Listen to Chapter 1: Winning the Lottery!
Living as the universe makes you crazy happy. You’re happy at a level you can’t even imagine before. Your happiness level simply explodes through the roof of what you thought possible and just keeps blasting higher from there.
You aren’t happy “because of ____________________” (fill in the blank). Your happiness is 100% independent of what’s going on around you. Good things happen … bad things happen … and you’re crazy happy regardless.
All the suffering you experienced in the musty basement falls away. As you explore the many rooms of the palace, daily delights await you. You start each day overflowing with crazy happy love. A researcher who has studied thousands of people in nonlocal consciousness says that the experience is “truly is beyond great. It’s the thing you’ve spent your whole life looking for without knowing it, as you search in so many other countless and fruitless directions” (Martin, 2019, p. 189).
Your heart is filled with gratitude, awe, and joy in each moment of each day. Love becomes your dominant emotion. You laugh and smile hundreds of times throughout the day. Your joy is so expansive that it infects everyone around you.
You look forward to a future filled with more of the same. Love and joy today, yesterday, and tomorrow. Your life is one long celebration of the exuberance of living in heaven.
This Course is designed to help you remember the infinite being that you already are, the unlimited wealth you already possess, and the crazy happy state that’s rightfully yours. It’s full of quick little tips, exercises that bring that reality to your consciousness throughout the day. They remind you that you’ve won the lottery, so that you don’t lapse into the forgetfulness that has characterized your existence until now and miss out on the happiness and riches you already possess.
The exercises train you to align your local consciousness with that of the universe. When you do this, all the characteristics of the consciousness of the universe flow into your local consciousness.
Without the awareness that you are the consciousness of the universe in human form, you suffer. You are buffeted by physical and mental waves, going up and down. Your emotions are positive one moment, negative the next. Your mind is besieged by negative thoughts and you don’t have the ability to control them. They distract you from the reality that you already live in heaven.
When you use the techniques in this Course, you think differently from Day One. You feel differently right away. For a while each day, you remember your riches and enjoy them fully.
We all forget heaven sometimes, but using the tips in this Course, your periods of forgetfulness quickly become shorter. Eventually, you are living the lifestyle of a blissful multimillionaire each day. You relax into that reality. It becomes your everyday mental and emotional awareness.
This transforms your local reality. With this transformation, you begin to live your life as a local expression of the nonlocal reality field of the universe, which results in a very different life. No part of your life remains untouched. Love, career, family, health, money, and work all transform. They change to reflect the changed consciousness of the person at the center of all of them: you.
This Course hasn’t been created by any one person. It is the end result of thousands of years of experimentation by thousands of master teachers. It summarizes their wisdom and distills their best techniques for remembering the riches you inherently possess. It is the millionaire giving you her millions—no strings attached.
Throughout recorded history, these wise human beings have asked the most profound questions. Who and what are we, and why are we here?
The exterior trappings of the world’s religions may look very different. But the answers they give to these questions are remarkably similar: We are individual local consciousnesses emanating from a single great universal nonlocal consciousness, and our purpose is to journey back to union with that source. While there are many paths that can take us to it, there is a single common destination.
Those who complete the journey have a direct and unfiltered experience of that source. These are the mystics. Religions are signposts pointing to the direct experience of union that the mystics enjoy. The ultimate goal of every religion is that oneness. While theologies may differ, mystics of every religion share an identical experience. They lose identification with their local selves and unite with the Infinite.
Mystic Andrew Harvey, author of The Direct Path, says that, “When you look past the different terminologies employed by the different mystical systems, you see clearly that they are each talking about the same overwhelming truth—that we are all essentially children of the Divine and can realize that identity with our source here on earth and in a body” (Harvey, 2000. p. 34).
True Masters are compassion embodied. It might have taken them decades to reach the goal. They may have gone through great suffering to get there.
They don’t want you to suffer. They want you to get to heaven quickly and easily. That’s why this approach is called the “Short Path.” You don’t need to spend decades slowly remembering that you’re wealthy and only then start enjoying your riches. You want to begin luxuriating in your inheritance right now. The Sufi poet Rumi marveled, “Why are you so enchanted by this world when a mine of gold lies within you?” This Course gives you your gold mine here and now.
The Masters who came before have experimented with hundreds of techniques. By trial and error, over millennia, they’ve discovered which ones lead to that internal gold mine quickest. They’ve described these in scriptures and sutras. This Course is their gift to you. You’ll find quotes and ideas from every major religion, since all religions provide signposts to move us toward that goal of union.
Not only is the path short, so is this Course. It’s designed to guide you through the Short Path as efficiently as possible. It consists of only a couple of hundred pages of reading, plus brief audios and videos. It’s the shortest possible distance between you and your gold mine.
Brunton’s first major book, A Search in Secret India, was published in 1934. Eventually, he wrote many others, including The Wisdom of the Overself, The Hidden Teaching Beyond Yoga, The Quest of the Overself, The Secret Path, and The Inner Reality.
"Asiatic and African mystics, yogis and learned men, and even rare sages of whose eminence and existence the West still knows little or nothing have given me their confidence … I have thus had several teachers, yet ... my loftiest, strangest, most significant, and most elevating mystic experiences occurred before I had ever met a single teacher … In my youth and novitiate I could not understand them. I was dazzled by the light and so continued to grope as though I were still in the dark. Now at long last I have brought my mystic and philosophic wandering to an anchor.”
"And if I abhor the thought of forming a cult and making disciples, this is not to say that I abhor the thought of assisting my fellow man to find something of what I have already found.… For no one can come into even partial comprehension of the Overself which supports the existence of all living creatures and continue to sit smugly in self-centered enjoyment of his knowledge and egoistic enjoyment of his peace.… he has to [teach] those who aspire to a wiser and better life. Their service becomes his inescapable duty."
Your inner commentator — providing an endless stream of criticism, judgment, evaluation, and description — shuts off. Past and future fall away and you’re left with only the timeless present moment. The brain’s Enlightenment Network lights up. This opens the door to the inner peace described by the mystics.
At one EcoMeditation workshop, participants were hooked up to EEG machines. After the meditation we recorded statements about our subjective experiences. One woman named “Julie,” who suffered from depression, described hers like this :
Getting distance between you and your local self — making the subject-object shift to self-transcendence — changes your perspective. In my book Mind to Matter: The Astonishing Science of How Your Brain Creates Material Reality, I borrow the word ex-stasis, the act of moving beyond yourself, from Steven Kotler (2014), author of The Rise of Superman. “Ex-stasis” means leaving the static perspective of the old you and gaining the insights that come from a higher perspective. You see your life through the eyes of your Higher Self.
Gamma is the signature wave of insight. It is also associated with learning, happiness, integration, perspective, creativity, brilliance, innovation, and play. In Mind to Matter, I call it the “Einstein wave.” EEG researchers see it in highly creative people, meditation Masters, and athletes in “flow” states. Adepts in deep meditation produce enormous amounts of gamma. They’re not just happy, they’re in Bliss Brain.
Jeffery Martin’s study of thousands of Finders (discussed below) shows that awakening brings with it “An unimaginable level of contentment and well-being (even if you already think of yourself as very happy)” (Martin, 2019, p. 32). That’s why I use terms like “crazy happy” and “bliss brain” to describe the experience. A 2500% increase in happiness is so far beyond the ordinary that it’s incomprehensible to people in ordinary consciousness.
The second item is the page number in the book The Short Path to Enlightenment (abbreviated SPE) in which the excerpt appears. Using these sources, you can go deeper into any concept that calls to you and read PB’s original explanation.
You can also purchase his books from the foundation’s bookstore at https://paulbrunton.org/store.php. You might find a hard copy of The Short Path to Enlightenment useful as you move through the Course, though this is optional. The foundation has also placed all of PBs writings in a database. This makes it easy to search for any topic you’d like to investigate further: https://paulbrunton.org/notebooks/
PB says that the success of the Short Path is dependent on “how much love … a person brings to it.” He continues by stating that you must have “fallen more deeply in love with [your Higher Self] than anything else” (NB 23-1-90; SPE p. 24). A century after he wrote those words, we know from MRI studies that passion enhances the activation of neural circuits. It’s like the dimmer switch on a light bulb. The greater the current of emotion running through a circuit, the brighter it glows.
Newberg’s lab has now compiled these into a database that contains the experience of more than 2,000 people. He’s analyzed these by subject and theme. They have five characteristics in common. These are:
These five characteristics are universal. They’re typical whether the person is a Buddhist, a Baptist, a Jew, a Sufi, a Daoist, or a Hindu. They’re the same in atheists and agnostics; belief in God is not a prerequisite for enlightenment.
Based on my many conversations with Andrew, I’ve modified EcoMeditation over time. I’ve also developed the Transcendent Experiences Scale, which measures those five characteristics. It’s one of the questionnaires you filled out on the way into this course. It’s giving us valuable information about the precise degree to which the Short Path Quest increases these five factors.
Steven Kotler is a futurist whom I’ve interviewed several times. He’s an expert on “flow” states. He finds that both peak performance and meditation can put people into ecstatic states of flow. He shows how the work of neuroscientists is giving us a picture of the objective changes occurring in the brains of Masters. He calls this “mapping cloud nine.”
This was a remarkable brain function change from just 28 days of practice (Church, Stapleton, Baumann, & Sabot, 2021). As we use MRIs and EEGs to measure the results of various practices, we’re able to determine which ones are most effective at changing the brain. Coupled with profiles of the brain states of adepts, we can now train ordinary people into these states in just a few weeks or months. The EcoMeditation MRI study showed that in just a month, non-meditators can be trained to reach Bliss Brain.
Jeffery Martin is a professor and entrepreneur. For two decades he’s been studying people who have made the transition to the persistent happiness of the nondual state. He calls them the “Finders.” Before they crossed the threshold into what Martin calls “fundamental well-being,” they were “Seekers.” Once they entered that state, they became Finders.
Martin’s data show that Finders experience a level of happiness that people in ordinary states of consciousness can hardly comprehend. Fundamental well-being is the bedrock of their existence. While they have good days and bad days, and there are many levels within fundamental well-being, the Finders live with a basic sense that they are okay and the world is a safe and nurturing place (Martin, 2019). This echoes the 2,500% increase in gamma found in MRI studies of the brains of adepts.
This data means that it’s highly likely that the exercises in this Course will take you to a new state of consciousness. We’re not just hypothesizing that states of happy well-being might occur. Research involving thousands of people shows that effective training reliably produces persistent changes in consciousness.
The experience of meeting an authentic Master in person seems to be one of the triggers for awakening. Jeffrey Martin reports that most Finders “had been actively working toward Fundamental Well-being for some time, but the shift did not occur until this direct contact. In some cases, they were just one person in a large audience the Finder was speaking to. Yet, for some reason, the shift occurred during or after seeing the person” (Martin, 2019, p. 162). So whenever you have the opportunity to spend personal time with a Master, even at a distance, grab it with both hands.
Originally we planned to have people complete a 12 module EFT course to clear trauma, but we realized this was far too much information for this basic purpose. So we designed the brief Personal Peace Procedure course to meet this need. Clearing trauma before starting the Short Path makes a Dark Night experience much less likely. I’ve done many studies of EFT or Emotional Freedom Techniques. It combines elements of talk therapy with acupressure. Over 100 studies show that it rapidly reduces many types of distress, including anxiety, depression and PTSD.
This first chapter has been all about the what and why of the awakening experience. In the next chapter, the second in Part I, I’ll share with you the mechanics of navigating easily through this Course. Then, in Part III, we’ll dive into PB’s exercises and begin happily checking off the “Milestones” of the path.
We’ll then take two steps that prepare you for the Short Path. Together these form Part II of this Course.
The first step involves using 7 very special audio tracks. Though I call them “meditations,” and they’re based in EcoMeditation, they’re actually brain exercises. They give you the Glimpse of ecstasy that the Sufis describe. They do this by stimulating your brain to produce the 7 most pleasurable neurochemicals known to science. Even though you’ve had Glimpses before, these exercises are designed to raise your brain to new heights of ecstasy.
After spending this time in bliss, you then go through the Personal Peace Procedure. This uses EFT acupressure tapping to clear away the negative emotions from past experiences. This second preparatory step makes it highly unlikely that you will have a Dark Night experience once you start the Short Path itself.
You’ll practice the 7 meditations for 3 days each for a total of 21 days. The Personal Peace Procedure will take you about the same amount of time. The next chapter, Chapter 2, is short. It will take you about 30 minutes to read, and about twice that time if you listen to the audio version.
At the end of Chapter 2 there’s a summary of all the milestones and exercises on the Short Path. You can mark this complete without reading it; it’s just there so you can see them all at a glance if you want to review the structure of the Short Path course at any time.
In the box below, please share any “aha” moments you’ve had while reading this first chapter. Once you’ve saved what you’ve written, click “Mark Complete” and you’ll automatically find yourself in chapter two.
When you’re done, click “Mark Complete” and you’ll get access to the next chapter.