Yesterday's visit by seventeen of our island's most effective leaders, in whose hands lies the future of our little community, was a rare and important moment. There was much sharing between the monks and these amazingly motivated men and women (lots of spiritual questions, too).
At one point, Ken Stokes, an environmental scholar and county consultant, rose spontaneously to share with the rest of his group how much the monastery has learned and implemented in the arena of sustainability, and proceeded to take them to school using our experiences here.
It is inspiring to know that the monastery means so much to our little community. The mayor (in the green shirt) was invited to share his Holo Holo 2020 vision, and he gave a most impressive list of the projects he has begun. The island is blessed to have a man who loves the land and its peoples so deeply, and is so determined to improve everyone's life here on Kauai. Our Wailua Mission members were applauded by the visitors for their selfless service and genial hospitality. Little-known fact time? Kauai has 64,000 residents. Plus every day 16,000 more stay on the island (tourists), and 2/3rds of them stay in condos and vacation rentals, only 1/3 in hotels.
Within our Saiva Siddhanta Holy Scriptures the Saiva Agamas explain the basis of temple ceremonies and worship plus yoga and jnana. The Tirukural was considered by Gurudeva to be "the most accessible and relevant sacred text." In it are practical and helpful guidelines for our conduct in every day life. The point of family life is to gain steady improvement, forever, in self control in the midst of responsibilities in the fulfillment of family dharma. Meanwhile, not taking detachment too far but taking it in the sense of spiritually looking for happiness, not outside in other people or possessions, the world, but inside ourselves and then sharing it with family and friends. "We regard the writings of our satgurus as scripture."
Path to Siva, Lesson 20
Tirukural, Introduction and Contents
Tirukural, Chapter 15 Possession of Self-Control
"The temple enables us to feel the presence of God, Gods and devas." We use our inner eyes to see what's going on in the temple, the three worlds. In the temple we're being good dvaitists in the dimfi perspective, focused in bhakti upon God Siva. In meditation we're monists, in the shumif perspective. We claim our oneness with Siva, Sivoham, I am Siva. In surrender, shrinking the ego through devotion, we have a realization that we're not the doer, that Siva is doing it all. Siva's energy comes through our soul.