Thursday, September 21, 2017

The Most Important Thing You Should Do

A scholar was travelling across the Ganges, the most famous river in India. As his boatman rowed him on the river, the pundit was bored. He was quite proud of his learning, and looked down upon the illiterate boatman. Just for curiosity's sake, he asked the boatman,

"Brother, have you studied the scriptures?"
"No, Sir" Replied the poor boatman.
"Oh, 1/4 of your life is wasted."

Some time passed. The pundit wanted to show off his knowledge. He asked,
"Have you studied Sanskrit?" Sanskrit was the language of the scholars.
"Oh No Sir" Replied the boat man, feeling embarassed now.
" Too bad. half of your life is gone in vain "

After some time, he asked again, perhaps knowing well the answer:
"Do you know about the six systems of Hindu philosophy?"
"No Sir, how could I?" Replied the now red faced boat man.
"Then three quarters of your life is wasted" Said the pundit.

The pundit sat back gloating in his superiority.

Suddenly, the wind started blowing heavily. Black clouds thundered in the sky and the river was heaving, throwing the boat up and down.

As they clung on to their crazily bobbing boat, the boat man asked,

"Punditji, do you know swimming?"
"No, brother" replied the panic stricken scholar.
"Well then, I am afraid your entire life is wasted!" said the boat man as he left the boat and plunged into the river.

The pundit met his unceremonious end in that storm.

We plan and do many things in life. We set up career goals, indulge in pleasures, try to achieve social status...

But when a crisis strikes, none of these things can help us.

Only a well composed and disciplined mind can help us steer our way out of life's tough situations.

Therefore the most important thing we should do is to master ourselves with meditation


Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Why We Continue Undesirable Behavior And What To Do About It

You may know atleast one person who has a damaging habit. He/she knows about it, and still continues to indulge, even though it is eating their life away. It may be alcohol, drugs, sex addiction or more milder but still harmful forms like workaholism, shopaholism, etc.

Many of us continue various forms of undesirable behaviour-unhealthy eating, not listening to one's partner, idling away time, not exercising, etc. We all know this habit of ours is not good, but we still continue the same foolish behaviour.

What could be the reason for not stopping unwanted habits?

Recently I saw ads against smoking, issued in public interest by the Indian Govt. They contained vivid images like squeezing a sponge (resembling the smoker's lungs) and a dark, slimy liquid oozed out of it. Another ad showed closeups of the sad, anxious face of a little girl as she watched her tobacco addict father coughed. These ads were scary and did the job, they showed the logical conclusion without softening it.

So facing the stark reality is an effective way to stop undesirable behaviour.

Often people know the consequences and still continue. Why is this?
This is because they are distracted and cannot visualise clearly. Our exclusive attention must be focussed on the consequences and then imagine them happening to us. When we hear about bad things happening to others, it is always them. its happening to somebody else, not me. Much like Yudhishthira said in the Mahabharata, "the greatest wonder in life is that people see others dying all around them, and yet they never think that they are also going to die one day."

Eliminating our unwanted traits and acquiring fulfilling ones gives us lasting joy in life, a sense of mastery over our destiny. But the trigger for that change is fear. Fear of the consequences. And that fear will arise only when we can imagine the same consequences for ourselves.

Another reason people try to avoid thinking about the consequences is that it makes them squirm, The discomfort we feel when we visualize the unpleasant consequences of our bad habits makes us avoid thinking about them.

This is where meditation practices like Vipassana can really help. Meditation encourages us to sit through the discomforting experience. Normally we try to divert our attention with TV, movies, alcohol, food, socialising etc. But the issue still remains. In meditation, we have the breath to hold on to when the discomfort arises.

And when you can sit through the discomfort without running away, believe me, you will fell much closer to a more fulfilling state of being!

So the three keys to effective personal transformation (which is nothing but discarding unwanted habits and acquiring good ones) are:

  • Get into a relaxed state of concentration (meditation recommended)
  • Take just one habit at a time
  • Visualise the consequences of your habit and imagine them happening to yourself
Now if you can't think of enough consequences, just google:

Sunday, September 17, 2017

Should You Seek Liberation? Why?

As life races along to its inevitable end, I am confounded by doubts and thoughts. Why do we live? What are we doing here? What is the purpose of life? What is mind? If the purpose of life is liberation through enlightenment, what happens when one becomes liberated? How do we recognize a liberated being? Do we need to know the answer to every doubt before being liberated?

A google search threw up these results:
Why+should+we+strive+for+liberation+from+birth
My religion says human beings are the only species capable of realizing the truth about existence. This seems obvious, as only humans can think. Animals cannot. Even though they display affection and sparks of intelligence, they cannot contemplate on the meaning of life. They are too caught up in the pleasures and pains of bodily existence.

The problem is that even to think effectively and arrive at a solution, we need a focused mind. Developing a focused mind must be our first priority.


  • What happens when one becomes liberated?
Liberation is the extinction of all desires. So if somebody manages to eliminate all of his desires, they would be liberated. However, desires are the cause of birth. In other words, we get a body because we have desires. This means if there are no desires, the body will cease to exist. Means we will die, but will continue to exist as Consciousness.

Does this alarm you? It will scare most people that Liberation will cause death, but it need not be. Eliminating all of the desires is not an easy task, and will take quite a lot of time, if at all it is possible in one birth. And by the time you do manage to do that, you would have expanded your consciousness so much that birth and death become child's play.

Some liberated people chose to keep a few desires so that they will continue to live till natural death happens.


  • Do we need to know the answer to every doubt before being liberated?

Liberation means the person has no reason for seeking desires. You have found the true source of happiness and contentment that is within yourself and you no longer need external experiences for happiness.
You don't need to know all the answers to be happy. To be happy all that you need to do are:

  • Be active
  • Be alert
  • SMILE



Note: This is an ongoing post. I am trying to collect all that I have learned about the purpose of human life and put them down. So it is incomplete.

Thursday, August 31, 2017

Brahmam Okate - Sooryagayathri & Rahul Vellal

How To Stick With Your Personal Development Program And Make It Work

Summary:

  • Your thoughts and actions are not yours, they arise from the Consciousness. It is Consciousness that performs those thoughts and actions through you. And Consciousness experiences the consequences of those thoughts and actions, through you. OR
  • It's just our accumulated tendencies playing out. There is nothing to do but witness it. If you can maintain awareness moment to moment, you have a freedom of choice.


There isn't a single individual who doesn't feel lacking in some way. People feel they would be better off if they were wealthier, healthier, weighed more, weighed less, possessed more mansions, vehicles, luxuries, fair complexion, dark complexion, more height, less height, ...

On the emotional plane, we look for love, friendships, better relationships, validation, ...

Those among us in the chains of compulsive addictions try to find happiness by trying to break free of them...the list of addictions is quite long...

If  we look at it, there'd be some part of ourselves or our lives that we'd like to change or have been trying to change.

To what degree have each of us succeeded is a subjective matter. You might say "I'm happy with my progress."

Let's discuss a simple change in perspective that can make change of any sort easier.

However, mind you,, this entails a change in our outlook towards life.

It involves accepting the temporal nature of human life.

Now, is that an unsettling thought? Scary perhaps?

It need not be, once you have confronted it.

Birth and death are happening all around us, all the time. Why is our birth and death so special?

It's a paradox--To really enjoy life and get all that you want, you must accept that life itself is temporary and fleeting.

Now you may be thinking, isn't this the world view of monks and nuns who have renounced the world?

I too thought so. I thought the way of the monks and nuns was one of negating the world and its manifold experiences.

However, interacting with experienced spiritual practitioners and perusing Zen and Yoga works have convinced me that it need not be.

Life is meant to be experienced..

If someone tries to find the ultimate reality by renouncing all experiences, it would be putting oneself to extreme stress and imbalance.

This does not mean that we should all be epicurean freaks, living a life of indulgence.

It means to fully engage with each experience that life presents to you--be it the tiniest like batting an eyelid or drinking a glass of water.

We normally dismiss the small mundane jobs as boring and try to get them out of the way as soon as possible, so that we can enjoy what we like to do best.

Allow me to ramble a little, as it is hard to crystallize these thoughts. I myself am on the path of discovery.


Here is a concept for you to ponder:

Everything is Consciousness.

(Saying God would be equally fine, instead of Consciousness, but some are allergic to that word).

This is a concept on which all religions agree. The definition of God includes Omnipresence. Infinite Consciousness is everywhere.

Everything is Infinite Consciousness.

That means you and I are also Infinite Consciousness.

So your thoughts and actions and feelings originate from the Infinite Consciousness.

Being attentive to whatever you're doing or experiencing...is experiencing God.

A zen master said: Your actions, emotions, thoughts....these are your treasures. Pay attention.

When  you start to look at it this way, and maintain your observation moment to moment, you'll feel confusion, doubt, uncertainty dissolve, giving way to clarity and assurance.


*                                               *                                              *
The truth seeks itself
"http://selfdeveloping.blogspot.in/2010/09/truth-seeks-itself.html"
*                                                *                                             *

Why we don't stick with our personal development program and what to do about it

  • Absurd though it sounds, it's because we take up the doer ship of our actions. As per the above discussion, it is consciousness (God) that impels us to anything and everything. So why think that you are the doer? Think that Consciousness is making you do everything.
  • What about mistakes/bad actions onyour part?
Well, foist them also on Consciousness. The explanation is that in this cosmic drama, Consciouness wanted to experience this through you. And also the consequences of that action.

When you think in this way, it can be a bit unnerving. Consider an example:

Say X is trying to recover from alcoholism. He fails repeatedly. He blames himself for each failure and carries the misery. His condition doesn't improve because his thinking is confused.

But if he thinks that Consciousness wanted this experience through him, he can just relax and go ahead. Yes he may continue to drink. Consciousness also wants to experience the consequence of alcoholism through him. Karma will work anyway.

So what are the consequences? He will probably damage his liver and other organs in the process, and it can lead to painful disease and death. Consciousness wants these experiences through him.

Thinking in these lines generates a genuine concern and will make us seriously reconsider our ways. Ultimately, confronting ourselves is the most effective way that forces us to change.

And who wants to sacrifice his or her life just because Consciousness wants that experience? Let the unaware ones play the sheep.



Modern saints who have expressed similar ideas:
Ramana Maharishi: When you have boarded a train, why continue to hold your luggage on your head? Just put it down and relax. The train will take you and your luggage to the destination.

Mata Amritanandamayi: Whatever you do, think that you are performing that action with the energy of God.

Saturday, August 26, 2017

The Only Way To Control The Mind (Probably)

Most religions (and now psychology also) agree that it is essential to regulate one's thoughts and emotions in order to live harmoniously. We are surrounded by umpteen stimuli and media which exhort us to unbridled enjoyment.

The result of such enjoyment is always negative--disease, unhappiness and/or premature death. It also brings along loss of personal freedom, dishonour, and poverty.

We can see this demonstrated every day in the lives of successful people who after achieving their goals, descend into a life of depraved indulgence, giving up all their previous discipline. The newspapers celebrate stories of celebrities' fall from grace.

It is an inevitable tradeoff- one can't have both.

This establishes the ancient's wise saying:

Master yourself, and you can master your destiny.

But how?

One needs to realize that its almost impossible to control the mind. We do not know where it is, and its complete nature. Often we are so caught up in the unfolding events of life that we fail to observe the mind diligently. This gives it more than enough opportunities to go one up on us. Whether we acknowledge it or not, it is there, inciting us to do actions and to bear their consequences.

So it is essential to control the mind, and yet, we do not have a means of doing this.

The ancient philosophical treatises on Yoga have dwelt extensively on the subject of mind control (self mastery). However, man almost always misunderstands their purpose. It's for winning freedom, not for grovelling further into worldly enjoyments.

Secret of mind control (self mastery)

The ancient texts reveal desire to be the root of actions. With each desire, humans think that it will bring the final beatitude, that they will be happy and at peace. But of course it is not so. Just as addicts try to rationalise 'just this one more time' , the pursuit of happiness through fulfilling desires is never ending.The ancients have several analogies for this pursuit: the mirage of water in the desert for the thirsty traveller; the musk deer that searches everywhere for the origin of the fragrance, without looking in its own body which is the actual source,...

If you observe long enough you will find that every desire starts with a thought. When you repeat it, this thought creates a tension in your entire system. And when this tension possesses you, you must find a way to relieve it. At this stage of development, there is only one way to do that---fulfill that desire.

This pattern has been engraved in our DNA over countless repetitions.

Hans Selye, the authority on Stress, observed: Stress is the result of involuntary thoughts.

This tallies perfectly with our previous theory.

Which means that a mind which has thoughts running through it all the time, will develop stress (tension). It is easy to see how the mind picks pleasures as stress-relievers. Thus various desires take birth.


Constant Engagement-the only way to control the mind


So involuntary thoughts lead to stress or tension, and the mind adopts desire fulfillment to defuse that tension and restore the equilibrium. Advertising operates on the same principles. Ads are strategically designed to sow the seeds of desire in our minds, sufficient number of times to create the tension, forcing us to relieve it.

So how to master the mind? Avoid letting the mind get tensed up.

How to avoid tension in the mind? Traditionally, various meditation techniques address this very issue.

However, we face a tricky problem. The vulnerability to tension is present 24 hours. And it is not possible for most of us to sit and meditate all the time. Our minds are too restless.

The mind is like a cat. However much we feed and stroke a cat, the moment we divert our attention, it will steal food...----Mata Amritanandamayi

The simplest strategy has been coded into this very familiar proverb from days of yore:

The idle mind is the devil's workshop. If you rest, you rust.

Which means occupying oneself all the time is the easiest way to control the mind.

When one has made constant engagement a habit, he/she can incorporate further practices like moment-to-moment awareness. 

Further thoughts

Do we need to control our minds?

Anybody who wants to achieve a positive goal would want to devote more time and energy for it. Controlling/regulating our other desires is key to free up this time and energy. Also those who are trying to recover from crippling addictions of any kind would need these techniques of mind control.

Further ways to do it

Most of us try to overcome the mind by battling it head on. This is a mistake most neophytes on the spiritual path make. They are horrified at the kind of thoughts arising and think: I shouldn't be thinking like this and struggle against the thought. Those trying to recover from addictions also struggle in this way.

Unfortunately, energy goes where attention goes (As The Secret told us). So the end result of your struggle would be to reinforce that which you wanted to get rid of. There is the story of the monkey demon Bali in the Ramayana. Bali could not be overcome by normal battle because he was able to appropriate half of the energy of his opponent. He had a boon to that  effect. So Sri Ram shot him stealthily from a hiding place. Bali is symbolic of our lower mind that holds us back.

Instead of directly fighting with the mind and its thoughts, why not address the stress in the mind? As we discussed above, desires result from tension in the mind. If we maintain awareness of our actions, thoughts, and feelings, the tension cannot sustain. Our focus shifts away from the undesirable thoughts.

Wednesday, August 23, 2017

Synchronize Instantly With The World With This Simple Statement

Life is enjoyable when you are in tune with yourself and the world, when you're able to function optimally, letting the work flow through you in a state of grace.

However, all too often, unpleasant interactions with discontented people and often our own gripes from the past can throw a monkey wrench into the smoothly running gears of our life, and in no time the rhythm of harmony will turn into a jarring cacophony. We would begin to wish that we were not here at all.

The more demonstrative among us would react violently and life soon becomes a hell of chaos.

I have fallen into this trap all too often.

Things would be running smoothly when an unpleasant incident occurs and my mental peace is shattered; it takes quite a while to get back into that state of harmony.

I tried many techniques to preserve my mental equipoise such as breath observation, self talk, etc. However, in the heat of the moment, I forgot all these and reacted. These methods do have a calming effect when practised consistently.

However, recently, a thought hit me and using that seems to have a more lasting effect. It is actually based on the law of karma--What goes around, comes around.

This is the statement that can get us out of the rut of negativity; it synchronizes us into harmony with life and the rest of creation.

"I alone am responsible for everything I am going through"
"I created all my experiences, no one else"

There are many ways of putting it, but this is the point: realising our accountability to ourselves.

But then a question:
How can starkly unfair turns be my doing?

For example, companies fire people without warning. The employees come in the morning, swipe their IDs and find it's been deactivated. They've been fired.

There is no possible reason coming from observed facts and logic. The company can have its own reasons, it may even be whimsical or unabashed selfishness (Gordon Gekko in Wall Street movie).

In such circumstances, we may withdraw into negativity and spiralling gloom.

If for no other reason, then perhaps being born is one reason that experiences occur.

The above thought puts the incident behind us without grudge or hard feelings towards anybody or ourselves, and helps us make a new beginning.

If I created this experience, then I can undo it.
If I wrote the script of my life so far, then I definitely can rewrite my life script in a better way!

Perhaps this is even more important than mantras and spiritual practices, more fundamental. Doing spiritual practices without attuning to life and the Universe is wasting a lot of effort and creating a warped personality.

I have been thinking more often that I need to keep this statement in my mind at all times, like a mantra:  I am responsible for all my experiences.

This does reduce conflict with the outside world and attunes me into harmony with life. I regain my composure and efficiency.

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Healing Grief Through The Breath


Some doors open only from the inside. Breath is a way of accessing that door. Watch this to find out.

Saturday, August 12, 2017

What The Saint Sees

We here,
and
that man, this man, and
that other in-between,
and

that woman, this woman,
and
that other, whoever,
those people, and these,
and
these others in-between,

this thing, that thing,
and
this other in-between, whichever
all things dying,

these things, those things,
those others in-between,
good things, bad things,
things that were, that will be,
being all of them,
He stands there.

Tamil poem by Nammalvar [trans. A. K. Ramanujan, *Poems of Love and War*]

(This is on the the god of thresholds). Nammalvar was a Sangam poet: Nammalvar is one of the twelve alwar saints of Tamil Nadu, India, who are known for their affiliation to the Vaishnava tradition of Hinduism.

Born: 3102 BC, Alwarthirunagiri
Books: Hymns for the drowning, Sahasra-gitih of Sri Sathakopasurih

Sources for this article:
http://poetryilove-abhaiyengar.blogspot.in/2012/03/tamil-poem-by-nammalvar-trans-k.html
Wikipedia


Thursday, August 10, 2017

How Broking Houses Can Enable Instantaneous Fund Transfer (Almost) Between Accounts

If you are a trader, trading in both equity and commodity with a broker, you'd have experienced the difficulty in transferring funds between these accounts. Existing rules require traders to have separate accounts for these two divisions. This is especially relevant in India. where SEBI stipulates having separate accounts for equity/currency and commodity trading.

So if you found a trading opportunity in commodity, but needed to transfer your funds from equity, you'll first need to withdraw them to your bank and then transfer them to your commodity account, though they are with the same broker.

This creates a time delay of up to 24 hours. The expenses of NEFT/IMPS transfer also come in. Also you need to log in to the bank account, and provide the security details etc, which is a hassle.

Currently time required to transfer money between these accounts through this circuitous route is a minimum of 3 hours for premium brokers like Sharekhan. Discount brokers may take up to 26 hours.

By the time the funds arrive, your trading opportunity would have vanished.

How to reduce the cash transfer time by more than 75%


I propose an alternative using existing technology. E-wallets can be used for this purpose.

  • Either the broker can provide an e-wallet expressly for this purpose to its clients or 
  • it can collaborate with existing E-wallets like PAYTM.
The route of the transaction must be:

                         

Routing this way will reduce the transaction time to almost zero, as the separate e-wallet is solely for satisfying the legal requirements of SEBI.

Advantages of routing transfer through an e-wallet

  • Reduces time of transfer between equity and commodity accounts by more than 75%.  This increases trade volume as funds are readily available to the client.
  • The transfer can be instantaneous if the e-wallet is maintained by the broker.
  • Eliminates the hassle of logging into the bank account and providing security details. Actually the client could activate the transfer with just an SMS from the authorised mobile.
  • Reduces the load on bank servers
  • Reduces online security risks to clients because there is no need to log in to bank a/c

Friday, August 04, 2017

KnowherStory: The Award Winning Project

KnowherStory: The Award Winning Project: A blog that narrates personal unique stories of grassroots women leaders.



This is the blog of Regina Zoneziwoh Mbondguloa, Cameroonian scholar and activist who  holds a bachelor’s degree in Environmental Sciences and a master of arts in Conflict, Security and Development from King’s College in London. Upon completion of the Washington Fellowship, she plans to use her civic leadership and advocacy skills to train and empower young people, particularly women and girls to get involved in the development, implementation, monitoring and evaluation of programs that impact their lives. (Source: www.Irex.org )



What amazes me is that there are people who get qualified from top institutions and yet, instead of using their education for their own material benefit, dedicate themselves to the welfare of the less fortunate, marginalized among us.

Wednesday, August 02, 2017

A Step Towards Yourself

Nearly two decades ago, I got  a chance to play the DOS game called Budo. It was a transforming experience. Not that the game was extremely brilliant, even though good it was.

What fascinated me was that at unexpected moments a brilliant quote would flash on the screen.

Two of those quotes from that game entered my life forever, I still contemplate their meaning. Let me share them with you:

The first one:

Center yourself by accepting whatever you're doing now.

We generally rush through life, focusing only on our so called 'important' moments and activities.

We are here to enjoy life, not to run through it in a frenzied rush. After all, we can only do one thing at a time; that done well leads to the next.

Think on the above quote, and you will find that not a moment of your life will ever go to waste again. All your frustrations will dissolve, when you accept whatever you're doing NOW. You really enter into that activity. It may be the most mundane, boring task, like drinking a glass of water.

When you accept that act, it becomes the most important act of your life, and your mind settles down. A hitherto unknown kind of contentment enters your heart as you take each sip, savoring the sensation of coolness as it travels down your throat.

You realize there is no hurry, that this ordinary task is also an important moment in my life, in fact this is the most important moment now, and I can't do anything else now.

Isn't that a step towards yourself?


The original quote:

“Flow with whatever may happen and let your mind be free: Stay centered by accepting whatever you are doing. This is the ultimate.”- Chuang-tzu



Monday, June 05, 2017

Better Listen To You Body To Survive: Why the Health Of The Average Indian Is Failing

Months back, while tasting an apple bought from a supermarket, I was repulsed by the noxious taste and odour of some chemical. I couldn't bring myself to eat it. Later I read that Formalin is mixed with Fruits to preserve them.


Lately, I got the same noxious taste and feeling while drinking tea made out of packed milk. It was a popular brand in Delhi. There was also a burning sensation in the stomach. One day, there was an unusually strong smell of Chlorine in the milk. I have been feeling uneasy after drinking tea nowadays, instead of the usual energetic feel. Something wasn't right, but I couldn't pinpoint it.

Interestingly, some days even the dogs wouldn't touch the milk.


The body has its own ways of warning us. If you have a foreboding gut feeling with a particular item, back off.


The worst fears were confirmed with this article: The Milk You drink may be laced with detergents.


A team of researchers from Maitreyi College led by Brototi Roy conducted this study. They collected 75 milk samples randomly from all over NCR (National Capital Region). Shockingly all 75 samples were contaminated with deadly chemicals.


The video below shows how 1 litre milk is made into 20-30 litres before being supplied to distributors' factories for packing.







More revealing news on Milk:

https://propelsteps.wordpress.com/2013/09/07/alert-its-shampoo-we-drink-not-milk-shocking-reports/

Thursday, March 23, 2017

The Real Face of Mata Amritanandamayi ( Never before seen clips! Watch t...





The ability to empathise with the other is the secret of rapport, modern psychology says. Many of us try to help others by listening and empathising with people who suffer. However, our effort falls short when it starts to consume us, when the other's problems are so overwhelming that we have to lose ourselves, give ourselves, out time, and our life to empathise. Most people stop at this point.

We want to continue our little worlds.

However Amma, Mother Amritanandamyi, doesn't stop here. She gives herself without holding back, to share others' sorrows and suffering. That is why people are touched by her.

In this video you can see an incapacitated man, trying to express his feelings (go to 4:20). He can only move his eyes and facial muscles, but just see if they are effective!

Thursday, March 02, 2017

Handling Gas Cylinder Leakages in India

You just need to learn how things move here.

Today morning our cooking gas cylinder ran out. We replaced the cylinder and the domestic help continued the cooking.

After she left, my wife complained of gas leakage. I took out the valve and tried to reconnect the cylinder.

In a particular position, it continued to leak gas audibly.

I immediately turned off the cylinder valve.

It was only a month ago that the gas supplier had checked the safety of the gas valve and replaced the tube (at a cost of course)

So, the problem must be with the new cylinder.

The emergency number for gas leakage was on Google. It was on the Indane Website:


I dialled the number on my mobile: first 1906, and then (011) 1906. The time: 13:08.

No body takes an emergency gas leakage call!!!

There was no answer.

Tried a few more times in vain.

There was another number at the top:1800 233 3555. I tried that one too.

The response:  You seemed to have dialled a wrong number.
The time: 13:06

It is  a weekday, Thankfully somebody answered at the local gas distributor's (Indane- Kitchen Aids). They would be sending somebody along.

He came by 14:40, 1 1/2 hours after the call, and fixed it.

The domestic help had not noticed the leak. Thank God that nothing happened while she was cooking.

NOTE:

I tried the above emergency numbers later (about an hour later). This time I got a response from an IVR.

This means you simply have to keep trying. Eventually somebody is going to respond.

Saturday, February 25, 2017

Mantra Chanting Experiment For Wealh Creation - Results

These are the results of the Mantra chanting experiment.

Mahalaxmi being the Goddess of Wealth, I was expecting some windfall like lottery or unexpected financial gain that had no direct connection with my work.

However, nothing of that sort happened.

So was the mantra chanting useless?

Not at all. The mantra for me, seemed to work at a far deeper level, that produced longer lasting changes than just a momentary windfall.

The benefits are listed below:

Creativity

It provided me a stream of ideas in trading and writing. In trading I got the idea of Lunar ingress trading on a stop loss of 0.63%. It works more than 75% of the time for Crude Oil. Lunar ingresses occur every 2.5 days.

Note: Some traders have already written about Lunar ingress trading. However, reading about it and being convinced to try it are different. The main insight I got was that after the Moon passes 27 degree of the current sign, enter in the same direction as the next bounce off the Bollinger band (if it is not ranging). If it is ranging, do not enter.

Discipline

Keeping a weblog of my activities and having a target of 41 days forced me to stick to my schedule. 

Health benefits

After 41 days, I found that my eyesight had improved quite a bit.  I had trouble reading books like Lee Lehman's Horary Astrology, because it is in such small print. I had been considering taking up glasses, but they may not be necessary, atleast as long as I chant. 

Increased output of work

During this period, I was able to write and publish several blog posts on blogger and one on Linkedin:Could Cortana be the undoing of Windows? My writing had been lagging for many months.

Increased energy and optimism

It was as if I had been plugged into a main supply line of energy. It allowed me to complete my daily targets. It also inspired me to start two more new projects, (actually sub projects) as a part of Becoming a better writer. The building blocks of good writing are regular reading and writing. I took the target of incrementing the duration for each by one minute everyday with a minimum of five minutes.

In addition, there were some more benefits from the mantra chanting experiment:

  • It sobered up my trading temperament.
  • Inspired me to take up two more self improvement projects in writing
  • Had an interesting experience with my car service station wherein they agreed to pick up and re-service my car without any unpleasant argument

And now, the money making part

By the end of the 41 day experiment, I was regularly having 1-2 profitable trades every day. Failures were becoming fewer. In the last week, I did not have a single losing trade. 

However, then the old enemy of the trader struck: Conceit. Oh this is all so simple. I became careless. and started flouting trading rules one by one. And then I traded with full leverage without proper analysis.

Result: Two devastating losses which took out most of the profit.


Mantra chanting is no substitute for work (a trader's work involves analysis). I could not sit in a car and chant the mantra for the car to move. I had to drive it intelligently and responsibly.


Conclusion: 

Mantra Chanting, if taken up in addition to one's regular work and study schedule, can be significantly life altering. It has created a positive transformation in that I'm willing to have another go.

One should note that just chanting the mantra is not sufficient to produce results, by itself. One has to pursue the bare minimum of activities necessary to take small steps towards one's goals.

Important Note!

If, after reading this, you plan to take up mantra chanting, be sure to read the first part here. There are some precautions that I took that you may find useful. 

Chanting mantras can cause some people to stress up, as we are forcing the mind into new channels. If this happens, go easy a bit. Pull back on the number of mantras When you feel relaxed and comfortable again, get back into the practice as earlier. 

Mantra chanting can also bring out repressed emotions, so you need to learn to relax when the emotional turbulence strikes. You can do this by avoiding a direct confrontation with the emotions and thoughts and just watching your breaths. Counting the breaths or counting the rise and fall of the abdomen is a great and fun practice for this.

This article is still being updated.

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Amma Sets An Example Of Humility In Live Kairali TV Interview

Watch the last three minutes. The interviewer is John Brittas.


It's amazing how She heeded his request. This is a rare quality to come by in today's troubled world.

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Mantra Chanting Experiment

People all over the world have used mantras from ancient times.

Mantras were popular in India and still are. Believers chant them for different benefits-health, wealth, and for other material goals. However, the highest purpose of mantra chanting is to purify the mind to make it fit for enlightenment. Still, without experiencing fulfilment of material desires, man doesn't start thinking about enlightenment.


A major concern of mankind is wealth. Many times our best efforts to procure wealth do not bear fruit. One reason is the negative karma from current and previous lifetimes. Mantras help us remove the effects of bad karma and attract the desired goal.

After reading this article, and this I wanted to test out the efficacy of mantra-chanting.

I am starting an experiment with the Mahalakshmi mantra for prosperity: 
"Aum Gam Shreem Mahalakshmyai Swaha"

In Hinduism, Mahalakshmi is the Goddess of wealth and prosperity.

Shreem is the root syllable (bija mantra) for MahaLakshmi; Gam is the bija mantra for Lord Ganesha, who removes all obstacles.

The Plan


The plan of the experiment is to chant a minimum of 108 mantras or more (not more than 1080)  everyday, for 41 days.

The aim is to complete it sitting or standing, in one or two sessions. It has to be done in an alert state of mind, hence standing up may be necessary sometimes,

I will share the results here with you.


Day 01 11/01/17

Competed today's quota of Mahalakshmi mantra and some more.

I do trading for a living. Today wasn't a good day trade wise - a bad day.

However, there are several positive changes I noticed.

I am feeling very energetic and upbeat. I wrote two blog posts today.

I am also feeling very confident. Previously I used to shy away from taking chances and exposing myself, for fear of what my circle of family and acquaintances will think...Now, I feel that it doesn't matter... trying is everything.

I am also training to be a freelance writer. I got a number of ideas today on how to improve my writing. If you're aspiring to be a writer, you may find them useful. They are here : Polishing up your writing.

Towards the evening, I observed something interesting in Crude Oil price around the time of a lunar ingress. Lunar ingress is the period where the Moon changes signs: It happens roughly every two and a half days. If the trading volume is large enough, the price tends to reverse around that time. You need stop loss, risk and money management, of course. No method is fool proof in trading.

So these are the results of the first day of chanting:

  • High level of optimism, energy, and confidence.
  • A stream of new ideas has opened up

Day 02 12/01/17

Completed today's quota of mantras.

Day 03 13/01/17


My trading temperament seems to be sobering up.
By evening, had a profitable trade in Crude.

Day 04 14/01/17

Completed today's quota of mantras.

Keeping a log of planned activities online ensures that I'll complete the task. In that sense this weblog is useful.

I am experiencing higher energy levels after starting this experiment. More energy to complete tasks and makes them really enjoyable, too.

Note: When you are starting a discipline like this, sometimes you may experience emotional seesaws.  Prepare yourself to tide over any such disturbances by dedicating a few minutes to breath observation everyday Watching the breath is an excellent way to heal emotional upheavals.

Day 05 15/01/17

I just completed today's quota of chanting mantras.

My mind was not focused during the entire session. Still, completed somehow. Felt rather strangely emotionally upset, too.

Breathing into it and remembering Karma seemed to have brought some calm.

Day 06 16/01/17

Completed today's quota of mantras. Nothing worth mentioning except that some coincidences have been happening. Indications of some desired outcomes occurring without my taking any initiative. I will post them here once they completely manifest.

Day 07 17/01/17

I completed today's quota of mantras.

The incidents that manifested today were:

My car had been serviced last week. I'd told the service centre to check out the suspension, as it was a bit bumpy for a two year old car. Later I found out they hadn't checked it. When I complained, they neither denied it nor acknowledged their mistake. They just asked me to come around for a recheck, which I didn't want to do. It'd take another half day, and also they were bound to honor their commitment.

They called about three times, and the issue wasn't getting better.

After I started chanting the mantra, on the 6th day, they called and asked if I could bring the car. When I expressed my inability,they agreed to pick up and service the car. There was no need of persuasion. Today they came and did it.

So far, so good.


For the past two days, I've been experiencing some emotional ups and downs, and there were some arguments in the family. It passed off without escalating, thank fully.

Meanwhile, I came upon an interesting booklet "It works" by Byron Katie. It's very short, just about 14 pages, and hence the claim of the title " It works!" Good books do not have to be long, they do deliver the goods.
Some interesting excerpts from this book:
"...
I noticed that I wasn’t breathing—I was being breathed. Then I also noticed, to my amazement, that I wasn’t thinking—that I was actually being thought...

...Do you wake up in the morning and say to yourself, “ 
I think I won’t think today”? It’s too late: You’re already thinking!.....

 Thoughts just appear. They come out of nothing
and go back to nothing, like clouds moving across the empty sky. They come to pass, not to stay. There is no harm in them until we attach to them as if they were true...."


You can download it for free here.


Day 08 18/01/17

Completed today's quota of mantras.

Since the chanting started, there has been an improvement in my trading performance, though no windfall has occurred. I am using very small capital at the moment.

Day 09 19/01/17 through Day 12 22/01/17

Completed daily quota of chanting mantra.


Day 13 23/01/17

Completed 11 malas (11x108) today.
Changed the plan to increase chanting to a maximum of one extra mala (1080) everyday.
Three losing trades today.

Day 14 24/01/17

Completed 12 x 108 mantras.
Today morning got a profitable trade in ICICIBANK.


Day 15 25/01/17

Completed 11x108 mantras.

Two profitable trades-Crude which I entered yesterday night, and ICICI, today.



Day 16 26/01/17


Completed 14x108 mantras.

Day 17 27/01/17

Completed 15x108 mantras.
Profitable trades in Crude and ICICI today. ICICI was to be delivery, but because results were very good, closed today itself.

Day 18 28/01/17 through Day 20 30/01/17


Completed the daily quota of mantras, increasing one mala a day.

Day 21 31/01/17

Completed 20x108. Had the second successful lunar ingress trade tonight,
Chanting has improved my trading in these ways:


  • Guides me to read specific articles, that help my trading
  • Helped me to formulate and stick to trading rules--trading once in eight hours, abiding by risk reward ratio, 5% vaR, sticking to one instrument and one strategy for one month
  • Stabilised my emotional rollercoaster


Day 22 01/02/17

Completed 22x108.
One winning trade in Crude.

Day 23 02/02/17

Completed 23x108
One winning trade, and one loss in ICICI. The swing trade entered on 30/1/17 turned out to be a win, night one loss in Crude.

Day 24 03/02/17

Completed 24x108.
Losing day, Broke trading rules. Entered too many trades. Lunar ingress seems unreliable when there is another ingress (today Venus ingressed into Aries).


Day 25 04/02/17 through Day 41 20/02/17

Completed 41.
Bad day in trading. Losses. I had grown accustomed to range trading so was caught off guard when it trended today.

As per plan, the experiment concluded today. However, as the results were encouraging, I'd like to continue the practice. For how long, I have no idea.

Day 42 21/02/17

Completed 42.
Very bad day. Large losses. Crude oil trend continued strongly even though it was overbought.

Friday, January 06, 2017

How Jeannette Walls Spins Good Stories Out of Bad Memories

http://www.nytimes.com/2013/05/26/magazine/how-jeannette-walls-spins-good-stories-out-of-bad-memories.html

A very touching review by Alex Wichel:

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