Sunday, November 22, 2009

At a Quiet Courtyard in Ann Arbor

Last week at one of our meetings in Ann Arbor, an attendee shared a beautiful story of how he was helped with the knowledge of meditation during a stressful time. Here it is, with the name changed to protect his identity

Gerald is a graduate student pursuing his PhD at the University of Michigan in Economics. Most days he can handle the stress and juggle the busy schedule that comes along with being a doctoral student. But Someday even a seasoned student like Gerald cannot find a way to juggle all the balls tossed up so quickly by the virtue of his student life.

Today he had 3 grueling classes and to top it all, a final exam. The pressure has mounted and strolling through the streets of Ann Arbor he searched for a way to relieve his anxieties. That's when it struck him. He could try out some simple stress reduction he learnt at last week's meditation class.

He knew about the perfect spot - a little garden between the Michigan League and the Alumni Center, a small courtyard that would be the perfect place for an activity like meditation.

Ten minutes of silence and saying simple affirmations while placing his hands on his heart and forehead, he was already feeling good. The buzz in the stomach was gone. The racing mind was now working at a more normal speed.

A few minutes that morning put everything in perspective for Gerald He slipped into this dynamic. yet centered state where he was a witness to himself, sorting out a hectic day, one activity at a time.

"Stress" by flickr user otherthings 
"Butterfly" by author

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Work Your Powers - Photography

Yesterday, while collectively listening to the 1982 Vienna address in September on the occasion of the 9-Nights festival, before the talk begins, Shri Mataji was browsing pictures taken by Sahaja Yogis in and around Europe. She then quietly but surely remarked something to the effect that photography has now become one of the powers of Sahaja practitioners. almost 3 decades down, photography has become accessible through digital camera and online sharing mechanisms. This must be taken up by realized souls and enlightened yogis to observe, report and transform their societies. There are a few remarkable blogs already displaying high quality photo blogging efforts (1000 petals). I would like to see some more.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Karaoke and Meditation: Unusual Partners in World Peace

CC licensed image by flickr user fensterbme

Listening to a podcast about technology today, the topic of ethnographic studies came up and the interviewee mentioned how the study of Karaoke had revealed much about the differences of cultures in the east and west. And then it struck me. My use of Karaoke to break ice with acquaintences, was not a random co-incidence. (See Book referred to at the bottom of the post).

Karaoke is such a powerful activity when done collectively, and fails miserably when done alone (I mean REALLY alone, not recording for later distribution as many websites let you.) Over the summer we had Karaoke sessions almost once every month.

Past summer, during a long weekend, we hosted 3 families and a hoard of local friends which had more cultural diversity than one can imagine. Meditation is the activity that has traditionally brought us all together for weekend seminars. However, there were a few accompanying spouses who were not us much into meditation or were just getting their feet wet.

Like other weekends spent together, it seemed like another one where the non-meditating & newly meditating spouses would possibly feel alienated or just bored. Thankfully someone had the idea to jump start karaoke sessions and the ice was broken, melted and crushed into a smoothie. All of us, ALL - pre-teens, children, an Italian, an Irish American, a Indo-Pakistani-American, Russian, Finnish, Bulgarian, Indian and Brazilian were joined in ecstatic enjoyment of each other's company like never seen before. Participative music is the next best thing to integrate us, period.

World cultures, generations and other identities will merge by burning the candle both ways. The integration inside-out comes through meditation and outside-to-in comes through participative music.

What song would you like to sing along?

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

7 things you should know about meditation


1. What is it?

2. Who’s doing it?

3. How does it work?

4. Why is it significant?

5. What are the downsides?

6. Where is it going?

7. What are the implications for you?

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

If the past and the future do not exist, why do people worry about them?

Question from Y! Answers: Past is gone, future is not here yet; if it ever gets here, yet many people's lives are controlled by these two nonexistent forces...

My Answer:

Humans have 3 main energy channels: left (past), central (present) and future (right). The stresses of mundane life accumulate as blockages or disturbances in these subtle energy flows.

Thoughts in the brain come from the left (past) and right (future) constantly. There is almost no way to stop them, as they are innate part of human existence. Spiritual masters who know meditation are able to soothe their left and right channels and stay on the central channel, which results in these thoughts from past/future subsiding.

Eventually the person is able to experience freedom from these annoyances. Check out the references below for more info. Or try a simple meditation exercise here: Meditation Basic Excercise


Is hate a form of love?

Question on Y! Answers:
Do you ever love to hate? can hate ever be an expression of love?

My Answer:
Hate and Love effect our body in different ways. Hate creates blocks in our energy system, eventually "chocking" good energy. The satisfaction from hating is self-destructive and temporary. True love dissolves blockages and makes one feel genuinely good.

Love > Hate