September 8, 2014 in Inspiring Reposts
A funny video with a message shared by #globalite Chandini #mindfulmonday #consciousliving
A sheep saw his own image in a mirror in the glass of a shop window and went into the shop. All the other sheep followed and soon the store was full of sheep! No one could do anything to get them out. Meanwhile the shepherd entered in and caught hold of one of the sheep and started walking towards the entrance .Seeing this all other sheep also followed and all got out safe though it was reported that the loss was to the tune of $6000.
Though it was fun to watch this is exactly what it is like when people follow some one blindly. And hence the proverb not to be like sheep falling into the well or off the cliff following the first one. Humans are gifted with the power to discriminate and we have to exercise the same to make our best choice.
September 7, 2014 in Oneness
#globalite Chandini’s faith in humanity is restored yet again when she is touched by the goodness and honesty that exists all around us in all countries. #sundayoneday #faithinhumanity
This evening something amazing happened which strengthened my trust in the inherent goodness in humans. While I was gardening my husband came and asked whether I saw his wallet anywhere. I said “no” but helped him recollect where he might have misplaced or left behind. Not finding it anywhere in the house he rushed to the shop where he recollected that he took his wallet out last. Since it was almost 12 hours since he visited the shop, he was tensed because his credit cards and other important documents where in his wallet. I too left my gardening as such and started searching every nook and corner.
I recollected that while travelling, when we boarded the flight in Tokyo after a short transit and the flight was about to take off, an airline staff came running to our seat and showed a wallet to my husband and asked if he had lost his wallet and if this one belonged to him. She said the housekeeping ground staff found it it the rest room at the airport. My husband said that he used the restroom before boarding and it must have fallen there. She asked him to check whether everything was intact. When my husband thanked and said “yes”, the air line staff folded her hands and said “Thanks to God”. We were very much pleased and felt grateful for the honesty of the Japanese airport staff.
I recollected that incident and thought “Will there be such honesty here in India to get it back?” I wasn’t so sure, but I was wrong. Just then my husband called and said the wallet is intact with the shopkeeper and he said that actually he wanted to call and inform him but his phone number was not to be found in the wallet so he just kept it there hoping to see him in the evening as usual during his evening walk. My husband returned home with a broad smile which spoke thousand sentences about the trust in honesty and goodness in humans irrespective of the country to which they belong .
There are good and honest people everywhere and that is why the world still exists. Our kids are full of trust in humanity and it is for us to realize it and respect such goodness.
September 2, 2014 in Ecofriendly
Chandini is fond of gardening and jots down tips whenever she comes across them. Here are a collection of eco garden tips she has picked up from various places over the years. #ecotuesday #ecogarden
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[Image Credit: Sastha Prakash]
August 31, 2014 in Oneness
#globalite Chandini is mesmerized by the #musicofnature and goes on to analyze the power of music in keeping traditions, learning, sharing emotions, spirituality and unity. #musicofnature #natureofmusic #sundayoneday
The sun spreading its golden rays appeared in the east. Even before that the birds chirped, the peacock called aloud, the black bird whistled, the cock crowed, the crows cawed, the dogs barked and I was silently listening and felt that there is music everywhere in nature. Though each sound was special in some way or other there was a unique music inviting the dawn proclaiming the arrival of a fresh day again. When I stepped out to water the plants I heard the humming bees and the mild breeze was blowing making mild music too. The leaves were shaking expressing that secret music. Even the water dripping from the tap gave a secret message of the presence of music everywhere.
As I contemplated, I realized that in India all Vedas and Slokas were taught by the Rishis in musical form and the tradition continues even today to recite it in musical notes prescribed with emphasis on certain syllables. I remember our math teacher used to teach us math tables from two to nineteen with a musical tone and easily we used to learn it by heart. Memorizing is easy when anything is musical. Even in my mother tongue Tamil and other Indian languages, the system was almost to learn everything including proverbs and other stories in poetry form with music. Prose order and text books were not in vogue for a long time. In the subject “Bhasha vigyan” which means “science of language” I have learnt that prose came in use during freedom fight as the freedom fighters wanted to reach out to the uneducated too.
In temples praying to God through music is the mesmerizing system even today. Almost all religions have the practice of singing the glory of god through music. Nowadays in most restaurants I notice TV being watched while eating,.. but even today there are restaurants where mild recorded instrumental music is played while serving food and I have always liked eating in such atmosphere than watching TV.
Today, I watched a program of the famous musician Usha Uthup on TV. She sang beautiful songs in different languages like Tamil, Malayalam, Chinese, Japanese, Italian, Russian, Spanish, Telugu, Hindi, Bengali, and many more. Though the audience could not understand all languages, they sat spell bound just because of the divine music and her wonderful rendition. I happened to watch a video on Facebook where the mom sings and the small baby smiles with cheerful notes and cries when she sang a sad note.
I came to the conclusion that music has the power to unite people, kindle feelings, soothe your heart and soul and connect us with the supreme. The joy and bliss we experience either by listening or playing such music gives us a bliss that is beyond the experience through the senses. It is so powerful, so spiritual, be it vocal or instrumental or the music of the waves or the wind or in general music in nature, whatever it be, music is divine and unifying.
[Image source : Unknown]
August 27, 2014 in Life Style
#globalite Chandini reminisces about her childhood and points out how we get consumed in responsibilities as we grow up that we forget our child like carefree nature and our ability to enjoy simple pleasures, and that we can all consciously choose to relive our #happyspot in our adult life too.
Life lived naturally…
My daughter said, “Amma you used to write a lot why don’t you write something for Globalizm?” I thought for a while, Yes in my younger days right from schooldays I used to write lot of stories compose poems and write essays. Where is my imagination and writing skill gone? I understood life has drastically changed. Even today I remember I was three or four years old (in our days there were no play school pre school or LKG or UKG, we used to go to class 1 straight when we were five) I used to sit with my mom on the steps in front of the house. In those days rice used to have paddy and small pebbles as they were sold direct from the field, so my mom used to clean the rice sitting in front and she used to throw the paddy and other grains mixed with rice.
I used to watch small little sparrows in large numbers coming to peck the small grains thus thrown. I used to be amazed watching the little birds pecking such tiny grains from floor so well, where are those sparrows now who inspired me so much as a child to admire nature? All are gone, crashing against the tall cellphone towers and sparrows remain only in stories and poems in our south India.
I used to go to the temples with my sister and we even used to observe fasting. In the Temple I used to feel the presence of God so much that I used to get lost in prayers. But now I do not think it to be necessary to go to temple to worship God, even if I go I do not get that “completely Lost in Devotion feeling.” Why? Maybe my quest for spirituality made me understand that these Idols are the imagination of someone and man made and symbolic but not “God ” in real sense. The life of Mahatma Gandhi, Buddha, Jesus, Mahaveer, Vallalaar and so many other noble lives and Bhagavat Gita showed the path of self-realization and Gyan for which all outward prayers are only initial steps. What a drastic change in my intellectual level?
I used to feel in my childhood as though the trees are waving to me to say bye when I go to my grandparents house for holidays and used to feel as though they welcome me when I return. Their every movement every shake had a meaning for me. When they used to bend so low almost to touch the floor in the monsoon wind, I used to feel perhaps they are scared they may fall. I used to talk to them, “Do you eucalyptus trees feel sad that you cannot run like humans?” particularly when lot of trees were cut to build buildings. Each falling tree used to weep to me and I could feel it. I am not sure what science has to say about it. Where is my such feeling for plants gone ? Why don’t I talk to them now?
As a small girl I used to wear a long skirt with Zaria with lot of pleats so that holding to the extreme ends I used to encircle (rotate around my own body) myself very fast and then stop, when I feel dizzy and look down to see the ground below my eyes to be rotating. I used to be amazed as I did not have the science knowledge then that the Earth rotates itself. I used to watch the sunrise with so much appreciation and wonder how punctual it is. I used to watch the moon grow every day and diminish to nothingness on new moon day and used to wonder how it happens until I learnt about planets, every star used to tell me a story. The colors in rain bow was a mystery to me. Sunshine and mild drizzle at the same time used to be a surprise. Why am I not having the same thrill now?
I used to collect small smooth stones heaped to construct a building and polish it with oil to make it smooth. We little girls used to play with five stones, put one up in the air and before it comes down and I catch I have to put down the remaining on ground and catch the one with out fail. Then throw again and pick one by one before I catch the one thrown up with out missing to pick one from ground or catch the one falling back. The stones used to tell me stories from where they came which mountain how they travelled in lorry how they were broken to small pieces. Why am I not able to hear those stories now?
Either my knowledge and lessons in school and college and my experience has made me immune to these small things or I have lost that innocent childhood after some tough experiences in life. Whatever it be I wish to relive my childhood young days with same imagination appreciation and happiness in the few more years left for me in my life.
[Image Credit: Sastha Prakash]
Chandini always has a stash of tips and ideas on living in an ecofriendly manner. This time she shares tips she picked up from her great grand-mother from the early 1900s!
I picked up these tips from my great grand mother who lived during the early 1900s during the British rule in India. I mention that for context as some of the ingredients mentioned below were not grown locally, and were brought into the country by the British. And that these are time tested close to a century!
[Image Credit: Sastha Prakash]
August 10, 2014 in Oneness
#globalite Chandini is inspired by nature when she ponders about the significance of numbers #sundayoneday
I was reading The Bhagavad Gita with reference to Rigveda last night. The author of Sankhya Darshana Great Sage Kapil says:
There are twenty-four divisions of dead inert matter, which are as follows —
Prakriti i.e. the material cause of the universe, Mahatattva i.e. the principle of wisdom or the intellect, Ahankara i.e. the principle of individuality or ego elements, eleven Indriyas i.e. eleven principle of senses which consists of the mind, five Gyanendriyas or five sense organs– ear, skin, eyes, tongue and nose and five Karmendriyas or five action organs– hands, feet, tongue, genital organs, Panch-Tanmatras i.e. five principle of subtle entities– speech, touch, vision, taste and smell and Panch-Mahabhoota i.e. five gross entities or five great elements (ether, air, fire, water and earth). Twenty-three substances made from the Prakriti are called “Vikaras of the Prakriti ” or “Srishti”. God and the soul are called “Purusha” but both are distinct from each other. God is one and infinitesimal souls are infinite in numbers.
In each and every atom, there exist three basic substances / energies named as Electron, Proton and Neutron. When more than one atoms unite, molecule or element is created and in the same way when these elements unite together great elements / gross elements are formed, such as —earth, water, fire, air, ether, space and time which are the elements of the creation of the Universe (Vaisheshika Darshana).
5 of everything! There must be something special about the number 5 I concluded. When I woke up in the morning, I massaged my face with my 5 fingers, I held the toothbrush with 5 fingers, even the calendar said it was the 5th! But then it occured to me that 7 is also a prominent number – 7 days of a week, 7 swaras (notes) in music, 7 saints (Saptha Rishi), 7 girls(Sapta Kanya), Seven worlds, Seven seas, Seven wonders etc etc. Just then the number 9 occured to me – 9 planets (Nava Graha), 9 numbers, 9 precious stones (Navaratna), 9 pulses(Navadhanyam), 9 auspicious nights(Navaratri). But what about 8? 8 directions, 8 Goddesses (Astha Lakshmi), 8 riches (Ashta Ishwaryam), 8 divine powers (Ashta Shakti), 8 powers (Ashta Sidhi)
Every number seemed to have some special significance. Then I thought, what a fool I am. These groupings are after all man made. But 2 hands, 2 eyes, 2 nostrils , 2 ears , 2 legs, 2 kidneys, 2 lips ….so 2 must have greater signficiance!
A few big neem trees stand in front of our house which shed a lot of leaves and neem fruits. I looked at the tiny seed. Oh from such a small seed and how big a tree has grown out of it! Can anyone without any knowledge of nature understand the power that is hidden in one small seed? I looked at the huge tree. So many branches connected to a single trunk and all ultimately to the root, produced by a single seed. Great!
It had rained the previous night . I looked at the garden walls and saw a long black line. I went close to see what the line was. So many tiny ants each carrying some white particle in their mouths were marching in a single line making their long journey to go some where. I watched them with great interest. Wherever there were small bumps or blocks on the wall preventing the ants to proceed, I saw they never stopped. They either encircled the block or climbed over and moved on and on. Oh! What an inspiration for me right in the morning!
I finished washing the front yard and drew a Kolam (decorative art drawn in front of houses in India). I looked at my five fingers which cooperated so well to draw the design. Again I thought I have some partiality to this number five! I smiled and came to backyard to water the kitchen garden and clean the back yard.
I looked up and saw the birds flying as a group. Their formation looked like a triangle and I was reminded of the sea gulls on the beach. They would fly in a formation and suddenly take a U turn and the one in front would move to the back . I wondered why they came back having taken the pain of flying all the way, and that too why the U turn so often? Some one explained to me that the birds took turns to lead as the birds in front would get tired and move to the back so they could fly more slowly. Isn’t this amazing? I then thought about how cows go together, and even elephants, tigers, deer and other animals stick to their groups.
I felt a sense of clarity and it struck me that right from plants, to creatures that crawl , to animals to birds, all have a feeling of oneness and they stick to their group. The question in my mind then was, the so called most superior of all creation, human beings, the intellectuals, the rulers of the whole earth, why don’t we have the feeling of oneness? Why do we slay each other? Why do we fight wars against each other? Why do we have so much of intolerance and hatred? Why don’t we have compassion for our fellow men? Why don’t we feel that we are all connected to one single seed? If we do not have this feeling in our day to day life, how are we going to experience religious or spiritual oneness with God? It is time to think and experience oneness among ourselves, only then can we extend our love and kindness to other animals and other species. If we do not realize now our so called kindness and sympathy to animals is all meaningless as service should start from home.
One plus One Equals One.
August 6, 2014 in Life Style
#globalite Chandini reflects on how lifestyle has changed over the last 6-7 decades.
When I look back the 69 years of my life I am able to see how life style has changed over a period of time. I can classify this as health,food, life style and spiritual life.
Talking about health, my mother used to say that I almost died thrice in my childhood and miraculously survived thanks to the prayers of my mother and maternal grand parents. But from my teens till date, I do not remember having fallen ill except for some minor issues. I attribute this to the systematic life I have and regular exercise, yoga and meditation, and a good night’s sleep to keep my body and soul healthy all the time.
Till I got married my parents pampered me so much and we used to eat a lot of home made sweets, nuts, snacks, fruits and what not. Drinking milk was a regular habit. I thought it was good for health. No I was wrong . After marriage I almost stopped drinking milk at bed time to slim down. Since I had never been fond of coffee or tea, not drinking milk was not a big issue but I was fond of yogurt and any Indian meal is considered incomplete without yogurt even today in many houses. As of August last year, I was motivated to stop taking yogurt, cottage cheese and all dairy products, after my daughter, who is a vegan for more than ten years explained the ethical reasons and I was convinced that it was ethical thing to do. After that I feel amazing health wise too. The extra body fat is gone and I feel brisk and energetic. This is a major change in my lifestyle as far as my food is concerned and has led to good health and a peaceful mind.J
Talking about life style, as a child we lived a very happy homely life with many guests visiting us around the year. We are four siblings, and there were always additional members either from my father’s side or from my mother’s side of the family. The ladies used to cook and all of us used to sit in a row on the floor with our plates in front and my mom or the other ladies served the food. After praying all of us used to eat together. Slowly things changed. We switched over to a dining table and chair and each person had their breakfast at different timing as per their college, school or business hours. Yet having dinner together continued.
While in the earlier days, ladies used stone mills to grind flour by hand, hand rotated coffee roasters, firewood and coal, hand washed clothes all of which were a natural form of exercise, all of them were gradually substituted by automatic electric grinders, blenders, coffee makers, washing machines, Gas ranges, microwave ovens. All these new entrants in the kitchen have made a drastic change in the lifestyle of most women. True it has simplified the work but most of us who tasted our mom and grand mom’s dishes feel that these modern equipment and refrigerators have taken away the quality and taste of the those olden days when things were made more naturally. Even today I use earthenware mud pots to cook greens and sauces with sun dried vegetables (called vathakkuzhambu in Tamil). The aroma is fabulous. I do agree though that science and technology have simplified cooking, and probably that is why I have time to sit and type this article here. Our moms and grand moms never had this much leisure.
A lifestyle choice that has contributed to my health is that I have always believed in doing my household work on my own and have never had a maid/house help. Cleaning one’s home takes love, care and attention and is another natural way to get some exercise in!
Talking about spirituality, right from childhood I grew up in an environment of bhajans (devotional songs) in the air. My mother and grandfather sowed the seeds for a spiritual quest to know who I am. Where have I come from, where will I go, am I this body or something more, these were questions in my mind from when I was young. Science has brought the world closer, media makes things available easily and knowledge is available in abundance to know anything we want to learn thanks to the internet. Hence I spend a lot of time in meditation, listening to spiritual lectures and every day I note that I am growing internally.
In short systematic habits, healthy food (vegan) ,exercise, adapting to changes wherever they are good and make life easy, being open to embrace new concepts and accepting every one as your own family member makes life wonderful and enjoyable. Last but not the least spending abundant time to admire nature and to enjoy the fresh air is a way to make you feel fresh always .
#globalite Chandini is back with 10 tried and tested eco-friendly solutions for your home! #ecotuesday
[Image Credit: Sastha Prakash]
July 24, 2014 in Mindfulness
I hear the word conscious living very often nowadays. A question arose in my mind,”were we not living a conscious life all these years? What is conscious living?”
We lived a natural life in an era when there were no TVs, no mobiles and our parents never even used to take us for movies, we never ate out in restaurants, but we enjoyed going out for picnics, played under the sun till dusk, skipped a lot, ran a lot, and enjoyed the company of visitors during summer holidays, particularly cousins of our own age.
As we grew older, we concentrated on our studies and never even thought of opposing our parents, as we had a belief that whatever our parents did was for our good. We allowed our parents to select our line of education at college. If that doesn’t sound significant enough, we even married the person chosen by our parents that they felt was best suited for us and our family. We accepted things as they came as we moved on in life and never made too many choices.
Now, so much is spoken about making choices but for our baby boomer generation it was a new concept. Of course as days progressed into our adulthood, we had to make more active choices based on the need of the family. That was how I chose to study further and qualify myself, took up a job and decided what was best for our children. In a way, we had taken the position of our parents.
Although, we probably did not ask as many questions like the present generation or challenge our parents’ choices or beliefs, experience did mold us over time and motivated us to start asking questions and be more open minded. This is the main reason why I am not conservative, but embrace all good things in all religions and accept everyone as human beings with their positives and negatives if any.
Yesterday, I decided to live a day being conscious of every moment. As always, I woke up, meditated being aware of my chakras opening as I chanted OM and merged into nothingness. Then as I exercised, I was keenly aware of how my muscles and nerves stretched, how long I am able to hold my breath, etc.
In the kitchen, as I cut ginger roots for pickling, I noticed the smooth tender ones without any fiber while the fully grown ones with lot of fibers, a little harder to cut. Made me think that as kids we don’t have too many attachments - we play with one toy and when we get another we leave the first and easily take the other but as we grow our attachment becomes stronger and stronger which becomes the cause for ego.
I cut plantains stems next for curry. The stem slices are full of thin white fibers that have to be removed by twisting around one’s fingers. Once removed they become two pieces with out any fiber and are edible and good for health. The same attachment theory came to my mind again.
As I was gardening I saw a little tiny creeper clinging to a close by tree and growing. Nature is so adorable and thrives by supporting each other and giving space for the other one to survive.
That evening, I watched a cow walk by on the street, her neck belt tied to her left leg so she wouldn’t run away. The poor thing could not look to the right, and could not eat grass which was on the right side. She just had to bend to the left and walk very slowly. In my home town Ooty I have seen cows not tied like this but going with a watch dog and they used to graze in the meadow and in the evening the dog used to lead them and all returned home safe. How different life in a bigger city is. Even a cow cannot live a natural life here. Man has become selfish and does not think of other fellow men, leave alone other species.
Yes, a change, a silent revolution, an internal transformation within to build a better world with peace and harmony is the need of the day. And that is what conscious living means to me.
Image Credit: Sastha Prakash