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Using Attention in a New Way, by Gil Fronsdal

FaceBook  On Jan 14, 2013 Narendra wrote:

Updated ...  What do you understand by "folding everything back into the attention?"  Folding everything into attention means, a macro view of life that includes all things around us including our own ego (thought-patterns) and emotions. This is ‘Sakshitva’. Sakshitva is a background process or a habit of silently witnessing of our own mind and emotions without analysis.’ It is a  macro perspective on life, as is . This helps us share our joys and sorrows with others, and reduces stress and increases happiness. The other choice would be a micro view of life that is ego-centered, where everything revolves around our likes and dislikes. This makes us more reactive and less sensitive to others. How do you develop the ability to not beat yourself up for lapses, and instead constructively move forward? If we have a macro perspective on life, we will be grateful for our blessings. We will also be less critical of others and ourselves. We notice that perfection is inconsistent with change and evolution. We can only do our best with presence of mind and ‘witness’ the result. This helps us deal with the ‘lapses’…..If we are ego centered, we unduly force results. Forced results tend to reverse themselves over time. This starts a never-ending, stagnating, lonely fight against our environment, and in the long run, we compromise our happiness and the quality of our life. …..We can stabilize our life and move forward by alternating between the micro and the macro view of life. It is like driving while paying attention to other drivers. Can you share a personal story where this principle has played an important role in your life? It is my experience that the root of all thought problems, are emotions that create micro view of life. It is almost impossible to fix thought problems without fixing emotions first. Self-analysis will help us only until the next emotional outburst and then, self-analysis tur  See full.

Updated ... 
What do you understand by "folding everything back into the attention?"  Folding everything into attention means, a macro view of life that includes all things around us including our own ego (thought-patterns) and emotions. This is ‘Sakshitva’. Sakshitva is a background process or a habit of silently witnessing of our own mind and emotions without analysis.’ It is a  macro perspective on life, as is . This helps us share our joys and sorrows with others, and reduces stress and increases happiness. The other choice would be a micro view of life that is ego-centered, where everything revolves around our likes and dislikes. This makes us more reactive and less sensitive to others. How do you develop the ability to not beat yourself up for lapses, and instead constructively move forward? If we have a macro perspective on life, we will be grateful for our blessings. We will also be less critical of others and ourselves. We notice that perfection is inconsistent with change and evolution. We can only do our best with presence of mind and ‘witness’ the result. This helps us deal with the ‘lapses’…..If we are ego centered, we unduly force results. Forced results tend to reverse themselves over time. This starts a never-ending, stagnating, lonely fight against our environment, and in the long run, we compromise our happiness and the quality of our life. …..We can stabilize our life and move forward by alternating between the micro and the macro view of life. It is like driving while paying attention to other drivers. Can you share a personal story where this principle has played an important role in your life? It is my experience that the root of all thought problems, are emotions that create micro view of life. It is almost impossible to fix thought problems without fixing emotions first. Self-analysis will help us only until the next emotional outburst and then, self-analysis turns into self-criticism (beat yourself up). If you don’t have emotional outbursts, you don’t need self-analysis. The only way to fix persistent, contradicting, unstable emotions is to reduce their impact by making love our primary emotion. This can be done with meditation on love/heart and witnessing from love/heart. Love stabilizes both our micro and macro perspectives on life - without contradictions.
 

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Using Attention in a New Way, by Gil Fronsdal

FaceBook  On Jan 13, 2013 Narendra wrote:

 What do you understand by "folding everything back into the attention?"  Folding everything into attention means, a macro view of life that includes all things around us, including our own ego (thought-patterns) and emotions. This is ‘Sakshitva’ or a witnessing, macro perspective on life. This helps us share our joys and sorrows with others, and reduces stress and increases happiness. The other choice would be a micro view of life that is ego-centered, where everything revolves around our likes and dislikes. This makes us more reactive and less sensitive to others. How do you develop the ability to not beat yourself up for lapses, and instead constructively move forward? If we have a macro perspective on life, we will be grateful for our blessings. We will also be less critical of ourselves and others. We notice that perfection is inconsistent with change and evolution. We can only do our best with presence of mind and ‘witness’ the result. This helps us deal with the ‘lapses’…..If we are ego centered, we unduly force results. Forced results tend to reverse themselves over time. This starts a never-ending, stagnating, lonely fight against our environment, and in the long run, we compromise our happiness and the quality of our life. …..We can stabilize our life and move forward by alternating between the micro and the macro view of life. It is like driving while paying attention to other drivers. Can you share a personal story where this principle has played an important role in your life? It is my experience that the root of all thought problems, are emotions that create micro view of life. It is almost impossible to fix thought problems without fixing emotions first. Self-analysis will help us only until the next emotional outburst and then, self-analysis turns into self-criticism (beat yourself up). If you don’t have emotional outbursts, you don’t need self-analysis. The only way to  See full.

 What do you understand by "folding everything back into the attention?"  Folding everything into attention means, a macro view of life that includes all things around us, including our own ego (thought-patterns) and emotions. This is ‘Sakshitva’ or a witnessing, macro perspective on life. This helps us share our joys and sorrows with others, and reduces stress and increases happiness. The other choice would be a micro view of life that is ego-centered, where everything revolves around our likes and dislikes. This makes us more reactive and less sensitive to others. How do you develop the ability to not beat yourself up for lapses, and instead constructively move forward? If we have a macro perspective on life, we will be grateful for our blessings. We will also be less critical of ourselves and others. We notice that perfection is inconsistent with change and evolution. We can only do our best with presence of mind and ‘witness’ the result. This helps us deal with the ‘lapses’…..If we are ego centered, we unduly force results. Forced results tend to reverse themselves over time. This starts a never-ending, stagnating, lonely fight against our environment, and in the long run, we compromise our happiness and the quality of our life. …..We can stabilize our life and move forward by alternating between the micro and the macro view of life. It is like driving while paying attention to other drivers. Can you share a personal story where this principle has played an important role in your life? It is my experience that the root of all thought problems, are emotions that create micro view of life. It is almost impossible to fix thought problems without fixing emotions first. Self-analysis will help us only until the next emotional outburst and then, self-analysis turns into self-criticism (beat yourself up). If you don’t have emotional outbursts, you don’t need self-analysis. The only way to fix persistent, contradicting, unstable emotions is to reduce their impact by making love our primary emotion. This can be done with meditation on love/heart and witnessing from love/heart. Love stabilizes both our micro and macro perspectives on life - without contradictions.

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Gift from the Sea, by Anne Morrow Lindberg

FaceBook  On Jan 8, 2013 Narendra wrote:

 What does lying "choice-less on a beach - waiting for a gift from the sea" mean to you?  It means being clear-minded and aware enough to connect to higher consciousness and be inspired. A beach or any natural beauty of a mountain or a sky can overwhelm our ego and makes us contemplative and ready for communion with nature. In this state it is possible to access profound information from common consciousness or the so-called ‘Akashik’ records. This is the same source of information that the yogis, genius, savants and some autistics receive their unique ‘gift’.  This is also the source of inspiration for poets, artists and even some scientists. How do you interpret "faith?"  Faith is belief in the wisdom of our own higher consciousness, to guide us in our lives, without the interference of our conscious and subconscious mind. It is an effort to go beyond the intellect of our ego and emotions of our subconscious/soul to access the wisdom of common consciousness through love and devotion. Can you share a personal story that brings out your experience with choice-less-ness? There are two states of choice-less-ness. One takes me to dullness and the second to higher consciousness. The first is natural and the second requires self-effort, love and discipline. Love makes extraordinary effort peaceful and enjoyable. When I make an extraordinary effort (Tapas) in search of a result and than let go for while, in peaceful meditation or even sleep (‘to erase yesterdays scribbling’), I can find surprising solutions to my challenges. If the goal is unselfish, this self-effort works even better. With effort, love and awareness, I will have cut through the limits of conscious and subconscious to create a pointer to access the network of common consciousness. Without this pointer access, a peaceful beach, a mountain or a sky can at best give us the gift of a peaceful sleep.  See full.

 What does lying "choice-less on a beach - waiting for a gift from the sea" mean to you?  It means being clear-minded and aware enough to connect to higher consciousness and be inspired. A beach or any natural beauty of a mountain or a sky can overwhelm our ego and makes us contemplative and ready for communion with nature. In this state it is possible to access profound information from common consciousness or the so-called ‘Akashik’ records. This is the same source of information that the yogis, genius, savants and some autistics receive their unique ‘gift’.  This is also the source of inspiration for poets, artists and even some scientists. How do you interpret "faith?"  Faith is belief in the wisdom of our own higher consciousness, to guide us in our lives, without the interference of our conscious and subconscious mind. It is an effort to go beyond the intellect of our ego and emotions of our subconscious/soul to access the wisdom of common consciousness through love and devotion. Can you share a personal story that brings out your experience with choice-less-ness? There are two states of choice-less-ness. One takes me to dullness and the second to higher consciousness. The first is natural and the second requires self-effort, love and discipline. Love makes extraordinary effort peaceful and enjoyable. When I make an extraordinary effort (Tapas) in search of a result and than let go for while, in peaceful meditation or even sleep (‘to erase yesterdays scribbling’), I can find surprising solutions to my challenges. If the goal is unselfish, this self-effort works even better. With effort, love and awareness, I will have cut through the limits of conscious and subconscious to create a pointer to access the network of common consciousness. Without this pointer access, a peaceful beach, a mountain or a sky can at best give us the gift of a peaceful sleep.

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Social Intelligence, by Daniel Goleman

FaceBook  On Jan 2, 2013 Narendra wrote:
 How do you transcend emotional economy to make a non-reactive choice? To be reactive is natural. That is the way nature made us. To overcome this tendency and be objective, we need to evolve in consciousness with self-effort. We can develop this habit of objectivity or ‘witnessing’ by shifting our awareness from our mind/thought process to a feeling of love in the heart. This shift in awareness makes the experience of love in our heart, our primary, normal state instead of a random emotional state that can easily be triggered both internally and externally. How do we gain the awareness and equanimity to avoid catching the "rhinovirus"? When our normal responsive state becomes love, the reactive “rhinovirus” of emotions will be reduced. This stability in emotion gives us the confidence and the time to respond, instead of hastily over react, to an unexpected hostility. Our emotional stability also creates a positive, predictable environment around us….. We can ignore the rare occasion of a surprise ‘virus attack’ as being a test of our own presence of mind in ‘witnessing’ and by reminding ourselves that we are all in different states of evolution and some of us are under unpredictable stress situations. This is a better alternative than being constantly pissed off with a defensive attitude, like a lonely, nasty tiger in a bad neighborhood. Can you share a personal story of transcending the emotional economy? A few days ago, I was all dressed up and in a hurry to go to an important appointment. A crow on a tree just outside the house, ‘did his job’ on me. I had to rush back, take a shower, get dressed again and be on time to my appointment. I had no reason or time to be pissed off. It helps to remember that there are many crows in human form, unaware of the damage they cause.  
 

The Essence of Spirituality, by Vimala Thakar

FaceBook  On Dec 26, 2012 Narendra wrote:

 Corrected copy..... What is the essence of spirituality for you?   Spirituality for me is an adventure in finding the limits of my own consciousness. On this adventurous path, I hope to go though the limiting boundaries set by the body genetics, culture, my own emotions and the physical world of sense perception and even rationality, to experience the unifying consciousness that holds this universe together as universal love or god. How do you set yourself free of the tyranny of conditionings?  The tyranny of conditioning is based on the fear of god and in the absence of love of god and nature. The internal tyranny of conflicting thoughts and emotions can be replaced by love, through unselfish effort as an expression of love. The same unselfish love and courage or karmayoga, can also be used as a kshatriya dharma to fight the external tyranny of disrespectful, intolerant religious, financial and political organizations that have destroyed and continue to destroy nature, other peaceful religions, nations and cultures. Can you share a personal story that illustrates the essence of spirituality? When I was comfortably set in the luxury of the west, I ignored my responsibility as a world citizen. I focused on the pretensions of spirituality and ignored the reality of organized violence and poverty, caused by greed and competition for limited resources, control and power, by political and religious institutions. When I woke up from my pretensions of ‘sameness in religions’ to reality of ‘sameness in spirituality’, my first job was to support mutual respect (and not just tolerance) among religions and also, freedom, and democracy in spirituality, where multiple paths and gods provide fundamental human spiritual rights and freedom, by fighting dictatorial religions that limit freedom of thought through fear, intimidation and other corrupt practices in the name of their exclusive, egoistic, violent god and religion. We now live  See full.

 Corrected copy.....

What is the essence of spirituality for you?   Spirituality for me is an adventure in finding the limits of my own consciousness. On this adventurous path, I hope to go though the limiting boundaries set by the body genetics, culture, my own emotions and the physical world of sense perception and even rationality, to experience the unifying consciousness that holds this universe together as universal love or god. How do you set yourself free of the tyranny of conditionings?  The tyranny of conditioning is based on the fear of god and in the absence of love of god and nature. The internal tyranny of conflicting thoughts and emotions can be replaced by love, through unselfish effort as an expression of love. The same unselfish love and courage or karmayoga, can also be used as a kshatriya dharma to fight the external tyranny of disrespectful, intolerant religious, financial and political organizations that have destroyed and continue to destroy nature, other peaceful religions, nations and cultures. Can you share a personal story that illustrates the essence of spirituality? When I was comfortably set in the luxury of the west, I ignored my responsibility as a world citizen. I focused on the pretensions of spirituality and ignored the reality of organized violence and poverty, caused by greed and competition for limited resources, control and power, by political and religious institutions. When I woke up from my pretensions of ‘sameness in religions’ to reality of ‘sameness in spirituality’, my first job was to support mutual respect (and not just tolerance) among religions and also, freedom, and democracy in spirituality, where multiple paths and gods provide fundamental human spiritual rights and freedom, by fighting dictatorial religions that limit freedom of thought through fear, intimidation and other corrupt practices in the name of their exclusive, egoistic, violent god and religion. We now live in a world that is partly democratic in politics and mostly dictatorial in religion.  

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Always Had It, Always Will, by Alan Cohen

FaceBook  On Dec 17, 2012 Narendra wrote:
 Imagine this prank were played on you - what would your deepest words of wisdom be? ‘Don’t be intimidated by your mind and emotions’. Implement love as a way of life with courage. When receiving the honor that the drivers received, how do we also keep our awareness ‘that deliveries have to be made’, and avoid getting trapped by the attention we get? If we remember at all times, that we are all searching for love as happiness and make common mistakes during the search, and that we are all already connect through a common field of universal love and consciousness, we will be less inclined to being caught up in the drama of our emotions and ego, and we will remember to responsible by ‘making our deliveries’ with love. Can you share a personal story of a time when you were expected to share your deepest wisdom, and what arose in response? One of the best expressions of my ‘deepest wisdom’ has been this forum on ‘Wednesdays’. The selection of articles, the questions and some of the answers stimulate very practical and good thoughts in me. As the author says, wisdom is in everyone, if we look inside.
 

The Power of Myth, by Joseph Campbell

FaceBook  On Dec 11, 2012 Narendra wrote:

 Updated... What do you understand by the literature of the spirit? Spiritual literature is about our multidimensional consciousness and Universe. The physical dimension or conscious mind, is only one aspect of consciousness. Rationality, emotion and intuition are the three layers that correspond to conscious, subconscious and the common conscious mind. The dominant aspects of life are emotion and intuition. Myths, poetry, music, rituals and ultimately spiritual practices, satisfy the needs of these layers of consciousness. They provide collective security and comfort to a complex multidimensional consciousness of a life-form.….Most life forms are driven by the body genetics and the environment. As life evolves with experience, an individual consciousness develops as a separate primary consciousness, with unique emotions, thoughts and reason. As dullness reduces and sensitivity is increases, life becomes complex and unstable. At this stage, it is necessary to understand the nature of consciousness and take corrective measures as spirituality. For a complex life-form to be happy, all layers of consciousness need to be in harmony. If emotions are suppressed through rationality or ego, they arise as senility when the rational conscious mind fails with old age. Collective rituals, music/myths/poetry and spiritual practices help us stabilize emotions as we evolve from tamas to rajas to satva. How does mythology help you deepen your inner journey? Mythology induces hope and stability in my subconscious through make-believe stories that seem to vicariously satisfy the needs of my deeper layer of emotional and irrational consciousness.  It can also enhance security and happiness in the community by providing common ground and rhythm for communication and social activities as culture. Can you share a story that reveals the Power of Myth in your life? After an extensive rational analysis of my own consciousness, I find it necessary to believe in the effective  See full.

 Updated...
What do you understand by the literature of the spirit? Spiritual literature is about our multidimensional consciousness and Universe. The physical dimension or conscious mind, is only one aspect of consciousness. Rationality, emotion and intuition are the three layers that correspond to conscious, subconscious and the common conscious mind. The dominant aspects of life are emotion and intuition. Myths, poetry, music, rituals and ultimately spiritual practices, satisfy the needs of these layers of consciousness. They provide collective security and comfort to a complex multidimensional consciousness of a life-form.….Most life forms are driven by the body genetics and the environment. As life evolves with experience, an individual consciousness develops as a separate primary consciousness, with unique emotions, thoughts and reason. As dullness reduces and sensitivity is increases, life becomes complex and unstable. At this stage, it is necessary to understand the nature of consciousness and take corrective measures as spirituality. For a complex life-form to be happy, all layers of consciousness need to be in harmony. If emotions are suppressed through rationality or ego, they arise as senility when the rational conscious mind fails with old age. Collective rituals, music/myths/poetry and spiritual practices help us stabilize emotions as we evolve from tamas to rajas to satva. How does mythology help you deepen your inner journey? Mythology induces hope and stability in my subconscious through make-believe stories that seem to vicariously satisfy the needs of my deeper layer of emotional and irrational consciousness.  It can also enhance security and happiness in the community by providing common ground and rhythm for communication and social activities as culture. Can you share a story that reveals the Power of Myth in your life? After an extensive rational analysis of my own consciousness, I find it necessary to believe in the effectiveness of myths and rituals, in managing my semi-independent human brain-mind, as it struggles to find equilibrium in an unknown multidimensional consciousness.  I pray selectively, to multiple Hindu goddesses and gods who symbolically represent the unknown universe/consciousness/nature, through myths and rituals.

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The Power of Myth, by Joseph Campbell

FaceBook  On Dec 11, 2012 Narendra wrote:

 What do you understand by the literature of the spirit? Spiritual literature is about our multidimensional consciousness and Universe. The physical dimension or conscious mind, is only one aspect of consciousness. Rationality, emotion and intuition are the three layers that correspond to conscious, subconscious and the common conscious mind. The dominant aspects of life are emotion and intuition. Myths, poetry, music, rituals and ultimately spiritual practices, satisfy the needs of these layers of consciousness. They provide collective security and comfort to a complex multi dimensional consciousness of a life-form.….Most life forms are driven by the body genetics and the environment. As life evolves with experience, an individual consciousness develops as a separate primary consciousness, with unique emotions, thoughts and reason. As dullness reduces and sensitivity is increases, life becomes complex and unstable. For a complex life-form to be happy, all layers of consciousness need to be in harmony. If emotions are suppresses through rationality or ego, they arise as senility when the rational conscious mind fails with old age. Collective rituals, music/myths/poetry and spiritual practices help us stabilize emotions as we evolve from tamas to rajas to satva. How does mythology help you deepen your inner journey? Mythology induces hope and stability in my subconscious through make-believe stories that seem to vicariously satisfy the needs of my deeper layer of emotional and irrational consciousness.  Can you share a story that reveals the Power of Myth in your life? After an extensive rational analysis of my own consciousness, I find it necessary to believe in the effectiveness of myths and rituals, in managing my semi-independent human brain-mind, as it struggles to find equilibrium in an unknown multidimensional consciousness.  I pray selectively, to multiple Hindu goddesses and gods who symbolically represent the unknown universe/conscious  See full.

 What do you understand by the literature of the spirit? Spiritual literature is about our multidimensional consciousness and Universe. The physical dimension or conscious mind, is only one aspect of consciousness. Rationality, emotion and intuition are the three layers that correspond to conscious, subconscious and the common conscious mind. The dominant aspects of life are emotion and intuition. Myths, poetry, music, rituals and ultimately spiritual practices, satisfy the needs of these layers of consciousness. They provide collective security and comfort to a complex multi dimensional consciousness of a life-form.….Most life forms are driven by the body genetics and the environment. As life evolves with experience, an individual consciousness develops as a separate primary consciousness, with unique emotions, thoughts and reason. As dullness reduces and sensitivity is increases, life becomes complex and unstable. For a complex life-form to be happy, all layers of consciousness need to be in harmony. If emotions are suppresses through rationality or ego, they arise as senility when the rational conscious mind fails with old age. Collective rituals, music/myths/poetry and spiritual practices help us stabilize emotions as we evolve from tamas to rajas to satva. How does mythology help you deepen your inner journey? Mythology induces hope and stability in my subconscious through make-believe stories that seem to vicariously satisfy the needs of my deeper layer of emotional and irrational consciousness.  Can you share a story that reveals the Power of Myth in your life? After an extensive rational analysis of my own consciousness, I find it necessary to believe in the effectiveness of myths and rituals, in managing my semi-independent human brain-mind, as it struggles to find equilibrium in an unknown multidimensional consciousness.  I pray selectively, to multiple Hindu goddesses and gods who symbolically represent the unknown universe/consciousness/nature, through myths and rituals.

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10 Principles of The Artist's Way, by Julia Cameron

FaceBook  On Dec 9, 2012 Narendra wrote:

 How do you relate to the notion that creativity is a spiritual experience?  There are several stages of creativity 1) Imitation or copying 2) Re-creation or creatively reorganizing known objects/patterns and 3) Creation of a new patterns/objects. Nature creates new patterns through mutation within the local limits of the environment. Chaos, randomness or freedom, appear to be the platform for this new ‘original creation’. When this new creation is in harmony with the environment it becomes a stable pattern for reproduction. If it is not, it is discarded. These creations are like the notes in the music of nature. All life forms exhibit this process of ‘natural creation, mutation and selection’. These stages can be related to the three layers of brain-mind. For example, what appears to be creativity for survival is preprogrammed by nature as the operating system. This is also the creativity expressed through copying, 2) emotional creativity as in arts is the next level of creativity, where creativity is expressed as reassembling a known set of patterns. 3) The original, intuitive or spontaneous creativity is a rare step beyond the subconscious into the common or the spiritual consciousness, when we become a ‘channel’ for expression of a higher consciousness. This happens in a semi-trance state between the chaos of our ego-soul-mind and the tranquility of higher consciousness, when we momentarily become the original creative ‘force’ of nature as ‘knowingness’ or the blissful flow of ‘the self’. As the author points out, belief is a function of our mind and ‘knowingness’ is a function of the ‘common conscious mind’. This is the source of all original creation – ‘the mind of God.’  Can you share a story from your life that illustrates this?  As the author suggests, there are moments in our life when creativity becomes a spontaneous flow a  See full.

 How do you relate to the notion that creativity is a spiritual experience?  There are several stages of creativity 1) Imitation or copying 2) Re-creation or creatively reorganizing known objects/patterns and 3) Creation of a new patterns/objects. Nature creates new patterns through mutation within the local limits of the environment. Chaos, randomness or freedom, appear to be the platform for this new ‘original creation’. When this new creation is in harmony with the environment it becomes a stable pattern for reproduction. If it is not, it is discarded. These creations are like the notes in the music of nature. All life forms exhibit this process of ‘natural creation, mutation and selection’. These stages can be related to the three layers of brain-mind. For example, what appears to be creativity for survival is preprogrammed by nature as the operating system. This is also the creativity expressed through copying, 2) emotional creativity as in arts is the next level of creativity, where creativity is expressed as reassembling a known set of patterns. 3) The original, intuitive or spontaneous creativity is a rare step beyond the subconscious into the common or the spiritual consciousness, when we become a ‘channel’ for expression of a higher consciousness. This happens in a semi-trance state between the chaos of our ego-soul-mind and the tranquility of higher consciousness, when we momentarily become the original creative ‘force’ of nature as ‘knowingness’ or the blissful flow of ‘the self’. As the author points out, belief is a function of our mind and ‘knowingness’ is a function of the ‘common conscious mind’. This is the source of all original creation – ‘the mind of God.’  Can you share a story from your life that illustrates this?  As the author suggests, there are moments in our life when creativity becomes a spontaneous flow and we experience it as ‘the bliss of creation’. When this becomes more frequent, we can be in a ‘genius’ layer of consciousness in a particular aspect of life. This is more common in arts than in structured science. Art as in singing and music has been a spiritual path to higher consciousness all over the world. There are notes, melodies and rhythms that resonate with different layers of our consciousness, as in ‘mantra chanting’. What does "midwife-ing and witnessing your own creative progression" mean to you?  As the question suggests, it is a way of helping universal consciousness or universal creativity to express itself through us, by removing the interference of our own conscious and subconscious mind, through meditation and witnessing. Witnessing is a process of observing our emotions and thought processes. As emotions become love and thoughts are reduced, the creator or the artist becomes the ‘process of creation’ in a blissful semi-trance state of common consciousness. Music written in such a trance state can induce a similar trance state of common consciousness in the listener and in the environment.

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The Challenge of Gift-Giving, by Nitin Paranjape

FaceBook  On Nov 29, 2012 Narendra wrote:

 How do you relate to the notion of ready-made gifts leading us to "forget the reasons for giving?" I agree with the author that gift giving is commercialized. It shifts our spiritual emotions to material emotions. Even from a young age, we learn to evaluate our emotion through a price tag. The material exchange as a ‘transaction’ can bring a “closure” to emotional exchange. On the other hand, if the gift is an expression of love, such as creating a unique object with our own hands, as an expression of sharing our life/time, the gift is ‘energized’ by our love and it can be a reminder of never ending flow of love. Time and action can create a depth of emotion. How do you stay mindful of your reasons for giving?  We do not need a reason for giving.   Life and happiness are a collective flow of give and take. After our first responsibility to be independent and not be a burden to any one, all thoughts and actions should be to enhance our environment through individual and collective effort, and sharing. Life itself is divided in to four stages of giving, as Ashrama dharma: 1) Learning to be a productive member of the community 2) Being a contributor through family and friends 3) Being of full time service to the community and 4) Not being a burden on the community. Can you share a personal story of a gift that you chose to make with your own hands?  Of the various things I have experimented with, in my life. The one I am most comfortable with has been an understanding of myself from a global and universal perspective, and promoting such global/universal perception. This has significantly satisfied my need for creative insight and “meaningfulness” in life. “Meaningfulness in life” appears to be closely related to our contribution to the welfare of our environment or community. Each of us appears to have a unique skill (Verna dharma or Svadhrma) to contribute to community, bas  See full.

 How do you relate to the notion of ready-made gifts leading us to "forget the reasons for giving?" I agree with the author that gift giving is commercialized. It shifts our spiritual emotions to material emotions. Even from a young age, we learn to evaluate our emotion through a price tag. The material exchange as a ‘transaction’ can bring a “closure” to emotional exchange. On the other hand, if the gift is an expression of love, such as creating a unique object with our own hands, as an expression of sharing our life/time, the gift is ‘energized’ by our love and it can be a reminder of never ending flow of love. Time and action can create a depth of emotion. How do you stay mindful of your reasons for giving?  We do not need a reason for giving.   Life and happiness are a collective flow of give and take. After our first responsibility to be independent and not be a burden to any one, all thoughts and actions should be to enhance our environment through individual and collective effort, and sharing. Life itself is divided in to four stages of giving, as Ashrama dharma: 1) Learning to be a productive member of the community 2) Being a contributor through family and friends 3) Being of full time service to the community and 4) Not being a burden on the community. Can you share a personal story of a gift that you chose to make with your own hands?  Of the various things I have experimented with, in my life. The one I am most comfortable with has been an understanding of myself from a global and universal perspective, and promoting such global/universal perception. This has significantly satisfied my need for creative insight and “meaningfulness” in life. “Meaningfulness in life” appears to be closely related to our contribution to the welfare of our environment or community. Each of us appears to have a unique skill (Verna dharma or Svadhrma) to contribute to community, based on our natural tendencies (‘Gunas’).  

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The Call, by Oriah Mountain Dreamer

FaceBook  On Nov 19, 2012 Narendra wrote:
 What is the one word you are here to say with all your being? Love (absolute love or Being Universal consciousness). How do we practice opening our "fist clenched in wanting?" We open our clenched ego with unselfish love, by expanding our ego-centered, relative love to include all of nature. With this, we transit from ‘wanting to giving’. What do you understand by "God-mad" or "faithful only to the Beauty" or letting the "Lover pull you to your feet and hold you close”?  When we let love pull us out of ego in to Self, we enter a ‘state of trance’ or ‘God-madness’, beyond our physical-time dimension and awareness. We experience ‘intuitively’, that we are the timeless consciousness and all of its creation, and not just this physical body. We will be immersed in universal love or ‘Eternal Bliss of Consciousness’, (Sat-chit- Ananda). Can you share a personal experience that illustrates this feeling of surrender?  When we completely surrender our ego and soul (conscious and sub-conscious mind) to our own Self (Universal, unselfish Love), even for a short moment, the ‘Bliss of Love’ will replace the burden of ego and soul and we ‘see’ ‘the Light of consciousness’. This ‘light of consciousness’ can leave everlasting positive qualities in our conscious and the subconscious mind, even when it is experienced as a short transient state. To make such a state of awareness permanent (Samadhi or ‘Being God ’), we need to replace all of our subconscious emotional contradictions (vasanas) with love, through the practice of Karma-yoga and Bhakti-yoga. This is ‘Burning our Karma’ through Tapas.
 

Frying the Seeds of Anger, by Swami Vivekananda

FaceBook  On Nov 16, 2012 Narendra wrote:
 What does frying the seeds of anger mean to you? This means objectively witnessing our own emotions and ego, even before they become thought processes and actions (sakshitva). It is being sensitive to changes in our emotions and thought patterns. How can we control our passions "at their very roots?"   The root of all emotions is Love. All life forms are in search of love whether it is as sex or as relative love or as absolute love. When we get lost in this search for love in our own ego and selfishness, we develop a spectrum of positive and negative emotions.  Any one particular emotion is hard to control by itself. Therefore, we need to access love - the root of all emotions, by meditating on the experience of love in the heart (Bhaktiyoga). This expands our love to include all of creation, thereby minimizing our ego and associated adverse emotions.  Can you share a story that brings out an experience you've had with frying the seeds of anger? In my experience, there are two sources of motivation: a quick source of motivation from the ego-centered, selfish attitude (Tamas and Rajas) this includes fear, anger, greed etc, and secondly, love as the motivation for the “Self”-centered, unselfish attitude (Satva). All life forms operate from both of these sources. It is easier to generate ‘quick ego-energy’ to get things done. However, this energy is disharmonious and short lived. When the motivation is based on love, patience and unselfishness, there is continuity even when our personal effort stops, since Love becomes a harmonious motivation for collective creativity.
 

Planetary Birth, by Barbara Marx Hubbard

FaceBook  On Nov 5, 2012 Narendra wrote:

 How do you relate to the author's use of the birth metaphor to describe the present human condition? Birth, life and death apply to all aspects of nature including cultures, planet and stars.  There is also potential for premature self-destruction of this earth by humans, like children playing with a gun - if our selfishness based limited intelligence does not evolve in to unselfish wisdom of peace and Natural harmony, before it is too late. The author implies the need to hold and nurture that which is being born, bearing all the pain that comes with such a holding, and at the right moment, let it separate naturally without holding on to it - how can we bring such an attitude to all that we are creating? The right moment for birth of wisdom may not happen naturally, in time.  The birth of ‘wisdom and tolerance’ may have to be self-induced. There are nuclear weapons with intolerant groups that can result in global catastrophe.  There is a need to know that all life forms, from plants to planets, including animals, humans, cultures etc evolve in three stages : Tamas-physical awareness, Rajas-selfish/emotional awareness and Satva- love/unselfish awareness. Currently, the collective human consciousness/culture is in the second stage. It is intelligent, emotional and potentially self-destructive. We need to evolve in to the next stage of wisdom/love of collective harmony with nature, as soon as possible.  Hinduism has recognized these stages in its long history of several thousands of years. It has developed a culture of healthy respect and a loving relationship with all aspects of nature through love and worship, not just intellectual understanding of nature. This wisdom needs to be made global before it is lost in the current aggressive global rush for greed and ‘modernization’. Can you relate a personal experience where you felt that you were giving birth to something sacred? All unselfish creativity, however small  See full.

 How do you relate to the author's use of the birth metaphor to describe the present human condition? Birth, life and death apply to all aspects of nature including cultures, planet and stars.  There is also potential for premature self-destruction of this earth by humans, like children playing with a gun - if our selfishness based limited intelligence does not evolve in to unselfish wisdom of peace and Natural harmony, before it is too late. The author implies the need to hold and nurture that which is being born, bearing all the pain that comes with such a holding, and at the right moment, let it separate naturally without holding on to it - how can we bring such an attitude to all that we are creating? The right moment for birth of wisdom may not happen naturally, in time.  The birth of ‘wisdom and tolerance’ may have to be self-induced. There are nuclear weapons with intolerant groups that can result in global catastrophe.  There is a need to know that all life forms, from plants to planets, including animals, humans, cultures etc evolve in three stages : Tamas-physical awareness, Rajas-selfish/emotional awareness and Satva- love/unselfish awareness. Currently, the collective human consciousness/culture is in the second stage. It is intelligent, emotional and potentially self-destructive. We need to evolve in to the next stage of wisdom/love of collective harmony with nature, as soon as possible.  Hinduism has recognized these stages in its long history of several thousands of years. It has developed a culture of healthy respect and a loving relationship with all aspects of nature through love and worship, not just intellectual understanding of nature. This wisdom needs to be made global before it is lost in the current aggressive global rush for greed and ‘modernization’. Can you relate a personal experience where you felt that you were giving birth to something sacred? All unselfish creativity, however small it is, is sacred. It is a display of universal love by humans. It is identified and supported by nature for its own collective survival as ‘mother nature’.

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A Servant Leader, by Vinoba Bhave

FaceBook  On Nov 2, 2012 Narendra wrote:
Updated....
 What does being a servant leader mean to you? The concept of leadership currently in use in most institutions, from armies to religion, is the top-down pyramid control structure. This limits the freedom of followers and boosts the ego and power of leaders. This is based on hierarchical system of Roman Empire. However, from the perspective of service or dharma, the pyramid is reversed. Service, consensus, Nature, humility and love are the driving force in Dharma and not ego. This dharma-karmayoga model makes service based leadership an obligation and a natural growth of unselfishness and not an option to be avoided or a leadership acquired through force and ego. That is, leadershiip in working for the community and the environment, with unselfish goals is an obligation-as mentioned by a 'Wednesdayer'. If one persists in unselfish effort, overtime he will be recognized as a model or a selfless leader. We recognize unselfish leaders since diversity in nature is unified in harmony through universal love.  How can we cultivate ourselves to be servant leaders? We need to keep our needs to a minimum and eliminate personal wants. This will simplify our life and make room for selfless service. This is ‘going beyond ego to universal self.’ Can you share a personal story that illustrates servant leadership? Leadership for unselfish material goals is important and valuable. However, in my experience, when the goal includes people, with patience, love and service attitude, we become servant leaders and impart such leadership qualities to others. ‘Wednesdays’ is a good example.
 

A Servant Leader, by Vinoba Bhave

FaceBook  On Oct 31, 2012 Narendra wrote:
 What does being a servant leader mean to you? It means karmayoga. That is, working for the community and the environment, with unselfish goals. If one persists in unselfish effort, overtime, he will be recognized as a model or a selfless leader. We recognize unselfish leaders since diversity in nature is unified in harmony through universal love.  How can we cultivate ourselves to be servant leaders? We need to keep our needs to a minimum and eliminate personal wants. This will simplify our life and make room for selfless service. This is ‘going beyond ego to universal self.’ Can you share a personal story that illustrates servant leadership? Leadership for unselfish material goals is important and valuable. However, in my experience, when the goal includes people, with patience, love and service attitude, we become servant leaders and impart such leadership qualities to others. ‘Wednesdays’ is a good example.
 

Sunrise in Laos, by Pam Houston

FaceBook  On Oct 24, 2012 Narendra wrote:
 What do you understand by unity in diversity? Nature creates diversity through constant mutation, adaptation and evolution. This happens in harmony since the foundation of creation is peace and love. Therefore, unity is the foundation of creation. Likes and dislikes are part of natural evolution and adaptation. Diversity is the creative excitement and expression of love in nature. How can we avoid the trap of seeking unity through uniformity, and instead, learn to appreciate unity in diversity? Humans, through business and religious organizations, modeled after armies, force uniformity on nature. These organizations are driven by heartless egos represented by their forceful rules and they are out of sync with nature. Reorienting ourselves and the leaders of these organizations, through education in love and appreciation of diversity in nature and in democratic ways, is one possible solution. Can you share a personal experience of a time when you saw unity in the diversity in front of you? There is unity in diversity in nature all around us. We do not see unnecessary, hateful violence anywhere other than in humans. Natural likes and dislikes among humans are organized in to destructive anger and hate by disoriented leaders of religions and cultures. There is no need for special effort to experience this. It is all around us.
 

Gaining Mental Power, by Swami Sivananda

FaceBook  On Oct 16, 2012 Narendra wrote:
 What has been an effective method of conquering evil thoughts for you? As a part of evolution, the Brain-mind developed in multiple layers, - as an analog computer and with very limited control. Therefore, most of the thoughts are ignorant, not evil. If we learn to identify thought patterns through silent witnessing, we can gain limited control over the THOUGHT PATTERNS. This is ‘witnessing the ego from the Self’. Meditation is to experience the elusive ‘Self’ by clearing ALL thoughts, which is more difficult. The author emphasizes patient work - what is your reflection on the need for patience in the quest to gain mastery of our minds? Any kind of physical work can help slow down the mind. Love of effort brings in creativity and presence of mind. In the absence of love of effort, work can bring dullness. Attention to quality of work brings patience and discipline. Can you share a personal story that illustrates an experience of focusing on the good while refusing to give attention to evil thoughts? By chanting the Dharma mantra such as ‘discipline, love, courage, truth ... etc’ which is based on universal-moral principles, as a background task, we can develop an ethical, unselfish philosophy of life that permeates all our thoughts and actions. In my life, this minimized both random and negative thought patterns to create peace, happiness and harmony.  
 

The Way of the Farmer, by Masanobu Fukuoka

FaceBook  On Oct 8, 2012 Narendra wrote:

 The author advocates deep observation and understanding of nature - what has been your learning from nature?  For millions of years, almost all life forms have lived “from the heart” as an extension of nature, without a “deep understanding”. However, today, we need to understand the damage we humans have cause to our environment because of our greed, so that we can rebuild our environment for love, not just for our natural resources. The concept that the world was created for human consumption has been the source of this problem. There is no ‘love and respect’ for nature…..The author critiques scientific and industrial dualisms and seems to advocate simplicity - what does simplicity mean to you?…. Simplicity means keeping our needs to a minimum and not being obsessed with wants. It also means being in tune with nature so that we develop reverence and respect for all of nature in all its forms and stop abusing it. The greed based, modern industrial mass-production has lead to wasteful consumption of resources and has created ad fueled material obsession.…..The author suggests that if we were to set aside our will and treat nature as a guide, there would be no reason to starve - can you illustrate what this means to you with a personal story? There are more than 7 billion people to feed. We need industrial production until all are educated enough to minimize our needs. We need a worldwide strategy and education in population control, food production and management. Considering that the rich are still throwing away food in luxury when most of the world is undernourished or starving, the author’s ideas appear to be good but impractical at present. However, in the long run, if we observe nature with respect and an intention to learn we will find answers to many of our current challenges.  As a personal discipline, I try minimizing my needs. This helps me save time and money that I can spend on  See full.

 The author advocates deep observation and understanding of nature - what has been your learning from nature?  For millions of years, almost all life forms have lived “from the heart” as an extension of nature, without a “deep understanding”. However, today, we need to understand the damage we humans have cause to our environment because of our greed, so that we can rebuild our environment for love, not just for our natural resources. The concept that the world was created for human consumption has been the source of this problem. There is no ‘love and respect’ for nature…..The author critiques scientific and industrial dualisms and seems to advocate simplicity - what does simplicity mean to you?…. Simplicity means keeping our needs to a minimum and not being obsessed with wants. It also means being in tune with nature so that we develop reverence and respect for all of nature in all its forms and stop abusing it. The greed based, modern industrial mass-production has lead to wasteful consumption of resources and has created ad fueled material obsession.…..The author suggests that if we were to set aside our will and treat nature as a guide, there would be no reason to starve - can you illustrate what this means to you with a personal story? There are more than 7 billion people to feed. We need industrial production until all are educated enough to minimize our needs. We need a worldwide strategy and education in population control, food production and management. Considering that the rich are still throwing away food in luxury when most of the world is undernourished or starving, the author’s ideas appear to be good but impractical at present. However, in the long run, if we observe nature with respect and an intention to learn we will find answers to many of our current challenges.  As a personal discipline, I try minimizing my needs. This helps me save time and money that I can spend on spiritual-environmental projects.

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Living from the Heart, by Rick Jarow

FaceBook  On Sep 30, 2012 Narendra wrote:

 The author emphasizes that maintaining our love for others does not necessarily imply condoning their behavior - how do you relate to this notion? I agree. The example of a mothers’ discipline for a child is the essence of practice of love in nature. This conditional or tough-love is designed to make children peaceful and productive citizens of community. This also applies to religions, cultures and communities, if we are to coexist peacefully on this planet. The world evolved with three layers of brain-mind, Tamas/body, Rajas/emotions and Satwa/Love. These need coordination and discipline. Unconditional love and nonviolence encourages oppression of the peaceful by the aggressive, as in colonialism, terrorism and wars. The world is in transition from ignorance/selfishness based survival and competition, to survival based on     awareness, mutual respect and cooperation. Some religions and cultures are ahead of others in this process. For some, this transition appears to be painful, as recent violence in the middle east indicate....Can you share a personal story of challenging someone without withdrawing your love for them?  As I evolve in awareness by being more heart centered, I responded more than I react. There is no need to withdraw love at anytime. Most people respond to love and reason. When this does not work, I walk away. When Tamasic/intolerant religions and organizations encourage wars, oppression and terrorism, I respond responsibly as the Gita recommends…. How can we inculcate the strength and wisdom to be able to do that? What does "Living from the Heart," mean to you? As the author points out, the heart unites and the mind divides. When we keep our attachment and needs to a minimum we can afford to be truthful and courageous. Further, if we meditate on love, develop compassion, and treat others as an extension of ourselves, we can live from the heart. We can support loving, compassionate institution  See full.

 The author emphasizes that maintaining our love for others does not necessarily imply condoning their behavior - how do you relate to this notion? I agree. The example of a mothers’ discipline for a child is the essence of practice of love in nature. This conditional or tough-love is designed to make children peaceful and productive citizens of community. This also applies to religions, cultures and communities, if we are to coexist peacefully on this planet. The world evolved with three layers of brain-mind, Tamas/body, Rajas/emotions and Satwa/Love. These need coordination and discipline. Unconditional love and nonviolence encourages oppression of the peaceful by the aggressive, as in colonialism, terrorism and wars. The world is in transition from ignorance/selfishness based survival and competition, to survival based on     awareness, mutual respect and cooperation. Some religions and cultures are ahead of others in this process. For some, this transition appears to be painful, as recent violence in the middle east indicate....Can you share a personal story of challenging someone without withdrawing your love for them?  As I evolve in awareness by being more heart centered, I responded more than I react. There is no need to withdraw love at anytime. Most people respond to love and reason. When this does not work, I walk away. When Tamasic/intolerant religions and organizations encourage wars, oppression and terrorism, I respond responsibly as the Gita recommends…. How can we inculcate the strength and wisdom to be able to do that? What does "Living from the Heart," mean to you? As the author points out, the heart unites and the mind divides. When we keep our attachment and needs to a minimum we can afford to be truthful and courageous. Further, if we meditate on love, develop compassion, and treat others as an extension of ourselves, we can live from the heart. We can support loving, compassionate institutions and oppose heartless, divisive and destructive religions and institutions, as responsible world citizens.

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The Spirit of Karma Yoga, by Baba Hari Dass

FaceBook  On Sep 23, 2012 Narendra wrote:

 How can we stop ourselves from judging the selfishness of others, based on the wisdom that no one can know whether the act sprang from Karma Yoga or selfish action? Karmayoga creates  'happiness for all', without exceptions.  This intention separates Karmayoga from actions based on selfish goals..... Genetics, environment and culture dominate all life forms. In most cases, our lives are patterns in evolution and conformation. We evolve from ignorance to selfishness, and on to unselfishness, as we all search for love, peace and happiness in life. Some are ahead of others in evolution. Therefore, with an open mind, it is possible to stop judging and, help or appreciate others – or ignore them, if they are not harming anyone........ The author traces selfishness as the root of anger, even when the intent is good - what is your experience on this? Karmayoga is an expression of unconditional love in action. There is no room for anger when there is love.  Anger is an expression of selfish ego. It separates us from the flow of love in nature or the Self, with ego-made rules.... Can you share a story from your life that illustrates the difference between Karma Yoga and selfish action?  Selfish action and associated ego lead me to a turbulent life of competition and left me in isolation, with only material comforts and emptiness of heart. Unselfish effort (Karmayoga) attracted other unselfish, loving people in to my life. It provided fulfillment of love. Surprisingly, the identity that my ego craved for was also fulfilled! As a result, my 'ego' supported my unselfish efforts!....What do you understand by "performing one's duty perfectly?"   Perfection is a state. The world we live-in, is in constant transition. There is no perfection. However, perfection can be an unattainable goal like Nirvana or Moksha, as long as it does not generate stress and unhappiness. We have an obligation to do the best we can  See full.

 How can we stop ourselves from judging the selfishness of others, based on the wisdom that no one can know whether the act sprang from Karma Yoga or selfish action? Karmayoga creates  'happiness for all', without exceptions.  This intention separates Karmayoga from actions based on selfish goals..... Genetics, environment and culture dominate all life forms. In most cases, our lives are patterns in evolution and conformation. We evolve from ignorance to selfishness, and on to unselfishness, as we all search for love, peace and happiness in life. Some are ahead of others in evolution. Therefore, with an open mind, it is possible to stop judging and, help or appreciate others – or ignore them, if they are not harming anyone........ The author traces selfishness as the root of anger, even when the intent is good - what is your experience on this? Karmayoga is an expression of unconditional love in action. There is no room for anger when there is love.  Anger is an expression of selfish ego. It separates us from the flow of love in nature or the Self, with ego-made rules.... Can you share a story from your life that illustrates the difference between Karma Yoga and selfish action?  Selfish action and associated ego lead me to a turbulent life of competition and left me in isolation, with only material comforts and emptiness of heart. Unselfish effort (Karmayoga) attracted other unselfish, loving people in to my life. It provided fulfillment of love. Surprisingly, the identity that my ego craved for was also fulfilled! As a result, my 'ego' supported my unselfish efforts!....What do you understand by "performing one's duty perfectly?"   Perfection is a state. The world we live-in, is in constant transition. There is no perfection. However, perfection can be an unattainable goal like Nirvana or Moksha, as long as it does not generate stress and unhappiness. We have an obligation to do the best we can in any accepted responsibility. This requires a disciplined Dharmic life to overcome the disturbing body instincts, emotions and thought patterns.  The Process of Dharmic life or Karmayoga, starts with a 'Dharma mantra' such as 'Discipline, love, courage, truth...etc', to reprogram our attitude.  

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The Rich Experience of A Quiet Mind, by John Coleman

FaceBook  On Sep 16, 2012 Narendra wrote:
 What practice serves you well in developing attentiveness?  Attentiveness needs practice of love and courage in all aspects of life. Love or acceptance of the present moment no matter what it is, and secondly, courage to let go desires and fears that interfere with the present moment, so that I can be in the present with complete awareness.  Adherence to unconditional truth as a principle, supports love, courage and presence of mind …….What does entering reality mean to you? ‘Absolute Reality’ is complete experience of the present moment, as is - in its ‘multiple dimensions’. We enter or experience a little of this reality as consciousness, when we let go our ego, desires and fears to become the ‘process’ or the ‘object’ we are focusing on – in a semi-trance state. This is ‘Samyama’.…..Can you share a personal experience that illustrates entering, becoming and experiencing reality? I have experienced ‘reality’, when I was involved in a creative process with complete focus and absorption, as in a physical-emotional activity such as playing music, dancing or in a game of tennis, or an emotional activity such as listening to music, or when I am in an intense creative thought process. This happens in the absence of my ego and the associated conscious effort.   
 

Sitting Aboard Life's Merry-Go-Round, by Karl Renz

FaceBook  On Sep 9, 2012 Narendra wrote:

 What has been your experience with the reflection that the Self "always drives directly to happiness?"...... The 'Self' or  'Bliss' appears to be an experience of the field of consciousness, in a trance. Peaceful happiness is the 'Bliss of self' in the physical world.  I experience the Self as 'excitement' through the Ego and as a 'pleasure' through the Body. ......The author contrasts the more visible driver to the quiet driver - how do you choose who you want to be?......I am driven by body instincts and subconscious (soul) emotions. I can spend a lifetime fighting these two, looking for 'Moksha or Nirvana' or, enjoy all three modes of happiness: pleasure, excitement and peaceful happiness, with a manageable 'witness' attitude or presence of mind - as a path of Dharma.  I chose the latter because, it is my hope that, with diligent practice, I will experience the elusive 'Self', as more of my 'soul' or subconscious, disappears with presence of mind and my ego and the body gradually disappear with age...... Can you share a personal experience where you found yourself aiming in the same direction as the merry-go-round (or united with it)? ......When I struggled with 'my goals' as defined by the culture, competing with the environment and 'Taking care of number one', I was struggling to steer the 'race car' on the merry-go-round in my direction..... When I realized that the 'merry-go-round' is my environment and that, if I am in tune with my environment and co-operate with it, objectively, I can enjoy the excitement and wisdom of the ride, as a play of consciousness and help others enjoy their ride. This open awareness made me feel more peaceful, happy and ‘successful’.   I can even meditate better and keep my body instincts and emotions 'under control. ;-)'..... I h  See full.

 What has been your experience with the reflection that the Self "always drives directly to happiness?"...... The 'Self' or  'Bliss' appears to be an experience of the field of consciousness, in a trance. Peaceful happiness is the 'Bliss of self' in the physical world.  I experience the Self as 'excitement' through the Ego and as a 'pleasure' through the Body. ......The author contrasts the more visible driver to the quiet driver - how do you choose who you want to be?......I am driven by body instincts and subconscious (soul) emotions. I can spend a lifetime fighting these two, looking for 'Moksha or Nirvana' or, enjoy all three modes of happiness: pleasure, excitement and peaceful happiness, with a manageable 'witness' attitude or presence of mind - as a path of Dharma.  I chose the latter because, it is my hope that, with diligent practice, I will experience the elusive 'Self', as more of my 'soul' or subconscious, disappears with presence of mind and my ego and the body gradually disappear with age...... Can you share a personal experience where you found yourself aiming in the same direction as the merry-go-round (or united with it)? ......When I struggled with 'my goals' as defined by the culture, competing with the environment and 'Taking care of number one', I was struggling to steer the 'race car' on the merry-go-round in my direction..... When I realized that the 'merry-go-round' is my environment and that, if I am in tune with my environment and co-operate with it, objectively, I can enjoy the excitement and wisdom of the ride, as a play of consciousness and help others enjoy their ride. This open awareness made me feel more peaceful, happy and ‘successful’.   I can even meditate better and keep my body instincts and emotions 'under control. ;-)'..... I have a Guru to inspire me on this path

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Sitting Aboard Life's Merry-Go-Round, by Karl Renz

FaceBook  On Sep 7, 2012 Narendra wrote:
 What has been your experience with the reflection that the Self "always drives directly to happiness?"...... The 'Self' or  'Bliss' appears to be an experience of the field of consciousness, in a trance. Happiness is the 'Bliss of self' in the physical world.  I experience the Self as 'excitement' through the Ego and as a 'pleasure' through the Body. ...... The author contrasts the more visible driver to the quiet driver - how do you choose who you want to be?......I am driven by body instincts and subconscious (soul) emotions. I can spend a lifetime fighting these two, looking for 'Moksha or Nirvana' or, enjoy all three modes of happiness: pleasure, excitement and happiness, with a manageable 'witness' attitude - as a path of Dharma. I chose the latter..... Can you share a personal experience where you found yourself aiming in the same direction as the merry-go-round (or united with it)? ......When I struggled with 'my goals' as defined by the culture, competing with the environment and 'Taking care of number one', I was struggling to steer the 'race car' on the merry-go-round in my direction..... When I realized that the 'merry-go-round' is my environment and that, if I am in tune with my environment and co-operate with it, objectively, I can enjoy the excitement and wisdom of the ride, as a play of consciousness and help others enjoy their ride. This open awareness made me feel more secure, reduce stress and be happy.   I can even meditate better and keep my body instincts and emotions 'under control. ;-)'..... I have a Guru to inspire me on this path.
 

What Astrology Teaches Us, by Isabel Hickey

FaceBook  On Sep 2, 2012 Narendra wrote:

  "What tools (including but certainly not limited to astrology) have particularly helped you to understand your blessings and challenges?…   Many modern scientists believe that the world is a three dimensional, holographic projection of a two dimensional surface. In Vedic Astrology, this layer of consciousness is termed ‘Akashic records’, where ‘all’ information about past, present and future, is stored in a field of consciousness, similar to an Internet.  This information is ‘downloaded’, based on a pointer from an astrology chart and a  ‘noise free’ intuition. Even though the accuracy of prediction is sometimes ‘miraculous’ and better than a mathematical probability. Many, like me, find it inconsistent therefore unreliable.   The Layer of ‘Akashic’ consciousness or ‘one-ness consciousness’ appears to be real, when savants and autistic persons access it to perform ‘miracles’ beyond the speed of brain-mind or when we see ‘sixth sense’ in some animals. Also, in Japanese Bushido, some samurais can achieve ‘super human’ speeds and accuracy, consistently, based on a Zen meditation to develop the sixth sense or intuition……………..   How do you center yourself in that essential thing that lies behind your personality?….   I believe that my personality is based on my emotions. My emotions are created when my desires and fears (ego) interact with love - the source of all life, emotions and creation. To stabilize emotions, I meditate on the feeling of love in my heart……….     Can you share a personal story of an attitude change that shifted your consciousness to allow you to "bless that which you are fighting"? "…..   The ‘fight’ was between the consistent sense perception (ego and ratio  See full.

  "What tools (including but certainly not limited to astrology) have particularly helped you to understand your blessings and challenges?…
 
Many modern scientists believe that the world is a three dimensional, holographic projection of a two dimensional surface. In Vedic Astrology, this layer of consciousness is termed ‘Akashic records’, where ‘all’ information about past, present and future, is stored in a field of consciousness, similar to an Internet.  This information is ‘downloaded’, based on a pointer from an astrology chart and a  ‘noise free’ intuition. Even though the accuracy of prediction is sometimes ‘miraculous’ and better than a mathematical probability. Many, like me, find it inconsistent therefore unreliable.
 
The Layer of ‘Akashic’ consciousness or ‘one-ness consciousness’ appears to be real, when savants and autistic persons access it to perform ‘miracles’ beyond the speed of brain-mind or when we see ‘sixth sense’ in some animals. Also, in Japanese Bushido, some samurais can achieve ‘super human’ speeds and accuracy, consistently, based on a Zen meditation to develop the sixth sense or intuition……………..
 
How do you center yourself in that essential thing that lies behind your personality?….
 
I believe that my personality is based on my emotions. My emotions are created when my desires and fears (ego) interact with love - the source of all life, emotions and creation. To stabilize emotions, I meditate on the feeling of love in my heart……….
 
 
Can you share a personal story of an attitude change that shifted your consciousness to allow you to "bless that which you are fighting"? "…..
 
The ‘fight’ was between the consistent sense perception (ego and rationality) and the inconsistent intuition (Self ?). When, for a short moment, I was able to surrender my ‘ego’ to my ‘Self’ (or to Love), an experience of ‘one-ness in Love’ happened, followed by a change in my attitude. 'The Self’ blessed my ego………….

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One February Morning in Vietnam, by Eugene Hilderbrandt

FaceBook  On Aug 29, 2012 Narendra wrote:
 What do you make of the author's likening a seeker's seeking of oneness to a donkey chasing a carrot on a stick?….Experience of One ness is common when we are with nature and when it subdues our ego. It can also be non-repeatable experience of consciousness triggered by chance, near death accident, drugs or even mental disorder. To access this state at-will requires clearing the conscious and the subconscious mind- the unattainable carrot…………..
 
How does your own seeking feel to you?…..The very desire to look for the experience can be a deterrent. To ignore the search and tTo be in the present appears to be a better approach. This requires the ability to love the present moment, no matter what it is, at all times. This can happen only when both our conscious and the subconscious are clear. When this habit becomes spontaneous, hopefully before death, there will be the experience of oneness, if not it could be after death :) ………………..
 
 
 Can you share a personal experience when you completely accepted this "wonderfully terrible world just as it is"?……I have not had the experience of ‘the Bliss’ of one-ness, yet. I am working on it. It is still a carrot. The ‘wonderfully terrible’ world can be a ‘terrible’ from ego-centered perspective and ‘wonderful’ from a ‘nature-centered’ perspective.
 

Meaning of Yin and Yang, by Masahiro Oko

FaceBook  On Aug 21, 2012 Narendra wrote:
 What does yin and yang mean to you?………
Yin and yang represent dualities in creation such as active/passive, good/bad, female/male etc that are the source of dynamic evolution. If we focus on only one aspect of duality and ignore the other, we create instability in ourselves and in the environment around us. We need an ‘openness’ or a ‘witness perspective’, to see and accept these qualities in ourselves and in our environment, to optimize our own evolution in a positive direction…..
 
How do you reconcile "discrimination makes war" with the need to discriminate between that which is wholesome and unwholesome?…………
Discrimination can be a creative and exciting aspect of life, if it remains unselfish. Selfishness creates egos and hierarchies that result in self-indulgence and wars. Unselfishness encourages flexibility, love, co-existence and cooperation. Competition will be limited to sports…..
 
Can you share a personal story where you were able to co-create "this kind of cooperation," where "the minimum effort" gave the "maximum result?"………………
I have been a co-creator of maximum result with minimum effort a few times. Any effort based on love is ‘effortless’ or a ‘minimum effort’ - as in a hobby. This is particularly so in an inspired group effort with an unselfish goal. The ‘Maximum result’ is love, happiness and inspiration that we create within the group and outside. The ‘ material result’ that follow such an unselfish effort is a symbolic reminder of happiness created and an inspiration for others to follow…..
 
 

Renaissance, by Thich Nhat Hanh

FaceBook  On Aug 15, 2012 Narendra wrote:
Can you share a personal experience where you felt that the "morning is a symphony?"
Every time I am outdoors in Nature, morning or evening, it is a symphony.
 
How do we grow in awareness of the novelty of each day?  If we are truly in the present, we become a part of flow of love and life in creation.  There will be nothing ‘mundane’ in life-creation. Everything we do, including common tasks, will be a source of happiness and a creative expression.
 
What does "All the delicious fruit and magnificent flowers belong to you. Accept them." mean to you, in terms of "you" and "belong"? All of life including unpleasant surprises can be accepted as an opportunity to see our strengths and weaknesses, and to grow in love, compassion and awareness. 
 
How does this belonging relate to things that "belong" to us in our everyday sense of ownership? If we are ego-centered, our pain and our happiness belong to us in a lonely fight for happiness and survival. When everyone’s pain and happiness belong to us, we become our environment and a part of life-force in creation. Personal pains become less significant.
 

Unattainable Goal of Peace, by Aung San Suu Kyi

FaceBook  On Aug 7, 2012 Narendra wrote:

Can you share a personal story where your endeavor to gain peace united you with others in bonds of friendship and trust? As a manager, when I worked on projects with end product as the goal, there was only an end product and no peace or people. When I shifted my attention from product to people, there was both peace and product. I was building not just products but a lifetime of trust and friendships.
 
What does being kinder mean to you? Since the process of life is dynamic, it implies a constant awareness and effort to be kinder and gentler to your environment as a way of life.  It means being open enough to include all of life as an extension of you. 
 
How do you sustain your journey toward absolute peace despite setbacks?
‘Setbacks’ are part of evolution and creation. They are challenges to learn from. Without ‘setbacks’ life can be very dull. Setbacks can be better managed, if our focus in life is on ‘best effort’ instead of  ‘best results’. In this path of ‘best effort’, failures and setbacks become opportunities to learn from and not disappointments. Life’s journey becomes an evolution toward higher consciousness. The material success that follows selfless effort will remain forever, a tool for service.
 

Be Not a Beggar, by Swami Vivekananda

FaceBook  On Jul 25, 2012 Narendra wrote:
 The spirit of giving implies an environment of cooperative  living and not a competitive world of today. We can bring back such community and environmental awareness only with considerable self-effort in the community, such as ‘Wednesdays’.

Today, nature is making us "pay" for our negligence with severe changes in environment to teach us to 'give' and not just 'take' from our environment. We need a shift in awareness in the world, from greed based capitalism and consumerism that is decimating our environment, to one that can sustaining and even improve our environment. This shift from materialism to spiritualism needs to start at home. 

 Without this community awareness, the concept “give without expectation” sounds more like “wall street” advertisement on the “Main street”. : ).
 

Letter on the Kitchen Table, by John Ptacek

FaceBook  On Jul 18, 2012 Narendra wrote:
 John Ptacek’s article is excellent so are the question about it !
 
What does telling your ego that it can only be in your life by invitation mean to you?
*******We invite good-ego for survival, excitement and happiness however it can easily lead us to self-centered obsession - the bad-ego.

Can you share an experience where you were aware of your ego coming in uninvited and were able to ask it to stand down?
*******Every time we loose our patience and get defensive, the self-centered, bad-ego is in- charge. We need to watch our emotions to get a handle on bad-ego.

How can we cultivate ourselves to be able to see ourselves separately from our ego
*******We can see the self-centered ego from compassion in the heart, when we shift our awareness from mind to heart through meditation on the heart. 
 

Those Who Float, by Daniel Gottlieb

FaceBook  On Jul 3, 2012 Narendra wrote:
 As part of a ‘living, survival oriented Nature’, challenges generally come with multiple solutions to choose from. If we stay objective under stress, we will be less fearful and more open to options. This objectivity and 'open-ness' is the goal of daily meditation and “community spirit.”
 
When we are self-centered or when we are obsessed with a particular result, challenges are magnified and we tend to fight the change or close the windows of options in fear.
 

The Spirit of Gift, by Satish Kumar

FaceBook  On Jun 19, 2012 Narendra Devadas wrote:
The greatest gift is the gift of love and acceptance. All religions have been accepted and temples built for them by the Hindus for over 2000 years.  It is interesting that , in his list of greatness, Mr: Satish  Kumar avoids mentioning Hinduism, Krishna or even the Bhagavad Gita, which emphasize universal love and tolerance instead of a local philosophy of being better than others. Hinduism is the mother of many other tolerant, non-violent  religions and philosophies.
 

Why Can't We Tolerate Emptiness?, by Natasha Dem

FaceBook  On Apr 24, 2012 Narendra Devadas wrote:
 The transient  "blank  I " appears to be the elusive self in meditation.
 

Like The Sun Shining, by Tenzin Palmo

FaceBook  On Jul 28, 2009 Narendra Devadas wrote:

The word detachment is confusing. It applies to monks who have renounced the world and its responsibilities. For the rest of us, unselfishness makes more sense. If one is 100% egoistic or 100% selfish he is 100% non-god or 100% ignorant. If one is 100% unselfish he is 100% God. Most us are in transition in the gray area of Humans.