Aspiring for Harmony
A month where the Dublin Centre focuses on bringing harmony into our inner and outer worlds.....
One of the fantastic things about being in a meditation centre is it brings you together will all kinds of people you might not have has a chance to interact with normally. Most people, if they're honest, will admit they keep fairly closed circles of interaction - workmates, golf buddies, people in the same income bracket - not deliberately, but just because the circumstances of life naturally lend themselves towards one gravitating towards likeminded people.
However in a meditation centre, there is just one common denominator we all share that people can have regardless of age, class or income bracket: an urge to discover ourselves, to go deep within and reveal the inner beauty we know lies deep within us. Hence all kind of varied personalities can find themselves attracted to this same inner goal: paediatricians and plumbers, introverts and extroverts, delicate artists and rambunctious athletes, the list goes on... Sometimes Sri Chinmoy 's meditation path can seem like all paths rolled into one, so varied are the temperaments and dispositions of the people on it; one feels sometimes like one is looking at a microcosm of humanity.
But there is also an extra challenge there, as we have to pull ourselves out of the complacent groove of hanging around with people of like disposition, and create space for people of every mien to advance along the spiritual path. Thats why the topic of harmony is so important, and recently the Dublin Centre spent a month including this theme in our twice-weekly meditations.
For each meditation, a member of the Centre would bring along some writings by Sri Chinmoy on some aspect of harmony, be it harmony in the centre, harmony in the world, or even inner harmony in the mind, emotions ect. Below are some of the extracts.
Harmony when working together
The Dublin Centre, just like many other centres around the world, try to serve their fellow seekers of truth by putting on free meditation classes, concerts and running events. Here is some advice Sri Chinmoy gave us about working together in pursuit of these goals:
I value the disciples' progress infinitely more than I value outer achievements. If I see that two individuals are working together amicably instead of fighting, it will give me greater joy. Your inner attitude is always of paramount importance.
You can bring a flower and throw it on the shrine, or you can bring it with your heart's devotion-tears and place it on the shrine. If you just throw the flower on the shrine, will the deity be pleased? Similarly, if individuals who are working on a project are quarrelling and fighting, then if one person brings me the good news that the thing has been accomplished, am I going to be happy? The fruit is there, but it tastes rotten because the persons who were involved in bringing the fruit have quarreled and fought.
Always try to bring forward the attitude of loving oneness. I did not come into the world to have my name in the street. I came into the world to raise the consciousness of each person and to turn each person into a living God....I am saying that if you do not achieve anything, I will not be unhappy provided there is harmony in all that you do.
(Taken from the book Sri Chinmoy Answers, part 24 )
Question: How can we avoid criticising someone?
Sri Chinmoy: Always we have to see what happens to us when others criticise us. It is like two boxers fighting. I am a boxer and somebody else is a boxer. When I criticise someone, it is like hitting them and hurting them. And when they criticise me, they are hurting me by making me feel sad. If we can remember how we feel when we are criticised, then we can sympathise with others. If we do not like being attacked by others, why should we attack them? Try to think of others as flowers. Feel that you are entering into a garden. You can enjoy the beauty of the flowers, or again, you can destroy the petals one by one. If you criticise others, you are destroying the flowers. What kind of beauty, purity and other divine qualities will you find in the garden when all the flowers are destroyed?
How can you prove to the world that you are very wise if you are constantly criticising others? Any thing that helps you in your spiritual life, you have to do as often as possible, and anything that does not help you, you have to give up. Before you came to the spiritual life, you did many undivine things. When you enter into the spiritual life, it means that you are ready to give up those bad qualities. When you are eager and willing to do the right thing, automatically the bad qualities will leave you.
(Taken from the book Sri Chinmoy Answers, part 16 )
Question: How can we work more harmoniously in dealing with other individuals?
Sri Chinmoy: To keep harmony when you are dealing with other individuals, do not use your justice-light. Forget about justice! There is no justice on earth. Only think of wisdom-light. Always be as humble as possible. Even if you feel that others are idiots, use absolute humility – if necessary, forced humility. Force yourself to be at the other person’s feet, not on the other person’s head. Let them increase their stupidity. Let their ego-baloon become large, larger and largest. One day it will burst. True, by becoming humble, you are pumping them up. But at least you are not increasing the disharmony. It is not something that you will have to do all your life. For one or two months or a few years you will do it. Then you will see that eventually the other person’s ego-baloon will burst and he will be on the same level as you are. Otherwise, without humility, there is no way to have harmony.
(Taken from the book Sri Chinmoy Answers, part 29 )
Question: Sometimes I feel I know the only right thing to do, but someone else thinks he or she knows best. When both of us cannot conquer that kind of feeling, what is the right solution?
Sri Chinmoy: There is a way. Right now you are fighting for your way.You feel that your way is correct and the other person is wrong. But you can say, "All right. Let me make the sacrifice. Let me accept her way. I know she is one hundred per cent wrong, but let me try her way." If by accepting her way, you make a horrible mistake, do you think she will not have the eyes or the heart to see what she has done, that because you have been kind enough to accept her way, now it is a total failure? She will say, "My God! My friend loves me so much that she renounced her way. Now what have I done? I have ruined everything." Then the next time, she will be infinitely more careful when she offers a way.
But if both parties stick to their own principles, then you will only quarrel and fight. At that time unaspiring forces such as bitterness will enter. Your unaspiring forces will enter into her and her unaspiring forces will enter into you.
(Taken from the book Sri Chinmoy Answers, part 24 )