The Progress Report
Goals – we all have them, and we are all conditioned to work towards them. In a result-oriented world, we rarely embark on anything that does not yield a tangible outcome. As we work towards that outcome, we are also given some sort of indication that tells us how far we have come and how far we still have to go. For students, this indication comes in the form of a report card. For those employed, it is usually an evaluation. In one form or another, we do receive a progress report of some sort. And that progress report becomes the basis for how much effort we put in because we clearly see the distance between our current situation and our goal.
In spirituality, there may be times when we find ourselves searching for a similar indication. As we sit in darkness for hours, days, months, and years, we are sometimes inclined to ask: How far have I come? How far do I have to go? Will an extra minute or an extra hour finally bring me where I am headed? Wouldn’t it be added motivation if my destination were in clearer view?
When we find ourselves looking for results, it is important to remind ourselves that we can only measure progress if we are aware of how far we have to go. In a question and answer session, Maharaj Charan Singh said, “We can only measure when we know how much we have yet to cover and how much we have already covered – only then can we know.” In our situation, we are not even aware of how long we have been stuck in this creation. How then can we even begin to account for the mountains of karmas we have accumulated?
The path we have chosen is that of love – unconditional love. And in love, there are no calculations. We sit for our meditation because we are motivated by love, because we want to make our Master happy. And when love is the motivation, there is no need for evaluation. A mother does not need a progress report to tell her how good she has been to her child. She continues to do all she can out of love for her child. Maharaj Charan Singh Ji explains:
Calculated meditation won’t take you anywhere. It is not wages you are demanding. You are meditating because you are in love with him, you want to become one with him. A lover never loves because he wants the wages of his love. If a lover wants the wages of his love, he is not a good lover at all.
Spiritual Perspectives Vol. II
However, even after reminding ourselves of this, as human beings, we cannot help but look for progress. What then would be a source of motivation for us? It is true that we can never know how far we have come and how far we have to go. But we can notice changes in our attitude and how we face our daily lives.
By meditation, we definitely know how much our attitude has changed towards the whole creation, our environment, our relations. Through meditation, our own attitude changes towards everybody, and we feel that bliss and happiness within ourselves.
Spiritual Perspectives Volume II
This change is our progress report. The goal is to sit without any evaluation or calculation. The aim, as the Masters have repeatedly said, is to channelize not analyze. To reach that point, unceasing meditation allows us to bring about the positive change in our attitude, which in turn strengthens our love for the Lord.