How do I figure out what is my life's purpose?
Look into your life and find your aim in life. Do not make a choice on the basis of your current emotion, but on the sum total of the inclinations in your life. Arrive at a conclusion.
Try to project yourself to the end of your life and in the last minute of your life, what would you like to feel about yourself? Aim all your choice and actions on that basis.
If after you've made a thorough search you have not found the answer and feel the need for spiritual guidance, then find a guide and ask.
Why am I so indecisive? Why do I not have will power?
When one is indecisive or when one lacks will power, one has an emotional need which is not yet fulfilled. Examine that and dis-cover the need which is not fulfilled and one will stop being indecisive.
How do I know I'm on the right path? Some people choose one path and stick to it, others try two, three or more before they know. Are there some guideposts?
In yoga all paths diverge from the Himalayan one and converge into it. They are essentially one path, the Royal Road with many possible excursions to explore. One initiated into Himalayan raja yoga views all divergent systems of meditation and spiritual seeking as complementary. An initiate will sooner or late be introduced to each and every one of them while still remaining on one central path. The choice of this central path for an individual takes time to form as one wanders searching, tasting, rejecting, finding.
At different stages of one's life, a seeker may be drawn to different teachers because the kind of samskaras, impressions from past lives, that become emergent at that specific time respond to a particular teaching style and teacher personality. But, after many such trials, one arrives at a station where his interior self finally wants to settle, if one has learned to listen to one's interior self.
Sometimes, however, a seeker may be at a more advanced stage of development because of which the spiritual master himself will find and draw the given student. The experience granted by the master will settle one on that one path as his final option. No matter where our search leads us, we must never lose sight of the fact, that all meditation systems diverge from and converge into the Himalayan one.
Read also the following book: Choosing a Path, by Swami Rama, Himalayan Publishers, Honesdale, PA.
How do I reconcile spiritual life and family/worldly life? I want to spend my time meditating and giving service. However, there are family and work demands. How do I create a balance?
Love and service begin at home. If you have not learned to serve the people in your immediate circle unselfishly, any service given outside that circle also will be polluted by the elements of ego. There is no sadhana greater than that of a householder. The art of life consists of resilience, which one has to learn to practice in family life. The family becomes your crucible and your touchstone. I always test people's spiritual progress by observing the state of their relationships. If their relationships have become sweeter, more unselfish, resilient, less demanding, then I conclude that one is making progress in meditation. Otherwise there is something missing both in meditation and in service.
Then there is another dimension. Common people use only a fraction of the surface of their minds for all their activities, which is like the waves in the shallows at the beach. At greater depths, the meditator discovers layers of the mind ocean which are ever in silence. One who has learned the art of karma yoga, the practice of yoga while performing actions, remains in touch with the silent depths while still acting in the world. But this is an art that can only be learned by close association with an advanced teacher whose formula for life is: Eat only while you are fasting, speak only when are in silence, act only while you are still.
How does one balance common sense and faith when making a decision? In other words, when should common sense prevail and when should faith prevail?
Look within. When there is no doubt in your mind, common sense and faith have merged into one. Analyse your doubts. Or as Swami Rama said, "Doubt your doubts" and you may arrive at faith. Actually there is no definite answer to this question. One should learn to listen to one's inner self but first learn to distinguish between inner self and psychological conditioning. This distinction is most important. Unfortunately, almost all students I have met call their psychological conditioning their inner self. That is not the path from conditioning to the unconditioned self. Have faith only in the unconditioned self
FOR A FREE CATALOG of lectures on audio tapes by Swami Veda Bharati on all aspects of yoga science and philosphy, write to: John Zavrel, Rishikesh Foundation, 10545 Main Street, Clarence, NY 14031 (USA).
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