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Posts Tagged ‘self awareness’

We have become so technologically advanced today that we easily communicate and commune with each other across times zones and oceans and that too live! Unfortunately many of us have lost true communication with ourselves. We have forgotten what it is like to simply commune with nature and we have lost touch with our own individual instinct. We have learnt to make that little voice in our head mimic everyone else and their opinions and expectations, and in this process we have lost our real “little voice”.
Hypnotherapy is a sure fire way of getting in touch with yourself, the real you and your own “little voice”. This will help you to deal with the reality of life around you and many times we know very instinctually exactly how to heal what ails us. This is the so called magic of hypnosis or hypnotherapy.
Factually speaking there is no magic, it’s just You communing with Yourself, with a hypnotherapist holding your hand, because you have seemingly lost yourself and need a professional guide to find that lost destination “Yourself”.

Under hypnosis, you are totally aware of your surroundings and completely in control. The difference is that you are now in a totally relaxed mental and physical posture that your hypnotherapist guides you into. Under these very specially relaxed conditions or hypnosis, all your thoughts, reactions and memories are in a continuous flow and you begin to change your perceptions towards the very same same thoughts and memories that have bogged you down. Slowly but surely, with a skilled hypnotherapist your mind set becomes more positive.
Let me give you a simple example. As a normal person you know (have learnt) that a fresh chilly is hot. So when you pick up a chilly you will fear it and handle it carefully, and almost always not bite it directly. Syour reaction to a chilly is fearful. You will automatically turn away from it even though I place a very mild chilly for you to bite. The same happens with life- learnt events. We react with old taught/learnt memory towards new happenings in our life. The event that we are currently facing is not the same as the event we faced before, but we will react to our present event with the memory of the lessons learnt from the past event we faced. This is also why past life can be visited to feel and understand memories that make us react a certain way towards present events.
Going back to the chilly memory, under hypnosis, the memory does not change but the reaction does. This is because you are in a completely relaxed mental and physical posture. Your trust level is high and under Hypnosis the amygdala in our brain, which stores our ‘flight or fight’ response based on memory, is shut off. In all probability when you come out of hypnosis your reaction to that fiery chilly has changed. You will certainly have an instinctual response of the “heat” of the chilly, but you will also be able to see the attractive colour of a chilly, its spice properties and how it can enhance your cooking .
You have more positive reactions to that same chilly with an understanding of its nature.
Now this is a major change of perception and can happen very fast with many of our stored memories that we have of this life and perhaps in lives before. As a therapist I help you and guide you through this maze of memories and help you to see the positive and colourful aspects of the most vicious memories that your mind and body might have stored and is currently reacting to.
The reactions may be in the form of physical illnesses, habits, addictions, allergies and much more.

As I said before, there is no magic in hypnosis just true understanding of what is actually happening around you and your reactions and how you deal with life situations. You are taking small steps with the hypnotherapist in helping yourself. You are making your brain and mind work with your body.
Hypnosis could be called the art of using your own mind to strengthen your own body, mind and soul. It feels like magic, because we have lost that infinite resource that we have within ourselves, and when we get in touch with it, a sort of real magic, if that is possible, happens.

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Anger…….

What does the word ‘anger’ conjure up? To most it is a wild dark and uncontrollable picture.

We do not like to face this picture for ‘fear’ of what it will unearth.

So are the words ‘anger’ and ‘fear’ both negative words which we do not want to face?

Anger and fear are both primary emotions like love and joy. We are made up of these primary emotions just as surely as we have physical features. Unfortunately for many years we have been subconsciously trained not to accept either emotion. Since these are primary emotions they are not emotions with which we can reason.

When we experience ‘fear’ our instinctive response is ‘flight’ or ‘fight’. These defense mechanisms help us to survive.

When we experience ‘anger’ we also feel pain. It is a pain which is felt at a very very deep subconscious level and it remains within us because we do not know how to express our anger and exhaust it.

Most of us respond to anger with a ‘fight’ response. If we dig deeper into this response, we realize what has really happened is that our true response to anger has been sidelined. We begin to ‘fear’ our own anger because society has conditioned us to do so. The instinctive response to fear is also the ‘fight’ response. By lashing out at someone or ‘revenge thoughts’ all we do is acknowledge our fear of anger. This leads to further frustration within ourselves and we get caught in the same vicious cycle of anger without really dealing with it.

How does one deal with anger? Anger is a sort of an unadulterated rage at our helplessness at being unable to deal with a situation. Many of us are in a state of ‘passive anger’ where the feeling of anger is masked by an unseemly calmness at dealing with life. Underneath that calmness is a burning fury of anger.

The first step to dealing with anger is to acknowledge it. The source of that anger is what is of primary importance. The source might be very trivial and may seem unjustified from a societal point of view. What we need to correct within ourselves is that anger is right and anger leads to pain. It is the Pain that we have to deal with ourselves. Anger does not mean giving pain to somebody else.

How does one acknowledge anger? This is a difficult question because anger surfaces at the smallest of pretext. Sometimes there is no pretext and there is just anger. Once we start recognizing that anger exists within us and is part and parcel of us, our mental make-up and all that we stand for then it becomes easier for us to acknowledge anger. The more we push anger away the more it turns to fear and the more is our ‘fight’ or ‘flight’ (passive aggressive) response.

Let’s look at anger visually from the moment of birth. A baby is born and cries. The primary emotion is ‘fear’ and ‘anger’ at being thrust out of the warm womb, though this is an act of nature. The baby acknowledges fear by flaying its arms and legs wildly but it doesn’t get anywhere. Then the baby acknowledges the anger by crying loudly. Why does the baby cry? The baby understands the pain coming from the anger and reacts with grief. The baby feels the helplessness of being thrust from its cosy womb by an act of nature. The baby instinctively understands that anger comes from its helplessness. The baby is in touch with both these emotions. Later the baby is held and fed. It feels joy and contentment when it is fed and love and happiness when it is held. As we grow up all these emotions mature and evolve just like our physical features do.

Normal homes encourage the ‘love’ and ‘joy’ process of evolution but deny the ‘anger’ fear’ process of evolution. We have left evolving and maturing these emotions far far behind. Suddenly one day we wake up and find that many things in life cannot be handled. That is because 50% of our emotional makeup has been left at the baby stage!!

How do we start acknowledging the 50% of ourselves that we have left behind?

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Meditation is a sure way to reach that sublime state but what is meditation? Meditation has different processes just as cooking has. Like cooking leads to making food  palatable and satisfies our hunger, meditation leads to stilling the mind which leads to satisfaction of our spiritual hunger. Just like we need to cook and eat food every day we need to meditate everyday too.

Meditation can simply mean intense concentration. Meditation can also mean reflection. Concentration on the divine to the exclusion of all else is naturally the path of “bhakti yoga” and this is the path that most religions of the world uphold and beckon us to follow. Perhaps it is easy for some and not so easy for others. Concentration on the path ahead, that which You have chosen to the exclusion of all else is “karma yoga” and this is the path many people follow too. “Jyana Yoga” is reflection and understanding of the knowledge that is inherent in this Universe.

Whichever path we choose in this journey, which is our life, all meditation comes to naught when we meditate with  the expectation of an outcome. If we consider the ideals of “bhakti yoga” the great saint Meera Bai comes first to mind. She steadfastly carried on in her bhakti to Lord Krishna (the divine, if you don’t like iconography) unminding of the consequences and neither expecting any fruit from that bhakti. Many great scientists follow the path of “karma yoga” they just carry on in their chosen field completely trusting the intuition they carry within. Neither do they expect success will come to them, neither do they get dettered by the obstacles that come their way. The theories they have finally propounded have changed the Universe as we know it literally. Finally a “jyana yogi” is one who reflects the universe in his own mind. Many “Jyana Yogis” abound in the world. Jesus was one of them and in India in living memory is Parmahansa Raman Maharshi. Tantra is definitely a path of “jyana yoga”.

Jyana Yoga is the process of self-inquiry that leads to the divine.  When ‘I’ go into the daily process of experiential meditation and catch my thoughts, then an automatic cleansing begins, because every thought is identified with an action. I understand this and then the thought changes into knowledge, this is a process of self-inquiry.

This process diffuses the ‘feeling’ connected to the thought and my action which otherwise might have been enacted stalls. The ‘feelings’ “I” experience might be pain, hurt, anger, fear, resentment, desire, covetous feelings, jealousy; whatever. Many feelings are very covered with reasoning and many times feel righteous and sanctimonious. My action will be hurtful talk, sarcasm shown, and impulsive action like shopping or over eating. My action is a defence mechanism to the “pain” “I” feel while experiencing these feelings; because deep inside the feeling lingers even after the action to quell the pain of that expereince has been enacted.

Once my identification with the thought is understood the ‘feeling’ disconnects and knowledge or ‘truth’ connects. This leads to a feeling of “let go” and later contentment, sometimes even though “I” have not been able to stop that action earlier. But reflecting about that “thought” and action is an experience that automatically humbles me and this leads to my connection with the divine.  Very often the reflection of my action and the thought behind it brings a powerful surge of “oneness” with the “other” on whom my action was projected. This means we can feel the other person without judging him or her and expereince what they are feeling. This is what humbles me and without a self righteous morality I can continue with my life feeling deeply connected with the other.

“Jana yoga” stills the mind by refelecting my own thoughts continously, how can a mind, full of chatter and movement reflect anything? So the mind stills to reflect.

Let me explain more easily; for instance, just plain gossip.  You think nothing of this action and slowly it becomes part of your life. You begin to ‘judge’ people unknowingly. But somewhere within you, you are carrying a burden that leads to  the compulsive action of speaking ill about another one again and again. Every time you do this you build up more anger. You also carry the hurt the other is carrying due to your unknowing action of gossip.
When ‘I’ can realise that the gossip is a projection of my anger it’s an understanding. Then ‘I’ can also realise that my ‘I’ carries a hurt inside ‘me’ for the projection of the anger to happen. Later when the hurt is questioned then ‘I’ realises its own contribution to the hurt and by this time the thought has turned to knowledge and the hurt feeling inside ‘me’ has disappeared and the action of speaking ill never happens.
This I feel is the process of self inquiry (jyana yoga) which is like a sword for me. It cuts through my thoughts and feelings and brings forth only knowledge, or truth. It opens my ‘self’ without any vulnerability because through the truth I have already accepted my ‘self’ just as it is.

This is the best I can put words to what I am experiencing through ‘self’ and many a times powerful surges of love.

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I have lived in a cage all my life.

The cage is my mind. It is like fishing net. It drops on me and binds me unexpectedly. I feel like the fish caught in the fisherman’s net. I struggle against the many fine threads (thoughts) that bind me, knowing that there is no form of escape. Yet just like all other fish I struggle until my last breath to escape to freedom.

Freedom from what I wonder? From the thoughts that cage me? Freedom which leads me where?

Freedom leads towards our instincts, into the vast unacknowledged ocean of feelings and emotions. But the ocean is vast much more than I ever imagined and I long again for the security of my thoughts my cage, my mind.

Why is the human being so lost? Because we have forgotten our instincts we have forgotten to commune with nature. Nature is the great mother Goddess; she has created us and our destiny.

Pagan civilizations have worshiped every facet of nature and all emotion in every form. Simplistically they had a deity or God also representing it, a deity that had to be worshiped.

What is worship to me? Worship is an acknowledgment. Not a devotional prayer.

Worship is an acknowledgment of every emotion and feeling that I carry within myself. Recognizing it is the first step to self awareness. Denying a feeling is like denying the God within.

Our emotions allow us to feel love as well as anger but our thoughts cage us in guilt and fear. This is a paralyzing situation and it leads us to a stressful existence.

The human instinct is lost in a sea of a monetized civilization that enslaves our mind. Our instinct has changed from being guided by nature to being guided by money leading to “greed” “envy” and “lust”.

Think about it, our entire mental universe is all about “money” and “power” and “fame”. Yet our emotional universe is about “love and joy” and also about “anger and fear”.

To me denying my anger and my fear is like denying my love and my joy. I can’t feel one without the other.

According to Maslow’s hierarchy of needs when our basic needs of ‘hunger, thirst, sex and recognition’ are fulfilled we embark on the path to self realization which is the inward journey towards our natural self.

Hunger and thirst have been replaced with money. Sex has been replaced with lust and power.

Recognition which is actually recognition of the “self within” is replaced by fame.

Is it any wonder then that these never get fulfilled? We always seek more since it is not our natural need and we always envy others who have more, this is our trap.

So how do we free ourselves from this trap?

The place to start would be the understanding that this is a trap we create ourselves. It is not circumstances that create the trap. We create the circumstances by continuously living our life out of tune with our natural path.

Our natural path is our “karma”. It is the acceptance that the master puppeteer is ME; MYSELF; acting out the play on the stage of life already set by my “karma”. We instinctively know when we are out of tune with our “karma”, it’s the inner voice.

One may wonder: Where is the human spirit? Where is the free will?

It is there within us. The human spirit is the self within, the spirit is that which acknowledges or worships every facet of nature and is actually always alive whether in this physical body or not.

The free will is the action that we take to act out our emotions and fulfill our needs in tune with our natural self. It means exercising our right to act out according to what “karma” has planned for us. If we fight this natural path laid out for us then we create a set of stressful circumstances and keep creating them until we finally come to the realization that we are against our natural path.

Following a path with the knowledge that one is in tune with one’s own nature is a powerfully releasing emotion.

This is where we use our mind creatively. This is where we become truly ourselves.

This is where the mind ceases to be a cage.

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I am re-reading AGHORA III [trilogy].
It is basically about the law of Karma.
The law of Karma is most profound and one of the most fiendishly perplexing of all reality’s axioms!!
Simply put, it means a “cause and effect” or “action and reaction”. Our reaction / effect  even a  thought wh is an experience. (every action brings about an equal reaction)

(Here are some relevant points, and I would love feed back and discussions from all regarding this.)

What is an experience?
Every individual has unique individual experience every nano second ( a breath for instance) of the limited sphere in the “time ” which we live here on earth.
This creates for each one of us, INDIVIDUAL UNIVERSES OF EXPERIENCE.
There are as many universes as there are people ……..
Since limitations of time and space prevent everything from happening in our world all at one… THE LAW OF KARMA schedules its events or reactions or effects to occur in each cosmos just in time, every time….

What does this mean?
“you have all created your own personal universe with your karmas and now you must live in it.”
Most people try to ride out their karmic storms by barricading themselves inside psychological houses.
However, each one us eventually find ourselves existentially homeless, one day or another…
Religions make good ideational road-houses where we take shelter, until another karmic tempest blows in and even causes that shelter to collapse. !!

What is a karmic storm?
We are all in the river of KARMA.. it has fixed karma, fixed/unfixed karma and unfixed karma.  3 currents of varying intensity. ( how this comes about is explained in detail in the book)
Our present life is a swim in this river… full of the 3 currents mentioned above.
Free will operates here, as elsewhere with all of our decisions: where and when to enter this river, how fast to set your pace, what stroke to use. Basically choosing how we get across.
This is where we meet our karmic storm when we take on too strong a current (fixed karma) or simply flow with the current, or fight it when unnecessary  or correctly gauging our strength….endless permutations and combinations.
Finally we get across the river…. but while the crossing has taken place…..we have created another set of Karmas.
Probably the most important of karmic intensity factors is SELF AWARENESS, the force that allows us to self identify with our actions( take responsibility)…. this allows us to sow and reap more than other sentient beings can.

The unimaginably complexity of this law of Karma, is something that I would love to hear views on….I’ve been mulling on it, and it seems to me as if the only way is path is what has always been espoused….SURRENDER and FLOW WITH IT !!

( more on surrender next time )

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