I recently went on a trip to the United States. The main reason for my travel from Shree Peetha Nilaya was to do health checkups with my doctors there (I have type 1 diabetes). However, I was also able to see some of my family and old friends.
My family is not particularly on a spiritual path. Perhaps they keep it to themselves, but outwardly, they are not “religious” or open with their beliefs. Some of my family is more forthright and ask me questions about the ins and outs, the details of my beliefs and practices, and others just keep distance from the subject.
Regardless of their perspective and distance to that aspect of life, it comes up because it is such an integral part of my life. The “outside” world, the world that doesn’t really practice religion or spirituality actively day to day, is focused so much upon immediate pleasures. Our minds quickly align towards desires and sense gratification when it is not rooted in a practice which aligns us our spirit, our divine nature, and our infinite capacity to love. Usually I am in such close proximity to others on a spiritual path. When I am not though, it can be quite a shock to move away and to become surrounded by people with a life focus far different than myself.
I tend to quickly get drawn into the dramas and games of the outside world. Typically, I just laugh when I see such unnecessary stress, concern, and silly temptations of a life based on sense gratification. I try to keep a stance of love and let that emanate from myself. However, I really need to shield my mind from associating and getting drawn into that lifestyle.
This time I spent in the USA, however, I noticed greater weakness in shielding myself than I normally observe of myself when I move into such environments. Some good habits I have started to fall away. I also started to get moved left and right, my mind dancing with the tune and dramas around me. Yet the one thing that kept me in check is my sadhana. My Atma Kriya practice is a refuge for me. It is my anchor on the spiritual path, and the spiritual mindset--to remember that I am divine love. So despite my mind tending to jump around and lose focus, my sadhana was what brought me back into my preferred direction.
The words of Paramahamsa Vishwananda often echo in my ears. After I had my first interview with Him, He told me to make sure to practice my kriya. I took those words to heart ever since I heard them. I realized after having experienced times as I had in the USA recently, that sadhana is my foundation. I always come back--at the very least-- to my personal time in practice. In my past year, as I mentioned in my last blog post has seen growth, in that I don’t see kriya “at the very least” anymore. On the contrary, I see it as an incredible tool, the groundwork, the pillars and foundation which my spiritual life can be built upon. When practiced with an intention of love and an eye set upon the divine, rather than mechanically practiced, Atma Kriya Yoga becomes particularly potent, uplifting, and shielding. The practice is designed for our mind to become woven with our spiritual nature. Our identification as spiritual beings strengthens, while the weaknesses of material identification fall away. This is the grace of Atma Kriya Yoga and sadhana as a whole.
I am so thankful Atma Kriya Yoga is available to us! Its power is vital to my happiness, my inner fulfillment, and my path. Sadhana is an unbelievable gift for spiritual seekers. It is the very foundation of spiritual growth. The discipline and groundedness it fosters are so sturdy. Sadhana is so, so significant for me--for anyone really. I try to emphasize its crucial role for all who may read this post, that you all reassess your relationship with sadhana. It can help to define ourselves, to identify more with our true nature as loving entities. It is such a gift, such a tool.