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Growing without changing yourself

Part 1 of 2: the new way of listening.

Wisdom sounds to us like criticism, admonition and proof of our inadequacy, and we close ourselves off. But there is a new way of listening. A video about how I stay receptive for the treasure of my Guru.

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In this video, I first talk about how my good friends Insecurity and Self-Doubt paid me a visit last week, how I receive these special friends, and about the gift they bring me: Fire. It's like a piece of ego burns each time they sit with me. After they've been with me, I'm not the same. I feel miraculously cleansed of filth, heaviness and burden. I feel pure, sensitive and still.

I can be so intimate and loving with these friends because my master Soham taught me to make peace with myself; to love myself with my inadequacy, with my limitations.

And so, as the video progressed, it developed into an account of how it is possible for me to listen to a Soham, to listen to a Swamiji, without just feeling small, wrong and hopeless in the face of their wisdom. If you feel that way while listening, you are bound to close yourself off. But there is another, a new way of listening, and that is what I am telling you about.

This video might create the impression that listening, reading or watching videos would be necessary to learn from Swamiji. This is not so, and therefore, there is a second part of the video, in which I talk about a kind of listening which does not involve any words, neither spoken nor printed. For me, this is the best way of listening. For me, it is as if this gives Swamiji's wisdom a direct line into me. Stay tuned for part 2.

Complete text for reading along:

Good morning.

Today, I want to talk about what I do when I feel insecure. I want to share with you what I do when I feel, that I don't know what to do; when I don't know what's right or wrong. And the trigger for this was a letter that I received a few days ago and which I answered yesterday. This letter touched something in me and made me feel insecure. A person shared with me her reaction about a video I made, and she disagreed with a few things, and this really shook me.

Although I make these videos and I say: "I share my experience, I share not absolute wisdom, but I just share what I find helpful in my life right now". I don't claim to be the source of Truth. And yet reading and answering this letter touched something in me and brought up very interesting sensations and feelings. And then I feel like: is what I'm doing wrong? Do I say nonsense? And of course, there is no way for me to know whether what I do is right, or whether that which I speak is nonsense. We just have no way to know these things.

And the way I deal with it is the following... What I did yesterday... I answered this letter, and a few hours later, these feelings came, these feelings of insecurity, of being doubtful, and it's not even so important which feeling exactly came, but just... maybe you know this about your own life, that you're just visited by a whole group of feelings. You don't even know who is in the group, but this group of feelings comes and dominates your being for a while. And this is how it was for me yesterday.

And the first thing I then do is what my master Sohamji taught me many many years ago. One of the first things he taught me: to just feel the feelings, to just let them be here, invite them, feel them, not think about them, not think about whether it's true or not that I do something wrong, if this is my feeling; just to feel the feelings, to sit in them, to cook in them so to speak, to burn. And then it's really like a fire sometimes. And after I felt the feelings for a few hours, later in the evening I got the feeling: yes, this really touched something in me.

My ego must be burning right now. This part of us humans which wants to know, which wants to do it right, which wants to be good, which wants to be somebody. And of course, I have this too, and that got touched, and that's why it felt good. The feelings themselves, they are not that pleasant I must say... but underneath I can feel: oh, this is really good that this is happening. If this touches me so much, there must be work to do. And the work is being done all by itself.

Then, after a while, it calmed down, and I was able to return to the crown without thoughts. And then it is as if I leave all this behind. And after I had spent a few hours pondering over these questions, these futile questions, questions I will never have an answer for; whether I said something wrong or whether I did something wrong... When I returned to the crown, I felt immediately: this is where my guidance comes from. This is where my Truth is. It's not in the things I think or I believe or I know. I know nothing. But then I was able to follow my own advice and return to the crown chakra, and in a mysterious way, very quickly, relief comes and quietness and freedom from all these questions and doubts. And when I meditated this morning, during the meditation I could feel that this is where everything comes from, which guides me. This is my compass. Not in terms of words; it's not that somebody tells me what to do, quite the contrary.

It's like I leave all these thoughts behind, all these questions, all this wanting to do it right, or this wanting to know what to do next, and I just rest there, not knowing anything, not wanting anything.

And what happens out of this not wanting anything, what happens out of this not knowing anything, what happens out of this resting at this magic place, the crown chakra, what happens out of that just feels right, even if I disagree myself, even if others might disagree. And this is not only true for things I say in the videos. This is true for everything in my life, for every practical thing I do. It's like the more I... the longer I live, the more I realize: I just can't know anything, I just have no clue. The closer I look, the more I realize: I don't know anything.

And the question is: how do I live my life? I mean, if you are at this point where you begin to realize that you have no clue, and that you can't know, but if you still want to know, if you still want to feel good about what you do, and if you want to be sure that something is the right path, and if you want to make the right decision, then you're getting paralyzed. You can go in circles in these thoughts for years and years and years and not move. But my experience yesterday and this morning was: I come back to the crown chakra, I can come back to not knowing, I come out of this ego which wants to do it right and wants to do it good, just be there, not knowing anything. And of course, I find this specific spot, the crown chakra, so magically helpful for this. And this morning, I immediately... immediately means after 20 or 30 minutes... I felt this clarity: yes, this is all I need to do. And then it was interesting in that meditation.

I could like see how all this is perfect. Again I could see that what had been said in that video is right, even if I don't understand why. And I could feel how what happened to this lady who responded to me must be perfect. And of course, also what happens to me in this whole thing is just perfect, and I'm so grateful. When I have experiences like this, they happen from time to time, where I'm shaken and where my ego gets touched, where my ego gets burned up a little bit more. In a way, it feels really good, like a like a cleansing. Not necessarily pleasant all the time, but I can feel: ah, this is really good, this really brings me more down to the ground, more into the crown chakra, more to my true essence. And this is what I do when I don't know what to do.

And this is not only true for emotional events like what I just go through now, but also with very practical things. How do I spend a day? Do I work now, or do I make a video? If I work, what should I do now, what's most important, what needs my attention right now? Anything practical... when I rest in the crown chakra, in this not knowing, then what happens out of this... it feels like it it's happening by itself, it feels like it's happening and I don't have anything to do with it... then this is perfect. And it works in in magical ways.

I want to repeat something which I shared already a few times in my first few videos, and that is that I don't make these videos because I know it all. I didn't start making these videos because I had the feeling: now I'm at a point where I know what's right and what's wrong, and now I will tell the people how to do things. This is not the case. I make these videos to expose myself and to show you how I do things. And that's why I talk so much about the things I'm talking about. I don't want to just state a fact, state something which is a fact for me and say: this is the truth. This is not helpful; this is not why I make videos.

I want to show you how I live, how I come to the point where I do something or not, how that process happens, so you, if you like, can try this out too, so you learn your own process of being guided in your life. The things which I find helpful or not, the things which I find truthful or not, they are not really the important thing, although I state them occasionally very strongly, and I say: this is helpful, and this is not helpful. I am very outspoken with this, because it's my truth in that moment.

But the really important thing I want to bring across is, how I come to that point where it's so clear for me, because what becomes clear for you in a certain moment might be something totally different. It's not about you taking the same steps I do. This is not why I make the videos. I want to expose myself to you so you can feel how I tick, not what I do, and it's like I say: when I don't know what to do, and even if I know what to do, I just go to the crown. If I know what to do, this is even more dangerous. I go to the crown where I don't know anything, and then something happens. That you can do, but what comes out of that for you is something different than what it is for me.

So, I didn't start these videos because I thought I know it better, quite the contrary. Two and a half years ago, one day I had the feeling: I will make videos about my life with Soham, about my life with Swamiji, about the meditation, about my life and what I learned and what I experience and how it is for me. And when I had this impulse, when I had this idea, it had such an energy and at the same time, I thought: I'm crazy! I'm not qualified for this. I don't know anything. I don't know anything better than anybody else. Why should I make videos?

And for two years, I was successfully postponing it. But then, at some point, I just had to start. So now I'm sitting here and make videos. I make videos, because I feel the energy for it, and what I want to bring across is that this is something we can trust as human beings. This what we feel inside, this compass we have inside. Where the compass leads you, you will find out. I don't know. And sometimes I say things, and maybe for you it's different, and when it's different for you, hearing it from me makes you become more clear that for you, it's different, and that's a good thing! Your clarity about yourself, that's the good thing. And if you have no clarity and you hear something I say, and you have the feeling: ah, this is the right thing for me... this is also good. It's not about anybody copying Mikael. This is not why I make videos.

In that letter I received, it was about... this lady is a Sadhak of Swamiji since many many years. In that video she referred to, I was sharing how I meditate and that I go to the crown chakra but not further. I shared that I distrust my own experiences; that sometimes, when I feel this temptation to go into some nice space I feel and get lost in that, I don't want this. And I feel very strongly about this. And that's what I shared in that video: that I just return to the crown chakra, as my Guru told me to do, and everything else happens all by itself out of that. I don't have to go anywhere. And that's what I shared in that video.

And this Sadhak, she shared with me that for her, it's different; that she found a place above the crown chakra where she feels really good, and that's her place. And she reminded me that Swamiji himself, in a beautiful meditation, in the Karma-free meditation... I do this meditation once a month in the full moon night. That's a guided meditation, and in that meditation, Swamiji guides us. And in the beginning of the meditation, he leads us to a spot above the crown chakra. Like, he disconnects us from the body, something I would never do in my meditation myself. And she reminded me, the writer of this letter, she reminded me that Swamiji himself suggests this.

She also reminded me that Swamiji sometimes talks about not only the seven chakras we have in our body, but that there are seven chakras above the crown chakra. And if I remember right, above this second set of seven chakras, there's even a third set of seven more chakras. So, there's a lot up there above the crown chakra, and I know this, I remember how he spoke about this. So, she reminded me of these things, and she said: what you shared in your video is not right for me, because Swamiji himself says these things. And this really shook me. I was like: do I speak false things? Am I sharing the wrong things? Am I doing it wrong?

This... this touched me. And only after I returned to the crown chakra, and only after I meditated early in the morning today... I had a beautiful meditation... when I have these times where I feel shaken and insecure, I have the best meditations, because then, my ego bleeds and I'm so open. And there I felt in such a clarity: ah... no, what I share there, this is how it is for me. When Swamiji guides me above the crown chakra during the Karma-free meditation, I love this. And when he takes me there, I feel totally safe, it feels right, it feels... this whole guided meditation is such a wonderful cleansing for me once a month at Full Moon night. But I myself, I don't feel doing this by myself. My instinct says: no, I'm not a guru, I stay where he told me to stay, in the crown chakra. And I also know about these 14 chakras above the body, and I find it totally interesting to hear about this, and to know that we are so much more than what is directly perceptible for us, perceivable for us as humans, as normal humans, as I am.

But when it comes to what I do myself, I don't want to go there. I just want to keep it very very simple. I just meditate in the crown. And then, oftentimes, I can sense these things. I can feel their energy. I can feel that space. But I stay where I am. And the space sometimes comes to me. In this video I shared how sometimes I have the experience during the meditation that, although I'm firmly rooted in the crown chakra... I don't go anywhere else with my attention...

It's like: all these things which are there, they come to me. And that feels safe to me. It doesn't mean that it has to be like this for somebody else, but for me, this is how it is... right now. In a year, I might tell you something else, because I'm a living being, I'm changing, every day. A year ago, I would have told you many many different things, I guess. And in all of my videos, there's one point I stress again and again and again.

I say: the only really important thing is that you develop your own compass. That's what the meditation does. It connects you with your soul. It connects you with your own source of Truth.

I'm not your source of Truth. You have your own. And I make myself visible, I share with you, so you see what happens in life when you do this. Your life will look different. You will not have Mikael's life. You need to follow your path. And that's why I make the videos: to encourage you for exactly that.

And I want to talk a little bit about this seemingly contradictory thing, this seemingly paradox thing that on the one hand, I tell you: you need to be true to yourself, you need to be your own compass, and at the same time, I tell you things. One could think: okay, if the only thing you can do is follow your own truth, I shouldn't have to say anything. But this is not how it is. This is not a contradiction, and I want to touch on this for a few moments, because I find this the most important thing on that path. This truth hidden in that paradox.

For me it is like this... and if you listened to some of my videos, you know that I'm a totally stubborn guy. All my life, I only did what I felt is right, also with my Master, also with my Guru. So, the question is: why am I with a Guru? Why am I with a master, if I only do what I feel is right? And I want to tell you how it is for me. It's leg changing time again here. I can only sit for so long in one cross-legged position, and then I have to switch the legs.

When I rest in the crown chakra, I rest in myself. There I feel connected to myself. There I'm true to myself. I don't listen to anybody. I'm just the way I am. And then I listen. If I feel the openness, I listen to Swamiji. If I feel the openness, I listen to Sohamji. And the way I listen, or the way I read... every morning I read in Swamiji's autobiography and I find it so inspiring, it's like food for me... but I don't read, I don't listen with the attitude of: I should change, I want to find out how it should be. I can't do this. This is just not compatible with me.

The way I listen, the way I read, or the way I watch a video... I only read, I only listen, I only watch if I feel the openness for it, and I feel this openness to Soham, I feel this openness to Swamiji... so I listen. But I rest in my crown chakra. I don't think about what I hear. I don't think about what I read. I feel open, so I just let it in. And then, I don't check out these things I read or listen to for content which I should copy, or for things which I disagree, for things which indicate: I should change or I should do different. I don't do all these things. I don't do any of these things. I feel open, so I read. And because I feel open, I let it in. But I don't do anything with it. I just enjoy being touched by what I read.

And most of the things I read with Swamiji for instance, are things I can't do. I can't be like this. I know this. Not now. And I don't try. That's not why I'm reading. I'm reading because I feel open, because I want to read this. And then something touches me. And some of the things which I read, they touch me, and then, over time they change me, but I don't know anything about it.

I don't have to determine what's for me and what's not for me. I don't have to know what I should take in and what not. If something is there for me, it will happen automatically. I just follow my openness, my happiness to read this, my lust to read this, that's all I do. I read it, I enjoy it, I feel touched, and then I forget it again. I don't make a list of things I need to change in my life. And I also don't make a list of things where I think that this is not right what he says. No, I just let it in, and while I let it in, I'm resting in myself, I love myself, I am the way I am, without any notion of: ah, this means I need to change, this means I do it wrong.

This is not how we can listen. I know that usually, we have this attitude. We listen to something, we read something, and immediately we filter out the things which contradict us. And then there are two ways to react. The one is to feel wrong. Half of the people do this, they say: oh, I'm wrong, I'm a sinner, I need to change, I have to do something. And that's terrible. And the other half of the people do the opposite, they say: this is wrong, how can he say this, I don't listen to this! But either way, if we listen like this, we are not open. We can't listen.

This in reality is our ego, filtering out these things, and depending on the way your ego is, you think: oh, I'm wrong, or you think: ah, the other is wrong. My ego structure is: I feel wrong.

But there's a different possibility. There's the possibility to listen and not think about it, to not do anything with what you hear. You don't listen because you look for things which help you to improve yourself. You just listen because you feel open, because you want to hear this. Like, you listen to this video, you watch this video, and you don't even know why. You just enjoy it.

That's good listening. And if we can listen like this, then some things can touch us. And I don't even have to know what touches me. And I don't even have to know what gets touched in me and what gets changed over time. All this happens by itself, if it wants to happen.

There's a story about the subject, a story Swamiji told, and I love the story, and I want to share it again here. There was an event in a clinic for drug addicts in India, it was a clinic for alcoholics. And in that event, experts were invited to talk to the alcoholics so they learn something about their addiction, and what can help them. So, all kinds of experts were sharing their knowledge and their opinion with these poor alcoholics. They were being told what to do and what not to do, and what's helpful and what not, and what they shouldn't do. And Swamiji was invited to this event. Swamiji was invited to talk to these people and share about meditation. And he did. And when it was his turn, he went on stage and started talking to these alcoholics, and he did something totally different than the other speakers. The other speakers were telling the alcoholics about their problem and what they need to change.

And then, Swamiji started talking to them, and he said: "you don't try to change; don't try to be different than you are". That's what he said. He said: "meditate, but don't try to be different". In a way he said: if you try to be different, you can't meditate, you are not open. If you believe you need to be different, you can't listen to anybody. So, the first thing he says is: "don't try to be different", and the second thing he says is: "and you meditate". If you don't try to be different, then you are open, then you can meditate, and then you are open for the wisdom which comes to you in a magic way.

And he even got further, he said: "if you drink one bottle of booze today, I don't care, drink twice as much, but meditate!" And I love this. The manager of the clinic, the manager of the event, he was shocked. He ran on stage, he talked to Swamiji, he said: what are you telling these people? I want you to tell them not to drink.

But Swamiji did the opposite, he said: "don't try to change". He even said: "drink twice as much, but meditate!" He said: the first thing you need to do is: accept yourself as you are. Just be where you are. Don't worry about changing, and you meditate. And that's the secret of life to me.

That's how I am when I listen to Swamiji. I have no intention to change myself. I have no intention to do anything different in my life. I know: I can't be different. I know: I can't change anything. I have tried. It's not possible, so I stopped trying this. I listen without any intention to be different, and then I can listen. I just want to listen, and then I let it in, not because I'm convinced that I should be different and this will help me, no! I just listen, because it's such a joy to listen to this, to every word of Swamiji. That's why I read his book, his autobiography, because it's such a joy to read this book. It's such a joy for me. So, here I am, I have no intention to change, I just love myself this stupid idiotic way I am, and I listen.

What comes out of this, I don't care, it's not my business.

That's how I listen, that's how I read. I'm not an alcoholic, but I feel like an alcoholic. I feel like: okay, I know I'm stupid, I know my limitations, and I know I can't change anything. So, I just make peace with it, I am the way I am, and I do what I love to do: I listen to Swamiji, I meditate, and this changes me in ways I cannot imagine. It changes me without me knowing anything about it.

If you can listen like this – if you want to listen –, if you feel open, that's good listening. And that's why I tell you: be the way you are. Just be the way you are, find your way to love yourself. Don't listen to anything I say, and listen to me if you want. And if there's anything for you in there, what I share about me and my life and my Guru and my Master, it will touch you, somehow. It will fertilize you; it will enrich you. But it's not needed for you to make yourself wrong for this, it's not needed for you to believe that you need to be different. Quite the contrary. If you believe that, you will not be open for anything. That's why for me, this is not a paradox, this advice: be the way you are, and be open, if you are open, listen if you feel to listen, meditate. It's not a contradiction, quite the contrary: you only can listen, you only can meditate, you only can receive when you are in peace with yourself, when you don't want to change; when you are where you are. That's how it is for me. And that's what I want to share with you.

Of course, I tell you what I feel helpful and what I feel not helpful for me. I tell you about the things which I try to stay away from, because I know they are not helpful for me. But it doesn't mean that you have to do this. But this process of listening, this process of being true to myself, this basic attitude in life, that I want to share with you. What it leads to for you, in your life, will be totally different than in my life.

I share my compass with you. I don't share with you where the compass directs me to. For this, you need to follow your own compass, to look at your own compass. Your own compass guides you, my compass guides me.

For me, for a while, it was... I almost got the feeling when I listened to Swamiji and to this immense wisdom: if I do it right, I should become like him, I should copy him. My life should be like his life. And only after a while I realized: this is not true. This was really not so easy for me. You see this beauty of Swamiji, or if you're in love with Jesus, you see the beauty of Jesus.

But Jesus is not so beautiful because he is specifically the way he is, and I should become like him, no. He's in peace with himself. Swamiji arrived at himself, and he encourages us to be ourselves, and out of that, we develop into the best we can be. But this looks different. And more and more I realized: I just can be the way I am. I don't have to copy anybody. And then I'm open, and then I can benefit from a Swamiji, I can benefit from a Soham, I can benefit from Jesus. No contradiction.

And if you listen to my video, my wish is that this is how you listen to me; not to copy me, this is nonsense. You don't have to agree with me. If you feel joy listening, oh, please, listen! You don't have to agree with me. It just needs to be fun, otherwise don't listen.

Enough for today.

Thank you for listening. Thank you for being here.

I love you.

Earlier, I did the German video and after this "I love you" at the end, I realized: it's like I tell this to myself. It's like this which speaks here tells myself: "I love you". That's how it feels to me, and right now I feel the same.

Thank you.