By Nayaswami Dharmadevi
Last week we attended Spiritual Renewal Week at Ananda Village. It was a week filled with inspirational talks each morning by speakers who have dedicated their lives to Self-realization. Each evening was a unique expression of divine art – from a concert of Swami Kriyananda’s music to a performance of his play “The Jewel in the Lotus.” Our week ended with a Kriya initiation, like a crescendo in the most beautiful symphony.
Early in the week, my husband, Narayan and I were sitting around at a cafe with our dear friend, Bharavi, enjoying Mexican mochas and “talking God.” She shared a deep insight, “People get stuck in delusion because of a lack of willingness.” Narayan piped in with another common issue on the path, “And spiritual pride.”
“Yes… unwillingness,” she said not missing a beat. “Spiritual pride means you aren’t willing to be corrected.” What an insight!
God gives us every opportunity to succeed on the spiritual path. Have you ever noticed an issue come up in your life over and over? And over? It happens to all of us – not so we can turn and blame the world and everyone else. God wants us to learn our lessons. It’s ok if we don’t get it the first time, or the second time, or third – we have eternity to get it right! But who wants to waste all that time “unwilling to be corrected”? And, “willing to be wrong?”
You’ve probably heard of being willing to be wrong in a more beneficial context. Since Paramhansa Yogananda and Swami Kriyananda recommended keeping our affirmations positive, I’d like to suggest we switch it up a bit. How about being willing to accept you might be wrong and then consciously “willing to be right?” In other words, put out will-power to do the right thing in all circumstances. Willing to be wrong implies acceptance of our negative subconscious tendencies.
Here are some things to look out for, which, for fun let’s call:
“Willing to Be Wrong Subconscious Behaviors”
Choosing provocative words instead of just stating the Truth plainly
Harkening back to childhood to make excuses for poor behavior in the present
Closing off the heart by judging and criticizing others
On the other hand, let’s examine the opposite, which could be called:
“Willing to Be Right Superconscious Attitudes”
Aligning with Truth, no matter what its source
Putting out energy and will-power constantly to improve yourself and your environment
Accepting others as part of God and therefore part of you
Turning the searchlight of our minds inward to see our part in any disharmony
One of the best “willing to be right” attitudes we can cultivate is clearly demonstrated by Sister Gyanamata (Yogananda’s most advanced woman disciple who achieved the highest state of union with God) when she prayed: “Lord, change not my circumstances; change me!”