Friday, 23 September 2016

We only ever have two choices…
So, week 2 of the Katha Upanishads….following on from the opening cliff-hanger of the teachings from the beginning of our dance with Death!
Our young and persistent protagonist Nachiketa has managed to convince Yama, the lord of Death, that he is worthy of his third and ultimate wish – to know and to abide in the unchanging place within himself that even death itself cannot steal from him. To know the very secret to immortality.
Yogis gather close around our teacher Steve, of course all eager to know more so as to feed the little Nachiketas living within us all.
But inevitably, the answer to such a deep and brave question does not come with just a simple reply. This evening, we delve into the first teaching that Yama reveals unto Nachiketa, the beginning of taking our life back into our own hands.
“The first thing Nachiketa, that you must understand”, says Yama, “is that YOU have a CHOICE in how you live your life. Therefore every moment, the seeds that you are sewing are becoming your future garden”.

Sounds scary doesn’t it? Sounds like a lot of pressure and responsibility. In reflection of a world FILLED with choices, the marketplace of life an expanding display of options….how do we ever make the right ‘choices’?!
Steve gives an endearing example of how one may eat their Weetabix. Some with skimmed milk, some with full fat milk, some dry, some soggy – is my Weetabix better than your Weetabix? What’s the RIGHT way? The right CHOICE? How on Earth do we know?!

But it’s all okay. Yama puts us at ease, telling us that we can quit worrying about our perfect Weetabix, as he explains that absolutely whatever the situation…we will only ever have TWO choices presented to us.

The Katha Upanishads use two marvellous Sanskrit words to distinguish between which course of action will lead us into trouble and regret in the long run and which will benefit ourselves truly – leading to us living a more loving life in line with our highest good.
These two words? Preya and Shreya.
Simply beautiful aren’t they? And you will know them deeply already – we all do.
Preya, is simply that which gives us immediate gratification or short-term pleasure, but we know will not be beneficial for us in the grand scheme of things. Think of putting off an assignment until last minute in exchange for watching TV or partying too much. Ah I travel back to my Uni days! Definitely a few Preya moments.
And the opposite, Shreya, is that which is beneficial for us in the big picture. Sounds totally great, and we all want what’s ultimately best for us – but making a Shreya decision is sometimes very hard work. It is true that what is beneficial is not always pleasant, and what is pleasant is not always beneficial!
Does it sound familiar? I totally know it. And we all know we know it on some level – there’s always that little voice inside us popping up that knows what’s ultimately best for us. Isn’t there?
Of course, we want to choose Shreya. But how do we make friends with it when it can be so difficult sometimes? Ah, Steve says…this is where our Bhakti comes in. Our heart wish.
If our higher ideal in our life is clear to us – if our deepest wish is to open, grow, develop, and EXPAND in life….then the power of our hearts can get behind our endeavours. That way, “the Preya can prey on us less”, Steve jokes. When our own very hearts are involved in our choices, it is totally different than “being told what to do”. When we have true, meaningful reason behind sticking with often not-so-easy choices – for example, eating a better diet, sacrificing time to nourish ourselves or do important work, it becomes a little easier to decide. We can always be continuously asking the deeply telling question; “does this choice truly serve me?”, and endeavour to be completely honest with ourselves. The tough and wonderful thing is – absolutely nobody elsecan make these choices for us.
A beautiful, memorable example. Steve plays,
“You’re never alone in bed you know, there is always three of you. When you wake up, Preya and Shreya are right there next to you”.
One I am totally familiar with, as I am sure all Yogis are! Do I drag my sorry bum out of bed to my mat for my practice at this ungodly early hour or do I enjoy another hour of sleep in my lovely, comfortable, warm bed?
And inevitably, Shreya is not always going to win! We are going to make totally Preya choices sometimes. And that…is okay! And actually, sometimes it’s very necessary to make Preya choices for our own growth – so we can look back and see the consequences of our own actions. But our general ongoing endeavour…is to work with Shreya whenever we can, and slowly move more and more of our choices over to what is beneficial for us in the long term. It will be a slow progress, with many slips and falls, but the most important thing is that we HAVE FUN trying to expand into Shreya! And essentially, despite the mistakes, we know we are ultimately on the path.
Using our Yoga, we start to develop the inner capacity to be able to read into what is truly right for us. In a time where working until we are burnt out seems admirable, it could be easily confused for Shreya. But when we start to listen deeply to ourselves, we can notice there is actually a lot of balance that comes with Shreya. We can notice when we are perhaps over-doing…and actually, maybe the deeper benefit that is needed here for us is to rest. And of course, the opposite is also true.
Can we commit to delving into Shreya? Into exploring more and more what is needed …what is for our highest benefit in the long term, rather than an immediate relief right now?
What a total, moment by moment PRACTICE, Preya and Shreya. Steve asks….
“Can you fall in love with it?”
I know I totally can.
And for this week, we close…. With the space and time to play with exploring our choices.
Om om!
~ By Adéle Sales

Monday, 19 September 2016

The Katha Upanishad

Omm Yogis, welcome back to the Living Wisdom blog. At the cusp twixt Summer and Autumn, it is time to go out into the fields of wisdom and harvest another crop, which has been lovingly cultivated and tended to by countless generations of Sages and Seekers. This time we must sharpen our scythes for the reaping, as the Grim Guru, Lord Yama (deity of death), dispels the darkness of our ignorance with His uncompromising truth and teachings.

We’ll be taking an enlightening journey through the Katha Upanishad over the coming months and this weeks blog is by way of introduction to this ancient fable which stands proud amongst the vedantic canon of India and which carries sapient weight across the ages and indeed across the continents.

So the set up in brief …

Nachiketa is our hero in this legendary story, a young boy and the son of a man of some wealth and public standing. His father is known for his charitable giving within the community and is something of a lauded figure amongst the local people. However Nachiketa, his son and heir, is a plain speaking and healthily sceptical early adolescent who does not blindly and blithely buy into the ‘generous’ persona promulgated by his old man; seeing as he does the artifice in his father’s  ‘charitable sacrifices’. In Nachiketa’s youthful, clear sighted, no-nonsense view his Dad’s alms are no more than a farce designed to look like selfless giving, when in fact the goods being donated have already been used to exhaustion, and are of no true value to the recipients. The example is given in the Upanishad of Nachiketa’s father giving away many head of cattle whose breeding and lactating days are well past and whose heads droop as they lack the vitality to even lift their chins.

This vulgar, ostentatious, display of wealth, dishonestly concealed in the garb of giving, to elicit public approval, is more than the sober youth, Nachiketa, can bear and he is moved to challenge the patriarch on his motives even calling into question his very integrity by dint of his forthright enquiry. This goes down none too well with his proud pater and father’s ire is piqued when Nachiketa probes “Dear father, to whom will you give me (an item of true value) away?”
The boy probes a second then a third time until, seized by anger, his father blurts, “To death I give you away!” In the modern vernacular we could interpret this furious response as  ‘Ah drop dead you irksome upstart!’ or similar hastily declared retort. To Nachiketa, his father’s readiness to ‘kill him’ with words is further evidence of the man’s moral bankruptcy and it comes as little shock to his young ears. But insult aside, the barb gives the lad some food for thought and before long his contemplations bring him to a profound inner enquiry. What if his father’s wish in that angry instant had been granted and he had sent him to death with his words, thoughts and feelings? What would being ‘given’ to death actually mean? How would it feel? These and a torrent of other questions inundate the boys mind and he becomes more and more absorbed by the premise of being given away to death. This absorption would have been a deep meditation, an internal journey in practice, but for the narrative format in the Upanishad it is rendered as an external odyssey by Nachiketa to the abode of Yama – the deity of death in Indian mythology.

Nachiketa arrives and Yama is not in his abode, but determined Nachiketa decides to wait. Three days and nights pass. In Indian custom it is the height of ill manners to leave a guest unattended in your home, and as such, Nachiketa is being dishonoured as a guest by Yama (albeit unknown to the host himself).
So when Yama arrives back home after three days to find the young boy waiting for him, he is apologetic for the dishonour and offers him three boons or wishes in recompense.

Nachiketa’s first wish is that Yama uses his omnipotence to restore parity, order and affection to his relationship with his father when he returns from death’s abode. He asks that his father be calm, well disposed and not resentful when he gets home, just as he was before the farcical charity brouhaha. Yama immediately sees this is done.

The boys second wish or boon is for Yama to instruct him as to the proper execution of a fire ritual. A ritual which will enable him, Nachiketa, to embody such a vitality in the system and such a state of expanded consciousness that he would abide in a perpetual state of joyful ecstasy. This state would be an internal heaven, wherein his nervous system was a conductor for all the most blissful and ecstatic energies in the Universe; freedom from sorrow and total immersion in joy. Yama immediately grants the wish and further adds a declaration that the fire ritual itself be known as the ‘Nachiketa fires’ from thereon in.

Nachiketa then asks for his third boon. He asks Yama to tell him the secret of immortality, to reveal what lies beyond the veil of death. The boy asks the deity of death to clarify what happens after a person dies and thus unlock the ultimate enigma of mortal men.

Yama hedges and fudges, he prevaricates and procrastinates, slipping and squirming away from a direct answer. Yama offers Nachiketa all the riches in the known world, he proffers unending life on earth, tempting him with anything he can imagine for himself, if he’ll only drop the last question about what happens after death. But not one to be deterred by evasiveness, the boy remains dogged in his appeal and persists in pressing home his will.

At this point Yama is torn between elation at finding such a vehement and resolute potential student as Nachiketa and a prudent sense of reservation learned from many brushes with fickle and flimsy human beings since time immemorial. However from this dissonance despite his reservations, the deity of death resolves that by denying all the worldly treasures offered to him, Nachiketa has proven himself worthy of receiving the highest of all teachings and being shown the workings behind the mystery of death and of life itself Yama pledges to take the unflinching Nachiketa as his student and to nurture him accordingly, instilling in the young lad a deep inner stillness and assuredness which can only come from true knowledge.

So Yogis, an enticing intro closes with us, the rapt audience, on genuine tenterhooks looking with real gusto ahead to the next instalment. But how does the tale of the three wishes pertain to us as Living Yogis? What is to be our specific and practical lesson from the first section of the Katha Upanishad? Well let’s draw the parallels between Nachiketa’s three boons and the three levels of training in the system of Living Yoga as taught by Steve at the Yoga Sanctuary …

Level One training offers a general ‘house cleaning’ for body and mind; students are encouraged to lead a more positive and meaningful life tidying up relationships and patterns or habits which left unattended could disrupt or obstruct a student’s Yogic progress, upliftment and reaching their full potential. Just as Nachiketa got his ‘house in order’ with his first wish by settling the unresolved disharmony with his father.

Level Two training invites practitioners to deepen their commitment and practice in order to address subtler tensions in the body and mind in preparation for the upgrade of the nervous system to one of ecstatic conductivity. This has the effect, long term, of endowing students with an inner ecstatic joy just as Nachiketa’s second wish, for knowledge of the fire ritual, did for him.

Level Three training involves advanced Yoga practices to cultivate the ecstatic nervous system and a profound and abiding inner stillness. This stillness can only be achieved with firm establishment in the Living Yoga Practices and their underpinning philosophy, accrued through time and effort and correct living in virtuous cycles. Nachiketa’s third boon brought the potential for stillness and inner certainty in much the same way by delving into some of the more deeply hidden truths of our very existence.

Omm Omm.

~ By Elliot Donnelly.

Monday, 27 June 2016

Contemplations from the 23rd lesson on the Shiva sutras.

You alone are responsible for your own liberation.

So we reach a momentous point in this course on The Shiva Sutras; a point where the group journey comes to a sweet, satisfying end only for the resumption of our many solo journeys with a reignition of our ardent hunger for openness, growth and expanded consciousness.

The seeds sown by Shiva’s Sutras will live long in each of us and we will all undoubtedly embody their wisdom and practicality in our own distinct ways. But the golden threads of timeless truth which run through each sutra will surely connect us all in some undeniable fellowship of Shiva’s Studious Acolytes, as we continue individually to work with, dance through and refine these invaluable gems which we’ve assimilated, and with which we’re now infused like the marrow in our bones.

As we hug our goodbyes, pat backs, swap numbers, reminisce and promise to reassemble one day to explore further into the ancient, perennial philosophy which underpins our Yoga practice; a booming voice calls us to attention. Mahadev, with paternal love in His dancing eyes, has a parting message for us before we take the next leg of the quest before us. ‘You alone are responsible for your own liberation’ He declares… then He is gone from our sight… gone but ever-present, always full of Peace, flowing through all forms as Truth, Consciousness and Bliss, the essence of Illumination.

So a last sutra for us to ingest and process, a delicious ‘One for the road’ which brims with relevance for a group of pilgrims on Life’s spiritual highway. Its relevance is in that Shiva is saying, now walk the talk! Make these teachings your experience. Do it, live it, embody all the wisdom you’ve gleaned. But YOU do it! No one else can do it for you. He’s saying, you may have a library full of texts, an unending supply of super-supportive sangha-buddies, or even an external Guru with the Wisdom of Solomon and the Patience of Job. It’s also true you may have some really cool baggy trousers, a year’s supply of tea-lights and incense, plus a really authentic looking practice room back at home with all the gear in it but… it’s up to you to do the work for your liberation and enlightenment! You see it doesn’t matter what your neighbour, parents, best friend, Priest, Rabbi, wife, husband or children think or say about your path, only what you think matters, and that you do the work and make the journey. It’s only relevant, really, what’s going on internally and how that pertains to your sadhana. Shiva’s saying, succeed alone, fail alone, stumble yourself but grow yourself. Carry on regardless, do the work, walk the walk and keep it ultimately between you and God. Then one fine day you’ll arrive… or as Lahiri Mahasaya was known to say in Bengali, ‘Banat Banat Ban Jai!!’  Doing a little bit daily, one step at a time, one finds oneself at last on the spiritual summit.

You alone are responsible for your own liberation.

‘One should lift up the self by the self,
And should not the self droop down,
For the self is the self’s only friend,

And the self is the self’s only enemy’          - Bhagavad Gita

~by Elliot Donnelly.

Tuesday, 21 June 2016

Contemplations from the 22nd lesson on the Shiva Sutras.


When you know all things to be energy, you will see all things as equal.

In our penultimate visit to the fountain of divine insight, the upsurge of wisdom foaming and sparkling into our eager cups is as clear and pure as it’s ever been. Shiva, as always, wants for our liberation and empowerment, He wishes for our fruition and fulfillment; thus He’s produced yet another rugged jewel for us to cut, polish and make our own for all time.

The true Teacher is plunging straight to the heart of the matter (or energy to be more accurate) this week as His sutra delves directly into the crux of reality and its substratum. He is saying in quite plain terms that when we see, that is to perceive empirically for ourselves, that ALL the multifarious and diverse elements of our experience are simply manifestations of the same one energy, then we will naturally behold all things as equal. From memories to moonbeams, sneezes to skyscrapers, they’re all just ever-changing permutations of Shakti or life energy.

Although with their limited scope, our sense perceptions report back a Universe of many separate, discrete fragments, each with its own origins, composition and identity, Shiva is saying quest deeper, look higher and unshackle your awareness from the village stocks of the senses. Take a universal perspective on what is; and know the truth of oneness and the fundamental, energetic basis of everything… literally everything from quarks to quasars, emotions to empires, roller-skates to Rodin’s thinker and all stops in between. These apparently unique, disparate items, beings, objects, forms are all the one energy in more or less gross or subtle states. So a photon and a battleship are the same energy in a subtle and a gross configuration, just as a feeling of envy in the pit of your stomach or the sound of a Mozart piano concerto are also the same ‘stuff’ just appearing as very different entities. Understanding this sameness, this universality, says Mahadev, is the key to unlocking our mental bondage to the pervasive notion of separateness, insularity and the whole false and limiting construct of ego and the ‘I’, ‘me’, ‘mine’ mentality.

Shiva offers the following analogy to help illustrate the way the Shakti/energy mutates and shifts but remains itself in essence. He asks us to imagine Shakti as a river flowing and rolling, wild and free along its creative course from unmanifest to manifest. Now imagine we take a copper pan and plunge it into the ‘river’, we say ‘I have put the pan in the river!’ However the moment we pull our hand and pan out of the ‘river’ we say ‘I have water in the pan!’ In that moment the ‘river’ was given a new name changing it from ‘river’ to ‘water’. What if we then heat that ‘water’ over a stove? It will boil and rise as ‘steam’, another name change. If we capture that ‘steam’ in a bowl we will find it cools into ‘droplets of condensation’, which if we put in the deep freeze, will emerge as ‘ice’. If we take that ‘ice’ and hold it in the flow of the ‘river’ it will naturally melt and once more be called ‘river’. So says Lord Shiva, we see that the river never stopped being the river, only the names changed, those names being mere conceptual labels designed to aid our limited psychological faculties in framing and ‘making sense’ of the infinite, eternal vastness of all Creation. The mind needs to do this labelling and setting within parameters so it can compute and ‘get to grips’ with experience, but it is necessarily narrow in scope; so when we only experience life through the myopic lens of the psychological mind, then we miss the ineffable boundlessness of Truth and remain blearily blinkered and obliviously blind as we survey the drab stone walls of Plato’s cave instead of wandering and wondering free and unfettered in the unfathomable ‘is-ness’ of the Cosmos. To see the truth of the one energy, open the mind then transcend it, as feeling picks up where thinking and conceptualising fall short.

How best to do this though? Shiva has the answer. Start with the closest, most obvious form that Shakti takes, and by this He means us, ‘ourselves’, our very own life force, the prana coursing through our nadis, and then make a simple conscious connection with this shakti-fest. He’s inviting us to step outside the dungeon of the mind with its bars and meshes, ceilings walls and floors and instead to engage with the unbridled energy of the rest of our being as it is conducted through our five-sheath ecosystem. This way thoughts and psychological forms can lose their falsely bestowed pre-eminence within our experience, and the energetic totality can balance out and become a truer expression of itself. This means sensations, intuitions, emotions, bliss, thoughts and all other internal energetic phenomena can lead their merry dance as multi-faceted Shakti, but we give no preference or priority to any of them. We just sit as the subtle-most of all Shakti i.e., pure, pristine Consciousness, and witness, feel, experience and indeed worship the less subtle configurations as they play, emerging and dissolving, reprising then resolving… then starting all over again… the play of Shakti, bubbling and dancing in all its guises shapes and sizes… coursing here, flowing there, pulsing everywhere. One Divine Energy!

Once we have escaped the padded cell of the mind and established a meaningful and intimate relationship with our true nature as undifferentiated Shakti, we then use Sadhana as a means to deepen and expand this relationship. Spiritual Practice then becomes the interface between our subtle-most core (The Self) and the sheaths or layers of energy in their various degrees of grossness and materiality as they extend outwards; from the mind to the gut to the tips of our toes and beyond.

When we know what we’re made of beyond all equivocation, then naturally the question arises, ‘If I’m made of this energy at EVERY level, then what’s She/He made of, what’s this floor made of, or that long winding river flowing from mountain to ocean??’ The answer springs up like a Jack In The Box. Energy of course… Life, Shakti, God Essence call it what you will, they’re only name tags; the underlying principle is changeless, universal and indestructible. It’s as simple and as complex as any paradox could ever be; you have and are Nothing (roles, possessions, identities etc.) because you have and are Everything…energy! Everything is equal, everything is One.

We are energy in energy, with energy on energy surrounded and infused by energy as energy! Unity, Oneness, Non-Duality, Universality, Total Equality but definitely and crucially NOT… 

Name: Joe Bloggs    DOB: 09/09/69    Shoe Size: 10   Occupation: Ego.

So in summary, Shiva wishes us to know that everything is energy and for us to begin to perceive this oneness everywhere. He invites us to ‘drop a foot’ from the mind into the feeling instrument of the Heart, and to experience the Life-force at play as ‘Ourselves’. We will discover how equal all inner permutations of energy are when we cease judgement, analysis and identification with them and just bear plain witness to their flow. He’s saying once we’re established in the true nature of our Shakti and the equanimity that ensues from there, then it’s only a hop, skip and a jump ‘outside’ of ourselves to the Cosmos at large and all the infinite, shifting expressions of energy in the Universal Dance beyond our apparent physical boundaries. Here we attain the Divine Vision (SAMADARSHANAM) with which we see for ourselves the energetic basis and utter, impersonal equality of all elements of experience, all items, beings, objects and abstract forms as One… as Life… as The Divine.


When you know all things to be energy, you will see all things as equal.

The infinity of space,
The limitless profundity of silence,
The ubiquity of energy,
And the eternal now,
All support the truth of Being.

The luminescence that reveals form within void,
The stillness that sits unmoved in your thumping core,
And the consciousness that bears plain witness to the microcosmic fragment or the macrocosmic whole,
In essential equality, these are the ultimate reality.

To know this energetic reality and this Truth,
Is to be at once present and perpetual,
In peaceful acceptance of the impermanent,
And in joyful surrender to the timeless.

When we seek without looking,
Ask without speaking,
And can know without understanding,
Seeing all as equal...
There is the Heaven within.

~ by Elliot Donnelly.

Monday, 13 June 2016

Contemplations from the 21st lesson on the Shiva sutras.

Nurture a seed and watch it grow.

Mahadev is in gentle repose in the lush surrounds of the richly cultivated garden of the Universal Soul. His Godly eyes are closed in the deepest meditation, and yet He lovingly surveys the cornucopia of this infinite, eternal garden of the Divine. His sacred heart beholds the manifold herbs, fruits and flowers; the myriad trees, shrubs and bushes, each having grown strong and beautiful in its own way. Shiva loves each aspect of this cosmic abundance as his own offspring, for they are all the yield of his caring, sagacious nurture.

A long, loud OMM issues from The Almighty and then His lotus eyes open wide and come to fix us, his studious acolytes, with a firm gaze above a serene countenance that is as loving as it is strict. “Behold the Universe, my garden!” He says.

“See all in it as it blooms and grows, dies, decays and is reborn. Enjoy its natural splendour with your senses, but realise this is no accident…no haphazard horticulture here! This cosmic riot of colour and fertility has been carefully guided and ordered; intricately engineered over a timeless span to manifest in the flawlessness you see before you. I have chosen, sown and fostered the seeds of all this vastness, I have dedicated energy and love in their cultivation. And this synergy of Gardener with Garden has engendered such profusion and perfection as you have come to know.”

Shiva pauses then speaks once more. “Dear ones please understand this process, I implore you to assimilate the prudence of this natural cycle and use it as the template for your own inner development. For indeed it is the case that the laws of the macrocosm hold just as true for the microcosm; if you seek to rest in your own internal garden with all you wish abounding you there, you must surely choose well the seed then nurture it and watch it grow!”

Here The True teacher’s meaning is crystal clear; there’s an earthy earnestness and an unsoiled simplicity to His message this week. In this Sutra He’s saying: know what you want in your garden, and proceed to sow the appropriate seeds. If you want an orchard in your garden then you better plant apple seeds, because if you plant lemon seeds you’ll end up with a lemon grove in the future. The clarity of mind and discrimination to know what future garden you wish to enjoy is an essential prerequisite for successful, soulful cultivation. Shiva’s saying be clear on what your highest ideals are, then stock up on the energetic seeds which will grow up into those very ideals. If you select the right pellets of potential to place in the fertile ground of your consciousness, then your ‘garden’ or your internal world, in the future, will be abundant in the plants and fruits your heart most desires…your highest ideals.

So with seeds selected and safely sown, says Shiva, we move into the critical phase of fostering the seeds through their growth. This period of nurture is delicate and painstaking and unless we are deft and dedicated here, our progeny will perish and our future won’t look so rosy. We must protect our young seedlings when they first appear above ground because the elements of frost, drought, wind and deluge will each, in their own way, threaten to wither, stifle or uproot a tender plant in its early days. Equally the elements of fear, doubt, ignorance and arrogance (to name but a few) can kill off the fragile beginnings of bright, new shoots inside of us on our path toward enlightenment. Thus here too we must be vigilant and attentive whilst still giving the garden space and air to flourish. This is skilful work requiring balance and discernment.

Not only are the elements of the weather, or emotions, a menace to the wellbeing and thriving of our junior plants but there are the risks posed by slugs, insects, birds and weeds, or the negative thoughts, words and deeds of others at a familial, institutional or societal level. Care must be taken to ward off unwanted incursions by these hungry pests and choking growths as they can spell the demise of many a fresh bloom before it has the chance to show the world its beauty. Beware your influences says Mahadev.

As our saplings gather strength and begin to bear more and more of the elements through a process of weathering, and also they become less susceptible to insects weeds and birds, we can turn more of our attention to ensuring they are properly watered and getting enough exposure to the sun’s light to allow for their optimal development. The water of Sadhana and the bright, nourishing light of conscious wisdom will, when generously applied, give rise to strong, fruitful inner plantations and yield fine, flourishing futures for those green fingered aspirants who synchronise with nature’s cycles and pulse, one with Life.

Daily watering (Sadhana) and regular exposure to sunlight (wisdom) will show profit for the gardener who seeks contentment, self-mastery, peace and poise.  

Nurture a seed and watch it grow.

The gardener potters in his shed, his pocket full of seeds,
His hopes and dreams grow in his head, with few becoming deeds,

If only he would turn the fertile earth that makes his Soul,
And sow some seeds of Faith within, he’d one day reach his goal,

Of course he’d have to nurture them and water them with courage,
Then let the light of Consciousness shine on to help them flourish,

But if he kept his seedlings safe, away from frost and chill,
The Faith would grow up into proof, maturing well until…

The proof plant in the earth stood tall and strong by stem and root,
Then as the seasons turned the plant would bear its mellow fruit,

Now if the gardener picked this fruit and chose to look inside,
He’d find more seeds of faith which he could then spread far and wide.

~ by Elliot Donnelly.