Winning And Losing

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Winning and losing are a part of life. The are two sides of the same coin. Winning and losing come in cycles; neither is permanent. Today’s victor is tomorrow’s or yesterday’s loser. And today’s loser might well be the champion next year or the next. While we are fully aware of this, we continue to crave for victory and live in dread of losing, although we know in our heart of hearts that one is invariably followed, with the passage of time, by the other.

The feeling of happiness and joy that any victory brings is basically felt and enjoyed by our ego. Our true Self knows neither victory nor loss. The atman or soul is beyond the duality of good an bad, right and wrong, winning and losing. But the human mind and ego exult when it can do something better than the other person or other team. And sometimes it becomes difficult to conclude whether our win or their loss causes greater satisfaction.
Just as victory brings extreme emotions, so does defeat. How often we have seen that today’s heroes become tomorrow’s non-heroes or villains? Today’s idols are smashed tomorrow, when they fail to perform. Such is the price of celebrity status; such is the price of victory.

What about the loser? We owe a great deal to the loser, for withuot a loser, there cannot be a winner. Imagine if all other teams from other parts of the world stopped playing cricket, then where would we be? There would be no contests and no victories to celebrate or defeats to ponder over. A good performance is inspired by competition and from learning from the experience of others.

Swami Vivekananda used to say “Let not the giver feel proud, for he can give only when there is someone to receive. Let the giver kneel down and let the receiver stand erect, during the act of giving and receiving. For the giver is blessed to find a receiver”. In the same vein, let the winner have respect for the loser, for without the loser, the winner too disappears.

When someone loses, there are enough people to ridicule, criticise and berate the losing team members. It is ironical that the seeds of defeat are actually sown during the act of winning, whether it is a sporting encounter or a personal feud, because the losers are already getting together and planning their next move, their come-back, so that they can regain their lost glory. It is only a matter of time before the tables are turned, before the tide is reversed, and the winner is on the losing side.

While giving full credit to the winners, one question that comes up is: “Is it possible to play, enjoy the game, have fun, but not have losers and winners?” This is true for all examinations and competitions. That would really be something to look forward to . Because if we are going to win at someone else’e cost, it is only a partial victory.

For a total or abslute victory, everyone should be a winner, something that is of course not routinely possible, but something we can think about for the future, where encounters are not only winners, no loser. And ther is still the possibility of feeling excited and elated.

The Speaking Tree, Page: 20, 2, April, 2010

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It’s All About Feeling

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Is it possible to increase your happiness or success by pushing your “energypendulum” in the direction you want it to go – towards more possessions, greater fame, and more intense pleasure? Doesn’t the pendulum always swing back in the opposite directioin?

There are times in this ceaseless cycle of hope and disappointment when we feel repelled by the sheer monotony of it all. Finding ourselves no longer attracted by the excitement of a meaningless chase, we long for rest. But only if rest is sought within can lasting peace be really ours. Any rest we find outwardly – in retirement, let us say, to a quit cottage by the sea – is as temporary as our emotional joys and sorrows. That “peace” ends when we come to experience it as boredom. When this happens, we set out once again on our former quest for excitement. And so – interminably – it goes on.

Everything in existence is balanced by its polar opposite. Heat is balanced by cold, light by darkness, and positive by negative. In humankind, duality is found in the opposites of male and female, joy and sorrow, love and hatred. Wherever one quality exists, its complementary opposite will also be found.

The overall level of an ocean is not altered by the height of the waves at its surface. The higher the wave, the deeper is its trough. Our essential consciousness, similarly, remains unaffected by our emotional ups and downs. Pleasure and pain, success and failure, fulfilment and disappointment – these are but waves on the surface of calm, intutive feeling.

The Law of Duality is present in our lives, too. Because our emotions are tied to the post of egoconsciousness, every joy that we experience emotionally must be balanced in our own emotions by an equal and opposite sorrow. Every personal success must be balanced by an equally personal failure; every personal fulfilment must be balanced by a corresponding personal disappointmet.

The only state in which joy and other positive feelings are not balanced by opposites is in the state of superconsciousness. There, waves of emotion subside in calm, intuitive feeling. Joy, love and peace are realised, then, as absolutes, not as relativities, for they are attributes of Pure Consciousness.

Calm feeling is intution. When that calm feeling is disturbed, it becomes emotion. Until clarity of feeling is achieved, the one who meditates will be forever vacillating in purpose. Without devotion, indeed, in the form of deep yearning for the truth, you will not feel the incentive even to try to meditate deeply. Wisdom without devotion is like knowing that there is a good restaurant next door, and even committing its entire menu to memory, but not being hungry enough to go there and eat. The feeling quality is what makes it possible to commit oneself to the spiritual search.

When people think of the pure consciousness of God, they usually visualise an abstract mental state. Feeling is absent. Yet there is nothing inspiring, surely, about such abstractions. For, without love, how can we identify the fog with God? Feeling is as intrinsic to awareness as heat is to fire.

The Speaking Tree, Page: 16, 1, April, 2011

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YOUR MIND YOUR BODY

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As we move deeper and deeper to the straight in the meditatioin, we will pass through our inner bodies i.e. physical body, subtle body, causal body and the super causal body.

Swami Vivekananda rightly says in his lecture. “There is the soul, and inside this soul is all powers will be unfold. all knowledge in the soul, to lessen the misery…. all unhappines is caused by our not having mastery over the body…”

Swami Vivekananda, Sanfrancisco, April 5, 1900


The world of the mind seems very different from the one inhabited by our bodies. The psychic space inside our heads in infinite and ethereal; it seems obvious that it must be made of different stuff than all the other organs. Cut into the body, and blood pours forth. But slice into the brain, and thoughts and emotions don’t spill out onto the operating table. Love and anger can’t be collected in a test tube to be weighed and measured.

The brain is just another organ, albeit more intricate than the rest. The thoughts and emotions that seem to color our reality are the result of complex electro chemical interactions within and between nerve cells. The disembodi voices of schizophrenia and the feelings of worthlessness and self hatered that accompany depression, although they seem to be based on reality, are no more than distortions in brain electrochemistry. Researchers are learning how these distortions arise, how to lessen their severity and , in some cases, how to correct them.

Scientists are also learning something else. Not only is the mind like the rest of the body, but the well-being of one is intimately interwined with that of the other. This makes sense because they share the same systems-nervous circulatory, endocrine and immune. What happens in the pancreas or liver can directly affect brain function. Disorders of the brain, conversely, can send out biochemical shock waves that disturb the rest of the body.

MEDITATION MEANS

~ Becoming detached from the Mind

~ Becoming a witness of the Mind

~ Looking at the Mind as separate from you

~ That’s what actually it is

~ You can see through passing by

~ You can see the whole traffic that goes on in the mind

~  The memories, the fantasies, the past, the future all kinds of things are passing

~ You can just stand by the side of the road.

The Story of Life, Page: 44, Jan-March 2011

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Just Relax

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Here are 11 simple steps to reduce stress

1. Define your goals; this way, we will know what our life purpose is and why, and knwo that it is up to us to control our own life.

2. Take charge of your diet: Reduce stress by avoiding stimulants such as coffee, alcohol, tea and sugar. Use chamomile and herbal tea as alternatives because of their calming and relaxing effect. Eat slowly to aid your digestive system.

3. Take hot baths regularly. After a very besy day, soak in a tub of hot water with lavender oil.

4. Aromatherapy is particularly helpful to relax and avoid stress. Again, use lavender oil.

5. Exercise is one of the best ways to reduce stress. As we exercies, our brain releases endorphins, our feel-good hormones. Exercise also relaxes tired muscles, so walk, dance or swin regularly.

6. Yoga, meditation and Tai Chi use deep breathing techniques, so make meditation and pranayama a habit.

7. Self-hypnotherapy can be very relaxing after a hot bath. Sit, or lie in a comfortable place with your eyes closed. Imagine a spotlight above your head an concentrate on it. Relax each body part consciously. You can also use a self-hypnotherapy audio tape for better results.

8. Massage is a great way to reduce stress.

9. Prayers and helping others are important components for happiness and stress reduction. You will feel calmer and get filled with a sense of inner peace.

10. Talking through your problems releases blocked emotions and it helps you find solutions to your problems.

11. Multivitamins like a Vitamin B complex tablet taken regularly decreases stress in those who need supplements. Consult your doctor.

The Speaking Tree (Learning Tree), Page: 06, 23, Jan, 2011(Sunday)

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