When I was a college student I’d walk home from school through a gorgeous graveyard that overlooks Salt Lake City.
On one of my walks home I was feeling really lost and depressed.
I started reading the grave stones.
There was this huge one of Jesus with his arms stretched out that said, “To Thine Own Self Be True”.
A few steps later there was another one of Jesus that said, “Know Thyself”.
At 21 I realized that I had no clue who I was.
As a theatre major I knew how to act like anybody else except myself.
I graduated and turned down a bunch of Graduate opportunities, bought a stack of “Spiritual” books, got a job as a kitchen manager and started reading.
I started doing Hatha Yoga, Ashtanga Yoga, and then really dived deep into Kundalini Yoga.
I started meditating everyday using a simple one pointed silent meditation.
It was horrible and great.
I realized how stunningly boring I was but also felt very peaceful.
My family and friends thought I was crazy for walking away from theatre and all of the opportunities I had worked years to get.
I realized that I was a big NOBODY!
I was so freaked out by the concept of self that I had a nervous breakdown.
One day I started crying and simply couldn’t stop.
I was broken. I was lost.
I was officially seeking.
Then began years of therapy, workshops, spiritual teachers, saints, gurus, meditations, religions, yoga, vegetarianism, and vegan,..........sigh.
I tested a lot paths, teachers, and ways of life.
To find some inner peace or balance?
What’s the point of it all?
What IS THE TRUTH?
Yogi Bhajan had told me that I had been a yogi for 151 lifetimes.
I sat in a cave and wore a loincloth, but….I didn’t DO IT!
I asked him, “Do What? What Didn’t I do for 151 Life times?”
He said, “IT”.
I went to work for Yogi Bhajans non profit organization for about 17 years (with some time off in there).
It was a great experience as I got to see how many thousands of people are searching for truth.
I got to see all the very HUMAN qualities of “Spiritual Living”.
I got to see the man (people) behind the curtain you could say!
I also got to see how impossible it is for one community, one path, one way of life to work for all people.
Once a person starts identifying with a path or religion, there’s really not a lot of tolerance for diversity.
If you don’t at least try to do or be what that path teaches at 100% then it’s hard to figure out where you fit in.
And since we all need community, this can be painful.
All these saints, teachers, avatars, gurus, they only want one thing for us.
They want us to be happy and content within ourselves.
They want us to avoid the traps of the world so that we can experience the true delight of our inner being.
The true hardcore saints, teachers and profits could give a shit less about fanaticism and dogma!
None of these great leaders wanted us to get lost in trying to be perfect in using the tools and teachings.
They wanted us to find our inner truth. Our Dharma.
Dharma means “A Path Of Truth”.
A truthful path formed from all of the sifting and sorting you’ve done through your life in order to find what works for you.
Dharma Diner is a virtual community that simply does not care about WHAT your truth IS only that you follow IT!
I love people so much.
Especially the really normal “unenlightened” ones that are so damn cute and funny!
I hope you enjoy all of the fun characters of Dharma Diner as they are the celebration of what it means to simply….BE.
May the wisdom they bring through humor bring a smile and gently remind you of the true goal...to be happy and serve each other.
Thank you for being a part of the Dharma Diner community.
You are honored and your truths is treasured.
You’ve come a long way. Have a piece of pie and a cheap cup of coffee, on me!
All my love. Jaap
P.S. Here’s a gift for you. Ravi Khalsa recorded this prayer for peace. It’s beautiful. You’ll love it.
CLICK HERE FOR YOUR GIFT