Loading ...
Sorry, an error occurred while loading the content.
 

Tough

Expand Messages
  • colmbolmcolm
    I want to be brave enough to be my true self all the time. It s tough though. College consists of 95% percent of people who love to be under the influence of
    Message 1 of 21 , Nov 25, 2004
      I want to be brave enough to be my true self all the time. It's
      tough though. College consists of 95% percent of people who love to
      be under the influence of either alcohol, drugs, relationships or
      their friends. Unfortunately, I don't know any others in the 5%
      category, but I always know I have all my new friends (and my big
      brother) on the other side of the country in the Dublin centre.

      I find it awkward to be around the friends I've made in Galway.
      Unfortunately, when I hang around with them all I get is negativity.
      It's not severe but it holds me back; pulls me back to the heartless
      mind. I take people's uninspiring conversations and remarks and I
      let my mind away with agreeing with them. It's difficult to do
      anything because I've always just taken this stuff in. I've always
      agreed and contributed to negativity when I never really wanted to.
      Most of my friends know my mind but not my heart. I'm always nice,
      always friendly; this they see, but to them I am still receptive to
      any sorts of thoughts they wish to express.

      All of them are quite aware of my change in lifestyle, and presume
      they let there imagination run wild as to this talk of meditation. I
      think maybe I should tell some of them; then I think not. I feel
      like I shouldn't have to cut my friends out altogether, but I just
      don't want be influenced by any of them. I have one good friend I
      can talk to freely, but of course he would have to be an agnostic.
      He has little time for me these days, anyway. Should I ignore
      everyone? I know the answer is no.

      I yearn to meet some like-minded people here in Galway. I know they
      exist but I don't know how to find them! I know it's a small issue
      on my path and it's something I only have to put up with until I
      finish my exams in June. However, I think it's something that won't
      be sorted out until I sort it out. I don't want to be roped into
      being the part of my mind I don't like. I want to be my heart. I am
      so happy on the path of my heart I never ever want to leave. I know
      that if I stay true to my heart I will stay true to myself, but I
      guess I'm trying not to offend anyone in the mean time.

      It's tough.

      -=>Colm.
    • jan_klaile
      Dear Colm, I want to express my gratitude for all your postings. I find they are filled with so many good qualities: joy, determination, inspiration,
      Message 2 of 21 , Nov 26, 2004
        Dear Colm,

        I want to express my gratitude for all your postings. I find they
        are filled with so many good qualities: joy, determination,
        inspiration, enthusiasm, heart... And it is contagious :0). Thank
        you!

        I am also just under one year old on the path, so many of the
        experiences you relate are near in time to me, too. It's funny the
        good things seem so near, and the things I experienced as negative
        seem so far. This must be the heart's time perspective. At times I
        also feel awkward meeting old friends, and I find myself struggling
        not to let it show. Although, I feel I've become more natural and
        at ease now. The first reaction on meeting old friends is usually
        joy for me, but then the mood can detiorate after talking and
        intellectualising starts. Hmm...

        Gratefully,
        Jan :0)

        --- In Sri_Chinmoy_Inspiration@yahoogroups.com, colmbolmcolm
        <no_reply@y...> wrote:
        >
        > I want to be brave enough to be my true self all the time. It's
        > tough though. College consists of 95% percent of people who love to
        > be under the influence of either alcohol, drugs, relationships or
        > their friends. Unfortunately, I don't know any others in the 5%
        > category, but I always know I have all my new friends (and my big
        > brother) on the other side of the country in the Dublin centre.
        >
        > I find it awkward to be around the friends I've made in Galway.
        > Unfortunately, when I hang around with them all I get is
        negativity.
        > It's not severe but it holds me back; pulls me back to the
        heartless
        > mind. I take people's uninspiring conversations and remarks and I
        > let my mind away with agreeing with them. It's difficult to do
        > anything because I've always just taken this stuff in. I've always
        > agreed and contributed to negativity when I never really wanted to.
        > Most of my friends know my mind but not my heart. I'm always nice,
        > always friendly; this they see, but to them I am still receptive to
        > any sorts of thoughts they wish to express.
        >
        > All of them are quite aware of my change in lifestyle, and presume
        > they let there imagination run wild as to this talk of meditation.
        I
        > think maybe I should tell some of them; then I think not. I feel
        > like I shouldn't have to cut my friends out altogether, but I just
        > don't want be influenced by any of them. I have one good friend I
        > can talk to freely, but of course he would have to be an agnostic.
        > He has little time for me these days, anyway. Should I ignore
        > everyone? I know the answer is no.
        >
        > I yearn to meet some like-minded people here in Galway. I know they
        > exist but I don't know how to find them! I know it's a small issue
        > on my path and it's something I only have to put up with until I
        > finish my exams in June. However, I think it's something that won't
        > be sorted out until I sort it out. I don't want to be roped into
        > being the part of my mind I don't like. I want to be my heart. I am
        > so happy on the path of my heart I never ever want to leave. I know
        > that if I stay true to my heart I will stay true to myself, but I
        > guess I'm trying not to offend anyone in the mean time.
        >
        > It's tough.
        >
        > -=>Colm.
      • richard13_oxford
        Hi Colm, It is an exciting time when you first launch into the spiritual life. You become aware of many different experiences; and life seems to have a greater
        Message 3 of 21 , Nov 26, 2004
          Hi Colm,

          It is an exciting time when you first launch into the spiritual
          life. You become aware of many different experiences; and life seems
          to have a greater sense of purpose.

          However the very nature of the spiritual life is that, it is
          different than a life based on the pursuit of outer happiness. As
          you say, it is not that this kind of life is bad. It is just that
          when we feel genuine aspiration, this old lifestyle can no longer
          satisfy us like it used to. Therefore it is inevitable that we will
          to some extent drift away from our previous associations. Although,
          sometimes out of habit, the mind clings to things that don't give us
          joy anymore.

          Like yourself, I started meditating in my last few years at
          University. My friends thought it was rather quaint but they didn't
          really appreciate such a lifestyle themselves. In this environment
          it wasn't easy to meditate early every morning, etc. But I also knew
          it would be impossible for me to be happy living the secular life.
          So I persisted and after a while outer circumstances started to
          become easier.

          In theory, an advanced seeker can ignore the world and meditate in
          solitude. However, we are not advanced seekers nor does Sri Chinmoy
          want us to live in isolation from the world. The spiritual life is
          challenging and friends who are sympathetic can inspire us and help
          maintain our enthusiasm. This is one reason why Sri Chinmoy places
          so much emphasis on joy weekends.

          If I got the opportunity, I would like to cycle in the hills of
          Galway. If not, maybe you will come and visit England. Anyway, at
          least you have a brother on the same path. You can often get
          inspiration from speaking with people on the telephone.


          Wishing you happiness in rainy Galway,


          Richard

          Oxford



          --- In Sri_Chinmoy_Inspiration@yahoogroups.com, colmbolmcolm
          <no_reply@y...> wrote:
          >
          > I want to be brave enough to be my true self all the time. It's
          > tough though. College consists of 95% percent of people who love to
          > be under the influence of either alcohol, drugs, relationships or
          > their friends. Unfortunately, I don't know any others in the 5%
          > category, but I always know I have all my new friends (and my big
          > brother) on the other side of the country in the Dublin centre.
          >
          > I find it awkward to be around the friends I've made in Galway.
          > Unfortunately, when I hang around with them all I get is negativity.
          > It's not severe but it holds me back; pulls me back to the heartless
          > mind. I take people's uninspiring conversations and remarks and I
          > let my mind away with agreeing with them. It's difficult to do
          > anything because I've always just taken this stuff in. I've always
          > agreed and contributed to negativity when I never really wanted to.
          > Most of my friends know my mind but not my heart. I'm always nice,
          > always friendly; this they see, but to them I am still receptive to
          > any sorts of thoughts they wish to express.
          >
          > All of them are quite aware of my change in lifestyle, and presume
          > they let there imagination run wild as to this talk of meditation. I
          > think maybe I should tell some of them; then I think not. I feel
          > like I shouldn't have to cut my friends out altogether, but I just
          > don't want be influenced by any of them. I have one good friend I
          > can talk to freely, but of course he would have to be an agnostic.
          > He has little time for me these days, anyway. Should I ignore
          > everyone? I know the answer is no.
          >
          > I yearn to meet some like-minded people here in Galway. I know they
          > exist but I don't know how to find them! I know it's a small issue
          > on my path and it's something I only have to put up with until I
          > finish my exams in June. However, I think it's something that won't
          > be sorted out until I sort it out. I don't want to be roped into
          > being the part of my mind I don't like. I want to be my heart. I am
          > so happy on the path of my heart I never ever want to leave. I know
          > that if I stay true to my heart I will stay true to myself, but I
          > guess I'm trying not to offend anyone in the mean time.
          >
          > It's tough.
          >
          > -=>Colm.
        • doriscott20002000
          Hi Colm, You said: I know that if I stay true to my heart I will stay true to myself, but I guess I´m trying not to offend anyone in the mean time. Colm,
          Message 4 of 21 , Nov 27, 2004
            Hi Colm,

            You said: "I know that if I stay true to my heart I will stay true to
            myself, but I guess I´m trying not to offend anyone in the mean
            time."

            Colm, this speaks of a big and noble heart, where you already have
            placed your friends.

            All your friends have their own life´s history, what makes them live
            a certain lifestyle. They may also have big hearts, that might not
            have come to the fore yet.

            When I became a student of Sri Chinmoy I was so excited about the new
            life perspective, I was eager to tell the whole world how wonderful
            life can be when one would meditate. But to my disappointment my
            friends did not understand.

            It was and still is a process of just cultivating the tiny seed that
            God has planted into my heart and watch it growing into a flower or
            whatever it is destined to become.

            As you said; they are aware of your change in lifestyle. Let´s see
            what the future will bring. The sun is shining for all. (Sri Chinmoy)

            Or to speak with Dharmaja´s words: "God has an eye on the sparrow."

            And be proud of your big brother, Shane and his "splatsplots."

            I would like to end with a poem by Sri Chinmoy

            "Not earth bound
            But heaven climbing questions
            Should absorb my mind."

            Happy weekend to all

            Doris












            --- In Sri_Chinmoy_Inspiration@yahoogroups.com, colmbolmcolm
            <no_reply@y...> wrote:
            >
            > I want to be brave enough to be my true self all the time. It's
            > tough though. College consists of 95% percent of people who love to
            > be under the influence of either alcohol, drugs, relationships or
            > their friends. Unfortunately, I don't know any others in the 5%
            > category, but I always know I have all my new friends (and my big
            > brother) on the other side of the country in the Dublin centre.
            >
            > I find it awkward to be around the friends I've made in Galway.
            > Unfortunately, when I hang around with them all I get is negativity.
            > It's not severe but it holds me back; pulls me back to the heartless
            > mind. I take people's uninspiring conversations and remarks and I
            > let my mind away with agreeing with them. It's difficult to do
            > anything because I've always just taken this stuff in. I've always
            > agreed and contributed to negativity when I never really wanted to.
            > Most of my friends know my mind but not my heart. I'm always nice,
            > always friendly; this they see, but to them I am still receptive to
            > any sorts of thoughts they wish to express.
            >
            > All of them are quite aware of my change in lifestyle, and presume
            > they let there imagination run wild as to this talk of meditation. I
            > think maybe I should tell some of them; then I think not. I feel
            > like I shouldn't have to cut my friends out altogether, but I just
            > don't want be influenced by any of them. I have one good friend I
            > can talk to freely, but of course he would have to be an agnostic.
            > He has little time for me these days, anyway. Should I ignore
            > everyone? I know the answer is no.
            >
            > I yearn to meet some like-minded people here in Galway. I know they
            > exist but I don't know how to find them! I know it's a small issue
            > on my path and it's something I only have to put up with until I
            > finish my exams in June. However, I think it's something that won't
            > be sorted out until I sort it out. I don't want to be roped into
            > being the part of my mind I don't like. I want to be my heart. I am
            > so happy on the path of my heart I never ever want to leave. I know
            > that if I stay true to my heart I will stay true to myself, but I
            > guess I'm trying not to offend anyone in the mean time.
            >
            > It's tough.
            >
            > -=>Colm.
          • shane_dublincentre
            I remember a posting by Tirtha where she was talking about being in school with people probably not unlike those Colm is talking about, and she was able to be
            Message 5 of 21 , Nov 27, 2004
              I remember a posting by Tirtha where she was talking about being in
              school with people probably not unlike those Colm is talking about,
              and she was able to be sociable with people whilst still keeping her
              own space - I remember she said that one girl came up to her and said
              she was like a friend to everybody without being a close friend to
              anybody. I haven't seen a post by her in ages, but if she's still
              reading, any tips would be more than welcome - for example, is there
              anything she consciously did in order to avoid getting caught up in
              others' negativity?

              Colm is in a slightly different situation from the one I was in when I
              joined the path because beforehand he was a real 'life-of-the-party'
              dude, so now all his friends are scratching their heads and wondering
              what's going on. I, on the other hand did the wise thing and got
              myself universally regarded as a certifiable weirdo BEFORE I joined
              the path, hence conditioning people to expect just about anything
              short of being abducted by aliens. Well, not really, but I had been
              letting it be known for quite some time that I was looking for
              something beyond the day-to-day.

              Anyway, all we can do is do our best to be there for him.

              Shane




              --- In Sri_Chinmoy_Inspiration@yahoogroups.com, doriscott20002000
              <no_reply@y...> wrote:
              >
              > Hi Colm,
              >
              > You said: "I know that if I stay true to my heart I will stay true to
              > myself, but I guess I´m trying not to offend anyone in the mean
              > time."
              >
              > Colm, this speaks of a big and noble heart, where you already have
              > placed your friends.
              >
              > All your friends have their own life´s history, what makes them live
              > a certain lifestyle. They may also have big hearts, that might not
              > have come to the fore yet.
              >
              > When I became a student of Sri Chinmoy I was so excited about the new
              > life perspective, I was eager to tell the whole world how wonderful
              > life can be when one would meditate. But to my disappointment my
              > friends did not understand.
              >
              > It was and still is a process of just cultivating the tiny seed that
              > God has planted into my heart and watch it growing into a flower or
              > whatever it is destined to become.
              >
              > As you said; they are aware of your change in lifestyle. Let´s see
              > what the future will bring. The sun is shining for all. (Sri Chinmoy)
              >
              > Or to speak with Dharmaja´s words: "God has an eye on the sparrow."
              >
              > And be proud of your big brother, Shane and his "splatsplots."
              >
              > I would like to end with a poem by Sri Chinmoy
              >
              > "Not earth bound
              > But heaven climbing questions
              > Should absorb my mind."
              >
              > Happy weekend to all
              >
              > Doris
              >
              >
              >
              >
              >
              >
              >
              >
              >
              >
              >
              >
              > --- In Sri_Chinmoy_Inspiration@yahoogroups.com, colmbolmcolm
              > <no_reply@y...> wrote:
              > >
              > > I want to be brave enough to be my true self all the time. It's
              > > tough though. College consists of 95% percent of people who love to
              > > be under the influence of either alcohol, drugs, relationships or
              > > their friends. Unfortunately, I don't know any others in the 5%
              > > category, but I always know I have all my new friends (and my big
              > > brother) on the other side of the country in the Dublin centre.
              > >
              > > I find it awkward to be around the friends I've made in Galway.
              > > Unfortunately, when I hang around with them all I get is negativity.
              > > It's not severe but it holds me back; pulls me back to the heartless
              > > mind. I take people's uninspiring conversations and remarks and I
              > > let my mind away with agreeing with them. It's difficult to do
              > > anything because I've always just taken this stuff in. I've always
              > > agreed and contributed to negativity when I never really wanted to.
              > > Most of my friends know my mind but not my heart. I'm always nice,
              > > always friendly; this they see, but to them I am still receptive to
              > > any sorts of thoughts they wish to express.
              > >
              > > All of them are quite aware of my change in lifestyle, and presume
              > > they let there imagination run wild as to this talk of meditation. I
              > > think maybe I should tell some of them; then I think not. I feel
              > > like I shouldn't have to cut my friends out altogether, but I just
              > > don't want be influenced by any of them. I have one good friend I
              > > can talk to freely, but of course he would have to be an agnostic.
              > > He has little time for me these days, anyway. Should I ignore
              > > everyone? I know the answer is no.
              > >
              > > I yearn to meet some like-minded people here in Galway. I know they
              > > exist but I don't know how to find them! I know it's a small issue
              > > on my path and it's something I only have to put up with until I
              > > finish my exams in June. However, I think it's something that won't
              > > be sorted out until I sort it out. I don't want to be roped into
              > > being the part of my mind I don't like. I want to be my heart. I am
              > > so happy on the path of my heart I never ever want to leave. I know
              > > that if I stay true to my heart I will stay true to myself, but I
              > > guess I'm trying not to offend anyone in the mean time.
              > >
              > > It's tough.
              > >
              > > -==>Colm.
            • sare_bear2713
              I ve read recently Sri Chinmoy s writings on attachment (with regards to your message on not getting caught up in others negativity). I wish I could remember
              Message 6 of 21 , Nov 27, 2004
                I've read recently Sri Chinmoy's writings on attachment (with
                regards to your message on not getting caught up in others'
                negativity). I wish I could remember where I read it, but I recall
                Sri Chinmoy saying that we can be attached to people we like or
                people we do NOT like. Either way, we spend our time thinking of
                these people and not of the Source... that devotion is in essence,
                being attached to the God rather than any individual (very easy to
                proclaim in theory!).

                I find this difficult at times, like when I'm working in the
                enterprise and I find myself yakking on to others about all sorts of
                rubbish, and it occurs to me that I'm forgetting to think about God!
                Or when I'm doing something and a teeny bit of me secretly hopes
                someone will notice and recognise the achievement. I suppose when
                we're God-Realised we will be totally immersed in the Source.
                Anyway, guess I'm analysing too much. See you!

                Sarah
                Melbourne

                --- In Sri_Chinmoy_Inspiration@yahoogroups.com, shane_dublincentre
                <no_reply@y...> wrote:
                >
                >
                >
                > I remember a posting by Tirtha where she was talking about being in
                > school with people probably not unlike those Colm is talking about,
                > and she was able to be sociable with people whilst still keeping
                her
                > own space - I remember she said that one girl came up to her and
                said
                > she was like a friend to everybody without being a close friend to
                > anybody. I haven't seen a post by her in ages, but if she's still
                > reading, any tips would be more than welcome - for example, is
                there
                > anything she consciously did in order to avoid getting caught up in
                > others' negativity?
                >
                > Colm is in a slightly different situation from the one I was in
                when I
                > joined the path because beforehand he was a real 'life-of-the-
                party'
                > dude, so now all his friends are scratching their heads and
                wondering
                > what's going on. I, on the other hand did the wise thing and got
                > myself universally regarded as a certifiable weirdo BEFORE I joined
                > the path, hence conditioning people to expect just about anything
                > short of being abducted by aliens. Well, not really, but I had been
                > letting it be known for quite some time that I was looking for
                > something beyond the day-to-day.
                >
                > Anyway, all we can do is do our best to be there for him.
                >
                > Shane
                >
                >
                >
                >
                > --- In Sri_Chinmoy_Inspiration@yahoogroups.com, doriscott20002000
                > <no_reply@y...> wrote:
                > >
                > > Hi Colm,
                > >
                > > You said: "I know that if I stay true to my heart I will stay
                true to
                > > myself, but I guess I´m trying not to offend anyone in the mean
                > > time."
                > >
                > > Colm, this speaks of a big and noble heart, where you already
                have
                > > placed your friends.
                > >
                > > All your friends have their own life´s history, what makes them
                live
                > > a certain lifestyle. They may also have big hearts, that might
                not
                > > have come to the fore yet.
                > >
                > > When I became a student of Sri Chinmoy I was so excited about
                the new
                > > life perspective, I was eager to tell the whole world how
                wonderful
                > > life can be when one would meditate. But to my disappointment my
                > > friends did not understand.
                > >
                > > It was and still is a process of just cultivating the tiny seed
                that
                > > God has planted into my heart and watch it growing into a flower
                or
                > > whatever it is destined to become.
                > >
                > > As you said; they are aware of your change in lifestyle. Let´s
                see
                > > what the future will bring. The sun is shining for all. (Sri
                Chinmoy)
                > >
                > > Or to speak with Dharmaja´s words: "God has an eye on the
                sparrow."
                > >
                > > And be proud of your big brother, Shane and his "splatsplots."
                > >
                > > I would like to end with a poem by Sri Chinmoy
                > >
                > > "Not earth bound
                > > But heaven climbing questions
                > > Should absorb my mind."
                > >
                > > Happy weekend to all
                > >
                > > Doris
                > >
                > >
                > >
                > > --- In Sri_Chinmoy_Inspiration@yahoogroups.com, colmbolmcolm
                > > <no_reply@y...> wrote:
                > > >
                > > > I want to be brave enough to be my true self all the time. It's
                > > > tough though. College consists of 95% percent of people who
                love to
                > > > be under the influence of either alcohol, drugs, relationships
                or
                > > > their friends. Unfortunately, I don't know any others in the 5%
                > > > category, but I always know I have all my new friends (and my
                big
                > > > brother) on the other side of the country in the Dublin centre.
                > > >
                > > > I find it awkward to be around the friends I've made in Galway.
                > > > Unfortunately, when I hang around with them all I get is
                negativity.
                > > > It's not severe but it holds me back; pulls me back to the
                heartless
                > > > mind. I take people's uninspiring conversations and remarks
                and I
                > > > let my mind away with agreeing with them. It's difficult to do
                > > > anything because I've always just taken this stuff in. I've
                always
                > > > agreed and contributed to negativity when I never really
                wanted to.
                > > > Most of my friends know my mind but not my heart. I'm always
                nice,
                > > > always friendly; this they see, but to them I am still
                receptive to
                > > > any sorts of thoughts they wish to express.
                > > >
                > > > All of them are quite aware of my change in lifestyle, and
                presume
                > > > they let there imagination run wild as to this talk of
                meditation. I
                > > > think maybe I should tell some of them; then I think not. I
                feel
                > > > like I shouldn't have to cut my friends out altogether, but I
                just
                > > > don't want be influenced by any of them. I have one good
                friend I
                > > > can talk to freely, but of course he would have to be an
                agnostic.
                > > > He has little time for me these days, anyway. Should I ignore
                > > > everyone? I know the answer is no.
                > > >
                > > > I yearn to meet some like-minded people here in Galway. I know
                they
                > > > exist but I don't know how to find them! I know it's a small
                issue
                > > > on my path and it's something I only have to put up with until
                I
                > > > finish my exams in June. However, I think it's something that
                won't
                > > > be sorted out until I sort it out. I don't want to be roped
                into
                > > > being the part of my mind I don't like. I want to be my heart.
                I am
                > > > so happy on the path of my heart I never ever want to leave. I
                know
                > > > that if I stay true to my heart I will stay true to myself,
                but I
                > > > guess I'm trying not to offend anyone in the mean time.
                > > >
                > > > It's tough.
                > > >
                > > > -==>Colm.
              • erika2713
                Hello Colm, It is interesting that since I started meditating that friends that I have had for numerous years have slowly fallen away. It has taken time and
                Message 7 of 21 , Nov 28, 2004
                  Hello Colm,

                  It is interesting that since I started meditating that friends that
                  I have had for numerous years have slowly fallen away. It has taken
                  time and it wasn't immediate. Amazingly also the people that I have
                  met and have as new friends and clients that have become friends are
                  on a spiritual path and are inspirational and very supportive.

                  I believe as you meditate, serve and run you are changing yourself
                  and your vibration. Through this and the grace of God you will see
                  that over time you will make new friends that are positive and
                  inspirational. At the moment things will be interesting making
                  observations of people's general behaviour and also observations of
                  oneself (which generally gives us the most insight!)

                  Here is an aphorism by Sri Chinmoy that I thought you might like:

                  Remain cheerful,
                  For nothing destructive can pierce through
                  The solid wall of cheerfulness.

                  All the best,
                  Erika - Melbourne


                  --- In Sri_Chinmoy_Inspiration@yahoogroups.com, colmbolmcolm
                  <no_reply@y...> wrote:
                  > I want to be brave enough to be my true self all the time. It's
                  > tough though. College consists of 95% percent of people who love to
                  > be under the influence of either alcohol, drugs, relationships or
                  > their friends. Unfortunately, I don't know any others in the 5%
                  > category, but I always know I have all my new friends (and my big
                  > brother) on the other side of the country in the Dublin centre.
                  >
                  > I find it awkward to be around the friends I've made in Galway.
                  > Unfortunately, when I hang around with them all I get is
                  negativity.
                  > It's not severe but it holds me back; pulls me back to the
                  heartless
                  > mind. I take people's uninspiring conversations and remarks and I
                  > let my mind away with agreeing with them. It's difficult to do
                  > anything because I've always just taken this stuff in. I've always
                  > agreed and contributed to negativity when I never really wanted to.
                  > Most of my friends know my mind but not my heart. I'm always nice,
                  > always friendly; this they see, but to them I am still receptive to
                  > any sorts of thoughts they wish to express.
                  >
                  > All of them are quite aware of my change in lifestyle, and presume
                  > they let there imagination run wild as to this talk of meditation.
                  I
                  > think maybe I should tell some of them; then I think not. I feel
                  > like I shouldn't have to cut my friends out altogether, but I just
                  > don't want be influenced by any of them. I have one good friend I
                  > can talk to freely, but of course he would have to be an agnostic.
                  > He has little time for me these days, anyway. Should I ignore
                  > everyone? I know the answer is no.
                  >
                  > I yearn to meet some like-minded people here in Galway. I know they
                  > exist but I don't know how to find them! I know it's a small issue
                  > on my path and it's something I only have to put up with until I
                  > finish my exams in June. However, I think it's something that won't
                  > be sorted out until I sort it out. I don't want to be roped into
                  > being the part of my mind I don't like. I want to be my heart. I am
                  > so happy on the path of my heart I never ever want to leave. I know
                  > that if I stay true to my heart I will stay true to myself, but I
                  > guess I'm trying not to offend anyone in the mean time.
                  >
                  > It's tough.
                  >
                  > -=>Colm.
                • anitabusic
                  Hi guys, I remember something else that Sri Chinmoy suggested and that is to feel yourself as if a boat floating on the water, being on the water but not of
                  Message 8 of 21 , Nov 28, 2004
                    Hi guys,

                    I remember something else that Sri Chinmoy suggested and that is to
                    feel yourself as if a boat floating on the water, being on the water
                    but not of the water. That's what I do, and it works for me.

                    I work at an ordinary (secular) job and live with a family that has
                    no special interest in spirituality. So imagine how it feels. I am
                    almost all the time with people who are not consciously pursuing a
                    spiritual discipline of any sort - even a simple thing like going
                    regularly to a church on Sundays.

                    The only way to keep yourself going and having peace with others who
                    do not understand your spiritual needs, is by being detached. They
                    are to be seen as other God's children who are still asleep. Their
                    time has not yet come to wake up. That does not mean those who are
                    awakened are superior in any way. Not in the least. It is just God's
                    divine Game.

                    I have been a Catholic by my own choice for quite some time, and am
                    very fond of Lady Mary. There is a story that when the seer-children
                    from Medjugorje asked her why were they chosen, she replied that she
                    does not always choose the best to appear before them.

                    In the same way, not always are the "best" awakened immediately, or
                    the "worst" left out. Who is best or worst only God knows. We can
                    never know truly as we are limited by our own perception of the
                    world. We don't even know our true selves, yet alone others.

                    So the way I look at my family and co-workers is that they are God's
                    children yet to be awakened, and I should not concern myself about
                    their awakening as it is God's Will to wake them when He feels the
                    time is ripe.

                    Then it is easy to be understanding and non-judgemental of others.
                    The only concern for any awakened seeker is to see what he/she can
                    do fulfil their soul's mission here on Earth.

                    I do hope Colm you will find this advice helpful. Everyone has their
                    own unique experiences. And this diversity of experience is what
                    makes life so beautiful. So my way of dealing with things might not
                    be the best for you. But it is something you could try out and see
                    if it works for you.

                    Anita

                    --- In Sri_Chinmoy_Inspiration@yahoogroups.com, sare_bear2713
                    <no_reply@y...> wrote:
                    >
                    > I've read recently Sri Chinmoy's writings on attachment (with
                    > regards to your message on not getting caught up in others'
                    > negativity). I wish I could remember where I read it, but I recall
                    > Sri Chinmoy saying that we can be attached to people we like or
                    > people we do NOT like. Either way, we spend our time thinking of
                    > these people and not of the Source... that devotion is in essence,
                    > being attached to the God rather than any individual (very easy to
                    > proclaim in theory!).
                    >
                    > I find this difficult at times, like when I'm working in the
                    > enterprise and I find myself yakking on to others about all sorts
                    of
                    > rubbish, and it occurs to me that I'm forgetting to think about
                    God!
                    > Or when I'm doing something and a teeny bit of me secretly hopes
                    > someone will notice and recognise the achievement. I suppose when
                    > we're God-Realised we will be totally immersed in the Source.
                    > Anyway, guess I'm analysing too much. See you!
                    >
                    > Sarah
                    > Melbourne
                    >
                    > --- In Sri_Chinmoy_Inspiration@yahoogroups.com, shane_dublincentre
                    > <no_reply@y...> wrote:
                    > >
                    > >
                    > >
                    > > I remember a posting by Tirtha where she was talking about being
                    in
                    > > school with people probably not unlike those Colm is talking
                    about,
                    > > and she was able to be sociable with people whilst still keeping
                    > her
                    > > own space - I remember she said that one girl came up to her and
                    > said
                    > > she was like a friend to everybody without being a close friend
                    to
                    > > anybody. I haven't seen a post by her in ages, but if she's still
                    > > reading, any tips would be more than welcome - for example, is
                    > there
                    > > anything she consciously did in order to avoid getting caught up
                    in
                    > > others' negativity?
                    > >
                    > > Colm is in a slightly different situation from the one I was in
                    > when I
                    > > joined the path because beforehand he was a real 'life-of-the-
                    > party'
                    > > dude, so now all his friends are scratching their heads and
                    > wondering
                    > > what's going on. I, on the other hand did the wise thing and got
                    > > myself universally regarded as a certifiable weirdo BEFORE I
                    joined
                    > > the path, hence conditioning people to expect just about anything
                    > > short of being abducted by aliens. Well, not really, but I had
                    been
                    > > letting it be known for quite some time that I was looking for
                    > > something beyond the day-to-day.
                    > >
                    > > Anyway, all we can do is do our best to be there for him.
                    > >
                    > > Shane
                    > >
                    > >
                    > >
                    > >
                    > > --- In Sri_Chinmoy_Inspiration@yahoogroups.com, doriscott20002000
                    > > <no_reply@y...> wrote:
                    > > >
                    > > > Hi Colm,
                    > > >
                    > > > You said: "I know that if I stay true to my heart I will stay
                    > true to
                    > > > myself, but I guess I´m trying not to offend anyone in the
                    mean
                    > > > time."
                    > > >
                    > > > Colm, this speaks of a big and noble heart, where you already
                    > have
                    > > > placed your friends.
                    > > >
                    > > > All your friends have their own life´s history, what makes
                    them
                    > live
                    > > > a certain lifestyle. They may also have big hearts, that might
                    > not
                    > > > have come to the fore yet.
                    > > >
                    > > > When I became a student of Sri Chinmoy I was so excited about
                    > the new
                    > > > life perspective, I was eager to tell the whole world how
                    > wonderful
                    > > > life can be when one would meditate. But to my disappointment
                    my
                    > > > friends did not understand.
                    > > >
                    > > > It was and still is a process of just cultivating the tiny
                    seed
                    > that
                    > > > God has planted into my heart and watch it growing into a
                    flower
                    > or
                    > > > whatever it is destined to become.
                    > > >
                    > > > As you said; they are aware of your change in lifestyle. Let´s
                    > see
                    > > > what the future will bring. The sun is shining for all. (Sri
                    > Chinmoy)
                    > > >
                    > > > Or to speak with Dharmaja´s words: "God has an eye on the
                    > sparrow."
                    > > >
                    > > > And be proud of your big brother, Shane and his "splatsplots."
                    > > >
                    > > > I would like to end with a poem by Sri Chinmoy
                    > > >
                    > > > "Not earth bound
                    > > > But heaven climbing questions
                    > > > Should absorb my mind."
                    > > >
                    > > > Happy weekend to all
                    > > >
                    > > > Doris
                    > > >
                    > > >
                    > > >
                    > > > --- In Sri_Chinmoy_Inspiration@yahoogroups.com, colmbolmcolm
                    > > > <no_reply@y...> wrote:
                    > > > >
                    > > > > I want to be brave enough to be my true self all the time.
                    It's
                    > > > > tough though. College consists of 95% percent of people who
                    > love to
                    > > > > be under the influence of either alcohol, drugs,
                    relationships
                    > or
                    > > > > their friends. Unfortunately, I don't know any others in the
                    5%
                    > > > > category, but I always know I have all my new friends (and
                    my
                    > big
                    > > > > brother) on the other side of the country in the Dublin
                    centre.
                    > > > >
                    > > > > I find it awkward to be around the friends I've made in
                    Galway.
                    > > > > Unfortunately, when I hang around with them all I get is
                    > negativity.
                    > > > > It's not severe but it holds me back; pulls me back to the
                    > heartless
                    > > > > mind. I take people's uninspiring conversations and remarks
                    > and I
                    > > > > let my mind away with agreeing with them. It's difficult to
                    do
                    > > > > anything because I've always just taken this stuff in. I've
                    > always
                    > > > > agreed and contributed to negativity when I never really
                    > wanted to.
                    > > > > Most of my friends know my mind but not my heart. I'm always
                    > nice,
                    > > > > always friendly; this they see, but to them I am still
                    > receptive to
                    > > > > any sorts of thoughts they wish to express.
                    > > > >
                    > > > > All of them are quite aware of my change in lifestyle, and
                    > presume
                    > > > > they let there imagination run wild as to this talk of
                    > meditation. I
                    > > > > think maybe I should tell some of them; then I think not. I
                    > feel
                    > > > > like I shouldn't have to cut my friends out altogether, but
                    I
                    > just
                    > > > > don't want be influenced by any of them. I have one good
                    > friend I
                    > > > > can talk to freely, but of course he would have to be an
                    > agnostic.
                    > > > > He has little time for me these days, anyway. Should I ignore
                    > > > > everyone? I know the answer is no.
                    > > > >
                    > > > > I yearn to meet some like-minded people here in Galway. I
                    know
                    > they
                    > > > > exist but I don't know how to find them! I know it's a small
                    > issue
                    > > > > on my path and it's something I only have to put up with
                    until
                    > I
                    > > > > finish my exams in June. However, I think it's something
                    that
                    > won't
                    > > > > be sorted out until I sort it out. I don't want to be roped
                    > into
                    > > > > being the part of my mind I don't like. I want to be my
                    heart.
                    > I am
                    > > > > so happy on the path of my heart I never ever want to leave.
                    I
                    > know
                    > > > > that if I stay true to my heart I will stay true to myself,
                    > but I
                    > > > > guess I'm trying not to offend anyone in the mean time.
                    > > > >
                    > > > > It's tough.
                    > > > >
                    > > > > -==>Colm.
                  • lucianbalmer
                    I started my spiritual life in my first year of high school. It sounds like you re heading in the right direction - stay in your heart, and follow the dictates
                    Message 9 of 21 , Nov 28, 2004
                      I started my spiritual life in my first year of high school. It
                      sounds like you're heading in the right direction - stay in your
                      heart, and follow the dictates of your heart. I made the statement
                      about my lifestyle change very clear, and most people became quite
                      accepting. Claim your spirituality as your very own, be brave and
                      true to your heart, and let them decide whether or not they want to
                      be friends with you. After all, that is what Sri Chinmoy does with
                      humanity!

                      Some of my best friendships in high school came about only because
                      someone had recognized me as a spiritual seeker, and they themselves
                      were consciously or unconsciously seeking. Many of the teachers
                      still know me as 'the Buddhist kid.' Close enough.

                      One key thing I have learned (this is in my case): It is most likely
                      not your duty to please your friends in the way they want to be
                      pleased. Humanity wants vital and mental satisfaction, and we should
                      be offering only divine satisfaction.* When they are putting out
                      some sort of negativity, I'm sure they are waiting for you to
                      respond, waiting for self-affirmation. At that point you have to
                      make the decision, to please them (and your mind) or to please the
                      highest within yourself.

                      I hope I don't sound like I'm lecturing you (I'm sure you get enough
                      of that); I just wanted to share my experiences with school, because
                      it was a very tough time for me as well.

                      - Lucian
                      San Francisco



                      [*As in all human relationships, sometimes there's a need for
                      compromise, which can be difficult for spiritual seekers. One wants
                      to be true to oneself and one's faith, and yet not be in people's
                      face with a "my way or the highway" attitude. Maybe a better word
                      than compromise is "flexibility." Being a spiritual seeker doesn't
                      mean forcing everything into some Manichean good vs. evil paradigm.
                      To paraphrase Sri Chinmoy: Every human being has to struggle with
                      his or her own nature. So it's good to be flexible in dealing with
                      people, showing patience, understanding and compassion. -Assistant
                      Moderator]


                      --- In Sri_Chinmoy_Inspiration@yahoogroups.com, colmbolmcolm
                      <no_reply@y...> wrote:
                      >
                      > I want to be brave enough to be my true self all the time. It's
                      > tough though. College consists of 95% percent of people who love to
                      > be under the influence of either alcohol, drugs, relationships or
                      > their friends. Unfortunately, I don't know any others in the 5%
                      > category, but I always know I have all my new friends (and my big
                      > brother) on the other side of the country in the Dublin centre.
                      >
                      > I find it awkward to be around the friends I've made in Galway.
                      > Unfortunately, when I hang around with them all I get is
                      negativity.
                      > It's not severe but it holds me back; pulls me back to the
                      heartless
                      > mind. I take people's uninspiring conversations and remarks and I
                      > let my mind away with agreeing with them. It's difficult to do
                      > anything because I've always just taken this stuff in. I've always
                      > agreed and contributed to negativity when I never really wanted to.
                      > Most of my friends know my mind but not my heart. I'm always nice,
                      > always friendly; this they see, but to them I am still receptive to
                      > any sorts of thoughts they wish to express.
                      >
                      > All of them are quite aware of my change in lifestyle, and presume
                      > they let there imagination run wild as to this talk of meditation.
                      I
                      > think maybe I should tell some of them; then I think not. I feel
                      > like I shouldn't have to cut my friends out altogether, but I just
                      > don't want be influenced by any of them. I have one good friend I
                      > can talk to freely, but of course he would have to be an agnostic.
                      > He has little time for me these days, anyway. Should I ignore
                      > everyone? I know the answer is no.
                      >
                      > I yearn to meet some like-minded people here in Galway. I know they
                      > exist but I don't know how to find them! I know it's a small issue
                      > on my path and it's something I only have to put up with until I
                      > finish my exams in June. However, I think it's something that won't
                      > be sorted out until I sort it out. I don't want to be roped into
                      > being the part of my mind I don't like. I want to be my heart. I am
                      > so happy on the path of my heart I never ever want to leave. I know
                      > that if I stay true to my heart I will stay true to myself, but I
                      > guess I'm trying not to offend anyone in the mean time.
                      >
                      > It's tough.
                      >
                      > -=>Colm.
                    • piyasi29
                      After over 20 years,I still spend most of my outer life working with people who are not committed to a spiritual path. I am a teacher and as the work is
                      Message 10 of 21 , Nov 29, 2004
                        After over 20 years,I still spend most of my outer life working with
                        people who are not committed to a spiritual path. I am a teacher and
                        as the work is intensely busy, you cannot remain focussed on your
                        spiritual life all the time. However, every so oten,I have
                        interesting experiences which are reminders that my soul or my Guru
                        or the Supreme are always "thinking" of me.

                        I have noticed that when I am sitting in a staff meeting or
                        conference amongst many people and we are all listening to something,
                        suddenly out of the blue,I get a beautiful feeling of love and joy in
                        my heart which is like an effortless meditation.

                        As the people I work with are not interested in following a
                        spiritual life themselves, I don't discuss it much, but they are good
                        people. They know a little about my spiritual life are very
                        respectful of my commitment to and confidence in what I believe and
                        follow. Some have adopted a vegetarian diet and others try to cut
                        down on drinking and smoking. A few have taken up hatha yoga or other
                        physical exercise programmes.

                        Sometimes, it is difficult and I feel I must be wasting my precious
                        time being involved with people who are not following a spiritual
                        life, but often little remarks from my work colleagues or from the
                        children prove that they appreciate something that has come from my
                        inner life and make it all worthwhile.

                        Piyasi
                      • palyati
                        Dear Colm. Whether you are standing in a jungle by yourself or in the middle of Times Square on New Year s Eve, you can feel alone. Remember this. You have
                        Message 11 of 21 , Nov 30, 2004
                          Dear Colm.

                          Whether you are standing in a jungle by yourself or in the middle of
                          Times Square on New Year's Eve, you can feel alone.

                          Remember this. You have realized that you have a higher destiny. You
                          are following a brighter star.

                          You have realized this at a young age when most of your buddies are
                          partying. Yours is an inner party. At any age there are difficulties
                          when you come to grips with the fact that you're following different
                          ideals than billions of people on the planet. The sooner you can
                          accept this, the better.

                          Everyone has challenges. As you walk through life, you will see
                          this. Many think things are happening to them from the outside, but
                          you will see that you are the creator of your challenges. They come
                          from the inside so you can grow and achieve your destiny.

                          Consider yourself extremely lucky. You have found your path and have
                          family and friends of like mind to support you. Most of us change
                          who our friends are after we become inwardly aware of our purpose.
                          As many of the replies have mentioned. It just happens.

                          The phone is a wonderful invention. Keep in touch with your bro and
                          other disciples. It's what I do to keep my focus.

                          Palyati
                          Physically alone on my path, but amongst many, many great friends.


                          --- In Sri_Chinmoy_Inspiration@yahoogroups.com, colmbolmcolm
                          <no_reply@y...> wrote:
                          >
                          > I want to be brave enough to be my true self all the time. It's
                          > tough though. College consists of 95% percent of people who love to
                          > be under the influence of either alcohol, drugs, relationships or
                          > their friends. Unfortunately, I don't know any others in the 5%
                          > category, but I always know I have all my new friends (and my big
                          > brother) on the other side of the country in the Dublin centre.
                          >
                          > I find it awkward to be around the friends I've made in Galway.
                          > Unfortunately, when I hang around with them all I get is
                          negativity.
                          > It's not severe but it holds me back; pulls me back to the
                          heartless
                          > mind. I take people's uninspiring conversations and remarks and I
                          > let my mind away with agreeing with them. It's difficult to do
                          > anything because I've always just taken this stuff in. I've always
                          > agreed and contributed to negativity when I never really wanted to.
                          > Most of my friends know my mind but not my heart. I'm always nice,
                          > always friendly; this they see, but to them I am still receptive to
                          > any sorts of thoughts they wish to express.
                          >
                          > All of them are quite aware of my change in lifestyle, and presume
                          > they let there imagination run wild as to this talk of meditation.
                          I
                          > think maybe I should tell some of them; then I think not. I feel
                          > like I shouldn't have to cut my friends out altogether, but I just
                          > don't want be influenced by any of them. I have one good friend I
                          > can talk to freely, but of course he would have to be an agnostic.
                          > He has little time for me these days, anyway. Should I ignore
                          > everyone? I know the answer is no.
                          >
                          > I yearn to meet some like-minded people here in Galway. I know they
                          > exist but I don't know how to find them! I know it's a small issue
                          > on my path and it's something I only have to put up with until I
                          > finish my exams in June. However, I think it's something that won't
                          > be sorted out until I sort it out. I don't want to be roped into
                          > being the part of my mind I don't like. I want to be my heart. I am
                          > so happy on the path of my heart I never ever want to leave. I know
                          > that if I stay true to my heart I will stay true to myself, but I
                          > guess I'm trying not to offend anyone in the mean time.
                          >
                          > It's tough.
                          >
                          > -=>Colm.
                        • kamalika_gyorgyjakab
                          Dear Piyasi, You spoke on my behalf too, and I appreciate that someone gave expression to that kind of experience too. The only thing I can add is, that in
                          Message 12 of 21 , Nov 30, 2004
                            Dear Piyasi,

                            You spoke on my behalf too, and I appreciate that someone gave
                            expression to that kind of experience too.

                            The only thing I can add is, that in recent times I happily
                            discovered a new wave of love. It's really amazing: we sit, talk,
                            eat, or eventually work (it happens quite often) :-) with some
                            (almost any) of my colleagues, and then suddenly I just feel
                            something like "Oh, how much I love this person!!!" I know it's a
                            God-like love and not a kind of attachment, for I feel that this
                            stream of deep affection is not a "reward" for something that the
                            respective person did or gave to me, I just love the person for what
                            he or she is and I expect nothing from him or her, not even to be
                            loved back.

                            And when I first could feel this in connection with a person who had
                            never been sincere to me (this is a way of saying that we are not on
                            good terms, or don't get along well), I actually started shedding
                            tears of spontaneous gratitude to God that the day dawned when I can
                            love an "enemy." :-)

                            This was one of the most rewarding and most tangible (however, not
                            material) gifts my spiritual life gave me. When moments like this
                            came and invaded me, I felt like I learnt a workshop secret of God.

                            Love to you all,

                            Kamalika



                            --- In Sri_Chinmoy_Inspiration@yahoogroups.com, piyasi29
                            <no_reply@y...> wrote:
                            >
                            >
                            > After over 20 years,I still spend most of my outer life working
                            with
                            > people who are not committed to a spiritual path. I am a teacher
                            and
                            > as the work is intensely busy, you cannot remain focussed on your
                            > spiritual life all the time. However, every so oten,I have
                            > interesting experiences which are reminders that my soul or my
                            Guru
                            > or the Supreme are always "thinking" of me.
                            >
                            > I have noticed that when I am sitting in a staff meeting or
                            > conference amongst many people and we are all listening to
                            something,
                            > suddenly out of the blue,I get a beautiful feeling of love and joy
                            in
                            > my heart which is like an effortless meditation.
                            >
                            > As the people I work with are not interested in following a
                            > spiritual life themselves, I don't discuss it much, but they are
                            good
                            > people. They know a little about my spiritual life are very
                            > respectful of my commitment to and confidence in what I believe
                            and
                            > follow. Some have adopted a vegetarian diet and others try to cut
                            > down on drinking and smoking. A few have taken up hatha yoga or
                            other
                            > physical exercise programmes.
                            >
                            > Sometimes, it is difficult and I feel I must be wasting my
                            precious
                            > time being involved with people who are not following a spiritual
                            > life, but often little remarks from my work colleagues or from the
                            > children prove that they appreciate something that has come from
                            my
                            > inner life and make it all worthwhile.
                            >
                            > Piyasi
                          • menace60005
                            [From Benjamin Pierce, a.k.a. Ghanta] Hi All I am an ex member of the Sri Chinmoy centre. I spent many years after the path dwelling on personal problems and
                            Message 13 of 21 , Nov 30, 2004
                              [From Benjamin Pierce, a.k.a. Ghanta]

                              Hi All
                              I am an ex member of the Sri Chinmoy centre. I spent many years
                              after the path dwelling on personal problems and have unfortunately
                              directed some of these feelings towards Sri Chinmoy, who was not
                              responsible for my life actions before and after the centre. I will
                              be honest and say that Sri Chinmoy was very compassionate towards me
                              when I was in the centre. I was always made to feel important for
                              reasons I still do not understand but I am very much appreciative
                              for it. My father who is an active member is almost 60, yet as young
                              and fit as any person my age and I will admit I have seldom regrets
                              of any of my experiences on the path. Who else can tell of riding an
                              elephant or climbing a pyramid as a teenager, or meeting famous
                              celebrities? I have had my issues since leaving, but Sri Chinmoy is
                              not the reason for them and he did nothing I feel but encourage me
                              to pursue the best I could have been. I have made my peace with god
                              and wish him and his group all the best in their effort to promote
                              world peace and harmony around the globe.

                              Yours Faithfully
                              Benjamin Pierce
                              a.k.a. Ghanta


                              --- In Sri_Chinmoy_Inspiration@yahoogroups.com, richard13_oxford
                              <no_reply@y...> wrote:
                              >
                              >
                              > Hi Colm,
                              >
                              > It is an exciting time when you first launch into the spiritual
                              > life. You become aware of many different experiences; and life seems
                              > to have a greater sense of purpose.
                              >
                              > However the very nature of the spiritual life is that, it is
                              > different than a life based on the pursuit of outer happiness. As
                              > you say, it is not that this kind of life is bad. It is just that
                              > when we feel genuine aspiration, this old lifestyle can no longer
                              > satisfy us like it used to. Therefore it is inevitable that we will
                              > to some extent drift away from our previous associations. Although,
                              > sometimes out of habit, the mind clings to things that don't give us
                              > joy anymore.
                              >
                              > Like yourself, I started meditating in my last few years at
                              > University. My friends thought it was rather quaint but they didn't
                              > really appreciate such a lifestyle themselves. In this environment
                              > it wasn't easy to meditate early every morning, etc. But I also knew
                              > it would be impossible for me to be happy living the secular life.
                              > So I persisted and after a while outer circumstances started to
                              > become easier.
                              >
                              > In theory, an advanced seeker can ignore the world and meditate in
                              > solitude. However, we are not advanced seekers nor does Sri Chinmoy
                              > want us to live in isolation from the world. The spiritual life is
                              > challenging and friends who are sympathetic can inspire us and help
                              > maintain our enthusiasm. This is one reason why Sri Chinmoy places
                              > so much emphasis on joy weekends.
                              >
                              > If I got the opportunity, I would like to cycle in the hills of
                              > Galway. If not, maybe you will come and visit England. Anyway, at
                              > least you have a brother on the same path. You can often get
                              > inspiration from speaking with people on the telephone.
                              >
                              >
                              > Wishing you happiness in rainy Galway,
                              >
                              >
                              > Richard
                              >
                              > Oxford
                              >
                              >
                              >
                              > --- In Sri_Chinmoy_Inspiration@yahoogroups.com, colmbolmcolm
                              > <no_reply@y...> wrote:
                              > >
                              > > I want to be brave enough to be my true self all the time. It's
                              > > tough though. College consists of 95% percent of people who love to
                              > > be under the influence of either alcohol, drugs, relationships or
                              > > their friends. Unfortunately, I don't know any others in the 5%
                              > > category, but I always know I have all my new friends (and my big
                              > > brother) on the other side of the country in the Dublin centre.
                              > >
                              > > I find it awkward to be around the friends I've made in Galway.
                              > > Unfortunately, when I hang around with them all I get is negativity.
                              > > It's not severe but it holds me back; pulls me back to the heartless
                              > > mind. I take people's uninspiring conversations and remarks and I
                              > > let my mind away with agreeing with them. It's difficult to do
                              > > anything because I've always just taken this stuff in. I've always
                              > > agreed and contributed to negativity when I never really wanted to.
                              > > Most of my friends know my mind but not my heart. I'm always nice,
                              > > always friendly; this they see, but to them I am still receptive to
                              > > any sorts of thoughts they wish to express.
                              > >
                              > > All of them are quite aware of my change in lifestyle, and presume
                              > > they let there imagination run wild as to this talk of meditation. I
                              > > think maybe I should tell some of them; then I think not. I feel
                              > > like I shouldn't have to cut my friends out altogether, but I just
                              > > don't want be influenced by any of them. I have one good friend I
                              > > can talk to freely, but of course he would have to be an agnostic.
                              > > He has little time for me these days, anyway. Should I ignore
                              > > everyone? I know the answer is no.
                              > >
                              > > I yearn to meet some like-minded people here in Galway. I know they
                              > > exist but I don't know how to find them! I know it's a small issue
                              > > on my path and it's something I only have to put up with until I
                              > > finish my exams in June. However, I think it's something that won't
                              > > be sorted out until I sort it out. I don't want to be roped into
                              > > being the part of my mind I don't like. I want to be my heart. I am
                              > > so happy on the path of my heart I never ever want to leave. I know
                              > > that if I stay true to my heart I will stay true to myself, but I
                              > > guess I'm trying not to offend anyone in the mean time.
                              > >
                              > > It's tough.
                              > >
                              > > -=>Colm.
                            • niriha7
                              Dear Benjamin a.k.a. Ghanta, I so clearly remember you and have asked your dad about you from time to time. I hope you will visit this site now and again! You
                              Message 14 of 21 , Nov 30, 2004
                                Dear Benjamin a.k.a. Ghanta, I so clearly remember you and have
                                asked your dad about you from time to time. I hope you will visit
                                this site now and again!

                                You mention, "Sri Chinmoy was very compassionate towards me when I
                                was in the centre. I was always made to feel important for reasons I
                                still do not understand but I am very much appreciative for it." Do
                                you have any idea of what a special kid you were? Remember how much
                                everyone liked you? I am going to look for videos with you in them
                                to give to your dad for sharing with you. Then you will remember.
                                Plus, the compassion and love that Sri Chinmoy has for all can only
                                be felt and not fully described or understood. You were such an
                                open-hearted kid and I can tell from your post that you still are -
                                open-hearted that is.I am sure you were receptive to his love and
                                concern for you.

                                Tell me though, are you easier to understand now? We used to
                                lovingly tease you when you spoke. Between your Aussie accent and
                                the rapidity with which you spoke, we were sometimes left scratching
                                our heads. Your heart, however, was easy to understand.

                                Take care of yourself and let us hear from you again. Niriha




                                --- In Sri_Chinmoy_Inspiration@yahoogroups.com, menace60005
                                <no_reply@y...> wrote:
                                >
                                > [From Benjamin Pierce, a.k.a. Ghanta]
                                >
                                > Hi All
                                > I am an ex member of the Sri Chinmoy centre. I spent many years
                                > after the path dwelling on personal problems and have unfortunately
                                > directed some of these feelings towards Sri Chinmoy, who was not
                                > responsible for my life actions before and after the centre. I will
                                > be honest and say that Sri Chinmoy was very compassionate towards me
                                > when I was in the centre. I was always made to feel important for
                                > reasons I still do not understand but I am very much appreciative
                                > for it. My father who is an active member is almost 60, yet as young
                                > and fit as any person my age and I will admit I have seldom regrets
                                > of any of my experiences on the path. Who else can tell of riding an
                                > elephant or climbing a pyramid as a teenager, or meeting famous
                                > celebrities? I have had my issues since leaving, but Sri Chinmoy is
                                > not the reason for them and he did nothing I feel but encourage me
                                > to pursue the best I could have been. I have made my peace with god
                                > and wish him and his group all the best in their effort to promote
                                > world peace and harmony around the globe.
                                >
                                > Yours Faithfully
                                > Benjamin Pierce
                                > a.k.a. Ghanta
                                >
                                >
                                > --- In Sri_Chinmoy_Inspiration@yahoogroups.com, richard13_oxford
                                > <no_reply@y...> wrote:
                                > >
                                > >
                                > > Hi Colm,
                                > >
                                > > It is an exciting time when you first launch into the spiritual
                                > > life. You become aware of many different experiences; and life
                                seems
                                > > to have a greater sense of purpose.
                                > >
                                > > However the very nature of the spiritual life is that, it is
                                > > different than a life based on the pursuit of outer happiness. As
                                > > you say, it is not that this kind of life is bad. It is just that
                                > > when we feel genuine aspiration, this old lifestyle can no longer
                                > > satisfy us like it used to. Therefore it is inevitable that we
                                will
                                > > to some extent drift away from our previous associations.
                                Although,
                                > > sometimes out of habit, the mind clings to things that don't give
                                us
                                > > joy anymore.
                                > >
                                > > Like yourself, I started meditating in my last few years at
                                > > University. My friends thought it was rather quaint but they
                                didn't
                                > > really appreciate such a lifestyle themselves. In this environment
                                > > it wasn't easy to meditate early every morning, etc. But I also
                                knew
                                > > it would be impossible for me to be happy living the secular life.
                                > > So I persisted and after a while outer circumstances started to
                                > > become easier.
                                > >
                                > > In theory, an advanced seeker can ignore the world and meditate in
                                > > solitude. However, we are not advanced seekers nor does Sri
                                Chinmoy
                                > > want us to live in isolation from the world. The spiritual life is
                                > > challenging and friends who are sympathetic can inspire us and
                                help
                                > > maintain our enthusiasm. This is one reason why Sri Chinmoy places
                                > > so much emphasis on joy weekends.
                                > >
                                > > If I got the opportunity, I would like to cycle in the hills of
                                > > Galway. If not, maybe you will come and visit England. Anyway, at
                                > > least you have a brother on the same path. You can often get
                                > > inspiration from speaking with people on the telephone.
                                > >
                                > >
                                > > Wishing you happiness in rainy Galway,
                                > >
                                > >
                                > > Richard
                                > >
                                > > Oxford
                                > >
                                > >
                                > >
                                > > --- In Sri_Chinmoy_Inspiration@yahoogroups.com, colmbolmcolm
                                > > <no_reply@y...> wrote:
                                > > >
                                > > > I want to be brave enough to be my true self all the time. It's
                                > > > tough though. College consists of 95% percent of people who
                                love to
                                > > > be under the influence of either alcohol, drugs, relationships
                                or
                                > > > their friends. Unfortunately, I don't know any others in the 5%
                                > > > category, but I always know I have all my new friends (and my
                                big
                                > > > brother) on the other side of the country in the Dublin centre.
                                > > >
                                > > > I find it awkward to be around the friends I've made in Galway.
                                > > > Unfortunately, when I hang around with them all I get is
                                negativity.
                                > > > It's not severe but it holds me back; pulls me back to the
                                heartless
                                > > > mind. I take people's uninspiring conversations and remarks and
                                I
                                > > > let my mind away with agreeing with them. It's difficult to do
                                > > > anything because I've always just taken this stuff in. I've
                                always
                                > > > agreed and contributed to negativity when I never really wanted
                                to.
                                > > > Most of my friends know my mind but not my heart. I'm always
                                nice,
                                > > > always friendly; this they see, but to them I am still
                                receptive to
                                > > > any sorts of thoughts they wish to express.
                                > > >
                                > > > All of them are quite aware of my change in lifestyle, and
                                presume
                                > > > they let there imagination run wild as to this talk of
                                meditation. I
                                > > > think maybe I should tell some of them; then I think not. I feel
                                > > > like I shouldn't have to cut my friends out altogether, but I
                                just
                                > > > don't want be influenced by any of them. I have one good friend
                                I
                                > > > can talk to freely, but of course he would have to be an
                                agnostic.
                                > > > He has little time for me these days, anyway. Should I ignore
                                > > > everyone? I know the answer is no.
                                > > >
                                > > > I yearn to meet some like-minded people here in Galway. I know
                                they
                                > > > exist but I don't know how to find them! I know it's a small
                                issue
                                > > > on my path and it's something I only have to put up with until I
                                > > > finish my exams in June. However, I think it's something that
                                won't
                                > > > be sorted out until I sort it out. I don't want to be roped into
                                > > > being the part of my mind I don't like. I want to be my heart.
                                I am
                                > > > so happy on the path of my heart I never ever want to leave. I
                                know
                                > > > that if I stay true to my heart I will stay true to myself, but
                                I
                                > > > guess I'm trying not to offend anyone in the mean time.
                                > > >
                                > > > It's tough.
                                > > >
                                > > > -=>Colm.
                              • shane_dublincentre
                                Dear all, It s funny how you notice the change in people who you previously thought were immovably welded to negativity. I do my research in a small office
                                Message 15 of 21 , Dec 1, 2004
                                  Dear all,

                                  It's funny how you notice the change in people who you previously
                                  thought were immovably welded to negativity.

                                  I do my research in a small office with four others, and people from
                                  the office next door or upstairs are always dropping in to talk about
                                  work ...sometimes they just call in in the hope of finding someone to
                                  kill some time with. There's one guy in particular who really used to
                                  get me down - he's quite a xenophobic character and sometimes I had to
                                  leave the room or stick on headphones because some of the stuff he was
                                  spouting on about was so depressing. I have a small discreet picture
                                  of Sri Chinmoy in my office beside my computer, and for quite some
                                  time this was the subject of some snide remarks by this particular
                                  character. In the beginning I just laughed it off because I didn't
                                  want to make an issue of it, but he sensed that here was some kind of
                                  weakness he could joke about because I was almost apologetic over it.

                                  What I learned, as Lucian said, is not to be apologetic about any
                                  aspect of your spirituality, and to claim it as the key ingredient in
                                  a normal, natural life. If you can't do this, then people will sense
                                  some kind of vulnerability, zone in on some aspect they consider
                                  strange, and think that here is something to make an issue about. You
                                  can be unapologetic without rubbing your lifestyle into peoples faces;
                                  I think after a while everyone learns to get the balance right, which
                                  goes something like this:

                                  - Judge people's receptivity and use appropriate language - don't
                                  blow people out of the water with in-your-face statements.
                                  - But at the same time, dont be timid...you're essentially talking
                                  about your life here.
                                  (If anyone has any other guidelines, please contribute, I'm only
                                  learning as I go along...)

                                  I think also if you have to respond to someone who is not so
                                  receptive, I found the best course of action (with this particular
                                  gentleman) was to know where he is trying to lead you and refuse to
                                  go there, constantly keep him on the back foot, and appeal to his
                                  basic goodness. For example, there are some aspects of my faith
                                  which he finds ludicrous - so if he starts talking about those
                                  things, I just grab the conversation by the scruff of the neck and
                                  try and lead him away from those topics and towards everyday things.

                                  The other key ingredient, the AM has mentioned, is to see the good
                                  points in everyone and realise everyone is consciously or
                                  unconsciously trying to make progress in his own way. I found myself
                                  trying to remember his intermittent childlike displays (he's
                                  constantly coming into the office, picking up some arbitrary object,
                                  and seeing what he can do with them - once he made Christmas
                                  decorations out of a colleague's karate belts, another time he
                                  rubberstamped all my teabags with a smiley face) or the hard work he
                                  puts in trying to mantain a sports club in college with little or no
                                  appreciation to show for it. After a while these initial mental
                                  attempts at seeing the good in him gradually took on a more
                                  spontaneous form, and as Kamalika says, affection started coming
                                  naturally.

                                  The strange thing is - when ever I have to leave these green shores
                                  (which is quite often) I usually have quite a few lectures or
                                  tutorials I need a replacement for, and this guy is the one who more
                                  often than not steps into the breach for me, usually going out of his
                                  way to do so. It's really nice when that happens, because at those
                                  times I can really feel his basic decency coming to the fore.

                                  Shane.




                                  --- In Sri_Chinmoy_Inspiration@yahoogroups.com, kamalika_gyorgyjakab
                                  <no_reply@y...> wrote:
                                  >
                                  > Dear Piyasi,
                                  >
                                  > You spoke on my behalf too, and I appreciate that someone gave
                                  > expression to that kind of experience too.
                                  >
                                  > The only thing I can add is, that in recent times I happily
                                  > discovered a new wave of love. It's really amazing: we sit, talk,
                                  > eat, or eventually work (it happens quite often) :-) with some
                                  > (almost any) of my colleagues, and then suddenly I just feel
                                  > something like "Oh, how much I love this person!!!" I know it's a
                                  > God-like love and not a kind of attachment, for I feel that this
                                  > stream of deep affection is not a "reward" for something that the
                                  > respective person did or gave to me, I just love the person for what
                                  > he or she is and I expect nothing from him or her, not even to be
                                  > loved back.
                                  >
                                  > And when I first could feel this in connection with a person who had
                                  > never been sincere to me (this is a way of saying that we are not on
                                  > good terms, or don't get along well), I actually started shedding
                                  > tears of spontaneous gratitude to God that the day dawned when I can
                                  > love an "enemy." :-)
                                  >
                                  > This was one of the most rewarding and most tangible (however, not
                                  > material) gifts my spiritual life gave me. When moments like this
                                  > came and invaded me, I felt like I learnt a workshop secret of God.
                                  >
                                  > Love to you all,
                                  >
                                  > Kamalika
                                  >
                                  >
                                  >
                                  > --- In Sri_Chinmoy_Inspiration@yahoogroups.com, piyasi29
                                  > <no_reply@y...> wrote:
                                  > >
                                  > >
                                  > > After over 20 years,I still spend most of my outer life working
                                  > with
                                  > > people who are not committed to a spiritual path. I am a teacher
                                  > and
                                  > > as the work is intensely busy, you cannot remain focussed on your
                                  > > spiritual life all the time. However, every so oten,I have
                                  > > interesting experiences which are reminders that my soul or my
                                  > Guru
                                  > > or the Supreme are always "thinking" of me.
                                  > >
                                  > > I have noticed that when I am sitting in a staff meeting or
                                  > > conference amongst many people and we are all listening to
                                  > something,
                                  > > suddenly out of the blue,I get a beautiful feeling of love and joy
                                  > in
                                  > > my heart which is like an effortless meditation.
                                  > >
                                  > > As the people I work with are not interested in following a
                                  > > spiritual life themselves, I don't discuss it much, but they are
                                  > good
                                  > > people. They know a little about my spiritual life are very
                                  > > respectful of my commitment to and confidence in what I believe
                                  > and
                                  > > follow. Some have adopted a vegetarian diet and others try to cut
                                  > > down on drinking and smoking. A few have taken up hatha yoga or
                                  > other
                                  > > physical exercise programmes.
                                  > >
                                  > > Sometimes, it is difficult and I feel I must be wasting my
                                  > precious
                                  > > time being involved with people who are not following a spiritual
                                  > > life, but often little remarks from my work colleagues or from the
                                  > > children prove that they appreciate something that has come from
                                  > my
                                  > > inner life and make it all worthwhile.
                                  > >
                                  > > Piyasi
                                • srichinmoyinspiration
                                  Dear Benjamin, I would like to applaud you. I think it takes a lot of courage to say what you ve said. You deserve very special praise and gratitude! There s
                                  Message 16 of 21 , Dec 1, 2004
                                    Dear Benjamin,

                                    I would like to applaud you. I think it takes a lot of courage to
                                    say what you've said. You deserve very special praise and gratitude!

                                    There's something about faith and human nature that causes many
                                    people who leave a spiritual path to become bitter and angry.
                                    Instead of living on good terms with their former faith - which is
                                    the healthiest kind of adjustment - they may use the Internet to
                                    stalk and harass their former friends and teacher. Once they start
                                    down that road, it's as if they can no longer hear the voice of
                                    conscience, so they continue to act destructively and suffer much.

                                    When people have love for God, they can find much joy and beauty in
                                    Sri Chinmoy's path. But sometimes when people leave, it's as if they
                                    become addicted to hate. Then, in order to justify their hate, they
                                    will constantly speak ill of their former friends and teacher. It's
                                    a kind of temporary insanity, but for some people it lasts a long
                                    time.

                                    Every spiritual movement has its detractors, so when you're
                                    struggling to make a positive adjustment, you may encounter people
                                    who try and turn you negative, and exploit you to say bad things
                                    about Sri Chinmoy Centre. These may be people who were expelled, or
                                    who have converted to a different faith and are fanatically opposed
                                    to their former faith. They will tell you, "Welcome brother!" and
                                    make you feel like a big man for speaking ill of the Centre. There
                                    are also people who, when they get therapy or anti-cult counseling,
                                    come out the other end telling completely wacky stories which are
                                    contradicted by objective evidence.

                                    Like any person who goes through major changes in life, you may find
                                    yourself looking for a "narrative" that explains it all - a way of
                                    telling your story that helps you feel accepted by a peer group. The
                                    danger is that there are people who will encourage you to adopt a
                                    false narrative which says "All my problems are the fault of Sri
                                    Chinmoy," and will pat you on the back for giving them a
                                    "testimonial" which they can use to attack Sri Chinmoy Centre.

                                    I believe you have encountered such people, and they've tried hard
                                    to mess with your head. That's why I feel you deserve very special
                                    praise and gratitude. In spite of having fallen victim to this kind
                                    of temporary insanity, you've managed to break free! You are
                                    listening more to the voice of conscience, which is telling you (as
                                    you said) that Sri Chinmoy was very compassionate towards you, that
                                    he did nothing but encourage you to pursue the best in yourself, and
                                    that he is not responsible for your life actions before and after
                                    the Centre. (Is he even responsible for everything current Centre
                                    members do? I think not...)

                                    Maybe your gracious words represent not an ending, but a new
                                    beginning, and a springboard for you to accomplish more in life.
                                    Whatever your goals, I hope you will find peace, light and joy. If
                                    there's anything to forgive, I'm sure everyone here will be happy to
                                    forgive you so you can move forward in a positive way. Here we are
                                    so close to 2005, we can all stand to put alot of excess baggage
                                    behind us! I hope you will also forgive us for just being human
                                    beings, and not always having a magic answer to the many challenges
                                    a young man faces in a world filled with suffering.

                                    Having a teacher and a path are fantastic resources, but there's
                                    still the daily struggle to apply those resources. We each struggle
                                    with our own nature, and sometimes our nature may take us in the
                                    opposite direction from where we were trying to go. We have to
                                    really *want* to change - otherwise, just having a teacher and path
                                    may not be enough. If we cannot cultivate much love for God, then we
                                    will feel that the teacher is bad, the path is bad, and the other
                                    students are all bad. But as Piyasi and Kamalika pointed out, when
                                    we feel love for God, this love acts as a connecting link between
                                    ourselves and other human beings. Instead of doubting and
                                    criticizing, we spontaneously feel love and oneness.

                                    Sometimes we have to be a little bit careful about the company we
                                    keep, because bad friends can exert a lot of unconscious pressure on
                                    us to get into trouble. Good friends can help us honour the best in
                                    ourselves, the part that wants to live in light.

                                    Community has always been an important part of each authentic
                                    spiritual path. To join in the life of a thriving spiritual
                                    community is to enjoy a virtuous circle of influences. Yet,
                                    destructive groups also try and use the power of community for
                                    ignoble purposes. Just as a prayer circle or meditation group may
                                    help to bring out people's virtue, a hate group can turn people into
                                    a vicious mob. Scholars who have studied the anti-cult movement have
                                    pointed out that it has what might be called a "cultlike" structure.
                                    Peer pressure is used to try and persuade people to adopt a negative
                                    view of spiritual groups.

                                    Atheists may deliver blistering hellfire and brimstone sermons
                                    against spiritual groups, but if we can feel connected with a
                                    spiritual community, this can help us to feel grounded, and remind
                                    us of our deep inner idealism.

                                    Sorry for all the philosophizing! These are just some things I have
                                    been thinking about lately.

                                    I hope you will always remember, Ben, that you are a good person,
                                    and that your father loves you very much. As for Sri Chinmoy, if you
                                    no longer think of him as your guru, maybe you can think of him as a
                                    friend, someone whose blessings go with you.

                                    When we're growing up we have many teachers, and some of them stick
                                    in our minds, even if we no longer see them. So at a crucial moment,
                                    someone might think: "What would Mrs. O'Grady, my ninth grade
                                    English teacher, tell me to do in this situation?" The great thing
                                    about living on good terms with your spiritual background is that
                                    it's something you can call on in tough times. Take care.

                                    Assistant Moderator


                                    --- In Sri_Chinmoy_Inspiration@yahoogroups.com, menace60005
                                    <no_reply@y...> wrote:
                                    >
                                    > [From Benjamin Pierce, a.k.a. Ghanta]
                                    >
                                    > Hi All
                                    > I am an ex member of the Sri Chinmoy centre. I spent many years
                                    > after the path dwelling on personal problems and have unfortunately
                                    > directed some of these feelings towards Sri Chinmoy, who was not
                                    > responsible for my life actions before and after the centre. I will
                                    > be honest and say that Sri Chinmoy was very compassionate towards me
                                    > when I was in the centre. I was always made to feel important for
                                    > reasons I still do not understand but I am very much appreciative
                                    > for it. My father who is an active member is almost 60, yet as young
                                    > and fit as any person my age and I will admit I have seldom regrets
                                    > of any of my experiences on the path. Who else can tell of riding an
                                    > elephant or climbing a pyramid as a teenager, or meeting famous
                                    > celebrities? I have had my issues since leaving, but Sri Chinmoy is
                                    > not the reason for them and he did nothing I feel but encourage me
                                    > to pursue the best I could have been. I have made my peace with god
                                    > and wish him and his group all the best in their effort to promote
                                    > world peace and harmony around the globe.
                                    >
                                    > Yours Faithfully
                                    > Benjamin Pierce
                                    > a.k.a. Ghanta
                                    >
                                    >
                                    > --- In Sri_Chinmoy_Inspiration@yahoogroups.com, richard13_oxford
                                    > <no_reply@y...> wrote:
                                    > >
                                    > >
                                    > > Hi Colm,
                                    > >
                                    > > It is an exciting time when you first launch into the spiritual
                                    > > life. You become aware of many different experiences; and life seems
                                    > > to have a greater sense of purpose.
                                    > >
                                    > > However the very nature of the spiritual life is that, it is
                                    > > different than a life based on the pursuit of outer happiness. As
                                    > > you say, it is not that this kind of life is bad. It is just that
                                    > > when we feel genuine aspiration, this old lifestyle can no longer
                                    > > satisfy us like it used to. Therefore it is inevitable that we will
                                    > > to some extent drift away from our previous associations. Although,
                                    > > sometimes out of habit, the mind clings to things that don't give us
                                    > > joy anymore.
                                    > >
                                    > > Like yourself, I started meditating in my last few years at
                                    > > University. My friends thought it was rather quaint but they didn't
                                    > > really appreciate such a lifestyle themselves. In this environment
                                    > > it wasn't easy to meditate early every morning, etc. But I also knew
                                    > > it would be impossible for me to be happy living the secular life.
                                    > > So I persisted and after a while outer circumstances started to
                                    > > become easier.
                                    > >
                                    > > In theory, an advanced seeker can ignore the world and meditate in
                                    > > solitude. However, we are not advanced seekers nor does Sri Chinmoy
                                    > > want us to live in isolation from the world. The spiritual life is
                                    > > challenging and friends who are sympathetic can inspire us and help
                                    > > maintain our enthusiasm. This is one reason why Sri Chinmoy places
                                    > > so much emphasis on joy weekends.
                                    > >
                                    > > If I got the opportunity, I would like to cycle in the hills of
                                    > > Galway. If not, maybe you will come and visit England. Anyway, at
                                    > > least you have a brother on the same path. You can often get
                                    > > inspiration from speaking with people on the telephone.
                                    > >
                                    > >
                                    > > Wishing you happiness in rainy Galway,
                                    > >
                                    > >
                                    > > Richard
                                    > >
                                    > > Oxford
                                    > >
                                    > >
                                    > >
                                    > > --- In Sri_Chinmoy_Inspiration@yahoogroups.com, colmbolmcolm
                                    > > <no_reply@y...> wrote:
                                    > > >
                                    > > > I want to be brave enough to be my true self all the time. It's
                                    > > > tough though. College consists of 95% percent of people who love to
                                    > > > be under the influence of either alcohol, drugs, relationships or
                                    > > > their friends. Unfortunately, I don't know any others in the 5%
                                    > > > category, but I always know I have all my new friends (and my big
                                    > > > brother) on the other side of the country in the Dublin centre.
                                    > > >
                                    > > > I find it awkward to be around the friends I've made in Galway.
                                    > > > Unfortunately, when I hang around with them all I get is negativity.
                                    > > > It's not severe but it holds me back; pulls me back to the heartless
                                    > > > mind. I take people's uninspiring conversations and remarks and I
                                    > > > let my mind away with agreeing with them. It's difficult to do
                                    > > > anything because I've always just taken this stuff in. I've always
                                    > > > agreed and contributed to negativity when I never really wanted to.
                                    > > > Most of my friends know my mind but not my heart. I'm always nice,
                                    > > > always friendly; this they see, but to them I am still receptive to
                                    > > > any sorts of thoughts they wish to express.
                                    > > >
                                    > > > All of them are quite aware of my change in lifestyle, and presume
                                    > > > they let there imagination run wild as to this talk of meditation. I
                                    > > > think maybe I should tell some of them; then I think not. I feel
                                    > > > like I shouldn't have to cut my friends out altogether, but I just
                                    > > > don't want be influenced by any of them. I have one good friend I
                                    > > > can talk to freely, but of course he would have to be an agnostic.
                                    > > > He has little time for me these days, anyway. Should I ignore
                                    > > > everyone? I know the answer is no.
                                    > > >
                                    > > > I yearn to meet some like-minded people here in Galway. I know they
                                    > > > exist but I don't know how to find them! I know it's a small issue
                                    > > > on my path and it's something I only have to put up with until I
                                    > > > finish my exams in June. However, I think it's something that won't
                                    > > > be sorted out until I sort it out. I don't want to be roped into
                                    > > > being the part of my mind I don't like. I want to be my heart. I am
                                    > > > so happy on the path of my heart I never ever want to leave. I know
                                    > > > that if I stay true to my heart I will stay true to myself, but I
                                    > > > guess I'm trying not to offend anyone in the mean time.
                                    > > >
                                    > > > It's tough.
                                    > > >
                                    > > > -=>Colm.
                                  • carr_terri
                                    Well Colm, you have certainly started an interesting discussion here and I think we are all learning something from it. I would like to add a few comments on
                                    Message 17 of 21 , Dec 1, 2004
                                      Well Colm, you have certainly started an interesting discussion here
                                      and I think we are all learning something from it.

                                      I would like to add a few comments on this topic that relate not
                                      only to Colm's comments but to other responses that have come along.

                                      First, I would like to share a rather eye-opening experience I had
                                      last year at a part-time job. I have a full time job working in a
                                      divine enterprise, however I took an evening office job with a tax
                                      services company. My co-workers were nice enough people, I guess.
                                      The job involved considerable training before and during working
                                      hours... and because of the high learning curve, most of my
                                      discussions with co-workers revolved around tax related issues. I
                                      found little occasion to share details of my life outside of the
                                      office, and though I have talked to countless people over the years
                                      about my spiritual path, both superficially and more in depth, at
                                      this job, I found less occasion than usual to share my lifestyle
                                      with my co-workers.

                                      It seemed to me that few people at this company had interests in
                                      anything even slightly outside the typical western culture of home
                                      and family, television, etc.

                                      So, I kept most of my spirituality kind of "hidden." If I had cause
                                      to mention details of my work/life outside the tax office, I would
                                      share as little as possible and steer the conversation to something
                                      more general.

                                      Well my secrecy just aroused curiousity on the part of my
                                      co-workers. Naturally my co-workers sensed my lifestyle (single,
                                      childless, no talk of dating ever!) was different by choice, and not
                                      wanting to appear too probing by inquiring too much... [I think they
                                      weren't exactly sure what to ask :-) ] some of my co-workers
                                      speculated among themselves about my single status and considered
                                      options that left me a little surprised! You can perhaps imagine
                                      what they thought. (I want to mention here that I truly intend no
                                      judgement or insult regarding some secular lifestyles - only that I was
                                      surprised at the speculation that resulted.)

                                      Needless to say, none of this speculation was done with ill intent.
                                      My co-workers liked me well enough. They were simply trying to
                                      figure out which hole to peg me in; and since I am not a nun, they
                                      could think of few reasons why I might be so happily single.

                                      I found the experience very instructive. In my reluctance to seem
                                      unusual or different....I was causing people to wonder if I was,
                                      hmmm, unusual or different. The irony was not lost on me. It made me
                                      realise that if I can just be myself, people are much more
                                      comfortable with that, and oftentimes people will then share aspects
                                      of themselves that I had not imagined they possessed.

                                      I believe Sri Chinmoy commented on this topic a few years back -
                                      suggesting that the very things we fear others will judge us harshly
                                      for are the very same things that others will admire in us.

                                      Colm, although the challenges you face as a college student are
                                      different and perhaps greater than in the working world, this issue
                                      of "fitting in" is something that we all grapple with through the
                                      decades ;-) I guess it is a monster with many forms.

                                      Really, I think as dedicated spiritual seekers we are pioneers in
                                      the world of consciousness. I'm not by any means master of the art
                                      of detachment, but I find more and more, I can identify with Sri
                                      Chinmoy's advice that as seekers we have only to do what we feel is
                                      right and surrender the results to the Supreme. So with a measure of
                                      common sense and respect for others' beliefs, we can share our inner
                                      wealth, knowing that we are not responsible for others' reactions.

                                      As Kamalika was saying, if we can find a way to genuinely like, love
                                      and adore the various people in our lives, that opens the door to
                                      mutual understanding. Real love opens any heart.

                                      I hope this is not too redundant... but this is a lesson which I
                                      have always known deep in my heart but that I have quite often
                                      forgotten. When I feel that a certain person is difficult or
                                      unpleasant to deal with, that is exactly the time to concentrate on
                                      some quality or habit they have that I really like (this thing can
                                      be tinier than the tiniest or larger than the largest), but to
                                      genuinely like something about them. When I am able to do this,
                                      difficulties immediately decrease. Understanding and mutual good
                                      will immediately increase. So much unneccessary strife can be
                                      avoided when we apply this philosophy. Of course, this is all
                                      covered quite concisely by Sri Chinmoy in "Wings of Joy," but my
                                      real life experience has taught me a lot too.

                                      So Colm, these words of wisdom are not only for you....but for me
                                      and others as well. It is surprising perhaps how sometimes things
                                      that should be obvious to long-time seekers are often forgotten.

                                      Hope I have not prattled on beyond my due. Very much enjoying this
                                      discussion.

                                      Terri

                                      --- In Sri_Chinmoy_Inspiration@yahoogroups.com, lucianbalmer
                                      <no_reply@y...> wrote:
                                      >
                                      > I started my spiritual life in my first year of high school. It
                                      > sounds like you're heading in the right direction - stay in your
                                      > heart, and follow the dictates of your heart. I made the statement
                                      > about my lifestyle change very clear, and most people became quite
                                      > accepting. Claim your spirituality as your very own, be brave and
                                      > true to your heart, and let them decide whether or not they want to
                                      > be friends with you. After all, that is what Sri Chinmoy does with
                                      > humanity!
                                      >
                                      > Some of my best friendships in high school came about only because
                                      > someone had recognized me as a spiritual seeker, and they themselves
                                      > were consciously or unconsciously seeking. Many of the teachers
                                      > still know me as 'the Buddhist kid.' Close enough.
                                      >
                                      > One key thing I have learned (this is in my case): It is most likely
                                      > not your duty to please your friends in the way they want to be
                                      > pleased. Humanity wants vital and mental satisfaction, and we should
                                      > be offering only divine satisfaction.* When they are putting out
                                      > some sort of negativity, I'm sure they are waiting for you to
                                      > respond, waiting for self-affirmation. At that point you have to
                                      > make the decision, to please them (and your mind) or to please the
                                      > highest within yourself.
                                      >
                                      > I hope I don't sound like I'm lecturing you (I'm sure you get enough
                                      > of that); I just wanted to share my experiences with school, because
                                      > it was a very tough time for me as well.
                                      >
                                      > - Lucian
                                      > San Francisco
                                      >
                                      >
                                      >
                                      > [*As in all human relationships, sometimes there's a need for
                                      > compromise, which can be difficult for spiritual seekers. One wants
                                      > to be true to oneself and one's faith, and yet not be in people's
                                      > face with a "my way or the highway" attitude. Maybe a better word
                                      > than compromise is "flexibility." Being a spiritual seeker doesn't
                                      > mean forcing everything into some Manichean good vs. evil paradigm.
                                      > To paraphrase Sri Chinmoy: Every human being has to struggle with
                                      > his or her own nature. So it's good to be flexible in dealing with
                                      > people, showing patience, understanding and compassion. -Assistant
                                      > Moderator]
                                      >
                                      >
                                      > --- In Sri_Chinmoy_Inspiration@yahoogroups.com, colmbolmcolm
                                      > <no_reply@y...> wrote:
                                      > >
                                      > > I want to be brave enough to be my true self all the time. It's
                                      > > tough though. College consists of 95% percent of people who love
                                      to
                                      > > be under the influence of either alcohol, drugs, relationships or
                                      > > their friends. Unfortunately, I don't know any others in the 5%
                                      > > category, but I always know I have all my new friends (and my big
                                      > > brother) on the other side of the country in the Dublin centre.
                                      > >
                                      > > I find it awkward to be around the friends I've made in Galway.
                                      > > Unfortunately, when I hang around with them all I get is
                                      > negativity.
                                      > > It's not severe but it holds me back; pulls me back to the
                                      > heartless
                                      > > mind. I take people's uninspiring conversations and remarks and I
                                      > > let my mind away with agreeing with them. It's difficult to do
                                      > > anything because I've always just taken this stuff in. I've always
                                      > > agreed and contributed to negativity when I never really wanted
                                      to.
                                      > > Most of my friends know my mind but not my heart. I'm always nice,
                                      > > always friendly; this they see, but to them I am still receptive
                                      to
                                      > > any sorts of thoughts they wish to express.
                                      > >
                                      > > All of them are quite aware of my change in lifestyle, and presume
                                      > > they let there imagination run wild as to this talk of
                                      meditation.
                                      > I
                                      > > think maybe I should tell some of them; then I think not. I feel
                                      > > like I shouldn't have to cut my friends out altogether, but I just
                                      > > don't want be influenced by any of them. I have one good friend I
                                      > > can talk to freely, but of course he would have to be an agnostic.
                                      > > He has little time for me these days, anyway. Should I ignore
                                      > > everyone? I know the answer is no.
                                      > >
                                      > > I yearn to meet some like-minded people here in Galway. I know
                                      they
                                      > > exist but I don't know how to find them! I know it's a small issue
                                      > > on my path and it's something I only have to put up with until I
                                      > > finish my exams in June. However, I think it's something that
                                      won't
                                      > > be sorted out until I sort it out. I don't want to be roped into
                                      > > being the part of my mind I don't like. I want to be my heart. I
                                      am
                                      > > so happy on the path of my heart I never ever want to leave. I
                                      know
                                      > > that if I stay true to my heart I will stay true to myself, but I
                                      > > guess I'm trying not to offend anyone in the mean time.
                                      > >
                                      > > It's tough.
                                      > >
                                      > > -=>Colm.
                                    • shane_dublincentre
                                      Is that my dear little Assistant Moderator? Ah, how could I not forget you, the little cherub sitting up the front of the classroom in ninth grade diligently
                                      Message 18 of 21 , Dec 2, 2004
                                        Is that my dear little Assistant Moderator? Ah, how could I not forget
                                        you, the little cherub sitting up the front of the classroom in ninth
                                        grade diligently writing away when everyone else was throwing paper
                                        aeroplanes...I remember the other boys and girls used to give you such
                                        a teasing for your unusual name, they used to come up with playground
                                        rhymes like 'Dear Assistant Moderator, you're a super whizz
                                        orator'...some of the more enterprising little tykes might even have
                                        made a whole song out of it, God bless their sweet little cotton socks.

                                        And of course, you had this very endearing habit of leaning into
                                        everyone elses copybook and correcting their spelling mistakes for them.

                                        Mrs O'Grady


                                        *******


                                        Shane, that is not me. I actually didn't begin studying for the
                                        geekhood till much later on in life, after I realised it was too
                                        much trouble being a "cool" type. :-)

                                        In ninth grade, more likely you would have found me in the park
                                        playing my guitar, or sitting in detention for tearing pages out of
                                        my copy of Ivanhoe and using them for toilet paper.

                                        Anyway, I wouldn't get too uppity. Mrs. O'Grady - from the land of
                                        the bogs and the little people - was really the janitor, and drank
                                        like a fish. But like that Twilight Zone episode where the
                                        characters keep coming back in different roles, I promoted her to
                                        English teacher. Next time 'round she'll be a death row inmate
                                        wearing a leprechaun suit...

                                        And Shane, I've notified the Viennese police of your exact
                                        whereabouts, and they're beginning extradition proceedings
                                        forthwith. :-) The Association of Macedonian Driving Instructors is
                                        also prepared to administer forty lashes with a wet kreplach.

                                        "Wuffo I wanna read no Ivanhoe?" - a quote from my youth


                                        Assistant Moderator


                                        --- In Sri_Chinmoy_Inspiration@yahoogroups.com, srichinmoyinspiration
                                        <no_reply@y...> wrote:
                                        >
                                        >
                                        > Dear Benjamin,
                                        >
                                        > I would like to applaud you. I think it takes a lot of courage to
                                        > say what you've said. You deserve very special praise and gratitude!
                                        >
                                        > There's something about faith and human nature that causes many
                                        > people who leave a spiritual path to become bitter and angry.
                                        > Instead of living on good terms with their former faith - which is
                                        > the healthiest kind of adjustment - they may use the Internet to
                                        > stalk and harass their former friends and teacher. Once they start
                                        > down that road, it's as if they can no longer hear the voice of
                                        > conscience, so they continue to act destructively and suffer much.
                                        >
                                        > When people have love for God, they can find much joy and beauty in
                                        > Sri Chinmoy's path. But sometimes when people leave, it's as if they
                                        > become addicted to hate. Then, in order to justify their hate, they
                                        > will constantly speak ill of their former friends and teacher. It's
                                        > a kind of temporary insanity, but for some people it lasts a long
                                        > time.
                                        >
                                        > Every spiritual movement has its detractors, so when you're
                                        > struggling to make a positive adjustment, you may encounter people
                                        > who try and turn you negative, and exploit you to say bad things
                                        > about Sri Chinmoy Centre. These may be people who were expelled, or
                                        > who have converted to a different faith and are fanatically opposed
                                        > to their former faith. They will tell you, "Welcome brother!" and
                                        > make you feel like a big man for speaking ill of the Centre. There
                                        > are also people who, when they get therapy or anti-cult counseling,
                                        > come out the other end telling completely wacky stories which are
                                        > contradicted by objective evidence.
                                        >
                                        > Like any person who goes through major changes in life, you may find
                                        > yourself looking for a "narrative" that explains it all - a way of
                                        > telling your story that helps you feel accepted by a peer group. The
                                        > danger is that there are people who will encourage you to adopt a
                                        > false narrative which says "All my problems are the fault of Sri
                                        > Chinmoy," and will pat you on the back for giving them a
                                        > "testimonial" which they can use to attack Sri Chinmoy Centre.
                                        >
                                        > I believe you have encountered such people, and they've tried hard
                                        > to mess with your head. That's why I feel you deserve very special
                                        > praise and gratitude. In spite of having fallen victim to this kind
                                        > of temporary insanity, you've managed to break free! You are
                                        > listening more to the voice of conscience, which is telling you (as
                                        > you said) that Sri Chinmoy was very compassionate towards you, that
                                        > he did nothing but encourage you to pursue the best in yourself, and
                                        > that he is not responsible for your life actions before and after
                                        > the Centre. (Is he even responsible for everything current Centre
                                        > members do? I think not...)
                                        >
                                        > Maybe your gracious words represent not an ending, but a new
                                        > beginning, and a springboard for you to accomplish more in life.
                                        > Whatever your goals, I hope you will find peace, light and joy. If
                                        > there's anything to forgive, I'm sure everyone here will be happy to
                                        > forgive you so you can move forward in a positive way. Here we are
                                        > so close to 2005, we can all stand to put alot of excess baggage
                                        > behind us! I hope you will also forgive us for just being human
                                        > beings, and not always having a magic answer to the many challenges
                                        > a young man faces in a world filled with suffering.
                                        >
                                        > Having a teacher and a path are fantastic resources, but there's
                                        > still the daily struggle to apply those resources. We each struggle
                                        > with our own nature, and sometimes our nature may take us in the
                                        > opposite direction from where we were trying to go. We have to
                                        > really *want* to change - otherwise, just having a teacher and path
                                        > may not be enough. If we cannot cultivate much love for God, then we
                                        > will feel that the teacher is bad, the path is bad, and the other
                                        > students are all bad. But as Piyasi and Kamalika pointed out, when
                                        > we feel love for God, this love acts as a connecting link between
                                        > ourselves and other human beings. Instead of doubting and
                                        > criticizing, we spontaneously feel love and oneness.
                                        >
                                        > Sometimes we have to be a little bit careful about the company we
                                        > keep, because bad friends can exert a lot of unconscious pressure on
                                        > us to get into trouble. Good friends can help us honour the best in
                                        > ourselves, the part that wants to live in light.
                                        >
                                        > Community has always been an important part of each authentic
                                        > spiritual path. To join in the life of a thriving spiritual
                                        > community is to enjoy a virtuous circle of influences. Yet,
                                        > destructive groups also try and use the power of community for
                                        > ignoble purposes. Just as a prayer circle or meditation group may
                                        > help to bring out people's virtue, a hate group can turn people into
                                        > a vicious mob. Scholars who have studied the anti-cult movement have
                                        > pointed out that it has what might be called a "cultlike" structure.
                                        > Peer pressure is used to try and persuade people to adopt a negative
                                        > view of spiritual groups.
                                        >
                                        > Atheists may deliver blistering hellfire and brimstone sermons
                                        > against spiritual groups, but if we can feel connected with a
                                        > spiritual community, this can help us to feel grounded, and remind
                                        > us of our deep inner idealism.
                                        >
                                        > Sorry for all the philosophizing! These are just some things I have
                                        > been thinking about lately.
                                        >
                                        > I hope you will always remember, Ben, that you are a good person,
                                        > and that your father loves you very much. As for Sri Chinmoy, if you
                                        > no longer think of him as your guru, maybe you can think of him as a
                                        > friend, someone whose blessings go with you.
                                        >
                                        > When we're growing up we have many teachers, and some of them stick
                                        > in our minds, even if we no longer see them. So at a crucial moment,
                                        > someone might think: "What would Mrs. O'Grady, my ninth grade
                                        > English teacher, tell me to do in this situation?" The great thing
                                        > about living on good terms with your spiritual background is that
                                        > it's something you can call on in tough times. Take care.
                                        >
                                        > Assistant Moderator
                                        >
                                        >
                                        > --- In Sri_Chinmoy_Inspiration@yahoogroups.com, menace60005
                                        > <no_reply@y...> wrote:
                                        > >
                                        > > [From Benjamin Pierce, a.k.a. Ghanta]
                                        > >
                                        > > Hi All
                                        > > I am an ex member of the Sri Chinmoy centre. I spent many years
                                        > > after the path dwelling on personal problems and have unfortunately
                                        > > directed some of these feelings towards Sri Chinmoy, who was not
                                        > > responsible for my life actions before and after the centre. I will
                                        > > be honest and say that Sri Chinmoy was very compassionate towards me
                                        > > when I was in the centre. I was always made to feel important for
                                        > > reasons I still do not understand but I am very much appreciative
                                        > > for it. My father who is an active member is almost 60, yet as young
                                        > > and fit as any person my age and I will admit I have seldom regrets
                                        > > of any of my experiences on the path. Who else can tell of riding an
                                        > > elephant or climbing a pyramid as a teenager, or meeting famous
                                        > > celebrities? I have had my issues since leaving, but Sri Chinmoy is
                                        > > not the reason for them and he did nothing I feel but encourage me
                                        > > to pursue the best I could have been. I have made my peace with god
                                        > > and wish him and his group all the best in their effort to promote
                                        > > world peace and harmony around the globe.
                                        > >
                                        > > Yours Faithfully
                                        > > Benjamin Pierce
                                        > > a.k.a. Ghanta
                                        > >
                                        > >
                                        > > --- In Sri_Chinmoy_Inspiration@yahoogroups.com, richard13_oxford
                                        > > <no_reply@y...> wrote:
                                        > > >
                                        > > >
                                        > > > Hi Colm,
                                        > > >
                                        > > > It is an exciting time when you first launch into the spiritual
                                        > > > life. You become aware of many different experiences; and life seems
                                        > > > to have a greater sense of purpose.
                                        > > >
                                        > > > However the very nature of the spiritual life is that, it is
                                        > > > different than a life based on the pursuit of outer happiness. As
                                        > > > you say, it is not that this kind of life is bad. It is just that
                                        > > > when we feel genuine aspiration, this old lifestyle can no longer
                                        > > > satisfy us like it used to. Therefore it is inevitable that we will
                                        > > > to some extent drift away from our previous associations. Although,
                                        > > > sometimes out of habit, the mind clings to things that don't give us
                                        > > > joy anymore.
                                        > > >
                                        > > > Like yourself, I started meditating in my last few years at
                                        > > > University. My friends thought it was rather quaint but they didn't
                                        > > > really appreciate such a lifestyle themselves. In this environment
                                        > > > it wasn't easy to meditate early every morning, etc. But I also knew
                                        > > > it would be impossible for me to be happy living the secular life.
                                        > > > So I persisted and after a while outer circumstances started to
                                        > > > become easier.
                                        > > >
                                        > > > In theory, an advanced seeker can ignore the world and meditate in
                                        > > > solitude. However, we are not advanced seekers nor does Sri Chinmoy
                                        > > > want us to live in isolation from the world. The spiritual life is
                                        > > > challenging and friends who are sympathetic can inspire us and help
                                        > > > maintain our enthusiasm. This is one reason why Sri Chinmoy places
                                        > > > so much emphasis on joy weekends.
                                        > > >
                                        > > > If I got the opportunity, I would like to cycle in the hills of
                                        > > > Galway. If not, maybe you will come and visit England. Anyway, at
                                        > > > least you have a brother on the same path. You can often get
                                        > > > inspiration from speaking with people on the telephone.
                                        > > >
                                        > > >
                                        > > > Wishing you happiness in rainy Galway,
                                        > > >
                                        > > >
                                        > > > Richard
                                        > > >
                                        > > > Oxford
                                        > > >
                                        > > >
                                        > > >
                                        > > > --- In Sri_Chinmoy_Inspiration@yahoogroups.com, colmbolmcolm
                                        > > > <no_reply@y...> wrote:
                                        > > > >
                                        > > > > I want to be brave enough to be my true self all the time. It's
                                        > > > > tough though. College consists of 95% percent of people who
                                        love to
                                        > > > > be under the influence of either alcohol, drugs, relationships or
                                        > > > > their friends. Unfortunately, I don't know any others in the 5%
                                        > > > > category, but I always know I have all my new friends (and my big
                                        > > > > brother) on the other side of the country in the Dublin centre.
                                        > > > >
                                        > > > > I find it awkward to be around the friends I've made in Galway.
                                        > > > > Unfortunately, when I hang around with them all I get is
                                        negativity.
                                        > > > > It's not severe but it holds me back; pulls me back to the
                                        heartless
                                        > > > > mind. I take people's uninspiring conversations and remarks and I
                                        > > > > let my mind away with agreeing with them. It's difficult to do
                                        > > > > anything because I've always just taken this stuff in. I've always
                                        > > > > agreed and contributed to negativity when I never really
                                        wanted to.
                                        > > > > Most of my friends know my mind but not my heart. I'm always nice,
                                        > > > > always friendly; this they see, but to them I am still
                                        receptive to
                                        > > > > any sorts of thoughts they wish to express.
                                        > > > >
                                        > > > > All of them are quite aware of my change in lifestyle, and presume
                                        > > > > they let there imagination run wild as to this talk of
                                        meditation. I
                                        > > > > think maybe I should tell some of them; then I think not. I feel
                                        > > > > like I shouldn't have to cut my friends out altogether, but I just
                                        > > > > don't want be influenced by any of them. I have one good friend I
                                        > > > > can talk to freely, but of course he would have to be an agnostic.
                                        > > > > He has little time for me these days, anyway. Should I ignore
                                        > > > > everyone? I know the answer is no.
                                        > > > >
                                        > > > > I yearn to meet some like-minded people here in Galway. I know
                                        they
                                        > > > > exist but I don't know how to find them! I know it's a small issue
                                        > > > > on my path and it's something I only have to put up with until I
                                        > > > > finish my exams in June. However, I think it's something that
                                        won't
                                        > > > > be sorted out until I sort it out. I don't want to be roped into
                                        > > > > being the part of my mind I don't like. I want to be my heart.
                                        I am
                                        > > > > so happy on the path of my heart I never ever want to leave. I
                                        know
                                        > > > > that if I stay true to my heart I will stay true to myself, but I
                                        > > > > guess I'm trying not to offend anyone in the mean time.
                                        > > > >
                                        > > > > It's tough.
                                        > > > >
                                        > > > > -=>Colm.
                                      • colmbolmcolm
                                        Thank you Terri. Thanks also to Lucian and Palyati. I definately feel far more courageous in being true to myself. I have already put this wisdom to play. I
                                        Message 19 of 21 , Dec 2, 2004
                                          Thank you Terri.
                                          Thanks also to Lucian and Palyati.

                                          I definately feel far more courageous in being true to myself. I have
                                          already put this wisdom to play. I realise that I am afraid of others
                                          reactions, of what others will think. I now realise that each time I
                                          am faced with a confrontation, once I stay true to myself, God will
                                          love me more. This is all I need!

                                          -=>Colm.

                                          -Who should really be cramming for exams! aaaaaaaahhh!!





                                          --- In Sri_Chinmoy_Inspiration@yahoogroups.com, carr_terri
                                          <no_reply@y...> wrote:
                                          >
                                          > Well Colm, you have certainly started an interesting discussion here
                                          > and I think we are all learning something from it.
                                          >
                                          > I would like to add a few comments on this topic that relate not
                                          > only to Colm's comments but to other responses that have come along.
                                          >
                                          > First, I would like to share a rather eye-opening experience I had
                                          > last year at a part-time job. I have a full time job working in a
                                          > divine enterprise, however I took an evening office job with a tax
                                          > services company. My co-workers were nice enough people, I guess.
                                          > The job involved considerable training before and during working
                                          > hours... and because of the high learning curve, most of my
                                          > discussions with co-workers revolved around tax related issues. I
                                          > found little occasion to share details of my life outside of the
                                          > office, and though I have talked to countless people over the years
                                          > about my spiritual path, both superficially and more in depth, at
                                          > this job, I found less occasion than usual to share my lifestyle
                                          > with my co-workers.
                                          >
                                          > It seemed to me that few people at this company had interests in
                                          > anything even slightly outside the typical western culture of home
                                          > and family, television, etc.
                                          >
                                          > So, I kept most of my spirituality kind of "hidden." If I had cause
                                          > to mention details of my work/life outside the tax office, I would
                                          > share as little as possible and steer the conversation to something
                                          > more general.
                                          >
                                          > Well my secrecy just aroused curiousity on the part of my
                                          > co-workers. Naturally my co-workers sensed my lifestyle (single,
                                          > childless, no talk of dating ever!) was different by choice, and not
                                          > wanting to appear too probing by inquiring too much... [I think they
                                          > weren't exactly sure what to ask :-) ] some of my co-workers
                                          > speculated among themselves about my single status and considered
                                          > options that left me a little surprised! You can perhaps imagine
                                          > what they thought. (I want to mention here that I truly intend no
                                          > judgement or insult regarding some secular lifestyles - only that I
                                          was
                                          > surprised at the speculation that resulted.)
                                          >
                                          > Needless to say, none of this speculation was done with ill intent.
                                          > My co-workers liked me well enough. They were simply trying to
                                          > figure out which hole to peg me in; and since I am not a nun, they
                                          > could think of few reasons why I might be so happily single.
                                          >
                                          > I found the experience very instructive. In my reluctance to seem
                                          > unusual or different....I was causing people to wonder if I was,
                                          > hmmm, unusual or different. The irony was not lost on me. It made me
                                          > realise that if I can just be myself, people are much more
                                          > comfortable with that, and oftentimes people will then share aspects
                                          > of themselves that I had not imagined they possessed.
                                          >
                                          > I believe Sri Chinmoy commented on this topic a few years back -
                                          > suggesting that the very things we fear others will judge us harshly
                                          > for are the very same things that others will admire in us.
                                          >
                                          > Colm, although the challenges you face as a college student are
                                          > different and perhaps greater than in the working world, this issue
                                          > of "fitting in" is something that we all grapple with through the
                                          > decades ;-) I guess it is a monster with many forms.
                                          >
                                          > Really, I think as dedicated spiritual seekers we are pioneers in
                                          > the world of consciousness. I'm not by any means master of the art
                                          > of detachment, but I find more and more, I can identify with Sri
                                          > Chinmoy's advice that as seekers we have only to do what we feel is
                                          > right and surrender the results to the Supreme. So with a measure of
                                          > common sense and respect for others' beliefs, we can share our inner
                                          > wealth, knowing that we are not responsible for others' reactions.
                                          >
                                          > As Kamalika was saying, if we can find a way to genuinely like, love
                                          > and adore the various people in our lives, that opens the door to
                                          > mutual understanding. Real love opens any heart.
                                          >
                                          > I hope this is not too redundant... but this is a lesson which I
                                          > have always known deep in my heart but that I have quite often
                                          > forgotten. When I feel that a certain person is difficult or
                                          > unpleasant to deal with, that is exactly the time to concentrate on
                                          > some quality or habit they have that I really like (this thing can
                                          > be tinier than the tiniest or larger than the largest), but to
                                          > genuinely like something about them. When I am able to do this,
                                          > difficulties immediately decrease. Understanding and mutual good
                                          > will immediately increase. So much unneccessary strife can be
                                          > avoided when we apply this philosophy. Of course, this is all
                                          > covered quite concisely by Sri Chinmoy in "Wings of Joy," but my
                                          > real life experience has taught me a lot too.
                                          >
                                          > So Colm, these words of wisdom are not only for you....but for me
                                          > and others as well. It is surprising perhaps how sometimes things
                                          > that should be obvious to long-time seekers are often forgotten.
                                          >
                                          > Hope I have not prattled on beyond my due. Very much enjoying this
                                          > discussion.
                                          >
                                          > Terri
                                          >
                                          > --- In Sri_Chinmoy_Inspiration@yahoogroups.com, lucianbalmer
                                          > <no_reply@y...> wrote:
                                          > >
                                          > > I started my spiritual life in my first year of high school. It
                                          > > sounds like you're heading in the right direction - stay in your
                                          > > heart, and follow the dictates of your heart. I made the statement
                                          > > about my lifestyle change very clear, and most people became quite
                                          > > accepting. Claim your spirituality as your very own, be brave and
                                          > > true to your heart, and let them decide whether or not they want
                                          to
                                          > > be friends with you. After all, that is what Sri Chinmoy does with
                                          > > humanity!
                                          > >
                                          > > Some of my best friendships in high school came about only because
                                          > > someone had recognized me as a spiritual seeker, and they
                                          themselves
                                          > > were consciously or unconsciously seeking. Many of the teachers
                                          > > still know me as 'the Buddhist kid.' Close enough.
                                          > >
                                          > > One key thing I have learned (this is in my case): It is most
                                          likely
                                          > > not your duty to please your friends in the way they want to be
                                          > > pleased. Humanity wants vital and mental satisfaction, and we
                                          should
                                          > > be offering only divine satisfaction.* When they are putting out
                                          > > some sort of negativity, I'm sure they are waiting for you to
                                          > > respond, waiting for self-affirmation. At that point you have to
                                          > > make the decision, to please them (and your mind) or to please the
                                          > > highest within yourself.
                                          > >
                                          > > I hope I don't sound like I'm lecturing you (I'm sure you get
                                          enough
                                          > > of that); I just wanted to share my experiences with school,
                                          because
                                          > > it was a very tough time for me as well.
                                          > >
                                          > > - Lucian
                                          > > San Francisco
                                          > >
                                          > >
                                          > >
                                          > > [*As in all human relationships, sometimes there's a need for
                                          > > compromise, which can be difficult for spiritual seekers. One
                                          wants
                                          > > to be true to oneself and one's faith, and yet not be in people's
                                          > > face with a "my way or the highway" attitude. Maybe a better word
                                          > > than compromise is "flexibility." Being a spiritual seeker doesn't
                                          > > mean forcing everything into some Manichean good vs. evil
                                          paradigm.
                                          > > To paraphrase Sri Chinmoy: Every human being has to struggle with
                                          > > his or her own nature. So it's good to be flexible in dealing with
                                          > > people, showing patience, understanding and compassion. -Assistant
                                          > > Moderator]
                                          > >
                                          > >
                                          > > --- In Sri_Chinmoy_Inspiration@yahoogroups.com, colmbolmcolm
                                          > > <no_reply@y...> wrote:
                                          > > >
                                          > > > I want to be brave enough to be my true self all the time. It's
                                          > > > tough though. College consists of 95% percent of people who
                                          love
                                          > to
                                          > > > be under the influence of either alcohol, drugs, relationships
                                          or
                                          > > > their friends. Unfortunately, I don't know any others in the 5%
                                          > > > category, but I always know I have all my new friends (and my
                                          big
                                          > > > brother) on the other side of the country in the Dublin centre.
                                          > > >
                                          > > > I find it awkward to be around the friends I've made in Galway.
                                          > > > Unfortunately, when I hang around with them all I get is
                                          > > negativity.
                                          > > > It's not severe but it holds me back; pulls me back to the
                                          > > heartless
                                          > > > mind. I take people's uninspiring conversations and remarks and
                                          I
                                          > > > let my mind away with agreeing with them. It's difficult to do
                                          > > > anything because I've always just taken this stuff in. I've
                                          always
                                          > > > agreed and contributed to negativity when I never really wanted
                                          > to.
                                          > > > Most of my friends know my mind but not my heart. I'm always
                                          nice,
                                          > > > always friendly; this they see, but to them I am still
                                          receptive
                                          > to
                                          > > > any sorts of thoughts they wish to express.
                                          > > >
                                          > > > All of them are quite aware of my change in lifestyle, and
                                          presume
                                          > > > they let there imagination run wild as to this talk of
                                          > meditation.
                                          > > I
                                          > > > think maybe I should tell some of them; then I think not. I feel
                                          > > > like I shouldn't have to cut my friends out altogether, but I
                                          just
                                          > > > don't want be influenced by any of them. I have one good friend
                                          I
                                          > > > can talk to freely, but of course he would have to be an
                                          agnostic.
                                          > > > He has little time for me these days, anyway. Should I ignore
                                          > > > everyone? I know the answer is no.
                                          > > >
                                          > > > I yearn to meet some like-minded people here in Galway. I know
                                          > they
                                          > > > exist but I don't know how to find them! I know it's a small
                                          issue
                                          > > > on my path and it's something I only have to put up with until I
                                          > > > finish my exams in June. However, I think it's something that
                                          > won't
                                          > > > be sorted out until I sort it out. I don't want to be roped into
                                          > > > being the part of my mind I don't like. I want to be my heart.
                                          I
                                          > am
                                          > > > so happy on the path of my heart I never ever want to leave. I
                                          > know
                                          > > > that if I stay true to my heart I will stay true to myself, but
                                          I
                                          > > > guess I'm trying not to offend anyone in the mean time.
                                          > > >
                                          > > > It's tough.
                                          > > >
                                          > > > -=>Colm.
                                        • shane_dublincentre
                                          I think I heard of the book Ivanhoe when I was about seven, and the title impressed me enormously. I thought to myself Wow, that sounds like a book for
                                          Message 20 of 21 , Dec 8, 2004
                                            I think I heard of the book 'Ivanhoe' when I was about seven, and
                                            the title impressed me enormously. I thought to myself "Wow, that
                                            sounds like a book for really clever people" - in my eyes reading it
                                            was a rite-of-passage initiation to the land of the clever. The same
                                            intimidatory hush would repeat itself ten years in the case of
                                            Ulysses, but in this case it was shared by a fair proportion of the
                                            general population:

                                            "That's John Doe over there. He's read Ulysses", was how I recall
                                            first hearing about John Doe.

                                            In the case of Ivanhoe, I never did get around to embarking upon
                                            that particular rite of passage...strangely, my ignorance has never
                                            been exposed in the mill of Dublin high society conversation, hence
                                            I am still regarded (fraudulently) as quite a clever fellow.

                                            Shane


                                            --- In Sri_Chinmoy_Inspiration@yahoogroups.com, shane_dublincentre
                                            <no_reply@y...> wrote:
                                            >
                                            >
                                            > Is that my dear little Assistant Moderator? Ah, how could I not forget
                                            > you, the little cherub sitting up the front of the classroom in ninth
                                            > grade diligently writing away when everyone else was throwing paper
                                            > aeroplanes...I remember the other boys and girls used to give you such
                                            > a teasing for your unusual name, they used to come up with playground
                                            > rhymes like 'Dear Assistant Moderator, you're a super whizz
                                            > orator'...some of the more enterprising little tykes might even have
                                            > made a whole song out of it, God bless their sweet little cotton socks.
                                            >
                                            > And of course, you had this very endearing habit of leaning into
                                            > everyone elses copybook and correcting their spelling mistakes for them.
                                            >
                                            > Mrs O'Grady
                                            >
                                            >
                                            > *******
                                            >
                                            >
                                            > Shane, that is not me. I actually didn't begin studying for the
                                            > geekhood till much later on in life, after I realised it was too
                                            > much trouble being a "cool" type. :-)
                                            >
                                            > In ninth grade, more likely you would have found me in the park
                                            > playing my guitar, or sitting in detention for tearing pages out of
                                            > my copy of Ivanhoe and using them for toilet paper.
                                            >
                                            > Anyway, I wouldn't get too uppity. Mrs. O'Grady - from the land of
                                            > the bogs and the little people - was really the janitor, and drank
                                            > like a fish. But like that Twilight Zone episode where the
                                            > characters keep coming back in different roles, I promoted her to
                                            > English teacher. Next time 'round she'll be a death row inmate
                                            > wearing a leprechaun suit...
                                            >
                                            > And Shane, I've notified the Viennese police of your exact
                                            > whereabouts, and they're beginning extradition proceedings
                                            > forthwith. :-) The Association of Macedonian Driving Instructors is
                                            > also prepared to administer forty lashes with a wet kreplach.
                                            >
                                            > "Wuffo I wanna read no Ivanhoe?" - a quote from my youth
                                            >
                                            >
                                            > Assistant Moderator
                                            >
                                            >
                                            > --- In Sri_Chinmoy_Inspiration@yahoogroups.com, srichinmoyinspiration
                                            > <no_reply@y...> wrote:
                                            > >
                                            > >
                                            > > Dear Benjamin,
                                            > >
                                            > > I would like to applaud you. I think it takes a lot of courage to
                                            > > say what you've said. You deserve very special praise and gratitude!
                                            > >
                                            > > There's something about faith and human nature that causes many
                                            > > people who leave a spiritual path to become bitter and angry.
                                            > > Instead of living on good terms with their former faith - which is
                                            > > the healthiest kind of adjustment - they may use the Internet to
                                            > > stalk and harass their former friends and teacher. Once they start
                                            > > down that road, it's as if they can no longer hear the voice of
                                            > > conscience, so they continue to act destructively and suffer much.
                                            > >
                                            > > When people have love for God, they can find much joy and beauty in
                                            > > Sri Chinmoy's path. But sometimes when people leave, it's as if they
                                            > > become addicted to hate. Then, in order to justify their hate, they
                                            > > will constantly speak ill of their former friends and teacher. It's
                                            > > a kind of temporary insanity, but for some people it lasts a long
                                            > > time.
                                            > >
                                            > > Every spiritual movement has its detractors, so when you're
                                            > > struggling to make a positive adjustment, you may encounter people
                                            > > who try and turn you negative, and exploit you to say bad things
                                            > > about Sri Chinmoy Centre. These may be people who were expelled, or
                                            > > who have converted to a different faith and are fanatically opposed
                                            > > to their former faith. They will tell you, "Welcome brother!" and
                                            > > make you feel like a big man for speaking ill of the Centre. There
                                            > > are also people who, when they get therapy or anti-cult counseling,
                                            > > come out the other end telling completely wacky stories which are
                                            > > contradicted by objective evidence.
                                            > >
                                            > > Like any person who goes through major changes in life, you may find
                                            > > yourself looking for a "narrative" that explains it all - a way of
                                            > > telling your story that helps you feel accepted by a peer group. The
                                            > > danger is that there are people who will encourage you to adopt a
                                            > > false narrative which says "All my problems are the fault of Sri
                                            > > Chinmoy," and will pat you on the back for giving them a
                                            > > "testimonial" which they can use to attack Sri Chinmoy Centre.
                                            > >
                                            > > I believe you have encountered such people, and they've tried hard
                                            > > to mess with your head. That's why I feel you deserve very special
                                            > > praise and gratitude. In spite of having fallen victim to this kind
                                            > > of temporary insanity, you've managed to break free! You are
                                            > > listening more to the voice of conscience, which is telling you (as
                                            > > you said) that Sri Chinmoy was very compassionate towards you, that
                                            > > he did nothing but encourage you to pursue the best in yourself, and
                                            > > that he is not responsible for your life actions before and after
                                            > > the Centre. (Is he even responsible for everything current Centre
                                            > > members do? I think not...)
                                            > >
                                            > > Maybe your gracious words represent not an ending, but a new
                                            > > beginning, and a springboard for you to accomplish more in life.
                                            > > Whatever your goals, I hope you will find peace, light and joy. If
                                            > > there's anything to forgive, I'm sure everyone here will be happy to
                                            > > forgive you so you can move forward in a positive way. Here we are
                                            > > so close to 2005, we can all stand to put alot of excess baggage
                                            > > behind us! I hope you will also forgive us for just being human
                                            > > beings, and not always having a magic answer to the many challenges
                                            > > a young man faces in a world filled with suffering.
                                            > >
                                            > > Having a teacher and a path are fantastic resources, but there's
                                            > > still the daily struggle to apply those resources. We each struggle
                                            > > with our own nature, and sometimes our nature may take us in the
                                            > > opposite direction from where we were trying to go. We have to
                                            > > really *want* to change - otherwise, just having a teacher and path
                                            > > may not be enough. If we cannot cultivate much love for God, then we
                                            > > will feel that the teacher is bad, the path is bad, and the other
                                            > > students are all bad. But as Piyasi and Kamalika pointed out, when
                                            > > we feel love for God, this love acts as a connecting link between
                                            > > ourselves and other human beings. Instead of doubting and
                                            > > criticizing, we spontaneously feel love and oneness.
                                            > >
                                            > > Sometimes we have to be a little bit careful about the company we
                                            > > keep, because bad friends can exert a lot of unconscious pressure on
                                            > > us to get into trouble. Good friends can help us honour the best in
                                            > > ourselves, the part that wants to live in light.
                                            > >
                                            > > Community has always been an important part of each authentic
                                            > > spiritual path. To join in the life of a thriving spiritual
                                            > > community is to enjoy a virtuous circle of influences. Yet,
                                            > > destructive groups also try and use the power of community for
                                            > > ignoble purposes. Just as a prayer circle or meditation group may
                                            > > help to bring out people's virtue, a hate group can turn people into
                                            > > a vicious mob. Scholars who have studied the anti-cult movement have
                                            > > pointed out that it has what might be called a "cultlike" structure.
                                            > > Peer pressure is used to try and persuade people to adopt a negative
                                            > > view of spiritual groups.
                                            > >
                                            > > Atheists may deliver blistering hellfire and brimstone sermons
                                            > > against spiritual groups, but if we can feel connected with a
                                            > > spiritual community, this can help us to feel grounded, and remind
                                            > > us of our deep inner idealism.
                                            > >
                                            > > Sorry for all the philosophizing! These are just some things I have
                                            > > been thinking about lately.
                                            > >
                                            > > I hope you will always remember, Ben, that you are a good person,
                                            > > and that your father loves you very much. As for Sri Chinmoy, if you
                                            > > no longer think of him as your guru, maybe you can think of him as a
                                            > > friend, someone whose blessings go with you.
                                            > >
                                            > > When we're growing up we have many teachers, and some of them stick
                                            > > in our minds, even if we no longer see them. So at a crucial moment,
                                            > > someone might think: "What would Mrs. O'Grady, my ninth grade
                                            > > English teacher, tell me to do in this situation?" The great thing
                                            > > about living on good terms with your spiritual background is that
                                            > > it's something you can call on in tough times. Take care.
                                            > >
                                            > > Assistant Moderator
                                            > >
                                            > >
                                            > > --- In Sri_Chinmoy_Inspiration@yahoogroups.com, menace60005
                                            > > <no_reply@y...> wrote:
                                            > > >
                                            > > > [From Benjamin Pierce, a.k.a. Ghanta]
                                            > > >
                                            > > > Hi All
                                            > > > I am an ex member of the Sri Chinmoy centre. I spent many years
                                            > > > after the path dwelling on personal problems and have unfortunately
                                            > > > directed some of these feelings towards Sri Chinmoy, who was not
                                            > > > responsible for my life actions before and after the centre. I will
                                            > > > be honest and say that Sri Chinmoy was very compassionate towards me
                                            > > > when I was in the centre. I was always made to feel important for
                                            > > > reasons I still do not understand but I am very much appreciative
                                            > > > for it. My father who is an active member is almost 60, yet as young
                                            > > > and fit as any person my age and I will admit I have seldom regrets
                                            > > > of any of my experiences on the path. Who else can tell of riding an
                                            > > > elephant or climbing a pyramid as a teenager, or meeting famous
                                            > > > celebrities? I have had my issues since leaving, but Sri Chinmoy is
                                            > > > not the reason for them and he did nothing I feel but encourage me
                                            > > > to pursue the best I could have been. I have made my peace with god
                                            > > > and wish him and his group all the best in their effort to promote
                                            > > > world peace and harmony around the globe.
                                            > > >
                                            > > > Yours Faithfully
                                            > > > Benjamin Pierce
                                            > > > a.k.a. Ghanta
                                            > > >
                                            > > >
                                            > > > --- In Sri_Chinmoy_Inspiration@yahoogroups.com, richard13_oxford
                                            > > > <no_reply@y...> wrote:
                                            > > > >
                                            > > > >
                                            > > > > Hi Colm,
                                            > > > >
                                            > > > > It is an exciting time when you first launch into the spiritual
                                            > > > > life. You become aware of many different experiences; and life
                                            seems
                                            > > > > to have a greater sense of purpose.
                                            > > > >
                                            > > > > However the very nature of the spiritual life is that, it is
                                            > > > > different than a life based on the pursuit of outer happiness. As
                                            > > > > you say, it is not that this kind of life is bad. It is just that
                                            > > > > when we feel genuine aspiration, this old lifestyle can no longer
                                            > > > > satisfy us like it used to. Therefore it is inevitable that we
                                            will
                                            > > > > to some extent drift away from our previous associations.
                                            Although,
                                            > > > > sometimes out of habit, the mind clings to things that don't
                                            give us
                                            > > > > joy anymore.
                                            > > > >
                                            > > > > Like yourself, I started meditating in my last few years at
                                            > > > > University. My friends thought it was rather quaint but they
                                            didn't
                                            > > > > really appreciate such a lifestyle themselves. In this environment
                                            > > > > it wasn't easy to meditate early every morning, etc. But I
                                            also knew
                                            > > > > it would be impossible for me to be happy living the secular life.
                                            > > > > So I persisted and after a while outer circumstances started to
                                            > > > > become easier.
                                            > > > >
                                            > > > > In theory, an advanced seeker can ignore the world and meditate in
                                            > > > > solitude. However, we are not advanced seekers nor does Sri
                                            Chinmoy
                                            > > > > want us to live in isolation from the world. The spiritual life is
                                            > > > > challenging and friends who are sympathetic can inspire us and
                                            help
                                            > > > > maintain our enthusiasm. This is one reason why Sri Chinmoy places
                                            > > > > so much emphasis on joy weekends.
                                            > > > >
                                            > > > > If I got the opportunity, I would like to cycle in the hills of
                                            > > > > Galway. If not, maybe you will come and visit England. Anyway, at
                                            > > > > least you have a brother on the same path. You can often get
                                            > > > > inspiration from speaking with people on the telephone.
                                            > > > >
                                            > > > >
                                            > > > > Wishing you happiness in rainy Galway,
                                            > > > >
                                            > > > >
                                            > > > > Richard
                                            > > > >
                                            > > > > Oxford
                                            > > > >
                                            > > > >
                                            > > > >
                                            > > > > --- In Sri_Chinmoy_Inspiration@yahoogroups.com, colmbolmcolm
                                            > > > > <no_reply@y...> wrote:
                                            > > > > >
                                            > > > > > I want to be brave enough to be my true self all the time. It's
                                            > > > > > tough though. College consists of 95% percent of people who
                                            > love to
                                            > > > > > be under the influence of either alcohol, drugs,
                                            relationships or
                                            > > > > > their friends. Unfortunately, I don't know any others in the 5%
                                            > > > > > category, but I always know I have all my new friends (and
                                            my big
                                            > > > > > brother) on the other side of the country in the Dublin centre.
                                            > > > > >
                                            > > > > > I find it awkward to be around the friends I've made in Galway.
                                            > > > > > Unfortunately, when I hang around with them all I get is
                                            > negativity.
                                            > > > > > It's not severe but it holds me back; pulls me back to the
                                            > heartless
                                            > > > > > mind. I take people's uninspiring conversations and remarks
                                            and I
                                            > > > > > let my mind away with agreeing with them. It's difficult to do
                                            > > > > > anything because I've always just taken this stuff in. I've
                                            always
                                            > > > > > agreed and contributed to negativity when I never really
                                            > wanted to.
                                            > > > > > Most of my friends know my mind but not my heart. I'm always
                                            nice,
                                            > > > > > always friendly; this they see, but to them I am still
                                            > receptive to
                                            > > > > > any sorts of thoughts they wish to express.
                                            > > > > >
                                            > > > > > All of them are quite aware of my change in lifestyle, and
                                            presume
                                            > > > > > they let there imagination run wild as to this talk of
                                            > meditation. I
                                            > > > > > think maybe I should tell some of them; then I think not. I feel
                                            > > > > > like I shouldn't have to cut my friends out altogether, but
                                            I just
                                            > > > > > don't want be influenced by any of them. I have one good
                                            friend I
                                            > > > > > can talk to freely, but of course he would have to be an
                                            agnostic.
                                            > > > > > He has little time for me these days, anyway. Should I ignore
                                            > > > > > everyone? I know the answer is no.
                                            > > > > >
                                            > > > > > I yearn to meet some like-minded people here in Galway. I know
                                            > they
                                            > > > > > exist but I don't know how to find them! I know it's a small
                                            issue
                                            > > > > > on my path and it's something I only have to put up with until I
                                            > > > > > finish my exams in June. However, I think it's something that
                                            > won't
                                            > > > > > be sorted out until I sort it out. I don't want to be roped into
                                            > > > > > being the part of my mind I don't like. I want to be my heart.
                                            > I am
                                            > > > > > so happy on the path of my heart I never ever want to leave. I
                                            > know
                                            > > > > > that if I stay true to my heart I will stay true to myself,
                                            but I
                                            > > > > > guess I'm trying not to offend anyone in the mean time.
                                            > > > > >
                                            > > > > > It's tough.
                                            > > > > >
                                            > > > > > -=>Colm.
                                          • swamiandi
                                            Dear Colm, I just want to tell you that I admire your courage and your inner cry! I admire your courage for expressing your situation and your feelings so
                                            Message 21 of 21 , Dec 14, 2004
                                              Dear Colm,

                                              I just want to tell you that I admire your courage and your inner
                                              cry! I admire your courage for expressing your situation and your
                                              feelings so openly in the Inspiration Group and I appreciate your
                                              inner cry to conquer your current challenges and to stick to your
                                              spiritual life!

                                              There is a translation of one of Sri Chinmoy's latest Bengali songs
                                              "Bahudin pare janiyachi" (#31 of the new songs) which tells us that
                                              in the end somehow or other only the Supreme stays with us:

                                              [unofficial version]

                                              "After many, many years, today I have come to learn, my Lord
                                              Supreme, you are the only One whom I can claim to be my very own.
                                              All have deserted me at their sweet will in this vast world."

                                              I have been in a somehow similar situation when I joined the path
                                              and I know what you are talking about when you say it's 'tough.' In
                                              my former life I was not only a real "life-of-the-party" dude like
                                              Shane calls it, but in most cases I was the inspiring force behind
                                              many of these awesome parties. It is tough to tell the crew that you
                                              are out of the game now and it felt a little bit like turning from
                                              the leader of the pack to the lonely wolf.

                                              It took me quite a while to change my lifestyle and to develop the
                                              inner strength to enter the boat wholeheartedly. I mean inwardly
                                              everything was clear, but the difference between theory and practice
                                              is not so easy.

                                              Out of my own experience I can tell you that the so-called friends
                                              which like you only for 'what you are' will leave you anyway sooner
                                              or later and the real friends which like you for 'who you are' will
                                              stay. The first ones liked you for what they could get from you, and
                                              the second ones like you for your real self.

                                              I am still meeting these real friends from time to time and the
                                              funny thing is that the capacity to inspire is still there, only
                                              that I am using it now for a better purpose. I try to share with
                                              them what I am getting from my meditations and from the spiritual
                                              life I am leading. We talk about spirituality, about spiritual
                                              Masters and of course about Sri Chinmoy. Some of them have meanwhile
                                              been to our meditation classes and some have visited Sri Chinmoy's
                                              meditative concerts.

                                              It needs a lot of determination in your situation, but the good
                                              thing is that it makes you spiritually strong. You have to really
                                              decide what you want in your life and what is really important for
                                              you. Sometimes you have to make these decisions every day, sometimes
                                              even every minute. I think that the spiritual strength which we gain
                                              through our endurance at the beginning of our spiritual life will
                                              help us tremendously for our later spiritual life to come. I have
                                              seen quite a few people join the spiritual path very smoothly with
                                              no trace of any obstacles and I have seen them also leaving the path
                                              very smoothly after the first little 'storm.'

                                              I think all we need to move on on the spiritual path is an intense
                                              and sincere inner cry for God and some patience with ourselves and
                                              the world around us. I believe that if our inner cry is strong
                                              enough then nothing can stand in our way to God-Realisation.

                                              When I read your words in your posting, it seems to me that you
                                              definitely have an intense and sincere inner cry, so all you need is
                                              a little patience and you will see how everything moves into the
                                              right direction.

                                              For me the spiritual life is not only rewarding but also exciting. I
                                              mean the ordinary life has been quite nice and entertaining, but in
                                              comparison to what the real spiritual life is giving us it is simply
                                              boring.

                                              I don't know you personally, Colm, but I hope we will meet some day
                                              in New York or in some other part of the world! The world is our
                                              (spiritual) playground! Isn't it really exciting?

                                              Andi from Munich


                                              --- In Sri_Chinmoy_Inspiration@yahoogroups.com, shane_dublincentre
                                              <no_reply@y...> wrote:
                                              >
                                              >
                                              >
                                              >
                                              > I remember a posting by Tirtha where she was talking about being in
                                              > school with people probably not unlike those Colm is talking about,
                                              > and she was able to be sociable with people whilst still keeping
                                              her
                                              > own space - I remember she said that one girl came up to her and
                                              said
                                              > she was like a friend to everybody without being a close friend to
                                              > anybody. I haven't seen a post by her in ages, but if she's still
                                              > reading, any tips would be more than welcome - for example, is
                                              there
                                              > anything she consciously did in order to avoid getting caught up in
                                              > others' negativity?
                                              >
                                              > Colm is in a slightly different situation from the one I was in
                                              when I
                                              > joined the path because beforehand he was a real 'life-of-the-
                                              party'
                                              > dude, so now all his friends are scratching their heads and
                                              wondering
                                              > what's going on. I, on the other hand did the wise thing and got
                                              > myself universally regarded as a certifiable weirdo BEFORE I joined
                                              > the path, hence conditioning people to expect just about anything
                                              > short of being abducted by aliens. Well, not really, but I had been
                                              > letting it be known for quite some time that I was looking for
                                              > something beyond the day-to-day.
                                              >
                                              > Anyway, all we can do is do our best to be there for him.
                                              >
                                              > Shane
                                              >
                                              >
                                              >
                                              >
                                              > --- In Sri_Chinmoy_Inspiration@yahoogroups.com, doriscott20002000
                                              > <no_reply@y...> wrote:
                                              > >
                                              > > Hi Colm,
                                              > >
                                              > > You said: "I know that if I stay true to my heart I will stay
                                              true to
                                              > > myself, but I guess I´m trying not to offend anyone in the mean
                                              > > time."
                                              > >
                                              > > Colm, this speaks of a big and noble heart, where you already
                                              have
                                              > > placed your friends.
                                              > >
                                              > > All your friends have their own life´s history, what makes them
                                              live
                                              > > a certain lifestyle. They may also have big hearts, that might
                                              not
                                              > > have come to the fore yet.
                                              > >
                                              > > When I became a student of Sri Chinmoy I was so excited about
                                              the new
                                              > > life perspective, I was eager to tell the whole world how
                                              wonderful
                                              > > life can be when one would meditate. But to my disappointment my
                                              > > friends did not understand.
                                              > >
                                              > > It was and still is a process of just cultivating the tiny seed
                                              that
                                              > > God has planted into my heart and watch it growing into a flower
                                              or
                                              > > whatever it is destined to become.
                                              > >
                                              > > As you said; they are aware of your change in lifestyle. Let´s
                                              see
                                              > > what the future will bring. The sun is shining for all. (Sri
                                              Chinmoy)
                                              > >
                                              > > Or to speak with Dharmaja´s words: "God has an eye on the
                                              sparrow."
                                              > >
                                              > > And be proud of your big brother, Shane and his "splatsplots."
                                              > >
                                              > > I would like to end with a poem by Sri Chinmoy
                                              > >
                                              > > "Not earth bound
                                              > > But heaven climbing questions
                                              > > Should absorb my mind."
                                              > >
                                              > > Happy weekend to all
                                              > >
                                              > > Doris
                                              > >
                                              > >
                                              > >
                                              > >
                                              > >
                                              > >
                                              > >
                                              > >
                                              > >
                                              > >
                                              > >
                                              > >
                                              > > --- In Sri_Chinmoy_Inspiration@yahoogroups.com, colmbolmcolm
                                              > > <no_reply@y...> wrote:
                                              > > >
                                              > > > I want to be brave enough to be my true self all the time. It's
                                              > > > tough though. College consists of 95% percent of people who
                                              love to
                                              > > > be under the influence of either alcohol, drugs, relationships
                                              or
                                              > > > their friends. Unfortunately, I don't know any others in the 5%
                                              > > > category, but I always know I have all my new friends (and my
                                              big
                                              > > > brother) on the other side of the country in the Dublin centre.
                                              > > >
                                              > > > I find it awkward to be around the friends I've made in Galway.
                                              > > > Unfortunately, when I hang around with them all I get is
                                              negativity.
                                              > > > It's not severe but it holds me back; pulls me back to the
                                              heartless
                                              > > > mind. I take people's uninspiring conversations and remarks
                                              and I
                                              > > > let my mind away with agreeing with them. It's difficult to do
                                              > > > anything because I've always just taken this stuff in. I've
                                              always
                                              > > > agreed and contributed to negativity when I never really
                                              wanted to.
                                              > > > Most of my friends know my mind but not my heart. I'm always
                                              nice,
                                              > > > always friendly; this they see, but to them I am still
                                              receptive to
                                              > > > any sorts of thoughts they wish to express.
                                              > > >
                                              > > > All of them are quite aware of my change in lifestyle, and
                                              presume
                                              > > > they let there imagination run wild as to this talk of
                                              meditation. I
                                              > > > think maybe I should tell some of them; then I think not. I
                                              feel
                                              > > > like I shouldn't have to cut my friends out altogether, but I
                                              just
                                              > > > don't want be influenced by any of them. I have one good
                                              friend I
                                              > > > can talk to freely, but of course he would have to be an
                                              agnostic.
                                              > > > He has little time for me these days, anyway. Should I ignore
                                              > > > everyone? I know the answer is no.
                                              > > >
                                              > > > I yearn to meet some like-minded people here in Galway. I know
                                              they
                                              > > > exist but I don't know how to find them! I know it's a small
                                              issue
                                              > > > on my path and it's something I only have to put up with until
                                              I
                                              > > > finish my exams in June. However, I think it's something that
                                              won't
                                              > > > be sorted out until I sort it out. I don't want to be roped
                                              into
                                              > > > being the part of my mind I don't like. I want to be my heart.
                                              I am
                                              > > > so happy on the path of my heart I never ever want to leave. I
                                              know
                                              > > > that if I stay true to my heart I will stay true to myself,
                                              but I
                                              > > > guess I'm trying not to offend anyone in the mean time.
                                              > > >
                                              > > > It's tough.
                                              > > >
                                              > > > -==>Colm.
                                            Your message has been successfully submitted and would be delivered to recipients shortly.