Q: I try to meditate at least once a day. You keep on teaching us that in essence we are all interconnected, and intellectually I know that is true. Yet I still get angry at others and lose the calm I have gained in my meditations.
Q: Since my involvement with yoga, I have grown significantly as a human being as well as a wife and mother. I feel so much more in touch with myself, happier, calmer and more deeply loving. Unfortunately, the more I benefit from my practice of yoga, the more upset my husband becomes with my involvement. Should I try to stop? I do not know how I can. What can I do?
A: This is a standard trick played by a mind which, like a spoiled child, is accustomed to having its way. A child will sometimes act up just to be the center of attention, even if it means getting you upset. If you struggle against such demands, the child has won its way, because it has captured your attention. Similarly, if you struggle against mind’s rambunctious tendencies, you’ll be entangled in mind’s wily ways.
Instead, approach meditation with an attitude both gentle and firm. Meditation is not a matter of ambitiously trying to accomplish something, but of simply being. Allow a feeling of comfort and peace to seep softly through your body and mind. Consider meditation not as something you ought to do, but as what you love to experience. This is your moment of Being – pure, simple and spontaneous. There is nothing which gives you deeper satisfaction or higher joy. Let mind know that; it will learn in time that there is nothing more attractive to pull it in other directions. Remember how you love the experience of being so comfortable, so at peace, so harmonious with yourself.
Love is the key. Mind is attracted to what it thinks it loves. When you love meditation as you would a lover, mind will constantly want to run to meditation. Mind will use its wiles not to distract you with outside objects, but to unite you with meditation.
What is the reason for that wonderful joy I experience when I really meditate?
A: Usually our lives are quite fragmented: mind jumps busily from one thing to another, keeping us in a state of distraction.
What we all really yearn for, though, is a state in which we are aware of ourselves and our lives in wholeness integrated with all: where not only the outer, the superficial things are seen and felt, heard, smelled or tasted, but where our very Essence is experienced.
Meditation is the rousing of the innermost Essence – the Spirit, the Soul – to our conscious recognition. We experience then in utter clarity that the Soul’s life involves the totality of our Being. Limitations are seen to be imaginary. Nothing can really hinder or stop us. When the Soul comes to the fore, we enjoy an incomparable joy and depth of satisfaction, a flood of total being.
Just sitting for meditation is not enough, as your experience proves to you. Neither is the intellectual agreement with the teachings sufficient, but it can be a start. When you know intellectually that something is true, live it. Let every one of your actions be based upon this underlying fact. When your intellect believes that in Essence we are all Energy, and as Energy is known to be continuous – we are all of the same substance, thus intimately interconnected – then act upon that, even if you have not fully absorbed it all yet. Let every one of your actions be performed in service to that Universal Essence, our Source; it only makes sense. You will soon experience a deepening sense of peace and unity. Belief will become knowledge. When you become true to the knowledge you have gained, when you honor and remember it, and live in accord with it, the light of realization will grow steadily into powerful brightness which will illumine all the levels of your existence.
I try to meditate at least once a day. You keep on teaching us that in essence we are all interconnected, and intellectually I know that is true. Yet I still get angry at others and lose the calm I have gained in my meditations.
Since my involvement with yoga, I have grown significantly as a human being as well as a wife and mother. I feel so much more in touch with myself, happier, calmer and more deeply loving. Unfortunately, the more I benefit from my practice of yoga, the more upset my husband becomes with my involvement. Should I try to stop? I do not know how I can. What can I do?
Your predicament is a very common one. The fact that a life-partner – be it a husband or wife – could have objection to something which results in such wonderful benefits can be bewildering. But please do not react with accusation, hurt or anger. Gently demonstrate that what you are doing is quite the opposite of being selfish. By helping yourself to grow in understanding and love, you are able to offer to your husband a much more interesting and desirable mate, to your children a better mother and guide, to your family a richer source of happiness and to all a much healthier example of how to live successfully. This is the highest service you can render to your family.
To turn away from that which you know to be right would serve neither you nor your husband. It would sow the seeds of disrespect and resentment in you, the seeds of guilt and self-loathing in him. Beware of that.
Also, be understanding. A person who objects to someone else’s growth does so usually because he is reminded of his own growth yet needed. This may threaten him. Help him to learn to appreciate this reminder, and to learn from your example to look forward to his own growth while appreciating the treasure he has in you. Surely the benefits to himself and his children must be obvious to him. Be in peace.