Planting Good Seeds in Fertile Soil

 The Holiday Season brings up thoughts on the teachings and practices that have most profoundly affected my life, and me during the past year.

 Anyone wishing to gain any real results from Yoga must be committed to serious and constant study of how it works.

The regular practice of asana, pranayama and meditation is impactful still after all these years,  but more important is self-study and making a true and personal connection to the past Masters of Yoga, through their teachings, their writings.

I have over the past thirty years experienced reaching into my potential power and consciousness,  but  am still beset with inner and outer difficulties and problems. 

To make the greatest breakthroughs, I must be vigilant and consistently examine my thoughts, words and actions.  That is the only way to understand why conflicts and obstacles occur and learn how to avoid them in the future.  Deep meditative states and samadhi have made shifts in consciousness, but has not eliminated all pride and hurt.

One of the most effective ways ways of avoiding mistakes in thinking and behavior is to take time to rethink the teachings and ideals of the Yoga Masters, for instance, the self-purifying yamas, the moral self-restraints, and to consciously apply them in my daily life.

To take on the yamas and to win the higher goals of Yoga we must effort in what we enjoy.  To make progress, we must delight in what we are working toward, even if the work is very difficult.  In order for Yoga to work for us, we must target the root of our problem, the blockages in the subtle channels.  To do that takes preparing the inner being by being cheerfully contented and by acting compassionately with kindness.

In addition to the regular practice of asana, pranayama, meditation and mantra, contentment and kindness properly prepares our ground-substance and plant good seeds in our mind so that the yamas, the practices of ahimsa (non-harming), satya (truthfulness), asteya (non-stealing), aparigraha (non-attachment, greedlessness) and brahmacharya (non- sensuality) will be possible.   Working diligently on self-control, refraining from hurting anyone and promoting in some way the health and well-being of others ensures success in our practice of the yamas.

 With the proper foundation, what is happening in our life will be imbued with awareness.   Without it, when we turn inward, all we hear is the voice of the ego.  Egoism will always allow us to slip up.  Awareness, on the other hand, lets us know when we even consider planting or replanting a  “bad-seed.”

Awareness brings realization of what agitates our mind and veils the truth.  But we must focus and fix our mind on being aware, not just in meditation but also in every moment.  Powerful seeds, which shape our body, mind and world, are planted in the present moment.  It is only in the present that we get a chance to transform our self and achieve equanimity.

 
Once we realize the nature of the mind (awareness), the mind and senses become purified.   When the senses are purified, our actions will naturally become good, kind and compassionate.  Reduce the sense of “me” and “mine” and “why me?” or “why not me?” and the senses become life supporting. 

 Contentment and the neutral quality of the senses protect us from mistakes and reduce the attraction of self-centered absorption and the need to feed our self on pain and misery.

Whenever I feel hurt or judgment, I consider that, everything I am experiencing in this moment is coming from seeds I have previously planted.  It is not due to someone else.  It is due to an affliction within my self.  The whole of any situation is nothing in and of itself; it is not until the seeds within my own mind make me see something in a certain way, that I feel happiness or pain. 

 By doing something positive and supportive in the moment that I feel some pain arise, I consciously and purposefully plant good seeds for a more perfect future.  Simply by understanding what I am doing as I replace a negative feeling with a thought of doing something useful for another, I transforms the very way a seed is planted.   I transform any ill will within myself into good will, sadness or pain into detachment and ease.  

 Witnessing consciousness always plants a higher vibrational seed.  What happens when focusing and fixing the mind on a line of thinking is an art in itself, as the spiritual self is allowed to participate in our day-to-day.

 We live to fulfill our wishes both great and small, but egoism and our senses have a tendency to draw us astray, taking us selfishly to whatever they, at the moment are attracted by or dredge up past hurt and pain.  We can only go about fulfilling our wishes in the right way, if we develop self-control and begin to see life as a way of also helping others fulfill their wishes.  We can choose what we want to happen.  We can very purposely plant the seeds that will make it happen, at some time later on.  But we have to plant the right seeds all the time.   And all those seeds must be kind and thoughtful and in some way involve take care of others too.  We are all interconnected and interdependent.

 Plant the right seeds and sit back and watch the fireworks.

 To plant good higher vibrational seeds always look upon the good things that you are doing with detached Awareness, even as you do it.  Karma is performed by the senses.   Karma will be bad if the mind is not established in Awareness and the senses are allowed to have their way.  Karma will be good if the mind is established in the detached Awareness of Witnessing Consciousness. 

 Good seeds means, to be aware when you act and to be ready and willing to benefit others at any moment.  Know that you are doing something good as you act, and also recall and reflect back on the times when you acted to benefit others.   Contemplate what you have done in the past that was perfectly selfless?

 To create a firm foundation, honor all life as sacred.  Aspire to be of help to someone else so that they may reach a even higher goal, than you have yourself.  Encourage others so that they in turn may encourage and support another, and so on and so on.  Wish that an infinite number of others might reach a state of perfect knowledge and kindness, even if you do not.

 Your aim is to be rid of all negative emotions forever.  Negative emotions can be eliminated through acts of kindness that include the thought of all living creatures and by always speaking the truth, and never speaking negatively about others.  Never say something in a way that would split up people, by making them angry or make judgments about one another.  Never knowingly try to alienate friends or couples.  Instead, emphasize what brings people together, what they can share with each other. Never say anything that would hurt someone’s feelings, and avoid useless talk.  It is wasteful and we so often say things we regret when we talk for talking sake.

 Never steal.  Personal contentment is a means of protection against stealing.  Explore how you can give things to others. Always respect other’s things and always give others whatever you can.   I always find all the money you really need comes to you.

Always demonstrate integrity.  Remember, a good action cannot bring a bad result.

 What plants a bad seed deeply and causes you the most future suffering, is any action in which you take some joy or satisfaction, that causes hurt or pain for another.

If, however, you feel regret when causing pain to someone, if you feel very sorry, the seeds do not take root.  Regret has redeemable energy that can uproot a bad action.  This is not guilt. Guilt is useless negative.  Regret can help you take action, which may rectify things and change the future result.

 Can we uproot the seeds of past mistakes?   It seems possible.  The rules I live by to make shifts and eliminate negative thoughts and actions are the following. 

 1) Become aware of the source of the original bad action

2) Feel remorse, regret.

3) Promise never to do it again

4) Never do it again. The most important step is not repeating the mistake!

4) Make up for your past mistake by doing its opposite… show love and respect and do not take exception to what life brings you to experience.

5) Apologize; tell someone affected by what you do that you are sorry.  An apology need not be done with the person to whom you acted badly, but it must be made to someone.

6) Make up for any action by setting aside time to quietly go over in your mind how seeds draw pictures in your mind and turn neutral objects into the very world around you.

7) Do good for others.

8) To assure purification and good karma, realize the divine self of your own being.  Fix concentration on your own divine self.

9) Have a Happy New Year!

    • Kishore Kumar
    • January 19th, 2012

    Dear Durga ji,

    I would like to thank you for sharing your knowledge and wisdom via this blog.

    I have a doubt, I would highly appreciate if you could clear my doubt.

    I ‘was’ a practitioner of ‘Yogiraj Shri Vethathiri Maharishi’ yoga and meditation. I had to discontinue going to the meditation center, due to series of unfortunates events in the family. Now, i pursue spiritual on my own, practicing yoga and meditation. Reading books on meditation and experimenting with different meditation techniques. I would like to know your thoughts on experimenting with different meditation techniques.

  1. If the meditation you have learned has worked for you, no reason to look around. Do what you have been taught daily. You don’t have to continue the in-person satsang to progress. Dig deep. Go to the Heart and Roam. Have darshan in your heart.

    If on the other hand, what you have doesn’t resonate with you, keep looking to find what does….but when you find it, stay put. Faith and devotion in the technique intensifies ripening.

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