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Audio Podcast: Money, Sex, Fame, Health, Self and Yoga

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  • Swami Jnaneshvara Bharati
    Dear Friends, Recently we have started podcasting, which has been called internet radio. There is an audio podcast available for the current newsletter
    Message 1 of 1 , Aug 18, 2006
      Dear Friends,

      Recently we have started "podcasting," which has been
      called "internet radio." There is an audio podcast available for the
      current newsletter (see below). From time to time there will be
      others, and these may be announced through the newsletter.

      If you ARE familiar with podcasts, you can subscribe through iTunes,
      Podcast.net, Yahoo.com, and Odeo.com.

      If you are NOT familiar with podcasts, you can look at the info at
      the SwamiJ.com podcast page. That may seem a bit confusing. If it is,
      just click on the "listen" button on that page for the podcast you
      want to hear. I'll always include a link to that page when sending
      out newsletters announcing podcasts. There is also a direct link
      below to the current podcast. It should automatically open your media
      player to play the audio recording.


      (Podcast on Money, Sex, Fame, Health, Self and Yoga)
      (7:33 minutes:seconds)

      I hope that you enjoy this and the other podcasts, and that you find
      this medium of communication useful to your practices.

      In loving service,

      Swami J


      Article from:

      Swami Jnaneshvara

      Everybody wants happiness. However, we usually seek it in ways that
      are dependent on external stimulus, as if an outer cause leads to an
      inner effect of happiness. Surely this process of stimulus-response
      works to some degree; we have all experienced this in different ways,
      where getting what we want seems to make us feel good, and not
      getting what we want seems to make us feel bad. However, what if we
      knew how to be happy without any stimulus whatsoever? What if you
      could just rest in the deepest feeling of joy, regardless of the
      external circumstances?

      There seems to be two polarities. Either we think we don't have
      enough money, or we are striving to have more so as to feel secure
      and affluent, pursuing what has come to be sold as prosperity or
      abundance consciousness. Either we don't have a good relationship, or
      we seek to find the ideal partner so that we will feel whole,
      complete and needed. Either we feel lonely and unknown, or we strive
      to be famous in some way, to receive accolades in our personal or
      professional lives from our family, friends, peers, or community, so
      as to feel exuberant with pride. Either we have questionable health
      or active disease, doing little for our body with diet or exercise,
      or we ardently pursue physical fitness and battle disease so as to
      feel the satisfaction of conquering the body.

      It often appears that there only these two polarities and that we
      have no other choice but these two. Either we stay stuck where we
      are, or we seek these seemingly higher goals. It is extremely common
      for people to use "spiritual" methods such as meditation,
      contemplation, prayer and mantra to attain these goals. There are
      many lectures, seminars, books, video and audio programs on how to do
      this. We are repeatedly told that we can have anything we want, that
      all we have to do is visualize it, and the universe or God will
      provide it for us. It is very easy to not see the ego drive behind
      this approach to spiritual life. It means we are measuring spiritual
      success by our bank account, sex life, popularity and physical
      situation. It doesn't take a great deal of reflection to see that
      these are reframes of attachment, hedonism or greed, which have
      generally been seen as obstacles to attenuate, rather than goals to
      be attained.

      However, there is a third choice, which is far beyond this
      oversimplified perspective of having or not having the objects or
      circumstances of our desire world. There is a way of being, a higher
      goal, that has nothing to do with whether our desires are, or are not
      fulfilled. In fact, it completely transcends the issue of desire.
      This is not to suggest that one should starve in poverty, grieve with
      loneliness, mourn in desolation, or suffer in physical pain.

      Imagine for a moment that you were in such a state of mind that you
      always felt complete, regardless of whether or not you have any money
      at all. Imagine for a moment that you truly felt whole, with or
      without any other partner being in your life. Imagine for a moment
      that you felt at complete peace, even if no person had ever heard of
      your name or accomplishments. Imagine for a moment that you were in
      constant contact with that level of your being that was never born,
      is not and cannot be diseased, and can never die, and is not subject
      to any other of the impermanent vagaries of the physical body. To
      know the Self, the Atman or Purusha, the center of consciousness is
      to rest in the awareness of, to realize that which is beyond all of
      these surface level sufferings. It is to seek the awareness of the
      pre-existing wholeness or union that is sometimes called Yoga.

      This can sound like a campaign promoting poverty, loneliness,
      isolation and decay. Those promoting the worldly solutions will often
      sell their wares in this way, by saying that words such as these are
      designed to leave people where they are, or to be miserable in life,
      as if these words are suggesting some future afterlife will be more
      fulfilling. This is very far from the message of pursuing Self-
      Realization. One who seeks to know the eternal, pure, ever-joyous
      center of consciousness can easily live in the world, and enjoy the
      objects of the world at the same time. Such a person can and will
      naturally have all that is needed, will have close relationships,
      will have active and enriching engagement with the community, and
      will naturally move toward physical health and well being. However,
      those are not the goals, but are the natural byproducts of sincerely,
      passionately seeking that single higher goal.

      Mind is very tricky. It will try to reason that, "Okay, so to get
      money, sex, fame and health I need to pursue enlightenment. Good, let
      me do that, so that I get what I want." That is a game of the mind.
      The primary goal of seeking the direct experience of that eternally
      joyous center of consciousness is being skipped over once again, in
      the name of the lesser goals. However, one who repeatedly seeks that
      single, higher goal, by whatever name you choose to call it, will
      find that those secondary goals come easily. They become pleasant
      experiences of life, but can have no effect whatsoever on whether "I"
      am feeling "good" or "I" am feeling "bad." One who knows the Self,
      the Atman can live in the world, but yet be above the world. Even for
      one who has not attained permanent awareness of this Self, which is
      the Self of all, but who is consciously, persistently, though gently
      pursuing it, will find that the other pleasures will come, resting on
      the foundation of the higher.

      This is so elegantly simple and profoundly practical, bringing such
      grand results, that it can be repeatedly overlooked. By being ever
      mindful that the highest joy is already there, in the inner chamber
      of our being, in fact, being who we really are, life becomes very
      straightforward and happy. Moving towards this one goal brings many
      fruits along the way. Life becomes poetry and song, filled with joy.
      And one day, when least expected, when, in a moment, there is no
      expectation at all, the Self, Truth, or God is revealed, and that
      leaves all of the other pleasant experiences pale by comparison to
      this which is incomparable and inexplicable.

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