We all face difficulties sometimes and it can lead to hurt and pain. We never know how to deal with it. What would be the best solution, or even the route to a solution?
For me, my spirituality has never contained the element of having a conversation with the Formless. For me, the Formless is what can be called God, in fact it has many names but yet remains nameless. Without form and name, it presides everywhere and is within everything. This Formless is my support at this very time as I go through one of the toughest moments of my life.
This morning I woke up, and I do my 2 pages of morning writing, where I let my thoughts go wild on the page. It normally turns out to be like a journal but it helps keep a flow in what is happening within me. After reading this in the evening, my wife and I, meditate on the Formless for 10 minutes or so. It helps us get back into focus on what is happening and to be in the moment. It allows us both to connect spiritually and deeper than anything a verbal conversation can have.
This morning I felt I needed a bit more than meditation. I decided to have a conversation with the Formless. I just let everything out that was in my mind, I cried and felt the immense pain of losing my Beloved Guru – Baba ji. Whenever I was going through a crisis, He would have been the first person I would speak to. Sometimes, when I felt low, He would be the one to pick me up. Today, I felt in the morning that He was no longer here and I felt alone, deeply alone. My support that I had with His physical form was gone, vanished and would never occur again.
Then something remarkable happened. I felt His presence, I felt His caring nature and voice telling me that everything is okay and that I must keep faith on the Formless. I must accept and do as He wanted me to do. He told me that He had always been proud of me and that He had to leave for the collective. Those that had His personal attention will always be looked after by Him. All I had to do was concentrate on creating this relationship with the Formless. Whenever I would remember the Formless, He promised me that He will be there for me. The beauty of Hardev remains in the Formless. It’s about having a conversation and I felt the stress, the worries, the anxieties evaporated as His presence entered and I can feel it right now. I can feel His embrace, the one I have missed for over a year, finally enter my heart. This is all I needed to know that my faith will never falter.
When we go through problems, whether you believe in God or not, having a conversation with yourself, out open in the air may be a logical thing to do. Yes, it may look silly to a passerby but who cares? Your wellbeing comes first. You will be able to let your repressed emotions become expressed.
Speaking to the Formless is the real prayer. This Energy, which is Fullness will illuminate your life. All it requires is a little surrender. Letting go of your ego and mind and allowing the Formless to work wonders within you. The way to converse with Nirankar (Formless) is simply in the knowing that This Energy is here and now. Being aware of This, you are able to fully involve yourself into revealing your innermost feelings.
I know that somedays I may never get an intuitive answer but whenever I do, I will feel complete and inspired again. I will be full of positivity because my Beloved is always within me and His love can never diminish. It will continuously spread, evolve and reach every human heart.
Try it and have a conversation with Nirankar and see what beautiful pearls of wisdom arises out of it.
Satguru’s love and blessings
The whole journey of being enlightened is something that we like to postpone. Let us get a good job first, let the children grow up, let me retire and then I can look at enlightenment. However, if we look at what the Sages said, the message is simple and that is that only this moment matters. Who knows when our life will end?
Why should I strive for enlightenment?
The need for enlightenment is a personal step one should take. It is up to me, up to you if you want to reach the highest state of being a human. Enlightenment has always been the next step for evolution. If we are to evolve then enlightenment is said to be the answer. It may be that we are cynical and we can say that it is all words but not a reality, however, the question is have we even attempted to go towards enlightenment before we just sweep it under the carpet? Have we even taken a single step towards knowing the Truth? The choice is ours to test it and experiment with it to reach a result and conclusion.
Enlightenment is exciting
The one single factor that makes enlightenment exciting and worth pursuing are that you get to see the whole world, the whole universe as One. In a world where people want to divide us in the name of religion, nationality, colour of our skin, our caste or class within society, the hierarchy in the workplace etc. isn’t it better to strive and see everyone and everything with the same non-discriminatory approach? It makes perfect sense to my mind. The mind that has itself created all these concepts, ideas and divisions would want to end its current paradigm for a vast , indefinable and formless paradigm. When labels were meant for recognition, we have instead taken a darker turn and it has taken the form of definitions . Once we have started to define them and keep them in a box then that is all we can think of – the box. It is like a frog in a well, the little he sees of the sky is what he perceives to be the whole universe. Until the water rises to the top and he is able to leave the well can he discover that there are infinite life-forms and therefore his vision is expanded. This is the true aim of having enlightened-thinking.
Fragility of life and time
Life is fragile and it can escape from our hands just like we hold sand in our hands, we watch it slide through with great ease. Life will leave this body with great ease but what remains is our soul. Some may believe or not believe in a soul and again it is just another word to recognise that awareness that has been the same throughout our life, that has watched us grow up yet has remained untouched by all the changes. I call that witness the soul. It is a subtle energy and it is part of the greater formless expanse. Once we know our soul and we realise we are not just this body and mind then we attain a unity with this Formless Energy. We only have this moment to realise it. No doctor will guarantee that you will live tomorrow. Nobody can say this for certain so it is best that the most important task as the Sages say must be done now. Once, we have attained this oneness with God or the Formless then we see the whole universe as our own.
Going beyond Darkness and Light
Enlightenment is all about leaving the darkness and entering into the Light. This does not mean that darkness will not exist. It will and that will be the battle between your ego and realisation. If we are in darkness then the Light will try to enter into our lives in many ways. One way and this is the quicker way is to find someone who is enlightened and receive wisdom or True Knowledge from this person. It is said in many scriptures that by staying in the company of those in the Truth is the quickest way to realise God and be enlightened. You see there is no difference between the darkness and the Light. The only reason we see a difference is because we are not united with either of them. When we are in darkness, we need the Light. When we are in the Light, we want to be in darkness as it looks an easier way to live. Such is our nature towards ignorance. However, once someone has become enlightened they see no difference between the Light and Darkness. They rise above and live a life beyond all descriptions. That is the nature of God – unaffected and unmarked and enlightenment can give us that way of life.
Enlightenment is now!
The journey is ours to take and all I can say is that for me – enlightenment is my number one goal or target. It is the purpose of my life and this is because my Guru (Spiritual Teacher) has given me a gift in which enlightenment can happen in this moment itself. All it requires is the audacity to think beyond my ego. Some say that you need many lives in order to be awakened or to know God but who knows if this is the very life in order for you to achieve it. If we are to take full advantage of being a human being, to reach the highest potential then enlightenment is the only way! Enlightenment is a happening in the now.
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.