Facing Life’s Tests, Part 3


Description: The secret of self-control: abandon personal fears and desires, releasing the bonds of your mind. Bring peace through the dominion of concentration, the mental control of yoga. Become beyond the happenings of the world. Everything is a play of actinic universal love. Dissolve all  reactionary patterns into the clear white light in daily contemplation. Bring forth wisdom through meditation.  Strengthen your will over the chaotic senses. Demand understanding from within yourself; control your mind, be free of the bondage of thought. Realize the natural state of Being, beyond all circumstances-the Self.  Realize your identity with the eternity of God Śiva, the Spirit, the eternal Self within you. “Merging with Siva” Lessons 54, 104, 105.


[Text of talk:]


Good morning everyone.  


We are continuing with Chapter 15, “Merging with Siva,” “Facing Life’s Tests” an early inspired talk drawn from “The Master Course” 1967 edition; Lesson 104:  


 “Changing Your Circumstances.


” You change your own circumstances all the time, whether you know it or not. Even your mind is different today than it was a week ago. The various experiences you have brought to yourself have made it that way. The point to realize is that you can gain an intricate control of the various things that change in and about you. Lean the thoughts and feelings of your creation in the right direction, and discover how quickly your circumstances will change their direction. This is the secret of self-control. This is the practice of yoga. Try it, and lose the habit of concern, for concern is only a by-product of a part of the mind being out of control.”


Isn’t that a beautiful statement?  What is concern?  “…a by-product of a part of the mind being out of control.”


“What does the world offer us but an opportunity for action? It is the reaction that we sometimes get surprised by. The circumstances of your life are either pushing

you toward greater understanding, if you are aspiring to realize the Self, or they are pushing you toward confusion, if you have a tendency to react animalistically, making the personal self predominant. When personal concerns become the most important things in life, you are bound to suffer under the emotion of resentment, and resentment is just a confused state of mind.”


Lesson 105:


“Learning to Assimilate.


“People always tend to identify, instinctively, freedom with abandon. But the type of abandon that seeks personal gratification always gets you ‘tied up in a knot.’ Abandon instead your personal fears and desires by bringing your mind under the dominion of concentration in everything you do, and you, the real you, will become freed, released from the bonds of your own mind. Concentrate your mind when you are feeling confused, and you will bring peace to its disturbed states. Peace is control, and control is freedom.”


So there Gurudeva is giving us a deeper definition of freedom that is normally not encountered. The general sense is freedom is the ability to do whatever you want to do, right?. Gurudeva states freedom is the ability to release yourself from the bonds of your own mind. That’s what you’re freeing yourself from and that’s done through control of the mind. Imagine our thoughts as a box. Many individuals are trapped in the box of thought. They are always thinking and don’t know how to turn off the thinking process. Yoga gives us that ability and and then through the mental control gained through yoga it is like the box of thought has just disappeared. We are free of the bondage of thought.


So that’s another type of freedom.  “Peace is control and control is freedom” says Gurudeva.  


So back to the text:  


“If everyone gave half as much thought to the digestive power of the mind as we do to our stomachs, there would be fewer asylums. Are you able to assimilate and understand everything you put into your mind? Or do you carry experiences with you for days, mulling over the past? Some of the things that you see, hear, read about or think about impress you deeply. Other things do not. What kind of impressions do you carve upon your mind? Turning our backs on everything that may be unpleasant to us is not the answer, but if you observe your reactions as they are taking place and then later, the same day, turn a calm, detached eye to your experience, you will re-enter understanding through the controlled state of your meditation. Do not wait for muddy waters of the mind to settle down in their own good time when you feel confused. You will only hasten your evolution by making your mind silent and composed by using a dynamic willpower to restore order when you feel least disposed to do so. Draw upon your resources.


“The unfortunate thing is, resentment tends to attract even more circumstances worthy of even more resentment. (That’s beautiful, ‘…resentment tends to attract even more circumstances worthy of even more resentment.’ So, it’s going, it’s getting worse). So don’t bother to resent, because you are only making yourself inferior to the person or the circumstance that you hold resentment for. That is right. Resentment, in all its heaviness, places your consciousness beneath that of the person you feel is imposing on you.


“Be equal to whatever you meet! That is a better way to react to life. It is accomplished simply by meeting everything in understanding, by demanding understanding from within yourself. And if you feel that everything happening to you is a play of universal love and you are able to maintain that consciousness of universal love in yourself, then you are beyond the happenings of the world. Lifted in consciousness, you can see through and enjoy all the states of consciousness. The circumstances of your life will reflect this change.


“Watch for those small incidents that imperceptibly get under your skin and create an eruption a few days later. Little things that do not contribute creatively to your life are an indication that there is some kind of subconscious disturbance that you have not resolved. Look your nature right in the face in meditation, without squirming, and you will discover what the little disturbances are, some issue over which you are rationalizing, a small resentment or worry that is keeping a part of your mind confused, and thus, necessarily, most of your circumstances confused.”


Then we have my commentary:


A daily clearing of the mind of unresolved reactions accumulated during the day is an important practice in keeping the subconscious clear. Gurudeva gives a specific technique in “Merging with Siva”:


”The chela is taught to dissolve his reactionary habit patterns in the clear white light each evening in contemplative states. Reactionary conditions that inevitably occur during the day he clears with actinic love and understanding so that they do not congest or condense in his subconscious mind, building a new set of confused, congested forces that would propel him into outer states of consciousness, leaving his vision of the clear white light as an experience in memory patterns retreating into the past.


“The young aspirant can use this elementary classical yoga technique of going back over the day at the end of the day in an internal concentration period, holding the thought flow on just the current daily experience, not allowing unrelated thoughts from other days to enter. When a reactionary condition appears that was not resolved during the day with love and understanding, in turning to the inner light it will melt away, usually under the power of a perceptive flash of understanding.”




There is a general understanding that the human body is designed to eat a meal and then abstain from eating for a few hours before the next meal is taken. That’s understood. Three meals a day not thirty meals a day. This allows the body to properly digest the food. However, an understanding of the nature of the human mind is less common. If we are taking in information and reacting to it continuously during the day the mind does not have a chance to resolve the reactions and mental indigestion occurs. We are placing unresolved experiences into the subconscious mind. Gurudeva’s advice: “Observe your reactions as they are taking place and then later, the same day, turn a calm, detached eye to your experience. You will then re-enter understanding through the controlled state of your meditation.”


And back to the text:


“People like patterns. The subconscious has a natural tendency to resist change. It is slow to realize that life is constant change. That is why it is so easy to fall into a rut. It requires a daring, spirited nature to call forth unused resources, to step out of the routine into a fuller and freer life. It requires daring to leave behind confused states of mind and bring forth new knowledge or wisdom from a meditation. Control is always silent power. Emotion, confusion, lack of control is noisy weakness.


“Learn to assimilate. When you are engaged in conversation, do as the wise men of India do, pause after a while and let your thoughts assimilate.”


So commentary:


In this paragraph Gurudeva is adding the idea that another form of mental indigestion is conversations without pauses between them to digest the contents. So, that’s the idea, if you have a busy day intellectually to try and break it up so you have a chance to digest one experience before taking in the next. Otherwise, it’s like constantly eating all day long, indigestion results.


Back to the text:


“Have a view of the direction in which your mind is going, and you will have a good control over the direction of your life’s circumstance. Rely on the Self. Find the permanency within you that has never changed through the ages, and you will realize that change is only in the ever-changing mind. Control your mind to the nth degree and you will realize your own natural state of Being, beyond all circumstances—the Self. You will go through many different tests to prove your own realization to yourself. Face each test graciously. Welcome each test and welcome each temptation that shows you the strength of your will over the chaotic senses. You have only to quiet all things of the mind to realize your identity with the eternity of God Śiva, the Spirit, the eternal Self within you.”


Thank you very much.  Have a wonderful day.  

File Type: mp3
Categories: Bodhinatha Talks
Author: Satguru Bodhinatha Veylanswami
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