Questions and Answers with James

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In response to requests for interactive access on Prabodha I have created this section for you to ask questions, many of which will be posted daily. Please feel free to use the form at the bottom of this page to inquire about what is upper-most on your mind. I will attempt to share my perspective. No subject is off limits.

Blessings,

Question:  I found the person I trusted most and relied on most but they have been lying to me a lot. I don’t know whether he really wanted to be with me. That’s a big disappointment in my life. It’s painful and put me back into a lonely life again. I feel lost. Does he have fair reasons for doing such thing? Tell me how to recover please.

Answer: Our stability, our happiness and our sufficiency can only come from within ourselves. We have been very conditioned throughout our lives to believe that our happiness comes from wealth, a relationship, praise, being beautiful, possessions or success, but the only source of happiness is within us; in the realization of who we are. Life will continue to create conditions to allow us this realization.


Our purpose in life is this realization and life will do everything in its power to bring us realization. This is grace. This experience is grace.


Recovery comes from a new understanding of why things happen – grace that brings the realization of the Self.


Disappointment evaporates when we see the truth of a situation – not a rejection, not a betrayal, but an awakening to the truth that the only happiness lies within and we have the choice to turn within and find the joy that has always been there.


Alone and loneliness are very different things. Being alone opens up space to experience peace of mind and stillness. Loneliness is separation that arises from a misperception and a reaction to pain. When we hold whatever pain we feel in neutral, non-judgmental awareness, the pain eases. Awareness and a new understanding are our greatest powers. These transform pain into grace.


These kind of experiences are a calling to find true happiness within.

Blessings,

James

 

Question:  My soulmate is married to someone else. I found this much later but we feel as an ideal couple and he’s been stuck in an unhappy relationship. I do not need to ruin someone’s relationship. But I see this person as the best to proceed together in spiritual path and live an enjoyable life as a couple. Is it something acceptable or possible to leave such unhappy relationship and move on to the ideal partner when the universe has brought each other together? I really feel about the third party and need the best for their life too. It was a long journey until I met this person and finally we found each other. Spiritually focused, intelligence at par and a happy union. I don’t see such match anywhere else for me. The other person feels the same I think.

Answer: Many people find deep feelings for another who is unavailable, usually married. Unfulfilled desire can produce frustration, anger, resistance and misery. But it is non-acceptance of ‘what is’ that is our resistance and that is what is creating our misery.

Our desire to be loved is very strong. We always feel the other person will make us happy, but that is a misperception. Only we can make ourselves happy. We can say that a new partner will allow us to lead a spiritual life, but that is an excuse. We can always lead a spiritual life with or without a partner. Our only fulfillment lies within ourselves.

Life is very short and we are born to know our Self. We are here for realization. What action supports that goal? Will our actions cause pain and harm or will they promote peace and joy? It is necessary to be very honest about what our desires will produce.
We all tend to live in what we need and want outwardly. But if we go inside and look deeply and see what are the most beneficial thoughts and actions, we see compassion for others and a wish for the happiness of others produce the best life for us.

When we are in doubt ask the question: What will produce peace of mind and be beneficial for all.

Blessings,

James

 

Question:  My love life has been in chaos and now I have managed to control my mind and stay in peace. I’d like to know what the universe has in store for me. Living without any clue or direction is hard for my life. I’m trying to figure out my path and decided to focus on career and meditate to stay in peace. Will I be able to reunite with the one I love or what should I do to find my soulmate?

Answer: Relationships are a powerful experience that go to the core. They involve our understanding of happiness, our view of Self and our state of mind.

First, our understanding of the source of happiness:

Our problems and unhappiness arise from a delusion. That delusion is a misperception. The misperception is that our happiness arises from outside of our mind. We believe that lacking good conditions is the cause of suffering When we believe this misperception we are consumed by uncontrolled desire and become attached to outcomes. This is especially true in relationships. Because there can be momentary sensory excitements, pleasures and successes, we become very convinced there can be lasting happiness and fulfillment outside of us. We become attached to these. But the rush of these quickly fade and are replaced by the continual search for fulfillment outside of us. We become consumed by desires. Our grasping desires and attachments never satisfy and fulfill us and create problems, dissatisfaction and unhappiness. In our unhappiness we self-grasp, becoming self-centered and feel separate.

The love we feel in a relationship is 100% generated in our minds. The other person is simply an object of perception that stimulates our internal experience. Who every relationship is with is determined by our karma. The experience of love is touching the presence of God within us and is a very important and powerful internal experience. Mistakenly, we attribute that experience to the other person, to someone or something external.

Secondly, our view of self:

When the experience of pure Self, authentic Self, pure awareness is covered over and we are living in an egoic, created self (which almost all of us are) we live with a need for approval, sufficiency and love. We seek that from outside of us in so many ways. We grasp for someone to love and someone to love us. That need becomes an attachment, impossible to fulfill. When that need is the basis for a relationship, the foundation is like quicksand. A relationship based on two people creating and enjoying life and evolving on their spiritual path -and not based on need- then a relationship can be quite fulfilling.

Thirdly, our state of mind:

Relationships tend to be the strongest and most significant source of our growth and expansion -not our partner’s. When we accept that and see the relationship from this perspective, we can let go of strong attachment to changing the way things are, fixing the other person and move into acceptance. It is the only way to obtain the most important thing -peace of mind. Living without any clue can be freeing, if we move into allowing. Allowing life to unfold without wanting control and without grasping for outcomes is the spiritual path. Simply focus on the act, the goodness, the sweetness, the gentleness, the kindness. Leave the outcome to God.
God, along with karma, create every circumstance in our life as grace; the power of realization. Finding our soulmate, or reuniting with our soulmate, or being by ourselves in stillness are about allowing God to create the perfect circumstance for realization of God and our enlightenment. When we are in a state of wanting, hoping and wishing for outcomes, we are grasping for an outside person, place, thing or circumstance to make us happy. That will never happen. We say we are OK and at peace, but as long as that grasping for something other than ‘what is’ exists there will never be true peace of mind.


Surrendering outcomes to God, allowing circumstances to unfold, accepting ‘what is’, being kind and compassionate, and turning our thoughts continually to the highest will bring freedom and peace. The universe always has our expansion, our enlightenment and our happiness in store for us, but we must release our grasping, our control and our expectations in order to receive it. We must be in acceptance to receive.

Blessings,

James

Question:  I have a habit of judging people that do not have the same beliefs as me. You have said we are all on our own paths but I find myself feeling superior and unwilling to accept them as they are. How can I rid myself of this feeling – always knowing I am right?

Answer: In order to know the truth, we expand our understanding. When we feel we are right and superior then we are living in separation and there is “other”. Separation is delusion and the cause of suffering. When we see the other as our Self, we realize that they are an expression of God, as are we. No two expressions are the same. God did not manifest Himself into this creation to be the same on the outside. That would be boring limit His creativity. But internally, we are all God, all pure consciousness, expressing as unlimited forms and beliefs. God’s play has good and bad, high and low, right and wrong; the pairs of opposites. Essentially those expressions are the waves. Allow the waves. The ocean remains one.

Blessings,

James

Question: I have started numerous projects and jobs and I often become overwhelmed with the expectations. How do I know if I am on the right path? How do we know what our purpose is?

Answer: Everything we do, we do to become happy, free and realized. That is purpose. We become attached to outcomes when we think the thing outside or the achievement will bring a specific result; money, approval, power, advancement etc. When that result is interrupted or slow in coming, we get frustrated or overwhelmed with expectations that aren’t showing up as we like. Act without expectations. Attachment to outcomes takes attention off the act itself, reducing the intelligence and power in the act. When we simply focus on the act and not the outcome, we will find noticeably stronger results and attainment. You know you are on the right path when you feel expansion, when you feel creative intelligence flowing through you.

Blessings,

James

Question: I do my practice every day and immediately feel calm and peaceful. External triggers pierce my heart and I become agitated and sometimes angry, reversing the results of my morning practice. How do I stop allowing these triggers to take over my life?

Answer: When we meditate and do our practices, we connect to our Self; pure consciousness. That is why we feel calm and peaceful. The value of activity is that it is the thing that stabilizes the experience. When we dye a cloth, we put cloth in the dye and then set it in the sun to fade and set in a certain amount of dye. Then we repeat the process until the dye is fully set. That is what we do on the spiritual path; immerse ourselves in consciousness and then act, thereby fading the experience but setting in some part of the experience, some degree of pure consciousness. Eventually the experience is set and full. Triggers are what free us. They show us what is unresolved within us and are the sign-posts leading us to resolution and freedom. View triggers as the things that need our attention; our neutral, compassionate awareness.

Blessings,

James

 

Question:  You say that we are God. How can we be God and at the same time experience so much strife in our life?  Isn’t God love and peace?

Answer: God is everything. The one consciousness has become limited in order to act, to experience the play of consciousness. The play has opposites; good and evil. Imagine how boring the play would be if it was just one good guy. In that limitation God acts through us, as us, and experiences everything; love, strife, peace. The play of consciousness is God forgetting He is God and then remembering. That is the purpose of life and the spiritual path; remembering, realizing. When we remember, when we experience realization, we know that God is love and peace, that He is everything.

Blessings,

James

Question: How to come out from tensions and stress created with increasing financial burden and no solution at present and dues are piling months after months and resources for receipt on financial are uncertain. feeling depressed

Answer: Financial uncertainty is stressful. Stress is a result of attachment to outcomes that do not present themselves as we expect. So, we need to look at our attachments and expectations. We see how others see us and we feel we failed. We feel insufficient. We feel we are not worthy because we have not solved life’s issues and have money. We must trust that God is the author of our life and is with us always. The only inner solution is to understand that our sufficiency exists because God dwells within us, as us. The outer solution is in connection; connection to family, friends and acquaintances. When we satisfy the needs, wants and preferences of people, they will buy what we offer. Discover what is needed, wanted, and preferred and offer that and people will respond.

Sending blessings,

James

Question:

I have decided I will discontinue any spiritual practice of any sort.
I have had a serious and disturbing fight with my wife.
I will take on meditating of any sort only when I start living alone.

Answer: I am sorry you are going through a difficult time. What you are going through is your spiritual practice. We tend to separate practices like meditation, chanting and service from the main practice of living our life, but our life is our main spiritual practice.

Whenever I have gone through a difficult time, upon looking back on it, I have always wished I had held onto four things;

Be kind. Kindness allows us to maintain peace of mind. Prioritize peace of mind. Every time there is a dissonant or inharmonious condition outside we think we must give up our peace and harmony inside. We can maintain peace inside even in the midst of an inharmonious outside condition by accepting what is. Acceptance does not mean what happened in the past was OK. Acceptance means we accept it exists, as it is, now. We accept what is our experience now and give it our neutral attention. Allowing neutral attention (directed consciousness) to bathe ‘what is’ in the light of awareness allows ‘what is’ to come into a more neutral vibrational state. Acceptance and neutral attention shift the energy of fear and anger into neutrality.

I am sending specific blessings to you in this time.

James

Question: How does one learn to forgive others, especially family members, who have always treated us badly, through no fault of ours? In spite of repeatedly ignoring, sometimes confronting the wrong doings for decades and there is no change in their behavior. Thank you for your time and advise in advance.

Answer: The only power that we have to change another’s behavior is our example. Sometimes that works and sometimes that does not work. Ignoring or confronting will have little effect. To forgive another there is a requirement that we have first resolved the issue completely within ourselves. It does not sound like resolution has come yet. I don’t think forgiveness is the immediate concern; resolution is. What is our role in the energy of this situation? Contemplate this first. Secondly, I would suggest having the honest conversation as lovingly as possible, realizing that person is God and that person is in our life to free us from our attachments and aversions. When God has finished acting through that person to create our awakening, the behavior will end or the person will leave. This means it is our awakening that determines the outcome. If their behavior is abusive, that puts it in a different category. Resolution must happen quickly. That could mean leaving the situation, taking intelligent steps to disallow the abusive behavior. This is also an awakening.

Blessings,

James

Question: Hi, Whenever I read spiritual teachings and watch spiritual videos , my ego automatically says to me to not trust the teachings. How do I overcome this problem?

James: It is OK to be skeptical and test the teachings to see what aspects resonate with you and what aspects feel off. I have discovered for myself that I can decide if a teaching is for me, if the teaching resonates with me, by feeling the energy of the words rather than understanding it intellectually. Does the teaching make me feel more expanded, peaceful and joyful or does it create the opposite effect?

Dismissing teachings automatically may mean that you are not open or ready. That is OK too. We tend to be attracted to what will create the next expansion, the next awakening within us. It’s hard to go from point A to Z but easier to go from A to B to C. Trust comes more through the heart and less through the mind. Try approaching the teaching through the heart.

Blessings,

James

 

Question: My issue still is I cannot focus on daily spiritual practice. I have done it before. I would like to do it again. Guided meditation but cannot.  Please advise what I can do.

James: Many  people have difficulty finding the time, space and situation that allows them to practice.There are always 3 things that you can do;

♥  Repeat the mantra, Om Namah Shivaya, silently as often as possible.

♥  Work on non-resistance; allowing and acceptance.

♥  When you go to bed at night, practice Turia meditation lying down in bed for 10 minutes. If you fall asleep that’s OK.

Your longing will open up opportunities.

Blessings,

James

Question: Does this god really care about children dying out of hunger, poverty, diseases, genocides happening all over the world?

James:  This is a question we all ask out of compassion. The question arises from a state of separation. In reality, God is the child suffering. God is everything and experiences everything. From the vantage point of limited vision and separation, we see and experience it as suffering. From the enlightened perspective, from God’s perspective, it is the play of consciousness; God forgetting and remembering God. Hunger, disease and pandemics arise for one reason; awakening. Karma returns for one reason; awakening. Suffering occurs for one reason; awakening. It appears as suffering, but the reality is that it is grace, the power of awakening. This does not mean we ignore suffering. We are God here to remember we are God and end ignorance and suffering.

Blessings,

James

 

Question: Thousands of people come to Prabodha every day. Some ask you to become their teacher or guru. How do you feel about this?

James: I do not wish to become anything other than what I am; a disciple offering service to my teacher. If it remains his will, God’s will, that Prabodha continues, or grows, or ends, then that is what will happen. I have no attachment to that outcome. It is always in their hands.

When I thought about starting Prabodha, I prayed to my teacher and felt it was OK to continue creating Prabodha. I surrendered it to him so I do not think of this thing as mine. I think of it as his and because of that understanding, because I have surrendered Prabodha and any outcome to God, I am free to remain what I am.

 

Question: The site is free now. Have you considered monetizing it and charging for courses?

James: Charging for your work is OK. We should receive compensation for our work. But this is not work. This is seva; service. Charging for seva turns a spiritual practice into a business. Wanting recognition for seva turns seva into need. Then it becomes ego, it becomes about outcomes that turn into attachments. So, I would like to continue to offer service.

 

Question: This site seems to have a lot of power and wisdom. Are you enlightened?

James:  What you feel is my teacher’s shakti, his spiritual energy, his state. I simply write or talk and if there is some understanding or wisdom somewhere in that, it is only what my teacher says or teaches. He has allowed me to do this, so I will do this. My life is his grace. His grace is responsible for Prabodha.

 

Question: Do you have struggles?

James:  Yes, my struggles are my resistances rising up. They are the chaotic waves that arise from the still ocean. In this relative world we will always have struggles. The question for us all is do we become the wave or remain the still ocean and witness the struggle. When I feel an attachment or aversion arising, I try to let my resistance, my grasping and pushing away, turn into acceptance. It’s a practice for me.

Question: Do you want more money, a relationship, a nicer home?

James:  It has taken me many years to understand that my life isn’t about desires. It is about receiving. In many ways my teacher showed me that I was grasping onto things, situations and circumstances and it was my grasping that was preventing me from receiving what God wanted to give me. It required my surrender, my letting go and releasing my desires in order for me to receive grace. Once I opened my hands and released my desires, my hands could receive and hold what was always being offered. So, it is all grace and karma.

Life can be fun and being creative can be great fun. God became this relative world for the play of it, to act and enjoy. I enjoy being creative.

 

Question: Where do you find your happiness?

James:  That is the best question. For decades I searched for that. I got a great education hoping to find wisdom. I created a successful company and made some money hoping for freedom and security. I had a relationship hoping for love. All of these were outside of me. I was hoping the thing outside would make me happy inside. Little by little, I realized that wisdom, freedom, love and happiness were 100% internally generated. Comfort or pleasure might be outward, but what I sought was inside me and my mission was to uncover what already existed inside. It’s been a mining operation, a house cleaning.

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