Wednesday, December 26, 2007


By thinking, He cannot be reduced to thought, even by thinking hundreds of thousands of times.
By remaining silent, inner silence is not obtained, even by remaining lovingly absorbed deep within.
The hunger of the hungry is not appeased, even by piling up loads of worldly goods.
Hundreds of thousands of clever tricks, but not even one of them will go along with you in the end. So how can you become truthful? And how can the veil of illusion be torn away?
O Nanak, it is written that you shall obey the Hukam of His Command, and walk in the Way of His Will.

-- from Guru Nanak Dev Ji's Japji Sahib (first page of Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji)


Use the tree or the labels below to navigate this website. The website contains insights from various sources collected from Internet, books, lectures and other sources from July 2004 to December 2007.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007


Rings and jewels are not gifts, but apologies for gifts. The only true gift is a portion of thyself.

Ralph Waldo Emerson

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

What You See Is What You Get

A friend of mine had an unpleasant experience with a mother of one his students who was about to be ordained a rabbi. This greatly upset and disturbed this woman who considered herself an enlightened intellectual and looked at organized religion as backward and fanatical. She was very nasty and cynical about her son's religious convictions. They were on the way to the ceremony when she turned to my friend and said, "Basically, I don't believe in G- d."

My friend replied, "O.K., fine! Don't believe in G-d." He was the first religious person who had responded to her that way, others tried to convince her. "What?" she exclaimed in surprise.

"You don't want to believe in G-d?" he said. "Fine, so live in a G-dless world."

That's essentially the choice we have. If we don't want to believe in G-d, then G-d won't be in our world. That doesn't mean G-d isn't real. G-d is real, but not for those who choose do deny that truth.

In other words, if I've never tasted papaya, then there's no flavor of papaya in my life. Whether it's real or not for others, it's not in my life. If I'm blind to the color red, then red will not be one of the colors in my life. Mammals do not see colors, so they live in a colorless world. If I'm not willing to see G-d, then my world is godless.

Once I was dating a woman, who I'll call Daphne, whom I loved very much. I wanted to marry Daphne. It took me a long time to realize that Daphne simply could not acknowledge my love. I did everything in my power to show her that I loved her. Daphne had such a poor image of herself, however, that she couldn't believe that anyone could love her. It didn't matter how much I professed my love to her, how many bouquets of flowers I sent her. She couldn't see my love. So, in a way, it wasn't there for her.

Everyone is thirsty for love, but how much love you can receive is dependent on how much you believe someone can love you. How much you believe is how much you receive. The more you acknowledge and believe in G-d the more you receive and see G-d in your life.

To the extent that we build our awareness, expand our consciousness, and acknowledge that G-d is the power directing the show, to that extent we see how G-d runs the show for us.

Each one of us has a choice. You can believe that this world is filled with the presence of G-d who cares about it and guides it. Or you can believe that this world is one big accident, a chaotic mess. The choice is yours. But remember what you believe is ultimately what you will see. What you believe creates the world you live in.

The Talmudic Sages taught: "Everything is in the hands of G-d except awe of G-d."

The Hebrew word for awe, yira, means both "awe" and "will see." Everything is in the hands of G-d, except for our acknowledging and seeing and being in awe of G-d. If we are in awe we will see G- d. If we are not in awe, if we are not open to seeing G-d, then G-d is not in our world. It's that simple and that serious.

Some people experience constant Divine presence, which means they see and feel G-d's care and guidance in their lives. They need $800 to pay for a car repair, and an unexpected check for $800 arrives in the mail. They miss a bus, so they get on the next bus, and the person they sit down next to turns out to be a friend from twenty years ago.

Why are such experiences not part of everyone's daily life? Because what you see is what you get.

-- Rabbi David Aaron

Monday, December 17, 2007

Wednesday, December 12, 2007


According to metaphysics fear is caused by the lack of light. Therefore the more light there is in the heart the more fearless the heart becomes. ... When a person is afraid of a dog, he gives the dog a tendency to bite him. This can be noticed so plainly in the lower creation, that every animal is afraid of another animal, and the expectation of harm makes it fear more than does the idea of the hugeness of the form or the bodily strength of another animal. Many things in life can be brought about, not only by wanting them and thinking about them, but also by fearing them, both objects and conditions. To clear one's mind of fear is like bringing light into a dark room, and as light is needed to illuminate a dark room so the light of the soul is necessary to clear away the thought of fear. ... When one fears, this world frightens one, but when one clears one's heart of all fear, the whole world of illusion turns into one single vision of the sublime immanence of God.

There is a story of a Brahmin, a young man who was very much impressed by what his guru told him: that the whole of manifestation is the immanence of God and that, therefore, there is nothing to fear, nothing to distrust. This thought made the young man feel quite at home in the world, quite comfortable. Then one day a mad elephant came along the road on which the young man was walking. The men running before the elephant yelled, 'Away, away! The elephant is coming!' But the young man would not get out of the way. With palms joined he stood as fearlessly before the elephant as one stands before God, as his guru had told him. The consequence was that the elephant gave him a shove and he fell down. He was brought to the guru who asked him what had happened. The young man said, 'Guruji, you said that all is the immanence of God, and therefore, in all reverence, I stood before the elephant with joined hands.' The guru said, 'Did anyone tell you to get out of the way?' He replied, 'Yes.' 'Why then,' said the guru, 'did you not stand before that man with joined hands and listen to him?'


Friday, December 07, 2007


Shalok, First Mehl:
vismaad naad vismaad vayd.
Wonderful is the sound current of the Naad, wonderful is the knowledge of the Vedas.

vismaad jee-a vismaad bhayd.
Wonderful are the beings, wonderful are the species.

vismaad roop vismaad rang.
Wonderful are the forms, wonderful are the colors.

vismaad naagay fireh jant.
Wonderful are the beings who wander around naked.

vismaad pa-un vismaad paanee.
Wonderful is the wind, wonderful is the water.

vismaad agnee khaydeh vidaanee.
Wonderful is fire, which works wonders.

vismaad Dhartee vismaad khaanee.
Wonderful is the earth, wonderful the sources of creation.

vismaad saad lageh paraanee.
Wonderful are the tastes to which mortals are attached.

vismaad sanjog vismaad vijog.
Wonderful is union, and wonderful is separation.

vismaad bhukh vismaad bhog.
Wonderful is hunger, wonderful is satisfaction.

vismaad sifat vismaad saalaah.
Wonderful is His Praise, wonderful is His adoration.

vismaad ujharh vismaad raah.
Wonderful is the wilderness, wonderful is the path.

vismaad nayrhai vismaad door.
Wonderful is closeness, wonderful is distance.

vismaad daykhai haajraa hajoor.
How wonderful to behold the Lord, ever-present here.

vaykh vidaan rahi-aa vismaad.
Beholding His wonders, I am wonder-struck.

naanak bujhan poorai bhaag. ||1||
O Nanak, those who understand this are blessed with perfect destiny. ||1||

-- part of "Asa Di Var" by Guru Nanak Dev ji

Thursday, November 29, 2007

the alchemist

if you haven't read Paulo Coelho's "The Alchemist", check it out from your library or buy it from a bookstore. Read more about it here.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007


In spite of whatever wisdom we may have; we can make a mistake if we have no control over our words. And we can easily find examples of this truth; those who talk much have less power than those who talk little.

For a talkative person may not be able to express an idea in a thousand words which those who are masters of silence express in one word. ... What gives power over words? What gives the power that can be attained by silence? The answer is: it is will power which gives the control over words; it is silence which gives one the power of silence. It is restlessness when a person speaks too much.

The more words are used to express an idea, the less powerful they become. It is a great pity that man so often thinks of saving pennies and never thinks of sparing words. It is like saving pebbles and throwing away pearls. An Indian poet says, 'Pearl-shell, what gives you your precious contents? Silence; for years my lips were closed.'

-- Pir Inayat Khan

the wonder of you - deepak chopra

Monday, November 05, 2007

be beautiful

People love complexity, yet the most valuable answers are not found in the midst of bewildering complexity, but rather they are found in utter simplicity. In that spirit of simplicity, here are two fundamental concepts which, with daily practice, can lead to abiding peace and lasting happiness:

1) You are a beautiful creation of the Divine:

You are an on-going work-in-progress, with miraculous potential for positive change and transformation. Every moment of life offers a new opportunity to express Divine beauty.

The Almighty One is beautiful and loves beauty.

2) Your purpose in life is to be beautiful:

In every moment there is Divine beauty which longs to be radiated through you. When one fails to freely radiate that Divine beauty, we suffer, but when we each allow the Divine beauty to freely manifest through our thoughts, words and deeds, then we harmonize with the Divine and begin to fulfill our greatest purpose, our Divine purpose.

Be ye beautiful, even as your heavenly Creator is Beautiful.

That's it! Simply be beautiful!

-- read the full article

Saturday, October 27, 2007

The Mayonnaise Jar and 2 Cups of Coffee

When things in your life seem almost too much to handle, When 24 Hours in a day is not enough, Remember the mayonnaise jar and 2 cups of coffee. A professor stood before his philosophy class and had some items in front of him. When the class began, wordlessly, he picked up a very large and empty mayonnaise jar and proceeded to fill it with golf balls. He then asked the students if the jar was full. They agreed that it was. The professor then picked up a box of pebbles and poured them into the jar. He shook the jar lightly. The pebbles rolled into the open areas between the golf balls. He then asked the students again if the jar was full. They agreed it was. The professor next picked up a box of sand and poured it into the jar. Of course, the sand filled up everything else. He asked once more if the jar was full. The students responded with an unanimous "yes." The professor then produced two cups of coffee from under the table and poured the entire contents into the jar, effectively filling the empty space between the sand. The students laughed. "Now," said the professor, as the laughter subsided, "I want you to recognize that this jar represents your life. The golf balls are the important things - God, family, children, health, friends, and favorite passions -- things that if everything else was lost and only they remained, your life would still be full. " "The pebbles are the other things that matter like your job, house, and car." "The sand is everything else --the small stuff." "If you put the sand into the jar first," he continued, "there is no room for the pebbles or the golf balls. The same goes for life." "If you spend all your time and energy on the small stuff, you will never have room for the things that are important to you." So... "Pay attention to the things that are critical to your happiness. Play With your children. Take time to get medical checkups. Take your partner out to dinner. Play another 18. " "There will always be time to clean the house and fix the disposal." "Take care of the golf balls first --the things that really matter. Set your priorities. The rest is just sand." One of the students raised her hand and inquired What the coffee represented. The professor smiled. "I'm glad you asked. It just goes to show you that no matter how full your life may seem, there's always room for a couple of cups of coffee with a friend."

-- from a forwarded email

Friday, October 19, 2007


It is useless to discuss the peace of the world. What is necessary just now is to create peace in ourselves that we, ourselves, become examples of love, harmony and peace. That is the only way of saving the world and ourselves.

- Hazrat Inayat Khan


Paradoxically, we achieve true wholeness only by embracing our fragility and sometimes, our brokenness. Wholeness is a natural radiance of Love, and Love demands that we allow the destruction of our old self for the sake of the new.

-- Jalaja Bonheim
Aphrodite's Daughters

Thursday, October 18, 2007

walking meditation

Walking meditation consists of paying attention to the walking process. If you are moving fairly rapidly, make a mental note of the movement of the legs, "Left, right, left, right" and use your awareness to follow the actual sensations throughout the leg area. If you are moving more slowly, note the lifting, moving, and placing of each foot. In each case you must try to keep your mind on just the sensations of walking. Notice what processes occur when you stop at the end of the lane, when you stand still, when you turn and begin walking again.

Do not watch your feet unless this becomes necessary due to some obstacle on the ground; it is unhelpful to hold the image of a foot in your mind while you are trying to be aware of sensations. You want to focus on the sensations themselves, and these are not visual. For many people it is a fascinating discovery when they are able to have a pure, bare perception of physical objects such as lightness, tingling, cold, and warmth.

Walking meditation is usually divided into three distinct movements: lifting, moving, and placing the foot. If you have a difficult time connecting with the inner-body, place your attention on your breath. When you do make the connection with the breath, feel your hands. Then start feeling other parts of your body as you feel the in and out flow of your breath. Breathe in through the nose and out through the mouth. It's important that you direct the breath into the lower abdomen. Doing this will bring a sense of calmness to the walk.

-- from an email invitation for a walking meditation by a "power of now" group

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

are you part of the 11%?

God's Presence

We feel G-d's presence when we realize that our willpower, wisdom, insights and love are really not ours but His and experience ourselves as merely serving to channel His powers into the world. In this state of connectivity we feel the joy of purposeful and meaningful living. We also experience G-d's presence when we encounter His mastery in the wonders of nature and see everything as a divine masterpiece-a piece of the master.

However, G-d cannot give us this great gift of His presence, unless we want Him in our lives. We must first know in our hearts that G-d's presence is, indeed, the greatest gift we could ever hope to receive; that it is pure ecstasy. We give G-d pleasure, so to speak when we want to receive what He wants to give us.

- Rabbi David Aaron

Tuesday, October 16, 2007


On a superficial level, the giving of thanks is merely a social convention. Its forms vary greatly. In some societies the absence of all verbal expressions of thanks indicates not a lack of gratitude, but rather a deeper awareness of mutual belonging than our society has. To the people in question, an expression like “thank you” would seem as inappropriate as tipping family members would seem to us. The more we lose the sense of all of us belonging to one big family, the more we must explicitly express that belonging when it is actualized in some give-and-take. To give thanks means to give expression to mutual belonging. Genuine thanksgiving comes from the heart where we are rooted in universal belonging.

Wholehearted thanksgiving engages the whole person. The intellect recognizes a gift as gift. Thanksgiving presupposes thinking. The will, in its turn, acknowledges the interdependence of the giver and thanksgiver. And the emotions celebrate the joy of that mutual belonging. Only when intellect, will, and emotions join together does thanksgiving become genuine, that is, wholehearted.

-- Brother David Steindl-Rast

Friday, October 12, 2007

soul - a poem

The progress of our soul is like a perfect poem. It has an infinite idea which once realised makes all movements full of meaning and joy.

Rabindranath Tagore

Sunday, October 07, 2007

have you filled a bucket today?

Carol McCloud's book of same title is a guide to daily happiness for kids. It's a great book for teaching children how easy and rewarding it is to express kindness, appreciation, and love on a daily basis.

- read more


"Mawlana says - if the sky is not in love, then it will not be so clear. If the sun is not in love, then it will not be giving any light. If the river is not in love, then it will be in silence, it will not be moving. If the mountains, the earth are not in love, then there will be nothing growing."

-- The roar of Rumi - 800 years on

Saturday, October 06, 2007


What makes a fire burn
is space between the logs,
a breathing space.
Too much of a good thing,
too many logs
packed in too tight
can douse the flames
almost as surely
as a pail of water would.

So building fires
requires attention
to the spaces in between,
as much as to the wood.

When we are able to build
open spaces
in the same way
we have learned
to pile on the logs,
then we can come to see how
it is fuel, and absence of the fuel
together, that make fire possible.

We only need to lay a log
lightly from time to time.
A fire
simply because the space is there,
with openings
in which the flame
that knows just how it wants to burn
can find its way.

-- Judy Brown

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

in every heart

"You are constant in each and every heart, and in all things. O Dear lord, you are the one. Some are givers, and some are beggars. This is all your wondrous play. You yourself are the giver, and you yourself are the enjoyer. I know no other than you. You are the supreme lord God, limitless and infinite. What virtues of yours can I speak of and describe? Unto those who serve you, unto those who serve you, dear lord, servant Nanak is a sacrifice."

- Guru Ram Das ji

Monday, October 01, 2007

happiness and peace

- I want happiness and peace.
- Remove "I" and "want" and you're left with happiness and peace.

- from a lecture at chinmaya mission

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

constant awareness and alertness

Separativeness (ego) will always be there in a body as long it breathes. Mind will always be there. Attention is required to prevent its interference – that’s all. Then the mind is harmless, nay, it becomes a powerful instrument if the brain is good, as intellect functions free from all psychological registrations. Then the dichotomy of duality vanishes. Then “Two” (in centrifugal) and “None” (in centripetal) exist at the same time without any conflict.

-- Shibendu

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

state of contemplation


Why is this so? First of all, contemplation cannot be talked about for there is no movement in contemplation -- it is non-movement. The journey does not start; in fact, it ends. It appears like movement.
When you travel by train you see everything rushing past you. In fact it is the train that is moving, and all else is static. In a like manner, because of your habitual movement, when the mind begins to come to a halt, you feel it is a movement. But when the mind stops ultimately, you will suddenly find that everything has stopped, for nothing had moved.

He who is hidden within you has never walked -- not even a single step. He has undertaken no journey, not even a pilgrimage. He has not stepped out of His house; He has been there forever.
It is the mind that has always been on the run and its speed is so great that everything around that has never moved appears to be running. When the mind begins to halt they also begin to halt, and when the mind comes to a stop, everything stops with it. While you can talk about movement, how can you speak about non-movement? It is possible to talk about a journey, for you can describe the different places in your travel from one place to another, but if you have gone nowhere what will you talk about? If there has been no happening, no change of situations, what is there to say?
You can write the life story of a restless man, but what can you write about a man of peace? It is the experience of novelists, writers, and dramatists that things come alive only around the bad man. The life of a good man is very dull and uneventful.
Don't be under the illusion that the Ramayana is the story of Rama; it really revolves around Ravana, the villain. Ravana is the actual hero of the story and Rama is secondary. Remove Ravana and what remains of the story? Sita is not stolen, the battle is not fought -- everything is quiet and uneventful. How much is there to say about Rama? Can you write an epic on God? He is where He ever was.

There has never been any change in Him -- the story just cannot take shape. Therefore there are no biographies or autobiography of God. For to write about someone, a journey is necessary.
You can write a great deal on thoughts; what will you write in connection with no-thought? Whatever you say about it will be false and you will regret it later. Sages always repent after speaking, for they feel they could not say what they wanted to say; and they have said what should not have been said. For what they tried to convey the listener could not follow, and what he understood had no meaning.
Lao Tzu has said, ''Nothing can be spoken about Truth." And whatever is spoken becomes an untruth. The more you know, the more difficult you will find it to express yourself. Each word becomes a challenge to utter for now you possess a touchstone within by which you test; as a result all words seem too shallow and petty to express. A big event has taken place inside which cannot be contained by words, a vast space discovered within that cannot be filled with the capsules of words.
And even if you speak, the regret becomes greater, for by the time your words reach the listener their meaning becomes quite different. Everything that you said gets completely changed -- you gave a diamond; it became a stone. The genuine coin you gave, in changing hands became false. As you look within his eyes and see that the coin has become a fake, then you are filled with remorse for this man will now carry it along with him throughout his life.

This is exactly how all sects run, how the crowds of thousands move. They carry the burden of what was never given to them. If Mahavir were to return, he would beat his chest and weep at the state of Jainism; if Buddha returns he will weep for the Buddhists; if Jesus returns the fight will start again with the Israelites, for what each of them said never reached the people for whom it was intended. Something very different was received and digested.
If Nanak were to return he would not be as displeased with others as he would be with the Sikhs, for you can be angry only with those to whom you gave the word; it is they who have distorted it into something quite different.
We are very cunning. When a person like Nanak speaks, we add our meanings to his words, as it suits us. We do not shape ourselves in Nanak's words; we fashion his words according to ourselves. This is our trick to bring things back to where they were. There are only two ways.

There once was a very rich woman. She was very artistic but also fickle and obstinate. Being fond of an ashtray that was very expensive, she had decorated her room so that it became the focus of the room and everything was made to match: the curtains, the furniture, the walls. The ashtray was the center of everything. One day the ashtray broke. She called the best craftsmen to make an exact replica of the ashtray but try as they would, no one could recreate the original color which was also reproduced everywhere in the room.

One day a craftsman offered his services. He asked for a full month to produce an ashtray to match the original one, but he laid one condition -- no one was to enter the room during this month, not even the lady. In a month's time he invited her to inspect the room. She was completely satisfied.
When the other craftsmen asked him what the secret was, he said, "It was simple. First I made an ashtray as close to the original one as possible, then I painted the walls accordingly." Impossible as it was to get the exact shade in the ashtray, this was the only way out.

When Nanak speaks there are only two ways open to you: either you merge into Nanak's color and attain to satisfaction, or else you are bound to become restless. To be near a person like Nanak is like standing next to fire. Either you burn yourself as Nanak burned, you turn into ashes as Nanak did, you lose yourself as Nanak did -- like a drop falling into the ocean; or, the only other alternative is to color Nanak's words in your own shade. This is very easy, for we never actually hear what is told to us, but hear what we want to hear. We infer meanings that suit us. We don't stand on the side of truth; we make truth stand on our side; we make truth follow us.
The difference between a genuine seeker and a false seeker is that the legitimate seeker follows truth wherever it might take him -- whatever be the outcome -- even if everything is lost, even if life is lost.

He is ready to lose his all. The inauthentic seeker bends truth to follow him; but then it is no longer truth, it is falsity.
How can truth follow you? Only untruth can follow you, for you are false; your shadow is bound to be fake. You can follow truth if you desire, but truth can never follow you; it cannot be contained in your concepts, it is too big for your head. Therefore Nanak says whoever attempts it afterwards repents. There is yet another reason which you should note, that I have mentioned before. When you almost reach contemplation you come to the midpoint from which there are two choices, one of which is to start talking of it to others. In that case you will regret it; therefore, whenever the urge comes to tell others, first consult the guru. Do not trust in your own judgment to talk about it till the guru tells you.
The ways of the ego are very subtle. No sooner do you make one small step than it proclaims great triumph. It gets a fistful and claims to have attained all space! A little glimpse of light and it says the sun has risen. A drop has hardly fallen and you begin talking of the ocean. Then the talk leads to more talk and the result is that even the one drop vanishes, the glimpse dissolves. The result is that the person remains a shallow pundit, full of nothing but knowledge; he seems to know too much. He talks a great deal without any experience.

If you observe him carefully you will note that his actions are completely inconsistent with what he says.
Once Mulla Nasruddin was trying to catch a train that had already started moving. He caught hold of the handle and one foot was already in the door when the guard grabbed him saying, "Don't you know it's an offense to climb a moving train?" The Mulla climbed down.
Then just as the train was leaving the platform the guard jumped into his compartment. The Mulla promptly pulled him down, saying, "Well, sir, doesn't the law also apply to you?"
This is exactly the state of the pundit. His statements apply to everyone else. He enjoys the taste of delivering discourses -- bereft of the waters of life, unrelated to his own experience and this danger is always there.
When you reach the midpoint you arrive at two paths: one is the path of the pundit, the master of words; and the other is the path of the wise. The path of the pundit leads you to the world outside via words and pronouncements. On the path of the wise you leave the word and immerse yourself completely in no-word. Therefore without the guru's permission do not go on telling others.
There was a disciple of Buddha by the name of Purna Kashyap who had attained knowing but still followed silently behind Buddha. After a full year Buddha called him and said, "Why do you still follow me like my shadow? Go out into the world and tell others what you have known."

Purna Kashyap replied, "I was awaiting your orders. For what about this mind? It might begin to take pleasure in preaching to others and then I might lose what I have attained only with so much difficulty! I know there is every possibility of the ego's returning."
It is very difficult to attain knowledge, very easy to lose it; for the path is very subtle and you can go astray any moment on the slightest excuse. So Purna Kashyap waited, knowing that Buddha would tell him when he was ready to preach to others. Do not set out to teach others before the guru tells you or else you will repent. And the repentance will be great for you were very close to the other shore when you went astray. The boat was just about to cast anchor when the shore receded. Wisdom and learning are the final temptations.

The True Name - English translation of Osho's lecture on Guru Nanak's Japji Sahib

Download Mp3 files containing the lectures

Friday, September 07, 2007

choosing good

If God is absolutely good, why did He create a world that has so much evil? Ultimate goodness, which is the goodness achieved through choice, requires the possibility for evil. Once you understand this, you will appreciate how central a role evil plays in this world. What's so good about this world is the evil in it. This world offers the opportunity to beat evil and choose good.

In other words, Kabbalah is teaching that the main feature and advantage of this world is the evil in it. This world was not created for what is already good in it. This world was created to be a forum for a new and higher kind of goodness-the goodness born out of overcoming evil and choosing to do good.

Imagine you walk into a factory and you see them trucking in tons and tons of garbage. You then find out that they actually buy this garbage and that it is their most valued raw material. This all sounds crazy to you until you find out that this factory is actually a recycling plant. They take garbage and turn it into usable products. Welcome to World, Inc.!

Yes, this world is really a recycling plant. This is why it is filled with so much garbage. All the trash around us and within us is here for us to recycle into usable products-lessons and realizations, growth and accomplishments. Before I learned this lesson from Kabbalah, I always wondered why there was so much evil in the world. However, after this secret was revealed to me, I asked: Why isn't there more evil in this world? The answer, of course, is that there is less evil because we are working so hard and succeeding in our mission on earth to choose good.

Does God struggle with evil? Can God experience complete goodness through overcoming evil and choosing the good?

Yes, through you and me. God participates in complete goodness through our choices. Our service to God is to choose goodness. That's why we're in a world so full of allurements to do evil-so that we can rise to the challenge and choose good. That's our service to God. For there to be choice, evil has to be pretty attractive. There is no choice if we're not interested in one of the alternatives. In other words, if somebody puts in front of me a gorgeous, delicious meal, and next to it a plate of (forgive me) vomit, would it be a tremendous choice that I opted for the meal and not the vomit?

Therefore, in order for there to be the optimal opportunity to choose goodness, evil has to be extremely attractive. People think the Devil is an independent character who has a red ugly face, horns on his head, and a pitchfork in his hand. Kabbalah teaches that the forces of evil were created by God and the strongest ones are a counterfeit of good. They look just like goodness. That's why they present such a great challenge. Evil and good are not always like black and white. High- grade, superclassy evil looks just like good, but it's counterfeit nevertheless. Counterfeit means that it looks like the real thing but isn't.

I walk into a store. I hand the cashier a bill. The cashier says, "Thank you, sir. Oh, wait a second! ... Sir, I'm sorry, this hundred-dollar bill is worthless; it's counterfeit." I then begin to argue, "What are you talking about? This is a hundred-dollar bill! Do you see the number 100 in the corner?"

The cashier shrugs. "No, I'm sorry, sir, this bill is a worthless piece of paper. President Washington's right eyeball is slightly off."

"No, no, this is one hundred dollars. What's an eyeball got to do with it?"

"Sir, just because it looks, smells, and feels like a hundred-dollar bill doesn't make it a hundred-dollar bill. Unless it's printed at the U.S. Mint, it's worthless."

So, too, the choices for goodness in real life are often much more subtle than most people recognize. There is a subtle but real difference between "looking good" and "being good."

Torah and Kabbalah teach that God created the world in order to facilitate the possibility for ultimate goodness, which means goodness that has been chosen. Our service to God is to choose goodness. Life is all about choices. There are always choices to be made. Every day we are all handed choices. Every day we all get different challenges. No one can expect life to be a piece of cake in a world of choices.

But don't worry. Try your best, and if you make a mistake, you can do teshuvah. You can be forgiven. Remember, God knew the stakes were high, and God is with you in your pain and struggle.

In fact, the Talmud tells us that before God created the world, He created the power of teshuvah, because the likelihood of our making mistakes was so great that we couldn't even last a moment without the possibility of teshuvah already available.

-- Rabbi David Aaron

Note: You may not like the term evil in above quote, replace it with
unconsciousness, maya, ego, or sin.

Saturday, September 01, 2007

grand canyon

Some beautiful scenery from Grand Canyon.

brain images

Beautiful images captured from real EEG activity.

Friday, August 31, 2007

world clock

A powerful live clock that allows you to see how rapidly life on earth is changing, from population growth to species extinction. Brought to you by Peter Russell.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

the true name (sat-naam)

In an earlier post, there was a link to audio files of Osho lectures on Guru Nanak ji's Japji Sahib. Link below is the e-book of English translation of the same lecture. You need to use IE to view this page, it doesn't work with FireFox browser.

The True Name - English translation of Osho's lecture on Guru Nanak's Japji Sahib

an excerpt:

What is fear? Fear always involves the other: if someone can take something away from you it destroys your security. Then there is death and there is illness -- both are the other. Hell is being surrounded by the other; hell is the other. But how can you escape the other? Should you run away to the Himalayas you will still not be alone. Sit under a tree; a crow's dropping falls on your head, and you are filled with anger towards the crow. There are the rains and the sun -- irritations everywhere. How will you escape the other who is present everywhere? The only way to escape the other is to seek the one; then no other remains. Then all fear fades away. There is no death, no illness; there are no inconveniences, because there is no other. Finally you are alone. Fear persists as long as the other remains the other for you. Ek Omkar Satnam. Once this mantra has penetrated your being, where is fear? God has no fear. Whom should He fear? He is the only one, there is no one besides Him.

Monday, August 06, 2007

sand and stone

A story tells of two friends who were walking through the desert.
During some point of the journey, they had an argument, and one friend slapped the other one in the face. The one who got slapped was hurt, but without saying anything, she wrote in the sand: "TODAY MY BEST FRIEND SLAPPED ME IN THE FACE"

They kept on walking, until they found an oasis, where they decided to take a bath. The one who had been slapped got stuck in the mire and started drowning, but her friend saved her. After she recovered from the near drowning, she wrote on a stone: "TODAY MY BEST FRIEND SAVED MY LIFE"

The friend, who had slapped and saved her best friend, asked her, "After I hurt you, you wrote in the sand, and now, you write on a stone, why?" The other friend replied: "When someone hurts us, we should write it down in sand, where the winds of forgiveness can erase it, but when someone does something good for us, we must engrave it in stone, so no wind can ever erase it." LEARN TO WRITE YOUR HURTS IN THE SAND AND TO CARVE YOUR BLESSINGS IN STONE.

- from a forwarded email

Sunday, August 05, 2007

God is One

What is the secret? "God is One."
The sunlight splits when entering the windows of the house.
This multiplicity exists in the cluster of grapes;
It is not in the juice made from grapes.

-- Rumi

celebrate Rumi's 800th birthday in Ann Arbor
-2007 is the international year of Rumi

the amazing grace

Amazing grace, how sweet the sound
That sav’d a wretch like me!
I once was lost, but now am found,
Was blind, but now I see.

’Twas grace that taught my heart to fear,
And grace my fears reliev’d;
How precious did that grace appear,
The hour I first believ’d!

Thro’ many dangers, toils and snares,
I have already come;
’Tis grace has brought me safe thus far,
And grace will lead me home.

The Lord has promis’d good to me,
His word my hope secures;
He will my shield and portion be,
As long as life endures.

Yes, when this flesh and heart shall fail,
And mortal life shall cease;
I shall possess, within the veil,
A life of joy and peace.

The earth shall soon dissolve like snow,
The sun forbear to shine;
But God, who call’d me here below,
Will be forever mine.

John New­ton, Ol­ney Hymns (Lon­don: W. Ol­i­ver, 1779)

Wednesday, August 01, 2007

gems from "kabbalah works"

  • God is not someone who is up there and judges every moment and punishes us. God is the reality that was, that is and that will be. God is the Reality within which we all exist. We are all his manifestations.
  • Our relationship to God is the same as relationship between thought and the thinker.
  • We suffer when we think of ourselves separate from this Reality. We are never really outside of this Reality. The suffering will cease if we align our thoughts and actions with the divine Will of this Reality.
  • We are souls who have come here to play a role. We are not fathers, mothers, sons, workers, students, or bloggers. We are the soul and playing a particular role in this lifetime.
  • We could be lost in two ways. We may have lost our character and not know what our strengths are or what are our skills. The more dangerous loss is when our soul is lost in our character, in our role -- when our soul has become a slave to our role.

"Kabbalah Works - Secrets for Purposeful Living"
by Rabbi David Aaron

Thursday, July 26, 2007

Watch Wayne Dyer on August 6th 2007

Watch Dr. Wayne Dyer's new lecture on PBS on Change your thoughts, change your life on Monday August 6th 2007.

Sunday, July 08, 2007

what is love?

It was a busy morning, about 8:30, when an elderly gentleman in his 80's, arrived to have stitches removed from his thumb. He said he was in a hurry as he had an appointment at 9:00 am. I took his vital signs and had him take a seat, knowing it would be over an hour before someone would to able to see him. I saw him looking at his watch and decided, since I was not busy with another patient, I would evaluate his wound.
On examination, it was well healed, so I talked to one of the doctors, got the needed supplies to remove his sutures and redress his wound. While taking care of his wound, I asked him if he had another doctor's appointment this morning, as he was in such a hurry. The gentleman told me no, that he needed to go to the nursing home to eat breakfast with his wife. I inquired as to her health. He told me that she had been there for a while and that she was a victim of Alzheimer's Disease. As we talked, I asked if she would be upset if he was a bit late. He replied that she no longer knew who he was, that she had not recognized him in five years now. I was surprised, and asked him, "And you still go every morning, even though she doesn't know who you are?" He smiled as he patted my hand and said, "She doesn't know me, but I still know who she is."
I had to hold back tears as he left, I had goose bumps on my arm, and thought, "That is the kind of love I want in my life." True love is neither physical, nor romantic. True love is an acceptance of all that is, has been, will be, and will not be.
... By the way, peace is seeing a sunset and knowing Who to thank. And the happiest people don't necessarily have the best of everything; they just make the best of everything they have.

-- from a forwarded email

Thursday, June 21, 2007

His will

Then is the will perfect, when it has gone out of itself, and is formed in the will of God. The more this is so, the more perfect and true is the will, and in such a will thou canst do all things.

-- Meister Eckhart (1260 -1328)

more quotes of Meister Eckhart

salvation is for Christians only

One of the primary complaints non-Christians have about some Christians is that they believe only Christians can attain salvation and go to heaven and everybody else goes to hell.

What's meant by Christian? It's not someone who is born to Christian parents or someone who goes to church every Sunday or someone who identifies himself/herself with the Christianity religion.

Christian is one who has surrendered to Lord. Can anyone attain salvation without surrendering? Only by his Grace, one may attain salvation. To realize this is the essence of surrender.

Instead of getting defensive due to our attachment to our form of religion, we can see the truth behind what it really means. It's really the same as what other religions have to say.

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

six philosophies

Today's lecture by Swami Prakashananda was about six philosophies. What's different about them and what do they share. He also gave details on three schools of Vedanta. Instead of paraphrasing the lecture, here are some comments instead:

There's a few lines by Guru Nanak about this:

chhi-a ghar chhi-a gur chhi-a updays.
There are six schools of philosophy, six teachers, and six sets of teachings.

gur gur ayko vays anayk.
But the Teacher of teachers is the One, who appears in so many forms.

baabaa jai ghar kartay keerat ho-ay.
O Baba: that system in which the Praises of the Creator are sung

so ghar raakh vadaa-ee to-ay.
follow that system; in it rests true greatness.

Do we really need to understand the various philosophies for our spiritual journey? The freedom we are seeking is in accepting the mystery that is the creation and its Creator. The philosophy is is a product and food for intellectual activity and it could enhance the ego.

These six philosophy show that the Truth is beyond our intellectual capability, it cannot be described, if it was then these great thinkers would have come up with one philosophy.

There are many resources available online about these philosophies.

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

religion and spirituality

- Religion is the container and spirituality is the contents.
- Our problem is that we focus on the container and not the content, our attachment to the container is the source of countless wars.
- The container is also needed but the most important is the contents.
- Spirituality is the spirit, spirit is the reality, [the truth].
- To become spiritual, one needs a spiritual practice or Sadhana.
- There are many practices depending on religious background.
- Any Sadhana is liable to become a mechanical act.
- Awareness, total alertness makes sadhana, spiritual.
- Any sadhana without awareness is a mechanical act.
- We need to keep our mind where our hands are.
- Don't multi-task, focus on what you're doing at the moment.
- Doing one thing and thinking about something else is the source of stress.
- We are here but we want to be there - a source of stress.
- We need to put attention where our effort is.
- Thoughts of past and future keeps us away from present.
- We are not living, we are either dying (past) or dreaming (future).
- How to stay awake:
* focus on what you're doing in present moment.
* catch yourself every moment you stay away from present.
* use your breath to focus back to present. [or we can focus on inner energy]
* develop detachment.
- The cause of our wondering mind is our attachments. [i think to be detached we need to develop the role of being an observer or a witness. Witnessing everything happening around us including inside us without any judgment.]

-- paraphrased from a lecture by Swami Prakashananda - Chinmaya Mission (except what's in [ ...])

Monday, June 18, 2007

parenting tips

- before your child is born, make yourself into the person you want your child to be.
- when you child is born, live the thought of "these children are not mine, they belong to God."
- parenting is a form of seva - an act of devotion.
- the purpose of parenting is to bring up a child who will be a gift to the society not a burden.
- a gift to the society is defined as someone with inner-strength, not necessarily someone who is rich, educated, or someone with degrees. a person with inner weakness would become a burden to the society even if he/she is successful in material world.
- parenting is also an opportunity for us to evolve spiritually.
- the degree of our attachment to the children is proportionally equal to degree of weakness inside the child.
- the most important aspect of parenting: Love your child as God.
- we need to balance the three aspects of our child development:
1. their own tendencies (vasanas)
2. what we provide to them: values, food, ...
3. what society imposes on them

-- paraphrased from a lecture by Swami Prakashananda, Chinmaya Mission June 18th 2007

Sunday, June 10, 2007


Dear spiritual seekers,

Don't you want to remove the word "want" from your vocabulary? How about the concept of time and age? If there's no time, is there any reason to say hello and good bye?

There's a group of people called Moken who don't have the concept of time and age and don't have words for want, hello and bye. They are so connected with the source, they knew tsunami was coming and saved themselves by going to higher grounds. Read more about them on CBS's 60 minutes website.

An article on National Geographics on same subject.

Thursday, June 07, 2007

BoGo Lights

Buy a BoGo (Buy One, Give One) light, it's a flashlight with rechargeable AA batteries, charged by solar panels. When you buy one, the company donates one to the organization of your choice for a developing country. For more information check out their website.

Friday, June 01, 2007

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

how to be ready

Go sweep out the chamber of your heart,
make it ready to be the dwelling place of the Beloved,
when you depart, He will enter,
in you, void of yourself, will He display His beauties.

-- Mystic Rose Garden, Mahmud Shabistari, translated by E.H. Whinfield


Renounce the good of the world, renounce the good of heaven, renounce your highest ideal, and then renounce your renunciation.

Fariduddin Attar - a Persian poet

He who wants anything becomes smaller than the thing he wants; he who gives away anything is greater than the thing he gives. Therefore, to a mystic each act of renunciation becomes a step towards perfection.

Forced renunciation, whether forced by morality, religion, law, convention, or formality, is not necessarily renunciation. The real spirit of renunciation is willingness; and willing renunciation comes when one has risen above the thing one renounces. The value of each thing in life - wealth, power, position, possession - is according to the evolution of man. There is a time in his life when toys are his treasures, and there is a time when he puts them aside; there is a time in his life when copper coins are everything to him, and there is another time when he can give away gold coins; there is a time in his life when he values a cottage, and there is a time when he gives up a palace. ...

Bowl of Saki, by Hazrat Inayat Khan

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

free will

When man says, 'I have done this,' or 'I can do it,' or 'I will do it,' the One perfect in power and wisdom smiles as a grown-up person would smile at a child saying, 'I will remove mountains.' It does not mean there is no free will, but if one only knew what is behind one's free will he would never call it free will, he would call it His Will.


Sunday, April 29, 2007


Pearl-shell, what gives you your precious contents? Silence; for years my lips were closed.

Silence is the shield of the ignorant and the protection of the wise.

read more on silence.

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

khatm - a poem

O Thou, Who art the Perfection of Love, Harmony and Beauty, The Lord of heaven and earth,
Open our hearts, that we may hear Thy Voice, which constantly cometh from within.
Disclose to us Thy Divine Light which is hidden in our souls,
That we may know and understand life better.
Most Merciful and Compassionate God, Give us Thy great Goodness;
Teach us Thy loving Forgiveness;
Raise us above the distinctions and differences which divide mankind:
Send us the Peace of Thy divine Spirit, And unite us all in Thy Perfect Being.


-- Hazrat Inayat Khan

Thursday, April 19, 2007

small things

... see if you can notice the small things. The small things include the sound of the wind in the trees, birds chirping, the warmth of the sun on your face, well, you get the picture. Often small things, like, being cut off on the highway are blown into something big. If you are able to look at being cut off, as something small, then listening to the birds will turn into something big in your heart(being). Noticing the small things will get us closer to presence.

- Gojcevic

Saturday, March 31, 2007

Saturday, March 24, 2007

life and life situation

Forget about your life situation and pay attention to your life. Your life situation exists in time. Your life is now. Your life situation is mind-stuff. Your life is real.

- Eckhart Tolle

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

word for the day

Reverence the highest, have patience with the lowest.
Let this day's performance of the meanest duty be thy religion.
Are the stars too distant, pick up the pebble that lies at thy feet, and from it learn the all.

-- Margaret Fuller

Friday, March 02, 2007

body as a buddy

The body is mortal, but the person dwelling in the body is immortal and immeasurable.
– Bhagavad Gita

When I say that this body is not me, I am not making an intellectual statement. It is an experiential statement. If you were to ask me, "Who is this body?" I would make an awful pun: "This is my buddy. I give him good food and good exercise, and I look after him very well, but he is not me."

My body has always been my faithful buddy, through many trials, and during many difficult times; and I let him know how much I appreciate his faithful service. We have an understanding: I take very good care of him, and he looks up to me as the boss.

As Saint Francis used to say, "This body is Brother Donkey. I feed him, I wash him, but I am going to ride on him." Whenever we use drugs, or smoke, or drink, or even over-eat, the donkey is riding on us. Francis challenges us: "Don't you want to get that donkey off your back and ride on it ?"

- Eknath Easwaran's Words to Live By
(Copyright 1999 and 2005 by The Blue Mountain Center of Meditation.)

Thursday, March 01, 2007

Q&A with Ramana Maharshi

12th June, 1937

426. Mr. Das, of Allahabad University: Has the food which one usually takes anything to do with increase or decrease of one's spirituality? That is, does it influence spirituality for good or bad?

M.: Yes. Sattvic food in moderate quantity is helpful to spiritual development.

D.: For a grihi, i.e., a man of the world (householder) what conduct in life will help him most spiritually?

M.: Dhyana or Bhakti, which means the same thing.

D.: What is meant by taking the name of God? How to reconcile the following two ideas?

The Bible Says: "Do not take the name of God in vain."
The Sastras enjoin taking the name of God all the time.

M.: One should not use the name of God artificially and superficially without feeling. To use the name of God one must call upon Him and surrender to Him unreservedly. After such surrender the name of God is constantly with the man.

D.: Has man any Free-Will or is everything in his life pre-destined and pre-ordained?

M.: Free-Will holds the field in association with individuality. As long as individuality lasts so long there is Free-Will. All the Sastras are based on this fact and they advise directing the Free-Will in the right channel.

Find out to whom Free-Will or destiny matters. Abide in it. Then these two are transcended. That is the only purpose of discussing these questions. To whom do these questions arise? Find out and be at peace.

Wednesday, February 28, 2007

a prayer by Mother Theresa

May today there be peace within.
May you trust God that you are exactly where you are meant to be.
May you not forget the infinite possibilities that are born of faith.
May you use those gifts that you have received, and pass on the love that has been given to you.. May you be content knowing you are a child of God....
Let this presence settle into your bones, and allow your soul the freedom to sing, dance, praise and love.
It is there for each and every one of us.

Friday, February 16, 2007

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Pathways to the Sacred

Listen Pathways to the Sacred online.

Description: Throughout history human beings have sought to explain and connect with thte life force of the universe. Throughout history human beings have fought eachother for coming to different conclusions and believing different things. May Pathways to the Sacred act as a bridge our differences and celebrate our similarities. Hosted by Josh Jourdan.

a line passing through our heart

It was only when I lay there on rotting prison straw that I sensed within myself the first stirrings of good. Gradually it was disclosed to me that the line separating good and evil passes not through states, nor between classes, nor between political parties either, but right through every human
heart, and through all human hearts. This line shifts. Inside us, it oscillates with the years. Even within hearts overwhelmed by evil, one small bridgehead of good is retained; and even in the best of all hearts, there remains a small corner of evil.

- Alexander Solzhenitsyn writing about his experience of the Soviet Gulag

Monday, February 12, 2007


Time is danger! The moment we look to time to change, it is really a continuation of what has been. Me, the desire, continues through time. So-called religious authorities say that time is a means of mutation. But actually mutation is not possible through time. It happens by a benediction of blast, which is again not an experience! Change is a movement in non-movement of time! Change implies a state of consciousness that is not moving from one ''I'' to another ''I''.

- Shibendu

Tuesday, February 06, 2007

how much nature are you using?

Ever wondered how much "nature" your lifestyle requires? You're about to find out.

This Ecological Footprint Quiz estimates how much productive land and water you need to support what you use and what you discard. After answering 15 easy questions you'll be able to compare your Ecological Footprint to what other people use and to what is available on this planet.

Saturday, February 03, 2007

Sunday, January 28, 2007

source of peace

The season of spring has come, and all the plants have blossomed forth.
This mind blossoms forth, in association with the True Guru.
So meditate on the True Lord, O my foolish mind.
Only then shall you find peace, O my mind.
This mind blossoms forth, and I am in ecstasy.
I am blessed with the Ambrosial Fruit of the Naam, the Name of the Lord of the Universe.
Everyone speaks and says that the Lord is the One and Only.
By understanding the Hukam of His Command, we come to know the One Lord.
Says Nanak, no one can describe the Lord by speaking through ego.
All speech and insight comes from our Lord and Master.

banasapath moulee charriaa basa(n)th
eihu man mouliaa sathiguroo sa(n)g
thumh saach dhhiaavahu mugadhh manaa
thaa(n) sukh paavahu maerae manaa
eith man mouliai bhaeiaa ana(n)dh
a(n)mrith fal paaeiaa naam gobi(n)dh
eaeko eaek sabh aakh vakhaanai
hukam boojhai thaa(n) eaeko jaanai
kehath naanak houmai kehai n koe
aakhan vaekhan sabh saahib thae hoe

- By Guru Amar Daas Ji in Raag Basant on Page 1176 of Guru Granth Sahib Ji.

Thursday, January 25, 2007


Let karma happen naturally and effortlessly. Do not under-do it or over-do it. It is the separation ''I'' in the consciousness that makes you run into anxiety spoiling your health and well-being. Will is the wonderful name of the ego. So wilfull dedication to God can be a device of the ''I'' to remain divided from God! Divinity is the natural state of life. Division is the notorious affair of mind.

read the whole message from Shibendu here

Monday, January 15, 2007

Anand Sahib

Here's a beautiful translation of first few stanzas of Anand Sahib by Ek Ong Kaar Kaur.

Anand Sahib is contained in Guru Granth Sahib and was written by Guru Amar Das.

Sunday, January 14, 2007

Living Meditation, Living Insight

This is a book about "the path of mindfulness in daily life". Instead of focusing on sitting meditation, this book shows us how to meditate as we go through our daily activities. This is very insightful book. I highly recommend this book to any seeker of truth.

You can get the book online in PDF format.

Saturday, January 13, 2007

which path is best for me?

check this question and answer for some insight

Prayer of Saint Francis of Assisi

Lord, make me an instrument of Thy peace;

where there is hatred, let me sow love;
where there is injury, pardon;
where there is doubt, faith;
where there is despair, hope;
where there is darkness, light;
and where there is sadness, joy.
O Divine Master,
grant that I may not so much seek to be consoled as to console;
to be understood, as to understand;
to be loved, as to love;
for it is in giving that we receive,
it is in pardoning that we are pardoned,
and it is in dying that we are born to Eternal Life.
more information about the prayer

Sunday, January 07, 2007

the secret - a movie

a movie about power of thought and gratitude. It talks about how with our patterns of thought we attract more negative or more positive situations in our lives. Courtesy of

being sick

When we are sick, it's very easy to think that We are sick. It's really not Us who are sick but it's our body. It's easy to identify with a sick body. The pain feeling is strong and treatment from others reinforces the false identification. Ego has found a way to come back in a big way. It will find ways to stay around with full energy. A treasure has been lost, let's not use our mind to find it again, thoughts are straight from ego; they will not help. Acknowledge the short lived reign of the ego and surrender and ask for help. Accept you don't have any solutions, I come to You, You show me the way.