still river, still mind - Swami Sivananda
still river, still mind - Swami Sivananda

My favourite word in Sanskrit is ‘sravanam’ which means ‘heard’. It doesn’t mean that my ears have heard something, registered it in the brain and I can then recall it. It suggests that real knowledge is a process. I take in something new, I remember it, but it sits with me, sometimes for a very long time, like a slow percolation. Then one day my consciousness shifts a little and all of a sudden it makes sense far beyond the intellect. So much so that this knowing becomes a part of me, it enters my cells and becomes true for me. I think that this is the only way that we can know something for sure. Practice, reflect, percolate and live with it. Don’t think too much but let it sit.

I just returned from a most recharging week at the ashram and an extremely rare opportunity for me to be there and just “take rest”. I had a lot of time to reflect and found myself thinking about what I have learned (or you could say ‘heard’) in this life. Of course, not intellectually – there are a lot of things crammed in there – but real life lessons, things that I know to be true. I mean the deep stuff, when I find myself saying, “If I’ve learned one thing in life…” I was once told by a Vedic astrologer that I wouldn’t be wise until I was 61, and I’m not there yet, but I have found a few things to be true. That is not to say that at each moment I am perfectly aligned with these knowings. It’s possible to forget, but when I do remember them, it is easier to go forward in life with confidence. With every fibre of my being and every ounce of intuition I may have gained from a good bit of time watching my own mind – or, standing on my own head as it were – these are the things that I feel I really KNOW:


  1. Most things are not as they appear. I will admit however that at times things are exactly as they appear if we view them with intuition and not a busy mind.
  2. Most people are not as they present themselves to be.
  3. The people speaking the loudest and most fervently are not telling the truth – especially if they are fond of stating how truthful they are. Take advertising slogans or billboards as an example. These “loud truth talkers” have convinced themselves that they are being truthful, caught in the web of their own lie. So we must be understanding in the face of their ignorance.
  4. If I think I can, I can.
  5. We can avoid so many of our most troubling thoughts, worries and emotions just by knowing who we are. Simple as that. This is new and I am very grateful to have felt this finally. It’s so easy, like “finding” the thing that was hidden right in front of our eyes.
  6. Most people do not know who they are. Having a healthy self-image walks a fine line between knowing your strengths and gifts (without descending into egotism) and knowing your divine source (while appreciating that this is the same for everyone else).
  7. Patience is the most important quality for a seeker, a yogi, a teacher, a human being.
  8. We’re deluded if we think we can actually help anyone else on their path.
  9. In the end, it’s best to just laugh at the utter ridiculousness of it all.
  10. The person who can be heard saying, “the kundalini just goes straight, like a laser beam to the third eye” doesn’t know what they’re talking about. The person sitting quietly usually does know, and is not particularly interested in telling you.

 “He who knows does not speak. He who speaks does not know.

Close the mouth. Shut the door. Blunt the sharpness.

Untie the tangles. Soften the light.

Become one with the dusty world.

This is called profound identification.”

˜Lao Tzu

One Comment

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s