Just be…

What he ought to be
Stacked into him over years
He just could not see
How it all fuelled his fears

He thought he knew
What he wanted to be
Others just drew
What he ought to see

They corrupted his hard drive
His software was out of date too
How could he thrive?
Living life by proxy, would you?

You are what you are
No rush to become anything
Trying to catch the destination
Journey killed by smothering…

The story of a straight line…

Both Science and Spirituality are about seeking the Truth. I am a student, a seeker in both fields. In some ways I think that they are one and the same but that is a topic for discussion for another day.
What I wish to talk about today is what I think is the most important prerequisite for both these fields of endeavour. It is the capacity to ask questions. It is about the capacity to not take anything for granted. It is the capacity to go beyond dogma and belief and challenge ones own perceptions and look for answers.

Knowledge and Wisdom are not merely obtained by obtaining an answer to a particular question. They are secured by the process of seeking, of asking questions. The process is such that the answers fall in our lap. Let me elucidate with an example. Something I wish you to work on, reflect on and grapple with at an individual level. If I said that there is nothing like a ‘true straight line’ you might think that this person has gone nuts. ‘Even a 6 year old knows what a straight line is’. A straight line is a concept that we are taught very early in life and we take it for granted. We don’t question it. It is actually a hypothetical construct and let me explain how. The universe is made up of spheres and circles. Any line between 2 points is a line between 2 points of a sphere or circle and this by definition can’t be straight. A straight line is a concept for our convenience.

Both in science and spirituality we do have to work with concepts as they are useful for learning. They play a useful role in our journey. However, it is important that we understand them as concepts and not as absolute truths. The bottom line is that a straight line may not be straight after all…

ADDITION: THE BIGGEST FLAW IN HUMAN THINKING AND BEHAVIOUR

We humans have somehow come to perceive that we progress mainly by a process of addition i.e. that we start off as deficient and that we progress by a process of addition which gradually minimises the deficiency state. This is one of the biggest flaws in human thinking, understanding and behaviour.

This preoccupation with ‘addition’ makes us waste all our lives in adding things at all levels whether they be physical objects or information ( misunderstood to be knowledge for the mind). In this way we create unnecessary layer over layer in our thought process and actions.

We do not start in a deficient state. What we simply need is an appreciation of ourself and this appreciation can lead to our tryst with divinity. However, we don’t do simple! We complicate things by our desire or longing for ‘something’ from outside that we think is ‘missing’ and that is required to rectify the defect in us. What we actually need is some way of clearing the ‘dust’ such that we can see and appreciate our brilliance. What we tend to do instead is think we are ‘dirty’ or ‘faulty’ or ‘incomplete’ and add artificial layer over layer of paint over ourselves hoping that no one can see the ‘defect’ in us.

Human progress is based not on addition but on subtraction. IF WE GIVE UP ALL UNNECESSARY THINGS WE ARE ONE WITH OUR CREATION. The aim in life should be to strip down to the bare minimum.
STOP ASKING: WHAT DO I WANT?
START EACH DAY BY ASKING WHAT CAN I GIVE UP TODAY? WHAT IS SUPERFLOUS? ONCE WE START STRIPPING OURSELVES OF ALL THE UNNECESSARY WE BECOME BLISSFUL. SUBTRACTION THEN BECOMES ADDITION AND OUR JOY MULTIPLIES.

The bad habit of ‘addition’ makes us into ‘hoarders’ but unfortunately these ‘additions’ do not help us to progress. Infact they pull us down. They make it difficult for us to move forward. They also create a lot of ‘noise’ in our lives such that we can’t hear the real melody of life. To listen to our inner self we need SILENCE. We don’t want to be distracted by the ‘NOISE’.

We need to learn the art of ‘giving up’ all the superflous things in our lives be they thoughts, words, actions or objects. STOP THINKING, SAYING, DOING AND GETTING SUPERFLOUS THINGS. The more you strip from your unnecessary layers the more blissful you will feel. Literally it is a big weight off your shoulders. You will enjoy life better and appreciate yourself and the creation around you. Give it a go!

Minesh Khashu

If you have secured happiness, you don’t need to read any further…

Of all human endeavors, the least success humans have achieved is in the pursuit of happiness.

Happiness is unfortunately not a ‘ready to eat’ dish. One has to secure the raw materials and all the ingredients and then to cook it. What makes this process even more tricky is that while there are myriads of recipes out there, very few are genuine and even among these maybe none will work for you perfectly.The recipes are good as guidance but in reality, you have to work out your own recipe…

Happiness is cooked in receptacles called ‘relationships’ and your emotions provide the ‘energy’ for the cooking. Beware of uncontrolled heat that will burn the dish!

The most important relationship that we all have is with our own self. As such, the best receptacle to prepare the dish of happiness is our own self. Life provides us with a lot of raw materials for our dish of HAPPINESS and depending upon our taste and the type of recipe we like, we use special spices or particular ways of cooking…

This brings me to a book called ENCOURAGEMENT by Dr. Hank Seitz.

Dr. Hank Seitz is a celebrated expert in the area of personal improvement and mental development.People just love him because he loves people and helps people love themselves.This quality is enough, in and of itself to make people feel significant and uniquely gifted to achieve any goal. At an organisational level Dr.Seitz works with teams to measurably increase their business results. He has a Master’s Degree in Human Behavior, and PhD in Mental Science. He was a General Manager with Procter & Gamble for 15 years, in charge of running a billion dollar corporation, and for the past 15 years he has used his time proven process with hundreds of Corporations and thousands of business teams.

Dr. Seitz highlights that our most important relationship is with ourself. He focusses on the importance of self belief and the power of positive thoughts.

If you are contemplating ‘cooking’ some happiness for yourself, do cast your eyes on the book. Look at the recipe and use the ingredients and the spices in there to get the most appropriate recipe to suit your taste.

I have pasted some links below for your perusal.

Whatever recipe and ingredients you choose to cook your happiness, do come and share with me and others.

Take care and keep smiling.
Prof. Minesh Khashu
 
Website: www.FeelRich.US

Facebook:

​​facebook.com/DrHank Seitz
Twitter:    Twitter @DrHankSeitz  
Top-PerformerBlog.com 
YouTube.com Channel – DrHankSeitz           
 

Of relationships and the red moon…

If life’s experiences are our reality, our relationships are our ‘senses’ for that reality. They are the currency of our emotional world.

We can learn a lot about our relationships from the relationship of the earth with the moon.

1. To the uninitiated the earth’s relationship with the moon may be one where ‘earth’ is the primary player and the moon revolves around it. We consciously or subconsciously make a similar mistake in our relationships. The moon is ‘part’ of the earth and has arisen from it. Each plays a unique role in the relationship.There is no room for hierarchies.

2. If we try to make others revolve to our whims and fancies, we need to appreciate that even though there may be ‘moons’ around to oblige us here and there, we could get a taste of our own medicine and be made to revolve around the ‘sun’. Revolving around someone you are attracted to is not negative but this should not be done in a superiority-inferiority complex. It should add to your being and not subtract from it. In a relationship both revolve around each other.

3. The rotations and revolutions of the earth and moon are essential and drive the system. Our Karma should do the same.

4. Like the phases of the moon and the waxing and waning sizes and changing shapes, people with whom we have a relationship will appear ‘different’ at times.This confuses us and puts strain on relationships. We need to be vigilant of this and show faith and patience.

5. The best red moon is a feature of Rayleigh scattering ( the same phenomenon that makes the sky appear blue). It is best seen when the moon is near the horizon ( it is actually farther from us than nearer). The moon appears red as the red part of light has a longer wavelength and is not deflected as much as the blue end of the spectrum by the atmospheric particles as light travels to us from the moon. As most of the blue end of the light spectrum gets scattered what reaches our eyes is mainly the red end of the spectrum.

There are three major lessons from this:

a) The moon does not change. What changes is either our perespective or angle from where we are viewing the moon (or the person with whom we have a relationship) or the medium between the moon and the earth. This medium is the atmosphere ( its depth, angle, particle content etc) in terms of the earth and the moon and in terms of our relationship is the atmosphere we create in our relationship. A good atmosphere with very good communication is critical if we want our relationships to flourish. What we say passes directly to the other person and does not get deflected or distorted.

b) In our relationships whenever we perceive that the other person has changed rather than pointing the finger at them it might be best to review whether your angle of vision or the atmosphere has changed and take remedial action.

c) Variety is the spice of life. Rather than worrying about the changes in the shape, size or color of the moon we should learn to enjoy it. The blue serene moon, the marble white moon , the red moon and so on all have their own great beauty and can give us great joy. Similarly our loved ones will demonstrate varying moods and preferences. Let us learn to enjoy these. Don’t fear them. Have faith that ‘it’ is still the same moon who is as much pulled to you as you are to it.

Solitude, Silence and Soul food

Solitude, Silence and Soul food


Someone once asked me what I considered to be essential ‘ingredients’ for spiritual progress.
He was suprised by my answer.
I said, ” The only essential ingredient is you!”

We are all complete and capable of achieving realisation. As such the only essential ingredient on this journey is us.

Whether we have a ‘hunger’ for spiritual progress or not, whether we work hard at it or not, whether our values and aspirations are noble or not, one day…one fine day realisation will dawn.

You might ask “What then is the fuss about ? Why this rush, this rat race?”

I would say the rush is largely our EGO driving us. If you look back at the Eastern Bhakti or Sufi movement, there were ‘spiritual giants’ who had utmost yearning and love for GOD, for union with our creative force, for realisation. They, however, were not in a rush. They enjoyed the yearning and just exuded love….

Our job is to be on this journey.The ‘end’ is not for us to decide. As such our only aim should be to enjoy the journey.

To enjoy the spiritual journey I would suggest a ‘triple twist’ of Solitude, Silence and Soulfood.

SOLITUDE:
This is largely what one should call ‘my time’. A few minutes once or twice a day for oneself. This helps in reflection, in charging one’s batteries and in assessing what has gone by during the day and focussing on what is to come. You will be surprised how just a few minutes of solitude can work wonders for you.

SILENCE:
Silence is very powerful.
Speech is designed to communicate with the outside world, silence is to communicate with yourself. Use it.
The most profound communications are written on a blank piece of paper called ‘silence’. Get in the habit of using this gift.

SOUL FOOD:
Solitude and silence will provide you with food for thought. Use these ingredients to prepare food for your soul. Make sure that your soul gets some everyday. Nurture it with the light of knowledge, the water of compassion and fertilise it with joy. Don’t forget to share this soul food. Soul food comes on a miracle plate. It will never finish as long as you keep on sharing it.

Keep smiling and stay blessed.

Milestones can be counterproductive…

ImageMilestones per se are not the problem. The difficulty lies in how we use them.

Milestones become ‘destinations’ and we are conditioned to assign TIME and VALUE to them based on what is deemed appropriate by others.

1. Focus on milestones or the destination takes away the focus on the present, on experiencing and enjoying the journey.

2. Milestones are largely used in an external and generic way i.e. how you reach there, how much time it should take, what is the value or importance of the milestone, once you reach a milestone you are conditioned to have expectations attached to the milestone. If you reach your ‘destination’ this is how you are expected to feel or behave and so on.

Milestones would be useful if they were internal and specific for you; designed by you for you. How can we prescribe a milestone for someone else?

3. The past and future are both milestones and they are distractions. Undue attention to them subtracts from our present.

4. From a different perspective one might argue that one needs milestones to provide :

    a) Direction

    b) Encouragement and  prevent demotivation

I would argue that this is not useful.

a) Direction: Direction should come from your inner self or a ‘guru’. We shouldn’t be slaves to milestones as the importance lies in the journey to the milestone rather than the milestone per se.The real milestone is your inner transformation as  a result of your journey.

b) Encouragement and motivation: Having reached a milestone does not guarantee reaching the final destination ( if there is anything like that in the first place!) The transformation within as part of the journey should act as the encourgement and a motivator.

5. If we moved away from the destination or milestones we would realise that by experiencing the journey to its fullest, by appreciating each moment we achieve a meaningful journey which is the real destination.

I am not the ‘doer’!

I am not the ‘doer’!

 A look at actions and what they mean to us as humans.

a) Actions per se are neutral.

b) The context and our conditioning makes them appear good or bad or positive or negative.

c) Actions in a purist sense are not ‘in our gift’. We should focus on our intentions or aim which are ‘in our gift’.

 

For us , who seem to be in the thick of action, it is difficult to appreciate that we are not the doer.

 

Let me use an example to illustrate this point.

 

​A man is in the jungle. He lights up a fire and cooks a meal of himself. Once done he puts off the fire

Can we answer the following question:

Who cooked the meal?

We are like the fire and our creator is like the man in the example. 

It is not easy for the fire to understand who or what is starting it and putting it off.

The fire may pride itself in cooking the best meal or be devastated that it burnt a meal but the job of the fire is just to be a fire and burn. Whether the meal is very well cooked or uncooked or half cooked or over cooked or burnt is beyond the fire.

We get too entangled in the outcomes of our actions.

In a cosmic sense the outcomes are beyond us.

Once we appreciate this,  the fog lifts, the heaviness in our heart and on your shoulders goes away, our heart expands with joy and we can taste bliss. Things start making sense…

For God’s sake can anyone tell me where this train is going!

Apologies for the length. It will take some time. Please proceed only if you feel you are not rushed for time. Thanks

 

You find yourself on a train. You don’t know how you got there. You don’t know your destination. You don’t know where the train is going. You ask people around you and they don’t seem to know either. You look out of the window. You see time whizzing by. You haven’t seen these places before. You don’t know ‘where’ you are or ‘where’ you are going.

It is frustrating. You feel some degree of anger. Fear creeps in as well. You seem helpless…

All of a sudden you find someone talking to you.

“Who are you?” you ask.

I am your personal guide Sir.

“Why am I here?”

“To travel to your destination, Sir”

“What is my destination?”

“I am afraid that is for you to find out Sir.”

“How?”

“You will know when you get there , Sir”

“Why can’t you tell me now?”

“Because it won’t make sense to you Sir.”

“Why not?”

“Because you haven’t been there before, Sir.

“How will I know when I reach my destination?”

“You will Sir, trust me.”

“What is the purpose of all this?”

“To reach your destination, Sir”

“But I don’t know what my destination is and you refuse to tell me what it is. How do you expect me to get there?”

“By this train, Sir.”

“This is all nonsense. I wish to get down.”

“You can get down at the next station Sir, if you wish but it will not be much use.”

“Why not?”

“If you get down prior to your destination Sir, you will be put back on the train. It will just be another compartment Sir.”

“Are there other compartments?”

“Yes Sir.”

“Can I see them? What are they like?”

“Sir, If you get up and look that way.”

“That looks like a better compartment. It has better seats. They have TVs as well. There is even a bar at the other end!”

“All compartments are different, Sir. They do however, go to the same destination.”

“They look better equipped. Maybe passengers there know where the destination is.”

Sir, they are on the same journey as you. They need to find their destination as well.

“Very well then. Why don’t we all get together in one compartment and try to work this out?”

“Everyone’s has to find his own destination, Sir

“But, I thought you said that we all had the same destination.”

“You do, Sir but each one of you reaches his/her destination at a different time. You have to be ‘ready’ to reach Sir.”

“That does not make any sense”

“I know, Sir.”

“You said you are my personal guide. You are not doing a good job here.”

“I am here to guide you, answer any questions Sir.”

“Why are you not ‘guiding’ anyone else?

“Each has his own personal guide Sir.”

“I don’t see anyone.”

“You can only see and talk to your own guide Sir.”

“Maybe some of the other guides are more helpful. Maybe they know more than you.”

“Interesting thought Sir but I am afraid I am all that you have. You can talk to the other passengers and check with them what their guides are saying to them but it does not really matter.”

“Why not?”

“Because we all guide the same way Sir.”

“How can I figure this out?”

“Why don’t you sit down and relax a bit Sir? Watching the other compartment or what the other passengers are doing  is not very useful in figuring out your destination Sir?”

“Why not?”

“It is your personal journey Sir. You need to figure out your destination and when you have done that you will ‘arrive’ at your destination Sir. Everyone else will have to figure out their own.”

“Why don’t I go round at least my compartment and ask others. I am sure they can give me some clues or information. This whole thing is driving me crazy.”

“I know Sir. You can try Sir but I have all the clues that you need to figure it out Sir.”

“Why don’t you get started then?”

“I have Sir. I have already given you some clues. All through the journey I will continue to give you the clues to guide you Sir. Just keep listening.”

“It is so distracting here. It is not easy to listen to you.”

“I know Sir. It will get worse as we go along. The ‘noise’ will increase and people tend to get more and more distracted.”

“Can’t you do something about it?”

“Do you want to try these headphones Sir? You should be able to hear me well with these on Sir.”

“Why doesn’t everyone wear them?”

“They can Sir. They are free and available to all passengers along with their guide. I think they worry that with the headphones on they may miss something important that the other passengers have to say or some announcements made on the public address system.”

“That seems sensible. I guess, I should take them off as well”

“You don’t need to Sir. All important information will be relayed by me as well Sir.”

“Ok then, guide me how to figure this out”

“I am Sir.”

“You haven’t given me any clues yet?”

“I have Sir.”

“I am not getting anywhere with this. I think we are wasting time.”

“I don’t think we are wasting time Sir. Time, anyways, is not an issue Sir.”

“What do you mean ‘Time is not an issue’?” I can’t be on this train for ever.”

“You don’t need to be on it for ever Sir. That is why you need to figure out your destination Sir? The train will keep going Sir. The only time limit is the amount of time you spend in each compartment. If your time is up Sir, you will have to get down and move to another compartment. One of us will be there to guide you Sir.”

“That is all right then.”

“Yes Sir, it can be. There is just one thing you need to know.”

“What is that?”

“Your arrival at your destination is being eagerly awaited Sir.”

“Awaited by whom?”

“I am sorry Sir but you will have to figure that out as well.”

“You are generating more questions than answers.”

“I am at your service Sir. I am helping you with the answers as well Sir. The right questions will get you the answers you need Sir.”

“This is difficult”

“I understand Sir. Please keep listening. Use the headphones. Otherwise you will get distracted Sir.”

“Help me out please. How can I figure out what my destination is?”

“Those are nice words that you used Sir. They seem to be better ‘heard’. Just focus on the present Sir and keep listening to me.”

“What do you mean focus on the present? I am focussing on the present, am I not?”

“You are worrying about your destination Sir.”

“But you told to me figure out what my destination is?”

“I did Sir and you have to. You have to stop worrying about it Sir. If you start thinking about the past or the future you lose the present Sir and unless you are in the present you can’t figure this out.”

“Why have you made this so difficult? I feel I am being tricked and cheated. Why can’t we keep this simple? We need to know our destination prior to boarding the train.”

“You ‘know’ your destination Sir. You may think you don’t but believe me you know Sir. My job is to help you remember what you knew all along Sir.”

“Can we please talk about the ‘focus on the present’ bit?”

“Yes Sir that will be useful.”

“Should I focus on the outside? That is the present isn’t it?”

“You don’t seem very pleased with that. Should I watch my fellow passengers? That is the present, isn’t it?”

“It doesn’t matter what you watch Sir. You can focus on the outside or on your compartment or co-passengers Sir but please stay in the present. Don’t let your mind take you to the past or the future Sir.”

“This is not easy. The more I try to experience the present, the more my mind seems to wander off to the past or the future”

“I understand Sir. It is a matter of practice. It is called meditation Sir.”

“Thank you.”

“Those are nice words Sir. Use them more often. You will find you are better ‘heard’ when you use them.”

“I can hear you more clearly now.”

“You will Sir as long as you stay in the present and don’t allow the past and future to distract you.”

“Did you notice the train slowing down Sir?”

“Maybe. I am not sure.

Thank God. Has my destination arrived?”

“Sir, your destination does not arrive. You arrive at your destination.”

“You may wish to look outside Sir.”

“What is it? Have I missed my destination?”

“No Sir. Someone is waving at you. He just got down.”

“Oh my God! That is my dad. Why did he get down?”

“Please wave back and smile Sir. He is smiling at you.”

“Why did get down?”

“He may have reached his destination Sir or maybe his time was up. It is difficult to know Sir.”

“How come I didn’t notice him getting down? He was sitting with me.”

“Yes Sir, you were sitting with him to start off with but then you kept changing your seat. You were worried about the destination Sir.”

“Is he going to be alright?”

“What do you think Sir?”

“Where is my mom?”

“There she is Sir, just getting off.”

“Mom, Mom”

“I am sorry Sir. I think she got off. Just wave to her Sir. She is smiling at you.”

“This is awful. When can I be with them again?”

“When you arrive at your destination Sir?”

“We could have gone together. Maybe I should have got down with them. My mom has never been anywhere alone. She is terrible with new places.”

“Don’t worry Sir. She will be looked after. You were in the same compartment for quite a while Sir. Did you not notice?”

“I should have sat with them all through. What a shame?”

“You have started thinking about the past Sir. Please focus on the present Sir.”

“I have just lost my parents and you are worried about the ‘present’?”

“I don’t wish to be insensitive Sir, but you need to figure out your destination Sir. You will realise their presence when you reach the destination Sir.”

“I am all alone now.”

“Yes and no Sir.”

“What do you mean?”

“On one hand you were always alone Sir and on the other hand you never were alone and never will be.”

“What does that mean?”

“You will understand when you reach your destination Sir.”

“Please leave me alone.”

“I can’t Sir but you can ignore me. Pretend I am not here. Let me know when you wish to talk again.”

“Why is the train slowing down?”

“It must be approaching a station Sir.”

“Is anyone getting off?”

“Yes Sir.”

“Who?”

“You Sir. Your time is up Sir. You need to change your compartment Sir.”

“I guess I could not figure it out. Thank you for all your assistance.”

“You are welcome Sir.

“This place looks unfamiliar. I am worried I will get lost.”

“Someone will guide you at the station and help you board your new compartment Sir.”

“Can I have the headphones back please Sir? You will get a new personal guide and a new set of headphones in your new compartment.”

“Here you go. Thanks once again. I am sorry I gave you a tough time.”

“Do not worry Sir. I am sorry I can’t assist you any further.”

“Good bye”

“Good bye Sir. Please leave your bag here Sir.”

“This is my bag. It has all my important things. Why should I leave it here?”

“Sir You can’t take it into your new compartment. If you take it with you, as soon as you get off the train it will be taken away from you. If you leave it here, at least someone in this compartment can use it. You will be provided a new bag when you reach your new compartment.”

“If you say so…”

“Good luck for the rest of your journey Sir. You will figure it out .”

“I hope so. Thank you.”

 

 

A roundabout view of life!

 

Roundabouts came onto British roads round about the same time I came about. Many a driver with an ‘L’ plate has had his heart racing and his car stalling at these ubiquitous traffic landmarks. The dictionary calls them ‘traffic calming devices’. Calming the traffic? Maybe, but at the cost of perspiration for many driving instructors. Is it a ‘roundabout’ way of getting back at these much loved professionals?

 

If you have conjured up a picture in your head of me as head of the ARS (Anti Roundabout Society of England) or someone who is eager to demean driving instructors then let me assure you that you are far from the truth. We are all driving instructors in our own right, much to the chagrin of friends in whose cars we choose to negotiate roundabouts on British roads.

 

I think I flew off on a tangent there. Let’s get back to today’s business i.e. roundabouts. I have a huge regard for roundabouts. They have taught me a lot about life. They are not just about traffic. They go much deeper. In fact, I would call them a philosophical goldmine.

 

The most crucial lesson roundabouts have taught me is that there is always someone to your right, someone in a better position than you. More importantly, as we moan and complain about what is on our ‘plate’ a quick glance to the left makes us feel thankful for we are always much more privileged than millions of others.

 

Life is not just one roundabout but a series of many many roundabouts and there will always be someone on our right and always someone on our left. The crucial question is whether it is the same people having the right of passage all the time.

 

Roundabouts in life may appear to slow you down. Perhaps they do, but they make life a more level playing field. They teach you to give way to what is right, to whosoever is on the ‘right’.

 

Exiting roundabouts may be classified as an extreme sport by insurance companies. Perhaps it is for those with an L plate! In life you do enter roundabouts and don’t know which exit to take. Do you go round again or take any exit? Before committing to an exit, it is sometimes useful to buy some more time till ‘time’ makes it all much clearer.

 

Beware, however, of the ones who go round and round with indecision. Life’s roundabouts provide windows of opportunity. Please grab them. If you, however, miss them, don’t despair. There are many exits to life’s roundabouts and many roundabouts to life…