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Showing posts from 2012

Judgment vs Compassion

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This post is different from most others on this blog. It is not so much about self discovery as it is about the loss of faith in our human race balanced with the hope in the same race! Confusing? Read on.

This is a true story. I have changed the names of the main characters but the events are true.
Ajit is an IT professional who worked for an organization in Kolkata, India. He was given an assignment to work at a client's establishment in New Jersey, USA. He arrived in USA end of July 2012 with his wife of four years, Bina and their 11 month old son Sunny. They moved into a one bedroom apartment that was partially furnished with a bed and a few chairs. Ajit started working a couple of days later and the young couple were still planning how they would divide his first paycheck to buy necessary furniture, groceries, toys for Sunny and other necessities when there was a tragic accident.

One afternoon two weeks into their arrival Bina and baby Sunny were playing on the bed. Sunny was bou…

This Day

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November 3rd has special significance in my life. My hero died that day. 37 years ago, on this day, my father left this world and went away. He never left me, though, because by then his presence had been established in my young life of 18 years. Oftentimes I think that I may be fantasizing about his greatness and his importance in my life, that I may have this grandiose idea of a man who was really an ordinary, simple man. In reality, it is his ordinary-ness his simple-ness that made him so important for me.

Baba (I called him that) was a larger than life person in the literal sense. He was tall, broad and bulky for most of the time I had with him. He was also very principled, honest, disciplined and straight forward. He had only one side and that was the side everyone saw. What I learned from Baba was not so much because of what he preached, but from how he lived. His likes and dislikes were always evident; his views and opinions were clear; his convictions were apparent. He was op…

Responsibility

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Late in 2010 I read about a large, renowned on-line retail bookseller selling a book written by a self-confessed child molester. The subject of the book was how to indulge in what is immoral and perverse. There was a furore amongst the public and a demand that the book be removed from the bookseller's site. The bookseller in turn slated such removal as censorship which according to them was not their responsibility. Thousands of customers joined forces and boycotted the bookseller, canceled memberships and soon after the company removed the book from the site. Many customers chose to go back to using the site and continue to make purchases through them again. I choose not to.

That incident has stayed with me as an example of how groups of individuals can abdicate responsibility by passing the buck to another. Maybe censorship is a big deal for the bookseller and so that was their first thought, but I truly believe that all the rules, regulations, institutions in our world should …

Concession vs Compromise

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I just realized I have been misusing the word 'compromised' - I have always 'conceded!'



Life has been a series of concessions. Give in, be happy about it, and proud of myself. I am not sure why I chose to fool myself this way. Maybe it is because I am a woman and an East Indian woman at that, who needs to consider everyone else's needs before my own. I never thought about my truth. Even as I write this I can feel the hesitation about being blatant regarding what I really want to say. It may hurt some people in my life. This, though, has nothing to do with anyone else. It is how I have treated myself. No one asked me to concede. I could just as easily have stood my ground, but chose not to.


My father, who is still my only real hero, always told me that I could be me and achieve anything I wanted to. Unfortunately I only had him actively in my life for 10 years. I took his lesson to heart and passed it on to my sons, but never really imbibed it myself. I live in thi…

Struggle

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Difficult times visit us all as we go through life. Pain, struggle & heartache are always intertwined with pleasure, joy and jubilations. Just as we open ourselves to what brings pleasure we need to learn to open ourselves to what brings pain and do so fearlessly. Both will pass, since both are transient.





Fear only makes pain more pronounced and perpetuates more fear. The challenge lies in dealing with fear. Fear is an overwhelming emotion that affects our capacity to think rationally. Deep breaths and a conscious effort to overcome the fear is essential and constructive. The question, "What is the worst that can happen?" gives us answers that can be equally frightening, but may help quell the fear. 






Simply answering the question is never enough. We must find solutions to overcome or combat that worst case scenario by gathering more information, soliciting advice, discussing the problem and taking necessary action. This process gives us the feeling of being in control a…

Let's have some fun!

Online Surveys & Market Research
We are all looking to be happy. Lets develop a pathway that can take us there, together. First let's define happiness, though. It is different for each of us. There is no wrong or right answer, so simply lets say what we feel and take it from there. Any suggestions that will help us define happiness will be greatly appreciated. :) So let's go!

You are Divine

Man is the human manifestation of divinity. Therefore the potential to behave divinely is inherent in each of us. We are capable of portraying everything that is good and productive. Our power of speech is a way for us to express our inner strength and quality, just as much as our actions are. When we align our actions and our words we have the best opportunity to portray our true self. As I read, watch and hear about the events all around the world I sometimes wonder if somehow, somewhere we humans decided that knowing or manifesting our divinity was not worth it. Then perchance I meet someone or read about someone who is a true reflection of divinity and realize that it is not the world that is not aligned - it is I! I choose to give my sight, my ears, my mind to the negative influences and in the process lose sight of this divine world! FB, e-mails, news, TV serials, movies, and more is a perfect platform to showcase what is beautiful and yet 90% of the time there is either negative …

Childhood Impressions!

Childhood leaves a lasting impression. Often times these impressions happen subconsciously and we are so entangled within the throes of its results that we cannot differentiate it from life itself.

I was born as the youngest of three children in what I considered a loving home. I am now in my mid 50s and have consistently claimed to have had a very happy and fulfilling childhood. Little did I realize that there was much in my childhood that I had chosen to block out of my memory. I may not remember the challenging parts but those events have definitely impacted me too and have played a major role in how I live life today. I live life wanting to improve my ways. I like contemplating on what I say and do so as to judge myself and consciously make an effort to be a better person. I am far from perfect and I am constantly learning from my own mistakes and improving on my better aspects. I am a loner, I like my own company, I enjoy listening without being heard, I enjoy observing without …

I Am

"I Am" - is spoken so often and with ease. These two words do not complete our sentence in everyday life. "I am" is usually followed by a description or a feeling or an action or maybe something else. In my opinion it is words we hear very often but we rarely listen to because we are waiting for the speaker to complete the sentence. As a matter of fact we treat these two words as if they don't exist. In reality, though, these two words are the most vital part of the person speaking. When we don't give it importance we deny the existence of the person - often we deny our own existence.

"I am" when denied becomes the ego - the 'i'. It is time to pay attention as soon as those two words are spoken or heard. It is the sound of the spirit of the person - it is what each of us is within. It is the true identity and the moment we tune ourselves to the sound of those two words we can connect soul to soul and with our own soul. "I am" is …

Competition

The other day there was a comment on FB about a Yoga Competition and one of my friends asked if that made sense - since Yoga was more about serenity and tranquility done for ones own peace. Does it then make sense to hold a competition to see who is better at it? Well if Yoga is just about who can contour their bodies more attractively then the competition makes sense - but that will require the definition of Yoga to be re-written.

There is a bigger question about what the purpose of competition is. Competition in my mind is not about comparison between people trying to defeat one another - it is more about raising each other to be the best that we have the potential to be. In short doing better than the other cannot be my goal! If I am declared as the winner amongst others it cannot be about holding the others down - it must follow that everyone including the winner must work harder to surpass the established result fairly. When a sprinter wins a race and goes out and continues to pr…

Balance Is

Place a 6 feet plank of wood on the ground. Stand on one end of the plank and get a friend to stand on the opposite end. Now seesaw. Silly girl, you say? I agree. The plank of wood is the world, the ground is the Universal One. If placed on plain ground the plank maintains its entity but remains in perfect balance rooted to the ground. Similarly if I consider myself as an entity and you as one too but know that we are part of the same source, there need not be a separation. The moment I raise the plank off the ground and place it on the edge of another plank it becomes capable of causing an imbalance and there can only be a limited amount of points on that plank at which there maybe a chance at balance. It is the same with me - the moment I see myself as an entity separate from anyone and anything else I cause an imbalance in life and there is a constant struggle between balance and imbalance which is the premise of duality!

This does not mean that I suffer no pain nor that I do not …

Resolution

I have spent the first month of 2012 retrospecting on my life and ways. There is a lot of good and there is a lot I can do to make it even better. For one I am determined to stay out of conflict. It is draining and counterproductive. Conflicts arise because opinions differ - truth is, opinions are only products of perception. Conflict cannot change perceptions especially when inflated egos are ruling the conversation. When perceptions differ and egos clash blame mongering, hurt and pain can be the only possible results. Negative vibes that this environment is overflowing with anyway do not need my input!

In the last few years ever since being introduced to separating the ego from my True Self I enjoy watching ego trying to overpower Me! It succeeds often but invariably I am able to pull it back and go into my essence and withdraw the little me from the foray! It is also very interesting to compare my egocentric behavior with those of others and be able to relate to where that behavio…

Being the CHANGE

Bringing about CHANGE is a process that goes beyond simply thinking or talking about it. Change comes about because we DO something to make it happen. The process starts off with thinking and talking about it - but unless action is taken change is not possible. Inaction can be both Satvic and Tamasic. The two inactions are very different in nature. Tamasic inaction comes from procrastination and laziness while Satvic inaction comes from a deep understanding of the so called mysteries of the Universe. This is the inaction that is not defined by 'no work', but by working silently, selflessly and without being attached to the goal. We must assign a goal post that we aim for but we must be flexible enough to recognize that the field of action is much larger than the goal.

I am learning this as I become more enmeshed with The Wisdom (www.thewisdom.in), an organization that is working to bring about change in the conditions of the poor in India. We are a very small organization in t…

Fulfilling a Purpose

Approximately 25% of people live below the poverty line in India alone. In a country with a population of 1.22 billion it seems like a simple equation where it would take 3 people to help 1 person to bring a semblance of dignity to the 300 million! I am not talking about providing just food and shelter - rather helping provide sound education so they may attempt to be self sufficient. Utopian - maybe but if we aim for perfection maybe we will reach somewhere.

The challenge is in identifying what is needed to help someone living below the poverty line to reach a level of self reliance. It no longer remains just math and numbers then. The human element becomes paramount. There are organizations that arrange a meal for a day during a special occasion or the distribution of blankets or a medical camp for the poor. The intentions may be altruistic - but I wonder if such spurts of charity does much to help in the long run. Yet it may save the life of some who are really in dire straits. I t…

Spring IS Coming

By mid January the ground is usually frozen solid and the yards and sidewalks are covered in piles of snow. That is a perfect time to welcome the idea of spring! It helps tide over the rest of winter with hope of the senses being tickled by the sounds, smells and sights of nature literally coming back to life! Mid January 2012 though is proving to be an anomaly in the East Coast of USA!

We had our first snow fall in late October - it was way before time and had devastating effects! The trees were not ready for the onslaught of heavy snow and they came down on power lines and plunged many of us back into a time when electricity was a luxury! We had all our modern appliances and fixtures but nothing worked! Slowly but surely we limped back to normalcy but it appears as if nature felt so guilty about what it did that it decided to keep snow away from us for the remainder of winter!

Here I am sitting in my living room bathed in sunlight pouring in through the windows unobstructed by a sn…