Thursday, May 31, 2012

Me the blooger....act # 2

I started my first blog in 2004. It is still there at - . Close to 8 years now.

Blogged quite well in 2007 and 2008. Averaged 1-2 posts per week. Mostly book reviews, my take on certain quotes I liked, some helpful info on situations like buying a car, dealing with auto accident etc. 

2004 to 2006, I think was more of trial and error. So you may see some naive, irrelevant and lame posts in my old blog which may sound like a diary. Like - Went there, saw this move, some random joke etc. But, it has been all part of the experience to discover what I like to blog about. 

In 2009, got my most favorite gadget - Amazon's Kindle - ebook reader. I like to read. I do read a lot.  Kindle device, availability of large number of books at very affordable prices and website got me hooked to reading even more than ever. Happy for that.

Kindle helped in several ways. Find it much easier to read due to limited screen size. Speed reading is  real option and possibility on kindle device. Speed reading emphasizes scanning a group of words at a time and not reading word by word. With limited view area of Kindle, it is easier to practice and perfect speed-reading.

With some books, the subject matter is interesting but you do not like author's style. In olden days, I would not finish the book after making several attempts to complete it. Now with many ebooks with text-speech-enabled, I will have kindle read it for me and I make notes as needed. This is one wonderful feature in kindle. I hope every publisher enables text to speech on their books.

Kindle literally increased the number of books I read by 2-3 times in no time. It just made reading so much more enjoyable. Since most of my spare time is spent on reading, no wonder I am happy to have read so much in last 3 years. Big thanks to Kindle.

But, my other hobby blogging took the back seat. I do not claim that I spent a lot of time writing blog post even when I blogged actively before. I usually wrote whatever came to mind, whenever felt like writing and put it down on a blog post. But even to write a simple blog post, you need little more active participation than lying down comfortably and read away to glory on kindle. To blog, collect your ideas, question what you are writing, see if you can get supporting information, spell-check (minimum), edit (if possible) and post. But, hey ice tea and kindle is far more enticing (at least till now)

But, I do miss on thing. When you write down something or think in concrete terms using pen and paper (or keyboard and screen), ideas become clearer. It is no wonder they say, when you start inking, you start thinking.

So starting to blog again. Hope to post 1-2 posts per month. May be more.

Few things to keep in mind:

1) I do not claim to know much about anything. If I have blogged about something, it is based on something I have read somewhere and probably my knowledge on that subject is limited to that. I am saying this because if you want to engage in a discussion on anything I have written or will write, I may not be knowledgeable enough to engage with you effectively. Feel free to comment, ask questions, may be we can together learn more.

2) I do not believe I write that well or even correctly for that matter. Also I do not edit my posts much at all. So please excuse my writing. Feel free to point out mistakes so that I can improve my writing.

3) Feel free to share.

4) Feel free to let me know about your blog(s). If you read my blog, may be we have some common interests. It's always nice to connect.

This post - how it happened - is  sort of interesting. My cousin, Vikas Hegde ( - in Kannada language) expressed similar feelings about him having not blogged for a while. I had similar feelings and started blogging little more regularly starting in the beginning of this month.

But, his post made me think - hey, I should write and intro post to my act 2 as a blogger.


Your vision....karmic vision

Let’s never forget: What we see is what our karmic vision allows us to see, and no more.
by Sogyal Rinpoche 
Even quantum physicists have started saying that the reality that we see is only partial because that's all we are capable of seeing with our limited perception. Refer to 'observer effect' where what is being observed is based on the observer. 
Earlier we knew about 3 dimensions. Later  in addition to x, y, z axis, one more was added. That is ever important TIME. Now string theory says there are 12 or 13 dimensions which approximate or generalized to fit into 4 dimension theory.

Even with our 5 senses, the reality we see is not complete because we are limited by our karmic vision. Everyone wears some kind of filter which lets in only what they are destined to see and nothing more. 

There is nothing wrong about being able to see only what we can see. It's meant to be like that. It's there for our own protection otherwise we mortals can not survive if we see multidimensional reality all of a sudden.

But, we should have an open mind that there is lot more than what we can see with our senses combined.

That's in our own best interest.

As we open up to possibilities beyond our limited vision, our vision starts getting broader and broader. By being open minded, we are letting God know that we are slowly but surely readying ourselves for advanced experiences. 

After that just wait for different experience to occur. It is not that you will have a dazzling experience which is not normal. What happens is that you become more perceptive. Things that you did not use to notice or did not use to make sense start making sense suddenly. That's all. As you accumulate such experiences, you will start seeing more and more unity. That's the whole purpose. Seeing the underlying unity. 

Separateness is mere illusion.


Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Cultivate what?

Cultivate an attitude of friendship for those who are happy. 
Cultivate compassion for those who are suffering. 
Cultivate an attitude of cheerfulness toward those who seem to be virtuous. 
Cultivate an attitude of indifference toward those who do not seem to be virtuous.
by Pandit Rajmani Tigunait 
Very wonderfully said.
Try to be friends with people who are happy. Their happiness will rub on you as well. Happiness is contagious. It's hard not to be happy around happy people. Happier you are, more people you are going to make happy by your mere existence.
People suffer from real or perceived pains. Be compassionate towards them. Remember that in some cases compassion means doing nothing. Because you may not understand their suffering which may be there to help them grow. If you help prematurely or when not needed, you may hurt more than help. On this point, an old post comes to mind.

Cheerfulness towards virtuous. Virtuous people serve as ready reminders for us to be like them all the time. Even when you lack one or more virtues and want to be like those people, just having such role models around you helps. This may be the reason that all schools of spirituality put heavy emphasis on 'satsang'. That means to be in the company of good people.

Indifference sometimes comes with some sort of dry and negative connotation. Here it seems to mean detachment. Non-virtuous people are not necessarily bad. It's just that you want to have least possible interactions with them. They are like weeds. Once you start blocking water and nutrients to weeds, they whither away. So once you stop paying attention to non-virtuous people, they fade away. Even if they stay in your life and cause problems, be assured that such a thing was meant to happen and rejoice when it is over.


Knowledge vs. Wisdom

Knowledge is knowing that tomato is a fruit.
Wisdom is knowing not put tomato in fruit salad.

Wisdom comes from good observation. Good observation takes focus and intention. So be quiet and observe. There is far more than what meets the eye. 

When you are with people, there is no need for words or explicit communication to sense what's going on. Quiet people pick up on the subtle hints without any problem. It's those ever talkative people who miss on all clues both subtle and explicit and commit blunder after blunder. See that for yourself in parties or meetings. People find such people simply repulsive. Some parties end prematurely because such people dominate the scene. Thank God if you are spared from such parties.

That's why they some people are wise and others are otherwise. No doubt.

People who have knowledge but no wisdom are like empty pot. Empty pot is not really empty. It is full of air. Merely knowledgeable people are like such empty pots with full of hot air. Painful to deal with.

Monday, May 28, 2012


Personality comes from 'persona' which means 'mask'.

So what's is our personality? A mask?

Yes, many times what we think what our personality is nothing more than a mask.

Sometimes mask is a good one and sometimes it is not a good one.

And per our scriptures, it is not one mask that we wear but several. Layer over layer.

After wearing masks for so long, no wonder we come to identify completely with our masks. We totally forget that we are wearing masks and that is hiding our real face.

You think you have angry personality. You are wearing an anger mask. That's all. Transform that anger and that mask falls away.

If you think you have a cheerful and happy personality, congratulations. That's not a mask at all. That's an attribute of your true nature. Keep it and develop it. Such positive personalities spread happiness wherever they go.

If you think you have a brooding personality, well again a mask. Not your real nature. Get out and be with people. Put the happiness of others before yours and see how your gloominess stars to melt and eventually evaporate.

Simple rule. Whatever is good and synchronizes with your heart is your real personality. If it does not feel good or fit well, then it is a mask. Slowly but surely start removing the mask step by step and eventually you will have your REAL personality.

Good news is that none of the masks fit you well at all. It's only natural that they do not fit you because they are artificial and artificial things do not feel and fit well.

No wonder we feel uncomfortable when we are angry, hostile, jealous, unhappy, vengeful. See how you feel when you feel happy for yourself and others, kind, patient. Feels good. Right?

If it feels good, do it while remembering if it does not feel good, please stop doing it.

Simple transformation.


PS: As usual inspired by Sri Eknath Easwaran's wisdom.

Sunday, May 27, 2012


What's peace?

Let's not worry about world peace.

What it means on individual level.

For me as I reflect today, peace means.

- being in sync with your true self
- accepting the situation
- having courage to change the situation or myself as needed
- having no regrets of the past or worries of the future
- having a firm faith that life, without fail, provides you with everything you need to live this moment. (Jesus prayed - God give this day our daily bread and NOT bread for this week or month or year)
- self preservation will get you through any sort of crisis
- people come in your life or you go into the lives of others for a reason and stay there only to the extent needed.
- reality that we see is not what it is but what we are capable of seeing. So be sure of your reality to the extent your senses let you see but have an open mind that it is not all. There certainly is more than what meets our senses. But to be peaceful you can just make peace with your reality.

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Pray for one, get one free - wish


When you grant my wish,
As a bonus, please also grant another wish,
That is for me to remember how badly I wanted my wish granted,
Without remembering how desperate I was for my wish,
I won't enjoy it let alone be satisfied by your granting of my wish

Many times, when we achieve what want, we do not seem to enjoy it as much as we thought we would. Or the thing that we have obtained does not seem to provide us with the satisfaction that we thought it would. This is probably because over the time it has taken to achieve our goal, time has passed and that probably changes how we view our goal or wish.

Friday, May 18, 2012

Kangaroo court and kangaroo justice

Next time when someone says something about someone else, check your mental process. What do you normally do? Do you simply listen and defer from judging the person about whom something is being said or make some judgements based on what's being said. Chances are very high you judge the other person just based on what's being said. This is more true if the person who is saying about the other person is someone known to you. Shame on us, if we do this routinely and unconsciously.

You have just conducted a kangaroo court session.

It's commonsense that we should listen to all points of views before forming an opinion about someone or something. It is even ok not judge at all. But, nothing can be worse than judging someone without getting all sides of the story. I would rather be neutral if I am not able to judge rather judge in a rush.

All of us make this mistake from time to time. One of the best ways to avoid this is by putting ourselves in the position of the other person on whom we are forming an opinion or judging. How do we feel if someone hears something about us from somebody else and passes a judgement on us that's not fair to us. Don't we feel bad? More often you ask this, more you will be able to defer judging people.

More and more relationships, personal and professional, get seriously affected because we rush to judge. We rush to form opinions. We want to brand people. We want to stereotype them. It's natural but if we really want to advance, this is one anti-pattern that we must overcome. If we do not learn not judge others, we are going to be judged as poor judge of people and go down the drain in no time.

Remember even if you own a gold mine, you need other people to mine the gold for you. We all need other people when we try to accomplish even simple tasks. If we have judged others with prejudice, chances are we are going to miss out on some good people who could have become our good personal friends or good professional acquaintances.


Pocket knife & sword

A pocket knife is enough to commit suicide.
But you need a sword to kill someone else.

-- Sri Ramakrishna Paramahansa

Above quote may look somewhat negative.

But, Sri Ramakrishna used this to illustrate a very important point. That is, you see, many times we grasp some profound truths without much difficulty. Some sudden insight occurs like in  epiphany and one or more doubts that have been hounding for ages get cleared in a moment. But try communicating the same to someone else. You need a lot more knowledge and skills to teach it to others effectively. It also requires that the other person is also ready to know such a truth.

So in this context Sri Ramakrishna used the above analogy to say that with a simple pocket knife one can commit suicide and end his life but to kill someone else you need a sword.

There is another important aspect to this. When we understand some important truth, it may appear as simple. We may ourselves wonder how we managed to understand something so complex so easily. Be happy that you did. Be happy that you have grown to that extent. Be happy that over many life times you have prepared yourself for that moment.

Then do not stop there. Try to learn as much as possible about the truth that has been just revealed to you. There have been several wise people before us who have not only learned a lot about such insights but also have taken time to write about  them so that we can use that knowledge to explain to others.

Sri Adi Shankara's 'Updadesha Sahasri'  is one such book. 'Thousand teachings' is written so that a teacher can use it as a teacher's manual to anticipate questions from a good student and answer them well.


Tuesday, May 01, 2012

Just sit absolute stillness

Find a quiet place to be all by yourself for a few minutes. 10 minutes to 30 minutes. Relax and just do nothing. No meditation. No chanting. Nothing. Just be aware of the present moment. It's hard. Just watch your mind. It is either thinking about the past or the future. Anything but the present. Just the act of watching the mind makes it slow down and thoughts start ceasing. It's like a small kid caught in his or her own act. Feels embarrassed and stops doing what it was doing.

Lot of Buddhist based meditation techniques use this technique of focusing on the present as the core practice of their spiritual practices. It really helps, relaxes and slows the mind. Deep breathing helps a lot too.

Mindfulness is the name they give to it.

Pick up any good book on mindfulness and study it. It may end up being one of the best things you may do for yourself and your well-being.