How to Control Anger?

asked by an 8th grade student

One of the most important things in dealing with our feelings and emotions, including anger, is to be able to accept the fact that we have these feelings. Every emotion is just an expression of a certain energy and if we don’t accept that we have it then it is difficult to learn how to express that energy in a most positive way. If you feel bad about feeling angry then it will be difficult to learn how to use that energy. Actually, with any feeling, one of the most important things is to remember it’s your feeling and to do your best not to blame other people for what you are feeling. This is a very big step to take.

I would suggest that with the feelings you have try to think of them as a child who one day will become a mature adult. A child needs to be shown the way, taught and helped to bring our the best within him or her. It is also like this with our feelings. Sometimes I say that every feeling is waiting to express itself in the most positive way and be lifted onto the throne in the heart and, like a king or queen, receive its crown. In the heart we can experience love and acceptance and it is my experience that everyone wants to be loved and accepted. It’s the same with our feelings. However until we learn how to express feelings in a positive way they can cause us trouble.

Very often anger has to do with our need to feel powerful and strong. If we haven’t learnt to express our power in a good way early in life we can end up with a big anger problem! Years ago in Denmark parents might say to a child, “your power is in my pocket”! That meant the parents decided over the child and any attempt the child made to say “no, I don’t want to do this” or to make decisions himself or herself was met with resistance or punishment. Later these youngsters would have difficulty feeling good about their power and their right to decide things for themselves. Then one day that power would burst out as anger – like a volcano!

When we don’t know how to express feelings we tend to try to blame someone else for these feelings. Imagine one day you are feeling anger arise. It is quite possible something someone said or did awoke this anger in you and you might start shouting at this person. But it is your anger and you have to take responsibility for it. To be able to do this is a big step forward! Until you can do this you might even end up hitting someone! That might make you feel better for a while but it is not the way to go – this is not power being expressed in a positive way. If you can accept your feelings then you can begin to express them in a more mature way.

Anger is a very powerful energy and you need to find ways to express it. Eg: express it physically by running, boxing into the air, going outside and shouting to the trees and to the sky. Then feel the energy running through your body. You will feel strong and you will not upset or hurt anybody. This is a good start. Martial arts are also a fine way to learn to use this energy.

Later you will be able to watch anger arise and breathe with it and if you breathe into a feeling you don’t get stuck in it. It will just pass through you. If you can accept anger is there you can ask why something made you angry. Don’t judge yourself for feeling angry.

Another thing to remember is that sometimes things need to be said in a very powerful way. For example: if you see a big guy in the playground bullying someone, hitting one of the small children perhaps, this will not be solved by you beginning to hit the big guy. However, if you can say powerfully “no, no, no – this is not OK” or just keep your head cool and get some help for the one being bullied, then you are using the anger to deal with a situation where something does need to be done.

So just remember that every emotion you can possibly have wants to be able to sit on the throne in the heart and receive its crown. It will then be able to express itself in a positive, useful way.

A few more words

If you feel very angry stop a minute and try to breathe deeply. Look at why you are angry. Perhaps you need to say something to somebody about how you feel.

You can be angry and still be in your heart – do you understand? You can breathe deeply, feel your heart and say to the person who has made you angry, “I don’t like that you said this to me.” You can explain why and be honest about how you feel. Please remember you can be angry and still speak form your heart and that’s very different from screaming at someone or hitting them.

You can take a deep breath, feel you heart and say, “Please don’t speak to me like that ” or “Please don’t treat this child in this way” or say whatever you need to say. You have to express things, but try to find the best way of doing so. This is also the teaching of spiritual science.

You can read in an earlier edition of the Awakener what we also spoke about last time. People often have to ask these questions about anger because everybody gets angry sometimes. Please don’t feel guilty about it. You understand?

How Will Spirituality Help Students?

asked by a 9th grade student

This is a good question and I could write a whole book about it! However I will try to answer briefly.

First of all, what is spirituality? What is spirit? I would suggest that spirit in spirituality refers to the one energy, the one consciousness that some call God, that flows through each one of us. Having a form of spiritual practice is about lifting your consciousness to a higher level of vibration where much more is revealed to you. Real spirituality will reveal to you the Truth of your being. Today we talk about spiritual scientists – those who also research the unseen, inner world and work with its laws. They research a reality that is not experienced through our ordinary five senses. We experience the world of our spiritual selves through more finely developed senses: the third eye chakra for example opens us to be able to see the “unseen”. Some call this clairvoyance. A finely developed throat chakra can awaken us to clairaudience so we begin to hear on a finer level than we can with our physical ears. As people open up to deeper levels of the heart chakra great compassion and a love for all life forms develop.

It is often said we are spiritual beings having a human experience – a spiritual practice keeps us connected to the part of us that is pure spirit and that is not lost in the dramas we can get caught up in as we experience being human beings here in this world. We hear it said that the truth shall set you free. Truth is not religion. Truth is the good old ancient wisdom teachings that help us to remember who we really are. Anything that helps us understand who we truly are, anything that helps us realise that we are one will naturally help to bring about peace in the world. When this realisation happens we naturally develop compassion and then there is no wish to hurt others or have power over others. Many of the difficulties in the world today, including wars, poverty and the destruction of the environment, happen because we have forgotten that we are one.

Meditation helps you find an inner peace that enables you to do things in a much better way. You will be more focussed – not so easily distracted – and in this way be able to realise your full potential here in life.

Some of you may have heard of the Heart Math Institute – a place of research in the United States. They have done many scientific studies and learned much about the unseen aspect of human beings. One of their studies has shown that when we are in a state of love far more of our DNA is activated than when we are in a state of fear. If we go into a state of fear and close, we close down to our spiritual potential and become less bright. When we open up and access more of those parts of ourselves that ordinary science does not address, we are more alive and simply more “switched on”! We also become more creative and truly are an inspiration for others.

Some studies have shown that Indian people often perform better in the IT world as, generally speaking, many Indians still have a natural form of spirituality and are more philosophical. This results in a greater balance between the right and left brain, enabling them to tap into new ideas and possibilities and to “think outside of the box”.

Actually I feel this is enough from me right now. I would like to invite you who asked this question, and other students, to send in some of your observations to us. What benefits have you noticed? Perhaps you can discuss this subject with friends and let us know if you have something to share that can inspire others. We can print your ideas in future editions of “The Awakener”.

How Can I Know What My Spiritual Mission is About?

asked by Jagdish, 9th grade

Many today are trying to discover their spiritual mission – I prefer to use the word dharma.

Often dharma is described as doing what comes naturally. We know that a flame’s dharma or mission is to burn. However what comes naturally needs to be understood properly. If your natural reaction is to hit someone who says something you don’t like – this is not dharma! I would say that Dharma is what comes naturally when heart, mind and body are aligned – when they are working well together.

Dharma is not an easy way out! Often we have to give up tendencies we enjoy in order to follow dharma. For example: someone might have the tendency to switch on the TV the minute they enter the house, sit down and watch one program after another for hours at a time. Is this their spiritual mission? I don’t think so! Often discipline is needed in order to put aside lower tendencies and do what we are really here to do for the world.

Dharma is also often described as following the path of righteousness. Here are some simple yet powerful techniques to help you become centered in your true self. When this centering happens you will act righteously and your mission will become more and more clear to you.

1. Listen to that small, quiet voice within – often called the voice of conscience. It whispers to us if what we do is out of line, doesn’t it? It points us in the direction of righteousness.

2. Do your best to live what you understand to be the highest truth. E.g. If you feel you know that humanity is one, then do your best to live that understanding. Treat all as equals and treat others as you yourself would wish to be treated.

3. Stay in touch with your heart. I heard a song recently written by a friend. The title was, “What would love do?” If you do your best to respond to situations from this space – acting as love would – you become more heart centered. When a person becomes truly centered in the heart he or she will naturally act according to dharma. He or she will follow the path of righteousness.

4. Use your imagination to see how you would act in a certain situation if you were really in balance – if you were coming from a place of unconditional love.

5. What do you love doing? What are your natural talents? These can be an indication of what you are here to give to the world.

6. Remember you are still young – you are still maturing. It’s great you are asking these kinds of questions! However it’s also OK to make mistakes, learn from them and move on. So, be real. Don’t try to act “holy”. Holy is not natural – dare to be yourself and allow others to be themselves.

How to convert destructive minds to constructive minds?

asked by Siddhant, 9th grade

This is a very important question. First get to know your own mind. Look at what kind of thoughts dominate and what kind of feelings arise in you when you follow certain thoughts. Also it is good to understand what the mind actually does: it plans, discerns, compares, remembers. This is what all minds do. If the mind becomes negative, then discernment becomes criticism. The mind is a tool and can be used well or misused. If you decide to visit Delhi the mind can be very useful if you need to check train or plane timetables and make arrangements with the people you want to visit etc. However if you keep thinking negative thoughts you can end up out of balance emotionally. I often tell people, “The mind produces thoughts but you don’t have to think them.”

However the contents of different peoples’ minds can be very different. By contents I mean the themes and stories that the mind makes up. Two people can witness the same event: e.g. someone gets angry with a sales assistant and says he’s being charged too much for the groceries he’s buying. Two people watch what is happening and one person’s mind makes a funny story out of what has happened and shares the story with friends. The other person has a strong reaction. He hates people being treated unfairly and his mind starts turning the happening into a war about goodies and baddies!

The mind is a useful tool but it also has its limitations. Therefore it is important to quieten the mind – to develop a more meditative mind. When faced with a topic for study it can be a good idea to tune in meditatively and reflect on what you have read or been taught. You can close your eyes, be quiet and imagine bringing light into your mind. Then reflect on the topic. Perhaps new ideas come to you and perhaps you feel inspired to share your ideas. This is using the mind in a constructive way and it’s also how you awaken your inner wisdom.

Please try not to over stimulate the mind. This isn’t easy today as there is so much information, so many distractions. Minds today are becoming so stressed out and just as a physical body can become sick with stress, minds can stop functioning well because they are over stimulated.

There are many ways to use the mind but this is all I am going to say right now because A few years ago I wrote a chapter about the mind in one of my books. Reading your question, I felt it could be a good idea to share what I wrote in The Awakener. Let me look at the chapter and see if anything needs to be adjusted for younger readers. Then we will share it with you

The Train Song

When Jacqueline answered a question about the mind in an earlier newsletter, she promised to send us something she wrote about “The Train Song”. She has adapted this teaching to suit older pupils at our schools. Here is the song itself followed by Jacqueline’s comments.

THE TRAIN SONG – Witten and sung by Kirtana

Just because the tracks are laid
Or just because your ticket’s paid for
And some crazed conductor keeps on calling out your name
You don’t need to board the train
Trace the thoughts that come and go
You are not your thoughts, you know
So why get all caught up in where they lead
You are who these thoughts are passing through – don’t you see?
Be free …………

Even when you’re feeling frightened
Sad or hurt or unenlightened
You can find the peace that underlies what passes by
Don’t mistake the weather for the sky of your being
Why mistake the weather for the sky
Feelings rise and fall away – even those you wish would stay
So why equate your sense of self with mood
You are who emotion passes through
Be free …………

What a blessing to have taken birth in this human form
With a chance to see who we are
Who we are was really never born and can never die
Is always free

If destiny decides to strike some version of the script you like
And make a melodrama of your endless cabaret
You know you can still enjoy the play – yes you can
If you’re still and you know how to play
Just treat it like a mystery and view it from the balcony
Laugh and cry and stomp your feet – but don’t believe a thing
You are who these scenes are passing through – don’t you see?
You are who this play is passing through
Be free…………

The first time I heard The Train Song I thought “what a perfect text!” Since then I have played it for many groups of people and given out copies of the text. I said I felt my whole teaching is summed up in this song -and that everything you need to know is there. In fact I’d say Truth is summed up beautifully in just 1 line:

 “Don’t mistake the weather for the sky of your being.”

What more is there to say? Everything that comes and goes and changes is like the weather – always changing. The sky is always there behind the weather that passes over it. Just as your true being, your true Self, is always present behind all the thoughts and feelings that keep on coming and going.

Let’s take a look at parts of the text:

Just because the tracks are laid

Take a look at the activity of the mind and you will see that some of the tracks the mind follows have been there for a long time and are pretty solid! If someone is always thinking of the same thing we say he or she has a one track mind.

You don’t need to board the train

When you become aware of the situation, you no longer need to keep on going down these tracks in your mind but often there will be a strong pull to do so. It will feel natural to keep creating the same dramas in your mind. Don’t fight with the mind or make a problem of it – that just makes it stronger. The trick is to let these old dramas die out. You know what happens to a plant if you don’t water it – sooner or later it will die. A plant with strong roots will take longer time to die but sooner or later it will happen. The same with thoughts – don’t water them. By this I mean don’t nourish them by thinking them and following them.

 You are not your thoughts, you know
 So why get all caught up in where they lead
 You are who these thoughts are passing through – don’t you see?

Knowing you are not these thoughts can give a lot of relief. You are actually not anything that comes and goes or passes through you. Just let the mind be – don’t make it too important. Use it when you need it. It’s a tool in your tool box. Just because you have a hammer in your tool box doesn’t mean you have to go around hammering the walls all day! You hammer in a nail when it’s needed.

 Even when you’re feeling frightened
 Sad or hurt or unenlightened

Feeling sad, unenlightened, stupid or intelligent are just feelings that come and go. Just remember: Anything that comes and goes is not who you are! You are an eternal spiritual being having an experience of being human.

You can find the peace that underlies what passes by

Who you really are – this state of inner peace that rests deep inside of you, beyond all these comings and goings – remains untouched by anything that moves across the sky of your being.

 Don’t mistake the weather for the sky of your being

People ask what is spirituality and which spiritual teachings should they follow. All true spiritual teachings lead to this understanding. I would say this is the goal of spirituality. In Vedanta people learn to understand the difference between the true Self and the small personality self which is ruled very much by the mind. The Master Jesus told people to be still so they could know they are God – they are divine. This stillness is there waiting for you if you don’t take the chatter of the mind too seriously.

 Why mistake the weather for the sky

 Why indeed!

 Feelings rise and fall away – even those you wish would stay
 So why equate your sense of self with mood
 You are who emotion passes through

Remember that if there are feelings you are attached to because you enjoy them and think they are positive, you can get just as stuck in them as you would in so-called negative feelings. Some people try to get rid of things they don’t like and hang on to what they do like – they make the “positive” things significant. Making things too significant is one of the easiest ways to get stuck and to stay identified with the personality. Mind is mind – personality is personality, and the knowledge of who you really are arises from the still center deep within beyond identification with mind and personality.

 If destiny decides to strike some version of the script you like
 And make a melodrama of your endless cabaret
 You know you can still enjoy the play – yes you can
 If you’re still and you know how to play

 What wonderful lines!

 Just treat it like a mystery and view it from the balcony

This means watch what is happening – especially when life presents you with a big drama! Practise viewing your dramas from a distance and then you won’t get lost in them. Then you can easily let go of things that have been bothering you. Watch next time you are in a bad mood – its just a black cloud passing over the sky of your being. It will pass so try not to make a big fuss about it. Nothing can hurt or destroy this sky.

Laugh and cry and stomp your feet – but don’t believe a thing

Yes, it’s also OK to protest and be in the drama sometimes – this is the human part of you and no-one says you have to enjoy every single part of the drama. But if you are also able to see things from a distance you will understand:

 You are who these scenes are passing through – don’t you see?
 You are who this play is passing through
Be free…………

Friends in the Heart

Jacqueline Mother recently visited Priyadarshani school in Alandi near Pune where she was welcomes with songs, dance and speeches. Afterwards she answered students’ questions.

Jacqueline: Hello everyone good morning and thank you so much for such a beautiful, warm welcome. Alandi is my favorite school in India – it has a special place in my heart. I was very happy to hear some of you singing, see some of the girls dancing and then listen to others give the speeches they had prepared, because when you are creative this keeps you in touch with the heart. What we need so much today is people who are in their hearts. As you know there are many difficulties in the world aren’t there? {Students reply yes}

However, if everyone was living from the heart we wouldn’t have such difficulties. So when I see schools like Alandi offering spiritual teachings and encouraging creativity and when I see students and teachers trying to live well and give their very best I feel so inspired. This is what we need in the world.

I think some of you know I have an ashram here in India near the sacred hill, Arunachala. Just before I left the ashram I was speaking with some of the young people from the nearby village. I know many of them face great difficulties. There are difficulties with parents and other family members and they sometimes experience conflicts with their friends. Suddenly something happens and the young ones quarrel and decide they will no longer speak to each other. Perhaps one person in the village is ignored by the others. I’m sure you also have had such experiences, but turning against each other is not the way to solve these issues. We have enough trouble and fighting in the world We don’t want this to happen between young people like you who could be friends do we? So I found myself speaking with them about the love in the heart.

I asked the young ones, ” How do you want to live your lives? Do you want to live with good friends in the heart or with enemies in the mind?” Then of course they answered, ”Mother we want good friends in the heart”.

You see, enemies are only in the mind. If you look from the heart you will see friends. If there is some problem and you start thinking negatively about someone then in the mind you will make an enemy. So just ask your selves sometimes, ”Do I want to carry friends in my heart or enemies in my mind?” I’m sure you would all chose the friends in the heart, wouldn’t you? The students reply, ”Yes yes yes!”

How to Master the Mind?

asked by a student

This is a good question to ask because usually it is in the mind that problems arise. You need to start by becoming aware of what happens in your mind. Thoughts come and go all the time and I often say to my students that thoughts come and go but you don’t have to think all of these thoughts do you? Some thoughts will come and it’s better just to let them go again. Also be aware how it makes you feel when you think certain thoughts. How do certain thoughts make you feel emotionally and in your physical body? If you start thinking certain thoughts you can end up with a stomach ache can’t you? You cannot stop the thoughts from coming but you can choose which thoughts to think.

If something upsets you be very careful not to start making a negative story about it in your mind. You know what I mean; something difficult can happen, something doesn’t feel good – life is like this sometimes – but when the difficulty is over let it be over. Don’t keep going back over it in your mind – don’t keep on creating negative stories.

In this way your mind will become more sattvic – do you understand what I mean by this? Sattvic is a Sanskrit word. A sattvic mind is calm, balanced, harmonious and therefore more ready for meditation. A sattvic mind is more ready for spiritual understanding and the study of subjects that will help you grow in spiritual understanding.

Not long ago I wrote an article for The Awakener about “The Train Song”. This article contains many good teachings about how to deal with the mind.
Please read the article and I also suggest it could be used as a topic for your spiritual science class.

NB: You can read the article on “The Train Song” here on the website.

Is Our Destiny Determined by God?

What a good question! Well it’s true that it is, but we are all little sparks of God, aren’t we? We are also God. We are also divine. Creator God created from God so we are all small pieces of God, aren’t we. So it is up to us also to make the right choices – you understand? It is up to us to do our best to flower in God’s creation. This could be called fulfilling our destiny.

You know that God created the flowers and some flowers bloom and some don’t. You have all been born, you are all here, you are all young flowers. Do your best to water these flowers. If we just leave a flower in the sun and don’t water it, it will die. If we water it too much it will also die so you have to look after your flower.

Looking after your flower means being aware of how you nourish yourself. Flowers need the right kind of soil and you need right kind of food and the right kind of exercise. You also need the right kind of teachings and this is why I am so happy with a school like this. Here in Alandi at Priyadarshani school, through Jitendraa Sir and the other teachers, you are being provided with the right kind of nourishment so your flower can grow.

Your flower is God’s flower. We are all one. Your destiny is to flower and fulfil your highest potential.

Of Sin and Guilt

Question: Yesterday I was sitting outside a shop and a dog was also sitting there. He was looking at me and me at him. I picked up a stone and then he ran. I have been feeling so guilty. What is the relation between me and the dog?

Jacqueline: A dog is also part of God’s creation but there can be times where we have to chase away a dog. If a dog was coming to bite a baby we would need to shout or throw a stone at the dog to protect the baby. But to harm or hurt someone or something for no reason, like when the dog was just looking at you, then I would say try not to do that again. However, it’s OK to feel that you shouldn’t have done what you did, but please don’t get stuck in guilt.

Question continues and the boy tells he has negative dreams and feels more guilty.

Jacqueline: Just the other day I was talking with a group of adults about sin. When you are guilty you can feel like you are a sinner. Now, what does it mean to be a sinner? Does anybody here know what “sin” really means?

Silence from the students.

Jacqueline: OK I will tell you. Do any of you know how to shoot with a bow and arrow? When you shoot with a bow and arrow you try to hit what is called the bull’s eye. This means the center point. If you don’t hit it we can say that you miss the mark The word “sin” really means missing the mark. Listen to me now because I really don’t want you to feel guilty because when you feel guilty you lose your power.

If you shoot the bow and arrow and miss the mark you just have to practise some more, don’t you? Then one day you won’t miss the mark as you did yesterday. Yesterday you missed the mark with the dog. Perhaps you hit the dog but, spiritually, you missed the mark. So don’t feel bad. Practice so that next time you hit the mark – not the dog! Perhaps next time you hit the bulls eye. That means you do what is right. Of course we sometimes miss the mark – especially when young and just growing up. You have to practise that’s all and this is why we have spiritual science – so you know what to practice. That was a good question.

Jitendraa reminds Jacqueline about the dreams and the boy is ask to come up again and repeat what he said about dreams. He explains again.

Jacqueline: Through dreams you get negative feelings?

Questioner says yes and asks if spiritual science studies can help. He tells that this puts fear in his heart.

Jacqueline: Yes. I understand. Negative dreams we call nightmares. You see, what happens when you have nightmares is this: It’s like there’s something that feels bad inside of you and it comes out in a dream. Imagine you have something bad in your stomach and you vomit. You will feel better afterwards. Now after a nightmare you might feel shaken but if you can look at it and see it’s just some negative thoughts coming out as a bad dream then you can let it go. If you have had a nightmare and you wake up, then you can say a small prayer or say for example the Gayatri mantra. Then you clearing the energy. Like if you vomit on the floor – you have to clean it up. It’s the same with a nightmare – clean the energy and get on with your day.

You are studying spiritual science and nothing in you can spoil that. Sometimes we have negative thoughts. If you get stuck in a negative thought you can just stop and say Gayatri or another prayer. You can send a blessing that the thought doesn’t harm you or anyone else, and then let it go. Everybody has nightmares sometimes. Please don’t make a problem of things. Use your spiritual science teachings and practice living the teachings. Sometimes you won’t hit the bulls eye but don’t fall into guilt. Just keep on practising what you are learning.