How then, do we come in contact with ourselves?
Number one, by becoming aware. Isn't that a nice
word--aware? It kind of hits you right where it
matters, doesn't it? To be aware. To be aware
of everything. To be aware of life. To be
aware of growth, to be aware of death, to be aware of
beauty, to be aware of people, flowers, trees. Open
your mind and begin to see and feel! Begin to
experience, and don't be ashamed of it! Touch, feel,
chew, as you never have before. Keep growing!
Keep consistently growing. Every moment that you do,
you change. Open your mind, open your heart, open
your arms, take it all in. You can keep taking and
taking and taking, and what is, never runs out.
There's always more. The more that you see in a
tree, the more that there is to see. You hear a
Beethoven sonata, and it leads you to infinity. Pick
up a book of poetry, and it leads you to beauty. You
love one person, and that love leads you to
hundreds. Keep growing.
Find alternatives. The patterns that you are in
are only one possibility. There are thousands of
possibilities for everything. . . . There are not only a
million alternatives, but some that haven't been dreamed
Dichotomies: good, bad, right,
wrong--nonsense!-- normal, abnormal--no such thing but
gradations and possibilities and creativity. I have
a blind girl in my class now who is far more normal than
I. She sees--definitely. She says, "It is
as normal for me to be blind as it is for you to
see." What is normal? What is
right? What is wrong?
As long as you are free,
you are free to select and choose alternatives, provided
that you are willing to accept the responsibility for
being free. And after you've tried your
alternatives, and they don't work as you would wish, don't
blame me. Blame your choice. Try another
the decision, you take your paintbrush, you choose your
colors, you paint your paradise, and then you live in
it. Or paint hell if you want to, but don't blame me
for it. Only you can be responsible for not
being. Forget what was. Get hooked on
what is! The moment will take care of
that. Life isn't an isolated phenomenon but it is
part of the general experience, constantly influencing and
being influenced by every new moment. You don't like
where you are? Then change it! Be someone else.
Do your thing for a change, and learn from what
another thing--don't avoid negative states. Negative
states can teach you a lot. Don't avoid people who
create negative states in you. We have a tendency to
turn around and walk away, but they are going to require
you to reevaluate yourself and see yourself in a new
light. Sally doesn't upset you. You upset
you. She puts you in a negative state because she
doesn't meet your expectations. Well, tough for
you! The cause for your pain is not Sally--it's
you. Learn from your negative states.
thing I learned in Asia that I'd like to give you, which
may be pretty far out for some people, and if it is,
discard it: Rid yourself of expectations.
Buddha once said a magical thing. He said,
"When you cease expecting, you have all
things." That is wondrous. "When you
cease expecting, you have all things." If you
go around doing your thing without expectation, then you
already have everything you need. If they do give
you something in return, you take it with open arms.
It should always come as a surprise. But if you
expect a response and it comes, it's a bore. Cease
expecting, and you have all things. Take whatever
people give you. If you appreciate it, hug it, kiss
it, and take it in joy, but don't expect it.
If you want pain, just go around with expectations.
People are not here to meet your expectations.
all you really need is in you. All you have to do to
realize it is to recognize it. You are the perfect
you. And to tamper with perfection is to court
pain. Grow into your perfection.
want to end with a quote from Bynner's translation of Lao
Tzu's The Way. This book sums up what I have
been talking about but much more beautifully than I.
Isn't it fantastic that all books of wisdom are always so
small? It has taken me an hour and fifteen minutes
to say what it takes Lao Tzu fifty words.
Existence is beyond the power of words to define.
Terms may be used but none of them are absolute. In
the beginning of heaven and earth there were no
words. Words came out of the womb of matter.
And whether a person dispassionately sees to the core of
life or passionately sees the surface, the core and the
surface are the same, words making them seem different
only to express appearance. If a name be needed, let
the name be wonder, and then from wonder to wonder,
a name be needed, wonder names them both. From
wonder into wonder existence opens.
you of you is limitless. The children that we work
with, no matter what label we put on them, the essential
they, that which is immortal, is limitless. Those of
you who have worked with children know that they have
limitless potential, no matter how much they've
realized. All we have to do is make it possible for
them to recognize it in their way and be there to help
when they need help, support, encouragement.
"And if the name be wonder," they are all going
Loving, and Learning
is a delightful collection of
Dr. Buscaglia's informative
and amusing lectures,
which were delivered
1970 and 1981. This
inspirational treasure is
for all those eager to
accept the challenge
of life and to profit from
the wonder of love.