What is revealed when we stay conscious in the midst of great upheaval? When we are willing to inquire with an open mind, we can move beyond simply coping with disaster and discover a life-changing truth untouched by any loss. Recorded in March of 2011 following a devastating earthquake and tsunami in Japan, this monologue is relevant to the times we find ourselves in now, confronting a worldwide pandemic.
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Mistakenly, we define who we are by the roles we play in the theater we call our lives. Then we further define ourselves with our evaluations of how well or how poorly we play those roles. When Gangaji first met Papaji, he told her to stop everything. In her willingness to stop everything and just be, Gangaji saw past the roles (mother, daughter, spiritual seeker, wife, student) and recognized her true face. It is possible for all of us to recognize our true face—the truth of who we are. Then every role we are given can be played fully and authentically. We can live freely, resting in the truth of who we are.
Together we are facing a global pandemic. It is something none of us has ever faced, something that is truly unknown. Naturally fear arises in uncertainty, fear that can lead to panic. How can we meet this moment with our natural intelligence?
When we are filled with doubt and overwhelm, and all seems to be falling apart, there is the potential through self-inquiry to discover home. This enlivening exchange with Gangaji, recorded in Santa Fe in 1998, demonstrates how in our willingness to fall apart, we ultimately see what falls away and what remains—the home that is real.
Is your inner critic running your life? The inner critic tells us how we are not enough, how we should be more, how we should be better than we think we are. Thinking about what is wrong with us can eat up our lives and ultimately distracts us from the essential truth. In this episode of Being Yourself, Gangaji demonstrates how to confront the inner-critic without judgment, and finally end the war between ego and superego.
Where is your attention? Our minds are designed to recognize what is “wrong” and needs fixing. This aspect of our ego serves our survival as human animals. There is nothing wrong with this aspect of our ego, but if we only look for what is wrong and neglect to honor what is already whole and free, then we suffer unnecessarily. Wherever you find yourself, you can take this moment to shift your attention to what is right: the wonder of existence itself.
“The Door is Open.”
How can you discover freedom and peace exactly where you are right now, in your current circumstances, without changing anything? This month reading a former prisoner’s letter, Gangaji speaks to the egoic prisons we live our lives in, and how it is possible to recognize the door to freedom that is already open.
Learn more about Gangaji’s Prison Program.
We all play many roles in our lives: parent, child, student, seeker, teacher, boss, and many, many more. But what do we want our lives to be used for? In this episode, Gangaji shares her own experience of being in the role of teacher and addresses how the roles we play can serve the deepest truth—the truth of who we are.
Being Yourself host, Barbara Denempont, welcomes a special guest this month, Hillary Larson this month. Hillary shares her own experience of roles ending and beginning, and what her journey to the Amazon rain forest revealed to her about finding home.
Plus Hillary has a special invitation for you. You can join Hillary in supporting Gangaji’s podcast and other programs through a matching grant. Find out how your monthly pledge can be doubled for a full year.
What if the last obstacle to discovering true freedom and fulfillment is just a thought? Often hiding in plain sight, our common doubts— “I am stuck,” “I am separate,” “I can’t help it”—are how we create our reality and suffer unnecessarily. In this episode of Being Yourself, Gangaji offers a radical invitation and demonstrates how being aware of what we are actually thinking can open the door to freedom. We all have the capacity to see through our doubting thoughts into the vast simplicity of who I am—freedom itself.