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Exercises to grow in Krishna Consciousness

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Really nice tips.


Exercises to grow in Krishna Consciousness

HH Bhakti Tirtha Swami


1. List our weaknesses:


In regards to our weakpoints that hold us back in spiritual life and execution of devotional services. You can go through your sadana and see where you are strong and weak at.


Also peer at some things less often looked at or maybe not looked at at all such as internal attitudes or how mind perceives things but we may keep to ourselves. Things such as you don't like the way a person looks, or his/her voice, dress, singing style, etc. All the ugly things that roll around in our heads. Sit down and take a good look at them. Try to really see where they are stemming from - insecurities, false pride, cynisism, repression, our ego being hurt or ruffled, past trauma that taints our present mindsets, etc. You can see so much of this isn't just our opinions on things but come from false ego. We can feel learned and advanced so look at others in certain ways.


Sometimes externally we may seem very compassionate and always there to help but really we like to be around when people have problems and we offer help because really it makes us feel better about ourselves and feel some superiority.


So these examples are things we need to really look at deep down in ourselves and come up with a plan to change.


Suggestion is to write down some weaknesses and/or mindsets you would like to change and 3-4 times a day remind yourself to stay out of them. After some time doing this it will become natural and inherent and the mindsets will become minimized or at least easier to handle or caught when they come up.


2. If I left my body tonight, How would I feel about where my consciousness is at?


Was my consciousness where I would want it to be if this was my last day?


If yes, then great- if not then look back at the day and analyze what you could do different on a daily basis so you get closer to where you feel pleased everynight where you are at.


-Today is the sum total of ones other days and lifetimes so a good reflection of where we are at. Everything good or bad builds on itself.


Another way you can do this exercise is wake up in the morning with the mindset "Today is my last day on the planet" So you would live your day with the best consciousness you can with quality rounds and personal interactions (Using BTSwami's principals for assistance such as "Treat everyone you encounter as if the success and failure of your spiritual life depends upon the quality of your interactions with them") At the end of the night reflect and see how you did. How did it differ from a "normal" day.


3. It is said that progress in ones spiritual life is measured not in how much one is doing but how little or much one is holding back. A person seemingly doing a lot may have the capacity to do so much more and/or much better quality and vice versa. So the next exercise is to sit down with yourself and think about How much and where am I holding back and why? For some we have maybe never thought about this before.


I mentioned my example of on a day to day basis without really sitting down and thinking about it I will tell my self I am doing pretty good. Tow the line and have a good amount of service and projects. Probably more then the average devotee. I try to help when I can when things come up. I figure Iam doing enough to get by and that all is relatively OK.


If I really sat down and did this exercise I would see how that the quality of my sadana and services are very poor and I could raise them tremendously. Thing is it would take work and shifting around a lot of internal stuff and when it comes down to it, Iam too lazy right now to do it. So this exercise gives me more of an understanding where I actually am and how much better I could be doing. I mean I knew I could be doing better as everyone knows that but this exercise and the other ones REALLY show me how much more I could be doing and the minimum I am really working with.


The mind has great ways to keep us all thinking we aren't doing so bad and gives us many reasons not to improve. We are all different and our minds are all different so someone's mind may play a certain trick on them due to their particular make up and another mind will do the opposite. Someone's mind may tell them they are doing just great and they are so wonderful and that is the minds trick for that particular person in this lifetime. Someone else their mind will constantly tell them how awful they are and this affects that particular person and keeps them caged.


It has been said that the balance we should strive for is think that simultaneously we could die today but also live to 80 years old so have to live our lives daily with both in mind. It is very easy to think to tighten things up as we get older but really the future is today as each day builds on the next (and plus, we never really know in the present age when our last day is going to be....)


* A tip when doing these exercises and analyzing the mind is to remember that the mind seperate from you.


To keep it in perspective when your mind is chattering or thinking all those ugly things, picture it as a separate person talking to you. This can help in aiding to control it and it keeps things in the proper perspective. Just working with this fact itself can be an exersize of its own and can help someone out tremendousely


With all of these exercises the more honest and serious we are to change what we find we don't like or is wrong, our advancement could skyrocket. These exercises are a very strong indicator of how serious we really are. A true test of how serious we are is how serious we take and implement these - a lack of implementing will show how much false ego and illusion have their grip.


We can ask ourselves why we don't live these exercises on a daily basis. Why shouldn't we??


This will show some of us that we may not be as serious as we thought. That is OK and one of the functions of these is to show us where we really our with ourselves. The mind can play big tricks on us telling us were OK with where we are at when were very far from that.


These exercises were brought up to show ourselves what we are doing now to become effective leaders, role models and human beings in the future. We all have to work as hard as we can to maximize our potential. The future is us and the time is now to start thinking about it and what we want ours and ISKCONS future to be.


We have a wonderful talented bunch here and I feel good about the future. If we can just keep up with what we are doing even now within the group, in 5-10 years we will have a wonderful bonded community because we already have the bonds now.


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are really nice and analytical. I have personally found out that I help someone because my false ego thinks that the other person needs my help, but most of the times, they don't. So it is some superiority issues, just as Bhakti Tirtha Maharaja says.

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