The Profoundness of the Guru’s Teachings

Replacing Aversion with Compassion

Each day, my Siddha Yoga practice is growing stronger and stronger. Gurumayi's grace is becoming more and more evident in my day-to-day life. There’s a talk by Gurumayi titled "What Allows Us to Live a Full Life" that I read in a DARSHAN magazine (issue 109), which is helping me to change and grow stronger. In that talk Gurumayi says:

It’s amazing how our upbringing doesn’t allow us to see something very deep within ourselves. We are stuck in the idea that people never change when, in reality, change does take place. If a person never changed, then the world would always be going in the same direction. But there is constant change. This Shakti is always in motion, it’s always moving.

One thing I’ve done to keep changing is to create a reminder for myself. It is like a mantra for me now: "Do it skillfully." Here’s how it works. I have always experienced that emotions are like trapdoors, which you can fall through at any moment. But more and more now, I'm able to remain present, even as an emotion is overtaking me. I think, "Oh, the emotion is coming." So far, I haven’t discovered any magic mantra or prayer to hold it at bay. However, I am learning to allow it to be with me, but not as me! I tell myself, "Handle this skillfully."

Here’s an example. I'm standing in line for chow and two or three other inmates rudely jump ahead of me. How I hate that! I really don't care about having to wait a few minutes longer for the food. But what burns me is that they just jump ahead of me without the slightest acknowledgment of my presence. This is a perfect opportunity to put Gurumayi’s teachings into action and not fall down the trapdoor.

The lesson I apply at a moment like this is what I have understood about Gurumayi's teachings concerning aversion. "Replace aversion with compassion" is what I understand Gurumayi to say. I do not need to condone someone’s behavior in order to have compassion for the person displaying it.

In my understanding, compassion is a skill to develop. It's not so much about having compassion for people who are rude. Compassion is about my perception of such people and my reaction to them. The lesson to be learned is in me, not about them. All of these thoughts have come from my study of Gurumayi’s teachings. They are so beautiful! And precisely the tool I need for this life I'm living.

Day by day, I am learning to be more vigilant and to let the Shakti move and bring positive change to my life. I am so thankful for Gurumayi’s teachings.