A Place where devotees gather to share inspiration.
"Holy Mother" painted by Swami Tadatmananda
Used courtesy of the Vedanta Society of Southern California
When neither japa or meditation or books or devotional music, nothing seems to lift the mind what should one do?
I was so glad to hear you back in the Courtyard.
Sounds like you are in a real funk. Mother says that suffering and misery is a gift. I know it is hard to comprehend from a subjective point of view and sometimes it feels like it just goes on too long.
Let me just tell you this. Being a Mother myself and a devotee, I know of Mother's love for you. You must realize this. I have missed your comments here.
Please don't stay away.
Location: New Bern, NC
Ah, Paritosh, Mother has sent us all a reminder through mother Rosemary.
"Whenever you are in distress, say to yourself, 'I have a Mother.'"
See how we are blessed!
Location: San Diego, California, USA
Thanks Rosemary and Jayanti for your words. I appreciate the words and the sincerity of your thoughts.
Sometimes nothing really works. Please do not think that I am in a bad shape or anything but the translation of these words into reality is never easy and sometimes more difficult than we can imagine.
Mother is always there with me about that I have no doubt but sometimes even those thoughts are not enough to lift the mind. I try to remember words in the Geeta about the mind being your friend and your enemy and the mind itself lifts you or pulls you down. Even the Mother talks about the blessings of your own mind being needed in spiritual life (at present do not remember Mother's exact quote).
Perhaps it is time "to go back to the drawing board" as they say it in the corporate world. Back to the basics. Back to regular japa and meditation. While the thoughts of doing japa while at work etc are good suggestions they can never replace the standard mthod of making time in our daily living of a regular set time for japa and meditation.
During these past days, I have tried to read a variety of spiritual literature. Yet the translation of the mind occured only when I talked, reasonsed with myself and was objective about it. Mother is always there for Her children, I know but as She herself says, if you are hungry you have to cook the food yourself. Perhaps my hunger was not as intense as I think it was and when I felt the intensity, I got the answers.
Am I rambling? Maybe... but I like to think I am not rambling. I am sharing some of the things that make sense to me from my experiences. We always like to be gentle with each other here in the courtyard. I know Mother also helped to transform lives with her gentle ways. But sometimes I think we need to be tough, and perhaps more tough on ourselves than with others. When we insist on high expectations from ourselves we will always rise to reach those levels.
So yes Mother is with us, She will never leave us but if we want to taste the joy of spiritual life then we need to move in that direction. While movement first is in the mind it will never be adequate it needs to occur as action too.
As Swamiji would always quote from the Upanishad "Arise Awake and stop not till Thy goal is reached"
Paritosh, you have answered your own question.
Sister Rosemary rightly says "you must realize this". Scriptural truths are merely words until they become parts of one's thoughts and actions. They must be lived.
Sister Jayanti is reminding us to call on Divine Mother when in distress -- a very sound counsel which works for me.
Here is what I have found helpful:
Whenever I am troubled about anything I try to look at the underlying cause first and do my best to apply corrective as far as it is within my power. Then I try to throw negative worry about it out of my mind by mentally bowing at the feet of Divine Mother and place my problem before Her. Even before I bring my troubles to Her, She knows of them. The farther we wander away from the feet of the Divine, the heavier those troubles become.
Each day, accept everything as coming to you from the Divine Mother. At night, give everything back into Her hands.
Divine Mother is standing behind each one of us, guiding and helping us, trying in every way possible through our conscience to help us make the right decision.
We may not always be conscious of Divine Mother's response; but when we are in the midst of our inner battles, and we turn to Divine Mother for help, Her grace is there to direct our actions, to support our efforts, and to protect us with Her omniscient love.
Location: Wilmslow, U.K.
Your effort is very very good and no, you are not rambling. I was concerned because we hadn't heard from you and felt something intuitively.
There is a scripture in the Christian religion, "Be still and know that I am God". Do you know how extremely hard that is? One night I decided that however hard it was, for as long as I could, that I would concentrate on God. I took pictures of Sri Ramakrishna and Mother to the porch, at that auspicious conjunction of day and night, lit incense and candle,said their holy names and brought my mind for one second to God. For one holy instance I felt the grace befall. It was like those pictures where man reaches up and God touches the finger of man, and there is power. I also felt the enormity of concentration, this takes to occur. And perhaps I am not ready. There is so much more in my mind, but am on my way to work. Thanks so much for sharing.
Location: New Bern, NC
I think your words are so helpful here. I am struggling in the same way that Paritosh speaks of, so feel that I am very little help.
I am glad that you spoke of conscience. There are times when I want to do something that seems for my happiness, but is against my moral conscience. I see where others seem to succeed by bad behavior and I think, "I can do this too, then I will also be happy." But lately I seem to hear Mother prompting and saying, "Can this be good?" And it is so very helpful to hear that perhaps I am making some right choices. I hope I don't crowd anyone here. This Courtyard is so good for me.
Thank you, Brother. This post has helped me, and I hope it has helped Brother Paritosh. Thanks to all and to our Holy Mother.
Location: New Bern, NC
In the Katha Upanishad (Chapter II, verses 1-2) Yama begins his teaching to Naciketa with a reference to the good life as the ethical precondition to spiritual striving and realization.
'Both sreya (the good) and preya (the pleasant) approach man; the dhira (wise man), examining the two, discriminates between them. The wise man prefers sreya to preya; but the foolish man chooses preya through love of gain and attachment.'
Of the two, preya, which conduces to immediate profit and pleasure, is outwardly more attractive; but its inside is hollow, which time alone will reveal. Sreya, on the other hand, although it involves some initial privation, conduces to man's abiding welfare. Outward appearances may be deceptive; wise person wants to be assured that what APPEARS is also what IS; and he has the patience to wait; his hunger for truth can silence all his hunger for lesser things. He therefore chooses sreya. But the fool chooses preya. He has no power of discrimination nor the patience to wait; he wants results immediately. He is not in search of truth; he seeks YOGAKSEMA, says the Upanishad. YOGAKSEMA literally means 'acquisition' and 'preservation'. Technically, it is used to express the entire range of man's worldly propensities, of which the two basic ones are greed and attachment.
So, Rosemary, you are wise to follow the path of sreya.
Location: Wilmslow, U.K.
Thank you all for this discussion adn freely sharing your thoughts and opinions.
We gain from each others struggles.
May we continue to feel the Mother's presence here in the courtyard and with us always