Bring out your best 1 – Self-help
[Retreat at Fort Clinch State Park, Amelia Islands, USA]
Transcription of Summary :
So, I talked about… in bringing out our best we focus on self-help, that means, ‘What can I do to help in bringing out the best within me?’ So, I gave the example of… whatever we do, we do with our consciousness… So, if our consciousness is distracted then we can’t do anything. If I want to take a bath or if I want to drink water, the water has to come to me. If I turn on the tap and water doesn’t come out, then I can’t do anything… or the water will be going somewhere else.
So, like that sometimes our consciousness gets blocked and then we can’t think of anything… our consciousness gets distracted. So, the consciousness is our energy but we are not able to use it and why does that happen? I gave that example of some… Mike Tyson said that, ‘There is a demon inside me that makes me do terrible things.’… or this drug addict who killed his own mother. He says, ‘I didn’t know who I was, I didn’t know who did that.’
So, basically there is our inner intension and there is our outer action, but there is something within which comes in the way, and to understand that we …1.06…(inaudible) this three level model of the self… and there is the soul which is the source of intention, that is like the user of the computer… the mind is like the software… subtle body is like the software, and the body is like the hardware. Now in the software there are installed programs and there are default settings. So, installed programs are like the basic thought process that we have. That is our disposition, but within that we have certain default settings that are undesirable. So, correcting those default settings… if it is not done, then our consciousness goes off track.
So, an intellectual person… just like the program installed in their mind, they are going to be intellectual, but whether they are constructively intellectual or destructively intellectual that is the default setting. So, now for changing the default setting I talked about the example of the floor… that if water is flowing in this direction… to stop it from moving in that direction first I have to redirect it or push it in the other direction, build a wall so that it doesn’t go in that direction and then reconstruct the floor so that it goes in the opposite direction.
Similarly to change our default conditionings, first of all mechanically we get the mind in the opposite direction to go, second is that whatever stimulates our mind to go in the wrong direction we cut off access to that as much as possible, and third is we connect ourselves with Krishna, we connect ourselves with something positive and get ourselves attracted to that. Then the mind will get reconstructed and go in that direction, and in that connection I talked about the role of the intelligence… that there is intellectual conviction which is essential. Sometimes we say anger allures us by giving us a sense of power, but unless I change that notion that anger is not a sense of power but it is a sense of weakness… without an intellectual conviction I will not try to control my anger. So, the conviction is like the fuel for the airplane when it is flying and with that conviction when the fuel is there, and it regularly replenished, then the airplane keeps flying. So, the flying of the airplane is like the practice of yoga. So, if we hear a class about the importance of chanting we are inspired to chant nicely. Then after that the other example I gave is… by the practice of yoga there is a transformation of the mind that happens. Just like a bird when it is flying it first flies a little, then … then flies off in the sky. So, like that the mind gets transformed overtime, and while this is happening mind is getting transformed.
We discussed about how sometimes some conditionings may be just very difficult to overcome. So, then even if our conditionings don’t let go off us, even if conditions hold on to us, we can still hold on the Krishna, like the person who is in the well… he is pulled on from below, but that person can still hold on to the rope and eventually come up.
So, even if we do something wrong sometimes, the spikes that are there… the mind first is like a person who makes the person into a robber, and the mind becomes like judge, ‘Why did you rob?’ So, the mind has a deceptive double role. So, what we have to do is stop being mind conscious. …‘Whatever happens I am going to keep practicing bhakti.’
And then I was talking about… When we want to practice bhakti and change the mind, that requires first of all becoming self-aware. So, in self awareness I talked about two exercises: One is this three questions, what am I doing, how am I doing, why am I doing?’ So, like the plane goes off course and then comes on course… reoriented like… these three questions can get us back on track, and then I talked about this exercise of… when the fantasy distracts us from reality, then we can use… we can get reality to distract us from fantasy. So, just observe what we are seeing, what we are hearing, what we are touching, and verbalise… verbalising our emotions distances us from our emotions and that last part was that, for all this to happen… self help… ultimately to help us we need somebody higher, but that seeking that higher is also to begin from us. Like a vehicle is stalled, people can help to push that vehicle, but the person inside the vehicle has to desire to move, and to get that desire that I want to change, that is what has to come from us, but it can be inspired by others, and how it can be inspired by others? We will discuss in our talk tomorrow.
Thank you very much.
(Transcription by Sadananda Krishnaprema Prabhu)