Friday, November 15, 2013

Managing Our Needs - Part 1

A psychologist friend of mine once gave me the sentence completion exercise below. For each of the incomplete sentences she gave me, I was to complete the sentence with as many sentence endings as I wanted to.
1. Independence to me means :-
2. I feel loved, supported and connected when:-
3. I feel powerful and have a sense of achievement when:-
4. I have fun when :-
5. I know my physical needs for money, things and pleasure are fulfilled when:-
After I finished I was to assess on a scale of 0-10 what was my state of fulfillment for each, and whether I was satisfied with it. If I was not satisfied with my state of fulfillment then I should assess how much would I like it to be, and what steps could I take to bring it to my level of satisfaction.
I truly enjoyed the process of thinking it out. It was very revealing and enjoyable. And I feel all of us should do this exercise. These are very basic human needs. As a human being all of us would have these needs. We can add quite a few more – like ‘My love for contribution is fulfilled when :-‘ , ‘My need for learning and clarity is met when :-‘
And exercise like this puts us in touch with basic person who thinks ‘I need _______ to be happy’. It is very useful to recognize our own needs and learn to recognize our emotions in terms of our unfulfilled needs. Then we can also learn harmonious ways to request others to honour our legitimate needs, when it is within their power to do so. This in turn would teach us how to honour the legitimate needs of others, when it is within our power to do so. This would certainly go a long way to making us all more satisfied people.
Now the questions is what happens when our need is NOT fulfilled or cannot be fulfilled? Is it possible to be happy when ones needs are not fulfilled? I pose this question to you for the time being. And I will give the answer later in terms of what the Bhagavad-Gita reveals about managing our needs.

Om Tat Sat 

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

A Free Mind

Om Gurudevaya Namah

What is a mind that is free?

If analyse the quality of thoughts  we entertain, we may find it is occupied with a whole lot of subjective thinking – meaning thinking which centres around the ego. So the mind is more often than naught occupied with :-
·        thoughts of past – favourable and unfvourable, pleasant an unpleasant
·        thoughts of future – favourable and unfavourable, pleasant and unpleasant
·        thoughts of current situations – favourable and unfavourable, pleasant and unpleasant
·        desires, hopes, expectations
·        successes and their sweet fruits
·        frustrations, disappointments
·        sadness, hurt, guilt, fear, anger, worries and anxieties
·        and above all relationships and our roles
This kind of constant preoccupation in the mind is binding – so much energy is locked up, energy that blocks us from experiencing the peace, harmony, contentment and joy of Being which is natural to us.

While in meditation or through breath-control  one can train oneself to put aside this vortex of the mind, and enjoy relatively quiet and peaceful states of mind, in which one can see the truth of oneself to be peace and joy, using the knowledge gained through Vedanta sravanam, still until all the beliefs that constitute one’s core identity as an individual are not thoroughly negated as false, one simply cannot enjoy the freedom that one truly is, all the time. Jivan-mukti demands freedom from the hold of all false beliefs.

One can free oneself of one’s false beliefs when :-
1. one acknowledges what they are
2. one recognizes the non-negatable truth of the free self, shining in and thru them
3.  one reiterates this truth even when the false beliefs appear to come up and appear as true.

It is not easy to do this. When false beliefs that constitute the core identity as an individual are triggered they seem to have a life of their own, appearing as totally real. These are the impressions, or conditioning or vasanas that one has to take care of.

Depending on the intensity of the vasana, one would have to use any method that works. Here psychological tools and energy healing modalities can be very useful to lessen the intensity or emotion generated by a false belief centered around self-identity which has been triggered. And when the intensity of emotion generated is reduced one will be able to use the knowledge gained through Vedanta sravanam to totally negate the false belief and free oneself of its hold.

This is tapascarya – the highest form of tapas is enquiring into the truth of I. Discovering and living from that truth is to truly be free of the mind.

Recognizing The God Within

The limitlessness that is God, the ananda that is God, the absolute freedom that is God, shines as self-revealing, self-luminous, self-existent Consciouness that is the non-negatable dimension, the indestructible truth of “I”.

We are not in touch with this ever-existent truth simply because of ignorance, which covers as though with a wall made of bricks of false limiting concepts about the self, and the resulting layers of emotional impurities.

So getting in touch with the truth of the limitless God who shines as one’s self involves :

·        freeing oneself emotionally of the layers of impurities born of false perceptions, like anger, hurt, guilt, fear, anxieties, worry, frustrations, sadness, greed, jealousy, postive and negative projections on people, objects  and situations as capable of giving happiness or sorrow etc.
·        negating the false concepts of limitation of the self as the body-mind-sense complex, as a jiva - this is understood clearly thru systematic and thorough study of Vedanta Shastra as handled by a competent teacher who has studied traditional Vedanta

When both of these are there, the changless, limitless nature of the self is recognized and realised as the self-existent, self-revealing conscious vast spaciousness in whose presence all experience takes place. 

Om Tat Sat

Understanding Reality

We of the computer age, understand what is foreground and what is a background - as when we use the computer screen , the font is in the foreground, against a background. This understanding of foreground and background can help us to understand realities of our daily life. And it is interesting to note that there is no foreground without a background. 

Living of our life in this constantly changing world, with our endless transactions in it, our desires, hopes, expectations, our past, our preoccupations with our past, future and present, our frustrations, disappointments, our worries, anxieties and fears, our sorrows and joys, our successes and failures, our roles and relationships is the foreground for us. It can be called as the foreground only when we know the background against which it is played.

What is the background?

The background is the direct, immediate, self-revealing and self-evident changless consciousness or awareness, that is the silent ever-present witness to the ever-changing drama going on in the foreground. Even as the sky is the background and the clouds are the foreground!

You become aware of this background when the mind stops its endless labeling, judging, interpreting as right or wrong, good or bad, useful or not useful, helpful or hurtful.... Can one be a simple perceiver without having to label, judge, interpret? It is worth it, because what you discover is that the background is so vast, it can accomodate anything. It is so pure, it is totally unconditional.... the unconditionality one is always searching for. The background is the limitlessness that YOU are.

So in meditation put aside all preoccupations with the foreground and just be.... and out of meditation also keep on see what it is like to simply perceive without endless judging ... and become aware of the limitless background that is the truth of oneself.

Om Tat Sat

The Immediacy Of Ananda

The Immediacy of Ananda- The God Within
Om Gurudevaya Namah

The importance of what our Scriptures reveal about the Self being whole, the Self being one with God, is understood fully only when one recognizes the immediacy of the whole self, the immediacy of ananda that one has been searching for, the immediacy of peace and indeed of love that one has been searching for.

Ananda is immediate, purnata is immediate because the whole Self is immediate – nearer than the nearest and therefore immediate. Word are inadequate to describe the immediacy of the self. When the mind is totally quiet, it is very easy to recognize that what persists even when the thoughts have been quietened is the consciousness that shines as ‘I” always. And in this consciousness that shines as ‘I’ there is not even a whiff of limitation – there is wholeness, there is anandaAnanda is immediate – one does not require to fulfill any desire whatsoever for ananda – because ananda is immediate, purnata is immediate and effortless, it is the very nature of the self.

After recognition of this FACT,  it is a matter of assimilation that in every experience, ananda – the purnata of the self continues to shine – being the very nature of the self it cannot be given up – it can never be given up – even when there is some dukha because of whatever reason, it is dukha that comes and goes because of one’s sense of reality in the world – not ananda. ananda is the background – purnata is the background that persists no matter what experience takes place.

Purnoham,  Anandoham.

How silly it seems that one has been searching for purnata,  for ananda  from life to life through various things, people etc when ananda  that can never be given up has been one’s self all along!

Shift in priorities is necessary  so that one may make time to quieten the mind, to not give it so much reality and meditate – for which love for nitya vastu is neccesary, for which viveka is necessary, for which shastra sharvanam is necessary!
Om Tat Sat