Someone expressed distress to the great Indian saint Anandamayi Ma over the conditions and crises in the world. Her reply was: “Don’t you think the One who created the universe knows how to take care of it also?”
We suffer because we have the illusion that we are, or need to be, in charge. We are not. And that is perfect. Things are much bigger than the little us. An infinite omniscient reality is in charge. We are in charge, to the extent of choosing to accept and open to it, or to deny and resist it and thus suffer.
Somehow I have gotten drilled into my head that I need to get eight hours of sleep every night. However, the reality (the “what is”) doesn’t care about my mind’s opinions! Many nights I have evening classes or evening karma yoga shifts at the retreat where I live. I also like to dabble in email and Facebook for a little bit once I get home. I like to have a short meditation right before lying down. I may not get to bed until 11pm or later. I often need to wake at 5:30 to make it for morning sadhana (yoga postures and/or meditation) or a morning work shift. The math just doesn’t add up.
Even though I go through my days just fine, there’s this nagging in my mind that “my expectation of getting adequate sleep isn’t being met here.” One day a voice told me:
“Just let it go!”
“It’s OK. It’s all in your head anyway. Make peace with whatever is. It’s perfect!”
Another sticking subject has been my meditations. I’ve been on a more or less restless phase for several months. I do have short blissful moments coming to me throughout the day. But sitting in meditation for long periods of time has been physically and mentally difficult. A breakthrough came during our annual eight-hour meditation on Christmas, a tradition that our guru Yogananda started with his disciples.
Being somewhat frustrated at the restless experience, I had described my meditation as “more like 8 minutes than 8 hours.” But somewhere in the middle of meditation that day, again that voice reminded me:
“Just let it go!”
“Who told you that your every meditation needs to be perfect? It’s all in your head anyway.”
So I just opened a book, while others meditated. I had a lot of time. I finished half the book! I felt productive.
Later on I had a fascinating astrological reading. It turns out I happened to have entered a few-year period in this life where I become (away from my nature) more outward and less inward. Reaching out and service is the mark of this period. It made a lot of sense.
These days, many people following US politics might be battling in their mind why those like Donald Trump should exist on the face of the earth in this day and age? Why can’t there be just one candidate: Bernie Sanders and why don’t all Americans enthusiastically embrace Bernie as the obvious presidential candidate to run this country?
Once again, we tend to forget something: This is not our dream. This is God’s dream.
And in His dream, since He is omniscient, everything is exactly as it should be. Though we may not get the role and reason for Trump or anything our mind can’t like, we need to realize that, in the long run, everything in front of our eyes is exactly playing the exact perfect role it must be playing to take us forward and upward. Our job is to give up wishing for things to be as our minds decides things ought to be, then with open heart and open mind embrace what is and tune into guidance to know our parts in moving forward.
All true ancient traditions speak of the importance of dropping all “attachments,” as Buddha most prominently talked about. More essential than any, at this moment for us is to strive to drop our attachments in our minds as to how things ought to be.
May we all relax in our minds, and then open our hearts to “what is”. It is the way to moving forward and upward. It is the way to freedom.