Forgiveness is Power (12 min)

I was thinking about something about a week ago. In the yoga teachings they say that the idea of the divine or God is that it’s the all encompassing reality. So there’s nothing that is that isn’t a part of God or whatever we want to call God. And everything that we experience in the manifest is made of one of eight or a combination of eight vibrations, eight different aspects of the divine. So there is Love, Light, Peace, Calmness, Power, Sound, Joy, Wisdom.

One way to meditate for people that want to, is to try to focus on one of any of those aspects. That’s one way to do it. I don’t usually do that, I’m usually focused on what I’m inspired about, but the funny thing is that let’s say I’m really connected with nature and with Yogananda, and I’m meditating on that at the front of my brain or something and I’m trying to forget my body and kind of forget everything and remain really alert and there’s a point where we’re trying to end of the state of absorption where (this is kind of a higher thing in meditation and I don’t know why I’m talking about it, but there’s a reason), but there’s a point where what the meditator is focusing on and the experience of meditating and concentrating we would say kind of become one. And it doesn’t really matter what you’re focusing on, but let’s say if there’s a deep respect, a deep sense of love or devotion, that’s the thing – it’s the love, it’s not so much the point of focus, it’s your experience of love or gratitude or whatever that might be, that is the way into a deeper experience of your own self. So it sounds odd right? because you’re visualizing something outside of yourself, so maybe you’re drawn to Jesus or Babaji and you’re focusing on this or you’re thinking of something they said. So this is something that I was taught, something I read about, it wasn’t really my experience, but as I’ve been meditating over the years, I feel like I’ve had experience or at least more insight into many of those aspects of the divine and the one that’s always alluded me is Power. It just seems too unemotional, you know? Like probably none of my experiences are real, but the idea to experience the divine as Power has always seem a little intimidating, a little weird, a little beyond me to understand what that would even be.

And I don’t know why, we were recently in Assisi and we were having some spiritual quiet time and meditating in some inspiring places and I don’t know if it was there or when we got back, but I was mentally in one of those locations and it kind of came to me that, different than Love, different than Joy, Power comes with forgiveness.

And it was kind of an epiphany for me, but it’s like imagine, here we are on 9/11 and how many years it was? Sixteen. And I know everybody remembers where they were that morning and everything. And this world is like a sticky place, it just can catch you. There’s so many ways you can be caught in negativity and fear, anger, resentment, loathing of others or self loathing and everything else, desiring, wanting everything to be different than it is and if we’re not careful it’s almost like you’re wearing a garment, like a sweater that picks up lint – have you ever had a piece of clothes that you could not even use because it always picks up lint? I think when we’re making it spiritually, when we’re kind of getting there, we’re not so clingy, things don’t stick on to us as much and so we can have the same experience as everyone else and it’s not that we don’t care and we don’t feel it, but it doesn’t stick on us, it’s not something that we end up carrying around for years and years and eons, right?

In the beginning I think whatever it is that holds us back I probably – I can only speak for myself and my only way of knowing other people is to know myself really and I know we’re not all the same, but for me personally, the inability to accept the way things are, the things that have happened in my past and others’ pasts and especially the inability to forgive the wrongs, that from a human perspective seemed clearly wrong at one time or another, that happened to me or that I did to others is debilitating to my own energy, my own power, my own freedom, my own ability to understand. Because every bit of energy, every hurt, every regret, every little thing that we wish could be a different way than it was is a commitment of energy from our own system let’s say and I know from meditating that the reason we don’t eat before we meditate, the reason we warm up the body and breathe before we meditate, the reason we want fresh air when we meditate is because the more energy we have, the more conscious we are and the more conscious we are, the more we can find the solutions to our problems or just see those problems disappear before our eyes. The less energy we have, in yoga we would say the more energy is going down and out toward desire, attachment, wanting things to be different than they are, the less awareness we have.

So my experience of tuning into the divine as Power is letting go of those hurts and those regrets and learning to accept others and myself as an imperfect person and know that I always did the best I could do and I know that you’ve always done the best that you can do. And we’re just not perfect packages right now and we’re like kids in school learning lessons over and over and over and some of us believe that that’s the whole purpose of life, it’s just to learn. But it’s not to be perfect, it’s how we grow and it’s also how, with our own mistakes we learn to take ourselves less seriously and then it helps us be better for others too. And so that’s pretty much it, my little thing on power, that’s my big epiphany.

Sometimes, it’s not good to do this all the time, but sometimes when you’re in meditation it’s not a bad thing to kind of look over your shoulder, kind of look back or just look inside and you’ll hit a layer inside of your own awareness where you still don’t like that one guy or you still can’t accept something. It could go so far back, the things that we can’s accept or that just can’t even just forget and move forward from and those things are killing you. It steals the energy that makes us healthy and lets us live long and it steals the energy that allows us to perceive reality as it really is in ourselves and so that was the idea – reclaiming your energy, reclaiming our power.

I don’t define myself as a Christian, but I’m very inspired by the life of Jesus and the things that are written that he said in the Bible and for a person, for anybody, I don’t care if he’s the son of man or the son of God, for anybody to be on the cross and praying for the people “Father, forgive them. They know not what they do”, even trying to pray, that’s a good example of Power and that’s the ability that we all have. We have the ability to say “I don’t need to carry the regrets anymore because I don’t deserve to hold it, I don’t deserve to live in that state of mind. “

Swami Kriyananda (he just passed a few years ago) had a huge influence in my life and he experienced a lot of persecution, all kinds of things in his life. He made his own mistakes I believe, but he paid for them too. There was a large organization that was basically trying to destroy him and he was always trying to make friends, he was always trying to smooth it all out and everybody could see that it was totally impossible, that this was never going to happen. And once he wrote a book and he was about to publish it. He had edited it probably at least fifty or one hundred times and he told someone he was working with: “Maybe this is the one. When they see this, they’ll know I’m sincere and we’ll be able to work together again”. And this is with the church that Yogananda started, that after Yogananda died he got kicked out of fifteen years later or whatever it was. And the person that was with him was one of his students and they said: “Oh, Swami, can’t you get it, they’re never going to accept you, they’re never going to forgive you, you guys are never going to get along?” And he looked at the student and he said: “I just won’t live that way. I refuse to live in the consciousness that we can’t get along, even if we never get along. I will never accept that that’s not the truth.” He had that power, I believe.

And when I sit here and I look at all of you and you know here we are in this little space meditating together, doing our little thing, I am so inspired by people who are willing to take the time just to sit down and kind of face themselves and face reality and try to move through it the way we all are. And even if I never see you again I want you all to know that I find it very inspiring that you’re trying, that you’re trying your very best and you have that power too.

Recorded at Yogananda Meditation Center on September 11, 2017.
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