Particularly using facebook, and Heaven help us all if the news feed comes up with a picture of girls in bikinis…those are always tough to handle, i find myself tempted to engage in that good ole, ancient, introverted ritual of masturbation. What a silly use of time. Seeking short term pleasure through sense gratification when i could achieve a greater sense of fulfillment when studying or praying or writing or meditating or walking or exercising…ah so many wonderful possibilities! Alas, sometimes good ole temptation comes knocking at the door, and boy does it feel good to say no thank you!
The other day i was feasting on some lentils and gazpacho outside, and i’ve recently been practicing sitting for 5 minutes after i finish eating to allow to the food to digest and perhaps it helps just being present too. So sitting out outside the mind inevitability wandered to some facebook pictures i had looked at earlier that day, of those type of girls in bikinis…ahhh. So there was like, thinking about girls in bikinis, and then i remembered, “Lokah samastah sukhino bhavantu.” May the entire universe be filled with peace, joy, love, and light.
As much as the mind was dwelling on sexual thoughts, within a matter of moments those thoughts and that sexual energy was channeled to intending peace, joy, love, and light to the entire universe. It was a matter of shifting from a small self craving to a thought of serving the Higher Self, the All! And this was super liberating 🙂
Recently i’ve been riding a stationary bike for around 20 minutes a day to get in some vigorous physical activity, and during this time as well i find myself empowered by chants of “Lokah samastah sukhino bhavantu.” It feels amazing to lift up whatever activity you’re engaging and dedicate it to the well-being of the entire universe. Similarly, you can do this with a phrase like, “Thy Will Be Done.” Sometimes my mom refers to this as lifting up your cross or offering it up.
You can take on this attitude of dedication and service to the Highest Good of All in whatever activity you do, but it’s unlikely you’ll be able to persist with an activity that’s not the best for too long before you realize your deception. For example, if i spent hours looking at pictures of girls on facebook while meanwhile chanting, “Lokah Samastah Sukhino Bhavantu,” or repeating “Thy Will Be Done,” i’d likely be filled with anxiety over the lack of congruence between thought and action, and would soon switch activities to something that brings harmony with the holy thought process.
The other day i was reading, “The Path to Perfection,” written by a leader of the Hare Krsna movement, and he basically said,
“Enlightenment is easy. All you have to do is chant the Lord’s name 24 hours of every day.”
Ha! So easy isn’t it? And he’s probably right, too, at least about the chanting part, perhaps not about it being easy. Alas, the wonderful thing about such a simple concept in that we’ll naturally be guided towards holy activity when our mind’s are engaged in holy thoughts. So if you repeat the name “Jesus” to yourself thousands of times a day, you’ll likely live a pretty awesome day and engage in many loving acts of service and kindness.
As Emerson said, “The ancestor to every action is a thought.”
Begin with holy thoughts, and you will sow holy actions and a holy life.
Sometimes the mind may wander and get tempted by short term pleasures and sense gratification, but if we exercise the patience to return to our holy thought we can easily overcome any temptation. And by easily, i mean, it takes practice 🙂