Wednesday, March 10, 2010

March Is a New Beginning

An old friend recently remarked that March means new beginnings. This hit me in just the right spot. During March we have the Spring Equinox, during which the warmth of the Sun returns, preventing the Earth from plunging into a perpetually dark and frozen place, and instead there is a rebirth: vegetation turns green again and the flowers bloom and we mysteriously feel better on the inside. Who doesn’t enjoy the return of a new spring?

If you live anywhere near me, you have endured a colder than usual winter and perhaps still have snow on the ground. Our dog Meggie saw the ground a few weeks ago for the first time this year, which seemed to bring back old memories for her. Then the big snow came, and that was followed by the bigger snow, and now there is a frozen white world outside, sprinkled in with the giant evergreens in the back that preside majestically over the whole scene. They have been here longer than we have, and their changeless nature inspires me.

I have said that 2010 will be a much kinder year for all of us than 2009, which was sometimes seemingly merciless. This is based partly on planetary influences, which look to be more beneficent in the coming months after many trials and tests last year.

We can each share in a new beginning, in our own way, however we wish to be new, or however we wish to see our life as new. We have a clean slate in each moment, yet the ordinary tendency is to immediately recreate the past, maintaining the sense of continuity for the sake of the ego.

Yet we have the innate and inherent power to create whatever we like in each moment, as well as to create our perception and experience of the objective world of humanity, which we do subconsciously all the time anyway. The trick is to do it consciously, which isn’t really ‘doing’ it at all. It is simply applying will to focus attention according to our conscious intent.

In our course via email, we focus on being more established in what is eternally changeless, while simultaneously being open for transformation in the areas that can be transformed for a life of greater fulfillment and contentment. We simultaneously learn to enjoy the eternally changeless, while participating in the divine transformation, similar to the bud blooming into the magnificent flower. Our life is very similar to the process of the bud blossoming into the flower.

Only the bud doesn’t try to ‘figure out’ with the mind what it should do next. It simply enjoys the natural blossoming which happens on its own accord, according to divine plan. This is the simplest and easiest way of approaching all of life; as truly everything does happen according to divine plan, regardless of whatever choices or decisions we ever think we make.

It has come to my attention lately that many people are hungry for satsang, for the company of like-minded people who share the path of self-discovery and self-development. Some of us have the karma to have access to such groups physically, and others are invited to join us in satsang right here, a virtual satsang that takes place in the comments of the blog, which can be found following each monthly entry.

New readers are invited to check out the sense of camaraderie in the comments, as we share ideas, ask questions, contemplate answers, and generally experience a feeling of community based on our common interest in self-development and spiritual growth. Our subtle community is all-inclusive, and no one is excluded for any reason whatsoever. There are beginners as well as people who have done sadhana for many years, and often have tried out many paths. It is a good balance.

The ‘comments’ following each entry are truly the best part of the blog, and I’d hate for anyone to miss out on them by being unaware of them. For now, I will share a couple of the exchanges from last month’s comments.

Steve C. asked exactly how do we come into harmony with the conditions and situations of daily life. The response:

How to come into harmony?

Establish a conscious intent to be in harmony with everything as it is.

See everything as equally the play of supreme Consciousness.

Replace anger or annoyance with amusement or compassion.

Have unconditional love and compassion for everyone.

See only God in everything, even your lack of harmony.

Forgive yourself for getting freaked out. Know that it's okay.

Remember that everything is perfect even when it's not ideal.

See the things of this world as things of this world; it isn't intended to be heaven, although it can be if we see God in everything.

Understand that one reason we participate in our course via email is so we can learn more and more how to come into harmony with whatever comes up.

Persistently practice with patience.

I enjoyed the dialogue with Kathy, which was productive for many:

Kathy: I was wondering if you wouldn't mind elaborating on the idea of "there's no such thing as trying" which you mention in the last lesson. From starting to do something...to actually doing it...isn't the time in between the time you are "trying?" I feel this is important and I know that the "I'm trying" idea has been sandblasted into our makeup. Just love to chat about this a second.

DRB: Good question, and the answer has a lot to do with understanding doership. One aspect of sadhana, or spiritual practices, is to gradually transcend the idea of being the doer of actions. The divine universal Power of God (Shakti) performs all actions.

Our part in this is exercising control over what we think and what we create, because our thoughts determine how the Shakti (Universal Power, the Power of God) creates our personal reality. Our personal reality exactly reflects how we think and our predominant mental attitude.

The sense of 'trying' is mostly associated with the ego. The ego is greatly identified with being the doer of action, and is actually a little put off at the idea of there not being a doer.

The way to accomplish anything is to first create in thought exactly what we want, and the next step is to feel as though our creation is already real. All this is explained in detail in the first year of the course.

Once we see the end result and feel that it is already real, there is no further need for 'trying.' We will be intuitively guided regarding what we need to 'do' in each present moment to 'do our part' in allowing our creation to manifest outwardly.

Once we understand the nature of 'trying,' we see that it is not only unproductive but actually distracting. It is much easier and simpler to simply know that our ideal is already real in our feeling, which is our subtle reality, and what is real subtly will in time be reflected outwardly in the physical world.

Kathy: Thanks, I think I got it. Totally enlightening! In a sense "trying" is a type of "doubting" correct? Doubting in action so to speak or doubting in sheep’s clothing.

There is no middle step needed between the idea of what you want to create and getting there except following your intuitive guidance. Ah...that's the trick isn't it?

If that's so, now the question is, how do we stay totally in tune with our intuitive guidance from any point A to point B. Sometimes it seems obvious and sometimes it does seem like you have to try. So maybe when we find ourselves trying we should stop doing that!

DRB: You are absolutely correct. When you notice you are trying, remind yourself that your ego has gotten involved, and you need to let go once again.

Weird thing about this letting go thing; we have to keep letting go over and over again. It takes a while for something to actually be finished to the point that it doesn't come up again. And 'trying' is a deeply ingrained samskara from a very early age.

You (Kathy) said: "There is no middle step needed between the idea of what you want to create and getting there except following your intuitive guidance. Ah...that's the trick isn't it?"

Your words speak the truth. That is the trick. Inner guidance always exists in the present moment. It won't tell us what we will need to do later, which the mind endlessly tries to figure out, but it will always tell us what we need to do right now. It will either be intuitively obvious or not worth thinking about.

Sometimes the most vital thing to do right now is to relax and be completely at ease for a while. If it seems that it is not obvious what to do now, then I would go that route. Most of us are too busy trying to do the next thing, when we actually need to kick back and do something fun for a while. Fun, laugher, and relaxation are very rejuvenating.

Kathy: What about those times when you feel you should be doing something but you're not sure what it is? Is that a sign that's it's still not time to do anything?

DRB: That is the ego. The ego persistently thinks it should be doing something, getting somewhere, making some progress with something, staying busy, getting things done.

Once someone asked my Teacher how to know what to do next. My Teacher replied, "I didn't know life was about doing; I thought life was about being."

It is so easy for us to exhaust ourselves doing, whether we actually accomplish anything worthwhile or not, but for some reason we have such a hard time simply enjoying being. In the grand scheme of things, it is much more important to be than to do.

Practice enjoying simply being without feeling like you have to constantly be busy doing. It goes against our conditioning, but it will bring much joy and contentment to your life.

It is just as important to relax and enjoy ourselves as it is to do our work. There must be a harmonious balance, without going too far in either direction.

Kathy: This has really given me great insight, hope I can remember it daily. Thank you.

DRB: Thank you for hanging in there until your understanding was clear. It is a great example for all of us.