• Sampriya

One of the most impactful things my teacher told me when I first met him was: "You have never done anything wrong". Upon hearing these words, something in me released. A weight I didn't know I was carrying fell off my shoulders.

"You have never done anything wrong" applies to all of us. But what is the Sage truly saying, and which aspect of our being is he addressing with these words? Our ego/mind will most likely have an immediate reaction to hearing them. It will refute these words as incorrect, and it will point out all the situations in which it believes that we did or said the wrong thing.

This happens because the ego/mind owns all its actions as "mine". It is certain that "if I do things right, the good outcome is due to me and if I do the wrong thing, the ensuing failure is my fault". It has forgotten that without the Self, the Source, it is not even able to breathe, let alone to act, speak and think. Without the Self, there is no world, no story and no person saying: "I exist, and it is me doing this right, or doing that wrong".

Only because we believe to exist as an individual, separate from the Self, do we assume that our actions and words are ours and that they can be wrong.

We need to remember that the Self is the Indweller, who appears to live in this body and use the instrument of the mind and senses to experience this world. The part of the Self that we call our ego/mind does not exist by itself as a separate or individual existence. It can therefore never "do" anything wrong, as if, independently from the Self. It only exists as the "hands and feet of the Self", moving and acting as the Self.

So let's no longer forget that as that Self, we are Pure Free Forever. There is no part of what we call "me" that could ever be anything other than the Self. Amaram Hum Madhuram Hum.

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  • Sampriya

In many traditions the cultivation of gratitude is considered a spiritual practice. It is easy to see why, when we study what happens as we practice gratitude.

Our attention usually rests with the thoughts in our head. We know that thoughts come and go without our inviting them. They randomly pop in and out and they usually are focused on our needs and wants, or on how we can make the day unfold according to our preferences. When we practice gratitude, our attention shifts from the projection of what we want in the near of far future to what is right now. It reorients itself away from the story in our head to the present moment - to what is, as it is.

The power of gratitude lies in this shift. Our attention is no longer consumed with thoughts; it is now aligned with the Space in which the thoughts come and go. This is the same infinite Space we become aware of in Meditation - the Space that is the Source of all thoughts and also the Source of all that is in manifestation. Our lives, our bodies, the circumstances we experience personally and collectively are manifested forms of this unchanging Space of the Self in which they appear.

The deepest practice of gratitude is to tune in to the fact that the Self is our Source and that we are never separate from it. This form of gratitude is a gift to ourselves that reveals our unchanging True Nature as the Self.

When our human lives are confronted with many hardships and when it seems that everything goes against our preferences, the practice of gratitude can become a guiding light. It gives us a chance to remember that we are not the sum of our circumstances or preferences, but the pure Light of the Self in a human form. Shining that Light with love and awareness is the highest form of gratitude.

Happy Thanksgiving to all our friends in the US.

With much love and infinite gratitude to all of you


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In this unprecedented time, we are facing great challenges, collectively and individually. Wherever we turn, we are bombarded with disquieting news about the pandemic, the election in the US, political polarisation and strife or environmental disasters. There is a general sense of urgency that creates feelings of worry and anxiety. We experience the weight of our individual mind as well as the collective mind like a heavy cloud hanging over us.

When we don't know the functioning of the human mind, every thought about these issues enters our system and is treated as real. We then add our own interpretations and conclusions to the information and thus "feed the beast" of worry, fear and agitation. As our mind gets more and more anxious, the body gets more stressed and our general wellbeing is jeopardised.

As Meditators we have not just a different vision, but we have a choice. Being able to watch our minds and knowing that we are not its content, we have the possibility to withdraw our attention from the worrisome thoughts. More importantly we know where to direct our attention. The Watcher or Knower of the mind and its movement is the source of attention. When we draw the attention back from being lost in the thoughts to watching them, we are that Knower. As the Knower or Self, we are aware of the presence of thoughts and their meaning, yet we are not affected by them. Being free from the weight of the thoughts and their offspring in the form feelings, we can take action or refrain from acting. We can get involved or not. Our action or absence thereof will not spring from fear or anxiety, but from the freedom of knowing what is best for everybody, including ourselves.

The ability to draw our attention inward, to identify with the Self and its inherent Peace and Stillness is one of the great gifts of Meditation. In a situation as distressing as the current one, we can use this gift to rise above the heavy clouds of fear and worry. Every time we see distressing information become a story in our mind, we can use it to shift our attention to the Self. We can make this challenging situation into an opportunity to supercharge our practice of knowing who we truly are. If at every unsettling thought we take a deep breath and redirect our attention to the Self (I use the mantr Amaram Hum Madhuram Hum to do that) we will quickly notice that we are no longer in the space of agitation of the mind, but we actually enter the peaceful dimension of the Self. The abundance of difficult information will become and abundance of moments of Peace. The more we do it, the more continuous the sense of Peace will be.

The gift of Meditation allows us to see that even the most dire situation can be transformed into something that is in our favour; it can become our ally in knowing and remembering our True Nature, the Self, Pure, Free Forever.

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