29 Oct The Cause of the Whole Misery – October 30 2018
Posted at 18:16h in Daily Thoughts
This feeling of “I and mine” causes the whole misery. With the sense of possession comes selfishness, and selfishness brings on misery. Every act of selfishness or thought of selfishness makes us attached to something, and immediately we are made slaves. Each wave in the [mind] that says “I and mine” immediately puts a chain round us and makes us slaves; and the more we say “I and mine,” the more the slavery grows, the more the misery increases.
The writings and the teachings left for us by the great Vedic teacher, Swami Vivekananda, speak of four different approaches to yoga. Yoga, as defined in the Veda, is the seeking of union between one’s individuality and the experience of Totality. Oneness.
The first form of yoga taught by Swami Vivekandanda is karma yoga, the yoga of selfless action.
Karma yoga tells us to enjoy the beauty of all the pictures in the world, but not to identify ourselves with any of them. Never say “mine.” Whenever we say a thing is ours, misery immediately comes.
The path of karma yoga tells us that with every thought, word and deed, we are moving in the direction of liberation, or in the direction of bondage. And that we can be free simply by acting without attachment to outcome, by acting purely for our love of God, love of Self. We act because it is what we are here to do. We offer everything we do as service to something greater – God, the collective, the world, whatever works for us.
We find our way to non-attachment.
Non-attachment transforms every action into a spiritual practice that is just as important as prayer, meditation, or worship: every action becomes a prayer, every effort a practice of renunciation. Thus, every action, instead of being a source of bondage, becomes a revelation of Self-knowledge.
Swami Adiswarananda, The Four Yogas
When we bring this consciousness of “action done without attachment to outcome” into our daily life and into our work, we can start letting go of the suffering caused by all the speculation we ordinarily are subject to, all the thoughts of ‘what if’ and ‘if only’ and ‘if this doesn’t happen, I’ll die,’ and on and on. We can begin to live more from the true Self, the higher Self. When we are not defined by our work or the results of our work, we begin to notice who we are that has always been right there behind everything we’ve ever done. The quiet witness. The Self. When we know ourselves as this Self, we are free.
Non-attachment is the beginning of freedom.
Do not say “my child” even in your mind. If you do, then will come misery. Do not say “my house,” do not say “my body.” …The body is neither yours, nor mine, nor anybody’s. These bodies are coming and going by the laws of nature, but the Soul is free, standing as the witness.
Today I will take the time to dedicate my work to the Divine, whatever my idea of the Divine might be today. I will do this at least once at the beginning of work, and again at the end of my day, and I will thank Whatever there is for me to thank, that I have had another day of being able to work and to practice consciousness in my work.