“While I have the deepest respect for all those working selflessly to serve the world, many of the so-called “reformers” I have seen both in India and this country have an unpromising approach. They look down from the soapbox or pulpit and say, “Let me reform you, Diane, and you, Steve, and of course you, Bob.”
If Bob says, “What about you?” they reply, “Oh, that can wait. Let me start with Diane and Steve and you.”
That is a familiar refrain in international politics, international economics, international aid, even international education. But the great spiritual teachers of all religions — men and women who have devoted their lives to the art of living in complete harmony, like Francis of Assisi, Teresa of Avila, the Compassionate Buddha, Mahatma Gandhi — say, “Oh, no! You start with yourself.” There is not much purpose served by preaching to others or talking at them. The only way to influence people for the better — your family, your friends, your club, your class, your clinic, your society, even your enemies — is through your personal example. Harmony with the environment — the alleviation of our environmental crisis — and harmony with others — the easing of our social, political, and economic difficulties — both begin with a third harmony: harmony with ourselves.”
~ Eknath Easwaran from Your Life Is Your Message
Eknath Easwaran is one of my favorite teachers.
One of the most respected spiritual teachers of the twentieth century, he reminds me of Joseph Campbell—vibrantly alive, passionate and uber-wise.
We used his translations for our Notes on the Bhagavad Gita and The Dhammapada and also featured his great book on meditation called Conquest of Mind. I think you’ll enjoy those Notes + books.
This little book has been called his seminal work. It’s a quick read that captures the essence of his teaching. The focus: Helping us create harmony in three domains: with ourselves, with others and with our environment such that our LIFE becomes our message.
If we want to change the world, we need to be the change. Let’s do that and let’s take the next baby step by exploring some of my favorite Big Ideas from this great little book. Hope you enjoy!
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