(Zazen music plays in the background.)
Zen Master Rama here today with you, discussing career success.
Next to meditation itself, next to the practice of zazen, I really can't think of anything more important than the development of your career - because nothing has a greater effect on your awareness level. Whether your career is in the work force or your career is retirement and hobbies, looking after a family, a nation, a universe, it's all the same. We're talking about the major focus of your life, your time. Whether it's 40 hours a week, 60 hours, 80, 20, your career affects your awareness far more than you realize.
It is very important to be successful, successful in the sense that your career raises your awareness. It adds energy and power, clarity, beauty and stillness to your life. And it's not a distraction from your enlightenment. If your career is lowering your personal power or your approach to it, then it's got to change.
Let's face it, you just can't go on like that. It doesn't make any sense. Plus, you've got to pay the bills, maybe buy that new dress or that latest hot car, or help provide funds to aid others in their enlightenment. I mean, it's up to you.
Material success is not something that will bind you - unless you become attached to it - any more than poverty will liberate you.
For the next 45 minutes or so, we'll be talking about ways you can become more successful in daily life - here with Zen Master Rama, Zazen in the background, from their album, "Urban Destruction."
(Zazen music ends.)
Today is the 8th of January, 1987. I'm in Los Angeles, second largest city in America, land of many careers. New York, Los Angeles and Chicago are the major metro centers of America where people work and live. There are many others. Boston is an interesting place at the moment in terms of career success because it has the lowest unemployment in America - because of the computer industry.
Careers - what we do with our lives. My career - I'm a teacher. I teach people the arts of enlightenment - how to become conscious, powerful, successful, at peace with themselves; how to move from one world to another, through different dimensional planes, and to explore and experience the different parts of this vast creation; how to become selfless; how to become everything or nothing, or just to be the moment; how to reach that still point between the turning worlds, where everything is one, or to play in the multiplicity. I'm a trainer. I train people at different levels, depending upon their interest and their natural talents for studying perception and the various arts related to perception - one of which is Zen Buddhism.
It has been my observation, having been teaching for about 18 years now in this particular lifetime, that one of the greatest mistakes that people make who pursue self-discovery, in my opinion, is they neglect to work on and develop their careers. There is a popular notion that those who seek enlightenment, self-discovery, empowerment, should abandon the things of this world, the pursuits of this world - careers, cars, homes, clothing, material possessions, associations with others, relationships - and that they should withdraw from the world and only meditate and attain enlightenment, that all these other things are a hindrance to enlightenment. I disagree with this. It is not correct.
There are different pathways that lead to enlightenment. We could say that everyone's life is one of the pathways that lead to enlightenment. Your life is a pathway that leads to enlightenment. Sometimes you may walk in the direction of enlightenment, conscious enlightenment. Sometimes you might walk away from it. The path runs in different directions. But each life and each lifetime that we go through is a journey, a search, an experience, a struggle, a success, a failure. Different things. Different words we use to describe that which is beyond description.