meditation and spiritual growth

Duncan first met Sandy at Night Town restaurant over a year ago. He worked as a waiter there in the evenings while going to EMS training academy. He was immediately attracted to Sandy by her bright smile, flowing brunette hair, vivacious personality, brown eyes, and easy going nature. She was always dressed in the latest fashion, even though her clothes seemed to be modest and not flashy. Sandy was not pretentious, and seemed to always carry a smile on her sleeve.

Duncan and Sandy were engaged to be married in another four months. But he was now having second thoughts about their upcoming wedding. Not because he did not love her, or cherish her every wish and step, but because he came from Flatbush and could not reconcile how a working class guy like himself could make it with an upper class Ivy League, sophisticated lady. He still felt that she was way out of his league. While he ate meals at home, Sandy moved in circles at the Manhattan Yacht Club, East Side Social establishment, shopped at Tiffany’s, Saks Fifth Avenue, and Bergdorf Goodman, and lived in a penthouse suite on New York City’s 5th avenue.

Sandy’s mother never approved of the relationship. She felt that a waiter could never be worthy of her daughter.

After Duncan finished an early evening shift, he met Sandy in Central Park for a walk. He gave her a big hug and kiss while they strolled down the pathway near the water. They walked hand in hand.

“Sandy,” said Duncan. “I do love you but I’m so concerned that this will not work out for the two of us. Your mother does not approve, and I still feel that I don’t fit into your lifestyle. We come from two different worlds. I don’t want that to ever come between us. Sometimes I feel lost, but I could not love you more,”

Sandy responded by saying, “Sweet Duncan, under the evening stars we are all equal. A star shines the same way on everyone. The only thing that is important is our love for each other. I do love you, and I believe that everything will work out for us.” Duncan felt better, but still had some doubts.

Our personality (life attributes and tendencies) is a construct of mind in the field of time and space. The qualities and characteristics of individuality vary from person to person. When someone asks you who you are, your response is usually a description of your personality.

Since its introduction in the 1950’s, the concept of type A and B personalities have been widely used to describe the general population.

Type A tendencies:
Impatient, time-conscious, controlling, concerned about their status, highly competitive, ambitious, business-like, and aggressive.

Type B tendencies:
Patient, relaxed, and easy-going, and generally lacking a sense of urgency.

Our likes and dislikes, culture, heritage, language, religion, ethnicity, financial status, cherished ideas, aspirations, hopes, and dreams have created our personal world view. Because of differences in people’s experience we may sometimes say that we come from different worlds, as Duncan relayed to Sandy.

Duncan and Sandy have different personalities.

Duncan: Born in Flatbush, age 23 6 foot tall, 185 lbs Attended public school Speaks English Lives in Flatbush New York, and never travelled beyond the United States Raised as a Christian, immigrant parent attended the Church of Scotland Open to new experience but cautions Athletic, likes to run and exercise, cannot swim Is somewhat introverted, a procrastinator, and worries about money and the future Parent of Scottish descent Currently attending EMS (Emergency Medical Services) training Hobbies include soccer and golf Loves Star War and adventure classics

etc.

Sandy: Born to an upper class family, age 21 5 foot 10 inches tall, 145 lbs Attended private school Speaks English, French and Italian Broadly traveled, to the United Kingdom, France, Italy, Germany, Hong Kong, and Beijing Raised as a Christian Looks forward to new experiences Athletic, likes to walk and swim Is an extravert, conscientious, makes choices quickly, easy to please, and always happy Parent of American/English Graduate from Harvard College Hobbies include horseback riding and sailing Loves poetry and Ernest Hemingway

etc.

How would you describe yourself? Who are you? In what ways are you different or the same as Duncan and Sandy?

The seven bodies of being are as follows – Physical, Astral, Mental, Buddhi, Atman, Anupadaka (Monadic) and Adi (Divine Logos).

Our personality resides in the lower bodies (physical, astral and mental). The quintessence of our life experiences are carried forward by the soul of man (Buddhi). As we climb the ladder from physical to Buddhic, the differences between people becomes less and less. At the Buddhic level each knows himself/herself to be one with others. Consciousness stretches out to embrace the brotherhood/sisterhood of man.

On the Atman level, we have stepped out of the realm of time/space/causation and are now in pure spirit, Nirvana or Enlightenment.

As our consciousness expands so does the platform from which we view the world. Meditation expands consciousness in an effortless and comfortable way.

If our awareness is centered on the physical and astral levels, we are often mired in a world of problems and differences. We may experience strong sensations of the ego – impulsive, intent, irritated, upset, bitter, disappointed, discouraged, powerless, miserable, sulky, uncertain, distrustful, pessimistic, tense, inferior, frustrated and dominated. We may also become worried about our age, our state of health, how much money we have, how the kids are doing, whether we can retire in comfort, and what tomorrow may bring. And by the time we reach the age of 80 we may already be resigned in believing that we have no future at all, since death quickly approaches.

If our awareness is centered on the higher mental vehicle (Causal body) we are more self actualized and enjoy life. We like our friends, and are inspired by lovely works that elevate the human spirit. There are no narrow boundaries, only an expanded and all encompassing view. Peace and tranquility rule the day.

Jack Kornfield, a prominent teacher of Mindfulness meditation, states that,

“Freedom is possible for each of us. It is the capacity and birthright of every human being. The circumstances of our lives cannot always be changed, yet even in the midst of the greatest difficulties we have within us a longing to be more loving, to be open, to not be so caught up and reactive. And this freedom in the face of fear, anger, addiction, and confusion connects us to what we really know to be true in ourselves. This can be cultivated and awakened through a wise practice and understanding.”

(Transcript courtesy of Insights at the Edge podcast, Sounds True)

Before enlightenment perhaps you were concerned about your past lives (if you believe in that), and who, if anybody, you would be in the future. But after Enlightenment that line of thinking becomes a moot point. That’s because you then realize that your past lives have been through everyone who has ever lived. And your future will be through everyone who is yet to come. Established in BEING you will witness the play of lives on the screen of creation.

The enlightened person living on earth identifies with everyone. Beyond the influence of nature’s qualities, the three Gunas – (Sattwa (creation), Rajas (preservation), and Tamas (destruction)), he/she remain untouched while engaged in action.

Bhagavad-Gita, chapter 4, verse 20 …

“Satisfied with whatever comes unasked, beyond the pairs of opposites, free from envy, balanced in success and failure, even

acting he is not bound.”

Duncan believes that he lives in a different world than Sandy. That is not true. Our personality and world view are constructs of the mind. It is a self imposed restriction and false interpretation because our true nature remains masked.

When you truly see everyone as equal, divine in nature and a blessing to mankind, you have truly opened your eyes. The veil of illusion has been lifted.

The thief and saint, the illiterate and PhD, the poor and rich, the strong and weak, the sick and healthy – are all expressions of the one divine spark.

Meditation brings wisdom. Peace is found within. Our personality is the result of what we have done and thought in the past. We have composed and created a fictitious world view. Recognize it as such. Close the eyes, meditate, and break the boundaries of thought to bask in eternal freedom.