Monday, November 22, 2010

Dealing with Complaint!

What are we doing when we complain? We are saying that we are unhappy/irritated/angry (filled with a negative emotion which is toxic and harmful to us) because...

People are doing something wrong - treating us unfairly, being abusive, being irresponsible, being unjust, being dishonest, etc. Wrong as in contrary to our idea of right! Of course there are some big issues which most people will agree are just plain wrong such as violence, murder, rape, child abuse, etc. But how often do we find ourselves complaining about these big issues? Mostly we complain about petty things. When faced with a big issue which directly affects us, most people act.

OR

We complain about a situation which is not to our liking.

So a few aspects of complaining, cringing, wingeing, bitching, etc come to light here! :)

When we complain, we are filled with toxic emotions and thoughts. There is enough toxicity in our surroundings, do we really need to create more of the same in ourselves!

Usually we complain about petty things...the maid, traffic, weather, appliances, being single, being married, being childless, having children....stopping now as the list can be endless!

If something was really important or unbearable, we would have taken some form of action to change the situation.

When we complain, we blame! :)

Now if I am complaining about my washing machine, what I am saying is that my happiness depends upon this appliance. The washing machine, an appliance which I purchased to make my life easier, has the power to make me unhappy! We give up our power to so many things, people and situations. We forget that each one of us is blessed with free will- our right to choose.

One of most common ways our mind functions is through judgement - good , bad, like, dislike. So its safe to say in any situation, our mind is constantly weighing the pro's and the con's. When we let the situation continue, we have made a decision- consciously or unconsciously that the pro's out weigh the con's.

Unfortunately, no person or situation is without the con's, nothing is perfect, not even us! :) We are not perfect beings, so we cannot expect perfection from others. In fact most of the things we recognize in other people are things we have in ourself. Since people are not perfect, then we can safely assume that the systems and ideologies we create to help us function effectively are also flawed.

When we complain we forget that somewhere we have made this choice. We stop taking responsibility for our choices. So the next time we find ourselves complaining, lets consciously take a look at the pro's and the con's and make an informed decision. Having decided to accept this flawed situation (ALL situations are flawed), we now need vast amounts of acceptance, patience, love and kindness.

Who is the first person critically in need of the above - its us! We are toxic at this moment! Only when we can treat ourselves with kindness, then kindness will be a part of our dealings with the outside world. When we can be accepting of ourself, then acceptance will naturally flow out to others. When we can create positive change in ourself, the situation outside will automatically reflect us.

Coming to the final aspect of complaint - Am taking an example from one of Ajahn Brahm's talks (http://www.dhammaloka.org.au/downloads/itemlist/category/18-ajahn-brahmavamso.html)

Complaint is similar to shit. Instead of flushing it down, we put it in our pockets, rub it on our skin and offer it to the people we meet...:)

If you are looking for flaws, thats all you will see. Accept the flaws, colour your glasses with some love, kindness and patience, start looking for the positive in all situations and problems will start to disappear.

:)

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Have You Received Your 5 Hugs For Today? :)

Yesterday a friend of mine mentioned how people need 5 hugs a day to stay happy and healthy. I love the idea especially since I have always been this overly affectionate person!

Someone had mentioned a research that proved babies who had been cuddled, stroked and hugged developed normal healthy spines as compared to those who had been abandoned and ignored, the spine in those babies shriveled up. As human beings, we all need love, touch and affection.

So making a list of things other than 5 hugs that qualify as my emotional health food, please feel free to add to this list...:)

Pudding love is equivalent to many many hugs. (For those of you who haven't read my previous blog posts, pudding is the street dog who visits and adds much delight to my life) People with pets, plants (that they look after with affection and not kill and replace!) and children (that they look after with affection and are hence happy, loving and well adjusted...this positivity and hope probably shows that i am single and baby-less!) probably find it easier to get their affection quota for the day filled.

A good massage could qualify as your 5 hugs for the week or even the month!

The feeling of new love can escalate a simple smile or touch into a million hugs. The problem with that is it feels too good, so you want more and new love gets old way too quickly. So those of you in the new love mode, enjoy it while it lasts! Hopefully new love gives way to friendship, respect and something that is more lasting if not as exciting :)

A yoga session can leave you all whooshed and happy for the whole day.

Meditation

...:)

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Is Your Core Belief Standing In Between You And Your Reality!!

Core beliefs are conclusions we come to as children based on our experiences. We continue to form new beliefs even as adults. The interesting thing is that beliefs reside in the sub conscious part of the brain in the form of a strong feeling of truth or rightness. Even if rationally you know this belief is complete crap, unfortunately you still believe it!

The universe is responding to this feeling sub conscious part of us and since we believe in this particular thing so strongly, it goes all out to make it come true.

Most of the time we are not even aware of what these beliefs are and yet they continue to affect the way we perceive and respond to life. So this blog post is dedicated to discovering our core beliefs and bringing our awareness to the new beliefs we are creating.

One of the new beliefs I have created is that "Every time I need to get home from Bandra, its a struggle because taxi's do not want to go short distances." So yes it is a struggle and one that I have created and continue to perpetuate.

Every time we come to a conclusion, we need to ask ourself - Is this what I want in my life?

For example if you come to the conclusion that making money is hard work, then the universe will make you work hard for your money!

I hate my job because people do not appreciate me, voila! wish granted - People will not appreciate you and you can continue to hate your job!

I am sure you are getting the picture...:)

There is lovely Zen story on judgments about this old man who had a beautiful horse that many people wanted to buy. He would not sell as the horse was a friend and a part of his family. The people of the village thought he was a stupid man as how could he take care of this valuable animal. One day the horse was gone and the people of the village came to tell the old man how this was such a tragedy, he should have sold the horse when he had a chance...The old man refused to form a judgment, just sticking to the fact that the horse was gone. One day the horse returned, bringing 15 wild horses back with him. The people of the village came to congratulate the old man on his new horses. The old man still stayed with just the facts that the horse had returned bringing 15 other horses back with him. The villagers shook their heads and left! The old man's son was training one of the horses and broke his leg and would never walk without a limp again. The villagers came over to sympathize on this tragedy. The old man still refused to come to any conclusion and just stayed with the fact, neither calling it good or bad. There was a war and all the young men of the village were drafted in to the army and certain death except the limping son of the old man. As expected, the villagers came over to tell him how lucky he was... The old man told them to stop passing judgments - how can we pass a judgment without knowing the whole story.

The whole story is never available to us, we only know the bits where we play a role. If 5 people were involved in the same incident, there would be 5 different versions of how it went down! So each time you pass a judgment, come to a conclusion, think again. Stay with the facts instead.

Unless of course the conclusion you have come to is that you deserve to have a happy abundant life...go universe go! :)

WATCH YOUR THOUGHTS AS THEY GIVE YOU ACCESS TO YOUR CORE BELIEFS

As you walk home dreamily from a date, planning babies with this man you have just met and do not know (this would be a great time to stick to the facts!), suddenly one part of your mind comes in and says, Don't be daft, this is never going to work out!

As you are walk into a job interview for a dream job which will pay you really well, a voice in your head tells you that you will never get this job.

Pay attention to these voices, these very strong fixed thoughts and ideas which keep coming up. Life is our teacher and till we learn the lesson and change our belief, we will find ourselves in a re-run with new actors but similar situations again and again.

Another indication of the core belief which is creating havoc in your life is just to think about what you are not satisfied with in life, things you want but do not have. Maybe its your core belief which is standing in the way, which keeps sabotaging your plans!

Enjoy the process of discovering your core beliefs...:)

I was watching the video, 'Birth as We know it' yet again when the words Core Belief jumped out at me and led me to this article

http://greenesrelease.wordpress.com/2009/06/14/how-your-core-beliefs-shape-your-experience-of-life-and-what-you-can-do-about-them/

:)

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Set Boundaries And Free Yourself!

I was recently given a book on the Secret Laws of Attraction by Talane Miedaner, how to make yourself irresistible.. ! :)

Its really quite interesting actually, so going to share some of my favourite parts of the book.

Every one has needs:
Being needy is not the same as having needs. Unfulfilled needs manifest as neediness and unfortunately neediness is mostly observed in romantic relationships! One person cannot fulfill your needs, this task needs to be spread out among your family and friends and people who already love you besides the man/ woman in your life..:)

The best way to get your needs fulfilled is to specifically ask for what ever it is you need. I recently asked for emotional support from my family and was amazed at how much love was showered on me!

An unfulfilled need is the result of weak boundaries:
People cannot hit me, people cannot be rude to me, people cannot take advantage of me, etc are some example of boundaries.
The first thing to realise when people cross one of your boundaries is that you have allowed them to do so. People have different boundaries, it helps if you inform them of yours by telling them gently at the first infraction.

Boundaries are not about controlling other people, people will do what they want. Its a way of teaching other people how to treat you. Boundaries help us to protect ourself and choose the environment we stay in.

This is what I liked best of all, it is not appropriate to have a boundary such as "People cannot yell at me", if you are yelling at others. Boundaries help to create standards that we must hold ourselves up to. An opportunity to be aware and grow as human beings...:)

The 4 steps to implementing your boundaries:
1) Inform: that your boundary has been crossed
2) Request: that the offending behavior stop
3) Demand: that the offending behavior stop
4) Leave: without any snappy comebacks or remarks

The trick is to be able to inform, request and demand in a neutral voice, as calmly as you would say the sky is blue!

:)

Monday, August 23, 2010

Unconditional Love

I was in Pune for the weekend. As I was sharing an intimate moment with a friend's cat, I realised that animals offer so much love and trust, that they inspire us to give back in the same way.

Some my clearest, most aware moments have been while bonding with animals.

Sharing some of my animal love stories in this blog post.

In Muscat, there were 2 cats in the apartment complex where I lived, I would often walk around with them, sit by the pool and watch the bats flying around and dipping into the pool every now and then. One of the cats, a very beautiful male used to sit on my chest and purrrrr...aaaah kitty love, best thing in the world!

Small love affairs take place on a regular basis whenever you pass a friendly dog on the road. But Pudding has been my longest relationship. She is just the most beautiful and friendly dog ever. She lives on the street corner near my house. She often comes to visit, have a sponge bath, a snack, some love and a nap. One of my very special moments with her was on an evening just before the rains started when the twilight sky was full of golden clouds creating a very special light on the terrace and making the plants look magical. Pudding and me lay on our backs arms, legs, and paws lifted up to the sky enveloped in the golden glow... :)

Do share the special moments from your love stories (man, woman, child, animal or plant!) with us... Give energy to love and it will grow.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Do we really know what we want?

The law of attraction sounds so simple: Ask and you shall receive! Then why do so few of us have what we want..:)

I think the problem lies in knowing what we truly want or desire. The intent/desire needs to be expressed thorough the thoughts we think, the beliefs that we have and how we feel. Beliefs are basically thoughts we have been thinking over and over.

In most cases the intent, belief, thoughts and feelings do not match!

Rationally, logically you are absolutely certain that you want this particular person, object, job, etc in your life but yet it does not come. Most of the time somewhere hidden away in the sub-conscious mind there is a completely different intent or desire.

I had a lovely friend Marion over who shared her experiences with EFT and muscle testing. Muscle testing is a technique where your body is used as your very own lie detector or rather detecting the will of the sub-conscious mind. The technique is very nicely explained in the following video--
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ArhFM3BX04I

Usually if you muscle test through this following list of statements, you will find a hint of where the resistance lies.

I deserve to (have a million dollars or whatever the situation/ desire is)
It is safe for me
It is safe for others (Who does it benefit or threaten for the situation to continue)
I am willing
It is possible for me
I allow myself
I will benefit from
It will benefit others
I have what it takes to make life work if
I will feel deprived if
I will lose my identity if
I will never have a
I am ready to
I choose to

( Mystic Mandy explains how to go through the list of statements-- http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LGJzbdMApBo&feature=related )

I tried these for my problems with making money and made some rather interesting discoveries about myself! It really does work because now I am making money with ease and paying the bills (a fact that I am slightly ridiculously proud of.. hee hee)

Have fun playing and discovering what you truly want!

If you have some interesting information or techniques, please do share them with us.

:)

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Be an empty cup!

I recently spent an afternoon on the Abraham Hicks website. One little jingle has stayed in my mind...If you want it, you can get it, if you get out of the way!

How does one get out of the way?! As I was pondering over this question, I realised that one of the aspects of getting out of the way is making space. As a Zen master would probably say - You can only fill an empty cup.

When we are wanting, feeling a lack of, giving so much energy to the absence of money, a partner, that elusive house or job; we are already full and in fact sometimes overflowing with negativity. Even if the universe is your personal genie waiting to fulfil your desires, it can't, you are in the way!

So my new endeavour is to create empty spaces in my life. We are so scared of not having anything to do. For a year now, I have given up the idiot box. At one point I found myself spending the many hours freed from TV watching on the various games on facebook, which have also been given up! It takes some effort and time to get used to the idea of not filling up free time with crap.

If you make the time and space in your life for what you desire, the entire universe will support the fulfilment of your desire.

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Is Alcohol Your Personal Escape Route?

Over the years, I have realised that somethings which start out as fun, soon become a way for us to escape people or circumstances and the feelings these create in us which we do not want to deal with.

Since I have never really been into alcohol, I want to share my experiences with quitting smoking. Smoking started out as a kick, then as a tool for rebellion and not being such a good girl, then as something to do when bored or disturbed and went on to be a social crutch. Whenever I entered a party, to calm that sense of not knowing what to do with oneself, I would smoke!

Quitting smoking took a number of years of slow realization and understanding not just at an intellectual level but also at an experiential one that this was harming my body and I could do without it.

AWARENESS: To understand what triggers your drinking, all you need to do is watch when you need a drink most and how you are feeling at the time. Have the drink and then keep the awareness of whether drinking has really made you happier or more comfortable with yourself! Since being aware when you are drunk is not easy, observing the after effects on your body and mind is an interesting practice. As a smoker, I would observe the horrible taste in my mouth and my difficulty with breathing..:)

ACCEPTANCE: If you find yourself reaching for that drink when you are feeling loneliness or boredom, then a good place to start is to accept that you are lonely or bored and that it is OK to be like that. A friend of mine once said that she did not understand why people always wanted to be happy. There are so many other feelings and they all have their own experiences and knowledge to share with us.


SUBSTITUTES: Find a positive and healthy substitute which allows you to feel good and have fun. Yoga as been a lovely journey for me. It has helped me to enjoy being clean and living a healthier life. I hold evening yoga classes in Mahim from Monday to Thurs (For more Information visit, www.vedana.in)

Hope this helps in your efforts to be clean, happy and healthy!

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Yoga - A Preparation For Meditation

Meditation is not something we can do, it just happens like falling asleep. We can prepare for it. For example, we brush our teeth, change into comfortable clothes, lie in bed and wait for sleep to come.

Similarly the entire 8 fold path of yoga is a preparation for reaching self realisation, meditation being a very important aid in achieving this goal. Shri Yogendraji, the founder of The Yoga Institute, Santacruz has given us many insights in his little book - Guide to Yoga Meditation.

Yamas and Niyamas help to create a pure and steady mind.

Asanas allow the body to be healthy and flexible so we can hold a posture in relaxation, leaving the mind undisturbed by the dualities of life - Night and day, pleasure and pain, heat and cold, etc.

During the 10 day Vippasana Courses, there are 1 hour sittings of adishtan or strong determination where you ideally should not open your eyes or change the position of your legs and arms. Needless to say these 1 hour sittings can be quite a torture! In his discourse Goenkaji when explaining the reason for adishtan gives us the example of Buddha who sat down under a tree with the strong determination that he would not change his position till he got enlightened. He then asks you to imagine yourself as the buddha; this always brings a spurt of giggles from those of use who failed miserably in the first ten minutes :)

Pranayama or controlling the bio energy, helps us to slow down and stop the further generation of karma by controlling impulsiveness and breaking the vicious cycle of action and reaction.

Pratyahara is the turning in of the senses which happens naturally when we master pranayama. The senses are often depicted as 5 wild horses moving in different directions which are pulling a chariot!

Dharana is concentration on one chosen object and can take place only after a certain amount of mastery over the senses.

The breath is a wonderful tool for concentration as it is constantly there with us from the moment we are born till the day we die. The breath reflects our emotional state. It gives us immediate rewards for being observers or witnesses. The breath gets smoother and subtler without any doing on our part. The smoother the breath, the more peaceful and wonderful the state of mind.

Dhyan is meditation which is the result of deep concentration. Here there is an uninterrupted flow of consciousness to the chosen object of concentration.

Osho describes meditation as relaxing into your being. We are very uncomfortable with doing nothing. Almost immediately we react; we turn on the TV, read a book, clean, call someone, think about the past or the future. To be alone, present, aware, doing nothing is very uncomfortable for the mind, so it quickly finds ways and means to distract you.

As beginners our attemps at meditation, give us lots of insight about how much control we really have over the mind. Have fun on the path of meditation and enjoy the antics of the mind.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Good Morning!

Spring time in the garden, so sharing some of the blooming and flowering with you!


Click here!


In the words of Goenkaji,

May all beings be happy!

Monday, April 5, 2010

Be Selfish!

The eight fold path of yoga starts with 5 restraints or yamas and 5 observances or niyamas.

I have always hated being told what I should and should not do and I think most of us feel the same way. Its safe then to assume that the yogis must have experienced the same reservations at some point in their lives.

We are all selfish beings, but misguided about where our happiness and well being lies. This is very apparent when we see the state of the planet and how we are systematically consuming our way to its destruction. As a part of nature, we are all subject to her laws.

When you help others, you simultaneously help yourself; when you harm others, you simultaneously harm yourself.

This is the universal law of nature and it applies to all of us. According to the law of nature, one cannot perform an action that harms others without first generating negativity, anger, hate, fear and jealousy in the mind. These feelings are not pleasant and its impossible to be a happy person when your mind is filled with these defilement's. Similarly, to perform an action that helps others requires that we generate love, compassion and goodwill first.

As soon as we start to understand and experience for ourselves what is truly profitable for us, then we can really be selfish and enjoy all the benefits it brings!

Ahimsa is the first Yama (restraints or don’t s). It is non violence, not hurting or harming of other living beings or yourself in thought, word or deed. (For more, http://blog.vedana.in/2010/04/ahimsa.html)

Satya – Truthfulness in communicating your thoughts and feelings accurately without hurting the other. Satya is communicating only when required; communication which fulfills some purpose by the other receiving this information. All harsh words, half truths, exclusions and gossip are considered lies.

Asteya – Not stealing possessions, ideas and credit for someone else’s work. Not earning your salary by being lazy at work is also a form of stealing.

Brahmacharya – Not indulging in sensual pleasures and using moderation in all aspects of life.

Aparigraha – Not hoarding or being greedy by having only as much as you require and no more.

The 5 niyamas or observances or do’s are:

Sauch – Purity of the body and the mind.

Santosh – Contentment with what you have but not with who you are.

Tapa – Burning or bearing hardship on the spiritual path to overcome old habit patterns and make way for new ones.

Swadhyaya – Self study.

Isvarpranidhan – surrender to the divine / god or to a higher reality.

The last 3 niyamas form the crux of kriya yoga or the yoga of action (http://blog.vedana.in/2010/02/kriya-yoga-or-yoga-of-action.html)

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Ahimsa

Ahimsa is the first Yama (restraints or don’t s). It is non violence, not hurting or harming of other living beings or yourself in thought, word or deed.

Since Osho has written so beautifully about ahimsa, I am going to share his words from The Essence of Yoga. Ahimsa is a passive state which simply says that “I will not hurt you”. This of course does not guarantee that you will not be hurt since we create our own wounds and our own misery. When a yogi gets established in ahimsa, life becomes absolutely non violent towards the yogi.

Life is not a doer, it is simply a mirror and it reflects us. The responsibility for what life has offered us is a result of our choices. We have the freedom to choose happiness or misery at any given moment. In the beginning this freedom feels like a huge burden because we can no longer lay the blame for our circumstances on anything outside ourselves. However this freedom also brings power; all you need to do is choose to be happy.

Unfortunately humans are not able to reflect correctly, we have gathered so much rubbish, so many fixed attitudes, beliefs and ideologies that our mirror is covered in dust. One of the causes of our suffering is avidya or ignorance which makes us mistake the non eternal for the eternal, the impure for the pure, the painful as pleasurable and the non self as self. So maybe choosing happiness is not as simple as it seems!

Throughout my teacher’s training at The Yoga Institute, most of my realizations involved how I was not following a yogic way of living. I immediately wanted to start living a perfect life which is not easy when faced with 30 years of multiplying craving, desire, attachment and aversion. : )

Change is the result of awareness, patience, acceptance and perseverance. Every little step you take immediately gives you many rewards which encourage the next baby step.

Friday, February 5, 2010

Kriya Yoga or the Yoga of Action

Ch 2 Sutra 1: Tapa Swadhaya Ishvarpranidhan :Kriya yoga

Tapa: Self Discipline
Swadhaya: Self study
Ishvar pranidhan: Devotion to God.
Kriya: Action / To do

Self Discipline, Self study and Devotion to God is the Yoga of Action.

Isvarpranidhan means to dedicate all your actions to God. Leaving aside your doer attitude, you see yourself as a small cog in the big wheel of life. As humans we must perform action; but action should be done as a duty leaving aside any thoughts of the results. Duty simply means to do what is good and right for that particular moment.

Kriya yoga leads to purity by removing Kleshas (suffering) caused by certain structural defects in our thinking. One of the biggest defects is avidya or wrong knowledge.

Knowing the non-eternal to be eternal; the impure to be pure; the painful to be pleasurable and finally the non self to be self are the four areas where we are full of avidya. This leads to craving, aversion and a strong sense of ego which are the main causes of our suffering.

Tapa, swadhaya and Isvarpranidhan can be applied to any action in life. Let us take the simple example of an activity we perform many times a day. While eating we can practice tapa by choosing the right wholesome and nutritious food. We can study ourselves as we eat to observe the affect of different food on our body and mind. We can observe how much food is enough and not overeat. We can eat with a feeling of gratitude towards all those who have helped bring the food on our plate’s right from the farmer who grew the grains to the shop where we purchased them.

According to the Karma theory - As you sow, so you shall reap. Ironically, most of us are very careless with the seeds we sow in terms of thoughts, the things we say and do. However when it comes to harvest time we feel cheated and disappointed by the fruits given to us.

Yogis realized that purity needed to be practiced by them as a purely selfish means. The purer they were the more peaceful and happy they felt. They suggested consciously cultivating the right kind of feelings as a way of studying the mind.

Maitri – Friendliness towards all beings.

Karuna /Compassion – Empathy (putting yourself into the other persons shoes) along with action for bettering the situation of the other.

Mudita / Goodwill – Being happy for some else’s success, happiness or good qualities.

Upeksha / Benevolent Indifference – Upeksha is a quality of being able to overlook the bad in people or situations. It is not passive acceptance of a wrongful situation, but actively doing what you can to improve it and then being able to not be affected by it.

Classical yoga, based on the Yoga Sutra's of Sage Patanjali

Classical Yoga is based on Sage Patanjali’s Yoga Sutras. This entire book consisting of 196 sutras can fit into one single page. Each sutra however is loaded with meaning. This scientific study of the human mind still holds true 2500 years after it was written.

 The book can be divided into 4 chapters:

 Samadhi pada: Defines what is yoga and gives practices for the student with am ekagra citta or one pointed mind.

 Sadhana pada: The eight limbs of yoga (Asht-ang ) were devised for the student with an occasionally scattered and occasionally concentrated mind. The popular practices of asana & pranayama fall into this category. It is very interesting to note that the aspects of yoga which are most popular today - asana and pranayama have only 8 sutras dedicated to them, that too in the later stages of the second chapter.

 Vibhuti pada: The various siddhis or powers one can attain with the practice of yoga. Here he warned that these powers can easily lead to corruption, misuse & ego and should be largely ignored.

 Kaivalya pada: On liberation and Samadhi.