Thursday, July 11, 2013

Fierce Grace

Saw a movie that I had been avoiding the other night. Baba Ram Dass had a stroke years ago now
and he made this movie about it. It was compelling. It was a movie I needed to see awakening old
dreams of utopian living and cosmic consciousness. Woodstock and Baba (Muktananda with whom
I associate through his disciple Gurumayi) and LSD and Harvard and Boston and the rich people thereof. Ram Dass' father owned two railroads. He was a noted lawyer in Boston when Ram was growing up and known then as Richard Alpert. The story goes of how happy Dick was as a professor at Harvard, all the wealth that abounded there and of how Tim Leary moved into the office next to his. Tim discovered these mushrooms in Mexico, magic mushrooms, and soon it appears thereafter LSD. He talks of what a mind blowing experience LSD was and about his year of using it in excess. Then he speaks of the coming down. He didn't want to come down and he went to India mostly with this purpose in mind. I have tried LSD a few times and psilocybin mushrooms. I'm not sure it really blew my mind. I was afraid of it, generally speaking but I hid my fears well. Mushrooms were considered a milder form of psychedelic and they became most popular. Naturally, knowing of Ram Dass and his experience I was interested in India. Although I did have an unusual experience chanting Hare Krsna once and some experiences with the cooperatives and Tibetan Buddhism in the late 70's, I haven't had the kind of mind expanding experiences that Baba Ram Dass has. I have hung on though, turning to my yoga for material and emotional survival. I don't do much hatha yoga. None at all really, but I hang onto that mantra. I hate that it seems to get away and become mundane in certain ways. People mock, they make fun, as when Ram Dass' father wondered who Harry Krishna was, some kind of dry cleaners or something and why they had to repeat that song over and over again. Why the repetition. I get that a lot. I find my focus gets all messed up. I suppose a lot of focus depends on emotional security. Could be financial security is involved in that as folks get less secure as there is less money around to fulfill their material needs. Om Namah Shivaya. It means, I bow to the Self within. The world is a distorted reflection of this Self. It projects itself out but we see it through dirty glasses as it were. Our mind is contaminated, polluted. My friend D.R. speaks of
these samskaras that dirty up the mind and make it see what is ugly and unsatisfactory instead of what is beautiful and divine. Besides mantra repetition there is also devotion to the Guru. I find that hard, too. The ego has not been removed from myself nor many of the sangha either. We get in each others way. I like to blame society and the west for this. Prejudice.  I like that. There is a lot of negative reinforcement surrounding the Guru principle. I also try to regularly sing some texts that Baba Muktananda introduced in the west, such as Shri Guru Gita and Kundalini Stavah. I also sing a song of devotion to Mahalakshmi, the goddess of wealth and fortune as well as sometimes a song called Gurudeva Hamara Pyaara and Jyota se Jyota Jagavo and chant which opens up regular satsangs at the meditation center I had been going to since I became homeless. I had actually returned to it after I became homeless because after all where could I turn. I no longer had satellite TV, an apartment and a broadband internet connection. Lately though I have had a falling out with my center as an important sevite there said my belching disturbed her meditation. A sevite is one who serves the Guru with work, cleaning and/or administering the work of the meditation center in this case. Some have called her the president though my center has never come forward much with who pays its rent and who is in charge of what. So, I have been going to my center for the past couple of months. It's a small place anyway that only attracts 4 to 8 people at maximum anymore. It used to draw more but since Gurumayi has not been producing any video talks and video chants they don't come anymore. There are also many less intensives anymore. Now there is like one a  year for Baba Muktananda's Mahasamadhi in October. Still, I liked that it was still available. Maybe some are upset that it is not the place it was before. Soon they will not be the person they were before and maybe that is the lesson of it. It was grace to see Baba Ram Dass' Fierce Grace. Here's a link to it.

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