Dear Initiates and Friends

As we turn the page to the next year, I have been examining where our spiritual journey is taking us, and what are the rocks, pebbles and thorns that our feet encounter. The goal of our journey is clear–nothing short of liberation and enlightenment. It is the little pebbles and thorns that we have the most difficulty avoiding. The smaller the thorn, the more difficult it is to tweeze it out.

What are these thorns? By now you must be tired of hearing my answer over and over. These are our negative emotions, our habit of not choosing the positive pictures available. Our personal relations suffer from our inability to discern and choose the positive and the beautiful. The nations suffer because many of the national and international policies spring out of the personal emotional make-up of the individual leaders. The same is true of organizations, including our Centres and meditation groups.

I experience a deep ache in my heart as I see that so many of the interactions among the members of the Centres and groups stem from the personal frustrations in the lives of the individual members. We stay away from each other, we suspect each other of selfish planning and plotting, and we subject the entire group to a disruption thinking that we are making a contribution.

The test of spiritual progress is whether we manage to serve as glue to join many people together, or we exclude and separate.

May I urge that we devote our coming year to a very practical application of the principle of positive emotions. Within a family, within a circle of friends, within the Centres and meditation groups, those who have been excluded should again be included; those who have excluded themselves should rush back with an easy smile, so that receiving arms may open.

In every situation two interpretations are possible, a positive one and a negative one. We should learn to err on the side of the positive one. Perhaps the person who seemed to insult us, meant something entirely different from what we have understood. We have misunderstood this person, because of our anger and frustration about our own situation in some other relationship, past or present. Do not examine the motives of others; examine the contents of your mind, which make you respond in a certain way.

Do talk to your mind. You have a problem with someone? Do not argue with him or her; talk to your mind as to why your mind has chosen to respond in this particular way. This alone is the way to create harmony within your family Centre or mediation group, or your Country and Nation, and to be able to realize the goal of peace with creativity.

One more suggestion if I may. When you are in disagreement with some friends and members, postpone all discussion and argument. Simply join them in a meditation group and meditate with them. When you come to the group, greet each other with palms joined before the heart and when you finish do the same again, give a smile– still no discussion and go home.

Keep doing this, irrespective of whether the problems resolve themselves or not.  I have written this because so many of you reach me with your problems, which are identical and arise from the exact same causes from within the mind. The principles are simple, but their application is complex. They are easy to memorize, difficult to remember.

I wish for you this year the capacity of remembrance and awareness.

Yours with Deepest Love
In Service of Gurudev,

Swami Veda Bharati
Rishikesh, December 1998.

Contact: Lynn Fraser  stillpointyoga.ca@gmail.com