Saturday, 28 December 2013

My Thoughts On Being Helpful

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"Only by helping others can I help myself." 

"Don't feel guilty if you can't help everyone you want. But always try to help those you feel you can. Don't insist - only offer." 

- @aseems


Saturday, 21 December 2013

My Thoughts on Forgiveness ...

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"I cannot forgive myself if I don't forgive others. I cannot progress if I don't forgive myself.

It is easier to forget than it is to forgive. But we never truly forget till we forgive - till then we are merely suppressing the emotional thought, and postponing our growth.

Surrender is a way to forgiveness - stop fighting - let life win. "

- @aseems 



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--
Aseem Seth

Saturday, 14 December 2013

Learn To Communicate & Trust Your Gut Instinct

TEDTalk: Heribert Watzke: The brain in your gut



Learn To Trust Your Gut Instinct
By V N Mittal

Many of our emotions are known to originate in the belly—these emotions seem to grow from our gut. The gut is really our second brain. There are more neurons in the gut than anywhere else except the brain says Greenblatt, an American psychiatrist.The gut's brain known as enteric nervous system is located in sheaths of tissue lining the oesophagus, stomach, small intestine and colon. Research has shown that there is a connection between the brain and gut, and a prolonged dysfunction in the gut may give rise to neurodegenerative disease and affect your immune system adversely. Unexpressed emotions such as anger when repressed may stick in your gut creating energy block and often a serious health hazard.

"The second brain is an intuitive brain" says Alexander. But we tend to let rational thinking overrule intuition emanating from gut instinct – while animals often heed to this sixth sense. By cultivating your intuitive skills, you are enabled to listen to the little voice in your head more clearly. Stories abound about many lives that had been saved by those following their gut instinct in time. It is that mysterious gut feeling that often turns out to be right.

Not only is gut instinct important from physical and emotional perspectives, it has a spiritual connotation too. It motivates us to accept our true place in the journey of life and teaches us to accept others for what they are.

Energetically, physically, emotionally and mentally, we are all powerful radiant beings. Yet, we often find ourselves lacking in accepting and radiating our own power. Sometimes we tend to accept much less than our true worth because of a weak gut.


Accepting less than your true worth is a symptom of an under-active Solar Plexus or the Manipura chakra – the abode of gut instinct, self-esteem and determination. The Manipura is located between the navel and the base of the sternum and helps you to discover your own personal power and will. When this chakra is activated, your whole system becomes fully energised, which in turn fires up your power, drive and sense of purpose.The fire produced in Manipura fuels our metabolism. Its deficiency leads to low self-esteem, as well as a loss of drive and will. We could suffer from perpetual fear of rejection, over-sensitivity to criticism, and loss of self-image.

So activating your Manipura chakra is important. The Manipura, like all other chakras, can be activated by physical manipulation, visualisation, martial arts, meditation, and in several other ways.

Manipura is a power chakra in the human body. When we bring balance to this chakra, we can begin to experience a true inner strength and power while moving away from the unhealthy desire to gain power over others. This paves the way to a more relaxed and spontaneous life, powerful but free. When we lose power, we also lose touch with our own unique individuality. Learn to trust your gut instinct. When you are stuck at a crossroad and are wavering between choices, it is the gut instinct that can help you discover the right option.




Beware that acting on the gut instinct indiscriminately may sometimes be disastrous and land you in trouble. What is needed is to let your innate wisdom strike a balance between gut instinct and rational thinking in order to make the best use of the survival biological tool.

The writer is Reiki Sensei in Dehradun.
first published on www.speakingtree.in

Saturday, 7 December 2013

The Curious History of “666”


Even if you aren't into heavy metal, you probably know that "666" is a number associated with evil. How come? The devil is in the details. Here is a history of 666.

history of 666

The Book of Revelation was written in Greek sometime between 70 and 95 A.D., by an author known only as John. While its most commonly associated with scary, cryptic, or apocolyptic imagery, it's really only the 13th chapter of Revelation where that's present. It begins with a letter to the reader, then describes cataclysmic events of the end times John says he saw in a series of visions.

It's in Revelation (13:8) where "666" is mentioned—the only time in the Bible: "Here is wisdom. Let him that hath understanding count the number of the beast: for it is the number of a man; and his number is Six hundred threescore and six." Doing a bit of quick math, in which a score is 20, the number adds up to 666. Whoever is represented by this number then, the text indicates, is pure evil.

Specifically, the beast referenced here is the beast from the sea, the first of two beasts previously described in Revelation. The beast from the sea is described as having "seven heads, ten horns," and a leopard-like form with the "feet of a bear" and the "mouth of a lion." The second beast, also referred to as the false prophet, comes out of the earth and directs people to worship the first beast.

Although most English translations of the Bible give the number of the beast as 666, there's been disagreement for centuries over whether the number is really…616. One key piece of evidence: an ancient scrap of paper called "Papyrus 115," a fragment of a manuscript of the New Testament, including parts of Revelation, dating to about 225 A.D. It was found in Egypt by Oxford archaeologists in the early 20th century and clearly gives the number as 616.

Throughout history, people have tried to identify whom Revelation could be referring to as the "beast of the sea" by using the number. They do so by using Koine Greek or Ancient Hebrew alphabets, as numbers in those languages were represented by letters, which made it easy to translate any name into a number (and those are also languages the Bible was written in).

Some scholars think that that alphanumeric code points to one, or at the least the first "beast" of Revelation: Nero. Unfortunately, even using Nero's name can't give insight into whether the number of the beast is 616 or 666, as the Greek version of the name and title transliterated into Hebrew gives the number as 666, while the Latin version of the name translates into Hebrew and yields the number 616.



Friday, 29 November 2013

Saturday, 23 November 2013

Why Not Make Room For Joy?




By Marguerite Theophil

I have a poster over my desk that says "Nothing without Joy." It surprised me when a friend noticing it, frowned and said, "But i have no room for joy!" Her remark sent my imagination into overdrive. I visualised an extra room in my home that was designed to welcome Joy, to make room for it. The exercise was so refreshing that since then, i've encouraged several of my personal growth clients to try the same.

It's no surprise to learn that each of us has a completely different idea of how large or small this 'room' is, how different the colours, the d├ęcor, the light.

Then one day, a woman declared that her room now felt 'too crowded' with things she thought she loved and kept adding, and this was a moment of insightful learning for me. Making a room and making room were two separate things.


To make room, we need to move things out, to clear space. It's as hard to experience joy if our lives are crowded or cluttered, as it is to find space in a closet for new clothes when we hold on to all our old ones. What needs to go?


1. Relax. One of the more obvious things is the manic busy-ness that propels us to fill every minute of the day with doing or accomplishing. Even on a break, we feel some strange internal pressure to go somewhere, do something, as if staying home and resting isn't a legitimate way to spend one's downtime.


2. Looking after everyone's needs but one's own is sadly elevated in most cultures to a virtue, especially in the case of women. There's a wise lesson in the announcement the cabin attendant makes on a flight: "In case of cabin pressure, pull the oxygen mask towards you and pull it over your face. Make sure you do this before helping with a child or another passenger." You'd be of no use to the child or to anyone if you were unable to breathe yourself.


3. Resentments. Even tiny ones occupy a huge space. And they swell in volume with the passage of time. Left unresolved, resentment has the power to become all consuming, and is very effective at fuelling bitterness and anger.

4. Worrying about what is clearly beyond our control. Let's repeat the popular prayer: "God grant me serenity to accept the things i cannot change; courage to change the things i can; and wisdom to know the difference."


5. Blame. Blaming others edges out our capacity for joy. Blaming ourselves does much the same. The thing with blame is that it comes bundled with blinkers that are hard to remove, and that ensure we don't get to see kindnesses, good deeds and other positives around us.


6. Grumbling is a biggie! In addition to taking up space, it creates toxic fumes! And this can kill an appreciation for blessings that come our way, not to mention sending people we love and need running off in the opposite direction.


7. Awfulising. Psychologist Albert Ellis coined the term to refer to a distortion of thinking, where an event or situation is thought of in overly negative terms – a kind of exaggeration where a minor setback is seen as a major catastrophe. The mere expectation that things will get worse will cause them to get worse.


There are probably a lot more, but when joy takes up residence, these unhelpful tendencies can be edged out and made to loosen their hold on our lives. Make room for Joy.



First Published in www.speakingtree.in

Saturday, 9 November 2013

I look therefore the World appears

The Act of Observation - Changes the Outcome



The Photon Double Slit experiment.

If i pass light through double slits, i get interference patterns that confirm to me that i am dealing with waves. But if i allow only one photon at a time to pass through the apparatus, the same interference pattern emerges…they are again waves! Now if i want to know through which slit a given photon went, i will use a photon detector in front of each slit. If i repeat the same experiment, i get a whole new result. Now i see particle nature of photons.

Moreover, it has been proved through different versions of double slit experiments that it doesn’t matter how we set up the experiment. What matters is the presence of a conscious observer (and his mind). The observer’s knowledge about the system surely alters something about the outcome of the double slit experiment.

More Here - http://grad.physics.sunysb.edu/~amarch/

So the World appears because I look at it.

Believe, and you Shall See.

Saturday, 26 October 2013

Kailasha & Swarga

The Heavens of Contentment and Indulgence

Devdutt PattanaikShiva's realm is Kailasa, a stony mountain covered with snow, where there are no pastures, still Shiva's bull is happy. There is a tiger there, the mount of Shiva's consort, Shakti, still Shiva's bull is not afraid. The snake around Shiva's neck does not chase Ganesha's rat and does not get chased by Kartikeya's peacock. There is no fear of death in Kailasa, so no hunger, no predator, no prey, no chase. This is the realm of yoga, where Lakshmi does not matter.

Indra's realm is Amravati, the abode of the Devas, where the Asparas dance, the Gandharvas sing, and Sura flows, where there is the wish-fulfilling tree Kalpataru, the wish-fulfilling gem, Chintamani, and the wish-fulfilling cow, Kamadhenu. There is no fear of death here either, for Indra has consumed Amrita, nectar of immortality.

Illustration/ Devdutt Pattanaik

This is the realm of bhoga or pleasure, where all desires are realised without any effort: where Lakshmi comes when summoned. Yoga demands inner transformation, the churning of inner mental fire, tapa, through the practice of tapasya, to outgrow hunger. It is a solitary activity. Bhoga demands no inner transformation, just the churning of outer fire, agni, through the practice of yagna. Needless to say, people prefer bhoga to yoga, yagna to tapasya. That is why Amravati is referred to as Swarga, paradise. The purpose of human enterprise is to achieve Swarga on earth.

This desire expresses itself in many household rituals of Hinduism. During the festival of Pongal, people of Tamil Nadu boil milk in pots till it overflows. During Gudi Padva, in Maharashtra, pots are perched upside down atop staffs to simulate divine pots showering sweets and silks into the household. During Vishu, in Kerala, the matriarch of the household ensures that the first thing every member of the household sees is his or her own reflection in a mirror surrounded by grain and gold. During Annakoot festivals of temples, vast quantities of food are heaped in the shape of mountains before the deity. Presence of abundant food and fun makes us feel closer to Swarga.

Both Shiva and Indra are immortal. Shiva's immortality is achieved by tapasya. Kama is sacrificed during tapasya. Indra's immortality is achieved through yagna that is fuelled by Kama. And his greatest yagna is the churning of the ocean of milk that yields him the Amrita, the nectar of immortality. Along with Amrita comes Halahal, a poison that threatens to destroy the whole world.

Indra wants to consume Amrita but is unable to handle Halahal. He offers it to Shiva who drinks and digests it, much to Indra's delight.  Along with Amrita also comes the eternal enmity of their half-brothers, the Asuras. Denied a share of Amrita, they remain mortal giving the Devas an unfair advantage over them. Like Shiva, they perform tapasya – but only to get power with which they can defeat Devas, and lay claim to the treasures of Swarga. The Devas fight back, with the help of Vishnu, reclaim their treasures. 

But the defeated Asuras always come back, thanks to the Sanjivani Vidya they get from Shiva. They may not be immortal but they can always come back to life. So Amravati, the land of bhoga, is always under siege. Immortal Indra can never enjoy Lakshmi in peace. So it is with human success.

The author is Chief Belief Officer of the Future Group, and can be reached at devdutt@devdutt.com


Sunday, 20 October 2013

Vipassana: Ch.1: How it began for me …


That Goenka technique? ... It’s free na? … but You can’t do it…. 10 days is too long to waste … They starve you …  They torture you … They don’t let you speak … It is for old people who are bored… why do you want to torture yourself? … … they will brainwash you… it’s a Buddhist cult … once you join you can’t leave …

I had heard about a distant aunt, whom I admired, being a staunch follower of Vipassana – but other than a few fragments of truth … the rest was all hearsay. But there was a long-standing, deep desire in my heart that kept gently cajoling me to fulfill this long cherished dream of mine.

But I knew it was not going to be easy … being vegetarian, no smoking, no speaking … so I kept putting it off … until I quit smoking on 13 April 2010.


Three years later, having fully recovered from my nicotine addiction - I expressed this latent desire in June 2013 to treat myself for my birthday to this, and my supportive family, though skeptical, were very supportive, once they saw how genuine my desire was.  And so I booked myself for October 2 -12, 2013 course at the closest centre - http://www.sota.dhamma.org/

Me .... After the Course