Friday, February 24, 2017

Spiders are Not Your Biggest Fear

Exactly two years ago, my sister gave birth to twins in the middle of the night. They arrived a couple of weeks early. When I got to the ICU ward in the hospital, my sister’s vital signs were high and she asked me to lead a meditation to help her calm down. I stood in corner of the tiny space, partitioned by a curtain, and gave my brother-in-law the only chair while my sister lay in bed. Five minutes into the meditation, I suggested rising above the hospital and imagining looking down to give all the souls in the hospital  who are suffering the light of peace. That’s the last thing I remember standing. The next scene was a lot of doctors surrounding me, checking to see if my neck was broken. I was put on a stretcher and the cut eyelid was stitched up in the emergency room. I had a broken sternum, which the doctor could not much about expect recommending rest till it healed. Apparently I fainted and fell upright, like a tree chopped from the bottom, with the chest landing on the floor and my head on the bottom of the IV stand. My brother-in-law, bless his heart, was now running between the newborns in the nursery, the ICU and the emergency room.

You might be feeling pain reading this. But I had a strange epiphany. I felt nothing, no pain of landing unbraced, the broken chest, the cut eyelid or the agony of my brother-in-law tending to four people in the hospital.

I had never passed out before. And, it was the closest I had come to experience what passing might feel like. A couple of years later, when sharing this experience with a group of men, we came to an agreement that this may one of the best ways to leave the body. Once consciousness passes the rest does not matter.

The biggest fear we humans have, whether one acknowledges it or not, is the fear of dying. It is an unconscious fear for most of us as we go through life. Because dying is letting go of every form of identity and security we know.

During my annual retreat in Mt Abu a 
couple of months ago, I had a profound conversation with a wise elder on a bus. He asked me to meditate on a few questions:

  • Would I be OK if this is my last moment?
  • Someone may cause hurt and you blame them for how you feel right now. But do you realize to carry the hurt forward to the next day is your choice?
  • Soul carries a body of light which determines its features and future in the afterlife. What does your body of light consist of right now?
  • In your daily meditation, are you letting go of all the baggage including the body without regrets?

I have been pondering on these ideas since that bus ride. I came to realize that meditation is like a death, practiced everyday in a comfort of your space, at-will.

One who has mastered death:
  • Has no desire for accumulating
  • Can be still in front of a bear (recall, the Revenant is left for dead by the bear)
  • Will be calm and allow your body to float when the boat capsizes
  • Will allow self to the doctor before a surgery
  • Is calm and patient in chaos

Try this in your next meditation and let me know how it goes. 

Thursday, November 17, 2016

The Power Of Appreciation Guided Meditation Commentary

 This 6-minute meditation on the power of appreciation is an essential habit to cultivating happiness in your life. It is not just for the Thanksgiving holiday but highly recommended to make it a daily practice.

Wednesday, November 09, 2016

Lessons from a Construction Crew on a Morbid Morning

It was 6am this morning. The sky was filled with the first light at the crack of dawn. I was standing outside on the upstairs balcony sipping my hot beverage. There was not a soul to be seen. Understandably, my community was reeling from the shock that was handed to us in the wee hours this morning. I assume most people were up, like me, until 1am to witness Reality TV turn to real life.

A construction truck fully loaded with street repair equipment drove up. It pulled up by another truck parked in front of my neighbors and the two drivers, seemingly Latino, started talking in Spanish. Why were these men up so early on a day like this? They had to have been on the road since 5am to get into San Francisco at this hour. A dozen reasons for why they were justified to show up late for work crossed my mind. I bet the boss is not going to show up for a few hours. They had a few more things to be concerned about the latest news than me.

Watching them, it dawned on me we have work to do. There is no time to stop and sulk. Regardless of how far we thought we came, we need to wake up to the fact that there is a lot more healing to do. The gashes are deep. There are no 'them' and 'us'. And, there is no where to escape to. Look around the world; UK, Philippines and Turkey are also showing similar trends. The last I've heard Mars is not ready for colonization yet. There is only us and here.

We have to dig deep to see where we have unresolved conflict within us. The healing needs to start within. There is a stronger need to create community and belonging than ever before. No one can be left out, even at the level of thoughts. Ultimately, the pursuit is of happiness. Screaming for change, America is trying every which way to find it. Even the winners were stunned by numbers last night. This is a spiritual issue. The answers are not going to come from policies and new trade agreements.

Let the healing begin with me.

Thursday, November 03, 2016

The Three Things You Should Know About Karma

Several years ago, I bought a motorcycle to get around San Francisco. It was the best decision I made as I could zip through choked streets. One afternoon, I cut through the middle of two lanes of vehicles stopped at a traffic signal. When I was almost at the very front, my handle bar touched a car stopped on the left. I thought it was a mild touch and continued forward to the white line. Shortly thereafter that car started honking. As it was a mild contact, I thought the driver was looking to pick a fight for nothing. As soon as the light turned green, I sped away. A mile down the street, I noticed the driver was still following me and honking.

Thursday, May 19, 2016

Phenomenal Story of What Goes Around Comes Around

A friend sent me an amazing story of karma coming full circle. It sounded too good, so I did some due diligence. Turns out this amazing story is true.

In 1892 at Stanford University, an 18-year-old student was struggling to pay his fees. He was an orphan, and not knowing where to turn for money, he came up with a bright idea. He and a friend decided to host a musical concert on campus to raise money for their education.