Meditation On Self-Forgiveness

Forgiveness

Sit comfortably and relax. Recall the feelings associated with some mistake or mistakes you have made in the past. Connect with any feelings of hatred and revenge; connect with any feelings of guilt and how you felt you had let others and yourself down; the shame and the humiliation you may have felt…

Now ask yourself:
‘What good is it doing me or others by holding onto these feelings…?
What benefits does it bring me? How does it help me, or the other people affected…?’ (pause for 30 seconds).

Now, say the following to yourself inside your mind:
‘I decide that I have held onto these feelings long enough and it is time to let them go… This is a matter of reason as they no longer serve me, and a matter of my will at a deep level to release them… I feel all these negative feelings and let them go… I release them… let them go…’

Now, unconditionally, forgive yourself… you have made a mistake… you have learned from that mistake… there is nothing to be gained from having feelings of guilt or shame… let them go… forgive yourself… forgive everyone else who may have contributed… it is time to let it go…

Now focus on your true self – a divine being of spiritual energy situated at the center of the forehead… focus on your inner feelings of peace… Think of and feel your inner qualities of honesty, tolerance, kindness and generosity. Focus on them, as this is who you truly are… a peaceful, compassionate, forgiving being of spiritual light… radiating these qualities to the world…

Simple Exercise To Identify Your Hidden Fears

fear

If you want to overcome and overpower fears that exist inside you, you have to first take a look at your feelings and hidden emotions. After realizing your feelings and emotions, you have to know how to manage them and finally correct or overcome them. Given below is a simple exercise that will help you to achieve that.  This exercise will help you identify the conscious and sometimes sub-conscious (very subtle) fears that lie inside you.

Choose an area of your life that you feel is negative and needs some improvement. Now, ask yourself these three questions:

1. What do I really want, what is my aim and objective?
2. What obstacle/obstacles are stopping me from achieving my objectives?
3. What prevents me from dealing with or overcoming that obstacle?

For each fear that comes to you in response to the question no. 3, ask yourself the following questions:
A. What is the worst that can happen, if what I fear occurs?
B. What is the best possible result for me and for others, if I do it even though I feel afraid of doing it?
C. Keeping in front of you the answer to question B and comparing it with the answer to question A will inspire you to overcome the fears that lie inside you.

Redefine Success And Failure

redefine success

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.

For many, society has conditioned us to look for success through the path of our career, achievements, profits, praise, financial wealth etc. That way, we have learned a narrow view of success. Running in search of this kind of success and pursuing it, we come to exhaust ourselves, get burnt out and depressed. In order to achieve these successes we have stopped caring for the inner being (the soul) and relationships. That has meant and means stress, pain, anxiety, family break ups, personal and relational disintegrations, the destruction of the environment and planetary and climatic imbalances. As a consequence, we feel empty. Although we achieve the applause, the income and other successes, the soul is malnourished and has the sensation that it is lacking something. Reaching fame, financial wealth, the power of a visible position, and reaching it with a broken soul, broken up family and a sick body, causes depression which explains why, in our recent history, famous people have ended up committing suicide.

If we want to redirect our personal and collective lives toward true well-being and wholeness, we have to re-evaluate and redefine our beliefs and factors that lead to success and failure. Before asking yourself what success and failure mean for you, it is important to be clear what context you want success in. Depending on the context, the dimension and the meaning of success and failure will be different. For example, in the work context, a failure will be different to that in the family context. In the personal context or in life in general, the way of perceiving success or failure varies.

Unloading Your Pressure Baggage

Pressure Baggage

On a spiritual level, pressure can be defined as an external force acting on us divided by our ability to bear the force or resist it. Thus, force and resistance capacity are two variants in the equation of pressure. Everyone has different resistance capacities. Two people with different resistance capacities will experience different amounts of pressure on being subjected to the same magnitude of force.  A feeling of pressure absorbs our freedom and gives us an experience of being ruled by an external entity. There are a lot of people who hold the belief that they can experience freedom only in the absence of an external force, which is almost impossible, since there is almost some force or the other exerted on the soul by ups and downs that takes place in the role that it plays through the physical body; which includes the physical body itself; profession; family; wealth, all types of relationships, etc. Even our own personality, thoughts, feelings, emotions etc. exert pressure on us at times.

Apart from the resistance capacity, the other variant in the equation of pressure is not only force but our perception of what the magnitude of the force is. This depends primarily on the beliefs that we carry. Two people will perceive the same situation in their role (as explained above) as forces of different magnitudes. While we hold the belief that life events, people and their expectations from us, are the forces that are the causes of our pressure, we will be able to do little to change the habit of being pressurized. It is we who pressurize ourself and allow the outside to pressurize us. We can either go through our life journey while experiencing feelings of being emotionally imprisoned, confused, rushed and hurried, or we can do the same with the power of faith and determination, at the same time remaining patient and maintaining our inner emotional stability. In some cases, some of us put pressure on ourselves, because we carry the belief that a bit of pressure is good in order to achieve what we want; it provides us with positive energy and motivates us. So this is an example of perceiving a force in our life, a force which does not exist. Such kind of pressure can deceive us and give us a feeling of being beneficial in the short term but it can have harmful effects on us in the long term. Some others might not experience this pressure because they do not carry this belief at all and don’t invite this force.

Can we experience freedom only when there is an absence of outside pressure? We feel pressured from many sides. At work, we feel the pressure to do tasks as per fixed guidelines of set systems and within boundaries of time, of keeping up our performance as per others’ expectations and as good as our compatriots. In relationships, we feel the pressure of experiencing success in them, of satisfying others and gaining respect from them. In studies, we feel the pressure of having to excel in them, not only because that is instrumental in building our future but because of the desire to be seen in a positive light by others. We feel the pressure of having to earn more and more wealth to satisfy the necessities, comforts and luxuries of the family and to maintain a certain image in society. In the face of problems, we feel pressure when we are not able to solve them quickly or in the way that we want. Failure or its fear, in any sphere of life, generates pressure in us.   Sometimes we experience pressure because the mind is not functioning as per our desires or directions or we are not able to transform our negative personality to a positive one as much as we want.  When we believe that something harmful can happen if we don’t reach our set objectives on time or in a certain manner, we feel pressured. Physical illnesses or their fear can also create pressure for some of us.

And so life turns into an endless amount of pressure crests, like speed breakers that appear one after the other, unsettling us and not giving us time to relax. When we feel pressured, it seems that the life forces rule our life and we do not feel free.  In the long-term, this repetitive habit of creating feelings of pressure and carrying such baggage ends up leaving us exhausted on an emotional and spiritual level.

Sometimes the pressure we are carrying is related to the situation we are in, sometimes we even carry a pressure of one situation in another situation i.e. it is unrelated pressure. All this continues throughout the day, day after day. What all this pressure does is increase the quantity of thoughts that we carry in our mind, which in turn reduces our efficiency and discriminating and judging power. The words and actions coming out from such a state of mind are improper and lacking in power, conviction and clarity. To ensure that we do not carry pressure baggage on our emotional back, as per our pressure equation (shared in the first message of this series), we need to change the incorrect beliefs that we carry, which are the root cause of our pressure and at the same time increase our ability to bear the different life forces. We carry thoughts that are determined by our belief of what success is and what failure is, what winning is and what losing is. Although we perceive such beliefs to be true, they are not true; they are like a facade that influence our perception of reality and generate in us feelings of pressure.  The truth, on the other hand, is deeper than beliefs.

While meditation will serve as an important tool to increase our inner power to tolerate or resist life forces; spiritual knowledge, understanding and wisdom will serve as an immensely important tool which will help us in correcting our beliefs. So in times of pressure, stopping yourself for a minute and assessing your thoughts, then going backwards, and checking the beliefs which are the root cause of the thoughts at that particular moment and then changing them requires strength and clarity, which we will obtain through the medium of spiritual wisdom. Once the beliefs are corrected, the thought patterns will change. Thoughts like – Maybe I won’t arrive on time or If I don’t finish this assignment successfully, I will lose my next promotion or If I lose my money in this financial investment, my family will stop appreciating me etc. which we create all the time – will be replaced by more positive thoughts of security, fearlessness, patience, peace, faith, determination, certainty etc.

Experiencing Perfection And Success In Role Playing

Spirituality gives me the detached realization of being pure consciousness. This realization not only detaches me from my physical body, but also detaches me from the different roles I play through my physical body (male or female) and the different acts or scenes in each role, in one particular day or one particular lifetime. The roles may be many, the acts and the scenes may be many, but I am the actor playing the different roles and participating in the different acts.

There is great strength in experiencing myself as an actor as compared to the previous existence in which I used to lose myself and forget my spiritual identity completely while playing the different roles, identifying more with the roles and thinking myself to be the role instead of being a spiritual actor.  An actor, even while in the midst of the most dramatic scenes, even whilst getting excited or emotional or angry, knows he is not the part itself, the part is just temporary. He knows he is something more than that, and that when the play is over, the role will not exist anymore. So, even though I play my role, I don’t cut off myself from the role and don’t leave my responsibilities, I need to adopt the observer or spectator ordetached consciousness instead of the player consciousness. A player tends to get over-involved. So, the balance has to be maintained – I play as well as remain detached. Only then the roles will be played to complete perfection and I will experience success in each role.

If I’m able to protect and maintain my inner spiritual identity in each role that I play in the day, it’s much easier for me to switch roles. I switch roles so many times even in one particular day. If I lose myself in a particular role, my mind and intellect tends to become limited and restricted to that role and I’m not able to see beyond the immediate needs of the role and I find it difficult to adapt to another role. As a father, for example, I may also be called upon to play the different roles of husband or a Managing Director or a friend or a brother or a son or a son-in-law etc. Also many a times, for e.g. in the absence of the mother, I may have to play the role of the mother or in the absence of the Plant Manager in my company on a particular day, I may have to play his role, etc., both being roles that I do not normally play. I’ll have a better chance of being able to fulfill all these roles if I don’t get too caught up in any of the roles while playing them and remain in my spiritual consciousness while playing them. A spiritual consciousness will keep me detached.

Every role demands different positive personality traits or sanskaras to be put into practice. I need to be flexible and possess the ability to pick those personality traits from my complete spiritual store house of personality traits that I the soul possess inside me, that are best suited to the role and are required for that role at that particular moment, so that the role and the act is played accurately and perfectly to my satisfaction as well as the other’s satisfaction. In a bodily, limited consciousness, I will not be able to that.

While playing my different roles, another important ability (a few abilities were mentioned in yesterday’s message) that I need to possess is to become victorious over the different scenes that I play. What does that mean? I need to remember that every scene, every act, whether positive or negative, in every role, shall pass. No scene or act is permanent. What happens is that, in a bodily consciousness, each time I am part of a positive scene in my life; I tend to become attached to it and want to hold on it and keep it with me permanently, which is not possible. And each time I am part of a negative scene, I tend to become impatient and want it to get over as soon as possible, which again is not possible all the time. As if a few minutes or few days of the scene or act are difficult for me to pass or bear. Positive scenes bring me into a strong, temporary wave of happiness or excitement and negative scenes into a wave of deep sorrow, both of which are incorrect emotions. To make sure that I don’t get taken in by both these waves, which is becoming victorious over scenes, I need to remain detached while playing different roles in different scenes. I will be able to become a master at this detachment, again when I am established completely as my spiritual self.

Separating role and actor increases opportunities for seeing what my role actually demands, and reduces the chances of being unduly influenced by others. Stepping away from the stage, even for a moment, I’ll see more clearly how the other actors in that particular scene are behaving, and what is required of me. So, in this regard, it’s a good practice that at different times of the day, I step back for a few seconds and detach myself from the role that I am playing and remind myself that I am a pure being of consciousness, a sparkling star like energy full of peace, love and happiness and nothing else. This is my spiritual identity.

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Positive Reflections For The Day are messages sent by the Brahma Kumaris. If you are not receiving Positive Reflections already and would like to receive it daily, from the Brahma Kumaris, please send an email to the email address
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When are you planning to retire?

Dadi Janki, now in her 100th year, and who will celebrate becoming a centenarian in January 2016, is actually still working full-time. I find that incredible. Her passion for what she does not only keeps her working but also on the move. This year alone she has so far clocked up 49,418 business air miles. In a world of huge challenges and great change, the wisdom that Dadi (which means Elder Sister in Hindi) can offer seems to be much in demand. Her daily routine starts at 4.00 am with a schedule packed full of meetings with both students of the organisation (Brahma Kumaris World Spiritual University) as well as leaders from business, government and all walks of life.

Feminine Leadership Today

Screen Shot 2015-09-30 at 08.41.31Today the UN is celebrating International Day of Older Persons with this year’s emphasis being on age inclusiveness in the urban environment. It’s estimated that by 2050, people over 60 will account for one quarter of the urban population. So in an era when old age is often seen as a burden (on the taxpayer, healthcare system and social care) and we don’t expect people to work and be economically active in their later years (hence the free bus passes etc for the over 60s!) the question about when to retire is an important one.

What do you base your decision on?  The need to earn money, the desire to escape the daily grind and having to show up and clock on somewhere everyday? Some organisations and professions even have enforced retirement.

But what if you love your work so much that it doesn’t feel like work?

Oscar-winning British actress…

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