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Sandy: It’s been some time since the last time I contacted you; I am not proud to say that not much has changed… and I also know that everything is okay the way it is.
Right now I am attending a seven-week course with Swami TV. You are in my mind and I just want to share with you that I miss you and I would love to see you soon. Although we have not been in touch in the last year or so, and forgive me for the sentimentality, but you are for me like a second dad, my spiritual dad of course!
Soon I’ll be back looking for a job and a place to live. I think I really need to take it seriously this time and distance myself from “friends” that are not helping my growth. How about you, Swami? I hope to see you sooner rather than later. Please send my regards to Sundari.
~ Love you
James: Lovely to hear from you, Sandy. Here’s a bit of advice about your sadhana. I suggest you give up trying to change the vasanas. If your inquiry so far hasn’t actually made a dent in them after all these years, it is a sign that you need to take a different approach. As it says in the Gita, some vasanas are not amenable to sadhana. They are like a fetus in the womb; you have to wait until they burn out on their own. In the meantime, the only way is to accept them as they are, see the self in them and love them. What you resist persists, meaning that giving them a sense of reality only makes them stronger. They are mithya. They will always be mithya. Even “better” vasanas will still be mithya, so stop thinking about them. Stop trying to change them.
Vedanta is about taking a stand as the vasana-free self. As Swami Paramarthanda says, moksa is freedom IN SPITE OF samsara. Something is going to kill you eventually one way or the other, so it might as well be tamas. Get on with life! I think you are not using Vedanta properly. If you understood it, you would not have the same problem after all this time. It should only take a few months, maybe six, to quit smoking. Yes, it is painful, but you should welcome the pain and stand up to the craving. You don’t want to have this incarnation boil down to a war with your cravings. You are better than that. So accept the fact that the jiva is weak and sensuous and lazy, and love her anyway. It is the only way. The smoking, etc. hides a deeper problem. Once you have accepted it, you will discover the real issue and then you will really grow. So I say forget Vedanta; you already know enough. Vedanta is not about Vedanta; it is about you. So give up this seeking and do your life as karma yoga, and at some point all your knowledge will come together and work for you.
Anyway, things here are just fine. I’m in good spirits and life is flowing along as if on greased wheels. I miss you. I love you.