Gone are the days where we think we could only walk the spiritual path in seclusion; living inside caves or mountains. Thank goodness for great spiritual teachings, from the likes of Swami Muktananda, who taught us that life greatest learnings and fulfilment come from balancing spiritualism and materialism; and not one at the expense of the other.
Anybody on the path will know that the value of your cultivation increases when you do it in the real material world. For example, setting up a business and using scripture teachings to run your business – this is many times tougher than living ascetically in the mountains.
To strike a balance between mind and heart in business is like walking on a tight rope. You have to be very aware, very alert and observant of your own thoughts, intentions, as well as a bridge between divine guidance and urban dwelling.
1. Reflect at the end of everyday If you are not already doing so, try this on. Spend the last 10 minutes of your day, before you go to sleep, contemplating your day. Mentally go through the events, encounters, interactions, people that you met with. Observe with detail whether you are closer to your goals today than yesterday. Ponder on the things that caused emotions to arise, especially those that left you feeling lousy.
And ask yourself, “What actually happened, what are the facts, what did I do, or not do, to have created this; what is the impact, what did I learn, how can I be better tomorrow?” If there are emotions arising during this time, let it arise, feel it, then let it go. Emotions don’t last more than 10 minutes if we allow it to play out; but if we don’t, they can result in years of suppression, and affect our behaviour in undesirable ways that we blind to.
2. Move vigorously everyday! Find a way to perspire everyday – jogging, dancing, gardening, yoga whatever activity that you enjoy. Our favourite is dynamic Yoga with lots of salutations, movements and endurance. We literally turn into a tap (pouring sweat) during workouts, and afterwards you feel over the moon. Its so important to perspire regularly, not only the toxins are removed, but emotions that were lodged in our joints are released out. And it also regulates the fluid function (a second chakra activity) of our body, restoring natural hormonal imbalances. Just make sure you drink enough clean filtered water to replenish fluid loss.
3. Live with your heart on your sleeves Not literally, but metaphorically. You know, this existence, this life that you and I have, this world that we have known for as long as we are alive, is but a pretty bubble. An illusion that Sutras call “Maya”. It is a stage of drama with you as the super star. Everything that matters is that relationship and dialogue you maintain with Divine, everything and everybody else is there for you to make use of. All for an ultimate objective – uniting with Divine. So, what is there to scheme, to lie, to fake? If you see anything not right, out of integrity, people bullying others, etc, and you know that your opinion makes an impact, then speak up. Do it with as much love and compassion as you can afford. Quit the falsities, but of course make sure you uphold integrity within yourself first. When you live this way, your thoughts, words and actions, how you are with yourself, how you are with others, will all snap into alignment. This is power in itself.
4. God wants you well This world exists for you to break free, and the resources of this world is given by Divine for your cultivation. It is not Divine’s plan for us to suffer, be in debt or broke, or be miserable prolongedly. Of course things happen, many of them could be unpleasant. The focal point is not for us to conclude that we are victims; but to know that whenever we are in great pain God is sending us a huge message. Buddha said “All life is suffering”; but he does not mean us to take his words in a literal sense.
All life is suffering, read it with the heart, feel it, feel its weight. And then enquire deeper, keep asking “Who am I?”, “Why am I here, in this life?”. And share the insights, share the process with others in your life. Stay with the enquiry process, no matter how young or old you are, because that is the most important essence of any spiritual path, the journey of enquiry. Which is I believe, one of the ways that Buddha meant for us to benefit from his Dharma.
5. Make use of Sound Invocation Mantras are ancient sound vibrations that are encoded with a consciousness beyond our intellectual understanding. When various syllabus are pronounced, specific parts of our brains are activated. Think of how many percent of the brain the average man uses – less than 10%. Even Albert Einstein, a Scientist considered to be of genius level, uses less than half his brain. Imagine who you can be when you can activate more parts of your brain to work for you? Think willpower, skills, talents, intelligence, speed of thinking – all of which can lead to greater material fulfilment.
Here is an ancient Mantra – called the Gayatri Mantra. When sang 3 times morning and night, it leads to higher Knowledge, Understanding and Truth : Ohm Bhur Bhuvah Swaha Tatsa Vitu Vahrae Niyam Bhargo Devahsya Dyimayee Dhiyoyo Nah Pratcho Dhaya
(C) Linda Loo