March 25, 2020
Gurudev cautioned us against making excuses. "In winter, it is too cold; in summer it is too hot; during the monsoon it is too wet, to practice yoga. Now you are sick and now you are too busy," he often said. "You complain of the family responsibilities, worries etc." These are all lame excuses. Add the sadhana-jhanjhat now.” If you refuse to excuse yourself, you will find plenty of time and energy to do what you wish to do. When you find an excuse you are really accusing yourself of insincerity.
Everyone loves to complain, to grumble and to find excuses. You love to make it appear that you are indeed keen to do this or that, but … and the excuses follow! Even if the temple or the church is next door you always find an excuse why you cannot or do not go. But you do not excuse yourself from going to the seaside or for a holiday.
Man burns one end of the candle of his life in struggling to live. He is soon tired. He resorts to seaside cottages, a holiday overseas, play, fun and recreation. But what is recreation? To create again. What? That which was lost. And what was that? Life, balance of mind, sanity, wisdom — all of which are lost in bread-winning labor and prestige-earning service.
Re-creation is possible only if we deliberately reverse the course of life at the seaside or wherever we may go. By extrovert activity we lost the saner sense of values and wisdom; now, by introvert contemplation and raising our consciousness above the daily battle of life, we should regain them. On the contrary, if we continue to be the same old selves even during the holidays at the seaside, we shall only be burning the candle at the other end, too! We return from the holiday madder, if possible.That is re-destruction!
Among the Buddhists of Burma there is a custom: whatever be their station in life, they retire periodically to a monastery and live as monks for a few weeks. Their attitude to life gets re-adjusted during this period. It is not only a period of physical activity and mental relaxation but of spiritual rejuvenation. It is a wonderful system, for all of us.