Posted: December 2nd, 2010 | Author: Jai Dev | Filed under: Whole Life Advice | No Comments »
There is an old saying: “You are known by the thoughts you hold, the company you keep, and the food you eat.” To keep your thoughts high you need to let go of bad thoughts, and avoid bad company and bad foods. Sounds too simple to be true, but in fact it is very simple and very true.
So, what are ‘bad’ thoughts, ‘bad’ company and ‘bad’ foods? ‘Bad’ is that which is not conducive to ‘good,’ and ‘good’ is that which is conducive to your well-being, which just so happens to be same as everyone else’s well-being. Some people may argue that ‘good’ and ‘bad’ are subjective—that ‘good and bad’ are ‘in the eyes of the beholder.’ This is simply not true.
Fresh air, clean water, and nutritious foods are universally beneficial to everyone’s physical well-being. Similarly, the company of unselfish, noble-minded people, and inspiring, uplifting thoughts are conducive to everyone’s psychological well-being. Conversely, polluted air, dirty water, and foods lacking in nutritious value are detrimental to everyone’s physical health, and the company of mean-spirited, vicious, and cruel people is dangerous to one’s well-being. Holding on to selfish thoughts, grudges, prejudices, and animosities pollutes the mind and makes it both vile and violent.
Maintaining good health and peace of mind is necessary for ‘optimum living,’ just like maintenance and fine tuning are necessary for the optimum performance of any instrument, tool, or piece of machinery. As human beings, we wash our bodies, our clothing, our cars; we brush our teeth everyday, we wash our floors and windows, we remove ‘bugs’ from our computers and dust from the lens of our cameras and TV screens—but how many people ‘wash their minds’ everyday with introspection, deep reflection, and meditation? Many people are brainwashed by the daily propaganda of materialism. Many people are mesmerized by the constant chant of ‘me, my, and mine.’ This needs to be offset by the daily purification and fine tuning of the mind.
Mental purification is not possible if the seat of the mind is ‘dirty.’ The brain (a part of the body) is the seat of the mind. The brain, being a body-part, is composed of the foods eaten. Chemical changes in the brain can induce sensations and thoughts. Thoughts in turn lead to actions.
High thoughts lead to the association of high people. High people are selective about the thoughts they hold, the company they keep, and the foods they eat. They do not engage their minds in shallow thinking, they do not seek solace in the solicitation of the selfish and self-involved, and they do not consume foods which are the product of violence and which produce violent reactions leading to both ill-health and ill-will.
If this blog post sounds ‘out there’ to some of our readers, my humble suggestion is that you perform your own experiments to test the validity, or not, of what I am saying. For example, try the following experiment for 1 month, or even just one week, and judge for yourself whether there is any truth in the adage, “You are known by the thoughts you hold, the company you keep, and the food you eat.” Try this experiment for one week, or better yet, for one month:
1. For 10 minutes after rising and before retiring, sit quietly and empty your mind through meditation. At first, you may only be able to spend the 10 minutes in reflection or introspection (inspecting the inner workings of your mind). That’s okay—this will eventually lead to meditation in which the mind rests in a conscious non-thinking state.
2. Limit the amount of time you spend watching TV or listening to the radio. When you are watching TV, you are in effect inviting the characters portrayed in the TV show (the ‘good, the bad, and the ugly’ characters) into your living room (or bedroom) and you make yourself their audience; you are devoting your mind to listening attentively to what they say, how they say it, how they think, feel, and act. Cut back on the amount of time you spend with this mostly shallow company.
3. Become a vegetarian, and do not consume any alcoholic beverages.
After the experiment is over, judge for yourself whether or not there is any difference in your peace of mind, mental equilibrium, and all-round health. If you discover any change, then you should consider exploring this matter further.
Posted: November 24th, 2010 | Author: Jai Dev | Filed under: Whole Life Advice | No Comments »
High thinking and high energies are married together. If you want to have positive energies, you must have positive thoughts, and vice versa. Once you divorce yourself from good thoughts, your energy level goes down. In essence, you always have the same amount of energy (energy is never destroyed); however, when you have negative thoughts and negative energies, you will be functioning on a lower level. Either you are using your energy to do good things, or you are using it to do bad things—doing nothing is either good or bad, depending on the context.
Contrary to popular thought, people always think before they act. In other words, before you do any action you are always aware that you are doing something—that is, you are conscious when you act, and because you are conscious you are responsible for what you do. Sleep-walkers are not held responsible for their actions because they are not conscious of what they are doing.
Thinking, in this context, simply means being aware that you are acting. Oftentimes we act without due deliberation. Even if we don’t deliberate before taking action, we are still thinking—we are thinking about ourselves! Self-involved thinking is self-destructive. It destroys our peace of mind and our energy level goes down. Sometimes it goes down to our mouth and we say what we shouldn’t say. Sometimes it goes down to our stomach and we eat when we shouldn’t eat. Sometimes it goes lower.
We have to keep our thoughts high and our energies high. We have to have positive thoughts and positive energies. With good thoughts and good energies we will create a good life and we will multiply goodness wherever we go.
Posted: November 15th, 2010 | Author: Jai Dev | Filed under: Whole Life Advice | No Comments »
What is ‘high thinking?’
High thinking means you are always moving faster than your mind. Whenever your mind is under your control, you easily rise to the occasion and meet every challenge with courage. But if you are under the control of your mind, your mind tends to run out of your mouth and your life becomes problematic.
High thinking means to stand on the mountain and have a 360 degree view of everything that is happening all around you. The ‘mountain’ is your own ego, and conquering that mountain is the only mountain you need to climb. High thinking creates a pathway to the top of that mountain, and every step along the way is filled with insights.
High thinking means to be positive-minded in spite of difficult situations. However, high thinking does not mean being naïve or oblivious to the dangers at hand. High thinking clears the mind of images, preconceived notions, and bias—it does not clear the mind of awareness.
High thinking means to live life with total awareness, clarity and sincerity. High thinking means to be conscientious, pure-hearted, earnest, and honest.
High thinking means to honor the real self in everyone; it does not mean to honor the dishonorable. High thinking humanizes, it does not dehumanize. High thinking is encouraging but not enabling.
High thinking is the most natural way to think, and is most conducive to natural, simple living. Likewise, simple living is conducive to high thinking. It is our natural state to be clear, happy, peaceful, and content. To live in our natural state of being, we need to clarify our mind and simplify our life through ‘simple living and high thinking.’
Posted: June 19th, 2010 | Author: Jai Dev | Filed under: Financial Advice | No Comments »
(This article has been reprinted from Navrang Times. The author is unknown.)
Sri Aurobindo says: “All wealth belongs to God and those who hold it are trustees.” Roman Rolland opines: “This thing must be put bluntly: every man who has more than necessary for his livelihood is a thief.”
Albert Einstein puts it more mildly: “It is everyone’s obligation to put back into the world at least the equivalent of what he takes out of it.”
All of us have been born on the earth with a particular object, with a definite purpose—to serve humanity. We are here with a sublime mission to make this world more beautiful, to make it a better place to live in, to serve fellow human beings.
Someone has said: “We are here for the sake of others.” No life is really happy until it is helpful. He indeed gets the most out of life who does his utmost to elevate mankind.
Nothing really belongs to us. Whatever comes into our possession, we are in possession of it only in the capacity of a trustee. Andrew Carnegie believed that the rich had a moral obligation to give away their fortunes for the common good of all. He asserted that all personal wealth beyond a family’s needs should be regarded as a trust for the benefit of the community.
In the words of Phillips Brooks, “No man has come to true greatness who has not felt in some degree that his life belongs to humanity and that what God gives him, He gives him for mankind.” The philosopher Voltaire says: “I know of no great persons except those who have rendered great services to the human race.”
The central problem facing the world today is how to satisfy our ever increasing wants and needs. Gandhi believed in the doctrine of non-possession, i.e., voluntary dispossession of wealth and worldly goods beyond basic and daily needs. He once said: “We have enough to satisfy man’s needs but not enough to satisfy man’s greed.” He would say: “It is sinful to multiply one’s wants unnecessarily.”
Orison Swett Marden opines: “No one will live long in the world’s memory who has not done something besides selfishly grasping and hoarding wealth or working within the narrow sphere of personal interest and ambitions.”
Money itself has very little to do with happiness. Some of the most wretched persons in the world have been very rich. They could have everything that money could buy, but their money didn’t buy them happiness. It didn’t bring contentment or harmony into their homes.
The world never honors the greedy and selfish; it only cherishes the memory of those who have illustrated in their lives the highest human values. The man who lives for his self alone, whose life is not of value to the whole community, is a colossal failure.
People may make millions and still be utter failures. Making a life is more important than making a living. The rich have no business to indulge in vulgar display of wealth when the poor lack such basic necessities as drinking water. To quote Orison Swett Marden again: “A large part of the immorality and crime in the world is due to the influence of the ostentation of flaunting of wealth in the face of those less favored. It is a powerful undermining force in our civilization. No rich person has a right to set an example which will demoralize others. Our rights to extravagance cease when they injure others.”
The Holy Vedas say: “The Lord does not favor the rich who refuse to share their wealth with the needy and poor. The rich man who does not utilize his wealth for noble deeds or does not offer it for the use of his fellow-beings, is selfish and has earned the wages of sin. Horded wealth eventually proves to be the cause of his ruin.”
Posted: June 11th, 2010 | Author: Jai Dev | Filed under: Whole Life Advice | No Comments »
The self you are thinking about is not really the Self—it is not the True Self. The self you are thinking about is always changing. What you are experiencing is the mind. When the mind becomes one-pointed through the practice of Yoga, the Self experiences the Self. The ‘experience’ is the one-pointed mind. In other words, the ‘experience’ is the reflection of the Self in the mind which has become ‘atomic,’ i.e., one-pointed. The mind which is not one-pointed presents a distorted image (idea) of the Self. The distortion is removed by removing ego from the mind. ‘Removing ego from the mind’ means to stop thinking about your self.
Absence of all modifications of the mind comes from highest detachment. In the highest state of detachment, one experiences the Pure Self.
Posted: April 27th, 2010 | Author: Jai Dev | Filed under: Whole Life Advice | No Comments »
People can’t be happy because they are in pain (mental, physical, or both).
People are in pain because of self-abuse.
People are self-abusive because they hate themselves.
People hate themselves because they have betrayed themselves (they have betrayed their Higher Nature).
People go against their real nature because they are ignorant of who they really are.
People don’t know their real self because they are busy knowing the nonsense.
People know nothing about their real self because they think they know everything (they think they have it all figured out).
People think they have it figured out because they think in boxes, and boxes fit together like pieces of a puzzle.
People are confused (puzzled) because they think life is a puzzle.
People think life is a puzzle because they are caught up in their images.
People have images because they do not have direct experience.
People do not have direct experience because they are caught up in their ego.
People are caught up in their ego because this is how they have learned to live—they have learned to live by the example of others, and People are caught up in their ego.
Either you can be happy or you can be in your ego.
Posted: April 24th, 2010 | Author: Jai Dev | Filed under: Whole Life Advice | No Comments »
Impression. . . expression. Inhalation. . . exhalation. Inspiration. . . exaltation.
The cycles of existence are beginningless and endless. We have lived before and we will live again. We have died before and we will die again. We have met with success and failure, and then again success and then again failure. We remember and we forget. We are remembered and one day we are forgotten. Everything gained or obtained came from here only. We did not bring anything with us when we came, and we will not take anything with us when we go.
We are here in this world but we are not of it. We are playing a role in a drama, but we are not the role. This world is not what it appears to be. All of this alludes to something not seen, not heard, not tasted, touched, smelled, remembered or imagined. All of this is an illusion, a dramatization, a play, a game, and a sport. There is something beyond all of this. When we discover the allusion in the illusion we are freed from self-delusion. Only then is our confusion removed.
When the mind is purified, clarified with the Wisdom of Consciousness, we get a glimpse into the nature of Ultimate Reality.
Posted: March 26th, 2010 | Author: Jai Dev | Filed under: Whole Life Advice | No Comments »
Birth, Life and Death are a dream. If you are living, you are already ‘living the dream.’ The problem is, most people are living a dream within the dream, and this is the dream of ego and self-delusion.
To awaken from the dream means to get out of our ego. If we are pursuing a dream within the dream, then it is our ego which is in pursuit, and ego pursuits always fail us even when we succeed in them. Why? Because we were not born for the sake of fulfilling our ego-dreams (which can never be fulfilled)—we came here to become ego-free and experience our Essence. That dream (the experience of our Essence) is realized (actualized) when we awaken from the dream of ego.
Posted: March 24th, 2010 | Author: Jai Dev | Filed under: Whole Life Advice | No Comments »
Most people want “something for nothing,” but we can never get something for nothing.
If we are holding onto our ego, then we want something for our ego, and if we want something for our ego we will never get it. Oh, we might get something temporarily—but ego won’t let us be satisfied with it. Contentment will always elude us so long as our ego is in the way.
Once our ego is removed, then we are full—we are complete, which means there is nothing missing. If there is nothing missing then there is no need for ‘something,’ hence, we have no desire to get something for nothing because we already have everything.
Everything is nothing and nothing is everything, but something is a very little part of everything—and something is never enough as long as we think we are missing something. So long as we are in our ego, we think we are missing something. However, in reality, we are not missing anything—we are in reality missing nothing. When we have no ego we have everything, which is nothing; hence, when we have no ego we are not missing anything. When we are not missing anything, we have no desire to get something for nothing.
Posted: March 20th, 2010 | Author: Jai Dev | Filed under: Financial Advice | No Comments »
“They did it.” “It’s their fault.” “The banks caused the downfall. It’s all the greed on Wall Street.”
No. It’s not ‘they’ or ‘them.’ It’s not the greed of ‘the banks’ or ‘the people’ on Wall Street. No. It all boils down to ‘little me.’
‘Me, my, and mine’ are the root of the problem. In other words, it’s an ‘ego’ thing.
Everyone wants to blame someone or something for their problems, but the simple truth is that “We are the problem; we are the solution.” To fully understand this, you need to turn little ‘me’ upside down.
You (and I) need to get out of our comfort zone. It is time to stop placating ourselves. It is time to look within and recognize that ‘we are in our own way.’ To get our self out of the way means to remove our ego from the mind. As long as the ego-infection remains, that long we remain in desperation.
Our ego is made-up of images—mental superimpositions, unrealistic expectations, and selfish motives. Who created ego? We created ego—each and every one of us is the maker of our own fate. If we are a fatalist, it is our own ego that makes us so. We can be positive or we can be negative. We can be realistic or unrealistic. We can be happy or we can be in our ego. It is our choice, and each of us is the sum total of the choices we have made.
Things may be really messed-up, but it doesn’t mean we have to let what’s going on outside get inside of us. The mind is inside, and what goes on outside is also going on inside, but only if we are in our ego—in other words, only if we are identified with it.
Ego is the identification of consciousness (awareness) with the mind and body. The identification occurs naturally due to our association with them. We (conscious beings) are identified with the mind and body because of our association with the world of mind (subtle matter) and matter (gross matter). This sets the stage for the Drama of Existence, the Sport of Life.
As living beings (embodied consciousness) we are engaged in the Game of Life for the purpose of experiencing (expressing) our Essence. This is what it’s all about. It’s not all about getting rich or becoming famous or important. The real aim of our existence is to manifest our Real Nature through the Art of Life. We are the most creative when we are the most egoless. Hence, it is essential that we reduce and ultimately eliminate our own ego. This is our real work, and it requires effort and persistence. Those who prevail ultimately succeed in perfecting their nature. This is the real success.
Our success is not dependent on anyone else but ourselves. Our success is not hampered by ‘they’ or ‘them’—it is hindered only by the presence of our own ego. The recognition of this fact is the first step on the pathway of true success.