Miracle #12 -The Untangling Of My Mind
I read a book this year by Jeffrey Kagel, a "white Jewish kid from Long Island" and a founding member of the band that became Blue Oyster Cult.
The author was an aspiring rock musician who had a lot of personal problems and decided to travel to India with some friends in 1970. There he become a devotee of the Hindu guru Neem Karoli Baba (Maharaj-ji), who gave him the name Krishna Das.
His guru exuded such unconditional love that Krishna Das spent all day just longing for an hour in his presence.
The rest of the time he spent learning Indian devotional music, which is called kirtan. In his book, Chants of a Lifetime, Krishna Das gave this account of what happened afterwards:
I blurted out in anguish, 'Maharaj-ji! How can I serve you in America?'
He looked at me with mock disgust and said, 'What is this? If you ask how you should serve, then it is no longer service. Do what you want.'
I couldn't believe my ears. How could doing what I wanted to do be of service to him? I didn't have that kind of faith. I just sat there, stunned. Then after a minute or so he looked over at me, smiling sweetly, and asked, 'So, how will you serve me?'
'My mind was blank. It was time for me to leave for Delhi, to catch the plane back to the States. He was looking at me and laughing. I bent down and touched his feet for the last time and when I looked up he, he was beaming at me, 'So, how will you serve me in America?'
I felt like I was moving in a dream. I floated across the courtyard and bowed to him one more time from a distance. As I did, the words came to me, 'I will sing to you in America.'
Krishna Das returned to the U.S. and began singing kirtan here. I never understood what kirtan music was before I read his book - I thought it was just some kind of Indian call-and-response chanting.
The chants are actually composed of all the different Sanskrit names for God. It is the Eastern musical equivalent of this advice given by Christian mystic Emmet Fox in The Golden Key to Prayer:
Stop thinking about the problem and think about God instead.
Your mind can only be focused on one thing at a time. If it is focused on God, then it cannot be occupied with worries, cares, concerns, problem-solving, doubts or fears.
While this may seem counter-intuitive and even irresponsible, the fact is that you cannot solve any problem on your own, and by removing your energies from the situation, God can step in and correct whatever the issue is without your interference.
Krishna Das ended up becoming "The Yoga Rock Star". In the process, according to his book, his heart opened and his mind quieted.
I tell you this story because for the first 50 years of my life, my mind was like a messy knot.
Lots of thoughts and emotions seemed to be jumbled together inside my head.
Sometimes I could keep my mind focused on a single thought - usually if I were studying or exercising - but most of the time all my random thoughts were tangled and intertwined.
I would have a thought about one thing, and it would go off on a tangent, and lead to thoughts about other things. A lot of times I wasn't even aware of what I was thinking - I would start off thinking about something and after a while realize that I was worrying about something else.
I felt confused and frustrated a lot of the time. While I was taking the 40 Day Transformation course offered by The Teachers of God Foundation this year, my mind got untangled.
Now it feels more like thread on a spool.
The funny thing is I didn't realize what a mess it was until I got it sorted out. Once I no longer had all those confusing thoughts, worries, doubts, anxieties, and problems taking up all of my mental energy, I was free to focus on what was really important to me, which is expressing love.
There is no difficulty that enough love will not conquer;
No disease that enough love will not heal;
No door that enough love will not open;
No gulf that enough love will not bridge;
No wall that enough love will not throw down;
No sin that enough love will not redeem...
It makes no difference how deeply seated may be the trouble;
How hopeless the outlook;
How muddled the tangle;
How great the mistake;
A sufficient realization of love will dissolve it all...
If only you could love enough you would be the happiest and most powerful being in the world. — Emmet Fox
The process that allowed me to untangle my mind was this:
Read a little.
Think about GOD all the time.
— Paramahansa Yogananda
Once I had my priorities straight, everything else fell into place effortlessly. Life ceased to be a problem that needed solving - to paraphrase Kierkegaard - and became a reality to be experienced. And a happy reality at that!
Thank You, Holy Spirit
God is in everything I see because God is in my mind. - ACIM Workbook, Lesson 30