Sri Chinmoy often encouraged us to write – write about the spiritual life, write about our experiences with Guru. On one occasion Guru said to us: “Can disciples not write for one hour every day?” Later Guru, modified this to: “Can disciples not write for half an hour every day?” Perhaps Guru said this in the hope we might write for perhaps half an hour every week or even half an hour every month…. When I think about what brought me to the spiritual life, a large part was reading accounts by disciples of great Masters – disciples of Ramana Maharshi, Sri Ramakrishna and Yogananda. They all inspired me to practice meditation and the spiritual life. Now, I am also fortunate to read so many accounts by disciples of our own Guru. – Like Gunagriha’s book, the many miracle stories, Arpan’s function reports and even just short reminiscences from Joy weekends.
There can be something intimidating about writing that first sentence; the mind is adept at finding a 100 excuses / reasons / justifications to delay. But, once we clear some space and devote it to writing, we can often be surprised at how beneficial writing is. I feel it is somewhat like talking to new disciples. As Guru says, when we talk to new seekers, it brings to the fore our good qualities, and reminds our forgetful mind of all the many good experiences we have had in the spiritual life. It is the same with writing, it helps to relive profound experiences and strengthen our aspiration.
Perfection and Speed
Both perfection and speed are aspects of Sri Chinmoy’s path. Guru, of course embodied both; with tremendous dynamism he could also work with great perfection. However, if we start with an idealised model of perfection, our
clever mind may just use this as an excuse never to start. “I’m not a writer, other people can do it better e.t.c.” But, we need to start where we are. It’s best just to write and allow the words to flow; it can always be improved later. (and thanks to all those who send me corrections for my second grade grammar standards… )
I remember one experience as a new disciple. It was my first family Christmas after becoming a disciple. I found the party atmosphere difficult; I just couldn’t enjoy the same things I used to before being a disciple. I remember becoming somewhat wistful and unhappy, but, then I just started writing on a spiritual topic. I don’t think the article was any good, but, it did my consciousness alot of good! The mild unhappiness left and, for the first time, I realised the power of writing as an aspect of spiritual sadhana.