What Will Make You The Happiest?

Although this insight comes from my experience, I believe that what will make you the happiest is being yourself.

Be unique, quirky, different, find your own truth, be yourself, don’t live a common life, don’t do what is conventional, always seek your truth, etc.

Let me tell you a story. When I started writing I had no idea that I would fall in love with the process of writing and the benefits that come with writing. It led me to discover my truth instead of accepting some fixed doctrine.

Sometimes I fall into the trap of following religion or capitalism or materialism or some philosophy or some other ideology which is always a trap of finding your truth.

For example, one day some three years ago approximately, I reading Bhagavad Gita As It Is. And reading it felt good but then after a month I joined ISKCON’s Satsang and started absorbing the ideology in my mind.

I am not saying that there’s no truth in spiritual teachings. What I am saying is that your truth is not an ideology, it’s your inner wisdom.

No amount of ideology can replace your inner wisdom, your truth.

So as you might infer, I stopped going to ISKCON satsangs for various reasons but one of them was the heavy use of Hindu mythology.

I still read the Gita from time to time but I don’t subscribe to one ideology.

Now you may think what does being yourself look like?

Although I am far from perfect but for me, I journal every day and I write in my blog sometimes. This helps me observe what I am thinking daily and stay on track with living my truth.

I believe in hope and all things real like honesty, love, faith, generosity, etc. And I have social anxiety and so sometimes I am unable to be generous to all people, but I try my best to have hope most of the time.

Overcoming social anxiety is something I have to work on but that’s just what comes with the package that is called me.

Being yourself is also full of struggles. Choosing commerce or arts instead of science stream is hard when no one in your family is from commerce or arts. Choosing to work in a corporate job is hard when all your family members and relatives work in the government.

But it comes with the knowledge that you are being you. You are living life from your inner wisdom.

Have you ever travelled solo to some new place? I did. When I was in class 10, age 14, I went to the city to eat in a restaurant alone skipping tuition classes. My parents were worried thinking about where I had gone. But I returned home safely.

Also, I had done stupid things all my life with friends or alone.

Something inside me guided me. And I believe the more we allow this guidance to guide us in new situations, the wiser we become.

This is what fuelled pioneers- freedom, adventure, and self-expression.

But you may think that spiritual teachings ask us to find these values in ourselves- to find God in yourself, in man.

I guess you could say if finding God is what inspires you, then that is your truth. If someone is inspired by adventure, then that is their truth.

Conclusion

Swami Vivekananda taught humanity to believe in oneself.

 And that’s why I say what will make you happiest is to be yourself, to live by your truth, to believe in yourself, and to be original and truly free.

Thank you for reading this blog post. Please share this blog post and answer this one question-

What is your truth that you believe in?

All Seeking Is A Bad Habit

In this blog post, I will write about why I think seeking anything is a bad habit and it is just that-a bad habit.

Some people call it bad karma, but I will just call it a bad habit.

When we ask ourselves what is the purpose of life, or what is the best way to make money today, we are essentially asking a very essential question that is important for our survival.

But if we ask ourselves why are we asking ourselves or others what the purpose of life is, then we will end up with a feeling, a deep desire or a fear after we have dug deep enough.

This feeling is supposed to be faced in my opinion. It is this fear that we need to dive into.

It is important to seek but this seeking is the cause of our suffering, in my opinion. Seeking money, fame, power, love, beauty, etc. is not bad but seeking them will create suffering.

When we seek we are acting out of habit. It is very difficult to not seek, even for a jobless person. Even a person who sleeps all day is seeking comfort. And when the comfort ends, he/she suffers.

That feeling that is before all questions, if dealt with and understood, can reduce our suffering and seeking.

I think that seeking God is also a cause of suffering. But if we don’t seek God we will not be free from suffering. And this is good suffering.

In my opinion, if we know the source of all seeking, then the seeking will automatically become more meaningful. And not knowing the source will trap us in a habitual pattern of seeking more things without satisfaction.

Conclusion

To conclude, I think we need to break from this bad habit of seeking and establish ourselves in something that is not related to seeking, maybe it is meditation, journaling or reading or writing or running or listening to piano music or any passion that we have.

Thank you for reading this blog post. Please share it with your friends and answer this question:

What do you do that is not related to seeking?

Faith Is Important

In this blog post, I will write about why faith is important in life.

So basically, I was of the school of thought that unless one experiences something one should not believe in it.

Whether it’s belief in God or belief in any idea or principle or anything that changes the way we live life, I used to think that we should try out new ideas and then prove to ourselves if it is true in our experience.

But I have always wondered what the most worthy goal in life is and what is the most real and meaningful cause to which I can fight and dedicate my life without feeling like I am wasting my time in life.

And from there started my pursuit of Truth.

What is the truth? What is the most real thing? What is worthy of hard work and personal struggle? What is worthy of fighting for? What is not empty? What is true?

At first in class 11, I went to get a better education to find this real thing. I thought if I can get into a good school I will be able to dedicate my life to it and find something worth fighting for. But questions started appearing in my mind.

I doubted my beliefs and asked myself,” I know that a good education is very important. But I don’t feel happy. I am suffering. And I have lost my sense of direction and hunger in life. Also, I don’t even know if this subject I am studying is meaningful. I want to be an engineer. But why? Why do I want to be an engineer? Why? I could do career counselling but will I really find the answer in other professions? I will feel empty even then, and I will probably ask the why question after I lose my passion for that profession.”

So I started losing interest in formal education. (I am in college now studying seriously.)

Then I started pursuing money in business by learning digital marketing. I started a blog, a youtube channel, a clothing e-commerce store, etc.

And I found success here and there but I still had the feeling of emptiness and meaninglessness that gradually entered my pursuit of money.

I remember I was doing an internship as an insurance agent for a big company and I did well in the interview and training. I was punctual all the time and very serious about success, but I gave up before the joining date because I could not see meaning in that job. (Little did I know that the meaning that I am searching for is in me and not outside in objects.)

So I started losing interest in money. (I am regardlessly going to start a business in the future)

Then I started feeling depressed.

But…

This is where things changed. I started believing in God. I surrendered and took action.

Life without God is empty and meaningless. Even things that are meaningful in the beginning seem meaningless if we don’t believe in something real.

If one believes in God, then a simple thing looks beautiful, one finds joy in the little things in life. But if one doesn’t believe in God, then all the wealth of the world can’t make one happy.

It started with me one day noticing that a girl and her mother at NIMHANS chanting a religious mantra one evening while chilling, and it hit me that I can also try that approach. I could try to have faith in God. Since nothing works, then let’s try this.

And I found that it is a source of immense love, power, strength and wisdom. It made suffering make sense and my life got better.

Then one day I was reading Swami Vivekananda’s quote-

“You cannot believe in God until you believe in yourself.” – Swami Vivekananda

And I started consciously strengthening my belief in myself.

What I am trying to say through this blog post is this-

Faith is important.

Without faith, one will find it very difficult to find the truth.

Personally, I still get doubts but I have surrendered my fears to God. I know that there is a reality that is truly real. I don’t need to hold on to objects of the mind or the world to feel secure. I just need to hold on to God.

The reason faith is important for finding the truth, is that faith and truth are not opposite words, but where truth cannot be reached by the mind, faith is the guide to truth.

Thank you for reading this blog post. If you liked this post then please comment, why is faith important to you?

What Is Hope To Me? (Warning: Sensitive Mental Health Story)

Hope to me is an angelic force that knows when I need answers most, when I need to learn a lesson, when I need to suffer, when I need to realise the truth about a situation and when the right time comes I need to surrender.

Story

I remember after my major psychotic episode in 2017, I was taken to the hospital. And I was so scared. I thought strange thoughts and was so scared.

When the doctor came, he asked something which I don’t remember. But I said, “I love you”.

The doctor smiled and said something like “You love me?”

Then I forgot what happened. My parents visited me and I was relieved.

Later the hospital referred me to NIMHANS, Bangalore.

I had no hope except my belief that there’s something higher in existence that is most true and divine.

So I said,” I love you” to the doctor. Not because he was beautiful or something else. But because I was scared. I was so scared of myself, so scared of my thoughts and I had no confidence in myself during my psychotic episode. I had to believe in that invisible higher truth/force which most probably is the expression of the words ”I love you”.

Love is, in my opinion, one of the closest expressions of truth.

Maybe I said it because I was scared. But that’s what I felt would keep me sane.

And I was referred to NIMHANS, where they treated me further and I made many new friends.

Slowly things got better.

And things are much better now. I haven’t had to go through psychosis since 2017 and I am well on my way to graduating college and finding work.

Conclusion

I think things are never bad indefinitely. Life gets better. There’s hope. And there’s family, friends, work, truth, etc.

As the famous proverb says- This Too Shall Pass. I too say “This Too Shall Pass”.

Thank you for reading this blog post on what is hope to me. Please comment, what is hope to you in a few words?

Why It’s Ok To Not Be Spiritual

In this blog post, I write why it’s ok to not be spiritual.

I will write my opinion here and it’s not necessarily correct or scientifically verifiable. 

Why I Am Not Spiritual

I was listening to Ramakrishna Mission’s Swami Sarvapriyananda’s talk on focus, self-confidence and selflessness yesterday and I felt inspired by him. I got so inspired that I studied my academic books for a long time yesterday.

Today I was listening to his talk on Brahman. And I remembered that I get scared when I listen to and think about these spiritual topics. 

I think this happens because I have some psychological trauma or neurosis that triggers fear in me. I don’t know if this is scientifically true.

So I am not spiritual in the sense that I don’t meditate, read scriptures, or do any kind of yoga. But I have faith in God.

There may be many people who are not spiritual. Maybe they don’t have the time or they don’t prioritise it or maybe they have fear in their minds like me. 

And it’s OK. It’s totally fine if one doesn’t do spirituality or believes in it.

I believe that spirituality is about being yourself. It’s about realising your faults and blessings and becoming a good human being. 

A good human being in behaviour and thinking in every aspect of life and with all human beings and living organisms and the environment. 

A big part of being spiritual in my opinion is to realise that you are not perfect and that you can be a better human being. It’s about prioritising “self-realisation” and by that, I mean realising your highest good nature.

Example of Addiction Recovery

Suppose you are a substance addict. You clearly are not being yourself and not being a human being you can be proud of. 

In that case, you need to go to the doctor and go through the addiction recovery process. And you will become a better human being in that process.

In this way, you are (self-) realising your potential goodness to reality. I think that in the first step of the twelve-step program by Alcoholics Anonymous, one needs to admit their problems honestly. 

twelve-step program
a distinctive approach to overcoming addictive, compulsive, or behavioral problems that was developed initially in Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) to guide recovery from alcoholism and is now used, often in an adapted form, by a number of other self-help groups. The twelve-step program in AA asks each member to (a) admit that he or she cannot control his or her drinking; (b) recognize a supreme spiritual power, which can give the member strength; (c) examine past errors, a process that is carried out with another member who serves as sponsor; (d) make amends for these errors; (e) develop a new code and style of life; and (f) help other alcoholics who are in need of support. Variations of this model also exist for drug abuse and addiction, gambling addiction, and other problems.

APA Dictionary of Psychology[1]

So what’s that? That’s realising your faults. That’s moving towards self-realisation.

You don’t need to read spiritual books to be spiritual. You are spiritual by your very nature.

But in the common sense of the word, I think it’s not necessary to be spiritual. And it’s Ok if you are not.

Even though I am not spiritual, I will probably listen to Swamiji’s talks on non-spiritual topics. And continue occasional deep breathing relaxation techniques when necessary. 

Maybe the thing is my time hasn’t arrived yet to dive into spirituality. Maybe that’s the case. Who knows? I will just have faith in God and do the right thing now and when the time comes.

Conclusion

Thank you for reading this blog post on why it’s ok to not be spiritual. Please comment- Are you spiritual? You are also welcome to explain why you are or aren’t spiritual.

References-

  1. APA Dictionary of Psychology -Twelve-Step Program, https://dictionary.apa.org/twelve-step-program

Thoughts on Dickinson (Season 1) – Series on Apple TV+ (Hope)

I watched season 1 of Dickinson series on Apple TV+ (on the life of Emily Dickinson, the American poet) probably two months ago. And I loved it and wanted to share my thoughts on it. I didn’t get the time to watch season 2 but I will watch it soon.

So first of all the thing that makes me love the series is the personality and acting of Hailee Steinfield as Emily Dickinson. I think the acting of Emily Dickinson is exaggerated in order to make the series more entertaining but I have no doubt that the lessons from Emily Dickinson’s life are accurately conveyed.

Here are some things I loved about the series-

  1. The personality of Emily Dickinson
  2. The feminism
  3. The expression of a complex individual in the form of poetry

Personality of Emily Dickinson

I loved how the personality of Emily Dickinson is portrayed in the series. Even though anyone who had seen Emily Dickinson in real life is not alive now and even though her personality may be exaggerated I feel inspired and I enjoy watching her in the series.

She seemed very interesting, even though she was not a published poet, even though she didn’t marry and even though she was dependent on her family for survival.

I think the acting is fabulously done by Hailee Steinfield. Hailee herself has a great personality of her own but in the series where she plays Emily Dickinson, she acts as a daughter, sister, friend, lover, feminist, etc.

The use of the modern English Language instead of old English makes her more relatable. Also, the dialogues sound really cool.

The Feminism

I remember that Emily would raise her voice again patriarchy and have a very liberal perspective.

She seemed like a very progressive-minded person and ahead of her time. What she thought two hundred years ago, we are thinking now.

She also mocked the fact that only men could do certain things and women were not allowed to do them, things such as attending university and so on.

The Expression Of A Complex Individual In The Form Of Poetry

Now, this is purely my opinion that she was a complex individual. She had depth in her character. She was extraordinary at writing poems and was a brilliant thinker.

When I read her poems I feel strong emotions. I am moved by her poems and I even have her poem on my laptop wallpaper.

Her poems are true, authentic and bold. And I am sure there are many other adjectives to describe her poems. But to me, her words are like a shining ray of light in the darkness of mundane life.

And all that comes from Emily Dickinson, who never published her poems in her lifetime?
At every point in time while watching the series I could relate to Emily because I am similar to her, not as a poet or a writer but as a person who loves expression. This is purely my opinion.

Conclusion

Now the point I am trying to make by sharing this review of Dickinson(Apple TV+ series) is that of the message of Emily Dickinson’s life.

I think her life teaches hope in a person’s life. How she decided to sacrifice her fame as a poet and kept writing even though no one would read and appreciate it in her life except a few people, is inspiring.

Although her poems were discovered and published later after her death, I think that the dedication to living a life where she followed her passion for writing, is inspiring.

Thank you for reading this blog post. Please comment- Have you read any of Emily Dickinson’s poems?

Thoughts Are More Important Than Actions

To think a negative thought about someone or something because it has fault is worse than having the fault yourself. 

“A prostitute and a saint lived in the same lane.

Each day, the prostitute would look at the saint and tell herself, oh, what a good man he is! He reads the Vedas and the Epics. He spends his time doing the God’s work and in prayer.

Meanwhile, the saint would look at the prostitute and shake his head at her profession and her lifestyle.

When they died, the prostitute went to heaven and the saint went to hell.

God said that sins and virtues were in the thinking, not in the doing.

Each got the afterlife they thought about for the other.

Don’t dwell on the mistakes of others, unrelated to your duty.

Thinking about them spoils your own karma, because it makes you angry, lazy or useless.

This is a story by Sri Ramakrishna Paramahansa.” 

This exerpt is from Illumination at Medium – https://medium.com/illumination/the-prostitute-and-the-saint-743baf82adb0

We must try to think well of everyone and everything. We need to empathize and at the same time fight.

I will tell you about a situation in my life. 

I have heard about a group of people who think they are doing the right thing but deep down they know it’s wrong. And they justify it as if they have no choice but to do the wrong thing. 

It’s not illegal but it’s wrong. 

But there are some people who are so called “perfect”. They don’t have any material character flaws but they will demonize and criticise the people who are doing wrong. 

They criticise the people who are doing wrong so much that they hate and fill their hearts and minds with poison. 

Now let me ask you-

Is a person who does the harmless wrong things worse than a person who does nothing wrong but thinks the vilest thing in existence about other people?

Sooner or later the vile thoughts corrupt the latter so called “perfect” person.

I have also noticed it in myself that I sometimes feel insecure, and I tell myself that the other people doesn’t like me and want to see me. So I don’t make an attempt to see them. 

Well what if I change my thoughts to a more positive one? What if I say to myself that there’s no scientific reason why they don’t like me. In fact I can’t prove that they don’t like me.

Then things change quite fast for the better.

I think that negativity in a person comes from selfishness. It’s the superiority complex and the non-acceptance of other people’s emotions and situations that causes ego to swell in a person. 

“Mind precedes all mental states. Mind is their chief; they are all mind-wrought. If with an impure mind a person speaks or acts suffering follows him like the wheel that follows the foot of the ox.”

The Dhammapada https://www.buddhanet.net/e-learning/buddhism/dp01.htm

Thank you for reading this blog post and please comment “Yes” if you learnt something useful from this post. 

Consciousness Work As Your Permanent Solution

In mythology, astrology, and energy healing, the term mental health issues is not used. Maybe it’s because they were unaware of mental health in ancient times. And science was not advanced back then.

But we need to see that social media and the internet was not part of life back then as well, excess sugar consumption in fast foods was not there, and climate change, pollution, industrialization wasn’t present back then.

But the point I am trying to make is consciousness is still consciousness even if in ancient times it was much simpler, and now we are in the darker ages. Consciousness work is still relevant.

My life’s journey is to move from mental health issues to a more conscious life. And I think anything that takes me there is worth writing about.

I have attended a few online meditation workshops, met a few spiritual masters including Sri M and I have a desire to become more conscious.

You see taking medication and working in a 9-to-5 job is not enough. From mental health issues to becoming a value producing citizen of the world is not enough. We need to become conscious of ourselves.

We need to live a conscious life. A life of consciousness is a life of what is true for you and the universe.

Now it is an individual journey to discover what is true for you and the universe. I cannot give it to you nor can a spiritual teacher. It is yours to find out.

What I want to tell you is the answers to your life’s problems is in consciousness work. What does it mean?

It means to seek the truth. It means to change your life to prioritize truth more than money, pleasure, etc. It means to seek God in whatever form that resonates with you. It means to not sacrifice other parts of your life but prioritize consciousness first.

Mental health is an important part and I take medication and go to therapy. But I don’t want to be limited. I want to take responsibility for life and have a vision where consciousness is a big part because consciousness is one of my main values.

Maybe you don’t have mental health issues. Maybe you have money issues, or career issues, or family issues, or self-esteem issues or some other issue. But the solution is inside you only if you look consciously.

Of course medication and therapy is important for me to survive but I am telling you honestly that those are not long term solutions. Only if I look inside and when I do, I will find the permanent solution.

Even mythology, astrology and healing are not the permanent solutions. They are closer to the truth but they are not the absolute truth.

You need to find out what it is that is the absolute truth.

Resources to get started with:

See you next time!