HOW DO YOU KNOW IF YOU’RE PROGRESSING SPIRITUALLY?
I know if I’m progressing with weight every time I pack my suitcase. Either it’s a breeze because all my clothes fit, or I’m in hell because nothing does and I have to make a mad dash to the store before it closes for something “new”.
Sure enough, within a few minutes he was singing his favorite song. The title is “I, I, I, me, me, me”. However, this time instead of imagining hitting him over the head with a ketchup bottle, I started laughing. He simply was being who he was and I was able to accept him that way instead of wanting to change him. We hugged goodbye and as it turns out, it was the last time we ever met. This test was over and I’d graduated. Challenging people and situations will remain in our lives until we see what we needed to learn about ourselves from them.
#1: Perception: One afternoon Sri Sri asked a group of us, “How do you perceive the world and people around you?” It got me thinking. I remembered all the times I’d said to someone , “You made me feel so (fill in the blank)! “ and we had a fight or I pulled away and felt sorry for myself. I thought about numerous times I’d ensured a sleepless night from something someone said, or lashed out without thinking in an email just to regret it later after learning the full scope of the situation.
Once I started using the Sudarshan Kriya breathing technique and meditating daily I found people seemed nicer and life moved along easier with more grace. I soon realized it was my perception that was changing, not the world. I started seeing people and events in life from a much broader perspective. I felt more compassion,love, a sense of belonging with people and stopped expecting anything in return. I was becoming happier and happier.
TECHNIQUES TO IMPROVE PERCEPTION A very effective, fast and simple technique to remain calm, cool and collected and maintain a proper perspective is to take a few deep breaths before responding to any situation or person who pushes our buttons. Polishing the nervous system each day with rhythmic breathing and meditation like the Sudarshan Kriya removes the stress, negative impressions, habits and flavors of consciousness (victim, aloof, attack, defense, fear) that cause us to shrink and become unnatural. A key result is that human values such as; compassion, friendliness, harmony and enthusiasm flourish in our lives.
Becoming familiar and applying the knowledge from the ancient text, Patanjali Yoga Sutras (The ancient sage Patanjali is considered the father of Yoga) is another great tool. The more we understand the mechanics of our own mind the more empowered we are to manage it.
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar Commentary on Patanjali Yoga Sutras
To be continued