Lessons living with Mohanji – Days 191 & 192

By Christopher Greenwood

Day 191 – God is a presence 

Today I share a lesson, which is more of an ongoing exploration. Mohanji shared with us that God is a presence. He shared that God is everywhere and that this presence activates all of life, including us. As humans, we can connect with that presence inside, which is always there. He has described this as the oil inside the almond seed: it exists, but it’s not outwardly visible until the almond is squeezed, and then the oil comes out.

He’s not suggesting that we need to be squeezed. But there’s a way to connect to the presence inside through silence beyond the mind. He also shared that this is difficult as, in the waking state, we’re addicted to all our – thoughts, activities, possessions, experiences, and outward actions in the world.

I used to find this difficult to understand and what helped me was a metaphor used based on the sun. The sun as a presence is always there, always giving light. It’s only because of the earth’s rotation that we see, or it appears to be, that the sun rises and sets. But it’s there all the time, providing nourishment and energy for life to exist. The light is always there. But individually, if we decide to close ourselves behind doors, or windows, shut the curtains, which we could say is our mind; our patterns, habits, or identifications, and we decide to sit in darkness, the sun will have no problem. It’s still there; it still does its job completely unaffected.

This then also prompted me to ask, “Okay, well, how do I know? How can I if I am connecting to the presence inside? Is there a measure of progress which I could use?” For me, it’s one thing to hear this and to understand it logically or intellectually as a concept, but how can that translate into experience, something that I can hold, taste, or say, “Okay, I understand something’s happening, and this is true.” 

These are a few benchmarks I picked up from Mohanji, the signs we can recognize connecting to that presence. (For me, it’s still an exploration that’s in progress) 

1. Reduction in thoughts and overall chatter of the mind – your thoughts are reducing; the habitual ones which used to come are no longer there. That could mean increased silence within. 

2. A clear reduction, or a complete avoidance, of any criticisms, judgments, gossip about others or other negative interactions. This naturally happens because there’s an increasing acceptance of my own life and that of others, recognizing that we don’t really know what makes up a person. The best we can do is to accept them as they are, as another being. This has been the most tangible for me. 

3. A reduction in the usual desires and patterns that I once had. These patterns and desires would push me to do things in the world, like interacting, going to places, and doing things I was attached to. These have dropped off completely, or their intensity has reduced. And I’d put that down to detachment.

Day 192 – Acceptance unites & doubts separate 

We are here at the Serbian retreat and at the program called “The Truth Called You”. So far, it’s been a fantastic series of satsangs. Mohanji has shared some great insights; understandings of the path of liberation. Yesterday in satsang, he was asked a very honest and sincere question, which became another solid understanding of the importance of acceptance. 

Q: “How can I increase my connection?”

Mohanji: “Imagine a bridge between you and me, and there are maybe five steps across the bridge. What brings you closer? 

Acceptance. Acceptance of him (Mohanji) as he is.”

Q: “What takes you away or separates you?” 

Mohanji: “Doubts, criticisms, judgments….” (Just doubts, but it extended into criticisms and judgments.)

I’ve always loved how simply Mohanji can put an answer across. He shared that anything else is really a play of the mind. The level of connection he speaks of means it’s always there, and it’s the mind creating that separate identification purposefully, so that separation is created. 

He continued to speak more on acceptance of people and shared a funny story, which made me laugh, yet also contemplate on acceptance of others, especially people in my own life. It’s much easier, he said, for us to accept animals and nature, very easy for us to like a cat or a dog or any other animal, but other humans… That’s where it becomes a bit difficult. 

I include myself when I say that we are quick to form opinions of others, to judge and criticize. It’s something I’m becoming much more aware of from my past, and now seeing it, observing it with other people, is that people can be quick to buy the opinions of others from others. People talk or give their opinion on somebody else and then hold it as if it’s theirs. This can even turn into future conflicts and even more intense impressions about that person. 

He shared one man’s approach to accepting others, which I really liked. It was a story from his shipping days. Mohanji worked in the shipping business, managing freight from various countries as a Country Manager. Whenever there was an important shipment or cargo, he would personally go and supervise.

He’d spend time on the ship, and he would be with people, with the crew, and one man Mohanji said, used to call everybody by an animal name.

“Oh, look, here comes the tiger. He’s angry again.” Or, “Did you see what the monkey has done?” Like that, every person had an animal name. Mohanji asked the man, “Why was he calling them animals and not by their name?”

The man said, “Well, I find it much easier to accept him that way. Because I know a tiger will always be like a tiger, a monkey will always be like a monkey, and an elephant will be like an elephant! Although they are like this, it is fine; I can accept them more easily.” I found that approach very ingenious – interesting thought of what also stops me from accepting others.

To conclude, the message from Mohanji was: Acceptance is what unites us, and if it’s difficult to accept others, as Mohanji always says first, we can at least begin to accept ourselves. 


Edited & Published by – Testimonials Team, 22nd January 2023


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