Great Expectations

What you expect is what you get.

Relevant verse: “Creation having been brought forth by sacrifice, by sacrifice you will evolve and prosper. Sacrifice is the milch cow of your desires.” — Verse 10  

You and the Field are everywhere. You are ‘in’ everything. Nothing exists that you are not ‘in’. Everything that exists, including you and everyone else, is ‘in’ this Field that has no bounds, no limitations—so neither do you.

In This Series:

  1. The Golden Womb
  2. The Field
  3. Great Expectations
  4. Accessing the Abundance of the Field

Characteristics of The Field 

The Field is Truth Itself. The Field is perfectly harmless in all ways at all times. The Field is without limitation. The Field is everywhere. The Field can provide all you need or want. The Field is accessible to everyone equally. The Field is plentiful and never runs out of anything. The Field will supply us as long as we avail ourselves of its bounty.

Foundations for Success

I am of the belief that there are certain things that act as foundations, and like a house, anything you build without a foundation will come tumbling down. The following ideas on accessing the bounty of the Field will supply some of these practical foundations for this purpose.

The Dharma of Doing

The setting of this dialogue between Krishna and Arjuna that makes up the Bhagavad Gita, is a geographical area known by two names: Kurukshetra and Dharmakshetra.

Why not just call this Field by one name? We could do this, but we would miss an important hint that is being given to us with the use of these two names: Kurukshetra, ‘the field of doing’ and Dharmakshetra, ‘the field of dharma’. Both represent this same Field.

Dharma — Right, good, true, the way things Really are.
Doing — Performing action.

A field can be a place or the scope or context of something. The two names of our Field indicate a twofold context: dharma and doing. Sacrifice, the key to accessing the bounties of the Field, happens in this Field. In other words, sacrifice happens in the context of righteousness (dharma) and the performance of action (kuru).

Sacrifice has been explained to us as spontaneous action devoid of attachment to the doing of it, and to the results of it. True sacrifice can only happen where this kind of action is being performed where the action is consistent with dharma*.

* Dharma - The first principle of dharma is harmlessness, hence the characteristic of the Field that says, "The Field is perfectly harmless in all ways at all times."

Sacrifice on the Field of Dharma and Doing

Spontaneous action performed (‘doing’) devoid of attachment to the action and the results of it (‘sacrifice’), that causes no harm (dharma).

This kind of dharmic action is consistent with the Field and with You. When, as human beings, we act in sync with sanatana dharama, the way of eternal Truth, we are acting in sync with our true Selves, and what we want and need will come to us with greater ease. It is also the key to attaining and maintaining success in any undertaking. So what’s stopping us?

SUBCONSCIOUS EXPECTATIONS*

Conscious Thoughts and SubConscious Data

Your conscious thoughts reflect your subconscious. Your thoughts and the data stored in your subconscious are not the same thing, but your thoughts are influenced by subconscious data*. In fact, I think it is fair to say that your thoughts are what they are because of the data stored in your subconscious.

*Subconscious data - memories stored within your body and mind of which you are unaware.

Logically, by consciously noticing your thoughts, you should be able to uncover your subconscious. This is particularly important if you want to un-do what I take to be the most powerful obstacle to accessing the bounty of the Field.

Subconscious Expectations

Some of the contents in the subconscious are expectations of things to come. These expectations are most likely unpleasant and unwanted, otherwise, they would have no reason to hide. But fortunately, because our conscious thoughts reflect them, it is possible to discover what they are. This is important because… When subconscious expectations are inconsistent with the characteristics of the Field, they diminish our capacity to access it. We will call these kinds of subconscious expectations, ‘negative’. We must bring these unwanted, negative expectations out of hiding. To do this, we first need to pay attention to our thoughts, because…

Our thoughts reflect our subconscious expectations.

In a forthcoming post, I will give you a four-step process for dealing with negative subconscious expectations so you can bring them out into the light of day and either change them altogether, or tweak them into something useful and far more pleasant.

Will or Surrender?

Now, obviously, we are talking about ‘will’ here, because we are talking about doing something with a desirable outcome in mind, so those of you who practice Surrender Meditation will have to forego this in the meditation room (though revelations may present themselves there), but outside of the meditation room, it is not inappropriate for you to utilize the Field. By all means, do. 

In this country, if you should someday want to take surrender sadhana all the way, you will need to have all your ducks in a row. You can take it from me—I didn’t have this advantage—this is a really good idea, and it will save you from some serious struggles when that time comes. And it will also put you in a better position for reaching the stage of not-giving-a-hoot sooner by having accessed in your meditation, even greater wonders than what your desiring mind can ever imagine.

* Subconscious Expectations, Sanskrit, samskara संस्कार — The faculty of memory, mental impression or recollection. An impressions in the mind of acts done in a former state of existence.

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

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The Dharma of Karma 4 — Variables

Have you ever heard someone say, “You only get what you deserve”? Hearing this bit of karmic wisdom, your mind starts scanning its contents for bad things that have happened to you in the past, and immediately lays the blame on you for all of it: “It couldn’t have happened to me if I didn’t have it coming.”

Karmic Absolutes

“Nothing can happen to you (or for you) that you don’t have coming.” “You can only get what you deserve.” Such statements, while minimally useful to some, are virtually useless, even harmful, to most. Though they have a grain of truth to them, they are incomplete, and can take you on a journey through a kind of self-battering, and seriously impede your spiritual development.

Dharma – Law. The established nature, character, peculiar condition or essential quality of anything.

Karma – Action. From, kri, meaning ‘to do’. One’s destiny or fate, following as effect from cause.

The Dharma of Karma – The law of cause and effect: For every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction.

Over the past few years, inspired by a passage in Yogananda’s Autobiography of a Yogi, I have been giving a lot of thought to the workings of karma. In this particular passage, the immortal Babaji is sitting around a fire with his disciples, when he picks up a burning brand and touches one of the disciples on his shoulder, burning him. Stricken with horror, one of the company asks him why he did it. Babaji explains that he did it to rid this disciple of his karma to die a horrible death by fire, and precedes to lay his hand on the burn and heal it completely.

This got my attention. What happened to “equal and opposite”? How was a small burn, lasting only a short time, going to short-circuit this fellow’s karma to die a horrible death by fire? This could only mean one thing: I had to rethink my understanding of karma.

I thought about throwing a ball against a wall, and how the ball never seems to come back quite the same way—it comes back, but usually at an angle and at a lesser velocity. I thought of boomerangs and other things, and there always seemed to be a good possibility that a reaction could vary.

How does this relate to us and our karma, and what changes the reaction?

Taking Responsibility

When we take responsibility for our actions, we have thrown the ball, we have created karma. Karma doesn’t care if an action is good, bad, or neutral, it will still bind us. But we care because we don’t want bad things to happen to us, so we try to do the right thing.

A few years ago, I realized that a decision I had made a long time before in the name of doing the right thing, had been a terrible mistake. I had made this decision believing that nothing bad could happen if I didn’t have it coming anyway, and took a terrible risk. The outcome was not only harmful to me, but it enabled the other person involved to continue harmful behavior, which was harmful to him, and to those whom he would harm.

I spent years afterward listening to my mind accuse me with, “You only got what you deserved”. This seriously handicapped my sadhana with self-denigrating thoughts and beliefs of unworthiness. This is not humility, it is negative reinforcement, the most powerful and effective means of growing the ego.*

Taking the Blame

Don’t let this happen to you. If someone socks you in the jaw, it’s on him. Do not let people tell you that you must have had it coming—you don’t really know this for certain—and not to blame the other guy. Even if you do have it coming, if he hit you, that’s on him. He is responsible for that sock on the jaw, it was his action, his choice. Not yours. So don’t take it on. Surely you have enough of your own karma? And consider this: the act of taking it on creates more personal karma.

Karmic Variables

What affects, or changes, the returning trajectory, the reaction, is us—all of us. Because we are all interconnected, what one of us does affects the rest of us to greater and lesser degrees. These variable effects alter the karma of every one of us, helping or hindering our forward movement toward happiness and fulfillment. Understanding this inspires us to follow fundamental principles for successful living° so that we not only serve ourselves in removing obstacles and oppressions, but we serve everyone else as well, at the same time.

Yoga teaches that all action occurs in nature, and that what we really are is not nature and does nothing at all. What we really are is divine. We acquire karma because of our ignorance of this Truth, but when we realize Truth directly, we become free of the influences of karma. 

Now we see through a glass darkly, but then, face to face.
1 Corinthians 13:12

Having surrendered all actions (to God), the embodied one sits happily, the ruler in the city whose gates are nine (the physical body), neither acting, nor causing action.
— Bhagavad Gita, ch 5, vs 13.

Love,
Durga Ma

* The word ‘ego’ is used to indicate the sense of oneself as the doer of action, from the Sanskrit, ahamkara, ‘I do’.

° ‘Successful living’ – The first and most important of these principles is ahimsa, non-injury. All other principles and teachings hinge on it. (See Ten Keys to Success and click on Learn more.)

RESOURCES

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