Call and Response Special Edition Conversations With KD January 16, 2021

Taking time to look back and move forward. Conversations With KD episodes are derived from the recordings of KD’s online events from his home during the 2020/ 2021 days of social distancing and quarantine from the onset of COVID and beyond.

Call and Response Special Edition – Conversations With KD January 16, 2021

“Practice is so important because we plant those seeds of what we want to grow with our practice. It doesn’t mean just meditation practice or chanting practice. It means caring about people, caring about ourselves, caring about the world and offering kindness and compassion to everyone that comes into our lives. But if we don’t plant those seeds, in those moments that get very difficult, like this moment in the world, there’s very little we can do.” – Krishna Das

Maharajji said, “Courage is a very important thing, a very big thing. It takes a lot of courage to let go. It takes a lot of courage to do practice, because we don’t know where we’re going, and we don’t know what we’ll find. All we know is that we’re inundated by our stuff, 24 hours a day. In the Gita, Krishna says, “Even the littlest bit of this Dharma, the tiniest bit of turning against the flow of that river of immersion in external sense objects and awareness, sense awareness, just the slightest bit of turning away and back to the source is a huge thing, and only we can do that. No one can do it for us.

So, depending on what we really want for ourselves and our loved ones and the planet and the world, that’s what will dictate what practices we do, how we turn within and how much we dedicate to that, how much of our hearts we dedicate to that.

You can’t fool yourself, really, because we’re always here, and there’s a part of us that is always knows what’s going on. Even if we refuse to see it, there’s a deeper part of us, that knows everything that needs to be known, but we’re locked out of that place at this point in our karmic predicament. It’s like we have a big, beautiful house, but we’re sleeping on the lawn of the house. We don’t realize that the house is our true home. So we’re living on the lawn. We get a little port-a-potty out on the lawn, a little garden hose to wash our faces. The house is right there. We just don’t realize it. Then when we do realize it, we have to find the key to the door, but at least we’ll be looking at that point. If we don’t look, we don’t find.


Hi. How you doing?

I’ve had better years.

And worse, I’m sure.

Yeah. Well, not a lot worse, actually. I guess the last time I was on was in August, so, it’s been awhile. The way I’m going to phrase this question is going to sound really really dramatic because it sort of feels that way, but hopefully it won’t seem weird.

In Christianity, there’s a condition or a state of mind called the Dark Night of the Soul.


Are you familiar with it?

Very familiar.

And you know, I feel like I’ve gotten there. Even when I sit in my meditation room, I feel just totally disconnected, and the phrase over the doors of hell in Dante’s Inferno, “Abandon all hope, ye who enter here,” is sort of what I feel like my life is doing right now. The outcome is likely to be that because of things that are going on with my grandsons, of ages 13 and 14, and my daughter, and also just not being able to see my friends in person is really, it doesn’t help at all. So, here I am just to find out what your thinking is about that state, and if there’s a similar state in the Hindu tradition. You know, I just read something about it saying it just has to do with ego transformation, but it doesn’t feel that way. It feels really ego-taking-apart, in a way. So anyway, I appreciate your thinking on that.

Have you seen the movie, the short film that was made about Ram Dass? There was a longer film made about Ram Dass by this guy, this English guy that we know, and most of it was clips of earlier talks that he gave way before the stroke, back in the eighties, nineties, early nineties, and we watched it together, me and Ram Dass and a few of the other people who were at the house in Maui at the time, and everybody said, oh, they liked it so much. And I was trying to hide, you know. Then they asked me what I thought and I said, ” Truthfully, I didn’t like it.”

And the other thing was, it was kind of weird, kind of creepy, and Ram Dass said, “What do you mean?”

I said to him, “Look, you’re giving lectures about suffering and dealing with pain and suffering and all these things, and you’re about to hit the wall at a thousand miles an hour, and you don’t know it.”

He’s giving these talks, these lectures, you know. Brilliant. Intellectually brilliant. They’re wonderful. But the guy was about to be smashed against the fucking wall, and I said, “It’s creepy because you can tell you don’t really know what you’re talking about.”

Anyway. Yeah. Right. And this is it. This is the stuff. This is what we have to deal with. There’s no way around it. So we keep looking for a cure for it, and that makes it just hurt more. It hurts. It really hurts, especially when those people that we’re very close with bound, by blood and karma, are suffering, and it’s just terrible. But there’s nothing you can do about it.

That’s the hard part to accept, and I know you said that to me and other people many times, but I can’t find the key to surrender. If I sit there and I say, “Okay, I have to surrender now. I have to find a way to just give it up, but it doesn’t happen. And you can’t make yourself do that.

No, you can’t. So when I hurt my knee in India you must have heard this story, maybe everybody didn’t. So I’ll just tell it briefly I stepped in a hole in the road, snapped my leg, and I woke up the next morning and my knee was out to here. It was all swollen, and I couldn’t hardly walk.

So, we were not, supposed to come to the temple to see Maharajji until the afternoon, till about four, but this was first thing in the morning and I thought, “Well, you know, I have to get to the doctor. Otherwise this is really bad. I don’t know what this is.”

So, my friend Raghu helped me walk to the temple. I had to lean on him the whole way. I could hardly walk. We get into the temple and I limp up to where Maharajji’s sitting in this middle of this empty courtyard, on his cot, on his little bed. I sit down and I put my leg out underneath the cot because I can’t bend me knee, and he didn’t say anything. He didn’t say, “What are you doing here? Why’d you come so early? Why? What’s wrong with you? Why did you hurt yourself?”

He didn’t say anything. He just sat there for a couple of minutes, and I said to myself, “Well, I’m not going anywhere. I’m having Darshan. Let them cut the leg off. I don’t give a shit. I’m right here. I’m not going anywhere.”

So then he gets up and he starts walking to the back of the temple and he took the hand of the Indian devotee that was there with him. It was the only other person there. And they’re walking away from where we’re sitting, and the further away he got, the more, he was kind of leaning on the guy, and leaning on him, and it was like he couldn’t walk, and I thought to myself, “He’s taking on the karma of my knee.”

You know? At that minute I had that thought, he turned around and basically ran back to the tucket. He plops down and he looks at me and he said, “You thought I was in pain? You wanted to help me?” And he pats me on the head. “Good boy.”

Meanwhile, I’m sitting there and I’m thinking, “What is this? What’s going on here?” You know, “What did I do? Why did this happen?”

All the time I’m sitting there with him. Later in the day, other Westerners started to show up and at one point, he reaches down into the shoulder bag of this woman, one of the Westerners, and he pulls out a Bible. We started carrying Bibles around because he was always talking about Jesus. So we started reading the Bible. So, he pulls out the Bible. Now he’s not supposed to be able to read English and supposedly he doesn’t speak English, supposedly he doesn’t understand English. So he picks out the book, opens it up like this and holds it up for me and says, “Read this.” And he points to this like that, just like that.

So, it was from Saint Paul, Corinthians and it said, ” In order to protect me from the abundance of revelations,” from getting a big head, “it was given to me a thorn in the side, and I beseeched the Lord three times to take it from me. And the Lord said, ‘My grace is sufficient for thee. My strength is made perfect in your weakness.'”

Well Ram Dass and I have been talking about this for 50 years, and at one point, he said, “Well, we’re proof of that.”

So I had t-shirts made up, one for him and one for me that said “proof.” And the point is this, when we recognize our inability to really do anything, to save our own asses, that’s when the reality of grace shows up for us, not the grace itself, cause that’s always there, but we recognize that power of grace. “My grace is sufficient for thee.” It’s enough, no matter what’s happening to you, and you recognize that by seeing that grace is made perfect in your weakness.

You can’t change this. You can’t even change your mind. You can’t let go. You can’t surrender. Recognize that’s surrender and don’t fight against it. And you can’t even stop thinking about it. “Well, that’s not surrender. I haven’t given up. I’m still thinking about it.” Right?

That’s because you can’t. “My grace is sufficient for thee. My strength is made perfect.” And the fact that you can’t do a fucking thing to help yourself except bow again and again.

How long do you want me to go on? With you I might have to go on for 30,000 lifetimes,.

Right. That’s what it feels, like again and again, and it ain’t happening.

Yeah. And then you judge yourself, “Oh, I’m still doing this and it’s not working.” Again and again. That’s the recognition of your weakness. And that’s what the Lord said is the way it is. “My strength is made perfect in your weakness.”

But do you ever come out the other side of this? I mean, is this this going to be forever?

That’s not up to you. Why do you even think about that? It’s not your problem. You’re unable to do anything about it. Just stop thinking about it. You’re just obsessing. This is the program that’s running your whole life, beating the shit out of yourself every fucking moment, and I’ve known you long enough to say that. That’s what you can’t let go of ,beating the shit out of yourself. Stop that first, or keep recognizing that and let go of that. ” There I go again, again and again.”

Yeah. But you know, what makes that really hard is that, the fact that I am inadequate is being reinforced by so many other people and circumstances.

It has nothing to do with other people. Nobody said you’re inadequate. The Lord doesn’t say you’re inadequate.

Well, that was a euphemism for what I really feel like.

That was a what?

A euphemism for what I really feel like. What I feel like is that I’m useless.

Label it, “self evaluation.”


Again and again, and you’ll see all day long, that’s all you do to yourself is judge yourself harshly. Now that’s a program that’s running. That’s not you. That’s your training. That’s what you’ve been trained in, and that’s where you’ve lived most of your life, judging yourself harshly.

Is there really anything wrong with you? Are you really bad? No, you’re not bad. Like everybody else, you’re fucked up. Everybody’s fucked up. That’s what samsara is. That’s where they put us. That’s the prison they put us in here. We’re all fucked up. We’re all hating ourselves, hating others, using others, manipulating ourselves, manipulating others, grabbing onto this, pushing this away, afraid of this, wanting this, ashamed of this, blah-blah-blah. This is the world. This is the world we live in. Everybody’s doing this.

Yeah. But you know, it’s my inability to get to that good place that you’re talking about.

Nope. Nope. Nope. Stuff.

But the thing is…

That’s just judgment. Hello? Hello. Hello. Listen to yourself. You’re just fucking repeating the same shit over again. Different words. Same shit.

But it affects other people. It affects two kids.

Fuck other people change yourself first and everything will happen for other people. If you can’t change yourself, what chance do you think they can change themselves? Can anybody do this for you? No, you have to do it. You can’t do it for somebody else. Once you accept yourself, the vibe will change, totally. But you can’t fake it. It’s not something you can fake.

So how many times am I going to have to talk to you about this before it finally happens?

I don’t know. As soon as you’re finished, whenever you’re ready.


Just keep noticing. If it’s hard for you to notice, why don’t you get a brick, and every time you notice that you’re beating yourself up mentally, drop that brick on your foot. And maybe you’ll notice it.. Maybe eventually you’ll, ” Okay. It’s enough.” But see, you don’t get enough torture in your mind. It’s never enough for you, but if you actually bang your head on the wall every time you caught yourself judging yourself, you would stop, because the minute you start judging, “That means I’m going to have to bang my head on the wall. I can’t do that. It hurts too much.”

So that’ll stop you. Put your hand on the flame, on the stove. Every time you find yourself judging, you’ll stop judging quick enough. You’ll notice it immediately. But right? It’s just too comfortable for you now. This is where you’ve lived your whole life. It’s so comfy. “Oh, I’m such a fuck up. And everybody look what I’ve done. My daughter and my grandson. It’s all my fault. I’m so fucked up.”

Listen, girl, somebody did it to you as well. You’re no worse or no better than anybody else. And they have their own karmas. If you want to help them, help yourself first, and then everything will change in your dynamic with them as you change how you treat yourself.

But you just don’t notice how hard, even now when we’re talking, you’re still thinking about, “How am I going to figure this out? I can’t do this.”

It’s going on in your head and you can’t stop. That’s what I’m saying, wake up. Drop a brick on your foot. After a couple of times, you’ll start to notice.

It doesn’t hurt enough. It’s too comfortable. You’re so identified with it. It’s so much Homebase for you. That’s why it’s so hard to stop. All of us. You’re not different than anybody else, and no worse and no better. We’re all in the same stew here. And this is the work we have to do.

I didn’t mean to take up so much time. I just realized that I’d take up a lot of time. Other people might have questions.

Fuck other people. They’re listening. They’re getting out of this too. This is more judging yourself. Oh, I’m not worthy. I took up too much time. Get over it. If I’m in charge here, if I didn’t want to talk to you, I’d just say, “Fuck off, go somewhere else. I’m finished with you.”

Did I say that? No.

Not yet.

Okay. So, fuck off. We’re finished. Really. You’re so hard on yourself. It’s really heartbreaking. And it breaks your own heart, too.


There’s a lot of pain in there, you know? And that pain is not yours. That was given to you by the world and by your upbringing and by your karmic predicament, and you, like the people before you just transmitted that. You had no choice. Now you have a choice. Now you have a choice. Now you can do something to lessen the energy that that program rips off from you all the time. But you’re too hard on yourself. You sit for two seconds, “Ah, this is not working, you know, I’ve been doing this for more than 50 years and nothing’s happened.” You know, it just goes on and on, and every time you do it, you actually believe that.

Maybe start to think of it as somebody else talking to you. What would you tell that person? You say, “Excuse me? Get the fuck outta here. Who do you think you’re talking to?” But no, because you just believe it. You accept it as if it’s true. It’s not true. It’s a program. It’s a reaction to the way the life you’re in the way you see it. You can change the way you see it, but not easy, but you can, and the longing to change is so strong in you, but the self hatred is just as strong.

And I always say this, that the way our parents saw themselves is very much the way we learn to see ourselves, not how they saw us so much, but how they saw themselves. We absorbed that view of that way of seeing ourselves the way they saw themselves. And so you absorbed that. They absorbed that. Their parents absorbed that. It goes back to, you know, whatever, back to whatever, there wasn’t a beginning.

So now just wake up. This is it. That’s a dream and it’s painful. It’s really painful. And it really, I’m not saying it’s not painful. It is painful. But yeah, the only thing you can do is to work on yourself and treat others as well as you can at this point in life. What’s done is done and what’s going to happen, hasn’t happened yet. So this is it, now.

Intellectually. I understand all this. It’s just.

Yeah. So now apply the understanding to actual practice and try to notice when you’re doing it to yourself again. I mean, you walk around all day long and you do it to yourself, and you don’t even notice that you’re spending all your time beating yourself up. And of course, these times make everything worse. There’s no question about it. It’s like injecting steroids into it. It’s just ridiculous. It makes everything so much harder to bear, so much more despair, but that’s also not you. That’s the whole world. The whole world is suffering like this. So, we’re absorbing that as well. Every time we look at the newspaper, every time we talk to somebody we’re getting the bad news. So it’s everywhere. It’s in the atmosphere. We’re breathing in and out.

Yeah, that doesn’t help because not only do I feel like I’m coming apart, but I feel like the whole country, at least is coming apart. Maybe the whole world is coming apart.

The whole world. Yes. It’s the whole world, the whole planet, and every level, socially, politically climate wise, everything falling apart. Everything. Right now, right here is all we’ve got. To do the best for other people, we have to be able to do the best for ourselves, too. And that would be in your case, trying to give yourself a break. It’s not easy.


Set a little alarm in the house. Every 20 minutes when it goes off, “Oh.” That will just get you out of your thought flow, which you’re completely immersed in all the time. That alarm goes off, it’s oh, so for 10 seconds you won’t be thinking about yourself. You set it again, and then for 20 minutes, you’ll be gone again till it rings. At least it’ll bring you back for a second. ” Oh, okay.” Don’t forget to hit the alarm and set it again, though.

Yeah. I mean, I spend most of my time actually worrying about the other people in my life, more than I spend beating myself up, although there’s plenty of that.

What does that help? What does that accomplish then? So why do it? It’s a habit and it’s another way of beating yourself up and making yourself feel bad. Concern can certainly be there because people are suffering. People are hurting and it breaks our hearts and it really hurts. And we don’t want it to be that way, but it is that way. So what can we do? We can release and let ourselves breathe and just let that stuff drip off of us, just drip out of us, just drain out of us. Whenever we remember, let it drain away. Just come back to your breath and let your body breathe, and relax and let that stuff drain away, and then you’ll forget, and then it will be built up again. Then as soon as you remember, just let it drain away. That’s huge. Don’t try to solve everything. Just let it drain off of you, drain out of you, and then you’ll do it again. No problem. But every time you allow that leaf to settle a little bit, just like a leaf falls from a tree, you know, so every time you go with that, it makes it easier and easier as time goes on.

Once in a while, you’ll laugh at yourself. “Am I doing this again? Am I still doing this to myself?”

At some point it looks so ridiculous. You can’t believe that you spend your whole life like this. That’s our situation. That’s what we do most of the time.

So, your practice can only be one thing, just letting go. And you can pray if you feel like praying. “Can’t you do something, God damn it?”

 I’ve tried that.

But you didn’t try it enough because they didn’t do anything. By grace, we’re saved. Faith. Isn’t something you manipulate yourself into. It’s something you recognize, you experience directly, and then it becomes real, and that happens by grace. And grace is always here, but we’re not tuned to it. You’re too busy, beating yourself up to even look for it. And when you do look it, you look for it with a chip on your shoulder. “Come on, where the fuck are you?”

What do you expect? You’ve got to let go. And it hurts. I know it hurts. It really does. But what are the options? Going on like this? That’s not an option.

Okay. You’re right.

Recognize the severity of the situation and the importance of this moment. This is the only time that you have to make a stand against these programs that have been running your life. This is it. When you take your last breath, you don’t want to be thinking, “Oh, if I only paid more attention, if I only let go. Why didn’t I let go?”

You don’t want to have that thought. So do it now while you can, because you can. It doesn’t mean doing more practice. It means being with what’s going on in a less obsessive, compulsive way, noticing how this is always going on. This can keep going. You don’t have to listen to it after a while. Eventually it just goes through. It doesn’t even grab you. You can’t stop thoughts.

Sometimes I notice that there’s a certain attachment to that feeling and that makes it hard to let it go.

To w hat feeling?

To the feelings of worry and…

Oh, absolutely. Totally. You’re totally identified. Not totally, but you’re mostly identified with all those thoughts and feelings. You actually believe them, and you feel them, and you think, “This is me. And this is the way I feel,” and you don’t recognize that the feelings are constantly changing, going and coming, rearranging. First it’s guilt. Then it’s fear. Then it’s anger. Then there’s despair. There’s not just one thing all the time, but for you, it’s just a big dark cloud, and you’re in it. You’re dancing around and you think this is the way it’s always going to be. But the cloud is not you, period. It’s just not. It’s an object of awareness. It’s an object of your consciousness. You’re aware of those feelings. That means there’s you. And there’s the feelings. But you’re like this with them right now. You think you are and so you are, but you’re not, really. But you think you are. And so that’s how you act. You identify with them. They are attached to those thoughts. You’re glued to them.

But if you look closely, you’ll see it’s something outside of you, these feelings. But the main thing is to just let go. Notice that you’re caught. That’s already letting go. It’s not, ” Okay,, I’m going to take it. I’m going to let go.” No, just noticing that you’re doing it to yourself again, means, at that instant, you’re not. You’re noticing that you are and that’s different, but you can’t hold on to that noticing. You can only re-notice, because by the time you’ve noticed that you’ve noticed, you’re not noticing anymore. You’re tripping out on the fact that you noticed and you’re trying to hold on. “Yes. I just noticed.” But it’s already back and doing it to you again. So, you have to keep noticing and at the same time, one thing I would do is, as many times as in the day that you remember, just sit down and allow the breath to settle. You can’t settle the breath. I’m not asking you to slow your breath down. I’m asking you to sit down and allow the breath to settle. Allow your body to relax. That’s all. And then get up and be stupid again. It doesn’t matter, but do that 50 times a day, a hundred times a day. Do it for just two minutes. Don’t try to hold on to it because you won’t be able to, and then you’ll be beating yourself up again, and that will go on forever again until it stops.

So, as many times as you feel, as you remember to do it, stop. Sit down and settle. “I can’t settle. This is stupid. I can’t do this. I’m not going to do this.”

Yeah. Just allow it to settle again and again, and those thoughts will just float off into space, which is where they are anyway.

And love means letting people be who they are. Our children and our grandchildren took these bodies. They brought their own karmas to those bodies. Those bodies themselves, are the creation of their karmas, and then with, and we were hosting them, and all we can do is the best we can do. There’s no more we can do, especially when we recognize how our weakness, our inability to do anything really. So, all we can do is the best we can do and pray for grace.

But you still have to clean out the vessel to hold the grace. That’s the slowing down. The dirt is your thoughts. The sludge is our thoughts and emotions and the grace can’t come into a cup that’s filled with that stuff. So slow down, let it go and allow yourself to feel okay sometimes. You’re allowed. There’s no law written. “Everybody except Diane can feel okay in the world. She is not allowed to do that.” That’s something that you were taught about yourself, way early. Could be even in the womb. You just don’t know. We absorb a lot of stuff even before we’re born from our parents. Because we’re there while they’re yelling and screaming at each other. We’re there while they’re depressed, while they’re drinking, while they’re fucked up. We’re in that. Our consciousness is there and we feel all that stuff.

So it’s not something you did. It’s just life. And so the more you learn how to give yourself a break, the more you have a possibility of allowing other people to do that for themselves as well. That’s about as much as we can do at this point.

Thank you.

Yeah. Good to see you. How’s the judge?

She’s good. She’s good. She’s painting all the time now, right? Yeah. She loves the solitude. I don’t do so well in solitude.

Well, that’s what you say, but you don’t know. It brings all this up and it’s a great time to do the work that you have to do.


Because tomorrow might be too late. Now. Today.

Yeah. And at this point in my life, I’m really aware of it. Tomorrow might be too late.

Well, don’t worry. You’ll have another chance, but now is now.

Okay. All right.

Take care.

Hi. I’m from London. Thank you, Krishna Das, for taking my question. Actually you’ve sort of answered a lot of it, really, with the lady just then. Well, first of all I found you by accident and I’ve been sort of following you now for the past, I don’t know, few months now, and I’ve started chanting and I realized there’s something coming from you, and I don’t know what it is. When I start singing, listening to your melodies, I start crying you know, and I’m not depressed or anything like that, but I just feel like this release, and even as you’re talking now, I know it’s not about you, it’s about the universe. I know. I feel like this sensations in my hands, a lot of vibration inside me you know. And I think I’m making progress. I’ve come from a very abusive background, you know, as a child, and I’ve done a lot of shit things really when I reflect back. But I was really tested by the universe on Thursday, and somebody cheated me out of 50 quid, which is about one $70 as well as, which not a lot of money, but then murderous rage I got towards this person. I’ve never, and I’m not a murderer, by the way, and I’ve never hurt anybody, but I can be really nasty with my tongue, you know.

I’ll keep that in mind.

Yeah no, but I just I have this really murderous rage, like inside of me.


And then I thought, “Okay just go with the feeling. Go with the feeling.” Exactly what you’re advising the last lady. And it did. It sort of by it went, you know, the intensity did go then the following day, but that day, you know. It’s just like telephone scam, it was, I got ripped off on that. You know, and then I don’t usually fall for that kind of stuff, but I did on this occasion, but it’s the reaction really. And it frightens me sometimes because they diagnosed me with borderline personality disorder about 10 years ago. And I just, you know, I have got into rages of people in the supermarket sometimes, and so I’ve never hurt anybody, but it can result to me calling somebody an “F-ing…” you know. I think I’m following a spiritual practice, but I’m not doing very well. I’m not doing very well here. Anyway, I’ve shared with my flatmate who lives with me here. And he’s so honest. And I said to him about this. He says, “Oh, I just choose light. I just choose love.” So he’s following Louise Hay. And I agree with that. But when that fucking intensity of the murderous horrible rage comes in, I cannot focus on light. And I’ve listened to Ram Dass, and Maharajji when he was sort of telling the story of “Love everybody and tell the truth.” if I had to be honest, I don’t hate everybody, but I hate the unjust people. I really have hatred towards them, but I know it’s not them. I know they’re just acting out of ego just as much as I am, but I think the answer is going to be the same as you gave to the last lady, really, but I really struggle with it and I sometimes worry, am I going to really lash out at somebody? I think there’s like a schizophrenia in me. I’m either, I can be a best friend or I can be your worst enemy, and I’ll be the worst enemy to the person I perceive to be unjust. And that’s it really thank you.

Well, you’re 51, but there’s still time, don’t worry.


To be an asshole. I mean, you know,. Yeah, we all have that stuff. Your flatmate: you step on his foot and see how much light and love he can find at that point. That’s bullshit. That’s just bullshit. You’re a thousand times more real than somebody who’s kidding themselves like that. You can’t talk yourself into this stuff. That’s not what it’s about. Be who you are.

So, a good practice for you, really would be to remember to treat other people the way you would like to be treated. So, even when you hate somebody, when somebody has been such a fucking asshole and they ripped you off, just switch places with them for a second, and you see, well, you know, “I wouldn’t want to be treated the way I’m thinking about treating this person. You know, and you’re not going to be able to do that, but just trying to remember to see it that way is really big thing. If we could do that, if we could treat other people the way we would like to be treated, this world would be a different place immediately. Right?

And all that anger, this comes from, you know, pain, being hurt. We’ve all been so hurt. All of our hearts. We’ve been so betrayed and we’ve been treated so badly by life that we really, that rage is our, it’s really our way of protecting ourselves from feeling how hurt we are. You know?

So, when you hear that chanting and stuff and those tears come, they’re coming out of love. They’re coming out of the feeling that “Yeah, I’m letting go. I can let go. I can just be me.” You know? And that’s a wonderful thing. Don’t think about whether you’re unhappy or you’re sad. What else can you do when you come home? Right? You finally recognize there is a home to come back to. The tears always come. That’s a good thing. And let yourself cry. Let them come. It’s pure. That cleans the mirror of your heart. It’s a beautiful thing. Really.

Just remember. And forget supermarkets. Supermarkets are where most people want to kill everybody else, anyway. That’s the craziest thing. It’s unbelievable. So, Yeah, just keep that in your thoughts. You know, keep the idea of treating, and the other thing is this, listen, don’t expect other people to respond to you that way. You’re not doing that in order to get other people to respond. You’re doing that because this is what you need to do, to treat other people the way you would like to be treated. Whether they respond and see you or not, that is not the deal. That’s not what it’s about. So don’t get upset when the world starts, all of a sudden, doesn’t put you on a pedestal and pour golden water all over you and lights come and everything. That’s not going to happen tomorrow. A little later, maybe. So just be you, man.

And so that’s it. First of all, there’s nothing else you can be. There’s no one else you can be. So let’s make this the best you that you can be, which is fine because that’s already in there and it’s buried under all this stuff. And when we open up like that, when the chant, we hear the chant or something, it washes our souls. It washes our hearts. That’s a good thing.

Thank you.

Yeah. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you for coming today. I’ll speak to you soon.

Thank you. Thank you.

Okay. Be well.

Hi. I’ve talked to you about this a little bit before, and you touched on this a lot earlier, but specifically what I wanted to talk to you about was my brother. He’s been going through a dark night of the soul since about the time he was 20 years old and he’s been on and off the street with schizophrenia and this year with COVID, we didn’t know where he was a lot of the time and it was extra scary at times, of course. And you know, I just really, I was really focused on opening my heart and praying for him, and in July he emerged and we were able to get him into a supportive housing situation, but time and time again, that only lasts for so long, and then he’s off running again. And the past few years it’s fallen to me to really oversee his care when he does emerge and try to help him. And I feel okay. I know there’s only so much I can do, and chanting and all these practices have been really beautiful and helpful in helping me, you know, remind me that, do what you can do and then let it go. Do what you can do for the day, if you’re in contact with him, and let it go.

You talked in the beginning about being out on the lawn and not being able to find the door or find the key. And so I think I have these moments of intense sadness when I think that, because of his karmic situation and having grown up with him and seeing what a good little boy was, and how sweet, and just knowing that he may never even have the knowledge of rightful action or the sense, I guess you could say, to have that opportunity to practice. I don’t know if Maharajji ever spoke specifically about the mentally ill and the fact that they can’t, there’s not that availability of choice, you know, to them the way it is to maybe, to other people. So I just felt like I kind of wanted to ask you about that a little bit. You know?

You know, why things are the way they are, we don’t know. Why some people suffer the way they suffer, we could never understand why that happens that way, why a child gets sick and dies. What did they do? You know? Why did that happen? It’s above our pay grade and we just can’t see it and understand it. So that leaves us with ourselves, and what can we do in the moment to lessen the suffering?

Every relationship has two or more people. So, there’s your brother and you, and every time you interact with your brother, he’s being himself and you’re being yourself. So all your feelings are interacting with his feelings. So, the best thing you can do is to stay as open, as loving, and as present with him as possible in those moments. And some part of him will feel that. And that’s a wonderful thing you can do. You can’t make him take his meds. You can’t make him go to the doctors. Those are the things you just can’t do. But what you can do is hold him in your heart in a certain way, and love him as he is, as he really is. Love his soul, so to speak. And see him that way. Hold him that way in your heart. And then your interactions with him have the possibility, maybe in some way, of helping him inside. But more than that, you can’t do. And you should try not to be destroyed by your own sadness about the situation, because you’re sending that to him too, in your relationship.

You can’t fake it. Okay? I’m not saying that you should fake it and you know, “Just don’t show that you’re sad.” No, this is your work every day, your spiritual practice is to hold him in your heart, and when you notice that you’re feeling sad or wishing it wasn’t like this, and “wish we could do that,” let go and love him as he is. There’s a soul in there that’s perfect, but it’s surrounded encased in suffering. So, the more you see him as a soul, then you’re not identifying with the suffering part of him and maybe that’s going to help him a little bit. It’s certainly going to help you, because you don’t want to carry this burden. It’s not your burden to carry like that. But you want to carry him in love and you have to let yourself feel that, too, and the sadness. This is what you can do, I guess. I mean, it’s very hard. You have to let people be who they are. There’s nothing you can do.

Yeah. I have so much love for him that I feel like it’s part of, like I’m partnering with him. I don’t know. I mean, he is my sibling. He’s my younger brother. So it’s hard not to feel like that intensely about it.

Yeah. All feelings are okay. It’s all okay. All the feelings you have are okay.

Thank you for reminding me of some of those things.

Yeah, just hold him in your heart and send him love and be with him. Hold him. You know, be with him in your own heart, soul to soul, not “stuff to stuff.” Okay?


Practice is so important because we plant those seeds of what we want to grow with our practice, and I don’t mean, it doesn’t mean just meditation practice or chanting practice. It means caring about people, caring about ourselves, caring about the world and offering kindness and compassion to everyone that comes into our lives. But if we don’t plant those seeds, in those moments that get very difficult, like this moment in the world, there’s very little we can do. When you jump out of a window, you know, that’s it, until you hit the ground. When you trip, once you’re falling, you can’t stop yourself. You have to hit the ground. Then you can get up. I guess jumping out a window is a little bit different. Okay. We’re talking about tripping here. So now’s the time to plant the seeds of the kind of qualities that we want. We want to be kind and compassionate to people, but if we hate ourselves, what is that? How can we be kind? I mean, we can try, but it’s not real enough, you know? The more we’re in it with ourselves, that extends to other people.

So that’s why they always say, do practice while you can, because when the shit hits the fan, it’s very hard to do it. When that rage comes, there’s nothing you can do except let it pass through like a huge storm. You can’t stop it, but you can also hold on to a tree so you don’t get blown away, but you can’t stop it. But if you keep remembering to try to see people. In a certain way and to treat them in a simply good way, the way you would like to be treated, those storms will arise less and less, and when they do arise, they won’t be as strong as they usually are. Over time, they get less and less, but it takes patience.

Patience is one of the ways that we can be good to ourselves, be patient with ourselves. We don’t have it together. We know that, okay? We know that. So as time goes on, we’ll get together. So, patience with ourselves is a way of being kind to ourselves and that patience can extend to other people. “Don’t they fucking get it? Why are they acting like this?” You know? That’s not patience. That’s saying, “I guess they don’t fucking get it. Oh, well.” You know? And we can apply that to ourselves, too, when we’re really stuck in something.

So, you know, I’ve been doing this stuff for 50 years or more, and every day is part of the deal. I mean, there’s no time off, you know? This is our life. This is our taking our lives in our hand, the reins of our lives in our hands and trying to direct it in the direction we want to go, toward what we want, which is love now, love for everyone, love for ourselves all the time, 24, 7 from ever. Forever and always. That’s where love is, always. And that lives within us right now, but it’s covered up and we’re not looking. So when we try to hold others in our heart, we’re really learning where our heart is and how to do that. When we try to treat other people with kindness and respect, and we’re learning how to do that for ourselves too. And that’s really important, .


 Thank you for taking my question. I’m feeling very shy, but mostly I just really wanted to express my gratitude for Thursday nights. My life circumstances found me kind of suddenly living alone in March. So it’s just been me, my cat and my ego for a lot of the time. And Thursday nights have been this refuge and I’ve shown up every Thursday. I don’t know why I just said that. Yeah. I’ve been noticing that my voice is getting stronger. Okay. That’s my cat.

Where’s your ego? Can I meet that one, too?

Yeah. My traps tend to be mental, so it’s easy to get kind of, into these ruts, but I find that on Thursday nights, it’s sometimes it’s the first time I’ve opened my mouth in two days. Yeah. I’ve had a pretty monastic year and my voice just comes out craggy and harsh and then after about a half hour, there’s no time and I can just go forever.

Yeah. Good. Very good.

Yeah. So thank you. Thank you.

Hi. Well, first of all, I just wanted to say that I see everybody and it’s really cool to just be in a space with so many other people. I know, I can’t see many people’s faces right at this moment, but that’s pretty cool. Okay. So the other day I was going to get something out of my closet and I I like, reached up and I was like, “Oh shit, I’m going to die,” like someday, not at this moment, but someday, and I had this experience that I’m kind of used to by now, but I, for some reason, it just shocks me every time, where I realize I’m going to die and I get really real weird, like I’m totally not in the normal realm of being, and I feel, you know, my mom came and was like, “Hey, like what the fuck is going on?”

And I was like, “Well, this is what happened.”

And she was like, you know, “You breathe through it and you’ll get through it and you’ll go past it.”

But sometimes I feel like I shouldn’t go past it and I should experience it. But I don’t know. I was just having that feeling that maybe I shouldn’t be like so afraid of feeling that way, because it’s just now that I began to really feel that way and not try to run away from it, at least.

Well, you know, one of the major, most important meditations in Buddhism is the the meditation on death, the awareness of the imminence of death. I hate to tell you this, but you are going to die. And all of these nice people you’re looking at. Computers might still be here, but there won’t be anybody looking into it.


Yeah. Everybody comes and goes. That’s the deal. So, really serious, heavy duty practitioners. There’s a whole meditation on the awareness of the imminent nature of death, because that makes you feel more alive and gives you, it changes your perspective on things. It wakes you up. How are you spending your time? You know? Moping around? Why not use the time better? Why not feel better? Then you develop these practices to try to release yourself from the dream that you live in most of the time.

And you’re kind of young. So having those experiences could easily be seen as the fruition of spiritual practice that you’ve done in a previous life and now that awareness is coming here in this life, because it’s some work you’ve already done and it’s going to change the way you go through your day. It’s going to make this life more precious and more real and you’ll be more present. If you know that everybody around you is going to die and you’re going to die and you see, why aren’t people happier? You know? Why are they wasting their time? Why are they getting busy getting more and more stuff when you can’t take it with you? They say, the only thing you can take with you when you leave the body is your state of mind. And so that’s the most important thing to work on, is one’s state of mind, how long it goes through one’s day.

And so, you’re a musician. You want to bring as much of your self into the music. So right now you’re learning techniques. Everybody needs techniques, whether it’s meditation techniques or music or scientific techniques, and once you learn those techniques, what you use them for, that’s what’s really interesting.


How do you use the techniques to transmit what you’ve learned about yourself?

So it’s like a learning tool.

For sure. It’s a waking up tool, an awareness tool. Yeah, absolutely. But you need to pay attention because of who you are in this life right now, that little bubble of awareness, that experience might trigger some emotional responses, too, which would be not so pleasant. That’s not the point of the meditation practice, right? In Buddhism, for instance, there’s compassion and there’s impermanence. Impermanence is the fact that everything’s always changing. Everybody’s going to die. Everything that’s lives will die. Everything’s changing, and compassion is cultivating kindness and love and caring.

So the Dalai Lama says to Westerners, especially, “Mostly spend time with the compassion, kindness practice, because if we spend too much time with the emptiness and impermanence practice, because we’re so emotionally out of balance all the time, we can get depressed and get stuck in a hard place.”

So it’s better not to dwell so much on that until you’ve developed the real, what they call Bodhi Chitta, which is this feeling of kindness and compassion for everyone and one’s self.

But still you’re having those experiences. They’re coming. You’re not asking for them. So be with them. Allow them to be there. Don’t be afraid. But if you notice that it’s making you depressed, then you need to try to counter that a little bit. The experience is not negative in any way, I don’t think.


But our egos, our emotional shape can be jarred by that, you know, and excited by that, and then we just get unhappier and that’s not the point of that.


Because it’s reality. Everyone who’s ever existed since the beginning of time has left the body at some point or other.

It can get worse

Okay. It can’t get worse. Everybody’s gone, but of course they come again, but that’s a whole other story. But allow that feeling to make you more compassionate for people who don’t know that. Right? Really. And you can cultivate that compassion and recognize, “Oh, there’s so many people don’t understand. They keep on just getting more and more stuff. And what good is it? It’ll never make them happy anyway.”

So just naturally, that feeling of caring about other people will arise from that experience, but because we are so emotional, don’t let it make you unhappy.


Don’t let it make you depressed, because there’s that possibility of that happening. If that happens, you’ve got to talk yourself down, you know. “Oh, wait a minute. This is not something to be depressed about. This is something that’s waking me up to be more kind and more open and more living right now in everything that I do.”

Yeah. I think that for a long time I felt like I had that feeling that I was going to die and like be dead, and then I built a lot of like, structure of emotion, like you were saying, around it. And then once I started, really when I started like doing some yoga, I would realize that all of a sudden, like the anxiety was less, like the excess was like going away, but I was reaching like maybe like the root feeling. And then I started having this feeling more often. It jumps up on me and I’m like, whoa.

Yeah. So let me ask you, so when you say, when you get that feeling that you’re going to die do you ,have fear at that moment? Is there some fear that comes up a little?

I think what happens, the first reaction is like an understanding, like the first thing is like a, whoa. Then of course, right after that, it’s just complete fear, and it’s like truest of fears for me.

Yeah. So that’s ego fear, right? Because no one dies. The soul is not born nor does it die. It doesn’t come and go. The soul is eternal, so to speak. Bodies come and go. But there’s no dead beings. There’s dead bodies, but beings don’t die. They just take off this set of clothes and they put on another set of clothes. When we really have that understanding. I mean, not just here, but if we know that then of course we don’t worry about it, but that feeling of the fear is, that’s ego. The ego is afraid of it’s possible not existing anymore, but it doesn’t even exist in the first place. It’s just a bunch of thoughts, but it thinks it’s real. But you’re always going to be here. Actually. There’s nowhere you can go. That’s why spiritual practice is so cool, because it brings us back, it pulls us out of the past, pulls us out of the future and brings us right here, which is where we’ll always be. Even if you left the body now, you would still be able to say to yourself, where am I? And the answer would be here. You’ll always be here. There’s nowhere you can go. Bodies come and go, but the soul, the awareness within us does not diminish nor does it get more. It’s always as it is. It’s perfect.

So when you have that fear, sit with it. Don’t push it away. Just like, “What is this? What is this fear? What am I afraid of? What am I afraid of?” You know? And then see what comes up. Don’t let it push you around if you can. So be aware of it, you know, but of course in those moments, it’s very hard, obviously, because once you say, “Whoa,” you know, you’re already in it, but then you’re still here, even though it’s happening. So you can always like, “Okay, what is this?”

Franklin Delano Roosevelt said, at the beginning of World War II, he said, “We have nothing to fear but fear itself.”


When you’re in that fear, it’s really scary.


But it comes and goes. It’s nothing in itself. It’s just the feeling. So when you’re in that feeling, there’s very little, you can do except just be with it and watch it disappear, come and go.

Yeah, so write songs about it.

That’s what they all say.

Write songs about it.


Or poems to yourself. Not for other people necessarily. But just speaking about it to yourself will actually, you develop a relationship with it where it doesn’t overpower you all the time, that fear. But even so, it’s nothing to be afraid of. You don’t need to be afraid of fear. It’s just another feeling, although when you’re in it, it’s hard to think that.

Yeah. as Meher Baba, the great Saint, once said, “Don’t worry. Be happy.”

That’s what he said. Easy for him. But don’t worry. Be happy.

Well, I won’t. I decided now, I’m never going to worry again.

Don’t lie to me, but good luck. All right, sweetheart. Bye-bye.

So I had a question. I’m pretty new to these practices and this tradition, to some of the statues and some of the things that you put maybe on your altar and some of the practices, and so, I was in a training and it was suggested to put a picture of Neem Karoli Baba and others, and I kind of had a real resistance to this just because other than listening to you, Krishna Das, I don’t know him. I don’t have any experience with it. And so my response was, well, “Why would I put that on my altar? I don’t have any connection with that yet.” And…

Why would you even have an altar?

I like candles.

Put it on top of the TV and light a little candle there.

So I guess my question is, you know, how much of this can we just kind of make it up and what works for us and how much is, you know, tradition regarding specifically maybe a statue of Hanuman or a picture of this or a picture of that. And then how do we be true to ourselves in that, in terms of what really speaks to us?

No, listen, other people might tell you something else, but since you asked me, don’t, it’s not like, we’re not playing dollies here. You know, murtis are not dollies for us to play with. Pictures of the Saints are not like porn we’re supposed to use to get off. Do what feels right to you.

You have to develop your own path, your own relationship with yourself and whatever helps you overcome, do some practice and overcome your own, you know, obstacles and stuff in your own heart, that’s what you should do. Don’t listen to people. Don’t listen to anybody. Even me. Just listen to your own heart and what works for you. Don’t make anything up. Don’t try to manipulate yourself into feeling something. That’s crazy. Why would you do that? Just be you. That’s what it’s all about. And you’ll find out more about yourself and more about who you are, and you’ll eventually you’ll go deeper into yourself and things will start to feel natural that didn’t feel natural before. If they don’t, it doesn’t matter. You don’t need pictures. You don’t need murtis. You are the murti. Inside of you is the living god. Just as you are inside, is the living presence. Real love lives inside of you right now. All those other things are tools. They’re like mirrors to help us see a deeper part of ourselves. But if we think it’s just like a little Dolly, that’s not going to help. So forget it. But if you want to read more about Maharajji, there’s a number of books about him. So you get an idea of why people are attracted to him in the first place, because that’s the main thing.

So, there’s a list on my website somewhere of the books, about Maharajji and some other books that I like, and there’s available on, a link to a book of stories about Maharajji for free, a free download. That’s a lot of Indian stories, so there’s lot of Indian names. So if you’re not too familiar with names it might be hard. But they’re great stories and that’s free. So you can just take a look at that, and then Ram Dass wrote a book called “Miracle of Love” about Maharajji. So, there’s things out there, and that’s also spiritual practice. That is called satsang, hanging out with spiritual beings. When you read about these great beings and you see how they lived in the world or how they saw other people, what they did, and it starts to affect you very deeply. You see what might be possible in life, but it’s not about playing with dollies. Screw it. Forget that stuff, you know, until and unless it makes sense to you, then you do it. Otherwise, don’t feel manipulated by other people. You go through some training and they say, “Oh, you have to put this picture up and now light a candle.” Why the fuck would you light a candle? Go watch TV. Just be yourself. If you try to be something else, you’re not going to be successful. You have to be you. It has to be natural. It has to be what you want. That’s the deal, as far as I see it right now.

Thank you, and I have one follow-up question, if that’s okay. You know, we practice together. We’ll sing together. I’m not very good at singing, but he’s really great at singing, and that’s wonderful at times, and then at other times you know, I guess for myself, I like to sit by myself and do my own practice, and I don’t know if there’s anything, suggestions on doing practices together or separate, or if it matters at all.

It’s up to you, whatever works for you, but be honest with yourself and each other. Don’t do it with him because you think he needs you to, or he wants you to or you’ll hurt his feelings if you don’t. You have to be honest, you know, and that’s in your relationship and honest with yourself. If you’re trying to do something to please somebody else and it’s driving you crazy, what good is it? So be open about it. Talk about it all. If he can’t do it by himself, fuck him you know?

Yeah. And if you can’t do it by yourself, you have to learn. Ultimately we’re doing it by ourselves. Sometimes it helps in a group, because there’s more people doing it. You’re helping each other remember. When you are being quiet and distracted, he’s singing and so that might pull you back, et cetera, et cetera. But it’s all okay. Play with it. it’s not like Catholic school, for Christ’s sake. This is just real life. There’s no nuns going to hit you over the hand with a ruler if you don’t do it right. Just find your way. You have to. The whole thing is to find your own way.

Yeah, it’s all good. All right.

I don’t know if I have a question, but it’s not a specific question. It’s just reaffirming myself that, you know, like when I was little, I used to talk to Allah, as in God, and all of those, and then I grew up and then last summer I told you I was listening to Ram Dass, and then this is, this whole thing started, and I realized meditation is very important for me. And I started doing meditation and I’m reading books and all of those, and I know you said just before, like you actually almost answered my question when you were talking to the other person. You said it’s what you feel is right for you. I just want to know that, if there’s anything else, if you have any suggestion, you know, like I want to be a better person and live a conscious life and then just be in the best possible shape to help others. Do you think, is there anything else I can do to make sure that I am, I’m having good intentions and I’m doing what is supposed to be done?

Well, everything you said is a beautiful aspiration, you know, it’s a wonderful idea to be helping people, serving people. Maharajji never told us to meditate. He never told us to think about ourselves. He said, “Love everyone. Serve everyone. Remember God.”

So you do a little practice. You do a little japa. You repeat the name, but you think about other people. And if you weren’t thinking about yourself all the time, if we weren’t thinking about ourselves all the time, we wouldn’t be wondering whether this is the right thing or the wrong thing. We’d just be doing it. There is no right thing or wrong thing. And you will find your path as you take a step forward. The more steps you take, the more you find your path it’ll feel right or it won’t feel right. It’ll feel right for a while, then it won’t. So you change. That’s okay. It takes a little bit of courage, but it’s okay.

There’s no mistakes. You learn from things, always learning. That’s all. But your aspiration to help people is exactly what’s required. But how to do that? So you have to find out the best way you can do that. Now, you know, Mother Teresa, when she, a new person would come to work with her in Calcutta, and they worked in the slums with the poorest people, sickness, disease, death, she said, “If you don’t find joy here, you have to leave.” Joy in the service. Right? It’s not about sacrificing and “My broken heart. I give you everything to try to help.”.

You know, that’s just a load of shit.


You can feel joy in the service while you’re working with the most suffering. So that takes great strength and great inner wisdom. So as you move forward in your life on your path, you’ll see what keeps you centered, what allows you to be able to give yourself more fully, and you have to do those things in order to serve others. One has to be strong, also. We can’t be destroyed by the things we’re trying to serve. Otherwise. What good is it? Right? So it’s both things.


But yeah, like I say, Maharajji never encouraged us to think about ourselves. You know? Serve others. Think about others. That’s not so easy, but because we have these tendencies to deny our own goodness and not let ourselves feel okay, and that’s not good. That’s not healthy. We can feel okay even when we’re dealing with terrible suffering and disastrous situations. We can feel that we’re okay. We’re doing the best we can for whoever’s there, but don’t push yourself, okay? Just be you. Let it arise. Let it unfold. It’s it’s wonderful thing. Let it happen. Let life come to you. You don’t have to go out and look for it. You’re already in it.

It’s like Sharon Salzberg was saying, one of her teachers said, “Okay, I want you to close your eyes and sit there, and I want everybody to touch space.” Right? So everybody in the room will go like this, you know? And he laughed. He said, “You’re already touching space just being here.” You’re already touching. You’re in space. So you’re in your life already. It’s going on. So allow it to go on in the best way that you can, but it’s not about right and wrong and what’s the best thing. “What should I do? What should I do?”

You won’t know until you do it, if it’s right or wrong, if it works for you, and you’re the only one who’s going to know. Nobody can tell you unless you happen to run into a real Saint and they can tell you, and then you’ll know, but that’s not every day.

Yeah. Awesome. Thank you.

It might not even be every life. Okay?


All right. Take care. I’ll speak to you soon. Bye.

 Hi Krishna Das, I’m glad to be here. Hi. I’ve been following you for about a year now, and I’ve done a lot of exploring, and for my question, I continually come up against this and I’m hoping you might be able to give me a little bit of insight, and that is in relation to, I don’t want to cry, I guess how it relates to karma. I kind of wrote it down a little bit. So for the most part, my life has been what most people would describe and what I would describe as pretty good, no real physical danger, no emotional traumas that I’m consciously aware of anyway, and then we see people that are just not so lucky and not privileged in this way.

I just wonder like, how can I process How can I process that? Like how can I not ask, “Why them? Why not me? How can I accept this entire premise of karma and its perceived unfairness, really? How can I trust it’s justness from a position of privilege, essentially?

Well, first things first, you can’t help anybody if you’re going to be destroyed by it, by other people’s suffering. You can’t carry water to somebody if you can’t walk.

And you mentioned that a little bit earlier, so I did catch that.

Yeah. So that’s where you should start, you know, these emotional reactions that you’re having, all they do is cripple you. Why you have them, why you were born where you were born to whom you were born and what situation you were born, and why other people were born in different situations, we don’t know, and we’ll never know, but if we’re going to help other people, we have to be strong. We have to have real strength, inner strength, and that means we can’t be destroyed by our own emotional issues. Your emotional issues are not other people’s emotional issues.

There’s a difference between compassion and emotion. Compassion brings strength. It brings will. It brings power. It brings help to other people. It brings everything.

But these kinds of emotions just cripple us and they cripple our will and we don’t do anything, and we can’t do anything because we’re wondering “Why is this like this? And I have this, and I’m ashamed that I have this and I have that.” This is just stuff you need to let go of if you’re going to ever be of any use to anybody else.

So, all those questions of why and what, and if, and who cares. They’re not questions for us to answer. If you want to help somebody, you have to develop the ability to do that. And that means working on yourself, because right now we’re so limited in what we can do for anybody, because we’re carrying such a heavy burden of our own stuff with us. We can’t carry anything else for anybody else. I think we should just stay with that part of it.

I remember when I first got to India and seeing the way people lived and seeing so much poverty and so much hunger, the thing that I was struck, more than anything else, is that those people were thousand times happier than I was and they had a million times less than I had, and that was a wake up call.

So I’m not saying that’s an excuse you can use to yourself, but, and of course it’s not always true and you don’t wish suffering on anyone, but you’re wishing suffering on yourself right now with all these emotional issues that you’re dealing with. And they’re preventing you from actually reaching out to the people who could use help.

Yeah, this is what we do to ourselves. We make up stories that cripple us, and then we moan and groan. You know, what else do we do? That’s what we do with our lives. We make up stories and beat the shit out of ourselves and we moan and groan and don’t do anything. So we got to get over that. So spiritual practice is required, calming the mind, practicing letting go of the stories when we notice that we’re doing that, developing some kind of practice, some ability to pay attention, some ability to calm down. That’s very important, to be where you are. This is very important. And to stop believing everything we think about it all. If you didn’t think these things, if you didn’t tell yourself this story about yourself and the world to yourself, where would it be? Nowhere. And neither would you be bound by it at that point. You’d be free and in that freedom, you’ll be able to do so much to help others.

And of course, these times, once again, it’s very true, these times are really hard, and each one of us is pressured and it’s like a weight that’s on us. We don’t even know what it is. It’s not ours. It’s the world. Everybody in the world is whoa. It’s really heavy. So it brings out the worst in us. It brings out this dark stuff that we don’t even know is there. We can’t even recognize it most of the time, but it brings it out. So on one hand, it’s a great time to practice, because it makes it so apparent what’s going on. So you don’t try to push these feelings away. You don’t try to kill them. You allow them to be, and you just keep letting, go letting it go, letting the breeze, letting the breath, just wash it away again and again. It comes back again and again. It comes back. This is the dedication we make to our own wellbeing, and since we are all one, part of one body, if we help ourselves, we help others, too, and we create those possibilities.

So, start where you are, but don’t push yourself, right? Just be where you are and let go of all this stuff, the stories, little by little, and see what happens, see how you feel.

Hi. You know, when you were just talking just now, you were talking about how there’s this weight that, you know, everybody is kind of experiencing right now, and my question, I guess, without getting too specific, is how do you deal with traumatic situations that may trigger your emotions? I mean, the problem for me is that I’m going through something right now that is really scary to me and I just keep getting caught in the fear, and I believe my fear, you know, and I can get into these moments where, if I’m chanting and I’m like, right before, you know, when you were talking, it just, I could feel it draining out of me, but I’m driving everybody in my family crazy because I keep going, what’s that?

It’s probably a very short drive.

Yeah. Maybe so. You know, because I’m constantly meditating and chanting, which has made me making everybody you know, not constantly cause I have to work and I do other things, but I think I’m obsessively chanting, maybe, and obsessively saying the Hanuman Chalisa and things like this to try to control my fear. I don’t know. I’m like, what do I do? It’s hard for me to drain the fear all the time because my mind is telling me something that I’m believing and there’s some reality in there, you know?

Let’s not overthink it.


From what you say, it seems like the fear, whatever the cause of the fear is, I don’t know, but that the fear is actually, it’s pushing you to do all this practice and it’s making you very tense and there’s no space in it at all for you to be you. As far as practice goes, I think it would be better if you did one really good Chalisa where you really were present with it, one of them, rather than a 40 million where you’re like all scattered and running around the day, “I’m going to do a Chalisa between going to the bathroom and washing the dishes.” You know? Do one good one and that will carry you through a lot.

If there’s any way you can get some help with someone you could talk to about the issues you’re going through, the nuts and bolts of them, why not? And you can do that online with people. There are therapists and counselors available to talk with us 24 -7 these days, anytime of the day or night. I would look into that because it sounds like there’s something that’s being, you know, some button that’s been pushed and it got stuck in for some reason, and it’s not releasing. So, maybe would be helpful to talk about it. Couldn’t hurt.

It’s the fear that’s making you like, “Sri Ram Jai Ram Jai Jai Ram, Sri Ram Jai Ram Jai Jai Ram. I’m not gonna allow myself to think think, cause I don’t want to do that.” That’s no use. So it’s better to watch TV, watch some good movies. Go back and watch Sesame Street again, you know, it’s probably been a few years. Do something nice. Do something fun. But there’s no way to fight with those emotions when they’re right on you. It’s, you’re surrounded by a cloud of it and you can’t really push it away nor can you get away. You know?

So it’s not easy to say, you know. Sit with the fear, you know, and look at it. It’s not like you have to, “Okay, I’m going to look at the fear. I’m too afraid to look at the fear.” But you just, “What is it? What am I afraid of? What is this? What’s going on?”

And then, like I said, really, counseling therapy is very useful in these situations. And again, in these times we’re so compressed, you know, and pressed down with the pressure of the fear in the world. That makes it really hard to let go and to relax. So try to find a way to be a little easier with yourself, you know. Just find a way to relax a little bit, you know. Go for a run. Go for a walk. Wear a mask. You know, find a way to release some of the pressure. You know, it’s like the pressures got stuck in there and you somehow have to release it. So constantly going around, like, “Sri Ram Jai Ram Jai Jai Ram,” that’s not going to help. That just makes more pressure.

I know. I know you’re right.

Yeah. I may be. I may not be, but whatever. If it sounds good to you, I’ll take it. That’s enough. Yeah. But take it easy on yourself, and whatever the specific cause of your fear is, if there is a specific cause, that’s getting injections of steroids from the amount of fear in the world. So even though you think of it as “my fear,” it may not be, actually. It may just something you tripped and fell into. It could be somebody in your family has it, unspoken, unaware that you’re absorbing from them, but you wouldn’t absorb it unless you needed to, in a way, unless you had some of it yourself.

There’s so much things going on, whatever it is, who gives a shit, let it go. You know? And don’t worry about it. Don’t worry about your feelings. There are no wrong feelings. Okay? Every feeling has a cause. Whether you need to find out the exact cause of the feeling or not, who knows? You can also just release again and again, and that kind of breaks the cycle of the glue that holds us to those feelings, but it’s not instant. It’s something that develops over time.

Have you read the books about Maharajji or anything like that?

Yes, I love Maharajji. I read Miracle of Love and I’m reading The Near and the Dear right now, and I watched, you know, the Maharajji film, Windfall of Grace the other night. So I just love him.

Well, talk to him and ask him to get his shit together.

I do. I’m like, you know, I’m sure he’s “ Oh, it’s her again.”

Yeah, it’s her again and again and again.

Yeah, no. So I do get a lot of comfort in that way and yeah.

That’s good, well, talk to him. Tell him, “Baba, what’s going on here? You know, what is this? Can’t you do something about this? You know, what is this? Why do I have this?” Speak to him and then listen. What comes up from inside? And you’re not alone. You’re never alone. Believe me. Nobody’s alone.

Yeah. Thank you.

Be well. Okay, next victim.

So I think you’ve answered my question throughout the session. Thank you so much, but I’ll just give you some background. So I come from a tiny country called Lebanon. If you’ve heard of it, you might have heard that…

I think we’ve heard of it. Lebanese food is actually the best in the world. We ate at a Lebanese restaurant in Paris, and I would move. I would wash the floors of that place just to be able to eat there every day. The best.

Yeah. So I actually, you might have also heard of the Beirut explosion that killed many people.

Yes. Yes.

So I don’t live there now. I’ve been living in a different country for around six years now, but my country is now going through a very tough time. There’s an economic collapse and the aftermath of the explosion is just bad. It’s only my mom living there now. So honestly I have big plans for myself. Now I’m turning 30 soon. I have big plans for myself. I want to go back and try to fix my country. My country is basically drowning in corruption. I want to use my thirties to try to prepare myself as much as possible to go back and try to, you know, try to fix things as much as I can before I die. So I was wondering if you have any advice for someone who’s going to be 30 soon. And what would you advise me to focus on specifically? If you have any advice, please. Thank you.

Temper your exuberance with a little reality. The world’s pretty fucked up. Your country is arguably just, if not more fucked up at the moment, than a lot of other places, but the whole world’s going crazy right now. And this is probably not the best time to try to change things. I would definitely wait until the virus works its way through and it’s no longer the most, the one thing that you can’t get away from. You don’t want to die of COVID before you get home. So you want to take care of yourself also, and then whatever you can do to relieve suffering, you’ll be able to do.

But it’s hard times in the world. And I don’t know, you know, I don’t know anything about you, what capabilities you have, what connections you have. So I can’t, I wouldn’t talk to that, but whatever you want to do for others, you also have to do for yourself. You know? One time this group of politicians came to the temple and were talking to Maharajji about their green revolution, back in the early seventies. Maharajji said, “What green revolution? What are you talking about? You assholes. Do you make it rain?” You know? “Can you do that? Can you make it rain? What can you do? We’re human beings. Those things come from God.”

In the old days, traditionally they would do these fire ceremonies and make offerings to the devas in order to bring about rain and good sun and, you know, then good crops and stuff like that. So he says to them, “You’re not making any offerings. Where’s the rain going to come from?”

And many years ago, there was a very great Yogi who came to America. His name was Shiva Bala Yogi, and he was really big time, and he was in California and I was visiting there. And in those days in California, there was a terrible drought, right? Really bad. So this guy comes and says, you know, said, “Yogiji, Swamiji, you know, there’s such a terrible drought. What can we do about this?”

And he says, “Oh, simple.” He didn’t really know. He hadn’t been in America a long time. He said, “You know that drilling they’re doing out in the bay for oil? Well, they’re pissing off the Nagas, and that’s why you have this drought now. Just ask the government to stop drilling and then you’ll have all the rain you want.”

So I don’t know. You could be somebody who can talk to the gods and make those offerings, but more than likely, you’re just like the rest of us. So do what you can do. Take care of yourself too. That’s all. Be careful and remember that it’s not so easy to change the world.

You know, way back in seventies, somebody came to Maharajji and said, “Oh, Baba, you know, the world is in such bad shape.” In ’71? ’70? Really? “Such bad shape. I wish there was a king, like Janaka.” He was a great king in India and he was considered to be a Saint and a king, also. Like a realized being and as well as a king. So this guy says to Maharajji, “I wish there was a king like Janaka, you know, to run the world and make it work right.”

Maharajji said, “There’s a king much greater than Janaka. There is a king.”

Now, I don’t know. I’m just repeating the words. So if there is a king and things are the way they are, all we can do is the best we can do. That doesn’t mean we shouldn’t do, but don’t drive yourself crazy and destroy yourself trying to make something right that’s not yours to make right. Do what you can do, the best you can do. Right? Might be one soul at a time. Politics is really dangerous. And you know, politicians don’t really want the best for everybody. That’s not why they’re politicians. Mostly. There’s a few good ones. So don’t be naive and still do the best you can.

Thank you so much.

All right. And all the best.


I’m fairly new to chanting, but I feel like it’s been a lifetime of getting to this point and I’ve embraced it a hundred percent and I understand everything and I’m I just, yeah, I’m right there. So thank you so much for what you do and how you share that with people and the stories and everything, and it’s just, it’s touched my heart in such a way. I could go on, but anyway, listen, I have a question and it’s more of a concern, really. I was listening to a web cast the other night. You may know the guys, they are a couple of Swedish twins and they were talking about doing psychedelics a lot. And I grew up with Ram Dass and stuff. I don’t know all the details of his experience and I’m starting to sort of do some reading now and rekindle some of that stuff. And I’m not into psychedelics, but these two young guys were talking about taking, you know, lots of psychedelics and becoming spiritual and experiencing a spiritual awakening that one of them even went so far as to say that Maharajji appeared in the mirror and said, “Come with me. You know, I’ll teach you, come with me.” You know, and one of them freaked out and said, “No, I’m not ready to go yet.” And then explained later on that, that he knows that he can go back and become enlightened anytime he likes, because he’s had it and Maharajji was there. And I was like, actually I don’t get too caught up in other people’s trips, but I was a little bit annoyed about that. I was like, now come on, you know, it takes time to, to do this. You have to put in the work. You have to do some stuff. You can’t just say that you’ve seen the light and you’ve become a enlightened and you’ve talked to Maharajji and he’s, you know, tested you and all this sort of stuff. And I know I’m babbling on, but yeah, I came on. I just wanted to get your opinion on this because there seems to be a lot of young people out there and I mean, I’m kind of in the older age bracket, but this younger generation that, they’re really into these, how do you pronounce it? Ayahuasca and the mushrooms. And…


Sorry that. Yeah, Ayahuasca and the mushrooms and they’re off to these festivals and they’re getting high and they’re like, om-ing, and everything, but they just seemed to be missing the hard work. It seems like some people just want a quick fix.

Let’s forget. Let’s forget about the hard work. Nobody wants to do hard work. I don’t want to do hard work. I just want to do the work I have to do. So, as far as psychedelics, Maharajji said the Yogi medicine, he called it, “the Yogi medicine,” brings you into the room with Christ, but you can’t stay. Yeah. So these people and myself, I was actually one of those young people, you know, a few years ago, I took some acid and I had great experiences. And without that, I don’t know if I would have been drawn to spiritual things at all, if I even would have known they existed. So I can’t put them down, but I will say, just to repeat again, Maharajji said, “It brings you into the room with Christ, but you can’t stay.” If you want to stay, the only way to stay is love.

And the deal is that people get attached to those experiences. There’s still someone experiencing those states. There’s someone separate experiencing. So that is not liberation. It is not freedom, but people get very into their stuff and, , you hope that they come out of it in a good way at sometime and actually get what they’re looking for. But the problem is you do get very attached to those psychedelic blissful states. And you just want more and more, and you lose the ability to put food in your mouth and stop at the red and go with the green. Your daily life starts to fall apart and you think, “Well, that’s not important. Who gives a shit about daily life.?” You know? But that’s not exactly true because when you destroy your body, you won’t have shit. So, it brings you into the room with Christ, but you can’t stay. The only way to stay is love. So let them be stupid. You be stupid in your way. I’ll be stupid in my way. And they’ll be stupid in their way. Yeah. What’s the problem? Don’t let it bother you. Why should it bother you? And if you take some acid, just don’t take too much.

Exactly. I said to my partner, KD is going to help me answer this question two ways. He’s either going to say, “What’s the problem? Don’t worry about it.” Or he’s going to say ” It’s, you know, BS on the other side.” So, I mean…

He said both things.

Yeah, I was just a little bit like, you know, you can’t. And actually the fact of saying, “Oh, look, I can come back to this any time I like.”

Yeah. Let’s ask them who’s saying that. Who’s saying that? The person who’s saying that isn’t going to go through the door.

No. And so, so my, I’m thinking, well, it must have been part of the trip. Maybe they’ve created this situation because…

Who gives a shit? Don’t think about it. Yeah. You’re overthinking it. And that tells me that you really secretly want to do a big dose yourself, but I’d be very careful.

I don’t need to.

Good. Very good. Okay.

Every once in a while I think about it, you know.

Well, I’ve never been down that road, but I found it a bit more concerning because of the amount of young people out there who seem to be grasping. And then they’re turning to psychedelics and stuff, which is great to expand the mind, but, and that’s what Ram Dass was doing. You see? But he asked that question, can we do this without the drugs.

But he did for a long time, he was a crazy acid freak. So he had a period when he did that, but then he wanted to find out, what really is this acid? What is it? I know what it did for me, but what really is it? And he couldn’t find anybody that knew. And then he then Maharajji took the acid and nothing happened to him. And he went, “Oh, he must be beyond it. There’s somebody who’s beyond that.” So that was a big thing. Yeah. So let people do what they do. It’s not our job to worry about it. You just wish them well. Okay.

Thank you so much.

Thank you so much.

Everybody, it’s over two and a half hours. Got to stop now. So take good care. Don’t be too hard on yourselves if you can help it, because you don’t have to be, and just practice, letting go. Whatever you’re stuck in, just a few times a day, just sit down for two minutes and just let yourself settle. And then you’re going to notice. Just settle. Just let it just wash off of you. And that will help break the cycle of the crazy obsessive thinking. Just a few times a day. You can do it 50 times a day, just for two minutes. Just sit, allow it to settle and develop that habit and that practice of letting go. You don’t have to think about what you’re letting go of. You just let go. Just breathe slowly. Let your breath calm down and that’s naturally just letting go. And then you get caught again. Fine. Fine. And then half an hour later, just sit down for two minutes comfortably. You don’t have to sit in lotus.You don’t have to stand on your head. You don’t have to put dollies up on your altar. Just sit down. You’re the dolly. You’re the murti. Worship yourself by calming down and releasing and letting go. Okay. That’s an order.

All right. See you all soon.





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