Best-selling author and former monk, Jay Shetty interviews Rhonda Byrne, creator and author of The Secret, for his podcast, On Purpose, the number one health podcast in the world. Rhonda and Jay talk about her new book, The Greatest Secret, and how to use awareness to live a life filled with bliss and possibilities. The original title of this talk is Achieve Anything You Want Using the Law of Attraction Today. Click below to watch the video or scroll down for a full transcript of the conversation.
Jay Shetty – Hey everyone, welcome back to On Purpose the number one health podcast in the world thanks to each and every single one of you that come back every week to listen learn and grow. Now today I have the honor and privilege to sit down with one of my favorite authors someone who has impacted millions of lives over the last couple of decades and someone that I was just sharing with I never believed I’d ever get the opportunity to sit down with, because back in 2006 and before when I was reading her work and interacting with the work that she was doing in the world I never believed I get this opportunity. So today I feel extremely grateful to be sitting down with the one and only Rhonda Byrne. For those of you that don’t know, and I mean there will literally be 0.3% of you that may not know. The internationally renowned bestselling author that is best known for a documentary and book titled The Secret. Rhonda‘s work has massively transformed millions of lives around the world and her newest work is a continuation of her previous insights and it’s called The Greatest Secret. I’ve just finished reading this book, I genuinely cannot wait for it to be in your hands and so will be putting the link to the book with the podcast so make sure that you go and grab this whenever you have that moment during this conversation that you are accessing The Greatest Secret. Rhonda welcome to On Purpose and thank you so much for doing this.
Rhonda Byrne – Oh Jay thank you so much. Do you know as you were doing that intro I got very teary because when you were mentioning changing the lives of millions of people, really to this day you know it just affects me. It’s so humbling and I’ll receive a letter from somebody and it’s honestly like the very first time that I’ve read a letter and somebody’s life has changed. It’s never altered over the years it just affects the same way, so I just had a total meltdown listening to you. So, thank you!
Jay – Oh that’s amazing. I love hearing that because I feel so similarly that it’s such an honor and humbling opportunity to have an impact on anyone. I love hearing you say that it’s so beautiful. I heard recently that you actually moved, and you moved home. Is that true?
Rhonda – Yes that is true.
Jay – I was going to start there because I almost feel the act of moving is such an interesting journey in and of itself, physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually and I wanted to ask you what your move was like and what that journey was like on each of those levels?
Rhonda – Well I love it because you always end up by throwing material things out. Like I don’t need this, and I don’t need that, so it’s a really cleansing to move I think, and go through everything. I don’t need any of these things anymore. I mean and sometimes I give away things and then I think, oh gosh I really did need that, but who cares. You know who cares. Can you believe this, I moved next door to where I was? Next door, right? Is that crazy or what? I’m on a property that is 85 acres of orchards and avocados, and oranges, and lemons and all of those things and what absolutely gets me all of the time in life, and I never tied of it, is the way that life or the universe always lines up everything I’ve ever loved in my life. Always, absolutely always. Like open fires and this property has deer walking all over it and for me coming from Australia we don’t have deer in Australia so it’s amazing to wake up in the morning and there are deer outside my bedroom window. I mean squirrels jumping everywhere. It was really a beautiful move actually, it was effortless, absolutely effortless and kind of a new, when you move it’s a new. At the same time, you take you with you wherever you go.
Jay – Right.
Rhonda – It’s always really good to be working on the inner part of ourselves because then when you take you with you, you have a fabulous life.
Jay – What was the thing that you were happy to let go of physical or emotional of that space? And what was something that you rediscovered that maybe you had forgotten about that you thought, I am actually excited to take this with me?
Rhonda – Actually, I had moved a year earlier so I had a massive cleanse when I moved. I had been in a really, really big house for like 15 years and so that was amazing because I was just giving away everything. Would you like this? Would you like this? So, this move wasn’t as great because I’d already cleaned everything out the year before. Let me think. The things that I loved about the house that I was in was the incredible sunrises and sunsets and that I got to see those, that house had massive orange trees everywhere and so the orange blossom was absolutely intoxicating. I think Jay you know all the things I love in life are the things that are free. They are not anything kind of money buy and the house that I was in was full of light and that was absolutely beautiful but then the house that I moved to, and it didn’t have open fires to the other house, and I love open fires. The house that I’ve moved to has open fires, it has all of the light, it has the orange trees, the orange blossom, it has beautiful view across the ocean. Ocean front views so it has the sunrises and sunset and so everything kind of lined up for me with the house that I’m in after being in the previous house but I’m trying to think, I just gave away mostly kind of clothes and things like that and a few appliances, and just sort of things like that but in my previous home I have away everything. I gave away barbecues, I was just saying to people do you need a juicer, do need this, do you need that, and I was just giving away everything which love, and do you know when I moved from Australia to the United States this was just prior to The Secret being released I came with two suitcases that was it. I left my home, everything I had collected over 20 years or whatever it was. I left it all behind and came here with two suitcases and it was for the release of The Secret and I just intuitively knew that the United States would be the country that lit The Secret up first, and that I needed to be in the States. So, I travelled here, and I had two suitcases and then everything that I owned back there, I gave it away. I gave it all away, absolutely everything except for two things, two things that I ended up having shipped over that one you can see behind me there that tapestry. Can you see that?
Jay – Yes, yes, I can see that.
Rhonda – And see that Buddha, that Buddha are the two things I brought with me. Those two things are really special to me but everything else I gave away. I’m really good at letting things go and just actually I’m great now letting things go. Especially material things I’m not really attached Jay anymore you know are used to have decades of attachment and I don’t think attachment in the end is a lot of fun.
Jay – Absolutely
Rhonda – I mean it’s really beautiful to have all of open space here and I think that that reflects the way that I feel inside, and my journey of The Greatest Secret is just like this freedom and openness to life and just please trust and faith in life this total faith that life has got everything under control.
Jay – Yes. Well let’s start there at the beginning of The Greatest Secret, you share this beautiful thought around how, you know what keeps us from The Greatest Secret is a belief. I really liked how despite the incredible success of The Secret you’ve continued on this journey to continually seek for a deeper secret and the greatest secret as you call it, and you say that a belief has been blocking us this whole time from this secret. Tell us about this belief? Where does this block of a belief come from? And how it is created such a strong hold on each and every single one of us?
Rhonda – Well the belief is that we are separate ,and that we are individual, and that all that we consist of all that makes us is just a body and a mind and I think the majority of people will consider that they’re a body and a mind and the name that they’ve been given, and the story of their life, and I was born here and parents did this, and do this for a living, and siblings, and the story that we then identify with and carry around with us. Those stories, this story, it doesn’t matter what the story is, it doesn’t matter how fabulous the story is, it does not compare to who we really are. And so, we have this belief that we are limited basically in a nutshell. That we are limited individual that we are born, and that we die, and that’s kind of it, and the truth is we are so much more than that. We are certainly having the experience of being an individual, and we are certainly having the experience having a human experience, but ultimately it is not who we are, we were never born, and we never die. We are, if I were to sum up everything that we are it’s almost the opposite to everything we strive to be, so we are all the intelligence that there is, we are all the beauty that there is, we are all the happiness that there is, we are pure love without any judgement whatsoever, we are complete and utter freedom which is why freedom means so much to us, why we fight and struggle to be free. We have total knowing of absolutely everything in the moment of knowing it. We are infinite and we are eternal, and that is what is actually experiencing this particular form, and so we have a belief that we are an individual that we are separate, that we are born and that we die, and our mind reaffirms it over and over and over again through all of its thoughts and with everything we say and with every thought and every single thing that we say. And actually, doesn’t the world affirm that over and over that we were separate? But we are unlimited, we are absolute perfection, and I’m not talking about the name or the ego, I’m not talking about that because we all can see what egos can get up to you know, they can cause a lot of trouble. Egos want approval, they want attention, they want to be right all the time, they judge all of the time and so they’re not something to attach ourselves to and to identify with when we are this incredible being that is blissful happiness. We can have a life where we are living as an individual human, having an individual human experience, but from the perspective of the infinite being that we are in which case we will never be touched by negativity no matter what happens, and we will remain in lasting happiness no matter what.
This has been my journey really from The Secret to now and I was searching seven days a week I was, Jay, I was just like, I was one of those crazy people. There is this law that governs our mind then there is definitely way, way more to discover, and so I just searched and searched for religions and spiritual traditions and read thousands of books and it wasn’t until 2016 that I had this experience where I realised who we are, and I was like, why haven’t I seen this? Why haven’t I? What is it, that I could’ve missed this? From that moment of realising there was this happiness that a rose inside of me and then with everything that I did from 2016 to 2020 that happiness just became deeper and deeper and then I would just notice things like, that person you know when they would do something or other, that used to bother me a lot, that didn’t bother me anymore and how was it that I was ever bothered by that? And that particular subject doesn’t bother me anymore, so I was just finding that I wasn’t reacting to life, the reactions were all dissolving, judgement was dissolving, I was just whatever was happening I’m like it’s fine it’ll be it all okay. And so, with letting go of all those things including the belief that where a limited being, we become free, really truly free and then we will live a life that’s described as heaven on earth or nirvana, a life where we know we don’t die and the body ends sure, but who we are does not and so yeah, that’s been my journey.
Jay – Well it’s been beautiful hearing it because I was very fortunate to at least learn about that intellectually when I was 18 and I first met the monks that I lived with, and then when I went and lived as a monk for three years in India and across Europe when I was 22 to 25. The text that we studied whether it was Vedas all the Gita introduced me to that at least intellectually, and I say at least intellectually because I believed a lot of these ideas begin with intellect before they truly become realised.
Rhonda – Yeah you are absolutely right. I think in 2016 it was a realisation of who I am, but was I completely living that? No. I remember thinking, oh my gosh, I’ve lost it now, you know?
Jay – Yeah
Rhonda – You know I had it and now I’ve lost it, and of course you can’t lose it because it’s who you are.
Jay – Ha ha yeah!
Rhonda – But you’ve kind of got to go on this bit of a journey, you don’t have to, there are some people that, oh gosh, they will just hear it and that’s it, they will live it, they will live like that for the rest of their life.
Jay – Yes, yes.
Rhonda – They are just in joy and I have had some letters from some people that that has happened to. For me it was more of a journey but oh wow, when you just, definitely intellectually is the beginning, and there’s nothing wrong with that at all. Because that’s where you start.
Jay – Absolutely
Rhonda – Then it’s sort of diligence to keep noticing who you are. Noticing awareness, noticing and asking yourself, ‘am I aware’, is you know one way to begin, ‘am I aware’ and even in The Secret, I talk about that. Remember to remember that you’re aware, and to be aware, and so it is just keep coming back to noticing who you are. It’s so interesting because when you notice who you are you feel this absolute relief travel all through your body which means prior to that you were tense, you were holding onto life you know the kind of white knuckle and everything. I mean I just, oh my gosh it’s just like this incredible thing that we have and then you look out and you see people suffering and that part really challenging because you want to help everybody and so that they don’t suffer anymore. I remember with my teacher really early on I would be like, oh I’ve lost it, and why don’t I have it all of the time, and she said it’s because you haven’t suffered enough, is what she said to me. You need to suffer some more and then it’s really really, really going to mean more to you than anything else in life. Yeah it’s a wonderful thing, but, oh my gosh, in your 20s Jay, heaven.
Jay – I remember learning that definition which you describe so beautifully, the idea that we are full of knowledge, eternal and full of bliss. And I remember one of the ways we were trained to understand that is we had no mirrors in the Ashram and without a mirror you lost conception of your physical self because you no longer could check how you looked. The other one was I remember when I first started I would, and I know you use the beautiful word awareness in The Greatest Secret, I remember I used to write on a little ‘post it note’ when I’d wake up in the morning I’d have it next to my bedside table and then by the place where I brush my teeth, that ‘I am awareness’.
Rhonda – Did you really?
Jay – Yeah yes.
Rhonda – That’s beautiful. Oh gosh!
Jay – To remind myself in the morning to wake up with the understanding that I’m not this body.
Rhonda – Oh brilliant. That is brilliant. People should do that. I mean that is absolutely fantastic yeah. ‘I am awareness’ because the moment that you say, like our mind can’t comprehend awareness, it can’t, it can’t comprehend it, that the mind is sitting in awareness, and so the really beautiful thing is that’s saying something like that ‘I am awareness’, or ‘am I aware’, the mind just goes quiet, you know just really quickly. When the mind is quiet then all that there is awareness or consciousness or whatever, the word doesn’t matter. You know I tried to choose the word I thought was the simplest that people could kind of understand, but the moment the mind drops, there is awareness, and so I love that, I am aware. Love it.
Jay – Yeah, thank you. Yeah I was, that’s why when I was reading your book and I hope you can tell when I was reading your book I felt so happy because when you were sharing this was the greatest secret I couldn’t agree with you more. I don’t think there is a deeper secret at the beginning of the knowledge that we were always told that this is the first lesson you’ll learn and the one that will take you a whole life to live like to actually practice. When I was reading the book it was just it was so beautiful for me because I could totally see how much you care for people and for what journey you want to take but isn’t it fascinating that we almost and you said something really beautiful and you talk about it in the book about how actually we are free and we have complete freedom but we limit ourselves, but isn’t it fascinating that we think that the body and mind keep us safe. So, the very things that are actually keeping us in prisoned and we think that they are safety.
Rhonda – Totally. And don’t you think also with what’s happened in the last year that we had this idea, or most people have this idea that they work really, really hard to get safety and security? You know to accrue things, and to have money in the bank, and to have a house, and all of those things to have safety and security and this world event came along and shook that and actually showed everybody what is the truth is that we will never find safety and security in the world and the reason we won’t is it’s always changing. Always changing. But we are the only safety and security in existence. We’re it. We are trying to get on the outside what we are on the inside and that is not to say to enjoy this incredible world. I mean this is a miracle, this is miraculous, this experience of this world, and it is here for us to enjoy in every way that each person wants to enjoy it, but to know who we are, to instead of spending our whole life trying to fill ourselves from the outside world which will never ever work, is to be spend just a little bit of time and on the inside, like waking up to awareness or asking ‘am I aware’. One of the things that I found that was really fantastic, and there’s so many incredible practices and I’m sure, my gosh, you would have done so many fabulous ones, I would love to hear about that, but one of those things in The Greatest Secret, all the things that I did, and the teachers that are in The Greatest Secret were my journey all of them from The Secret through to now. Every single one of them changed my life in one way or another. Some I followed for a couple of years and some for months, but all of those teachers played a really, really big part in my life. The practice in The Greatest Secret that I had the greatest effect on me, and that I would say for anybody is the best thing you can ever, ever, ever do, and that is to never resist negative emotions. Instead to do the exact opposite which is what we have not been told to do, which is the opposite to resistance is to welcome, so resist is push your way and welcome is to pull in.
Jay – Embrace.
Rhonda – Yeah embrace exactly, exactly and to embrace those negative emotions because the most incredible thing happens when we do embrace them, when we allow them to be there when we don’t try and change them, and we don’t try, and we don’t want to make them go or do anything but just allow them to be there, they just evaporate. They just evaporate and the more that you do it the faster they evaporate because when I started I would feel a strong emotion and it would maybe last 30 seconds, 45 seconds or something like that and then gradually gradually, went away but the more that I welcome, the weaker they get, each time you welcome a negative emotion it just gets weaker and weaker and weaker until you don’t have a trace of that negative emotion in the body at all any more, and when you don’t have a trace of it you’re never going to feel it.
Jay – Explain to us as you do in the book, what does it mean to truly embrace and welcome a negative feeling? What does that mean in a practice because I couldn’t agree with you more and just to help people as they’re listening and watching and thinking you know what, I just right now, I’m just, there’s so much negativity in the world, I’m watching the news, I’m stressed out about this my kids are at home and I’m having to homeschool, how do they welcome that and I agree with you we resist completely, we don’t want to feel negative?
Rhonda – We don’t want to because it’s not pleasant, feeling negative feelings. When you feel a negative feeling arising, you notice the feeling, don’t focus into the feeling, because if you focus into it you’ll just make it stronger, the mind is really powerful so don’t focus into it, but notice the feeling, and just welcome it, so it’s almost like you could imagine just putting your arms out like this, put your arms out to the side of you and just allowing the feeling, which is simply energy that all is feel, it is just energy, and just allowing it to pass through. One thing that I did was I would imagine putting my arms around and embracing the feeling and pulling the feeling in close to me. I just found that that was amazing for me and I think people can try all kinds of different things like, I just imagined that feeling was one of my oldest dearest friends that I loved so much that I hadn’t seen in decades and they arrived at my door and I was just like, could not get my arms around them fast enough, and that is what I imagined with each of the feelings. And I mean at one point in my life I did that with depression and so I wrapped, and that’s really how I learned how powerful this practice is because when I wrapped my arms around the depression it just dissolved and the relief, I mean the relief that you feel when the negative feeling dissolves is so good, it’s worth every, it’s like a high, and the reason it’s like a high is because when you dissolve the feeling there’s you underneath, and who you really are, and so you get a flash of who you really are, this kind of joy and happiness, and so that’s what I did. I would embrace the feeling and hold it in without focusing on it, notice it, but don’t focus into the feeling and just let it dissolve, and I promise the next time you feel that feeling it will never be a strong when you do it. And so, you do the same thing the next time that feeling arises and then the time after that it’s going to be weaker, it just gets weaker and weaker and weaker until you get to a point where you can’t remember the last time I got angry. I just can’t remember when I did ever get angry. You know you’re just all agitated or impatient and so you do it with every feeling. So to give people a really good guide I would say that unless you’re feeling really happy joyously happy, welling up inside of you, you have a negative feeling, pretty good, you don’t need to know what the name of it is to welcome it. You just welcome it. It doesn’t matter about its name. It doesn’t matter what it is just welcome the feeling or embrace the feeling or allow the feeling to be there and then you will begin to dissolve these negative feelings that are actually masking who you are. The more you dissolve them the greater the happiness that arises within you.
Jay – Mm… beautiful. I love that and I encourage everyone right now that is listening and watching to do that practice to give it a go, to experience and experiment with it because what Rhonda is saying is something that, it needs to be experienced, it needs to be felt, it needs to be put into practice, it’s not something that you need to overthink or over analyse, actually do it, and feel it, and you’ll figure out how it works for you. Rhonda I’m intrigued what is the first thing you do in the morning to start your day? What is it that you do that you feel starts your day because I feel that a lot of the times what I’m noticing especially now in the culture we live in, whether it’s reaching for our phone whether it’s looking at the news, we’re starting our day with energy that’s already putting us in the wrong direction or pushing us in the wrong direction what are you doing what are you encouraging people to do first thing in the morning to start with this understanding that we are awareness, to start with this understanding that negative feelings need to be embraced?
Rhonda – It’s so amazing because what I do now is, I lay in bed and as awareness, so I’ll be awareness and I just lay there for a particular amount of time just feeling the joy and the freedom of the eternal being that we are, and just lay in awareness and so that’s what I do absolutely every single morning. And what’s extraordinary now, and I mean at the beginning it was like I felt like I had to remember to do that but that doesn’t even kind of makes sense but that’s what I felt, I felt like I had to remember to do it, and now at the moment I open my eyes, it’s just awareness, just fills the room and the joy just fills the room, and so I lay in that. Prior to that, I would wake up every day in gratitude.
Jay – Yep, yep.
Rhonda – Prior to that gratitude was you know Jay, even now if life gets a bit bumpy or something happens just something not really negative but just something where everything isn’t flowing then I will just look at gratitude and through awareness just be so grateful for the fact that we are this infinite being and that no one dies. I’m so grateful to be aware of this and to know this. It’s quite, you know, it’s also quite humbling that somehow or another in this life time I had this awakening and realisation of this, and because as you say, I agree with you 100% there is nothing greater than knowing who you are. There’s nothing, there will never be anything greater than that. 1000 years from now 10,000 years from now, nothing will be greater than knowing who you are and being who you are, and it’s just step by step, little step by step, and now is a really good time because the ego is being challenged, the mind is being challenged, it’s being hit on all sides with the disharmony and the disruption on the planet, and so now is the best time ever to really, like welcome those emotions, and to look toward to look in the direction of who you are instead of who you are not.
Jay – Yeah. Absolutely, absolutely and I just want to address because I feel like someone maybe listening to us and thinking well Rhonda, Jay how does this help me be successful, be happy, live the life I want, how does, how does this create it? And I just want to dive in with what Rhonda is going to have to say about this, but I just want to address it from how I see it. The understanding is very simple that as Rhonda’s saying we’re not our body and if we think where our body we will surround ourselves with things that are good for the body, but if we’re not the body then none of those things can actually satisfy us, and an example that we always learned from the Vedic tradition was, a fish out of water that if you took a fish out of water you could give it a mansion you could give it a car you could give it jewelry, you could give it money but that fish will die because it’s not in water, it’s not where it belongs, and it isn’t in its natural habitat and so similarly understanding that we are awareness gives us the opportunity to do what is right for us as awareness, to truly feed that awareness because I think the challenge that we think about when we think about success or happiness we think of success and happiness on the basis of body and the mind that’s why even after accumulating everything we still feel dissatisfied because those things only touch the body and mind correct Rhonda?
Rhonda – Correct. Correct. Really the best thing that could happen to everybody is that their greatest dream comes true because when your greatest dream comes true the dream that way you are absolutely convinced that when this dream comes true that is when I will really be happy. The best thing that can happen is that that dream comes true because when it does you will realise that there is something missing and that happiness that you thought you would have doesn’t last. It’s such a beautiful thing for people who have been successful, then they get to that point and they’re like they’re not happy and they’re not happy because those things were never going to make you happy in the first place anyway, but in terms of success, I would say this, that when you are who you really are when you’re living from the place more of who you are then who you are not, everything that you need and want will fall into your hands effortlessly and you are actually, the infinite being is effortless. The way to kind of tell who’s in charge is whether it’s the ego or the mind that’s in charge, or who you really are that’s in charge and any moment is effort, and if you’re efforting, if you can feel this efforting, then it’s the ego in the mind and if you’re coming from a place of effortlessness where athlete call it ‘being in the flow’, everybody has these kind of descriptions it’s where the mind has stopped, and just everything is flowing you just feel like everything in the universe is just dancing your dance, and singing to your song. And so in terms of success when you are being more of who you really are that idea that was going to make you successful is what will come to you, that original idea, because the mind just recycles, that’s all it can do, it’s a program and recycles and the ideas that business kind of business ideas that have never been on earth, they are coming from awareness. They are coming from above the mind so when you are awareness that is when everything will fall into your hands, everything that you need and is just your whole life flows, and you’re just happy all of the time. Like there is, it’s just like the universe is just saying, and I even wrote in The Secret, you know the shortcut to The Secret is, be happy now. Right. Just be happy and let go of all the things that are saying why you can’t be happy, and just be happy now, because when you’re happy, everything just falls into place. It’s so amazing. So definitely for success that is the fastest way to success is to be who you are. We’re not talking about going in a cave or you know we’re doing anything like that, we’re talking about living your life in the incredible form and the human being that you are, and having the experience that you are, but from a place of knowing that you are the infinite being, that you are immortal and we are taught, as Jay said, it’s got to be through your experience it can’t be through, ‘earlier I heard Rhonda talk about this’ and whatever, no not interested in you taking on another belief. What it is, is for you to experience it and it is not hard for you to experience it because it’s who you are already, it’s not anything you have to go out and get, and then some ways it’s almost frustrating isn’t it?
Jay – Yes
Rhonda – I remember when I started out, I’m like, it’s who I am already, but at the time you know I’d be like I can tell the minds taken over at the moment, and yeah it’s already who we are and so we’ve just, what we’ve done is we’ve attributed everything that is awareness to the mind, we’ve given the mind the whole thing and its awareness is that is hearing these words right now, that is what’s hearing these words. Right? That’s what is seeing through these eyes, its awareness, without awareness we wouldn’t even know we’re alive.
Jay – Exactly! Well that’s the thing Rhonda that you know I’ve heard a lot of people say that when they first saw an autopsy or they went to a funeral that’s when they realised, they weren’t the body, like that is that’s when if you’ve ever you haven’t seen an autopsy I recommend everybody finds a way to visit the hospital and say, just to see, that allows us to disconnect from we’re not this physical body, we get that, but I feel that for a lot of people like you rightly said, it’s difficult to think we’re not the mind because you like you said, we have given the mind all of awareness we think that that is us, so I think a lot of people are getting to the understanding that we are not this body, I think people can get there to some degree at least in their mind, but then a lot of a struggle to get behind well if I’m not the mind then what else is there? Tell us about how you start seeing the fallibility of us thinking with the mind?
Rhonda – So let’s just investigate and look at the mind and what the mind is, so it’s really good for you to find out what the mind is especially considering that most of us have given total authority of our life, and we believe all of the thoughts that it produces, which is the voice in your head, and the voice in your head is not who you are, so that was a really big revelation for me. So all that the mind is made of is thought, beginning to end full stop its thought. So it’s memory which is thought, and it has images which is just thought in pictures, but it’s still thought, and the current thoughts that we think, and so all the mind is made of thought and so without a single thought and check for yourself the mind isn’t there. If there’s no thought, there is no mind and so when you begin to look at that and investigate that, then it’s really quite interesting. But then, so now we know that the mind is just thought, and therefore when a thought comes and a thought goes, if we were our mind, then that means that when a thought comes and when a thought those a little bit of us would go with it , and then when a thought comes and a thought goes a little bit more of us would go with it, with the thought, if we were our mind, a bit of us would be disappearing with every single thought, but if you look, guess what? You are there aware before a thought comes and you are there after it leaves, so how can you be the mind? And the other thing is, what is aware of the thoughts in your head? Awareness is aware of the thoughts in your head, because a thought is not aware, a thought it has no awareness whatsoever. So the one that is aware of the thoughts, is who you really are, and so when you start to just sort of sit with this a little bit, I’m not suggesting that, oh in this moment you’re like, oh I know I’m not the mind, that if you just kind of sit with it, with this, and next time when you’ve got a whole lot of thoughts coming through your head that you remember this, and think about it. Oh, I was here before all of these thoughts, and I am still here after they go fully intact, none of me has disappeared and what was it that was aware, because you could even ask this question, am I the thoughts that I think, or am I the one that is aware of those thoughts?
Jay – we never say ‘I mind’ we say ‘my mind’ or ‘my body’ or we say ‘my car’ because we realise that we are not it, right? You don’t say ‘I mind’ you know so it’s so clear to us even our language is that it’s my mind that means my mind belongs to something that is me and hence the question is who am I? Because it’s my body and my mind and I think what you just shared so beautifully is exactly that, is that it is something that is existing beyond the purview of the mind and thought simply, and for anyone who is wondering and trying to intellectually wrap their head around this, the reason why it’s so powerful to understand this, is because then the negativities of the mind and the body start to affect you less because you realise they are not you and they are not your life, and that’s the key that you know if anyone’s wondering well how does this help me, that’s how it helps you, is because you start to recognise that what happens to the body just like, if your car has an accident you may feel a little bit of pain, but you don’t feel the same pain as when something affects your body directly and that the car is a shell and so similarly you start realising that I’m a driver inside my body and my mind and so even though my body, yes obviously I need to go to the hospital and take care of it of course, but that still isn’t me.
Rhonda – No. Do you know Lester Levenson who is no longer in physical form but who’s quoted in The Greatest Secret and he would say that our mind has just been created for one reason and one reason only, and that is to create what we want, that’s it full stop, that’s it, that’s it’s job, that its tool, to create what we want in this life, and what we want to experience in this life. That it’s not our psychiatrist, psychologist, psychotherapist and tells us what to do, and believing our thoughts and Jay, I believed my thoughts for decades. It’s just amazing that you would believe these thoughts in your head and if people just noticed the next time, and hope that you don’t feel, but that you feel agitated or negative emotion or feel stressed it’s because you were believing a whole lot of negative thoughts. That’s it, you were just believing thoughts. Then that sends you, you know, into negativity, and so our freedom is the mind is wonderful and fantastic tool, nothing wrong with the mind, the only problem comes with the mind is when we think it is who we are, that’s the only problem.
Jay – And you give this analogy which I loved you talk about how we’re in this dream state and there’s a need for awakening from that because when you’re asleep, right, when you’re asleep and I think a lot of people feel that, I think people right now feel an awakening in their life that’s coming, tell us about the awakening you’re speaking about?
Rhonda – I just think you know when you’ve woken up. I just think you know when you’ve woken up because if you’re wondering, ,oh am I asleep now, have I woken up’ when you wake up you feel incredible, you feel so much lighter than you’ve ever felt, you feel so much free, happier life just becomes miraculous everything is a miracle and the little things that you just kind of ignored before, now are just things that bring you to your knees, because the sheer beauty and love of those things, like sunsets. I remember in my life I would hear people speak of these things and I remember I used to think, ‘oh you know I just need to be able to pay my bills you know forget about sunsets’, and all that kind of thing, but as you awaken it frees you, it just frees you from all of the limitations and all of the conditioning that we’ve all had in our lives no one is to blame for that, it’s just kind of part of the journey. You just become free, the feeling is incredible, and people can have lots of little awakenings, can they not? You know along the way like a little, and it’s usually when you’ve seen through some belief, that you’re like, oh my gosh, I used to believe that, and that isn’t true. Then you suddenly feel lighter and freer and so awakening is just a big one of those it’s just a huge sort of realisation, it’s like a ‘wow’ moment but instead it’s a ‘wow, wow, wow, wow, wow’ moment. Everyone can have it, there isn’t anyone that can’t have it, everybody can have it because it’s who you are already.
Jay – What are some of the daily rituals people can do to experience what you’re speaking about because as we both know it’s not a, it isn’t a life hack, or isn’t an app download or it is into a you know it isn’t a mechanical operational logistical rate there’s three page, you know, it’s not that so what is it like how do we make it more tangible for our tangible minds because our minds are wanting to do something daily and repetitive because it is repetition, there is repetition, what would you say we can do daily?
Rhonda – Well one of the things you can do which really helps this identify with the body and the mind is to take, so let me see, so first take your body and just put your body aside over there because you were not the body, so just like put that aside for the moment that is not who you are, you can pick up the body in a minute or two but just put the body aside, and then put aside your name and your age and the description of you, also put it aside the story of who you think you are, put all of that aside so now the bodies aside, the stories aside, all of those other things are aside now, what you’re going to do is you’re going to take the mind and just for a moment you’re going to put that aside, and that includes all memory and all sorts, and all feelings and you’re just going to put that aside as well, just pop that aside, and now very quickly noticed what is left, because what is left is awareness. So that is one way that’s a really good way in the beginning to come back to awareness and it’s like I think in ancient traditions some of them spoke about it’s like peeling the onion right, so instead of us accruing we think we have to pile on this knowledge, and I have to go through life, and I need to learn more, and I need to accrue more, and I need to get all of these degrees, and all of that has its place, but it’s never going to set you free, so peeling away what we are not and seeing awareness is what will set you free. Once you can get to the place, I mean honestly the way that I did it was, and I put it in the book and it was three steps, I would ask myself multiple, multiple, multiple times in the day ‘am I aware’, and the moment I would ask ‘am I aware’ awareness would be there. There would be this awareness and then I would go about my day and then I would ask again, ‘am I aware’, so I did that constantly that’s a practice to do constantly after a while actually really short of amount of time days really or a week or two weeks when you go to ask ‘am I aware’, you can’t even ask the question because awareness is completely there immediately, like immediately so the second step is the first step transforms into this step so you go from asking the question, ‘am I aware’ to automatically noticing awareness. So lots of times in the day notice awareness, and then the third step is staying as awareness. The second step merges into the third step because when you notice awareness enough, then you’re going to find that you are staying as awareness more and so what happens is, just so people understand, what happens is, the mind is kind of in potentially for many in the foreground at the moment and sort of running your life and awareness is so quietly beautifully, magnificently, quietly sitting in the background but when you ask the question when you notice awareness, stay as awareness, what happens is there is a total shift and awareness comes to the foreground and the mind goes to the background and that way you can use the mind whenever you need to use the mind, it’s great to make a date like for us doing this podcast, it’s really great for things like that, but then you can stay as awareness and then your life is just absolutely effortless and you just have incredible happiness. That’s where it all is.
Jay – I love that Rhonda it’s just, it’s been beautiful discussing this with you because I love that you really, I really do believe it is this, you’re really challenging all your readers and the people in the world to go beyond..
Rhonda – Yes
Jay – …the body and the mind which really means to go beyond the desires of the body and the mind which is really difficult because we’ve been trained to believe that the desires of the body and the mind of what will make us happy and so I can you know I commend you and feel great joy that you’re putting this message out there and encouraging people to go in this direction and I want to ask you now what we call the final five, these are your final five questions and we do them in a fast five rapid fire.
Rhonda – Wow! Okay.
Jay – So each answer has to be one word to one sentence maximum. So, Rhonda these are your final five and the first question is what is your biggest lesson from the last 12 months?
Rhonda – Discovering awareness.
Jay – Beautiful! What are you hoping to manifest in 2021?
Rhonda – Freedom and joy for as many people as possible.
Jay – What do you know to be absolutely true about human nature that many would disagree with?
Rhonda – That it’s ultimately not our true nature, human nature is not ultimately our true nature.
Jay – Question number four, if you could create one law that everyone else in the world had to follow what would it be?
Rhonda – Ha ha! Oh, happiness is mandatory.
Jay – Yeah that’s
Rhonda – I would have the law of happiness because then everything would be totally fine.
Jay – I love it and question number five final question, beautiful very quick concise answers, very clear and amazing. Fifth and final question, what is one truth that you try to live by every day?
Rhonda – I try and live by as who I really am. So, the infinite being that we are, and awareness that I am, that is the one, that is the most important thing in my life.
Jay – Everyone that’s Rhonda Byrne The Greatest Secret if you want to dive deeper into your personal eternal journey then this book is a phenomenal guide to doing just that, it’s a lot heavier than it looks too, it’s, it’s, it’s a heavy book.
Rhonda – I know right?
Jay – It’s a heavy chunky book.
Rhonda – I don’t know what happened there.
Jay – The truth is heavy, so it’s a heavy book. It’s a beautiful book, I highly recommend it to everyone listening and watching here today. Rhonda it’s been a joy spending this time with you and I really look forward to meeting you in person and getting to do this again in person one day and I’m really excited for all your readers and millions of people that will read this book and take that next step in their journey of discovering who they truly are beyond the body and mind.