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

Re: Tough

Expand Messages
  • 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 1 of 21 , Nov 30, 2004
    • 0 Attachment
      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 2 of 21 , Dec 1, 2004
      • 0 Attachment
        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 3 of 21 , Dec 1, 2004
        • 0 Attachment
          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 4 of 21 , Dec 1, 2004
          • 0 Attachment
            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 5 of 21 , Dec 2, 2004
            • 0 Attachment
              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 6 of 21 , Dec 2, 2004
              • 0 Attachment
                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 7 of 21 , Dec 8, 2004
                • 0 Attachment
                  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 8 of 21 , Dec 14, 2004
                  • 0 Attachment
                    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.