At Ramagiri Ashram our plum trees are in blossom, and anyone taking a mantram walk underneath them on a breezy day can be graced with a shower of fragrant white petals.
It’s easy to see why springtime images appear often in mystical literature to describe the inner transformation of spiritual flowering. Here is Easwaran on the thrilling developments of deepening meditation:
“Your mind has not yet become completely still, but it is certainly quieter, and as the turbulence dies down, you begin to see wonderful qualities rising from deep within. Gradually – gracefully – they will come into play in your daily life. It is really very much like watching a plum tree or a peach tree burst into blossom.”
As we know, this transformation that increasingly reveals the qualities Easwaran describes in many ways – the qualities of the eternal Self, of our divine core, our original goodness – has immense practical implications. In the mystics we see these qualities bloom to breathtaking fullness: their inexhaustible patience, tireless enthusiasm, unshakable awareness of unity. The greater the challenges of the times, the more deeply they root themselves in the timeless. In contrast to the restless pursuit of novelty and the enervation that follows, their lives overflow with vitality, beauty, and strikingly original contributions. “Never has human personality been more dynamic, more spontaneous, more joyful,” says Easwaran.
Of course, this inner transformation is a long, long struggle, but the benefits start as soon as we begin to practice. It hardly takes a walk under the plum trees to remind us of this, either. Reminders come with every batch of mail, every retreat, every day at the Ashram. It’s deeply hopeful to see Easwaran’s words brought to life through people around the world:
“Each of us has the capacity to become a healing and protecting force in the family, with friends, at work, in the community, in the environment.”One example comes from a retreat a while back. Participants were sharing what had brought them to the retreat, and one young adult answered, without hesitation, “My grandfather.” She went on to describe how this man, a student of Easwaran’s, had made brave, determined efforts to forgive a relative, healing a longtime rift in the family. As moving as her words were, it wasn’t what she said that made a deep impression on everyone; it was the energy in her voice, the light in her face. It was like seeing the living sap of inspiration flowing through the branches of a family, and beyond. It’s one of countless examples of how Easwaran’s friends around the world are inspiring their family, co-workers, neighbors, often without realizing it.
“We should never underestimate the effect of one person remaining calm in the midst of turmoil, the power of one person to change ill will into good will, anger into compassion, hatred into love.”
– Christine Easwaran
We want to do all we can to support you in your spiritual growth by making it easy for you to directly access Easwaran’s teachings if you wish. Like people everywhere, we at the BMCM will face plenty of challenges this year as we navigate a changing world. We are grateful beyond words for the generous, steady support that makes all our work possible. Thanks to the contributions of many, our year is off to a strong start. If you haven’t checked out our free Easwaran Digital Library of audio and video recordings, or if you haven’t done so recently, we encourage you to visit it. We just uploaded 123 audio recordings of talks Easwaran gave at the Petaluma church (pictured below) where he spoke weekly for many years. The talks are listed with titles, such as “Discovering Inner Wealth,” “A Firm Resolve,” “Gandhi: A Personal Encounter,” and “Turning Sorrow into Joy,” so you can peruse them and see what speaks to you.
I’ll close with two selections, included below. The first is a heartfelt letter we received at the end of the year. The gratitude this dear friend expresses extends to each of you in the worldwide community.
The second is one of many passages Easwaran recommended for meditation. If you’d like to explore the collection, you can find it on our website and on the Easwaran Digital Library as audio recordings. It’s a diverse treasury from saints and sages who, by discovering the changeless reality within them and underlying all change, became dynamic forces for peace and unity. “Words from this depth of the heart,” says Easwaran, “never lose their power.”
We send our loving respect for your spiritual journey. May we all move closer to the source of joy and wisdom within, which St. Augustine once called “Beauty so ancient and so new.” Thank you for everything you do to support our work together and, whatever the weather where you are, to help inspiration blossom.
With love and mantrams,
Letter From the BMCM Community
To my dear spiritual family at Ramagiri and BMCM –
As I look back on the past year, with the help of my teacher and my worldwide satsang, I can count many blessings, many challenges overcome, and some hard work still in progress.
I have great determination that the year to come will be one that I continue to steadfastly walk this path with the daring and joy that Easwaran embodied and encouraged. I have great faith that our teacher and this practice can take us safely to the goal. The never-ending support and inspiration that radiates from Ramagiri and the BMCM keeps my torch well-lit.
More and more, I feel the powerful forces that surround us, carrying us forward as we strive to become fuller and better contributors to the spiritual renaissance. Even as this evolution seems to wax and wane, Easwaran keeps lifting us up with all the tools we need for expanding the healing, uniting influence of love, compassion, and forgiveness in the world. His precious work and the loving devotion and efforts of Christine and all of you makes us, and this world, rich in actuality and possibility.
With immense love and gratitude to you all.
The Deepest Part of Thy SoulBy William Law
Though God be everywhere present, yet He is only present to thee in the deepest and most central part of thy soul.
Thy natural senses cannot possess God or unite thee to Him; nay, thy inward faculties of understanding, will, and memory can only reach after God, but cannot be the place of His habitation in thee.
But there is a root or depth in thee from whence all these faculties come forth, as lines from a centre or as branches from the body of a tree.This depth is called the Centre, the Fund or Bottom of the soul.
This depth is the unity, the eternity, I had almost said the infinity of thy soul; for it is so infinite that nothing can satisfy it or give it any rest but the infinity of God.