Divorced from reality…

…for a few days when I went back home to Poona….

Soaked up the cool air during breakfast in the garden every morning

Soaked up the cool air during breakfast in the garden every morning


It was a total break from the hectic pace of my “real” life. A going back in time, as I returned to my room — the place where I spent 20 years of my life — to a life sans responsibility…no need to think about work, to plan the next meal, to track groceries, or worry about mundane things like making up the bed. It was a return to innocence, to a time when responsibilities were something the grown ups had to deal with.
Watched nature unfold around me on lazy monsoon afternoons

Watched nature unfold around me on lazy monsoon afternoons


The weather in Poona was lovely compared to the oven that is Delhi…cool breezes, light monsoon showers…perfect for lazy mornings spent reading the newspaper, breakfast in the garden with the singing of the morning birds…late morning spent talking with the parents, an afternoon siesta, long walks in the early evening, crowned by a shopping trip later in the day…a more languid, peaceful, soulful time.
It was yesterday once more as I returned to the sanctuary of my youth --- my bedroom!

It was yesterday once more as I returned to the sanctuary of my youth --- my bedroom!


As some of that peacefulness clings to me still, I’m reminded of the lyrics to Dido’s Sand in my Shoes:

Two weeks away it feels like the world should’ve changed
But I’m home now
And things still look the same
I think I’ll leave it to tomorrow till unpack
Try to forget for one more night
That I’m back in my flat on the road
Where the cars never stop going through the night
To real life where I can’t watch sunset
I don’t have time

Wakeup call

Today’s Reminders from God on my iGoogle page was:

“All walls fall before you. Your faith and My Power are the only two essentials.”

It’s such a reassuring statement to read first thing in the morning, especially when you’re going through as much mental turmoil as I am. There are so many decisions that I need to make without losing too much time.

I had made up my mind to take a certain path if things at the work front didn’t go according to plan at the end of this year’s performance cycle. Now that the time has come to act, I find myself wondering if I should still stick to that decision, or take a slightly different approach instead. A part of me is worried about the recession, while another part of me just wants to go ahead and act. Caught in this dilemma, with no clear plan in place just yet, I find myself unable to act. Unable to sit down and list out pros and cons of different actions and paths and to take a decision.

But this statement, so simple and powerful, jolted me out of this limbo that I find myself in. The time has come to act, and with my faith and His power, things will work out just fine.

Finding meaning

Three and a half billion years of evolution has built the need for meaning and purpose into human beings. It is as real as our need to breathe. —- Donna Druchunas

And how do we uncover this deeper meaning to our lives? The deeper meaning of life lies where we choose to dig deeper. Ask yourself everyday what went well and why it went well. If you had a good conversation with an angry friend, describe what about that conversation went well. Did you do something different? Did you respond to a negative with a positive? Try to outline three positive things and the reasons why they went well at the end of the day. Daily practice will help you to build a good foundation for uncovering meaning in your life.

Beware what you wish for?

Cover

Image via Wikipedia

The Secret has become a “new age” phenomenon, and as all things that get extremely popular, has also drawn a lot of criticism, chief being that the book is all a sham and that things don’t work the way Rhonda Byrne claims they do.

I received the following forward from a friend, asking me my views on what was said in an article titled Beware what you wish for (pasted below).

Have you heard about “The Secret?” It’s a new DVD which has become a phenomenon of what is called “viral marketing,” i.e., being passed along from friend-to-friend. It’s been on the news, it’s been on Oprah, it’s become a thing of the tinsel-town elite. What is the “The Secret?” It’s a technique which the “spiritual personalities” on the video guarantee will bring you wealth, friends, happiness, power and practically anything you desire. Obviously, it’s caught on. Especially with the unwary. Particularly with those who want something they haven’t earned.

The Secret is actually old wine in a new bottle. You have known it previously as the “Power of Positive Thinking,” “Think and grow Rich,” Nichiren shoshu chants, the song “Wishing will make it so” and even Haitian Voodoo practices. In simple language it tells you that you can have anything you want if you think about it constantly while visualizing what it is you want in your thoughts. Well, sorry, Dale Carnegie and Napoleon Hill got there first–-not to mention the black priesthood from Alantean times.

Does The Secret work? Yes, it does. And that’s just the problem. It’s why we have this delicious little saying, “Be careful what you ask for, you might get it.” Remember that. It’s true. Think on it.

There is a reason that Jesus said, “Your needs are known” and that great spiritual leaders have all said that we should be desire-less. There is a reason that people say, “The Universe will provide.” You should be aware that the “spiritual personalities” and the “New Age Churches” touting this so-called “secret” know nothing of real spiritual laws and are all out for the buck.

When you wish, desire, chant for, focus your thought on and visualize that which you think you desire, you make a karmic demand on the Spiritual Ether. Your demand disturbs the Ether just like a boat plowing through the sea and if you get what you desire (the question is always “when”) it will definitely have a price. It will exact something from you that you cherish or else you will soon lose it and much more. This is that part of The Law they don’t tell you about because they don’t know or understand it.

There is a story of the woman who wished for a white Cadillac in her garage. Her husband lost his job and they had to move and the people who moved in had a white Cadillac. Another story is that of the New York society matron who wished for a mink coat. She got it and her husband was immediately transferred to Egypt. Need I say more?

Oh yeah, they say this is white magic and you can use it to wish for peace and for healing and all that. Doesn’t matter. There is a principle involved here. It’s called the “Rebound Blow.” Just as a rifle kicks back when it’s fired and a balloon goes forward when air escapes from the other end, the rebound blow comes into play when you send out a forced desire for something.

The way this aspect of The Law is best explained is in that phrase from the Teachings of the Temple by Master Hilarion. He says, “Each step of good opens up a like return force of evil.” This is the rebound blow. Send out positive and you can expect negative in return. When you disturb the ether with the force of your desire that magnetism of that energy will circle around and hit you from behind with its reverse force. This means that if you have made a step upwards toward the good, the rebound blow will try to knock you back down again. And it will if you have not prepared for it.

CAVEAT: YOU CANNOT HAVE AND KEEP ANYTHING YOU HAVE NOT EARNED!

Say you want to stop smoking. The energy put into quitting will circle around and hit you at a later date with a reverse force that will make you want a cigarette badly. If you’ve ever smoked and tried to quit, you know this is the truth! That force will be equal to the force you set in motion. If you give in, you’ve lost. If you can summon a greater force and not give in, then each time that force circles around, its energy will be less and less, decreasing until it’s gone and you are free of the bondage.

If you focus on something that disturbs the Ether, you will surely get the rebound blow. That’s Karma. There is a way to wish for something and protect yourself at the same time, however. Go ahead, wish for anything you want, but at the end of the wish, just add, “Only if it is my Karma to have this.” Now you’re off the hook. But then, why go through the process in the first place!

Know that the more visualization and psychic force you put into a selfish desire, the greater will be the rebound blow. Here’s the kicker. If you receive that which you so greatly desire, something of equal value will be taken from you. Your stocks may decrease in value; you may develop a sickness; you may lose your job. Whatever force you put into your desire, Karma will seek recompense. That is The Law. The whole object is to develop a pure heart and use it to perform unselfish acts. Then Karma will bring you what you need. But you have to TRUST that!

Do yourself a favor. Desire wisdom. It’s the only thing you can take with you when you leave. Remember the Law of Karma: you cannot keep anything you haven’t earned.

—————————————————————————————–
Here’s what I think:

This is an interesting article, but a lot of the reasoning is flawed.

The Secret basically explains the Law of Manifestation, which I had read about extensively, long before this book became such a big phenomenon. First, the reason for the book becoming a phenomenon (in my view) is that it breaks the law down and makes it easy to understand (it also over-simplifies the “law”), and gives people a step-by-step on how to use the law. The author got the basis for this book from The Science of Getting Rich, which was written in the 1800s, I think. So, this is a very old, universal law.

Why I say The Secret over-simplifies the law is because I really don’t think you can think yourself into being thin, for example, something that has been mentioned in the book! But if you think about it, your thoughts do have an impact on your environment and surroundings. When you look at a situation negatively, it can overwhelm you; but if you detach yourself a bit and look at it from the perspective of learning something from it, the situation isn’t as overwhelming anymore. Which is part of the reason why we can look back at certain events and laugh over them in hindsight.

Having said that, here’s what I think about the basic premise of this article: “Be careful what you ask for, you might get it.”

Well, what would be so bad about getting “it”? It could just be that when you get “it”, you realize fully that there is a trade-off involved. BUT, the trade-off does not come from the “answer to your wish,” it comes from the choice that you made when you “wished” for that something. For example, if you wish for a Hummer and you get it, you then fully realize the cost of maintaining and running it! But, it was your choice, and you have to deal with the consequences of your choice.

As for sending out a “demand from the Spiritual Ether” that will apparently have “an equal and opposite effect,” don’t you think that’s a bit too doomsdayish? I mean please! The woman who wished for a mink coat, only to get it and then have her husband get transferred to Egypt reeks of chain mails — forward this and something good will happen in 10 days, don’t forward it and you’ll have misfortune for 7 years!

And when great spiritual leaders say we should be desire-less, it has more to do with the philosophy of a religious/spiritual path — based on the fact that we cannot take our material goods with us, and that we should dissolve our ego and be more open to the experiences around us — than to an actual “evil” universe, because that is what the underlying argument is! If everything I visualize or desire is going to have an equal and opposite effect, then maybe I shouldn’t use vision boards (which work, by the way), or have goals and focus on them! And have you actually contemplated the full meaning of “Send out positive and you can expect negative in return”? So are you saying that if I send out negative, I can expect positive in return? Sorry, but I really don’t think it works like that!

You might also like:

  • The Secret to You – a visualization tool designed to harness the power of The Secret to fill your life with happiness, prosperity, health and love.

Connecting to the Wellspring of the Universe

I was reading an article on Flow, and how it can be easily achieved by everyone. Flow is the current that enables our lives to unfold effortlessly, and moves us toward a feeling of “completeness” and harmony. When we are in flow, we experience synchronicity—events line up and fall into place, and obstacles just melt away. Flow has tremendous power to transform our lives, for it is dynamic and moves us unfailingly toward joy and aliveness.

When we are in flow, things happen, seemingly without any major effort on our part; almost as though we were in the right place, at the right time, doing the right thing. But it’s been a long time since I’ve felt connected to the Universe. There was a time when things just seemed to happen, when I just knew something was pre-destined, and events unfolded almost perfectly. I seem to have lost my way to the wellspring, and can’t seem to find it!

According to the article I was reading, there are nine qualities that engage flow:

  • Commitment—Living by our deepest values
  • Honesty—Telling the truth to ourselves and others
  • Courage—Overcoming fears
  • Passion—Engaging with what we care about
  • Immediacy—Being in the moment
  • Openness—Saying Yes to whatever comes our way
  • Receptivity—Listening to inner and outer messages
  • Positivity—Finding the value in each situation
  • Trust—Having faith in ourselves and the Universe
  • Somewhere along the way, I forgot how to spend time dreaming, to be receptive to things around me….I forgot about me and how to myself….I had no time to purse my passions, or to look at things objectively and honestly. With no time to introspect, it seems to be no wonder that I lost my bearings.

    However, the article does go on to list out techniques that help us deepen the aove qualities in ourselves:

  • Be aware
  • Accept yourself and others
  • Express who you really are
  • Create silence
  • Follow your intuition
  • Practice mindfulness
  • Do 100% of what you know to do—and trust
  • Finish things and move on
  • Take risks
  • Break with your old reality
  • Appreciate yourself
  • Express gratitude
  • Give of yourself
  • Get a point of view from the Universe
  • So, will I have the time and the courage to find my way back? Only time will tell….

    Solitude

    Solitude…a word at once calming and scary. Calming because it is only in solitude that I can get in touch with myself, examine the effect various events and conversations have had on me. I need my solitude to center myself, otherwise I become like a prickly hedgehog, ready to rise to the defence for almost no reason.

    Its scary at the same time, because I can squander it away….or go alone to find myself and discover there’s no one there. Even though that at least has never happened.

    But in spite of just how important solitude is to me…there are times when I have none. Caught up in this hullaballo of daily life with all its demands, there is no time for self-reflection and contenmplation. And it is during those periods (like right now) that I just wish for a small cottage in a remote hill station where I can lose myself.