Showing posts from July, 2010

Bliss is here.

"After every happiness comes misery; they may be far apart or near. The more advanced the soul, the more quickly does one follow the other. What we want is neither happiness nor misery. Both make us forget our true nature; both are chains--one iron, one gold; behind both is the Atman, who knows neither happiness nor misery. These are states, and states must ever change; but the nature of the Atman (Soul, Spirit, Self) is bliss, peace, unchanging. We have not to get it, we have it; only wash away the dross and see it." Swami Vivekananda

Pain and pleasure are not real. This was a very difficult concept for me for many years. I feel pleasure, I feel pain. I cannot accept that they do not exist. No one wants misery but imagine not being happy - but that means being miserable - or a zombie. It took me a long time to understand that having neither misery nor happiness means being stable in mind. It means welcoming both joy and tragedy as passing circumstances. I need to welcome bot…

Fear of Death - transformed.

In the world but not of it. That was difficult. To have a family and a society, to provide for oneself and the family, to be safe and healthy one must be involved in the matters of the world. To be successful in the world required me to be part of it. Seems I had misinterpreted the meaning of success. Accomplishing a goal or purpose defines success. I had intertwined success with name and fame and also with pre-determined standards set by others. When I set myself up in competition with others I became part of the world. This wanting to be better than someone else pulled me in and I lost my uniqueness and so my own identity. Competition with myself - doing the best that I am capable of keeps me in the world and keeps me within myself. It helps me to go deeper into my infinite wisdom and get in touch with the Universe at large without becoming a slave to the world outside.

The moment this wisdom became apparent the world became a fun place. I have no control over outside circumstances.…

Speaking the truth.

Speaking the truth is a noble quality. It is an essential element of a spirit based life. Yet there are times when we hesitate to speak the truth. It could be because the truth would be unkind or harsh and hurtful to another or because the truth could hurt the person speaking it. What then? What takes precedence? Is one justified in lying then? What determines this decision?

All through life this had been a burning question for me. Are there certain conditions under which lying is acceptable? Each time the answer came up as a No. Does that mean I do not lie? Not at all - I do - sometimes. What a terrible position to be in. Compromising with my own sense of values is painful. What kept me from always telling the truth is conflict. Confrontations made me uncomfortable. I felt being argumentative was dis-respectful. A value I learnt as a child. No one told me what was more important. Being disrespectful was a visible move away from a learnt value while lying could be hidden even if it wa…

Selfless Action - a mindset.

I read about the 43 year old woman in Iran awaiting the death penalty by stoning. What she may or may not have done is immaterial. My question is how is it possible for mankind to be so cruel? How do we justify picking up a stone with the intent to kill another defenseless person? Whether it is murder or capital punishment - whatever the intention - do we have the right to take another life simply because we judged them and found them wanting - in our perspective? How we love to wield our power over another. How many of us who sit in judgment of others truly have the wisdom to determine absolute right from wrong? Much of what used to be wrong at one time is right today. What is wrong within the borders of one country is right just across it. What is wrong in my mind is right in another's.

It is our blindness towards Oneness that makes it possible for us to be this way. Imagine watching your mother being lashed ninety nine times in public. Is that painful to imagine? Why then is it…

The joy of Friendship

I have always wondered where my naivete about people and friendship stems from. Not that I think I am wrong in believing that everyone is trustworthy, just that I have been told this is my weakness. The other day a third of our classmates from high school had a reunion in the city where we were raised in India. Most of us had been together in school since we were seven. We are all now in our early fifties and this reunion was after 37 years of finishing high school. Those of us who could not be there were just as excited about this mini reunion as the ones who did meet.

That was where I learned to trust. School friends and friends in the neighborhood where I was raised have been my friends for life. It is because we got to know one another before we got to cultivate our ego personas. We touched each others souls because that was when we only knew how to connect with our spirits. Once our egos become our identity it is difficult to connect and make new true friends in large numbers. Eve…