The inspiration for this talk was something I heard on a short piece of a podcast of Joe Rogan talking to Oliver Anthony (Chris Lunsford) who came out with the recent viral hit “Rich Men North of Richmond.”

Answering a question from Joe Rogan about what inspires him, Oliver quoted the following from the Bible:

Proverbs 4:23-26

23 Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it.

24 Keep your mouth free of perversity; keep corrupt talk far from your lips.

25 Let your eyes look straight ahead; fix your gaze directly before you.

26 Give careful thought to the[a] paths for your feet and be steadfast in all your ways.


Guarding our heart is critically important.  As they used to say in the early days of computer programming,  “Garbage in – garbage out!”

We have both a higher and a lower nature. We need to curb our lower nature and cultivate our higher nature. This means consciously choosing what it is that we will hold to be valuable, what we will treasure. There is another incredibly wise quote I saw when I was looking up the Bible quote above.

Matthew 6:21 For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.

The need for guidelines in life which produce outcomes that are objectively in my interest – my eternal well-being – is all important.

“Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it.”

Aum Namo Bhagavate Vasudevaya.


So, tonight I was going to speak on the need to guard your heart. When we use the word “heart,” we are talking about that which is the deepest recesses of our being, our consciousness, and that which we treasure, that which we hold dear to us.

The inspiration for the talk, I took a little bit of a peek at a recent podcast of Joe Rogan, and he was interviewing a guy by the name of Chris Lunsford.  Chris Lunsford has become a recent sensation. He had this massive viral internet clip, song clip. The song is called Rich Men, North of Richmond. And he’s kind of like a bit of a hillbilly guy. He’s just out in the bush, the trees, and he’s got a couple of dogs lying down there, and he’s just got this one guitar that he’s playing, and singing into a mic, and that’s it, the whole thing. But it was like this massive—I don’t know, it really seemed to touch people.

The song was about how the average person really never gets ahead, and there are all kinds of challenges and struggles in life, and then you have to deal with, what he termed, the rich men, the north of Richmond. So, Richmond, this is the capital, I think it is, of Virginia, and just north of that, you’ve got Washington DC, the power hub of the United States, filled with politicians and business interests, everybody wheeling and dealing. And he talked about how all the rich men, north of Richmond is, they’re like trying to control our lives and keep us down and just milk us, and what a deplorable condition.

He talked about all kinds of things, including addictions and stuff that people are really struggling and suffering with. And, in the course of the conversation with Joe Rogan, Joe is speaking to him about his inspiration. And he said that actually, a lot of what’s inspiring him at this time is—because he, himself, had had a pretty, a lot of difficulties in his life, and he’s gone back to reading the Bible, he says. But he doesn’t read it as like a religious experience, he looks at it for wisdom and actual guidance.

And Joe Rogan then asks him, “Well, do you want to give us a little insight into the kind of things that you read? And what’s your inspiration?” And I mean, he, Joe Rogan, didn’t shy away from the very important subject. And so, he said that one of his go-tos, one of the things that he reads a lot was the Book of Proverbs. We’re familiar with the term, yeah? Proverb? It’s—it meant to be an extremely wise, a very wise saying or guidance for one’s life. And when he was asked, he went to this particular thing, and I’m going to read it, because it’s just like, it’s quite an eye-opener in terms of a presentation of eternal and transcendental wisdom and truth that can guide all of us in our lives.

So, he says—The verses were,

“Above all else, guard your heart, for everything that you do flows from it. Keep your mouth free of perversity; keep corrupt talk away—far from your lips. Let your eyes look straight ahead; fix your gaze directly before you. Give careful thought to the paths for your feet and be steadfast in all your ways.”

And it was kind of like when I heard it, it was like wow, this is like something from my area of familiarity. This is like as if it was coming straight out of the ancient Vedic literature, exactly the same messaging. And it is so important, and it is so profound.

Yesterday I was in Hamilton, and we were talking about taking control of your life and what that actually means, and how in reality our business is not other people, and what other things are going on, and what people may say to me, and how they may act towards me. The control that I have in my life is the decision of what I’m going to think about, what I’m going to speak about, how I will deal with others, how I will receive the way others deal with me. I have a choice. I can let things wig me out, or I can learn to brush it off.

If we want a high quality of life, then the necessity to have purity of heart, and I say that in a really heavy way, the necessity to have a purity of heart and purity of thought, to be able to feel and express compassion and kindness and love as opposed to giving—I’m sorry [palm to head]—as opposed to taking, as opposed to exploiting, as opposed to expressing anger and harshness of speech just because we’re on a bummer about something. And it all goes back to what I was just reading about here.

I remember when I started computer programming, pre-window days, that’s not so long ago folks, but DOS-based programming. And then Windows came out, and I was doing Dbase programming, and it was kind of mind-blowing because you learn the critical importance of logic—of cause and effect. And they had this saying in the early programming days, “Garbage in, garbage out,” meaning if you write crappy code, it’s not going to do the job, it is going to give you the confusion, the errors, everything.

And so that that idea, that idea is what is being spoken of here. “Guard your heart, for everything that you do flows from it,” meaning if you fill up your heart with garbage, it is garbage that will flow from it. And then when you look around, and you go, “Oh, my life is just crap.” Well, you can do something about that. You can actually take control of your life. You can determine what your experience of life is going to be like.

I reference the Serenity Prayer, “Grant me the serenity to accept those things I cannot change.” I mean that’s a profound idea. For me to be serene, to be at peace, my heart has to be in a very good place. We spend the vast majority of our concern about my life, our focus invariably is on things that I cannot change, “Oh, how come I don’t have this? How come I don’t have that?  Why did they speak to me like this? How come that person was like that to me? How come?” And it’s just like, oh my gods, you spend all your time engaging in thought and worrying and fretting over things you have no control over. Let it go. Let it go.

The second part of that Serenity Prayer, “Grant me the courage to change those things that I can.” I mean, actually, we can talk about this for probably a couple of hours, and it would be really mind-blowing. But fundamentally, the serenity and the courage, from a spiritual perspective, will really arise the more that we cultivate an understanding of our eternal spiritual nature, the fact that this body and mind is not me; I am the inhabitant of the body. I am meant to be using the mind as a tool rather than being used by the mind.

Heightened states of emotions, just drags the living being along for a ride, all over terrible potholes and hills, and—doing some serious off-roading here, no comfort. And rather than being victimized by our own minds and the myriad and endless desires that can arise there I’m meant to be in charge of what the content of my mind is going to be, and what the content of my heart is going to be. That’s my job. That’s not anybody else’s job. Don’t blame that, don’t try to guilt-trip somebody else into making your life spectacularly wonderful. That’s your job. And this is the seat of it.

Our problem is when we begin to value that which is actually not of any value, that which cannot bring you happiness. In the embodied state, we have both a higher and a lower nature. We are meant to be tempering the lower nature and cultivating our higher nature. We have these two ways that we can see things.

I mean for me a brilliant example is when you see a whole bunch of drug addicts in the street, like you’re seeing now in America. Just like, what’s going on?! Where you’ve got just dozens and dozens of people all lying around with needles hanging out of their arms and like zombies all bent over and “aanggh”. Anybody that has a serious drug addiction to the kind of thing they’re using, when they see that, that looks like paradise, that looks like a place where I can get a fix, that looks good to me. If I’m not there, I feel that I’m suffering, and I need to get over there, so I can get the stuff that makes me feel better. Another person who is not into drugs at all and who’s walking by looks at it with shock or an amazement. “How can people make this choice?”

And it’s a question of what we treasure, what we have cultivated as being valuable. If your treasure is going to be that which cannot bring you happiness, it will only bring you to unhappiness, you’ve made a bad choice, and the fruit will be there in your life.

Is this a bit too serious? Are we okay? We need to hear this, and people need to hear this. It’s like we’ve lost the plot.

I mean, influencers, really? That’s our idea of somebody to follow and to listen and to hear what they have to say, a ridiculously shallow influencer? The fact that we’ve been influenced by that which is shallow and purposeless really is a testament to how bad things have become. The fact that society doesn’t look, like, and go, “What? You got to be joking!” The fact that we can even consider them as being influencers, we can throw money at them—some of these people are earning like a million dollars a year just being absolutely ridiculous, promoting that which is shallow and empty.

When I was looking up this guy, what he was saying in Proverbs, and I was doing a little bit of a poking around,  I saw another verse, a Biblical verse,

“For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.”

My God, that’s so profound! And again, you have the choice. If you are cultivating this lower animal-like nature, then you will treasure that which is actually really harmful to you and against your best interests. If you are being guided spiritually, then you will value that which helps uplift and helps you to manifest this higher nature.

And just like the example of the drug addict, you can be the drug addict or you can be the person going by going, “Whoa!” That’s your choice. You can choose what you are going to value, what you are going to treasure, what you are going to put into your mind, and what you are going to contemplate on, how you are going to speak and behave. This is your area of control. This is your area of responsibility.

And of course, we live in a time where people want you to abandon this responsibility, and just impulsively follow the influencers: Nike, “Just do it.” It’s just like, what? Just do it? Don’t have a thought, don’t have any consideration, don’t consider whether it’s good for you or not, if the impulses there, just do it. That’s kind of like, okay, that’s really, really, good advice. That’s going to produce some wonderful outcomes. No.

The need for us to really guard our hearts, the need for us, for our heart to be a precious and a soft and gentle thing is really important. It’s like everybody has become so accustomed to being so hard and being able to speak and curse things out and just be disrespectful. Just see something you don’t like then, you’re prepared to almost tell somebody to go die, or scream at them online and just say things that you would never say to their face. We are being educated to fill our hearts with crap.

And then when we experience the bitter fruit of that, it’s kind of like we want to complain, and it’s everybody else’s fault. It doesn’t matter what’s going on around you, that’s not really your business. Your business is your heart. Your business is your mind. Your business is the choices that you are making in life, the spiritual pursuit, to have these guide rails, to be guided. We need guidelines, we need guard rails, otherwise, we go off-road. The thing is, what is our guard rails, what are those principles that we are purposefully cultivating and making dear to us, what are those principles that I’m going to embrace in my life?

There’s so much unnecessary unhappiness and suffering, unnecessary because we actually have a choice. We have a choice of how we are going to live, how we’re going to process things, how we’re going to respond, how we are going to choose to act. We need the courage to make the changes that we actually can.

“Grant me the serenity to accept those things I cannot change.” That means, don’t get wigged out, don’t get so overwhelmed. Calm down. Find that peaceful place and consider, if it is something I cannot change, then I simply have to accept it for what it is. “Grant me the courage to change the things that I can, and grant me the wisdom to know the difference.” This is a really profound idea. We need guidance in life. We need to be able to reference things of great value and importance—guidance, and actually live it so that we can have a truly happy and purposeful life.

Time is short. The journey ends in death. Death is not for the living being. It’s not for you. You never die. You can’t die. You are eternal. The body dies. As soon as you leave it becomes useless. And the time between now and when that event happens—and that’s the only thing that you can be sure of in life. This is the only thing that you can be 100 percent sure is going to happen, yet it’s something we never want to think about and consider. But I need to consider how am I going to spend this time, and what will that event be like for me.

If you have stored up the treasure of spiritual truth, of transcendental truth, this is where your heart will be, and it will guide your life. It will guide your words. It will guide your actions, and everything will be nice. Promise.

Okay? That’s it. Nobody threw anything so I guess that’s pretty good.

God, what’s happened? We don’t value those of saintly character, those who are loving and kind, those who are generous of heart and soft of speech. Everybody wants it loud and vulgar, crass and shallow. It’s like, oh my God, the world has been tipped upside down. But our life doesn’t have to be that way. If we make these changes, not only will our life become wonderful, but we will affect those that are close to us, and this way we can bring some change. We don’t need to change the world. We just change ourselves.

So, I’m going to chant Aum Hari Aum.