I want to admit stuff.
I want to share myself as I am instead of the way I think will cause me less hassle later. For the most part the way I write and share now—especially online—is calculated. I have a paranoid aversion to haters and I make sure to write and share in a way that limits their access to me. I’m aware of certain long-term repercussions of saying certain unpopular things and I temper those messages. The way I share—or don’t share—does more to honor my insecurities than my calling.
But what if I knew I was going to die tomorrow? What if I didn’t have to deal with the social repercussions of being totally honest; the dent in my reputation that could result from sharing my perspective fearlessly with no concern about your judgment?
Strangely, as I’ve considered this, I’ve discovered that the less I care about your opinion, the more I care about you and the rest of humanity. The less interested I am in getting social validation from people, the more able I am to produce something disruptive and beneficial and transformative for them. The less scared I am of you, the more I can help you. And imagining that I’ll die soon is the easiest way I know to generate that courage.
So here’s the truth:
If I had 24 hours to live, I would do way more than admit that I love Bentinho Massaro, I would spend most of those hours making content about him.
Not about the character; the 30-year-old controversial cigar-smoking spiritual teacher, though I adore him too. I would make content about what Bentinho is; what he has given his life to; what he represents. He is no longer a person with personal preferences and biases and attachments and agendas. He doesn’t live for his own comfort or happiness or success or progress: he literally exists to cause people to wake up and remember what they actually are: source. The self. The one infinite creator.
If I had 24 hours to live I would tell people that Bentinho’s teachings are genius and efficient and they lead you to yourself. They bring you home to you. Bentinho is a representative of your true self—not his own external agenda. He is patiently, generously busting his ass moment after moment despite almost everyone’s reluctance and skepticism and judgment (on one level or another) so that you can remember your true nature; your limitless freedom; your infinite potential; your timeless perfection.
I had my first glimpse of self realization at the end of Bentinho’s 2-week [free] meditation immersion called the Sedona Experiment. For about 30 minutes I laughed and laughed at the familiarity. So obvious, so true. I was myself. Oh right, duh. How could I forget? How sweet that I had been so convinced I was this isolated person on Earth, wandering around working on herself, trying to get somewhere or become something. This realization was truer than anything science could ever prove to me. Truer than gravity or math or my name. It was directly true. Experientially true. It was the first time in my life I’ve felt absolute—not relative—confidence.
Then I looked at Bentinho and I started crying. Tears of overwhelming gratitude. How could someone be so patient? How could someone be so generous? I felt immediately sorry for ever doubting him; for ever thinking he had his own hidden agenda for power or recognition. The only thing he got from that experience was that I woke up to myself. He spent his own money, time, and energy for me to remember me. That is what he lives for. That is what he is.
If I had 24 hours to live I would endorse and defend the meticulous example of his teachings which is his life. I would tell people to trust him and follow him and I would explain why. I would address the common judgments and reservations and fears people have about him and I would explain how to use those fears not as evidence to support your judgments but as good information you can use to see your own blind spots and make leaps in your own growth. I would teach people how to use his teachings and how not to use his teachings.
I would talk about all the other transformational workshops and spiritual teachings I’ve been through and why they’re useful but incomplete relative to Bentinho. I would describe what it’s been like traveling with this guy, working with him, attending dozens of his events, going through 4 years of ups and downs with him, and even leaving and later returning to his teachings. I would describe what it is about him that continues to bring me to tears of gratitude and awe almost daily. I would make it abundantly clear that there is nothing to fear—this guy is nothing but pure service, generosity, and brilliantly disruptive teachings.
I would admit that I think this is history in the making—future generations will remember Bentinho like we remember Gandhi or Mother Teresa or Jesus. I would explain why that’s not an exaggeration.
I know all this because I’ve spent a lot of time and energy subconsciously trying to disprove him. I wanted to prove that Bentinho was egotistical and immature. I wanted to prove that following a spiritual teacher was a dangerous and imbalanced way to grow. I wanted to prove that I was better off paving my own path. As a result this is the only thing I know for sure, and this is what I want to share: following Bentinho works.
Now, maybe one in every 100 people is bright enough or exhausted enough to be ready for this. That’s okay. My fear of losing the 99% of people who might not resonate with what I’m saying is what kept me from writing this sooner. That sucks. Because the 1% who need this are people like me. Bright people. Wise, curious, open, sensitive people with good hearts and big visions. People who feel a little different. People who may have had run-ins with anxiety or depression or ADHD. People who are bad at small talk and unsatisfied with the life that seems to work for everyone else. In many cases we’re creative and introverted and self-conscious. It’s often hard for us to take the main tenets of daily life (like school and work and schedules and relationships) seriously.
All the above varies, but there’s one thing we all have in common: we know there’s more. We know on some intuitive level that we’re here for a reason.
So when I say “following Bentinho works” I’m talking to everyone who gets it on an intuitive level even if you don’t get it conceptually. The alternative reality you crave— where people are real and transparent and they take responsibility for themselves; where taboos and identity and political correctness are burnt away before they can fester; where limiting beliefs get exposed effortlessly, gently, without significance or tedious processes; where being uncompromisingly authentic isn’t an act of social defiance—it’s expected; where the point of coming together is to untangle ourselves from attachment so we can optimize our service to humanity—this reality that you seek exists and is available at the highest level right here.
If Bentinho Died
Similarly to if I had 24 hours to live, if Bentinho died I would shift into high gear and admit all of this stuff. Easily.
If Bentinho died I would have no reservations about saying these things—I would describe him exactly as I know him to be. No sugar coating. No warming you guys up like I just did with that soft, relatable introduction. If Bentinho died I would feel immediately that I had failed to tell the truth and fully acknowledge the biggest influence in my life while he was alive.
The biggest source (he would probably correct me and say “reminder” or “reflection” instead of “source”) of inspiration, clarity, hope, confidence, direction, compassion, and purpose I have ever known—for me and thousands of others—is alive right now. I have the stunning privilege to know him well and to be around him day after day. And I am lucky enough to have a sharp, curious mind, a trusting heart, and a charismatic, articulate personality—which means I have the capacity—currently—to endorse him, strengthen his influence, and share his wisdom with more people. And yet I’ve been slow to represent him; to honor the truest thing I have ever known. I have been indulgent of my preference for comfort and social validation. And that is selfish. I don’t regret anything yet but if Bentinho died before I stood proudly at his side, claimed him publicly as my leader and inspiration, and dedicated myself to the proliferation of his work (for the vision we share), I would regret that forever no matter how much I made up for it later.
The truth is that the way I feel about Bentinho is inexplicable and beyond anything I’ve known or heard anyone else describe. It’s not just love. It feels like purpose. Honor. The reason I’m alive. I can’t help but think of that quote by Oprah:
“there is no greater gift you can give or receive than to honor your calling. It is why you where born and how you become most truly alive”
My calling has a lot to do with Bentinho. And helping all of you understand him, get over your projections and opinions about following a teacher or his controversial personality, and get serious about doing the work.
What have I learned from Bentinho?
To try to answer this question is silly. I’ve learned thousands of subtle, perfectly-timed lessons from Bentinho. Every single time I’m around him I’m learning. I’ve been humbled countless times just by watching him speak to others; noticing his compassion for people who would irritate me, seeing him transform an impossible dynamic into a breakthrough nobody saw coming, delicately working with someone who seems to make no progress only to discover two months later that for her the impact was paramount. I have several notes in my phone saturated with spontaneous quotes from Bentinho. Here’s a recent one:
“True confidence is open. It’s humility. Insecurity expresses itself as arrogance or stubbornness. Why the fuck are you insecure? Be humble! Insecurity is a separating principle. Everybody else on Earth is worthy but you’re the unique one? You’re the one, special unworthy human who is separate from creation? How arrogant is that?”
So instead of trying to summarize everything I’ve learned from him, I’ll promise to share moving forward.
I have the luxury of spending lots of time with the most prolific enlightened person of our time. I love learning from him (it’s the schooling I always wished I had as a kid)—and I often get inspired to share what I’m learning. But until recently I’ve found reasons to hold back.
Enough of that. I’m in. Enough arrogance disguised as insecurity. This is what’s true for me. This is what you can expect from me. This is what matters to me most. This is what I love more than anything. This is the work I want to dedicate my life to. This is the path I’m here to support and clarify and promote and share. Whether it’s on Instagram, or here on my blog for longer essays, or videos on Facebook / YouTube.