The 4 Ways of a Spiritual Seeker

For the casual spiritual aspirant, where a few hours a week is dedicated to the Spiritual Path, then a spiritual organization is very necessary. It helps them with a framework that they can use to have a sense of purpose, to have the benefits (and pitfalls) of belief or faith, to remain dependent on an outside agency (like a deity, God, or Gurus) to help guide when errors or mistakes are made.

For the more serious spiritual seeker, that actively practices and settles at nothing but the highest attainment of moksha (liberation) then the path of the Mystics is important. The function of an organization, centered on an individual or a group becomes a massive hindrance along the way. Therefore, this seeker must carve their own path.

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Non-Dependency

A casual aspirant will not benefit from non-dependency, but the serious seeker will benefit the most. The seeker doesn’t depend on their own experience nor the experience of others. All experiences are fleeting and this whole world is transient. They understand that nobody can guarantee anything without one’s own effort. The spiritual aspirant, with their few hours will depend on the good graces of the philosophy, ideology, group or figurehead and will always dance according to that tune. It is even alluring that you do nothing but grace is given. Now, the spiritual seeker cannot understand why we should depend on that grace alone. When we have to get rid of duality, then why add more to that duality with the other? It is better to focus on the One alone and upon our own effort. No need for anything else. Yes, right now for the seeker, duality feels real but they understand that what feels real is actually transient. I don’t like to use the word ‘false’ because this world is beautiful and isn’t wrong or a mistake. In every quark, there is the essence of the most beautiful yet, Formless Ultimate Reality.

The seeker instead goes up the levels of reality, where they see their life and everything connected to it as a transactional reality and they are not to depend on any transaction. They are to work through these levels of reality until they reach that Reality where there is no difference, no separateness and is a complete, perfect Oneness. In fact, if the serious seeker does depend on anything then it is the Formless Ultimate Reality or the Self alone.

Philosophy or Ideology

For the sake of this discussion, when I mention philosophy, I am containing both philosophy and ideology in this. For the serious spiritual seeker, they cannot do with a fixed philosophy that someone else has developed. They always seek to deepen any existing philosophy or look to develop their own. Their efforts and their experiences leads to a higher state of being where they start noticing the ‘devils in the details’ and cannot adhere to such conventional thinking. They then choose to transcend those details and conventions much to the disappointment of the group that they belong to. The group of casual spiritual aspirants or the figurehead may look at the philosophy as a great template from afar. But even the genuine figurehead knows the conventional wisdom template needs to be erased and written with the seeker’s own wisdom, therefore, they truly give that seeker the freedom to develop. This has always been done and the reason why we have Mystics like Rumi and Kabir.

As much as a philosophy is a great starting point, it is not the means and it is not the end. The seeker recognizes this and moves forward. They spend time analyzing every philosophy, their own thoughts and continue to evolve. This is why I admire Hinduism as a religion for its amazing diversity of philosophy – you can be a theist, an atheist, an agnostic and still be called a Hindu. You can even reject Hinduism and that is still a very Hindu thing to do! The Buddha rejected the Vedas and is still considered an avatar! For the Hindu sees evolution and celebrates it. For this reason, Hinduism has created a strong philosophy called Advaita Vedanta, which is now being considered as aligning with Science on the basis that reality is non-duality or a unified field. What the mystics found within, scientists are finding with their equations and formulas. Hindus accept that philosophy is not meant to stick around but it is meant to be molded and created into something new. In fact, each individual is a religion in their own self. For this reason, there is neither dependency nor one single philosophy. The seeker must find their own.

Universal Mindset

Even though, a group may claim that they have a universal approach to spirituality, you will find a nuance in their thinking. Only their approach is universal, anything else is not universal. What is really funny is that most spiritual organizations claim the monopoly of having the only way. They are the chosen ones with the Chosen One to lead. They have been picked out of the billions for this sacred journey that they dip their toes in once in a while.

Even though, they may claim to be open-minded, but anything that is different to the Group’s philosophy is rejected and considered to be false unanimously by everyone. Like I mentioned, whenever we start to think that we have a better path than everyone else, we automatically close our minds to the universality of wisdom. The wisdom that we start to associate with becomes incredibly narrow and is never the focal point anymore. Hence, we start worshipping one god, guru or group only and cannot go beyond that scope.

To be truly open minded is to transcend all associations to an organization. Yes, we can belong to a group but we should never feel alpha about our group compared to others. We should have the humility to see the similarities and bond over that. Where there are differences, we should accept them as someone else’s journey and findings that are just as valid. Then again, I expect only a serious seeker to understand this and be able to differentiate on whether a difference in philosophy is based on experience or mere tradition. The more casual aspirant will want to stick to their way because it is the best way and the only way. It is comforting but not ego transcending.

Convenience

We can get too comfortable and start becoming lazy with our spiritual journey. Whenever dependency arises, the sense of comfort sweeps in and imprisons us. The spiritual seeker is not spiritual for their own convenience or comfort. They seek to disturb the current worldview that they hold. They look to dissect their ego to what it really is and to check if the ego actually exists! Spirituality in the truest sense is an inconvenient Truth. It doesn’t care about your feelings, your thoughts, your intentions, or what you want reality to be. It shows you reality and then you have to learn to deal with it and work accordingly to It.

When the spiritual aspirant get comfortable and lazy, we prefer to do the easy things that gives us the cloak of doing something spiritual. It helps our ego to think we are doing something towards seeking a Higher Reality. It fools us. It puts us in shackles and gives us the illusion that we are reaching great progress. Therefore, it is important to check if we are settling in the Ultimate Reality or are we settling in our ego that we have fashioned into some God or Higher Being.

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The Possible Dissonance

There are some serious spiritual seekers that function within an organization/group and may also follow a figurehead. There may even be a deep reverence for the group and the figurehead and will share the collective teachings according to their understanding or findings. However, there will be a marked difference and that is they follow what is right according to their own being. They will not simply accept any idea, thought or action and they may even challenge anything that they disagree with. It is then dependent on the group or the figurehead if they want such a person. They may find that such dissonance is not welcome and it is with that understanding that I go back to the central idea that within each one of us is a religion waiting to be born.

Be a Spiritual Seeker

What you want to be is truly up to you. But if you want to enter spirituality, then there has to be a seriousness to it. I do believe that being a serious spiritual seeker is super fun and is a thrilling journey like no other but I can see how it isn’t for everyone. For some, the minimal effort is all they can do and they have other priorities which is fine. For them, a framework set by another, whether an organization or figurehead, does suit them and their lifestyle so why go further? It does help them at least live a good and moral life.

For the more serious spiritual seekers that understand that Liberation or Moksha is the ‘end’, they need to put some serious work. This spiritual work has to be done all on their own, after they have exhausted the help of others and all philosophy. This path is less traveled and no compass, no GPS can help because the GPS will always re-route you back to where you are and the compass will always point back to you.

Mysticism – the Union

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The greatness of mysticism is it’s powerful endeavor to unite consciousness with the Universal Consciousness. The steps that are taken with mysticism are very simple. It is a constant inquiry into how can I become one with the Formless? It is a real look into the availability of such an experience and the expectation of disappointment if any concepts once held become useless and heavy baggage onto the ego.

Mysticism is the transcendence of the ego into a more human, yet divine being. The ego is not casted as some evil creature that needs to be banished. It is a friend that served its purpose and now must rest. Yet, if for whatever reason, a deviation from the path occurs, this sleeping giant (ego) can rise again to take over from the more human and divine qualities of the being. The ego despite not wanting transcendence helps us with many tools to show us of its presence. If pride of any kind appears, attachments, lust, greed or false identity then the ego is ready to take the reigns again. Otherwise, one can truly rest in spiritual awareness and enjoy a very human and divine life.

Uniting with the Universal Formless Consciousness is a time when we can experience an expanse, yet we can have a single-minded focus on that point of absolute stillness. This seemingly paradoxical realization is both empowering and a continuous source of inspiration. The more we acclimatize with this, the more spiritual awareness grows and becomes a larger part of our lives. When our spiritual growth starts to mature, when the union has laid a solid foundation, joy and bliss are around the corner. I can sense this in my own experience.

Mysticism is the way forward for a true spiritual journey. Unless you do not find the Formless Self within you, it will be a difficult and arduous journey ahead especially if honesty about your growth is in limited supply.

Let’s be Practical!

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Once the Guru says something, do I take it with a pinch of salt and continue with my own way? Or do I take a moment to think and act accordingly to as the Guru prescribes. We read in our scriptures, in stories like the Puranas of devotees who acted simply at the hint of the Guru. We hear of the Guru celebrating them with great happiness but with a hint of sadness too as there may not be a devotee even similar.

The path that the Guru prescribes is never easy because it is allowing someone else to have the power over your thoughts and actions. Now for a lot of people this is difficult because the illusion is that they are in power. People even struggle with the fact that there can be a Guru. It isn’t a difficult concept either. Just like we have teachers in education, we have Gurus for spirituality. They have something above the typical teachers we see. A Guru is able to impart knowledge aswell as show their students how to live and implement it.

The Guru can be seen as an object of worship and devotion. Every morning that I wake up, I may not be anywhere near my Guru but I place my head at His feet. I have His blessings and whenever I need uplifting, I can close my eyes and place my head at His feet and feel His hand placed on my head and feeling the energy of the Divine power up the crown chakra. The Guru is the one that leads you to embrace the wordless, formless, beyond ideas and concepts, that which no thought can reach, no feeling or emotion can describe it or even feel it, it is beyond the comprehension of the mind, ungraspable by our intellect. This Truth that the Guru leads you to is everything you ever need. It is Fullness, it is Isness.

I can praise my Guru, have His blessings but I need to implement His teachings. Am I discriminating others on their language, age, nationality, sexuality, caste, religion, diet, dress and even their Gurus? Am I hurting other people consciously or unconsciously? Am I leading people to the Truth or am I taking them astray? Am I forgiving those who wrong me and do I ask for forgiveness from those that I wrong? Do I listen to others without judgement? Do I create conclusions of others before even knowing them? Do I feel greedy at any time, or selfish or even lustful? Do I pass all praise and criticism to the Formless? Until, I am able to say that I practice everything my Guru teaches, only then can I say He has blessed me. The problem isn’t that the blessings are not there, they are always here and now, but am I utilising them? Am I putting them to good use?

I do not want to be one of those that just shout empty slogans, make applauding speeches but little inner implementation in daily life, sing songs but feel miserable inside, recite and write poetry without an iota of experience manifesting in my daily routine and interactions with people.

It is time for some serious action and after listening to my Guru’s discourse this Saturday and again on Sunday, I feel I have a lot to do. If anything, I want to atleast be a reason for His smile. That whenever He hears my name, He smiles because I am committed to His cause and teachings. Commitment isn’t just a contract, it is actually living accordingly to the contract. And if I do not live according to the contract that I signed meaning the Divine Wisdom that my Guru revealed to me, then I am breaking the clauses in my contract. And let me add this, the punishment is simple – you do not live in bliss. What is the point of life without bliss?

Time for impactful action, less time for mindless reaction.

His love and blessings,
Rahul

Guru Purnima – Poem

happy-gurupurnimasms-wishes-quotesHe changed my life when I looked into His eyes,
He showed me a fresh path ahead of me,
Without a footstep that disturbed the dust,
Nor rain and wind to rustle the trees.

I stared at this Path with His wondrous Self,
I looked into His eyes that smiled freely,
He anticipated my doubts and delusions,
All He did was walk ahead of me as if in ignorance.

I watched a doubt arise and delusion in despair,
He would turn around every time with a smile,
To check if I was still focussed,
Or was I about to lose to the wavering mind?

He stopped by a tree that was ready to blossom,
He touched the centre of my forehead,
A gust of wind appeared out of nowhere,
Stood still by the tree as if seeking permission.

It felt that now that time had stopped,
Was I about to receive the Teaching I longed for?
His compassion and mercy pierced my heart,
I had no desire but to learn of the Artist of this Art!

He didn’t utter a word nor give a sound,
Nor a sign or a hint to offer as a guide.
He closed His eyes and I followed Him,
Little did I know what was in store for me!

I got sucked into a swirling vortex
My senses defeated so who am I?
Everything came to a screeching halt,
Colours of mist appeared never seen before.

My Guru walked ahead of me on the Path,
Not because He is first and I am second.
He made sure nothing hurt me on the Path,
His feet bruised and my feet untouched.

How these visions appeared without intention,
As if the Truth felt obliged to reveal,
My Guru surrounded me yet nowhere to be seen,
What do I do amongst indescribable colours?

A blink of an eye and I was back on the Path,
The Guru with His eyes open featured beaming smile,
The gust of wind stood still like a guard,
A clap and the blossom rained from above.

The path filled with flowers and petals,
This was the moment the heavens celebrated,
Perceptions heightened accessing all dimensions,
I had finally realised who I am.

This only happens with the Guru’s grace,
The Truth comes to you not the other way round.
The Truth in fact is always here,
Do we realise its access is eternal-bound?

Without the Guru the path is dull and dark,
Even realisation will bring you pain and hurt,
Everything is smooth once the task is complete,
Until then the Guru is everything you do not seek.

He will shatter every belief you possess,
Question every ritual you do in spiritual pretence,
Create situations to test your emotions,
Losing your balance is it He that you will hold?

The Guru is the glistening Reality,
That is Self-revealing and Self-created,
It neither needs ‘me’ nor ‘you’
This is the objectivity the Guru requires.

Bliss descends upon you from the Beyond,
This is blessing from the Blissful Beloved,
Standing in front of me with no form to see,
Just a Formless Self an endless Presence.

Devotion – An Underrated Practice.

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The intense longing for the Truth, the strongest desire for the perception of Reality, the heartbreaking moments of losing everything and everyone even your own self for the sake of enlightenment is the beauty of devotion. Dancing like there is nobody watching, dancing by yourself without the need of music because the sound of the universe vibrates around you. Singing like there is nobody listening, singing by yourself without the need of the audience because the only spectator is the Formless One. Speaking like there is nobody listening, speaking with yourself without the need of appreciation, speaking just because you are sharing your heartfelt experiences with the Divinity that is within you, that surrounds you and that permeates within every aspect of creation and yet at the same time is beyond creation.

It is a shame that the western audience for Hinduism, specifically for Advaita Vedanta or nonduality or even neo-advaita is shunning devotion because they feel the intellect can reach the highest state of knowledge. Frankly, it cannot and it never will. They praise Kabir, Shiva, Rumi and yet, the miss the fundamental practice they had and that is bhakti or devotion. They had a strong passion for the Formless and the one who revealed the Formless to them. They praised their Gurus and today, we have become sceptics, albeit not for the wrong reasons, we have not opened our hearts to the Guru.

Self-realisation or God-realisation is impossible without the grace of the Guru. The disciple feels that the Guru is absolutely needed and the Guru will feel equally as dedicated and passionate towards his disciple. I know for a fact that the Satguru or True Teacher is out there, literally in love with his devotees and sacrifices everything he has for them. Devotion is impossible without a Guru.

Here is a poem by Rumi:

Once again my beloved sought me and found
Joyously in the marketplace sought me and found.
I hid myself, at my feet that drunken rose, rose from the ground
I escaped the House of Wine, sought me and found.
How wondrous that so doggedly would hound
What luck that such swindling lock sought me and found.
Who would find me if with crowds myself surround?
Knower of crowded secrets sought me and found.
I have left a bloody trail; just look around
And the one on my trail sought me and found.
Run away to what avail, deathward bound
Why hide, a thousand times sought me and found.
I pulled the thorn from my side, yet one more round
That oak towering flowerbeds sought me and found.
Like a pearl at the bottom of ocean, drowned
Pearl diver, with a string sought me and found.
Shams-e Tabriz with piercing eyes and no sound
In the light of insight sought me and found.

Kabir also says:

Even if the whole earth is transformed into paper,
with all the big trees made into pens,
And if the entire water in the seven oceans are transformed into writing ink,
Even then the glories of the Guru cannot be written.
So much is the greatness of the Guru.

Today, devotion needs to be celebrated and observed correctly. It is not just about passionate love and affection but it is the route to grow within spiritually. Knowledge transforms into wisdom by the act of devotion. Having the intense love to be there with the Beloved, the Formless One. Without the Formless, there is no love for even the forms around us. With Advaita Vedanta and other paths, you may negate until you reach the Formless, but to stay with the Formless, you have to learn to love the Formless unconditionally. Only then does the realisation stay with you. Only then does wonder and awe become an everyday part of your life. Only then do you become an explorer of Reality and Wisdom. This is only when the intense longing of the Formless is within us. To truly be wise, is to truly long for the Formless. The Formless is Reality. The Formless created consciousness. You can only understand the nature of consciousness, if you understand the nature of the Formless.

The Formless is shapeless, ceaseless, boundless, birthless, deathless, self-existent, colourless, endless, without a beginning, full of love, compassion, radiating with peace and harmony, celebrating the oneness of all things. The Formless can be yours but can you let go and surrender to the Formless.

Surrender is not letting go of you, it is letting go of who you think you are. When you surrender then you truly find yourself. Then you truly discover who you are and this Reality will stay with you. Surrender is only possible in duality, once you enter the nondual state then who will it be that surrenders. In the grand scheme of it, it is the Formless surrendering to the Formless. Surrender removes any aspect of the ego that can disturb the process of enlightenment. The chances of surrender become higher with keeping in the company of like-minded people, serving others selflessly and constantly remembering the Formless is within you and around you. Remembering the Formless not as a form of repetition but as a form of daily practice. Every feeling, every intention, every emotion and every thought must be done with the remembrance of the nature of the Formless.

Devotion is the key to spiritual enlightenment. It can be done instantly and it all depends on how much you really want to be enlightened by the Formless One. The path of devotion is simple and it is simple because the Formless is simple. It doesn’t need to be complicated by massive words which mean nothing. The less you want the Formless then frankly the longer it will take you to be enlightened. It is not if you become enlightened either, you already are but the ego will always make a goal or a meaning out of it. Being on the path of devotion, you have to let go of meaning, of concept and context. You simple have to be in this moment. This moment reveals the eternal. Give time to the Timeless and you will see a moment transform into eternity. Devotion adds juice to your journey. Without it, your faith, your practice will stand like a wilted tree, bored and secluded in the desert. However, devotion will be like an oasis in the desert. Not only does the oasis enjoy itself but others feel blessed by the presence of the oasis. They also drink the nectar that leads them into immortality.

The path of devotion is extremely important. I would go far to say that it is the best way to God, to the Formless, to Reality or whatever you would like to call it. You can even curse This, and if you do it out of love and passion then it will reveal itself unto you. It is not partial to words. You think God is so sad that He analyses each word. He knows you analyse it yourself and you yourself provide your own punishment. God neither punishes nor congratulates. He has left that to You!

His Love and Blessings,
Rahul N Singh

Surrender – The Final Episode

humilityHow easy is it to surrender?

The moment I let go of who I am and become the ‘I am’ then surrender is there. Surrender isn’t making yourself any lower, in fact it takes you on a higher dimension. You may want to ask, how is it that surrender helps? Why should I give an Unknown energy or person more power over me? The issue with power is that it is all ego. When you see your Master or the Text and you see the Truth in those elements expressed in every sentient energy existing on the planet, you can surrender as there are no differences between you and any thing else. All are One. All are sparks of the Divine. Letting go of your ego is one sure way of becoming something more universal.

Speak of the Universal Truth – does this make it easier to surrender?

We haven’t tackled the aspect of surrender yet. What does it mean? I have a Satguru – a True Master or True Guru. Now, He is my reflection whenever I enter awareness of the Formless. This is where no thoughts appear, no emotions, no language, no sound, no feeling, no intention etc. It is pure. In this state, surrender is natural as you have nothing to give up. Without thought, the ego cannot survive. Living in the now, just being is the main practice and way of life for a devotee. It is not that thought does not occur; you are simply not what you think. When you are not what you think, you become what you are – the ‘I am’, the soul, the consciousness that pervades everywhere. The Universal Truth is contained in the ‘I am’ but is yet, beyond the ‘I am’. It is beyond consciousness. It can be consciousness but consciousness cannot become the Universal Truth.

How can the Universal Truth help me in my daily life like my job?

Who is it that is living? Who is it that is breathing? Who is it that has a job? There is only the personality that functions in that space. However, we enter times when life becomes too much. Sometimes you parents do not understand you, or your friends fail to give a helping hand. Or you may find the workload at school and work is getting overwhelming and you feel the pressure is crushing you. In these moments, only speak if necessary. Otherwise, just stay silent and observe for a minute what is happening. Watch your thoughts, emotions, intentions, attitude all appear and disappear in the screen of your consciousness. Once, you have taken the step back you will find yourself calm again as the screen only projects what the mind perceives. Once you watch this, you find a separation between the mind and the screen. Therefore, in this moment you know the observer is still, silent and forever in calming bliss. This screen is the Universal Truth and it’s tool for you to differentiate between reality and the illusion of perception. Perception is all you have but perception is not who you are.

Is surrender the end goal?

Surrender is a journey. Some can do it instantly and some take time. It takes me time. I have to remind myself constantly that this is not me and I am beyond all this. I have to observe the screen and watch the projection fade away and appear and fade away. This is why yoga is done. Yoga is not someone breathing or doing the physical exercises, a time comes in yoga when the doer becomes the doing. The yogi observes the body doing yoga. This is why yoga is important and aids meditation unless you have access to the Universal Truth, which I fortunately have. Surrender is not a goal to be achieved; it is something that happens behind the scenes. When you realise that all of life is simply a play, a little drama in the whole universe, you simply let go and become of service to the Universe and Humanity that finds its home in the grandest stage of them all.

I cannot surrender so easily to what basically is nothing.

This statement is not you but the ego that thinks it is you. What do you mean you cannot surrender so easily to basically nothing? Say even if you have to surrender to someone, is it easier then? Yet, you do surrender. Do you not surrender to your boss out of fear of losing your job? Do you not surrender to the politicians for the hope of change? Do you not surrender to your parents for some pocket money or help? Do you not surrender to a loved one for expression of love or a fancy gift? Do you not surrender to intoxicants like alcohol, nicotine and drugs in order to feel the intoxication? The moment your ego wants something from someone, you surrender. You do not realise this but it happens. You surrender to very mundane things, yet surrender to God or Universal Truth or to a Guru is something you will never consider. You will find that somehow, some way or another you are searching for these things. You can mask it with things like peace of mind, bliss, mindfulness etc. All it is that you are looking for a door to walk through and all you are doing is walking into the door, instead of knocking. The Universal Truth is everything, the True Guru is everything and it is only when you lose yourself then you find that. Now, losing yourself, who are you? Nothing. And if this ‘nothing’ surrenders to everything then what does it become? Everything! In fact, you do not become ‘nothing’ you become ‘no-thing’. Only a ‘no-thing’ can become everything. This is when not a single element is in your being. You are a clean slate. Become a clean slate and watch the Universal Truth pour in.

Surrender makes sense now, why can’t it be fast?

Do not look for results because that is intention, thought and emotion. Just be. Be in being and everything will take place at its own pace. There is no rush. You have eternity to make this happen. You will find time is a concept in order to live in the world but you are timeless. This whole universe is timeless. We use time to help us understand the Timeless. Therefore, surrender is timeless.

Once I surrender, what happens?

Don’t think about it too much that you forget to be in being. Just relax. Take it easy and realise that this life isn’t yours. There are two moments in life that you had and have no control over. Your own birth and death. When it happens, nobody knows and you have no say in the matter. Nobody can save you. The moment you are born, you are a ticking time bomb. You are ready to go at any moment. Life has become conditioned to such an extent that we forget that we are ready to go. The next moment, I may not finish this sentence and I could be gone. It is all well and good. I know that I cannot go anywhere. I am always here. I am always in the now. I am every particle in the universe, every atom contains me and I am contained in every atom. Everyone is a reflection of me and I am a reflection of everyone else. I am both timeless and time bound. I am both limited and limitless. I am both one and many. I am both form and formless. I am both false and truth. I am both motion and stillness. There is no contradiction in life, all is complementary and has a function in the grand scheme of everything. Every action is not my action, although I may perform it. Every thought is not my thought, although it arises in my mind. Every intention is not my intention, although it is perceived in the screen of consciousness. You are both the observer and the observed. You are the watcher and the watched, the witness and the witnessed. When this happens, you enter into the realm of the Divine – the Universal Truth.

Meditation and yoga, no matter how secular you make it, it will become a spiritual practice. Spiritual realisation does not belong to religion. Religion belongs to spiritual realisation. Without realisation, religion is good as dead. The Universal Truth is Formless and this Formless pervades and is immersed in all consciousness. Without the Formless, consciousness cannot be. You are Formless, a spark of the Divine and your consciousness has always known this despite being filled with the ego. Let go of who you think you are and inherit what you have been, what you are now and what you always will be. Surrender makes you awesome because what you are surrendering to will always be awesome. Surrender is the first and final episode of your existence, as and in the Formless.

His Love and Blessings,
Rahul N Singh

Concentration – a lost art!

distractions

Today we have a problem of epic proportions! That is concentration or attention. There must be always something to do.

Imagine you had a day off. You will go shopping. Or you will watch TV, watched it for 10 minutes so let’s flick over to a new channel. Or let’s go on my phone, download apps, delete apps, go on apps, flick through them every ten seconds. Facebook…like…like…comment. Twitter..tweet…read…tweet…read. Instagram…post a photo….like photos…post photos…like photos. Oh, let me eat something! Confusion? What can I eat I am bored! Do you get the picture now? No! Okay, let me sit down and meditate. Do I look spiritual? Oh, meditation isn’t a spiritual practice so I can still be a cool atheist. Let me meditate…empty my mind…empty my mind…food….shark…Tesco…absence of thought but thought of absence of thought…shifting gears in a car…dustbins…porn. I give up after two minutes that seemed like two hours.

Concentration is a lost art. I say this with a sad face!

At first, I noticed this problem within myself. I used to sit in satsang (sacred gathering) and bring out my mobile phone and not take in what was being said. The problem was not my phone. It was me. Was I ready to admit this? Hell no! It is easier to blame my mind because I know I am not the mind. Oh wait! It is on loan to me so I am kind of responsible. This went on for a year and then I stopped. I realised that this wasn’t a problem that I had, this was going on around me. When we do anything and we do not focus with complete presence then sadly we lose whatever is being discussed. Sometimes, words can be heard but it is the essence, the feel of the speaker, the gestures, the expressions, the tone of the speaker that really hits you. Yet, if I am on my phone then am I taking that in? Is a text message or a whatsapp message more important? Can a phone call wait? Do I need to check that needless FaceBook notification? Do I need to check that email that somehow has passed the junk filter? I definitely do not need it.

If I was sitting in front of my Guru and He was talking to me and I just took my phone out, would that be disrespectful? Of course. We say that the Satguru is present in the Satsang, so if He is present and I am taking my phone out then that means not only am I ignoring Him but I am disrespecting Him too. Am I really seeing Satsang as a place to learn or has it become a social club?

When I sit in the Satsang now, away from my phone I can truly concentrate. I access the Formless, concentrate on the speaker without any distractions. I find that my mind does wander time to time and I bring it back to the present moment. I guide it with respect and a little love. If it is being a cheeky monkey then I give it a battering and tell it to behave. The thing is I have been trained to be in control of the mind and not the other way.

The question is how can I do this?
Start meditating. Start with 5 minutes and then every third day, go up 5 minutes. I only meditate for a maximum of 20 minutes and it is intense from the first second. My meditation happens whenever and wherever as the goal is to be aware that you are aware. Then start being aware of every action you do and you will feel the intensity of every action. It is beautiful and a great access to bliss and peace. You will enter great relaxation and the by product of this relaxation is that the mind wants more of it so it relaxes too.

The mind will go places. It will travel but your responsibility is to remain aware of this moment, the formless moment.

It is sad that we have lost concentration and it means that our sacred spaces have no space in our mind. This is sad. I encourage you that whenever you go to your place of worship, put your phone away, keep it in the car or leave it at home. Or avoid looking at it. It is important that we learn the art of concentration again or we will lose all art.

Love
Rahul

My Poetry Book out now!

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Hello everyone.

This is my first official post after self-publishing my new poetry book titled ‘You Are Seeking Me’. It consists of 101 poems and is available on Amazon in paperback and Kindle edition.

First of all, what is special about the book? It is my own thoughts, my feelings and my experiences that I want to share with you all. It is all about sharing with others and what can inspire others to change in their lives. You may not need to change but you may feel more at peace knowing that there is one more person that understands you.

If you like Kabir, Rabindranath Tagore, Blake, Walt Whitman or Rumi, you will love these poems. They talk about the mystical experience and how the eyes of wonder are in the eyes of the disciples. In fact, there is nothing but freedom expressed in the poems. It talks about getting rid of knowledge and being aware of the Greater Reality in life. It is about knowing that it is not just God or Existence that you must seek or even yourself that you must seek, whatever you seek is bound to be seeking you. Everything in this world is a beautiful paradox. There is no need to be confused about everything. How can we not be confused with all the chaos that surrounds us. It is a simple answer. Just live in the present moment with single-pointedness awareness. Concentrate on remaining present and the world will shower its gifts on you. The way we see life will be new, fresh and unique in its own way. Gone will be the mundane routine and you will live in harmonious newness. Be free and explore your self with my new poetry book available on Amazon.

Click on the following links and buy it. Support self-publishing! The more you buy, the more support I will receive in making my next project. My success is in Your hands.

Paperback version: http://www.amazon.com/You-Are-Seeking-Me-1/dp/1477466770/ref=sr_1_7?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1342209825&sr=1-7&keywords=you+are+seeking+me

Kindle version: http://www.amazon.com/You-Are-Seeking-Me-ebook/dp/B008JI290O/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1342209911&sr=1-1&keywords=you+are+seeking+me

Thank you everyone for your love and support,

Rahul