Shivarpita 2009

May 30, 2013

Here, there is plenty of time for me to be inward and also to ponder. Plus, I am immersed in this beautiful culture of India, so far away from America and its special ways. Only from a distance do I even hear of happenings back home. It gives perspective. We get so involved in the external: the people and actions of our world. It is easy for our focus to be always engaged in thoughts and feelings about these transitory externals. Of course, we must not escape our responsibilities of life, either. The balance is to be not emotional about work, world, or family but to do that which is ours to do without attachment.

It amounts to doing life like a video game. We use all of our focus and skill, and we sincerely try to succeed, but we know actually that it is ultimately just a game, temporary, unreal. The Reality is ongoing while we are playing, and when the game subsides, the reality, of course, still stays, so then we can really focus on that which remains, that which is Real. In deep meditation, the game is gone, we put aside the unreal, everything that is truly “not me” fades, the gunas (qualities of nature) stop playing, and we can be wholly aware of the Real shining forth, the Self who we really are. So we must hold both things simultaneously: play the unreal as if it were real but without deep investment, and know that the all-pervading, never-changing Real is what really matters, and that it is our true, ever present, core Self.

We are responsible for our own realization of the Truth, not for the salvation of another or of the world. Engagement is good. We must have a project, or the mind can get dull or disturbed. So engaging in work is helpful, and not just for making our lives more secure and stable, which is a necessity. We can’t just pray and play. There should also be some sense of project, of purpose. (Not that we are obligated to use our free time in service or “giving back”). Right work makes the mind skilled in the joy of concentration. The focused mind learns discernment, insight, and flow. In flow, distractions fall away and endorphins soothe the mind. If our only project is family and the greater world arena, both of which tend to have complex problems and neither of which is in our control, then the mind is more likely to become identified, involved, and disturbed. Work helps us have a meaningful project in which we can have some good results, or at least a project in which we can apply our skill. Of course, we also need meditation and contemplation. In some life phases, our work is spiritual study and practice and tending to the physical body and dwelling place. That’s actually a great way to spend one day a week or month.

It is good to keep that moderate balance of internal and external and not give ourselves away to the external. So, we do our duties, but we keep a big reserve of time and energy for the Self, for the liberation project. We must try to create enough of our own time and space for that. It requires setting priorities and boundaries. The mind wants to stay involved in its ingrained desires and defenses, it wants to distract us, frittering away hours that never return. We are accountable for what we get done toward our own liberation. But, again, that is not to be to the exclusion of building a stable practical foundation in the world, for without such a foundation, the mind is likely to focus on anxiety and fear and have trouble settling down to a sattvic (quiet) state for deep meditation.

Tao Te Ching

May 27, 2013

“Do you have the patience to wait till your mud settles and the water is clear? Can you remain unmoving till the right action arises by itself?” ~ Tao Te Ching

Poised on Centre

May 25, 2013

Our emotions correspondingly fluctuate with our mind’s perceptions.

Contemplation leads to a life of meaning.
Action leads to a life of experience.


May 24, 2013


Today I would like to talk about LUXURY. What is luxury exactly? Luxury can be also known as quality.

Quality of a product and quality of service.

Now to achieve true ‘luxury’ I believe you must work on fair exchange.

Fair exchange is when two parties feel that their needs have both been met.  When you don’t feel your needs are met, disgruntleness and resentment come into play.

This can be when someone overcharges for a product or service, or when an agreement is agreed on, and one party changes their mind.  This isn’t fair exchange.

The best way for fair exchange is open communication. Explain what you are looking for and ask the quality question ‘how much will this cost?’

Now if you feel fair exchange has not been met, then don’t leave it till it is too late – address the issue as quickly as possible.  There are two options. Written or verbal. Now we all know how verbal can go – sometimes not the best option when you are rattled, so I prefer written (yes I do get rattled). By addressing the issue in writing, they can get a feel of what you are saying and think of how they are going to address the issue. One key factor when discussing that you feel they are out of fair exchange, be up front and tell them what outcome you would like. This eliminates time and game playing for both parties.

Secrets and Stories

May 24, 2013

We all have secrets and we all have stories.

When in the presence of a master you will feel that they are neither high nor low.

When in the presence of a false master you will feel them holding themselves up and trying to push you down. If you are intimidated by them, then it reflects your own subordination.

Thus occupy the centre and don’t stray from it.


Swami Sivananda

May 23, 2013

The philosophy I hold is neither a dreamy, subjective, world-negating doctrine of illusion, nor a crude world-affirming theory of sense-ridden humanism. It is the fact of the divinity of the universe, the immortality of the soul of man, the unity of creation with the Absolute, that I feel is the only doctrine worth considering. As the one all-pervading Brahman appears as the diverse universe in all the planes of Its manifestation, the aspirant has to pay his homage to the lower manifestations before he steps into the higher.

Occupy the Centre

May 22, 2013

You say you don’t want to give up the highs, but highs and lows go together. IMHO, emotional highs are similar to sugar highs: they are temporary, don’t nourish, invite danger, are mentally created and distract from the richness of the present moment.

So the middle point, which looks like an emotional death-zone of boredom compared to the dizzy heights of euphoria, is actually like having balanced blood sugar. That’s where health is best, the mind is clearest, the emotions are balanced, awareness is strongest, contentment is greatest. Hence the saying, confine yourself to the present moment.

I think it is possible to have emotional highs and simultaneously remain aware in the middle, but volatility tends to shorten the lifespan of things.

The Science of Mantra

May 15, 2013

Swami Krishnananda

A geometrical pattern may be created when a particular mantra, a bheja or otherwise, is recited as required. That pattern is the visualisation of the god – the shape that the vibration takes, as it were, in the field of outer perception; and we can see the god as we can see our own self in a dream world. But this vision of God, the divinity or the Ishta Devata or the god that we worship through the mantra, is inseparable basically from the stuff of the meditating consciousness itself, and the blessing of this god upon the reciter of the mantra is virtually the higher self blessing the lower self.

The mantra sastra, therefore, is a great treasure house of wisdom that is bequeathed to us by the great masters; and all students, spiritual seekers, should take to japa. Abstract meditation, nirguna brahma sadhana, may be a great object of aspiration, but we are artharthi, caught by the worldly conditions and circumstances, distracted in many ways socially and personally.
We can be safely guarded and assured that some substantial thing is being done by us by taking to japa sadhana. A systematic routine of it is supposed to bring immediate results in the same way as a diet that we take in a systematic manner gives energy to the body, and if we go on eating in a slipshod manner, at any time we like, in any way, that will not be suitable for the maintenance of health. Discipline means the adherence to a particular method of practice of the japa, such as place, time and circumstance, if it is possible.

Every day the japa will be done in the same place and at the same time. Space-time collocations being very important in an astronomical way, they act upon us. The cyclic way in which nature moves will see that the adherence to space and time will also add to the success of the spiritual practice; and the method which is the circumstance mentioned is also important. We can successfully adhere to the place and the time, no doubt, but it is necessary also to adhere to the method and the mode of operating the mind at that time, with the requisitesankalpa, which in the case of a spiritual seeker should only be blessing, and nothing more or nothing else.

Winston Churchill

May 10, 2013

It is a mistake to look too far ahead. Only one link of the chain of destiny can be handled at a time.

No Opposition

May 8, 2013

“To divide and particularize is in the mind’s very nature. There is no harm in dividing. But separation goes against fact. Things and people are different, but they are not
separate. Nature is one, reality is one. There are opposites, but no opposition.”

– Nisargadatta Maharaj