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DAY 12 – BNK Saves the DAY

Namaskar, 

Now I don’t want anyone to be alarmed but for the first half of my day I felt like I was wading through pea soup, feeling a bit broken and lost for meaning, searching for an anchor to hold onto, to weather the storm……

OK, I’m going to stop here.

Now in the past, when I have shared the real me, who often feels distant from my Baba (The Divine Within) and bumbling through life, I have received well intended but still concerned emails…… I really do appreciate your love and concern but I feel like I should also raise a concern that I have with the culture of Ananda Marga.

I have been in AM for a while now and have been through LFT life and also training life and I have to say that I have noticed a disconnect from what we’re actually feeling and what we feel like we should be projecting as margi’s. I found that this gap within myself created quite a bit of grief and I dare say even some complexes as I struggled to adjust with the high ideals that I placed upon myself.

(Please understand that I’m generalizing, and sharing from my perspective. I know lots of margi’s who are very in touch with themselves, and have found a very good balance.)

Looking back I now realize that instead of really working through some of the knots that held tight in my mind I unconsciously sought to feel a disconnect from the emotion in the temporary bliss of kiirtan and meditation. I don’t have any regrets, infact I feel like it was a necessary phase that I blissfully enjoyed. When I was a new margi, after learning meditation I was over whelmed by the surge of ripened samskaras, and for the first few years had a very tough time adjusting socially. My shyness and fear propensities became magnified 100 fold. The only time I felt at peace was either when I was doing meditation or during kiirtan, this extreme external pressure and the attraction that I felt for God was the perfect storm, which allowed me to form a deep relationship with my practice and Baba. But also during that time I remember feeling like some of the propensities that gave me grief were “bad” and through my practice I was able to temporarily disconnect from the visceral feelings of discomfort. I honestly felt a bit alienated, like “I was the only one going through this turmoil, there must be something wrong with me”

It actually wasn’t until recently that I came to the realization of acceptance and love for all of the darkness, and now I try to bring the light of manta and Ideation into the night and turn on the lights and see that there’s no boogy man, its Him smiling gracefully.

So getting back to what I started this blog post with. When I share my struggle its not to dwell on the negative, I just want to be real and share with you my experience through the 40 day challenge. I would feel ingenuine if I only shared all of the blissful moments, and omitted the struggles that are infused with so many wonderful opportunities for growth.

Oh by the way, I came up with a really nice new tune today which transformed and enlightened my day. I’ll record and post the kiirtan in the next couple of days…

BNK 🙂

LM

p.s. I would love to engage in some discussion on some of the thoughts that I shared. 

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8 responses »

  1. Namaskar dear brother. Thank you for sharing this. I want to honor your perspective because I think you’re right and I also want to say I don’t think it’s limited to AM. I think anytime people join a spiritual group there’s a perceived way the members “should” act or be. And not just spiritual groups either. For anyone who’s into affirmations or the power of positive thinking I find there’s a whitewashing and disowning of feelings because everyone thinks they “should” be happy or positive or cheerful.

    I am too have engaged in this until recently when life became unmanageable. I can’t control my emotions or “make” myself feel better, and when I try it gets me into trouble. I’m a human being and that means I get to experience the entire range of emotion. (I wrote a few blogposts about this you might enjoy: http://www.anotherworldisprobable.com/2011/05/30/perspective-is-a-choice/ and http://www.anotherworldisprobable.com/2010/05/14/let-it-come-in-let-it-go-out/.)

    I also don’t want to keep making my ego or any of the emotions I feel an “enemy” I have to fight. If everything is Brahma that means my ego is also Brahma, my fear is Brahma, everything is Brahma. No one emotion is good, or bad, it just is. So I’d rather let all of my emotions come through and not pretend to be “spiritual” because I’m supposed to be “above all that.” I think the most spiritual thing we can do is allow all of it to come in and go out.

    And if you ever start feeling like other margiis don’t have issues, pick up “Just a Girl from Kansas” and you’ll get disavowed from that real quick. 😉 I meditate, I’m spiritual AND I have fears and feelings. No one is immune for better or worse.

    All my love to you,
    Radha

    Reply
  2. Namaskar Bro

    After reading your blog, I was thinking that these types of socially directed expressions about the ‘real me’ … are the legacy of not only Dada Pranakrsnanada but others committed to being real. I believe Baba used the term sincerity for this state. Baba described a sincere person, as one who thinks, say’s and acts the same thing… i.e. if i think I love u, then i tell u I love u and then give a hug. Alternatively, if it a ‘negative… i should remain straight and try to communicate a problem with u … thus allowing a chance to overcome a problem. Thus, i am being sincere, real and straight in my minds wavelengths and following Baba’s advice.

    I feel we all experience this pressure to appear ‘sentient’ to one degree or another…. and non more so than acharyas… It seems to be the case that it takes a number of years in AMPS to understand how this pretense culture has entrenched itself in our minds. Its important to communicate openly … and spread these ideas… that its ok to be real and open.
    Underneath we all feel the truth anyway…. thats the joke!!
    Thanks Bro
    mayatiita

    Reply
    • Namasakar,
      Yes Dada Pranakrsnanda was an amazing individual who’s presence greatly influenced me. I actually only spent a little bit of time with him, but had some life changing experiences due to his wisdom.

      Reply
  3. Namaskar,
    I would like to share some thoughts..

    Connection & Seperation
    When I first started AM mediation it was a big transition full of bliss and transformation and also a time of questioning all of my ideals.
    I noticed a tendency to enjoy the bliss of kiirtan and medition but then approached how i set my ideals through the intellect influenced by ideology and opinion. At times this led to separation and forming judgement and expectation of others – the whole idea of mediation is unity so this seperation was not easy… and ultimately an illusion.

    I had a big transformation when living in Sydney a few years ago through some of the people I met and practices I learnt. Through this my ideals were re-formed by effortlessly letting go and flowing with natures intelligence and experiencing my ideals unfold from the subtlest level – my highest self – supreme consciousness – Baba – creation – God.

    My intellect is there to organise and share rather than to drive thoughts or decisions & ideology is there to support and inspire the practice but not define it.

    Having love, sharing love, being love in the present moment is what I wish to strive for.. just having a divine new Baby has made this clear for me.

    AM Ideology is infinately pure & beautiful and there is so much wisdom in other traditions and from the sun and stars themselves. For me real lasting change starts from the deepest levels of consciousness and then supported by all the wisdom and knowledge available.
    At first I was trying to do it the other way around – starting with an idea of how it should be and with effort & control trying to make it happen in meditation – For me this didn’t work.

    Darkness & Light

    I did a Black and white photography course in Sydney and saw the play of darkness and light..
    Conciousnes permeating through every grain on the paper displaying in black and white but really a celebration of consciousness seen through all tones.

    The same with kiirtan – love and intention permeating through the dark and light, major and minor, soft and sweet, loud beat of the drum and a thousand voices as one piercing through the illusion of separation.

    Namaskar
    Divya

    Reply
  4. Thank you for sharing. I think you put it in a way that is very easy to understand. It is great to be able to see yourself in true lights. Have a blessed day.

    Reply
  5. Thanks for sharing.

    We all know time is relative, depending as it does on place and on person.
    I have come to think, on the basis of my own experimentation with Sadhana, Kiirtan, and the Guru Mantra, that the use of these can change not just the present and the future, but the past as well.

    I work in a profession where I do home visits to a number of individuals, and I have made it a practice to take a good and proper Guru Mantra before going in. This I have developed over some time, and in doing so I have noticed a clear difference between the use and the non use of Guru Mantra.

    Of course my feelings, attitudes and behaviours change for the better when using the Guru Mantra. I feel more re-assured, have less fear, trust more in the Grace of Baba, and so on and so forth. The strange thing is that the expression of other people change too.

    I think everyone’s behaviour and ingrained habits exist under the influence of inertia. So it strikes me that people in the surrounding, influenced positively by the aforementioned use of the Guru Mantra, must have picked up a “better mood” BEFORE the situation wherein the Guru Mantra was used.

    Are there perhaps parallel universes which if one has the Grace of the Guru can slip between? If by the Grace of the Guru one’s samskaras gets minimised and gone, is it then that those samskaras can no longer keep one as an individual tied to one particular past; to one particular parallel universe?

    Baba has clearly said that the collective singing of Kiirtan can avert natural calamities. Sadhana, Kiirtan and Guru Mantra can indeed change everything. I find it immensely satisfying to see this happening in my own life, and I think with our spiritual practices, with our collective movement on the path, the impossible dream will become the real factual heaven on Earth.

    Thanks Baba for this ocean of Grace – I am enjoying the swim

    Reply
  6. Ba’ba’ Namaskar, dear Liilamay,
    nice topic, indeed… the one I can personally relate to, in my own way, of course. For me psychology has always been an interesting topic and stayed a sort of a full-time “hobby” till now.
    Thankfully, meditation came along and offered plenty of “time” to psychoanalyze myself even more intensely and intimately… as well as to help dissolve and transform some parts of that fascinating “me” into hopefully more content being. Nowadays when people ask me what is “the benefit of meditation” I skip the usual lingo & fantastic stories and simply say: “it helps you live with yourself more easily” 🙂

    It seems to me like you’ve hit upon that as well – both the addiction to the extatic parts (and, mind you, it’s physiologically better, safer and even cheaper to self-medicate with kiirtan&meditation&asanas… then any other drug/activity/relationship 😉 ) and the courage, interest and willingness to deal with the agonizing bits/patches as well. Congratulations! And welcome to the club 😉

    Now, what you (and me, and most of us, not only in AM – every “community/club” has its own traditions/rituals/magic-healing formulas) face when expressing painful, darker parts of our emotional being is that other people get into “fixing us” mode… which may sometimes seem fake or annoying or downright disrespectful and manipulative/controlling… especially if we are not in the mood to “give” (gratittude) but in the mood to “get” (at least acknowledgment if not appreciation and affection).
    (And I am well aware that sometimes we simply have no extra life-energy for giving and are depleted and in the need to get – nothing wrong about that; that’s how life “works”: through cycles of contraction & expansion / clash & cohesion).

    It’s a fine line to walk because silence is sometimes not a sign of “deep listening & hearing through the heart” but of plain neglect. Which we wouldn’t really want to be exposed to… and, mostly, would feel ashamed of dishing out to others (seeming not emphatic or compassionate enough is quite indigestible to most “decent people”) or would at least feel frustrated that “someone is in trouble and something should be done about it yet we have no clue what”).
    Some of this whole dynamics is technically called “codependence” and there is wonderful literature and programs for helping dealing with our own need to “make others feel/do/be something/someone else than they currently are”.

    (Anyone can check out the web-site of the Codependents Anonymous and figure out for themselves if they or their near&dear ones fit the description. Or read a book called “Women who love too much” – no worries, it’s for men who love too much too and it’s an easy intro to the issue of over-managing emotions & all sorts of relationships.)

    Given that our path includes a good bunch of guidelines and rules on “what (not) to do”… it’s almost a given that we all feel entitled and inspired to remind each other about all these tips which are meant to “fix us up” (and they usually do… with a time).

    Top it all with the fact that a big percentage of people take up spiritual practices precisely because they are NOT too well & happy about some/(m)any aspect of their lives (and thus easily over-identify or project their own emotions/experiences onto others in vaguely “similar situations”… or simply do NOT want to be reminded of their own dark dungeons ’cause they know that dwelling near those pits is still not too safe & productive for them) and we are quite sure to experience a generous helping of advice & cheering up we might not want or can not appreciate that much…

    So, what to do?
    If we express “it all” – it may not get a feedback we enjoy. If we don’t – it gets too lonely…. In the end, we might “have to” put with some of the former and we can choose to not get too isolated by the latter. Some of that balancing act may involve re-picking the buddies we feel comfy about sharing ourself with. As well as finding a medium & style of expressing ourself where personal suffering could elicit less worry/panick & guilt in the audience (and that is what is called “art” ).

    For me – I write poetry. Paper tolerates my “heaven & hell” quite well so far and even the computer-screen did not start smoldering as yet… For some others – they compose. Some people sing it, paint it, dance it or hug&kiss it through and away…
    It seems to me that any activity, done wholeheartedly, with care to the detail and with some sort of completion is an artistic expression of individual’s inner world.

    I’ve reached a point of recognition that I personally literally hate getting advice which I’ve not asked for… or getting orders when I ask for advice (for me “you should” is nearly as bad as “must/have to” and too often appears like either dismissing other person’s reality or humiliating their “impotence & stupidity”)
    Since then I’m trying to avoid doing the same to others… as well as to avoid people who habitually dish out such remarks.

    (Mind you, I’m also learning to avoid those who neither ask for nor actually want to follow any advice. Another fine balancing act. Basically, learning how to be a good student and a wise teacher simultaneously.)

    Apart from talking with “best friend(s)”, the safest environment I’ve so far found out for “sharing emotions” without having listeners turn into my judges/nurses/holier-than-thou advisers/rejectors (and, yet, not merely sleep through other people’s passionate/disspirited sharing either) are the open meetings of various 12 step programme groups.
    They’ve figured out the system in which people may, if they wish to share, speak only about themselves and nobody is allowed to agree or disagree/comment/advise on anyone else’s personal sharing. Such an attitude may look a bit disconnected and even “unempathic” in the beginning but it soon creates a fair and safe environment where people do not feel judged&controlled, which helps them focus on themselves and open up to other with less and less fear, shame, anger, etc.. Tremendous amount of “healing” happens even through “just that much”.

    Another useful piece of this puzzle is Nonviolent Communication. At least it could help us learn to identify our own emotions… (that’s what, actually those “50 vrttis” are) then possibly create syles of communication where we’s allow each other “be” as well as understand & respect the personal & social boundaries.
    (I.e. decide for oneself and agree with each other how much “whining & cheering up” we’re OK with putting up with… 🙂 ).

    All for now and wish you all the best while wading through the swamps and crystal-clear lakes of your mind & heart.

    By His Grace,
    AAdd

    Reply

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