Seattle Retreat Reflection

Seattle Retreat Reflection

Sita DeviIn this retreat we studied the second of the seven Goddess Upanishads, the Sita Upanishad, in which the Gods asked Prajapati (the teacher of the Gods), “Who is Divine Mother and What is Her Form?”  His answer begins: “She is Sita…”

Prajapati went on to describe Her in full, and with every class, as we followed the scripture, we examined the many different ways in which Divine Mother’s qualities can be unwrapped: the Causeless Cause, Maya in its very Essence, the Queen of Speech, Manifest and Unmanifest, the Essence of Intelligence, as Action – the Power of the Lord.  We learned that within the very meaning of Her name, Sita: Sa (immortal truth), i (world seed/maya), ta (wisdom), She delivers us from ignorance with words, powerful mahavakyas, denoting non-dual reality.

While absorbing the Divine Mother teachings, being on retreat was also the perfect opportunity to drop the sandbags of mundane life and worldly worries and elevate my mind to higher thoughts, and to find my clear, calm mind again.  The pervasive silence of the mornings allowed me to inspect my mind, to take a step back and look at the big picture, reflect on the habits of thought that cause me to lose my focus, and resolve to bring the teachings into my daily life after returning to it.  

The question of just how to bring the teachings into our daily lives came up during satsang one evening.  This has been an ongoing question for many of us on the path.  Babaji’s usual answer was given: “Not how, but do it.”  I reflected on it further in my journal after satsang.  We often look for a technique.  There is sadhana – japa, meditation, initiation, questioning, and study.  And in the workplace, karma yoga: serving others as God so that our daily work becomes worship.  The next step is to realize that other people truly are ourselves, so serving others really is serving ourselves.  Ramakrishna embodied this.  How I bring the teachings into my daily life is to remember them.  That’s where inspecting my mind comes in.  Can I stop and ask myself, do I think I’m the agent in this or God?  Am I attached to the result of this work and claim it as mine, or is it God’s?  Who is the doer?  Whose will is being carried out?  Have I surrendered all and laid it at the feet of the Mother?

On the morning of Day 3, Babaji gave a spontaneous, clear and complete instruction for how to deal with the mind.  I had to capture it word for word because I wanted to take it home and pin it to my wall so that I could remember it and practice it.  Here it is:

“The mind has the facility to render itself non-dual (make thine eye single).  You can take this dual mind with all its broodings and problems, and its awareness of good and bad, and knowledge and ignorance, and you can slowly render it more non-dual until it becomes Om,  O – M, Original Mind.  Dual mind becomes non-dual – that’s what you do with your mind.

With intellect, you hone it until, like a goad, it becomes so sharp that it can pierce through the curtain of nescience which is the covering power that is keeping you from the vision of your own True Nature.

With thoughts, you render them positive (aklistha), away from klistha/negative thoughts, and render them null and void.  You get the power of non-thinking because the thought-objects are plaguing you.  They become the outer objects that plague you more!  Make sure to find the source of objects, which is your thought.  Objects are just thoughts made concretized, thought congealed.  I object to objects!”

– Kanya