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The man, the mission and some potential life changing tools!

--Gayathri Subramanian, on Nov 27, 2013

Janardhan (Jay) Chodagam - a personal development expert and a mindfulness trainer, was with us on the forest call this past Saturday in conversation with Amit Dungarani - a service space volunteer.  

Jay Chodagam's Journey: Some pivotal moments 

During his graduate years in US back in 1996-98.....Jay was increasingly becoming aware of an emptiness within him.  A meeting with an old friend in India poised him on a path of self discovery.  This friend was a very changed person from the friend that Jay had known. The friend who was born into a Muslim/Moslem family, had turned vegetarian and was rising early to meditate.  Jay attended a workshop at the Raja Yoga Meditation Center with this friend and there for the first time in his life..he found himself come to tryst with the most profoundly essential exercise --- mapping the purpose of one's life.  The seed of a deep change was sown......newer perspectives and experiences lay await...

One such was a conversation with a scientist on vegetarianism that dug deep for jay.  The scientist explained, an animal that is slaughtered has to go through unimaginable suffering before it is on our 3 inch tongue for 3 minutes.  After eating an animal that has gone through so much suffering...how could one meditate and feel peaceful.  (recommended reference - Food Inc.,)

The mission:

Burning questions were burning away the older Jay Chodagam....what is the importance of being human? what is that i wish to leave as legacy for generations to come and for myself?

An out of body experience during meditation set him on the trailblazing path, he was ready to be an instrument for the Universe and of the Universe.  He felt aligned to take on the challenge of reminding people the essence of being 'human' and experience life to its full potential through finding one's purpose in life.  Without the discovery of one's true purpose in life...one is in the danger of being sucked into and stuck in the well oiled carousel system that life poses to be....quips Jay.

and Jay found his answers and clarity in 'Going back to Ordinariness'. Service Space's own Anjali Desai's life and her service at Manav Sadhana was one such inspiration.  Jay's grandmother, a freedom fighter graced him with lasting lessons and inspiration in his childhood years and very supportive parents complemented his life journey's to seek fulfillment.

Jay Chodagam has held workshops on stress management and mindfulness at organizations like Gap Inc., Infosys, Tata Consultancy Services, Hetero Drugs, San Joaquin Hospital, and many  universities including Stanford, Hawaii,  San Diego State, Portland State, Alaska 
and at the Wasilla High School. He has done workshops in nine countries outside the US.

Jay is currently based in San Francisco and has held senior positions in software companies. He has been a personal development expert and mindfulness trainer with the Brahma Kumaris for 
over 9 years. Jay regularly conducts workshops and seminars at the Anubhuti Retreat Center in Marin  County, CA, besides hosting the monthly Men’s Wisdom Circle and weekly meditation meetup in San Francisco.

Potential Life changing Tools:

First - One has to make time to spend time with oneself.  This realization is much needed.

Second - Jay strongly vouches that Mediation is becoming an absolute essential...every day 20 mins meditation could make way for necessary shifts.  
Jay quotes - Bhagavad Geeta -“ In the silence of a quiet mind like the flame of a candle in the windless place..the self will reveal itself " and adds that -- The distractions that we are exposed has become a habit….our mind is constantly on auction.  In meditation, the gate keeper for the brain the hypothalamus reduces the stimulus to a small trickle.  The meditation process enables us to sift through these distractions and emerge unfettered. 

Third - Find a friend circle that supports and inspires you

Fourth - Ask yourself what you want this life to be about.  
Jay suggests a - A quick meditation dialog between mind and the intellect.  Any question that is put forth during the meditative stage...an answer is bound to emerge in an image form, assures Jay.
Questions like: Who am I, What is my true form, What is my unique quality, What is my purpose in this world, Where have I come from and Where is that I am going.
 
Try to go thru these questions without anything interjecting in between. You will realize a feeling of detachment from the drama that is going on around you.