Raghuraman

~ Reflections of my inner self ~

Archive for the ‘General’ Category

Looking for the right answers

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When we reflect and look back, we may ask some candid questions like “is there such a thing called an ideal life? and if so, how does one attain it?”. If destiny is in our hands how does one logically explain the events that happen in our lives?

The path we have travelled is evidence enough to show that destiny is not in one’s hand. It would seem that some super power was (and is) orchestrating each and every event in our lives. If you try to analyze and quantify how much of what happened was within your control then we can possibly see it clearly.

Many of our attempts and actions to change the course of things may not come through the way we would have wanted. We surrender and accept the presence of a higher power, unseen but existing. We accept that delay is not denial and patiently wait for the right time to come. Till this, we can at best accept the fact that a life of human birth is given to us to live a life of peace, compassion and a strong willingness to support and help the needy (human, animal and plant life).

When change happens we also see and realize that it makes an amazing, fantastic difference to our lives. The resultant satisfaction is immense and unimaginable. These things also happen at the least expected moments. What resulted ultimately may be beyond logic or rational thinking. Is it all then a matter of destiny? Answers to such questions can come when we search within ourselves. Peace and salvation can be our creation. Yoga and meditation help achieve these with single minded devotion and pursuit.

If material prosperity is considered as the only yardstick for happiness, then at some stage we will realize money alone does not provide all the answers. Whilst money and wealth are a necessity to support us and our family, the real satisfaction of having money comes only in the right earning and giving. We need to instill a quality to give a proportion of the earnings back to the pillars which supported you to achieve it. We are also duty bound to give back a portion back to the society which helped you to earn it. We then graduate to the next stage.

We need to accept the fact that there is a soul in every living form and all our offers of help and support should be extended with love and humility. We will then realize the true meaning and significance of charity. We then become thankful to the Almighty who has bestowed us with the ability and means to support the needy. Under these circumstances, de-linking all material achievements from happiness do not seem realistic or correct.

Going to pilgrimage and travelling to different places of worship, shrines and sacred locations does give one joy. We enjoy meeting, learning and knowing from several enlightened souls. Vibrant chanting of bajans can give us a freedom feeling and a sense of joy. We live and enjoy the moment and enjoy reflecting on it later.

There is nothing called total peace or salvation. It is a state of mind. It is said that in an average human mind over 50,000 thoughts and emotions come and go each day. Just let them be, do not engage them, especially the disturbing negative ones. Never recognise or get difficult with them. They will go just as they came. Look at the mind like an ocean, and the rise and fall of waves as the thoughts and emotions of the mind. The ocean is not disturbed by them. Similarly our mind can slip away from the thought faster than you have realised its departure. We take trouble to keep in shape with exercise and visits to the gym, spending considerable time and money so why not consider some time for the wellness of our minds too? An approach to tone both body and mind will be in everyone’s interest. Dedicate all the goodness that accrue from this to your dear and near ones, your teacher, your elderly and those to which you are indebted to in your life.

Peace, love and joy can be your creation to become part of you, for you and for others around you.

Written by admin

June 1st, 2010 at 4:07 pm

Posted in General, Indian Culture

A few tips for computer users

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When working on computers for a long time, many of us may experience dizziness, headaches and strained eyes. We can also get shoulder aches, stiff joints and pain in the neck when we work on computers for 6-8 hours a day, 5 days a week, as in the case of IT professionals.

These signs should be recognised early. Precautions and preventive measures should be taken to counteract these problems. They will not cost you anything besides a few minutes of your time, but if you ignore the warnings of the body the chances of developing serious health problems are far greater later on. So the old adage that prevention is better than cure is really valid here.

A few healthy tips:

  • Since long hours are spent in air-conditioned rooms we tend to get dehydrated. We tend to forget how needed it is to drink when the environment is cold. Drink at least 8-10 glasses of water per day.
  • Coffee, tea, soft drinks are no substitute for water. On the contrary, they are dehydrating and can put strain on the kidneys.
  • Every 30 to 40 minutes take a walk around the office, so the back and eyes get some rest and the legs some circulation.
  • Try to look at natural greenery outside the window or at something blue. Green and blue are soothing colors and will cool your eyes. Blink as often as you can.
  • Make a cup out of your palm and cover your eyes
  • Splash your eyes with cold water when you get up or when you feel the strain. With this simple step you can avoid irritation, redness and allergies.
  • If you are using spectacles, wash them at least once a day

Some exercises:

  • Lift your shoulders and keep them up for 10 seconds, then bring them down for 10 seconds.
  • Throw your head back for 10 seconds and bring it back up for 10 seconds.
  • Bring your head sideways to the count of five and back straight to the count of five
  • Rotate your shoulders 5 times clockwise and anti clockwise 5 times. You can do this with your wrists too.
  • Periodically straighten your back for 10 seconds and relax it for 10 seconds.

These exercises encourage circulation in the joints and can remove stiffness and pain.

Written by admin

June 1st, 2010 at 3:58 pm

Posted in General, Health

Evolve sustainable job opportunities

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Globally, the employment problem has been on the rise for many decades. Governments are finding it very hard to cope with this and temporary stop gap arrangements have not solved the issue. The extent of the problem has been increasing all the time with rises in population and the problem is most acute in rural areas. This has resulted in people moving away from their traditional areas to urban cities in search of jobs. A time has come to carefully analyze the problem and take logical steps to find solutions. Before we sink deeper in to the problem created by us, it is time Governments and citizens become aware of the issue and take immediate steps to solve it.

It boils down to the fact that we have been overlooking all the sustainable jobs offered by Mother Nature to mankind. There is a mind set which has taken a deep root in us that such jobs are not suitable or do not pay well in line with the developments of the social economic scene of our current living. Nothing could be farther from the truth.

In India there are millions of acres of land lying idle and uncultivated for one reason or another. Statistics indicate the figure as over 200 million acres. One acre of land can give employment to 2 people. Estimates show we have over 360 million in the combined strength of cows and buffalo. Two cows can provide employment to 5 people. Our forests occupy over 75000 sq kilometers. One square kilometer of forest can provide employment to 200 people.

The potential available in the oceans is 20 times more. A rough calculation will show all these natural resources can provide direct /indirect employment to over 100 million people

These are sustainable and growing jobs as they are capable of regeneration and they do not pollute or damage our nature. Why then do we continue to ignore such vast opportunities?

The missing link lies in the mind set of people and State. We need to clearly identify these opportunities and research and evolve viable working models. We have a number of research institutes all over the country, and a set number of their faculties should target their work to creating rural based job opportunities using these resources. It time to put a stop to academic research work and focus on need based research. Graduate research work should be assigned for this. States should translate all positive results and solutions and provide all support for such programmes .to reach the common man. Corporate organizations will then come forward to invest in such ventures based in rural sectors.

Efforts and supports must be provided to convert the results of such ventures to provide livelihoods and economic return to all participants. We can not expect the common man, who is occupied with work to earn his daily bread, to initiate this activity. They may be aware of the potential of natural resources, but are unable to find a way to tap and use the same; they also lack the resources and capacity. However when we give opportunity they will understand its productive and sustainable significance.

The growing success of self-help groups and NGOs in Tamilnadu (India) is a an example how local teams of people using local raw materials and resources can provide a meaningful livelihood to people all around.

There are three steps to accomplish anything in life. They are to plan purposefully, to proceed positively and to pursue persistently. Such a plan should be set in motion to achieve a lasting solution and sustainable job opportunities. This should become a national movement which drives forward our economic status, and be a model for all developing and developed nations to follow.

Written by admin

April 5th, 2010 at 2:15 pm

Posted in General, Global Issues

Are we prepared to face 2012?

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Disasters like earthquakes, tsunami, volcanic eruptions, tidal waves and cyclones have a way of happening to us when we least expect them. Their effect, intensity and location may differ but they can leave behind a colossal loss of human and animal life as well as the destruction of homes, roads and commercial buildings. Most of the time we are caught off guard and precious time is lost in mobilizing support systems. While this is not meant as a criticism of the efforts and help being meted out to those suffering from such calamities, it seems sensible to plan ahead for a National and International program with the necessary resources. Such forces with people and material should be located in strategic areas in each nation. Their services should be made available to the needy around the world and should be coordinated by the United Nations. Considering that we have had many disasters during the last 2 years it is pertinent that the UN have a dedicated division to meet such challenges on a global basis.

We are today forewarned of possible disasters in the year 2012 by many predictions. For instance the readings of Nostradamus (four of his earlier predictions have come true) says that there will be a scarcity of food and an economic downturn as a result of major earthquakes, floods and tidal waves in many places of the world. These include UK, Canada, coastal and river valley towns in India, many coastal states of USA and the Far East. It is also reported that the planet Nibru, which crosses the path of earth and the sun once in 3600 years, will be in action by December 2010. As a result earthquakes and tsunami have been indicated. Such predictions are recorded in Sumerians noting who were instrumental in the discovery of Neptune and Pluto. A number of Siddars have indicted as early as 1985 the possibility of tsunami type waves occurring in many places in 2012. Many planetary readers also indicate the pollution in the air, water and earth will alter basic nature and these elements can lead to major disasters. The Far East will be a major casualty.

Reflecting on the present, the current situation in Haiti is a gross reflection of how a sudden earthquake can do such large damage, resulting in millions of people homeless and starving for food and water. It will take over 10 years to bring some sort of stability and restore balance to the ailing Haitian’s. The work of support organisation’s like the Red Cross has been commendable. They have been working almost 18 hours a day proving support and relief under demanding and straining conditions, managing with minimum needs and their work continues.

Slowly we are also beginning to realize and feel the changes that are happening to our weather: unusual high day temperatures, delay in onset of seasons and monsoon, rise in sea water levels and melting of glaziers. The world by large is slowly recovering from the down trends of 2008/2009 and it may take a few years more to bring a balance and achieve the projected growth for the developed and developing countries. In this context another major reversal (this time by forces of nature, though we are instrumental) can be a major reversal to all our efforts. Individuals and Nations have a role to play to avoid such a disaster. Individuals can consciously work towards saving energy, avoid use of plastic, achieve savings in water consumption and try and reduce carbon emissions using more public transport and sharing of cars. We can bring more area under green coverage, plant more trees and cut back on deforestation.

Leaders of the world should meet to prepare a blue print and action plan to create better awareness to bring down global warming on a National and Global level. Creation of specific task forces and monitoring bodies should not be delayed or postponed. The world central body of representatives should meet frequently to review progress both at the national and world level. Such an action will place us on a better footing if the predictions for December 2012 come true and at the very least will help us to better prepared to face disasters.

Over a period of time it will help in mitigating the adverse effects of global warming. Leaders of developed and developing countries should actively involve themselves in the campaign which will influence individuals and nations. International bodies such as the UN and World Bank will be a great support for such actions.

It is my hope and prayer that this article catches the attention of policy makers and it is my appeal to like-minded friends to forward and share these feelings with others. The support of Google, the world’s largest resource base, is solicited to promote this campaign and achieve the desired result for the benefit and betterment of mankind.

Written by admin

March 25th, 2010 at 12:15 pm

Posted in General

Touching the Earth: A Yogic Practice

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I acknowledge with thanks the writer Thich Nhat Hanh for the following inspiring information

There is a practice evolved from Buddhism called “Touching the Earth”. This yogic procedure helps us to realize our wish to generate love, compassion, joy and equanimity. During the practice we touch the earth deeply 6 times. We touch the earth with our forehead, legs and hands. Our mind and body forms a perfect whole. We surrender our pride, notions of fear, resentments and even hopes and enter the world of things as they are. We thereby return to our own source of wisdom and we are no longer separate from the mother Earth.

We join our palms and bow in 10 directions: east, west, south, north, north east, north west, south east, south west, above, below and an eleventh direction- within.

During the 6 earth touching we follow a procedure. In the first we look deeply within. In the second we see the connection between ourselves and other living beings, including those who live around us. By the fifth earth touching we are able to feel true love for the people we have disliked. All hatred and anger will disappear and we only want the person whom we hated to enjoy happiness and peace.

We are able to reach that point because we are able to love ourselves. So touching the earth and involving ourselves in the six meditations generates in us deep love, affection and acceptance. When we are able to love a person who made us miserable we realize what a miracle love is.

The closer you lie against the Earth, melting in to the Earth, the better you become nothing in order to become everything.

After practicing touching the earth for two or three months, you will feel deeply refreshed, strong and healthy. You will love life and be able to smile because the energies of hatred and ill will in you will have greatly diminished to enrich and elevate yourself.

Written by admin

September 6th, 2009 at 12:57 pm

Posted in General, Health, Indian Culture

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Live in the present, free of past and future

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Living in the present moment is the only way to live and live well. It is in the present that we touch base with our inner selves and come to terms with the reality outside. We need to continuously say goodbye to our past situations and circumstances and our reactions to them. It is in the now that we plan and project a future we want to ensure for ourselves.

With the dawn of each new day brings a time of peace, thanksgiving and prayer loaded with positive vibrations in thoughts and speech. As the day progresses we go on to encounter both the good and the bad. We should choose in each moment the good in us to weaken the low and unpalatable. This will act as a bridge going from from one good example to another.

We should live in the now, experiencing the richness of the present moment. By doing this we are extracted and uprooted from the past and the impending future. It is in the now that we make our encounter with the Divine. Nature knows no past or future. It is our human consciousness that relates to reality, as if it were an unfinished event or an inevitable future.

When we remain in the now we are open to enjoying all that is given to us as a gift. We experience to the full joy, sadness, laughter, pain, hope, dismay, beauty, ugliness –all wrapped up as a gift for the present. It is in the now that we rise when we rise, pray when we pray, eat when we eat and live as we live. In such an existence the past is over and future is still a way off .

The now helps us to arrive at our destination in the most effective way possible. So live now to the full, catch the early morning sunrise, enjoy the mist, dew, rain and snow, eat a healthy breakfast and enjoy the work of the day. Enjoy your leisure time, spend enough time exercising, begin each fresh day with a prayer and share your experiences with your near and dear. Above all, enjoy doing all these things!

The “now enjoy” technique never lets you down, because you are responsible for it from your own inner being which will provide the pattern and harmony for a more meaningful, richer life.

Written by admin

September 6th, 2009 at 12:56 pm

Words of wisdom to stay healthy

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Healthy body: focus on more eating wheat products

Healthy skin: use olive oil

Healthy eyes: do eye exercises every day, use lubricating oils/drops once in while

Healthy hair: use approved Ayurvedic oils twice a week

Healthy fruit: apple and papaya

Healthy food: oats, green vegetables, green salad, grains and sprouts

Healthy exercise: yoga, breathing exercises (pranayama), walking,

Healthy drinks: four glasses of water first thing in the morning and apple juice any time

Healthy mind: meditation every day

Healthy beliefs:  kindness, fellow feeling, empathy

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September 6th, 2009 at 12:55 pm

Happiness is in your reach

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The writer wishes to acknowledge the presentation and information provided by author Marguerite Theophill

We all seem to carry a notion that some people have smooth and trouble free lives, some are happy and lucky while others seem to have lot of misfortunes and are unlucky. We assign ourselves to one of these groups depending on the situation. This is an illusion created by our own thinking, a state of  mind. In reality, happiness does not happen to us it happens by us!

This does not mean we should ignore the painful reality of what happens in our day to day lives. We can feel miserable and make others around us also miserable. However, we can choose our response to something at any given point in time, and it is entirely in our hands. All of us experience the tension and pressures of the day, some of which is created by us while some gets imposed upon us. We can feel miserable and we choose to be angry and furious. There is a good alternative here; we can call upon the graces of the moment, remind ourselves  of our good fortunes, breath calmly for a few minutes, find something else to focus upon and some thing to be grateful for. We can choose between forever brooding or instead can focus on healing and moving on.

Happiness is called upon and cultivated, involving un-learning as much as learning.

Experiences in life can create habits and patterns that become deeply ingrained, influencing our moods and choices. We should realize that blaming others for our miseries, even if partially true, is  only an excuse. It can not give us the peace and happiness which we crave for all the time. It instead serves to increase our miseries and suffering.

Cultivating a feeling of happiness is a self generated cycle of activity. It is biological as much as physical. When you take time out for a walk, move to view the greenery, pray and meditate, dance and sing along to a favorite tune, or share moments with special people then happy hormones flood your system keeping you healthy. For this you should first accept that happiness is something that is generated within and it can come with time and practice.

Happiness is saying yes to more caring relationships, yes to more positive emotions and engagements. An assured way to a fuller, meaningful life and relationships.

Written by admin

September 6th, 2009 at 12:54 pm

Easy and effective ways to de-stress

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Certain events and situations in our daily life can cause tension and stress. This in turn can cause a delay to our progress and leave you wondering what to do next. Many of us will have come across such situations and most of the time will brood about it instead of finding a way to deal with it.

This need not be the case. The sky does not fall because of these happenings and there are some easy and effective tools for you to use. You will be back to be yourself in no time.

- Do not get close to people who have a negative or complaining attitude for very small issues. Avoid them, keep away from such people as they are infectious!

- Keep tapping your thighs  and hum your favourite song or music.

- Call and speak to your close friends or well wishers

- Learn to say no to offers and attractions which your inner mind will not accept. It is such temptations which land us in difficulties. Also do not accept jobs which you can not do even if you are promised exorbitant payment.

- When you are stressed your brain does not work to 100%. Seek help from people who are close to you.

- When you are stressed in your work, look away for ten seconds at things which you like to enjoy. These may be fresh flowers, paintings, trees,  birds or whatever inspires you. A new flush of energy will come to you.

- Write down the reason for your stress then tear it off and throw it away.

- Start doing some physical activity such as cleaning your room,  running, skipping or yoga. Stretch your legs and your feet and your mind will become lighter.

- Prepare a basin of warm water, add some salt and soak your feet for half hour.

- When you happen to do a blunder, recall yourself and laugh it out, then you will not feel so badly when others point it out.

- Pop a couple of sticks of chewing gum in your mouth and enjoy chewing. You will have seen some sportsman doing this all the time!

- Drink a cup of warm milk with some added honey. Retire to a dark room and go in to meditation.

- Try and divert the mind to some thing else. Recall your favourite last holiday, a recent big achievement, a noble worthy act or help rendered to a needy person. It will make you feel better.

- You should be aware that we all have our share of problems, so there is no point in allowing it to affect you. Solve it to the best possible extent and move on. Tomorrow will be a different day.

- Realise that there are limitations to your ability and the resources at your command. You do your share and God will take care of the balance. Have Faith.

- Keep telling yourself that you are a good person and that only good will happen to you. Repeat this ten times and positive vibrations will start happening.

Written by Raghuraman

February 13th, 2009 at 7:43 pm

Posted in General, Health

A letter from father to son

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Every father and mother has the welfare of their children as their primary focus and their time and energy will be given always. The roles played vary with the child’s age and needs, nevertheless in the whole process a close bond is established and it remains unchanged. In quiet moments this is recalled it and it always brings a smile, happy feelings and moments of bliss.

When it comes to writing the thoughts of a father and what he would want to communicate to his son, the following are some of the main aspects that come to my mind as a father myself who is a very close friend and well wisher to my sons:

- Life is precious and equally fragile. So everyday is a gift. Try and live it to the best of your ability in any given opportunity.

- Be aware of every passing second. Watch all the activity happening around you- it will make you active. It may be the birds going about in search of food, the sun coming out in the eastern horizon, flower buds opening out or pet animals happily playing with one another. Time and space never remains constant.

- Appreciate your mother’s cooking. Praise it to Heaven! Make it a habit to eat together as a family, rather make it a rule, and a special rapport will form in the family.

- Follow your Heart. The mind will waver, but the heart seldom does. Respect the voice of your inner conscience for decision and direction.

- Seek a job which you will enjoy doing as you enter the stage of careers and cocktails. It is possible that you will get sucked in to the vortex called the rat race, but never be overwhelmed. We all are human, but we need to have the courage to step out of it. Nothing will be lost, only some illusions will shatter. Consider this a good riddance.

- Money is important. Earn well, adequately to support your family needs, your plans for future, savings for rainy days and retirement and for paying back to parents and society for their help in making you what you are today. Enjoy the pleasure of earning but never allow money to control you or your conscience. Remain balanced and humane. This is a very useful and very powerful tool to give you strength and propel you forward so use it very carefully.

- Find your love and hold on dearly. Be a good father and husband. Give your children space to make mistakes but be available to help and hold them when they fall. Your being with them should make them happy and confident.

- Speak up when you have to. Try not to live in a state of fear, fear changes nothing. Encourage the formation of an environment where there is respect, care and concern for each other. The power and initiative is in your hands as is with everyone.

- Don’t have regrets, however learn from the mistakes and, wherever possible, make early and quick amendments. Do not carry grudges as it does not help anyone.

- An unlimited capacity and potential is within you. It is your job to discover, unearth and make it useful to you and your society. Great discoveries of science have not been made by accident but from consistent and hard effort. Never get discouraged by failure of efforts, they are only stepping stones to success.

- Follow the example of a master or guide but decide your own direction.

- We can not be perfect or right all the time. Slips and failures can happen, it is part of life, but as long as you realize that your positives are better and higher than your negatives you have nothing to fear.

- Caring words are not enough to express the care and concern reflected through a sister, mother, wife, grandmother or great grandmother. From our very beginnings through growth, development and our current situations they have played an important role and continue to have a special status. They are the very foundation of our existence. We have confidence in their opinions and judgments. We have to continue this excellent and supportive tradition without any reservation, hesitation, influence or egotism.

I will continue to remain proud of you, my dear son. May you be blessed with growth and achievement.

Take care

Your Father

Written by Raghuraman

February 13th, 2009 at 6:52 pm