Wednesday, March 8, 2017

Craving the Ultimate - Marie Teresa McDaid

Craving the Ultimate
Marie Teresa McDaid
Craving: to long for; want greatly; to require; to need; to yearn for
The Ultimate: the absolute: the concept of an unconditional reality which transcends limited, conditional, everyday existence.
 thefreedictionary.com
Love

We are making our way back home to the Beloved within all of us. The seeds of love were sown in our hearts from the time of creation. God gave us free will when we came to live these lives. We lived and experienced our lives in form and in the exterior places that we have found hold little value, and now we are trying to find our way back to the ultimate place within.

Throughout my life I had felt a sense of separation, of something missing. Once I started Heartfulness, I realised that what I was feeling was separation from inner self; that I was missing my ultimate home. That is when my yatra (journey) started.

The feeling of separation from our Beloved can be a difficult thing to put into mere words. We yearn so deeply to be with Him. This yearning drives every particle of our being to get closer to Him. It vibrates the pulse and radiates from the heart. We long to feel the flow of His love pulling us towards Him.

Prayer

This love is so subtle, it assists in taking us there, pulling from ahead and pushing from behind. When this begins, there is no going back; what is there to go back to? It becomes almost unbearable to be within this surge of separation whilst journeying but how beautiful it is to bear!

We must keep moving forward and not slow down as we move through the different points along the path. Once the momentum has begun, this stream of love must be kept at a level to keep taking us to higher states of infinite awareness. It is so beautiful to feel the love proliferate and all around us benefit too.

To remain in a condition of love is the key to moving forward continuously. Love will attract love, so the lover and the Beloved will be drawn to each other.

Keep this condition not just in meditation but in the waking and sleeping states. We can keep generating love through regular, pure intention – prayer and constant remembrance.

Constant Remembrance

What has helped me on this journey of love has been prayer and staying in constant remembrance. The impetus for this was a talk given by Daaji, which I came across in 2015 when I had been a few months in this beautiful Heartfulness practice. In it he suggested that we “think that everything surrounding us – the air particles, people, the birds, the trees, the flowers, the ceiling, the wall, the paintings – everything – is absorbed in Godly remembrance.”

I seemed to absorb this within and it became part of my daily life.

©©©©©©

What is real love for God?

“It is a state when the trinity of the lover, the beloved and love itself disappear.”

Lalaji

Thursday, May 5, 2016

Fasting

The principle behind fasting is that God never takes food, and by fasting we get nearness to God and thereby absorb his condition to some extent. But it fits well with the humility of a devotee to take a little food, thus admitting that we cannot live without food, like Him. When fasting without even taking water, we boost our ego.


Taken from the book "Complete Works of Ram Chandra, Vol. 4 (1st edn., 2014)", Chapter "Pearls of Wisdom", pg. 264, by Babuji Maharaj

One would never have thought of the principle of Fasting from this perspective, that God never takes food and so to get nearness to Him, we also try to follow that. But then in Sahaj Marg, Babuji Maharaj goes further to explain that extreme demonstration of Fasting is just a boosting our ego and really not beneficial to the spiritual path. If we really put our heads down and think about it, this is really true, that very much like one demonstrates his strength by building his muscles on one extreme which is nothing but a display of ego, that I did it, on this other extreme, complete fasting is also a display of ego that I can do this, and nothing else. If I may extend this, complete abstinence of any type is a display of ego. A display of the fact that I can do it, either just for myself, or for the world to see, or for God to see, it does not matter. 

Sahaj Marg practice talks about holding onto a higher principle with all you got, so that all these petty things including all manifestations of the lower-self drops off automatically, and we are focused on one thing and one thing only, which is our goal, which is our ideal, which is what we want to become, which is not what I am now. This way, Sahaj Marg can be seen as a middle-path, with complete moderation, no excesses of any type, on either side as in complete excess on one side and complete negation on the other side. All the Masters of Sahaj Marg have lived this life of complete moderation to its fullest degree. Babuji Maharaj demonstrated simplicity and moderation in his whole life. Chariji Maharaj demonstrated what it means to work and leave the results to Him alone, and now Shri. Kamlesh D Patel, the current Master and Spiritual representative of his lineage of Gurus and the President of Shri Ram Chandra Mission, has his complete focus on Heartfulness, a simple approach to offering Sahaj Marg meditation practice to people of all walks of life all over the world. 

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

A Life of Service: A Sahaj Marg Perspective

"To serve entails that one's life is no longer one's own and that, in a way, one makes oneself available to deal with it. In this field, more than elsewhere, one should make choices that meet one's profound aspiration to devote oneself to service without any materialistic motive. Everyone's karma is full of opportunities to find fulfilment in keeping with one's personal capabilities. Many of our aspirants engage in service, keenly aware of this reality."


In USA, we have what is called as the AAA policy, which is an Emergency roadside service. One SRCM preceptor jokingly told me once, that in Sahaj Marg also, we have a AAA policy. That is, an abhyasi who wants to follow the path of service must be "AVAILABLE, ACCESSIBLE, APPROACHABLE". As Babuji Maharaj says above, make oneself available. But, Babuji says very clearly that there should not be any motive behind this service. Even though here it talks only about material motive, as a matter of fact, the best way of approach to service is to not have any motive or expectation at all, be it material or even spiritual. Our Master, Chariji Maharaj and Shri. Kamlesh D. Patel have both mentioned time and again, about the idea of not having any expectations towards anything that we do. The only "output" of any work should be that the work or service should produce the desired results, and it is for this result alone that we work. Not for any self-aggrandisement, or for any expectation of the self. 

Another beautiful point hidden in this message above is that this life of service is a "CHOICE". This choice arises out of a deep aspiration to follow such a life, a life which is life-changing in its every sense of the meaning of that word. That is, it changes the course of life itself for that person who made that choice to serve. Sahaj Marg offers such a choice, and Shri Ram Chandra Mission organization has many such selfless individuals who have chosen this life of service, epitomized by the life of the Master, Shri. Kamlesh D. Patel and the Masters before him, who have lived such a life of complete dedication and service, to help and support those who come to them for their spiritual growth and progress. 

Thursday, March 31, 2016

Faith and Guidance

Let us try to understand what faith means. The old Biblical statement says, “Faith can move mountains”. Now, to a rational mind like mine, that is impossible. We know that mountains cannot move just like that, unless the tectonic plates in the Earth moves and that can make mountains move, but that too by a very small fractional distance only. So, according to this rational thinking, we can probably define Faith as “Believing in something that is impossible”. So, according to science, according to reason, according to logic, Faith is something “Illogical, Irrational” and thus Impossible.

Now, let us take the topic of faith from a religious background. Take an extreme example of a patient in deathbed, everyone has given up hope, the doctors have said it is just a matter of few days, and so on. However, a loved one perhaps, let us say the mother of the patient, she has faith in her God. She prays with extreme faith and devotion to her God or Deity and a miracle happens and the patient has survived the crisis. We have heard such things happening amongst our families and friends and of course we have seen such things in many movies. This is at the religious level, where a person has faith in an external entity called God and God sometimes answers the prayer. Only sometimes because, there are many times in real-life scenarios that such prayers go un-answered as well, even though the devotee has prayed with lot of faith and devotion, God does not seem to answer the prayer and whatever had to happen, end up happening.

When we get into the field of Spirituality, a system like ours, the heart-based meditation of Sahaj Marg, Heartfulness system of practice, here, things are somewhat different. In a spiritual system, where the focus is in “connecting with the Self within”, and “going inwards into one-self”, the element of faith also takes a turn inwards. So, spirituality makes a very clear statement, “Have Faith in Yourself”. One doesn’t need to have faith in any external entity other than himself or herself. From such an inner faith, courage and confidence develops which become unshakeable.

Now, let us try to connect the dots of where this faith in the self originates. As we all know, Heartfulness meditation is an experiential based system and also that Heartfulness is a science in itself. Just like how science has its experiments to prove a theory, the experiences from the Heartfulness meditation enables a practitioner to gain “Inner Conviction”, that this particular meditation practice is working and is helping me. However, once we cross the line of matter and reason, spirituality moves way ahead and leaves behind the physical sciences and enters into the “Meta-physical” world where “Feeling” overtakes “Thinking”. The feelings of the heart start to play a role in the abhyasi’s life and this is where conviction translates into “Belief”. From Belief, “Trust” in the Inner Master develops. That is, at the seat of the heart is the inner being, which offers guidance from within and the abhyasi begins to Trust these inner feelings and “Intuition” more and more as it helps the abhyasi in his day-to-day life.

When “Trust” in the inner Master becomes strengthened, it morphs into “Faith”. This is what the great Masters of Spirituality like Babuji and Chariji call as “Real Faith”, to distinguish such a faith from the traditional and religious connotations of faith. Such a faith can indeed move mountains, like how Lord Krishna is supposed to have lifted mountain Govardhana Giri or like how Babuji Maharaj says that he can spin the universe like a top! Such a real faith develops courage and confidence in that advanced practitioner that he can do anything, but only for the welfare of humanity and not otherwise. Cheap tricks and miracles are no longer attractive or enticing to such elevated beings. They become pure instruments of Nature, working for the welfare of one and all.

So, we see how faith develops in journey of Heartfulness meditation practice: starting from the practice itself, the experiences leading to inner conviction, and this resulting in belief, then trust and then faith. By the method of Heartfulness meditation, one gets into contact with the inner self, the inner Master, and derives guidance from within. So, after sufficient practice, faith in the inner self, and guidance from within develops in the abhyasi which are really very advanced states of being which enables that person to remain in super-conscious meditative states and do Nature’s work according to the needs of humanity.