Who am I to give a message? A carrier, perhaps – delivering what has been given to me – a courier! Or perhaps, passing a baton I was handed over by my mentors when I was young! Or like the moon, reflecting the light of the sun that is on the other side of the earth, it being dark on this side!

Why is a message important? We all live conditioned lives. We bring into this world the DNA passed on by our ancestors through our immediate parents – our mother and father, who got it from their parents, and it goes back to perhaps the first man and the first woman. In that sense, each one of us carries inside us the experiences of the entire human race. But this must be accessed and therefore, must be learned.

Who will teach this? Does it come from upbringing? Does it come from education? Or, does one learn from one’s experiences – hardships and travails? Is it earned, or received as a gift? Is it knowledge, or a skill? A code? Is it some trick, a process, or a method? Is it a secret, or an axiom waiting to be discovered? Is it unique or universal? Is it pragmatic, depending upon what is appropriate in each situation, or dogmatic, an unchanged reality?

I have collected 11 messages, like a swan picks up pearls while wandering on a seashore, or a diamond springs out with magma in a volcano from the deepest depths of the earth, to be found by a quarryman digging through a mine. Or, like a bee extracts nectar from flowers, digests it, and deposits honey in the hexagonal cavity of a beehive created beforehand by the bees. Or, like a lens converging sunrays onto a spot, making a fire where there was none. Or, like a candle getting lit up by another one, only to light up another after its own wax is consumed in the flame.

The 11 messages are: (1) Navigating through the impermanence of life; (2) Capturing the co-dependence of phenomenon; (3) Accessing the cosmic consciousness within; (4) Utilizing sleep to better the waking life; (5) Employing the truth of free will to evolve; (6) Controlling the gross by using the subtle; (7) Expanding one’s consciousness and evolving; (8) The bedrock of the eternal and unchangeable; (9) The template for living virtuously; (10) Finding the middle way (11) Realization that in the joy of others, lies our own.

These messages have come from the collective wisdom of the human race. However, each one is attributed to a historical person, like one mountain is called the Himalayas and another the Alps, one ocean is called the Atlantic and another, the Pacific, one tree is called an oak and another, the eucalyptus, where the sun rises first is referred to as East and where it disappears is called West.

So the signposts, the cornerstones, the reference points for these eleven messages are Gautama Buddha for (1) and, (2), Kabir for (3), Tibetan Dream Yoga for (4), The Shrimad Bhagavad Gita for (5); the Taittiriya Upanishad for (6); Albert Einstein for (7); Plato for (8); Vivekananda for (9); Nagarjuna for (10); and Pramukh Swami Maharaj for (11).

So, look forward to February 1, sharing the message of Gautama Buddha. All that exists is impermanent, fleeting, passing; nothing lasts – every breath is different air, every dip in a river is different water. Even the cells of this body are changing. Nothing can be grasped or held onto. And yet, people are doing exactly that. And, therefore, suffering!