The words come from the Sanskrit sādh, which means “reach one’s goal”, “make straight”, or “gain power over”. The same root is used in the word 4sādhana, which means “spiritual practice”. ‘Sadhu’ can also be used as Vidhyartha, meaning ‘let good happen’. – Wikipedia of “Sadhu”
Extended written version of a Dharma talk presented March 18th at Sadhana yoga.
(Special treat at the end of this post for those that read it all!)
Why are we here in this crazy world? To build ourselves up materially only to die and pass our “wealth” on to whoever we are close to? Or are we here for deeper reasons? Perhaps spiritual reasons?
I believe we are here to fulfill a goal that we set for ourselves along time ago, before we can actually remember. We are here to fill the gap of emptiness that is within us all. If you have ever felt a yearning for something, but you were unsure of what it was for, this is the goal that I speak about. We are here to cleanse our spirits to such a pristine state that we can return to our home. Where we came from before all of this began. We are very lucky that we have the opportunity to even know that a goal exists and even luckier to have access to knowledge about how to get to that goal within this lifetime. Many saints and sages have came in the past and passed down invaluable information about how to proceed on the path. Maybe I can explain a bit more about it to anyone that is unaware.
Every day I am grateful for this human birth, regardless of what the specific circumstances are. It is very fortunate to be born a human and hard work to achieve. Other dimensions cannot do what we can do. The Buddha emphasized that we are very lucky to be born humans and in contact with the Dharma or with the open knowledge of how to purify ourselves. It has not always been this way. The Dark Ages were dark for a reason, there was a lack or removal of spiritual pursuit from the entire world. Spiritual purification was lost or done in absolute secrecy with the threat of death or torture to the transgressors. One would be burned a witch or heretic if caught meditating or doing purification techniques.
In the heavenly realms above, where the demi-gods and angels live, there is an imbalance of pleasure. In the hellish realms below there is an imbalance of pain. In the human existence we have a perfect balance of the duality, of pain and pleasure. This allows us to overcome both because we can ultimately see they are the same and come from the same source. Heaven and Hell do exist but neither are eternal. What type of God would allow anyone or anything to suffer eternally? Those above and those below envy the human existence because we have been blessed with a wonderful temple to purify called the body.
Why are we here? Why do we practice yoga? Meditation? To find inner peace, bliss, liberation, enlightenment? What do these specifically mean? We are very fortunate that we have access to new and old techniques that can help us fulfill our original spiritual goals. Most might not believe this but step by step, I believe we will all eventually reach the final goal. Not just us, but every being in the universe. No man/woman or any sentient being will be left behind. Some will make it relatively faster then others, but all will eventually make it for we have a long time to accomplish this universal goal. If the journey to the final goal requires us to remove 100 tons off of our backs, it all starts with removing a few tons at a time. Even if we just remove a few at a time, it will make the rest of our journey that much easier.
What is reincarnation and how does it relate to the spiritual path? If I were to die tomorrow, and I was reborn again, I would possess the general qualities that I possess now. The general pleasantness, lack of anger or hatred, etc. But if a man full of unpleasantness, full of anger and full of hatred dies tomorrow, he will be born with these general qualities inherent in him in his next lives until they are purified. These are some of the impurities that I speak about, but not all. This is what we are here for, to cleanse ourselves of the impurities, fully, until we are clean enough to go home, to where we come from.
How do we do this? We do this by slowly taming the ego, the false self, by taking control of the mind, by taking control of our lives. By overcoming our reactions and our programming that we have set in this life and the last. The pristine state is characterized by absence of reaction and absence of ego. Absence of reaction is full liberation. Absence of ego is full enlightenment. The basis of the ego is it’s belief that it is separate from others. It thrives on comparison, on believing in its own superiority or inferiority to others.
Have you ever heard “attachment is the source of all suffering?” It is famous quote by the Buddha used by the Dhali Lama, etc. What are we attached to? Not just material things. We are attached to everything within. Not only our body and our material possessions, but the breath, our feelings, our sensations, our thoughts, our awareness. Out of ignorance and delusion, our ego believes these things to be “mine”. “These are mine”, I can give you my clothes and material possessions and certainly this will be a big blow to the ego (because the more we possess the greater the size of the ego, etc.), but it will still say ok I cannot give you these other things, they are mine. This is living in ignorance. Living in delusion.
It may be hard to accept intellectually, but one can experience this truth in the higher states of spirituality which is open to all equally. The Buddha would say there is no thinker of the thoughts. No knower behind the knowing. All of these which we believe are ours, the awareness, feelings, sensations, thoughts, and knowing are just happening independently. They rise and pass away. Put into combination they build the ego, or the idea that one is separate from others, and this causes us great suffering and misery in our lives.
Yoga and meditation can put us in the proper detached mindset to where we can begin to see things as they really are. The universal truths of change, suffering, and no Self. We can slowly start to take the weight of “ignorance” off of our backs. As the foundation is broken up or the roots of our impurities are pulled out, we will start to see the first signs of our true selves emerge. True feelings of peacefulness, bliss, clarity that has been covered up over time by these false feelings and the false ego which keeps us in bondage.
The truth is that there is only so much weight to be taken off the shoulders, there is only so much of a stockpile of impurities that have to be removed. Once one knows why impurities come and how to purify oneself it is only a matter of time before they reach the final goal, which is full liberation, full awakening, full enlightenment. Once one stops regressing or devolving, one naturally progresses.
This “flowering of the human being” has been done by a large number of people throughout our history, known and unknown. It will happen again and again to whoever wants it and whoever finds the right path out, and the right teacher to guide them. It is our collective destiny. The next step in our evolutionary process. Once one finds the proper master, they will turn the student into their own master.
What are some methods to try out? Observe the natural flow of respiration, whether subtle or gross, whether big or small realize that it occurs on its own. Then realize that it is just happening. It’s not me, nor mine. Do this for a few minutes.
While keeping your attention on the automatic breath, notice whatever thoughts are arising and passing away. Thoughts are a huge source of food and energy for the mind and ego. Realize that they are not your thoughts, they are just happening. For even a short time period, we can be aware of breath and thoughts with the detached mindset, “These are not me, nor mine, they are just happening.” Slowly the thoughts will become less and less and a calm state can be reached.
In a meditative state, in a detached state of mind, we can move throughout the body feeling our sensations and energy flow with just the mindset “this is just happening… It is not me, nor mine and I am not causing it to happen.” “The sensations, they are just happening constantly, but they are not mine.” When moving through the body, it definitely “feels” like “I” am the one that is causing it to happen, but we know this is not true. Try to feel the distinct but separate feeling that “I” am the cause.
Be with “as it is”, not with what you want it to be. If you are craving or averse to anything than you are going backwards. This is true in meditation and in life. Another important point is that if at anytime you feel any pain or uncomfortablitiy, don’t think of it as a bad thing. It is a good thing. As pain or uncomfortablitiy arise and passes away you are liberated from that within your body/mind. That pain that is gone will be filled by happiness.
In your day to day life a situation may arise that you may have normally become uncomfortable with, and slowly you will no longer become uncomfortable with it. Realize that this is not my pain or my uncomfortability, that it is just pure pain and uncomfortability that is happening. If you get tired or drowsy, just keep on and let it pass away. The more it comes and the more it passes away, the greater your energy levels will be in the future.
All of these techniques will help us to realize that we are not the doer in the physical sense of the phrase. This is the goal of spirituality. To remove our sense of doership. Slowly we can free up mental energy for other uses.
The mind including ego uses a full 35% of all our stored energy. Once we begin to purify ourself this number begins to slowly drop and we can use it for other means. This energy can heal us, it can make us look and feel younger, it can make us think more clearly. One can feel an overall more awakened state. Our general energy levels will rise. All of this info can be utilized in your yoga and meditation practice.
The ultimate understanding is to realize that everything including knowing is just happening. Knowledge exists independently and is not “yours” or “mine”. There are two types of people in the world. Those that know a lot and those that know little. Most of the time, those that know little are much happier then those that “know” a lot. This is because the person that knows a lot develops a ton of pride and this is a main course dinner for the ego, which when over-inflated always causes misery and suffering. Let go of all possessions, not just physical.
Anyways, this is not to try and convince anyone of anything. Just what I believe to be true. Maybe it resonates with others and will help someone on their own path.
And a very Happy Mother’s day to this special person. Miss you very much. The first mantra posted on the site is dedicated to you. 🙂 Who is in my temple? http://chirb.it/77bM9F