Sunday, March 31, 2013

How to overcome emotional blocks?

Reactions: 
The mobile phone rings. Some phones are on vibration mode. Some have crazy tunes. Some have pleasing tunes. There are so many of them these days. They were not always there. They exist now, everywhere, everyone.

Today, during long sudarshan kriya followup,  three phones played their tunes. Some got distracted, some ignored it. Some did not care. Some were agitated. Some were releasing emotions. Some were in bliss.

Every mobile phone tune is like the emotion that we experience in our daily life. They are so powerful. They overpower us. They disturb our sleep. They interrupt our family talks/meals.They bulldoze and wipe out our very existence. We experience the extremities of emotions more often than not. They interfere and can be destructive at times.

I presume this was observed by HH +Sri Sri Ravi Shankar ji also. He saw that many were meditating but they were not able to get the deep experience which meditations gave in earlier ages. He got sudarshan kriya to erase and wipe the emotional blocks that were preventing us from experiencing our true meditative self. So if you have learnt the sudarshan kriya then practice it everyday. If you have not learnt it then do learn it from nearest +Art of Living center. Follow it up with Sahaj Meditation.

According to +Michael Fischman Meditation is the key. Everyday, twice we need to do it. Sahaj easily transports into the meditative world. A world of energy. Sudarshan kriya clears the emotional blocks and prepares you well for the Sahaj.

The material worlds saps on energy, it will drain your physically and emotionally. If you are evolving spiritually then the spiritual world energizes you regularly. So, before you become a dry leaf let the juice of spiritual energy help you reclaim life, your true.

Meditate.

====trivia============
The above words came into life at Art of living followup center at RBI Layout, JP Nagar 7th Phase, Bangalore. Last week  we did Guru Puja and Triambak Homa at 4 Houses in 7 days. 

Friday, March 29, 2013

What is Karma? Understanding the laws of karma

Reactions: 
Karma is impression to act. It is an act. An act is something which is not natural. It is a put on. It is not your nature. You know actors act. It is the same act.

Most acts driven by law of karma are inevitable. They need to be performed. They need to be experienced. It is like a dish which needs to be consumed when you are hungry, you have no choice. During the performance you can choose to participate or complaint. When you participate in action the karma dies a natural death. When you analyze,complain and make a noise about it then it keeps on adding to the chain of karmas.

As long as you have karma in your account you will come to this world. This world is imperfect and it will remain so. Your urge to correct and make things alright is a sheer waste of time for your evolution. The more you want to correct the more you will fall in trap of karmas. There is no such thing as perfect world. There is only perfect spirit, a perfect self.

You have sever layers of existence as per +Art of Living part 1 basic course. The first 6 layers belong to the world. If you are still stuck in them then the roller coaster of life will continue to wriggle and wrench you. Once you transcend this world and get into space of the self through persistent meditation practices then you become free.

It is said in ancient Indian tradition that the will of God moves a blade of grass, not the biggest of windiest storm nor the fiercest of fire can touch it or harm it in any way unless the God decides. That is the shiv tatva moving this entire creation.

When can you stop acting and be natural?

===================================================================
The above composition is based on learning from the thoughts presented in An intimate note to sincere seeker by HH +Sri Sri Ravi Shankar ji. 

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Final Group Sadhana with HariHaran Mani

Reactions: 
Today's meditation was drive down the memory lane. The events of the past few months/years simple drizzled in and out. The location had been flat#508 Cassia block in Brigade Millennium. The flat was on rental by +Hariharan Mani, an +Art of Living teacher, actuarial practitioner and meditator from Mumbai.

It was here that we began our Group Sadhana about a year and half back. Today's idea was from +Balakrishnan Ganesan and original idea was from Shuchi. All of us are in photo above.

Yesterday Bala said, lets do it for one last time. He messaged again that we had to bring our own yoga mats. There was a time when we had kept one carpet for morning Group Sadhana at Hari's flat. People joined and left us at different points of time. I remembered that Agnihotra Homa was to be performed at sunrise so messaged back that my entry would be delayed.

In the end we gave a moist eyes good byes to Mr Hari and his bangalore stay. His memories and common moments will remain with us, forever.

On many occasions the motivation would be to simply listen to his beautiful voice when chanting Guru Puja slokas after the sadhana. His voice is a melody, it can transport you easily into the ethereal world.

Today missed recording the same but instead presenting the Guru Paduka Stotram. He went to Vythiri on a week vacation just to perfect guru paduka when others were rolling in pools of worldly pleasures.

The group sadhana brought discipline in my daily routine. One thing led to other and slowly Hari made me +Art of Living teacher. He has been an inspiration for many at the RBI Layout art of living center. His non-obtrusive cool nature is welcomed by many.

He would be shifting to Noida and blessed will be the souls there who get chance to be around him.

His residence became mini ashram. The keys of it would be shared by many.

If there was no internet at my place then I would go there and work.

If we had to chill in the evening, singing old melodies than Hari's karoke system would come handy and pizzas for the belly.

When he was not around we would do potluck at his place.

It was here that we listened to kena upanishad and I got a better understanding of my meditation experiences.

Hari has an open door policy, literary and spiritually. What type of a neighbor are you?

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Bangalore holi day

Reactions: 

Happy Holi 2013 - to one and all


The streets of Bangalore display the normal traffic. There are only few colored faces on motor bikes. Some colored faces stationed in some corner of street. The shops are open. The offices are open too. Even the school are open too. The schools even have exams. Can you beat that?

One girl has gone to give exam in Brigade School and other man has gone to Aura Montessori. Yes, even the Montessories are open today.



The Brigade gardenia owners apartment association sent an email restricting Holi होली festivities in the Brigade gardenia campus. I am sure other apartment/layout associations would have sent similar directive. Here's a sample for you to savor

CELEBRATION OF  HOLI  INSIDE THE CAMPUS
1.       Holi Dahan on 26th March 2013.
As there have been frequent fire mishaps the Fire & Safety authorities during their annual inspection and audit of our campus have strictly informed the office to exercise maximum caution, control and restraints in permitting any activities that may lead to fire hazardous.
Considering the above HOLI DAHAN INSIDE THE CAMPUS IS STRICTLY PROHIBITED.
Residents are kindly note the above and extend their cooperation.
2.       Holi Day on 27th March 2013.
Venue:  Amphitheater;                     Proposed Timing: 10 AM to 3:00 PM
No other common area other than the above is permitted for Holi Celebrations.
Common area building interiors, exterior walls, lifts and such other areas are not to be used and defaced at any cost.
Further, please note
- do not spill colors and plants.
- do not use paints
- do not deface the walls
- use water optimally
- do not force people to participate
- do not throw balloons
- do not throw colors on visitors and on  unwilling participants.
Please restrict playing in and around the specified area only and extend your cooperation.
The festivals of the land are now going to be controlled execution as per directives. I guess they need a good copywriter more than the sinking fund.

I have not experienced  holi in other parts of India for a while. I guess, there it must be chaos. People would be closing doors, shy will borrow movie Cds and lock indoors to spent the day in peace of the house. The riotous will be on street finding every little excuse to touch and color every passer by.


In good old days, we used to collect money (चंदा ) in our colony, then buy big trunks of logs/wood. Burn them in the night before holi, cheer, sing and dance around the fire. Next day early morning, go and pray near the ash and then let loose. Pull friends and neighbors out of their doors, color them, wet them.

The streets would be colored too, the garden, fencing, lawns would simply change their appearance. Small ponds would become pools of color. Then we would go to father's colleagues bungalows. They would treat us with color and gujiyas. And by late noon, we would be exhausted, come home and spend lifetime cleaning up.

It remained so in college, it got more dirtier. We would make puddles of mud/cow dung and would have to tear our t-shirts and muddy in the pool before we were allowed to roam like birds. Once we got the courage to go out on the streets of Nagpur, somebody got the brilliant idea to park in front of a girls college (LAD or something) and before we reached the main gate we saw columns of policeman zeroing in from all directions.

We were made to sit on the main roads, girls of the college were having hearty laughs from their barricaded hostels. The passers by were enjoying the future of India. Some of us got police batons on some unmentionable parts of the body. After a briefing from Police and a warning we were allowed to go one by one. We ran without looking back till we were inside VRCE campus again.

Now Holi is growing sober or maybe I am at the wrong place to celebrate festivals of India. Is weather the only good thing about Bangalore? Even there its getting hot these days. It has not rained for so many evenings now.

Or with my ageing the colors of excitement are fading away too.

How is your holi-day going on?

Monday, March 25, 2013

Four years of freelancing

Reactions: 
Its amazing how time flies.

Its more so when you are your own employer.

In 12 years of being employed I could never stay with single employer for more than 2.5 years.

For the last 4 years I have been my employer. And it seems it might stay this way.

There have been many experiments on the way. Some have failed and some have given reasonable returns.

One thing has remained constant and that is the openness to new technologies and ideas. One thing does not work all the time. Your source of income needs to be re-sourced and flexible all the time.

There are two websites that have given most of the work and income. One is odesk.com and other is topcoder.com.

Odesk is cut throat competitive bidding of projects on commonly available web related skills. I have been lucky to have worked with clients that have given projects for longer periods of time. If you develop a good understanding with client and work on reasonable rate than you can stay put for longer time. Developing the correct rate and positioning will take time. Meanwhile keep building on your portfolio of applications. I had built on Google App Engine (thx to +Mayank Sharma for the idea), later diversified with apps on Android (thx to +Piyush Patel ). The kind of talent there is mediocre to average.

Topcoder is based on crowd sourcing model. It is highly subjective and competitive website. A good place if you can get into the skin of the model. It is dominated by few who have mastered the website's model intricately, so getting your first breakthrough may be tricky. Its a hit and miss model. There is no need for prior reputation or history of portfolio. Your competitive edge and understanding their deliverable model may work for you. The kind of talent there is average to high.

In between there were few consulting assignments with few startups, but they went away in the same manner they came.

Today my spouse reminded that 2009 was eventful year.

  • It was the first time that I did Divya Samaj Ka Nirman (DSN) in last week of February from +Art of Living.
  • It was the first time I got fired on this very day from my last employer. 
  • It was the first time I spoke few words with +Sri Sri Ravi Shankar ji in the visitors line (दर्शन line). He said it will be alright. It has remained status quo since then. There have been struggles but the spirit has smoothly evolved too. 
  • It was the year freelancing as an employer was born.
  • It was the first time I was working from home - full time.
  • It was the year when the second daughter descended in our our arms. 
  • ...

How has been your freelancing journey? 

Did you get a chance to re-prioritize your life to get a more manageable work-life balance?

You can be fortunate too... if you think this is good fortune. 

Friday, March 22, 2013

Enjoy your family

Reactions: 
The last words of +Michael Fischman before we parted to our individual destinies were "Enjoy your family". Thanks to him the bonding with the spouse have improved over the last few days. She is wondering "Why didn't I met Michael many years ago". She has been struggling to put good sense into my head but has failed miserably. A gentle collection of wordy slap from the conviction of Michael has brought me back into the path.

What is your family?
At first shot it looks your spouse if you are married, your kids if you are parent, your parents, your siblings, your cousins.

As you meditate more on the term "family" it gradually gathers momentum and expands to fill the universe. It simple is a reflection of your sense of belongingness.

If you think your neighbors belong to you , they become your family.
If you think your neighbors neighbors belong to you then they become your family.
If you think everybody connected to +Art of Living  belong to you then they become your family.
If you take pride in the city you live then everyone there becomes your family.
If you are happy to be born in a certain city then its people become your family.
If you think all those who speak hindi are sweet then they become your family.

What is your definition of family?

It is a natural progression. The FAMILY is a burden as long as you dont belong to them. A little shift and the world of love sweeps you off the floor.


Wednesday, March 20, 2013

An evening with Michael Fischman

Reactions: 
19th March 2012, would be remembered as the beautiful evening in the company of +Michael Fischman and  +Sahil Jagtiani.

Sahil mesmerized us with devotional rocking music, a variant of bhajans in common parlance. Most of us simply danced and floated in the space of love created by his music.

Michael presence was spellbound on all present. His meditation took us to depth and control that I did not believe existed before.

I could remember following from Michael's talk, if I missed something do add in comments.

Mikey, as he is fondly known as has been in Guru's grace since 1979. Yet, he is humble, approachable, a father figure, a counselor, an epitome of devotion. People just lined up to get his sign on his book "Stumbling into Infinity", a truthful and direct account of his life that was edited more than 5 times before it was accepted and released to its first publisher.

The book is an expression of his experiences with life and meditation  Guruji told him once that his experiences will inspire many and so he wrote the book.

Guru's gaze
In 1979 when Guruji looked from the car into my eyes, I simply melted and cried like a baby, wailing  releasing whatever was stuck inside me. How many of you have felt the gaze and grace of Guru? Hasn't it filled yourself with love, pure, unconditional.

Ego busting
I was a marketing Guru and packed a house for Guruji but he did not turn up for the event. I was so proud of my marketing skills and it just got busted. Art of living is also a chaotic place where people in authority seem to have lot of ego. That leader could be you but have you noticed that your ego also keeps busting once in a while, until you reach a stage where it dissolves and you delve into your very nature.

For me it was Guruji who cleared the ego out of my way, for you there would be many situations and people around you who would help you deal with your ego and let you become free from it. Don't fight it. You know whatever resist does persist. Let it simply go.

Concepts and Celibacy
Take the middle path. Be natural in your response to sex. It may be a concept in your head but you need to break it to feel the release from it. There are so many concepts that we build in our lives, +Art of Living is breaking free from those concepts. Sex is one such concept and as human you will have to address it some point or other in life, but if you make it a concept then you will struggle with it. Your mind will destroy you. But if you let is happen then it becomes second nature.

Sudarshan Kriya
Sudarshan kriya clears the emotional block. Mikey had been practicing Transcendental meditation for almost 12 years before he learnt the kriya. The first time he did the kriya it was 2.5 hours long, they were asked to close their eyes and he continued to hear this voice "continue"..."continue", he was not sure if it was a make voice or female voice. In those days, Guruji himself took the course, the points were same then and are same now, the kriya is same too, nothing has changed.

Once he did the kriya something cleared and his meditations thereafter were much deeper.

Sadhana and Meditation
Every day, twice, sadhana and meditation is must.
If you have not learnt Sahaj then learn it, its the simplest way to slip into meditation, effortlessly. Once you are done with your pranayama, kriya then do mediation.
Your seva and daily mundane activities can dry the life out of you, Your sadhana brings back, rejuvenates and brings you closer to your enlightenment.

Shame on teachers who are not meditating twice a day, meditation is art of living and your courses will go well if you practice meditation and the course points in your daily life.

Service and Responsibility
If you want the guard at Guru's kuteer to salute you and allow you to go in any time you wish too then initiate a project of national importance. Get few people alongside and seek the blessings of Gurudev for the project and execute it. You will get many opportunities to interact with the Master in his physical presence.

Take responsibility.
You can be shy and sit in one corner and nobody will notice you.
You can decide to bring change in your neighborhood, your nation. Then you will have criticism. Guruji is criticized for his political and spiritual forays because he is on a constant run to transform society, nations.

Guruji mentioned sometimes back that now the organization can run for hundreds of years on its own and he can retire, but he wants to devote the next 12 years of his life to India. That is why we have projects like Volunteer for better India, Kumudavathi river rejuvenation project in bangalore.

==========================
First, it was the book "Stumbling into infinity" that brought me close to the Master and now the man himself who has cleared my priorities in life.

Thank you +Michael Fischman , you are the sun who is clearing many a ignorances for now and for time immemorial.

Thank you +Hariharan Mani , for giving this opportunity to attend and be part of the event. Thank you every other soul that was part of the evening and bless one and all.

Jai Gurudev!!

----------------------
A part of the talk video, the phone memory just gave up and so its incomplete...


Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Spirituality and relationships

Reactions: 
Is there a link between relationships that belong to the world and spirituality that belong to the ether world? Do they complement each other or contradict each other?

Once married do you feel that marriage is impediment to spiritual progress.
Once born do you feel that parents and siblings are impediment to spiritual progress.
Once a parent do you feel that children are impediment to spiritual progress.

As a householder, in the world, how do you run the fine balance between the relationships which become part of you and the path that you choose to tread.

Can one be without the other?

Is relationship the path?

Yesterday had the good fortune of meeting +Michael Fischman . Thank you +Hariharan Mani for organizing the same.

According to Mickey (as Michael is fondly called in inner circles...)
Your daughter is your spirituality.
Your spouse is your spirituality.
Your parents are your spirituality.
Your siblings and cousins are your spirituality.
Gurudev (+Sri Sri Ravi Shankar ) was not married but he was a son, a brother and cousin. His father immediately accepted his elevation as Guru but his mother did not. He did not abandon her nor became a sanyasi ( ascetic). In India once you become ascetic you cannot meet your mother and near and dear ones. So, he did not want his mother to feel that separation and remained a family man in that sense until at age 96 his mother too accepted him as the enlightened one. Till then, she used to go around in the ashram saying "Ravi", Ravi....He took along his sister and other cousins on the path. They are having normal householder life and he is still a Guru to many.

Spirituality is not for individual's growth. The individual's spiritual growth must find an expression in the individual's conduct and behavior. If the path is taking you away from householder's responsibility you are bound to create a distance with all around.

The solution is communication. Communication is not lectureship. You need to communicate subtly, strongly and continuously. You cannot explain and elaborate spiritual phenomenons. You can only wait and let the other evolve so that you are on the same plane of communication. Then you would not need permissions, you would not need discussions and the guilt associated with selfish growth will diminish too. You need not work on it too, for work requires effort and relationship maintenance should be effortless. Let it happen, let it express, let it be understood by itself.

The distance will become mountainous if spiritual energies of the path are let to express themselves freely and easily. On the path there would be many energies that will tag along but their expression must not be at the cost of creating fear and dissent in your neighborhood.

If you do start enjoying them then best place would be in privacy of your chambers and not in stadiums. The energy demonstration is not an alibi to attract more people on the path. The path will find the people. You need to find yourself. Your self is in growth of your spouse,kids,parents and rest.

Your expression of spirituality is in the transformation of the relationships around you. Your evolution is already guaranteed and taken care of.

Friday, March 15, 2013

Shiv tatva

Reactions: 
शिव तत्व  क्या है?
इसके लिए शब्द नहीं हैं,
यह अनुभव है

तर्क से बुद्धि को शांति मिलती है
भाव से उर्जा स्फुरित होती है
उस उर्जा मैं ध्यान लगाने से समाधी मिलती है

विरोधाभास मैं शिव तत्व  है

शिव का एक नाम है- विरूपाक्ष
विरूप मतलब जिसका रूप नहीं
उसकी अक्ष मतलब नेत्र

जिसका रूप नहीं
फिर भी जो
देख सकता हो
सुन सकता हो
चख सकता हो
वो विरूपाक्ष है
शिव तत्व

What is shiv tatva?
Intellect is sharpened by logic, it gets quietens
Satsang, singing, music creates energy, it energies your consciousness
in that uplifted state of energy when you go into meditation you may get samadhi, you may be enlightened.


The above were some of the points highlighted by HH +Sri Sri Ravi Shankar ji at Maha Shivratri celebration held at +Art of Living Ashram.

Gurudev with teachers

Reactions: 

Gurudev is so different with art of living teachers. He looks so fragile, so approachable, so common yet leaves so much knowledge. If you are not an art of living teacher then you are missing a very human part of divine.

If he sneezes, he does not hide it or worries about napkins, nor bother to take away the mike from near the nose. In public, you would not even noticed if he has sneezed, he would quickly cover himself with napkins etc., switch off the mike and then come back smilingly. But here he would immediately exclaim "सब नाटक है", "Its all drama".

When he walks he can start acting like an old man, bent and shaking and looking here and there. If someone gives him a stick, he would hold that and show it as support. My eyes still have the views, if you have time then spend it looking in them ... the walk of the master.

When someone gives him a turban, he can shake it left and right or up and down, as if nodding yes or negating to the screams of teachers for attention. And he would look at the big screen and see himself nodding and shaking head so that he can see himself, amusing self and us all.




If a crow flies by overhead, he would act to get scared and dig deeper into his seat, his gaze following the flight of the crow. Unless the crow goes out of Yagnashala in Art of living ashram, he would notice it, in between conversations.

He would simply take support of railing and discuss little things with all around, near and far.





The best moments happen when you are noticing every movement of his with abated breath and sometimes later you lose sense of place and time and get lost in the space. Then, when you come back with vision back in your eyes, you find him looking deep inside you. The next moment the mundane begins.





Have you noticed it too or is it just me lost in the beauty of the divine....

Little things
to notice
only to show
its all a play


few seconds of walking like an old man video...for viewing rest become an art of living teacher :)

Monday, March 04, 2013

sixty rupees only

Reactions: 
My nine year came around
Its five pm and she has come
exactly before time as promised

In the morning she got delayed
she met us when we were leaving
she said she can come back at five

She is a stop gap arrangement
helping us with household chores
for past few days only
the regular maid is on leave

She sweeps, cleans utensils, wipes floor
for couple of hours of hard work
she charges sixty rupees only

Before she left she wanted to
wipe the floor too
but my spouse let her leave

It was Sunday evening
when we want to be
with our families
she was serving
out of her dedication
and commitment

How many of us
can go to work
at five pm
on Sunday evening
with no grumbling
nor any complaints

some characters are
beyond comprehension
beyond training
beyond reason
beyond remuneration

I am inspired
to complete my work now
no matter what day or time
despite lazy state of mind

Are you?

Disqus for dsteps blog