Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Lighten up within -

Hi Folks !
How are you and how's life ?!

It's been a while and I did not realize how long !
If you are busy doing what you love to do, time flies and you happily fly with it !

I'm doing my Higher Diploma in Pali language from the Pune University.
And taking Past Life Regression Sessions too.
And typing out an awesome grammar book, already translated by a wise person, onto computer.

Life's busy and life's wonderful !

The elements, however, seem to be rather cut up with us.
Hurricanes and fires and mud slides and collapsing bridges and crashing trains.

Let's forget the bad world out there and focus on our inner one.

We can - each one of us can make it as calm and at peace as we want.

Your breath.
It's always with you.

Get into the habit of feeling it.
Coming in, going out.

Make it into a game and see how long you can stay with it.
Whenever something happens - a red traffic signal, a memo, a delay, a rejection, - see how it's reacting.

Be with it until it gets back its rhythm.
It will bring rhythm back into your life too.

Check on it when you are deliriously happy, joyful, victorious, on top of the world.
be with it.
Step back and look at it with wonder,
It'll teach you all kinds of wonderful things!

Diwali is right around the corner.
The Festival of Lights.

Sit quietly for a while and allow your thoughts to surface.
When you do this undisturbed, whatever comes up, will go forever.
It will at least lose its sharpness and capacity to hurt.

Sometimes, we are so used to our burdens that we don't want to lose them.
They become our identity.

But all the problems and issues come up only to go away.
It's because we are unaware of this truth, we hold on to them, give them attention, nurture them, focus on them and feel helpless and defeated.

Each one of us has made an agreement with all those who are in our lives either helping us or harming us, loving us or not loving us.

Take back your power, that which you have given away to others.
By expecting or hoping or demanding.

Turn your back on everything that makes you even slightly unhappy and relax in this new - found neutrality,
Once all the baggage flows out - sometimes lingering to see if you'd want it back - don't, the calmness and serenity will start to appear.

Be happy, be consciously grateful.

Remember Ho'oponopono?
I am sorry.
Please forgive me.
I respect you.
I am grateful to you. 

Keep giving Gratitude, and you will have more and more to be grateful about.

Have a Happy Diwali with light and joy !
See you soon !






Saturday, August 5, 2017

Thai Film Festival - Pune 2017.

Hi Folks !
How are you doing ?!

It's raining Film Festivals in Pune along with cats and dogs !
This week, there was a Nepali Film Festival and then, within a couple of days, the Thai one !

I saw 2 Nepali films.
Their culture, faith, superstitions  - it is so very similar to Indian ones.
They could have been Indian films !

The Thai films were different.
Gentler, quieter.
Let me tell you some of the stories !

' Eternity ' is about the spirit of a man which comes on a motorbike to revisit the town where he grew up as a lad.

Then the place where he meets his beloved.
There's gentle teasing, their simple lives, simpler dreams of future unfolding.

And then when she has to bring up the son and daughter on her own because he's died while driving without a helmet.
He's sad, in tears, because he loves them all so much and cannot be with them any more.

There was no harshness, no judgement -
Life flows on.

'Wandering' is about an alcoholic man mourning his young son's death.
His wife has left him and he's leading a hopeless life with his job gone too.

He encounters a solitary monk who gently advises him to follow his life.
After hesitating, stumbling a bit, he gets ordination and strives for peace of mind which he so desperately seeks.

Slowly. he learns the ropes.
He sheds his emotional baggage.
And when desire makes an appearance, with quiet determination, reaches for the heights surmounting all obstacles and entanglements.

This film is breathtaking in its storytelling, it's awesome locations, minimal dialogues and wealth of feelings.
The man's transformation from a long-haired. unkempt vagabond to a hesitant novice monk learning how to eat properly. meditate while walking, give blessings after receiving alms-food, and his final composure as he conquers his wandering mind and steadies it on the Buddha's path is very, very powerful.

Do not miss this film.

'A Gift', the third film was a riot !

It has 3 different stories which come together cleverly and beautifully.
All have lovely young couples who are intelligent,  romantic and focussed on something larger than the mundane.

The culture of the Thai people comes across in these films.

The parents bring up their children with a lot of love and caring which is expressed in spending time, taking pictures, making happy memories.
It is true of the well - to - do as well as poor.

The children in turn, are gentle, soft - spoken and dutiful towards their parents.
There's romance, love, fun, laughter and music !

This film had everyone laughing heartily.
Don't miss this one too !

' The Songs of Rice ' was a documentary on Thailand's staple food - rice.

Growing it is very hard work.
Planting, transplanting, harvesting is back - breaking which people do stoically.

Once the crop is collected, the village fairs begin.
Their village games and dances and food was different, new.

Everyone participated, men and women, rich and poor.
Offerings are made in cash or a bag or more of rice.

Donations given to collect good merit for completing the Buddha temple or to the Bhikku community with utmost devotion.

The giving is very respectful, as is the receiving.
There are no castes, no hierarchy.

The dead ancestors are not forgotten either, with roasted rice balls offered to them.
The revelries are full of dance, music, some very naughty ones and finish with fireworks which are locally made ans quite astounding.

It was an eye - opener, this Thai Film Festival !
I hope they come every year !

In case you can catch any of these films - or any other, do watch !

So long for now -
Take care.



Tuesday, July 4, 2017

Mothering

Hi Folks !
How are you and how's life ?!

I've been happily busy !
Some amazing sessions - and conclusions which are quite unusual.

Let's get right into the subject.
Mother.
And Mothering.
These mere words evoke intense emotions and sentiments.

Someone who loves to the extreme, sacrifices, cares, protects, nurtures, teaches right from wrong, pampers, forgives -
and so on.

Those who have lost her at a young age, or even later, always feel the loss, a vacuum, a sadness, a feeling of guilt for not having had done enough when she was alive.

It's true of Indian sub - continent and I assume many parts of the world.

In these last almost 9 years that I'm taking PLR sessions, there have been some cases where the  'motherliness' was missing in their mothers.
She was partial to other siblings, never hugged/cared/was indifferent/not bothered about any of us children - etc etc.

Let's take some egs -

A lady came to find out why her mother, 2 aunts and a cousin sister had died in a short span of 4 years of cancer, fever, some other ailment.
They were very close to each-other, always finding ways to spend holidays together with the children in tow, but it was their own togetherness which seemed more important to them.
And then, when one had been diagnosed with cancer, the other too developed something a few months later and died and then the other and so on.

She wanted to know if there was a curse on the family, if someone had committed a bad deed in long - ago times.
She saw a past life of these 4 ladies who were female in that life too, were sisters and very close.
There were no parents and they had a very strong bond.
They lived on the edge of the forest with a stream flowing by and lived simply.
Then the war in the neighbourhood descended on them and they were killed.
There had been fear and pain and the thought of loss when they died.
This life time was to be together again and they did not want to be separated.

But what about us, the lady asked, their children whom they left at such a young age - was it not selfish on their part?
She was rather distraught.

In another, a young man was thinking of a divorce but was anxious about the child - a baby just a few months old.
Would his wife allow him to see it ?
Having resolved past issues between them, when I took him ahead, he saw that the baby was given to him and she only kept occasional but good relation with him and the baby.

When he wondered how she could give away the baby so easily, came the answer - the baby was was his own grandmother reincarnated and the wife's task was only to hand over to him and move on.

There have been many such cases and what emerges is a very different picture from what we have convinced ourselves of.

It's all about the agreements we consciously make before we take our present births.

All mothers are not to cut from same cloth, poured from the same mould.
It's all about our own past karmic debts and how we want to resolve them.

Some of us ask for its soul member to be a strict mother, or educated/strong/loving/not demonstrative -
It's what that soul as mother has to learn and teach as it also lives and grows.
Some times they falter, some times we do.

It goes for step mothers too.
A young man saw his step - mom as a gentle step-mother in a previous life,who he had tormented for money and caused her a lot of pain by turning his father against her.
So in this life, it was his own lesson to feel what he made her feel then.
He acknowledged that he'd been bad for no reason and understood that it was wrong to label mothers to our convenience and then blame them.

All of you, and me and everybody on this earth in any form have been mothers - good, excellent, strict, selfish, indifferent -

What comes through is this -
What unfolds in your life is your own karma's fruit.
Ensure that you do not add up bad karma for your next lives.

Stop being judgmental and let her be.

Tuesday, May 9, 2017

The Full Moon of Vesak

Hi Folks !
This is me, back after almost 4 months !

How's life been with you ?
We are so lucky it keeps moving, keeps changing every minute, every moment.

Imagine being stuck, stagnant !
Like stagnant pools which stink, wither, withdraw.

There is no active energy left in them.
They are dead long before they dry out.

You aren't stagnant in past moments by any chance, are you ?!
Past situations or people who have moved on - past or present ?

Forget them in a nice way.

Sit in a nice calm place.
And bring up your warts and wounds consciously.

Dwell on each just for a few moments.
People may pop up.
Or situations.
Say, ' Thank you for the lesson. I let you go now.'

And let it go.
Breathe out long and soft and allow yourself to feel the weight being reduced deep inside you.

You will know how much you were carrying only once you have lost the burden.

After a bit of wrangling because we loooove the ' poor - me' energy, you may realize that the painful ones have gone.

But the happy ones, why should you let them go ?

Well, after an awesome, tasty meal, you do want to eat again after a few hours, right ?!
Do you retain the earlier one forever ?!
You will have to rush to the doctor to remove the waste forcibly.

It's the same.
People and situations come for a while and go.

You do the same in other people's lives.
When you hanker for newer experiences, newer delights and excitements, be ready with space to absorb them.

Make place for newer happy memories, happy situations and people.
Empty yourself out.

Today will be the night of the full moon of Vesak.
The day Siddharth Gautam achieved what he had set out for, with a quiet determination of millions of past lifetimes.
This is the day he was born, was enlightened about the ultimate truth and after teaching the technique for the same to everyone who came forward for it, for 45 long years, he left his mortal body.

All on the full moon of Vesak, the month of May.

On this day of wonderful energy, pay your debt of gratitude to whoever comes to your mind.

Dwell on whether you are ready for a positive change in your life.

All the recriminations, defeats, sadness, loss, poverty of relationships, money, joy - you planned and brought it in your life to resolve each of these and move on to something better.

Not to be unhappy the whole life, unless you consciously wish it.
That's the truth.

Be happy.
It's so much better than being unhappy !



Wednesday, January 25, 2017

The Quilt of Guilt

Hi Folks !
How are you and how's life ?!

A new year has begun and the first month is already coming to an end !
Time seems to whirl away, doesn't it ?!

It's winter in many parts of the world with various degrees of coldness.
Winter rains, snow, blizzards and avalanches too.

It's time for hot chai, hot snacks, soups, a warm fire in the house if in hills or on many road-sides in villages and cities.

Cold does not distinguish between religions and colour and caste or gender.
That's so neat and reliable, isn't it?!

You know exactly what to do with it.
Just wear something warm and off you go!

In the baggage which we are carrying in our lives, there is such a variety of colourful stuff.
There is love, hope, dreams, anger, laziness, fears, tears -

We feel we need to lug it around all the time for 2 reasons -
1. We feel an affinity towards it.
It's ours.
Created by us, owned by us.

2. It is, actually, us.
Our identity.
So how can we lose even a part of it?

There could be bits and pieces that are painful and heavy and sad but having decided they are a part of us, it is difficult to even think of shrugging them away.

Of all the memories that we start collecting from our childhood, many of us give a special place to tears and deprivation and sadness more than laughter and sharing and a sense of security or belonging.

And then, there is guilt.
Along the way as we grow up in age, where guilt is concerned, many times, age just freezes over.

And guilt grows bigger.

It could be a push or a shove to a childhood friend, stealing, cheating, intended or unintended with consequences maybe not as horrible as we now make the out to be.

But we carry the guilt.
Of arguments, fights, hurting, leaving, not saying, saying it all wrong -

As we grow and move away and grow some more, the memories which had all colours of the spectrum and all shades of emotions, become solidified into remorse and guilt.

There is hesitation in going over and sorting out things.
Fear of rejection, more pain, ego.

So the wounds grow and fester.

Somewhere along the way, we turn them all into a cosy, comfortable quilt of guilt and feel we have finally done something about all our mistakes.

The burden we have to carry, the cross we have to bear.

But this quilt smothers.
Guilt grows inside imperceptibly, spreading it's tentacles in unconnected areas of one's lives, sucking one's growth like a parasite.

At other times, it covers up other more debilitating habits like laziness and manipulation of others.

Every action or deed is a seed.
So is every word.

But the most powerful is the thought in the mind.
It feeds on itself and changes the entire complexion of the situation to suit oneself.

Examine whether you are happy in your life.
In your relationships, your work, colleagues, friends -

There would be good things and bad things in every field.
What are you doing to correct the situations which are painful ?

What can you, personally do ?
Check and ensure that you are not operating out of guilt.

Ho'oponopono is a potent method of cleansing and empowering oneself.

Sit quietly and let your breath come to normal.
With no one particular in mind, say these 4 sentences -

1. I am sorry.
2. Please forgive me.

3. I respect you.
4. I am grateful to you.

The first 2 to apologize, the next 2 to give gratitude.
Say it to whoever comes in your mind.

You can repeat this hundreds of times a day.

Guilt is not a virtue, it is just an escape mechanism which sucks you down the vortex.
Get rid of it and live the life you came to live, the things you came to learn and enjoy.

Bye for now.

Friday, January 20, 2017

Planning the next birth

Hi Folks !

How's life ?!
I hope you are doing good!

I have an interesting question to answer -

If one of the 2 people in conflict resolves all issues, what happens with another in next birth?
We have begun this whole journey to

1.Enjoy Creation 
2.Experience all kinds of emotions.

Our 'issues to resolve' begin much before our human lifetimes.

When we are in our non - human lifetimes like Minerals, Trees and Animals, our understanding is undeveloped.
It is sheer survival.

We get angry or sad or upset when things don't go our way.
Hills, shrubs, clouds, mountains, all have feelings and emotions.

Let me give you some proofs from my PLR Sessions -

1. A man said his Boss troubled him for no reason. In a past life, he had been a stream with a set course and the Boss a shrub just out of reach of the water.
It was angry that the stream did not help it, let him die.
In the session, the shrub saw that the stream had its own boundaries to follow and could not alter its course.
It was also saddened by the shrub's accusations and felt guilty too, though it was helpless.
It forgave the stream in that life time and here, our man's Boss calmed noticeably.

2. A girl hated her Mother In law very much, felt she was always obstructing her. She saw herself as a carefree, happy - go - lucky cloud playing with her friends, racing everywhere and very annoyed that the mountain would not move out of her path !

3. A woman was fed up of her husband losing money in business, borrowing from the markets at exorbitant rates and asking her to shell out from the investments given to her by her father. 
In this case, her father had been a moneylender and cheated her current husband out of his lands.
She was his daughter in that life too, well fed, living a regal life, the money coming from such dealings.
She said, he always made me pay from my father's money and it is almost finished now.
When I called him and asked, he said he was only taking what was rightfully his, he had no feelings for her at all.
She decided now to go firm on divorcing him and he had no problems with that.

In hundreds of such cases, all these / such people resolve their issues with the concerned persons.

They now need not take birth with them any more and in their current lives, may either 
1. move away completely
2. remain in the same orbit in office or at home but not be affected at all

In our lower levels of human existence, in our first few hundreds / thousands of lifetimes, there is Fear, Money, Sex, Power and Will which dominate our desires.

We have no notion of an afterlife or that there could be a bigger picture.
We die and take birth immediately, usually in similar situations.
We form our own staunch opinions based on what is suitable and comfortable for us and stick to it.

It is only after spending many, many lifetimes in the 3rd level of consciousness that we start to wonder if there could be something more to death and life.

When we die with these beliefs, we allow ourselves to see that there is another side, our loved and now - dead ones ( like we are now ) and take time to take stock.
We will now have more choice to plan our next lives because now we want to clear old Karmic debts.

So the answer to the question is simple -

In the next birth, we start resolving issues with other people whom we owe.

Until the 3rd level, we make, then we slowly start to unmake !

It is not always negative, not always to suffer or get beaten, cheated or stolen from or abused.

It could be to support, give love, be king, generous, lead, create, invent -

There is no Moksha unless we get rid of all the karmas, both good and bad.
Attachment to Punya makes one do horrendous Paap Karma, it becomes a vortex.

So be equanimous.

Do Vipassana !

Metta to you all -

Sunday, December 25, 2016

Draw a line and Move on -

Hi Folks !
How are you and how's Life ?

I have been away for a long time!
Actually, the whole year has been delightful and busy and I met up with some great, lovely friends !

You know, some wonderful things happen to you if you let them.
If you don't plan to the last, tiniest bit and just wish and then let it be.
If you make a wish and just send it away.

We live with blinkers of whatever information we have, believing it to be total and complete.
Usually, it is only a part of the whole.
We worry and brood and fret constantly because we think we should, for the outcome to be of our choice.

After a while, the whole truth emerges and we are either pleasantly surprised or thoroughly shocked.
If we have invested a lot, emotionally, have come to depend on an outcome suitable to us, the end result is shattering.

Has it happened to you in your relationships ?
They could be with your mother or father or siblings or children or friends, husband or lover -

You took someone for granted - there was no reason not to, they did too, but now after so many months / years - you can't recognize the person any more.

How can you get out of this without bleeding any more than you are ?

The  most important thing to understand is that each one of us has planned this life with other people for mutual growth.

We made agreements with certain mutually chosen members of our soul family to even out past baggage, evolve and have fun.

There is one relationship which comes in for a lot of condemnation and censure and that is of the parent and the child.
Or to be more precise, in majority of cases, mother and the child.

A mother is revered as a Goddess in India and in many cultures around the world too, she has a special place of reverence.

The burden of expectations on her is tremendous.

What I have discovered in my Past Life Regression Therapy sessions is that, this relationship is also determined by mutual consent before taking birth.

There are indifferent, short tempered, abusive, cruel mothers and then there are supportive, rock - solid ones.
Those who care and encourage and those who undermine a child's confidence.

In some cases, the soul has remained lazy, indifferent, even sly and not fulfilled the tasks it had set for itself for those lifetimes, messing up others' plans too.

In other cases, the child is just getting back what it had done to her in one or more previous life times as the more powerful parent.

This goes for real parents, adopted parents and step ones too.

So in such cases, there is either a Karmic debt being paid off and one has to learn to be docile / obedient /let go, or be active / hard working and grow faster and move on to be on one's own.

When there is support, love and caring, we never question it, nor examine our own attitude as we take it for granted.

It is time to do that.
The agreement has been on both sides, and it has not been to suffer one's whole life.

Maybe it is to move out and stand on one's own feet, stop depending and demanding.

In any relationship, there are 2 parties, we and ' they'.
We have complete control over one of them - on ourselves, our own thoughts and behaviour.

Whether it is your relationship with your parent or spouse or child, you don't own them.
And do not let them own you.

Draw a line mentally, between such a person and you, meditate, calm down, wish them a good life - and move on.

Release yourself.
You can be free when you let them go or let them be.

This would be the last post of this year.
Let's do our cleansing !

Imagine standing on a mountain top with clear views on all sides.
Allow all the pain, sadness, anguish, loss, shock, disappointment, defeat - all that is hurtful to flow out of each and every cell of each and every part of your body and every level of consciousness.
Just say you are ready to let go and it will.

Feel the lightness of being.
Once you check and feel that all the negativity is gone, allow a huge ball of golden light to descend from the heaven close to your heart, enter it and spread divine energy and healing strength and blessing into your bloodstream to go everywhere.

Thank the universe and bless and wish well on whoever comes to your mind.
The more you share, the more peace and contentment you will attract.

My love and best wishes to all of you for Christmas and the coming year.
Have fun, it's in your Life's plan !
Bye for now !

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

The Buddha's Cloud Sutta

Hi Folks !
It's been a long time, hasn't it ?!

Staying in the Buddha's world is peaceful, educative and invigorating.
My 3 months of Pali studies were intense.

Did you like the last post ?
It was my paper which I presented.

Coming back to the usual noisy, screechy, selfish world was awful and a bit fearful !
Are people really so greedy, insensitive and cruel ?

There is no fear of retribution for oneself.
The other one dies/is raped/killed/burnt/looted/cheated because of his/her past karmas.

I may have done any or all of that or supported it actively or passively by doing nothing, but I will go to heaven because I am protected by whatever I have complete faith in.

Hmn -

More on heaven etc in another post.

Today, I want to tell you about a wonderful Sutta which the Buddha taught.
It is called the Second Cloud Sutta.
The dutiya valaahaka suttam.

A Sutta is a discourse.
Second, because he gave it before too.

So what does the Buddha say ?

He says, there are 4 types of clouds.
Which four ?

1. Those which thunder but do not rain.
2. Those which rain but do not thunder.
3. Those which neither thunder nor rain.
4. Those which thunder and rain.

Here, thunder stands for Theory.
Rain stands for Experiencing the 4 Noble Truths.

The 4 Noble Truths are -

1.There is suffering.
2.There is cause to the suffering.
3. There is a way out of suffering.
4. The 8 - fold Noble Path is the way out of suffering.

One who experiences all 4,  reaches the state of Arhat,  a non - returner in his life itself and can teach the practice to others.

Now you would find a man who has -

1. Mastered the theory but not experienced the 4 Noble Truths.
2. Has not mastered the theory but has experienced the 4 Noble Truths.
3. Has neither mastered the Theory nor experienced the 4 Noble Truths.
4. Has mastered the theory and experienced the 4 Noble Truths.

Going through the Buddha's discourses is a wonderful experience.
He makes so much sense!
There is not one bit that one can disagree with, even after trying hard to find something to argue with!

But this is only the written, heard or seen word.

It is like watching a yummy food recipe being made with expertise so that one does not get even one step wrong.

Who enjoys it ?

The chef who has made it and tasted it, not us, the engrossed, salivating viewers !

Just as clouds which create a lot of spectacle, thunder and frighten, send off fearful bolts of lightening but then disperse when winds blow or even a gentle breeze persists, are no use at all, are they ?

Then there are clouds which are quiet and persevere as they go about their job and shower without any drama.

And so on.

Which cloud is important ?
The pompous one or the one which gives rain ?

Similarly, theory is important to get rid of all doubts regarding the technique, many need to understand intellectually before embarking on the road.

It's like reading the warnings on a prescription medicine.

What does it contain ?
What will it do ?
What do I have to do ?

But once satisfied, one has to take it.

That's what this lovely Sutta explains.

Distinguish between rites/rituals and the practice which will take you out of the cycle of rebirths.
Be the cloud which rains.


Monday, September 19, 2016

Working Backwards -

Hi  Folks !

I have been in a 3 month - residential course learning Pali through English.

It keeps us really busy but it is great !

More about it next time, what I am posting today is the project I worked on.

We were asked to speak on any topic of our choice and you know how I love -

the roots and the ' very beginnings ' !

A   very good place to start !

So this is what I spoke on -

WORKING  BACKWARDS TO THE 1ST NOBLE TRUTH

It was in the 5th Standard that the Buddha first helped me to get full marks for a question in the History paper.
Remembering the dates of various battles and matching them with Kings and Queens and eras was as complicated then, as are the Aorists and Participles and Causatives and Gerundive Paradigms now..
The question was -
What were the Buddha's 4 Noble Truths?
1. There is Sorrow.
2. There is a cause to the Sorrow.
3. There is a way out of Sorrow.
4. It is called The 8 - fold Noble Path.
That was 1/2 into 4 = 2 full marks !
What was the 8 - fold  path, why was it called Noble was not asked because it was not taught in 5th Std, and in later classes when it was touched upon, it was one of the many optional questions to answer.
So I had to live with my sorrows with all their causes, merrily multiplying them with impunity born of ignorance or with helpless resignation.
I had forgotten that there was a way out of it, because it was optional.
Hundreds of moons later, I did my first Vipassana and The Buddha slipped in quietly right back into my muddled life and has been here ever since.
The books available about 25 years ago were very few and made heavy reading. 

There was neither kindle nor google nor amazon nor flipkart.
The bookshops were dark and dingy and uninspiring.

I plodded on with my practice, being  more of a Patipatti person.

( That's the practice )
Anyway it was the practice which was more important, wasn't it?
In short and long courses a lot of baggage went out and more and more showed up.

I wondered how many ice bergs were there, the tips kept popping up regularly and I kept working on them.
But was I doing something wrong ?
The benefits were there for me to experience.
I knew there was ' kaalam aagameyya ' --  let the right time come , yet the doubts persisted.
If I just knew for sure that I was not sowing new seeds, Kaalam would be easier to pass.
Sometimes, the world got scary when it resembled Ratthapala's  'The Four Summeries ' -
Upaneeyati loko - the world is gradually brought to an end,

addhuvo - it is unstable,

ataano loko - it has no refuge, no shelter,

anabhissaro - there's no one in charge,

assako loko - nothing belongs to anybody,

sabbam pahaaya gamaneeyam - having abandoned everything, one has to go,

uuno loko - it is lacking, 

atitto - dissatisfied and insatiable

tanhaa - daaso'ti - a slave of desire.
I agreed with everything.
And plodded on with my practice.
Then, while serving a Long Course at DhammaBodhi in Bodhagaya, Dhamma handed me this very slim book by Ajahn Sumedho, of barely 75 pages on the 4 Noble Truths.

It zapped me with its lucid and humorous language and I read it over and over again.
Now while sitting courses, since  very early on, I had found a way to calm my mind when it got mad or agitated.
I would talk to it once, tell it, that if such a situation arises again in future, for you to be calm and unruffled then, working backwards, be calm in this moment, now.
It helped and I did not have to remind it every now and then.
Now, to resolve my doubts, I worked the Noble Truths backwards and got my crock of gold.
There are 4 Noble Truths and each has 3 insights.
There is a statement, a prescription and then the result if it is followed.
1.Dukkham
2.Dukkha samudaayam,
3.Dukkha nirodham,
4.Dukkha nirodha gamini patipadaa
Working  backwards, the 1st insight of the 4th Noble Truth is that there is this 8 - fold path leading to Cessation of Suffering.
In its 3 groups, it covers all aspects of body, speech and mind.
Samma Ditthi, a part of Pannaa states that 'All that is subject to arising is subject to ceasing '.
Samma Sankappo is about having Aspirations which is beneficial for ourselves and others.
Similarly  with Samadhi and Sila.
Am I aware of these at an experiential level ?
Yes, I'm okay, can do better.

The next one ,The 3rd Noble Truth.

It is about Cessation of Suffering.

So, what is called the Cessation of Suffering?

( tanhaa - craving )

tanhaaya ( of craving, )
1. asesa - remainderless
2. viraagaa - fading away
3. nirodho - cessation of that very tanhaa
4.caago - abandonment
5.patinissaggo - relinquishing
6.mutti - release
7.anaalayo - non harbouring of tanhaa
This does not come from wrestling with an adversary as clever as Tanhaa.

To quote from the book, ' the whole aim of Buddhist teaching is to develop a reflective mind, to let go of delusions by contemplating.

A mind willing to be receptive, pondering, considering such a mental state, is the way out of suffering.

Such a mind will lead to Cessation.

Hmn.
I need to work on this.

If I have not  been in a reflective mood before I sit, my meditation becomes mechanical.
The important aspect of the 2nd Noble Truth is that is identifies the culprit.

Attachment to desire is the origin of suffering and it is this that should be let go of.
The 3 tanhaas are-

1. for sensual pleasure
2. to be
3. to not to be !
Shakespeare must have been a very wise bhikkhu and must be meditating in rupa loka now, to have given this amazing insight 400 years ago !
To  quote from Ajahn Sumedho's book, '  When you see the origin of suffering, you realize that the problem is the grasping of desire, not desire itself.'
It means being deluded by it, thinking it is really me and mine.

Okay, some intricate stuff.
I  do cling and I need to let go.

I analyze too much about the how's and why's without coming to any resolution
I  need to work on this.
And now for the 1st Noble Truth.
It simply states  that  - There is suffering.
I  have read this innumerable times and dwelt on it even more often.
But it was in the introductory part of this book that I got my 'aha!' moment  which was more like a 'oh shucks !' moment.
The 1st Noble Truth is not  'I am suffering and I want to end it '.
The insight is that 'There is suffering ''.
When one does this, one looks at pain or anguish, not from the perspective of ' It's mine ', but as a reflection:  
There is suffering, this Dukkha.

It comes from the reflective position of ' the Buddha seeing the Dhamma '.
He did not go around looking for an antidote for his own or anyone's personal suffering.

The spectrum he chose to work on and cleanse was vast.

And all he said, very succinctly, was 'There is misery.'

Whether it is relatives or friends or colleagues or strangers - there are times when we feel manipulated, used, hurt, angry, sad, helpless - the list of our whines can be long.
The moment I step back from ' I am so hurt / angry / sad / confused ,,, 

I get space to reflect, to go deeper and allow the thoughts to become more comprehensive.   

What do I do ?
I'm so confused, so hurt, angry -

This is anger.
This is not me.
Do I want it?
No I don't, really, but do I have an option?
Yes, now I have!

I don't want to be anger.
I don't want this anger.
Let me, instead, watch it.
Then, from I, I can move to It.
I is just a stupidly, pig-headedly carried seesabhaaro of khomam -     (   headload of flax ) or worse (9 dry dung ) !!
Having understood this 1st Noble Truth correctly that there is misery and I am not misery personified or I am so confused, we can abandon that which is not ours.
Kincha na amhaakam ?

So what is not ours ?
roopam,vedanaa, sannaa, sankhaaraa, vinnaanam.
The body, sensation, perception, reaction and consciousness.
no paheenam deegharattam hitaya, sukhaaya  bhavissati.
With these abandoned, there will be long lasting pace and happiness.
So this to me was the working backwards to the 1st Noble Truth.
The Buddha, having expected lay  people like me ' with a lot of dust in the eye ', gives the  medication right along with the diagnosis.
What does one do with the 4 Noble Truths?

The 2nd  Insights of all 4 give the precise prescription.
1. - dukkham - parinneyyam - dukkha should be understood.
2. - Samudayam - pahaatabbam - its cause should be abandoned.
3. - nirodham - sacchikaatabbam - it should be witnessed.
4. - maggam - bhaavetabbam - it should be cultivated.

Let there only be seeing, with less of the seen and even less of the seer.

Thokam, thokam, khane, khane -

Little by little, moment by moment -

Now hurry up and do a 10 - day course !

Take care -


Monday, July 4, 2016

Ego or Emotion ?

Hi Folks !
How's Life ?!

Let's deal with a very interesting topic today.

I take Past Life Regression sessions and there is one hurt/pained/confused refrain I hear over and over again -
 ' I am so quiet, never talk back, always help everyone even if they have not or I don't like them. Never say anything because I know it is pointless '.
' Why do they hurt me? Ignore me? '
' Why don't I have long term friendships? '

The questions are genuine, the pain or loneliness real.

They start going into past lives and the layers start to peel off.
Someone has fought wars for his King or Commander and been respected his whole life by everyone.

Then comes the last moment and while reflecting on the life just ending, a few more layers get peeled off.

' I was ambitious and encouraged the King/ Commander to wage wars which were, well, maybe unnecessary '.
' Was he ambitious ? '
' Not much. He wanted to rule very well and I wanted more and more people to be ruled well by him. I genuinely wanted a good life for them, I was kind though maybe curt, but they understood I had to be that way '.

' Leave the body, come out, look back and tell me what is the bigger picture '.

' Oh - hmn - I think so many wars were not required. Those Kings were no danger to our Kingdom, they ruled well too '.

' Coming back to the reason why we are in this life time - ? '

' The King trusted me. I won wars for him. But it was my ego which enjoyed the excitement and fighting and winning. Many people were killed without any real reason, and they are the ones around me now, disliking me, ignoring me, treating me with indifference or contempt. I messed their lives, just to feel a hero'.

This is one example of ego masquerading as ambition.

There is also worry, love, anxiety, eagerness, keenness, getting into other people's   lives with unasked for advice, in the process, crippling their growth and making them dependent on one.

Ego is one clever customer, believe me.
9 out of 10 will swear they have none, not one iota.

Check your own thoughts, reactions.

Read the posts on Energy Stealers again.
It's connected.

Our ego creates our image in our mind in lovely hues, giving it coat after coat of gold unobtrusively. until the glare is unbearable to others but we are convinced of our goodness and humbleness.

Emotions always sway us, either this way or that.

They do not let us be grounded because once we ground ourselves in our own reality, learn to examine it slowly, carefully, the first thing we will start to get rid of is the false coatings of our ego and it doesn't want to leave this cozy cloak of ' poor - me ', ' I am bearing it all because I have to ' and so on .

Examine yourself and you will be surprised at how clever you have been with the display of your chosen emotions.
So - called lack of self - confidence or pretending to be an introvert to cover up sheer laziness.

An excess of loving / caring to cover up the desire to control another's life.
An overpowering meddling, ensuring there is helplessness without our 'advice/ guidance/just slight suggestion' etc.

Cut it out.
Recognize it for the danger it is to your own evolution.

Emotions give the reins to your ego.
Keep them min check and you will start to grow the right way, freeing yourself and others.

I'm off to do a long, residential Pali course so the next post will be after a few months.

Read the old ones.
Enjoy.
Meditate.

Take care !

Thursday, June 16, 2016

Shwedagon Pagoda

Hi Folks !
How are you ?!

I am just back from an awesome 3 - week trip to Myanmar and want to tell you all about it !
In instalments !

First off is, of course, the stunning Shwedagon Pagoda in Yangon ( former Rangoon ).

It is situated on Singuttara Hill which is pretty small in size.
In fact, the hill is not noticed at all, but is said to be a powerful spiritual place since ages.

When Siddhartha Gautama became the Buddha, he 'journeyed in seven places and 2 merchants from Myanmar- Tapussa and Ballika, gave him alms food'.
In return, He gave them 8 strands of his hair with his blessings, which they brought back with them.

King Okkalapa ruled at the time and he received the precious hair with great honour and enshrined them along with the relics of 3 previous Buddhas.

This bit was a marvellous surprise for me.
I know that there is a lineage of Buddhas before Gautama and there will be others after him.
There is an entire book on it.

But there is actually a country which revered the tradition and teachings of ALL the Buddhas completely, honoured them correctly by following the teachings since the earlier Buddhas - was new to me.

ALL the Buddhas have been born in India.
ALL taught how to liberate oneself from the cycle of birth and death and misery.

And we managed to lose the teachings of each one of them !
Consigned them to an obscure peripheral place, as a mere appendage to someone -
Prefering to whine for mercy, unwilling to take responsibility for our actions.

We deserve what follows.
Honestly.

Let's get back to Shwedagon !

So King Okkalapa enshrined the staff of Kakusanda Buddha, the water filter of Kawnagamana Buddha and the nether robe of Kassapa Buddha along with the hair of Gotama Buddha in a Chaitya of gold.
(A Chaitya holds the body relics of monks of nuns).

There are temples to all the 4 Buddhas in the 4 main directions and the way to pay respect, as I noticed was, to close your eyes and chant or meditate.
Silently!
There are beads and booklets kept which people

use and put back.

They consecrated this as Shwedagon, the Reliquary ( container of holy relics) of the Four Buddhas.

This temple of gold was then enclosed in one of silver, then of tin, copper, lead, marble and finally of plain brick.

The gold - plating began in the 15th century when the Queen Shinsawbu who made many improvements and offered her own weight in gold.
Her successor offered four times his own and his wife's weight in gold.

The current Pagoda is gold - plated.
There are areas of gold plates, of layers of beaten gold leaves and very little area of thinner gold leaves, like the rim.

The detailed brochure gives mind - boggling weights -
The Umbrella -
Height - 43 ft (13 mtrs ).
Weight of the gold - 1/2 ton or 500 kilos.
Various items of jewellry - 83,850 .
Small gold bells - 4016
Total weight - 5 tons or 5,000 kilos!

The Vane -
Height - 4'2"(130 cms)
Weight - 419 kilos of gold
Assorted Gems - 2000

The Diamond Orb -
Height - 22" (56 cms)
Diameter - 10.5" (27 cms)
Number of Diamonds - 4351
Total Carat - 1800
The Apex Diamond - 76 Carat !


There is a museum with colour photos of the jewels and there are a couple of Telescopes through which you can gaze awestruck at the jewels and the diamond!

Shwedagon's periphery has many huge Buddha temples, always with place for people to sit and meditate.
There is a large Bodhi tree, a big Jade Buddha, 2 huge bells and many, many small temples on the main periphery.

It is a lovely place to go at sunrise, and on full moon nights or any night.
Yangon looks beautiful from even that little height of about 150'.

Myanmar is very, very easy on the pocket.
You will come back peaceful and contented, I promise you!

Visit it soon and enjoy -





Sunday, May 15, 2016

Protecting the Indefensible

Hi Folks !
How's life ?

How's the weather ?
It's very, very hot here.

Nature seems to be annoyed with us.
Why would it be ?
What does it want from us ?

The Buddha put it succinctly -

Sabba papassa akaranam - Not to do evil,
kusalassa upasampada - 
to cultivate merit,
sacitta pariyodapanam - 
to purify one's mind
etam buddhana sasanam - - this is the Teaching of the Buddhas.

So simple, isn't it?
It actually is, when you think and be only in the current moment, current situation and not in the past sorrows or future anxieties.

Let us talk about a topic which keeps cropping up in past life regression sessions.

A gentleman had a daughter who was mentally challenged.
He came to find out why, and why he too was suffering.

He came from a good family, intelligent, moneyed, had a good job, was respected - the list was long.
Except for this ' shame '.
It was good he was abroad and she was in a special school under special care etc. but who would look after her when he was gone, and - well, just why me ?

He went into a past life when the daughter was a money lender and had squeezed the poor villagers of their last drop of belongings, lands, animals, money, dignity -
The money lender had lived a long life, enjoyed all the comforts and his only regret while dying was that life was coming to an end.

He'd have loved to live much longer.
I asked his consciousness to stand in front of all those who had suffered in any way because of him.

The whole village appeared, including a couple of cows and bullocks.
They were angry, cursing.
He was indifferent.

I asked him to feel what they went through.
He did not.
I asked the people to send all the vibrations created by him, back to him.
They came like darts - sharp and powerful,
but -

'They are not reaching him. Someone is standing between them and him, shielding him,' said our man.
'It is his wife who had died a long time ago. She always fasted for him and has vowed to protect him,' he said.
' Okay ' , I said, ' let her experience what the villagers felt ,' and all those vibrations shot right into the self - appointed protector of the money - lender.

Instantly, she screamed that she could not bear it and did not want to protect her husband any more.
That she had not really thought about what she was doing - while alive, or now, in spirit form but henceforth wanted to be no part of his sins.

The moment she moved, the money - lender felt the consequences of his behaviour and started to feel the heat, the anger and curses.

In this case, the retarded daughter was the money - lender but the wife was the father, who had to pay for justifying his behaviour when alive and trying to protect the indefensible even after death.

There was another case when a mother was valiantly trying to defend her beloved but crooked and cruel son from feeling the darts coming his way.

The relation may not always be of a parent and child though many times it is because it is difficult to walk away from it.
The one who stays to take care, may be the one complicit in previous wrong-doings.

There are many such cases, but it is also very important to understand that all such cases do not come from devious past lives.

Mostly, souls choose difficult lifetimes after many exhausting ones, when they want to feel unconditional love and pampering.
The parents will have agreed as a return for past deeds.

Many times, it is also a conscious decision taken after taking all past karma into account, to choose such lives for oneself or as a care giver to learn patience, kindness or to evolve faster.

About protecting the unforgivable, the lesson coming through is clear -

If you have harmed anyone in any way, you pay for it.
All those who have aided you by acts of omission or commission, will pay equally painfully.

So -

In your current life, are you hurting anyone by words or deeds?
By insulting/beating/abusing/ignoring - etc etc/

Are you letting someone close to you do the same by thinking it is not your headache and it is that victim's karma to suffer and what can you do ?

That karma will soon be yours.
There are many ways of stopping wrongdoings.

One can develop the maturity and sense to choose the correct time and method.
Do it.

Meditate.

Relax.
Life is good.

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

The Third Gender

Hi Folks !
How's life with you ?

It's going to be a hot season, couple more months to go.

Want to remain cool inside - whatever the temperatures outside?
Start by meditating 20 minutes in the morning.
It is doable.
And the results are sublime, empowering, not coming to you after your stars change 5 months later or in next life, but you will feel the calmness throughout the day.

Meditation is food for the Soul, so do not starve it.

Now let's come to today's question -

"I had questioned that why some souls choose third gender.
now its next is if such people go in plr very deep and properly,can their view be changed? 
Regards".

 People of the third gender are those who are neither male nor female.
They may have their sexual organs intact or deformed (at birth or later ).

This question usually gets asked for cases of homosexuality and lesbianism.
But all categories can come under this label.

Just like heterosexual people, the past lives of people of third gender have been the cause of their choosing this gender or inclination in their current lives.

The females have been raped once or often in one or more than one past life, raped and insulted publicly, have led very humiliated lives thereafter and died in violent anger against men in general.

In PLR, some went back to medieval lifetimes, others in very recent times, in one case, maybe it was her immediate past life.

In those past lives, the helplessness felt by these women about their situation and anger at the other men in their lives who were related, like the father or brother or uncle or cousin or friend - not coming to help, leaving them to their shame and misery - had made them choose the female gender.

It was some woman who had helped, given emotional support so there was now a deeper bond of trust.

Where men were concerned, they had to choose a hard life as a child without a father figure or a proper family environment at home.

They had left home at 9 or 10 years of age or slightly more and worked for food on boats, in jungles, at yards, markets - wherever some food and a feeling of security was glimpsed.

Some older man had then taken care and the physical relationship had started.
The young child was wooed, made to feel secure and sex was just one way of enjoying a facet of life.

Many men have had very lonely lives, full of anxiety and fear and found relief in the company of other men.
There was a sense of gratitude and giving sexual favours was not considered a 'payment' by all.

Not all were ready to woo a girl, earn enough, marry, set up a home, take responsibilities.
Especially when they were young and travelling and did not know where they would be after a few months or years.

People of the third gender who have come for Past Life Regression, have come for the same reasons that heterosexuals do.

Career, money, business, love affairs, relationships -

I don't remember anyone particularly asking to change their sexuality or was ashamed of it.

They are fine people, educated, working at their careers.
Happy if only the world would let them be.

Or unhappy at a broken relationship.
Just like anyone would be.

Many are very sensitive, make good friends.

In our stages of evolution, we choose to be what we are,
to 
1. enjoy creation,
2. experience all kinds of emotions.

So, along the way, we have been curious, cruel, grabbers and takers, choosing to drown in sexual pleasures and physical sensations -

Then the time to pay back comes.
All those we have hurt, forced, caused pain, humiliated, maimed or killed - we have to suffer the same.

Whether we have done this ourselves or allowed it to happen and not stopped and helped when we could have, the returns are perfect.

I think almost all - at least many, many of us have been of other genders and orientations in some past life or other.

Some are there now.

Should we judge them ?

Think !





Wednesday, March 23, 2016

The Hall of Rest -

Hi Folks !
How's life ?

Doing good ?!
I'm sure you are !

Since August last year, I am studying Pali language and at this age, it is both exasperating and exhilarating!
The Grammar charts can be quite challenging to learn by heart!

The vocabulary is a bit easy, as it is close to Sanskrit.
But it is deeply satisfying to slowly understand the Suttas by myself.

There are a couple of questions, let us see if I can answer both today.
Here's the first -

'Does each soul after dying in a accident goes to the hall of rest? My question is that the souls who are on higher realms go to hall of rest or the lower ones also go there? And can we do something for a loved one who died for his soul to rest in peace?'

Whether in an accident, alone in a remote corner of the earth or sky or water or wherever - someone or other from the other side who is known to the person is always there to receive.

Those who die in an accident or after illness, physical or mental, go to the Hall of Rest to recoup, rest and recharge their energies.

In case they have been fit, in good health but died in an accident, they might stay for a shorter duration or not go at all.

Many times, there is shock, a number of regrets at one's own behaviour, sadness, remorse for having wasted a life time.

Souls on higher realms, after completing their task, may choose to die in an accident so they will then not need the long rest and recuperation.

The lower ones, depending on their behaviour, their credits/debits collected by their good/bad behaviour on earthly life, may get to rest a while to get their bearings and understand that yes, unfortunately for them, there is an afterlife which is very just and there is no running away from the consequences of one's own deeds.

Those who have lived their lives in fear, hatred, jealousy, revenge, violence and cruelty, will find themselves being dragged to lower realms where they will suffer what they made others undergo while on earth.

People who are in their first human life times, those who have just moved up from animal life times, retain the fear of death from those lifetimes.

They feel if they do not kill, one way or other, they will be killed, so they are very, very suggestible.
Those on earth who are in the second and third level are more intelligent but negative, easily use them to kill on mass scale too.

They may use religion, colour, ethnicity, poverty, power, money - any reason is good enough for them.
They feel they are doing this for a higher cause and there will be no retribution at all.

I read about all this in various books and wondered if all the rituals and money and power enjoyed here did not hold any significance on the other side.

Now, through my PLR Sessions, I see that they don't.

Let me give you a couple of examples -

1. A man had been a money - lender in a past life.
He had refused to give succour in droughts and many farmers had not just lost their lands but lives too.
He had lived a rich life and died with just this thought that life should just go on, it was so wonderful with all the money and gold.
After death, he found himself in a parched expanse without any tree or water or shade in sight.
The sun was very hot, always right on top of his head and he could not get away from it at all.
It just didn't seem to set.
This is to make me understand and pay for what I did while living on earth, he said.
None of his rich rituals, offering of food to gods and so on had helped, no one had come to take him to heavens, as he had been assured and assumed.

2. Another, after his death, felt himself being pulled violently by cruel and ugly beings and there was no way he could loosen their grip and run.
There were fearful fires singeing him, gruesome looking beings -
but he understood that he was just paying for what he had done to others.

3. This man was sleeping with the house maid for many years, had married a girl because his parents had forced him to. 
He had continued with the affair and when his wife had protested, had her branded insane and murdered her.
I am in the 3rd level paying for my deeds and it is horrible, he said, . 
I never thought I would have to pay, thought there is nothing after death or the family deity, the long prayers and rituals will take care of everything.. 
He was immensely apologetic and sought forgiveness from the wife.

4. A girl died in an accident and was received by angels. 
I have more important work here, she said.
Another reason for an early accidental death which came out after gentle probing was very enlightening.
My father in a past life is my aunt now, she said. 
He was extremely, extremely attached to me and did not let me out of sight even for a moment. 
I could not grow at all. 
I drowned in a pond at 8 years in that life.
It was a death I had chosen to get away.
He was supposed to grieve for me and then become strong, move on to help others but he didn't.
He became more determined and in this life, as my unmarried aunt, she would again smother me with her love, affection and worry.
It was the aunt who had come for this session and it was a hard lesson for her to start learning and evolving.

So each individual's case is unique.

As for something to do if a dear one passes away - you can, and should do this.
Sit quietly on your own, remember all the good times and give thanks for those. 
Ask for forgiveness for wrongdoings and give gratitude again.
Tell them you will be okay, that you will take care of whoever/be nice/be strong - and that they can now move on.

You can do this with other family members too.
Tell them you love them, respect them and that they can now move on.

I shall take up the other question in the next post. 
It will need a complete post!


'Why some souls choose third gender?'
Interesting, right ?!

Next time!

Be good and enjoy!