“The path that is followed by most persons in the beginning of their spiritual search is the path of love. Love is the easiest and most effective way to begin our search for self-realization, for our selves. Love is the highest of all qualities that we can experience. The more we know about love, the more we experience love, the happier and more complete we are.”
“The path of love seeks to unite us with immortality through love of God. The path of selfless giving seeks to unite us with immortality, with nirvana, through action. Love is passive; self-giving is active. Jnana yoga, the path of discrimination, seeks to unite us with eternity through knowledge. By pushing away all illusions of the self and coming to know who and what we are, we become conscious of our own infiniteness. Mysticism uses power - the utilization of power to unite us with our eternal self. The mystic practices the art of intentionality. Intentionality is the awareness of being in all of its profundity and a gentle humor, a not-so-serious view of our existence, a pure love of life in both its finiteness and its infiniteness.” ~Rama
“Why aren't all of you happy when there's so much to have and so much to be? The reason is very simple. At the root of all problems we find one causal answer - self-giving. The reason you're not happy, the reason the world lacks peace, the reason that we cannot find ourselves, is that we lack happiness - happiness that comes from self-giving.”
How do you get started on your pathway to enlightenment? First, learn to meditate. There are numerous talks that will get you to the highest, most foundational ancient teachings regarding meditation. Techniques that are tried and true. You'll learn how to focus, concentrate, and then finally, how to meditate. You'll learn how to stop your thought and go into deep, absorbed, profound states of consciousness that are not the standard array in the human condition. These states of mind are lighter, more truthful, less bound, more intelligent. They are places inside of you that you haven't been trained to access. With meditation, you'll start finding parts of yourself that are beautiful, joyful, funny and wise. Meditation will show you how to be your own best teacher. That's what a true teacher of enlightenment guides you to - your own highest self. Rama's teachings are based on his own experience of becoming enlightened. He lived a life of searching, as a youth, and that lead him to meditation. Once he started meditating, he used every part of his life with one-pointed focus, to master his thoughts, to reign in his out of control emotions. He learned how to apply his focus and the new, brilliant sensibilities he was garnering from his meditations into each aspect of his life. He became an intensively passionate student and made straight A's. He became a hard-core meditator who could sit for hours with discipline and fortitude. He became a great athlete at anything he engaged in, earning a black belt in martial arts and becoming a world class snow-boarder and scuba diver. He brought a sense of beauty, stillness and perfection to his life in the way he worked diligently to keep it in order - his room was always simple and clean, his bills were always paid, he lived with frugality as a student and as a philanthropist and spreader of Dharma when he was an adult. These are the things he taught his students. These are the principles you will be able to apply when you start walking your own path.
So first, start with learning to meditate. Then, learn how to use your new found energy and insight to make better and better decisions in your life. Consider where you live - is it conducive to high meditations? Consider your car, is it safe and does it help to shield out the anger and violence of people on the road? Does it have a good stereo system that allows you to move your mind into light with beautiful music, or to learn new languages on your way to work? Consider your relationships - are you involved with people who drain you? Or, do you have friends who are interested in progressing, in being joyful, in finding and living in truth? Do you involve yourself in activities that help your consiousness go higher, such as learning new things, being creative, playing music, writing fun software applications, helping others when you can? Or do you find yourself doing what society and culture taught you to do - watch TV, always be searching for the next romantic conquest, or searching for some ideal concept of "true love", or "hanging out" with the crowd, shooting the bull, being judgmental, partying as if there was no tomorrow, only to feel ragged out and hung over tomorrow? Start looking at your life and asking, what's supporting me in my endeavor to merge with the oneness of existence, what's draining me and keeping me from my own highest truth. This entails being real, not judgmental. Maybe it's right to party with abandon today because you'll break through some uptight place you've been living in your mind, or maybe it's right to be silent and studious, to take a vacation from the uproar. Maybe it's right to have a relationship, to engage in sex with a partner because you will learn new ways of giving or being compassionate, or maybe it's best to be celibate right now, to retain your energy and channel it into developing new skills. To be a seeker on the path, you must be ruthlessly honest with yourself. Nobody can bring you to enlightenment but you. But the good news is that it's real, you can find more and more enlightening states of mind in your life everyday. Start seriously seeking, listen to Rama's teachings - they are the secret teachings of enlightened teachers throughout history, but have been couched in terms that make sense for us as modern day seekers. Find a teacher in the physical if that will help. But remember, with your own aspiration and the guidance of an enlightened teacher like Rama, you can walk the path with dignity, truth and a progression toward your own highest awareness. Good luck!
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