Stay in the Now, Create Your Future
Satguru Bodhinatha Veylanswami , 2015-07-17
Bisi in Shum: ["I am aware of the unreality of time and the eternity of the moment."] To quiet the mind for meditation hold your mind no more than 4.5 days in the past or in the future. What happens to us is created by our subconscious mind carrying forward all the experiences from all of our lives. We're a walking sum-total of everything we've ever done. Where we have complete control is the future. Ask yourself: "Do I want life to treat me like that in the future?" before you act.
Master Course, Merging with Siva, Lesson 95.
Good morning everyone.
Reading from Lesson 95 from Merging with Siva
"We create our mind each instant.
"It is up to us to choose how we want to create the mind, conscious and subconscious. I say 'how we want to create the mind' because we are creating our mind each instant. There is no past! That dream as it passes before our vision is right now. We call it the past because we say we remember, but as we are remembering, we are recreating what we are remembering in the present. There is no future! That is also a dream or a vision, just like the past, because when we think of the so-called future we are recreating it before our vision right now. Therefore, there is no past, there is no future. Now is the only apparent reality!"
Sometimes when we talk about not thinking a lot about the future I get asked the question: Well, does that mean we shouldn't plan? That's the future, right? If we're not supposed to think about the future how we supposed to do any planning at all?
Well of course we are. The idea here is to not think unnecessarily or unproductively about the past and the future. An unproductive thought about the future, a common one is worry. Oh, we might have a hurricane today. What happens if we have a hurricane, you know? It's good to be prepared for a hurricane but you don't want to worry about it. You know you say: Okay. Well have I done all my hurricane preparations? And if you have then say: Okay, well, I'll just not worry about it anymore.
So, we don't want to think unnecessarily about the future which is usually in the form of worry. And then unnecessarily about the past. If we think unnecessarily about the past it's usually because something isn't resolved. We don't understand something. We don't accept something. Therefore, we think about it on a regular basis. Why did this happen? Shouldn't have happened. So we need to sort that out. And when we do sort it out through techniques such as writing it down and burning it up, journaling, then we don't think unnecessarily about the past.
Gurudeva gave a simple guideline and a Shum word, bisi. He said: Don't go more than four and a half days into the past and four and a half days into the future. So, it's a nine day period. Unnecessarily. Hold your mind in that nine day period and then it's easier to meditate. And the more we let our mind go beyond that period in an unproductive way then the harder it is when we sit down to meditate to quiet the mind. We've got all these thoughts going on that we don't have to have going on.
"Now is the only apparent reality, and it is up to us to decide how we want to create our mind, because we do create our mind each instant. We make basic decisions. 'I would like to be nice to a certain friend of mine. That is the one who has not been too friendly to me lately.' This is a basic decision. Go out today and if someone does harm to you, or your friend is not kind to you, show your love by doing something kind for him. It is up to us to decide how to face life, be it 'Love your neighbor' or 'An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth.' It is up to us to fathom the reaction we are going to cause in ourselves and others by each of our decisions. Since each decision will bring its own reward, it is up to us to determine whether we want to suffer through a reaction as a result of an action that we have not duly considered in the light of dharmic principles."
I was looking at Paramaguru Yogaswami's "Words of Our Master." We had the book open there in the Guru Peedam. It's just very short. Usually it's one sentence, sometimes two. This one was two sentences. Says:
"The past created the present." And, "Man is the architect of his future."
Well, very profound statement. And the better we understand that smoother our life can flow. It's relating to what we're saying here that each decision will bring its own reward. Or each action we do creates a reaction or karma in the future.
It's a very interesting system that God Siva created when you think about it. We don't think of our mind as what's the cause? But what happens to us is being created by our subconscious mind which is carrying forward all the experiences from all our lives, this life and past lives. So, we're a walking sum-total of everything that we've ever done. And, part of that is karma that is coming to us. So, we tend to think of it all happening outside of ourselves but it's happening inside of us. You know, we're just attracting based on what's inside of our mind. What happens outside is just a reflection of what happens, what is inside, which is a sum-total of everything we've ever done.
So, the more we understand that the less likely we are to blame someone else. And the key attitude is, when someone mistreats you is at least to think inwardly: Well thank you for bringing my karma back to me. You know, rather than blaming them: Well, you shouldn't have done that. Well, of course they should have done that. Someone needs to do it to you. If it's not that person then it would have to be someone else. You know, but we tend to blame the messenger. This person treated me in that way. We don't say: I am going to be treated in that way because of what's inside my mind. We don't see it that way. We say: This person did something to me. We don't say: I attracted a person to do this to me and if it hadn't been that person then well maybe I'd have to wait a year for someone else to do it, you know. Well now it's over with. As long as I don't react and retaliate it's gone. Better to be done now than a year from now, right?
We don't, even though we intellectually understand the law of karma, action-reaction, we don't necessarily apply it to everything that happens in our life. And then the other side of that is as Yogaswami says: "Man is the architect of his future." When we think of karma some individuals think: What can I do? You know, it's going to happen anyway. I don't have any control over it.
Well, where we have complete control is the future. Because how we act now is determining the future. So, if we choose to act kindly toward others, guess what'll happen in the future? It'll get reversed. People will be kindly toward us.
I was asked the other day to explain: Well what would be the karma of this type of action? And the easiest way to understand the karma is that if you treated someone some way, be it good or bad, kind or unkind, you will get treated that way in the future. You will be the receiver. It's a very simple way of understanding the law of karma. So, if you're generous toward people, guess what? People in the future will be generous toward you. You will attract that cause of what's in your subconscious mind. So you become the receiver, the recipient.
So, ask yourself: Do you want to receive that? Do I want life to treat me like that or not in the future before you act?
So, have a wonderful day.
Aum Namah Sivaya.