Baba says, ‘wake up in the morning and practice being soul conscious‘. That is the greatest practice of this life, it is lesson that defines the journey we are on.
We listen to Baba each morning and He tells us many things -be kind, be loving, be patient, be….. Sometimes that can feel overwhelming when I try to divide my mental resources across many different initiatives. Instead, let me work on strengthening my foundation of being a soul. Most of us know we are souls but we don’t necessarily experience it. When I start experiencing being a soul, the virtues follow, the powers follow. It is my first lesson and my last lesson too.
The experience of being a soul comes only with practice. It comes from daily attention and consistent practice of accurate spiritual life over many years. I know I am a soul but what kind of a soul am I? The answer to that question is what I realize through my life’s journey.
I am no ordinary soul, I am a child of God. Let me explore what it means to be a child of God. What does it entitle me to? In addition to considering myself a soul, I also learn to look at others as souls too. I learn to look beyond the temporary, acquired defects of today and learn to see their original, pure form. As I learn to value and respect me, I find myself accepting others too.
This level of realization comes from deep silence and true introspection. Baba recommends the early morning hours of nectar (Amritvela) when the atmosphere is purest and most conducive for this kind of contemplation and reflection. Some ask if they can practice at night or at a different time during the day. For one, the energy is not the same. Also, doing it at Amritvela sets the foundation for the entire day. It fills me up, charges me to take on the challenges of the day…its less useful to reflect after part or most of the day has already gone by.
The more I practice, the more comfortable and confident I am navigating my life each day. And the quality of my day, my life, my relationships in turn influence the quality of my remembrance and practice. If I have been critical of someone or arrogant or been hurt etc., those experiences are what bubble up when I sit in remembrance, they drag me away from connecting with my original self or with Baba. Instead if I have learnt the art of experiencing myself as a soul and seeing others as souls too, I live my life differently, I see things, people for what/who they really are. I don’t fall into traps of Maya, I am tactful.
Its a practice that requires attention and diligence but one that pays high dividends throughout this spiritual journey and necessary to reach the final destination. ‘Manmanabhav!’, says Baba, ‘consider yourself a soul and remember Me alone’.