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


“Everything Everywhere Is Just As It Should Be…Really?”


This statement – that I used to use a lot and regularly used by my ‘seeking’ friends, made me stop once again in my tracks as lately I have begun to question the commonly held spiritual beliefs handed down either through scriptures or elders and teachers or both.

I have never explored this statement and today, the last sentence of David Whyte’s poem – “Revelations must be terrible” stopped me.  the poem says a lot more and no doubt the last sentence is intertwined with everything before it, however, it threw me into deep reflection.

“You could flow on without a speck/of guilt and everything/Everywhere would still be just as it should be”

Do I agree with that statement? The tumble dryer in my head started whizzing.  Turn – Stop – Start – Turn – Stop…..and it was going in circles.

How can I convince myself with that statement when I see a homeless person’s anguish, or a drug addicts craving induced suffering, or parents grief over untimely deaths of their children due to stupid mistakes, or wars between countries or mindless crime, or pain induced in people over rampant unfulfilled desires that drive the loins, groins and the purses as well, minds that hold desires and uncontrollable appetites to have more, to do more and convinced that it is their right to possess, cherish or destroy at any cost, etc., etc., – is this the way ‘just as it should be?’

How can I sit on the sidelines and watch stories like young Brishan a 10 year old rape survivor who is under the threat of an honor killing, one exposed brutality amongst the many millions and think that everything is just the way it should be?

Have I no duty towards the world that I co-create in its beauty and chaos equally? Is that statement a shield that acts as a protection for  my ‘self’ from the pain in the world even as I feel helpless in the face of observed cruelties?

I went for a walk with the statement again, trying not to passively accept the ‘Law of Karma’ as an answer that my anguished mind was readily willing to declare as a solution so it can avoid the pain.

“Yes, everything is just as it should be” it tried to reassure me.  “Don’t you remember what Lord Krishna said in Bhagavad Gita, Not even a blade of grass moves without my will, don’t you remember that?” it asked.  And then my mind continued to give me a sermon over concepts that I have fed it over the years.  “They are reaping their past life karma, the victim in this life must have been the perpetrator of crime in another lifetime and the cycle continues…you see..” the superiority with which it gave me the ready made book answers was irritating.

But, I argued, what is my duty in all this?  As a citizen of the world am I to just accept that theory and not act?  What am I supposed to do?


I was on the main street by now, towards the Airport and a Reserve along the mighty Murray River.  There were a few cars going past, perhaps to work.  Sun was up, clear blue skies and crisp morning air, we are going through the last of the colds that enter in the middle of spring, determined to keep us from feeling warm and comfortable so soon.  The forklift driver at the nursery and garden shop was shifting pots from inside to display out on the pavement for gardeners that will arrive soon looking to beautify their patches that give them pleasure.

Everything is just the way it should be, or is it? What does it mean?

My footsteps made the Ibis fly away from its slumber in the marsh next to the bridge over the creek. Two ducks hurriedly moved out of my way continuing to pick the unseen worms from the damp earth.

I was struggling to think that I have no role to play in the events of life other than be a silent spectator if I accepted that statement.  Wouldn’t that helpless acceptance of a statement cause indifference and apathy? Am I just living day to day caught in my mundane survival oscillating between my own pain and pleasure, busy, oblivious to the world, only ‘tch tch-ing’ at the horrid images that flick past my screen for a moment or two and then quickly forgetting because there is nothing I can do so why bother?  because Everything everywhere is just as it should be – right?

A brown Honey eater flew from out of the tree, swooped onto the road a few meters ahead of me and with its sharp beak picked up a flirting butterfly.  The wings of the butterfly fluttered for a while as the wings of the bird carried it away with its prized catch – food, life, sustenance to one; pain and death to the other.

The earth rotates causing cycles of weather, day and night.  Life follows by death follows by life – regardless of whether I question or demand or pain over its course. Human emotions too recycle don’t they, collecting and discarding – hinging their survival on the intervals of happiness between pleasure and pain? Yes, true, but, the question still lingered in my mind worried that accepting that statement will make me an apathetic and indifferent spectator of my life and in the world.

I looked ahead and there was my answer, looking back at me, standing tall, strong, unmovable and firmly grounded – a thirty plus feet tall Gum Tree.


My mind went into a scramble – “but,but, how, are you mad, but, how is it an answer?” It was incoherent even as my heart expanded in full knowing and said ‘YES’

There is the answer for ‘not why everything is just as it should be’, but for ‘what is my role in life if everything is just as it should be.’

My role like the tree is to be a witness to everything, even as I am fulfilling the duties assigned to me. A tree stands tall, firm, takes CO2 and releases Oxygen, gives shade and shelter to good and bad alike, sheds its weight without complaining even as it shines its smooth inner surface silently, unaffected, calm, grounded, witnessing everything around even as it performs its duty with complete acceptance.TreeBark

I have/We all have the same capacity – to be a witness, encircled by smooth and rough events and continue to do our assigned duties with love and without complaints so our inner beauty radiates with kindness and compassion in all its splendor.

Confused..don’t you see, that is exactly what David Whyte is saying – whether I feel guilty or worry over things in my life or pain over events of the world, things continue.  Everything is just the way it should be.  That’s a given.  My guilt and worry causes pain to me and does not alter a thing.  Being aware of that and accepting the cycles of life and death and everything in between, and, doing my duty a 110% with love is the only thing I can do.

When I am a witness, my creative capacity is enhanced because I am not caught in the cycle of pain and pleasure and become immobilized. When I am creative, I find solutions for problems.  If not solutions, at least I am capable of sending pure thoughts and intentions towards victims and perpetrators of crime at the same time.  Even as I remove myself from the drama, I can be the strength for the others as they come to lean on that strength.  I become selfless in everything I say and do.

In this witness mode and with complete acceptance of things just the way they are, the statement – “Everything Everywhere Is Just As It Should Be” helps me meet life with reverence and gratitude as a blanket of peace settles over me fr0m which rises grounded and constructive action.

Yes, Everything Everywhere Is Just As It Should Be.  Do you agree or do you think otherwise? Please drop a line, would love to hear your thoughts.

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



5 Ways To Bring Love Into Your Life – A Gift Offer

Love Love Love
Love Love Love (Photo credit: Gregory Jordan)

I have written this post for Christmas 2011.  The reason to re blog this is to offer a gift to all my readers so far, who actually grew in number recently.  Thank you for taking time to read and comment.  I really appreciate it. Read on and there is a gift to download

A year and a bit later, whether it is festive season or not, I have grown to believe that every day is a festival if we want to be.  The choice is ours.  If we dwell in our story and only look at the story taking wrong turns, then it will be hard to share the love.

There is a manifesto to download and it is yours for FREE.  Download it, print it, share it – do whatever –  your choice.  My only hope is that you like it and live it.

So here is the blog from Christmas 2011.

This  is the season of Joy, Fun, Friendship and Love.  A season to take stock on how our lives are travelling and to bring more of what we cherish. ‘ Love’ stands right there at the top of the list along with Truth, Peace, Right-Conduct and Non-Violence.

However what we find in today’s fast paced society is that these are the rapidly declining values.

We all agree that we need to slow down and bring back our attention to how we manifest what we truly are – Love

As it is said in the Bible

1 Corinthians 13:4-7

Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.

Can we live up to that – Yes we can

Do we have the potential – Of course we do

Its just that our potential to love is covered under the many layers of soot of busyness, of trying to win the rat race, of selfishness, of greed, of jealousy, of envy, of anger, of hatred, of desire etc.,

When we blow this soot away gently with the winds of Truth and Right-Conduct , the embers of red hot Love will be visible underneath glowing in Peace and Non-Violence.

Want to know how to do this?

Get your free copy of ‘Manifesto of Love’ attached below and find out how Love is the undercurrent of all human values.  This is my thank you gift to you all for supporting me in this blogging adventure.  It was a learning experience and I am slowly getting a handle on how to write, how to blog and how to serve you all through this.

Manifesto of love

Wish you all Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. Hope 2012 brings you all the joy, happiness, health and wealth that you deserve.

I am sincerely hoping, wishing, desiring that I will be able to share a lot more with you through this blog.  I hope you do enjoy reading, if you do please subscribe.

Until next time

With Love and Respect

Padma Ayyagari

How To Avoid The Emotional Roller Coaster……

English: Roller coaster in Xetululu, Guatemala
English: Roller coaster in Xetululu, Guatemala (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Do you feel angry, upset, sad one minute and excited, happy and joyful the next?

Do you feel bored, hopeless one day and full of inspiration and hope the next?

I do…

We all do…ride on the emotional roller coaster and go round and round on a regular basis if not on a daily basis.  UPpppp we go only to come down and again rise upppppp and come downnnnnnnn.

Over and over, again and again, the thrill that we get of being on that roller coaster is what we call life even though it churns our insides out and almost spills.  Most of the time, we catch the spills before they spill, and yet other times we just let the spills out like a broken water hydrant.

We tell ourselves not to feel THAT way, we beg others NOT to feel THAT way, THAT way being – angry, sad, upset, frustrated, jealous, bored, anxious, envious, angry…..on and on it goes like I am here right now.

Can anyone tell us how to or how not to feel? Can we stop ourselves from feeling? I guess we will be 6 feet under, the day we stop feeling.

Feelings are the natural expressions of emotions.  We cannot stop having them.  No one can tell us how to feel one way or the other. So, why do we have such reactions to our feelings?

If we cannot stop having the feelings, what matters then is what we do with them – does it not?

Our feelings need not be given expression, they can just sit within us as we acknowledge and acept them, certainly other people should not be the targets of our feelings.

As we acknowledge our feelings without judgment, they dissipate.  Feelings persist stubbornly because we don’t acknowledge them with complete acceptance.  The moment I feel something like anger or jealousy, I tell myself that “I shouldn’t be like that”, or that “it is wrong to feel that way” or “it is not nice to think like that”.

Feelings are like children.  When we ask a child “not to do something”, that is the exact thing they attempt to do.  Same with feelings.  When we say “Don’t feel that way”, the intensity of the feeling increases or gets suppressed and pushed down, never acknowledged and never accepted.  When enough layers are built, there will be no room left, so they spill out, usually as attacks on somebody.  Once purged, we carry on until the next layers build.  We have never processed them properly and given them a rightful place.

Feelings are as natural as breathing.  We don’t say it is wrong to breathe heavily, laboriously or smoothly.  We accept our changing breathing patterns without questioning.  So why don’t we accept our feelings without questioning ‘why’ or putting a judgment on them?

If we accept our feelings without questioning, they disappear as fast as they arise.  When I am angry, saying “I am angry” is enough.  It doesn’t have to be “angry at..” or “angry because…”.

I always have a choice of how I act or react with my feelings.

Reaction is the unfortunate accepted norm of society.  In reaction there is blame and judgment.  In action there is acknowledgment, acceptance and compassion.  So there is nothing inherently wrong in feelings.  It is how we express them that causes conflict – conflict within ourselves and with others.

Feelings arise.  We accept the feeling that has risen with no judgment.  Solutions appear.

Creation happens from acceptance.  

Acceptance requires Self-Love.

Do you love yourself enough to acknowledge your rising feelings without judgment and guilt or ridicule…

Next time you are feeling whatever — angry, sad, upset, anxious – try just saying “I am (feeling word)” and accept it completely without naming and blaming the cause or the causer and see what happens… You will be surprised.

Would you like to try? I would love to hear the results. Share them here.

Until next week…

With Love and Respect

Padma Ayyagari



The Greatest Gift that We can give……….

Christmas gifts.


Festive season is over.  New year had begun.  It will be a while before the gift giving frenzy starts.  Some decide it is too much to give gifts and not give at all.  Others do ‘chris cringles’, select one person to give, and yet others give everybody either happily or begrudgingly. However,  during the lead up to Christmas just about everyone has this exasperated sigh in their conversation – “I haven’t even started my Christmas shopping yet”, “I don’t know what to give”, “I might just give a gift card or money, they can get what they want”… etc., etc,


Is gift giving a token gesture or is it more than that? Why do we give gifts anyway? Can we be unacceptable to each other during the entire year and expect to change that through a token gesture? Lot of questions that I am sure we ponder upon every year during the festive season.


We all want to do the best for the other.  We want to give as giving is our nature.


Did you ever stop to think of the greatest gift that we can ever give to each other? Is there such a thing as greatest gift?


Yes there is…


The greatest gift that we can give is…….


“Allowing others TO BE….”


Sad, Mad or Glad;


Silly or Jolly;


Content or Discontent;


or any number of combinations that we find expressed as human nature.


Allowing others TO BE, without judgment, criticisms, opinions, approval, disapproval etc., etc, is the greatest gift we can give each other.


Why is this a greatest gift? 




1.  It maintains human harmony.


2.  It maintains personal health.  When we have no judgments on others, we have no issues with our emotional status ( no imbalance). Emotional imbalance is a primary cause for dis-ease.


3.  It brings social cohesion through transparency. Allowing others ‘TO BE’ helps them to make choices freely.  As people can relate to us as they are, our friendships improve.  Others find it comfortable to be in our presence.


4.  This gift has no ‘expiry date’ or ‘return policy’ and is perpetual as well as refreshingly new each time.


Is it easy to give a gift?


Yes, only if we are comfortable in who we are.


Often, we judge in others what we find in ourselves as unacceptable.  Our disappointments and frustrations increase as our expectations are not met and we end up withdrawing Love or limiting our love.


When we are comfortable in our own skin and have accepted ourselves completely and unconditionally, then we have the capacity to accept the other completely and unconditionally.  We do this well with strangers but often fail to do this with people who are close to us.


The key to get to this state of being is to acknowledge the source of power within, which is the same in everyone and ignore the outer boundaries or shells.  The source within wants only one thing – to express itself grandly.  That expression is only possible when we allow it through acceptance.


If it is such an easy to give gift, why do we hesitate to do so…


because we are not taught how to do this.  We are living and growing in times where blame is the name of the game and expecting everybody else to change is the rule to win the game.  Allowing others ‘to be’ is a threat to our identity.  We exclusively talk about being inclusive. The distinctive differences in appearances firmly keep us entrenched in our ‘us’ and ‘them’ thinking and we poke our heads through our silos and extend our hands over to make friendships.  We ‘tolerate’ each other than ‘understand’ each other.  Tolerance hardens the walls of the silos whilst understanding makes them porous.


What can we do to promote ‘understanding and acceptance’


When we put ourselves in the other’s shoes and judge our actions against that background, understanding will improve and acceptance follows when we are being ourselves.


So, the the greatest gift that we can give others is allowing them TO BE and the key to do this is to be understanding and accepting of ourselves as we are.


Isn’t that a double pronged gift?


What do you think?


Agree or disagree – leave a comment. Would love to hear from you.


Until Next Week


With Love and Respect


Padma Ayyagari


PS: New Year resolution of mine to write this blog once a week and post every Saturday. I know today is Sunday, I missed it because I wasn’t well yesterday.  But I intend to keep to this schedule of posting every Saturday and I hope you will join me on Saturday’s.  Your suggestions on topics also is most welcome.








WATCH Out!!!!!!!!!!!

Words, words and words


What am I to watch out –  I hear you ask.


It is a phrase we use frequently.


“WATCH OUT “…….cautions a Parent


“WATCH IT”………warns a Friend or a Foe


“WATCH WHAT?”…………says my mind.


The cautioning of the parent is about – Words


The warning of a friend or a foe is about – Actions


The inquiry of my mind is about – Thoughts


regarding watching out my – Character


and my – Heart


So watching Words, Actions, and Thoughts will give shape to Character that oozes the Love in my Heart.


If it all starts with words,  what kind of words?


Words that are Soft, Sweet and Loving only – all the time and in all times.  For that to happen our words have to go through the following gate keepers – says  Sathya Sai Baba.

Before we say anything we should ask ourselves –


“Is this the Truth?


Will it hurt me?


Will it hurt the others?


Will it improve on silence?”


The answers will determine whether I should say anything.


Well, then I won’t have much to say EVER, will I?




Seriously, if my words are the first step in shaping my character, then I will be W.A.T.C.H…ing my words.  Will you join me?


What kind of Words will you use with yourself and others, what will your Actions be like and what Thoughts will drive those Actions – today, tomorrow and the day after?


Let me know. I am keen to hear.


With Love and Respect


Padma Ayyagari


What Do You Think?

A woman thinking
A woman thinking (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

“A Woman beheaded in remote India”, “A Woman shot to death publicly in Afghanistan” – Honor killings!!

Why is ‘Honor’ seemingly smudged by women only? Why is killing in the name of ‘honor’ glorified?

It hurts to see that in this 21st century, there are still primitive pockets of thinking in the world and freedom is denied freely and dished out randomly.

Is honor limited to one gender?  Is upholding honor only one sided responsibility? What is honor, who decides what it is?

‘Honor’ is defined as – “Principled uprightness of character, personal integrity”. That definition, I can accept.  Another definition – “A woman’s chastity or reputation for chastity”.  Now I have trouble with this.  Why is chastity a woman’s responsibility alone. Can a woman’s chastity be lost single handedly?  Where is the man’s responsibility in this?

Two barbaric punishments dished out by men even though men were equal partners in the so called crime.  Why aren’t the men involved in this ‘beheaded or shot’?  Why just the women?

I am sure I am not alone when I say my blood boils at this injustice.  How can we silently witness these atrocious crimes?  Yes the perpetrators will be punished (hopefully) by the legal systems.  But the message would have gone out as an act of courage and the uneducated would openly or silently cheer. Thus the crime perpetuates.

Is there a remedy for this?  How can this level of thinking that is based on and justified by Religion, dogma, superstition, most of all – Fear, be changed?

This is also “keeping up with the Jones’s”syndrome isn’t it?  The fear of what others may think drives people to go to any length, whether it is material acquisitions at any cost or to the extreme cases as these.  Generally, we live for other people and what they think.

As these heinous crimes happen, we in the civil world shake our heads, try to understand, cannot comprehend how anyone can do things like that and go about our business, because we are so far away physically and also far removed mentally.

Are we really?

Do we not commit the same crimes mentally?  Do we not shoot the other person mentally with our harsh thinking?  Do we not behead each other with our unkind words – spoken or thought?

The potential to harm is in each one of us.  Some act it out openly and majority silently.  But the potential is there.  Cruel words, harsh thinking, brutal acts – we are all capable of them and are culprits in committing some of these acts.

What is the remedy? Is there a remedy?  What can we do?

I know I am not capable of transforming people in my immediate environment let alone men in far away places riddled with dogmatic thinking or women living in constant fear.  What I am capable of though is transforming the wrinkled corners of  my mind and heart.

I am capable of not thinking harsh thoughts about others and myself.

I am capable of speaking softly, sweetly and lovingly instead of shooting bullets of angry words.

I am capable of showering rain of compassion and understanding.

I am capable of doing the right things whether being observed or not.

I am capable of thinking, saying and doing the same thing thus avoiding clashes in my own being.

I am capable of being a conduit for Love and Peace rather than Fear and Anger.

Mostly, I am capable of being aware that I am capable.

Only I can bring these capacities into action that will transform me causing the “Butterfly effect”. Just like the theory describes, a butterfly might create tiny changes in the atmosphere that may ultimately alter the path of a tornado or delay, accelerate or prevent the occurence of a tornado in another location, a change in me will cause transformation in another and in another and so on – a sure change, one person at a time.

Now, this may take a long time before it reaches the real areas needing fast change for better, but the momentum is already in place and more and more individuals need to join in this quest for self-transformation.  We no longer can afford to think “what can I do single handed” and resign.

We can do a ‘LOT’ single handed.  We can start by changing one aspect of ours that is bothering us, that we know will benefit us and gradually add another to it. The very first one would be to ‘Stop Being Critical’ of ourselves and of others and replace it with ‘Compassion’.

Every creation happens twice – once in our thoughts and then physically.

  • Set a time limit each day initially to practice Compassion and gradually increase it so before we know, we will be compassionate all the time.
  • Become aware of thoughts randomly and incessantly running through our heads and reject them one at a time.
  • Replace with Kind and Compassionate thoughts.  This would be a slow but sure process for transformation.

You think it will work? Drop a line to let me know.

Until next time

Be Kind and Compassionate towards yourselves and others – one thought at a time………

With Love and Respect

Padma Ayyagari


Who is A ‘Guru’?

Full moon rising, seen through the Belt of Venus

The word ‘Guru’ has lot of negative connotations in the western world.  It is understandable because in a world full of horror stories of how Guru’s exploit the innocent, a cautious approach to that word is expected.

So, what does the word ‘Guru’ mean?

Today is the auspicious day of ‘Guru Purnima’ and understanding what ‘Guru’ really means is important.

‘Guru’ is a Sanskrit word and is made of two syllables. ‘Gu’ signifies darkness and ‘Ru’ denotes that which dispels darkness.The term “Guru” means one who dispels the darkness of ignorance.

What are we ignorant of, that needs dispelling?  We are ignorant of our own inherent goodness and capacity.  We are ignorant of our capacity to manifest love in all situations.  We are ignorant of our potential hidden within us.  We delve in darkness created by our own limited thinking arising due to attachments and desires.

The truth is, we are beyond the limits that we place on ourselves.  When we shine the light on that darkness that we have created, it disappears.  It was  not darkness, it was absence of light.

How do we shine light on our darkness?  There is no better ‘Guru’ than our conscience – that little voice inside of us which quietly and continuously whispers right words of advice, which we tend to ignore or not hear at all because our mind’s voice is so loud. That tiny voice that makes us recognise the right from wrong, that makes us squirm uncomfortably until we hear its reasoning, that voice is our true Guru because it is without attributes, and is formless.  Another meaning of ‘Guru’.  Gu = without attributes and Ra = without form.

If we heed that voice, which is non-judgmental, patient, loving and truthful in its persistence and is always steering us in the right direction, we are living the path of Righteousness or Right Conduct or Dharma. We are following our ‘Guru’.

It is because our minds are so clouded we tend not to trust that little voice or even unable to tell the difference when it is our inner voice speaking and when it is our mind’s voice shouting.

How do we develop the capacity to discern the difference? Usually the first impressions we get is the inner voice speaking to us.  When there are nagging doubts about something, when something doesn’t feel right or when we get a distinct feeling in the gut, usually that is the ‘inner voice’ trying to get our attention.  It gets bold and loud when we listen to it and follow its advice.  Just as a true Guru never deserts his pupil, the inner voice too, never goes away. We can only strengthen it by paying attention to it and trusting its guidance.  Before we know, we are confidently walking on our chosen path brightly lit by our own indwelling ‘Guru’.

We may need teachers who can show that path but ultimately the ‘Guru’ that we need is right under our noses

Do you agree?

Drop a line here in comments or on Facebook. Would love to hear your opinions.

Until next time

With Love and Respect

Padma Ayyagari




How to ‘Walk a Mile In The Others Shoes’

Spring at Stancombe Lane A former green lane, ...
(Photo credit: Wikipedia)


“Walk a Mile in The Others Shoes” – so the saying goes.  Have I got the capacity to even walk a quarter mile in the others shoes – is my doubt.  Quarter mile is not a long distance.  I can walk a quarter mile in less than 10 minutes or even 5 minutes if I chose to, or it can take 30 minutes or even an hour.  Its not so much the time it takes to walk, but how I walk the distance is the question.

How awake and aware am I in walking that distance?  Walking externally with shallow breath that doesn’t fill the lungs with fresh air or missing beats of the heart that notice partial stories around, including my own – that is what I do every day.

Body in the present quarter mile, but head trapped somewhere in the field of time stuck behind 100th or even 1000th milestone, bogged on the tracks of memory of hurts, rejections, disappointments – turning the grave inside out, trying to keep the dead alive – where am I?

Certainly not present in the quarter mile to notice  the changing landscape, the shapes of the clouds or the flight of the birds – my mind is hissing from the steam of memory cloud while my feet carry my body mechanically forward.  I am a walking tribute to dead memory.

How can I possibly walk a mile in the others shoes when I can’t even walk in my own for a quarter mile without being fully present in the now?

The stories I create for myself are always in relationship with others, binding to others and yet incredibly isolating as they are stuck on the ‘repeat’ button in my head.  With each ‘repeat’ the story is relived, strengthening the groove that I pay attention to and its generally the negative that is magnified.

I may or may not accept, understand or even acknowledge, but the track repeats tirelessly over and over on a titanium record with multiple songs of similar themes.  The record doesn’t break, doesn’t worn out nor even scratch.  When the tracks of my records are full of songs created by my losses either through not having a normal child, or the worries of future finances, or the guilt of not doing enough, or the resentments of how no one understands or cares about what my story is, – when the same feelings play cloaked in different clothes equally colorful and attention grabbing, how can I possibly have space on that record to play others songs to listen?

My needle either gets stuck in the grooves of the record or slips and jumps to the next groove hoping to play a different song.  The beat and the melody of these songs might be different but the etchings of these songs have permanent labels that are universal on the records of every mind on this planet.  The grooves of past or future trapping the ‘Songs of Guilt or Songs of Worry’.

When the needle of my focus is unpinned, the arm of time can sweep over the past and future and yet remain present.  The grooves can be refilled after wiping the surface clean.

When I stop zooming in and see things through the key hole of a view finder, I am not trapped in my story.  Instead if I zoom out and take a broad perspective, then I will gain the understanding that the carefully construed hopes and ambitions,  miseries and sorrows, joys and anticipations, are the same songs in everyone, only singing with different melodies, rhythm and pitch.

My stories are ‘Not More Than, Better Than, Worse Than or Only Ones’ for that matter. My stories – even though different in color, size and shape, are similar to yours when it comes to the intensity of feelings. If I play at the boundaries of my story with this understanding that generates compassion and empathy, I will not impose an outcome on a relationship and be prepared for surprises.

As James Carse said “To be prepared for surprise is to be educated”and as Sai Baba says “End of Education is Character.”

So, how do I walk a mile in the others shoes?

Rumi’s poem sums it all:

“Out beyond ideas of wrong doing and right doing,

There is a field.  I ‘ll meet you there.

When the soul lies down in that grass,

The world is too full to talk about.

Ideas, language, even the phrase each other

doesn’t make any sense.”

Let us meet in that field beyond right and wrong with compassionate eyes of understanding and non-judgment.  World will definitely be a better place.

Do you agree? Let me know………

Until next time

With Love and Respect

Padma Ayyagari