Michael Rossato-Bennett lives in NYC. He is a householder with a wife, two beautiful children and two dogs. He has accepted the challenge to become Enlightened in one year. Will he succeed?

A conversation: Is Hari a good Teacher? from Michael Rossato-Bennett on Vimeo.


Day 284- How are we slaves?


I have lost momentum.

But that is ok.  I have been working.  The path of the householder is quite a challenge, especially when you are not a young householder.  My energy is limited and it becomes obvious that I must be really smart about how I dole it out, to what I give my energy to…

What is meditation in the face of this?

I have been reading history, to be specific about the slave trade.  The barbarism of humans to each other is amazing.  I am convinced we would still have slaves if we did not invent the internal combustion engine.

Here I am trying to change the way energy lives in my being, and a few hundred years ago people were being tortured as a matter of course.  Thank god for Tractors, and Trains and trucks and all the machines that have changed the face of labor.  I am writing this because we have machines.  If we did not have them, I think you or I would be laboring for someone like a machine….

The world is a powerful place. What did it matter if they were Enlightened?

I am not naive here, I see the remnants of slave culture in us, in me, in my country, in our economies, armies and myths.  It hits close to home.  My wife is a nurse.  The profession is changing but it is still not on the top of a hierarchy.  It is hard for her…

This investigation into the history of Slavery leaves me humbled and pulls the wind from my sails as far as working on myself.

It makes me realize what a choice this path, this investigation is, and what a luxury it is to pursue it.

Having the luxury to choose-  that is freedom…  It behooves me to choose wisely…

In thinking tonight about choosing I have come up with a couple of goals that seem worthy-

  • The pure light within me will glow bright- I will raise it from one candle power to 1000.  From slave to Freeman.
  • My heart center will not be a trapdoor any longer, only opening in safe moments- it will become a searchlight.  From blind man to Abolitionist.
  • My endurance will become so great I will walk 20 feet after I am dead.
  • My consciousness will become so great my mind will not be able to fool me any more.  I will become a resonation of the infinite note, what ever the hell that is.  That is as close as I can come.  (To put it simply, I will come to know what is on the other side of my thoughts…)  What is on the other side of being a Freeman?

I am going to do this for the next 120 days.  This is where my practices will take me.  Time wise, this will take me beyond my 365 days…  I don’t care.  I need to do this…

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2 Responses to “Day 284- How are we slaves?”

  1. itaal says:

    this is an amazing parallel you are showing. yes we are all so lucky to be able to pursue enlightenment with such comfort nowadays. as a slave enlightenment was able to keep your spirits alive and positive with so much darkness around you. good for you! you make it all more powerful everyday. and for the survivors in the world from slavery may you b a guiding light to those still stuck!. the goals you wrote would make a great song. i’ll write. so majestic. getting a bit emerson in your pursuit?! good stuff.

  2. Hari says:

    Sat Nam Dear Michael

    I have gratefully received this posting!

    I am happy you are working hard and taking care of business. This is part of the path too. You have only lost momentum if you say so – the work you do is your exchange of energy to live on this planet. It is not a punishment, and duty is absolute beauty. You are blessed to work as an artist, to express yourself freely, and to have a beautiful family to serve and love.

    About 6 months ago, you wanted to be a King – from slave to King – it is good to er-establish your goals. Where are you right now, in this moment – as you read this, what are you? What is your declaration right now? Can you tell the truth about you are right as you take a breath and stand behind it?

    It is the biggest sadness that people feel the fullness of the self, and yet, compromise themselves – do not proclaim it, happy to hang around in the lowlands of though and self respect. Creating layer after layer of qualifications and defenses and for no reason. But without that drama, where would everyone be? You have to hold it all, yes, all, in your heart, all of it, a huge heart, breath and depth of heart – a searchlight.

    My question is – what is your sadhana now? What do you proclaim every morning as the sun rises?

    Go back to that scale we made – where are you – any sticky places? Find out, go after it with consciously. Ask yourself when the emotions hit – what is on the other side of this? Without this depth, life is hollow and shallow. Your life is deep with this pursuit, your life is full and you are blessed. Keep up and you will be kept up. Come see me this week, I am gone next week.

    Humbly yours,

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