Friday, June 8, 2012

It's Time for America's Favorite Game Show

It’s time for America’s favorite game show: <audience shouts> GURU OR VRITTI!

We learn from the texts that we already have all that we need to progress on this path.  To paraphrase Vivekananda, we are Lions who have deluded ourselves into thinking we are sheep.  We seek teachers, those who have traveled the path before us for guidance.  The texts tell us that gurus are nothing more than mirrors—they only reflect what we already are; more accurately, they dispel the darkness so we can see what we already are.  The real Guru is us, the indweller, not the ego.  If we listen carefully we can hear the teachings within.

On a day-to-day basis, for most of us, these teachings get drowned out by the noise of our vrittis, the fluctuations of our minds. The vrittis are much louder and more convincing to our ego than the advice which will actually help us. As students, we continually play a little game called:

<audience shouts>
<applause and theme music>

How to play:  When the little voice pops up in your head, you have to decide is speaking words of Truth from the Guru, or words that lead you away from Truth of the Vritti.

How do you tell the difference?  I find that Vrittis sound something like this:
“I don’t wanna…”
“I can’t…”
“That’s DANGEROUS, don’t even try”
“Do it tomorrow.”
“Godd_mn you guyyyyyyyyyyyyys.”
Volume: VERY LOUD!!!!!!!!!!  Broadcasts loud and clear over everything.

And Guru sounds something like this:
“Don’t you think you should?”
“Just one.” Or “Just one more.” (Except when confronted with cookies, pie, cake, ice cream, etc.)
“Yes and thank you.”
“Maybe you could try and see.”
Volume: very very soft. You have to be actively listening to hear.

An example which happens all too frequently.  Feel free to play along at home:
Cat wakes me up about ½ hr. before the alarm goes off (3:30 am and 4:00 am respectively).  I fall back asleep really hard.  Alarm goes off. 
First thought: “Godd_mn you guys.  I don’t wanna get up.”
Second thought: “Godd_mn you guyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyys. I feel like crap.  It’s no use to practice today.  I’ll do it tomorrow.”
Third thought: “You could just do a little.”
Later: “You’re on your mat.  You’ve done a little.  How about just one more?”

Does Guru always win with me?  Regarding getting to practice in the morning, yes, the majority of the time.  Believe me, it took a very long time to create that habit. I’ve still got a long way to go with hearing Guru over vritti in other aspects of life.  Success in one small area means that success in other areas is possible.  Just takes practice, study, and faith. 

That’s all the time we have. Be sure to join us next time when we play GURU OR VRITTI!

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