Today the monastery begins its new phase. As usual, Sun one morning starts off with a powerful Siva homa. This is a six day phase, with Kadavul Ardra Abhishekam on Sun four. Tomorrow is Akshaya Tritiya, a very auspicious day as the Sun and the Moon are both exalted, giving them full power, an excellent day for meditation and growth.
This morning Satguru Bodhinatha gave a delightful talk about the nature of attachments. He reminded us that anything that regularly claims our awareness, whether we desire it our have an aversion to it, is something of the past or future, which we must let go of as we endeavor to live in the present. He read from Merging With Siva's lesson 23:
Meditate on a river. Follow it as a visual image from its source to the end where it merges into the sea. You can now clearly see where you have been clinging to the bank of life's river. You will plainly see just how long you have been clinging to various attachments by holding on to fears, worries, doubts of the future and regrets about the past. Looking at attachment, we see how it holds the mind down, how it submerges personality. Attachment is a stationary thing. Attachment creates the personality. The popular concept of the intellect at this point would be to say, "Well, then, according to this, we are not supposed to be attached to anything, or even have a personality." But I take this one step farther and tell you, become affectionately detached, for by becoming affectionately detached you absorb all the power of the spiritual force within you. When you absorb the power of the spirit through the body, you will be able to feel it flowing through your most subtle nerves. This vibrant spiritual force within you, vibrating through every cell of the body, quieting the emotions and bringing the mind into effortless concentration, is born of affectionate detachment. Affectionate detachment is stronger than any attachment could possibly be, because attachment is created through unfulfilled desire, salted and peppered with fear. Fear of loss, fear of the unexpected, fear that life may not have much more to offer than what has already been offered, fear of old age, fear of harm, fear of accident--these are the fears which salt and pepper the unfulfilled desires. This is attachment. To be affectionately detached--that is a power. That is a wisdom. That is a love greater than any emotional love, a love born of understanding, a love that merges you into the river of life and allows actinic force to flow within you so that you realize God. We all still have those little attachments--the good ones, the need for love, acceptance and security. These attachments form the positive aspects of the subconscious. We want to free ourselves of all negative attachments, then use the subconscious positively, as a powerhouse directed by our superconsciousness. There is a great wisdom in cultivated affectionate detachment. Let go of the past. Let go of the future. Be a being right now. Being detached does not mean running away from life or being insensitive. It makes us extremely sensitive. When we have the ability to let go, we are warmer, more friendly, more wholesome, more human and closer to our family and friends.
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.