Connecting Devotees Worldwide - In Service Of Srila Prabhupada
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Analyze your daily activities in relation to vows you have taken by determining if the way you live supports or undermines your vow. For example, do you ever feel that the way you live, act or think makes it difficult to keep some of your vows? If so, these are red flags you need to heed.
Prabhupada describes a mahatma as one who will not allow himself to be in a situation that doesn’t support the realizations he needs to remain in Krsna consciousness.
Now, in the conditioned state, sometimes devotional service and the conditional service in relation to the body will parallel one another. But then again, sometimes these activities become opposed to one another. As far as possible, a devotee is very cautious so that he does not do anything that could disrupt his wholesome condition. He knows that perfection in his activities depends on his progressive realization of Krsna consciousness – Bhagavad Gita 9.30
Prabhupada tells us that to properly follow our vows we must live a lifestyle that gives us the realization and strength needed to continue following those vows. So to strengthen your ability to follow your vows, you must focus on all the activities you need to do (or avoid) and the environment you need to create, that will support your vows. And if we are not doing this it likely indicates that we are not taking our vows seriously enough (or that we don’t realize how much our environment affects us).
All your actions create samskaras, mental impressions or mental dispositions. Thus whatever you do, say, see, eat, etc. affects your consciousness. As you ponder this, you become more aware of the correlation between what you are doing and how you are thinking and feeling. You may have sometimes experienced a lack of interest or taste for chanting or sadhana. If so, it’s likely related to what you have been recently doing (or not doing) saying, eating,…Continue
Recently a friend of mine and Life Coach, Akrura Das, visited Alachua and we recorded a number of talks on subjects such as responsibility, connecting with your dharma, possibility thinking, limiting beliefs, etc. I think you will find them very valuable, so I have decided that the upcoming newsletters will all be audio newsletters of these recordings.
In this audio newsletter we discuss the comfort zone, a place which is actually not really comfortable because it’s not where we want to remain. We show how what we want to become or achieve normally lies outside of our comfort zone, and the mentality required to push ourselves to do things which we have never done before.
If you or anyone you know is able to transcribe these audio recordings (twelve in total), let me know. Then we can make the transcriptions available as well.
May you always think of Krsna,
The Audio Newsletter is here
Possibility thinking means there is always more than one way of approaching a situation. Generally we have patterns of thinking which lock us into seeing situations in a narrow way or the same way over and over again. But there is always more than one way to deal with a situation. By being open to other ways of viewing the situation, we begin to see possibilities we didn’t know existed.
Think “what can I do to improve my service to Krishna in this situation?”
If we really believe in Krishna, we should be thinking that anything is possible by His mercy. For example, in any difficult situation we can think, “What else can be done?”, “How can I maximize the situation?” “How can I turn my obstacles into opportunities to serve Krishna?” There is always a silver lining at the end of the cloud.
What’s good about this?
You can see how bad experiences in the past have helped you become stronger today. There were valuable lessons learned from those experiences. But at the time you didn’t know this. Those experiences are blessings in disguise to learn what we need to learn. So, even the bad, seen in another way, becomes a source of strength and knowledge.
Once, a king placed a boulder in the middle of a street and hid himself behind a bush. Most persons just went around the boulder. After some time, a peasant came and pushed the boulder aside. Below the boulder he found a purse with gold coins and a note from the king that said “This is a reward for the person who removes the boulder.”
In essence, there is gold at the end of a rainbow. Behind each obstacle, there is a lesson that Krishna wants us to learn.
Dealing with anarthas
An outside of the box way of viewing anarthas is to see them as things which are so valuable to us that if we give them up, we’ll be giving up that which we are dearly attached to. Krishna appreciates it when we offer him something that…Continue
In this audio issue (click here for the audio issue) of Illuminations, I talk with counselor Arcana Siddhi about self-forgiveness. Those of us on the spiritual path have high ideals, ideals which we often don’t meet. And especially for those who tend to be perfectionists, this can result in a lot of self hatred, guilt and shame. We fall short of our ideals, or worse, sometimes we fall flat on our faces and may not be able to forgive ourselves for it.
Or we have a self image of a good person, a good devotee, a good this or that, yet we inevitably confront the reality that we often act in ways totally incongruent with that self image, and again, we can’t forgive ourselves. This inability to forgive ourselves makes our lives difficult. And it makes it all that more difficult to forgive others.
I ask Arcana Siddhi how, considering the above realities, we can forgive ourselves. As a professional counselor she deals with this problem often and was able to shed great light and insight on the topic.
As many of you know. I have been teaching workshops on forgiveness for years. This site gives more details about the workshops. The blog is entirely dedicated to the topic of forgiveness and contains many ideas from my workshop. Feel free to share this site and blog with your friends and associates. As you will see, it is written for a broad audience, so those who might not be so spiritually inclined will get a lot from it.
The more I do the workshops, the more I see how needed and beneficial forgiveness is for ourselves, for relationships, for minimizing conflict at home and in the workplace, and for dealing with all the bigotry, hatred and prejudice in the world. Ours is a culture of “If I am wronged, I get back.” Most people’s accounts of all the…Continue