Books

The seven laws of thought

I was unexpectedly invited to a book launch by the Tejgyan foundation today. I’ve never attended their events before, nor am I familiar with their philosophy. They greet one another with ‘Happy thoughts!’ said with a Namaste. I went through one of the little books in their The Source series, called Laws of Thought: 7 Steps of Transformation. I cannot resist sharing the ‘7 universal laws of thought’ here:

  1. Before anything is created in the physical plane, it is first created in the mental plane in the form of thought.
  2. What you focus on, increases.
  3. What you think consciously and feel passionately about will manifest.
  4. Others’ thoughts cannot affect you unless you allow them to.
  5. You can achieve your highest potential when your feelings, thoughts, actions and words are aligned.
  6. Everything is in abundance for everyone.
  7. The world is not as it appears to you; the world is how your thoughts are.

All these resonated deeply with me, and I am now reading the book with great attention. It has lots of little parables and stories and is written in a very simple way, but with profound universal truth. Do get it if you can.

And now go back and read the 7 laws again.

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Finding God

Finding truth in bliss

(I missed writing a post this Monday. My excuse is that I was following my bliss.)

I came across this definition of ‘a calling’ by Max Weber: a task set by God. It is something that is beyond you, above you and within you, something you cannot change even if you wanted to (and you don’t want to). Something that your heart would say if it could speak. In Hinduism, we call it dharma.

Then I came upon this quote by Christian theologian Frederick Buechner: ‘The kind of work God usually calls you to do is the kind of work (a) that you need most to do and (b) that the world most needs to have done. The place God calls you to is the place where your deep gladness and the world’s deep hunger meet.’

And this one by David Brooks: ‘You don’t ask, What do I want from life? You ask a different set of questions: What does life want from me? What are my circumstances calling me to do?’

And this one by William Damon: ‘All individuals have their own particular callings, reflecting three realities: (1) their own God-given abilities; (2) the world’s need for the services their callings provide; and (3) their enjoyment in serving society and God in their own special ways.’

It all reminded me of the ancient Hindu philosophy of Sat-Chit-Ananda, that is truth-consciousness-bliss. My truth includes my circumstances, my dharma, my soul’s purpose. My consciousness includes that special gift only humans have, that of free will, choosing their actions and taking decisions based on awareness of past and present. And my bliss is, of course, that place of ‘deep gladness’.

The point where they all meet is your destiny. What you were born to do in this life – the point where your deep gladness and the world’s deep hunger meet.

It’s not easy to find one’s deeper purpose in life as long as one is caught in the maya-jaal of life, the rat-race, the meaningless actions and habits, the unnecessary attachments. Sometimes, one needs a little push, a tiny trigger, to set you off on your true path. Until then you are just groping in the dark, unsure of where you are going even though a part of you knows there’s something you need to do.

That brings me to me. I’ve just walked out of my third job in five years. The reasons for them all were different but a quieter space in my heart tells me I had outgrown my lesson in each of them, and it was time to move on. (I’m just a quick learner, I guess.) And so I have begun a new phase of my life, a new journey. There has been SO MUCH grace to help me along the way, so many blessings, an environment that is ripe for inspiration, a history and a story that is the perfect starting point for my future. I am completely content and completely fearless about what is to come, because if there is one thing, okay three things, that nature has taught me, they are (1) You are protected (2) You are deeply loved (3) Everything happens for a reason.

Oh, and here’s a fourth one: There are no coincidences. They are actually signals from the universe affirming that you are on the right path. Once you start following your bliss, finding that place of deep gladness inside you, you are suddenly swamped by coincidences – yesterday I was typing out a message to my brother when he suddenly called to say hi; I was thinking of following up on an old outstanding amount when my bank account pinged a credit transaction; I was wondering if my phone plan had been updated when the inbox beeped, it was the bill, and yes, it had been updated.

And all I had to do was follow my bliss, answer my calling – in my case, writing. Yes, I have been writing a story that needs to be told, writing close to eight hours a day.

Maybe this is the point, the space where my deep gladness and the world’s deep hunger meet.

Seeking God

Giving up on enlightenment

After I’d written this post about a discussion that had come up in my Gita class in the Aurobindo Ashram, my teacher called me on the phone a few days later (he’s just so amazing).

“You must know that your questions in class were very important. Very important,” he began. “Not everyone knows that they do not actually wish for enlightenment and liberation from the cycles of life and death. At least you know that now.”

“I want you to ask yourself two questions,” he went on without beating around the bush. “First, if you do not want enlightenment, then why do you attend Gita classes? Why do you strive for spiritual evolution?” I was silent in response.

“Second,” he went on without a pause, “ask yourself, what is the difference between those who have achieved spiritual liberation and yourself… Buddha, or your Krishna. What makes them enlightened and you not?” He added a few words of encouragement and left me to my pondering.

I really couldn’t answer his questions, either of them. So like a coward, I began avoiding his classes and finally stopped going there altogether.

It’s been over two months.

I’m still hiding.

I’m not just afraid of the answer. I’m afraid of the change it will bring into my life. Just when I’d become comfortable.