Marie: Hey, it’s Marie Forleo and you are watching MarieTV, the place to be to create a business and life you love. If you want to set yourself on a path to have the most beautiful life possible, regardless of your circumstances, this episode is for you.
Krishnaji and Preethaji are the founders of O&O Academy, a philosophy and meditation school for transforming consciousness. They’re entrepreneurs and philosophers who have led thousands of people around the world through their retreats and the Ekam World Peace Festival. Their first book, The Four Sacred Secrets for Love and Prosperity: A Guide to Living in a Beautiful State is available now. Thank you both so much for being here. It’s such an honor to have you here on the show.
Krishnaji: Thank you very much for having us.
Marie: So, you’ve had your organization… You’ve been teaching thousands for 30 years now. Talk to me about what inspired you guys to write this book now, which is brilliant, by the way.
Preethaji: For us, living in a transformed state of consciousness is not the be all of life––nor is fame, wealth, relationship, the end all of life. And for us, what we see is coming together of both of this. And to put it in a book… Actually you say that, to put a…
Krishnaji: Yeah. It’s about, we want to tell people and teach people and give this gift and put that living in events and put the time in driving events. You know? So, if you’re constantly in this belief that our happiness, our joy, everything is found to external success.
Krishnaji: We feel if we get more wealthier, we become more happier. If we look more beautiful, we’ll become more happy or more healthy and more happier, better relationships in life, more happier. But we are constantly seeing that people are actually becoming more unhappier. Which means, we have to learn to master the inner world and happiness is something that’s enjoyed within here.
So, it is very important that we first learn to live in a beautiful state. Which means, learning to live in a state of joy, happiness, calm, peace. And from there, nurture a life. From there, build our life. From there, build our relationships. From there, build our wealth. From there, build a success. From there, have a vision for our health. For anything in life external, we need to come from a beautiful state. We need to come from this place of inner calm. We need to come from this place of inner fulfillment. Then everything you do has a meaning, has a purpose. And those actions are very beautiful actions, because now you’re not trying to make yourself trying… To make yourself… You’re not craving for happiness, but instead you are actually happy and doing things from that state.
So, it is very important that we understand that the external world and the inner world has to come together. Which means, you have to have this gift of driving events that then stay in a state of driving the events. That is external success in the world.
Marie: I think one of the most beautiful stories in the book, which illustrates really the contrast between what you guys have framed as a suffering state, right, versus a beautiful state, is the story of the two monks.
Marie: Do you want to tell that?
Preethaji: Sure. Two monks… we just named them Yesmi and Nomi. They’re returning back to the monastery and on the way they have to cross a river. And, just as they are about to cross a river, they hear a woman crying. So, Yesmi goes up to her and asks her what is troubling her. She actually has to cross the river, but the water is so full, so she is fearing that she will not be able to get back to her toddler. And, she’s fearing that he will cry for her all night.
So, Yesmi offers to help her. So, he carries her and leaves her on the other side of the bank. And Yesmi and Nomi continue to walk towards the monastery, and after half an hour into the walk, Nomi in a very agitated tone speaks up, you know, what would he have done? And Yesmi says, he’s very calm, “Yes.” He says, “No, you carried the woman.” Yesmi is like, “So? Our master said never look at a woman, you went and spoke to her. Our master said never speak to a woman, you touched her. And our master said never touch a woman, you carried her. You’ve done something very wrong.”
For which Yesmi very calmly looks at Nomi and says, “Yes, but I’ve dropped her half an hour ago. It is you who’s still carrying her.”
Marie: I love that story, because it illustrates how much in our minds we carry our past, or the worries about the future, or the anxieties, and so much here. And, we’re not actually present to our lives, which in this moment, typically, if you’re really here for it, is quite beautiful, and quite awesome, if you’re not listening to this thing up there.
Preethaji: Absolutely, and Yesmi clearly represents that state.
Preethaji: In a beautiful state, he’s just going to the woman, sees what is needed, does what is needed, and then continues with life. But Nomi is very agitated within, continues in that state of agitation, and continues in that state of agitation even after the event is over. And he’s not being present to life.
A beautiful state is a state where you are being present. A state in which there is no inner conflict. It is not an emotional high, but it is a state where you are feeling so connected to life. Connected to people, to life. And what takes away this beautiful state is a suffering state.
Marie: And how would you define that, a suffering state for anyone…
Preethaji: A suffering state is any state in which you’re experiencing an inner disturbance. It could start off as irritation, as frustration, as loneliness, as sadness, as…
Preethaji: Anxiety, as fear, as insecurity. And, what is it that an individually is nurturing, or fueling at any point of time? Because, there are only two states, Krishnaji always says.
Krishnaji: Yeah. There are only two states that we experience life from. There’s no third state. Whether we are a Christian, Muslim, Hindu, whether we’re Chinese, Indian, Japanese, or American. Whether a three-year-old child or a hundred-year-old person, man, woman, anyone in this planet. We are only experiencing life from these two states. Either a suffering state or a beautiful state.
You are either relating to your child from a space of love or from a space of confusion and conflict, not knowing how to take it off your child. You’re either going to work from a space of connection, connected to the vision that you’re doing, or just conflict of not knowing what you’re going to do with your life, how is this day going to be. You’re constantly in the state of what if, not knowing how the day is going to unfold.
So, these are the only two states that you’re constantly living from. So, the most important question in life is, what state do I want to live my life from? What state do I want to be a parent from? What state do I want to be a husband or a wife from? What state do I want to go to my work from? What state do I want to be a leader from? That’s the most important question and if you can find the answer, which is a beautiful state, then life becomes beautiful.
Preethaji: Because behind everything that we’re seeing in life, whether it be deciding to be together or to separate, or to take up this job, another job, anything that you’re seeing behind war or peace that you’re seeing in the world, the division that we’re experiencing is one of these two states. And, unfortunately, we are not giving sufficient attention to our state. Because, our life is revolved about what we can show off to others, and how much we can achieve. Nothing is wrong with it, but if it can come from a beautiful state, it’ll be nurturing to yourself. And you can also be nurturing to others.
Marie: Yes. So, one of the things I think is so interesting, for folks listening now, I know they’re like, yes, yes, and yes. Now, please tell me how can I begin to cultivate a more beautiful state when my dog is throwing up, and the baby’s crying, and I just learned that my transmission’s broke, and do you know, like the absolutely really normal everyday things for all of us show up. What would you say to them who are like, “This sounds really good, but how do I even begin to start?”
Preethaji: Let us make a clear distinction between challenges that we face in life and suffering.
Preethaji: Challenges are the pressure. Pressure is experienced by any species. The plant species, the animal species, human species. We all experience challenges in our life. Pressure is always there, but suffering is something very different from the challenges. We differentiate a suffering from the challenges that we face. Suffering is the inner dialogue that we carry within ourselves. This continuation of the external challenge internally is very limited only to the human species. An this inner dialogue, this continuation of the challenge internally, that we call suffering. And this suffering, unfortunately, separates us, disconnects us with people. It disconnects us from life. It disconnects us from everything that’s beautiful around you. And this is suffering. Do we need to suffer in order to find solution to the challenge that we currently facing? No.
Marie: No. We’re just habituated to it.
Preethaji: Yes. We are used to it and more so often, it becomes our home after a point of time.
Marie: Yes, very comfortable and familiar. Yes.
Preethaji: People are used to living in stages of anger. People are used to living in states of anxiety. Even when there is no need, you wake up with this anxiety in your stomach. Or you’re not able to get to bed or sleep properly because there’s so much of anxiety that you’re filled with because you are used to it and you’re constantly fueling these states, which has become your home.
Marie: Yes. So what can we start to do to pull that string? I mean, obviously awareness, I believe, is one of the beginnings.
Preethaji: It is extremely important that we bring attention to our inner states.
Preethaji: And what do we teach the participants, our students, is, we teach them wisdom. We give them the right wisdom that is needed to see what is the state in which they are coming from. And also bring attention to the emotions that they’re feeling and see how they are obsessed about a past event or a future event and see how disconnected and engrossed they are with themselves. Which I think you add…
Krishnaji: Yes, if you look at suffering and if you’re paying attention to a thought process, you’ll understand that while you’re suffering, you’re constantly obsessed about yourself.
Krishnaji: You have moved away from challenges, you have moved away from problems, but you’re just obsessing about yourself. For example, you got fired. The problem is, you need to find another job. But instead, you suffer. You suffer because you think now what’s going to happen to my mortgage payment. What am I going to go back home and tell my parents or tell my wife? What are my friends going to think about me? Or someone who was less efficient than me got promoted, there was politics, I was sabotaged. So all these thoughts are about you. You have completely moved away from the problem to yourself. And when that happens, you are in suffering.
So if you can bring attention to the thought process, then you will free yourself from suffering. And you will start to connect to the problem and there will be intelligence that flows. Today, science clearly says that the more you suffer, the brain actually shrinks in size. And the more you feel connected, the brain actually expands in size. Which means you’re becoming either lesson intelligent or less connected or you’re becoming more intelligent or more connected.
Marie: So if I’m hearing you correctly and I’m just gonna track for everyone listening, one of the first things we can do is just simply bring awareness to our thoughts. Bring awareness to that thought process.
Marie: And to be able to be aware…
Marie: That if we’re suffering, there’s a really high likelihood that our thoughts are self-obsessed.
Marie: “I” based.
Krishnaji: Yes. That is this data today which shows that we think around 12,000 to 60,000 thoughts a day. Out of which 83% of them are negative thoughts. 83% of them are repetitive thoughts. And out of which 80% are negative thoughts. Which means…
Marie: That negativity bias in our mind, right? Which is, built in ancient circuitry that was designed to help us survive, but in modern times, not so wonderful for a beautiful state. Yes.
Preethaji: If there is suffering––and it’s an insight from Krishnaji––if there is suffering, that means you are engrossed with yourself. If you are not engrossed with yourself, if you are connected, there is no suffering.
Marie: So simple yet so profound.
Marie: Yes. So incredibly profound. Okay, someone’s listening right now. They’re like, “all right. I am gonna start paying attention to my thoughts. I’m gonna start bringing awareness to notice. Right, now am I in a beautiful state or a suffering state? Paying attention, noticing if I’m self-obsessed, there’s gonna be suffering.” This is a really good start.
I wanna talk more deeply about how we can move into, let’s say, “That’s okay. We did lose our job.” And we do recognize, “Wow, I am being really self-obsessed right now.” How can we take this awareness of perhaps moving into a beautiful state and then moving into taking the next right spiritual action? Can you guys speak into that?
Krishnaji: So when you bring awareness or attention to the thoughts that you have been self-obsessed, you automatically model a beautiful state. There is no search for you. You’re not searching to get into a beautiful state, but a beautiful state automatically happens because now you’ve saw the inner truth. The inner truth that you are obsessing about yourself. And when you see the truth, automatically beautiful state comes. And in that beautiful state, you see problem very crystal clear. And then when you’re able to see the problem very crystal clear, there is a tremendous amount of intelligence that flows into you. That is strength. That is courage. You get back your vision. And you go back trying to solve that problem and you find a solution.
Preethaji: It falls off like a house of cards. If you’re able to see suffering and see that it is an engrossment with yourself, it is just an engagement with yourself. Then it falls apart. And then you dissolve the suffering. And once suffering dissolves, what happens within you is a place of calm, of joy, of connection. And then you act from that place. A spiritual right action as it is the book, is an action that emerges after you’ve dissolved your suffering state.
Preethaji: It could be anxiety, it could be fear, it could be hurt, it could be loneliness. But when you act from these states, you do not have the right intelligence that you need to solve that particular problem or the challenge that you’re facing. So it is important to dissolve these states of suffering in order to acquire the intelligence to solve the problem.
And then, a spiritual right action is an action that emerges after taking into consideration your well being, as well as the well being of the other. Because it emerges from a place of connection.
Preethaji: And, a spiritual right action is not an ideal driven action.
Marie: I loved this distinction in the book. I definitely wanna go deeper on this because I think in our world, there are so many kind of formulas and people are looking for a particular set way to do something that’s going to produce a positive result every time and that’s just not realistic. And the thing that I loved about the distinction I read in your book was it’s not ideal based. It actually is present to the moment so you can be appropriate to what’s here.
Preethaji: Absolutely. Because ideals are old. Ideals are mechanical. Ideals are repetitive and habitual. And what is needed from you as a wonderful person is that you feel so connected to people. You feel so connected to life and act from that place. If it is driven by an ideal, you’re performing that action not from a place of connection, but because you want to feel right or you want to feel great. You want to feel that you’re an honest person. And you are a wonderful person. It is again, obsessing about yourself.
Marie: Yes. Do we wanna go into the Confucius example? Because I think that that might help explain. Because I can hear people going like, “What are you guys talking about when you talk about ideals? What exactly does that mean?”
Preethaji: So, there is the story in the time of Confucius. And a horse gets stolen. So there’s this young boy who comes to the court of where Confucius is and say I know who stole the horse. And Confucius asks, “Who it was?” And then he says, “My father.” So immediately the father was brought to the court and he was jailed. But Confucius does not let go of the boy. He continues to inquire, to find out what is the problem. And he says, “Do you know why your father stole the horse?” He says, “Yes. I know. My father stole the horse because his family has been starving. My mom, my sister, my brother and myself. We’ve been starving for so many days and in order to feed us, he stole the horse.”
On listening to this, Confucius jailed the boy and released the father. And I always share this with the Field of Abundance four day retreat I do across the world and people get very confused. Because the boy has done the right thing. Why is the boy being jailed? Because you’re so used to feeling being honest is right. I would say probably Confucius felt different. Confucius felt that having a person who’s heartless in this society was more dangerous than having a person who could speak lie.
And this boy, if you go into it, if you go into the story, as how we interpret it, is obsessed with being right. Is obsessed with being an honest person. And this obsession is actually disconnecting him from his family, disconnecting him from his life. So, a spiritual right action is not born out of an obsession. What the world needs now, what the world needs today is a state of connection where you feel connected and action that emerges from a state of connection will never be a wrong action.
Marie: It also feels like, when people get so married to a sense of righteousness or what they believe must always be, there is also a loss of a sense of larger context with both how they’re relating…
Preethaji: And it is old.
Preethaji: I mean it is like a very old software playing the same programming.
Preethaji: Or very old song playing the same song, not taking into consideration what the environment needs.
Marie: Yes. It’s not dynamic.
Marie: It’s not flexible. And there’s no spontaneity or heart or universal connection.
Preethaji: Absolutely. And if you look back at your life, the times when you actually performed or hurt somebody else…
Preethaji: Or you regret having performed that action is, it comes from a state of suffering.
Marie: Yes. Yes, yes, yes.
Preethaji: When you are suffering, you perform those actions that can cause greater division, greater discord, greater suffering, more pain to others. If you look back at life and you say, “I’m feeling so connected. I’m feeling so happy and joyful,” and the actions that could have come from that state is a beautiful action.
Marie: And so, for folks listening now who perhaps are like, “This is really making sense. This sounds amazing. I would like to cultivate my beautiful state even more,” obviously we want them to read the book because there’s beautiful practices in there. What else can you recommend to someone either listening on the podcast right now or watching this episode that they could start doing even as soon as today?
Preethaji: You want to do the practice or you want…
Marie: Sure, whatever you want. We’re open.
Preethaji: We can do the serene mind practice.
Krishnaji: From the beginning.
Marie: Is that one of your favorites?
Preethaji: It kind of, any time you feel disturbed. Anytime you feel that there is an inner conflict or you are disturbed. You feel something is not fine here. It’s important to bring attention to your thinking. And this practice, it’s very simple, but can be tricky because we’re not used to looking at our inner state.
Preethaji: We’re used to focusing so much on the outer world. We are lost on this. So it gives attention, but the more you practice it, it’s easier. So you get more clear. So, should we do the practice right?
Marie: Let’s do it.
Preethaji: I’m down with her.
Preethaji: Please close your eyes.
Bring your attention to your breath.
Identify the exact emotion that is arising within you right now.
Is it hard, loneliness, anxiety, irritation?
Or is it calm, joy, love and connection?
Do not try to change anything. Just bring attention.
As this emotion is rising within you, are you obsessed over your past?
Are you obsessed over your future?
Or are you in the present moment? Observe the movement of your mind.
As this emotion is arising within you, are you engrossed with yourself or are you feeling connected? Now see a light move from the middle of your forehead to the middle of your brain.
And see this light glow in the darkness.
See this light glow in darkness. Bring a smile to your face. Open your eyes when you’re ready.
Marie: That was beautiful. You guys look even more glowy than you did before. So, that was wonderful. Thank you so much. One of the things that I see a lot in our inboxes and sometimes I’ll see when people write notes on social media or wherever, is folks feeling that they live in a cold and uncaring world. That they’re not supported in their dreams or that at every turn, things don’t seem to be working out. In the book, you talk about the four stages to access universal intelligence. I would love to walk through them. And obviously, what we just practiced is a beautiful entry point to that. That first step was about letting go of all anxiety and fear and desperation about that goal or that project or whatever it is to achieve that you want. Do you feel that’s a good place to begin?
Krishnaji: Yes. It is a very good place to begin. Yes.
Marie: And then the second step. Opening yourself up to awareness. Tell us about that.
Preethaji: In the first step, if you see throughout ages, we always said, we need to connect to our divine or to our god every time we’re feeling desperate. Where Krishnaji and I differ a lot is a state of suffering, a state of desperation, a state of anxiety actually causes more separation. And if you want to actually manifest, you need to feel connected and it is important to let go of the desperation and anxiety. So the serene mind works for to dissolves that suffering, to bring attention to it and dissolve it.
And then after having let go, to know that we are not separate in this world. To know that there is an intelligence that is pervading through all life. Somehow we always seen life as being separate and disconnected and different individuals. But we’re all connected. And there is a universal intelligence that is prevalent. And the more you experience a state of connection, the more you’re aware of this universal intelligence being present in your life. This universal intelligence would respond to you.
Marie: So opening ourselves up to it, really putting awareness, even around the center of our heart.
Preethaji: Yes. Putting your palms on your heart, bringing attention to your heart. This place, and to feel, open up your heart, to feel connected. Open up your heart to feel that universal intelligence, the divine that is pervading in all forms of life. And then, asking, not from a place of desperation, but from a place of deep connection, asking the universal intelligence to manifest what you want to manifest in your life. What is very important here is not from a place of desperation, but seeing that you are connected to this unitary fabric of life and then asking from that place.
Marie: And then four, I loved this step.
Preethaji: Clearly visualize what you want.
Preethaji: We really do not know what we want, many times. Clearly sit down, think what you really want in your life at this point of time. And ask for that. Visualize every bit of it. If you’re not able to visualize, feel it or think very deeply.
Krishnaji: The reason we do not know what we want is because we’re disconnected with us. Because we’re coming from this place of anxiety, and desperation, we do not know what we want. That is why it’s so important that when you are doing the prayer or when you are meditating, when you are connecting with the universal intelligence, you clearly move to a beautiful state of connection. So then you know what you want or what someone close to you or dear to you wants. And from that space you ask, there is a huge possibility of the magic happening.
Marie: Gorgeous. So I’d like to end with just talking about how this work is not really just about our own selves or our own personal relationships or our work or our careers. But really our collective suffering. I love, Preethaji, you’ve said, “War, division, conflict of every form can only end when more and more of us live in a beautiful state.” Can you tell us more about your vision for this work in the world?
Preethaji: The more disconnected we are, the more suffering we cause ourselves. The more suffering we cause to the people around us. And as we started off, behind everything that we see in the world is happening because of the state of disconnection. And if you’re truly looking for a more connected world, more peaceful world, more joyful world, not only our own lives, not only the lives of loved ones, but if you’re looking at this for the future generations, it is extremely important that we nurture a beautiful state. And actions that springs from our beautiful state leaves ripples across the planet. And especially in the four day retreat that we do across the world, it is not one single individual transforming. I actually seen many generations transforming. So, it is very important to nurture the state and to cultivate as a way of life.
Krishnaji: Yes. Absolutely. Unfortunately, we are living in a world which is very divided.
Krishnaji: Which is very separated. And we strongly believe the more we can divide it, the more happier we can become. Because we’re all craving for massive identities, right?
Krishnaji: And the only identity that we all have is that we are all one. That is the true identity. And we have to learn to nurture that identity in us, and we have to really live that identity. It’s not just an ideal again. It’s not just a belief, but we are to live it. And that happens when you are in a connected state. When you are in a beautiful state and you understand that the entire humanity’s only living in these two states. And there’s no third state. Then we’re all one. We all just need to learn to connect, learn to love. And really observe our suffering state and become free of it by going within our truth.
If we can do that then this world will become definitely a more peaceful place. And yeah. It’ll become a very, very peaceful place.
Marie: Really beautiful. Thank you both so very much for being here.
Krishnaji: Thank you for having us.
Preethaji: Thank you. Thank you.
Preethaji: So wonderful being here.
Marie: Now we would love to hear from you. So I’m curious. Out of everything we discussed today, what’s the one insight that you’re taking away from this conversation, and, how can you put that insight into action starting right now? Leave a comment below and let us know.
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Krishnaji: What state do I want to be a parent from? What state do I want to be a husband or a wife from? What state do I want to go to my work from? What state do I want to be a leader from? That’s the most important question. And if we can find the answer, which is a beautiful state, then life becomes beautiful.