Weekly Meditation #121

The Truth and the Word

The truth within me is unassailable, and the power of the word is irresistible. I can even now feel that my word has gone forth with power and reality, and that it will accomplish that purpose for which it was created. Limitless is its power and wonderful are its works. It can be nothing less than the Almighty working in and through me. I will let this word of the spirit go forth from my mouth, and heal and bless the world. It is as a strong tower to all who call upon it. The truth is complete and perfect, and is within me now. My word is complete and perfect, now.

-Ernest Holmes

*****

May God bless and protect you and…

May you always be

Healthy, Happy

Safe and Comfortable

Seth Kelly Curtis

Nightly Spiritual Quote #165 Biocentrism

“As Emerson wrote in “Experience,” an essay that confronted the facile positivism of his age: “We have learned that we do not see directly, but mediately, and that we have no means of correcting these colored and distorting lenses which we are, or of computing the amount of their errors. Perhaps these subject-lenses have a creative power; perhaps there are no objects.” George Berkeley, for whom the campus and town were named, came to a similar conclusion: “The only things we perceive,” he would say, “are our perceptions.”
― Robert Lanza

*****

Peace and Love

Seth Kelly Curtis

Buddha’s Quotes #73

“Believe nothing merely because you have been told it. Do not believe what your teacher tells you merely out of respect for the teacher. But whatsoever, after due examination and analysis, you find to be kind, conducive to the good, the benefit, the welfare of all beings that the doctrine believes and clings to, then take it as your guide.”

*****

May God bless and protect you and…

May you always be

Healthy, Happy

Safe and Comfortable

Seth Kelly Curtis

The Wisdom of Robert Adams #11

Ponder this very well. Your sadhana, your spiritual practice does not begin when you’ve gone to many teachers, and you’ve read many books. It actually begins when you give up everything. That’s when real sadhana begins, when you have surrendered everything, when you’ve emptied yourself of all knowledge, all desires for liberation. When you have become an empty shell, then your spiritual life begins. Until that time you’re only playing games with yourself.

*****

May God bless and protect you and…

May you always be

Healthy, Happy

Safe and Comfortable

Seth Kelly Curtis

Nightly Spiritual Quote #163 Osho

Here, start living moment to moment totally and intensely, joyfully and playfully — and you will see that nothing goes out of control; that your intelligence becomes sharper; that you become younger; that your love becomes deeper. And when you go out into the world, wherever you go, spread life, playfulness, joy, as far away as possible — to every nook and corner of the earth.

-Osho

*****

Peace and Love

Seth Kelly Curtis

Spiritual Essays #72

Looking Beyond the Surface of Life

by Jayaram V

Summary: Ten ways to improve the quality of your thinking, feelings, perceptions and understanding to bring deeper spiritual awareness into your daily life.


We live in a difficult world. Technology was supposed to bridge the communication gap and bring people together, but it did the opposite. People are now more isolated than ever, as they spend more time with their mobile phones and gadgets rather than with people. Knowledge is now freely available, but it has not only created information overload but also made people highly selective and susceptible to subtle propaganda.

Life is not simple anymore, as people have to cope with the pressures of urban life and growing economic instability. Living in this complex environment, how can people gain control over their lives and find peace within themselves or in the world around them? How can they look beyond the surface of things and discern truths about themselves and their lives? One of the best ways to do it is cultivate spiritual attitude.

Cultivating Deeper Spiritual Awareness

Spirituality does not necessarily mean that you have to believe in God or in soul. The Buddhists do not believe in both. Yet, the Buddhist monks are no less spiritual than any other spiritual people in the world. To be spiritual, you have to live with the deeper awareness of things, looking beyond the illusions, appearances and surface impressions, restraining your habitual desires and impulsive behavior. Here are a few simple suggestions to cultivate deeper spiritual awareness.

1. Pay attention to what is going on

As life becomes busier, we stop paying attention to many things. Become mindful of the things around you. By paying attention, you establish a deeper connection with the world and people. You will have a better awareness of things, people and their feelings and expressions.

2. Think through your opinions and decisions

In the rush of life, and pushed by circumstances, deadlines and reminders, people rush to judgments and do whatever that comes to their minds. If you want to make better decisions, check your surface impressions, underlying assumptions and irrational thinking.

3. Feel the feelings

Feelings and emotions are an important source of information about human behavior. By paying attention to your feelings and those of others, you can know many things about you and your relationships. Therefore, become sensitive to your feelings and those of others and learn to discern them.

4. Stay with the moment

By being in the present, you ground yourself in the reality of the moment. You do not have to pay attention to everything. However, try to keep your eyes and mind wide open whenever possible and savor the moment. By that, you will relax more, think better and make better decisions.

5. Make silence your secret sanctuary

We are surrounded by lot of noise and many distractions. They disturb our minds and cause a lot of stress. You can create your own inner sanctuary deep inside you by practicing silence. By that, you can calm your nerves and energize yourself.

6. Cultivate cheerful attitude no matter what.

Life can be depressing at times. Yet, you can choose to be content. You do not have to be cheerful or happy only when right circumstances are present. You can do it even in difficult times with will power, making peace with yourself and what you cannot change.

7. Let life be not all about you

While you are largely responsible for your life and actions, you cannot ignore the role others play in your life. They are a part of your collective karma, who give you an opportunity to engage in good actions and cultivate helpfulness, selflessness, loving and caring nature, compassion, generosity and truthfulness.

8. Transcend your limited self

It is important to look beyond the mundane and the obvious to cultivate insight and wisdom into the nature of things. Challenge your beliefs, habitual thoughts, prejudices and preconceive notions. Consider other opinions and viewpoints. Read books about a wide range of subjects. Stretch your mind.

9. Cultivate discernment

Discretion helps you in decision making by letting you distinguish the right from the wrong, and thereby keeps you safe from self-destructive actions and habits. Amidst the uncertainties of life, it is your guide, philosopher, protector and teacher. You can cultivate discernment with right knowledge, right thinking, right perceptions and right views to discern things and make right choices.

10. Feel gratitude for all things in your life

While you make life happen, life also happens to you. You owe a great deal to the world, since help comes to you from others in many visible and invisible ways. Your very birth and early life, when you were young and helpless, were made possible by others. Therefore, express gratitude for all your blessings and all the good things that happened to you.

*****

May God bless and protect you and…

May you always be

Healthy, Happy

Safe and Comfortable

Seth Kelly Curtis

Spiritual Teachings #42 Hinduism

Spiritual Teaching from the Hindu Tradition

“The search after Truth is the one thing by which the shape of human life should be determined. Genuine desire itself opens the road to fulfilment.”    

Sri Anandamayi Ma

From “Practical Sadhana, from the Teaching of Sri Ramana Maharshi” by Swami Sadasivananda Giri

The Spiritual Enemy Within – Pramada

In the beginning of the Bhagavad Gita a description of the battlefield and the warriors thereon reveal that the Kaurava’s legions number eleven, while the Pandavas only amount to seven.

     Sri Krishna further declares in the Gita that the odds of victory for right discernment and effort by Arjuna (symbolizing each one of us), even with such a one as Sri Krishna Himself as mentor and guide, were against Arjuna by a ratio of eleven to seven. The foot soldiers of the ego simply outnumber our virtuous tendencies.

     As we are against bad odds and are creatures of bad habit, our ego can impel us, even against our own will, to make bad choices. In all honesty, such bad choices cause us critical damage, resulting in lives of sorrow and misery. All our suffering comes from vainly seeking to appease the ego, an enemy whose appetite is insatiable.

     We cannot maneuver and progress towards victory over an enemy that outnumbers us, in such an inimical battlefield called the human mind, without soliciting real help. Without an experienced guide as the General of our forces, we may even court a fatal consequence.

     For those who have sought and found the real help of Bhagavan Ramana as their experienced guide, they hear his first and foremost rule of engagement as a familiar declaration: “Practice makes perfect.” We are also told that this process is not a quick fix, which instantly heralds liberation. Once the Maharshi was asked by a devotee:

     Devotee: “How long is the practice to continue?”

     The Maharshi replied: “Till success is achieved and until yoga- liberation becomes permanent. Success begets success. If one distraction is conquered the next is conquered and so on, until all are finally conquered. The process is like reducing an enemy’s fort by slaying its manpower – one by one, as each issues out.” 1

     By legitimizing and even deifying our ego’s habitual heedless indifferent distraction to God, and by labeling its urges as the ‘inner guru’ or ‘voice of our spirit’, we inevitably fall into the death grip of pramada, literally defined as the root cause of all pains and problems afflicting human beings.

     In the Udyoga Parva of the Mahabharata epic, the blind King Dhritarashtra, who symbolizes the blindness of the ego, cynically asks the Sage Sanat Sujata: “What is death?” The Sage replies, “Pramada is death!”

     “Pramadam vai mrtyumaham bravimi”  

     (I call negligence itself death.) 2

     “Because fall by negligence is fall from one’s real nature, then forgetfulness arises, this ensues the sense of the “I” in the Anatman, the cause of all miseries. Sankara adds that forgetfulness confounds even a learned man through defects of intellect for Maya covers a man who is out-ward-bent even if he has annulled the Panchakoshas. Furthermore, if the mind, outward bent, strays away even in the least from its ideal, it will fall continuously; the one who has fallen comes to ruin then there is no going up. For a man of discrimination and in deep concentration on Brahman, there is no other death than Pramada or inadvertence.” 3

The actual conversations within the Mahabharata leave no doubt on this truth:

         Vaisampayana said: The wise and great-spirited King Dhritarastra

     Acknowledged the words that Vidura’d spoken,

     And wished to gain the highest insight

     He questioned in secret Sanat Sujata.

     Dhritarastra said: Sanat Sujata, I hear that you teach

     That indeed there is no death at all,

     Yet Gods and Asuras studied the Brahman

     To achieve non-death – so what is the truth?

     Sanat Sujata said: Some hold non-death comes about by the rite,

     While some maintain that there is no death.

     Now listen to me, king, while I explain,

     So that you may cherish no doubts about it.

     O King, both these truths are primordial!

     The death that the seers believe in is folly.

     I say to you distraction is death.

     It should be understood that the definitions of Sanskrit words are subject to philosophical intention, and thus are prey to individual bias. Therefore disagreement and even argument concerning proper meaning and usage are commonplace. Nevertheless, the most learned scholars agree that the ancient definition of the word pramada comes from its usage in this scripture. “Mada” means intoxication, when prefixed by “pra” it becomes intense intoxication to the degree of madness.

The ancient Saintly King Bartruhari, who became an enlightened Sage, used the word pramada in the correct spiritual sense indicated by the Sage Sunat Sujata. He proclaimed:

“Peetva mohamayeem pramada madiram unmatta bhootam jagat”

     “This world (its inhabitants therein) has become mad after having drunk the wine of negligence (pramada: laxity towards the spiritual goal), which being of the form of moha (delusion), has overwhelming power to delude you.”

     The Sage Sanat Sujata is indicating that the presence of pramada brings about a spiritual death. For the spiritual madness that at first manifests as a fever of willful and angry indifference to the consequences of inattention to and negligence of God, is rendered deadly when it becomes habitual. This madness and anger literally destroys our faculty of discrimination, which before our “disease of pramada” was our guiding light on the path to Godliness.

     Sri Krishna clearly states this truth in Chapter 2:63 in the Bhagavad Gita:

     “From anger comes delusion; from delusion the loss of memory; from loss of memory the destruction of discrimination; from the destruction of discrimination he perishes.”

     This is not to be defined as forgetfulness of the Self, unless one admits to a willful and belligerent forgetfulness. It is clearly distraction, willfully averting our attention from the consequences of bad habits.

     Realization of the Self, as declared by Sri Ramana Maharshi to be the sole goal of life, comes when we overcome and conquer the obstacles that stand before us as enemies in the guise of seemingly insignificant habits. Therefore Bhagavan declares in no uncertain terms:

     “The obstacles that hinder realization are habits of the mind (vasanas), and the aids to realization are the teachings of the scriptures and of realized souls.” 4

     The secondary meaning of pramada is procrastination and a distracted laziness, it means not taking any immediate action to rectify this most soul-stripping heedlessness.

     One may say: “God’s grace is always there, so somehow I will get back on my spiritual feet.” But the fatality of staying “dead level” without motivation to rise up comes upon us as pramada gives birth to its only-begotten son. This offspring of pramada is known in Sanskrit as duragraha. Duragraha means the adamant determination to do that which you know you should never do.

     The compound spiritual fracture of being indifferent to God and habitually partaking in negative action with utter disregard for the negative consequences creates a karmic bloodletting fatal even to the strongest constitution. 

     Regardless of whatever label we choose to call this effort of removing bad habits, whether it be deemed purification, removal of defilement, awakening, being in oneness or even becoming still, it should be known that Bhagavan said it is “effort that instills purity” and stressed that without it the goal of vichara (enquiry) will not be reached.

     In direct reference to this Sri Muruganar, one of the foremost direct disciples of Sri Ramana Maharshi, heard the following profound statement from Bhagavan and recorded it that our doubts might be cleared:

     “Know that the wondrous jnana vichara is only for those who have attained purity of mind by softening and melting within. Without this softening and melting away of the mind, brought about by thinking of the feet of the Lord, the attachment to the “I” that adheres to the body will not cease to be.” 5

     Can this “thinking of the feet of the Lord”, prescribed by Bhagavan, be anything other than exactly what it says? Therefore, should we not get busy here and now to “fight the good fight” for spiritual attainment?

     Let us leave our battle cry to the General of our forces:

     Devotee: “Are we to keep anything against a rainy day; or to live a      precarious life for spiritual attainments?”

     Maharshi: “God looks after everything.

*****

May God bless and protect you and…

May you always be

Healthy, Happy

Safe and Comfortable

Seth Kelly Curtis