Ideas for Engaging in the Study of the Guru Gita: Abhyasa / Try a Sapta

Do you find yourself particularly busy so that it sometimes becomes harder to keep up with the regularity of your spiritual practices, such as meditation and the recitation and study of the Guru Gita. What to do? Put these practices on hold until after the busy rush? Yet… Mark has asked us to make the Guru Gita part of our daily routine for a reason… 

Here’s an idea… have you ever heard of the Sanskrit word Sapta? It usually means a long and great celebration, with feasting or chanting and dancing, and often is held for an entire week. Sapta literally means seven – hence the idea of engaging in a specific sadhana for 7 days. 

What about doing your Guru Gita study and recitation this week as a sapta? There are 108 verses, so divide them by 7, like the table shows below. Each day might take you only 4-5 minutes. If you have a little extra time, you can use it for contemplating those verses. Like going out to a fancy dinner, where the courses are small yet fantastic, and so you deliberately take more time and savor each bite.

 

Day 1 Day 2 Day 3 Day 4 Day 5 Day 6 Day7
intro-14 15-29 30-44 45-60 61-76 77-92 93-108

The idea of holding to consistency in spiritual practices is paramount. Again, let’s refer back to the great sage Patanjali, who in his Yoga Sutras emphasized this, using the Sanskrit word Abhyasa. Abhyasa means showing persistent effort in one’s attempt to maintain a stable state of awareness; it also means repeated practice. Patanjali tells us our practice must be done for a long time, without taking a break and with strong conviction – if the deeper experiences we yearn for in our spiritual development are to occur. 

So… rather than putting your work with the Guru Gita on hold for awhile, try the sapta. Consistency in sadhana is of the utmost importance. For further inspiration about abhyasa and the reason why meditating every day is so important, listen to this talk by Mark Griffin Meditate With Consistency, recorded December 16, 2008 in Santa Barbara.

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