All posts by Chandresh Bhardwaj

About Chandresh Bhardwaj

Chandresh is the founder of the globally spread Break The Norms Movement, with locations where Chandresh meets with clients in New York, Los Angeles, New Delhi and Amsterdam. Hailing from a family of traditional Indian gurus, Chandresh Bhardwaj currently conducts talks all over the globe in many countries including Sweden, the Netherlands, France, Switzerland, Hong Kong, India, Belgium, Canada, and the USA. In addition, Chandresh recently founded the non-profit Uncensored Spirituality Foundation, to spread spiritual awareness globally among those who don't have the resources. Chandresh’s most unique aspect lies in the fact that he’s very well attuned to the modern world as well as the sacred spiritual world. Chandresh went to the prestigious Zicklin School of Business in New York City, and has worked in the finance industry. Chandresh believes that we can be in the world but not of the world and by tapping into our infinite potential, we can create the perfect balance of abundance and peace. More information about Chandresh can be found at www.BreakTheNorms.com. You can also download his app 'Uncensored Spirituality' on your android and apple phone and tablet.

Let Your Actions Say ‘I Love You!’

i love youWho doesn’t want to be loved? It doesn’t matter if you’re educated, uneducated, young, old, rich or poor, every being on this planet loves to be loved. Although it’s great to say ‘I love you’ often to your loved ones, how many of us really mean it? How often does it come from your soul? The most precious things in life are said in silence. I am going to mention some of those below and let you say ‘I love you’ without uttering a word. Some of these suggestions may apply to your romantic loved ones while some for even the stranger on road. Apply these suggestions wisely and you may just fill your (and others’) heart chakra with a lot of inspiring energy!
Compliments: Genuine compliments are hard to come by. We don’t hear or see them very much! What if you start a practice of complimenting someone everyday? Keep in mind that some people may block your compliments and give you a cold shoulder. This has nothing to do with you, and everything to do with them. Don’t take it personally. Try with them again after a few days. Most people love receiving a genuine compliment and the ones who don’t are the ones who need it most.  So let your intention be to compliment those who seem to reject it. You may end up creating more trust and love in their lives and, ultimately, in our planet.
Hugs: Hugs come with therapeutic power. A hug with right intention allows a sacred exchange of healing. I just saw a post on my Facebook newsfeed that said a longer hug brings about feelings of joy and bliss. The post further mentioned that a sincere hug produces a hormone called “oxytocin” which makes us feel safe, relaxed and calm. It is recommended to hug for a duration of 20 seconds. Start with those who already feel safe with you or who need and  expect love from you. Once you are comfortable enough to spread this 20 second love, you are free to spread it all over.
Kiss: A small peck on cheek or a long, passionate kiss in the rain, both can speak volumes. A kiss says that you are loved, admired and cherished. Let kissing and being kissed become a new addition to your love menu. I am not asking you to jump on anyone that you feel like kissing (I know there may be a few or many!). But at least let your loved ones feel that you said ‘I love you’ with such a gentle gesture.
No tweets: Actions speak louder than your tweets. Instead of writing fancy love posts on your Twitter or Facebook, try to just give your undivided attention to your loved ones when you are around them. This means no Facebook or Twitter or Instagram use while they are with you. If they see you doing it, they may also follow your example, which leads to comfortable distance between people. Be need more genuine connection, more heart-felt interaction, more intense presence with our loved ones.  Don’t Instagram the special dinner before acknowledging the actual presence of everyone sitting at the table. Give social media a rest and arrive in the now, with love.
Gratitude: Express gratitude as often as possible. Your ‘Thank you’ is more touching than ‘I love you,’ at times. Pick small moments in the day that you can use to express gratitude. Don’t limit your gratitude either.  Acknowledge each and every person who helps you in some way.  The cleaning lady in your office, or the building security manager, or the stranger in supermarket who helped you. There are so many people who are deserving of your gratitude. Open your awareness to all the souls around you!
Since I don’t have any way of showing my love to you right now, I will use my words to express love to all who took time to read this post. My intention is to help you spread the silent love all over the globe!
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7 Pieces for Peace on Valentine’s Day

Love: As much joy that this word promises, it also comes with its share of pain too. Love isn’t created to give any sort of troubles though. However, our attitude toward love has created a lot of havoc.
Here are my 7 norm breaking tips on making peace with love on this Valentine’s Day.
1. Don’t categorize love.
You have been taught to shower a different kind of love for different people in your life. Your spouse gets a certain kind of love, your children get another, and friends and colleagues are reserved for other varieties. Who taught you to categorize love? Society! The custodians of society will always come up with reasons to categorize love, just like they have categorized religion. Don’t use any filter in your love. Let it be equal,  transparent and pure.
2. Learn to let go.
The day must end to give night its way. The rain must fall to let the clouds have their way. The child must come out of the womb, grow up, and set on an independent journey. Letting go is the necessity in life. You cannot hold on to something in the name of love. You have had your experience with the person or situation, but now its time to let go. Be it an ex lover or a beloved who has passed away, release them all from your memory bank.
3. Express yourself.
Learn to express yourself. When love is expressed in its entirety, life is no longer a pursuit of happiness; It becomes happiness. Be it the person that you admire on Facebook or at your work place or your loved one. Take time to compliment the best thing in him or her. A well intentioned compliment finds its way into the other person’s heart.
4. Liberate your love.
It could be possible that you were insanely in love when you met your “soulmate” but now it’s also possible that you both have evolved (or devolved) to a significant extent. It is perfectly normal to bid a happy goodbye to each other when it’s time to part ways. Liberate your love from day one. Your loved one isn’t a prized possession. In liberating your love, you will find your truest self.
5. Love isn’t about others.
Your health is about yours. It’s not about others. But if you are healthy, you can help others to be healthy also. In the same fashion, love isn’t about loving others. We do that to fulfill our insecurities and loneliness. Love is about being loving. Love shouldn’t be what you are doing. Love should be what you are. If you are in state of deep love, you can have others in love too. The whole idea of loving others is a sham as it’s created to satisfy the innate needs of feeling fulfilled mentally and physically. The authentic love travels far and wide beyond such shallow needs.
6. Love is not attachment.
In fact, love is the complete opposite of attachment. Most of us are attached to the people in our lives and continue to call it love. Hence, the problems begin! In attachment, you would yearn for approval and seek happiness from others. In love, you don’t seek any approvals because you have accepted yourself the way you are. The extraction of happiness from others doesn’t happen in love. Do yourself a favor and see if you are in love or attachment with others.
7. Love, the express train.
The perfect metaphor to describe love in today’s times is that of an express train. We get on and off of the love train very often. The moment the other person doesn’t fulfill our needs, we get out of it. The moment someone starts to make us happy (even if it’s momentarily), we get on the love express train. It is tragic, to put it in one word. You have used love to channel the happiness in life but how long does  it last? You know the answer.
My job is to questions your answers. If these 7 pieces question any of your answers, then I feel accomplished.

24 Intentions to Manifest in New Year

So there are just a few days left of this year! What are you intending to manifest for this coming year? Do you have any unfulfilled goal from this year that you wish to accomplish next year? There is no better way to manifest your desires than to release your intentions out into the universe and allow it to unfold on its own accord! The best moment to plant seeds of your intentions in your consciousness is during your meditation. In meditation, you connect with deeper levels of your awareness, making a better foundation to manifest your deepest desires. I recommend bringing your awareness on your heart and set the intention that feels just right at that moment. Then release it and don’t worry about when and how it will manifest…just know that if it is meant to be it will. Just have full faith on the energy of your heart. The power of love is magical enough to create many miracles!

Here are 24 intentions that you may use for a better and happier new year. Try working with 2 every month and see where it leads to. Don’t attempt to use one for each hour of the day… this is too much.  Just take it slow and steady.

  • Expressing love more often.
  • Understanding that forgiveness is an everyday ritual.
  • Witnessing the temple in your physical body and taking care of it.
  • Practicing compassion towards all.
  • Spending time in nature.
  • Creating thoughts that lead to optimism and courage.
  • Building an attitude of gratitude.
  • Meditate everyday even for a  few minutes.
  • Being bold without being a bully.
  • Treating work as a way to serve others.
  • Respectfully parting from those who discourage and lower your self esteem.
  • Stop blaming destiny and start working on manifesting your own goals.
  • Staying present.
  • Staying in touch with old friends.
  • Taking a break from work to relax.
  • Eating healthier.
  • Reading books and articles to expand awareness.
  • Staying offline often to connect with the people in your life.
  • Fall in love.
  • Letting go off regrets.
  • Release the need to treat yourself so seriously.
  • Being kind, but not weak.
  • Complimenting others more often.
  • Breaking the norms.

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Thanksgiving: Make it Happen Everyday

Happy Thanksgiving

LA doesn’t get rain too often and when it does, I make sure to enjoy the fragrance and all that it brings. This week when it was raining, I was enjoying looking at the trees and rain all blending together joyfully. I was wondering what would they say if I could ask the rain or trees how they feel about giving all these beautiful gifts to us. Right away, their reply popped into my mind, “We just give it because we want to. There’s no other way we know. Giving is fun. It is our nature. Maybe that’s why we are called ‘nature’. ” This is the only reply I would expect! Every night when I watch the moon and sun playing hide and seek, I feel it’s the most beautiful love story ever. The sun hides itself everyday so that the moon can shine.

This is me, trying to find meanings in all the natural phenomenon happening around us. Every time I decode the meaning, I come across only one force functioning behind every being in the universe: gratitude. The power of gratitude is way more miraculous than we can imagine. Gratitude is our nature. When we are not grateful, we are not in sync with our original self. If we experience blessings everyday, then why limit Thanksgiving to just once a year? Why don’t we take out one minute of every day to express gratitude? It will attract the best possible circumstances for our growth on all levels.

We love to complain about $4 gas but happily enjoy our $8 coffee. Both are the fuels which we cannot live without. But how about not complaining for either and instead being grateful that you have enough money to enjoy both everyday in every way?

Our prayers consist of asking the Almighty for all kinds of improvements in our personal and professional life. How about making your prayer just a statement of gratitude? Let your prayer be the most honest statement of thankfulness. No agendas. No expectations. Just counting the blessings!

Last but not the least, let this Thanksgiving be the first Thanksgiving which will not end with a get together with family and friends. Let this Thanksgiving continue forever. We make sure to take a shower everyday and check our emails, social media and so on without any interruptions. Then, why interrupt the ritual of saying thanks?

Here’s my five honest statements of gratitude. I hope you share yours!

1. I am thankful for having Intent as my blog space which allows me to reach to all of you.
2. I am thankful for my friends and family for accepting me the way I am. The unconditional love is the fuel I run on.
3. I am thankful to everyone for accepting my vision of ‘Break The Norms Movement’ and spreading it globally.
4. I am thankful for my spiritual journey. I would have been lost in some unknown land without it.
5. I am thankful to God / universe / higher energies for giving me immense strength to walk my talk without surrendering to the rat race.

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Are You Shopping for Enlightenment?

The most common answer, sadly, is ‘yes’ or ‘maybe’. But it is almost never a ‘no’ for any of us.

Our human mind is always chasing something. It constantly prompts you to shed any responsibility and instead place it onto others. Be it social, professional, or spiritual responsibilities. Your mind will not let you take full responsibility for your own divinity. Thus, you will constantly chase after Gods that you have never seen. You will wait for some special spiritual experience to open your third eye or some mystic who holds the power to enlighten you with the touch of his hand.

Even in our romantic relationships, we impatiently wait for that ‘someone special’ to fulfill the vacuum within ourselves, only to find that no such person even exists. All you have been missing was you. Once you find yourself, everyone is a mate of your soul. We wait and search for that perfect person instead of using our energy on becoming that perfect person. It all comes down to you and what you’re looking for can never be found on the outside.

In the same way, you can read books, attend seminars, light incense, and get certificates of meditation and yoga, but spiritual light doesn’t need validation of anything; it comes from within. None of the masters chase after books. Enlightenment simply happened to them out of their sheer innocent attitude and openness to receive it. Homecoming is enlightenment; when you realize that it exists nowhere else but within your own self, it is like coming home. But with most of us, our egos are shamelessly sensitive and anything, just anything can shake our ego…leading us further away from our true eternal self and more into the illusion.

The result is that we start to shop for enlightenment. We try out every solution offering happiness. We try out every self proclaimed Guru promising divinity. In some cases, seekers have some experiences which are mistaken as signs of enlightenment. The profound transformation is still missing.

Is there a solution?

The solutions are very simple. Nothing fancy. Nothing mystic is needed. In fact, the ‘simplicity’ of enlightenment goes against it more than often.

Try out some of these suggestions to warm up:

  • Forgive yourself. Forgive others.
  • Love yourself. Love others.
  • Take responsibility for your spiritual journey.
  • Know that one master can change the entire world. But we need the entire world to be a set of surrendered seekers who are ready to shed the ego.
  • Stop shopping for enlightenment. There is nothing to buy anyway. You just need to take off the social mask.
  • Being uncomfortable with yourself in meditation is perfect alright. That is the whole goal! When you peel off layers imposed on you by societal norms, you will feel uneasy… But go ahead with it! The more your seek, the more you will find.

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Letting Go: The Mantra That Will Change Your Life

It has been a few years since this incident happened, but it still remains fresh in my memory from when I was traveling in the mystic land of the Himalayas in India. From the mystic teachers to the scenic beauty, everything was utterly gorgeous. We were on our way to the river Ganges and got stuck in traffic. I came out of the car to get some fresh air and saw a female monkey holding a dead baby monkey in her mouth. As torturous as it was to see the painful view, I just couldn’t resist to follow her for the next few moments. I saw she was holding to the baby monkey as if it was fully alive. She wouldn’t let it go, jumping from one branch of the tree to another.

I came back to the car and shared the experience with the driver, who was native of the town. He explained that it’s very tough for a monkey to let go of her child. The realization that her child is no more doesn’t sink in for a very long time. It’s only after the bones start to come out of the rotten skin that the monkey finally releases the body. The driver wrapped the conversation by saying, “Tabhi toh yeh bandar hai” which means, “That’s why it’s a monkey” pointing out the lack of wisdom in the animal. I said nothing and delved deeper into my thoughts, analyzing the situation again and again.

The next morning, I had a few appointment calls with my clients. While talking to each client, one by one, I realized that we too are part of the monkey culture and tend to remain stuck in our own traps. The sacred chaos of our mind makes us feel comfortable about our troubles in life but we can’t run away from the truth for too long. The monkey was still able to let go of the baby monkey after realizing that it was dead. We have a stronger sense of self awareness and yet we find it next to impossible to accept when it’s time to let go of certain things.

Our human mind is in a much more beneficial position when it comes to dealing with problems in life, whereas an animal tends to evolve very slowly in its sense of awareness. As a human being, we have access to tons of wisdom and techniques that can create a Buddha mindset. You will find it tough to teach Gita to a holy cow roaming on the streets of India, but a human brain is capable of learning and understanding it so easily. Let us use this human factor to our advantage. I always wonder if the animal world is probably laughing at us and wondering who the real animal is. The one in the jungle enjoying nature and living every moment, or the so called ‘human’ being, who is always restless, reactive and upset about everything.

There is no one-size-fits-all, standard solution to letting go, but based upon my experiences with people, I have compiled a few suggestions and I hope that you will find them helpful as well:

The Power of Gratitude

We want to feel that we are too important for the world. The result is that we start taking ourselves too seriously. When we treat ourselves as sensitive dolls, everyone has the button to make us laugh and cry. We are at the mercy of circumstances everyday. One sure shot way to get out of this chaos is to be grateful every day, in every way. Being in gratitude helps us to take things in a different and easier way. It also sheds the unnecessary weight of ego on us.

Letting go is natural

The best thing about letting go is that it’s part of our natural cycle. When we decide to let go, the auric vibes around us support our intention. Letting go does not mean to bring in anything new. It means to live in a no-goal and no-expectation zone. Keep diving into the realms of silence and you will never have to make any effort to let go.

Gift of the Present

The major cause of stress is our attention lies in the past and future. We are always in a relentless tug of war between the memories of our past and the worries about our future but neither exist. The present is, thus, effortlessly ignored. The major cause of our stress is not being able to live in the present. Be fully in the present in all your actions. Know that 99% of situations won’t even bother you a bit after a few months or years. Use your energy and time to maximize the benefit from the present moment.

Detachment from identity

In ancient days, Gurus or Masters would change the name of their spiritual students in order to prevent them from clinging to their identity. The change of name helped students to let go of the bloated ego brought upon by the social status of name. My grandfather gave me the name Chandresh, which means, master of highest consciousness. He said I am giving him a spiritual name from day one which will remind him every moment about his Dharma toward the world.

Meditation to let go:

-Take few deep breathes.

 -For 5-10 minutes, simply watch the movement of your breath. Don’t make any efforts to change the pattern of your breathing. Simply keep watching it. Inhale and exhale gently.

 -Bring your awareness on the heart. Acknowledge the presence of heart. Acknowledge the presence of your loved ones and even those who you may hold grudge against.

 -While keeping the awareness on your heart, set your intention to let go and release everything from your consciousness.

 -For next 5-10 minutes, be an observer of all the action happening in your consciousness.

-Invite emptiness and be in present as much as possible.

-Spend some time releasing unconditional love and forgiveness to everyone.

Suggested mantra is ‘Om Shanti Namaha’ or ‘Soham’

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Setting Intents 101: Ten Intentions for Higher Consciousness

  1. I intend to manifest a world where war is a fictional concept than reality.
  2. I intend to choose respond over reactions.
  3. I intend to witness God in everything and everywhere.
  4. I intend to live a life of example.
  5. I intend to receive abundance from known and unknown sources.
  6. I intend to take myself lightly.
  7. I intend to forgive myself and others.
  8. I intend to practice unconditional love.
  9. I intend to make meditation part of my lifestyle.
  10. I intend to make someone smile today.

How to use intention in your meditation?
Start your meditation with a few deep breathes and silently observe the stillness within. Thereafter, bring your awareness to your heart and choose your intention. Now, simply observe the movement of breath in and out. Continue to let go off all the grudges and suppressed emotions. Don’t identify your thoughts with yourself. Witnessing the activity of mind is the best thing you can do during meditation. In the end, take few moments to be grateful for the intention you chose. Stick to one intention for few days before quickly moving on to the next one.

The Art of Intention
Your intention is the driving force in your consciousness. Setting an intention is almost equivalent to creating a map of where you wish to go. Without having an intention, you are on a road with no destination; however you cannot create it forcefully. It’s a seed that you sow, and you must let it reap on its own. You cannot force your mind to create an intention that you don’t believe in at all. If done forcefully, the purpose intention is ruined.

In the ancient Eastern ritual Yagna, the scholars performing the Yagna always ask the Yajmaan, the person for whom Yagna is being performed, for the Sankalpa, or the intention announcement, behind doing the Yagna. All the ancient Eastern rituals set emphasis to the Sankalpa before they initiate any new step. Be it a Yagna for personal growth, marriage or to attain spiritual powers, the Sankalapa must be prepared very carefully. Advanced scholars often boast about their proficiency in completing the Sankalapa for a Yagna. People who are familiar with science of Yagna always look for experts in the Sankalapa field although it lasts for just a minute, while the rest of Yagna takes an hour or more. Consider your intention as a modern version of the Sankalapa. You need to be well versed in it!

Let’s review some important points about your intentions:

1. Positive Intention: Make sure the intention is set in positive words. For example, if your intention is to remove stress, then say something like, “My intention is to invite peace and calmness within myself with today’s meditation” rather than saying, “My intention is to fight stress with today’s meditation.” Avoid using any negative words. The chosen intention should be positive, uplifting and always in the present tense.

2. Keep Evolving Your Intention: Our minds are very clever. Whenever we bring something new to it, the first reaction is always one of surprise. As time goes along, the mind stops paying attention to the new entrant. A perfect example of this occurs when we walk into a fragrant room — we sense the odor immediately, but after few minutes we don’t sense the smell at all. Likewise, when we drive a new route, we pay attention to even smaller details, but after couple of rounds there, we start driving with no conscious effort. The same can happen with your intention. If you stick with the same intention for weeks upon weeks, your mind will stop responding to it. The best way to address this challenge is to keep evolving your intention or goal. For instance, if your intention on the first day is to invite peace and calmness after few days, you may change your intention to “My intention is enjoy the peace I create in myself.” Please be advised not to change your intention or goals constantly. Instead, keep on polishing and enhancing it.

3. Short -Term Intention: It’s considered more practical to set an intention for a short-term goal rather than a long-term one. The best practice is to divide your long-term intention into few shorter intentions. This will help you achieve a grandiose goal in more powerful segments. For example, if your intention behind the meditation is to become specialized in your profession, then see the steps involved in specializing in your field. The first few steps might be to obtain good grades in prerequisite exams. Then, you may need to land a leveraging internship for experience. Finally, after successfully manifesting your short-term intentions, you will reach the actual goal that you had nurtured in the beginning.

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India Gang-Rape Tragedy – The Spiritual Solution

“Yatra Naryastu PujyanteRamante Tatra Devata spiritual solution
Yatraitaastu Na Pujyante Sarvaastatrafalaah Kriyaah”

The ancient Sanskrit proverb above states that divinity blossoms where women are honored. All actions remain unfruitful where women are not honored.

The recent gang rape tragedy in New Delhi shook India to its core and has caused a deep sadness around the world. The terrible news became global in just a few hours causing anger and pain to many people from various cultures. This truly was a horrific crime. The problem of rape isn’t new and isn’t restricted to just few countries.  Every now and then, we hear the news of a woman getting sexually assaulted by some disturbed individual. The movies and media have always portrayed women as merely an object of physical pleasure. Men are shown to have the deserving right to lure any woman they desire. This mentality has depicted women as an easy target of being an object of pleasure and nothing more. We quickly forget that if a women can give birth to us, she can easily do anything bigger and better than the men of the world.

I was born and brought up in India; the land of Kama Sutra and 33 million Gods and Goddesses. My spiritual training has been solely focused on the ten wisdom goddesses (Dus Mahavidya) of Tantra science. For someone who has always known the divine form of woman, it is not only painful but also shocking to see such attacks on women. The government can issue a new law calling for the severe punishment of the culprits, hoping that it would lessen the crime but the sad truth is that the government can only help to an extent in such situations. It can, of course, come up with stricter laws and harsher punishments as well as employing more police force in areas prone to such incidents. By taking these actions, rape is prevented out of fear. However, rape cannot truly be stopped by making people fearful of its consequences. The effort should be to cure the problem from its roots which lies in our fractured consciousness. Hence, this issue has to be resolved from the level of consciousness only.

The Kama Sutra from India has taught the world to treat sex as the most sacred activity in existence. In India, intense meditations are done on Shiv Linga, which consists of a feminine base ‘Yoni’ or ‘vagina’ and a rising masculine portion ‘the Phallus’ or ‘penis.’ Shiva being worshiped as ‘Linga‘ acknowledges the divine consciousness in merging with the eternal feminine form called Shakti. The Shiv Linga needs to be understood and be part of our everyday lifestyle. If one can connect sex with spirituality, tragedies like rape will start to vanish. Sexual energy is the highest form of energy as it gives us the authority to create life. It doesn’t need to be suppressed. This won’t solve anything. The solution is to channel it in the right direction.

Secondly, we need to bring meditation into our daily life and make it a lifestyle, on a global scale for everyone! Meditation holds the infinite potential to raise your awareness and allow you to reach higher states of consciousness. When a person commits rape, the awareness of such a person is in a very contracted state. They are solely fixated on control, domination, power and fear which are low vibrational states of being.  Higher states of awareness include acceptance, tolerance, patience, forgiveness, unconditional Love and peace.  We all possess those higher states of awareness within us and meditation will allow us to get there. A daily meditation practice of 24 minutes, one minute for each hour of the day, can bring a significant changes to the situation. No government or law can facilitate any significant change unless the change begins from within oneself. Meditation can shift one’s energy toward a higher self.  I would recommend meditation on ‘Shiva-Shakti,’ the union of male and female cosmic energies. Such meditations have amazing power and an incredible flow of energy which can bring in the divine element to all relationships we have with one another.Here’s hoping that 2013 shall be a year of rising soul mates! The soul mate doesn’t have to be a romantically charged relationship. It can be any relationship that you have with anyone in your life.  Simply try to be mate of the soul. Once you are friend of your soul, you will be friends with the global consciousness!

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

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How can education raise the global consciousness?

The word ‘education’ holds a deep meaning for everyone. Parents save money for their kids’ future to ensure that their kids get the best education possible. The leaders of the world emphasize education in all ways possible. Education is truly the top priority of almost every nation. An honest education system will produce bold fearless leaders. On the other hand, any flaw in the system will create leaders of flaws as well. Education is the strongest tool we have to transform the world. The change begins in one’s mind before it becomes a ritual anywhere in the world. Education is the seed of that much needed change.

Education, of course, should not be restricted to just getting good grades and landing a secure, stable job. The essence of a true education lies in its power to educate the person, as a whole. Education, then, is a process by which awareness is achieved, leaders are born, social justice is created and as a result, the global consciousness is raised. Here are a few of my suggestions on the ways in which education can create a new consciousness in the world:

1. Sat-Chit-Ananda: This is a set of three Sanskrit words. Sat means the truth that is timeless and pure. Chit is the pure consciousness. Ananda refers to the bliss which we are born with. If our educational institutions make Sat-Chit-Ananda their motto, we will create a world which is just and honest in its approach. Of course, we don’t need to put these Sanskrit phrases all over the institutions. Rather, it should reflect in the aura of students and their actions.

2. Well-Being sheets: Just like schools hand out the grade sheet showing the academic performance of students, there should be a well-being sheet for every student. There can be various categories such as most enlivening smile,  the most peaceful student,  the most poetic soul and so on.  Each student gets to vote for a student of his or her choice. The students who get chosen should be rewarded to encourage such well-being within their fellow students. These well-being sheets can also be used as an opportunity to create more activities focused on overall well-being, instead of gearing the students towards competition with each other.

3. Self-realization: Self realization, here, simply means that a musician shouldn’t be forced to become a doctor.  Can you imagine if someone like Steve Jobs was forced to settle down in a 9 to 5 job? It would be tragic!  The goal of education should be to discover the unique purpose of each and every student. We all are here to fulfill a purpose that no one else can fulfill. A mindful education would consist of cultivating the manifestation of self-realization which is already present in every soul.  Albert Einstein puts it beautifully, “Everybody is a genius. But if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid.”

4.  || SA VIDYA YA VIMUKTAYE ||
ll सा विद्या या विमुक्तये ll

This is a Sanskrit phrase which refers to the education that liberates oneself. I am big believer in an education which helps one to unlearn all that is being forced upon our consciousness. We spend 25-35 years attaining an education and there’s a strong possibility that the rules we learn in our formative school years become a strong part of our conditioned self. Any education system which gives you the freedom to think independently rather than conforming to the old, dead rules of surviving in the world should be encouraged. The idea here is to create a fearless mind who speak the truth, not someone who knows how to memorize and regurgitate information.

5. The poetic self: If there is any fun left in this world, it’s only because of the people who don’t take themselves too seriously. I was at the Chopra Center, for the ‘Journey into Healing’ retreat recently.  Deepak Chopra talked a little  bit about how we should learn to laugh at ourselves, often. All educational institutions need to highly encourage poetry, music, meditation and various other forms of art which can help the students to remain alive and keep their creativity flowing. The real tragedy today is that the world is sharing stress as a common concern in our day to day life. Let’s work to make happiness, creativity and self-realization as the common goals among all!

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