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The Power of a Grateful Heart…

 

                      We have so much to be grateful for in this life every day. But reality is that, sometimes the struggles and worries give more room to sadness than to a heart full of thanks. Sadness is the human emotion that all people feel at certain times during their lives. Feeling sad is a natural reaction to situations that cause emotional upset or pain. There are varying degrees of sadness. But like other emotions, sadness is temporary and fades with time.

Lord Buddha has aptly mentioned that life is a misery and the reason for all our suffering.He also says that we humans have the tools to alleviate our misery as well.I would like to share a parable/story from Bible which explains the reasons of our sadness and shows how ungrateful we are towards our own blessings.Lord Jesus used to tell this parable to his disciples on a number of occasions as he knew human nature very well that humans need to be continuously reminded of their follies.
 
The parable is very simple and it tells of a rich businessman who plans to build a big mansion[house] and one day hires few labourers in the morning by 8AM for a wage of a silver coin each. The labourers start digging & working and again the rich man goes out in the market around 11AM to hire more labourers,promising them a silver coin each as well. As the day progresses,the labourers who had started working in the morning see more hands pouring in around 3PM to work and help them in the construction. The rich man hires more labourers by 6PM as well to speed up the ongoing construction activity. Around 8PM when the day ended,the rich man calls all the labourers together to pay them their wage.He starts with the hands whom he had hired around evening 6PM and pays them a silver coin each.He does the same thing with the labourers whom he had hired around afternoon 3PM. Now,the labourers who had been hired and were working since morning 8AM started discussing among themselves that the rich man would definitely pay them more as he was giving a silver coin each even to the ones whom he had hired in the later half of the day. 
         
When the turn of the morning workers came,the rich man paid them too a silver coin each as promised. But the morning workers started grumbling and arguing with the labourers who had been hired in the second half of the day & late evening.They felt that since they had put in more labour & hours in that day,they should have been paid more than a silver coin.When this conflict reached the rich man’s ears,he  called them together again & said to all of them that since he was the master of his money and as promised & agreed, he has not paid anyone less / anyone more. Therefore,Jesus concluded that this human mentality of comparing our blessings is what makes us ugly/repulsive from inside. Because we are never grateful for the blessings / possessions we already have,but are more worried & saddened by the possessions of our peers / neighbours. We should always keep in mind that GOD is very benevolent and always gives us more than what we actually deserve.
 
Hence,I would like to restate that this simple mantra of being grateful for our blessings should be daily nurtured within us.This habit of our’s is what can make a lasting difference. We have a choice, every day, to express our gratitude towards the CREATOR.A heart of gratitude leaves no room for complaining,thereby enabling higher levels of optimism and life satisfaction.It opens up the door for continued blessings.
This trait of being forever grateful will enhance our intrinsic beauty manifold and we would be able to create wonders with the boon called LIFE.

Balancing our Mind through Meditation…

 

           There is no consensus on the question of what makes us humans special, or whether we even are special. The biggest point of contention is whether our thinking & analytical abilities differ from those of other animals “in kind,” or merely in degree. As we all know,the key differentiator between humans and animals is our brain which creates emotions,ideas and thoughts. The brain / mind is the most remarkable aspect of humans basis which we have evolved and progressed over the centuries.Humans have developed the quality to generate a practically limitless variety of words and concepts.Because,even after 5000 years of their existence,the ape has not changed much but we humans have evolved,came a long way and made several overall advancements to this planet and ourselves.
 
Some people who are not inclined to develop their mental faculties remain untouched by the ecstasy that we can convert our lives into.They are unable to unfold their artistic and creative abilities over the period of time.Therefore,to cater to this void,we have come up with an extensive course named-LIFE MANAGEMENT through which we specifically target & train the participants to develop the 12 aspects of LIFE. The course is of a duration of 6 days and 2 types of aspects are covered in a day’s workshop. The most dominant facet of the course is the Human Brain / Intelligence and we train the participants to get deep insights and thereby decode the mechanisms.
 
Now,to share an overview,I would like to explain that our human brain can be divided into two equal hemispheres[regions] namely right hemisphere and left hemisphere.Scientists and psychologists have after years of extensive research concluded, that some humans work from their right brain and others work from their left brain or we can say humans are right / left brain inclined.The people who are right brain inclined, find it easy to understand the beauty of lights,colours,music,have an artistic bend,they are emotional beings and sentiments come naturally to them. However,the people who are left brain dependent,are better off with logical reasoning,calculations,good with arguments/debates and may have proficiency with multiple languages. And the challenge of people with left brain inclination is that they find it very difficult to understand the beauty of lights,colours,music,emotions and with respect to the people with right brain inclination,they find it very tough to get a grasp / understanding of logical reasoning,calculations,languages or statistical figures.
 
Thus, to understand that why are our mental faculties designed differently,there are a lot many techniques in meditation[Praanayaam] and Yoga.They specifically serve this very purpose of aligning / connecting both the right and left hemispheres so that they are able to work in tandem. This fact causes some people to be full of love,emotions and sentiments, but they are paupers due to being right brain aligned while others may be filthy rich,good with reasoning,go-getters, but are utter failures in matters of love & long lasting relationships due to their left brain functionality. However,if this synchronisation of left and right brain can be achieved,then that would remarkably result in the smooth functioning of both our businesses and relationships in Life. During the course of the LIFE MANAGEMENT workshop,we take the participants through various meditation techniques,games,activities & thought provoking discourses so that both the right & left brain get equally engaged and work together.
 
The perfect balance of both these brain alignments make us humans COMPLETE thereby enabling us to lead a life overflowing with abundance,fulfillment and contentment. 

Meditation with Music enables Ecstasy !!!

 

Music performed to aid in the practice of meditation can have miraculous results.The concept also includes music performed as an act of meditation.There are a lot of indispensable reasons to practice musical meditation.The performers are instructed to play only when not thinking or in a state of non-thinking. 

Mindfulness is the psychological process of bringing one’s attention to experiences occurring in the present moment,which one can develop through the practice of meditation and through other training. Say for instance,if the world renowned flute player Sri Harprasad Chourasia ji says to himself that let me play the flute,involve the music and reach the state of Mindfulness,it is not necessary that the state would be achieved then and there.The achievement of the state of Mindfulness during meditation is not always possible.It is an event that naturally comes upon the Tapaswi through persistent practice, with or without music. But the Tapaswi / the practitioner of meditation would find it easy to get in and out of Mindfulness if he is a musician as well.If a musician tries to be a Tapaswi / the practitioner of meditation,then he could possibly become a Sage-the highest state of Enlightenment. 

 I would like to sincerely recommend music in our lives because it is the most effortless, simple & easily available way of reaching deep within and touching the innermost consciousness.We should listen to music as per our taste,try to hum songs,dance with music,live in that ecstatic moment- forgetting everything,our daily routine,the hustle bustle of life,even our mobile phones as well.We should self discipline our minds to not to be distracted by the caller on our phone,sms’es or social media notifications . We can create an environment of music at our homes by dedicatedly listening to soft music while having lunch / dinner so that our focus does not waver. This technique has long been implemented in schools where light music is played during subjective classes and while serving kids lunch because music heals as well as calms our restless minds. 

There was a research done in Russia on the effects of music on human mind power while engaged in academics / some other sort of work. The findings of the research went on to prove that if our mind is in a calm / stress free state then it has 10 times more capacity to learn / memorize; which is of vital importance especially in academics. So, while studying,we should play light music in one corner of our room and these musical waves / frequencies have the capability to overlap & overpower every other frequency that may be surrounding and distracting us. Because,the light music playing in our room enables to collate & converge all our focus allowing our conscious mind to vibrate on a single frequency, thereby enabling better assimilation and retention of information.This fact has been proven to be reliable & correct multiple times basis extensive research done the world over. 

Nevertheless,I would conclude by saying that it does not matter if we are good at music [vocal/instrumental],we should put in utmost effort to let music enter into every aspect of our lives and we need to keep humming…

Human Misery : Causes and Remedy…

 

Why do we suffer in this life is the most pertinent question which we all have been seeking since ages.While humans make themselves suffer in many ways,they are not born to endure agony or be miserable. We have come into this life to be able to enjoy the journey of self-realization by being happy,content and motivated.There are many ways & means to invite misery ;one of them being our tendency of expecting and second is lack of self awareness.I would here like to share a very small incident to make you all understand as to what are the causes and the way out of our miseries.I hope that the below incident would help you understand the appropriate approach to be undertaken in our life to avoid stress,anxiety and misery.
 
Once,there was an old man-a senior citizen who was travelling by train.During the journey,it so happened that he lost his wallet and was frantically searching for it among his fellow-travelers. A ticket-checker,recently appointed in his early twenties, who was in the nearby cabin,was watching the entire commotion with amusement.After few minutes of watching, he joined in with the old man in his search for the wallet. After a while,the ticket-checker finally found the wallet where it had fallen ; picking it up,he asked the old man to share few things like the make or the contents of the wallet to validate his claim on the wallet. This made the old man perplexed due to his advancing age,he said that the only thing that he could remember was that, his wallet contained a small picture of Lord Krishna. The ticket-checker now , just for the sake of killing time during the travel started to probe more,saying that the small picture of Lord Krishna cannot be the basis of the old man’s claim on the wallet,as it was very common for people to keep such pictures of Gods & Goddesses in their wallets. The ticket-checker prodded the old man further to share more specific details for claiming the wallet but the old man expressed his forgetfulness that he could not remember any other details about his wallet. The ticket-checker observed that while mentioning the fact of the presence of the small picture of Lord Krishna in his wallet, the old man’s eyes had got swelled up with tears. The amusement of the ticket-checker now turned into curiousness and he took the old man aside to know the reason.The old man said that there was a long story behind his keeping the picture of Lord Krishna in his wallet and the ticket-checker requested the old man to share the entire episode.
 
The old man mentioned that the said wallet was a birthday present from his parents during his childhood years.Initially, i had kept a photo of my father & mother,then when i reached teenage years,i started keeping my own photo as i was absolutely smitten by my own handsome self. Few years later,i fell madly in love with a beautiful girl and started keeping her picture in my wallet. As luck would have it,i was fortunate to get married to that very girl on reaching adulthood.We went into the family way and God in all his kindness, blessed us with a baby boy after few years of our marriage. Now,my new born boy had become the centre of all my affection,he grew up to be a very cute child and I started to keep his photo in my wallet.I thought of myself to be the happiest person by just watching my son play and progress. As the years went on by,one by one i lost my parents and then my life partner as well.My son, on reaching his adulthood became engrossed with his career & family life [wife & kids] and started neglecting my presence and requirements.Now the same photo of my son in the wallet was no longer my reason to rejoice but was causing me tremendous amount of misery.
 
So,one of my friend advised me that i had adopted an absolutely wrong approach to Life and this was the cause of my misery.The correct approach would be to keep the picture of GOD in the wallet according to my faith,because only GOD-the Almighty is the source & stream of continuous happiness & contentment.Ever since the realization of this truth,I have started keeping the picture of Lord Krishna in my wallet. On listening to this,the ticket-checker asked the old man that what made him emotional then. The old man replied in a sad voice that I kept running after worldly things, not realizing the eternal truth that only GOD is our permanent companion.It took me almost 60 long years and I sincerely regret the delay caused due to my lack of timely wisdom.If only had i started keeping the picture of Lord Krishna in the wallet since my childhood years,I would not have had to endure so much misery & pain.I would not have had taken a false approach and would correctly have had rested my faith with the permanent one-The Creator who is Supreme,Immortal and Omnipotent.
 
Hence,to avoid misery & suffering, l would sincerely advice that our approach should always be towards the Divine and meditating to be in alignment with the Supreme
 

Foods,Diet and Health…

 

A well balanced and appropriate diet is the most important element of our daily routine.But,to optimize the process of food consumption and then digestion,we need to deeply understand these three factors–of the type of food to be taken,when should it be taken and how ; with which mental state should it be taken into our body. The appropriate type of food should be such, that it may not generate any kind of unwanted stimuli [aggression] to your conscious mind and should be taken while in a pleasant state of mind.Because, if your mind is not calm but agitated due to some reason / some quarrel and you sit down to eat,that food gets transformed into bad & violent thoughts. The food should be consumed very slowly as if doing a sacred ritual and then the food in front of us becomes the devotional offering / gracious gift to be taken in with utmost respect. The activity of having food should be revered while understanding that it is an offering , start having it lovingly along with the most conscious beautiful thoughts.

I also would like to share the example from the current times,whether be it the joint families / nuclear ones,the elders always nag the youngsters; advising them against having junk/fast foods like kachchori,samosa,pizza,burger,sev-mixture etc.They constantly insist that their kids / young ones should be consuming the appropriate food items but the irony is that these elders themselves buy these junk food items from the market to home.We need to start with ourselves and pro-actively change few habits to achieve the slow but sure transformation through the most basic process of consuming food.For changing our habits, we all would have to create a supportive and advantageous environment so that we are not distracted towards wrong habits.

Like in case,if a person from Indore be given a choice between appropriate healthy foods like juicy fruits on one table and on another table he sees kachchori,poha with sev, jalebi,samosa etc.then the person would obviously throw caution/advise to the winds and start munching on the junk foods kept on the second table.This may sound funny, but the saddening part is that such junk foods have slowly replaced our staple foods like roti,sabzi,rice etc. The current generation, instead of having a proper diet, is filling their stomachs with these fast foods like kachchoris for breakfast,bake samosas for lunch and pizzas for dinner.These junk foods may be good in taste,can be had once in a while, but I would not recommend them to be included into our regular diet.Also,the foods we intake should be according to the climatic and temperature conditions we live in. As for Indian environment,the foods should necessarily include wheat,grains,maize,cereals,rice etc. Because,the appropriate diet and calorie intake is mandatory to provide & maintain the requisite energy levels to our body and thereby to our mind. The foods get converted into energy during the digestion process and this energy acts as the fuel for all our bodily & mental mechanisms.The lack of this very energy causes our mental capacities to diminish,we start feeling exhausted and irritated over small matters, thus hampering our personal relationships. Therefore,eating a variety of foods helps maintain a healthy and interesting diet which provides a range of different nutrients to the body. Eating a variety of foods promotes good health and can help reduce the risk of diseases as well. 

Hence,it is rightly said that “A healthy Mind can only stay in a healthy Body” and the food we consume can either build us or ruin us.  

Communication skills for Married Couples…

 

“The difference between a happy and an unhappy marriage lies in communication skills “

The relationship between the husband and wife is such that after a while, they start taking each other for granted by default.The husband starts thinking that the entire fault lies with his wife and the wife starts believing that her husband is in the wrong. Now, to answer the question that why all communication skills tend to fail between couples in marriage, I would like to tell you a short story to further elaborate on the reason.
 
Once, there was a married couple and they were very much like any other average couple going through their lives.They had their share of misunderstandings,small fights and during these times,the husband came to conclude that his wife had become short of hearing. Now this development worried the husband considerably and he went to his doctor friend to find a suitable cure to the problem.The husband mentioned to the doctor friend that his wife was facing issues / difficulty in hearing and wanted to know more about the hearing aids[hearing enabling instruments] that were available nowadays.The doctor suggested that, since the instruments are frequency based & distance dependent while wearing,hence the friend would have to diagnose the exact problem of the man’s wife. The husband curiously asked as to what was the exact process to diagnose the hearing difficulty level and distance factor to which the doctor friend advised the husband to speak to his wife by changing his positions, starting from farther away and repeating the statement by reducing the distance from his wife. Once,that you are able to analyze the exact distance from which your wife is unable to hear your voice,we will be able to finalize on the hearing aid accordingly. 
 
Understanding this,the husband reached home and started to check his wife’s [who was then cooking in the kitchen] hearing strength by standing in the garden of their house and asking her that what was she cooking today for dinner.Since,he could not get back an answer at 25 feet[from garden],he realized that he should ask her again the same question from a nearer distance[from hall].But again on not finding a response from 15 feet,he sadly goes nearer around their bedroom at 7 feet and repeats his question that what was there for dinner.Finally,he walks into the kitchen and standing near his wife asks the same question a fourth time that what was she cooking for dinner. To this his wife retorts back angrily that “Have you gone deaf ? I have already replied to you 4 times that i was preparing Khichdi tonight.” Thus,the husband comes to realize that it was he himself who was short of hearing & not his wife and this is the exact predicament that the married couples face in every day life.
 
Now to summarize the concern,it would not be wrong of me to mention here that the husband thinks his wife to be deaf;the wife in turn thinks of her husband as deaf and the solution is left to testing for finding who is at fault.Communication skills for couples is definitely one of the important chapters of life that each partner needs to memorize once they sign the papers and say ‘I do’ to each other.
 
The sad truth is that we as a species, over the time have lost the art of LISTENING which is the base on which any successful communication stands among married individuals.Our conscious minds are in a state of continuous turmoil.We, instead of listening to what is being said,are often restless with our own set of Q&A’s in our minds and fail to understand as we have not left any space for listening. I would like to emphasize here that listening properly to understand with a calm mind is the mandatory element for any successful relationship, especially marriage. We should train our minds to be able to stay calm & serene -creating a space for listening and effective communication.Thus, I would reiterate that Listening has been and remains for posterity–the rock solid foundation on which any communication and relationship can be built to last for a lifetime…