mountain topWhenever a group of people get together and become more honest with each other, one of the first thing to happen is that they realize how much we all want the same thing.  It happens in marriage guidance counseling, we come to the recognition that we both want love, we both want to be seen and acknowledged.  It happens in any kind of business intervention: we come together as a team and realize we all want and need the business to succeed, we want the workplace to be inspiring and relaxed.  Ultimately it happens politically, when the leaders of nations recognize that they are more likely to get their own needs met when they can also recognize the need of the other.

The greatest area of split and misunderstanding, which I discover among my friends and other writers and teachers is the split between the longing of the spirit and material desire.  To paint the picture in broad strokes, I am aware of two categories of people I know.  On one hand, I’ve spend a lot of my life in “spiritual circles.”  I lived with Poonjaji in India, I’ve lived in community in other parts of my life.  When we make our home in this camp life is about liberation.  We mediate.  We do Yoga.  We chant.  We disassemble the structures in the mind because we have fallen in love with a deep sense of spaciousness and peace.  When you live exclusively in this camp the desire for money becomes a hinderance to be avoided, not a goal to be pursued.  Relationships are okay-ish, as long as they don’t get too co-dependent.  Frequently, our relationship with our parents is something to be “completed” and “resolved” rather than celebrated.  When you live in this camp, wanting to make it in the world is the greatest symptom of ego-entrapment.

But there is also another camp, where I equally enjoy setting up my tent from time to time.  This camp is much better decorated, has better food, and everyone has an i-phone.  In this camp the emphasis is on worldly success of every kind.  Making money is a good thing.  So is having great relationships, great sex, better health and, in fact, having better anything is good.  When you hang out a while in this camp and look back to the other side, the spiritual people look like a bunch of losers. Meditating on their navels and letting go of attachments, you can see from here that they can’t pay the rent, their relationships are often messy, and they often have health problems to boot.

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This is a practice from my latest book: Leap Before You Look.” This practice is chosen from the section “The Daily Grind.”

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Take some time to discard what is no longer needed.

You could start with your clothes.

Be honest: if you have not worn it for a year,

Put it in a bag for the thrift store.

Look through your books: how many will you ever read again?

Go through your music, your movies, your knick-knacks.

If it is just taking up storage space, get it out of your life.

Take the things you can let go of to the garbage or the thrift store.

Then, sit quietly for a few minutes and

Feel the space you have created in your life.

Feel the space that has also been opened

Inside yourself.

Do this practice often,

Until all clutter is gone,

And you can enjoy simplicity.

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Here is a practice you can use right away, from my book “Leap Before You Look.”

When you notice yourself wanting something from your partner,
Stop and label it.
I need your respect;
I need you to clean up after yourself;
I need you to notice how much I do for you.
Once you become aware of the need for certain qualities in this way,
Give what you hope to receive.
If you are demanding respect from your partner,
Give your partner respect.
If you are demanding to be heard by your partner,
Make a practice of hearing.
If you are demanding that your partner be more mindful,
Try to pay closer attention to each moment.
Shift the attention from the trickle
You hope to elicit from outside,
To the ocean that you can become within yourself.

~

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Please enjoy the following excerpt form my Best-selling book, The Translucent Revolution, New World Library, 2005.

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Joe Kresse, with the Foundation for Global Community, is another translucent activist who perceives business as a ripe arena for transformation. He reports that translucent values emerge in businesses when they are willing togreen_shoots question the traditional idea of the bottom line. The more Iago-driven an organization, the more profit determines every decision. “True enough,” says Kresse. “Business does have to make a profit, but more and more businesses are developing multiple bottom lines. In many cases these are People, Environment, and Shareholders.” He observes that all are served best when prioritized in that order. (more…)

Please enjoy the following except from an interview I did with Jennifer Hough of Soul Talk radio last week:

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Arjuna: This is an amazing time to be alive. It is really so important to be in these conversations, because the whole game is changing very, very fast. Up until just quite recently, there has been great emphasis on personal empowerment: manifesting, using intention, the law of attraction; that was the name of the game. It was like a playground, playing with the possibilities of personal empowerment. Now the game is changing very fast, very, very fast.

You can see it in our role models, it’s very interesting. Just a few years ago the role model for the collective were people with the most money and power: a movie star or a banker. Somebody who’d made a lot of money, driving a great car, was seen to be the role model for what is possible. An interesting thing happened. Last week the G-20 Summit was held in London.Bankers working in the city of London were going to work in rough jeans and old t-shirts and riding the tube instead of their BMWs, because they were afraid of getting lynched: it’s become so uncool now to be playing the financial system and milking money out of the system.   There was the huge outcry with the  AIG bonuses. The whole collective is changing, our values are shifting very, very rapidly. What was really cool a few years ago is no longer cool today. And of course Barack Obama is an icon of our changing values.

What you contribute is becoming more important than what you take. So what you give back, the value you create, which is all to do with awakening, the value you create is more significant than the reward that you reap for it. And I’ve seen lately so many CEOs are proudly announcing that they’re not taking a salary. I’ve seen this multiple times lately, that CEOs are taking a dollar a year to lead a company.

Jennifer: Yeah, it’s all over the news right now.

Arjuna: It’s all over the news, because you see we’re replacing acquisition consciousness with contribution consciousness and contribution consciousness is all about awakening. The pivotal essential point for acquisition consciousness is manifesting. If your life is about acquisition, you want to learn how to manifest and attract as much as possible, attract more to me. So that’s why the law of attraction became the great secret of an acquisition based mentality. When we shift to contribution based living, then the key becomes not the law of attraction but “who am I?” Who am I really? What is my deepest value? Not what am I trying to attract, but what have I already got? What is the wealth that’s already in my pocket before I try and manifest more?

Jennifer: And what can I possibly contribute to the world?

Arjuna: Yes, and then, you see, that’s what translucence is all about, is contribution, and the way to contribute is to awaken to who you are, to awaken to that which is giving the gift.

Jennifer: Beautiful.

Arjuna: Very exciting times. Things are changing so quickly. The whole game is changing.

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If you’ve watched the television news in the last few months, or listened to the radio, or been on the internet, or looked at a magazine… or even just talked to well… anybody, you must be aware that the general consensus is that this is a time of unprecedented challenge and transition. Economically, that often gets focused onto the United States, but actually in the wider implications, the transition that we are passing through is global.

I’m sure you don’t need me to spell out what that means. Whether we focus on sinking into a global recession–or even depression–or global warming, or peak oil, or the many unresolved political conflicts around the world: whatever parameter you choose to focus on, many people feel today fear that we are sitting on a bus heading over the edge of a cliff. Depressing, isn’t it?

Suppose for a moment that your house develops severe dry rot in the basement. The contractor comes, takes a look and says, “Sorry, there’s nothing I can do. It’s too far gone. Better to tear the place down.” This would be inconvenient, but not the end of the world. Now suppose that it was your neighborhood gone to seed, taken over by… what? Lawyers? Communists? White supremacists? Doesn’t matter. If you don’t like the area where you’re living you can always move to another part of town. Now what about if it was your city, or your state, or even the country? There’s always an alternative. You could move to Phoenix, or Alaska, or even Mexico or Europe. Bali is very nice, too. (more…)