Divine Living Practice Newsletter

"Cleaning House"

July 2001

Greetings and Welcome to the 1st issue of the new "Divine Living Practice" Newsletter.

This newsletter comes from the "Foundation for Divine Living", written by Mr. & Mrs. Jackson and Marie Wu.

***** FOREWORD *****

It has been an enormous year of change, growth and transformation for us. Our notable news is that we were officially married in July, 2000 and also that we have just completed our first music CD together, entitled "Devotion", of traditional chants from India sung in Sanskrit, also known as "bhajans".

We are disgusted by all the email abuse that we see happening - letters, stories, chain letters, publicity, advertisements and solicitations sent indiscriminately to any email address people can get their hands on; even and especially "well intentioned" people spreading information that they think is important to "help" the world, or wanting to express their opinion on some topic that they "think" is important, when in fact what they actually want unconsciously is to be seen, to get attention, to feel they are doing something "important" to compensate for the fact that they feel unimportant, and/or to take from others the love and attention they lack in themselves and which they are avoiding facing. Where is their focus? It would be far better for these people to focus their attention and energy on addressing and working out their own issues in their daily life, work and relationships, rather than propagating information about events or ideas far removed and unrelated to themselves. How much junk email do you receive? Enough is enough. Human beings need to learn humility and discretion. Consider for a moment the point of view of Eternity. What we think and do are not so important. We are not so important. Love of God is what is important. God does not need us. We need God. God does not need our work to save the world. We need to work to develop ourselves towards God.

***** END FOREWORD *****

We offer you some of the fruits of our experience in the form of practical advice. Take it or leave it. If you taste our fruit, in other words if you practice our advice, you will have your own experience that will hopefully show you something about yourself and move you forward on your path of consciousness. In our view, the spiritual path is not for the faint-hearted, nor the sentimental, nor the intellectual. It is not a path to indulge our fantasies, stimulate our sense pleasures, nor achieve our goals - of any kind. The spiritual path is one of TOTAL surrender and abandonment to God, to the exclusion of all else. The spiritual path - the path of God - is at the same time more strict, severe, disciplined, gentle and loving than one can possibly imagine without having had personal experience.

How do we surrender to God, not just intellectually with pretty words and ideas, but actually - in reality - with genuine realization!? In no small part, by mastering daily life - by mastering all the seemingly mundane details of existence as a human being on the planet. We master ourselves in human relationships and communication; home and family; work and money; sexuality; and everything else. In our daily life and interactions we can see, if we observe ourselves sincerely, where we are at and how we need to improve. We can identify our poor habits, our weaknesses, our wounds and our ignorance, and do the work of healing and transforming them. The rewards of mastery are far greater than anything the material world can offer. There is no comparison. Nevertheless, the illusion of material reality - called "maya" or "samsara" in the East - is strong in the world. So let us have faith and courage and refuse the temptations of maya, illusory matter, the lower desires of the body, the patterns or karma of our past actions, and let us instead live a life focused completely on God, that is to say on purity, clarity, honesty, humility, sincerity, simplicity and love.

Here are a few tips to reflect on and to practice: Observe yourself and ask...
1) How honest, clear and direct am I in my communications with others? Where am I weak and how can I improve?
2) How precisely and carefully do I fulfill my duties at work and at home? Where am I weak and how can I improve?

1) How clean and organized are my desk, papers and computer files? How clean and organized is my house, my kitchen, my bathroom, my bedroom, my car? How clean and organized are my relationships with spouse, children, parents, friends, co-workers?

To practice:
1) Make the commitment through action to improve on what you find lacking in your self-observation.

For examples:
1) Clean your desk, computer, home, kitchen, bathroom, bedroom and/or car more often until eventually it becomes an every moment automatic spontaneous activity that you never have to think twice about.
2) Be clearer and simpler in what you communicate to others to be as certain as possible that any miscommunications and confusion which arise are not due to what information you are giving.
3) If you receive junk email, write the senders and insist on being removed from their lists.
4) If necessary, reduce the size of your "garden" of responsibilities to the point that you are confident that you can manage your "garden" in an impeccable manner; only add to your "garden" if you are sure you can handle it without any other area of your life suffering. This could mean for example that if someone asks you to take responsibility for something that you feel sincerely you cannot do well, with full care and attention, and without creating lack somewhere else in your life, say "No" - refuse it. Forget about your image or what the other will think of you. To serve God is to know our limits, and to fulfill our work and responsibilities to the best of our ability.

As you practice these and change your behavior patterns you may at times find some resistance arising within you. This is normal and to be expected from time to time. That resistance is linked to the wound / hurt / karma that blocks you and keeps you stuck in poor habits. If and when it arises, it is a sign to do some inner work which has revealed itself in the course of doing your outer work:
1) Sit with it - Be with yourself - Breathe deeply and consciously.
2) Focus your attention inward and perhaps close your eyes.
3) Form a relationship / dialogue / communication with this hurt part of you, by giving it your full attention and presence.
4) Talk to it and comfort it, like you would a crying child.
5) Ask it where it comes from and what message it has for you.
6) Ask it what it needs to heal.
7) Listen with your heart.
8) Offer the resistance / suffering / pain to God and ask God for help.
9) Give from your heart what is needed to this hurt part of yourself.
10) Repeat the steps above as often and as long as necessary.

When you feel spacious and at ease again, continue with your outer work. Inner work and outer work go hand in hand and are two sides of the same work of purification and transformation for God.

It is important to be aware, at all times if possible, that all our work, whether inner or outer, is for God and not for ourself. It is for ourself only to the degree that it is an opportunity to develop ourself for God. We practice this by offering our work and the results of our work to the Divine; in other words simply doing our best regardless of what happens, for the sake of doing a good job and not for the sake of a particular outcome, nor for the sake of what we shall receive - for examples money, praise, fame, approval or recognition. Our reward is the joy of serving the Divine. To offer our work to the Divine we can either say it or simply feel it in our hearts. We can also repeat a Name of God, known in Sanskrit as the practice of "japa". To repeat a Name of God is to repeat silently to oneself - while working, resting or meditating; all the time if possible - the name of whatever we believe in, whether it be Love, God, Nature, Jesus, Mary, Krishna, Allah, OM Namaha Shivaya, Amma, Baba or something else. Whatever Name of God we choose is not so important as the feeling it inspires in our heart. Choose a Name that inspires in you love, joy and devotion.

We hope you find the practice of these few tips as fruitful as we have.

All the best,

Jackson and Marie Wu
Foundation for Divine Living

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