How to practice “Acceptance” and understand the spiritual meaning of “Surrender”

“Surrender”- A greatly misunderstood term. For most it is a sign of Weakness, Despair and Hopelessness. In the spiritual sense and truly in the sense of our conscious existence, “Surrender” means the opposite of all the above that we mentioned. In the true sense for a conscious being- the meaning of Surrender is “ACCEPTANCE” – I say this word in bold letters with a strong conviction drawing energies from my own past experiences. People often ask me if the path of Yoga & Spirituality that I have taken is a difficult one and I say with a sense of contentment- “that which comes natural cannot be difficult”   

I wandered far and wide, from place to place, from culture to culture in order to find my own “Tribe”- a place I can call my true “Home” and in the real sense, Home for me is far beyond the geographies of land, national borders and the natural inheritance of our birthplace. And while there are many corners where I found myself safely cocooned and at rest- that one place where my earthly existence melted into the expanse of the soothing nature was still on my search list. Nature, Greenness, Simplicity of earthly existence are my motivators of living in a Human Body while striving to achieve a higher purpose.

relaxing at avedaRight from the beginning of our times we have been “Searching”- searching for a safer environment, searching for a fertile land, searching for a quenching water body around and to this date we have been searching. The only difference is that the search of a 21st century is slightly more refined from the eyes of a conditioned human being- Search for a highly paid job, search for a more luxurious living and search for a better life. And like many others I keep searching myself. The only difference being that my search is for Life Galore, search for a earthly space where I can do the things I like- Yoga, Meditation, Observing Nature, People and Enjoying simple organic vegetarian food.

Now let me unveil the surprise without further ado. I had “Surrendered” unconsciously to the fact that my search may lead me nowhere. And may be there is nowhere to go. Spiritual Gurus have claimed that our Paradise is right where we are. But somehow I could not come to terms with their findings. I wanted to find it for myself- Just like the Buddha taught. I thought I had left no stone unturned to find my Paradise -that place which I would truly call “Home”. I was tired, mentally jaded and finally “Surrendered” -meaning that I “Accepted” that may be the universe has a better plan for me than my own trivial search that comes from the meanness of my own mind.

 My search has finally come to an end…….. It was at a recent trip to South India with my soulmate- the man I recently got married to that I finally found my “Home”. This humble place with humble people with a very humble way of living- no wonder it made me surrender with humility only to find that the place I was looking for is right here. The universe had finally got my plan together and showed me with divinity that it is when we drop the stress and the sword that we ultimately win the battle- this battle that we fight with our own selves. This imaginary war that we create in our own minds by being judgemental, competitive,  comparing and egoistic.

I found my home here in Kumarakom- a small humble village in Kerala, South India. And to no surprise I found out that my partner too got the similar feeling of finally “Coming Home”. The beautiful shades of green vegetation with coconut trees, mangroves and paddy fields enwrapped the relaxed and sleepy countryside.

Before I write about this magical place, I must say that the land owes the credit of its beauty to not just its geography and landscape but also to its people, its lifestyle and the naturally fresh air that encompasses its environment- the breath that keeps one alive. I was travelling with my partner without any agenda and really with a feeling of “Surrender” to the Universe only to realize that everything got entwined gracefully to give us a relaxing time and an ultimate bliss. Leaving behind the offerings of mainstream, high-end hotels, we decided to book this secret, less advertised and more inviting resort called- Aveda

The moment we entered its premises we knew immediately that there was something magical about this place. What can be more refreshing than being welcomed with smiling faces of the resort staff. We immediately felt like “Home”. The warmth of the midday sun, the freshness in the air, the sight of a beautiful infinity pool dotted by the palm trees and the blooming sight of Hibiscus and Lily….. Can we ask for more when it all came with the smiling, welcoming and “ever-ready to serve” Staff members. The jewel to the crown was our beautiful cottage right next to the Kerala backwater body with direct access to fishing, swimming in the warm infinity pool, enjoying the sight of huge boathouses effortlessly paddling and slowly fading away from our peripheral sight. What a meditative experience!

Kerala backwaters

Aveda genuinely boasts of the best staff members who are welcoming and caring to our needs. They made all efforts to make us feel like we were cared and looked after. The food at the restaurant was organic and was made with local produce. The ambience of the place was 2nd to none with the lovely sight of the sun-glazed shimmering water of the ever-inviting infinity pool. During the evening time the feeling of missing the warmth of the sunshine was gracefully replaced with the coolness of the moonlight under which the locals displayed their talent with a music and dance performance. What a perfect way to enjoy nature with the hospitality of the people around!

As grand it may look from the outer eyes, it is extremely warm and intimate when one sees from the inner conscious eyes. The space is full of positive energies and no matter which corner one looks at, they find perfection and luxury with a strong sense of grounding. There is a flattering balance of uncanny aesthetics with a divine respect to Mother Nature. We speak highly of this place not just because we found Home here but also because of the humbling opportunity we received to meet its very down-to earth owners. An epitome of success and with a blend of welcoming personality Mr & Mrs Chawla live by the principles of a sanskrit phrase “Vasudev Kutumbakam” which loosely translates into English as “the world is one family”. We have surely borrowed a lot of positive energies from Aveda that we can infuse into our yoga lifestyle at Divine Yoga Shop.

The understanding of “Acceptance” is not of doing nothing at all. It does not mean to become loose and lazy. One has to follow the call of the “Doing” while at the same time not being fanatically attached to the results of the endeavour. When we TRUST the Universe, we allow ourselves to experience something greater than our own plans. 

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A celebration of Silence

Silent Meditation

Life is nothing but one big celebration. Everyday we can be grateful for at least 1 thing. Be it for the light, for the sunshine, for the air, for the birds chirping, for the house we live in, for the food we eat, for the work that gives us our bread and butter. Gratitude is a celebration and what is life if it isn’t Gratitude? Even when there is no gratitude, there is still a celebration- a celebration for the least that is we are still breathing- Isn’t that what gives us our essence of being humans? Living a spiritual life is also of the human mind and body because for the Soul there is no Spiritual or Materialistic life- there is simple “Oneness” – Absence of Duality- The Soul has a Purity of Non judgement, Non distinction- There is just Pure existence.

For a moment just “try” to empathize with the one who is almost counting his last breath. Just try and enter his state of mind- body existence and feel him taking his last breath knowing that soon this breath will no longer be present. Simply “try” this…….. After a minute or 2 you will realize how lucky you are to be “alive”, to be living in this “mind, body” phenomenon. Isn’t that gives us one reason to be grateful for? Here we are not talking about being grateful to “someone”, to some God, to some “Guru”, to some “Master”- we are simply talking of the noun “Gratitude”. Now with that we are left with at least one reason to celebrate life.

Maya is everywhere. You look around and there is Maya (Illusion). The whole life is Maya. At the end there is simply nothing to be so worried about; nothing to be so stressful about. The forces that look after the sun, the stars, the birds will also look after you. The goals in life, the aspirations, the competition, the fight for power, for status- these are all just a play of Maya. Take a moment in silence, in complete silence and bring your awareness to your breath- JUST SIMPLY BE MINDFUL OF YOUR BREATHING. Do this for a minute or two and you will start enjoying the Silence. Isn’t this celebration?

Silence has a sound- a sound of “nothingness” and in this silent state your rushing mind loses its control and your “Pure Beingness” starts to rejoice; to celebrate. Celebration is our true state. To rejoice is our true state, to be merry is our true state. If it isn’t celebration, it isn’t our true state. Remember yourself as a little child; it may probably be almost impossible to bring our memories to that state. But what we are trying to say is that the little baby does not know anything apart from being merry, being playful, being happy. The baby knows nothing about the worldly stress, the worldly means. He doesn’t even know the concept of “means to an end” because for him there is no end. There is no “Means”. There is just pure joy, a celebration. A toddler is simply ecstatic sucking his thumb, smiling at the world and enjoying his beingness. This silence has a celebration for him.

Joyful baby

We all have the same Silence within us. The Silence that can keeps us away from Maya, from Illusion and may give us a reason to celebrate every moment. There is no “Means to an End” and it is because there is no End; all there is to life is Eternity. Enjoy the sound of silence. Listen to this “Nothingness” and rejoice in the fact that your pure “beingness” is a storehouse of Joy, a reason to celebrate.

“That little child in you is still alive. Don’t put him behind the prison of the worldly affairs”

Trust yourself….

bird

”A bird sitting on a tree is never afraid of the branch breaking. It is because her trust is not on the branch but on her own wings”     -Anonymous

TRUST- A word with great radiance and positive influence. A word that can make or break an individual and his/her relationship with friends, family, siblings or spouse. A word that can even change a theist into an atheist. But what does it really mean to Trust and how did we come to misunderstand this beautiful word.
I remember as a child we were taught not to accept things offered by strangers, not to talk to strangers. It was ok to be friendly with people (strangers) but not to be friends with them. Perhaps our misunderstanding of the word TRUST stems from the hard-wiring of these childhood experiences? While it wasn’t wrong what was taught but perhaps the teaching on the chapter “Trust” wasn’t complete there.
As a grown up it is harder to trust people- We are scared we may be cheated, disappointed, conned, rejected or hopelessly let down….. We are scared of unknown situations, unknown places, unknown people. For some people it is not only hard but impossible to step out of their comfort zone- a zone they are familiar with. The hard-wiring of not trusting people from our childhood times display itself proudly there. The incomplete teaching on “Trust” stops us from fully experiencing this beautiful life with beautiful people…

From my experiences I have learned that Trust is always 2 sided, the same as Love. However even if the other person doesn’t trust us, it should not stop us from trusting them. “Easier said than done”
Please allow me to say that “it is easier both said and done”
Our TRUST in others is an extension of our TRUST IN OURSELVES……… If I trust MYSELF, I automatically trust others knowing no one and no situation can be bigger than MY capabilities of handling them.
When we trust ourselves and our capabilities, we live in freedom. We are no longer slaves of our projections that other people may let us down or that hard situations may break us. We may not have full control on the outside world but we are fully incharge of our inner kingdom. The next time you are fearful of anything, bring your awareness to the fact that the fear is always of the future moment. Trust yourself and Live in the “Now” …..

The key is in trusting yourself and let unknown situations, people, places mesmerize you. Life is beautiful and sometimes a lot of beauty is manifested in the “Unknown”…… Trust yourself, it’s worth it.

 

Stepping into the unknown….

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Listening to the hummingbird is most melodious. What about the voice inside us? The voice of our inner innocent hummingbird- the soft voice from our heart. Life as it comes surprises us with many wrapped up gifts- pleasant offerings and not-so pleasant offerings. Some offerings are unpleasant to a degree that forces us to take steps to change. These could be changes in lifestyle, location, job, people, anything. But ”Change” as we know is always difficult. Or is it simply the idea that ”change is difficult”. Perhaps we have forgotten how we got into this world- how we popped out of our mother’s womb into the new environment- a change from our ”known” and ”comfortable” environment. Who taught us to accept this change? How did we learn to move from one situation– being safe inside our mother’s womb to stepping out into the unknown world? It should be correct to say that stepping into the unknown is the first known thing for us as Humans.

Life takes care of itself. It has always taken care of itself. The only fear we have is for the future and not for the ”Now”. When everything is lost, what remains? Let’s take a pause and look for the answer to this. What remains when everything is lost- job, money, family, everything…. Are you still breathing? Are you still ”alive”? Are you still conscious of your environment? So when everything is lost, what remains? The answer is- Your breath, your life, the feeling that you are still alive. Isn’t that the most amazing possession?

The freedom, the truth that we talk about, that we wander to find is all inside us and nowhere else. The only thing that stops us from experiencing complete freedom, the ever-present truth is our own minds. The barriers that we see are created by no one else but us. The limitations of the mind stops us from fully experiencing life. Stepping into the unknown is our very nature. We were born, we came into this world by stepping into the unknown. It is not to say that everything will be at its best when you accept change….. But trust that inactivity wouldn’t make life any better. The only place where nothing happens is the Grave. Where there is uncertainty, there is freedom and where there is certainty, there is boredom. So keep your chin up, embrace the change and know that life will take care of itself. Whatever is needed arises spontaneously to meet whatever the needs of the moment are.  Listen to the hummingbird inside you and know that life will be melodious. Somehow that hummingbird knows what is right for you.

Sometimes the simplest things are the hardest to achieve..

love

Life is a journey as they say, a journey of lyrics and songs, battle and victory, pain and awakening, search and self-realization. But do we ever pause to think who is it for and if it is for us, in what form does this ‘Us’ exist? Perhaps as a mass of energy having a human experience. When I go into deep state of meditation-every cell, every breath sings this song- “We are spiritual beings having a human experience.” This human experience is of struggle and stress and sometimes the stress becomes so much that it is hard to say if it is a human body of ”Pure Life Force” or ”A Ball of Stress” caught up in material offerings of the world.

The pure soul- Consciousness that we are is not contained within the boundaries of our anatomy… It is the anatomy, our human body that is enwrapped within the limitless of our consciousness. For most of us, our daily pursuits are of the offerings of this material world- job, money, car, more cars and more money and the cycle never ends. This story continues from tomorrow to day after tomorrow and even after that. I’ve often said to people that I wish that they could realize all their dreams and achieve all the fame they desire so that they can see that it’s not where they are going to find their sense of fulfillment. It is because once we enter into this cycle of material gain/ loss, the exit route is hard to find. The message isn’t of complete abandonment of material life but a reminder that material offerings are simply a “tool” to reach to the true state of being. It’s not the complete story. From my personal experience- the difference we make on other people’s lives- by way of a smile, or help or even being a good listener is the most valuable possession there is. All the material gains will pass away, they will fall apart and we never take them to our graves. All that will be left of us is what we carried in our hearts. So love life and love others. Sometimes even the simplest things are hard to achieve. Act now and stay blessed.

The book of Secrets

Bible

The New Age religion teaches us to be Independent and they point to various ”practices” as key to Happiness and Self-fulfillment. In my journey I have come across a book of secrets that has ”Saved” me. In the past I walked with my own shadow, spoke with my best friend- the Inner voice and tried to get 100% involved in ”Spiritual Self-Help” until I came across this book of secrets. This book is the mother of all ”practices” and while it does not mean that Self-Help practices (please visit my other blogs below) don’t work,  the book of secrets give a solid foundation to all other ”Self Help” spiritual practices.

So what is the name of this book and why is it a secret? I have posted some topics below and the answers from this secret book which is called BIBLE. Yes, Bible! Many see it as an outdated book of rules and I was one of them until I opened myself to the wonders. I have seen miracles in my life by simply applying the wisdom from this book and have been wonderfully surprised as to how I was locked up all these years and never discovered its miracles. Many people don’t find it convincing enough as a Book of Secrets and my attempt here is to share how miracles have happened for me by simply accepting the words and applying them in my life.

GIVING

The bible says ”The more you give, the more you receive”

Luke 6:38 – Give, and it shall be given unto you; good measure, pressed down, and shaken together, and running over, shall men give into your bosom. For with the same measure that ye mete withal it shall be measured to you again.

Everyone goes through financial crisis at least once in their lifetime. There was a time when I didn’t even have a single penny in my pocket. The only person who helped me then was my dad. The money that he gave me wouldn’t last long I knew this and I was living in fear and scarcity. My day started with fear and ended in fear until one fine day I was walking on the streets of West London and was handed a little book by an anonymous person. I turned to a random page and read about ”The joy of giving”. Surely enough it was a paradox for me for the situation I was in. How can I give when I haven’t got enough- This was the question for me. They say God answers when you ”Frame” a question for Him and ask Him to help you find answers. I went to a church which I had turned away from long time ago and to this day I believe that it was the work of Holy Spirits to bring me to that place.

So what was the message at the church service? Well, the story started to connect together and the Pastor spoke on ”Giving”. He said ”How can God trust you with More if you are not faithful with the Little”. And I found my clue. With the rattling of a few coins in my pocket, I ”gave” the little as charity. While I am not a millionaire now but that little I gave, God has mysteriously multiplied in to ”Many”. This is the promise of the God. This simple principle of Giving helped me to understand that God’s word in this book of secrets- Bible is real and true.

Beyond Personality..

Life force

We wear this Personality every moment to hide who we truly are. We keep looking for external offerings to complete us/ make us happy- Relationships, Jobs, Money, Friends, etc. The trick of mind wins in its pursuit again. As consciousness we are perfect and complete. This is our true spiritual existence- we are spiritual beings having a temporary human experience. We don’t need another person/ situation to complete us. The ‘feeling’ of love, affection, acceptance, job, sorrow, accomplishment, etc is only for the Personality- which is the result of conditioning. This human experience is only for this earthly existence.

The Life Force is moving inside everything around us- in the trees, flowers, animals, soil, water, human beings. This ‘Life Force’ is consciousness. This is Us as Spiritual beings. Throw away these external temporary possessions and notice what is left. Throw away your fear, apprehensions, plans, attachments, everything. One thing still remains- Our Life Force; the Breath, the Consciousness. We are ‘This’. When the personality loses everything, there is one thing that still remains- our Life Force and it is this that gives Personality some value. Without This, personality is nothing. We are bigger than the limitations of who we think we are- encaged in the Personality- the attachment to this temporary human existence. Embrace the truth of consciousness- who we truly are and be free.

Just another play of Maya…

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What have we gained to lose! What baggage did we carry when we arrived into this earthly existence and what baggage will we carry when we depart for heavenly abode…. We cry when we lose, we feel depressed at a loss. But a little pondering on sign points like: what did we actually lose, was it ever ”ours” that we claim we lost? The conditioning of our earthly existence doesn’t fail to make us blind towards defining our own selves.

Who is the one who lost and the one who lost, did he ever exist? If he did, in what form? This mass of energy we call human body and the concept of loss/ gain is another form of energy that takes another shape. Nothing stays forever, just like this ”feeling” of loss or gain. In fact, was it an illusion of possession that we now term as ‘loss’?

Maya is spreading it’s smell everywhere and we are so much attached to this earthly existence that we let the play of Maya take control….. The closed eyes ”feeling” the breath of each breath gives us that secret; the secret that many of us wander about in search of.

 

No problem: Stop worrying and simply ‘BE’

be

As human beings we are conditioned to worry; to worry for an upcoming exam, worry about what will happen tomorrow, worry for a job interview, etc. What we forget is that our existence is beyond all this play of ‘Maya’- Illusion. This consciousness is beyond the happening that takes place in front of human eyes. Awareness is here today, it was there yesterday and will be there tomorrow. Pain, anxieties, worries, societal pressures are there due to our identification with the human form. This spiritual existence is forever and while we are here having a human experience, we forget that it is only a temporary existence. This human existence has limitations and it is this boundary and limitations that this existence in human form has many sides of what we perceive as Pain, Sorrow, Joy, Happiness, Pleasure, etc.

Human existence is different from existence in other dimensions. We are simply mysterious beings having a human experience temporarily and while we are here we are challenged by different angles. Remember that it is a challenge because we identify ourselves too much with this human body forgetting that as pure consciousness, we will return to our divine self and change form. Energy cannot be created or destroyed and our existence is an energy mass which will change form when the time will come. One does not need external circumstances to experience happiness or love. We as pure consciousness are Happiness, we are Love. This reincarnation as human form has a purpose and when it is fulfilled, the consciousness changes form. Do not identify yourself with this temporary form for when you do, the limitations take charge and you are kept aloof from the pure Love that you already are. The mind may be playing and the Ego may stop you from this realization for they know that they will lose their power over you. Let your mind play in the background but do not identify. Stop worrying and simply ‘Be’. Find joy in simple daily life of having a family, pet, job for they constitute part of your human experience. Enjoy while you are here, in this human form and when the time is up, you as pure consciousness will take form in some other dimension.