a beautiful kind of sadness -- one most people think they shouldn't feel -- that needs to be celebrated. Or, if not celebrated, then at least welcomed like the evening's last beggar at your door.
This sadness is divine, the experience most people assume to be an absence but, in reality, is the presence of the primal longing for the Beloved.
It would be easy to conclude that this feeling is a disconnection from joy, an unfortunate amnesia that would make an easy target for well-meaning givers of advice to quote from their favorite scripture. But I am not talking about this garden variety form of sadness. I am talking about another kind -- a holy melancholy that sculpts, deepens, and refines from within.
Like the dusk that follows day, it is not devoid of light, but only a another shade of light.
Yes, it is darker. But so what? Isn't it the darkness that allows the stars to shine?
When a human being is in the presence of their Beloved, it is easy to feel joy. Like leaving home in the middle of a storm, it is easy to get wet there.
But when the Beloved departs (ah, the paradox, the late night debates -- does the Beloved ever depart?), an uncomfortable feeling arises.
The moon is full, but you are empty -- thirsty for something to fill you again, but the only thing left to drink is a bucket of tears and you cannot find the handle.
Off in the distance you hear the sound of cello. Is it sad or beautiful?
Drawn by the music, you follow, feeling your way, singing silent songs of praise and wondering if what you hear is the sound of your own voice or your name being called.
You know, and have always known, that the Beloved has left the world behind as a gift. But you do not want the gift. You want the Giver.February 04, 2016
Long Before Words
Being of the Jewish persuasion, I'm not exactly the kind of person given to confession, but allow me the ecumenical luxury of confessing at least one thing in this first paragraph of what may well turn out to be the Mahabharata of blog postings:
Writing about Prem Rawat and the gift that he offers is not easy.
It's not easy for a few reasons.
First off, what I want to say existed long before words -- long before nouns and verbs and the leaky vessels we construct to float our shaky boats of babble. Secondly, words are approximations of the real thing at best. Like menus, they indicate something's cooking in the kitchen, but they are not the food itself. And thirdly, the dog ate my homework.
I don't know how it works, but there are years of my life I can barely remember, but seconds with Prem that remain a vast eternity, indelibly impressed on my heart like some kind of rock 'n roll Rosetta stone.
I never laugh so hard or cry so long as when I'm in his company. I never feel so good.
The first time I heard about him, I was both ecstatic and afraid -- ecstatic at the thought I might finally experience what I'd been born for -- afraid that somehow, grand impostor that I was, I would be the only person on the face of the Earth not to get it. Forget it. I got it.
Yes, that moment happened -- the moment of oooh -- the moment of aaah -- the moment of finally coming into my own after years of imagining my own was someplace far away -- in a forest, cave, or future lifetime.
What has he taught me? How to wake up -- and stay awake. How to appreciate. How to feel. How to simply be.
What Prem Rawat offers is not so much a teaching as it is transportation to the place we've either been seeking our entire lives or have given up on long ago -- the place of no judgment, the place of no doubt, the place of no worry, no fear, no problem.
Here! The place of remembering. And what we remember here is love -- plain and simple. For love is the name of the game...February 02, 2016
PREM RAWAT'S NEW BOOK: Excerpts from the Amazon Reviews
Two weeks ago Prem Rawat's new book, Splitting the Arrow, became available for sale on Amazon. What follow are excerpts from some of the reader reviews...
A TREASURE TROVE OF WISDOM: "This simple book of few words bypassed my mind and impacted my heart. Though each chapter took mere minutes to read, I found myself reflecting upon each message for days." -- Ora Munter
SPEAK TO THE HEART: "This is a book that poses a deceptively simple question: 'Are you at ease with yourself?' As long as I've enjoyed and pondered the words of Prem Rawat, reading this book brought this question into a new light for me. It may strike you, as it did me, how high and uncompromising is the standard he is setting... This isn't a book just to read. It's a book to encounter." -- Steven Kowarsky
SIMPLE, BUT PROFOUND INSPIRATION IN A NICE PACKAGE: "This book touched me with its simplicity and practical wisdom that was both inspiring and entertaining. It offers a lot of food for thought and gives the reader an affirmative view of life and the world. High quality production with charming illustrations." -- Chris Corbett
AN ELEGANT LOOK AT LIFE: "This book conveys essential wisdom in a clean and straightforward way without dogma or big explanations. The format is a collection of short and humorous parables, speaking excerpts, and even a Q&A section. The book is not a 'how-to' in any sense of the word, but more a way of looking at daily life from the inside out. Compared with many self-improvement books, it may come off as too light-weight, but I found that lightness to be its charm, sort of like a math equation or work of art that conveys elegance and power in its simplicity." -- Mortal Man
A GREAT PAUSE AND REFLECT BOOK: "What struck me most was wondering how this book would be received in the west. We so want to put things in boxes. In categories. Business? Personal Development? Fiction. Non-fiction? Philosophy, even. There's an underlying depth, beauty and complexity in the stories. Humour even. My recommendation? Don't rush. Sit in a quiet place and read a section. Pause and let it sink in. Then make up your own mind." -- Amazon Customer
WONDERFUL BOOK: "This is a wonderful and profound book that speaks directly to your heart. We enjoyed reading it." -- Colin and Becky Neiburger
A GEM OF A BOOK: "I love how this book cuts to the chase and makes its case in the simplest way possible. It reminds me of what Einstein said about simplicity, 'Everything should be as simple as possible, but no simpler.' Each story makes a point that sticks. And the commentary that follows each story elaborates without being preachy or didactic. In a world overwhelmed by information, attention deficit, and posturing, Splitting the Arrow is a breath of fresh air." -- Mitch Ditkoff
STORIES INVITING REFLECTION: "The writing is clear and invites you to reflect and find your own answers. It appears simple and, in a way, it is. But mostly I found it profound and bringing clarity." -- Amazon Customer
SWEET BOOK IN THE VEIN OF WINNIE THE POOH AND THE LITTLE PRINCE: "Lovely, timeless folk stories with a simple, but profound teaching. Prem Rawat is a master at pointing the simply obvious but forgotten. I sipped and reflected on each one, and came out with a "hmmm... quite right" wistful feeling. Lovely illustrations too." -- Jean Paul Peretz
ESSENTIAL IN THE TRUEST SENSE: "I was struck by how this book goes to the essence of things. It lies on my coffee table so I can just grab it and open it up randomly. It always gives me something I need. It reminds me of what is truly important and inspires me to go for it. It invites me to look beyond appearances and understand life itself." -- Amazon Customer
SWEET. FULL OF HOPE AND WISDOM: "A very special book, sweet, full of hope and wisdom." -- Amazon Customer
BITE-SIZED WISDOM: "An enjoyable little book...easy to read, full of wisdom. Some parts read like haiku. The layout was one of the big pluses....each thought or quote in it's own little chapter or page...enabling one to take it in, pause, ponder upon it, put it down, let it ruminate and resonate within one's self before moving on to the next little piece of wisdom." -- Dev S
A BOOK TO SAVOR: "If I were more graphically gifted, I'd rather offer you an elegantly engraved invitation to Splitting the Arrow instead of this blurbed review. Just the pleasing design and tactile quality of the book in my hands seems to warrant that... There's a kind of sustaining rhythm throughout the book, as he weaves together pointed yet amusing stories with his deceptively simple but moving commentaries." -- Booth Dyess
GREAT INSPIRATION: "Its simplicity and message are ones that are sorely needed in this day and age. Great inspiration!" -- Bruce K
JOYFUL READING: "Splitting the Arrow provides a simple, clear, and profound reminder of the important things in life... It is not a 'How to Do' book with step-by-step instructions of what to do, but a reflection of absolutely essential life perspectives that spark deep contemplation and joy. I enjoy reading this book because it points me back to the real me seeking clarity about my own life." -- JHK
SURPRISING BECAUSE IT IS SIMPLE AND IMMEDIATELY USEFUL: "Likely the most surprising business book to be published this year... Business requires insight, resilience, right decisions, and persistence. But from where do these qualities arise? Hint: the most obvious and overlooked place you could imagine. Well written. An enjoyable read." -- Amazon Customer
ONE BOOK I LIKE TO HAVE IN MY LIBRARY: "A simple touching book -- one I like to have in my library and read again and again. It is easy to read even for a person who is not fluent in English, addressing some fundamentals of the human being in such a gentle way. The stories are very sweet and, at the same time, made me reflect profoundly." -- Amazon Customer
SWEET, INSPIRING, A GREAT GIFT BOOK: "This is a sweet little book that, in its simplicity, holds great wisdom. A great book to have around and be able to read one short story -- any of which would relate to your life in the moment -- be inspired and move along. If someone were stuck or having a hard time with life, this would be a nice companion to have near by. A nice gift book." -- Sharon L. Jeffers
The Three Questions
Some years ago I attended a 5-day conference, in Miami, with Prem Rawat and 50 other people.
On the first morning, during his opening remarks, Prem explained that he wanted everyone at the conference to feel absolutely free to ask their questions whenever they had one. Made perfect sense. After all, we were there to learn.
The first morning passed in a questionless mode for me. Everything he said was absolutely clear and I was content simply to sit, listen, and enjoy the feeling of being in the room with him.
The afternoon was a different story. About an hour after lunch, he said something that baffled me. No kapish. I had a question. But I also had something else -- and that was the fear of asking.
One part of me -- the respectful part -- thought I'd be interrupting him if I raised my hand. Another part -- the educated part -- thought I should already know the answer. Yet another part (hey! how many parts did I have?) didn't want to be the focus of attention.
My right hand twitched, but hung at my side like a slacker. Then I remembered what Prem had said the day before: "If you have a question, ask."
I raised my hand and asked.
"That's the stupidest thing I ever heard," he replied.
Ouch! Now it was official. I was a fool, a moron, a complete idiot -- something I'd always suspected, but now had all the proof I needed.
I could feel myself shrinking, slinking back into my chair.
My teacher had answered the question I asked, but I barely heard a word. My mind was out to lunch, but had no idea where the restaurant was. A hundred over-caffeinated PR guys inside me, hell bent on damage control, did their best to save the day, but their efforts were a joke.
I didn't sleep well that night.
The next morning I took my seat with an extra dose of humility and some last-minute effort to gracefully manage my emotional meltdown from the day before.
Thirty minutes into Prem's morning presentation, he said something that made only partial sense to me. I kind of understood it. I mean, I sort of got what he said, but not really.
I had a question.
No way was I going to ask it. No way was I going to reveal yet another questionable side of my questionable self -- not only to him, but to 50 of my peers, some of whom, I knew, already had their doubts about me.
But then I remembered what he had said on Day One. "If you have a question, ask."
I raised my hand.
"That," he replied, "is a really good question."
Hallelujah! I was back in the game -- now hanging ten in my semi-comfortable hotel chair, waiting for his response to my now, officially-declared, good question.
I barely heard a word he said -- consumed, as I was, by his acknowledgment of my question being "good." I could see he was talking, but I was suddenly deaf. My mind, once more, was out to lunch. OK, maybe not lunch, but out for a meal. Like... maybe breakfast.. or a light snack.
Day Three came quickly.
I woke, took a shower, practiced Knowledge, drank coffee, ate a bagel, and took my seat.
The morning session was smooth as silk. My teacher spoke, told some jokes, showed some slides -- me enjoying my new found status as a question-free human being.
The afternoon? Don't ask.
An hour into it, I felt an old familiar feeling coming over me. I wouldn't exactly call it cluelessness, but I was clearly in need of a clue.
I took a breath. I raised my hand. I asked.
Prem listened. Then he spoke. His response, this time, was neutral. My question wasn't good. My question wasn't stupid. It was just a question.
Three days. Three questions. Three different responses.
Looking back at this conference with my favorite person on the planet, the metaphor that comes to mind is one a friend shared with me some years ago.
"Imagine yourself," she said, "as a sword in a stone. It's stuck and won't come out. You pull to the left. You pull to the right. You pull to the left, again. Back and forth, back and forth you go between the extremes: good and bad, up and down, black and white, rich and poor, this and that. With each movement between the extremes, the sword gets looser and looser until it gets loose enough for you to pull from the stone. That's how it works some times -- all this going back and forth, until we're finally free!"
I'm glad I took Prem Rawat up on his word and asked my questions. In a curious way, I may have learned more from the act of asking than I did from the answers I received. That's one of the cool things about being in relationship with someone like him. Every interaction is amplified. Every conversation has the potential to reveal something extraordinary.
I'm glad I didn't play it safe with him. I'm glad I didn't hide behind my simulated mask of understanding. Yes, it's a risk to speak up. But a risk to what? Only that self-serving, legend-in-my-own-mind character more concerned with other's opinions of me than the experience of truth.
Did he know that the three different ways he answered my questions put me through some changes? I doubt it. But it doesn't really matter.
Prem Rawat is not a mind reader. He is not a psychic. He is not a therapist. He merely holds up a mirror. What we see -- and what we do after we see what we see -- is completely up to us.Inspiration, Past and Present
While it is absolutely true that the past is over, the future is yet to come and NOW IS ALL THERE IS, sometimes it's inspiring to reflect on sweet moments of inspiration. Here are some from Prem Rawat's five-day Amaroo event in Australia last September.