Any environment which does anything but cherish sincerity and authenticity can get toxic rapidly.
It’s so interesting to be around kids who’ve recently started to walk and talk. You can see the emergence of ego so tangibly. They continually want to move, eat, look, make noise, be entertained. “Oh, I’m control of this body. Oh, I am this body. Feed me. Help me. I have needs. I have these feelings. Fulfill me.” All so natural, and will of God. Unfortunately, Most of grow up as adults still stuck in the same ego-consciousness. We remain basically as kids. “I am this body. I am these feelings. I want to be fulfilled.” So very few start to even ponder: “Am I this body? Am I these feelings?” and even fewer realize the truth: “I am not this body. I am not the feelings” and start to connect with their true existence.
Unlike most of my friends, I’m not a fan of travel. Ever since childhood, my attention to outward form has been scant. I always think why leave where I am? The sky and the earth look the same no matter where I go. But when I get pushed to go, I always seem to get my consciousness shaken and turned upside-down, especially when visiting those I love. It’s like a lot more new space gets freed up for my consciousness to expand into and my heart to surrender to love.
I used to think when people say “It’s all downhill after passing 30” it meant that things are be going “south”, that things won’t be as awesome as the youthful years… Now I understand it’s downhill more as a matter of gaining “speed”. My each day, week, month, and year seems to pass by me quicker than the one before. Perhaps it’s all testimony to time being a relative thing in the physical reality, and an illusion at that.
When you feel small, lonely, needy, unlucky, or unworthy, just remind yourself that it is your ego, pretending to be you. But it is not you! Ego wants to say you are only this body and form and therefore separate than all else, thus can be bigger or smaller, better or worse than others. As yogananda says, both inferiority complex and superiority complex are just ego. But separation is an illusion! You are connected and essentially one with all there is. How can one bubble in the sea be better than another bubble? Yet you have been given a very special purpose here with your unique existence and expression, which no one else can fulfill. Your place is absolutely essential to the universe. Don’t shy away from your true Self. And keep watching for that ego as it comes to visit from time to time! Your happiness lies in getting rid of it little by little…
“No more moods now… Otherwise how you’re going to help people?” Yogananda once said this to Swami Kriyananda. I had to remind myself this today. To be moody is to choose to be/stay moody. With the first sign of a mood, make a decision right there and then to throw it away. Shout at it so loud that it wouldn’t even dare to come back! We’re so much bigger than some chemical reaction in our minds and bodies. Have you noticed moodiness almost always only comes when egocentric thoughts are prevailing in our minds?
There is a tendency with therapists wanting to go deep into the subconscious, getting into each of those “vrittis,” energetic conflict knots inside of our psyche. What did your mom say and it triggered what when you were two years old, etc. … But yoga says that doesn’t really work, too many stuff in the past and too many vrittis, and we create new ones as we try to solve past ones! Yoga says just work on your focus on the light, what’s divine, your aspirations ahead of you, lifting the energy up, focusing on the light up rather than any past darkness down. “You can’t beat darkness with a stick! Just let light in, and there will be darkness no more,” as a master said. Once that upward flow of energy gets strong, it automatically washes away the vrittis in the spine. “Forget the past. The vanished lives of all men are dark with many shames. Human conduct is ever unreliable until man is anchored in the Divine. Everything in the future will improve if you are making a spiritual effort now.” -Sri Yukteswar.
Have you had special moments when the hair on the skin sticks out? When something that just happens momentarily brings us more deeply aligned with the Truth, it becomes easier for us to experience and sense our own deeper truth and reality as magnetic energy, which is just behind the body.
As students of Yoga, we might hear that life is Maya: when compared to a greater reality it is essentially an illusion. We learn to distance ourselves from the commotions and excitements, the victories and the sufferings in the world. We are in it but not of it. Our deepest realities aren’t touched by any of it. But it is common for us to confuse this teaching of “detachment” with “indifference,” especially for those of us “activists at heart” out there! They say “So am I supposed to sit back and do nothing, while this is happening to these nations, and Trump is going to be the president, and there are so many injustices in the world?” No. The teachings of yoga address all levels of being, even the worldly, mundane stuff. Yoga doesn’t say “don’t care about others and just go change yourself.” Rather it teaches “Change yourself, change your consciousness, so that you can really help others, so that you can make real change.” If we go at things from our mere little-ego state of consciousness (thinking of ourselves and everybody as only bodies and minds), firstly we severely limit our powers, and secondly we will add to the problems rather than solving anything. Ego is the problem, and ego can’t fix ego. But that’s the level that our politicians and governments and organizations operate at (at least in our day and age). So never place your hopes on the next presidential candidate or that new organization to fix things. The message is that we must, instead, connect to a divine state of consciousness, a higher reality, so that we can draw upon the infinite power of the universe, in order to have real change. Real change in the lower realms of reality comes from a higher reality. Anandamayi Ma said “There are no human solutions to human problems.” The beloved saint doesn’t say we don’t need solutions. She simply says don’t seek it in human (limited to mind and body) consciousness. Draw it from above.
We had a 10-day cleanse of the whole region here at Ananda Village. It rained 10 days nonstop. The glory is out now. Don’t worry about your weaknesses, tendencies, desires, and past habits and actions. With one blow, Lord Shiva turns that into dust! Just focus on and open to the divine light, at this moment. That is all! AUM Namah Shivaya!
The key to overcoming a lot of anxiety, nervousness, heavy and sadness is this: We keep erring in giving ourselves too much credit, and blame, for what happens. Take yourself out of so much focus! Rather, when you succeed, think God (or universe, my goddess, or whatever your word is) has accomplished through me. When you fail, don’t feel remorse. Rather, think God wanted to make a mistake through me. For indeed, anything that happened, and will unfold, is much much beyond our little selves! There’s an infinite, omniscient, universal intelligence at work. But we keep forgetting that…
What makes you a unique piece of God is not your personality. It is beyond your physical or the mind bodies. It is the unique vibrations of your soul. That’s what makes different souls follow different paths to God. When I was in the Yoga Teacher Training at Ananda and during the sharing circles, I was often teased by my YTT friends that I never really did share “anything.” What they wanted me to affirm was my personality; to say: “When I was little this happened to me and now my moon is in that constellation and my saturn is returning and I feel like this or that. Somebody said something and my feelings were hurt and now I am super excited that this happened.” But somehow I knew that’s nothing useful to share, nor did I myself pay much attention to it to be able to clearly lay it out for people. It may be amusing or even make one feel good to know others are also dealing with the same challenges. But why affirm our oneness through our ego-experience, which is the emotions, our lower self? Why not affirm oneness in our inner light, our inherent unceasing joy, beyond all that clutter?
Imagine yourself as a child in your childhood bedroom. And the mighty sun has made a secret deal with you, to fit inside one side of your room, while keeping all of its glorious light, love, compassion. You then turn your back to it towards the other side of the room, and keep playing with a small petty old toy that you don’t even like, and only pick up when you’re bored. And this is what we tend to do everyday. While the sun in all its glory is waiting in the temple of our hearts in the present moment, we let ourselves lose the present moment and get lost in the thinking and worries of the mind. Go back. Go back.
You can accomplish anything, once you learn how to let yourself get out of the way of your higher Self. The universe, the life are all conspiring to get you there. Your job is to let go of any struggle, resistance, and self agendas. We tend to think it’s talent, genes, or circumstances that make great works and masterpieces and groundbreaking shifts happen. It’s not. Those who manifest them are those who learned to let God flow through them without the blocking of ego limitations.
Know that your worldly and spiritual accomplishments and titles, in themselves, mean nothing before the consciousness that we call God. The one thing that does matter to God is this: At any given moment, are you centered in your spine, your own divinity and connection to the Infinite, or has the ropes of ego and its delusion of separateness have you clung on the neck? That is why Jesus is said to have associated with kids, prostitutes, and those of high ranks all alike. And Yogananda said that no one is safe (from falling back to square one), until one has reached nirbikalpa samadhi–the highest state of eternal oneness with all there is. As Ramakrishna once said, “Sadhu, beware!”
If God, Divine Mother, Herself never judges and always loves no matter what, can we human beings ever be justified to judge?