Om Shanti Shanti Shanti

I dedicate these words to the Highest Good of Everyone and Everything, and to the Supreme Truth That Is Omnipresent, Omniscient, and Omnipotent.

Hallelujah ūüôā

Mmm…well after starting this post out like that it seems like anymore words are excessive!¬† Alas, a fairly traumatic experienced ‘happened to me’ this morning and me thinks there are likely an abundance of lessons to be learned from it.

The key word that pops out: Remember.

And secondly: One thing at a time. Single-handle.  Take nothing for granted.  There are no guarantees beyond this present moment.

(So now is probably a good the best time ever to pray, think good thoughts, meditate, know God, etc.)

Here’s what happened.

Thursday afternoon, this body put a hose in a pond to fill it up with water.  Generally, the pond takes 1-2 hours to fill.  So, the thought was this body would return in 1-2 hours to turn off the hose.

Friday morning, sitting in meditation, suddenly this mind/body remembers about the hose in the pond and the running water.¬† The first instinct was to jump up and run over to the pond to check on the pond and the fish.¬† Despite the imagined horror of a flooded pond and fish out of the pond sitting dead on the grass surrounding the pond, i resisted the initial instinct and thought that whatever damage was done was done and there was no ‘urgency’ to act.¬† The thought also passed that this was the perfect opportunity to practice meditation as the mind began to seriously feel disturbed and wander and speculate, etc.

While sitting in meditation, the traditional method for meditation left, and what seemed way more appropriate was intense prayer.  Feelings of sorrow and sadness overcame the mind/body, as well as compassion for the suffering of the fish and also the swamis at the monastery who had likely experienced the gruesome scene of dead fish.  I thought that these feelings could not be serving any good, so instead i shifted mental focus to being grateful for all kinds of things in Life and in the wonderful Creation.

These ‘gratitude exercises’ lasted for a few minutes, and generated some better feelings, but alas the image of dead fish everywhere kept coming back to mind, and eventually this body jumped up from meditation and walked over to the pond.

Upon arriving at the pond, i first noticed that the water had been turned off, and that the area didn’t appear to be flooded.¬† I then had the great gift of seeing many fish, alive and swimming in the pond.¬† Ah, what a relief.¬† Yet, feelings of guilt and failure still ripped, and prayer continued to seem like the appropriate response.\

This mind/body stood over the pond for a while, praying for the fish and for the swamis who likely prevented the mass death of fish from occurring.

Anyway, despite the actual death of the fish being postponed, this mind/body still feels strongly shaken from the experience and not quite sure how is appropriate to live henceforth.  In many ways, i still feel like the catalyst for a genocide of fish, which would have also likely led to huge ripples of anxiety / stress / agony throughout the monastery, amongst the swamis, and throughout the entire ashram.

So, what is to really learn from this experience?

1.  Certainly it is a reminder of human fallibility. No human being is perfect and all humans are susceptible to errors.

2.¬† On a practical level, it makes sense to have a watch and set an alarm with a reminder.¬† And / or, write down the task on a note and put it in a pocket.¬† But really, with time-sensitive issues, an alarm seems nearly necessary.¬† Yet, perhaps the more spiritual solution is simply do one thing at a time.¬† Instead of turning on the water and leaving with plans to come back, simply sit with the water running for an hour.¬† If you don’t have an hour to give the fish, is it really worth it to leave and risk forgetting about them or being dragged on another adventure, only returning to see all the fish dead?

3.  Realize the magnitude of what you do.  Sure, filling a pond with water seems like no big deal.  But, what if the pond floods and all the fish float out of the pond and end up on the grass, dead?  Life or death are much closer than we sometimes think.  This reminds me of the Taoist teaching about water. Water is simultaneously the most peaceful and most destructive force.  It supports all life in moderation, but in excess it destroys like none other.  Consider the difference between drinking a glass of water verses a hurricane hitting your home.

4.¬† Reflecting on the above, perhaps a great lesson here is the difference between abundance/moderation and excess.¬† A Course in Miracles says, “The truth is always abundant.”¬† In this way, abundance is always a positive quality.¬† Excess is abundance’s step-cousin who is just a bit twisted.¬† So, this event reminds me to live life abundantly, not excessively.¬† Which certainly mirrors this mind/body’s approach to food on Thursday…it was a bit excessive…so no wonder i’d have this semi-traumatic wake up call.

5.¬† You never know when is the last time that you’ll see someone or something alive.¬† So don’t take it for granted!¬† Life is not meant to be taking for granted.¬† Better than taking life for granted, why not cherish it?¬† Why not treat all life as special, as sacred, as divine?¬† What is holding us back from sharing Love with everyone and everything? What perpetuates our false sense of separateness?¬† What excuses do we make for not loving that which is before us, Here and Now in the only Moment that ever is Real?

6.¬† Last night, upon going to sleep, i remember feeling really good/proud about the amount of ‘sadhana’ practiced that day.¬† 1.5 hours of meditation, 30 minutes hatha, 60 minutes pranayama, service, etc.¬† But, what would all that sadhana amount too if it turns out i was also largely responsibly for the death of a whole bunch of fish?¬† So let us remember what really matters.¬† It’s not about how long you sit in meditation or how much so-called ‘spiritual practice’ you perform.¬† It seems like what really matters is how we care for all of life, including humans, animals, insects, and our own physical bodies.¬† From my experience, nothing seems to cause more sadness / grief / sorrow / depression than the idea that one is responsible for the death of another, or even many.¬† I do not recall a time when i’ve felt more ‘down’ than this morning in meditation, considering all the death i was responsible for.¬† Peace reveals Itself when we live a fully integrated, loving life, doing and being everything we can be, each moment, with full Love and Gratitude, appreciating and cherishing all life, equally and in all conditions.¬† When we live in support of all life, consciously knowing that we’re doing the best we can, we only realize Peace.¬† Peace is natural when we know we are doing our very best, instead of making excuses to be less than our best and make the same mistake over again, pretending we haven’t yet learned the lesson.

7.¬† As i’ve been learning from A Course in Miracles, forgiveness is nothing without correction.¬† Forgiveness without correction is just judgment.¬† So, when and if we embrace forgiveness, it demands correction.¬† Otherwise, what’s the point?¬† Sure, we can ask for forgiveness over and over again each day for the same thing, but would any human being or God want that for us?¬† For years now, i’ve been making the same mistake over and over again – excessively indulging and overfeeding the body, giving the body way more than it needs and more than is best for its optimal health and flourishing.¬† And this excessive indulgence/ lack of moderation with food likely ripples out to all dimensions of life.¬† Like, this blog post – for example – might very well be excessive in words, yet…oh well ūüėȬ† And, speaking from personal experience, making this same mistake over again does stir a bit of pain every time – both emotional, mental, and sometimes physical.¬† So why keep doing it?¬† When will i truly accept the forgiveness and embrace the learning and growth?¬† Satchidananda mentions that we really only ‘drop the coal’ when it is truly too hot for us to hold.¬† In this sense, the pain has not necessarily been ‘too much to handle’ just yet, but am i really asking to be responsible for the death of a bunch of fish before i finally ‘drop the coal’?

To share a bit…earlier this morning during meditation, when i thought myself the assured murderer of a bunch of fish…i was thinking about all the things i was going to change in my life and what was the best course of action to take.¬† i thought i might give away all my stuff, or at least give away the stuff that at one point another i took without asking…i thought i might go join a monastic order (not necessarily this one because i thought they’d want me to leave the ashram, reasonably so too)…i thought i’d quit the job i’m in and leave yogaville…i thought i’d fast for a long time…

And now that the crisis has somewhat been averted, i wonder how it will really change the way this mind/body lives in the world.  What will it prioritize?  Will it still value excessive indulgence more than conversation with people?  Will it still put its own nourishment before the welfare of all?

(Hehe…i write this as the body is now calling to go the bathroom…yet the flow experience is so precious!¬† Ah, perhaps another wake up call to consume in moderation instead of chugging a liter of water in the morning. Sip, sip, sip. Moderation, moderation, moderation.¬† Alas, be right back!)

Ah, that feels better.¬† But yes – why do we keep binding ourselves?¬† When will we finally let go of our attachments and false sense of obligation? In Reality, our only obligation is to God, the Truth that resides Within and Beyond.¬† Nothing else really matters.¬† And sure, i write this, but then i go chugging liters of water like that’s some great act, when meanwhile it then binds the body to the need to go to the bathroom, which might quite unexpectedly drag it away from a Perfect Present Moment and a wonderful opportunity to Love and Give and Serve.

What stops us from loving more abundantly?  Is it our attachment to food? to people? to books? to television and mass media?  Maybe it could even be an attachment to our spiritual practice.

What is holding you back from realizing God more fully in every moment of Life?

For me, attachment to certain ideas/dogma seems to be a culprit.¬† Like the attachment to the idea of ‘hydration,’ to the idea of ‘not letting healthy food go to waste,’¬† to the idea of ‘acquiring spiritual knowledge through reading books,’¬† to the idea of ‘exercising/practicing hatha yoga before eating anything in the morning,’ to the idea of ‘vitamins first thing in the morning.’

Ha, funny looking at the list above, noticing that virtually of the attachments listed are relating to caring for the physical mind/body.

Which reminds me of perhaps the greatest teaching of the Bhagavad Gita about letting go of body-identification and realizing Self as Spirit.

And back to the fish.

Walking over to the pond this morning, part of me thought that the small-self-i wasn’t really the one responsible so much as collectively, the death of the fish was the result of the collective consciousness, thereby serving as a wake up call for us all to become more conscious and aware and glean whatever lesson is most applicable to us at the time.¬† No man, is an island, after all.¬† In many ways, individual responsibility is really collective responsibility, and one person’s pain affects all people.¬† Why is this?¬† Perhaps, as Nisargadatta Maharaj says, “You are not a person.”

We are more than human beings.¬† We are more like…consciousness!¬† One with the Whole, connected with All, Spiritual, even One with the Creator.

The more we remember our level of connectedness with all and our oneness, the more we embrace individual responsibility more and more, down to caring for the quality of every single thought, because we realize the creative power in thought.¬† As a Course in Miracles teaches, changing the behavior of a human body isn’t so much the issue as it is changing the thoughts, because everything starts in thought.¬† Behaviors don’t happen by themselves – the seeds of every behavior are in a thought.¬† So it’s significant that we train the mind and elevate the quality of our thinking so that we continue to consciously will the Kingdom of Heaven before we go unconsciously willing this and that and the other.

The clearer we discover what Heaven is like, the more we realize Heaven.  To mention again, the truth is always abundant, not excessive!  In many ways, abundance is moderation.  Abundance is more than enough for everyone, and the best way to treat abundance is in perfect moderation, so that whatever it is, it is thoroughly enjoyed.  When abundance tips to excess is when over-indulgence and greed and lust and anger and everything else negative starts occurring.

When we truly love Creation and truly love our mind/body, we treat it abundantly. We feed it abundantly, just the right amount for it feel as good as it can.  We hydrate it abundantly, just enough so that it does not feel thirsty.  We cultivate relationships abundantly, just enough so that we do not over-extend ourselves and feel bound to so many people and feel obligated to talk with everyone.  The life of abundance is a free life, a moderate life, a balanced life, a life of truly listening to the calling of the Present Moment.

As a friend shared with me the other day, the foundation of Ayurveda is, “Wake up early and poop in the morning.”¬† He continued, “Eat when hungry and drink when thirsty.”¬† Why do we not trust the ability for the body/mind to communicate needs of hunger and thirst, and instead we feed it when it doesn’t ask for it and we hydrate it when it is really doing just fine?¬† In so many ways, less is more.¬† And, on a very practical level, giving the body less to consume allows the organs more time to rest and relax.¬† And, systematic undereating is supposedly the only consistently proven method to increasing longevity.¬† So, if you want to live longer, eat less!¬† Give those organs a rest.

As much as the method of eating ‘just enough’ might sound like some sort of austerity, it is really about eating ‘just enough’ that is best for the flourishing of mind/body.¬† Anything consumed by the body ideally raises the level of consciousness and awareness, and definitely never lowers it!

Moreover, let us remember our truest and highest responsibilities, live in balance and moderation, see God and God’s Will in All, and surrrender our personal will to Divine Will so that we more fully realize Supreme Love and Peace in every moment of Life.

From experience, some of the moments of greatest pain come from exerting personal will to defy what another asks ‘me’ to do, thereby resisting ‘God’s Will.’¬† Or…perhaps it is that God’s Will is that we realize Love and Peace every moment, so whenever we allow anything to disturb that connection with and as Love and Peace, we are resisting God’s Will.¬† God’s Will might just be being Supremely Present.

As the sign in Vegas says, “You must be present to win!”

How are we to ever ‘win’ if we keep binding ourselves by all these obligations in the fictitious future?¬† Let us surrender more and more to the Divine Moment in which God abides eternally.¬† Let us let Love lead the way!¬† Instead of focusing on acquiring and possessing, let us just focus on Loving and Being Love and Peace and bringing Love and Peace wherever we go ūüôā

Of course, if you are going to engage in worldly affairs where wearing a watch and setting an alarm would help you, please do that!¬† Just, remain connected with the Peace and Love.¬† And, actually, wearing a watch and setting an alarm, relating to the whole fish experience, is a perfect example of the usefulness of material objects.¬† Nothing is bad about ‘having’ things, it’s only when ‘things have us’ and we become attached to them that is the ‘problem.’¬† By all means, have that which is useful to you.¬† Embrace usefulness!¬† If it’s not useful, then it is excessive and you can do without it and might actually be much better without it. When we possess ‘excess,’ it seems a very natural response that feelings of guilt arise.¬† Why possess more than we need? Excess only burdens us.

The Truth is always abundant.  РA Course in Miracles

Hallelujah ūüôā

Gloria in Excelsis Deo!

So grateful for forgiveness…forgiveness that leads to correction…to live in moderation, abundantly, refraining from excess and indulgence, and embracing the usefuleness of worldly things.

Love, Love, Love,

Om Shanti Shanti Shanti

Siva

Gratefully

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What is the Ultimate Aspiration?

According to David R. Hawkins…

The ultimate aspiration is to know God!

Surely, when we know God, nothing else matters.

You might be thinking, “Well, perhaps i already know God. ¬†What are some signs that i don’t know God?”

If you find yourself experiencing anger, fear, sorrow, or cravings/aversions, in those instances, you’re likely out of touch with knowledge of God. ¬†However, if in these instances of experiencing some sort of negativity, you shift yourself to the witnessing state, that is you simply watch the negative experience/sensation without judging it, then you are once again moving closer to the Lord.

Meanwhile, what are some ways of aspiring to knowledge of God?

–> ¬†Dedicate every action to God. ¬†Whatever you do, simply say before you do it, “I dedicate this to Thee, O Lord God.” ¬†You can also dedicate whatever you do to the Highest Good of All, which is a similar, powerful dedication. ¬†This act of dedication generally helps to purify whatever activity we’re undertaking. ¬†As you can imagine, it’s very difficult to dedicate acts of abuse, addiction, gambling, violence, etc., to God. ¬†And, thank God for that ūüôā

–> ¬†Forgive everyone and everything. ¬†Let go of all resentment against others and all sense of guilt against yourself. ¬†Forgiving frees us from the past and opens us to the perfection of the Present, where God eternally abides ūüôā

–> ¬†Be kind to everyone and everything, without exception.

–> ¬†Eat mild foods, in a moderate amount, at a moderate pace. ¬†Nourish the body well. ¬†Feed it healthy, whole foods, and of course – dedicate the food to the Lord and to the Highest Good of All ūüôā ¬†Enjoy food with a feeling of gratitude in the heart. ¬†Understand the food as a Divine Gift and as nourishment for the mind/body so that it may continue to grow closer and closer to God and serve the Highest Good of All.

–> ¬†Speak only that which is true, beneficial, and pleasant. ¬†Before you speak, ask – is it true? ¬†Is it beneficial? ¬†Is it pleasant? ¬†If it does meet these criteria – forget about it. ¬†Less is more.

–> ¬†Intend to know God and intend to see God in everyone and everything, and express gratitude for knowing and seeing God in All. ¬†Persistently set this intention and feel the gratitude for realizing the fulfillment of the intention in the Eternal Present where the Omnipresent One abides.

–> ¬†Stop. ¬†In particular, stop trying to control and change others. ¬†And, stop trying to save the world. ¬†Instead, mind your own business. ¬†The best way to serve the Highest Good of All is to know God and become enlightened. ¬†Set a healthy, happy, holy, heavenly example. ¬†Be the change you want to see in the world. ¬†Go to work on yourself! ¬†Baby steps. ¬†Patience, patience, patience. ¬†Stop thinking you know what’s best for anyone or anything, instead embrace all as God’s Will, and learn to see the Good in All. ¬†If you really feel something must change, turn the gaze within and change yourself. ¬†When you change your internal attitude, the external world changes too. ¬†As Shakespeare said, “Nothing is good or bad but thinking makes it so.

–> ¬†Practice stillness and silence, listening and relaxation. ¬†Give up multi-tasking. ¬†When you eat, eat. ¬†When you listen to music, listen to music. ¬†Allow yourself opportunities to simply sit and breathe and be. ¬†Maybe focus on someone who inspires you like Jesus or Buddha, or an uplifting word/feeling like Peace and Love.

–> ¬†Desire. ¬†To know God, desire God. ¬†Desire God more than anything else, so that ultimately nothing binds you. ¬†Be free from all desires except the desire to know God, and eventually you might just have to let that one go too ūüėČ ¬†Essentially, if God said, “You can know me if you stop drinking alcohol,” would you give it up? What if God said, “You can know me if you stop talking about other people and refrain from gossip,” would you do it? ¬†What if God said, “You can know me if you eat only fruits, vegetables, and drink only milk and water for the next 40 days,” would you do it? ¬†Not saying any of these measures are necessary to know God, but the point is we don’t want to be attached to anything. ¬†We want to be free from all material desires, including those desires that taste good to the tongue or inflate our ego.

–> ¬†As Joel O’Steen says at the end of his broadcasts, “Put God first in your life.” ¬†That will do the trick! ¬†Embrace the qualities of God as Omnipresent, Omniscient, and Omnipotent. ¬†God is everywhere, present, totally knowing of all, including every single thought. ¬†So, embrace God in the Present ūüôā Give God a big smile! ¬†And, since God is omniscient and therefore aware of all thoughts, you might as well practice thinking positively, more and more, until positive, pure, good thoughts reign supreme in your mind. ¬†Really, just think of God – that’s a good thought to have ūüôā

–> ¬†Pray morning and evening. ¬†Express gratitude for all the gifts each day, and express gratitude for growing in awareness of the Presence of God. ¬†The ultimate way of realizing the classic affirmation, “Every day in every way, I’m getting better and better,” is to grow in awareness of God, Infinite Goodness and Divine Perfection, every day in every way.

–> ¬†Remember it’s all God’s Will. You can celebrate everything and anything. ¬†There is Good and God in All. ¬†Seek and ye shall find! ¬†Let go of attachments to judgments and opinions and labeling – God is taking care of it all. ¬†Leave any judgment to God. ¬†Surely, God knows ūüôā

–> ¬†Choose Love and Peace, moment to moment, every moment, always and forever! ¬†Choosing Love and choosing Peace is choosing God. ¬†As David R. Hawkins writes, “God is love and peace and nothing else.”

Gloria in Excelsis Deo!

What ideas are best for humanity to remember always?

Creation is Divine! ¬†Nothing really needs to be changed. ¬†At the same time, things can change, but creation is always moving from completion to completion, from perfection to perfection. ¬†All is God’s Will, which is perfect, whole, complete, and infinitely good ūüôā

What we do with these human bodies and minds on a physical level doesn’t matter nearly as much as how we do whatever we do, and how we feel whenever we do what we do. ¬†The feeling matters! ¬†We serve wonderfully when we feel wonderful; we serve lovingly when we feel love and aware of Love. ¬†The joy is in the journey, not the destination. ¬†Peaceful ends¬†are achieved by peaceful means.

Constantly dedicate and re-dedicate your life to the Highest Good of All, to the Highest Truth, to the Highest, Supreme, Reality. ¬†Align your Life fully with the Truth and the Good and surely you’ll know God too ūüôā ¬†Goodness leads to God. ¬†Trust your conscience and the Voice Within. ¬†Establish your Peace and act from there. ¬†Connect with the Highest in You, and then let go and Let Love. ¬†Allow, allow, allow. ¬†Resist nothing! ¬†“Resistance is futile.”

This moment is the most significant moment in your life. ¬†Cherish it! ¬†Cherish all this moment offers. ¬†Love everyone and everything present in this moment fully and completely, without conditions! ¬†This moment offers you everything that is perfect for you. ¬†In this moment, you can know the Supreme Truth of Reality, you can know Pure, Perfect Love in this moment, Absolute Joy, and in this moment you can know God ūüôā

Gloria in Excelsis Deo!

Open to God

Sip water.  Eat just enough food so to feel good and not hungry.

This way, your consciousness can more easily stay centered on what actually matters: God, Love, Peace, Truth, Joy, Goodness, Purity, Holiness.

If you drink too much, you are binding the body to the recurrent need to go to the bathroom.

If you feed the body too much or too little, the mind will either be so focused on acquiring more food, or all the energy in the body will be totally centered in digesting food and making the feelings of ‘being stuffed’ go away.

In preparation to meet a spiritual master, would you drink a lot? would you eat a lot before?

No.  You would eat and drink minimally, just to feel comfortable and meanwhile light and clear and calm, ready to receive a great teacher.

Let us remain ever ready to receive the greater teachings ūüôā

Gloria in Excelsis Deo!