The same spark of divinity–this same Self–is enshrined in every creature. My real Self is not different from yours nor anyone else’s. If we want to live in the joy that increases with time, if we want to live in true freedom independent of circumstances, then we must strive to realize that even if there are four people in our family or forty at our place of work, there is only one Self.
This realization enables us to learn to conduct ourselves with respect to everyone around us, even if they provoke us or dislike us or say unkind things about us. And that increasing respect will make us more and more secure. It will enable us gradually to win everybody’s respect, even those who disagree with us or seem disagreeable.
Most of us can treat others with respect under certain circumstances–at the right time, with the right people, in a certain place. When those circumstances are absent, we usually move away. Yet when we respond according to how the other person behaves, changing whenever she changes, and she is behaving in this same way, how can we expect anything but insecurity on both sides? There is nothing solid to build on.
Instead, we can learn to respond always to the Self within–focusing not on the other person’s ups and downs, likes and dislikes, but always on what is changeless in each of us. Then others grow to trust us. They know they can count on us–and that makes us more secure too.
We can try to remember this always: the same Self that makes us worthy of respect and love is present equally in everyone around us. It is one of the surest ways I know of to make our latent divinity a reality in daily life.
Sourced from Eknath Easwaran's Blue Mountain Journal, Winter 2015, Volume 26, No. 3.
SEED QUESTIONS FOR REFLECTION: What does responding 'always to the Self within' mean to you? Can you share a personal experience that illustrates going beyond someone's ups and downs, likes and dislikes, and focusing on what is changeless? What helps you see the same Self in others that you see within yourself?
responding to self within is a volition of an action to remain your natural kindness despite of other people dislike and unpleasing to you
I have learned many wonderful lessons from Eknath Easwaran. I am very grateful to him for giving me gifts from his heart. This is the way he lived his life.When we realize the oneness in manyness, life becomes a blessing, a beauty and joy for ever. Our egoic mind creates separation and divisiveness, mine and thin, better and worse, black and white with judgmental lenses. When we see the connecting link between and among us, we are moving in the oneness zone.
This is my experience in my everyday transactions. I spend a great of time with children in a school setting.They are different from one another in many ways coming from diversified back grounds. What brings them to gather is kindness to each other, holding each other's hands that include me and playing together. When personal likes and dislikes come into play and when they treat each other unkindly, they experience disconnect for a short time.They come back and rejoin their hands.They do not close their hearts. Oneness dwells in the house of our heart. And that is the way I realize oneness in manyness.
May we keep our heart open to feel the bliss of oneness in all of us!
Sitting with a friend who will pass away very soon it's difficult to be happy. Thinking of my own death , I am not sad.
Rather I feel the joy of our past days, share wonderful memories speak of peace.
timely and such a great way to put it. yesterday i did a yoga audition and was interrupted by the yoga studio owner in the middle of it because he didn't like the way it was going. he made me feel small and unworthy and after i left, i kept re-playing it over in my head. feeling angrier and angrier at the way i was treated, although during my interaction with him i was receptive and courteous. reading this is asks me to forgive him, perhaps for his sake, but surely for my own. his reaction was a mirror of his ups and downs, likes and dislikes, and with a calm mind i can parse his advice for what's valuable and not lose my Self, who is a worthy teacher with so much to offer.
A phrase that has helped so much and may be of value to you too: We are all Tall Children. When I look at myself and the other as a child, my heart and mind open even more to being gentle, kind and seeing the human in front of me or within me. It helps me to be calm and to breathe and pause before responding. I use this so often it is difficult for me to give you an example, all I can say is, it helps. Hugs from my heart to yours.
to me it means pulling out or bringing to life what is authentic and truthful in the self and in others.
whether it is with the self or between people, this involves a deeper kind
giving and receiving that flows like a deep river even though the waters on the surface
might be choppy.
another way to express this follows:
You are my stillness. I am your silent climbing moon.
You are this endless flow, I am your eagle --your winds-my soaring wings.
You are my inwardness, my intimacy, I am your silent attendant.
You are the nectar of this soul
And I am your drunkenness and you are mine,
with no sobriety up ahead -none of any kind.
You are this seamless body-soul, while I hold this solid form erect for all to see something of you in me.
You are like no other—one in the same as me,
One in the same as he and she and they and we.
All that is, including each of us, is an expression or manifestation of the Spirit or Mystery that we call God, and responding always to the Self within means responding to that God core of each of us. There are times that I remind myself of this and go beyond the dislikes and disagreements of surface or form and focus on the changeless invisible Spirit. I feel a sense of compassion, peace, and satisfaction when I do this. What helped me see the same Spirit in others that I see within myself is wise mentors who knew this and I resonated to their wisdom and learned from them. One mentor would say, "I look across the room and see me," and slowly I began to learn and sometimes live what he was talking about.