|Relationship with God|
Relationship with GOD
Meditation has been described as the process in which I listen to God. In contrast to that, prayer is sometimes described as the process when I speak to God. To speak to God is very important, but it is also important to let the mind become quiet, stable and open to receive whatever God wishes to say to me. Sometimes we may feel that God is so far away, so far out of reach that it is impossible to have a living relationship with God. We may be contented to just perform rituals, devotion and prayers, or perhaps even lose interest in the subject of God. But it is only a question of time until we come to the point where we say, "Well may be God exists", or "Maybe He doesn't". Without focusing on the inner aspects of religion and spirituality, or on any way of reaching out to God, we have lost that inner experience and strength needed in our lives today.
When a pendulum reaches the end of its swing, it begins to swing back in the other direction. We have been experimenting externally with the things of materialism within a consumer society, and the pendulum of these actions has swung so far as to hit the wall. It is unable to go any further in that direction. The pendulum now has to swing in the other direction. This is why people are again rediscovering the beauty of spirituality, the joy of meditation and the appreciation of the need for a spiritual relationship with the Supreme.
Meditation is very simple. It doesn't require years and years of study and practice. In fact, it can be learned within a few minutes, but we will be able to receive complete benefit to the extent we are interested and aspire to practice meditation. The process of actually understanding the technique of meditation consists of a few simple steps.
The first step: Interest in meditation. I will be interested when I have experimented with the things the external world has to offer and realise that these are not fulfilling the needs of the spirit.
The second step: Create time and space. When I consider something to be important or essential, I cut out other things to make time for it. In the past people used to feel that meditation was a luxury, either for those with excessive leisure time or for people who were old or retired and had nothing else to do. Today I see mediation very differently. I see meditation as the mechanism for survival. We are facing a very uncertain future. Meditation is definitely a method to enable us to survive in today's world. So let me recognise its importance and give it time. Even little children today say how busy they are. Everyone is busy in something or the other. It is very easy to shrug the shoulders and say, "Look, I am very busy. What can I do?" But when I recognise that it is essential, I will make a space for it.
The third step: Study. A certain amount of information is required and is obtained through study.
The fourth step: Practise.
The fifth step: Remaining in a good atmosphere, with the right type of friends, free from any influences that may pull my mind in a direction contrary to the direction that I want to take. I have chosen to meditate and I have also acquired some instruction. Now I understand I am a soul and not this body. I sit comfortably. I begin to focus my attention here on the centre of the forehead and I see myself as a soul.
In addition, meditation means silence and solitude, not necessarily isolation but inner solitude. Meditation is very much a training to be able to focus inward in order to live life in the way it should be lived. This type of meditation is not something that I practice a few minutes morning and night. I have created a pattern of consciousness, an awareness of my own spiritual identity. I stop identifying with the things of a physical body, and begin to understand my true identity of that inner being. So as I walk, talk and move, I make sure that my vision of others is also spiritual. It means I am not seeing others in terms of gender of man, woman or in terms of your age, nationality, physical background, social status, education or occupation, but I am now seeing you, a soul as my eternal brother. Even though the soul may be in a male or a female body, we describe the soul as brother and we describe the relationships within the world in spiritual terms as being a brotherhood.
When I see you as a spiritual being, my attitude towards you change very quickly. I find that those physical divisions and blocks that divide or obstruct, no longer exist. But the vision of the soul, seeing others as souls and the interaction on the level of soul to soul creates a natural sweetness and respect within my behavior. This experience reaches to the state where every exchange between human beings gives happiness and joy and brings each other closer to God. As I practice this awareness, during the day, of being a soul and seeing the soul, then when I have a few minutes to sit quietly, within one moment, with just one thought I am able to experience a very natural and easy detachment from the consciousness of the body. I am still in this world of matter and in the bondage of matter and yet I am free from this bondage.
In this awareness of I the soul, I want to go further. I want to experience a connection, a relationship with God. Just as there is knowledge and awareness of the soul as a being of light, there is also very simple information about the concept of God, as a being of light. Not a physical image, just simply a being of light. One who is absolute, absolute in truth, absolute in beauty, purity, love, peace and bliss. This is why I want to be able to connect with the Supreme. On a human level the closer the relationship with someone, the greater the influence. Remember the days of your childhood, of adolescence and maturity and you will see the truth of this.
The deeper the connection with someone the greater the impact they have on the way you think, behave, sometimes even the manner in which you speak. We pick up words, accents and concepts from each other. We begin to talk the same. Certainly we then begin to think the same. This may or may not be good. We often subconsciously choose our choice of food, our style of dress etc. or we just get carried along by circumstances. Much later we may detach long enough to look at ourselves and say,: "That period of my life was good. I had very good friends and they were able to help me in the positive direction". Or perhaps we may say, "That period of my life was not as I wanted it to be, because the friends and the company I had weren't as positive as they could have been".
In a similar way, the good company of God is also able to influence us. The path of meditation is a personal and conscious choice to form a relationship with God and to experience this positive influence. As I turn my attention to myself, the eternal soul, I consciously detach my awareness from this physical body and I focus my mind on the awareness of God, a being who is Supreme. Being in the presence of God, I experience a very beautiful discovery. This is a relationship I had ignored, forgotten or been searching for a very long time. Certainly I hadn't actually been enjoying the experience of that connection.
Someone once described how before finding an accurate method to actually connect with God, she had felt so much love for God. She described it as having pen friend. Some of you may have had pen friends to whom you have been writing letters for many years. I know I did this for many years during the early years of my teens, but we never had an opportunity to meet. I had built up an image in my mind of what she must be like, not just in terms of appearance because we had sent photographs to each other but in terms of how she was as a person. When the opportunity came to meet her it was fascinating, because certain aspects of her I could identify within terms of what I had thought about but there were obviously other factors of her personality I did not know as they were never expressed through letters.
It was a whole new discovery even though our relationship had been going on for long time. In a similar way, may be I have been searching for God for a very long time or I have had certain experiences of God already or I have ignored Him. When I consciously choose to meditate, now I simply come to God in that awareness of God as a being of light. I know God has no physical or angelic images and I have to go beyond all deity, divine images. Now, I am actually meeting the Supreme as He is. I focus myself on this being of light and make contact. Now in this connection I discover the infinity of the ocean, the vastness of the attributes of God, the Supreme. And as I discover and experience those attributes, I begin to fill myself with that unlimited peace, with a love that is completely nonjudgmental, unconditional, a love that is not expecting not demanding a return. The soul feels those rays of peace and love coming from God reaching the soul. It is very beautiful discovery! This first experience of trying to think of God while my mind is scattering in many directions is called initiation.
With information and practice, I am soon able to focus my mind and I come to the state of meditation where my thoughts are now focused around God, thinking of the form of Light, and the qualities of God, and discovering the relationships with God. To describe those relationships in human terms is always dangerous, because when I say God is our father, depending on whether your experience of your physical father has been pleasant or harsh, those feelings and images positive or negative will arise within. But think about those relationships in their absolute definition. What is an ideal Father like? The Supreme Father is the ideal one. What is the Supreme Mother like? Think about it and that is who God is. In fact I should say God is the Mother and then the Father. There is a very simple analogy that explains why it should be so that whenever we sing to praise the God, we tend to say Mother first and then the Father rather than the other way round. On biological level the first connection and relationship the child has, in particular whilst in the womb, is only with the mother. After birth the relationship is then with the father. So, the first relationship is with the mother, the one who actually generates, creates and sustains, and the connection with the father. When I the soul go into the path of spirituality, the very first experience is the experience of God's love coming back to the soul, to revive it, to give it a new life, a new birth and then to nurture and sustain and give it strength.
There is another analogy in this mother and father situation. You know when a child goes out to play, naturally he may return a little dirty or dusty. When a dusty child comes home, what will the father often do? I do not know whether it applies in your household, but certainly it does apply in a majority of households even today. The tendency of the fathers is to say, " Go to your mother and get cleaned up", or just "Go and clean up". It is unlikely, that the father himself would pick up and clean the child. But the response of the mother is a very different one. The mother will instantly pick up and clean the child with a lot of love. In the same way when the soul first comes to God and experiences that connection with the Supreme , we are aware of how many mistakes we have made, how much dirt and dust we have accumulated within the self and so we may hesitate. How can I approach God if I am not worthy? But God adopts the compassionate role of the Mother and simply accepts the soul, no matter what the condition may be. So the first step and relationship: God, the Mother, the ocean of love, of forgiveness, of mercy.
After taking strength from that love and experiencing a process of cleansing, I am able to see God in the role of my Father, the one who gives me a very special in hesitance, that of happiness. In this way one can develop all aspects of all relationships; God as the teacher, the Supreme Satguru, the guide, as companion, beloved, and child. The important thing is to make time and start bringing God back into the centre of my life, instead of letting God be on the periphery. In the morning and evening, spend a few minutes, just concentrating, meditating on the subject of God. Throughout the day have the awareness of God as your friend.
Let us spend a minute in meditation together. I will speak my own thoughts and I invite you to follow those ideas:
As the body sits quietly......the attention of my mind turns within..... and in this awareness, of I...... the eternal soul..... I focus my thoughts on the Supreme.... the being of light. God's light.... reaches the soul.... and purifies the soul... That light cleanses the soul... and I come back to that original state of purity and peace.
By Rajyogini Brahma Kumari Jayanti