Living in His Presence
With today’s lifestyle, so many of us seem to be busier than ever. Between our careers, responsibilities, social activities and other commitments, we tend to be constantly pressed for time. “If only I had a few more hours in a day,” we frequently hear ourselves saying. There are times when life demands so much of our attention that we become helpless and feel swayed more towards the world than the Lord. When the attention is primarily focused on the world, it only becomes natural to feel distant from the Master. As a result, our meditation is affected, and we feel dry and empty. So how does one live in this world so that one feels the Master’s presence all the time? How do we attend to our worldly duties so that we do not create this distance? What is the perfect formula that we are all looking for?
The answer that is often given is ‘balance’ – to learn to live in the world with balance; but what exactly does that mean? Maharaj Charan Singh explains this very clearly:
Christ said that you can’t have two masters. Either mammon is your master or God is your master. When you are below the eye centre, your mind is your master; when you are above the eye centre, God is your master. To keep a balance in the world, you should hold your attention at the eye centre. If you do this and if you’re attached to the spirit within, you will be able to keep your balance in this world; you will be able to discharge your worldly duties and achieve that goal for which you have taken this human form. That is keeping your balance. We have to go through the karmic accounts which we have collected in past lives; that is why we have taken this birth. But we should not forget why we have been given the opportunity of being born in this human form. It is to go back to the Father. If you withdraw your consciousness to the eye centre and become one with that spirit, that holy light within yourself, you will be able to discharge your worldly duties better. Also, you will be able to go back to the Father. That is keeping a balance in this world.
Spiritual Perspectives, Vol. III
The Masters often urge us not to forget our true objective. We are here to build our relationship with the Lord. We can only look to our Master as the perfect example – his schedule is much more demanding than ours – yet, he is always calm, loving and keeps his commitments. In the same way, our responsibilities, duties, worries and work will never end. What is important is to learn to live in the constant presence of the Lord, whilst we attend to our worldly work. The only way we can do this is to make our spiritual work our priority – and by understanding that nothing is more important than fulfilling our commitment to the Master. If we attend to our duties while keeping our attention on the Lord, then we will be able to withstand anything that comes our way. The Masters have often said that if we do the Lord’s work, then the rest is taken care of. We only need to hold on to those words.
A seeker once asked a spiritual teacher, “How long will it take for me to feel the Lord’s presence? How much longer do I need to wait?” The teacher replied with a question: “It depends – how badly do you want Him?”
That is the question we need to ask ourselves. When we are separated from our loved ones, our thoughts constantly run towards them, in spite of how busy we may be. We start thinking what they might be doing at that time, and there are times when we spontaneously pick up the phone and call them. We do not need an excuse or a specific time to think of them. In the same context, Maharaj Charan Singh asks us:
Have we ever thought of our long, long separation from the Creator, the most beloved of all relatives? Have we ever shed a tear or heaved a sigh on not finding him near and not being able to behold him. Have we ever pined for him? Have we ever passed a single sleepless hour in grief over this great separation?
Light on Sant Mat
The Masters tell us that if we truly and sincerely want to experience the Lord’s presence, then nothing can stand in our way. Meister Eckhart, a Christian mystic, (as quoted by Eknath Easwaran in Original Goodness) explains this so beautifully:
You need not seek God here or there: he is no farther off than the door of the heart. There he stands and waits and waits until he finds you ready to open and let him in. You need not call him from a distance. To wait until you open for him is harder for him than for you. He needs you a thousand times more than you need him. Your opening and his entering are but one moment.
Imagine living this life with the awareness of his presence at all times – that he is always with us, going through every facet of our life. The Lord will become our companion, our true friend – and we will realize that there is no one else in this world who can give us as much love and happiness as he does. Our duties, our worldly pressures, the stress of life will remain – but life will take on new meaning – living in the world will be a joyful and pleasurable experience. Through the daily practice of our meditation, and through the constant practice of living in his presence, we will know without any uncertainty that he is always with us, and will always be.