Originally posted in 2107, this is a message that I felt bears repeating.
"For where your treasure is, there you heart will be also.” Matthew, 6:21, World English Bible.
There are two general types of people: Those who seek their treasure outside themselves, and those who seek it in the inner world.
The vast majority of people seek outside of themselves. Using the senses, they seek the ultimate treasure—lasting happiness and fulfillment—from the objects and experiences of the world. They strive endlessly to fulfill and find only momentary pleasure, small bits of joy, and little fulfillment. No thing lasts, the world constantly changes, including worldly happiness and pleasure. So, the ultimate treasure cannot be found where most of us are searching for it.
On the other hand, some very rare individuals seek their treasure within themselves—not within their bodies but from within their very being. These are souls who have found the pleasures of the world to be ephemeral and have made a radical shift to seek lasting happiness. Rather than striving to satisfy desires, they seek communion with their spiritual self. Becoming still, they allow desires to come and go, and slowly learn to drink from the eternal inner spring of joy and love which exists within everyone. Those who are truly “enlightened” rest in absolute peace, while those who have not yet attained the final goal experience more and more fulfillment from within as their practice progresses.
The Bhagavad Gita speaks of these two types of people in Chapter 2, verse 70: “Like the ocean, which becomes filled yet remains unmoved and stands still as the waters enter it, He who all desires enter and who remains unmoved attains peace; not so the man who is full of desire (Winthrop Sergeant).”
Referring to this verse, Paramahansa Yogananda said, “In the man of peace, his soul is a sea of contentment in which his whole consciousness is immersed. Instead of losing that peace through the avenues of small yearnings, he absorbs within himself all the rivers of desires, thereby keeping his quiescent sea filled to the brim. On the contrary, a man who possesses a small reservoir of peace and, instead of enlarging it by self-control and meditation, lets the waters run out through a thousand channels of harmful desires, soon loses all his contentment.”
Yogananda continues, saying, “This counsel does not mean that one should abandon good aspirations, such as helping others to know God. By noble desires the devotee does not lose his peace, which gathers reinforcement by distribution! … A desire to give joy to others and the outgoing activity of giving peace to others bring back to the devotee a greater peace and joy. But the satisfaction of any selfish desire leaves the devotee a poorer man.”
Regarding the same verse, Swami Rama said, “The aspirant who has attained calmness and serenity is like the infinite sky in which storms, winds, and lightning may rage but which have no power to disturb the serenity of the infinite. Similarly the storms of desires and emotions pass through the mind but are not at all able to disturb the tranquility of the realized yogi. Ironically enough, one who leads a pleasure-oriented life is usually miserable, whereas the yogi who has perfect self-control and has attained a state of calmness knows the joyous art of living and being, which enables him to walk on this earth without being affected by the so-called charms and temptations of the world. … Such an enlightened one develops an entirely different attitude toward life, relationships, and objects. He does not identify with the objects of the world and therefore lives in the midst of so-called possessions while maintaining his aloofness. The ordinary man, however, is in the habit of identifying himself with the objects of the world; he clings to his possessions and develops and attachment for them. He is not certain that he will attain what he desires and always remains afraid that he might lose what he possesses. The fear of not gaining what he wants and the fear of losing what he possesses makes him miserable.”
Of these two types of people, which type are you? If you’re outer oriented and ready to make a change, Yoga-meditation is a way to transform one’s orientation from outer to inner.