Fear or Love – Can One Sheath Have Two Swords in it?


FearUnity and love

Yesterday I posted a news item on my Facebook page about an Anti-Islamic group planning to move protests to Albury amid mosque renovation plans and shared this news on a community page that I  maintain.  I have called for support to the local Muslim community and not allow outside groups to enter and disturb the peace and harmony in our town, if and when it happens.

This post sparked a debate with one gentleman who took objection to the post and ended up posting you tube videos that show Islam extremist groups fighting local authorities and their capacities, and asking  me not to post anything like this on a community Facebook page.

I also had a private conversation with another person who expressed concerns and ended up quoting the popular saying which echoes many peoples views on Islam and terrorism and that is – “Not All Muslims are terrorists but every terrorist is a Muslim”

This made me think.  This is how it is everywhere isn’t it – from individuals to societies, to countries –  people stuck on what they see as right, not willing to give the other party a chance to explain, wanting to have their word as the last word by all means, distinct ‘us vs them’ mentality, using religion to support arguments, to create arguments, forgetting the basic humanity.

The overriding need for safety of the self drives a person to behave in a way that suits them operating from within their silo.

Is this what humans have become?  What is it in us that is so threatening to each other?

We profess words of peace, but inside we are riddled with doubts, worry,  judgment, fear, persecution – how can our smiles be genuine?

How can love blossom in hearts that are shrinking with fear and crouch in that corners of safety that is illusory?

Love is the answer no doubt and caution needs to be exercised as well when getting into public debate because not everyone comes from the basis of love.  Solution for any of theses issues from micro to macro is in individual understanding and adjustment.

At a time when we are living with all nationalities and religions together in communities, do we isolate one particular community because the larger diaspora of that community on an international scene is not just labelled but marginalized as terrorists because of a few hundred or thousands of peoples’ actions?

Which religion is exclusive of fundamentalism?  There are fundamentalist terrorists in all religions Hinduism included.  In fact, every individual is capable of being a terrorist.  As long as we are operating from fear, the capacity to terrorize in the name of self protection not only is there but is on the ever increase. When enough people with this terror in their hearts join forces, extremist groups are formed. Anti-Islam groups are equally the terrorists.

Yes, I agree when we chose to migrate from our home lands, we have to abide by the law of the host country.  I don’t see any Islamic group in Australia nor any other religious group acting against the law of the land barring a few isolated cases.  So why do we have to bring international fears into our home towns or allow others to pollute our minds?

Is Fear the driver of the 21st Century?

Did we not let fear rule us so far and look where we collectively brought the world to.  I cannot exclude my role in the large collective drama.  Every fear I harbor in the deep dark corners of my heart, no matter how hidden and deep, will contribute to the larger scene.  It first plays on me, then on my family, community and it spreads.

When our children have to sit side by side in schools with Christians, Muslims, Jews, Buddhists, Sikhs etc what are we teaching them – not to help a child in need because he happens to be a Muslim, therefore a terrorist by default?

When that fear is big in our hearts, how can we genuinely demonstrate to our children to become caring individuals?  Can we preach something that we are not prepared to follow?

I am not asking that we should become activists in an effort to solve world problems.  But what is wrong in asking to become activists for ourselves, to weed our own hearts from the damaging fears and prejudices, plant seeds of love to sprout and grow in recognition that –

“Skin deep, we all flow red” and the fistful of muscle that beats in our chest cavity and throbs inside our skulls wants only one thing – LOVE.

What is the worst thing that can happen if we all converted to the Religion of LOVE, just for today, and tomorrow – one day at a time?

Start the day with Love – Send loving thoughts for yourself, your family, your community and the world.

Spend the day with Love – Smile and wave at everyone.  Extend loving help where possible. Don’t be a grouch. Smile does not cost anything

End the day with Love – Say thank you for the day’s events, send loving light into the world and pray that even more loving day will dawn tomorrow.

If we took time to make this an individual practice and also do it collectively, then fear will have no room in our hearts.  We can put aside our minds’ little worries, fears, pressures of various sorts of daily living and grow in love.

Continuously spending a few conscious moments everyday living in love and gratitude, we pave our way to create unity and harmony – recognizing the Fatherhood of God and Brotherhood of  man.

Fear and Love are the two swords that cannot fit into the one sheath. 

What is your choice – Fear or Love?

One binds and the other releases from our own self created shackles.

Let Love be the driver of your thoughts, words and deeds.

Until next time

With Love and Respect

Padma Ayyagari

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**Sacred**


Are You Changing

Sacred Geometry

There is no mundane, there is no ordinary;

There is only Sacred Extraordinary.

Sacred Living, Beautiful People;

Sacred Moments, Loving Interactions;

Sacred Breath, Broad Smiles;

Sacred Actions, Pure Heart.

Change

Selfish Careless Actions Raging with Envy and Deceit (SCARED)

into

Selfless Actions with Compassion, Respect, Empathy and Determination (SACRED)

Rearranging attitudes can be as simple as rearranging the letters and it is possible when we recognise that we may be different outwardly,  but we all are one at the core.

When ‘Life’ is a continuous flow of ‘ Unconditional Love’ for living the ordinary – ‘Scared’ transforms to “SACRED”.

Try to be compassionate

Determine to be empathetic even when justifiable judgments are piling fast at the tip of your tongue.

Respect people for who they are – not for what they do or don’t do

Be…

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Is HOPE Whispering In Your Ears?


My favourite spot of reflection

Hope whispers in my ear that I needn’t worry about kids, family, money, health, future and even world.  “Don’t Worry..” she says, “I am here alive in your heart and carry you through your worries.  ‘Forgetting’ is the magic dust I sprinkle on you. As you sweetly slip in to your dreamworld, I whisper gently and promise that I will hold your hands through the night and fill your world with dreams that help you wake up fresh and bright eyed.”

As life started closing in with all its worries, I was not convinced of these gentle whispers of Hope and needed more assurances from her.

Hope did not give up and continued to whisper in my ear that

  • She is here to make the world a better place by inspiring people to have visions that will not shatter with their current realities,
  • She is the bedrock of all visions and
  • She is an angel from God installed in every human heart no matter how flickering she might be in there.

Hope told me to tell you

  • To not give up,
  • To hold on as all pain comes to an end,
  • That Hope cannot be kicked out so easily
  • That she will linger as long as you dream even faintly against your reality.

Hope is the sun shining even when clouds are covering it up.  She asks us to remember that just as we feel a guarantee that there will be sunshine after heavy rains, there will be Hope even as despair tries to cover us up.  All she needs is half an acknowledgment from us and she is ready to run with us, leading us.

This is what Hope told me today.

She says that she is the next breath of fresh air that enters you – all you need to do is to pause, remember and inhale her deeply and she will light that lamp in your heart.

So, please lend her your ear and she will fill you with most divine melodies that you ever heard.

As Poet Lisel Mueller says –

Hope

It hovers in dark corners

before the lights are turned on,

it shakes sleep from its eyes

and drops from mushroom gills,

it explodes in the starry heads

of dandelions turned sages,

it sticks to the wings of green angels

that sail from the tops of maples.

It sprouts in each occluded eye

of the many-eyed potato,

it lives in each earthworm segment

surviving cruelty,

it is the motion that runs

from the eyes to the tail of a dog,

it is the mouth that inflates the lungs

of the child that has just been born.”

Will you allow Hope to whisper in your ear? What is she saying? Can you hear her?

Remember,

Hope is the Oxygen in the next breath you take

Fill your lungs with it – you won’t regret. 

Pause…..Relax….Breathe….deeply and fully. 

Do not let despair take over and constrict your lungs.

Fill them with Hope.

Inhale ‘Hope’ the Life Saver.

Until next time

With Love and Respect

Padma Ayyagari

Inhale ‘Hope’ the Life Saver.

Until next time

With Love and Respect

Padma Ayyagari

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How To Create a “Culture of Care”


Featured image

We know that the world is in utter chaos and we all crave for a world order to be brought about – by Governments, by Scientists, by others…..

Pope Francis’ Encyclical entitled “Laudato Si – On Care for Our Common Home” that sets out a program for change calls for the need to develop a “Culture of Care” in society and it starts with each individual.

A friend of mine asked “Why do we need to listen to a religious leader talking about climate change when the scientists who are the authority on the subject cannot get heard? My response – Pope’s call is not just for religious followers but for the entire humanity, because Climate Change is not just a scientific issue but it is a moral problem.

In order to fully comprehend Pope’s message, we need to first unpack what is a “Culture of Care” and how it looks like and then perhaps connections can be made how the world’s chaos needs spiritual solutions.

A ‘Culture of Care’ is based in Love.  When Love permeates a human being, he/she will do nothing but care for themselves and the others, wherever they are, which has a domino effect eventually.  When enough people care, societies transform. Caring nature results in beauty in character.

Sai Baba said – ” When there is beauty in character, there is harmony at home; When there is harmony at home, there is order in the nation; when there is order in the nation, there is peace in the world.” 

So a Culture of Care results in world peace.  Sounds far fetched? Let us explore what that Culture of Care actually looks like.  A Culture of Care looks like:

  • Content humans with what they have, which grounds them in the present.
  • A grounded person in the present has a solid identity of who they are.
  • A person who knows who they are is not competitive or an aggressive consumer
  • A non-aggressive consumer does not focus on ‘getting.’
  • When the focus in not on getting, the natural opposite fills in the void – which is ‘Giving.’
  • What can a content and grounded, non-aggressive consumer give?
  • A natural compassion because there is no comparison or competition.

What does natural compassion look like?

A Kind, Satisfied, Happy, Caring, Sharing Person because a naturally compassionate person has

    • Love in their thoughts – therefore Truth prevails
    • Love in their actions – so Right Conduct manifests
    • Love in their feelings – and Peace penetrates
    • Love in their understanding – thus a non-violent world results.

Is this formulaic? I don’t think so. Do you see the connection?

It starts with stopping being an aggressive, competitive, jealous consumer and be content with what we have and live in gratitude. There is always someone who has less than us.

A content and caring individual recognises the interconnectedness as they see the world from within.

If contentment is an answer to create a ‘Culture of Care,’ how can we remain content when the world screams at us that we cannot be happy unless we have more?

Pope’s answer is “Growth marked by moderation” In fact this principle has been given as a “Ceiling on Desires” program four decades ago by Sathya Sai Baba.

Accordingly, Desiring is a natural human phenomenon and cannot be eliminated completely. So, we put a Ceiling on our Desires to consume, whether it is food, money, time or energy.

  • If we learn to stop with one piece of chocolate cake, there is more to share – Ceiling on Desire for food can be connected to relieving world hunger – you do the maths.
  • If we learn to use less energy, there is less burden on natural resources, which means more to share and a safer planet.
  • If we conserve and manage our time, we overcome unhealthy anxiety which means happy families and peaceful societies engaged in meaningful activities.
  • If we desire less, we don’t have to buy more, which means savings. More savings, better lifestyle and happy individuals.

Our consumption of food, money, time and energy are directly linked with our capacity to be content or discontent.  Sounds simplistic? Don’t answers to large problems often have simple solutions?

So, ‘Culture of Care’ starts with an individual and can happen only if we stop excessive consumption and be content. When we are content, we create a ‘Culture of Care.’ Love blossoms as a result and Inner Peace that is directly related to care for ecology and common good results. This is each and every one of our responsibility.

Without a moral and imaginative structure that links our wellbeing to that of others, so that their suffering feels as urgent as ours, or is at least measured on the same scales, we will render our planet uninhabitable.  Not only do we urgently need to understand the human nature but live with the knowledge that Love is the undercurrent of everything and that Love is our true nature.

Ceiling on Desires is a simple ANSWER for today’s complex crisis in the world – from micro to macro.

Shall we start a revolution by creating a ‘Culture of Care?’ Share your thoughts and action plans please….

Until next time

With Love and Respect

Padma Ayyagari

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How To Make Love The Goal Of Life…..


Love

“Love is the Source; Love is the Path; Love is the Goal “– says Sathya Sai Baba.

How is this Love felt or displayed in any of the actions we undertake in this world?

Is it Love to question?

Is it Love to be ignored?

Is it Love to want?

Is it Love not to grant that want?

Is it Love to attack?

Is it Love to defend?

Is it Love to doubt?

Is it Love to trust?

Is it Love to resent?

Is it Love to accept?

Is it Love to rise on other’s shoulders?

Is it Love to claim something forcibly taken as inheritance?

In this life’s drama of give and take, blames and counter blames, win and lose, withhold and share on a need to know basis – what role has Love?

From micro to macro issues, individuals to countries, when each one is firmly rooted on the one side of the coin, trying to peer through their own silo and see what they want to or wish to see, how can Love be the Source, the Path and the Goal?

Can a blind person ever understand or comprehend the enormity of an elephant?

Can our dualistic attitudes to life ever fully understand Love?

Can we ever hold both night and day without labelling one as good and the other bad, but see both as the full range of our vision?

16th Century Spanish writer – Lope De Vega sums it up very well in his poem

 Various effects of Love

To be fainthearted, to be bold, possessed,

abrasive, tender, open, isolated,

spirited, dying, dead, invigorated,

loyal, treacherous, venturesome, repressed.

Not to find, without your lover, rest.

To seem happy, sad, haughty, understated,

emboldened, fugitive, exasperated,

satisfied, offended, doubt-obsessed.

To face away from disillusionment,

to swallow venom like liqueur, and quell

all thoughts of gain, embracing discontent;

to believe a heaven lies within a hell,

to give your soul to disillusionment,

that’s love, as all who’ve tasted know too well.

 So, it is bearing witness to all that without just becoming a winner or a victim – that witness is the Source, the Path and the Goal – Love –  a prize that cannot be won in one life time.

Off we go on to the roller coaster in the meantime, one drama after another…until we learn to truly love which means…

To Be a Witness and taste life’s sweet and bitter treats without complaining

Until next time

With Love and Respect

Padma Ayyagari

 

 

 

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LOVE????


Love is a big question mark for me with its forever changing colors of expression. Read here a blog post from the past about Love…

Are You Changing

Love is a big question mark.

Is there a certain way that one feels love?

Is there a defined way one shows love?

What is it? How should it feel?

Is it love?

To lose my identity in a newborn’s innocence

And my stability in an adolescent’s justified arrogance;

To melt like fresh snow in the morning sun

And harden like a diamond facing life’s cruel fun;

To lose myself in the moments beauty

And in the future’s endless worry;

To be ravaged with life’s endless hopes and desires

And enjoy momentary pleasures;

To let the struggles rage torrents of gushing emotions

Tugging and tearing at the heart’s suspicions

And to write off everything as karma’s go

At crushing my individual ego;

To feel compassion at the suffering

And to be indifferent to the crying;

To remind myself of my fragile mortality

And revel in the glory of my immense…

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Float with Purpose


Are You Changing

Caught in the currents of the flowing river, I am a burnt log gently bobbing, merrily floating, light in weight, but heavy in purpose.

Gathering debris and weeds and yet unattached, when the rip tries to pull me down, I  happily shake the debris loose and merrily float, light in weight, but heavy in purpose.

Heavy debris sometimes pins me to the shores, but soon the haunting call of my purpose helps me to break loose from the resting and pushes me forwards towards my destination, light in weight, but heavy in purpose.

Unattached physically, hollow mentally once again , gently bobbing, merrily floating, I continue my journey to merge with the Sea –  light in weight, but heavy in purpose.

Free

Loving

Observing

Aware and

Trusting

with

Passionate

Uplifting

Resilient

Pure

Offering of a

Steadfast

Energy –…

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“What Things Matter To You?”


Strength & Courage“Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter.”—Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. 

I strongly believe in the above saying.  However, in order to take a stand or speak up or show that things matter, it takes strength.

Yes, we need to be firm, certain, feel, endure, stand alone sometimes in order to muster courage to steer events.

“Truth lies not only in incidents but in hopes and needs” – says Essayist Rebecca Solnit.

It takes strength and courage to let those hopes and needs known.  So speak up your truth not just about incidents but about your life, especially its hopes and its needs. Speak loudly and clearly so your life means something.

Sometimes hurtful truths have to be spoken out loud. Silence is not always helpful.  Silence means only one thing – indifference.  Indifference is the greatest sin of the 21st Century.  Results are never in your hands but remaining silent will never achieve anything either.

It takes Strength……..

It takes strength to be firm, it takes courage to be gentle.
It takes strength to conquer, it takes courage to surrender.
It takes strength to be certain, it takes courage to have doubt.
It takes strength to fit in , it takes courage to stand out.
It takes strength to feel a friend’s pain, it takes courage to feel your own pain.
It takes strength to endure abuse, it takes courage to stop it.
It takes strength to stand alone, it takes courage to lean on another.
It takes strength to love, it takes courage to be loved.
It takes strength to survive, it takes courage to live.
Author Unknown…

Strength and Courage are the required potions now to speak against the atrocities of the world – from micro to macro.  We need to stand together – hand in hand, shoulder to shoulder and speak with strength, with authenticity and with conviction against injustices in the world.

Let’s draw strength from each other and let us build the courage to create a world where we can love unconditionally and be loved freely.

Until Next time

Be strong and courageous

Padma Ayyagari

 

 

 

 

 

 

~ Author Unknown ~

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What is the Boundary Line between ‘Broken’ and ‘Whole’?


Broken and wholeWe live in a world of opposites – thick lines that separate good and bad, beauty and ugly, clean and dirty, kind and cruel, love and hate etc., etc.,  dichotomies that divide us and keep us in our compartments and will not let others come out of their compartments.

It gives us great security in putting someone in their little pigeon hole and always looking at them through the lens that we have created the hole for them.  Often it gives us satisfaction when we determine that someone is more broken than us.

We tend to place our worth entirely on our tangible achievements don’t we not?  Do we consider the efforts that we make in this process? Do we acknowledge the struggles we go through? How whole do we feel in this process or how broken do we think we are?

So, what is the boundary line between ‘broken’ and ‘whole’? Why do we have a need to live in the black and white world of opposites? What stops us from living on the line where black and white start to blend and a grey hue emerges?

In our desires to fix ourselves and/or others, do we constantly blow out our flame of worth? Is it possible for us to live in a world that is free of ‘attack’ and ‘defense’?
I think the images we create for ourselves and others as ‘this’ or the ‘other’ is the source of the problem. It is time we recognized that we are not this ‘OR’ that, but we are this ‘AND’ that.

How difficult is it to live a life of ‘AND’ but not an ‘OR’? When we put aside our fear of disappointments whether with ourselves or with others, we start to see as Poet Mark Nepo says that “The essence of who we are is independent of the web of relationship we need.”  Our essence does not depend on our image of ourselves nor on the image that others create of us.  The essence is not broken or whole, it just is.

How can we live with that realization – with that constant reminder that we are whole no matter what the circumstances and others are trying to tell us, that we are not just a cumulative result of our achievements?

How can we connect to what is eternal in us, a flame that carries us through thick and thin, the essence of who we are?  How can we go beyond the need to prove our worth to ourselves and to others, beyond the dichotomies that gives us false hope and security?

Drawing on Mark Nepo’s words again – “Honest living can shift our quest for worth, from inscribing ourselves in history to releasing what is eternal by living a life of care.”

How can we release what is eternal?  How can we live a life of care?  Mark Nepo says “if we could only give in to gravity just a little, we would cross our inner boundary of fear and discover the endless world of being, buoyant enough to carry us through.”

He offers us to consider Rilke’s poem “The Swan”

swan

This clumsy living that moves lumbering

As if in ropes through what is not done

Reminds us of the awkward way the swan walks.

 And to die, which is a letting go

Of the ground we stand on and cling to every day,

Is like the swan when he nervously lets himself down

 Into the water, which receives him gaily

And which flows joyfully under

And after him, wave after wave,

While the swan, unmoving and marvelously calm,

Is pleased to be carried, each minute more fully grown,

More like a king, composed, farther and farther on.

Can we die to our voice of inadequacy, the voice of opposites?  Can we die to a life of ‘OR’ and live a life of ‘AND’?

Can we live like a swan floating in the currents of life’s waters? Can we embrace the world of dichotomies instead of living in thick demarcations?  Can we see ‘whole’ instead of ‘broken’?

I would love to hear your thoughts.

Until next time

With Love and Respect

Padma Ayyagari

 

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How To Avoid The Emotional Roller Coaster……


I have written this two years ago and looking at the stats of my blog, I regularly get surprised how popular this post is. So for those who haven’t read this piece before, here it is….

Are You Changing

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

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

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

I do…

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

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

We tell ourselves not to feel THAT way, we beg others NOT to feel THAT way…

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