How to Get Over the Hurt-2

The question still remains: How to get over the hurt? I would like to cover this answer in two posts. In today’s write-up, let me begin with a beautiful story:

Once upon a time, there was a guy. He deeply loved a girl. He dreamed of her all the time. He would send her flowers, give her gifts, say nice things, and express his love. She accepted his gifts, flowers, chocolates and all, but wouldn’t give or say anything in return other than a thank you. The boy still didn’t lose hope and thought one day his love would win over her, that, one day she would melt and she would reciprocate. He thought the girl did love him, only that she wasn’t expressing it yet. It went on a for a while. Nothing changed.

One day, the girl informed him that she was moving out of town. He pleaded with her to not go. The girl, however, said that she had more important things to do.

“Why, what about love? Is it not important? Don’t you love me?” the guy said.

“Love? What about it? I never loved you,” she said.

The guy got up and left the place. Everyone in the friends and family got concerned about him. They were certain he was broken beyond repair, but there was not a sign of hurt on his face or in his actions. Some thought he was really depressed and was acting cocky to hide his real feelings. A few days passed and he kept on living normally. One day his friends confronted him.

“You must be really sad and heartbroken. We know you are hurt,” they said.

“Hurt? Not really. I’m happier than before.”

“How can this be? You loved her to bits, whereas she dumped you callously saying she never loved you.”

“You see,” he said, “I lost someone who never loved me, but she lost someone who loved her deeply. So, tell me, who has actually lost?”

The story above gives us a perspective. And, it’s all about the perspective, a viewpoint, how we take what we get, how we look at what life makes us see. We are no one to judge the girl in the story either. Who knows maybe she had another reason she chose to not say. Matters of the heart can’t be forced or comprehended, really. Besides, my focus is the guy in the story above, for, he was the one who was supposed to be hurt.

So, what is the learning in the story, you may ask? Here it is: stop looking at yourself as the victim. I know you may not like it but it’s the truth. If you are getting hurt because you are in an abusive relationship, in which case we need to deal with it differently, I agree you are the victim. But, in normal relationships, when you choose to ignore what the other person really wants, and when you focus on only your preferences, you automatically set yourself up for great disappointment.

That’s not all, though. A long ago I wrote on the karmic account. Nature operates in a wholesome and integrated manner. When you are hurt, you should take a hard look at if you are hurting someone too? They could be your siblings, friends, family members, in-laws, colleagues, anyone. When we hurt someone, it doesn’t mean the same person will hurt us back. It simply means that in the immaculate laws of Nature, She will setup someone else to deliver the goods.

I would like to reiterate that this post is about getting hurt in a non-abusive relationship. Abusive relationships, even though common, are anomalies in Nature. They are dealt with differently. I also understand that this is not exactly a motivational post for those who are hurt, but, I do hope you’ve some food for thought.

In a nutshell, we should examine if we are reasonable with our expectations we have from the other person, and, if we are taking responsibility of the choices we have made, and, if we are hurting anyone else, anyone at all in this creation.

Reflect on the above and act accordingly, and I promise you’ll become your own witness to a powerful inner transformation. Your mind will become like the quiet sea, like the blue sky, like the gentle breeze, like the steady stream.

Om Namah Shivay

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How to Get Over the Hurt-1

When you discover your inner sanctuary, you become like the gentle stream. You keep moving.

My inbox was swamped with comments on my last post on hurting being easier than healing. Most readers said they would love to hear my views on how to get over the hurt. Some had a different view, they didn’t think it was possible to avoid getting hurt. One of them wrote:

“Don’t you think it’s easier said than done (to protect Yourself) from getting hurt from the ones you love? Should you be closed to them as well? Detachment is not a human emotion. It’s divine and it cannot be reached by everyone or else we all would be the happiest. And if you are going to let your guards down in front of someone or anyone, you are going to keep getting hurt. And, I feel if you love or are attached to someone too much then no matter how much you try to change or forgive or forget or walk away you can’t let go…the hurt keeps coming back…”

There’s no question that detachment is an extraordinary trait, it is even divine. Agreed. But, that doesn’t make it good enough a reason to drop it. There’s also no doubt that we will get hurt, but, that doesn’t mean we can’t get over it. We truly do hold the keys to our happiness. The question is do you want to improve yourself? If yes, then you need to work on yourself. We can’t just continue to hope that things will change without bringing a change in ourselves, in our mindset, in our lifestyle, in our approach.

Om Namah Shivay

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YOGA MYTHS

ANANDMURTI GURUMAA debunks several yoga myths that are being circulated by ignorant practitioners

The global renaissance of ‘yoga’ has the potential to become a radical movement — perhaps a quantum leap in human evolution, the proviso however being that one clearly understands what it actually means.While the impression is that there is a universal renewed interest in ‘yoga’, the revival is mostly confined to asanas alone. When jiva or microcosmic consciousness unites with the all-pervading Ishwara or macrocosmic consciousness, this union is known as yoga. It is the state where the mind dissolves in the real Self and all samskaras or seeds of past impressions get burnt in the incandescent fire of Self-realisation. It is the pinnacle of inner evolution succinctly described by Sage Patanjali in his well-known aphorism: yogash chitta vritti nirodhah. Yoga is the ultimate destination of a human being’s evolutionary journey. And there are several paths that one can tread with this intention.

The prevailing, resurgent interest in asanas is just one part of Ashtanga Yoga which is an eight-stepped ladder with the ascending rungs of yama, niyama, asana, pranayama, pratyahara, dharana, dhyana and culminating in the highest point of samadhi. And the most celebrated text outlining its precepts is Patanjali’s Yoga Sutras.

Yama refers to the five moral codes of conduct whilst interacting with others: satya — truthfulness in thoughts, speech and actions; ahimsa— nonviolence in thought, speech and actions; asteya — nonstealing;aparigraha — nonhoarding and brahmacharya— at the physical level it refers to celibacy and for householders, it means fidelity.

Niyama refers to the five self-disciplinary codes: shaucha — cleanliness of body, external environment and mind; santosha — being content with one’s life, accepting everything without discrimination; tapah — austerity;svadhyaya — to be established in the real Self but it also refers to self-learning through scriptural texts and ishwarpranidhana— forsaking one’s ego and being totally surrendered to God’s will.

Asana has neither got anything to do with body contortion, acrobatics or gymnastics, nor is it physical exercise. Many people mistakenly think that they don’t need to learn asanas because they are already going to the gym or doing aerobic exercises. See, such exercises stimulate catabolism. So, although you achieve an athletic, sculpted look,your energy gets drained. Then people consume energy enhancing drinks which are laced with harmful chemicals that could harm your vital organs. Asanas,on the other hand, balance your metabolism and thus energise your body with the added beneficial effect on the functioning of all internal organs.

Art Of Asanas

Asana is a science and art in its own right and one requires an in-depth understanding of body, anatomy, physiology and yes, geometry, too. Right posture alone is not asana. It has to be supplemented with poise,proper positioning, right alignment, focus on breathing and crucially,the presence of awareness of every part of your body in the said posture. Asana is moving meditation, for such is the heightened awareness of body and breath. Never forget the objective of mastering asanas — to be able to sit comfortably in a stable posture and thus acquire the eligibility of progressing to the higher stages on the path of yoga. As a byproduct, the body becomes healthier, energetic and one may get cured of some ailments. But asanas are not a panacea for diseases. Strictly speaking,yoga can be taught only by a yogi. You cannot become a yogi just by adopting a certain external appearance. If the person teaches in a scientific way,very attentively, with patience and diligence then know that he is well-versed in the craft.

Pranayama Misconceptions

Once asanas are perfected,the practitioner can move on to pranayama. Again, there are misconceptions galore in this regard. Breathing in and out, shoving the stomach in and out is not pranayama.‘Prana’ refers to cosmic vital energy which is the critical force sustaining life. And giving dimension to this vital life force is pranayama. Prana is the bridge that connects our body with our mind. When prana exits the body,this connection gets severed leading to death of the body. That is why, once prana leaves the body, no matter how much oxygen you pump in as part of the resuscitation,the body cannot be revived.

The next stage is pratyahara and this means withdrawal of the five cognitive senses from their respective sense objects and stabilising them in the mind.

Maturity of pratyahara results in the state of dharana where only one thought is held in the mind to the exclusion of all others.

The fruition of dharana is dhyana or meditation, which is a state of thoughtless,heightened awareness.Meditation cannot be taught; it is a state that occurs as a consequence of matured dharana. Yoga happens in the totally still state of samadhi. All ignorance gets eradicated, and one reaches the pinnacle of human evolution with a remarkably heightened level of consciousness. This is the purpose of human life. The destination and path are clear-cut.What is needed is a disciplined practice under the guidance of an enlightened master

Om Namah Shivay

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Peaceful co-existence

Often we find that we are unable to get on with our parents, or siblings, or spouses. The reason is no one is without the thought of self. No one is without an ego. So there is bound to be friction when people are thrown about in each other’s company for a long time. But what then is the solution? Should one shun one’s relatives, in the desire to avoid friction? How much importance should we give to our independence? The refusal to make even minor adjustments to accommodate one’s own family has led to members of a family not even keeping in touch with each other. Siblings who grew up together, no longer tolerate each other, when they are adults. It is sad when they can hardly bear to be in the company of their extended family for long. But we must learn the art of peaceful co-existence.

Children of the present era use the word ‘self- reliant’ with abandon, thinking that human beings can be dispensed with and that life can go on merrily if one has enough money for creature comforts. But human beings are not dispensable. Nor can they be cast aside once their services are no longer needed. In fact one must realise that one cannot live in isolation, and that it is one’s family that rallies round in times of need.

The need for co-operation and gregariousness has been demonstrated in the animal world. There was a time when there was an unusually cold winter, in a place where there was a colony of porcupines. To keep warm, the porcupines huddled together. Because of the bristles on their bodies, they were injuring each other, but they still kept close to each other for, if they moved away, they would die without the bodily warmth of the other porcupines. So although there was a lot of discomfort, the porcupines stayed close together and survived. Likewise, a family is not without its share of annoyances and irritations and even quarrels. But if we cite this as a reason for moving away from our kith and kin, then we will be left with no one to help us in times of need. We need each other for our very survival. So we must learn to co-exist peacefully with others, so that our life on this earth does not become difficult.

Always be Happy……..

Om Namah Shivay

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How to Forgive-2

These two are wise people. Which two? The one who sees his transgression as a transgression, and the one who rightfully pardons another who has confessed his transgression. These two are wise people.

The key phrase is rightful pardon to the one who has confessed his misdeed. There’s no forgiveness without confession. And a conditional or an incomplete confession is not a confession but a vain explanation, a justification, a pretense. For example, if someone apologizes for their mistake but starts to describe why they did a certain action or why it wasn’t entirely a mistake, it means somewhere they still don’t mean to apologize, somewhere they still believe there was some validity behind their transgression. No real forgiveness is possible in such a scenario. As they say, a stiff apology is one more insult. It’s much better and more effective to fully admit and take ownership of our mistake and vow to not repeat it.

Forgiving and letting go are not the same, for, forgiveness is only possible when the other person participates in the process. Imagine two road accidents. In the first case, the offender comes out, says sorry and exchanges the details so you may claim the insurance. In the second case, it’s a hit-and-run. They don’t stop and speed away. When there’s no participation from the other side, you can’t truly forgive or reconcile. You may, at the most, unwillingly accept that you got cheated. Sometimes, you find yourself unable to forgive and then feel bad that your heart’s not big enough. The truth may well be that with your heart of gold you are eagerly waiting and patiently standing with the gift of forgiveness wrapped in compassion, love and care, but the recipient fails to show up.

If you are on the other side of the fence, if you hurt someone or when deep within you believe you treated the other person unjustly, offer them an unconditional and a sincere apology. You’ll feel light and they’ll feel healed. To seek forgiveness is even more profound than wanting to forgive.

What if the other person is no longer in your life? Is there no way to forgive then? Yes there is; one for another time. And, at that time, I would also elaborate for you the difference between forgiving as an act versus forgiveness as an emotion.

Om Namah Shivay

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How to Forgive-1

Forgiveness is a gift. It’s as much about the recipient as the giver.This is a question I get asked more frequently than any other: how to forgive? Often readers tell me that they have forgiven the other person but they are still hurt. That, thoughts or sight of the other person still triggers emotional pain. That, even though they have forgiven, they are still unable to feel love for the other person. That, the good old times have not returned. I know what you mean.

There’s a common misconception about forgiveness — we often believe that once we forgive someone we’ll immediately start feeling love for them again. It doesn’t work this way. Before we reach the point where we contemplate forgiving the other person, we have already been hurt. Until we recover from the hurt, the harmony and peace can’t be restored. The period of recovery can range from a minute to a lifetime. It depends on the quality of the relationship, our personal strength and the nature of the transgression.

Further, forgiveness must not be confused with reconciliation. They are not the same. When you forgive someone, it doesn’t mean you’ve accepted their manner, demeanor, or actions. It simply means that you have decided, out of compassion or care, for the good of the other person or your own, to not let their past actions ruin your peace. The peace you experience upon forgiving someone quickly vanishes if they repeat the mistake or don’t value your kindness. Think of forgiveness as a gift you give to the transgressor. When the other person doesn’t acknowledge it, or devalues it by repeating their actions, they have basically not accepted your gift. Your gift is returned and it’s lying with you again now. You are back to square one — hurt, resentful and perturbed.

True forgiveness is not possible without reconciliation. And, reconciliation is not possible without a confession. Unless the other person confesses his act, you can’t really forgive. When they don’t believe they made a mistake or when they don’t care about what or how you feel, in such circumstances, I’m sorry to tell you, it’s not possible to forgive. A confession and an apology from the other person, with a sense of remorse, are absolutely integral for forgiveness. Yes, it is possible to forgive someone a hundred times, if they come and confess and apologize a hundred times, but it’s not possible to forgive them even once if they don’t seek your pardon. This is where I see the root cause of the problem: you want to forgive and not resent the other person, but, you can’t do so because they won’t admit they wronged you.
Monks, these two are fools. Which two? The one who doesn’t see his transgression as a transgression, and the one who doesn’t rightfully pardon another who has confessed his transgression. These two are fools.

Om Namah Shivay

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A Moral Dilemma

A Moral Dilemma

Can you lead your life in absolute black or white?

Some questions have no answers, many questions, in fact, have no absolute answers. The other day, a young physician came to the ashram. Let’s call her Anu. She was rather depressed because of the situation at work. Working as a doctor for an autonomous body in the armed forces, Anu was having to dispense fake medicines. Her patients are the defense personnel — the people protecting the country. And, they are being given fake medicines? Perhaps, the downfall of a nation couldn’t be any worse. Anyway, I’m not an umpire of morality or a writer of politics, instead, I wish to take the spiritual view in all this.

“Did you report the matter to your senior?” I said.

“Yes, Swami,” Anu said, “they asked me to not worry. ‘These things happen’, they said. But, my conscience is not allowing me to continue. I’m giving my patients phoney pills and I know they won’t be cured. I want to quit my job but my family wants me to continue since it’s a government job with many perks and benefits, including pension.”

“Don’t just quit,” I said, “blow the whistle. If you quit, the problem will continue.”

“But, I’ve only told you one of the problems,” she said. “They are also taking kickbacks and commissions from pathology labs where patients are often referred for tests. Everyone is corrupt. If I report it to the Commanding Officer, who knows what all may I have to go through? Further, all my doctor friends who are working in other organizations tell me that I’m being pedantic. They tell me I’m oversensitive. It’s a common practice at their workplace too, they say.”

“Taking commissions may just be a malpractice but giving fake medicines is a downright crime. It’s an ethical, a moral, a legal crime. It’s a crime against humanity. Silence is not always golden, Anu. Silence encourages the criminal. If you keep quiet, you become an ancillary to this misdeed.”

“But, even if I report, Swami, they may do something real bad to me who knows, I may even be fired whereas everything will go back to the way it was at their end. Oh, I’m so confused. I wish my family understood my quandary, I would have felt a whole lot better.”

Her dilemma was if anything would change at all even if she blew the whistle, and, if it was worth risking everything? I asked Anu to write down her principles, to write down what she stood for and live accordingly. Her situation is a complicated one, her questions are valid. She has to choose whether she wants to continue with a burden on her conscience hoping one day she won’t feel bad about it anymore, or, expose the wrong and put up with the consequences that could range from a suspension to anything unimaginable. Meanwhile, the innocent patients will continue to suffer.

I don’t believe morality is absolute, but when you violate your own principles, you place on yourself the same burden as an immoral act. You can’t escape from yourself. You can only forgive yourself if you don’t repeat it. I always encourage everyone to write down their principles, their top three principles. It always helps to know what we stand for. Decision making becomes somewhat easier then.

Mulla Nasrudin was the magistrate in a local court. The plaintiffs presented their side of the case and Mulla announced a short recess. Immediately upon his return he gave a judgment in favor of the complainant.

“But, you haven’t even heard our argument!” cried the defense counsel.

“Be quiet,” said Mulla. “I’ve already made up my mind after hearing the plaint. Hearing your plea now will only add to my confusion.”

The truth is, life will confuse you. You will have to make choices, make decisions. You will need to make up your mind. There’s little wisdom in putting it off. The course of history was changed by those who challenged the ‘common practices’, who refused to withstand the oppression, who decided to stand up and not by those who kept quiet. Nothing changes unless we act on it.

A noble life may have its share of stresses and challenges, but it does bestow inner peace and extraordinary strength. There’s no room for depression in it. Everyone has to face difficult situations in life. And there comes a time when you can’t delay a decision any further, when you must pick a side. At that time, if you are confused, find a peaceful spot and write down what matters to you in your life. Thereafter, make a choice that supports your principles and your priorities. Obstacles will become gratifying challenges, and the pursuit will become a fulfilling journey and your life will gain a new meaning then.

When you take up a cause bigger than yourself, the whole Universe summons itself to be by your feet, at your disposal. This is the irrefutable law of Nature.

Om Namah Shivay

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