Tuesday, December 20, 2005

how to change the world

“We are not isolated islands. We are all links of the same chain. All of our actions—whether done intentionally or unintentionally—have an effect on others. If we hold back from changing until others change first, no change will ever take place. But if we are ready to change first, it will effect a change in others as well.”

-- Amma

Monday, December 19, 2005

personal peace

I’m not here to say, “This is how it is.” Each person needs to feel the need for peace in their life. If I am someone who has a water stand on the side of the street, do you know who my best ally is? Not advertising. Not my face. My biggest ally is thirst, because thirst will bring people to my stand.

If you want people to come to the stand that you have in this existence, then thirst is your best ally. Feel the need for peace, for joy, in your life. Once you have felt that and understood that need in your life, then yes, it will be possible for you to have it.

I just want to give you one simple message: what you are looking for is inside of you. Turn the volume down outside if you want to listen to the whisper inside. Understand that you are the source of that joy and peace in your life.

-- Maharaji

Monday, December 05, 2005

monthly intentions - december 2005

December Inspiration: In many traditions and cultures, the darkest time of year is the time for drawing inward towards family and celebrating the light in its many manifestations –with decorative lights, fires, and celebrations of holy days. Light is often used as a metaphor for consciousness itself. So one way to approach December (at least in the northern hemisphere) is as a time to re-ignite our own consciousness and reconnect with whatever we hold sacred. This re-connection with light runs throughout much of the fanfare, ritual, parties, and present-giving of this time of year. All can be seen as ways to re-activate our conscious nature, celebrate our connection with others, and revitalize our being after an active year of work in the world.

December Question for Reflection: What brings the most light into your life? How can you approach the holiday season in a way that honors your deepest values?

Noetic Science - Monthly Intention Program

Wednesday, November 30, 2005

days of the week

-Mondays are for compliments

-Tuesdays are for flexibility
-Wednesdays are gratitude
-Thursdays are for kindness
-Fridays are for forgiveness.

-- The World Laughter Tour

Saturdays are for introspection
Sundays are for connecting with the Source

Monday, November 14, 2005

slow down


Have you ever watched kids

On a merry-go-round?

Or listened to the rain

Slapping on the ground?

Ever followed a butterfly's erratic flight?

Or gazed at the sun into the fading night?

You better slow down.

Don't dance so fast.

Time is short.

The music won't last.

Do you run through each day

On the fly?

When you ask How are you?

Do you hear the reply?

When the day is done

Do you lie in your bed

With the next hundred chores

Running through your head?

You'd better slow down

Don't dance so fast.

Time is short.

The music won't last.

Ever told your child,

We'll do it tomorrow?

And in your haste,

Not see his sorrow?

Ever lost touch,

Let a good friendship die

Cause you never had time

To call and say,"hi"

You'd better slow down.

Don't dance so fast.

Time is short.
The music won't last.

When you run so fast to get somewhere

You miss half the fun of getting there.

When you worry and hurry through your day,

It is like an unopened gift....

Thrown away.

Life is not a race.

Do take it slower

Hear the music

Before the song is over.

- from a forwarded email.


Only when someone gets angry with us, will we know whether we still have anger in us.

Thursday, November 10, 2005

intention of the month - november

November Inspiration: Learning happens via many channels. Nature, relationships, and simple acts of kindness, for example, can all teach us lessons of compassion and caring. Imagine the center of a delicate web of connections in which even seemingly insignificant movements ripple outwards and back inwards. Similarly, each of our actions creates ripples of learnings for ourselves and for others. What is the impact we want to have on the world? What lessons are we conveying? Gandhi said, “Be the change you want to see in the world.” Walking our talk can be the most transformational teaching of all.

This month’s intention comes to us from Berenda Cason Brown: My intention is first to do no harm, and next to step beyond my ordinary experiences and opinions to absent myself from fear, violence, noise and rush, whether it is in media or an actual presence in our world, by breathing deeply of peace, silence and nature. Lastly, I intend to connect with all living creatures and earth's rich abundance through wisdom and love.

-- Noetic Sciences

Saturday, November 05, 2005

Learning the Piano...

At the prodding of my friends, I am writing this story. My name is Mildred
Hondorf. I am a former elementary school music teacher from Des Moines,
Iowa. I've always supplemented my income by teaching piano
lessons--something I've done for over 30 years. Over the years, I found
that children have many levels of musical ability. I've never had the
pleasure of having a protégé though I have taught some talented students.

However, I've also had my share of what I call "musically challenged"
pupils. One such student was Robby.

Robby was 11 years old when his mother (a single mom) dropped him off for
his first piano lesson. I prefer that students (especially boys!) begin at
an earlier age, which I explained to Robby. But Robby said that it had
always been his mother's dream to hear him play the piano. So I took him as
a student.

Well, Robby began with his piano lessons and from the beginning I thought
it was a hopeless endeavor. As much as Robby tried, he lacked the sense of
tone and basic rhythm needed to excel. But he dutifully reviewed his scales
and some elementary pieces that I require all my students to learn.

Over the months, he tried and tried while I listened and cringed and tried
to encourage him. At the end of each weekly lesson he'd always say, "My
mom's going to hear me play some day."

But it seemed hopeless. He just did not have any inborn ability. I only
knew his mother from a distance as she dropped Robby off or waited in her
aged car to pick him up. She always waved and smiled but never stopped in.

Then one day, Robby stopped coming to our lessons. I thought about calling
him but assumed, because of his lack of ability, that he had decided to
pursue something else. I also was glad that he stopped coming. He was a bad
advertisement for my teaching!

Several weeks later, I mailed to the student's homes a flyer on the
upcoming recital. To my surprise Robby (who received a flyer) asked me if
he could be in the recital. I told him that the recital was for current
pupils and because he had dropped out he really did not qualify. He said
that his mom had been sick and unable to take him to piano lessons but he
was still practicing. "Miss Hondorf...I've just got to play!" he insisted.

I don't know what led me to allow him to play in the recital. Maybe it was
his persistence or maybe it was something inside of me saying that it would
be alright.

The night for the recital came. The high school gymnasium was packed with
parents, friends and relatives. I put Robby up last in the program before I
was to come up and thank all the students and play a finishing piece. I
thought that any damage he would do would come at the end of the program
and I could always salvage his poor performance through my "curtain

Well, the recital went off without a hitch. The students had been
practicing and it showed. Then Robby came up on stage. His clothes were
wrinkled and his hair looked like he'd run an egg-beater through it. "Why
didn't he dress up like the other students?" I thought. "Why didn't his
mother at least make him comb his hair for this special night?"

Robby pulled out the piano bench and began. I was surprised when he
announced that he had chosen Mozart's Concerto #21 in C Major. I was not
prepared for what I heard next.

His fingers were light on the keys, they even danced nimbly on the ivories.
He went from pianissimo to fortissimo ... from allegro to virtuoso. His
suspended chords that Mozart demands were magnificent! Never had I heard
Mozart played so well by someone his age!

After six and a half minutes, he ended in a grand crescendo and everyone
was on their feet in wild applause. Overcome and in tears, I ran up on
stage and put my arms around Robby in joy. "I've never heard you play like
that Robby! How'd you do it?"

Through the microphone Robby explained: "Well, Miss Hondorf ... remember I
told you my mom was sick? Well, actually, she had cancer and passed away
this morning. And well ... she was born deaf so tonight was the first time
she ever heard me play. I wanted to make it special."

There wasn't a dry eye in the house that evening. As the people from Social
Services led Robby from the stage to be placed into foster care, I noticed
that even their eyes were red and puffy and I thought to myself how much
richer my life had been for taking Robby as my pupil.

No, I've never had a protégé, but that night I became a protégé ... of
Robby's. He was the teacher and I was the pupil. For it is he that taught
me the meaning of perseverance and love and believing in yourself and maybe
even taking a chance in someone and you don't know why.

- from a forwaded email

Wednesday, November 02, 2005

season's greetings

May the light of love and devotion shine brightly in your hearts.
May the light of understanding shine in your minds.
May the light of harmony glow in your home.
May the light of service shine forth ceaselessly from your hands.
May the light of peace emanate from your being.
May your presence light the lamps of love and peace wherever you go.
May your smile, your words and your actions be as sweet as the sweets of this festive season.
- unknown

Sunday, October 30, 2005

few gems

  • if you don't hold on pleasure, pain will never bother you.
  • be indifferent to your indifference.
  • nothing is. nothing is not. what's there to say.
  • a true statement of "i love you": God as the Love in me is in Love with His Love in you.
-- Shibendu Lahiri

Sunday, October 16, 2005

Personality and Emotions

"Every personality in the course of a lifetime, usually in earliest childhood, forms certain wrong conclusions about life. As the years go by, thse conclusions and attitudes sink more and more into the unconscious where they mold, to some extent, the life of the person."

"You have to learn to be tolerant with your negative emotions. You have to understand them. By having the emotions on the surface, confronting their ignorance, selfishness, and immaturity, without being ashamed or self-rejecting, you will gradually break the vicious circle. Thus you will become free and independent."

-Susan Thesenga

The Circle of Life

A metaphor for duality and unity is to see all of life as a great circle. As human beings we stand only at one small point on the circumference of the circle, often believing that the limited perceptions we have from a particular spot at a particular time are all that there is. We forget that there are a million different lenses on the whole. Or we try to cling to certain kinds of experiences rather than allowing whatever comes to us. If we stay sufficiently humble and allow the full range of our human experience, we can occasionally glimpse and eventually learn to embrace the whole of the circle of life.

At the center of the circle is God, or the life force, constantly flowing out from the center to the periphery. The life force expresses itself in manifestation as all the points of consciousness from the center to the outermost edge.

From the periphery of the circle, wearing blinders which restrict our vision to only what we see directly in front of us, we human beings usually look around the circle and see only the dualities. At one point on the wheel we see birth, and at a point across from it we see the opposite, death. At one point of the circumference is darkness, across from it, light; pleasure and pain we see at opposite points on the wheel. Neither reality is better or worse than the other; both are equal, balanced, inevitable. If we try to cling to one and deny the other, we become unbalanced. The wheel of our own life will create a bumpy journey unless we can embrace and flow with all the dualities. The more we embrace whatever comes to us, the more harmonious will be our ride on the wheel.

As we move toward the spititual center of our being, the center of the circle of life, we also accept and unite with the opposites, with all that exists at the periphery. In this way, our center keeps expanding to include the whole circle, no longer dualistically perceived.

Excerpt from The Undefended Self by Susan Thesenga

Friday, October 07, 2005

intention of the month - October

October Inspiration: Learning something new can be transformative if put it into action. Knowledge without action informs but doesn’t inspire. Be inspirational this month! Learn new skills and take new actions as a result. In frequently repeating these new skills, you will soon have new set of tools at your disposal.

October Question for Reflection: We are all students and we are all teachers; we are all influenced and we are all influential. Who has inspired you lately and whom have you inspired? When you reflect on the people and ideas that influence you, what are the common themes? What skills or attitudes do you model yourself? Are your beliefs, words, and actions all aligned?

This month’s intention comes to us from an anonymous member, who reminds us to do the following: To live consciously. To be present in each moment. To not just do automatically, but to let my entire being take part in decisions, activities, and interactions with people and nature. To be curious. To inhale good scents. To turn off the television and read.


Thursday, October 06, 2005

depressed people

How to deal with depressed people:

  • don't give them verbal advice.
  • don't judge them.
  • be there for them, connect with them with humanity.
- from an interview in a radio show on PRI.

Thursday, September 29, 2005


Happiness cannot be traveled to, owned, earned, worn or consumed. Happiness is the spiritual experience of living every minute with love, grace, and gratitude.

- Dennis Waitley
Word of the Day - Gratefulness

Tuesday, September 27, 2005

pleasure and pain

If you don't hold on pleasure, pain will never bother you.

- Shibendu Lahiri

It's out attachment to pleasure that causes us to be bothered by pain.

Monday, September 26, 2005


Sangha (sangat): the community of friends on the spiritual path.

We need help, because the spiritual path is a difficult one. It's difficult because it goes against our addictions - our anger, hatred, and obsession.

Qualities recommended by Buddha for good sangha members:

1. "Well-settled" well-settled in terms of morality
people who refrain from harming themselves and others.

2. "Well-seeing" - a person who sticks to his or her principles. It supports the first quality.

3. "Straightforward" but with wisdom of knowing what to say and when to say it.

4. Be able to get along with others and be adaptable. (adaptable to culture, customs, and be able to entertain other points of views.)

5. Someone we can admire - anyone who comes close to that person will be benefited, spiritually as well as in daily life. They are a source of joy.

6. Someone who will stick with you to the end.

Sangha friends are also good mirrors. They reflect not only the good qualities mentioned above but also the difficult ones we all have and often don't wish to admit to. If somebody's behavior is really bothering you, it is a good indication that there might be something being reflected in that person that you don't like about yourself.

Source: "Sangha" by Gehlek Rimpoche in Parabola Winter 2004, theme: "Friendship"

Thursday, September 22, 2005

Hukum - God's Will or Order

- God and God's Will is like dancer and the dance. Two are inseparable.

- It's God's Will for planets to rotate, for wind to blow, for wild animals to prey, for sugar to be sweet and God's Hukum for human beings is to merge in Him. Rest of the nature is following his Order, are we working towards it?

- Thank you to what is already here, yes to what will be here.

- Two aspects of Hukum: Rahmat and Raza
everything good we have is due to his mercy or Rahmat. Everything else is due to his Will or Raza.

Actually everything that happens is for good. Due to our limited knowledge and lack of wisdom we categorize events into good and bad. Our focus needs to be on our reaction to events not the events themselves. We need to make our reactions better and compatible with the Order. We won't be going against the current but with the current to the Ocean where we the stream, the river, the ravine will merge into the Ocean and take all the properties of the Ocean, we won't be ourselves, there won't be a "We" or "You" or "I".

-- Inspired by various commentaries on Guru Granth Sahib's teachings.

Friday, September 16, 2005


How many trees are in the seed?
A tiny seed becomes a tree. That tree produces many more seeds, which become trees, which produce seeds, and so on. So how many trees are in the seed?

There are no trees in the seed. Crack it open, and you won't find even a single tree.
The seed contains only the idea of a tree, the potential for a tree, and the plans for building that tree. The tree itself appears only when the seed is nourished with water and soil and sunlight.

The people you meet, the new things you learn, the experiences you live, the choices you make, the days and moments of your life -- all are seeds with limitless potential to bear fruit. But only when placed in fertile ground and nourished.

That's where you come in. Though you can't always control the seeds that fall into your life, you can control the way they're planted and cared for. In every moment is a lifetime of possibilities. Think of that!
You can change the course of the rest of your life right now, this very instant. By deciding which seeds to plant, which choices to make, which relationships to nurture. By giving the seeds of opportunity a fertile soil in which to grow.

Source: an email from "Sikh Heroes" - A Yahoo Group

Thursday, September 15, 2005

intention of the month

September Inspiration:
For the next month you’re invited to view the world through eyes of awe. Contemplate the principles of discovery vs. comparison and apply them to the events of your day.
Your life will transform. You will learn things you never knew, see things you never saw and think things you’ve never thought. When you walk around with the intention of discovery you see the world differently. You become an open invitation for wisdom.

September Question for Reflection:
If not now, when? Is there something you’ve been wanting to study? What do you want to learn more about? Is there any area where you have opinions that are not as informed as they could be? Schedule some time this month to actively pursue any area you’re interested in. Pick one so you don’t overwhelm yourself, remember, concentration is the secret to strength.

This month we have an intention from Magy Rehayem:
All I can do is be present. One never knows what form transformation will come in. Know that a subtle shift can signal a major crossroads....and what we think is a major crossroads, is really a subtle shift. All I can do is be present.

Source: IONS Monthly Intention

Sunday, September 11, 2005

remembering God

When we are learning how to drive, our mind cannot focus on anything but driving. Once we have mastered it, our mind can do many other activities while our body is driving such as listening to radio, talking on cell phone etc...

We can train our mind to be awake and remember God at all times while our body is busy in doing daily activities.

- Paraphrased from a lecture at Gurdwara Sahib - Plymouth, Michigan

Tuesday, September 06, 2005

Katrina - how to help

donate to Katrina vicitims: Red Cross


# Financial contributions are usually the best way to help.

# Give by check to the (local) disaster relief charity of your choice.

# For specific disasters, indicate on your check what relief effort you would like the funds applied towards, e.g., hurricane Andrew or tsunami relief.

# If you must donate goods, donate through a genuine relief organization that has announced a need for the goods.

# Otherwise donated goods require warehouse space that may not be available, not to mention packaging and transportation resources.

And please don't give your used clothing to disaster victims!

It adds to the relief workload because it needs sorting, cleaning and transporting.

Usually, used clothes end up in a thrift store or the landfill.

# Confirm the need for specific goods before beginning a collection drive.

# Don't wait for the disaster to become a volunteer.

Get disaster training through a voluntary organization or your faith community (many of which have national or regional disaster relief units).


Thursday, September 01, 2005

reincarnate everyday

Every morning is like a new reincarnation into this world.
Let us take it then for what it is and live each moment anew.

-- Paul Brunton

To be able to reincarnate everyday, one has to be detached from his past including past concepts and conclusions. To live each moment, we have to not let our mind judge and categorize each event that occurs in our day. Categorizing events and people into good and bad, pleasant and painful, beneficial and harmful and all other dichotomies is the source of all problems. All this requires us to be aware at all times.

We do need our memory but more for technical reasons so this body can live not for judgements and categorizations.

Thursday, August 25, 2005

an easy breathing exercise

source: Dr. Weil's weekly bulletin

Want To Reduce Stress? Do What Comes Naturally!

Busy schedules, too many errands, and high expectations we place on ourselves (and on others) can create internal stress and anxiety. If you are looking for a useful, always-available and free tool for achieving a relaxed and clear state of mind, try breathing exercises. Practicing regular, mindful breathing can be calming and energizing and can even help with stress-related health problems ranging from panic attacks to digestive disorders.

Breath counting is one way to get in tune with your breathing. A simple technique much used in Zen practice, breath counting can help to lower stress and promote relaxation. Start by doing this in a quiet room - sit in a comfortable position with the spine straight and head inclined slightly forward. Gently close your eyes and take a few deep breaths. Then let the breath come naturally without trying to influence it. Ideally it will be quiet and slow, but depth and rhythm may vary. To begin the exercise, count "one" to yourself as you exhale. The next time you exhale, count "two," and so on up to "five." Then begin a new cycle, counting "one" on the next exhalation. Never count higher than "five," and count only when you exhale. You will know your attention has wandered when you find yourself up to "eight," "12," even "19."

Try to do 10 minutes of this breathing form of meditation every day. You will see and feel the results in many aspects of your life!

Tuesday, August 23, 2005

the image in the mirror

A body is standing in front of a mirror. It's impossible for the image on the mirror to understand, comprehend, experience or have any idea of what the body is.

We the image of God with our mind and intellect are incapable of understanding or experiencing God. We have to transcend our mind and intellect, let go our "I'ness", let go our likes and dislikes, beliefs, assumptions, conclusions, and concepts to reach the state of equinimity where we are empty of our attachments and fears, only then Grace will fill us.

Paraphrased from a lecture by Shibendu Lahiri

Monday, August 22, 2005


dictionary meaning of Darshan:

- Darshan or Drshn means Seeing, derived from drush, to see.
- Darshan is a Sanskrit term meaning sight or a glimpse of the divine.
- To have a glimpse of something divine and sacred, eg God, Guru. To see, to have the manifestation of God.

Guru Darshan:

Mere seeing of Guru or a sant (saint) does not help seeker's quest. Guru's Darshan's is Guru's Wisdom (Gyan). To hear and understand the teachings of Guru is the real Darshan. The only way to benefit from Darshan is to follow the teachings. God resides in saint's heart, we can connect with God by listening and following sant's Shabad or Bani (teachings). His Shabad is the manifestation of God in the form of Wisdom (Gyan Roop).

- Paraphrased from lectures of Prof. Darshan Singh on Gurbani

God's Darshan:

God is invisible and limitless, He cannot be seen with our eyes. When we have the Wisdom and Blessing of seeing God in everyone and in everything - that's God's Darshan.

On Darshan:
Article on Divine Darshan on Gurbani.org

Sunday, August 14, 2005

His gifts

Nothing belongs to us, whatever we have is His. Everything is a gift from Him, He can take it back anytime. The only way we can pay back to Him for all these gifts is to live according to His Will.

From a lecture by Prof. Darshan Singh on Sukhmani Sahib (a section of Sri Guru Granth Sahib).


Saturday, August 13, 2005

the nature of water

There was a school of fish who wanted to find out what water was.

So they went to a wise fish.

"You're in it!" he said.

"It is above you and beneath you.

To the left and to the right.

It is within you and without.

You live, and move and have your being in it."

They thanked him, and swam away.

Then they all got together and decided that they still didn't know what water was!

Yogacharya often told this Fish Story explaining how the nature of water is like nature of God.

-- Clear Light Commmunity News

food and spirituality

Read the article on food and spirituality from Gurbani.org

Monday, August 01, 2005

Monthly Intention - August 2005

August Inspiration: Jacob M. Braude once said, "Consider how hard it is to change yourself, and you'll understand what little chance you have of changing others." In many ways this humorous yet sobering statement leads us into the next point which is, a person or group cannot change all the while staying the same. In other words, if different actions are not being taken, if things are not consistently occurring differently, if the same old problems crop right back up, change has not taken place. Talk doesn't cook rice.

August Question for Reflection: If you were given $500,000 to advance your favorite charity (as many or as few as you decide), what would you do with money? Be creative. You could pay your living expenses while volunteering full-time for a cause you believe in; you could put on a fundraising event in your neighborhood; maybe you would put together a nonprofit organization for your favorite cause. There are so many options! Now that you're thinking big, what can you with the resources you have?

This month we have an intention from Betty Kay: Be aware of the subtle messages and "feelings" that have no verbal or concrete meaning attached, and follow the leads by acting on them. I intend to trust the greater connections of consciousness and be less attached to "knowing exactly what everything means" before I decide to respond.

-- The institute of Noetic Sciences

Friday, July 29, 2005


  • Compassion is not the shadow of thought. It is light, neither yours nor mine.
  • To be content with little is not spirituality, but to be free from little or from much, is.
  • Flattery and insult are born out of ignorance. Receive them both kindly.
  • If you begin to understand what you are without trying to change it, then what you are undergoes a radical change.
  • Beware of explanations for what can be explained is not truth.
  • It is intelligence that brings order, not discipline.
  • Seek truth and you shall know the false. Seeing reveals the truth, not seeking.
  • Do not think about yourself, but be aware of the thought that makes you think of yourself.
  • Experience is the expression of life. In mere accumulation of experience, there is sorrow. In the comprehension of even one experience, there is the bliss of completion.
  • It is truth that frees you, not your efforts to be free.
  • Observer experiences, observation does not. Quiet consciousness is observation without any obstruction from the observer.

-- Some of the Fifty Jewels of Joyful Comprehension by Shibendu Lahiri

Thursday, July 28, 2005

devotion and detachment

Detachment is a very natural and gradual process. It is not forced, and therefore, it is not painful. Detachment is the by-product of devotion. A detached person may be living in a palace in the midst of luxury, yet not be attached to his wealth. Janak, Dashrath, Dhruv, Prahlad and Ambareesh were kings as well as great devotees of God.

The seeker does not have to practice detachment; he has to practice devotion. Detachment will automatically blossom within. The simple formula is this: the more attachment to God and Guru, the less attachment to the world.

-- Siddheshvari Devi

Thursday, July 14, 2005


Ego is the wall between us and God. Many spiritual practices' goal is to remove this wall. Following two are such practices:

  • Being grateful and being aware of God's blessings at all times. This helps us realize, everything we have is His and due to His Grace.
  • surrendering ourselves to God's will (Hukum). Total surrender is the same as egolessness.

-- Paraphrased from Prof. Darshan Singh's commentary on Sukhmani Sahib (a section of Guru Granth Sahib ji). http://www.ggsacademy.com

Tuesday, July 12, 2005

everyday, a mystery

If we have realized that our circumstances are not in our control, why don't we face each day with curiosity and see what a mysterious day is planned for us.

Each morning, let's face the day with wonder; let the mystery unfold.

Each event in the day is a consequence of some action we have performed in past, let it be. Let's not react to the events in a way that would produce even worse events in future. Let's face the events with gratefulness, love and humility instead of discontent, worry, anger and pride.

Saturday, July 09, 2005

six qualities of sants (God centered souls)

1. He is aware and connected with God at all times

2. Lives in equanimity; lives in sahej avesta; his inner silence is not affected by pain or pleasure. He sees no evil, he hears no evil. She has no worries and no fears.
honor and dishonor of him by others does not leave any impressions in his mind.

3. He has compassion for all including friends and foes. She sees herself in others and understands the pain others are going through. It's her natural reaction to be compassionate.

4. He lives in the world but not affected by it just like the lotus flower. He is not isolated from the world so he can serve others selflessly.

5. He unconditionally shares spiritual knowledge with everyone. He prays for divine wisdom (utam mat) in everyone.

6. She does not enjoy slander (nindaa) of others. Never thinks of himself as higher than others.

- Paraphrased from Gurbani Vichar by Bhai Sahib Bhai Jaspal Singh

Friday, July 08, 2005

july: monthly intention

July Inspiration:
Picture the ripples from a pebble thrown into a lake, they eventually reach the shore on all sides. Your influence ripples out from you to your immediate family to your friends to your community to your country to the planet. And everyone you touch touches others. George Bernard Shaw said, "I am of the opinion that my life belongs to the community, and as long as I live it is my privilege to do for it whatever I can." This month we invite you to pay attention to the effect you have on your immediate environment, friends, family, and community, pay attention to the ripples that begin with you.

July Question for Reflection:
We each have the opportunity to serve something greater then ourselves; to offer our unique perspective and help our community in some way. Ask yourself what you can do to help your community. There are many levels of participation; even the smallest contribution makes difference. Some ideas: Gather your friends and/or neighbors and spend a few hours cleaning up the local beach or park, bring extra bags to offer to anyone who wants to help; offer your expertise to a local boys or girls club, perhaps you can cook a meal with a group or bring in a picnic to a local shelter, mentor a child, donate money to a local cause that you care about, make a call about fixing that pothole down the street, think creatively and make a difference. This month we ask you, "What can you do to make a difference in your community?"

-- http://www.noetic.org

Thursday, July 07, 2005

Love ...

Love all that has been created by God, both the whole and every grain of sand.
Love every leaf and every ray of light.
Love the beasts and the birds, love the plants, love every separate fragment.
If you love each separate fragment, you will understand the mystery of the whole resting in God.

-- Fyodor Dostoevsky


since circumstances are not in our control, why don't we welcome each event and find the opportunity of service and learning in it.

Wednesday, June 15, 2005


"Simply put, it is as if, when we put ourselves aside, divest ourselves of the weighty burden of our habits, knowledge, and memories, we are free to make all things new--or rather, make a place where all things might be made new and spoken for the first time."

-- Christopher Bamford, from "Negative Capability" in the Summer 2005 issue of PARABOLA http://www.parabola.org

Wednesday, June 01, 2005

walking 200 miles with no food for charity

the Afghan Girls Fund

monthly intention

June Inspiration:

Each one of us is a thread in the tapestry of the collective unconscious, and the colors we exude and the texture of our energy affects the look, feel, and health of the whole picture. From this higher perspective you can literally see our strong connection with each other. We are each responsible for the bigger picture by the manner in which we join the tapestry. This month we seek to inspire you to consciously think about your contribution to the tapestry of civilization.

IONS monthly intentions for a global shift in consciousness:

  • I picture the world as it is today, knowing that I am a part of this planet's evolutionary design. I choose to live to my fullest capacity in a spirit of openness, intellectual integrity, and freedom.
  • I am conscious that I have a role in the unfolding story of humanity. I am connected to the whole. My intentions find a deep resonance in the hearts and minds of others.
    Together, we stir the depths of human ingenuity, creativity, and collective healing.
  • Together, we are part of an evolutionary pulse bringing into focus our collective responsibility for planet Earth and its diverse peoples.
  • My intention is to be in a place of wisdom, compassion, and abiding exuberance for serving our common work and the greater good.


Thursday, May 26, 2005

ability to smile

Sunil Dutt (passed away yesterday) was recovering from an accident that had paralysed half of his body... "For two months, I could not get up from the bed. But I always wore a smile for visitors. They would comment hesitantly, 'It doesn't look like anything is wrong with you'. I would grin in reply, 'My lower half is immobile. My face is not, so why should that stop me from smiling?' "

the five things we cannot change...

1. Everything changes and ends.
2. Things do not always go according to plan.
3. Life is not always fair.
4. Pain is part of life.
5. People are not loving and loyal all the time.

-- "The Five Things We Cannot Change ... and the Happiness We Find by Embracing Them"
a book by David Richo, Ph.D.

Monday, May 23, 2005

selfless service (seva)

We make a living by what we get. We make a life by what we give.
-- Winston Churchill

- By doing selfless service, we get closer to other people, undertand their difficulties and become more compassionate. This is a step towards removing barriers between us and them.

- Seva is a not a duty but an opportunity. Only selected ones get a chance to help others.

- We don't know what circumstances we will go through tomorrow, those who we are helping today may help us tomorrow.

-- Paraphrased from a speech on Seva by Ms. Grewal in Sikh Heritage Dinner.

Tuesday, May 17, 2005

getting rid of clutter

getting rid of clutter and simplicity brings out creativity in us and make our spiritual journy easier.

Here are 6 C's for getting rid of clutter:

Clear items that don't belong where they are
Confine: define a place for everything
Control the flow of items
Communicate with others what goes where
Continue the process

Monday, May 16, 2005

misc items

Meditation is continuous thought about something; it is used to bring back the mind to the goal.

Mantra, a motto, a slogan is the vehicle to keep the mind on right track.


If we don't stand for something, we will fall for everything.


The three qualities of human beings

Sattvic: noble e.g. true love
Rajas: mediocre e.g. worship, rituals
Tamas: impure (dull) e.g. evil spirit

Thursday, May 05, 2005

world, a marketplace

We arrive to this world as shoppers. We have a limited amount to spend, once we ran out, no-one can replenish us. There are many shops to shop from, it's our responsibility to recognize the quality product. Guru's shop is always open and he is always eager to show us his products with no strings attached and no background checks. Window-shopping is not enough, we need to purchase the product and stop wasting our wealth in other shops...

Inspired by a lecture by Prof. Darshan Singh http://www.ggsacademy.com

Sunday, May 01, 2005


... Conditioned by the mind, the Self appears to be mortal, finite, limited. The Self clothed in the mind is the ego, jiva.

This ego, thoughtlessly assuming an independent and separate existence for itself, naturally sees the whole world as mighty, endless array of things and beings, of circumstances and situations-all of them inimical to itself. It feels lonely, in its loneliness it is overwhelmed by fear. To assure its own security, the ego thereafter builds mighty phantom-fortresses around itself with frail wealth, impermanent name, flimsy fame, disloyal relations, and undependable friends, and maintains a thousand treacherous relationships with a million things and beings. But still, the ego feels insecure, freightended, lonely, unhappy, and altogther etirely cheated!

from chapter 13 "The Other Shore of Samsara"
Meditation and Life by Swami Chinmayananda http://www.chinmayamission.org

Friday, April 08, 2005

Vision of God

If you don't see God in all, you don't see God at all.

- Unknown.

Monday, March 28, 2005


Happiness cannot be traveled to, owned, earned, worn or consumed. Happiness is the spiritual experience of living every minute with love, grace, and gratitude.

-- Dennis Waitley

Tuesday, March 15, 2005

The Six Mistakes of Man

  1. The delusion that personal gain is made by crushing others.
  2. The tendency to worry about things that cannot be changed or corrected.
  3. Insisting that a thing is impossible because we cannot accomplish it.
  4. Refusing to set aside trivial preferences.
  5. Neglecting development and refinement of the mind, and not acquiring the habit of reading and studying.
  6. Attempting to compel others to believe and live as we do.
- Cicero

Wednesday, March 02, 2005


At the end of the day, take 5-10 minutes with your family and celebrate the good events of the day...


Thursday, February 24, 2005

today, right now

focus on current moment, that's real life; past is just a memory; future is just imagination.
be grateful for whatever is going on in current moment.
if you can't find a good reason, how about being grateful for being able to experience the current moment...

Friday, February 18, 2005

Spiritual Gems: Sant Kirpal Singh

Sant Kirpal Singh: Questions and answers

Aphorisms On Service

To serve is to be aware of the needs of the moment.

Opportunities to serve are opportunities to grow; these opportunities may pass, so seize them.

Service is what meets the need; it need not be perfect.

Take care of the little things and the big things will take care of themselves.

Service doesn't mean serving when it's convenient to serve.

Being a servant means being in readiness, not having your life completely filled with personal commitments that keep you too busy to respond to others.

In service we take on the garment of humility and express our commitment.

by Kabir Helminski

Tuesday, February 08, 2005


If you can just appreciate each thing, one by one, then you will have pure gratitude.
Even though you observe just one flower, that one flower includes everything.

- Shunryu Suzuki RoshiBranching Streams Flowing in the Dark
from http://www.gratefulness.org/word/index.htm

Wednesday, January 26, 2005


Do not pray for tasks equal to your powers. Pray for powers equal to your tasks. Then the doing of your work shall be no miracle, but you shall be the miracle.

- Phillips Brooks

From Word of the Day http://www.gratefulness.org/word/index.htm

Union and Separation

There's no Union without the abilility to feel the pain of separation.

- Sri Guru Granth Sahib

Tuesday, January 25, 2005

There Should be ...

There Should be. . .

A Ghazel (#3144) by RUMI

Translated by Helminski & Rizwani

There should be a shore to our ocean,
There should be some rest on this journey.

The lion of the forest is in chains,
Lions should be out there in the meadows.

Fish are throbbing on the sands,
There should be a way to the river.

The intoxicated nightingale is dead drunk,
She should be singing in a rose garden and a verdant meadow.

Vision is tired of this dust,
There should be new lessons for our eyes.

And for each of these children eating mud,
There should be a kind foster mother.

The way is lost toward the life-giving water,
There should be Khidr to discover a Fountain of Life.

The heart is in remorse for what has passed,
This new year's heart should be happy with the last year.

There is a scarcity of Sun in this city,
We should see the shadows cast by the Divine Sun.

The town has become packed with dung worshippers,
There should be musk from the musk deer of Tartary.

No one discerns the musk from the dung,
Some musk should be spread around.

Too many seek for childish dominion,
There should be an unwavering Dominion.

As long as death is in ambush, day is like night;
There should be a real day to our night.

When you die, this artistry of yours will die too,
You should be ashamed of these arts of yours.

If we are clutched by the hands of this banal world,
We should take the hands of our Beloved, instead.

Profit seekers are far too many,
There should be seekers of God Almighty.

There are only a limited number of breaths left;
There should be infinite Breath.
The Breath of God from Yemen Should be blowing over all creatures.

Death is tending a cauldron for us,
That stew should be palatable to us.

Since remembering death averts death,
At every moment there should be this remembrance.

Any moment hundreds of biers may pass by,
The eyes should be contrite.

The kingdoms decayed and the kings are gone,
There should be an everlasting Kingdom.

Intelligence was chained and vanity unloosed,
But intelligence should have the right to choose. . .

Ears are closed, so close the lips,
There should be earrings fashioned from wisdom.
And for the metaphors of Shams of Tabriz
There should be an interpretation beyond all concepts.

There is a myth that says Khidr and Alexander set out in search of the Water of Life but of the two only Khidr managed to find the Fountain and drink from it.

Referring to the hadith related from the Holy Prophet as saying, "I perceive the Breath of the Merciful from Yemen." [Meaning the presence of Uways Qarani there.]

Wednesday, January 12, 2005

A carrot, an egg and a cup of coffee...

A young woman went to her mother and told her about her life and how things were so hard for her. She did not know how she was going to make it and wanted to give up. She was tired of fighting and struggling. It seemed as one problem was solved, a new one arose.

Her mother took her to the kitchen. She filled three pots with water and placed each on a high fire. Soon the pots came to boil. In the first she placed carrots, in the second she placed eggs, and in the last she placed ground coffee beans. She let them sit and boil, without saying a word.

In about twenty minutes she turned off the burners. She fished the carrots out and placed them in a bowl. She pulled the eggs out and placed them in a bowl. Then she ladled the coffee out and placed it in a bowl.

Turning to her daughter, she asked, "Tell me, what do you see?"

"Carrots, eggs, and coffee," she replied.

Her mother brought her closer and asked her to feel the carrots. She did and noted that they were soft. The mother then asked the daughter to take an egg and break it. After pulling off the shell, she observed the hard-boiled egg. Finally, the mother asked the daughter to sip the coffee. The daughter smiled, as she tasted its rich aroma. The daughter then asked, "What does it mean, mother?"

Her mother explained that each of these objects had faced the same adversity ... boiling water. Each reacted differently.

The carrot went in strong, hard, and unrelenting. However, after being subjected to the boiling water, it softened and became weak.

The egg had been fragile. Its thin outer shell had protected its liquid interior, but after sitting through the boiling water, its inside became hardened.

The ground coffee beans were unique, however. After they were in the boiling water, they had changed…THE WATER.

"Which are you?" she asked her daughter. "When adversity knocks on your door, how do you respond? Are you a carrot, an egg or a coffee bean?"

Think of this: Which am I? Am I the carrot that seems strong, but with pain and adversity do I wilt and become soft and lose my strength?

Am I the egg that starts with a malleable heart, but changes with the heat? Did I have a fluid spirit, but after a death, a breakup, a financial hardship or some other trial, have I become hardened and stiff? Does my shell look the same, but on the inside am I bitter and tough with a stiff spirit and hardened heart?

Or am I like the coffee bean? The bean actually changes the hot water,the very circumstance that brings the pain when the water gets hot, it releases the fragrance and flavor.

If you are like the bean, when things are at their worst, you get better and change the situation around you.

When the hour is the darkest and trials are their greatest, do you elevate yourself to another level? How do you handle adversity?

Are you a carrot, an egg or a coffee bean?

from Positive News Weekly of Mr. Positive
To subscribe go to http://www.positivenews.net

Wednesday, January 05, 2005

a man with big heart and 100 friends

Check out Marc Gold's work as he collects donations from friends and goes to third world and helps needy people himself.




It is important that one understands the human mind, the truth of the matter is that we all have expectations regardless of what we say. The mind is structured that it cannotwork without expectation of fruits or anticipation of rewards for actions. Ifyou smile when you meet your friend, you expect a smile in return. If you give a gift to somebody, you expect something in return. If you say hello to someone,you expect him/her to salute you in return. For the majority at least.. BUT WE MUST FIGHT IT. As I walk trough the journey of life, I have learned that it is important to train the mind to work disinterestedly. We must allow to discipline the mind withpatience and perseverance. Worldly-minded people cannot understand the spirit ofunselfishness as their minds are charged with continuance motives and impurities. It is important to become unselfish and to do things for other that may not benefit you in return. You must purify your mind and soul. The world is nothing but manifestation of God. You must try to perform motiveless duties at all times.