Uncles and Life Lessons

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I look back at all the blessings that I have received from my elders and younger friends and family and I always have a gentle stream of tears roll down my cheeks – out of gratitude and joy.

Recently, me and my wife bought a home and I was at my home, feeling this immense state of gratitude for all the people in my life, who have touched my soul with their presence and love. Their pure love has given me so much strength throughout my life. My present moment is beautiful because of all these great people.

Recently, I have been spending some time with my niece and she is a great lesson in being present and joyful. Her every need is catered in the moment, she isn’t anticipating a future nor is she contemplating over the past. She simply is. I was thinking of my own Uncles, who have each taught me something different and unique. One Uncle taught me to keep reading books, to always inquire about the Truth.He taught me how to always spend my life propagating the Truth. Some important lessons were ‘It’s nice to be important but more important to be nice.’ and ‘If God is knowledge, why not have it?’  One Uncle taught me to always be joyful and have a sense of humor. One Uncle taught me to always be there and supportive especially in difficult times (when my brother was in hospital, he travelled by public transport in the snow). One Uncle taught me that silence and serving guests with love is important. Another Uncle taught me to remain in discipline. One more Uncle has shown me to live life to the max, not to worry about anything and live authentically – simply transcend your own bullshit and the bullshit of others. I am talking about my Uncles only because I am an uncle to my niece and I want to show her this way of life. She doesn’t have to live the way I live, she is unique to her own self and I just want her to know that I am always there for her.

Learning and shaping who you are is what life is all about. Imagine that you yourself are a block of marble, all the thoughts, actions and intentions represent the sculptor and they will chisel away on that block of marble. The beauty of the sculpture depends on how aware we are of each thought, action and intention. When our life is full of joy, when our life is lived in the present moment then our mind is at peace. A mind in peace is a mind alert with awareness. This is the opportunity at hand.

As I continue to grow, as I continue to try and live a life of awareness, as I continue to explore the Truth, I am going to be changing a lot until that one transformation settles itself. I do find that transformation is occurring in the background of countless changes that are perceived.

The one thing that life will always show us is how vulnerable we are to death too. Two of my Uncles mentioned have passed away yet, something of them lives in the hearts that they touched and in a way makes them eternal. Each Uncle that I mentioned is an uncle that I have spent considerable time with and are related to my mum and dad. I have so many Uncles who are friends of my parents and it would be a very long post to go into each of the lessons that they have taught too.

One thing that is most important and that is to live authentically and allow your uniqueness to be. Nobody is perfect, nobody is without flaws and we have to understand this. In our relationships with others, we have our own expectations of how they need to be but let them be as they are. They have their own journey and their own growth and if they need your help, they will ask. If not, then you be authentic and promote authenticity. We live in the shadows of others, failing to see that we have immense Light.

Meditation helps

Meditation has helped me a lot and recently, I have been rather easy with it. If I do it then great and if I don’t then great. However, a regular practice of meditation has always helped me to see life more clearly and with a lot more honesty towards myself.

Sometimes we want to care more about something or give more attention but with our constant short-lived, fast-food culture of seeking happiness, it arrives and disappears quickly. When we are able to concentrate and focus on life a bit more, we tend to have a longer lasting happiness. This is a gift that meditation surely has given me.

Being aware of your own self is super important. If you know what angers you, what annoys you, what makes you happy, what gives you joy then you more likely to make choices that benefit not only you but others too. A happy you is beneficial to others unless someone can’t see someone happy, which when you think about it, it can be slightly strange.

At the moment, I am reading the Autobiography of a Yogi by Paramhansa Yogananda and I think the Universe and the Formless beyond the Universe is trying to tell me that get a little more serious about meditation again.

Joy in the Formless

This is going to be a short post but I wanted to express how much joy that one can feel if there is a single focus on Nirankar, which means Formless. Once there is a moment of this, where you feel the absolute stillness, there is immense joy available. All that is required is this practice to continue and to let these few minutes become longer and longer.

Wants and Needs

We live in a world of wants pretending that they are needs. We always feel that our wants are extremely important and if not received in the near future, we will be at a disadvantage. Instead if we understand that whenever we want something, we should take a break. Have a look at what is needed as a necessity right now. Maybe not getting something and instead spending time with your loved ones has more value.

As we always find, that if you are confused in knowing the difference between wants and needs then there is one way to find out. Get what you ‘want’ and see if you get over it in a couple of weeks. I predict that you will be over it in a couple of days but let’s just say we are all pretty decent people and that it would take us a couple of weeks to move on to the next ‘want’. It is really simple.

Okay, it is understood that we got what we wanted and it didn’t give us a feeling of sustenance so now we will be able to be careful when we choose to act on getting that ‘want’ and trust me, if we don’t make mistakes, we will keep falling into the rabbit hole. Awareness is key!

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.

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.

It’s okay…

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It’s okay to feel exhausted on some days, it is okay to feel that the whole world is resting upon your shoulders and it is absolutely okay to be overwhelmed. Sometimes, we are told that we need to think a little more positive, be a bit more optimistic and all we want to do is allow these emotions to live out their short-life span.

If happiness is our natural state, then like clouds across a blue sky, let the cloud of emotions pass by and the blue sky of happiness will appear. I believe the best way to ever deal with emotions is to be aware of them and be okay with it. As you know that ultimately nothing remains the same, all this shall pass.

We definitely have the power to overrule our emotions, we can smile when we have been uncontrollably crying at the kind request of a loved one. We know we have that capacity but all I really want you to know is that it is okay to let your emotions pass by and yes, your happiness remains untouched and unblemished. I know this sounds a little strange but what I am trying to express here is that sadness and happiness is separate and they don’t mix well. You can’t be in the middle. Some people say they are okay, neither happy nor sad. However, I still see this as sadness as it is an unrecognized place.

Let me know if you agree or disagree with me. I would love to know your views.