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Monday, March 25, 2013

A solid intention, a clear goal

Maa Brahmacharini
An avatar of Durga, she is a yogini
wearing white, who performs austerities,
(holding her japa mala) and carries the
water container of a wandering sadhu
Just now I was watching my thoughts, the concern (the fear), the questioning (the doubt).

I do not have a clear idea of how to proceed. My intention is not solid or clear.

My control over my mind and habits is very shaky. What is next?

A few months ago, when my spiritual awakening was most vibrant, I would notice right away when my mind was rating my attainment as "decreasing," and would focus on, then watch this thought dissolve as consciousness (arise... dissolve...)

Now I am confused about how to proceed.

I have a question: how should I alter my behavior, my practices? And the mind has an answer which is shaped by the three malas: you are flawed, separate from and far from God, missing what you need, living in a world of many, creating likes and dislikes about this (and everything).

What is true? I am one with God. Everything is here (there is no there to get to). 

Yesterday I was studying the three malas online (see below). There is a power of God that descends (maya shakti) and ascends (svantaantrya). But for me, my shakti is maya shakti, and is limited, so it only descends (becomes limited and perceives duality). 

Swami Laksmanjoo said that if a spiritual understanding slips away, especially if it slips away quickly, that is because of this limiting (descending) maya shakti. This helps me to understand what my challenge is as a sadhini. But how to address it?

I want to make a basic change in my life, so that I am reaching my spiritual potential, and not getting lost in compulsion.

Even Lord Shiva lives the life of a yogi
and performs spiritual practices
Hmmmm an answer to try on. Whatever aligns me with the shakti of my guru. Her shakti burns the limiting malas away, releasing my own shakti from the bondage of the malas, becoming the free and ascendant shakti of God once again. Her shakti, my shakti.... hmmmmmmmm.

This is all based on dualism. I want to go for the "home run," as in, attainment is here.

What matters is not what I do or do not do. It's whether I am finding the supreme truth in this moment. The practices support getting to this. But even Lord Shiva does the practices. 

The number one practice for me, my favorite and the one with my guru's intention for this year, is japa mantra.

So, how do I know when to do japa mantra and for how long? How do I know when not to do it?? Should I try to do it all the time???

Whatever I try or do, I need to line everything up behind my intention, a clear sankalpa, and then focus entirely on that.

I don't have a clear intention. I remember when I really really wanted to quit smoking. I didn't want to waste that desire. But when I tried to quit this way it didn't last. I finally realized it is (most definitely) NOT enough to WANT TO QUIT. There has to be a clear intention, and full alignment with the goal. Otherwise I would cave in at the least temptation.

(I had help quiting smoking and changing my diet because I had the flu so bad).

I do not have a personal relationship with my guru. This doesn't really concern me. I know I can write to her, and that she will respond one way or another (though I can't think of what to say). I experience her shakti supporting me in every way and that is a gift beyond compare.

What I do know is to pursue japa mantra, as she has made that the theme this year (and her grace and intention fully aligns with this practice). She also touches on many different practices and aspects of the spiritual path, so that all of her devotees will find the practices and path that supports them.

I have asked God to help me achieve the ability to do hatha yoga in this body. It is so good for me energetically, and for cleansing and focusing the mind.

I think this: as long as I am not meditating daily I will have this question.

Meditate daily. Build up a reasonable and fruitful practice. Then if the question comes up again, look at it again.

In our Shaiva system, there are three malas or impurities. These malas reside in maya. They do not reside in svaatantrya shakti. Even though svatantrya shakti and maya are one, yet they are different in the sense that svatantrya shakti is that state of energy which can produce the power of going down and coming up again, both at will, whereas maya will only give you the strength of going down and not the ability of rising up again. Once you have come down, you cannot move up again. This is the reality of the state of maya. It binds you.
Maya shakti is that universal energy which is owned by the individual being, the individual soul. And when that same universal energy is owned by the universal being, it is called svatantrya shakti.
Svatantrya shakti is pure universal energy. Impure universal energy is maya. It is only the formation that changes through a difference of vision. When you experience svatantrya shakti in a crooked way, it becomes maya shakti for you. And when you realize that same maya shakti in Reality, then that maya shakti becomes svatantrya shakti for you. Therefore, svatantrya shakti and maya shakti are actually only one and the three impurities (malas)... reside in maya shakti, not in svatantrya shakti
From Kashmir Shaivism: The Secret Supreme by Swami Lakshmanjoo (1907-1991)
Swami Lakshmanjoo 1947

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