Friday, December 18, 2015

Fanning the Flame of Your Desire

If you desire to know God, and that desire is pure, you must find a way to fan that flame. When you do, your heart creates the connection that is always there and always waiting. It’s always there. You don’t have to wait to see if it’s going to happen. It is happening in every moment; it is happening as we speak.

All that you’re waiting for is to see how much this connection means to you. How much do you want it? Is this your heart’s desire? Your desire has to be aligned with a passionate intention that is part of your own Soul. The Soulful self is the one who knows the bliss, who lives in the bliss, and is the bliss.

You can do all the meditation and all the spiritual practices and never change a thing. You have to bring something to that meditation, you have to bring something to that spiritual practice, and that something is your heart and soul.
Years ago I was attending satsang at Kripalu. At night there would be 400 people there with Gurudev on the harmonium and other players on other instruments. People would be going crazy! And I would be thinking—I don’t get it. Then one day Gurudev said, If you hold back, you will have a held-back experience. And then I got it. I was going in and holding back. When I went in again, I closed my eyes and let the energy take me.

Do the same thing with your practices. Go in there and surrender to the energy. Don’t analyze it:  “Do I feel OK? Do I feel anything at all? What is someone else feeling?” None of that matters. Just go in.

There are many, many practices that can bring us to developing our inner channel of light. We are so crusty and so hard that sometimes it is difficult to feel that we can ever get over ourselves. But we can, we really can. Tapas is igniting the yogic fire, which is the light of God, and bringing it in through our practice so that the fire burns up all resistance. The light knows what the light is doing. All you have to do is let the light in.

Friday, December 11, 2015

Succeeding in Practice

I don’t feel the enthusiasm that I should for practice and meditation. I do it, but usually I have to make myself sit down and do it. My practice seems to go deeper and become more meaningful when there is a crisis at hand.

 What you are saying is, “It’s a ‘should’ right now, but something is pressing upon me to change my practice.”

Spiritual practice does not need to be more than a sense of knowing that it is good for you. It is a discipline. If you understand it as a discipline, it can be a simple, peaceful experience. It is not necessarily ecstatic in the beginning, or even much later after years of practice.  Ecstasy is a promise for hanging out in peaceful places. If you do it enough, you are bound to realize more ecstatic frequencies and places.

It is a misconception that we need a crisis. It is best to sustain practices when all is well. Then, when the crisis comes, we are much more prepared.

Until you break through the wall of yourself, your simple, peaceful practice will continue as it is.  But it could become an empty ritual, which is what often happens in religious practice. So what do you bring to the container of your practice? When one wants to succeed, one can.

Friday, December 4, 2015

The Conscious Self Surrenders Everything

In rare moments you drop your wants, needs and fears. Pettiness and the insistence on having things your own way dissolve. In the empty space of the dissolution, room is made for the true nature of love to fill you. You need nothing. You are relaxed and your self-consciousness disappears. You are in the Divine Current. It feels as natural as breathing in and out. You are open.

But then what happens? The wall of the self returns. Your agenda, which is a pre-determined, automatic response to how you meet life, rears its ugly head and demands that you not open, that you not change. You close down and shut the door.

You set up roadblocks to the flow of life by pushing, pulling, manipulating and being attached to outcomes. The moment you attempt to make something happen the way you want it to, you get in the way and the current is lost. The moment you act on our own behalf, you distance yourself from love. Any attempt that is made to manipulate, alter, force, reject or attain anything, splits the energy and divides us from union with Divine Love.

This division impacts every level of our being: physical, emotional, mental and spiritual. In a state of division, the body is constantly unwell. We feel physically limited and imposed upon by the body. We have no vitality, no energy. Even if we are “well,” we do not feel well if consciousness is blocked. Emotionally, we are in a state of reaction against our experience: “Yes, I like it,” or “No, I don’t like it.” We position ourselves as to what we like or do not like, what we want or do not want. We resist what is. On the mental level, we question, doubt, and analyze. We are terrorized by a restless mind that is never satisfied. And spiritually, we feel separated, isolated, cut off, and empty.

In a state of union, on the other hand, the body is harmonious, filled with vitality and energy. Even if physical disease is present, a sustaining level of acceptance and flow exists if consciousness is not blocked. Emotionally, we accept what is given to us in life, and we feel grateful. We divest ourselves of preferences and become open and responsive to what is. On the mental level, the questioning stops. The mind is open to possibility, and we “wait on the will of heaven.” And on the spiritual level, we feel connected, unified, and complete.

With these checkpoints, it is easy to see whether you are open or closed. With the spiritual practice of self-reflection, you can learn to see the differences quickly and grasp what triggers consciousness or unconsciousness. Meditation and conscious breathing dissolve the individual self that is dissatisfied and full of cravings. The unconscious self is an obstacle.  The Conscious Self is the Way. If you choose fear and doubt, they are yours. If you choose simplicity and liberation, they are yours. The unconscious self has agendas, preferences, obsessions, and opinions. The result is frustration and outcomes that do not fulfill us. The Conscious Self surrenders everything and attempts nothing. The result is Simplicity and a life of realized blessings and unexpected joys.