STILL YOUR MIND AND LET THE HEALING BEGIN

(Published in Spiritually Speaking of The Daily Guardian on May 3, 2021)

The world is going through a terrible crisis of Covid-19 pandemic and our beloved country of India is, in particular, going through a terrible second wave that is causing fear, sadness and pain in the lives of many. It is a good time to look inwards and realise who we truly are and try to do what we can to raise the vibrations of ourselves and in the process of the world and our country.

Through these raised vibrations we can do our bit in bringing healing to the world and the country. Having said that, we must continue to follow public health guidelines like wearing masks, using hand sanitisers and social distancing. Also, we must honour the rules of the land and avoid moving outside for some time unless necessary.

Now let us take a look at how we can realise who we are and through that become a force of positive change in our world and nation.

The stillness of mind is necessary for us to realise who we really are. “Be still and know that I am God”, says Psalm 46:10, clear advice in the Bible by the Lord to meditate.

When a stone is dropped into a pond of water, it creates ripples, which prevent a person from seeing his reflection in the pond.

It is only when the ripples subside and the water is still that you can see your reflection. Our consciousness is like the pond; if thoughts enter into our mind, they create ripples in our consciousness and these ripples prevent us from seeing our self in the pond of our consciousness.

Stubborn thoughts need to be stopped if true knowledge of self is to be gained. This must happen smoothly. A thought is like a fire, which is fuelled by attention.

By not paying attention to a stubborn thought, it can be made to pass through the mind unattended. Do not try to wrestle with your unwanted thoughts. Wrestling with them is giving attention to them and will make it difficult for them to go away.

A person can only truly concentrate on one thing at a time. In today’s social media-dominated world, it is not easy to concentrate on one thing at a time and this causes our minds to be constantly in a state of flux – fluctuating from one thought to the other. Our constant bombardment with messages either on WhatsApp or Instagram or the like is something that can be considered like an addiction. Though these things have their uses, they must be controlled. We have developed a kind of dependency on these things.

You don’t have to respond immediately to every message or text that comes your way. Take a breather!

Negative thoughts are very natural especially in these testing times of Covid spreading like wildfire throughout our beloved country of India. But the spreading of negative thoughts must be controlled by each one of us to create a positive aura in our country. Stray thoughts of any kind are not welcome when we are trying to still the mind.

Focusing on our breath is a good way to divert attention away from stray thoughts.

Breathe in deeply through your nose and while breathing in, pay attention to your breath. Hold the breath inside you for just a few seconds, maybe five or six seconds, and exhale slowly paying attention to your breath as you exhale.

This technique will relax you as well as help in stilling the mind. After repeating this exercise about 10 times, say the word, ‘Om’, ‘Amen’ or ‘Amin’ — depending on your choice, they all refer to the creative word of God — three times.

Now focus your attention on the point between the eyebrows about one inch above the eyebrow level. This is the centre of Krishna or Christ Consciousness, which is called the Kutastha Centre by Paramahansa Yogananda.

In the Bible, this place is mentioned by Christ when he says in Matthew 6:22: “The light of the body is the eye: If therefore thy eye be single, thy whole body shall be full of light”.

The idea is to concentrate on this point without thinking or allowing thoughts to enter the mind. True meditation is the complete stillness of the mind.

Though thinking about God is a good thing and can help raise the levels of positive energy around you, while meditating try not to think of anything — not even God. Remember what the Bible says, “Be still and know that I am God”.

A feeling of complete relaxation and tranquillity is soon followed by joyous bliss that is all-pervading. When the eye is single — the single eye of intuition or the Kutastha Centre becomes the focus of attention — then the body shall be full of light.

When the attention is focused like a magnifying glass at the Kutastha Centre, the eye of intuition will see the divine light of God and the body shall be bathed by the Divine and Glorious light.

In that moment of blissfulness, direct that peace and light that you see towards the world and especially towards India. Imagine an India that is healthy and pandemic free. In your mind gently let go of any kind of anger, fear, resentment that you have towards anyone and forgive. Send thoughts of love and healing to India and the world. This will surely help to raise the vibrations of the world and the country. The more people who do this, the better it is.

It is a wonderful feeling to still the mind and see your true blissful self in the reflection of your pond of consciousness. Seek God within you now and ask that you be filled with love, light and the power of healing. With these things directed towards the planet and the nation, you will be doing your role in healing the planet and helping to bring brighter days ahead.

FACING FEAR ITSELF

(Published in Spiritually Speaking of The Daily Guardian on April 19, 2021 [e-paper] and April 21, 2021 [online edition]

“The only thing we have to fear is fear itself”

—US President Franklin D. Roosevelt in his inaugural address in 1933.

We live in an age dominated by fear. Whether now because of coronavirus or earlier because of the threats of nuclear war, terrorism, environmental destruction or economic depression; there is always something to be afraid of.

Whether it is on the global scale like the things mentioned above or it is at a more personal, family or local stage – fear is a constant in our lives. There is no point denying it but instead to overcome it by pulling the bull by its horns.

Courage is not the absence of fear but it is the management of fear by facing it head on and changing the mental conditions within us that have contributed to us feeling afraid. Everybody in this world has some fear or the other, but through a conscious effort we can overcome our fears in order to live better, peaceful and more productive lives.

Many times, the things that we are afraid of are just in our minds and the likelihood of these things happening is very rare. Let us look at some examples through a little mental exercise. Think of the worst fear you have. It could be anything. You could fear losing a loved one, or falling very ill, facing financial crisis or any other such fear you may have. Think about it in a calm and rational way. How often has it actually happened? Probably never or at the most rarely.

Let us take the coronavirus situation that we are all currently facing. Let us look at some numbers. According to JHU CSSE Data—the total number of cases of coronavirus in India since the start of the pandemic is 14.3 million out of which 12.5 million have recovered. The total number of deaths is approximately 174,000 since the beginning of the pandemic. That means of the people who have got it only 1.2 per cent have died. 98.8 percent of people have survived. The current population of India is about 1.36 billion, which means that 1 percent of the Indian population has gotten Covid-19 since last year. 99 percent of the population have not got it. About 174,000 deaths out of 1.36 billion people means that only 0.01 percent of our population died of coronavirus. 

Now let’s look at normal non-Covid deaths in India. According to Medindia data, 26,789 deaths occur daily in India, this means 9,778,073 deaths annually. So, in a span of more than a year 174,000 deaths happened because of Covid—this is only 1.7 % of the total annual deaths in India. This means that 98.3 percent of people who died in India in the last year, did not die of Covid-19. 

Having said this, we should take all proper precautions to save ourselves and others from getting Covid but we should not unnecessarily panic. Heart disease, cancer, road accidents, TB, suicide kill more people annually in India than Covid-19. 

What is it that we are afraid of? How likely is it to happen? What will happen if it happens? Most of the time we never get to see the things we are afraid of—either they never happen or even if they do they weren’t as bad as we thought it would be. But in either case, it is important to face the fear head on. There are many situations in life that we are afraid of. Most of these situations do not involve any kind of physical harm. There is a fear of failure or rejection.

Have you ever had a lingering anxiety or worry about having a particular conversation with someone about a ‘difficult’ topic? Have you wondered how someone would react if you said or did something in particular? There are many situations in life that we dread. We constantly keep imagining the worst possible outcome. The fear, anxiety, worry and dread keep increasing with each moment that the fear is not faced. But when you take a bold and courageous step and face your fears—stand up to that bully, have the difficult conversation, get that medical checkup done, take that plunge and start a new business and so on – when you actually do the thing you feared you will immediately feel a huge burden lifting off your shoulders. 

Some other ways to ease your fears are:

Deep and slow breathing whenever you are afraid. This will instantly make you feel better.

Ask yourself ‘What is the worst that can happen?’ Many times we are afraid of irrational situations that never happen.

Don’t be afraid of rejection. Sometimes we put off having a conversation or asking for something we want because of fear of rejection. Most of the time this is irrational and unwarranted because many times the rejection does not happen. But even if it does, ask yourself “So what?”. Pull up your socks and try again later

In relationships as well, we are afraid that we will lose our loved ones in some way either through death or an end of a relationship. In the former case, there is really nothing that we can do about it. People die when and how they are destined to die. You can only try your best to help them. In the case of an end of a relationship on the other hand, people are often afraid of losing their significant other through a variety of ways. The most common fear is that the other person will stop loving them. If this happens, it is not the end of the world. Life and love go on and you never know who you might meet in the future.

Keep yourself calm by having faith in a higher power that you invite into your life to give you what is best for you, irrespective of if it is the outcome you want. Have faith that a higher power resides within you and that it will always do what is best for you.

So yes, we are living in strange times. But it is not the end. This is only one more chapter in our human story. Do not take the pandemic lightly but also do not overly panic. Numbers are rising but they will subside when people start to take more precautions. Live your life with caution but not worry or panic. Remember you are not alone. We are all in this together and as FDR said, “The only thing we have to fear is fear itself.”

All Is One And One Is All

(Published in the Spiritually Speaking column of The Daily Guardian on April 5, 2021)

Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven. — Matt. 5:14-16

The ancient wisdom of the ages is this—you are a drop of the ocean called God. However, most have not realised this truth. “The Kingdom of God is within you,” says the Lord Jesus Christ in Luke 17:21 and this is so. Yesterday, we celebrated Easter, the day Christ rose from the dead after his crucifixion. But in a way, we all must rise from our delusion and stupor and awaken to the truth that we are all a part of God and that God resides within all us, just waiting for us to remember. For God realisation is also about remembering this truth that is eternal but currently forgotten.

Think of this truth. When the creation of the Cosmos took place, the raw materials had to come from somewhere. So where did they come from? Even if you believe in the Big Bang theory that the Cosmos was condensed into a tiny ball of energy that just exploded one fine day and continued to expand until the present cosmic setup, the basic elements of the cosmos had to come from somewhere. It is too simplistic to say that they “just came” out of nowhere. The basic building blocks of the entire Universe are the same three sub-atomic particles – protons, neutrons and electrons. There is absolutely no difference between the protons, neutrons and electrons in you and in the paper that you are reading and the chair that you are seated on. They are the same. There is fundamentally no difference between you, your car, your house, your best friend and your worst enemy when it comes to the basic building blocks that make you. This is important to note because it immediately makes you feel the ‘oneness’ of all things throughout the Cosmos.

So, the Creative power that made the entire Cosmos had to have used ‘itself’ as the basic ‘stuff’ that made the protons, neutrons and electrons as well as the almost unimaginable energy that goes into every single atom of creation. So not only are we (as the late astronomer Carl Sagan loved to say) ‘starstuff’, but we are all ‘Godstuff’ that has been mixed and matched in different permutations and combinations and is made to interact with each other amidst the delusion that we are actually separate. 

We are as separate as the individual drops in the ocean—which still retain their existence in some stretch of imagination, but at the same time, have merged with the larger entity called ocean. They still exist, but now as a part of a larger, more powerful being. Like the cells in your bodies are individual beings in their own sense—they have a fixed boundary or body, they are born, they reproduce, they absorb oxygen (so they breathe in a sense) and then they die. They may even have consciousness, but miniscule compared to the consciousness of a human being. Yet, our physical bodies are nothing more than a conglomerate of trillions of cells. So, are we the single body or the sum total of trillions of cells?

Extending this thought to the next level—or souls are like the cells that make up the body of God. We are drops of the ocean of God and are one with God whether we recognize this or not. But we are blessed. It is possible through meditation for our consciousness to become one with the cosmic consciousness.

Just like the sound of the sea lays hidden inside every seashell, the vibration of God’s kingdom is hidden within every soul just waiting to be found. It can be found by tuning into it. So, the drop can still have its existence in consciousness, but at the same time can draw on the wisdom and experience of the grand ocean and be one with it at the same time. When this happens, we will realize the truth that we are not separate beings in isolation, but parts of the creator of the entire cosmos and since we all are parts of the Creator, and like drops of the cosmic ocean, therefore we are all one.

How do we as human beings realise this truth?

There is a way, tried and true, that saints, adepts and avatars have walked.

The way is universal and timeless and will reunite you to your higher self and when this happens, the subtle consciousness of God realization will shine through you. 

This is the path of individuated Christhood and Buddhahood that Jesus, Krishna, Gautam Buddh and Mahatavar Babaji and many others, even in civilisations long forgotten, helped forge.

As you follow in their footsteps, you will become one with Christ, the universal Christos, which in Greek means “anointed.” 

You will discover, nurture and expand the spark of divinity within you. Gradually, you will become awakened and enlightened and this is the ultimate divine mission of every soul.

There is no division in God. The duality of the physical earth plane will be transformed to the Oneness full of love and light experienced by many who have had near death experiences and glimpses of the higher realms during meditation and out of body experiences. When you are set on this truth, you will taste the Water of Life promised by Jesus and other Masters.

As self-realisation expands, the thought of God as an outer deity to be worshiped or appeased releases its grip and you realise that God is in you and in everyone and everything else.

We are all a part of God. We are all One.

The consciousness of being separate will be replaced by an unfailing guidance within your heart and soul. You will learn to engage in an inner conversation between your outer consciousness and your own Christ mind. 

The path leading to Christhood and Buddhahood is a testing path of determination and testing, especially in a world that does not reward this calling. At times, you will feel uplifted in the joyous experience and bliss of divine union.

At others, you will feel empty, alone and unworthy as you pass through the shadows where God’s light within you has been eclipsed. 

This is known as the dark night of the soul. All saints have passed through this, as did Jesus on the cross and Lord Buddha during his ministry.

The key to this mystical journey is to find your inner light, to expand it through love and to brighten life around you.

Love God with all our heart, soul and mind, keep on keeping on through the ups and downs of life and honour your neighbour with good works. In doing so, you will balance karma and fulfil your specific mission, the divine plan or dharma that can only succeed through you. Your reward lies beyond nirvana, unto your ascension—the permanent reunion with God that Jesus, Krishna, Gautam Buddh and Mahatavar Babaji and many other Great Lights East and West so beautifully demonstrated.

Spiritual Growth Through Mistakes And Forgiveness

(Published on March 22, 2021 in the Spiritually Speaking column of The Daily Guardian)

Spiritual growth is what we are all here for. Nothing else matters because there is nothing that happens to us in our physical lives which in some way is not connected to spiritual growth. Even the most seemingly insignificant or random situations we face can teach us something. Spiritual growth is a constant part of our lives. It is the fire that should drive us.

Our soul has chosen to come to Earth and experience life in this physical world with all its good and bad moments. Just knowing this is helpful in removing any negative or fearbased energy that attaches us to this karmic drama. Knowing that we chose this life should reassure us that it is okay to be happy when we overcome ‘bad’ things because this means that we are evolving.

We need to slow down and live and embrace every single moment of our lives. In moments of silence and stillness, while being in the present moment, pay attention to your breath, the gaps between the breaths is where the pure love that resides and radiates within us will be felt. Love is the way to happiness. This is a love that simply is – it need not be directed towards anybody in that moment. It simply is.

This moment will never return. As Heraclitus put it in the 5th century BC: “You can never step into the same river twice. Because neither the river nor you are the same.” You will never again experience this moment again. Yesterday is the past and the future is a mystery, it often doesn’t happen the way you plan it.

 In life we all make mistakes. We may hurt people or ourselves but at the end of the day remember we are humans. We are not perfect and that is why we are here. Life is all about learning from our mistakes. At the end of the day, it is how we love ourselves and others that is important. Forgive yourself for your mistakes.

Forgive everyone who has hurt you. Guilt, anger and resentment will cause more harm to you than to those who have wronged you. These will manifest as negative emotions, like anger and worry for you, not for them. These emotions first manifest in your energy body and from there they grow into physical and psychological diseases. Make a choice to give no more energy to negative emotions. By forgiving, you are benefiting yourself by removing the negative energetic link that is created by negative emotions. By forgiving others, the one benefiting the most is you.

Be thankful for the mistakes you have made in life. These mistakes have given many opportunities for your soul to learn and grow. There is no room and no reason for guilt. Feelings such as guilt only have a negative effect. It is natural to feel guilty at times, but just feel it, learn from it and move on.

 We are falsely conditioned to believe that when we make mistakes we will be judged by God, but this is not true. After we cross over to the next world, we ourselves assess the life just lived and analyse the mistakes we made and are given a chance to rectify it. God does not judge us. God is unconditional love. The only thing God expects from us is to do our best. But having this knowledge saves us precious time. We can start learning from our mistakes now. We do not have to wait until the next time round. Now is a perfect time to start. We should learn from our mistakes but do not regret them, for there is nothing you can do to undo them. What can be undone is the negative aspects of guilt or anger associated with them. Also always forgive yourself, be kind to yourself and let go of negative emotions gracefully.

Be kind to yourself and let yourself go at times. This could be the day to take out time for yourself and do the things you have always wanted. Be a little lenient with yourself over the harsh things you may have said to your loved one. Stop worrying about the terrible disease you might have or how you could have prevented some misfortune from occurring. Stop judging and being so harsh on yourself. Love yourself unconditionally!

Right now, you are a human being on earth who is trying to develop spiritually, trying to make the most of this life and all of the beauty it has to offer. You are also trying to master the skills of trying to jump over all the hurdles that are a part of life. Be comforted in the knowledge that your soul is evolving in the process. Do not get too attached to this world – good moments and bad moments are temporary – everything in life is just a fleeting moment which will soon be over. Only our spiritual growth is eternal and our lives will continue forever but in different forms.

The energetic matrix of life includes various emotions – love, forgiveness, humility, kindness, compassion, joy, anger, guilt, fear, arrogance, greed, fear, hate, etc. Do you notice that it is like a spectrum going from high frequency to low frequency? What we need to realise is that the situations that happen in our lives do not create the frequency that we experience. It is our reaction to the situations that we face that guide us to the kind of energy we attract.

This is the reason why we should always react in a manner that we move towards the higher frequencies of love, joy, compassion and forgiveness. When you move in this direction, your inner happiness will be maintained and lessons will be learned more smoothly even in harsh circumstances and situations.

It is, however, a universe of like attracts like. As Jesus Christ said, “Judge not and you will not be judged. Condemn not and you will not be condemned. Forgive and you will be forgiven.” Each of these teachings of Jesus are true and apply even to yourself. In other words – judge not yourself, condemn not yourself and do forgive yourself.

Do not be a slave to fear and guilt. You may have made mistakes but God has forgiven you. Now it is time you forgive yourself. Go ahead with your life and make tomorrow a better day. Love yourself and others and always remember to forgive others (and yourself) in order to free yourself from emotional bondage. We are all human, we all make mistakes, you are never alone. We grow spiritually every moment in small steps. This is all a great lesson that our souls are partaking in.

EVERY PROBLEM IS A STEPPING STONE TO STRENGTH

(Published on March 8, 2021 in the Spiritually Speaking column of The Daily Guardian)

Why do bad things happen in our lives? This is a question that surely everyone has asked sometime in their life. We all have experienced problems and hardships in our lives some time or the other. Maybe some of us are going through a crisis at this very moment. Maybe it is related to health, finance, legal issues, relationships or something else. There are myriads of situations that we all have to face in this physical world.

If you are facing a problem or crisis in your life and do not know what to do, the first thing I will say to you is: You are not alone! No matter how alone you think you are.

 When ‘bad’ things happen in our lives, the first question that comes to mind is: Why me? Why has this happened to me? The right question to ask is: Why not me? When you ask this question, you are already on the path to overcome the problem. First things first, please know that everybody in life goes through different problems. Therefore, you are not alone! No matter what problem you are facing in your life currently, someone has faced it before.

What good does it do to ask yourself why? The answer you’ll get is: I’m unlucky. That answer gets you nowhere. The only thing that will come out of that is self-pity, something that accomplishes absolutely nothing. You can feel sorry about yourself, or deal head-on with the problem at hand.

Better questions to ask are: What am I going to do about it?

How am I going to solve these problems that I have? What strategies am I going to employ? What knowledge do I have to arm myself with? The answers to those questions will get you somewhere. 

 To effectively deal with any problem, you first have to ask the right questions.

 Many circumstances in life are beyond our control but what is in our control is our attitude and approach and frame of mind towards these difficult circumstances. We should never get caught in an endless pit of self-pity which keeps getting deeper and deeper. If you can change a situation change it, if you cannot change it then accept it and move on towards something better. 

 Each hardship that life brings is also an opportunity to learn and grow and become stronger. Facing the challenge and the struggle is a way towards success.  There is a story about a chrysalis that was still in its cocoon and was trying to break out and become a butterfly. So, it started to kick the boundary of the cocoon and tried to break out.

There was a man nearby who was observing this happening and felt pity for it and broke the cocoon for it. The man thought he did a great service to it. But little did he know that he would actually cause the early demise of the butterfly. How? In the natural course of things, the chrysalis’ muscles become strong by kicking through the cocoon surface and it is this strength that allows them to fly. Since in this case the man helped, the butterfly did not gain enough strength to fly and therefore died of starvation. What is the moral of the story?

Hardships in life need to be endured for us to become strong.

Sometimes being too sweet or always wanting sweetness will end up giving you diabetes. Every hardship in life is like a workout in the gym for the soul. It is the resistance of weights that gives strength to physical muscles and likewise it is the resistance to problems by working through them that gives strength to the soul. 

We need to at times also ‘let go and let God’. Pray over the problem and hand it over to God and keep striving towards moving towards the solution. When we say ‘let go and let God’ this doesn’t mean become passive. It means hand over your worries and troubled mind to the Divine Power and trust that God will help you towards a solution by clearing your mind and showing you the path forward—even though the path may have many bends, curves, thorns and rocks. But with resilience and persistence you will overcome the problem at hand and grow as a person. Running away from problems never solves them.

Regardless of your situation, know that we all have cycles in life. One season of going down, another season will come when we will rise up and see the best in life. Keep your faith. What weighs you down today, you will develop resilience through it, and grow in strength.

Bad things occur to teach us what is good for us. Each and every situation in everyone’s life is a lesson. These lessons might be materialistic or nonmaterialistic but both of them give us an opportunity to learn.

So instead of thinking why ‘it’ happens, think what is the best and most important point that you can learn from that situation.

One thing for sure, bad things occur in everyone’s life but the solution is to be strong internally.

 It is easy to get caught up in the misfortunes of our lives and as one thing goes wrong followed by another and another it is natural to assume that fate has somehow targeted us specifically. Everything takes a bit of work and practice and changing our bad luck into good is no different. Sometimes it is a case of negativity breeding negativity or focusing so much on the bad we miss opportunities for good to squeeze in. You have to actively and consciously look for happy things no matter how small they seem. Start with noticing blue skies, a pretty sunrise, a majestic waterfall, children playing together or anything that is good in life. Put forth the effort to smile at others. When you get that parking spot, or fast checkout line, or green light give yourself an instant mini-celebration. As you get into the habit you will begin to notice you indeed have more to celebrate.

 Pay attention to all the good moments in life that are always interspersed between any number of difficult moments. It is in these moments that we need to be thankful and also resolve that we will overcome all challenges and difficulties and succeed with our purpose in life.

Good luck and keep smiling. You are never alone. 

ANALYSING LOVE AND ITS ETERNAL NATURE

(Published in the Spiritually Speaking column of The Daily Guardian on February 22, 2021)

Do you believe in “love at first sight”? Why is it that sometimes you meet someone and there is an instant feeling of familiarity and attraction towards that person? Love is something that is difficult to define.

Love is a feeling of belonging, acceptance and wellbeing. When two people are in love there is a feeling that transcends description. There is something about love that seems eternal. If somebody loses the one they love there is always a feeling, even if buried deep within, that longs to be with that someone again. Is that possible? If somebody loses their loved ones, it is possible to be with them again in a future life or even the life between lives in the spiritual realm.

 Love itself never dies. It is one of the few things that we take with us when we leave this world and move into the next. Along with love, we take our karmas and our thoughts, feelings and emotions.

There are many ways to define love. One of these is that love is a positive energy associated with a wish of unification and well being. The aspect of unification transcends physicality. It is equally a meeting of minds, hearts and spirit, as it is a desire to be physically one.

We all like to talk about, think about and dream about love. It is an essential part of our humanity. No matter how many times we “fall” in or out of love, we still feel a powerful urge towards it. Our desire to love and be loved is deep rooted in our consciousness.

The positive perception that we have about someone or something is a form of energy which is called love energy. This love energy works differently between different people. You may be in a room full of strangers and someone walks in and there is an instant feeling of attraction, recognition and familiarity that transcends physical attraction or interest. There is an instant desire to become one with that person. Not everyone will feel this way about that person. The love energy that exists between two people reacts differently than it would between someone else.

One would feel love with a positive perception whereas others may feel neutral or even negative and regard that person with disdain. The point is that the person exuding that energy has a subconscious choice about the positivity or negativity of the energy they emit. We can give love energy and receive it as well. So, different people will feel different types of “vibes” from the same person. It is literally a form of energy chemistry. Different energy sources and types react with others differently and each human being exudes different types of energies that react with other people’s energies differently.

 So coming back to the original question—does love transcend death? Can you be reunited with soul mates after death?

Are there eternal lovers or soul mates with whom we have relationships that span across many lifetimes? The answer is yes. Love can and does extend across multiple lifetimes.

 Energetically we are all seeking a soul mate. But these soul mates are part of a larger group called our Soul Group or also referred to as Soul Families.

There are certain souls that have been with us throughout many incarnations and therefore there is a lot of karmic history between us. This karmic interaction creates a karmically magnetic effect. You will feel an instant recognition, attraction or a feeling of longing for a person. It can be in the form of physical attraction, but that is not necessary. It can also be a feeling of deep love or interest in someone without a physical attraction.

Many of the souls that we are interacting with today were with us in a past life but in a different relationship. For example, our spouse today may have been our child in a previous life, our parent may have been a sibling, a sibling may have been a lover in a previous life and so on. There is no limit to the various dramatic roles our souls play together in this eternal earthly drama that we are partaking in.

What role will be played by whom is decided by our souls in the ‘life between life’ phases between physical incarnations during the life we live in the spirit realms.

You meet the soul mate that you are meant to meet, when, where and how you are destined to meet, for a divine purpose that involves our spiritual growth and development.

When you have spent many lifetimes loving another person, you will have a powerful connection that is recognised immediately as and when it happens. Also, because your love never dies, it is possible to pick up where you have left off in a previous life. Even though you will have some catching up to do concerning your comings and goings the last few hundred years, your soul mate relationship has a story to it, and you have a history together. So, maybe what we call “love at first sight” is really just a love reunion.

 This type of a soul mate with whom you have loved and lost over many centuries will feature an eerie sense of familiarity, like you have known each other before, and sometimes even an uncanny innate understanding of each other. And, this connection will become more and more intense with each lifetime that a couple spends together.

Though we have had many lifetimes and many loving soul mates there are always the loves that lie ahead, yet to come into the path of our lives. These lost loves have dreamed of you, searched for you, and have waited centuries for destiny to allow your paths to cross once more.

When these soul mates once again cross our path we need to be ready for them. This can happen by working on giving and receiving love. When two ready soul mates are reunited, the love energy of this union is unparalleled. Because they didn’t fall in love, they simply remembered that they loved each other already.

Practicing the Attitude of Gratitude

(Published in the Spiritually Speaking column of The Daily Guardian on February 8, 2021)

Opportunities, relationships, even money flowed my way when I learned to be grateful no matter what happened in my life.

— Oprah Winfrey.

Practising the attitude of gratitude can and will change your life! Many times people keep complaining about things that they don’t have or things that they don’t like or things that are happening to them that they are not happy about. Oftentimes we complain about things, many times. But it is very important for us to show gratitude.

We are hopefully in the last phase of a global pandemic. If you are reading this article that means you are alive and that you have survived. That in itself is reason to be thankful. We must always thank God for everything that we have and in that thanking, more blessings will come.

If we keep complaining all the time—I don’t have this or I don’t have that—things become more difficult. You become more and more unsatisfied with yourself and your surroundings and that unsatisfaction or dissatisfaction, creates negative vibrations or negative energy. It creates resentments. It creates jealousy. It creates all sorts of things that are not positive in nature.

We have all heard the saying “I cried because I had no shoes until I saw a man who had no feet”. This is something that makes us realise that we have a lot to be thankful for and things could have been worse. Constantly complaining or self-pitying is very negative and creates negative energy that blocks and diminishes our progress.

On the other hand, when we are grateful and thankful, it creates positive vibrations and positive energy. It makes us see things more clearly and makes us thankful for the things that we have in our life.

If you ever feel that you don’t have what you are looking for, always count the blessings that you have. Do you have a family? Do you have good health? Do you have a home? Do you have a job or a business? If you have any of these things, you are better off than many other people in the world.

When we take the time to focus on all the good in our lives, from the people we love to our most treasured possessions, we become happier and more positive people. And when you’re living and acting in positivity and happiness, you have the ability to impact the people around you to do the same.

Positivity breeds positivity. Showing gratitude feels good but on a deeper level, gratitude has the very real ability to positively affect your physical health for the better. Think about the last time you felt happy and positive. Whether you took a deep breath of fresh air or cuddled your baby after a long day, chances are these little moments of happiness not only made you feel more optimistic, but more energetic and productive as well. When you’re feeling grateful, positive, and happy, your brain and body are more efficient. You feel good physically because you feel good mentally.

Even in the darkest moments of our lives, it is possible to find goodness. It is in these moments that it is the most important to be grateful. At such times, it is sometimes difficult to see the silver lining of the dark clouds. Negative thoughts and attitude breeds more negativity and this can consume a person. With effort, we can overcome these moments of negativity. Practicing gratitude can help us to overcome negativity and become happy and positive again.

Be grateful and thankful and let your thankfulness towards God be a way for you to realise how blessed you are and how much life needs to be celebrated and needs to be enjoyed and use that positive vibration to bring positive vibrations in the world. Gratitude shall multiply things even further for you. And even if you don’t have something right now, work towards it in a positive way, being thankful for every moment along the way. Do not be jealous of people who have the things you want. Celebrate others success and soon success will come knocking at your door. Celebrate others happiness and soon happiness will come knocking at your door.

Some things you can do to make gratitude your daily routine:

Express gratitude to yourself. Expressing gratitude to others starts with accepting yourself. Practice saying thank you to yourself for who you are. While doing so, look deep into your eyes in a mirror.

Practise gratitude affirmations. Saying, ‘’I’m thankful for …’’, to everything that surrounds you is a great and easy way to focus on appreciation. Use the affirmations every day to strengthen the power of a gratitude journal.

Keeping a gratitude journal. A gratitude journal is one of the most useful techniques for practicing gratitude. Spending a few minutes in the morning or evening reflecting upon the things you are grateful for will bring a lot of benefits to your well-being. According to research, regularly taking reflections on moments you are grateful for can improve satisfaction and your psychological health.

Say “Thank you” to your meal. Taking things for granted, sometimes we forget that many people on this planet are starving and suffering from hunger. If you can choose what to eat for breakfast, lunch or supper, you are very lucky and that’s why you should express your gratitude for the food you are going to eat.

Begin and end your day with gratitude. In order for us to focus on our achievements, it is important to engage in daily self-reflection every morning. This helps in letting our creative juices flow and keeps us energetic throughout the day and also helps in getting a good sleep at night.

Compliment others every day. Compliments can make other people feel good. Telling someone about his or her good qualities will make both the receiver and giver of the compliment happy. Practice giving at least one sincere compliment a day!

Make a habit of thank you. We say thank you to our colleagues and others, but sometimes we forget to do it for our family. Make saying “thank you” a habit and use it for noticing even little things you get used to taking for granted.

Celebrate the moment. Finally, enjoy every moment you live and be grateful for the good things that happen to you. Take at least a few minutes a day to stop and enjoy the beauty of nature and other things around you.

You can think of gratitude as an emotion or mental state, but whatever you might choose, gratitude is something that will bring you closer to a better well-being.

Being grateful, especially in the tough moments, isn’t something that is always easy to do. But if you learn to make gratitude a habit, you will have an impact that spans wider and longer than you could have ever imagined.

The Power of Prayer and Thoughts

(Published in the Spiritually Speaking column of the Daily Guardian on January 25, 2021)

Every prayer, thought, word or deed involves a flow of energy. This energy has the power to lift us, heal us, comfort us, inspire us on the positive side. But it can also deflate us, hurt us, anger us, or make us afraid on the negative side. One of the best ways for us to build good energy is to pray and meditate. In these times, praying together is the best way to stay together. As the old saying goes, ‘a family that prays together, stays together’.

Every thought produces a vibration in the universe. The energy of the vibration produced increases as the intensity of the thought increases. These vibrations have power. They can change their surroundings and ultimately make the world a much better place.

Have you noticed that when you enter a room where there has been a fight or argument, you can ‘sense’ the tension in the air? Have you ever been in a place where you have had an eerie or uncomfortable feeling? We have all felt this some time or the other. It is natural for us to be able to sense vibrations.

Similarly, there must have been times when you have gone to a holy place where many come to pray or meditate and sensed a powerful feeling of love, peace, serenity and safety.

All of this shows that the ripples or vibrations produced by thought and intense awareness have an impact on their surroundings and produce vibrations that over time are absorbed in the place. The place then retains the energy of the vibrations.

Thought is powerful. So are its byproducts—words and deeds. A nice word can and does have a powerful impact on its recipient.

A word filled with love, kindness and compassion can create a powerful vibration of goodness that if powerful enough can change the way people around think. The power of mantras has been known for thousands of years.

There is a lot of power in thoughts and prayers. Thoughts are a form of energy and prayer is a form of communication with the Infinite source of all energy, or God; through our thoughts. Thoughts are like seeds which require nourishment to grow into fruit-bearing trees. The nourishment of thoughts is in the form of affirmation, concentration and attention. Prayer need not necessarily involve the usage of pious phrases.

Norman Vincent Peale describes a three-fold approach in his best-selling book, ‘The power of positive thinking’—1) prayerise, (2) picturise and (3) actualise. The first step involves simply thinking and talking to God informally, which is prayer. The next step is picturising or visualising it mentally. Create in your mind an image of the desired result: a healed love one, a more prosperous life, a happy marital life, a more healthy or confident self. Whatever you seek, pray to God and then visualise it to be so and then just say to God, “I have put it in Your hands, Lord.” After this, the actualisation will come in time either by the desired result or guidance.

Peale gives a glorious example of how we can spread love and goodwill throughout our daily lives. Just say a little prayer for anyone that you see. These are called flash prayers “shot” out towards people. Just send out thoughts of love and goodwill. There have been cases where the recipients of such prayer “shots” could feel a physical manifestation of the energy.

The world can be a lot happier if we all just continuously “shoot” each other with prayers of love and goodwill. Let us “shoot” out positive thoughts towards one and other. We could try to replace our hatred and anger filled thoughts with thoughts of love and goodwill. Just mentally send out peaceful and love filled thoughts of goodwill towards everyone that you see and they will feel it as well.

The energies around the whole world will change if everyone starts to do this. These energies are very powerful and the results will be seen and felt. But constant prayers are needed. Even prayers take time to be answered. Just be patient and have faith.

Prayer and positive thinking are also a very useful technique in creating a more confident and success filled life. Thoughts of success often attract success. Thoughts of failure often attract failure. Energy is like a magnet. It attracts. Positive energy attracts positive results.

Positive affirmations, especially at night time before bedtime is a very important tool to attract positive results. The age-old tradition of prayer before sleeping is so that the positive thoughts and prayers can sink into the subconscious mind during sleep.

As mentioned earlier, ‘a family that prays together, stays together’. The act of a family joining together every day at a particular time and praying together creates a loving powerful energy that strengthens the relationship between family members. This increases the loving divine energy present between you and your family and also adds positive vibrations to your house. This is a great habit that works wonders for family harmony and ultimately societal harmony. Try to do this with your family. Take turns every day. Each day a different person may pray. This increases the sense of involvement of all members, especially the children.

Avoid all forms of negativity. Nip it in the mental bud. One cannot stop negative thoughts from entering, but one can kick them out as soon as they enter. Positive thoughts can repel negative ones from establishing themselves in the mind.

Our planet today has a lot of negative energy that is manifested in the form of wars, violence, crimes, prejudices among other things. But that can change.

If enough people just stop what they’re doing for just a few moments every day and send out positive energy in the form of a prayer or mantra for love and peace into the universe. Let this positivity be guided specifically towards our planet Earth. This will begin the creation of a matrix of positive energy and vibrations.

If everybody just makes it a point to close their eyes for a few minutes and imagine our planet Earth floating in space. Imagine all the billions of people, animals and plants on Earth and just send a thought or word of love. After this, smile at the Earth and wait for the response – you will feel the Earth smile back. If you do not feel the response immediately, don’t worry. It will eventually come over time.

Soon the negative vibrations will be replaced by positive ones and this will be the beginning of a new era of positivity. Try it. Once a day for a few minutes to start with. It will make you feel great. If enough people do this, we will all change for the better and the Earth will change too.

Many of the world’s problems can be solved if there is more prayer energy generated. This energy will increase when we add prayer into our consciousness and make it a part of our daily life. Talk to God either verbally, mentally or even in written form. Yes, write a note to God. Everyday use flash prayers to increase the overall consciousness of peace and goodwill and soon if more people do it, we will transform into a much better, safer and peaceful world.

A selfless deed to serve someone else can set a very powerful example and permanently change the person helped by giving them a taste of love and compassion. An act of love or kindness makes both the giver and receiver experience a feeling of goodness and love.

Using prayer, thoughts, words and deeds—you can change the world!

The Balance of Life

(Published in Spiritually Speaking of The Daily Guardian on January 11, 2021)

Life is such a balancing act: Head and heart, family and work, business and social and the balance of our physical and spiritual worlds.

We live in two worlds at the same time: Our physical world, where the focus is on material things, money, competition, facts, organisation, planning and accomplishing. We are in this physical world, but we are actually spiritual beings who are temporarily being held here by our physical body.

A key to balance is to realise that we are eternal souls currently here on planet earth. This is not just theory or philosophy but comes from our own experiences. When we truly understand ourselves as the souls we are, we can relax and enjoy the journey. We can also learn from all the experiences we are having here. We are souls with a body, not a body with a soul. When we know and live from this understanding, life becomes more content and satisfying. We can be involved in the physical world, not controlled by its challenges but learning and assimilating all the lessons we learn.

In the end, even the physical is spiritual. Our life in this physical world is an opportunity to learn, grow and evolve.

Balancing our physical and spiritual worlds means living with practicality, with facts and organisation along with the essence of the True Self. Our true essence is the good, kind, loving, spiritual beings that we are. This True Self shines when we are relaxed and feeling connected.

The key to staying connected with the True Self is aligning thoughts and actions with our true inner being—thinking in a solution-oriented way. Do we tend to spend too much time complaining to ourselves or others when faced with challenges? Do we give up when we face a challenge, or do we evaluate the situation, tune into an inner guidance and keep moving along our path?

Living in two worlds at once means we stay tuned into our values and purpose. We know who we are, where we are, and where we are going. Through this inner connection nothing stops us from living our dreams and desires.

We have a divine inner guidance to help us create the life we are here to experience. Qualities like self-love, self-respect, perseverance, enthusiasm, joy, love, kindness, patience, discipline and faith are also strengthened through this inner guidance. Some of those qualities may be well-developed already, while others we may want to expand in ourselves.

We need to be sincere with ourselves. Consistent self-reflection, or regrouping through meditation, walking outdoors and being creative helps keep our balance and boosts our progress.

What are the aspects of a balanced person? Physical, mental, emotional, social, financial and spiritual.

When it comes to life, happiness, and well-being, there isn’t one single area of life that we need to focus on. Instead, life is multidimensional and constantly changing.

Focusing too much on one area can cause the other areas to be neglected. This is why practicing balance and having a complete picture perspective toward life is so important.

These are some of the areas of our lives that need to all be balanced as much as possible.

1. PHYSICAL

The physical aspect of life includes our health and the way we take care of our bodies. This includes what we eat and drink, exercising and hygiene.

Our body is the most precious gift we have in the physical world and without it we can’t exist here. If we are not healthy, we certainly can’t enjoy all the other aspects of life. For that reason, taking care of our physical health is the very first step on the road to happiness.

2. MENTAL

If we don’t take care of our body, then it will slowly deteriorate. And the same is true for the mind. Just because you don’t have to go to school anymore doesn’t mean you can’t keep learning new things and challenging your brain. Reading books. Learning new things. Following the news. These are all ways to keep our minds sharp and continue to update our knowledge and beliefs. Learning is something that should be a lifelong process.

3. EMOTIONAL

We also need to pay attention to our “emotional” side. Emotions can often seem like something that we have limited power over, but being a more emotionally intelligent person means becoming more self-aware and learning how to better regulate our emotions and behaviour. It is crucial that we know how to reflect and navigate through our emotional worlds.

4. SOCIAL

Healthy relationships are an essential ingredient to happiness and well-being. Having a social life and a sense of belonging is a basic human need that can’t be avoided. Even introverts need a few true friends to give them a sense of purpose and meaning. We are social animals and one of the reasons why our souls have come to Earth is to experience living with others and to learn from the lessons that relationships give us.

5. WORK/FINANCIAL

Another aspect of a balanced person that cannot be ignored is our material needs such as food, shelter, healthcare, and other basics to living a healthy and dignified life. For most people, this means having a job/career that both supports their material well-being, as well as their psychological well-being. While we don’t always get a choice in what we do for a living, there are important ways to give ourselves more power over both our work life and financial life.

6. SPIRITUAL

Spirituality can sometimes be the most overlooked aspect to life. For many people, religion is their main source of spirituality and meaning, but we don’t necessarily need religion to find a larger purpose to life.

Art, culture, philosophy, relationships, meditation and creativity can all play a role in creating more meaning in our lives and living more purposefully.

Have faith that life is good. Faith does have an important role in good living. Don’t underestimate the importance of seeing the good in things, even our very worst experiences can be valuable, as they are only lessons that make us stronger. Every moment is a source of wealth. Practice living richly.

Don’t underestimate the importance of “spirituality” or having a meaningful life. When you have a spiritual core, you can withstand almost any difficulty or hardship. It can empower you and motivate you to a whole other level.

And finally, there must always be a balance between giving and receiving. Neither extreme is good. We must do both.

Be balanced in everything that you do.

Lessons From A Rare Year

(published in Spiritually Speaking Column of The Daily Guardian on December 28, 2020)

2020 is about to end.

The cycle continues.

The end of the year is always a good time to reflect on the year gone by and to introspect on the lessons we all learned as individuals. It is also a great time to apply those lessons in the New Year that is coming in. While this year had its challenges, it wasn’t all bad. It has taught us many important lessons as well.

This was one of the most significant and eventful years in human history. The global pandemic dominated this year in every way. Whether it was the lockdowns, the economic slowdown or the race for the vaccine. New terms that were unheard of now have been sealed into our global consciousness, such as—masks, quarantine and social distancing. This year has been quite a wild ride and most of it was spent right at home. Like a global reality show we all were in tune with global events through the Internet, social media and streaming services primarily.

Millions of people have been infected by the virus. Hundreds and thousands have died globally. Millions around the world have lost their jobs and businesses. It has been a year of several challenges. But has it been only bad? 

Not at all. This has been a year of many lessons. While we all sat at home mostly in the earlier part of the year during lockdown, we also got a chance to rediscover our loved ones and ourselves. Many families have become closer to each other than before. Many people have had precious time to look inwards and rediscover themselves.

Everyone must have learned their own individual lessons. But there are some that hopefully most of us learned. One is that we are literally in ‘the same boat’. Remember all the things we have heard about a global crisis affecting us all? Well this was at least in the last 100 years the first crisis that truly affected us all. We all went through lockdowns, shutdowns and quarantines. This was not confined to some part of the world but rather the whole world and these kinds of global events happen very rarely.

So since we are all in ‘the same boat’ we can also conclude that we are truly ‘not alone’. Whether we like it or not, we are a global family. Like all families, we have our moments, our ups and downs but that does not change the fact that we are all one global family.

On an individual level, we have realised that life is a lot vaster and deeper than we thought. Life is not just about money and career. Life is about family, creative talents, relationships, introspection, health, change and adaptability among many other things.

On the global scale remember that 2020 is the year that has brought us both virus and vaccine. So while many got sick and passed on from this physical world, many more recovered and were granted a new lease of life. That is what we need to focus on and celebrate. Darkness came but the light prevailed. 

Now we are in the last week of 2020 so ask yourself the new things you learned about yourself or your loved ones this year. We all need to be thankful for our lives and those in it. Take this moment to realise that even our lost loved ones are still with us but in a different state of existence. Let us thank God for every blessing we have. Have faith in yourself that there are better days ahead. 

The cycle of time is perhaps best symbolised by New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day. Every year we go through this cycle—like a soul that reincarnates through a multiple series of births and deaths. December 31 is generally a day of celebration. But what is being celebrated? The year gone by or the new year coming or both? I would say both.

We look at the experiences we had in one year, introspect and process those learnings and lessons and then apply them in the next year. A lot like the cycle of karma.

We all are human and make mistakes. We all go through cycles of happiness and sadness. We all have moments of companionship and loneliness. We all go through sickness and health and so on. Life is a cycle. Nothing is permanent. This too shall pass. So don’t get attached to individual moments but enjoy them and learn from them.

Apply the lessons that you learned. This is a great time to do new things and form newer and better habits. It is also a great time to look inwards and see the glorious divine light of love inside you. By our positive and creative thoughts, words and deeds we can spread new light upon the world. These do not have to be big things. If we all just do good in our daily lives, in our normal interactions, we will be doing a great service to the spiritual development of the world. Hopefully, that will create a chain reaction or a ripple effect. 

We are living in a very significant spiritual period when we enter into what is called the ‘Age of Aquarius’. On December 21, 2020 the Great Conjunction occurred when Jupiter and Saturn appeared to be in a straight line as seen from earth and this happened in the constellation of Aquarius. It is said that this is the beginning of a new era of spirituality on earth. Let the light of the Divine shine in your hearts and souls and let us celebrate our humanity together. We have come through a challenging period together and should celebrate. 

I wish you and your families a very happy, safe, healthy and insightful new year. 

As we all enter the New Year together, remember that your life is precious and you are here for an important reason: Be God’s love. Be God’s light.

The cycle continues.

2021 is about to begin.