Things I have learnt
- If you were to look back over your life, a kind of retrospect - perhaps like a mountaineer looking down from the peaks at the landscapes and great distances crossed - what are the things that really stand out, what are the things that shaped you, what have you learnt? In our Centre the disciples are invited to consider and answer that question each week with a "Things I have learnt on the path" response. After each evening one or two come forward to share their thoughts and insights in what has proven to be a goldmine of inspiration. It would be interesting to hear of all your thoughts.
- It sounds a great idea to give people the opportunity to reflect on some of the positive aspects of life. I find that there is always a tendency to slip back into thinking about mundane matters worrying about things like paying the next bill, and all those kind of material worries that can gain an undue hold on our mind. But, if we take time to reflect on some of the spiritual experiences we've had over the past few years, it definitely puts things into perspective and we become grateful we didn't spend the best years of our life - only in the pursuit of temporary material pursuits.
One thing that springs to mind; Sri Chinmoy said on quite a few occasions that when we take time to share the spiritual life with others, we will see our own faith renewed and re-invigorated. For example, it is a wonderful opportunity to share meditation classes with new seekers. Rather than spending an evening of just passing the time, we can re-live the experience of discovering a new world of meditation for the first time.
It would be enough just to offer a meditation class, but on quite a few occasions you meet people who have their life turned around by the opportunity to meditate, and come across the teachings of Sri Chinmoy.
In meditation classes, some seekers have experiences with Sri Chinmoy's transcendental picture which are really beautiful and profound. There is part of me, which thinks if only I could have those kinds of experiences myself! But, there is never any sense of jealousy because I really feel that if others are having a good meditation, it will definitely help your own meditation. I'm just grateful for the opportunity to meditate with others.
To come back to Jogyata's question what I have learnt in the past few years? One thing is that in the spiritual life, the more you share with others the more you benefit yourself. It is the opposite to the material world, where we can feel we are fighting for a limited share of scarce resources. In the spiritual life, there is no scarcity giving only increases the quantity.
I work as an economist, and in economics, we always teach that the fundamental law of economics is that of scarcity. Everything has an opportunity cost. If I eat all the pies, there's no pies left over for you. If there are 6 slices of pizza, and I take 5 slices you may have good reason to think me greedy
Yet through meditation, you can learn the fundamental law of economics definitely doesn't apply to the spiritual realm! There is no opportunity cost if I get inspired by a fellow seeker meditating well, that helps everyone. In the world of meditation, there is no austerity and limitation only the opportunity to discover and experience more.
Of course, the other thing I learnt on the path is not to eat all the pies, this wisdom has made me the cyclist I am today. But, if left over prasad is available remember `first come, first served!'
- Thanks for thread, Jogyata.
Personally, I've learned to avoid clichés like the plague!
I mean, I have a choice, as a writer-either to rack my brain, often unsuccessfully, to find witty and intelligent things to say, or to go around sounding like one hundred recycled Hallmark greeting cards. Yes, it takes effort to avoid relying on predigested slop, but it's usually worth it.
Writing's really a process of self-discovery. Practicing spirituality with Sri Chinmoy has helped me to peel away the social crusts that hide my true nature. Meditation teaches me how to be me, by pointing out that I have a higher and a deeper self. When I am true to that Self, I am happy. If I am happy, it is only because I am being true to that vast invisible Me that encompasses all and gives unconditionally and expects nothing in return.
That's the secret and the gift that meditation can confer. You can grab the bull by the horns, you can face the music, but if you do not know yourself, it's just so much smoldering papier-mache.
- It turns out not to be so easy to find out what shaped my life. Something is telling me repeatedly that life itself is shaping my nature, but I think it was especially the willingness to change, a seeking, because there was a constant dissatisfaction, no matter what direction I took and there was a feeling that there must be more to life - a yearning.
From our master I have learnt that there is a higher life and to focus on only one direction. I am benefiting from his teachings and I very much like the quality of purity, never to give up and not to idealize others.
Thank you for your interest, Jogyata.