A Memory of Dr Shastri

One of the constant themes in Dr Shastri’s teachings is, the control of the mind. On one occasion I had to undergo a severe pain, and afterwards in conversation I mentioned it and said: `Warden, I couldn’t control my mind then’. ‘ ` And how was it afterwards? How is it now?’ he asked. `Oh, it was all right once the pain stopped,’ I said. `That is already considerable progress,’ he said. `Some people are upset for days and weeks by an experience like that. But when you are only at the beginning of your training, you cannot expect to be able to do what an expert can do’. T.P.L.

Do not meet hard with hard, or soft with soft

In one of the traditional scrolls of budo martial arts, there is a poem: Do not meet hard with hard, or soft with soft, There is no result and it is meaningless, Catch the flung stone with a cloth, Pin the wind-fluttered cloth with a stone. These general principles, and the poetic metaphors which illustrate them, can be a help in life. But they have to be understood. There are people who live always by hardness: they are fighters, pushers, shouters. If you meet them with fighting, pushing and shouting, there is no real result. You may defeat them for a time, but they are not convinced and will seek revenge. They will constantly oppose all you try to do, and can hold it up and limit it. Then there are people who live entirely by softness. At the first little difficulty or opposition in anything, they change course, or …

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Trevor Leggett’s Notes and Observations series 1

Miracles In Shaw’s St. Joan, the miracles were no use to the main leaders, who took advantage of them and then explained them away as luck.  They themselves did not change. The powers of grown-ups are miraculous to the child; but they are not granted as the child’s demands. He wonders why not. As he grows up, he can perform more and more of them himself, but also gets to know their limitations.  If they do not conduce to inner growth they are of little use.  To do the child’s homework for him produces a miraculous result, but it has no lasting value; in fact in the slightly longer run it holds up his development. For vairagya The attractions of the world are like stage characters – a creation of lights and make-up and stage props (e.g. money, power etc.), on top of the real character of the performer.  To fall …

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