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Posts Tagged ‘Past Life’


Two men were jailed in the same cell. They were in the same condition, but one of them was unhappy, and the other one was happy. “Why are you so sad?” the happy man asked unhappy man.  “What should I feel happy for? I am unlucky. Just recently, I was free and resting at a resort, and now, I am here, in prison!”

And then, the unhappy man asked the happy man, “And why are YOU so happy?”

“You see”, the happy man said, “recently, I was in another prison, where the conditions are much worse. This place is just like a resort compared to my earlier prison. Many people want to get here, but I am the lucky one who made it. So why shouldn’t I be happy?”

Everything is relative in this world. One minute, one is unhappy and the next minute, happy. The mind shifts constantly and as rapidly as emotions change. We look at others mostly with envy, wanting what they have. But we don’t look at those who don’t have what we have and bow in gratitude for being blessed. Our intelligence fails in the wake of our wants because, at such times, we only see what others want to show us, not what the actual reality is. Only the heart can “see” such things provided it is open and loving.

But this relativity of reality is not visible to many. Human beings have gnawing and often, even obsessive needs. Greed and acquisitive tendencies can therefore, make man oblivious to the fact that everything IS relative. Possession and ownership here, on earth, is an illusion which can become a fictitious and dangerous reality for some, thus depriving them of good sense and a balanced perspective of reality.

There are always some positives and some negatives in the lives of all of us. But at the end of the day, these are mere perspectives of the mind. Contentment is being happy with what one has at all times. Any action that comes out of a basic contentment is taken more with equilibrium and less out of desperation. This is not to say that such people do not succeed in life. These are just people who are aware of their spiritual source and also have a deep faith in the process of life and the presence of Divine Energy around them. They do not consider themselves as the nucleus around which the Divine Energy revolves. There is perhaps a simplicity and purity within them that gives them access to light as opposed to the dark forces. Both are around us all the time. We have a free will to make a choice. Choosing to become beings of light is to be very high on the happiness quotient.

If we observe the way people live, there are so many who live peacefully, simply and spiritually without any scramble towards name, fame or money power. They may not ever make any headlines on news channels or newspapers and magazines, but to be around such people is a source of pure joy. They definitely live with their hearts full and with the “glass half full” attitude, with the faith that they are in this Universe for a purpose, to care and share, and also that they are safe in this Divine space. The choice of being either happy or unhappy under any circumstances is a state of mind that multiplies manifold in either case. The choice of happiness over its opposite, therefore, should be apparent. But, it is often not that apparent unless there is an in depth understanding that happiness is relative in the larger context of our existence on this earth.

The quality of the journey of each one of us “from dust unto dust” determines our actual claim to fame in the eyes of the Divine. There is no existence of a higher caliber than this reward anywhere in this world.

Surekha Kothari

www.BodyMindSoulCentre.com

surekhakothari.wordpress.com                                                                      

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

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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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Very early in life, we were taught that patience is one of the most coveted qualities and is a part of learned behavior. I have learnt that it is in proportion with our needs and their fulfillment. The law of demand and supply is directly proportionate to our levels of patience. It is a need of a baby to be fed instantaneously when it is hungry. These are called “demand feeds” because patience is an unknown word to the little baby. But as age advances, the natural needs change into wants, a scenario where patience AND ethics take a back seat many a time.

“I can’t wait “is a common phrase heard everywhere, whether it pertains to a simple need like “needing” to go for a movie, or, a more compelling one like “needing” to become a multi millionaire. Both are wants, not needs. At some point, most of us start using the words “want” and “need “ as synonyms, though they are far from being synonyms. “I “want” this because it is my “need”, is a common place feeling. Our mind cannot separate the two because our needs become wants over a period of time. What we want is not necessarily what we need. Our needs are basic to our survival while on this earth, whereas our wants are inspired by a desire for excesses, extras, and greed for “just a little more”. The latter are imbalances of ego driven insecurities and desires within us. When our wants start multiplying, it means we are indulging ourselves and craving for more than what is needed to sustain us through life.

When it is a question of wanting, we are like instant coffee. Everything must be achieved NOW. I used to teach vocal music to a few students who wanted to perform after doing four or five classes when we had practiced for years to reach a common minimum standard. It is understandable that getting an endorsement or approval from others is great feeling. But those who have their goal defined and the determination and perseverance to achieve it with patience are more likely to have the depth of knowledge to be successful. Patience is a long path to amazing rewards. “Too much too soon” does not define wisdom. I guess, the satisfaction of a need is its own reward but the satisfaction of a want breeds more and more “wanting” to which the satiation levels are not well defined or guaranteed.

At the same time, we also need to ask ourselves how much we need in order to be happy. Not much really! If we didn’t seek our identities in the eyes of other people, we would lead a much more stress free life and also be satisfied with what we have. Our “wants” are perhaps more for social recognition than anything else. Many of us have more than we need and some have much more than they will ever need.

Philosophers and Thinkers have always emphasized the concept of “simple living and high thinking” for a good reason. The more we get involved with comparisons of material gains and walk into the race for “one upmanship”, the more our wants increase, gradually becoming out of control. The imbalance thus caused shifts the focus from what we are here to achieve as spiritual beings to illusory gains in a temporary world, a world which we are actually just passing through in our journey. For a very short lived satisfaction, therefore, are we digressing from our evolutionary path?

The time for introspection is now.

Surekha Kothari

www.BodyMindSoulCentre.com

surekhakothari.wordpress.com

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

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