Happiness requires neutral attitude for everything – temperature, cloudy weather, sun. Be casual, neutral, like little children about the weather.
Americans are finicky about food. Eat one tablespoon of foods you don’t like. Mix it in.
Nothing in life is perfect.
“St Francis used to sprinkle charcoal over his food” (told to Luther McKinney by Brother Bhaktananda while Steve was sitting with Luther at a Christmas Eve Lay Disciple Banquet in India Hall…Luther and I both had our plates piled high with food and Luther made a joke about this to Bhaktananda, and he said this in response. Steve just thought of this and added it in).
We accept suggestions of others especially negative suggestions like “this food tastes terrible.”
Toothaches disappear at night. Why?
Arguments: “fools argue, wise men discuss” We should not think ill of others if they think differently. They have a right to their opinions.
Failures are not failures from God’s point of view. He wants to see how we will conduct ourselves in each situation.
Even-mindedness = poise under pressure.
Use a card in the pocket or on the desk all day long as a reminder. It is required to break loose of faults.
“Fixed in calm of lofty contemplation”
Master had a saying: “Be even-minded and cheerful”
We all affirm thoughts “I am sick” or “I am a failure”
Single words: use at the breakfast table. Little papers – small bowl.
· I am calm
· Everything is alright, Lord
· Immaculate cleanliness
We especially need to do this when we are sick or in need.
The best way to overcome any problem is 3-fold: since we are three-fold beings.
Physical, mental, spiritual.
When we affirm feel: “I am the center of the universe. My thoughts go everywhere.”
SRF WAY OF LIFE About 1980
Wake up – ablutions, clean body inside and out
Energize and meditate (5 parts) …stillness should be as long as prayer, chanting, techniques, etc.
Activities – practice the presence of God: dressing, showering, breakfast. Start off the day with a special effort to practice the presence – it builds a spiritual foundation for the rest of the day.
Work – for God.
Leisure – Read Master’s books, read and review the SRF Lessons. Immerse yourself, become one with the Lessons. Other books, Song of Bernadette, etc.
Hobby – learn to play the harmonium. Arts and crafts. The hobby should not be too material. It should be done with lightheartedness and joy.
Entertainment – now and then for good balance. Walt Disney type movies only. Practice the presence during all leisure moments.
Meditate longer in the evenings.
Sleep: Gradually cut down – 15 minutes per month – on your sleep until you are at 6 hours a night. 8 hours is too much –a drug, Master said.
Simplicity – The nearer we get to God, the more simple our activities become, not our thoughts. Simplify desires. Shop to see all the things we can do without.
Efficiency – Without this life becomes filled with unimportant activities. We must discriminate between important and unimportant activities. Cut corners in housekeeping and domestic duties. Einstein stopped opening his mail to simplify his life.
Work – with efficiency, concentration, willingness.
Service – Helping those in need – discriminate between those who would be spoiled by it. This helps the world.
Meera Mata: Master at sometime in the life of a devotee will push him right to the brink, to require full surrender. To see if you hang on. Be your brother’s keeper, because we really ARE. Help and serve others.
Master originally recommended a 6-hour meditation once a week; he had to change his recommendation when he saw that people were not doing it. So he said to have a 3-hour meditation once a week. When we are used to 3 hours, we should jump to 6 hours. The monks do this every Sunday from 2 to 8 pm.