The past number of years have been particularly challenging. When SK, our temple Sthapati from South India, recently visited Mount Soma, he came to my home. There, he saw that the Vastu fence was not correct. I am chalking the error up to lack of proper communication with another Vastu expert who designed the fence.
Generally, in private homes, the Vastu is not so critical and is rather forgiving. In fact, in most non-Vastu homes, there is just not much energy in the structure and therefore, not much influence. A Vastu home harnesses and enlivens the energy. Yet, in most Vastu homes, there is a good deal of flexibility because the energy is not extreme. However, Mount Soma harnesses the wholeness value of the entire community… Temple and all. As a result, the power of the Vastu is profound. That is why so many people comment on the tremendous uplifting feeling they experience when visiting Mount Soma.
Because I am the founder and head of the community, my home is the Guru Shala, and is positioned in the southwest corner of Mount Soma. For that reason, the Guru Shala home was designed with great precision. SK reviewed the design of my home after his recent visit and verified that it was correct.
The southwest corner is where negativity (the Rakshasa value) enters, and the Guru Shala is designed to protect the community from all that negativity. Mount Soma is powerful, and as I have said in the past, if you run off the road, it is better to do so in a child’s toy wagon rather than a speeding sports car. SK pointed out that because the fence around my home was not designed properly, all the Karma/negativity poured in upon me. He said that as it was, that karmic influence brought “endless tears.”
It was all baffling until SK explained the situation with the Vastu. The new fence should be completed soon and everything should get better. Our thanks to SK, and his wife Krithika, for their heartfelt commitment to Mount Soma and all the time they spent reviewing the design of not only my home, but all of Mount Soma.
With all the mountain rain run-off and underground mountain streams, I had to put a water retention pond in my backyard. This year, I decided to clear up the algae in the pond water. I learned (and am continuing to learn) a lot. Bottom line: A pond is a delicate multivariable ecosystem world. To be healthy, it must be cultured as such.
Twenty percent of our world’s oxygen comes from diatoms, which are a particular type of algae with a clear, silica, glass-like cell wall. When the pond is considered as a whole and is balanced, healthy diatoms outcompete unhealthy algae. The water becomes clear and healthy. A minuscule amount of a balancing and culturing approach can quickly transform unhealthy into healthy.
Revitin is a new toothpaste that all but eliminates tarter by introducing a balanced ecosystem in the mouth. Simple, with dramatic results!
Similarly, a healthy world is a delicate balance of limitless variables. For health, for world peace, the wholeness value of the ecosystem must be addressed as the central theme. The whole is more than the sum of the parts. The world will not be healed by isolating parts without focus on the wholeness value.
As with diatoms and a backyard pond, with a proper approach, pollution of the planet and hearts and minds of its people can be transformed, as if magically. Diatom-like substances will then be developed that will, in minuscule amounts, clear the sky of pollution and clear the oceans of plastics and mercury. When done wisely, a seemingly minuscule introduction of a balancing influence can transform a turbulent world into a world of peace and harmony. However, the health is rooted in the source of wholeness, the Transcendent, Ishwara. Mount Soma is dedicated to the introduction of that culturing and balancing influence as prescribed through Vedic technology.
An interesting point: In the transformation process of a pond, the period of time can occur when the pond’s appearance becomes worse—cloudier. Similarly, when a whole-istic healing influence is introduced in the world, it can trigger confusion, anger, and resistance in the hearts and minds of people. Everything maps. We can learn a lot about the attainment of world peace from diatoms and toothpaste.
It is said that humans think only one thought at a time (though admittedly, often jumping from one to the next in rapid succession), while God thinks a limitless number of thoughts all at the same time.
Initially, that might not seem so easy to even begin to comprehend… at least it wasn’t for me. But think about it.
We (billions of us, not to mention birds, all animals, and even plants in their own way) are all one with God.
We all have our own thoughts (even contradictory thoughts… billions of us, as well as cats, dogs, birds, all animals, and even plants in their own way) all the time.
Limitless thoughts, all the time, and all unified… each finding its source in the Divine Breath of The One (Prana) which then interacts with relative existence (Karma) to create individual ‘minds’. Prana plus Karma equals mind. All our infinite number of simultaneous thoughts originate with the Divine—with God, and are then modulated by our Karma, to create our individual minds.
Around the full moon in July this summer (Guru Purnima), I taught Phase 3, the last phase of the Advanced Technique Course series. Participants gave some wonderful feedback on their experiences, including profound shifts both in their meditation and in their being (see below photo).
This led me to reflect on the experience of going through the door to what lies within, and the many new experiences that unfold from there, forever. What can one really say about that? How can one explain it?
Within” is so distinctly different or seemingly separate from the
world of daily hustle and bustle that consumes people. As the inner cobwebs
clear, everything is different. But what to do with it is, at first, not
fathomed. Certainly not fully understood,
as life continues to fly by, with all the distractions, mindsets, wantings,
longings, passions, and emotions that dominate people. It takes time to
assimilate and integrate all the levels of life, ranging from the
transcendental depth to the surface. That assimilation and integration is
“the hero’s journey”.
Yet, in quiet moments, inner knowledge is all available, all right there: “The Kingdom of Heaven Dwells Within”.
What Participants are Saying:
“… I am experiencing corners of the universe and of my own physiology that I was not aware of. Magnificent!”
“I have been opened up in the most natural way to allow the experience of all the Advanced Techniques, culminating with the Phase 3 techniques. The Phase 3 Techniques create a phase transition in thinking and experiencing and I liken them to the grand finale of what was built for us in the prior phases. Inside myself there is more space, more clarity, more freedom. It’s an incredible and priceless gift…”
“Phase 3 is really different from Phase 1 and Phase 2. Phase 1 and Phase 2 were like building blocks on which Phase 3 was added. It feels like there are some major transformations taking place.”
“The Phase 3 Advanced Technique Course is amazing. Phase 1 and 2 laid the groundwork, culminating in a whole new experience of meditation in Phase 3. I suspect a whole new set of results will ensue over the coming days and feel a quantum leap forward is imminent.”
Nick Kyrgios is a natural athlete and great tennis player. He is edgy, hot headed, not so disciplined, rebellious, and does not practice as much as he should. In a recent interview, the great Rafael Nadal was asked what if Kyrgios could control his temperament and practice more. Nadal responded, “If, if, if does not exist.” What a fabulous response! What exists is what is. As has been said, it’s not what you can do. It’s what you actually do. The rest is a dream. But then again, you can take the first step of living your dream anytime you choose.
Dr. Michael Mamas started this school in August, 1994. So, we are celebrating the 25th anniversary at Mount Soma. We’ll be doing a special blessing for the school in commemoration of the anniversary at the Havan for Sarvadevatas on Thursday, August 8. Congratulations to Michaelji and everyone through all these years who has helped make this possible!
Adi Shankara said it so beautifully when he said that the spiritual path is the path of discernment. So much contained in so few words! The words “spirituality” and “discernment” both have a limitless array of essential aspects. In particular, let’s take a look at “discernment” as it applies to our relationship with what we do not know.
The discerning want to know what they do not know. Otherwise, the door is closed. Inquiry is halted. Learning stops. The path is no longer a path, but is rather a fixed and stagnant point. This does not mean that we do not have beliefs, perspectives, and opinions. Life is made up of such things. However, the discerning are open to new insights, revelations, perspectives, paradigms, information and understandings. Of course, most everyone believes that they want to learn more. However, the true art of discernment slips through the fingers of most people.
Here, it is important to note that spirituality is not one small facet of life. Rather, spirituality is the vessel that holds all aspects of life. Spirituality (the path of discernment), then, entails a discerning mindset in all aspects of our lives: our relationships with friends and family, our relationship with our community, our relationship with politics, health, religion, philosophy, and anything else we can imagine.
It has been said that the most dangerous person in the room is the person who doesn’t know what they do not know. I can understand and appreciate that, but I would suggest that the most dangerous person is the person who doesn’t want to know what they do not know.
Not only is that dangerous, but it is also epidemic. It permeates all levels of life. People thereby form their opinions and relationships with every person, every situation, their religion, philosophy, and every aspect of life. That is called “dogmatic” or “small minded”, the antithesis of wisdom. Discernment is thereby lost, be it in the form of religious fanaticism, judgement, bias, limited thinking, narrow vision, paradigm identity, etc.
Granted, we cannot know everything about everything. However, discernment entails the quest to know what matters and not burying our heads in the sand to what we don’t know. Discernment is wisdom.
There are laws of nature inherent to our world. Different animal species have their natural behaviors. Plants, the movement of planets, the changing of season—all things have their nature. We humans are part of nature. We have our nature. Living life in accord with our nature is what it means to live in harmony with natural law. The idea is that we have certain inalienable rights determined by nature, by natural law. It is considered the responsibility of government to uphold those rights, as is referred to in our Declaration of Independence.
However, there is an opposing philosophy. The idea is that we humans can, and must, overcome our nature. We can think and use our intellect to thereby know better than what our own nature dictates. Katharine Hepburn said to Humphrey Bogart in the movie, The African Queen, something like, “Your nature, sir, is what you are on this earth to overcome.” Sadly, it is considered then, the responsibility of government to overcome our nature, determine what human behavior should be, and to enforce that behavior.
I believe that in a stressed out, unhealthy world, people confuse their nature with their distorted perspectives. When the stresses and strains in the psychophysiology are released, people behave in harmony with their true nature spontaneously. The intellect and government would thereby naturally and spontaneously support living in harmony with nature. Yet, we must keep in mind that we can justify anything with the intellect and do. Until the hearts and minds of the people are free from stress and strain, our beliefs are not consistent with our true nature. At this time, what we feel and think is our nature is really just stress and strain dictating what we believe.
It is not hard to see that we live in a time when judgement, anger, and polarization seem to be in our nature. Peace and harmony is a shared ideal, but it is not what rules. Our world, our nations, our communities, and our associations are plagued with such distortions. We view others through the colored glasses we look through to see the world. That is what we believe. Thus, that is what we create.
I, for one, dedicate my life to creating a world where we live in peace and harmony with nature… our true nature… Mother Nature. In spite of judgement, suspicion, and blame, may we all come together to bring forth such a world for all humanity. It is achievable, but we must look beyond the horizon… beyond the toil and turbulence that dominates so many. Yes, the path to a better world can be painful and challenging. Yet, if we keep a steady hand on the rudder, it is attainable.
Life could be so simple… just keep your balance. Yet, from time to time, we all lose our emotional balance. The real problem is that when people lose their emotional balance, they do not think they have lost their balance. They think they are right, and live by the code that dictates. Only deeper inside, where few are able or willing to go, do they know the truth of it.
Upon occasion, when the wise lose their balance, they strive to regain it as quickly and honorably as possible. A balanced apology or simple acknowledgement makes a monumental difference.
When a strong wind blows, even the mightiest of tree branches bend, but the tree does not crumble. Upon losing balance, there is no need for a gushing, self-deprecating apology… an honest, heartfelt acknowledgement or balanced apology counts for more… and the sooner, the better. Thereby, when one loses balance, they do not lose respect, but gain it.
These days, in my short early morning drive from home to the temple, there are lots of rabbits all along the road. They so clearly reflect my feelings to me. When I am calm and peaceful, they remain still, as I drive right by them, not even moving off the road. If I am in a hurry, they scurry off into the bushes when they sense my distant car approaching. With great accuracy, they spontaneously feel me through my driving.
Last night, I was chatting with a person from the ashram. We were trying to articulate feelings and mindsets. No words seemed to work just right. What seemed to sort of work for one of us just felt blatantly incorrect to the other. There was a huge gap between the feelings we felt, and the words we used to try to articulate those feelings. The more words, the bigger it seemed the gap became. Yet I could tell that we were both feeling the same thing. Assigning words to the feelings only undermined our communication.
We humans rely heavily on words. Animals are not burdened with words. Maybe that is why so many people love their pets. With pets, we stay with feelings unencumbered, unfettered, uncompromised, undistorted by words.
When someone says something, we tend to hold on to how their words affected us. That is rarely completely consistent with the feeling, the motivation, behind those words. The words, then, take on more significance than the feeling they were intended to convey. When we reflect on the interaction, we reflect on the words that were said, that clouded the communication, not the feeling behind them.
Words are most often defining, limiting, and misleading. Feelings are pure, honest, and genuine. We do well to give lots of space around words that we share. We do best to feel what is behind those words. Sincerity lies in the feelings that lie deeper than the meaning of the words we use. Words, at best, point in a general direction.
When we try to communicate with another, we do well to pay more attention to the underlying feelings than the meaning we assign to their words.