Tag Archives: love

namaste

Namaste

I’ve been Indian my whole life. I mean, I was born Indian, so that’s sort of obvious. This phrase “namaste” never struck me odd or weird. I just kind of went along with it telling people namaste at whatever Indian function I was being dragged to growing up. Whatever, no big deal. I never really looked into the meaning of this pretty common phrase. I just thought I was saying “Hey, what’s up” to whoever crossed my path. Little did I know that there was so much more to that phrase than just a simple hello.

My curiosity of the meaning of this phrase started picking up when I began going to more and more classes. Why the heck were these yoga teachers ending class with a namaste? I mean sure, yoga started in India and namaste is an Indian phrase, but there has to be more to it than that. There is.

Namaste is not just a phrase to greet someone. It’s about humbling yourself and respecting the other individual. Usually when the word namaste is said, there is a small bow that goes with it. The etymology of the word literally means “I am bowing to you”. You are honoring the soul, the inner-dwelling God within that person, the thing that is greater than the individual, the capital S Self…whatever you want to call it. It’s not just a simple saying after all. What does it take to truly and sincerely greet someone with Namaste?

It means that you are putting that individual before yourself. It means you are seeing the positive over the negative. It means bowing down to that person, and acknowledging the greatness that person is, the greatness that that person brings to this world and this life. It means having to lessen your ego and put yourself aside to see and honor that person as part of the Supreme.

But what does all of that mean? Why is it generally hard to see the other person in this amazing light of seeing the purity of their true inner being? It starts with us. We are constantly forming opinions whether good or bad, and those opinions start to cloud our perception of who that person or thing or entity is. We start identifying them by our old opinions and judgements we’ve formed of them (either good or bad), and thus we have created a shell. We’ve created a shell around these people and things and entities that we start to identify them with, and it’s become so thick, that it’s hard to see through that shell.

This isn’t a bad thing, We all do it. It’s just the way our mind works. We create these opinions and we start relying on those opinions to help us remember. After all, all of our thoughts are just repercussions of previously conceived notions.

How can we start having a fresh perspective on someone each and every time we meet them, so that we can start chipping away at the shell we create each and every day? How can we start seeing people for what they really are and see their true inner being?

Let’s start shrinking our egos a little bit and put our self intentions to the side, and start thinking about the other person. Let’s start to actually care and feel and really be with other people instead of being in our own worlds. But most importantly, let’s start seeing our own selves for what we truly are.

We are the greatness that exists in this universe. We are a part of something bigger than these bodies and these shells we’ve created. We are pure and loving and caring. We are amazing souls. Let’s start honoring ourselves first for what we is real within us–what is real and permanent–our pure soul.

Life is pretty amazing, and once we start realizing that amazingness then we can be sincerely humble enough to start respecting ourselves and the incredible people and things and entities this world so lovingly surrounds us with.

 

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Jim Carrey commencement speech

Graduation season is coming to a close. I like to read up on some of the more exciting ones to see if I can get any pieces of advice or inspiration for my own life. I stumbled upon one from a small university in Iowa.  Here’s a little 1 minute clip of Jim Carrey’s commencement speech from a few weeks ago. Of course, it includes his goofy antics, but definitely had some high points worth sharing.

“I used to believe that who I was ended at the edge of my skin, that I had been given this little vehicle called a body from which to experience creation, and though I couldn’t have asked for a sportier model, it was after all a loaner and would have to be returned. Then, I learned that everything outside the vehicle was a part of me, too, and now I drive a convertible. Top down wind in my hair!”

“You are ready and able to do beautiful things in this world and after you walk through those doors today, you will only ever have two choices: love or fear. Choose love, and don’t ever let fear turn you against your playful heart.”

Check out the full text and video of Jim Carrey’s commencement speech here!

equanimity-love and compassion

I’ve encountered this idea of “equanimity” “being equanimous” etc. recently a lot. The idea is pretty simple at first thought. Treat everyone equally, and then you won’t create any extra “baggage” with them or their soul, which is ultimately a good thing.

Upon further thinking on this idea, I realized how much harder it actually is in real life. To not react with like or dislike. To not react with your ego attached to your emotions. To not be attached to your reaction, the individual, the end result. This is really hard when you start thinking about it. And personally, something I’m going through right now.

And then I started thinking, if I should be treating everyone equally (equanimously), then in theory I should be treating my family the same way I treat classmates, peers, even strangers. For some reason that didn’t sit well with me. I don’t want to treat my parents, husband, family, the same way I treat the cashier at Target. Did I just create a hierarchy? Yeah, pretty much. I realized that I just created a system in my head where I placed my family on a higher rank of “people” then the people that cross my path once or twice. And here I am touting about how everyone deserve to be treated equally. Hello hypocrite!

What does that mean to treat someone with equanimity? In one of my classes yesterday, some students were saying things that I didn’t agree with. The first thing that popped in my head was rebuttals to their arguments. The second thing that popped into my head was that I should just let it go. It is what it is. They feel the way they do, and I can’t change it. I’m treating them with equanimity right? Wrong, because for a split second I thought that non-reaction is better than reaction. I talked to Nandan about this, and essentially the conversation lead to the conclusion that it’s not about inaction or not reacting. It’s about not having that attachment, which eventually leads to a pure love and compassion for everyone.

That’s the whole point of being equanimous (at least in our thought process). To treat everyone, spouse, parents, siblings, friends, strangers, peers, whoever with love and compassion. And that love and compassion should be the same for everyone. There is no hierarchy when it comes to who gets more compassion from you.

One of our classmates had invited the Drepung Monks to her house for a blessing, which was just so beautiful. But, after one of the monks lead a question and answer for a little while. He started talking about duality, and how everything has an opposite. The opposite of love is hate. The opposite of compassion is ill-will. The part that really stood out to me, was when he said that you can’t have both feelings in your mind at the same time. If your mind and heart are filled with hate, there is no room for love. If your mind is filled with ill-will, there’s no room for compassion. Which, then leads to un-equanimity! But, if your mind and heart is filled with love and compassion, there’s no room for hate or ill-will, and then you can act and talk from a true place of equanimity.

That was just so profound to me. We are so caught up in all these feelings of revenge and annoyance and frustration, that we literally have taken over our minds with negative emotions, that there’s no room for the positive and beautiful ones! Instead of focusing on why that person annoys you or irritates you or makes you so angry, why don’t we start thinking about how that person is just another person that deserves our love and respect? Because we let our ego get in the way, for one. But, in general it’s just too hard to love the other person, right? We’re a society of easy-way-out. However, I don’t think this method will work in the long-run.

Having love and compassion for even one person is hard, let alone the rest of the world! There are always going to be things that your friends and family do that just annoy you or put you over the edge. If we start thinking outside of our own self, and the idea that they are effecting me, my ego, we can start acting in different situations in equanimous ways, which will then leak into other realms of our life. Even the cashier at Target will feel your love and compassion!

Love and compassion are the way to go people! And what better time of year than right now to start practicing?

’tis the season

My favorite season is finally upon us! Looking back at the past week, and all of the Thanksgiving celebrations and festivities, I am just seriously humbled and overjoyed with all of the opportunities that have come my way in this life. We spent time with friends old and new, we spent time with nature and just being in God’s creations, and we even watched the square in Santa Fe get lit up with their Christmas lights. Seriously, I have so much to be grateful for. Everyone does, we just get so caught up in life and everything that is coming our way, that we just forget to pay attention to all the things that we do have. I am completely guilty of this myself.

I went Christmas decoration shopping yesterday, and got a little carried away. I wanted everything to be so perfect from the outside, that I lapsed and forgot what this season is all about, and why it’s my favorite time of year. Sure me being the perfectionist I am, I want everything to look perfect. But the Holiday season isn’t just about the outside. There’s nothing wrong with wanting a perfect Christmas tree that looks like it came out of Home and Garden or Southern Living magazine. But, did that become my focal point? And for a split second, maybe it did. It’s my first Christmas with my husband, of course it’s a big deal to me. Somehow, I got lucky with a great life partner who calls it as it is, and made me remember why I love Christmas so much.

Sure, Christmas has turned into a huge commercial holiday, but it doesn’t have to be just that. What is true Christmas spirit? I love this season because it’s all about giving and spending time with your family and surrounding yourself with people who love you. It’s about something greater than yourself and realizing that there is so much more beyond our little bubble. It’s understanding that everyone on this planet is connected in some way or other. And of course it’s about Santa coming and visiting all the children in the world and spreading true Christmas cheer.

Nandan and I decided that we are going to truly make this a season of giving. How can we spread true Christmas cheer to the people around us?

By not being a Grinch. By being loving and caring. By being kind and supportive. By being giving. By providing to the best of our capability the things our family and friends really, truly need. By having a smile on our face no matter what life brings us. By giving back to our community. By helping out at a food shelter. By being open. By being grateful.

The hardest part of this challenge? Taking these and going beyond just the holiday season. By implementing this into our lives past December 25, and into the new year. We’re not perfect. But, we can sure as heck try our best.

We went to dinner last night with our uncle. After we were finished, we were surprised to find out that the family sitting next to us had bought us dessert. Complete strangers, just spreading some holiday love. It’s as simple as that.

‘Tis the season to be jolly. And merry, loving, caring, grateful, and giving.

How will you spread holiday cheer this year?

just keep your heart open

In the beginning of February (it’s really weird to say that by the way, considering that this Friday will be March 1), I went to an Ayurveda seminar in New Mexico on spiritual healing through Vedic rituals. There was a lot I came back with after that weekend, and I could literally go on for a few posts about it. But that’s not what I want to do in this particular post.

In one of the first few sessions we had, Dr. Lad said something that caught my attention. And the reason I’m bringing it up now, is because I was going through my notes, and I saw it written down and underlined, highlighted, all caps, whatever, and it re-caught my attention, and brought back the things I was feeling and thinking at that moment.

“JUST KEEP YOUR HEART OPEN” (not read in a scream-like way, but in the sweetest, old man, loving, and sincere way). And, something about this just really resonated in me. I feel as though this journey I’m taking in life can be perfectly summed up into these 5 words. Everything that I’ve been experiencing these past 10-11, maybe even more, months was perfectly stated in these 5 words. It was as though these words, “just keep your heart open”, were meant for my ears, and quite seriously, my heart.

I can’t recall right now, any other sets of words that have moved me so much, that have really hit a chord for me. Just keep your heart open.

Just keep your heart open, and let the love that surrounds you to fill you. Let the positivity of this universe permeate your being, your essence. Just keep your heart open.

Just keep your heart open and let life happen. Don’t worry about the past or future, just be. Let your faith in whatever you have faith in take over, and truly surrender yourself to the will of the Ultimate.

It’s so hard to do just that though. To not keep a guard up, to not worry, to not micro and macro manage. For me it is at least. I have a problem with living in the moment. I have a problem of worrying too much, of trying to control everything in my life. But, I’m becoming more confident in myself and braver in who I am to witness these things happening, and not be ashamed or scared.

I feel as though you can truly live life to its fullest if we understand this idea of keeping our heart open. Be a lover, a dreamer, a well-wisher, a believer, and just keep your heart open. I think I’ve found my new mantra.

love bravely

Happy Valentine’s Day to all the lovers, dreamers, believers, and well-wishers out there (and everyone else in between)! Do you guys know the history of Valentine’s Day, besides that it is related to Saint Valentine? If you don’t, here’s the wiki page for it. Cool stuff.

Anyways, talking about Valentine’s Day and its history is not why I wanted to write this blog post. I wanted to talk about love. I came across this quote by Lao Tzu:

“Being deeply loved by someone gives you strength, while loving someone deeply gives you courage.”

I was really drawn to the part where he says that loving someone deeply gives you courage. The two abstract concepts of love and courage have never really gone hand in hand for me, and almost seemed like a juxtaposition if there ever was one. But, then, I began to think. It takes a lot to tell someone that you love them. And, I mean really love them, not just the “I love you!” you tell your friend or classmate who let you borrow their notes. I mean to tell another individual you love them.

I’m talking about that selfless kind of love, the love that doesn’t expect anything in return. Somewhere out there, at some point in our lives, we will be able to tell someone that he/she comes before you in every respect and manner. That I am willing to put myself and my wants/desires/ego aside because I love you so much that I would literally do anything for you.

Woah. That’s scary. To love someone. It definitely takes guts. And courage. And bravery, lots and lots of bravery.

But it’s possible. So don’t doubt yourself. And don’t let a fear get in the way. Being loved deeply gives you strength, but don’t ever be afraid to make that first step.

Hope everyone had an amazing Valentine’s Day! Love bravely.