To Love And To Create

(Published in The Daily Guardian July 20, 2020)

Prashant Solomon

Being creative is one of the most important reasons we are here on this Earth. Many people question the reason they are born. Is it just a coincidence you are here? Are we only a statistic or a mere blip of insignificance in human history? Nothing can be further from the truth. There are basically two things that are important about life and everything else is a derivative of these. To love and to create. 

In many books about ‘near death experiences’ or NDEs there is an interesting similarity that many people experienced. They were asked two questions in common by a Being of Light or a Higher Power when they were declared clinically dead and their souls returned to the spirit world briefly before returning to their bodies. The questions are – what did you learn about love? How did you use your God given talents to help the world? That’s pretty much it. Of course, there are other things that happened during the NDEs but that is something for another article. 

Here we are going to look at the second question in more detail. 

Each of us comes to this earth with some inherent talent. Everyone has heard the phrase ‘hidden talent’. A talent is always connected to some creative quality in a human being. Whatever it is. Writing, painting, singing, music, business, politics, diplomacy, philosophy, acting, love, relationships, parenting, cooking and the list goes on and on. 

Many times the real ideas or creative bursts come to us in moments where we are logged out of this virtual world. Endless sessions on WhatsApp, Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, Netflix, etc. etc. are entertaining for sure and if used properly can be a source of new ideas and information. But they need to be used in moderation because too much of these stifles our creative pursuits. 

This means it is important for us to have periods when we switch off our phones, TV, computer and Internet. Reestablish our relationship with our creativity and with nature. The mind and heart need to be at peace for creative imprints to be made upon them. Creative imprints often come from higher planes of consciousness and higher dimensions. Many of the worlds greatest artists, businessmen and inventors say they got their ideas from dreams or from what seemed like a coincidental ‘idea’ that just randomly popped into their minds. Many of these enter the mind during the hypnagogic state of mind when you are just on the verge of falling asleep. 

The hypnagogic state can provide insight into a problem. Many writers, artists, scientists and inventors such as Beethoven, Salvador Dali, Thomas Edison, Nikola Tesla and Isaac Newton have credited hypnagogia and related states with enhancing their creativity. So remember to pay attention to this state of mind just before sleeping and if possible keep a notebook and pen near your bed.

Other states of mind like when you are not focussing on your thoughts such as  during a shower or driving are also times when ideas frequently come into our minds. 

But simply having ideas is not being creative. Creativity is a marriage between ideation and innovation. These words are often used interchangeably, but they do not mean the same thing. Ideation is getting ideas, but innovation is executing these ideas in a practical manner. Both are needed for creativity to be a successful and game changing force.

Every product you see around you or that you use in your daily life is the result of somebody’s creative action. It is not enough to merely have an idea. What if Steve Jobs dreamt of making a cool mobile phone that had a camera and other things and then just forgot about it? What if the Wright brothers had an idea of a machine that could fly but did nothing to make it into a reality? These are just two examples. The world is a better place today because of the creative entrepreneurship of many people. 

This is also what will give people the ultimate satisfaction in life. Not just money, power, position or fame. These should never be the goal. The goal should be to do something that helps the world in some way. A book you write could change lives. A movie you make could stop wars. A song you write could increase compassion. A business you start could employ thousands. A product you manufacturer could change the way the world works. It all starts with an idea for something new or an idea to make something better. But action is needed to make it a part of people’s lives.

The recent global pandemic and lockdown which is still going on is a reminder that looking inwards and becoming more compassionate and creative can and will make our own lives better. In the process, new ideas have emerged already. Online meetings and online education have become the norm. But there is still a lot of ideation and innovation that is yet to come. Creative action will come that will change the way we live, work and play. New industries will emerge and the world will become a better place ultimately. 

We now recognise that we are all in the same boat and that global problems affect everyone. This is a great opportunity and a great awakening – spiritually and creatively. Most great periods in human history were preceded by either pandemics or wars or both. This period is no different. If new creative action is taken by more and more people, the world that emerges from this cocoon of creative and introspective opportunity will be better and brighter.

Now briefly let us look at the first question that was asked to NDErs. 

What did you learn about love?

It is said that to “swim in a sea of love” is the source of creativity and that love is the creative dimension and creative energy that surrounds us and binds us. Love becomes us. Life’s a journey to realise and remember that truth. When we give and receive love in its divine form which means an unconditional love that is when magic happens and our creative action becomes more effective and is able to touch not only the mind and the heart but also the very soul of everybody that comes in touch with that creative action. 

Love is a strength and power that resides everywhere but needs to be tapped into and when combined with our creative action the world will become better, happier, wealthier and stronger in every way.

Prashant Solomon is a Delhi based author and businessman

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The Changing River of Life and Its Meaning

(Published in The Daily Guardian July 6, 2020)

Prashant Solomon

One of life’s most powerful ironies is that the only constant in life is change! This is perhaps best described by the philosopher Heraclitus in the 5th century BC in the following way – You can never step into the same river twice. Because neither the river nor you are the same. 

This indeed is one of the ironies of life and at the same time one of the greatest dynamics in the universe. There is a universal flux which exists throughout all of creation. A flux that ensures that nothing is immune to change. Even physically, we may not realise it, but we are constantly changing with each and every breath. The food that we eat becomes us and so does the air we breath. The inhaled and exhaled breath causes quadrillions of atoms to be exchanged. So even physically like the river analogy we are always changing and never the same. 

Just as we are constantly changing physically, we are also changing mentally, spiritually, emotionally and psychologically. Are we the same person we were just a few years, months, weeks, days and even hours ago? Every moment that we are alive we are experiencing something new. Even if it looks like the same monotonous life, it is not. We are reborn with each new breath. Our bodies, minds and souls have evolved to some degree. 

The universe is constantly moving and everything is changing. The earth is moving around the sun as the sun is moving around the center of the galaxy as the galaxy is expanding further into the vastness of space. 

But in our absorption in this space time continuum we do not realise how far we have moved forward. In the same manner we do not realise how many things life teaches us every day. Every moment that we spend on this planet is different from any other moment in the past and is different from any other moment that will be in the future. This is the nature of change. Not only is change the only constant, everything is constantly changing.

And what exactly is the lesson we can learn from this? 

The fact that everything can and does change also implies that everything and everyone is like a variegated shade of gray. There is no purely light or dark or black and white that lasts forever. Everything keeps changing and this applies to everything we think or hold in our minds and opinions.

There is nobody who is totally good or totally bad. Everyone is a shade of gray in these moral and ethical values as well. So this is what is the lesson to be learned? Never judge and be prejudiced towards anybody or anything because everything and everyone changes. 

Sometimes change is for the better and sometimes for the worse. Not being judgmental and being forgiving is very important because nothing is permanent and even the worst people can and will eventually be redeemed. Sometimes the so called ‘best’ people can and will be tempted and challenged and fall from grace. And then after another cycle they will again be redeemed. And thus it goes on.

Change enables you to be the person you want to be. It is also a valuable life skill. Being able to change your approach shows a commitment to progress and confidence in your own ability. Internal changes should be made constantly to ensure that no stagnation takes place.

Some changes are beyond our control. These changes, whether good or bad, will teach you something new. These make you more flexible and understanding and prepares you for the future. 

Everything in life is changing all around you – technologically, politically, economically and socially. Life is more exciting, rewarding and enjoyable when things around you always change. This also keeps you in the moment and open to adapting.

Change creates new opportunities and experiences which some may consider risky. But taking risks and managing failure is what life’s all about. Some kind of a risk is necessary for progress and facing risks and moving ahead is what builds confidence and enables progress. There are many benefits that new experiences can bring as well.

Change is a ticket out of bad situations. As long as you embrace change, you will find that your situation need not last forever. Something bigger and better is waiting. If you reject change, experiences and opportunities are likely to pass you by.

Sometimes the past can hold us back, but moving on should be a slow and steady process and not rushed. Little changes that occur every day stimulate progress and put you one step further away from the bad situation you have left behind. Don’t let your yesterday dominate and dictate your today. Personal growth happens when you look ahead and learn from the past but with the intention of making the present and future better. 

Seasons change, rivers flow, technologies come and go, the years fly by and people will grow alongside you. Your life is counted by the changes you have been through and not by awards you won or money you earned. You will never forget the opportunities you embraced, the chances you took or the times you failed and picked yourself up again. Those milestones are all a part of the journey of life and are significant in their own way.

Your personal development relies on the changes that have happened in the past which have led you to where you are now. And what you learn and experience today will help to carve your future path. 

The times we live in today is a great example of how quickly and definitely life can and does change. We can not change our external situations too much but we can control our attitude and reaction towards them. We can also learn from these changes and use them to change and grow from within. Life is an eternal voyage of change and we are all eternal voyagers! As Heraclitus mentioned, “we can never step in the same river twice”. But don’t worry, there are many rivers to enjoy in this universe!

Prashant Solomon is a Delhi-based businessman and author

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Be Your Own Best Friend

I have started writing a fortnightly spiritual column in the Daily Guardian newspaper. My first article ‘Be your own best friend’ was published on June 22, 2020.

I am posting the content of the column below:

Are you your own best friend?

When we are alone with ourselves, instead of feeling bored or lonely, that time would be much better spent by looking inwards and introspecting. If this lockdown has a silver lining, this is one of them – it has given us a chance to slow down and look inwards. It has given us a chance to think about what truly matters in life. Our family, our health (physical, mental and spiritual) and our happiness.

But we have also seen and heard lately about the growing problem of depression. People are feeling lonely and lost. There is a simple solution to this. Love yourself and become your own best friend.

Loving yourself and being your own best friend is as important as breathing. Now this does not mean that you become selfish, self centered or narcissistic. On the contrary, it makes you more loving, attentive and compassionate towards others. Unless you love yourself first how can you spread love to others?

Physical life is a journey that our souls are experiencing. It is a journey to evolve through experience, to learn through feelings and relationships and it is a chance to work out and balance our karma created in other lives and some from this life. The importance of self love cannot be understated. For our soul to complete its mission effectively it is important to be happy. It makes life a lot more pleasant to traverse through. Self love is the quickest and most efficient route to true happiness.

When you fall in love with somebody or something you want to cultivate that by spending time with the person or thing you love. A new hobby you cultivate often feels like it is the best thing in the world. Now here is the secret to ensure that you are always happy in any situation that life brings you to.

Do not get attached to the point that you can not be happy without it. Some attachment to our loved ones – family, friends, etc. is natural and necessary. Love is never meant to be indifferent. Love is meant to be unconditional. 

However the reality is we have no control over anybody else. We can only control our own self and our own reaction to others or outside events. That is where the whole concept of self love and being your own best friend comes in.

You are your own only eternal companion. If we learn to love ourselves and be our own best friend, life will be a lot easier. From the time we were created in the great bosom of the Cosmos, we have travelled far and wide from lifetime to lifetime encased in different bodies but in each lifetime we were our own true companion. Others are there and then go away. 

In physical life we become attached to material things and to people. The idea of being in love is a great thing and is something that we should all do. But the feeling that we can ‘not live without’ someone else (whoever it is) is not correct. 

Why should we be our own best friend? Why should we love ourselves? Well the answer is simple. When you love yourself, only then can you truly love others unconditionally. The kind of love that is divine love is unconditional in nature. It is not reserved only for somebody in certain circumstances. Of course as human beings in families and society we all get attached to our family and friends and this is normal. But our happiness and love should not be dependent on others. 

When we become emotionally dependent on others it is the beginning of potentially disastrous consequences. Why do we hear so many cases nowadays about depression and people living miserable lonely lives and even taking their own life? This is because people are becoming too attached to external things to make them happy. 

The idea that you can be happy only if so and so is in your life or if you get X or Y thing is one of life’s delusions and fallacies. It is a part of the facade that this world is designed to make you believe. We must overcome this by looking inwards and remembering that we are our own only true eternal companion. When we learn to love ourselves first in a non selfish way that is when transformation and spiritual evolution progresses. 

When you are your own best friend and love yourself, you will never be lonely. You will be able to enjoy your own company and be able to communicate with yourself. Self communication is very important. Talk to yourself – out loud. Go somewhere where you can be alone for a few minutes every day and talk to yourself out loud – just like you talk to other people. Discuss your thoughts, fears, ideas, worries with yourself as if you are talking to somebody else. In time, you will be amazed by the answers you will get. In truth, the positive, loving and powerful ideas you are getting are coming from your Higher Self – that part of your soul which is always in the higher spiritual realms. ‘You’ as you know yourself in this physical human consciousness is only one tiny aspect of your full self. 

When you love yourself you are loving God (Creator/Source) for we are all small parts of God. Invest time and energy into building a solid loving relationship with yourself. This will make you happier in your daily life as you soon realise that true happiness is dependent only on one person and that is – you! Nobody else can make you sad or happy unless you want it! 

Love everyone but know that everything is in passing. ‘This too shall pass’ as the saying goes. Channel the love of the cosmos through you and build it up. Then spread it outwards. Be the love. Be the receiver, transformer and transmitter of that divine love. Know that you are your own best friend and nobody can make you sad, lonely and unhappy unless you permit it. If people are there in your life good, if they are not, well that is Ok too. You are the only one who will always be there with you within God. This is not a possibility but a fact. 

Be your own best friend!

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Coronavirus lockdown – not all bad

The world is under lockdown! The year 2020 is still being dominated by the Coronavirus Pandemic. With just about every country on Earth being affected and most of the world in lockdown, this is perhaps the most significant event that we have ever witnessed. With millions sick and thousands dead across the world, there is obviously sadness in the air. With many businesses either shut down or about to be and many people losing their jobs this is a financial emergency for the entire world.

That being said, everything is not all bad. The lockdown has its positives as well. It has given the world a much needed downtime. People are at home with their families and this is a good thing. We are getting to rediscover our relationships and also we are able to rediscover our selves. I have used this time to read, try to write (going through writers block at the moment), paint, exercise, meditate and the best of all – spent time with my kids teaching them and helping them with homework.

So Coronavirus doesn’t have to be all bad. This is the first time that the entire world is literally and realisably (is that a word?) in the same boat! It is the first time that we have come together against a common enemy. The world has definitely changed forever. Even after the lockdown ends (or at least THIS particular lockdown, there could be more coming unless the vaccine is found) things will not be the same for a long long time. But that’s Ok. We don’t know what’s coming next – maybe it will be better than what was before. Stay safe everyone.

Watch my videos on this below:

Time to look back and introspect

This appeared in The Indian Express on December 25, 2019

Prashant Solomon

The last week of the year is heralded by Christmas. At this time next week, we will be in the year 2020 which is not just a new year but the beginning of a new decade. This is a perfect week for reflection. It is a great time to look back at not just the year but in this case, the last 10 years and take stock of our own lives. Are we happy with the way we have spent the last year or decade as the case may be. Is there something we could have done differently?                                                        

We are living in interesting and intriguing times. We are being faced with many challenges in our world today – environmental issues, economic slowdown and an atmosphere of tension in the world that is being caused by focusing too much on our differences instead of our similarities. 

The world of today has its challenges and risks  but also its opportunities and rewards. Christmas is a good time for us to look inwards and reflect what we truly are as human beings. For while today is a day of celebration, Christmas cakes and carols, it is also the day that we commemorate the birth of Jesus Christ.

Today’s theme for this Christmas message is community and peace. The world has always had divisions and mistrust among communities. Take the example from the time of Jesus more than 2000 years ago. The Jews and Samaritans lived side by side. They were two sects of people living in Israel. They both despised each other. In fact, the Jews did not even like to utter the word ‘Samaritan’. But Jesus often taught great truths in the form of stories which are called parables.

One of these is the Parable of the Good Samaritan-

 

Luke 10:25-37 New International Version (NIV)

The Parable of the Good Samaritan

On one occasion an expert in the law stood up to test Jesus. “Teacher,” he asked, “what must I do to inherit eternal life?”

“What is written in the Law?” he replied. “How do you read it?”

He answered, “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind’; and, ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’”

“You have answered correctly,” Jesus replied. “Do this and you will live.”

But he wanted to justify himself, so he asked Jesus, “And who is my neighbor?”

In reply Jesus said: “A man was going down from Jerusalem to Jericho, when he was attacked by robbers. They stripped him of his clothes, beat him and went away, leaving him half dead. A priest happened to be going down the same road, and when he saw the man, he passed by on the other side. So too, a Levite, when he came to the place and saw him, passed by on the other side.But a Samaritan, as he traveled, came where the man was; and when he saw him, he took pity on him. He went to him and bandaged his wounds, pouring on oil and wine. Then he put the man on his own donkey, brought him to an inn and took care of him. The next day he took out two denarii (local currency)  and gave them to the innkeeper. ‘Look after him,’ he said, ‘and when I return, I will reimburse you for any extra expenses you may have.’

“Which of these three do you think was a neighbor to the man who fell into the hands of robbers?”

The expert in the law replied, “The one who had mercy on him.”

Jesus told him, “Go and do likewise.”

What makes this story even more interesting is that the Samaritans were people who were hated by the Jews of that time. They were considered so low that Israelites did not even want to speak to them. But yet, this Samaritan was the only one who actually helped. On the other hand – the priest and Levite (both respected and high ranking people amongst the Jews) refused to help. This story conveyed a deeper message that despite our prejudices or differences against certain people, we must know that there is good in everyone and sometimes it is the ones who are considered different, the ones despised, who actually end up helping you at the end and sometimes the people who you consider as your own may not.

Jesus himself was a Jew and for him to tell a story where a Samaritan was actually the ‘hero’ of the story was very meaningful as it represents how important he considered it to love, respect and help people irrespective of their religion or background.

When people do that, there will be peace.

 

“Peace is not the absence of war, it is a virtue, a state of mind, a disposition of benevolence, confidence, justice.”

Baruch Spinoza

 

As Spinoza said, peace is not just the absence of war but a state of mind where there is an atmosphere that makes it conducive to thrive. It is a state of mind where the creative spirit of humanity is encouraged to grow and prosper. 

As Jesus said at the end of the Biblical account – “Go and do likewise.”

This statement is interesting indeed. If we take the phrase – “O God” it can be considered as the simplest communication with God. But within that phrase is encapsulated in the form of anagrams the phrases “Go Do” and the word “good”. All we really need to do to please God irrespective of your religion or belief is this – “Go Do Good.”

That’s it. It is that simple. But doing good is not only about treating yourself and others with love. Doing good means doing creative and enterprising things to make the world and all life on it better for future generations. 

Doing good means making new inventions, new discoveries, creating art in any form, creating businesses, creating jobs, creating education and creating a wholesome environment. It is not enough for us to just sit and think good thoughts – but to “go DO good”.

“Go and do likewise,” said Jesus. Action is important and so is the type of action. We must do good in every way we can in a manner that will benefit the world.

Christmas 2019 is a perfect time to reflect on our past, present and future. Where do we want our world to be 10 years from now in the year 2030? Think about it and work towards that goal. Each one of us has the potential to be a spark of goodness that will make the world a better place.

But take this moment to let this thought sink in. Enjoy the Christmas spirit of love, joy and universal peace. Merry Christmas and wishing you a Happy new year 2020 and a happy new decade of the 2020s.

 

Stepping into Christhood

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

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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 most 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 civilizations 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 honor your neighbor with good works. In so doing, you will balance karma and fulfill 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, Elijah, Enoch and many other Great Lights East and West so beautifully demonstrated.

The Beloved – Part 1

It has been too long in terms of Earth time that we have seen each other in the flesh.

You have been gone too long.

Time is a strange illusion. At times it feels like just yesterday that I used to look into your eyes and joy leaped out from the depths of my heart.

And yet at times it seems like it has been eons since I saw your smile and heard your sweet laughter.

With each passing day it is one day further from the last time I saw you. But once again the illusion of time is a strange paradox. While each day is a step further from the time we met in the flesh, each day that passes is one day closer to the day we will meet again.

Just like each spring comes after the cold winter, followed by the harsh summer and then autumn followed again by winter; so the spring will come again.

Just as the seasons come and go, so do our journeys of the soul.

We are born, we live, we love, we cry, we laugh, we celebrate, we make love, we mourn and then we die.

But just like spring is born again, we shall return again.

When we are born we have no idea what is in store for us in this world.

We dream, we hope, we fear and we love.

But we do not know with our limited human minds, who we will meet, what will we fear and whom we will love.

But the creator knows it all from the beginning of the illusion of time.

It was not obvious until later in life that we would find each other.

Finding you was like finding a pin in a labyrinth of hay. We do not really ever know whom we will find on this journey. Sometimes we seek and yet not find. But sometimes we find even though we did not seek.

It is the love of the creator that leads us to find the beloved.

One grows up, falls in love, gets married and has a family and all of this is good.

But when one finds the beloved, it goes beyond.

When you find the beloved, you never fall in love with them. You rise in love with them. Why should love ever be fallen into?

If it is the love of the creator, it is risen into. Not fallen.

We love many with our minds and our hearts and this is good.

But when we love the beloved, we love them with our souls.

They may not be family, spouse or friends in this world. But the beloved are the ones that we know without knowing, who we recognize at first sight.

They may be strangers on earth, but they are our soul mates and twin souls with whom we share Heaven.

There is a lot to be thankful for

Each morning when we wake up, we have no idea what the day will have in store for us. Not just that, we actually don’t know if this will be our last day on planet Earth. The only thing we do know for sure is that we are still alive at this moment.

As we go about our daily life, we often complain either silently or expressly about the things that we lack in life. Not enough money or not enough happiness or not enough free time or not enough this or that. Life is something that is not meant by design to be easy. But it doesn’t have to be a burden either.

There are many things in life that remind us of joy and happiness. There are many things in life for which we should be thankful. A few moments everyday of looking inwards will bring peace and a certain amount of perspective to our minds.

The next time you feel down or unhappy or unfortunate, just take a breather and start making a list of everything to be thankful for. Your health, your family, your job or career, your education, your ideas, your friends, your life itself. Surely everyone has something to be thankful for. Focus on these things and be thankful. Doing this, will create a ripple of positive energy that flows outwards from you. In time, when you realize how much you have to be thankful, you will start to feel positive and happy and this will spread to those around you.

Do not ever worry about things. If you have power over them, correct them and if you have no power over them, there is no point in worrying. But remember this, prayer and faith in God can and does change things many times. When you focus on what is possible and believe it will come to pass, chances are it will.

A Spiritual Butterfly’s Caterpillar Experience

(Published in the Speaking Tree, The Times of India April 12, 2018)

Sometimes we don’t understand life – the things that happen to us or in some cases, that don’t happen to us. But the important thing to remember is that life on earth is about evolving spiritually, and this is not only about meditation and prayer.

Life itself is a property of the Spirit. Life is about growth, experience and learning. Life is eternal. Sometimes we don’t understand why “bad” things happen to us. Whether this refers to relationship problems or breakups, finances, career confusion, health issues, addictions, depression or any other predicament, we need to be aware that no matter how dark it may seem, there is always light somewhere. We only have to find it and if that seems too hard, we only have to sincerely ask the light to find us. When this happens, we will begin to change our outlook. We will understand that “bad” things are only lessons that we have to lear n and experience, to grow spiritually.

Consider the physical body. If you want to build or strengthen your muscles, you have to overcome resistance in the form of weights. It is only when your muscles are stressed, they become stronger. Similarly, life’s difficulties are the resistance that our souls need to overcome, in order to grow and become stronger. So the nature of life itself is a spiritual enterprise, happening through a human experience.
We have divided our lives into so many little pockets that we fail to realise that everything we do is a spiritual event. We have personal, private, professional, social, religious and spiritual lives. All these things are a part of a greater whole.

When we go to school, college or office, it is spiritual. When we eat food, exercise or sleep, it is spiritual. When we have love relationships it is spiritual. When we spend time with family, it is spiritual. We cannot separate spirituality from our lives any more than we can separate ourselves from our breath. No matter what we do, we breathe. No matter what we do, we think. No matter what we do, we feel. Whether those thoughts and feelings are positive or negative, determines the outcome of the experience as a whole.

Some people say that life and death are opposites. That’s not true. It is birth and death that are opposites. They are entry and exit points to various worlds. Life is eternal and therefore, has no opposite. When one door closes, another opens. When we are born on Planet Earth, we in a sense, die in the world we came from. When we die on Earth, we are once again born in the world that we go to. This is the Spirit realm that has infinite levels and dimensions.

Where we end up depends on how much we learned and evolved during our lives on earth. So when things seem difficult, take it as an opportunity to lear n a lesson. The caterpillar thought it was the end of the world until it became a butterfly. We are spiritual butterflies having a caterpillar experience. So while meditation and prayer are great ways to develop spiritually, every experience we have – every human interaction – is a spiritual event that makes our spiritual state change. The more these events bring us closer to love and compassion, the more spiritually advanced we become.

Read the scanned version of this article

Read this on The Speaking Tree (Times of India) website

 

Giving children with autism the recognition they deserve

World Autism Awareness Day

I had the privilege of being invited as the chief guest to present children with autism certificates and awards at a function organised at Nora Niwas, Vasant Kunj, New Delhi.

Had a wonderful time with the lovely children and staff at Parivartan School being run by Pordac NGO at Nora Niwas on World Autism Day! God bless the kids and the people running it! I am very happy with the work being done by Manjir Gupta and her team.

It is so important for people to become aware and sensitised towards the needs of children with autism and other conditions. They are God’s precious gifts to humankind and we must do our best to love them and improve their conditions and try our best to integrate them into society.

Manjir Gupta started Pordac (Protection of the Rights of Differently Abled Children) after her son Aranya had problems in mainstream education because of his autism. When she realised that the schools in Delhi did not seem to be either equipped or sensitised towards the needs and requirements of Differently Abled children, she quit her job at a bank and formed Pordac. Now, the Parivartan school is giving hope to many more children with autism. Great job and God bless!

You can learn more about Manjir and Pordac by visiting their website.

Visit the website of PORDAC