Here’s a passage from my book Leap Before You Look.

When you notice yourself needing to be right,
When you notice your mind is strongly attached to any conclusion,

Stop and ask yourself, “Is it true?”

Do I really know this?

Is this an absolute, objective, unchanging fact?

Would every sane person in the world agree that it is so?

Or is it simply opinion?
When the mind says, “There’s not enough time,”

Ask, “Is it true?”

Do I really know that?

Can that be nailed down as a fact?

everyone agree? (more…)

I’ve spent a good deal of my time in India over the last several decades. There’s a common saying in India that if a teacher charges money for “the dharma” (which loosely translated means “teachings about the truth”) that he or she will go to a special section of hell set aside for spiritual entrepreneurs, an area cornered off and designed to be much nastier than the areas for axe murderers, rapists, and the like.

My primary teacher in India, H.W.L. Poonja, for example, never asked money from anyone for anything. There was no donation basket in the back of the room, even.

At the same time, there is another, equally well-established tradition in India, called “dana.”  You never go to a teacher empty-handed. If you want the blessings of the teacher, you should come equipped with baskets of fruit, cloth, and all other kinds of goodies.

In the last several decades, there have also been some immensely successful teachers making huge contributions to millions of people who have worked from exactly the opposite mentality. A good example is Harry Palmer, the creator of the Avatar training. He is a genuinely deep and awake guy, highly motivated to help people experience freedom.  “People will only actually integrate insights that they have come to regard as valuable”, he stated back in the early ’90’s. “And the way that people create value in Western society is by paying money.”    Consequently, a couple weekends with an Avatar trainer would cost $2,000. The Avatar training was immensely successful for a long time. Other similar examples of huge, culture-charging movements that have charged high fees are EST, Tony Robbins Seminars, The Sedona Method, and many more. (more…)

Here is a passage from my 2005 Bestseller, “The Translucent Revolution.”

The most powerful gift we can bring to our relating is the conscious practice of honesty. Under Iago’s spell, telling the truth evokes many conflicting reactions. We may try to be honest to protect an image of being a morally superior person; to prevent the other from leaving us; to avoid guilt, fear of punishment, and other uncomfortable feelings; or to conform to a learned
moral framework. We may also avoid being honest in an attempt to look good, to protect the other from hurt feelings, or to rebel against moral conditioning. We can also adopt honesty as a discipline to deepen presence, to expose and evaporate everything we carry within us that interferes with love. It can be a spiritual discipline, rather than something done in service to separation. Honesty is not just a moral principle. When we avoid the truth, we are cut off from ourselves. If you lie to another, you’ve also created a wall between you and yourself. We split infinity into two, and divide our own intrinsic wholeness. Brad Blanton, who has been a clinical psychologist for more than thirty years, came to translucence through the rigorous and sustained practice of radical honesty. Blanton describes honesty as being completely present and describing your experience just as it is:

“You can take the whole awareness continuum and divide it into three parts. Notice what is going on right now outside of you in the world, what is going on within the confines of your own skin, and what is going through the mind right now, and that’s all there is. Noticing and reporting what is here is honesty. . . just saying it right out as though you didn’t know any better.”

Blanton thinks of honesty as a spiritual practice more than as a moral virtue:

“We know meditation develops your capacity to be present. It becomes more complicated with eyes open, and even more challenging when it involves feelings and interactions with other people. Radical honesty is simply the predisposition for meditation that involves interactions with other people. Honesty and intimacy are really the same thing. When you’re honest, the boundaries between yourself and the other break down, and you experience more oneness or more of a mutual beingness.”

Entering into mutual agreements with your partner, friends, and community to end withholding and deception may be more challenging than first meets the eye. But it is worth the price we have to pay. The old habit that creates most separation, and that pulls attention back most forcibly into Iago’s grip, is the tendency to withhold. Says Blanton:

“The biggest rationalization for lying is “I don’t want to hurt anyone’s feelings,” the second is “I don’t want to offend anybody,” and the third is “I don’t want to make a fool of myself.” I recommend that you do all three. But stay present with people and let them stay with you until you feel your way through it and get clear. I recommend that you hurt people’s feelings till they get over having their feelings hurt, and offend people but stay with them; don’t do a drive-by. Make a fool of yourself, be a fool in life, be embarrassed, ashamed, whatever emotion comes up, do it out loud, and if you’re scared, feel your way through it and go on to the next limit.”

While researching this book, I was hard put to find anyone who had added honesty to their awakening and later regretted it. Practicing honesty as a translucent discipline is not just a disposition; it involves cultivating very specific skills, which in many ways run counter to our habits. Kathlyn Hendricks gives her definition of being honest:

“It is to describe what is going on in any given moment in a way that doesn’t blame anybody. It’s a whole set of skills: being able to pay attention, to notice what is actually occurring, and then to describe what is occurring in a way that matches the experience. And the act of doing that is tremendously enlivening. It literally will flush out and create a burst of aliveness; it flushes out any old grit, either physical or emotional. It is very, very powerful, but it is also a skill that people can learn and can develop. They don’t have to either know it or not know it; they can literally develop it.”

To read more about translucent honesty and translucent living in general, pick up your very own copy of Translucent Revolution today.