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Posts Tagged ‘karma’


I am the only one who can create the quality of my life. It is MY thoughts, MY belief systems, MY preferences, MY emotions, MY wants and cravings, MY ego, MY mind, MY level of wisdom, MY tolerance levels MY responses to relationships and events, MY ability to achieve, my benchmarks… in fact, every thought, emotion, action and the results thereof are mine.

I want to achieve phenomenal amount of success, fame and power so that people recognize me and my family looks up to me, loves and respects me. I think that this is the recipe for happiness. I think that this will improve the quality of my life because I can buy the latest gadgets, attract people through my wealth and feel a sense of abundance. Yes, I can totally achieve material abundance if I am karmically due for that success.

What I have not realized is that I need to introspect on the means I have used, the mental and emotional devices I have used to achieve worldly success. What I need to know is how much that success has been built on pillars of truth, honesty and integrity, love and spirituality. It is this that actually develops our quality of life.

The energy that is generated by a daily spiritual approach to life is unmatched by any success where the moral and spiritual strength depletes gradually. If my actions have distanced my family and friends, replaced genuine respect with mere lip service and silenced my inner conscience for ever, I am actually, slowly and steadily, caved myself in within the impenetrable walls of my own isolation. Somewhere along the way, I have disconnected my connection with my Divine source. Not only that, after all my desperate struggle to rise in the eyes of myself and those around me, I have managed to do exactly the opposite.

I should have taken into account the well being of my soul above everything else. I should have seen to the welfare of those connected with me while I was working with frenzy towards my own achievements. I should have painted on a larger canvas instead of succumbing to myopia. I should have internalized the transient nature of this world and what karmic lessons I am here to learn. I should have known that the only yardstick of a high quality of life is how I feel at the end of the day, how high my happiness quotient is and how true I have been to myself so that I can sleep with a smile on my face and peace in my heart.

Just as hugging a child is pure joy, embracing a life based on the adherence to spiritual values elevates our quality of life to a point where every breath is a prayer to the Divine energy within.

Surekha Kothari

www.BodyMindSoulCentre.com

surekhakothari.wordpress.com

http://www.speakingtree.in/public/surekhakothari

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Just as a play or movie unfolds scene by scene, so, too, life unfolds in phases. The students of today will qualify as adult, working members of society tomorrow. What we are today will shape our next phase. It is, therefore, very important to know what our “dharma’ or body of duties is during the student stage.

In the old Vedic times, when the “Guru Shishya Parampara” existed, students were taught everything that a youngster needed to know by way of   social, economic and political knowledge, along with the etiquette of living within a family and social system, behavioral patterns, and, above all, respect and love for all. The Guru’s “Ashram” was a complete school. As a result, the student moved into the next phase of householder and earning member of the family naturally and easily. This was possible because every student conformed to a well balanced, comprehensive and wholesome system of teaching imparted by the Guru or teacher with utmost honesty and sincerity. The system was also designed to integrate and connect people as individuals, families and societies so that a common value system of mutual love and respect created a peaceful and harmonious environment and a working atmosphere of mutual  trust. The honing of emotional intelligence through understanding, acceptance and sacrifice based on compassion became the common foundation of all human behavior.

Today, those values are not taught in educational institutions. The accent is more on material success. We need to bring back our timeless but fast disappearing rich culture and traditions which we have not been able to transfer to our succeeding generations. This is where our uniqueness lies, however modern we become in other ways.

Surekha Kothari

http://www.BodyMindSoulCentre.com

surekhakothari.wordpress.com

Speakingtree Blog: www.speakingtree.in/public/surekhakothari

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There is some God given talent in all of us. Some have been endowed with more than one. As children, we exhibit a definite aptitude for particular subjects. Going forward, however, these talents could lie dormant because of our own inability to crystallize and optimize them. Often, we don’t take them seriously enough and sometimes, we follow the pattern of specialization that is expected from us rather than that which we believe to be our calling.

 

It is important to realize that out of all the talents we possess, there is that one special talent backed by an extra zeal and passion that ultimately translates into our career path. For multi talented people, it does become a problem to make a choice between equal talents. Following the heart balanced by a practical mind would be a good way to solve this issue.

 

In any case, talent has to be honed by education and focus on the goal or goals we set for ourselves. Just having an extraordinary talent is not enough. Unless we are child prodigies, the way forward is to be a few steps ahead of our aspirations, both in academic and technical knowledge.

 

For example, to be a performing musician, one has to learn voice culture, the entire grammar of a “raga” and then practice for years to master the art.  An inherent talent only helps in grasping a subject quickly while a passion for it sustains the focus and determination to excel.

 

Specialization opens up several windows of   opportunities. Talents must, therefore, be optimized through learning. Otherwise, they will fade away gradually. There has to be sustained effort to keep them alive and functioning to maximize our potential.

 

Surekha Kothari

www.BodyMindSoulCentre.com

surekhakothari.wordpress.com         

www.speakingtree.in/public/surekhakothari

 

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“I hear you” is a very common phrase. But is that enough? The counter question would be, “but are you listening?” Have you noticed that very often, when we are talking to someone, their eyes are somewhere else and their minds are visibly wandering? I have often stopped midway in my sentence and felt really foolish to realize that I am talking to myself. It is as if I have been addressing a wall all the while.

 

I wonder if people are aware of their actions at such times. Where are those simple people who genuinely care and share love, empathy and compassion only because that is vital to the quality of a human being?

 

The cacophony of sounds caused by our own screaming desires is probably sufficient to tune out any external voices. The complexities of our wants and the imbalances of our emotions are greatly responsible for our inability to rise above ourselves to focus on someone whose life can be transformed just by listening and understanding, by lending not only our ears but also our hearts to them. Only then does one actually start to “listen” to others with concern for them.

We tend to “hear” voices like we hear car horns and dogs barking on the streets, without paying attention to them. But when we claim we are “listening”, there has to be a focus, attention and caring.

 

Many of us are guilty of not listening to even our own near and dear ones who may not say exactly what is topical or relevant according to our perspective but to them, it may be vital. Today, we love to talk about Corporate Social Responsibility projects. We speak of being prominent social workers. But, it is the small acts of listening, understanding and kindness that fetch us big brownie points in the eyes of the Almighty.

 

There is no joy in living just for oneself. That was not the Grand Plan. So, the next time someone speaks to us, let us not just “hear”. Let us listen!

Surekha Kothari

www.BodyMindSoulCentre.com

surekhakothari.wordpress.com

www.speakingtree.in/public/surekhakothari

 

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Memoirs are what memories create. Some happiness, some tears, some agony. As we grow older, we seem to start dwelling on the past very naturally. I always used to wonder why the older generation talks so much about their past. I guess, when we are younger, there is so much to look forward to. Our energy levels are high and life seems to stretch in front of our line of vision as having many goals to look forward to. Towards the evening of our lives, a saturation point is reached for many people. Some others retire from their workplace because they have to. Some pass on their work to the next generation. Some opt to resign and take life easy after many years of hard work.

 

For all of these people, there seem to be many experiences in the past to talk about. There is a lot of learning there for those who listen. But, to handle a phase of inactivity or less activity can get very difficult as well. Not everyone can accept this phase graciously.

 

Our sense of self esteem depends hugely on how occupied we are, and, more important, how this places us in the eyes of the world. When our identity comes from the approval of others, anonymity can be very unsettling. If life can be viewed as a series of phases, it would be easier to accept changes, both within ourselves and the external set of circumstances.

 

What is really the issue here is that there is little to look forward to. There are no new goals for many. Actually, the world has opened up so many opportunities that we can learn something new every day. Recently, I saw a computer class with seventy year old individuals and I was thrilled! When so many new vistas open up the Mind, and we have the child within us alive and motivated enough to keep learning, the present and future become so exciting that the past ceases to be a compulsive memory and remains dormant within us , to be brought up at will when lessons from it need to be remembered.

 

The productive use of each present moment is the key to living rather than existing on past memories just because we don’t see anything before us that would adorn our present and future.

 

Surekha Kothari

www.BodyMindSoulCentre.com

surekhakothari.wordpress.com

Speakingtree Blog: http://www.speakingtree.in/public/surekhakothari

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A farmer had a dog that used to sit by the roadside waiting for vehicles to come around. As soon as one came he would run down the road, barking and trying to overtake it. One day a neighbor asked the farmer “Do you think your dog is ever going to catch a car?” The farmer replied, “That is not what bothers me. What bothers me is what he would do if he ever caught one.”

 

Many people in life behave like that dog who is pursuing meaningless goals. There is always a personal definition of “meaningless” for each of us. Life has so much to offer that it is often very difficult to make the right choices for ourselves. Sometimes, we may think we have made them, but the resulting experience may ring hollow. So, there is little satisfaction in the whole exercise.

 

The good news is that this kind of experience helps us search further and this search takes us forward in our journey towards evolution. We need to know what to do, of course, but it is also equally important to understand what not to do.

 

I see many judgmental people who are looking at the lives of others with a microscope. If we really think about it, do we really know what the components of someone else’s journey are? It is very possible that what we perceive as “meaningless” may be very meaningful in their journey. So, again, “meaningless” becomes a very subjective feeling.

 

Taking off from the story of the dog, maybe, its journey of chasing cars is exciting. Maybe, it will get tired when it gets tired and then, starts to look for something else which may excite him.

 

The thought I am attempting to present here is, there is nothing meaningless in life. Everything happens for a reason because everything has a built in lesson for us. Maybe, the owner of the dog should have chased cars to see what lies in that experience.

 

The learning is, do what your heart tell you. Be happy. Everything works if there is a flow of energy that doesn’t create any blocks. Every breath we take is also an experience because we really don’t know if it going to be our last one.

 

Surekha Kothari

www.BodyMindSoulCentre.com

Speakingtree Blog: http://www.speakingtree.in/public/surekhakothari

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A doctor entered the hospital in hurry after being called in for an urgent surgery    of        a            young            boy. 

He found the boy’s father pacing in the hall waiting for the doctor.

On seeing him, the dad yelled: “Why did you take all this time to come? Don’t you know that my son’s life is in danger? Don’t you have any sense of         responsibility?”

The doctor smiled and said: “I am sorry, I wasn’t in the hospital. I came as fast as I could after receiving the call.  And now, I wish you would calm down so that I can do my work”

“Calm down? What if your son was in this room right now? Would you calm down? If your own son dies now, what will you do?” said the father angrily.

The doctor smiled again and replied: “I will say what Job said in the Holy Book.”

“From dust we came and to dust we return; blessed be the name of God. Doctors cannot prolong lives. Go and pray for your son, while we do our best by God’s grace.”

“Giving advice when we’re not concerned is so easy”, murmured the father.

The surgery took some hours after which the doctor came out and said, “Thank God, your son is saved!” And without waiting for the father’s reply he started running out of the hospital. “If you have any questions, ask the nurse,” he said.

“Why is he so arrogant? He could have waited a few minutes so that I could ask about my son’s surgery”, commented the father when seeing the  nurse minutes after the doctor left.

The nurse answered, tears streaming down her face: “His son died yesterday in a road accident. He was at the burial when we called him for your son’s surgery. And now that he saved your son’s life, he left running to finish his son’s burial.”

The moral of this story is, never judge anyone, because you never know how their life is and what they are going through.

Another inspiring story. Another learning. How compassionate is this doctor who saves another father’s trauma when he himself is going through a worse trauma! How selfish we become in our grief, without realizing it!

Yes, we have to stop judging people. There is a beautiful couplet written by the famous Urdu poet Ghalib which translates as “When I was not aware of myself, I constantly saw flaws in others. But the day I recognized the flaws within myself, there were so many that I stopped seeing flaws in others completely.”   First, let us start by observing ourselves the way others might see us because our own self image may be distorted. Then, let us stop judging others. We are very quick at labeling and tagging people. The truth is, we need to accept and work on ourselves and leave others to work on themselves. 

The psychology behind judging people is often the feeling of a temporary sense of superiority over those we judge. But, if we analyze this, we will find that we are doing the same thing that we criticize in others. Therefore, we need not necessarily pat ourselves on the back.

The world is like a mirror. What I see in others is already mirrored within me. That is why I should know that when I am judging someone else, I am judging them through my perspectives and belief systems. And so, I have already internalized the qualities I am judging others by. Similarly, when the father in the story accused the doctor of being selfish and in a hurry, he was mirroring his own state of mind at that moment when in fact, HE had become selfish and myopic to save his son’s life.

We do this all the time. Our wants, our needs need to be satisfied on a daily basis. In the story, we can perhaps understand the desperation of the father in a crisis situation. It was an extreme case. But, societies have become so superficial that today, people judge people constantly by what they have, not who they are. 

 It is more worthwhile to be known for philanthropy rather than a Page Three celebrity who may not be known for the qualities of the heart. The doctor in the story is a prime example of the qualities that many unsung heroes are made of. To have an open heart and compassion is a connection to the higher self and to the Divine Energy which is amply demonstrated by the doctor. To emerge beyond ourselves to help someone in dire straits when we are going through a rough patch is a sterling spiritual quality which is not so easy to find.

Many would scoff at this story and show a disbelief that people can actually do what the doctor did. Here again, all I can say is that once again, they are mirroring their own  inability to do so by judging the story as mere fiction in a manner of speaking.

Surekha Kothari

www.BodyMindSoulCentre.com

surekhakothari.wordpress.com

Speakingtree Blog: www.speakingtree.in/public/surekhakothari

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