What am I in this vast universe? Who am I in this vast universe? Am I a dot in this vast universe? Am I living organism in this vast universe? From a micro perspective I am a separate isolated dot or entity. From a macro perspective, I am an integral part of the larger whole. And from a cosmic perspective, I am the whole, I am one with the cosmos, I am the cosmos.
When it comes to living in this world, our energy is primarily invested for sustaining and surviving.on a personal and tribal level. Meeting such basic needs creates bonding and interconnectedness.One dot gets connected with another dot creating a string of several interconnected dots. How do we relate to one another is an ongoing challenge for us as a human kind not only for our survival as human kind but also for the survival of our mother planet.
We all need to join our heads, hearts and hands to encounter this universal challenge. Wisdom traditions have been urging us to wake up from the illusion of seperateness and learn to relate to the unverse we live in as a family. It is imperative for all of us to learn to live amicably, compassionately and constrctively not only to survive but also to thrive and flourish.
We all need to be awakened and play our part not only for saving but also for thriving and flourishing life in multiple forms. Let us start from where we are and be a part of this evolutionary revolution. Let us spread the word by reading and reflecting on such writings, by using social media, and by actively patricipating in this movement. This is the time to act. If not now, then when? If not us then who?
May we all join our heads, hearts and hands to be a part of this noble venture!
Work is worship-no matter what kind of work we do. There are many faces of work. No one face is better than the other face. The face that looks down on other faces is not a service face. Humility is an integral part of service. Service done from the heart induces inner joy, inner reward and a deep sense of fulfillment. Recognition or admiration for the service we do is like frosting on the cake. We cook the food for serving with no expectation in return.
We are a part of the system-social, financial and political. When a system serves the need of a privileged group of people by excluding others, it needs to be changed. Such self-serving systems need radical change to survive and flourish. I have witnessed the great service work done by Mahatma Gandhi for untouchables in India. He blazed a new trial which slowly became a high way.
Work does not have to be against service. This is my personal experience. I have been working as a teacher and counselor all my life. It has been my inward call. It has brought great joy, happiness and fulfillment in my life. Many lives have been gracefully touched by the work I l love do and my life has also been graciously been touched by many hands.
It is the spirit of the work that makes it service. Work and service join hands making living blissful.
May we make our work worship by doing greater good!
Love gives birth to life, nourishes life and connects us with life in all forms. Such love is expressed in compassion for others, in kind and generous acts, wiping the tears of others, feeding the hungry and providing shelter. Sadly, the world created by the Divine hands has been converted into fighting zones, us against you, exploitation and destruction. We have been polluting air, water, food and sky-the sources of life- for our self-serving, profit making ends. These are signs and symptoms of the misuse of intelligence , energy and knowledge.
Total love is needed to bring total revolution. We need to awaken ourselves and others as a humanity from this misery creating slumber. We need to have a balance between being and doing. If our doing is without the being consciousness -compassion, consideration and concerns for the life of others, our actions are going to be destructive, hurting us and others. Tooth for tooth, eye for eye or fire for fire is the mindset of destruction. We need to learn to relate to others not as objects to meet our self-centered needs but as an extension of our selves- from me to we.
We have been blessed to to have people in our lives as models who have reached out and have lovingly touched the lives of others to lift them up. The world is still surviving because of their selfless love and service. In order to create, sustain and flourish such love revolutions, we all have to be a part of it. As the saying goes, charity begins at home but does not end it there. What can we do as parents, neighbors, teachers, students, politicians, social workers, corporate leaders, workers and religious leaders to create an inner environment that is rooted in unconditional love and compassion. This is real spiritual work
I have learned how to create an inner environment for planting and nurturing the seeds of love, peace and service. This is my everyday spiritual practice which brings joy and fulfillment in my life. I share my awakening with school children at my daughter's Montessori school by teaching Mindfulness and Peace Education and Mindfulness Parenting. Work is my service and it brings great joy and happiness to me. I am sure there are many such awakened people who are doing such badly needed work. Our community religious centers and educational institutions need to face and embrace this great universal challenge.
May we wake up, see the light and play our vital role in creating and participating the Total Revolution of Love.
We as human beings have physical, mental and spiritual needs and desires. Most of our needs and desires are met in relationship contexts. How our needs and desires are fulfilled makes a significant difference in our healthy growth and development. We need to cultivate wisdom to fulfill each other's needs and desires.
As human beings we all experience suffering in varying degrees. One of the main reasons for our suffering is our craving and intense neediness. Such a state of mind leads to not enough set of mind. When the mind is set on or fixated on that set point, there is always going to be more craving and more grabbing and more suffering.We get heavily and chronically attached or addicted to our craving resulting in ongoing suffering. People who are connected with us also suffer by our wanting more and more from other persons. They feel trapped by our neediness and unreasonable expectations. Both get caught up in this energy draining vicious cycle.
Suffering is an opportunity for growth if we keep our mind and heart awakened and open. Our suffering can be a gateway to awakening. First we need to recognize and accept that we are unhappy. We need to have a clear intention of working on our suffering.With confidence we do the inner mindfulness work starting with breath mindfulness by letting the waves of hurtful thoughts, feelings and emotions come and go. Such introspective mindfulness work requires consistency, resolution and dedication. It is not how much time but how we use our time that heals us.
I have been practicing mindfulness and teaching mindfulness for quite some time. Such practice turns thorns of suffering into flowers of fulfillment and happiness.
May we remain aware of self-created suffering and gain wisdom for making right choices!
Between stimulus and response there is a space. In that space is our power to choose our own response. In our response lies our growth and our freedom.- Viktor F. Frankl, author of Man’s Search for Himself
This idea we can learn underneath our emotions, if we feel a sense of guilt, if we feel a sense of anger, there’s often something that is instructive to us. Now, the very clear distinction here is that our emotions are data, not direction. We can always learn from them or dominated bythem.- Susan David, author of Emotional Agility
Exercise: Take your time to settle down and get centered. Let the strong emotion or feeling you have recently experienced or you’re experiencing now visit you. Be centered and relate to the emotions to be data rather than direction. Listen to your emotions and hear what they are telling you about yourself. You’re learning the art of responding to your emotional experience rather than reacting to your experience. You’re learning how to work through your emotional experience and grow from it.
What is the impact of someone’s unwelcoming or disturbing behavior on you? How do you choose to respond and not react? How can you be the change you want to see in the other person?
According to Vedanta philosophy, Divinity is described in three intertwined words- Sat, Chit and Ananda- Truth, Pure Consciousness and Joy or Bliss. This is our True Nature, our Essence, our True Identity. In this state of consciousness, time-space created boundaries get dissolved, the ego-created self disappears and the Self emerges.
People who have reached this state are called self-realized beings.They are intimate with the universe that includes all living beings. To them the whole universe is one family.
I have been blessed to be in the presence of such self-realized beings. Their loving and compassionate kindness evoked a deep sense of intimacy within me and with others sitting around me. I would call it an enlightening experience, a blissful experience. I felt infinite compassion, affection, and warmth radiating from them. I deeply felt their loving presence. While I am writing this reflection, I feel their loving presence in my heart. Such experiences have awakened my heart and have made my heart spacious and gracious flowing with loving kindness.
May we all be blessed by enlightened beings for opening and expanding our heart!
When I was 5 years old, every morning my dad used to chant the song of awakening. It has become a light house for me. The song is in Hindi. " Utha jaag musafir bhore bahi aba rayn kahnatak sovat hai. Jo sovat hai vo khovat hai, jo jagat hai vo pavat hai." Let me translate this song in English.
" Hey traveler, wake up. Morning has dawned. How long will you keep on sleeping? One who wakes up receives blessings and the one who keeps on sleeping misses the Divine gifts."
To me life is a journey, a pilgrimage. We all are pilgrims of light. I am one of the pilgrims walking on my path. There have been times in my life when I took a wrong step. I hurt myself and hurt others close to me and around me. I woke up from my sleep and resumed my walking keeping my inner eyes open. I leaned form my fall. Got up and continued my pilgrimage.
I have learned that light is within me. I do not need to look for it outside of me. The face of light is covered by the veil of my egoic mind. When I become still and open, I discover the light within me and I follow it. Following this light brings joyful bliss in me. It keeps me on the path of love, compassion, and gratitude.I feel free from the grip of the past and the worry about the future. The inner world of worry and missing something takes me away from the Present, which is beyond time and space. Our suffering is created by the mental constructs creating divisiveness in me and others. And I am still journeying living in the here and now. Life is a blessing.
May we walk on the path of life keeping our mind and heart open to be touched by the inner light of awakening!
From evolutionary point of view, the brain is wired to fight, flee or freeze for protecting ourselves. In this context, fear is an instinctive response for our survival and security. The fear mentioned in this writing is psychological created by human conditioning. The conditioned mind reacts to a perceived stimulus and makes us resist, oppose, run away, hide or deny. Such dysfunctional patterns of perceiving, thinking and behaving block our potential to see things as they are externally and internally. Sadly, these patterns become habitual and block our growth and development personally and inter personally.
" To want to see clearly is a true act of fearlessness." This statement says it all. When my eyes open to see my own suffering as it is, the gate to working on my suffering opens. I need to see my blindness with an open mind and heart, courageously and compassionately. Such mindfulness seeing is not an analytical intellectual process. Mindfulness is observing without judgment what I am experiencing in the here and now consciousness, in the present moment. The mind gets free from holding onto the past and being hijacked by the future, from regrets, anger, shame, humiliation and guilt or from fear, worry, apprehension and anxiety. The present moment has no clouds or shadows blocking the light of knowing which removes the darkness.
Mindfulness has been my way of working on myself. Mindfulness meditation has helped me to discover and meet my true self. It has opened the door of my life for receiving blessings coming from everywhere. I am very grateful for receiving such blessings.
May we cultivate fearlessness and mindfulness to live a blissful and joyful life!
A very wise statement by J.Krishnamurti. As I understand, anger is anger, righteous or unrighteous. Anger burns us and burns others. As far as I am concerned I do not intend and want to burn myself and do not intend and want to throw my fire on others whether they are my kinsmen or others. It is my conviction based on my experience that anger causes more anger and violence causes more violence.
Anger arises in me when I judge or condemn myself. The same way anger arises in the other person when I judge or condemn the other person. The same thing happens the other way around.
How do we end the cycle of anger? Not by denying it or by justifying it. Both ways perpetuate the cycle of anger. It does not end by preaching you should not be angry.
Practicing mindfulness in all contexts of life has been immensely helpful to me. Mindfulness is intentionally paying my non-judgmental attention to what is happening in me and around me. It is very helpful to pause between the anger generating stimulus and our habitual and automatic response. Taking deep breaths helps me to remain calm and centered and from that place within me the right, the wise, response arises. Such a mindfulness practice frees me from the grip of conceptual and sociological analysis of anger.
When the mind is calm, open and centered, the right kind of inquiry arises in the mind which helps me to understand the intra and interpersonal dynamics of anger. The inner light helps me to process the inner and outer clouds of destructive emotions.
May we be mindful of the arising of hurting thoughts and emotions in our mind and make wise choices!
Choice making is in our hands. We all know that as human we have mead self-and-other hurting choices. In all relationships there is no the other without me. We all are intertwined. When I make a wrong choice, focusing only on my interest, I am going to hurt the other and the other may counteract to hurt me or teach me a lesson. Tooth for tooth and eye for eye becomes a vicious cycle hurting each other on all levels.
So it goes back to choice making. Wrong or crazy choices are made when the mind is buzzing with wrong or crazy thoughts, when we are not awake. All wisdom traditions have emphasized the value of taming the monkey mind, the wandering mind. Meditation is one of the most effective ways of taming our wandering mind, quieting our noisy mind. We need to be aware of the light or heavy clouds passing through the sky of our mind. We let these clouds come and go without reacting to them or letting ourselves be hijacked by them. I practice mindfulness meditation. "Mindfulness is about being fully awake in our lives. It is about perceiving the exquisite vividness of each moment. We gain immediate access to our own powerful resources for insight, transformation, and healing." Jon Kabat-Zinn. Cultivating such mindfulness skills requires ongoing consistent practice called sadhana. It is an introspective inner work, relating to the world from inside out.
May we cultivate mindfulness to make wise wholesome choices for doing greater good for us and for others.
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