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Wednesday, November 23, 2005

The Middle Path...yours!

Well, just when it seemed like I'd finally stopped reading the newspaper and finding 'spiritual' stuff to post, it seems like I found something else. In fact, there hasn't been time to post a lot of the stuff that I find itneresting. Actually, if you go further back, I don't seem to have the time and or the inclination to cut stuff out, even if I like it. I guess it's this crazy Bangalore weather at the moment. For those of you who don't know, because of the rains in Chennai, and the depression in the Bay of Bengal and all that, it's been a bit gloomy here in Bangalore. The nights are cold. The days are cloud with a slight drizzle. And that sickening wet feeling really tends to get to people. I consider myself one of the "gotten-to". :-( But, in the midst of all this rumination, I came across this one. It's true, but the whole work-while-you-work-and-play-while-you-play style of going about your life is detrimental to your overall well-being. It has to do with going to extremes instead of walking down the middle. And for that reason I think this article makes a lot of sense. Please check it out and let me know what you guys think.

Stop Living on Edge, Find Your Centre
By Swami Kriyananda

The average person is like an eccentric flywheel that is not centered properly. The faster the wheel turns, the more violently it vibrates, ultimately flying apart. Most people are frequently in danger of "flying apart" mentally. Living at their periphery, they vibrate more violently the faster they whirl through life. Few of them think of themselves as even having a centre. They are forever "on edge".

Living at the periphery forces you to relate to others at theirs. They, in turn, will be"on edge" with you. Your understanding of them will be superficial. Get mentally inside whatever you are trying to understand, to gaze outward from its centre. The secret of understandin others is to identify with them at their centre. To find the centre of anything or anyone, first withdraw to your own centre and project your feelings empathetically from that point.

Meditation is the process of finding your centre. Its success depends on right attitude. The first attitude fundamental to "centering" is self-acceptance. You are who you are. Make the best of it, and envy no one for what he is. Encourage yourself in your efforts to attain your highest potential. Self-acceptance will come progressively as you try to live up to the highest in you.

True conscience is innate. It is the silent voice of the soul. Be clear in your true conscience. Such clarity comes only when we accept that our higher Self is our eternal reality. When you resist your lower impulses and strive towards inner heights, your conscience will be reasonably clear. You will achieve that measure of emotional and psychic relaxation without which it is impossible to find rest at your centre.

Accept kindness.You should also practice kindness towards yourself. You'll never overcome your failings by hating your shortcomings, but don't allow kindess to excuse them. You should work to strengthen yourself in virtue. Seek always your gihest potential. If this means being stern with yourself, occasionally, so be it. Never be judgemental. By kind acceptance also of others you will find yourself intuitively aware of them at their centre.

The more you attune yourself from your centre to the centre in everything, the more you will find that there is a sympathetic interrelationship in the universe that enables perfect understanding of all things. Depend not on intellectual analysis, which separates things and compartmentalizes them, but try to feel the heart of what you are trying to understand.

Paramhansa Yogananda practised this and could converse easily with people of specialised knowledge, using their own terminology. A lady in Mexico City who spoke no English had a private interview for one hour with Yogananda, who spoke no Spanish. "I don't know how it happened," she told me, "but we understood each other perfectly."

Finding your own centre is not a process of divorcing yourself from objective reality, but of touching that universal centre of which all objective reality is a manifestation. To do so bestows far greater than normal comprehension. Wisdom gained from tuning in to one's own centre is not at all like going to school, where the goal is to learn. Meditation is a process of unlearning the limitations of delusion imposed on us by our egos.

And there you have it. I like the last line especially. We do impose a lot of stuff on ourselves every single day. And why do we do this? I don't know man. But we believe, or are led to believe that being a certain way is THE way to be, or doing a particular thing is THE thing to do. And even when it comes to relationships between people, quite possibly at a very intimate level, you often find issues about not getting back in return, what you have given...and when it becomes like that you're too far gone! No point going into the whole "Help Ever, Hurt Never" thing. You've read it all before...now it's time to do something about it.
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