Actions Express Priorities
Twenty-four hours in a day seem to fly by so quickly. Most of us barely have time to finish off the daily chores and the endless errands that we are expected to run. Sure, we wake up and attempt to do our meditation, but it does not seem like there is enough time to finish the two and a half hours that we have committed to.
The Masters have constantly emphasized that twenty-four hours in a day are more than enough to get both our worldly and spiritual work done. It only takes a thorough look at the way we spend our spare time to understand that, in fact, we waste time. We surf the Internet mindlessly, attend numerous social events, shop for more clothes in spite of overflowing closets, watch television programs till late night, talk for hours on end with friends on the phone – most of the time trying our best to find another topic of conversation to jump to. The truth of the matter is that most of us would even prefer boredom to sitting down and doing our meditation. When it comes to the rest of our worldly duties, we are forever ready and able to attend to them, but when it comes to doing our meditation, we become plain lazy.
This may seem a bit harsh to some of us, but in essence, is that not how we are?
Let us think about it – we choose to do all the things mentioned above, knowing that none of them will serve any purpose in this journey of self-realization. The Masters always ask us to think logically -and in this case, do we? What will running after all this materialistic wealth and distraction help us achieve? Has it kept us happy thus far, that we believe by further indulging in the illusion, we will be forever happy? Maharaj Charan Singh says in Quest for Light:
The aim of human life is the achievement of God-realization and if we do not find the way to achieve it, we have wasted the human life with which the Lord has blessed us.
It eventually all comes down to one thing – our priorities. We choose to add all the extra activities to our daily life and when they become so overwhelming, we complain that we simply do not have enough time for our meditation.
Even after years of being on this path, if we were to spend a minute to contemplate our situation, we would realize that we have hardly made any sacrifices in terms of our lifestyle. We have not prioritized Sant Mat, so when life in all its materialistic glory overwhelms us, we complain that we do not have time.
The truth of the matter is that we are trying to fit Sant Mat into our way of life rather than changing our way of life to fit into Sant Mat. We get carried away in the illusion and try to squeeze Sant Mat in somewhere. We have to constantly remind ourselves that we are spiritual beings going through a human experience, and not the other way around.
In Die to Live, Maharaj Charan Singh aptly puts it:
Sant Mat teaching is very simple, but to follow it is much more difficult than it looks. It’s a constant struggle with the mind, and one has to change one’s entire way of life and one’s attitude towards life. To follow Sant Mat requires a complete transformation, so it’s not easy. One has to sacrifice a lot in life.
If we truly ask ourselves what sacrifices have we made to achieve our spiritual goal, how many of us could genuinely answer that we have in fact moulded our way of life according to the principles of Sant Mat?
It would help to remind ourselves that we are temporary residents in this world. We feel like we are here permanently and therefore have set up our lifestyles accordingly. We have to keep in mind that we are going to die someday; that is an eventuality that we cannot deny. By doing so, we will realize the importance of meditation and will make more of a conscious effort to prioritize our time.
You have to dwell there; why crave and collect things here? Live in the world like a guest; do not get involved in the affairs of others. As long as the breath in your body comes and goes, adore the Lord’s Name. You have come to earn the wealth of redemption; do not gamble your life away to earn a few shells. This is your chance to amass the treasure of the true Name; gather as much as you can, for soon death will come.
Kabir, The Weaver of God’s Name