4 Ways to Keep the Inner Monk Alive During Natural Disasters

The recent Hurricane Sandy has once again proved that Mother Nature rules above all! We are humbled by Her mighty power. I salute the volunteers and organizations who come together in such times to show that we are there for each other.

I was inspired to write this blog because of the innumerable messages I received on my Blackberry, in my emails, on Facebook, etc asking how to stay calm and composed during these stressful natural disasters. I was away from New York when Hurricane Sandy hit but the calls and pictures of the hurricane’s devastation clearly portrayed the state of panic that most people were in. Most places are still out of power, heat and other necessities of daily life. It is time to forget all barriers and be there for each other unconditionally!

More than any other time of life, it becomes especially important to stay in awareness during such times. These times are the true test of our spiritual practices. Anyone can smile and talk about enlightenment during the sunny days but these are our exam times where we have to walk our talk. Moreover, if you are able to stay stronger in mind, only then you can contribute in such situations.

Here I have mentioned a few ways to keep the inner monk alive, balanced and focused:

1. Shift inward; not outward: My beloved grandma in India has narrated countless stories which inspire me every day in so many ways. During hurricane Sandy, I recalled a story that she often mentioned to me about a Saadhu (holy man or Sage in India) who was invited for a dinner by a local business man of the community. While the dinner was going on, there was a great deal of thunder and lightning, and everything started shaking. The doors, windows and walls were trembling. Feeling panicked, everyone ran outside and started screaming.

After few minutes, the chaos settled. The guests came back to the room and saw Saadhu sitting exactly at the same spot where he was sitting. When Saadhu saw everyone back in the room, he started discussing consciousness and God as if nothing really happened. The business man  and his guests found all this to be a bit weird. He interrupted the discourse of Saadhu and asked, “You should have ran outside with us! You kept sitting here and now you are talking as if nothing happened!!” The Saadhu smiled and replied,

“While you all ran outside, I also ran. But I chose to run into my consciousness. If death had to happen, I wanted to leave this body in peace. Wherever you all were running, you were carrying the panic within you. In fact it was more within you than outside. So, you were actually going more into the pain. When death seems near, all fear goes away anyway. Here, I witnessed the entire cosmic in my third eye. It was beautiful.”

Of course, we all can’t be as composed as the Saadhu in the story but we can at least try to move inward as much as possible. If we all meditate everyday, then it becomes very easy to accept and act in these natural disasters. Then absolutely nothing will get a reaction from you.

2. Accept and move on: Its very important to accept that materialistic losses happen during natural disasters. Our mind calculates everything in terms of money, and thus starts the pain.

What has happened has happened! The best you can do is to accept the damage and move on. If you keep on living in the past memories, then rest of the life time will be in a hurricane every day. However, if you use this pain and situation to inspire you, it can very well lay out the path of spiritual awakening and higher meaning in life. It is no secret that most of us discover our strengths during difficult times. The daily comfort of civilized society doesn’t give us the freedom to experiment with anything. Natural disasters give us a message that life is too short and unpredictable to predict anything. Contribute your part of the purpose now!

3. Art of togetherness: The concept of being together is so hyped and yet so under-utilized. The human race needs to revisit the science of togetherness. We need to start by being together with our inner self, and then follow by being with those who surround us. For example, the word ‘soulmate’ is so unfairly restricted to just romantic couples. It should apply to the entire globe. Soulmate literally means friend or mate of the soul. Imagine a world where we treat everyone as a friend of the soul! Wouldn’t that be wonderful?

His Holiness the Dalai Lama always spreads the fragrance of interdependence. Let’s live the interdependent way. The best example to learn from is the mother-child relationship. A child becomes a child because of mother. A mother gets title of mother only because of child. No matter how many arguments or hardships happen, mother-child never stop loving each other. The bonding is so strong that nothing can shake the relationship. This is exactly how we need to build the togetherness in our souls. If not now, then when? If not you, then who else?

4. Contribute to ecology: We must educate ourselves and learn how to contribute to the ecology of the planet rather than exploit it. We have been warned about global warming by some great thinkers of the world. It’s up to each of us now how we integrate the information into our daily actions.

One of the greatest masters of this century, Osho, warned in his book ‘The Golden Future’ about how our actions are contributing toward the natural disasters. He says,

“Man has disturbed the whole ecology of the earth.  Man is not in harmony with nature. Life is interwoven in a thousand and one ways…. Because many trees have disappeared, so much carbon dioxide has gathered in the atmosphere, that it has raised the temperature on the whole earth by four degrees. To you it may seem insignificant — four degrees — but it is not insignificant. By the end of this century, this temperature will be enough to melt so much ice that every ocean will rise four feet higher. One degree of temperature more means the ocean rises one foot higher. So the cities which are on the coast of the oceans — and all the great cities are there — will be flooded with water.”

I hope my two cents helped a little bit toward bringing you back to your center. All those who are living in safer parts of the world can Google ways of helping the victims of Hurricane Sandy. The world is a local place to live in nowadays, thanks to social media, Google and other advanced tools of communication.

I would like to conclude with the Maha Mrintunjay Mantra which is a symbol of higher consciousness releasing oneself from fear of death, diseases, and paving the way for the liberation of the mind. As a mantra guide, I have recommended this mantra to many clients and saw amazing results in their consciousness. It is found in Rig Veda and is also known as the Rudra Mantra. It is also considered the highest authority for spiritual awakening.

ॐ त्रियम्बकं यजामहे, सुगन्धिं पुष्टिवर्धनं
उर्वारुकमिव बन्धनान् मृत्योर्मोक्षिय मामृतात् 

Om Tryambakam Yajamahe

Sugandhim Pushti-Vardhanam 

Urvarukamiva Bandhanan

Mrityor Mukshiya Mamritat

Visit Chandresh’s official website

Join him on Facebook