Gratitude – 5 things I am grateful for!

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I was listening to Humble the Poet earlier today and he spoke about how important gratitude is. So I was thinking that today, I wanted to share 5 things I am grateful for. Here goes and in no particular order:

  1. Wisdom – the reason for this is because without wisdom, I wouldn’t be able to discern between right or wrong in most cases. I like to learn and try to implement and as I always say that knowledge with action equals wisdom. In the space of social media – we get so many people say very bland stuff but it comes across as inspirational when in fact, if we didn’t just scroll through or double tap or clicked ‘like’, we could have thought about the true meaning of that quote and seen if it comes from a place of deep understanding or just something that sounds good. Wisdom is hardly a soundbite, most of the time, it is longer than that and a soundbite may only be one part of an awesome but longer piece of writing.
  2. My wife, family & friends – without their support, their presence, I know my life would be incredibly fruitless. The wisdom I have gained, the love that I have been able to share is all because of their attention to me and their kind suggestions that sometimes were in the shape of a lecture. However, in the most trying of times, it is my wife, family and friends that have stood by me and shown me that there is light at the end of the tunnel. It is not just that, they hold my hand and that makes me feel safe. I can’t thank them enough! In fact, if my parents were not so strict on me having a spiritual journey then I probably would lack meaning in my life. On top of that, my wife has been a shining bright light when my whole world turned dark when my Satguru Baba Hardev Singh ji merged into the Formless.
  3. Books – anyone that knows me, knows how much I just love reading books. I will not disclose how much I have spent on books but it is enough for you to know that it is a lot. Reading books takes me to new places of thought, I gain new insights and I use those insights to make my life better. When we read, it is said to be incredibly good for our health. A business insider article discusses it and you should give it a read here. The point of reading for me is that it keeps me feeling young and a learner, which helps to keep my ego in check.
  4. Meditation – the benefits of meditation are aplenty and there is no end to studies about this. However, for me meditation has been a life-saver in many ways. I have been able to feel calm and content on more occasions due to meditation and in fact, gratitude comes a lot easier when we meditate or are mindful. Meditating and observing a mind that projects or perceives nothing is a remarkable experience, a mind that is quiet is a blessing for one’s being. Meditation not only enhances one’s spiritual journey but it empowers one to be strong and determined when the world attempts to get tough at us.
  5. My Satguru – without the presence of my Satguru, my life wouldn’t be the same, I may have never been as spiritual as I am if it wasn’t for my Satguru. My Satguru is the one reason why I meditate, read and honor wisdom so much. I have even improved my relationships by following the wisdom of my Satguru. You see, Satguru means truth and leads you from darkness to light. Although, I am not able to say that I am completely out of the darkness but whatever progress I have made to get to the Light is because my Satguru has always given guidance that enhances my life. You could even say that my Satguru enriches every reason why I am full of gratitude. You can read more about why I need my Satguru here.

Here are my 5 reasons why I am grateful. Please tell me at least one thing you are grateful for in the comments below.

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Foolishness

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You must have met someone who you find is an absolute fool. They are those people that are totally living in a closed world. They don’t think beyond their world. Whatever is in their world, they believe that everyone should follow that. They do not understand what reality may even hold. They are simply those people who never seem to understand anything other than their own wants and needs. If they get it, they love you. If you challenge that, they don’t like you. They simply never care about hurting anyone in the process. They are so absorbed in their ego that reality has gone far ahead and they are still living in some previous glory in a fantasy past that they have probably recreated and reedited in their own mind.

I come across and you must come across fools on a weekly basis at the very least. It is simply a challenge on how to respond to them and how to be around them. You know that they may say something so ridiculous that you want to run away from them as soon as possible.

Most likely, the person that you want to avoid or you walk the other way from is probably a fool. Hence, we as social beings take radical steps to walk away from such people. Even though we have to try and work with them in some capacity, we can always limit our interaction time. We all have a Pandora’s box of excuses to run away from those questions.

I always advise to limit your time in being in the space of such fools. Foolishness is easily transferred. Watch your own thoughts and actions, be so acutely aware that everything you do or think is in the accordance of your being/heart and not your mind. Keep this advise especially if the fool wants to speak to you and you know it is polite and courteous to do so and we must adhere to this social code, even though we want to run a mile away.

Our behavior and our way of being will both attract and detract fools and we never know what it may be, that is the great byproduct of being wise. The wiser you are, the more the fool tries to disturb you. Let the fool try, and never try to please them or respect them more than they deserve. Imagine what the fool will think when they know a wise person likes them! It’s ego delight!

Anyway enough about fools and their foolery! Remember, the main thing and that is within you there is a formless space where neither the wise nor the fool is, stay there.

Freedom in the Formless

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As I sat in contemplation last night at a gathering last night, I kept thinking of the words in the title of this blog – Freedom in the Formless. It felt like an inner voice guiding me that I had to write about this and explore what it meant.

I regularly attend a spiritual gathering and the fundamental teaching is that we are all formless and that we can understand this by understanding that the world that we see around us is eventually formless when we break it all down. When we know that beyond the universe is formless, we can contemplate within that we are also Formless.

I find this to be a very powerful thought, which in the beginning it simply is a thought. Then as we begin to contemplate on it, meditate on it, we slowly begin to feel like the Formless and then we become Formless. The closest material to the Formless is love. In fact, love helps us a lot in spirituality. My wife is amazing at helping me grow spiritually and ensuring that I don’t remain stagnant. She is a perfect mirror for me and every time I think of her, I am overwhelmed with this sense of unconditional love. I don’t know why I love her, I just do. I don’t mean to be all romantic here, but simply stating we can feel spiritual concepts within our own homes and that my wife has allowed me to dive back into my spirituality.

The one thing that I love is when I express how I feel about the day with my wife, I express my emotions and I have slowly seen how anger is slipping away from me. There was a time maybe in 2013/2014 where I didn’t experience anger at all. It just never happened. Many things could have stirred that anger but I was so drenched in my experiences of the Formless, anger just couldn’t rise. I didn’t overcome it, I let it rest for a while.

Then in 2017, my anger started coming back. Questions appeared and no answers were good enough. The problem was not about the answers that people gave, they gave the best answers they could but I had the answers within me all the time. However, I didn’t have the time to look at my own answers. I was angry with the world, angry with the circumstances and most of all, angry at the lack of love. Which is hilarious when I think about it, being angry at the lack of love. However, it felt so true at the time. I couldn’t understand how far we stepped back when it came to following spiritual principles that were held on to so tightly like love, understanding, forgiveness and acceptance.

Yesterday, while talking to my wife, I expressed that there was a time in my life when I didn’t get angry. I would raise my voice a little but it never grew into anger. I stayed calm for most of the time as I was so aware of my own self. My wife very beautifully asked – “But you meditated a lot back then?” and I replied that I did and that I used to wake up at 4am in the morning and meditate for an hour (Thank you Dad for waking me up at 4am). I got rid of a lot of the emotions that disturbs the peace of humans. However, in 2017 and especially 2018, my anger and those other disturbing emotions came back again. The only answer was and is a lack of meditation and awareness that I am formless. Not conceptually but experientially.

It has been in recent times that I have noticed my anger has been a regular visitor to my consciousness. It feels like a guest that has overstayed its welcome. I keep showing it the door but it keeps staying for yet another night. The only reason this happens is because I choose to let the Formless stay out for another night.

Although, I haven’t spoken much about what freedom in the formless means but this is reflective of a past that was good but a present that has all the possibility of becoming better. All that is needed is for me to go into that wisdom that shows me that within me, it is all Formless. In this vast experience, where is anger, jealousy, greed, lust or pride? These tiny specks of the human experience have enlarged themselves so much that they live in the majority of our days. I feel it is a time to bring an end to that. How do we do that? Awareness, we need to become aware of our own awareness.

How much am I aware in the day that my body is Formless? How much am I aware in the day that my mind is Formless? How much am I aware in the day that I am simply the Formless? In fact, how much am I aware that there is nothing but the Formless? Do I dive into these contemplations everyday? Maybe we should try it out for a week. See how it goes and what happens. It is an experiment where the only thing you could lose is your ego – the nucleus of all the negative emotions.

Let’s come back to this next week and share what we have discovered.

Discover like an agnostic

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I have quite a few friends who are atheists and to be fair, they are some of the best people that I know. I have never believed that people who believe in a God are somewhat better than those that do not. I have felt that those that drown themselves in dogma, end up harming society more because time has moved on, cultures have evolved and yet the practices remain the same.

I am a keen meditator and although I don’t believe in any abrahamic version of a god, I do believe that within us and around us, there is Formless, Conscious Energy. This is the creator, sustainer and destroyer all in one. It has no end and no beginning. It can never be defined and most of all, you can only experience this as you live as it is – or live in your most natural state.

We have been programmed to judge others, to be skeptical of others, to gossip about others when really why do we even care? I understand that judgment is needed, certainly some people are so entrenched in their ego, that does mean you will suspect an ulterior motive but your way of being shouldn’t change. You will not trust that person for sure, but love and respect will always be what you speak of.

The biggest challenge for me is that despite being an atheist in some ways, I would say I am happily an agnostic. I simply love the fact that I don’t know and even if I did know, I want to stay in the state of “I don’t know” because therein lies the beauty of discovery.

One thing is for sure, I go with whatever someone’s vibe is telling me. If someone tells me an experience or something that is not true, I will never say that it isn’t true. I will silently listen. This is how one should approach whether there is a god or not. Meditate and contemplate until there is nothing there. That is what I am doing. You can surely try it and let me know if you want to know how.

 

Your Presence Prevails

10808bf51ff30249a8b83f13f7095d2fThe Guru dispels all darkness of the mind. The mind is in the delusion that it is the body with psychological impressions. The mind is given power by the soul and the soul is in the illusion that it is what the mind is. It takes on a different identity and leads a double life. This double life is the cause of disruption, stress and incredible ignorance that has loyalty towards the ego.

The only way the mind is free from the body and psychological impressions is simply by the elimination of the ego. When the ego is removed from the equation, the soul has access to the mind. When this happens, even for a split second and the Guru is present to give you the Eternal Wisdom then enlightenment can happen in a split second. A journey of bliss continues.

However, this is not the case for everyone and certainly not for me. I was given the Eternal Wisdom, also known as Brahm Gyan by my Guru while ‘my’ ego was running riot. The ego has most definitely calmed down as I transition into soul consciousness, which is god consciousness. However, my ego has put up a good fight and doesn’t look to be taking flight any time soon.

As I mentioned the Guru dispels all darkness of the mind, this is when one remembers the awareness of the Formless, this is the Eternal Wisdom. Understanding and having the realization that this Formless is everywhere and everything, the elements of compassion and acceptance are at the forefront of every decision, even every word.

The ego can put up a fight and the real YOU, that is Formless Awareness can watch all this happening. This is the clearest indicator to show that the ego doesn’t control you. If it did control you then it would incessantly control what you should be aware of. It does its best but in front of the Formless, it is weaker.

When you are in the awareness of the Formless, your ego slowly weakens. It is a gradual process. The only time it can speed up is when you have the physical darshan or receive a loving glance from the Guru. Even in that moment, you must be receptive to it, sensitive to it and open to it. If you are just going to meet the Guru without any intention to be transformed, then nothing will happen. A small urge to be transformed is required.

Spiritual complacency is what happens when we feel the glance (darshan) of the Guru has taken out the ego forever. The Guru never promises this, the disciple somehow falls under this subtle but devastating delusion. The ego and it’s influence has only weakened, not necessarily destroyed. It is reminding yourself of this glance, contemplating upon it, being aware of the Formless that is within everything, only then is the ego on the fast-track to be transcended as you take the flight into the beingness of the Formless.
This is what liberation is. This is what my Guru described to me and I am trying to live in this.

Without Him being here physically, I am fortunate to have had atleast 10 of those darshans, those glances that pierced through my ego, weakening it to the point that only a little bit is required to destroy it once and for all. Then Formless consciousness will be my way of life, it will be my life.

However, with His physical absence, my ego got a little stronger. It thought that my spiritual journey will come to a halt, it would be finished. I would stop having faith, I would stop having the desire to become enlightened as the ego believes that I have to become enlightened, it doesn’t know that I am enlightened. However, I know this intellectually, but experientially I am not there yet.

The ego thinks it is winning and I am here to tell it that Baba ji is more alive than ever! The darshans He blessed me with, those glances are not forgotten. They are with me always. 2 years on, they are stronger than ever. Why? I cannot allow His positive efforts, His precious time that He blessed the Earth with, go to absolute waste.

Baba Ji was the most beautiful being that I had ever come across. Falling in love with Him was a sheer joy for my heart. Crying in the darkness of many nights, seeking His darshan when He was physically here and physically absent, even those moments were one of incredible beauty. He always appeared and will always appear in front of me. His smile is imprinted into my consciousness. Nobody can take this away, no organization can claim ownership of this.

Dear Baba ji, my Beloved, appreciating my limited time in Your presence, full of gratitude, this journey towards being the Formless started with You and it will end with You, however, the journey never ends, it continues. Whatever the outcome of my life, I am grateful that I got to live a few moments with You and had taken breaths in the name of Hardev. For me, you were never born and you can never die, You were, are and always will be fully alive.

You are my journey and destination – Hardev, the Formless Resident of my soul knocking on the door of my mind and I can see my ego moving aside, dissolving away to let Your presence prevail for Eternity.

Being on the Right Path is Not Enlightenment

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Being on the spiritual path is one thing. Being enlightened is totally another thing. Sometimes I feel when I hear people talking about being enlightened, it really is not enlightenment at all. It is more an appreciation or recognition of the spiritual path they are on.

The delusion that it is enlightenment causes great harm for one’s spiritual progress. The drive for growth is cut prematurely and it will be hard to invoke growth when the ego is strengthened as it establishes itself in the false delusion of enlightenment.

Sometimes we are in the company of those that also hold this belief, very strongly, that they are enlightened and this creates a false sense of attainment. It becomes a place where we simply massage egos instead of attempting to dissect the ego and remove its influence as the Master of our Life.

Even to state that a path is right is very subjective. When you abide as the Formless, all paths are right. All paths are like many rivers flowing towards the Mighty Ocean of Isness, of Fullness, of the Formless.

This is why it is important to understand that the journey is in progress and that despite knowing the destination, we have to be honest in saying we have not reached there yet. The signs are there, some distance has to be travelled for the mind to be able to integrate with the Formless, the Pure Isness of Life.

For me, you need three things to really excel in your spiritual journey.

One is to be truly honest. If you haven’t attained enlightenment, if you have not attained freedom from the mind then say so.

Two is to be humble. If you haven’t reached it, but you have an amazing spiritual path, an incredible Guru or Teacher then appreciate them but don’t belittle others. Pray that whatever path they are on, that they meet the Formless.

Three is to be passionate. If you haven’t got passion then you will not strive for enlightenment, for freedom from the mind. Passion to become the Formless needs to be your number one priority.

Recognize when a path has now become barren land for you. Before, this path was full of life, full of flowers and beautiful fragrances but now the ego has taken over and taken over the land of your mind. Keep moving forward and try and find a new path where the flowers are blooming again. When you find that path, rest as Formless Awareness, That which You are.

The Seeker must become the Mystic

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Wisdom has set me on fire,
There is nothing to discriminate,
There is no other,
But the One True Self.

Wisdom is one thing; the practical side is totally another ball game. In the life of a mystic, there are two journeys. One is seeking the Truth itself and the other one is action or application of the Truth.

The seeker goes out searching for the Truth. They do not know if they will achieve anything. Will they achieve liberation? Will they see God? Is there a God? All these are unanswered questions and the seeker is comfortable with these doubts. The seeker moving towards becoming a mystic is fully aware that the questions are not real. They don’t need answers because they are distractions towards the Truth. The Truth doesn’t need to answer any questions. If we do not accept the Truth then there are two reasons. One is that we have not accepted the Truth and the second, which regardless of the first reason is more important, and that is whether we have applied this Truth to our daily lives.

The Seeker goes out and with all of their life, with their every breath, with every bit of their energy they need the Truth. When they meet the One – the Master, the Guru, the seeker receives the Divine Wisdom, known as Brahm Gyan from the Guru and life is transformed if the awakening occurs. The Seeker now has the knowledge, what next? The application must be there. The Seeker must see the knowledge, the wisdom in every aspect of life. In nature, in nurture, in essence, it should see through the eyes of wisdom and then the Mystic is born. Every action carries the dust of the Truth so that whenever another seeker wants the Truth, it should follow the trail of dust that the Mystic leaves behind.

When the awakening has occurred, the Mystic, like their Guru will be someone who has patience for one and all, they go beyond their labels – their nationality, race and religion. They move beyond boundaries. They have compassion for everyone because they see the same Light within them in others. They do not discriminate, like the Sun doesn’t discriminate on what it give its Light to. The Mystic, like their Guru understands the importance of forgiveness. That means forgiveness of one’s own mistakes and the large-heartedness to forgive others. Who are we to judge on the severity of a certain mistake or mishap that someone has made directly or indirectly towards us. The Mystic is an example, and the Light that shines from them is because of the wisdom they received from their Guru.

If the Light that we shine differentiates and judges then is it the Light of God or Truth? Are we following the words of the Guru, if we are using our own mind over the Guru’s teachings? Have we truly accepted the Guru? If the seeker discriminates and judges then the question goes on whether the seeker truly feels that the Guru is someone worth following. If the Guru doesn’t judge but has compassion for all, then isn’t that the natural course of action for the seeker? The Mystic has to follow the Guru but the seeker has a choice. The seeker is at a crossroad, it can either choose to follow the Guru’s way or it can abandon the ship and carrying on searching. Therefore, the seeker can never claim to be a disciple of a Guru until they surrender their mind to the Guru and whoever surrenders understands the Guru and becomes a Mystic. This is the grace and blessing of the Spiritual Master.

This Light, this Wisdom, this God that is revealed by the Master is only for those that want to become mystics, who want to have union with the One. The One that has created everything is the manifest and the unmanifest. The One that has no end, no beginning and is self-existent. This One, which is the Truth, which is consciousness, awareness and bliss. This is the way of life for the Mystic.

The Mystic never wants to let go of the Guru’s path and everything for the Mystic is about being as the Guru so wishes. If the Guru says to love everyone, then love everyone it is. If the Guru says to be compassionate, then compassion it is. If the Guru says forgive under any circumstance, then forgiveness it is. The Guru has the final and only say in the Mystic’s life. The seeker will pick and choose whatever is said but will do whatever their mind says. The Mystic understands the Guru’s actions, whilst a seeker can misunderstand it.

The evolution of the seeker has to occur. The Mystic must be born and this is where having a Master is necessary or makes it easier. The Master will show you the way, they will be the example and they will liberate you from this earth. No longer will you be confined in the body and mind, you will become the vastness of this One. When the Mystic is born, this world becomes more beautiful. The beauty of the One can only be understood by those in the mystic tradition and the Guru has defined this tradition.

To move forward in one’s awakening, to truly feel free and liberated, the seeker must become the Mystic.