Saturday, June 21, 2008

It Is Difficult To Stay In The Middle

The most difficult thing, the almost impossible thing for the mind, is to remain in the middle, to remain balanced. And to move from one thing to its opposite is the easiest. To move from one polarity to another is the nature of the mind.

If you are balanced, mind disappears. Mind is like a disease: when you are imbalanced it is there, when you are balanced, it is not there. That is why it is easy for a person who overeats to go on a fast. It looks illogical, because we think that a person who is obsessed with food cannot go on a fast.

But you are wrong. Only a person who is obsessed with food can fast, because fasting is the same obsession in the opposite direction. You are not really changing yourself. You are still obsessed with food. Before you were overeating; now you are hungry — but the mind remains focused on food from the opposite extreme.

A man who has been overindulging in sex can become a celibate very easily. There is no problem. But it is difficult for the mind to come to the right diet, difficult for the mind to stay in the middle. It is just like a clock’s pendulum. The pendulum goes to the right, then it moves to the left, then again to the right, and again to the left; the clock’s working depends on this movement.

If the pendulum stays in the middle, the clock stops. And when the pendulum moves to the right, you think it is only going to the right, but at the same time it is gathering momentum to go to the left. The more it moves to the right, the more energy it gathers to move to the left, and vice versa.

Thinking means momentum. The mind starts arranging for the opposite. When you love a person you are gathering momentum to hate him. That’s why only friends can become enemies. You cannot suddenly become an enemy unless you have first become a friend Only lovers can quarrel and fight, because unless you love how can you hate? Unless you have moved far to the extreme left, how can you move to the right?

Modern research says that so-called love is a relationship of intimate enmity. Your wife is your intimate enemy, your husband is your intimate enemy — both intimate and inimical They appear opposites illogical, because we wonder how one who is intimate can be the enemy; one who is a friend, how can he also be the foe?

Logic is superficial life goes deeper, and in life all opposites are joined together, they exist together. Remember this because then meditation becomes balancing.

Buddha taught eight disci plines, and with each discipline he used the word right. He said Right effort, because it is very easy to move from action to inaction, from waking to sleep but to remain in the middle is difficult.

When Buddha used the word right he was saying: Don’t move to the opposite, just stay in the middle. Right food — he never said to fast. Don’t indulge in too much eating and don’t indulge in fasting. He said: Right food Right food means standing in the middle.

When you are standing in the middle you are not gathering any momentum. And this is the beauty of it — a man who is not gathering any momentum to move anywhere, can be at ease with himself, can be at home.

Sunday, June 8, 2008


Jenny was a bright-eyed, pretty five-year-old girl.

One day when she and her mother were checking out at the grocery store, Jenny saw a plastic pearl necklace priced at $2.50. How she wanted that necklace and when she asked her mother if she would buy it for her, her mother said, "Well, it is a pretty necklace, but it costs an awful lot of money. I'll tell you what. I'll buy you the necklace, and when we get home we can make up a list of chores that you can do to pay for the necklace. And don't forget that for your birthday Grandma just might give you a whole dollar bill, too. Okay?"

Jenny agreed, and her mother bought the pearl necklace for her. Jenny worked on her chores very hard every day, and sure enough, her Grandma gave her a brand new dollar bill for her birthday. Soon Jenny had paid off the pearls.

How Jenny loved those pearls. She wore them everywhere to kindergarten, bed, and when she went out with her mother to run errands. The only time she didn't wear them was in the shower - her mother had told her that they would turn her neck green. Now Jenny had a very loving daddy. When Jenny went to bed, he would get up from his favorite chair every night and read Jenny her favorite story. One night when he finished the story, he said, "Jenny, do you love me?"

"Oh yes, Daddy, you know I love you," the little girl said.

"Well, then, give me your pearls."

"Oh! Daddy, not my pearls!" Jenny said. "But you can have Rosie, my favorite doll. Remember her? You gave her to me last year for my birthday. And you can have her tea party outfit, too. Okay?"

"Oh no, darling, that's okay." Her father brushed her cheek with a kiss. "Good night, little one."

A week later, her father once again asked Jenny after her story, "Do you love me?"

"Oh yes, Daddy, you know I love you."

"Well, then, give me your pearls."

"Oh, Daddy, not my pearls! But you can have Ribbons, my toy horse. Do you remember her? She's my favorite. Her hair is so soft, and you can play with it and braid it and everything. You can have Ribbons if you want her, Daddy," the little girl said to her father.

"No, that's okay," her father said and brushed her cheek again with a kiss. "God bless you, little one. Sweet dreams."

Several days later, when Jenny's father came in to read her a story, Jenny was sitting on her bed and her lip was trembling. "Here, Daddy," she said, and held out her hand. She opened it and her beloved pearl necklace was inside. She let it slip into her father's hand. With one hand her father held the plastic pearls and with the other he pulled out of his pocket a blue velvet box.

Inside of the box were real, genuine, beautiful pearls.

He had them all along. He was waiting for Jenny to give up the cheap stuff so he could give her the real thing. So it is with our Heavenly Father. He is waiting for us to give up the cheap things in our lives so that he can give us beautiful treasure. Isn't God good?

Are you holding onto things which God wants you to let go of?

Are you holding onto harmful or unnecessary partners, relationships, habits and activities which you have become so attached to that it seems impossible to let go?

Sometimes it is so hard to see what is in the other hand but do believe this one thing.................

God will never take away something without giving you something better in its place.

Friday, June 6, 2008

Faith And Patience

Faith and Patience, these two virtues are complementary. Each is both, the cause as well as the effect of the other; and both are the means as well as the end of the other. Between them they contain a complete code of conduct for life.

Shraddha is devotion. It is faith that helps one accept all happenings — the good and bad — with equanimity. Faith is what makes a disciple trust his guru and a child, its parent. Saburi or patience is not just the ability to overcome the urge for instant gratification. Patience is not the art of ad hoc management of mental restlessness. Patience is the intuition that inspires you to just be and wait for the will of God to unfold and work itself out. Patience helps you to live uncomplainingly, and so you are able to accept without anger what you know cannot be changed.

Patience is what enables a tree to let all its leaves fall without demur. The tree stands denuded, without a sense of shame, despondency or heartbreak. It stands as comfortably as ever. It lets the sun, the air, the rain and the season to work their magic. They denude it; they later laden it. The tree surrenders to them, not out of helplessness but out of natural design.

When the season turns, tender new leaves dress it with flowers and fruits in due course. Patience is not to stoically brave winter in the hope of spring; rather, it is to accept spring and winter alike. It is to surrender with a joyous heart to the will of God as represented by the current moment and condition.

Faith is the insight that tells you that patience and surrender to the will of God is the best course your life can take. Wisdom is in understanding and valuing both faith and patience. Patience is born of faith and in due course it serves to strengthen faith.

If patience and faith are so intricately woven, why did the sage emphasise these as two virtues? Why did he not advocate either this one or that? If faith is exclusively emphasised, it can promote blind belief. On the other hand, if patience is singularly emphasised, it can lead to the shirking of responsibility and indolence.

Patience without faith can become sloth. Faith minus patience can turn banal. Either way, the result will be counterproductive. In tandem, the two virtues uplift. If both patience and faith are required, which among these comes first? Where does one begin?

Asking which came first, patience or faith, is very similar to asking which came first, the egg or the chicken? It perhaps depends on an individual’s spiritual configuration as to which path suits his psyche best: faith or patience. Whichever route one may begin with, the two paths keep twinning and finally the two converge towards a common goal.

Does patience of the tree-type not kill enterprise? Surely not! Otherwise the tree would never grow and bring forth its wonderful flowers and fruits! Yet, yes: patience and faith, as they mature and begin to lodge in one’s mind, kill such enterprise as is inspired by sheer greed for material gain, unrelated to honest need.

Greed is contra life and nature. Is there any religion anywhere in the world that has upheld greedy enterprise and glorified it? No tree competes with its neighbour to double its output just to outperform the other. The supreme enterprise in life is self-realisation. Patience and faith proactively support this enterprise.