Yes We Can
November 2008 saw the election of a new President of the United States of America. Many of the speeches given by the winning candidate revolved around a simple slogan which has now entered the language: “Yes We Can”. If applied spiritually, this slogan can apply to satsangis on a much deeper level. The Master always encourages us to adopt a positive approach in everything we do.
All of us grow up and live our lives enshrouded in the cloak of our own ego. This ‘I-ness’ leads us to think that we have control of our own destinies, and any successes we have are a direct result of our own actions. When things are going our way, rather than saying “Yes We Can”, we are quick to say “Yes I Can”.
However, when a misfortune befalls us, when a loved one becomes unwell or we lose our jobs, we start feeling helpless. We feel powerless and start blaming external factors for the negative aspects of our lives. Recognizing our limitations and that everything does not lie in our power, we turn to spirituality in our search for answers. We acknowledge the existence of a higher power and make God-realization our ultimate goal. We aim to achieve a sense of peace and commitment. As satsangis, we seek guidance and refuge from our living Master, who guides us through trials and tribulations by teaching us how to meditate, enabling us ultimately to leave this karmic cycle once and for all.
In our spiritual journey, we may take our helplessness too literally. While all of us love him and acknowledge his presence, some of us tend to believe that only he can actually make us sit down to meditate, and that any lack of effort on our part can be attributed to him not pushing us hard enough. We go from one extreme, “Yes I Can”, to the other, “Yes He Can”.
Understandably, some of us may be confused at this point. If we are supposed to surrender everything to our Master and leave our lives in his hands, then why should the rules of meditation be different?
We need to distinguish between our effort and his grace. Our effort is the start, the expression of our desire to meet our Creator. But no matter how much we meditate, through our own efforts alone, we cannot guarantee our emancipation. It is his grace coupled with our efforts that makes our path easier over time and leads us to our Creator.
Therefore, his instructions to us are simple: to do our meditation to the best of our ability, in keeping with the principles of the path, and to leave all our other worries in his hands. So long as we do our very best, his grace will take care of the rest. All we need to put in is our effort. Together, even though the ‘deal’ is so much more in our favour, both Master and disciple can conquer the karmic cycle. This is the embodiment of “Yes We Can”; with this in mind, how can we fail?
So as satsangis our next step is clear. All that we are required to do is our duty, our meditation, and then leave all other worries to our Master. Therefore, whenever we encounter a problem in our life, we can ask ourselves: can both my Master and I handle this problem together? The answer will be overwhelmingly clear: “Yes We Can”.
To choose a positive path is to affirm one’s spiritual nature. All conflict, in the final analysis, is the manifestation of inner conflict. And while we may never be able to make the world into a utopia, we can, the saints tell us, transform ourselves. Through the practice of meditation, we can gradually reclaim for ourselves a higher state of being.