Archive for the ‘enthusiasm’ Category

Enthusiasm and Truth

Abitha and Selva with their son, Balan and Sangeeta Jani
on her recent visit to New Jersey

Enthusiasm continues…
by Abitha
Who can be better examples than children. At a tender age, they jump around from dawn until dusk. We all wonder from where they get the energy!
But slowly when they grow up, their energy level gets drained. How does that happen?
Peer Pressure
When they start growing, their parents start comparing them with other children, “Look at Paresh, He is going for guitar classes, learning spanish, attending soccer lessons and still getting better grades. You should be like him”.
If this is inspiring, it is much appreciated. But often the comparison ends in frustration. Instead of having fun in life, life becomes a battle to fight.
Kids start growing up with jealousy. I am fine even if I get a ‘B’ but when my close buddy is a school topper, I am not part of the celebration but I end up with a frown. Here is the place where the celebration ends with a large pizza topped with green-eyed jalapeños.

Ignorance & Innocence
Ignorance: Knowing nothing, living a mechanical life like an animal.
Innocence: Knowing everything but being always humble (it is definitely not this state: “I know all the knowledge, I apply the wisdom, I do the meditation, I am smart”…)
Innocence is our nature and ego is contradictory to our nature.
How do we grow with Innocence? What do I do when ego, jealousy, greed, anxiety, fear and anger come?
Parents and teachers teach their kids about physical cleanliness but forget to educate the poor mind.
Every day we take a shower, apply perfumes etc…but we forget to dust our mind.
Our mind is filled with toxins. We collect lots of potatoes (negative emotions) and store it for days together. After few days potato rots (the mind stinks).
We give up control over ourselves to others and became very weak.
Here comes our GURU (remover of ignorance), who shows the path to restore our innocence.
“Watch your breath”. Breath will help to let go all your negative emotions.
When some one helps you, we are ready to  express our gratitude. But we are not ready to honor our own breath, we take it for granted.
We always brood “I don’t like this life”, “Nothing happens in my way”, “He has got everything in life, but I don’t get anything”…
Okay, end your life by stopping your breath. After a while, we end up with the fast breath. Every cell in our body wants oxygen and wants to live happily.
Honoring and observing our breath allows to increase the prana (life-force energy), which leads to enthusiasm. We are back to our child-like nature filled with enthusiasm.
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Truth is contradictory 
by Selva
I heard someone ask this question to a very senior teacher. “I am wealthy and am not trying hard to get food on the table every night. Am I blessed?”. This very basic question lit me up.
Let’s see this from two dimensions.
Yes, blessed are those whose basic needs have been taken care of and now they have the possiblity to wonder about the bigger purpose in life.
Yes, blessed are those who don’t need to struggle every single day to find a meal. When it comes down to getting food in next few hours, the bigger question dies.
No, if our basic needs are already taken care of, there is a possiblity that we might feel happy for what we already have and live at peace. Precious questions about the purpose of our existence would not even arise. Unless our very own existence is questioned every single day, we won’t even have the urge to find answers to bigger questions.
Which is right? What is truth?
When truth is relative, it is contradictory. Absolute truth is one and there is no duality there.
Guruji says – “Some questions are more precious than the answer”. Let’s keep the question very close to our heart.

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Enthusiasm

by Vikas Chawla

We talk about enthusiasm in the Art of Living Course. However, a little mulling over the readings and thinking about the knowledge helped me reach a deeper understanding. The word Enthusiasm has an interesting background. It is formed of two Greek words: “en” + “theos”. “En” means within and “Theos” means God. “Theos” is also the root of the word theology.Thus the word, enthusiasm means “Feeling the presence of God within”, in fact, implies “being possessed by divinity”. Enthusiasm is the our very life force energy. Something that clearly differentiates the children from the grown ups. Children have boundless enthusiasm while us adults ration it. I clearly remember Guruji once saying “For most people growing up is a process of gradually losing one’s enthusiasm. There are only a few people who retain their enthusiasm and those are the people who make a difference on this planet”. In the Art of Living Course we talk about the four sources of energy ( i.e. Prana ), namely:
1. Food
2. Sleep
3. Breath
4. Knowledge
The first three sources are quite obvious. The fourth one requires a little more explanation. How could “knowledge” be a source of energy? Well, anything that uplifts us, transforms our negative state of mind. It could be a book, a movie, a conversation, speech and of course, being in love.

So, does enthusiasm uplift us? Absolutely!!!. In fact, the source could be knowledge, but the final product is enthusiasm. Hmmm, so are we equating Enthusiasm to a source of Prana?

Just remember the times we are really enthusiastic about cleaning (are you kidding me !!), cooking ( No, never ) , fixing the garage or the basement (Not me ), writing code (Sometimes ), blogging (Oh, yeah, baby, now we are talking ) , working on a hobby,…… Time just seems to fly and we are not tired. In a nutshell, it feels like we are possessed, we become an energizer bunny (Just remember the definition of the word Enthusiasm in the beginning of the blog post)

Now, let us analyze it from a slightly different angle.

I am assuming that you know about the seven chakras (“energy centers”). By definition, chakra means a wheel and every chakra ( except the 7th) has opposite qualities of energy associated with it. The first one is called “Muladhara Chakra”. The word “Muladhara” means “root place” or in other words, the very foundation or basis. If you have done the Part II course or listened to the Hari Om, meditation you know what energy the root signifies and that is “Inertia or Interest in Life”. Hold that thought: “Interest in life”. Isn’t interest in life the same as “Enthusiasm”? Think about it. The life energy starts with Enthusiasm. Without Enthusiasm it is a dead start either in the material world or the spiritual world.

The main aspect of this chakra is innocence. Innocence is the quality by which we experience pure, childlike joy, without the limitations of prejudice or conditioning’s. Innocence gives us dignity, balance, and a tremendous sense of direction and purpose in life. Again, let us go back the example of children having boundless enthusiasm and we always equate innocence with children. Isn’t it interesting that Guruji always says that he has never grown up and we all have to become child like again.

“Child like” meaning regaining our innocence and moreover our enthusiasm. 

Bottom line, “Be enthusiastic” about everything and support other peoples enthusiasm (I hope my wife is not reading this one )

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