Morning Meditations for May
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May 1, 2010
Valentina: So the big month of April is over, - the beautiful April, the difficult April, the unusual April. The unusual part was that there was Ramanavami and Dobrotolubye combined, and the currents were so different and yet so the same. Now, Danny, I anticipate a glorious and very interesting May. Every month is a life, Danny, it is a complete life - starting from the morning, ending at night for thirty or thirty-one days. Each day is a life. The very deep impact of Ramayana and Dobrotolubye remains throughout the month and throughout the life, - it is just that we give the new colour to the next month. And I might even be returning to some of the studies based on the Dobrotolubye. I don̓t know, it all depends on inspiration and intuition.
Now from Dhammapada, the book of Gautama Buddha. First we shall baptize this month, and then from Dhammapada. Once I said Dhammapada, perhaps that̓s the name. We shall translate it. “Dhamma” is the Law, the discipline, the vigilance, and “pada” is the Way, the Path. So let̓s say the month of “Vigilance” or “Discipline.” Which do you like better - “Vigilance” or “Discipline?”
Student: “Vigilance,” Guru.
Valentina: “Vigilance...” [Smilingly] I know, Danny, a ‘cause you don̓t like disciplines! Ah-ha! Okay!
...The mental natures are the results of what we have thought, are chieftained by our thoughts, are made up of our thoughts. If a man speaks or acts with an evil thought, sorrow follows him as a consequence, even as the wheel follows the foot of the drawer (the bull which draws the cart).
Well, “Dhamma” also means the discipline of our mental natures. The influence of thought on human life and society is, of course, obvious. And now we come to the era when actually we can turn to the Teachings of Buddha, because He is the originator of the mind as the cause of life, and today̓s psychology is much concerned with the study of human mind.
Let̓s ponder upon this verse thrcughout the day - that our whole being is the result of what we have been thinking, and whatever happens follows us as the faithful shadow, depending on what the thoughts were. Let the motto of this meditation be that if we do not command our thoughts, we will find out soon that we cannot command also our actions. If you would observe people, you would notice that some use the intelligent sequence in their actions while others do not. Others just do things without order, they don̓t know why they do it.
It also means the single-mindedness, - what Christ said, that “If thine eye be single, thy whole body shall be full of light.” That means that the nature of our mind then is collected and we have vigilance, and there is intelligence or “light” in our whole being.
That also ties with what I said. recently about the conscious and subconscious living. [See 4-29-82 Thursday Noon] The subconscious mind is continuously executing the orders given by the conscious mind, and so to be vigilant is to store our sub-conscious mind with the right stuff. We have to believe that it is so, we have to prove it to ourselves; it is the fact, not only because I tell you, but because it is so. For everybody it becomes clear after a little investigation.
Now it would have been very easy if it would be just an intellectual order to the mind. What can be more simple? Everybody would say, “Subconscious mind, from this moment on I want to become a genius.” Well, that̓s rubbish! You don̓t believe it and the subconscious mind does not believe it either. So there should be the feeling. You have to feel the truth of what you suggest to your mind. There should be also one-pointedness, single-mindedness, single-heartedness. So it is not all that easy. Only because it is true, it is not easy!
The main problem is the clashes of the conscious and the subconscious. If there is no single- mindedness, the mind is pointing in one direction one moment and then at the other direction the next moment, and the subconscious mind gets confused. So how can we then become friendly with it? We cannot without vigilance. We have to have vigilance and discipline, we have to have the Dhammapada!
It is one thing to know that subconscious is a faithful servant; it is the other thing to know how to give orders to it. To somehow harmonize our attitudes towards our own inner problems and inner life, in general, is to know that we can train our mind, that we can train it by, for instance, being more clear in our decision and choices. You see, we have choices to do this thing or that thing. Even from early morning, well, 1 make a choice to meditate, I have a choice to call you up. You have a choice to come to listen to me. It is a choice, and it results in certain effect, it brings consequences.
Well, if we have our choices which are right, then the subconscious mind helps us to be right. If we choose to do the wrong thing, then, consequently, come the wrong results. If we one moment choose the good and the other moment the bad, then we are a nervous wreck, we don̓t know how to form up the decision to be good. (You don̓t have to decide to be bad, - bad decides for you!)
This need not sound like the theory, and in order that it does not sound so, it has to become a practice, - simple as that! The choice is the keynote. You either choose the pain or you choose the joy. Mostly man chooses the painful things, thinking that he is weak, that he is poor, that he is sick, but through the intelligent choice of directing his life man becomes not so helpless. And it is not the mechanical and theoretical, intellectual stuff, - absolutely not, but it is a matter of feeling, really feeling.
It is to feel about how we live, what is our feeling? You see, for instance, mostly people have negative feelings, and it is only in their feelings that they are sincere, whether they are negative or positive. So you feel sincerely that you are offended, supposingly, and that̓s the only thing which subconscious takes. You feel that you are hateful, - that̓s the only thing it takes, but it does not take the orders which are fancy-mancy, which are all theoretical and handsomely constructed, - that it does not take. But if you take the concrete thought and start feeling it, subconscious will take it. If you will say, “I want to make right decisions now and let the perfect Will of Buddha be done in His perfect way,” and then you think about Buddha, and then you feel it, you admire it, - then subconscious mind will take it. But if you handsomely discuss and give me a big revue of what I have said and what I have transmitted to you and you like it very much, and yet you don̓t feel it at all, then you forget it, subconscious mind does not take it.
So make it very clear to yourself that you have to be vigilant in order to, not only choose the right thing, but to feel it, - to feel that you are one-pointed, to feel that there is wisdom within you and that. you are able to make your choices rightly. Then there will be the practice of Dhamma- pada in your life. Amen....
Student: Thank You, Guru.
[Satsang with another student]
Student: Vigilance is a very beautiful word, - it̓s almost like a return to the name of the month of Remembrance.
Valentina: Well, it̓s not quite the same. Remembrance is like being in the realm of something by the force of recollecting it, and Vigilance is more of a discipline; it is goading yourself, in other words. Remembrance does not imply any kind of an effort; Vigilance is discipline, whereas Remembrance is awareness. These are two different things, and it has to be well understood.
Remembrance is a keynote for everyone who loves the high. Now like these Dobrotolubye monks - they practiced Remembrance all the time. Vigilance was the fight against the demons, and Remembrance was the adoration of Christ.
Regardless how much you will understand and memorize, the subconscious mind does not give a damn. It is not that which can change your life, but if you suddenly will start remembering, which is equivalent to feeling (Remembrance is feeling; Vigilance is will), - so if you will start feeling it and using your will to preserve the feeling, then it̓s okay. Otherwise it is lots of fine words....
(May 1, 1982 Sat. Morning)
Return to beginning of Morning
May 2, 2010
[Following the prayer for the deceased, Holy Mother remains in deep silence and then chants with deep inward intenseness, penetrating the atmosphere with Silence and Peace]
Valentina: ...Om Shanti, Shanti, Shanti... Om Shanti, Shanti, Shanti... Om Shanti, Shanti, Shanti.... [Silence] Om Shanti, Shanti, Shanti... Om Shanti, Shanti, Shanti... Om Shanti, Shanti, Shanti... That̓s about the greatest meditation on Peace which one can think of, just combining it in two words which are potent. Om Shanti, Shanti, Shanti...
Each one of us experienced, here and again, great pain, separation from those who are close to us through death or through misunderstandings or through unpredicted circumstances. This is one form of pain. There are thousands of other pains, at times self-inflicted, but after all, pain is pain whether it is self-imposed or brought upon us by something or somebody. The panacea and the way out of pain or disharmony is to learn not to think about it. We intensify our pain, whether it is physical, mental or spiritual, by thinking about our pain. There is such thing as spiritual pain too, and it is when the Spirit turns away from us and when we find ourselves alone. So the thing is to think always about the Spirit and not that we are alone. To think about the Spirit or God and not about our afflictions, - that̓s the only way out, and this is the most difficult way. It is almost inaccessible, for how can you, really and truly, not think about that which hurts you? It thinks about you, it reminds you about itself all the time, but still there is the way. God, in His great Mercy, gave man the ability to heal himself.
[Interrupting Her discourse, referring to the intruding, wailing sirens close by] Now this intrusion, this disturbance, - if we will think about it, we shall be irritated, or if we will be afraid because we think about it, we shall not help it. But if we will dismiss it from our perception and think about God, we will help the party in trouble, we definitely will, and also we will help ourselves not to suffer from it, because sometimes one can suffer even from such intrusive noises. When one is sensitive and when one wants to concentrate upon something high, one really is thoroughly disturbed. So in order not to be, you have to think immediately about God. You cannot define God. How can you really think about God as something concrete? Now some people do think about Jesus or about Rama; Arjuna thought about Lord Krishna and he begged Him to show him His endearing Image and not His Cosmic Form. So you can visualize God also, but in most cases it is artificial and not convincing. Your subconscious mind won̓t buy it.
So when we say, “Turn to God,” it is not to visualize God the way your human limited mind does. If it can do it vividly and spontaneously, go ahead, do it, - visualize also physical form of the Lord. But if you cannot do it spontaneously and decently, don̓t do it. I use the word “decently” - a stark word. But what is necessary is to think about the attributes of God till time comes when we will be able, just by the very silence within ourselves, to have the glimpse into the awesomeness of Presence without form, but just bringing the Quiet and the Beauty into ourselves.
Well, in order not to be hurt too much by life or by yourself, don̓t think about yourself and don̓t think about your troubles, but say, “Thy Will be done... both on earth and in heaven...I surrender.” And then, I would not call it “think” about it, but feel God as Love inconceivable. You cannot conceive and define It, - you just know that there is such Love which is too awesome to talk about or to think about, but just recollect about It and know that this is God. If you do it even for a moment, in that moment you will be free from pain. When you return to thinking about yourself, the pain also returns, but this is the only remedy. Instead of thinking about pain of any kind or discomfort or dislike or rebellion or resentment, think about the Perfection. If you cannot think about the Perfection of God, think about the Perfection of the saint, or think about the Perfection as such - abstract. It is difficult for the untrained, impure, selfish mind. I do not say it is easy, but I say that it is the only way of cure. And God, in His Mercy, gave the ability to man to learn how to heal himself....
Om Shanti... Shanti... Shanti... here and there and everywhere. God bless the world... God bless you.... [Silence]
(May 2, 1982 Sun. Night)
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May 3, 2010
“He abused me, he struck me, he overcame me, he robbed me.” In those who harbour such thoughts, hatred will never cease.
“He abused me, he struck me, he overcame me, he robbed me.” In .those who do not harbour such thoughts, hatred will cease.
Well... that goes together with the ability to forgive, and even if we do forgive, if we are really hurt by somebody, how long we do harbour the thought of, I would say, recollections in good people, and resentment and bitterness in bad people? Whatever is the reason, one feels out of harmony with life when one indulges in bad recollections. Nothing can be gained by harbouring bad thoughts, and especially the thoughts towards those who hurt us. Now, actually, the only one who becomes the loser is the one who feels hurt and the one who is harbouring the thoughts of hurt. That̓s the admonition of the Lord. He does not tell you how to do it, but He shows the facts the way they are.
So how can we overcome it? By forgiveness which is not intellectual. You probably know, and everyone knows, that it is very easy to understand what I tell you, but when one starts practicing, it becomes extremely difficult. It is easy to know that if you will forgive, you will not harbour the hurt feelings and the recollections, and yet you cannot forgive. It is easy to say. Sometimes it is among the people who love each other. Often with the people, who are close, there is no care of the feelings, and suddenly one would show the violence or the crudeness or the anger which leaves a deep scar. It is easy to say, “Well, don̓t harbour the thought of the offense, because it will only hurt you more and you will not do anything, you will not get rid of it and you will only be the loser. That̓s so easy to say. You will say again in the words of Lord Buddha that hatred will cease if you will not harbour it. Sure it will, but how not to harbour it? That̓s the point which is of paramount importance to ponder upon, because I would say it̓s enough of theory.
Every year I meditate on Buddha, every year I meditate on Christ, on special occasions, and then throughout the year stay with these meditations also. But if the meditations are theoretical, they do not help. So the Lord Jesus says that perfect Love casts out, not only hatred, but also fear, resentment, anxiety, hostility, jealousy, bitterness, greed and hatred. Here Buddha and Christ are in unison, just as always they are.
So how do we go about it? I would say only through prayer. There is not a single other way of doing it, - and a special prayer, a secret one. It is just to go in your closet and be alone with God. And, as I said last night, there is no other way but to replace the pain by the removing your attention from it through focusing your attention on Perfection. There is no other way.
You remember how Buddha prayed, and you remember how Christ prayed. They were alone when they did it. The inner meaning of this aloneness is not the place in the mountains or in the cave, but it is the state of consciousness. You can be in the multitudes also. Of course, it helps to be alone physically also. So, to go into solitude, spiritually meaning, is to lift your thinking to a high state of spiritual consciousness. If and unless you do that, you will never be able to get rid of hurt feelings - never, because they pinch. And the resentment, even, as I said, to your good friend, will be very, very strong, - maybe, in the case of sensitive people, even stronger than to the ordinary people, because there is an immense disappointment and really the feeling of despair sometimes. So the only thing is not to think about these kinds of selfish responses, because it is all selfish.
It is not to bother God with your little or big problem. To pray is just to think about something very beautiful, to switch your thinking from yourself to something very beautiful, and then give yourself to that, and then to believe that you receive your peace... and you will have it.
And Buddha puts it into science...
“He abused me, he struck me, he overcame me, he robbed me.” In those who harbour such thoughts, hatred will never cease.
“He abused me, he struck me, he overcame me, he robbed me.” In those who do not harbour such thoughts, hatred will cease.
(May 3, 1982 Mon. Morning)