At the end of winning a rat race, we are still a rat.

March 30, 2008


Liberation of life
Awakening at a very fundamental level is to 'live life'. The scriptures define an awakened man as someone who is able to hold his senses under control. According to Sri Bhagavan, awakening on the other hand, is liberation 'of ' the senses or freeing the senses from the clutches of the mind. The mind with its judgments and commentaries interferes with every sensory perception, making it stale and lifeless. If not for this interference of the mind, the human nervous system is capable of generating bliss through every sensory experience, be it seeing, hearing, smelling, tasting or touch irrespective of the object of the experience. Thus one whose senses are liberated transcends the life of the mind and experiences the life of the senses.
Liberation from the self
Self is the sense of separate existence. Whenever there is the 'me' and the 'other', the result is fear - fear of what the other would do to me. Out of fear, struggle for survival, comparison, jealousy, hatred, all the rest are born. Sri Bhagavan says 'Self is only a concept'. A concept by definition is something that does not exist in reality. It is an illusion.
Liberation from the mind
The popular notion about freedom from the mind is either cessation of the mind where you enter a state of 'thoughtlessness' or transformation of the mind where the mind experiences greater freedom and peace within itself. The liberation Sri Bhagavan speaks about is neither of these. It is the cessation of the effort to stop or change the mind. Then you are free 'with' the mind. The mind with its contents exists independently only to aid you with practical issues of life but does not interfere with the experience of life itself.
Liberation from knowledge
When Sri Bhagavan speaks about liberation from knowledge, it is liberation from the bondage of knowledge and not knowledge itself. When knowledge is not translated into an experience it becomes a hindrance to the very experience that you have set out to achieve. Knowledge that is an obstacle to the experience of life is a burden and a bondage. Hence has to drop.
Liberation from conditioning
The ideas of communism, capitalism, equality, nationality, religion etc., have been developed by man over millennia. These ideas and concepts have a life of their own. They are making use of your life for their survival. They enter you as a 'thought-bug' and color every experience of life. Liberation from conditioning is not to be devoid of any idea or concept but to be free to choose them in functional matters of life.
Liberation from society
Ultimately man is bound by the concept of 'freedom' itself. He thinks freedom is achieved by going against the existing system and the norms of the society. 'Freedom' is essentially an internal state of existence where you no more arise from fear. Hence there is no suffocation or resistance against any structure, law or value that 'society' stands for. Freedom is not a revolt against something. It is a state of consciousness that has no opposites.
Liberation from work
Sri Bhagavan differentiates activity from action. Activity is an escape from inner void or pain of existence. It is done as a means to an end. You work, drive, cook, clean, pray because you have a psychological need behind all these that you want to fulfill. Action is where the destination or the purpose exists in a physical sense but not in a psychological sense. The experience is an end in itself. It arises from an inner state of joy and freedom. While the awakened man also works, he is free from the tyranny of work.
- Sri Bhagavan

Seeing.....seeds of wonder.....

Every time I have a concept, it is something that I could apply to a number of individuals. We're not talking about a concrete, particular name like Mary or John, which doesn't have a conceptual meaning. A concept applies to any number of individuals, countless individuals. Concepts are universal. For instance, the word "leaf" could be applied to every single leaf on a tree; the same word applies to all those individual leaves. Moreover, the same word applies to all the leaves on all trees, big ones, small ones, tender ones, dried ones, yellow ones, green ones, banana leaves. So if I say to you that I saw a leaf this morning, you really don't have an idea of what I saw.
Let's see if you can understand that. You do have an idea of what I did not see. I did not see an animal. I did not see a dog. I did not see a human being. I did not see a shoe. So you have some kind of a vague idea of what I saw, but it isn't particularized, it isn't concrete. "Human being" refers not to primitive man, not to civilized man, not to grownup man, not to a child, not to a male or a female, not to this particular age or another, not to this culture or the other, but to the concept. The human being is found concrete; you never find a universal human being like your concept. So your concept points, but it is never entirely accurate; it misses uniqueness, concreteness. The concept is universal.
When I give you a concept, I give you something, and yet how little I have given you. The concept is so valuable, so useful for science. For instance, if I say that everyone here is an animal, that would be perfectly accurate from a scientific viewpoint. But we're something more than animals. If I say that Mary Jane is an animal, that's true; but because I've omitted something essential about her, it's false; it does her an injustice. When I call a person a woman, that's true; but there are lots of things in that person that don't fit into the concept "woman." She is always this particular, concrete, unique woman, who can only be experienced, not conceptualized. The concrete person I've got to see for myself, to experience for myself, to intuit for myself. The individual can be intuited but cannot be conceptualized.
A person is beyond the thinking mind. Many of you would probably be proud to be called Americans, as many Indians would probably be proud to be called Indians. But what is "American," what is "Indian"? It's a convention; it's not part of your nature. All you've got is a label. You really don't know the person. The concept always misses or omits something extremely important, something precious that is only found in reality, which is concrete uniqueness. The great Krishnamurti put it so well when he said, "The day you teach the child the name of the bird, the child will never see that bird again." How true! The first time the child sees that fluffy, alive, moving object, and you say to him, "Sparrow," then tomorrowwhen the child sees another fluffy, moving object similar to it he says, "Oh, sparrows. I've seen sparrows. I'm bored by sparrows."
If you don't look at things through your concepts, you'll never be bored. Every single thing is unique. Every sparrow is unlike every other sparrow despite the similarities. It's a great help to have similarities, so we can abstract, so that we can have a concept. It's a great help, from the point of view of communication, education, science. But it's also very misleading and a great hindrance to seeing this concrete individual. If all you experience is your concept, you're not experiencing reality, because reality is concrete. The concept is a help, to lead you to reality, but when you get there, you've got to intuit or experience it directly.
A second quality of a concept is that it is static whereas reality is in flux. We use the same name for Niagara Falls, but that body of water is constantly changing. You've got the word "river," but the water there is constantly flowing. You've got one word for your "body," but the cells in your body are constantly being renewed. Let's suppose, for example, there is an enormous wind outside and I want the people in my country to get an idea of what an American gale or hurricane is like. So I capture it in a cigar box and I go back home and say, "Look at this." Naturally, it isn't a gale anymore, is it? Once it's captured. Or if I want you to get the feel of what the flow of a river is like and I bring it to you in a bucket. The moment I put into a bucket it has stopped flowing. The moment you put things into a concept, they stop flowing; they become static, dead. A frozen wave is not a wave. A wave is essentially movement, action; when you freeze it, it is not a wave. Concepts are always frozen. Reality flows. Finally, if we are to believe the mystics (and it doesn't take too much of an effort to understand this, or even believe it, but no one can see it at once), reality is whole, but words and concepts fragment reality. That is why it is so difficult to translate from one language to another, because each language cuts reality up differently. The English word "home" is impossible to translate into French or Spanish. "Casa" is not quite "home"; "home" has associations that are peculiar to the English language. Every language has untranslatable words and expressions, because we're cutting reality up and adding something or subtracting something and usage keeps changing. Reality is a whole and we cut it up to make concepts and we use words to indicate different parts. If you had never seen an animal in your life, for example, and one day you found a tail -- just a tail -- and somebody told you, "That's a tail," would you have any idea of what it was if you had no idea what an animal was?
Ideas actually fragment the vision, intuition, or experience of reality as a whole. This is what the mystics are perpetually telling us. Words cannot give you reality. They only point, they only indicate. You use them as pointers to get to reality. But once you get there, your concepts are useless. A Hindu priest once had a dispute with a philosopher who claimed that the final barrier to God was the word "God," the concept of God. The priest was quite shocked by this, but the philosopher said, "The ass that you mount and that you use to travel to a house is not the means by which you enter the house. You use the concept to get there; then you dismount, you go beyond it." You don't need to be a mystic to understand that reality is something that cannot be captured by words or concepts. To know reality you have to know beyond knowing.
Do those words ring a bell? Those of you who are familiar with The Cloud of Unknowing would recognize the expression. Poets, painters, mystics, and the great philosophers all have intimations of its truth. Let's suppose that one day I'm watching a tree. Until now, every time I saw a tree, I said, "Well, it's a tree," But today when I'm looking at the tree, I don't see a tree. At least I don't see what I'm accustomed to seeing. I see something with the freshness of a child's vision. I have no word for it. I see something unique, whole, flowing, not fragmented. And I'm in awe. If you were to ask me, "What did you see?" what do you think I'd answer? I have no word for it. There is no word for reality. Because as soon as I put a word to it, we're back into concepts again.
And if I cannot express this reality that is visible to my senses, how does one express what cannot be seen by the eye or heard by the ear? How does one find a word for the reality of God? Are you beginning to understand what Thomas Aquinas, Augustine, and all the rest were saying and what the Church teaches constantly when she says that God is mystery, is unintelligible to the human mind?
The great Karl Rahner, in one of his last letters, wrote to a young German drug addict who had asked him for help. The addict had said, "You theologians talk about God, but how could this God be relevant in my life? How could this God get me off drugs? Rahner said to him, "I must confess to you in all honesty that for me God is and has always been absolute mystery. I do not understand what God is; no one can. We have intimations, inklings; we make faltering, inadequate attempts to put mystery into words. But there is no word for it, no sentence for it." And talking to a group of theologians in London, Rahner said, "The task of the theologian is to explain everything through God, and to explain God as unexplainable." Unexplainable mystery. One does not know, one cannot say. One says, "Ah. . . Ah . . ."
Words are pointers, they're not descriptions. Tragically, people fall into idolatry because they think that where God is concerned, the word is the thing. How could you get so crazy? Can you be crazier than that? Even where human beings are concerned, or trees and leaves and animals, the word is not the thing. And you would say that, where God is concerned, the word is one thing? What are you talking about? An internationally famous scripture scholar attended this course in San Francisco, and he said to me, "My God, after listening to you, I understand that I've been an idol worshipper all my life!" He said this openly. "It never struck me that I had been an idol worshipper. My idol was not made of wood or metal; it was a mental idol." These are the more dangerous idol worshippers. They use a very subtle substance, the mind, to produce their God.
What I'm leading you to is the following: awareness of reality around you. Awareness means to watch, to observe what is going on within you and around you. "Going on" is pretty accurate: Trees, grass, flowers, animals, rock, all of reality is moving. One observes it, one watches it. How essential it is for the human being not just to observe himself or herself, but to watch all of reality. Are you imprisoned by your concepts? Do you want to break out of your prison? Then look; observe; spend hours observing. Watching what? Anything. The faces of people, the shapes of trees, a bird in flight, a pile of stones, watch the grass grow. Get in touch with things, look at them. Hopefully you will then break out of these rigid patterns we have all developed, out of what our thoughts and our words have imposed on us. Hopefully we will see. What will we see? This thing that we choose to call reality, whatever is beyond words and concepts. This is a spiritual exercise-connected with spirituality-connected with breaking out of your cage, out of the imprisonment of the concepts and words.
How sad if we pass through life and never see it with the eyes of a child. This doesn't mean you should drop your concepts totally; they're very precious. Though we begin without them, concepts have a very positive function. Thanks to them we develop our intelligence. We're invited, not to become children, but to become like children. We do have to fall from a stage of innocence and be thrown out of paradise; we do have to develop an "I" and a "me" through these concepts. But then we need to return to paradise. We need to be redeemed again. We need to put off the old man, the old nature, the conditioned self, and return to the state of the child but without being a child. When we start off in life, we look at reality with wonder, but it isn't the intelligent wonder of the mystics; it's the formless wonder of the child. Then wonder dies and is replaced by boredom, as we develop language and words and concepts. Then hopefully, if we're lucky, we'll return to wonder again.
- Anthony De Mello

March 27, 2008


The train started moving. It is packed with people of all ages, mostly with the working men and women and young college guys and gals. Near the window, seated a old man with his 30 year old son. As the train moves by, the son is overwhelmed with joy as he was thrilled with the scenery outside. "See Dad, the scenery of green trees moving away is very beautiful" This behavior from a thirty year old son made the other people feel strange about him. Every one started murmuring something or other about this son. "This guy seems to be a crackpot." newly married Anup whispered to his wife. Suddenly it started raining... Rain drops fell on the travelers through the opened window. The 30-year old son, filled with joy said, "see Dad, how beautiful the rain is." Anup's wife got irritated with the rain drops spoiling her new suit. Anup: "Can't you see its raining, you old man, if ur son is not feeling well get him to a mental asylum...and dont disturb the public henceforth" The old man hesitated first and then in a low tone replied, "We are on the way back from hospital. My son got discharged today morning. He was blind by birth, his vision was restored only last week. This rain and nature are new to his eyes. Please forgive us for the inconvenience caused..." The things we see may be right from our perspective until we know the truth. But when we know the truth our reaction to that will hurt even us. So try to understand the problem better before taking a harsh action.

March 24, 2008

sequence of awakening

Awakening to suffering
leads to
Awakening of the heart
leads to
Awakening to Calmness
leads to
Awakening of Inner Integrity
leads to
Awakening of Listening
leads to
Awakening to the "what is"
leads to
Awakening of Intelligence
leads to
Awakening of Action.
- Sri Bhagavan

March 23, 2008

break(down)through moments....

Taken from Ganesh's blog:
Our biggest breakthroughs often occur when we think there's nothing left in our tube.
- Jeff Keller
When I shave each morning, I use shaving cream that comes out of a small "travel size" aerosol can. The can is only about three inches high. I'd been using that little can for several weeks, when I realized the can was getting very light. I immediately thought, "Can't be much more left in here." I was just about to throw it in the wastebasket when I figured I could eke out another shave or two.
Much to my amazement, the shaving cream kept coming out day after day after day. I ended up getting 19 more shaves from that little dispenser! And to think that I was just about to throw the can away.
I'm sure you've experienced the same thing with a tube of toothpaste or shampoo. It looks like the tube is just about empty, but you keep folding the tube and squeezing — and you get days or weeks of extra use from the supposedly empty tube.
There's a lesson here for all of us. We work toward a goal and sometimes get frustrating results for a long time. Things aren't working out as we had anticipated. We think there's not much left in "our tube," and we give some thought to quitting. The reality is that we have a lot more left in the tube, if we'll only continue to believe in ourselves and keep moving forward.
In fact, our biggest breakthroughs often occur when we think there's nothing left in our tube. You see, there's a polarity to life, and when you experience setbacks and disappointments, these are often balanced by significant achievements. Yet most people quit before the "turnaround" happens.
Napoleon Hill, one of the most insightful success writers of all time, described this phenomenon in his classic self-help book Think & Grow Rich. In the early 1900s, Hill spent decades interviewing more than 500 of the most successful people in the United States — people like Thomas Edison, Henry Ford, and Andrew Carnegie. Hill reported that hundreds of these successful individuals told him that their greatest success came just one step after they suffered their greatest defeat.
Harriet Beecher Stowe put the principle this way: "When you get into a tight place and everything goes against you until it seems that you cannot hold on for a minute longer, never give up then, for that is just the place and time that the tide will turn."
About 10 years ago, Jack Canfield and Mark Victor Hansen began pitching their book to various publishers. The first 30 rejected their book. They could have thrown in the towel then, believing the tube was empty. Then they got the 31st rejection ... and then the 32nd rejection. Was the tube empty? They didn't think so. On the 140th attempt, they finally got a publisher to say yes to their book. That book was Chicken Soup for the Soul, and it spawned a series of books that has now sold more than 80 million copies!
The challenge is that we do not know when pushing ahead a little bit more will give us a breakthrough. The trick is to maintain a positive expectation and focus only on the next step or two. How do we know whether we are being persistent or pig-headed? The larger the goal, the more noble the endeavour to reach it. When we try new approaches, gather new inputs and help, it is more useful than if we simply keep plodding along. Something like smarter hard work instead of simply hard work or smart work.

March 22, 2008

am i a terrorist?

Husband and wife are busy in their chores. The door bell rings. A spat ensues - who has to do the honours?

is it really about the doorbell ?


It is about the pent up resentment that seeks a release. All pain is within. External events trigger it to explode. Events are not the cause of pain; it is rather the other way round. Our inner world states manifest as outer situations.

The event and the reaction it elicits are more often than not totally in a disconnect.

Sparks fly at the merest excuse; the embers are within.

Happy people spread happiness, unhappy people spread unhappiness.

We owe it to ourselves and our near ones to discover joy and happiness within.

Else, we are individual and collective sources of terror and violence in society.

- inspirations from Sri Bhagavan


Sometimes, we grow fond of our problems. They can begin to seem comfortingly familiar. When, as eventually all problems do, they start to become less pressing - or even disappear entirely - we try to keep them alive. We continue to persuade ourselves that they exist, even when they don't. It helps us to create a sense of continuity. It stops us, we imagine, from having to start afresh with new difficulties that we may not know our way around so well.
-jonathan cainer

March 21, 2008

content is not important...

In our worlds, content is the be-all of an event or a situation.We focus on the right or wrong, we focus on proving our point.We want to be proved correct and the other proved wrong.
This happens especially in our closest relationships.
It damages relationships no end.
And life is relationships.
can we express our points of view without the positionality? can we comfortably agree to disagree when our concepts do not match?
And still feel the surge of love for the other?
For that, people have to relate, not concepts and images as the case today is.
Today , we do not connect or relate.
We relate only to a concept of the other within ourselves.
And when reality hits us, it is this concept which breaks and we moan the death of a relationship.Actually, there has never been a relationship.
It has just been a transactional space between 2 concepts - a need based arrangement in mind space.
Relationships are a phenomenon beyond mind spaces.It is about people meeting, not personalities or ideas.
Seeing this is important; content does not matter. Everybody has his own concept.We have to learn to relate beyond our confining concepts.

transcript of video link in last post

If at all something can make us relook our concepts, it could be this....amazing..... thanks to the morphogenic circle for forwarding it to me.....
I grew up to study the brain because I have a brother who has been diagnosed with a brain disorder, schizophrenia. And as a sister and as a scientist, I wanted to understand, why is it that I can take my dreams, I can connect them to my reality, and I can make my dreams come true -- what is it about my brother's brain and his schizophrenia that he cannot connect his dreams to a common, shared reality, so they instead become delusions?
So I dedicated my career to research into the severe mental illnesses. And I moved from my home state of Indiana to Boston where I was working in the lab of Dr. Francine Benes, in the Harvard Department of Psychiatry. And in the lab, we were asking the question, What are the biological differences between the brains of individuals who would be diagnosed as normal control, as compared to the brains of individuals diagnosed with schizophrenia, schizoaffective, or bipolar disorder?
So we were essentially mapping the microcircuitry of the brain, which cells are communicating with which cells, with which chemicals, and then with what quantities of those chemicals. So there was a lot of meaning in my life because I was performing this kind of research during the day. But then in the evenings and on the weekends I traveled as an advocate for NAMI, the National Alliance on Mental Illness.
But on the morning of December 10 1996 I woke up to discover that I had a brain disorder of my own. A blood vessel exploded in the left half of my brain. And in the course of four hours I watched my brain completely deteriorate in its ability to process all information. On the morning of the hemorrhage I could not walk, talk, read, write or recall any of my life. I essentially became an infant in a woman's body.
If you've ever seen a human brain, it's obvious that the two hemispheres are completely separate from one another. And I have brought for you a real human brain. [Thanks.] So, this is a real human brain. This is the front of the brain, the back of the brain with a spinal cord hanging down, and this is how it would be positioned inside of my head. And when you look at the brain, it's obvious that the two cerebral cortices are completely separate from one another. For those of you who understand computers, our right hemisphere functions like a parallel processor. While our left hemisphere functions like a serial processor. The two hemispheres do communicate with one another through the corpus collosum, which is made up of some 300 million axonal fibers. But other than that, the two hemispheres are completely separate. Because they process information differently, each hemisphere thinks about different things, they care about different things, and dare I say, they have very different personalities. [Excuse me. Thank you. It's been a joy.]
Our right hemisphere is all about this present moment. It's all about right here right now. Our right hemisphere, it thinks in pictures and it learns kinesthetically through the movement of our bodies. Information in the form of energy streams in simultaneously through all of our sensory systems. And then it explodes into this enormous collage of what this present moment looks like. What this present moment smells like and tastes like, what it feels like and what it sounds like. I am an energy being connected to the energy all around me through the consciousness of my right hemisphere. We are energy beings connected to one another through the consciousness of our right hemispheres as one human family. And right here, right now, all we are brothers and sisters on this planet, here to make the world a better place. And in this moment we are perfect. We are whole. And we are beautiful.
My left hemisphere is a very different place. Our left hemisphere thinks linearly and methodically. Our left hemisphere is all about the past, and it's all about the future. Our left hemisphere is designed to take that enormous collage of the present moment. And start picking details and more details and more details about those details. It then categorizes and organizes all that information. Associates it with everything in the past we've ever learned and projects into the future all of our possibilities. And our left hemisphere thinks in language. It's that ongoing brain chatter that connects me and my internal world to my external world. It's that little voice that says to me, "Hey, you gotta remember to pick up bananas on your way home, and eat 'em in the morning." It's that calculating intelligence that reminds me when I have to do my laundry. But perhaps most important, it's that little voice that says to me, "I am. I am." And as soon as my left hemisphere says to me "I am," I become separate. I become a single solid individual separate from the energy flow around me and separate from you.
And this was the portion of my brain that I lost on the morning of my stroke.
On the morning of the stroke, I woke up to a pounding pain behind my left eye. And it was the kind of pain, caustic pain, that you get when you bite into ice cream. And it just gripped me and then it released me. Then it just gripped me and then released me. And it was very unusual for me to experience any kind of pain, so I thought OK, I'll just start my normal routine. So I got up and I jumped onto my cardio glider, which is a full-body exercise machine. And I'm jamming away on this thing, and I'm realizing that my hands looked like primitive claws grasping onto the bar. I thought "that's very peculiar" and I looked down at my body and I thought, "whoa, I'm a weird-looking thing." And it was as though my consciousness had shifted away from my normal perception of reality, where I'm the person on the machine having the experience, to some esoteric space where I'm witnessing myself having this experience.
And it was all every peculiar and my headache was just getting worse, so I get off the machine, and I'm walking across my living room floor, and I realize that everything inside of my body has slowed way down. And every step is very rigid and very deliberate. There's no fluidity to my pace, and there's this constriction in my area of perceptions so I'm just focused on internal systems. And I'm standing in my bathroom getting ready to step into the shower and I could actually hear the dialog inside of my body. I heard a little voice saying, "OK, you muscles, you gotta contract, you muscles you relax."
And I lost my balance and I'm propped up against the wall. And I look down at my arm and I realize that I can no longer define the boundaries of my body. I can't define where I begin and where I end. Because the atoms and the molecules of my arm blended with the atoms and molecules of the wall. And all I could detect was this energy. Energy. And I'm asking myself, "What is wrong with me, what is going on?" And in that moment, my brain chatter, my left hemisphere brain chatter went totally silent. Just like someone took a remote control and pushed the mute button and -- total silence.
And at first I was shocked to find myself inside of a silent mind. But then I was immediately captivated by the magnificence of energy around me. And because I could no longer identify the boundaries of my body, I felt enormous and expansive. I felt at one with all the energy that was, and it was beautiful there.
Then all of a sudden my left hemisphere comes back online and it says to me, "Hey! we got a problem, we got a problem, we gotta get some help." So it's like, OK, OK, I got a problem, but then I immediately drifted right back out into the consciousness, and I affectionately referred to this space as La La Land. But it was beautiful there. Imagine what it would be like to be totally disconnected from your brain chatter that connects you to the external world. So here I am in this space and any stress related to my, to my job, it was gone. And I felt lighter in my body. And imagine all of the relationships in the external world and the many stressors related to any of those, they were gone. I felt a sense of peacefulness. And imagine what it would feel like to lose 37 years of emotional baggage! I felt euphoria. Euphoria was beautiful -- and then my left hemisphere comes online and it says "Hey! you've got to pay attention, we've got to get help," and I'm thinking, "I got to get help, I gotta focus." So I get out of the shower and I mechanically dress and I'm walking around my apartment, and I'm thinking, "I gotta get to work, I gotta get to work, can I drive? can I drive?"
And in that moment my right arm went totally paralyzed by my side. And I realized, "Oh my gosh! I'm having a stroke! I'm having a stroke!" And the next thing my brain says to me is, "Wow! This is so cool. This is so cool. How many brain scientists have the opportunity to study their own brain from the inside out?"
And then it crosses my mind: "But I'm a very busy woman. I don't have time for a stroke!" So I'm like, "OK, I can't stop the stroke from happening so I'll do this for a week or two, and then I'll get back to my routine, OK."
So I gotta call help, I gotta call work. I couldn't remember the number at work, so I remembered, in my office I had a business card with my number on it. So I go in my business room, I pull out a 3-inch stack of business cards. And I'm looking at the card on top, and even though I could see clearly in my mind's eye what my business card looked like, I couldn't tell if this was my card or not, because all I could see were pixels. And the pixels of the words blended with the pixels of the background and the pixels of the symbols, and I just couldn't tell. And I would wait for what I call a wave of clarity. And in that moment, I would be able to reattach to normal reality and I could tell, that's not the card, that's not the card, that's not the card. It took me 45 minutes to get one inch down inside of that stack of cards.
In the meantime, for 45 minutes the hemorrhage is getting bigger in my left hemisphere. I do not understand numbers, I do not understand the telephone, but it's the only plan I have. So I take the phone pad and I put it right here, I'd take the business card, I'd put it right here, and I'm matching the shape of the squiggles on the card to the shape of the squiggles on the phone pad. But then I would drift back out into La La Land, and not remember when I come back if I'd already dialed those numbers.
So I had to wield my paralyzed arm like a stump, and cover the numbers as I went along and pushed them, so that as I would come back to normal reality I'd be able to tell, yes, I've already dialed that number. Eventually the whole number gets dialed, and I'm listening to the phone, and my colleague picks up the phone and he says to me, "Whoo woo wooo woo woo." [laughter] And I think to myself, "Oh my gosh, he sounds like a golden retriever!" And so I say to him, clear in my mind I say to him. "This is Jill! I need help!" And what comes out of my voice is, "Whoo woo wooo woo woo." I'm thinking, "Oh my gosh, I sound like a golden retriever." So I couldn't know, I didn't know that I couldn't speak or understand language until I tried.
So he recognizes that I need help, and he gets me help. And a little while later, I am riding in an ambulance from one hospital across Boston to Mass General Hospital. And I curl up into a little fetal ball. And just like a balloon with the last bit of air just, just right out of the balloon I felt my energy lift and I felt my spirit surrender. And in that moment I knew that I was no longer the choreographer of my life. And either the doctors rescue my body and give me a second chance at life or this was perhaps my moment of transition.
When I awoke later that afternoon I was shocked to discover that I was still alive. When I felt my spirit surrender, I said goodbye to my life, and my mind is now suspended between two very opposite planes of reality. Stimulation coming in through my sensory systems felt like pure pain. Light burned my brain like wildfire and sounds were so loud and chaotic that I could not pick a voice out from the background noise and I just wanted to escape. Because I could not identify the position of my body in space, I felt enormous and expensive, like a genie just liberated from her bottle. And my spirit soared free like a great whale gliding through the sea of silent euphoria. Harmonic. I remember thinking there's no way I would ever be able to squeeze the enormousness of myself back inside this tiny little body.
But I realized "But I'm still alive! I'm still alive and I have found Nirvana. And if I have found Nirvana and I'm still alive, then everyone who is alive can find Nirvana." I picture a world filled with beautiful, peaceful, compassionate, loving people who knew that they could come to this space at any time. And that they could purposely choose to step to the right of their left hemispheres and find this peace. And then I realized what a tremendous gift this experience could be, what a stroke of insight this could be to how we live our lives. And it motivated my to recover.
Two and a half weeks after the hemorrhage, the surgeons went in and they removed a blood clot the size of a golf ball that was pushing on my language centers. Here I am with my mama, who's a true angel in my life. It took me eight years to completely recover.
So who are we? We are the life force power of the universe, with manual dexterity and two cognitive minds. And we have the power to choose, moment by moment, who and how we want to be in the world. Right here right now, I can step into the consciousness of my right hemisphere where we are -- I am -- the life force power of the universe, and the life force power of the 50 trillion beautiful molecular geniuses that make up my form. At one with all that is. Or I can choose to step into the consciousness of my left hemisphere. where I become a single individual, a solid, separate from the flow, separate from you. I am Dr. Jill Bolte Taylor, intellectual, neuroanatomist. These are the "we" inside of me.
Which would you choose? Which do you choose? And when? I believe that the more time we spend choosing to run the deep inner peace circuitry of our right hemispheres, the more peace we will project into the world and the more peaceful our planet will be. And I thought that was an idea worth spreading.
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Just hear this video...amazing insight...

March 16, 2008

breakdown points...

When we go into breakdown situations in life, there is a moment, a trigger point. Our reaction at that moment creates a sunken feeling , a classical breakdown syndrome.
Awareness at the moment of trigger can make all the difference.If we disallow ourselves to go into a chain reaction, the breakdown derails then and there.
Breakdown, as it deepens within intensifies and leads to hallucinations.The real event may have a certain quantum of pain, but the hallucination around it causes the element of dukha, which is unreal. But it keeps building up and we crack not under the weight of the real pain but rather under an illusionary burden we create for is this illusionary burden which acquires overwhelming proportions.
And we drown in the ocean of defeat, the situation and our sunken feeling. It acquires a chronic hue , a lingering and residual presence in our lives....
Nip it in the bud.....

March 15, 2008

inner dialogues - situation creators

Rakesh was in deep anguish as he spoke to me."I want to be nice to my mom, but the moment I see her , i don't know what happens; I talk rudely to her. It is as if I am not in control in spite of my best intents."
Our everyday events will mirror the above statement if we observe it carefully.So many things we would like to do, or so many ways we would like to behave; but something else manifests. More often than not, the exact opposite.A friend of mine had a relationship issue with his sister. He used to tell me that he talks nicely to her, behaves correctly etc; yet nothing happens. Their relationship seems to only worsen.
What is exactly going wrong?
The conscious mind does the speaking while life is controlled by the unconscious. The unconscious is 2 million times faster than the conscious and more powerful.In the words of my master, battling the unconscious with our intent is like fighting a tidal wave with a water pistol.
Rakesh wanted to be nice to his mom, but just could not.His unconscious was determining it, controlling him.
Can we fight it? Nay.
We can be aware of it. Awareness is like a lighted candle entering a dark room.Darkness does not need to be removed. It just goes away.
Awareness, a function of our consciousness level enables a de-clutching from the unconscious.Rakesh needs to be aware of his inner dialogue as he meets his mom. Then a miracle occurs.
Awareness is freedom.
- inspirations from Sri Bhagavan

barking up the wrong tree....

Two women were talking aside a window pane. One of them was the lady of the house while the other was her visitor.
They were observing a lady hanging clothes on the wash line in a neighbouring lawn.The lady of the house wryly commented, " Look at this lady drying her still soiled clothes on the clothesline.I wish , people would be more concerned about cleanliness." At this comment , her visitor gently chided her, "It is not her clothes that are soiled , my dear. It is your window pane which needs cleansing."
So it is with our lives. we always seek change in the other.We see ourselves as beyond censure. We assume ourselves to be right all the time.
Nothing can be farther from the truth. Our outer worlds are reflections of our inner worlds.Each block we face in life is a trigger for us to look inward, for their in lies the root cause of our situations. Symptomatic addressal of events in our lives has very limited scope to relieve us of our stresses.
Understanding a problem is a key to it's solution. We invariably bark up the wrong tree and consequently end up augmenting our misery.
It is never about the other, it is always about oneself.

March 14, 2008

arrogance - a sign of insecurity

Confidence is calm and poised; insecurity masks itself with arrogance.Conviction and confidence states it's case; that is it. it is not about proving one's point; it is about making things work.One of the key ego games people function from is " I am always right". They need people around them at their professional workplaces or in their personal lives to re-iterate their own point of view.Entrepreneurs even employ people to fulfil this need for self-ratification.On professional levels nothing can be more detrimental to an organization, for it limits the creative expression of the organization to just one source - the dominator.Such an organization fails to draw on the creative and intellectual resource of it's team. Professionals are employed in such organizations not for their skills or talent but rather to augment the status of the organization.
Such organization heads are condemned to a life of mediocrity , personally and professionally for they cannot think beyond their narrow "selfs".They chose and lead limiting lives. They are always suspicious, mistrustful and superficial, for it is their insecurities and a fear of excellence that is the guiding force of their lives.They constantly seek recognition and a re-inforcement of their beliefs for it is absent intrinsically. Attestation is sought from outside and respect is demanded when it cannot be commanded.
Sounds familiar?......arrogant people make their presence felt in the way they walk, in the way they talk - to me it is a sure sign of a weak and insecure person from within- a person who needs to be helped.

The Bamboo

One day I decided to quit...I quit my job, my relationship, my spirituality... I wanted to quit my life! I went into the Woods to have one last talk with God. "God", I said. "Can you give me one good reason not to quit?" His answer surprised me, "Look around", He said. "Do you see the Fern and the Bamboo?" "Yes", I replied. "When I planted the fern and the bamboo seeds, I took very good care of them. I gave them light. I gave them water. The fern quickly grew from the earth. Its brilliant green covered the floor. Yet nothing came from the bamboo seed. But I did not quit on the bamboo. In the second year the Fern grew more vibrant and plentiful. And again, nothing came from the bamboo seed. But I did not quit on the bamboo. In the third year, there was still nothing from the bamboo seed. But I would not quit. In the fourth year, again, there was nothing from the bamboo seed. I would not quit. Then in the fifth year a tiny sprout emerged from the earth. Compared to the fern it was seemingly small and insignificant... But just 6 months later the bamboo rose to over 100 feet tall. It had spent the five years growing roots. Those roots made it strong and gave it what it needed to survive. I would not give any of my creations a challenge it could not handle." Then He said to me, "Did you know, my child, that all this time you have been struggling, you have actually been growing roots." "I would not quit on the bamboo. I will never quit on you. Don't compare yourself to others .. The bamboo had a different purpose than the fern ... Yet, they both make the forest beautiful. Your time will come." God said to me, "You will rise high!" " How high should I rise?" I asked. "How high will the bamboo rise?" He asked in return. "As high as it can? " I questioned. "Yes." He said, "Give me glory by rising as high as you can. " I left the forest and bring back this story. I hope these words can help you see that God will never give up on you. He will never give up on you. Never regret a day in your life. Good days give you happiness Bad days give you experiences; Both are essential to life. A happy and meaningful life requires our continuous input and creativity. It does not happen by chance. It happens because of our choices and actions. And each day we are given new opportunities to choose and act and, in doing so, we create our own unique journey. Just Keep Going... Happiness keeps you Sweet, Trials keep you Strong, Sorrows keep you Human, Failures keep you humble, Success keeps You Glowing, but Only God keeps You Going! LEARN FROM THE BAMBOO TREE!

March 12, 2008

personal authentication....

The founder of The Oneness Movement, Sri Bhagavan declares that Truth which is not one's personal truth is not truth at all.
Beliefs can get shaken' personal discoveries never can. When one reads, one should remind oneself that reading a map is not the same as visiting a place. It is necessary to test various facts out for oneself through a personal explore across platforms of manifest.
Else, we will carry the additional burden of other's perceptions to our own.
The ability to distinguish fact from perception is a quality of enlightenment.

March 09, 2008

examination blues...

It is that time of the year when children and their parents are stressed beyond recognition, tackling examinations.
A few tips to face those situations better :
The very word exam or test brings with it automated associations of stress by the intrinsic nature of it's expression.We associate our entire life with our successes in these snapshots of our performance indices.Nothing can be farther from the truth.Some of the most brilliant minds in the world have been poor or mediocre performers in their statutory examinations; Einstein and Edison immediately come to mind.The academic system, an organized convenience has acquired monstrous hues as a burdensome exercise today.Just changing our perceptions on it can work wonders.Anything that is thrust down or forced upon the other is immediately repelled.The attitude towards academic exercises and exams is the key to our performance.And parents and teachers have a great role to play in making it fun, exciting and games-like, rather than war-like ,sombre and intimidating.
Peak performance is achieved not by quantity rather by quality of effort.Sitting in front of a book all day in no way ensures a better performance.It brings in a dullness and a lethargy which actually diminishes performance.Optimal exercise (kapalbhati is a great exercise to clear mental sluggishness and bring in dynamism) and nutritious food is very important during those preparation days.Time spent in exercise or walks/jogs needs to be looked on as an investment in our performance output rather than as a waste of time.Similarly, care should be taken to avoid tamasik(pungent, very spicy, bitter etc) food as it dulls our mind. Drinking 20 glasses of water is advised for efficient toxic clearances.
Success is more impacted by the state of the person, rather than merely the acquired skills or knowledge. To be in a joyous frame of mind, to pay attention to our overall wellness , to value in gratitude all the things and people ( including computers, books, writers, teachers, publishers, pens, pencils, erasers etc) can go a long way towards achieving success.
Grace energizes and propels our intents and efforts. We should have a clear vision of what we choose to achieve or what we want in our lives, we should put in optimal effort towards it. Integrity in these aspects throw open energies of Grace from the Universe for us.Worshipping one's parents goes a long way towards facilitating an abundance of grace in one's life.One should spend atleast 15 minutes everyday in this exercise.I have seen it works wonders in performance parameters.
Wishes and Blessing for our peers when expressed from deep within us returns to us manifold.Today's world lays a lot of stress on the competitive spirit.Try this contra approach.Each blessing or good wish you send out would come back to you in accordance with the principles of the universe.
Finally, education is a privilege, an opportunity few children and youth , especially in our nation enjoy. Cherish the blessing and spread the light joyously.
-inspirations from Sri Bhagavan

March 07, 2008

different spaces, different strategies....

We face issues both in our inner domains and external domains. External functional domains are generally stuff like financial , health, career , relationship and other aspirations.Inner world paradigms are stuff like hatred, anger, jealousy and other challenges, we are uncomfortable with.
To actualize things in our functional worlds, amongst other sadhanas, we need to constantly keep visualizing the way we want to be.It helps in the actual manifest when accompanied by right effort and grace.
In the inner world , however the approach needs to be totally different. Most of us get entrapped in a "psychological entrapment process" where we struggle and strive to reach our projected ideals.These projected ideals are the product of our various conditionings from religious, cultural, social and so many other sources. Thus, we try to " love" , try to be "angerless" , try to be "fearless" etc......There is an incessant struggle between what we are and what we would like to be.And the situation is really "Never the twain shall meet".
it is really pathetic - people associate "love" with certain activities and gestures; these also gain acceptance in the collective consciousness or people make child-rearing a rule book exercise. We try to behave the way that is expected according to certain norms that govern our lives and follow it to the minutest. We manage to create septic situations, but they are accompanied by an intrinsic dryness, a lack of fulfilment.They are robotic in their expression, even the reactions are mechanized.
We cannot "try" to love. It is not a set of exercises or rules or activities.It cannot be simulated.
We have to see and become aware of the dryness within. And we have to watch it non-judgementally. It just IS. It is our reality. It is not our fault , it is like , we are "incapable". To us, love is merely a concept, a projected ideal of how we should be. It is an idea of the way we see ourselves.
Far removed from our reality.
So what do we do?
We have set ideas of what is right and what is wrong created by our various ideas and accumulations. And against these conceptual benchmarks, we evaluate ourselves, we judge ourselves. Rather than accept our realities as they are, we reject them; we cannot believe that we can be otherwise, for that is not the way to be. We are cultured , morally advanced people. We cannot have greed, lust, envy, hatred etc.....only "bad" people have such qualities.
And we pretend that we are the real time reflections of the virtual images we create about ourselves.
We live pretending to be the persons we would like to be , far removed from what we actually are.
And the consequences are disastrous - plastic smiles, meaningless words , superficial and cosmetic depth to anything in life. We fool others and ourselves.
A residual lack of fulfilment qualifies every aspect of our lives.
The solution lies in being aware of ourselves and accepting ourselves the way we are - non-judgementally.
We are not the creator of our thoughts. Thoughts flow through us, we are not the source.Our sense of identification with them is unjustified. We tune in to certain thoughts much in the same way as an fm radio tunes in to certain stations.
Whether we "react" or "respond" to them makes all the difference in our lives.
Normally, we react and try to behave contra to the way we are and in a way we would like to be.This is a reactionary mind exercise with little or no impacts on the real quality of our lives.
When we are aware of ourselves and accept ourselves whichever way we are, we respond with spontaneity, rather from comparison and conditioning.
And life acquires a new hue.
When we are able to see, we are not operating from love, what happens in the moment of awareness is love. It is a state of being, not activity or person dependant.
Similarly , with the entire canvas of our feelings and emotions.....
Life is a journey from truth to is created on the foundations of integrity....
- inspirations from Sri Bhagavan

March 06, 2008

declutch - a moment in awareness....

The outer world is a reflection of the inner world.Conversely, the outer world triggers reactions in our inner space.The reactions come from an intrinsic bank , wrought about by our conditionings.

Awareness enables us to respond, rather than react.It helps declutch the inner automated reactions.

It is a liberating moment; not a binding or a suffocating moment as is normally and unconsciously the case.

It makes all the difference between living and existing.

- inspirations from Sri Bhagavan


Integrity is one of my favourite words. It means so much more and is much wider in scope than honesty.It encompasses the domain of intent and feeling, not just words.
We need to be grounded in our realities, else realities have a way of grinding us onward . A conspiracy in the universe , it would seem.

March 05, 2008

from my inbox

1. When dog food is new and improved tasting, who tests it? (to be given a thought)
2. If the "black box" flight recorder is never damaged during a plane crash, why isn't the whole airplane made out of that stuff? (very good thinking)
3. Who copyrighted the copyright symbol? (who knows)
4. Can you cry under water? (let me try)
5. Why do people say, "you've been working like a dog" when dogs just sit around all day? (I think they meant something else)
6. Why are the numbers on a calculator and a phone reversed? (God knows)
7. Do fish ever get thirsty? (let me ask and tell)
8. Can you get cornered in a round room? (by ones eyes)
9. Why do birds not fall out of trees when they sleep? (tonight I will stay up and watch)
10. If corn oil is made from corn, and vegetable oil is made from vegetables,then what is baby oil made from? (No comments)
11. What should one call a male ladybird? (No comments)

we are all receivers....

Visiting that Ragavendra temple in Bangalore is almost more than a routine for her. She has not seen him ever before in the temple.

He was sitting on the floor with his closed eyes, folded legs and locked fingers in 'Gnana Mudra'. He looked strange and different with a turban on his head and the very long flowing beard. Some thing was there in his face that attracted her. She could not understand what that was.

She finished her 'darshan' and came out; she saw the man was walking in the corridor. Again something was happening in her, she could not understand what that was. She was telling herself, "a poor old man. I have to help him". She ran to him, gave rupees ten in his hand and forced him to accept. He smiled, expressed a reverence like a 'prasadam' by keeping it in the forehead and thanked her by keeping the hand in prayer position (‘Namaste’).

As she came out, she saw the man was getting into his Mercedes Benz, she was perplexed, shivered and ran to him and said, "Sir (Ayya!), Please forgive me, I did not do this to insult you. By seeing your dress and appearance, I thought you are struggling in life and offered you the money. It is a blunder. I am sorry. Please forgive me. Please give me back that money. I am sorry".

The man with the fake beard and turban laughed and replied her politely, "Ammaa... There is no mistake of yours. It is the other way. The creator is again and again reminding me through some body, "You are nothing. You are not special. Everybody is equal in front of me". He keeps on sending this message again and again and today you happened to be a medium. That's it. Thanks a ton". His hand again went to prayer position, expressed gratitude to the lady and he went into his car.

When the lady realized the man was none other than Super star Rajni Kanth - Asia's number one paid actor, he has left the place.

She did not know what to do. With tears in her eyes, she was starring at the direction that the car went.

- From Dr. Gayathri Sreekanth's "The Name Is Rajni Kanth - A biography"

Relationships - great healing tools

I recently saw a video of Wayne Dyer where he describes the lack of success in his life until 1970. While he was not able to breakthrough that situation, a seemingly unconnected situation worked wonders in his life.

His father had deserted him and his mother even as he was born and Dyer had never met him. But he carried within him a great hatred for this man he had never met. Someone or something prompted him ( if I am not mistaken, it was the great Indian mystic, Nisargadatta Maharaj, either directly or indirectly) to reconnect to his father later in life as he was encountering his failures.. He could only visit his grave.

He went through a mental exercise of forgiving and accepting his father.

And in his own words, the release of that hatred within wrought about miraculous changes to his life.Success in all areas , be it in career, wealth creation, relationships etc became a way of life with him.

I have heard or seen numerous such experiences in the various processes conducted by the Oneness University.

Recently, a renowned corporate trainer regained her hearing ( she has a hearing loss from as long as remembers) after healing the relationship with her mother. She had developed a hatred for her mom as she was sent off to stay with her uncle early in childhood to handle the situation of a large family. In a spiritually induced process, she could actually experience the hurt of her mother and her own helplessness which created the aforesaid situation.

Sri Bhagavan, the founder of the Oneness University says that financial crises are often linked to relationship with one's father while blocks and obstacles in all areas of our lives, be it career, relationships, health or any other are related to relationship with one's mom.It does not matter who is right or who is wrong, but a total acceptance and a healing of stresses works wonders in alleviating situations.

A process to enable this is the actual worship of one's parents through a pada pooja ( worship at their feet) for atleast 15 minutes everyday either physically or through a visualization exercise. Like I mentioned earlier, we may have differences, adhere to different concepts in our lives, but we need to remember that it is humans and not concepts which should relate to each other.

Relationships are not mind exercises, they are not bound by concepts. They are affairs of the heart.

Try it out, it costs nothing.

The other aspect is that all our relationships are mirror images of our equations with our parents. The platforms and modes of expression maybe different, but the fundamental patterns are the same.

Parents are our gateways to the universe in more ways than one.Cherish them.

Correcting vs Healing

In any interpersonal space, especially between parents and children, we tend to correct, rather than heal.The whole energy of "correction" creates a reaction of rebelling, of non-acceptance.Needless to add, the objective of the exercise remains unfulfilled.We wonder at it and throw up our hands in exasperation.

When we do something, let us watch our inner dialogue - is it to prove a point that we are right or is it to genuinely help the other out of concern?

This observation can lead to some interesting discoveries , especially in our intimate relationship spaces.

It is the inner intent, the inner energy space which energizes the manifests of our actions, not the conscious mind states.

And the results of our endeavors can teach us a thing or two!!!

powerful words!

the whole world has the LOVE of POWER; what they fail to recognize is the POWER of LOVE.