Sat Chit Ananda Guru Ki Jay
Not My Circus, Not My Monkeys!
Recently we had a storm move through our area dropping a significant amount of rain in a short period of time. We sustained some roof leaks here at Nileshwar Hall. As we were leaving the program that night, I noticed that our neighboring tenant had gone for the day and left her area rug outside on the sidewalk to dry.
I began to express my concern to my fellow Sevites. “This is not a good idea. The rug will not dry out. It will get covered with dew overnight and still be damp. This rug is going to be filthy. Everyone who parks here will have to step on it to enter these businesses.” Then, looking down at the rug again, without thinking I blurted out, “Not my circus, not my monkeys.” To which we had a good laugh.
The next day when I returned to the Hall to continue the cleanup from the rain, the rug was still there. It remained on the sidewalk for a week! Seeing it there every day threw my mind into a tizzy of endless inner chatter. I stepped over the rug thinking, “not my circus, not my monkeys,” to which the circus monkeys began to perform, swinging wildly in my mind from thought to thought over this rug.
This phrase, “not my circus, not my monkeys,” was often uttered by an old acquaintance/past spiritual teacher of mine when I would go down the rabbit hole of concerning myself with something that was not mine to worry about. She would say this to remind me to stop the chatter of the monkey mind, and as a way to let go of attachment.
It had been years since I thought of this person and utterance, as it was not helpful or useful in ridding me of thought monkeys. And here, outside of Nileshwar Hall, in perfect timing and order, the Shakti was bringing awareness to my attention that indeed some monkey business was taking place that needed to be addressed. My mind was becoming a circus. I needed reminding that I had better engage the methods for addressing my restless mind, rather than simply uttering a silly phrase.
I didn’t Buy A Ticket to the Circus… Or Did I
In a recent program, Sadguru Kedarji shared that the only state worth living in is the state of indescribable Joy. Coming to live in this state begins with the contemplation of where one allows the mind to wander. He shared that if the mind is upset, or confused, the Self is not. The wandering mind conceals the Self.
This is not a matter of analysis but a matter of observation of where one allows the mind to dwell, so that one can reign the mind in. Doing so, we can see just how we conceal our true nature from ourselves, and how we are responsible for where the mind goes.
To begin this instruction on how to observe the mind, he shared with us the importance of keeping the best inner company, followed by a series of questions for self-inquiry and observation. This talk really hit home as I had fallen into a funk, a depressive state, fueled by this inner company I was keeping by way of listening to and believing self-defeating thoughts.
Over the next several days I contemplated the questions Sadguru Kedarji offered and began to consider how often I engage the circus of the mind and its monkeys.
I didn’t think I bought a ticket to the circus, yet after observation, I did indeed.
Although it was subtle and seemingly insignificant, the thoughts I held in my mind over the rug were a distraction and caused me to contract into rumination on thoughts that were not focused on experiencing the joy of the Self. Instead of reaching for the methods I have been taught here in Nityananda Shaktipat Yoga to quiet the mind, I reached for a catchy, pseudo spiritual phrase.
Sadguru Kedarji shared in that same program that, “thinking is comprised of mantras that have a whole host of understandings connected to them. Observing these understandings with your spiritual witnessing awareness will tell you where your mind is.” Any thinking I engage in has a whole host of understandings connected to it that causes me to vibrate a certain way and to superimpose into Consciousness.
Continuing my contemplation of Sadguru Kedarji’s talk and the rug/monkey Kriya, it was brought to my attention that the inner company I keep feeds the thought monkeys. These mantras and understandings were pointing to where my mind was focused and how I was vibrating.
I observed that, more often than not, I dwell on thoughts that cause me to contract and pursue limiting desires and cravings. I dwell on thoughts of fear, anxiety, trauma, depression and possessing outcomes. I dwell on negative, self-critical, and self-defeating thoughts that keep me locked in a loop of fear.
I then made the connection that this poor inner company is strengthened by my habit of adopting habits, opinions, and notions that are popular among the outer company I keep, such as my family. They are further strengthened and influenced by popular culture that I engage in such as Facebook and TV shows.
I observed this by how I think and feel when I spend the day engaged in daily spiritual practice, performing Guruseva and being in the company of my Guru and Sangham -verses how I feel and think when I am surrounded by my family and the mundane world around me.
When I keep better outer company, I am more peaceful, uplifted, happy, and more able to see the blessings and messages in situations. The chatter of the mind is less intrusive.
When I keep poor outer company, the circus begins. I begin to believe that I need material things presented to me by TV and social media and that I need to behave a certain way to be loved and accepted. This in turn impacts the thoughts and feelings I keep as inner company.
So Much Value
As the Sages of our lineage state, “By company you rise and by company you fall.”
This is a simple, direct utterance of wisdom and the reason why there is so much value in attending our programs.
From this one Wednesday evening program with Sadguru Kedarji that focused on reminding me of the importance of company, I gained so much. Here, we are taught the methods for quieting the mind and experiencing joy that deliver true and lasting results.
I was struggling with a restless mind (poor inner company). Then I was pointed in the direction of peace by being reminded of the principle and practice of the Arc.
The Principle of the Arc is:
- The understandings we reach for and embrace always dictate how we feel, along with the corresponding emotions that are expressed.
- How we feel determines how we are vibrating in the moment, from moment to moment, along what we project into Consciousness.
- How we vibrate determines who and what we attract into our lives.
Practicing the arc is a way to observe the inner company I am keeping to determine if it is useful and delivers me to a state of joy.
Being in Sadguru Kedarji’s company uplifted me and inspired me to honor my daily spiritual practice. That following week I did make an effort to keep the mantra going and perform Japa throughout the day. In that effort I experienced a shift in my inner state to where I was aware that the circus of thoughts begins when I allow fear to be present.
Japa is the antidote for a restless mind filled with fear. I experience the restless mind and fear dissolve when I keep my attention focused on repeating the Mantra.
Contemplating my experience with this catchy little phrase, the self-inquiry questions, and all that followed, I was reminded of Humility and Reverence. I held deep gratitude and appreciation for the blessings of Grace and instruction in the methods that lead to Joy, offered by my Kedarji in our public programs.
There is so much value in attending our programs. I encourage you to join us to experience it for yourself. Om Guru Om.
Rev. Deana Tareshawty performs her selfless service as Vice President of our public charity, The Bhakta School, in addition to serving as a program leader and harmonium player. She also serves on our Board of Directors. Additionally, she holds a Bachelor of Arts in Communications and a double minor in Biology and Chemistry. She is a certified Ecology of Well-Being practitioner and the owner of Inspired Wholeness. She is also a trained Reiki Master in Usui Reiki.