The ways of grace

In what has been a tough year, the shower of grace has been both unexpected and welcome. The body has been battered and yet there has been enough grace to see that even in the lowest moments, there has been the support of some remarkable individuals I am privileged to know. What I thought was gone, returned with the fresh promise of newness; what is painful struck like a tornado, but is taking away lifetimes of debris in its wake.

Isn’t it grace that gifts you a live master who is ever so patient and compassionate. There is nothing that GD has not taught me, because at the core of it the most important lessons are the simplest ones. And yet he devotes the time and energy to keep re-explaining and reminding me of the same things. He patiently guides me back again and again to remembering the our true nature, even as I whine about people, health and God.

And then there is my Sai, our Sai Baba. Kind, compassionate and patient. He has been guiding me since childhood, watching over me, protecting me all the time. Even as I have walked past him without a glance on my good days, even as I chose to sob in front of his picture while I was in pain. And yet he smiles, frowns, scolds and laughs as I fumble on and feel overwhelmed with my new-found connection with him. He has everything to give, I am trying my hardest to make sure I receive.

So what is grace? Is it the ability to have miracles in your life? No. It is the blessing to stay courageous and believe, no matter what. GD reminded me even a couple of days ago, life is hard and it foolish to hope otherwise. Grace, I have learnt, is to allow what is happening to happen, resist nothing and know you are taken care of. And in that trust, peace arrives. Grace is not a guarantee for everlasting joy, happiness and prosperity. Grace is a movement to understanding that nothing matters but the presence of God in your heart. Grace is life allowing you to pray for others, asking for God to take care of your loved ones and watch him do it. Grace is being open to the lessons that arrive when you need them and recognizing them when they come. Grace is staying humble in the knowledge that you are not special, but you are special to God ( a valuable reminder to me from Baba).

My wish is for everyone to recognize this grace when it arrives in your life. Being open to the little moments of tranquility and stillness that are present between the chaos. I once that we could also lose Grace. Now, I believe that the only thing we lose is our ability to witness it. Because Grace is ever present, every ready to shower you with its gifts. The question is are you ready to receive it. If yes, be aware of its presence.

Be true each moment- Sai Baba

I have been urged since a little while now to share what Sai Baba is teaching me. He asks me to write, sees me while away my time in doubt, fear, confusion and waits patiently for me to pick up the pen. Thanks to grace, I have been writing often and I know it is time to share what he says. I will be posting excerpts of what he is telling me or the whole bits, depending on what he guides me to. Here is what he said today.

” The path to greater truth is to be true each moment. To yourself and those around you. Be honest about your fears, about your greed, about your desires. When you wander off come back and see the root of it.When the ego-mind is thus addressed, it begins to get bad at its game and you better at yours. This allows the greater truth to then make its presence felt and known.”

 

Living in Guidance

This morning, I heard one of GD’s sessions that took place a couple of weeks ago. I missed that call – Living in Guidance. But the moment I heard it, I knew I couldn’t have heard it sooner or later. It had to be heard at the right time. It had to hear when I was ready. It is much like what has been occurring in my life the past few months. Health-wise since Feb, I have hard time. Anxiety, fear, panic, weight-loss, a sensitive para-sympathic nervous system, IBS- the mind threw it whatever it could, even convinced at one point that it was the end. What made it worse was the awareness that I was creating it. And then despite the fear, I began to move towards the one thing that has always changed the way I feel; I began to move towards trust, move towards my god, Sai Baba. GD and so many others, worked their hardest with me and behind the scenes. While I was absorbing all they said, ‘I’ was still trying to change things. It was only when the ‘I’ receded and I said “Baba, you take care” that things began to shift.

While I was meditating one day, Sai Baba took over the meditation and soon he began guiding me. But I was unwilling to listen and the days since have been alternating between trust and the ego saying, ‘no you cannot do this’. My faith though is so strong, that I return to Baba multiple times a day, asking him to guide me, asking him for his help in even understanding what is happening. And today when I heard GD speak about living with guidance, I was able to understand and process what is happening with me a lot better. Everyday is a way on, towards god, towards trust, towards simplicity. And anyone can do this by listening to the guidance we receive all the time. Some call it intuition, some call it the voice, some call it a thought.This talk by GD can help you understand and hone your guidance. Stay blessed.

Lessons learned in life

Recently, I have decided to write from a space where my mind, interferes as little as possible in the process. The intention is to be open to receiving whatever lessons the universe chooses for me to receive. After a long time of struggling and operating from the ego, I can finally feel the presence of grace sometimes. It all started with a sudden feeling of immense gratitude the day I felt sickest. But I am digressing here. Here are six important lessons, I have felt the universe impress hard on my heart and soul, these past few months. While each of them deserve a longer post in themselves, here is a cliff-notes version of them. As I write this, I feel immense gratitude to my teacher GD, all teachers on the path whose lessons came as timely reminders, the angels who made this happen and consciousness which guides me on.

  1. Living inward-out : Let life not be directed by outward influences but by what I truly feel inside. Listen to the self, the intuition and instincts. All everyone wants is to be truly loved unconditionally. So live with this feeling inside and remember this in all interactions. What energy emerges from you ? Love or fear? Anita Moorjani’s book ‘Dying to be Me’ is a brilliant book which emphasizes this.
  2. Devotion: In ways that I can’t describe, devotion is the one single thing that has always rescued me from my so-called-troubles. Be it something to do with work or life, what is devotion and how does it truly impact you? Some are devoted to work, some to money, some to family, some to life itself. If you examine devotion, it entails some form of surrender, to what you are doing and a trust that it will work out. And it did for me. Devotion reconnects you to what truly matters; in my case to GD, Sai Baba, Krishna, God/Consicousness/Universe. In fact there was a wonderful conversation around this that we had during a sunday session. It is available here. It is called the path to devotion.
  3. Drop to the heart: GD reminded us to do this recently and it has been helping so much! We live our lives dominated by what thoughts run in our heads.Everything we do is mental. But consciously moving our attention to our heart and shifting our energy there ( from the head), brings with it a big shift in how we relate to things around us. Things are seen as softer , there is lesser ego and judgement when we move our energy to the heart.
  4.  Be honest: The only people we are responsible for is ourselves. What I value is my truth and I have to acknowledge it. That quest will not always be spiritual (nothing spiritual about lusting after chocolate). But since we experience all through are senses, be honest about it being just that. Be honest about everything in your life, period.
  5. Learn to say NO: This should probably be first on the list for women. Since most of my life was about pleasing people, this has been hard. But seeing that most of my time is spent wanting family and friends to think, I am good is a colossal waste of my time on earth. So I listen inside and say no, when I want to. And there is nothing wrong with saying yes out of fear and then being honest with your no. Experience will make me better at this.
  6. Struggle is time for growth: Sigh, even after years I still forget this. But this time there has been a new insight! I always believed I had a pattern for anxiety. Now I know there is no pattern! If I believe in rest, I will believe in struggle and keep manifesting the two. So if I do manifest struggle, the deeper lesson is a movement onwards. It is a chance to see what weakness is being exposed and work on it.

 

Laws of 20 minutes

Is it possible to move beyond the mind? I look around me at my family and friends, and feel no. How earth do ‘I’ ever do it? Then I look at my teacher GD, my god Sai Baba, all the spiritual teachers across the earth, and I feel this peace, this possibility emerge inside. ‘Of course it is possible’, says something inside. ‘You are just too scared to try’. And then I choose, because all our choices, GD says, are either based on love or fear. So I choose from love. I want silence.

GD recently warned us about the dangers of being too dependent on healing, clearing and other techniques. Turns out, he reminded our spiritual circle about it in 2009 as well, when I wasn’t in the group. Hearing a talk on the Value of Silence by him back then, I discovered a real treasure. Excerpts from that conversation as he says and I understood it, follow:-

Most of the silence in our life is replaced with words. But how much information do you really want to be able to stay silent for 20 minutes a day. The ego loves knowledge and so that is why we need even information on how to stay silent. So here are some laws of 20 minutes:-

  • Don’t aim to reach anywhere.
  • No desire to understand anything.
  • No desire to silence the mind
  • No desire to relax the body. They are but sensations that arise.
  • No desire to control the environment
  • No war with the world or yourself.
  • No desire to improve self-

Self-improvement is an outside goal; silence tells you everything is inside, it is here. There is a simple allowing that exists during those 20 mins. You as ego don’t interfere. There should be no you. Doing, fixing, improving is a continuous process and all doing implies a future. Choose to rest in the now.  A Course in Miracles says, “God is so kind he has given you fulfillment from the time before you are born.” But we never notice it.

So don’t insist on mental silence. If you find silence difficult, use music or a discourse because this involves pure listening. Pure listening doesn’t involve the thought or mind. Don’t insist on anything, because that is what you are doing the rest of the day. Just stay awake, stay dead.

Soon, if you are lucky, you will find you will spend your entire day in surrender. Everything just happens. How will you know? Because there won’t be a struggle. Ego only knows struggle and fight. But don’t try and be clever. Don’t convert negative thoughts to positive in these 20 minutes. Everything is allowed. During this journey, if you get even a whiff, for even a second… this bliss of surrender is so beautiful that then, nothing else matters.

Enlightened Activism

This came just as I was redoing this website, creating Conscious Child Project , and as I was trying to re-define what exactly is it that I do. What is the role of an individual on a spiritual path when it comes to the world. I love this article on Enlightened Activism by Byron Katie, a truly awesome spiritual teacher.

Some of the parts I connected with strongly are:-

  • The desperate, the hopeless, are unenlightened cells of my own body. It’s my own body I’m talking about — the body of the world is my body. Would I let myself drown in water that doesn’t exist? Would I let myself die in an imagined torture chamber?

This probably describes what I feel best and why I love to do personal sessions for people and started Conscious Child Project.

  • People are perfect just the way they are, however deeply they’re suffering, but they don’t realize that yet. So when I meet someone who’s suffering, I don’t say, “Oh, there’s no problem; everything is perfect.” Though I can see that there’s never a problem, and I’m available to help him see that, telling him what I see would be unkind.

A very important reminder for healers.

  • If you have a problem with people or with the state of the world, I invite you to put your stressful thoughts on paper and question them, and to do it for the love of truth, not in order to save the world. Turn it around: save your own world. Isn’t that why you want to save the world in the first place? So that you can be happy?

This is the truth as simply told. A need to change the world, is simply a reflection of what you think is right or wrong, nice or not. Any change in that external situation brings one so-called-peace and that is why there is a desire to change things.

  • I don’t try to change the world — not ever. The world changes by itself, and I’m a part of that change. I’m absolutely, totally, a lover of what is. When people ask me for help, I say yes.

This is one of the toughest thing for anyone. To desist being the “I knower” and to operate from a space of pure love without trying to alter anything. Focusing on you and not the “wrong” in someone.  But this is perhaps the best message in it. Be a lover of what is…

Stepping out of the dream

In the past three weeks, our spiritual circle has been having fantastic sessions with GD and each session is taking us further and further into the truth. A few days back, I re-posted Aalif’s blog about the story of me. GD then lead us to examine this story of me deeper, to see everything that occurred as a dream  and to question the very dream, this very story of me.

One of the ways in which GD suggested we do this was by making a list of all the things we have made important.  “Which part of the world are you making real, including making the you character perfect,” he asked us to check. Some very other important reminders for me included –

  •  The dreamland is the sum total of the past. The more we live in it, the more distorted life is. The more we step out of it, the more simple life is.
  • Choices are real only in the dream. Polarities exist only in the dream. For the ego there are thousands of choices; every day or every moment is a choosing. But in truth there is only one choice- in the dream or out.
  • In this life, all choices are the same, what are you going to think about?
  • Solving, fixing, getting out of the problem is how the dream works. Frantic search for solutions is how it works. But what if the dream can’t be fixed, doesn’t need to be fixed. What if you could take a deep breath and let the dream go. What if we could say, it doesn’t matter how it unfolds.
  • Observe, how does your mind keep the dream? It needs speed, to do that it needs some subjects to chew upon. the more it chews, the more the subject stays alive. if the mind slows down, how will it keep the dream alive?
  • As long as one runs with the dream, peace and consciousness is not possible. When the running stops internally there is no dream, no you.

I have been meditating over this since Sunday. One of the thought that arose was that there is only one single thing which keeps the dream alive – fear. All stories of money, health, love, and even happiness, are about not experiencing discomfort. So while awareness brings us back to the I, it is complete and total trust and surrender that lead us from the dream to consciousness.

I have this habit of reading random parts from some spiritual books. Nisargadatta Maharaj’s  ‘I am That’ happens to be a favourite. Last night, mulling about this, I opened a page. Here is what Maharaj said , ” There is no need for a link between a real world and an imaginary one, for there cannot be any. Investigate your world, apply your mind to it, examine it critically and scrutinize every detail. My experience is that everything is bliss. But the desire for bliss creates pain. Thus bliss becomes the seed for pain. The entire universe of pain is born of desire. Give up the desire for pleasure and you will not know what is pain. Your mistake likes in the belief that you were born. You were never born and you never die.”

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To download the entire 60 minute talk which includes further insights and a deeply meditative space – as well as other Q&A and clearings from GD’s group telephonic sessions – go to the Core Healing India Archives.