The great yogi, Henry David Thoreau, spent a vast amount of time observing, contemplating and writing about the transformations of nature. Even beyond his time at Walden he continued to study trees and plants and their interactions with the elements and animals. His descriptions provided a rich glimpse into the deeper consciousness of his being. Thoreau found “the very earth itself as a granary and a seminary.” He found “faith in a seed,” with a realization of its origin, path and destiny. Then he offered its story to inspire humanity.
Is our will separate from God’s will? Is the spiritual path that of renouncing our own will and submitting to God’s will? In truth, there is but one will, and that is God’s/our will. In human life that One pure will is often projected through the clouded lens of our acquired concepts of finitude (our sense identified ego) resulting in disturbing and negative expressions. Let us purify our minds and hearts so that the pure light of God’s/Our will may be expressed in all our thoughts, words and deeds.
The natural symbols of sublime devotion become to us mirrors of the Self. They reflect not only our inner revelations but inspire and guide us on the inmost path. The symbol of the crescent moon is certainly an image of beauty and reflection to the poet and the philosopher in us all.
There is a verse in the Vishnu Purana that includes the Sanskrit phrase: "Sa vidya ya vimuktaye”. It means: “knowledge is that which liberates.”
“Two little birds, linked by mutual friendly bonds, reside in the selfsame tree; one of them is engrossed in the enjoyment of sweet fruit, while the other looks on with perfect serenity.” This verse is found in the Mundaka and SvetasvataraUpanishads and in the Rig Veda. The two birds symbolize our dual nature: soul and senses, subjectivity and objectivity. Which “bird” guides our lives? Is our goal to renounce the objective “bird” and identify solely with the serene transcendental “bird”? Can these “birds” exist within us in harmony and synchronicity?
For the past seven weeks we have shared together in our Kriya meditation series the ideal and means of Kriya yoga. Perhaps now at the conclusion of this series, we may ask ourselves, “Am I a yogi? What does it truly mean to practice yoga? What is the path? How does one live a life of yoga? At what stage of life can one be a yogi?”
In observance of Mother’s Day this Sunday we call to mind the sublime quality of grace attained in the soul’s unfoldment. It is a natural self-expression of divine love and inner beauty.
“Mother” is the standard by which we come to realize selfless and unconditional love, patience, understanding, and forgiveness. Such virtues awaken us to the grace of God. That grace blesses and guides our life’s journey.
The beautiful expression of Rabindranath Tagore to sit before the master poet and ask only that he may “make his life simple and straight, like a flute of reed to fill with music” offers us a sublime meditation on the nature of our own lives.
In the 11th chapter of the Bhagavad Gita are given the words “Salutation unto thee, a thousand times salutation unto thee, and again and again salutation unto thee.” These are the words uttered by Arjuna after witnessing the divine universal form of God in its entire multifarious splendor. His mind and devotion are not shattered into a thousand perceptions and appreciations by this experience but are inexorably drawn to God, the One who is the source and essence of all. This is the path of yoga, of oneness. In all the experiences of our pilgrimage through this vast munificent emporium of God’s manifestation let us always and forever more seek and find the essence of the One. Salutations unto thee, a thousand times salutation unto thee!
After his enlightenment under the Bodhi tree at Bodh Gaya, Gautama the Buddha arrived in Sarnath, also known as Deer Park. It was there that he offered his first sermon regarding the noble path.
The path of self-realization is riddled with challenges on all sides. But one who lives this earthly life in the consciousness of the true nature of the Soul progresses through all the vicissitudes of space, causality, and time, without being overpowered by them.
In the evolution of human thought and expression, we have journeyed through the contributions of enlightened minds who have brought clarity and understanding of the principles and laws of nature. Yet it is in the unfoldment of soul that we awaken to freedom from all limitation and attain the peace which passeth all understanding.
Dara Shikoh was the eldest son of Emperor Shah Jehan of India who built the Taj Mahal. In his treatise entitled: “Majma-ul-Bharayn” (the merging of two oceans), Dara Shikoh explored the confluence of mystical thought of the Qur’an and the Upanishads, merging the currents of two traditions. While he reflected upon the monist message of Advaita Vedanta and the truth of tawhid (the oneness of God) in his reflections, we may gather from this expression a deeper ocean of realization.
The noblest path we can pursue is not the one which is the easiest or the most popular. It is the path that will take us toward the greatest wisdom and joy of our soul. In this pursuit we will strive to resurrect every aspect of our being with consciousness lifted to that Supreme Soul of all. We meditate, pray, work, play, eat and rest — all with the ultimate goal of self-liberation. What is the path and how shall we know it?
On the day known as “Palm Sunday” we remember the gathering in Jerusalem when those welcoming Christ with palm branches sang out “Hosanna, Hosanna in the highest…Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord.” Yet we know that worship and songs of praise have no limitation, religious or cultural. The expression of devotion has no boundary. The mystic has this sublime realization.
The subject of this realization is faith, trust in the divine and holy attributes of the soul. The subtle and illuminating powers of the soul gently touch the world about us. Patience and persistence are required in such pursuit. Though our expression has an outward form, it is truly an inner path that gives rise to such a glorious exaltation.
“In the name of…” is a phrase that is commonly used to mean “by the sanction or authority of.” A few examples are: “in the name of the law”, “in the name of love” and “in the name of science.” At the conclusion of the Sermon on the Mount it is said of Jesus that “the people were astonished at his doctrine: for he taught them as one having authority". What was the source of that authority? In whose name did he act and speak? We may also ask, what authority guides our thoughts, word and deeds? Unfortunately, we often act in the name of ego. Let us ever aspire to live our lives “in the name of God.”
In our meditation, we will reflect upon the story of creation from the standpoint of our own involution and evolution as spiritual beings. In addition, we will review the revelations of the truth contained in the symbology of this story as revealed in the Book of Genesis and the scriptures of mankind. We look forward to your attendance
As human beings we experience with great difficulty the weaknesses and limitations of the body and the mind. We desire to overcome the obstacles of our physical and mental frailties though they often seem insurmountable. But life is a process of self-discovery, and we seek a philosophy of living that will give us the strength to move forward with equanimity and inspiration.
What is that power of oneness that can transmute our lives and make, to quote from Kalidas, every day “the very life of life,” every yesterday “a dream of happiness” and every tomorrow “a vision of hope”?
Beyond the measurements of time and the physical processes of change, we also have our subjective experiences of time. As a child we may not have developed much patience and things seem to take way too long. As an adult time seems to “fly.” And we wonder where the time has gone. In these instances, time is relative to our perception. But is there an experience of time which we have not yet fully realized?
God, the Supreme Self, has given each of us the inestimable gift of our soul, comprising divine love, life and wisdom. The Supreme Self is the “universal lover” that has presented each of us with the special valentine of divine love. With that Valentine, we are given the opportunity to grow and unfold love in our lives.