Everything is God Given

I write a blog about money a few times a year because I think there is a lot of guilt, shame and confusion around money in the spiritual community.

There’s this idea that you can’t be spiritual and rich, or if you are – you have screwed people over to get there.

There’s this idea that you shouldn’t charge for God given talents like intuition or insights.

But – last time I checked, all talents are God given. The talent to play basketball, the talent to write, the talent to sing, the talent to act, or be a doctor – are all God given.

For the talents to be fully realized, we must practice and learn and apply a ton of hard work, but nonetheless the raw talent came pre-installed.

And yet, we seem to have some block around certain types of God given talent.

The idea that a rich person can’t enter the Kingdom of Heaven is widely used to take vows of poverty, but what Jesus meant when He said that was if you WORSHIP money and make it your God, then you’ll never be happy.

But you can have a lot of money and still be focused on The Divine.

You can also not have a lot of money and be so focused on money that you forget your connection to the Divine.

Money, like everything else, is a symbol for energy. That is it.

And the more of it we have, the more we can help ourselves, those that we love and others.

There is nothing spiritual about playing a small money game.

I also don’t believe that when you are a healer or life coach you are charging for the teachings.

All the wisdom teachings are readily available for free on the internet. Anyone who has access to the internet has access to the wisdom of the ages.

When you charge for your services, what you are charging for is your time and the facilitation of the teachings.

Your time and your wisdom are very valuable.

I know people who went to college for years and years and have six figure debts that never learned the things spiritually.

What is that worth?

I believe it’s important to give away scholarships, free content and help those who need it so that personal growth isn’t just something for “the rich.” But I also believe that healers who don’t charge what they are worth are doing themselves a major disservice and as a result, a disservice to their clients.

The guilt and shame around charging money for healing services is a way for many practitioners to play small.

The greater your cup is full, the more you have to give away.

Are you playing small by hiding behind prices you know are too cheap?

Are you scared to step up and play a bigger game?

Are you running yourself ragged and capped at a certain income because you are afraid to raise your rates?

Are you triggered by the rates of other healers?

Don’t you think you are worth investing in? And also being paid well for the value that you add to the world?

What would your life look like if you cast those fears aside and actually did what you knew you had to?

I’m curious.

LOJF-reflection-3dd8df

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Have Faith You Always Get What you Ask For

Plain and simple, we get what we ask for.

Not just with our words, but also with our actions. In fact, our actions will show us what we are asking for far more than our words. We only take action on what we truly believe, so if we want to see what we are really asking for, let us look towards our actions.

If you say you want to lose weight, but your actions are to eat high calorie food and stay inactive, you aren’t really asking for health.

If you say you have faith but your actions are faithless, then you don’t really have faith.

If you say you love someone and your actions are unloving, then you don’t really love that person.

Let us be mindful of our actions.

The precursor to action is thought. Sometimes it can be VERY hard to be aware of what we are actually thinking, especially because many of our actions come from unconscious thoughts. If we want to tap into what’s really running us, but are having a hard time, let us see what actions we are taking.

We want love, but we run away when it shows up. There is a misalignment there of desire and thought.

We want weight loss and a healthy body, but we don’t get off our ass and exercise. There is a misalignment there, too.

In this literal Uni-verse, we can LITERALLY create (from the inside out) any type of experience we wish to choose. It is when our desires, our thoughts and our actions are in alignment that this kind of life begins to emerge.

The seed of a desire for something greater lives within all of us, but our lack of action prevents that kind of life from unfolding.

Imagine if a farmer had seeds and land to plant his seeds, but doubted that the seeds would grow if he planted them. So if this doubt were strong enough, the seeds would never get planted. Or, they get planted, but then the farmer can be too impatient and dig up the seeds the next day or the next week because the crop hasn’t come yet.

The farmer still has no harvest. Then a second farmer comes by at harvest time with a full crop of harvest, and the first farmer gets jealous and angry at the second farmer for having abundance. The first farmer may blame The Uni-verse or say, “People like me aren’t supposed to have this harvest,” but in reality, it is the farmer’s own doubt and impatience that prevents him from reaping his harvest.

We are many times like the first farmer. Our seeds are our desires. Our fields are our daily actions. We must plant our desires in actions and then be patient. If weeds of doubt creep in, we must clear them out. And in perfect time we will be able to harvest the fruit of our faith.

This is how life is. We need to nurture the fertile soil of our actions with faith and patience.

So, today, are you not getting what you want? Look at your desires. Look at your actions. Where is there a disconnect? How can you adjust your actions to sync up with your desires? And, if that feels weird, how can you change your MENTAL habits to allow yourself to take the proper action that is in alignment with your desires?

The answers to the lack you may be temporarily experiencing is all within you. Show up, let go and trust The Uni-verse one day at a time. Get your desires, thoughts and actions in alignment and then let your patience and faith shower down on the fertile soil of your actions.

Your harvest WILL come.

EVERY TEARDROP IS A WATERFALL – Coldplay

Coldplay is Back !!! 

 

Song : EVERY TEARDROP IS A WATERFALL 

 

 

Lyrics :

I TURN THE MUSIC UP, I GOT MY RECORDS ON
I SHUT THE WORLD OUTSIDE UNTIL THE LIGHTS COME ON
MAYBE THE STREETS ALIGHT, MAYBE THE TREES ARE GONE
I FEEL MY HEART START BEATING TO MY FAVOURITE SONG

AND ALL THE KIDS THEY DANCE, ALL THE KIDS ALL NIGHT
UNTIL MONDAY MORNING FEELS ANOTHER LIFE
I TURN THE MUSIC UP
I’M ON A ROLL THIS TIME
AND HEAVEN IS IN SIGHT

I TURN THE MUSIC UP, I GOT MY RECORDS ON
FROM UNDERNEATH THE RUBBLE SING A REBEL SONG
DON’T WANT TO SEE ANOTHER GENERATION DROP
I’D RATHER BE A COMMA THAN A FULL STOP

MAYBE I’M IN THE BLACK, MAYBE I’M ON MY KNEES
MAYBE I’M IN THE GAP BETWEEN THE TWO TRAPEZES
BUT MY HEART IS BEATING AND MY PULSES START
CATHEDRALS IN MY HEART

AND WE SAW OH THIS LIGHT I SWEAR YOU, EMERGE BLINKING INTO
TO TELL ME IT’S ALRIGHT
AS WE SOAR WALLS, EVERY SIREN IS A SYMPHONY

AND EVERY TEAR’S A WATERFALL

IS A WATERFALL
OH
IS A WATERFALL
OH OH OH
IS A IS A WATERFALL
EVERY TEAR
IS A WATERFALL
OH OH OH

SO YOU CAN HURT, HURT ME BAD
BUT STILL I’LL RAISE THE FLAG

OH
IT WAS A WA WA WA WA WA-ATERFALL
A WA WA WA WA WA-ATERFALL

EVERY TEAR
EVERY TEAR
EVERY TEARDROP IS A WATERFALL

EVERY TEAR
EVERY TEAR
EVERY TEARDROP IS A WATERFALL

 

Five Birds and Good Intentions

 

Five birds are sitting on a telephone wire. Two decide to fly south. How many are left? Most people would say three. Actually, all five are left. You see, deciding to fly isn’t the same as doing it.

If a bird really wants to go somewhere, it’s got to point itself in the right direction, jump off the wire, flap its wings, and keep flapping until it gets there.

So it is with most things. Good intentions aren’t enough. It’s not what we want, say, or think that makes things happen; it’s what we do.

I frequently think of writing thank-you, birthday, and congratulatory notes. Unfortunately, only a sad few of these good sentiments ever make it to paper. Still, if I don’t look too closely, I can delude myself into thinking that based on my good thoughts I’m a gracious and grateful person. A truer and less admirable picture of my character is drawn by my actions.

In the end, we either do or don’t do. We either make the time to do the things we want to and should do or we make excuses. As Alfred Adler said, “Life happens at the level of events, not of words. Trust movement.”

What do you want to do? Do you want to take a course, change your job, lose weight, make new friends, or spend more time with and appreciate more the ones you have?

What’s stopping you from jumping off the wire and flapping your wings?

 

IT IS YOUR LIFE … ALL YOU NEED TO DO IS TAKE ONE STEP AT A TIME… AT THE RIGHT TIME !!

 

– Mustafah Mun

It’s All About Feeling

 

 

Is it possible to increase your happiness or success by pushing your “energy pendulum” in the direction you want it to go – toward more possessions, greater fame, and more intense pleasure? Doesn’t the pendulum always swing back in the opposite direction? There are times in this ceaseless cycle of hope and disappointment when we feel repelled by the sheer monotony of it all. Finding ourselves no longer attracted by the excitement of a meaningless chase, we long for rest. But only if rest is sought within can lasting peace be really ours.

Any rest we find outwardly – in retirement, let us say, to a quiet cottage by the sea – is as temporary as our emotional joys and sorrows. That “peace” ends when we come to experience it as boredom. When this happens, we set out once again on our former quest for excitement. And so —interminably—it goes on. Everything in existence is balanced by its polar opposite. Heat is balanced by cold, light by darkness, and positive by negative. In humankind, duality is found in the opposites of male and female, joy and sorrow, love and hatred.

Wherever one quality exists, its complementary opposite will be also be found. The overall level of an ocean is not altered by the height of the waves at its surface. The higher the wave, the deeper is its trough. Our essential consciousness, similarly, remains unaffected by our emotional ups and downs. Pleasure and pain, success and failure, fulfillment and disappointment – these are but waves on the surface of calm, intuitive feeling. The Law of Duality is present in our lives, too. Because our emotions are tied to the post of ego consciousness, every joy that we experience emotionally must be balanced in our own emotions by an equal and opposite sorrow.

Every personal success must be balanced by an equally personal failure; every personal fulfillment must be balanced by a corresponding personal disappointment. The only state in which joy and other positive feelings are not balanced by opposites is in the state of super-consciousness. There, the waves of emotion subside in calm, intuitive feeling Joy, love, and peace are realised, then, as absolutes, not as relativities, for they are attributes of Pure Consciousness. Calm feeling is intuition. When that calm feeling is disturbed, it becomes emotion.

Until clarity of feeling is achieved, the one who meditates will be forever vacillating in purpose. Without devotion, indeed, in the form of deep yearning for the truth, you will not feel the incentive even to try to meditate deeply. Wisdom without devotion is like knowing that there is a good restaurant next door, and even committing its entire menu to memory, but not being hungry enough to go there and eat. The feeling quality is what makes it possible to commit oneself to the spiritual search.

 

– Swami Kriyananda

The Monk and the man with PhDs

A man with eight PhDs – he was proud of his achievement – met a monk. The monk asked him, “Why have you been so foolish in life?” The man said: “But I have eight PhDs!”

“I have understood you; it is foolish to spend the best part of life reading instead of enjoying the birds, stars and the moon”, said the monk.

“You may have knowledge but not clarity; you may know a lot and yet understand nothing”.

What does one have to understand about life?

You have many centres: Intellectual centre, an emotional centre and a body centre. In each centre, there is a mechanical and magnetic part. The mechanical part acts like a machine while the magnetic part acts with ore awareness.

You have to transform yourself. Your mechanical movements and thinking have to change. Your mechanical emotions like jea- lousy and hatred have to be overcome. You can do this by bringing in more awareness.

Then a complete being will emerge. When you increase awareness, even poison can turn into medicine; and with no awareness, medicine can become poison.

Why are we so mechanical?

A king dreamt that he was a beggar. His guru, in his dreams, told him the truth that he was a king and not a beggar. Now was he to argue with his guru or just wake up?

The question of “why” cannot be answered. When did time begin? You cannot answer such a question. Which came first, egg or hen? There is a logical fallacy in the very question. Realise that we are mechanical. Bring in more awareness and see the life-transformation.

Even inert objects have life. Treat any object with loving awareness and it will guide you mysteriously. Your intuition and purity have to increase to receive this message. When you bathe, lovingly talk to water.

We may think that no one knows what we are thinking, but our thoughts produce vibrations that can be picked up by others at a subtle level. Once, one of Emperor Akbar’s ministers advised him to be careful about what he thought of others.

The minister said, “Thoughts are very potent. Let us try this experiment. See that man coming down the road? As he approaches, i want you to think angry thoughts about him and let us see what happens”. The emperor looked at the stranger and thought, “This stranger should be beaten up”. When the stranger drew near, Akbar asked him, “What did you think when you saw my face”. “Excuse me, emperor, but i wanted to beat you up and break your head”.

No words were spoken; no actions were done, but the angry thoughts of Akbar towards the man were picked up, and the stranger was tempted to react in a violent way. We may not say anything, but our anger may create a negative vibration all around through aggressive body language, facial gestures, and angry tone of voice. This not only affects the recipient of our anger, it also boomerangs on us, disturbing our peace of mind.

We can deal with anger in several ways. One way is to project the long-term consequences of our anger as a deterrent. Or set a goal and then realise the effect that anger may have in preventing us from attaining that goal. A third way is to use meditation to break the physiological response to anger.

Projecting the future consequences of anger can prevent us from acting with anger. Becoming conscious of this could help us respond nonviolently to situations, as did Gautama Buddha when someone abused him one day. Buddha listened patiently and since there was no reaction, the abuses stopped coming his way.

If we set a goal to meditate every day, then we can guard against intrusion on that time. Say to yourself: “If i allow this anger to take control, then it is going to cause me to waste sitting and thinking about how angry i am. How can i calmly meditate and focus on what i am seeing within?” To have fruitful meditation we need to overcome anger, but to overcome anger we need to meditate. It is not so much a catch-22 situation, however, as it is a cycle of success.

No matter what level of meditation we are at, the time we spend meditating can calm us down so that we do not respond to a situation of anger. Meditation provides us with a physiological response to control the anger. Our heartbeat slows during meditation, which has the corresponding effect of slowing down our brain waves. We enter a more relaxed state of body and mind. In such a state, anger has less chance to gain strength.

As we calm down and our anger subsides, we can increase our concentration in meditation. The more time we spend in meditation, the more practised we become in being calm and balanced.

I did a great deal of sadhana in cremation grounds. These are good for sadhana, for realisation. Whenever I saw all those dead bodies, I would tell myself that eventually, this was going to be my state.

There, gazing at the grounds, I would recollect Kabir’s verse: “What is so remarkable about his body?/ What is so remarkable about this mind?/ What is so remarkable about your wealth and everything else that you have?/ As you are watching these things, they fade into dust./ Look at your own life/ As you are watching it,/ it just withers away”.

We cling to wealth, we cling to the mind, but in the end, none of these matter; they leave us when we die.

We fear death for no good reason. We are going to die anyway, so why not accept it with courage? Very few are happy about dying. People know that they are going to die eventually but they never want to die right now, in this moment.

When a person is about to die, all his actions – good or bad, virtuous or sinful – appear as images before him. There are two paths after death. One filled with light and joy, and the other with darkness and fear. If you have been virtuous on earth, you will attain heaven. But just as the pleasures of this earth pass, so do the pleasures of heaven.

As long as one has a fund of merits one can enjoy these pleasures, but the moment one’s merits are spent one must leave heaven and be reborn. One who has committed many sins will suffer in hell. But once he has undergone the consequences of his bad actions, he is reborn.

When a person dies, he has to abide by the judgment of God. We reap the consequences of our actions that are governed by the law of karma. The ways of karma are unfathomable but the fruits always correspond to the actions.

When an individual dies, the soul leaves his body and adopts the next form according to his karma. In the case of great beings who have become one with the highest, the prana does not leave the body as it does with ordinary people.

The Upanishads say that during a saint’s final samadhi, the prana merges in the sahasrara and does not leave the body; for such a being the cycle of birth and death has come to an end.

One’s condition at the time of death is the result of one’s actions. Therefore, one must meditate. Bhartrihari said: ‘‘As long as the body is healthy,/ As long as old age is far away,/ As long as your senses are strong,/ You should remember the Lord’’. To wait until one is dying is like trying to dig a well when one’s house is on fire.

There are two things one must remember all the time; God and death. Whatever a person thinks of when he leaves his body, that alone he attains. Therefore, whatever is in one’s mind at the moment of death is significant.

Holy chants keep reverberating inside us. Those who remember God constantly in this way will attain the state of God at the time of death. They have no fear of death.

There are hundreds of popular institutions that teach us how to make our lives better. To make them more healthy, more organised, more productive, more stress-free and, hopefully, more happy. Interestingly, though death is such an important happening in our lives, we do not pay much attention to it and there is no institution that really teaches about death, what it means and how it affects us. There seems to be no takers for a course in the Art of Dying!

All of us fear death because death brings to an end our life on earth and also because we are apprehensive of what will happen to us after we die. To not get intimidated by fear of death we must know the art of dying.

What is death? Krishna says in the Bhagavad Gita that He is death ( kala ) in the form of Time (also kala ). Time consumes everything, from the tiniest atom to all those mighty universes in the material world. The Vedic concept of death is that it is an integral part and a recurrent happening in the continuous life of every living entity on earth. Krishna tells Arjuna in chapter two that there is no death for the jiva or soul, “Never was there a time when I did not exist, nor you, nor these rulers of men. Nor shall all of us cease to be hereafter”. Death pertains only to the physical body and “… the soul merely changes bodies just as the body changes clothes”.

The Katha Upanishad explains the Vedic concept of death and Garuda Purana deals comprehensively with rituals pertaining to death, graphically describing the soul’s journey after death to its next birth.

Most believe death is the ultimate happening in one’s life. But there is more, depending on your karma. Each new birth affords us an opportunity to better our circumstances through performing good karma, which means following the injunctions laid down in the shastras . We, however, choose to fritter away our lives in mundane activities mainly to satisfy our sensual cravings.

Adi Shankaracharya says that one is very fortunate to have got human birth for it is the only vehicle by which one can attain the ultimate goal of life, moksha or liberation, and hence it must not be wasted in living a frivolous life. More fortunate is he who has a burning desire for liberation. And still more fortunate is the one to get a bona fide spiritual master to take him to this goal.

Krishna says: “Whatever object a person thinks of at the time of death, he attains to that object alone… Whoever thinks of only Me even at the time of death, attains to My state on abandoning his body. There is no doubt about this”. He once again reinforces: “He who, at the time of his death, engages himself in remembering the Supreme Lord with full devotion, will certainly attain to Him”. This is possible only if one has Him constantly in one’s thoughts for which one needs to do spiritual practice or sadhana .

Some even crave a painful death so that they are forced to cry out to God, thereby remembering Him during the last moments. However, if your desire to be with Him is consistent and strong, it will manifest at the final hour so that you are united with Him.

We spent a tension-filled week in the office recently with many of us awaiting news of promotions and increments. As rumours snowballed, hurried meetings took place in corridors.

Some people were ashen-faced, others were jumping with joy. Some criticised the ‘system’, others consulted experts. I decided to escape to Haridwar and experience a peaceful meditative week.

The ashram was serene and peaceful. All one could hear was the chirping of birds. In the afternoon, a smiling boy of 25 came to clean our room.

He said he could not come earlier as he had to clean 50 rooms all on his own. Seeing my shocked expression the boy grinned and assured me that it wasn’t that bad a situation.

He revealed that he had joined just three days ago as a sweeper-cleaner. A month back, he was working as a motor mechanic in a private company but got laid off with many others.

Wasn’t that terrible, I inquired gently. “No, Ma’m. It’s all destined. I am young and hard working and I will find a good job again, God willing. Why should I worry?”

But a loss of Rs 5,000 wasn’t small, I pursued. “Money comes and goes, like this Ma’m”, he said and snapped his fingers. What a brave boy, I thought.

And here was I who had ‘escaped’to the serenity of Haridwar. Despite a string of academic degrees, achievements and experience we still panic because we are afraid we would not move to the next grade.

Life is in itself a laboratory that helps us observe and learn if only we keep our eyes and ears open. No wonder, a ripe mind like Dattatreya’s could learn from nature and make not one or two but 24 gurus from his wanderings.

These were: earth, air, sky, water, fire, moon, sun, pigeon, python, ocean, archer, moth, snake, bee, spider, firefly, fish, deer, hawk, honey-gatherer, child, elephant, sparrow and a courtesan, Pingala.

To learn from life and one’s experiences one must be open, receptive and flexible. Learning is a state of consciousness that enables one to learn from all situations if only one retains the innocence of a child.

Even a humble servant can teach us qualities of generosity, forgiveness, unselfishness and the strength to bear burdens.

Swami Chinmayananda said that the road sign ‘U Turn’ could be taken as an indicator that we ought to turn the direction of our life towards spirituality instead of trying to change others.

Ordinarily when we listen to saints, read scriptures and attend satsangs we examine and dissect the speech and actions of the saint, even if he is one’s guru.

Thus we shift from guru to guru, looking through the prism of ego. We are unable to understand the essence of teachings because we fail to become a disciple. So, even when Krishna Himself asks us to accept success and failure with equanimity once our job is done, we still get extremely miserable at failures and are elated at success.

To understand wisdom one need not listen to moralistic lectures, or intellectual sermons. All one needs is a childlike mind, a mind free of concepts and rigid ideas.

With such a flexible mentality, wisdom flows from every side; from road signs, servants, spiders, snakes, courtesans, children etc. Then all of existence becomes one’s guru because one is a disciple.

One would be able to face all kinds of situations and there would be no reason to run to sages for practical advice on how to manage one’s daily life.