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Distinguishing desires of the mind from other desires- Bhagavad Gita, Chapter 2:57

One’s wisdom stands firm by remaining unaffected in all situations, neither rejoicing nor lamenting whether encountering the pleasant or unpleasant. — Bhagavad Gita, chapter two, verse 57  

When the mind stands unmoving in deep meditation (samadhi), union (yoga) is attained. When the mind becomes active again, this state is lost. Desires of the mind are the cause of mental activity.

Desires of the Mind
The effects of contact of the senses with their objects.

What goes into the mind gets there through the senses. We like something that is pleasant, and because we like the feeling it gives us, we desire it. These feelings are learned, but there are other kinds of feelings that are not. Distinguishing these will help us to distinguish desires of the mind from other kinds of desires.

Because of the association of desires with feelings, and feelings with emotions, many spiritual people believe that emotions must be done away with in order to do away with desires. This logic is understandable, but it is only logic, another function of the mind. Desires, feelings and emotions are related but are not the same. 

Desires
Wants.

Feelings
The experience of emotions.

Emotions
Active configurations in the energy body corresponding to biochemical and neurological events in the physical body.

NATURAL and LEARNED EMOTIONS

It is often thought that emotions are in the mind. The event-memory associated with an emotion may be in the mind, but the emotion is in the body.

A natural emotion is seated in the body and is something you will have as long as you have a body. Its primary purpose is survival. A natural emotion is a pure emotion.

A bear comes to the door. Fear produces adrenaline to handle the situation before you even know there is a bear at the door (the body is very smart).

A learned emotion is seated in the mind and happens in the body. Memories of events and the feelings they generated are held in the mind. The emotion this information evokes when revisited, triggered by a similar situation, happens in the body.

You are sitting in your high-chair eating an apple when your father comes in and engages in a heated argument with your mother. As an adult, even though you do not remember this event, you don’t like apples.

How to Know the Difference

When an emotion continues long after the event that triggered it, it is learned. When it goes away soon after the event is ended, it is probably natural.

Emotions remembered by the mind that reassert themselves under similar circumstances are learned emotions. Natural emotions come with the packaging, hard wired, so to speak. But there are also emotions that have been learned by the body, stored in body-memory.

PHYSICAL EMOTIONS

The body has a mind of its own.

Desires of the body, such as its desire to survive, can generate learned physical emotions.

You live where there are bears, Uncle Henry bangs on the door, and bingo, adrenaline rush. There was no bear, but the body remembered the last time when it really was a bear and reacted accordingly.

It can be difficult to distinguish physical emotions from those that are mentally based, for when a physical emotion arises the mind will often come up with something to accompany it.

Physical emotions often happen to people during Surrender Meditation. The experience is one of having an emotion without any mental content. There is a definite knowing that the body is having the emotion apart from any mental association.

The other day, my chiropractor put his hands on my shoulders and gave me a short massage. I found myself in the midst of a physical emotion in which the body was about to cry. Looking closely at this phenomena, there was no mental content at all. The body was having its own emotional response to being touched. I was aware that the body was having sadness even though I wasn’t feeling sad but very peaceful. It was a very positive experience, and one that did not disturb the mind.

One can eventually become able to distinguish among learned, natural and physical emotions outside of meditation. The ability to do this requires experienced self-honesty and comes over time. But just knowing about it can accelerate the ability to distinguish desires of the mind from other kinds of desires by using this criteria:

Natural Emotions
Short Term, Event Related

Physical: Hard wired emotions designed in the best interest of the body’s wellbeing involving biochemical and neurological responses to real-time events.
Not related to Desires of the Mind.

Learned Emotions
Long Term Residuals

Mental: Stored memories, conscious and subconscious, of events associated with strong feelings trigger the same emotions under similar circumstances.
Directly related to Desires of the Mind.

Physical: Body-memories of past events superimposed on natural emotions trigger the same emotions under similar circumstances.
Not related to Desires of the Mind.

Desires of the Mind
All desires of the mind are learned

Because everything that gets into the mind gets there through the senses, all desires of the mind are sense-related and learned:

What feels good is desirable—positive desire: you want it.
What feels bad is undesirable—negative desire: you want to avoid it.

WHAT TO DO

Most of the desires we experience on a day-to-day basis are of the mind. When a ‘want’ or a ‘like’ arises, see if you can determine its source. This is more helpful than trying to make it go away, even if you don’t find the answer. Eventually, because you are paying attention you will become distanced from the experience, and the desire itself will also become distanced, separated from you, and ultimately lose its influence.

Jaya Bhagavan (Victory to Truth),
Durga Ma

P.S.  When the same emotional response to the same or similar events occur traumatically or repeatedly or both, a ‘signature’ is recorded in the energy field of the body. This field is called the energy body, emotional body, or astral body. When only the physical body and mind are addressed in the process of changing ‘behaviors’ in order to change the brain, one may continue to experience great suffering. This is because the emotional signatures have not changed, and why it is so difficult to change unwanted patterns. This omission can leave a person feeling like ‘something is really wrong with me’ and resorting to denial out of desperation. The converse is also true: Just dealing with the energy is not the answer either.


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Food, Sacrifice, Tapas & Giving – Bhagavad Gita, Ch 17, Vs 11-22

Faith

In these verses Lord Krishna is answering Arjuna’s question on Faith. He began His answer with Sacrifice in verses 2 – 10. The following verses are expansions on this answer and include not only sacrifice, but foods, kinds of austerities (tapas) and giving.

Previously:
Arjuna spoke: “What is the status of those who sacrifice without consideration of scriptural injunctions but sacrifice with faith? Is it sattva, rajas or tamas?” — chapter 17, verse 1.

Foods

7 – 10
Like sacrifices, austerities and gifts, the foods preferred by all are of three kinds. Now hear of these distinctions:

The kinds of foods mentioned in these three verses have their roots in times before the Indus Valley Civilization.Sattvic Foods

(8) Foods that are sweet, succulent, juicy, nourishing and promote life, energy, strength, health, happiness and satisfaction, are dear to the sattvic.

Foods that are sweet, etc. Refined sugar is not what is meant by ‘sweet’, but is considered to be ‘stale’.

Rajasic Foods(9) Foods that are very bitter, very sour, very salty, very hot, very pungent, very dry and burning, are dear to the rajasic, are unpleasant and cause misery and disease.

Too much bitterness, etc. In moderation, these kinds of foods are anti-inflammatory and healing. The admonition is to not take it too far and cancel their positive effects, as rajasic persons are inclined to do. 

(10) Foods that are stale, tasteless, putrid, rotten, foul, impure, and also the leavings of others, are dear to the tamasic.Tamasic Foods

Stale, etc. You may wonder how anyone could even eat these kinds of foods. Anandamayi Ma insisted that no food be left at the end of the day in Her ashram. On one occasion, She was found in the night eating left over flour to make her point. Old foods are dead foods. 

Sacrifice 

11 – Sattvic Sacrifice
Sacrifice that is offered according to scriptural injunction with the only thought, “this is given.” This sacrifice is sattvic.

Sacrifice offered without the purpose of fruits (without using your will to fulfill desires) is sattvic.

12 – Rajasic Sacrifice
But sacrifice offered out of pride and deceit, with the intent of personal benefit, that sacrifice is rajasic

13 – Tamasic Sacrifice
Sacrifice offered without faith and contrary to scriptural injunction, with no food offered, and with no mantras or giving, that sacrifice is tamasic.

Austerity (Tapas)

Austerity of Body

14
Honoring God, the twice-born (Brahmanas, God-people), gurus and sages, through purity, goodness, continence and non-violence, is austerity (tapas) of the body.

  • Twice-born – ‘born again’ or ‘reborn’.

Today, the usual translation of Brahmanas means priests. However, God-people are those who live in harmony with the Real. It is the purpose of their lives. Brahmanas (or Brahmins, temple priests) have more recently (a few thousand years ago) been set aside as the highest caste, but also rightly include scholars, teachers, gurus and sages.

Purity, goodness, continence and non-violence in all your actions is Tapas of Body. 

Austerity of Speech

15
The practice of reciting sacred texts, and the use of words that do not cause distress and are truthful, inoffensive and beneficial, is austerity (tapas) of speech. 

Tantric yogi reciting mantra then drinking whiskey from a skull.
Tantric yogi reciting mantra and drinking whiskey from a skull.

Reciting sacred texts also means reading and study of sacred texts. This was written at a time when not everyone could read and the memorization and recitation of scriptures was customary.

Tapas refers to purification by fire (energy). This is different than the elimination of impurities.

When you are careful not to cause distress when speaking, reciting or teaching, and being truthful in an inoffensive manner that is also beneficial, this is the Tapas of Speech.

Austerity of Mind

16
Clear-mindedness, gentleness, monitoring speech, self-restraint and pure-heartedness, is austerity of mind.

Clear-minded also means peaceful or serene. Monitoring speech also means silence. Self-restraint is self-control. Pure-heartedness is sincerity and empathy. 

Austerities of Body, Speech and Mind

17 – 19
(17) These three austerities — body, speech and mind — practiced with ardent faith by those without expectation of return benefit, are sattvic austerities that last.

(18) Austerities undergone with pride and for the purpose of gaining honor, respect and adoration, are rajasic, unsteady and impermanent.

(19) Austerities performed out of ignorance that torture oneself, or for the purpose of destroying or overpowering others, are tamasic.

Giving

20 – 22
Feeding the needy(20) Gifts given at the proper time and place, without expectation of reward, to worthy persons who have done no prior favor, with the only idea, “this is given,” is sattvic giving.

(21) But gifts given grudgingly, with the aim of personal benefit or the expectation of reward, is rajasic giving.

(11) Gifts given at the wrong time and place to the unworthy without paying respect, but with contempt, is said to be tamasic giving.

Namaste (I bow to the divine one that you really are),
Durga Ma
durgama.com

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Spontaneous Experiential Meditation

Slip into a natural state of meditation with ease. Experience the relief of reaching a true meditative state without any effort and without using your will.

Receive shaktipat and become initiated into the original meditation of ancient masters from which meditation techniques were eventually derived.

Increase your knowledge base and begin Shaktipat Kundalini Yoga, Surrender Meditation. Though correct knowledge you will increase your progress by a thousand times, and bring about even deeper meditation and amazing experiences.

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Thy Will Be Done O Lord, Not Mine – Bhagavad Gita, Ch 15, Vs 8-11

Surrender

Previously:
A small part of My Eternal Self, becoming endowed with life in the world of the living, draws the five senses, with the mind as the sixth, to exist in material nature.

8
When Ishvara acquires a body, and also when He leaves it, He takes them where he goes, like a breeze carrying fragrance through the air.

Purushottama is the first Divine Individual in the Absolute to accept you as the same as Himself. When a part of Him goes with you into a body, He is called Ishvara. The senses and the mind manifest in material nature because of this relationship you have with God, Ishvara. When your body dies, and when you enter a new body, Ishvara goes with you, taking the five senses and the mind along.

You don’t lose your powers of perception or your mind when your body dies. 

It is because of Ishvara, the enjoyer-witness within, that your innate abilities, or powers — five senses and a mind — are manifested in the material world. Why? Because there are two along for the ride: Ishvara and the Real You, and because duality is the nature of this world, the physical senses and mind naturally become a part of it. 

The mind is called the sixth sense because it is connected with all five senses of perception. When perceiving, consciousness, which is the stuff the mind is made of (chitta), goes out from the mind to perceive objects of sense (sights, sounds, tastes, etc.). We know this feature of the mind as Attention.

When you see a beautiful sunset, it is your Attention going out through your eyes that sees the beautiful sunset. The sunset is the ‘object’ of your ‘sense of sight’. This experience is returned to your brain and mind (manas) and stored as a memory. Later, you re-member the sunset, and you see the image of it in your mind, even though you are no longer looking at it with your eyes. If you think about this, you will realize that this is an amazing power that you have!

9
The six senses of hearing, seeing, touching, tasting, smelling, and mind being dependent upon Him, He draws them around Himself and enjoys the objects of the senses.

“Dependent upon Him” refers to the senses and the mind as being dependent on that small portion of Absolute God (Purushottama) that came with you as Ishvara when you first embodied.

Ishvara, God within you, stays with you through life after life.  

The mind is made of consciousness (chitta). Consciousness gives you awareness of what the senses bring to you. You perceive these ‘objects’ and their concomitant experiences of pleasure or pain, joy or sorrow, like or dislike, etc.

These six senses are in Nature, and Nature is a dual affair.  

Having powers of perception is one thing. Being conscious of what is perceived is another. Just as we may be unaware of things in our peripheral vision, we are capable of being unaware of things perceived by any of the senses.

The mind is the source of your ability to be conscious of what is perceived by the senses, because it is made of consciousness.

Material things are perceived by the material senses in a material world of dualities. This is the cause of becoming identified with your body, mind and senses as yourself, and why your happiness or unhappiness with what you experience will always be temporal. 

The senses are like satellites around the world of the mind. The mind provides you with consciousness, understanding, and memory of what they perceive.

10 – 11
The unenlightened, deluded by the gunas, cannot perceive Him, whether departing, residing, or experiencing from within the body, but those enlightened by the eye of wisdom, can. The striving yogi can see Him situated within himself, but those who have not performed prescribed action, cannot.

  • Him – Ishvara. Purushottama, the ‘First Purusha’ who is your personal God, is called Ishvara when He goes with you into embodiment.
  • Eye of wisdom – This is a reference to Knowledge of Truth gained by the yogi who practices “prescribed action.” 
  • Striving yogi – The yogi who has dedicated himself to the “prescribed action,” persevered, and achieved yoga (union). This achievement does not happen over night, but the striving yogi persists with it until the goal is reached.

Now we have moved from the material to the subtle, and find that it is also possible to perceive things that are spiritual (non-material) by means of our non-material sense faculties (powers) … if we can see with the ‘eye of wisdom’. This Wisdom is actualized by means of “prescribed action,” the God-practice of surrender to Absolute God/Truth in meditation, which brings about enlightenment and trigunatita (‘beyond the gunas‘).

Surrender Only to Absolute God
Never just surrender. Surrender Only to Absolute God

Yoga means ‘uniting’. Dedicating yourself to this practice is a dedication to the union of self with the divine-other-than-self.

We are often told what not to do, but here Lord Krishna is telling us that there is something we must do in order to overcome our unenlightened state, and become God Realized, Self Realized, and liberated. He refers to this as “prescribed action.”

In the Gita we find different words for ‘action’ (karma). One of these words is kriya. Kriya refers to action that occurs spontaneously through surrender to Absolute God/Truth in meditation. Because non-static meditation is prescribed, kriya is the “prescribed action.”

‘Prescribed action’ does not mean that you use your will to accomplish something, but quite the opposite — you surrender your will to Absolute God in meditation, and the prescribed action takes place of its own accord, under the guidance of Absolute God/Truth. This surrender is the “prescribed action.”

“Thy will be done O Lord, not mine.”

Namaste (I bow to the divine one that you really are),
Durga Ma
durgama.com

Surrender Meditation

Shaktipat Kundalini Yoga
Spontaneous Experiential Meditation

Slip into a natural state of meditation with ease. Experience the relief of reaching a true meditative state without any effort and without using your will.

Receive shaktipat and become initiated into the original meditation of ancient masters from which meditation techniques were eventually derived.

Increase your knowledge base and begin Shaktipat Kundalini Yoga, Surrender Meditation. Though correct knowledge you will increase your progress by a thousand times, and bring about even deeper meditation and amazing experiences.

Shaktipat Intensives with Durga Ma are held in Phoenix, Arizona


“Every step you take pulls every one of us with you.”

The Whole World Is One Family