Websites like Google, Facebook and Twitter have become a part of the evolving world. Now people don’t talk… they google. As the holiday frenzy builds up consumers are scrambling to stretch their budgets to find the best bargains on things few people need for people they may not even know.
Kids are trained up early to be consumers of sense gratification when the illusion that toys will make them happy is thrust in their face. Some toys can get rather expensive and it seems parents may feel obliged to get a child more of a toy than is even necessary. In India, village children can spend hours playing a simple game with a wooden stick and a small rock. It cost them nothing but gives them tremendous exercise and the opportunity to exchange with other human beings. Many children in the west are glued to one form of electronic device or another isolating them from the world of personal social exchange.
Men often choose golf as a way to relax. At least they are getting out of the house and for the most part they interface with live human golfing partners albeit that may be more for business reasons than anything else. From transcendental point of view golf is also considered quite silly. Men work hard their entire life so they can retire. However, instead of using that precious time at the end to raise their consciousness and prepare their soul for a higher destination, they waste it hitting a little ball around on the grass. Lawn bowling, shuffle boarding and checkers are other popular ways people often get distracted from the higher purpose of human life.
For the most part gardening is an activity in the mode of goodness. It can be a very good meditation if one is growing fruits, vegetables, or flowers to be offered to Krishna exactly how he invites us to do.
If one offers Me with love and devotion a leaf, a flower, a fruit or water, I will accept it.- – LINK: Bhagavad Gita As It Is Chapter 9. “The King of Education”, Text 26.
However, even gardening can become a serious diversion if it becomes an escape from carrying out ones duties. The satisfaction of a beautiful lawn garden can even become a cunning distraction to our natural Krishna Conscious growth if we start to identify with being the instrument of the results. Ultimately Krishna says, He is the ability in man (Bg.7.8), the doer (3.27), the healing herb (Bg. 9.16) and the seed (Bg. 7.10, 9.18, 10.39. 14.4). If one is not careful, the ever active false ego will cause us to forget this important fact and we will remain entangled in our own illusions of over inflated self importance.
Everyone knows that regardless of what faith one follows, the holiday seasons are meant for gratitude and an opportunity to go deeper into our relationship with God. How are we able to really do that if we are obsessed with a material pursuit of Holiday Fever? Instead of getting caught up in the race of social obligations, maybe it’s time to rethink the best way you can use your time to really become a more mature and informed human being? Maybe it’s time to walk away from traditions you practice, may even resent, and can’t continue to defend?
Ventura county just had a week of what some would call the closest thing to hell anyone could experience. Hundreds of people had their homes burned down while fire raged thru 230,000 acres of land. For many this was a sobering reminder of just how vulnerable we are in a very unpredictable and dangerous world. Some of us made it thru that trial, only to turn around and now face the problems of drought. We have our share of difficulties, but in other places around the world people deal with the daily threat of violent unrest, oppressive laws, rouge leaders, revolution, endless corruption, war, famine, and the lack of medical care. They don’t have the opportunity to slaughter a turkey and cut down a tree as an expression of thanks for God. Their faith must go a lot deeper just for them to cope with the daily trials.
If you are overwhelmed by the ubiquitous commercial hype or the socially mandatory seasonal parties required to avoid being exiled as an antisocial troll, then consider exploring the Vedic alternative to all this madness. The sages never had holiday wreaths, chocolate dipped fruits, or 36 flavors of ice cream. They didn’t keep credit cards and never heard Burl Ives sing over an acoustically poor PA system at the local mall. They had something much greater than that, and we can have it too if we simply take the time to hear from the same sources the sages studied. We hope you will consider doing that at our next AVA program on December 17, 2017.
“Such a liberated person is not attracted to material sense pleasure but is always in trance, enjoying the pleasure within. In this way the self-realized person enjoys unlimited happiness, for he concentrates on the Supreme. A person who neither rejoices upon achieving something pleasant nor laments upon obtaining something unpleasant, who is self-intelligent, who is unbewildered, and who knows the science of God, is already situated in transcendence.”