Sister Jayanti is a senior teacher in the Brahma Kumaris spiritual tradition, and I recently had the pleasure of hearing her speak and, along with a thousand or so others, meditating with her. That talk had a profound impact on me, and you can read more about it here.
|Sister Jayanti teaching in Sydney|
Happily, reading this book has afforded me that same feeling of connection and even, occasionally, excitement. It is meditation book that will appeal to even the most restless soul. We are all inclined to moments of meditation, Sister Jayanti reminds us: “Consciously or not, we all experience meditative states from time to time.” In a culture obsessed with acquisition and the meeting of material needs, this book reminds us to nourish or souls, just as we nourish our bodies with food. And for soul nourishment, meditation is the very best food.
What I love about Sister Jayanti’s approach is her lightness of touch, and her recognition of different temperaments and different needs along the spiritual journey. Many people respond negatively when faced with the idea of meditation (hours sitting on the floor? Not for me!), and many more seethe when faced with the G word used in this book’s title. Even for these people, there are ways in to meditative awareness that would suit their particular state of mind. Nature is an example she uses. Being in nature and becoming conscious of its beauty is an excellent way of discovering the possibilities of meditative awareness. I love this idea because I think it is one our Victorian forebears, with their great lover of flowers and scenes and the idea of the sublime, intuitively grasped. My own grandfather, a lifelong atheist, often makes the claim that the bush is his church.
Sister Jayanti teaches the method of Raja Yoga, which she says is about “becoming self-sovereign, master of the mind and senses. It teaches that there is a natural royalty in us...” The whole point of meditation, she says, is to become aware of the spiritual truth of ourselves, and that once we begin tapping into this spiritual truth we realise the incredible degree of connectedness between ourselves and all the other elements of the universe. Gently reminding us all that there is a kind of supreme truth at the heart of us, Sister Jayanti’s approach occasionally reminds me of that other great master, Thich Nhat Hanh, especially in his work on interbeing and interconnectedness.
The value of regular time spent alone is made clear when Sister Jayanti writes: “When I become introspective, see myself as a being of light, become aware of the Supreme Light, and allow myself to become absorbed in that light, truth returns to my own being.” It is a truth that also illuminates this book’s pages, making me aware of the wondrousness of my own source. This growing awareness will also be reflected in our body, health and wellbeing, Sister Jayanti reminds us.
This book could easily be used as a meditation guide over a period of months – that is how I plan to work with it. It is divided into four sections: The Soul; God; Relationships; and The Destination. Reading Sister Jayanti’s divinely sourced wisdom I am helped to remember the importance of listening, really listening, to the wisdom of this universe. And what is meditation, if it is not deeply listening, listening to our bodies our feelings and thoughts and, just possibly, that spark beyond it all which we have no good name for? We have in our spiritual makeup a capacity for deep, divine listening, and ultimately I am reminded of the exquisite call through the Psalms (Psalm 46) to “Be still and know that I am God.”
You can purchase this beautiful book, and many deeply serene meditation commentaries by B.K. Jayanti, from Eternity Ink.
You can purchase, post free, Walter Mason's new book, Destination Cambodia, via this link.