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Time with a Teacher

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Time with a Teacher

        Spending time in the company of a good teacher is very important in the practice of yoga. Chapter 6:23 of the Bhagavad Gita states, “yoga must be practiced with faith, with a strong and courageous heart.” In essence, this means that satsang with a Guru/teacher is very important. We must never give up on our sadhana, as we must always study and practice to be better devotees. Buying a few books on spirituality will never really help us; it may provide us with consolation, or temporary relief from our dilemma, but it will not ultimately change our condition of suffering.

        To really have a shot at changing our orientation towards life would require a dramatic shift in our priorities; we would have to become a lot more devoted to God, and less devoted to ourselves. In order to ultimately to become enlightened, we would have to devote our whole life to God. The problem is that most of us do not know how to devote ourselves, or practice, and furthermore, most of us don’t even want to practice. Truly, it was by the grace of my Guru that I was given the chance to learn how to practice. This grace provided me with the tools to realize more intense forms of happiness.

       Many people that I have talked to, particularly Westerners, don’t seem to think they need a Guru. This is the myth that propels the self-help movement. The message generally is “I realized happiness on my own and so you can you!” I can testify from my own experience that frequent and direct contact with a spiritual friend is essential to the enjoyment of real happiness. As Bodhidharma once said, “Only one person in a million becomes enlightened without a teacher’s help.” I find this interesting because a lot of people in the self-help movement seem to be saying that they don’t need anyone to help them but themsleves. I am definitely not one in a million in this context of whom Bodhidharma speaks, neither were most of the great sages that we know of, including Gautama Buddha. In this context, the true devotee of God is a devotee first and a teacher second. Being a teacher is not a status, just a function, and at the end of the day the teacher is just a devotee. Life is the real teacher! Life is  what is communicating to us and teaching us in every moment and through everything, and most of us need intensive contact with a teacher in order to translate this communication into a language we can understand.

       The human Guru is a part of us, as they are a representative of our greater nature. Without the human Guru there would not be the opportunity to realize Nirvana. I cannot, and will not, be able to ever separate my spirituality from my Gurus, as they are a progressive expression of different stages of awakening in my own spiritual journey. If you have ever spent any time with one, you know what I am talking about.  Don’t believe the self-help myth: we all need help. How can the ego grant itself such graceful gifts such as enlightenment? Truly, it is God that gives us everything that we have and need. The true process of initiation is always through the direct transference of wisdom from one initiate to another. Realization is best served through the direct communication of an adept.

 Please visit https://www.alt-yoga.com/alternativeyoga to view some of Hermes more recent work. Thank you


Nirvana is the Key

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Nirvana is the Key

There is no belief that we can hold that would be an ultimate solution to our dissatisfaction with the present situation, as the only solution to our state of separateness is Nirvana. Idealistic solutions are only temporary fixes for our suffering, it is not an ultimate answer for our unhappiness. All form has a beginning and an end, all things change, as all things appear and disappear. The unqualified nature of Brahman, our native condition, transcends all forms of temporary manifestation. The belief that fulfillment can be achieved through the limits of temporal experience is a delusion, it is a myth that we use to console ourselves in our denial of our native condition. Happiness cannot be achieved through sentient reality, the sooner we accept this truth, the sooner we will be happy. When we embrace Nirvana, our happiness will no longer be dependent on temporary objects or experiences; it will be a Happiness that is based on an understanding that transcends limited conditions. With Nirvana comes the unqualified enjoyment of the realization of Brahman, the True Self. Nirvana is the key to the ultimate enjoyment of enlightenment.


The Way to Enjoy Happiness

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The Way to Enjoy Happiness

Happiness is enjoyed through the falling away of illusion. Enlightenment is the realization of the unqualified nature of Happiness, not the dilution of an illusory appearance that derives from perception and conception. In any case, what is required in order to truly enjoy Happiness is that we transcend the obstruction of our individualized experience. The true Reality of the Divine can be enjoyed when there is the transcendence of this false imagery of appearance. Only through these means can the ultimate nature of Happiness be enjoyed. The way to enjoy Happiness is through complete understanding of the true nature of the Divine. When the true nature of the Divine is understood the bliss of the Happiness is spontaneously enjoyed.

                                                                                                     

                                                                              Hermes

 


The Way involves the Guru

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The Way involves the Guru

The true teachings are not a distraction from the Truth, they are an expression of it. We need the Truth if we are to heal from the pain produced by our illusions. How else are we to ever enjoy redemption from our entrenched pattern of unhappiness?  We will never get beyond our unhappiness while we struggle to maintain our state of egoity. Often we can maintain our egoity through the rugged individualism that we integrate into our spirituality. This is why there are so many teachers who will tell you that you can transcend the ego on your own. In many cases, this is a convenient way for people to sell books. It is the ego who wants to hear that it doesn’t need the guru. It has become popular in our trendy spiritual culture to promote spiritual life without the guru. Most spiritual teachings in the West are watered down to suit Western culture. Most of the spiritual teachings today are simply different expressions of layman religion. To enjoy real enlightenment requires understanding; understanding that the “l” is the source of our state of suffering and that we need a guru in order to deal with this “I”. We have to come to terms with the fact that it is the one that exists as an individual that is the cause of all this karma that we suffer from. The ego is not just your mind, it is you altogether! By transcending the totality of “I”, the native condition of happiness is truly realized. The Great Way involves the Guru, the Teaching and the Community, as each part of the process is necessary for the realization of transcendental consciousness. If it wasn’t for my guru I would be somebody, and that somebody is the “I”. As Shirdi Sai Baba said, “This body is just my house. My guru has long ago taken me away from it.”


The Practice of Sadhana

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The Practice of Sadhana

Sadhana is the genuine practice of living in satsang. Through the application of true sadhana, enegy and attention are released into blissful flow of unobstructed Relationship. When we practice sadhana, we are purified from the binding conditions of suffering. It is through the intensification of the practice of sadhana that we realize the joy of satsang. When we live in satsang through the practice of sadhana, we become engulfed in the enjoyment of enlightenment. All of our gestures become an expression of the radiance of the divine. The joy of sadhana is the realization of happiness, it is the true practice of the one that understands. The practice of sadhana is rooted in understanding, this is why the key to enlightenment is to practice sadhana. The more you practice sadhana relative to your ego, the more you will enjoy enlightenment!

 

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