I have the amazing privilege to hear Sri Avinash’s teachings daily. Wisdom that is deep, profound and totally transformative. But of all that Sri Avinash shares with his close disciples living with him, if I could pass on to you one critical thing, the key, the secret, the one message that Sri Avinash tells us time and time again that is guaranteed to benefit you in ways beyond your imagination, I would share with you this: it all comes down to quality spiritual practice and lots of it.
I recall one time Sri Avinash said to me in his usual no-nonsense manner, “Devika, you are not meditating in order to be peaceful when there is nothing challenging happening in your life, you are meditating to prepare yourself to face the future challenges that you will inevitably face in your life, without emotionally drowning.”
I love this about Sri Avinash, don’t you? I just love the way he simply, clearly and lovingly tells you how it is.
“How does Roger Federer practice?” Sri Avinash asked me on the same subject. “Does he practice like he is playing social tennis or does he practice like every time he hits the ball it’s a Wimbledon match?”
“A Wimbledon match,” I’d respond.
“Exactly. So you should practice your mantra like Roger Federer practices tennis—with every ball he hits during practice he hits it like he is playing on center court in Wimbledon. So every mantra, say it with quality, with absolute awareness.”
I was listening intently, absorbing his teachings.
“Be aware and notice if you drift off, and refocus your awareness immediately. You do this so that when the real-life moment comes, you are able to be aware of what is happening inside you and you stay focused on the present moment, not losing control. It only takes a couple of seconds to drift off into thoughts and once you go into your mind, it’s very hard to bring your awareness back and refocus.”
I reflected on his wisdom and could see that yes, those few seconds drifting off are critical moments. They could be the difference between saying something unkind or saying nothing at all, between doing something we might later regret or refraining from losing control. So much of our peace, harmony and happiness rests on just a few seconds.
Know that this will improve your practice and your craft. It will improve your entire life and the lives of those around you. The benefits are endless and guaranteed.
So I pass on this message from the Master—find every moment to practice well and watch your life transform. Say your mantra while making dinner, do breath meditation on your walk or commute, practice self-healing before you go to sleep. There are countless spare moments to practice that all add up to making such a massive difference to your life.