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10/09/2012 06:11 pm ET Updated Mar 13, 2015

A Meaningful Life: Gary Zukav on Creating Power

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By Gary Zukav

Best-selling author Gary Zukav shares the simple ways to create authentic power.

"There are many types of bread," Tony said with a flourish of his index finger, giving it a little spin and pointing upward. "Today we will learn how to bake the most basic kind, but, of course, bake it to perfection." He stood behind his counter in the studio. Cameras moved in and out to catch his every motion and smile. "There is only one way to bake bread,'' he continued with a grin. "First, you must want to do it. Second, you must have flour, water, yeast and salt."

So began another of Tony's delightful cooking courses. Across the city, novice and expert cooks alike took notes or stood in their own kitchens, following Tony step by step.

"First, mix the yeast, flour and water, like this." He demonstrated, roughly measuring each ingredient and stirring it in with a wooden spoon. "Then put the dough on a countertop, like this, and begin sprinkling in more flour," he said. "Knead the dough as you do, using your hands and arms as well as your fingers, like this." His body rocked rhythmically back and forth as he lovingly kneaded the lump of dough, which was growing softer and more malleable.

"Don't forget to add a little salt and maybe a little sugar," he continued. "So much of baking is personal taste. Experiment. Let yourself be guided. It's your bread you're baking."

Creating authentic power is like baking bread. First, you have to want to do it. Then you need to follow the recipe. If you do these things, you'll have lots of opportunities to experiment and be guided by your inner promptings. As with bread, it's your own loaf that you are baking. Unlike bread, no one else can bake it for you.

The recipe for authentic power is as simple as the recipe for bread -- harmony, cooperation, sharing and reverence for Life. Those are the ingredients. How you put them together depends upon you, but without all of them, authentic power is not possible any more than bread is possible without the ingredients that are required to make it.

This is how to do it. First, clear the countertop of everything but what you will need to "bake" authentic power. That means put every intention aside for the moment except the intentions to create harmony, cooperation, sharing and reverence for Life.

Second, keep doing it.

Soon you will start to create some harmony, cooperation, sharing and reverence for Life. The bread is baking. Eventually, you will create these things moment by moment, choice by choice. That is authentic power. Experiences of fulfillment, meaning and awareness can be created. This is big news.

It is not necessary to be filled with anger, jealousy, sorrow and fear. All it takes is the desire to create authentic power and the will to do it -- the desire to create harmony, cooperation, sharing and reverence for Life, and the will to create them when you are angry, jealous, sad and frightened. Understanding how to create authentic power is easy compared to actually doing it, but the same is true of anything that develops you.

Baseball is easy to understand. Becoming a good player is more difficult. First, you have to get into good condition and you have to stay that way. Then you have to learn skills such as pitching, catching and batting. Then you need to practice, practice, practice. You need a team to play on and other teams to play with.

Anyone can understand baseball in an afternoon, but no one can become a good player overnight. Everyone needs time to learn, practice, apply, and then learn, practice and apply again. This takes time and intention. It takes focus and determination.

So does creating authentic power. Knowing how is easy. Just set the intentions to create harmony, cooperation, sharing and reverence for Life no matter what, and keep them. The rest is learning what these things mean, how to do them and practice. You also need other people to practice with. In this case, you don't have to recruit them. They are always there. They are the people you get angry with, jealous of, sad about or frightened of.

To improve your ball game, you have to become aware of yourself. For example, you need to become conscious of how your body moves when you swing the bat. Great batters know exactly what they are doing as they do it. They don't close their eyes and swing. They are conscious of every muscle.

Are you aware of your intentions? When you are angry, what are your intentions? When you are jealous, what are your intentions? Trying to change your intentions when you don't know what they are is like trying to go to New York when you don't know where you are starting from. Going to New York from San Francisco is one thing. Getting there from Paris is another.

When you are aware of all your intentions, you are like a great batter who is conscious of every muscle as he moves his body toward the ball. He can change what needs to be changed. He knows how to get where he wants to go because he knows exactly where he is.

When you choose your intentions according to what you want to create, that is responsible choice. When you intend to create harmony, cooperation, sharing and reverence for Life, your intentions and the intentions of your soul are the same. When that happens, you become authentically powerful.

Creating authentic power is a process. Each time you choose harmony, cooperation, sharing or reverence for Life, you challenge parts of yourself that want other things. They are the parts of you that are angry, sad, jealous and frightened. The more you challenge them, the less power they have over you and the more power you have over them. Eventually, their power over you disappears.

That is how authentic power is created -- intention by intention, and choice by choice. You cannot wish it, pray it or meditate it into being any more than you can wish, pray or meditate yourself into being a great baseball player. If you want to bake bread, you have to know how to do it. If you want to create authentic power, you have to know how to do that, too.

Then you have to do it.

Gary Zukav is an international best-selling author whose most recent book is Spiritual Partnership. This is an excerpt from Soul Stories.