Everything we do gives an opportunity to use and strengthen willpower which allows us to meditate better. Put full energy into the world, into each activity." Feel the energy of the spine... It's tuned right into the central source...looking at yourself as a divine being performing your dharma in God Siva's perfect universe..."
Master Course Trilogy, Merging with Siva, Lessons 43, 44.
Living with Siva, Lesson 56
Introduction to Study of the Master Course.
Good morning everyone.
Reading today from Merging with Siva, Chapter 7, Willpower, Lesson 43:
"Finish What You Start
"We are not always sitting down concentrating on a flower in the search for the Self. Once you have decided that Self Realization is the ultimate goal for you, go on living your normal life. Everything that you do in life can collectively be channeled toward the ultimate goal, for what you need is a dynamic will. You need a strong willpower.
"Willpower is the channeling of all energies toward one given point for a given length of time. ( Read that again. That's a really good definition.) Willpower is the channeling of all energies toward one given point for a given length of time. This will can be brought out from within in everything that we do through the day. It's a powerful will. It's available to everyone. It is channeling the rarefied energies of the body, of awareness itself, into attention and concentration upon everything that we do through the day."
This is an important concept in Gurudeva's teachings in that meditation is often approached as a, and taught as a separate activity from daily life. But Gurudeva integrates them in his own way by saying everything we do gives us an opportunity to use and strengthen our willpower which of course, when we go into meditation, allows us to meditate better. So he's relating what we do in our normal tasks to how well we do in meditation. There's a place that he does that even greater length which I remembered when I read this lesson so let me read from that next; it's An Introduction to the Study of the Master Course. It's in the introduction to each of the Master Course Trilogy Books. It give different ways of studying the Master Course.
"A word of advice. There is a strong tendency when a student first begins meditation to want to give up external things, to give up work and devote more time to making his meditation the perfect thing. But this is not the spirit of The Master Course. Many more forces that are negative would result from his turning away from the world as possibly already occurred in his work in the exterior world prior to his ever hearing about meditation. The thrust of The Master Course Correspondence Study is to improve all aspects of one's life. Step one is for the student to prove to himself that he can work positively in the world, performing his duties with full energy, intuiting how the whole mechanism of life is constructed -- the exterior world, his mind, himself. Then ten, fifteen or twenty minutes of good, dynamic meditation a day and The Master Course studies to guide the mind along in a step-by-step manner are more than sufficient. It comes down to readjusting our thinking and making our point of reference the reality within ourselves instead of the reality and permanence of the external world of things, forms and fancy. Once our whole philosophical structure is in line with Saiva Siddhanta thinking, it is easy to throw the mind into meditation. Then when we are working in our daily life, involved in external things and material affairs, the point of reference is that the energy within and the core of that energy and the Self itself are real."
Then Gurudeva starts saying the same thing that he did in the lesson we started with.
"The key is to put more energy into each activity you are engaged in. Rather than renouncing it, really work at it. Put your whole self in it. Get enthusiastic about it. Then you are flooding more life force through the body, right from the center of life itself. Having the Self as a point of reality reference and not the material things, with the life force constantly flooding through these nerve currents, you are actually seeing what you are doing as part of the cosmic dance of Siva, as the energy of Siva flows in and through you. Through this practice you can cut through many of your deep-rooted subconscious hang-ups that were provoked in past lives without having them come to the surface, simply by creating a new habit pattern of facing and looking at yourself as a divine being performing your dharma in God Siva's perfect universe. You create the new habit patterns by doing everything as best you can, with as much forethought and as much energy as you can command. This approach will bring steady progress on the path of personal spiritual realization and transformation."
This is a point that's quite relevant to many new Master Course students. Get a few every year writing in that, in the spirit of giving up the world. Oh, the world is a worldly place, I just want to meditate and have an inner life. What do you suggest? So of course, we're not wanting you to become a monk. They're just living in the world but not relating to it in a positive way. So, I need to point this out some way as I read this part in the Master Course Introduction to realize that in Gurudeva's teachings, if you're not a monk you're not supposed to become a semi-monk and kind of renounce the world. No you're supposed to put full energy into the world, even more energy into each activity. You know a totally different perspective than a few individuals who write in every year have.
So, back to our lesson 43, Willpower.
"How do we cultivate the willpower? What do we mean by will? Will means that if you're going to complete something, you complete it. Finish that which you begin. Finish it well, beyond your expectations, no matter how long it takes. If you are going to do something, do it well, no matter if it is a simple task or a complicated one. If you're going to read a book and intend to finish the book, then read the book, finish the book, and understand what it had to offer you, for that was the purpose of reading it."
Then Gurudeva gives another suggestion here. [Lesson 44]
"Discover the will. Back to the spine. Feel the energy in the spine. There is no lack of it, is there? The more you use of it, the more you have of it. It is tuned right into the central source..."
So my comment is:
Most things are of the nature that the more you use the less you have. When you use them they go away. So, a jar of rice. You use it up; you end up with an empty jar. Money: You have money in a bank account, you use it, the bank account ends up empty. An example of something that the more you use the more you have is a muscle. Muscles become strong through using them.
In Living with Siva [Lesson 56] Gurudeva says:
"Willpower is the muscle of the mind. We lift weights, exercise, run a mile, all to develop the muscles of the physical body. The more we perform these practices, the more muscular we become. The process of strain reshapes the cellular structures. The process of strain reshapes the cellular processes and the structure of the muscles. Intermittent rest allows them to build up double. Strong muscles appear on the body as a result."
Aum Namah Sivaya.