Sunday, May 14, 2017

A Bridge to the Heart - By Marie Teresa McDaid

A Bridge to the Heart
Marie Teresa McDaid

A bridge provides connection and passage from one point to another, and spans over obstacles that are difficult to pass. In my hometown, we have a beautiful Peace Bridge that spans from the east to the west bank. The purpose of this bridge was to connect and improve relations between two communities of different religious backgrounds after many years of conflict. When it was completed, some people found it difficult to face the reality of change around amnesty. They found it hard to adapt to a new way of being after unchanged thinking for generations. However, as more people took a leap of faith and crossed the bridge, they gave hope and confidence for others to follow, which brought movement towards change, unity and peace.

“What is being worked out in one sphere is repeated in millions of spheres.
What you see with the planets, the same will it be with this earth, with men, and with all.”
– Swami Vivekananda, The Yoga Sutras of Patanjali

Sometimes it takes years of living with discontentment before we find something that can help us move forward and live a more balanced existence. In the fast pace of life today, we have become more absorbed in the material world; distracted in many ways, we hope these things will bring us ultimate happiness. The mind dominates our lives and gradually we drift and lose connection with our inner heart, where our Beloved resides. Our thoughts, words and actions become detrimental to ourselves and everything around us, their effects lingering and accumulating around the subtle heart, polluting its beauty. The weight of these burdens eventually overwhelms the system as we struggle from day to day with inner torments. After years of wandering around these empty places, we become weary travelers who sit at the door of our heart seeking refuge within. As we peer into the inner caverns, we plead for help. To get over this impasse, we may need to take a leap of faith, with the support and guidance of something we trust.

Babuji, Complete Works vol. 5, p. 163.

I was at this stage that I found that ‘something’, which was Heartfulness. Heartfulness helps me bridge the gap from the door of my heart to its inviting inner chambers, where the Beloved awaits to welcome me home. It walks with and sometimes carries me safely across the bridge, unconditionally accepting and loving me as one of His creation. The practice cleanses and purifies those aspects of me I have become entangled in, gently releasing the knots of inner struggle and fine tuning my system like a musical instrument. It helps me transform the obstacles I have created, as well as the other aspects of my existence. I feel my entire system is synchronizing with the wider world and universe beyond the fa├žade of the material one.

Most beautifully, it has reconnected me to those forgotten places within my heart that teach me something new every day. As the transmission of pure, unconditional love nourishes our hearts, a natural state of love starts to manifest within and without. We build and extend our bridge towards the inner heart using our will and the practice; bound by love, together we work towards the goal of our inner transformation and to reach the shores of our divine home. This is a daily work in progress that requires interest and regularity, for the rewards are great. There are many more crossings to make before we get to the destination. As we are all moving toward the same place, may we build and share bridges of love from heart to heart amongst ourselves and in our communities, worldwide.

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Sunday, February 5, 2017

The Sun and the Sunflower


The Sun and the Sunflower
by Victor Kannan
Trainer, Sahaj Marg Meditation

The other day Daaji made a significant statement. It was about the general care for the welfare of humanity vs catering to individual needs.  As individual needs are specifically based on one’s skills, desires and past circumstances, the solutions are quite complex to be offered from an external source, though that source is one’s teacher, guide or mentor.  Also, while wanting to cater to the personal situation of a student, the teacher’s first and foremost duty is to the serve the entire student body as a single unit.
Though I had understood this a long time ago, it got me thinking. There is a simple principle at work here, which is the impartiality of nature, whether it is the operation of mechanical laws, physical laws, or the law of nature itself operating inexorably. Any exceptions are still within the realm of the possibilities, and any aberration that is caused by these exceptions are still within nature’s law of adjustment and the re-establishment of equilibrium.
We can say God is a principle. It helps those who can help themselves. Like any other principle, if we learn how it operates, we will know how to harness it. This idea of harnessing includes awareness, acceptance, aspiring, adjusting and ascending, on a constant basis. This is the foundation of real knowledge. This knowledge includes how to behave; hence, the finer aspect of compassion and the set of emotional intelligences are part of this knowledgeable living. 
So, if everything in life operates per the natural law, what are the dynamics of existence? This question is answered by Babuji when he says, “Be simple and in tune with Nature.”  Being simple seems to be a requirement to be in tune with Nature. So, the real dynamics of human life are the same as for the rest of the life forms. When we humans live a natural, plain and simple life, we begin to automatically orient ourselves towards the purpose which we are born to achieve, whatever it may be. 
In this connection I am reminded of sunflowers. The sunflower is said to track the movement of the sun. It is always supposed to be facing the sun. As the individual sunflowers orient themselves towards the sun, the sun, in a general way, sends out energy uniformly to all. Then each individual sunflower is responsible for taking what it needs.
In this sense, a Guide or teacher of global capacity acts like a sun, and an ideal student acts like a sunflower. 
This does not mean to track the Master daily and to know his whereabouts. It means to meditate, read, introspect and let the knowledge reveal itself as the states of knowledge become synonymous with our states of being!  Students are helped individually to the extent that they are tuned in and focused on the Real.