He quoted Ralph Waldo Emerson, who said “the truest life is when we live our dreams while we’re awake.” He said the deep underlying disease that causes anxiety and suffering is ignorance of who we are and what we really want. “We are all seeking inner fulfillment or pleasure. The highest pleasure is to love and be loved.
“Why have we forgotten who we are and how to be happy? Because the mind is so full of attachments, misconceptions, aversions, fear, temptations, and ego. Like a dusty mirror, the mind has clouded our vision of who we are and the world around us. A pure mind is the medium by which the grace and love of our soul can manifest in the world for the welfare of all beings. Booker T Washington was an emancipated slave doing hard labor from the age of 9. But he refused to hate – even though he was hated. He proclaimed, ‘I will not allow any man to belittle and degrade my soul by making me hate him.’ He was seeing life not as a reaction to what is happening outside of us but from a realization he found within himself.
“Michelangelo said, ‘When I see a crude block of marble or stone I see the finished product – all I do is chip away those things that obscure it.’ Great people always respond to difficulties in life – which are unavoidable – in a positive way.”
In responding to a question about how he found the courage to undertake his spiritual journey, Radhanath Swami responded: “If we have a divine purpose, courage is given to us even if we have none. Its important that we follow our ideals and our calling in life. Michelangelo said, ‘the greater danger is not to have high hopes and not reach them but to have low hopes and reach them.’ We should have an ideal we are willing to live and die for.”
Gauravani & guitarist Richard Davis – professor at Berklee College of Music – played music before the program as the audience entered, and The Big Drift, a local band, played as guests ate dinner.