Finding Your Love for God – Center for Spiritual Awareness Asheville NC – June 12, 2011



today I want to start with a poem by Yogananda and some of you probably heard it before let's talk weave into our theme this poem is called God God God the depths of slumber as I ascend the spiral stairway of wakefulness I whisper God God God thou art the food and when I break my fast of nightly separation from thee I taste me and mentally say God God God no matter where I go the spotlight of my mind ever keeps turning on me and in the battle den of activity my silent war cries ever God God God when boisterous storms of trials shriek and worries howl at me I drowned their noises loudly chanting God God God when my mind weaves dreams with threads of memories then on that magic cloth I do emboss God God God every night in time of deepest sleep my pees dreams and calls joy joy joy and my joy comes singing evermore God God in waking eating working dreaming sleeping serving meditating chanting divinely loving my soul constantly hums unheard by any God God God I chose this poem to start with because I think a lot of people come to the spiritual path because they're trying to change or improve themselves because they have suffering or anxiety or whatever it might be in their life they're looking for something to make that better and they looked and money and interrelationships and work toys everywhere and they haven't found it and there's only one thing that can give a person experience of peace and quiet and a sense of connection of the wholeness of life and it is that connection and that knowing of God within and without around us so there are two quotes one is from the Bible and one that I've read before from Yogananda one from the Bible's from Deuteronomy 6:5 that reads and you love God with all thine heart and with all thy soul and with all thy mind and yoga Naaman had said to be so intoxicated for your love of God that you know nothing else know one of the key things I want to focus on is this sense of a loving God with all your might most of us love God passively or we go through the motions and we chant our meditation mantras or we practice our upon Yama and we think to ourselves well this is going to do it and then we get up and you feel pretty much the same as when we started a lot of the time it might feel a little calmer that's one because we've relaxed and if we pay attention to our meditation practice whatever distractions our eyes that pull us away from peace and contentment what we need to do is engage our feeling response engage our our will so that we are more fully giving our awareness to God to this infinite consciousness despite any distractions that our eyes and sometimes that takes an act of will we actually have to force ourselves to do this to move into this state and it's just like anything else in life this doesn't mean that you are being aggressive it just means that for example if you need to get in better shape you might have to really talk yourself into getting up in the morning going to the gym you don't like it because it's not very fun at first but then you make yourself do it and then what happens is as you get in the rhythm you just get up at 6:00 a.m. and you go to three times a week you don't think about it anymore and then you're in shape and it's fun it's the same thing with meditation practice or this idea of loving God at first you have to really give your awareness to a direct your attention to it but then the more you do it it becomes your natural state you just do it automatically you just flow your attention to it automatically and one of the things that I wanted to mention in regards to this idea of loving God with all your heart and means so intoxicated for your love of God that you know nothing else think about what do you love in life the things that you love in life you spend time with if there's a book that you love you read it a lot if there's an activity that you enjoy you make time to do it no matter what it is if you love something you give your attention to it and also you try to find out more about it you're interested in it okay so for example if you want to know what God is you don't just sit there and and try to calm your mind down you try to figure out well what is God what does it mean to me what is my relationship to it and so when you're meditating you practice your pranayama you practice your mantra until you're calm and then you ask what is it like to experience God right now and really wonder about that what is it like to know myself beyond this personality and beyond this name this form so that I can be in the state of self-realization and knowledge and you do that every day until you figure it out and that's why we go to school to write you don't just go to school once and then you know everything you go you contemplate the math equations that you need to know or how to create a useful paragraph or sentence and you keep working on it until you get it right and with your spiritual practice you know you're getting it right when most of the time you feel okay inside you feel that you are supported by life you feel that no matter what's going on out here no matter how perfect or imperfect things are things are fine right that's the way it works and then once things are fine you can go deeper into the process and eventually you can help other people experience that state as well you don't have to do that by being a teacher you can if you want you can do that simply by being a nice person or when you're around someone by being calm and collected inside people notice these things you might not notice it operate ly they might not know exactly what's going on but just like you're affected when you're around negative people people would be affected by you when they're around you as a positive person okay now the other thing we need to consider in regards to what we love is you have to pay attention to what you think about and what you do what you do eventually what you think about a lot the the states that you feel believe it or not you feel those and you think about those things because you love them even if they're not useful to you you think well this is unconscious of course I'm used to feeling this way it makes me comfortable so I'm going to continue thinking about this person which kind of gets on my nerves and how they did this to me I want to continue thinking about how I should have done this in life you know five years ago or high screwed up in this way you keep thinking about these certain things in a sense you are saying I really love this right so as a yogi and as a spiritual person one of the things that's indicated for you to do is to let go of things that you love that drain your energy or don't empower you if they drain your energy and they don't empower you they are taking your time away from that which can empower you such as contemplation of God because you've all tried to meditate right and you've all been distracted by things that don't really matter too much the overall scheme of things but for some reason you don't stop thinking about them you keep doing keep reflecting over and over in your mind so again pay attention and then give yourself permission to try to simply focus on God and this divine infinite consciousness and what you're going to find is is the more that you do that the less experiences come into your life which create turmoil or which create problems for you or maybe what happens is you come to a point where you realize you don't want to put up with that anymore and so now you have the courage and the energy to say you know what I'm kind of dealing with this so I'm done and then you move on and you redirect your energy to something that's positive again such as your meditation practice being healthy whatever it might be it's something about taking your energy and direct in such a way so that you are living as wholesomely and as usefully as possible and that that bothers a lot of people because in that brings up all kinds of rules and injunctions about you should do this you shouldn't do that well the reason we have these injunctions is so that we save our energy so that we can give it to God so you can give it to this infinite consciousness so we can know what's going on instead of letting it you know trick wild little leaks and cracks that we have within our consciousness whatever it might be does that make sense okay now another aspect to loving God and fill-in your life with God is if you pay attention to what is your house like what are the things that you hang on your wall what are the what does the music that you listen to what are the TV shows that you watch for example last night we had a devotional chanting session here why do we have devotional songs because it saturates your consciousness with this this clarity and this urge to experience peace right at home above the fireplace I have statues of like Ganesh and fairies in do gods that I like I have like devotional items that make me feel inspired that make me want to sit down and meditate by my desk where I do my work on the wall there I have pictures of the Gers so every time I'm sitting in there I look over inspired borrow what would I know their life to be like and so that uplifts my thoughts just a little bit as well whatever you see hear touch taste whatever your senses take in that creates your consciousness your awareness just like the foods that you eat creates your body if you drink Doritos and coke hot dogs and you know candy all the time what kind of body are you at now probably not a really healthy one and probably not a very happy one because that is what's creating this physical structure where you put increase this physical structure whatever your mind is like whatever your emotions are like they are created primarily by the things that you choose to feed your consciousness now we have to remember that we've grown up in a society that wants to do what it wants to do when it wants to do it right and when you are growing up in that kind of society you might think well it's okay if I give you certain things it's okay if I do this other thing that's not really useful for you because you know what I'm in America and I have my rights and I should be able to do whatever I want and that's true you can do whatever you want because we are in America and there's lots of things that we can get away with here but really what you need to ask yourself is are the things I'm planning in my consciousness are they directing me in a way that I want to go do I really want to know God do I really want to know inner peace and you can tell by the things you put your consciousness with and it's kind of interesting because throughout a lot of spiritual traditions spiritual teachers the Gita the Yoga Sutras one of the main things that they talk about is the quickest way to experience peace and contentment and self-realization is by surrender to God almost all of them say that's the case surrender to God loving God loving everyone is yourself all these sorts of things loving yourself and so we have this right there in front of us and most of us don't do it so we're suffering it we don't know what God is or unhappy we come to meditation centers we go to churches we go to seminars hear people tell us these things and yet we don't do it then you ask yourself well am I really looking for God am I really interested or what am i doing why do I go to these things if I'm not going to use what I get here I mean what's the point No so consider to yourself that it's really simple you meditate every day you do your best to know what this reality is this infinite consciousness isn't and what your relationship is to it because the first one starts out like a and personal there's God out here and I'm here and I need to figure out the difference but what you find is is that the more that you contemplate this what is God what is this divine you eventually start to realize that you are an expression of the divine and you have to accept it all right you have to accept it and then you start once you accept it then you want to start living in that way that's the problem that's all you don't accept it because we don't want to live as though we are God because then that means that we have to act in certain ways that we don't necessarily think are useful so consider that if you give your awareness to God if you surrender and earlier this morning we contemplated a alignment in bhagavad-gita that said that devotee whose endeavors are devoid of willful desire whose karma is consumed and the fire of knowledge is referred to the wise is referred to by the wise as the sage so the first part of that is the Divya the devotee whose endeavors are to avoid a willful desire that's where the surrendered part comes in willful desire is I want to do it when I want to do it no being devoid of willful desire is more okay I'm trying in and I'm asking what is appropriate right now what should I do and then you wait surrender to the process and inspiration arises okay I do this thing and then you just go do it so this whole willful desire it's letting go what you think you want to do and be more open to this inspiration and grace to flow through you and following that that's what I mean by letting go with willful desire the next aspect is karma the Karma is consumed in the fire of knowledge well if you know what you are and you know what God is then your karma is consumed in the fire of knowledge and the oka sutures that says that ishvara or God is unsee surpasses karma and also around that suture it says that by perfect alignment with ishvara or God you experience surpassing of your karma letting go of your karma so you see it goes together you know what God is you know you are in relationship to God I might have got this a little off but you be the point you know your relationship is to God and then you surrender that's the knowledge and now you have burned up your karma in this fire of knowledge and what's left is a simply acting that inspiration that horizon and there are seven billion people on the planet we can't all be presidents or gurus or rock stars or whatever it might be some of us have to do just normal things and that's okay because God does normal things too so remember that surrendering comes into being aware of whatever needs to flow through you you do your part and that helps you to wake up now some things I want to go over about meditation we talked about not being passive in your meditation so the first thing to do when you meditate is you have a chosen ideal of what God is like you think God is a certain thing or works in a certain way for me God is infinite consciousness I like to think of the spaciousness or I like to imagine a radiant white light and right in my inner eye my third eye when I meditate so what I do is I have the sense that I'm giving my full attention to this and I really mean it I really feel as though I'm floating my awareness into it so whatever your chosen identification of God is pick it give your full attention to it absorb yourself in it okay and then after a while when you think you've given just all you can give give a little bit more because you can probably give a little bit more and then once you reach that point relax turn your attention boy within and simply wait and watch and that stillness in that silence and see how God reveals itself to you how this into the consciousness reveals itself to you and how that peace descends as you wait and watch because you have to remember there are two sides to a conversation just talking it's also listening so you have to flow your awareness give your full attention and then relax wait and be receptive for this to come forth within you this understanding to come forth within you and in time and time you start to have flashes of insight to where you know what you are and then you're no longer disturbed by the things of the world because the things of the world are always going to change anything that you can see anything that you can experience it's going to come in it's going to go away work relationships health friends toys again whatever it might be everything has a life and comes and it goes but there is something which is behind all that which is the source of that life and when you can experience the source of that life then you are no longer bothered by the rising and falling then you see life as the show the play of what it is of sorrow of happiness of frustration of fulfillment of success of failure whatever it might be and it doesn't bother you anymore and you're at peace and when you're at peace you let go and you know you are this infinite consciousness and you know that you are one with God and you're not concerned about endings or beginnings of war or making things or taking things we're creating things or whatever it might be you are just being there appropriate to the moment and being so fully surrendered in the process that you don't have to worry about it and then you become a blessing to everyone around you so last thought keep your awareness on that which you love most dearly but never wastes your love or diminishes it but only amplifies it focus on that which has no possibility of leaving or ending and which has been waiting for you since the beginning and is there beyond all ending that is what we're looking for as what we're aiming for and it's there we just have to say okay let's know what it is let me know it let me feel when the experience of directly there'd be that one more time before we chant to meditate together keep your awareness on that which you love most dearly that which never wastes your love or diminishes it but only amplifies it that which has no possibility of leaving and which has been waiting for you since the beginning it was there beyond all ending all right all right so we're going to have about five minutes of chanting and then we'll meditate together

4 comments

  1. Wow. "That devotee whose endeavors are devoid of willful desire, whose karma is consumed in a fire of knowledge, is referred to by the wise as a sage." I will never forget this saying and the meaning behind it.

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