WHAT DO YOU WANT?
Dear brothers and sisters: Good morning and thank you for attending our weekly Awakened Living Study Program. My name is John Doe and I will be your host. Our topic for today’s Study is WHAT DO YOU WANT?. May we focus our full attention on this study for the lessons of life because knowledge is POWER, knowledge is SUCCESS, knowledge is FORGIVENESS, knowledge is WISDOM, knowledge is ENLIGHTENMENT and knowledge is AWAKENED LIVING.
You may offer an appropriate prayer before reading, discussing and reflecting on the famous quotes and the Sacred Texts verses. You may use the following prayer:
O LOVE who pervades the universe, we thank you for this opportunity to learn. We pray for LOVE to manifest amongst us to guide our readings, discussions and reflections. We specially pray for peace of mind and save us from all distractions and concerns of the world so that we may receive the lessons of life for our guidance and the transformation of our lives. Amen.
The Study Leader may make announcements at this time. Welcome new members, recognize birthdays or anniversaries; make an award or recognize a contribution; announce Circle of Life successes. This is also an opportunity for anyone to share an experience, give thanks or make a request for special prayers.
The leader or an appointed person will stand and read the opening thoughts. The opening thoughts explain the topic of discussion. You may use the information below or explain it in your own words.
When Dr. Sonari was in High School he did not know what to do with his life. Many of his friends on the other hand went on to college after high School. Fortunately for him he got a job in a bank and thought that banking would be his career for the rest of his life. But there was something bothering him…he wanted to study in the United States but since he did not have the resources he thought less of it.
Meanwhile with the help of friends Dr. Sonari enrolled in several Mystery Schools in order to learn about life. The first question one of the Schools asked him was “What do you Want?” His answer to this question changed his life because he realized his dream of studying in the United States!
Thus, it is very important for you to think seriously about what you want in life. The truth is GOD, the UNIVERSE or the circumstances of your birth has given you everything you need in the world to succeed in your pursuits and it does not matter even if you are from a poor, rich, atheist or dysfunctional family. Knowing what you want in life is actually the beginning of a wonderful life!
The organization asked Dr. Sonari to write down what exactly he wanted on paper and begin to do the things he needed to do in order to fulfill his dreams. Dr Sonari wrote: I want to study in the United States toward a Ph.D. degree! Dr. Sonari did not have the resources at the time but by following the requirements of his dream he was able to travel to the United States with the help of promotions and bonuses in his place of employment.
Take turns to read the famous quotes and discuss what you have learned from each quote. Please give credit to the author of the quote and as an assignment for presentations each person may choose an author and find out more about the author to share with the group during the next session.
- “A dream doesn’t become reality through magic; it takes sweat, determination and hard work.” — Colin Powell
- “Action is the foundational key to all success.” — Pablo Picasso
- “Aim for the moon. If you miss, you may hit a star.” — W. Clement Stone
- “All our dreams can come true, if we have the courage to pursue them.” — Walt Disney
- “Every morning you have two choices: continue to sleep with you dreams, or wake up and chase them.” — Unknow
- “If you don’t build your dreams, someone will hire you to help build theirs.” — Tony Gaskin
- “Limitations live only in our minds. But if we use our imaginations, our possibilities become limitless.” — Jamie Paolinetti
- “Man, alone, has the power to transform his thoughts into physical reality; man, alone, can dream and make his dreams come true.” — Napoleon Hill
- You have to have a dream so you can get up in the morning. — Billy Wilder
- If you take responsibility for yourself you will develop a hunger to accomplish your dreams. — Les Brown
Sacred Texts Quotes
Take turns to read all the sacred text quotes and discuss what you have learned from each quote. In your discussion compare and contrast the quotes. What did you learn from the similarities and differences? What quote inspires you? What life lessons did you learn from the quote? Please give credit to the sacred text during your reading by mentioning the name of the text and where the quote could be found.
- Seek refuge with the Lord alone, with your whole being, Bharata. By His grace, you will reach supreme peace, an everlasting estate. Hinduism. Bhagavad Gita 18.62
- To many a refuge fear-stricken men betake themselves–to hills, woods, groves, trees, and shrines. Nay, no such refuge is safe, no such refuge is supreme. Not by resorting to such a refuge is one freed from ill. He who has gone for refuge to the Buddha [the teacher], the Dhamma [the teaching], and the Sangha [the taught], sees with right knowledge the Four Noble Truths: Sorrow, the Cause of Sorrow, the Transcending of Sorrow and the Noble Eightfold Path which leads to the Cessation of Sorrow. This, indeed, is refuge secure. By seeking such refuge one is released from all sorrow. Buddhism. Dhammapada 188-192
- Confucius said, “Set your heart upon the Way, support yourself by its power, lean upon goodness, seek distraction in the arts.” Confucianism. Analects 7.6
- Enter by the narrow gate; for the gate is wide and the way is easy that leads to destruction, and those who enter by it are many. For the gate is narrow and the way is hard that leads to life, and those who find it are few. Christianity. Matthew 7.13-14
- If by giving up a lesser happiness one may behold a greater one, let the wise man give up the lesser happiness in consideration of the greater happiness. Buddhism. Dhammapada 290
- Both the good and the pleasant present themselves to a man. The calm soul examines them well and discriminates. Yea, he prefers the good to the pleasant; but the fool chooses the pleasant out of greed and avarice. Hinduism. Katha Upanishad 1.2.2
- The kingdom of Heaven is like treasure hidden in a field, which a man found and covered up; then in his joy he goes and sells all he has and buys that field. The kingdom of Heaven is like a merchant in search of fine pearls, who, on finding one pearl of great price, went and sold all he had and bought it. Christianity. Matthew 13.44-46
- What you decide on will be done, and light will shine on your ways. Judaism: Job 22:28
- Confucius remarked, “In the practice of archery we have something resembling the principle in a moral man’s life. When the archer misses the center of the target, he turns round and seeks for the cause of his failure within himself.” Confucianism. Doctrine of the Mean 14
- Oneself, indeed, is one’s savior, for what other savior could there be? With oneself well controlled one obtains a savior difficult to find. Buddhism. Dhammapada 160
The teaching story is a story, a parable or thoughts related to the topic of discussion. An appointed person will read each story and the group will take turns and discuss. What does the story mean to you? What did you learn from the story? Did the story add anything new to the topic of discussion? How has this study enriched your life?
Our teaching story is the CURSE
Once a upon a time Joe couldn’t find employment and thought that his ex-wife put a curse on him and that was why he could not find a job but about 6 months later he got a job with the United States Government. Joe told the news about his employment to his friend John. Without saying a word John’s first reaction was “where is the curse”? However John congratulated his friend for his good fortune.
The closing meditation presents the highlights of the Study. The highlights should include among others what you have learned and what aspects of the study are worth noting. The leader or an appointed person may share the closing meditation. You may use the thoughts and information provided below but I encourage you to use the contributions of the participants and current relevant information.
Admittedly many people want to change their lives but how many people really want to do what it takes to change? You will see from the following types of people that not many people really want to do what it takes. Here are five types of people who could actually change their lives:
⦁ People who talk about what they want to do including their plans and the rewards they expect to get from accomplishing their dreams. These people are very convincing when they talk about their dreams but the truth is that they only feed on the idea; they do not intend to do anything about it. Their main purpose is to impress their friends and whoever cares to listen to them. In the United States we call this kind of talk BS. BS as used in this context is not Bachelor of Science and it is not Bachelor of Surgery. BS leads to no where! Google it and you’ll see what I mean. Anyone prone to BS may not amount to anything because in time people will no longer take you seriously.
⦁ People who want a better life but they are convinced that they can’t because it is in their karma to remain poor or fail in whatever they do. Usually they site many instances in which they tried to change their lives but in all the cases they failed. So they have resigned themselves to the circumstances of their environment and believe strongly that there is nothing they or anyone could do about it.
⦁ People who want change but they do not want to do what it takes to bring about change instead they gamble. They believe that change will just happen miraculously like winning the lottery or getting an inheritance from an unknown uncle. I have no problems with winning the lottery and there is no doubt that some people have won the lottery but is it realistic to live your life on the expectation of an event that is outside your control and with many odds against you? In the world the people who have ever made it and stayed there are the people who worked hard and adapted to the changes in their environment. No gambler ever amounted to anything and stayed there.
⦁ People who are open to their environment and they really want a better life but they do not have the resources to achieve their dreams. Their dream is on hold because of an apparent lack of resources. In most cases these people are unaware of the spiritual laws at work in the Universe and the possibilities in life
⦁ Fifth are the people who believe in their capabilities and their dreams irrespective of their circumstances. These people rise from the lowest level in life to achieve greatness. They may not necessarily know the spiritual laws at work in the universe but the fact that they believe in their talents and in their dreams and are persistent they succeed.
Where do you belong? It really doesn’t matter where you belong if you believe in your dreams and are willing to put in the least effort to get it moving. The natural movement of life is always forward and when you align yourself with this movement all the forces of the universe work for you to help you to realize your dreams. This is the greatest blessing we have because it is not dependent on your race, nationality or religious beliefs. We are all at different levels of consciousness and sometimes it is our mindset that limits our potentials. The truth is that you can become whatever you want to be irrespective of your circumstances. All it takes is to “change the focus of the eye” and be open to the possibilities in life.
You may accept gifts and donations at this time for the work you are doing. It takes effort, time and money to put the Study Program together so I encourage attendants to give. An appointed person may now pass the donation bag. The leader may bless the gifts after the donations.
Always close your Study Program with a prayer or an affirmation. Pray for guidance and direction during the week. Pray for everyone present. The leader or an appointed person may offer the closing prayer. You may use the sample prayer if needed.
O LOVE who pervades the Universe and who resides in us
We thank You for Your presence during our studies and reflections.
May these studies bear fruits within us for our good and the good of our environment.
As we go through our day to day activities may You guide us and protect us.
And bring us here again to continue your work for your glory. Amen
You may serve refreshments after the Study. This is a time to relax and socialize. Get to know the people in the Program with you and I mean really know them well. One of the secrets of success is connection so I encourage you to know the people around you. The host may decide what to serve or he or she may ask the attendants what they want for refreshments before each Awakened Living Study Program.
You may now entertain the group with your talent in music, songs, dance and poetry including playing musical instruments. This is also a time to share your Awakened Living Tips for the benefit of the group.