The T Factor
Life has become so busy for many satsangis that despite our best intentions, we are not seeing much action in terms of spiritual practice. Let’s say that, expressed as an equation, Intention (I) + Time (T) = Action (A). The problem for us is that the T factor has gone missing.
We all have heard about and practised time management in some phase of our lives. Many of us boast of being an effective time manager on our CVs!
But when it comes to the most important activity of our life, sadly, we fail to allocate enough time towards it. Deep down we all know that we can do it. The Master has said there are no failures in Sant Mat. So the very fact that he has accepted us and initiated us shows the immense trust he has in our capability. It’s his way of saying: “Yes, you can do it!”
Some of us may have heard the following story about setting priorities:
In his lecture to a group of business students, a professor in time management gave a classic example to explain a point. He pulled out a wide-mouthed jar and put some rocks in it, filling the jar to the top. He then asked the group whether the jar was full. The students unanimously replied that it was. He shook his head, took out a bucket of gravel and poured it into the jar. The gravel settled in between the rocks. He then asked the same question “Is the jar full?” The students were now getting the point and some of them replied, “No.” He was happy with the response, introduced a bucket of sand and repeated the action. The same question was asked again and they confidently replied that there was still space left in the jar. The professor then filled the jar to the brim with water.
What, the professor asked the group of students, was the purpose of the exercise? One of his students thought that the message was that if we work really hard, we can still fit more things in no matter how full our schedule.
The professor said that was not the point. He explained that the purpose behind it was to demonstrate that if we don’t put the big rocks in first, we will never be able to get them in at all.
When we reflect on this story and its meaning for us, we can think about what the big rocks of our own lives are and make sure that we put them first. In other words prioritize them in our schedules or daily routine.
We all need to strive to make meditation the biggest rock of our life. Remember, Master has often said that it’s our life support system. Once meditation tops the list of our priorities, everything else will fall into place automatically. Baba Ji has often said that if we do his work, he will do ours. That’s a reassurance from him that most of us tend to take too lightly.
The question, then, is what is stopping us? What prevents us from giving that hundred percent effort to please our Master? The Master often says that twenty-four hours in a day are more than enough for us to attend to our worldly and family obligations, as well as giving that much needed time to ourselves in meditation.
Perhaps we should think about who we actually are and what it is that we really need.
Do we honestly believe material wealth is going to make us feel happy and at peace within ourselves? Without a doubt, a certain amount of material wealth is needed to sustain oneself in this world but it’s entirely our decision where we want to draw the line. We’ve spent so many years trying to acquire one possession or the other. A thought to ponder upon is whether there has ever come a time when we decided, that’s it, I have everything I need to sustain myself in this world and need no more?
The fact is, our mind will never be satisfied with whatever we achieve materially. What we must focus on is our spiritual needs. We are actually spiritual beings going through a human experience, so it is fulfilment of our spiritual needs that will give us true happiness and peace.
Let’s not let the T factor come between us and our goal. There is always enough time – what’s missing is our determination.
Mind is a curious thing. It will gladly do all kinds of work externally without feeling tired, but the moment you put it to the spiritual exercises – ask it to sit still inside – it will try to escape by putting in all sorts of excuses, like the need for rest after a hard day’s work, need for rest because of a heavy stomach, bad weather and so forth. But if there is longing or if there is determination, then the inward progress will proceed uninterrupted. Those who complain of sleep at the time of meditation usually sit halfheartedly, only as a matter of routine, and not with any longing.
Maharaj Sawan Singh, The Dawn of Light