Thursday, November 17, 2011

Quote of the Week 200 - Requirements for Inner Research

When we start turning within, we do not have to ignore the external world, nor do we have to make any radical change in our external life. We simply have to be ourselves and create a strong desire to know ourselves from within. That desire is the first requirement. If one doesn’t understand the importance of spirituality and meditation, then he should not waste his time and energy with it. If one is not convinced that meditation is a technique that is helpful, if one is not prepared, then he should not apply that technique. So first, to research the inner world, one needs a burning desire to know his inner potentials and states.

In the path of sadhana [spiritual practice, work, discipline] no effort is in vain; all sincere efforts bear their fruits in the unconscious mind according to the inevitable law of karma. Even a little sadhana practices with sincere effort leaves deep imprints in the unconscious mind. Those impressions help and guide the sadhaka [person engaging in spiritual practice] whenever he goes off the path. The conscious part of the mind is but a small part of the whole. It is helpful in communicating with the external world but has very little use on the inward journey. If the conscious part of the mind is trained not to create further barriers, then sadhana is useful.

All your actions leave some impression in your unconscious mind, and those impressions then become your samskaras [subtle impressions that can create limitations and limiting impulses leading to certain external actions or reactions to outer circumstances] and control your life. To make progress, your samskaras need to be purified. You can do that in meditation if you ask all the impressions in your mind to come forward, so that you can examine and burn them. You can consciously bring forward all the latent, buried impressions during meditation, telling your mind that you are ready to face them, and if you have built that kind of determination and willpower, you can allow those samskaras to be burnt mentally. They are all mental impressions, there is nothing solid or material there. All these past impressions can be burnt, and then you can be free from them. The goal is to expand the conscious aspect of mind so that there is no unconscious.

Yoga sadhana alone has explored all the unknown levels of life and is thus useful for knowing the levels of the unconscious and for training the totality of the mind. Sadhana alone is the way of knowing, understanding, and analyzing the internal states and one’s relationship to the external world. While treading the path of the inner world, the sadhaka comes in touch with those potentialities that guide him unconsciously, or sometimes through dreams, and at other times consciously. Fearlessness thus increases, and self-reliance is strengthened. He is fully protected by the finer forces that exist, although he is not aware of them because of his extroverted nature. No danger can ever befall the sincere sadhaka in his exploration of the inner realms. The sadhaka is completely protected if he is fully dedicated to the goal of Self-realization.

You need to examine honestly what is in your mind. Be honest with yourself. Do not meditate if you are being hypocritical and are just sitting and punishing yourself. There should be only one desire, the desire for meditation, the desire to go deep inside. At first, you will fail to achieve it, but that does not matter; you should not give up.

Start to work with yourself: when you work with yourself, do not waste energy observing what others are doing. Appreciate what they are doing, and do not condemn or criticize what they are doing. Otherwise, you spend your whole life in celebrating or in mourning. What is important is that you constantly work with yourself, no matter who your are. The thought, “I am going to enlighten myself,” should not make you egotistical. You should not isolate yourself; this thought should make you more creative, because withdrawing yourself from the world is not your real motive; it is not life’s purpose. Your life’s purpose is to live in the world and yet remain above it.

Above all else, remember this one thing: it is easy to meet that Infinity within.

--from Essential Swami Rama, Swami Jnaneshvara Bharati, Editor

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Quote of the Week 381 - Heaven

Heaven is all round,

Translated to sound.

--Michael Hedges



Announcing Publication of New Book, DIMENSIONS: Navigation the Spiritual Spectrum

I am pleased to announce the publication of my new book, DIMENSIONS: Navigating the Spiritual Spectrum, now available at Amazon, in paperback print and Kindle versions. It is easily found by searching my name, or by searching the full title and subtitle. You can also click on the image of the book in the right hand column of this blog.

What a great way to start the New Year, cozying up to a fire, real or imagined, and reading a new spiritually inspiring book, sure to become a classic!

DIMENSIONS: Navigating the Spiritual Spectrum

Grounded in the traditions of Torah and Veda, Steven J. Gold takes us on an oceanic tour of the depth and breadth of spiritual consciousness. Sharing personal stories and insights into various traditional scriptures as examples, he urges us to adopt a spiritual worldview, to “ponder infinity, awake and arise,” to “find your inspiration and follow it.”

“The chapters…are records of what happens when Steve’s right mind, and heart, are given full freedom to wander where they wish. As discoveries and correlations are made, his well-trained left mind and sharp wit give his observations shape and form…” – Brother Shankara, Resident Minister, Vedanta Center of Atlanta

“Universal Ice Cream: Dive deep into Steve’s wonderful book to help find your favorite flavor on the Spiritual Spectrum.” – Rabbi Mitch Cohen, Spiritual Leader, Congregation Shalom B’Harim, Dahlonega, GA

“Steven J. Gold’s Dimensions is an exploration of spirituality from the inside out. If you are looking for a guide through the pathless land of truth, read this book.” – Rabbi Rami Shapiro, author of The World Wisdom Bible

Interfaith/Inter-Spiritual Contemplative Groups

Please check out the following, which is an ongoing activity that may be of interest: