Don’t take it personally…

Empire State Pigeon

The struggles you go through, the injustice and inefficiencies you see around you, the inconsistencies you find in the character of people, it’s all part of the collective human evolution. Don’t take it personally, don’t be judgmental. Be kind and considerate, be hopeful… do all you can to improve things and solve issues, and sometimes when it’s required to take a strong stance, be strong… but never give in to cynicism.

(Photo by ZeroOne)

The kitten attitude

adoration

How many times do we worry about lack of clarity in our understanding of reality and about our purpose in life! How many times we wonder why we are put up in such miserable circumstances! We try hard to find out the cause of our misery whenever we go through bad times, as if by finding the cause we can set things straight… (curiously, we never try to find the cause of our happiness, we just go about enjoying the happy times). Can we really trace down the cause of whatever happens to its very origin?

The truth is, we can never precisely find out the cause of everything that happens. We may satisfy ourselves with different astrological theories, scientific theories, but none of these is infallible. At a particular time or a particular circumstance a theory may seem to make sense, but at some other time, it looks incapable. That’s because the field of human perception is very limited. What we see, what we hear, what we perceive as the world is only a tiny fraction of the totality of what really is. The moment we think we have figured out the secret of all life, something totally unexpected happens and we are baffled.

Then, what is the way? The way is to accept that we can’t know everything, and then accept things as they are, drive away all our worries and do our best according to our current level of understanding.

Ramakrishna Paramahamsa says,

Well, give God the power of attorney. If a man entrusts his affairs to a good person, will the latter do him any harm? With all the sincerity of your heart resign yourself to God and drive all your worries out of your mind. Do whatever duties He has assigned to you. The kitten does not have a calculating mind. It only cries, ‘Mew, mew!’ It lies in the kitchen contentedly if the mother cat leaves it there, and only calls the mother, crying, ‘Mew, mew!’ It has the same feeling of contentment when the mother cat puts it on the soft bed of the master of the house.

(The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna, chapter 32)

The reality is too big for us and we can’t know all her secrets. A calculating mind only ends up in frustration. So it’s better to resign yourself to God (or nature or reality or whatever you call it) and drive all worries out of your mind.  If there is anything you need to know, it will be revealed. Be sincere, enjoy all that happens. All that happens, just happens.

Also read: The entire universe is yours!

(Photo by Malingering)

Sense of wonder…

We should be able to enjoy the wonders of life in us and everywhere around us. The whispers of rustling pine boughs. Flowers blooming. The beautiful blue sky. Fluffy white clouds. The smile of a neighbor. Each of these is a small miracle of life that has the capacity to nourish and heal us. They’re there for us right now. The question is: are we there for them?

— Thich Nhat Hanh

Here is a video with absolutely beautiful pictures and wonderful thoughts!


Louie Schwartzberg on Gratitude and Happiness

Life itself, is an expression of joy

Your effort to smile and laugh is making you cry and weep. You are doing the opposite. There is nothing you need to do. Just smile and laugh. Life has no purpose, no mission. It is a game. It’s a play. Life has no message. Life itself, is an expression of joy.

— Sri Sri Ravi Shankar

Happiness is not something that comes after acquiring an external object, happiness is not something that should be pursued, it’s not something that can be pursued.

Happiness is your natural state of being.

It’s not that you have to do something in order to be happy, it’s the other way around. When you are naturally happy, whatever you do is an expression of happiness, and your very presence radiates happiness.

Life itself, is an expression of happiness and joy. You are happy, now in this very moment 🙂

Photo by Camdiluv ♥

Change gracefully

Falling leaf

We must know at each moment how to lose everything that we may gain everything; we must be able to shed the past like a dead body that we may be reborn into a greater plenitude.

— Mother Mirra

Today is the festival of ‘Bhogi’ in parts of southern India. On this day, people discard old things and bring in the new. The festival of Bhogi paves way for the festival of ‘Pongal’ tomorrow (also celebrated in different parts of India with different names like Sankaranti, Uttarayan, etc.), which marks the beginning of a new month and new times.

Discarding the old is necessary for the new to come in. We see that with every aspect of nature… a leaf sprouts, fresh and green it sanctifies its existence by being what it is, after some time it dries, and then gracefully falls. It then becomes part of the soil, adding to the fertility of the soil so that new plants and new leaves like itself can spring forth. We see that everywhere… flowing river is healthy, but if it becomes stagnant, it becomes scum. The river has to lose itself into the sea if it has to stay alive.

The human being is no different. Every second, millions of cells in your body are dead, and million new cells are being born. Our physical appearance change over time, our thoughts change, and someday we’ll have to shed this physical identity and be born again.

But sometimes, we become too attached to certain things in life, certain mental concepts, opinions. Have you noticed that even when other people change, we are hesitant to change our opinion about them? Without shedding off the old, we keep adding things to life, keep adding concepts to the mind, it becomes heavier and heavier, after a time it becomes too heavy to carry along and it drains away all our energy. Even at this point, some people simply refuse to let it go, their attachment is too strong. But whether or not we let it go, change is the law of nature, things will be taken away, and our attachment to things can make the process very painful.

Pain is not caused by change itself, but it is caused by our attachment to things and concepts, our refusal to accept the law of change. Pain is nothing but our refusal to let it go.

We need not be afraid, there need not be pain. We simply need to acknowledge the law of change. We simply need to shed our attachment to the old, be open for the new. When we understand and apply this simple wisdom to our lives, change becomes graceful, life becomes lighter and joyful.

Photo by Jesse Kruger

In the silence of the heart God speaks

A new era

In the silence of the heart God speaks. If you face God in prayer and silence, God will speak to you. Then you will know that you are nothing. It is only when you realize your nothingness, your emptiness, that God can fill you with Himself. Souls of prayer are souls of great silence.

— Mother Teresa

Pay attention to the gap — the gap between two thoughts, the brief, silent space between words in a conversation, between the notes of a piano or flute, the gap between the in-breath and out-breath.

When you pay attention to those gaps, awareness of “something” becomes — just awareness. The formless dimension of pure consciousness arises from within you and replaces identification with form.

— Eckhart Tolle

Through the journey of life, we often encounter negative thoughts, thoughts of fear, thoughts of worry, of anxiety. We need to understand that these thoughts are just thoughts, they are impermanent, unreal. A thought comes, and then goes, another thought comes and then goes, and so on. The real problem is when we identify ourselves with these thoughts and give them an unwanted sense of reality. When we give it to them, they multiply and make a bid to rule over us.

Just as clouds come and go in the sky, thoughts come and go in the space of mind. You are not the thoughts, you are the pure awareness in which thoughts come and go, pure awareness that is ever present, ever calm like the sky. Even when we find ourselves so enveloped by the world of thoughts, we can pay attention to the little gap between two thoughts and get a glimpse of the pure awareness. Even a little glimpse, and the identification with thoughts begins to cease. To the extent we become aware of our true nature as space like awareness, the thoughts disperse themselves quickly, and we find these thoughts are just little things that have absolutely no effect on us. There is peace, bliss, serenity.

Photo by kaneda99

Be a child, be happy

Blanka Almendra

“I tell you the truth, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.”

— Jesus

“One cannot be spiritual as long as one has shame, hatred, or fear. … Great men have the nature of a child. They are always a child before God; so they are free from pride. All their strength is of God and not their own. It belongs to Him and comes from Him.”

— Ramakrishna

Be a child, free yourself from pride, free yourself from guilt. Free yourself from concepts and opinions you have about yourself. All past, even upto the last second, is gone, good or bad, it’s never going to come back. All those things people said or thought about you, opinions people had about you, good or bad, all is gone. The present moment is the only real time, the universe renews itself every moment. When you free your mind from the past, you give birth to yourself each moment, you join the flow of life, you are alive!

Be a child, be happy 🙂

Photo by ValetheKid