Sunday, 29 June 2008



Concepts of right and wrong are not based upon any specific truth, but upon the perception of the moment, says David Nlmes

Have you ever forgiven anyone? You may quickly say ‘Yes’, which indicates you still remember the issue, which means it is not totally forgotten...and so therefore, it is not truly forgiven. We say we forgive, but we rarely do. We ‘excuse’, we ‘permit’, we ‘look past’, we ‘understand’, we ‘learn to live with’, but we never really forgive. We simply exchange our dislike of an event with the hope of returning to more pleasant times.What then, would you have to do to forgive? Is it possible to forgive while not totally forgetting the problem that created the reason for forgiveness in the first place? How do you forgive? How do I forgive?
To understand why total forgiveness seems almost impossible, or at least, very difficult, we need to ask why we value the concept of forgiveness in the first place. We need to look at what motivates us to either run from it or embrace it depending upon which end of the problem we see ourselves in. Let’s tear apart the whole concept of forgiveness and look at it the way it is.
What triggers the need to forgive or to be forgiven? Having done something wrong, you will experience the sensation of guilt. It might not happen immediately and it may take some time, but once you have done something wrong, the door is open for you to eventually feel guilty about it. The understanding of guilt is totally necessary for you to be on either side of the forgiving exchange. Now, having embraced the concepts of doing a ‘wrong’ or ‘bad’ thing and then associating them with guilt, this opens the door for multiple levels of forgiveness to exist. For example, once the wrong deed has occurred, an opportunity suddenly appears for somebody to forgive you, and you can also forgive yourself.
What triggers the sensation of guilt? Somewhere, we were taught that certain things were ‘right’ and certain things were ‘wrong’. Later, we then create connections to events we experience and use our past examples of right and wrong to inform us of whether our actions or the actions of the people around us are proper. In time, we can easily see who has done something wrong and we know they are guilty and should admit to their crime and admit they are guilty. This then opens the door for us to forgive them and for them to
forgive themselves. Our society and many religious structures look upon guilt as a mighty and necessary force that is used to help us maintain an orderly society. It can be difficult seeing how our world could exist without us taking turns being either the receiver or the distributor of guilt. What else could possibly motivate anyone to change? What if you were taught about right and wrong, in error? Imagine being in a country where it is ‘wrong’ for a woman to show her face in public. Imagine a situation where it is ‘wrong’ to cross the boundary from one country to another when you are not welcome.
Imagine a moment where it is ‘wrong’ to kill another person. Imagine a moment where it is ‘wrong’ to purposely exceed the speed limit while driving. Imagine being in a country where it is ‘not wrong’ for a woman to show her face in public. Imagine a situation where it is ‘not wrong’ to cross the boundary from one country to another because you are welcome. Imagine a moment
where it is ‘not wrong’ to kill another person who is attacking you. Imagine a moment where it is ‘not wrong’ to purposely exceed the speed limit while driving, so that lives may be saved.
These examples clearly show how something that is ‘wrong’ in one instance, is ‘not wrong’ in another instance, which means our concepts of right and wrong are not based upon any specific truth, but solely upon the perception of the moment. With
this being the case, ‘being right’ or ‘being wrong’ are totally transient in the eye of the beholder and have no absolute state of being. Truth is eternal and unchangeable, so from an eternal and unchangeable spiritual point of view, this means the whole concept of right and wrong is not real and simply does not exist.
What if you never did anything wrong? If the concept of ‘right and wrong’ is not a solid spiritual truth, since they change with perception, then these concepts are neither seen, nor experienced and they aren’t true.
When we say somebody is wrong we are viewing things from an extremely narrow and erroneous perception. So, if there is nothing ‘wrong’ with killing, should we just let the world run amok with violence and terror and do nothing to stop it? In a perfect world, you would not fear that you had to stop it, but likewise, in a perfect world, the concept of ‘wrong’ or ‘fear’ would not exist in the first place and no threats would be perceived. To understand the concept it would be helpful to see that all improper behaviour and events are mistakes that occur due to our perception of an act.
Instead of using the perception tainted variables of to judge ourselves and others, let’s instead look at improper events simply as ‘mistakes’. For example, if I were on a train to Philadelphia and happened to mention to a fellow passenger about how excited I was to be heading for Chicago, it would be obvious to this man that I had made a mistake and had gotten on the improper train. This does not make me bad. This does not require any sensation of guilt and this does not require forgiveness.
All this requires is that I get off that train and get on the proper train. When the fellow passenger informs me of my mistake, he has not judged me, but is simply informing me of an error I have made. Since I have done nothing wrong, there is no reason to associate guilt or fear with what he tells me. Being open for truth, I will not feel attacked and I will feel no need to defend my mistake. Instead, I will be happy and thankful to the passenger for helping me see and undo the mistake.
Truth frees because there is no judgment of any kind and it eliminates the need to be forgiven. Likewise, guilt binds because it is dependent upon judgment and it requires your need to be forgiven.
All concepts and origins of guilt, sin, right, wrong, etc, are of our own making and are based upon fear. Only our mistaken perceptions have created these concepts, which are e not true. They are simply errors of thinking.
To change your course, all you need to do is to be open to see where you may be mistaken and then and it will heal your perception of this world and of yourself. There is really nothing at all to forgive in the first place.

Winner of a rat race is still a rat!

Winner of a rat race is still a rat!


HEAR yourself when you speak. When I ask people who they are, they tell me they are doctors, spouses of someone or another, or friends of someone or another. These tags, doctor, engineer, husband, wife, father, daughter and friend, are labels given to you by the society. These tags are not you. “Who am I” is a deeper question beneath all these labels.

These labels serve well in the outside world. They mean nothing internally. Let us ask ourselves how to succeed in the outside world. You will say, “it is hard, Master”; you will advice me, “we should be ahead of the crowd in ideas, information, possessions, and even relationships.” I will ask you again, “Are you happy with everything you have?”
You will say, “Master, there is no such thing as a happy state. We have to keep moving to be the leader in the pack.”

You are living and describing a rat race. The problem of winning a rat race is that even after winning you are no better than a rat.

People are concerned that they haven’t yet reaped the benefit of success. Sometimes failure is better than success. Look at the other side of failure. With failure you have still hope that you can succeed; but if you are successful you have nowhere to go, if you
are still dissatisfied.
You may have climbed very fast but the climb would have led you to no place in particular. In fact, you might be stuck in a place where it makes no sense to you at all. You are totally disconnected from your inner being. This kind of success brings depression. Depression of success is worse than the depression of failure. People ask me, “what will meditation do
to help achieve what I want?” They want to know whether it will give them what they want.

I say to them, may be not, meditation may not give you the power, the shakti, to make your dreams a reality, but will certainly give you the wisdom, the buddhi, to know
that your entire reality is only a dream. Let this be clear.

Meditation creates a space for the inner being to flower. It creates peace amidst the chaos that rules your life. Meditation creates the space where you have neither answers nor questions. You will simply be aware. This awareness is precious. Where there is pure awareness, there is enlightenment. This is true freedom.

This inner being, the inner intelligence, the inner energy guides us in our path. Vivekananda says: till inner intelligence is awakened no book will help you; once it is awakened you do not need any books.

Sunday, 22 June 2008

Life is beyond logic and reason!

PEOPLE again and again tell me, “Master, my son is not taking care of me.” In traditional societies as in India and other Asian countries children, especially sons, are still expected to take care of their parents in their old age. The logic of parents is that they took care of their children when they needed care and therefore, children should take care of them when they need support.
Of course, this may have been the case in the west in the past, but certainly no longer. After 18, connection between parents and children seems to get severed. As yet, this is not so true in Asian countries. Tradition seems to survive.
Be very clear, your son may be the first enemy for you. You are also the first enemy for him. You have given him so many rules, so many regulations. You had given him so many laws, so you were almost the master for him when he was young. Naturally, in one part of his mind he will have respect; the other part will always rebel against you. The other part will be just waiting to take revenge on you. Because you imposed rules and regulations on him, it is a basic rule that naturally he will be against you.
This reality holds good in our relationship with any rule giver, whether societal or religious. All these institutions try to impose their rules in us in subtle ways. They exploit our fear and greed by showing, talking, and convincing us about hell and heaven. They make us aspire and desire for heaven and develop a fear of hell.
They create so many concepts of hell and heaven in us. They say, “If you practise these types of teachings you will be rewarded with heaven; if you practise other type of teachings you can only go to hell.” This concept of heaven and hell is a subtle way of exploiting our being. When we are given some rules based on greed and fear, we start creating a deep sense of guilt in ourselves.
And one more thing! There is one law which is difficult to understand but it is one of the ultimate laws. The law states, “Nobody can live their lives based on any law.”
When I say nobody, I mean nobody. When I say any law, I mean any law. Life is far superior to laws. All the laws, rules, regulations are based on some, partial understanding of life.
People ask me, “Why is this life created at all?” I tell them, this why can never be answered. Because this why is based on logic.
Logic is not truth. With logic one can only travel as long as reasoning has power. Life is beyond that. Life is expansive and beyond logic and reason.

It Is Difficult To Stay In The Middle

It Is Difficult To Stay In The Middle

Discourse: Osho

The most difficult thing, the almost impossible thing for the mind, is to remain in the middle, to remain balanced. And to move from one thing to its opposite is the easiest. To move from one polarity to another is the nature of the mind.
If you are balanced, mind disappears. Mind is like a disease: when you are imbalanced it is there, when you are balanced, it is not there. That is why it is easy for a person who overeats to go on a fast. It looks illogical, because we think
that a person who is obsessed with food cannot go on a fast.
But you are wrong. Only a person who is obsessed with food can fast, because fasting is the same obsession in the opposite direction. You are not really changing yourself. You
are still obsessed with food. Before you were overeating; now you are hungry — but the mind remains focused on food from the opposite extreme.
A man who has been overindulging in sex can become a celibate very easily. There is no problem. But it is difficult for the mind to come to the right diet, difficult for the mind to stay in the middle. It is just like a clock’s pendulum. The pendulum goes to the right, then it moves to the left, then again to the right, and again to the left; the clock’s working depends on this movement.
If the pendulum stays in the middle, the clock stops. And when the pendulum moves to the right, you think it is only going to the right, but at the same time it is gathering momentum to go to the left. The more it moves to the right, the more energy it gathers to move to the left, and vice versa.
Thinking means momentum. The mind starts arranging for the opposite. When you
love a person you are gathering momentum to hate him. That’s why only friends can become enemies. You cannot suddenly become an enemy unless you have first become a friend. Only lovers can quarrel and fight, because unless you love, how can you hate? Unless you have moved far to the extreme left, how can you move to the right?
Modern research says that so-called love is a relationship of intimate enmity. Your wife is your intimate enemy, your husband is your intimate enemy — both intimate and inimical.
They appear opposites, illogical, because we wonder how one who is intimate can be the enemy; one who is a friend, how can he also be the foe?
Logic is superficial, life goes deeper, and in life all opposites are joined together, they
exist together. Remember this, because then meditation becomes balancing.
Buddha taught eight disciplines, and with each discipline he used the word right. He said: Right effort, because it is very easy to move from action to inaction, from waking to sleep, but to remain in the middle is difficult.
When Buddha used the word right he was saying: Don’t move to the opposite, just stay in the middle. Right food — he never said to fast. Don’t indulge in too much eating and don’t indulge in fasting. He said: Right food. Right food means standing in the middle.
When you are standing in the middle you are not gathering any momentum. And this is the beauty of it — a man who is not gathering any momentum to move anywhere, can be at ease with himself, can be at home.

Strike A Balance To Achieve Harmony

Strike A Balance To Achieve Harmony
Discourse: Swami Sukhabodhananda

The quality of our lives depends more on what we are inside than outside. But how many of us really look within? We need to think right. Hence it is essential to look within and create an order therein.

We are programmed to believe that happiness is outside. We are products of such programming. It has been ingrained in us that joy and happiness are outside and the myth governs our lives.
The process of thinking involves flow of thoughts. Thoughts move outward in search of happiness, name, fame, money or power. Happiness however does not result from material affluence. It is a result of our attitude to life.

Happiness is a result of our being totally in the present. Enlightenment happens in the present. But our lives are always focused either on the past or future. Life is in the present. So be present in the present. Then a different ‘presence’ opens up. Whatever you are doing, be total in it. Bring in your totality of being in the ‘here and now’.

When you are looking at a flower, can you just look? If you look at it from thoughtfulness, thoughts interpret it as a good or bad flower. A thought compares it with something else. By this you don’t look, you superimpose. The discipline to look at something without thoughts is important. When you require using your thoughts, only then should you bring in a thought. Try this out.
When unnecessary thoughts pile up, they become pockets of energy. When negative thoughts pile up they seed negative attitude, enforcing negative thoughts. These in turn superimpose energy on the objects of thought, making them appear negative. The influences that are created in life, be they in a form of war, politics, violence, are the result of the influence of negative energy that either becomes real or superimposed.

When your immune system is weak you are prone to disease. Similarly, when your psychological immune system is weak you are prone to negative influences. A negative thought requires no effort. It comes from the lower mind that is mechanical. Noble thoughts have to come from the higher mind that is more conscious and magnetic.
A faulty attitude injures and harms us. We end up making wrong connections. And when we are not proceeding in the right direction, we suffer the consequences.

There is male energy in the female and female energy in the male. Since we are progenies of both genders, we have in us both male and female energies. They have to be in harmony for us to be able to function in a way that gives us the right direction.

When you create an external harmony, you create an internal harmony also. By loving a man outside, you love the male energy in you. When you hate a woman outside, a very important part of you, the internal female energy is also dwarfed and injured.

In everyone of us there is both a teacher and a student. Our centre is a teacher teaching us in the language of silence, in the language of purity. The student in us should learn to listen to the teaching. When we do injustice to an external teacher, we are doing injustice to a part of ourselves. By respecting both a student and a teacher outside, we respect something in us.
When there is right attitude, the wisest connection is made. For objective consciousness should include the subject, too.

Memories As Minefields: Tread Very Carefully

Memories As Minefields: Tread Very Carefully

Chaitanya Charan Das

Memory is a mine in three senses of the word ‘mine’.

1. Mine as a device that explodes on contact: Memories of our past bad habits are like mines implanted in our consciousness. At slight provocation, they could explode into uncontrollable desires that could destroy us. To an alcoholic trying to turn sober, the sight of a liquor bottle is a mine that could cause him to relapse into alcoholism.
Similarly, if someone has misbehaved with us, then that memory becomes like a mine.
Whenever that person behaves even slightly improperly, we explode into a disproportionate burst of anger. Instead of being assertive, we end up being aggressive and so end up compounding the problem. Just as a trained general is essential to safely cross a dangerous minefield, a bona fide spiritual master is indispensable to navigate the journey of life, infested as it is with the mines of explosive memories.

2. Mine as excavation site from which ores and minerals are extracted: In spiritual life, the devotional memory of our supreme beloved God, Krishna, is the ultimate treasure mine. Just as we get some joy by thinking of the person we love, devotees experience supreme joy by lovingly thinking of the all-attractive Lord. Most of us have probably never given ourselves a chance to taste the ineffable joy of divine remembrance, although that joy is always on the tip of the tongue; it can be attained simply by attentive chanting of the names of God like the Hare Krishna mahamantra. Cherishing and relishing the treasure of divine love is our birthright as the beloved children of God. So why dissipate energy in external pursuits?

3. Mine as possession, “belonging to me”: It is for each one
of us to decide: “Which mine am i going to treasure as mine? Am i going to let myself be exploded by bad memories or am i going to enrich myself with a mine of devotional treasure?”
The human mind tends to delight in worldly memories and neglect divine memories. The Bhagavad Gita describes the uncontrolled mind as an intractable enemy. A worldly enemy can be dealt with by sama or friendship, dama or gifts, bheda or divide and rule and danda or punishment.
The process of overcoming undesirable memories and experi
encing the divine entails treading the fivefold path of awareness as Patanjali explained in the Yoga Sutra:
1. Mudha: deluded, as in sleep, laziness or dullness.
2. Kshipta: agitated, as in stress or mania.
3. Vikshipta: dis
tracted, as in a lecture in a noisy environment.
4. Ekagrata: concentrated, as in a student revising an hour before the exam.
5. Niroddha: controlled, as in a devotee absorbed in samadhi, the trance of love.
When we starve the mind, that is, when we refuse to pander to its demands for immoral, unhealthy pleasures, it starts agitating more than normal. Many people become disheartened by this increased mental tumult and give up. But rich premiums await the courageous few who refuse to be cowed down by the mind’s scary tactics. We could become spiritual adventurers by determinedly refusing to be cowed down by a recalcitrant mind into silence and submission by philosophical conviction and devotional meditation. Then the mine of the heart will yield us the treasures of unshakeable, unending peace and bliss.
The writer is spiritual mentor, ISKCON, Pune.



Being happy depends not so much on external circumstances as on your inner life, says Tony Wilkinson

Are you the happiest person you know? Not necessarily the luckiest, richest, or most successful, just the happiest?

If not, why not? Most people will reel off their current worries — the job, the kids, the car, the price of fish. I don’t mean to sweep these aside: problems need to be solved, if you can, or waited out until they disappear. But as far as living happily is concerned you have to face a crucial fact. If you can only live happily after all your problems are solved, you are never going to live happily, because when today’s problems are gone and forgotten, others will take their place. So either living happily is just impossible, or you have to do it in spite of your problems.

Being happy depends not so much on external circumstances as on your inner life. This means all your thoughts, perceptions, beliefs, emotions, desires, dreams — your entire mental and emotional scene. Happiness is about how you react inwardly to events, what you think and believe, how you feel, how problems affect you. It may sound obvious, but like many obvious things it’s something that is often forgotten when it matters most. We focus almost exclusively on our external lives, on getting and spending and having fun, and then wonder why we are not happy. But it’s when our inner lives are tranquil that we are happiest and we call this inner peace.

So how is inner peace to be achieved? Is it a question of religion, perhaps, or yoga? These can certainly help but only if they have a positive effect on your inner life. The difficulty is that inner life is based on patterns and habits — some you were born with, most you have acquired. You don’t choose, occasion by occasion, how you respond inside when something happens. This happens and you feel angry; that happens you feel sad; you pass the patisserie and you feel hungry; you hear a tune or smell a certain scent and it reminds you of a particular time or person? Things produce a response without you thinking about it or choosing how you feel, and they don’t necessarily leave you with inner peace. So the trick is to break the pattern. You can’t completely avoid problems, but you can change how you react to them by acquiring new habits that provoke peaceful inner responses. Training your inner life into different habits requires learning skills of thinking, feeling, and managing your beliefs and desires. These are very like the virtues many religions and philosophies advocate, but if you think of them as skills rather than virtues, you benefit from an important and liberating shift. Instead of “I must become a better person” you can think “I would live more happily if i worked on my skills”, so the change in attitude becomes a choice, not a duty. And to these remedial skills i’ve added an extra set of enjoyment skills, otherwise getting happier could turn out a very depressing affair.

This process is not something you can do overnight, it’s a whole new way of life, but the reward is what we all want most — happiness.
There are five main skills you need to cultivate.

Mindfulness: Borrowed from Buddhism, this involves developing your ability to focus your thoughts in the present. The problem most of us have with thought is having too much of it — the worrying and nonstop mental chattering our minds are prone to. Mindfulness is a key inner skill because, as it gets stronger, it lets you focus on your own inner life and catch your habits in the act. Once you can see how you are ruled by them, the change you are seeking often happens of its own accord.

Compassion: Most religions rightly stress compassion. As well as being a virtue in its own right it is a practical skill that counteracts negative emotions like anger and hatred, which are terrible wreckers of happiness. Try it the next time someone annoys you: put yourself in their place and ask yourself what they might they be thinking or feeling to behave like that. Even bad people, let alone people who just mildly annoy you, often have a warped or mistaken view of the world which makes them do what they do. Wars are started and atrocities committed, for example, because someone decides that this is what their God wants. It doesn’t mean they should get away with their actions, in fact it may be necessary to take strong action to defend yourself.

Story skills: These are very useful for problems with your inner belief system, as they let you stand back and explore alternative versions of reality. Beliefs have great power over your life because a belief is something you take as fact. Start to think of your beliefs as stories, and it is easier to accept that other things might be true as well, or even instead. Even true stories only select the little bit of reality we are focusing on at the moment: no one story is the whole truth about any situation. From a different point of view we would see a different story, sometimes a whole different world. This is not about make believe, it’s about reframing situations to look at them from a different perspective.

Letting-go techniques: These are particularly helpful when we are unhappy not getting what we want. Generally, we are encouraged to keep wanting and to think that more will make us happier, whether it’s clothes or cars or even love. But wanting is a treadmill: as long as you have unsatisfied wants and desires you won’t be at peace, so to be happy you either have to satisfy all your desires, or let go of some of them. Letting-go skills also include forgiveness, which helps hugely if one of the things you think you want is revenge.

Enjoyment skills: This last group includes skills such as patience, humour and, especially, gratitude. You don’t have to be grateful to someone, it’s enough to cultivate gratitude for things. Our minds naturally scan the environment for dangers and resources, a useful mechanism when we were hunter-gatherers. But it can make us unnecessarily pessimistic — focusing on the 10% we lack rather than the 90% we have. Cultivating enjoyment skills will help redress the balance.

Acquiring all these skills takes time and effort. The important thing is to practise them until they operate without you thinking about them. Your practice routine will be very individual, because everyone needs to prioritise different skills depending on the specific issues that are holding them back from being happy, but keep the skills in mind and you will constantly find new ways to try them out.

Friday, 20 June 2008

You, Your, Yourself: Make The Most Of It

You, Your, Yourself: Make The Most Of It

Cyrus Jehangir Sataravalla

Do you know who the most important person in the world is? Not the king of some distant enchanted land. Neither any person who wields power, position or wealth. It’s YOU.
No one thinks as much about you as you think of yourself. There is nobody quite so much interested, and it is not right that they should be. Each has his own object of admiration in himself.
Whatever you desire or deeply form an intent for, you can have, for in the development of your interior thought-forces your
desires will frame themselves within measurable size. With a correct understanding of your desires will come the requisite self-worth and self-realisation of your power to secure them.
Honour and riches and power might come to you uninvited, but
they would not serve you, and you will lose them again unless you are prepared to receive them and use them right.
Your first duty is to yourself. You do not perform for the world; you perform for an audience of one — yourself. Your communion, accord, and at-one-ment with ‘you’ is vital... For as it touches you, you touch all points in the universe. Be it a leaf tip in your vicinity or a heart in another continent. You cannot fail to raise the vibrations of your environment...
Whatever you do, do wholeheartedly... To become despondent about your lot in life is but to belittle yourself... To be determined on higher-minded and worthier pursuits, and ready and raring to work for better things, will bring its own reward... So realise your importance. Do your present work better than anybody at your age or experience has ever done it before... Higher duties will come, and as you tackle them in the same forward-seeing spirit, a further advancement will be inevitable.
The world is calling for persons
who think well of themselves, sufficiently well to dignify themselves by doing each task no matter how tiny, as though it were momentous.
Whatever is worth having is worth working for. Don’t fret and fume at the success of others. Use your time for your own ends; apply it to your immediate task, and be mindful of not leaking inner voltage by paying attention to the result...
Organise yourself. Think well of yourself. Work hard for yourself first before trying to reach all humankind. You are not just a VIP, but a MIPW, the most important
person in the world. Having conceived your purpose mentally, mark out a straight pathway to its achievement. When you make your allconsuming purpose the central theme of your life cycle you generate unsurpassed, unparalleled, power. After selecting a worthy goal, place all of your interior energy and resolve, your willpower, effort and everything you’ve got behind that single-minded cause.
To change circumstances, first start thinking differently. Do not passively accept unsatisfactory circumstances, even for a moment longer than required. By doing so you relegate and leak a massive life-changing dose of thoughtvoltage. The kind that makes the inconceivable, conceivable.
Hold your dearest goal-picture steadily; develop it in detail. Believe in it. Work and pursue it as a falcon hurtles headlong into the thermals slip-stream, gaining added super-velocity when after a pigeon. Above this seek divine aid and inspiration and You will actualise it in accord with the mental image in mind.
Water takes the shape of the pipe it flows through. Your life and success will get shaped in direct proportion to the thoughts you allow to flow through the meadowpasture, that is your mind...

TOI- 08jun08

Connecting with God

Connecting with God

Laurie J Brenner

Who looks outside — dreams.
Who looks inside — awakes.
— Carl Gustav Jung
The single most important thing you can do in your life is to connect with your source. Greater than anything you desire, connecting with source allows you to develop a relationship with the infinite wis
dom of the Universe. By staying connected you will be in the flow and everything comes easily and quickly to you.
You have heard it said, go with the flow. This doesn’t mean follow the masses — it means to connect with your source and go with its flow — which is unique for each and every one of us. Where do you think you really come from? Your parents? Yes, you share their DNA and your body comes from their joining. But where does the you that stares out from behind those eyes live? In your cells, in your DNA, your central nervous system? Do you live in your mind? Are you your mind?
Have you ever noticed that when you experience anything — a moment, an event or circumstance and that while you participate and enjoy or not these
things that occur; that part of you sits back and watches everything? Many call this the observer, the witness, your spirit, your soul, whatever name you choose — it is that part of you that is always connected to source — it stands back and witnesses everything. Your eternal being resides here and always stays in direct communication with source for without that connection you would die.

If we are always connected why must we then connect? Does this seem confusing to you? Yes, you are always connected with source, period and nothing can sever that relationship. But the part of you that stays connected is not in your conscious mind. When i talk
about connecting with source, i mean consciously. For too long we have made the part of our being that is connected with source sit in the back of the bus. Many things — your life falls apart, you get sick, things don’t go your way, you lose your job, your lover, your house, whatever is consuming your life.
The father-mother God of your being won’t stay in the back of the bus for long — especially if something in you awakens. Yes, you can have all that you

desire but not at the cost of your soul.
The relationship with source is different for everyone. It doesn’t take your believing in source for source to empower your being. Nor can you tell another person how their relationship with source is supposed to be. It is a very individual experience. It is the most intimate of relationships you will ever experience. Source never leaves you, never lies to you, and never makes you feel guilty. Source loves you unconditionally and always says yes to you — even if your belief is such that you feel the universe says no. The universe will support whatever you believe to be true.

An important fact to understand: the
universe always says yes even when you perceive it to be no. When you experience no, what you are experiencing is your belief in no so the universe says yes by supporting your no. You define your world. Source does not do that for you. Source is not your ego, your personality or any trait or characteristic of your being. Source is not your belief structure or your religious undertakings. Source is Divine Infinite Wisdom. Some call it God, Energy, Allah, Yahweh — it is known by many names or none.

You can ask your source about anything and it will answer. It answers by giving you a feeling. If you feel calm and peaceful — that is your answer — which can be interpreted as yes. If you feel more confused and at unrest — this can be interpreted as no.

As you develop your own relationship with your source you will find what form of communication works for you. There are no set rules and this is a very personal relationship — one that no one but you and source together share. The point is this: more than a body, more than a personality, or an ego, you are a divine child of the universe with an eternal spirit.

You come from source, you exist because of source, and someday you return to source. Critical for your
well-being as well as for your endeavours in this journey of creating your reality and learning to become the real you — the divine child of the universe — connecting with your source is a step you must make on your own.

This is a very personal journey, no man; woman or child can come between you and your Source. Death cannot separate you from your source. Source is the very source of your being. The part of you that does not reside in the physical realm — the part of you that constantly maintains twentyfour hour access to all things, known and unknown, seen and unseen stands a mere breath away.

Thursday, 19 June 2008


To stay in your comfort zone because of fears of what may lie outside will condemn you to a life of regret, says Adrian Savage

Over time, we all gather a set of constricting habits around us — ones that trap us in a zone of supposed comfort, well below what our potential would allow us to attain. Pretty soon, such habits slip below the level of our consciousness, but they still determine what we think that we can and cannot do — and what we cannot even bring ourselves to try. As long as you let these habits rule you, you will be stuck in a rut.

Like the tiny, soft bodied creatures that build coral reefs, habits start off small and flexible, and end up by building massive barriers of rock all around your mind. Inside the reefs, the water feels quiet and friendly. Outside you think it’s going to be rough and stormy. There may be sharks. But if you’re to develop in any direction from where you are today, you must go outside that reef of habits that marks the boundaries of your comfort zone. There’s no other way. There’s even nothing specially wrong with those habits as such. They probably worked for you in the past. But now it's time to step over them and go into the wider world of your unused potential. Your fears don’t know what’s going to be out there, so they invent monsters and scary beasts to keep you inside.

Nobody’s born with an instruction manual for life. Despite all the helpful advice from parents, teachers and elders, each of us must make our own way in the world, doing the best we can and quite often getting things wrong. Messing up a few times isn’t that big a deal. But if you get scared and try to avoid all mistakes by sticking with just a few tried and true behaviours, you will miss out on most opportunities as well. Lots of people who suffer from boredom at work are doing it to themselves. They are bored and frustrated because that’s what their choices have caused them to be. They are stuck in ruts they dug for themselves while trying to avoid making mistakes and taking risks. People who never make mistakes never make anything else either.

It’s time to pin down the habits that have become unconscious and are running your life for you, and get rid of them. Here’s how to do it: Understand the truth about your habits. They always represent past successes. You have formed habitual, automatic behaviours because you once dealt with something successfully, tried the same response next time, and found it worked again. That’s how habits grow and why they feel so useful.

To get away from what’s causing your unhappiness and workplace blues, you must give up on many of your most fondly held habits and try new ways of thinking and acting. There truly isn’t any alternative. Those habits are going to block you from finding new and creative ideas. No new ideas, no learning. No learning, no access to successful change.

Do something differently and see what happens. Even the most successful habits eventually lose their usefulness as events change the world and fresh responses are called for. Yet we cling on to them long after their benefit has gone. Past strategies are bound to fail sometime. Letting them become automatic habits that take the controls is a sure road to self-inflicted harm.

Take some time out and have a detailed look at yourself — with no holds barred. Discovering your unconscious habits can be tough. For a start, they are unconscious, right? Then they fight back. Ask anyone who has ever given up smoking if habits are tough to break. You've got used to them and they are at least as addictive as nicotine or crack cocaine.

Be who you are. It’s easy to assume that you always have to fit in to get on in the world; that you must conform to be liked and respected by others or face exclusion. Because most people want to please, they try to become what they believe others expect, even if it means forcing themselves to be the kind of person they aren’t, deep down.

You need to start by putting yourself first. You are unique. We are all unique, so saying this doesn’t suggest that you are better than others or deserve more than they do. You need to put yourself first because no one else has as much interest in your life as you do; and because if you don’t, no one else will. Putting others second means giving them their due respect, not ignoring them totally. Keeping up a selfimage can be a burden. Hanging on to an inflated, unrealistic one is a curse. Give yourself a break.

Slow down and let go. Most of us want to think of ourselves as good, kind, intelligent and caring people. Sometimes that's true. Sometimes it isn’t. Reality is complex. We can’t function at all without constant input and support from other people. Everything we have, everything we have learned, came to us through someone else’s hands. At our best, we pass on this borrowed existence to others, enhanced by our contribution. At our worst, we waste and squander it. So recognise that you are a rich mixture of thoughts and feelings that come and go, some useful, some not. There’s no need to keep up a façade; no need to pretend; no need to fear of what you know to be true.

When you face your own truth, you’ll find it’s an enormous relief. If you are maybe not as wonderful as you'd like to be, you aren’t nearly as bad as you fear either. The truth really does set you free; free to work on being better and to forgive yourself for being human; free to express your gratitude to others and recognise what you owe them; free to acknowledge your feelings without letting them dominate your life. Above all, you will be free to understand the truth of living: that much of what happens to you is no more than chance. It can’t be avoided and is not your fault. There’s no point in beating yourself up about it.

What is holding you in situations and actions that no longer work for you often isn’t inertia or procrastination. It’s the power of habitual ways of seeing the world and thinking about events. Until you can let go of those old, worn-out habits, they’ll continue to hold you prisoner. To stay in your comfort zone through mere habit, or to stay there because of irrational fears of what may lie outside, will condemn you to a life of frustration and regret.
There's a marvellous world out there. You'll see, if you try it.

Fear of flying

Fear of flying
Once you’ve decided to make a relationship work, just focusing on the bare essentials — even a mere pretense — could take it to the next level
Vinita Dawra Nangia

ACTOR Aamir Khan was happily married to Reena for 15 years, when he jumped the gun, dumped her and kids and set up home with Kiran. Saif Ali Khan seemed settled in blissful matrimony with unlikely Amrita Singh, when after 13 years, he bolted the stables and took up with Rosa. Aishwarya dumped Salman and then Viviek in quick succession with an eye on a more viable match. Recently, the nation sighed as Kareena dumped chocolate boy Shahid. Rest of them have had their flings and been grudgingly accepted back.
Of course, Shahrukh Khan is a constant surprise — not the loveliest of ladies he works with are able to distract his loyalty from wife Gauri.

In an age where faith to your spouse is an aberration rather than the rule, how can one trust relationships? Little girl Aarushi gets killed and it’s alleged that her father’s extra-marital fling is responsible; actress Maria cheats on her fiancé and the poor bloke she seduced gets cut up into 300 pieces. These of course are extreme crimes. But everyday around us we see the suffering of friends who expected absolute faith and found it lacking in a partner; who expected the total truth, and found it interspersed with lies; who expected to be loved and cared for and felt neglected. It hurts and it hurts terribly when expectations are belied, when emotions get trampled and you feel cheated and ignored. What is the solution to all this angst? It’s the fear of emotional turmoil that is responsible for the growing trend to remain single or to at least put off matrimony as long as possible. Fear of ending up in a bad relationship puts people off relationships. All of us know couples who refuse to have kids — out of fear of responsibility. Surveys have found that the freedom of not being responsible to anyone dictates the phenomenon of late marriages and no kids amongst youngsters today.

A young colleague confessed she was scared of getting into a relationship, let alone marrying. What does she fear? Obviously, emotional hurt. I gave her the usual spiel of testing the waters for herself rather than standing on the edge, wondering. Yes, she sighed. Worse comes to worse, there’s always a way out. Ouch, what a way to go! There can be nothing worse than going into a relationship with an eye on the way out if things don’t work. The only way to make a relationship work is a determination to ensure it works.

And though it may sound cynical, truth is that a certain clamping down on expectations is quite the order of the day today. Do not expect absolute faith because faith can never be absolute, just as there is no total truth and no pure heroes nor villains. Fear of getting hurt cannot put you off relationships. Getting hurt is part of the process of learning and growing up — it’s how you deal with and react to hurt that determines the future of your relationship.

In a relationship, it’s important our expectations are reasonable and we focus on and seek what we think we need from another without looking for absolute perfection. You need love, care, a secure home environ and a share of happiness and fun with a modicum of togetherness. And of course, you need to give the same to your partner as well. These are the bare essentials. While some relationships are able to build from here and become great companionships, most usually stay stuck here. That’s fine. It’s when you don’t give or get even these basics that a relationship rocks dangerously.

A friend who just about shares a home with his wife while most of their relationship is really in tatters, complained the other day that his wife doesn’t even bother about him if he is fairly unwell. Asked if he cares about her welfare, he said, “Not really.” Fair enough, but does he at least show some concern for her welfare? The answer was a no. Why then would she bother about him? Where there is no care, there has to be at least a semblance of care. If even the pretense isn’t there, there is nothing left in that relationship!And, sometimes just the pretense is enough to build on a relationship. If he just brought himself to pretend an interest and show a concern for his wife, surely she too would rouse herself to do the same for him? And, who knows where the relationship would go from there? Even pretense can be a basis to build a relationship on, because at least it proves your commitment to try and make things work!

To strike a balance between the subliminal desire for a relationship and the conscious fear of responsibility that turns you away from it, what’s important is to beat down that fear, focus on what you want from the relationship and determine to make it work.

Life is beyond logic and reason!

Life is beyond logic and reason!

PEOPLE again and again tell me, “Master, my son is not taking care of me.” In traditional societies as in India and other Asian countries children, especially sons, are still expected to take care of their parents in their old age. The logic of parents is that they took care of their children when they needed care and therefore, children should take care of them when they need support.
Of course, this may have been the case in the west in the past, but certainly no longer. After 18, connection between parents and children seems to get severed. As yet, this is not so true in Asian countries. Tradition seems to survive.
Be very clear, your son may be the first enemy for you. You are also the first enemy for him. You have given him so many rules, so many regulations. You had given him so many laws, so you were almost the master for him when he was young. Naturally, in one part of his mind he will have respect; the other part will always rebel against you. The other part will be just waiting to take revenge on you. Because you imposed rules and regulations on him, it is a basic rule that naturally he will be against you.
This reality holds good in our relationship with any rule giver, whether societal or religious. All these institutions try to impose their rules in us in subtle ways. They exploit our fear and greed by showing, talking, and convincing us about hell and heaven. They make us aspire and desire for heaven and develop a fear of hell.
They create so many concepts of hell and heaven in us. They say, “If you practise these types of teachings you will be rewarded with heaven; if you practise other type of teachings you can only go to hell.” This concept of heaven and hell is a subtle way of exploiting our being. When we are given some rules based on greed and fear, we start creating a deep sense of guilt in ourselves.
And one more thing! There is one law which is difficult to understand but it is one of the ultimate laws. The law states, “Nobody can live their lives based on any law.”
When I say nobody, I mean nobody. When I say any law, I mean any law. Life is far superior to laws. All the laws, rules, regulations are based on some, partial understanding of life.
People ask me, “Why is this life created at all?” I tell them, this why can never be answered. Because this why is based on logic.
Logic is not truth. With logic one can only travel as long as reasoning has power. Life is beyond that. Life is expansive and beyond logic and reason.

Saturday, 7 June 2008

Choose joy over worry!


Choose joy over worry!

IF I were to tell you that you choose your worries that make you suffer, you will disbelieve me. That is the truth!

Each one of us carries our personalised version of worry. Undoubtedly, the commonality of this worry is that we each have our personalised laundry list. Our worries are not the same as our neighbour’s. Our worry is completely based on our perceptions. Worries are based on individual desires.
Sarah was moving to a new house. She watched over the movers pack her household articles in preparation of her move. One man was handling her antique vase and she warned him, ‘Please be careful, that is over a hundred years old’ The man looked at her and said, ‘Don’t worry ma’am, I will handle it like it is brand new’.
Possessions and desire to possess bring about most of our suffering. Greed fuels many of our worries. We are bothered when our neighbours and friends possess things we do not have. If a neighbour has bought a new refrigerator it increases the temperature in our kitchen! When a friend buys the latest model automobile, we immediately feel that our last year model looks like a vintage car.
Our desires are plenty. When these desires are unfulfilled, we begin to worry. Our worries do not arise from a genuine need for what we really require. We create and invent new wants by comparing ourselves with others.
Desires, by themselves, aren’t harmful. If our desires are deep and pure, then they become true. Such a deep, true desire has power. Desire is energy.
We all have a problem here. Our desires are borrowed. They arise out of jealousy and greed. We develop the desires by comparing with others. Our desires have no connection with our true needs.
Ramana Maharishi, a realised master, explained the nature of desires with clarity: The Universe can cater to the needs of every single inhabitant. However, it cannot fulfil the wants of even a single person.
We worry about everything. We are trapped in a circuit that leads from desires, to worry, to greed. Every time we are worried or stressed about something, we are generating an energy block.
Look within instead of around. Stop craving for what others have. There is no need to renounce what you have to reach spiritual freedom. It is enough if you renounce what you do not have.
Renounce your fantasies to possess what others have. Enjoy what you already have. This is the path to eternal joy, Nithyanandam.


Sunday, 1 June 2008

Mind over Matter

Balancing your success

Balancing your success - Douglas Vermeeren

Douglas Vermeeren Most people live their lives like they watch the television. The remote control is in their hands and they have the power to change the channel to any show they can possibly imagine. But they don't. There is opportunity to experience anything they can dream. But they don’t do anything. They are content to simply watch whatever is on, rather than choose what they really want.

The most important beginning principle for creating greatness in your life is to recognise and then utilise the principle of personal power and personal accountability. Every person comes with the built-in ability to choose their actions and reactions for any given set of circumstances. How we use this ability will ultimately determine all of the outcomes we will experience in our lives. Those who attain the greatest successes in life do so, not because their circumstances have been dramatically different from others, but because their choices have been. It is our personal choices and accountability that have the most significant impact on the kind of lives we will lead.

Many people do not realise that even the so-called little moments can have great impact, and it may be easy to justify not giving our attention to them because the consequences may not be immediately apparent. However, an ancient proverb shares this great truth in a different way; “The greatest walls are built with the smallest bricks.” Our lives are the same, and we must begin with the little things.

Now, how will you know which little things really deserve your attention? There is an easy solution for us in prioritising all things. Before beginning to sort out life things we need to have a system in place. It’s like building a puzzle. In order for the little pieces to be productive and have value we need to understand what the big picture looks like. Our big picture is essentially defining what we want our life to look like, who we want to be and the legacy we want to leave behind.

Many people do not invest the time to answer these important questions. However, if you can do this one step at a time, you will find that all your questions will instantly become clear, and you’ll be on your path to success. But what is success? The definition is different for every individual, and only you can define your view of success. Understand that success is a journey and not a destination. It can never be a spot of permanent completion. Success is akin to continual growth. Success is a matter of finding appropriate balance while you are in motion rather than finding a comfortable resting place to stagnate.

Lasting success is found in the balance of four independent elements.

1) Your feelings about wealth — Success in this area is not based on a specific number on a bank statement. In fact, it has very little to do with money. But it has everything to do with how you feel about what you have. Do you have enough to meet your obligations? To live the life you choose? To be free to pursue the things which are meaningful to you? There are many people who are extremely rich, but not wealthy. How do you feel about your currently level of abundance or wealth?

2) Your feelings about your health —Success has very little to do with quantity of a given thing or an outside measurement. Instead, it has everything to do with the feelings relating to a certain thing. There are many who suffer from disease, disability and challenge who feel very successful in this area. Your feelings about your own health are the important consideration for this issue.

3) Your feelings about your relationships — David O McKay, a religious leader, said it best when he stated that, “No success can compensate for failure in the home.” Everything starts in the home, but relationships also include everyone you interact with. The fullness of success is only enjoyed when we have the ability to share it with another.

4) Your feelings about your self-achievement, dreams and spirituality — What are your inner most yearnings? What is your connection to things of the spirit? How do feel about these things? Are your needs being met in this area?

In some ways this area is slightly more important than the others. It’s really more of a foundation than a pillar. Until you have these elements being met in your life you cannot inspire or lift another to their greatness. Without this, you are a lot like a lifeguard who can’t swim. When you know who you are and you are confident you are headed in the right direction, magical things happen for you and those around you.

Take a moment right now and stop what you are doing … invest this time in you. Take a careful look at these four areas in your life and consider how satisfied you feel about them.



When you appreciate and accept life on its own terms, you harmonise your mind with God’s mind, says Saundra L Washington Those living on the highest levels of life have learned to accept life on its own terms. There are some realities about life that we must accept. This is the key to living joyfully in communion with the heavenly while abiding here on earth. Life, no matter how we choose to look at it, is a challenge. It is the beginning of a struggle that continues until we breathe our last breath. Life is something that we did not request. None of us asked to be born. Neither did we ask to be poor or wealthy, tall or short. We did not ask to be a part of one family as opposed to another. Life is full of risks. There is a certain element of risk taking that is inherent in every venture we undertake; whether it is in business, or in marriage, in a profession or in athletics. We never have complete security within ourselves. For we know that every moment we live, our lives are in constant danger. A stray bullet may hit us, a car emerging out of nowhere may crush us, and a slip of the foot may result in our death. So life is unpredictable. We get no warning, we are afforded no red alert, and we get no second chance at life. And we might as well face the fact that our life is a dying life. As soon as we are born, we begin to die and every day we manage to somehow survive, we have only gained another step towards our grave. Each morning when we wake up from a refreshing sleep, we have died a little during the night. As we go through the streets of the city, we are dying a little. As we go about our business on the job, we are dying a little. In essence, we are living in the land of the dying.

It will help you to accept life on its own terms rather than struggle against it. Identify and move from the limiting and conflicting, either/or, black or white, all or nothing, illusory perception of life to an attitude that is open to all aspects of reality. We do this by accepting life on its own terms — accepting that pleasure and pain, happiness and unhappiness are all a natural part of the human experience. Fighting against life’s realities and adopting a stance of negativism only create unnecessary pain and difficulty in your life. Accepting life allows you to understand your frustrations, grow from them and experience life’s abundance.
You have heard people who make comments such as “I go with the flow.” What they are saying is this: I accept in life what i cannot change. I deal with it as it comes within the framework of my own knowledge and capabilities and spirit. When inner negatives are dissolved, our outer life will be more harmonious and fulfilled.
Understanding life helps you make the unconscious conscious; to see your misguided beliefs and negativity clearly, to understand their roots and causes, and most importantly — to transform them. A complete path, it offers a practical, rational, honest, and above all, gentle and self-accepting way to move from an attitude of you versus the world to one of you and the world; from you versus life to you and life. Fundamental to accepting life is to give recognition to the supreme life-giver. Whenever we praise God or give God recognition and acknowledgement, it is for life. Whenever we give God a spiritual applaud or standing ovation, it is for life. Think about it. God has given us life, something so tremendous, potent, and marvelous that no scholar has ever been smart enough to detail its composition or understand from where it derives its sustaining energy. Life is a force so complex that it cannot be duplicated. And, most amazing and thrilling of all, He has given us minds! It is through our minds, the thoughts we think with it, and the impressions we store in it, that we are conscious of living. In short, your life becomes just what your mind makes it for you and just what it tells you life is.
Few people go deep enough within their soul to realise in its entire fullness, breadth and scope the amazing gift of life that enables them to pursue a lifetime of accomplishment. What a marvelous gift. What power! God has endowed us with the power to think, to believe, to create, to imagine, to choose, to feel, to aspire. Having a wonderful sense of appreciation puts all our petty complaints and frustrations, irritants and negativity into perspective. You live on a realm beyond grudges, ingratitude, selfishness and take-for grant-ed-ness. You enjoy and value each moment and are determined to get the best out of every second.
Don’t forget that God is a living energy to quicken and guide our own energy. The Infinite Power Source is a living elixir to lift up, sustain, and establish our own spirit. Being negative takes the spirit out of you. What is the point of God increasing your spirit while you at the same time decrease it with negatives? If you refuse God’s gift of an abundant life, then you must do without it.
Our minds, which thinks so ceaselessly and insistently, is the most marvelous instrument imaginable; but it is up to us to control it and to choose the kind of thoughts we think, to train ourselves in appreciating all flowers that come into our life, and deal with the weeds. Yes, we must come to terms with the silent and perennial truth that the field of human life will always consist of the good, the bad and the ugly coexisting together. We all experience the good in our lives, but intertwined with the good is the bad and the ugly. Finding the ugly and unpleasant mixed in with the wheat is an everyday experience and each of us has to deal with the inherent difficulties involved.
But lest we become arrogant, we also understand that not only do we live with both the wheat and the thistles but also they exist within each of us. Collectively and individually, we are capable of heart-touching kindness towards one another as well as heartbreaking evil. We are capable of building up and capable of tearing down, capable of great love and capable of seething hatred, capable of horrendous evil as well as remarkable good.
When you are able to appreciate life and accept it on its own terms, you harmonise your mind with God’s mind; with the universal intelligence, power and glory. Every day lift yourself up in your own mind, mood, imagination, and sheer inner conviction. Everyday, give praise to the author of life and glory in its wonders.