Asha Praver's Monthly Letter
March 2006

Dear Friends,Asha Praver photo

In one of Master’s recorded talks, he said that every night he goes into the consciousness of each of his disciples to help them spiritually.

“I don’t pay attention to the bad,” Master said. “I only look at the good.”

It is a common misunderstanding that concentrating on a bad habit is the way to escape from it. I remember a seminar I gave in which I asked people to introduce themselves by describing their best qualities.

The first few people did what I asked, but then habit took over, and those that followed described themselves according to the weaknesses they hoped to overcome, using what they would learn in the seminar that day.

Later, I led that group in another exercise in which they had to visualize themselves in an entirely positive way, as if all their faults had magically dissolved. Several people in the group actually argued with me that such an exercise was a waste of time.

“If I don’t concentrate on my faults,” one man insisted, “how will I ever overcome them?”

I tried to explain about magnetism and positive energy, but he was not persuaded. A woman who lived briefly at Ananda left the community because, she said, in the positive, uplifting environment of Ananda she was not able to remember her shortcomings. She was afraid that if she stayed at Ananda too long, eventually she would forget her shortcomings altogether.

Several of us tried to help her unravel her twisted logic. Shortcomings exist only on a certain level of consciousness. If you raise your awareness above that level, that means you have overcome those shortcomings. But she was not convinced.

On a hot summer afternoon in 1976, a county vehicle, with a faulty spark arrester, threw a spark into the dry bush by the side of the road a mile from Ananda Village. A few hours later, 450 acres of Ananda, and 21 homes had been burned to cinders. Such a massive result from such a seemingly small cause. In the same way, a spark of divine love can ignite an inner fire of devotion that burns away all attachments and delusions. In the poem Samadhi, Master says: Smoldering joy, oft-puffed by meditation Blinding my tearful eyes, Burst into immortal flames of bliss, Consumed my tears, my frame, my all. Master comes into the heart of every devotee and with the breath of grace he blows on the embers of our love for God until they burst into “immortal flames of bliss.”

To try to overcome our weaknesses by concentrating on them is like trying to clear out a forest by rearranging the trees. Why bother, when the point is to burn them to ashes? Just bring in a single spark of divine love. The forest fire that burned Ananda started with a single flame. But the brush was dry and the wind was behind it, and soon it was an unstoppable force. Let us launch an unstoppable divine force within us. If we put our energy into the positive power of devotion, the wind of God’s grace will fan the flames, and everything within us will be turned to bliss.

Joy,

Asha (& David)