Where Is Your Focus?

In the story of the oil lamp we are reminded, what we focus on steers the experience of our life.

An excerpt from Prem Rawat’s address in Chennai, India

Where is Your Focus?

By Prem Rawat

Duration: 5 minutes 05 seconds
File type: Audio mp3
File size: 7.3 MB

There are many, many, many interpretations of this story, or many ways this story has been put—but there is a new one. And a man came…and he came to the Master. The Master had a very beautiful palace that he lived in, a beautiful city that he lived in.

So the Master told the guy, he says, “Oh, you have come?” And he goes, “Yeah, I’ve come to you; I want to talk to you; I want to learn from you; I want to be enlightened by you.” The Master said, “No problem. But first, go enjoy—enjoy my gardens; enjoy my palace; enjoy the city—it’s really beautiful, really, really beautiful.” And the man said, “Okay, I will.”

He said, “Before you go, take this lamp with you.” And he filled the lamp completely full of oil, right to the top, right to the brim—and he said, “Here, take this with you when you go seeing everything, and make sure you don’t spill a drop. Don’t spill a drop.”

The man went seeing, appreciating the palace, appreciating the gardens, appreciating the city. And when the man came back, the Master asked, “How was it?” And he goes, “Well, my whole attention was on not spilling a drop from this cup. I really walked around aimlessly. I didn’t really enjoy anything because my focus was here, instead of where it should have been.”

The Master said, “Okay. Now, go again! Leave the…leave the lamp behind. Don’t worry about the lamp.” He came back: “How was it?” “Oh, oh, I enjoyed—oh, and the statues were beautiful. Oh, that was…it was just marvelous; the garden was incredible; the flowers were incredible; the statues were incredible; the paintings were incredible; the marble was….”

The Master said, “Look, all that existed then too, but you were not focusing on that. Your focus was somewhere else.”

Where is your focus? In your life, where is your focus? You should be enjoying being alive. Do you enjoy, just enjoy being alive? Just being alive? Do you enjoy being alive?

I know, I know, I know you enjoy parties; I know you enjoy going to your friend’s house; I know you enjoy your songs; you enjoy your movies; you enjoy this; you enjoy that. I know you enjoy all of that. But do you enjoy being alive? Just being alive?!

Because if you don’t, you’re focusing on the wrong thing. Because this is the garden; life itself is the garden of the Divine. Its beauty is unparalleled. It is full of the reflection from the Divine. It is fine; it is beautiful; it has colors….

That’s where truth resides—a truth that is non-confrontational, a truth which is simple, a truth that’s embracing, a truth which is real, a truth that brings peace. That’s where this heart wants to dance.

– Prem Rawat