Let the heart flow the way it has to flow,
Ignore all the stumbling blocks, for there would be many.
Your karma has placed you where you are
And be filled unto yourself and see that it is aglow
For you are just as important as any.
O man-made laws that you have to adhere
Give naught a thought, it is only your soul to fear,
Be fearless in nature, be not bound, says this seer
If you are near, be sincere, for you are here.
THE NEW WEBSITE IS LIVE! However the shopping cart and registration functions are not completed by the programmers yet. The address is the same: : www.americanmeditationsociety.org
Please visit the new site and let us know your thoughts. If you look on the right side of the home page you will see an upcoming events ticker. When you click on an event it will take you to a page with further information. We will keep the upcoming events current and will have the Thanksgiving retreat information up soon. If you are interested in helping keep the site up to date and working on expanding the information on it, please let me know. We could use some help.
The Summer retreat was well attended and enjoyed by all. If you have not been to a Knoxville retreat, give yourself a treat and come to Knoxville for a cozy weekend of meditation, discussions, relaxation and meditator community.
AMS honors the memory of Vern Binion, who passed unexpectedly from a heart attack on September 5, 2011.
|Navigating the Newsletter:
Here are some helpful tips to fully enjoy the new format of the AMS Newsletter:
1. The individual articles can still be reached via the links at the top left of the newsletter under the heading "In This Issue"
2. Each edition will include a poem or quote from Gururaj under his picture for your pleasure
3. You can access the AMS website and its many different pages at the top left portion of the newsletter under AMS links
4. If you ever have trouble viewing pictures or other material in the newsletter, try clicking the link at the extreme top where it says "click here." This should usually clear things up.
5. Always feel free to click the Newsletter Submission link under AMS links for answers to your questions!
October 7-9 (4:00 PM Friday - 2:00 PM Sunday)
Place: Sunnybrook Farm
Smoky Mountain Retreat Center
33 Prospect Road, Walland, TN
Exchange: $160 (all inclusive - room and meals from Friday
dinner through Sunday Lunch)
Theme: Engagement with the Divine
How can we merge our awareness into that which we really are? How do we come into alignment with our divine nature? How do we engage with the deeper levels of life itself and allow the chatter of mind to be less distracting?
"There is a living force, pure consciousness...ever-existing Divinity. It is up to you to activate it." ~ Gururaj
Join us at this cozy, relaxing, and fun, family-style fall retreat. We will sit for chant, meditation, and purification practice, as well as engage in walking meditation, Yoga, Tai Chi, art activities, and interesting discussions and talks based on the universal teachings of Gururaj Ananda Yogi.
Our accommodations are cozy singles and doubles with shared baths. On this retreat we share in food preparation and set up.
WHITE PLAINS, NY
Saturday, October 22, 2011
Place: The wilson House, of the First Baptist Church, White Plains, NY
Time: 10 AM to 6:30 PM with optional potluck to follow.
Theme: Letting Go of Wanting, Trying, Needing: Why and How
Contact person: Merrill at 914-946-5334 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Overnight accommodations possible in homes of local meditators
November 23-27, 2011
Place: St. Louis area
-more information will be posted on the website and in the next newsletter-
Summer Retreat Recap
The Summer retreat this year offered lots of little treasures of growth, enlightenment, joy, love, and especially freedom. This edition of the newsletter includes a title, which touches the theme shared by the satsangs on this course. We often get tied down by everyday trivialisms. However, when we are able to release ourselves and experience freedom, then our entire view shifts to a much more pleasant one. This happened at the point you see below. The room filled with so much love and happiness when everyone started dancing to the music. Also Marilyn and Tamara share their experience from the retreat below. Thanks Ladies!
Dancing during the Auction
I love attending meditation courses because the people are so welcoming. I know I am among very good friends. Spending time doing group chant and having so many people meditating at the same time is very powerful and always leaves me with a great sense of peace and serenity. ~Marilyn
Summer Retreat 2011
The community and conversation I found that week will remail with me always. The light of peace carried forever. As a practicing minimalist, I arrived with very little. I left with so much more. ~Tamara
To view more pictures click here
Excerpt from Gururaj:
Recognizing Our Divine Path - Tricks of the Mind
When we rediscover the value of things, then we have reached that state of manifested divinity where bliss can be experienced. For then this table becomes blissful, this chair becomes blissful, people become blissful. In their sadness you see the underlying joy. For who is really sad? You are not a sad person; you are not a miserable person. No, you're not! Your mind is miserable, conjuring up misery all the time. Conjuring up sadness all the time. Creating troubles all the time. That's not you. It is this mind, so transient, so transient, without any substance. For if it had any substance, or substantial value, then it would not be transient. So the mind keeps on playing tricks, and if we allow it and we encourage it to play tricks on us, we'll be more miserable.
Now, in the process we watch these tricks that the mind plays. Not that the mind wants to do it purposefully, but it is the nature of the mind to play these tricks. It is its nature because of all the past experiences which are all tricks and all those tricks put together create more and more tricks, create more and more illusions of suffering and misery. Mind, mind, mind! That does it. So when we start watching the mind, then we see through the illusion. If we watch that magician mind and the stage very carefully, we can see how it palms things away and makes things appear and disappear. Yet something inside us tells us when we go and see a magic show, that the magician is a clever man. He knows how to form these tricks. It seems so real; yet, inside us we know that he is creating an illusion. When you go to see a magic show and the magician cuts the woman in half, it seems so real, but you know inside that this is not real. Now why can't you apply the same principle to your mind! Inside you there is a knowingness that all these tricks the mind is playing are not real. And yet you accept it to be real. And when you accept it to be all real, then there has to be misery, then you are involved in the law of opposites--pain and pleasure and these things would have to be there, it is inevitable. And yet inside you, you know that it is an illusion. Now when we start watching the illusion, then the illusion fades away.
I remember going to see film shows because I was involved in films during business days. And I sometimes never used to watch the film, but I used to watch the people watching the film. And if you are in the business, your eyes get so accustomed to the darkness in the cinema that you can actually see people's faces. The light reflects from the screen, and you can see people's faces. And if it's a tearjerker, I've seen people crying. They get so emotionally affected, even though they know that it's an illusion. That film is not real. It's a story. Even if you go and touch it, what do you touch? Nothing. Now that's the same thing we do all the time, but not only in the cinema. Here we are crying over an illusion and suffering misery over an illusion. And the mind creates all the illusions. And we cry and suffer and feel miserable. Same thing. Same principle all the time!
Take the mind to be an illusion. Know that it has no substance. Watch it. Let it perform. Let the mind and body do its tricks. Let it perform. Give it vent. Give it rope. It will hang itself. Yes. But you stand still. You stand unchanging, firm, established in self. Let the mind and body act, and all the blockages disappear. For the blockage, too, is an illusion. Yes, it is an illusion. But illusions can be so overpowering because they have organic or emotional counterparts. And these knots of the emotional counterpart can be loosened up by allowing the energies within you to flow smoothly, the psychic energies if you wish to call them that or the energies of the subtle body without which the grosser body cannot exist, the energies in the subtle nervous system which invigorate the grosser nervous system of the physical body.
Our spiritual practices are aimed at the subtle nervous system within ourselves. All spiritual practices, like hatha yoga, are good for the body. But when it comes to deeper spiritual practices, apparently so simple, they invigorate, create a flow. There is no blockage in the real sense of the word. With spiritual practices, that flow is energized, and it starts flowing smoothly. And in that smooth flow the outer nervous system becomes more and more strengthened. Then you don't feel mad in the head sometimes: illusions are gone.
As always we are looking for contributions from our meditators! You can email Sean by clicking the link "Newsletter Submissions" under AMS Links at the left. Please feel free to send photos, poems, or even ideas to help the newsletter's production.
I really enjoy this phaiku's image of the Leshan Buddha. Tamu also gave us a great slide show of his phaikus at the summer retreat! Thanks! ~Sean