Sunday, January 31, 2016

The power of Silence

The power of Silence

There is an awakening happening, Have you felt it ? - Star Wars

Sunday, January 24, 2016

You can call me Alvin

I thank God today for all the blessings that he keeps sending our way. Today I went out to a mall with my wife and two kids. We saw the movie Alvin and the Chipmunks. Wonderful movie. Classic animation and voice overs. The American way of doing things – be yourself. Let go. Everything happens for the best. Alvin and his two chipmunks are very adorable. I saw the whole of America in this movie. Made me feel nostalgic. Beautiful Music. From Jazz to Country, all of it packed into this two hours. Alvin’s father is just managing between his duty and personal commitments – as usual. So many roles that we play in this circle of life. Sometimes it’s true that life gives us tough tests. What we have to remember is that God doesn’t give us more than we can handle. Remember he is the most gracious and the most merciful. Alvin’s father (not legal till the last shot of the movie) finds love in a beautiful woman who has a son, but separated or without a spouse. They find love. But love is not something that happens physically. It’s beyond words. They are on their way to finding true love. Message – Go slow. Take your own time. Overall a beautiful movie to watch with your family. My 2 cents on the movie – 8/10.

Now let’s talk about the technicalities of the movie. The animation that feels so live is thanks to technology. Animation is done using software like Maya or Topaz or many others. There is not much of programming. There are easy to use tools (pick and choose) and technology is getting easier to apply and use day by day. Learn from companies like Pixar and Disney as to how a dream is turned into reality. Hats off to the whole team. You have seen the old movies – how they are. See the movies of today. Look at vibrant colors (new types of cameras), cool and clear sound (thanks to dolby) and the overall synchronization – like an orchestra of Zubin Mehta or Madame Butterfly. Music is beautiful when done solo, duet or an orchestra. Good music is something that makes us dance to its tunes, or makes us sing along or maybe cry. It evokes different heartstrings of our heart. We get emotional. That’s what separates us from machines, you see. Machines are devoid of emotions. It’s a god given gift. In fact everything that we have or will have is God’s gift. So thank God every day as much as you can. Do not look at what you don’t have. Like I’m happy that God has blessed me with a wife, kids and lovely friends and relatives.

You know we are all connected. This beautiful blue earth is holding 7 billion of us and we have to realize that we are all brothers and sisters. There may be problems in the world. But don’t focus on the bad aspect, because there ain’t any. There are just positives in this world. Can God create anything that is negative. So some people ask that such injustice going around in the world – how do you explain that ? Well, change yourself and your change the world. If you think negative, you will attract negative (That is the law of attraction). God simply gifts us what we desire – if it is good, you get good, and if it is bad, then it is good, if you look at those bad things as something that makes you learn. The whole purpose of creation is only one – progress. Period. Progress towards God or perfection or purity. We all have to walk our paths. Some have a struggle some have more or less of it. God is guiding us towards Him/Her every second. Know that knowingly or unknowingly, we are walking towards Him / Her. If times are tough, rest if you must, but don’t you quit.

Sorry, got carried away a bit. Let me come back to the movie. People love stories. The world is made up of stories. So in Alvin and Chipmunks the essence is the adorable chipmunks among loving human beings. The true meaning of love being discovered by Dad/Mom and brotherly love between the Chipmunks and the son of the heroine. Just go and see it. It’s worth the 2 hours watch. A movie that moves at a beautiful pace. A music that keeps playing like the flute, the guitar or the piano. The light (ambience) is very good and a free trip to the beautiful America. Breath-taking scenery and a light and enjoyable movie. The guy who tries to stop Alvin is a bit funny. After a lot of situations Alvin and the Chipmunks find a Dad who they can call as their own. Finally the chipmunks are legally allowed to be sons of the Dad. Thank goodness. My final 2 cents -  Go watch the movie.

God Bless …


Sunday, January 17, 2016

One World

File:Earth from Space.jpg

On this beautiful blue planet Earth, to which we all belong, there is abundance. The Universe (God) loves each one of us the same amount. He is the most gracious and most kind. In this and all the Universe(s) that have been created, God has blessed every creature with special skills. Unlike animals, which behave uniquely, we human beings sometimes behave as a lion or sometimes as a fox or some other times as a mouse. We are multi-talented. Some people still have a vague conception of God. God is infused into each and every little particle (no matter how small or how large) There is nothing here or anywhere else, that is devoid of Him. By the way, when I refer to God as Him, it doesn’t mean that He is a male. Use any gender for God that you may like. My belief that God is everywhere is sometimes called as Panpsychism (I hope I have spelled it right). In the great treatise, Shrimad Bhagvad Gita, Lord Krishna mentions that only 1% of his power sustains the whole Universe. So do we really have a faintest idea of what the rest 99% is being used for. In the great Koran, it’s said that no leaf moves without His permission. (Without the mighty Allah’s permission) – I think I read it in Koran or somewhere else.

Anyway, Why am I rattling you with all this preaching ? To tell you the truth, I’m a teacher and like to teach. Although I do not claim to be a great teacher, I have learnt some tricks. The reason why I’m sharing with you about God, is that, in this beautiful world that he has created, everything is positive. The miseries are not his creation. Our Sadhguru (Isha Foundation) mentions that in life we have 2 choices viz.
  • Choose to live in happiness – in the present moment
  • Choose to live in the past and future within our bundles of thoughts, emotions and other nonsense
Please forgive me if I have not exactly said the teachings, because I’m also a learner in this journey towards liberation. Like Sadhguru, we have many masters like Thich Nhat Hahn, Deepak Chopra, Rupert Spira, Eckhart Tolle etc.who have discovered the truth beyond the subjective truths. I have benefitted largely by reading them.

I’m sorry, still I have not come to the point. So here it is. Mother Earth has blessed us all with abundance. But still there is a disparity in the midst of abundance. This relates to money (Goddess Lakshmi) – in other words – fortune. Mother has blessed us all with different levels of abundance (be it spiritual, mental or material), but still when we deal with money, it can get quite complicated. Do you know that United States of America spends around 18% of their GDP (Gross Domestic Product) on Healthcare. Whereas in my country India the spend is about 4-5%. There are 300 million people living in the US and there are 1.2 billion people living in India. 4 times as much as that of US. Look at the state of healthcare. All across the world, in developed countries like the US, UK etc, they give paramount importance to Healthcare, Education and the basic needs (Roti, Kapada, Makaan – Food+Water, Clothes and Shelter). Developing countries are just scaling up. Do you know that US is the most generous country in terms of donations to charities? Of course everyone is shelling out their hard earned money, but it just doesn’t seem to be enough. The media coverage on different negatives happening all over the planet sometimes really upsets me. But I have realized that this is not because, the situation is negative, but I do not have the eyes to see the positive in it.

Coming to the Healthcare situation, which I have been researching recently, I find that there is still a huge gap between demand and supply. Technology is slowly filling this gap. There are technologies for Doctors, patients and the other people and entities in the value chain. But the latest cutting edge technologies is with my brothers and sisters of the developed countries. Let’s take the case of EMR (Electronic Medical Record) – the case history of a patient – his physiology right from birth to death. In India, I’m not sure how many doctors maintain that. The paper based records (that are being maintained) can get destroyed or can go missing. Which means the doctor does not have the patients history, which can hamper the doctor’s diagnoses.  In some countries the EMR is a statutory requirement. I do not know if that is compulsory, but technology can really help a doctor and a patient to maintain their data (pervasiveness) near to 100% reliability. By that I mean the patient’s medical history is in good hands. (the technology). The privacy of this data can be breached, but things are really getting tough for the hackers. (those acting unethicaly).

Trust – this is one word that does not have an end. It’s synonymous with love. I mean unconditional love, like the one that God showers on us. So before I forget, here’s my humble request to all of you :

  • Please know that we are all brothers and Sisters connected by an invisible web. So don’t fight.
  • Developed countries – Kindly share your technology with the lesser ones.
  • I did not cover this – but do you know where most of our spending goes – Yes, Defence. That’s a lot of money spent on killing others or defending oneself. Let’s go slow on this.

And finally,

May God bless us all (we are already blessed)

So wake up to that smell of Americano coffee (I love that black coffee) – 1 in the morning- and choose happiness for today.

You are extraordinary !


Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Thoughts on Management and Life

Ready. Aim. Fire – This is old school mantra
Ready. Fire. Aim – This is new school mantra.

The first one is the baby boomers, the millennial and all people in between. They get ready with their strategy (ready) and tactics (aim)  and then fire (execution). Whereas the new age kids all do Strategy, Execution and Planning.  There is a lot to be said about the three layers of management that we come across in Management.

Top – Strategy – Direction
Middle – Tactics – Plan
Bottom – Execution – Work

More and more senior management people are realizing that just sitting in a golden cage predicting a vision does not cut it anymore. They have to be on the ground with the troops. You cannot be a true leader, without dirtying your hands. Then he/she is called a grassroots person. Gone are the days, when the babu’s (officers) sit idle on a chair protected by the very barricades that we erected, called as policy. What is the use of such policies when it does not protect ordinary people ? When law becomes so complex that we ourselves get entangled in it (and become miserable) what is the point of having such laws ? They need to be simplified – either rewritten or deleted.

Coming back to Ready. Fire. Aim.- I have noticed this in children who play with the mobile. When I try to solve something on the mobile, first I think, before hitting a button (thoughtfulness) and my 9 year old son first hits the button (testing them one at a time) one by one (intuition). So which is better ? Gut feel or intuition travels faster than thought and thoughts travel faster than the speed of light. Whoever said that nothing can move faster than light will have to revisit his/her assumption.

Execution plays a very important role. Without perfecting this step, nobody will be able to give wings to his/her dreams. 80% or more of the time should be spent here by everyone, no matter whatever may be their position. We keep spending our time without bothering to look sideways. Well that is good, if a laser sharp focus is required for the work. But if you work effortlessly, grounded in the present ,moment, the awareness would be there automatically. When you follow your gut, your thoughts are not required.

As a matter of fact, I’m going to repeat the same thing that I keep saying to you again and again. Be in the present moment. The Bible says ‘Be still and know that I’m God’. Well, go ahead, realize the God within you. There is another saying which says ‘When you know your(Self) you know God. This Self is nothing but your Atman or Consciousness. Knowing means absence of thoughts and that is true knowing or Wisdom. Thoughtfulness is the same as that.

Now that I have blabbered a lot, I will just leave you with one word – Silence – Period.

Om Shanthi Shanthi Shanthi.

God Bless


Sunday, January 03, 2016

What are we really looking for ?

A very happy and prosperous New Year to all of you. Miracles all around us, still can’t get enough. Isn’t the whole world around us miraculous ? There are 3 trillion cells inside our body, dancing away to the tune of a subtle intelligence. There are many leaves on a tree, each one different, but still the same – they grow, they wither away. A seed has infinite potential, because inside the seed is the promise of a forest. If you look at a flower, it just spreads its beauty or fragrance to us and asks nothing back in return. A lion is a lion by nature. It doesn’t act as a sheep or a jackal. It lives and hunts when hungry. A deer on the other hand eats grass and has to run faster than that lion (the predator) or it will become it’s food. A fish lives inside water. It can’t imagine a world outside water. For it, water is like what air is to us. All these are part of this great nature. Or rather let’s call it mother nature. Nature doesn’t discriminate. It just let’s everyone be.

Enter us – human beings. You know, we are strange creatures. We have been endowed with a lot of gifts. Creator has given each one of us something special – a gift – maybe more than one. The biggest tragedy while living this short life would be not to realize this gift that we have been given. That’s why we have lawyers who are unhappy because they wanted to be doctors or engineers who wanted to be artists. This according to me is the most important aspect. We must be ourselves. And not act like a lion when we have sheep like qualities or act like a lotus when we are a rose. Our education sometimes overlooks this. Hence sometimes we get lost in trying to find ourselves. We have been made in the image of our heavenly father, it says. As is the Macrocosm, so is the Microcosm. If you carefully observe, the planets go around the Sun. The electrons go around the nucleus of an atom. There is so much of pattern here that we simply have to dismiss this as a co-incidence.

So finally what are we after ? Money, Fame and what after that ? There is a song in Hindi ‘Ye duniya agar mil bhi jaaye to kya hain’ – it means, what if we get this world – what’s the big deal ? Is that what we really want ? Material things do not bring real happiness. The whole world (material) that we perceive with our senses is just temporary. It will exist for some time and is on it’s way to destruction. So what is the point of getting attached to the material world. The only thing that is permanent is God, who has always been, without birth, without death. The big bang which started about 13.7 billion years ago, is just a desire that arose in God’s mind. And like all desires, we know that they come to an end. In today’s world, we have ample choices – we run after these flashing lights, without realizing that our true happiness lies only in one thing – Silence – in other words – God’s presence. Rest all is illusory.

The time has come to put a brake into our reckless longing for more and more. Look at the world today – what will we leave for the next generation – polluted air ? water ? and so on. Of course, we have to focus on the positive – and this will be true only when we be thoughtful or mindful about our actions. We have to live life from our consciousness. Stop this ego play. Because this simply comes from fear and not love. And in God’s world there is no fear. No negatives. Because he is the most kind hearted, most merciful and most gracious. We are all his children. If you have a child, imagine what happens if he/she goes astray. That’s why we have Silence (God or Zero) showing us the path of the righteous. Do not let me go astray – says a prayer. With the shape that the world is in today – we all have a lot of work to do. It starts with righting our wrongs (prevention is better than cure) and then leaving a good legacy behind for the generations to come.
Are we willing to do this ? Every one of us should ask our inner selves.

May peace be with all of us.

Much Love,