Christian religion praises glory to God in the highest and on Earth peace, good will to men. Based on devotion to the Divine, and that is what in Eastern religions is called Bhakti Yoga.
Bhakti Yoga is based on the “I” and “Thou” aspect. We all start in the path in that way, because we experience ourselves as a separate entity, and thus there is I and the Other. In the words of a Christian Spiritual Teachers, Thomas Keating, as it is said
This I and thou aspect is very necessary for the wayfarer. For the person on the path has to have a goal. So what greater goal could there be than to discover the glory of the Lord? Bhakti Yoga is very necessary for a person to be in tune. Now, one can never be devoted to something totally abstract. So, therefore, we symbolize that abstraction or the abstract idea in the concrete form of Jesus, so there is someone that one could be devoted to. This being a necessary path for most people,
Devotion, which is essentially Christianity, shows us all these various paths of devotion and worship. Therein is also contained a lot of ritualisms. Ritual, too, plays its part. It prepares your mind, brings you into a certain mood. We find the same in Hinduism and Buddhism as well; where you are required… as you get up in the morning to have your bath, which is a preparation for worshiping. Bodily cleanliness is important. And while you are having the bath, cleansing the body, your mind is also filled with the teachings of that, the “Thou” of God. The lamp has to be cleaned personally and polished. Now, while you are doing all that, your mind is slowly led to higher and higher thoughts or better thoughts, and then you put your flowers down with that devotion. Now, with this buildup that is taking place in you, you are tuning yourself, you are preparing your mind. Your mind is going into a devotional mood, whereby when you pray the prayer becomes more effective. And this we find in the Catholic faith, in Hinduism, and most practical in all other branches of the Christian religion. And with this, one always has the glory and the majesty of God in mind.
Now, this glory and majesty of God starts with a mental concept. Because not having known God, you idealize Him, you are then worshiping an ideal. This is good. You’re climbing the stairs and you have the rail to hold onto lest you slip. So having the various ideas of God, that He is all powerful, all merciful, all compassionate, all the greatest virtues and the greatest things a man could ever think about… It helps you by tuning your thoughts to what is compassion, to what is mercy, to what is love. So, in reality, you are not praying to the “Thou,” the separation, you are praying to that which is within you.
Awakening that which is within you, you become loving. When you think of Divinity as all compassion, and having your thoughts tuned to that, you automatically become compassionate.
Sunday mornings we are at home and we hear the church bells ringing. What strikes me immediately is of the glory of God, and I hear Him speaking in the sound of those bells. That sound flows in your mind. It becomes a kind of mantra, and by allowing it with total innocence, without fighting against it, by allowing it to flow in the mind, your mind becomes quieter and quieter and you get into the mood for that devotion and that worship to the “Thou” concept.
In our courses in mindfulness, meditation and spiritual practices, you will learn a method that brings within you an awakening of that devotion, not to something in concrete but to every action you perform, to every thought that arises in the mind, to everything you see and feel.
And here is where one loses the “I” and “Thou” sense and finds the sense of oneness ‑‑ is when you transcend the mood: the “Thou” is not there. The “I” is not there. Only Divinity is there. For Christ said, “I and my father are one.” And it does not only mean that little body of Jesus. It means all of us that are within this consciousness, for Christ means pure consciousness.
From duality we proceed to non‑duality. For to know God and to know the glory of God is to become one with Him, because God, or Divinity, can never be known. Because in the very process of knowing, the mind is involved. You can only experience Divinity. You can only experience God, and that area of experience is beyond the mind.
You can never become one with the Divine if Divinity is not there in you. The entire tree is in the seed. In all of nature in the entire universe Divinity exists in an involved form and in evolved form. The tree exists in the seed in an involved form. And when it grows it is in an evolved form. And yet the same energy is existent in the seed as in the full grown tree.
The object of your love is love! The object of God can only be God. Now how can there be two Gods? So that within you is at‑one‑ment with that within me. And when I realize this…. Now there is a difference between understanding and realization. You can understand with the mind, an intellectual concept. But a realization is assimilation. It permeates every pore, every cell of your body. And in that way, you become that love. You do not need to love anymore, you become that love. Then you are that love. Then if anyone does you any harm with distortions or malice or whatever, it does not hurt you, and you will still keep on loving because that is your nature. You have become that.
In our courses, you will learn the basics of devotional practices, and you will learn to make your actual devotional practices much deeper and authentic.