Who Is In Charge?


It’s 5 AM.  I am sitting in front of a blank page not knowing what to write.  I don’t want to do the usual – pour out the events of yesterday, nor do I want to write about what I have to do and how I am not doing it etc., so, what remains to be said – really? Nothing.

If we don’t have anything to mull over about the past and get caught in the cycle of guilt and shame mostly, laced with pride and satisfaction occasionally, or, think about future with worry, anticipation, hope mixed with anxiety and fear sometimes – what have we got to say in the present moment – nothing really.  Only experiencing remains – experiencing the constantly surging and receding waves of thoughts rising – the waters of past and future.

I remain still – I hear the crickets drone in the distance and the rooster’s wake up call from the neighbor’s backyard, fridge humming, my neck bone creaking, left shoulder hurting.  I hear the silence I am surrounded and cocooned in, interrupted by the soft squishing of the pen on the paper that I am writing on.

In this present moment silence, there is an awareness of my solidity as well as the awareness of the ‘I’ that is making these observations quietly, noticing everything, alert and present.  There is no emotion in this state – only a deep calm interjected by next sentence rising in mind to be penned.

I am aware of myself.  My mind is desperately trying to create a particular chain of thought, but as soon as a thought is arising to a certain height, it is popping noiselessly like a bubble.  There is a recognition of a thought arising.  I have nothing to say, nothing to worry about, nothing to look forward to either. I am quiet, calm and rested in this deep echo in my heart of “I Am” – that’s it.

“I Am” is the only reality – anything added after the ‘am’ is the drama that we play on the screen of this world.

“Is this a thought regurgitated from acquired knowledge?” – asks my mind, unable to comprehend that it has no hold on  me and not carrying  me away.

“No.” says the awareness.  ‘I ‘ acknowledge your existence, but you my mind, are in my control and ‘I’ will only use you to continue to make you know that ‘I’ am in control.  ‘I’ decide when you can or cannot talk through your thoughts.  ‘I’ have to use you for  me to know who ‘I Am’, but ‘I’ will use you with full awareness and not let you cover me like storm clouds and take over.  You may have hopes, desires, wishes, worries, frustrations, anxieties etc. but ‘I’ am not part of them.

“I AM..” anything after that is you jumping up and down like a drunken monkey with your theatrics.  ‘I’ own you and not the other way around.  ‘I’ am the charioteer, you are the horse drawing the chariot at my command, in a direction and speed that ‘I’ choose from now on, so you will know and live in the recognition that “I” the eternal witness –  “I” am in charge.

Fear or Love – Can One Sheath Have Two Swords in it?

FearUnity and love

Yesterday I posted a news item on my Facebook page about an Anti-Islamic group planning to move protests to Albury amid mosque renovation plans and shared this news on a community page that I  maintain.  I have called for support to the local Muslim community and not allow outside groups to enter and disturb the peace and harmony in our town, if and when it happens.

This post sparked a debate with one gentleman who took objection to the post and ended up posting you tube videos that show Islam extremist groups fighting local authorities and their capacities, and asking  me not to post anything like this on a community Facebook page.

I also had a private conversation with another person who expressed concerns and ended up quoting the popular saying which echoes many peoples views on Islam and terrorism and that is – “Not All Muslims are terrorists but every terrorist is a Muslim”

This made me think.  This is how it is everywhere isn’t it – from individuals to societies, to countries –  people stuck on what they see as right, not willing to give the other party a chance to explain, wanting to have their word as the last word by all means, distinct ‘us vs them’ mentality, using religion to support arguments, to create arguments, forgetting the basic humanity.

The overriding need for safety of the self drives a person to behave in a way that suits them operating from within their silo.

Is this what humans have become?  What is it in us that is so threatening to each other?

We profess words of peace, but inside we are riddled with doubts, worry,  judgment, fear, persecution – how can our smiles be genuine?

How can love blossom in hearts that are shrinking with fear and crouch in that corners of safety that is illusory?

Love is the answer no doubt and caution needs to be exercised as well when getting into public debate because not everyone comes from the basis of love.  Solution for any of theses issues from micro to macro is in individual understanding and adjustment.

At a time when we are living with all nationalities and religions together in communities, do we isolate one particular community because the larger diaspora of that community on an international scene is not just labelled but marginalized as terrorists because of a few hundred or thousands of peoples’ actions?

Which religion is exclusive of fundamentalism?  There are fundamentalist terrorists in all religions Hinduism included.  In fact, every individual is capable of being a terrorist.  As long as we are operating from fear, the capacity to terrorize in the name of self protection not only is there but is on the ever increase. When enough people with this terror in their hearts join forces, extremist groups are formed. Anti-Islam groups are equally the terrorists.

Yes, I agree when we chose to migrate from our home lands, we have to abide by the law of the host country.  I don’t see any Islamic group in Australia nor any other religious group acting against the law of the land barring a few isolated cases.  So why do we have to bring international fears into our home towns or allow others to pollute our minds?

Is Fear the driver of the 21st Century?

Did we not let fear rule us so far and look where we collectively brought the world to.  I cannot exclude my role in the large collective drama.  Every fear I harbor in the deep dark corners of my heart, no matter how hidden and deep, will contribute to the larger scene.  It first plays on me, then on my family, community and it spreads.

When our children have to sit side by side in schools with Christians, Muslims, Jews, Buddhists, Sikhs etc what are we teaching them – not to help a child in need because he happens to be a Muslim, therefore a terrorist by default?

When that fear is big in our hearts, how can we genuinely demonstrate to our children to become caring individuals?  Can we preach something that we are not prepared to follow?

I am not asking that we should become activists in an effort to solve world problems.  But what is wrong in asking to become activists for ourselves, to weed our own hearts from the damaging fears and prejudices, plant seeds of love to sprout and grow in recognition that –

“Skin deep, we all flow red” and the fistful of muscle that beats in our chest cavity and throbs inside our skulls wants only one thing – LOVE.

What is the worst thing that can happen if we all converted to the Religion of LOVE, just for today, and tomorrow – one day at a time?

Start the day with Love – Send loving thoughts for yourself, your family, your community and the world.

Spend the day with Love – Smile and wave at everyone.  Extend loving help where possible. Don’t be a grouch. Smile does not cost anything

End the day with Love – Say thank you for the day’s events, send loving light into the world and pray that even more loving day will dawn tomorrow.

If we took time to make this an individual practice and also do it collectively, then fear will have no room in our hearts.  We can put aside our minds’ little worries, fears, pressures of various sorts of daily living and grow in love.

Continuously spending a few conscious moments everyday living in love and gratitude, we pave our way to create unity and harmony – recognizing the Fatherhood of God and Brotherhood of  man.

Fear and Love are the two swords that cannot fit into the one sheath. 

What is your choice – Fear or Love?

One binds and the other releases from our own self created shackles.

Let Love be the driver of your thoughts, words and deeds.

Until next time

With Love and Respect

Padma Ayyagari

A Simple Process for Peace of Mind……

Good morning, turquoise swami!
Good morning, turquoise swami! (Photo credit: psd)

Every morning I open my journal, put the day, date and time on the right hand corner, and start my reflective communion with the Divine within myself – “Good Morning Swami” on the left hand corner. What starts out as  deliberately neat, legible hand writing soon becomes tight small scribbles that even I can’t decipher, as my mind opens at the nib of the pen onto the paper directly without much involvement of mine.  Some call this “Morning Pages”, some call this “Journal”, others call it “Streaming Consciousness” – whatever the name, mostly what comes out, at least lately, is repetitive, self bashing of not doing enough or not having executed on promises made to myself.

However, when I first started 20 years ago, what poured out of the pen were hurts caused by others, little or big; amused observations more as judgments of other people’s behaviors; grief, anger, worry, guilt, shame – not necessarily in that order – my mind overflowed and broke its banks and wet the paper with its black or blue flood waters swirling, crawling, circling – page after page.  The ranting would stop after a few pages as the river behind the dam is emptied, ready to receive fresh rain of life only to be emptied again the next day.

This is something many people do and the process for each one is different. If I go back and read 20 years stack of books, probably my life, however boring and repetitive it might be, will open giving insights and gems of wisdom through those spilled thoughts.

Am I scared that others might read them? I used to be.  Not any more.  The journal pages are the story of how my life has been influenced, changed, modeled and modified by others, myself included.  If those observations create feelings of discomfort in others, that is their choice.  By the way, arriving at this juncture of fearless expression also is the result of regular writing.

Why do I and many like me do this every morning, just about, without fail?  This question made me reflect deeply.

I have noticed that giving vent to mind to blow open and let it steam out on to the paper, made it into an empty vessel to be open and receive life each day freshly without preconceived judgments and ideas. This process keeps my head and heart light as they don’t have the need to dwell into their stories constantly.

As a result, I have now entered into a stage called “Choiceless Awareness”, allowing me to accept good and bad equally. Yes, the stones that are thrown randomly do cause turbulence, but the ripples are only small and the stones sink quickly washed off their dirt and sit at the bottom of the lake gleaming and shining their lessons to me.

The daily process of journal writing made me own myself with all the faults and failings and there are many many layers of them.

I don’t know fully what ‘Unconditional Love’ means, nor do I know how to fully love without duty, but as my awareness grew enough, what I realize is that there is no need for me to be opinionated and judgmental .

“Every action is perfectly justifiable by the Actor, whether it is philanthropic, mundane or murderous.”  Every one (including an ax murderer) has a perfectly justifiable reasoning behind their actions, given their circumstances. Daily peeling of the layers of my mind onto paper allows me to live in this Choice Less Awareness that my duty is to condone or condemn the ACTION only, not the ACTOR.

Choice less Awareness means Ownership of Self and Acceptance of Others with all our failings and successes, and is a moment to moment, day to day process.  That is a start to create peace and love within, whilst all hell is breaking lose outside that perimeter.

Choice Less Awareness keeps me porous and yet stops reverse osmosis.  I am able to allow my presence pour into my surrounds.

Choice Less Awareness grounds and regulates my breath, brings me out of the turbulence quicker and faster.

If a simple 30 minutes investment of daily writing keeps me away from therapy, doctors and illness, why wouldn’t I want to invest in that?

Try it – you will be amazed.  It will feel artificial initially. You resist writing down as fear clouds you –

  • Fear that you may hurt others or hurt yourself,
  • Fear of being honest with yourself,
  • Fear of having to justify your actions, thoughts,
  • Fear that you would be ridiculed, blamed
  • Fear that your are wasting time,

All the fears that form the top solid layer will play with you and you literally have to continue to poke holes with your pen to let them spill out.  As layers of the mind are peeled, you will find a sense of peace descending on you even through the clouds of pain and suffering.

I sincerely urge you all to try this.  Get up 15 minutes early if you have to.  Before the world drowns you streaming through 15″ of glass via emails, facebook etc., empty your dam of built up debris.  You owe it to yourself.  We all do.  The world is drowning of enough debris without us having to contribute to it.

Peaceful mind through Choice Less Awareness happens faster through the process of journal writing.

So, get a notebook and a pen and give yourself the gift of Peace of Mind that you deserve.  Start writing a Journal.

What do you think? Is it that simple….Let me know.

Until next time

with Love and Respect

Padma Ayyagari