67 – 68 Fixing Bumps In The Road

Bhagavad Gita, chapter two, verse 67 – 68

Verses 67 and 68 are in answer to the dilemma presented in verse 66: “There is no intelligence or meditation for one whose senses are not restrained, and for one who does not meditate there is no serenity. Without serenity how can there be happiness?”

67 – The Bump
When the mind is filled with the acquisitions provided by the roaming senses, it carries away one’s Intelligence, like the wind a ship on the water. 

You’ve made good progress and have some real wisdom, and along comes a bump in the road and you start missing your meditation practice. Not because it is difficult to meditate, but because the ‘roaming senses’ are busy 24/7 and you’ve gotten caught up in things and can’t find the time. You may think it is because you are a responsible person and have so much to do. But this is not why you are not meditating.

You are not meditating because, looking for a little happiness, you get seduced by the things in your mind “provided by the roaming senses”—your thoughts about these things, your thoughts about your thoughts, and the way they make you feel. And the “I-do-stuff” part of your mind (ahamkara) can’t relax, can’t leave these things alone.

Happiness. Verse 66 above very clearly states that you’re not going to get it without meditation. All that rustling around and duty-doing isn’t going to do it. Meditation is.

You have a right to happiness.
It is your natural state.

68 – The Fix
Therefore, Mighty Armed, endeavor to withdraw completely the senses from the objects of sense, thus reestablishing your Intelligence.

This verse is giving us the remedy for the occasional bump in the road when we get caught up in things. ‘Things’ are always sense objects even when they look like ‘shoulds’—the roaming senses pick up on ‘things’ (that’s what senses do) and into the mind they go, and there they work their evil magic and get us all excited and involved again. Now the mind is a whirlwind of activity, “like the wind a ship on the water”… in a storm.

You may think that something that is up in your life doesn’t qualify as a sense object, so let me clarify that. Anything you can perceive, be conscious of, is an ‘object of sense’ because it is a product of what the senses have brought into your mind where you are conscious of it*.

* The exception to this is memory of direct experience.

“Mighty Armed”

By addressing Arjuna as Mighty Armed, Lord Krishna is calling you ‘strong’; He is saying to you, “You can do this, so make the effort.”

Effort? What happened to surrender? Well, that is for the meditation room, so it’s off to the meditation room and away from all the glitter and guts. That is the effort. Now that we’re here in the meditation room, we can breathe a sigh of relief as we take this opportunity to surrender to the Divine, and turn things over to That—It always knows what It’s doing, even when we don’t—and kick back.

Here in the meditation room we know we’re not doing anything, we’ve delegated all that. In here we are completely free. In here the magic of pratyahara will relieve us of our distress by withdrawing the senses from their objects and bring us serenity and happiness.

So if you want to know why you have trouble getting yourself to meditate, this is it: You are living in a storm of things in your mind creating havoc. Make the effort to walk away from it (it only takes a second or two) and get into your meditation room. Once you’re there, you know what to do: NOTHING. Your mind may rebel, but your soul will rejoice.

Namaste (I bow to the Divine One that You really are),
Durga Ma
durgama.com
phoenixmetaphysical.com


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4 thoughts on “67 – 68 Fixing Bumps In The Road

  1. Galen

    I have returned and is it not a wonderment that this chapter and its contents give full force of how little control I have of my senses; I just hit the wall once again. I chip away at the edges of my ego so as to not have direct confrontation, I have never won a battle but continue to struggle and suffer in the process of my life. This is the time I experience the uselessness of effort but the pulling of life toward self will not let go; I would like to surrender to one are the other. Perhaps i have been on the razors edge to long, time to man up. I am really not sure of what I am talking about or if it makes sense.

    Always my love
    Galen

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  2. Dear Ma,

    Lovely. I have a lot to say in response to this as it has been something I have been contemplating quite a bit- in the last few hours prior to seeing the new post (funny that’s always the case!). But I have a question instead…

    You mentioned that the memory of a direct experience is different. I know this experientially, but I am wondering WHY? I am also wondering when there is a unprompted period of time when I suddenly am noticing God in everyone and everything when outside the meditation room if this is related to such a memory or if it’s something different? It’s not union, because there is certainly an “I” that’s perceiving it and noticing it- but it has a very specific signature or quality of experience that I’m not exactly able to discern as a particular sensory experience.
    Love,
    Anandi

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    1. Dear Anandi,

      Direct experience: ‘Direct’ means that there is no means, no via, involved in the experience, there is nothing between you and what you experience that is making this experience happen. Regarding the senses, this means that they are not involved but are ‘withdrawn’, restrained, inactive, and not bringing anything into the mind for you to know, to experience, to be conscious OF. With direct perception, perception is taking place by means of the sense faculties (your powers of perception) but not the sense organs. With direct experience, neither the sense faculties nor the sense organs are involved. The sense organs are out of the picture in both cases. In the post, I used the term ‘direct experience’ to include both.

      This experience is profound, so profound in fact, that you will never forget it. It is instantly established in the mind’s memory (ordinarily, for something to become established in memory it has to stick it out for a couple of weeks in short-term memory to be able to become established in long term memory). Direct experience is so profound that it changes you, it changes the way you see things, the way you relate to others and to the world in general. You like this experience very much, and become committed to the practice that brought it to you.

      Re noticing God in everyone and everything when outside the meditation room: This has nothing to do with the senses, they are just by the way. It may not be union, but it is because of union. Your reality has shifted and during these periods of time you are seeing more Truth around you.

      Love,
      Durga Ma

      Like

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