We live in a world of hues, shades, curves, and contours. Everything is a multivariable equation. How do we proceed in such a world? How do we go about making responsible decisions?
It is unfortunate that so many make a statement and thereby feel they must take a stand accordingly. Otherwise they feel they made a mistake or are ‘waffling’, weak, or unstable. To change one’s mind is then considered an assault on one’s ego, and admission of a flaw in one’s nature… a sign of weakness.
Yet we can benefit so much by ‘floating an idea’, sharing our thoughts, and reflecting upon those notions together. By doing so, thoughts evolve. New perspectives are shared. New information is gathered. We then work together to wisely move forward in life. We allow ourselves the freedom to put something out, see what happens, and adjust accordingly.
Your thoughts do not define you. Thoughts are cheap. They are not and should not be etched in stone. Evolving them is precious. Evolution of thought is not a sign of weakness, but rather, the nature of flexibility and inner strength. A strong solid ego is flexible. A person with a healthy ego is open to freely evolving their thinking. By sharing our thoughts, we help one and other evolve our thoughts and our lives. But when we take offense at another perspective or new information we freeze our growth. When we judge others as weak when we see them shift, then we compromise our joint movement forward. Admitting to an error is not a sign of a weakness or a flaw, but rather a sign of inner strength, of not being so vested in superficiality. It is an indication of wisdom, an understanding and embracing of the nature of life with all its variables and changing hues, shades, curves, and contours. It opens the door to the discovery of new information and facts.
You are not defined by your thoughts or your current perspectives. But if we must define one and other, then let us be defined by our willingness (or lack of willingness) to move forward and evolve our thinking and our perspectives. People should be more willing to apologize without shame or embarrassment, but rather with, if anything, pride. We can and should be proud of our flexibility!
Like a sailboat tacking this way and that to reach the destination, we tack through life. To do so, we need to tack with our thinking. By floating our ideas, our thoughts, we can assist one and other to tack and evolve our thoughts, to then reach the distant shore.
In a recent poll, nearly half of college students said they would like “In God We Trust” taken off of our currency. This, to me, screams out one thing more than any other: The popular understanding of “God” from the past no longer works for the current mentality.
A couple hundred years ago, for most people, spirituality and religion were all about faith. In today’s world, “faith” implies “blind faith.” Today, things need to be based upon logic. If something does not make sense, if something cannot be justified rationally and scientifically, then it is rejected.
With the advent of modern physics, we can make sense of spirituality: There is a unified field—one thing out of which all things emerged—one thing that is the essence of everything. Vedic Knowledge goes deeply into not only the subjective, but also that objective, understanding of spirituality. That is why so many modern physicists (Oppenheimer, Einstein, Heisenberg, Schrodinger, etc.) all honored and studied Vedic science.
In my classes and writings, I include the rational basis of spirituality. It is not a refutation of devotion and heartfelt Bhakti, but rather (particularly in the world today) an essential component of Bhakti. If we want our youth to honor “In God We Trust”, then we need to offer the rational understanding first. Only then will they have a spiritual foundation they can accept.
Of course, the rational component also deepens our understanding and purges spirituality of much superstition and confusion. Spirituality must have two feet to stand upon—Bhakti and Gyan (heart and mind). Each supports, deepens, and moves the other forward.
If college youths compel us to bring out rational spiritual knowledge more clearly and fully, then in the end, they will have done spirituality and the motto “In God We Trust” a great service.
Thanks to Mary for submitting the following link in response to the Toothpaste, Diatoms, and World Peace blog. Evidently, a bacterium that consumes plastics in the ocean is already in the works! Next will be mercury and air pollution. Rather ironic, isn’t it, that bacteria and viruses may go a long way in the healing of our planet.
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.