Simplifying life and taking stock

The last two months in  the sacred energy of the Kumbhamela were  intense.    This month we are relaxing in the simplicity of life and work in warm and sunny, Florida.     I have received quite a few emails this month from people working through the monthly lessons, of  The Grace Course.   They are for the most part commenting on and or  asking questions about awareness or are concerned about their progress on the spiritual path.    Awareness and progress are entwined.    They go hand in hand.

Kriya Yoga’s vehicle and destination is “action with awareness. ”        It is important, if we are looking for our progress that we consistently and vigilantly test our awareness.

Very often we equate spiritual progress with the experience of  visions, insight and inspiration.   It can become very easy to deceive our self about how much actual progress we have made.    However,  true spirituality increases awareness and when awareness is expanded it will encompasses our shadow side.   The higher we go in the practice of Babaji’s Kriya Yoga, the lower we must also go.    Increases in awareness will bring to light all that which makes us angry, impatient, fearful, prideful, envious and  full of desire, deceit and treachery?  As we work on purifying our consciousness,  negative tendencies and behaviors or even dark thoughts and desires from the unconscious may arise.    Unless we become aware of these,  acknowledge them and the need to transform them, they will  never be eliminated.    The ego will just reinvent its persona with them intact.

An evolving spiritual person  treads lightly and is detached and tries always to be aware of  his/her thoughts, emotions or behavior.   The spiritual nature is not egoistic or self-centered, but it is ever vigilant of itself.    Two questions a spiritual seeker must continue to ask him/herself is, “how often do I still get blindsided by my thoughts, emotions or behavior?”  How often do I find fault in others, yet, neglect to see the same fault within myself.

Before we can progress to the point that Awareness or Spiritual Consciousness becomes established, we  remain involved and identified with the stream of our psychological movements.

Awareness is the presence of the Silent Witness, which observes our  thoughts and actions.  As we deepen in our practices, we begin to identify more with that Silent part of our consciousness, which stands apart and witnesses what the operating part of our consciousness is involved in doing, feeling or thinking.    In order to establish firm ground we must bring that awareness to bear on every part of our human nature.   Only awareness can oil our squeaky wheels and rusty nature.  And such awareness arises only when we adopt sacredness into our life.

All the Kriya Yoga techniques offer us the means to separate our subjective functioning into two parts, the operating part and the silent detached observer.   It is with the Silent Observer part, that we meditate.   It is opening to that Silent Observer part of our self that makes inspiration readily available to us.  It is in silent contemplation that brilliant ideas dawn or answers arise and it  is this concentrated consciousness that completes our projects.  I know  people who regularly access higher consciousness, but remain arrogant and egoistic and have no interest in their spiritual self.   I know  people who tap into high states of consciousness, but who seem to have little grasp of reality.

Only a sense of sacredness will direct awareness towards knowing the reality of your self.   Awareness will  guide you to that which your soul aspires when your target is to maintain sacredness in your life.    Only then will you see when the ego goes astray and betrays the truth of the soul with mental delusions.   If you do not continue to train and practice awareness with sacredness,  desire and mental confusion can keep you floating on the surface level of your consciousness and undermine your spiritual work and the nature and quality of your life.

The Siddhas tell us that when we are awake to the world we are not awake to who we are, which is Awareness itself.  “Being awake to the world,” means being unaware of the movements of our thoughts through consciousness.   Being awake to the world implies that we are simply swayed this way and that by fleeting thoughts, imagination, fleeting emotions and fleeting desires and that we accept both the pleasure and pain they bring.

Being awake to our self is to grow in spiritual consciousness.   Such consciousness means awareness of who we truly are.   To unveil who we truly are requires an understanding of the sacred and demands consistent self study and living in truth.    To live in truth we must maintain continual awareness of the activities and actions of the body, mind, and emotions.   To make that stick, we must transfer the center and the source of our dynamism from the ego to the soul.    Awareness can be maintained only if the Silent Witness is placed in the foreground, to guide all our thoughts and actions.  And to do  that we must see our self as a sacred being, living a sacred existence without egoistic desire,  selfishness or arrogance.

Maintaining a Sacred Awareness

Maintaining a sacred inner awareness regulates the breath, calms mind and emotions and creates a concentrated consciousness.   Keeping some part of our awareness internalized allows us to easily concentrate our normally dispersed consciousness.    Inner awareness is maintained similar to the way the women in India carry full pots of water on the crown of their head.  They may walk to and fro, move up and down, and talk about this and that, but a part of their consciousness is always fixed on the pot on their head.  With that same concentration, we as kriya yogis must go through our daily routine, always with a part of the mind fixed on the Silent Witnessing part of our being.   We may fix the mind in awareness through the use of mantra, or by keeping some attention in the space at the heart, or between the breaths, or at the space between the brows or at the crown of the head.   With our mind fixed on the Divine,  our actions become sacred.

Hopefully as Kriya yogis we experience the sacredness of life and  choose to maintain that vision in our own life.  Sacredness brings juice to our Yoga.   Sacredness takes us beyond ego and self-will and desire.   A sense of the sacred creates the steadfastness and firm ground we need to discipline the senses, and thus control the desires and aversions, which arise through them.    Sacredness secures for us, a place where there is no need for passion, or fear, anger, jealousy or treachery.   There is only room for love and compassion.   In such a sacred state there is the opportunity for true progress.  By fortifying our life and our relationships with sacredness we create a beautiful everyday existence for ourselves and others.   We become liberated, free to be honest and free to trust.   Nothing to hide, we are free to be ourselves.  Courageous and unselfish we discover that giving to others brings us joy.   We understand that respect is as indispensable as love in a sacred relationship with our self and with others.   We are faithful and committed to our life as it presents itself to us.    We come to accept what we have gratefully, and with gratitude.   Life becomes simpler, less complex and less of a burden.

The Silent Witness sees clearly.   Awareness is discerning and discriminating and helps us to disentangle from the things that cause us to suffer mental and emotional confusion.   And although awareness cannot promise us a life strewn with rose petals, it will help us to appreciate the fragrance of whatever life brings to us.

Due to increasing Awareness, we no longer waffle in and out of relationships: wanting to be there, not wanting to be there.   Awareness like Love perseveres.  It is steady and wide and self existent.  Awareness like Love is dispassionate, neither hot nor cold.   It is a cool flame, pure, fixed, and constant.  Awareness replaces passion with Love.   Love ignites compassion.   As we advance as yogis we become happier, more content with where we are.  Nourishing our own inner self with our sadhana we want to nourish all those sharing our life with us.

Awareness opens us to understanding karma and that we truly reap what we sow.   Awareness brings a new sense of morality, duty or dharma to our life.   As awareness rises within us, a new guiding light of “dharma”will begin to take shape.   The dharma that arises out of awareness guides us so that we see and respond truthfully to each and every situation.    Whatever we do, will be good, not only for us, but for others in our life.   For “goodness” too arises out of awareness.

The awareness arising from a sacred practice of sadhana  should bring simplicity to our life.   Awareness is the light that lets us see the truth in every situation.   It makes us  incapable of doing anything that is  not dharmic or wrong.    Awareness   immediately reveals all that we do that  is false and hurtful to our self or to others.   It shows us  each error, failure or obstacle so we can correct it.   Awareness offers us a opportunity to learn from our life situations but it will not force us to see the truth or learn the lesson.   I have however, found that whenever I do not learn the lesson presented, a new and more difficult experience will come back around to give me another chance.

We  have free will and we remain free to choose even while we are sincerely doing our practices.    We tend to respond and react to life from where we are at the moment, or from that with which we are at the moment, identified.   But when we are false in anyway, awareness exposes us and life gets complicated.   And when we are living in truth and are expressing the essence of our being, life becomes simpler.   Awareness shows us that our greatest possession is to be witness to everything.

We can still be growing spiritually even though we are still making mistakes and missteps.  However, we must be in harmony with our life if we are to learn from it.  To be in harmony with our life and learn from our mistakes, we must be vigilant and aware and acknowledge each and every mistake we make, without trying to justify them.   Only if we are in harmony with our life as it is, will we ever be able to realize its purpose and learn to live a dharmic and divine life.

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