Inattentive Meditation

Dear readers,

I hope you all are faring well. It is a pleasure to be able to share with all today yet another interesting blog and I really can’t wait to discuss a few realizations I had during the weekend with you all.

Over the weekend I had to make a long drive and prior to this trip, I wasn’t properly rested, and I must admit I have a very frugal sleeping schedule, which has become more like second nature for years now. Without being told, I know some of you can already guess where I am going to with this narrative. I had my car serviced and checked a couple of days before my trip to make sure everything was fine. Oil change; check, Tyre pressure; check, fluids top off; check, etc. The car was ready and I felt I was too; at least mentally. The day came and I set out quite early as I wanted to be out before the day’s effect had its toll on me. As a morning person, I was in high spirits and felt I had enough energy to make this trip.

I got on the road and did 2 hours in no time, the road was practically empty and I was doing good. I had water by my side and every now and then I’ll have a sip to keep hydrated. Somewhere after about two hours, I lost concentration for a split second and the next thing I saw was that I was in the median with a punctured tire and a loose tailpipe. It happened so fast that I didn’t see it but only do now in flashback. I was trying to cheat nature and my body for long by sleeping very minimally and the toll had begun to kick in. My body had shut down momentarily in a few seconds and I was in a bad state. Luckily I didn’t hit anyone nor sustain any kind of injury by the grace of God, however, I had put myself and others in a state of immense danger by my sleeping habits developed over time.

I called my emergency road service provider and was told that the closest help to me was 2 hours away. So I had to sit in that state, and just wait. I called a family member and she said well just chant and wait. Tired, in shock and in a state of helplessness, I took out my prayer beads and began to chant. Then something began to dawn on me; inattentiveness is said to be an offense while chanting the Lord’s name and every spiritual practitioner is advised to guide against it. Usually, we see nothing wrong in chanting and doing something else by the side. In fact, many of us have become self-acclaimed “pros” in the matter of “multi-tasking meditation”i.e. doing many other things while meditating/chanting. What we fail to realize is that we are consciously putting ourselves in the line of the danger of being swept off the high way of our spiritual life and also missing out on the chance to connect deeply with Mantra.

For attention to be sound we need to take certain precautions. Just like I needed to have had a lot more rest to allow my physical body function better, similarly, we also need to reduce whatever it is that may jeopardize our physical concentration on the mantra. If we turn on the TV set, or the Computer while trying to chant at the same time, then we are kind of getting behind the steering wheels for a long trip without adequate rest. We may think that we have covered all our rounds because we were able to do them while responding to other things, but in the real sense, we have actually lost that time to nothing. We were neither fully focused on the meditation to get the full benefit, nor were we focused on what we had to do, to get it done correctly.

As I sat in my car waiting for emergency help to get me back on the road, two hours passed and no one came. So, whatever time I thought I had gained, I lot again in waiting. Fortunately, I got some help later on and was able to get back on the road. Just as driving is a process that requires full attention, mantra meditation is quite similar. Every good driver will do a few checks upon entering his car before even commencing on the trip. He checks the side and rear mirrors, straps on the seat belt etc. All this to ensure that his physical safety is not compromised. When the journey begins, he does his best to maintain focus on the road and avoid distractions such as those from a mobile device. A spiritual practitioner should embark on his mantra meditation with the same preparatory mindset. The environment he chooses to chant should be of less to no distraction, the place, the time and all, should also help him focus better.

Even though one may argue that driving is a lot more demanding because there is an immediate physical repercussion for carelessness, I must say that the repercussion that comes from spiritual or esoteric matter do not need to be physical for them to have an effect. The spiritual practitioner knows this and therefore doesn’t put himself in harm’s way. If and whenever we have a major setback in our spiritual practices, it is safe to say that we are getting a cumulative result of a long period of inattentive meditation. The best thing to do is to stop, review our habits and then make the necessary changes required to secure our spiritual lives.

We should also not hesitate to get help whenever we see that we are lacking in our endeavors. The moment we reach out to those we trust, share the same sentiment with, senior adepts, or our spiritual mentor then we can become recipients of help and mercy. It is the nature of a spiritual practitioner to be kind and merciful, and as such, they can bestow on us all good fortune.

Till next week, do read, share and follow for more.

 

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Mother/Father God

Dear readers,
I hope you all are faring well. It is a pleasure to be able to share with you all yet another blog this week. As at the time of my current writing, it is Radhastami; a special festival celebrated by Gaudiya Vaishnava’s that marks the appearance day of the feminine aspect of God. This naturally ushers us into a topic I’ll to share with you all today; the concept of God’s gender.
We live in a world that is Male dominated and there is no doubt that this is reflected in many areas of our lives, whether in a subtle form or in an outright manner. There is also no gainsaying that over time this is changing and with the rise of many feminist groups, many “masculine status quo’s”is being questioned, especially if they do not serve a positive result. Many religions across the world teach us about Divinity, the Godhead, etc. However, in the many different descriptions from the major world religions such as Christianity and Islam at least, we hardly find God or the Supreme person being described in a feminine light or perspective not to even mention as a feminine person. The beauty of Gaudiya Vaishnavism is that it probably the only faith that has a philosophy where God is depicted in both his Male and Female energy, both equal in quality. In fact, the Vedic philosophy makes us understand that we cannot access the Masculine form of the Lord without the blessings of His feminine side.
Let’s back up a little before we get into the technicalities of this concept. The first question many people ask is “How can God be feminine?” or “How can God be both?”. The answer is simple; if there is something that God cannot be, then how is He God? If there is something impossible for God to do or become then where is the idea of Him being all-powerful? So, clearly, we have placed certain restrictions on what God can and cannot do because we are limited living entities who try to understand something that is unlimited. First and foremost, we need to understand that everything emanates from God and as such, he is the complete perfect and even though so many complete units emanate from Him, He remains a complete balance. We also need to understand that the material world is but a perverted reflection of the spiritual world, as such there is nothing here that is foreign to the spiritual world. In the material world, we have Lust, which is nothing but the perverted reflection of Love. Similarly, just as we have the male and female gender here, we also have the same in the spiritual world, because they both emanate from God. In the material world, whenever a Man wants to experience some loving relationship he seeks out a Woman to fulfill this sentiment. Thus, he is dependent on someone or something to fulfill his needs. This is one of the differences between the living entity and the Supreme Lord.
God doesn’t need anyone or anything to satisfy himself, because he is self-sufficient. Everything emanates from Him and as such, there is nothing outside of Him. Furthermore, when the Lord wants to engage in certain pastimes that require him to show his feminine side, he himself manifests a feminine form; that is no other than his own internal energy. This energy is responsible for giving pleasure to the Lord. The Supreme Lord is said to have 3 energies; internal, marginal and external. The living entities are part of the marginal energy because we have the ability or tendency to either be influenced by higher energy or lower energy. The external energy of the Lord oversees the material world that we currently live in. Thus, each energy of the Lord has specific functions and they all work to serve the Lord. The internal energy of the Lord takes on a Feminine form which is none different from the Lord himself and even more compassionate than his Masculine form. In the Vedas, this form or aspect of the Lord is described in details and as such, I am only trying to give pointers here. For one to get the full audience or mercy of God in his masculine form, one has to obtain the favor or mercy of his feminine form, which shows us how important this aspect of him is.
The feminine aspect of God is not something that is new or just “created” to serve the ideology of feminism, rather it is part of a very sound philosophical tradition dating back to the oldest scriptures known to Man; the Vedas. In the Vedas, we have a very detailed description of many aspects of life; from the science of self-realization to the soul, creation, the material world, the spiritual world, innumerable universes, Demigods, Humans, Demons, Life after Death, Heaven and Hell, just to mention a few. The Shrimad Bhagavatam which is but a book of one part of the Vedas (The Vedas is divided into four parts), contains about 18,000 verses. This is to show you the wealth of information present in this scripture. There is no doubt that, if God wants to reveal himself to us then he would do so in a very elaborate manner so as to enable us to get a glimpse of his unlimited attributes. Today, we have some people who have also begun to embrace the idea of Mother-Father God, because they have gone through some logical conclusions (Jnana yoga) and seen that there has to be the other side of divinity. The good news is, we don’t have to speculate what this feminine aspect of God is, what she looks like, or what she does. The Vedas have already answered all these questions for us, we just have to make ourselves available to read and receive it.
The Supreme Lord expands himself in multiple forms according to time, place, circumstance or pastime. There are no rules as to how or why he assumes a form, and he does so at his own discretion. To place a limit on how the Lord can look, act or manifest is but a display of insufficient knowledge of infinite matters. Till next week, read, share and follow for more.

The intricacy of Material Existence

Dear readers,
I hope you all are faring well. Last week was Janmashtami; the appearance day of Sri Krishna. This is a day that Gaudiya Vaisnava’s, Hindu’s, and all those who adhere to Vaishnavism, celebrate the apparition of God on earth some 5000 plus years ago. To the uninitiated, this is like Christmas to Christians, just that Christians celebrate the birth of the Son of God, while Janmashtami celebrates the appearance day of God on Earth.
The festival had lots of activities meant to make the day sacred and also fun filled. Usually, adepts will observe a dry fast until the time of the Lord’s appearance as a sign to show that they are fully committed both in mind and body, to welcome the Lord. This year’s celebration was particularly interesting for me as I got to spend it in the company of other devotees and also loved ones.

Naturally, when the festival was over, I wanted to write a blog about it, to shed some light on the entire celebration, however, I remembered that I had done a blog on The Lord’s Descent. In that blog, I had explained the reason why God descends to Earth and what his activities are while He is here. Thus, doing another blog on the Lord’s appearance would seem more like a repetition hence I felt I discuss something somewhat different instead.
I feel like now is a perfect time to speak about the nature of the material world in which we live and so dearly call home. The reason has been that we all are in contact with material energy or at least it’s various tentacles in some form or another. The most important attribute of the material energy is that it is a part of God’s energy. Material energy just like the spiritual energy comes from the same source; God, even though they have different functions.

The spiritual energy helps us to connect with the absolute on a metaphysical platform, while the material energy reminds us that we should be connecting with the spiritual platform. To lose sight of this crucial point is to lose focus on what really matters. Too often, I see many people “fighting” about how “bad” the material world is and how “hopeless” it is for a spiritual practitioner to be here. This kind of mentality has led some people to become fatalists, to become impersonalists, and to become overly inimical towards the material energy. Of course, the material energy is not on the same platform as the Spiritual energy and we shouldn’t wallow in it, however, we should not despise it too. In the Isopanisad (one of the shortest Upanishads; a part of the Vedas. There are close to 200 Upanishads), it is mentioned that “only one who can learn the process of nescience and transcendental knowledge side by side can transcend the influence of repeated birth and death and enjoy the full blessings of immortality”.
The verse goes a long way to show us that knowledge of nescience (the material energy) is not a bad thing in itself, however, the application of that knowledge is what could lead to degradation if not properly harnessed.

The ideal or seasoned practitioner of spirituality knows that for one to achieve real success in his/her spiritual journey one would have to be at peace with both energies. When we “despise” something, we fail to learn about it as it should be. In order to learn about the nature of the material energy we would have to go to its source; the Supreme Lord, who mentions in the Bhagavad Gita, that the material energy is but one of his energies. When we understand that the material nature is also trying to serve the Lord, only then do we begin to see properly. The Lord mentions that trying to overcome material nature on our own is futile. Thus, we have to surrender to him and by his grace, we can cross over it. The process of surrendering is accompanied with constant practice and detachment. Constant practice refers to certain “Do’s and Don’ts” that allow us to build the required strength to detach ourselves from the snare and enticement of the material nature. If we do not have a solid resolve to systematically rise above the enticement of the material energy, then sooner or later we will find ourselves in serious trouble. Naturally, one may ask at this point; why is the material energy so intricate?

First is because it is part and parcel of the Lord and as such is difficult to understand and surmount. Second is due to the fact that when factors like Karma interplay with the material energy it becomes really difficult to navigate. Whenever I take a look at some of the events that have occurred in my life, it’s kind of given me an avenue to fully appreciate the power of being consciously connected to a spiritual energy. To be connected to a spiritual energy means to be in sync body, mind, and soul. Our activities have to match our talk and our soul has to shine through our bodies. Spirituality is not a party trick or a weekend retreat, it is a way of life, and as such our lifestyle has to reflect our deepest level of connection to a spiritual energy. Just to be clear for those who may be reading my blog for the first time, there is a difference between spirituality and religiosity.
As long as we live in a material world, we are sure to get a dose of what the material energy is about. We are sure to be influenced or even shaken by the material nature, but what matters most is our inner connection to the absolute via a method of conscious and personal devotion to the Supreme Person. It is through this connection that we can weather the storm of life and also hope to find inner peace and enlightenment. Till next week, read, share and follow for more.

Circle of Influence

Dear readers,
I hope you all are faring well. It is a pleasure to be able to share with you all yet another interesting blog today.
In the last few days, I have been deliberating on some thoughts and I felt I share them with you all, more in the mood of trying to bounce off certain ideas and reflect on ways to improve communication and also integrate these ideas into our spiritual lives. The principle of our circle of influence is one which has been explained in a great detail by authors like Steve Covey in his books. To fully grasp the concept of the circle of influence one has to understand also the circle of concern. Both circles work and influence us in ways we know and may not know. In simple words, the circle of influence is those things we have some direct control over like our health, children, work etc. while the circle of concern is those things which are beyond our immediate control. These include the Government, National laws, etc.
There are two kinds of people who deal with these two circles; those who are reactive and those who are proactive. People who are proactive focus more on the circle of influence and expend their energy on things they have some control over and can influence. They know it is futile to spend energy outside this circle trying to fix things in the circle of concern. The circle of concern is outside their immediate influence and as such they do not spend their energy there. On the other hand, reactive people focus their time and energy worrying about things in the circle of concern and this worry translates into nothing tangible as there is almost nothing they can do to change anything in this area. The nature of reactive people is that they wait for a problem to happen before trying to do anything about it. Proactive people try to anticipate the problem and see what viable options are there for solving it before it even occurs.
In other to be able to anticipate a situation, one has to be abreast of what is happening in that situation. The activities and factors in our circle of influence are things we can keep an eye on and work to improve in some way or another. If we are distracted by things outside our circle of influence then it is certain that we would miss the opportunity to adequately prepare for those things inside our circle of influence. Many of us go through life subconsciously worrying most about things in our circle of concern, and as such find it difficult to live a successful and meaningful life. We worry about every other thing besides those things that really matter. As a spiritualist or someone one a path of spirituality we also would have to encounter this dynamic in our daily endeavor. There is a constant internal debate in the mind of a spiritualist as to which energy to feed; the lower or the higher. He has to consciously choose to feed his higher energy daily, as this is what he needs to grow and advance in his spiritual journey. Similarly, the spiritualist has to be careful to make the right decision when it comes to feeding one of the circles.
His daily spiritual activities and life choices would reflect if he is sober enough to be a proactive person or if he is unsteady and more of a reactive person. Now the beauty of spirituality is that it enables us to calm down, focus and place first things first. There is no doubt that the circle of influence has certain areas such as family, health, etc. however when one embarks on a spiritual journey and begins to understand the real nature of the self then he sees things as they are and pays more attention to things that really matter. In that light, the spiritualist has some more addition to his circle of influence. It includes all that is to be found in that circle normally but a little more. His circle of influence reflects how he uses those things that matter to better his spiritual practice. So, for instance, the family is a part of the circle of influence and as such he tries to see that his immediate family at least supports or partakes in his spiritual journey. This enables him to pay more attention to this circle because it also supports his spiritual journey. Understanding that he is not the body but the soul, he maintains the body to be fully functional to serve the Lord in his spiritual journey.
Thus, the Lord becomes a driving factor for the circle of influence for him and this makes his endeavor successful. If for some reason he comes to the path of spirituality as a reactive person, then he is sure to improve if he takes advantage of the process fully by applying himself. The process of meditation, mantra, positive self-affirmation, regulated and cruelty-free diet, prayers, association with like-minded spiritual people, yoga, etc. can also help re-center his purpose and make him a proactive and sober person. The non-spiritualist on the other hand who is not regulated in his bodily needs has little or no control over his emotions and as such it comes as no surprise when he is constantly reacting to matters that are outside his circle of influence. The materialist is preoccupied with the circle of concern because he is not even aware of whom he really is. When there is a lack of clarity about the real self then the foundation for positive growth is shaky, because decisions and life choices are made based on a false identity.
For instance, if one thinks they are their body instead of the soul then it is normal for them to worry about things that pertain to the body. From the misidentification of the body as the self, such people may become overly sentimental about nationalism, racism etc. They feel that being true their real self is to do everything that enhances the bodily identification. This, however, brings nothing but misery, as there cannot be lasting happiness based on temporary objects. The body is temporary and as such the happiness we derive from it cannot be permanent. To experience lasting happiness, we have to position ourselves in a situation that allows us to make choices that are lasting and from a place of peace. We can only experience real peace when we are sober and proactive. It is difficult to be peaceful when we are reactive and in distress.
Till next week, read, share and follow more.

Material Stereotypes

Dear readers,
It is a pleasure to be able to share with you all today yet another interesting blog. I hope you all are faring well. Today while deliberating on the topic to write for our weekly discussion, a few thoughts crossed my mind and I felt I share them in a context that could help everyone in some manner.
Before we delve into the topic per say, I must state that the premise to this discussion is one that stems from recognizing that we are ultimately spiritual beings. Earlier on, I had written a blog on Spiritual Stereotypes and thus I felt the need to make a counterpart. The reason been that we are all living in a material world and as such we have to interact with the material energy and things of that nature. As spiritual entities in a material body we have to live certain experiences which pertain to our body, country, environment, race, religion etc. However, the bottom line is to always remember that we are having a material experience and as such it is temporary. No one makes a big deal of something they know won’t last long. The trick is to actually know that it is temporary, because as long as we think it is permanent or there isn’t more to experience after our limited time here then we won’t know how to re-organize our lives to have a better experience.
That been said, we all must have been exposed to some sort of stereotype based on how we look or what race we belong to. It is no longer surprising to me when I get certain remarks from people based on assumptions they have or might have cultivated over the years. It is sort of “normal” for most people to think that every African American is a great dancer, athlete, gymnast, etc. It is also sort of “normal” for people to think every Asian kid is a Wizkid, super smart and very good at Mathematics. It also comes as no surprise that people think every Caucasian is rich and from an affluent background. Having been blessed with the grace and opportunity to visit 4 continents, I can confidently say that these assumptions are true for certain people and untrue for others. I have met Asians who are not so smart, African Americans who are bad at sports, and Caucasians who aren’t anywhere near rich. Just as there are positive stereotypes we also have the negative ones which I won’t be mentioning here so as to keep the energy on this read positive. The objective of this blog is to understand how to deal with these as spiritual practitioners in our place of worship or spirituality.
Believe it or not, these material stereotypes somehow or another creep into places of worship and prayer and instead of having our minds focused on whatever Divinity we are meditating on, we find ourselves consciously or sub-consciously looking for flaws in our colleagues. One of the biggest hinderances in our spiritual quest is to commit offences towards those who have dedicated their lives to deepening their faith and conviction about certain spiritual matters. One easy way to commit offences towards other spiritual practitioners is to judge them based on their bodily appearances. In as much as some of us try to avoid doing this physically, we may actually be enforcing certain stereotypes even without knowing. I once happened to live in a spiritual community that had a very diverse demographic and actually preached a lot about how we are not this body, however I couldn’t help but notice a pattern every time we had our meals. I noticed that the Indian bodied practitioners always sat together, the Mexicans did same, the Caucasians did same and without even trying to plan it, there was hardly a time when the temples were sat differently.
I was in the minority and probably the only person in a colored body and I took it upon myself to rotate which table I sat at. Some days I’ll sit with the Indians, another day the Mexicans and some days with the Caucasians. (I must say I really don’t like classifying people by how they look and this is just to give my readers a glimpse into the picture I am trying to paint). What this did was amazing. I began to see that every group would relate with me as if I was from their demographic and we had a mutual relationship of trust. I would also reciprocate this trust by making sure that I kept whatever discussion I had with each group strictly within it. Nevertheless, I couldn’t help but think about how much more progress we would make if we all could go beyond the bodily platform and associate on a deeper level. I could see that many people wanted to establish real loving connections but were hesitant because they felt they would be judged or misunderstood by members of a different demographic. This made me sad not just because I could see the tension this emptiness was creating but because I knew that each group was going off the other based on certain preconceived assumption that they had formulated over time.
Having to deal with material stereotypes in a secular setting is trying enough and many of us would rather not have to engage with that energy. What is more draining is when that energy creeps into a spiritual environment or place of worship and adherents begin to vibe off it. So, what is the way forward? My first suggestion is that whenever you go to place of worship/meditation/prayer etc., please drop off all your “baggage’s” right at the door step. By baggage’s I mean all bodily identifications, all worries, all desires, all thoughts opposing to spiritual growth, all stereotypes, all sorts of distractions be they physical such as a mobile device or as subtle as a thought process.
As spiritual practitioners we must endeavor to raise not just our consciousness but of those around us too, by our words, and actions. If we have a collective effort to achieve this, then we can be certain of positive growth in our spiritual life and less dealings with stereotypes from bodily identification. Till next week, read, share and follow for more.

Paradigm Shift

Dear readers,

It is my pleasure to be able to share with you today yet another interesting blog. My weekend was quite busy and fulfilling, as I made new steps in my life regarding my relationships. I am grateful to the Supreme Lord for this new phase and also extremely grateful to family and friends for all of their love and support. I sincerely apologize for posting a day later than usual, I had quite a busy weekend.

Looking back at most of the events in my life generally, I can’t help but notice that besides whatever talent or qualification the Lord has given me, there have been quite some personal transformations I have had to undergo. One of them has been shifting my paradigm about a good number deal of things. Paradigm basically means a typical example or pattern of something. In life, we all have different paradigms that affect our perspectives, and the degree to which we allow these paradigms to play out is relative to that degree of being able to break through certain limitations which are interwoven in our basic paradigms.

The concept of paradigm shift is one which has become a multi-million dollar industry today, because over time people are seeing more than ever before that if our basic ideology is of a certain pattern and we build that into our paradigm, then we are more than likely to make most of our life decisions based on these paradigms. Our paradigm is being constantly constructed and manifested during the course of our lives by various factors. Our families, our association, friends, work colleagues, personal preferences, faith, religion, spirituality, etc.

Sometimes we wonder why we are stuck in certain areas of life and imagine what would happen if things were different,  however many people stop at this level not knowing how to proceed, while others try to proceed but face a recurring setback. Little do they know that the factor that has been “holding” them back is more of their own making than some external factor. Take for instance someone who has built a paradigm of fear of success (due to either family traditions or negative internal dialogue), this individual would find it difficult to accept and embrace success in their lives no matter how easily it comes. The principle of addressing our paradigms has a lot to do with replacing our current way of thinking about certain things with a new mindset. Up to the last half-century, some people felt that human beings were superior to each other merely based on how they looked or what texture their hair was.

Many bought into this idea, and its effects on mankind have been devastating, to say the least. Now we know better and we have seen over time that there is a lot more to the human intelligence than just their physical appearance. There had to be a major paradigm shift in the mentality of people to make this change happen. The paradigm shift required to make such a change began with a conscious decision and specific intent. This shift also has to be made with the intent to improve or better our involvement with the factor we are trying to get a new perspective on. A paradigm shift should help us make a transition from a place of mediocrity to a place of excellence. For a paradigm shift to occur, however, there has to be a conscious thought process that makes us see that we are at a place where we need to grow. If we are comfortable with our current disposition then there cant be a talk about having a paradigm shift.

The application of paradigm shifts has been seen in various areas of society such as science, religion, management, etc. This goes a long way to show that it is a principle that cuts across many disciplines and as such its applications are versatile. Since we are looking at this from a spiritual perspective, it is pertinent to see how this principle can also be applied from a metaphysical perspective. As spiritualists, we have to be conscious of our thought process and make sure we make deliberate actions needed to experience the divine in ways that are not restricted by our paradigm. The spiritualist has to be very conscious to make sure that his paradigm is a true reflection of his spiritual practices. If our spiritual practices are mature and sincere then naturally our paradigm will reflect our deepest inner values.

In as much as we want our paradigm shift to be one of positivity and growth, we have to see that our daily interactions and choices reflect our deepest realizations. The journey to making a paradigm shift is one that involves a lot of re-education. Often times we see today that people are invited to attend seminars that help them learn how to think, feel, and will. Our thoughts, words, and actions also make a great deal of our paradigm. In fact, it is safe to say that our paradigms can be read through our words, thoughts, and actions. The most beautiful aspect of making a conscious paradigm shift is the fact that we are naturally empowering ourselves from within to help ourselves make the necessary transitions we need to make in order to be successful in whatever endeavor we are involved in. Many authors like Robert Kiyosaki and Steve Covey have been able to show what can be achieved the moment we make such paradigm shifts in our lives.

The sage from previous ages underwent arduous austerities to make the body transcend so many physical elements. However even though the process of meditation may seem to be a physical one, there is always an inner journey where the sage has to shift his paradigm from that of a bodily conception to a subtle platform. If he thinks that he is the material body subject to many flaws, then he is going to have a hard time making the transition required for him to obtain the mystic powers he is searching for. However, the moment he begins to think differently (which is the internal beginning of making this shift) then he is met with the wonders of what can be achieved as soon as the mind is made to adapt to a new paradigm.

I hope this meets you well Until next week read, share and follow for more.

Doing it right! (A prayer)

Dear readers,
Please accept my warmest greetings. It is great to be able to share with you all again yet another topic and I hope you all are faring well.
Today, I’ll like to share with you all a prayer, like I do from time to time. The prayers I share here are usually written in a mood that allows for my readers to connect not just with the words of the prayer but also with the mood with which they are written. As usual, I’ll like to say that my prayers do not in any way reflect my stage of “advancement” however they are my deepest cries and call out to the Supreme Lord in various times.
Dear Lord, I know I try to connect with you every day in my meditation, my mantra recitation and my worship, however when I write you a prayer it is different. In my writing, I have the opportunity to offer you my intellect in the form of choice words, strung on the thread of various moods just like a flower garland. Sometimes it is difficult for me to find the right words but as always, I just start and let you lead me from within. Today my request is simple, not one too materialistic neither too spiritual, but a perfect balance in between them both. Please teach me how to do it right.
Dear Lord, having a material body means I have to take care of it by eating, sleeping, mating and defending. However, I do not want these tendencies to take over my intelligence and cloud my ability to discern right from wrong. I know the modes of material nature are at work 24/7 in their quest to keep me entangled, but I also know that your grace is sufficient for me. As I eat to nourish my body, let me only eat food which has been offered to you in sacrifice and accepted as communion. Protect me from eating anything that will cause pain to any living entity, knowingly or unknowingly. Please teach me how to do it right
Dear Lord, as I sleep, let my subconscious mind and subtle body create dreams that help me rise up to higher planetary systems and connect with great teachers from the past and future. Let my dreams be a continuation of my reality as I try to learn more about your pastimes and glories. Let my subtle body learn to travel to realms that are free from sensual activities or filled with hostile people and creatures. Allow me to experience different spiritual activities in a way that may not be possible with my physical body. As I mate to procreate, please help me do so with a partner who is a gift from you, and may the act itself be a source of bliss and joy for us and the world, because we would be bringing forth souls that are pious. Help me understand that my partner is a gift from you and as such I must take care of her, seeing you in her at all times. Please protect me from my own mentality of being an enjoyer but rather one to be enjoyed by you. Please teach me how to do it right.
Dear Lord, as I defend myself either through my navigation of daily activities or against envious people who try to thwart my effort, let me always remember to do so with a sense of detachment and love. Help me see that even those who try to cause me pain are nothing but instruments in the hands of material nature and as such I have nothing to prove to them. Help dear Lord to rise above the spirit of being vindictive, for revenge is of you and as such I must have faith that time and karma would eventually fight for me. May all those who wish me bad not have to deal with my sense of defense, because with time you will place me on higher grounds above them all just to show that you are loyal to those who serve you. As I pray to you to keep me safe from having to defend myself unnecessarily from wicked an envious people, Lord please also protect my mind from finding fault in others. Help me always remember to mind my own business and not make the affairs of others my priority. Please teach me how to do it right.
Dear Lord, as I try to use material things in spiritual activities with the sense of dovetailing them, please help me remember to whom everything belongs. Help me see that you are the proprietor of everything and as such all that I have is but a gift from you. Lord, please help me stay true to the promises I make to family and friends when it comes to providing them with material amenities to support their spiritual functions. Help me so that I can create a system that allows them to remember you always because they do not have to focus too much on the material aspects of life. To those who serve you with explicit love and devotion, you carry what they lack and preserve what they have. Lord, even though my love and devotion for you may not be explicit, please do not forget your promise. In your words, I have faith and believe that just by keeping true to them I will surely receive the blessings thereof. Please teach me how to do it right.
Dear Lord, not a day passes by without me committing some sort of offense knowingly or unknowingly, I sincerely pray that you please overlook them just like a father overlooks the faults of a child. I in no way try to purposely offend you, however living in this world can take a toll on you sometimes, so much that you act in ways beyond your control. Lord please see and remember my service to you, no matter how insignificant they may be. This simple servant of yours is simply just trying to live right. I know I may slip at times but I promise I’ll always find my feet back up again. Please teach me how to do it right.
Till next week do read, share and follow for more.

Compromise

Dear readers,

I hope you all are faring well, it is a great pleasure to be able to share with you all yet another topic this week.

This week I felt I harp a bit on something I feel is a rather crucial factor in any relationship. Over the years I have always wondered what could be a solid factor that has saved many relationships from ruin and the list ranges from Love, commitment, friendship, compromise, service etc. In this discussion, however, we will be looking at compromise as a factor that has helped many relationships in the past and present. So what exactly does it mean to compromise? To compromise means to have an agreement or settlement of a dispute where each has to make a concession.

Almost every relationship would at some point experience some turbulence and when the ship begins to rock from the stormy waters, it is sometimes difficult to reach a healthy agreement, if both partners are not in tune with each other. Whenever there is a disagreement in a relationship, be it a conflict in ideas, thoughts, a difference in opinion on matters that both parties hold important, or just mere daily choices, it is important to understand that there is a lot more than “having our way”. Generally, as human beings, we all have our own opinions and every healthy relationship should definitely allow us the chance to express this to the fullest without incapacitating our partners. However, there comes a point when there is a lot more to expressing our views than just wanting to be heard.

Without realizing it, many people may unconsciously want a desire to be met or an opinion taken as absolute because it validates an unspoken need to feel important or to lord over everything. This need could be innocent or sometimes motivated depending on the individual. Since we do not possess special abilities to read our partner’s mind and intention, we all have to rely on our senses, and they are also imperfect in nature. Due to this fact, we have to be very careful about how we react or judge the actions of our significant other. This is where compromise comes in. Basically compromise in any given situation means; you have a strong ground and I also do, however, we want to work together without allowing these seemingly different opinions come between us. So in other to do this, we are both willing to take a step/multiple steps towards a common point and then work from there.

The beauty of being able to make a compromise in a situation of conflicting interest is that it reminds our partners that we do love them as much as we profess and that we are willing to accept some discomfort so that the relationship can thrive. Compromise helps sustain the life airs of the relationship, while egocentric decisions snuff the life out of the relationship. Compromise helps us remember to put the other person’s feelings into consideration instead of just dwelling on ours. Compromise in a relationship is a way of acknowledging our partner’s individuality while existing in a strong bonded relationship. If we do not have a spirit of service then reaching a compromise can be difficult. If we do not have the spirit of fellowship in the relationship then reaching a compromise is also difficult. The concept of compromise in a relationship, however, goes a step further than this.

The ultimate form of compromise is when a couple consciously decides to make a compromise for the “third partner”. The third partner being the Supreme Lord. In every relationship that is based on higher spiritual values, the couple should involve the Supreme Lord as a third partner. He acts as the basis of the relationship and helps to always bring things to center and perspective. The couple works together as a team to build all they have for the sole pleasure of God. In all that they do, even if they have seemingly different views and perspectives, they can both come to a compromise that is uplifting and fulfilling in the long run. In a regular relationship, sometimes couples may feel that they always have to make a compromise while a partner doesn’t, and with time this can tell on the bond shared.

In a relationship where God is the third partner, this feeling is not there because the compromises made are all done for the satisfaction of the Lord and not for either of the partner’s interest. Ultimately the results of such compromises are still enjoyed by those in the relationship but with a sense of service to the Lord. No one feels pressured to always initiate a compromise and as such there are less ill feelings. Another interesting point about making a compromise for the “third partner” is that the compromise is a middle ground that both partners have accepted from a place of solid scriptural understanding. They make these compromises knowing fully well what the outcome is because of previous couples in the path of their faith who have made similar compromises.

As a matter of fact, those couples who have been able to establish the place of the Lord as a third partner in the relationship would soon notice that they have lesser compromises to make. This is so because every decision they make or anything they do, they do so knowing full well that is meant for the satisfaction of the Lord. Thus the concept of I, Me and Mine is reduced to a very minute extent. The more we think less of ourselves and more of the Lord, the more we can experience real happiness and peace in our relationship. A large percentage of the frustrations in a relationship are from unfulfilled desires that each partner carries around with the hope and intention that they can somehow realize it within the relationship. Thus simply put; working in the relationship to satisfy their own senses. Compromises will be made no doubt, the real question is whom do we make it for and how.

Till next week, do read, share and follow for more.

 

Thought Bending

Dear readers,

I hope you all are faring well. It is a pleasure to be able to share with you some new insights this week. Today before we delve into our topic for the day, I just want to say I had an amazing weekend, most especially because I could connect with my god-family and also had the chance to make new acquaintances. The buildup to last weekend for me was pretty exciting and I must say I have picked up a few more things.

I needed to make a journey and as such, I had to make arrangements such as flight and other travel logistics. Prior to this journey, I had a few doubts as to whether I could make it or not. The entire process of preparing up to taking my flights had some hiccups that I had to practically power my way through mentally. This kind of reminds me of my travel experiences as a teenager. The power of visualization had helped me go through some of the most hectic travels all before I actually had them. Even though at the time I had some vague idea of the power of visualization, I didn’t really know how powerful it was and to what extent I was influencing things. One day, I actually had a conversation with my Dad and I had mentioned that I used this technique to sort of cushion trips I knew would be “tough”.

Of course, he knew about this concept and used it on a more advanced level and did share a few pointers but I sort of “outgrew” the practice with time. Every now and then I’ll channel this process whenever I had a “blockage” in any of my activities but it was sort of an occasional means to be one step ahead of matter. Last weekend while travelling, I missed my connecting flight as I wasn’t familiar with the airport and the concourses they had. So it took me longer than usual to find the boarding gate for my flight and by the time I got there, my flight had taken off. At this point; panic, fear, regret and more negative thought patterns can easily envelop you and before you know it, you are sunk in self pity. I had quick glimpse of all these but there and then, I guess subconsciously I knew it wasn’t going to help me. The ticket attendant, did what she could and I was scheduled for another flight that was 2 hours away; as pending and another 6 hours away that was confirmed.

I accdepted my fate and went to sit in the waiting area as I began to refelect on the events that were unfolding as nature’s way of allowing me to reorganize my energy. I had 6 hours to look into my trip ahead and the entire weekend’s activities. This is where the concept of “thought bending” comes in. For every positive thought I tried to project there was an equal and opposite negative one just waiting to tell me that I was wasting my time. I’ll refocus and then try again to send out the vibes I needed. This part requires mental power that isn’t easily affected by the hundreds of negative thoughts streaming into our minds. For each positive thought I created, I had to back it up with some detail. The subconcious mind has its way of also allowing us tap into reserved positivity or negativity; depeding on which we have cultivated more in the past.

Just like the animated series of Avatar, where you have tribes that bend the elements ( Water, Earth, Fire and Air) to serve their will and purpose, similarly thought bending  is a process of been aware of our thought pattern and bending them to become more favorable. I must say that as simple as this sounds, it is very esoteric in nature and those who haven’t had any experience with projecting energy may find this write up somewhat vague, and I do understand how they feel, nevertheless do not give up on trying. To those who already have some experience on this subject matter, I say that practice, and only positive thought patterns should be cultivated.

My dad once told me during one of our esoteric conversations that “magic is order”. I got a hint of what he meant at the time and how he had used the phrase to explain an incidence, however little did I know that when order is instilled in our thoughts, the result is nothing short of a magical expereince. When we can weed out the negative thoughts and replace them with positive ones, so very often while believing in the materialization of the new thoughts then we can aspire to have a better chance at thought bending.  A quick example I’ll like to share to give more insight to this concept is a simple one we can try at any time. if you can lay your hands on a packet of straws, scatter say 30 straws on a table and without trying to arrange them, grab them in that pile and try to make them all conform to any particular distortion of your choice. You’ll find out that it is almost impossible, as the straws will keep falling off your grip. It might be even very difficult to pick them all up.

Now if you gather all 30 straws and arrange them nicely side by side, you’ll notice how much more easier it is to pick them all up and then proceed to distorting their shape all in one move and direction. In the same vein, negative thoughts are like scattered straws and the untrained mind is like the hand trying to grab them all in one pick. By constant practice such as meditaion or better still mantra meditation, one will gradually be able to arrange these thoughts and then have them conform to whatever shape or form we desire. I hope this blog helps those of you struggling with having prodcutive thought patterns, and I hope it helps those who are more advanced in this practice to be able to affect the world on a more positive energy level.

Till next week, do read, share and follow for more.

The concept of divine inspiration

Dear readers,
I’m glad to share with you all once again another interesting topic today. I hope you all are faring well. Today we will be looking at Divine Inspiration and how faith can be a propelling factor to make this happen.
This is more of a thought process for me rather than me actually sharing some “realized perspective”, so kindly bear with me if my thoughts flow in a raw format. We all know how important it is to have some source of inspiration in our lives. Some people look up to elderly folks, parents, celebrities, you name it and I can bet you it just might be someone’s source of inspiration. I am not here to actually analyze the source of inspiration but to see what it does per say. On one hand, I’ll like to imagine that the “bigger” the source of inspiration, the bigger the achievement but I guess that wouldn’t be correct. The story of Robinson Crusoe who got inspiration from a spider to sail after 7 failed attempts would naturally put this theory to rest. In our modern times, we have a good number of Pastors who claim to have been “called” or at least inspired by some divine energy to go forth and save people.
On the spiritual side, we have someone like Arjuna, who got on the battlefield and seeing his relatives, developed cold feet and decided at the last minute to cow out. Krishna standing right next to him becomes his divine inspiration to put aside fear, false identification with the body, Illusion, Doubts, etc. while giving him clarification based on sound philosophical discussions. So naturally I ask myself sometimes a question I think we should all ask ourselves; What (Who) is my source of divine inspiration? How does it motivate me to be a better person? What can I do to be more in contact with my source of divine inspiration? What has my connection to this inspiration done for those who surround me? Is my source of divine inspiration a blessing or a curse to others? These and many more questions are the likes of what we should ask ourselves on a daily basis; at least I try to ask myself this.
The twist is often times, we may get connected to the “wrong” source of divine inspiration, or maybe better still let me say our desires and aspirations have a nice way of masquerading as divine inspirations. Deep down us, we have these desires that won’t go away and after years of trying to get rid of them, our intelligence aided by the fickle mind; this duo finds a way to try to weave our desires into whatever belief system we have. Thus, it is not hard to come across wickedness has woven into religion and presented as religious conversion, greed woven into spirituality and presented as spiritual growth and prosperity, lust is woven into our society and presented as expression and passion. The examples are limitless and so are the consequences, but what can we (I) do about this? Of course, on a bigger scale, there isn’t much I can do to influence people, probably because I don’t have that platform yet, however, I feel in my own little way here and now there are some things I can do to enhance my connection with my source of divine inspiration.
The way I see divine inspiration is like drinking through a straw. If the straw is clean, we get the drink straight, nice and easy. On the other hand, if the straw is clogged up with debris or stuff then when we try to drink, we would obviously have a mix of the debris and the drink. In plain terms, I think the way to having a better divine connection is trying as best as I can to just be as clean and as open as a straw free of debris. To make sure that my “inside” is as clean as my “outside”, otherwise, the drink would be mixed. Another way to see this is that if the source of inspiration (drink) is also not divine as we think or claim it is, then for sure we won’t get the satisfaction we are seeking and/or we may get contaminated depending on how “toxic” it is. If the goal is to drink water and we have a straw filled up with sand, then we may drink water but end up with dirty water in our system. If the goal is to drink water to quench our thirst and we have milk in the glass, for the time being, we may feel good, but the thirst would come back and until we have water we would never be satisfied.
So, every day as I go through life I try to make sure that my inner reflection or internal dialogue is in line with my external dialogue. That my heart reflects what I do and not hide who I really am. That my desires are as simple and clear as possible so that whenever I connect to a source of divine inspiration, whatever is magnified by this connection is positive. I must say as humbly as I can that in real life this is somewhat difficult because we are caught up in a material body and living in a material world, and we are constantly being bombarded with all kinds of suggestions etc. Thus, to navigate through all of these while maintaining a sane mind that has desires that are pure and sincere takes a lot more practice and determination. It would be more of a journey than a destination and the more we try to better the journey than try to arrive at a preconceived destination the easier it will be to achieve this.
Last but not least, we have to consciously fine-tune our desires so that when we make this divine connection, we have positive desires magnified in our lives and not selfish desires. We are definitely going to have some desires that are personal but the way we go about realizing them shouldn’t be selfish neither should it bring harm to others. Till next week I hope we can all try to think through some of my thoughts here and see how to apply them in our lives.
Kindly Read, share and follow for more.