The Un-Mutant

Image taken from Google Image search

Image taken from Google Image search

 

I’ve been having more sittings than usual here lately… all in preparation for meeting Daaji at the end of this month. These sittings, while technically nothing special, have certainly felt different.

At the end of a recent sitting, the prefect who gave the sitting asked me how the sitting was – not in a specific tell-me-your-experience kinda way, but far more generally. I have been journaling some of these details, but thought – after talking to him about the experiences – to log them here, too…. well, partly. Kinda. I actually feel like remaining fairly guarded about this kinda stuff, but I think what I have planned to share here is fine, soo…What I’m actually telling here are the details of a dream I had. Mind you, that by itself is a rare occurence. I practically NEVER dream, or at least I never remember them. But this dream came after these special-but-not-special sittings began.

Reader, have you seen any of the X-Men movies? The most recent one, dealing with the mutant Apocalypse, hasn’t been out very long but the others are a bit older. One of the earlier ones has a scene that mirrors something from the dream I intend to share.

In a scene from one of the movies (I think it was Last Stand, 2006?) there is a clinical setting and in a certain room there’s a young male child. The whole setting is absolutely sterile – everything white, I think – even the boy’s clothing. If I recall correctly, he was even completely hairless. So sterile feeling, the entire scene. The mutant known as Beast (I think) approaches the boy and reaches out to touch the boy. As he reaches out and his hand nears the boy, the blue of Beasts skin and fur – even the fur itself – disappears. His entire mutant-ness, or at least the appearance of it, literally dissolves into nothing as he comes nearer to the boy, whose own mutant power is making that happen. As Beast pulls away from the boy, the fur and the blue return.

In my dream, something similar happened. I was at a conference in a setting like the one I’m expecting in New Jersey at the end of this month. There was a sequence of rather mundane events which was nothing unusual for what one would expect at any kind of conference, really. But then came time for me to meet Daaji in person for the first time and then to have a sitting with him directly.

As I entered the room where he was waiting to give the sitting I suddenly became aware of a fog surrounding me. And I mean it surrounded only my body, quite closely. If you’re familiar with the concept of an aura, it was just like that only cloudy and gray in color. This cloudy aura didn’t extend beyond my physical body more than probably 8 inches and it wasn’t suffocating or tough to “wear” or anything.

Then I entered the room and felt a gentle pressure on my body. It kind of felt like a type of full-body envelope or something. Daaji was on the other side of the room and so I began walking toward him. Much to my surprise, and much like Beast approaching the “pure” boy in the movie, the closer I got to Daaji the more I felt a kind of subtle wind which was gently blowing away the cloudy aura I carried.

As I came my nearest to him and started to seat myself, this subtle wind felt more intense or more focused or something. It wasn’t tough to withstand or anything and not uncomfortable. It really only affected the aura.

Without anything more than a slight “namaste” gesture, I seated myself before him in my usual meditation asana, closed my eyes, and steadily sank into deep meditation only vaguely aware of how very little of the gray aura still clung to me, all else burned off like a lake’s morning mist in the dawning sun.

Aum Shri Mahaganeshaya Namaha | Aum Shanti

Advertisements

Billdings Deestroied

PERKINS 1

 

 

PERKINS 2

 

 

The two pics above are of pretty much the same thing – the demolition site of what once was a Perkins restaurant. I’m writing about this because it’s the first place my husband and I exchanged I-Love-Yous. In fact, not far at all from this location is the place we met for our first date. (Marsh parking lot – we went to the far west side of Indy to a Mexican restuarant for dinner that night.) I couldn’t tell you how many times we ate at this Perkins, but it wasn’t often. We would go there only occasionally with friends or something… the last time I was there, I went alone and had quite an interaction with a homeless man. Regardless of how much or how little we went to that place to eat, it would always stand out in my mind because of that one dinner we shared.

We were both so young – in our early 20s! Both of us were skinnier and both of us had far longer hair and we were both far more naive and emotional, and unexpectedly in love. I think neither of us expected to feel toward the other the way we did. But we went with it. I recall meeting him in the parking lot that night – the weather was warm so it had to have at least been autumn but was probably early summer. It was late enough that the sky had already darkened – which for Indiana spring / summer / autumn means after 8:30pm. We parked next to each other and when he got out of his car he held a small stuffed animal and a rose as presents for me. I couldn’t have cared less about the stuffed animal, but flowers have been / are / always will be my favorite gift to receive. I remember thinking it was so sweet of him… I had no idea that these gifts were a sign of how our dinner would go.

We were seated, and I think we had ordered, and were sitting talking to each other while holding hands across the table – something we’re not likely to do now (you tend to outgrow that kind of juvenile stuff as you age together. It’s still nice and fun but feels less necessary once you know the other isn’t at risk to run away). Holding my hands across the table, he was suddenly quite nervous. He was so timid and kinda quiet and said, “I love you.”

And I froze.

And then he cried. Before I knew it, I had upset him. Without making a huge scene, he cried openly right there and made it clear, “I said it because thought you would say it, too!” Seeing pain in others has always been jarring to me and made for a quick call to attention. I snapped out of my frozen state and returned with, “I love you, too” and then tried to explain why my response was tardy. Things were smoothed out, the night moved on and so did our lives together.

As long as I live, all dementia and Alzheimer’s aside, I’ll always remember that night and that Perkins location. My ex and I were together for 7 years and he was my first (and only other) real relationship and I couldn’t tell you the how or when of our first I-Love-You. But I’ll never forget that evening with Wayne. It’s quite an impression I carry.

Heartfulness / Sahaj Marg is a meditation practice which is supplemented by a “cleaning” practice. Our cleaning and meditation do much for removing impressions that are sticking around long after they should. To be clear, removing burdensome impressions doesn’t mean forgetting. Events in our lives (inclusive of the words and sounds and sights and feelings, etc… that make up those events) are never necessarily good or bad, but we categorize them as good or bad based on our temperament and outlook and other influences like culture and language and religion. Because of those influences, and the resultant categories we create in our minds, we carry impressions. And so, dinner with my husband isn’t just that – even though it really is JUST that. Because of the aforementioned influence, I assign a category and lots of associated importance or … whatever … to something that simply and naturally just is. The real tragedy here is that letting something be as it is is far more beautiful than any significance our minds and concoct.

So we make mountains out of molehills and, as you can understand, mountains are far tougher to carry – thus our store of samskaric impressions. To further illustrate this, there’s a story about a woman and two Buddhist monks. The two monks were traveling by foot when they came to a stream or river where a woman was fretting about crossing. She wasn’t able to cross the water … for some reason I now forget – maybe because she didn’t want her clothes to get wet or something. So one of the monks picked her up and carried her over the water, to the other side. The two monks then continued their journey. Some miles down the road, the second monk couldn’t keep it in anymore and verbally lashed out at the first monk – scolding him for his nerve to touch a woman, let alone carry her, and yelled at him for compromising his monkhood at the risk of lust, breaking vows, etc… To all of this, the first monk (who had carried the woman) responded simply with,”Brother, are you still carrying that woman? I put her down miles ago!”

I don’t need that Perkins location to remain standing for my husband’s love to be real or valid, or nor the same for my love of him. But, quite ridiculously, there’s a part of me that feels offended at the demolition. That’s an impression that needs to go and, thankfully,  through my Heartfulness practice of meditation and cleaning I’ll eventually be successful in releasing that impression. After all, any love that is stuck to a landmark from 12 years ago is a dead love, and no love I care for.

Aum Shri Mahaganeshaya Namaha | Aum Shanti

9pm Sitting

A couple days ago, I went to the home of local prefects for our mid-week meditation group / satsangh. The group was small – myself, the two who own the home we were meeting in, a recently-married couple who met through satsangh (I think) and who gifted me a lovely composite photo of all four of the Heartfulness gurus (my first and currently only picture of the newest guru in our parampara / sampradaya), and another woman.

As usual, the meditation was quite nice and exactly what I needed. In fact, it was more than I hoped for. I went so very deep that the gentle call at the end of the meditation, which is usual for us, “That’s all” struck me as a thunderous kind of boom and brought quite a jolt. Sometimes you fall asleep in meditation. Sometimes you simply go so deep that you’re awareness seems to stop labeling or identifying anything and you are only that Observer – which can’t quite name what is being observed. And sometimes you remain aware of your thoughts and can see them coming and going and you can almost literally feel the process of thought formation and movement – but as something that is distinct from you, the Observer. I had, at that time, experienced the separation of Me from my thoughts and basked in that for a short while before sinking even deeper and coming closer to dhyanam. As total peace was really beginning to encompass me I heard, “That’s all” and while I’d not lost total awareness of body consciousness, I was far enough gone that the gentle call to end the meditation almost knocked me out of my chair.

Once the meditation group had dispersed, I stuck around for a brief chat with a prefect who has been helping to coordinate efforts with the local Hindu temple (www.htci.org) and also the downtown Indianapolis campus of IUPUI. I’m happy to be helping to create flyers that can be distributed and posted in those places which will help others learn of Heartfulness meditation. This kind of seva is overdue for me and is something I’ve sought for a while.

Normally, the night would wrap up after the evening meditation but there was not only the meeting but also our current guru, Kamlesh-ji or Kamlesh-bhai was set to give a global sitting at 21:00 local time here, and which I think was to be around 08:00 locally for India. The sitting here concluded after roughly 45 minutes and was really something else. It struck me that the sittings of the Masters have their own flavors. When the evening sitting was over, I mentioned briefly that the difference between Kamlesh-ji and Chari-ji (the guru before him) is like the difference between a Tootsie Pop and a Blow Pop. Both are from the same source. Both have roughly the same shape, which is somewhat unique. Both carry an inner sweetness which is different and yet very much the same. That sweetness is, of course, the Divine Current experienced in our meditation.

Aum Shri Mahaganeshaya Namaha | Aum Shanti

Bad Words

Image taken from Google Image search

Image taken from Google Image search

 

A short time ago, a friend and I were talking about bad language. Swear words. I use them often. There’s a “study” that makes rounds on Facebook every once in a while that apparently legitimately indicates that people who swear regularly are statistically more honest. One of my favorite things about my maternal grandmother is her swearing ability. Truly, par excellence. She can fit 6 swear words into a 4-word sentence without violating any rules of grammar. Swear words are descriptive in practically artistic ways. I speak English and much German and I’ve encountered swear words in French and Gaelic and I’ve noticed that calling someone a certain swear word in one language doesn’t necessarily translate to the same in another language. I could provide you examples, but I won’t.

Why won’t I? Because it’s likely – even very likely – that you are already programmed to think swear words are really and truly bad words. So many people have believed this that you could say there’s an alternate vocab list that can be used instead and which let’s the user off the profanity hook. For instance, if I say darn or shoot then you probably wouldn’t flinch. You know exactly what I’m meaning to say, but for some stupid reason there’s a difference in your head between shoot and shit, darn and damn. Trust me, there isn’t really.

But we typically think there is, because of impressions we carry. Those impressions can go quite deep – so deep we’re no longer aware of how they influence us. It’s said that the road to Hell is paved with good intentions. Pulling a gun’s trigger is pulling a gun’s trigger. If you’re intending to hit a “bad guy” but instead hit and kill an innocent bystander – does that change anything about you firing the gun? Nope. You intended to hit a person and so you fired a gun. Sorry about your bad aim and that innocent’s unfortunate karma, but nothing changes in that situation just because you intended a different target.

When I was a teenager I had a friend – a sweet Christian girl named Stephanie who only a month or so ago died of cancer. She always wore glitter eye shadow. Always. If anyone was ever the human equivalent of a Care Bear, Stephanie was. (That’s not a jab at her). She was kind and sweet and nearly always smiling. And when she stubbed her toe or someone made her mad she would say, “PINEAPPLE!” – and she said it with gusto! For any situation where I might say shit or damn or drop the f-bomb, Stephanie would use the word, pineapple. Similarly, I’ve heard people say things like, “Bananas!” or “Fudge!” When I was growing up and yet living at home, my brothers and I weren’t allowed to say “freakin'” because, as my mom once made very VERY clear to me, “That’s about as close to FUCK as you can get!”

You see? There’s no difference. If I say fudge and I mean fudge, then I’m saying fudge. Simple. Equally as simple, and yet somehow twisted among the impressions we carry regarding this, if I say fudge and I mean fuck – I’m still truly just saying fuck. You can argue that there’s a difference and that saying fudge when you mean to employ the f-bomb is somehow better, but the truth is that sugar-coated poop is still poop.

The programming or impressions that most of us carry regarding this are something that should be managed in a healthy and effective manner. Sometimes, when I’m engaged in my Heartfulness meditation practice, things like this surface and knock my socks off. Sometimes you don’t realize how frankly ridiculous you’ve been until you enable yourself to step aside briefly and see from a different angle, as the Observer. Without this, it’s like walking across a dirty floor time after time and always having dirty feet as a result. We come to recognize dirty feet as a norm, but shouldn’t. It’s good – and necessary – to stir that dirt up and get it off the floor so that our feet can become, and stay, clean.

In our meditation practice there’s a cleaning that happens. A lightening of these sorts of burdens. In fact, this is a significant part of an individual’s process of self-evolution and integration. It’s healthy. In order for us to move forward and become a better Christian or Muslim or Hindu or Atheist or Manager or Cashier or Mom or Dad or Prostitute we need to take a look at these things that are weighing us down unnecessarily and discard them as the lunacy they are.

Another bit of dirt clinging to the bottom of your foot and which you might want to look at is the reaction you had when I mentioned becoming a better prostitute. Thanks for reading.

Aum Shri Mahaganeshaya Namaha | Aum Shanti

Pipe Distribution

Image taken from Google Image search

Image taken from Google Image search

 

I receive a number of emails daily from the Sahaj Marg. There are newsletters, and daily inspiration emails, as well as a number of other kind of emails that are issued daily.

In one email from last week, something caught my attention. It is a Daily Reflection email and while the quotes recently have been a lot of things from Kamlesh-bhai, this one was something our last master, Shri Parthasarathi Rajagopalachari ( Chariji ), had said. I’ll share his words below. (The source is Heartspeak 2004, Volume 2, Chapter “Giving Without Restraint”)

So it starts with your heart being a tiny pipe. The more you distribute, that pipe becomes bigger and bigger. It becomes a six inch pipe, a twelve inch pipe, until the whole universe is a pipe.

The thing that caught me about this is the use of the word distribute. I chewed on it for a minute by myself and then reached out to one of my favorite preceptors locally. She started to email me a response and then we agreed to chat about it after that evening’s meditation (it was Wednesday). That night, after meditation and after most of the others had gone, she and I chatted about this. I now can’t do our discussion justice – we discussed, among many things, what I have come to call a “vishwaroopa moment.” The immensely successful Oprah has what I think she calls “Aha moments,” and I think this is my mind’s equivalent of it.

For anyone unfamiliar with the Bhagavad Gita, it’s a conversation between Arjuna (a warrior and taxi driver) and Krishna (god, in a human body). Arjuna is pretty messed up and right there in the middle of the battlefield Krishna tries to enlighten the despondent Arjuna. He offers one approach and then another, example after example, and Arjuna just ain’t gettin’ it. Finally, Krishna’s like, “Look here, you fool….” and reveals his “true” form. Arjuna is given a vision of Truth and how very all-encompassing It is. He sees, literally, everything. All life forms, cosmic structure and activity, stars, teeth, eyes …. all before him – EVERYTHING. And, as expected, he freaks out and want Krishna to turn off the fireworks because they’re more than overwhelming. These moments (Oprah’s “Aha” and my “Vishwaroopa”) aren’t exactly synonymous. But for the purposes of this blog and this post, they are. They both represent a widening of knowledge and wisdom and understanding and experience. My conversation with the preceptor touched on a vishwaroopa moment, kinda.

She explained many things to me and collectively they added up to a very complete answer to my question – an answer so complete, in fact, that sooooo much was encompassed in it that when I tried to comprehend it as a single unit my mind’s eye kinda just stepped back all wide and whatnot and was like, “WHOA.” I’ll try to share, in a rather abbreviated way, what I took from our conversation that night.

  1. A part of the Sahaj Marg / Heartfulness practice is the rearranging of one’s consciousness.
  2. The movement involved in rearranging consciousness creates a kind of “vacuum.”
  3. In the aforementioned vacuum, there lies potential for greater and greater transmission, increasing in proportion to the growth of the aforementioned vacuum.
  4. The more we clean and practice this path of Heartfulness, the bigger (progressively) our “heart pipe” becomes.

This might not sound too fantastic from where you sit, but from where I currently sit on this path it’s incredible. It’s a Vishwaroopa Moment. Our lineage masters place so much hope in the abhyasis. Enormous faith is placed in us that we can be as effectual as they are – and so much of the picture has been revealed. You practice, rearrange your own consciousness (and in that process manage various impressions / samskaras and their related karmas), create the vacuum which is refilled with divinity of pureness, and as all this happens it continues and self-perpetuates – the pipe widens and eventually engulfs all and All. And so we come to know, experience, and be what Hindus call Brahman.

It’s amazing how much can be communicated by a master / guru in so few words.

Aum Shri Mahaganeshaya Namaha | Aum Shanti

Sams-karma-s

Image taken from Google Image search

Image taken from Google Image search

 

So… the title of this post is a real botch job, don’t hate me. I was combining the word karma into the word samskara. The terms are very different and yet intimately related. Karma, in its most dummied down translation, is “action” and samskara, in like form, means impression – a subtle impression that is carried with us. Have you ever reacted in a certain way and almost felt you had no choice? That was probably the influence of some kind of impression / samskara. Obviously, something like that would influence your actions (reactions) and so you can see the two are a closely knitted pair.

The Heartfulness path (aka Sahaj Marg) deals heavily with both of these concepts, although quite extensively with samskaras. The “magic” of this path and our practice is that the samskaras are “scrubbed” away through the diligent employment of our practice.

Recently, through a couple Daily Reflections delivered into my inbox, I received a nice lesson. Everyone thinks about karma and samskara in regard to thing you have done or might do. But our guru, Kamlesh D. Patel, helps us understand that there’s another side of the coin: Inaction. I guess this might mean those could’as, would’as, and should’as. The things you didn’t do or say that you should have or really needed to (not for your benefit but for the benefit of others). Many times when people speak of regret they speak of something they wish they’d said or done or somewhere they’d gone. Sometimes this feeling of regret really sticks to a person – like a subtle impression. And obviously, the application of all this is not limited to regret. After all, we’re talking about very subtle components of life. Many people wander through life practically oblivious to really blatant and mundane things, so it’s no wonder at all to consider that these impressions formed from inaction wouldn’t necessarily be on one’s radar.

In the second edition of Designing Destiny (2015), Shri Kamlesh-bhai said of inaction, “It is not only our actions that promote samskaras. Our inactions can create lethal samskaras that are worse than those created by our actions.” In the same chapter of that book, he also states, “Samskaras created by inactions, deliberate inactions, amount to the heaviest of the samskaras in our system. They can be removed, no doubt, but then a commitment of very high order is required. Your cooperation at every level is required.”

I think these quotes communicate some very serious and helpful information. Kamlesh-bhai uses the word lethal. That’s a heavy word. Means deadly, right? Without further research I won’t guess at what Kamlesh-bhai fully meant in the usage of that word, but from where I sit I see a connection to the usage of that word within the context of samskaras. For as long as we carry these impressions / samskaras, we’ll be saddled with karma. And as long as either applies to our existence, our existence will be tied directly to the wheel of samsara – which is the cycle of death and rebirth. Because death is not the opposite of life, but rather the opposite of birth, Kamlesh-bhai’s use of “lethal” seems to point directly to that connection between death and rebirth.

There are a number of things to take from our guru-ji’s words but this one implication – inaction being lethal – is really enough to give everyone pause and serious consideration to why you sometimes don’t do the things you don’t do.

Aum Shri Mahaganeshaya Namaha | Aum Shanti

For Humanity

Image taken from the Heartfulness website

Image taken from the Heartfulness website

 

Image taken from Heartfulness website

Image taken from Heartfulness website

 

Image taken from Heartfulness website

Image taken from Heartfulness website

 

Click Here: Meditate for Humanity

 

Aum Shri Mahaganeshaya Namaha | Aum Shanti