The first step to joy and being light is to drop the burden of the ego. The change is a collective transformation consisting of the sum of each individual’s step forward into Reality. Each person, in their own time, is moving forward into a new stage of consciousness, one which brings a wider vista and an awareness that springs from the heart.

A heart-based reality is not an egocentric level of consciousness. It exists at a different frequency.Wholeness comes with a shift to love energy comes wholeness of mind, body and spirit. The change is the mass migration of humanity into second tier of consciousness. This is where basic valuess transform into spiritual values,where caring hearts blossom forth into action to serve humanity in ways that represent their personal highest joy. The world is transforming; destiny is calling. Together we are witnessing the dawning of the Reality as it rises in all of its glory, like the sun rising at the dawn of a bright, new day.

That presents a newly emerging type of humanity. This vanguard of unconditional love and renewed hopes holds the seeds of a culture where ‘quality of life’ replaces ‘standard of living’ and ‘you-and-me’ cooperation replaces ‘you-versus-me’ competition. To step forward into Reality Consciousness means to experience new vistas of awareness and new levels of creativity. It means following your heart to express your inner joy through making your own meaningful contribution towards the betterment of the world. It truly is a great time to be alive!

Learning to be happy without much dependence on the world of objects and achievments. Silence is the inner peace. Silence is the master key to life. A noisy mind creates differences and these differences create conflict. Silence is an explosion of inner purity. It is the song of the soul. It is a state of being, which witnesses the traffic of thoughts. That space is transcendental, in and through thoughts and is the essence of the SELF.

A spiritual person would live an ordinary life with the extra-ordinary energy to rejoice life and add goodness to its flow. He would be playful and not serious. He would treat each moment the way a loving mother guides the child. The Vedas tell us to picture ourselves as infinite and blissful! “Aham Brahmasmi”.

To follow your inner Joy is to live holistically because you are acting with more of your complete self. It lightens up your spirit-Atman- allowing you to function at a higher frequency of Consciousness!.

The Self.. Infinite love

The sense objects are pleasure-giving only because of the Self which manifests through them, and not independently, for the self is, by its very nature, the most beloved of all. The self, therefore, is ever-blissful and can never suffer any grief or misery.

The sense-objects of the world are pleasurable, no doubt, but only when they are illumined by the Atman—the Life. Things are pleasurable only when I am alive. If I am dead, nothing is pleasurable. A thing in itself has no joy, the happiness that we seem to gain from the objects outside, is, in fact due to the nature of the Atman, which is happiness itself. The most enjoyable thing in every one of us is our own Atman.

A man learning that his house is on fire runs to the house. When he comes to know that his only child is sleeping inside the house, he announces a large cash award for whoever will go and bring the child out to safety. When there is no response, he increases the sum of his award, and at last he offers all his, wealth for his child. But he himself does not risk the blazing fire and the burning rafters to bring the child out. This is because he loves himself more than anything else—his wealth and even his only child.

The wife is dear to a man not for the sake of the wife, but for the sake of the Self. Man loves himself only. His attitude universally is, ‘So long as you contribute to my happiness, I love you’. When a father chides his son and asks him to get out of his house, he only means to say, ‘you are bringing more sorrow to me. Therefore I do not want you in the house’.

The Atman, at all times, is indeed blissful (sada ananda). Never is there any sorrow in the Self. When I have a VASANA for smoking, the agitations created in my mind due to that vasana are temporarily quietened by smoking and therefore, I say, “I feel happy when I smoke”. I foolishly consider that the happiness is in the cigarettee, and I run after such objects of pleasure in order to repeat the experience of happiness. A dog gnawing at a bone enjoys it more and more, not because there is any meat on it. It is because the sharp ends of the bone scratching its lips, tongue and inner mouth, draw out its own blood. The dog sucks it and feels that the enjoyment is in the bone. Thereafter, its mouth gets lacerated and it cannot eat for days together. Again, a camel often runs after a kind of thorny grass. The sharp grass cuts the mouth of the camel and it enjoys its own blood. The result is that its mouth gets scratched and it cannot eat for months afterwards. That is why the drivers prevent their camels from running after this particular kind of desert grass.

Similarly, the human mind runs after sense-objects like the dog after the dry bone. In fact, the joy content is not in the object. It is the Consciousness, the Atman, the pure Bliss of the Self, arising in us when the object is acquired and the mental agitation for that object ceases. You may consider a thing to be pleasant but if it does not bring me an expansion of myself, I would not consider it so.

The great joy of the Self is not readily available because of mental agitations at all times. These become, as it were, a wall between the happiness which is inherent in the Self, and the world outside. The acquisition of a desired object ends the disturbances created by desire, and the Light of Consciousness beams out from behind the mind. In our lack of discrimination we understand that the joy is in the object secured. In fact the joy is not in the object at all. But it makes me joyful if it brings me a contact with MYSELF. It is only because of the Atman, the Self that each one of us ekes out for himself the maximum joy.

Universally, everybody wants joy, but nobody seems to know where exactly the source of happiness is. Hence, everyone runs after sense-objects. Here the Guru is asking us to pause for a moment, and to reflect upon the location of the fountainhead of joy. Indeed the Atman is of the nature of Bliss and Beatitude, and there is not even a trace of sorrow ever to veil the face of the Atman.

What is love?

“What is Love?” It is a big question! Most twisted word in the world is “Love”. Let us see what it is! If you observe yourself in relationship with others, do you not find that relationship is a process of self-revelation? Does not my contact with you reveal my own state of being if I am aware, if I am alert enough to be conscious of my own reaction in relationship?

Relationship is really a process of self-revelation, which is a process of self-knowledge; in that revelation there are many unpleasant things, disquieting, uncomfortable thoughts, activities. Since I do not like what I discover, I run away from relationship which is not pleasant to a relationship which is pleasant.

If you observe yourself in relationship with others, do you not find that relationship is a process of self-revelation?

Therefore, relationship has very little significance when we are merely seeking mutual gratification but becomes extraordinarily significant when it is a means of self-revelation and self-knowledge. After all, there is no relationship in love, is there? It is only when you love something and expect a return of your love that there is a relationship. When you love, that is when you give yourself over to something entirely, wholly, then there is no relationship. If you do love, if there is such a love, then it is a marvelous thing. In such love there is no friction, there is not the one and the other, there is complete unity. It is a state of integration, of complete being. There are such moments, such rare, happy, joyous moments, when there is complete love, complete communion. What generally happens is that love is not what is important but the other, the object of love becomes important; the one to whom love is given becomes important and not the love itself. Then the object of love, for various reasons, either biological, verbal or because of a desire for gratification, comfort and so on, becomes important and love recedes. Then possession, jealousy and demands create conflict and love recedes further and further; the further it recedes, the more the problem of relationship loses its significance, its worth and meaning. Therefore, love is one of the most difficult things to comprehend. It cannot come through an intellectual urgency, it cannot be manufactured by various methods and means and disciplines.

It is a state of being when the activities of the self have ceased; but they will not cease if you merely suppress them, shun them or discipline them. You must understand the activities of the self in all the different layers of consciousness. We have moments when we do love, when there is in thought, no motive, but those moments are very rare. Because they are rare we cling to them in memory and thus create a barrier between living reality and the action of our daily existence. In order to understand relationship it is important to understand first of all what it is, what is actually taking place in our lives, in all the different subtle forms; and also what relationship actually means. Relationship is self-revelation; it is because we do not want to be revealed to ourselves that we hide in comfort, and then relationship loses it extraordinary depth, significance and beauty. There can be true relationship only when there is love, but love is not the search for gratification. Love exists only when there is self-forgetfulness, where there is complete communion, not between one or two, but communion with the highest; and that can only take place when the self is forgotten.

Pleasure, Happiness and Love Should Be Unconditional!
Love in the present day context is not compassion but attachment. Pleasure for us is not pleasure but escape and release. Therefore our pleasure, our happiness and our ‘love’ are conditioned! One will allow himself to be happy if that girl tells him she loves him, and that will be a great release, a great pleasure with the emphasis on relief. For that reason we cannot find happiness in everyday events and people that surround us, because we have narrowed the target to certain goals of pleasure as escape. And when we cannot escape into pleasure, we try force to bring about that escape. And when that doesn’t success, we get depressed.

Freeing ourselves from the material energy bound world

There is a class of transcendentalists know as the impersonalists. Their solution for becoming free from all misery is to deny the existence of the self. If you don’t exist, how can you be miserable? When there is nobody there to suffer, there is no suffering. Such a philosophy is an easy mental adjustment. But it’s too easy. It is simply an imaginary mental adjustment and nothing more. It does not tally with reality. If I don’t really exist, who then is under the illusion that he exists? This does not make sense.

If you really want to conquer over misery, you need to actually under-stand who you are, why are you suffering, and what is the means of per-manently freeing yourself from all forms of suffering. In the final analysis, this material world is a miserable situation. Even though we may buttress ourselves with so many facilities such as family, friends, in-come, house, car, insurance, etc, the bottom line is that we can be ripped out of our so-called shelter at any minute without having even the fog-giest idea of where we are heading according to the stringent laws of nature.

So if you want actual relief from the miseries of material existence, simply understand the clear truth that you are part of the expanded energy of the Supreme Person and that you exist unmistakably for the purpose of having a loving relationship with Him. If you will make this the central theme of your existence, that Supreme Person Who has unlimited names, Who is addressed by His most intimate devotees as “LORD” will bless you with the supreme mercy of allowing you to become reinstated in your original relationship you had with Him before you fell into material existence. In this state of pure love you will experience that all of your heart’s desires have become completely satisfied far, far beyond anything you could have hankered for in your wildest dreams.

People are wasting their time looking after body-related activities to the whole life. It is a pity that they even refuse to understand spirituality and they do not want to think about it. Fearing that spirituality means, giving up life’s security and the family. These types of superstiousness in plenty of making their minds mockery!

Ponder it, Think of it.

Science and spirituality together will lead to absolute truth

Nowadays there is a great divide between what is called science and what is called religion. For some this divide means that religion is in error. And for others this means that science is in error. So what is the reality? If both of them cannot be right, then either of them or both of them must be wrong. The split between science and religion has led to endless debates, philosophical struggles, and even legal battles in court.

The actual relationship between science and religion is quite different from what most people think. This is so because truth is one; it cannot be two. If it is two, it cannot be truth. To understand this properly we must understand the real meaning of the terms “science” and “religion”, not the distorted understandings that are being propagated by the so-called modern thinkers.

The word science comes from the Latin world “scientia” which means “knowledge”. And the word “religion” comes from the Latin “religare” which means “reconnect”. Just as the honey in a jar is only fully realized when it is tasted, knowledge of the Absolute Truth is only fully realized when we reconnect with it. The more we connect with it, the more we understand and the more we understand it, the more we will want to connect with it. So science is theoretical understanding of the Absolute Truth and religion is practical realization of the Absolute Truth. Just like in a chemistry course we learn that H20 = water in the lecture and then practically apply it in the laboratory, science is theoretical and religion is practical. Both are necessary aspects of fully experiencing and comprehending the Absolute Truth. Real science encourages religion, and real religion deepens our scientific understanding.

So there is no question of which religion somebody belongs to. A person is either connected to the Absolute Truth or not connected to the Absolute Truth. They are either religious or irreligious. And there is no question of religion and science having two different explanations of reality. They are both necessary aspects of realizing the one truth. Let us ponder from different cultural platforms. At last we have to come to the Advaita—monism-!

Let it go…

The Bible tells us that each man thinks his burden is the heaviest. For instance, the poor man looks at the rich man and envies him thinking his load in life is lighter. But, you’ll recall that the fabled millionaire Scrooge spent virtually all of his time worried about people cheating him out of his fortune and was miserable. So, we see that self-pity weighs down virtually everyone. Similarly, we see that one of the most popular themes on the afternoon talk shows is “When we were in school, you made fun of me, but look at me now.” And out comes either a gorgeous woman with a silicon enhanced body, and a surgically altered, cosmetic covered and hair dyed head, or a handsome, tanned, greased, and steroid enhanced muscular man.

Usually the same story is told. They were so abused by the school bully that they spent thousands of dollars and years of bodywork just to prove them wrong and get them to regret their actions. The host then brings out the villain who says that they don’t even remember the person, and even though they acknowledge that the person now is not someone they would make fun of, they no longer are the type of person who would do that kind of immature hazing anyway. How anticlimactic for the person who sought to get back at the long ago bully. So, it is reasonable for us to conclude that the person seeking revenge, or whatever you want to label it, wasted their time by carrying the hurt and suffering and would have been better off if they had just gone on their merry way. Our own perceptions of our burdens are just as unreal as Scrooge’s or the guests on the TV shows, and there is certainly no need for us to keep carrying our feelings of frustration, anger, sadness, and so on. Now, what can we do to cease our needless load lugging?

Our inner Chatterer is constantly labeling things and then judging them to be good or bad. We hold on to the pain and frustration of some of the things that we judge to be bad for years, and a few for the rest of our lives. This masochistic behavior is virtually always on a subconscious level. Fortunately, there is an experiential meditative concept that is a remedy for this sad paralyzing dysfunction. And that is to cease carrying negativity around and just be present, in the moment, and experience your life consciously as it takes place.

There are two ancient teaching tales that help us understand the need to quit holding onto that which we should let go of and begin the process of paying attention to what is appropriate, healthy, and happy. The first deals with the ancient story of the two monks who had taken vows of celibacy as well as their other holy obligations. As they were walking they encountered a woman crying by the side of a creek. As they approached, with tears streaming down her cheeks, she told them she feared drowning and begged them to help her get to the other side of the river so she could go to her baby. With that, one of the monks picked her up on his shoulder and carried her across the stream. After getting down, she thanked him and left. The two monks went on their way.

After a while, the monk who hadn’t helped turned to the one who had helped the woman and said, “Why did you do that? We’ve taken vows of chastity and we’re not even supposed to look at a woman, much less touch one!” He replied “When we got to the other side of the water, I put her down. Why are you still carrying her?” From this we learn that once life’s events have taken place, they should not be taken with us. Our hands, heart, and mind should be open and available for the next experience that we are presented with.

The next story helps us by teaching us where to look for direction and how. Look at your life as taking a boat ride from one shore to another. Right now, we’re in the boat in the middle of the lake of life. As we’ve traveled, the boat has left a wake. The wake is analogous to our past, and like the wake a boat leaves behind, our past does not help propel us. If we spend our time looking back at our wake, we will be unaware of and unable to do anything about any hazards we are approaching. A wise ship’s captain looks ahead to the other shore, aware of the present moment, and having equipped themselves with excellent navigational skills, through a lifetime of trial, error, and learning, is confident in their competence to steer the appropriate course.

The lessons we learn from these stories are to let go and pay attention. Our inner Chatterer makes us repetitiously keep suffering from our past “bad”. There is a Witness within that is ever present. It is the awareness that can, and does silently witness your mind’s mentations, your emotional fluctuations, and your sense receptions. At every moment of your life, even in this very second as you read these words, by being at one with it, you have the opportunity to witness your life as it takes place.

The more you Witness, the less you chatter. Recognize the load you are carrying, put it down and let go of all the negativity it brings. You will then fill with the ever-present “good”. For each of us there is a meditative path, be it mantra, breathing techniques, asking “Who am I”, or whatever, that will lead us to being aware, and be more and more at one with our inner Witness. By grace this will become our eternal divine reality. Meditate. Persevere through trial, error, and learning, and inevitably you will live happily ever after.

Who you are?

Before your mother knew you were in her womb, before any doctor, politician, family member, religious leader, or anyone else on earth even knew you existed, the Highest Power so loved you that he gave you life and protected and nourished you. Before you had drawn your first breath, the Highest Power had already demonstrated love and concern for you and provided all you needed for your wellbeing, and this continues to this very moment.

Your inner Witness, your Real Self, has gone from the womb of flesh to the womb of the Cosmos. The Highest has made every atom that makes up every molecule that makes up every cell that makes up every organ in your body, perfectly compatible with everything the Universe provides. The air, earth, fire, and water have been created in the precise proportions necessary to provide the environment needed for you to survive and thrive. The odds against this happening by chance are trillions to one and can be appreciated as absolute proof of the Highest’s loving intervention and intention.

Mother Earth is in an exquisite rhythm with its sister planets as gravity and motion balance their dance around Father Sun, as it travels in concert with the billions of other stars and heavenly bodies that make up our galaxy. Ultimately, the hundreds of billions of galaxies, in harmony, provide the exact perfect conditions that allow consciousness to exist and evolve. You are, always were, and will always be, the love child of the Highest Power. Every atom in the universe is presenting itself to enlighten you. The celestial stage has been set. It is for you to decide to be conscious of the cosmos and embrace your infinite, eternal identity. Royal Divine Child of the Universe, awaken and live happily ever after.

Who You Are Meditation Technique
Position yourself in the posture you have found to be the one that affords the greatest comfort to you, while letting you maintain an alert awareness without falling asleep. Direct your inner chatterer to be still and your emotions to remain in a serene state. With eyes open, let your gaze fall to any given spot on the surface of the floor or ground. If you are sitting on sand, pick out one grain to focus on. If you are on a carpet, lock your attention on one fiber. And so on. Witness your mind making comments, comparisons, and judgments, but remain unreactive. Simply let the gazing continue no matter how strongly your chatterer tries to discourage you. It will eventually cease and desist. As your concentration becomes more intense, with less and less effort, you will start to see movement. For instance, the grains of sand may start to appear to be giving off light that is flowing in a paisley pattern motion. This is the atomic and pre-atomic nature of reality presenting itself to you. Soon thereafter the air, earth, water, and fire within and without you will reveal their atomic unification and join in this dance of light.

This will continue until your mind chatter stops it. By stilling the mind, the intensity will grow until the point is reached where it is not unusual for the experience to be so astonishing and overwhelming that inner comments like “Oh my God!” and “Thank you God” occur. Simultaneously, language becomes insufficient and only feelings of love and adoration suffice. Keep at one with the eternal silence of the inner Witness and you will know your limitless and total connection with the universe and its creator. The misidentification of yourself as apart from the rest of the universe as a body, mind, or feeling will evaporate like a fog lifting, and there revealed in all glory will be the divine Garden of Eden that has always been present. And you will live happily ever after.

As a matter of fact, adjectives like frustrating, annoying, ego deflating, and so on, are often much more accurate descriptions of how you feel. The Who You Are Meditation Technique has the potential to be in this category. It is easy to tell someone “Sit comfortably, concentrate, and let the Highest Power fill you with all the wonders and wisdom of the universe”. But can you actually sit comfortably enough, for long enough for your attention to remain focused enough? If so, this and every other technique will “work”. If not, like most things, the more you practice, the better you will get. Persevere, because unlike most things, the end result of this and every meditative effort has the potential to lead to the end of all effort. And effortlessly, you will live happily ever after.

Who you are meditating technique can lead to happiness

“The Saraswathy poojah explanations had taken us into new heights of our intellect and erased the misconceptions about Nawaratri festival” said few participants. We are living in an era of finding the real truth from pseudo one!
In teaching yourself the art of making sound decisions in life, first read the words that good people before you have left as guidelines for right living. Watch, if you can, living people in action who exemplify the values you admire. Then, following their example, start practicing in your own life. In time, you’ll develop a feel for what is the right thing to do, the right decision to follow.

A mind that has been taught to appreciate the value of espousing good values will slowly grow into spontaneous ethical activity. Instead of being honest because you remember Mother telling you not to lie or because you fear society’s retribution, you are honest simply and naturally. You exude good works, without any premeditative thought. And your mind is tranquil, poised for diving deep into the mysteries of your own being.

While working in this world we perform so many actions on a daily basis. All of these actions produce karma. Because of the pious and impious actions we have performed in the past, we are impelled by nature’s laws to suffer and enjoy their resultant reactions. While the enjoyable reactions may seem really nice, they are unavoidably bundled with the miserable reactions for our past misdeeds. Would we purchase an automobile that was 50% good and 50% bad? No. Of course not! We want to a purchase an automobile that is 100% good. So why should we settle for an existence that is 50% good and 50% bad? We should not.

Someone may argue that they will enjoy pure happiness by only doing good works. But even by their breathing they are killing so many microbial germs, and they must suffer a sinful reaction for doing that. So there is no way to become 100% good as long as we remain in material consciousness. If we want out of the karmic quagmire, we must elevate our consciousness into an entirely different plane of existence, the transcendental plane.

This is the liberating message of the Bhagavad-gita. It is enabling us to become delivered from the actions and actions of pious and impious activities. It frees us from karma chakra, the wheel of action and reaction. It gives us the full knowledge of how to become devotees of God and live an ecstatic existence constantly experiencing the higher taste of Divine bhakti and thus automatically becoming completely free from the lower taste of material sense gratification. This knowledge of bhakti, when properly applied under the capable guidance of the expert spiritual master, is like a blazing fire which burns up all the reactions of our previous karma.

Silencing the mind leads to a clean mind

“Truth is like vast space without entrance or exit. There is nothing more, nor nothing less. Foolish people limit themselves, covering their eyes, but truth is never hidden. Some attend lectures trying to grasp truth in the words of others. Some accumulate books trying to dig truth from the pile of trash. They are both wrong.

A few of the wiser ones may learn meditation in their effort to reach an inner void. They chose the void rather than outer entanglements, but it is still the same old dualistic trick. Just think non-thinking if you are a true Hindu student. “There you do not know anything, but you are with everything. There is neither choice nor preference, and dualism will vanish by itself. But if you stop moving and hold quietness, that quietness is ever in motion. If children make a noise, you will scold them loudly so that the situation is worse than before. Just forget and ignore the noise, and you will attain peace of mind. When you forget your liking and disliking, you will get a glimpse of oneness. The serenity of this middle way is quite different from the inner void”. The mind mirror illuminates all ingenuously. Its penetrating, limitless rays reach everywhere in the universe. Without exception everything is reflected In this mirror.The whole universe is a gem of light beyond the terms of in and out.

“Vedanta transcends time and space. Ten thousand years are nothing but a thought after all. What you have seen is what you had in the whole world. If your thought transcends time and space, you will know that the smallest thing is large and the largest thing is small; that being is non-being and non-being is being. Without such experience you will hesitate to do anything. If you can realize that one is many, and many are one, your journey will be completed.

“Faith and mind-essence are not separate from each other. You will see only the ‘not two.’ The ‘not two’ is the faith. The ‘not two’ is the mind essence. There is no other way but silence to express it properly. This silence is not the past. This silence is not the present. This silence is not the future.”

When an advaidic student sees emptiness one-sidedly,they are likely to ignore the law of causation, then live aimlessly with impure thoughts and wrong actions. This idea is morbid as they deny the existence of anything, but admit an entity of emptiness. To escape drowning, they have thrown themselves into the fire. To “see emptiness onesidedly” is to give another name to relativity, phenomenality or nothingness. When you deny the existence of anything, this of course includes the existence of emptiness. There is order; there is the law of causation. The use of the word “emptiness” implies that which cannot be spoken.

One who rejects delusions to search for truth, may achieve skill in discrimination, but such a student will never reach enlightenment. Because they mistake the enemy for their own child. Some Christians admire an angel but hate a devil. Some Confucians pine for the ancient kingdom but complain of the present government. All of them attempt to take hold of the true by abandoning the false. They struggle endlessly, but never attain true peacefulness. Vedanta students who try to reach truth by rejecting delusions are making the same mistake. Learn silence and work on constantly in silence, to see clearly what the mind is.

People miss the spiritual treasure and lose merit because they depend on dualistic thinking and neglect the essence of mind. To pass through the gate of Advita one must correct this error. Then one can attain the wisdom to enter the palace of Moksha. Buddhists often refer to the ‘seven treasures’ (paramitas), which are faith, perseverance, listening, humility, precepts, self surrender, and meditation and wisdom. Meditation and wisdom are considered as one, inner cultivation and outer illumination. To acquire these seven treasures one must first of all see Mind-Essence clearly, just as Aladdin had first to find the lamp before he could produce other wonders.

A Rishi once said, “Sages and sentient beings both grow out of One Mind, and there is no reality other than this Mind. Only because we seek it outwardly in a world of form, the more we seek, the farther away it moves from us. To make Sage seek after himself, or to make Mind take hold of itself, this is impossible to the end of eternity. We do not realize that as soon as our thoughts cease and all attempts at forming ideas are forgotten, the Rishis are revealed before us.”

I realize some of these readings are a bit challenging for us. In some ways we have much in common with students of the past; there are qualities we all share in the journey. However, we live in times of rapid change; a planet that is beginning to feel our impact much more intensely; and often we find ourselves in cultures that seem to be going in the opposite direction to a life of sincere practice. This only gives our search a kind of intensity that students of old found in other ways.

We are the embodiment, each day, of the code and values of a different vision of life here on this planet. Even if everything around us seems to be spinning out of control, each day, we sit, we give our best to each situation that we encounter, and realize we are the thread of seekers that continues down through the ages since the time of Rishis and way before that.

So, even if the readings at times seems to be too heady or difficult even to comprehend, let them wash through you and rest confidant that you, too, are a student of the Vedanta. The impact of each teaching is like a seed that will put down roots and spring to life all in its own time.


We go through our lives half asleep. Our sleeping potion is our own mind, which keeps our alertness dulled by allowing itself to be yanked around in countless directions. When, Nathan insults us, our mind begins racing with ideas of revenge. When Ruby flatters us we continue for many long minutes gloating on the details of her flattery. Each of us has his or herown set of mind habits that insidiously keep us from staying alert to the present. We spend our days in endless inner talking, accounting, self-justifying, imagining. This constant jabber in our minds takes us into the past (reliving Nathan’s insult over and over again, thinking up different retorts we could have made) and into the future (imagining how next Monday’s interview with the school principal will go). We spend most of our time in the past and in the future. As we continue jabbering, the present eludes us. In fact, we are dead to the present or if not dead, at least asleep.

Consider this typical scenario. You are reading the news paper. In the news story on the front page, one word, competition, swings your mind back to your day at the office. Your eyes keep going over the words in the news story, but your mind has left, dwelling instead on the belligerent meeting you attended two hours earlier at your company. While “reading” you are reliving the events of the meeting: ‘what you said’, ‘what Radha said’, ‘what Nancy said’. You now come to an end of the column, suddenly struck by the fact that it says, “Continued on back page”. You realize that you’ve been “reading” for the past three minutes but have taken nothing in. For several long minutes you have been asleep to the present, while dwelling on the events of a dead past.

Where our mind is, is where we are. Just because the eyes keep reading doesn’t mean that we are present in the reading activity. Our mind’s location determines our location. Take this example:

Sitting by a cozy fireplace, you are engrossed in an adventure novel that has your full attention. Your son comes into the room; turns on the television listen to the news. You hear nothing. He makes some comments about the news, trying to pry your attention away from your book. Still, you are not there for him. You are with the book, because your mind is fully engaged in the story. Your body is in the room, sound waves from the television and your son are striking your ears, but you may as well not be there, because your mind is not available.

Many of us often experience this kind of “absent mindedness” on the road – when the mind is not in the location, or cognizant of the action, in which the body happens to be engaged. We travel the same route to work every day. We know every turn and every corner. Or we might say that an instinctive, mechanical part of ourselves knows every turn and every corner and can trace the route without fail, while automatically reacting to traffic on the road. WE—that is, our mind—can be miles away. By the time we reach home, we would have written the outline for a report, solved a problem in the lab, or planned out our lecture for tomorrow’s Vedanta class. With our mind absent, the body will have driven us home.

If our mind is not in the present activity, we are not in the present activity. We are dead to it. If we counted up all these dead minutes of our days, we would be aghast at how little actual living we do. We would realize, in shock, that most of our days are spent in dead space. Constant alertness is the method for getting us out of this dead space. We have to train our minds to remember to stay in the present. We can begin by doing some introspection exercises at the end of each day.

Before you go to sleep each night, review your day from morning until bedtime. Hour by hour, event by event, review what activities and thoughts you experienced. At first it will be difficult to remember everything. You will also be tempted to stop at the memory of various events and thoughts to ponder them further. You may want to criticize an action of yours and rewrite the script. You may want to correct some words you said and imagine an alternate scenario. Resist each of these temptations. Imagine you are a neutral witness to the happenings under review.

In time, the exercise will become easier. Also, in time, you will have developed new powers of alertness and concentration. As your evening introspection improves, so also is your ability to witness your thoughts and actions as they occur during the course of the day. This newfound alertness will keep your mind from wandering off in the dead spaces, since you’ll be there to catch the wandering before it happens. Also in time, you will be alert enough to remember to catch your negative reactions before they manifest. As you catch them and redirect your thoughts into a positive channel, you are literally redirecting the course of your life. Every reaction is the result of a thought, and every thought builds next reality.

Practice this and let me, know your progress!