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I am often told by people that I seem to be a “modern” guru. My response to that observation is that I am neither modern nor ancient, neither new age nor old age. I am contemporary, and that is how every guru has always been.

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I particularly enjoyed making mental maps of the terrain I’d traveled.

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The ability to simply look without motive is missing in the world today.

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When I look back now, I realize that I never thought about what I wanted to become in life. I only thought about how I wanted to live my life.

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Right now people glorify childhood because a child can laugh and be happy for no reason at all. But I saw that it is possible to be ecstatic in one’s adulthood as well. It is possible for every human being because all we can ever experience happens from within us.

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Human nature is such that we always yearn to be something more than what we are right now. No matter how much we achieve, we still want to be something more. If we just looked at this closely, we would realize that this longing is not for more; this longing is for all.

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When you are in a pleasant inner state, you are naturally pleasant to everyone and everything around you. No scripture or philosophy is needed to instruct you to be good to others. It is a natural outcome when you are feeling good within yourself. Inner pleasantness is a surefire insurance for the making of a peaceful society and a joyful world.

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Human experience may be stimulated or catalyzed by external situations, but the source is within. Pain or pleasure, joy or misery, agony or ecstasy, happens only inside you.

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All human experience is one hundred percent self-created.

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This is the fundamental shift in understanding that has to happen. Do not look for a way out of misery. Do not look for a way out of suffering. There is only one way—and that is in.

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To be human means you can mold situations you are living in the way you want them. But today most people in the world are molded by the situations in which they exist. This is simply because they live in reaction to situations they are placed in.

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Whatever we do not want to take responsibility for, whatever we cannot make sense of logically, we label “destiny.”

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What you accumulate can be yours, but it can never be you.

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Reactivity is enslavement. Responsibility is freedom.

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The most horrific things in life can be a source of nourishment if you accept, “I am responsible for the way I am now.”

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Your ability to respond is the way you are. Only your ability to act is connected with the outside world.

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What the mind forgets is that the ability to respond is the basis of life.

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If a loved one travels to another country, would you still be able to love them? You would. If a loved one passed away, would you still be able to love them? You would. Even if a loved one is not physically with you anymore, you are still capable of being loving. So, what is love then? It is just your own quality. You are only using the other person as a key to open up what is already within you.

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Once your joy is on self-start rather than push-start, you have upgraded your technology. You are no longer enslaved to an external source—whether a person or a situation. You are now capable of being loving and blissful without doing anything in particular, just sitting here, no matter how anyone in the outside world behaves. Once you experience this inner freedom, you will never experience insecurity in your life again.

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Every human being is a unique combination of the same ingredients. All these aspects—karma, gnana, bhakti, kriya—have to function in an integrated way, if one wants to get anywhere. If these four dimensions—body, mind, emotion, energy—don’t walk together, you will be one big mess.

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Yoga is not about being superhuman; it is about realizing that being human is super.

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the source of all experience is within you.

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It is as simple as this. The more you know about your telephone or any other gadget, the better you can use it.

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The sun is the life source for this planet. In everything that you eat, drink, and breathe, there is an element of the sun. Only if you learn how to better “digest” the sun—internalize it, and integrate it into your system—do you truly benefit from this process.

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They say how long a minute is essentially depends on which side of the bathroom door you are!

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The human problem is not enough attention, but too much information.

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When you are very hungry all your body wants to do is eat. Just wait for two minutes; you will find that it will make a big difference.

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What kind of food you eat, how much you eat, how you eat, turning it from a compulsive pattern into a conscious process: this is the essence of fasting.

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Everybody thinks their job is stressful. No job is stressful. There are many jobs that could present challenging situations. There could be nasty bosses, insecure colleagues, emergency rooms, impossible deadlines—or you might even find yourself in the middle of a war zone! But these are not inherently stressful. It is our compulsive reaction to the situations in which we are placed that causes stress. Stress is a certain level of internal friction. One can easily lubricate the inner mechanism with some amount of inner work and awareness. So, it is your inability to handle your own system that is stressing you out.

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What the body needs is not sleep but restfulness. If you keep the body very relaxed through the day, your sleep quota will go down naturally.

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The sensuousness that you experience in life is a chemical invitation for something that is not you to become a part of you.

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The physical body is a platform for all possibilities from the gross to the sacred. You can perform simple acts of eating, sleeping, and sex as acts of grossness, or you can bring a certain dimension of sanctity to all these aspects.

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When it comes to the inner situation, however, there is only one ingredient: you. You can be the sole architect and creator of your inner life. But you don’t know how. That is the rub.

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The planet is spinning on time: not a small event. All the galaxies are managing fine; the whole cosmos is doing great. But you have one nasty little thought crawling through your head, and it is a bad day! The problem is you are living in a psychological space that bears no connection with reality.

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Awareness is not something that you do. Awareness is what you are. Awareness is aliveness.

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Only because religions have instilled such a sense of fear and shame are you ashamed of your very biology! Now you have to go to someplace that is considered “holy” to wash it off.

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It is only people who think too much who cannot eat and sleep properly! Simpleminded people perform all the activities of the body far better than the so-called intellectuals of the world. There is a certain peace in them because you need some intelligence to create disturbance and chaos.

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It is definitely possible to create some distance between you and what you have gathered. You can use it when you want, but you need not be identified with it. If you cannot maintain this distance, your whole vision of life will be clouded.

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Pain is bad enough; why make it worse with suffering? Suffering is entirely self-created. And every human being has the choice: to suffer or not to suffer. It doesn’t take much intelligence to choose the latter.

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When you realize that all your material achievements are of value only in comparison with those who don’t have them, this is joy that springs from another’s deprivation. Can you really call this joy? Isn’t it actually a kind of sickness? It is time everyone addressed this. If you were alone on this planet, what would you want for yourself? Ask yourself this question and see where it takes you. Try this. Sit alone for five minutes and see what your life would be like if you were absolutely alone in this world. If there were nobody or nothing to compare yourself with, what would you truly long for? What would really matter to you if there were no external appreciation or critique? If you do this every day, you will become aligned with the longings of the life that you are, rather than the accumulated karmic mess that you believe you are.

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Karma is the process of binding you. Kriya is the process of liberating you.

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Words can be inspirational and directional, but not transformative.

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You cannot transform the world without transforming the individual.

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Books I’ve read.

Johannes Holmberg

Tiny summaries on books I’ve read. Sorted by latest read. But you can also sort on top recommendations. Highlights and covers are copyright to their respective authors.