‘I am going to tell you something rather strange. If your house is on fire, you will do anything to protect yourself. You will run out the door if you can, or you will jump from your window. At that time it will never cross your mind if you should go or not. It is an emergency. Your main aim is to save your life.
‘And I am telling you also very clearly: there is a big fire in you in the form of mind. If you want to save yourself you will also never ask if meditation is good or bad for you. It is very simple: how you can save yourself from that fire.’
Last week we were talking about Just Plain Laziness and on that subject (not to mention the tricks of the mind) I have a confession. About a year after we migrated to Australia, having just moved house for the third time in two years, I felt swamped by work (or that particular obstacle mentioned by Patanjali and known as ‘distractions of the mind-stuff’). It felt like an extremely unsettling and exhausting time. Both physically and mentally I was tired and felt fully justified in telling myself that it was all too much. (My Kriya practice was little and irregular, so that already would explain a lot!)
The new rental house had a lovely wood-burning stove and my husband and I started watching the American series “Charmed”, in the cosy comfort of our living room with the fire crackling away. Soon we became quite hooked watching those three modern witches battling it out with warlocks and demons, that we eventually watched the entire series over the course of a season. Admittedly, it frequently became “too late” to manage Kriya practice and I just needed to “crash out”.
Not that I seriously believed it, but I kind of told myself that just the act of watching all those demons putting up a fight and being sent to their demise was as good a form of “virtual” Kriya as you could possibly get! What an effortless and compelling distraction! Anyway, being in denial and laziness are most definitely obstacles of the path and no doubt Guruji told me a few home truths around that time. Without going into specifics, let’s just say that consciousness is definitely not raised by watching witches (or anything else for that matter) on the T.V.!!
Despite the obstacles which can come along on this Kriya path such as laziness, there is something that has helped me enormously since the very start: I have always kept a record of my practice in my Kriya journal. Guruji asks his new disciples to do this whenever he gives Kriya Yoga initiation. And it makes sense to do so: when you are regular in practice, you can see signs of progress which the tricky mind would be more than willing to forget. If on the other hand you are not regular, it reminds you of what you should be doing and helps you to get back on track. Needless to say, my journal wasn’t a pretty sight during the episodes of “Charmed”.
If you write down why you missed practice that day, you are far more likely to be honest with yourself and admit if it was plain laziness, and you just got stuck in front of the TV. Or was it because your child was sick and needed you every hour of the night? Honesty is the key, because the line between having a decent excuse and a pathetic one can become quite blurred – especially during challenging times.
Staying in touch with your Guru is also so important. If you are willing to listen, he will always tell you what you need to know when you need to know it.
Just last week on this very same theme, Guruji told me, “Whatever happens, whatever the circumstances – don’t lose the regularity of your Kriya practice.”
It makes no odds how long you’ve been on this path or not. If you’re anything like me, you’ll know how it always helps to hear such words from Guruji. If you’ve met him, you’ll know it’s not just what he says, it’s the way he says it…
In that spirit, I hope that Guruji’s words also lift your heart and give you a fresh boost of energy for practice, as they did mine!