I AM….

If we don’t have anything to mull over about the past and get caught in the cycle of guilt & shame mostly, laced with pride and satisfaction occasionally or think about future with worry, anticipation and 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 rising, surging and receding waves of thoughts – the waters of past and future.

5 AM…If I remain still and notice, I hear the crickets drone and the rooster from the neighbor’s backyard, the fridge humming, my neck bones creaking, my left shoulder hurting, the silence I am surrounded and cocooned in intercepted by the soft clicking of the keys on the laptop as I am typing these thoughts.

In this present moment silence, there is a recognition of my solidity as well as the fluid 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 my mind to be penned.
I am aware of myself as well as my surrounds, far and near. My mind is trying desperately to create a particular chain of thought, but as soon as a thought is arising to a certain height, it is popping like a bubble. There is the 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 charge. 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, fears and anxieties, but ‘I’ am not them.

“I AM…” – anything after that is you jumping up and down with your theatrics. My mind! 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 I choose, and so I will know and live in that recognition that “I AM…”

What Is The World Saying To You Right Now?

endless practiceHow are you being challenged beyond what is familiar? Where do you sense you are being led?

These are the questions from the book that I am reading currently  called “The Endless Practice – Becoming Who You Were Born To Be” by Mark Nepo.

With the siege in Sydney before Christmas, the sieges that happened over the past three days in France costing lives of innocent victims as well as the perpetrators, and now the latest news of Boko Haram massacring over 2000 people in north Nigeria, I cannot but help ponder on what is the world actually telling us right now?

That violence is normal way of life and we passively accept it? Seems to be so doesn’t it?

Unfortunately the ‘unwanted’ has become the ‘familiar’  and we are constantly challenged in our struggles to reject that unwanted familiarity of violence riddled world invading into our lounges and homes.

In order to reject the unwanted, we either polarize ourselves between good and bad and stand firmly on one side only or we run from it all with a fear that our involvement even in thoughts might affect our safety.

Whilst we want to live in a ring of safety, we are constantly pushed to expand our ring of fear.

What capacities can we develop to not succumb to that ring of fear, to actually contract that ring?

How can we create and expand a ring of safety for ourselves, our immediate and extended families, friends and loved ones?

How can we cast a net of love to all peoples of the world so the language of violence and acts of terrorism can actually reduce?

To cast a net of love we need to first understand what love actually is and what it looks like in action – don’t we not?

  • Is Love an uprising of joy from the folds of our hearts?
  • Is it tears welling up in our eyes when we appreciate beauty?
  • Is it the concerns that arise spontaneously about the well-being of those that are closely associated with us?
  • Is it a heart wrenching pain we experience watching the innocent suffer?
  • Is it a sense of duty (Dharma) that we have, to do certain things regardless of what we have to go through?

What is Love? What does it look like? How does it feel?

I understand and experience all the various situational values of love’s expression – Caring, Empathy, Compassion etc., but the big word itself – Love – I struggle to understand.  What I do know is that Love is beyond the accepted cultural norm of expression and that it is a word that has many faces and cannot be easily captured.

These questions and the burning desire to know led me to do another exercise from the book “Writing To Wake The Soul – Opening The Sacred Conversation Within” by Karen Hering in which she asks to list random objects in your immediate area and create associated thing of the words in the list. After doing that she asks to create metaphors for Love using the words listed.

I did that and the metaphors for love that came up from the list are as follows:

  • Love is soft, thick, layered textures of a Carpet that I like to lie down on
  • Love is a fluffy, soft, comfortable support of a Cushion under my head when I take a nap
  • Love is the discipline of a Clock moving forward
  • Love is a Painting that is colorful and geometric holding many themes and patterns at the same time.
  • Love is the thick long Curtain that filters good and bad light.
  • Love is the Laundry Basket that holds clean and dirty clothes without complaining
  • Love is the Coffee Table that silently witnesses the scattered  mess on it.

How do these metaphors serve us in understanding love better?  They are only showing one thing aren’t they not?

Love is understanding and accepting both sides,  – Good & Bad, Beauty & Ugly, Light & Dark – completely without judgment and Be a Witness. Period.

It is only when we can do that do we have the capacity to extend our ring of safety and contract our ring of fear.  Accepting both sides does not mean that we condone violence.  Accepting both sides means we remember the larger wholeness in which we all belong and in so doing, we recover our wholeness within. We cannot afford to be separated from our soul because then we will be separated from life.

So what do we do? How can we live from a place of understanding and hold everyone equally in our hearts?

As hard as it may be,

  • We need to try and accept everything happening in our lives as a blessing.
  • We need to down our fear riddled masks which keep us from facing the truth and meet life fully with a vulnerability that is so human and so imperfect.
  • We need to change our thinking from fear to love. Our fears only create more fearful events because we create everything first in our thoughts.

Mark Nepo says, “When the dangers of drowning in the troubles of living are near, when feeling separate from your soul and the fear of burning up is heating up, rub the place in your chest where you feel most human, most vulnerable, and you will be perfectly returned in time to a thoroughness that will present the next step.”

Let us embrace the world knowing that we cannot fully comprehend what is going on and why.  That enables us to live in the world with a tender, open and loving heart and mind which does not contribute to the chaos but instead creates a pristine lake – the shores of which can be a shelter for all of us.

Hope you will join me in that embrace…..

Until next time

With Love and Respect

Padma Ayyagari


In The Honor of Women Everywhere….

women rising

One Billion Rising” is becoming synonymous with Valentine’s Day.  A day when a call was made last year by Eve Ensler to all women and men to rise against the violence perpetrated towards women – one in three women worldwide suffer some form of violent abuse – physical, mental, emotional, sexual etc., that often tragically leads to brutal murders. Many towns, cities and countries have heard the call and organised peaceful rallys and danced demanding justice.

We have gathered in my hometown too to honor that call and stand together against the injustices.  This year I did not have time to organise a rally locally – thought about it but didn’t, couldn’t whatever…for  many reasons, tired being one of the most important ones, I did not do anything so far and it is a bit too late to call and gather in  a public place.  But it is never too late to pick up a pen and write about it like this powerful article titled “Beneath the Tree in India” written by author Isabelle Allende how she supports women through her foundation.

All I can offer this year is the poem “I Am A Woman”  written by Lebanese Poet Joumana Haddad and hope that these words give the strength and inspiration for all the women to know, recognise and honor their true power.

“I Am A Woman” – by Joumana Haddad (Translated by Issa J Boullata)

 Nobody can guess  What I say when I am silent,

Whom I see when I close my eyes,

How I am carried away when I am carried away,

What I search for when I stretch my hands.

Nobody, nobody knows

When I am hungry, when I take a journey,

When I walk,and when I am lost.

And nobody knows That my going is a return

And my return is my abstention,

That my weakness is a mask

And my strength is a mask,

And that what is coming is a tempest.

They think they know

And I let them think so,

And I speak

They put me in a cage so that

My freedom may be a gift from them,

And I have to thank them and obey.

But I am free before them, after them,

With them, without them.

I am free in my suppression, in my defeat.

My prison is what I want!

The key to the prison may be their tongue,

But their tongue is twisted around my desire’s fingers

And my desire they can never command.

I am a Woman.

They think they own my freedom.

I let them think so,

And I speak.

So, Rise, Strike and Dance to this tune and celebrate being a woman knowing your strengths and silent power that no one can steal away from you. Be amazed at yourself….You are beautiful!!!!

Dance Away….

Until next time

With Love and Respect

Padma Ayyagari



How To Settle A Turbulent Mind?

English: A girl lost in her thoughts!
English: A girl lost in her thoughts! (Photo credit: Wikipedia)


Do you have constant mind chatter? Same recycled thoughts put through the tumble dryer of your mind? Spinning fast and slow, fast and slow, never stopping, same thoughts over and over…..I have that too….


Sometimes these thoughts and chatter disturb us so much that we end up losing our cool, feel tense, worried, stressed, frustrated to the point of angry outbursts until we off load these onto some other person.  Once dumped, the mind quietens momentarily and it all starts again.


How do we settle this turbulence, so we can fly through smoothly without any bumps?


By saying “YES”.


That’s right – say “YES” for everything.


“Assertion Creates, Negation Destroys” When I came across this statement by Sai Baba – I had to ask “HOW?”


How does Assertion create?


What does Assertion mean?  It means ‘declaration’, ‘positive statement’.


We all know the benefits of ‘positive statements’, remaining in a positive frame of mind and what it does to us in all our personality domains – physical, mental, emotional, social and spiritual.


Do we find it hard to remain positive without getting consumed by negative?


Yes, we do.


But we need to remember that positive and negative are the two sides of the same coin.  We cannot have one without the other.  When we concentrate on one in preference to the other, that is when we stop creating.


Assertion means saying ‘YES’.  We say ‘YES’ to everything.


Saying ‘YES’ does not mean we sit on the sidelines passively.


Saying ‘YES’ means we have acknowledged the things  happening both positive and negative, within and without us, without judgment.


When we acknowledge, there is no internal resistance.  We breathe, our internal organs are not scrunched up, our mind is not turbulent, our pulse is even, our heart beat is steady.


There is a stillness rising from deep within out of that simple ‘YES’.


That stillness – resounding in its silence, causes creative action to leap forward and we surprise ourselves how broadly and objectively we can think and how expansive we become.


“First Understanding, Then Adjustment” – says Sai Baba.  Assertion creates action arising out of understanding and adjustment.  Saying ‘YES’ removes the barriers from understanding.  When we understand something, we then make adjustments accordingly.


If I don’t say ‘YES’, I am closed and judgmental.  When I am closed, I don’t allow myself either to stand in other person’s shoes or even understand myself.  This applies for minor as well as major issues.


How many times do we hear people say, “But you don’t understand……..”; how many times do we say, “You don’t understand……”  It is because we are hooked to our opinions and judgments and not give permission to be open enough to listen objectively.  This more so with ourselves than with others.  It is a hard task to drop all the “Should not haves”, “Could not haves” and “Must have’s” and not feel guilty and anxious as a result.


Negation not only closes, it actually destroys us.  We are witnessing that in our lives everyday – locally or globally, individually or collectively and yet we continue to negate.


So, if assertion means saying ‘YES’ with a view to understand and then create, I am all for it.


Do you agree?


Will you join me?


Let us say ‘YES’ just for today and see how it feels.


Say ‘YES’ for everything and I  mean everything regardless of how negative it may be,  without judgment, without bias, without doubt or suspicion.  Just accept what is happening in your mind.  By accepting first, you become more creative.


Watch your mind grow calmer and calmer, resting in its own heavenly silence, occasional waves of thoughts rising, only to drop back into its silence.


Act from that expansive silence.  Our actions will be nothing but gentle, overflowing compassion towards ourselves and towards others, based on Truth and Love.


Embrace life – say ‘YES’. What do you say?


I accept your answer with a huge ‘YES”


With Love and Respect


Padma Ayyagari


“4 Fundamental Desires That Fuel The 3 Enemies – Part II”

"Energy Crisis!" ...
“Energy Crisis!” … (Photo credit: Toban B.)

Desire to Create & Desire to Experience

  • A comfortable lifestyle
  • A safe and secure future
  • Fun
  • Pleasure etc.,

Translated as physical manifestations, these two desires equate to Money and Energy.  You need money and energy to Create and to Experience.  This is what drives you to work and earn.

Now,  that desire in itself is quite noble because you don’t strive to create and experience all that just for yourself but your loved ones as well.

But when these two desires drive you constantly, incessantly and continuously, then they are prime sources for the cause of worry – don’t you think?

Excessive spending (consumerism) in the hope that somehow it creates comfort, safety, security, fun, pleasure etc.,  =  Waste of money and Waste of energy.

How do you put a Ceiling on Desire to Create &  Desire to Experience?

Do you need so much of……………., so many of…………….( You can fill in the blanks)

Do you have to keep up with what your friends have?

Are you conned by the media that unless you have X, Y, Z, you are not complete?

More = Clutter = Maintenance = Money = Energy = Worry.

Can you not have just enough of everything?

I know ‘enough’ is subjective and relative but you do know what I am talking about.

Enough shoes, enough clothes, enough stuff, enough as you are

Etc., Etc.,

How does putting a Ceiling on Desire on Money and Energy help?

It saves you money because you are not accumulating and consuming more than necessary

It saves your physical energy when excessive shopping is reduced

It saves your mental energy spent in deciding what to buy

It saves Mental and Emotional energy at the thought of storing, maintaining the stuff

It stops you from worrying as you don’t have to work so hard to keep up, nor do you have to worry about paying for things you can’t afford

It stops you from fear that you will lose

Most importantly, you will be living in the present, content with what you have

Money and energy are two powerful resources you have at your disposal.  A Ceiling on Desire on how you spend these two precious resources will result in a life that is much more balanced, centered and in the now.

The worry in the drive to create experiences, the worry that you may not be safe if you don’t have enough, will minimize immensely if you learn to live in the now, not at a future moment always.  Living in the now frees our energy.

Ceiling on Desire on Money & Energy = Contentment & Satisfaction

What do you do with all the saved money and energy?

You help others.

You find satisfaction through contribution and your longevity increases as a result.

How are you going to put this into practice?  

If you want to get ideas on how to minimize,  visit this comprehensive blog (my favorite) at http://www.zenhabits.net, particularly this post on scarcity

What areas of expending money and energy are you going to put a ceiling on?  Please leave your comments.  Love to hear from you

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


Do Judgments Offer Comfort to Us????

Sampaloc Lake
Sampaloc Lake (Photo credit: Storm Crypt)

People generally do not hesitate to freely discuss how others look and behave – fat, skinny, beautiful, ordinary, ugly, tall, short, gay, normal, abnormal etc, etc, and the list goes on…judging from physical to mental to emotional to social and even spiritual attributes – constantly eyed, compared, judged and compartmentalized.

We don’t feel comfortable unless we put everyone into neatly classified and categorized little pigeon holes and derive images based on those compartments.  We hold people to those images and get confused if they don’t fit in that, day after day, not realising nor remembering that people including ourselves, change on a daily basis.

Why do we do that?  Intentionally or unintentionally, consciously or unconsciously, with or without malice, we constantly weigh and counter weigh our interactions with each other.  Why?

Is it because we create our own identity through those comparisons?  “I am not THAT fat, I am MORE beautiful than her (often it is the opposite), I DON’T get angry like him, I will NEVER behave like that” – on and on it goes.  We try to establish ourselves in some kind of a pecking order and either feel elated that we are NOT like the negativity we observe or feel dejected that we can NEVER be like the positive or beautiful…

Not a day goes by without comparisons.  Judgments and criticisms  constantly plague people’s minds and make them feel inferior or superior.  All this happens within split seconds and often judgments are passed as observations. In those observations, we make a point of saying without saying that I am better or worse than that.

Expressed observations also are judgments only without the lace of criticism or ridicule.  Our identity primarily stems from comparison and belonging.  Without saying it loud, we form tribes based on our likes and dislikes.

Is it possible not to do that?  Is it possible to have a mind so clear as a lake on a windless, summer morning – clear, shiny, bright and still – the occasional breeze of thought gently rippling over the surface and settling immediately into its own stillness?  Is it possible to have a mind like that?


When the occasional ripple of thought does not become a rip or a whirlpool, yes, the mind can be clear and still.  When thoughts entering are not acted on or reacted to, they quickly settle to the bottom into the debris of the lake bed.

A stone of judgment thrown into the mind’s lake will sink and stir the debris.  But the only way the lake gets polluted is if the winds of emotions continue to hit the surface of the lake and keep the stone swirling and does not give a chance to settle the stirred debris.  We cannot get rid of the stone/s.  Stones enter into a lake, let them and see that they sink to the bottom rapidly.  Dont’ try to dig them out.

Let thoughts enter and settle in. We don’t need to keep digging the thoughts out with statements like – “I shouldn’t, I mustn’t, I couldn’t” or statements/expressions like – “How could she/he/they/it”, or even thoughts like”How could I”…

These ‘should’s, musts, could’s’ are the strong currents that keep the stones from sinking.

So, how can we not do that?

Recognize the fact that judgments do not offer comfort.  They are divisive and keep us separate from each other.  Judgments are directly proportional to separatist attitudes.

We are the various branches of the one tree.  Lord Krishna said – “I have separated myself from myself, so I can experience myself”.  We all came from the one source and return back to the same source.  The brief sojourn we face on this earth is the colorful manifestation of that one source separated from itself into tiny fragments – complete and incomplete at the same time.  How can a fragment judge another fragment which is part of the same whole?  The whole cannot be formed unless the fragments join together like a jig saw puzzle.  The picture is incomplete even if one piece is destroyed.

We know this intellectually and yet fail to practice as we fall prey to the rampantly prevailing contemporary competition – a monologue that bombards us with a message that we can only be complete if we are better than..something or somebody. This is filtered from individuals through to the countries even with lightening speed and velocity.  We get sucked into this without realizing. It takes all our efforts to extricate ourselves from that message and reach deep within to the comfort offered by that Source which whispers gently – “YOU ARE ENOUGH AS YOU ARE”

How do we listen to that whisper?

Regular Meditation and deep breathing are a couple of practices that would help us to listen to that whisper and allow it to take over.  Meditation increases the Gamma Brain wave activity which is nature’s best anti-depressant.  Gamma Brain Waves are associated with ‘feelings of blessings’ and high Gamma Brain wave activity equals naturally happier, calmer and more at peace people.

As we become more at peace we stop judging ourselves, therefore others and a feeling of oneness grows.

This feeling of oneness and unity is what offers comfort as we grow as a community.  Judgments NEVER offer comfort….

What do you think? Drop a comment here..Would love to hear from you

Until next week

With Love and Respect

Padma Ayyagari



The One Statement That Will Avoid A Ton Of Pain…..

English: Illustration of the pain pathway in R...
(Illustration of the pain pathway in René Descartes’ traite de l’homme (Treatise of Man) 1664.  (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

We are surrounded by pain and suffering in this world, ours and others.  We cannot escape it.  From dis-ease to death and everything in between, suffering is a huge part of our lives.  Financial problems, relationship problems, health problems, deaths, accidents at a personal level; war, poverty, drought, famine, floods, earthquakes that cause pain and suffering at a larger scale, we are surrounded by it.  

In fact some would say that suffering IS life as the face of pleasures remain in distant future glowing in the darkness of suffering.  Some pain is more severe than the others, nevertheless, my pain always causes more suffering to me.  We get attached to our personal stories and want answers even as doubts and anxiety rage our minds.

However, there is ONE Statement when lived can help us navigate through pain and suffering more easily.  That statement does not alter the reality of any situation, but it helps in shifting my perception of the situation.

Want to know what that statement is?

“Whatever is happening in my life is life’s gift to me…”

If we believe in God, rephrasing the sentence would read…

“Everything that is happening is God’s gift to me…..”

I think Life, God, Love are interchangeable terms,  Even when one does not believe in God, one does not negate Life or Love.

So, “Whatever is happening in my life is life’s gift to me..”

What happens when we live in that thought and with that statement completely?

  • A calmness descends with that acceptance even as things around us get turbulent
  • We become objective therefore get clarity in our thinking.
  • We witness events whilst being part of the events
  • We are not in pain.
  • We become proactive.
  • We don’t get depressed and take a ride on an emotional roller coaster.
  • We become grounded with enhanced awareness that gives presence.
  • We are present in the Now.
  • Eventually, we live in equanimity regardless of what is happening.

Is it really possible to live with that thought?  

I have personally navigated through illness, accidents, financial problems, relationship problems etc., using that statement as my anchor.  So I can say, Yes, it is possible to live with that thought and achieve all of the above.  Generally we are wise in hindsight.  Hindsight reflections almost always point out that the seemingly worst thing that had happened in one’s life was actually a gift as the person has gained something from that experience.

I know it is hard to believe that, especially if the pain is due to the departure of a loved one – timely or untimely.  Major pain like that cannot be easily silenced with a simplistic sounding statement.  But most of the time what we put ourselves through and the resulting pain can be alleviated as we shift our perception.

When we accept everything as a gift, we are actually removing ourselves as the central part of an unfolding story.  When “I” am not the main character in a story, I can get detached and become a curious spectator, especially when I don’t know the ending of the story and not trying hard to steer it towards a particular ending I want.

Life takes turns and twists and the best outcome will surface regardless of we are acting in it absorbed or become spectators even whilst acting it out.  A tad of separation creates that distance and we can become objective witnesses.  That detaches us from pain and gives us the capacity to completely accept what is happening.

“Whatever is happening in my life is life’s gift to me…”

Try that line of thinking.  Make it a moment to moment reality and accept whatever is happening.  It will sure avoid a ton of pain.

As Sai Baba said, that statement is the clutch that shifts the gear of happiness and sorrow smoothly, because accepting everything that is happening as life/God’s gift is the true name of Surrender.

Do you agree?

Are you willing to try? Share your experiences.  Would love to know.

Until next week

With Love and Respect

Padma Ayyagari


Do You Do This???

Words (Photo credit: sirwiseowl)

Alarm rings early………..

Hit snooze, too tired.  I will get up in a minute…..

Another hour passed before I jump out of bed.

It is Tuesday morning, my blog publishing day. I got up an hour late than I promised to myself.  Not much time to write, edit, polish and publish the blog post.  I hit the pages panicking with an eye on the clock.  I manage to  finish but the work I produce can be of a better standard.  The rush and anxiety I experience in meeting a deadline can be avoided and I can be more productive if I stick to my original thought that I should consistently work on it earlier than the due date and also get up when the alarm rings.

Promises made to myself, broken time and again.  Nothing earth shattering, little promises, little thoughts, expressed and denied in action as words try and justify the action through counter thoughts.  I am constantly contradicting myself.  There is not much congruence in what I think, I say and I do.

Result – minor irritating dissatisfaction with myself and a deeply settled discontentment and unhappiness for not having kept the word.  Lack of Unity in Thought, Word and Deed.

Now that might seem like a minor example that can be justified with a thousand reasons why I didn’t/couldn’t get up early.  Perfectly valid and I convince myself and make another promise to myself – ‘Tomorrow, Definitely,’ and the cycle may repeat again and again and again.  Before I know I even stop making that promise to myself and leave it in a too hard a basket with a permanent label attached to it, ‘I am not a morning person’ or ‘ I can’t get up early.’

When I don’t practice Unity in Thought, Word and Deed, what is my relationship with me? I can’t trust myself in my own capacities, I limit myself and settle with an increasing discontentment that is drowned in external noise.  I have lost a piece of myself.

Sounds extreme doesn’t it?

Same with my relationship with others.  I think one thing, say something different and do something totally different yet again.  When I behave like this, what is my relationship with others?  They can’t trust me.  I am not a person of integrity.

So what is the basis for authentic relationships?  Unity in Thought, Word and Deed or Unity in Head,  Heart and Hand.

What does it mean?  As it suggests, we think, say and do the same thing always, at all times, in all things, with all people including myself.  It is not just that, but the unity and harmony in the three should emanate from the highest and noblest in us.  Otherwise we will make more enemies than we can handle or justify our own actions to suit us.

The highest and noblest in us always thinks, says and does the right things that do not harm us or the others.  This is possible only when we live our lives in congruence with the 5 Human Values of Love, Truth, Right Conduct, Peace and Non-Violence.

Spiritual journey involves becoming self aware not just of our strengths but of our weaknesses as well, knowing our less positive motives, thoughts, feelings and prejudices and modulating our behavior in light of this knowledge.  As our knowledge of self increase,we start to go beyond body and mind identification.

Unity of Head, Heart and Hand is difficult when we identify with the body and mind.  When we belive the ‘I’ in us is the subject and everything around us is ‘object’, we are cautious in our actions.  We let our ego boundaries down only when we feel safe.  We open up with people whom we identify as ours.

Practicing Unity of Head, Heart and Hand in little things to big things makes us fearless.  We feel comfortable and at peace with ourselves no matter what the outcome. We do not need to pretend or defend ourselves.  As our personal integrity grows, our relationships based on Unity of Head, Heart and Hand are pure, unselfish, honest, free from personal agendas and we do not wear any masks.  We form genuine and authentic relationships that will be long lasting.

As our subjective happiness and sense of well being increases, our stress levels decrease and health improves.  Spiritual progress can only take place with Unity of Head, Heart and Hand.

So what Spiritual Practices can help in enhancing our self awareness?  What can we do to regulate our own thoughts, words and actions first and foremost?

Daily meditation is one practice that helps in growing self-awareness.  As the awareness increases we catch ourselves and stop even if nobody is noticing.

Keeping up small promises that we make to ourselves increases the capacity for Unity in Thought, Word and Deed.  So, tomorrow when the alarm goes off at 4AM, I know what to do and it is NOT hitting the snooze button.

Another helpful practice is a daily Self-Audit where you examine your actions throughout the day and modify anything that is not congruent.

What do you think? Is Unity of Thought, Word and Deed a required mandatory practice for Self-Transformation?

Eager to hear your thoughts.  Drop a line and let me know.

Until next time

With Love and Respect

Padma Ayyagari

4 Fundamental Desires……….. Part 3

Desire path on Monken Hadley Common
Desire path on Monken Hadley Common (Photo credit: Kake Pugh)


You want to continue your life perpetually, a burning desire to live, to leave a mark, to create a legacy.

This desire is entrenched in you and you don’t even realise it

Every activity you undertake, every thought you have, every memory you hold stems from this desire to continue.

Deep down you know that your existence on this plane is limited and you want to stretch that.

The Desire for Continuity is rooted in thought, memory and word.

Thought, memory and word are of time – time either past or time in future.

Time – It doesn’t show any bias to anyone, it dishes out the exact same amount to each one of us.

We have 24hrs at our disposal – never to return once gone.

In that 24hrs you experience your own self projections created from your thoughts, words and memories – there is no freshness in this and time is wasted.

When you make plans constantly and live in your plans – you are trying to create permanency.

When you watch excess TV, surf internet, chat constantly etc.,- you are trying to hold time still and create permanency, all the while realizing that it is fleeting from you.

Result – Hurry.  Desire for Continuity is the fuel for the Enemy of Hurry.

By ignoring the present moment, caught up in either future plans or fears of executing the plans, knowing that you have wasted time, feeling guilty, you hurry to catch up with the present moment – a moment that just slipped into the past.

So, you eagerly look to the future moment waiting to arrive – with bated breath, holding yourself in fear, worry – comforting yourself at the same time that the future moment hasn’t arrived and slip back into your activity.

You suddenly realise that the future moment arrived, not only has it arrived but it already slipped into the past because you only realise when it is gone, you feel guilty etc., and the cycle repeats.

You are constantly hurrying to catch up with the present moment that is just past and leaped into the future, arrived into the present and gone again.  The catch up game never ends.

Desire for Continuity – rooted in thought, word and memory – a total mind game.

How do you hold time? Can you hold time?

The obvious answer is NO.  So what is the solution to avoid the ‘hurry and catch up game’?

Put a Ceiling on Desire on how you spend time.

Instead of watching same news at 3 different times on 3 different channels, limit it to one and instantly gain an hour.

Instead of endless surfing on the internet, limit the time that  you spend on it.

Instead of subscribing to countless number of blogs that sounded interesting at the time, limit them to a couple that are most relevant to you

Don’t let screens take over your life – (says me, who spends most of her waking time in front of a screen – my laptop, but hey! I am alerting you to the perils of it – on the screen –  aren’t I?)

You would be amazed at how much time you would gain in simply being aware of how you are spending it and where you can gain it.

Just becoming aware of yourself in your surroundings, bringing yourself to the present moment constantly – not only saves you from hurrying, but also gives you a presence in your life.  You become alive, not caught in the mental gymnastics that your mind constantly engages you in.

Living in the present moment does not leave room for guilt, fear, worry or hurry.

When you are not hurried, you have patience.

When you have patience, you become loving and kind.

When you are loving and kind, you are healthy  not just mentally, but physically, emotionally, socially and spiritually.

Desire for Continuity is fulfilled as you are leaving a legacy of how good, loving and kind a person you are.

Same desire, two different results – all because you have decided to put a ceiling on how you spend your available time.

So what do you do with your available time?

You can work on yourself – creating a healthy you

You can spend it with your family – creating a healthy family

You can serve in your community – creating a healthy community

A healthy you, a healthy family and a healthy community creates a better world.

Think about it – all this because you decided to put a ceiling on how you spend your time.

Ceiling on Desires on Food, Money, Energy and Time –  is not about not having desires or not fulfilling desires.

Ceiliing on Desires is about recognising the excessive desires in these 4 areas that can take over our lives and then consciously putting a limit on fulfilling them, so we still enjoy those but in moderation.

The freed up resources of Food, Money, Energy and Time are then put to good use for the benefit of the individual, the family and the society.

Ceiling on Desires is a simple spiritual practice that is steeped in respect and love for oneself and for the world that one lives in.

Ceiling on Desires is a practice that is loaded with potential to create a loving, united and harmonious world.

Will you practice Ceiling on Desires?  I am………..trying to

Tell me where you can put a Ceiling on Desire on Time?  Leave your comments

With Love and Respect

Padma Ayyagari