Q. How can we make sense of the lack of peace in the world?
A. Just as we need to look for the cause of illness on a cellular level, so must we look at the ills of the world on a ‘cellular’ level. Politics and political solutions do have a place, but they are very limited because they only treat the symptoms and not the cause. We have to look deeper, to how people are living, to the basic laws of behavior, the ten commandments. Basic principles – honesty, for example – corporate scandals are caused by individual greed and lack of honesty. The resulting pain and suffering will be on an individual, national, and world level.
What can we do as devotees? Master said that one moon gives more light than all the stars.
One God-seeking soul gives more light than all the ones who are not seeking God. As Kriya yogis, our impact is far more than we realize. Environmental disturbances such as tornadoes (there had just been numerous tornadoes in the past few days in the Midwest) are due to imbalances in mass thought – the accumulated thoughts of all individuals.
Brother related an incident that happened about ten years ago. He came into the kitchen at Mount Washington and saw a young monk who was looking very ‘down and out’. Brother spent a little time talking to him, encouraging him on the path, and then eventually left the kitchen, thinking nothing of it. But years later that monk told Brother what an impact that little conversation had been upon his life. He had in fact been thinking about leaving the ashram at that time, but Brother Bhumananda’s simple act of caring, that little time given, had made all the difference to this monk and had helped him to find the strength to stick it out through that difficult time.
Daya Ma says that this difficult time in our world history will end. It is just a clearing out of all the junk. Seek God. That is your biggest contribution to the world.
Q. If we pray for help for the world, aren’t we just feeding into this delusional world?
A. While we are in the dream, it is not a dream. If you are hit over your dream head with a dream bat you will feel a dream pain that feels pretty real! But if we can make the dream a nicer dream for others, why not do so? In Master’s last days he relived his life, as if it had been a beautiful dream that he wanted to remember. Make your life and those of others a beautiful dream, and those memories will be yours forever.
Q. Should we have a particular format for talking to God?
A. Just ask your heart. The child doesn’t think, “How shall I talk to my mommy?” He just goes to her, full of love.
Q. Is surrender the same as accepting?
A. They aren’t quite the same thing. Don’t be accepting of your lower self. Spiritual truths are absorbed with soul, not just heard and interpreted by the mind.
If you really want God you can have him in this very life. But you have to get rid of bad habits. Cry to God. Tell Him, “Help me reach for the highest.” Surrender means you don’t accept the limitations. But do surrender the results of your efforts. Surrender the fruits of all your actions to God. It’s not always easy – it’s a tug of war between good and evil. To go the way of the Guru takes tremendous willpower.
It is easy when you have one star to guide your life – God. The initial enthusiasm you felt when you found the path – don’t let it fade. You have to feed it. Be ruthless.
Brother saw a Western movie one time and there was a scene of villains chasing a train. The heroes on the train were trying to outrace them in order to reach the town and warn the townspeople, but they were fast running out of coal to stoke the fire for the train. So they grabbed some axes and started chopping at the train, using the wood as fuel. By the time they reached town, there was nothing left of the train! In a sense, we are the same. We must use every bit of strength and power we have to get to our destination.
Q. How can we cultivate magnetic force?
A. There is a law of divine magnetism, of spiritual momentum. It is spoken of in the Bible:
“For he that hath, to him shall be given: and he that hath not, from him shall be taken even that which he hath.” (Mark 4:25) Keep meditating. Keep striving, and the striving becomes easier with time. But if you give up it becomes very difficult.
Keep making the effort and someday you will shatter God’s test. Harness the love of God. Don’t make it too complicated. The simple, deliberate acts are what work, little things.
Brother said he even asks Master to help him when he ties his shoes. He keeps a picture of the guru in his room and each time he enters the room he bows to the picture and inwardly says, “I love you Guruji.” Brother commented, “In my room, I don’t live alone.”
This relationship with God, with the Guru, is much closer than any other relationship, even husband and wife. Work on that personal relationship with God.
Some years ago Brother said he became very ill and for several weeks he was in much discomfort, much pain. Then one day in the washing room his pain suddenly increased twenty fold and he couldn’t take it any longer and he broke down and started crying, “Master, this is too much. You’re asking too much of me!” Instantly, he said, there was a tremendous response from God and guru, and he knew there is no suffering. Brother said he would not trade that experience for anything in the world.
2003 SRF Retreat, Brother Bhumananda, devotee notes
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