Do any of us truly know who we are? We stumble along in life, confused and disappointed, constantly struggling to achieve some degree of happiness. We seek inner comfort through religious or spiritual beliefs, but do such systems of thought lead to true inner transformation?
If finding inner peace is possible, then the question is how to tap into this wellspring, which must be our spiritual birthright.
The need for humanity to awaken to its higher potential, both as individuals and as a civilization, coincides with a very relevant and important moment in the history of our planet: the return of the World Teacher, Maitreya, and his vanguard the Masters of Wisdom, into the public sphere. They have come, among other reasons, to show us that we are all divine beings headed along a path eventually leading to perfection in everyday living.
Maitreya released a series of public teachings between 1988 - 1993. They were originally published in Share International magazine and were later collated into a single book (*) for ease of reading. Many teachings deal with what Maitreya calls the art of Self-realization, or God-realization. A short selection is included below, offering us a peek into the insights of a teacher of immeasurable stature and wisdom.
Be what you are
- Be what you are. Do not follow one another. If you practice honesty of mind, sincerity of spirit and detachment, you will know your Self, you will know Me, you will know the Lord.
- Your destiny is freedom. No one is 'born in sin'. Rather, the Self is subject to conditioning during the process of evolution. The process of evolution is the Becoming.
- "You have been given mind, spirit and body," says Maitreya, "to express My Being and Becoming in thought, speech and action." Any action performed with dishonesty of mind, an insincere spirit and attachment is destructive. For example, when you think one thing, say another, and do something which is different again, you are lost. Honesty of mind leads to honest speech and honest action. This harmony leads to peace and happiness. "Whether you are a thief or a saint," He counsels, "you can begin right now." But, people have asked, "How do we begin? How do we practice sincerity?" Consider an expression which is often used, such as 'having a heart-to-heart talk' with someone, Maitreya responds. What does this mean? It means you will express yourself as you really are, you will communicate from the centre -- your centre -- the Self. Practice this. It will transform you and those around you. The heart is never tarnished or touched; it is the seat of the soul. It is the mind that leads us astray. Peace, bliss, happiness and grace are the qualities of the heart. "By tuning into the 'feelings of the heart'," Maitreya teaches, "you are able to experience your natural innocence, that innocence you had as a child. Do not 'visualize' the heart. For that is only the mind seeking to find the source of light with a torch."
- When the mind is quiet, free from dogmatic views, it will absorb the truth. “If you want to test the truth of anything, speak with a child.”
The one who changes through experiences is the Self.
If you use this mirror to look at the religions of the world, you will see they are based on the personal experiences of the prophets, gurus, saints, etc. When people follow them they are bound to experience suffering, because they are not following their own Self. If you close your eyes and allow someone else to lead you, you are bound to stumble. Everyone has free will. When that free will is not functioning or is being misled, “the Lord intervenes.”
When you open up the secrets of your life through honesty, sincerity, and detachment, the Self begins to move and can enter the mind, the spirit, and even the body (through the breath) and depart at will. Otherwise the mind, spirit, and body endure starvation, and the Self becomes the prisoner of consciousness and sub-consciousness, which govern the mind and spirit with the forces of instinct.
“Self-realization is God-realization.” Self-realization has nothing to do with religion, politics, or any form of ideology.
* Maitreya's Teachings: The Laws of Life. Share International Foundation, 2005, ISBN 90-71484-31-9