Life, the Great Experience, Avoid Excessive Talk, Affirmation, Part 5
Merging with Siva
Satguru Bodhinatha Veylanswami , 2021-11-21
Adjust your living to dharmic principles. Live in the eternal now. Avoiding excessive talk is necessary to cultivate observation, the first awakening of the soul. The search is within. Seek on, seek on. Look in, look in. The power of affirmation, understood through meditation is to be used in wisdom for spiritual reasons. Believe in yourself. "I can. I will. I am able to accomplish what I plan." Create a picture in your mind which shows the desired result.
Master Course, Merging with Siva, Lessons 71,98. Cognizantability. The Guru Chronicles.
Good morning everyone. We're continuing our "Merging with Siva" series. One more lesson from "Life the Great Experience" given in 1957 at the Sutter Street Temple.
"Lesson 98, To Live a Radiant Life. "It is one thing to talk; it is another thing to demonstrate what is declared. Demonstration is a result of your awareness flowing through the superconscious area of the mind. The superconscious mind is actinic or radiant force, whereas the conscious and subconscious states of mind are manifestations of odic force, or magnetism. Excessive talk arises out of confused conscious and subconscious states of mind.
"Find your actinic spiritual destiny in this life. Learn to live fully each instant, completely in the eternity of the moment. Become refined by constructive, rather than abusive practices. Become positive through the generation of good deeds, rather than those uncomplimentary experiences we react to and reenact. Yours is a new and positive destiny, one that is true, constant and free from want or dangers. Life ahead for you can only become one of fulfillment and radiance as you adjust to dharmic principles. Follow these thirty-six gentle guidelines for living and meditation regularly...Follow these thirty-six gentle guidelines for living and meditate regularly in the morning when you awaken and just before sleep each night. That is all that is needed by the beginner on the eternal path to those enlightened heights of superconsciousness to which the subtle, individual, intelligent awareness of man aspires.
"On and on through the mind we travel daily, once awareness has become detached from the limited area of mind it has been trapped in. The journey seems endless! It is. Seek on, seek on. Look in, look in. And on that solid foundation of good character, move into that place in the mind and live there, seeing no difference between the inner and the outer states of fluctuating awareness. Be that now for which you have been striving. The search is within. Go within the mind. Go in and in and in and in and make fathomable the unfathomable depth of Being. You can do it. It has been done countless times over the past several thousand years. Give yourself the great benefit of believing in yourself and flow inward, inward--to the totality of it all."
Then we have my comment on that. Important point, early on there was: avoid excessive talk. A point Gurudeva makes now and then. In this instance he's saying it arises out of a confused conscious and subconscious state of mind. Avoiding excessive talk is necessary for cultivating observation. In "Cognizantability" he says: observation is the first awakening of the soul and that is cultivated through abstinence from excessive talk. So the two are very related and important. We need to be an excellent observer in order to increase our understanding, control of our mind as well as understanding the minds of others. We can't do that if we're not keen in our observation.
Another point was to adjust your living to dharmic principles. In this lesson the dharmic principles are in the form of a list of 36 practices and of course we know that in later years of writing Gurudeva replaced the 36 principles with the ten yamas and the ten niyamas. So that's what asks us to focus on in his later writings for establishing dharmic principles in our life.
Living in the eternal now of course means not thinking or talking unnecessarily about past or future. In other words it's fine to go into the past or into the future if we're doing so for a productive purpose, trying to figure out something in the past or we're trying to develop a concept of the future. But just to go there unnecessarily and know we're traveling through a museum or something without any purpose is to be avoided.
And daily meditate after awakening in the morning and before sleep at night is, the final practice he's asking us to do.
And we're moving on to our next chapter which in chronological order, the talks given oldest, is a 1958 talk given at the Sutter Street Temple also. "The Power of Affirmation." So we have some nice background information on that from "Guru Chronicles."
"Our first brahmacharis and brahmacharinis began to appear in 1949 upon returning from Sri Lanka to America. However, no vows were given until 1957. This is when my maha dashas changed from Rahu to Jupiter, (I wasn't aware of that) in December 1956. (So, the following month, January 1957 is when he formally started teaching. So he's aware of it, his maha dashas moved to Jupiter a natural time for teaching.) This began the Order in a very serious way. Prior to this time, I had been traveling some, lecturing and teaching Vedanta, Siddhanta and writing Raja Yoga [as Cognizantability was also known] and other works. Temple worship was unheard of in the West in those days, as the Catholic Church, as well as the Protestant churches, had much of the nation held into its belief patterns."
So that's how things were in 1957.
"Gurudeva had regular hours for personal counseling with members and participated in the many regular activities, always available to teach and answer questions. "Gems of Wisdom", a book of his sayings, proved so popular that a second edition had to be printed in mid 1958. Gurudeva oversaw this and was busy besides preparing the first Church Manual, a compendium of vows, vestments, sacraments, disciplines and schedules to guide the spiritual life of the congregation and monastics.
"To embody the busy routine of classes and studies of devotees and members he founded The Yoga Institute, giving it several rooms in the San Francisco Temple. It was the forerunner of Himalayan Academy. He also initiated what came to be known as The Breakfast Club, a gathering held the third Sunday of each month, when devotees and members could be together with him amid informal surroundings to chat and enjoy each other's company. It was quite popular, and a productive spirit came of it. Above all, Gurudeva saw to the smooth progress of his devotees in their devotions and spiritual disciplines. 'Consistency is the key to the conquest of karma,' was his refrain."
Then we get first lesson :
"The Power of Affirmation.
"The power of affirmation changes and remolds the putty-like substance that makes up the subconscious areas of the mind. (So, this is another approach to the subconscious mind which is very strong in Gurudeva's teachings verses what you find in other teachers.) For years we have repeated sayings and statements, attached meaning to them in our thoughts and through listening to ourselves speak. This has helped form our life as we know it today, for the subconscious brings into manifestation the impressions we put into it. Therefore, to change the subconscious pattern and increase the spinning velocity of it... Therefore, to change the subconscious pattern and increase the spinning velocity of it, we must remold with new ideas and new concepts its magnetic forces. This can be done through the power of affirmation."
So my comment, Gurudeva has a greater development of that idea in "Cognizantability" he says:
"The future is created by the impressions we have put into the subconscious in the past and those impressions we are placing there continually in the present. The future is the continuing summation of all our past actions and reactions, for there is only the moment in which we live."
So my comment on that is:
In the past the impressions that have gone into our subconscious mind are of a mixed nature, some positive some negative. That is the current content of the subconscious mind. We can consciously improve the content of the subconscious mind in a effective way through the use of affirmations. So we're consciously remolding it whereas in the past we would just letting whatever we experienced mold it without giving that thought.
Back to the lesson:
"Affirmation, when used in wisdom for spiritual reasons, is a power, and should be understood through meditation. Before beginning to work with an affirmation, we must understand completely from within what we are doing, being sure that when our subconscious has been remolded we can take the added responsibilities, the new adventures and challenges that will manifest as a result of breaking out of one force field and entering into another. Only when we face and accept fully the new effects of our effort should we proceed with an affirmation. First we must understand the nature of this power."
For my comment I have an example I commonly use about added responsibilities and being sure we can handle them.
If you are currently renting a house, to create an affirmation to acquire a mansion is probably too big a jump in responsibility to make all at once. It would be wiser to use an affirmation to acquire a modest size house as the next logical step.
Then we get the text:
"An affirmation is a series of positive words repeated time and time again in line with a visual concept. Such a statement can be repeated mentally or, preferably, verbally. Words in themselves, without a pictorial understanding, make a very poor affirmation... Words in themselves, without a pictorial understanding make a very poor affirmation. To choose the affirmation best suited to our needs, first we must realize what we do not want, and then we must take steps to change it, in the very same way we would discriminate in giving away or throwing away our possessions in order to purchase new ones. Whether one is dealing with home and possessions, thoughts and concepts, self-created inhibitions, or blocks and barriers of the subconscious, the principle is basically the same. If one feels, 'I can't,' he cannot. If he is always criticizing himself and lamenting over what he cannot do, then he has to reverse this pattern and change the flow of magnetic mental force, enliven its intensity by saying orally and feeling through all the pores of his body, 'I can. I will. I am able to accomplish what I plan'."
So my comment is:
Creating a visualization is the idea that we're creating a picture in our mind which shows the desired result. For example, if you are affirming more customers in your store, visualize your store filled with customers. Very simple. So we need a picture in our mind that represents the generalized idea.
Have a wonderful day.