Wednesday, May 30, 2007

The Smile

A story is told to illustrate being in the present moment.

It is about the time when The Buddha was conducting discourses with his disciples.He was seated in a mangrove with about a thousand disciples. Ananda was among them. Buddha was talking about the ephemeral nature of the world and that the only way to derive joy while being alive was to be here now.He talked at length and at the end he wanted to see if they had got his message correctly.

In front of the Buddha, there was a flower vase with a bunch of fresh lilies placed in it. He lifted one lily out of it and held it up, so that all could see.

There was a hushed silence all round the assembly.Everybody was wondering what he meant by that gesture.

Ananda the monk smiled.He smiled when he saw the flower.

The Buddha was happy that Ananda had understood and experienced the truth of his message.He experienced it when he saw the flower in Buddha's hand.He saw only the flower.There was nothing else in his mind at that moment.He could experience the flower's beauty with his whole being.

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Autobiography of a Yogi

This book has been selected as one of the 100 most influential books of the 20th Century. It is part of the course in many Universities, including Harvard.

The Author, Paramahansa Yogananda, comes from an illustrious lineage of seers who had their consciousness permanently rooted in the Eternal.

It includes descriptions of many thrilling encounters with death-defying masters and also a first-hand account of the Cosmic Consciousness state, Samadhi, as experienced by the author.

The book edifies and uplifts, and, could very well be a turning point in the reader's life.

Monday, May 28, 2007

Freedom in the jungle

Rule Yourself, Enjoy Freedom !

Do not rule yourself, get ruled.

Sad truth.

Perhaps you may not agree, but present day human world is very similar to a jungle. A jungle where power reigns supreme.

In the jungle, the greater your power, the more your chances of being free and staying alive.Rabbits, deer, peacocks and other harmless creatures become fodder.For whom ? For the tigers,hyenas,leopards and Lions.

On close examination of these animals we can find certain peculiarities.
Consider the lion and the rabbit. The lion is very moderate in its food and sex.It eats only when it is hungry.Usually, it hunts once in a week.Where as the rabbit can be found chewing all the time, in a hurry.

In sexual matters too, the lion is very self disciplined.It mates only during the season. The rabbit mates all the year round, when it feels the urge !

Could it be that this self control is the source of the lion's position of power in the jungle hierarchy ? Quite possible.
We have seen epicurean kings and emperors lead their kingdoms to ruin.

So self discipline is essential not only for spiritual success but also for material prosperity!

Friday, May 25, 2007

The Head or the heart?

We have a saying in Kerala: when the head is still there, the tail need not rule. The head is place highest on the human body. Every other organ – hands, heart, legs and genitals are below the head. Does this indicate a superiority of the head over the other organs?

Normally we have the higher authority seated at a higher level than his subordinates. If you follow any office seating hierarchy (take, a court for example).The judge is the supreme authority. He is seated at the highest level. The Indian parliament may be the only office where the ruling speaker is seated at a lower level. (Does this explain the unruly scenes that we have in parliaments?)

Apart from these considerations of higher placement, let us see what will happen if the other organs are allowed to indulge as they like, without giving due thought? Obviously, when a man has too many drinks, his intellect is warning him: do not drink. You have to drive. If he doesn’t listen and goes on drinking, he is exposed to a greater danger of a car crash. The reflexes will not be fast enough.

This applies to every other action. Our actions have to be guided by our intellect. This is particularly true so in interpersonal relations. We may have conflicts in our relations. If we react at the level of the heart, that is, just emotionally, we are likely to get caught up in a mess. It soon becomes a retaliatory game. A no-win situation. We need to stand apart, view the situation from an outsider’s perspective, suspending judgment or knee jerk reactions. Then we have more choices. This has to be patiently cultivated.

But sometimes, we do need to rely on the heart. It is to sense the intuition that we need in many situations. Falling in love, for instance. After knowing the person, for a long time. if we keep on analyzing him/her, we will ends up being frustrated, not being able to make a choice.

One is tempted to say it is not a matter of the head or the heart. It is a matter of functioning as a whole person. A balanced person, centered within. This comes about through relaxation and an acquired faith in oneself, in one’s own goodness. Previous articles have covered how we came to disbelieve our goodness.

We will soon discuss how Yoga explains the inter play of emotions and intellect.

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Practical tips for Changing habit patterns-1

Whether we realize it or not, it is not lack of techniques or knowledge that prevents us from improving ourselves. It is basically our non-supportive mind that holds us back from surging ahead to greater and greater achievements. The achievements can be in any field: acquiring new skills (improving our present abilities-language/career/social/etc), learning a new skill/sport/hobby, starting a group activity, and making a billion, Enlightenment…it can be anything that you want to do.

Why our minds do not support us? Because we have not been encouraged or affirmed or loved enough till now. If an individual receives unconditional love and support in their childhood, there should not be any snag in their personality. But we have dissatisfied and discontented adults who cannot handle their emotions, wreaking their frustration on the hapless children they are entrusted with. The adults can be: parents, elder siblings and relatives, teachers, servants, etc.
The repeated admonitions and chidings and putdowns burn themselves into the psyche of the child, and become part of his own thinking process:

You are worthless.
You cannot do a thing right.
You are a good for nothing.
You Idiot! Stupid! Rascal! Bugger! Devil...
You will never amount to anything.
You are a failure.
(..Ad Nauseam…)

After hearing this tape with all its vehemence from the plastic years of childhood onwards, the child will start thinking:

I am worthless
I cannot do anything right.
I am stupid.
I am a complete failure.
Listen to yourself as you go about your day. You will know what your mind is telling yourself. This is your own self-talk.

And what we tell ourselves, we will actualize, manifest in reality. For more information on the mechanism of self-talk, read “What to say when you talk to yourself” by Dr.Shad HelmStetter.

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Laughing in Gaza

Is there something to laugh in the Gaza border ? Could you, when the missiles and bullets fly around you ?

Well,that's exactly what this young lady is up to. Judith Bar-hay Kovatch (see picture) holds laughter sessions for groups of people, enabling them to laugh their hearts out. For no reason whatsoever. They all agree that it releases their tensions and fears of existence, enabling to look at life as an opportunity, rather than as a burden.

If you haven't guessed already, this is Laughter yoga, founded by Dr.Madan Kataria from Mumbai. Obviously Dr.Kataria had to bear much ridicule before he could spread word about his Laughter Yoga around. Our logical minds seek a reason for anything: even laughter.

Well, it is this notion that Laughter Yoga dissolves-for good. In the frenetic rush of the modern day world, man forgets to stand back and enjoy life in a lighter vein. Laughter Yoga enables him to laugh himself/herself out of this deathly trap.

Laughter enables us to be here now, enjoying life; laughter gives energy and inspiration to heal negativities and inner wounds. It makes humans sane in an insane world. Relaxed people respond calmly and shun violence. It is a viable solution to reduce crimes like road rage.

For more information, check Here

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Who Creates Our Destiny

A Japanese general by the name of Nobushige was leading his forces against a much larger enemy.Seeing they were vastly outnumbered, his men lost heart and were in favour of retreat.

At this point Nobushige hit upon an idea to rally his men and lead them to victory...
He produced a coin and said to his soldiers, we will toss this coin.If head comes up we will win.Otherwise we lose.

He tossed the coin.It was head.
The men were infused with the hope and spirit of victory.They fought with spirited valour and won the battle.

Afterwards, his confidante told the general, "Sir, we were indeed fortunate today, as foretold by your coin!"
Smiling, Nobushige said,"I think we created our own fortune, this time." He showed him the coin:

It had heads on both sides.

Heal Yourself-Heal the World

Friends, those of us who read about the mishaps happening around us, did you feel anything more than pity for the victims? Did you want to change the state of affairs in society and the world at large? Many of us may have felt frustrated at our apparent inability to do anything to mitigate these problems.

You need not be despondent. You can do something. In fact, many things. But you can strike a winning note by doing just one thing: Meditate.

Yes, that is right. Studies conducted in the US have shown that the crime rate was significantly lower in those cities, which had regular meditation groups. This was with reference to those cities without any meditation groups. Such cities had higher crime rates. This was based on a study conducted on TM meditation groups.

Please note, I am not trying to promote any religion or school of meditation. The end of meditation remains the same, in whichever way you do it: Reduction of thoughts. This leads to peace within. And when there is peace within you, it spills over into your surroundings also. Your responses become more thoughtful, you have more space for yourself, your companions notice your peaceful countenance, an aura of peace surrounds you. You become relaxed. A relaxed and happy face makes others also relaxed.

Wake up, before it's too late !

Read an appalling story about a mentally undeveloped girl being brutalised by 14 boys in Australia.Read it Here .The boys behaved as if the victim(the girl) was a thing, a toy for having some fun.Indicates serious problems.This resembles the content shown in the millions of porn sites worldwide. Women are subjected to humiliations and degradations in them. There are sites which show women humiliate men also.These types of sites have takers, as their proliferation indicates.These sites have incited many sex crimes, as has been testified in court by the offenders.

Punishing the criminals doesnot seem to stem the tide of such crimes.Banning these sites will cause some other media like dvd/cd to come up as a substitute.
Without understanding the cause we cannot treat the disease efffectively.There is one possible theory as to its origin.The roots of this problem lie far deeper than we can imagine. Many children have not received positive love and affirmation while growing up.How many boys and girls grow up in homes of love and harmony.

The truth is that many parents use their children as emotional punchbags.In some families the mothers may treat the boy child brutally, partly due to the mistreatment received at the hands of her husband, which leads to a hatred of males and which she vents on the boy child.This appears as merciless beatings, the nastiest verbal abuses...the victim realises he has been abused only when he feels the hatred for women inside himself, when he becomes an adult.

The same situation can happen to girl children. In fact they are more vulnerable.

If in later years, he/she realises that he has a problem, he may go in for professional treatment to heal the inner wounds. Awareness meditation also can really help.

If somebody enjoys the filthy trash of perversions being dished out in porn channels and porn stories, it indicates festering deep emotional wounds inside him/her.They are in need of urgent help.

This issue is discussed in detail by Mike Genung .

Friday, May 11, 2007

Talking in the Right Way to Yourself

Hi All,

Ever felt desperate about the kind of self-development course or book that really delivers ? Most of us will have.

Well I too thought so until I read Dr.Shad Helmstetter's "What to say when you talk to yourself".

This book has the works.It feels a bit tedous as you mumble the self-talk given in the book, day in day out.It is grinding work, despairing sometimes, but I tell you, it is effective !

What he calls as self-talk is almost the same as affirmations.But he has explained it so covincingly that you immediately will want to try it out. Just keep at it, and you will be amazed at the results !

Another significant book on self talk is "Developing your Personal Power"

Waking up to a lovely dawn

We may have suffered countless indignities in the past. They may all be causing hurt inside us. The emotional wounds that we had suffered in our innocent childhood may have created ugly scars in our psyche that may be preventing us from embracing and enjoying life in its fullness now.

We may be ruminating over yesterdays' bad unpleasant events and carrying resentments into our heart, ruining our own day.

After spending countless money on therapists, counselors, Gurus, books and medicines, we still may be feeling we have not had any significant recovery or transformation.

But there is a way. And it is cheap; it does not cost a penny. You do not have to enroll in any online course, give your credit card details, or fill out countless questionnaires.

The secret is, here...

It is,

This, This, This, This... a zillion times This.

Enjoy your surfing.

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

The Centre of the Universe

This is going to be a bit controversial but it seems to be the truth.
Here goes: Which is the center of the Universe that the legions of astrophysicists and scientists have been trying to locate?


Funny.But think about it, how does the universe exist ? It exists because you are aware of it.Why? Because You are.

The centre of the Universe is everywhere, circumference nowhere.

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

Why Violence ?

Stumbled upon this insightful article on Ask It explains the simmering anger inside many people. We may not even admit it but our spouses, colleagues and most of all, children may tell a different story.
Excerpts from the article:(Link to the article is given below)

"Physical punishment shows that it's all right to vent your anger or right a wrong by hitting other people. This is why the parent's attitude during the spanking leaves as great an impression as the swat itself. How to control one's angry impulses (swat control) is one of the things you are trying to teach your children. Spanking sabotages this teaching.....

Spanking demonstrates that it's all right for people to hit people, and especially for big people to hit little people, and stronger people to hit weaker people....

Physical hitting is not the only way to cross the line into abuse. Everything we say about physical punishment pertains to emotional/verbal punishment as well. Tongue-lashing and name-calling tirades can actually harm a child more psychologically. Emotional abuse can be very subtle and even self-righteous....

Psychologists studied a group of sixteen fourteen-month-olds playing with their mothers. When one group of toddlers tried to grab a forbidden object, they received a slap on the hand; the other group of toddlers did not receive physical punishment. In follow-up studies of these children seven months later, the punished babies were found to be less skilled at exploring their environment....

In a prospective study spanning nineteen years, researchers found that children who were raised in homes with a lot of corporal punishment, turned out to be more antisocial and egocentric, and that physical violence became the accepted norm for these children when they became teenagers and adults....

Have you ever fantasised about beating up your opponents ? Do you enjoy the (bad) guys being bashed into pulp in films ?

Ever wondered where all this anger comes from ? Read Here

If You agree with the author, do please forward the article to your friends and relatives. It may help society.

Saturday, May 05, 2007

The Psychology of Porn

Modern day porn focuses consciously or unconsciously on humiliation and degradation. What is the psychology behind deriving pleasure from inflicting pain on another human being?

Once while visiting a friend I saw his 8 year old son play the Aladdin game on Computer. Instead of playing through the game, he was making Aladdin jump up and down on the prone camel’s head. When I asked why he was not completing the game, he said he just wanted to jump on “his head”.

In films we have entertainment doled out in the form of beating up people. In porn it takes the form of humiliating people. Perhaps there is an underlying issue here.

Every effect has a cause. This tendency could be an attempt to regain one’s sense of self worth which had been trampled upon during childhood. Recall the put downs that children receive from their parents, elders, siblings and friends. This probably got embedded in the psyche. And when they have a chance to get back, they do it, with a vengeance,  and are not mindful of the consequences.

An awareness of one’s actions and thoughts is needed to be free of any kind of addictive behavior.

Thoughts are creative

Tuesday, May 01, 2007

Experience Your Energy Field

Energy fields occur around every living being from humans to animals, plants and minerals. This seems to be a verification of the age old philosophy that consciousness resides in everything. As Jalaluddin Rumi has put it:
“God sleeps in minerals,
Awakens in plants,
Moves in animals and
Thinks in humans.”

Energy has been variedly described as Ki in Japanese, Prana in Sanskrit, Chi in Chinese and Bio plasma in modern new age lingo. We may not be aware of the terms for this phenomenon in other languages, but it being universal, we need not be surprised if we keep encountering this in varied cultures.The human energy field is shaped like a three dimensional ellipse. (the elliptical equivalent of a sphere)

I had my first experience of this energy (I will call it Chi here) in a Tai chi class. The class was conducted by Mr. Marco from Auroville, India.

The practice is simple. The essential thing is to be relaxed.

1. Sit straight on a chair or mat.

2. Wear loose clothing.

3. Attain a state of progressive relaxation of your body as described below.

4. Relaxation is indicated by the looseness of your fore arms.

5. Shake your forearms as you would shake a bottle. The only thing is, you should think it is connected loosely at the joints.

6. Shake your palms vigorously, keeping the forearms still. Similar to waving a piece of cloth tied to a pole.

7. Now move your forearms (one by one) up, do not bother about the palm, let it lie as it is – a piece of cloth that may move up or down as the pole to which it is tied is moved up and down.

8. After repeated attempts, you will feel the relaxation. When the palm is really hanging limp, you will feel the relaxation in your stomach.

9. Do this alternately with the left and right hands.

10. When you feel somewhat relaxed and loose in your stomach (solar plexus), you can start to feel the chi energy.

11. Feeling the Chi: Now holding your forearms still, gently move your palms upward, without any tension.

12. When the palm and forearm are not curved anymore, bring the two palms, gently together, so as to face each other.(They should not touch )

13. As the palms come closer, you will feel a tingling in the finger tips.

14. Other sensations experienced on the finger tips and palm are: a slight warmth, a pulling or pushing sensation(similar to attraction and repulsion of magnets)

15. This is your energy field.

16. You can experiment with your energy field by bringing the palms wide apart slowly, but still facing each other.

17. You can hold one palm still and move the other over it.

18. You can move one palm in a circular motion over the other.

19. The sensations as the energy fields around each palm interact are different in each of these steps.

20. Sensitive people may find it easier to experience the energy field.

21. If the energy field is not experienced, repeat the exercise daily till you do.

22. Afterwards, you can experiment in other ways, like chanting mantras and prayers and experiencing the variations in the sensations.
Want to hire me to write for your blog or online publication? You can find my contact details here: About me
Energy Medicine: Balancing Your Body's Energies for Optimal Health, Joy, and VitalityUpdated and ExpandedChakras for Beginners: A Guide to Balancing Your Chakra Energies (For Beginners (Llewellyn's))The Most Effective Ways on Earth to Boost Your Energy: The Surprising, Unbiased Truth about Using Nutrition, Exercise, Supplements, Stress Relief, and Personal Empowerment to Stay Energized All DayOpening the Energy Gates of Your Body: Chi Gung for Lifelong Health (Tao of Energy Enhancement)Life Colors: What the Colors in Your Aura RevealWhat Color Is Your Aura?: Personality Spectrums for Understanding and GrowthYour Aura and Your Chakras: The Owner's ManualThe Healing Power of Your Aura: How to Use Spiritual Energy for Physical Health and Well-Being

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