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31 December, 2010

Guruji's Knowledge Sheet: New Year Eve

Yes after doing the last fashion post of the year, I am doing the last art of living post of 2010.


As we flip the calendar, we need to keep flipping our mind as well. Often, our diaries are full with memories. See that you don’t fill your future dates with past events. Allow the space for creativity to dawn. Celebration of the New Year allows you to be wise. Learn and unlearn from the past, and move on.

In the past year, how many days were you in sanyas? How many days were you struggling, being caught in maya? Turn back and remember the whole year. Do not run away from anything. Do not reject anything. Do not go away from anything. At the same time, let your attention be on the self. This is a delicate balance. That balance is yoga.

A poor man celebrates the New Year once a year. A rich man celebrates each day. But the richest man celebrates every moment.
How rich are you? If you celebrate every moment, you are the Lord of Creation. Review the year while you celebrate. This is your homework. Compare your performance in the year before last and smile.

- Sri Sri

|| Jai Guru Dev ||


 Subject: Peace.
World peace comes with individual peace. If individuals become peaceful, communities become peaceful. Then the leaders of the world will also become peaceful, and we can have world peace. When people have broad vision for the whole world, world peace is a possibility. We need to spiritualize the politics, socialize the business and secularize the religion

Connection is a matter of heart, explanation is a matter of mind


Q: You say that we are all connected. But I feel more strongly connected to you than others. I am sure this is the experience of many of us present here. Can you please explain about that?

Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: What is it that you want me to explain? Connection is a matter of heart. Explanation and understanding is a matter of mind.

Q: Some of my colleagues talk ill of the ‘Art of Living’. I don’t like this but I ignore them. Can you please guide what should I do?

Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: What is it that they can talk bad of us? There is nothing. That is all their imagination. You keep on doing what you can. They will also realize. This had also happened with so many saints in the past. Some people liked them and got benefited after getting the knowledge, and some others didn’t like them. How does it matter?
We are teaching. One thing that some people say is why the ‘Art of Living’ courses are paid. ‘Art of living’ is an education. Do you think education should be free? Will people value free education the same way? If education should be free, then all education like medical, engineering, journalism should also be free. If all others are not, why should spiritual education be free? There was concept of Dakshina in the past also. Unless you give dakshina, your education is never complete. And we do so much work in society with the money left after course expenses.
Also this shows how much more work we need to do to improve the society.

Q: What are effects of Past life karma on the present life? I feel I have done sins in past.

Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: Don’t waste your energy thinking too much on past life karmas. Use your energy to come out of the present problems.
‘Om Namah Shivaye’ mantra, pranayama, Satsang..– All these take care of your previous karmas. Surrender all your sins and move further in life.

Q: Guruji, I am not able to concentrate for my mind is very flickering and playful. What should I do?

Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: Let the mind go wherever it wants to go.

Q: I lose my temper easily while doing day to day activities, especially if somebody talks bad. What should I do?

Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: Keep your mind calm. But if somebody talks bad, be alert. Reply if needed, but without disturbing your mind. Service, Satsang and sadhana help you keep your mind cool and calm. And know that – Satyamev jayate (Truth always wins). You should not be bothered about events. Keep your mind cool, and continue with this policy.

Ten Great Tips For 2011

1. Stay out of Trouble.

2. Aim for Greater Heights.

3. Stay Focused on your Job.

4. Exercise to Maintain Good Health.

5. Practice Team Work.

6. Rely on your Trusted Partner to Watch your Back. Take your Time Trusting Others.

7. Save for Rainy Days.

8. Rest and Relax.

9. Always Take Time to Smile.

AND

10. Realize That Nothing is Impossible.

2011 is at the door
Remember
Life is short, break the rules,
Forgive quickly,
love truly,
laugh uncontrollably,
and
never regret anything that made you smile. 


Liberation is total peace; a peace which is unshakeable
Posted: 31 Dec 2010
Liberation is total peace; a peace which is unshakeable
Germany, December 27, 2010.
Q: Dear Guruji, I notice that during meditation my mind wanders a lot and many irrelevant and absurd thoughts come and go. What do I do?

Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: If thoughts are coming, never mind, you know. When you realize, you again come back, observe the breath and just sit, that’s it. Some irrelevant, absurd thoughts come and go, it’s all part of stress release, hmm? You may get some brilliant thoughts or some very bad thoughts, don’t judge at that time, we don’t need to get excited, just relax. After meditation if you have some brilliant thoughts you may write it down, you may get some poems, some ideas, creativity may come. That’s all fine, ok? So, just relax, hmm? Some people get ideas, some people can see some visions, some colors, some experience: some may smell some fragrance, or feel something – any of the 5 senses, I would say even the sixth sense, can just get activated during meditation, and it’s good. With all the hollow and empty meditation what’s happening is that the nervous system is getting clearer, purer and so it’s reflecting the inner realm, hmm?
Q: Guruji, I usually compare myself with others and it does not let me enjoy the work or seva I do. I usually feel I am less than others, what should I do?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: I think if you have to compare you should compare with yourself: how you were yesterday, day before, two years back – that’s healthy. Compare with yourself. See you’ve moved. You will always find you are moving when you compare with yourself, okay? Comparing with others, not about your personality, but in the work, is okay. If someone has done better, then you feel inspired to do better than them. It’s okay. You don’t have to keep your eyes shut. You know if you see somebody has done better than you in business you put your target so you do better than them. This is okay to do, that’s what you should do. Comparison should inspire you, not put you down. First of all accept you don’t know who you are, you have no idea who you are. You’re not self- realized, remember this! If you have that feeling, “Oh, I’m so bad, I’m like this, I’m like…” you have no idea who you are. You have infinite potential inside you. You can do ten times better than anybody else, better than what you’re doing right now, hmm? So Comparison should only inspire you, not pull you down. If you think you know about yourself, and you feel you are weak and think you don’t have ability then it pulls you down but when you know there’s infinite potential inside you, you don’t know who you are, then the comparison will only inspire you to do better work.
Q: How much should one sleep? Is it good to sleep again if you wake up at 4 AM? I would gladly do my program at that time of the day but I can’t. How do I make myself do it?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: You know, take good sleep. You don’t have to wake up at 4 o’clock and do practice, no. You do it when you’re complete with your sleep. Whenever you have complete sleep and you wake up, then you do it, okay? Don’t strain yourself. Our rule is what? Not to torture yourself or strain yourself, hmm? Your inner connection can only happen when you are relaxed, not if you’re tense.
Q: Dearest Guruji, is it possible for me to become a member of your team in any way? I am translating now for Russian. I speak Russian, Spanish and English. I would gladly work for any project full time. Thank you.
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: Yes, you talk to Lars later on. See what you want to do. You can do something. Yes, why not!
Q: Dearest Guruji, may I give u a big hug?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: Yes…but flying ones (laughter from audience)!
Q: Could you explain what liberation is? How do we attain it?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: Liberation simply means freedom. Then you can say, ‘I want nothing for myself, I’m complete.’ Liberation is when you have accepted the whole creation the way it is, you’ve accepted people the way they are. Liberation is total peace; a peace which is unshakeable. And this sort of peace dawns when there is forgiveness, compassion, naturalness. You know if you assume you’re somebody then you can’t, if you are intelligent or stupid you have no liberation. You are neither intelligent nor stupid, neither rich, nor poor – if you think – ‘Oh, I’m a very poor guy or poor lady,’ no way you can get it! I am nothing! That sense of lightness, easiness, is what liberation is. A simple taste of it everyone has got, you know when? When your exams were over! The day you finished your exams when you were a child you came back home and threw those books on the sofa and just sat, relaxed! How did it feel? G R E A T, huh? That’s all!
Q: May we sit down in meditation after Sudarshan Kriya or is it better to lie down only?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: Ya, you can sit in meditation, no problem.
Q: What can I do to lose fear of being able to achieve my dreams? I usually lose confidence and clarity and get lots of doubts about my capacity or abilities. How do I do it?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: I have no experience of this. Let me think how you can do it…You know when you achieve success, if that is your goal - to achieve your dream - you should be ready to face some obstacles on the path. And you know that every obstacle is only bringing out more skills out of you, it will not deter you from your goal but will only bring in whatever is needed to fulfill your dream. Do you get what I’m saying? The obstacles that come on the path are only to bring in more skills and it won’t deter or de-track you from your goal.
Q: I have resolved to stop overeating many, many times. I failed repeatedly. Mind wins, I suffer. How do I solve this habit step by step?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: Take longer time to eat…longer time. You know, usually people who overeat, they eat so fast. They stuff things so fast, but if you keep the food in your mouth, chew it longer, just feel the food in your mouth , you will see you will consume half of what you usually consume, yes?
Q: Dear Guruji, thanks to you to people are feeling better and the world is getting better. How can we make politicians understand that a peaceful world is better? Why is there so much hate, murders, drugs dealers, arms, wars? What can we do? What would you forbid if you were the world’s president?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: Thank God! I don’t intend to be, I don’t want to be. Why, you don’t like me having a big smile? You know these are the questions that u need to keep with you. You know an answer can be used only once, but the question which appears like a path can be tread on many a time. These questions you keep asking time and again you will get different answers and implement them at those times.
Q: What can I do to make the world a better place? How can I help people? How can there be less or no corruption in the world? How can there be more compassion and less crime, stress free, violence – free society? 
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: These questions should arise in you, and you will find answers from time to time and act on them, yes? Many a times alone you cannot do it, but together you can do it. Many of you joined together can always achieve this.
Q: We know we have to follow our heart but why is it difficult sometimes when our rational side is stronger, and we think it is correct whereas the emotion is weaker and sometimes more crazy. Thank you for sharing time with us.
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: You know in work don’t use your emotions - in work use your intellect. But with your family and friends don’t use your intellect so much, use your emotions. If you mix it up, you are in trouble! You know, with your wife and children if you are relating them with your intellect and doing business with your emotion you had it! You know at home you have to be more with the value of heart. When you do service you do it with your heart, right? But when you’re doing your work you don’t have to be an emotional thing. Just use your rational mind.
Q: Before the course when I was at home my mind would jump from job, gym, party, plan, and here the mind jumps from breakfast to lunch to dinner (laughter from audience). Why can’t my mind slow down? 
I think we should have read this a couple of days ago, we could have told the cook to make the food a little less tasty! Never mind, never mind, you have recognized this, at least. The mind is jumping – it’s already coming to a halt. You know those of u doing advance Course (The Silence Course) for the first time, you would have noticed for the first few days, for the first few sittings you can’t even figure out where the tip of the nose is! Or whether the nose is hollow and empty or you don’t even feel any part of the body. Does it happen to you? Your mind doesn’t stop, it keeps racing…but this is normal. Even if you get 20% in the first silence program, it’s a great achievement, I tell you! First Advance Course, because you’ve never been silent except, while you’re sleeping! Some aren’t even silent when they’re sleeping! We never experience this. We never had a chance to have the mind turn inward. It’s like you’re racing the car in the autobahn and you put the break - it takes some time for the car to stop. It doesn’t stop immediately. In the same way, it takes a little while. It may take… not for everybody it may take, mostly it takes a little time. You will see that from yesterday today was better– today was good, no? Today’s meditation was a little better? How many of you felt better today, huh? See, already it’s better, two days into silence, tomorrow it get’s deeper and when it gets really good then it’s time to leave. So, you got it! It’s good to do a couple of advance courses once in 6 months or once in 4 – 5 months. Then the mind gets trained to switch modes, you know? It’s easy to switch modes in silence and get into that creative field within you, or be dynamic.
Q: What are the most sacred, most divine qualities of marriage? Is there a mantra for a happy marriage?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: I have no experience… to give you ideas, but whatever I infer I can share with you. In marriage you should consider the other person as your own part, part - like your arm, like your body. It’s two bodies, one mind, one soul. So, whatever your spouse desires, you make it your own desire, that’s it. Your spouse’s taste, consider it as your own taste. See, you have many, different tastes, right? Sometimes you like this, sometimes you like that. When the conflict arises? When your tastes start moving apart. You should start saying your taste is my taste; your pleasure is my pleasure. I am here for you, rather than, what can you do for me? When we start ‘What can you do for me?’ then both become unhappy, yes? But when you say, ‘What can I do for you? I’m here for you.’ This is the only mantra. Happy marriages are what? ‘I’m here for you, come what may, happy times or unhappy times!’ See in life sometimes there are disappointments, sometimes there is success. In either case, ‘I’m with you.’ This is one thing. The second thing is, if one is upset, the other should not get upset at the same time. Choose a different time to get upset. Know that ‘Oh, my spouse is upset! Okay.’ Give him or her the time to be upset. Don’t question ‘Why are you so upset?’If someone is upset, the other gets angry and expects them not to be upset. This is a big mistake! Someone is upset, leave them that space. You know many of us don’t even know how to receive love! See, someone comes and keeps telling you, ‘Oh, I love you, I love you so much, I love you!!!’ Suddenly you go, ‘Wow, what do I say now!? How do I react?’ You get into a corner; you don’t know how to react. You don’t know what to say, so that person who kept saying, ‘I love you, I love you, I love you!!!’, suddenly finds you are not responding, then starts accusing you, ‘See, look, you’re so cold!’ ‘See you don’t know how to love. You never said you love me!’ and blah, blah, blah…Demand – demand destroys love. Never demand love from your spouse. Take it for granted they love you, but that’s it, finished, you know! So when we start demanding and policing our spouse, we get into a mess, right! So that is important and the rest you can have tomorrow when you are out of silence and we can have a conversation. So, many of you can come out with your own experiences and add more to this. What do you say, good idea?
Q: Guruji, The Art of Living has changed hundreds of thousands of us in Latin America. We have such gratitude for you! We now want the world to feel the way we feel: love, service, happiness, gratitude and celebration. Mucho gracias. Miracalindo! My heart is happy, can I hug you?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: Flying hugs!
Q: I want to thank you for everything you gave me, but most of all to the world. We’re blessed that you’re here for us! 
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: Thank you.
Q: How can I reach my full potential? I have so many thoughts on business, seva, relationships. How do I know which one to pursue? Is it important to try to find my purpose in life?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: Yes, yes, yes! You can do that very comfortably (laughter from audience).
Q: What do you think of the muscular strength training? Is it possible to extend the breath by lengthening and holding time or by making the acceleration longer?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: Yes, long acceleration is always good, you know, but it takes a little time to train yourself. Muscle testing – I’ll tell you something about it tomorrow maybe. Ask me when you’re out of silence. I will show you something – how your muscles can tell you what you need, what you don’t need. They speak the truth. Do you know about it? How many of you know muscle testing here? Okay, okay, ah, you already learnt last time! Hmm, okay! Tomorrow or day after or one of these days I’ll tell you then you can test yourself – what suits you, what your body says. You know, every muscle in your body speaks the truth, amazing discovery! Wait for it tomorrow (Guruji whispers), tomorrow huh (with a twinkle in his eyes)?!
Q: What does one do when knowledge becomes a barrier and turns to arrogance and jealousy? How does one free from this?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: Be like a child, unassuming, knowing the more you know there is so much more to be known. Knowing only leads to awareness that you do not know so much more. That brings humility. Do you see what I’m saying?
Q: If the core of our existence is full of love, innocence, perfection, how can a person be so mean and kill his or her whole family? It is hard for me to understand.
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: You know you should go and talk to the people in the prison who have committed these heinous crimes. You’ll find these people are nice people. Why even talk about them, talk about yourself! You know sometimes you’ve been so nasty. Have you been nasty? Have you been angry? Have you been upset? Afterwards you see – ‘Oh, why did I do this?’ Do you regret? In the same way these people – they did a crime, they did commit something they were totally unaware of, and then they started realizing. That’s why spiritual education is so important, because this education doesn’t allow you to commit such heinous crimes! They never had an opportunity to have access to this knowledge, to meditation, to breathing. That is why they did all that.
Q: When will you come to Russia again?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: I was just there this year!
Q: Please give me some technique to lessen the ego.
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: You’re asking about yourself or someone else? For God’s sake don’t do anything with your ego! Just let it be. If you find you have a big ego, don’t try to get it out of yourself. Let it be. You know, trying to meddle with your ego becomes a bigger problem. Then you say, “Look, I erased my ego!” “Nobody could do this!” Understand that? You know it’s so difficult to get rid of the ego. It’s like saying – ‘I’m the most humble person in the world! You can’t find anyone with more humility than me!’ Does it make any sense? So if you find there is any ego, let it be like that happily, huh? Don’t try to meddle or get rid of it. Just smile, yes! You know ego is stiffness. When you’re at home, you relax. When you feel ease, then ego is not there. The antidote for ego is just being natural. Or one day if you want to act crazy or foolish, it might help you a little bit, because your greatest fear is what others will think. Give everyone freedom to think whatever they want to think, right? Then you’ll find you’re so much at ease, at peace with yourself.

Wish You All a very Happy New Year

This is the last fashion post of year 2010. What are your plans for tonight- for the New Year Eve? Do you have any New Year Resolutions?

This is what I wore yesterday



Sweater: Gucci
Boots: Nine West
Bag: LV
Skirt: It is the skirt that needs a special mention. It is a vintage again. My dad got it for me when I was about 15 year. It is tweed skirt. Since then, every winter, it has been worn at least once. It even went with me to my honeymoon. It has even been passed to my sister and has come back to me again. It had originally come with a very smart jacket. Which, somehow, over the years, got lost. I still ask my mom to find that jacket.
As a testimony to my old days, my college friend dished out the picture below, where I am wearing the same skirt with its original jacket.


This is my college girls group. We are all now settled in different parts of the world. But still very much in touch. Thanks, to facebook etc. Aahh!! Heading towards 2011 and am transported to 1989.

Wish you all a Very Happy New Year.

Guruji's Knowledge Sheet: Don't Be Grateful!


Warning! Watch out! This Knowledge Sheet contains explosives! It can explode your head or your heart. If it explodes your heart -- nothing is left! If it explodes your head -- everything is attained!

Guruji: How many of you are grateful here? (Everybody raises their hand.) If you are grateful, you don't belong to Me! (Everyone is shocked.) You are not part of the Master. When someone gives you something, you are grateful. That means you feel separate. You are not grateful to yourself.

Gratefulness is inevitable. When you go beyond gratefulness, then union happens. No "I," no "you" remains. You are part of the Master. You are just One Being with a thousand heads and a thousand arms, but with one heart. You have got to be grateful on the path, but you have to transcend gratefulness. Better stop being grateful. (Laughter.)

When you are grateful then you are the center, you are more important. When you are grateful to God for having received something beautiful, for example, eyesight, who is important? You or God? You! So your gratitude indicates ego.

Richard: But you are not grateful?

Guruji: I am simply great and I am full! (Laughter) Don't be grateful; just be great -- and be full! (Laughter)

This Knowledge is very dangerous! When you are part of the Master, you have every right to be happy. You have every right to Knowledge, happiness, and the whole universe!

Angelika: Small children don't feel grateful as long as they feel one. They take everything for granted.

Meike: You are not grateful to your own hand which feeds you.

Ananda: On one of the courses you said in the thanking process, "Now, thank yourself for being here!" So you can thank yourself.

Guruji: if you wish, you can! This is true celebration: thanking yourself!

* * * *

|| Jai Guru Dev ||

Great Chinese State Circus - Swan Lake

30 December, 2010

Single leg stretch

 With the Torso locked in place and the limbs moving freely, the single leg stretch will strengthen the abdominals and the buttocks as well as improve coordination.
Check list:
Imagine yourself looking down on yourself from the ceiling. Keep your alignment perfect, your box square and your legs in line.
Do not rock your body from side to side when switching legs.
Pay attention to hand placement, which keeps your legs well aligned.
Squeeze your buttocks each time the leg stretches out.
Lift your head and shoulders off the mat.
Hug one knee in and extend the other leg out to 45 degree.


Joseph H. Pilates, the founder of the Pilates exercise method, was born in Germany. As a child he was frail, living with asthma in addition to other childhood conditions. To build his body and grow stronger, he took up several different sports, eventually becoming an accomplished athlete. As a nurse in Great Britain during World War I, he designed exercise methods and equipment for immobilized patients and soldiers.
In addition to his equipment, Pilates developed a series of mat exercises that focus on the torso. He based these on various exercise methods from around the world, among them the mind-body formats of yoga and Chinese martial arts.
Joseph Pilates believed that our physical and mental health is intertwined. He designed his exercise program around principles that support this philosophy, including concentration, precision, control, breathing, and flowing movements.
There are two ways to exercise in Pilates. Today, most people focus on the mat exercises, which require only a floor mat and training. These exercises are designed so that your body uses its own weight as resistance. The other method of Pilates uses a variety of machines to tone and strengthen the body, again using the principle of resistance.






Halasana


It is an extension of Viparitakarani and Sarvangasana. It is recommended to do this asana after Sarvangasana. Hala in Sanskrit means plough. In this posture the body assumes the appearance of a plough.
To attain this posture the legs are lowered behind the head without bending those at the knees till the toes touch the seat.
This asana can be done for maximum one minute starting with thirty seconds.

Benefits
  1. This is the best posture for making the spine flexible. It stretches the spine as no other exercise can, opening up the spinal discs and stretching most of the spinal muscles and ligaments. This makes this posture very beneficial if you suffer from back or neck stiffness or arthritis in these areas. It also prevents these conditions. Since this posture rejuvenates the spine, and because the spinal nerves go to all parts of the body, it helps to rejuvenate the whole body.
  2. It benefits the thyroid gland, liver and spleen, stretches and pulls the vertebrae.
  3. Good for people suffering from stiffness, obesity, muscular rheumatism, enlarged liver and spleen, constipation, indigestion, and arthritis.
  4. Calms the brain, reduces stress and fatigue.
  5. Helps relieve the symptoms of menopause.
  6. Stimulates abdominal organs and thyroid gland.




{Knowledge Sheet} Subject: The secret lies in our breath

Subject: Ardhnarishver
There is concept of Ardhnarishver – God is neither male nor female. Divine is half male and half female. Everyone is like that. Nobody is full male or full female. There are genes of both mother and father within each one of us. 


Q: Is it possible to become like a child again and to rekindle that positive vibration around us?

Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: It is possible. The secret lies in our own breath. Through breathing exercises, certain breathing techniques and some practice of meditation, we can rekindle positive vibrations within and around us.
Are you aware that sometimes for no reasons you feel like talking to some people and, sometimes for no reason you want to avoid some people? I am sure everyone has this experience!
We convey more through our presence than through our words. If we are uptight, angry or stressed, then we become repulsive. Now, the question is how do these negative vibrations come in our aura? We are storing all these negative things that we have seen and heard in our aura.

Q: Is world peace possible?

Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: World peace comes with individual peace. If individuals become peaceful, communities become peaceful. Then the leaders of the world will also become peaceful, and we can have world peace. When people have broad vision for the whole world, world peace is a possibility. We need to spiritualize the politics, socialize the business and secularize the religion.

Q: What are the points to keep in mind in order to have a successful relation?

Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: First for women: Never step on your man's ego. You should always pump and encourage his ego. You know, the whole world may say that your husband has no brains, but you should not say that! You should tell your husband that he has the best brains in the world, and just because of the fact that he doesn't use it, doesn't mean that he doesn't have it! You should always tell him that he is the best man. Always pump the ego of a man .If you call him a vegetable, I tell you he will become one.
Now one advice for men: Never step on the emotions of a woman. You know, she may sometimes complaint about her family, about her brother, or her father, or her mother. You should not agree with that. If you do, then she will take a U turn. Never insult her family. Don’t stop her to go for shopping, or going to a spiritual or religious program. If she wants to go for shopping, give her your credit card.
Now for both: Never ask for proof of someone's love for you. Don't ask each other, “Do you really love me? You don't love me these days just like old days”. You know, it is such a big load for someone to prove their love for others. If someone asks you to prove your love, you would say "Oh my God! How do I prove that to this person?” Do everything with some style and some smile.

Q: How can we bring human, nature and animals in harmony for our future generation?

Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: We should stop polluting our planet. Say no to plastic, Use as little plastic as possible. Recycle..Use recycled things. Use chemical free shampoos and soaps as far as possible. Go organic, I would recommend everyone to become vegetarian. You know, if we pay attention on the consumption that takes place to produce one non-vegetarian meal, feeding the animal etc.., it is equivalent to 400 vegetarian meals. So, I recommend everyone to turn vegetarian. Environmentalists say that if even 10 percent of the population turns vegetarian, we will not have the problem of this green house effect.

Q: Do you know about vipasana meditation? What do you think about it? Is it compatible with sudrashan kriya?

Sri Sri Ravi Shankar:Yes, it is compatible. Vipasana is observing the sensation in the body - pleasant or unpleasant. That is good. But it takes a longer time to feel that sensation. You will find much easy with Sudarshan Kriya. Whatever meditation technique you are doing, you can go deep into it with Sudarshan Kriya.

Q: How do I evoke my self esteem?

Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: With sudrashan kriya. Two-three part 2 courses are very essential.

Q: What to do with cancer?

Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: Continue doing pranayama, breathing exercises, meditation, vegetarian food and yoga.

Q: If the courses and techniques are for the benefit of humanity, why is it so expensive?

Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: It is very minimal. It is not much expensive. There are expenses involved in renting a place for so many days, a teacher to come. We hardly save 10 to 15 percent on course. Sometimes it is little higher. It goes to a very good cause of charity. Of course, we teach free of cost in prisons, refugee camps and in villages where people can’t afford. If anybody thinks that they can't afford, you simply talk to the teacher. They will take you in and accommodate you.

Q: How much am I suppose to work?

Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: Well, it is up to you.

Q: What can you say about 2012?

Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: Don't worry. Nothing is going to happen. Things will be as usual. In fact more and more people will become spiritual.

Q: I feel very strong in your presence and it feels good. I am very grateful to have you in my life.

Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: Good good. Knowledge, meditation and relaxation will give you cool heart, and soothe your heart!

Q: Is genetically modified food really dangerous?

Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: The scientists, who are not employed by these companies, will tell you. The scientists who are not employee of these seed companies can give you the right opinion.

Q: How do you forgive someone who has hurt you deep yet shows no guilt or regret?

Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: I want to tell you that most of the questions have been answered in the books – Celebrating Silence or Celebrating Love.

Q: When we are sad, what does god feel?

Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: God says "Oh my god! How foolish this person is!" There is so much beauty around in the world, and you are thinking so small and getting sad .Look at the reality of the world, enquire for the secret of the universe and the sorrow diminishes.

Q: How can I motivate myself?

Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: Only three things can motivate you or inspire you - love, fear, greed! But I don’t agree with fear or greed, I believe in love!

Q: What about the dark hidden forces which corrupt politics, military, intelligence agencies etc.?

Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: You know, I always believe that truth always triumphs. Truth will always win. I would say that you also have this confidence.

Q: Why are there so many religions and communities? Why is the evil so strong?

Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: Evil is not strong. You are giving it strength. It appears as if evil is strong, but it is not. The greatest power on the Earth is love. Love can melt any evil. It is due to lack of love and wisdom that evil exists. The moment love and wisdom comes into play, evil disappears. Like when the sun comes, the dew disappears. We have seen this. You know, when we give some wisdom and love to the extremists like terrorists, there was total change in those people. Some 300,000 prisoners, so called criminals, have done the ‘Art of living’ part 1 course, and their life has so much changed.

Q: Can you please tell how does one get rid of doubt?

Sri Sri Ravi Shankar:You know, doubt is always about something that is positive. You always doubt the honesty of a person, and never doubt the dishonesty of a person. When someone tells you, "I love you", you ask really? When someone tells you, “I hate you”, you never ask them really. Isn’t it? You are not sure about your happiness. When someone asks about our happiness, we say, "Well, I am not sure." But we are so sure of our depression. We never doubt our weakness, we always doubt our capabilities. If you observe, all good things like love, happiness, honesty, and sincerity are being doubted. So, any doubt must be good.

Q: Why are there so many catastrophes in Poland, China and Iceland?

Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: Because we are misusing this planet. We are mining this Earth so much, we are putting so many dynamites, and we are testing so many nuclear bombs. So, the Earth starts shaking. We have to honor mountains, rivers, trees. If we don't exploit this planet, then there will be less and less natural calamities.

Q: How the transformation of the world will happen?

Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: If we all work towards it. More and more spirituality, meditation, singing, and world will become a better place.

Q: Do I need a guru?

Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: Do you need an answer? If you need an answer that means you need someone who have to give you the answer, and that anyone who gives the answer automatically becomes a Guru.
Guru means the one who gives the answer. The English word guide comes from the original sanskrit word guru.
You need a guide for everything, for learning guitar, music, or any field you take. Similarly, Guru is one who can guide you into meditation, wisdom, and knowledge. 

29 December, 2010

God as a child

Can you see God as a child? You have always thought of God as a father, up in the heavens somewhere. Can you see God as a child?

Sri Sri: God is the very core of your existence. You are pregnant with God. You have to take care of your pregnancy and deliver the child into the world. Most people do not even deliver. One who delivers can also grant wishes.

God is your child. He/She clings onto to you like a baby till you grow old and die. God keeps crying for nourishment. God clings onto the devotee. He/She needs you to nourish Him/Her in the world. Sadhana, Satsang and Seva are the nourishment.

You always think of God as a father. Then you want to demand and take from God. But when you see God as a child, you have no demands.

Belma says: You cannot pray to a child; you can only pray to your father.

Sri Sri: Why do you want to pray? Why do you want to ask? A good father knows what to give.

Belma: What about surrender?


Sri Sri: Your surrender to a child is more authentic as it has no demand.

|| Jai Guru Dev ||

Bicycle

Hold your torso solidly in one position. Avoid any twisting motion. Support your back with your hands firmly.
Use the top leg as a counterweight to the pedaling leg. This top leg should remain aligned almost perpendicular to the floor.
Pedal each leg as low as possible, bending it only at the deepest point in the stretch.
Flow continuously as though you were actually pedaling a bicycle.
Draw the navel in and up to avoid arching the back.
Focus on making each pedal as long as possible. Quick, shortened movements will diminish the benefits of the exercise.
Head remains on the mat.
Neck and shoulders are relaxed.



Who can benefit from a Pilates workout?
Anyone and everyone! Pilates strengthens the more important part of your body -- the core. 

This is the area that helps you stand, move and balance properly.
It is also the area most prone to injury, mainly back problems. 

Back problems can leave you unable to carry out even simple routine tasks, like sitting, standing for long, etc.
It is imperative for everyone to have a strong core; no other form of exercise focuses as much on this as Pilates.
For decades, it's been the exercise of choice for dancers and gymnasts (and now Hollywood actors), but it was originally used to rehabilitate bedridden or immobile patients during World War I.
Pilates is a body conditioning routine that seeks to build flexibility, strength, endurance, and coordination without adding muscle bulk. In addition, Pilates increases circulation and helps to sculpt the body and strengthen the body's "core" or "powerhouse" (torso). People who do Pilates regularly feel they have better posture, are less prone to injury, and experience better overall health.

Open Leg Rocker

This exercise challenges your balance, flexibility and strength. Focus on maintaining a constant shape as you rock. If at first you cannot roll completely up, walk your hands up higher toward the calves. 
Checkpoints:
Imagine rolling your spine against the floor in the same way that a wheel rolls smoothly back and forth.
Keep the naval scooped in.
Keep the arms straight. 
Avoid whipping up. Roll up smoothly with strength and control.

The exercises are slow and controlled, with a lot of body and mind concentration, thereby utilizing the muscles to their maximum capacity. 

How is it different from regular abdominal, back and hip exercises?

The Pilates method utilizes the whole body instead of isolating a muscle and working it.
This increases the level of resistance, making Pilates more intense than regular exercises. 

Pilates exercises help the body much more in daily activities, since Pilates is a form of functional training.
How does Pilates compare to doing abs, hip and back exercises in the gym?
Gym equipment is designed to support the entire body and then isolate and work just one muscle or muscle group.
Pilate’s uses the body as an integrated whole and then works the target muscle, resulting in a stronger body that's more fit to cope with daily activities.
The exercises help you have more control over your body.
It also helps in achieving leaner muscles and good posture. A session of Pilates leaves you feeling taller and lighter.

Criss- Cross


This targets the obliques or the diagonal muscles of the waist and trunk. Somewhat reminiscent of old style bicycle done in the gym, the criss cross is executed slowly and smoothly with exacting detail. Imagine a magnetic force lifting your upper body directly up toward your knee.

Checkpoints:
As you twist, avoid rolling from side to side. 
Elbows held wide.
Hands layered behind the head.
One knee bent at exact 90 degree.
Other leg straight. and about 10 inches lifted from floor.
Twist from waist.
Maintain your "box". Hips and shoulders are square.
Focus on lengthening one side of the waist as you contract the other.

Pilates.


I get ample number of queries from people inquiring about Pilates. Most of them pronounce it wrong in the very first place. Firstly, for heaven’s sake, it is not Pee lates. Pilates is pronounced: puh-lah-teez.

What is Pilates?
The next question that is thrown at me is- what is Pilates. Now how do I simply explain it? Well, it is a form of exercise.

In simple terms, Pilates is a form of exercise that targets the core of the body, i.e. the abdomen, back and hips while using the entire body.
It also increases flexibility and improves posture.
The exercises are done lying down on the mat, and involve a series of controlled movements of the arm and leg that strengthens the abs, hips and back. 

What sort of exercises does it involve?
Let me try and explain a few in my upcoming blogposts.

Wearing my thinking cap again


Tum itna jo muskura rahe ho

Kya gham hai jisko chupa rahe ho.

I have a bee in my bonnet


Yes, I do have a bee in my bonnet. What? Later....

28 December, 2010

Just Another Cap


Mittens


My sister really thinks I am an infant. That is why she gifted me with these mittens and matching (her favorite color- mauve), stole. It is so preettyy. 


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Jai Gurudev!