Treat all difficulties as divine surgery. Please do not think that I am trying to rationalise all misfortunes that befall us. Only when we are faced with problems do we wake up and try to find solutions that enable us to recover from them. That process releases new creative energies. We see possibilities we never thought existed. At that moment, our mind functions at its optimum level of alertness.Let us realise that by giving us sorrow, God is only trying to improve our ability to think differently. We should learn to make our sorrows sacred. We should treat experience of any kind as a master guiding us and teaching us. Our book of life should be the best scripture.Only when a seed loses its identity, does it become a plant. Similarly, won’t a sapling become a fruit laden tree only when it loses its identity of a sapling? The Almighty has ensured that a new state of being is possible only by losing one’s previous state of being.People in Tibet celebrate a festival for which they create beautiful artistic patterns just like our Rangoli with a great deal of effort. They devote their energies to this work for several days, and single-mindedly create this beautiful work of art and skill. After finishing the pattern, they look at it with reverence in their hearts, and bow down to it as an expression of divine. Then, in a swift movement, they wipe it off. Effort lasting many days vanishes soon after the worship.Now, the aim of this tradition and ritual is to train people to rise above attachments.Just as the pendulum swings between two extremities, life too alternates between joy and sorrow, loss and gain, victory and defeat. One should learn not to be unduly affected by either of the extremes. That is the state of detachment. One should learn to live with what life gives you at every turn. When life gives you summer, bask in it. When it is winter, build snowmen. It is not what you have, but how you use what you have, which determines the quality of life.Don’t be caught up with questions like what is fair and what unfair. If one extends this logic, one can say it is so unfair that birds can fly while human beings can’t, or that it is very unfair only women get pregnant and not men.Start living life in a meditative way. Start becoming more and more loving. Learn to think and feel from your heart. For the heart of education is the education of the heart. Whenever you meet someone, silently give loving vibrations and a prayer for their well-being. If you are sitting under a tree, just feel the shade blessing you and giving you divine guidance. Take the earth as God’s lap. Touch a flower with love and you will feel that something starts flowing in you. Take a bath and feel the divine hand strengthening and purifying you. Your response to life will be uplifting.Swami Sukhabodhananda
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