Life is Joy

Posted: 29/06/2013 in Routine

Instill in us a wholesome, happy mind, with goodwill and understanding. Then shall we ever delight in your friendship like cows who gladly rejoice in meadows green. This is my joyful message.

Living In Spirit

Stress is a consequence of the technological age, and these days everybody is talking about stress. Stress and strains of a fast-paced and demanding modern age affect every organ of the body. A calm mind, a peaceful mind, is needed to encompass changing times. Times are changing very rapidly. To cope with these changes, we have to rely on ourselves to keep a balance of physical, mental, emotional and spiritual life. Our religion has ways to combat stress and the diseases it causes, ways to avoid the mental anguish which this fast-paced world brings about. These pressures did not exist in the agricultural age. Things were more relaxed then. All we had to do was plant our crops and wait for the harvest. Plant and wait. Plant and wait. And in-between there was plenty of time for religious activities.

But life in the technological age is a life of constant work, constant activity, all of the time. So, we tend to set religion aside just when we need it the most. We have to rely on our religion to keep a balance in our life. It is a proven fact that religious people can cope with stress and strain better than nonreligious people. The answer to stress is not to take a pill to be able to relax. The answer is not to give up the temple, not to give up the culture, not to give up the scriptures which put everything into perspective, not to give up the art of meditation and the practices of yoga.

Spiritual things you must understand with your heart, with your feeling. Feeling and thinking, working together, give you that deep understanding that you need to cognize the wisdom of the spirit. All you can do in living your life every day is to make today just a little bit better than yesterday was. You will then have confidence in yourself, so that tomorrow will be all right, too, and you won’t fear the tomorrows. Why? Because in striving to make today the perfect day of your lifetime, you bring through your spirit. You allow the spirit, God, to permeate through all layers of your mind.

At our sunrise pilgrimage this morning to the top of Mount Tamalpais we had over thirty devotees. It was a beautiful, inspiring time. Let me explain to you just a little bit what we were researching together on the mountaintop. Your thoughts sometimes literally flood your body or flow through your body. Sometimes you find your thoughts spinning and jumping from here to there. You don’t know where they come from, and they confuse you as they flow through your body or your brain. Just as thought can flow through the body, so can spirit, or God, flow through the intuitive, the intellectual and the instinctive mind. When your thoughts flow through the body, your body becomes either dejected and heavy, or light and happy, depending upon the nature of your thinking. Affirmations can help you to improve the patterns of your thought and feeling. You have to repeat certain affirmations for certain lengths of time to produce a certain result. Every word — and the meaning of each word if you know the meaning — has a certain vibration. As a thought goes into motion, it permeates your nervous system and gives you a particular feeling. Just as your thoughts and your words can make your body feel a certain way, in the very same way the spirit, or God, flowing through the mind, can illumine and does illumine the mind and purify it.

In facing your past, if your past is not exactly what you would like to look at, and you look at it and still react to it, you will create today as a day much worse than yesterday. You will not be living the spiritual life. But if you seek first the spirit within you each day, and make the day a little bit better than yesterday, you flood the spiritual being of you, the real you, through the mind. And you wipe away and clarify much of the past and bring much understanding through your mind.

What is responsible for negative reactions of the subconscious mind? Simply the transgressions that you have caused against the natural laws of the mind, that’s all. If you transgress the laws of the physical body, eat the wrong things, behave in the wrong way, your physical body will suffer because of it. If you transgress the natural laws of the mind, hurt another instead of help another, discourage instead of encourage another person, then your mind will suffer. A part of the mind goes out of control, and that is called being emotional. The emotions are a part of the mind out of control. They gain a momentum of their own and eventually take over the entire mind. But when the will of the spirit comes up and controls the emotional nature, the emotions subside for a period of time until they gain momentum again. This goes on sometimes all through life.

Are You Ready?

When you control your emotions, you are bringing through your spiritual being. It is only your spiritual being, your soul in action, bringing through the spirit, or bringing through God, that can control the mind. When you are living in an emotional state, you are only experiencing the mind temporarily out of control. And like anything that gains its own momentum, even if you do not control it, it will subside automatically after a period of time until it builds up again. This is all caused by subtle transgressions of natural laws of the mind, in this life and in previous lives.

There are many subtle laws. For instance, if you are planning to do something for someone and then you decide for some reason that you won’t, all of the spiritual power that you had previously brought through from your spiritual being will be coagulated and blocked by your hesitation. Then tomorrow will not be as good as today was. It will be worse.

To keep your spirit flowing, always allow yourself to be in the line of understanding. In other words, do not allow misunderstanding to arise in your mind. Should misunderstanding arise, sit down, be quiet and do not get up until you understand the problem. You might have to sit for an hour. Instinctively your animal nature will not allow you to do that, but if you use willpower and persist, tomorrow will be a perfect day. Now, this is easy to talk about, and also easy to understand, but it takes a very discerning mind, utilizing the power of discrimination, to master these laws of the mind.

Train your mind to awaken the spiritual being. This is as difficult to do as it is to train a person to dance or to swim, or to accomplish any athletic feat requiring a highly trained body. You have to always be the master, and be attentive to your goals in life.

What is your goal in this life? Is your goal to sit and wallow in the emotions? Is it to memorize a lot of things that different people have said so you can quote from them? Or is your goal in life to find first your Infinite Being within yourself? If you could only once gain just a glimmer of your true Being — the spiritual Being flowing through the mind which you always thought was you. Instead, you have things that you have to do that you haven’t done, things that you will do, and things that you will not do, things that you haven’t made up your mind to do as yet and things you thought you would like to do but decided you wouldn’t do. All of this is going on as a process within yourself, and it keeps you nicely confused.

A confused mind creates the form to which you give a name, and you become Mr. or Mrs. Somebody from Somewhere. You go along like that for years and years until all of a sudden you drop dead and give up the physical body. Then what happens? What happens to this mind that is so concerned about “What will my friends think?” All of these various concepts that make up your personality, when you lay down your physical body and die, just what happens to them? Are you ready for that experience of death? You should always be ready, especially nowadays when the opportunities are so great. Always be ready, spiritually ready.

Are you spiritually ready? Have you done your duty to your family? Have you done your duty to your temple? Have you done your duty to yourself? Or do you shirk some of your responsibilities? It’s not up to your swami to know all those things about you. Somebody once said, “Well, Gurudeva just knows everything about me.” What good does that do? It’s up to you to take a running total on yourself, daily, through feeling. You can’t do it through thought; you’ll get all mixed up. Are you ready to become a spirit, a spiritual being, an illumined mind, at the moment of death? Or at the moment of death are you ready to become a completely confused, congested mass of gaseous matter, which is what a confused mind looks like? These are vital religious questions that the individual must face and find the answers to.

You Must Purify Yourself

Ask yourself, “Have I followed all the good advice given me?” You come to hear my upadesha. Your coming is the asking for advice. You get advice, and many of you ignore it and you have your own opinion. If you have your own opinion, why come? Opinions are just of the instinctive and intellectual mind. Most opinions are only moldy concepts! You come to have your opinions changed. You come to have them changed from within you through your own spiritual insight. But if you come with the armor of your opinions, then you are very foolish. You might as well stay home and live with your opinions, because there will be no spiritual progress or unfoldment for you for many, many years, maybe many lives.

Ask yourself these vital questions. What are you going to do with the past that keeps bothering you and sometimes makes today a hell on Earth for you? It is really easy to transcend this state of mind. Just remember and try to understand that the spirit within you flows through you, flows through the mind, like water flows through the Earth. If you build barriers, then you fight your own spiritual Being flowing through you. You develop qualities of jealousy, hatred, anger, revenge, and malice. Negative qualities are just congested masses of mind-stuff that are temporary and do not allow the spirit to flow through. If you have negative qualities as boulders in your mind, the spirit cannot flow through you; but as it tries to flow through, it will automatically set a part of your mind out of control, and you will be emotional. You can’t help it.

So, you must purify yourself. You purify yourself by being kind to others, being generous until it hurts, being benevolent, being ready to serve at all times until you are strained in serving. Put a smile on the faces of other people. Gain your happiness and your positive states of mind by making other people happy. Negative people are always worried about themselves. Positive people are concerned with the happiness of others. Be strong enough to understand, and do not allow yourself to sleep at night until you have understood the problems of the day. If you go to sleep with problems on your mind, you will go into a confused state of mind, and you will toss around and later say, “That is just the dream world” or “I had a nightmare.” All you did was lose your consciousness in a troubled subconscious state. But if you practice yoga, and you sit and master each problem before falling asleep, even if it takes you several hours, you will gain enough rest for the next day, for you will have made this day a perfect day.

If you refuse to do what you should do when you have the chance to do it, what hope is there for anybody else who does not even know what he should do? If you resist a spiritual life, possibly the responsibility for others falls on your shoulders, because everything starts with the one and multiplies into the many. It behooves you to understand very acutely and discriminatingly these basic principles and immediately put them into action in your life. Seize every spiritual opportunity you have to advance your soul, because when you do, the reaction is glorious on you. But when you resent and when you fight within yourself, the reaction is disastrous unto yourself, because you lose the battle when you begin to fight your own inner Self. You win the battle when you begin to express yourself spiritually, when you begin to live with Siva.

Daily Mental Maintenance

Shall we all close our eyes for just a moment and think and feel what living with Siva really means? When you are tired of playing in the emotions, that will indicate that your soul is ready to take over and control the lower states of mind. Siva is always within you, always there. Through silence, quieting your mind, you can become That which you truly are and shine out through that which you thought you were. Your experience will have a healing effect upon the mind and burn away the past. Intensify the spirit within you and heal any wounds that the mind may have. As Mother Nature heals the body, so does Siva, the Self, heal the mind. Give yourself in to the real you. Turn your mind inward. Turn your will inward and live that glorious spiritual life and be ready as a spiritual being to meet the experience of death.

Morning pujas are excellent opportunities for you to practice self-discipline, to offer yourself opportunities to change, to alter the habit patterns that have been built into your mind during the year. In these early morning meditations, you may learn to cease criticizing yourself and begin having a greater understanding of yourself. When you learn to stop criticizing yourself, you are able to appreciate the many experiences that you have been through during the year, rather than regretting them. Regret possibly is an experience more harmful than the experience you have been regretting. Some people actually live by a righteous code of ethics which offers a justification for constantly hurting themselves through regret, guilt or related emotions. Through your meditation you will appreciate your experiences for what they are — good or difficult. Simply make a resolution not to repeat the difficult ones and have faith enough to correct what your experiences have caused in the world as a result of your going through them. The first step in learning to rejuvenate your mind is being able to look objectively at your experiences. You will find this difficult to do, because you are so closely associated and identified with your mind. The mind claims you, and therefore you think that your experiences are the real you, but they are not.

After your morning puja, take five minutes to write down on a piece of paper those things which disturb you. Write concisely and honestly, without reason or justification, what is burdening your subconscious mind. In doing so, you will release yourself from the reactions to those experiences. Burn the paper in a fireplace or garbage can (not in your shrine room), and realize that the experience is complete, finished, except for the wisdom which you have now derived from it. You will find that this practice, known in Sanskrit as vasana daha tantra, does much to make your subconscious transparent and give you a greater power and control over your mind. Making the subconscious mind transparent is a basic religious practice. Only when this is first done is it possible to make progress in seeking God. Try now to find Siva within you, the permanent Reality that never changes.

Sri Ramakrishna, the great Indian saint, compared the mind’s turning inward, seeking to connect itself to God, with the image of a little boy holding on to a rope tied to a post. The little boy swings on the rope and it winds him around and around the post. Then he swings the other way, still holding on to the rope, and the rope wraps him around the post again. The little boy represents man simply having fun and enjoying the experiences of life. He is perfectly safe as long as he holds on to the rope and the rope is connected to the post, for the post is God, and That doesn’t move. The little boy we would call mind. The rope connecting mind to God is the soul, the indomitable will. And so, Sri Ramakrishna went on to say, if man turns his mind inward and keeps his mind looking within, he will see the reality of Spirit and the transient nature of all of the mind’s activity. He may live in and enjoy the activity of the mind and never be hurt or harmed so long as he holds on to that rope, maintains his inward vision constantly and holds himself connected to the permanence of his own Being.

To Realize the Spirit Within

When you have nothing in your subconscious that particularly bothers you, it is easy to turn the mind inward. But if you are bothered or disturbed, the subconscious acts as a barrier and makes it difficult to turn within. When you try to do so, up from the subconscious come all the remnants of the experiences which you hold on to through regret. If this is the case, you will have one more experience to go through before your mind does turn within. You will have to experience the understanding of all your experiences — not through analysis, not through, reason (although the “whys” may come to you intuitively), but through the higher experience of pure understanding. You will find it is possible to have an understanding of yourself without going through the process of analysis.

A disturbed mind which is not permeated with Sivaness is strong in a negative sense, strong in that it will keep you from the realization of God. When the mind is disturbed, it is outwardly strong. The mind that is not disturbed is inwardly strong. Your inner strength is always more dependable than your outward display of strength. When you have gained your inner strength, you will be able to sit in meditation for at least a half hour every day and practice being the guardian of every thought and the ruler of every feeling within your body. If you do this, you will realize That which is the center of your Being. You will be uplifted, elevated, through the purification that you have brought to your mind.

Hold your consciousness high, keep your mind alive and alert so that your soul is alive and alert. You have heard me say many times, “Observation is the first awakening of the soul.” If your observation is intense and accurate, your mind is not bothered and you are not regretting things that have happened to you in the past. But people who have poor observation often do hold on to their regrets, and they rationalize most of what happens to them, putting the blame for their own experiences on someone else. It is so much easier to close the door on these reactions and live more like on a spring day rather than in the dead of winter. Life is meant to be lived joyously. The awakened soul is a joyous soul with a positive mind. The practice of observation will bring you closer and closer to this state of consciousness.

If you feel that your observation is not keen, begin observing things more closely. Observe the different colors in a store window. Study the shadows and the shades of color in one tree. Listen to the sounds of the city. How many can you distinguish? What do they mean to you? If your observation is already good, you can participate more fully in life and find yourself living above the dreary happenings of the day.

Recognizing that all experience is but a fading dream, you are closer to the permanence within you that never changes. You can sense it. It is God. It is Siva. It has never changed. It will never change. You have all felt this permanence at one time or another, but then perhaps you find that you lose this feeling, this consciousness, and you drift out into the mind and find yourself thinking again that the mind is real. But then, maybe tomorrow, you will face it again. And as soon as you have found it, you leave it again, for the mind cannot bear the intensity of God, and you forget all about it. But then, a little later, you face that permanence within you yet again. And little by little you find that you are turning inward, opening up the inner channels more and more each day, making a greater and greater contact with God by turning within, drawing yourself ever closer to the pole at the center, the core of your Being. You will go through many different tests to prove your own realization to yourself. Face each test graciously. Welcome each test, and welcome each temptation that shows you the strength of your will over the chaotic senses. You have only to quiet all things of the mind to realize your identity with the eternity of God Siva, the spirit, the Eternal Self within you.

Overlapping Reactions

When you die, you are freed from your senses. While you are living, you are caught up in your senses and reacting to memories of things you wish you had or had not done. Many people live in a constant state of overlapping reactions. They try to find peace of mind on the outside, externally. Reactions are caused by what we have placed in the subconscious mind that we have not fully understood. Reactions are packed away in the subconscious mind, influencing our everyday life, attracting our successes and failures to us. We keep meeting blocks because of our reactions in the subconscious mind that we set up in the past. Overcome these reactions, and opportunities will open up and we will begin to succeed. Reaction is a natural thing, either positive or negative. If we are reacting in a negative way, that is because of lack of understanding; if in a positive way, that gives us more understanding, and we become our own teacher or psychologist.

If you do not understand your reaction to something, wait until it subsides emotionally, so you will not be upset, then try to understand it by writing about it in a quiet moment. Then burn the paper in an inauspicious fire, such as in a garbage can. This vasana daha tantric process releases or detaches the emotion from the memory. This means that the memory of the experience no longer harbors the emotion that was previously attached to it and vibrating twenty-four hours a day. You will still have the memory, but without a reaction or emotional charge attached to it.

There are many individuals who get their security from their reactions, who make themselves disappointed and keep themselves in a constant state of emotional vibration. Peace of mind is not a blank state. It is not having emotion attached to the memory patterns within the subconscious. These memory patterns, once freed from emotion, remain at peace, and then pure contentment resides through the entire mind. A negative reaction can be likened to a fog over the city. You cannot see clearly because of the fog.

When we react to something, how long does it take before it subsides? How can we guide our lives so as to have only positive reactions? We have to awaken a certain control over our nature. We have to anticipate what is going to happen to us. Whether we admit it or not, we attract everything that happens to us. What we react to, and what we have reacted to in the past, we will create in our future. If we face experience with understanding, we will free ourselves from recreating past unpleasant experiences. Experience is man’s greatest chain. It holds him in a certain pattern. The chains of experience get stronger and stronger until man enters spiritual life through the realms of understanding. Every man must decide whether he wants to be caged in by experience or be freed by understanding the cause of the experience.

A negative reaction may have been set up in the mind many years ago. How long does it take to subside? In a person with some understanding, the initial reaction will subside in a few hours, but it takes five to seven days before it subsides enough for him to get a complete understanding. The average man reacts to something every day. That’s what makes him average. A reaction today, another one tomorrow, another one the day after tomorrow, then those reactions are overlapping. To stop these overlapping reactions, we have to sit down and face everything that we have created for ourselves in the past and control our circumstances until the reaction subsides.

Be on your guard. Control your circumstances and your life. Guard your weak points with understanding, and don’t allow yourself to be put into a position where you will react. Then you can become fully conscious of what is within you and within your fellow man.

How to Face Yourself

Life must become positive. In reactions, man is not his best friend. He is seeking outside for something to quiet his nature. He is carrying his reactions with him, keeping old habit patterns going. For a person to renovate his subconscious mind, he must be willing to move out for awhile, redesign, rebuild, redecorate, then move back in. This is a form of spiritual discipline. Overlapping reactions are dangerous. Living in overlapping reactions and understanding nothing of how to get along without them, because of no discrimination, makes man give up.

Overcoming reaction is easy. You can wipe it out of your life and realize the benefit of having done so. Sit down and think. Look at your life. Look at the tendencies within your nature which created your habit patterns and which formed your subconscious mind and gave it the foundation for many more of the same old situations. The tendencies will be greater in each succeeding situation unless you apply the brakes of understanding. If you sit down and realize the law of cause and effect and live according to the basic laws of life, you will overcome the reactions within you. You will be able to overcome old reactions by understanding them. More realization will burst forth from within you, and you will live a more spiritual life. You can either walk through a city full of fog, or climb above it.

Thinking and believing clearly are only possible when a man knows that he knows. When you realize something, you only know of your realization after you have realized it, not before. Realization is your teacher. Realize something every day, or something will block the subconscious mind. The reactionary nature must subside. Its death gives birth to a greater understanding. If you can live for three weeks without reacting to anything, you will attain a realization.

If you simply remember this without practicing it, you will not be helping yourself or anyone else. But if you take the law and put it into practice, you will be doing something for yourself and your fellow man, because you will realize a greater spiritual power, a greater humility, and be the person you should be. Then don’t react again. Discriminate as to each move you make, each word you say, and decide whether there will be a reaction. If you can see ahead that you will not react, proceed. Dictate to yourself, face yourself, face your mistakes and don’t make them again. Breaking spiritual laws creates reactions in the subconscious, and man loses spiritual power. We can find actual peace of mind in a certain place, right here and now, within ourselves, when we overcome reactions.

Let us look within and see if we are reacting to anything right now, holding any resentment, holding any fear. Let us know that that is just a gauge of experience of the instinctive nature. Loosen it and let it go. Mentally look ahead to the future and know that everything we do and say will have a reaction. Let us give birth to good, positive, controlled reactions, and be sure that if they overlap, they are transparent — that they create a light growing brighter. Overlapping negative reactions bring darkness, depression, and make man nervous.

We have been delving into our consciousness. If you have understood all this about your reactions, your subconscious mind has been impressed. Look into your mirror. Your reflection is your subconscious mind objectified. Find out what is holding you back. Face yourself and find out what is keeping you from expressing the great things which are within you here and now. After all, life is meant to be lived joyously.

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Comments
  1. darion says:

    mind blowing

  2. adam says:

    I am impressed by the quality of information on this website. There are a lot of good resources here. I am sure I will visit this place again soon.

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