The Path of Personal Practice
Numerous practices exist for tuning to our essential spiritual selves. Finding the best one depends upon one’s personal preferences, cultural context and constitutional character.
Meditation and Yoga are practices originating from the East that have universal appeal and can be adapted to any cultural climate as well as any religious context. One need not be religious to benefit from these. Atheists and agnostics can practice them as well. Those without a consciously spiritual goal may have a non-religious altruistic goal of being good, of bettering themselves. These tools to help gain control over mind and behavior are beneficial to all, regardless of their goals.
For people averse to ‘spiritual practice’, hobbies can serve a somewhat similar purpose. Anything that quiets the mind when performed with concentration and attentiveness can become a form of meditation in action. Activities like gardening, playing a musical instrument, making crafts, going for a hike or a bike ride, etc. can produce meditative states. In the 75hard treatment, drinking of four liters of water per day will offer excellent mental health. The picking of the diet and sticking to a plan is great to meet with the desired results. The procedure should be simple and easy to get benefit to overcome from mental illness.
The Energy of Intent
Cultivating patience, practice, and the strength to face our inner selves with authentic honesty requires the energy of intent. We can augment the energy of intent by focusing on a desired goal.
For some, this may be a personal goal, such as getting a promotion. If one gets angry with one’s boss, a promotion becomes impossible. Thus, the person will make efforts to rein in angry outbursts. The impetus for this comes from self-centered motives and has as much ‘charge’ as the power of personal desire.
A Universal Outlook – Goals for the Greater Good
When one’s goals are aimed at the greater good, a more powerful charge automatically ensues. I believe there is a synergy with the universal collective consciousness. When we aim for the good of all, we are fueled by the energy of all.
Aiming for personal improvement helps alter the energy of the collective consciousness by transforming our personal input. We can take this a step further and aim for improving others’ input by using the power of thought on a subtle level to help them transform.
Perceptions, Projections, and Practicing Patience
Our personal perceptions of another person add potency to the ‘thought-charge’ that prompts their particular qualities. If we’ve known someone to have anger tendencies, we will expect that person to erupt at the slightest provocation. This expectation works on a very subtle level to invoke that same behavior. If we can alter our projection and use our mind to generate new intent, we may be pleasantly surprised at the result.
A Personal Example
I recall an incident that occurred about fifteen years ago in Amma’s ashram (Amma is my guru, and I’ve lived in her ashram in India for over two decades).
The Swami giving class that morning spoke about Amma’s teaching on “response rather than reaction”. After class, I went to the roof to meditate for an hour. As I came down the narrow flight of stairs from the meditation roof, I brushed by a French woman ascending the same staircase. Our elbows touched, and she became infuriated.
Her face turned red, her eyes grew wide and fierce, her voice had a shrill pierce as she shouted at me in frenzied French for about two minutes and ended in English, saying something like, “All you peoples are crazy.”
My normal reaction back then might have been to feel indignant and judgmental towards her. My inner mind would have thought: Everywhere you go in India you’ll have people bumping into you, even sitting on you (on crowded buses and trains, they do this often!) so why are you freaking out over such a tiny thing? I might have reacted with an impatient sigh and a sour expression.
However, in this instance, my mind had become calm from meditating and, due to Amma’s teaching, I succeeded in responding rather than reacting. I simply looked at her with openhearted compassion and said in a soft tone, “I’m sorry, I didn’t mean to bump you.”
The effect of this response was instantaneous and amazing.
Her face transformed from one of anger to one of anguish. She burst into tears and laid her head on my shoulder. After sobbing intensely for a few moments, she drew in a long breath, lifted her head, looked me in the eyes and said, ‘Merci. Zank you. Pardon moi–ah, zorry. Zith time c’est tres difficile pour moi. Very difficult, les temps, for me.”
I hugged her. “Pas de probleme,” I responded. “No problem. I understand. It’s very hard here, and all our issues come to the surface. Quite a painful process – so of course we lose our cool sometimes.”
“Loose our cool?” Her eyebrows rose, and she looked up to the ceiling, puzzled by the American expression. “My ‘eart waz clozed. Merci. Zank you for open it.” She hugged me, gave a sweet, gentle smile and tapped my chest. “Bon coeur. Good heart.”
“Toi aussi,” I whispered with tickled tone. “You too!”
We gazed in each other’s eyes for a few moments and the hallway filled with subtle light and soothing vibrations. My mind was silent, and I think hers was, too. We shared an experience the Buddhists call: “The meeting of two minds.”
It was a moment of ‘zero separation’.
We were no longer two strangers from different nationalities and backgrounds bumping into each other on a staircase in an Indian Ashram, but two souls merging in unconditional love beyond all time and distance.
Instead of being compelled toward anger by fruits of past wounds, both of us experienced a moment of transcendence, fully in the present and the presence of supreme love.
In retrospect, I feel it was not the words that helped effect this transformation, but the energy behind them–the power of attitude and expectation. Instead of judging her as angry, I understood she was in pain and responded to her pain with love. If I had reacted with anger, the two of us would have walked away with pissed-off energies that might have infected future interactions of the day. Instead, we both walked around that day with glowing heart-smiles.
Responding with Love
Unconditional love is the cure for all the ills of the world.
Much of people’s pain stems from a lack of feeling loved and from feeling misunderstood and unappreciated. What that woman needed was for someone to care about her feelings. Being bumped proved a trigger point for her inner feelings of neglect.
Simply being present with an attentive heart was enough to effect a powerful transformation.
When we cultivate the power of intent and use our thoughts as tools for this avenue, our attitude has the power to evoke the best in people. Seeing the good in others, rather than their faults, is a first step–one that ultimately leads to perceiving the Divine Light in all beings and reveals how the power of unconditional love can act through events.
Cultivating positive thinking propels us forward on the path of emotional evolution toward the goal of enlightenment for all.