Our Singapore devotees sent this photo of the 30" tall wooden carving of Gurudeva which they came forward to sponsor, destined for the walls of the entry cave of the Media Studio. These sponsorships, large and small, have been helpful in making this important space elegant, creative and, yes, a little bit outrageous.
This morning, following a full-moon retreat, the monks began their new phase. As usual, it started off with a Siva homa. Satguru Bodhinatha will be returning from his travels this evening, so Sadasivanathaswami served at the homa in his stead, burning the prayers to the devas and giving a talk afterwards. Paramacharya discussed several things, including new understandings in science, which, after reading from Gurudeva's words, parallel his understandings. These fairly recent scientific views state that reality is a potentiality, until something becomes aware of any part of it.
Paramacharya read from Merging with Siva, Lesson 326:
The point of conception is the apex of creation. At what point do we conceive, and how do we create? Let's expand our consciousness, really expand our consciousness, and begin to know that creation is merely recognizing what is already there--that there is nothing new; everything is within you and it is portrayed on the outside as you become aware that it is already created, finished, within you. What makes the point of conception the apex of creation? It is the story of you. Expand your consciousness to take in the sun, the moon, the planets, the Earth, everyone. And when your limited consciousness focuses upon one thing, you say, "There is the sun, and in a few hours I will see the moon." And in a few hours you do see the moon. You are the creator, but you only create to the lower realms of the mind. Everything is within you: the sun, the moon, the planets, all of the people functioning through all their different states of consciousness, all of the various manifestations of form. They are all within you. As you become aware of one thing at a time, you are really creating it into the lower realms of your mind. You are translating it into the lower realms of your mind. Your recognition of what is is the way you create it to yourself. This is deep. This is in the realm of contemplation. And only in the realm of contemplation will you begin to conceive of it. Those of you who have had the power enough to concentrate enough of the mind in order to contemplate should begin to be very godlike in your everyday life. You should work very, very hard to do each thing perfectly that you do in your conscious mind, to finish each job, and to have consideration for others at all times. That will take you into the next stages of contemplation. When we become careless in our lower realms of the mind after having reached contemplation, we use that great God-power in a negative way and build great barriers within ourselves that hold us in the lower realms of the mind. But when we strive diligently to perfect devotion, which is bhakti, to perfect service, which is karma yoga, at all times--twenty-four hours a day the vigil is--then we release barriers, barriers that we are going to meet perhaps next year or the year after. We burn up and clean up karma that will come even in your next life. And you go from one stage of contemplation and become stable in the next stage of contemplation, until you begin to live on the very brink of the Absolute. And it's on the brink of the Absolute that you can begin to realize that the point of conception is the very apex of creation. You realize all form, and then you realize formlessness.