There is a beautiful Shiva shrine at Ananda Village, a sacred place where many have meditated over the years. It is larger than life size and was sculpted by a talented artist who lived here. Michael, a longtime Village resident, lives nearby, and by helping tend it has developed a deep connection with this image of God. Some years back, he also acquired a lovely little murti of his beloved Shiva that had been abandoned, and it has been a central feature of his meditation room. A year or more ago he felt the inspiration to share the blessings that come from the statue, and has asked a number of people if they would like to “caretake” Shiva for a few weeks.
When he called us recently, he said something very perceptive. “I noticed that in the last several days, I haven’t thought about Shiva. I think my lack of attention means that he wants to move to a new home for a while. Would you like to take him?” And so Shiva now sits in our meditation room, radiating his blessings to us. I always try to bow to him, along with our other masters, before I leave the silence and start the day’s business.
As you know, Devi and I alternate the week when we write the blog. There is a little secret that we should keep quiet, so please don’t spread it around: Unfortunately, we often don’t know what to write about and sometimes struggle to find an inspiring theme. I was in the midst of this dilemma, but this morning as I was bowing to Shiva preparing to leave the meditation room, he whispered the thought, “Why don’t you write about me, and about sharing inspiration?”
Sharing our inspiration with others is central to our spiritual growth. It is a spiritual law that the things we share grow stronger, and those that we hoard to ourselves shrivel up and die. When we share that which inspires us it not only grows stronger within us, but multiplies its power. Thanks to Michael, there are now many residents who have been blessed by his murti.
The inspiration we share rarely has a physical form. Usually it is an encounter, a story, a technique, or a new insight. Where would we all be if Paramhansa Yogananda had not shared his wisdom and insights with Swami Kriyananda or with us? The selfless sharing of love from a mother and father makes it possible for life to survive. But there is also the opposite tendency, to be greedy with the gifts we have been given.
Each week our Sunday service ends with a reading of the Festival of Light, written by Swami Kriyananda. In this ceremony there is a passage that depicts the journey of the soul. Swamiji has written it in poetic form as the story of a little bird. For the bird, as for every soul, there comes a time, before wisdom has had a chance to grow, when it rebels. “What else is wisdom,” it decides, “if not to keep what is mine for myself?”
So, friends, every day we have a choice to make. Should we rebel and keep what is ours for ourselves, or should we share Shiva? If you look at the smile on Shiva’s photo, you will see his answer.
In the joy of sharing,
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