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 Satsang Cafe - General Discussions on AYP
 Global Crisis
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Still

Ireland
14 Posts

Posted - Mar 18 2020 :  10:22:38 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote  Get a Link to this Message
Dear All,
In this time of global crisis I am finding it harder to remain centered especially before this I had been working a lot with my heart. Living in a city there is much anxiety, it is easy to get affected by the fear. My practice has been a great help but if anyone has anything in particular that might be useful please share!

yogani

USA
5166 Posts

Posted - Mar 18 2020 :  10:49:39 AM  Show Profile  Visit yogani's Homepage  Reply with Quote  Get a Link to this Reply
Hi Still:

The below was posted in AYP Plus yesterday. It does not solve the world's current crisis, but offers a perspective on how yoga practices can help us weather the storm, and continue on our spiritual path.

Keep safe everyone, and keep up your daily practice as best you can, along with all the rest of us. It will make a difference. And know that this crisis will pass.

Best wishes in stillness...

The guru is in you.


Addition 259.3 - Yoga and Fear During a World Crisis. What to do?
Mar 17, 2020

There are always going to be ups and downs in the world. It is the nature of the material universe, and our mortal existence. Sometimes the ups and downs can go to extremes. Inevitably, they will. On the up side, it can seem like the the good times will never end, which of course they always do, at least for a time. On the down side, it can sometimes seem like the world is ending, whether it be during war, famine, disease, or economic difficulties. Yet, the extreme downs do come to an end as well, and life goes on.

Extremes in the worldwide human condition can bring extremes in human emotions in individuals and the population as a whole, represented by over-optimism (hubris) on one end of the spectrum, and paralyzing fear (panic) on the other end.

As practitioners of deep meditation and related yoga practices, we gradually become immune to these extreme emotions. They will still be there to a degree, but as we come to find our self more and more established in abiding inner silence, we will witness these emotions as external objects to our awareness, rather than be identified with them as part of our self, suffering through them, and making decisions that may not be in the best interest of ourselves and others. So there is a big advantage in having an established meditation practice, particularly if it has been ongoing for months and years. The longer we have been practicing daily, the stronger our spiritual condition will be, and the less we will suffer, regardless of the severity of any adverse circumstances we may encounter individually, or collectively in society. Ultimately, we can embrace our emotions, and everything else, with love in unity.

During times of crisis, like the pandemic of 2020, most people have been concerned about their health, more-so than their spiritual condition. This is understandable. For those who have a daily practice, there will be a benefit (transcendent witness) reducing the suffering, and it is suggested to keep up practices as best we can within the circumstances we find ourselves. During such times, the greatest influence will be from practices we have done before now, from the past right up to the present.

For those who are beginning practices during a crisis, there can be some immediate relief from fear and suffering, and other blessings in the divine flow that we are less able to quantify. However, it should be pointed out that full abiding inner silence (witness), and all that comes with it, as discussed throughout the AYP lessons, does not happen overnight. It takes time in daily practices to cultivate a strong foundation in stillness, and then developing the ability to move in stillness (divine flow), where our ordinary daily life can take on qualities that may seem miraculous. Longer term practitioners are less prone to the extreme emotions, difficulties and suffering associated with the ups and downs of life. Therefore, we should all become longer term practitioners!

Regardless of our spiritual condition and practices we may be doing, we will all do our best during a time of adversity to relieve suffering for our family, friends, and the world at large. It is times like these that can bring out the best in us. In a time of crisis when lives are at stake, make sure to follow safety guidelines provided by the authorities wherever you live.

In the meantime, we can look forward to the crisis ending, and the inevitable resurgence of bhakti (desire to practice daily), and the spiritual progress that comes with it. Everything is going to be alright.

The guru is in you.
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Still

Ireland
14 Posts

Posted - Mar 18 2020 :  12:01:31 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote  Get a Link to this Reply
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Dogboy

USA
1702 Posts

Posted - Mar 18 2020 :  11:42:12 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote  Get a Link to this Reply
Samyama felt particularly healing this morning, after I had to pick up the dropped mantra in DM more than usual. As a result, I had no desire to check the newsfeed until after sunset, and focus on my family, sheltered at home.
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Charliedog

1590 Posts

Posted - Mar 19 2020 :  05:36:10 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote  Get a Link to this Reply
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Blanche

USA
603 Posts

Posted - Mar 19 2020 :  08:43:18 AM  Show Profile  Visit Blanche's Homepage  Reply with Quote  Get a Link to this Reply
A time of crisis, like the 2020 pandemic, is an opportunity to recognize the importance of spiritual practice, its impact on all areas of our life. Spiritual practice is not a hobby. It is at the very core of the way we live our life. Here is a passage from Jack Kornfield’s book “A Path with a Heart” describing Lama Yeshe’s experience. Lama Yeshe, a highly accomplished Tibetan teacher, had a heart attack, and was hospitalized. Later he wrote about this time in his life in a private letter to a friend:

“Never had I known the experiences and sufferings which attended my stay in Intensive Care. Due to powerful medicines, unending injections, and oxygen tubes just to breathe, my mind was overcome with pain and confusion. I realized that it is extremely difficult to maintain awareness without becoming confused during the stages of death. At its worst, forty-one days after I became ill, the condition of my body was such that I became the lord of a cemetery, my mind was like that of an anti-God and my speech like the barking of an old mad dog. As my ability to recite prayers and meditations degenerated, after many days I considered what to do. I did stabilizing meditation with strong mindfulness through great effort, and this was of much benefit. Gradually again I developed immensurable joy and happiness in my mind. The strength of my mind has increased and my problems lessened and ceased.”

Everything is marked by impermanence, but the speed of impermanence is growing in changing times. It is up to us how we live through this period. This too shall pass.
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jusmail

India
486 Posts

Posted - Mar 19 2020 :  11:03:51 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote  Get a Link to this Reply
In 1665, Cambridge University closed because of the plague. Issac Newton quarantined himself at his childhood home. It was the most productive time of his life. He discovered the calculus and the laws of motion. We can only guess on the extent of great discoveries, ideas, and innovations that could arise from this ongoing crisis.
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Dogboy

USA
1702 Posts

Posted - Mar 20 2020 :  3:44:29 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote  Get a Link to this Reply
Thank you, Jusmail, for this reminder to weigh all perspectives of an issue.
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BlueRaincoat

United Kingdom
1543 Posts

Posted - Mar 21 2020 :  11:10:32 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote  Get a Link to this Reply
Every cloud has its silver lining. Extraordinary as the assertion may seem, the history book talks about positive outcomes of plague epidemics in medieval England: better distribution of wealth and access to education for more people, resulting in more social equality.
There is an up for every down and vice versa. Such is this world, a bit of a tumble. It can be rough and it can be fun.
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Presence Light

Algeria
10 Posts

Posted - Mar 22 2020 :  4:23:56 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote  Get a Link to this Reply
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Jim and His Karma

2105 Posts

Posted - Mar 26 2020 :  11:49:42 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote  Get a Link to this Reply
Human beings, inevitably slated to die one way or another, have found a slightly new way to do so. And this new way creates fresh challenges in a world that's nothing but challenges. So our expectations are defied as we strain to accommodate changes as things balance into a new normal. The world will reach an equilibrium with this virus, as it eventually does with all things.

Living in a world of change and challenge, we forget that this is exactly the world we signed up for. It's not a status-quo world where the drama proceeds per expectations and without impediment; where ducks remain in a row and all the moles stay whacked. It's a process world of dynamic change and perpetual challenge. And we can demand that it fit our bill and meet our expectations - in which case we'll be dragged through it, screaming, like a nightmare - or we can embrace it, come what may. As Anthony de Mello said, "Enlightenment is absolute cooperation with the inevitable."

You can frame worldly change as a fascinating ride happening around you or as a traumatic ordeal happening to you, but YOU are the framer. You get to decide!


The reed,
unendingly assaulted by violent wind,
never suffers.

It never occurred to the reed
that the wind was a separate, external thing.

Insofar as the reed thinks at all,
it thinks it's dancing.



Edited by - Jim and His Karma on Mar 27 2020 01:36:57 AM
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BlueRaincoat

United Kingdom
1543 Posts

Posted - Mar 27 2020 :  06:29:07 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote  Get a Link to this Reply
quote:
Originally posted by Jim and His Karma
"Enlightenment is absolute cooperation with the inevitable."


Brilliant!
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Charliedog

1590 Posts

Posted - Mar 27 2020 :  07:29:18 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote  Get a Link to this Reply
The reed,
unendingly assaulted by violent wind,
never suffers.

It never occurred to the reed
that the wind was a separate, external thing.

Insofar as the reed thinks at all,
it thinks it's dancing.

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interpaul

USA
91 Posts

Posted - Mar 27 2020 :  4:31:01 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote  Get a Link to this Reply
Jim and his Karma, Nice to see you back on the forum. Having joined about 10 months ago I saw a lot of your posts in the past and enjoyed them. Your poem and perspective are appreciated.
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redbushlighter

USA
22 Posts

Posted - Mar 29 2020 :  4:12:35 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote  Get a Link to this Reply
know that this is all a part of the process.... it's almost like a purging... a little unpleasant, but ultimately positive in that things are sort of integrated in a way.

hope that helps
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maheswari

Lebanon
2340 Posts

Posted - Mar 30 2020 :  12:04:09 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote  Get a Link to this Reply
@Jim and His Karma: in the Gita, Lord Krishna says to Arjuna: Over the inevitable you shall not weep
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Jim and His Karma

2105 Posts

Posted - Mar 30 2020 :  6:44:02 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote  Get a Link to this Reply
interpaul, thanks for the greetings, and maheswari, thanks for the quote. I'm not a Hindu, myself, so I'd come at it from a different perspective (not to quarrel with Lord Krishna...I'm just some guy!).

I say: go ahead and weep over the inevitable. Why not? That's what we're here for: drama and emotions and stories and ups and downs. We're here to experience the full spectrum of feelings, and it's extra-keen if we make ourselves really believe it.

All human entertainments - the worlds we, ourselves, construct with our god-like creativity - contain monsters and perils. Why would we create monsters and perils if we desperately wanted to avoid them? We want the stress and drama and loss and violence, along with the laughs and love and bliss. We want all the movie genres in our lives. We have an innately abusive relationship with the universe, and, as with every abusive relationship, we subconsciously choose this dynamic 'cuz the making-up part is so, so good.

If we expunge the drama, life's a bore. And so we twist ourselves over "First World Problems", having removed the lions and warlords and droughts and famines. Safe, comfortable, and obscenely rich, modern people in the First World are so bored that we've turned ourselves, over the past few decades, into neurotic, depressive wrecks AMID PARADISE.

But, by all means, weep at this horrendous predicament as you cozily nestle on your sofa gobbling yum-yums and watching Netflix. Just remember, in some part of you, that you're playing. This is the latest interactive show in Paradise, the new shiny cat toy we've conjured up amid infinite blissful silence and space.

By all means, play with the toy, sucking out the misery like marrow from a pork shank . But I'm here to remind you that this world is a ride, not an oppression. We CHOSE it (because infinite blissful silence and space gets dull). In other words: this may be a scary Pandemic, but it's a scary pandemic in Paradise.

But, hey, why not scream your head off on the rollercoaster! It's more fun that way! (Yiddish expression: "If you're going to eat forbidden foods, the juice should run down your chin").

Anyway, thanks for coming to my Pandemic Perspective Ted Talk. I hope it made one or two of you question your sense of obligation to feel miserable.

Edited by - Jim and His Karma on Mar 30 2020 10:14:41 PM
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kumar ul islam

United Kingdom
712 Posts

Posted - Mar 31 2020 :  11:42:21 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote  Get a Link to this Reply
the colour of light a play on the waves
surfing an ocean of pretence of ebb and flow
amid paradise lost or one never found
the bulrush waltzes on the tune of the wind

the inevitable is just another another
a double ended polemic argument up ended by death
or change or transformation take your pick
from a portion of stillness all appears in tune

sky blue is the drama set forth beyond the clouds
every lining has its silver bullet albeit plated in gold
living the dream in a nightmare self made
only some believe we have no choice

the flix has caught us in its net
propagating seeds that only lie fallow
never to flower never to fruit
but keep us lost in a field of couch potatoes

the forbidden has always been not the apple
but anything that provides us with a need
a jolt a waking moment outside of ourselves
driving desire to become what may

a sweeping balance i presume may come
the brush of a broom catches more than the dust
we create we sustain we destroy
and sometimes all at the same time .

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