Change the World, Change You

This is the second half of the equation that began with the previous podcast: “Change You, Change the World.” Because everything exists in interdependence (and not independently), it is also true that if we change the world, we change ourselves. But how do we do this? At one level, we change ourselves when see ourselves trying to change the world – acting, speaking, and even thinking motivated by the intention of wanting to help others and promote their welfare. Karma […]

Change You, Change the World

While in Massachusetts this summer, I had the chance to speak to a group in North Reading, most of whom were friends of Jon Weir – an incredible person and the owner of Kitty’s restaurant which he opened up to the event. The talk I gave there came straight out of a section of “Be Nobody” dealing with the fact that when we change ourselves we actually do change the world. The reasoning behind this rather startling conclusion is not […]

Discontentment and the Compulsion to Act

It’s been interesting to discover how much resistance there is to thinking of contentment as the real goal of a spiritual life. This extract from a teaching I gave in Brooklyn last month makes the case that it is precisely the need – the compulsion – we feel to always have to do something to change any given situation that defines samsara or the cycle of suffering. Samsara is defined in a classic Sanskrit text, the Ashtavakra Gita, as “nothing […]

The Cult of Busyness

I thought it would be a propos to give a talk on the “cult of busyness” in New York City, the adrenaline capital of the world as part of the summer, 2014, “Be Nobody” book tour. This is an extract from that talk, given at Ava Gerber’s “Lucky Lotus” yoga center in Fort Greene, Brooklyn. Part of the culture of narcissism and self-centeredness we live in includes the idea that the self will improve and magnify itself through constant activity. […]