Not The Body Train & First Aid

Today I met an elderly gentleman at the train station. I had been running for the train in my usual disorganized running late style and he commented on the huffing and puffing so our conversation started. Somehow we jumped to fairly personal matters. He told me how when he retired he had felt really down, and didn’t know what to do with his life and was beginning to question what it was all for. Then, 10 years to the day after his mother had died she visits him in his room and told him he should be writing. He said when he came downstairs his wife asked him if he was alright, because his face was pale, (as if he had seen a ghost, but those are my words).

train station

It didn’t make sense to him because he never wrote, never read (despite having been a bookbinder!) and his teachers at school would totally back up his idea that he could not write.

Some time later he went out to his back shed, for no particular purpose, and decided to go through boxes that had been there since his mother’s death. His mother had been a reader and there were boxes of books. He ended up taking just one book back to the house. It was a small book, very worn with many readings, and the title on the cover was practically worn off. The title of the book was “Let go and Let God.” From these two events his life turned around and he began to appreciate there was some guiding purpose to life. He told me how he had now become a writer and even been published, writing life stories. Though he didn’t say it directly I could tell he was including in these stories his appreciation of spiritual matters in the hope of passing that on to others. He felt he was not writing by his own ability, that his mother was helping him.
He had been told by Suzuki, at a seminar he went to, that he was a kin-aesthetic learner, and he kept emphasizing to me that whatever he understood was due to his own experiences, not because he was a scholar or a reader. He had concluded as he put it “we are not just human, we have a spiritual part.”

I stepped in here, saying I could tweak his understanding a little, that it is not that we are, or have, two parts, human and spiritual. Rather we have a body, which is like a house, or a vehicle, a temporary containers and when we leave it the body is dead. We are not human though we are in a human body, and that in fact all living entities are the same, a living being inside a body, and that, in fact he most probably has been inside an animal body, even a tree body or an insect body or a bacteria body, that in fact we are not human, not a dog, not a cow, not a tree, that we do have a form, which is defined or exists in relation to the Supreme Soul, but we don’t yet have the spiritual vision to see that form. I said I don’t want to push this on you, but perhaps you can just take this away and consider it. To understand this more vividly, check this enlightening page by enlightening preacher Jagad guru chris butler. He makes us go through practical examples that helps us to gain a better idea.

I had wondered if I was going to be too far, and I don’t know how much he took in, as his main interest was passing on what he had learned the best in his life, but he did say, “I think we are saying the same thing using different words”, and we talked about how different people looking at the same mountain from different viewpoints might see and describe different things, both correct, and not actually contradictory.

He then told me how he met an ambulance worker who told him an experience he had had at a bad car accident, with one man lying inside the car, another man who looked exactly the same who was standing outside the car, talking to him. I don’t know the exact details but later on the other ambos (as they apparently call themselves) asked him who he had been talking to. He was thrown, as he had not realized anything strange had been happening, but no one else had seen the man he was talking to, and he realized there was only one man, who had left his body, which was still in the car. He wondered if anyone else had had a similar experience, so he began asking around the ambulance world if anyone else had and similar experiences and apparently several had.

Well, I was heading off to do my First Aid refresher, which is required to be able to have my Yoga Asana Teacher’s Certificate so I thought I’d do a little ad-hoc research of my own. During a break I told this ambo’s story and asked if anyone had had any similar experiences. Most of the people there were a bit more reserved than myself, but a couple spoke up.

A young nurse from Nepal described how she had worked in a Nepalese hospital and one of her colleagues described how someone had come to the nurses and said there was someone sitting in the stairwell (perhaps injured, her English was a little difficult to follow), and the nurse went out to help, but there was no one there.

Then a cheerful young lady described how as a young child, 3 or 4 years old, she used to be regularly visited by someone before going to sleep. She told her parents about a “chocolate man” coming to see her. Her father suggested she was drinking too much milk before bed. But after some time her mother showed her a photo of her grandfather and she told them all, “That’s the man that comes and visits me.”   Her grandfather was Hawaiian, and had skin that as a child she thought of as chocolate. She’d never met him because he died the day she was born. When I asked if he kept visiting her after that, she admitted, a little more hesitantly perhaps not sure how we’d think of her, that she still had visits sometimes. But she did say it was OK for me to write about this.

I know I personally have stories, both those I have experienced firsthand and those heard from close friends, that fit this underlying theme, that we are not actually this physical body, that we exist both before and after the existence of this particular body, this particular vehicle that we are traveling in, that if we can leave it, either temporarily, or permanently, and still exist. There’s a lot of stuff pertaining to the matters of life, these are so beautifully explained in Jagad Guru’s spiritual web blog  I think most people have either had a similar experience or heard of one from someone they know.

Of course some of these stories might be coincidence or misunderstanding, but there are enough similar tales, including some famous and extremely well documented ones, (for instance James Leininger, who recalled his life as a World War II pilot) to clearly illustrate this basic principle from the yogic texts.. Aham Brahmasmi, I am life force, spirit, not the body – the very point I had been discussing in the train with the retired bookbinder, whatever words we were using.



Be Yourself and Be Happy

Oftentimes, we feel pressured by our desires or fears to pretend to be something we are not. While this may bring us some small amount of temporary pleasure or relief, in the larger picture it causes us immense suffering. Our most beneficial path in life is always going to be the one which arises from authenticity. If, instead, we are constantly trying to manipulate the circumstances of our life through artificiality – through covering over the real person that we are – we will be creating a life that will always feel very anxious & wrong in the deepest levels of our being.


If we want our lives to fit us properly, to be joyful, meaningful, and satisfying in all the right ways, we need to base our lives on who we actually are. No amount of trying to shove ourselves into an ill-fitting shoe of a life will ever make us happy. No matter how prestigious or cool or attractive this shoe may appear to be, we will only end up with blisters. We need a life that fits us exactly right and for that we need to know who we are.


Tulsi Gabbard & Guru “Desh” Deshpande Offer Words of Wisdom

The World Hindu Economic Forum was an opportunity for great minds -Tulsi Gabbard and Gururaj “Desh” Deshpande the United State technology expert who spearheaded his business – to share the podium at the fifth yearly WHEF conference which took place in Los Angeles. The event started from the 18th of November 2016 and ended on the 20th of November 2016. Through the WHEF, several Indian American and NRI experts were gathered from different countries of the world.

The number of people in attendance occupied the Grand Ballroom of central Orange County’s Hotel Irvine. The main aim of the conference was centered on talks about approaches to enhance business call up in India and enable the country to keep pace with its pattern as a developing worldwide competitor. Other significant speakers included WHEF’ organizer Guru Swami Vigyananand, Rep. Ed Royce of California, USIBC administrator Dr. Mukesh Aghi, VHP-A president Abhaya Asthana, and Manipal Global Education Services administrator Mohandas Pai.

About the World Hindu Economic Forum

The World Hindu Economic Forum is organized to unite the monetarily efficient components inside Hindu society. For example, dealers, brokers, technocrats, financial specialists, industrialists, business experts, alongside market analysts and master minds, so that each faction can impart their business intelligence, proficiency, ability, and properties with their friends and associate. It is also organized to empower, coach sprouting Hindu business people, and giving them, the adequate backup needed. The ultimate objective of the WHEF is to produce more riches and make the world’s society booming.

The Founder of WHEF

The famous Guru Swami Vigyananand is the originator and worldwide administrator of World Hindu Foundation. He is an eminent researcher on Hinduism, driving the worldwide Hindu development, and the engineer of the World Hindu Economic Forum (WHEF). Swami trusts that WHEF is a great medium for yearning or sprouting Hindu business people, who get adequate backing and inspiration from members of the WHEF. Swami Vigyananand Ji is a scholarly tutor and key guide for many recognized Hindu advocates and associations working with many Hindu strengthening and mindfulness ventures with an overall extension to other parts of the world.

Who is Guru “DESH” Deshpande?

Dr. Guru Raj Deshpande popularly known as “Desh” is the Chief Executive Officer and developer of Sycamore Network Inc. He is famous for his generosity towards the networking and telecommunication company. Through revolutionary ideas, Dr. Desh has been able to create an innovative position for himself in the tech world. He has been able to make emphasis on the modern way of incorporating technological advancements into business for the most exceptional optimization. Guru Despande speech at several events has touched many persons and directed them towards rendering the positive life-changing services. Through his personal experiences, he could impart knowledge to many educational institutions.

Dr. “Desh” Deshpande got married in the year 1980 and have been living in Boston throughout the previous years. He has been exceptionally blessed to have had a few industrial open doors as he began a few booming organizations. In the wake of accomplishing a specific measure of achievement, he and his wife started thinking about the ways that they can help other people have openings like those that they had. Dr. Desh and his wife established the Deshpande Foundation twenty years after their first organization Cascade Communications opened in the USA in the year 1994.

As an addition to his portfolio, he and his wife financed the Institute to develop the Alumni Office and furthermore construct the first grounds for a vast computer network. According to Desh, “In the year 2000, I joined the Board of MIT and realized the real role that universities need to play in the 21st century, when I graduated in 1973, the IITs were very exclusive and excelled in educating good students.  However, the 21st-century Universities must INVENT, INNOVATE and EDUCATE ENTREPRENEURIAL students so that they can play a key role in solving the grand challenges of the 21st century.”

Who is Tulsi Gabbard?

As a genius of this present age, Tulsi Gabbard spent her life experiencing childhood in the wonderful city of Hawaii. As a youngster, she helped to establish an ecological non-profit organization called Healthy Hawaii Coalition, concentrated on tutoring kids about ensuring Hawaii’s circumstances. As someone who encourages ecological approach, Tulsi was nominated to the Hawaii State Legislature in the year 2002 when she was only 21 years of age, turning into the most youthful individual at any point selected in the state. One year after she was elected, she joined the Hawaii Army National Guard to serve Hawaii and our nation.

Tulsi went on two missions through obligation in the Middle East, and she proceeds with her administrative abilities as a Major in the Army National Guard. In the year 2005, she was deployed to serve for a year at Iraq’s Logistic support department, Anaconda. She served in a therapeutic field unit as a professional with a 29th Support Battalion medical organization. After Tulsi’s service in Iraq, she got bestowed with the award for Meritorious Service. In the middle of her two visits, Tulsi served in the U.S. Senate as an authoritative helper to Senator Daniel Akaka (D-HI).

During the periods that Tulsi served with Senator Daniel, she moved on from the Accelerated Officer Candidate School which is located at the Alabama Military Academy, where she was the first female to complete her course with a distinguished honor breaking the Academy’s 50-year record. She was assigned as a Second Lieutenant and allocated to the 29th Brigade Special Troops Battalion of the Hawaii Army National Guard. In that capacity, she served as the Military Police Platoon Leader. Adding to her records, Tulsi was also nominated for the Honolulu City Council, filling in as Chairperson of the Safety, Economic Development, and Government Affairs Committee as well as Vice Chairperson of the Budget Committee.

Dr. “Desh” Deshpande’s Speech at the WHEF

Dr. Desh Deshpande started his speech by briefly talking about himself. He said he was born in India just as everyone else present in the forum. He talked about how beliefs and value of Hinduism thrived over many years back. In his speech, he emphasized on how he grew up during scarcity while there existed plenty of the Hinduism value such as respect for others, elders, teachers, and love for everything. Dr. Desh expressed how these Hinduism values have got him going until today. In a statement, he said, “But in the last ten years, I and my wife have been mostly focused on the foundation, working on societal impact.” He makes it known to the house that personal growth and spirituality is of great interest and importance to him.

Dr. Desh Deshpande made the three pillars which are the economic impact (the economic activities that we all engage in), the societal impact (how you live in harmony with the world of nature around you), and your spiritual growth. He explained that the three pillars are responsible for a healthy living environment.

The three pillars are also expected to be built on a solid foundation which is provided by the Hinduism values and believes. Dr. Desh showed concern for how to include those people who are not part of the growing economy into the trend. He said, “I and my wife, for the last ten years, have been sort of looking at ways. How could you the people who are not a part of this economy?” believing that the same economic innovation that has created gaps between the haves and have not can also be used to bridge the gap.

Tulsi Gabbard’s Speech at the WHEF

In taking over the stage from the anchor of the forum, Tulsi Gabbard greeted everyone ‘Aloha’ which she believes to be a greeting of love and peace. She appreciated the host for giving her an invite and creating an opportunity for her to share the podium with other great minds who have traveled from different parts of the world for the conference. Due to her enthusiasm towards the forum’s idea.

Tulsi places a bid for the program to be hosted in her state, Hawaii. She made her speech subjected to the word ‘Aloha.’ Although the word Aloha used to greet hello, goodbye and for good tiding, it does have a deeper meaning.

According to Tulsi, “what it really means when you greet someone with Aloha when you say, ‘I Aloha you’ I am coming to you with an open heart. I am coming to you with respect, with love, with a recognition that we are all part of one family.” Tulsi has been following the Vedic philosophy and has been inspired by Bhagavad Gita from her childhood. She always tries to apply the teachings of Bhagavad Gita in her life. This Bhagavad Gita is essentially a holy book which contain the important teachings spoken by the Supreme Lord Himself and this has been followed from time immemorial by self realized spiritual master.

This book describes the relationship between teacher(Lord Krishna) and disciple(Arjuna, the warrior), where the teacher is viewed as the absolute person. Tulsi emphasized that the word Aloha speaks to the spirituality that unites the world. Tulsi mentioned that there would soon be a formalizing of an already existing sister-state partnership between Hawaii and Goa which is in India. This partnership will enable Goa to send the contingent to Hawaii and Hawaii to send the contingent to Goa enabling them to see the opportunities there are to build more bridges between the two states.

Looking after your Feet with Yoga

The humble, lowly feet, at the very base of the whole body, like beasts of burden are expected to bear our weight and everything we carry day after day, year after year. They bear this weight while standing, walking, skipping, hopping or running, but are rarely thought about until something goes wrong. With a little yoga forethought we can prolong the health of our feet and hopefully they will see us through without complaining.

The Tripod

The way we stand on our feet has repercussions in the knees, hips, spine, shoulders and neck. For the health of the whole body we should stand evenly on our feet. In the feet there are three points to spread the weight amongst. They are the centre of the heel and two points on the broadness of the foot.  One in line with the big toe and one in line with the little toe. When our weight is evenly distributed in this way we have a solid and well grounded base to stand upon. People who tend to weigh down into the inside or outside of the foot not only lose the support of their arches and develop bunions, but also can develop problems in their knees, hips and spine because of the uneven support. Putting uneven weight into the front and back of the feet will have another set of problems for all those joints. When wearing high heels we cannot help but put the weight to the front of the foot which means to stand up straight we have to add more of a lumbar curve and potentially painfully compress the lumbar vertebrae.

After we have identified and activated these three points then we need to activate the arches between them. There are three arches in our feet: one across the broadness, one from the little toe side down to the heel and one on the big toe side down to the heel. When we activate these arches we create a lightness in the feet which sends messages up to the knees and hips to help bear some of the weight too. In other words by activating the tripod (pressing down into the three points and lifting the three arches) muscles around the knees and hips are activated. This brings the legs and feet into their ideal alignment.

Kirchashira Marma

A really effective way of drawing this energy upwards is with the help of kirchashira marma. A marma is very similar to an acupressure point. According to ayurveda, yoga’s sister science of health, there are invisible streams of energy (prana) flowing through the body in channels or nadis. At certain places along these nadis there are marma points through which we can access and influence our prana. One such point is kirchashira marma which lies in the centre of the sole of the foot just in front of the heel pad. Activating this point is great for improving our posture and relieving muscular tension especially in the feet. When we spread the weight out into the ball of the foot and create a lift from this marma point we are activating all three of our arches, our toes naturally spread  and we create the postural alignment necessary for the health of our joints. We should activate kirchashira marma whenever we are wanting to have great alignment whether sitting at our desk or standing.

One last point to mention in relation to the weight bearing in the feet is that both feet should take an even amount of weight and if possible we should also stand with our feet parallel to each other. For people with certain congenital conditions like bandiness or pigeon toes this may not be possible but this is the general rule.

Joint Activations

Joint activations of the feet release stagnant energy which can cause joint pain and swelling. Joint activations bring blood supply to the joint which not only nourishes it but also carries away waste products which if left can build up and trigger all sorts of arthritic type problems. Joint activations help to encourage the release a special joint lubrication known as synovial fluid which helps the joint to work smoothly.

Activations are very simple and include ankle rotations in both directions, ankle flex and extend, and toes curl and spread. Two fun activations are wiggle your toes as if you are playing the piano and lying on your back with your legs in the air shake your feet vigorously as if you have a crab biting your toes. Even though joint activations are so basic and simple they should not be looked down upon but adopted by even the most advanced asana practitioners. They are also recommended for those who travel long journeys, and those who spend a prolonged time in bed or seated. As they say, “look after your feet and they will look after you!” And that’s a big task isn’t it!

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A Quick Look at the Terror Threats around the World

Terrorism, as an ongoing problem, is an impending threat that has become part of the reality in the 21st century. Recently, the Hawaii representative, Tulsi Gabbard addressed that the danger from terrorism is appraised “high” in more than thirty nations around the globe. Following the recent holidays, the most popular summer choices for vacationing tourists, for example, Turkey and Spain have become very risky ventures with these destinations being given the same terror rating as current terror spots like Libya, Somalia, and Pakistan. (more…)

Fulfilling Our Desire For Happiness

We all desire happiness. And not just temporary, superficial happiness, but happiness that lasts, that is so deeply fulfilling and all-encompassing that we can completely rest our hearts and minds in it. This desire of the living being for happiness is completely natural.

peace and happiness

So why our attempts to satisfy this desire for happiness & peace do seem to bring us so much distress and relatively little happiness? We are constantly searching for happiness in this thing and that thing, this place and that – in material activities, in enjoying the senses,  physical sensations, in thoughts and emotions, in accumulating wealth, beauty, power, fame, respect, admiration, and countless other material objects and situations. We are always trying to manipulate our physical and mental environments for happiness. And although we may experience temporary and superficial pleasure from all of our hard efforts, the state of deep and lasting peace and happiness that we long for remains aloof. All this searching and struggling for happiness does not generally result in increased happiness. Instead, it is our anxiety about happiness that tends to increase.

Realizing this, we might conclude that the only happiness is perhaps in trying to rid ourselves of the desire to be happy. But this is an erroneous conclusion. The problem is not with the desire for happiness, but rather the misguided ways in which we are trying to fulfill this desire.