anantakasainlife

creating boundless space in our lives


Leave a comment

Perspective

Photo by James Wheeler from Pexels

“If you are depressed you are living in the past.
If you are anxious you are living in the future.
If you are at peace you are living in the present.”

― Lao Tzu

When I read this passage, something inside me responded to it. I must admit that during these crazy times, I sometimes feel confused and frustrated. It seems that I am pulled from one stressful moment to another, with no relief from the misery and unhappiness that are prevalent everywhere.

Then I remember to take a few deep breaths and just look at the situation. Somehow this clears my mind and allows me to see reality as it is, not as how my mind wants it to be. I become a watchful presence.

The wonderful thing is that when I enter this state of peacefulness, things start to improve. The fog is lifted from my mind. I am able to see clearly and respond accordingly. I see the beauty that is present in each moment.


Leave a comment

Spirit

When the ego weeps for what it has lost, the spirit rejoices for what it has found.” — PETE ALEXANDER.Mar 22, 2020This phrase caught my attention because of its simple truth. During these crazy times, when everything is turned upside down, and chaos is everywhere, we feel that we lose the very core of our being. The things that used to define us – our jobs, our friends, our families, our faith — are suddenly gone or out of our reach. It seems that things are spiralling out of control. We don’t know who we are anymore. Our anxiety and stress levels are through the roof.

But, what if, in the middle of our panic attack, we took a deep breath and allowed everything, good or bad, to pass through us? What if, instead of drinking alcohol or taking drugs to dull the pain, we let go of our resistance and feel the pain? We find, to our surprise, that it can no longer control us.

We discover the peace and harmony that were hiding underneath our misery. Why is this so? Because we dis-identified with our troublesome mind and are able to feel our essence and thus connect with the essence of everything around us. We see beauty in the eyes of a child or the magnificence of a glorious sunset.

Underneath all the ripples of doubt and uncertainty are the peace and understanding that envelope us all.

pexels-pixabay-462030

photo by Pixabay


Leave a comment

Bridge

Photo by Flo Maderebner from Pexels.com

Confucius said, “The one who would be constant in happiness must frequently change.”

For me, this means we don’t look to the past for our identity nor to the future for our fulfillment. We anchor ourselves to the present moment. We allow everything, good or bad, to pass. We see things and people as they are, not as we want them to be, and we give them the response they deserve.

Whereas before we concentrated on rushing along the horizontal dimension of our life by getting intertwined with people and events, now we have the foresight to deepen the vertical dimension by watching and observing without getting entangled with anything. In a way, we create an intersection point where the horizontal and vertical meet (a cross). We become a bridge that connects two worlds.

Whereas before we were part of the drama or the stress, now we step back and become a detached observer. What a relief it is to not identify with labels or concepts. We become open and free. Everything flows. Everything is fresh and alive. Everything is new.

We experience a new level of bliss!


Leave a comment

Destiny

Photo by Nathan Cowley from Pexels

We live in challenging and uncertain times. There is trouble, confusion, agitation and chaos everywhere. Our lives are turned upside down by the pandemic. Nothing seems to make sense anymore. It is easy to be engulfed by a sense of hopelessness, even desperation.

But instead of reacting to what is happening around us, why don’t we step back and observe both ourselves and our situation? We don’t condemn, judge or comment. We merely observe, we watch, we perceive with no desire to change things — just to learn as much as we can. We accept our situation as it is. The strange thing is that when we are in this state of acceptance, we gain insight into our situation. We deepen our understanding and are propeled to do right action. We realize that no matter how bad an event is, we can make something out of it.

History is rich with examples of people who were successful despite strenuous circumstances. Walt Disney went bankrupt earlier in his career, but he did not let his failure stop him. He went on to build The Walt Disney Company. Steve Jobs was fired from Apple, the company he founded, to be replaced by an outsider. This was a bitter pill to swallow. Apple went downward and was going into bankruptcy when Jobs returned to take over the company and turned it into one of the most successful companies of all time. Along the way, he revolutionized technology and our way of life. These are few examples of individuals who turned their failures into successes.

It is during times of tribulation that we need to reach within for our hidden strength so we can move beyond the confnes of our mind and become what we were meant to be. Now is the time to embrace ourselves and claim our destiny!

Photo by Sebastian Voortman from Pexels


Leave a comment

Shift

body-of-water-between-green-leaf-trees-709552

Photo by Ian Turnell from Pexels

“Calamities can bring growth and enlightenment”

– Taken from Anthony de Mello’s book, One Minute Wisdom

Anthony de Mello tells a story about a bird who stayed in the branches of a withered tree, in the middle of a desolate prairie. Then one day a whirlwind came and destroyed the tree. This forced the bird to abandon its shelter and fly several miles in search of a new home. A hundred miles away, it found a rich, abundant forest full of vibrant trees. Had its sanctuary survived, the bird would not have been  motivated to leave the safety and security of its abode.

Like the bird in the story, we are experiencing a whirlwind of chaos and disruption caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. Our way of life, as we know it, is turned upside down. Our home has become our office, school, entertainment center and gym. We have to juggle working, cooking, laundry, cleaning, and caring for our loved ones. And to top it off, we don’t have an end it sight. It seems like we are pulled in several directions.

But if we pause, shift our perspective and go with the flow of life, we encounter some surprises along our journey. For instance, now we have more time to connect with our friends and  loved ones. We are finally able to learn a new skill like cooking or sewing, or coding. Whereas before we were busy chasing goals and deadlines, now we have time to take a walk and enjoy the beauty of a sunset or hear the murmur of a nearby stream. In other words, when we shift our perspective, we are able to connect with and be one with life. We are able to discover the magic of being!

 


2 Comments

Anxious

woman-holding-a-poster-with-anxiety-3952190

Photo by cottonbro from Pexels

We are all anxious due to the COVID-19 pandemic. We don’t know when it will end.There is chaos, fear, anxiety, stress, unease. And we don’t have the tools that we normally use to assuage our fears. We can’t watch live sports; we can’t go  to the restaurant, bar, or shopping mall with friends; nor can we visit relatives (except virtually). Social distancing is the current norm.

It seems that we are forced by circumstances to take a break in our daily routine. At first, this makes us apprehensive because we don’t know what to do with time on our hands. But gradually, we find ways to pass the time. We dust off old books and begin to read. We pull out old picture albums and remember the good times we shared with our loved ones. We search for new recipes online and become creative with our cooking. We do virtual chats with friends, neighbors and relatives.

In essence, we become friendly with the present moment. Once this happens, we see a different aspect of the situation that wasn’t there before. Why ? Because we are one with life and are thus able to experience the power, love, and magic of the universe.

This reminds me of a passage from the book, The Miracle of Mind Dynamics, by Dr. Joseph Murphy. He writes: “You must train your faculties of mind to look inwardly and to have faith in all things good, a joyous expectancy of the best, and to have a firm belief inscribed in your heart that Infinite Intelligence will lead you out of your difficulty and show you the way. This faith in God will enable  you to walk over the waters of fear, doubt, worry, and imaginary dangers of all kinds.”

Hang in there, friends. This, too, will pass. And we will come out better and thankful for this moment in time.

photography-of-woman-surrounded-by-sunflowers-1263986

Photo by Andre Furtado from Pexels


Leave a comment

Fearful

 

adorable-animal-cat-cute-384555

Photo by Tranmautritam from Pexels

Fear is all around us. We are constantly bombarded by bad news on TV, newspapers, radio, social media, etc. There is a 24-hour news cycle that incessantly focuses on drama, sensation, chaos, trouble. Some of the issues are true, some are fake, some are half-truths. But most often these are blown out of proportion in order to create a reaction from us. Because the nature of the news is negative, it incites fear and provokes stress and anxiety.

How do we handle ourselves during these turbulent times? How do we unburden ourselves? We start by acknowledging our fear, facing it and letting it go. You may say, it’s easy to accept and face my fear, but how can I let it go? It is my constant companion and follows me everywhere. For instance: How can I let go of the fear that I will lose my money in the stock market and be homeless? Or, how I can be peaceful when my company is laying off workers and I know I will lose my job?

These are relevant issues that affect our well-being. The key is to allow things, people and events to be as they are. We accept them, face them, do something (if action is possible and needed), and then we surrender and let nature take its course. We know that the answer or solution will come when we need it — not before and not after. What we need will be given to us in due time.

Meanwhile, what happens between now (where we don’t want to be) and then (where we want to be) is noise. We magnify it with our opinions and interpretations. But, if we watch it with no comment or judgment, we are bringing awareness into the event. We study it, look at it, learn as much as possible about it. Then we notice another side to the situation that we did not recognize before. Another perspective comes into view. We are thus compelled to do right action because we are free from the shackles of our mind!

focus-photography-of-flying-hummingbird-2629372

Photo by Frank Cone from Pexels


Leave a comment

Flawed

silver-diamond-embed-ring-on-red-rose-633857

Photo by Skitterphoto from Pexels

As we know, a  real diamond has flaws. But, nature created it out of of strong material so it is hard and heat-resistant. It doesn’t shatter nor scratch. A fake diamond, on the other hand, has no flaws, but it shatters and breaks to pieces easily.

Like a diamond, I, too, have flaws. When I am stressed or tired, my inner critic comes to the fore. I look at myself and see all my flaws. I haven’t achieved enough. I’m not ambitious enough. I’m not assertive enough. I’m getting old. My memory is fading. I’m a klutz. I can’t do anything right. The list goes on and on.

Then I remember to take a deep breath and really listen to my body. I create space within myself and between my thoughts. I start to relax and feel the peace within me. I take a few more breaths and feel the calmness go through my body. I embrace my inner critic, thank it and release it.

Thus I am able to see a new perspective. It really doesn’t matter if  I’m successful or not. Or whether I have achieved enough or not achieve at all. The most important thing is that I am conscious and aware at this moment. This is the key to transform myself despite my flaws.

I am much deeper than what people say I am. I was made of the finest material the universe can find. I am unique and I am loved.  I am not shattered by labels. I am therefore able to withstand criticism and self-doubt.  I strengthen myself and unleash the genius within me. I am free.


Leave a comment

Fleeting

 

orange-flower-with-butterfly-87452

Photo by Pixabay from Pexels

I become free of the world when I realize I am here to experience the play of forms. People come, people go. I gain things, I lose things. Situations are here today and gone tomorrow. Its all part of the grand tapestry of life.

When I am in this state of detachment,  I am no longer captive to the thoughts streaming in my head. I am not scared of loss nor captivated by the promise of better things in the future.

I know that each moment is fresh and alive, but it is also fleeting and ephemeral. I don’t  cling to it with every fiber of my being. I don’t create stories around my emotions. Thus I don’t create pain for myself and others. I allow things to flow and I become the watcher.

I experience peace. What a relief it is to be free from my mind! I see the play of forms and realize that life is abundant, wonderful and delightful!


Leave a comment

Letting Go

action-active-adult-athlete-186787

Photo by Manon Sinnige from Pexels

When I am afraid of the unknown, I cling to the known, sometimes to my own detriment. I hold on to what I know since I’m scared of what I don’t know. The future is uncertain, so I hold on to the past. I forget about the present moment because it is obscured by the noise in my head.

But when I realize that there is a purpose and place for everything, I change my perspective. I clear my mind and see what I need to do. I equip myself with the right equipment and learn how to navigate the situation. I let go of the past, the future, my fears and insecurities, and learn to trust life. I let whatever happens happen. Thus the unknown that I feared becomes a wonderful opening into the beauty of life.

It is like climbing a ladder and walking on the roof to do maintenance work.  I wear the right clothes, use a harness connected to a rope that is tied securely to a structure in the house, and secure the ladder. At first, I held on to the ladder for fear that I would fall.  It took a few minutes to calm my nerves. But I began to put one foot ahead of the other. Tight as a fiddle, I began to make my way up the steep slope of the roof, holding on to the rope.  I nailed the siding (it fell off in a high wind) to the side of the dormer. I felt good securing it in place. I was getting the hang of being up on the roof. I continued to nail the siding in two more places. When I was done, I looked down at the ground below me and I realized I conquered my fears. Then I looked at my work and felt empowered.

Looking back on my daring experience, I recall the words of Anthony DeMello: “It is our illusions that prevent us from seeing that we are, and always have been, free.”