Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Like a Blade of Grass

I keep getting opportunities to experience "feeling humble like a blade of grass" and 99.9% of the time I blow it! My false ego always gets in the way and the humbling experience is lost. In its place I experience frustration, hurt, outrage or numerous other emotions.

But today something happened. I encountered a situation where I just handled everything badly. You know one of those situations where everything you say just comes out wrong and your good intentions are just not conveyed? was one of those. Normally in these situations, I naturally take my own side by thinking, "It's not my fault. I was misunderstood." As I was about to begin that journey in trying to make myself feel better and shift blame, I felt something change. It was like suddenly seeing another path I never noticed before and something inside said, "How about being like that blade of grass?"

The grass never complains. It just remains in its constitutional position of being a blade of grass. So I asked myself, "How about it? How about using this situation as an opportunity to experience your own constitutional position of being a small spiritual part and parcel." Instead of getting huffy and trying to protect my ego, why not just let it go. It's ok. I can instead learn from this experience. And that's just it- in order to learn, one needs to be humble. I'll never learn if I simply assign blame. And besides, where is that going to get me at this moment? Maybe some temporary satisfaction, but it's not going to help in the long run.

Certainly this being the eve of the most munificent appearance day of Lord Caitanya, I can only understand this to be his causeless mercy. I'm certainly not realized enough to act like this EVER! Just goes to show, mercy can appear in all sorts of shapes and form. Today it appeared in the form of a dose of humility. But the most amazing thing is that it was revealed and experienced due to Lord Caitanya.

All glories to Sri Sacinandana whose beautiful smile and magnanimity is unlimited! Wishing everyone a most auspicious and joyous Gaura Purnima filled with kirtan and lots of mercy!

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Now and Later

Frustration. That's what I think of when it comes to my mind. Having lived with mine for several decades, it still gets the better of me. Over and over I have succumbed to its desires. What can only be described as the pitiful cries of my intelligence become continuously swallowed by the blaring horns of the mind which screams only two words- now and later.

Sad to say but those two words, in the hands of my mind, lead to my downfall almost every time. So surreptitiously does the mind know how and when to use them. "Oh come on. If you don't eat this now then you may never get a chance again." Ever hear that running through your head just before you reach for that extra slice of pizza or helping of shrikand? Your intelligence is fighting to get a word in edgewise but the savoury scents and cajoling of that voice in your head prompt you to ignore all caution. It's all about the now and besides, it's prasadam, right? And so you convince yourself until the next morning when you hit the snooze so many times that you barely have time to make it to the bus and that fantastic plan you had yesterday of completing at least half your rounds before work is shattered to pieces. It's back to chanting rounds in the evening after a long, exhausting day when all you really want to do is just sleep.

If the "now" ploy doesn't work, no worries for my mind since it has the "later" arsenal at its disposal. "It's the weekend, relax. You can chant your rounds later. You work so hard all week, it's ok." As I'm writing this, I'm shaking my head. How pathetic. I crumble at the mere words now and later. There's really not much else to it. This is the reason regulation in one's life is so important. I think back to the times when I was much more regulated and notice the one thing that was different- the placement of these words.

It was about "Chanting your rounds now and putting everything else off until later." Amazing isn't it, what a change in placement can do. Now and later, although powerful when put to selfish use, can actually help to put what is important in perspective.

This is what I LOVE about writing. Typing away a few thoughts can turn into illuminating realizations. Now and later which I earlier said were hinderances in the hands of my mind serve as a metaphor to remind me that everything is not black and white. It's not about simply eradicating something that seems negative but instead putting it in its proper place. That's the true art of bhakti.