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“A life that does not conform to dharma prevents freedom.” ~ Shankaracharya
Interestingly enough, the rebelliousness of my son has sparked a fire under my ass to engage as a parent, which means I am subject to the judgment and criticism of my son. In order to have a solid moral footing from which to direct his actions, I am forced to plug the leaks in my own boat, so to speak, which has led me face to face with my sadhana or lack thereof. I came to realize that every dirty cup, every piece of paper left to collect dust on my night stand, every chore left undone was taking up space in my experience and represents a lack of sattva. In order to help him understand the value of discipline and structure, I have had to get serious about my own lack of discipline.
This led me to another realization. How much time have I still been wasting on leisure and entertainment? What have I been spending my time on? Every hour spent watching TV is an hour away from the daily duties of life, which when left unattended create other issues which effect my mental state and prevent inquiry. The more I get my life in order the more I see how out of order it has been. Using other worldly people as a barometer, be they religious or not, is simply not cutting the mustard.
I feel my mind turning inward. I am becoming tired of the futility of devotional belief devoid of understanding, which brings me to another point. Not only are most religious people not qualified to understand knowledge, they are totally uninterested, if it means having to think a little, which I realize now is totally fine. That is where they are at just like I am where I am at with my own svadharma.
It’s so hard to explain. The best word I can find to describe how I feel is courage. I feel like somewhere along the line in my efforts to guide my son, I have discovered that I need to develop and jealously guard my own moral courage to do the right thing AT ALL TIMES, to the best of my present ability.
When I started my inquiry I was very proud of my spiritual development. Now I recognize I wasn’t really on the path, just thinking about it.
The result of my newfound courage and willingness to pick up my socks and stop watching so much TV and spend a little time each morning meditating and studying scripture is a sense of well-being and confidence, not above others, because most are just as lost as I was, but confidence that God has taken pity on me and slowly painstakingly prepared me to meet you, to learn the truth and to find the willingness to quit fucking around.
My desire to teach ceremonial people is dwindling, although I did get asked to speak to a small group of students at the college, by my friend who is a Buddhist and is starting to get interested in Vedanta, although he is not quite ready to give up his identity as a struggling Buddhist.
Anyway, it was wonderful to see some of the students light of awareness flicker on as I described to them the phases of security/pleasure/virtue/freedom. I was surprised at how easy it was to overcome their doubts (at least in the moment).
My jiva’s predominant orientation is knowledge. Isvara will reveal how this tendency will serve the world in the fullness of time.
A thousand thank-yous, with gratitude and humility to the Self.
Ramji: Yes, without the courage to do the right thing with regard to things big and small there is no growth. Vedanta is totally practical. It’s picking up dirty socks and inspiring others by precept and example. God is great! I love your emails!
~ Much love, Ramji
Skype Satsang with James or Sundari
Vedanta doesn’t work properly without the help of a qualified teacher. While qualified inquirers will definitely benefit from the books, videos, website and seminars, occasionally questions arise that can only be resolved by personal contact with the teacher. Now that we are settled in Spain, ShiningWorld is pleased to offer donation-based Skype satsangs with James/Ramji and Sundari.
“You don’t have problems; you are the problem.” – Swami Chinmayananda
If you are new to Vedanta, you need to know that Vedanta only works for mature people who know that fixing the ego’s problems is not a solution. Only when an individual entertains the right self-concept are psychological problems resolved. We are happy to briefly hear your story to get an idea of your qualifications but only offer suggestions in keeping with the teaching itself.
Keeping in mind that we are situated in Spain (European Standard Time), we are available between 10:00 am and 2:00 pm and from 8:00 to 10:00 pm most days. To schedule, contact Sundari at firstname.lastname@example.org or James/Ramji at email@example.com. Once we agree on a date, make a donation at the website.