A dear friend of mine, who has been teaching the Art of Living for years, started asking his students this one question. It's a question of enormous depth.
How Spiritual Are You; in the face of utter ignorance directed at you like two rockets intended to destroy, when things do not go as you expected, or as you would like?
This was the challenge nature presented me with, not once, but twice this week.
The first time, I did not handle the situation skillfully or with equanimity.
Sri Sri was his usual loving and patient self, as I applied the wisdom and eventually came out of it.
Or so I thought....
A few days later, he sat me down and gave me a life-changing lesson on the value of compassion, the true depth of compassion. He lifted my karma and I was happy and excited to apply the wisdom, especially as it was unlocking a place I'd felt stuck in for years.
Little did I know how quickly the opportunity would present itself.
Within days of returning home, I found myself in the exact same situation.
Nature has a way of turning up the volume, once you are given the knowledge!
In 48 hours, another powerful person was personally attacking me and slandering my good name.
They had taken a position and wanted to prove to others I was wrong.
How many times had I done the same thing to another - without awareness?
Since I also would have been in ignorance in the past, I do not remember.
Just as I had done for years when an injustice is happening, whether it's toward me or another, the warrior in me rose up. I wanted to right the wrong and put this person in their place.
For 24 hours I tripped a little, as I struggled to let go of past conditioning and live the new gem of knowledge Sri Sri had gifted me with. His words to me, on what true compassion is, and how to move with equanimity were reverbarating in my head. At the same time, I was burning with frustration at the injustice unfolding. It was like riding a horse (mind) that has completely gone off course, while the rider (higher level of consciousness) is trying to reign in the wild stallion.
Since the understanding was not coming right away, I began meditating.
Still, the restlessness persisted, so I began reading the ancient spiritual text, the Yoga Vashishta.
Eventually, the wild stallion mind) stilled itself and I realized...
It was up to me to stretch my hand to bring peace to the situation, to maintain belonging. It didn't matter who said what or did what to me. What mattered was how still was I from within, in the face of adversity? Can I keep my equanimity, even when fireballs are aimed my way? This is the skill in life, and it is priceless.
BUDDHA AND THE THE MAN WHO SPAT IN HIS FACE
Years ago Sri Sri told me the story of Buddha and the man who spat in his face.
When we take the first step to communicate from our heart, regardless of how someone is/or isn't treating us - then we are approaching the ups and downs in life from a place of strength and centeredness. This is when the door opens for real communication, for education in human values, and for the Grace, to enter for all.
I better understand the profound lesson on Compassion from Sri Sri at a such a depth, that words can not do justice One has to experience it, to go through the process fully.
|Rishikesh, India 2004|
I cannot stay I will not trip up again on the path.
But one day, for sure, I will walk on this planet, as my Guru walks.
This is what a Guru comes into our life for.
He is a living example, of how we can move through in life with total peace and equanimity, and to uplift others on the way.
It is the blessing of lifetimes.
It is not up to us to add to the negativity in the world.
We are here to bring forth a stress-free, violence-free world.
Be free from your side and leave the rest to the unseen hand. It knows what it is doing.
It will take care and you will be free. In fact, you are free, right now.
True Compassion is forgiving someone, without them knowing it
- Sri Sri Ravi Shankar