Living in the eternal now takes practice; discover a higher state of consciousness, the consciousness of being intensely aware but with no thought on it. There, in that eternity within, you, can see there is no life, nor any death; in that state you are transcendent, beyond even the soul which reincarnates and creates a new form around itself. The idea of eternity is that remaining without thinking, you are in your soul nature, unchanged thoughout your many lives, undisturbed by the things of time. Eternity does not change. Shatter disturbances of the mind; say to yourself, "I am all right, right now." Declare the truth that you are all right in the eternal now.
Master Course Trilogy, "Merging with Siva" Lessons 113, 114.
Good morning everyone.
We have a new talk this morning in our "Merging with Siva" series going through the lessons in chronological order, we're up to 1961. Got a few more years to go here.
This talk is called "The Eternal Now" given at the San Francisco temple. And then, Saturday and Sunday have some information drawn from the early 1970's. And we have a story from "The Guru Chronicles", haven't had a story for a while when we were stuck on 1960. So now we have a story from 1961.
Gurudeva and the monastics traveled frequently throughout California, lecturing, teaching hatha yoga and raja yoga, the Upanishads and other Hindu scriptures and presenting the lessons of the "World Fellowship of Yoga" correspondence course that hundreds were enrolled in and studied daily. They spoke at colleges, in homes and often in Episcopal or Unitarian Church facilities whose doors were always open. They held summer camps for families and children and, in 1961, instituted a dynamic Prison Outreach program, visiting prisoners in their cells to teach Eastern ideals and the basics of yoga. Many inmates at Folsom, San Quentin, Vacaville and other institutions found solace and a new awakening to spiritual life through these efforts.
Funny story about that. Gurudeva once mentioned that, I think it was in Folsom, he was asked if he was going to teach levitation. [laughter] They didn't want him to teach levitation so he thought that was funny. They could see the understanding of yoga back then; yoga is levitation.
Okay, Lesson 113:
"You Only Have a Minute" (It starts by quoting a poem.)
"'You have only just a minute, only sixty seconds in it. Didn't want it, forced upon you, can't refuse it, didn't seek it, didn't choose it, it is up to you to use it. You must suffer if you lose it, give account if you abuse it. Just a tiny little minute, but eternity is in it. For not to love is not to live, and not to give is not to live.' (Then we get Gurudeva.) There is really very little to be said intellectually about the eternal now. You have to live in it, and in living in it you discover a higher state of consciousness than you have experienced in your life. Because the vibration of the eternal now is so very high, part of your mind and nature does not like to experience the security of the eternal now, which is really the height of security. It takes practice to maintain a continued experience of the eternal now.
"Can you visualize yourself, right at this instant, balanced on the top of a tall tree? If the tree were to bend too far forward, you would fall to the ground, or down into time and thought. If it were to bend too far back, you would again fall. (Forward is the future, backward is the past.) Balanced on the top of the tree, you can look out over the countryside and enjoy everything you see. But if you stop to think about one thing of the past, you would become so engrossed in what you are thinking about that you again fall to the ground. You find that you cannot live in a thinking consciousness balanced so high. Here you live in the eternal now, with great awareness of what is around you and within you, but with no thought on it."
That's the essence of the idea of the eternal now which is no thinking is allowed. Not about the past, about the future or even the present. You need to turn off the thinking mind which is something, many people are not used to that idea. But, it can be done and if you manage to do that, Gurudeva's saying you'll be in a higher state of consciousness than if you were thinking.
And back to the text:
"Can you feel like this? Right now you are here. Right now nothing else matters. You are aware. You are alive, and you are in eternity. Finding the eternal now is a vibration even more powerful than that of sound or light, for you are in the consciousness of Being--being intensely aware, being very alive. In that state of consciousness you can see that when you begin to think, it is like climbing down the tree or walking along through the forest. On the ground you cannot see the forest for the trees. On top of the tree you can see the entire forest and enjoy it. In the eternal now you find awareness in every part of your body, every fiber of your consciousness. Your life depends upon your awareness! Here you can enjoy seeing the birds fly by, the waterfall, the countryside. You can enjoy all that, but you dare not stop to think upon the flight of one bird, because you would become too engrossed in thought and fall into a lower state of consciousness. That bird might remind you of a pet bird you had at home, and the thinking mind would go on and on, landing you on the ground. When you become aware and start living in eternity, in the eternal now, you find that eternity is within you. Then you can see there is no life. Nor is there any death. You have transcended even the laws of reincarnation in that state, holding the consciousness of eternity, for you are beyond the soul which reincarnates and creates a new form around itself."
So my comment:
Gurudeva said: "...when you begin to think, it is like climbing down the tree and walking along through the forest. On the ground you cannot see the forest for the trees. On top of the tree you can see the entire forest and enjoy it." So my comment: In other words, we could say that thinking is overrated. A still better way of understanding is to see the overview without utilizing thinking. We can get above in that utilize the overview. The idea of eternity is that remaining without thinking you are in your soul nature, the intelligence of which has not changed throughout your many lives. So that's the eternity, the soul! The intelligence of the soul, if you're not thinking you can be in the intelligence of the soul and that is eternity cause it doesn't change. It's always the same.
Back to the text: [Lesson 114: "Torn Between Past and Future."]
"What is the instant? That is what we have to discover through a moment of concentration. What is the moment? We all know what the past is--many people live in the past, over and over again, and they never catch up with the present. Other people live in the future--but of course when they do, they are really only living in the past, too, and they never find the present either.
"Just as an example, how many times have you gone to the temple without being fully there? Part of you was there, part of you was living in the past, part of you was trying to live in the future; and there you were, emoting over the things that happened that should never have happened, and fearful of things that might happen in the future, which probably won't happen unless you continue being fearful of their happening until you create them!..."
So careful, your thoughts create, it's that happened a lot, a lot, not just one thought but if you think about something a lot you're attracting it to you.
"...Do you know that the ability to live right now, in the instant, is a spiritual power, reflecting the awakening of the soul and requiring a subconscious control of the mind? Your soul is never bothered with the things that disturb the rest of the mind! The mind lives in the past, and the mind tries to live in the future. But when you quiet your mind, you live in the present. You are living within your soul, or the higher state of your mind which is undisturbed by the things of time.
"Also, when you live in the present, you eliminate fears, worries and doubts. Of course, you might feel a little out of place for a while, as if you weren't anybody, if for years and years you have been accustomed to making fears, worries and doubts your cherished possessions--more important to you than anything else. There are people who just wouldn't know who they were if you took away from them their fears, worries and doubts. But if you want to be somebody, something, a state of being, you want to live in the eternal now.
"There is a simple formula for attaining the eternal now. If you can remember it, you can center yourself within yourself very quickly and experience living right now this instant. Imagine yourself now, worried, bothered and disturbed, and in the midst of your disturbance say to yourself, 'I am all right, right now. Just this instant, I am all right.' What a shock to the disturbed part of your mind! It will not only be shocked, it will be shattered out of its disturbance when you declare the truth that you are all right in the eternal now."
And we get my last comment:
Webster's Dictionary defines worry as "mental distress or agitation resulting from concern usually for something impending or anticipated." So that doesn't sound very good, right? Mental distress or agitation. It's definitely not a pleasant state of mind to be in. What Gurudeva is stressing is that worry can be controlled. And a simple way to do so is to repeat the affirmation "I am all right, right now." So that's good for yourself when you are worried about yourself. I'm all right right now But you can be worried about somebody else in which case a visualization is effective.
So I remember a mother, talked to her a number of years ago in the Guru Peedam, who was worried about her son in Singapore who had been laid off from his job in investment banking. So every day she was spending a lot of time worrying about her son getting a new job. Well that's not helpful. Worry is not helpful to the person worrying, it's not helpful to the person being worried about. It's a negative energy that's being projected toward the person. So, what do you do instead? Visualization! A positive visualization. In that type of situation you can visualize a positive outcome such as seeing your son being hired by a large investment bank. Every time you start to worry, use a visualization instead.
So that's much better. A positive visualization instead of worry when it comes to being about another person and when it comes to being about yourself: "I'm all right, right now."
And have a wonderful day.