Veraenderung

I feel like it’s been forever since I last published anything. Lots of happenings and goings on. In Sahaj Marg, our new Master is getting into the swing of things. It was late last year that our last guru-ji left shed his body and the successor is Kamlesh, who’d been with the Marg for a very long time and was very close to Chari-ji while he was in physical form and leading us.

I think in a post of two on here, and definitely in the last extended satsangh I attended, I mentioned that I was curious about the mission Kamlesh-ji would carry out for the Marg.

Our “first” Master (who wasn’t really the first), Lala-ji, kept things small and quiet. A lot of very subtle work was done and there was a time a couple years ago when I was focusing much on Lala-ji when I sensed some of that subtle work. It’s hard to explain. It was like seeing spiritual light or something… but wasn’t really like. It reminds me of some of the articles that pop up online periodically talking about our ability to detect and measure some of the left over energy from the Big Bang.

Our “second” Master (like the first, he wasn’t really just the second), Babu-ji, came at a time in human history when the East and the West were really starting to blend in ways not related just to business. It was under his guidance and spiritual authority that the Marg began to “take off” within India and slowly also outside of Bharat.

His successor was Chari-ji, our most recent Master. Under him, the borders of the Marg expanded significantly as did our library of texts. For decades, Chari-ji was responsible for guiding our path into the modern age – and through some very tumultuous world times no less! So many books were written by him, and my only complaint is that not all are available as I think they should be.

And now we have Shri Kamlesh. As mentioned, I’ve wondered about his touch on the Marg and what imprint he would be responsible for. It seems, as I kind of expected, that he’ll be our Guide that makes the Marg more easily accessible to a greater audience. Quite regularly there are bulletins and emails sent to abhyasis telling us of developments, changes, and new initiatives within our community. It’s quite nice. Some of these changes, a number in fact, have pertained directly to our preceptors.

According to the Hierarchy of Masters of Sahaj Marg, there are some new responsibilities placed with our preceptors. There are new permissions, which aren’t to replace any existing ones – but rather to supplement them. They include: New seekers being allowed to join group meditations without the “initiation” sittings that were required in the past; Groups of seekers can be welcomed on consecutive days if individual sessions are not an option; Individual sittings are now permitted by preceptors while in a group setting; Sittings are now allowed to be given remotely to individuals and to groups – although this should not be the norm and should not be done unless circumstances truly warrant.

A video of a recent address to abhyasis by Shri Kamlesh-ji can be viewed here. It’s actually from February of this year, which is 2 months old as of this posting. You can view it if you like.

Something I find to be particularly fantastic is Kamlesh-ji’s emphasis on the evolution of our community and blessings as changes being handed down from the Hierarchy.

Surely good things are to come to ahyasis and to the world.

Aum Shri Mahaganeshaya Namaha | Aum Shanti

Union

My mother left her body last November and I’ve been meaning to publish a few posts about it but it’s not really been a priority. While I’ve been able to push these posts to back burners as life kept moving, certain experiences relating to her (and her death) and things that happened afterward have been unavoidable.

I have talked about these experiences with close friends and also with local Sahaj Marg leadership. You see, these experiences kind of made me question some things I thought I knew or understood. Truly, I think I do know and understand – it’s just been made clear to me that there is far more yet to know and understand. Some of that growth and evolution has related directly to my understanding of karma.

I’ve written about karma here before, and if you’re reading this and have a blog of your own, there’s a great chance I’ve commented on your blog about karma. Long ago, when I first learned and was learning about karma my understanding was naturally simplistic. Not unlike the ideas of karma supported by the Hare Krishnas. In that stage of learning, 1 + 1 will always equal 2.

Then I started learning about different kinds of karmas and immense differences between lifetimes lived by the soul. Some karmas created now may not manifest for 27 lifetimes to come. And I now think it’s entirely possible that karmas manifested in one’s current lifetime may actually be from 27 lifetimes in the future – ones we think we’ve yet to live. Surely karma isn’t linear.

So how does this relate to the junk I mentioned about my mother? Well, factly, I don’t believe in ghosts. But something along those lines definitely was experienced a few times soonish after her passing. For sake of brevity and sparing you what are sure to be boring details, I’ll not focus much on the details of those experiences. But at the time I was like, “This CAN’T be the ghost of my mother because surely she’s been swept away by the karmic forces guiding her to her next existence.”

My understanding of karma prior to her moving on held that when you drop your body, “you” keep moving – as governed by the karmic forces generated by yourself in the previous lives. I understood that, for most of us, this process was something we couldn’t well control or have an effect on until we’d taken the next incarnation of life. Then, you could begin working again on your karmas … and so the cycle continues until you at last attain the Source once more, or maybe the Mahapralaya. What have you. This understanding, though, pretty much assumed that – for the most part – the “you” that moved on is one, whole, single entity. I’m no longer convinced of that.

Again, after chatting with close friends and Sahaj prefects, my understanding is evolving. In the same way that I understood karma differently than I do now, I now differently understand the possible composition of the atma / amsha. During a physical existence, there are many aspects and layers to a person, right? We can call them what we like: ego, intellect, emotion, manas, buddhi, ahamkar, personality, persona, … the list can include just about any human component you want it to include, and throughout human history, depending on who you might have asked, this list will vary significantly. I think it’s possible that sometimes, even within these layers, other layers are found. I also think it’s true that each layer or sublayer, to its own degree, has its own existence within Maya and also its own share in your overall karmic package.

It seems possible, likely, and even probable to me that the experiences I had after my mother’s passing are NOT what we typically call a ghost, but ARE parts of her lingering or visiting me. It makes sense to me that, especially in the context of talking about someone who is the kind of person my mother was, upon death bits and pieces of us go whirling off guided by pertinent karmas. Maybe part or parts of this multi-layer human soul-whirlwind are guided to check on us after they are released from the human body that housed them. Maybe sometimes these bits and pieces are what torture us as “ghosts” and seem to be caught in some kind of time loop or location, but seem never to amount to anything more than that. I don’t know, really. I just know there’s more to understand and more to probably write about.

We’re now only a couple weeks away from her six-month death anniversary and around that time I’ll be meeting with my family to bury some of her cremated remains near where her father’s body is resting and where my family retains a number of burial plots. As of today, the visitations are no longer happening – or at least haven’t happened in a while. Is it possible that the karmas that were allowing a part of her to linger with me have been exhausted and she’s beginning to re-collect into a new life? These are big questions.

There’s one last thing I want to bring up. Yoga. Cosmic union, right? From the Sahaj Marg standpoint, yoga also means integration. Human integration. From the broader Hindu picture, I can see more and more clearly what yoga really means. We often speak of Yoga as union with Source. Returning to Home. And it means that, surely. But I also understand now, that a big part of what makes that return even possible is integration on the human level. At some point along the way, you have to begin integrating your various pieces as a human – real integration and balance maintained. When this has been achieved, there’s no concern about a layer of yourself hanging about or wandering off with its own karmic luggage. You literally pull yourself together through the yogic practices taught by our teachers, achieve integration (yoga on a human level), and then taste Yoga as a return to Source.

Aum Shri Mahaganeshaya Namaha | Aum Shanti

What

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My life as a human, a gay person, a householder, a professional, etc… has really been instrumental in the divinization of this life. It’s been one of the real proofs of my Sahaj Marg practice.

Strangely, lately, I’ve felt somewhat isolated. Not entirely – and there have been many times lately when that word couldn’t be further from the truth in describing my life. But generally speaking, yes – feeling isolated.

I’ve read that “no man is an island,” and I’ve contemplated what that means to me in my life and its experiences. Islands appear to be separate, right? Isolated. (In fact, without doing the research, I’d be willing to bet that the “is” in isolated and the “is” in island indicate some kind of etymological link between the two words.)

Sometimes I really feel like an island.

When I think about the life I lead – as a human, householder, etc… – it feels to me to be quite mundane. My ego takes parts of it and tries making more of those parts than probably should be made. I need to feel fancy, right? But really I’m mundane as it gets. Unique as it gets, perhaps, but no less mundane because of it.

Recently, I’ve been thinking of all the “secrets” within my mind. Many of those are also very mundane. Yet, as mundane as they may be they are secrets no less. Secrets I’m not likely to share (umm… they’re secrets. duh). These secrets within aren’t what make me feel isolated, but they relate to it and they teach me so much about the bigger whole of life.

Here I am, having secrets. Right? And surely feeling the weight of said secrets. This weight, on a subconscious level, is what makes people tell secrets. But if I told my secrets, they would cease to be secrets and that would be a kind of betrayal – to myself. Me being me, in all the gore and glory that may apply, creates these secrets. REAL secrets that no one else can know.

Superficially, this will make one feel isolated. This here’s where my reality is spun into gold: Knowing these secrets of myself, keeping them secrets to myself, and being with those secrets necessarily and naturally causes me to go inward. After all, there is nowhere else safe or suitable for secrets like these.

Going inward is where the isolation factors in. There’s no one “in there.” Not even me really. The place within where these secrets are resting and where they are reviewed and examined and perhaps judged is mostly hollow. I know this because I’ve been there many times. I go there most nights when I sleep. And like most nights when I sleep, the “me” that’s going there isn’t really me – it’s the “Yeshua” that interacts with the phenomenal world and serves its purpose in that way.

Also like when I sleep, “Yeshua” is there with something else. Something IMMENSE. Something unnamable. This immense unnamable is always there and often, somewhere behind his eyeballs, Yeshua senses the Presence of that immense unnamable. This indescribable Entity also is the field upon which these many secrets rest and are stored. Yeshua goes there with the secrets and hangs out with them, but only briefly.

Soon, almost as if by some trick, both Yeshua and the secrets vaporize. Well, most of Yeshua. This phenomenal junk doesn’t persist very well in the Presence. This field has somehow convinced Yeshua that the only safe place for secrets is there. Within. But it’s there, within, that all diminishes. Every – single – thing. Diminishes. Except for the field Itself, that is.

And so it is, that in this way I’ve come to realize that isolation is a myth. “No man is an island” is bullshit. Humans ARE islands. The trick is not to stop there. Go deeper. Go within. Find the Immense Unnamable which is the root of the island. With this achievement, and eventual prolongation of that achievement, comes comfort – bliss, even – in this so-called isolation.

Aum Shri Mahaganeshaya Namaha | Aum Shanti