Sunday, December 7, 2008


As long as we have the power to choose, it is never too late to open doors to channels we haven’t travelled before, says Kishore Asthana

Imagine a vast hall in our minds. We spend our lives in this hall. There are many doors here and one corridor leading off, with no door at all. In the final stages of our lives, we go into this door-less corridor and, at its end, fall off this plane of existence. This note is not about what happens when we fall off at the end. It is about what happens as we spend our time in this Central Hall.
The doors in the Hall are of different colours. Behind these doors we can find creativity, laughter, adventure, love, serenity and fulfillment. There are some doors behind which we find negativity, too, in the form of addiction, disease, enmity, vileness, bigotry and such things. When we open a door, we spend time behind it experiencing whatever that room contains. We then come out into the Hall and have the choice to do nothing, open another door or go into the same one again. Inside these doors, there are other doors leading to different rooms.
All the doors are unlocked and open smoothly when we are born. Those we choose to ignore become harder to open, as their hinges rust. Those doors we keep opening frequently remain smooth. In the nature of things, it is possible to be behind more than one door at the same time, but the time spent behind any additional door takes away the time from other doors.
As we age, we make our choices. We open certain doors and ignore others. We are guided in our choices by a variety of factors — our genes shape these to a certain extent. Our family and friends are another influence, for we usually prefer to open those doors behind which we are likely to find those we like or which are recommended by them. That is why the wise recommend good company, satsang.
When we spend too much time behind a particular door, the hinges start rusting and it becomes increasingly difficult to come out. Most of our politicians are examples of this. They have spent so much time behind the door marked Vote-Bank-Politics that they find it difficult to come out of this sorry room even at the time of a crisis such as therecent terrorist strike in Mumbai. Similarly, most of our bureaucrats appear to spend most of their time behind the door marked, Pass The Blame.

Sometimes we spend too much time behind a door because we find happiness there - this may be a ‘good’ happiness or a negative one such as that caused by drugs or visions of paradise through religious extremism. Often we spend too much time behind a specific door because we feel helpless. This can happen because of things like prolonged illness, addiction or the wrong company, such as that of religious zealots. It can also happen because of laziness and lack of daring. Sometimes it happens be
cause of belief in our own importance – “what will happen to all this if I leave?” is a question often asked and then replied in a way which enforces the sense of ones indispensability.
At all times, we must remember that, in the final analysis, the choice is entirely ours. We are the Openers of The Doors. The Hall belongs to us and it is not the other way around. Whoever thinks that she belongs to the Hall is powerless to do anything worthwhile and prematurely awaits her end near the entrance of the open
corridor. Ennui and a sense of worthlessness are the major experiences if one tarries at this point too long. Some people mistake this inaction for spiritual detachment but such people do not find the bliss they are looking for.
In this connection, I would like to particularly mention two doors which are often mistaken for each other, though they are quite different. One is marked Religion and the other Spirituality. Though the two doors are independent, the rooms behind them are interlinked and the room behind
the door marked Religion also has a portal to go into the room marked Spirituality. Unfortunately, Religion has other doors, too and one of them is marked Jihad, or its equivalent in other faiths. Some religious leaders inveigle impressionable young men and women into opening this door. Once inside this, the only way out appears to be death – their own and that of many others who they take with them through misguided notions of vengeance. The recent events in Mumbai highlight what can happen when this door is entered.
Most people enter the door marked Religion under the mistaken notion that this will take them automatically to Spirituality. Unfortunately, in most cases people entering the door marked Religion are unable to reach the spiritual, as they get engrossed in the many diversions offered by religion. An impression has been conveyed by religious leaders that we must enter the room of religion for the Creator to listen to us because He does not do so in other places. This misunderstanding also tends to make the seeker unwilling to leave the varied attractions of this room by opening the interconnected door of Spirituality.
The door marked Spirituality leads to a wondrous corridor whose hallmarks are inclusiveness, empathy and compassion. If travelled till the end, this takes one outside this construct altogether and permits the adept to view it from the perspective of the one who created it all. The adept realizes what has been called moksha, satori, enlightenment and baqa. At the end of her life, the realised one might experience a change of form but not a change of focus. She finds herself at the place she already was. This state has to be experienced and cannot be learned through words. One must see for oneself what colour is and it is not possible to describe it in words to a blind person. So it is with this state.
We should review the choices we have made till now. We should also evaluate if we have been behind a particular door too long. If need be, we should make fresh choices before the hinges of the as yet unopened doors get too rusted to open. Remember, till we have the power to choose, it is not too late to open any new door. It may be increasingly difficult to do so, but, with a strong will, it is still possible to do so. All we have to do is exercise our will in channels it has not travelled before, but would like to. The alternative is travelling through the door-less corridor to our end, carrying with us the regret at what could have been.
At the end of our lives all the doors will open themselves, but by then it would be too late. At that time the doors only allow us to go out into the hall, where the door-less corridor awaits.
(The writer is a management consultant and a social activist)

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

What interests you?

I have been thinking on what really attracts the bloggers to a blog site and it really beats me. Is it the template or the visuals or is it the topics or something else?

Quite a few times I have come across some well written poetry and only to find out later that some blogger has commented that the stuff was plagiarised from some one or some lyrics from a song. I guess due credit should be given to whomever we take the stuff from. Even I post stuff from the net but I make it a point to put down on the footnote that I have copied the stuff and the source.

Having cleared that, now what really interests you? I can't be writing about stuff that happens to me all the time and these days nothing interesting really happens. I guess the other problem I have is that I might be having too many blog sites to really post anything of substance. I have another blog titled "sukku" and I keep updating it all the time and leave this blog for something that I want to voice out from my heart and by the looks of it I guess I am being I haven't been updating anything for a long time.

I was busy trying to do something with the template but just couldn't proceed further, afraid that I might screw up my blog up and the fear of losing whatever I have done so far. Anyway I am lucky that another blogger has offered to help me with making the changes to my template.

I wouldn't mind if anyone could let me know what attracts other bloggers to their blogs, is there a magic formula or am I barking at the wrong tree.

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Playing around with the template

I almost screwed up my template as I downloaded a free blogger template from the net and then added into the edit html and saved it. And what came out was something that I didn't anticipate and I revert back to the classic template and then upgraded to minima.

I guess I have to keep my itchy fingers to myself and not to experiment anything new unless I get someone to guide me in installing a new template.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Sukku no speak!

Looks like I have nothing to speak these days as I am busy with a lot of stuff ever since I return home. Finally today I told myself that I have to update this blog and since there is not much to do today at site.

I am seriously thinking of reducing my blogs from 6 to maybe 1, but I just don't know which one to eliminate or should I do the next best thing! Keep them all and hope that I get time to blog on them at least once a month.

So please bear with me.

Saturday, August 23, 2008

What the future holds

Too many things are happening here at the moment. My job with the present company is stake as there is a change in the management. With the entry of new owners and directors and the formation of EXCO committee to oversee the operations, and the old boss is still hanging on to the company, it looks like a full fledged corporate war is going on. Now what is going to happen to mere mortals like us, are we going to be trampled by the elephants that are doing their war dance.

I guess I am so deeply entrenched with the affairs of the company and so far I have not seen the light at the end of the tunnel. Hopefully something good comes out of this exercise and I guess it is going to be a long and bumpy ride.

I have an option here, should I abandon the sinking ship or sink further with it? I think these next couple of days are going to be pretty crucial for me.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

The art of being present

Julie Redstone

There is an awakeness that comes from a clear mind, unobscured by wandering thoughts and preoccupations, and there is an awakeness that comes from a clear heart, willing to engage with life as gift and as an everunfolding revelation of the purpose of creation.

Such an awakened heart can’t respond indifferently to life because it sees the outstretched hand of the creator at every turn and in every particle of experience.

It cannot turn away from feeling, no matter what feelings may occur, because it perceives emotional depth as the great gift of individualized consciousness. This gift stirs the response of individualized life to the source of life as it displays itself in all living things.

To be awake and present is to take responsibility for noticing — for maintaining an intimate connection between the self that is, and the rest of the world that is. It is to know that within the domain of this relationship lies a profound revelation of the source of all within every gesture, every interaction, and every experience that takes place. It is to perceive the sacred in every moment.

In today’s overscheduled world, being continuously busy is sometimes a necessity but often a choice based on the drive for outer success, wealth, and the symbols of what is often taken to be a ‘life worth living’.

Being busy, as opposed to having time ‘on one’s hands’, is perceived by many as a testimony to a life that has merit, purpose, and meaning.

By contrast, idle hands — hands that remain receptive rather than active in relation to time, suggest that time is being wasted — that one could do more, achieve more, accomplish more. No matter if these hands are connected with one’s heart and with the heart of the world. For many, it is only the visible ‘doing’ of things that creates a sense of security and lets us know that time has meaning. The existence of a space of si
lence in which awareness can broaden is often not considered a gain. Nor is simply being here, responsive to the very air we breathe, considered a virtue.
Is it any wonder, then, that we, as a collective humanity, have forgotten the sacred art of being present, that we have placed ‘noticing’ on the back burner of experiential values. And what would we notice if we took the time to do so?

In order to answer this question, it is helpful to sit in one place, breathing quietly, eyes somewhat unfocused, listening, seeing, sensing. Though one can do this profitably in a bare room, it is easier, at first, to sit in an environment where there is just a little movement present. Now, close the eyes and pay attention to the other senses. Feel the comforting fabric of surrounding life as if it were an envelope or cocoon, gently cradling one’s essential self. Notice everything without discrimination, without opinion. Try to feel the intimacy of connection with what is.

Spending time for a few minutes each day being awake and noticing is a good way to begin the practice of being present. It is a good way to begin to expand one’s idea of what constitutes a meaningful life. And yet more than this is needed if one is to truly embrace what is, and to be ‘present in the present’. What is needed is the greater opening of the heart to the one self that exists within all.

This perception of unity and oneness has an opportunity to grow at any moment in which we interact with another soul. It is nourished by an absence of judgement and by a willingness to be open to the deeper levels of who that other might be. Such open
ness comes from a state of innocence and of childlike grace. It comes from knowing that the ‘other’ is part of the same ‘all that is’ as oneself, therefore of one heart, one breath, one life.

The gift of being present as it applies to relationships is that it brings love to every interaction, no matter how small or insignificant. It brings the divine into every perception, no matter how ordinary. And it brings gratitude into each moment as it unfolds.

As a sense of being present deepens and one’s capacity to notice flowers, the deep richness of life and of love can be found everywhere and separation nowhere. In this state, one senses only the one who lives within all. One feels the essence within every other. Here, consciousness can only affirm the greater life of which it is a part:

I am and you are. We are both of the stars and of the dust of the earth. We are both of the rocks and of the sandy shores.
We are water and we are sky; we are earth, and we are air. We are the breath that life breathes through itself, in a single and continuous song of creation.
(Julie Redstone is a writer, teacher and founder of a spiritual centre for healing and transformation)

This article is reproduced from the Sunday Times Hyderabad 20.07.2008 Edition. Happy reading.

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

What is your level of trust?

Do you believe that the person on the other side of the computer that you are chatting with is genuine? Aren't there wolves in sheep's clothing waiting to con you. Have you encountered any such experience? Do share your experience so that we all can learn from it.

Forget about romance but just the motive of the other person ,maybe a fraud, trying to steal information from you. What is your level of trust and how comfortable are you with strangers?

Do you have the 7th sense in knowing the unknown, that is the other person on the other side can be trusted. Have you ever connected to the other person even without seeing them eye to eye or at the their body language.

I have a mixed feeling on this as I generally trust the other side easily as all I want is nothing from them, just to share my experience and thoughts. I read an article about the romance on the internet and it sounds pretty scary. I will paste part of the article below just for your information. But you can access it at :

While danger from such links may not be readily apparent, consider that the persons with whom you are communicating:

  1. May not be anything like they describe themselves, and may not even be the gender they claim.
  1. May not be providing their real name or personal information, and may be using someone else's account or even a "hacked" account.
  1. May not be located where they say; the individual whom you believe to be on the other side of the country or overseas may be two blocks away.

Tips For Your Safety
Here are some basic personal safety tips you should consider whenever participating in Internet communication, particularly of a personal nature:

  1. Avoid giving out personal information such as your home address or telephone number to people you meet on the net; not everyone is what they seem. There are predators out there, but they won't look like wolves; they'll be disguised as sheep.
  1. Exercise caution when agreeing to meet anyone in person whom you've met on the net. Before you arrange any such meeting, at least try to address the following:
    1. Can you verify, through a third party whom you know and trust, the true identity of this person?
    1. Is there a way to verify the information provided by this person?