SEXUAL ENERGY 2: EQUILIBRIUM

Dear readers,

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

With the events that have been unfolding in my life recently I wanted to share some deep thoughts on another subject matter however I felt I rather run through the second part of this blog before I do, lest we may forget and not return to it. If you haven’t seen  the first part please do try to read it here .This week I shall focus our discussion more on how to manage this powerful energy that we have and how we can attain some state of equilibrium when it comes to balancing our sexual energy.

Today there are many schools that teach various aspects of yoga and some of them try to teach people about how they can harness their sexual energy. In fairness to those that are legit, I will say not all of them meet the mark and a lot actually end up sinking people more into the very pit they promised to help them rise from. In attaining some state of equilibrium as regards sex, there are usually two ways to go about it; the path of total exhaustion of the desire and the path of intelligent redirect. The first path usually entails people having to engage in the act until they are totally disgusted with it, and end up tired of it. However as we all know, sex is something that doesn’t leave us even up to our death bed.

There is a story of a man who wanted to know how long the desire for sex stays in our mind, and so he went to a sage for an answer. The sage told him to return the next day but to bring his beautiful young daughter along. The next day, as scheduled the man showed up with his daughter and the sage took him to see a dying old man. As soon s they entered the room, the old man’s eyes lit up upon seeing the girl. The sage spoke with him for a while and then they all took leave of him. When they came out the sage asked the man who had come to inquire from him about the duration of sex desire in our hearts. He said “when we were inside the room with the dying man, did you notice anything?” The man replied “Yes I did, the moment he saw my daughter he had his eyes on her the entire time we were there and couldn’t stop staring at her”.

Very well, said the sage. That is your answer. Sex desire doesn’t leave up until death. So one may ask, if it so difficult to “rid” oneself of sex desire, then how can we be free from it. This brings us to the second path which is the path of intelligent redirect. There are two sub divisions under this path. The first is to actually utilize this energy in a setting where we are not promiscuous or frivolous, and where the end result of this energy is to be responsible for the act itself. That is to procreate and raise children of higher consciousness. The desired setting would be in a legal or spiritual union where the couple involved know that they have a sense of love and duty to one another. This would be the most followed for many as it allows one to gradually outgrow the desire by steady practice of detachment while still having a healthy access to it.

The second path is seen to be taken by many religious men who have dedicated their lives to the work of God, and this is celibacy. Being celibate is a huge responsibility and many who delve into it, unprepared usually fall out faster than they went in. Celibacy is actually more than just the physical avoidance of sex, it also involves the subtle abstinence of sex. That is in the mind, which is the sitting place of our thoughts. Those who choose to attain a balance by going through celibacy need to train themselves to maintain high mental power to be able to deal with the constant influx of thoughts that plague our minds. Thus it is not uncommon to see that many celibates who have a deeper understanding of celibacy, practice some sort of meditation, usually sound or mantra meditation to help deal with the mind.

One thing that is certain is; irrespective of which path we choose to follow, we must realize that attaining equilibrium in our sexual energy takes a lot of work, dedication and practice. We have to be true to ourselves by keeping away from those objects/association/environment that stimulate our desires. We must be conscious of our diet, as this plays a vital role in stabilizing our sexual energy. If we have our food infused with so much passion, then chances are that we would definitely become filled with passion and ultimately search an outlet. We must also learn how to regulate our eating and sleeping habits, as these two have a lot of direct influence on how we can control our sex lives.

One would notice or remark that when we are observing some sort of fast be it religious or even just as a matter of diet/ detox, we usually have less inclination to sexual activity. This is because for a body to be fully stimulated the tongue, and stomach have to be satiated. When we have a stomach that is heavy, all that energy bears down on our lower regions and naturally we stimulate the sexual energy. It is difficult to be fully engrossed in sexual thoughts or activity when we are starving. This is not to say starving is a solution but to draw insight from it as a pointer in helping us maintain a healthy eating habit that doesn’t stimulate or agitate our senses.

I’ll like you to reflect on these few points for now and subsequently if there are more questions on the matter I shall try to clarify further. Till next week, do read, internalize and share. Follow for more

SEXUAL ENERGY: REPRESSION vs SELF CONTROL

Dear readers,

I am glad to be able to share with you all yet another interesting topic this week. I hope you all are faring well. Today I intend to take on a topic which is very delicate and yet probably less spoken about.

For some reason or the other, the word “sex” draws a varied range of reactions when mentioned, that most people just naturally shy away from the subject matter. In as much as I shall try to divulge as much as possible on the metaphysical aspects of sex, I do hope that my readers find this dissertation worthy of their perusal. Sex is one very powerful force in this material world that we live in, so much so that almost everything we do revolves directly or indirectly around it. Many people may beg to differ on this point however when we take a closer look, we can see that the truth isn’t farfetched.

On the physical level, sex involves two people coming together in physical union usually to gratify the senses, to give and receive pleasure. This is however the lowest form of the sexual energy, because its motive is purely self-centered and there is usually no code of conduct. When we transcend the physical and move to the subtle level then we begin to see that there is more to sex than just the rubbing together of two bodies. It is very subtle and can have life changing effects on those who seek to misuse it or engage in it for frivolity. We have to agree that in this world the highest form of pleasure is linked to matters relating to the sexual energy, and thus it is often difficult for many people to curtail the excesses that come with it.

When two people come together in sexual union there is a lot more happening than just the exchange of pleasure or body fluids. There is a very high energy exchange that occurs, so much so that people find it had to break off a sexual partner who may be abusive because they have been deeply connected to each other through sex. Not only is the physical pleasure addictive in itself, but the impressions this exchange leaves on the mind of those involved can be lifelong. As a simple example, it is no news that many women find it difficult to completely forget the man they had their first encounter with, no matter how long it may have happened. This is not because he was so special but because the act in itself is special and thus the impressions on the mind are heavy. In as much as I want to give my readers a good preamble, I fear that I may make this dissertation too lengthy, as sex as a topic is so vast that I cannot possibly cover everything here.

Nonetheless, if we are to speak of repression and self-control, then we must try to understand the subject matter a little more in Toto. So one may ask why repress the sexual energy in the first place? Why not experience or enjoy it? Well we have to understand that everything done in abuse has a negative effect no matter how good it is. Thus we must understand that there is a way and direction for employing our sexual energy, so that we do not abuse it, or become enslaved by it. When people lack the ability to rise above the impulse of the sex drive then there is an artificial need to “stop” it or repress it, science shows that this is bad. Often times when we speak of self-control on the matter of sexual energy, many people confuse it with repression. However there is a vast difference between the two; while repression is the person trying to avoid the subject while the mind still lingers on it, self-control on the other hand is the use of the intelligence in subduing the mind while simultaneously keeping off from it physically. Repression has a negative after effect while self-control has a positive on going effect on the practitioner. There is no gain saying that one who is apt in controlling his sexual energy, is less susceptible to Sexually transmitted diseases, and he is a master of his mind. He knows that there is more to sex than just the physical aspect and as such if he has to engage in it, he has to play by the codes of conduct to ensure that he is less entangled in it. The person who has learnt to apply self-control when it comes to matters of sex, has his mind under control and his passions tamed. He is to be seen as a person of intelligence, as it takes a high level of intelligence to constantly subdue the mind. The intelligence I speak of here is not “book intelligence” but intelligence gained from acquiring knowledge that is absolute in nature.

Repression on the other hand is like a pressure cook/pot. On the outside we may feel “wow, what a reserved and composed look” however the internal “temperatures” are a lot higher than we can ever imagine. Just as the pressure pot sits on fire and cooks faster in less time, similarly those who physically avoid sex but have their minds 24 hrs. on it, are like such pots because they are constantly feeding the mind with these desires while shutting the “valve”. There will be an eruption sooner or later. Repression is not only bad for those involved but also for those around such a person. When there is repression of sexual energy, we see the “outburst” in various ways such as unnecessary negative attitudes, anger, intolerance etc. These sentiments do not only affect the person who is repressing this energy but also triggers a ripple effect on those who are close to them and the society in which they live.

So in a summary, repression is not a healthy path to controlling the sexual energy, however self-control is. In my next blog, I shall speak more on some useful tips on practicing self-control. Till then, do read, internalize, share and subscribe

INCOGNITO

Dear readers,

It is great to be here with you all again this week and above all most exciting to be able to share with you more insightful topics. I hope you all are faring well.

Last week we took a look at a topic called the “internal dialogue” and basically I tried to shed some light on what happens when we have the wrong kind of internal dialogue. That is to say, when we allow our minds to take over and continue to feed us with very negative thought processes. We also saw that these thought process wasn’t something that magically happened over night but as a result of our habits and choices.

Today we aren’t necessarily going to go in the same direction but we shall rather look at how the mind puts us in a mode where we have an altered identity, or one that isn’t our real identity; incognito. Incognito as a word means to have one’s identity concealed, this is a state we are all going through due to the fact that we have material bodies that are not cognizant and eternal. Thus when we are at such a disadvantage it is best not to indulge in anything that further makes us incognito. By virtue of having a material body we are already at a disadvantage as to what our original constitutional position or identity is, and thus we have to do things that enhance the remembrance of our identity and not those that make us forget. One easy way to forget is to indulge ourselves in internal dialogues that distract us from our real goal.

The truth is, as part and parcel of a Supreme Being who is all pervading, it is almost impossible to try to be incognito, as this is not natural. However, we can become incognito if we fail to realize who we really are, and one way to do that is to do all those things that are not conducive for our spiritual growth. Internal dialogue isn’t just about overcoming negativity, but also about breaking free from captivity; the captivity of the mind. The mind tells us we are the body and we act on the bodily platform and ignore all those things which help us attain a higher state of consciousness and realization. The mind tells us that we are better off doing things that promote bodily identification, because by so doing we forget our real nature more and more. Thus it is as if we are consciously going deeper into the incognito mode. One interesting thing about “being incognito” is that we for a moment think that we actually aren’t there, and for one who isn’t “there” the question of responsibility is out of question.

What does that mean? When we indulge in destructive internal dialogue we are actually helping our minds to feed us the idea that we are nothing more than “bodies”. If and when we buy into this idea, we take a step further into being incognito because we begin to actually negate the existence of anything superior to the body. By refusing to accept that there is a force higher than the body, we are free to act as we please because there is no accountability for the soul. The main reason why people feel “comfortable” with being “incognito” as regards their true spiritual identity is that; they do not want to be bothered with the reality of being more than just a body. So you might hear stuff like “well we are all just light and thus we should all just be living lights that shine in the world”. As “sweet” as this may sound, we can immediately see that with being “light” we are not accountable for anything. Everything is more or less laisse faire. However, when we refine our internal dialogue to the point where we see and accept that we are more than just the body then we begin to ask questions like; “how can I know more about the real self? What is the duty of the real self? These questions will lead to a genuine search and that search will yield results that will hopefully spur one into action, and when there is action there is definitely reaction and consequences.

One may wonder, if our real nature offers more than just the incognito mode that we are currently in due to our choices and negative internal dialogue, then why aren’t we opting for the better plan?

Well the simple answer is Ignorance or lack of realized knowledge. When we do not have the knowledge we need about the real self, then we think it is best to be unknown or incognito. Let us imagine you have a large inheritance, worth millions of dollars, left for you by a distant relative who didn’t have any family members, then it is easier for you to live in whatever circumstances that you are currently in now. However the moment you know that you have that inheritance that is rightfully yours, everything changes. You immediately gear into action, you begin to find a lawyer to know about the technicality of claiming the inheritance, then you also make inquiries as to what exactly the inheritance entails, and then you also begin to plan what you will do with it. Thus the knowledge about the real state or identity is the key to this sad state of being incognito.

The knowledge needed to step out of this state of being incognito is vast and yet simple for those who are simple minded. If we sincerely start by watching our internal dialogues then we can hope to actually begin to ask ourselves questions that are necessary for our real identity. I hope this sheds some light on the matter. Till next week do read, internalize, share and follow for more.

INTERNAL DIALOGUE

Dear readers,

It’s a pleasure to be able share with you all yet another interesting topic this week, I do hope you all are faring well. Last week we celebrated Mother’s day and I didn’t have a blog up until after the day, so I guess Happy Belated Mother’s day are in order.

We can never really fathom how much Mother’s go through to raise and take care of us as kids, until we have to actually take care of a child and then we begin to mentally imagine what our Mother’s went through. So I suppose everyone at least took some time out to show some appreciation for the thankless service that their Mothers have rendered for years. That been said, I have something really interesting I would like to harp on this week and it is about our internal dialogue. Believe it or not most of us spend a lot of time talking to or with ourselves for the most part of the day and many would like to term this “dialogue” as “thinking, reflection, strategizing, etc.” or maybe even mere soliloquizing. Well, hopefully this dialogue remains internal and not external, lest people may begin to wonder about the state of our mental health.

So how much internal dialogue do we really have daily? What do we really talk to ourselves about? How does our internal dialogue affect or influence our daily activities? Does negative internal dialogue affect us physically, mentally or even spiritually?

These are but a few questions I would like to answer here in this blog, to help my readers have a better feel of what this internal dialogue is all about. Without much ado, internal dialogues are those conversations we have in our “heads or mind” for which most of the part are known to us alone. These conversations may vary from our look on a particular day, to how someone spoke to us, to what our next lie of action will be at work, to our relationships, and so on and so forth. There is just one sticky part to this and that is the fact that whatever it is we are dialoguing about tends to generate a certain wave in ether and also affect us with a boomerang effect. Let’s say for example there is an employee at work that you do not like for some reason whatsoever and every day you see him/her, your internal dialogue is about hate speech, sooner or later these dialogues will manifest in your physical conversations with this co-worker. As the mind thinketh, so thus the mouth speak. The example above is very gross and easy to see and thus it might be somewhat easier to rectify, if we make conscious efforts to address our feelings towards the co-worker.

There are however internal dialogues that do not have an immediate reflection or boomerang effect on us like the above mentioned one, and those are problematic. A quick example will be an internal dialogue about our self-esteem. Let us imagine every day we have hours on end of internal dialogue about how we are not very sociable and how we lack interpersonal relationships, these dialogues come out in the cosmos and then we have the daily boomerang effect that we have low self-esteem, coming back at us in huge impact. Our internal dialogues do not remain in our heads as we wrongly think, they come out as subtle projections and then affects us on a deeper level. Many Positivity speakers and motivational gurus talk a lot about the power of being positive and being careful about the things we say, however the bottom line that many may forget to tell you is that positive thinking as the name implies comes from positive internal dialogues. This is why many people wonder as to why they seem to make a week’s progress after such workshops and seminars but before they realize they are back in their negative thought pattern. The answer to this mystery is because, even though they have learnt about the power of positive thinking at such seminars, they haven’t totally given up their “daily internal dialogue”, which most of the time is negative. Thus hey experience a little change during the short time they practice positive thinking then they have a relapse.

It may come as a surprise to some of you that our internal dialogue comes a lot from things we process physically. That is, if we are open to negative or low vibe externals, then we subconsciously transfer this to our internal dialogue. Have you ever caught yourself thinking about something you shouldn’t be thinking about and suddenly snap out of it with the feeling “where did that come from?” Usually many of us try to refocus the mind on something else, however a few may try to see where the thought process came from and often times if we track it far enough we see it was from an experience we had.

This is to say that if we are not fully conscious of our external choices then we hardly hope to have full control over our internal dialogue. The sad part about internal dialogue is that we have been conditioned for years, in a particular dialogue pattern and over the years we either solidify this patterns or re-create new patterns in our dialogue system. Thus breaking away from these dialogue patterns comes with a conscious and dedicated effort. It is not something we try for a week and hope it is fixed. We have to literarily be conscious of our internal dialogue day in day out, and we must choose to refuse any conversation that goes on in there. Now we may wonder whom do we actually talk to when we have these internal dialogues, at dialogues involve two people at least. When it is a dialogue we can hope that it is better because we are at least subconsciously participating, however when it is a monologue then it is a deeper system a lot more difficult to overcome. Why? The Mind is our dialogue partner and when it is a dialogue we can actually help it, but when it is a monologue, usually it has taken over and is just giving us instructions.

I would take a pause here so that we can digest these words and next week we can continue to deliberate on the subject on a deeper level. Till then, read, share and follow for more.

IT’S MORE ABOUT PROGRESS

Dear readers,

I hope you all are having a great week. It is a pleasure to be able to share yet another interesting topic this week.

Personally I have been very busy in the last few weeks and amidst my schedule I took out some time to get some fresh air. In my little leisure time I came across a footage from a movie where the hero tells a young lady who was trying to get her life together; that the journey to recovery from delinquency wasn’t about perfection but about progress. It struck me and I felt I had to do a blog on the phrase, especially since many people encounter this as an issue in their day to day life and in their spiritual circle.

This same phrase has been said in many different ways such as; success isn’t about the destination but about the journey. I have heard many financially successful people say the same thing in interviews that their path to success wasn’t just about getting rich. Those who focus too much on the destination usually miss the journey, and often times the lessons we need are hidden in the journey. To this point, there is a story of a young Man who goes to his spiritual mentor and asks that he be shown how to become enlightened. The mentor said he should meet him the following day so they could go for a walk to the mountains. The young student thought the journey to the mountains was supposed to be a “secret journey” where he was going to get some secret and then finally attain enlightenment.

As they walked towards the mountain, the student or disciple would ask if they had arrived yet and the Mentor would tell him that it was just a little bit further. This went on until they got to the summit of the mountain and there the disciple asked again if they had gotten to the point where he would be enlightened. At this point the Spiritual mentor said yes. The disciple looked blank as he was expecting his mentor to give him some special prayers or techniques or show him something miraculous. Rather his mentor asked him: “On our way here what did you notice?” The disciple said he noticed the trees and the animals etc. The mentor asked if that was all and he replied affirmative. It was at this point the mentor began to speak to him with a little more detail. He said “You haven’t noticed much on our way here because you have been too engrossed with your obsession of getting enlightened. This obsession in itself is not the problem but actually your obsession is with the things you think you can do when you achieve enlightenment. Thus you have missed out on all the things that were supposed to teach you about enlightenment.”

He continued “On the path of spirituality we should always have an objective just as you have chosen enlightenment as yours, however we should always remember that we are meant to learn from the journey towards our goal and the goal without the journey is not of the same value.” A parallel example is of someone who wants to become rich so badly that all he does is work, work, and work. Finally he gets the riches he always desired and then suddenly begins to see that he has nothing else to live for and then there is a vacuum in his life. To this day we see some very rich and materially successful people who just hit a downward swirl and fall into different types of addiction and substance abuse. One may wonder how with so much money someone can fall into such a state. On the other hand if someone has the same desire to become rich but instead of making that desire and obsession and about himself, decides to use that desire as an opportunity to improve the lives of others then not only does he get the destination which is money in this case but also gets the satisfaction of helping to improve the lives of others; which is the journey.

Similarly when we as spiritual practitioners embark on the journey of self realization we should not neglect the “little things we come across on the path” taking them to be irrelevant or not in direct connection with the “destination”. If the destination is to attain pure love of God and to serve the Lord eternally in His abode, we must imbibe the process of serving Him in our chosen disposition during the journey to this chosen destination. We can actually get to understand the destination better when we have lived through the journey with the right consciousness.

For example, those who are gaudiya vaisnava’s, it comes as no surprise that the focus is not so much in the final elaborate offering or the number of items but the consciousness of the devotee from the initial phase of acquiring the items for the final offering.  The second and main part about paying attention to the progress and not the destination is that it is easy to get discouraged if we focus too much on the heights we set for ourselves or those that we are supposed to attain. There is a big gap between elementary school and a Doctorate degree. If a child begins to worry too much about how he is not doing his PhD yet, he may even get discouraged about going through the entire process. However if he is taught to take one class at a time and appreciate the beauty of the progress soon enough he will attain his desired destination while learning all that the journey of education has to offer.

In a nut shell, as I contemplated the words of this hero from the movie footage deep realizations began to unfold in my mind and I felt it was worth deliberating a little more on the subject. We need to focus on the goal while appreciating our progress. I hope this helps someone in need of guidance. Till next week, read, internalize and share. Follow for more.

 

Greed 2

Dear readers,

I hope you all are faring well. It’s yet another week for us to share insights on topics which are spiritual, informative and thought provoking. Last week we spoke about Greed, and in order to aid readability I had split the discussion in two. This week we shall try to look at the subject of greed from a deeper perspective, as it relates to the spiritual practitioner on a metaphysical level and how this can be used to strengthen our relationship with the Absolute Truth.

In our dissertation last week, we had the chance to look at greed on a physical and somewhat subtle level and how its effects have taken a toll on us as people and on our planet. To this end it may seem that greed in itself is a vice and nothing much can be gotten from it based on the facts from our first part discussion. It may come as a surprise when I say now to you all that, when greed is refocused and used in the right direction, it is a wonderful virtue in itself. Just before you all get worried about my last statement I must mention for a fact that there are two kinds of greed: greed for material objects and greed for spiritual advancement. The former we have deliberated on to an extent in the first part to this blog, the latter we shall try to develop in this blog.

One thing we can all agree on is the fact that when people are greedy, they never seem to get enough of anything, there is the constant want for more. This quest and strive for more all the time, is what usually gets them in problem. Now for a second imagine if that constant want for “more” had its precedence in matters of spirituality. Imagine if instead of wanting to over accumulate money and material possessions at the detriment of even our health, we actually were eager to accumulate information about the Supreme person. Imagine if instead of trying to hoard resources at the expense of people’s lives, we actually began to hoard esoteric delineations about the Supreme Being. The question now is how do we go about this? For a start we need to know what we are after in the first place. Just like those who accumulate wealth, know for certain that their primary objective in life is to amass wealth, the spiritual practitioner should also know and use his greed to the same effect. He has to understand that his entire life’s mission is to amass relevant and practical information about the Supreme Being.

Amassing this information is but the first part to redirecting the greed tendency, because as with material accumulation, once we have it we spend it and then get some more. Similarly, when the spiritual practitioner has understood his goal in life and has begun to use his greed tendency in amassing relevant and applicable information of the Supreme, then he moves to the next stage of actually “spending or using” this information. The satisfaction people get from being greedy is short lived and thus they are in a constant quest for more, but the satisfaction gotten from being  greedy about the topics that pertain to the Supreme being are indescribable and of immense satisfaction. This is so because it is mentioned in the revealed Scriptures such as the Bhagavad-gita that those who are devotees of the Lord derive great pleasure in discussing about the glories and pastimes of the Lord. It is in such a gathering that the spiritual practitioner must develop and exhibit the greed to hear more and more, without limit.

By regularly hearing and reciting the pastimes of the Supreme Being and by exhibiting intense greed to hear more and more on a regular basis, all that which is troublesome to the heart of the spiritual practitioner becomes practically destroyed and loving service to the Supreme Lord is established in his heart. When loving service to the Lord is established in the heart of the spiritual practitioner then he becomes free gradually from all the vices of this material world. For the heart which has the topics of the Lord’s activities as its sitting place cannot hold other nonsensical matters. When the greed to hear more about the Supreme being’s activities intensifies in the heart of the spiritual practitioner, not only does he become free from the dualities of this world, he gradually elevates his consciousness to a state of pure goodness and thus begins to search deeper for the personal aspect of the Supreme Being. During the course of this search and further intense greed to know more about the Lord, he becomes totally absorbed in the contemplation and daily remembrance of the Lord. This is a very high stage in our spiritual quest; when we are totally absorbed in the remembrance of the Lord.

When we cultivate intense spiritual greed, not only do we automatically eradicate material greed but we also bring our consciousness to a higher level where we can understand more esoteric matters about the Supreme Being. We cannot fully understand the esoteric nature of the Lord’s activities if we are still chained to activities such as anger, lust and greed. These vices among others ruin our material and spiritual life together. The spiritual practitioner should thus strive to be among people who have for a goal, developing intense greed for spiritual topics on the Supreme Lord. If the spiritual practitioner fails to take the association of such people and associates with those who are still conditioned by material greed, he puts himself at a risk of gliding back into his previous ways of material greed.

If we truly desire a panacea for the global issue of over accumulation and greed, then we must begin to redirect our greed and use it instead in the work of the Supreme Lord. It is only then we can hope to have a planet that is peaceful and full of resources for our collective use.

I hope this strikes a chord with you all, do read, internalize and share with others. I hope to see you all next week, till then Follow for more.

Greed

Dear esteemed readers,

Welcome to another week of informative blogs, I hope you all are faring well. Today we shall deliberate on a topic which we can all admit is having a negative toll on our relationships, communities, countries and even our planet as a whole. This crucial subject matter is none other than Greed.

At some point in time or another we have either accused someone of being greedy or maybe we have also been called greedy at some time due to certain actions or behaviours we exhibited. When we say someone is greedy what do we actually mean? In general we are saying that the person is not considerate of the feelings of others and cares too much about themselves, that they feel the need to over accumulate resources which could serve a larger number of people, just for themselves. So key words are too self-centered, inconsiderate, and over accumulation.

In the sacred texts of the Bhagavad-Gita it is mentioned that there are three gates leading to hell; lust, anger and greed. One would admit that if a person is lusty, angry and greedy or exhibits these tendencies then it is difficult to deal with them on a deeper level. Without digressing too much, why do people feel the need to over accumulate resources, things, money etc? The answer is because they lack self control and they fail to acknowledge the real owner of these things. It is mentioned in the revealed scriptures that everything we survey on this planet belongs to the Supreme Lord and thus we should take that which is our quota, knowing well to whom they belong. The sticky part in here is that many people fail to realize that we actually do not possess anything and all that we seek to acquire through over accumulation is actually the Supreme Lord’s property. We are but custodians of all we have, and the moment we forget this salient fact we begin to have problems.

Every now and then, we hear over the media of how much debt the planet is plunged into and how much poverty the world is facing, and sometimes I wonder “to whom do we owe this money?” Well I guess it’s more of a rhetorical question because I don’t expect anyone to give me a solid answer. On one hand we cry at the poverty level of many countries and put up banners and ads all over the internet to “raise” money for them, but on the other hand we celebrate a few individuals as the “world’s richest people” and every year we so diligently keep record of their earnings and publish them in the best of media outreach. Please do not get me wrong and feel this is a subtle attack on those who are rich and have made a name for themselves, I am a strong believer in people getting the results of their labour. However what I still do not understand and I guess most of you don’t too, is why a Man, who has so much money that it, is estimated to be practically impossible to spend all in one life time, be so keen on getting more and more?

If one is not satisfied with the little he/she has, even if you give them the whole world they won’t be satisfied. There is a saying that “there is enough for everyone’s need but there is never enough for one person’s greed”. Thus we can see that day in day out the more we put our greed first at the expense of other people’s needs we are making a choice, knowingly or unknowingly. It doesn’t matter how much we try to pretend it is all about “competition, having the winning edge, etc” the fact remains that people will suffer from our choices and actions. The other side to this spectrum is the fact that even though some people feel the need to over accumulate resources etc, you find out that they are never satisfied and are seldom really happy. So you begin to wonder, if you have so much money and you still aren’t satisfied and happiness in its deepest sense is far from your reach then why continue this futile chase? If greed and over accumulation was really fulfilling then the world would be a better place, but we all know this is the opposite today.

Furthermore, there is the subject of conscience that comes into play and I ask when you over accumulate due to greed and lack of self-control and you see people suffering at your expense, don’t you have any sympathy? Nowadays, there is the publicity stunt of trying to give some large sums of money in “charity” by some very rich people, and many people feel well this has to count for something. Of course it does but it that the solution? Every one of these businessmen knows for a fact that the best way to help a man is to teach him how to “fish” and not to feed him with “fish”; meaning teach people how to fend for themselves. If I constantly give you money instead of teaching you how to make yours then you are unconsciously allowing yourself to be at my mercy for as long as I continue. Is this truly “liberating and philanthropic”?

Well without sounding political and passing across the wrong ideas, the message here is we all have to evaluate our position and stance when it comes to our motives, interests, and reasons for accumulating resources. If we begin to see that these resources have been given to us as a tool for our subsistence on this planet and not as a medium for dominance and oppression then maybe we can begin to redirect our greed and focus on our needs. I was hoping to go deeper into this subject matter and try to link it to the spiritual aspect of greed and our duties as spiritual practitioners; however that would make this lengthy so I guess we have a second part coming next week.

Till then, read, internalize, share, and follow for more.

Cheers

Dealing with Pain

Dear readers,

It is a pleasure to be able to once again share very important topics with you all on this forum. I hope you all are faring well.

Today I shall speak on a topic that almost every one of us has had an experience and would like to have someone to share with. To be sincere and honest with you all, handling pain of whatever type or sort is something many people find difficult to deal with, especially when it is emotionally related. There are different types of pains; those from injuries, setbacks, failed projects, unrealistic expectations, relationships, death etc. Of these, those that are most difficult to endure are those which are related to our various relationships.

Whenever there is pain, we have to understand that there is a causative factor and once we can identify the factor we are one step closer to understanding the dynamics of the pain itself. When we lose a family member to death there is usually a lot of mourning and grief. The family members of the departed person feel they have lost something precious and many never completely heal from this experience. Healing from pain although an entire subject in itself, can be achieved when the person in pain has been able to go through the various stages of pain and has reached a level where they apply realized understanding of the situation to soothe their discomfort. In simpler terms, when a dear person is departed from this physical world, we can eventually understand that they have moved on hopefully to a better place where they no longer have to suffer from disease, old age and even death again.

Knowing this helps those who are related to the departed person, handle the grief better. However there are times when the reason we are in pain is not because of someone who has departed but because of our actions. Take for example in a relationship where two people come together to build a loving union, and there are setbacks and they get hurt, the pain both parties go through is inexplicable and usually the hurt can continue for a long time. If they both however apply a realized understanding to the situation then they can mitigate their suffering. In my blog on expectations and reality I addressed a few points about why people get frustrated sometimes and these points also apply to relationships. The solution to pain is not denying the presence of pain or thinking that pain is only present in a particular place or time; it is actually learning in truth the reason for the pain. Sad enough, many of us lie to ourselves about the real truth of the situation.

If a business man fails in a business venture there can be a thousand and one reasons why, and if he is true to himself he corrects the flaws and tries again even harder and better. We all know of how Thomas Edison tried so many times before he got the Light Bulb, this goes to further show that abandoning the path of our endeavor is not a solution. If Thomas Edison had abandoned his endeavor, who knows how we would manage today. Imagine the pain and frustration he had to go through each time he tried and failed, however he was resolute in his decision to make the bulb work and that never changed. What doesn’t kill you they say makes you stronger. Pain in this material world is inevitable, we can only choose how we embrace it and with whom. In life there are times when we laugh and times when we cry, the question is how and with whom we want to cry.

One thing I have noticed is many people learn through pain faster and quicker than through pleasure, and if you look at life critically there are two categories of pain; the pain of discipline or the pain of regret. Usually many people refuse to learn through the pain of discipline until the pain of regret hits them hard in the face. A student who doesn’t have the discipline to study before exams will definitely face the pain of failing the exam, a soldier who doesn’t train before war will definitely bleed more when it arrives, a businessman who doesn’t go through the pain and discipline of managing his finance will face the pain of bankruptcy, the disciple who doesn’t go through the pain of following his spiritual mentors orders will go through the pain of suffering in this material world, and many other examples. When we find ourselves in a painful situation we should ask ourselves certain questions.

  1. How and why is this happening?
  2. Is there anything within my power and influence I can do to make this better?
  3. Can I avoid it in the future completely or is it outside my influence?
  4. Is this pain as result of my actions (past or present)?
  5. Is it my fault (if caused by interaction with others)?
  6. How can I make things better next time?

If the pain is as a result of a dispute my spiritual mentor usually says we should accept this blame and see it as our fault first and only then can we have a wholistic approach of the situation. As far as we live in this world there is a limit to what we can influence and change, an d whenever nature gives us a test and we fail to learn from it properly and try to escape the pain, it comes back twice as hard.

As spiritual practitioners, we must remember that everything happens for a reason and the closer we are to the inner truths of things the better chances we have at dealing with the external pain. Pain and pleasure are opposite sides of the same coin, we can’t have one without the other and thus a seasoned spiritualists knows that whatever the situation is, he/she uses it as an opportunity to give glory to the Supreme Lord.

I shall allow you all to deliberate on these points and next week I will be back with more. Till then read, revise and follow for more

 

 

A traveler’s notepad

Dear esteemed readers,

I am glad to share with you all once again yet another exciting topic today. I hope you all are faring well.

Last week I had quite an intense week and I was again on the move, traveling and as usual I took some time out to jot down some notes. This time unlike my experience while waiting for a connecting flight, I was actually discussing with the driver and since it was a private hired vehicle it was just the two of us and we had some time to look into various aspects of life. In this blog I have extrapolated the ideas we spoke about into the realms of spirituality, I hope you find a thing or two.

We spoke a lot about the complexity of the human nature and how we can take a deeper insight as to why people act the way they do, and during the discussion something struck me. Here I am speaking with a man who drives people for a living and his job is to take you to wherever you need to go; safe and sound. He is not obliged to have a discussion with you, however if you start one with him like I did and it is engaging enough he was sure to participate. (Sometimes in our spiritual quest we may cross paths with people who have just a relationship of duty with us, yet if we step outside and beyond the boundaries of just duty we can discover things we never thought we would. If we for some reason fail to create relative bonds which are of deep values then we continue to exist on a superficial level).

The driver then went on to reveal a little more about himself and his personal life, telling me how his job kept him on the road for most days of the week and how he had to deal with a lot of “distractions” that came with being on the constant move. He mentioned how once he had engaged in a bitter argument with his wife and he just left and was away for two weeks. I was shocked and asked him what her reaction was. He looked at me and said “well you know”. I asked how long they had been married and he said 8 years plus. ( During the course of our training years as neophytes on the path of spirituality, there are times when the practitioner may find himself falling short of the required qualities and there are times when it seems like he is sure to lose because of the constant setbacks; but that is where the spiritual mentor comes in. He always lends a hand and as such never allows the disciple to completely fall off track, if there is at least the sincerity to continue.)

After a long talk about family life we then began to talk about what motivates or inspires people to do the things they do, and to what extent people go just to achieve their motives. We both saw that beyond the face value attached to people it is rather difficult most times to actually understand what people were thinking or what they really had in mind. It is for a fact that when we interact with people all we have as our barometer is their words. He gave an example saying “for instance when I pick clients up they tell me to get them to a destination at a particular time for reasons such as meetings, conferences etc. I do my best to get them there, now if they really attend meetings or conferences after I drop them off, I have no idea”. (In the course of our spiritual endeavor we will definitely encounter different types of people, those who are on the path strictly for pure spiritual inquiry and those who use the path as a means to achieving their various hidden agendas. Now only time filters out the grain from the chaffs. The question is are we true to ourselves when we take up spirituality or do we just tread the path to fulfill our hidden desires?)

During the course of our discussions he also mentioned how many people destroy valuable social ties and network due to greed, lust, over endeavoring and poor judgment. Even though he claimed not be particularly spiritual his words were simple and honest. He cited examples of people who didn’t appreciate what nature had provided for them and felt there was some green grass on the other side of the fence.  (The endeavoring spiritualist must be sure and careful to guide himself against things that pose as obstacles on his path of spirituality. He must be true to his vows just as he is true to his life, to flip vows around like they were nothing but mere words was as dangerous as playing with the fangs of a serpent, pretending they were mere toys. Once the spiritualist makes a vow to his mentor, even if he later finds out that his mentor is not as “perfect” as he thought, he had the duty of following that vow through.)

When it was about an hour to my destination I needed to make a call and we stopped at a mini mart so I could top up my mobile credit and I wanted a specific amount on the recharge but the attendant didn’t have the exact figure. To be more specific, let’s say I wanted a top up of $2, but the attendant had only recharge vouchers of $1. So I asked her to give me two $1 vouchers as it still added up to the same thing. The driver and I laughed at the incidence and I was surprised why the attendant didn’t suggest this to me and thus make a sale instead of saying they didn’t have. The driver then told me some people usually won’t take it unless it was exactly $2. (In spirituality many people come looking for various things, many don’t even know what they are looking for; some find it and can’t even use it. However often times we don’t always get the things we seek as we think they should be, nature gives us as we deserve and as we need to have in order to learn and grow better.)

I will allow you all contemplate on these nice exchanges I had with the driver, and I hope you all learn a thing a two. Till next week, read, internalize and follow.

 

 

 

 

The Importance of regulated spiritual practices

Dear readers,

It is a pleasure to share with you all yet another interesting topic. I hope you all are faring well.
This week for a change I felt we take a break from the Love series and discuss something else. The love series is definitely a topic to revisit and with time we shall do so. Like I always say, there is a lot to talk about but we have very limited time and thus we have to manage accordingly. The topic at hand is the importance of regulated spiritual practice.
When the word regulated comes to mind, many people may begin to see rules and regulations and are not so “inspired”, because generally people want to be “free”. More so,when we place spiritual practice next to the word regulated it becomes even harder for many to follow. So how can we encourage people to try to adapt some regulated spiritual practices according to their faith and religion?
First and foremost, people have to understand the reason why they have to engage in such practices. If you do not know the “why” of what you do, soon you will be searching for alternatives, because the conviction is not solid enough. The ultimate reason for engaging in regulated spiritual practices is to attain the Supreme Being. For us to attain the Supreme Being we have to be able to serve him with love and devotion, and this is best when done spontaneously, without ulterior motives. However before we rise to the level of spontaneous spiritual practices imbued with love and devotion, we have to go step by step through a series of regulated spiritual practices. So what are some of these regulated spiritual practices? I must say they differ according to faith and religion.
For instance, regulated spiritual practice for a catholic will be; rise in the morning, freshen up by taking a bath, attend the morning mass, during day recite the rosary and after work hopefully, one attends the evening mass. Along side with these, the practitioner should observe the lent fast, pray to the saints and observe days ascribed to them, go for confessions and be actively involved in the church activities. Muslims have a different line of practices and in fact one cannot call himself a muslim if he doesn’t observe the five pillars of Islam; Observing ramadan, doing namaz daily, going to hajj at least once in a life time, etc. For gaudiya Vaisnavas, rising early before sunrise, offering prayers to one’s spiritual mentor, chanting or reciting a fixed number of the Lord’s name daily, residing in a sacred place, reading the scriptures, engaging in daily worship of the Lord’s form, etc.
In brief, one can see that all these practices have one sole purpose irrespective of the religion and that is constantly remember the Supreme Being day in day out. The only way to remember someone constantly is to always talk about the person and always call him/her. Thus wether by praying on the rosary, the japa mala or the tasbhi,the goal is to remember the Lord. One may wonder so if I dutifully follow these practices according to my faith, does this guarantee that I can become spiritually advanced? The answer is Yes, provided that the aim is to please the Lord and provided one keeps away from offenses and sin. Initially every spiritual practitioner who is new to a spiritual path, may find it somewhat difficult to keep up with these practices, and some may even quit, backslide or “bloop”.
However with time, practice and determination the new practitioner soon masters these regulated practices and rises to a level where he does all these activities not because he is told to do them, but because he derives inner spiritual bliss from doing them. It is at this point he begins his journey into the amazing world of spontaneous spiritual practice imbued with love and devotion. Some people may still argue about the importance of having a regulated spiritual practice and keeping to it, and even go as far as saying that “God doesn’t need all these things and all he wants is love”. Fair enough, they are correct to an extent, but the question is how can you love someone you don’t know, someone you don’t talk about or even speak with (in prayer, which is also a part of regulated spiritual practice), or someone you visit once a week be it in church, mosque or temple?
Regulated spiritual practice is the “training” we need to become “professionals” in the matter of spirituality. Just like we marvel at how a famous footballer dribbles the ball past many defenders and scores a goal, we must also remember that he must have gone through a lot of training and practice, even beyond the required minimum before he achieves such level of perfection. You don’t become a professional footballer by just loving the game and go to the field once a week. However, if one submits himself to a coach, and goes through a regulated series of training then one may aspire to become a professional footballer. Similarly, if one hopes to advance on the path of spirituality one has to go to a spiritual mentor, and apply himself to regulated spiritual practices.
One amazing yet funny fact in thinking that one doesn’t need to follow any regulated spiritual practice and yet still become advanced is that, we insist that people get trained in physical matters that can often be seen, yet we object for training in spiritual matters that elude our physical understanding. No one will allow a “quack doctor” who is self trained, with no history of study or practice under a qualified tutor, to operate on them. Then why do we lower the standards in spirituality which requires even more attention to detail.
I shall let you all reflect on these matters and next week we shall take it up a notch. Till then read, reflect, and follow for more.

NB: The photo used is not mine, so all credits go to the owner.