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!
Dr. J P Dave
Parenting is creating, sustaining and flourishing relationship with our children. Listed below are a few tried out ways of connecting our children when they face challenges in their life.
Nothingness is not a thing. Nothingness is the source of everything. There is nothing missing in nothingness. This beautiful poem reminds me of a similar beautiful poem in an ancient spiritual book called Ishvasya Upanishada written in Sanskrit: " Purnam adaha, purnam idam, purnat puram udachyate; purnasya purnam adaya, purnam evavishisyate." This is full. That is full. If you add something to fullnes, it remains full. If you take something out of it, what remains is fullness. Nothingness is described as emptiness-emptying those thoughts, feelings and actions that cause suffering to us and to others.Then emptiness is fullness and fullness is emptiness.
The source of creation has infinite abundance. When we separate ourselves from this source by believing and thinking and behaving as if we are separate from the source, we plant the seeds of alienation, me against you, invading others, and having not enough.We get misaligned with the source of creation. When we align ourselves and live in harmony with the all pervading and all embracing creative source, our cup of life gets filled.
Everything emanates from this creative source. We may call this source God, Supreme Being, Divine Mind, Tao or by any other name. Our egoic mind creates separation, divisiveness, and disconnection within and between people. Such a divided state of our ordinary ego-bound consciousness creates inner poverty and lack of fulfillment. If we wake up, become aware of this self-created alienation from the creative source, we can be reborn and live harmoniously, joyfully and peacefully.
My purpose of being in this world is to serve others and when I live this way the others become me and I become others.This is spiritual consciousness transcending the self-serving ordinary consciousness. This way of living makes me blissful and deeply contented. When I step out of this spiritual path, I feel discontented and unhappy. I wake up, rise and walk on the spiritual path.
May we rise when we fall down, wake up, and reconnect ourselves with the creative source of nothingness, emptiness or fullness.
Jagdish P Dave
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!
"Mindfulness is awareness that arises through paying attention, on purpose, in the presentvmoment, nonjudgmentally. It is about knowing what is on your mind.” ~Jon Kabat-Zinn
“ 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
Jon Kabat-Zinn is the pioneer of bringing Mindfulness to the main stream in 1979. Since then it has grown by leaps and bounds in U S and in many countries of the world. Mindfulness is a life changing practice. Numerous substantial studies have demonstrated the biological,neurological, mental, emotional and relational benefits of consistently practicing mindfulness.
Mindfulness cultivates and sustains skills for growth and development in our personal life, interpersonal life, family life and in the community at large.
Numerous research studies have demonstrated benefits of regularly practicing mindfulness.
● Reduces Stress. Calms mind, relaxes body and creates a relaxation response.
● Stay Healthy. Reduces pain and inflammation, builds a stronger immune system, lowers blood pressure, recovers faster and conduces better sleep
● Improves Relationships. Helps us shed our defenses and grudges. Creates attunes,spaciousness and gracefulness that bonds us with others.
● Increases Performance. Mindfulness enhances focus, attention, memory, compassion, collaboration and other critical skills for increasing performance.
● Adding Years to Life. Mindfulness changes gene expression. Telomeres grow stronger and longer, correlating with longevity. Mindfulness adds years to life and life to years.
● Awakens and Expands. Mindfulness helps us connect more consciously with our full self and greater callings.
It is never too late to learn new tricks of the trade! Welcome to the journey of Mindfulness!
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