PATH TO LIBERATION
Dear associates in the path of PAM,
I think a stage has come when we should be more candid about the participative endeavour we are sharing with our Master the most benevolent. Our Master has stated that "Indeed our Great Master has boldly asserted that one can, for sure, attain liberation in this very life, nay even in a part of it, provided one is really earnest about it and has the fortune of having a proper guide."
I would strike a different note today than the usual one to which we are accustomed by trying to highlight certain obvious and yet not recognized facts of our path. We are aware that the PAM technique is designed for the ultimate good in spiritual results, yet it reflects its benefits throughout our entire system, nourishing our mental, emotional and physical bodies. By practicing PAM and adhering to the meditation methods in the morning, evening and bedtime we know we have in PAM our daily haven of spirituality in today's noisy world.
The hustle and bustle of today's fast-paced world almost makes us to cry out, "Where can we find some peace and quiet?" Meditation has become a very popular answer to the need for balance in today's fast-moving society. Meditation was designed primarily for spiritual development, rather than mental or physical benefits. However, by nourishing the spiritual self, its benefits are then reflected throughout the human mind and body.
Spiritual benefits: Human beings function on spiritual, mental, emotional and physical levels, with each level impressing the next. Our self impresses our mind and helps us to choose our beliefs about reality. These beliefs then channel our thoughts into patterns which fit into that view of reality. Our thoughts feed into our emotions, and our emotions affect the well-being of our physical form. It makes sense, therefore, to see that the root of the human tree, our spiritual self, is given the best possible nourishment. This however does not mean that we will be rid of all ailments but we get a frame of mind that accepts the situation in a healthy manner.
Through meditation we contact our most real part. This part is the spiritual source which existed before our physical body was formed. Through contact with that reality, the essence of our self, we become more identified with that inner self. Our inner self is who we really are. Then, we begin to realize more of our potential because we are able to identify what that potential is. Our inner self is the fountain of wisdom within us. It has access to all information in the universe because it is consciously connected to the entire universe. The individual self is our personal connection to Infinite. Through contacting our inner self, we become more aware of our greatest inner joy. When we follow that innermost joy, we consciously resonate with our inner self and manifest our true potential in life. This inner resonance enhances our intuition, making us more capable of choosing the best options in life. This increases the synchronicity in our life and we achieve a natural flow which is more in harmony with the universe around us.
Mental benefits: Living in the 'present' is a spiritual practice and a habit which requires mental attention. By focusing on the 'present', we bring inner issues under control. Our belief system says that we cannot change the past, and that we can only change the future by acting in the present. It is therefore the "present" which holds the key to effective action. When past-related regrets or future-related worries are brought into the 'present' they can be experienced, examined for what they are, and then acted upon.
Meditation is well-known for producing increased mental clarity. Thus greater concentration and creativity are produced, and our memory power increases. The expression of creativity is one of the great natural joys in life, one which appears more and more as we follow our true path through life.
Emotional benefits: The more we contact our inner self, the more we understand who we really are. This brings forth a balanced sense of self-esteem, one which relies upon our true self rather than the judgments of others. Inner strength is awakened. This is a calm and self-assured strength, one which helps us face stress and anxiety with renewed energy and poise. With stress under control, our capacity for happiness is naturally expanded.
Physical benefits: Meditation provides a deep form of rest that works wonders for the human nervous system. This increases the human capacity for managing stressful situations and provides a sense of increased energy for handling all aspects of daily living. Meditation brings the body, mind, emotions and spirit into harmony. Disease is a word meaning literally a form of discord which reflects from the emotions onto the physical body. Extensive research projects have produced valid claims for meditation helping control many ailments including hypertension, anxiety and panic attacks. This of course is not the reason why we practice PAM. All these advantages of meditation as prescribed in the system help us to implement the Commandments of the Master more easily. Earnest seekers know that many a time it is our bodily ailment that hinders our practice and therefore these points were covered to note that we are not neglecting our body or mind in any sense of the term when we attend to meditation. It is determination to be healthy and strong that matters not withstanding physical ailment or debility. In a sense this liberation from an obsessive concern for the body is the initial liberation we need. Those who tend to neglect their meditation in the name of attending gyms, morning or evening walks and exercises may think about these facts.
Integrity of Mind Body and Spirit: The word integrity has been used extensively suggesting as though it is a moral strength. Integrity is what we achieve by following the fourth commandment of the Master by being plain and simple. Integrity means wholeness, completeness. A person with wholeness can focus his energies in one direction. A whole person achieves his life's purpose without the dissipation of energies caused by internal conflicts. He gets things done with ease, and then move on to the next activity which further pursues his sense of inner joy.
Many of us suffer from guilt; but until we resolve the issue of guilt we cannot be plain and simple and forthright. Guilt and fear are, of course, part of the tradition that we have inherited from our elders. That tradition is one of separateness. Separation of people into sexes, races, colors, religions and name what you want. Then there is the separation because of cities and States via competing sports teams, the separation of Nations through battles and war. Even consciousness which is integral and unitary has been separated into subconscious, super-conscious and regular waking states. Separation is the opposite of wholeness and is a fiction of the intellect.
Separation divides, while integrity unifies. Integrity is inclusive. Separation is exclusive. Integrity is the ability to say "and" instead of "or." Integrity is wholeness, or completeness. Wholeness allows our energies to be directed towards any activity without them being dissipated by inner conflicts.
Integrity, therefore, empowers effectiveness. Integrity of mind, body and spirit begins with spiritual integrity. The traditions of guilt and fear come from the old notions of reality, which is one of separation. Guilt and fear were primarily tools used to control other people.
In the Era of the Grand Master where new order is getting established and in fact there is a new dawning of reality, we find it our responsibility to transform these tools of the dark ages. When our spirit feels crushed by a heavy feeling of guilt or fear, we can either:
a) Go into meditation to trace the feeling back to its source and find out who originally put that feeling of fear or guilt in us. Then, when we understand the original purpose of that programming and its inappropriateness today, we can relieve our self of that imaginary division, or
b) Ignore the same totally regardless of where it came from, using a statement of freedom by feeling the grace of the Master that is felt as unconditional love which flows through us all.
Today's inherited cultural baggage includes many subconscious archetypes. Among these are the ideas of oaths of obedience, poverty and chastity. Whether we have made these oaths in previous lives as a monk or a nun, or just inherited them along with today's cultural mindset, they can be equally debilitating. It is time for these unconscious, outmoded restrictions to go. Oaths of obedience serve only those in charge of an institution. Under a guise it becomes the worst form of tyranny, the very opposite of freedom. I am aware of few persons who took oath with their Master and chose falsehood and have offended themselves with notions of guilt etc., It has always been easier to be in charge as the anointed leader of a group as long as no one is going to question our authority.
Chastity reduces emotional problems in monasteries. However, in otherwise happy marriages, the same sense of chastity creates problems. We need to release any deep, inner suspicions that we should be "chaste for life" before our partner wonders if we are distancing our self from them because we do not love them any more. If however we persist with these notions we will find our selves being chased for life time by others and no real spiritual sadhana will be possible. This problem of suspicion among the married persons is something that has been reported to me often. Right understanding of the method of our beloved Master essentially intended for the Grhasta or householder is the real solution to this problem.
Poverty allowed and allows monks and nuns to focus on serving their institution. In today's commercial world, however, it causes ineffectiveness. If we entertain the idea that our bank account should be perpetually empty, then letting go of that belief in poverty will open up huge doors of personal freedom. At one time, a vow of poverty allowed the seekers in the path to focus on the real purpose of life. Today, however, it makes us miss out on most of the potential in life to realize our true nature. This does not mean that we should acquire wealth and assets disproportionate to our honest earnings. Commandment 8 is the guiding principle here.
To release ourselves from these notions we need to have firm faith in the method of the Master and our own capacity to attain freedom. The Prayer that is given to us makes it clear that our goal is to be one with the Master by getting rid off all our wishes. The point to note is that outdated, subconscious oaths of obedience, chastity, poverty, and anything else that crimps us in the path has to be got rid off by trusting the Prayer and declaring our right to Freedom and affirm to ourselves the unconditional love of our Master that flows through all of us as Pranahuti. That way we ensure our liberation during our life time itself.