Carrying a lighter bag in life

Letting Go“Letting go gives us freedom and freedom is the only condition for happiness.” -Thich Nhat Hanh

It’s not about gaining some extra pounds here or there on our body, it’s about that extra mental and emotional weight we lug around ourselves and keep carrying it all through our lives like unnecessary bag of bricks, that weighs us so much down in our lives.

May be you are wondering – what’s the big deal about it? Every one have emotional discomforts in life, which go hand-in-hand with responsibilities. It’s a burden to bear, best to suck it up and keep moving on.

I used to think the same. Not anymore though.

If we keep carrying that extra weight all the time, we tell ourselves that it is part and parcel of life and nothing can be done about it. We slowly stop noticing the harmful effects of the same. We stop considering the bad shadow it is casting on our souls, and gradually making our life less joyful than what it was meant to be otherwise.

If you still not get what I am trying to say, have a look at children. In comparison to adults, they stand up straighter, walk a little more lighter and look a little more freer. They are bouncing with life all the time. The difference can be noticed from a mile away.

For some of us, these bricks can even become so much heavier that they start ruining our lives with broken relationships, unfulfilled dreams, regretful pasts, ungovernable thoughts, sleeplessness etc.

Let’s drop this unnecessary weight from our bags. Here is how:

1. Have courage to open the bag and take a good look at what’s in there.

What are these bricks actually? Our limiting beliefs, un-checked thoughts, painful memories, harmful habits, denied emotions.

Let’s take out everything in our bag and dump it all open on the floor. Spread out all the bricks so that we can see everything. Now, we can sort these bricks in piles, the stuff we still wish to trade in life and the stuff we wish to throw right away.

When I have a deep look into my bag, I came across some main piles like – ‘Habits-That-Do-Not-Nourish-Me’, ‘Painful-Memories’, ‘Burden-Of-Expectations’. My bad habits like watching television shows which do not nourish my soul, eating food which does not nourish my body and holding on to old thoughts which do not nourish my mind. I clearly know now that I need to get rid of these bad habits and lighten my bag with these heavy bricks. Then those painful memories of the past, broken friendships, betrayals, hurting sentences from loved ones, unfulfilled desires etc. and that loads of expectations from people around us sometimes take a toll on us.

Knowing what’s in there in there, itself lightens the load of it.

2. Let it go.

Let’s drop all the heaviness, at least for a while to feel lighter and freer and happiness and holier. ‘Not-Fair-That-My-Father-Is-So-Strict’, ‘My-Boss-Is-People-Unfriendly’, ‘How-Can-My-Own-Child-Do-This-To-Me’, ‘My-Job-Does-Not-Leave-Me-With-Time-For-Family’ etc. and etc. Our lives are full of such bricks.

But sooner or later, we HAVE TO let it go. It’s the tricky part of this whole thing. After all, we are humans and fail to control ourselves to a high degree. For there will be some such bricks, which have ‘too old to carry along now’ tag and we will be easily able to forgive and forget and let them go.  And there will be some bricks in our bag, and we acknowledge fully that we are weighed down by them, but for now, this much awareness is all what we are able to do. We can have faith in ourselves that some day, we will be fully able to leave these bricks and but that day is not today.

I believe that if we are able to do this much, we are doing a good job.

3. Remember that these bricks are not real.

All the bricks, we have been dealing with so far, are not real. These are a kind of imaginary bricks as they represent our thoughts. Thoughts… thoughts… and thoughts, they come and go, in our minds, like wax and wane, we feel consumed, bloated and they float out of our minds in the same way as they came in.

As our thinking or outlook towards life change – which always does with time – the weight of the bricks and the bag also change. When we grow spiritually, gain more insight about happenings, and become more aware, then we realize that those bricks were heavy but not dangerous. The bricks came into our bag because of some purpose and lessons designed for us by the divine, and when the lessons get marked as learnt, the bricks leave our bag.

May we be happy.

Shivani.

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Is Sleep Meditation?

Mending the broken heart

Don't let hurt overpower you“To hurt is as human as to breathe.” – J. K. Rowling, The Tales of Beedle the Bard

Most of us can relate to that terrible feeling of getting hurt either physically or emotionally by someone. There are wounds that leave us fallen apart in life, full of grief and our smiles stolen away. We, as humans, carry all the tedency to hurt and to get hurt by various means – it may be an unexpected sudden natural disaster, a broken out fire from an intended spark or an armed robbery. All of us will have at least one story to share when it left a sharp needle in the heart that shall keep pricking for always. For those who have endured more serious circumstances, the emotional pain is even more incomparable.

But the question here is ‘Is it really worth it?’. Is it worth to let ourselves get hurt? If we happen to eye the whole thing from a spiritual perspective, the undoubted answer shall come as “NO”. Nothing in life is worth disturbing our peace of mind. But it is far more easier said than done. Like everyone, I also have been hurt – in many profound and skin-deep ways. And I have dealt with it. It’s a process always in progress.

There are few ideas I keep in my mind to save myself from being hurt or to recover myself after getting hurt.

  • Many a times, there can be multiple issues in life disturbing us. It gets tough to identify which one is hurting us so much to put us to tears. First and foremost, we can sit back calmly and try to figure out what hurts us and why. Broken relationships, lost loved ones, abusive company, unhealthy finances, unfulfilled dreams, tensed careers, uncertain future etc. and etc. It could be anything which can build up many layers of pain. Get to the root of it.
  • Pen it down. Writing it all down on a piece of paper can help us define it more clearly. It is a process where our mind becomes more aware about the strain we are going through. And when the mind starts becoming aware about it, it thinks constructively towards it. In situations where there is no guarantee that we’ll be able to communicate to the person how we got hurt and they’ll be able to relate to us and respond in the way we wish to, writing helps us out.
  • Something which has happened, has happened. Nothing can be done about it now. Revisiting it time and again in memories or talks can not bring out any happiness from what has happened. If we will keep living with the pain, we will be doing nothing but imparting all the power to the incident to control us. This will not change anything. So just let it go.
  • If we were the one who did wrong, we should forgive ourselves and create small possibility of happiness. Whatever we do, there happens to be a reason and history behind it. Even if we feel infinite regret inside, we deserve to start afresh again and unburden ourselves with the torture. If the sorry is not enough, bring that much needed change. If someone was wrong, be quick be forgive. They say that weak can never forgive. Forgiveness is the attribute of the strong. Also, remember that forgiving is not forgetting, it’s letting go of the hurt and feeling light. But don’t keep high expectations of change in others, rather build emotional strength to handle it more intelligently if something happens to shook us again.
  • People, circumstances, adversities make us what we have become today. We were a very different person years back. Try to reconnect with what we were before things went wrong. We can still be the same person as before, the one who didn’t used to get angry so often, the one who used to be the crown of the party or the one who was the most cheerful and the one everyone wished to be with. Also, we can share our time and thoughts with the ones who relate to us, feel for us geniunely and not just keep throwing away their expectations on us. Be in the company of people who make us smile and who really care for us and allow some peace to ourselves.
  • The pain which we are carrying will always stay there but it need not pop out all the time of the day. Share a meal, movie or a small laughter moment with people for whom we are the priority before anything else in the world. Shun the people who keep finding out faults in us and slow down our morale. Tiny moments, say of five minutes, of enjoyment without the story of hurt can help re-build confidence and gradually set of such moments will make our lives beautiful.

Lastly, we need to value everyone and everything we have before it’s gone. So, whatever we have today is good enough for us and we must learn to live with it joyfully.

May we all be happy.

Shivani.

Before calling it ‘I QUIT !!’

Don't ever quit in life.Life is like a graph with one frequency wave dancing up and down, now and then, more or less like a sine curve. At some points, life touches its peaks, and on the other ones, it takes us as much below that zero point. It becomes tough and overwhelmingly hard. We all, at some point of time in our lives, contemplate quitting. Nothing can feel so bad as a broken heart and a sad soul. But whatever we have gotten ourselves into, there’s surely a way out of it that doesn’t require quitting life. We may reach the end of our life completely worn out, broken and may be even devastated in all ways, but considering it from a spiritual perspective, it is better to stay in this world with those broken pieces and re-working on them than calling it ‘I QUIT’. Because if we quit today, we will leave behind some unlearned lessons which we anyways will have to go through in next births in much harder ways.

Try visualizing it all like a set of scenes in God’s theatre production. The Almighty would have done a lot of behind the scenes exertion before deciding our role in the play. Other people may have wanted our role, but we got it. Or we might have wished for what they got. But for now, we have been put on the floors to ‘ACT’.

And we start and we are doing our part just fine, or may with few mistakes here and there. And then gradually, the play starts getting tougher and tougher. It gets harder and harder to perform. For some of us, we start hating the lines which we get. For the others, the audience starts heckling us. Or may be our role starts getting so vigorous and we find ourselves in each scene and are not able to catch up with our breath Or may be we are in no good scenes and we start feeling ignored, of least use and like no one cares for us. May be that we don’t like our fellow actors, or the script all together, or may be this, or may be that becomes the reason that we no longer wish to play any role and just quit.

If we will quit without any notice, we will create a lot of gaps. The role, we were meant to play, becomes a cavity in the play. The other actors work around our part to the extent possible. If there was a love scene coming up, the other actor now will have no one to perform it with. Scenes will be re-written, script and lines will be re-worked. The already scheduled shows will be cancelled or rescheduled. We will leave behind so much chaos before us for others to handle. To the extent that we may leave behind that same feeling and reasons to quit this play for others too. And you know what, we will be responsible for it.

So, before quitting, give it a try one more time …..

Do not quit the play all together. Ask for genuine help. And ask it from someone who unconditionally wishes that you should be part of the play. If we don’t get that help, if we don’t get that shoulder to cry on, still we should not quit. May be we can take a leave, go on a vacation. May be we can get writers to give us fewer lines to work with, and more support with our role till our life gets better with time and comes back in its full swing. More than other people counting on us, it is our own higher self waiting for us to keep going on to complete our karmic circle by going through all the lessons meant for us. God has given us only as much as we can really handle, it’s only that sometimes it get hard to remember how strong we really are. Road of our life have many twists and turns and no two directions are going to be the same. Yesterday, if we managed to come out of some adversity, today has presented us with a very different one. We will have to get up again and realize our love for our life. Ever had it been that we know the real meaning of loving life until the hour of separation from it.

And lastly, one day our world would be what small things we would be leaving behind us.

All the world’s a stage,
And all the men and women merely players;
They have their exits and their entrances,
And one man in his time plays many parts,
His acts being seven ages. At first, the infant,
Mewling and puking in the nurse’s arms.
Then the whining schoolboy, with his satchel
And shining morning face, creeping like snail
Unwillingly to school. And then the lover,
Sighing like furnace, with a woeful ballad
Made to his mistress’ eyebrow. Then a soldier,
Full of strange oaths and bearded like the pard,
Jealous in honor, sudden and quick in quarrel,
Seeking the bubble reputation
Even in the cannon’s mouth. And then the justice,
In fair round belly with good capon lined,
With eyes severe and beard of formal cut,
Full of wise saws and modern instances;
And so he plays his part. The sixth age shifts
Into the lean and slippered pantaloon,
With spectacles on nose and pouch on side;
His youthful hose, well saved, a world too wide
For his shrunk shank, and his big manly voice,
Turning again toward childish treble, pipes
And whistles in his sound. Last scene of all,
That ends this strange eventful history,
Is second childishness and mere oblivion,
Sans teeth, sans eyes, sans taste, sans everything. 

William Shakespeare

May we all live in peace.

Shivani.

No one saves us but ourselves…

Self Realization“No one saves us but ourselves. No one can and no one may. We ourselves must walk the path.” — Buddha

Things in life have to be done bit by bit. Nothing in life happens very quickly, it only appears so. The action of drawing back a bow and sending the arrow straight into its target takes only a part of a second, but it is actually a skill many years in making. So is also with life, with your life as well as mine. Everyone of us will have lots of accomplishments in life, for some of us list will be good enough to fill pages, but they are only a tiny part of the ultimate truth, the truth of self-realization.

The Nature, now or then, sooner or later, will put each one of us on a path which shall lead us to becoming what we are. We are God in ourselves, we are part of who created us. We can not do anything wishful, all is bound by the law of The Nature. And once we have started walking on our own path of spirituality in life, no particular spiritual technique is needed, neither a companion nor a teacher. We have to verify truth of ourselves by our own observations of the way things are. I have been wandering since some years trying to understand what do men really mean or become like when they call themselves as an enlightened soul. What is this all blah blah about reaching out to one’s subconscious mind. My mind has been contesting itself time and again to understand what is it to find God. How, where, when, what to do to find it are very discrepant questions in relation. I am more bothered about that even after working it out for myself, how do I know that what truth I find for myself is the right truth or not. It may happen that I find or start engrossing myself into something believing it to be my truth but it actually is not. The subject is tough…

“It’s one thing to feel that you are on the right path, but it’s another to think yours is the only path.” — Paulo Coelho

Only recently did I comprehend the meaning of The Whole for myself. To walk on the path of self-realization is to establish our learning about ourselves to the extent The God knows about us. It is to see and understand glances of our existence as a story. Once we harness our subconscious mind, we would know what we had been, and what did we do to ourselves and others then. Who were those others, what did they do. It is to learn about our Karmas of more than the span of this life. It is to develop a vision to go beyond our current life and interpret psychic hints which universe helps us with in the form of pleasures and pain. It is to peek into self to know about our lives and our deaths. Imagine, being doing this. All will look so small. All will look only as if it is a mere happening. Only we can do it for ourselves, no one else can. No one else should try to too. We deal with it inside, in our own individual ways, and at our own suitable times on the timeline of our existence. To become a Buddha is not a monopoly of Buddha alone, any one of us can acquire the same provided we are willing to work hard for ourselves. As I feel the urge to take this path today, you may not. Your time may have come so much before me, or it may come after much waiting from now.

It is a kind of aim, which when once gets disillusioned in our mind, we can not rest till the goal is reached. All forces in the universe start leading to help us for a feat to self-awareness. And it appears that the whole universe, which was so far busy in making careers, raising families, enjoying friendships, dealing with suffering, is now actually doing what you have just started to do. The new task of exploring the mystery of being.

  • Do not expect anyone else to pick you up and make you cross this path.
  • Do not allow anyone to take the credit or penalties of your success or failure in this.
  • There is no one else who can enjoy our pleasures as much as we do, and there is no one else who can fight with our sufferings as much as we have to.

I shall pity those who are looking for a friend to be their companion on this path. And I shall pity those who are constantly claiming credits in others’ dealings with their truths. If a man thinks that some friend or teacher or elder shall help him passing this exam, he is wrong. If a man thinks that it is because of his/her support or guidance that the other men have achieved their state of awareness, he is even more harmfully wrong.

We may need to consider a guru, because when we start this exploration, we are still mired in habituated patterns of our living. Limited in perceptions formed by the world projected by these patterns, we do not and can not see things as they are. As this world is a rat race, with everyone trying to run over and rule over the other and not allowing the minds to be free, we may need a teacher, who stands outside the boundaries of this world to show us how to proceed. But the teacher can not take our pain away and give us any enlightenment. The teacher can not do the real homework of discovering the eternal truth, he can only guide, when needed.

So, let us get off these beaten tracks, and establish true morality in finding true path for ourselves and follow it fearlessly without someone else’s commands.

May we all live in peace.

Shivani.

Did God create everything that exists?

Source of the article : http://www.religioustolerance.org/culeins.htm

A University professor at a well known institution of higher learning challenged his students with this question. “Did God create everything that exists?”

A student bravely replied, “Yes he did!”

“God created everything?” The professor asked.

“Yes sir, he certainly did,” the student replied.

The professor answered, “If God created everything; then God created evil. And, since evil exists, and according to the principle that our works define who we are, then we can assume God is evil.”

The student became quiet and did not answer the professor’s hypothetical definition. The professor, quite pleased with himself, boasted to the students that he had proven once more that the Christian faith was a myth.

Another student raised his hand and said, “May I ask you a question, professor?”

“Of course”, replied the professor.

The student stood up and asked, “Professor, does cold exist?”

“What kind of question is this? Of course it exists. Have you never been cold?”

The other students snickered at the young man’s question.

The young man replied, “In fact sir, cold does not exist. According to the laws of physics, what we consider cold is in reality the absence of heat. Every body or object is susceptible to study when it has or transmits energy, and heat is what makes a body or matter have or transmit energy. Absolute zero (-460 F) is the total absence of heat; and all matter becomes inert and incapable of reaction at that temperature. Cold does not exist. We have created this word to describe how we feel if we have no heat.”

The student continued, “Professor, does darkness exist?”

The professor responded, “Of course it does.”

The student replied, “Once again you are wrong sir, darkness does not exist either. Darkness is in reality the absence of light. Light we can study, but not darkness. In fact, we can use Newton’s prism to break white light into many colors and study the various wavelengths of each color.

You cannot measure darkness. A simple ray of light can break into a world of darkness and illuminate it. How can you know how dark a certain space is? You measure the amount of light present. Isn’t this correct? Darkness is a term used by man to describe what happens when there is no light present.”

Finally the young man asked the professor, “Sir, does evil exist?”

Now uncertain, the professor responded, “Of course, as I have already said. We see it everyday. It is in the daily examples of man’s Inhumanity to man. It is in the multitude of crime and violence everywhere in the world. These manifestations are nothing else but evil.

To this the student replied, “Evil does not exist, sir, or at least it does not exist unto itself. Evil is simply the absence of God. It is just like darkness and cold, a word that man has created to describe the absence of God. God did not create evil. Evil is the result of what happens when man does not have God’s love present in his heart. It’s like the cold that comes when there is no heat, or the darkness that comes when there is no light.”

The professor sat down.

The young man’s name – Albert Einstein