by BK Sister Jayanti
More people are living, but fewer are choosing, life in the fast lane. The need to restore balance, find inner peace and replenish spiritual power can be satisfied by some form of daily meditation. Sister Jayanti, an extremely busy person in her own right, presents the how to of meditation and ways that meditation can help to take the stress out of busyness.
I wonder how well I know myself. Sometimes I really do wonder because I surprise myself at my own reactions and responses in certain situations. I wish I could have behaved a little bit differently. It’s one of the indications that tell me that I need to know myself a little better. In a materialistic world everything carries values in terms of matter. So often the value that I have placed in myself has also been associated with external factors, the possessions that I have, the property that I own, the position and profile that I occupy or the position that others give me. Very often I see myself in compartments, just simply in the way that others see me. What is it that you see when you look at me? Instantly the inner computer begins its calculations and we connect with each other in terms of our face, our colour, our skins, our features, our age, the profession we work with and yet, when I begin to think about it, I question this and wonder whether external factors tell me anything either about myself or about you. And I begin to be aware of things that are actually not material at all, nothing to do with my external form or external situations and these are the things that I actually value and appreciate about myself.
I look inside and I become aware of things like my feelings, my emotions, my thoughts and I begin to wonder which bit of me is really me. It’s important that I learn to separate two identities, the material identity, that is the physical form, and the inner reality of my thoughts and feelings. It’s important to know things in terms of the external, but much more important to know that which is under the surface, that which is below the skin, and when I focus my attention inside, on my inner being, that’s when our journey begins.
Coming into this inner space and finding what’s happening in my own inner world is actually an adventure as marvelous as the adventures of outer space. Where is it that my thoughts and feelings emanate from? As I begin to allow my mind to be quiet I discover that the source of life, the source of energy that I am, is actually just a spark, a being, a point. I am not 5 feet tall, but I am just a point of light. In our language we use sometimes this expression ‘my soul’, or ‘I have a soul’ and yet this is not true at all—the reality is that I am a soul, I am this point of light. And operating from this consciousness creates a total change in my awareness. In this awareness, knowing who I am, I am able to step beyond all those limits that the physical body has imposed on me. So often I have said “I can’t do this, that or the other”, and yet none of that is reality. I am this eternal being of light. I am being of light, I am actually a being of love; these are my natural qualities, and coming back to this awareness means that I’m able to go beyond all barriers, all boundaries. I am able to find that inner freedom of the self. In this awareness of knowing who I truly am, I’m able to manage myself.
Sometimes we question whether the original state of the self is that of goodness. And yet peace is that which is totally natural for me, and so I know that it is a state that belongs to me. I don’t need to attempt it. It is there within me. In a life in which one is very busy, if I know how to turn my attention just for a moment, to this point of light that I am peace is instantly accessible. When I find that inner peace, it’s like the recharging of the battery and then I am able to accomplish all that I need to accomplish on the external level. If I can even do this for one minute within every hour I would find that the other 59 minutes are able to flow very, very smoothly.
My own being of peace inside also means I have power inside. I am able to find my own inner strength. We use this word ‘empowerment’ a great deal and yet empowerment cannot come to me from anyone else outside, but empowerment which comes from within means that it’s a strength that stays with me forever and ever. Wherever I go, whatever else it is I do, this power is that which I carry within my own being.
Let’s experience a few minutes in which we use this concept so that you can actually see how it works for yourself.
Sit quietly just letting the body be relaxed, preferably both feet on the ground and your hands folded quietly. Let your breathing become natural and slow. You can keep your eyes open. (In fact it is preferably to do so, so that this awareness becomes a natural stage of awareness for you.)
I focus inside and I watch what’s happening inside my own inner world.
I see many thoughts flickering on the screen of my mind and I can consciously choose which thoughts to have.
I choose the thought of peace.
I visualise a point of light and in this awareness of peace I know that this is who I am.
I am a being of light.
I am a being of peace.
My thoughts slow down and I savour the beauty of peace within, as my inner world is filled with peace.
I am also filled with light.
I can feel the clouds of confusion receding and as this light becomes bright I can feel my own inner power growing within.
My own being is light, is might, is peace.
Having forgotten myself I had forgotten these original and natural qualities of mine, and now that I know who I am, all these qualities naturally belong to me again and in this awareness I radiate light, peace and might.
And now I let my thoughts come back to the awareness of the physical body that I occupy and the situations in life that I find myself in today, but now I come back with an outlook transformed with an attitude which is very different.
Coming home in this awareness of I the soul, the master of this physical instrument, this precious body of mine, I know now what it is I have to convey through my eyes, through my lips, through my actions, I know the direction that I have to move in. My vision of others has also been transformed. I don’t put them into boxes anymore. I am able to see them as external beings, as souls. I still carry on with those things I need to do, but now having created that original eternal world also, there is clarity in the way which I think; there is understanding and empathy in the way I behave with others; there is power in my actions so that my actions lead to the right conclusions; and positive results emerge in my life and also the lives of others around me.
I compare this to the state I was in before, a state of chaos and confusion inside, and so little wonder that there was chaos and confusion in the world around me. Managing myself means to know that I am the creator of my own inner world. I’m able to be the creator of the world around me. Managing myself means finding my own dignity, finding my own state of self-respect so that I’m able to stand independently on my own feet. We surround ourselves with so many different supports and are unable to manage without those supports. But now that I know who I am, I carry my own stage of self esteem and of course when I value my self, I value others around me. In a state of self-respect that respect extends out to others. Managing myself means I’m able to move with stability in which I bring calmness to the world of chaos around me. The peace that I have means that I can begin to create a little oasis of peace around me. The light that I have means that illusion and darkness no longer touch me. The power that I have means that I can truly be free.
Om shanti. Om means I am, shanti means peace. I can turn back to this awareness at any moment and again be a master of myself.
Sister Jayanti is the Director of the Brahma Kumaris in London. This article, originally published by BK Publications (www.bkpublications.com) in Retreat Magazine #10, is an extract from her opening presentation in a series of audio presentations entitled Meditation for Extremely Busy People.