YOUR PERSONAL AND SPIRITUAL GROWTH COMPANION
Guru gyan by
A report on Shamanism
What do repeating
The child within
Whenever I meet people, I observe that each one of them is carrying a personal wound, which comes to the surface on little scratching. Some try to rationalise it, some ignore it, some nurse it, and some wear it like a badge of honour. And while it is easy to advise people to get rid of the sense of victimhood, or even be a patient listener or empathiser to them, the trouble is that unless the pain is healed, it is difficult to move forward in life.
A little regressing and scrutiny of our minds will reveal the moments when negative words got deeply imprinted on our psyche during our juvenility. Childhood is the time when we easily internalise whatever is being said to us, as the mind is not strong enough to screen whatever is being directed at it. Most of our samskaras (mental impressions) that determine the course of our life, get formed during this time. Since our well-wishers too received the same treatment from their predecessors, they passed them on to the next generation, considering them right. We might not be cognitively aware of what ails our mind, but a little introspection will reveal the pain-points that still hurt or haunt us, causing us to react in irrational or self-destructive ways to the triggers of life.
The stranglehold of beliefs is often deep-rooted, but the solutions too lie there. Inner child healing workshops are fast gaining popularity in the healing circuit, where the lost and hurt inner child is whispered to and nourished with positive and life-affirming thoughts and emotions. Once the inner child’s hunger for unconditional love, acceptance, and appreciation is fed, a person feels rejuvenated to the core. This month, we have a lead story addressing this issue. Enjoy it.
We also have an interview with Dr Naresh a master, who has a fascinating take on religious animosity that seems to have taken the world hostage. If religion is meant to unite and not divide people, then it requires that true
men of realisation clear the misconceptions around scriptures, religious beliefs, and practices that seem to be at war with other faiths, causing much misunderstanding. Dr Naresh does this effortlessly.
Have a happy August.
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losZ HkoUrq lqf[ku~%] losZlUrq fujke;k%
losZ Hknzkf.k i’;Urq] ekdf’pn~nq%[kHkkd~Hkosr!
May all beings be happy, May all be healthy, May people have the well-being of all in mind, May nobody suffer in any way. — Vedic prayer
Edited by Shivi Verma. Printed and published by
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Member, Indian Newspaper Society
4 LifePositive | AUGUST 2019
Bringing home baby
Sharmila Bhosale acknowledges the unmet needs of the lost child within us and provides ways to heal the emotional wounds suffered during childhood.
God’s own country
Shivi Verma interviews Dr. Naresh, a master whose spiritual attainments are complemented by his deep study and research in languages, history, scriptures, and philosophy.
The making of a diva
After a harrowing experience at a beauty salon, Vidya Murlidhar discovers that true beauty is much more than facials and lipsticks
Better batter for breakfast
Tips on how to have a nutritious breakfast, with some appetising, easy-to-make recipes
Cover photo: Adobe Stock, Photo credit: Adobe Stock, Cover design: Sandeep Kumar
06 LifePositive | AUGUST 2019
The mysterious repetition of numbers may be signs from the Universe and can be decoded through numerology to benefit you
The world of shamans
Demystifies shamanism, as a connection with the whole of Creation
Take a break
Life needs punctuation, without which it can become incomprehensible and insufferable
Stamp of approval
The psychology behind social approval—which divorces us from our true selves—and how to break free of it
Response 08 Mandala 10 Guruspeak 40 Aha moments 54 Journey 62
Mudra column 70 Spirit 76 Positive focus 80 Revelations 86 Banyan tree 88
Total pages 92, including the cover page and the back cover
Y O U R P E R S O N A L A N D S P I R I T U A L G R O W T H C O M P A N I O N
Is it possible?
Are you a
Guru gyan by
THE POWER OF HUMILITY
Fabulous June issue
The June 2019 issue of Life Positive was a midsummer treat! What amazing genius produces such a feast for the soul, with such an extensive menu of articles, month after month?
Steeped in gratitude, Manoj Lekhi’s interview with Rishi Rathod, was a legitimate reminder to all of us to pause and remember the Invisible Lover. The articles, The threads of karma and Healing our ancestors threw light on the interwoven play of maya. The Heartspeak and Sharing columns showed us what matters, and The world of crystals and Summer sustenance really added to the cocktail!
Hearty congratulations to you and the fabulous writers for giving us so much! We are truly steeped in gratitude.
Nandini Sarkar, Kolkata
An educative experience
In the excellent interview Steeped in gratitude, conducted by Rishi Rathod in the June 2019 issue, Manoj Lekhi has given us two important mantras for living a successful and happy life:
Mantra 1: Do not complain. Come out of the 08 LifePositive | AUGUST 2019
complaining zone. Many times, we complain about the misbehaviour of our family members and relatives or about bad events and misfortunes. Yet, things do not change. People cannot change. We just lose our peace of mind and energy complaining about them. Let us say, someone has encroached upon your land and laid claim on it. You have to lodge a complaint with the right authority and take action. However, do not go on blaming the person. In most cases we become angry, blaming the person or the incident. It only saps our energy and gives us heartburn. In many cases, things happen due to karmic laws, over which we have no control.
Mantra 2: Develop a sense of gratitude. God has given us many things, but we take them for granted. We only see what we do not have (but what others have). We should rather count our blessings and thank God.
These two mantras will give us true peace of mind and take us to a higher energy level. We can then enjoy life and carry out all our activities very efficiently.
A S Dandekar, Mumbai
Mail from our readers, online fans and subscribers
An indispensable blessing
The May 2019 issue of Life Positive has been an indispensable blessing with all its enriching write-ups.
Getting off the pendulum swing, by Shivi Verma, provided me with the much-needed insight into purposeful living. It’s true that even while exercising a mature perspective towards life, the human heart and mind crave adulation and admiration. Shivi’s interpretation has helped me clear the cloud and realise that if you want the stars to shine on you, you have also to be ready when the sun goes down on you.
Naini Setalvad’s Ending diet dilemma clarified a lot of confounding beliefs regarding food habits. The lead story, The guide, by Prawesh Singh, was, in fact, a documentation of Self-enlightenment. “There is nothing in the world that is just random, not even in human life. Everything has a purpose.” So inspiring, so motivating. I could relate to the content very well and got answers to many of my
Along with the other articles and regular columns, this issue proved to be a compendium for a seeker. Heartiest gratitude!
Sujata Pani, via-email
Promote emotional health
I wish to congratulate Life Positive magazine for its wonderful articles and columns. It is a great help for all those who are suffering physically, mentally, and emotionally. I read this magazine every month.
I feel a need to read something that promotes emotional health and gets rid of emotional imbalance, which we suffer in one way or the other. Also, helping others to overcome addiction is another topic of interest to me. It is my request to you to include articles related to these subjects.
Paramjyot Chopra, Chandigarh
In the articles Love heals cancer and Food for thought in the July 2019 issue, the names of the authors have got interchanged due to an oversight. Shveta has written the former, and Nirupama, the latter. The error is regretted.
Vegan is the future
The Indian Vegan Movement is gathering momentum among various groups in society due to its health benefits, climate change issues, and animal welfare causes. The vegan lifestyle and its ethical choices have prompted many to not just adopt veganism, but enthusiasts have also created business opportunities, calling themselves ‘plantrepreneurs’! Considering the rapidly growing support for the vegan way of living (not just diet), World Vegan Organisation in association with Vegan First launched its first edition of the non-profit initiative, Vegan Indian Conference 2019. Hosted at The Suryaa, New Delhi, the two- day conference was held on the 6th and 7th of July, which saw a diverse panel of leaders, entrepreneurs, activists, authors, and other notable personalities united by the common cause of veganism.
Unveiling the conference, Dr Manilal, CEO of PETA India, talked about how the cause can be strongly backed by well-organised outreach programmes to
create a significant impact. Panellists unmasked the environmentally degrading beauty and fashion trends, which
are now taking a new direction, thanks
to experts like
Kaveeta Pol, Purvi
Doshi, and Naveen
Jha, who have made cruelty-free and vegan alternatives possible without compromising
on quality. Talking about the environmental impact of
our food choices, the director of Cowspiracy, Keegan Kuhn, said that “According to the UN, animal agriculture is responsible for 18 per cent of greenhouse gases, more than the combined exhaust from all transportation. Also, a third of water consumption is for animal agriculture, and in the US, 50 per cent of the livestock is fed to livestock.” Shocking!
Later, a visual address by the chief guest, Smt Maneka Gandhi, outlined the deeply ingrained religious and ayurvedic link with dairy products, which poses a barrier to the Indian Vegan Movement and that “being vegan is a political stance.” Other speakers like Seth Tibbott (founder of Tofurkey), Ken Spector, Vikas Kuthiala (angel investor), Devi Mohan, Shivya Nath (BBC vegan vlogger), Kuntal Joisher (vegan mountaineer), and many others offered their inputs on the topic ranging from starting and sustaining vegan ventures to how to stay fit on a plant-based diet. The conference
displayed numerous stalls selling cruelty-free vegan products and services. Additionally, an array of vegan dishes and desserts were proof that going vegan doesn’t equate to compromising with
taste or quality.
Someone correctly concluded that “Vegans are not crazy; they’re just
from the future.”
Vegan activists and panelists shared their experiences and conducted classroom style workshops at the conference.
10 LifePositive | AUGUST 2019
Our hectic schedule and tightly-packed days have considerably deteriorated our physical and mental health. But by inculcating yoga,
an ancient holistic
and healing practice,
we can incredibly
transform our lives.
From making you
physically fit to pacifying
your nerves, yoga promotes
overall well-being in every
aspect of mental and physical health.
The 5000-year-old Indian origin practice that drives away stress from the mind, body, and soul through various asanas (postures), breathing practices, and meditation has gained worldwide popularity and then some.
It was a historic moment on the 11th of December 2014, when the UN declared the 21st of June as International Yoga Day. Celebrated globally since 2015, a huge gathering of around 30 thousand yoga enthusiasts, all clad in white, converged on the lawns of the Red Fort.
Organised by the Brahma Kumaris and the Ministry of Ayush, with the motive to spread awareness about the benefits of this ancient practice that maintains the synchronicity between body, mind, and soul, the 5th anniversary of the day was held with ceremonial gusto. Shri Venkaiah Naidu, Hon’ble Vice President of India, was invited as the chief guest at the event, themed ‘Climate Action.’
The 5th International Yoga Day was celebrated with great gusto and was themed ‘Climate Action’.
Referring to yoga as a way of life, Mr Naidu said, “Yoga entails simplicity, honesty, compassion, and respect for all creatures and nature. It is a lifestyle based on non-violence at every level: in thought, feelings, words, and actions. Yoga clears the clutter in our mind and body and leads us to find inner peace and health. The single-dimensional pursuit for more resources, wealth, pleasure, and power was leading to the erosion of values, ethics, and indiscriminate exploitation of natural resources. We are now seeing the result of all this in the form of climate change and growing inequalities. We need to arrest this
craving for materialistic pursuits.”
Mr Naidu concluded his speech by recommending yoga as a part of school curriculum to combat diseases and ensure physical fitness and mental equilibrium.
Rajyogini Dadi Janki Devi, chief of the Brahma Kumaris; BK Brother Brij Mohan, additional secretary general, Brahma Kumaris, Mount Abu; Dr A K Merchant, national trustee, Lotus Temple & Bahá’í Community of India; Janab Firoz Bakht Ahmed, chancellor, Maulana Azad National Urdu University, Hyderabad; and other dignitaries were also present on the occasion.
Positive Focus 11
Our mind is dependent on brain functions. The brain controls most of our actions, behaviour, and desires, and even
our aspirations. But despite performing the most significant functions, we are largely unaware of its circuit and powers.
neuroscience and brain
imaging technology have
changed the world by helping us understand how the mind works and reacts. The Mysteries of the Brain and Mind series hosted by Indian Habitat Centre in collaboration with PSRI hospital attempts to explore the different aspects of brain in relation with our daily lives, and as far as medical science can take us.
Deep Brain Stimulation (DBS) is a life-restoring therapeutic technique that cures seizures and tremors and has been approved by the FDA in 1997. It is an electrical intervention in the brain which causes stimulation in the brain tissue. According to Dr Shamsher Dwivedee, chairman, PSRI Institute of Neurosciences, “DBS aids in suppressing and augmenting the areas of the brain by giving electrical impulses. Just like tiny electrical stimuli to the nerves can activate them, triggering a volley of
Chairman PSRI, Dr Shamsher Dwivedee, talking about brain and mind matters to create awareness among the general public
stimuli can benumb the nerves.” Such stimulations are useful for tremors, Parkinson’s disease (where the oral medications have stopped responding), OCD (obsessive- compulsive disorder), depression, and chronic pain (only
symptomatic without a cause).
Emphasising on the miraculous results of DBS, he explained that “DBS acts like a pacemaker for the brain, wherein it can restore normal functions through induced stimulations.” Interestingly, the non-invasive DBS technique forgoes the need for surgery and only requires the placement of a few small devices at different points on the outside of the head. Cephaly is one such device available in the market and has proven to be extremely useful for migraine patients. The Indian market showcases various other on-shelf devices based on the DBS technique, which help in controlling essential tremors, seizures, and hyperactive bladders.
12 LifePositive | AUGUST 2019
full advt 8 X 10.4.indd 36 16/01/18 8:09 PM aroyga march 2017.indd 2 17/02/17 5:34 PM
The making of a diva
After a harrowing attempt at beautifying herself at a salon, Vidya Muralidhar discovers that true beauty is much more than facials and lipsticks
I gazed at my reflection in the mirror presence. Not once did they make me feel less
and let the vision from the eye that
was open fall upon the kohl-lined one that was shut. The blue-grey shades of the eye shadow shimmered lightly on the canvas of my eyelid, bordered by the thick black line of the eyeliner. “Nice. Someday, I will learn the art of creating the smoky-eye effect, but for today, this will do.” With both eyes open now, I let my gaze wander over the rest of my face. Features had been accentuated, blemishes hidden. The array of make-up products I had used had done their job. All I needed to do was fill in the luscious matte shade of burgundy on my lips; ‘Diva’—an apt title for the lipstick I had chosen. As I looked into the mirror one last time, I certainly felt like one. Though, I must admit, I did not always embody this essence of being a diva. Discovering this essence has been a journey.
The art of make-up was one I had begun to dabble in only recently; until then, I had been averse to the idea. The wisdom of the forties had illumined to me the fact that the rebellious attitude towards make-up and fashion that I had harboured earlier was a defence mechanism I had come up with to protect myself. Let me tell you the story of how that happened.
Fair and lovely
You see, I am dark-skinned and very short, and there was a time in the crazy teenage years when I stopped seeing myself as the bubbly loving spirit that I was and instead wondered if someone with a flawed complexion and as scrawny as me could be considered attractive. It seemed unfair that while my growth spurt spanned a mere inch, everyone else towered over me. And in a country where fair skin is
considered the epitome of beauty, it hurt to be dark. My family and friends loved me unconditionally and cherished my
worthy. Yet, the conventional idea of beauty laid out by society had wiggled its way into my mind. While MJ crooned “It don’t matter if you are black or white,” to a young naïve teenager trying to fit in, it certainly did.
On one of those days, in a desperate attempt to change at least a tad bit of my appearance, I walked into a salon, also known as a ‘beauty parlour’ in my country. I had never been to one before. Now I would say that the name is a misnomer; there is so much more to beauty than looks. But at that point in time, I felt that it is the external fixing done to a person’s appearance that miraculously enhances beauty. The ‘beauty parlour’ was a home-run salon owned by a matronly heavyset woman who had a couple of giggly and chirpy girls to help her. It is a norm in my country, where every grown-up person in your life is referred to as ‘aunty’ or ‘uncle’ and many a young girl as ‘baby.’ Aunty was perched in a cushioned chair with her feet resting on a little black stool, reading a magazine, while one of the helper girls was massaging her head. Her raspy voice boomed as she peered above her wide-rimmed spectacles at me.
“Yes, baby. What can I do for you?”
I looked around the dingy, rectangular room with a makeshift changing area in the corner, a huge mirror, and three rotating chairs in front of it. There was a massage table against the wall at the far end of the room, across the span of which wafted a waxy aroma. A little cauldron-shaped pot rested on a ledge by the table. J K Rowling had not invented Hogwarts yet; or else the scenario would be akin to a young Harry Potter walking into Dumbledore’s office, wishing to learn a spell that magically transformed one’s appearance.
“Fa . . . facial,” I replied meekly.
“Ok baby, come. First time doing facial?”
“Yes,” I replied, and proceeded to do as she said. I changed into a faded cotton gown she provided and lay down on the table, shutting my eyes tight. As she scurried around for the next few moments getting products ready to apply on my face, I waited agitated and uneasy.
Auntyji wore her glasses and scrutinised my face closely.
“Tsk tsk . . . so many blackheads . . . you need the ‘gold’ facial. Expensive, but you need it.”
if I had felt such animosity towards anyone before, but in that moment, I did, and as she brought the tweezers to my nose once more, I gathered every ounce of fierceness in my body and raised my hand to slap her. I just wanted the pain to stop. She was quick to react and with her large, jiggly arms, she firmly caught my hand and pinned me down. The stooges giggled.
“Arre! Baby, this much also you cannot bear? You want to be pretty or not? Then these blackheads, I have to take out. It does not look nice, no?”
I lay there, stark naked in my vulnerability, desperate to wedge my way into the land of the glamorous, my mind spinning, thinking in desperation, “It does not look nice? To whom? To another who was looking at me? I had to go through all this pain so that when someone else saw me, it would be a pleasing sight for them? So unfair! Were there not enough puppies, daffodils, and roses for the world to feast their eyes on if they wanted to see something nice?”
I shut my eyes, clenched my fists, and held on.
If I wanted to feel beautiful, I would have to
endure these experiences. While her stooges
watched, she deftly massaged my skin with
what seemed to be layers of masks, rubbing
them in, letting them dry, and peeling them
out. Next, I was asked to hold my face over a
pot of steaming water, with a cloth covering my
head, so as not to let the steam escape. It felt like
my face was on fire. As the droplets condensed
and dripped down my face, I consoled myself,
“Don’t things always seem worse before they
get better? The sting from the steam would
open up my pores and rejuvenate my skin,
making me glow just like those models in TV
ads.” As the steaming ordeal ended, Aunty
asked me to lay back and brought a couple
of sharp needle-like instruments. Terrified, I A rebel is born
“Baby, you have to come back next month to remove the blackheads, OK? Otherwise, no use. It will come back.”
“Huh? Whaaaat? I would have to go through this again? And again!”
asked her what she was about to do next.
“Not to worry. I must take out the blackheads, no?”
As she pinched and tugged away at the blackheads on my nose, I felt excruciating pain. Tears welled up in my eyes. I’m not sure
I looked at myself for a few minutes every morning and night, and though the image was not perfect, there were certainly less painful things I could do with my time, like reading a book. It was true that I had wanted to fit into a mould that society had carved. Yet, even after the facial, even after the coaxing and cajoling of the skin, I didn’t feel any different. Maybe my
16 LifePositive | AUGUST 2019
skin glowed and there were fewer blackheads, but otherwise, I was the same person as I was before this experience. That’s when the rebel was born. There was a quiet defiance, a current of seething anger in my heart for rules that defined beauty in society. I decided that I would stay away from everything that changed my appearance externally, that the beauty industry was an ostensible one. Looking good did not always translate into feeling good. I had experienced that, though I could not fathom what I must do to find my inner glow.
Years passed. Fortunately, for me, my husband cherished a sense of humour more than a sense of style, and I did not care to change. I was most comfortable in slacks and (to his chagrin) his T-shirts, and he just let me be. When the kids came along, for the longest time, I wore their presence as my accessory. Their spirit was an extension of mine, and I basked in it. I felt radiant. I was wrong to think that motherhood is what makes one beautiful. I did not own our children, and a time comes, as it did for me, for them to leave your space and find their own. Being a mother is just a role I played.
I began to fill in the void the kids left, with questions: Who am I? Why am I here? What does taking care of oneself truly mean? There were other burning questions too about faith, culture, and values....... The search led me to meditation. Though none of the answers appeared magically, there was a subtle change in the way I responded to life. It took months, and nothing changed externally, but I was happy for no particular reason. My heart felt
warm and fuzzy most of the time.
One night, as I brushed my teeth, I looked in the mirror. I was still short, still dark, and to add to it, the ageing effect of midlife hormones was conspicuous—streaks of grey, thinning hair, and the battle of the midriff bulge. Yet, I was ecstatic. That warm fuzzy feeling had eclipsed all insecurities. I had brushed away layers of inadequacy just as valiantly as I had brushed away the plaque. I was in my forties now, and I loved, lived, and wrote from the heart. Nothing else mattered. Maybe, this is what it felt to be a diva. To be fearlessly you.
And that, in short, is my journey to finding true beauty.
However, this awakening hasn’t broadened my sense of style. I still lounge around in my sweatpants and hubby’s Superman T-shirt, but I am no longer averse to the idea of dolling up on occasions. Today, I was getting dressed to do an author event. The excitement of doing something that I love, combined with a dash of make-up, made me feel yummy.
As I turned around to step out of the room, my faithful little puppy wagged his furry tail at me. Ah! He approved. He knew that under the mask of the skin toner, primer, foundation, highlighter, and blush was the warm and funny spirit he loved.
I now know it too. I have finally learned to embrace myself just as I am. I am a quirky woman who graciously bore the pain of childbirth but is terrified of a pair of tweezers.
I am a diva!
We welcome your comments and suggestions on this article. Mail us at [email protected]
God’s own country
Dr Naresh removes the cobwebs of religious sectarianism covering the soul of India, and re-introduces its shining inner core of inclusivity, pluralism and peaceful co-existence with clarity, conviction and emphasis, says Shivi Verma
LifePositive | AUGUST 2019
Spiritual knowledge is India’s legacy seeker in my youth and was fortunate enough
as well as India’s greatest offering to
the world community. At a time when India seems virtually engulfed in a communal storm and the identity of India as a secular country, that has its basis in spiritual ethos, seems endangered, it’s a delight to know that the nation still hides spiritual jewels of the highest order who lay bare the real essence of all faiths.
Chandigarh-based Dr Naresh is one such master, whose academic and scholastic achievements are as tall as his spiritual ones. His spiritual attainments are complemented by his deep study and research on languages, history, scriptures, and philosophy.
A former professor of modern literature in Punjab University and chairman of the Chandigarh Academy of Letters, he is a polyglot poet and writer, who is wedded to the spread of spirituality and global brotherhood. He has authored over seven dozen books in Urdu, Hindi, and Punjabi and is the recipient of 39 state, national, and international awards for his contribution to literature.
When I met him at his residence in Chandigarh, at first glance, he came across as a serious and sombre man of letters, but as the interview progressed, the inherent lightness of spirit of a man who has reached the acme of spiritual realisation became more and more apparent. His energy was infectious and transformative and his views, broad, liberal, and open-minded.
And excerpt from the interview:
Q. Please tell me something about your spiritual journey.
I do not wish to discuss it much. I had been a
to come in contact with a living master, who trained me in the methods of spiritual inquiry. I do not want to elaborate upon this because my guru wanted to stay anonymous. I want to respect his wish.
Q. India is the birthplace of spirituality. In the current scenario, do you think it is possible to preserve the real essence of Indian wisdom? If yes, then how?
The essence of all religions is spirituality. We created rituals in the name of religion and got embroiled in ritualism. Unfortunately, during the last few decades, the world over, and particularly in India, religiosity has increased and spirituality has taken a backseat. Whereas we have been teaching spirituality to the whole world from the time of the Vedas. If we stay in the mad race of economics, we will reach nowhere. Even if we become an advanced nation, what is the benefit if our conscience dies, if our values die? The way we understand religion is not right.
We made our own gods, gave them our own form, created our own ways of worship, but what is there to it? People do jagratas (all-night invocation of a deity) in the house where bhajans (devotional songs) are sung to filmy tunes. The one organising the jagrata does not have his mind on God. His attention is on thinking who all didn’t come from the invitees. The ones who came, were they properly received or not? Were they served tea or water? Were they seen off nicely? In all this where did he remember God? And the ones who do ritualism, do it to prove to others that they are very religious people. The exhibition of religiosity negates the essence of spirituality. Your relationship with God is a personal matter. People talk to God in their
Close Encounter 19
own languages, which run into thousands, but the real language of God is silence. Unless you learn the language of silence, you cannot converse with Him because He does not answer in your language. Silence does not mean that your lips are closed, therefore, you are silent. Silence should become a part of you. When this happens, your subtle body opens up and then powers given to you by nature since birth become accessible to you. This is spirituality.
Q. Do you mean to say that religion is redundant?
The problem is that people do not want to make an effort to deeply understand their books. How many people have actually read the scriptures? How many people have read the Gita, the Bhagavatam, the Upanishads, the Ramayana, or the Koran? If the readers have read the Koran in Arabic, then how many have understood it? How many have read the Bible? We have not read them. We just bow before them, since they are considered to be sacred texts but do not read them. The book was written to be read.
If we read the scriptures properly, we will understand that no religion has a dispute with any other religion. Let me give you an example: A Muslim refers to God as Allah. ‘Allah’ is a combination of two words ‘Al’ and ‘Ilah,’ where ‘Al’ means ‘the.’ Remove the prefix and what remains is ‘Ilah,’ which means Muslims pray to Ilah.
Now the Rigveda starts with the hymn Aum agnim ile purohitam,which means ‘Fire and Ila are my guides.’
The Yajurveda makes it clearer. It states, Namaste ilamastu, which means, ‘I salute Ila,’ (God) then defines, Na tasy apratima asti, which means ‘He has no shape.’
If we read this, we get to know that we have a close relationship with Islam. The basis of Islam is kalma(tenet), which is La Ilah Illallah, Muhammadur Rasool Allah.
This means ‘There is no God except one and Muhammad is His messenger.’You may not agree with the second half, but you do accept the first half because your sacred book says Eko Brahma, dwitiyanaasti, which means ‘God is one.’According to this verse, every Muslim is half Hindu and every Hindu is half Muslim. We are half-brothers.
We have created a divide between people for the sake of politics and have made religion its basis. The result is that inside the parliament, we forgot the constitution and began to chant ‘Jai Shri Ram’ and ‘Allah HuAkbar.’
This degeneration, this loss of values, is what I am trying to stem. I am not interested in creating a cult or have a long list of disciples. I simply want to deliver the message of truth and peace.
Religiosity, when it reaches its extreme, turns into blindness. When faith becomes blind, what can you see? Blind faith makes one believe that no religion is superior to theirs, and the one who does not believe in it has no right to live. From here, all troubles begin. A human being ceases to be a human being. He becomes a religious animal, and starts behaving like one. I want people to leave religious blindness and embrace spirituality.
Q. But there is a clash in the way we worship. Worshipping deities is forbidden in Islam and Hindus feel that not worshipping the cow is sacrilege.
This simply means people do not know their religion. Islam does not say that non-Muslims are kafirs. It does not tell Muslims to kill those who worship idols. According to Islam, a kafir
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Close Encounter 21
is the one who says that what the Koran says is a lie. None of the non-Muslims or Hindus have read the Koran, so how can they say that the word of the Koran is a lie. Therefore, how can he be a kafir? He is ignorant of Islam.
The Koran says ‘Before this, too, I have sent thousands of messengers. I sent them in every corner of the world, every community of the world.’According to Hadis (sayings of the Prophet), once the Prophet took a deep breath while facing the direction of India. One of his followers asked him what he was doing. He said, “I get the fragrance of God from this direction.”
Similarly, in Hinduism too, naastik does not mean the one who does not believe in God. Manu says that the one who criticises the Vedas is a non-believer. We have misinterpreted, misused, and misrepresented religion and deformed it. The crux of all religions is spirituality. And what is spirituality? It is discovering your own Self.
Often, spirituality is confused with mysticism. It is not called mysticism because it is difficult to understand. The word ‘mystic’ is derived from the Greek word ‘muso’ which means sewing two ends of an open wound. A mystic is the one who stitches the wound. We suffer from the primordial wound which is separation of the soul from its original source. According to the law of nature, everything wants to go to its source. Water moves downwards, fire goes upwards; similarly, the soul wants to go back to where it came from. It is part of God, it is part of the Divine, and it wants to go back to its Divinity.
Q. Many scholars of religious theology too come across as fundamentalists. Is there a
flaw in the way they study their books?
They are relying on information. They are not relying on multiplying the information through their wisdom. They lack intellect; that is why they don’t understand what is written in the scriptures. They interpret scriptures as it pleases them, as it suits them. If you study the scriptures seriously and then contemplate on what you have read, you will understand that there is no difference between the Koran and the Vedas, and between the Bible and the Vedas.
Q. There is some difference in the teachings. Hinduism and Buddhism believe in rebirth and reincarnation, whereas Islam and Christianity do not.
Islam does not believe in rebirth, but it does believe that one day all souls will have to go back to God. Since we came from there, we will go back. In Hinduism too, we believe in pralay (total annihilation), when all souls will go back. Christianity also believes in doomsday.
If Hinduism says that one can achieve this state of merger with the Divine even while in the human body, then other faiths can examine this concept and practise it.And if it doesn’t suit them, it is okay. They can wait for doomsday to merge finally with God.
The point is that no religion says that you will not merge with God finally. In the Koran, Allah says, “I have given birth to you now, I will give birth to you again and again.” After doomsday, God creates the world again, sends out the same souls again into the world.
The issue is that we are obsessed with the physical body. We do not think about the soul. Such an important thing, when it flies out of the body, the body becomes a corpse. Has
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Islam does not say that non-Muslims are kafirs. It does not tell Muslims to kill those who worship idols. According to Islam, a kafir is the one who says that what the Koran says is a lie. None of the non-Muslims or Hindus have read the Koran, so how can they say that the word of the Koran is a lie. Therefore, how can he be a kafir? He is ignorant of Islam.
anybody ever thought, “Where does the soul live in the body? What is its shape? How can one talk to it?” That is why spirituality tells you that you are not the physical body; you are the soul. The body comes from the mother’s womb and goes to the pyre. The soul is never born, it never dies, and if you understand that you are the soul and not the body, then you must understand that you are Divine. If you discover your soul, you discover your divinity. If you decide to live a life of divinity, then you become an exemplary human being. I appeal to people to become human beings from Homo sapiens, and great human beings from just human beings. A great human being is the one who lives for others, not himself. It is divinity when we serve others, think of the welfare of others, do not hurt anyone, and consider all people like ourselves. All people are like drops, but if all drops come together, they form an ocean. We do not want to create ponds and streams of humanity but an ocean which can have the whole cosmos inside it.
Q. How can this idea be made possible?
God has given us a subtle body, which is not visible to the naked eye, nor can it be detected by machines. It is full of powers. If you discover it, you will discover your own powers and become a different kind of person. You will realise that all souls are a part of that Supersoul; the world is one big family. If this is the truth, then there cannot be many religions; everybody will have one religion. The ways of
remembering Him can be different, but the one we are remembering is one without another. Which means there is only one religion, which is spirituality. So where is the problem?
The nature of the soul is to seek the Divine. The soul wants to be with the Supersoul, but it is unable to do so in the material body. We suppress the ache of the soul by engaging the body and mind in material and pleasure- seeking pursuits.
Those who care to listen to its cries are called awakened people. But any efforts to have a glimpse of the ultimate through a form or shape, projected by man himself under specific ‘socio-geographic’ conditions is an effort in futility. What is needed is that you go deep down into your own inner being as His image, His reflection dwells in you. Under no circumstances can we have a glimpse of Him with the physical eyes. The Divine can only be seen by the inner eye.
The soul must get converted into light if it wants to have a glimpse of the Divine energy. However, it is difficult, rather impossible, to reach the Divine without the help of the master because no human body has the capability of producing as much energy as required in taking the soul to Brahman. The required additional energy can be transmitted to the seeker by the guru alone.
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Q. How does the guru help a sincere seeker? Unless one has achieved union with the Divine in the human body, one cannot claim to have done meditation. For this, extra energy is required. Transmission of energy is possible after the pupil’s body is charged by the master through touch. Hence, a disciple has to present himself before the master to get his touch. Similarly, an incantation does not become a mantra as long as it is not chanted by the master himself while initiating a person. The accomplished words of a hymn, wrapped in the master’s energy are the real mantra.
The soul is an aerial element which is not capable of flying from the human body to the Supreme on its own. For this, the soul needs energy. Then this awakened energy has to be rotated in such a manner that it forms a cycle within the body. It is that energy, moving circularly in the body, which produces a vehicle for the soul’s journey. The vehicle too can take off only when the master’s energy is added to it.
The primary task of the master is to move the inherent physical energy of the disciple and form a cycle. For this, the guru imparts his mastered mantra to his pupil, with the help of which the pupil draws energy from the cosmos. The cosmic energy drawn in this way, in the course of time, changes into physical energy which moves the body. Directed by the master, the rotating energy builds pressure on the base of the spine, which is called Mooladhara. It is made of three and a half folds of flesh.
Due to these three folds, it is called Kundalini, the ganglion.
The half fold of the flesh in the ganglion lies head down, which is raised upwards through the pressure of energy. When the reclined head reverses its position and stands straight, the ganglion is awakened. With the awakening of the ganglion, also called the serpent power, energy starts flowing in the spine. The master, by adding his own energy, activates the flow, with the pressure of which the knot at the back of the neck is opened. Passing through this knot and moving under the skull, the energy gathers in the forehead, where it builds its own pressure to throw open the point of sacred suture between the eyebrows called Brahmarandhra. Through the point of the opening, the liquid energy drips, drop by drop, at the omphalos. Each drop produces such a melodious sound, as if many musical instruments are at work at the navel. This sound, echoing within the body, fills the performer with blissful joy. As no hand plays the instrument, the music so produced is called Anhada Nada, the unstruck music. In this process, the master’s job is to ensure that the energy keeps on moving in a circular way in the pupil’s body and does not go astray.
Master is thegoldsmith Gold is the pupil Liquefied, it changes From the old to the new
(Dr Nareshe’s books, ‘Rise to the Dawn’ and ‘Odyssey of a Fragrance’ are available on amazon and www.virasat.com.au )
We welcome your comments and suggestions on this article. Mail us at [email protected]
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Bringing home baby
In each one of us resides a lost child who was denied its right to unconditional love when it was vulnerable and dependent. Sharmila Bhosale invites you to acknowledge and fulfil the unmet needs of this child in order to heal your emotional wounds and grow into empowered adulthood
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I thought about adults. I wondered if that was true: if they were all really children wrapped in adult bodies... – Neil Gaiman,
The Ocean at the End of the Lane
U naware to each of us, hiding in the deep recesses of our psyche is someone who is known to us, yet lost. Someone
who is a part of us, yet marooned in time. Wounded, betrayed, and isolated, this being calls out to us, but we choose not to listen, choose to smother this entity instead. But when the pain gets too much for the one who is inside of us, it comes to the fore, breaking the barriers of time, shattering the walls of our self, laying siege to our present moment, and taking us hostage. It wants to be heard, craves to belong, needs acceptance, and yearns for love.
This being escapes to the surface in different ways, under various circumstances, and in a manner that is quite sudden and often, shocking.
Are you familiar with any of the following scenarios or characters?
Neeraj is a highly successful surgeon. He is feted the world over, and his appointment book is blocked months in advance. He is known to be caring, compassionate, and empathetic, and his patients often treat him like God. He has the magical healing touch. Few have encountered his wrath. Maybe only his immediate family and staff. However, he
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After a while, the middle-aged person who lives in her head begins to talk to her soul, the kid.”
– Anne Lamott, Joe Jones
has little control over his eating habits and can devour fattening foods and sweetmeats like there is no tomorrow. Impatient, irritable, and claiming instant gratification in the form of food and shopping, Neeraj’s favourite pastime is slinking into the sofa in front of the television and staring at the screen in a stupefied slump.
Reshma’s paintings are often described as meditative. Her ideas, style, and technique evoke sighs of admiration and envy in the art world. She is largely self-taught, her creativity extending to her writing and sculpting skills. She is soft-spoken, her voice floating like her brush stroke over her creation. There is gentleness in her art, and those who meet her could swear she would not even hurt a fly. She smiles often, her demeanour as calm as the effect that her paintings have on those who view and buy them. But a chance encounter with her children and her domestic help reveals another side. They would term her dominating. She takes decisions for her children, not allowing them to express themselves freely, thereby stunting their growth. Her children are diffident and docile, and the younger one’s lack of self-esteem is evident in the slouch of his shoulders and his general distraction. She rules the staff with an iron hand, thinking of them as her property. She often gets her way with tantrums and sulks, and is often mean and critical.
Vinay and Radhika have been married for 15 years and have two children. An unfailing feature of their marriage are the fights that
occur every week. Mostly, they start with one of them accusing the other of not doing something. The other will bring up a host of other incidents from the past that show that the one accusing has not met their part of the bargain either. They trade insults, do name calling, and bring up family upbringing in their arguments. One of them will walk away in a huff and both will sulk for a couple of days afterwards, before they need to speak again for some work.
The dynamic of the inner child
Inside each of us, there’s an inner child. The child that was born to be nurtured, loved, and accepted for who it innately is. But due to parental inability to fulfil those needs, or due to suppression, it had to go into hiding. This child is wounded and alone. And though the body holding this inner child may belong to an adult, this inner child often runs the show, as the pain it is carrying screams to be attended to.
This is why seemingly mature adults give in to temper tantrums, addictions, face trust issues, turn abusive, run away from responsibility, and slide out of control. We may try to silence these deeper longings with alcohol or drugs, promiscuity, gambling, overspending, overeating, workaholism, self-harming, and other ways of avoiding the real and deeper needs we have. Needs which we haven’t allowed ourselves to become fully aware of, or found a way to fulfil in a positive, loving manner. The inner child is a composite of our
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child-like capacity for innocence, wonder, awe, joy, sensitivity, and playfulness—that has been stifled—and also holds our accumulated childhood hurts, traumas, fears, and anger.
To avoid the pain of our unmet needs, we’ve tried to ignore that child, but it never goes away. Our inner child lives in our unconscious mind and influences how we make choices, respond to challenges, and live our lives. It is the impact of those childhood memories that fuel our life today.
In his book Reconciliation, Thich Nhat Hanh says that inside each of us is a young, suffering child; and to protect ourselves from future suffering, we all try to forget the pain. Most often, when we feel pain from a deep place within, it’s our inner wounded child who’s calling. And trying to suppress this pain results in more pain.
As Dr Preeti Kohli—a homoeopath and transformational coach trained in various modalities including inner child healing, past life regression, and rebirthing breathwork— defines it, “The inner child is a part of our unconscious. The conscious mind is our adult self. All that happens in childhood, all the unmet needs, particularly till the age of seven, go directly into the unconscious. Inner child healing helps us to reconnect to those unmet needs and see how those are still impacting our life. We learn to take charge and fulfil those needs rather than projecting those out to other people.”
Your inner child is essentially an echo of the child you once were. We each have our own history, and we have all been influenced by our environment, events, and the significant people around us. Our inner child has stored those memories and their impact on us.
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Acknowledge your inner child. Even though we have found the light in ourselves today, we sometimes forget to heal old wounds of our past. Your inner child still needs to be loved in order to heal the complete self.” – Karen A. Baquiran
Dr Trupti Jayin, a clinical psychologist and past life regressionist, explains, “All of us are wounded between the ages zero to six. Our birth trauma (forceps, vacuum, C-section, and other birth patterns), bright light, hitting the child on the back, putting eye or ear drops and other such actions at birth, along with prenatal parental stressors creates an environment which scars the newborn child. After this, till the age of six, the helpless child may be traumatised by parental barbs, societal expectations, and family conditioning. During these early years, the happy, joyful, and free child part of us could withdraw into a shell and stay there as it becomes fearful and anxious to face the world. This is the inner child.”
Even before we were born, the sounds that permeated to us through our mother’s womb (was there shouting or distress?), our mother’s stress levels, the abundance or deficit of the ‘feel-good’ hormones and neuropeptides, our nourishment or lack of it, complications, twin pregnancies, drugs, alcohol, and infections have all played their part in how secure we felt. The birth experience and early infant care as well as the emotional availability of our mother either reinforces or soothes the effect of these first prenatal influences.
Up to the age of six, our brain functions at a relatively slow pace—the theta brainwave of a frequency of 4–7 cycles per second. This is a very ‘receptive’ brainwave state. Hence our
experiences at that stage affect us in profound ways. We have created the blueprint at a subconscious level of how we should behave in order to survive in our families. Our later experiences bolster this belief system and form our own script of how our life should be. Then we take this infantile script into our adult life, where we are the star of our own movie, and these decisions and thoughts run our lives almost 90 per cent of the time. And all this happens beyond our conscious awareness, making us live at a mechanical level, with our inner child dictating our day-to-day life. All aspects of our life—relationships, work, parenting, recreation, health—have the inner child programme running in the background.
Wounds that scar
How do you know how strong or persistent your wounds are?
Here are a few questions you may have asked yourself: Why do I feel suffocated? Why do I feel down when I have no reason to be? Why do I feel afraid of the world and of dealing with people and situations? Why do I lose my temper even after resolving to never do it again? Why do I feel ignored and unloved?
You need to know that it isn’t you who feels this way. It’s your inner child who is crying out for attention, love, and for all those childhood needs that went unfulfilled. Your psyche, your inner self, is full of emotional wounds that were
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Childhood traumas leave a deep impact on us and often determine the fate of our adult lives
left untreated. Until you recognise, accept, and heal them, the wounds will stay on and infect your present life.
It doesn’t matter that you were not abused like others or faced any major violence or trauma. In your mind, you may have only endured occasional shouting from your father or neglect by your mother. You might not relate these with your feelings of low self-worth or feeling down that take you in their spell sometimes.
Others may have had a rougher childhood but that doesn’t diminish the hurt and pain that you have faced, which is still lurking within in the form of your inner child. As a child, your parents or guardians were your only source of security, love, and protection. When they could not meet your needs, it left a deep-seated wound within you which continues to hurt you till today.
Our parents and the environment that we grew up in shaped our attitudes and belief system in such a way that now we see the world and its people with a jaundiced eye. Our perspective has been conditioned. We even view our self, our abilities, and our capabilities through this prism. How often have we heard discouraging or demeaning comments while growing up: “How can you be so stupid.” “Look at what you’ve done.” “Don’t expect anything, because people will only let you down.” “How dare you! I will have to punish you for it.” “Keep quiet and listen.” “Stop crying! Be a man!”
Fact is, more often than not, we internalise these words uttered by our caregivers, which are then absorbed over time by our inner child. Whatever there was, is still there. Over time, more wounds accumulate as a result of these old hurts. In this mass of memories (mostly subconscious) reside our self-esteem, body image, family trauma, shame, and secrets—
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they all reflect the quality of care that our parents were able to give us. And when we are overwhelmed by our negative thoughts or emotions, we sink into this pool, on autopilot.
Since we don’t visit these places and address our wounds by ignoring our emotional hygiene, the wounds fester, jostle for space, not finding any respite inside, and spill out into our conscious world.
How wounds show up
Inner child wounds surface in various forms: from subtle self-sabotage and self-defeating patterns to passive hostility to severe self- destructive symptoms, violent aggression and, sometimes, evil deeds.
“The wounded inner child rises by emotional outbursts which are seen in crying, shouting, anger, and body spasms. The inner child may speak up through childlike words, tone, and pitch. It needs affection and care, and the therapist will have to be empathetic and compassionate during this time,” explains Dr Jayin. Commonly, destructive behaviour in adults bears the impetuous, impulsive quality of childish petulance or narcissistic temper tantrums. Or an infantile neediness, dependency, and a dread of abandonment. Or an irresponsibility and angry refusal to be an adult: the ‘Peter Pan syndrome.’
“There is no perfect childhood,” says Leena Jacob, an inner child healer. “Common signs of a wounded inner child include aggressive adults who appear confident but whose aggression is a shell. They have been hurt, so they build an armour of aggression around themselves. Their self-worth is derived from achievement. On the other hand, wounds also manifest as timidity and projecting oneself as a
victim. Or these adults regress into childhood, appear lazy, irresponsible, flitting around jobs, either having scattered energy, or low energy. There is a lack of balance.
“Wounds also manifest as ranting, complaining, and dumping of problems on others. Some people keep talking about their illness in order to gain sympathy or attention. A child gets attention when it falls ill; such people like to dwell on their illness. Or they turn into bullies—any kind of attention is fine. A narcissist is a bully.”
All of us know the narcissistic person. He or she can go on talking about themselves, unable to listen to another. They are so busy beautifying their own body or house or car that they have little attention for anyone else. They often dress up their child as an image of what they themselves wanted to become. They exhaust us with their selfishness. We think that the narcissist is full of themself, but actually, they are just an empty shell trying desperately to fill a void within. In childhood, when they were supposed to be loved and accepted for who they were, they did not get the unconditional love for the wonderfulness they innately possessed. Throughout their lives, they now seek this affirmation and validation from outside, for they have no positive self-regard internally. “Relationships with such people are based on wounding—a lack which is being filled,” says Jacob. “A healthy relationship is one where no one controls the other—both relate to each other as adults. Sometimes, in a relationship, one person functions from the child stage and the other from an adult stage. The worse scenario is when both are functioning from the child stage.”
It is essential to remember that while some,
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If you want to be a good parent, please heal your own wounds, heal all of them and be confident that you’ve done so before you seriously consider having children. The unresolved child within you is the real child you need to embrace and heal and raise.
– Daniel Mackler
or even many, of our problems stem from childhood neglect, blaming our parents or holding a grudge way into our adulthood is neither helpful nor mature. In fact, it may serve to perpetuate the same problem across generations. Parents are also human beings and victims of victims, which means that the reason why our parents or guardians behaved the way they did was because of their own neglected upbringing. As J K Rowling puts it, “There is an expiry date on blaming your parents for steering you in the wrong direction; the moment you are old enough to take the wheel, responsibility lies with you.”
‘Self-awareness and self-study start the process of accessing and accepting the inner child.” says Jacobs.
It took an autoimmune disorder and a challenging marriage for Shweta Baboo to realise that some patterns kept repeating in her life, and unless she learnt to break free of those cycles of self-sabotaging thoughts and behaviour, she would be trapped. “Past life regression and meditation helped me reach my inner child and understand how I was functioning as an adult. It helped me embark on a completely transformative journey in my life. I could see myself from a different lens and from within, without requiring any validation from the outside world. I recognised the
patterns of behaviour and incidents occurring due to the wounds of my inner child, and now I am able to tackle them with grace and ease.”
Dr Jayin recommends an inner child healing for everyone. “Some part of all of us at some time has been wounded, manipulated, or excluded. The person who feels a lack of belonging, unloved, and has fears has been wounded severely and should go for inner child healing. I would call it Inner Child Release. There are a few who say that they don’t have any memory before age six; they would definitely benefit from inner child work. Those who have parental issues or loss of a parent by death or divorce, or suffered from gender bias, early incest, sexual abuse, or adoption will benefit from inner child healing.”
Our parents or guardians may have not fulfilled all our needs or any of our needs, but we can. The concept is strange, even foreign to us, but we can be our own parents. Not only that, but we can actually reparent ourselves if we put in enough time and effort.
What does reparenting involve?
One of the best things we can do is to learn how to meet, rescue, and ‘adopt’ this wounded child who still lives deep inside us. After all, you are the only person who can guarantee never to leave you! We can then emotionally
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When our inner child is not nurtured and nourished, our minds gradually close to new ideas, unprofitable commitments and the surprises of the Spirit.”
– Brennan Manning
Signs that your inner child is wounded
Typical signs include low self-esteem, poor body image, mood and emotional imbalances; problems with boundaries being too rigid or too weak; problems with eating; harming yourself; psycho-sexual difficulties; being ‘false’ and wearing ‘masks’; identity problems; being a rebel, a hoarder, a bully, a perennial victim, or a super-achiever; intimacy problems;
Reparenting your inner child
• Remind yourself how special and wonderful you were as a child.
• Have a safe place that you can bring to mind where you and your inner child can meet and play together When you speak kindly to your inner child each day, have a loving and soothing inner voice—one that is supportive, soft, nurturing, patient, and comforting.
Tell her she is now loved, valued, and appreciated by you.
• Be sure to tell your inner little girl that she doesn’t have to prove herself to anyone.
• She has nothing to feel guilty or ashamed about. None of what happened to her was ever her fault. She didn’t deserve to be treated badly.
• She was just in the wrong place and had no means of escape—but she is now free at last!
• She needs to feel respected. Don’t tolerate disrespect ever again.
• Tell her that you will be her guardian,
commitment problems; a general lack of trust in yourself and others; criminal behaviour; excessive lying; being ‘overly-responsible’ for others; being fiercely competitive and a poor loser; dependencies and addictions; a lack of genuine friends; obsessive and needy behaviour; fear of authority figures; being manipulative, passive, or aggressive.
champion, and protector from now on. Things will be OK and you will never let her come to any more harm.
• She need never again fear being alone because you are always there for her now.
• Apologise for not being aware of her pain and needs in the past, and of pushing her too hard sometimes to try and impress others.
• Assure her that you will only allow safe, trustworthy, and respectful people into her world now. Notice loving mothers who are caring for their babies and absorb that loving energy between a mother and child.
• Reassure her that you will be alongside her either to speak up on her behalf or to support her when she speaks up.
• Agree upon a symbol of her freedom– something for her to summon up whenever she feels the need to escape and be alone with her thoughts. This might be a ladder, a floating bubble, a sci-fi teleporter, a hot air balloon– anything that comes to mind that she can associate with release and freedom.
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• Regularly ask her how she’s feeling and what she wants. Imagine sitting alongside that little girl, putting your arm around her shoulders and gently pulling her close to your heart.
• She has a home in your heart that she will never have to leave. She is safe with you now.
• If she wants to cry, let her cry, and be there as her new mother to wipe her tears and soothe her pain or fear. Accept all her feelings and don’t react negatively to what comes up. Be patient with her.
• Remember that healing happens in different ways and time frames. Promise to do your best to bring her the joy that has been missing from her life—and this will be profoundly healing for you both.
• Show respect to your body—the home of your inner child. Keep it clean and toxin-free. Keep it safe and happy–like a good caring
home should be.
• Think of her emotional healing as being like the physical healing of a wound— one step at a time. Keep the wound free of further contamination. Avoid toxic people and environments. Don’t ever let her swallow any more poison—particularly if you still keep in touch with toxic or unhealed family members.
• Get back those things that brought you joy as a child—no matter how fleeting. Be sure to make a big thing of her birthdays and Christmas, holidays and achievements.
• Set up creative activities for your playful inner child to enjoy! Bouncing, dancing, crafts, finger painting and anything else that takes her fancy. Drawing —from the right brain—is a great way to express your inner child’s feelings. Allow doodling and unstructured drawing and see what emerges when you’re in the ‘zone’ of childlike creativity. Don’t judge her efforts–
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just as you wouldn’t judge a child bringing her artwork home from school to show you. Be proud and show it!
• Sing songs from childhood (whether you could sing well back then or not). Release any shame dumped on you for your singing ability. Instead, enjoy stretching your vocal cords and making your own sounds that come from your heart and reach out into the world.
• Encourage her to loosen up and allow physical and emotional intimacy (this will enhance your own sexual intimacy too). She must feel safe and unconditionally accepted to be able to do this. Show her that she can trust her own instincts and be guided by her own ‘antennae’ as to who is safe. She may doubt her
Mindfulness and the Inner Child—Thich Nhat Hanh
The first function of mindfulness is to recognise and not to fight. We can stop at any time and become aware of the child within us. When we recognise the wounded child for the first time, all we need to do is be aware of him or her and say hello. That’s all. Perhaps this child is sad. If we notice this, we can just breathe in and say to ourselves, “Breathing in, I know that sorrow has manifested in me. Hello, my sorrow. Breathing out, I will take good care of you.”
Once we have recognised our inner child, the second function of mindfulness is to embrace him or her. This is a very pleasant practice. Instead of fighting our emotions, we are taking good care of ourselves. Mindfulness brings
ability based upon her mistakes in the past. You are healing now, and as you grow in love for yourself and your life, you won’t want or allow anyone close to your inner child if they don’t align with that self-love and a conscious caring relationship.
• Whenever you have to leave your deliberate connection with her, always imagine placing her back inside the warmth and safety of your loving heart.
• Please remember that your inner child is a real part of your subconscious mind—a wounded child who needs your love, care and compassion–because no one else can heal her pain and help her to make peace with the past.
with her an ally—concentration. The first few minutes of recognising and embracing our inner child with tenderness will bring some relief. The difficult emotions will still be there, but we won’t suffer as much anymore.
After recognising and embracing our inner child, the third function of mindfulness is to soothe and relieve our difficult emotions. Just by holding this child gently, we are soothing our difficult emotions, and we can begin to feel at ease. When we embrace our strong emotions with mindfulness and concentration, we’ll be able to see the roots of these mental formations. We’ll know where our suffering has come from. When we see the roots of things, our suffering will lessen. So mindfulness recognises, embraces, and relieves.
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Traditional counselling sessions dig deep into the subconscious to heal the wounded inner child
contain and soothe our inner child and allow the competent adult inside us to attend to businesses out in the world.
Dr Jayin, who is well known for her inner child healing workshops, elucidates that ‘inner child’ as a concept comes from a component of Psychological Training module known as Transactional Analysis, which was founded by Eric Berne. He spoke about the three-ego- state model of Parent-Adult-Child and within it spoke about the Second and Third order structural model which includes the inner child.
“I use Transactional Analysis to explore the prenatal stage of development. Primal therapy, Rebirthing, Womb Regression, Soul Retrieval, Age Regression, and Emotional Release processes are used to help the inner child surface in a loving environment. There are permissions given to counter the injunctions.
Anger- and resentment-release exercises and closure processes are done.
Inner Child is a dynamic retreat where much is released and integrated. Forgiveness work is done by Art, Clay, and Psychodrama with Movement Therapy.”
Dr Preeti Kohli says, “Inner child healing is something that everyone needs, though the main thing is your readiness for it. You should want to delve into the unconscious. We all function day-to-day but are not aware of things in the unconscious and how they can sabotage us. Readiness means thinking about why we fall into certain patterns—why we keep getting angry or having intimacy issues. Maybe someone was sexually abused, so they get angry or uncomfortable when anyone tries and gets too close. You should be ready to be open to the wound. Like you would go to a doctor for a dressing when you get a physical wound; you
Lead Story 37
Guided meditations explore the needs of of your inner child by getting in touch with it
know it will pain, but you still want to get it treated.”
Dr Preeti feels that traditional counselling might help, but it is typically more about behaviour modification, whereas inner child healing really needs to dig deep into the subconscious and get to the root of the wound.
“90 per cent of the issues that we face with our partner have their roots in our parents or caretakers. There are unmet needs, and how much logic can you apply to fulfil these? Therapy tries to change behaviour consciously, but there comes a point where you act out of unawareness.” She cites the example of addictions. “If a child is crying and the mother, instead of soothing and comforting the
child, gives him a chocolate or sweet to pacify him, over time, a wiring takes place in the brain—that if there is pain, eat food. Thereby, an unconscious programming occurs.”
Typically, inner child healing takes you through a process of guided meditation and journaling to the different stages of childhood and explores the needs at these stages. “After finding out what happened, we do reparenting: you are the parent now and you try to be there for the child inside you. One of the techniques we employ is working with a teddy bear— making it your inner child and investing it with its needs.” After meditation-based processes are completed, things start coming up for you, maybe as feelings, awareness, dreams, insights, intuition, or physical pain; you start remembering. In the days that follow,
38 LifePositive | AUGUST 2019
Let us liberate ourselves from any form of control. Let us focus at the inner drum, where the rhythm aligns with that of our heart. The measure of responsibility equals to the need for evolution. Just listen, the inner child, let it whisper in your ear.
your conscious is now more attuned to be aware of these things. In workshops, stuff from the unconscious comes up faster because we do processes that are also playful in nature, which serve to bring out the inner child. For more painful stuff, it is better to follow up with individual sessions.”
As Stephen Diamond says in Psychology Today, “Authentic adulthood requires both accepting the painful past and the primary responsibility for taking care of that inner child’s needs, for being a “good enough” parent to him or her now— and in the future.”
When emotionally overwhelmed, many of us tend to regress and revert to childhood strategies to get our needs met: demanding, manipulating, and controlling those around us. When the mind is overloaded, it is natural to look for immediate gratification. It’s at those times that the inner child might wreak havoc on our relationships and professional life. People who are chronically overloaded with stress, life transitions, medical conditions, or chronic relationship conflict may rely on childhood strategies to get their needs met. For
those whose needs weren’t met, these strategies wreak havoc. However, even without childhood trauma, everyone has an inner child that needs to be kept in check.
Allowing your inner child too much leverage means you are constantly indulging your immediate needs, never understanding the value of delayed gratification or the fact that things may not go your way every time. The ‘little self’ becomes an adult who feels weak and terrified from within but projects strength by using rage as ammunition.
Undergoing inner child healing means that you can now integrate the child that you were with the adult you now are. You will experience yourself more fully, feel lighter and more at peace with yourself, be in harmony with others, and be able to stand up for yourself in an assertive yet calmer way. You are a work in progress and you are steering your growth. As you see yourself tolerate distress and improve your relationships without these tactics, you will no longer need the ‘little you’ to handle your adult issues. Your inner child will be loved and free at last.
We welcome your comments and suggestions on this article. Mail us at [email protected]
Lead Story 39
The leopard, a robust and skilled ‘S’ for Speed: It signifies
to remove those blocks. Hence, embrace FAST and remove what is ‘not FAST.’
Coming back to our first question, how far does the leopard jump? A spiritual perspective elicits a positive and appropriate answer which won’t deal with numbers but with apt spiritual lessons hidden in the question. The leopard doesn’t know how far it will jump but what it does know is to try its best to achieve the desired goal. Hence, the distance it covers is ‘maximum.’ Instead of calibrating your performance, you need to assess whether or not you gave your maximum. Like a leopard, you need to give your maximum till the point where you realize your limitations; the maximum leap will define your limits. So, when you know your maximum strength and limitations, you realistically start marching towards the accomplishment of your life’s dreams.
A profound Master and the Founder of Maitribodh Parivaar, Divine Friend Dadashreeji is a sublime blend of ancient wisdom and modern insight.
We welcome your comments and suggestions on this article. Mail us at [email protected]
Live like a leopard
To achieve success in life, Dadshreeji advises us to emulate the admirable qualities of a leopard.
hunter of the jungle, is known for its speed and technique in hunting. Its swift pace and long jumps—a rare quality—reduces the distance between itself and its prey dramatically. Is the distance10 feet, 20 feet, or 50 feet? Give time to yourself to arrive at an answer, which is more than a mere number. Meanwhile, let us try to imbibe an essential life lesson from the leopard, in the form of an acronym: FAST.
‘F’ for Focus: The relaxed leopard quickly turns into a hunter on sighting its prey. Within a fraction of a second, it responds with a single-pointed focus, never to be distracted. A quality that the human mind lacks and needs critically. If you are focussed on what you want, success is near.
‘A’ for Agility: Well-planned movements, along with quick reflexes, decide the fate of your actions. Delaying your decisions only results in lethargy and disappointment in life, which demands active contribution from you. Get active and contribute now!
consistency and the pace of your actions. Ceaseless and committed actions in life will provide tremendous strength and empowering joy. You attract happiness and deliver success.
‘T’ for Target: Life is meaningless with no dreams to fulfil. ‘FAS’ is applicable only when ‘T’ exists. Create or set your purpose in life, gather all your resources, and direct them towards your target.
Applying these qualities wisely will ease your life, assuring success on your journey. You must not do anything that is the opposite of FAST. Avoid distractions, lethargy, procrastination, a timid approach, etc., and apply FAST in your life. Assess yourself with respect to FAST qualities. If you come across anything that is the opposite of FAST, discard it. If you encounter stones on the road, obstructing your smooth ride home, what will you do? Will you stop driving just because of a few stones blocking your path? Or will you do something about it? Even if you take time to decide, eventually you will have
40 LifePositive | AUGUST 2019
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Better batter for breakfast
Naini Setalvad gives us tips on how to have a healthy and nutritious breakfast, with some appetising, easy-to-make recipes to boot
42 LifePositive | AUGUST 2019
I am sure you have all heard the saying: It is not only in restaurants or on the street;
“Eat breakfast like a king!” I, however,
recommend eating breakfast like a nutritionist. I am continuously harping that breakfast should be eaten a minimum of 12 hours after dinner, with no food in between; only water, if needed. The most important thing to note is that dinner must be three hours before one goes to sleep and definitely before 9.00 p.m. The fact remains that the closer dinner is to sunset, the better. So, logically, you would be fasting for 11 to 12 hours. No wonder it is called ‘break-fast.’
It is imperative that the first thing you consume as you wake up is water, as it stimulates digestion and carries nutrients through the blood to various organs. I strongly believe that your breakfast should give you nutrition to keep you energised throughout the day. Along with the chirping of the birds, when I am off for my morning walk, I am saddened to see people eating fried foods and sugar-laden teas when we all are aware that it is harmful to our mind and body.
• Instant patties
100 gm cucumber, finely chopped 100 gm tomato, finely chopped
100 gm cabbage, finely chopped
50 gm chana atta (Bengal gram flour) 150 gm rava (semolina)
150 gm low-fat dahi (curd) 1 tsp green chilli paste
2 tbsp cow’s ghee
Salt to taste
Mix the cucumber, tomatoes, and cabbage with chana atta and rava. Add dahi, chilli paste, and salt to this mixture.
Roll the mixture into a ball, and flatten it into a patty.
folks add white sugar, white flour, fried and processed food to their breakfast in many homes as well. Why do we need to make unnecessary additions—that are destroying our well-being and leading to elevated sugar, lipids, and weight—that are one of the root causes of degenerative diseases and life- threatening ones like cancer.
Today’s millennials say that waffle is just a pancake with abs; however, neither of the two will help you get flat abs. For many, a simple white bread (plain or toasted) with butter might be a quick-fix breakfast dish, but all of the above sucks on my nutritional chart. I call them nutrient robbers and are just empty calories
I am going to run you through some yummy nutrient-dense breakfast recipes. They are yummy to eat and easy to make.
Grease the tava (pan) with 2 tbsp cow’s ghee.
Put the patty on the tava and roast both sides till golden brown. You could arrange 5–6 patties on the tava to cook them simultaneously.
Serve with green coriander mint chutney.
• Quick Tahini Toast
1 chopped tomato 2 tbsp olives
2 slices bread
2 tbsp Tahini
2 tsp of avocado oil Oregano
In a bowl, mix the avocado oil, tomato, olives, oregano, rock salt, and pepper. Toast the bread (optional).
Spread tahini on bread.
Add the mixture on top and serve.
• Brown Rice Poha
1⁄2 cup onions, finely chopped
1⁄2 cup peas, boiled
1⁄4 cup tomatoes, chopped
2 cups beaten poha (brown rice) flakes 2 tbsp raw peanuts
1⁄2 tsp haldi (turmeric) powder 1–2 green chillies, finely chopped Salt and lemon to taste
44 LifePositive | AUGUST 2019
Ingredients for tempering:
2 tbsp oil
1⁄2 tsp rai (mustard seeds)
1⁄2 tsp jeera (cumin seeds) 4–5 kadi patta (curry leaves) 1⁄2 tsp hing (asafoetida)
2 tbsp fresh coriander leaves, finely chopped 2 tbsp freshly grated coconut
Wash the brown rice flakes in a sieve and keep it aside.
Heat oil in a non-stick pan; add peanuts and sauté on medium heat for 2 minutes. Add mustard, cumin seeds, curry leaves, green chillies, asafoetida, and onions; sauté on a medium flame for 1 to 2 minutes.
Add the turmeric powder, boiled peas, chopped tomatoes, and sauté for a minute. Then add rice flakes and salt.
Mix well and allow it to cook for 2 to 3 minutes while stirring occasionally.
Squeeze lemon on top, garnish it with coriander and coconut, and serve hot.
• Doodhi (Bottle Gourd) Rosti
100 gm doodhi (lauki)
1 small onion, finely chopped
1–2 tbsp chana atta (Bengal gram flour)
1 tbsp cow’s ghee
Rock salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
Peel the doodhi and grate coarsely.
Add onions, chana atta, salt, and pepper.
Heat the pan and add ghee.
Take the mixture on the pan and with the back of the flat spoon, gently push down to make a flat pancake.
Roast it on a slow flame. Once it turns light brown, flip and roast it on the other side till both sides turn golden brown and then remove from the pan.
We welcome your comments and suggestions on this article. Mail us at [email protected]
The mysterious repetition of numbers in your life may be signs from the Universe and can be decoded through numerology to benefit you, says Annesha Banerjee.
W eekday mornings are always ‘rush-rush,’ and one of these days, while running around to get in time for work, I noticed something unusual, which continued to happen all through the day. Starting with my digital wall clock being stuck at 22.22, swiping the metro card
with only Rs 22 as balance, my phone’s battery percentage drained down to 22 per cent, to the page number of the book I was reading and my order number at a coffee shop, everything seemed to be stuck on the number ‘22’! This strange incident got me thinking about the phenomena of seeing the same number everywhere and whether these incidents were significant or it was just my mind playing games.
Since time immemorial, numbers have been said to impact our lives on deeper levels. The Greek philosopher, scientist, and mathematician Pythagoras concluded that “All things are numbers.”
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Pythagoreans first stated that numbers are symbolic and have specific universal vibrations that carry spiritual significance. Stretching back from the Egyptian and Babylonian periods, it is believed that the Universe is compiled as a set of mathematical relationships that are governed by accurate and perfect divine laws. This belief gave birth to numerology.
Everything in this Universe is in vibration, and each number comes with its unique vibrational frequency, where the numbers are influenced by the different planets in the solar system. The foundation of the Pythagorean belief is that everything that exists in the Universe forms its basis in numbers. The Universe maintains a form and structure that changes in a patterned and precise way: days turn into nights, seasons change, and tides turn. There would be no sustainable structure
if it were ruled by unpredictable events. The Universe is a unified, orderly system, and numbers reflect orderliness.
But the question arises: “How do numbers affect our lives, and do these recurring numbers communicate to us messages from the Universe?” If we talk about the impact of numbers in our lives, we have numbers attached to us even before we get our names. Our birth date is a unique signature that captures the essence of our life. The vibrational frequency of these numbers is identified by numerology along with the characteristics attributed to them. These characteristics very closely affect our lives.
The Universe is in constant communion with us. It tries to send signals and guides us through the situations of our lives. Seeing repeating numbers everywhere you look may or may not be a coincidence. But our unconscious mind keeps a note of all the unusual things and triggers the conscious mind to notice the same thing until you start looking for its reasons. It might be the Universe’s way of telling you something.
Numbers and synchronicities
According to Priyanka Ghode, an ace numerologist and founder of Priism Metowe India, “Synchronicities are coincidences that are extremely meaningful, even uncanny. These events are like a nudge from some unseen guiding force which we understand to be messages from the divine or angelic realm.” These messages or guiding nudges can be in many forms including numbers. Citing an example, Priyanka says, “Let’s say that you
have been waking up in the middle of the night for no reason at 3.33 a.m. One day, after waking at that time, you decide to stop at a coffee shop on the way to work and get a drink that costs Rs 333. That afternoon, at 3.33 p.m., an alarm goes off in the office, and you are all escorted out of the building. As you stand outside waiting, you will have a strange feeling as you realise that this number series has been going on for days, perhaps weeks.”
We have to understand a fact which is deeply embedded in our consciousness: higher forces are always at work around us and despite our efforts, determine our successes and failures. Spiritual entities are always looking over us, and we often ignore the signs (in any form) sent by them. These sacred recurring numbers are angel numbers, and the repetitive occurrence is a way to gain our attention.
These numbers have certain vibrations and may come as reminders or messages that one must decode, to understand what the Universe wants to convey. This is where numerology helps in understanding the deeper meaning of such numerical messages.
Why do angels use numbers to connect and send messages that the Universe is conveying?
Why don’t our guardian angels connect with us directly instead of sending indirect signals? To this, Priyanka responds, “Angels are celestial beings who live in a realm that exists at a higher vibrational frequency than the physical world. Being celestial messengers of our highest truth, God, or Source, angels are bound by the laws of God and hence cannot interfere with the
50 LifePositive | AUGUST 2019