Not everyone has to be spiritual

Is spirituality for everyone? It may be available to everyone but it is not necessary that everyone will be spiritual.

When someone has found something spectacular in their spiritual journey, when they have walked a path, which has benefited them, we wish to share that with everyone we know, like we do with the latest phone we have. We tell our close friends and our family about it. Likewise, this may be the case if a member of your family or close friends come across a spiritual path that benefitted them, they feel it may benefit you too.

In some cases, you are born into following a particular path and you do as your parents tell you. You reach 16 years and want to make your own choice and you may even choose to follow a different spiritual path. Is that wrong? No. You may choose to drop being spiritual. Is that wrong? No. Even though there are benefits to being spiritual, it is not carved for everyone.

I feel it is better to be honest and the quicker you realize whether spirituality is for you or not, the better. However, I do give a warning that you shouldn’t ‘throw out the baby with the bath water’ so soon. First ensure, that you go to someone that is spiritual in your view and ask them questions. Ask them about their journey and how they have benefited them. What did they gain? Or even what did they lose? The important matter is that we should ask before we choose that being spiritual is not right for us.

Personally, I feel that the very people that guide us down a spiritual path need to be exemplary and there should be as little hypocrisy as possible. The issue we may find that there are contradictions in all aspects of spirituality and therefore we need to mark someone based on their actions, their reactions more than their words.

Many people I know who have turned away from spirituality have done so because their parents or older siblings were not the best example of the spiritual ideals. They claim things which don’t go hand in hand with their behavior. Even worse, in this of rationality and logic, a simple answer isn’t provided or the humility to accept that one doesn’t know.

I do believe that one has to carve their own path and I have certainly done that with my life. I have made choices that are different to my parents and people would regard me as quite a spiritual person. I am a very rational person and so if something doesn’t go along with science then I come up with reasons why I don’t agree with it. However, I think spirituality is something that is invoked within you, it has always been there and it wants to reach its peak of spiritual enlightenment. You have to be natural in it, you have to be in the flow of it. It has to be born from within you and not something you simply cook up.

I will end it here and that is if you have a child that doesn’t believe in your spiritual path, it may say more about where you truly are in spirituality and how important you do find it. Just because one may meditate a lot or go to places of worship a lot, that doesn’t mean that one’s behavior has changed? It doesn’t mean that one has attained bliss and joy. If all that anyone sees of you is misery and anger, then being spiritual loses all of it’s credibility.

What is Wisdom?

The biggest declaration is one that is made in your own very heart, your very being itself. It is a personal moment that whenever it is shared, it is lost and unless you are a mystic, you cannot afford to share it yet.

Bathe in the wisdom that you have discovered in your own being, meet it every day, spend quality time with it, get to know it more, unveil things that you never knew and make sure that you are convinced that this wisdom will never change and is of an eternal nature. Once you find this, then it is worth sharing. Then the more you share it, the more you realize it does not deplete.

What is wisdom? It is knowledge that becomes experience. It is eternal, changeless, transcending and in many ways it is beyond comprehension. When it is translated back to words, it loses a large part of it’s essence. Wisdom is not like strong winds that blows you away, it is that gentle breeze that swirls around you in a dance, it envelopes you and takes you to a place of meditation, a place of inner awareness, where there is stillness and you have been taken over by that wisdom.

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Mysticism of the East have named this wisdom as Nirguna Brahman (The Formless Oneness without attributes) or Tat Tvam Asi (You are That). This is where all lofty thoughts, concepts and ideas come from. However, we must always separate them to Nirguna Brahman. To get to this point of clarity, to this indivisible state requires practice in meditation, and contemplation on one’s true self with the company of the wise. Serving others in a selfless manner can also bring one to that clarity. If one serves all as if serving Nirguna Brahman, many have reported attaining that Wisdom itself from performing selfless acts. Devotional acts have made people reach Nirguna Brahman too even though one may believe they are worshipping Saguna Brahman (the Formless One with attributes).

The fastest way to Nirguna Brahman is by seeking a teacher, a Guru of Truth. With their Grace, they reveal this wisdom in an instant. They may ask the seeker to purify themselves first by reading scriptures, sitting with wise company, meditating, volunteering etc. The Teacher, when they feel the seeker is ready, unveils the Highest Wisdom – Nirguna Brahman. From there, it is seen that Saguna Brahman is the manifested in the Guru of Truth and whenever the seeker finds it difficult to connect, they lead the seeker to Nirguna Brahman.

This is my experience and I find myself very fortunate to be able to behold nothing but Nirguna Brahman for periods of time. Even though, I do find it challenging to connect to Nirguna Brahman, I find that devotion, singing the praise of my Guru of Truth, my Saguna Brahman leads me to the Formless Indivisible Self that resides within me. In fact, I am always This but I am battling my mind/ego to accept it.

Love.

Pseudo-Wisdom

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It has been a long time since I have written on my blog and I will not lie but I have missed it. There is something about writing your thoughts every day and how it connects you to your own self. It’s quite an interesting way to introspect.

I have been spending time away from posting on social media too and I feel that now the likes of Instagram, Snapchat etc are more for businesses than individual content. Facebook still has it’s place as we find out news about our friends and family, or generally the political climate in our home country or abroad. However, Facebook is not something a 18 year or under runs towards now.

I have started to stay away from Instagram and I used to write poetry on their daily. Eventually, I found that the thoughts I expressed had lost it’s original voice and depth. A few may disagree but I really felt I wasn’t doing justice to the actual thoughts that I had.

I have noticed how individuals are trying to be content creators or influencers and as much as I applaud the efforts, I find that it is more narcisstic and definitely spreading more pseudo-wisdom than anything truly worth remembering. I often wonder would one find the Buddha or Lao Tzu or Krishna ever enjoying what they see on Instagram and the like? They would probably like to retreat to a cave and I must say that it may be the first time ever in my life where I find staying in a cave more interesting than going through the torture of social media.

However, I do find it funny and I do laugh at a lot of people’s attempts of being something special. It is a bit sad and I must add this, that some people on Instagram provide amazing content and it’s a little unfortunate that their talent that is screaming is being drowned by the mediocrity that has become the mainstream.

As I remain more of a spectator of social media than an active participant, it’s wonderful to find out good news on dear friends and family. It brings me a lot of joy when I see genuine happiness and that is what I really look for.

I certainly do not look for wisdom on Instagram and I must say that it is nearly impossible to find it anywhere on social media. I have resorted back to reading on my Kindle, reading about the deep hindu philosophy of advaita vedanta, reading poetry or works by great mystics and therefore increasing my concentration on focus.

In a world today that loses it’s attention span so quickly, I am doing the opposite. I am working on increasing it. This is obviously aided by meditation. Maybe this is why I see the frivolty of so-called influencers and content creators. The biggest question that they need to ask is am I going to be relevant a thousand years from now. If that is a stretch then 100 years from now? If not, then the few days of success will end up being a lifetime of failure. Which will only increase anxiety and possibly, mental illness because when someone loses relevancy, it hits really hard.

For years, I have thought about how to be relevant in today’s day and age. How can my poetry reach far? Then I remind myself of the above. My success lies in how long my work remains. Will it remain for a few years now as a fad or will it be something of an eternal nature. All I know is that I have a lot of work to do internally and on myself and that is what my focus is on.

As much as my discourse above has been based upon the state of social media from my perspective, I do appreciate the entertainment it provides even if they are trying to be serious. It is a little scary too and sometimes I have seen posts talk about mental health issues and the advice provided is not appropriate or even shows a little understanding of the actual issues that people go through. What needs to be understood that the shallowness of their thoughts or pseudo-wisdom cannot comprehend the issues that run deep in the human mind. In topics where professionals’ advice must be shared, others should either spread those professionals advice or not write about it at all.

There is a lot that I want to share with you. All that I share is what I know and whatever I feel helps, I will share that. I want to be authentic and honest and these are the basic values I strongly hold on to. As I grow in my spiritual practice, there is one thing that I am more transparent about and that is ineptness and I am quite vocal about the dangers of such matters. Being genuine and straightforward is better than sugar-coating. Although, my personal philsophy is to sugar-coat first and if someone still doesn’t get it, I just share what I feel in it’s less filtered state. After all, one has to respect the feelings of others even if their pseudo-wisdom will eventually do some harm.

At the moment, pseudo-wisdom is definitely winning and it is gaining huge popularity but the lack of real transformation will eventually lift the veil on the reality of the ‘wisdom’ that was once so inspiring. This is why I go back to the ancient folk because the Truth doesn’t belong to time and therefore, you can be in the world today and practice those pointers without worrying if it is relevant in a modern society. Being enlightened is transcendence and therefore trnascends all apparent limitations.

Anyway, this post was longer than I had anticipated and I just hope that whatever you are doing is the best for you. Keep it real. Keep it authentic. Keep it honest. May joy and happiness be with you in every step that you take.

Love.

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.

 

Social Media – Controlling the Influence

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Photo by rawpixel.com on Pexels.com

It has been one month since I have deleted the social media apps off my iPhone. This is after reading a book called Digital Minimalism by Cal Newport and it offered some amazing insights on how social media has really taken over our lives. After reading it, I decided to do a 30 day detox off from social media mainly Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and Snapchat. I must admit that I found a few things that are both obvious but exciting at the same time.

  1. I found that I had a lot more time on my hands. Those endless, cyclical movements of scrolling up and down, left and right consumed quite a lot of my time. At least 60% of it according to my Screen Time function on my iPhone.
  2. I had more meaningful conversations with people because I was kind of forced to speak on the phone to people. Every since social media, I must admit that the willingness to speak on the phone had waned over the years for me. Now, it has revived itself.
  3. I have had more time to meditate, contemplate and really observe my thoughts. This meant that I was really able to absorb into an interesting thought or I was able to reach a thought-free mind for longer periods than before. I was able to observe sounds and sights with a little bit more awe and wonder than usual.
  4. I had more time to read and gain real knowledge and insight. This helped me to learn new things and broaden my mind in understanding and embracing new concepts.
  5. I was able to understand my own feelings and truly get to know them. I know this sounds a little strange but the noise of social media can really drown out whatever you are feeling and what can happen is those feelings become trapped and they grow with more intensity. This only causes us to feel more upset. However, this social media detox, I was able to deal with my feelings right there and then.

Overall, I don’t know if I will ever download the apps again. I tried for the first time today and I deleted the apps off my iPhone again. Maybe I will use social media on my computer rather than my iPhone like the good old days. 

Anyway, maybe give yourself a 7 day social media detox. Honestly, it may be worth it.

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.

Poem: Reflection

reflection-017In a reflective mood tonight,
To check where I am at the end of 2016,
Another year has whizzed by,
With it blessings and losses,
The blessing is my marriage,
The loss is the Guru that I loved more than anything,
Snatched away in a moment,
Without a glimmer of hope of survival,
The One whom I still feel is alive
Would appear lifeless in the month of May.

I want to say that this year has been great,
But that would be a lie,
The aloneness I feel is not ordinary,
It seems like I have been forced into it,
I have had the aloneness look at me,
And I give in to it and the darkness is embraced.
Then I have a beautiful wife,
Who is like an angelic light
Who whispers to me that I am never alone,
And I smile and feel okay on the surface,
With the Light entering the roots of my mind eventually.

The tears that I shed contain my sadness and happiness,
The joys of being with someone who reminds me of Him,
Then the sadness of realising He is no longer here,
Although the presence of our Satguru is everywhere,
It can never be destroyed or even created,
It is transferred in every moment,
From one cell to one universe,
It is difficult to not be able to hear a response,
To have a hug and forget my troubles,
To have that one glance where our eyes meet,
I will know in that instance that God is here,
And I miss this interaction more and more everyday.

I may be lost today and trying to find my feet,
I may try to live in a reality where You are here,
Baba ji, it is not easy being without You,
For me a Guru is never born nor dies,
That is why I cannot understand this ‘death’,
You are aliveness and Fullness,
You are Formless and Boundless,
You are the Soundless Sound,
You are the Gateless Gate,
In 2017 this is what I need to reawaken,
I know where I am failing,
And that is where I will be picking myself up,
2016 has been a lesson not a defeat,
And 2017 will be lessons learned.

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