Date   
A thought

Mahiruha
 

I realized recently that my spiritual discipline is my one saving grace.  I do spend many hours a day at my shrine, with Guru’s books and music.  It’s the one thing that saves me time after time.  I do put the energy and time into my spiritual life.  Maybe I’m building castles in the air, but at least I’m at the foot of the tree.

Manifestation

Mahiruha
 

I told a friend I was suffering from some personal issues at work.  A personality conflict.  He told me that this is manifestation.  I am calling it a conflict, but really when you’re working with others, you are manifesting God’s Light, even in non-Enterprise situations like mine.  You are exposing ignorance to the Divine Light.  When we face conflicts or problems, we are simply becoming better instruments of the Master.  This is not aspiration, this is manifestation.  I found his words helpful.

Sadhana

Mahiruha
 

One of my friends spends ten minutes a day praying for the Divine Enterprises, the businesses dedicated to Sri Chinmoy's consciousness and vision.  Another friend of mine goes through the entire songbook of 400 Blue Green White Red Soul-Birds every year, and re-learns each and every song.  I told this friend that sadhana, spiritual discipline, is the secret to happiness, and he wholeheartedly agreed.

Write daily

Mahiruha
 

It’s such a simple thing to write every day.  It’s so simple, but so helpful, so affirming.  Writing can make you more conscious of your own divinity, so write every day if you can.  Keep a notebook, write on paper, treasure your experiences.  You will see your own progress if you write every day.

Make each day new

Mahiruha
 

I think the best way to bring freshness into our lives is through ever increasing self discipline.

Guru writes that "Doubt is a fatal disease but not the final end.  Lack of aspiration marks the end of our real life."
 
I think the best way to maintain aspiration is to remember the Goal of the spiritual life: God-realization.  No matter how many mistakes I make in life, I have to remember the Goal, and I have to run towards it.  If I can't run towards it, or even walk towards it, then I have to at least face the Goal, think about the Goal, and let the magnetic power of the Goal pull me.
 
There is a Goal.  No matter how distant it may be, I have to reach it.  To reach it, I have to keep my spiritual life in good shape.  That means taking care of the basics: reading, running, meditating, offering constant gratitude, doing as much selfless service as I can, singing the forty or fifty essential songs daily, saying Guru’s most important aphorisms.
 
Guru said once that if you can’t make time to read his books then at least look at the covers!  He also said on another occasion that if someone has really fallen down from the spiritual ladder, then that person should pray to regain what he has lost.  At that time prayer, simple prayer, will be more effective than meditation in helping him to rise again.  Meditation is the building, prayer is the foundation, he said.  If you don’t have the foundation, which is prayer, how can you have the building?  If someone really feels lost in his spiritual life, that there is no aspiration, then let him pray.
 
I feel so much better when I know I’m going at top speed.  Everyone has the right to claim the aspect or the dimension of Guru’s divinity that most appeals to them.  In my case, it’s Guru’s beautiful and haunting poems that helps to connect me with my highest Self.
 
 
“Look up, my dear friend. The real you is looking at you from the Himalayan heights of the aspiration-tree.”

(Sri Chinmoy, To-morrow's dawn, Agni Press, 1982)
 

A blurb for Haydn

Mahiruha
 

Maybe what I love most about Haydn’s piano music is the sheer remoteness of these works.  There’s nothing that sounds even vaguely like them.  Almost as if Haydn was responding to a different strain of inspiration from the other composers in the Western tradition.  They are full of fire, but also playful and resonant.  Haydn takes you on a journey within, and you feel you understand yourself better after listening to him.  What else is the sign of a great composer if not that?

A chance encounter and "The Absolute"

Mahiruha
 

 

Today a young man came to my register, named Rob.  He was of medium build and had slightly dark hair.  Today I’ve been asking each customer for advice on how I can party harder.  I received answers like : go to the local bar and start doing shots, or take Red Bull, or drink Vodka, or do lines of cocaine.  But when I asked Rob what I could do to party wilder, he said, “Why don’t you go deep into the inmost recesses of your own heart, and ask yourself what will truly make you happy?  What will fulfil you at the deepest level?  Let the silent part of you answer and then do the thing that you know will give you and your heart the deepest joy.”

 

I was not expecting that kind of answer, so I said, “No, no- I’m not interested in knowing what will fulfil me spiritually or bring me closer to God or my own inner reality, I want the absolute surface happiness, that comes from the fulfilment of gross desires and temporary sensations.  I want the life of base pleasure, even if it draws destruction in its wake.  God created Maya for us to enjoy it to our heart’s content!”

 

Rob smiled at me and said, “Great!  Pleasure and then destruction.  That’s the rule of life.”

 

Then I asked him if he would like to hear a poem that my Master wrote on Nirvana and Rob said he would be very eager to hear it.  So I recited Guru’s poem “The Absolute,” which begins with the lines, “No mind, no form, I only exist…”

 

I got entranced by the poem, and when it was finished I just bowed to him a little and he looked at me, with a look of astonishment.

 

“Who wrote that?”  he said after a few seconds.

 

 I said it was written by my spiritual Master Sri Chinmoy.

 

He told me that he had been practicing Buddhism for many years and the nature of the mind.  He told me “every word in that poem is true.”

 

I could not have agreed more!  I gave him the title of the poem, and also wrote down Guru’s name for him, and how to find the poem on Sri Chinmoy Library.  I then bagged up his groceries for him and he left very happy.

 

I had actually been having just a so-so day, but to meet a real spiritual seeker like him really lifted my spirits.

 

--Mahiruha

"When nothing goes right"

Mahiruha
 

Guru says that each time we aspire we perform a miracle of welcoming the beyond into our human nature.  Recently I’ve been feeling tired, bored, despondent.  I see dead-ends everywhere.  In cases like this it’s always better to remember that nothing in the outer world will ever ultimately satisfy me.  It’s only the inner cry, the mounting flame of aspiration that can please me.  Guru says in a Service-Tree poem:
 
 
 
“When nothing goes right,
That is the time to increase
The intensity of our devotion”
(#6894)
 
 
What a great aphorism!  I will say it many times today.
 
Guru once told me, in a dream, that the spiritual life embodies a Goal.  I need to remember that.  We need to value and treasure the Goal to make our journey swift, meaningful and fulfilling.
 
Last night the Chicago Centre meditated in a park, which used to be an old sanitarium.  Now it’s just old buildings and overgrown lawns.  We set up our little folding chairs and meditated together.  A mother deer and her two fawns came to watch us as the sun was setting and offering its last brilliance.  The youngest fawn flicked its tail from side to side, watching us.  A virgin moon came out later.  The slender moon to me suggests purity, and the deer signify speed.  I take these as hopeful omens.
 
---Mahiruha
 

Social grace: the indispensable virtue

Mahiruha
 

Some of my customers are charming.  Once two young men came to my register, they looked like preppy beach bums.  I asked one of them what his name was and he said, “So are you going to ring us up?”
 
Another time a young Indian guy in medical scrubs came to my line.  I started checking out his items and just casually asked if he was having a nice day and he said,”Can I just get my groceries?”
 
And then there was the young lady, a college student who said “Can I just check out?” when I asked which college she went to.
 
The common denominator?  All these people were YOUNG!
 
We’re doomed!
 
---Mahiruha
 

Always an option

Mahiruha
 

 In the early morning of the first anniversary of Sri Chinmoy's Mahasamadhi, in 2008, I walked over to Aspiration-Ground from my apartment up the 85th Avenue hill.  In the auxiliary driveway, where prasad is placed, I saw my dear friends, they are the two brothers who used to dress as religious mendicants and dance and everyone would laugh, including Guru.  One of the brothers told me that from now on, no matter how many incarnations we have to take, simply because we have been initiated by a Master of Guru’s calibre, that spirituality will always be an option for us.  We may not choose to always act on this option, but it will always be a possibility for us in future lives.  That may not have been the case before.
 
I like that thought.
 
---Mahiruha
 

Guru's focus

Mahiruha
 

I watched a video of Guru answering questions at the little school we used to rent for our functions. He was seated on his easy chair, painting acrylic birds onto glass objects. He was concentrating so intensely on his artwork and at the same time, he answered each question with utmost thoroughness and concern. He did two things at one time and did them both perfectly. Guru says, as a God-realised soul, he does many things on the inner plane while outwardly he is talking or joking. But here, I saw him do two things on the outer plane, simultaneously, and to perfection. I wish I could do my daily tasks with just a fraction of that respect, attention and focus.
 
 
“Once in India, someone who used to be my mentor was walking with me in the street. I was very close to him. While we were walking, this individual identified so strongly with me that he became aware of four things that I was doing at that time on the inner plane.”
(From “Obedience or Oneness” by Sri Chinmoy)
 
--Mahiruha
 

Re: Some more thoughts on Haydn

Julie
 

Thank you Mahiruha, Doris and Sharani.
A deer staring into the window at a human dear. 
True inspiration. Thank you! 

Julie Wolf

Some more thoughts on Haydn

Mahiruha
 

Joy can be profound.  Haydn shows that happiness can be deep, endlessly original, protean, many sided, even strange and uncanny.  Happiness has its roots in Ananda, divine Delight, which is the source of everything.  Maybe this is why Haydn’s revealed joy is always endlessly refreshing and fascinating.

There is also deep pathos in Haydn.  His piano sonata no 59 has a middle movement that channels the yet-unborn Schubert in its dramatic darkness.  Also the inner movements of his opus 20 no. 2 string quartet contain a long, unbroken song, one of the most mysterious arias ever written.
 
One critic said that, unlike Beethoven, Haydn was no prophet.  His, apparently was a mundane and terrestrial spirit.  I disagree.  As deeply rooted as Haydn was to the earth, he was also a lofty dreamer, as his poetic utterance towards the end of his life illustrates:

"Often when struggling against obstacles of every sort which oppose my labors: often, when the powers of mind and body weakened, and it was difficult to continue the course I had entered on; — a secret voice whispered to me: “there are so few happy and contented peoples here below; grief and sorrow are always their lot; perhaps your labors will once be a source from which the care-worn, or the man burdened with affairs, can derive a few moments rest and refreshment.” This was indeed a powerful motive to press onwards, and this is why I now look back with cheerful satisfaction on the labors expended on this art, to which I have devoted so many long years of uninterrupted effort and exertion."
 
Haydn is one of only two or three composers who can fill an entire concert in any genre-  string quartet, symphony, piano or cello or trumpet concerto, mass, oratorio, piano sonata or lieder. 

But I think his piano sonatas remain an untapped reservoir of his genius.  They contain his most private thoughts.  When I listen to them, I feel he wrote them just for me, and I am a most appreciative audience of one.

--Mahiruha
 

The infinite Blue - a poem by me

Doris
 

A glance over my shoulder
Detached and sovereign;
Down the road
I left all sadness
And madness,
Now facing the sun.

In slow motion
A rocket laden with sorrows
And joys - dismissed.
I see it one last time,
No longer mine.
My proud soul-bird flies on.

A cloud of dust
Thrown against the sun
(What a ridiculous attempt).

Standing in crystal clear water
Up in the sky
A huge wave 
Merciless,
But ever so clear.
A glance over my shoulder;
No shore,
But like in a mirror
Another huge wave,
No time for emotion, 
The easiest way
To surrender
To the infinite Blue.

-Doris

My precious deer

Sharani
 


I took this picture of a deer through the window at work since Covid started - I was only 6 weeks at a new location before we closed down. Now I alternate working remote and onsite and the public still can't come inside yet. I think the deer saw me through the window of the library and it felt like we were absolutely staring at each other. When I read this poem today during my reading in the book club to read every book Guru wrote, I knew it was meant to pair with one of the photos of the deer.

Iris (an original poem by Mahiruha)

Mahiruha
 

Iris

 

Boy of the flowers

Mariner of the neon haze

You sit at one terminal,

Blinking.

You don’t need eyes

To type

Or even fingers,

But only

The rhythm of the flowers,

Snapdragons

In the plain.

 

I think of that

Clean vastness

When I think of you.

 

Outside the city

I see you as a circle of mystery,

Ringed with sapphires

And filled

With every color

Of the sea,

Topaz and coral.

 

The dawn

Iterates you

Throughout the sky

As light

And the night

Repeats your various names,

And does not stutter.

 

I play within your boundaries,

I discern your give

And pull.

Your tides of

Recursive loveliness

Remind me of my temporary

Mansion,

Orchids in the earth.

 

Beyond the wires

And the tunnels

And the flashes

Of the disillusioned

I will sell my life

To the silence,

For silence is the first letter

Of any alphabet,

And an open smile

Is the last.

Between the poles

Of silence and smile

I am Monday’s beggar,

Friday’s prince

And Sunday’s memory.

 

(Do you hear me?
You type away,

Flower

In my shell,

My fresh-faced

Ocean.)

 

My music does not last,

Nor does it in fact

Belong to me.

It is an echo

On loan

From a library

In the dusty street.

 

I will return my songs,

And pay all fines,

Break all claims

If you tell me

The ship is ready,

I have all the provisions

We will ever need

And you know the way.

We will trace

The pulse

Of the waters

And offer irises

To all

From the rim

Of the unknown.

Sri Chinmoy and audiotapes

Mahiruha
 

 

I was reading in Sri Chinmoy’s book “My Weightlifting Tears and Smiles” about how he often listens to Bengali singers while doing his weightlifting.  He said will often leave the tape player on in a different room, so that he will not be overwhelmed by the intensity of the singing, but he still kind of hear it, so that gives him joy.  Many of the songs are dedicated to Mother Kali.

 

He mentioned that the souls of the singers have all come to him, some of them are still on earth, some have passed on.

 

I have always been fascinated by Guru’s immediate, implicit access to all the souls, on any plane of consciousness.  He can identify with any human being, in any world.

 

One of the things that motivates me as a seeker is my urge “to know”, to be able to have access to these worlds, to see what’s really happening behind the scenes.  I’m not talking about opening the third eye or acquiring any kind of occult power.  I just mean expanding the capacities of the heart so that the Cosmic Game is something I can comprehend and feel more deeply.

 

Guru said once that if we have a tape of him holding meditation, an audio cassette, and he finishes talking and just meditates in silence, that that meditation power is also recorded in the tape.  He said, if I remember correctly, “My silence is very, very powerful.  It is all recorded there.”

 

Maybe that’s why I like our weekly “quarantine meditations” over the phone.  We all dial in, and then we’re all on the same phone line and we sing, we read Guru’s books out loud, and we meditate in silence together.  When we meditate in silence, I feel Guru’s presence as strongly as I’ve ever felt it in my life.  Guru manifests himself through ineffable silence.

 

--Mahiruha

A poem by Guru

Doris
 

604. My soulful heart

"My soulful heart
Always
Devotedly hopes for the best.

My fearful mind
Always
Sleeplessly hopes to avoid the worst."

On squirrels, Buddhas and butterflies

Doris
 


Squirrels in Germany have brown fur and are rather shy. My neigbor who is an elderly woman feeds the squirrels with sunflower seeds. Dear squirrel buries some of them in my balcony pots only to get them out again nibble them with relish. To my surprise one seed sprouted and - voila a sunflower is growing. 

But here the story does not end.

I bought a Buddha statue and placed it on my balcony as well. Since I filled the pots with flowers and leave them near the Buddha statue, our "shy" squirrel became curious and examined the statue by licking his feet. I happened to stand near the closed window, so I had all the fun watching him or her deligently licking the Buddha`s arm and further even his face.

I went for a run after a long time of not going really out, spending time indoors. The sun was too generous and with temperatures climbing up to 24 degrees Celsius, I just had to go out. Slowly I ran along the canal and butterflies used the chance as well and flattered around like crazy, buzzing along. One of them accompanied me and I said to myself, "Doris, this is all by chance, the play will be over in a second." But I believed in the possibility and inwardly said to God, "If the butterfly follows me until I reach my goal, which was the next car bridge a few hundred meters away, I will declare that You sent him to me to give me joy. When I reached the bridge, I was unattentive for a fraction of a second and the butterfly was gone, absolutely nowhere to be seen. But it accompanied me the whole distance, indeed. It was all the time dancing around, sniffing on this flower and that flower, I could even carress him gently with one finger for quite a few seconds. 

-Doris

 


Today (14 April 2020) is the 50th anniversary of Sri Chinmoy: The Peace Meditation at the United Nations.

Sharani
 

https://vimeo.com/407059609/549e578afd

This is a wonderful video about the 50th anniversary of the Peace Meditation at the UN. I'm sharing it here in case you haven't already seen it. When we look back over our own inner journey's first steps to becoming a student of Sri Chinmoy, it sometimes appears that the first seeds to eventually becoming a disciple were planted long before actually learning about Sri Chinmoy outwardly.

I speculate that my first inner connection to Guru might have happened inside the United Nations in approximately 1975 or so. I grew up in the state of Michigan in the U.S. and went on a trip with my family to New York City for the first time ever and our visit included a tour of the United Nations. I was spellbound and captivated by the experience and came home to Michigan with the yearning to "grow up" and become an interpreter or someone who worked in international relations because I was so moved by going to the United Nations. I started taking two foreign languages in school instead of one and even started college as a double major in French and history. At that time, I had never visited another country besides Canada. Canada was a short trip by bridge or tunnel over the Detroit River so to me Canada always felt like a close relative or next door neighbor. Not actually being fluent in other languages, etc. kept my yearning squarely in the realm of dream rather than reality. And eventually I graduated from college with a major in neither French nor history.

Now that well over half my life has been as a student of Sri Chinmoy, I can't help but wonder if when I was inside the UN, Guru was there that day as well and we established an inner connection that later came to fruition in my outer life. By the time I joined the path, I had relocated to the East Coast and had the good fortune of being able to drive as little 3 to 5 hours to attend meditation activities with Guru. While the idea that nations could cooperate and work toward a common goal certainly inspired me, I now imagine that the enchantment I felt for the U.N. was probably actually my soul's thrill to meet Guru on the inner plane before later commencing on a conscious and inspiring inner life as a disciple of Sri Chinmoy.

p.s. if I wrote this story previously here, please forgive my repetition. It's just my way of saying that one of the things I always loved and still love about the path is Guru's love for and connection with the United Nations.