Dear readers,

It is a pleasure to be able to share with you all once again, yet another interesting blog this week. I hope you all are faring well. As a break to the last series of blogs I uploaded which were quite philosophical in nature, I decided to write on a more mainstream topic today. Today’s topic is one that almost everyone is conversant with and not much philosophy is needed to explain what it is. However we are going to be looking at the subject matter a few steps away from the physical aspect.

Today I shall be writing on dreams. So what are dreams? This word or concept is very interesting because it can be both a noun and a verb. Many of us are conversant with Martin Luther’s famous speech “I have a dream”. When we speak of dream as a verb we usually talk about the possibility of doing something. However when we speak of dream as a noun then we are referring to a series of thoughts, images etc. that occur in a person’s mind when they are asleep. We all have had dreams at one point in time or another and most of us do every night when we go to bed. In fact only a very few percentage of people go to sleep and do not recall having dreams. This could be for various reasons. The beauty of having dreams is that we are introduced to a world where we are not limited by time, space, nor our bodies.

At one point in time or another, some of us must have had a dream where we were flying, had special abilities, could speak different languages or had immense strength. We were able to do things that defied the laws of nature and the abilities of our physical bodies. Then we wake up in the morning and all that is gone. So what happened to all that we saw in our dreams? To understand this let us analyze a few basic concepts. We have the sleeping state and the wakeful state. In between these two states we have a third which allows for occurrences such as hypnosis, but that is another topic entirely. In our wakeful state, we do things with the help of our physical body. We walk, dance, talk, laugh, and eat, all with the help of our physical body. Thus we are limited by the capacity of what our physical bodies can do. We also have another body called the subtle body, some call it the astral body and those who practice astral travels tend to use this body more. Astral travelling is one practice that allows people to experience for a fact that they are actually more than just their physical bodies. We will not dwell much on this subject either.

In the dream, when our physical bodies are in their sleeping state, the subtle body is in its waking/wakeful state. It is safe to say that for those who are not very spiritually in tune with their subtle bodies, it remains dormant or asleep when the physical body is awake. So at night when the physical body goes to sleep, it becomes active. This body begins to engage in various activities, based on our desires, thoughts, imaginations or share dictates of the mind. Sometimes, information that is stored in our subconscious mind make it to our dreams and it develops form or shape. If we spent an entire day dealing with say flight bookings for people to a holiday resort, it won’t come as a surprise if at night we see ourselves swimming with dolphins in a breathtaking resort. Even though we might not have had a direct contact with a resort, but information of this place builds up in our subconscious mind as we were working throughout the day. Dreams could also be more than just thoughts or replays from our subconscious minds. Dreams could provide us with visions into events that are yet to happen, or even better clarity to things that have happened.

Some people have been able to testify to seeing things in their dreams and sometime later these things manifest in the real world. This ability if properly harnessed becomes some sort of clairvoyance and can be used to help people. Another interesting phenomena which we can get from dreams is that when one is very spiritually advanced, dreams could be a contact point for association with higher beings who may not be able to present themselves before us physically due to various reasons. In fact my spiritual mentor used to say that, whenever any of his disciples has any difficulty we should just speak to him and he would definitely give guidance. Many of my god brothers have recorded many occasions where our spiritual mentor would appear to them in a dream and give clarification to things.

The possibilities that are present in our dreams are endless and when we can access these properly, we begin to operate on a different dimension. Many of us might have seen the movie Inception, where the famous Actor Leonardo DiCaprio uses the sleeping state of dreams to implant ideas and thoughts into the minds of people. Even though many people might wave this off as just a movie, the idea of mind control via several methods is not new or alien in our society today.  The most popular form of mind control we all know is the Television or nowadays social media. There are however more subtle forms of mind control which are not easily accessible to the masses that is been used currently by many powerful countries in the world. These techniques are used to control, manipulate and even access information from competing countries via spy agents.

It is thus very important to try to keep track of our dreams every day, this way we can monitor the thought process of our subconscious mind. When we keep track of our dreams then we can also influence the outcome of the type of dreams we want to have. Yes, it is possible to influence the dreams we have. We can write down or dreams daily as soon as we wake up before we get off the bed. This allows us to fully recollect the dreams we had at night. Initially this might be difficult especially if we are not used to remembering our dreams. However with time and conscious practice, we will gradually begin to recollect more.

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


You have False Ego 2

Dear readers,

It is a pleasure to be able to share with you again this week yet another exciting blog. I am really glad to have this unique opportunity to discuss deep topics on such a platform. On that note I’ll say once again that I am even more excited to countdown the release date of my new book, due for the 3rd of November.

I had an amazing weekend at a Kirtan (congregational chanting and singing of the Holy name of God) festival, in an amazing Eco village in Pennsylvania. Every now and then it is good to have one’s spiritual batteries charged up. The entire singing and dancing went on for about 14hours, and in that time frame the only thing that mattered was how to full immerse myself in the chant. For that time frame, no one cared if you looked a certain way, spoke a certain way, and dressed a certain way etc. all that mattered was how much you were contributing in the glorification of the holy name. In brief it was amazing.

This week I’ll continue from where we left off last time and try to give real life scenarios of how the false ego can be misconstrued. Have you ever been told that you have false ego? Funny yet interesting question. I’ll share with you all a real life experience.

Once I was engaged in doing some service, when a devotee approached me and started to share with me what he described as “his honest opinion of me”. I appreciated his genuine effort to come to me in person instead of saying things behind me and I patiently heard all he had to say. I tried to answer any question he had about my personality and tried to alleviate his doubts on those things he didn’t understand about me. However I noticed his intention wasn’t to dialogue but to start a verbal confrontation. In the course of his “speech” he said something which I felt was funny but he thought was rather an attack. He told me “You know, I think you have false ego.” For those not conversant with the lingo, this phrase is a “polite” way of telling someone I think you are proud, in the Gaudiya circle.

I laughed so hard and what he thought was an insult to me became an embarrassment for him. I replied “did you just know?” He was shocked. The usual response would have been a defense or a retort. He looked at me eyes wide open. I smiled and said again “I know I have false ego”. Now he was really confused and asked what do you mean? At this point it is interesting to note that, he was now asking me a question about a statement he just made. Had I responded the way he was expecting by retorting or defending myself, the whole discussion would have degenerated into something messy.  Now seeing he was in a more receptive mood, rather confused now than hostile, I asked him “you don’t know the meaning of what you just said?” He replied saying he did but he didn’t expect that answer.

I then proceeded to explain certain facts about the statement that he had just made. “First and foremost I know I have false ego, which If you define that by saying I identify with my body, you are absolutely right. If I didn’t have any false go, I wouldn’t be here in the material world with a material body. The mere fact that I am here in this world subjected to the threefold miseries and the dualities of a material body means I indeed have false ego. It means my misidentification of the body as the self has put me in such a situation. “

Seeing that this was rather too philosophical for him to grasp and probably not what he meant I then went on to address the second probable meaning. “If you however want to say that I am proud and have used the polite phrase of saying I have false ego, then you are also right. I have no difficulty admitting this, if you see this fault in me. Anyhow I am in a nice process of cleansing theses faults and if I take proper advantage of the process I should be able to get rid of them soon.” Let’s just say that was the last time he ever spoke to me again.

One interesting thing about people trying to label others as been proud or egocentric is that often times it is a subtle reflection of their true self. More so, the phrase “you have false ego” could be used as a means to shut people off, especially when there seems to be a subtle attack on our shortcomings. Sometimes when we ask people a genuine question that seems to challenge their belief system or that brings out their shortcomings, then this phrase is used as an indirect way to dissuade us from inquiring further and making it look as if we are the ones who have an issue. The phrase could also be an indirect way of telling people not to have mind of their own and not to think for themselves.

The whole idea of self-realization is not to become “woke” on a metaphysical level but to also become awakened even on the physical platform. For if the awakening doesn’t start from the physical to the metaphysical then sometimes it could be sentimental. So for all spiritual practitioners who are on the journey of self-realization, do not despair. Sometimes we are put to test in many ways just to see if our resolve to become enlightened is real or just a farce. As we strive for perfection in our endeavors let us try to remember that before we can become self-realized souls, we have to indeed become human beings first, complete with all good qualities of love, compassion, truthful, peacefulness etc. Only after imbibing these qualities in full can we aspire to become more.

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

You have False Ego! 1

Dear readers,

It is great to be here once again sharing with you all interesting insights on various esoteric subjects. In roughly two weeks my book will be available on various eBook platforms and I look forward to sharing my work with you all. In all of this I am excited yet humbled at the grace of God in my life. I’ll put up links to various platforms where my book can be purchased as soon as it is released, if you haven’t gotten a pre-order, do so now to take advantage of the special discount.

Without further ado, today let’s talk about something most of us must have heard at some point in time, either from a friend or someone who feels the need to “instruct us”. To begin with, what is the Ego? The basic definition is “a person’s sense of self-esteem or self-importance. Psychoanalysis takes the meaning a step further by saying ego is the part of the mind that mediates between the conscious and the unconscious, and is responsible for reality testing and a sense of personal identity. In Metaphysics ego is described as a conscious thinking subject.

Since we are looking things from a metaphysical perspective we will be working more with the third description, as what we have to discuss is beyond the scope of the first two. In spiritual circles we usually talk more about the real ego, which is the self or the soul. We make allusions to the real ego as the real self because it is distinct from the gross body and connection to this ego awakens our real identity. Often times there is a mix between the two ego’s; the real and the false ego. People who are very much on the bodily platform take the false ego; the body and its designations to be the real ego; the soul. They make plans and arrangements in life based on what they perceive from the false ego and thus fall time without number into a pool of distress and disappointment. Those who identify the false ego as the real ego, usually define ego from the physical perspective of the first definition.

To them, ego is that which supports their self-esteem or self-importance. Anything that goes against this is seen as a detriment to their ego and the response could be defensive whenever people see their ego threatened. However to tie our very core value or importance to things that relate to our physical bodies is to limit the true meaning of the real ego. When we feel our ego needs a car, house, money etc. to survive we are actually operating on the level of the first definition which is totally physical. The second definition says it (the ego) mediates between the conscious and the unconscious… Here we see an attempt to ascribe something more to the ego. Somehow or the other, people must have seen through practical experience that you can still maintain a good level of self-esteem without depending on external appraisal. This means that the ego is beyond the external. The only confusion here is that we can see that Psychoanalysis doesn’t have the name for the real ego and doesn’t really know where to place it and thus says it is between the conscious and unconscious. They know it is more than the physical but are not entirely sure if it is spiritual.

Metaphysics tries to solve this dilemma by saying it is the conscious thinking subject. What does this mean? For the body to exist or be alive there has to be consciousness, a very important factor. The present of consciousness in a body is what determines if it is dead or alive. Beyond consciousness there is the subject (the real self) that is responsible for this “thinking or thoughts”. Automatically Metaphysics separates the mind from the ego by saying it is the “thinking subject”. The Mind is the playground for our thoughts and as such it cannot be the ego. So if the mind is the playground for our thoughts and the ego is consciousness, this means it is more and superior to the mind. More so, because the ego is described as the thinking subject naturally we can see where the “I and Me” concept truly lies.  The thinking is done by a subject (the ego), and our thoughts are filled with objects of the senses which are also the object of the subjects thinking. Simply put, the ego (subject) is responsible for our thought process (object) to the degree that it sees itself as real or false.

So how do we differentiate real from false ego? Real ego means understanding the soul or the self to be higher than the mind and body. It means understanding that we are infinitesimal spiritual sparks fully cognizant, blissful and eternal. False ego on the other hand is based on the bodily identifications, which is taking the body to be the self. It is built on the premise that whatever we are is based on the external identifications of the body that we can see. It says there is nothing higher than the self and as such gratification of the senses of the body is the highest goal of life. Not only is this thinking erroneous it is also detrimental to the awakening of our real self. Living by such philosophy deprives the spiritual practitioner the chance to connect to something deeper; the soul or real ego.

There is a more practical approach to this delineation here and due to space I’ll present that in a sequel to this, next week. In that sequel I’ll try to help you see the application and also misapplication of the real and false ego. I’ll also help us identify situations whereby people can misconstrue the real meaning of the word ego so as to be politically correct or just to make others feel less important. I’ll also help us see how we can tune in to our real ego without becoming naïve or losing self-esteem.

Till then do read, share and follow for more.

PS: Photo credit, not mine.

Vacuum; the low after all highs

Dear readers,

I am very happy to connect with you all today, most especially because I launched my first book last week and all things been equal it should be released next month, fingers crossed. Believe me when I say, I have spent almost half of my existence on this planet putting the pieces that make that book up. I do hope is serves it purpose and helps those in need of guidance.

That been said what are we going to discuss today?

This morning while doing my mantra meditation, my mind took a quick “break” and in that split second a couple thoughts flew in.

  1. What is that special “feeling” that creates such an attraction between two people down here that makes us forget who we are?
  2. If our spiritual essence is all blissful and all knowledgeable and yet we are caught up in this mix of material existence, then its either we are easily influenced as living entities or the material nature is very strong.

Just after these thoughts, I tried to bring my mind back to the mantra meditation I was doing but they kept haunting me. Hours later as I prepare to write my blog for this week, I am torn between presenting this thoughts in an “unfiltered” manner, just as they rummage my mind or to refine them and present them as a polished finished thought process. I felt I’ll rather go with the latter.  The whole point of writing is to be real, authentic and genuine. To connect with people without filters and to share ideas, insights and thoughts with people in a manner that helps them see beyond the physical, hence the name metaphysical perspective. Everyone in this material is searching for that one person who completes them and makes them feel special. Some people try to find this person in a friend, a spouse, a family member etc.

Often times our search doesn’t yield much and even when it does, we can’t spend eternity with them, because death snatches them away and we are left all lonely and then vacuum sets in. As a teenager and even till this day I write poetry and the theme is always love but that of intense love in separation, usually of a lover not there or of one who is broken hearted. I shared these poems a few times with people and once half way through, a friend of mine paused and said “who did this to you?” I asked; what? He pointed at my poem and looked at me saying “I mean this, who hurt you this bad bro? These words strike a deep chord with me, I can feel them as if it were me.” He was in for a shock when I told him they were just my inner thoughts and not based on actual events in this life.

Well years later with more understanding of certain spiritual truths, I have come to see where those deep yearnings came from. The real self, deep down cannot stop searching for the Supreme Lord and that was why no matter how hard I tried I just couldn’t write about something else. The interesting part is that there is more to this feeling of vacuum. I have seen the lives of very rich, successful and famous celebrities, who have it all and then the next thing we hear is they died of substance overdose or suicide or fell in a depression. It beats me hollow every time. So with all that money, fame, glamour etc., you were still not happy? Why? In front of the cameras we can put up a fake smile, we can show off our flashy lives on social media and all that fun stuff, however when we go to bed at night, when no one is watching, far away from the cameras and paparazzi, reality kicks in. The soul languishes in pain and cries bitterly. Maybe you may have experienced it. Our eyes cannot stop shedding tears and we feel really heavy on the inside and we don’t even know where the pain is coming from.

It is at this critical moment we should pause and reflect. During moments like this, when our soul is tired of pretending and living a life that doesn’t reflect its true nature, we need to wake up and do the needful. When our pain is unbearable and all the fences we have built to shield ourselves from reality are down, we need to wake up and do the needful. Suicide, substance abuse are all just temporary escape routes to hide from these nights of reality that hit us hard. We can run and hide but not for long. That vacuum won’t fill up, no matter how much we try to, especially if we are using the wrong things to fill it up.

There are days I sometimes catch myself fighting such pain, thinking and rethinking. Then I remember that I am blessed by the best and shouldn’t settle for anything less. I am the eternal servitor of the Supreme Personality of Godhead and as such He definitely has my back. He just wants to know that I trust him enough to let go and let him fill up all and every type of vacuum in my life. Letting go is not something we are accustomed to because we always fear the worst might happen. Fear is born of ignorance and because we do not really know the capability of the Lord, we are in ignorance which in turn brings fear.

You can be rest assured that you are not alone, and that there is always help around us if and only if we are ready to access it. Most importantly is the fact that there is help right within us, if we decided to connect on a deeper level beyond all superficiality. The Lord is sitting right inside our hearts beckoning on us to turn towards him, even for a second and connect deeply. We have to become like whales in the ocean, they swim deep down. We have to go deep in our relationship with the Supreme.

Till next week, do have a blissful week ahead. Share, and follow for more.

PS; Image credit doesn’t belong to me.

Festival of Life

Dear readers,

It is a wonderful opportunity to be able to share with you all once again yet another interesting blog today. Last weekend was filled with fun activities, lots of people and a very busy schedule. Many people had a great time with the festival of colours and the inner child in everyone was let loose.

During this period of festivity alongside having to manage schedules and see that the guests that were visiting were getting the service I was allocated to do; on time, I had some quite thoughtful realizations. There is a famous artiste who mentioned in one of his songs that “life is one big party when you are still young, but who’s going to have your back when its all done.” Similarly, just like a real party, the party of life also has its different stages.

Stage 1. Planning: Usually before a big event a lot of energy is put into planning and preparing in order to be able to achieve all that we set out to do. We try to make sure that we have everything in place to guarantee the smooth flow of the event and we make a list of things we need. Life’s party is similar in so many ways. This stage in our lives is the period of youth, when we make a lot of plans and dream about all the great things we want to do, at various points in our lives, usually leaving little or no time in it for God or matters self-realization.

Stage 2. Item acquisition and shopping: When we have dates set out and all that, we often proceed to buy the things we think we need, the things we want and the things we hope our guests would like. We may spend little money or a lot of money depending on our budget. Some of us might even go for an overdraft and empty out our accounts. It’s all a matter of choice.  Similarly in life we also try to acquire different types of education in the hope that this would give us the capacity to achieve our dreams. We spend a lot on various forms of formal or informal education, often times neglecting the real education that we need. We may think we know the type of education we want or need or the type that may help us succeed however if we don’t have proper education about the soul, we sooner than later find out that we have not really learnt much.

Stage 3. The Event: The D-day arrives and we are all pumped up and the anticipation is in the air. We begin to expect visitors. Some show up on time, some late, some don’t even show up at all and some call us to cancel. We however hope that irrespective of the turn up, we can still have a great event. During the event we try to serve everyone as much as we can, sometimes we do and sometimes we just can’t please everyone. We try to see if we can also be a part of the event from time to time without getting lost in the service of attending to people, and at other times we try to socialize. After the event, some guests stay till late, some leave just before it gets dark, and some may even sleep over and then leave the next day. Invariably all the guests leave at some point.  The D-day in our lives is divided into various parts and could be seen from different perspectives. The first part is when we finally get to achieve some of the goals we set for ourselves. Usually we achieve some and sometime we don’t. If we fail to set spiritual goals then we haven’t really lived a fulfilled life yet. The second stage is when we get the “guests” that show up on time (puberty, body growth, etc.), those that show up late (wrinkles, aging, body pains, etc.), those that don’t show up at all (long hidden terminal illness that pop up at the last stages) and those that call us to cancel (repeated sickness, failing body functions etc.) however despites these “guests” we still go on with our life’s party.

Then after the party or at the time of death, we have some guests leave on time (friends usually leave first), then we have those who stay late (intimate friends and distant relatives may be at our death bed a little longer) and those that stay till the next day (close family member who mourn us to the grave and for a few weeks or months after we pass). If we pay so much attention to life’s party without trying to connect to the ultimate spiritual party then when these “guests” arrive we are not prepared to host them.

Stage 4. The Cleanup: This is probably the most difficult part of any party. The mess created after every party, has to be cleaned up. Even if we get a few volunteers, the fact remains that we need to do the greater part as the house belongs to us or at least we are responsible for the cleanliness of the venue.

 At the time of death we may be able to have a good reading at our funeral by many people who might have known us, they may say a lot of nice things, we may even have them read out our achievements or our acts of philanthropy etc.  All these will nevertheless remain here and only a few good merits from these activities go with us to the next life. These so-called good merits are in themselves things that bind us further. If we have failed to do the most benevolent act which is to save the soul, then we have actually had a party that wasn’t successful.  Thus we need to see and remember that eventually this house (body) we have, would be thrashed up (grow old) and the best cleanup we can do is to give our souls a better place to live in, preferably a body that is free from birth, disease, old age and death.

I hope these few words help us see things better in a broader perspective. Till next week, do read, and follow for more.

Subtle Dependency

Dear readers,

It’s a pleasure to be able to share with you all today yet another interesting topic. I hope you all are faring well.

A couple of days back it rained quite heavily and the wind that accompanied the rain was pretty intense thereby resulting in our power lines shutting down. When the power is down, automatically the internet also is inaccessible. In this little space of roughly 48 hours, a lot of things came into perspective. One of them is the immediate exposure of our total dependence on things that we have “created”. We create things with the intention that they will make our lives somewhat easier, however when these amenities are absent even for a short period of time, we become so vulnerable. This is one clear difference between the living entity and the Supreme Lord. The Supreme Lord is described as Atmaram; one who is self-sufficient.  He is self-sufficient because He doesn’t need anything or anyone to be Himself or to feel complete. We on the other hand; as infinitesimal spiritual living entities, are constantly in search of something to satisfy or complete us.

In one of the ancient scriptures known as the Isopanisads, it is mentioned that the Supreme Person is perfect and complete, and from him comes so many complete wholes such as this cosmic manifestation. Whatever comes from him is also complete in itself, however even though all these complete wholes are emanating from Him, He remains the complete balance. This means that he is not bound by the laws of material nature which subject us to various limitations, because even the laws of material nature function under his sanction and jurisdiction. In our quest to create a “perfect and complete” environment for ourselves here on this planet we have forgotten to take shelter of the Supreme complete person. It is interesting to note that even though we are perfect and complete as spiritual sparks emanating from the Lord who is also perfect and complete, we cannot experience this “completeness” in full until and unless we begin to act in that capacity. The only way to act in full capacity or knowledge of our complete self is to actually realize that we are first and foremost spiritual beings beyond the gross and subtle body.

When we realize this as a fact and thus act in such consciousness then we may aspire to operate on the level of completeness. One of the reasons why our attempts to “recreate” a perfect and complete life here on this planet fails, is because we do not acknowledge the proprietorship of the Supreme person. We feel that everything in this world is meant for our gratification and that we are lords of all that we see and survey. When we actually work with the knowledge that everything animate and inanimate belongs to the Supreme Lord and that we should only take as much as is allotted to us as our quota, then we may hope to achieve this state of completeness. More so, there is a guarantee that comes with acting in such consciousness. It is mentioned in the same upanisad that one may aspire to live for hundreds of years if he acts in such consciousness, because he is not bound by his work. Thus herein lies the answer and secret to living long. Scientist have searched endlessly to no avail for the “fountain of youth” in a bid to prolong or extend life. What they fail to realize is that we cannot discover the “elixir of immortality” in matter or dead substance. We can only get life from life, thus if we desire eternal life why not get it from an eternal source?

We may try to create medications upon medications that may slow down or even hide our aging process, however to tap into the immortality that may people crave so dearly, they must begin to act in proper consciousness of the Supreme Lord, knowing him as the proprietor of all that we see. When the living entity acts in such a consciousness then the mentality to exploit things, people or the resources of this planet automatically diminishes. This is because we cannot exploit something that doesn’t belong to us, if we really acknowledge the ownership. The more we try to exploit the material energy to create a perfect and complete situation here, the more we become frustrated, because for each problem we “solve” we are faced with  ten new ones. A good example is our foodstuff today. There was a time when a man could plant and harvest only the amount of land he could till or get others to help him till and cultivate. If he wanted to get more plants, he had to engage the help of family and friends. Today one man can farm and till a land meant for probably hundreds of people and produce a lot more. This seems very positive and people may wonder what is wrong with such a great positive step in our endeavors as humans. Well with excess comes waste, a couple of years back France put a prohibition on food stores and supermarkets throwing away “unfit food”.

This naturally brings us to the next point, in an attempt to create our own concept of “perfectly shaped and good looking food” we have altered the chemical composition of our food and plants and have created poison which is now exterminating us in droves through the disease called Cancer. A good number of years back, no one cared if the vegetables didn’t look perfectly shaped as far as they were not rotten or spoilt and people had their health intact. Today we have perfect vegetables but very bad health, so what advancement have we really made? How is this perfect and complete?

Just before my reader begins to think this writer is anti-technology or anti-improvement, I’ll like to crave your indulgence by saying I am not and the very proof is I am using one of the inventions of technology to share this thoughts with you. What I speak up about is the exploitation of nature, with disregard and little or no recognition for the proprietor. Without stretching this topic too long I’ll say the last 48 hours gave some time to reflect in the absence of these amenities. I hope we all take time to do so once in a while. Till next week do have a great day ahead.

Please share and follow for more.

Meditation 2

Dear readers,

It’s a pleasure to be able to share with you all once again yet another interesting topic this week, I hope you all are faring well.

Last week I started a discussion on Meditation and I promised that we’ll try to do a second part where by we focus more on “chanting meditation”. In order to be able to fully appreciate this topic I suggest that those of you who are new to yoga or meditation in general, should kindly read Sound Vibration, and the part one to this sequel.

Having said that, let’s take a look at meditation by sound vibration or chanting.

What does it mean to chant? A chant is a rhythmic repeated phrase, usually chanted or shouted by one or more persons in unison. When the chant is of a sacred text then it becomes a mantra. Mantra is a Sanskrit word which means that which liberates the mind. Since meditation is more of a subtle thing than a physical feat it is very important that the practitioner has the desire, ability and training to curtail the excesses of the mind. When we allow the mind to run loose then our meditation is hampered and we find it difficult to attain the desired result we are looking for.

How does chanting meditation differ from silent meditation? As I mentioned in the first part of this blog, in silent meditation we are at the mercy of our mind’s dictate and prancing, if we cannot tame it. Usually many people start out as neophytes on the part of meditation and usually after a while they feel frustrated at the antics of the mind and just give up. They become helpless in the face of the situation and they conclude it is rather impossible to meditate. However if these practitioners can adopt the method of “chanting meditation” not only will they achieve success in their meditation process but they will also achieve the wonderful feat of curbing the mind’s excesses. In this light the major difference between both forms of meditation is that in the silent form of meditation, the practitioner is quiet or silent while in the second form, he does his meditation by using a chant, hymn or mantra.

Is it not distracting to chant while trying to meditate? On the contrary, it help one to focus. One learns to focus initially by concentrating on the words of the hymn, chant or mantra. Then as time goes on, one learns to concentrate on the meaning of the words, each time trying to see how best to exemplify those meanings, and in a more advanced platform one uses the mantra, hymn or chant, as a vehicle or medium to connect with a higher reality. The mantra thus acts as a conduit that transports the practitioner to a realm beyond his immediate physical reality. For gaudiya vaisnava’s who are on a more spontaneous level of devotional practice, the mantra is the wave which they ride in order to be able to fully associate with the Divine couple in their daily meditation of the lord’s pastimes.

What if while chanting I still get distracted in my meditation? This is not a new occurrence and it is bound to happen, the fact that this is happening and you can notice it means that you are beginning to keep track of your mind’s activities. Something that would have been difficult prior or with another form of meditation. The response to this will be to continue to chant while being aware of our chant, gradually with time and more practice the mind becomes steady and accepts the mantra.

Of what benefit is chanting while meditating? The benefits of chanting while meditating are innumerable. First and foremost the chanter gets a lot of spiritual merit for reciting such sacred prayers, hymns, etc. and because he is reciting it in a manner that is audible to others, all those who hear also get benefits. By constantly reciting the mantra, he gets purified of his misdeeds, especially if the mantra is the maha mantra. In addition to this he/she is in a constant contact with the Supreme Lord, because the Lord is non-different from his name or paraphernalia. Thus by chanting while meditating, the practitioner is soon to realize that he is more than just matter and that if he pays more attention to the chanting process, he can very soon identify his true identity.

Must the chant be sacred, can one chant whatever he likes as far as it is repetitive? The mantra has to be of sacred value and substance for it to help our mind, and connect us with the Supreme Lord. Just as it is impossible to quench one’s thirst by simply saying water and by actually drinking water, similarly mere repetition of words cannot help us connect to the Supreme Lord, because those words do not represent him. Moreover, by calling the name of a friend, it is certain that there will be a response, as opposed to saying gibberish and expecting our friend to respond. If we desire to connect to a higher reality way beyond our present reality, if we desire to tap into the waters of transcendental unlimited bliss then the chant has to be of sacred spiritual value. One of such chants is the maha mantra. ( Hare Krsna, Hare Krsna, Krsna Krsna, Hare Hare, Hare Rama, Hare Rama, Rama Rama, Hare Hare), or whatever chant that represents sacred value in one’s spiritual practice. The Christian can recite the Lord’s Prayer in Psalm and the Muslims can recite Al fatiyah (Bismilai rakmani Rahim).

Invariably the goal is to focus the mind and senses on a higher object and free ourselves of our base tendencies as we meditate and chant.  Meditation and chanting are actually very sublime processes with which we can connect with the absolute truth provided we engage in them with the proper mood and mindset.

I hope this sheds some light on the topic till next week when I shall bring you another topic. Do read, internalize and share. Follow this blog for more and you can now listen to this blog on my podcast(http://www.podbean.com/media/share/pb-c2pam-6d5530).


Dear readers,

It is a great pleasure to have such a wonderful opportunity to share with you all today, yet another interesting post. As I was going through my previous blogs, I suddenly realized that there is a very important topic I am yet to deliberate on. This topic is no other than the revered subject of  Meditation.

What is Meditation?

This is a process whereby we think deeply or focus our mind for a period of time, in silence or with the aid of chanting, for religious or spiritual purposes or as a method of relaxation. In as much as this definition does some justice to the word, as a practitioner of Bhakti Yoga, I can’t help but notice that it says “focus the mind”, however the definition doesn’t tell us on what to focus the mind. In previous ages, when people had the ability and the physical attributes required for meditation, it wasn’t uncommon to see many people engaged in meditation. Meditation is one of the eight process of yoga called Dhyana. This is actually the 7th stage of the eight fold process of mystic yoga.  For those who are conversant with the nature of yoga in details, it comes as no surprise to see meditation as the stage before the final stage of “perfection”.

Thus the natural question would be; what about the other 6 stage before this stage. Well in brief they are Yama and Niyama, Pranayama, Pratyahara, Dharana, Dhayana, and Samadhi. The natural process would be to follow up the stages through from Yama up to Samadhi. However in our Jet aged society, many people have neither the life span to go through this process nor the mental equilibrium to see it through. In order for one to fully master the eight fold mystic yoga process, which is very arduous, one needs to practice for many years, thousands of years. Unfortunately in this age we do not have such a potential. Nevertheless there is a different kind of meditation recommended for us in this age and it is meditation accompanied by chanting. Before I delve fully in to this part of our discussion I would like to say here that even though meditation as it should be is rarely practiced now, the pseudo form of it that many engage in, still has a lot of benefits.

In a society today, where there is an unending influx of negative energy and vibes, meditation has helped many people to find a safe haven amidst all the chaos. People from different walks of life, of different ages are now seeing the immense value of engaging in meditation. In fact recently there was a video online, on social media that had Hollywood celebrities talking about how meditation had greatly helped them. The other interesting side was the fact that even those we least expect to engage in meditation were also involved. There was an interview where Oprah Winfrey had with popular rap Artist 50 Cent, and he admitted to be engaged in meditation. It came as a shocker to everyone. He (50 Cent) went on to say that meditation had helped him a lot in controlling his emotions. Many corporate individuals are leaning towards meditation now as a form of de-stressing themselves after a stressful day at work.

The advantages of meditation cannot be over-emphasized and for this reason it is safe to say those who engage in it can draw a lot of benefit even if the end result or motive is material or temporary. Now back to the initial point I made, meditation has to be done with a specific goal and object in mind.  The “focus” has to be directed somewhere. New age meditation “gurus say that there is no need to focus on anything, as the process of meditation is in itself self-focusing. This concept is however erroneous, as many of us will remark that when we sit still to “meditate” with little or no focus, two things happen; we either fall asleep or our minds begin to race about. The essence of having a tangible focal point is to help the mind and restrain it from “running wild” by gently persuading it to focus on the focal point/object. If we intend to captivate the mind then we must present to it, an alternative that is most attractive and captivating. We will all agree that in this material world, it is difficult to find something that can sustain the interest of the mind for long. Thus the sane thing to do, is to give the mind that which captivates everyone’s mind. The Supreme Lord is known as the “all attractive one; Krishna”, thus we engage the mind in thinking of the name, form, qualities and pastimes of the lord. This way the restless is curtailed and we can hope to achieve a better meditation process.

There is no gain saying that for one to be able to practice meditation properly there has to be a Guide, not just any guide but a spiritual guide who understands the intricacies of mediation and is not just searching for cheap fame, and money from students in the name of offering meditation. If the guide cannot himself meditate peacefully on the name, form, qualities and pastimes of the Supreme Lord then he cannot fully deliver the meditation process to anyone. The purpose of meditation has been different among various people, and we can say it ranges from the desire to obtain mystic powers and opulence, to the desire to control, the desire to obtain material opulence, or even for the simple reason of keeping the mind calm and at peace.

If the objective is however not geared towards pleasing the Supreme absolute Person, then we are sure to encounter lots of difficulties and even have to repeat the entire process. In this light weather we are engaged in silent meditation or chanting meditation ( I hope to write about this next week), we should endeavor to always remember that the ultimate purpose of engaging in meditation is to place the mind at the lotus feet of the Supreme personality of Godhead, in constant and total absorption.

I hope this sheds light on the subject, till next week do read, internalize, share and follow for more.

If you don’t MIND,Then it doesn’t MATTER

Dear esteemed readers,

I hope you all had an amazing Independence Day celebration last week. My week was intensely busy as I was also involved in a festival a few days after, needless to say it was a grand success.

Last week I was having a discussion with my Father about certain philosophical topics and I was really trying to understand certain things about the human way of thinking, willing and feeling viz a viz the opinion of others. It was at this point in our discussion he made a point or a phrase which kind of stuck. He said “If you don’t MIND, then it doesn’t MATTER.” Now there is a bit of Pun (a joke exploiting the different possible meanings of a word or the fact that there are words that sound alike but have different meanings.) If we look at this statement from the contextual point of view, we can say it means, if you don’t mind (care, bother, worry) about a situation or circumstance, then it doesn’t matter ( it’s not an issue).

This is a simple yet powerful meaning which I must say if applied one will naturally evolve to the much more esoteric meaning. Usually in life we tend to worry so much about stuff that actually aren’t worth worrying about. Often times we worry about how we look, what we wear, and what people say or think about us, etc. The truth of the matter is a good deal of the time, we actually create these situations in our head. However in a scenario where maybe there is an actual situation where there is a second or third party opinion about us, still if we don’t MIND, then it doesn’t MATTER. When we MIND (worry, care, bother) we are actually giving the situation life and feeding it to grow. Such situations need us to “mind” in order for it to thrive.

The second meaning is a lot deeper and more esoteric. There are basically two factors in life; MIND and MATTER. Mind represents all that is subtle and spiritual, while MATTER represents all that is gross and physical. In order for us to grow as spiritual practitioners, we must focus more on the mind than on matter. When we try to cultivate things of the mind then we try to reach or tune ourselves to a higher frequency, while focusing on matter does the opposite. It is worthy to mention here that when we say “if you don’t mind” it is not a way of saying have a carefree attitude. No, rather we are saying give your energy to those things which are worth your energy and time, and those things that can impact you positively, keeping you energized rather than drained. The entire process of spirituality is actually getting to train the mind to focus on the finer aspects of spirituality rather than on the gross things of matter. To the degree that we can achieve this to that degree we actually understand the real meaning of the words “we are not this body”. As eternal spiritual beings we must understand that it is better to be in tune with our spiritual side than with our gross and physical side if we must make considerable advancement.

There are people who have been able to work on this second aspect and have achieved extraordinary feats. They have been described by many names such as yogis, sages, mystics, or simply those who apply the principle of “mind over matter”. We have seen folks who have been able to levitate objects with their mind, all by harnessing the power of the mind. As spiritual practitioners who are on a mission of discovering our original identity and serving the Supreme Lord, we actually desire more than being able to do “amazing feats” with our minds. We actually want to transcend the mind and connect to that which is greater. So when we say “don’t mind” as spiritual practitioners we are saying “go beyond” the mind”. This naturally brings us to the third interpretation.

The third meaning enables us to see things from the perspective of a spirit soul, completely detached from the dualities of material designations. In this light when we “don’t mind”, we actually saying go even further than operating on the subtle-mind platform, go deeper. When we say “then it doesn’t matter”, we mean; by trying to go deeper than the level of mind control we get to the level of spirit soul connection. We then realize that we are souls with a body and not vice versa.

I do understand that there are folks are who are a lot simpler in mind and are not so philosophical and would like to know what way they can apply this principle in their lives in the simplest way possible. To them I say “If you don’t mind the constant influx of desires the mind throws at you, if you don’t mind the constant criticism that come from different types of people, if you don’t mind the natural setbacks we have to face and deal with in life, then you will definitely realize sooner that it doesn’t really matter. There are a lot of things in life that deserve our real and genuine attention; things that add to our growth materially, spiritually and otherwise. If we can learn to red-direct the “mind” to those things that actually “matter” instead of focusing on just “matter” then we can hope to attain some level of peace and tranquility.

In conclusion, I would like my readers to make a concrete effort in identifying those things that actually don’t matter but take up our minds. When we can identify and isolate these things then we can slowly begin to take back control of our lives and there is a one interesting point. Those who operate on this level deeply, begin to amaze and surprise people, because they do not fit into the “regular type of people” any more. Once you stand out then it becomes easier.

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

Surmounting Unreasonable Situations

Dear readers,

I hope you all are faring well; it is great to be here today to share with you all yet another interesting topic.

The topic at hand today may seem pretty straight forward however when scrutinized in the deepest sense of it, one can see that it is very intricate. The first part to getting a thorough grasp of any situation we deem unreasonable is to first ask ourselves; by whose perception is this situation being seen as unreasonable? What we may term as being unreasonable, may be seen by someone else as totally reasonable. So there is a question of perception. It is natural for many of you to start to question this point right away saying, “what does he mean by this?”

Usually when faced with an unreasonable situation our first response is to react accordingly with what we deem as “reasonable” and thus shut out anything else that is opposed to our ideology. Speaking from personal experience I must say that the instance we take a moment to reflect and analyze a situation critically not from our perspective but wholistically, we begin to see through the unreasonableness. My Dad has the habit of saying “it is unreasonable to act unreasonably in a situation we think is unreasonable”. Sounds like a pun, but truth be told many people can’t even tell the difference. I know it sounds kind of contradictory to say that situations which we perceive as unreasonable are due to our perception and then few minutes later, tell you that people cannot tell a reasonable situation apart from an unreasonable one.

Allow me dispel this doubt, by citing an example. To an adult it is unreasonable to run around in one’s underwear and roll about in the sand, but to a kid this is fun and in fact you are missing out if you cannot join in. This is a situation of perception due to difference in ideology. Now should the adult spank the kid or try to give the child a sermon about how to be properly dressed at all times, the effects could be counter-productive and even brew hostility. Both parties here are right in their own perspective and trying to sway one from one side to another wouldn’t help much. With time the kid would grow up and also someday understand that he/she cannot expose themselves in public. This example is quite simple and many of us may have other examples which are a lot more complex and probably even more “unreasonable”.

One strong method to surviving unreasonable situations is to “do nothing”. Yea, coming from someone who is an advocate of being productive and active, doing nothing sounds like a bad advice but in a minute we shall see why. Take for instance you are having your bath, and you are covered in lather and suddenly a known lunatic comes into the bathroom and grabs your towel and dashes out. You have two options, jump out of the bathroom naked, covered in lather and give the lunatic a hot pursuit in the attempt to recover your towel, or just remain calm and stay put in the bath. If you decide to take the first course of action of chasing the lunatic, you have just succeeded in making a lunatic out of yourself. People already know the guy with your towel is a lunatic, but seeing you running around naked, covered in lather, they may also draw the conclusion that you are probably insane too. If you choose the second option, you save yourself the embarrassment by refusing to act unreasonably in an unreasonable situation. This you have achieved by actually doing nothing.

So yes, sometimes life or people may throw situations at us which are seemingly unreasonable but our response to such situations show how much we really want to surmount them. Another aspect to unreasonable situations is what I refer to as the “back door” effect. When we deal with people we judge them based on what they say, do and what we think. In some cases we may also try to extrapolate their words or actions in order to try to “figure them out”. Thus naturally if someone bumps into us on the street, we immediately feel, “he/she is rude and lacks courtesy”. If we however try to see through the “back door” which is the underlying and unseen reason why most things happen we may be lucky to see a lot more. A person who bumps into you in a mall, may have been shoved by someone else from behind unknown to you, they may have tripped on someone’s foot, or maybe they were about to fall down from fatigue or an illness and you happened to save the fall but it appears as if they bumped into you. Seeing through the “back door” is just my own way of saying be more compassionate and try to walk a mile in the other person’s shoe before we try to crucify them.

What if they were actually just being rude and disrespectful? Do we also bump into them in retaliation? Do we hurl insults and curses at them? No, these only add to the unreasonableness of the entire situation and it could degenerate into something really nasty in a very short time. Again we do nothing, and just keep moving, and if it was unintentional, usually the person would apologize. If it was intentional, still we are not a victim, we don’t aggravate the situation and thus we surmount the unreasonable.

Thus a brief recap;

  1. Most unreasonable situations are to a large degree associated with our perception.
  2. Try to see through the “back door” for underlying reasons, thus giving the situation a better look.
  3. Be compassionate
  4. Accept the situation
  5. Do not act in an unreasonable manner, if you cannot tell the difference, Do nothing.

In life most things won’t make sense to many people, at least not when they happen at first and usually it takes a lot of time of reflection and even experience in life to be able to deduce lessons from the events in our lives. How can we learn if we obstruct those lessons by constantly acting in a manner that is also unreasonable?

I hope this sheds some light on the subject, till next week do read, reflect and share. Do remember to follow this blog for more.