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3873Re: People who drop out should try an alternatives

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  • icysuren
    Apr 30, 2004
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      Adhiratha! I liked your letter...ALOT.

      It is yet another case in point that always we have the choice of
      making the best of the circumstances.

      We may fail, or get confused, but yet if we maintain a positive
      outlook on life, really if we only think of our HAPPINESS first,
      then we can make the best of the situation.

      Unfortunately, despair and bitterness are always there, tempting us,
      ready to take us into their cold embrace.

      People may say that the grapes are sour, like the fox in Aesop's
      tale. Ok, that is our choice, but for God's sake, for our sake,
      really, let's get on with our lives, then.

      Actually, your story got me thinking about my story: When my parents
      came back to the centre (after a pause of 11 years during which they
      didn't achieve much, except adding to the world's population
      problem) I was only 8. Then, for a few years I lived under Guru's
      and my parents' protection - although I didn't meditate much and was
      not all that involved in the centre activities.

      When I turned 14 I began to fear that I was missing out on all the
      fun experiences of a teenager, by living according to the discipline
      of the centre, so I stopped coming to the centre for 6 months or so.

      So, what happened during those 6 months? What fun experiences did I

      Well, to tell the truth, I can't remember a single thing from this
      period! I realized two things: These "fun experiences" were mostly
      experiences of anxiety, insecurity, misunderstanding etc. And
      secondly, there were some aspects of the spiritual life that I
      couldn't just cast away - every fiber of my being cherished and
      claimed those aspects.

      So two things happened: First I came back to the centre, started
      coming regularly to meditations and even got caught up in all kinds
      of centre activities (like running, never thought I'd get caught up
      in that!), because I figured that the only way I could evaluate the
      centre was from within the centre.

      Secondly, a couple of years later I felt I had seen enough of the
      "oridnary life" and it was not for me, whereas life within the
      centre provided me with two things that I knew that I had always
      longed for: Answers to the mysterious questions of the inner and
      outer world, and a cause worth commiting to, a veritable quest and
      an adventure, which was at the same time, like all good adventures,
      a search for my own inmost truths.

      Sure, after making this commitment, I've had my share of hard times
      and inner turmoil - I've considered giving up. (How does that poem
      go again: "To do the right thing is so hard/Because giving up is so
      easy", or something like that?). But when I've allowed the initial
      confusion to settle, the emotions to calm, I keep coming to the same
      point: The ordinary life is nothing special to me, whereas the
      spiritual life is an adventure, it is the life where I can discover
      and enjoy my hidden capacities. I hope I'll never forget that.


      --- In Sri_Chinmoy_Inspiration@yahoogroups.com, adhiratha
      <no_reply@y...> wrote:
      > Dropping out is not surprising. It happens in all sorts of
      > marathons.
      > Attacking is surprising, considering what we know is here on this
      > path. Attacking just doesn't make any sense. It is sort of like
      > cursing the race if you falter at the 11-mile mark of a 26-mile
      > course because you have leg cramps and can't go on any more.
      > Should an uninspired or injured runner get angry with the other
      > runners who are going on, or the helpers or race organizers who
      > assisted him/her to get through the early miles? Would s/he invest
      > any time in trying to call those ahead back, to tell them it's not
      > worth the effort because they too might get cramps further up? It
      > would be silly.
      > It seems that whoever is doing the attacking should have a good
      > discussion with themselves and choose some alternative to discover
      > again what gives them joy or start training for the next race. If
      > they are successful in some other way at continually experiencing
      > the true inner joy, then "By their fruits shall we know them."
      > I remember that some people who left had been quite active before
      > in giving classes; but after awhile they seemed more into the
      > experience of getting attention from new people, rather than
      > personal self-transcendence or spiritual development. I remember
      > one individual in particular who would brag to new people that he
      > did not do physical exercise [although it was quite obvious]. He
      > would make self-deprecating jokes that were ice breakers at first,
      > but it seemed he started to believe they were more than that, and
      > he used it as an excuse for no longer trying to conquer his
      > lethargy. At any rate, it also applied to his regular meditation
      > practice, which also seriously lapsed. I heard he even gave more
      > classes after he left this path....
      > Now to relate this to the topic: "We are all Infinity's Dream."
      > Maybe the people doing the attacking should be encouraged to
      > travel a bit and visit other spiritual groups until they come to
      > find something that inspires them to do something positive with
      > their lives.
      > As someone who was fortunate to work on a ship that went around
      > the world before I met Sri Chinmoy [that's another story], and who
      > has continued to be fortunate to experience the varieties of other
      > cultures and places while on the path, I highly recommend these
      > persons consider alternative ways to get and give joy. Maybe learn
      > a new language. They could follow the path of the classic
      > "Pilgrim" - that is: travel, observe and repeat some inspiring
      > simple meditations if they are still seeking. Or try their hand in
      > some other creative endeavor. I'm sure the Supreme waits for them
      > to aspire in some new form and to make the best of this so short
      > life. Basically get on with the practice of being a better person
      > and leading by example. Then their inner light will draw people
      > who need to be informed by their real wisdom.
      > They should stop procrastinating by pretending to be doing
      > something useful by harassing people. Look, we know what we are
      > doing. There are plenty of temptations from within to be less than
      > spiritual in this life. We don't need their outer temptations to
      > be less intense. Advancing age alone is always there to try and
      > convince us to slow down and give up.
      > I was grateful to find this path over 30 years ago. I was also
      > grateful to Sri Chinmoy's compassion and wisdom when he suggested
      > I take a sabbatical from his outer path after more than 20 years.
      > [He saw I was not happy, but that too is another story.] So I know
      > something about the experience of being outside [or appearing to
      > be]. But attacking the one who has given us so much, or the other
      > students who are receiving what the attackers no longer have the
      > capacity to assimilate, is not a good use of precious time.
      > My choice when I was away from active involvement was to list all
      > the good things that I could still do wholeheartedly. Then I
      > continued to do them as best I could. I thought if I can't do the
      > best, that is no reason not to keep doing the good.
      > I honored the evenings that I had for years meditated regularly
      > with Sri Chinmoy's students. I also spoke to friends old and new
      > who were not Sri Chinmoy's students about the practices that had
      > assisted me over the years, and my plan to keep doing those good
      > things. I made time to continue a regular exercise programme. I
      > took language classes. I finished some more of my advanced
      > education and received another degree. I made another attempt at
      > swimming the English Channel. It was a good time to do those
      > positive things, while I experienced more of being in the world,
      > and seeing the kinds of choices other people were making. In small
      > ways I was observing my other friends, seeing what gave them joy,
      > as I reconsidered the direction of my life.
      > I had no need to reject what had assisted me while I was actively
      > involved with Sri Chinmoy and the other students. I just felt
      > inspired to know so many people were still attempting this lofty
      > goal of self-transcendence with a wonderful role model.
      > Sometimes I would avoid people associated with the Sri Chinmoy
      > Center, especially during the first months of my sabbatical. I had
      > some inner and outer assurance that it was right for me to be
      > away, but I didn't want to take the chance of discouraging anyone
      > who was still following Sri Chinmoy's path. For over twenty years
      > it been good for me to be intensely involved in this community,
      > and I knew how precious it was and how fortunate someone is to
      > discover a community that supports their inner quest. This allows
      > them to make much quicker progress.
      > Practicing on my own, away from the center, it was sometimes
      > harder to meditate with the same intensity. But my meditation
      > times became more sacred and regular in the sense that I noticed
      > even more graphically how much inner joy and protection I received
      > when I sincerely prayed for and focused on the inner light. I had
      > to work harder to protect those regular times. I could not assume
      > that if I was inspired to meditate at an odd moment, those I was
      > with would understand my desire to just shift focus to a more
      > spiritual approach. While with secular friends or involved in
      > secular activities, I did not have the option to easily drop out
      > for a few minutes or a few hours, in order to pursue spiritual
      > practice.
      > This is getting long. To conclude for today: After a few years,
      > when it seemed I must have assimilated sufficient additional
      > experience and observations of others' approach to fulfillment, I
      > became more active again with the Sri Chinmoy Center. I am
      > grateful for the inner guidance and protection I received through
      > those times, and the miracle and circumstances that made it
      > possible to again experience this love and oneness more directly.
      > So if you are a site lurker, who once was involved in Sri
      > Chinmoy's activities and now aren't - just use your time wisely.
      > "Alternatives of mind give us peace of mind, Alternatives of the
      > heart give us abiding satisfaction..." - Sri Chinmoy
      > And may all of us remember: "Only Supreme ----Infinity's Dream." -
      > this from one happy hummer of that melody. - Adhiratha
      > --- In Sri_Chinmoy_Inspiration@yahoogroups.com, anami2708
      > <no_reply@y...> wrote:
      > > As we have learnt in the spiritual life, love and hatred are the
      > > front side and back side of the same coin. But love is uplifting
      > > and progressive, while hatred is suppressive and destructive. In
      > > life, to love is always more difficult than to hate. To love
      > > needs conscious effort, strength and endurance.
      > >
      > > It is evidently and obviously always easier to criticise and
      > > destroy something, than to encourage and build according to high
      > > ethical values. It has been like this since humans first
      > > populated this planet.
      > >
      > > Also, spiritual teachers themselves have said in different
      > > scriptures that in hatred, the person is constantly involved
      > > with the teacher - in a negative way of course - but they are
      > > constantly thinking of the Master, and so unconsciously proving
      > > the connection of the heart (which is at that moment obstructed
      > > and veiled).
      > >
      > > This situation is difficult to understand and to deal with, I
      > > believe, especially if those who leave our path badly attack and
      > > discredit others in a very personal way.
      > >
      > > I agree that at a certain point there must come a time when
      > > people take lawful steps to protect themselves against these
      > > attacks. This is absolutely legitimate, also in the spiritual
      > > world. It is also a step forward to prevent the attackers from
      > > doing more evil, thus helping them to stop accumulating bad
      > > karma.
      > >
      > > A spiritual Master like Sri Chinmoy is all Compassion,
      > > Forgiveness and Divine Love. He accepts life as it is, and deals
      > > with world-difficulties like human inner evolution and ethical
      > > progress. For him, this attacking "play" is surely a kind of
      > > kindergarden- problem.
      > >
      > > In the meantime, Sri Chinmoy sleeplessly continues to inspire
      > > and encourage us to build an island paradise of inner happiness
      > > and peace in this world, as most of humanity is dreaming of.
      > >
      > > Nothing can take away my heart's gratitude to Sri Chinmoy for
      > > doing that kind of unique service in my tiny life, and inviting
      > > me to look beyond the present boundaries of the outer world, to
      > > the inner world where these qualities of peace and inner
      > > happiness abide.
      > >
      > > Anami
      > >
      > >
      > > --- In Sri_Chinmoy_Inspiration@yahoogroups.com,
      > > nayaknayaknayak <no_reply@y...> wrote:
      > > > I feel that those people who leave our path and then try to
      > > > hurt Sri Chinmoy (or his students) are trying to maintain an
      > > > involvement with him. At one time they loved him, and now they
      > > > are expressing that love in a very, very negative way. It is
      > > > like a little kid who can't get attention from a parent, or
      > > > the kid doesn't get something that he wants (which may be
      > > > harmful for him), and so the little boy or girl tries to hurt
      > > > the parent to get them to pay attention or to give something.
      > > > This is their way of maintaining a connection with someone
      > > > whom they value but cannot control.
      > > >
      > > > After all, Sri Chinmoy is a really great person, someone they
      > > > will never find elsewhere in their lives. So, they maintain
      > > > this negative connection with a really great spritual figure,
      > > > rather than truly dropping out and leading their lives without
      > > > him (which would make their lives seem utterly meaningless).
      > > >
      > > > Yours,
      > > >
      > > > Nayak
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