What I’ve learned this week from Nithya…. A LOT!!! 🙂
I attended Nithya Shanti’s HADAYOLI workshop last weekend at Swapnamayee’s place in Pune. It was beyond my expectations…since I had only one – to have Fun! 😀 Oh and it was way beyond fun!!! I am pleased to say that I learnt only TWO ‘new’ things. But I learned to Apply many of the other things I’d learnt and take them further up the application highway. So this is technically the first thing I learnt ‘new’ – TO APPLY what you read…what you understand…what you hear…what appeals to you…what attracts you…what you love…
* Gratitude – What I have taken back from the workshop very prominently is Gratitude, and its 3 types:
– Gratitude for the things you already have in Life…for e.g I am grateful for the skill of writing because it puts me in touch with myself.
– Gratitude for the challenges in your life, because they teach you something valuable…for e.g I am grateful for the traffic jam on my way from Pune to Mumbai to office every Monday morning because it means i have a home…i have a belonging to a city…i have a love for my family…and this could go on and on.
– Gratitude for your dreams and wishes as if you already have achieved them…. for e.g I am very grateful to be a writer who has inspired millions… 😀
Since I began this practice, I have found too many things to be grateful for!! :O No break at all from the “thank you”s that have been emanating from me since…
* Humour – Blessed as he is with an uncanny sense of humor, I found that to be a great trait each of us can incorporate. I observed how good humor is freely available! 🙂 It can also break down a lot of beliefs within moments…and very effectively with a lasting effect. Also, learning to laugh at your own self, is finally an application of the tenet – take yourself lightly! When I did, I could start appreciating the finer aspects of my reality that otherwise I would miss.
For e.g I used to hate being in IT. But after I started taking life lightly, I realised that I met different types of people on a daily basis more than I’d previously imagined. I also realised that most of these people were over-stressed and are actually desperately searching for the deeper meaning of their life. So they actually seek out yoga, self-help books, alternative therapies, etc. and are paid enough to go out and experiment with what suits them the best. Moreover, since they deal with ‘failures’ everyday in their work life, they are open to the possibility to a particular therapy not working out with them. Even more so, a few people may stick to groups, but they ultimately find out ways of working with people of different cultures, religions, etc. Till date, I have NEVER seen anyone having an issue with another person’s religion!! What a way to promote unity and tolerance!!! See! So many things to appreciate about people in the IT industry! 🙂
The way I look at IT now has changed: 2 lifetimes back I must have been working with the same souls to build a king’s temple… 1 lifetime back again must have been working with the same people to fight a war or build an army truck… this lifetime I am back with the same people, sitting at a computer and reducing the amount of paper used by banks and other organizations worldwide. Which is better?? 🙂
PS: 2 weeks back I got an EXCELLENT fortune on Orkut: ” Good humour makes everything tolerable!” 😀
* Discipline – What I observed is that Nithya had a very disciplined approach in his workshop. He doesn’t entertain slip of time during his workshop to say the least. At first, it triggered a reaction of dislike in me. Thankfully, I was aware enough to notice this reaction. It was because discipline had a very ‘negative’ connotation for me earlier…as a child especially! So I chose to be wild. As I went deeper, I realized discipline is as essence-tial as wildness simply because it allows you to make a habit out of a newly acquired good practice, be it in thought or be it in action. For e.g after I gained the benefits of meditation, I started meditating regularly. But since 1 week before this workshop, I hadn’t been. When I checked myself on discipline, I realized that a disciplined attitude from my end was missing. I incorporated it by going back to my breath, my Awareness. Soon after, a friend of mine put up the quote on Facebook by Lao Tzu,
” Don’t think you can attain total awareness and whole enlightenment without proper discipline and practice. This is egomania. Appropriate rituals channel your emotions and life energy toward the light. Without the discipline to practice them, you will tumble constantly backward into darkness”
… which couldn’t be more relevant! 🙂
* Pull in your spikes!!! – This was a teaching by Nithya that I had heard through Swapnamayee that actually inspired the article “Diamonds and Pearls”. This is especially evident in the corporate world when we see a lot of people have so many spikes drawn out as if everyone here is out to attack you! :O As Nithya funnily puts it, “How do you feel when a person walks into a room…and conversely how do you feel when a person walks out of the room! Sometimes you feel happy when a person walks into a room and sometimes you feel happy when they walk in!!”. Let’s have smooth edges as we brush past different people in our daily walk of life…
* Water reacts to your words! – Even though I had heard about Dr.Masaru Emoto’s experiments on how water reacts to the different words, i.e how its molecular structure re-aligns itself when you say/direct certain words at it, I had been skeptic. But when Nithya cited his own example of how he had kept 3 jars of cooked rice in the freezer with the label of “love” to one, “hate” to another and no label to the third, and how they reacted thence, I was stunned! Finally someone who went one step beyond skepticism/belief. All of us react with either skepticism or belief to any concept – do we go one step further and experiment it out ourselves? Well, this inspired me and today my fridge water bottle has 2 words pasted on its either side: “Love :-)” and “Divine”. Let’s see what happens… 😀 If nothing, I am drinking water with a better molecular structure… and if science matters to you like it does to me, you will probably realise its importance in due time…
* The 2nd NEW thing I learnt was dharma – I never knew what this word meant. Didn’t have an inkling in fact. I was never curious about it either. Nithya gave a story from the scriptures related to this. The premise of this discussion was actually impeccability in speech, termed as vaaksiddhi. The story dates into king Ashoka’s time in ancient India and is cited in the scripture Milindapanha. It goes like this: a prostitute had gained so much impeccability in her speech, that at one time she was able to turn the flow of Ganges backwards, merely by her speech, which no one else could. This is a section I have managed to search up on which describes what vaaksiddhi means:
“Act of Truth – the story in the scripture”, Pages 147 and 148
“Act of Truth”
Technically, a truth act, an ancient institution, is a speech-act “distinguishable from other closely related speech-acts in Vedic, such as oaths, vows, confessions, curses, blessings, charms, etc.” In Vedic contexts, an act of truth is, above all, “an assertion of personal authority”. In other words, an act of truth is performative in that its very utterance accomplishes the act which it designates – such as an exchange of wedding vows.
Here the prostitute, in spite of achieving such a high level of Truth, continues to be so and says she serves anyone who has bought her in equal measure, without fawning or disdain, which is why she is able to achieve such a high level of the Act of Truth. Nithya’s recitation of this tale went as, ‘she said, “Being a prostitute is my dharma“‘. I don’t know if dharma means life purpose, or destiny, or free will or they are all the same! 🙂
I guess this is a completely new thing that I learned that day and moved me because I think through all this journey of Life, I’ve never really paid attention to what my life purpose is… Through Nithya’s Life Purpose Exercise, where you actually sit down and find your life’s purpose, I was able to catch hold of the inkling of my life purpose…and get my life purpose statement. As Nithya suggested, every morning, after meditation, I read my life purpose statement and spend time ‘feeling’ it. More than Act of Truth, my consciousness steered sharply in the direction of dharma in this story. Maybe it is now time to fully start this phase of understanding.
The doors of my perception are being pulled down…steadily and surely…it’s like slow dancing in a burning room…except that this time the Budhha inside is smiling…
“Before enlightenment, I chopped wood and drank water…
After enlightenment, I chop wood and drink water”
* Witness Consciousness – During one of the last meditations, Nithya made us meditate and in the guidance process, he told us to step into our Witness Consciousness. These words somehow had a very powerful effect on me. When I heard this, it triggered a powerful affirmation in me:
“I choose to step into Witness Consciousness Now”.
* Focus – After the second day’s session, as I was sitting down and going through Nithya’s HADAYOLI handout, he came up to me and we started talking. I told him, that I had no idea what my life purpose is. He asked why. I told him it was because I lacked focus in any one particular thing. He said, someone has put a belief or an idea about focus that you are stuck with. I realized “Yes! That was indeed true!”. It was time to contemplate on what focus meant. And after a deep thought, I realized this word is actually hollow. It only makes sense in one respect – focus is the attention in Here and Now. That’s it.
* “Like a hole in the flute…” – This has been the most mind blowing statement I’ve heard from Nithya in the entire 2 and a half days of his workshop!!! 😀 Lately, with my spiritual processes going on, I have become greatly aware of my sensitivity to people’s thoughts i.e energies around me. Staying in Bombay, until the week before Nithya’s workshop, there would be one evening, mostly Thursday or Friday, where I could sense that I had absorbed up so much energy from the people around me, that it would have resulted into a headache. At one point, the headache was too strong to even meditate or do angel therapy! 😦
I know for a fact that each of us absorb energy from the energy-beings around us…the degree to which one does, depends on an individual’s, what I call as, Energy Configuration. Moreover, the Awareness about how much and how you absorb this energy and then how you respond to this energy could be an entirely different matter altogether.
When Nithya used this phrase, “…be like a hole in the flute that lets everything pass through it…and create the music of life…”, my Consciousness smiled and responded: “…and so it is!”. This was the answer I was searching for… a way to stop getting affected…and to allow the energy to pass…to stop filtering…to allow…to surrender to formlessness…
Thank You Nithya!
* The breath of a Master – I recently read a story in Osho’s The First Principle Talks on Zen, where the first known Zen Master, a descendant of Buddha, merely comes to a king’s court and breathes. Delivers nothing. There he says, the mere breathing of a Master is a sermon delivered…if you can understand. A friend of mine had told me that week that Osho once said something on the lines of ‘I speak because you know no other language’.
Practically, its dawning upon me now…Dr.Newton…Dr.Lakshmi…Nithya…and many other Masters may have spent countless breaths in your Presence. Were you Listening?
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