Wednesday, June 1, 2011

The Kind and Wise Taxi Driver

I’ve heard many funny and intriguing stories about how people discover what we share here, regarding participation in the blog and the course and dialogue and whatever forms the process takes at any given time. Recently we received an email from a person who said she was experiencing a personal crisis in Manhattan and she ran out to get a taxi.

She described the taxi driver as ‘kind and wise,’ and he listened to her story, shared some soothing and insightful words with her, and soon she felt much better. As they arrived at her destination, he pulled out a piece of paper, and handed it to her saying, ‘Go to this address online and take the course if you can.’ On the paper was written the online address for this blog.

She couldn’t believe that a taxi ride in the midst of a crisis would lead to participating in a course such as ours. I’d love to share many such stories with you, as people have come to be here in many strange and unexpected ways. We are represented by no particular lifestyle, and come from all areas of life.

The course and blog represent no particular path or tradition, and we are not affiliated with any other teacher, although many teachers of many paths and traditions participate in and benefit from the course. One fellow described it as a ‘multi-path approach.’ All are included and none are excluded. It could be the ‘pathless path.’ Or just as easily it could be ‘the path that includes all paths.’

There is only one goal, but many paths and trails can be taken up the mountain. Since they all lead to the same Source, they are equal. It’s not so much a matter of ‘choosing’ a path, as it is simply recognizing the one you are already living. We don’t select a path. The path selects us.

There have always been certain divine guidelines that contain the dharma of the times, and teachers who function during certain times need to understand the guidelines in order to be practically effective as a teacher during this particular time.

If we don’t understand the Truth of the Present Moment, we don’t know what is going on; we don’t even know what we are doing. We're in a waking dream.

For now, I'd like so share some of my favorite exchanges in the 'comments' of the last few months.  I am sure you will find something relevant to your own sadhana.

Deb, the Self is most pleased when we ourselves are most pleased. The Self is most pleased with us when we are most pleased with ourselves. Not in an egotistical way, but in the same sense as a parent being pleased with the child.

No matter how often we read or hear the same Truth, it is challenging to fully realize that the inner Self of all is no different from our own Awareness. It’s hard to believe it’s actually inside when we are so conditioned to thinking of it as outside us.

The Self experiences what we experience. Therefore, the Self is most pleased when we ourselves are most pleased.
Marc, this body we find ourselves in has a certain amount of karma that we experience as our personal life. The Shakti, simply speaking, is the Universal Force that makes things happen. So of course in a sense the Shakti delivers our karma to us so that we experience whatever we need to experience to grow stronger or freer. It can be truly said that whatever in our karma doesn't kill us will definitely make us stronger.

Understanding karma is much preferable to thinking something ‘bad’ is happening or that something is going 'wrong.' There is no chance of anything ever going wrong at any time or place. Everything happens by cosmic design.

In our thoughts and actions we create karma, and in the conditions and experiences of personal life we experience the effects of the karma we created. Nothing more happens, and no one else causes anything to happen to us. Deep down we are One with the supreme Creator of all.

Lotus, your comment is a great example of the poignancy of the human predicament. In our course we explore the relationship between poignancy and compassion. Compassion is an essential aspect of why we are here and what life is all about.  For most of us it is an essential lesson to be learned as we experience our own sadhana.

This physical life is not like a vacation. It is a cycle of karma that from time to time will seem difficult as well as poignant.

I know of several people participating in the course with very similar circumstances. Some recently lost their partners, and others have partners who are very ill. It is amazing how many of us do not enjoy ‘ideal’ lives. Truth is, I've never known of anyone like that.

It is wonderful that you wish to help your husband; yet a lot of your ability to help depends on your capacity to maintain your vision of the Truth.

In the subtle body your husband is what we would think of as 'at his peak.' There is no illness, suffering, aging, or dying on the subtle plane. All those things exist in the realm of physical karma only.

If you can remember to consciously see him as he truly is, as youthful and vibrant and strong, that is the most you can do to help him have an experience of resurrection. If you see him as healthy and full of life, you give energy to his resurrection, to his rejuvenation, and even to a greater rebirth.

This physical life is not set up to be ideal. It's set up to see how much we can take. And then when it gives us as much as we can take, it's our work on ourselves to be as in harmony with it as possible. Instead of resistance, we accept it as a temporary karmic reality, knowing that everything will be different again soon enough.

The inner Self, or pure Consciousness, was never born and will never die. It is indestructible and indivisible. It is ageless, and it always remains as it is, even though it takes innumerable shapes and forms here and there in the karmic journey through time.

It has always been my experience and observation that everything happens for the best. We simply have to balance this certainly with the compassion for the poignancy of life. No one can avoid poignancy in some form or another. Therefore compassion is such an essential quality to develop, otherwise the poignancy of life will be difficult to deal with.

Jo-Ann, the course actually has very little to do with new facts. Oh, sure there might be tidbits to come up that you've never been aware of before, but the course is primarily a reminder of the Truth of the present moment, and a way of understanding our own knowledge in a new and more expansive way.

A relative beginner might read a couple of lessons of the course and think, 'Oh, I already know all this. The same knowledge is available in the book I read last week,' and totally dismiss the lessons as being repetitive of what they 'already know.' You can also be sure that they will never actually apply the 'knowledge' they imagined was in the book in any practical way whatsoever.

Someone with a little more awareness might read the same words and experience an unexpected upliftment, an inexplicable exaltation, and perhaps a surprising insight that seems to have nothing to do with the written words.

So we share a process of continuous refinement of awareness. For myself and many others, sharing this process together is one of the most profound, transformative, loving, and intimate things we could ever share.

Vandita, that is a good question: Who plans the plan?  The answer requires a very subtle and refined understanding. 

In the highest sense, everything is a play of Consciousness. There is no one separate from that to decide anything.

We're all a 'work in progress' when it comes to sadhana.  Yet we are also pure Consciousness, without beginning or end. It is a strange and fascinating game.

When we fully understand what is the play of Consciousness, we see that no one in particular is doing anything. There is no planner, and also no plan. There is no one making a decision; everything happens in absolute balance and harmony, except in our own conditioned minds. There's the Truth of the Present Moment, and in reality that's all there is.

Sukala, everything you say is very true. Vigilance is an extremely important word when it comes to sadhana or spiritual development. The body, mind, and emotions all presume to have a life of their own, and they follow their own patterns, and the ego gets identified with these patterns and thinks they're a part of who we are. So we have to be very vigilant regarding our thoughts, feelings, and inclinations. Let's make sure they come from an uplifting place within ourselves and that they always have an uplifting effect on others around us.

It is great that you aspire to cheerfulness. Cheerfulness is a very high spiritual quality that is often underrated and under-appreciated. Yet genuine cheerfulness comes from an open heart.

It is also great that you are learning more about creation and speech. If we wish our lives to go in a certain direction, it is important to make sure all our thoughts, feelings, actions, and words resonate with that direction. Otherwise instead of a gentle flow we have a chaotic mess.

If we sit around thinking about the very things we don't want, we will make ourselves miserable. Why should we think of what we don't want? This is silly, yet it contributes our energy toward the creation of the very things we don't want. Whatever we think about most attracts these very conditions and traits to ourselves. What we think, and what we speak, is what we get.

Words are creative. This is one of the most important things in the world to understand--the power of matrika shakti--yet most people are not the least bit interested in this, as it doesn't fit into their conditioned way of thinking and seeing things.

There is a great deal more to life than most of us are aware of.  Yet we must be ready for what is unexpected and new.  For the awareness of a principle to be impactful, it must be new, unexpected, surprising, sometimes even shocking.  Then we are jolted awake and aware of a more refined level of being than before.  This is the work we have taken an incarnation to do.

You are doing very well. I am happy you are enjoying the lessons of the course.

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