One of the skills or competencies that is needed in the work place or in a relationship is communication skill. Many people think communication skill is the ability to speak. In fact communication skill requires two abilities, speaking and also listening. That is why many have learned how to speak well. They attend speaking courses. But I never heard any listening courses. There are many talk shows but no listen shows. Many create podcasts or YouTube channels for them to communicate through speaking. Surely they need someone to listen and watch.
The ability to listen is often the missing one in communication. How often misunderstanding takes place due to this? This misunderstanding is due to lack of the ability to listen. The message is not properly understood. Communication is always in two ways. If someone is speaking and there is no one around, then no one is listening. It is not called a communication. No message reaches anyone (the listener).
Interestingly we have two ears, two eyes and one mouth. We should listen twice as much as we speak. Let’s start listening. I believe that all those good speakers were once good listeners. All good communicators were once good listeners.
Have you experienced yourself losing someone due to death? It might be your spouse, family member, relative or friend. How did you feel it? How did you deal with it?
My elder brother passed away only a few days ago. I got this sad news from his son who lived with him. I knew that he was the one who experienced loss the most for this.
When someone dies, actually it is the soul leaving his body. The soul still exists somewhere, not in that body but somewhere. Because the soul is eternal. It will never get destroyed. A soul is a very tiny point of light. A point of energy. Energy can not be destroyed. The body is the vehicle of the soul, it will go back to nature, where it belongs. You miss the soul (the spirit), not the body. It was the spirit that you call it as the ‘living’. And the body is in fact the ’non-living‘. If the spirit always exists and never gets destroyed, do you really lose him? No. He is just not around, but he still remains. Not here, but somewhere. You still can send your good wishes to him and it will surely reach the soul.
We are taught to have faith in life, in the self and in God. And in this particular situation of death, it is more about having faith in life. Everything that happens in life including death of someone’s is not a coincidence. It is what is meant to happen. Everything happens accurately. There is never a mistake. It happens at the right time, at the right moment. Are you ready to accept what is predestined to happen in life?
When I was telling this to my nephew, I felt like I was reminding myself. It somehow empowered him and me as well.
Yesterday was Diwali festival. Indian people celebrate this festival every year. This is also called a festival of light. People lit lights in their home last night. They were inviting goddess Laksmi for wealth. That’s what I heard from my Indian friend.
I am interested in understanding the spiritual meaning of any festival. Why light? What is the significance behind it? The form of a soul is light. A soul is remembered as a very tiny point of light. It is behind our two physical eyes. Some call it as the third eye or the divine eye. Why divine? It is to see the truth. To see means to understand. A soul has intellect to understand everything. When the intellect is open, it is said to be enlightened. But when the intellect is closed, it said to be ignorant. We can not see the soul with our physical eyes, but have you ever meet someone who is ‘shining’ very brightly? You can see a beautiful light from her eyes. Very pure. We are not talking about physical light, this is spiritual light. The soul can feel this light.
Diwali is remembered as a festival to lit the light of the soul. Become a light for the world.
I have received this greeting from a friend, David who has been staying in India for the last 25 years. He is an artist and also a musician. He said to me that he was celebrating Diwali this year in a more quiet way (because of the lockdown). He enjoyed the solitude and the silence. In fact the soul needs solitude and silence to be enlightened.
What are you liberated from? Many of us (if not all of us) are liberated. If we are not in jails, we are liberated, we are free. Feeling liberated has to do with the spirit more than the physical body. Many people feel themselves not liberated while having their physical bodies free. They experience themselves like being in a cage. The cage is in fact in his own mind.
Last week I was in a small discussion on this topic. Each one of us had to reflect on ourselves “what are we liberated from” and share our thoughts. I think I have been liberated from two things – being myself and opinion of other people. I think of myself, being a free spirit to become myself. No one has any right over this. I have the full right. This is a very liberating thought. This thought somehow has led me to know myself much much better. Knowing the self is the first step. Accepting the self and loving the self are the next steps. And knowing the self can save you from any opinion or judgement of other people. People may judge you for whatever you are doing and not doing. Many people are weak in from of the judgments. They become victims. They feel themselves so small. Only if you know yourself better than those people know you, then their opinion and their judgment do not give any impact on the way you think of yourself.
We need to develop faith in the self, in God and in life. Which one is easier for you? It is very interesting that someone shared to me that developing faith in God is a lot easier than developing faith in the self and in life. I also remember that in my life I was introduced to have faith in God much earlier than the other two. So, I found it also easier to develop faith in God. But then I thought to have faith in the self should be the first job to be done. Know yourself first and you will find a lot easier to know the rest. To know the self is to understand who you are. It is only when you understand who you really are, you are able to develop faith in the self. Complete this internal work first.
Everything starts from the self. Any change also starts from the self. You can not change others, unless you are able to change yourself. You can not influence others unless you can influence yourself. You can not see the goodness in others, unles you can see it in you. You can not convince others unless you can convince the one you see in the mirror everyday. The way one sees the self and treats the self determines the way he sees and treats others. Everything is a reflection from within.
To have faith in the self means to realize one’s self-worth. You are here for a bigger purpose. You have something to contribute to the world. You have the capacity to make a change or make a difference. Remind yourself everyday.
A buddish friend said to me that there are 3 aspects needed to perform a charity – the giver, the object you want to give and the receiver. These three should be there, otherwise you can not perform a charity. He shared a story of a monk who accepted a charity from his disciple. This disciple gave him something he can’t use or he will never use, yet he accepted it. When he was asked why he accepted it, he said that he wanted to give a chance to that disciple to perform something good, unless she doesn’t perform a charity.
It is true when it comes to give something physical. There should be these 3 – the giver, the object and the receiver. But you can also give something not physical. You can give your good thoughts, good wishes or good feelings to others. In giving this, you don’t need any physical object, you can do it from whereever you are and whenever you want. You might not need the receiver’s approval for this. Just give it away. They will definitely receive it, no one will reject your giving. This is more unlimited than giving a physical stuff. Our physical wealth is limited, but our mind and our heart are unlimited. Our good thoughts and good wishes are unlimited. This is not physical wealth, this is spiritual wealth. The more you give this wealth, the more it will increase. Keep giving and keep increasing your wealth. In fact this is the wealth that you will carry with you forever. Your physical wealth may get reduced or stolen, but this wealth is always safe. No one can take it away from you.