The meeting started with a discussion of the previous exercise, and sharing experiences. An account can be seen here posted as a reply to the meeting report on Sat-Chit-Ananda.
This week's topic was Satya which means Truth - the ninth principle of Sanatan Dharma.
We started with a discussion on whether it is possible to be truthful all the time in one’s normal day-to-day life. Comments included:
- It’s very difficult. There are some circumstances when I don’t know how to do it.
- I agree. For example, when you are asked to a boring party and you really don’t want to go. You can’t just say ‘No thank you – I don’t want to go’.
- If you always tell the truth at work – you would get the sack. You have to tell lies, but they are just ‘white lies’. Otherwise you upset people. Their egos get bruised.
- That’s true for people outside the Work, but isn’t it different for people in the group or in the Study Society? Surely if we are sincere in trying to practise what we have been taught, we would prefer others to be honest with us, and would accept a bruised ego as helpful rather than unkind?
- I always tell the truth, but it sometimes gets me into trouble with my wife (who is also a member of the group)
- Perhaps it’s because you are identified with what you are saying.
- But in any case, you don’t have to say everything you think. Sometimes it’s best to keep quiet.
- It’s nearly always best to keep quiet.
The first of the two quotes from Nisargadatta had resonated with the experience of one person who commented: “Sometimes you can just watch the mind and body doing what it habitually does, one particular ‘I’ communicating with the world, but at the same knowing and feeling that this isn’t ‘me’.”
Another member of the group does use the thought ‘I AM’ as a polishing cloth, as Nisargadatta suggests. And it does work, when he remembers it.
Several felt that this week’s exercise - to investigate one’s own particular form of lying - is a particularly good one.