Get out of your own way!

Dear readers,

I hope you all are faring well. Last week was filled with lots of activities for me and I must say I discovered myself in a new way.

There is no gain saying that I try my best to excel at whatever I do and I am of the opinion that whatever you put your mind in, you can do well. It has also been difficult for me to understand how people cannot get somethings done, UNTIL yesterday when for the first time in my life I “froze”. Those who know me might find this strange and so do I. So how did this all happen?

I have been an avid lover of things related to the arts; singing, dancing, composing songs, writing poems, acting, playing instruments etc. Some of these I have as innate abilities and others I have developed over the years. I am not a professional of any kind however I do my best to perform at a level above average in whatever I undertake. Having said that, I also have had issues in believing that someone could “freeze” doing something they like doing. In fact, I laugh at movie characters who get tongue tied at a speech or who find it difficult to do something “simple”. I guess nature was just waiting for the best time to teach me a very vital lesson. This blog is clearly not what I intended to share today, however the experience was just too real to not share.

In a gathering of say 15 people last night I was invited to sing, something I do every time without qualms and I enjoy doing it. I had just finished playing the drum and took the harmonium and started to sing, when I noticed my fingers and hands were all shaky. I couldn’t believe it. I sing every day and I have never had such an experience. I pulled myself together and somehow went through the session but my composure was totally off. Somewhere in between, I pumped the harmonium louder and sort of hid my apprehension in the high sound. It worked for a while, but a tune I knew so well, failed me. I was not only embarrassed but humbled beyond words. In that moment I began to imagine how hard it must have been for so many people who had to keep up with me at things they weren’t good at, and I had no idea. I began to see how it felt like to experience such temporary shock. Interestingly I have done singing sessions in front of hundreds of people for hours, and never had an issue, so what happened?

After thinking for some time, I could identify a few things; first and foremost I was too concerned about the outcome of my singing, as it was in front of a relatively new crowd. I was yet to connect with my audience on a more friendly term, and as such I was nervous. Yes, I said it, even I get nervous too. Second, which is probably the most important factor, is that I was standing in my own way. I was in my head telling myself, how people were watching me, how everyone wanted to see how well I could sing, I was literally breathing down my own neck, as such I was slowing myself down. In flashback, I just wonder why I was so disturbed over nothing. Did this experience disturb me? Yes it did. Am I going to try again? Definitely! What if it happens again? Then it means there is something I need to work on. If there is an anxiety, it means there is fear, if there is fear then naturally there is ignorance. Fear is born of ignorance. So what I need to figure out is what am I ignorant of, that is creating this fear in me that suddenly shuts me down while I do something I love doing?

The moment I can identify this, then there is a chance I can solve my sudden freeze and fear. One crucial point to note is that, even the audience was not as disturbed as I was. So there it is; I had created an expectation in my head, and because I was unable to meet that expectation, I had difficulty accepting the fact that I was consciously standing in my own way. No one was booing me to stop, no one laughed, no one even criticized me, and I was fighting demons I had created in my own head. The beautiful thing is that, these demons are only as strong as I allow them to be. If I continue to feed them, which is what they want, then they grow powerful. If I refuse to feed them with doubt and fear, then they die naturally.  In life we all, will face moments like I faced yesterday at one point in time or the other. In some cases, it will be due to genuine lack of expertise, in other cases, it will be due to our own internal dialogue. Whichever the case may be, we need to get out of our own way and give ourselves a chance. I know if I have to do this right, then I have to do it again, and focus on what I am doing rather than what my mind is telling me.

I know it is easier said than done, however the only way to improve, is to try. The Master is just a student who has failed so many times and has refused to quit. Failure is good, because it makes you humble, gives you instant feedback, and allows you room for progress. Success, sometimes doesn’t teach us as much as failure. So last night I didn’t do well, it means I am one step closer to doing it right. This should be our mindset and we will definitely achieve a lot more success in any aspect of our lives. I have no idea what will happen the next time I try to sing in front of the same “unfamiliar” audience, but I know for sure, I am not going to chicken out.

Till next week, do follow for more.

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Happiness; It is here not there!

Dear readers,

I hope you are faring well. It is a pleasure to be able to share with you all today yet another blog. I had some interesting experience two weeks, after I had posted my weekly blog a day late. Surprisingly the following week I noticed it had quite a lot of views as compared to some of my other blogs. So jokingly I said to myself, “You know, maybe late is sometimes good”. Lol

Anyways, this week I’ll like to share with you all something I guess we all crave in one way or form, and that is Happiness. First, what is Happiness? It is a state of being Happy. What does it mean to be happy? Well the Dictionary doesn’t really help, because it defines happiness again as a state of pleasure or contentment. We can go on and on trying to find the meaning of these words, but we will end in an endless circle of new words, all in the search of the meaning of happiness.

How many of you have seen the Movie “The pursuit of HappYness”. (Yes, Happiness is spelt that way in the title). In a nut shell it is a movie about a single Father who has to go through a lot of difficulty including having no place to sleep, while trying to juggle finding a job and being a father to his son. Well at the end of the movie, things fall into place. The movie though very emotional teaches a lot of things. Today I am not here to talk about the movie but about the concept of Happiness and life generally. From a metaphysical perspective or a spiritual understanding, happiness is more than just being happy. What we define as happiness in the material world is but the absence of sorrow. In other words, happiness and distress are but different sides of the same coin.

When one is absent then the other is present. Happiness from a deeper point of view will be the absence of those things which cause us real misery. These things are Birth, Disease, old age and finally death. We all know how painful the process of giving birth can be for mothers, and even from the early stages of conception to the end, mothers have to put up with a lot of discomfort. No one likes to fall ill and as such diseases are also a source of misery. Old age comes with its highlights and also its constraints. There are a lot of things we can no longer do as we grow old, because our bodies no longer have the vigor it had when we were younger. Yet despite these changes, sometimes you hear people say “I am happy” and the next minute “I am not happy”.  The ancient scriptures like the Bhagavad Gita explain to us that the temporary appearance of happiness and distress are like the manifestation of winter and summer or heat and cold, both are temporary and as such one must learn to tolerate these dualities.

That we tolerate these dualities doesn’t mean they don’t exist, as some pseudo-spiritual groups like to teach, however it does mean we know it is there but we detach ourselves from the experience that comes with it. One may wonder, I still haven’t given a clear definition of what Happiness is? Happiness is that which gives lasting contentment to the real self. When we engage in activities that give satisfaction to the soul, only then can we experience real happiness. My Father always use to tell me “Son, happiness is not in a place, person or country. It is inside of you. If you are not happy with yourself, even if you go to the Moon, you will still not be happy”. I’ll jokingly reply him saying “but at least the moon is a place where there are demigods and the environment surely is different and as such I will be happy there”. To this his reply was “If you haven’t found happiness within yourself, you will definitely carry whatever misery is inside of you to the Moon planet too”.

In brief what he meant was that happiness is not in the next car we are dreaming of buying, it is not in the house we want to buy, or the beautiful spouse we hope to marry someday etc. Happiness is not in any of these things and it will never be. If we tie our happiness to any of these things we see, feel or experience, we are definitely bound to suffer misery sooner or later. This is because none of these material items are made to give eternal happiness. Our new car gives us “happiness” as long as it doesn’t develop a fault, as soon as it does, the happiness becomes worry and expenses.

The new spouse we are dreaming of, gives us happiness until we get into an argument and see that we have differences that are difficult to reconcile. Suddenly we begin to question what happened to the “butterflies we felt in our stomach”. If all these things could guarantee happiness, wealthy people would be the happiest people on Earth, sadly the narrative is different. While wealth and material opulence can give some level of comfort, which is definitely desirable, it doesn’t give real happiness that lasts. Another puzzling factor about material happiness is that, the more we strive to achieve it, the quicker it slips from our grips. Thus we are caught in a rat race trying to catch or hold on to happiness and happiness constantly trying to elude us.

When regular folks here spiritual practitioners speak like this, they begin to think; “How can people be so negative that they don’t even wish themselves happiness?” As if to say that merely wishing ourselves happiness was a guarantee to get it. We definitely do believe in happiness, however we seek happiness that truly lasts. In that light, we do not bother ourselves with those temporary absence of sorrow that many confuse for “happiness”. The happiness that we seek as spiritualists is that which brings eternal happiness to all living beings, and nothing else but reconnecting with the absolute can give this in full.

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

Spiritual Stereotypes

Dear readers,

It is a pleasure to be here with you all today, sharing insights on various topics from a metaphysical perspective. I hope you all are faring well. I have been en route travelling hence my late post, kindly excuse me.

Today’s topic is one that drives home with many, especially those of us who have been either lifelong practitioners of some spiritual practices, or at least long time practitioners. I must say this topic was inspired by an incident that occurred a few days back, however before I begin to describe what happened, I felt I give a brief background of my University days. During my sophomore year I was involved in quite a lot of stage acting and as such would have regular rehearsals with other students in our drama group. During this time I was known as the “court jester” as I would always make everyone laugh.

In fact whenever we had meetings, the coordinator would specifically tell me, right after reading the agenda, “Please we have a lot to cover today, don’t make us laugh”. As soon as I replied, the entire crew would reel in laughter. Why am I recalling all of this? So fast forward a couple of years, we all graduate and fate takes every one of us to various parts of the world. I keep in contact with some of my friends from University days and some from my drama group. Somehow or the other many of them also follow my posts on Facebook and my blog, and a few have written to share their sincere appreciation of my blogs and writing. However there was more that they didn’t share, and a few days back I got to know.

So my friend posts a video, which is funny and I comment with a remark. She replies back saying “This is the you that I know. For a while I felt you had become cold because of your religion, since you hardly crack jokes like you used to. I am happy you are still the same person”. I was somewhat surprised and it did trigger a lot of thoughts. First and foremost, back while we were on campus, she and many of my friends who cared to know, were all aware of my faith, religion and practices, so it is not as if they just found out. The question is, what has changed? I decided to look deeply and some thoughts began to fall into place.

First theory: I must have unconsciously passed across an air of being “too spiritual” and probably because my timeline is full of blogs of spiritual subject matters, my friend felt I was no longer the funny guy she knew.

Second theory: She must have assumed that I was overly spiritual because I didn’t keep much contact and also due to the nature of my posts after we graduated.

Third theory: I must have unknowingly become a boring guy and lost all sense of humour because I wanted to come across as a grave student of spirituality.

Fourth theory: Spiritual life has taken its toll on me, and the effects are people see me as boring.

To be fair and unbiased I decided to look at each theory that I had jotted down, with as little bias as possible. In all fairness to her observation I must say that often times many people who follow some spiritual practice usually become “too serious” for their colleagues and it comes as a natural stereotype that most religious people are fanatical about their practice. The first theory might hold some weight, considering the fact that I did keep little contact with my friends from campus days and it is not surprising if they felt that way. The second theory might also hold some weight because my timeline is covered in practically just esoteric/spiritual posts and a few occasional comic posts. Thus it is natural for someone to once again assume that I had become too serious to share a joke. The third theory is one that I’ll like to probably harp on a little bit. Even though I know for certain that it doesn’t describe me, it does actually describe some spiritual practitioners. In our quest to look the part or to be serious students of spiritual life, sometimes we tend to become too strict for our counterparts and as such help them solidify their stereotypes about spiritually inclined people being fanatical. In my case I think what happened was that as soon as I graduated from campus,  I “forgot” to connect more. While on campus I was a lot more conscious of my interaction as the last image I wanted to portray was that I was a recluse because of my religion.

I made friends and people connected with me on various levels not even worrying about what I didn’t eat or what I didn’t do. With time I guess because a large percentage of those around me share the same faith and beliefs, I have probably lost touch with my jovial side. The fourth theory is true for a lot of spiritual practitioners and to an extent true for me. Let me explain. When we live in a spiritual community we come across many people from different walks of life. As such we have to be careful how we interact with others due to differences in our backgrounds and above all keeping in mind the rules and regulation in that community. For someone who is sanguine in temperament, jokes and being chatty is a normal attribute. The general mood of most spiritual communities is that everyone should be Melancholic (emotionally sensitive  and perfectionist introverts), and as such many people either hide their true nature or try to repress it while putting up the “required or expected mood”. In simpler words, people live a double life. One, they show in the spiritual community and another in a setting they feel more comfortable.

I have had personal experiences where I have shared jokes with people but instead of having a laugh, it rubbed them the wrong way. That been said, many spiritual practitioners then take the defensive and as such try to become or adapt the “mood” that is expected. The result is shallow and many people either get fried out or just abandon the process after a while. It is of little wonder why many people do not feel at ease in most spiritual gathering because they feel they cannot be themselves. Now should we allow the fake mood of such a place affect our real temperament and stop of us from being real? No. For how can we claim to be on a path of personal relationship with God or the Supreme, if our actions are all superficial and impersonal?

That been said, to all my friends who were with me during my campus days or who do not share the same spiritual path as I do, I want to say a few words.

“I have changed positively since we last connected or spoke and I am trying to be a better person. I have made considerable progress in my realization of the absolute truth and as such my circle of friends has been influenced. This much has changed about me. However I am still the loving, joke cracking and fun to be with person that you all know, and nothing can change that. If you ever feel the need to connect with me on a personal level, share a joke or catch up on campus days, please feel free to send me a message. I look forward to it.”

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

Tradition and Culture 2

Dear readers,

It is a pleasure to be here again today, sharing with you all yet another inspiring blog. I hope you all are faring well. I sincerely apologize for being a day late, I was overwhelmed with other activities.

As a continuation from last week’s blog, here is the second part. For those of you who missed the first part, please do read it here, so as to get a good background before continuing with this part.

Since we all interpret these knowledge differently, it is certain that our tradition is affected and also reflects our interpretation. Some of our interpretations have been influenced by time, some by personal motives and agenda, some by lack of proper spiritual understanding of spiritual matters and others simply by the desire to cheat others.

Every spiritual society tries in one way or another to inculcate in its adepts the benefits of practicing a tradition that is in sync with the true nature of our real self. Since this tradition is the transmission of Knowledge from generation to generation, the goal of a spiritual society is to make sure that this knowledge is available to every one of its adepts in an unadulterated form. This is made possible by teachers, saints, spiritual mentors/masters etc. The second part of tradition and culture is the how the individuals of that tradition and culture apply it to their lives. That is, do they live their tradition and culture? I have had experiences and you may have had too, where we meet someone who identifies with a certain religion or spiritual society and we immediately see that they do not follow what the society they associate with prescribes.

A quick example is, one might see a Hindu, who eats meat and ask “I thought you guys were vegetarian?” Now if the person is sincere, the typical answer is “Oh I’m sorry I am not a strict practitioner”. At least now we know that the deviation is from the practitioner and not from the spiritual society. In the same vein there are many other traditions and culture from the spiritual society that many people do not keep or follow, and because the vast majority of people are not aware of what true spiritual tradition and culture is, no one holds these deviants accountable for their actions. Just like in the example above, if you don’t know that Hindu’s are Vegetarian and you see one eating meat, you cannot tell that he is breaking any principle, because you don’t know. Similarly, if we don’t know those things that constitute real spiritual tradition, how can we tell when we are in front of an imposter or a deviant?

So in other to know what true spiritual culture (transcendental behavior found in the spiritual society) is, we must have a true spiritual tradition (transmission of beliefs that are based on scriptures that are coming directly from the Supreme Being, from generation to generation or better put in a line of disciple succession.) They both go hand in hand. One without the other is incomplete. Now we must be sincere to ourselves and inquire “what is my spiritual tradition and my spiritual culture?” How do I achieve both of these? How does my daily choices and activities affect the manifestation of these two factors in my life? How much progress am I making in realizing these two factors to the fullest? Just before we go further I must say here that by accessing our spiritual tradition and culture we become better in our material tradition and culture. Contrary to what some people might think, that being in tune with our spiritual traditions and culture makes us more impersonal, rather we sees things as they really are.

One who bases his entire life on traditions and cultures that identify with the body sees things in regards to the body. If they have a certain type of body they feel they have to act according to the material traditions and cultures of that body, which may not necessarily be beyond the modes of material nature. Realization of our real tradition and culture makers us become the better refined Human beings we are meant to be, because we actually begin to see things as eternal spirit beings and not as transient bodies who feel that they have to crush every other living being in other to express their culture and tradition. One good example of this is the Slave trade era. As at the time this happened, certain people from a particular tradition and culture felt it was okay to deprive another person of his freedom because they had different traditions and culture. The Colonials thought the Africans where primitive because they did certain things which were different to the way they did and as such they reacted in different ways, one of which is slavery. Today we all know better, and things have moved in a different direction, but come to think of it, if the tradition and culture of those colonials were spiritual, in the real sense of it, then they would naturally have the culture of Love, Peace, Compassion etc.

When you have these qualities, you don’t act in the way they did. So we can see that even though they came with one type of religion, they definitely lacked the basic understanding of that religion. The spiritual tradition of Christianity is “Do unto others as you would them do unto you”, if they understood this tradition and imbibed it as their tradition as opposed to having a tradition based on bodily identification, then history would have been different. The bottom line of this message is that we as spiritual practitioners need to have a deeper understanding of what we really practice, and we also need to hold ourselves accountable for the implementation and application of our spiritual tradition and culture.

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

Teach me, Dear Lord

Dear readers,

I hope you all are faring well. It is a pleasure to be here once again, sharing with you ancient wisdoms for modern day problems.

Today I’ll like to share with you all a prayer that I have written, and it would be my first written prayer for this New Year. From time to time, I like to pray to the Lord in non-scripted prayers that are heart felt. You can find another one here from last year.

Dear Lord, today I come before you as lovingly as I know how to say thank you first and foremost for everything that you have done for me, all that you are doing, and all that you are yet to do, that I am not even aware of. I sometimes get lost in my numerous thoughts of the things I think you should be doing, that I sometimes cannot see those things that you are already doing. Teach me sincere gratitude, Dear Lord.

Dear Lord, today I come before you as dutifully as I know how, to tell you much I am eager to serve you and maybe boast about how much I am serving you. However just as I am about to continue blowing my horns about the things I am supposedly doing for you, I feel a little nudge and see my Guru’s smiling face. As if to show me how insignificant my service is, I begin to remember the numerous services that my Guru rendered to you while physically present on this planet, and all of a sudden I see that my “so called service” is but a spider’s effort compared to his Herculean endeavors. I remember how my Guru spent his last breath doing nothing but your service, in different areas of the world, even though he had to bear many physical, emotional and even political hardships. In that moment I feel ashamed of my pride. Teach me sincere service attitude, Dear Lord.

Dear Lord, today I come before you as meekly as I know how, to say prayers to you both standard and personal. I repeat daily prayers by your great devotees, and also say my only little prayers as best as I can. In all, every time that I call upon your name, I am sincerely grateful that you have somehow or the other given me access to this special “telephone number” of yours, that whenever and wherever I call you, without offences, you will respond. As you know I still battle with the Mind and only by your mercy can I tame him and make him a true friend. Teach me sincere prayers, Dear Lord.

Dear Lord, today I come before you with a broken heart, to show you how much pain I have suffered while trying to find love in the material world. In my futile attempt to become You as the Supreme Lord and enjoyer, I have cultivated relationships and have been heartbroken because I forgot you. Time and time again, you have made me see that you are my true lover and I belong to you. Nevertheless as I try to act and play the role of a lover here in this world, please help me be a lover of your devotees. Bless me that even when I have to become a “lover to your devotee” I will do so knowing that I am only a caretaker and you are the eternal lover. There is nothing impossible for you to do, and I believe that by your grace I can do this better, being more conscious of you. Teach me sincere Love, Dear Lord.

Dear Lord, today I come before you with my short comings, all of which you know so there is no point of me listing them again. Every day I strive to better myself and make some progress in the improvement of my life, in an all-round manner. However, improvement in the material world is like swimming upstream against current and there is no gain saying it can be tough a times. Nevertheless, I have no fear because I have you. My righteousness is like a filthy rag in your presence and only your grace can save me, of this I have no doubt. Teach me sincere improvement, Dear Lord.

Dear Lord, today I come before you with a long list of my achieved austerities, thinking I can impress you by telling you how many Nirjala Ekadasis I have done, how many Bhisma Pancaka’s I have observed, how many Caturmasya Vratas I have observed and how many rounds of Japa I chant daily while sleeping very little hours. In my futile attempt, my Guru smiles at me and says “How much compassion have you been able to show while doing all these austerities? Has your long list of austerities made you more loving or more critical?” In that moment I get it, and I see that my Guru’s greatest strength was not just his long years of celibacy and austerity, but his loving disposition to everyone who came across him, even those who tried to sabotage his work and tarnish his reputation. Lord, I am not on that level yet, but help me. Teach me sincere compassion, Dear Lord.

Dear Lord, today I come before you with my list of pain and distress, showing you how much I have to endure while trying to serve you. I complain about how people misunderstand me, how they try to misrepresent me and how much I have to deal with just trying to execute my prescribed duties. In that moment I feel as if you were unfair and not seeing all that I do for you, but my Guru shows up again. He smiles and says “Have you forgotten everything that I taught you? Why has such weakness of heart come over you? Does the Lord himself not declare that his devotees never perish? Does his famous song; the Bhagavad gita not promise that he never forgets our endeavors?” I nod in affirmative. “So why are you worried?” Then I remember how much he also had to put up with, but eventually his glories are sung all over the world, and I sigh in relief. Teach me sincere surrender, Dear Lord.

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

Note: The prayers I share on my website, are not a show of any form of advancement but my sincere meditation on the Lord. The aim and purpose is to inspire us to pray to the Lord more in a way we understand the most. I hope this helps and touches someone out there.

Last Year in Perspective

Dear readers,

Happy New Year and compliments of the season. May this New Year bring you the very best in your endeavors and May the grace of the Lord be with you all.

Upon entering this year (2017) I had published a blog on New Year resolutions and I made the following promise to all of you, let us see how well I fared.

This year my commitment to you all is to provide you with as much clarity and information on various topics by giving deeper insights into them. There are a few plans put in place to see this through and as the year goes by they will naturally unfold. Finally, before saying a few words on our topic today, I would like to urge you all to please share this blog space with others, why? We are all morally bound to share whatever helps us with others so that they can also benefit. The content I provide here is not for just a selected few, it is for everyone and the only way everyone can get it, is if we try to put it out there more. So please do encourage friends and family to read, share and subscribe. By subscribing you don’t miss any of the action and interesting stuff. I mean why would you want to miss any new post?

In the best of my ability I have made available one new blog every week, unfailingly. In the space of 21 months we have grown from 0 unique visitors to 2,155 unique visitors, and a total of 93 distinct and inspiring blogs. This has been possible much because of your continued support and feedback. I look forward to more and a better 2018.

At the beginning of the year I had published an article on New Year resolution and how they affect our lives, how to follow through with them etc. Today however, I won’t be doing another New Year resolution blog, rather I want us to take a good look at the year that just ended. Now I know many of you might be thinking, “Well last year wasn’t fair to me in many different areas, so why should I waste my time revising it?” The simple reason is; sometimes in order to be focused on where we are headed it is necessary to remember where we are coming from.

We begin to slip on most of our New Year resolutions not just because we lack resolve, determination or the discipline to follow through, but because we often times forget too soon why we made those resolutions in the first place. This year I made a couple of resolutions, some personal and others general. In other to give better clarity on why we should take time to look back at the just ended year, I will share one of my resolutions for the past year. Often times we make resolutions at the beginning of the Year, that are vague, like “this year I will lose weight”. In as much as this is a positive resolution, if our resolutions are not specific, we may lack the impetus to push it through. I had a rocky time last year in terms of my personal relationships and this had a boomerang effect on my eating, as I sort to nullify my pain by eating a “little” extra. It wasn’t long before I began to notice the extra weight kicking in real fast, I was closing in on 190 pounds. For a guy my height I needed to lose at least 40 pounds of that, if I was going to stay close to the “light”.

When the year started I had made a resolution to keep fit and work out, I exercise regularly however when my relationship hit stormy waters, my resolution to work out also sank. One day looking at myself in the mirror and seeing all the extra weight I said this is not who I am. The weight had to go. Now pain became a motivation instead of a distraction, I cut back on my eating, changed my diet and increased my work out to a daily program. In the space of 6 months, I lost roughly 20 pounds. Today I weigh in at 168-170 pounds and even though I have about 20 more pounds to shed, I can say I have come a long way and the result is not just physically obvious but internally satisfying. Was it easy? Not at all. Did I miss my old eating habit? Initially I did, not any more. How did I overcome the urge to binge on food? By looking back at my old pics with the excess weight and telling myself this is not who I want to be, and by having a mental picture of the shape and form I want to achieve.

In other to make our resolutions work, we need to have a clear picture of what we are striving for, and also have a clear picture of what we are giving up. When this two are in balance, then we can be sure to go through the year with little backslides in our resolutions. Last year (2017) taught me a lot of lessons, and if there is one thing that is certain in 2018, I shall be stepping in with these lessons as my compass and added experience. Just like any other year, I won some of my personal battles and I also lost some. At the end of the day I am at peace with myself knowing that I gave the year my best, I tried to improve myself as much I could in all areas of my life and above all I loved unconditionally. As I lay my head to rest each night, I know that my words and activities are not a source of pain or disturbance to other living beings, be they human or lower in specie.

I am grateful for being able to publish my book, you can grab a copy here (https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/753002), I am grateful for all those who have helped me in one way or the other last year, I am grateful for the community I live in, and I am grateful for the gift of life to see yet another year. May this New Year bring us all the good things we desire. Till next week, do read, share and follow for more.

 

Compatibility in Relationships 2

Dear readers,

I’ll like to wish you all a Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays. I pray that this season brings you all good tidings and joy. For those of you who are Christians, I pray that you find time to go deeper into the mood of this season and daily endeavor to be more Christ like.

There is no gain saying that Jesus Christ is the Son of God and that he came to teach the message of the Supreme Lord; his Father. To as many who follow his teachings dutifully and lovingly, the inner meanings of the Bible are revealed to them. Being Christ like is more of a daily endeavor than a weekly Sunday to Sunday activity. The more our dear Christian brothers inculcate the true mood of the selflessness of Jesus Christ, the more loving Christians we shall have the world over.  I implore you all to try to extend a hand of fellowship and kindness this festive period and avoid been distracted by the constant need to indulge in consumerism.

Last week I commenced a topic on relationships and compatibility, today I will be doing a sequel to it. For those of you who missed it, please click here to have an idea on the subject matter before coming back to read this part. In my previous blog I enumerated the 8 factors that are critical in Vedic Astrology when a long term relationship is to be considered between intending couples. As a recap, these factors are; 1. Natural refinement (Varna), 2. Natural liking between the two individuals (Vashya), 3. Positions and degrees of the constellations (Dina), 4. Intimate physical compatibility and sex (Yoni), 5. Mental compatibility (Grahamaitri), 6.Temperamental compatibility (Gana), 7. Destiny i.e. Wealth, Longevity etc. (Rashi), and 8. Influence of health on couple and future children (Nadi).

In the part 1 of this series, I gave some explanation on the first 4 factors, and today I shall try to discuss the remaining 4 factors. Without further ado, criteria five is the mental compatibility of the intending couples. If couples feel a strong physical attraction but find it difficult to connect mentally then it is only a matter of time before the relationship begins to hit rocks. Such a relationship can be described as sailing troubled waters, no matter how strong the physical attraction may be. This criteria scores 5 points, thus the ideal score will be 5 out of 5, which means the couple can connect very well on a mental level. A zero out of five means there is no connection mentally and this can be very disturbing, in other words for there to be a good compromise they should at least score 2.5 out of the required 5 points. The higher the better. Should they score below average on this criteria then the intending couple have to be careful not to find fault with each other especially when it comes to strategizing, decision making, planning, and other areas that require mental choices, as these are areas they will experience a huge difference.

The sixth criteria is Temperamental compatibility. This criteria scores a solid 6 points and the ideal will be to have 6 out of 6. A compromise will be 3 out of 6 and low will be any score below 3. This criteria deals with the temperament of each of the intending partners. It is basically divided into three parts, the Dev gana, Manushya gana and Rakshasa gana. For those who are not familiar with Sanskrit terminology, in simple language it means, Celestial temperament, Human Temperament, and Demoniac temperament. A suitable match for example will be if each partner is from the same gana that is say Dev gana and Dev gana. A person from Dev gana can have a suitable match with someone from Manushya gana but not with someone from the Rakshasa gana. When couples have very opposing temperaments then quarrels, and fights are almost inevitable and it is only a matter of time before they split ways.

Due to the large points awarded to this criteria it is usually difficult to ignore it, save and except if there is a balance in another criteria on their chart. The seventh criteria is Destiny and this has to do with longevity of the intending couple, wealth, etc. Just like others, this criteria also awards scores for high compatibility. It has a total of 7 points and the average will be to score at least 3.5 to have a good compromise between the intending couple. A score lower than 3.5 means there is incompatibility and a remedy should be sought after. If the couple have low scores in other key areas then the charts have to be analyzed in detail. Scoring lower than the average of 3.5 in this criteria means there will be issues in areas such as longevity of both partners, issues with having kids, unhappiness and dissatisfaction just to mention a few. In modern times many people take this system of Vedic astrology for granted and I can tell you quite frankly from personal experience, that the results can be devastating if ignored.
If the overall score of the match is 15 or less out of 36 then the fault of the seventh criteria is highlighted, if the score is above 20 then the positive effects are highlighted.

Last but not least is the eight criteria is the influence of health on the intending couple and possibly their kids. There are generally three divisions of the Nadi criteria, and the best match is to avoid someone who has the same Nadi as one’s self. Marrying someone with the same Nadi can lead to health issues of the partners, having children who are weak or sickly, trouble marriage life, decrease in affection between the couple, just to mention a few.

In a situation where the Man and woman have the same zodiac moon sign, then the fault which arises from incompatibility of their 8th criteria (influence of health), can be ignored. Family life is an aspect of human existence where many of us will spend practically half of our lives, thus it is pertinent that we are very careful when making this big decision. One wrong move can leave us impacted for life. I hope this helps someone out there. No doubt this is just a tip of the ice berg and in order to take full advantage of this knowledge one has to take the time to make a proper chart before committing to a relationship.

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

Compatibility in Relationships 1

Dear Readers,

I hope you all are faring well. I am glad to be able to share with you all yet another interesting topic this week. Today I shall be speaking on a topic that many of us have had some encounter with, either directly or indirectly; compatibility in relationships.

One major factor that plays a huge role in determining how we choose our life partners is how compatible we are with them. This naturally brings us to the topic of Astrology and Numerology. The study and mastery of Astrology and Numerology could be a lifelong pursuit and as such we find that in our present day and time, we have few people who really have a mastery of these sciences. One thing we can all agree to is that, whenever we have to get into a relationship we all try to get some information to see how compatible we are with our to-be partners.

One way we do this is by consulting Astrology to see how compatible we are. In Vedic astrology, we have 8 parameters used in determining compatibility. They are as follows: 1. Natural refinement (Varna), 2. Natural liking between the two individuals (Vashya), 3. Positions and degrees of the constellations (Dina), 4. Intimate physical compatibility and sex (Yoni), 5. Mental compatibility (Grahamaitri), 6.Temperamental compatibility (Gana), 7. Destiny i.e. Wealth, Longevity etc. (Rashi), and 8. Influence of health on couple and future children (Nadi).  I must crave your indulgence with the translations of the 8 aforementioned criteria, as it is somewhat difficult to get the exact Sanskrit to English words and meaning.  Each criteria scores points and the points increase in order of their appearance. The first criteria is 1 point and it increases to 8 points on the last criteria. In as much as I do not want to overwhelm you with the technical details it is also beneficial to have a little background information on the various aspects before I begin to elaborate on them.

The “ideal” or perfect couple will be those who have a perfect score of 36 (summation of all points), I do not know if such people exist however in my own experience I am yet to see such a match. A minimum of at least 18 points is necessary for couples to live and work together, although they would have to compromise and put in a lot of work. Needless to say, the higher the point score, the more chances of the marriage been successful. This is not an excuse to act capriciously just because one has a high compatibility score. Every marriage needs attention, love, sacrifice, etc. and irrespective of the score these factors should be incorporated into the marriage.

The first criteria which is the Family Background and class, carries 1 point. It deals with the nature and spiritual refinement of the family where each partner was born. As one can notice, this is not very important, should there be an incompatibility, and it is just 1 point. If compatible, it is desirable.  If there is an incompatibility, it means the partners should be ready to compromise on the behavior of each other, which they may have acquired due to been born in a certain family background. Next is the Natural affection or liking between the two persons who are trying to establish a relationship. This criteria carries 2 points. So the score could be full 2 points which is most desirable or just 1 out of 2, or zero. Should the score be zero, then each partner should try to work on their appeal to each other, like keeping their body fit and attractive.

The third criteria is the synchronization of their constellations which generally translates into daily dealings and happiness together. If they score full 3 points then it is most desirable, if they score less or nothing then each partner should try to spend more time with the other to make up for differences. The fourth criteria is Intimate Physical compatibility and sex. There is no gain saying that this is one factor that has put a lot of marriages and union to the test and eventually ended many. If the score is 4 out of 4 then it is most desirable. Should the score be less than 2 out of 4 then there will be issues with sexual satisfaction, and even issues with conceiving or having children. Sometimes as spiritual practitioners we tend to ignore this factor, because we feel that by been incompatible on this level then automatically one would make advancement spiritually. This is a huge misconception. If both partners are not on the same page when it comes to sexual satisfaction, then they end up living a life that doesn’t really express their real nature or level of advancement.

Even though one may argue that the essence of marriage life for serious spiritual practitioners is to willingly give up sex life by constant detachment, if this detachment is not commensurate with our level of spiritual advancement, there will be problems, anger, unfulfilled desires, frustration, cheating, infidelity and worse case broken marriages. Another interesting factor is when one partner is on a different level of sexual renunciation from the other. If one partner has less inclination towards intimacy and sex while the other is more inclined, this imbalance could also cause friction between the partners. Often times, one partner will always be less satisfied, and if not addressed there could be a downwards spiral from there. In other to be able to conceive and have children the sexual compatibility should also be at least 2 out of 4, otherwise bearing kids becomes an issue too. This criteria cannot be overemphasized and unless the relationship is one that is platonic or of business nature, the intending couple should make sure they score well on this criteria.
We often see the opposite in our spiritual society, where for fear of being ridiculed or for fear of been seen as “fallen” people our intending couples tend to shy away from discussing this part of their relationship. Without harping too long on this subject, I feel that intending couples should discuss this criteria with as much seriousness as they discuss finance.

I’ll have to pause here for this week’s blog and next week I shall elaborate on the other four criteria in the Vedic compatibility system. Till next week, do read, share and follow for more.

Surrender

Dear Readers,

I hope you all are faring well. It is a pleasure to be able to share with you all once again yet another interesting blog this week. My blog today is a rather reflective one and I hope we all can draw some insight from it as I share.

I had a rather long weekend as I was really trying to be on top of things I had to do and things I needed to do. Needless to say, I like to get things organized mentally so I can physically roll into the execution with less hassle. In the midst of this process the computer that I was using at the moment decided to give up on me. I spent almost 8 hours on Saturday and even more hours on Sunday trying to see if I could salvage the situation. I also had an acquaintance who is Tech savvy try to assist me, it just ended up wasting his time too.

I needed to do something quick. In the process of trying to fix the Computer I lost almost everything I had on it. I downloaded a recovery app, to see if I could recover things from the hard drive only for the app to ask me for payment after “recovering” items I couldn’t even identify. I couldn’t tell if it was just a scam to get me to pay or if it was genuinely retrieving info. Feeling tired and frustrated, I felt why not try another app, and another app, until I finally got one that retrieved some lost files. I decided to rest my case and see if something else could be done to save the situation. Time was already lost and that could never be gotten back.

While we were trying to see how best to “save” the computer, we were getting obviously tired, frustrated, and losing more time. I had loads of things to do, that weren’t getting done, all in a bid to save money. You may wonder how? I felt instead of buying a new computer why not use this one (which obviously is not in a good state). Now I am losing time, rest, and productivity, so what did I get out of all of this?

I always try to see what lessons can be learnt from any situation that I am in. Instead of ranting to everyone about how tough my life has become, I try to see if I can simplify things myself, especially if it is a complication that I have created. Then it hit me crystal clear. My experience over the weekend is exactly how we are in the material world. The modes of material nature are constantly defeating us in our attempt to lord over it. Instead of seeing that it is a futile effort, we keep thinking maybe if I do this and that it would get better. Just like I was thinking maybe if I try this app or that app, or this fix technique etc. The real solution is right before us; which is to surrender to the one who is in charge of the material existence.

My computer can be used as an allegory to explain the situation in this material world. The more we try to fix it, the more we get entangled in it and lose time and energy. Unlike my computer scenario, where I lost some hours, in life we lose years of our existence and by the time we realize that we have been fighting a lost battle, old age has already kicked in. Now old age is not a bad thing in itself because if we had utilized the years prior diligently then we have nothing to worry about. Where old age becomes an issue is when we know deep down ourselves that we haven’t really given time and attention to cultivating higher consciousness in our prime time, and as such in our old age we find ourselves deficit of the required knowledge and experience, to go through the onslaught of material nature. So likewise in the allegory been used, because I didn’t take the necessary steps to get a working computer on time, now in a later time (which can be compared to old age), I find myself wanting and in serious need to get things done in such a small time frame or window opportunity.

We see this every time with people who feel, spiritual life is meant for old people and refuse to pay attention to or give their attention to matters that relate to the soul or self-realization. Then as they grow older they suddenly see that all that they thought was real and cool, isn’t as it seems anymore and that the most important thing they could have invested in or given real attention; the soul, has been neglected and then they panic in response. The usual reaction is to suddenly try to catch up for all the “lost time” but then the body is no longer as strong, the mind is there, family is not as supportive etc. Just like the adage says “a stitch in time saves nine”; in our spiritual lives a step in the right direction, on time saves us 9 lifetimes.

We can start now, and surrender to the process, or procrastinate and come back 9 lifetimes or more to fix it. Of course we all know that everyone will surrender according to their level of realization and the Supreme Lord will definitely reciprocate accordingly and he has promised, the clarion call however is to avoid the late entry.  I have now seen that sometimes even if we think surrendering is expensive (just like I thought getting a good working computer was expensive), surrendering to a working process saves us a lot more in the long run. Ultimately we find out that it is cheaper, to actually pay the price now than try to find some “simpler and cheaper route”.

Surrender is necessary to advance and we all have to in one way or another.

Till next week do follow for more.

 

Vulnerability

Dear readers,

It is a pleasure to be able to share with you all today yet another exciting blog. I hope you all are faring well.

Before we delve into today’s topic, I’ll like to say Thank you to all my readers and those who have supported my blog by regularly reading, subscribing, sharing or even the thumbs up. At the moment we have reached a significant milestone of 2021 unique visitors to my blog, in the space of 21 months. That is approximately 96 visitors a month. Of course the desire is to reach out to more people and we are not there yet, nevertheless I am grateful for all your support and encouragement.

When I first started blogging, the inner desire was to create for myself a medium to express my thoughts, ideas, opinions and experiences on a platform where I could receive feedback, and share views. Over the last 20 months, I can say that has evolved into creating a platform whereby I can share insights, realizations and also speak on various subjects from a deeper perspective albeit Metaphysical. I have learnt a lot and the learning process isn’t over. One of the toughest part of writing is that you put yourself in a vulnerable position, one that allows for people to criticize, judge or even form opinions about who you are just by reading from you.

A true writer knows this is inevitable and in the unavoidable discharge of his writing duty, he takes the criticism and praise all with a pinch of salt. So in my blog today I want to willingly put myself in a more vulnerable position. One thing we fear the most is being vulnerable, hence we put up walls and defenses. This is not to say we don’t have valid reasons to be scared or overly defensive, nevertheless even the most powerful people we can think of, had their moments of being vulnerable. So what is it that you are most afraid of? What is it that makes you vulnerable?

As a kid I used to be scared of the dark and anytime I had to walk through a dark corridor to turn on the lights I’ll run a full dash to the switch. One day, I think it was my mum if I remember correctly, who told me “the reason why you are afraid is because you think you are alone and someone might get you. You never have to run when you walk with me or someone else, so next time you have to go turn on the light, just walk close to the wall and feel your way along the wall. This way you won’t feel like you are waking through a large ‘vacuum’.” The next time I was asked to go turn on the lights I remembered what she had told me earlier and I walked close to the wall, slowly sliding my hands by the wall till I got to the switch and even though there was some element of fear, it was a lot better and with time I was able to walk through the dark corridor with absolutely no fear.

Now that might be easy, however as an adult my mum wasn’t with me every time and I had to face most of my vulnerability alone. Sometimes in order to trust someone we have to be vulnerable to them, sometimes in order to love someone we have to be vulnerable to them, sometimes in order to succeed we have to be vulnerable, sometimes in order for peace to thrive, we have to be vulnerable not because we cannot be strong but because we know that there is strength in willingly accepting such a position. It is easy to love, admire, respect, worship and follow someone who is strong but not many people can extend these emotions easily and readily to someone they see as vulnerable. Vulnerability is often greeted with two types of reactions; disregard and exploitation.

There are people who thrive on the vulnerability of others so much so that they are constantly searching for anyone who is in such a state to prey on. They feed off weakness just like the Dementors in Harry Potter. The Dementors in this novel series are described as Soulless creatures that deprive humans of happiness and Intelligence. They do so by feeding off your fear or by presenting themselves as that which you dread the most. Interestingly the antidote to a Dementor is to make a joke out of it by casting a spell of ridicule. Similarly whenever we encounter people who feed off the vulnerability of others the antidote is to protect our “intelligence and stay happy”. When the Intelligence is lost, it becomes difficult to focus the mind even on the simplest joyful activities.

When someone is vulnerable people avoid him/her seeing that state as pitiful and not wanting to associate with the person. They feel that by associating with a person who is vulnerable they might as well become vulnerable. There are those on the other hand who greet vulnerability with exploitation and see it as a means to feel better about their own life. When a person who is vulnerable extends to them a hand seeking for help, they respond by finding a way to take advantage of that individual by exploiting them. By taking advantage of such a person they have no intention to help him/her out of her vulnerable side.

After hearing all of this someone might ask, so why would I want to be vulnerable to anyone? Well the answer is diverse however one way to see it is that one can learn to trust on a deeper level when he knows that he/she is vulnerable to another person. A good example is two lovers, who are vulnerable to each other. Despite the fact that they both know each other’s vulnerability, they never try to use it against one another. Someone who knows your vulnerability and still takes care of you and protects you instead of taking advantage of you, is a special soul. By being willingly vulnerable to people we get to know who they really are.

Hoping this meets you well.

Do like, share, and follow for more.

PS; Photo credit not mine