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A Place of Refuge - 01.21.10

Coming together in a Satsang, or spiritual gathering, “creates a womb of love in which to bathe, in which to let go of the stresses that we have to deal with ‘out there’ in that world of non-love, of competition and anger and brutality,” explains Shunyamurti, the spiritual director of the Sat Yoga Institute in Costa Rica. “And the more we create a close-knit community of love, the more this becomes a refuge. And that’s what is important to the soul of each of us; we need a refuge. Everyone needs a place to be able to come and know that they’re accepted without judgment. Where they can sit and let go of everything.”

“And so we have to find the way to achieve the inner refuge. And that means we have to let go of the mind itself because the mind is where the problems lie. And we are attached to the mind because we identify with the body. As long as consciousness is identified with the physical organism, then the mind, with all of its defense mechanisms that are intended to protect that organism against the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune, will have to remain rigid and always on alert—and always thinking, manipulating, strategizing—to defend itself. But when we can let go of the mind—first at the ego level and then even at the soul level—then we can finally be at peace in our spirit, our Atman. That’s the only true refuge." Recorded on the evening of Thursday, January 21, 2010.

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Excerpt: “Human nature is a variable; it’s not a constant. It changes through the ages,” argues Shunyamurti, the spiritual director of the Sat Yoga Institute in Costa Rica. “And right now we’re in a time when the human ego structure is morphing at an accelerated rate into a very distorted and negative, nihilistic, and fragmented form.” And, as a result, the collective sphere is also getting more and more chaotic and unpredictable. “And so anyone who is sane feels mad in this world because the collective normality is madness; madness of a particularly paranoid kind.” And along with the paranoia, come other egocentric mind states such as desire, “the fantasy of wishful thinking that ‘Oh, if I’m only with that person then everything is gonna be fine. That person will rescue me from my despair’ or whatever. Or ‘That money,’ or ‘That car,’ or that whatever. And the projection of desire—as well as of fear—begins to operate, as well as the false duty of the karma that exists at the disillusionment point that, ‘OK, if I only get a good job and get my parents to approve of my life or society to approve of me, then I’ll be fine, and I’ll be stabilized.’ But of course none of that works either because it’s not coming from the True Self, it’s coming from a desire to please the other. . . . So we have to be constantly alert to when the ego-mind is fooling you and taking you off center. And that requires then a practice of meditation that is very intense, very constant, so that the chatter of the mind is overcome, and the silent presence of the Divine Light and Love is what is the operative power that is emanating through you. And it’s only through a surrender to God—internally—and then activating that externally through behaviors that link one in the highest way to service, communal action, harmonious, loving, compassionate, beingness in the world that will keep our souls pure, and therefore to function according to an inner compass that is accurately calibrated to true north of God-consciousness.” Recorded on the evening of Monday, January 11, 2010.

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