Now the subject today is…What do you do with your life? Both those who are young, and those of us in mid-life crisis are asking that question.
“Our story starts with feeling lost“
Brother said when he was in college he studied both business and art – he was just drifting – he couldn’t make up his mind what he wanted to do with his life. Then in his junior year he fell apart. He didn’t believe in God, but he was looking for meaning in life. He took his junior year off. He was in much inner turmoil, and he was looking for answers. He studied philosophy. He studied the saints. Then he read Science of Religion and that’s when he began to connect the dots. In it Master had written, “Everyone is seeking happiness. True happiness is not dependent on outside conditions. True happiness is Bliss, and Bliss is God.” Brother said when he read those three words, “Bliss is God”, something plugged in like a current, and he began praying a constant prayer from deep inside, asking God to prove it – to prove that He exists. The prayer continued for two months, and then one day……He proved it. He showed Brother what Bliss is all about – gave him a spiritual epiphany.
Then Brother found the ashram. When he received his letter of acceptance into the ashram, he took the letter with him up to a bluff overlooking the ocean (that was 25 years ago), and he just sat there and cried. Brother said, “I was so thankful – so thankful to God for having a place for crazy people like me.” And then he added, “I am a very happy monk.”
Brother said, “This is a common theme of us all – our story starts with feeling lost.”
“Get to know yourself”
Get to know yourself… Start with prayer and ask God to help you to know about yourself. Who you are now is totally okay. Ask, “What are my qualities, what are my gifts, what are my problems?” But don’t dwell too much on your problems. Discover your gifts…
Pray, “God, show me my qualities and gifts.” Examine the heart of your aspirations, your thoughts and ideas. This is quality introspection. Ask Master to help you. Ask, “Who am I? Who am I right now?” Asking will help to guide us to what we want to become. Make a list of your qualities. What comes naturally, easily, well? Ask your friends. Ask your parents to help you with the answers. Be objective about it. Discover your gifts. “To thine own self be true.” You can’t be honest with yourself until you know yourself.
“Choose something you love to do. Find a way to use it to serve others. And then, offer it to God.”
Choose something you love to do. Something noble, honorable, true, the right thing – this is very much akin to “dharma” (righteousness). You will lose track of time when you do what you love. You will become absorbed in it – you may even forget to eat. From previous lives we have brought with us some things that are a natural part of our being, and if we discover them and use them in this life, we will attract success. Pray to God, and be very specific. The more specific, the more the power is focused, and that is when the answers will come from God. When you do what you love, you are pushing the buttons of cosmic law. There is a great power in that energy of enthusiasm, and when you get in this groove, you will feel the power. Others will be attracted to you. When people do something just for the money, that’s not good enough – it won’t work. Do something you love to do, and then…..
Find a way to use it to serve others. And then, offer it to God. Can you imagine anything better? It all has to start with yoga – to become a channel of God. Don’t think you can’t become a channel. Involve God in the process. The guidance will come – new opportunities will mysteriously come to you. Master said, “All powers of the angels will stand with you.” Your role may be big or it may be small. Do what your soul wants.
“Connect your dreams with positive action”
But we all have an evil twin inside. It says, “It’s all a dream. Nothing really matters in this world. What’s the purpose? Why should I do anything?” If you listen to that evil twin, you will start feeling empty, depressed, and if you let it continue, you will start getting weak. You may find your spiritual life is not going well. What’s lacking? Positive action. It is very important to use positive action – it’s very easy for the evil twin to take charge. You must connect your dreams and aspirations with positive action. Even truth can become a negative affirmation without positive action. It is more important to do something, rather than wait around for something to happen…
During World War II the economy went through some very hard times. People were losing their shirts, some were even committing suicide. And what was our guru doing at that time? Building a World Brotherhood Community, the Gandhi Peace Memorial, temples in San Diego, Hollywood, Encinitas. Master was on the move! Master was making tracts, building, acquiring property – even though things looked bad. So don’t wait to begin. Charge yourselves with the attitude Master had, “In the midst of trials, danger and I were born together and I am more dangerous than danger.”
“Things will start to happen when you are a partner with God”
Brother told a story: At Mother Center it came time to replace the old tennis court. The whole area was dug up and a new court was put in. Brother was put in charge of landscaping the surrounding area, but he had no idea what to do. So he went to Master in prayer.
The next day in the newspaper he happened to read an article about a famous landscaper, and a little voice said, “Call him.” He thought about calling, but didn’t act on it. Later that same day, as he was looking at a picture of Master that little voice came again, “Call him! Call him now!” So Brother picked up the phone and called, and by some good fortune the landscaper answered the phone himself. Brother invited him to come to Mother Center for a consultation – the landscaper was pleased to come. He viewed the grounds with Brother, and was quite impressed, remarking over and over, “Precious, precious, Oh how precious! Look how people here care about landscaping.” He said he would love to do the landscaping on the grounds.
Then he told Brother his fee – it was very large, much more than was possible. Brother explained that they were a non-profit organization and could not afford it. But then an idea came to Brother. He asked the man if he would be willing to do the design work and let Brother do the labor. The man thought it over for a minute and then he said, “That’s a great idea…” The fee for the design work was to be $50 per hour, but the man never sent a bill!
Brother thought it would be nice to have a water fountain (where the sundial is now). But the landscaper said, “No, I think it needs a sundial,” and he added, “not a new one – you might find an old one, maybe in a basement somewhere.” Brother was still thinking of a fountain, but the landscaper kept insisting it should be a sundial.
Then one day Brother was standing before a window with Daya Mata – they were surveying the tennis court area and Brother was explaining the landscape plan. Brother mentioned the fountain – wondering how Ma would react, hopeful that she would like of the idea, but she made no comment. Then he mentioned the landscaper’s idea for a sundial, and Ma grabbed his arm and said, “Did you say sundial? We have a sundial in the basement!” (Laughter from the audience)
The point is, you may start out feeling lost, but start anyway. A little guidance will start to come. Keep on. It takes vision and guts. Keep on, and you will start to see doors open – things will start to happen when you are a partner with God.
excerpts from Teen/Young Adult Class, 2003, devotee notes
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