LIFE – THE WAY
Stone: Agate or Crystal Geode
The Mantra: Sujiivana Prachodayate
Only a life dedicated to find oneself and becoming one
with the Divine is really worth living.
As Sri Aurobindo noted,
The key to life’s hidden secret is the true relation of this Spirit
with its own created existences.
What about your own true relation with that Spirit?
a) A very ancient Way is:
Be in the world like the lotus, which has its roots in the watery mud
but raise its magnificent blossom out of it,
no longer touched by it.
Over 2500 years ago the Buddha had advised:
Live your life in its totality, and although living
in the world, don’t be of it.
How will your life in its totality?
How will you live in the world but not be of it?
Relax a little bit, give life a chance to flow its own way,
unassisted by your mind and effort.
Stop directing the river’s flow.
Wu Hsin agrees:
Don’t take life personally. The sun has no care
for what passes through the sky.
Einstein made this observation:
A person starts his life at last when he lives for something
other than himself, when he can live
How will you live outside yourself?
Outside or beyond your ego and false self-image.
To which extent?
Anthony de Mello noted that:
Life only makes sense when you perceive it as mystery and it makes
no sense to the conceptualizing mind.
Life is really simple but we make it complicated:
see how although it seldom gives us all we desire it does provide us with all we need to realize ourselves and accomplish our destiny, and even in our darkest hour we have never been abandoned by the Divine:
whenever we feel alone and helpless it is because we have cut
ourselves off from Him and at least unconsciously
rejected His guidance.
Jung used the word “infinite” instead of “the Divine”, but it means the same thing:
The telling question of a person’s life is whether or not
he is related to the Infinite.
Is your life related to the infinite?
Of course we are all always close to the Divine, as He is everything.
But the essential is:
being in contact with the Divine, at least
with a part of our being.
In most cases, to find our true life and destiny
we must be prepared to let go of the life
that we had planned for ourselves.
Which life did you plan for yourself?
b) In a certain sense we are like an embryo in the process of being born,
but so many get stuck at that level, never quite living, stranded in the mere expectation of life, or fear of it.
To find our true life, real aliveness,
we must let go of the narrow, limited, superficial conditionings
that we have absorbed from our whole culture.
We should live with the utmost intensity
as if we knew that we would die on the morrow, in the awareness
that each instant is a most precious gift from the Divine
which should never be wasted.
How often are you wasting some of His gifts?
In exchange of WHAT?
It is far too great a loss.
if you gave to someone a very valuable gift, but saw that it was not appreciated at all, would you give this person another one?
Our life is the total sum of all our expectations, attachments and fears:
letting go of them all will not only transform our life
but also the one of those close to us.
Which is the total sum of all your expectations and attachments?
Are you satisfied with it?
If yes, look at it once more.
If not, what will you DO about it?
As Gandhi noted,
Life is not waiting the storm to pass…but learning
to dance under the rain.
How good are you in dancing under the rain?
Or are you afraid of getting wet?
Ha ha ha ha!
Rainer Maria Rilke suggests that we trust Life:
Let life happen to you. Believe me: life
is in the right, always.
But then how come that often does not seem so at all?
Sri Aurobindo’s advice is:
Live always as if you were under the very eye of the Supreme
and of the Divine Mother.
Do nothing, try to think and feel nothing that would be
unworthy of the Divine Presence.
c) Remember the Emerald Tablets’ words:
Man, you believe to be living, but within death
your life really is.
Why remembering this helps?
the Memento Mori gives us the incentive to discover
and live our true life at last.
Life should be a constant joy full of gratitude for all the opportunities
that it grants us because only then we can grow inwardly
and discover who we really are.
To which extent can you do that?
If not enough, why not?
Live your precious life in a relaxed way, trusting that everything that happens, including what may appear to your mind as something “terrible”,
has been planned by the Divine to bring you to a state of detachment, peace joy and ultimately to your Great Liberation.
Eckhart Tolle agrees:
Life will give you whatever experience is the most helpful
for the evolution of your consciousness.
Listen to Rumi:
Do not worry that your life is turning upside down.
How do you know that the side you are used to
is better than the one to come?
Joseph Campbell agrees:
The goal of life is to have your heartbeat match the beat of the Universe, to match your nature with Nature.
We must get rid of the life we have planned, so as to have the life that is waiting for us.
Vivekananda’s advice is:
Let us live in Him and stand in Him.
It is the only joyful state of existence. Life on the plane
of the Spirit is the only life, and let us all
try to attain to this realization.
d) How can we live a higher, fulfilling life?
The effective length of our life consists only in the total sum of the moments in which we have ben really inwardly aware and no longer identified with our past, our ego and the self-image that we have of ourselves.
All other moments are part of death.
The quickest and simplest way is:
letting go every moment of everything
that we have ever been.
Wu Hsin presents two very simple but effective Way:
Every life becomes
sheer wonderment when
the mental commentary is removed.
The cup of black tea is
transformed into a holy moment.
Live in the world like a boat on the ocean:
on it but removed from it.
Most people shape the clay of their lives into something very banal, that’s all.
What will you make of your own life?
As Henry Millersaid,
Until we accept the fact that life itself is founded in mystery,
we shall learn nothing.
Life is a mystery to be lived, not
a problem to be solved.
e) We have been given a certain amount of energy
which we can spend in so many different ways.
But which is their best use?
There is only ONE:
To put it all at the service of the Divine
Unless we consecrate all we do, or most of it at least
will be like a thin smoke in a high wind.
However, it is unlikely that we will be able to consecrate all we do until we fully realize that:
the Divine’s will is our own true will,
the one of our ego and personality are but the chains
of our inner prison.
Ideally we should have the same attitude as Mère when She said:
For me life is a torture if I am not exclusively turned to the Divine.
That’s the only remedy; otherwise, it’s true, life is a torture.
Existing becomes intolerable.
it is only when we become aware that any ordinary life concerned with security
and the satisfaction of desires is a kind of disguised death
that we truly begin to live.
To which extent are you aware of it?
This awareness is your lifeline.
Nisargadatta Maharaj has a warning:
Between the banks of pleasure and pain flows the river of life.
If you spend much time on either bank
you will miss out on life.
D.T. Suzuki agrees:
Life, according to Zen, ought to be lived as a bird flies through the air
or as a fish swims in the water.
Khalil Gibran adds that:
Your daily life is your temple and your religion. When you enter
into it take with you all.
In what does it consist your “all”?
As the Buddha warned:
Just as a candle cannot burn without fire, men cannot live
without a spiritual life.
Most seem to and have no problem with it.
But only seems, and a great disappointment is waiting for them just around the corner.
Never say: “This is my life.”
But tell yourself:
Everything in my life is a metaphor through which
the Divine is teaching me.
Or tell yourself with the Tiruvallavur’s words:
Life is Love’s way: without it like mere bones
covered by dry skin are we all.
When the Kabuli was asked by a dervish the way to a life really worth living He replied that nothing could be simpler:
First of all turn your sheepskin jacket inside out, and then
just make sure that you get your bread
always from the same Baker!
Who is the same Baker?
Of course, the Divine.
What does turning our sheepskin jacket inside out stand for?
Letting go of our old self-image.
And buying your bread always from the same Baker?
How many different courses have your attended, how many Teachers or versions of the Path have you followed so far
instead of learning from your Inner Guide?
The Devil’s Advocate:
You may well be trying to make sense of your life and reach a “higher” level of it, but aren’t you still living like almost everyone else, sleepwalkers all, and call it life?
Life has meaning only when we live it for something other than our ego
and superficial satisfactions. Our real life begins only when we realize
who we really are.
Until then it is only the mirage of life.
Strive to free yourself of all the illusions of your superficial
personality, self-image and ego, because they
are not what you really are.
you can dance amongst the flowers or keep sweating
in the salt mines: is entirely up to you.
Words of Power:
Our time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life.
Use your human life to CREATE yourself.
who you really are
“Life consists in what a man is thinking of all day.”
What are you thinking of all day?
“Let your life lightly dance on the edges of Time
like dew on the tip of a leaf.”
How will you do that?
“Your life, as it is, is tailor-made for your next step – awakening
to your true nature as the Supreme Reality.”
“To be fully alive is to feel that everything
is possible.” Eric Hoffer
“A happy life consists in tranquility of mind.”
“A lifetime is like a flash of lightening in the sky;rushing by,
like a torrent down a steep mountain.”
“Life is a bridge, so don’t build a house upon it.”
Which is what most people are doing, and see how they end up!
“The end of life is to be like God, and the soul following God
will be like Him.” Socrates
“Life is the flight of the alone to the alone.”
“The main task of man in life is to give birth
to himself.” Eric Fromm
Living consciously is life’s
only purpose.” Wu Hsin
“If you knew the secret of Life you too would choose
no other companion but Love.”
“Set your life in fire. Seek those
who fan your flames.” Rumi
“Life is meant for seeking the Divine. Life
is realised when ﬁnding the Divine.”
How will you find the Divine?
Sri Aurobindo answers this question:
“Live within, be not shaken
by outward happenings.”
From the Quest:
I once read this story:
At a seminary about life, a professor brought a large plastic barrel and after showing his students that was it empty filled it with golf balls and asked if now it was full.
They all agreed that it was.
He poured bags of glass marbles into it up to the top and again he asked if it was full; they said yes, but he shook his head and poured a bag of fine sand into it to the brim. When he asked if the barrel now was really full the yes that he received was stronger than before, for it seemed impossible to put anything more into it.
But the professor poured several large water bottles into it until it overflew from the top and pointed out that only now it was really full.
Then he explained that:
– The tennis balls are all the obsolete habits and ways of being in our life.
– The glass marbles are things that we do which serve for something to some extent useful but not really indispensable.
– The fine sand represents the necessities of life, like the work that we do for a living, taking care of our bodily needs, etc.
He waited to be asked “And the water?”
And then told them that some sand is necessary, although most of us let too much of it in their lives,
but the water is the essential,
and the tennis ball and the glass marbles leave us far too little space for
the water of our life, for our love and joy, our spiritual aspects
and our inner contact with the Divine.
From Vijay’s Journals – 1963, London.
Yesterday night I met Mr. X, reputed to be a great occultist, and asked him, I must confess, a very mental question.
He started to reply, changed his mind and remained silent, inwardly concentrated a moment, then told me:
Incarnating in a human body without finding or at least seeking
the secret meaning of your life, who you really are,
is like being offered untold wealth and wonders by a great King
but accepting only the most worthless gift of all.
Would YOU ever do something that dumb?
We hope not!
Most do that almost all the time.
Question/Ko’han 1 to 3:
Instead of what you want from life, have you ever asked yourself what life wants from you?
What do you reckon it wants from you?
Question/Ko’han 4 and 5:
To really live we must constantly die to ourselves,
to all we have ever been.
Anyhow, would you want to die to yourself if you could?
Question/Ko’han 6 and 7:
In a certain sense,
life is like the art of writing a book or making a film so well
that there is no need of editing it.
What would you need to edit from your life?
Sri Aurobindo has the last word:
We are sons of God and must be even as He:
His human portion, we must grow divine.
Our life is a paradox with God as key.
The great stars burn with my unceasing fire
And life and death are both its fuel made.
Life only was my blind attempt to love:
Earth saw my struggle, heaven my victory.
1) See Life like walking upon a high, tight rope:
to keep your balance you must always keep moving, changing, and evolving.
– Determine which changes are the most needed in your life.
– Find out the best possible way to achieve them.
– Then hesitate no longer
and just DO IT.
2) Follow this advice of Carlos Castaneda
You must take up the responsibility to be here, in this wonderful
world, this wonderful time.
You must learn how to make each of your actions count, as you will remain in this world for but a short time, too short in truth to witness all its wonders. If you do not pick up this challenge, it is as if you were dead.
So, unless you think that your life will last forever, what are you waiting for?
Why this hesitation in front of the change?
Ask yourself these questions.
3) Meditate on these words of Sri Aurobindo:
In the right view both of life and of Yoga all life is either consciously
or subconsciously a Yoga.
For we mean by this term a methodised effort towards self-perfection by the expression of the potentialities latent in the being and a union of the human individual with the universal and transcendent Existence we see partially expressed in man and in the Cosmos. But all life, when we look behind its appearances,
is a vast Yoga of Nature attempting to realise her perfection in an ever increasing expression of her potentialities and to unite herself
with her own divine reality.
- This passage
You cannot live without dying. You cannot live if you do not die
psychologically every minute.
This is not an intellectual paradox. To live completely, wholly, every day as if it were a new loveliness, there must be dying to everything of yesterday,
otherwise you live mechanically, and a mechanical mind
can never know what love is or what freedom is.
2) These words of Mère
In peace, in silence and in quietness the world was built; and each time that something is to be truly built, it is in peace and silence and quietness that it must be done.
It is ignorance to believe that you must run from morning to night and labour at all sorts of futile things in order to do something for the world.
Once you step back from these whirling forces into quiet regions, you see
how great is the illusion! Humanity appears to you
like a mass of blind creatures
rushing about without knowing what they do or why they do it and only knocking and stumbling against each other.
And it is this that they call action and life! It is empty agitation, not action,
not true life.
3) These verses from Sri Aurobindo’s Savitri
And Life, a splendor stream of musing Force,
Carries the voices of the mystic Suns.
A happiness it brings of whispered truth;
There runs in its flow honeying the bosom of Space
A laughter from the immortal heart of Bliss,
And the unfathomed Joy of timelessness,
The sound of Wisdom’s murmur in the Unknown
And the breath of an unseen Infinity.
In Nescience began her mighty task,
In Ignorance she pursues the unﬁnished work,
For knowledge gropes, but meets not Wisdom’s face.
Ascending slowly with unconscious steps,
A foundling of the Gods she wanders here
Like a child-soul left near the gates of Hell
Fumbling through fog in search of Paradise.
real life isn’t yet
but surely soon
I will be born!
Live like a river quietly flows,
like a cloud knows when to rain
and in the clearest sky dissolve;
live as if you were already fully Awake.