What are we Striving for?

“What we Strive for is, What we’re not. Look at An Apple tree which strives to be a full fledged Apple tree, bears leaves, tries to be a fully grown Apple tree and bears gift of Apple fruits. An Apple Tree Doesn’t strive to be a Mango Tree. Every Creatures Likewise tries to be full of what they’re. Only We Human Don’t know how to fully strive to being Human” – Keya

Your Career shouldn’t be the Purpose of your life. A Person Wants to be a Doctor or an  Engineer, Scientist or  Musician, Writer or a Poet. And once the person reaches his Goal he must be striving to make more money or higher Status.

For an Example :Doctors, on average, are also paid well, and have positions of high status. A sign of living happily. You’re Perfect Now. But, in essence Excellence is the very opposite of PerfectionismPerfectionism is losing your true self in the demands of society, and trying to emulate a person who is not you and whom you can never become. Excellence, on the other hand, is becoming the centre of your own universe, and from that grounded, centred position, shining your light into the world by using your unique talents.

I’ve found Six Practises to implement to strive Full Human. These are:

  1.  Accept The Hardship: All life demands struggle, including an Earthworm, a bird, King of Jungle Lion to an Ant. Those who have everything given to them become lazy, selfish, and insensitive to the real values of life. The very striving and hard work that we so constantly try to avoid is the major building block in the person to become full fledged Human.
  2.  Someone will Always Have More Than You: It doesn’t matter what I achieve in life, someone, somewhere will always have more than we do. Someone will always be smarter, stronger, and will have more money.  The minute you figure that out, you will be a happier person.
  3. Everything Happens For a Reason:  This is a hard one for me too. It is a hard one for anyone really.  No one really knows why things happen.  I have to believe it is all part of a bigger plan.  Why do people get sick?  Why do people die?  Why do relationships end?  Why are we here?  Why are we dealt a bad hand?  Truthfully, only one person can answer that question.  Breathe.  Enjoy life.
  4. Trying to Control The Uncontrollable: I am an anxious person.  I am always trying to find out how I can control a situation.  You know, I can’t.  It is going to happen regardless.  If I have sleepless nights over losing a job because of a bad economy, then I have wasted energy.   If you are religious/Spiritual, you will trust that things will just have a way of working themselves out.
  5. Treating Every Day Like It is Your Last:  The one thing that is certain in this life is that we will  Embrace every moment.  Treasure friendships that are meaningful.  Spend time with the ones that mean the most to you.   Do things that this wonderful world has to offer.  Your judgement day will come one day. It may come sooner than you think 🙂
  6.  Showing Compassion: When they make mistakes or hurt you. Instead, try to put yourself in their shoes, and think…

“Excellence” is the gradual result of always striving to do better.

 

 

 

 

 

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7 Tips of on how to Prepare Yourself for Greater Experience of Meditation.

When it’s time for your sitting session, you can simply sit down and start. That’s what I was doing in the first few years of my practice. Or you can take a couple of minutes to center and “prepare” yourself – and your meditation session will be more pleasant and quiet.

I took me a long time to learn these hacks, and I wish I had known them before. That’s why I decided to write about them, so you can shortcut your learning curve, and experience deep meditation sessions more often.

The first three hacks are part of the preparation process and can take from two 20 minutes – it’s entirely up to you. You don’t need to go through all these elements, but I found that each of them is helpful.

The fourth and fifth hack are attitudes that you can develop during practice that will aid your concentration. And the last two ones is about what you do after your practice.

At the bottom of this page you will find a button to download the free PDFwith these 7 hacks.

BEFORE

(1) Calm Your Body And Breath

Our mind, body and breath are interconnected. So relaxing the body and calming the breath will naturally calm the mind as well. The parasympathetic nervous system gets activated, and as a result the stress response will be down-regulated. That is why, in the system of Yoga practice, one works with postures (asanas) and breathing regulation (pranayama).

Short version

Once you sit on your cushion/chair, take three to five full breaths – breathing in through the nose, and out through the mouth. Make them aslong, even, and deep as possible.

  • Breathing in, center yourself in the present moment
  • Breathing out, consciously relax all the muscles in your body, letting go of all tension

Pay special attention to relaxing the jaw, throat, tongue, and forehead.

Long version: 

Take 5-10 minutes to do the following 9 Yoga Asanas, so you can relax and lighten up the body.

Then, for five minutes, do the following breathing exercise:

  • Breathe in for 4 seconds, through the nose
  • Breathe out for 8 seconds, through the nose

 

Instead of 4-8 seconds, you can go for 3-6, or 5-10, 6-12, etc. The important thing is that we are aiming for the exhalation to be longer than the inhalation (ideally double). That may be hard in the beginning, so you grow into it as you go.

Breathing should be soft, even, and as soundless as possible. Do not force yourself – it should be comfortable. So adjust your count according to your capacity.

 

(2) Gladden The Mind

Our brain is deeply wired to avoid pain, and seek pleasure. So if you can generate some stable feelings of safety and contentment, right before your meditation, you are sending a message to your brain that all is well, and it need not be restless.

When our mind is joyful and content, it is naturally more quiet, introverted, and together. So after relaxing your body and mind, I advise you to gladden the mind by doing one of these:

  • Remember something that you are grateful for
  • Remember the joy of meditation (if you have already experienced that)
  • Tell yourself that all is safe and well in this moment
  • Feel good that you are taking time to heal, grow, and master your mind
  • If you believe in God, doing a short prayer before meditation can help set a mood of attention, sacredness and centeredness1

Also, if you have practiced loving-kindness meditation before, you know you have the capacity to kindle feelings of love and compassion in your heart, and that doing that brings in joy. So you can remember these feelings, or generate them inside yourself, for a couple of minutes before meditation.

To explore more this fact, I recommend listening to episode 149 of Buddhist Geeks, on “neurodharma”.

Also, for increasing the feeling of safety, allocate a safe and quiet place for your meditation and remove anything that may interrupt your practice such as your mobile, pets, etc. Inform those that may need your attention to be respectful of the space and the time you are allocating for your practice and not to create any abrupt noise or move in and out of the room. If you cannot find such a place, alternatively you can use earplugs or headphones to cover your ears.

(3) Affirm Your Intention

Taking a few moments to just focus your intention before practice can do wonders for your meditation.

You can do this by saying to yourself, with intention and presence, something like this:

For the next X minutes I will only focus on my meditation. There is nothing else for me to do and nothing else for me to think about during this time. Mind, please don’t disturb me. I will start concentrating now.

Determination and will power are very important. As Swami Rama says, “I can do it. I will do it. I am going to do it.” This is an essential key to deepen your Meditation.

If you feel you don’t have good determination or will power, don’t worry. By practicing setting up your intention in this way, you slowly start developing these muscles.

DURING

(4) Don’t Suffer The Distractions

During your meditation practice, it is important never to criticize yourself, or feel bad about getting distracted with thoughts. These types of thoughts are harmful and not in line with the spirit of good meditation.

Learn to be gentle with yourself during your practice. For decades you have trained your mind to be distracted; so it will take some time to train it to be focused. Be patient and kind with yourself.

(5) Delight in Concentration

There will be moments when your mind is more focused on the meditation object. When this happens, it’s important to delight in it. Enjoy how quiet, stable and unified the mind gets.

Mind’s most fundamental habit is to seek pleasure/well-being and shun pain/suffering. By teaching the mind to appreciate the joy of concentration, it starts working more towards increasing that, by facilitating more focus.

According to the Buddha, joy (piti) and happiness (sukha) are two of the five factors of meditative absorption (jhanna). The more you learn to open up and enjoy your meditation, the less reasons there are for the mind to get restless thinking of other things.

This practice is very useful when your concentration is still wavering. Once concentration gets solid and stable, however, there is no need to disturb the mind with these thoughts and intentions – just stay there.

AFTER

(6) Gentle Transition

When the bell rings, get out of your meditation gently, not hurriedly. Keep the mind in the same state, gently move your fingers and neck, and then open your eyes. This transition helps you bring more of the “meditation feeling” into your daily life.

(7) Keep a Journal

I highly encourage you to then take some notes about how your practice went. This helps you solidify the meditation habit. It also develops a greater understanding of the workings of the mind, and the mechanics of meditation.

A simple entry could answer these three questions:

  • How long did I sit?
  • How do I feel now?
  • How was my mind during meditation?

For the third question, you can note things like how many times you got distracted, what types of thoughts or feelings were you experiencing, and for how long you could keep focused.

CONCLUSION

Before meditation: relax the body, calm the breath, gladden the mind, focus the intention.

CLICK TO TWEET

By integrating these 7 elements in your routine, your meditation can be deeper, more enjoyable and more transformative. Here’s a summary:

  • Before meditation
    • Relax your body and breath, to calm down and center yourself;
    • Gladden the mind with gratitude or other positive feelings;
    • Have strong intention in your mind
  • During meditation
    • Don’t feel bad about getting distracted
    • Find delight in the moments of concentration
  • After meditation
    • Move out of meditation gently
    • Take notes in your journal

In my beginners/intermediate meditation course I integrate these seven tips and other valuable principles.

I would love to hear how these hacks affect your practice and daily life. Please leave a comment sharing your experience.

History of Meditation

The word meditation, is derived from two Latin words : meditari(to think, to dwell upon, to exercise the mind) and mederi (to heal). Its Sanskrit derivation ‘medha’ means wisdom.
A Tibetan Lama was being monitored on a brain scan machine by a scientist wishing to test physiological functions during deep meditation. The scientist said – “Very good Sir. The machine shows that you are able to go very deep in brain relaxation, and that validates your meditation”. “No”, said the Lama, “This (pointing to his brain) validates the machine!”
The word meditate stems from the Latin root meditatum,  to ponder. In the Old Testament hāgâ (Hebrew) means to sigh or murmur, but also to meditate. When the Hebrew Bible was translated into Greek, hāgâ became the Greek melete. The Latin Bible then translated hāgâ/melete into meditatio. The use of the term meditatio as part of a formal, stepwise process of meditation goes back to the 12th century monk Guigo II.
The Silk Road transmission of Buddhism :
The Pāli Canon, which dates to 1st century BCE considers Indian Buddhist meditation as a step towards salvation. By the time Buddhism was spreading in China, the Vimalakirti Sutra which dates to 100CE included a number of passages on meditation, clearly pointing to Zen. The Silk Road transmission of Buddhism introduced meditation to other oriental countries, and in 653 the first meditation hall was opened in Japan. Returning from China around 1227, Dōgen wrote the instructions for Zazen
Meditation in Religion:
Apart from its historical usage, the term meditation was introduced as a translation for Eastern spiritual practices, generally referred to as dhyāna, which comes from the Sanskrit root dhyai, meaning to contemplate or meditate. The term “meditation” in English may also refer to practices from Islamic Sufism, or other traditions such as Jewish Kabbalah and Christian Hesychasm. A recent edited book about “meditation”, for example, included chapter contributions by authors describing Buddhist, Christian, Hindu, Islamic, and Taoist traditions.Scholars have noted that “the term ‘meditation’ as it has entered contemporary usage” is parallel to the term “contemplation” in Christianity.
The Islamic practice of Dhikr had involved the repetition of the 99 Names of God in the Qur’an since the 8th or 9th century. By the 12th century, the practice of Sufism included specific meditative techniques, and its followers practiced breathing controls and the repetition of holy words. Interactions with Indians or the Sufis may have influenced the Eastern Christian meditation approach to hesychasm, but this can not be proved. Between the 10th and 14th centuries, hesychasm was developed, particularly on Mount Athos in Greece, and involves the repetition of the Jesus prayer.

Western Christian meditation contrasts with most other approaches in that it does not involve the repetition of any phrase or action and requires no specific posture. Western Christian meditation progressed from the 6th century practice of Bible reading among Benedictine monks called Lectio Divina, i.e. divine reading. Its four formal steps as a “ladder” were defined by the monkGuigo II in the 12th century with the Latin terms lectio, meditatio, oratio, and contemplatio (i.e. read, ponder, pray, contemplate). Western Christian meditation was further developed by saints such as Ignatius of Loyola and Teresa of Avila in the 16th century.

By the 18th century, the study of Buddhism in the West was a topic for intellectuals. The philosopher Schopenhauer discussed it and Voltaire asked for toleration towards Buddhists.The first English translation of the Tibetan Book of the Dead was published in 1927.

Secularism in Meditation:

Secular forms of meditation were introduced in India in the 1950s as a Westernised form of Hindu meditative techniques and arrived in the United States and Europe in the 1960s. Rather than focusing on spiritual growth, secular meditation emphasizes stress reduction, relaxation and self improvement. Both spiritual and secular forms of meditation have been subjects of scientific analyses. Research on meditation began in 1931, with scientific research increasing dramatically during the 1970s and 1980s. Since the beginning of the ’70s more than a thousand studies of meditation in English-language have been reported. 

Ever since Scientific Research on Meditation, it is a practice where an individual trains the mind or induces a mode of consciousness, either to realize some benefit or for the mind to simply acknowledge its content without becoming identified with that content, or as an end in itself.

In Modern Philosophy term meditation refers to a broad variety of practices that includes techniques designed to promote relaxation, build internal energy or life force (qi, ki, prana, etc.) and develop compassion, love, patience, generosity, and forgiveness. A particularly ambitious form of meditation aims at effortlessly sustained single-pointed concentration meant to enable its practitioner to enjoy an indestructible sense of well-being while engaging in any life activity.

Mindful Words and Actions

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It’s not just seated meditation that creates positive change in our lives. Being mindful of our language can also make a big difference.

I believe that words are an influential and determining force—not only the words that we say, but how we say it.

If you consistently use negative, undermining words, the result will consistently show. If you use positive, encouraging words, you’re more likely to create a positive outcome.

I had to quit saying: “My skin is awful. I’ll never get better. I hate my life.”

Instead, I had to begin exercising mindful thoughts such as: “My skin will get better. I will finish my eBook. This is only one obstacle, and if I get over this I will be stronger than yesterday.”

You can apply this to your life, your passions, and craft.

 

20 Motivating movies of Bollywood in last 2 Decades

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Movies can be a wonderful source of inspiration and motivation, as some of them can help you to change your mindset quickly into a more positive one. When movies are able to spark the interest to apply their message in real life, it was well worth watching them. The movies in this list are ranked by the average score they received from critics, but also by their potential to motivate and inspire. However, something that is by far more important than a movie’s popularity is its ability to get you motivated.

1. Airlift

In 1990, Saddam Hussein-led Iraq’s invasion of Kuwait rendered over a lakh Indians residing there homeless and scurrying for cover. Thanks to a handful of Indian businessmen and their swift thinking, each of them was safely evacuated from the war zone and brought back to India.

2. Bhag Milkha Bhag 

The truth behind the ascension of Milkha…

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Sex without love

“It’s like fast food…Satisfies a craving, but doesn’t nourish”

An old Irish proverb says it all~
“Sex with love is one of the finest and truly great experiences in life.”

It may be  thrilling, explorative, and physical.
But there is no deep spiritual soul-connecting thing underneath.

Is it Healthy? 

Not everyone can adopt this point of view— particularly women. When the mind connects sex with intimacy and emotions, it becomes very hard to separate. If a person does not find sex without love fulfilling or gratifying, then it’s better to abstain from such relationships.

It’s not healthy to use sex for means other than physical gratification, like the expectation that it will blossom into love. Sex should likewise not be used for attention or as leverage in a relationship to gain something else.

If people use sex as a form of escapism, it’s no different than being addicted to other behaviors(Rape/Child sexual abuse/manipulation/Prostitution).

Using sex to avoid dealing with pain or loneliness can only bring on more of the same.

Basically, if purely sexual relationships are not personally satisfying, then it’s not healthy for you to engage in these types of relationships.

Is it Optimal?

Sex without love seems to be connected to the physical world alone, which is only a small part of what is available to us. Sex with love is experienced at the core of people, where their innate health resides – apart from the personal thoughts, insecurities and beliefs, we are all so capable of, which will only cover up, but can never obliterate our healthy core. Like the sun behind clouds – it’s always there, it just gets covered up at times; but it’s only temporary.

The hope is that those who have experienced sex with love will provide examples for those who have not. It seems to me that the more people in touch with their spiritual essence, the better the world will be.

If you’re trying to figure out what kind of person you are when it comes to sex, then here are some questions you should start asking yourself.

Q. How were you raised?

Q. What is your religious or spiritual belief?

Q. How do feel after an one night stand?  Empty?

Q. What are your ratio of sex to love?

Q. Can you be in love without sex?

Q. Do you think it’s worth?

Q. How monogamous you are?

 

 

3 core practices for Benefit Individual’s “Very Happy ” State and Psychological Well-Being

**I am not preaching or trying to be a Guru of confusing philosophies. I write what I go through everyday life **
According to researchers, good relationships are the single-most important factor in determining whether people would describe themselves as “very happy.”

Happy people are healthy people. Happy people live longer and enjoy a greater quality of life. They function at a higher level, utilizing their personal strengths, skills, and abilities to contribute to their own well-being as well as that of others and society. They are more likely to be compassionate and, therefore, to contribute to the moral fiber of society in diversely beneficial ways. They are less prone to experience depression and, if they do, tend to manage it better and more quickly. They are less likely to experience anxiety, stress, or anger. As a result, happy people engage in fewer acts of violence or antisocial behaviors. They enjoy stronger and more-lasting relationships, thus facilitating society’s social capital. In all, they contribute to society in economic, social, moral, spiritual, and psychological terms. Compared to unhappy or depressed people, the happier ones are less of a burden to health services, social welfare agencies, or police and justice systems and so are less of a burden to the economy. In other words, building greater levels of individual happiness not only benefits a particular person but also leads to the healthy, happy functioning of society as a whole.

Fortunately, in the last decade or so, burgeoning research in the field of positive psychology has taught us much about the state of happiness. Most research prior to this, at least in the Western world, had focused on psychological abnormalities, dysfunction, and idiosyncrasies—despite happiness being the next most important life goal for most people once our physical needs for food, shelter, and health have been met. So what have we learned from this research?

1. Relationships

First, as a contributor to happiness, research shows that relationships top the scale. Researchers in one study asked, What contributes to the top ten percent of happy people being happy? What are the keys to happiness for these “very happy” people? The answer was clear: the single-most important variable was that “very happy” people had good social relationships with other people. Other research supports this, claiming that “relationships are an important, and perhaps the most important, source of life satisfaction and emotional well-being.”

Spirituality comes in second on the list of what contributes most to

happiness. Researchers have found that spirituality is clearly linked with

higher levels of subjective well-being and higher satisfaction with both

life and marriage.

2. Spirituality

Second on the list of what most contributes to happiness is a sense of spirituality. In fact, a sense of spirituality strongly correlates to a life well-lived. This relationship between happiness and taking a “big picture” view of life is born out in research across gender, age, religion, and nationality. Spiritual strivings are clearly linked with higher levels of subjective well-being, particularly in regard to greater positive affect and higher satisfaction with both life and marriage. Numerous researchers have found that those of us with strong spiritual beliefs are happier and better protected against depression than those who have no particular sense of spirituality. Similarly it seems that people cope better with major adversity in their lives and major physical illness if they have a sense of established spirituality.

3. Strengths

In another area, researchers have found that when we use our strengths, skills, resources, and abilities, we feel in touch with our “true selves”—we experience a sense of energy and function at optimal levels. The acknowledgment and use of one’s strengths are a significant predictor of both psychological and subjective well-being, which in turn contributes to the optimal functioning of society. One study of positive psychotherapy conducted in a clinically depressed population found that identifying one’s signature strengths and finding ways to use them led to clinically significant and sustained decreases in depression.