My days are filled with Sadhana which is a Sanskrit word for practices or exercises that help to keep a person from getting entangled in the world, which includes one’s own negativity, fears and mundane desires. In a word, these practices keep me from being fucked.
The most important one is a morning study. I spend an hour studying from text that teach the highest principles in living. I take some notes but mostly read a bit, think, reflect, and contemplate the teachings. Doing this every morning, not only reminds me to not be an asshole, but that I can live with freedom and peace no matter what comes my way. That’s pretty powerful, since the rest of the world acts like a pinball in a pinball machine bouncing off every bumper to stay alive as long as possible, only, at some point, to fall down the alley and disappear.
I have been having a hard time staying peaceful recently. There are a host of family, business and societal things going on; there always are. I find that if I were to wait for things to “settle down” my whole life would be “waiting”. Thus in 1986 I took it upon myself to learn how to live. That said, there are certain challenges which bring about agitation still…
Work or to be clear my present ability to handle it properly is causing the greatest disturbance. I’ve been working on a project for 3 years. In truth everything I’ve done professionally over the past 23 years has led to this. The road to get to this launching point could fill a book or two so let’s just say it took all I had and then some. The relationship I built with myself during the process has been made possible because of my Sadhana. I couldn’t have made it without it. Although, I’ve been anxious because I am not evolved enough to live peacefully with having spent the budget, earning no income and needing more money to support the endeavor; I also have not become paralyzed, nor has it affected my relationships or moods. How do I live without knowing? How do I live without being able to support my family right now? How do I live in a city that has taken away my personal rights? How I do it, is by learning from those that have mastered it all. The few who live or lived a life without any agitations or frustrations. They lived effortlessly and peacefully. They lived in the same world you and I do, but rose above it into another stratosphere while still being a part of it every day. I study their teachings and follow their direction. Even as I experience my own doubt and dilemmas, hearing their voices every morning keeps me from falling out of grace, flat on my face and back to that old place that I so distaste.
One man who has inspired the few that have read his works is Rama Tirtha. Rama, in 1903 hopped on a boat from India to Japan with no clothes or money and somehow found his way to lecturing to the public in packed halls. He traveled to the United States, again without money or clothes. He found himself in 1904 in San Francisco lecturing to the public and making a huge splash. His mission was to spread the blueprint on happiness and how to find personal freedom. I came across this poem while studying his lectures that were recorded and transcribed by his students. It helped me move past what was bugging me.
“We build our future thought by thought, for good or bad and know is not. Thought is another name for fate; choose, then, thy, destiny and wait. Mind is the of master of its sphere; Be calm, be steadfast and sincere; Fear is the only foe to fear. Let the God in thee rise and say: To circumstance – Obey and thy dear wish shall have its way”.
You may be saying “How the fuck can a poem help me? Are you nuts, EP?” I would have asked the same question long ago. It’s important to note that had I not been at this for so many decades and learned the art of thinking, questioning, and contemplating, I wouldn’t have a fucking clue what this poem really meant nor how it could help me. I shared it to model what I do and what it takes for me to, at a bare minimum, not to be crazy. You aren’t going to miraculously read a poem, book, or anything for that matter and all of the sudden “get it”.
Developing a Sadhana is the starting point for furthering our personal growth. For me it becomes, before anything else, for without it I have nothing, I am nothing. With steadfastness and time a freakin poem can be life sustaining or changing because of who you’ve become not from the words in the poem. Of course study is not the only practice. There has been therapy, workshops, retreats, trainings, teachers, mentors, daily, weekly, monthly, bi monthly, quarterly, bi annual and annual practices as well. All of which support one mission: Eric being at peace.
If you found this blog, you can rest assure you are close to or have found where you can develop your own practices. We put the cart before the course every day. The human being is the only creature on the planet that can build a life he can’t handle. When this happens and it always does, life crashes and so does the human. With a Sadhana, we build ourselves first and then whatever happens in life, we have a handle to hold on to, to lift us up and get us through.