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.

Emotions through Poetry

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The one thing about being a writer is that even if you have moved on from something, you will be dragged back into that headspace. You always have to give an experience to the reader or the listener and to do this you have to give them the emotions that you had during the time.

As I look to start writing my poetry book based on my memories, experiences with Baba ji, my Beloved Spiritual Master, I know I have to go back in time and feel the exact pain that I felt then and still deal with the feelings I have now. This is the way I write my poetry and therefore, it is not necessarily that what I write is about how I feel right now but it can be about a feeling I had 5 years ago or 5 days ago.

This is going to be tough and it will get tougher while I write what I feel and how I felt, how emotional each experience, memory holds and it is in this space that I have to gather spiritual stability, to maintain that witness within me and let everything flow naturally.

We all face challenges and this book is one of them. I decided today that this book will be the last book of the trilogy, of which two books have been released already. It marks the end of the Master-Disciple relationship of Rahul and Hardev. Baba ji will always be my Beloved and it is Him that I seek all wisdom from. I want to see Him in everything and find that all ways are His beautiful ways.

Each day is tough in dealing with this loss and it never gets easy. What helps is the love and care that you get at home. I let out a lot of what I feel through writing and being in the present moment but what is experienced will always be empty and silent eventually. This emptiness will have His fullness and this silence will have His harmony. At the moment, I may be getting signs of it but He never lets any of His disciples down. All I have to do is be in synchronicity with Him.

My tears have been flowing as I remember how much He gave to me and what He gave can never be repaid for several more lifetimes but I have to repay it in this lifetime. This means I have to work several times harder to reach the goal that He gave us – which was to be enlightened, divine beings.

I will start writing tonight and all I wish for is that you all give me your good wishes and blessings.

Satguru’s love and blessings
Rahul

The Struggle continues

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3 months ago, a world that was full of colour turned dull, a life full of light turned into darkness in just one moment. All that remained was the observer in me – the watcher was untouched by the sadness and grief that struck my mind and my whole world was shattered. I didn’t know where to look, what to feel, what to say, what to do. I was lost in a world that didn’t make sense anymore. That is what happens when you have surrendered everything to someone – to a Spiritual Master.

After surrendering to Baba ji (my Spiritual Master) I didn’t have to think about anything in my life. I knew that it was in safe hands and still is despise His demise. I know that He has made sure my life will be comfortable and He must have given me all the strength to continue until my body decides that it has run its course on this Earth. However, there was certainly a sense of stability and comfort knowing that Baba ji was alive in His form, you felt safe knowing that if you had an issue then you could see Him. It was His approachability that made Him our everything and today, it is that very approachability that myself and others miss and seek.

My life has taken a turn where I am struggling to cope with this loss. It is no normal bereavement. It is one of excruciating pain where even the Observer, the Witness, the God within us understands the soul’s pain in losing the One who gave it so much joy, happiness and celebration. I always have this image of my soul crying, all alone in the universe, searching frantically for Baba ji. It is lost and doesn’t know what to do. I don’t think losing Baba ji is something I wanted so early on in my life.

How can I explain that God had showed me God? How can I explain that it was God that showed me how to be human? How can I explain to others that God had shown me how to become God Himself? And now this very God, the one we all worship regardless of our different paths had now left His mortal form. Can you imagine the pain of a devotee losing Krishna, Buddha, Kabir, Rumi and other Great Spiritual Masters whilst they were alive? You just don’t want to imagine it but today that imagination that I avoided is now my reality.

The only reason I am living is to write His praises, to write about how loving He was and to give the world now and in the future – the story of Rahul and Hardev. It is not that I want to die tomorrow or even right now. I don’t want to die until it is the right time but I can’t stop expressing the pain that I feel and it is not wrong to feel this pain. I have lost my breath and I am suffocating and drowning and I am only beginning to swim again. It feels like I have just been born again and have to start life all over again. This is not easy when you are left without the Beloved. I wonder if I trip or fall, will I be saved? Will someone pick me up?

As this struggling heart continues on the path towards liberation, I know that we have Satguru (Spiritual Master) in a new form and we have to surrender to Mata ji with the same zeal and enthusiasm that we did for Baba ji. It will have its own challenges but we can see through it. It does not mean we will not grieve for Baba ji, the tears will always flow and we will only be telling others about the legend of Hardev – the sweetest, caring and compassionate Guru. In a world spread with turmoil, suffering, hatred, intolerance and jealousy, we will know of a man that defied those values and became an embodiment of peace, love, humility, tolerance, forgiveness and compassion. We lived and walked alongside this legendary being.

His one smile was always something that we all longed for whenever He was going to visit us, wherever that may be in the world, but I know for sure that Mata ji will give us the same loving smile. She did this for me the day after Baba ji’s funeral. It was something that I needed and I also need that right now. I seek the glimpse of the Satguru to give comfort to the pain that my heart feels for my Beloved. As a devotee, I have full trust in Mata ji and all devotees of Baba ji have to support Her vision.

On the note of forgiveness, we all know that Baba ji had left His mortal form in a car accident. That is exactly what it was – an accident. The quicker that we can accept this, the better it will be for our own advancement. I have only seen this as an accident and have placed no blame on anyone. The point is that I knew Baba ji told us to think with a broad mind. We all say that a leaf cannot move without Satguru’s grace but have some of us just said it to meet our own egoic needs? Satguru does all and we cannot become judges of what happened and who should be guilty or not. I find it incredibly inconsiderate to do so. Baba ji only told us to love and forgive and if we cannot do that for our brothers, our family then what tribute can we ever possibly pay to the Satguru who sacrificed His whole life to put a smile on our faces. Those in the car are also grieving like we are. The quicker we forgive and welcome them in our hearts then we can concentrate on our own grieving process with the right mindset and focus.

Our Beloved Baba ji was overflowing with love for us all and we need to be the same. He wasn’t the best human being for His own praise, far from it. He wanted us all to be like Him – hold the same values and become those very spiritual values. We can never let go of the target He set for us, we have to remain focussed. I miss Him loads and I am struggling but the more I am the observer, the more I allow light to enter my dark world. The more I am in the present, the more I feel His love and presence. It is in the connection, focus and merging with the Formless that we see Baba ji again. Every day, I do meet Baba ji and I receive His love, I touch His feet and receive that warm embrace of His. This can be our way, and I need to surrender my struggle to Satguru Mata ji. I will trip and fall but She will pick me up. I will always miss Baba ji and I will still write about it because we are all sharing this grief collectively, but we have to at the same time, side by side, bring the message of Truth everywhere. And the message will always be in our thoughts and actions. Be aware, observe and be.

Thank you for reading. Please like, share and comment.

With Satguru’s love and blessings,
Rahul

Remembrance – the key to being who You really are.

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Some of us learn to meditate, we have done it for many years but there always comes a point when we feel that something is blocking any further progress. The thing with meditation, apart from its scientific and medicinal value, it is a spiritual practice that is about reaching a state beyond the body and mind.

I have always used the image of my Guru – Nirankari Baba Hardev Singh ji when I begin the remembrance of the Formless Truth. Remembrance is the next stage after meditation. Meditation clears the mind, remembrance goes beyond the mind. Meditation takes you to the boundless, formless state whilst remembrance allows you to become the boundless, formless state. Remembrance is simply knowing who you are and being who you are. When we seek to know our true nature that is meditation, when we seek and become that becomes remembrance.

The power of remembrance is moving beyond words and entering silence. When you know you are focussing on the Formless, you recognise you are in This and you are blessed. This is the blissful state that is only felt with remembrance. When you become that very thing that is always stable and still – when you remember that this is your nature then stability and stillness is your state whilst in movement.

Meditation comes in waves and you reach peaks and valleys. However, with remembrance you are able to be in this one state of rising above, you are the witness and observer. You are neither moved by pleasure or pain, happiness or sadness, differences of forms, by the nature of thought, by action or inaction.

What I am saying here is not about comparing. If you think this is comparing then it is ego. Many compare the difference and then drop one of them. If you want to enter the state of remembrance, meditation surely does help and can help you get to focus quicker. Use meditation to help you if remembrance is proving to be difficult. Whilst meditation needs to move to remembrance eventually as this is the next stage.

I still sit with my back straight, tilt my head back a little and allow my eyes to focus on the third eye area, sit cross-legged with my palm facing upwards whilst my forearm rests on my knees and this is something I learned during my meditation days. I carry this forward because it reminds me of the sacred space I am about to enter completely. Then I begin to enter the state of remembrance and lose all essence of myself and enter this formless state and be in complete being.

Remembrance is being both in movement – sitting, sleeping, eating, waking, walking, talking etc and at the same state be in the same state of the formless – still, free, boundless, love, compassion, blissful etc. This is the tricky aspect of remembrance. You have to live normally and do all the normal things but be still and blissful like a Sage, a Buddha or your Guru. This is the essence of spirituality that not many can grasp or understand. They cannot balance this because they have not become the formless state. They fear it because somewhere they have fear for something. If you want to enter the Formless and be the Formless then you have to be as mighty as a lion, fearless and determined to be completely free.

In this state of balanced remembrance, you will be able to fully function in your daily activities and be in bliss at the same time. This has to be the goal for anyone seeking enlightenment. There is no two ways about it. This whole process is made easier with the grace of a Master, a Buddha, a Sage. I was lucky enough to have a Master, who gave His kind grace and showed me how to meditate and be in remembrance of His true nature. The Spiritual Master is a mirror and reflects Your true nature and this is the beauty. Unless, we clear our vision so we can see this true reality, we will be stuck in just praising the Master but doing nothing about it. We have to be as the Master wants us to be. The disciple has to end the relationship between the Master and Disciple because their relationship has to go beyond all titles and labels into a state of unconditional love. This has to be the aspiration of the disciple.

The Grace of the Master with practice on remembrance makes the whole process towards enlightenment easier and we need to learn to be this Formless at all times. Settling for anything less isn’t good enough. Go beyond everything so you can be Everything.

Be in remembrance – when you know you are focussing on the Formless, you can observe and witness the Formless and converse with it. Then you recognise you are in this Formless and are protected by this Formless. Finally you are blessed because you are one with this Formless – the bliss and ecstasy you are witnessing and have become is the biggest blessing. And in this process, you may see your Master and seeing the Beloved Master is just another sign that the blessing has begun. And it surely has for me!

Try out being in remembrance and feel and become the presence of That which you seek.

Thank you for reading. Please like, share and comment.

His blessings
Rahul