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A vedanta two-step!

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A vedanta two-step!

Postby Mira » Fri Dec 30, 2016 2:46 pm

What I love about Vedanta is its practical use for jiva to be able to live a full and happy life. Recently, I’ve been contemplating that after self knowledge, a jiva could apply Vedanta teachings in everyday life using a two-step sadhana:

Step 1: Peace of Mind
Every action performed by the jiva should be done with peace of mind as the primary value or goal. This incorporates dharma/karma yoga. Following dharma and having a karma yoga attitude is essential to peace of mind. Titrating the gunas (rajas, tamas, sattva) to balance them appropriately is also necessary for peace of mind. If any one guna is excessive your peace of mind will be disturbed and so you will naturally seek to balance them. This first step includes lifestyle modifications in terms of taking a closer look at one’s career, friends, hobbies, time for self-inquiry, diet etc.. Make sure your overall lifestyle is conducive to your primary goal, i.e., peace of mind..

So, peace of mind becomes the goal for every situation in life and the vedantic teachings of guna management, karma/dharma yoga etc.. are used to achieve it.


Step 2: Devotion/bhakti/love/prayer
Once self-knowledge is firm and the mind is peaceful, then the natural feeling that arises is that of love. Devotion or bhakti or prayer or chanting is a great way to tap into this. When you understand the non-dual nature of reality, then you have an unconditional love for everything (including your jiva and all the other jivas). Everything little thing that you do in your every day life can be performed as an act of worship. This expresses your deep devotion for the existence of creation and for simply being a part of it. Devotion is the ultimate expression of non-dual love. And prayer or bhakti is a beautiful way to express devotion. This is the ‘surrender’ that is sometimes spoken of in the spiritual world.

Of course, these two steps are not actually separate. For example, dharma/karma yoga is an expression of worship. And bhakti leads to immense peace of mind.

So, keep your sadhana simple and do the Vedanta two-step dance! Embrace peace of mind, express devotion and enjoy the fruits of self-knowledge!
Mira
 
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Re: A vedanta two-step!

Postby georgschiller » Sat Dec 31, 2016 8:21 am

Hi Mira,

that's a beautiful post! It is kind of what I have recently been contemplating about!

What helped me to keep a peaceful mind was

1) to look at the issues which caused desires and fears and either counter them with the downsides (e.g. what is the downside of money/career? What is happening to the beautiful human body once we look beneath the skin? what is happening to the food after digesting? Developing loving kindness for those people who I had issues with. etc.

2) The other technique I found very helpful was to look at desires and fears and summarizing them in one sentence, e.g. I am a useless bunch of ... or whatever sentence causes a reaction, e.g. s/he does always...
Then see if the sentence has any impact on you, be it a body sensation, thought, feeling, etc. If so, look at it and try to find the cause for it.
If this is done over a specific length of time, we will find that there is no actual cause for a reaction and over time the former reaction does not show up anymore and we are bascially free of the gunas :)

P.s. I hope it is okay if I posted your post in the Friends of James Swartz group on facebook to an existent thread which had a similar topic.

Love, Georg :)
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Re: A vedanta two-step!

Postby Mira » Sat Dec 31, 2016 3:02 pm

Thanks, Georg for sharing your prakriyas/sadhanas. I really enjoyed reading them.

It's really a two-step, isn't it. We abide as the self and simultaneously work on the mind. Vedanta is the only teaching that describes this perfectly. Other teachings either focus on the abiding part or the mind part. But you need to do both to let the self shine through and enjoy the fruits of self-knowledge :D.

Wow! India again. Awesome. If you go, then please give us the updates when you can (like you did last year). It was so much fun to read the live updates!

I'm hoping to attend a Ramji seminar in the US in 2017. Fingers crossed.

And thanks for sharing my post :D.
Mira
 
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Re: A vedanta two-step!

Postby kpitsim » Sun Jan 01, 2017 4:31 am

Mira and Georg:

Thanks for those excellent posts. I was just sent the following link to an Aurobindo letter of the Foundation of Sadhana that treats at length the first step of Mira's two dance vedanta dance. I thought it might be on interest to you and others on this forum. http://www.aurobindo.ru/workings/sa/23/0004_e.htm

Blessings to everyone of 2017.

Bob
kpitsim
 
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Re: A vedanta two-step!

Postby Mira » Sun Jan 01, 2017 6:20 am

Thank you, Bob for being such a great member of our community :D.
I look forward to reading the article in full. I've heard of Sri Aurobindo, but not familiar with him. When he refers to the 'mother' in the article does he mean the self? I only had time to read a few minutes, so it might become clear by itself later on.
Mira
 
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Re: A vedanta two-step!

Postby kpitsim » Sun Jan 01, 2017 6:34 pm

Mira:

Thanks for your kind words. I am no expert on Aurobindo, but I did speak to my friend about your question on who or what Mother refers to, and he said it actually refers to his spiritual companion, a Lebanese women, who "worked" with him for many years.

Just wanted to get back quickly to you with that bit of information. I have also only started to read the letter. He also said the Ken Wilber in his book "The Atman project" apparently talks about the mother.

Hope this exchange is not a distraction for the group from the material from The Essence of Enlightenment, but it might be interesting to see what amplifications of the writings of James might be there.

Bob
kpitsim
 
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Re: A vedanta two-step!

Postby Mira » Tue Jan 03, 2017 3:37 pm

Thanks, Bob!
Personally, I enjoy reading about yoga and sadhana.

Sometimes yogic sadhanas can be so complex that it makes me even more grateful for Ramji's knowledge-based teachings :D.
Mira
 
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