George Clason published, The Richest Man in Babylon, in 1926 to enlighten Americans with telling parables from the ancient city of Babylon. Surprisingly, the basic principles of gaining and maintaing wealth are the same today as they were in the lustrous city of Babylon many centuries ago before the birth of Christ. The acquisition of gold has tantalized man since the beginning of civilization for it has brought respect, honor, pleasure, safety, and security to many who have sought it. Even today, everyone must work to make a living. Each individual makes his share to spend, save, or invest. Making money is a means to survive in society, and it has been such since the beginning of cooperative society. Work is symbolized with the $ symbol, whether we like it or not.

In the book, Arkad, the richest man in babylon, explains his desire for wealth:

In my youth I looked about me and saw all the good things there were to bring happiness and contentment. And I realized that wealth increased the potency of all these. Wealth is a power. With wealth many things are possible. One may ornament the home with the richest of furnishings. One may sail the distant seas. One may feast on the delicacies of far lands. One may even build mighty temples for the Gods.

And, when I realized all this, I decided to myself that I would claim my share of the good things of life. I would not be one of those who stand from afar off, and enviously watching others enjoy. I would not be content to clothe myself in the cheapest raiment that looked respectable. I would be satisfied with the lot of a poor man. On the contrary, I would make myself a guest at the banquet of good things.”

If we all must work to make a living, why not work hard and smart. There is nothing wrong with hard work where the fruit of our labor is wealth. Arkad makes a great point by saying that he would not settle for less than what he was capable of. Every human being is capable and has the potential to do many great things with the infinite energy of passion, desire, and purpose. Money is an ends to a mean which makes life easier to lead without the clout of living bill to bill.

As being a Sikh, I am taught from religion and commonsense that money will not bring eternal satisfaction, contentment, happiness, or peace. It is but a trap of falsehood in the overall illusion of Maya, and I do agree with this point. However, Guru Nanak strongly believed that a spiritual life should not be led in isolation. It is important for a person to raise and care for family while working for an honest and truthful living. Hard work has never be denied nor looked down upon in Sikhism as long as the individual remains free of greed, attachment, or ego. Humility is the main ingredient to success in all aspects of life.

Socially, culturally, and mentally money plays a large role in the ease of life. It does not make life free of struggle, but a surplus of money makes it more bearable; many doors and opportunities swing open to the whims of wealth. Hence, it is in the interest of wise men to learn the fundamental laws of gold. Those who receive money without guidance or wisdom lose it quickly, because the source is not renewing. Wealth comes from an ongoing stream of funds from income, investment, and interest.

Arkad had five vital gold (wealth) laws :

The First Law of Gold – Gold cometh gladly and in increasing quantity to any man who will save not less than one-tenth of his earnings to create an estate for his future and that of his family.

( One tenth or more of one’s income should be set aside for investment. A budget should be instated to constantly keep one dollar out of every ten for investments to ensure future security and wealth. It is extremely important to skip out on some of life’s appealing lures, in order to ensure a future of wealth gain. Discipline is the difference between a fat purse or a lean one.)

The Second Law of Gold – Gold laboreth diligently and contentedly for the wise owner who finds for it profitable employment, multiplying even as the flocks of the field.

(The money saved must be working for you. It must become your working slave through investment. The principle will begin to multiply in sound investments giving rise to new generations of wealth who will also work with you to make more. Do not divert this wealth for spending until the money has become an army working for you. Each dollar created is one more dollar working to create more through effective measures. The stream must be large and fast enough to feed itself.)

The Third Law of Gold – Gold clingeth to the protection of the cautious owner who invests it under the advice of men wise in its handling.

(Invest with the advice of those who are successful and honorable. Trust is a shaky word, but let their checkbook do the talking for the man. An experienced man in any field will be the one to seek during times of investment. His advice is free and worth much money and future safety.)

The Fourth Law of Gold – Gold slippeth away from the man who invests it in bussinesses or purposes with which he is not familiar or which are not approved by those skilled in its keep.

(Do not invest in some area where you have no experience or prior knowledge, because loss will be your lesson. Stick with what you have learned and studied through experience. A man who studies the body for ten years, a doctor, should not invest blindly into making a new restaurant chain unless he is also a chief.)

The Fifth Law of Gold – Gold flees the man who would force it to impossible earnings or who followeth the alluring advice of tricksters and schemers who trust it to his own inexperience and romantic desires in investment.

(Amazing returns and unbelievable profits are fit for disaster. Something that sounds to good to be true is probably just that too good to be true. Let the Madoff scandal during this year be a reminder not to fall for the stairs. Be safe and keep your money bound to consistency and security. Safer margins for growth are much healthier in the long run than blind faith in huge profits. Huge risk = HUGE LOSS or miraculous luck.)

Be smart with money, and let it work for you. Patience is the key along with the right eye to see opportunity when it comes knocking on the door. If you save that one tenth you might just have the capital it takes to take advantage of the lifetime opportunity when it comes.

Let ninety percent of your income be the chips unto which to enjoy and cherish the goods of life, and let the remaining ten percent go to work for the future wealth for yourself and the family. Make yourself a guest to the grand banquet of life, and enjoy all their is to offer by playing smart and wise with wealth or else be left watching others enviously. For myself, I am not the type to watch.

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The 3HO Sikhs have inspired me for countless years as a Punjabi Sikh in the United States; however, a simple google search opens the door for heated controversy and debate. Is 3HO a cult?

“The 3HO Foundation is a Global Community of people who practice and share the teachings of Yogi Bhajan so that they may serve, inspire, and empower humanity to be healthy, happy, and holy. 3HO’s Global Community is comprised of people who are dedicated to living a life that uplifts and inspires. Over the past 40 years, 3HO has become a vibrant, dynamic community of leaders, teachers, students, and seekers practicing the time-proven technology of Kundalini Yoga and Meditation as taught by Yogi Bhajan grounded and centered in a philosophy of compassion and kindness. People from all walks of life and on every continent share this technology and are experiencing their potential, realizing peace in their inner world, and participating in a healthful lifestyle.” [www.3HO.org]

I have been well aware of the 3HO organization for years, and I have been inspired by the lifestyle as well as the authenticity. Living in California and attending the annual Sikh parade in Los Angeles, I would see the grace of the 3Ho community serving side by side with native Sikhs and non Sikhs alike. Many men and women have joined the Khalsa brotherhood which abolishes all caste, creed, and economic class. In reality there is no Punjabi or 3HO Sikh, because Sikhism is an experience for humanity and in no way exclusive to any one group, race, or people. Sikhism carries a universal message of compassion, service, and selflessness.

Yoga is an intrinsic pillar in the lives of most 3HO Sikhs as taught by Yogi Bhajan decades ago in America. Kundalini Yoga is a powerful experience with chanting, stretching, and breathing exercises which serve to increase both energy and self-awareness. Many people find peace, relaxation, and profound changes within themselves after such revitalizing yoga. I have not had the chance to partake in Kundalini Yoga as of yet, but I am waiting to experience it for myself. Today many “Sikhs” are blind sighted by anything that seems to have any relevance with Hindu practices after years of turmoil in India; hence, many are skeptical of the merging of Sikhism with yoga. However, they are missing a fundamental part of Sikhism in that analysis. Meditation and naam jaap are vital to reaching the gates of God in Sikhism. The balance of Miri Piri ensured by Guru Hargohind Singh Ji made a profound impact on the physical upkeep of the body. Spiritually, socially, mentally, and physically one must remain balanced.

Exercise releases endorphins which are just as powerful as many anti-depressants prescribed by doctors. In the book, Spark, Dr. John Ratey expands on amazing research showing how the brain is directly affected by exercise. Memory is increased, mental strain lessened, stress decreased, and neurological pathways strengthened. Exercise acts as a fertilizer to create new branches and strengthen old ones in the brain. In addition with all the mental benefits the physical ones are apparent and well known. Now combine exercise with mental discipline and you get yoga. Whether the person takes it spiritually or religiously is solely up to them, but the benefits are undeniable and should not be tossed aside with misconception and ignorance.

One Sikh cannot tell another that jogging or cardiovascular exercise is not apart of the Sikh religion or philosophy prescribed by the Gurus, and in the same way one Sikh cannot tell another that yoga is not a part of Sikhism. Both induce better health and have only positive effects on the body. Hence, yoga is a great vehicle to get in shape physically and mentally and should be given a chance and practiced with spirituality in mind.

Rick Ross has created an internet site where he cites the danger of various cults, and the 3HO is one of his “concerns.” Rick Ross himself has had a rocky life and has been arrested, sued, and indicted for many false accusations causing him to file bankruptcy in his latter career. Although these statements about the man may be personal, it is important to get his perspective of who he is and what he has been through to see where he is coming from. His advocation against “cults” began after his own religion, Judaism, was influenced by a church and many converted out of it. He felt that he needed to stop the church, and hence began his short lived career of “intervention.” Perhaps his narrow-mindedness can be found in his fear of losing what he finds himself so close to – his faith Judaism.

Rick Ross assumes many things about the 3HO organization, but has done very little to hinder the Sikh lifestyle in America. The attack leveled against the organization is pointed more strongly at Sikhism than the organization himself. His misunderstanding of the Sikh faith has skewed his perspective on what Sikhism is all about. It is not simply a religion, instead Sikhism is an intense voyage of experience lived through a discipline lifestyle. Sikhs believe in destroying the ego while surrendering to a merciful God who has created the entire Universe with love, compassion, honesty, and humility. Sikhs believe in prayer, mediation, faith, and One God above all. Sikhs believe in raising a family, and living in the world of possession with a great sense of detachment. Sikhs believe that the Khalsa is an order of brotherhood where Truth is to be upheld by justice. Sikhs are seekers of truth that walk a lonely path, not seeking approval by all, but only of the one and only Lord of all. Sikhism is open for all who are trying to find themselves within themselves. God = Truth.

A letter from John Smith of the Atheist Society expresses the universal appeal of Sikhism:

” Dear Ali, please help us. We were very impressed with your website and agreed that religion in general is no longer needed, we can all be humanistic and live in peace and harmony. We are in the process of making a website which will hopefully help to destroy the religious doctrines which divide humanity. We were doing great with knocking out Christianity, Judaism, Islam, Hinduism, Baha’i, even Buddhism but we have gotten very stuck with Sikhism. This religion is (to put it nicely) “a big pain in the <admin-profanity filter activated>” (Please pardon the language) We have only found one site which tries (very poorly) to argue that even this religion is not needed, but the argument is irrational and very unscientific unlike the very rational arguments you use.


When we read the following from your website, we found what you said to be amazingly interesting: “Doubt Everything Find Your Own Light.” “Last Words Dear friend, if you look for meaning in life, don’t look for it in religions; don’t go from one cult to another or from one guru to the next. You can expend all your life or look for eternity and will find nothing but disappointment and disillusionment. Look instead in service to humanity. You will find “meaning” in your love for other human beings. You can experience God when you help someone who needs your help. The only truth that counts is the love that we have for each other. This is absolute and real. The rest is mirage, fancies of human imagination and fallacies of our own making.” By Ali Sina Why is this interesting? Because we found this religion of Sikhism to be in agreement with you! This is why we have a problem. We tried to look at their holy text (Adi Granth) but didnt find the usual absurdities we found in the other religious books. In fact its refreshingly inspiring and very good!? Maybe you can have some better luck.

We tried to visit a couple of websites and got more of a shock. Did you know that they believed in Democracy, freedom of speech, choice, expression, freedom of religion, pluralism, human rights, equality between men and women, equality of all people regardless of race, religion, caste, creed, status etc. 300 years before the existance of the USA! Theirs is the only religion which says in their religious scriptures that women are equal in every respect to men. They even had women soldiers leading armies in to battle against “you know who” (The usual suspects – Muslims!) Their history is a proud one, they fought in both World Wars. Even Hitler praised them for their bravery and Aryan heritage! Dear Ali, this religion is hard for us to try and criticise but you are an expert and may find some faults overlooked by us. In their holy book, there is a round earth, water is made from chemical elements, there is even mention of the evoution process, big bang and life on other planets! This is pretty crazy and amazing stuff, who would have thought that these New York taxi drivers (There are lots of Sikh taxi drivers in NY) would have such an amzing faith? We read up some information of what Bertrand Russell had to say about Sikhism, this is the man who destroyed Christianity (same applies to Islam and Judaism) and exposed its absurdities, but even this great man got stuck when it came to Sikhism! In fact he gave up and said “that if some lucky men survive the onslaught of the third world war of atomic and hydrogen bombs, then the Sikh religion will be the only means of guiding them. Russell was asked that he was talking about the third world war, but isn’t this religion capable of guiding mankind before the third world war? In reply, Russell said, “Yes, it has the capability, but the Sikhs have not brought out in the broad daylight, the splendid doctrines of this religion which has come into existence for the benefit of the entire mankind. This is their greatest sin and the Sikhs cannot be freed of it.”

Please bear in mind that Bertrand Russell was a great philosopher and free thinker. We have been trying for weeks now to find a way to fairly and rationally criticize and find fault with this religion but have failed. We even found out that there are many people converting to this religion in the USA and Europe as well as Russia (Mostly well educated and affluent white people). We tried to find some of their literature and see what kind of claims they make, but unfortunatley they have no missionary material as they do not have missionsaries! People become Sikh by learning usually by chance or by coming in to contact with them. They are currently the 5th biggest religion in the world and growing quite fast in the west and Russia. Please help us as we are stuck, to give you an example of they are all about we found the following websites: http://www.sikhnet.com (This is a pretty good site and helpful) http://www.hope.at/sikhism (This site is very easy to follow, check it out, they have a Womans section and a Martyrs section, it looks like that you are not the only one trying to expose the falseness of Islam, Sikhs scholars did it hundreds of years ago and got killed for it!) http://www.sikhs.org (This is the site that was on CNN when Sikhs in the USA were mistaken for Arabs and Middle Easterners and were attacked by mindless morons)

Please help us out, we cant make our website about religion being the cause of war and disharmony when we have this one and only religion which makes a hell of a lot of sense! lol (I thought Atheism had all the answers but were kind of stuck now.) We look forward to hearing from you, we respect your great views and want to promote them to everyone, thank you for your time, take care.

Dr. John Smith “

Those who do not understand the basic tenets of the Sikh lifestyle and perspective cannot try to expose what they know nothing of. This is exactly what happened with Rick Ross and his blind-sighted plunge into defeating something that was different. These white people look different with turbans and beards. They get an overflow of energy from this yoga and chanting, so something must be wrong. There must be some kind of trance that is changing these people in such dramatic ways. Different does not mean wrong or weird, because to me difference is beautiful. In the Guru Granth Sahib, the Guru compares the religions and philosophies of the world to a gorgeous and vibrant garden. Each flower bringing uniqueness and beauty.

Some find so much happiness that others begin questioning how and why. Some find so much faith and love in God that people ask who has changed them into a different person. Some fall in love so much with life and surrender to His will that people ask if they were manipulated. Some find another path to lead them, so people ask if they were converted. Are we as humanity so limited that we fear for change in our own lives, but even more in the lives of those around us. Why can’t people be happy if people have found their happiness elsewhere. All paths lead to the One God, so what is there to fear.

Be open. love life. Accept Others. I believe the 3HO organization put it right when they came up with “Healthy, Holy, Happy” Its a great motto for a great life.

Those who do not understand the path will mock it, and call it oppressive to free thinking. They love their ego too much to see how it is suffocating their real soul which is infinite beyond life and death. Yogi Bhajan said that people do not rebel against religious institutions, but instead they rebel against self discipline in their lives. Religion gives us that self discipline, and those who cannot sit with themselves and realize this, run from religion outwardly but from themselves inwardly. Yogi Bhajan also said that religion is not for everybody, but it is for anybody. We all awaken at our own times in life, and we will be on different levels when we do. We all will march together toward the light as ONE.

-GOD BLESS

stephen-covey-7-habits-of-highly-effective-people

I highly recommend this book to everyone and anyone who wants to make a better change in their life. It is a beautifully written book with years of research, experience, and intelligence wrapped into seven intensive habits for living a more effective life. I will be rereading Stephen Covey’s book many times over in my life to make sure that I remember my commitment to myself and those around me.

The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People

Private Victory

Habit 1 : Be Proactive

Habit 2 : Begin with the End in Mind

Habit 3 : Put First Things First

Public Victory

Habit 4 : Think Win/ Win

Habit 5 : Seek First to Understand, Then to Be Understood

Habit 6 : Synergize

Renewal

Habit 7 : Sharpen the Saw

The book is a must for those looking for an understanding of how to structure one’s perception of a effective life. Most importantly this book is not a quick fix that will change your life in minutes. It takes years to master and learn all there is to learn in this book. It opens new avenues and alleys in the structure of perspective to ensure growth in all dimensions as a person. Books offer a fresh view on things that seem understood and dull, hence opening windows to the soul. Read this book to understand and grow as a person, and I promise you this will be worth the money spent.

As I reread this book, I will be expanding on each habit based on my own experiences and how these habits unfold in my life. The difficulties with some habits, and the pressures that make them so difficult to follow. A disciplined life takes energy and devotion to follow compared to one where nothing seems to matter. I decide to follow the path of discipline myself, and I love to soak up  as much knowledge and support that I possibly can when the path seems too straining to stay upon.

copy_of_blink

I finally finished Blink by Malcom Gladwell today after my chemistry midterm. Two things achieved in one day, however taking the chemistry midterm proved to be much more bland than the book. The midterm was a piece of cake, a walk in the park, a give away, but I slaughtered it to some extent. I got an eighty-five on the midterm when I should have gotten a hundred. I did not study for the midterm aggressively because I was over confident in many ways and justifiably so, because I had aced all the quizzes and I knew the material. Nonetheless, as soon as I sat for the test my stomach began to churn and extreme hunger took over my body. I ate a burrito and some dried fruits before the test, but then I was starving in the lecture hall. I do not know how much my hunger, anxiety, or my over confidence had to do with the results, but I will live with it. No time to sulk or cry about spilled milk, as my father sometimes puts it. Now that I am over that rant, back to the book.

Malcom Gladwell makes the case that subconscious gut instincts play a major part in life. At times, we need to trust our instincts instead of an increased amount of information that may make us feel safe or comfortable. The “locked room” or the unconscious which controls the many subtle stimuli entering our brains holds a lot of powerful information that is untapped. It shapes the way we see someone, what we buy, how we react, our emotions, and our outlook in many involuntary ways. In the blink of an eye we make millions of associations, assumptions, and inferences in order to react to the stimuli presented by the environment. If we were conscious of every single thought associated with the mind, we would never be able to sit and focus. The unconscious takes care of the bulk of stimuli.

It was very interesting reading about the accounts of cops who have come into contact with deadly suspects and have had to use force. In the blink of an eye, the mind reverts to tunnel vision, shuts off sound, spikes the heart rate, and transfers a lot of blood to contract the core muscles. This creates a human shield ready for impact but leaves the person weak and clumsy. How amazing is that. Try to remember some event in your life that made you really frightened or angry and you just could not think, speak, or move. The point of this may seem counterproductive in a deadly situation, but it is the body’s last resort for survival. The final blow must be survived, and the body does everything to increase the core strength while zoning out all the extra stimuli which is distracting. Time seems to stop and everything happens in slow motion. Hence, it is important to rehearse such events as a robbery or mugging because when the heart rate reaches a certain point the mind begins to go blank and parts of the brain begin switching off. Basic motor skills and memory begin to fade in excessive anger or fear as a result many people cannot even dial 911 in scary incidents. The body becomes unresponsive and numb.

An unfortunate story of a man named Diallo unfolded many years ago resulting with 41 bullets piercing his body in the Bronx of New York. Ironically, he was black and innocent. A police unit was on the way to a crime in a nearby neighborhood when they saw Diallo, a recent black immigrant, on the porch of a home at twelve in the morning. They concluded that a man standing alone on a porch in the Bronx at night must be up to something and most definitely armed with a weapon. They preceded to get out of the car to question him. In reality, he was taking a breathe of fresh air and had just witnessed a robbery so he was scared to death. Intimidated and scared he ran toward the home. When the cops began yelling out loud for him to stop, he tried to reassure them of his innocence by pulling out his ID from his wallet. The cops perceived it to be a gun and began shooting. He was dead on the spot with forty one bullets sprayed in less than three seconds.

The police made many errors in reading the suspect’s face and potential danger, because in the blink of an eye they had created a whole story based on assumption, stereotype, and perceived danger. Their perception became their reality, and Diallo ended up a dead innocent man. When they saw the wallet, one officer fell to his knees after saying, ” Where’s the F’in gun” and cried. They were not bad men or racists looking for a fight, but they just read the situation wrong because time was against them. The body was sensing eminent danger, and when the suspect reached in his wallet, the mind saw a gun and it reacted quickly for protection. The heart was beating, the vision narrowed, the surrounding quite, and all the focus was on his hands and nervous face. Bam, bam, bam… he was gone.

The conscious human mind is always trying to look for patterns, rational logic, and numbers. The more research we do and the more facts we gather, the better we feel about our decisions. There is no pressure when we have time, so we take our time and plan. However, when time runs out and we must act on instinct many people crumble.

Malcom Gladwell gives a great example of the Chancellorsville Civil War battle between Union general, Hooke and Confederate general, Lee. Hooke was confident because he had two air balloons in the sky gathering information on Lee’s position. He had many spies in Lee’s base, and his army was twice the size of Lee’s Confederate army. Hooke was an intelligent general who had created a genius plan for the battle that would ensure Lee’s defeat; he was very confident. He was going to surround Lee with an army coming in from behind while preoccupying him from the front. In turn Lee would have to retreat to Richmond where he would be forced to surrender by a huge force of might. Everything was going as plan, but then in the moment Lee did the unpredictable. General Lee charged toward Hooke after being cornered with a ferocious valor. Against his perfect plan, Hooke was forced to withdraw although he had many men. That night as the Union army under Hooke set up camp, they were attacked by Lee during supper and subsequently defeated. The plan was immaculate on paper. Hooke had all the information he needed but Lee had gut and instinct. General Lee knew how to handle himself under pressure and sense the inherent weakness of a over confident Hooke. It was the greatest defeat of the Union during the Civil War.

This story has a direct correlation to the war in Iraq. The numbers, statistics, and planning may seem immaculate on paper but real wars unfold on the ground. Each gun battle and suicide attack is unpredictable and demoralizing to stability. The billions in funding, the thousands of troops, and the best military missed the point that gut instinct and power of the moment is much more telling than sheer facts. Valor, courage, and anger can be strong in men who fight with their hearts. Underestimating the human will to survive and fight forever will be a big blunder of military. Under intense pressure even the greatest men crumble just as Hooke did with such a great advantage. The advantage exists in every battle to the man who can control his judgement under the pressure emitted by a lack of time and fear.

Mr. Malcom also went into great detail about the nature of facial expressions and how revealing they are. It is truly amazing to imagine how much can be told my the contours of the fascial muscles. There are over three thousand meaningful muscle arrangements in the face that stand for a specific emotion, and the emotions they represent transcend cultures and boundaries of the world. They are truly universal doors to another’s emotions unhidden and revealed. The genuine nature of people is written all over their faces. Have you ever confronted someone about something that they were hiding and all of a sudden there face goes white. As if they were struck by a train, they stare back speechless. Sometimes these facial expressions last only a few milliseconds but they are always there. Tomkins had studied the facial expressions to the point of totally reading lies, emotions, behaviors, and internal conflicts. He could unravel the depths of man by simply looking at the facial expressions and remnants of wrinkles and lines. He was probably one of the best in the world. I found it to be truly fascinating how much emphasis our minds give to both the words and fascial expressions that carry them. Both are so intrinsic to understand and communicate. A lot is picked up by the subconscious flittering our true feelings on the template of the face.

Overall the book was good, but it was not great. I am glad I read it and it has opened up the door to studying more into the subconscious mind in the future. It is a nice stepping stone to learn more about those snap judgements that we make every second in the Blink of an eye.

I have a Spanish midterm tomorrow so I better get studying.

I really enjoyed the message and the interesting Sikh twist for revolution. The music is really catchy and the lyrics thought provoking.

from_ash_to_ash_by_nukeren

Speak less

Destroy arrogance and ego

Complement people on genuine attributes

Smile at the sky, people, conflicts, drama, and life

Be at peace and see God’s script behind all that happens

Do not be shy of who I am, but be firm with my purpose

Remain at peace in the moment and acknowledge thoughts of unease without reacting.

Accept and surrender

Forgive the ego’s of men

Listen with the intent to feel empathy

Never criticize or condemn another man

Recite the 5 daily banis . Live like the Gurus

Everyone I meet is a superior; have humility

Live as though my death awaits me the next day

Whenever the mind reverts to procrastination defeat it.

Do not put up barriers or judgements on any human being

Criticism only has an impact on my false ego, not my being.

Become aware of the mind’s chatter and distance myself  from it

Do not speak with the purpose to persuade, but instead to connect

Those things that annoy me, make it a spiritual practice to accept

Whenever pessimism beckons forth, kick it out with the force of optimism and positive thinking.

Do not curse or spew hate

My physical form is an illusion, extract thyself from within

Do not react to a situation that angers me, but instead stay strong and composed

Whenever anger comes forth, acknowledge the feeling and convert it to awareness

Stop myself before thinking or uttering a word that will harm or injure another.

Live a healthy and balanced life with mediation, yoga, jogging, and exercise

Remember the miracle of my existence every instant and be grateful to God

Do not slander, ridicule, or diminish those whom are not present

Life is one day shorter each day the sunsets, just remember.

Be the person people want to rely on and seek peace.

Do not let the mind pass judgement of another.

Express my love with everything as One

I am at peace and at ease

I am not my thoughts

I am my Being

I am

This is my personal mantra to live by each and every moment of every day. I created this to change the paradigm of my thinking and set my focus and energy in a positive direction. It is my life’s compass to assist me down the path of my destined purpose by God’s will. I believe that everyone should make such a mission statement and abide by it until it becomes a habit for the rest of your life. Just as you follow the laws of the land, you must follow the laws of your personal success in order to fulfill your purpose with no regret.

A Beautiful song that I really enjoy. Sung by the heart and it has translations although the words of Punjabi cannot be fully translated in depth.

Listen Deeply

It is impossible for us to put ourselves in another’s shoes, and feel what they feel. We never even come close to fully understanding another person although sometimes we believe we do. Imagine for a moment relieving your skull of your brain, and transferring within it another man’s mind. His thoughts project within yourself as if they were your own. You get to hear the constant mind noise which overcomes every second of his life. Those thoughts create that person’s personality, motives, ethics, vices, and insecurities. For once you can understand the unspoken gaps in conversation, the taboo reels which unwind within, and the emotions which cannot be expressed in words. All those feelings and thoughts that people do not express for fear of judgement leap out and become your own. Only after listening to the daily mind chatter can you truly understand someone else and why they feel the way they do. There is too much past and history engrained within every thought to simply pretend to sympathize with someone. Your “understanding”, fascial expressions, sympathy, and solutions are your own and maybe in your reality they even make sense. But how do you really connect and understand someone else? Unfortunately, the exchanging of craniums is both impossible and perhaps too unsettling a thought for every human who drowns in their own deep secret sea of thoughts.

We listen to others to feel better about ourselves. Our ego places itself on a higher level when listening to someone else’s problems. Subconsciously or for many consciously, helping someone means getting approval through giving worthy advice. Often this advice is exactly what the speaker wants to hear. Drowning in the same exact sea as the other person, we somehow, as listeners, seem to find answers and solutions as if we are the ultimate guides of life. We merely role play, switching from venting victim to all knowing Guru of endless ideal advice. Both are false as they speak. Neither the listener nor the victim get closure when true empathy ceases to exist.

Talking to someone is very therapeutic, and it can be a great way to relieve pressure; However, when both the listener and the speaker are looking for attention neither achieves a true connect. Nothing deeper wells up to create interdependent communication and understanding. The speaker/victim is too busy scripting and spicing up the story to induce sympathy and approval from the listener. “Oh can you believe he/she did.____, so I had to _____. I guess life just is not fair to me.” On the other hand, the listener is not really listening nor trying to understand, because the listener is too busy thinking about what advice to give or what to say next. The listener is often thinking, “How do I put this without being too hard, ummmm, maybe she should get a divorce. They just do not have a strong mutual understanding. No, counseling maybe.” Both are viciously trying to gain the other’s approval without ever listening or speaking. This is how ninety percent of communication unfolds, hence there is a lack of depth in relationships, friendships, businesses, and households.

The moment we put ourselves away and intensify the empathy within a conversation we see the situation from the other person’s perspective. One of the greatest used words in daily conversation is “me, my, mine.” The ego subtly inserts itself within every single aspect of our lives giving the illusion of being superficial or self-centered. We commonly toss the “superficial” word around to describe people around us whom we sense are too centered on themselves. However, the magic mirror depicts an intrinsic law in human character and that is a direct reflection of YOURSELF. Do you ever listen to just listen? Do you listen to truly help and understand someone else? Do you listen without a motive to further yourself? Your motives may never be seen, but the depth from which you live and interact with others does show a gigantic ripple of either superficial or empathetic intentions.

The paradox still exists, how does one place oneself in someone else’s perspective if it is impossible to totally “understand” another person? The answer does not lie in understanding and solving everybody’s life with a basic formula or knowing everything about someone else. Instead listening without judgment, role, or ego increases the depth of frequency in conversation. A genuine person with humility can empathetically listen without inserting himself in the conversation, and relieve the other miraculously by never uttering a word of advice or fake expression of sympathy. Essentially, we must crawl into the thoughts of the other person, and make them our own without putting our own spin on the conversation. Clarifying emotions with short phrases and matching the person’s intensity creates a unity and cohesion. The empty void between words, thoughts, and phrases is filled with a deeper understanding much further in the universe than can be expressed by words or felt by the human template. Closure comes to both the listener and the speaker when there is a mutual sense of empathy. Understanding appears and problems minimize in the fury of human compassion and intrinsically in the universal silence of the Creator, Waheguru.

If you want to be understood, then learn to understand. If you want love, then learn to love. If you want someone to respect you, then learn to respect others. What you see in others you end up seeing within yourself. If everyone is superficial and fake, then I recommend looking in the magic mirror and seeing an answer. It might just be you. If ego exits a conversation, a friendship, or relationship then expectations also die without the oxygen created by the ego. The death of the ego leads to the death of expectations, and the death of expectations leads to openness. Openness joins with oneness. Now you can both understand and be understood because everything and everyone begin vibrating at the same frequency of the One God and Creator.

Communication through conversation is a secondary vehicle to connect with those outside yourself. Enjoy and learn from the differences in views because everyone is, indeed, unique. Once a cause for conflict, difference now becomes a point to understand and learn from. One cannot experience everything in life, but one can learn from the experiences of others. If you fear opening yourself to others and different views and ideas, then take a moment to ask what you are afraid to lose? Sure we become vulnerable when we open ourselves, but the only change which takes hold is growth. Growth is vital for survival in all things that flourish in life. Fear of betrayal and pain is also a real component in openness for the rose cannot be admired without acknowledging the beauty of both the rose and its thorn.

Hurt and betrayal are inevitable in society as long as people remain unawakened by consciousness. After such hurt some people get so torn and weak that they raise up walls of barrier. They build a fortress which keeps people out, essentially, suffocating opportunity’s growth. On the other hand, others learn from such traumatic experiences and reform themselves instead of blaming society. They learn to detach from gossip and hurtful conversation, and soon realize a simple yet amazing reaction from their positive action. Those who gossip with you shall gossip of you, no longer pertains to such people for they are now above it. They have built a character on respect, integrity, loyalty, and empathy. They too have built a fortress, but one that is far stronger for it stands on noble character, and no one can take it down. Insecurities do not drag these people down, so they are open to new positive experiences and repel themselves from negative experiences which tear down others at their own expense.

We must learn to live symbiotically with one another. We are all on the same unknown journey, but the only difference is that we trek down our own separate paths together. Do not let it get lonely for we can take interest, joy, and pain from the journey of others as well as our own.

– GOD BLESS

 

Ek Onkar ( One God, One Truth)

   There are times the skies are gray and hope seems so distant a reality. Darkness lurks in the mind and mist blinds the shutters of perception. Looking outside the world seems so fake and lost. Nowhere can one escape once the mind turns to stone and the world to ash. Imprisoned within we are lost forever to ourselves.

          However, just as the great Phoenix rises out of ash and flame so does the human spirit and soul. In the most inopportune times, self realization is met and an awakening occurs to rid oneself of attachment. Only when the falsehood of self is lifted can one truly enjoy the peace, beauty, and immortal of life. The mortal life becomes a gift, and death an intrinsic passage into a new element of space unbound by time. Freedom from physical and mind.

           Life at this moment is grace. I am seated within myself. I have realized that I have no control outside myself, thus in God’s will I resume down the path laid in my destiny. What shall come will come, but at the present moment I am at peace. Fear, anxiety, doubt, and ego have fleeted in this moment as I reflect upon the beauty of life and those who I have been blessed to share this life with. 

         Over the mountains and down the deep valleys I see God. By the peaceful shores of the sea, and over the genocide laden deserts of Darfur I see God. Walking down the free streets of America, and down the volatile streets of a war torn Iraq I see God. In the eyes of those whom I love, and in the eyes of those who have betrayed and wronged me I see God. His plan may not be understood on this physical plane of suffering and happiness, but even within the finest grain of life resides the beautiful presence of the Creator. The One who created the universe and embedded the energy for all to function.

          Unity is the repetitive motif of all creation, but unfortunately many have become blinded by the single aspect of a self centered life while dismissing the overall mosaic that forms together to create a simple but compelling truth – One God. Ek Onkar

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