Monday, February 11, 2013

I don't want to die

Dear Friends,
   I am staying with Tim in an apartment near a graveyard in Tallahassee. Many days, I go out walking through the graveyard to say prayers for the departed souls. During these walks, I also contemplate on death. Bodies come and go on this planet by the billions. What is the point? The moment the body is born here, it is on the road to death. Most bodies spend their whole lives trying to make the body comfortable with food, sleep, sex, entertainment, fidgeting, fine clothes. And if these are taken away, the mind goes into suffering and pain. Lifetime after lifetime, body comes and goes. In a blink of an eye, this body will go. How many times will I reincarnate into another creature that suffers the ups and downs of this world? Hundreds of thousands of lifetimes so far. I have been an insect, a reptile, a deer, a monkey, a murderer, a monk... I have done it all over and over again by my own choice! The mind believes it is a body so it comes back as a body. After indulging in all the fantastic pleasures of the body and mind for millions of years, I am ready to step off the endless wheel of pleasure and pain. To let go of the consciousness, "I am a body and mind."

When the Buddha saw death and decaying bodies around his town, He decided that He was not going to follow the same road as everyone else. And of course, through the purification of His mind, body, and soul, His consciousness was freed and it returned to the Whole. This path means letting go of all addictions, desires, and identification with the mind and body. Breaking the "prison" of the mind by using the mind itself! Naturally, the path requires a complete transformation of one's life and thoughts.

What binds me to body consciousness? Comfort! So challenging the body's comfort zone is a powerful practice. Like being in a cold environment, eating different foods than normal, sitting in half-lotus position. Challenging the body's normal patterns and becoming okay with not-normal circumstances. Challenging the mind's comfort zone. So going out to talk with new people when the mind is more comfortable with old friends. To really understand the point of view of others. Not-normal mind situations. As I open up to discomfort, the mind becomes more soft, flexible, and patient and not so many things bother the mind. Then the mind is not thinking so much anymore, "How can I become more comfortable in this situation?" And it starts to quiet down and go into meditation even while the body moves about. This is the beginning of peace. When the mind can accept all circumstances without complaint. When comfort is no longer an issue! A few yogis have come to this point, but most people in this world are not willing to give up comfort. Yes, my mind and body are not so willing, but through a strong intention, the desires are following away one by one. This intention comes from an inner devotion to the Divine, the Supreme Presence, Svami Purna...

Let us spend our remaining days seeking the Eternal, the Soul beyond the body. Let us pry away the attachment of the Soul to the body and return to Beingness, the Great Beyond. Let us break through the barriers of the mind and step off the Wheel of Samsara. Let us merge into the Whole.

With love,

Monday, February 4, 2013

Power of Mantra

Dear Friends,
    Mantra is an extraordinary practice. However, at some point, mantra flows naturally, so it becomes a part of the being rather than a practice. Mantra is the most effective when it is initiated by the Satguru. Then the word becomes a "piece" of the guru, a holy word that may bring one all the way to realization of one's True Nature. There are many spiritual aspirants that have chanted the holy name until all karma is burned in the Fire. Valmiki was one sage who received the holy name, Ram, from Sage Narada. He chanted Ram constantly until he became enlightened, and then he wrote the Ramayana, one of the most influential literary works in all of history. This is the result of mantra.
    One may chant a mantra so often that it chants silently by itself inside the Heart. A mantra invokes the gods that within us. Gods represent energy such as love, peace, and joy. Here is the mahamantra:
Hare Krishna Hare Krishna
Krishna Krishna Hare Hare
Hare Rama Hare Rama
Rama Rama Hare Hare
    This one is known throughout the world. When invoked with the blessing of the Guru, it invokes Krishna, the Supreme Presence, to bring us to Him. It assists a person in dissolving into the Cosmic Presence that is beyond the mind. It is not possible to understand. As I feel the energy of the mantra, I become more devoted to it. When blocks such as boredom or frustration come up, I let them go and re-connect to the energy. Chanting the mantra with love, humility, joy, and peace is the best way to connect. It can be fun to read the amazing stories of Krishna in the Srimad Bhagavatam to increase one's devotion to Krishna, and therefore, one may connect more deeply to the mantra.
    I bow down to the Holy Word of the Guru, that which brings me across the ocean of suffering. May the Holy Name heal all beings in this world.

With love,