The Diamond In Your Pocketby Gangaji
Gangaji, the American-born teacher who has influenced the lives of thousands of people through her retreats and public events, helps us to reconcile the observations and questions that arise along the spiritual path. Like a precious gem, The Diamond in Your Pocket cuts through what is false and illuminates what is true - a brilliant series of contemplations and insights you will want to hold dear and return to again and again.....Gangaji, born Toni Roberson, grew up in Mississippi. Like many of her contemporaries, she searched for fulfillment through relationships, career, motherhood, political activism, and spiritual practice. Her search ended in 1990, when she met Sri Poonjaji, a student of Sri Ramana Maharshi, on the banks of the Ganges River, and the floodgates of self-recognition opened. Today, Gangaji is a teacher and author who travels the world offering her teacher's invitation to fully recognize the absolute freedom and unchanging peace that is the truth of one's being.
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Many people will see the much sought-after foreword by Eckhart Tolle, and, following his recommendation, pick up a copy of Gangaji¿s latest book The Diamond in Your Pocket. That¿s exactly how it¿s intended. If the writing of Tolle turns your head off and your heart on, you¿ll find exactly the same energy with Gangaji. American-born Gangaji has been traveling the world for the last fifteen years and delivering her message to spiritual seekers at many public events, so the arrival of her new book is being received with much applause. Her writing carries the same magic that her speaking does, inasmuch as it¿s not what she says but how she says it that makes a deep connection to the reader. With utter grace, she speaks to those who are still looking for enlightenment outside themselves, who still feel the need to travel to faraway places to find themselves, who keep looking for the next guru. She tells the story of the diamond in your pocket, which beautifully illustrates her message: you already have it, you¿re already there, you are the one. As Eckhart Tolle tells us in the foreward to Gangaji¿s book:,'The words themselves are charged with extraordinary aliveness and transformative power. This is because they have come out of a living realization of the truth, rather than the accumulated knowledge of the mind.' That¿s the important difference she conveys to those who are ready to claim it. A gentle, peaceful, uplifting summer read.
There is a mysterious power in the transmission to be found in reading Gangaji's words, and I've written this to give you my experience with this mystery, but the best way to know this is to read the book for yourself. Please feel free to ignore all that I say here and just buy the book and read it. I first met Gangaji in a prison in Colorado in 1994, and fell instantly into love with her. God knows how or why, but in the instant of meeting her eyes, all the years and lifetimes of mental activity stopped dead without warning, revealing nothing but eternal, unmoving, silent love without condition. I had no spiritual understanding to speak of, and no need for any. I knew nothing of Ramana Maharshi or Papaji, or of the tradition in which they had appeared. I had no reference point from which I could understand what Gangaji was saying, and needed none. For some months, I wrote to her letter after letter, listened to her satsang tapes whenever I could get some time in the prison chapel where they were kept, and had not the slightest idea or interest in the actual content of her speech. Then, almost a year after that first meeting, I was sent a copy of her first book You are That!, and I was freshly stunned to discover that her naked words had a power of their own to transmit directly true understanding. Reading her words for the first time I had the direct experience of the power of her teaching, the brilliance and clarity with which she spoke of the reality of realization and of what is asked of us to see it. Her naked words transmit true understanding to all who would receive it. You Are That! is a compilation of beautifully edited transcripts of Gangaji's teaching in satsang. The Diamond in Your Pocket is Gangaji speaking directly to you. This book is not intended for advanced spiritual seekers; nor is it intended for those with little or no spiritual understanding. Spiritual understanding is irrelevant here. This book is not for the religious or the irreligious; for the seekers after wealth or for those who renounce the world; for the healthy or for the sick; for those who are comfortable with their lives or for those who hate their lives. This book is intended for you and for you alone. From the beginning, great beings have appeared among us from time to time, moved by compassion to tell us that reality is not what we think it is; that the world is not what we think it is; that pain and pleasure are not what we think they are; and, most fundamentally, that we are not what we think we are. They have told us that this misunderstanding of our own actual nature is the root of all misery and suffering, all horror and aggression and hatred and violence everywhere. They have told us simply that the truth is within us, and that knowing the truth will set us free. By and large, we have responded to this simple, straightforward suggestion by constructing elaborate paths and religions, practices and meditations. We have told ourselves endlessly that, if we can only stick to these strategies, someday we will break through to the truth and be free at last. We have brought into being initiations and transmissions, meditations and mantras that produce states that we imagine to be the states of the enlightened sages. But these states come and go; when they are present, we fear their passing; and when they are gone, we mourn their loss and long for their return. We have created vast religious edifices of hope and sacrifice to gods and saviors created in our own image. We have done great deeds of compassion and proselytizing; we have shed oceans of blood and burned ourselves alive; we have created wondrous works of religious art, and we have created and destroyed civilizations, all in the hope of personal salvation. We have spent our precious lives searching, searching, searching ... searching for truth, searching for love, searching for fulfillment, searching for comf