Out of the Rabbit Hole
Before the amazing August 2023 retreat and intensive, I contemplated writing my upcoming blog about: What characterizes my rabbit holes (that which leads me away from God)? How do I get there? By ‘chance’,....View Now
The Blessing of Change
by Deana Tareshawty
Audio Version of This Blog Post
For those of us who live in the Northern part of America, Fall blesses us with a change in our surroundings. There is much activity in preparation for the change of season. The earth changes the tilt of her axis and, as a result, days are shorter and the nights longer. The air changes and becomes cooler and crisp. The trees change. They first display beautiful colors of gold, orange and burgundy. As the season progresses, they drop the leaves. The change in temperature and daylight signals the squirrels to start stashing acorns and the birds to fly South for warmer weather. Insects burrow into the ground seeking shelter. Plants shed seeds in preparation for next Spring’s bloom. Everything here happens according to God’s will and in God’s time. These seasons are a necessary part of the cycle of life. This blessing of change is an example of God’s love and Grace.
This love and Grace is also available for us. Although our modern life doesn’t hold the same demands on us to prepare for seasonal change as it did for our ancestors, we still do prepare, to some degree, to ensure our comfort and security in the cold months ahead. Many spend these days making sure they have plenty of comfort food in the pantry, and figuring out what Netflix series to binge watch, all while sipping pumpkin spice lattes. Those who are more spiritually focused acknowledge this time of year where our attention is drawn inward to rest, reflect and rejuvenate.
I was preparing for this seasonal change one afternoon by performing the task of shutting down my pool and putting away all of my outdoor furniture. I was inwardly grumbling about how fast the Summer flew by and how I hardly had time to sit on this furniture and just enjoy the sunshine.
My mind quickly moved to how my life seems to also be flying by faster than ever. I began contemplating all that was changing in my life. My seasons were changing, and I felt a ping of sadness enter my mind. My children are all grown up and out of the house, starting lives of their own. I’m now a grandmother. My relationship with my husband is changing now that we are no longer parents of young children. I must consider how to properly care for my aging mother. The more I thought about my changing seasons, the more it appeared that a lot of things are and were going to be leaving my life. In that, I felt resistance to change build within me.
With the thoughts of all that is changing, I moved into worry about the future and what that future will look like for me in a different role and in a different season of my life. I began to hold thoughts that I wish things could just stay the same and I didn’t have to make choices that seem hard to make. When my mind rests here in these thoughts, I forget that Grace and love is here for me to remember not to fear change. Change is a necessary part of growth and a part of God’s plan. Everything goes through change to become stronger, more intelligent, and more resilient. I forget that, armed with very specific methods offered to me in Nityananda Shaktipat Yoga for spiritual and personal growth, there is no reason I cannot emerge from this cycle of change stronger, happier, and more resilient. Change is part of life.
Continuing my clean up in this deep contemplation, the song “Turn, Turn, Turn” moved through my mind. To everything turn, turn, turn, there is a season, turn, turn, turn, and a time for every purpose under heaven. As the song continued to dance in my mind, I asked what its message was. The song was pointing to wisdom that I had forgotten.
I was reminded that I was thinking too mundanely about what my change in season means. I was only focusing on the changing of circumstances and objects and the choices necessary to adapt to change. I allowed my mind to wander into fear of change. I wasn’t seeing the bigger picture of what is taking place. The blessing of change had nothing to do with my changing circumstances in life, but rather the inner change that leads to spiritual transformation. I am creating a huge obstacle for myself, by way of my thinking, causing me suffering in attachment to objects and not letting go of what needs to change.
Holding these thoughts of fearing and resisting change, was leading me to stay stuck in forgetting the wisdom Sadguru Kedarji shares with us often. Some of the key points I was forgetting was that change can only occur in the present moment, moment to moment.
The mind loves the places it frequents the most. Understandings always dictate feelings. Always keep the best inner and outer company. I was forgetting that there are no others and the situations and circumstances I find myself in are a result of my karmas.
To everything, turn, was reminding me that I needed to have a change to my position (understanding) in how I relate to people, places, and things in my surroundings. And the season to do this is in the present moment, moment to moment.
There is a time for every purpose under heaven, was reminding me that every moment is a moment I can experience the joy of the Self and complete union with God when I reach for and imbibe Grace, with the intention of destroying the karmic habits that lie just below the surface of my awareness. When I make the change to fully embrace the spiritual lifestyle and set my mundane life accordingly, any other mundane change is easy and effortless.
In this I was reminded that things appear to mundanely change. But this is deeper. It is about facing my karmas and coming to live in a state of Grace. It is the inner change that is taking place to break my habit of reaching for mental conditioning.
The changes and choices I am being asked to make are to move on from karmic habits and tendencies. To do this I, am reminded that there is love and Grace inherent in the process of change. Change is a process that involves both wings of the bird. Grace is in the giving and taking away. The Shaktipat Kriya process is showing me exactly where change needs to occur and, through the Grace of my self effort, it is up to me to follow through.
In The Sutras On The 5-Fold Act of Divine Consciousness by Kedarji, we find the following:
191. This Grace, once bestowed, never goes to waste. However, it is best capitalized on through the discipline, devotion and steady spiritual practice of the disciple. This is disciple’s Grace. It enables the disciple to actually “steal,” as it were, the Master’s Shakti, the Guru’s energy.
192. Although ultimately at work as the cause and the effect of this entire universe, Grace does not truly descend on a conscious person until the seeker makes the decision to orient his/her will toward God. It is in this act of setting the ego aside that the seeker attracts the Grace-bestowing power of God to his/herself.
193. Although recognizable by an individual in certain moments of distress, although recognizable by the devotee in certain moments of compassion and honor, although recognizable by a person in certain moments of complete openness and surrender, the profound workings of Grace are best taken advantage of through the effort put forth for daily spiritual practice. In this way, a person orients his/her entire will to that path created and sustained by Grace.
Yet, through my forgetting, there are times when I find myself engaging in the act of sabotaging this Grace.
In this Kriya of my changing seasons, by the Grace of my Guru, I have been shown the steps to take to end this karmic habit and yet I fall short on following through out of fear, and the ego expressions of pride, and praise and blame. Sutra 190 in this same sacred text states:
It was here in verse 190 that I understood how and why I allow myself to seduced by the ego idea. I get caught in the traps of the ego in thinking Grace is not present in my life or that God has abandoned me because the outcome of a situation is not what I want. I become impatient with the process and let go of the discipline of my daily practice. I fail to see in that moment that it is all God’s will and is perfect, no matter what the outcome. In stubbornness, I dig my heels into worldliness, thinking I can wait out God’s will and timing, and eventually things will change. I want a particular outcome linked to comfort so that I will not have to experience suffering. In reality, it is my attachment to outcomes that is the cause of my pain and suffering.
Never underestimate the power of the Guru’s Grace and Love. Everything I experience in life is a season, a part of God’s plan for me to realize my true nature, a way for me to make my way back to oneness with God.
As I continued to read the chapter on Grace from the sacred text, The Sutras On The 5-Fold Act of Divine Consciousness by Kedarji, I found peace and a renewed enthusiasm for my Sadhana.
184. The depth, power and benefit of Grace is unfathomable. This is because Grace is at work constantly, even when the seeker is not aware of it.
185. To become aware of Grace is to understand and experience this world-appearance as His two aspects, the Immanent and the Transcendental.
186. Just as the wind cannot be seen, and yet we can experience its effects all around us and we know of its existence in this way; so too Grace, although mysterious and working in ways that often cannot be understood, is immanent everywhere.
187. Even though Grace is the support of this entire world-appearance, in order for it’s transforming power to be realized, the seeker must learn to recognize its presence.
188. The recognition of the presence of Grace is established through Shaktipat, the spiritual awakening bestowed upon the seeker by an authentic Shaktipat Guru.
189. The Grace of such a Sadguru is constantly at work within the disciple even though he/she may not be aware of it. It is in the giving, as well as in the taking away.
I am so grateful that my Guru’s Love is not seasonal. His Grace did not let me weather a harsh season alone. His Grace is the gift of life and love that rescues me in spite of myself, in spite of my forgetting. It is only by the Grace of my Guru that I am able to have awareness that these changing seasons of my life are more than what appears to take place in my mundane existence. It is by my Guru’s Grace that I no longer merely sleepwalk through life, thinking this is all there is for me.
207. The proof of Grace at work is everywhere. It is in your breathing, seeing, speaking, smelling, tasting, touching and feeling. It is in your every action. The proof of Grace is in your emotions. It is in your very ability to roam in the pleasure-garden of this world-appearance. The proof of Grace at work is in nature, in the rivers, in the ocean, in the mountains with their trees, in the forest on the high plains and low plains, in the cities, in the high-rise buildings, in the malls, as well as in the villages and cottages.
208. This proof of Grace is your very existence. There is no other miracle required. Grace itself is all this and that which causes all this to be. It is eternal without a second and it will remain whether the universe continues to be or not.
Grace is the beginning, middle, and end. Om Guru Om.
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.