I read an amazing post by Jack Kornfield. You can read the full article here.
My reflections on the post are as follows
"Reading Jack Kornfield's writing makes me feel at home. It is like home coming. I was raised in a poor family of nine members: father, mother and four brothers and three sisters. In spite of poverty, we felt spiritually whole and wealthy.Our parents embodied spirituality in everyday living. Every evening we used to go to the nearby temple to pray and worship. Our parents made a little shrine in our home and we used to pray every morning.Our home was our temple, Love, truth,compassion, grace and forgiveness were the foundations of our family temple. That became the way of our living.We were blessed to live near the Gandhi Ashram and used to attend evening spiritual gatherings in the presence of Mahatma Gandhi. Gandhiji inspired us and reinforced our spiritual way of living.When a journalist asked Gandhiji, "What is your message?", his answer was simple and profound, " My life is my message."
Almost every Sunday morning, I go to a community church with my daughter and her family. She is married to a Catholic gentleman. I listened to the pastor's sermon. The message is the same that I learned as I was growing up in India.Spirittualty is the way of living, the 'Path of the Undivided Heart." Let everyday be a Jesus Day or Buddha Day or Krsihna or Rama day. Material wealth and material possessions, and our out word appearances and religious dogmatic beliefs may divide us as me against us, or make us believe we are greater and better than others.The spiritual reality or truth is that we all are one family, that where we live are is our temple.This is my understanding of spirituality, of living spiritually
My everyday spiritual practices, prayer and meditation, help me to live from my undivided heart. My work is my worship. My living is my prayer.
I would like to conclude my reflections by quoting Chief Seattle: " We do not weave the web of our life; we are merely the strand in it. Whatever we do to the web we do to ourselves."
May we make our New Year's resolution: let our home be our temple and let us embrace spirituality with an undivided heart!
3. Be generous: it’s contagious. There is no experience more uplifting than giving. At the base of generosity is compassion, which research finds has a direct impact on well-being. You know what’s cooler? Generosity is generative:The more you practice, the better you feel and the easier it becomes to be generous! Plus, it’s contagious. Your act of generosity very well might inspire someone else to act kindly toward another....Or get more connected.Try smiling at a stranger, tell a friend that you appreciate them, or tell a loved one how much they mean to you. It all adds up- and adds to your happiness quotient.
Remember. Real life isn’t all rainbows and kittens, but real happiness is always
available, even in rough times.
We often think of happiness as the side effect of some stimulus, either external(sensory) or internal(ego) But author Chade-Meng Tan says that happiness is readily available independent of either. Accessing this natural reserve of happiness what he calls “ joy on demand” requires three things; a mind at rest, the recognition of even small moments when you feel good, and basking in “wholesome joy,” which arises from things like sharing and giving-he compares it to wholesome food for the body.
My reflections on very thoughtful post by Thuy Nguyen. You can read the original post by clicking on following reading.
My reflections on the post are as following.
Reading this article reminds me of a wise statement written by Austrian psychologist Viktor Frankl. "Between stimulus and response there is a space. In that space is our power to choose our response. In our response lies our growth and our freedom." Our mind is hijacked by our emotionally disturbed mind causing harm to us and others connected with us..This is where we need to pause to create that space which frees us from the grip of the reactive mind.
I need to be mindful of how much unnecessary stuff I keep on buying crowding my external space. How much I hoard invading my own room. Likewise, I need to be mindful of how much junk I stuff in my mind in the form of destructive thoughts and destructive emotions, holding on to the past and narrowing my inner space. Sadly, we create our own pathology.
We need to wake up and attend to the accumulation of the external stuff and the internal stuff. We need to learn to let go of the stuff that we do not really need. I can be my own killer and I can be my own healer. It's my choice. It's up to me.We can do that by learning and practicing how to create that space that slowly and gradually helps us rest, rejuvenate and heal. We can and need to start it doing now.
Practicing mindfulness mediation regularly has been a blessing to me.It has created a stream of wellness in my life. My wellness affects people in my life in a positive way. We all are together to help and heal each other.
May we help us and each other to create the healing space within us to fill it with joy and fulfillment!
My reflections on very thoughtful post by Gerald May. You can read the original post by clicking on following reading.
My Reflections on post are as following.
I love to read such writings which make me pause, "see" with wide open and clear yes and connected with the truth emerging from openness and clarity.The fear of fear is neurotic. It is a conditioned response.I stay away from relating to a new and fresh stimulus even before it arises.In this sense I relate to fear as an enemy, and not as my friend. Such a mindset creates a wall or a boundary and restricts the flow of our energy.Our flow of energy gets thwarted by fight, flight or freeze response.
Another way of relating to a fear is befriending the fear.We embrace the fear with open arms and allow ourselves to experience it as a friend or a guest.When we relate to our fear in a friendly way, fully and fearlessly, we feel the surge and aliveness of energy like surfing on the new waves..
When I am fully present to the existential reality as it is without the judgment of right and wrong, beyond right and wrong, I am in the field of pure energy, pure awareness. It is a different dimension of consciousness.Walking in nature, listening to music, connecting with myself with myself and others on a deeper level creates a sense of awe and wonderment. Living becomes a blessing.
May we be free from the shackles of fear and swim in the pure flow of energy!
My reflections on very thoughtful post by Jeanne de Salzmann. You can read the original post by clicking on following reading.
My Reflections on the post are as following.
Reading this article reminds me of an ancient saying written in Sanskrit, " Yatha drushti tatha shrusti." Meaning as is my vision, so is the world. If my vision is clouded I see the world clouded. Fresh eyes are new eyes free form the bondage of the past, from the anticipation of the future; free from the attachments to positive and negative thoughts, wishes and desires, free from the the old mind. It is a fresh vision, a new vision, a new mind , a new brain, the "choiceless awareness"
When I read something like this, I get deeply connected with the vision of the vision. My mind becomes quiet and I feel the open space within me, like the clear blue sky. I am in the here-and now zone. I am no more attached to my thoughts, I am no more enslaved by my conditioned mind. To put iti n the words of the author, " abandon everything to enter the unknown." This is freedom -the inner freedom.It is the the womb, a birthing place of the new intelligence, the new mind, the new brain, open to the sense of the cosmos. Seeing is not thinking. It is beyond thinking, free from thinking.
Practicing mindfulness meditation opens and expands my inner space for perception seeing the reality, a new dimension that transcends time and space.I experience "The Power of Now." It enables me to relate to apparent differences with an open mind and open heart and creates and sustains my wholesomeness.
May we have an interval between a stimulus and an old response to see the reality as it is!
A wonderful meditation podcast with Dr. JP Dave. A very calming approach to looking at life, ending with a soothing sanskrit chant. Bringing Peace to all of the world!
Podcast was recorded on September 8th 2017 at Crown Point, IN. Original post can be found here.
Self-acceptance and Other-acceptance are inter connected.
Accepting oneself and the other in our lives is an ongoing journey as we go
through different phases of growth and development and face existential
challenges in our life. We never become perfect and can tell us “ I made it
and nothing I need to learn and change.” We all are journeying. We all are
human beings with our strengths and weaknesses.
The perfection syndrome prevents us from looking at our shortcomings and
making necessary adaptations and health promoting changes. This is
where the inner work of working on ourselves mindfully continues with ups
and downs in our life. With mindfulness practice, the upward journey gets
smoother and easier and helps us go through the downward journey with
fewer bruises. Ongoing introspection and self-awareness are our great
friends to keep us walk on the wholesome path.
Being honest with oneself and cultivating integrity are essential steps for
our well-being and the well-being of others in our life. And that requires
courage and compassion to be true to oneself. Fear is contagious and so
also courage. Hiding, denying or justifying the dark zone of ourselves
diminishes our potential to grow within us and between us. Let yourself say,
“ This is who I am, a human being like you.” I have my open self, closed
self, hidden self and the self about which I do not have a clue. My intention
is to expand my open self, reduce my closed self, enlighten my blind self
and go deeper to discover my unconscious blockages and be free from my
self-created trappings. Carl Jung calls shadow work-working on the dark
zone of our life.
This is an ongoing intrapersonal and interpersonal work in relationships.
You can’t know until you know and when you know, you know. I know that I
don’t know is the beginning of knowing. No emotions are wrong. Not
recognizing our emotions keeps us trapped and blocks the unfolding,
experiencing and manifesting our deeper and inherent positive kind, loving
and nurturing emotions. We need to be compassionately aware of our
holding on to the tightness of our fist, the hurt it creates and be willing and
bold enough to let it go and open it. The open fist is a welcoming fist, a
helping fist and a connecting fist. It offers the joy of giving, receiving, and
Being compassionate to oneself, forgiving oneself, freeing oneself and
taking care of oneself paves the way to be compassionate to others.
forgiving others, freeing others and taking care of others.
Self -acceptance done lovingly and compassionately is transformative. It
builds the bridge of self-empowerment, peace, deep contentment, joy and
happiness within ourselves and with others. When we practice mindfulness
consistently on a regular basis, we become free from our habitual and
conditioned patterns of thinking, emoting and acting. We function
May we continue our well-being journey mindfully, and lovingly share our
gifts with others.
Our parents used to say; ”Lasting relationships are made in heaven by gods and nurtured by humans on earth.” This saying applies to both of us. Telling our life story to our children and grand children has become a yearly ritual in our extended family. They have been always curious to know how two people from vastly different backgrounds came together and sustained an unbroken relationship for nearly sixty years. Every year we gladly and happily share our life story with them and we know how that experience has created a strong bond among ourselves. We are equally happy to share our life story with you though we do not know you. Such real life stories build an invisible but strong bond between people regardless of time, space, ethnic, religious and cultural boundaries. Our life story is a story of building such a bond beyond boundaries. It is indeed a Yoga of Relationship.
My Roots (Jagdish)
I (Jagdish) was born in a traditional poor Hindu Brahmin family and we, my parents, four brothers and three sisters, lived in a small house. Though we were poor, my father was highly respected in our community for his scholarship, his devotion to God and his integrity. He was a teacher, a poet, a storyteller, a devotional singer and a healer. He always stood on his ground against popular winds and was never afraid of telling and living the truth. He followed traditions without being bound by them. He had an abiding faith in God and he believed that God would never forsake him. We faced many hardships and there were times when we did not even have two meals a day. My mother was a woman of heart. She was a very sweet and giving person. My friends used to say that the piece of home made bread they ate at our home tasted sweeter than any other bread they had eaten because my mother made it. I never heard my mother complaining against my father for not having enough clothes or other material comforts. She always counted blessings and never cursed the darkness. Though from a material perspective we were poor, we were rich in what was important. I am deeply grateful my parents for teaching us such a great lesson in life.
We used to have evening chanting and meditation sessions in our house. I distinctly remember the devotional songs sung by my father and how joyfully we all sang along with him. Those two hours of chanting and singing devotional songs and meditating together laid a spiritual foundation in our life. I would never forget how my father lovingly offered his early morning hours to teach us and help us in our studies. He did not impose his wish, his way or his expectation upon us. He just offered his helping hand whenever we needed it. Such a helping stance made us approach him more to ask for help whenever we needed it. Another lesson he taught simply through his presence: it is the presence of a person that is more effective than words of advice, lectures or sermons.
My mother’s presence in our family was more serene, supportive and comforting. Her path was the path of devotion. Every morning she spent time in a little corner to worship and pray to Krishna- one of the ten incarnations of God in Hindu mythology. Her heart was filled with devotional joy, peace and deep contentment. Her presence was very calming. We could be totally ourselves in her presence. Her love was unconditional. She embodied forgiveness and kindness. When successes and failures would affect us she used to remind us to live like a lotus in the water-jalakamalavat- connected but nonattached and unbound, to be in the world and not of the world. She was a busy housewife and caretaker but she always found time to attend to our needs. To her we were more important than the work she was doing or the things around us. Once I drew a picture on a piece of paper. I was very eager to show it to my mom. She was busy cooking. She saw my eager face. She put aside what she was doing and paid her undivided attention to me. Her face mirrored my excitement, pride and delight. I was privileged to have such experiences that enriched my life.
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