A CONVERSATION WITH MICHAEL BECKWITH

Bill Harris: Welcome again to the Masters of the Secret series. I am very glad to be with you again. Today, I have with me Dr. Michael Beckwith of the Agape International Spiritual Center. Michael and I met in Jack Canfield’s Transformational Leadership Counsel and appeared together in the hit DVD movie TheSecret. Michael is an amazing example of a human being living a spiritual as well as a practical life and certainly someone who has mastered what people these days are calling the secret and the law of attraction. Let me tell you a few things about him before we get started. In the 1970s, Michael began an exploration into Eastern and Western spiritual teachings leading him to some amazing realizations. As a result, he began to teach universal truth principles in what many people called the New Thought Tradition of spirituality and he does this at his Agape International Spiritual Center in Los Angeles, which he founded in 1986. Some people see Michael Beckwith as carrying on the work of creating spiritual community in the tradition of Martin Luther King. Dr. King’s widow, Coretta Scott King wrote to him, “I greatly admire what you are doing to bring about the beloved community, which is certainly what my dear husband worked for and ultimately gave his life.” What is Enlightenment? magazine described Michael as a ‘nonaligned trans-religious progressive,’ which sounds a little kinky to me. I will have to ask Michael exactly what that is. He has appeared on international panels with other peacemakers and spiritual leaders including His Holiness, the Dalai Lama, Dr. T. Ariyarante of Sri Lanka and Arun Gandhi grandson of Mahatma Gandhi. He is cofounder of the Association for Global Thought, an organization dedicated to planetary healing and transformation. Michael is the originator of the Life Visioning Process, which he teaches throughout the country along with meditation, scientific prayer and the spiritual benefits of selfless service and he facilitates retreats, workshops and seminars. His books include: Inspirations of the Heart, 40 Day Mind Fast Soul Feast and A Manifesto of Peace. In 2003, his work was acknowledged in the congressional record of the 107th Congress and he has been the recipient of numerous humanitarian awards including the 2004 Africa Peace Award, the Thomas Kilgore Prophetic Witness Award, the Howard Thurman Stained Glass Window Award by Morehouse College, a commission to oil portrait for Morehouse’s prestigious Hall of Preachers and the humanitarian award of the National Conference for Compassion and Justice. He was one of the stars of the hit DVD movie The Secret and he has recently appeared on Larry King Live and twice on Oprah, speaking about The Secret and the law of attraction. I was a guest at his Agape International Spiritual Center a couple of Sundays ago along with about 4,000 other people and I will tell you that Dr. Michael Beckwith creates an amazing transformational experience in everyone with whom he comes in contact. He has an amazing talent for helping people experience their own inner divinity as well as their spiritual connection with other people, with God, and really with the entire universe. He does this in a very tangible way. Michael, I am so glad to have you here today.

Michael Beckwith: Bill, it is my pleasure and honor to be here. It is amazing listening to that resume, you know, you just do what you do, day to day, moment by moment, to be a beneficial presence on the planet and you never even think about awards or any of that kind of stuff. We are just here to become our real selves.

Bill Harris: Well, that may be one of the reasons why you have made a lot of those awards, because you have not been focusing on them and focusing on actually doing something.

Michael Beckwith: Absolutely, I think that is the key.

Bill Harris: So, you know, I am so impressed with what you do and I am so glad that I was able to actually be there for one of your services. You seem to get into a state when you speak that is almost like, I mean, I say this partly tongue in cheek, but it is almost like you are channeling and I know that state myself because I get into it sometimes too when I am speaking. What happens to you when you are speaking?

Michael Beckwith: It has evolved over the years, but of course, my life is centered around my meditation practice and so, what happens is, I will go up to speak and I am just open to the energy of inspiration and transforming knowledge to flow through me. And so, I will begin to speak on whatever the theme is and then at some point, the energy itself, the knowledge itself about that subject, will begin to pour forth through me and I will begin to have a greater understanding, even in the moment, of what I want to talk about.

Bill Harris: You know, it is interesting that you would say that because the same thing happens to me. I almost always speak extemporaneously when I am in front of groups and many times some of my best ideas come while I am speaking. I figure things out or put things together in new ways that I had not thought about before. Does that happen to you too?

Michael Beckwith: Oh absolutely all the time! I call it my surprise. I am not satisfied when I speak unless I am surprised. I have to be surprised at the new way it is languaged or a new insight into a new interpretation of it and it will surprise me, which means I have been available. I have made myself available to the larger knowledge rather than staying with what I thought I knew.

Bill Harris: Absolutely, you know, one of the things that I am teaching my students that a lot of them have some trouble with is kind of getting their linear mind out of the way and letting this other thing come through. A kind of tapping into their unconscious mind or spirit or whatever you want to call it. Some people are so stuck in…

Michael Beckwith: Well, they are nervous. I think people have identified themselves in a very limited way and in order to touch these other dimensions that we are talking about, they have to actually reconstruct their identity and it is a very difficult thing to leap into that because actually, you used the word extemporaneous, which means out of time, you are absolutely allowing yourself to move out of time so the eternal can take over and for many people it is very scary because they are living their lives primarily from memorization. They memorize things, which is like a filing cabinet rather than being in the flow of the energy, which is spontaneous goodness happening. It is a totally different way of being in the world.

Bill Harris: Yeah, you know, I have been a jazz musician for…

Michael Beckwith: Which you actually understand!

Bill Harris: …decades and it is very much like that because when you are playing a jazz solo, you do not have time to think your way through it. You either are there and you are playing it and it is coming out of you or not, but the jazz player, just like a public speaker, has to pay a price in terms of investigating certain things, practicing or whatever you want to call it. You know, a person cannot just get up there and do what you do without having some preparation, but then, having done the preparation, you know, you get up there and instead of thinking and analyzing your way through it, you just let it come out of you and it does.

Michael Beckwith: Right. There is a difference between playing the piano and making music. When a person learns how to play the piano and they go through the scales and they learn all of that. They learn how to play the piano and then at some point when they release themselves, they are able to make music and this is exactly what you are talking about. My wife, Rickie, often times calls me that. She says, “You are like a jazz musician up there speaking. You get on a theme and a roll and then a theme and then suddenly, that theme will go into an area that you have never talked about before and it will become a sweet riff and then it will come back to the original theme again and then off on another riff and then come back to the same theme again until the night is sewed up and it is this nice song that has been played.”

Bill Harris: Yeah. You do something on the stage. I mean, you have a completely different style than I have. You are much more charismatic than I am and I am a lot into content and you are, I think, more inspirational when you speak than I do, but I do something similar to what you do in that, sometimes people will think I am going far-a-field of where I started, but at the end, I wrap it all together and anyone listening would think that it was a thought out talk with a certain structure and that I had organized it beforehand, but I do not.

Michael Beckwith: Right.

Bill Harris: And the talk that I heard you give a couple Sundays ago had that same quality. It looked like it was something you had structured in advance, but I just had this sense that you were doing it in the moment without having planned anything other than “I am going to talk about…” You know?

Michael Beckwith: Right. I know the theme. I know the theme because I pick a theme of the month so that keeps informing me, but I do not know the topic yet.

Bill Harris: Well, and that kind of brings us around to this idea of the secret and the law of attraction because, you know, I think that when you have a topic that you are going to talk about, a theme, and you know, you just sort of said to yourself, “Okay. I am going to talk about that.” You know, “What is going to come out when I talk?” And just by kind of giving yourself that focus, your unconscious mind, or whatever you want to call it, there are a lot of names you could call it, it actually begins to kind of search through all the data banks and starts looking at all of the available information outside of your awareness and then it is just kind of all available there.

Michael Beckwith: Absolutely, again based on identity, you know, if you want to use the language of Jesus, we would say that we are the light, the light that lights up every man and woman that comes into the world or we could say that we are the holographic expression of infinite possibility or we could say that we are a singular manifestation of a cosmic destiny. Whatever language you use, the knowledge is within us and you said something very important that no one could just step up there without preparation and that preparation, for me, is my way of life. My way of life is centered around my meditation, my prayer work, my introspection, my study, my service. All of those things then become my way of life, so when I am speaking, I am actually speaking about what I am living. So it is not foreign to my life. I am not talking about something that I am not living myself.

Bill Harris: Yeah, I remember Dale Carnegie saying that the big key to public speaking was to speak about something that you knew something about. You know, a lot of people get up and try to give a talk about something they really do not know anything about.

Michael Beckwith: Right.

Bill Harris: And that is what happens when you are in school too. They give you a topic to talk about rather than having you talk about something that you actually know something about.

Michael Beckwith: Something you are passionate about.

Bill Harris: Right. Exactly. So, we have kind of, you know, I did not even mean to go in this direction necessarily when we started this conversation, but we have sort of hit on one of the things that kind of allows this thing that people are calling ‘the secret’ to manifest and that has to do with kind of surrendering and trusting your unconscious mind and then with the provision, that of course, you do have to do some kind of preparation in order to have something in there that you can tap in. So, what ideas do you have about, because I know a lot of people have trouble doing this, how would you help someone to allow themself to tap into this?

Michael Beckwith: Well, I teach many of my advanced students and what I have them do is I take them back into a place in which they first had either a tremendous healing in their life or a tremendous revelation that changed their life and I had them get into that state and describing what they felt like. What was going on when that was occurring? What does that feel like? And begin to make that particular state very real and then I will give them a topic or something to speak about from that state and I say, “Okay. Now just go with it. Do not use the thinking mind here. Just be in the state of that expansion and see what happens. Talk about the healing. Talk about the revelation.” And what would inevitably happen is that person will begin to speak, not from the limited point of view from a memory bank, they will begin to speak from the state itself and ultimately, after a little practice, they are able to engage that state and let the information from that wider paradigm rather than from the smaller paradigm. I dare say that everybody listening has had moments of being in the zone, moments of sobriety, moments of insight after that and revisited and throw yourself open to it, they use the word surrender to it, you will discover much, much knowledge that you are now deleting thinking that you do not know it. You will discover it in that state and you will begin to speak from it.

Bill Harris: That is really good advice because it does have a lot to do with the state you are in and most people kind of just allow their state to happen unconsciously. They do not intentionally get themselves into whatever state they want to be in and it is really because they do not know how to do it. Probably even more fundamental, they do not really know that they could do it.

Michael Beckwith: Right.

Bill Harris: But, you know, but the internal pictures you make. The internal dialogue you have. The feelings that you decide to get yourself into. All of those things are really under your control if you exercise that control. So if you get in that open flow state, then it is very easy to tap into whatever it is you have prepared by living it or reading about it or experiencing it or whatever it is.

Michael Beckwith: Absolutely. And again, it comes back to it being a way of life. So, I think that the other thing that is very important too is that people will sometimes think about the audience more than they tap into the information that is coming through and I know for me, I know the audience is there. I am connected with them. I feel them. I appreciate them. I love them. There is a love affair going along in my awareness about them, but I am not playing for the audience. I am actually making myself receptive to the flow of information and the audience’s receptivity is helping that flow, that connection.

Bill Harris: Yeah. It is kind of an interesting dynamic with an audience because, I mean, when I speak what I do is I purposely expand my awareness to include the entire audience, but I do not really consciously focus on the audience very much, but I know I am always receiving information from the audience that kind of tells me what they might need in terms of the information that I am presenting. And so, there is kind of an energy flow or energy circle between the speaker and the audience, but you are right, you cannot really just focus on the audience. You have to just let it come from inside of you.

Michael Beckwith: Absolutely. Absolutely. It is a powerful state because after awhile, sometimes I have the experience where the audience, it is not that they disappear, there are two things that happen indifferently. They are like light. I see it like light and then two, I become aware that there is something needed there. Like you just said. I could be aware that somebody over on my left that is wondering how is this going to be helpful for them to pay their rent? Or somebody else is concerned about a healing in their life or something to that effect and then what I will do is take what seems to be broad and almost abstract, even though it is not abstract, it is real, I will bring it into a very concrete example because of that inner nudging.

Bill Harris: Right. Exactly. I know exactly what you mean. Now, most people who are listening to this, I am assuming, are probably not public speakers, but this same dynamic we are talking about can be used in all kinds of areas of life, not just in public speaking. Can you help generalize this to some other areas of life?

Michael Beckwith: Absolutely. Yeah. Absolutely. What we are talking about is our way of life and so, when you begin to live for this flow moving through you, you begin to understand that your mode of being in the world changes or your reason for waking up changes and you are not necessarily going to do your career, you are actually going to provide this energy everywhere you go. You are going to be an avenue of this flow, regardless of what your profession may be. So then you begin to discover that though you may be multitasking in this world, you may be a mother, you may be a father, you may have a certain kind of career, another kind of vocations and avocations, you really are entering into the space where you are allowing this energetic flow to occur in whatever it is that you are doing. So, as you just indicated, it may not be that you are publicly speaking, but you could be a plumber. You know, I had a friend of mine who was a plumber and he would get into this space and he could walk into the person’s house and after awhile, he knew exactly what the problem was and he would go to whatever the pipe fixture was or whatever the thing was and he would invariably find out what the issue was and he would always repair it to a greater degree than what the people were paying him for because it was a part of his life’s work and inevitably, of course, he would be hired back or his particular work blossomed. Everybody wanted him to work because he was in this flow of energy even though he was a plumber, he was the best plumber.

Bill Harris: You know, what I have learned over the years is that there is a part of each person that knows exactly what to do in each moment, that can see all of the possibilities and evaluate all of them in terms of what the desired outcome is and knows exactly what to do and all of this really happens outside of linear thinking and when you tap into this flow state or whatever you want, being in the presence, or whatever term you want to use. When you tap into that, you, no matter what you are doing, no matter if it is you are dealing with your children or you are at your job or wherever you are, you know just what to do and it is the right thing to do and it works.

Michael Beckwith: Yeah. I call it divine compelling right action. If something compels you to take a particular action and that which is compelling you is beyond your present paradigm, but it is something that you have been courting and longing for and touching through your inner work and you end up doing something and you may not logically know why you did it, but in hindsight you look back and you say, “That was the perfect thing to do. I went there and I met this person and that person was a part of the flow of this project I was working on,” or whatever the scenario may be, but something compelled you to do something and that is a very powerful way of living.

Bill Harris: And well, sometimes, it seems as what is going on, it can seem as if it is negative. You know, I do not know, you crash your car or you lose something or something happens that ordinarily you would think was not what you wanted, but then, it turns out that it set up something that was exactly what was needed or wanted.

Michael Beckwith: Sometimes it is growth experience. Sometimes you have a personal makeup, a gigantic request of the universe going back to the laws of the secret. And in order for that request to be granted, you have to change. And so, what looks like a negative experience was actually the universe requalifying you to receive what you have asked for.

Bill Harris: Right. Exactly. You know, when a negative experience happens, very often the best thing to do is to say, “Okay. What qualities do I need to develop here that would make this into a positive experience?”

Michael Beckwith: Absolutely. That is exactly it. I had the opportunity to say that on the Oprah show regarding negative experiences and that is the very empowering question. That’s where our language is very similar. What qualities do I need to grow? What qualities do I need to manifest in order to have peace of mind in this circumstance?

Bill Harris: Right. Exactly.

Michael Beckwith: And those qualities begin to emerge. They either neutralize the circumstance or they change it.

Bill Harris: You know, Napoleon Hill used to say, “Every adversity carries with it the seed of an equivalent or greater benefit.” And then he would add, “But you have to look for it and you have to germinate the seed.” And unfortunately, all too many people when something negative happens, instead of looking for that seed of an equivalent or greater benefit, they just start focusing on what they do not want or do not like about it and then they not only feel bad instantly, because when you focus on what you do not want, you instantly feel bad, but then they also then attract…You know, they are essentially giving their unconscious mind an instruction to create or attract more of the very thing they did not want and then they wonder why their life is circling the drain, so-to-speak.

Michael Beckwith: Yeah. No. You expressed that absolutely perfectly and what we are developing is the capacity to choose rather than react and if an individual can have enough awareness to choose to ask that question, you know, “What lesson is here for me? What blessing is here for me? What am I to learn here in this particular experience?” Rather than going into wishful thinking or fear thinking or worry thinking, they become very empowered by that choice and the universe now opens up tons of opportunities that heretofore we could not have even seen because we were not asking the right questions.

Bill Harris: You know, I remember when I was considerably younger and I had read about a lot of these principles in books and I understood them intellectually at least pretty well, but I would always find myself after the fact remembering them instead of when they were needed and what really turned that around for me was meditating and particularly meditating with Holosync, which is kind of my baby, but whether it is Holosync or some other kind of meditation, meditation helps people develop awareness and it takes awareness in order to develop that witness posture where you can see what you are doing, what is going on around and that is really what I think is a big part of what helps you tap into that part of you that we were talking about before, that knows exactly what to do and how to evaluate every situation. I know you are a life-long meditator.

Michael Beckwith: Oh absolutely. Over 30 years. The meditation is the key. First of all, meditation is one of the most powerful technologies for evolution of consciousness or expanded awareness and choice of a function of awareness and awareness comes via meditation. So, I teach and have taught for years that there may be many techniques for meditation, but it is still the most powerful technology for awakening awareness and developing that witness state as you just mentioned and being able to observe yourself, observe everything from a place of non-reaction, which does not mean detachment, it just means not attaching it to an outcome. It is a powerful ability.

Bill Harris: Absolutely and if I had to recommend one thing that people do, I would recommend that they meditate because a lot of other things flow from developing that kind of awareness. And, you know, when people see you, for instance, living the life the way you are and wonder, “Well how does he do that because I feel so chaotic inside?” One of the main things they need to do is quiet their mind and meditation is probably the best way anyone has ever come up with to do that.

Michael Beckwith: Yeah. I do not know of a stronger technology. There are many technologies that are very powerful, but meditation is the key and what I tell people is, “In the beginning, you will try to fit meditation into your life, but as you evolve and grow, your life will revolve around your meditation.” Just as you wake up every day and at some point you would take a shower, you would brush your teeth, you do certain things your life is revolved around that. Meditation will become just as important and you will not go through your day without a shower or a bath or brushing your teeth, you will not go through your day without that appointment with the Infinite.

Bill Harris: Absolutely. Just like you would not skip a meal or go a day without eating, unless you had some reason for it, you were fasting or something. You would not go without meditation too. Let’s get back to the idea of The Secret because a lot of people, you know, are talking about that lately. One of the criticisms of The Secret has been that it, what has been emphasized about it almost seems like magic and I really do not think it is magic and I think it is almost a…you know, there is a certain amount of people who are having trouble in life and they really would love there to be some sort of magic that where they do not really have to do anything, all they have to do is wish and hope for things and they will get it. One of the things that bothered me about The Secret was that it de-emphasized two things that I think are very important. So I would like your ideas on this. You know, obviously everything begins with how you focus your mind and so that part of it is really important. When you focus your mind on something, it gives you ideas about how to create it or get it. It motivates you. It causes you to notice resources in your environment that you could use to get it and it causes you to tap into or develop internal resources that you may not have been manifesting so far, but then, the second step in my opinion, is you have to then take action. And the third aspect is that the action has to be of value to someone. I mean, if people are looking for something back as a result of using the secret, you are not going to get something back from the universe unless you are putting something out into the universe. So…

Michael Beckwith: That is the key.

Bill Harris: …you know. So what you do, you have to take action and the action has to be of value in some way.

Michael Beckwith: Absolutely. Now, I love what you are saying because I often tell individuals that I do not believe in magical thinking. This is not about magic and it is not magical thinking, it is not wishful thinking and it not really positive thinking. It is really placing yourself in a position to have an affirmative realization of what to sow in this magnificent, elegant universe and then walking in the direction of that. I often define faith as being out there where the action is with all systems go. In other words, if you really have faith, then you are also taking the action that says you have faith. So you are out there where the action is with all systems go, knowing that everything is working together for your good. So, it is not just sitting around waiting for something to happen. It is walking in the direction of your prayer work knowing that it has already happened in the mind of God and in the mind of the universe. So, I am right with that. I think that The Secret as a vehicle, is a wonderful vehicle to really bring this conversation to a larger audience and to a mainstream conversation. It has done its job there. It was a very colloquial and parochial introduction into the laws, very primary, and therefore, it could not cover everything that we would cover in class or something like that, but it does get people to thinking that they can begin to have dominion over their life. They do not have to be a victim to circumstances or situations. They can change their life thus changing their experiences and so, I think it has been a very good vehicle and some people that could look at it and think we are talking about wishful thinking of some sort and that could not be further from the truth. It is about developing a way of life, making declarations, intentions, using the creative imagination, watching your conversations, watching the company that you keep. You know, look at who you are around. Are the people you are around going or at the place where you want to be in life? You know? What kind of conversations flow out of their mouth? So, it is a whole matter of strategies that when applied, will change your life and change your circumstances.

Bill Harris: You know, in a way, it often boils down to the fact that people do not really realize how powerful their mind is.

Michael Beckwith: Right.

Bill Harris: You know, they do not really realize that whatever you are focusing your mind on and particularly if you are adding strong emotion and even more particularly if you are taking action on it, your mind really can attract or create anything. Not without taking action certainly, but, you know, some people think that if they focus on wealth that a dump truck full of gold coins is going to come and drop its load in their driveway or something. I do not see that happening for anybody, but, certainly, if you think about wealth, you are going to figure out how to get it if you are willing to pay the price to get it. The thing people do not get is that they are already powerfully manifesting whatever they are placing their intention on. It is not that people are not good at creating what they focus on, it is that people’s focusing process is going on autopilot. You know, so people have to take it from autopilot to doing it intentionally and consciously.

Michael Beckwith: Yes. Yes.

Bill Harris: That is the trick.

Michael Beckwith: No. That is the trick, because people are basically a living self-prophecy of their ambient focus.

Bill Harris: Absolutely.

Michael Beckwith: And once you can begin to take dominion over your focus and establish intention, as you indicated earlier, you start to see other opportunities you did not notice before. You start to magnetize yourself so that people that could possibly be involved with what you are about to do, start to come into your life or sometimes you start to notice that they have been in your life all the time, but you did not even really notice their value or their importance and the camaraderie that was there. It is just like many years ago when I shifted more towards vegetarianism, I started noticing all these vegetarian restaurants. I thought they had just been built. You know? I remember I was a young man in my 20s and I went into one restaurant and I said, “Oh my god! How long have you been here? This is beautiful!” and they said, “Twenty years.” I had been driving that route for years as a young man and I had never noticed that restaurant! I had only noticed the Fat Burger, you see? But as soon as I shifted my intentions, I noticed that particular restaurant that had been there for years! Almost as many years as I was old and it just opened that up and that is what happens to people. Intentions will allow you to see things that are perhaps already in your life as a resource that you do not even know about.

Bill Harris: Yeah. Everyone has had the experience, you know, buying a car and then suddenly you notice all of the other cars that are the same kind and you were not noticing them before. I mean, that is a mundane example, but when you decide that you are going to start a business or that you want to create something in your life, all of a sudden, if you pay attention, there are all of these, you know, you hear a snatch of conversation. Somebody is talking about the very thing that you want to do, but are not quite sure how to do. So you walk over and say, “Excuse me, but you were just mentioning investing and I am just learning to do that. Can I talk to you about it?” Or you go into a book store and suddenly here are all these books that you did not even know existed, but suddenly just almost jump off the shelf into your hand because you suddenly changed your focus to something you wanted.

Michael Beckwith: Absolutely. Now, this is very important because we all have different ways of saying this, but sometimes we will say that the human being is a deletion machine that is deleting so much of reality and only participating in a very narrow band or frequency of it. And so that through our focus and our resolve, our attention and commitment, we begin to notice a greater frequency, a greater band of reality that is here all the time, but we have deleted most of it!

Bill Harris: Yes. There are actually more than 20 different deletion filters that people have in their mind and I forget what the statistic is, but there is, you know, millions of bits of information that come in through your senses in every moment and less than a tenth of a percent of them people actually focus on. One of the things that I teach people to do is to use these filters intentionally so that you… and that is another thing that you turn over to that part of you that knows exactly what to do, but you have to look at these filters and play with them and study them and, you know, what I like to say is play around with them and pretty soon you get to the point where in any given situation, you can filter things in exactly the way that gives you the information that you need to accomplish what you are trying to accomplish. And it happens completely seamlessly. It does not happen through effort. It does not happen in your linear mind either. So, anyone can learn to control their mind if they really are willing to pay the price to learn how it works.

Michael Beckwith: Absolutely. Just paying the price and the other thing that is very important, because we are deletion machines… I do not really like the word machine, but, you know, a deletion being, as indicated earlier, many people are just focusing on the thing they do not want to happen so they are deleting everything except for the possibility of this negative thing occurring. And then if they take an action and prepare themselves against the negative thing occurring with emotion, they end up actually creating the energy of the thing that they are preparing against because that is where their attention is, that is where their energy is flowing, that is where their emotion is and they are actually using this mind, which could be an avenue of awareness for such beauty, they are using it as a way to magnetize negativity to themselves and then wonder why it is happening or wonder why they are…I call it driving through life with your brakes on. You have all of these positive things you want to do, but you cannot get going because your mind is really stuck and focused on all of the things that you hope do not happen.

Bill Harris: Yes. I mean, it is amazing how people can filter out all of the possibilities and then it looks as if there are none.

Michael Beckwith: Absolutely, which we live in this magnificent universe where there are infinite opportunities. So, if you are not seeing any, you are definitely looking through a glass darkly. Some people cannot even receive a compliment.

Bill Harris: And you know, the only way you can do this, really, is to be unconscious because the results of focusing on what you do not want, what you are afraid of, what you are worried about, what you want to avoid, are so terrible that if a person does that with awareness, does it consciously, they cannot keep doing it. They cannot continue. And so, that kind of thinking just falls away. That is why I think that meditation and developing awareness is so important.

Michael Beckwith: Yeah. You are speaking my language because that which was unconscious is now becoming conscious, which is what spiritual growth and development is really all about. Bringing that which you do not know about, which is unconscious, into your awareness and once you shine your light of awareness of it, it brings it up by the root. It no longer has power over you because now it is conscious. You see it coming.

Bill Harris: Yeah. People wonder why they keep doing the same dysfunctional thing over and over again and the reason is that they are doing it unconsciously and there is an interesting distinction here because most people that have been in personal growth for awhile, could write a book about their stuff. They cognitively, intellectually, they know they are doing whatever it is, but they are not watching themself do it with awareness. They have a way of going unconscious and doing it. So knowing that you are doing something is not the same as doing it with awareness.

Michael Beckwith: Absolutely. I wish to help people break the habit of cigarette smoking by that very process. Instead of them being unconscious just lighting up cigarette after cigarette, I said, “No, do not stop smoking cigarettes. Take the cigarette and enjoy every single puff. Be aware of the smell on your fingers. Be aware of the smell of the smoke getting into your clothes. Be aware of the smoke going into your lungs and what the process of that is doing to your body. Just be totally aware of you absolutely smoking that entire cigarette and then perhaps even be aware of the feeling that you have right before you start smoking the cigarette.”

Bill Harris: Yeah. That feeling of anxiety.

Michael Beckwith: Right. Fear. And you will begin to discover that that is a compulsive behavior that you are using to block yourself from feeling your fear and once you become aware of that and you learn that you can be in fear and still do what you have to do anyway, the cigarette smoking will fall off because it does not have any payoff any more. So…

Bill Harris: Absolutely. Absolutely.

Michael Beckwith: So awareness itself has broken the habit of many people doing many compulsive behaviors.

Bill Harris: Right and in teaching this to people, one of the things that happens sometimes is that people try this, they set out to become more aware of something they are doing, and at first it is not that easy for them because they are just not used to paying attention and they try it and it does not seem to work and then they say, “Oh, I have tried that and it did not work.” And then they quit trying it and, you know, I try to tell them, “Look. If you sat down to learn to play the piano, you would not expect to play a Beethoven piano sonata the first time. You would have to play Twinkle Twinkle Little Star at first or something.” And so, you know, be okay with there being a learning curve and if you are just having fun playing with it, you can just keep doing it. That is why little kids learn to play the piano so easily because they are not so critical of themselves. They are willing to be beginners for a little while. So, you might have to be a beginner of being aware of yourself too and that is okay.

Michael Beckwith: I think it is very important and this whole concept of play, of playing with it, takes the angst and the seriousness out of it. You can actually play a game. How long can I stay aware before I go unconscious about any particular behavior or thought pattern? And as you just indicated, as you do it more as a play rather than as this serious thing, I am going to try to become enlightened, you get much more benefit from it. There is a freeing of energy and I will always remember John Randolph Price. His wife, when she came back from a near death experience, said that while she was dead and on the other side, they told her that the vibration of play and the vibration of pray were very, very similar. That when you are praying and you are playing you are in that wide open, creative, grateful, all things are possible state and so, this whole idea of playing with it is very close to being in a real state of prayer and observation and much more benefit comes from that rather than trying to do this thing seriously.

Bill Harris: Yeah, and you know, if you are playing the game of okay, how long can I remain aware before I go unconscious and then you discover, “Oh darn it! I went unconscious!”…part of the playing aspect of it is that you do not then beat yourself up for it. There is just no point in lashing yourself for being human. I just got an advance copy of a book by Dennis Genpo Roshi, who is the highest ranked Zen master who is not Japanese in the world. He lives in Boulder, Colorado. He is a friend of Ken Wilber’s and I met him through Ken and he is so willing to be human that in this book he reveals the fact… I mean, here he is, you know, this Zen master, but he is revealing the fact that he has all of the same feelings, all of the same doubts, all of the same stumbles, all of these things that other people do. He is not trying to put himself on a pedestal and claim some sort of perfection, but he has learned not to beat himself up over the fact that he is a human being.

Michael Beckwith: He has compassion.

Bill Harris: Yes. I think you first have to have compassion for yourself before you can have it for other people and, you know, I just kind of flashed to that when you were talking about it because he is such a great example of that and people are so hard on themselves when they…

Michael Beckwith: Which is an ego trip basically. It is one of the ways that the ego traps you into staying in that present identity is to get you flustered and angry at your mistakes rather than just laughing at yourself and doing a do-over.

Bill Harris: You know, that reminds me of something else I wanted to ask you about. You know, I am sure this happens to you, but I have a lot of people saying to me, as I communicate with them, “Well it is easy for you to say that because, you know, you are really good at it or you are really advanced or whatever.” And I have to point out to them that I did not spring out of the womb this way. In fact, I was quite unhappy and quite miserable a number of years ago and I got to where I am, and I am certainly not claiming that I am finished or anything, but I got to where I am by a lot of hard work and a lot of hard play as you might say.

Michael Beckwith: Right! Play it hard! Play it hard!

Bill Harris: And so anyway, and in the beginning, I was doing the same thing we were talking about. I was beating myself up and doing a lot of these things that we kind of caution people to not do. Anyway, I know that you came from a place that was not anything like where you are now. Can you tell a little bit? I know it is a long story, but sort of just give the highlights of where you came and…

Michael Beckwith: And I will tell you that this kind of consciousness is I think within all of us, but I can remember my own story as trying to emerge through us. I mean, we are progressive beings, so the consciousness of this expanded awareness is always trying to break through. And first of all, I remember at age 11, I remember having the experience of being in the expanded state and in choosing to stay in a small state so that I would be my mother’s son, my uncle’s nephew, my grandmother’s grandson. I remember that conscious thought that I did not want them to know about this state and then later on in high school, I remember being on the radio program called Kids Stay in School and this energy passed through me and it was very articulate and very powerful and I would shut it down in order to be mediocre, in order to fit in with the rest of the high school students. And then later on as a young adult attending college, I remember going into the dark side a little bit and selling marijuana and I can remember on my very last dope deal, getting arrested and right before that I had a major spiritual opening where I was killed and when I woke up the next morning, I could see that we were surrounded by this universal presence that at the time I called love beauty. And it loved me at my core and continues to still do so and it is more beautiful than I could possibly even express or describe. It is everywhere, in every animate and inanimate object or being is just engulfed in this undulation of love and beauty and life. And I went to court, and I was in that zone going into court, and I had already got the inner validation that I was not going to go to jail for what I had done and so I was totally unconcerned about the trial. I was reading books on meditation. Meditating in the courtroom while my attorneys were doing their thing and ultimately of course, it was thrown out of court based on a technicality that they had used an informant and the informant refused to come to court. I mean, I am giving a long story very short, but I came out of that space of this young man who was selling marijuana based on a thoughtful scarcity, not enough opportunities, not enough to go around so I resorted to that to pay my tuition and also to have a stash of my own, and opened up into a whole larger paradigm of there is more than enough good to go around. There are plenty of opportunities. There is never scarcity in this multidimensional universe. There is only a scarcity of ideas, and based on a faulty notion of life and I never looked back. I have never looked back and so I absolutely appreciate those moments of darkness, those moments of making decisions through the darkness because I learned such valuable lessons. I do not judge myself and I do not judge other people and the mistakes and the missteps that they make and today, I see that there are nothing but opportunities everywhere and possibilities and I live in the possibility and hope other people do the same. And if I fall and stumble, I am not going to beat myself up. Whoops! Slipped! Get back up!

Bill Harris: Yes! And even a Michael Beckwith can slip. Anybody can slip. And you know the interesting thing that you alluded to, is that the slips are often the most valuable experiences. You know, it has always seemed to me that there is more information in a misstep in a way, than there is in doing something right.

Michael Beckwith: You know, you are really speaking my language here because I tell the folks at Agape all the time, that when you look back on your life, when did you grow the most? When you had a challenge or when you did not have a challenge?

Bill Harris: Exactly.

Michael Beckwith: And when you were on the challenge and you did not know how to get around it or how to get over it or how to get under it, you were forced to grow spiritually and when everything is just smoothly going along, no challenges, everything is hunky-dory, you are not forced to grow. I am not saying that you are not going to meditate, you are not going to pray, but when that challenge comes up and forces you to go to another level, you find dimensions and resources and powers and capabilities within your soul that, because they were not called on before, they did not manifest. They were just latent.

Bill Harris: Absolutely, and you know, we are not saying to people to seek out negative experiences.

Michael Beckwith: Absolutely.

Bill Harris: And you do not need to. Enough of them will come your way without having to seek them out. That is just the way the universe is, but, you know, but then there is something you have to do when you have these experiences because some people do what we were talking about earlier. They just focus on what they are afraid of, focus on what they are worried about. Those people generally do not get as much, at least, out of those experiences, but if you go to the, you know, what do I have to be grateful for here? Or what is the seed of an equivalent or greater benefit in this or what do I need to learn here? You know, in some way, you ask yourself those kinds of questions, then you can take those things and make them into a huge, huge opportunity to get more inline with this presence that we have been talking about.

Michael Beckwith: Well, what we are just talking about here too is to come out of wishful thinking and often times, people, when they enter into a tough situation, they will wish they were not there. They will wish that they were someone else or they will wish they had not done what they had done to get there and so, wishful thinking does not really bring you any insight. Once you say, “What is it that I can learn from this situation? How can I grow from this situation? What quality has to emerge for me to have peace of mind?” Now you have moved out of wishful thinking and you have asked a very empowering question and because the universe will answer any question you place out there, you now become a candidate for insight.

Bill Harris: You know, let me tell really quickly a long story that I will make short about how Centerpointe got started. The first year after I started Centerpointe, we, it was not even a we, it was just me, actually I did have a partner at that time. Anyway, we had sold $12,000 worth of Holosync in that year and then a competitor sued us for a million dollars and I was waking up in the middle of the night with anxiety attacks, sitting up in bed with my heart racing because I did not have very much money. The only thing I had was a house. I was afraid it was going to get taken away from me. I did not know anything about the legal system or law suits or anything like that and I went to my attorney and I said, “How much is this likely to cost?” And, by the way, it was a completely frivolous lawsuit, but that does not matter--a lot of time in lawsuits whether it is frivolous or not, they are still expensive and stressful. But anyway, I asked my attorney what this could cost and he said, “Well, you are probably going to find out why they say, ‘Don’t make a federal case out of it.’ Because this could cost you $150,000 in legal fees if it goes all the way.” And my partner said, “This is not worth defending with $150,000 and we do not have that anyway. We should just fold the tent and, you know, quit.” And I said to myself, “Hmm, what would this company look like if it was worth defending with $150,000 worth of legal fees?” And I began thinking about what a company of that kind would look like and today, it is exactly like that!

Michael Beckwith: Right.

Bill Harris: But I never would have went through that thought process if I had not been sued and by the way, my partner, who was actually the partner from hell, very negative person, he actually, I bought his half of the company for one dollar because he wanted out and those two things really, really, really is what started Centerpointe. It would not be here today if it had not been for that and I would not have had all of the, you know, the life that I have and the other thing that I did, coincidentally, when the sheriff came to my door and said, “Someone does not like you very much.” and had me sign for this lawsuit, I, right at that moment, I had been reading for about the 30th time, Think and Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill, and one of the things he stresses is what I said earlier, “Every adversity occurs with a seed of an equivalent or greater benefit.” I went down into my basement, to my little office, and I started making a list of all of the potential benefits of being sued for a million dollars and at first I could not think of very many, but ultimately, over the next two weeks, I listed 60 some benefits and I wish I still had that list. It got lost somewhere, but every one of them came true and it is because I focused on them instead of all of the negative stuff.

Michael Beckwith: You thought outside your normal paradigm.

Bill Harris: Exactly.

Michael Beckwith: So you got to have the inspiration from the God mind flow through you. I tell the congregation, I quoted for instance, the queen in Alice In Wonderland, where she says, “Believe at least 10 impossible things before breakfast.” And I will say, you know, wake up and before you have breakfast, just start believing 10 impossible thing. It could be personal or in the global space and get into that space of actually believing that and then the kind of thoughts from that realm will begin to come through you and you will understand that why it is written that with God, all things are possible because you will be thinking from the God paradigm rather than from the merely human paradigm.

Bill Harris: Yeah. Lewis Carroll was a mystic.

Michael Beckwith: Absolutely! I mean…

Bill Harris: He was an amazing guy.

Michael Beckwith: Absolutely! Ten impossible things before breakfast.

Bill Harris: That is a good idea. That is an excellent, excellent idea. So I am wondering now, in light of all of this stuff that we had discussed Michael, you know, there are a lot of people who are listening to this, probably, that feel stuck, that are not sure what to do exactly. They hear us talk about these things, but they are not sure really what exactly to do first. What advice do you give to people in terms of what to do first?

Michael Beckwith: Of course, it would always be dependent upon the person that is sitting in front of me that I feel would be beneficial for them, but in a general sense, if a person is stuck and not living the life that they feel they are ordained to live, I would begin to just write down, first of all, the life they want to live. Just begin to describe it. The law basically says that you do not describe what you see, you see what you describe and so you begin to describe that life. You do not have to believe it at first, just to describe the kind of life you want to live and then read it on a regular basis and then you take that description and you begin to feel what it would feel like if you were living that kind of life. What would it feel like if I actually lived a life in which my finances, that particular structure, was stabilized in my life and I was prosperous? What would it begin to feel like if I was surrounded by loving associates? What would it begin to feel like if I was very healthy and robust and energetic? And then, you take an action, you say, “If I really believe in this, what action would I need to take to prove to myself that I believe that?” Now the rub is this—the action can be real or symbolic. The mind does not know the difference between a real and symbolic action. So if you begin to take an action like that, it begins to recalibrate your nervous system and it speeds up the day when you begin to see what you are describing and as we talked about earlier, then you are open and receptive to hunches, intuition, gut feelings, out-of-the-blue kind of thoughts, and of course they are not coming out of the blue, they are coming from the mind of God. It is called inspiration. You begin to be inspired from another realm that you have not been inhabiting because you have been focusing your attention on what you do not have. So those are just very basic things. If a person would begin to do that on a regular basis, even waking up in the morning and reading that list and feeling it or before they go to bed at night, reading it and feeling that and of course, beginning some kind of meditation practice. If you do that, you will begin to notice, month after month, subtle changes happening in your awareness, subtle changes happening in your habits, the way you think and of course, your life will begin to change ultimately.

Bill Harris: Wow! That is a great series of instructions and essentially what you said is, by writing down what you want you are getting people to focus on where they want to go and then you said, and get into the feelings of it second and then take action and then of course, you mentioned meditation, which is what opens your awareness more, what expands your awareness. One of the things I like to suggest to people is that they use, what I call, the magic question, which is, “How can I?” Any time, whatever situation you are in, you know, if your house just exploded, if your car was just wrecked, whatever has happened, positive or negative, you could always then say, “Okay. I am here right now. This has happened. How can I…?” and then you fill in the blank with what you want to accomplish then and when you do that, your mind just starts sending you ideas for how to do it.

Michael Beckwith: Absolutely.

Bill Harris: It works like a charm and it is so simple that most people, you know, think that I must be kidding or something.

Michael Beckwith: But you are invoking the law that states, “Ask and you shall receive.”

Bill Harris: Absolutely.

Michael Beckwith: If you do not ask, you are not going to receive. So if you ask, “How can I do this?” the universe will start bringing you all kinds of scenarios as how you can do that. You keep asking, you know, “How did I get into this situation and why is this always happening to me and why me?” So the universe will start giving you those scenarios as well.

Bill Harris: That is what I was just going to say because, you know, if you say to yourself, “What is wrong with me?” or “How did I get into this situation?” Your mind will create a plausible answer for that even if it is not an accurate answer. If you say, “What is wrong with me?” Your mind will think, “Okay. I am supposed to tell him what is wrong with him.” And it will come up with a bunch of things. But if you say, “What is right with me? What is good about this?” it will doe the same thing. So, it is really a choice that people often do not exercise as to where to put your attention.

Michael Beckwith: Absolutely! Absolutely! Empowering questions lead to empowered lives.

Bill Harris: Yeah. In some way, when you are feeling unhappy and stuck and all of this can seem so difficult and so impossible, but really, once you get aligned with this, you realize, “This is so simple!”

Michael Beckwith: Yes!

Bill Harris: The universe is really a very easy place to live in once you get aligned with this law, this idea that you have a choice about where to put your attention.

Michael Beckwith: Absolutely!

Bill Harris: It is just a matter of exercising the choice.

Michael Beckwith: Absolutely!

Bill Harris: Well, you know, we are pretty much at the end of our time here Michael. This has been really, really wonderful to have this time with you and to speak with another like-minded person like this. Do you have any parting comments that you want to leave people with?

Michael Beckwith: What I would always like to leave people with is that the field is wide unto the harvest where they are concerned. There are infinite possibilities and do not limit themselves by thinking too small. Begin to think larger than they have ever thought before. I go back to the statement, “Believe at least six impossible things before breakfast.” And then watch as that paradigm keeps expanding and those new thoughts keep rushing in and inspiring you to do great things.

Bill Harris: That is great! That is great! Well, I guess my final thought is, that as I talk to you, what I notice is that you are just a great example of what actually happens when you do align yourself with this truth and as that, I really appreciate you. You are not the great exception. You are the great example and I think that is the message to everybody listening is that anyone can align themselves with this and why not? What else is there to do?

Michael Beckwith: Absolutely. I would concur with that and I would throw it right back at you. You are a powerful example of living an empowered, wonderfully spirit filled, enthusiastic, generous life and I appreciate you in my life.

Bill Harris: Well, I feel the same way. Thank you so much for being here Michael and to everyone listening, I thank you for being here and I look forward to being with you again and again. Thank you so much for listening to this conversation with another of the Masters of The Secret. I know this information will help you master the secret yourself. The fact that what you focus on is created in reality. To thank you for listening, I have a very special free gift for you. As I have worked to master the secret and implement it in my own life, one of the most powerful tools I have used is Holosync audio technology, which when listened to using stereo headphones, places the listener in deep states of meditation, literally at the touch of a button. In addition to many mental, emotional and spiritual benefits, Holosync creates an ability to focus your mind so powerfully, that manifesting what you want becomes easy. I would like to send you a free Holosync CD so you can try it yourself along with a free special report explaining how it works and all of the amazing benefits it has created for nearly 300,000 people who have used it in 173 countries. To get your free Holosync CD just go to TheMastersofTheSecret.com/freeCD, remember to put ‘the’ in front of the Masters of the Secret. Thanks again for listening and I look forward to being with you again next time.