We recently read a story about Pete Seeger, the well-known singer and social activist. Many of his songs became themes for social justice, environmental awareness, and non-violence. Here is the wonderful story:
Making good decisions is one of life’s most important skills, and yet we have gotten virtually no training. Sometimes even life-defining choices such as marriage, job, or taking up a spiritual quest are given little energy. Here is an illuminating example.
“I’m feeling so stressed at work. What can I do about it?”
We recently attended a program by an Indian doctor on the power of the mind. Some years ago he was dying of cancer, was given only a few days to live. Then he had an experience of God telling him he would be healed through the power of his mind. In his case, God had to come three times to reassure him, since his thoughts kept slipping back into doubt and hopelessness. He was completely cured and has dedicated himself to helping others do the same.
It was one of the most remarkable evenings of my life. I sat mesmerized, along with nearly two thousand five hundred others in the auditorium, listening to ragas played by some of India’s finest musicians. Shiv Kumar Sharma and Hari Prasad Chaurasia have spent a lifetime mastering Indian classical music and have been awarded the highest honors of a grateful nation.
We are on the move again. We will have slept in four different hotels in the last week. Moreover, the maximum weight for flying in India is 15 kilograms (33 pounds). That’s the limit of our portable possessions these days.
Generally, insights are proceeded by a certain train of thought. But once in a while they just plop into the mind like a raindrop falling from a clear sky. Yesterday, while meditating with the Ananda Assisi community, a perception popped into my mind without any preamble: “We need to move from ‘Nowhere’ to ‘Now Here.’” Plop!
Let me set the scene: an amphitheater packed with several hundred people while, in the background, the bare wood of an emerging temple rises miraculously. People from many nations immersing themselves in the teachings of Paramhansa Yogananda and Swami Kriyananda. Add stirring music, drama, friendship, joy, and light. Here, for a brief transformative week, the astral plane has touched the earth. It is Spiritual Renewal Week at Ananda Village.
What should I do? This is the question we hear most frequently. It might take the form of “What should I do about a short temper?” or “What should I do about my mind wandering during meditation?” Simply asking “What should I do?” means that you’re ready to move beyond passivity and engage your willpower. Congratulate yourself whenever you ask this question, because you are halfway to the solution.