Archive for the ‘Meditation’ Category

Jiddu Krishnamurti – What is important in meditation is the quality of the mind and the heart. It is not what you achieve, or what you say you attain, but rather the quality of a mind that is innocent and vulnerable. Through negation there is the positive state. Merely to gather, or to live in, experience, denies the purity of meditation.

Meditation is not a means to an end. It is both the means and the end. The mind can never be made innocent through experience. It is the negation of experience that brings about that positive state of innocency which cannot be cultivated by thought. Thought is never innocent. Meditation is the ending of thought, not by the meditator, for the meditator is the meditation. If there is no meditation, then you are like a blind man in a world of great beauty, light and colour.

Wander by the seashore and let this meditative quality come upon you. If it does, don’t pursue it. What you pursue will be the memory of what it was – and what was is the death of what is. Or when you wander among the hills, let everything tell you the beauty and the pain of life, so that you awaken to your own sorrow and to the ending of it. Meditation is the root, the plant, the flower and the fruit. It is words that divide the fruit, the flower, the plant and the root. In this separation action does not bring about goodness: virtue is the total perception.

It was a long shady road with trees on both sides – a narrow road that wound through the green fields of glistening, ripening wheat. The sun made sharp shadows, and the villages on both sides of the road were dirty, ill-kept and poverty-ridden. The older people looked ill and sad, but the children were shouting and playing in the dust and throwing stones at the birds high up in the trees. It was a very pleasant cool morning and a fresh breeze was blowing over the hills.

The parrots and the mynahs were making a great deal of noise that morning. The parrots were hardly visible among the green leaves of the trees; in the tamarind they had several holes which were their home. Their zig-zag flight was always screechy and raucous. The mynahs were on the ground, fairly tame. They would let you come quite near them before they flew away. And the golden fly-catcher, the green and golden bird, was on the wires across the road. It was a beautiful morning and the sun was not too hot yet. There was a benediction in the air and there was that peace before man wakes up.

On that road a horse-drawn vehicle with two wheels and a platform with four posts and an awning was passing by. On it, stretched across the wheels, wrapped up in a white and red cloth, was a dead body being carried to the river to be burnt on its banks. There was a man sitting beside the driver, probably a relative, and the body was jolting up and down on that not too smooth road. They had come from some distance for the horse was sweating, and the dead body had been shaking all the way and it seemed to be quite rigid.

The man who came to see us later that day said he was a gunnery instructor in the navy. He had come with his wife and two children and he seemed a very serious man. After salutations he said that he would like to find God. He was not too articulate, probably he was rather shy. His hands and face looked capable but there was a certain hardness in his voice and look – for, after all, he was an instructor in the ways of killing. God seemed to be so remote from his everyday activities. It all seemed so weird, for here was a man who said he was in earnest in his search for God and yet his livelihood forced him to teach others the art of killing.

He said he was a religious man and had wandered through many schools of different so-called holy men. He was dissatisfied with them all, and now he had taken a long journey by train and bus to come and see us for he wanted to know how to come upon that strange world which men and saints have sought. His wife and children sat very silent and respectful, and on a branch just outside the window sat a dove, light brown, softly cooing to itself. The man never looked at it, and the children with their mother sat rigid, nervous and unsmiling.

You can’t find God; there is no way to it. Man has invented many paths, many religions, many beliefs, saviours and teachers whom he thinks will help him to find the bliss that is not passing. The misery of search is that it leads to some fancy of the mind, to some vision which the mind has projected and measured by things known. The love which he seeks is destroyed by the way of his life. You cannot have a gun in one hand and God in the other. God is only a symbol, a word, that has really lost its meaning, for the churches and places of worship have destroyed it.

Of course, if you don’t believe in God you are like the believer; both suffer and go through the sorrow of a short and vain life; and the bitterness of every day makes life a meaningless thing. Reality is not at the end of the stream of thought, and the empty heart is filled by the words of thought. We become very clever, inventing new philosophies, and then there is the bitterness of their failure. We have invented theories about how to reach the ultimate, and the devotee goes to the temple and loses himself in the imaginations of his own mind. The monk and the saint do not find that reality for both are part of a tradition, of a culture, that accepts them as being saints and monks. The dove has flown away, and the beauty of the mountain of cloud is upon the land – and truth is there, where you never look.


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I saw a bright yellow Light

Spoken by Supreme Master Ching Hai
Singapore March 8, 1993 (Originally in Chinese)
Q: Dear Master, I practice the Convenient Method. Once when I meditated, I saw a bright yellow Light and another time I saw a bright white Light. Can You please explain this?
M: What else can I explain? You saw the Light, which means you saw your own Nature. Even if I just teach you the Convenient Method, you still have a taste of the kingdom of God within.
The more we see the Light, the more intelligent and the more loving we will become. This is the result of meditation. It’s not that seeing the Light or hearing the Sound is good, it’s just good because of the results. Just like when food is tasty, it is fine, but we also derive nourishment from it, and that is the best part of eating food.
Similarly, if we taste the Inner Food, it will not only lift our spirit, making us feel happy and charged with energetic power, but it will also open our inner wisdom, enabling us see things in a better light, to endure hardships in a better way, and so on. We can solve problems more quickly and in a better light, understand everything better than before, and become more loving and tolerant toward other people.

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Energy surge during mediatation

Spoken by Supreme Master Ching Hai
Hsihu Center, Formosa October 28, 1995
(Originally in English)
Q: Sometimes when I am meditating on the Light, I get something like an energy surge; and it just sort of rocks me one way and the other in various different ways. What is this?

M: It’s okay. Sometimes the negative and the positive are trying to battle with each other. As we are not yet completely stable and a hundred percent pure, it’s like that. Later it will become stable. Don’t worry. You don’t have to go with the feeling; just let it go. That’s why we have to keep ourselves pure with the Precepts and these all kinds of things, so that we can receive this kind of pure and tremendously strong energy. Try to take care that your food, speech, actions, and thoughts are pure; the problem will become better or disappear altogether.
Sometimes, if you are trembling too much, sit on the floor. Don’t sit too high, in case you fall down. Or, try to sit on the wooden floor; it will absorb some of the energy for you and then you won’t feel so badly shaken. Sometimes when you do the Quan Yin, it feels like a burning sensation. If it feels like you can’t bear it anymore, then sit in another place. Don’t sit on a cushion; find a wooden, cool floor to sit on or put your feet on a wooden board or maybe on the earth. It will neutralize some of the strong effect of the vibration while you’re not able to withstand it. Only in that case, but continue to meditate on the Sound. The Sound is particularly strong.
If you are not pure, it is sometimes because you have had contact with people, and it’s not necessarily your own karma. So, don’t blame yourself all the time for whatever happens. Sometimes we have contact with people, and their impurity and their karma also affect us. Sometimes we eat food that we don’t know is impure; it also happens. So, whatever leads you to this, meditate more.
If you sit on a cushion and you don’t feel comfortable, it could be it is too hot for you; sit on a wooden floor or on the naked earth, on the soil. Put your feet up and meditate, or sitting on the floor with a tatami mat is all right. It is more airy and cooler for you, because sometimes the cushion we sit on is made with plastic foam and it doesn’t absorb the heat. It gives us trouble, is irritating, especially when you do the Quan Yin. Try to change your position, maybe change the place, or change your sitting cushion, and then it will be better for you.

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Answered by Quan Yin messenger
(Originally in Chinese)
Q: How do you distinguish between “bodily illnesses” and “karmic illness?” How do you treat them?

A: Illnesses that can be treated by conventional medical means are considered “bodily illnesses.” “Karmic illnesses” are associated with the damaged magnetic fields of the sick. To repair a damaged magnetic field of a sick person is not a simple task. It takes a special person whose magnetic field is very pure and strong, which can absorb any bad magnetic field and dissolve it completely. Therefore, sometimes when people go to visit a spiritual practitioner, just by sitting next to him/her, their long-time illnesses suddenly are cured without taking any medicine. It is because the practitioner’s magnetic field is so kind and pure that it can dissolve the karmic forces exerted by the vicious external spirits and convert them. That’s why these illnesses cannot be cured by usual scientific means.
To treat an illness, one should go to see a physician first. If the doctor cannot cure it, then one must look into one’s own karma, repent for one’s sins, and find a way to restore one’s magnetic field. For instance, we should do good deeds, respect and follow spiritual practitioners, reduce our intake of meat and liquor, and eliminate greed, animosity, and attachment. We should search for a high-level method of practice to cure ourselves. This is the most fundamental way of treating illnesses.

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Spoken by Supreme Master Ching Hai
Lecture at Harvard University, Boston, U.S.A.
October 27, 1989 (Originally in English)
Q: What was the physical feeling at the moment You found the Truth? What did You feel?

M: There are many ways. Sometimes you have no physical feeling whatsoever. You enjoy in a different dimension. It does not always relate to the physical feeling. You do not use a physical body to enjoy the heavenly bliss. It is a different kind of enjoyment which also manifests sometimes in a physical feeling, like you will feel very peaceful, that is, nothing will move you at all: no anger, no hatred will arise in your mind, and your body will feel so relaxed and so beautiful. That is a lighter kind of samadhi.
Once you are in a deeper samadhi, there’s no connection whatsoever with your physical body, and you can’t tell. But when you come back, the manifestations of the Light take place at the physical level. For example, you will be more loving to people, you will do your work faster, you will think more quickly, you will be more tolerant, and you will look at all the books and understand them in no time. In other words, you are more intelligent, more loving, and calmer. That is how it manifests through a physical body. But otherwise, when you are in very deep samadhi, you are disconnected from the body, with no physical feelings.

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January 16, 2010(Below is the transcript of Satsang with Sri Sri Ravi Shankar.You can watch the Live webcast of future satsangs)

Q: Guruji, the way I feel so connected to you, do you feel the same?

Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: More than that. You know, connection means that there is a difference. I don’t feel connected for I don’t feel the difference. I feel you are a part of me.

Q: If truth is contradictory, how to find the truth?

Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: Truth is something you can’t avoid nor confront. There is no effort. Truth simply comes out. If you tell a lie, you have to manufacture. To tell a lie, a lot of effort is required. You’re feeling cold, you’re feeling hot, that is how you feel. No effort is needed.

Q: Even after surrendering problems, I worry about them. What to do?

Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: This is to say, ‘I gave it away’ and even after giving you say, ‘I have it with me’. If even after giving it away again and again, it comes back to you like a ball you again and again keep giving it away. Don’t give up until you have totally given up!

Q: What are the characteristics of an ideal devotee?

Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: (After a little pause) You are One. You don’t doubt that. And whatever additional quality you want to have, you can always develop.
• Someone who has a calm and serene mind,
• Wants to live in knowledge, has some knowledge and a desire for knowledge,
• No grudges, no hatred towards anyone,
• Has compassion.

Q: What do you expect from us?

Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: A lot. You live in knowledge, you keep smiling, you keep serving, you keep connected. I don’t expect – I know you will do it. Only I am impatient. I want you to do it quickly.

Q: Guruji, telling the truth causes problems outside and telling lie creates problems inside (us)? What to do?

Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: Solve the problem. Problems are to be seen as challenges. Someone who is brave like challenges and you are brave, I tell you.

Q: Guruji, when we say Jai Gurudev to someone, are we referring to the Guru in the person in front or we are remembering the Guru in ourselves?

Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: I leave it up to you, whatever you want. It has so many meanings – Hello, How are you, Good bye, Welcome, Thank you…So many words come in that Jai Gurudev. You want to say, ‘Oh my God’ you say Jai Gurudev, you want to say, ‘Oh I give up’ you say Jai Gurudev. It’s just become a habit. I don’t insist at all. You say whatever you want to say.

Q: Do I exist beyond body and soul? And if I do then in what form?

Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: Nothing exists beyond the soul. Beyond the body? Yes. When you realize, you see you are not your body and you will realize that yourself.

Q: Guruji, there are moments when I am enthusiastic, when I am very confident but there are two problems: 1. I forget things. 2. I fear of what happens if this state continues. This is predominantly from my wife’s side. What to do?

Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: I remember in one course a gentleman with his wife participated. At each knowledge point, the husband would say, ‘Look, I have been also saying the same thing.’ Like I said, ‘Forgive and forget’ and she would say, ‘I told you the same thing, now Guruji is also saying same.’ (Laughter) Itold him, these points are for you to apply and not to just pass on. Charity begins at home, Love begins at home. Start from where you are.

Q: I get physically attracted to many people. What to do? Is it ok to be physically attracted?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: If you see your mind, so many thoughts come. You can’t act on all the thoughts. If you try to act on all the thoughts, you end up in a mental hospital. Whether thoughts of attraction or repulsion come, you do not get attracted but you also feel repulsion for many people. For example, the mind says to strangle somebody, you have to act out of wisdom. You have to see what is right and what is wrong. You have to see what is evolutionary and what is not. You have to see what is giving you happiness in the long term and what is giving misery. You have to see what is permanent and what is temporary. That is discrimination, Viveka, is so important. Otherwise, it will be just senseless, thoughtless action leaving you in misery.

Q: We give so many botherations to you? To whom do you give all these botherations?

Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: That you don’t worry. I have a processing unit where all garbage gets processed to manure.

Reader: I am laughing a good joke.

Q: If atma (spirit) is neither created nor destroyed then from where do these new souls come? How is the population of the world increasing?

Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: My dear, so many animals are also getting extinct. Very few sparrows are left, many crocodiles are missing. Like this, many other species are missing. Just imagine. I think you will get the rest of your answer.

Q: Guruji, I do all practices when I am in problem but otherwise I stay away from path. What should I do?

Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: This you figure out. When misery comes, everyone thinks of God. But to one who thinks of God even when happy, why will misery touch him? There is an old proverb which says this Sukh mein simran sabh karein, dukh mein kare na koi,Sukh mein simran jo kare to dukh kahe ko hoyeThis applies to us also. When you are doing pranayama, Sudarshan kriya, when you are happy, then that happiness will continue.Today, there was an article in the paper which says that the only way to cure depression is by meditation. Anti-depression medicines will make the depression come back. There is a rebounding of depression with anti-depression medicines but with meditation there is no rebounding. Today millions of people are suffering from depression and they don’t know something like this exists. They don’t know there is a way which can make them free from depression. When you go back tell everyone about meditation. It takes one out of depression, suicidal tendencies. Look at Rashid (pointing to a youth who has come from Kashmir), he is smiling after 12 years and is now doing wonderful service also.

Q: When I come here I find so much peace and harmony. How can I take this same peace and harmony back to Kashmir also?

Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: You also come up with ideas, I will also think. More youth like you should come from Kashmir, experience this and go back and serve. We will start the Art of Living in Kashmir and make it big. If you all resolve, we will definitely do it. We can do organic farming there. We can train more teachers, all can heal and bless them, bring happiness in them. We already have a residential school there. We all need to do more and more.

Q: If something bad happens to a person we say that the previous birth karma is responsible. Will you please speak about that?

Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: ‘Paap kya punya kyat tu bhulade’Karam kar phal ki chinta tu mitade’Forget what is sinful and what is noble. Be free from the desire of the fruit of action. Don’t sit and worry too much about all this.I have spoken more on this in Celebrating silence (a book written by Sri Sri Ravi Shankar Ravi Shankar).

Q: It is said in the Gita, do your duty and don’t expect for the result. How to live this knowledge in normal life?

Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: Live naturally. All Art of Living points are from life’s experience. There is no effort in it. Do some meditation, yoga you will see how life has transformed effortlessly and automatically.

Q: Guruji, is it true you have some super power. You have stopped rain so many times just looking at sky, you can read thoughts.

Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: You know love is the most super power in this world and that power is with everybody, not only with me. When mind is free from lust, greed, possessiveness, arrogance etc., when the mind is in the pure form with which we were all born with, then nature listens to you. You are a child of nature and nature loves you. When that manifests, when you are clear then two things happen – your wishes get fulfilled and you can fulfill others’ wishes also. When you are content, that is when blessing happens, Don’t think only Guruji can do it. This is no achievement and no effort is required. That is natural from our state of being, that state of innocence. Most of us have lost it but I still haven’t lost it.

Q: How do you speak so sweetly always?

Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: It’s like asking jaggery, how can you taste so sweet? It’s the nature of the jaggery to be sweet. I don’t put any effort to speak sweetly. If I put in effort, it will turn to be salty. What I am, I speak the same. That’s why you find it sweet. And secondly, you are also sweet so you find me also sweet. If your mind is turbulent then even if I speak sweetly, you will find it salty. I also don’t know how to be otherwise. I am grateful that I never got an opportunity also to do something which is not in my nature. There was never a need to speak a lie or cheat someone. It has never happened that I pretend to be someone else which I am not. It doesn’t seem also I would be doing it in future. (laughter) But I don’t give any guarantee (more laughter). It hasn’t happened till now and God knows about future.

Q: Guruji I worked in a slum and I got so much happiness. I am feeling so blissful and life is so beautiful.

Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: Life is beautiful but we don’t crave for happiness: ‘Oh, life is beautiful. I want joy.’ When you are happy – serve.When you are sad – give up, have the courage to give up your misery. Adveshta serva bhutanam maitra karuna evacah|Nirmamo Nirahankarah samah sukah dukkah kshami||Lord Krishna tells Arjuna that one who is dear to me, who doesn’t hate anybody, who doesn’t have any ego – I, I, me. One who is calm in success or failure. Whatever he gets – sorrow or happiness – he takes it all with a smile. The Gita also talks about the three gunas – Rajas, Tamas and Sattva. What type of food you should eat, how the cosmos affects. Ayurveda, yoga, psychology, all these subjects are there. People from Tamil Nadu had come for the satsang.

Sri Sri Ravi Shankar welcomed them and introduced the Pongal festival which was celebrated on January 14. Pongal is the biggest festival in Tamil Nadu. The flavor of Pongal is a little bit salty, little sweet and is prepared with rice, dal (pulses), and turmeric in a clay pot and celebrated.

Sri Sri Ravi Shankar said: The Intelligent celebrate everyday Fools fight everyday

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You also should be strong and instead of running away from negative influence you must positively impact any negative environment
October 14, 2011(Below is the transcript of Satsang with Sri Sri Ravi Shankar.You can watch the Live webcast of future satsangs)

You know it is not important how high we sit, how low we sit, as long as we are so clear in our heart and in our mind. That is what is important. Usually when we have the conference of religious leaders, it’s a big headache who will sit high and whose seat should be how high. All these protocols, my God! Usually I tell them, if sitting high is the sign of enlightenment, crows sits on top of all the trees. Crows should be the highly enlightened persons. I’ve seen there have been big fights and arguments about seating arrangements. Even in the UN Conference of Inter-Religious Dialogue; where that bishop should sit, where this priest should sit, where that Imam should sit; my goodness! The world is fragmented with so many small minded, narrow ideologies, concepts and fights. We need to make a difference, don’t you think so? Bring a shift, be simple, natural and feel connected to everybody in the world, doesn’t matter what their religion is, what their culture is. Basically everyone is part of one large human family, one beautiful divine family.

Yesterday, I said about three types of knowledge. Three type of knowledge with the three levels. Today I want to tell you about three type of space. One is the external space, in which all the five elements, four elements are there. Then there is the second type of space that is inner space, where thoughts come and emotions come. That’s inner space. When you close your eyes what do you? That is inner space. And then there is the third space. That is the space of energy where there is no thought, no emotion but you just feel energy. In deep meditation you experience that, isn’t it? Or after kriya you experience that space, there are no thoughts, nothing but space. The three types of space exist. One is called the Bhut Akash the outer space, second is Chit Akash the space where thoughts and emotions all these come and third, Chid Akash space of consciousness. Consciousness itself is another space deep within us. Three type of spaces.

So we seldom understand; pay attention to these three different spaces. Whenever you are frustrated what do you say? ‘Give me some space.’ That is it, ‘I want my space. I want to be by myself.’ It’s very important. All inventions come from these three types of space. In the Chid Akash, in the consciousness it’s already there. All knowledge there comes to Chit Akash through thoughts and emotions. Songs come as emotions, science comes as thoughts and ideas and then they get manifest in the outer. Meditation is recognizing these three spaces. So that’s why sometimes you sit and watch the vast space, put your attention there so the mind also becomes blank. For how many of you it has happened? On a nice day cloudless sky, when there are no clouds at just bright stars are there. Just lie down and just keep gazing at the sky. When you gaze at the sky what happens? That space gets created inside too. A sort of emptiness and you get into a meditative state. So, all the thoughts, ideas, everything we do remains in this space. Maybe in the future sometime someone will come with the device to try to tap the Akashic record. You can find out what happened in 2010, 2011. What knowledge came, where and who was thinking what all that can be recorded sometime in the future because time has inscription of all ideas.

See, in a cell phone you send a message, how does it go and reach another cell phone? So far away and exactly the same words and the same font get printed there. From the time you press the button here to send, it reaching there, how did it travel? In the space! So the space in which all your telephonic conversations travel, all the messages travel was recognized some thousands of years ago.

So the nature of space is knowledge and sound. ‘Shabda gunaka mahakaasha’, a Sanskrit saying; nature of light is sight, sight is connected with light; sound is connected with space, taste is connected with water and touch is connected with air. You know when you have to feel the touch air has to be present. Inside water you do not feel the touch, have you noticed it? It’s different. Inside water you can’t feel it soft or hard, you can’t feel it. Rather whatever is the temperature of the water you can feel. Touch is related to the air element, and sound is related to space. So in the space everything is there. Like objects you’re thinking is there in the space. Sometimes you go to a place and you get thoughts and you wonder, ‘oh why did I get these types of thoughts’, do you see what I am saying?

There is a beautiful story. There was a small hill in a garden and it was situated in one of the very well known famous cities of those days. So it was a beautiful garden with fruit trees, lots of fruits and flowers. And there was a gardener in that garden and the gardener would go on top of that mound and he would invite everybody to come. From there he could see the people walking in the streets. This was in a town called Ujjain and he would invite everyone, ‘hey come, we have so many fruits, all of you come. Why don’t you enjoy the beautiful flowers and fruits? Please come and take. I just want to give them away, come.’ And the people would come and he got down that hill his mind would change and he would chase them away and say, ‘how dare you come to me, this is trespassing’, and he would chase them away. The people would get shocked and they would go and he goes back to the mound and again he begs, ‘oh please come, please come’, and he would apologize, whatever it is.

But again same story, he would chase them away after going down the hill. So people in the town who knew him they termed that he’s a crazy guy. He’s not sane because his behavior didn’t sound like he was sane. But then the wise people in those days what they use to do is whenever someone is insane or would do something wrong, they would get together and find out in what space is he in? So then one wise man said, dig the mound and let us see what is inside. So he got the order from the king to dig up that mound. So when they dug the mound they found a big throne, a golden throne that belonged to a king called Vikarm Aditya. This king was such a generous king. Even today the era in India is in his name Vikram Samvat. So it is the 2068th year now, about 50 years ahead of the Christian era. It is 50 years ahead of AD, means he was 50 years before Christ. So today in India it is not 2011, it is 2068 or something like that.

So this Vikram Aditya was such a pious, such a generous king of such good character that he was sitting in that throne for as long as 50 to 60 years. He ruled the country sitting on that throne and so the vibrations still existed. And so whenever the man went on top he became so generous. He got into the generous space. And when he came down he became nasty. So the space you are in matters.

You may have noticed in your own life, some places you get jittery and angry. How many have experienced this? What has happened? In that space there are people who have been angry or agitated. So you move into that space and it affects your whole behavior. And when you’re in good company what happens? You feel so much lighter, uplifted inside, totally at ease and at peace. Hasn’t this happened to you? How many feel this has happened, tell me? So the company matters, really matters. That doesn’t mean you should avoid people because they are not good company. You also should be strong and instead of running away from negative influence you must positively impact any negative environment. And sitting and doing your meditation hallow and empty, these long meditations will help you be very strong and stable in that space. So wherever you go you carry your space and you make an influence rather than you get affected. Not be a ping pong ball but be the bat so you can influence the space around you. (Clapping)

This you must strongly know so that you don’t run away from a situation unless or until it is so bad that it is swallowing you. Then you gently move away, don’t run away. Are you getting what I am saying?

So when children are playing the space is beautiful. When you are singing and everyone is singing the same tune, that space generated is harmonious and serene, especially the ancient songs, the old songs. The Sanskrit chants have an added influence because these have been in the Akashic record for the last 20,000 to 50,000 years. Maybe more, you don’t even know since when it was there. So those vibrations make it very benevolent and have a strong influence on the system.

I heard that Hasan and Ali had written that the first book of wisdom was written in India. I was invited to address a Shia conference. There they had put that Hasan Ali say, ‘the first word of wisdom was written in India’. Wisdom is same, whether it is India, North America, South America, Australia, or Germany it doesn’t matter. In all different languages, wisdom is the same, as long as it is there. You do yoga, whether in South America or Mongolia, if you do the same pranayama it’s going to impact you wherever you are. So this universal knowledge is not limited to a particular culture, religion or tradition. It is simply universal. Unfortunately people started forgetting that and they say, ‘this is not mine and this is no good. This against my religion and this is all just ignorance’. Anything that is Divine is always universal. Are you getting what I am saying? Yes! Culture is different, religion is different, ways of dressing is different, music is different, different places, but the space is the same. The inner space is the same. And it is amazing that this science was known thousands of years ago. Good, good, good!

So many of you have just come today and you must be just relaxing. How many of you feel that as soon as you entered the ashram already you feel lighter? A different experience, a different space; you could feel that right! It’s obvious; even in Bangalore ashram, because there is meditation happening there everyday people say, ‘I just come in and wow, I already feel lighter. My mind is clearer’. It’s interesting how the universe functions, very good!

(After a Native/First Nations dance/music) That’s so nice they have preserved their tradition, their culture. Very nice! You know that is what we need to encourage. Every part of the world has its specific flavors, specific cultures, and specific traditions. As a global family we must honor each one of them and encourage them. Even if one’s culture is lost, it is a loss for the whole world, isn’t it?

Some have just come today. They live in such harsh climates up in the north, very difficult place to stay and still they maintain everything of their tradition. It is so amazing if you see the tribal people in India, in Arunachal Pradesh, in Tibet, in New Zealand, there is such a striking similarity. So it seems around the world, once upon time there was a similar culture. It is really amazing. They honor all the four directions, honor Mother Nature. It’s very important to honor Mother Nature. In the native culture they’re so close to nature, there is certain innocence in them, but unfortunately this community is facing such hardship. There is so much suicide happening, alcohol is so prevalent. So our teachers are doing a lot of work to get them out of alcoholism and bring more hope and life into that community, it’s very nice.

Q: Jai Gurudev, please talk about mental and physical addictions to something. Say tobacco, alcohol or marijuana. How to break free even if it feels like past the point of no return?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: Pranayama and Sudarshan Kriya. It has helped millions of people.

Q: Dear Guruji, you have said that the present moment is outside time and space and has great depth. I think you’ve said the past, present, and future are all in that depth. Since there are different dimensions perhaps other realities, can the present moment be entered like an access point to different dimensions of existence since they all exist here?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: Absolutely, everything exists in the present moment. What exists is only the present moment, yes.

Q: Dear Guruji, I know this sounds a little funny, but I’m having some difficulty relaxing. You’ve mentioned this word a lot in meditation. Can you please expand on it a little? I’m having trouble relaxing.Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: You are having difficulty in relaxing? Then tense more and more and more. How long can you be tense? Some point you have to give up. That’s relaxation. So if you have difficulty in relaxing take a deep breath and don’t breathe out, hold on! You will know when to let go. And when you let go and breathe out, relaxation happens.

Q: Dear Guruji, I have a big problem. I’m not able to handle the hatred that I have for one person in my life. I have to be in touch with this person all my life because she’s currently related to me. Every thought of her moves me away from my centeredness. How can I tackle this hatred?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: This is a challenge you need to work on, this itself is your sadhana. Just see that person as a rag doll. A battery operated doll. And how does a battery operated doll function? It has a definite program and so that’s how it functions. Why do you want them to change? In fact she can increase your ability to tolerate, your ability to accommodate you know, which is amazing. You should know that they are in bringing more skills into your own life. Yes!

Q: Dear Guruji, are there many levels of truth that unfold on enlightenment. Do people get enlightened at different degrees, or is it just like in a flash; the one and only truth is revealed?Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: Both are possible. Some people suddenly get a flash, some people gradually they move into a space where they are happy all the time, nothing shakes them, nothing disturbs them. That type of thing spontaneously comes.

Q: Yesterday you shared the insight about how intuitive awareness comes from letting go of the mind and the intellect. Is this something that just happens or can we do something to allow it to happen faster?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: What you’re doing here is exactly what you should be doing. Taking some time off and doing some deeper meditations and sitting in satsang. This is all good enough.

Q: My desire is to drop my work and to devote the rest of my life to bringing you comfort and furthering your purpose in the world. Is this possible? If so when?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: What’s that? Yes, yes, you can do a lot of things. If you have no other responsibility you can take bigger responsibilities. More work on a bigger cause. You can do that.

Q: Dear Guruji, how can one be both attached and detached in a relationship. When I say detached I mean not too entangled but still caring. Please talk more on this as a lot of our course participants are going through serious relationship problems for various reasons. Thank you. Jai Gurudev.
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: You know what? Now you be detached to this question. Let’s have one or two bhajans singing and see how you can be detached for a little while from the answer to this question. Got it? We’ll sing couple of songs then we will talk more.

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