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How to Get Out of Your Own Way

Recognise what you're doing that's getting in the way of the life your long for.

How to get the most out of these Wisdom Quotes:

  1. Put aside everything you think you already know.

  2. Open your mind and heart to receive something new.

  3. Take your time going through each point.

  4. Return to any points that particularly touch you.

  5. In the coming days, listen carefully to the wisdom within you.

1. Recognise the Divine Theater

Gangaji quote

“I’m playing the role of the teacher here, and you’re playing the role of the student, in this moment. All of us play many roles in our lives: roles of parent, child, lover, friend, husband, wife, worker, quitter, victorious one, defeated one, sick one, healthy one, living one, dying one, and many many more.

There’s nothing wrong with that. That’s just the play. We are in this multi-dimensional, extraordinary, awesome play.

That’s what our point is here, today, to first recognize that there is a multitude of roles that have all been conditioned and digested to such a degree that they are unconscious. They just seem to be who you are.

The only problem with it is if you believe the roles to be the truth of who you are. Then, when you are playing the role of the sick person, or the healthy person, you make an evaluation about who you are, based on the role: I’m a healthy person, I’m good; I’m a sick person, I’m bad, or the world’s bad or the world’s good.

If you can recognize that it’s all a role, a multi-dimensional, exquisite, mysterious, cosmic, mundane, transcendent, profane, totality of theater - we can call it divine theater - then there is the opportunity, the possibility, the space to recognize what is present in all roles.

What doesn’t move as the movement of play occurs? What is the Truth of who you are?

My teacher asked me to stop everything when I met him, and it took me some time to even get what he was talking about. I thought he meant stop moving. It was a much deeper request.

What he was saying is stop every role you’re playing."

~Gangaji, from the video: Stop Everything. Just Be.


There is a play of life going on and we are all playing our roles. But if we don't realise this, we get completely caught up in the role, believing it to be who we are.

  1. The ultimate freedom is to see that who you truly are is much deeper and far more wonderful than any of your roles could ever be.

  2. Notice, today, the roles you play in your life. In your noticing, recognise the difference in your feeling between unconsciously playing the role and consciously being aware of it.

  3. Keep making the shift from playing all the roles (parent, child, lover, friend, husband, wife, worker, quitter, victorious one, defeated one, sick one, healthy one, living one, dying one, etc) to being the one who is aware of them. Recognise that they are not who you are at the deepest level.

2. Recognise Your Mind's Obsession

Gangaji quote

"This desire for true freedom, desire for real fulfillment, which appears in your lifetime, paradoxically, can only be realized if you don’t do anything for its realization.

Now, this cannot be believed, and so, you are given lots of things to do. But what you are given to do is designed to wear down your desire for doing.

In meditation practice, which I’m sure many of you have, or have had, or tried to have, there is either a focusing and a concentration of the mind or a stilling of the mind and body. And what that points to, eventually, is that when the mind’s activity is at rest there is fulfillment, there is peace.

There are meditations where you do prostrations, where you do service, and all of those meditations are designed to still the mind so that it is not obsessing on what object is needed to reveal this true fulfillment, to reveal the resolution of the longing for Truth."

~Gangaji, from the video: One Instant of Truly Stopping


There is a deep desire for freedom and fulfillment in all of us, fueling endless activity for both mind and body. Yet, this endless activity keeps us away from all that we truly desire.

  1. Notice the voice in your head, with all its ideas about what you need to do, be or have in order to find fulfillment.

  2. Recognise that you're believing those thoughts and that you've been believing them your entire life. See how these thoughts are creating an energy of dissatisfaction that keeps you constantly chasing after peace and happiness.

  3. As you become consciously aware of your mental narrative, you automatically create space between you and your thoughts. In this space, you allow your mind to rest. Thoughts can still come and go (as it is their nature to do) but you are no longer giving them your undivided attention, believing them to be true, or letting them carry you away into oblivion.

3. Recognise Your Endless Search

Gangaji quote

"When I met my teacher I had attempted many forms of meditation, obviously not successfully or I wouldn’t have still had the desire. I had had moments of beauty, moments of transcendence, moments of true knowing. And yet the underlying longing, the true underlying sense of, “How do I get it? How do I keep it? I have got to find a way, I have got to find out how!” was still operating.

So I prayed for a teacher and I met my teacher. [Papaji] And my teacher told me, “Stop!” He extended to me an invitation, which I am happy to extend again to you.

This moment, stop right where you are. Stop all effort to get whatever it is you think will give you fulfillment, whatever it is you think will give you Truth.

All that is required is one instant of truly stopping. This one instant is elusive to most people because, in approaching the instant of stopping, there usually arises an enormous welling of fear.

If I stop, if I really stop, there is the fear that I will slide back, that I will lose the ground that I had gained through my efforts, through my practices. Even though I am still not fully satisfied, I am more satisfied. It is a better life. My mind is calmer, my circumstances are better, and I might lose all of that. That is the risk.

Sooner or later, all will be lost anyway. That is the truth. That is reality. This whole lifetime will be lost. All the accumulations of this lifetime will be lost. If you have faith in other lifetimes, then this lifetime is a hope that the next lifetime you will stop."

~Gangaji, from the video: Stop All Your Efforts and Experience True Fulfillment


When there is a sense of something missing, a distinct lack of satisfaction, then there is a restlessness in our being.

  1. Notice the energy of restlessness that your mind is creating.

  2. What does this restlessness compel you to do? (Really stop and consider the answer to this question.)

  3. Re-read the last paragraph of the quote above with an open heart and let it speak to the wisdom within you.

4. Recognise the Secret

Gangaji quote

"It was quite extraordinary for me to hear this from my teacher, this “Stop!” I was certain that he was going to give me some secret knowledge.

Well, it is secret knowledge, but it is only secret because it is so obvious. It’s not esoteric. I was certain that he would whisper some magic formula in my ear - and he did! He said, “Stop!”


It was so simple that I was thrown. I stopped. He threw me to the floor with that, not physically, but literally. My mind stopped.

There is fulfillment and more, more than can ever be imagined.

What we imagine is fulfillment has to do with lack of pain or more pleasure, lack of conflict or more peace, more acknowledgment, more love. This is all that can be imagined, but true fulfillment cannot be imagined. It can only be realized."

~Gangaji, from the video: Stop All Your Efforts and Experience True Fulfillment


Papaji, Gangaji's teacher, whispered the magic formula for fulfillment in her ear: "Stop."

  1. What have you spent your life believing the magic formula for fulfillment to be?

  2. Even if all your wishes were to come true, would they truly fulfill you forever?

  3. Deeply consider the words in the image quote above.

5. Recognise the Ground of Peace

Gangaji quote

“In this moment, however you are searching, stop. Whether you are searching for peace and happiness in a relationship, in a better job, or even in world peace, just for one moment stop absolutely.

There is nothing wrong with these pursuits, but if you are engaging in them to get peace or to get happiness, you are overlooking the ground of peace that is already here.

Once you discover this ground of peace, then whatever pursuits you engage in will be informed by your discovery. Then you will naturally bring what you have discovered to the world, to politics, to all your relationships. This discovery has infinite, complex ramifications, but the essence of it is very simple.

If you will stop all activity, just for one instant, even for one-tenth of a second, and simply be utterly still, you will recognize the inherent spaciousness of your being that is already happy and at peace with itself.

Because of our conditioning, we normally dismiss this ground of peace with an immediate, “Yes, but what about my life? I have responsibilities. I need to keep busy. The absolute doesn’t relate to my world, my existence.”

These conditioned thoughts just reinforce further conditioning. But if you will take a moment to recognize the peace that is already alive within you, you then actually have the choice to trust it in all your endeavors, in all your relationships, in every circumstance of your life.

It doesn’t mean that your life will be swept clean of conflicts, challenges, pain, or suffering. It means that you will have recognized a sanctuary where the truth of yourself is present, where the truth of God is present, regardless of the physical, mental, or emotional circumstances of your life.”

~ Gangaji, The Diamond in Your Pocket: Discovering Your True Radiance


It is by stopping that you get out of your own way. And in this stopping, there is a profoundly peaceful realm that reveals itself within you.

  1. Notice the conditioned mind's objections: "Yes, but, I can't stop. That's easier said than done..." What do your personal objections sound like?

  2. As they rise up, will you give them your attention and believe them? Consider the price you pay for doing that.

  3. Alternatively, you could "take a moment to recognize the peace that is already alive within you," and to discover "a sanctuary where the truth of yourself is present, where the truth of God is present, regardless of the physical, mental, or emotional circumstances of your life."

6. Recognise the Teaching

Gangaji quote

"Really inquire as an experiment: what is your life about? What is your life teaching you, right now, today, and overall?

In that, there is a possibility for the mind to open to see where there is clinging or avoiding or hating or reaching for or making war. Just to see it naturally without trying to stop it.

Do you understand the difference? It sounds subtle, but it’s not subtle. It is a way of opening the mind without the outcome being to be at peace, opening the mind to see what is here.

Then we can have a conversation like we have never had, as each of our conversations should be. If you are repeating your conversations, it is time to be quiet.

So I really invite you to let tonight be an experiment and the revelation of the experiment that is you - this particle that is appearing in this continuum of consciousness, this quantum that is called you, consciousness of itself as that. How is that consciousness at play? What is being discovered?

Then we all have a gift to give each other and we are not limited by our definitions of ourselves as Americans or Europeans or men or women or students or teachers. It is a conversation, it is an experiment, it is an inquiry. It is an individual and a collective inquiry.

So, tell me, who are you? What is your life? And what can it teach us as you?

~Gangaji, from the video: What Is Your Life About?


Gangaji guides us into self-inquiry, to find out what it is that our life is teaching us, and to do so with a clear and open mind.

  1. Be still for a moment and allow your mind to expand, "See where there is clinging or avoiding or hating or reaching for or making war. Just see it naturally without trying to stop it."

  2. From this stillness and seeing, notice what you have been believing, and what you have been saying over the years, to yourself and others. How much repetition is there in your speaking?

  3. Re-read the final line of the quote and meditate on these questions in the coming days. Don't try to figure out the answer by using your mind. Just sit with the questions in your being, breathe into them, and trust that the wisdom within will shine to reveal something fresh and new.

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