Exercise Your Will Power
Satguru Bodhinatha Veylanswami , 2013-05-27
With a greater interest in spiritual life, use willpower to accomplish everything successfully. Keys for strengthening willpower. The stronger our willpower, the better we're able to harness our thoughts. It's by working in the world positively that we are able to go inside. Master Course, Merging with Siva, Lesson 44.
Today's "Merging with Siva" Lesson is on willpower.
"You need a tremendous, indomitable will to make a reality of your quest of realizing the Being within. Unfoldment doesn't take a lot of time. It just takes a lot of willpower. Someone can go along and sit at attention, and concentrate and meditate for years and years and years and, with a minimal amount of willpower, constantly be distracted, constantly be complaining and constantly be unsuccessful. Another person can have the exact same approach and over a short period of time be extremely successful, because he has will. The previous way he lived his life, the previous things that he did, he handled in such a way that that willpower was there, or his awareness is a manifestation of willpower, and he goes soaring within on this will. "
Well, Gurudeva has some relevant comments in the introduction to each of the Trilogy books relating to willpower. He says that when someone first gets seriously interested in the spiritual path, the common reaction is to start to withdraw from the world. Because the world is worldly, right? Who wants to be in the world. It's a worldly place. I want as little to do with it as possible.
Gurudeva counsels against that. He says that's not a mature reaction. Rather, we should use our willpower and when we've taken up a greater interest in spiritual life, use it to accomplish everything we do in the world, successfully. Instead of withdrawing from the world, we put more energy into the world. It's a very interesting twist. Instead of following this impulse to withdraw, and as I sometimes say for monks: "We live in our ivory cave." Equivalent of the academics ivory tower. That's okay for monks but not if you're not a monk. You want to take that increased interest in spirituality and put more energy into the tasks you're doing in the world, not less.
This relates to willpower. Gurudeva gives us two keys for strengthening our willpower. Most of you remember them. One is to finish every task we start; don't start things without finishing them. And to do each task well, even a little better than you really need to. And so, those two actions, finishing it and doing it well, better than you need to, causes us to use more willpower then we would have without having those principles in mind. And the amazing thing about willpower is, remember? The more you use it, the more you have. You can't run out of it. It's not like food. Not like money. The more you use it the less you have. It's different. It's, you can compare it to a muscle. The more you use a muscle the stronger it gets. And therefore, the more you're able to do with it. So, it's like a muscle, willpower. The more we use it the more we have of it.
And as Gurudeva points out there in this paragraph. It can be challenging to sit in meditation and control our thoughts. Of course we've talked about it before from a number of angles but one of the angles is willpower. That the stronger out willpower, the better we're able to harness our thoughts. And the weaker our willpower the more challenging it is to harness our thoughts.
And it's easier for most people to strengthen their willpower by doing something. Rather then just sitting and controlling our thoughts a little better. It's easier to go out and do something. Involve yourself in some action. And, finish it and do it better then you have to and that strengthens the willpower. Therefore, we lessen this concept which tends to divide particularly in the beginning of spiritual striving. The world is worldly and bad and so forth. And the inside of us is pure and good. Therefore, we want to avoid the world and just be inside us. It's by working in the world positively that we are able to go inside us.
It's not by not working in the world. We have to strengthen our willpower, strengthen our ability to control our thoughts by doing external things well. And then, when we sit to meditate we can be successful with that as well.
Have a wonderful day.