There is so much contradictory information out there. Here we give a much needed overview of these huge and highly charged topics. There are four topics that, due to all the passion around them, it is perhaps best to avoid: Religion, politics, diet and exercise. Here we dive into the last two. So if you have strong opinions, please give space and do your best to remain calm. We are just offering some thoughts to consider.
To listen to the audio version, please click here.
I have been receiving lots of comments and opinions regarding my coronavirus podcasts and blogs. I must say that I respect every comment I have received so far. They have been thoughtful, well written, sincere, and educated. A number of health care professionals have commented and it is interesting to note that even among them opinions varied widely.
I did post the first one, however please forgive me, but I am not going to post them all and here is why: The purpose of the blogs and podcasts regarding the virus goes deeper than just the opinions and perspectives. I do not want the forest to be lost to the trees. My point is about the application of the knowledge I offer (paradigm identity, etc.) to life, particularly when the issues are emotionally charged.
You see, I have witnessed through the years that many people love the spiritual depth of my teachings until emotions and identities get threatened. It is easy to be deep and spiritual when everything is rosy, but what about when it really matters. How do we behave then?
Spirituality is about expanded awareness. Spirituality is the vessel that holds all perspectives, paradigms, emotions, and thoughts in wisdom and insight. This of course applies not only to the Coronavirus, but to everything, for example: the border wall, economics, sexuality, politics, religion, race relations, personal and interpersonal relationships etc.
I believe Buddha called it ‘the middle way’. But as with all deep spiritual teachings, how people interpret ‘the middle way’ is all over the place, diverse and more often confused than understood.
Here is another quote for you: “The only true knowing is knowing that you know nothing.” Wisdom lies in the transcendental field of ‘no-thing-ness’. Yet most are very uncomfortable with that when it matters most. Instead we grasp at the straws of thingness and insist it is “the truth”.
How about, “paradox is the nature of existence”—simultaneously valid yet contradictory realities. At one point I encourage you to ‘take a stand’. At another point, I say we know nothing. To understand this, think “reality continuum”. Are we One, or are we separate? Wisdom is the integration of polar opposites. It is the field of extremes in conflict and contradiction held in the equanimity of balance and harmony… passion and dispassion together simultaneously. Opinions not held in the context of wisdom cause narrow vision, judgement, anger, hatred, and all this world’s problems.
So again I say that I was impressed by the mature manner in which the comments and opinions were expressed. I am not saying that the makers of those points were wrong or out of balance… not at all. In fact, I respect those people for ‘taking a stand’. Yet in the context of purpose of my blogs, podcasts, teachings, and my very life, those comments, I fear, would take us off point. Therefore, I will not be posting them as they may serve to only cloud the points I try over and over again to make about the nature of true spirituality.
Someone sent this interview of Dr. David Price to me. Finally a front line expert who makes sense? Is this the voice of wise experience, or just another opinion? We all can decide for ourselves. He said that 99% of the time, the virus is transmitted via hands. And if I may say so, I have promoted this approach to basic hygiene for many years, as my students know, and not just regarding this particular virus, but as simple common sense hygiene preventing many contagious diseases… basic microbiology 101. I do not like shaking hands. I do not approve of hugging all sorts of people. Wash hands especially after touching public door knobs, etc. etc. Dr. Price said the exposure must be prolonged and in a closed small room to catch the virus via airborne. I know, I know, this doctor appeared on a TV station that many refuse to watch. But this is about what the doctor said and not about the channel. I would add that for some time doctors have said that people catch colds in winter, not because it is cold outside, but rather because people stay indoors confined to a closed area for a prolonged period of time. What does that say about the stay at home shut down policy? Could that be why states that reverse the restrictions have the incidence of the the virus go down?
With everything (from Coronavirus to the economy to international tensions) that is going on in our world, everyone is wondering what the future holds. In this podcast we take a look at the science, diverse medical expert opinions, Jyotish, the media and more to discern the image within the crystal ball. To listen, please click here.
As I have said in the past, there are two ways we can view new information that is not consistent with our current belief system. 1) we can reject and live in denial of it, or 2) we can transform our current beliefs to accommodate the new information. This is one of those things that is just too hard for many people to believe. Yet it is (and for thousands of years has been) right there in the Vedic literature.
Thousands of years ago, Vasistha spoke of the Coronavirus. He even used the word “Corona” in naming it. He said it was airborne, extremely small (i.e. microscopic), and entered through the nostrils. He gave a mantra for the healing of those afflicted. Though specifically for the Coronavirus, this mantra supports the healing and prevention of all viruses and all cancers. You can listen to it as much as you would like. It is available for you to listen to by clicking here.
Accordingly, as per our recent Temple Update, we will be doing a Dhanvanthari Healing Havan April 2. In case you did not see the update, you can view it by clicking here.
Right now and until the end of April, Rahu is in Adra Nakshatra. All the other nakshatras are part of groups of five. Ardra is so powerful that it is the only nakshatra that stands alone. Ardra is the nakshatra of poison. Rahu agitates. So it makes sense that the Corona virus is active now.
Ardra is also a nakshatra of headstrong attitudes and anger. So it might be a good time to lay low and forgive others of their inflamatory behavior.
It is so very uplifting and beautiful when the temple is filled with people chanting. It permeates the temple and cultures the heart with an exquisite feeling of sublime spirituality and devotion to God. It is nice that some of the Mount Soma residents have been exploring and enjoying chanting. Like many things, whether or not one chooses to chant is certainly a personal choice, but if done wisely it can be beneficial. Like everything, it boils down to ‘healthy relationship with’. I recently discussed chanting with Pandit Prasad and we offer the following:
The healing benefits of chanting can be particularly enjoyed if there are psychological, energetic, or emotional blocks. Clearing such blocks through chanting can, of course, be highly beneficial and open the physiology and energy system with numerous benefits possible. Some find such benefits through other pathways… for example, dance, singing, various forms of yoga or healing, personal relationships, etc.
When people are meditating regularly for a long period of time, impurities can get stirred up as they clear out of the physiology. Things like chanting, exercise, etc. can help clear them and the resultant experiences can then be quite desirable, even dramatic. Of course, that is an individual matter. Some will take to and derive benefit from one thing. Others will take to another based upon physiological needs and personal affinities.
At times, the result of adding exercise, chanting, or diet change can be truly dramatic. We just need to keep them in the context of the nature and structure of life and existence, such as we have discussed in the school. In our enthusiasm, when we start a new practice, it is best to not go overboard. Of course, such enthusiasm is understandable, though it is always best when we come back into balance.
As with all new practices, there are certain guidelines we do well to note:
Chanting for some can result in excess emotional indulgence which can turn a person into what is often called a “bliss ninny.” Then they begin to judge another person’s level of enlightenment based upon “bliss ninny” standards. This is common in many religions and social groups. Those who behave in a certain manner are considered more ‘spiritually evolved.’ Of course, we know that another person’s level of consciousness cannot be judged based upon the surface or upon our own personal affinities.
When the heart is overly enlivened (as described in Ayurveda and Chinese Medicine), it can distort perception. When blocks are cleared and emotions are excessively indulged, people can blur emotions with enlightenment. That can become an obstacle to true spiritual growth. Getting emotional about union with God can be confused with deeper union which transcends emotions. In such a case, chanting (like other things) can become a distraction that pulls people away from a deeper spiritual path. Discernment can be compromised.
We also do well to remember the elevator analogy: when you have been meditating and evolving rapidly, it is like climbing high in an elevator. If you take a moment to look at the view from that height, it is spectacular. So the inclination can be to stay with that level, be distracted by it, and hesitate to go back to what got you to that level in the first place. As a result, you can cease to continue climbing in the elevator to even higher levels.
It is as if for many years we have been cultivating a beautiful garden with fruit trees, etc. Then, if we pick a fruit and enjoy it, we may think it is the fruit that gave the gift. Actually, of course, the real gift is the cultivation that bore the fruit, not the picking of the fruit. Years of meditation and study make many fruits available, and the physiology of meditators becomes like ripe fruit. Various practices you then employ can pick the wonderful fruits we have been cultivating.
Excess chanting can even create a hypnotic state of euphoria. For that reason, some temples in India do not allow certain groups of people following such a path to even enter the temple. As stated earlier, those hypnotic states can lead a person to believe they are getting enlightened, when actually they are being misled. After spending time in India, many people become acutely aware of all sorts of practices done in the name of spiritual growth, that are more truly forms of mind manipulation. They could be forms of chanting, healing, or various spiritual practices. That is why I like to recommend: “Safety first!”
Bottom line: Like everything else, it is a matter of ‘relationship with’. Better to have a good relationship with a bad thing (i.e., staying away from it), than a bad relationship with a good thing (for example, excessive indulgence in it or emphasis upon it).
Remember that the deepest level of Bhakti transcends emotions. Bhakti is rooted in the transcendental depth of your being. Personally, I most cherish the experience of Bhakti I enjoy in deep meditation. However, I also love listening to, and being swept away by, the feeling evoked when the visitors chant at temple gatherings. When Pandits gather and chant together, it is exquisite.
So, if you enjoy chanting, do so wisely and be sure the Mantras you use, and the amount and ways you use them is done properly. If you are at Mount Soma, it is wise to take advantage of the opportunityto have it monitored. Panditji and I are asking that you allow us to do so. If you would like to chant, please let us know what you would like to do, so Panditji and I can confer with one another and offer our assistance. Then, with our blessings, if you like chanting and feel you are getting benefit from it, ENJOY!
I saw “What is Genius? – Bruce Lee #1” again, and there you said like Bruce Lee refined his physiology through Martial Arts, and there are many different ways to do it. Last time I didn’t even notice that when I saw it, but I always felt there were more ways to grow.
There is one poet they say, and he himself says, it was his breath, his life, his therapy to create poetry and rhymes.
So things like art, sports, etc, can evolve you in a major way, like Bruce Lee did for himself?
To which I respond:
Every field of pursuit can be a path to enlightenment. However rapid evolution through some is more likely than through others. Yet the approach to any field can be constructive or destructive. That of course includes the field of spirituality.