40 dagen 2007

Shifting the Awareness

Dag 00 - 40 Dagen 2007

Eve of 40 Days - Saturday 25 March, 2007


Namaskar everyone, welcome to a new day. As you know this is the eve of our 40 Days of retreat and meditation. It is therefore important to prepare yourself for it and this goes even for those who will be leaving us.

Holding the vision strongly
The journey of life, the journey to enlightenment, the journey to Self realization requires sincere effort. It requires holding a vision, a strong desire for true freedom. It requires self-discipline. If you want to achieve the most out of the human experience, you need to have these qualities very strong within you. The journey of life is a journey towards self -enlightenment.

We need to constantly be aware that we are in the world not for people, but first for ourselves. We tend to think that we are here for others, and we are here to help others, and we are important for others, but we forget that our journey is really a journey towards self liberation. And the more you experience your true Self, the more you can really help others and help them in a better way. So focusing on your own liberation is something that is extremely important.

Learn and grow from worldly experiences
This, however, should not take you away from your duties and responsibilities every day. And you cannot, and should not avoid those duties and responsibilities that you find yourself in. You should be faithful to them. But amidst all of that your goal for self liberation should continuously be there. The greatness of this is that through your duty and your responsibility, you will realize that these are stepping stones; these are vehicles to help you to liberate yourself. So this constant desire for self-liberation should always be there, because it is so easy to get trapped in the world and to loose that sense of your goal.

Jesus said: 'Lead us not into temptation.' How easy it is to be tempted by the world and get caught in the sensual existence. So it is extremely important to be aware in this human experience, of the transient nature of worldly pleasure and power. When you are more aware of this, you do not lose sight of your goal. Then the world cannot really grab you or hold you.

In preparing yourself for these 40 Days of retreat, you need to focus on yourself and your true goal for being in the world, which is self-enlightenment. All the worldly experiences that you are having should help you in your spiritual evolution. Begin to see how you can use the worldly experience: What you can learn from them? How you can bring the Spirit into the world? How can you learn and grow from the worldly experience? Then you will not think that the world is a place that you want to run away from, but it is a place that can help you to grow. Of course, when it is overwhelming and you cannot manage the experience, then you need to retreat a little so you do not lose yourself. But as you grow more and more powerfully, do not avoid the world. Life is a great teacher. The Universe is a teacher. If you observe carefully, the Universe is always teaching you.
Let discipline overflow into daily life
And of course self-discipline is important. Once you focus on the goal, you need discipline. In this practical world there can always be things to keep you busy and you can make a number of excuses why you cannot be disciplined. But if you really want to achieve something and you give it priority, you can always make time to do it.

Spiritual discipline initially begins with restrictions: I am going to spend 15 minutes or half an hour to complete my meditation. But as you begin to experience the joy of meditation, you will extend that into your normal life. Then you will find walking is also a time to practice meditation. You will find in working you can also begin to feel that consciousness of meditation. And you will begin to feel that consciousness of seva in interactions. So the restrictions are really in the beginning when you need to sit down and hold the mind in concentration and in discipline. But eventually it is going to overflow into your life and then all of life will become one sweet song of spiritual expression. But in the beginning when it is difficult to manage the senses, self discipline is extremely important.

Fixed on the goal
Remember that the reason why you are born in this world is to realize your spiritual Self. As you go through the experience of life, there are many temptations to take you away. The Hindus call it 'Maya' - the illusion of the world. Happiness seems to be in the pleasures of the world but it is only an illusion. You therefore need to be fixed on your goal and then self discipline will allow you to hold yourself in that space of spiritual development, and finally the experience of freedom will come.

So as we begin these wonderful 40 Days of meditation, let us make the best use of it. I am sure that the Grace of the Supreme Teacher and all the Divine Beings who are focused on the earth will be with us.

Have a blessed day everyone. Namaskar.

Dag 01 - 40 Dagen 2007

Day 1 - Monday March 26, 2007


Namaskar everyone, this is the first day of our 40-Day Retreat and it is a special joy to have you with us. I am sure that we are also joined by members across different countries during this period. So I want to welcome you all to our first day of retreat. Today I am doing the sequence differently as I am going to speak first, then we will meditate.

Re-creating that goal and discipline
The experience of the 40 Days in 1978 has been one that took me to a higher degree of self-awareness and hence self-transformation. It was a gift, and the reason why I say it was a gift is because there was a lot of grace involved. I found myself very blessed. There was a Greater Power at work within me and around me that brought about this tremendous shift in consciousness. During these days of our retreat I would like to make that the same goal for us - the goal of shifting the consciousness, shifting the awareness.

It was an intelligent journey because I had to use my power of intellect together with the grace that was flowing to understand this journey, and in the understanding to navigate the journey. So it was working in harmony with the Greater Power. I had to search for knowledge and I had with me the experiences of Beings through their writings. I had the grace of this inner power and energy. I became very self-disciplined and I used every bit of knowledge that I could have in the journey of those 40 Days. So during these 40 Days, I will like it to be the same. The focus should be on gathering as much knowledge as we can, contemplating them so we can assimilate, understand and then put them into action in a wise manner so that we can go deeper inside, experience more grace and hence self-transformation.

Field of interaction and outcomes
If we were to take a look at life itself and what it is about, we see: first we have ourselves on this journey - our individuality or the journey of an individual self. And we are in a cosmic field of interplay and experience, a universal field in which we have interactions. As individual beings we are endowed with intelligence and we act in an intelligent field where there are responses. And depending on the choices that we make and also our responses, we may experience various outcomes. These outcomes are in a field of duality so we may have positive outcomes or negative outcomes depending on the choices we make. So there is individuality, there is a field of interplay and interaction. This can be called a field of all possibilities because we have many choices in the field, and in the interplay and interactions in the field we have outcomes.

Game of life governed by laws
This field is governed by certain laws like the Law of Duality, and the Law of Cause and Effect which states that when we act we are going to get certain reactions from the field based on the quality and the intent of our actions. The field is also called the Field of Pure Potentiality because all kinds of possibilities arise in it.

This is what we may call the Play of Life, and I use the word 'play' because in this field that is governed by laws, we have many choices and each choice would give a certain outcome. So it is as though we are in a play -in a game that is governed by rules - where we can make choices. Sometimes, therefore, life is also called a play.

Act in an enlightened way
If we were to look at life, we will see that this is what our existence is all about. In this existence we will see that when there is ignorance of our true potential, our true nature, ignorance of the laws of the field, and of the power of the field, the actions and the outcomes can be quite varied. They can lead to misery and pain. Sometimes, however, if we really act with awareness and good intentions, the outcomes are positive. Acting from ignorance in this field can result in all kinds of negative interactions. Therefore, when interacting in this field we need to be more aware. We need to be aware of the field, of our potential and our possibilities.

In this journey it is extremely important that: if we want to act from the highest awareness, if we want to act wisely in this experience that every outcome will be a powerful outcome in terms of learning, growing, experiencing happiness and freedom, then we need to act wisely. We need to act from that Higher Self inside. We need to act appropriately; to act, as it is said, in accordance with Divine Will or in harmony with the laws of the field.
This field is also a multi-dimensional field, and as individuals in this field, we are also multi-dimensional. There are: a subtle energy field, a physical field, a material field and a spiritual field of consciousness. So, all the interplays happen in a multi-dimensional field. Therefore, the more aware we are, the more intelligently and appropriately we can act and the better will be the outcomes.

Our goal - to shift in a space of greater awareness
This is the goal of the 40 Days - to be shifted in a space of awareness where we can become more aware of who we are, more aware of the field or the Universe that we exist in, and more aware of how to act appropriately or harmoniously in this field.

On this first day of the 40 Days I would like to state its purpose. I will like to say that the goal would be to shift into that state of awareness where we can be more aware and act appropriately. One may call this 'Steps towards self-realization, self-enlightenment, self-actualization' as that is the goal.

During these 40 Days, therefore, I am going to take you into the journey of: exploring our potentiality, our identity in the field, the nature of the field and the nature of interaction in the field. Out of this, my wish would be that we could act in a more enlightened way in this field so that we will not be disturbed by the outcomes. That we will interact in the field in such a way that every outcome will be the appropriate one - acting in accordance with Divine Will or Divine purpose. That would be the goal.

Footnote on Meditation
Our meditation this morning would be based on going within, with the awareness of the multi-dimensional field that we exist in; with the awareness of the need for knowledge that we may navigate this inner journey; with the need to awaken that communication within us that we may receive greater guidance from the Inner Power or Intelligence. So today's meditation is preparing ourselves for this journey, assimilating the purpose in our being that throughout this entire 40 Days we will hold the awareness of our purpose, our being, and the field.

Dag 02 - 40 Dagen 2007

Day 2 - Tuesday March 27, 2007


Namaskar everyone, welcome to Day 2 of our Retreat. Yesterday we spoke about the need for heightening the awareness: self awareness, the awareness of the intelligence of the space or the Universe around us, and the need to understand the nature of interaction in that field. We explored how important that was.

Quest for knowledge
Today, I want to focus on Knowledge; how important knowledge is in removing ignorance. In prayer we may say, 'Please take away ignorance from within me and fill me with knowledge'. When we are ignorant of who we are; when we are ignorant of the field around us and how it operates; when we are ignorant of rules of interaction then a lot of misery and pain can result.

The quest for knowledge is always extremely important on the journey to self-awareness, enlightenment, self-realization, self actualization. The quest for knowledge is paramount.

Learning takes place in every moment
If an individual is to become a better person, a more aware person or a more competent person then knowledge is important. What is important in this process is understanding that in every situation and in every moment, learning can take place. When we think of learning we think of lectures, schools and formal institutions. Can we open our eyes to see that learning takes place every where and anytime in the Universal or Comic field we exist in?

Take responsibility - open the doors to knowledge
If we really want to remove ignorance then we need to have a strong desire for knowledge and a strong desire to know more. There is a saying, 'Seek and you shall find; Knock and it will be opened to you'. The doors of knowledge are always there for us. When we find ourselves not able to manage our situations internally and externally in our activities in the world, we need to reflect upon this limitation of knowledge: 'Am I understanding my relationship with the world? Do I know enough to deal with myself and the world in a better way?' When we see limitation we need to think, 'How can I improve my knowledge?'

Resources are always around us - people, events, books - to teach and to guide us. So, we have no excuse for not being able to manage the life process. If we are responsible seekers of Truth then we should not say, 'No one guided me; I did not know enough.' We should take full responsibility for learning, saying 'I am going to seek out knowledge; I am going to find it. As long as knowledge exists in the world, I am going to find it!' That is the true seeker.

Tools and resources
If you expand your awareness, you will see that the Universe can be called a school, a place of learning. We can learn from every event. It just takes a strong desire to learn and the awareness of the personal tools you have for learning and the intelligent use of the resources around you. Sometimes we neglect to use the tools of learning. The senses and how we use them, the power of attention, concentration, memory, intellect, these are powerful tools in gathering and processing information.

There is so much information available around us and everywhere. Are we using our tools of learning well? Are we using them effectively? Are we using all the material that is around us? Are we seeking information? Is it available? Are we using the expertise of people around us who know more than we do?

Am I a good student?
We should be true students if we are to lift the awareness; if we are to understand our true nature, the nature of the field we exist in and the nature of the inter-play and interaction. We need to be a true student. A true student is one who has a genuine desire to learn, is aware of the tools of learning, uses them effectively and uses the resources around in the best possible. The field of learning is the world. The world is rich with experiences everyday for learning. The choice is yours.

Learning can take us to freedom, to that space where we can see all the choices before us and where we can make intelligent choices. Where we can manage the interactions and the learning and growing from the experience. Life is a great teacher and learning is a life long process. Be a good student.

These are my words today for you to reflect upon - 'Am I a good student?', 'How can I be a good student?', 'How can I take responsibility for my learning?'

'Let us sit comfortable with the back as straight as possible. Centre yourself in that inner space of quietness, breathing out slowly and breathing in slowly. Let us reflect upon this message 'I am a student of life. How can I learn more about myself? How can I learn more about meditation? How can I make my meditation better? How can I not be satisfied with little? How can I expand my awareness of the peace that surrounds me? How can I connect with this space in a powerful way? - Being in harmony with the space.

Let me centre in that place of highest awareness in this moment. Let me reflect upon who I am. It is said that I am a spiritual being in a human experience; I desire to know this fully. It is said that I live in this body but I am not this body, I desire to know this fully. I am told that I exist in a field of infinite power, infinite peace, infinite love; I want to know this and experience this. I hold myself in the inner space seeking to know myself better. I centre myself in the space of the witness aware of every thought, every feeling, every sensation in my physical field. I want to learn. I want to be completely self-aware. In this moment I choose to be silent. I want to learn how to stay in the silence. I choose to be silent.' (Silence)

'In the silence I acknowledge that I exist in a state of infinite peace, love, wisdom and power. I hold myself in this awareness. I open myself to experience this more and more. May the Source of all knowledge shine its light in my world. May the Source of all love and peace manifest in my mind and heart. I hold myself in loving openness to the wisdom of life. I am a seeker of Truth.

Become aware of the tools of learning and attention, I am giving my attention to being in the present. I am holding my concentration in being in the present. With my intellect I hold myself in the awareness that I exist in the field of infinite peace, love and wisdom. With my intellect I hold my surrender to the Universe that I am intuitively receiving wisdom from the Source of all knowledge.'

Loving, Openness and Surrender
'Today I centre myself in that space where I am a student of learning, an open student. Life is my teacher. I open myself to learn from every event of my day and every interaction with my world. I open myself to every opportunity to learn and to grow. May I be aware of every thought, every word, every action in my relationship with my world today.

I offer thanks for the gift of life. I offer thanks to my world for being my teacher. May I continue to be a worthy student. Peace, peace, peace.'

Dag 03 - 40 Dagen 2007

Day 3 - Wednesday March 28, 2007


Namaskar everyone, welcome to Day 3 of our 40-Day Retreat. We have been dealing with the subject of 'Shifting awareness' and of 'Learning' in the last two days. We have been saying that it is so important in the human experience to be able to expand the awareness of who we are, of the nature of the space in which we interact or act, and the awareness of the interplay or interaction in this field.

We also spoke about the process of learning and how important is learning. In the process of learning we spoke about being aware of our limitation in knowledge and the pain that it sometimes brings. We spoke as well about how to shift from this position of ignorance to the position of knowledge, and knowing more. We spoke about the awareness of this limitation and the tools of learning so that we can learn more and improve on the way we use the tools. We saw life as a learning process and that learning is a lifelong process, happening in every moment in our interaction with our world.

Expansion of awareness
Today I want to speak about awareness. It has become a very important subject of the last two days and, of course, it will be throughout the entire period because fundamentally, we are beings of awareness. The reason we need to grow in awareness or to expand the awareness is because there is limitation of awareness in the human experience, and life is really about expanding the awareness from the limited to the unlimited or infinite. So life is about an expansion of awareness, or what we may refer to as an evolution in consciousness. By evolution we mean expansion.

Understanding the nature of consciousness
Consciousness is a fundamental quality of our being, so it is extremely important to understand the nature of this consciousness. Your individuality arises out of this consciousness but your consciousness is greater than your individuality or the ego. This consciousness can be experienced in limitation or in expansion. When it is experienced in limitation, we say that you are just human. When it is experienced in its infinite quality or its expansion, however, we begin to experience a divine quality of being, an expanded experience of awareness where we see more and experience more. This state is referred to as a state of enlightenment or self-realization. That is the experience of the consciousness in an expanded state.

In the learning process, therefore, we need to become aware of this quality of consciousness that we are. We need to be aware that we human beings operate at different levels of consciousness. We move from the limited to the unlimited consciousness, and we manifest varying degrees of this consciousness expression. We see that in terms of human communication. When we communicate we may do so from different levels and there needs to be adaptation or compromise in the communication, an understanding at the different levels. So as seekers of Truth, we need to really understand the nature of this quality of awareness and to seek to expand it because as it expands it makes our learning experience so much more powerful.

Present-moment expanded state of awareness
This consciousness can express itself in the present moment, and when it is directed to the present moment it is termed 'present-moment awareness'. But present-moment awareness need not mean expanded consciousness. It means being here and now with your attention. However, if the consciousness is expanded, you see more and experience more in the here and now. So the goal is not only to be present-moment aware, but the goal also needs to be being aware in the present moment in the expanded state of awareness. The level of consciousness has to be expanded.

How to expand the consciousness?
When you seek to be more aware, I will say, try to be aware of the moment and everything that is happening in the moment. If your consciousness is limited you will be aware only of that limited view even though you are in the moment. Like a human being who is very much into limitation and is in a survival mode of food, shelter and pleasure; he can be in the moment but his awareness will not be in expansion.
We need to understand how to expand the consciousness. Consciousness in an expanded form comes as a result of effort and grace. It is not that you can say, 'Well, I want to experience infinite or expanded consciousness in this moment' and it will just come to you. You have to understand where you are. You have to create a desire to want to expand to experience expanded consciousness. You have to work intelligently with your Universe to do that. If fact, all of life's experiences are really directed, consciously or unconsciously, to the evolution of this consciousness.

Therefore, when I invite you to become more aware of all that you are experiencing in the moment, I am also asking you not just to be present-moment aware, but to seek to shift to your deeper centre. This is that you may be more aware of all the levels that may be possible in the communication or the awareness.

A multi-dimensional experience
We said that the human experience is a multi-dimensional experience. There are different levels at which we operate. And when we are more conscious we are more aware of these different levels in operation: the physical, mental, emotional, spiritual. So we become more aware. In this consciousness experience or journey we need to be aware of what level we are operating from. We need to be aware of the possibilities of experiencing an expanded level of consciousness, and to understand where we are centered inside when we view the world. Where is our individuality centred, our self-awareness. And being aware of where we are centred, and by 'we' I mean where the individual, the ego or the sense of 'I' is centered. We call that the witness - the one who is witnessing.

Expanding the view of the witness
The whole process of consciousness development is about expanding the view of the witness. A very powerful way of expanding your awareness is being able to witness and observe where you are centred as an individual, and seeking to expand the view that the individual witnesses. In other words, grow in the state of witness awareness.

Therefore, level of consciousness, present-moment awareness or giving attention, and where you are centered in your witnessing are all important on the journey. It is extremely important to understand and to explore these because your evolution in being is based on this consciousness. The whole process of learning is based on the expansion or the evolution of this consciousness. When the consciousness is limited you experience very intensely the humanity or physical part of your existence. When the consciousness is in expansion, however, you experience other levels of your being. And when you reach at the highest level of awareness or being, we say that you are experiencing the spiritual side of your being. Then we see wonderful qualities expressing from the expansive state.

Contemplate the concept of awareness
I want you to contemplate this: that you experience consciousness at a certain level in every moment of every day, and you interact with your world from this level. Your view of seeing your world and interacting with it depends on the level that you are experiencing. The goal is to move from limited or normal human awareness, material, physical or gross awareness to the expanded state of spiritual awareness, which is the awareness of your total being, your deeper being or Self.

We will certainly explore these more. Today I just want to begin to bring to your awareness this quality of your being, and how important it is on the journey.


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Food for thought

"The highest honour we can give to our Self is to surrender our ego completely so that our divinity will shine in and through us." - Sri Vasudeva