Echo From The Cave: 139

Saturday Oct 24, 2020 NYC

Yoga in Action: Reflection from a Practitioner

Tilling the Soil in Preparation of “Turning it Around”
by Karuna
New York, October 12, 2020

After pondering about the power that the teachings of Mother Teresa and her being have on me, I concluded that this is so because she is already fully “turned around” and because she speaks solely from the point of view of the Truth. Her words, her faith and her actions connect me in a deep way, beyond what I am able to explain, to the universal commandment: “Love one another as I have loved you.”[1] So, through her inspiration, my heart has become more strongly set on the intention of “turning it around.”

What has been helpful is that even if I am not exactly sure where to begin or how to grow and sustain this intention, every day and every moment has started to reveal to me the “fork in the road”[2] that Shri Mahayogi speaks about. While trying to understand how to work with this mind that can still be pulled to either side of the fork in the road, I began to observe that when my mind relies and defends this “me” in the world—my happiness, my impression, my performance, my safety—the sense of being close to God abandons me, and in its place, worry, negativity and dissatisfaction arise. In one of these moments, when feeling severed from God’s Love, I was able to begin to recall Shri Mahayogi’s words in The Universal Gospel of Yoga in which he describes thoughts in the mind being like clouds, and how we simply have to clear them away, then fill that space up with bhakti.[3]

I am so grateful for Mother Teresa’s book, Where there is Love There is God. Because the words of Mother Teresa in this book inspired me and made it possible to experience the wiping away of thoughts and their replacement with bhakti for the first time. It was the Love itself that automatically wiped away the clouds and that too is what began to fill me up. But, as Shri Mahayogi has warned us, “because of the habitual nature of the mind, there is a great likelihood that new thoughts will emerge, and fill up the space you have just cleared.” And, because I do not want to be pulled away from this newfound Love, I have felt the need to learn what to do to keep this space clear or learn to clear it up when it becomes cluttered, in other words, how to move away from karma in the direction of the Truth, or God’s Love.

One of the first lessons that I found in the book by Mother Teresa was about listening. For many years, Anandamali has been speaking to me about the need to listen much more. For a long time, I have had the habit of “half-listening.” In conversations, I tend to jump in before I understand what is being said, or the context from which it is being said. In several occasions, a few gurubai recommended that I practice mauna, but even if I controlled my tongue to some degree, mentally, I continued to be busy with a personal reply, a point, an attack or a defense, or an argument.

In the book, Mother Teresa explains that silence is the precondition for listening to God, and that when we are able to attentively and quietly listen to God, we can then know His full Love for us, and experience the meaning of prayer, simply “feeling one with God.”[4] Mother also says that the one who experiences this Love is compelled to sacrifice herself for others, out of that same Love. And this is the path to true Peace.

Mother Teresa’s words awaken in me the intense sensation of wanting to be close to God. They pull me into silence automatically, without me thinking about quieting my mouth or my mind. And this longing makes me want to let go of anything in me that could be an obstacle to being close to God and accepting what He is offering, the purest Love of all. I have begun experiencing that the wants and cravings that have kept me tied to karma (the experiencing of pain-bearing-obstacles[5]) have begun to lose their allure, since the sweetness of God’s Love is there as the other alternative. And for the same reason, when a wanting arises, and I am able to realize that that wanting is based on the belief that this Love can be found in the matters of the everchanging world, I have intentionally started to recommend to my mind to let go of this idea as soon as possible, so that nothing will clutter the space where I only want God to be. When I am able to do this, a sense of loving surrender and gratefulness is what fills me up again.

[1] The new commandment from God in the Bible (John 15:12). This refers to God’s Love, given to the world through Jesus.

[2] “Live in the Now” from The Universal Gospel of Yoga—The Teachings of Sadguru Sri Mahayogi Paramahamsa; and “The Path of Yoga and the Path of Karma,” Satori. Shri Mahayogi’s teaching about the “fork in the road” explains that every single moment there is a choice between the Truth and karma.

“Bhakti Yoga and Karma Yoga” from The Universal Gospel of Yoga—The Teachings of Sadguru Sri Mahayogi Paramahamsa.

[4] “God is Love” from Where There is Love, There is God.

[5] “The Pain-Bearing-Obstacles: Klesa” from The Universal Gospel of Yoga—The Teachings of Sadguru Sri Mahayogi Paramahamsa.

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