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.


6 days to go


I have been going through an amazingly humbling opening….   Bittersweet and joyous at the same time I have been observing myself. Bittersweet because I have been seeing myself as I am, pulling away my own illusions from my own eyes!!!  I am shocked to finally experience that I have been lying to myself for decades!!!!!!  I am now watching myself lie to myself!  ’This is me?’ I ask, ‘Self, what the hell have you been doing all this time?’  Hard as it is to see, I can not escape it.   I am a fool!!!!  How could I have thought this way of living was a good choice??

A few days ago I had an experience in my body that amazed me.  I was alone and I felt deeper than I have in a long time.  It opened my eyes to something I can not evade any longer-  My habit of living is not living.   My habit of living is to cut off my energy, at the heart, at desire, at action.  I have listened to bad advice and it has all been coming from my mind.  I actually can not believe what I have been doing to myself!  It is on par with all of the great tragedies of human enterprise-  war, genocide, pollution, cruelty, the imprisonment of Michael for all these years- all huge mistakes of ignorance.  My Kundalini is rising.  Inside me there is a living that I can now not resist using as a reference point.  I look inside and I feel life, vibrating and then there beside it is the container I have lived in my whole life.  The two can not live together any longer.  They can not compare with each other, or coexist.  When I look at what I use daily on myself to cram myself into that box, on a daily practice, I am shocked.  Guilt, I use it on myself.  Constriction, I wrap myself in it.  My voice, my dreams, my work, all exist without connecting to the root of the river of me.  (I get it- there is deep pain down there and I was just trying to protect myself from it!  But, you can let go now crazy mind!) I am grateful for the chance to travel back to the root, to live in the vibration instead of the reflection.  It is fine that it is happening now.  There is no past.  Actual living does not feel like it has age. Actual living is the finest wine, mellow and suspended! It is a bit overwhelming to see this at 50 instead of 20.

Look at what the human mind imagined and made!!!

So, from that came my goal and my interpretation of what you ask me to interpret teacher, you ask what does this quote from the Siri Guru Granth Sahib mean?-  ‘This mind does not follow my advice one tiny bit. I am so tired of giving it instructions – it will not refrain from its evil-mindedness.   It has gone insane with the intoxication of Maya; it does not chant the Lord’s Praise. Practicing deception, it tries to cheat the world, and so it fills its belly.   Like a dog’s tail, it cannot be straightened; it will not listen to what I tell it. Says Nanak, vibrate forever the Name of the Lord, and all your affairs shall be adjusted.’

It means my mind has tried to cheat the world, to find a way to live in it on its terms and not in terms of life itself.  My goal now is the last line, to vibrate forever the Name of the Lord.  For me the Kundalini is the feeling of experiencing that expansive, connected vibration, this is what I experience, for now, as the Name of the Lord.  When you have lived in the desert this long, just holding a glass of water is divine!

Hari,  I am discarding the habits of my mind when they rise.  I am done with spreading sadness, I am inspired by the vibrations of joy now, when i see it in others, I will unlock this same resonance inside of myself- I promise.  It feels that simple on a base level…  when i live with my heart vibrating, my being moving, and not frozen in anyway, this is for me vibrating the Name of the Lord.  It feels so good.

Mark told me to see the movie, ‘STILL BILL’ and it deeply moved me.  His embodiment of self love, won from adversity is so beautiful…   To live in resonance with the note of life is to vibrate forever the Name of the Lord.  This is my challenge and my discipline and my goal.  My mind that is misguided, that is my enemy, will be put aside now.    I am so grateful for all of the beauty in my life.  I am grateful for the opportunity of my work.  I am grateful for the discipline necessary to experience this next phase of my life in the way I was meant to live.  Good bye cocoon, you have robbed my of my breath for too long, I shall shed you!  I shall learn what the note wants to be.

Sat Nam


P.S.  I was telling my brother yesterday that this is really where my year of seeking enlightenment has left me.  I thought I was getting richer by the day but now I find myself on a desert plain with nothing, and happier for it.  I feel like I have spent a year not reaching enlightenment, but getting to the starting line.  OK. So, here I am.  Ready.  Sharing this place with all those who have the knowing smile, being one of those people who can taste, and be satisfied by the delicacy of the moment tasted…

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