Today the monks begin their new phase with a homa, after observing a three day retreat. Notes from monks and devotees are written to the devas and burned, to be read in the inner worlds. These prayers are a vital part of the monastery's balance, as religion itself can be defined as the harmonious working together of the three worlds. Satguru Bodhinatha then gave a wonderful talk inspired by the daily Master Course lesson on willpower. The lesson reads:
Lesson 45 from Merging with Siva
Realization Requires Will
Work with willpower, awareness and energy as three separate items first. Feel awareness and discover what it is. Use willpower and discover what it is. Feel energy and analyze energy and discover what it is. Then separate the three of them in your intellectual mind and experiential pattern. Then, after you've gotten that done, you will begin to see inside yourself that the three are one and the same. And it is actually the beautiful, pure intelligence of the immortal soul body, that body of light of you, on its path inward into its last phase of maturity on this planet. This inner body of light has been maturing through many, many different lives.
If you would like to know how it came along, for instance if you had ninety lives on this planet, each life the body of light matured one year. So your body of light would be ninety years old, so to speak. You can look at it that way. That's not quite the way it actually is, but looking at it that way gives you an idea of the maturing of this body of light. The pure intelligence of it is your awareness--which is energy and which is willpower--that life after life becomes stronger, more steadfast. Finally, in your last incarnation on the Earth, you merge into its final experience, that great samadhi, the Self, beyond the complete, still area of consciousness. You go in not knowing what you are getting into, and you come out wise. Your complete perspective is changed, and you only talk about it to those that are on the path of enlightenment, as they are the only ones steady enough or free enough to understand the depth of this realization.
Here are the ingredients: attention, concentration, meditation, contemplation, samadhi. Willpower is the fuel. It does not take time. Someone asked me, "Do you think I can have this samadhi, realize the Self, in ten years?" I said, "I certainly don't. I don't think you have enough willpower to realize it in a hundred years, because it doesn't take time. It takes will. If you had the will, you wouldn't add ten years on it. You would simply be telling me, 'I am going to have this realization.' And I would believe you because I would feel your will moving out of every atom of your body. But the mere fact that you take an intellectual approach, I have to say no, because whatever I did think wouldn't make any difference one way or the other. You are not going to get it with an attitude like that, because it's not something you go out and buy. It's not another getting, like 'I have a car. I have clothes. I have a little money. And now, after I get my television paid for, I think I'll get the Self, because that is the next thing to get. It's really great. I read about it. I heard about it. I heard a speaker speak about it. I'm all fired up to get this Self, and it's in next in the line of getting, so I'm going to get it!' It doesn't work like that. You don't get that which you have. You can't get that which you have. It's there. You have to give up the consciousness of the television, the money, the clothes, the people that you know, the personality that you thought you were, the physical body. You have to go into the elements of the physical body, into the elements of that, and into the energy of that, and into the vast inner space of that, and into the core of that, and into the that of that, and into the that of that, and finally you realize that you have realized the Self. And you've lost something. You lost your goal of Self Realization. And you come back into the fullness of everything, and you are no longer looking, and you are no longer asking, and you are no longer wanting. You just are." When you get tired of the external area of the mind that you are flowing through, you simply dive in again.
Bodhinatha's Latest Upadeshas: "The Difference in Practice of Theism and Monism" (September 3, 2014)
During a puja we're in Theism, to receive the blessings of the Deity. After a puja we can go within our self in meditation, giving up the idea of an external Deity, Monism. Monistic Theism: Advaita Ishvaravada. Advaita means the Monism; Ishvara means the Theism.
In Shum we use two words that relate to that: shumif and dimfi. First, perfect your Theism. Then become a monist. That's called Saiva Siddhanta; one leads to the other.