Welcome back everyone. In response to one of our reader emails, I thought to elaborate on the following. One is my reference to how I previously mentioned the idea of how to convey the idea of bowing down to the ground in a better way than what I have seen some people do. One example of this suggestion was ‘Release yourself into the earth as you bow down and declutter yourself’.

When I read the feedback message for the article, I realized I made an oversight. When I gave this example, I didn’t mean for it to necessarily refer to the idea of bowing down before the subtle body picture. In fact, Swamiji and Guruma have been emphasizing people try to go beyond this for the last while. The subtle body picture was a cultural representation based on the idea of certain groups of Hindus being used to having an image to be able to better focus or invoke the presence of a given spiritual energy. This idea may lie in great contrast for those who don’t have any such methodology in their system of prayer. The subtle body picture was supposed to be a tool to help people get in gear for meditation as were many other things like the mantra cd, sandals and so on.

Unfortunately, however, many of us weren’t going beyond that. People became more mechanical and ritualistic to the point where Swamiji even said during his birthday celebrations or Festival of Consicousness (Chaitanya Mahotsav) that people were going to end up making a temple out of his future entombed shrine. He’s also gone on record to state to many of us that it’s one thing for us to use different tools but that we shouldn’t impose this on another person.  Unfortunately, this is precisely what many of us have done. Alongside rigidness, I also admit that the imposing may be also because people didn’t know how to adapt it to the society they were living in. In fact, there are many first generation Indian Hindus who live a completely ghettoized lifestyle or they struggle so much for settlement that they have nothing from which to borrow from the local society so that Samarpan could be better adapted.

Moving onto my second point with reference to bowing down, I was stating this as an extension of the different series of decluttering exercises that Swamiji or the Samarpan organization has commonly recommended for enhancing one’s meditation overall. (I don’t mean for this to be confused with the incidental Hindu practice of bowing down at the end of a prayer ritual).  Bowing down is more commonly seen in Hatha yoga classes. But there are a few other ways by which one may declutter oneself even at random in their daily lives.  While bowing down helps declutter oneself, so does sky gazing, water gazing, log fire gazing or breathing exercises. These interactions with the 5 elements help in making one thought free.

The third aspect of the feedback from the last newsletter I would like to address is about what is meant by ‘balance’ in Samarpan speak. The idea of balance in this context is the idea of being in synchronicity with your higher self or being highly attuned with universal energies. When we fall out of this attuning, we are said to be out of balance. The idea here is that if you are highly attuned with universal energies, then the universe works in great synchronicity on every level. This would include everything going right for you spiritually, emotionally, psychologically, socially and physically.  The underlying idea is that if you are the right energy, you will attract the right energy.

Part of how you keep this balance is high levels of present-mindedness or mindfulness and trusting that everything will be taken care of. Now for some of us, being this way doesn’t come naturally. And what many times gets in our way is where we are putting our chit or conscious awareness. So if I keep fearing everything is going to be a disaster then I will likely be imbalanced in every one of the directions mentioned. Hence, we may not so surprisingly encounter people organizationally that may point out how we are not balanced if we did this. As for a plain English way of explaining it, I would say it would be to say that we are out of synch or in synch with universal energy. And if anyone else, has a better word, please share!

(Note:  We encourage everyone to write experience and spread the joy. Please submit your experiences here).