Saturday, October 31, 2009

Offer the appropriate teaching

The true teaching is the kind of teaching that conforms to two things: First, it is consistent with the Buddhist insight. And secondly, it is appropriate for the person who is receiving it. It's like medicine. It has to be true medicine, and it must fit the person who is receiving it.

Sometimes you can give someone a very expensive treatment, but they still die. That is why when the Buddha meets someone and offers the teaching he has to know that person in order to be able to offer the appropriate teaching. Even if the teaching is very valuable, if you don't make it appropriate to the person, it is not Buddhist teaching.

-Thich Nhat Hanh

Weigh up all your petty annoyances against all the riches life has to offer you

Difficulties and inconveniences come at us from all sides, but even so, there are more good than bad things in life. That's why, when you are forever expressing your dissatisfaction, you are admitting to being incapable of seeing reality as it is. At least make the effort to see both sides of life.

Those who see only the positive side and are always satisfied and optimistic are not being realistic. But if you keep getting furious because such and such a person has said or done something that doesn't please you, or because you have had to pay more for something than you expected, or even because the meal is overcooked or too salty or not salty enough, eventually you'll look stupid or ridiculous. You are reacting to minor hiccups as though they were tragedies.

So learn to weigh up all your petty annoyances against all the riches life has to offer you. When you realize you've been forgetting how many beautiful and positive things there are in the world and unsettling your family's life and the life of those around you for no good reason, you will be ashamed.

-Omraam Mikhael Aivanhov

Changing our individual daily food choices to reflect a consciousness of mercy

Changing our individual daily food choices to reflect a consciousness of mercy will transform our lives and move our culture in a positive direction far more than any other change we can contemplate. Following right behind this change in our individual food choices is the necessity of practicing mindfulness and nonviolence in all our relations in order to bring our mind and heart into alignment with the truth of our interconnectedness, and to allow us to enter the present moment more deeply and experience directly the mystery, joy, and beauty of being.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Every thought leaves an impression on the mind

Every thought leaves an impression on the mind, so be ever alert that contact with evil is avoided.

Ideas which are opposed to spiritual tendencies, that narrow the limits of love, that provoke anger or greed, or that cause disgust, have to be shut out. For the aspirant, this is the most essential discipline. One must sublimate such thoughts before they cause an impact on the mind, and should concentrate on the very source of the thinking process. This can be achieved by the practice of equanimity, unaffectedness or balance.

The path of devotion and dedication is the easiest for most. It is attainable by love, for love leads you quickly to the Goal.

-Sai Baba
Divine Discourse, Nov 14, 1976

Abusing the Earth

The earth is alive; it breathes, it eats, and like every creature that eats it also needs to eliminate, its eliminations sometimes manifesting as what are called volcanic eruptions.

And since the earth is alive, it doesn't remain insensitive to the activities of the humans living on its surface as they endlessly transform and exploit it for their comfort. They turn it upside down, rummage around in it, dig it up or flatten it, without once asking themselves whether they are disrupting an order that they don't understand. The earth receives all this in the form of itches, stings and wounds, and then from time to time it gives a flick to rid itself of these disturbances.

Humans must become aware that they live on the skin of the earth that supports them. It puts up with their actions for a few minutes - or a few thousand years, by its own timescale - but in the end it gets angry. Then they are terrified and they suffer, but will they be willing to learn the lesson?

-Omraam Mikhael Aivanhov

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

A quiet mind is all you need

A quiet mind is all you need. All else will happen rightly, once your mind is quiet. As the sun on rising makes the world active, so does self-awareness affect changes in the mind. In the light of calm and steady self-awareness, inner energies wake up and work miracles without any effort on your part.

-Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj

Sunday, October 18, 2009

"Shopping mentality"

The most important thing is not to get trapped in what I see everywhere in the West, a "shopping mentality" : shopping around from master to master, teaching to teaching, without any continuity or real, sustained dedication to any one discipline. Nearly all the great spiritual masters of all traditions agree that the essential thing is to master one way, one path to the truth, by following one tradition with all your heart and mind to the end of the spiritual journey, while remaining open and respectful towards the insights of all others.

The modern faddish idea that we can always keep all our options open and so never need commit ourselves to anything is one of the greatest and most dangerous delusions of our culture, and one of the ego's most effective ways of sabotaging our spiritual search.

Few people are capable of wholehearted commitment, and that is why so few people experience a real transformation through their spiritual practice. It is a matter of giving up our own viewpoints, of letting go of opinions and preconceived ideas, and instead following the Buddha's guidelines. Although this sounds simple, in practice most people find it extremely difficult. Their ingrained viewpoints, based on deductions derived from cultural and social norms, are in the way.

We must also remember that heart and mind need to work together. If we understand something rationally but don't love it, there is no completeness for us, no fulfillment. If we love something but don't understand it, the same applies. If we have a relationship with another person, and we love the person but don't understand him or her, the relationship is incomplete; if we understand that person but don't love him or her, it is equally unfulfilled. How much more so on our spiritual path. We have to understand the meaning of the teaching and also love it. In the beginning our understanding will only be partial, so our love has to be even greater.

"Three qualities enable people to understand the teachings: objectivity, which means an open mind; intelligence, which is the critical faculty to discern the real meaning by checking the teachings of Buddha; and interest and commitment, which means enthusiasm.

-Sogyal Rinpoche

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

When our soul is asleep to God

The more awake one is to the material world,
the more one is asleep to spirit.
When our soul is asleep to God,
other wakefulness closes the door of Divine grace.

- Rumi

Right rhythm in walking

Examine the way you walk so you can improve it if necessary. Try to walk with suppleness and lightness, with your head up. It's a very bad habit to walk stooped, as it is to hit your heel hard against the ground with each step: people who walk like this don't realize they are doing violence to their brain, for each jolt has repercussions inside on their entire nervous system, and after a few years they will think and act in a coarse and violent manner.

If you are tired after half an hour or an hour's walking, this also means you do not know how to walk. Walking gives you energy if you know how to adopt the right rhythm, and even if you were tired at the outset you will gradually feel your strength return. There is a rhythm for walking which isn't tiring, and everyone should try to acquire it. When you feel forces beginning to circulate within you as you walk, it means you have found the right rhythm.

-Omraam Mikhael Aivanhov

Monday, October 12, 2009

The simpler you are, the lesser you have to worry about

Be simple, in the way you live.
Dress simple, let it be clean and neat.
Eat simple, let it be sathwic.
Pray simple, let it be full of devotion.
Work simple, let it be full of service.
Speak simple, let it be sweet and soft.
Spend time simple, let it be devoid of showiness.
Love all, simple, let it be pure and selfless.
Call Me, simple,
Let it be from deeper than your heart.
The simpler you are,
The lesser you have to worry about.
The fewer the desires you have to kill,
The lesser the mind strays.
You unburden yourselves of all your luggage.
Possess less of worldly things,
Things that especially attach you to the body.
Learn to give all,
And take nothing less than My grace.

From : 'Sai Darshan' - Part III
(Divine Messages received and recorded by Mrs Seema M Dewan)

If you rely on being appreciated

Behind their respectable, moral, even spiritual, facades, how many people nurture appalling thoughts, feelings and desires and behave like animals! Why put on this act, when they are accountable to celestial entities every day? If you gain the good opinion of these entities, everything in and around you will be wonderful, whereas if you are content to gain the good opinion of others by playacting you will be left with the same weaknesses and the same mediocrity. You will be subject to the whims of the crowd, who, on one day, can shout, 'Hosanna to the Son of David. Blessed is the one who comes in the name of the Lord!' and, a few days later, 'Let him be crucified!' as they did with Jesus.

Yes, we've seen this so often throughout history! Someone is glorified, and a short while later they're assassinated. Human nature is fickle and unfaithful, and if you rely on being appreciated you'll bring burning coals down on your head. Learn to rely only on the appreciation of heaven.

-Omraam Mikhael Aivanhov

Go not to the temple...

Go not to the temple to put flowers upon the feet of God,
First fill your own house with the Fragrance of Love...
Go not to the temple to light candles before the altar of God,
First remove the darkness of sin from your heart...
Go not to the temple to bow down your head in prayer,
First learn to bow in humility before your fellowmen...
Go not to the temple to pray on bended knees,
First bend down to lift someone who is down-trodden...
Go not to the temple to ask for forgiveness for your sins,
First forgive from your heart those who have sinned against you...


Friday, October 09, 2009

Improve the place you never go out of

All those materialists who have never done anything to make their inner world habitable think only of amusing themselves in the outer world. As soon as they find themselves in their own company they're bored; it's inner poverty. Spiritualists, on the other hand, know how to make their inner world so orderly and beautiful it lacks nothing: poetry, colours, music. everything that's beautiful is there, and they suffer when they are forced to 'go out' and leave this beauty behind.

So now, think about it. How much time do you spend with others? A few minutes, a few hours. And how much time do you spend with yourself? All the time, day and night. Well, don't you think it's much more important to improve the place you never go out of? Why do you allow your inner space to get so run down, like a hovel, or like an attic where the windows are broken, where spiders are walking across the ceiling and the mice are having a great time.

-Omraam Mikhael Aivanhov

Total surrender

The right attitude of the devotee should be one of total surrender. As one devotee declared, "I am offering to you the heart which you gave me. I have nothing I can call my very own. All are yours. I offer to you what is already yours."

As long as this spirit of total surrender is not developed, man will have to be born again and again. One should offer one's heart to the Divine and not be content with making offerings like flowers and fruits.

-Sai Baba

Tuesday, October 06, 2009

Women and peace

... The fifth responsibility of the woman is to protect peace and harmony. If anybody has the right to do this, it is the right of woman. I remember in the Middle East there was a disagreement between two clans and both sides were preparing for bloodshed. Seeing the accumulated danger, the women of both sides met and decided to warn their men against such an action. Before it was too late, all the women of both parties were mobilized in such a way that they stopped any action toward bloodshed.
I heard the women saying to their husbands and sons and brothers, "If you go to war, that is the end of you. Our children's lives are more important than that for which you are fighting." I remember a very influential man saying, "Why to fight if we will lose our mothers' and our wives' love?"
See the power that the woman has.

Right human relations in the world --- why? Because if there are not right human relations in the world, if there is no peace in the world, the children that you raise will be ground under the wheels of the tanks or evaporated in the flames of the bombs. Your child whom you are raising is so beautiful, and everyday you are hugging and kissing him and looking to his future. That child goes with a machine gun and kills another child, and then they kill him, and a big tank comes and grinds and mixes their bones and flesh with their earth. Is that why you are having a child? Why are you not standing for the children then? Politicians have many, many ways to convince you to let your child go to war... but the women of Earth must not let the children go if they think that it is not advantageous for the culture and civilization of the world. Put this in your mind and think about it: any two boys fighting against each other prove their bankruptcy of logic and intelligence; when they initiate violence, they prove they are not human beings, but beasts. It is far less expensive to reach the women of the world and awaken them to protect peace and right human relations than to waste billions and billions of dollars, as well as the resources of Earth, to promote wars.

Woman is going to teach from the beginning, "My son, don't beat him. Understand him. Find ways and means to release the beauty in him; do not beat and kill him." If our children are raised in this way, they will not turn out to be the commanders and politicians who inspire us to fight.

I went to a Mother's Day party, and a man there gave a toast and said, "Our women are so beautiful, they cook for us; they give us all the sensations we need, and we must give them flowers." And the party ended like that. That is not the way to celebrate Mother's Day. The way to celebrate Mother's Day is to remind women, as well as men, that women have very deep and precious responsibilities. It will not be a worthy celebration if the women are not reminded of the greatest treasures they have within themselves and the greatest power they can exercise for the betterment of life.

If you have a physically, emotionally, mentally, and spiritually healthy woman, that woman instinctively does not stand for any separate nation. She loves her nation, but all other nations as well, and often thinks, "Woman must establish peace and right human relations for she stands for life." It is generally woman who thinks universally and cosmically.

It is so interesting that the first group in service for Christ was established by the Mother Mary. This is not emphasized in our New Testament because the orientation was masculine at that time. In that day and age they were in a glamor that man was everything and woman must be suppressed. Mother Mary called all of the disciples and followers of Christ around here at the time of Pentecost, and she said, "Let us establish the first group of service and inspiration to the Great Lord." And the Holy Spirit came, like tongues of flames, and the Ministry of Light was begun.


The mothers must also protect the great cultural and historic monuments in all countries and in all nations from vandalism. All those objects that radiate the labor of ages, the labor of heart and genius, must be protected for the spiritual enjoyment and education of future generations.

-Torkom Saraydarian
Woman, Torch of the Future

Friday, October 02, 2009

This journey does not have any halts

Life is a long pilgrimage along the rough and torturous road of this world. But, with the Name of God on his lips, the pilgrim will know no thirst; with the Form of God in his heart, he will feel no exhaustion. The company of the holy will inspire him to travel in hope and faith. The assurance that God is ever near will lend strength to his limbs.

Remember that with every step, you are nearing God; and God too, takes ten steps towards you when you take one step towards Him.

This journey does not have any halts; it is one continuous journey, through tears and smiles, through birth and death. When the road ends, and the Goal is attained, the pilgrim finds that he has travelled only from himself to himself, that the God he sought was all the while in him, around him, with him, and beside him! He himself was always Divine.

-Sai Baba

Difficulties and obstacles represent a useful resistance

How is it that we're able to move around easily on the earth? It's because the earth is hard and resistant. Try moving forward on quicksand, and you'll be swallowed up. And how is it that boats are able to move over water? Because water, too, is resistant, not as resistant as the earth, of course, but all the same it's thanks to the resistance of the liquid medium that boats go from one point to another. And it's also thanks to the resistance of air that planes are able to rise and fly in the sky.

So, you see, whether on the earth, on water or in the air, movement and the possibility of going forward are due to a certain form of resistance. And it's the same in the psychic domain. So, the day you understand that difficulties and obstacles represent a useful resistance, not only will you no longer complain, but you'll see in them only magnificent opportunities to advance. You will say, 'But I can refuse to go forward!' Yes, you can, but then you will be crushed, trampled underfoot. Because the law of life is to advance.

-Omraam Mikhael Aivanhov