In 2015 we all saw the face of evil in its most brutal form. We were subjected to some of the darkest forces on our planet. One may ask, can humanity sink any further? Have we somehow forgotten that we all live on this planet as one human race? There would be enough room for all, and to live happily together, if we could only expand our hearts and minds.
If I have started on a negative note, that is for a reason! I wish to stress that as the dark forces get darker, it is our duty as ‘light workers’, more than ever, to stay focused on creating more light in the world. (below pic – animals can teach us a lot!)
This light is the light of virtue and positivity. Virtue can be love, kindness, acceptance, co-operation and compassion. Virtues show the way. Vices make us blocked and stagnant. For example, if one loves with pure intent, that love feeling opens the way for others to communicate and extend their co-operation. If one hates or criticizes, that disconnects us from our truth and impedes our communications and relationships. If we have become negative and critical it means we have failed or given up. We have changed camps and taken the side of our enemy! Always stay in the light, and with the LIGHT!
On a more personal note, 2015 has been a fantastic year! At an inner level, I am beginning to take complete ownership for my thoughts and feelings and aiming to reach a stage where no one can give me sorrow or make me unhappy or negative. In fact, we all know, the sorrow is already inside us, and others just come to press those buttons and wounds. I am trying to feel the feeling each time something happens. We often don’t feel the feeling and instead just jump into the next action to avoid or to bury the pain. If we are not in touch with the feeling part of us, then who are we? Just this shift alone, makes me accountable for my thoughts and feelings and I am learning to take complete responsibility rather than to blame others.
I feel I am getting to know myself better and getting more clarity as I learn to ask the right questions to myself. I once read a book by Michael J Gelb, How to Think like Leonardo da Vinci. Not sure I have succeeded at that fully, but I do remember one thing; the writer explained that the success of Leonardo was more in asking the right questions, than in seeking the right answers. It was Leonardo who asked the question that instead of going to fetch our water from the well, how could we get the water to come to us? And that was the inspiration behind creating an underwater piping system. So perhaps this year we can all try asking different questions, and see which new paths they lead us to!
The deeper aspect of Raja Yoga meditation is to become masters of our lives. To create the life we want – to attract and manifest what we want and not leave it to others or to chance! To this end, I have been drawn more than ever to focus on what I want to experience, and not what I don’t. I realise that no matter what, I have to stay positive and always tell myself a more constructive story!
Re: ‘It’s Time’, I finally got around to recording the audio meditation commentaries that I had wanted to share with you all on the blog. Big thanks to Al in London who took time to show me how to use the recording program, and things became simple thereafter! I know I can perhaps fine-tune them, but for now this works and so I continue! Thanks to those who gave their positive feedback and notes of appreciation!
Also we began uploading articles in Chinese and Hindi Languages. A big thanks to the translators, Pavitra Sangwan and Hettie Tan! The apps continue to be very popular also for those on the go! Thanks to Mohan Vaduguri for updating them and helping improve our social media skills! And thanks to you all, those who have given your great feedback. This feedback keeps us on our toes!
The fourth book in the ‘It’s Time’ series, ‘It’s Time to be Cool’, was launched in December 2015, and with colour illustrations this time! Thanks go to Jaymini Patel, Director of BKIS Publications. We did the first book launch in Bahrain this December. ‘It’s Time to be Cool’ will definitely be my personal theme for the year! Trying to maintain my cool in more ways than one!
In January this year, the Bahrain Meditation Centre organized the ‘Road to Peace‘ Conference, which inspired and uplifted around 450 people over three days. Kuwait family members and others from far and wide gave a big helping hand to our sister centre. It was real spirit of unity, co-operation and dedication. Thanks to Dr Ebrahim Al Dossary, President of Bahrain Meditation Centre, for his commitment to the cause of world peace.
In April, we had a lovely ‘Soul Journey’ retreat in Oxford, England. The Global Retreat Centre was host to about 60 guests from 9 Middle East countries. The Retreat Centre is an old Palladian style building dating back to 1757. Just by stepping into it, one feels one is royalty from bygone years! So people always leave feeling uplifted and refreshed.
It was an honour to have Dadi Janki, Spiritual Head of the Brahma Kumaris organization, visit Kuwait in July. We felt so lucky and privileged. Dadi will reach her century on January 1st 2016! She has led a life of service for more than 80 years. Imagine a life in which you constantly want to give and not take, because you have understood so well that your only source is the ONE above! It was also during Dadi’s visit that the whole spiritual family in Kuwait shone in its true colours. Everyone gave their finger of co-operation and magic was created!
In August I was invited back to the UK to participate in the ‘Peace in the Park – The Festival of Spirit’. It was held in the beautiful and extensive grounds of the Global Retreat Centre, Oxford. It is always a huge success, with about 9000 people passing through the gates over three days. They had around 120 activities, so there was something there for everyone.
Although I travel to India every year, this year I felt I reconnected with the country in a more intimate way. The article ‘Incredible India is Still Incredible’, perhaps brought in the most comments and reviews! I visited a few places in Delhi giving talks, and I was also invited to Hyderabad for a ‘Spirituality in IT’ retreat. Most of you would have read in that article that despite the several lectures I gave and the number of people I met, the highlight of the trip was Vijay, the newly born calf, who stole my heart!
The Middle East team organised a lovely retreat for about 180 people – ‘Inner Peace Inner Power’ – on Mt Abu, India in late September. IPIP is now in its 7th year. The weather was fully co-operative and as always, the retreat was enjoyed just as much by the organisers and retreat guides as it was by the guests!
I was invited again to Mt Abu, in November where there was another beautiful gathering attending the ‘Future of Power’ Retreat. All participants were highly educated and in positions of leadership in areas such as politics, business, medical and education. And there was I, amidst them all, with no university degree and little work experience, yet they were completely silenced and touched after the experiential ‘Meditation Laboratory’. We were sitting under the stars, in a setting somewhat like a Greek temple, with candles and fires burning. Experiencing this powerful atmosphere made me realize more deeply than ever that no matter what race, religion, society or class we may come from, as a human family we all have a deep connection with each other. Each one of us has the opportunity and the capability of connecting with our higher truth and with the ‘One’ that goes by many names.
The Meditation Laboratory is a creative experiential workshop that I have been developing over time and I will share more of this with you in the new year.
I am so grateful to everything life offers and look forward to 2016; to going deeper, to having more realisations, to more learning and growth!
A big thanks to my team who work voluntarily, altruistically and so lovingly – Carol Lipthorpe, Viannie Chua, Pavitra Sangwan, Bina Shivram, Mike Saunders. Couldn’t do it without you all!
Finally, I wish to thank all of you readers. Thank you for trusting my words and for giving me a reason to write and share my ‘stuff’! I truly wish you all the very best from my heart. I hope that each one is able to come closer to each one’s truth in 2016 and to feel, and live that out, in the world.
Happy New Year