This is the 2nd of four talks at a recent retreat in New Zealand. We explore our spiritual essence, the mind and how meditating on these spiritual sounds has a profound effect on our lives.
I have shared some Vedic verses which I recently used in a shorter version of this talk. We cover the fundamental truths concerning our spiritual existence and how I, the eternal spiritual being residing within the material body, am different from the gross physical body (and the subtle mental body or the mind) that covers me.
These are the amazing Vedic verses that speak to this subject.
Some look on the soul as amazing, some describe the soul as amazing, and some hear of the soul as amazing, while others, even after hearing about the spiritual being, cannot understand him at all. – Bhagavad-gītā 2.29
In this way the conditioned soul living within the body forgets his self-interest because he identifies himself with the body. Because the body is material, his natural tendency is to be attracted by the varieties of the material world. Thus the living entity suffers the miseries of material existence. – Bhāgavata Purāṇa 7.13.28
The soul within the body is self-luminous and is distinct from the visible gross body and invisible subtle body. It remains as the fixed basis of changing bodily existence, just as the ethereal sky is the unchanging background of material transformation. Therefore the soul is endless and without material comparison. – Bhāgavata Purāṇa 12.5.8
Just as fire, which burns and illuminates, is different from firewood, which is to be burned to give illumination, similarly the seer within the body, the self-enlightened spirit soul, is different from the material body, which is to be illuminated by consciousness. Thus the spirit soul and the body possess different characteristics and are separate things. – Bhāgavata Purāṇa 11.10.8
One who is enlightened in self-realization, although living within the material body, sees himself as transcendental to the body, just as one who has arisen from a dream gives up identification with the dream body. – Bhāgavata Purāṇa 11.11.8
So, the topic I got handed was about our essence, the mind, and how meditating on these spiritual sounds has a profound effect on our life. So that will be the—broadly what we’ll cover.
Okay, before speaking I offer my respects to my spiritual teachers, our lineage and the Supreme Soul.
So, I was going to start with (Thank you very much) start with, maybe we’ll run through what we talked about last Sunday. We did a short talk the Spirit Soul 101.
Something that’s very fundamental to spiritual life is an understanding that everybody has got like a paradigm. They’ve got a frame of reference. We see things in certain ways, and we generally don’t question, because almost everybody else around us, to a large degree, is in agreement, and so we don’t think it needs questioning. The great spiritual teachers, the rishis and sages of India, they presented us with a monumental challenge to how we see things.
I’ll give you an example. One of the things that they spoke at some length on was perception, how you see, hear, taste, touch, and what that process is. I touched on this last Sunday. It’s kind of like you ask most people, “How is it that you can see?” And people’s response, “it’s kind of like obvious! Because you’ve got eyes. Hello! Where have you been? Because you have eyes.” Okay, well, if I bring you in a dark room and blindfold you, what can you see? Nothing. But you still have eyes, right? “Yeah.” So how is it that you see nothing? And is it because of the eyes that you see.
But it gets more trippy than that. When you look at it biologically you have light entering this gelatinous blob called an eyeball, through a hole which has a lens on it, and that light enters. And then upside down (upside down! not the way we think we’re seeing things), it stimulates cells, photosensitive cells at the back of the eyeball, which in turn sets off electrical impulses that travel down the optic nerve to the visual cortex of the brain and just tickle parts of the brain with electrical impulses.
And it’s like, “Oh, okay.” So then my question is, “Where is the picture that you are seeing in that process? Where is the picture? And who is the one seeing it?” You know, this thing that we’re doing like right now, you’re looking at me, most of you, and I’m looking at you guys, we take this for granted. But really, where is that image that we’re seeing? Where is it registering? And who is it that’s perceiving?
And the yogis would do this also with the process of smell and taste and touch, and it’s always this question: who is the actual perceiver? The body is not perceiving. The body and the organs of the senses are not perceiving. They are simply conduits for stimuli, for information. But where is the perception taking place? And so, I mean, we just don’t even think about this kind of stuff. We take it for granted that we know what’s going on, and the world is as we see it.
This is like a monumental problem for people that are really into certain aspects of physics and science. It’s kind of like, well, they go on to question, “What is the reality?” Because actually all perception is—well at least all of the information being transmitted is transmitted to the brain.
In the yoga teachings they talked about this very subtle connection between the brain and the mind. Many people think that the mind is a function of the brain, but you’ll find amongst some of the world’s leading neurologists, they will tell you, no, there is all this evidence to show that the mind seems to exist and function somewhat independently of the brain. I watched one really famous surgeon one time talking about doing brain surgery. And when they do brain surgery, they want the patient to be awake, so that there’s like a curtain covering. They can’t see what’s going on, and there’s local sedatives, but they need to remain conscious, so that while they’re performing the brain surgery they don’t want to cause some catastrophic damage. So they actually sometimes, in some procedures, engage in talking to the patients and getting feedback. And he said he’s had this experience, where it’s been clearly identified that there is a portion of the brain that’s associated with a certain type of thing, and here he is removing it. In fact it’s already been removed, and he’s talking to the person, and they’re talking about things that are meant to be triggered and contained within a certain part of the brain. And he said it leaves you with this clarity, that, no, the brain and the mind are not synonymous, that the mind is something else.
And so the yogis were really into understanding this, because it was part of their quest for spiritual liberation. Their understanding was that within each body resided a person, a spiritual being, a spiritual being. And because of the powerful influence of this spiritual particle of life, that is actually a being, it imparts consciousness and a sense of being to the mind and to the body. And then the average person spends their entire life absorbed in the idea that the body I’ve got on is me—even though we experience it, you know, when you see the death of a loved one, a relative, and you’re in the presence of the body of a departed person, clearly, you know that that person’s gone, and what is left behind is a shell. You clearly know it. You see it with clarity.
I used another example: I can remember when I was a teenager and growing up in Te Aroha, and one of my mates, he had this really gorgeous looking young girl as a girlfriend. And of course, hormones raging and everything’s just out of control, he just couldn’t stay away from her, and was just all over her all the time. But she became very upset by the nature of their relationship, and I heard her say to him one time, “You don’t actually care about me. You’re only interested in my body. All you want to do is have sex all the time. That’s all you’re interest—but you don’t actually care about me.” And it was just like, whoa! That blew my mind when I heard that, because it clearly indicated the distinction between the body and the self, clearly indicated. But generally, even though we have these sort of like, maybe we’ve had these experiences, we don’t take it anywhere. We don’t delve into it.
So the first—I’m going to read some verses from very ancient spiritual texts. The first one is from the Bhagavad-gita. Hopefully it’s going to be projected up there and won’t be too small. We’ll see. Yeah. So in this verse it says,
“Some look on the soul as amazing, some describe the soul as amazing, and some hear of the soul as amazing, while others, even after hearing about the spiritual being, cannot understand him at all.” – Bhagavad-gītā 2.29
Is that far out or what? The first time I heard this—I mentioned last week that my spiritual teacher, he had visited Russia. This was like 1971, 1972. And Russia, it was another, almost planet, back then. The Iron Curtain was, you know, firmly locked a whole society away. And he had been invited by a Professor of Eastern Religion and Philosophy to visit the university. And when he was there this man, the professor, arranged a group of other professors to meet him and speak, and they spoke about this subject, the nature of the soul, which, of course, in Soviet society which was rigidly atheistic, the idea of a soul was considered a superstition, a bad thing.
And so, in this conversation he was mentioning, my teacher, that some of them kind of got it, and you could really see it, and it was really profoundly affecting them, but others they just didn’t get it at all. And then he quoted this verse in Sanskrit, which is the reality of things.
It’s not that everyone is going to be able to understand spiritual truth, because to question and to seek answers is a function of our free will. We are free to do this. Nobody’s forcing us. And we are free to adopt ideas and views of life and views of what reality is and views of who we are. That’s part of our nature. We can do that. And when you become affected by a certain paradigm, or a state of consciousness, you just can’t, you can’t just suddenly move beyond that.
And a really good example, I mean, you see people that are struggling from drug addiction, and especially when it’s reached this critical point where somebody’s living on the street, and they’re just constantly looking for the next hit. And the stuff available today is just like unbelievable in terms of stripping people of dignity and intelligence and their ability to exercise their free will. It’s like just utterly enslaved. And in that state, you can explain to someone, “Look, this is really bad for you. You’re really suffering.”
I can remember one of my early encounters. I grew up in the early hippie times, and I remember visiting a couple in Sydney when I first went over there, and they were completely freaking out. One of them was home, because they didn’t have any—they hadn’t had a hit for a couple of days, so they were resorting—they were heroin users, so they were resorting to alcohol. And then finally the guy walks in, and he’s just elated because he was able to score. He had this small bag. And of course, now out comes the paraphernalia and the ritual. It’s like a religious ritual for people that are into it, the whole thing, cooking it up, and the swab and the spoon, and sucking the liquid through into the syringe, and now the big hunt for a vein. And he’s trying to find one. He’s being such a gentleman, he’s trying on his girlfriend first, all over, you know, her arms and her legs, and couldn’t find anything. And so he had to, he said, “Look, I’ll take care of it later.” He couldn’t wait any longer. He ties off his arm and shoots himself up, and then proceeds to just sort of like go into this stupor and fall over with a needle still in his arm.
And it was like, it was really mind-blowing for me, because I had this sudden revelation: this couple think that their life is filled with unhappiness, and the solution to their unhappiness is this white powder. They think that the experience of getting hammered by heroin, which takes you to this really, feels like a really safe and comfortable space, where you’re all protected and everything. That’s the experience. And it’s sort of like, they’re thinking that this is the solution to their suffering. But for me, I’m standing there, and I just had this powerful vision, oh my gods, these guys are suffering because of this stuff. This is not the solution. This is the cause of the problem. But they are seeing it in an opposite way: “This is the solution to our problem.”
So, I’m just raising that because according to each individual’s state of consciousness we are going to see things in certain ways. And the process of yoga and meditation was actually, it produced a uniform result. Everybody that went down this path grew in a deeper, not just understanding and appreciation, but a realization of my spiritual existence, that I am an eternal spiritual being. And being really immersed in that experience, their whole life changes, their purpose, their focus, how they relate to others, how they relate to the world, because their appreciation of themself has completely altered.
So, this next verse addresses how the living being resides within the body:
“In this way the conditioned soul living within the body forgets his self-interest because he identifies himself with the body. Because the body is material, his natural tendency is to be attracted by the varieties of the material world. And thus the living entity suffers the miseries of material existence.” – Bhāgavata Purāṇa 7.13.28
So it talks about the nature of this experience, that when you actually begin to totally identify the body as the self, then your automatic conclusion is that if I want to be happy I must seek to do that in relation to and through the body.
We all have an intense desire—when I say intense, I don’t mean it’s kind of like at the forefront and raging, but it’s really driving our lives in a lot of ways, the desire for happiness. The great spiritual teachers teach the reason that we have a desire for happiness is because it is part of the nature, the eternal nature of the soul itself, the living being, to exist in a state of happiness. And because of that we’re constantly having this experience of feeling, it’s almost like, you know what they say, a fish out of water. There’s something wrong. I need to find something to fill up the emptiness. I need to find something to plug the hole. I need—and so we’re just constantly looking.
Like when a person comes home from a day at work, it’s usually—so what do you do? A lot of people whip out the phone and scroll, or they’ll sit down in front of the TV and flip it on, or they’ll go to the refrigerator and just open the door and kind of stand there scanning it, even if you’re not really hungry, you’ll just be looking. It’s like—or you’re going to call a friend, “Hey, what are you doing?” It’s kind of like there is this agitation to look for something. I feel that there is this sort of like emptiness.
The desire for happiness is part of your eternal spiritual nature. The problem is, because we get so locked into thinking the body is being who I am, therefore all my attempts to find happiness are usually directed at the body or the mind. And even though I am having all of these amazing experiences and wild stimulation, at least occasionally, it actually doesn’t do anything for me. It doesn’t touch me in the core of my being, because I am malnourished spiritually. I’m a spiritual being. I’m looking for what I will call spiritual nutrition, but when I have become so deeply absorbed in this concept of the body is the self, so my whole focus is trying to find happiness through the agency of the body and the mind.
This—they use the term, at least in English here, “In this way the conditioned soul,” conditioned soul. They, the great yogis, speak about how we’ve become deeply conditioned by material concepts and consciousness. And their understanding is, it’s not just this one lifetime. We have lived so many lifetimes and in each case, there was this constant reinforcement of the illusion of the body as the self, and so it becomes—it’s more than second nature. It completely dominates.
And so when we kind of like—mostly, when we teach we just do yoga philosophy light. We don’t get into stuff too much (I was asked to speak about this kind of thing) simply because we know that a lot of people don’t like to hear these things. There are far more people that don’t like to hear these things than do. If you are attracted to these ideas, you are not a common person. I promise you. You’re not. And that’s a wonderful thing. The reality that we’re all sitting here now is not accidental. Our life, our wishes, our hearts’ desires, in different ways have brought us to this experience, and to be able to consider this extraordinary idea.
So, we’ll go to the next verse. These verses that I’m reading now, they’re from a very ancient text that’s called the Bhagavat Purana, also called the Srimad Bhagavatam, and it was first recorded, committed to writing 5000 years ago, but the history of what was being spoken dates back to time immemorial. So, in the next verse:
“The soul within the body is self-luminous and is distinct from the visible gross body and invisible subtle body. It remains as the fixed basis of changing bodily existence, just as the ethereal sky is the unchanging background of material transformation. Therefore the soul is endless and without material comparison.” – Bhāgavata Purāṇa 12.5.8
Okay, I mean there’s actually a massive amount of information here, and we’ll just touch on at least some of the points.
This term self-luminous that’s been used in English, it speaks to the distinction between the material energy and the life energy. The understanding was that the material energy that constitutes this world has characteristics. It is—one of them is that it’s unconscious. I mean, you know, the wood [taps something wooden], the stuff, it’s all, it’s just, it’s dead matter. But then you will see that the entire planet that we’re on is pervaded by another type of energy. It’s what we will call the life energy. And so the understanding was that life does not arise from chemical combination. Life is the symptom of the presence of the spiritual energy. Wherever the spiritual energy is you will see life, you will see the symptoms of life. And so the term self-luminous that’s used here, it is used because the nature of the, I’ll use the word soul. I generally don’t really like using the word soul, because, primarily because, in much of the Abrahamic traditions where they have used the word soul people use it without actually thinking about what it means.
So for instance, if you ask people, I mean you ask a a priest or a minister or a preacher, “Can you speak to us about the soul for five minutes?” Wow, that’s a hard task. The average person, you ask them about the soul, “Oh, I have a soul.” “Okay, well, if you have a soul, what exactly is the soul? And who exactly are you, the possessor of the soul?” And when you ask that question, it’s kind of like whoa, let’s not go there.
In Sanskrit the term for—what is often used as soul, and what we will often use instead is spirit soul, just to make some distinction—the Sanskrit word is atma. Atma, it means the self, who you actually are. You don’t have a soul, you are the soul.
Just that idea alone, if we really contemplate on it and think about it in relation to our daily life and—it’s mind-blowing. I am the soul?! Then it’s kind of like, well, what am I doing with this thing? [indicates his body] What should I be doing? Because I’ve been flogging this one for a long time, and it ain’t delivering the goods, and I’ve been seeking love and relationships and experiences, all in search of the perfect happiness, and it’s not delivering. And if that’s not me, and I am the soul, I am the spiritual being, what the hell is going on? And what should I be doing? This is like, whoa! This is life-changing.
So the living being, the atma, or the self, is described as self-luminous. This is where consciousness comes from. Your body is not inherently conscious. The consciousness that’s manifest in the body and the mind is due to the presence of the spiritual being. When the spiritual being leaves, the true nature of the body becomes manifest—fall over dead—and instantly becomes unattractive. You have a sense that there’s something like, woahoo [warding off motion] We have an aversion to death because we are eternal, and the idea that you come to an end is really disturbing, but that happens because of these ideas, identifying the body as being the self.
So, it is the living being that is self-luminous, is the source of consciousness that becomes manifest in the body.
“The soul within the body is self-luminous and distinct from the visible gross body and the invisible subtle body.”
So this is like, okay, what the! What’s that one? Their understanding was that the living being has two coverings, the very obvious covering, that we all see with our eyes (see with eyes? [laughs] Just revisiting that one.) and—but there is also a subtle body.
This gross body, they call it the sthula sarira, and it is comprised of gross material elements.
The subtle body is comprised of the mind; what they referred to as the intelligence, or buddhi. This is another faculty that we have that is actually higher than the mind. It’s not like your ability to answer questions in a test, an exam, or whatever. We’re not speaking of intelligence in that regard, although that’s associated. What we have is this capacity, that even in a moment of intense desire or anger or something, or there’s something major about to happen in my life, and I hear that little voice, “Don’t do it. Don’t do it,” but I go and do it anyway. That thing that I hear, this is referred to as the buddhi, or the intelligence, and it gives you a capacity to actually reign in the mind, to not be victimized by the mind, that you don’t have to just follow the mind and everything that arises there. You can actually make decisions in your life about what you are going to do, how you are going to react to things, what you are going to value. You can do all of this, even though the mind is telling you the opposite, and you can say, “No, I’m not doing that. I’m not going there.” So this is, this faculty is called the intelligence or the buddhi.
And then the third part of the subtle body is called the ahankara, which is the false ego, or what sometimes people will just refer to as the ego. And this subtle body, and this gross physical body, cover the living being and contribute to losing the plot.
And then it speaks about the spiritual being “as being the fixed basis of changing bodily existence.” So they would do this thing where they would meditate or reflect upon the baby body that you once had. If you have a picture of your body as a baby body, and I ask the question, “So where is that body now?” most people go, “Oh, it grew, and this is it now.” And the answer is, “No, it hasn’t just grown.” Every single atomic particle in your body has been changed multiple times. It’s not the same body. It’s going through constant change. Within two years 98 percent of all atoms within the body have been changed.
That’s an—I mean this is another one of these—like when we talked about seeing, perception, this is another idea that’s kind of mind-blowing, we don’t think about. I identified myself as a child, I identified myself as a teenager, I identified myself as an adult, I identified myself as being in a middle-aged person, now I’m an aged person. We identify. But it describes in the Bhagavad-gita how the body is—just as there are these constant changes, but there is one constant principle that is me, me! I am the unchanging one within that is experiencing all of these constant changes, even to the body.
So, in the next verse:
“Just as fire, which burns and illuminates, is different from firewood, which is to be burned to give illumination, similarly the seer within the body, the self-enlightened spirit soul, is different from the material body, which is to be illuminated by consciousness. Thus the spirit soul and the body possess different characteristics and are separate things.” – Bhāgavata Purāṇa 11.10.8
So, I don’t know if this is kind of—
The ancient sages of India were just like, it’s mind-blowing how they would look at things, and they would talk about the fact that fire resides within wood. And most people are like, “What?!? What’s that about?” And so you ask the question, if I build a bonfire and I light that fire with a match, then I ask someone, “Where does that fire come from?” most people, without batting an eyelid, say, “The fire has come from a match.” But these people, these sages would say, “No. That is a little tiny flame, and now you have this massive fire. Where has that fire come from?” And they describe, it’s actually residing dormant within the wood, and under certain circumstances it will become manifest, it will release. And it’s kind of like, wow, these guys are trippy to think of something like that. That’s really trippy. But this is one of the examples that they use, that in spite of what you’re maybe thinking and experiencing, with the idea that the body is the self, it’s not actually true. The living being resides within.
And it talks about the proximity—in Patanjali’s Yoga Sutras, he has some really nice verses talking about because of the proximity of the actual atma to the body and even to the mind, the atma imparts, it lends consciousness, it lends awareness to the body and the mind, but it is actually distinct and different.
Is this interesting, or no? Yeah? It’s pretty different. I mean it’s one thing to sit and kind of consider it, and sort of like, have some sort of grasp on it, but if I asked you, can you repeat back to me what I’ve been saying—“What?!” Maybe, we’re going to be able to repeat back, what, ten percent, or even less. It’s going to be a little bit of a struggle. And it’s sort of like, yeah, I think I understand it, and I’ve sort of to a certain degree accepted it, but there hasn’t been a deep realization.
And so the whole process of yoga, the process of meditation, is for bringing about this complete change in vision, complete change in how we see the world, how we see others, how we see ourself, and to live in this reality. To an ordinary person who looks upon a great yogi, they may see them to be non-different than anybody else, only because they have a lack of vision, but if you actually come to know that person and understand how their life is being lived, what is the motivation, what is the experiences they’re having, it’s like really different.
So last verse here:
“One who is enlightened in self-realization, although living within the material body, sees himself as transcendental to the body, just as one who has arisen from a dream gives up identification with the dream body.” – Bhāgavata Purāṇa 11.11.8
So, this is actually a pretty amazing example. And what it’s referencing, you know, have you ever had a, like a really major nightmare, like a real frightening one? And sometimes, you know people have different kind: falling, getting killed, being chased, all kinds of weird stuff. I can remember when I was a kid I used to have them on a regular basis. And a person in having a nightmare, they may be dreaming that they’ve been attacked by a wild animal or something, and they going, “No, no, no!!!” and as soon as you wake them, instantly there’s a recognition, “Oh, oh, that wasn’t real. It was something I was dreaming.” And even though my body’s still having the physiological—the heartbeat is still fast, and I may have been sweating or anything, and as soon as I snap out of the sleep, then one—it is described in these terms, one gives up that body that they were occupying or using in the dream. In the dream something terrible was happening to that body, and as soon as you wake up you realize, “Oh, that was just a dream body. It, I don’t relate to it anymore.”
And so that example is given for when a person has attained a condition of self-realization, the way that they move through the world, and the way they deal with even their own body and things is really completely changed. One is no longer deeply identifying with the body as the self. I’m aware my body is causing discomfort. My body is experiencing pain. My body is experiencing some pleasurable thing. I’m aware of it. I know it, but it’s not like the focus for me. This is not what’s driving me.
So, I’ll just touch on one more point. I mentioned that we are by nature eternal. That is where the fear of death comes from, or the fear of things coming to an end, because I am eternal. I am naturally, my nature, my eternal nature is to exist in a state of great happiness, ananda. And so my quest for happiness, this is what’s actually behind it. This is what’s driving it.
The desire for love actually also arises from the spiritual being. It is part of our eternal nature to experience the highest and most extraordinary experience of spiritual love. Because that is part of my spiritual nature I seek to fulfill it in this world, and it doesn’t matter how hard I try and how good things are, it’s never perfect. It’s always far from perfect. I still have an attraction to read love stories, or when I see a good love story kind of movie it pulls people. Even if you’re—I mean I’m not sure about all the weird rap scene—at least with the rock world, and the old rock anthem, “I want to know what love is, I want you to show me.” No, you can’t show anybody love, like that. It is a spiritual experience, but it does arise from the soul itself.
And so, the practice of meditation, the reason for engaging in meditation, is to come to experience the highest form of happiness, to experience the most wonderful expression of love, to reconnect with our eternal nature and to become utterly fearless in this world.
For one who has come to that realization even their death is no different than like when you take a shower: You take off your clothes. You dump it on the floor, or if you’re tidy you hang it up, or you throw it in the hamper the for the laundry, and step into the shower. And it’s not like you’re in anxiety, “Oh, my clothes! What’s going to happen to them?” It’s like, it’s gone. You just drop it and move on. And so, for a transcendentalist the experience of death, because they have become so engaged in their spiritual identity, when it is time to leave this body it’s just, it’s time to move on; not fearful. It’s not scary. It’s not traumatic. It’s not terribly sad, even. So that’s the spectrum.
Let me just say that self-realization and the experience of God-realization is a gradual process. Anybody that’s promoting this idea—and India is full of these stories where somebody touched someone, and then suddenly it was like they were hit by a lightning bolt, and then suddenly they woke up, and they were fully self-realized. This is absolute nonsense. It’s not like this at all. For most people, it’s going to be like the dimmer switch on a light. You click it on, you look up, and there’s no light shining. Then you turn a little bit, and gradually there’s a bit of a glow, and as you turn it, it becomes brighter and brighter.
So in a similar way with these spiritual practices that we urge people to try and develop as a daily practice to integrate it in their life, even in a small way, it really is going to bring about this transformation, and this shift is going to be there, where we may not even see it so much ourself.
A friend of mine from Mexico he just—that I communicate with sometimes—he had been so anxious about his mother dying, because she was the glue that kept the family together. She was a really extraordinary woman, so dedicated to the well-being of others, like in an extraordinary way. And he had been very emotionally attached and so fearful of what will happen when she finally dies. And over the couple of years that he was very immersed in these practices, then he told me, “It was kind of like the earthquake came, and I barely felt it.” And it’s—of course, there’s a sadness there, and there is a tremendous respect for this person that he loved and everything, but it wasn’t devastating, And he becomes the person that holds the rest of the family together with good advice and direction. And it’s not like he is the topmost transcendentalist. He’s only been engaged in chanting and things for a couple of years, but he was amazed at how much that had shifted for him.
So, we have lots of online resources. I have a website with a few hundred videos there, mostly trying to present this extraordinary spiritual philosophy in contemporary ways related to people’s life. But there’s also resources for guided meditations and things like that, and I really, really encourage you, and it’s difficult to build a habit, but once you build a habit, even taking 10 minutes and just doing a guided simple meditation, but doing it every day it, your life begins to change, and your practice begins to grow and develop.
Sometimes people get all fired up, and they want to do a whole bunch of meditation or chanting or whatever, and then a couple of days later they’re not doing anything, and then they’re feeling guilty and want to try again. No. Don’t. Take it in small increments. Build a habit. Build a personal practice. It will change your life. Okay?
So, after noon we’ve got questions and answers. If you have questions that you want answered, please let us know. Either you can ask me directly, or we can—this guy over here, yeah, you can probably see him, and if you want to write down on a piece of paper or send it by some platform as a message or whatever, then I will try to address things that you have, might have raised. Is that okay?
Thank you very much for your time. I feel very blessed and fortunate that people ask me to sit on this chair and speak, because I know that in my life I have received the greatest gifts that one can be given, and I have an obligation to my spiritual teachers to repay their kindness and this debt by trying to share what it is that I’ve been given. So, you do me a great favour and service by allowing me to address you and speak on these subjects, and I thank you very much for that. Haribol.
So we’ll chant a little bit, yeah? I’ll start with the mantra Gopala Govinda Rama Madana Mohana, then I may do the Mahamantra also.