There are moments in our lives when everything collapses and we feel as if we’re being pulled by negative forces, but there is one Source for our support, and that is Divine Grace. Surrender, acceptance, resilience, prayerfulness, mindfulness, and meditation help us rebuild the power within and pass through any storm. And we thank the Universal Source that the difficult days don’t stay forever in this world of continual change and impermanence.
When we live a soul-centered life, we become a happy person, for to be with our spirit is to be in peace and content. As we live a materially engrossed life, we face the storms of life without an anchor. Our spiritual being is our anchor. Only a spiritually awakened person can discriminate between what is good for him or her, and what is not good, at any given period of time and avoid the evil consequences of cause and effect.
But most often we victimize ourselves through our negative affirmations of the reality of the stormy times. When the bad times come, they appear as though they will never leave, like a bad winter! But what has stayed in a fleeting world of continual shifts? Nothing, neither good nor bad; everything stayed for a while and then the next came in its own course. So also, if anything appears to be insurmountable then please think that with Divine Grace we can surmount any problem of life, and that every such storm leaves us stronger than before, richer in experience. No misery comes to us to make us miserable, but to take us to the next level of transformed consciousness of our innate Divine Connection.
In the path of Yoga, Tapas is considered the bedrock of our spiritual practice. Tapas is the heat that is generated when we go through the roller coaster storms of daily life and how we transform that heat (stress) into a flame of Self Awareness. It is the most important single factor that decides the progress of the awakening of the soul. Tapas is the resilience that holds us together when we are faced with the storms of life. We may not like to practice daily yoga and pranayama, we may not like to eat healthy food regularly and mindfully, we may not like to go to bed early to rise early, or we may not find our time for daily meditation. But that is the essence of tapas; to do our practice, and do it lovingly against all excuses to postpone it for the next day. We must forbear all the odds in the family and work, knowing that we are burning off our past debts only to be fresh and new. Tapas helps us into moment-to-moment rebirthing. That is applied spirituality.
Tapas helps the storms in life to pass. Have we not seen that storms damage the big trees that are solid and do not bend, but that supple trees, small plants and grass bow before the storm as it passes? We need patience to be like a tender plant that bends as a hard storm hits it, acknowledging the glory of God’s infinite Grace of protecting those who can bow. Life at times brings such hurricanes that even big trees are uprooted, but the smaller trees, bushes and grass that are flexible can bend and withstand the lashing wind. Once the storm is over, these smaller manifestations of Mother Nature stand again with renewed strength. By watching Mother Nature we learn that the lessons of life are not sent to crush us but to test whether we too can bend, be humble, and surrender with trust that all is well. We all have trials and tribulations in our lives that often leave behind many bountiful blessings of experiences and lessons that are priceless.
We are not here to only experience peaks of success and accomplishments, and enjoy their fruits. We are here to attain success that is beyond temporal gains, success to access the power of our spirit, to be on our own, to remain calm when storms hit us and things no longer go our way. We are here to realize that our true Beloved is one who would never leave us, who will gradually teach us to let go of worldly possessions, and who will show us that only by surrendering the ego will the final victory of God realization happen. We are never alone!! Divine Grace is always with us!!
Remember, when the turbulence in life comes, which it inevitably does, it does not come to stay forever. It comes as long as there is force from behind, but the problem is before the force ends, we add our energy to it by being resistant, reactive and judgmental about it, helping prolong the suffering it causes. In the path of Light we need to carefully build a fence around the green-leafed sapling that is our newborn spiritual self so that it is not blown away by the storms of life. We need to stand at the doors of our mind-home and protect it from the storms of our negative thoughts, allowing only wise thoughts and sparks of wisdom to enter our mind. The sapling will then grow into a wisdom tree and once it has deep roots yet can still bend, we are safe. Then we can withstand any storms in life.
Mindfulness is the remedy! Meditation is the path. Prayerfulness is the support!!