What’s the Purpose of my Life?

I ask this question to myself on almost on all afternoons after lunch when I lie down (IDK why) and as usual it popped up again this afternoon and that’s when I decided to ask this question to my Mom.

Here is what she said:

Have you ever had a really good lunch on a Sunday afternoon? There was all this delicious food and you overate. And then after the meal is over, all you want is a nice comfy bed? When you get on that bed, what do you do? Because you have overeaten so much, sleep doesn’t come, but you manage to daydream sweet little things … Right?

Then she gave me a classic example of Lord Narayan…

Look at Lord Narayan here. He is surrounded by goodies, someone is pressing his feet and he is on a beautiful ocean … seems like He just had his lunch and by the looks of it, He has eaten a tad too much! 😀

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What do you think He is doing?

He is daydreaming of course! And you and me, we are in that dream. We are figments of God’s imagination after a superb Sunday meal!

So, do the characters in your daydreams have any purpose? No. Isn’t it?

Similarly, we the characters in His daydream, you think we have any purpose? Not really!

But now that we know we are His daydream, our purpose is… to make His dream interesting!! 🙂

Cheers

love

SS

PS: Don’t overdo it and wake Him up! LUL 😛

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Manchester United 4:0 QPR (Barclays Premier League)

Manchester United sealed a first win of the 2014/15 season on Sunday – and in some style – as the Reds, inspired by new signing Angel Di Maria, romped to a 4-0 win over Queens Park Rangers at Old Trafford.

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Di Maria, playing his first match for the Reds in front of the home crowd, was in sizzling form throughout and kicked off the scoring on 24 minutes with a curling free-kick. He played a part in United’s second goal from Ander Herrera, before Wayne Rooney added a third before half-time. Di Maria then set up Juan Mata for a fourth after almost an hour.

It was a day of debuts at Old Trafford as Marcos Rojo, Daley Blind and Radamel Falcao, who began the game on the bench, all made their United bows. There were also welcome returns from injury for Rafael and Herrera, while there was a return of a different sort as Rio Ferdinand came back for his first match since his summer departure. In tribute to 12 years of service, the defender was presented with a memento of his time at United by Sir Bobby Charlton before kick-off.

Despite having begun his tenure as United boss with three at the back, Louis van Gaal opted to switch to a tried-and-tested back four with Rafael, Jonny Evans, Tyler Blackett and Rojo the chosen ones. Blind sat just in front of them with Herrera, Di Maria and Mata ahead in a diamond midfield formation, while Rooney and Robin van Persie were up front.

It was Rooney who began the move to create the first real opening of the game on seven minutes with a lovely cross-field pass to Rafael on the right. He slipped the ball to Herrera who found Mata, but the Spaniard blasted over from just inside the box. But after a spell of good possession, the Reds took the lead on 24 minutes through Di Maria. The British record signing curled a free-kick from the right into the box and it evaded everyone, including QPR keeper Rob Green, as the ball sailed in at the far post.

Van Gaal’s men were determined to keep the pressure on and after Herrera had a penalty appeal turned down following a tackle from Clint Hill, van Persie headed over. United and David De Gea in particular breathed a sigh of relief at the other end when the stopper came rushing from goal to intercept Niko Krancjar’s pass over the top to Matt Phillips. De Gea was thankful to have Evans on hand to block Phillips’ effort on an empty goal.

Di Maria threatened every time he had possession and it was his bursting run forward that led to United’s second goal nine minutes from the break. As the Argentinian reached the box he slipped a pass to Rooney and after his initial shot was blocked, he teed up Herrera to drill low shot into the bottom corner for his first competitive goal for the Reds. And the game was all but over as a contest on the stroke of half-time as excellent link-up play between Mata and Herrera led to Rooney receiving a pass from the latter before powering home a low drive.

The Reds weren’t about to settle for three goals and after De Gea saved well with his feet from Krancjar early in the second period, Mata and Rooney both went close. The Spaniard made no mistake on 58 minutes though when, after being found by Di Maria, he smashed home from close range. It might have been five when Falcao entered the fray on 67 minutes and was denied a debut goal six minutes from time as he followed up on Blind’s 30-yard drive which had been parried clear by Green. The QPR keeper recovered well to block the chance and also kept out substitute Adnan Januzaj late on.

Overall, it was a job well done by the Reds with attacking play aplenty, goals, a clean sheet and, most importantly, a first win of the season.

Now watch us go!

GGMU

SS

Patterns of Mind

Have you ever noticed how things keep changing and still manage to remain the same?

You may be in a situation that you don’t like. And somehow you manage to escape it. You breathe a huge sigh of relief because thankfully, now you don’t need to deal with that set of people or circumstances any more… But that sigh of relief can quickly turn into a cry of anguish because you suddenly find yourself in almost the same mess just a little later, magnified many times.

Almost as if it’s the same story, with different people playing the same parts.

The truth is, that it actually is!

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You cannot really escape. There are certain things you need to deal with while you are on this planet and unless you do, and manage to diffuse the situation, it will simply keep coming back to you in ever more complicated incarnations.

You need to know that if there is a problem that you are facing right now, there is also a solution lurking around somewhere. You may need to work smart or hard or both to get to it. Once the solution is found and implemented, you will be confronted with a new challenge, quite different from the previous one. Life seems to work that way.

How do you know that you have resolved a pattern? You will feel a tremendous sense of peace and well being, a terrific sense of freedom dawns, a euphoric feeling that you have cleared a huge obstacle that will never bother you again. Very much like how the folks of the rebel alliance must have felt when the Death Star was destroyed (Star Wars)!

The next time you are in a sticky situation, stop struggling to get out. Be right there, accept it as it is, and with a calm, joyful mind seek resolution to it.

If you just cannot handle it, surrender and pray for movement. In fact maybe that’s what you do right at the start. Pray that correct intuition will come to you at the opportune time.

Have faith that you will know what to do and when to do it.

Have faith that any pattern that you may be stuck in will eventually unravel.

Have faith that you are being taken care of and dearly loved.

Have faith that this is just a game and if you wish, you can thoroughly enjoy it!

Praying, and most importantly doing what you love the most as usual are the keys to be able to forge through any tough time…

Love

SS

The Unbearable Brightness of Being

Every single day bursts with opportunity. So much to see, so much to learn, and so much to do! Sometimes I can barely contain my happiness — how fortunate am I to be born on this bountiful planet — that too at a time when mankind is witnessing its greatest technological advances as well as a resurgence of spiritual values.

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At times it seems futile even to try and learn a single discipline — music, art, engineering, photography — each worth several lifetimes of study.

How much could I possibly grasp in this infinitesimal interval which I have been given — to play, to live, to learn, to give?

Challenges, doubts, distractions and obstacles abound; yet they pale in comparison to the overwhelming good it has been my humble privilege to witness. Helping hands in an apparently selfish world; simple, innocent love in a place where trust is reported absent; abundance and generosity where lack would seem to loom large.

And running through it all like a leitmotif — wonderful, complex music coupled with moments of utter stillness, Samadhi (higher level of concentrated meditation). The Master’s grace wafts through this existence, a fragrance of rose and sandalwood, turning each breath into intense prayer.

It’s as though a giant hand obliterates the din, the traffic, the pollution, the crime and the grime in a fraction of a second; I stand renewed, recharged and refreshed — helplessly and hopelessly unable to express my bliss.

Cheers to my beautiful life, Los Angeles and the people who have made it worth living for!

Love

SS

PS: Its officially Shubham Singh now…so SS made more sense;)

Posted from my MacBook Air

Qualities of a Reasonable Person!

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I’m baaaaaccckkk! I haven’t had any opportunity to blog in over 2 months as i was in a transitional phase of coming from Bangalore to the best city in the world…Los Angeles…the city I always dreamt of! #californication! Hell A! And I got so used to not having a MacBook, that now having one feels like a total luxury. I have a bunch of posts and post ideas in my drafts just waiting to be written and published & photos of beautiful moments in life to share with you. I feel like over the last few months I just lost my (blog) voice. But I really miss it and just want to get it back again.

I feel grateful that there are some of you out there who follow this blog and don’t mind me sharing these things with you. I do hope you get some value from being here too.

So, I was thinking about the qualities that make a person reasonable, that gives them the force of reason. It is that force allows people to take responsibility for their life, and gives them the power to influence themselves and those around them in a positive way. Hmm, I think this is something I really need to develop in myself. Some times I don’t feel very reasonable at all -_-.

1. HONESTY

I think the first pre-requisite for building reason within ourselves is to practice honesty. Honest living. Only through complete honesty can we even attempt to see reality for it really is. Those who lie often, even about small things, over time tend to start believing in their own lies. When this happens they start to live in delusion, in their own fantasy world. It is very difficult to reason with people who are living this way, because they have their own idea of the reality, and it usually does not correspond with the truth.

By trying to live an honest life and being honest at all times, you will be given the gift of clarity – to see all things, and all people for exactly as they are. When you are honest with the world, the world gives you an honest picture back. From this place you will be able to make better decisions in life. I think that when people sometimes say  “I don’t know why I keep making terrible decisions in life”  it often indicates that this person can afford to live even more honestly. Because they are not being entirely honest with themselves or with the people around them (for fear of hurting feelings, unearthing something raw, or any other reason) they are not given an honest picture back of their life. It becomes really hard to make good and smart decisions. This is one of the attributes of a reasonable person – they have a strong ability to make good decisions in life and this comes due to their will to be honest.

2. REPONSIBILTY

Another quality that builds reason is the ability to continue doing your responsibilities regardless of how you “feel”. An unreasonable person often acts out of states of mood and emotion, whereas a reasonable person acts out of a sense of duty. Our moods and emotions change constantly and consistently and if we only do things when we feel like doing them, we would hardly get anything done and we would probably end up being a pretty unreliable person. I also am a strong believer that 90% of inspiration comes after action is taken, and only 10% comes before we act. But yet we always keep chasing that 10% believing that we need to be divinely inspired before we can do anything. There are certain actions we have to take every day to feed our own souls, to help the ones around us live their life, and to help our society. To build reason we should try to do these things even at times when we don’t feel like it. After we become stronger and build greater reason within ourselves, on our low days, all the energy that we have been feeding will come back to us and support us too.

3. LACK OF JUDGEMENT

I believe that reasonable people will always take opportunities to listen to people and hear the full story. I think we have to understand that no one does things for the intention of being bad and hurting people and causing chaos. Most peoples actions fit into their story and their understanding of life. Intentions are rarely just black and white, good and evil. When someone does something that you cannot understand, it often helps to keep asking questions until you can get enough distance to see their big picture. From here you will be able to see what factors were present to lead things to be the way they are now. Over time slowly we will relinquish our desire to judge people and instead accept them as they are. We will also become very good listeners and “understanders”.

I think Lack of judgement is a very important trait of reasonable people.

4. INNER DISCIPLINE

I think we also have to have an inner discipline that we follow, a set of internal rules and values that we live by. When we stop breaking our own internal rules and promises to ourselves we begin to build trust with ourselves. And I believe that when we have self-trust we become trustworthy to others also.

Having our own inner discipline anchors us. It will always remind us what we must focus on right now, and that can be very helpful, especially in stormy weather, in the dark days, when our emotions pull us in all kinds of directions. It reminds us that even if things are getting all weird in life, there is something you can do right now that you know is for goodness and that will develop us.

5. PRESENT MOMENT AWARENESS

Reasonable people have the ability to keep their awareness in the present moment, because they know that this is the only place that they have power. They don’t spend too much energy sentimentalising or regretting the past, neither do they spend their time romanticising or fearing the future. They focus only on today, and what needs to be dealt with at this moment, at what they can do today that will make a difference. Because our feelings towards the past or the future cannot help us today.

Because they are able to focus their awareness on the now, they tend to be very present people in all their interactions and dealings. When they work, they work, they are productive. When they relax, they relax fully and are rejuvenated. When they meet their friends, they can be fully present and there for them. Whatever they engage in, they can do well, because they offer all their focus and attention, instead of splitting their thoughts between the thoughts of today and the ones rooted in yesterdays and tomorrows.

They are also able to decide to not creating imaginary problems for themselves. I wrote a blog post on this before, called the Disease of the mind.  So you can read more about that there.

6. HUMILITY AND THE ABILITY TO SEE YOUR OWN FLAWS

Finally I think that there is can be no force of true reason in a person if they don’t also possess humility. The first step of cultivating humility is being able to recognise your own flaws, either by noticing them yourself, considering it when it is pointed out to you by someone, and also by being able to decode the struggles you face in your life and accepting the darker parts of you that attracts these problems. Reasonable people are smart enough to know that they are not perfect. And as soon as a person believe that they are perfect and always right, they already begin to lose their reason. Because a person who does not have the ability to see their own bad qualities is unable to practice true compassion, understanding, and of course reason. We lose our ability to reason, understand, debate, consider – when we hold the intrinsic belief that we are unflawed, perfect, right.

That is only the first step of humility. The other aspects of humility involve the ability to respect people around you, the ability to not only listen, but also to follow the advice of wise people, the ability to be a gentle presence in life, and to not feel like the world owes you something, but rather that you must do something for this planet.

Of course this is not an exhaustive list, just a few qualities that I thought about. What other qualities do you see in reasonable, rational, strong, dependable people?

Till next time…

S

Posted from my MacBook

A disease of the mind (and the cure)

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Hie friends!

I am sorry that I have not posted here in what seems like a very long time! I am on vacation at the moment and didn’t make the time to sit and write as many blog posts as I would have liked. I do have a little one for you today though! I hope you enjoy it.

I also have a lot of photographs and stories to share with you soon too.

As the New Year’s begun I would like to wish you all a blessed 2013! I have always held new year’s very close to my heart, for the first time in four years I was in Bangalore for the New Year’s Eve and I consider it a very auspicious time filled with so much promise and joy. So, happy new year! May 2013 be filled with joy.

Now, back to today’s post…

One of my goals for 2013 is to begin my journey of purifying and strengthening my consciousness.

To grossly oversimplify, I see it as a two part process; the first part involves removing the badness and the second part is about filling ourselves with goodness. This post is connected to the first part. It is one of the first steps we can take to begin removing the badness from our minds.

Today I want to talk about is a disease of our mind.

Have you ever felt like you were a prisoner of your own thoughts? That you can get sucked into a vacuum of negative thinking, and before you realize it, you have created all kinds of problems for yourself. Our thoughts become bottomless pits that suck us into the darkness. It can start off with a simple “what if” thought, and then it escalates from there. You can have an entire conflict in your mind. You feel all the emotions, you mentally work through all the awful consequences and aftermath. You can even break up with your partner in your mind. And then the following day you try to continue life as normal, but you just can’t. Your consciousness is tainted. You just cannot act and be with this person in a normal way. Everything has changed. Everybody feels it but no body understand it. Your partner has no idea what happened, and you also, do not realize that your uncomfortable and distant relationship with your partner today is because of your thoughts last night.

This disease begins in our way of thinking, it originates in the mind, and if we don’t start to put a stop to it, it will begin to interfere with our lives.

Symptoms

You find it hard to fall asleep because you can’t get away from your thoughts.

You have already imagined your break up, your fears coming to reality, or life after your death.

You have already imagined upcoming potential problems in your relationship (eg. What if he cheats?)

You find it hard to wake up in the morning, even if you had many hours of sleep.

You get offended easily.

You worry about how you are perceived.

You hold a very strong negative opinion against someone.

You regularly think about whether you love your girlfriend or your girlfriend loves you.

You feel lost in life.

You have frequent mood swings.

The consequences

This is a disease of our mind. When you have this disease we no longer have any peace of mind. Once we get trapped in our thoughts we get sucked into some deep dark place. It is important to remember that you don’t have to be “depressed” to have this disease. It can happen to all of us, even the happy ones. So it doesn’t depend on sadness, it depends on the strength of our consciousness. When our consciousness is weak we lack the ability to choose our focus. When we lack focus in life we start to pull at threads. We pull and pull, taking apart the patchwork of our mind, making it weaker and weaker. As long as we have this disease, we will not be able to find true happiness as we will not be able to recognize it even if it comes and hits us on the face. We will lack the strength, the reason, and the intelligence.

The reason I write about this today is because I realized I have this disease. At times I felt I was just a prisoner of my own mind, submissive to its every demand. It says “Hey Dude, think about this now, and feel bad about it!” and I would be like “Sure, just let me just cancel my prior plans and commitments!” It says “Jump” and I say “how high?”

I have done this for so long that this just felt like how it is supposed to be. That I don’t get any say in the matter. That if a negative thought impulse emerges in my mind, then I must oblige. It’s only recently that I started to feel that it was interfering in my life. That some nights it was difficult to sleep even though “everything was fine” in reality. That it would interfere in my relationships with other people, that if they were at the center of my negative thought – then I just simply couldn’t conduct myself normally around them for a while. That most of my problems were imaginary but felt so, very real. That somehow my maximal happiness level in life had been dulled. That for some strange reason, I could never get as happy as I somehow believed I could be.

So I was lying in bed with my aunt one night and she diagnosed me.

After listening to my symptoms she said quite simply “Ah huh, sounds like you have too much time on your hands.”

Well, for me, this is very true. I must have a lot of time on my hands or else I wouldn’t have so much time to create problems for myself, just for fun.

But I do acknowledge that some people are very busy people, but they can still have this problem with thinking. How is that possible? Well, I believe that these people are busy with the wrong things. They are looking for happiness in the wrong places. When we do this, our mind loses its immunity, and it becomes susceptible to this disease.

So my aunt told me she had this very problem but that around 3 years ago, she made the decision to heal herself from it. And she did. Today she says that her life may not be perfect, but she does have peace of mind.

Treatment plan

STOP THINKING ABOUT THINGS TOO MUCH BY GETTING BUSY WITH YOUR LIFE
My aunt told me that an idle mind is the devils workshop. She said she never let’s those thoughts get into her head. If she feels one is being planted, she quickly gets up and gets busy with her life. For her, she uses these thoughts as a reminder that there is work to be done RIGHT NOW that she is neglecting.

We must fill our lives with meaningful duties and responsibilities that we must hold ourselves accountable to. This will build our strength and sense of responsibility. Let your life be filled with so much joy that you simply do not have the time to sit and think of what could go wrong. You have too much to focus on right now.

SLEEP WHEN YOU ARE SLEEPY
My aunt advises against lying in bed for hours trying to fall asleep. What else can you do but think? Instead she suggests reading a book (or any other activities you like to do before you sleep) and then going to sleep when you are tired enough to sleep. If you are living a fulfilling life, working hard every day and fulfilling all of your responsibilities, then you will naturally feel tired at night.

PRACTICE PRESENT MOMENT AWARENESS
Wherever you are, just be there. Try to focus on what is happening around you right now. I noticed that I can even slip into my thoughts in the middle of conversations, or routine chores! Instead now when I feel myself doing that I just gently remind myself to bring myself back into the moment. And in this moment, everything is okay. And something needs to be done.

My concern, and perhaps yours too, was….

“BUT ISN’T IT BAD TO IGNORE PROBLEMS? WON’T THEY JUST BUILD UP?”
No, they won’t. Because they are not real problems. We are just creating them ourselves. And we are just so freakishly good at it that we truly believe that they are real and that we are doing a service to ourselves by thinking about it. Wrong!

So I said “But then some problems in our life are real and they do need some consideration. How do you know what is a real problem and what is a imagined one?”

My aunt said “You will know you have a real problem because it will happen right in front of you. Look, if someone slaps you, you have a problem. You need to think about that and react appropriately. But if you are laying in bed thinking about what if someone slaps you one day, that is not a real problem.”

We have to learn to tell the difference.

My experience

Oh my goodness, if you only knew how many problems I have imagined myself into, it would just be a joke! What a relief it is to know that most of my problems in life (perhaps even *gasp* ALL) are imagined.

So I have been trying this for the last week. I found that it isn’t that difficult to stop getting caught in the vacuum as long as you catch the thought early and then distract yourself. What was most noticeable to me was the amount of times I had to make that choice. Now I realize how much time I spent thinking about complete crapola. How much time and energy I invested in ruining my relationships, my attitude, my beliefs, my hopes and dreams, my life!

I also noticed that in the last week, I wake up much less tired than I did before. I don’t necessarily wake up in a better mood, but I do wake up easier. I think the reason I don’t wake up in a better mood is because I haven’t invested my energy into filling my mind with goodness yet, I had only worked on emptying it of the badness.

Making the commitment to do this has changed a lot already. It does require a bit of mind-policing initially, but I imagine that over time it will begin to feel more natural. After just one week I noticed that it is easier than it was in the beginning to tell myself not to follow a negative train of thought.

As I said, it is easier to do this if you catch the thoughts early on. You have to be able to detect even the slightest traces of these imaginary problems as early as possible. If you catch them early, it doesn’t take much effort to distract yourself. But if you allow yourself to dwell, to stew in them, then it becomes very difficult. I’m very happy with how it is going so far. I hope you can find some value from this too!

It feels good to know I am not a slave to my mind. It is a freedom, a young, newborn freedom, but freedom none the less. And it is sweet.

Happy new year homies!

S

Xoxoxoxoxo

Posted from my iPad

A White Rose

When the embarrassing incident in nation’s capital took place, what Guruji said is perfectly relevant after what happened in my beloved Delhi, and here it is word for word for everyone to read…

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I thought of changing the blog design to something darker for a few days, but then decided that this would mean that terror and corruption has won over love and peace…

So, it stays this way, bright and colourful and beautiful and hopeful

We need more peace, we need more people to learn to meditate, we need EVERYONE who has learned to meditate, to not miss even a day of their Sadhana… When there will be more and more Love and Care on our planet, I know these things will become extinct! Your simple and super potent contribution to stop this would be an unwavering resolve to do your Sadhana every single day, come what may… and bring many, many more, millions of more people on to ART of LIVING courses…

and oh yes, a change of government would help a lot as well… so next election time, go and vote these present jokers out!

Jai Gurudev!

Love

S

Corruption: The Cause and the Remedy

– H.H. Sri Sri Ravi Shankar

The act which is only destructive and inflicts suffering both on oneself and others is corruption. In such an act, human values are lost in the process of achieving a goal.

Some of the factors that lead to corruption are:
Frustration and desperation to achieve a goal
Confused emotion
Shortsightedness and Impulsive action
Belief in a non-verifiable concept of heaven and merit; a childish concept of God favoring some and angry at others, thereby undermining the omniscience and omnipotence of the Divine.

Corruption induces fear psychosis in all, increases poverty, suffering and loss of life with no apparent gains. Instead of solutions the culprit looks for violence as an answer. If you simply criticize without giving a solution, know that this criticism comes from the same seed as corruption!

Although there are certain qualities you can appreciate in a corrupt individual such as:

* Fearlessness
* Commitment to a goal
* Sacrifice

You will have to learn from them things that you should never do:

* Valuing some ideas and concepts more than life.
* Having a narrow perspective of life and dishonoring its diversity.

The remedy for corruption is:

* Inculcate a broader perspective of life — value life more than race, religion and nationality.
* Educate people in human values – friendliness, compassion, cooperation and upliftment.
* Teach methods to release stress and tension.
* Cultivate confidence in achieving noble aims by peaceful and nonviolent means.
* Create spiritual upliftment which can weed out destructive tendencies.