Recently I asked a senior monk at Self Realization how to handle the continual news of gun violence in our schools. Lately the bad news has changed from gun violence to immigration problems at the United States borders. Here is his counsel . . .
Thinking about the world’s problems does not help either the world or you. One cannot drive away darkness by concentrating on darkness. Darkness is destroyed by bringing in the light. So it is far better to concentrate on meditation and practicing the presence of God. This world will always have turmoil and trouble. What are you worried about? Go to the shelter of God where the Masters have gone, and whence they are watching and helping the world. You shall have safety forever, not only for yourself, but for all those loved ones who have been entrusted to your care by our Lord and Father. When we don’t go the spiritual route, and try and fix things in the world with money or politics or programs, it’s like trying to straighten a pig’s tail. You get it all straight, but then when you let go, it curls right back up.
God did not plan to make this earth a place of permanent happiness. The lessons we are to learn from the suffering in this world is to live in harmony with God’s laws and to strive to seek Him. There will always be trouble and suffering in the world as long as people turn away from God and His ways. Only spiritual consciousness — realization of God’s presence in oneself and in every other living being — can save the world. I see no chance for peace without it. Begin with yourself. There is no time to waste. It is your duty to do your part to bring God’s kingdom on earth. That is, we cannot wait till others or governments change the conditions in the world. Society consists of individual people. If we want the world to change, we have to begin by changing ourselves. So continue to make a steady deep spiritual effort. If more and more people do that, the outer conditions will change for the better, not before. God helps those who help themselves. We need to meditate more deeply and practice the presence of God more continuously.
This Self is never born nor does it ever perish; nor having come into existence will again cease to be. It is birthless, eternal changeless, ever-same (unaffected by the usual processes associated with time). It is not slain when the body is killed . . .
Just as an individual forsaking dilapidated raiment dons new clothes, so the body-encased soul, relinquishing bodily habitations, enters others that are new.
No weapon can pierce the soul; no fire can burn it; no water can moisten it; nor any wind wither it. The soul is uncleavable; it cannot be burnt or wetted or dried. The soul is immutable, all permeating, ever calm, and immovable—eternally the same.
Bhagavad Gita II:20, 22 -24
“Women were always healers- naturally born healers. They hold the crying child and soothe their needs (psychiatrist). They dig out the thorn from the finger (surgeon). They ease the fever (internist). They dress the sores and bathe their beloved ones in herbs (herbalist). They dry the tears (minister). They practice medicine without a license every day of their lives to help their fellow men, their families and their friends.” -Hanna Kroeger, excerpt from God Helps Those Who Help Themselves
8:00 am – Dog food! My favorite thing!
9:30 am – A car ride! My favorite thing!
9:40 am – A walk in the park! My favorite thing!
10:30 am – Got rubbed and petted! My favorite thing!
12:00 pm – Milk bones! My favorite thing!
1:00 pm – Played in the yard! My favorite thing!
3:00 pm – Wagged my tail! My favorite thing!
5:00 pm – Dinner! My favorite thing!
7:00 pm – Got to play ball! My favorite thing!
8:00 pm – Wow! Watched TV with the people! My favorite thing!
11:00 pm – Sleeping on the bed! My favorite thing!
The Cat’s Diary
Day 983 of My Captivity
My captors continue to taunt me with bizarre little dangling objects. They dine lavishly on fresh meat, while the other inmates and I are fed hash or some sort of dry nuggets. Although I make my contempt for the rations perfectly clear, I nevertheless must eat something in order to keep up my strength.
The only thing that keeps me going is my dream of escape. In an attempt to disgust them, I once again vomit on the carpet. Today I decapitated a mouse and dropped its headless body at their feet. I had hoped this would strike fear into their hearts, since it clearly demonstrates my capabilities. However, they merely made condescending comments about what a “good little hunter” I am. Bastards!
There was some sort of assembly of their accomplices tonight. I was placed in solitary confinement for the duration of the event. However, I could hear the noises and smell the food. I overheard that my confinement was due to the power of “allergies.” I must learn what this means, and how to use it to my advantage.
Today I was almost successful in an attempt to assassinate one of my tormentors by weaving around his feet as he was walking. I must try this again tomorrow, but at the top of the stairs.
I am convinced that the other prisoners here are flunkies and snitches. The dog receives special privileges. He is regularly released, and seems to be more than willing to return. He is obviously retarded. The bird must be an informant. I observe him communicate with the guards regularly. I am certain that he reports my every move. My captors have arranged protective custody for him in an elevated cell, so he is safe. For now …
My friend from Self Realization Fellowship recently came back from India. Last weekend I attended a slideshow of her trip. She brought everyone a gift and gave me this booklet, Developing Dynamic Will published by the Yogoda Satsanga Society of India. This passage is from the booklet . . .
Nothing is impossible when will becomes dynamic: Choose a good, wholesome, constructive goal and then determine you are going to achieve it. No matter how many times you fail, keep on trying. No matter what happens, if you have unalterably resolved, The earth may be shattered, but I will keep on doing the best I can,” you are using dynamic will, and you will succeed. That dynamic will is what makes one man rich and another man strong and another man a saint. – Paramahansa Yogananda
Currently, I am reading The Book of Joy: Lasting Happiness in a Changing World. There is tremendous wisdom in this book. This passage struck me so much I had to read it over and over. It is powerful and simple. “the three factors that seem to have the greatest influence on increasing our happiness are our ability to reframe our situation more positively, our ability to experience gratitude, and our choice to be kind and generous.”