Deepening Meditation and Overcoming Negativity in the News ~ Bro. Satyananda

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Deepening Meditation and Unconditional Love for God

Q. When our meditation is not deep and the mind is restless, what is the right attitude to have?

A. Daya Ma said that if you are meditating regularly but not experiencing increasing concentration and depth in your meditations, look to your activities and to your state of mind in your daily life.  Your state of mind during this time can compromise the effects of your meditations.  Things like restlessness or engaging in negative thinking can almost cancel out the efforts you are making in meditation.  Look at your actions, your motives, your self-control or lack of it.  That’s where many people say, “Oh, this is too much for me,” and they leave the path.  Master asks a lot of us.  Practice calmness in your daily life.

Watch your emotional reactions so that you can control them before they control you.   Watch how certain people press your buttons.  Watch yourself to see how you react, and by paying close attention to this you can gain control over it.  Ask yourself, “What aspects of my daily life are a challenge for me?”  You will then be able to identify them, and then you can ask the Guru to help you: “Show me how to gain control over this.”  There may be any number of situations or people who destroy our peace, but if we make this quantum step then it won’t bother you anymore.

Q. What can I do to deepen my meditations?

A. After the techniques of pranayama that Master gave, take whatever peace and calmness you have gathered in meditation and sit quietly in that calmness, or the vibrations you may feel, or the peace, and concentrate on that.  Say, “Lord, this is you.”  Acknowledge this – “This is you!”  If you can acknowledge it, even in some small degree with reverence, it begins to grow. 

Many people are thinking or expecting some kind of big show from God, but Master says no – God is very shy.  You must find Him in small ways by concentrating on that feeling of peace or calmness or soothing vibrations that come from within.  That’s how to help the Lord to reveal Himself to you.

Q. How to express unconditional love in seeking God – how to enjoy our meditations with unselfish love and without seeking after the fruits of our efforts, but love God only for Himself?

A. When we meditate with expectations of what we will receive, we are placing
limitations on God.  Some expect Him to come in a certain way or at a certain time.  Or they read about a certain ecstasy a saint had and then they want that.  But by doing this we limit God. Yes, we must have an enthusiasm, a yearning for God – and it is good to affirm the cosmic truth that we are His own. 

Of course we all want results – it’s not wrong to want results.  The point is not to have expectation of how it will happen, because it may totally different from our preconceived notions or ideas of what it will be.  Affirm the truth that …that I am with You, Lord, and You are with me.  Master calls it zeal.  Master calls it yearning.  It is this zeal, this yearning which brings the greatest results.

Say you have two children. One child comes to you only when it wants something from you.  The other comes to you often because he just wants to be with you.  You appreciate that child more, don’t you?  It works the same way in our attitude toward God.

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 The Cosmic Truth is Greater Than the News

Q. I feel that I should stay up to date on the news and what is happening in the world, but I tend to become depressed and pessimistic when I see what is happening and then I start over-generalizing about society.

A. When we look at what’s going on in the world we see that the trend is toward
adharma – unrighteousness. There is a lot of deception in the world – in politics, in business, in leadership, in society.  But this trend does not mean we are spiraling downward.  We are in an ascending Yuga …… it’s just that the progress is slow.

(Laughter)

We have to make an effort to look for the good things that are happening.  Bad news is what sells.  The monastics have the same challenges too.  We are not forgetful or non-caring of what is going on in the world.  We are concerned for the world and like to be informed.  But it’s not good to get depressed about it.  It’s important to pray for the world.  There are two things we should do:

1. Embrace the Cosmic Truth, which is greater than the news.  Through the news we get information, but sometimes misinformation too.  We cannot get Truth from media. Acknowledge this, and then you can start to feed yourself Truth from the Guru.  Ask – what is the Truth about this magnificent universe and the cycles of unfolding of soul evolution?  It’s exciting and beautiful.  There’s a lot of good news if we can see it with a cosmic perspective.

Then we can look at the world in the right way. The drama in the news is always changing, and so often today’s story changes tomorrow.  So often we don’t see the full picture until much later.  Go to the Guru’s teachings often, because the mind forgets when that big tidal wave of news and information inundates us. We need to constantly re-program ourselves to the greater cosmic understanding.

2. Be a wise consumer.  If you eat garbage, you get sick. It’s the same thing with information.  Master calls it “intellectual indigestion.”  You really do feel sick – it may take the form of depression or pessimism.  We have to find a means to balance what we learn from the media with Truth.  Say inwardly, “I’ve got to get some distance between me and this news.” 

Read the beautiful essays Master wrote – there are so many of them.  Absorb the thoughts of the Guru, and this will help us to readjust our views to a cosmic perspective, and then you will feel the burden begin to lift.

Look for good news. It’s there!  I know, because I look for it.  Look for sources you can trust. … Find sources that take the larger perspective and present the news in a fair and balanced perspective – because so often we are arriving at our decisions after being misinformed…  Look for the goodness, and then supplement with prayer.

I read at a…website recently that we have almost eliminated polio from the planet. Did this make the news?  Did you know this?

(“No”, from the audience)

These kinds of things are going on all the time, but you don’t necessarily hear about it in the news… But you can find it if you look.

So absorb the teachings of the big cosmic picture your Guru has given you, and then you will be able to hear the bad news and keep a  balanced picture.  There is lots of good going on, and hearing about these things will help us to be spiritual – to function in a spiritual way in this complex society. 

It is by concentrating NOT on the problem that we can help the most.  In other words, don’t be part of the problem; be part of the solution.  Master said that the meditation vibrations we create have the power to help restore peace in this chaotic world.

 ~*~

Before I came into the ashram I went through this – I did not want to accept the world at face value. I decided that it was not a reality I wanted to embrace, and so I embraced my Guru’s reality.  It was then that wonderful results came.  Great comfort.  Great comfort. And it is proving itself over and over again to be true.  The truths he has brought have never been false.  It is up to us to accept the highest truth we can grasp and make it our own – because “my Guru says so.” 

It feels so right to say, “I believe in the goodness of God. I believe in His unconditional love. I believe in the final attainment of Bliss.  I know whatever happens is for a greater good.”  We can make this our own personal scripture, but we have to choose it and make it our own in order to prove that it’s real.  This is what the scriptures are talking about.

So draw on the Guru’s teachings and say, “This is what I want.  This is what I believe. What’s out there in the world – it’s not who I am; it’s not a world I want to live in.”  When you do that, you find you will fall in love with God.  You find you will fall in love with your own soul.  Then life in this mundane, troublesome life begins to become a holy life – and when we identify with this, then we grow stronger.  That is when you feel the Guru smiling inside, and saying, “You got it. You got it.”

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Brother Satyananda

Satsanga – 10/11/06, Boston Meditation Group – Waltham Mass., from devotee notes, excerpts