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Say ‘I’m Sorry’ and mean it

Say ‘I’m Sorry’ and mean it

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Is simply saying ‘sorry’ enough?
To make your apology sincere and authentic:
Make a commitment to change yourself and resolve the issue for the future;
Have a determined thought, ‘I am not going to do this again’.

True Independence

Liberate yourself from the bondages of the mind. It is wasteful thoughts that won’t allow you to attain true freedom.

True Independence is to be, in dependence of only GOD.

A Spiritual Perspective Of True Love
Emotional love can flower into true love when the fire of emotions cools down and is substituted by a wiser and more mature relationship. True love needs a fresh and renewing atmosphere, without fears. When you feel spiritually full, you feel flowing over with pleasure, happiness, wellbeing, and that state helps you to accept the one whom you love as they are, because from your fullness you give and share and you don’t need or expect anything from the other. While you need something that you want the other to satisfy, you will have expectations and the fear that those needs might not be satisfied, and you will get frustrated more easily. When you feel like a being of peace, a being of love, a tranquil being, a being that is spiritually full and satisfied, your relationship with others is a relationship of sharing on a level on which fear is not generated. You are not asking for or taking anything from the other. An elevated sharing of love, of happiness, of knowledge, of wisdom takes place, in which you do not generate a dependency on the other.

Attachments and dependencies, fears and insecurity, block our experience of love, of peace, serenity, freedom, happiness. When you have a feeling of love that takes you to a state of joy, to wholeness, but then you attach yourself to the object of your love, be it a person, or a property, automatically the feeling changes into fear: you fear to lose the object of your love and, instead of feeling wholeness and enjoyment, you feel fear. Over time that attachment turns into a dependency and you start to become inwardly empty: that is, your energy level goes down. Love in its purest form is a like a spring that pours forth for the benefit of others. Learn the art of loving, being free and allowing to be. Pure, true, love is an unconditional love that flows freely. Do not cling (hold on to). Love does not cling.

Soul Sustenance 

Detached Observation – A Spiritual Skill 

Detachment is the basis of our ability to be positive and affectionate with others while we interact with them. This is what is known as commitment and the relationship of detachment and it begins with what is known as a spiritual skill: the skill of being a detached observer.

On needs to be a detached observer in two dimensions: one within and one outside:
The inner art of detached observation is the ability of separating ourselves from our own thoughts, emotions, attitudes and behavior. On the external level, the art of detached observation is the art of being witness to the scenes that take place around us. While we detach ourselves and observe how the game of life develops, without being active participants, we are able to see the “big picture” with greater clarity. That makes it easier to see clearly what role we have to play and where our contribution lies. We are creators, and our thoughts, emotions and attitudes are our own work.

In reality, detached observation is the first step towards personal strengthening. If we don’t manage to detach ourselves from our thoughts and emotions, they will turn into our owners and will consume our energy.

For the practice of meditation it is essential that you act as a witness of everything you think and feel, and, once some time has passed, you will find that the practice simultaneously frees you and offers power.

Message for the day 
The one who does not wait for others to change to bring a change in the self is the one who really brings benefit to others.

In Spiritual Service,
Brahma Kumaris

Harmonious Balance

Harmonious Balance

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We all know the old adage – what you give out you get back, or what goes around comes around. But we forget this cast iron law which is found everywhere in the universe. The energy of life is constantly moving at physical, mental and spiritual levels. And if we stand back and just observe, we see it moving in the process of exchange. In the context of our relationships, we give and receive energy, and when we are truly giving and receiving positive energy there is harmony and balance. But when we do what we are taught to do, which is to take and to keep, then we destroy the harmony and the balance of our life. When we say possession is nine tenths of the law we give life to the illusion of ownership which blocks out the truth. It is possession itself which is our attempt to break the law and it is that illusion which lies at the heart of all human pain, discomfort and disharmony. While many ‘things’ will come to us, we possess nothing. We intuitively acknowledge this when we say to each other, “You can’t take it with you when you go.” Can you?

Visualization 

In your morning commute, take a minute or two to create a positive vision of yourself.

Be creative, but as realistic as possible. The more you explore positive visualization, the more you will become it.

Then, in your minds eye, visualize the positive qualities you would like to bring into your day. Focus on, explore and experience the qualities.

Visualize your goals, set your desired outcome and visualize your success.

Fears And Dependencies 
With dependency in relationships (as discussed yesterday) we enter into an energy of pleasing others so that they might continue to appreciate us. We base our self-esteem and personal security on the appreciation of these people. We stop acting in a natural, free and spontaneous way because we are worried about pleasing the one from whom we are taking mental, emotional or physical support.

Into this energy of dependence enters fear: fear of losing the support of that person, fear they will get angry, fear that they might not like us any more, fear that they might reject us, etc. That fear is a signal that warns us of our emotional weaknesses and of our lack of self-esteem. Fear brings on a greater inner insecurity, which makes us carry on holding on to that dependence.

There are people who, after entering into an energy of dependence and suffering because of it, leave that relationship with the objective of freeing themselves from the pain it brings about in them. Then they begin another relationship, where they generate the same energy. The solution is not in a change of relationship with another person, although on occasions that might help us. If we don’t change this energy internally and if we don’t learn to have a solid base of self-esteem, we will continue to depend on the appreciation and affection of others in order to appreciate and love ourselves.

Soul Sustenance 

Analyzing Success And Failure 

You feel positive and joyful when you realize that you are successful. However, when failure comes to you, you feel defeated. The definition of success and failure varies from one person to another and according to the stage of life that you are in. It is important to have success and failure well defined for yourself, because, based on your definition, you feel greater or lesser inner wellbeing, happiness and wholeness. There are also different levels of success and of failure. For example, for some the greatest success is to be happy and radiant, whatever happens inside or outside. If one manages to keep happy in the face of failure, for them it is a success. Because to be happy means that I am connected with my essential worth or inner self, my being is awake and alive. Failure does not reduce my vitality, my contentment levels. The greater or fewer external achievements do not reduce the quality of the inner being or of being happy. The important thing is that you believe your own definition of success and failure. Some ideas can be shared that can act as guidelines, but, in the end, each person has to create their own guidelines, definitions and factors leading to success and failure. Basing ourselves on these guidelines and beliefs, we evaluate our successes and failures. You can reflect on what true success and failure mean for you and, according to those meanings, centre your attention on the values and efforts that lead you to achieve your objectives.

In Spiritual Service,
Brahma Kumaris

 

Not to think of or speak of the mistakes in others

Not to think of or speak of the mistakes in others

 

When I notice a weakness or mistake in someone, instead of drawing attention to it by speaking to others, I need to make a special effort to focus on something positive in that person. 

When I think about this person’s good qualities, my love for them will grow.

When I speak about the weaknesses of others, it spreads from one person to the next.  

Instead of speaking, I have to merge it into love. This then sends blessings to others, which helps them to improve.

Wearing The Crown Of Servant Leadership Gracefully

A good leader, before orchestrating (controlling) his team members will learn to orchestrate (control) his inner orchestra of thoughts, feelings, attitudes, emotions, moods and perceptions to create the desired tune or team result. When leaders become dictators or start orchestrating (controlling) their team members first, the fall of the team gets certain.  A good leader is characterized by the way he makes his fellow members work as a team with him being a part of it. Misuse of leader power has a negative effect on team members’ perceptions of the leader’s ability and desire to engage in open communication. Because open communication is vital to any project, these perceptions can hurt team performance. These negative effects of leader power can be virtually eliminated simply by clearly communicating the idea that every team member is individually instrumental for any given task at hand.

Traditional leadership generally involves the accumulation and exercise of power by one at the top of the pyramid. By comparison, the servant leader shares power and puts the needs of others first and helps people develop and perform as highly as possible. Servant leaders spread an energy of trust in the group, which catalyzes higher levels of engagement of team members, greater involvement of their effort and ideas and greater speed in change and creation of the new, which is the objective of every team. As a result, an excellent team culture is developed.

In Spiritual Service,
Brahma Kumaris

The Tree That Bears Fruit Will Be Stoned

The Tree That Bears Fruit Will Be Stoned

A common saying in the Tamil language warns that the tree that bears fruit will be stoned. Sadhguru responds, only when someone sees the value of the fruit and longs to taste its sweetness, will they take the effort to throw a stone.
The Tree That Bears Fruit Will Be Stoned

Q: There is a saying that the tree that bears the fruits will be stoned…

Sadhguru: Oh, I know that better than anyone! They will keep throwing stones. If somebody has to take a stone and throw it at you, it takes lot of effort. They are throwing it at you because you are of some value. You are a valuable target! Who would throw a stone at someone who is not worth anything? Unknowingly, unconsciously, people know the fruit is valuable. So we have been stoned quite a bit. But over the years, many of those people have turned around. They are standing under the tree waiting for the fruit to fall into their mouth. That is always how it is.

It is alright if people throw stones at you. Bearing fruit is more significant than being stoned.

Just because somebody is going to throw stones at us, should we remain without fruit in our life? That would be a tragedy. It is alright if people throw stones at you. Bearing fruit is more significant than being stoned. Bearing the fruit is what makes your life significant and worthwhile. Stones or no stones, what does it matter? They will only throw stones at you, but they will never cut you down because they want the fruit. Anybody who has known the value of the fruit, who has tasted its sweetness, they throw stones at you but they never think of cutting you down. If you had no fruit, most probably they would cut you down and make furniture out of you! So, it is better that they throw stones and eat the fruit.

Please see that when there is fruit and flower, it is not just stones that come your way. The bees will come, the birds will come, the animals will come and people will come. Once you have borne fruit, what is the use if nobody tastes your fruit? Let us say there is a mango tree. Little children came and they were looking for stones. When they looked for stones, if they found a lot of mangoes on the ground, they would pick them up and eat them. If their stomachs became full, they would not throw stones. Before they throw stones, if you start dropping your fruit willingly, stones can be minimized because everybody is waiting for the fruit.

The Quality of Mercy

A person with the quality of mercy works on such a subtle level that the support given never demeans or implies weakness in the other person.

Smile

You never have to be miserable because of someone else’s bad attitude.
Your own attitude is yours to control, and you can do with it what you
please. Others will often attempt to draw you into their negativity.
They may whine, scream, glare, pout, or call you all sorts of names,
but never does it mean that you must pick up on any of it. You can
lovingly and politely choose to stay positive. Simply realize that
another person’s negative attitude is that person’s problem, and does
not have to dictate your behavior in any way. The most powerful
response to negativity is not more negativity. The most powerful,
confident, effective response is to keep yourself focused on moving
positively forward. Smile, and know that you are in control of how
you feel, what you think and how you act. Offer your best, most
sincerely positive face to the world, no matter what kind of faces you
find looking back at you. Rather than being pulled down, you’ll be
lifting up. And that’s a powerful, effective place to be.

Defining Failure

Given below are some definitions of failure:

Soul Sustenance

Imbibing (Absorbing) Spiritual Knowledge

The first step into experience, particularly the meditation experience, is knowledge. What does it mean to ‘know’? Knowing involves four steps, which ultimately give the meditator the experience of realization:

The first step of knowing is information. With information, our intellect opens to new ideas and opinions.

The second step of knowing is knowledge, when we begin to reflect and think on the ideas and views that we have listened to. At this point, we often have to select only a few of the ideas we have heard, as it is not always possible to reflect (think) on all the information that is fed to us. In order to deepen our understanding, we reflect on the information and sometimes discuss our findings and thoughts with others.

The third step of knowing is when we move from thinking to doing, that is, from knowledge to wisdom. Wisdom is gained when we commit ourselves to doing. Knowledge translated into our everyday behaviour is called wisdom, which, in turn, is called quality life. A life of quality is where personal values are not only realised but also lived and experienced through our practical actions.

Doing, or practice, naturally brings us to the fourth and final step of knowing, which is called Truth.

Message for the day

To be merciful means to transform the pain and sorrow of others.

In Spiritual Service,
Brahma Kumaris

Coolness

Coolness

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Maintaining a state of inner calmness protects me from becoming a slave to my emotions. It also helps me to keep a cool head when I see others becoming heated or angry. Coolness is not to be distant or uncaring; rather it requires that I develop the deeply caring nature of a peacemaker and serve others in the best possible way.

 

Independence

Think of those people you are giving some kind of help or support.
Check if you are helping in such a way to make them independent or is
your help making them dependent on you. Remind yourself that your aim
in helping is to make people independent and strong in such a way that
they are able to support others too. Remind yourself that your help
should never make people weak.

In Spiritual Service,
Brahma Kumaris

Secrets to Overcoming Procrastination

Secrets to Overcoming Procrastination

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Procrastination isnot only the thief of time, it is the creator of subtle inner tension. You know you are cheating yourself. There are three secrets to overcoming procrastination. One, don’t wait till you feel like doing it – the feeling will come when you start doing it. Two, list all the things you have to do and thenprioritize the list. Three, create a vision of the result and be motivated by the vision of the outcome, not the thought of the process.

Control

Normally control is understood as something which we need to have over
others or situations. So when things go wrong, the first thought is to
control others. But since neither the situations nor the people are in
our hands, we are unable to succeed in controlling them. Instead of
trying to control something that we have no control upon, we need to
start with ourselves. The more we are able to keep a control on
ourselves with constant attention, checking and changing, the more we
will be able to have everything in control.

Message for the day

Humility is to respect everything that comes our way.

In Spiritual Service,
Brahma Kumaris

Live Purposefully

If you don’t live life on purpose you live life by accident. Why do some days feel like a motorway pile up? It’s because you haven’t sorted out your purpose yet. The highest purpose is always giving, or serving others, without wanting anything in return. This is why relaxation is always impossible if we are always ‘on the take’. There is an overall purpose for your life, and each of the many scenes which fill your day are opportunities to serve your purpose. Take time to think deeply, listen to your intuition, and with patience, the reason why you are here, and what you uniquely have to give, will occur to you. Then you can live your life ‘on purpose’

Meditation

Meditation simply means the management of your thoughts. It is to have
the ability to think of what you want and when you want, without
interference from other thoughts. Meditation is to develop the ability
to concentrate on a particular subject without being attracted and
influenced by the five senses, the five vices and the five elements.
Yoga, which is associated with meditation, simply means to have union
or make connection with some object, subject, person or God. However,
yoga is usually associated with spirituality. Yoga is to have
connection and to have dialogue or sweet conversation with the divine
source of inspiration, whom many call God. Meditation, therefore is a
prerequisite or condition that assists spiritual seekers to have
unbroken, undisturbed and continuous access with divinity and this
experience is called yoga, another form of prayer.

Practical Positive Response Training To The Mind 

If I believe that I am just the physical body and that my thoughts are simply results of chemical and electrical processes in the brain, and not something I can consciously control, I let go of the key of taking charge of what is going on inside my mind. In meditation, my intellect recognizes and realizes that my thoughts are my own creation, of me the soul and not the body and that I, the soul, using the intellect, which is also a part of the soul, can make choices about them.

When I realize that my natural state is to be the master of my mind and not to be dictated by it or dictated by the brain, I start taking charge of what is going on inside. When I practice being a master of my mind repeatedly by practicing meditation regularly, the new habit of creating only positive thoughts settles inside me and my habit of responding negatively with a negative state of mind to negative situations, begins to change over a period of time. I start responding positively even to negative situations. So, meditation is a major transformation process of the habit of thinking negatively, which then has positive results on my personality and behavior.

Tomorrow we shall further clarify the process which has been explained in today’s and yesterday’s message, with an example.

 

Soul Sustenance

Experiencing God’s Presence

I need to understand that God is a person (although the Supreme Person), like us, and not some formal or non-personal energy, with whom we cannot communicate and have a relationship. If I know God’s form, location and sanskars, I can direct my thoughts towards that One and immediately start experiencing the connection. The sentiment expressed in the phrase, ‘O God, wherever I am, you are with me’, indicates the closeness of the soul and God. It expresses the experience of the presence of God, in a similar way to two lovers who carry each other in their hearts. In this way God’s presence is a spiritual experience that I can have wherever I am. It doesn’t mean literally that the Supreme Being is present in everything. It’s a feeling and not a fact. The sun is the source of our physical necessities. It purifies the water, makes the plants grow to produce food and oxygen and provides a suitable range of temperatures for our life here. To give life it doesn’t need to be present in every particle. Its effect in the form of light and heat is felt throughout the solar system. In the same manner, for the effective practice of Raja Yoga meditation (as taught by the Brahma Kumaris) God is seen as a sun of perfect sanskars, the source of spiritual qualities and powers and, as such, doesn’t need to be present in everything. Even though His residence is the soul world, God can be with me since the sense of closeness is beyond physical dimensions. One thought and I can experience Him in the soul world and be in His presence!

Message for the day

Concentration on positive thoughts brings power and growth.

In Spiritual Service,
Brahma Kumaris

Mind the Gap

Mind the Gap

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The gap between what you say and what you do, between what you promise and what you deliver, is like a drain in the road. The drain is where water escapes, just as your power will seep away if there is a difference between your words and your actions. Ask yourself every day, were your thoughts, words and actions aligned? Ask someone else what they saw in you too. Feedback is the food of all positive change.

Being Aware of Specialties

Normally to be special we believe that we have to get a chance from
the situation. So when the situation is good we are able to use our
own specialties, but when the situation is not so good, we tend to
come back to ordinary or waste. So we are constantly waiting for
opportunities to reveal our own specialty and at other times being
coloured by the negativity or ordinariness of the situation. When we
are aware of our own specialties in a conscious way, we are able to
add quality and beauty to everything that we speak or do. Nothing of
ours is then waste or even ordinary but everything we do becomes
special. We are able to make everything more meaningful and powerful.
We are not caught up with the ordinariness or the negativity of the
situation, but are able to enjoy the moment by colouring it with our
own special quality.

Freedom From The Dependency On The New 

In the market, there always appears the novelty (newness) of the same product wrapped differently. There always seems to be a new soft drink, a new kind of chocolate, but they are really the same products as always. The only thing that changes is the packaging and their image. Some children, whenever they go to the market, want the new kinds of biscuits, pastries, etc. They always want new things that then stay in the fridge. We encourage this by telling little children that happiness is stimulation, the new is stimulating, and comes from the outside or you get it from the outside. We create an addiction to the new; in this case, to the newness of the packaging. What kind of newness is that!

When, in order to be happy, you need to go shopping, you try to fill yourself with something that isn’t you. You try to find wholeness by filling your life with material things. A soul who is spiritually awake knows that they are already complete and they do not need to depend on the purchase of something new regularly for feeling full internally. The only effort is in remembering and reconnecting with their whole self, their complete self; reconnecting with their inner treasures of spiritual wisdom, virtues and powers.

In Spiritual Service,

Brahma Kumaris

Real Renunciation

Real Renunciation

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On the path mapped out by the true spiritual philosophers and pioneers, there is great emphasis placed on the idea and need for renunciation. It is seen as the way to enlightenment, and freedom from the attachments which we misuse as sources of limited happiness and contentment. Renunciation does not mean giving everything away, shaving our heads, saying farewell to family and friends and finding a Himalayan mountain top. It means seeing our attachments and dependencies, our weaknesses and our evasions, and consciously giving them up. There is no sense of loss. The material necessities still come to us, paradoxically more will come. And when we renounce our own weaknesses and dependencies, there is always a strength and a new freedom to be found hiding underneath. Renunciation is a pathway to a simpler life and a highway to spiritual freedom – one of spirit’s deepest yearnings in ‘the age of accumulation’.

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Change

To bring about a change within is to bring about a change outside too.
When there are challenging situations, the usual way is to react to
them and expect them to change because of these reactions. But the
only way to change these situations is to bring about a change within
the self. When there is the ability to do this, there is the ability
to use all the resources for this purpose. When I have the commitment
to bring about a change within myself, I am able to be confident and
courageous in all situations. There is neither fear nor the desire
for things to change according to my wish. I am willing to work on
the situation and change the situation.

Understanding What Is Time

We created the concept of time to measure our experience of the space between events. Time passes only because we experience change. What is change? Change is only a series of events. So time is our experience of the speed of events. This explains why time seems to be moving faster today, because both the speed and the number of events are increasing. And it seems even faster if we participate in those events. If the speed and number of events was less, we would experience time to be moving slowly, as it used to be a little earlier in the history of mankind.

Today, sitting in our living rooms and offices, electronic, print and other media allows us to observe hundreds of events from all over the world, every day. To observe them actively is to participate in them. If you want to slow time down, learn to be a detached observer of the thousands of events around you – participate or observe actively only when necessary. If you want to stop time, meditate and be in your original, timeless, eternal consciousness. Meditation is after all an art of shutting down your senses and slowing down. Today, we fear time, as a result we hear ourselves saying many a times, * Hurry up, time is running out! or * I hope to have more time tomorrow! or * I need to save time! Ultimately time, is our life: it cannot be saved or lost, but must be lived now. This is where your will-power is important – we can choose exactly how we spend our time at any moment.

Soul Sustenance

At Peace with Time – The Key To Relaxed Living (Part 4)

You choose whether, each morning, you want to get up and begin with watching television, reading the newspaper over a cup of tea, or you want to get up and meditate, listen to peaceful music, read a couple of pages of spiritual knowledge that inspire you and you begin the day with enthusiasm and by visualizing it positively: today will be a marvelous day, I shall enjoy it … yes!! Such meditative and spiritual practice will give you a feel of time being elastic. In such a consciousness, a minute will seem eternal i.e. time can seem to come to a standstill (if I am surrounded by a positive set of circumstances which are spiritually uplifting) or can seem an instant, i.e. I get a feeling of time passing very fast (if in a negative set of circumstances). Thus, I learn to be a creator of time; living in time without being a slave to it. True freedom lies in being content now. You can be content in the present moment by resolving the inner dialogue that generates stress and conflict in you. When you are content, enjoying yourself and having a good time, you don’t realize how time passes. This means that, if we lived in a state of constant happiness, we wouldn’t realize how time passes. Time would be at our service. We would be the rulers and controllers of time and not the other way round.