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8

 

THE MOVING FINGER

 

Notes from a Nasik Diary—1937

 

By MALCOLM SCHLOSS

 

. . . The second time we saw Baba in India, while we were waiting in the Dak Bungalow at Bhandardara, waiting for the work on the Ashram at Nasik to be completed, he instructed us to go individually for five or ten minutes each day, to some quiet spot within the grounds, and to sit alone, in a completely relaxed position, making the mind an utter blank.

 

"Don't think of anything," he spelled out on his alphabet board. “Not even of me."

 

He called our attention to the water flowing over the dam.

 

"If you find it difficult to stop the flow of thought," he continued, "listen to the water flowing over the rocks. But be sure you are thoroughly relaxed."

 

The next time he came, he asked us whether we had succeeded. We confessed our inability. He told us to continue to try, and said that he would help us.

 

"To have one's mind under one's control is very important," the moving finger went onto "say." "Mind controls life, and we must control the mind. Mind makes us believe, and be happy,—mind makes us doubt and be miserable. It is like the sun. The sun gives life, and the sun takes life. It gives life to plants, takes life from man by strokes."

 

One of the Westerners asked if it would be all right to use forms of concentration which one had found helpful in the past.

 

“No," replied Baba. "Concentration produces ecstasy and trance and spiritual experience. Making the mind empty produces peace. It makes it possible for one to enter the path. It is like climbing a mountain. When you reach the foot, before you start your ascent, you lay down your burden.

 

"The mind has become habituated, throughout ages and ages of time, to look outwards. We must train it to look within. It is difficult chiefly because it is so infinitely easy."

 

Another of the Westerners, who had been struggling with the cross-legged, sitting yoga posture, asked if we had to sit while meditating.

 

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