Two formulas for living in the world
Swami J's Newsletter
December 1, 2001
The lotus is often used as a symbol in Indian culture and mythology
because the lotus grows in the mud, yet remains above, untouched and
unaffected by the mud and water.
You can live in the world and yet be spiritual. It is not necessary
for you to renounce the world. Wherever you are, stay there. Simply
follow two formulas.
One formula is for living in the external world:
All the things of the world that are given to me are given to me by
the Lord. They are meant for me and I have the right to use them, but
I don't have the right to possess them, for they are not mine. All
things will become means in life if you have this attitude, instead
of "This is mine, this is mine!" You are afraid of losing what you
have; you are afraid it will decay and go to decomposition. You
should learn to use the things of the world without being possessive.
As St. Bernard said, "Love the Lord alone. Use the things of the
world as your means." In addition, you should do your actions
selflessly, lovingly, and skillfully.
Nothing more than that is needed--one formula for the external
What to do for the inner self? [the second of the two formulas]
God is everywhere. The Lord is in me; I am his shrine. As a shrine is
kept neat and clean, I will try my best to keep my body, breath, and
mind pure and orderly.
For a person of wisdom who knows the Truth, internal and external are
one and the same. Inner freedom is born of self-sacrifice, self-
purification, and self-control. This freedom releases the spirit and
gives it wings to soar to the boundless sphere of the unfathomable
levels of being. *
In loving service,
* Swami Rama, Sadhana
24-Hour Retreat, December 15: