anantakasainlife

creating boundless space in our lives


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Finding our balance

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source: sweetlightphotos.com

We live in a world that is balanced. There is sadness, despair, sorrow, unhappiness, anxiety. But there is also joy, peace, gladness, happiness, tranquility. But somehow we tend to focus only on the negative aspects of our lives rather than the positive ones.

We have lost our balance. We only see one side and neglect or forget the other side. We are taken in by the concepts in our head. We regret what happened in the past and fear what will happen in the future. Hence, we are blind to the freshness and abundance of the present moment.

How do we bring awareness into this moment? We start by observing ourselves. We feel the emotion that is running through our bodies. If right now we are feeling anxious, we feel this raw energy coursing through our veins. We don’t fight it. We watch it, we surrender to it. At first this is hard to do because the mind wants to take over our bodies, but we keep at it. Gradually, the momentum of the mind lessens. We then feel the stillness within our bodies.

And it is the silence within that brings transformation.  Why? Because we become an opening from which life flows through. We are able to move from one perspective to another and enjoy the play of forms. This is when sadness merges with joy, despair turns into peace, sorrow is transmuted into gladness, unhappiness is transformed into happiness, anxiety leads to tranquility.

When we live each moment as it is, we become balanced.


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Squeezed

Problems seem to abound everywhere. There is conflict in the workplace, confusion in our homes, dysfunction in our relationships, chaos in our country and all over the world. It seems like our universe is falling apart. Nothing makes sense anymore. We feel squeezed by the pressures of daily living. We look to escape from the present moment by fighting, rejecting or running away from it. But these actions somehow worsen the situation.

The way to be free is to accept this moment as it is. We allow space to flow into our lives and change the seemingly chaotic forms into harmonious forms. We become an opening through which the  abundance of the universe flows copiously. Why?  Because we are freed of the illusions created by our mind. We become free. Our genuine self bubbles to the surface and connects us with all of creation. We become one with the whole.

 


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Transformation

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Source: leadingagile.com

New Year. New  Expectations. New Beginnings. This is the time to let go of our old self so our new self can emerge. We become a beautiful, genuine being.

For most of us however, transformation is not easy. We resist it. We flee from it. We avoid it. If we let go of  our old concepts, then who are we? We cling to the known, even if it is detrimental to our being, because we are scared of the unknown. We are imprisoned in our own cage of useless, repetitive thinking. We are not able to experience the fullness of life.

How do we change our lives and become free? How do we experience life in all its glory? The answer is to accept things, people and situations –good or bad–to be as they are. We observe the procession of forms in our lives without judgment or comment. We permit the bad things to play their role in the fabric of our existence.  We cherish the good things while they last and release them when they leave. We discard our unrealistic and rigid expectations. We ditch our ego.

This powerful practice stops our mind from creating illusions. Past and future thus fade away. We are left with the beauty of the  present moment. We become one with life. This is when right action happens and joyful things come to us because we align ourselves with the power of the universe. We become connected to the whole.

We therefore realize this truth: the things of this world no longer bind us. We relish them when they come and relinquish them when they leave. We become free.

 

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Giving

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source: carleton.ca

When we give service to the world, the world will serve us. This is because the world is full and abundant. It is bursting with riches and wealth and its purpose is to share these with all of us.

But somehow this purpose is thwarted by our ego, which wants to take, more than it wants to give. This creates an artificial sense of scarcity, which leads to our insatiable need to do more and be more. We feel empty inside so we add things to our insufficient self. We look to the outside world to satisfy us. Then we become disappointed because nothing out there will ever be enough.

Or, we give but we don’t give freely. We attach conditions to our gift, which then becomes a bribe. We become disillusioned when the reaction we receive is not what we expected. We stop our so-called giving (or more accurately, bribing) and withdraw into our shell. We cut ourselves off from the fullness of life.

How do we reverse this vicious cycle? How do we bring abundance into our lives? We start by giving for the sake of giving–whether it is a smile, a touch, a helping hand, a hug, an encouragement. When we give, we align ourselves with the purpose of the universe. We are within our power. We are the master of ourselves. We don’t need other people to tell us we are good; we know we are good.

Giving brings out the inner joy that transcends forms. We enjoy each moment that comes but we are not tied to each moment.  We become free.

 


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Joy

source: fscaston.org

source: fscaston.org

When we find our joy, everything falls into place.  Life becomes benevolent. Our relationships with our loved ones become deeper and meaningful. Peace reigns in our homes. Creativity comes  to us.  The irony is that if we chase joy, it will elude us. But if we leave it alone, it will come to us. Why is this so? Because joy is within us and comes to the fore when we leave things as they are.  We stop judging and commenting and are simply present.The rigid structures that were erected by our minds crumble and we become empty, like the rest of creation. We feel our own essence and those of other beings around us. The universe is then able to work through us and connect us with all that is.


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Selfless actions

Swami Parthasarathy says that is not what you do but how you do things that makes an action successful (and for that matter, makes YOU succesful). When you do a thing with an attitude of service, you are doing a pure, selfless action. You do it without any motive–without suffixes or prefixes. You do the job without attaching anything to it. You don’t let your ego get in the way. You don’t get attached. You create space within yourself so the universe can work through you.

If you are a plumber, you do plumbing. You don’t attach any negative judgment on your work. If you are a street sweeper, you sweep the streets. You don’t wallow in resentment and self-pity. If you are a teacher, you teach. You don’t linger for one moment and think, “I’ve spent my whole life teaching kids and no one even bothers to thank me. These people are so ungrateful.” When you add your motives to a situation, you are creating negativity that causes stress within and around you. Why not let things be, and let the universe work its magic?

Look at nature. The sun shines and gives light without any motive. The rain comes and waters the trees and the plants without any motive. The trees bear fruit without any motive. The flowers give fragrance and beauty without any motive. Everything in nature is one with the universe and has no motive. Only humans separate themselves from the totality and have motives–and only humans have stress and therapy sessions. Every situation was meant to be so you have to let it be.


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Working with your tailwind

We spend a great part of our lives working. But why is it that some people thrive at what they do while others barely make it? Why are others enjoying themselves at work while their friends are stressed and tired? The answer lies in one word: “swadharma“–Swa means “one’s own” and dharma means “nature“. Therefore, swadharma means one’s own nature.

We must choose a field of action,  including our livelihood, consistent with our nature or inclination. We can not change who we are, so it is best to rearrange our lives so that we are doing what we love to do instead of doing things that people said we should do. We follow our own internal compass and  are in touch with our true selves. We do what comes natural to us and let the universe do the rest. As the Baghavad Gita puts it, “It is better to do your own duty, however imperfectly, than to assume the duties of another person, however successfully.”

Swami Parthasarathy likens the person who loves his job as working with his tailwind and the person who dislikes his job as dealing with a headwind. In aviation, a tailwind blows in the same direction as the plane and so it increases the plane’s speed and thus reduces the time required to reach its destination. A headwind blows against  the plane and thus reduces its speed and makes the journey longer.

Working with your tailwind gets you to your destination faster and with lesser effort because you are going with the flow of nature and the universe. You are carried by the wind and all you have to do is enjoy the ride. Dealing with a headwind delays your journey and produces anxiety and stress because you are working against your nature and the flow of the universe. You are fighting the wind instead of riding it. If you are not happy at your job, pause for a moment and reflect on what you love to do. It’s not too late to let your true nature unfold and see the wonders that come into the world through you.