I was supposed to be leaving tommorrow but was able to put my flight forward 3 days which will allow me the opportunity to attend Guru Purnima with Ramesh Balsekar. Guru Purnima, FTWDK, is the full moon day in July which is the traditional time for celebrating and expressing gratitude for our spiritual guides. Wayne Liqourman is also arriving from America for the occassion - he is a well reknowned Satsang giver of whom Ramesh has said is his spiritual son.
The last two days Ramesh has been too weak to give satsang so we have been watching DVD recordings which is also fine. Of course we wish him to have good health but we've all got to go at some time and when the time comes for him I am sure he will go with full acceptance and gratitude for the remarkable and blessed life he has had. For this reason, being here at Guru Purnima with him is also very special as the general expectation among his close circle is that it may very well be his last.
I haven't spoken with him directly again since the first day but the teaching he shares is perculating through. There are many external factors in life over which I have little or no control; I can only repond to them in the best way I see fit and am able to in the moment. My choices in life are governed by my genetics, up-to-date conditioning, feelings etc. so the question is, is it really possible that I can choose any differently than I do in any given situation?
Did I choose my inherent tendencies, did I choose my reasoning and feeling capacities, did I choose what formative experiences and influences I would be exposed to in life? And if I did have any influence over these was that also not guided by the same such pre-exisiting factors? How much choice do I really have? Can I choose my next thought or emotion? Can I choose what life will bring to me in the next moment or is it all just happening?
Perhaps I cannot choose what is arising in each moment but I can choose how I respond to them? If so, is that apparent choosing not also a function of the level of my awareness and development combined with my conditioning and genetic predispositions? Can I not then change my conditioning? Conditioning is changing all of the time according to new inputs and internal evolution but again, what governs which inputs I am exposed to and my inclinations towards change?
When one starts investigating and analysing in this way then it certainly causes one to question the sense of personal 'doership' (I am doing; I am choosing) which we all tenaciously hang onto as an implicit unconscious assumption.
So many Sages and Wisdom Traditions agree that the sense of personal doership is the illusion and the cause of suffering. Buddha says 'Events happen, deeds are done, but there is no individual doer thereof' - Radical indeed.
If all of that is true then who or what is it that I think and feel that I am? The Sages offer answers but ultimately guide us to make the investigation for ourselves and come to our own experiential conclusions.
What I know is that I didn't choose to have the tendencies and inclinations that I have and therefore rather than feeling pride or shame about them it makes more sense to observe the internal mechanism and in that awareness the causes of self-inflicted misery seem to tend towards dissolution.
Along with self-investigation and self-attention I have recently been resonating internally during meditation and in daily life with the resonant sound of Aum. This practice of Mantra Japa is a time tested and Sage authenticated means of helping to relax and quiet the wandering mind. When the practice becomes natural, spontaneous and effortless then one is said to be going the right way about it.