Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Discouraged? Overwhelmed? Feeling Guilty if Healthy and Well-thee?

Discouraged? Overwhelmed? Feeling Guilty if Healthy and Well-thee?

It seems like it all started with the eclipse one month ago, August 21, 2017. No point in being superstitious but it's our nature to look for causes and there have been a long run of catastrophic clobberings from Mother Nature in the western hemisphere ever since the eclipse. 

I'd like to say I predicted this but I won't. I can say, however, that when, stirred up by the craziness surrounding the eclipse, I researched ancient musings on eclipses there was a strong association between solar eclipse and natural disasters. This produced in me a foreboding and a distaste for the solar madness going on around me. I lost interest in going outside with kooky glasses and instead gathered some friends to meditate inside.

Being a solar event, fires were definitely high on the list of events associated with eclipses. But, sure, ok, it was fire season. And, yes hurricane season, too. But earthquake season? We of the West and of science respond to these associations mockingly but the facts speak for themselves while science can only stand mutely in the background.

I won't even begin to discuss American politics. 

What does one do when every few days your heart aches for untold numbers of people whose lives are in peril or shattered in disarray? When the news speaks of billions of dollars of damage day in and day out. After a while it is numbing. 

What comes next? And where? I will say this: "Stay tuned." So, what CAN we do?

1. Yes, pray for others. Let's start there.

2. Donate, even a little bit is something.

3. Get your house and car ready for local emergencies.

4. Ask your family members and neighbors "Are YOU prepared?"

5. Get involved in helping and serving beyond your own needs and comforts.

6. Accept that for now and for the foreseeable future, our nation and our planet may experience a steadily increasing variety and frequency of trials and tribulations from a variety of sources. Don't keep hoping current troubles will simply stop and go away. Get ready. 

7. Time to think about the meaning of life and appreciation of higher values like compassion, wisdom, and service to others. Stop resisting God and pretending you're going to live forever.

8. Increase your commitment to meditation and prayer. Pledge and commit to your meditation:  Pledge to BE THE CHANGE.

9. Enter into creative engagement with others in service to a higher cause.

10. If your life allows you to go on a sacred journey or pilgrimage, DO IT NOW!

11. If you haven't already, it's time to to consider and talk up that there are "no coincidences" in life. Maybe there's a connection between these events and human consciousness and actions! (Hence the value of BE THE CHANGE). Proving it is less important than considering the possibilities and how we might change.

12. Be not a denier, like the proverbial ostrich, nor yet not a Polly Anna either. Be a realist who scans not just the material world but the psychic-spiritual world as equal manifestations. Use your will to act in positive ways as though it all DID depend on you yet, at the same time with no expectations as to results: reaping only the benefit of exercising your will power, using your energy, and being positive! 

Challenges like natural disasters (hmmm "natural"?) bring out the best and, sometimes, the worst in people. But in general folks pull together. The opportunity for people to help each other and to think beyond their own personal lives and struggles may be the silver lining in the cloud of large scale events.

May the Light of Divine Wisdom guide your path to soul freedom!

Nayaswami Hriman 

Monday, September 11, 2017

Happy Anniversary, Swamiji! September 12 1948

Happy 69th Anniversary, Swamiji (Kriyananda)! 69 years since you first met your guru, Paramhansa Yogananda and were accepted by him as a renunciate and disciple. Your time with him was to be only three and a half years but these years were as many as had the disciples of Jesus with their master! 

It was enough: enough for you to go on to establish in your guru's name a worldwide network of intentional, spiritual communities whose residents (and their fellow, non resident Ananda members) were instructed and inspired in the path of Kriya Yoga as taught to you by Yogananda.

Who can possibly number the miles you've traveled throughout the world? The talks and lectures? Yoga classes; meditation classes, classes and initiations in the techniques of Kriya Yoga! The time spent counseling with individuals and with the leaders of the various organizations you established? Who can chronicle the depth and breadth of the musical compositions and concerts--a new form of music--both instrumental and vocal--Songs of Divine Joy that came through your attunement and talent? Who can count the wisdom insights expressed through your writings--hundreds of pieces from articles and papers to published books? They are beyond measure and offer wisdom and inspiration that spans the breadth of the human experience, its challenges and aspirations. "Crystal Clarity" you called your writing and editing work, and crystal clear it is for those with "eyes to see" and "ears to hear."

All of these efforts were infused with the vibrations of wisdom and joy of the world spiritual teacher, Paramhansa Yogananda, and the line of preceptors who sent and trained Yogananda a century ago. 

You revealed that Yogananda told you more than once that "You have a great work to do!" And when Yogananda's most advanced disciple (Rajasi Janakananda) repeated this to you after the death of Yogananda, he added, "And Master will give you the strength to do it," that strength was amply demonstrated throughout your life. 

Who can know the untold burdens of body troubles that beset you; the years of diatribes and accusations from fellow disciples who might as well have wished upon you and condemned you (if they could) to eternal hell fire! Yes, "tapasya" (self-sacrifice) is the price of spiritual service and soul freedom but you always knew it was Divine Mother's gift for it meant your freedom and the upliftment of countless sincerely-seeking souls.

And oh what blessings to us to have received all of these things and more: opportunities to serve with you; to serve the "great work" you have done; to serve with one another in divine friendship; and to practice the art of discipleship. You never accepted the role of guru (for God is the guru through the last of the Self-realization line: Paramhansa Yogananda) but you gave us a window on to what living discipleship looked like. You gave to us who accepted the opportunity to give our lives to our guru's work through Ananda, living lessons in the attitudes and roles of a disciple.

We thank you and offer back to you (wherever your soul may be roaming now in freedom), our gratitude and love for we will go on until the end where we will meet again. We vow to do our best to honor the spirit and the letter of your legacy and instructions to us in carrying on this great work. 

Happy Anniversary, Swamiji!

Nayaswami Hriman

Thursday, August 31, 2017

We Celebrate the "Labor" of Summer!

"To draw God’s light down to earth, pure hearts are needed – devotees whose will is to live in light. Even as squalor attracts negative energies, however, so outward harmony and beauty attract Godly energies. Man cannot create heaven on this earth, for heaven is in God. But his duty is to reflect heaven in all he does, and in all that he creates."
"In everything we do, we pray to God to enlighten and inspire us. At the same time, we keep in mind that divine inspiration comes not only in silent prayer, but also in the prayer of labor that is lovingly offered up to Him. As Yogananda taught us to do, we pray, 'Lord, I will reason, I will will, I will act, but guide Thou my reason, will, and activity to the right path in everything.'"
-Swami Kriyananda, Cities of Light
This time of year one notices that the extended period of summer warmth and dryness begins to wear upon nature and perhaps even a few nerves. Trees and shrubs may be stressed. Grasses and some flowers have turned brown, dry and, well, unattractive. (Fires are especially a danger here in the western United States.)

Our lives of outward service during the "outwardness" of summer may obscure the value of making our environment clean and uplifted. Summer's outward burst of energy moreover takes us literally outside and we don't notice perhaps as much our home, our work space, and other indoor environments. 

But now, look around your home: what do you see? Clutter, uncleanliness, disorder? The energy and vibration around late August and early September is to "clean up my act" and get focused after the intense outward energy of summer. Now is the time to prepare for the inward flowing energies of Fall that are soon to come. These upcoming weeks are a period of transition.

It's appropriate, then, too that we celebrate together "Labor Day." Perhaps not quite in the way the holiday intends but in the sense that summer's energy is a kind of labor (to the extent of its intensity and outwardness). We can celebrate by reflecting gratefully on the time we've been able to "go out" into nature, to travel, and generally to enjoy even being out of doors and enjoying the sunshine, friends, family, "satsang," and the natural beauty of our planet.

As God in nature gives us four seasons in the year, so we have four seasons in our earthly bodies. The Spring time of youth; the busy-ness of the summer of adult life and responsibilities; the softer season of reflection, acceptance, and "retirement;" and the winter of nonattachment and surrender to the need to extinguish the light of this particular incarnation (to be reborn into the astral world of light for a period of rest). 

The weeks of transition between seasons always offer us an opportunity to pause and reflect. Thus the American holiday of Labor Day offers us that opportunity too.

Joy and blessings to all in the "labor" of the journey of Self-realization!

Swami Hriman