"Give all your wonderful experiences away to others, as gifts, keeping nothing, not even a memory for yourself. Guilt and tension result from hoarding your happy moments. Instant enlightenment is to give all your happiness away to others," writes David Deida, who offers trainings around the world on spiritual growth and sacred intimacy. In his audio courses and many books, he salutes the spiritual practice of openness receptivity to new ideas, experiences, people, and possibilities. In a world where narrow-mindedness and exclusivity seem to be gaining ground, Deida's spiritual approach is more needed than ever.
This little book contains a playful collection of exercises and helpful aphorisms. Deida holds up love and the heart's feeling capacity as two aspects of instant enlightenment. "Nothing and nobody will ever give you anything except the opportunity to love," he advises. But every day we put up roadblocks and barriers of our own making: dividing the world into "good" and "bad," feeling guilty about the pleasures of the flesh, holding back praise of others, setting up walls that keep others out, and letting fear rule rather than love.
Deida wants us to square off with the things that we hate or don't understand, and many of the exercises in this book stretch us to do so even though we may feel uncomfortable trying them. What you resist persists. If you are constantly worried about getting sick, it will seem to you that people with colds or the flu are drawn to you, until you learn to relax with the prospect of being sick. Deida suggests that we tenderly explore our resistances, including despair. Other topics covered include sex, money, aging, parents, and opening to God.