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An easy guide for Muggles: Three Ways to embrace a Happier Self

For those who are struggling every day to ''lift" themselves on the spiritual path, it is a constant struggle because there are so many levels to juggle. The relationships that we co-create with others, the experiences of conflict and disappointment that it often brings and the attachment we place on the results of our actions - it is NOT easy at all to balance these things or to stay detached from what is happening. So, how do you embrace a happier self on the path?


                                          (Image Credit: Pexels)

Meditation

Every religion advocates contemplation of God and to bask in Higher Awareness of the Creator who may be referred to in different names and forms. You can call your father ''Daddy" or "Achan" or ''Appa" or "Papa". The important thing is not what you call him but how deep a bond you have while you address him - the energies at play, the trust, the confidence you have in bringing the relationship to life - that lies at the crux of your relationship with the Almighty too. For bringing the monkey mind back to its home of solitude and stillness, meditation is recommended by all spiritual masters. There is no rocket science to it but it is a Universe that can change your reactions to the world and to the tumultuous pace at which relationships turn topsy-turvy. Your best friend today may turn out to be your bitter enemy tomorrow. The only way to deal with these changes are to take it in your stride and accept it with poise. Meditation does not have a magic wand to make your hurts disappear but it has a way of speeding up the healing within.

It is said that Mahatma Gandhi used to meditate every day. In Eknath Easwaran's words, " As meditation deepens, the desire to go even deeper slowly absorbs all kinds of lesser desire. Activities that are less important to us begin to fall away. But those desires do not really disappear.  Their power is simply drawn up into a deeper current, the longing of the soul for fulfillment."

Practice Silence Daily

All spirituals masters across all religions have conveyed the importance of observing silence through their sayings, teachings and their life. For instance, the famous ''Meher Baba'' - who is revered as an Avatar by the Parsi community - embraced silence totally to impart his teachings more powerfully to his growing number of followers across the world. His teachings are known to have gained more momentum among followers after he moved into the 'silent' phase, thereby forcing his followers to look within for spiritual guidance from Him. Among Hindu spiritual masters, Sri Ramana Maharshi is known to have imparted his teachings with a glance at the devotee, not through the use of words. [ALSO READ: How to Practice Silence and Benefit from it ]

Surrender to the Divine

The words of my guru Bhagawan Sri Sathya Sai Baba springs to my mind, "Just surrender, that is enough. You have nothing to worry when I am shouldering your lives. Once you surrender to me, I shall take care of everything."

This is not different from Lord Krishna told Arjuna. This is not different from what Sri Ramakrishna told Swami Vivekananda. This is also not different from what the Mother told her disciples. 

Yet is there any human being who is able to 'surrender' the self completely? We resist. We refuse to trust. Something holds us back - often the sense of "I" - which is the ego talking.

Ordinary mortals like us cannot 'surrender ' - we have careers, families, targets to meet and appraisals. How can we possibly let God take care of all these mundane things? It boils down to one thing - ''I''. There lies the real problem. We identify so much with the ''I'' and ''mine'' that we cannot see the real divine entity within.

The Buddha was a Prince who walked away from the sense of "I'' and "mine."

When Jesus said, "Thy will be done," He sent the most powerful message to mankind. Crucify the Ego to become One with the Divine Father.

Our obsession with ego reminds me of what Dada Vaswani, who is revered as a spiritual master in the Sindhi community said to Ruzbeh N Bharucha. He said that it is not correct to say that the soul is in the body - the soul is so vast and powerful that it cannot even be contained in the body - therefore, the body is in the soul. 

The body is limited, the soul is not. The body has birth and death and it decays over time, the soul does not.

Still we often get caught up in a drama of our own making, where we exaggerate to ourselves who we are , what we do, the accomplishments we love to show off to others around us, even the impact that other people have in our lives - through their words or deeds. 

Sometimes we become so inflated with a sense of self-importance that we convince ourselves that the lives of our loved ones cannot progress an inch without us. This ego, self-identification with the person you believe you are, is the root cause of all emotional problems and crises. This attachment to fancy labels, achievements and a sense of self worth in a world, which the Rishis often point out is merely a bubble that can burst any time, is the root cause of discontentment in life and relationships. So, what's the way forward?

Surrender to the Divine - that is what Lord Krishna told Arjuna, who was stricken with doubt on the battlefield.

It sounds easy. Try it and you will understand how difficult this is. You have to do it because it is the only choice you have for growth on the spiritual path.

Mirra Alfassa, later known as The Mother, was the co-founder of  Auroville in Pondicherry and collaborator with Sri Aurobindo on his spiritual mission. Her inspiring words on surrender: , describes the importance of silence in these words:

"Like a flame that burns in silence, like a perfume that rises straight upward without wavering, my love goes to Thee and like the child who does not reason and has no care, I trust myself to Thee that Thy Will be done, that thy Light may manifest, Thy Peace radiate, Thy Love cover the world.

What are the teachings that inspire you to tackle difficulties in your spiritual efforts to grow? Or do you have any experiences that altered your earlier thoughts about spirituality and God? Do share with me here. I'm waiting!


Comments

Sujatha Sathya said…
Meditation is a big enabler for sure.
Nice post
Vishnu said…
Well written with some timeless wisdom!

I never thought I'd start using an App for meditation but I have and it works quite well to build the daily meditation habit.
Dear Sujatha, So glad you liked it.

Dear Vishnu, thanks for sharing your experience. I am glad you found it useful to use an app. I had tried one too and it had helped me to get started initially. I think it is a good way to start.

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