Category: spirituality

Indian spirituality alive until Steve Job’s last breath

Pic Credit – Money.CNN.com Mark Beniof the CEO of Sales Force Inc, commenting about what Steve Jobs may have expected from the current management of Apple Inc, described the brown box which Steve Jobs had planned to be distributed to those attending his memorial service. Inside the box was a note “Actualize yourself…” and a copy of the book Autobiography of a Yogi. Paramahamsa Yogananda, the author of the book, brought the knowledge of self realization to the west based upon the instructions of his Guru Sri Yukteshwar. An education system that avoids discussing wisdom behind native traditions, combined with the Indian media’s obsession with fallen Gurus continues to distance the educated class in India from concept of Self realization. An educated Indian mind often imagines the path of Self Realization to be either towards an existence of solitude in the Himalayas or as a trap laid by a scheming Godman. Living midst the ultimate land of spirituality in the

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Spirituality and Civic engagement

The evolution of the western society includes an unfortunate step when the religious and the civic had to be forced apart. But this step let science to evolve free from the prevalent religious dogmas plaguing medieval European countries. The remnant of this step is a mistrust that we see today spirituality and modern science. Concerned that the spiritually active of today may not be perceived by an analyst to be as engaged with the secular world as the other citizens, Jim Jansen conducted a research for the Pew Research Center through which he clarified that a spiritual active person is not only equally tech savvy but is more likely to be engaged in organizations of all kinds compared to the others. The study also notes that a religiously inclined is “more trusting of others, are more optimistic about their impact on their community and think more highly of their community”. This is an important point for a civic administrator and

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Clinical, Mystical & Practical angles to Meditation

A conclusion one can reach from reading a recent article in WSJ, is that meditation is finding its way into the US primary-care settings, such as clinics and hospitals, having spent time incubating in research institutions such as Harvard medical school. Institutions such as NIH (National Institute of Health) are becoming more comfortable with meditation as a symptom management solution. Many physicians recommend meditation as a complement for treating depression, panic, anxiety disorders, ongoing stress, or cardio health. The South Asian Heart center in SF Bay area suggests its patients to begin meditation practices. Clinical dose of mediation dose for insomnia patients starts at 5 minutes, working up to about 20 minutes twice a day. Meditation in the east has been a mystical practice for centuries. Mystical experiences, often referred to as energy awakening are reported by those practicing meditations for a while. Chris Dale, a long time meditator write about how in his case such mystical experiences created a

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Telepathy – an experiment – an experience

Neuroscientists created a mind meld experiment between two rats, one in North Carolina and one in Brazil, by implanting electrodes in their brains and letting the signals travel intercontinental distances. What one rat sensed in its environment could be shown to be learnt by the rat in the remote location. The experiment was towards understanding the possibility of restoring the functions of parts of the brain damaged by stroke and other illnesses. Though far from reality, scientists are excited by the possibility. It is amazing that an animal can be made to pick up signals from another animal through the miracle of modern technology to create A computational system of two brainsI encountered another related bit of information on the blog-o-sphere. This one was a posting from a Holland Farmer who had turned vegetarian. Relating the turning point in his life, he writes – “My father in law had a farm with some land, cows and pigs. One day I met

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Selfish Brain – Selfless service

A team of scientists from the University of Zurich recently conducted an interesting experiment that identified the area of brain related to selfish attitudes. These researchers found an increased amount of grey matter between an altruistic person’s temporal and parietal lobes of brain compared to a normal person’s. Also the brain of a person who is more selfish shows brain wave activities when asked to share something they possess with a new person. This activity was seen in the part of the brain behind a person’s ears. Perhaps these brain waves correspond to a “why should I?” attitude arising in a person’s head. The same area shows reduced activity to the extent a person is altruistic.In other words, this area shows activity when the level of sacrifice nears the altruism level of a person. Earlier in 2010, a team of researchers in MIT had also conducted an experiment and identified a “morality compass“, also in the area behind the right

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Consciousness – Reincarnation – Rinpoches

Yeshe was an extraordinary lama who had visited the United States in the seventies and was endearing to many of his western followers. Lama Yeshe created the Foundation for the Preservation of Tibetan Buddhism. He was known for his compassion and his simling face. He died of heart failure in 1984. A child was born a year later to a Buddhist convert from the west and he was named Osel. The child was recognized as a reincarnation of Lama Yeshe and sent to Monastery in India to be trained as a Lamas. At the age of eighteen Osel returned to the west and gave up his title of a Lama, desiring to live the life of a normal westerner. The story of Osel has been discussed in the western media, including on the BBC. Tim McGirk, the news correspondent who brought out the story about young Osel in the late eighties has written a recent article about the many other

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Swami Vivekananda – An ideal disciple

In the late eighteen hundreds Swami Vivekananda started the ground work for the Ramakrishna Math. He had a bold vision of monastic life adapting ancient monastic ideals to the conditions of modern life. He was well known as a social reformer who gave equal importance to personal spiritual progress and social service. This is the year the 150th birthday of this world renowned wandering monk. His trust in the power of  the youth in healing a crippled society, with their ability to reform local customs stands in stark contrast with today’s political leaders driving the younger generation away from traditional values and social solidarity. Political leaders of today have figured out that Swami Vivekananda’s ideals are a threat to their ways of leading if the youth catch on to Swami Vivekananda’s messages. They have adopted an approach of “Enshrine to Enchain” as the best way to keep the ideals of Swami Vivekananda away from today’s youth. His statues abound in every nook and

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Passing Along Values

The value of collective wisdom, crystallized from many units of human experiences, appears to have a diminished value in the information age.  Sure, younger folk have access to a lot more information today than in the past decades. They can look up information on any different topic and read the opinion of a lot of folk. But the dominant headlines, postings, video clips on the internet are stumbling blocks. How do they understand the value is looking for something that lies hidden in search results somewhere? It may be as good as it doesn’t exist for them? How can they gain access to wisdom from the elders’s experiences?The quality of generational interaction is also impacted by what the new media may not be capable of highlighting to the young people. When a majority of messages that a youngster picks up are from the internet domain how then will a youngster presented with an opportunity to interact with grandparents know to take

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Human Rights Vs Human Values

Governments enact laws to uphold ‘human rights’ because of the general idea that one’s rights need to be protected by an act of law. Laws can be deterrent to bad actions, to a degree, but laws can not force out the goodness in people.  In the world today a lot of time and resources are spent in creating deterrents — more laws and more ammunition, rather than nurturing goodness. If human rights need to be preserved by an act of law, it is not a sign of a highly developed society. Laws must be viewed as a remedial step alone. Human rights violations anywhere in the world is the result of a narrow and prejudiced mindset. A better way to guarantee human rights is to provide tools to replace this narrow mindset with a broad outlook towards life. This broader outlook need to be nurtured with guidance in a supportive environment. We should shift our view point and say that access to peace and

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Child’s Debelopment and Natural Yoga Postures

I was reminded of a less known fact that is unbelievable when I came across this article in US magazine Alicia Keys and Swizz Beatz‘s son Egypt is only 10 months old, but according to his dad, he’s already working on his physical, mental and spiritual discipline. “Egypt started his own yoga class today in the house,” the 32-year-old rapper joked, linking to a TwitPic of the pajama-clad tot looking Zen. A child’s body transitions through many postures that an adult pays to learn at a Yoga studio. The boat posture and the knee press are common postures when a child is still lying on his back, After learning to roll over a child masters the cobra postures and its variations. A seated child  is found in many common seated yoga postures. He also frequently contorts his back in the spinal twist. While learning to stand up a child amuses himself in the downward dog posture, looking behind through his own legs. In addition the triangle

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