Approach to Bhakti (part 1)
Getting closer to Bhakti and what it really means.
Oh. Sorry. I have difficulties with Bhakti. And you thought I was an expert... Sorry. No offense.
But seriously... I have difficulties with Bhakti (worship, love for the creator/god/all-that-is). I don't even love myself very much. And exactly this might be the reason for my problems.
So why even bother?
Bhakti is one of the four Yogas (or ways) that Swami Vivekanandiji defined as a quick way to Realisation. You give everything up, your life, your mind (ego), decisions, attachments (etc.). Someone seems to step in to lead you through difficult times of your life, leading to difficult decisions and struggles. But what is your task? "You need do nothing." (ACIM Ch.18.VII.1) says the course (although the script is already written), and you follow. The hints of the universe (God, you name it) can often not be overseen.
The Indian sage Ramakrishna often had to consult "mother" (he meant Goddess Kali, who was for him what we now call God) and came back (from her Temple) with the correct decision or answer. There was no will of his own to be found within him. "Thy will be done" (NT, Matthew 26:39, 42).
In easy terms, it makes your life very easy. It lives itself. You become lived - happy! In the fine print: there is no "YOU" anymore. Remember: you gave it all up and put God in the driver's seat.
And here is the secret: all enlightened people have done so. They let go of EVERYTHING and renounced the world and all its ups and downs, pain and suffering, hunger and death, to discover that life is, after all, the lila of a force higher than all of us. And yes: this force is one, ONE, Oneness, you.
But these are many topics in one. Jñana-Yoga tells us: the world is unreal, return home and become one with Brahman, which you already are in essence.
ACIM teaches: You never left home, you dream a terrible dream of death, but guilt can only be healed through forgiveness. We all are the sons and daughters of our Father. Wake up.
Sounds the same. And indeed, it's all about letting go (of false beliefs) and turning to the only one thing that is real: God/Brahman.
And here is another detour to the Christian mystics that I don't want to withhold, but I guess you already discovered that the essence here is the same.
Jesus preached in his sermon on the mount: "Blessed are the poor in spirit." Now look at this gem of spiritual wisdom, and tell me that he meant stupid people.
NO! He meant all those (including himself, speaking out of experience) that live he acts only out of the grace of his Father. No one "in him" is left blocking the heavenly flow of Divine Love that he spreads.
And he is free. Doing the Father's will AND being free. Of everything.
That's what means enlightened.
Meister Eckhart tells us in his sermon Q52 (Matt. 5,3) to distinguish between inner and outer poverty: both are good when willingly taken. Concerning outer poverty, the ideal (besides life as a hermit or monk) would be a simple life. Free from almost all digital addictions modern life has to offer. Question yourself: do I worship God by doing so (e.g.playing soccer), or would a meditative session on Unity be of a better use for your suffering mind?!
Here we come to Meister Eckhart's inner poverty. He defines:
A Human that does not want, nor nows, nor has.
See you in part 2...