Last night I watched Leonardo Di Caprio’s new documentary “Before the Flood”. At the same time the American people were voting for their new president. It made me feel that perhaps I have stood on the fence for too long.
As a meditation teacher I have to find the delicate balance between sharing the teachings in a way that is accessible as possible to as many people as possible, and honouring what I feel personally to be the most important messages to be giving. I have tried to maintain a moderate voice while doing what I can to encourage people to make real changes in their lives.
Watching Leonardo stand up in front of the United Nations and tell it like it is was very inspiring. While writing my new book, “A Survival Guide to Staying Conscious,” it was always my intention that it might provide inspiration and encouragement to those of you who feel ready to change. So hope it might be my small contribution to this huge cause that we all need to get behind now.
Seeing Leonardo’s film aired freely on youtube I decided that I would like to give away my new book to anyone who would like to read it. If you would like a hard copy of the book to share amongst your friends there are 500 copies available for free.
The book publication was made possible by the kind support of those of you who backed my Inidegogo campaign. And so I thank each of you for the part you have played in creating the opportunity to gift this book to others. Those of you who have already bought the book thank you. I will be making a donation to the ‘Crisis at Christmas’ appeal for the homeless with the money from book sales so far.
To order all you need to do is click the donate button and make a contribution towards the postage, and we will send you up to three copies free of charge. If you are ordering more than one copy please only do so with the committed intention to pass the other copies on to someone who you genuinely think will read it.
I feel that now that with my first four books I have shared most of the knowledge I have. What remains I will share individually with, as and when each individual student reaches a point in their practice where they need more. I have always tried to encourage you to see the Dharma as a living truth at work within your lives, and not just a doctrine or philosophy.
Each one of us is a living expression of the intelligence and truth that underpins all life. There is no greater journey that we could embark upon in our time here, than to come to a direct experience of what that truth is. To understand life. I know, as the Buddha always said, that ALL of our suffering is the result of behaviours that is prompted by our ‘Not understanding’ what life really is. It is a certainty, as he pointed out, that when we see for ourselves what is actually happening here, when we see what life really is, there is no way that any of us would continue to behave in ways that bring suffering to ourselves or others.
In “Before the Flood” Leonardo is asking each of us to make changes. We are all intelligent enough to see that the life we are living is not tenable any more. It is just not appropriate to pretend to ourselves any longer that we can continue to live the way we do. NOW is the time to surrender, to look deep in your hearts to find the courage to let go the mass of things that you do not need, and to embrace rather than fear the idea that your life in the future will have less in it and not more.
Do not fear that idea. Let it come to you as a tremendous relief to realise that after a lifetime of struggling to hold together a more and more complex and elaborate life, it is no longer necessary or reasonable to continue to do so. If we don’t ALL start to take out significantly less than we currently are, there simply will be no future to pass on to our children.
I do not want you to think I am being negative. I am trying to be as wholly positive as I can in the face of the greatest challenge any of us and all of us will ever face. If we are going to justify and sustain our presence here upon this earth, NOW is the time to do the work that has to be done. This challenge will be our making as a species or our undoing. Have no doubt about it. So I make no apologies for speaking directly in saying, Come on all of you. Work it out. You know what you have to do. Somewhere inside, all of you do. Let’s get on with it.
- Give up or give away what you do not need.
- Share what you have with those who do not.
- Learn to live, and delight in living, as simply as you can.
- Find your joy in the creation that is around you and let go your intoxication with the things we create. They are mere trifles in the greater scheme of things.
- Let go your need to be seen and learn to walk quietly amongst all beings.
- Stop asking what’s in it for you and make your life an exploration into what you have to give.
- Make your highest aspiration in this life to get to the end of it knowing that you contributed in some small way to the efforts that are necessary to reset the balance. Know that this is most likely to be the resultant of not only what you do but of what you stop doing.
- Have faith, trust in the power of life because it is greater by far than the power of man. Remember that the planet doesn’t need us, but we most definitely need it.
Now go out there and get on with what you really came here to do… support each other, help each other and don’t wait for approval… just do it.
Finally I have posted a new track from my Brave Souls Album on Soundcloud. I hope you enjoy.
Good luck to all of you.
With boundless love.