"I am what I am."

Mr. Masur: Yes. You are a philosopher, I know that. I admire you all. When I was a very young boy — I believe I was eleven — I was given a book by my eldest sister about a journey to Lhasa in Tibet. This book inspired me with a love for Asia. My wife is Japanese, as you know. She could not attend now, but I think she will be here very soon. She will be very sad that she is late.

I have always been inspired by the approach of not escaping from our daily life, but of becoming independent of what is outside us, of trying to reach the point where we are happy inside. We do not need somebody between us and God.

Sri Chinmoy: One of your striking utterances which I have set to music is “I am what I am.” We do not have to pretend; we do not have to be somebody else or something else. What you have said is natural and simple: we are what we are. I wish to add that only when we are inside our heart can we remain what we are. Otherwise, if we are in the mind, then we become somebody else, constantly attacked by doubts, fears and so many things. But if we can remain in the heart, we shall be filled with feelings of love, oneness and peace. We will find true inner happiness. We will feel, “I am what I am.” When we are in the heart, we do not have to pretend. We do not have to be somebody else because our inner happiness does not depend on others.