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Consistency, Continuity, Learning from Mistakes

Nalif: The continuity of vibration from one shumnuhm or puja to another. Regret from making a mistake is the greatest obstacle to intuiting the lesson from an experience. The essence of me is Divine; get another perspective and learn from all experience.

Master Course, Merging with Siva, Lesson 96.

Unedited Transcript:

Good morning.

This is from today's Merging With Siva lesson, Lesson 96.

"The Art of Being Constant.

"There is an art which you can learn which will make all of your decisions easier. It is the art of being constant. Consistency wins. Consistency is one of the most important qualities of a devotee. It is only through consistency in your daily life that you gain the awareness which enables you to cognize the experiences of life, taking from them their real lessons. It is only through consistency that you can avoid many of the boulders that lie in your way on the classical yoga path to enlightenment.

"Practice the art of being constant and you will unfold your destiny, discover what you were born to do and learn how to accomplish it in this life. For in that security you will awaken and fulfill your destiny and realize the Self. Thus having your feet planted firmly on the ground, your consciousness can dwell freely in the spirit born of Self Realization."

I looked up a Shum word this morning. It's nalif. It relates to consistency.

"Meditation, holding the vibration from one shumnuhm to another. Continuity in between meditations. After shumnuhm or any type of meditation practice or temple puja, a vibration fills one and remains with one long after. This vibration or current or sidisi is called nalif. Nalif should be held from meditation to meditation or puja to puja. It can be likened to a phrase in music. Each time the nalif vibration wears thin, we should reconstruct that area through shumnuhm, puja or another meditation. Nalif is most generally held within the vibration of the vishuddha chakra. (Throat chakra.) It is possible to go in consciousness into willpower, divine sight, or sahasrara and not break the nalif. But getting into a detailed discussion or argument within the reason chakra, or remorse or reminiscing in the past in the muladhara would break the nalif. It would then, with some effort, have to be re-established. Nalif is especially necessary to those yogi tapasvins who hope to advance in their raja yoga on the Saiva Path. "

So the key ideas there are: If you meditate once a month or go to puja once a month you won't have a nalif, right? It's not, it's not often enough to have a continuity of vibration. Needs to be probably no more than three days apart, something like that. Seventy-two hours for it to really be strong. If you went to the, went to say Kadavul within 72 hours always, you could maintain a nalif, continuity of the vibration. But if you just come once a month then you're starting over every time you come. You can't hold the vibration; it will dissipate after a few days. Likewise, with a meditation. You can develop a meditation by doing the same meditation, ideally almost every day would be good, but at least every 72 hours and develop it. You're picking it up where you left off. It will take a few minutes to get back into it. It's not necessarily instantaneous. You go in, in mediation and there it is looking at you. You know it could work that way but that means you have a very good nalif. It's more likely to just take a few minutes to get back into that state.

So those monks who have a daily vigil have a great opportunity to develop something by doing it every single day. You can go deeper and deeper into a mediation. It's a... That discipline is very effective for that. And as Gurudeva says: For yogi tapasvins, yogi tapasvin is a time when a monk is putting more energy then normal into what it sounds like, into meditation or into yoga. And, so that's a very good principle to try and utilize at that time, just try and hold the vibration from day to day and go deeper and deeper into the subject matter you're meditating on.

"Study your approach to life today as you practice this exercise. Take some of the experiences from your subconscious state of mind. Add them up and see how well your life balances out. Visualize a scale before you. Put the total of the experiences understood and the lessons derived from them on one side. Put on the other side of the scale the total number of experiences that you do not fully understand and from which you can still reap lessons. See how they balance. If they balance evenly, you are well on your way to becoming steadfast and constant. If they overbalance on the reactionary side, you are on the right track because you now have the power to balance your scale--your subconscious. If they overbalance on the understanding side, you should consider dedicating your life to the service of others...

"Take the experiences that you are not quite sure of--all the ones that you cannot form into a solid stone of understanding. Take those experiences and resolve to trace down each intuitively. Don't analyze. Just look at the sum total of the experiences, and after awhile you will get your clarification in a flash of intuition. This will be of great benefit to you. The great lessons that those experiences offer will become apparent as you progress in your practice of concentration. Do this and you will do much for yourself. "

As you know, when I talk about this topic, generally, the first point I make is that we need to make sure we're not holding in some form the idea that we're not supposed to make mistakes. Cause that's the greatest obstacle to intuiting the lesson from an experience is the regret that we made a mistake; that we did something that at this point in our life we feel we shouldn't have. So that regret can be the obstacle which prevents us from understanding it. We just really don't want to look at it. Subject comes up and we say: "Oops, lets not go there." We just want to keep it covered. You know, it's much more pleasant to keep it covered and pretend it didn't happen. But, hopefully, through Gurudeva's teachings we have enough understanding to realize that, to have some detachment from it, shall we say. That, you know, I'm a divine being and I make mistakes. Just cause I'm a divine being doesn't mean I'm a perfect being, you know. It means: The essence of me is divine and I have to learn things.

So, if we can look at it then, and accept that we did it, then we can try and intuit the lesson from it. In other words, if we were faced with the same situation again how would we handle it differently. Why would we handle it differently? You know, that's what we need to come to, that conclusion. Whenever something goes wrong. Okay, this went wrong. How would I handle it differently next time so the same mistake, the same event doesn't occur? So we have to be, have enough confidence in our self to look at it that way.

There's a practice in the Master Course which is very helpful in this particularly if we don't have this habit in the first place. Is called "concentration playback." The idea of concentration playback is: Before we go to sleep we sit for a few minutes and we play back the day to see what didn't go in an ideal way. We just kind of play it back and we see we got into a little tangle with someone but nothing worth thinking about. And we come across something: that didn't go well at all. That's the kind of thing, when it didn't go well at all, that we need to reflect upon and say: Well is there another way I can handle it if that same situation were to come around tomorrow for example. How could I handle it different.

So, by taking the time to reflect in a formal way, if we don't have the habit kind of of doing it as we go along through the day, then we start to build the habit of: When things really don't go well we automatically start thinking about how we would handle it differently next time. And that's the point. Not to dwell on the fact that it didn't go well, not to forget it, it makes us feel bad. You know we don't want to do either of those things; we want to solve it. How would I handle it differently next time? We can't figure it out and it's important we should write it down and try again on another day and maybe we'll have a better insight at that time. Or, if it the kind of subject we could talk about to someone else we could ask their advice. How would you handle this? Try and get another perspective on it altogether and that way learn from our experiences.

So, all experiences in Gurudeva's teachings are good experiences if we learn from them. Somehow it was necessary for us to do that and if we learn from it then we've gotten the full benefit out of doing it and getting a better understanding of how to avoid it in the future.

Have a great day.

Aum Namah Sivaya Aum.