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Do Your Actions Support Your Values?
Rick: Hi, Daniel.
I hope you are well. I have been working daily on Christian Leeby’s Mastering Mind Control course. It’s been a rather complicated journey to get understanding from his explanations.
It’s been quite a journey for me to keep working towards a practical way each day to come up with determinations or things to say in my mind deliberately against what he calls “squatters,” or thoughts I don’t choose, aka opposite thoughts. I am still not clear about what this looks like but I’m getting there, I think.
Would you perhaps be willing to comment on this for me? I have included some of my notes below and would love to have some form of feedback from your thoughts about this.
~ Kind regards, Rick
Daniel: Your second paragraph already captures the two most fundamental qualities: practicality and determination. Let’s replace the word “determination” with “values.”
When your values are clear and firmly set, then everything else tends to follow suit.
Are your values clear and firm? Only you will know this. A good task is to write down one to three values and hold them up in light of your actions. Do your actions support your values?
Granted – being practical does require a degree of discipline because the mind loves nothing more than to distract itself with trivial tasks. A rajasic mind loves to indulge in unserving projected fantasies. Yum – for a while.
We often don’t do the things that most benefit us. This is just one of Isvara’s crazy, perverted phenomena. Futile distraction and dithering are among the top tools slyly used by the mind to put off valuable actions that are required to achieve freedom or peace of mind. Sundari calls these “weapons of mass distraction.”
Simplicity and practicality often go hand in hand. Living a minimalist life – a drama-free life – requires firm boundaries and disciplined action. But a mind that’s overly rajasic or overly tamasic will not be able to do this.
Take some time to gauge the dominant guna that tends to play up. If you find that tamas (dull, confused, lazy, sad, etc.) or rajas (overly active, nervous, etc.) dominates sattva more often then not, then it’s a sign that guna management (triguna vibhava yoga) is needed.
Your goal is to cultivate as much sattva as possible. This is the energy that will allow you to reflect clearly on your values and apply practical decisions in order to achieve these determinations. Sattva is the guna springboard to liberation.
Christian’s material is brilliant, and your notes are perfect. There’s nothing for me to add or subtract, but simply only to encourage that you continue to apply it daily.
You’re doing exactly what’s required. No need to doubt this. Compliment and be gentle with yourself, Rick.
Rick: Hey, Daniel.
Thank you for your kind reply. I hope you are well and that the new medication regime is giving favourable results.
I am confident that I am on the right track, although it’s often very challenging for me to define what exactly my values are among all the teachings and the stuff this jiva kicks up. I do recall that what you mentioned about peace of mind being top of the heap, although from there it often gets a little hazy for me to find the value or need that I need to be mindful of when turbulence hits, mentally or emotionally.
Sure, it’s always a good option to affirm the true self that I am as awareness. From there we have the qualifications and the universal values set out in Module 5 of ExploreVedanta.com, the Basics of Vedanta. On top of this, the concepts in James’ teachings often also are references to values.
Any advice on where to begin and where to go with this perhaps? I have worked through both qualifications and the values a few times and it’s still quite foreign to me on a practical, day-to-day basis.
Daniel: Hey, Rick.
Yes, Isvara’s fruiting good results for the jiva. I’m feeling much better, thank you for asking. ☺
There’s only one teaching – only one message, Rick – and that is you’re already perfect as is, both as jiva and as awareness.
The endless volume of Vedic scripture can be boiled down to a very simple and practical formula/value, which is for the jiva to simplify its lifestyle and maintain its daily sadhana without expecting results.
Just as all mundane results are up to Isvara, so too are all spiritual results. Let your spiritual worry go, but at the same time with vigilance casually do your best to create an apt (sattvic) environment that supports your goal/value of simplicity and minimal demands. You need to take the appropriate action, which may often be uncomfortable to achieve. Change is generally uncomfortable because it causes insecurity (fear).
Your mind is still agitated by certain vasanas and this is why turbulence (excessive rajas) is experienced. The teachings can’t stick in an agitated mind, so will naturally feel foreign.
The good news is that you’re aware of it. And the better news is that you already have the correct tools: karma yoga! Boom!
I’m happy that you will be joining James’ seminar; what perfect timing for you – what a perfect prasad! My suggestion is that you arrive with no expectation but with a clear question as to your values. Casually hold the questions “What would I like to gain from the teachings? And are my actions supporting these expectations?” Let the seminar unfold and vigilantly hold your questions up in light of what you hear.
~ Much love, Daniel