Wednesday, November 9, 2011

V: 9

Chapter 5, Verse 9

"In seeing or hearing,
In eating or walking or sleeping,
In talking or grasping or relaxing,
And even in opening and closing the eyes,
At all times they remember
That senses are interacting with sense-objects."

Sri Eknath Easwaran:

"In our village in Kerala, bags of rice, water pots, and other heavy burdens are often transported on the head. After carrying a load for miles, when it is time for a rest, the villager finds it difficult to unload and then reload when it is time to resume the journey. So, by the side of the road, stone parapets have been constructed, about the height of an average person. If I have been carrying a load and am ready to rest, when I come to a stone parapet, all I have to do is move close to it, nod my head, and the load will slide on to the wall. I can lie down and rest peacefully, and when I feel refreshed, I go back to the slab, give the bundle a little tug, and balance it on my head again.

Sometimes we will face great crises in life, the challenges will be immense, but the Lord will always whisper from within, 'I am your support. I am your stone parapet. Shift your burden to me.' God-filled people who are instruments in the hands of the higher power don't get discouraged. They are so completely identified with the Atman that they do not get entangled in the interplay between the senses and their objects, because they are no longer living for themselves. Their every action is done as an offering to the Lord. Even when they eat, it is not for the sake of satisfying the palate. It is for the sake of serving the higher power. When we eat nourishing food as an offering unto the Lord, it strengthens the body, the mind, and the heart. We can also keep our bodies strong with regular exercise so that they may be used for many years in God's service.

We have another opportunity to move closer to the Lord when it is bedtime. Between the last waking moment and the first moment of sleep, there is an arrow's entry into the depths of consciousness, into which the name of the Lord can enter when we repeat it with devotion as we fall asleep. This takes effort and perseverance, but when we have learned to fall asleep in this way, throughout the night we go through a healing process and wake up closer to our goal of constant remembrance. My Grandmother used to say that even in our dreams resentful thoughts and hostile experiences will gradually subside. We can come to have such mastery over our consciousness that even in our sleep we can reach the state where nothing but love and the awareness of unity pervades."

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