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Re: To Asher

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  • srichinmoyinspiration
    In helping out with the Inspiration group, one thing I try to remember is that Sri Chinmoy calls his path the Sunlit Path, and he speaks of simplicity as a
    Message 1 of 11 , Jun 6, 2004
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      In helping out with the Inspiration group, one thing I try to
      remember is that Sri Chinmoy calls his path the Sunlit Path, and he
      speaks of simplicity as a great virtue.

      Yet this virtue is not easily achieved; and sometimes when a person
      expresses him or herself simply, the world misunderstands. It takes
      tremendous courage to remain rooted in simple, childlike faith, in
      the face of the world's unkindness.

      Some seekers may be helped when they see that people who have read
      alot of books and amassed alot of outer knowledge also bow to Sri
      Chinmoy as a saintly soul who is far, far beyond their intellectual
      achievements. Others may feel that the intellectual approach only
      detracts from their simple life of faith.

      From day to day and week to week, the emphasis in the postings may
      change. Sometimes I have to do a difficult balancing act, because I
      want to protect people with innocent faith from being ridiculed.
      Yet, I don't want to create so much of a "gated community" that it
      becomes impossible for anyone new to join in the discussion, because
      they sense that they don't "speak the lingo."

      It really is a difficult balancing act, and I apologise to anyone
      I've offended--either by what I have chosen to include, or to omit.

      Further complicating things is the problem of harassment of minority
      spiritual groups on the Internet. This sometimes makes it harder for
      people to bare their souls, not knowing who is out there sifting
      through each word, with hostile intent.

      For all these reasons, it can be a real challenge to try and keep
      all the posters happy.

      I often find myself engaging in compromise--also known as "the art
      of the possible." I am by nature someone who hates compromise. Yet,
      Sri Chinmoy teaches that God's Dream Boat far outruns Earth's
      Reality Shore. That being the case, sometimes all we can do is
      humbly offer spiritual ideals, hoping that they will one day meet
      with greater acceptance. We cannot be too much in people's faces.

      It is like what Sundari and Ahelee were saying about the customers
      who come in to Ananda Fuara to dine. Even if they are not following
      Sri Chinmoy's path, they are like extended family; and they depend
      on Sri Chinmoy's students to offer them peace and joy. They do not
      care so much to hear about struggles and conflicts.

      Here in our Inspiration group there can be a tug of war between
      people who want all the postings to remain extremely positive in
      tone, and people who want to discuss difficult, "edgy" issues. There
      is also a tug of war between people who prefer postings which
      express simple, warm family feelings, and people who put on more of
      a song and dance with language. I sympathise with all sides, and
      feel that a lot of good discussions have emerged from this "dynamic
      tension."

      As spiritual seekers, we probably all have our dark nights of the
      soul--our periods of going through "stuff" (as Sushmitam calls it).
      Also, I'm sure some of us have been treated unkindly because of our
      spiritual beliefs. Some of us may have a few "battle scars," and if
      we get to thinking about how the world can misunderstand and
      ridicule spiritual seekers, we might all be able to let out a huge
      primal scream! :) (See Jogyata's message #4147.)

      Yet, I notice that people who are much more spiritually advanced
      than I am (which is about 99% of the planet) try and let go of all
      that excess baggage, all those memories of dark nights of the soul,
      and struggles with naysayers. In spite of all the difficulties, they
      continue to cultivate a simple, joyful approach to life--one rooted
      in deep faith.

      You might think that I'm close to saying "this but not that"--coming
      out on one side or the other. But I really want to be fair to all
      points of view among Sri Chinmoy's students, friends and
      well-wishers. There might be days when the postings sound too much
      like a literary society or debating club. Other days, they might
      take on such an air of deep devotion that those "stuck in the mind"
      may not know how to relate.

      I hope that over the long haul, people will feel that this board
      does reflect balance, and that everyone posting really is part of a
      beautiful tapestry--even if the patterns sometimes clash. :)

      I was moved by Arpan's posting here

      http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Sri_Chinmoy_Inspiration/message/4236

      because I felt he was courageously sticking up for his right to use
      simple, honest language to convey his real feelings of inspiration
      and gratitude in following Sri Chinmoy's path. He stated very
      pointedly that:

      "Intellectual training is not necessary here. Real meditation is not
      philosophy or fancy syntax, it is the Experience of Reality beyond
      the physical, mental and psychic planes of human, worldly
      consciousness."

      Yet, Arpan also worked hard to explain what gratitude means to him:

      "This final segue into another 'overused' or trite concept comes
      from a real experience resulting from years of practicing or
      attempting to enter into the real worlds of soul and spirit through
      soulful, devotional music.

      "When one has a little success at it and it is recognized by a
      spiritual musician as great as Sri Chinmoy, the experience of
      gratitude cannot be helped. The experience itself is not the nine
      letter word beginning with 'G'. It is an ocean of emotion, springing
      from an Eternal source of knowledge and energy trying to express
      itself through the limited consciousness of a still far from fully
      evolved humanity.

      "It is like trying to describe the earthly ocean to someone who has
      not jumped in, swum around, or better yet, has yet to dive deep
      within to experience firsthand its endless wonders, beauty and life
      forms. I have dived into the outer ocean (SCUBA) a number of times
      and I am still at a loss for words to describe it, even on the outer
      plane.

      "Diving into the Inner Ocean is even more incredibly difficult to
      describe to the uninitiated. Therefore, words such as 'inspiring' do
      become meaningless when the perceptual or experiential background is
      lacking."

      I think Arpan did find fresh ways of using language to share his
      true experiences, and maybe he would not have done so had it not
      been for Asher's challenge. Still, I hope no one will feel that they
      have to be a Nobel Laureate to post. That would be a tragedy! Feel
      free to thumb your nose at anyone (like me) who adopts an overly
      literary style. The most popular posters are those who share their
      natural enthusiasm and concern for others, and who embody the
      purity, simplicity, sincerity and love for God which are at the core
      of Sri Chinmoy's teachings. That is how it should be.

      I hope we will continue to debate these issues in a spirit of love,
      tolerance, respect and forgiveness. I truly need your forgiveness in
      so many ways--not least for sometimes boring you to death!

      Our little online community is far from perfect, but we are trying;
      and there is much good being done. Sometimes things happen which
      challenge us or shake us up; but hopefully we can learn from such
      challenges, and come back stronger and wiser.

      Assistant Moderator

      --- In Sri_Chinmoy_Inspiration@yahoogroups.com, palyati_007
      <no_reply@y...> wrote:
      > Dear Asher,
      >
      > I sense you would like to see more frank and down to earth stories
      > about personal experiences on our path. While the ethereal and lofty
      > postings are nice, they do not have the punch of what a person goes
      > through during the times of profound self-transformation that is the
      > purpose of being on any spiritual path. Could this be the bridge you
      > are speaking of? The road to enlightenment is not paved with sugar
      > and flower petals. It can be confusing and visceral and
      > uncomfortable. Hopefully we come out on the other side of the
      > experience higher minded and freer.
      >
      > Many posters are expressing their gratitude for their progress
      > without explaining the process. Perhaps this is more of what you are
      > looking for in this forum.
      >
      > So am I.
      >
      > Thanks for expressing this. I found your posting candid, honest and
      > refreshing.
      >
      > Palyati
      >
      > --- In Sri_Chinmoy_Inspiration@yahoogroups.com,
      > srichinmoyinspiration <no_reply@y...> wrote:
      > > Dear Asher,
      > >
      > > Thank you for your constructive criticism. I do think there is
      > > much variety and individuality being expressed by the posters
      > > here. I feel grateful to all the posters. I think they're doing a
      > > fantastic job of expressing themselves!
      > >
      > > Many of the people posting are following the classical ideal of a
      > > life of prayer, meditation and service. This is a simple, modest
      > > life. They are not what you might call "party animals" (nor should
      > > they be!), but they are great fun, and if you read through the
      > > messages carefully, I think you will see a wonderful mix of
      > > spirituality, philosophy, humour, and everyday chatting. I don't
      > > think people need to put on a special show. Just being themselves
      > > is enough.
      > >
      > > One person may post a long article bringing in many ideas. Another
      > > person may write something short and simple expressing gratitude.
      > > I think both people are making a contribution.
      > >
      > > Spiritual people try and simplify their lives. Often the most
      > > advanced seeker is the one who expresses herself very simply. The
      > > person who has real love and gratitude for God is more advanced
      > > than the person who brings in hundreds of ideas. The student who
      > > is good at talking about spirituality is not necessarily the one
      > > who is good at practising it.
      > >
      > > The very word "gratitude" has no place in the human mind. It is an
      > > experience of the human heart. The mind can get very bored hearing
      > > the word gratitude, gratitude, gratitude over and over again. But
      > > advanced seekers on Sri Chinmoy's path try and make that word
      > > their heart's mantra. As Sri Chinmoy says:
      > >
      > > "A moment of gratitude is equivalent to an hour of most intense
      > > meditation."
      > >
      > > Sri Chinmoy also says something striking on the subject of
      > > simplicity:
      > >
      > > "Our path is the path of simplicity. God is extremely simple. It
      > > is we who think of Him as someone complicated. God speaks the
      > > simplest language, only we don't understand Him. We are all deaf.
      > > We have been deaf for millennia. Poor God, He has been talking
      > > constantly, tirelessly, but we do not have time to listen to Him."
      > >
      > > I think it is not by expressing hyper-individuality that one makes
      > > true spiritual progress, but by being humble enough to become one
      > > with a higher vision. It is not by presenting some striking new
      > > idea that one gives people lasting satisfaction, but by helping
      > > them discover the one Eternal Idea from which their own existence
      > > has sprung. This great Truth is ancient, yet ever-fresh, ever-new
      > > in the hearts of the God-lovers. Sri Chinmoy writes:
      > >
      > > "I wish to say that in this world all questions have already been
      > > asked and all questions have already been answered. When the
      > > disciple asks a question, he only changes a few words from a
      > > previously asked question. And when the Master answers the
      > > question, he also changes only a few words. Here on earth nothing
      > > is new. All the questions have been asked millions of times by
      > > millions of seekers; and all the answers also have been given by
      > > real spiritual Masters. It is nothing new; we are only using
      > > different phrases, different words, different idioms."
      > >
      > > Everything has already been said, but who is actually living this
      > > great Truth? Very few! So spiritual seekers often express
      > > themselves simply and humbly. They may not care for splashy
      > > displays of ideas. I am, you can say, an aberration; but that's
      > > because I am still a beginner. Perhaps as I learn more, I will one
      > > day develop a less prolix style. :)
      > >
      > > Anyway Asher, if you would like access to a more concentrated
      > > selection of postings, Richard has very kindly prepared many
      > > editions of his Highlights:
      > >
      > > http://tinyurl.com/2z72h/3049 (no.1) - March 19, 2004
      > > http://tinyurl.com/2z72h/3205 (no.2) - March 23, 2004
      > > http://tinyurl.com/2z72h/3430 (no.3) - March 30, 2004
      > > http://tinyurl.com/2z72h/3565 (no.4) - April 06, 2004
      > > http://tinyurl.com/2z72h/3655 (no.5) - April 12, 2004
      > > http://tinyurl.com/2z72h/3718 (no.6) - April 19, 2004
      > > http://tinyurl.com/2z72h/3847 (no.7) - April 27, 2004
      > > http://tinyurl.com/2z72h/3970 (no.8) - May 04, 2004
      > > http://tinyurl.com/2z72h/4061 (no.9) - May 12, 2004
      > > http://tinyurl.com/2z72h/4129 (no.10) - May 19, 2004
      > > http://tinyurl.com/2z72h/4183 (no.11) - May 24, 2004
      > >
      > > If we cannot enlighten you, I hope we can at least entertain you.
      > > :)
      > >
      > > You might find us boring, but many people have already had enough
      > > excitement in their lives. Now they are seeking an oasis of peace,
      > > and this they find by putting Sri Chinmoy's teachings into
      > > practise in their daily lives.
      > >
      > > His is one of many authentic spiritual paths. Each path has
      > > something unique and valuable to offer. We are not interested in
      > > fighting with anyone. We only want to be of service to those who
      > > feel we have something to offer. We try and be clear about the
      > > choices we are making as spiritual seekers, and why those choices
      > > work for us.
      > >
      > > We are all ordinary people, probably not much different than you.
      > > When we meditate with Sri Chinmoy, this helps us to feel that we
      > > have the Divine within us, and that we can bring forward this best
      > > part of ourselves, and so become better able to serve our fellow
      > > human beings.
      > >
      > > Here I am trying to share a little insight in an informal way. But
      > > you can gain much more insight by reading Sri Chinmoy's spiritual
      > > writings, many of which have been collected online at the Sri
      > > Chinmoy Library:
      > >
      > > http://www.srichinmoylibrary.com/
      > >
      > > You can also find out more about the Sri Chinmoy Centre here:
      > >
      > > http://www.srichinmoycentre.org/
      > >
      > >
      > > Best regards,
      > >
      > > Assistant Moderator
    • adhiratha
      Two books Asher, Palyati and others may find of interest are: The Wisdom of the Idiots & The Tales of the Dervishes. Both are by Idries Shahh. My recent
      Message 2 of 11 , Jun 6, 2004
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        Two books Asher, Palyati and others may find of interest are:
        "The Wisdom of the Idiots" &
        "The Tales of the Dervishes."
        Both are by Idries Shahh. My recent copies were from Sun of the
        Heart Bookstore in Vermont.

        These are very short stories -some only a paragraph long.

        When I first discovered them, I found them helpful in preparing
        myself to understand and assimilate the truths of various teachings
        and teachers.

        The Wisdom of the Idiots [Octagon Press - London] book cover
        describes the contents as a "carefully chosen collection of
        illustrative anecdotes and stories."

        The "Tales of the Dervishes" [Penguin Classic version] book cover
        calls the contents "inspiring, timeless truths of the great Sufi
        masters" and "Teaching stories ...over the Past Thousand Years."

        Idries Shah spent many years traveling through three continents to
        collect and compare oral versions of these remarkable stories.

        Some will make you laugh out loud and others make you cry with deep
        recognition. They are entertaining reading. But my best experiences
        were in only reading at most a few at a time. I found I needed to
        leave time for silence between this type of reading so the essence
        could be absorbed and considered on various levels

        - Adhiratha

        PS Some have similar themes to selected short stories told by Sri
        Chinmoy.


        --- In Sri_Chinmoy_Inspiration@yahoogroups.com, palyati_007
        <no_reply@y...> wrote:
        > Dear Asher,
        >
        > I sense you would like to see more frank and down to earth stories
        > about personal experiences on our path. While the ethereal and lofty
        > postings are nice, they do not have the punch of what a person goes
        > through during the times of profound self-transformation that is the
        > purpose of being on any spiritual path. Could this be the bridge you
        > are speaking of? The road to enlightenment is not paved with sugar
        > and flower petals. It can be confusing and visceral and
        > uncomfortable. Hopefully we come out on the other side of the
        > experience higher minded and freer.
        >
        > Many posters are expressing their gratitude for their progress
        > without explaining the process. Perhaps this is more of what you are
        > looking for in this forum.
        >
        > So am I.
        >
        > Thanks for expressing this. I found your posting candid, honest and
        > refreshing.
        >
        > Palyati
        >
        > --- In Sri_Chinmoy_Inspiration@yahoogroups.com,
        > srichinmoyinspiration <no_reply@y...> wrote:
        > > Dear Asher,
        > >
        > > Thank you for your constructive criticism. I do think there is
        > > much variety and individuality being expressed by the posters
        > > here. I feel grateful to all the posters. I think they're doing a
        > > fantastic job of expressing themselves!
        > >
        > > Many of the people posting are following the classical ideal of a
        > > life of prayer, meditation and service. This is a simple, modest
        > > life. They are not what you might call "party animals" (nor should
        > > they be!), but they are great fun, and if you read through the
        > > messages carefully, I think you will see a wonderful mix of
        > > spirituality, philosophy, humour, and everyday chatting. I don't
        > > think people need to put on a special show. Just being themselves
        > > is enough.
        > >
        > > One person may post a long article bringing in many ideas. Another
        > > person may write something short and simple expressing gratitude.
        > > I think both people are making a contribution.
        > >
        > > Spiritual people try and simplify their lives. Often the most
        > > advanced seeker is the one who expresses herself very simply. The
        > > person who has real love and gratitude for God is more advanced
        > > than the person who brings in hundreds of ideas. The student who
        > > is good at talking about spirituality is not necessarily the one
        > > who is good at practising it.
        > >
        > > The very word "gratitude" has no place in the human mind. It is an
        > > experience of the human heart. The mind can get very bored hearing
        > > the word gratitude, gratitude, gratitude over and over again. But
        > > advanced seekers on Sri Chinmoy's path try and make that word
        > > their heart's mantra. As Sri Chinmoy says:
        > >
        > > "A moment of gratitude is equivalent to an hour of most intense
        > > meditation."
        > >
        > > Sri Chinmoy also says something striking on the subject of
        > > simplicity:
        > >
        > > "Our path is the path of simplicity. God is extremely simple. It
        > > is we who think of Him as someone complicated. God speaks the
        > > simplest language, only we don't understand Him. We are all deaf.
        > > We have been deaf for millennia. Poor God, He has been talking
        > > constantly, tirelessly, but we do not have time to listen to Him."
        > >
        > > I think it is not by expressing hyper-individuality that one makes
        > > true spiritual progress, but by being humble enough to become one
        > > with a higher vision. It is not by presenting some striking new
        > > idea that one gives people lasting satisfaction, but by helping
        > > them discover the one Eternal Idea from which their own existence
        > > has sprung. This great Truth is ancient, yet ever-fresh, ever-new
        > > in the hearts of the God-lovers. Sri Chinmoy writes:
        > >
        > > "I wish to say that in this world all questions have already been
        > > asked and all questions have already been answered. When the
        > > disciple asks a question, he only changes a few words from a
        > > previously asked question. And when the Master answers the
        > > question, he also changes only a few words. Here on earth nothing
        > > is new. All the questions have been asked millions of times by
        > > millions of seekers; and all the answers also have been given by
        > > real spiritual Masters. It is nothing new; we are only using
        > > different phrases, different words, different idioms."
        > >
        > > Everything has already been said, but who is actually living this
        > > great Truth? Very few! So spiritual seekers often express
        > > themselves simply and humbly. They may not care for splashy
        > > displays of ideas. I am, you can say, an aberration; but that's
        > > because I am still a beginner. Perhaps as I learn more, I will one
        > > day develop a less prolix style. :)
        > >
        > > Anyway Asher, if you would like access to a more concentrated
        > > selection of postings, Richard has very kindly prepared many
        > > editions of his Highlights:
        > >
        > > http://tinyurl.com/2z72h/3049 (no.1) - March 19, 2004
        > > http://tinyurl.com/2z72h/3205 (no.2) - March 23, 2004
        > > http://tinyurl.com/2z72h/3430 (no.3) - March 30, 2004
        > > http://tinyurl.com/2z72h/3565 (no.4) - April 06, 2004
        > > http://tinyurl.com/2z72h/3655 (no.5) - April 12, 2004
        > > http://tinyurl.com/2z72h/3718 (no.6) - April 19, 2004
        > > http://tinyurl.com/2z72h/3847 (no.7) - April 27, 2004
        > > http://tinyurl.com/2z72h/3970 (no.8) - May 04, 2004
        > > http://tinyurl.com/2z72h/4061 (no.9) - May 12, 2004
        > > http://tinyurl.com/2z72h/4129 (no.10) - May 19, 2004
        > > http://tinyurl.com/2z72h/4183 (no.11) - May 24, 2004
        > >
        > > If we cannot enlighten you, I hope we can at least entertain you.
        > > :)
        > >
        > > You might find us boring, but many people have already had enough
        > > excitement in their lives. Now they are seeking an oasis of peace,
        > > and this they find by putting Sri Chinmoy's teachings into
        > > practise in their daily lives.
        > >
        > > His is one of many authentic spiritual paths. Each path has
        > > something unique and valuable to offer. We are not interested in
        > > fighting with anyone. We only want to be of service to those who
        > > feel we have something to offer. We try and be clear about the
        > > choices we are making as spiritual seekers, and why those choices
        > > work for us.
        > >
        > > We are all ordinary people, probably not much different than you.
        > > When we meditate with Sri Chinmoy, this helps us to feel that we
        > > have the Divine within us, and that we can bring forward this best
        > > part of ourselves, and so become better able to serve our fellow
        > > human beings.
        > >
        > > Here I am trying to share a little insight in an informal way. But
        > > you can gain much more insight by reading Sri Chinmoy's spiritual
        > > writings, many of which have been collected online at the Sri
        > > Chinmoy Library:
        > >
        > > http://www.srichinmoylibrary.com/
        > >
        > > You can also find out more about the Sri Chinmoy Centre here:
        > >
        > > http://www.srichinmoycentre.org/
        > >
        > >
        > > Best regards,
        > >
        > > Assistant Moderator
      • kamalakanta47
        Dear Assistant Moderator, I want to express my gratitude (here we go again!) to you for the wonderful job you are doing. I appreciate those who can express
        Message 3 of 11 , Jun 6, 2004
        • 0 Attachment
          Dear Assistant Moderator,

          I want to express my gratitude (here we go again!) to you for the
          wonderful job you are doing.

          I appreciate those who can express themselves deftly and aptly with
          words (such as Sunamita, whom I consider gifted in this sense). Also
          Arpan has such a depth and sweetness! I sing in his singing group,
          and rarely have I heard someone sing with more sweetness and beauty
          in their phrasing. It is really a great achievement on his part.

          But going back to this site, I am deeply indebted to you and others
          who work to make this possible. Yes, it is very hard to share with
          the world what we live, being that it is not mainstream, and has
          elements from other cultures. Your work has provided me with a way
          to share, and I cannot thank you all enough for that.

          I love people deeply, and this is something that is worth sharing;
          all these things we learn and experience on this path.

          We have such a variety of seekers on this path, it would enrich the
          experience greatly to hear from people all over the world, from all
          walks of life. Friends who are not posting would also enrich this
          site.

          Still, having said that, I want to thank and encourage those who
          have been posting to continue to do so. I treasure everyone's
          postings. It gives me great joy (oops!) to go through the messages
          and see what the latest topic is.

          "Anything worth having
          Is worth sharing as well."
          -Sri Chinmoy

          Joy to all!- Kamalakanta


          --- In Sri_Chinmoy_Inspiration@yahoogroups.com, srichinmoyinspiration
          <no_reply@y...> wrote:
          > In helping out with the Inspiration group, one thing I try to
          > remember is that Sri Chinmoy calls his path the Sunlit Path, and he
          > speaks of simplicity as a great virtue.
          >
          > Yet this virtue is not easily achieved; and sometimes when a person
          > expresses him or herself simply, the world misunderstands. It takes
          > tremendous courage to remain rooted in simple, childlike faith, in
          > the face of the world's unkindness.
          >
          > Some seekers may be helped when they see that people who have read
          > alot of books and amassed alot of outer knowledge also bow to Sri
          > Chinmoy as a saintly soul who is far, far beyond their intellectual
          > achievements. Others may feel that the intellectual approach only
          > detracts from their simple life of faith.
          >
          > From day to day and week to week, the emphasis in the postings may
          > change. Sometimes I have to do a difficult balancing act, because I
          > want to protect people with innocent faith from being ridiculed.
          > Yet, I don't want to create so much of a "gated community" that it
          > becomes impossible for anyone new to join in the discussion, because
          > they sense that they don't "speak the lingo."
          >
          > It really is a difficult balancing act, and I apologise to anyone
          > I've offended--either by what I have chosen to include, or to omit.
          >
          > Further complicating things is the problem of harassment of minority
          > spiritual groups on the Internet. This sometimes makes it harder for
          > people to bare their souls, not knowing who is out there sifting
          > through each word, with hostile intent.
          >
          > For all these reasons, it can be a real challenge to try and keep
          > all the posters happy.
          >
          > I often find myself engaging in compromise--also known as "the art
          > of the possible." I am by nature someone who hates compromise. Yet,
          > Sri Chinmoy teaches that God's Dream Boat far outruns Earth's
          > Reality Shore. That being the case, sometimes all we can do is
          > humbly offer spiritual ideals, hoping that they will one day meet
          > with greater acceptance. We cannot be too much in people's faces.
          >
          > It is like what Sundari and Ahelee were saying about the customers
          > who come in to Ananda Fuara to dine. Even if they are not following
          > Sri Chinmoy's path, they are like extended family; and they depend
          > on Sri Chinmoy's students to offer them peace and joy. They do not
          > care so much to hear about struggles and conflicts.
          >
          > Here in our Inspiration group there can be a tug of war between
          > people who want all the postings to remain extremely positive in
          > tone, and people who want to discuss difficult, "edgy" issues. There
          > is also a tug of war between people who prefer postings which
          > express simple, warm family feelings, and people who put on more of
          > a song and dance with language. I sympathise with all sides, and
          > feel that a lot of good discussions have emerged from this "dynamic
          > tension."
          >
          > As spiritual seekers, we probably all have our dark nights of the
          > soul--our periods of going through "stuff" (as Sushmitam calls it).
          > Also, I'm sure some of us have been treated unkindly because of our
          > spiritual beliefs. Some of us may have a few "battle scars," and if
          > we get to thinking about how the world can misunderstand and
          > ridicule spiritual seekers, we might all be able to let out a huge
          > primal scream! :) (See Jogyata's message #4147.)
          >
          > Yet, I notice that people who are much more spiritually advanced
          > than I am (which is about 99% of the planet) try and let go of all
          > that excess baggage, all those memories of dark nights of the soul,
          > and struggles with naysayers. In spite of all the difficulties, they
          > continue to cultivate a simple, joyful approach to life--one rooted
          > in deep faith.
          >
          > You might think that I'm close to saying "this but not that"--coming
          > out on one side or the other. But I really want to be fair to all
          > points of view among Sri Chinmoy's students, friends and
          > well-wishers. There might be days when the postings sound too much
          > like a literary society or debating club. Other days, they might
          > take on such an air of deep devotion that those "stuck in the mind"
          > may not know how to relate.
          >
          > I hope that over the long haul, people will feel that this board
          > does reflect balance, and that everyone posting really is part of a
          > beautiful tapestry--even if the patterns sometimes clash. :)
          >
          > I was moved by Arpan's posting here
          >
          > http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Sri_Chinmoy_Inspiration/message/4236
          >
          > because I felt he was courageously sticking up for his right to use
          > simple, honest language to convey his real feelings of inspiration
          > and gratitude in following Sri Chinmoy's path. He stated very
          > pointedly that:
          >
          > "Intellectual training is not necessary here. Real meditation is not
          > philosophy or fancy syntax, it is the Experience of Reality beyond
          > the physical, mental and psychic planes of human, worldly
          > consciousness."
          >
          > Yet, Arpan also worked hard to explain what gratitude means to him:
          >
          > "This final segue into another 'overused' or trite concept comes
          > from a real experience resulting from years of practicing or
          > attempting to enter into the real worlds of soul and spirit through
          > soulful, devotional music.
          >
          > "When one has a little success at it and it is recognized by a
          > spiritual musician as great as Sri Chinmoy, the experience of
          > gratitude cannot be helped. The experience itself is not the nine
          > letter word beginning with 'G'. It is an ocean of emotion, springing
          > from an Eternal source of knowledge and energy trying to express
          > itself through the limited consciousness of a still far from fully
          > evolved humanity.
          >
          > "It is like trying to describe the earthly ocean to someone who has
          > not jumped in, swum around, or better yet, has yet to dive deep
          > within to experience firsthand its endless wonders, beauty and life
          > forms. I have dived into the outer ocean (SCUBA) a number of times
          > and I am still at a loss for words to describe it, even on the outer
          > plane.
          >
          > "Diving into the Inner Ocean is even more incredibly difficult to
          > describe to the uninitiated. Therefore, words such as 'inspiring' do
          > become meaningless when the perceptual or experiential background is
          > lacking."
          >
          > I think Arpan did find fresh ways of using language to share his
          > true experiences, and maybe he would not have done so had it not
          > been for Asher's challenge. Still, I hope no one will feel that they
          > have to be a Nobel Laureate to post. That would be a tragedy! Feel
          > free to thumb your nose at anyone (like me) who adopts an overly
          > literary style. The most popular posters are those who share their
          > natural enthusiasm and concern for others, and who embody the
          > purity, simplicity, sincerity and love for God which are at the core
          > of Sri Chinmoy's teachings. That is how it should be.
          >
          > I hope we will continue to debate these issues in a spirit of love,
          > tolerance, respect and forgiveness. I truly need your forgiveness in
          > so many ways--not least for sometimes boring you to death!
          >
          > Our little online community is far from perfect, but we are trying;
          > and there is much good being done. Sometimes things happen which
          > challenge us or shake us up; but hopefully we can learn from such
          > challenges, and come back stronger and wiser.
          >
          > Assistant Moderator
          >
          > --- In Sri_Chinmoy_Inspiration@yahoogroups.com, palyati_007
          > <no_reply@y...> wrote:
          > > Dear Asher,
          > >
          > > I sense you would like to see more frank and down to earth stories
          > > about personal experiences on our path. While the ethereal and lofty
          > > postings are nice, they do not have the punch of what a person goes
          > > through during the times of profound self-transformation that is the
          > > purpose of being on any spiritual path. Could this be the bridge you
          > > are speaking of? The road to enlightenment is not paved with sugar
          > > and flower petals. It can be confusing and visceral and
          > > uncomfortable. Hopefully we come out on the other side of the
          > > experience higher minded and freer.
          > >
          > > Many posters are expressing their gratitude for their progress
          > > without explaining the process. Perhaps this is more of what you are
          > > looking for in this forum.
          > >
          > > So am I.
          > >
          > > Thanks for expressing this. I found your posting candid, honest and
          > > refreshing.
          > >
          > > Palyati
          > >
          > > --- In Sri_Chinmoy_Inspiration@yahoogroups.com,
          > > srichinmoyinspiration <no_reply@y...> wrote:
          > > > Dear Asher,
          > > >
          > > > Thank you for your constructive criticism. I do think there is
          > > > much variety and individuality being expressed by the posters
          > > > here. I feel grateful to all the posters. I think they're doing a
          > > > fantastic job of expressing themselves!
          > > >
          > > > Many of the people posting are following the classical ideal of a
          > > > life of prayer, meditation and service. This is a simple, modest
          > > > life. They are not what you might call "party animals" (nor should
          > > > they be!), but they are great fun, and if you read through the
          > > > messages carefully, I think you will see a wonderful mix of
          > > > spirituality, philosophy, humour, and everyday chatting. I don't
          > > > think people need to put on a special show. Just being themselves
          > > > is enough.
          > > >
          > > > One person may post a long article bringing in many ideas. Another
          > > > person may write something short and simple expressing gratitude.
          > > > I think both people are making a contribution.
          > > >
          > > > Spiritual people try and simplify their lives. Often the most
          > > > advanced seeker is the one who expresses herself very simply. The
          > > > person who has real love and gratitude for God is more advanced
          > > > than the person who brings in hundreds of ideas. The student who
          > > > is good at talking about spirituality is not necessarily the one
          > > > who is good at practising it.
          > > >
          > > > The very word "gratitude" has no place in the human mind. It is an
          > > > experience of the human heart. The mind can get very bored hearing
          > > > the word gratitude, gratitude, gratitude over and over again. But
          > > > advanced seekers on Sri Chinmoy's path try and make that word
          > > > their heart's mantra. As Sri Chinmoy says:
          > > >
          > > > "A moment of gratitude is equivalent to an hour of most intense
          > > > meditation."
          > > >
          > > > Sri Chinmoy also says something striking on the subject of
          > > > simplicity:
          > > >
          > > > "Our path is the path of simplicity. God is extremely simple. It
          > > > is we who think of Him as someone complicated. God speaks the
          > > > simplest language, only we don't understand Him. We are all deaf.
          > > > We have been deaf for millennia. Poor God, He has been talking
          > > > constantly, tirelessly, but we do not have time to listen to Him."
          > > >
          > > > I think it is not by expressing hyper-individuality that one makes
          > > > true spiritual progress, but by being humble enough to become one
          > > > with a higher vision. It is not by presenting some striking new
          > > > idea that one gives people lasting satisfaction, but by helping
          > > > them discover the one Eternal Idea from which their own existence
          > > > has sprung. This great Truth is ancient, yet ever-fresh, ever-new
          > > > in the hearts of the God-lovers. Sri Chinmoy writes:
          > > >
          > > > "I wish to say that in this world all questions have already been
          > > > asked and all questions have already been answered. When the
          > > > disciple asks a question, he only changes a few words from a
          > > > previously asked question. And when the Master answers the
          > > > question, he also changes only a few words. Here on earth nothing
          > > > is new. All the questions have been asked millions of times by
          > > > millions of seekers; and all the answers also have been given by
          > > > real spiritual Masters. It is nothing new; we are only using
          > > > different phrases, different words, different idioms."
          > > >
          > > > Everything has already been said, but who is actually living this
          > > > great Truth? Very few! So spiritual seekers often express
          > > > themselves simply and humbly. They may not care for splashy
          > > > displays of ideas. I am, you can say, an aberration; but that's
          > > > because I am still a beginner. Perhaps as I learn more, I will one
          > > > day develop a less prolix style. :)
          > > >
          > > > Anyway Asher, if you would like access to a more concentrated
          > > > selection of postings, Richard has very kindly prepared many
          > > > editions of his Highlights:
          > > >
          > > > http://tinyurl.com/2z72h/3049 (no.1) - March 19, 2004
          > > > http://tinyurl.com/2z72h/3205 (no.2) - March 23, 2004
          > > > http://tinyurl.com/2z72h/3430 (no.3) - March 30, 2004
          > > > http://tinyurl.com/2z72h/3565 (no.4) - April 06, 2004
          > > > http://tinyurl.com/2z72h/3655 (no.5) - April 12, 2004
          > > > http://tinyurl.com/2z72h/3718 (no.6) - April 19, 2004
          > > > http://tinyurl.com/2z72h/3847 (no.7) - April 27, 2004
          > > > http://tinyurl.com/2z72h/3970 (no.8) - May 04, 2004
          > > > http://tinyurl.com/2z72h/4061 (no.9) - May 12, 2004
          > > > http://tinyurl.com/2z72h/4129 (no.10) - May 19, 2004
          > > > http://tinyurl.com/2z72h/4183 (no.11) - May 24, 2004
          > > >
          > > > If we cannot enlighten you, I hope we can at least entertain you.
          > > > :)
          > > >
          > > > You might find us boring, but many people have already had enough
          > > > excitement in their lives. Now they are seeking an oasis of peace,
          > > > and this they find by putting Sri Chinmoy's teachings into
          > > > practise in their daily lives.
          > > >
          > > > His is one of many authentic spiritual paths. Each path has
          > > > something unique and valuable to offer. We are not interested in
          > > > fighting with anyone. We only want to be of service to those who
          > > > feel we have something to offer. We try and be clear about the
          > > > choices we are making as spiritual seekers, and why those choices
          > > > work for us.
          > > >
          > > > We are all ordinary people, probably not much different than you.
          > > > When we meditate with Sri Chinmoy, this helps us to feel that we
          > > > have the Divine within us, and that we can bring forward this best
          > > > part of ourselves, and so become better able to serve our fellow
          > > > human beings.
          > > >
          > > > Here I am trying to share a little insight in an informal way. But
          > > > you can gain much more insight by reading Sri Chinmoy's spiritual
          > > > writings, many of which have been collected online at the Sri
          > > > Chinmoy Library:
          > > >
          > > > http://www.srichinmoylibrary.com/
          > > >
          > > > You can also find out more about the Sri Chinmoy Centre here:
          > > >
          > > > http://www.srichinmoycentre.org/
          > > >
          > > >
          > > > Best regards,
          > > >
          > > > Assistant Moderator
        • sarada1007
          Dear Friends, I feel moved to offer a few words about the different styles of writing on this site, and so forth. And I guess that, in a way, I am offering a
          Message 4 of 11 , Jun 6, 2004
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            Dear Friends,

            I feel moved to offer a few words about the different styles of
            writing on this site, and so forth. And I guess that, in a way, I am
            offering a few words in Asher's defence if I can do that without
            offending any of my brothers and sisters.

            In the spiritual life, and on Sri Chinmoy's path in particular, we
            are always trying to see and feel everything from absolutely the
            most positive perspective. Of course, this is absolutely the correct
            approach. However for myself, and perhaps others, this isn't always
            easy. So I personally am often most touched and (yes!) inspired by
            the actually-I'm-having-quite-a-tough-day sort of posting instead of
            the everything-is-inundated-with-light-and-bliss sort of posting.
            Although, of course, that is how I am striving to perceive the world
            myself. Incidentally, I suspect that most people posting actually
            are inundated with a lot more light and bliss than I am. And so,
            it's perfectly reasonable for them to express themselves like that.
            Also, their soul's qualities (and perhaps the less cynical minds
            they are blessed with!) may be more disposed towards beauty and
            poetic expression than are mine.

            I'm just saying, I think, that our souls have different qualities,
            and our minds and hearts are in different places, and therefore we
            are likely to be inspired by different kinds of postings.

            Sarada
          • adhiratha
            Attempting Wisdom: When I was at the University there was a course organized as part of the Experimental college called Motivation and Frustration in
            Message 5 of 11 , Jun 7, 2004
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              Attempting Wisdom:

              When I was at the University there was a course organized as part of
              the Experimental college called "Motivation and Frustration in
              Attempting Wisdom." All sorts of things were discussed, including
              the "process" of attempting wisdom [including frustration] and what
              was the most useful wisdom "content." One theme seemed to be clear
              to most in attendance. There were many ways to learn, and actively
              listening to many different expressions and experiences had a better
              chance to lead to wisdom.

              In a related post I mentioned the book "Wisdom of the Idiots" by
              Idries Shah. An introductory note says "what narrow thinkers imagine
              to be wisdom is often seen .. to be folly" ... by happy chance, too,
              the Arabic word for 'Saint" (wali) has the same numerical equivalent
              as the word for 'Idiot' (balid). So we have a double motive for
              regarding the Sufi great ones as our own Idiots."

              Bridges:

              I understand the wish for more of a certain type of expression to
              serve as a bridge to observers and help them understand the spirit
              of what is shared. For those feeling this need, one approach [as the
              archive for this site grows] is to use the "search" facility of the
              site to find the authors you most appreciate. One could also
              highlight in a post a number of examples of a types of "good
              practice" and why you feel each is worth special consideration.
              Others have done some of this and additional summarization
              perspective could increase the value of the site to others. For
              example new observers might also be pointed to these summarizations
              or highlights.

              - Adhiratha




              --- In Sri_Chinmoy_Inspiration@yahoogroups.com, sarada1007
              <no_reply@y...> wrote:
              > Dear Friends,
              >
              > I feel moved to offer a few words about the different styles of
              > writing on this site, and so forth. And I guess that, in a way, I am
              > offering a few words in Asher's defence if I can do that without
              > offending any of my brothers and sisters.
              >
              > In the spiritual life, and on Sri Chinmoy's path in particular, we
              > are always trying to see and feel everything from absolutely the
              > most positive perspective. Of course, this is absolutely the correct
              > approach. However for myself, and perhaps others, this isn't always
              > easy. So I personally am often most touched and (yes!) inspired by
              > the actually-I'm-having-quite-a-tough-day sort of posting instead of
              > the everything-is-inundated-with-light-and-bliss sort of posting.
              > Although, of course, that is how I am striving to perceive the world
              > myself. Incidentally, I suspect that most people posting actually
              > are inundated with a lot more light and bliss than I am. And so,
              > it's perfectly reasonable for them to express themselves like that.
              > Also, their soul's qualities (and perhaps the less cynical minds
              > they are blessed with!) may be more disposed towards beauty and
              > poetic expression than are mine.
              >
              > I'm just saying, I think, that our souls have different qualities,
              > and our minds and hearts are in different places, and therefore we
              > are likely to be inspired by different kinds of postings.
              >
              > Sarada
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