Viveka & Vichara - weekly contemplation from Acharya Vivekji

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Re: Viveka & Vichara - weekly contemplation from Acharya Vivekji

Postby AcharyaVivek » Tue Nov 03, 2015 5:49 pm

Namah Te from Ann Arbor!

i hope this message finds all my fellow seekers unconditionally well...

I N T E R S T E L L A R...E-Vichara...

Special E-Vichara (October 19, 2015) --- Insights into Interstellar

-When an individual wants all, they end up feeling like nothing - such carelessness causes individual and collective carnage (Earth became uninhabitable)

-Sans research there is only execution not development - research in any direction/degree should be understood and appreciated as an investment not an expense (the need for NASA)

-Only we can help ourselves - all that happens is supposed to happen (Cooper directs himself to NORAD's coordinates)

-The Creator is of the nature of Love - Love focuses on need, ignoring whether we feel blessed or slighted (the blackhole was not a natural phenomenon rather was purposefully placed)

-As our vision so is our creation - we experience apparently objective dimensions in a highly subjective way (the passing of time, the distance between points, the importance of materials, etc. is different for all the astronauts)

-Pujya Swami Chinmayananda forever taught, "Knowing is not doing, doing is doing." - making decisions in a controlled environment with no repercussions is a world apart from making decisions in a real environment where living, dying, etc., is at play (Brand trying to think for the species rather than an individual)

-Love is dimensionless - this is proven in how people remember and celebrate the presence of people they knew and in some cases have never met (Brand trying to reunite with Wolf)

-Attachment is not a light vice - attachment is a virus which corrupts a personality inhibiting objectivity, clarity, generosity, etc. (Mann falsifying data to survive)

-We do not fear failure, we fear the sorrow that arises from failure - despite all that we learn about Happiness being the Highest pursuit, our ego is more wiling to give up the body than to give up itself (Mann is ready to die yet not ready to fail)

-The one who does not listen is the one who does not learn is the one who does not live - by ignoring the advice of the wise we suffer and inflict the same on others (Mann turning off his audio system)

-Purpose pulls performance - Love is an altar which alters the multiverse in a way that the same Love can be shared (Cooper's Love for Murphy creates the tesseract enabling him to communicate with her)

-The impossible becomes possible when necessary - to be able to go somewhere we have to leave somewhere (Cooper guides Murphy firstly with stay, secondly with coordinates and thirdly with a solution)

Interstellar is not about gravity between bodies. Interstellar is about gravity between beings...this is called Love.

Reflection Adventure of the Week (RAW): Create time every afternoon to sleep for 15 minutes (using an alarm clock).

Laughing Adventure of the Week (LAW): Why is Christmas just like a day at the office? You do all the work and the guy with the suit gets all the credit!

As we all await Lord Rama returning to Ayodhya let us ensure we know what actually happened over Navaratri / Vijaya Dashami...the following is a powerful message by Pujya Swami Chinmayananda --- Why Do We Celebrate Navaratri / Vijaya Dashami (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-cHe9Fyp16U)

We have now explored E-Vichara-s on Inception, The Dark Knight Trilogy and Interstellar. Next on my agenda, i have a contact with Syncopy Films who shared they would give these E-Vichara-s to Christopher Nolan!!!

"Love is its own fulfillment." ~ Swami Chinmayananda

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Re: Viveka & Vichara - weekly contemplation from Acharya Vivekji

Postby AcharyaVivek » Fri Nov 06, 2015 2:27 am

Namah Te from Albany!

i hope this message finds all my fellow seekers unconditionally well...

As the whole world begins preparing for Dipavali next week, everywhere we read and everywhere we write shubha (Peace) and labha (prosperity)...

Do we mean it though?
Do we actually want shubha?
If we could trade in shubha for more labha would we?


Maybe we need to think more thoroughly about what our relationship with materials is. Our REALITY CHECK...err...our E-Vichara...

E-Vichara (November 2, 2015) --- Vedanta IS Antimaterialism

-Vedanta says focus on being Purusha (Spirit) which is Purnatva (Complete) - worldliness says focus on being prakriti (materials) which is alpa (incomplete)

-Vedanta says focus on following the path of light which is built with values - worldliness says focus on following the path of darkness which is built with valuables

-Vedanta says focus on choosing shreyas (Peace) which is a long-term investment - worldliness says focus on choosing preyas (pleasure) which is a short-term expense

-Vedanta says focus on raising the standard of life encompassing the upper portions of Maslow's Pyramid - worldliness says focus on raising the standard of living encompassing the lower portions of Maslow's Pyramid

-Vedanta says focus on developing independence which is not about possessing or not possessing rather is about projecting or not projecting - worldliness says focus on developing independence by possessing more regardless of the inevitability of becoming possessed and possessive

-Vedanta says focus on understanding how comforts (power, possession and pleasure) are just means to Contentment (Peace), the end - worldliness says focus on understanding how comforts (power, possession and pleasure) are the means and the end

Are you being, following, choosing, raising, developing and understanding shubha or labha...?

Reflection Adventure of the Week (RAW): Finish reading this paragraph. Now open the website of a charity you feel is doing pure work and donate an uncomfortable amount. In the message field write, "Simple living, high thinking."

Laughing Adventure of the Week (LAW): I asked God for a bike but I know God doesn't work that way. So I stole a bike instead and asked God for forgiveness!

To be content one needs to be courageous. Especially with facing public opinion. Please read the following short article from The New York Times on staying true to oneself --- Lady Gaga and the Life of Passion (http://www.nytimes.com/2015/10/23/opinion/lady-gaga-and-the-life-of-passion.html?src=me&_r=1)

Expect my Dipavali gift on your desk soon...

"A true devotee has no charm in the objects of the world, as his entire attention is engaged in the pursuit of the eternal Enchanter Sri Narayana." ~ Swami Chinmayananda

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Re: Viveka & Vichara - weekly contemplation from Acharya Vivekji

Postby AcharyaVivek » Wed Nov 11, 2015 5:02 pm



Creation is always changing. From weather trends, to governing parties, to health conditions. Change brings challenges. Hence all of us always feel pressure.

For those filled with laziness, fearing challenges they give up.
For those filled with aggressiveness, fighting challenges they give in.
For those filled with calmness, facing challenges they give more.

Dipavali is an utsava, an opportunity to lift ourselves from inner darkness to Infinite light. By celebrating all those filled with divinity we realize what they realized: challenges teach us to change.

May God and Guru give us more grace and give us more guidance so that we may learn and live to give more of ourselves.

Joyous Dipavali to all!

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Re: Viveka & Vichara - weekly contemplation from Acharya Vivekji

Postby AcharyaVivek » Sat Nov 21, 2015 2:43 pm

Namah Te from Trinidad!

i hope this message finds all my fellow seekers unconditionally well...

A few weeks ago, the National Kidney Foundation invited me to speak at their Symposium. My subject, Our Life’s Purpose in Living with a Chronic Disease. i was happy to be able to share Vedanta in a atypical forum! Reflecting on atypical forums for Vedanta, in a few weeks i will be speaking at the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Ontario on Managing the Mind!!!

Vedanta is synonymous with vision. And a most profound teaching on vision is found in Mundaka Upanishad (Chapter 1 - Section 2 - Verse 12). Engaging the teaching is the vision of our E-Vichara

E-Vichara (November 16, 2015) --- Examining Experiences

-parikshya lokan karmachitan (having examined the fields of experiences produced by action) – all of us are always working yet only a few of us reflect on the higher purpose of working

-brahmano (one striving to know the Infinite) – striving is following a uncompromising lifestyle revolving around the highest altar

-nirvedam ayan-nasty-akrtah krtena (may this seeker be Content reflecting on the impossibility of the Unproduced being produced) – understanding and appreciating that no combination/permutation of the finite can create, sustain, destroy the Infinite one evolves to be an introvert

-tad vijnanartham sa gurum evabhigacchet (to earn this Knowledge this seeker should only approach a Guru) – our schools and teachers, our offices and employers, our homes and parents, encourage us to be successful in a relative reality while our Ashram-s and Guru-s encourage us to be Joyous in a Absolute Reality

-samit panih (with wood in hand) – our identifications, our conditionings, our judgements all have to be exposed, all have to accepted, all have to be surrendered

-shrotriyam brahma-nishtham (who is established in scripture and experience) – only one who is practicing burning their own ego knows how to guide and grace us to experience the same Emancipation

i pray we take back the original meanings of words like pariksha, brahmana, guru, etc. empowering us to lift our vision from the functional to the Essential!

Reflection Adventure of the Week (RAW): Please read the following article from The New York Times about what kind of people move us the most --- The Moral Bucket List (http://www.nytimes.com/2015/04/12/opinion/sunday/david-brooks-the-moral-bucket-list.html?smid=fb-share&_r=3)

Laughing Adventure of the Week (LAW): What did the janitor say when he came out of the closet? "Supplies!"

"Contract no attachment to anything. Welcome what comes, willingly give up what goes. There is no need to worry about either." ~ Swami Tapovanam

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Re: Viveka & Vichara - weekly contemplation from Acharya Vivekji

Postby AcharyaVivek » Mon Dec 14, 2015 6:50 pm

Namah Te from Sidhabari!

i hope this message finds all my fellow seekers unconditionally well...

Purpose pulls dedication.
Dedication pulls sacrifice.
Sacrifice pulls performance.


Pujya Swami Chinmayananda, affectionately known as Gurudev, was born in 1916. And the vision of 2015-2016 has been to remember and celebrate the purpose, dedication, sacrifice and performance Gurudev has invoked and evoked for 100 years.

My first real exposure to Chinmaya Mission was in 1997 and so I was never able to ‘meet’ Gurudev…

Still, since then I have been meeting Gurudev yearly and monthly. And since Sandeepany Sadhanalaya I have been meeting Gurudev weekly and daily. And this year I have been trying to meet Gurudev every moment. This purpose has made 2015 a performance year. More details in our E-Vichara

E-Vichara (November 30, 2015) --- The Phala of 2015 is the Karma of 2016

-Independent Ashram-s - happened this year...the miniature city of Niagara has strived and succeeded in elevating Chinmaya Dhara, an ashram whose value is exponentially more than a million-dollar asset, to debt-free on Dhara's 8th Anniversary – happening next year…the small city of Pittsburgh continues to search for a Religious-Retreat Centre, a potential home for a potential Chinmaya Leadership Foundation, hoping to gift this new ashram to Pujya Swami Tejomayananda on Guru Purnima while he is in Pittsburgh

-Comprehensive Outreach - happened this year...working to bring inspiration to the people, by using Instagram too, through social media every day 1,500 seekers follow Reflection Adventures of the Day and with more students subscribing to the E-Vichara every bi-week 4,500 seekers follow Electronic Reflections - happening next year...appreciating different people appreciate different portals to invoke inspiration, a webpage is being developed where podcasts on how to Live Vedanta will be consistently populated, encouraging seekers to turn away from a screen and to just listen

-Specialty Retreats - happened this year...the greatest source of joy and sorrow in our lives is people hence the vital need to have retreats that focus on loving oneself and loving others, the Understanding Marriage Retreat and Divya Shakti Retreat which were an experiment are now established Annual National Retreats hosted by different Centres in the spring and fall - happening next year...continuing to experiment with unique Retreats to nurture unique aspects of who we are, a Spiritual Parenting Retreat and a Silence Retreat are being organized hoping these too will become established opportunities for seekers to gather to engage in self development, in societal development

-International Yatra-s - happened this year...India is a country while Bharat is a spirit and so with the soon to be completed Chinmaya Inspiration Yatra V, 150 tourists who have only vacationed to cities and homes in India, by evolving to become yatri-s, have experienced the preciousness of exploring villages and ashram-s in Bharat which radiate purpose, dedication and sacrifice - happening next year...persevering to uncover the spirit of a country, resources and time and effort are being directed to growing The Chinmaya Inspiration Yatra in Trinidad to a movement (annual) instead of being satisfied with this being an event (single) and planning is in place for The Chinmaya Inspiration Yatra in Canada (through the Rocky Mountains)

-Online Courses - happened this year...there is no substitute to studying in a physical gurukul yet for the majority for whom this is presently not possible, a virtual gurukul is an ideal substitute thus between the Advanced Vedanta Course and the Self Unfoldment Course over 300 students are engaged in individual and group study every week - happening next year...continuing to build a platform for seekers to lose themselves in Vedantic thoughts only to find themselves in cheerful dynamism, 3 levels of Online Courses will be offered on different weekdays at different times

-Application Books - happened this year...though far behind schedule, though moving very slowly, editing of The Significance of our Samskaras is proceeding - happening next year...though far behind schedule, though moving very slowly, writing of From Strength to Strength is in progress

(additional details on the above, chronologically)
January 13 --- Live Vedanta podcasts --- https://www.chykwest.com/blog/
February 12-14 --- Spiritual Parenting Retreat with Vilasiniji in Chicago --- http://www.chinmaya-yamunotri.org/
March 24-27 --- Understanding Marriage Retreat in Orlando --- http://chinmayamission.org/acharya.php?id=56
April 27 - May 1 --- Silence Retreat in Pittsburgh
June 17-18 --- Pujya Swami Tejomayananda in Niagara
July 16-20 --- Pujya Swami Tejomayananda in Pittsburgh
September 6 --- Advanced Vedanta Stream with focus on Jnana (Tuesdays 08.30p-09.30p / personal study / Shrimad Bhagavad Gita Course)
September 7 --- Intermediate Vedanta Stream with focus on Sadhana (Wednesdays 08.00p-09.15p / family study / Pujya Swami Tejomayananda's texts such as Manah Shodanam)
September 8 --- General Vedanta Stream with focus on Utsaha (Thursdays 07.30p-09.00p / communal study / Pujya Swami Chinmayananda's texts such as Kindle Life)
October 7-9 --- Divya Shakti Retreat with Swamini Vimalananda in Washington DC
October (TBA) --- potentially The Chinmaya Inspiration Yatra VI in Canada
November 18-27 --- potentially The Chinmaya Inspiration Yatra VII with Swami Prakashananda in Trinidad

Sidhabari is the land of siddha-s (the Enlightened). In this sacred ground our Gurudev is 'buried' in the lotus posture. i came to Sidhabari in 1999 fascinated by his presence. i have returned 16 years later fuelled by his presence...

Reflection Adventure of the Week (RAW): Every morning take a long hard look in the mirror for 5 minutes and reflect on the purpose of the reflection you see.

Laughing Adventure of the Week (LAW):
Father: In my day mathematics was easy!

Son: That's because you figured it out in your head. Today, we have to use a stupid computer!!!

"A jnani enjoys Brahmananda or supreme bliss without interruption, not after death, but in this life itself." ~ Swami Tapovanam

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Re: Viveka & Vichara - weekly contemplation from Acharya Vivekji

Postby AcharyaVivek » Mon Dec 28, 2015 9:42 pm

Namah Te from Kolwan!

i hope this message finds all my fellow seekers unconditionally well...

In Ashram-s all over the world, before seekers, workers, visitors eat, a special verse from Shrimad Bhagavad Gita (Chapter 4 - Verse 24) is chanted.

This mantra is a reminder that eating is a sacred experience, not a casual pleasure.
This mantra is associated with eating because the symbolism is so apparent...the offerer is Divine...the offering is Divine...the offered to is Divine...the purpose is Divine.
This mantra is not for reflection just before eating, rather is for reflection before we do everything.
This mantra is elaborated upon in our E-Vichara...

E-Vichara (December 14, 2015) --- The Input Prayer

-brahma arpanam (Infinity is the general offering) - i remember, the possibility and propensity to give is by the grace of the Creator

-brahma havih (Infinity is the specific offering) - i remember, the Creator and creation are One

-brahma agnau (Infinity is offered to) - i remember, the receiver is the Creator

-brahmana ahutam (Infinity is the offerer) - i remember, the giver is the Creator

-brahma eva tena gantavyam (Infinity alone they realize) - i remember, I am the Creator

-brahma karma samadhina (Infinity is acted for) - i remember, the only purpose of living is for the Creator

Reflection Adventure of the Week (RAW): Refrain from speaking ANY negative words towards people.

Laughing Adventure of the Week (LAW): Why are frogs so happy? They eat whatever bugs them!

"Attachment is mental bondage." ~ Swami Chinmayananda

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Re: Viveka & Vichara - weekly contemplation from Acharya Vivekji

Postby AcharyaVivek » Thu Jan 07, 2016 2:11 pm

Namah Te from Veliyanad!

i hope this message finds everyone unconditionally well…

Sheela/i are have returned home…that is Bharat.

We visited my parents in Sidhabari. They are healthy and happy! And will be returning to Canada at the end of September.

Now we are journeying across the nation as part of The Chinmaya Inspiration Yatra V. With us are 72 seekers from 24 cities and 6 countries. A yatra is an outward expression of an inward journey. We are not trying to visit anywhere but to find ourselves.

And how will this manifest? Join us on our yatra through our E-Vichara...

E-Vichara (December 28, 2015) --- The Chinmaya Inspiration Yatra V

-Mathematically Infinity includes all numbers, scientifically Infinity includes all spaces, philosophically Infinity includes all beings – anyone who fundamentally understands and appreciates Infinity will understand and appreciate their nature is the same

-At Sandeepany Sadhanalaya one learns to 'try' God - anyone exposed to a lifestyle revolving around the Divine, changes in a subtle way

-At Chinmaya Vibhooti one learns to 'feel' God - anyone exposed to insights into the nature of the Divine, follows the inclination to want to know more

-At Chinmaya Gardens one learns to 'see' God - anyone exposed to personalities who treat all as Divine, serves others with a renewed potential

-At Adi Shankara Nilayam one learns to 'be' God - anyone exposed to the silence intrinsic to the Divine, invokes a deep contentment

-The difference between motivation and inspiration is the former is forced, temporary, unsubstantiated while the latter is natural, lasting, internal - anyone who embraces dvaita (finitude) deeply, rediscovers advaita (Infinity) fully

For the E-Vichara (December 14, 2015) --- The Input Prayer, a spelling correction:
brahman agnau should be brahma agnau

Reflection Adventure of the Week (RAW): On a scale from 1 (the least) to 10 (the most) identify how much faith you have in:
the Infinite
the Scriptures
the Guru
religious practices
oneself

Laughing Adventure of the Week (LAW):
Mom: Cindy, you must live each day as it were your last!

Cindy: I tried that last week and you grounded me!!!

The Chinmaya Jyoti Yatra is complete. i was present when the travelling Jyoti arrived home once and for all. What an inspiring, moving, humbling journey that millions across the nation engaged in. Please watch the following EPIC video 'summarizing' the efforts to celebrate the life, teachings and work of Gurudev --- 8 Months in 8 Minutes (https://www.facebook.com/cjyatra/videos/1688192521427104/)

And though i tried to share this before the new year, my travels prevented me from doing so...i pray to Bhagavan and the Guru-shishya-parampara that every reader and non-reader of the E-Vichara has a joyous completion to 2015 and an even more joyous commencement to 2016!

Signing off for 2015...and signing on for 2016...

"Temperance is the law of all spiritual students." ~ Swami Chinmayananda

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Re: Viveka & Vichara - weekly contemplation from Acharya Vivekji

Postby AcharyaVivek » Tue Jan 26, 2016 11:37 am

Namah Te to All,

i hope this message finds all my fellow seekers infinitely, constantly and unconditionally Joyous!

One of the most common questions people ask me is, 'How do I know if what I am doing is right?'

The answer is simple, 'WWW?' The World Wide Web? NO! 'What Would the Wise do?'

And one of the wisest is Shri Rama. Come with me as we observe Rama's ayana (path) through Balakanda through our E-Vichara...

E-Vichara (January 11, 2016) --- WWW? - Part 1

-A real school (kula) and a real educator (guru) will teach roles/responsibilities (dharma) - when educated personalities (saksharah) are not directed higher, they devolve to egotistical personalities (rakshasah)

-The ornament of humans is beauty, the ornament of beauty is virtues - the ornament of virtues is knowledge, the ornament of knowledge is forgiveness

-In the forgetfulness of God, the ego is born - the vision of a saint is more captivating than the innocence of a child

-When our minds are remembering God, our minds are protected by God - accompanying a Rshi is the most sublime training

-A perfectionist invokes much pain and naturally distributes the same - 'deafness' is when we do not listen to advice

-We cannot help God, we can only serve God - actually, how can the finite ever serve the Infinite, still He encourages us to feel we are serving for He is karuna nidhana (the source of compassion)

Reflection Adventure of the Week (RAW): Please please please watch Cowspiracy (http://www.cowspiracy.com/ ---produced by Leonardo DiCaprio). This powerful documentary has made me think deeply about whether I am helping or hurting our precious Earth. I have realized I am hurting our environment by consuming animal products and so as of right now, Sheela/i are practicing being vegan. Would you like to practice with us? i hope so. If anyone else would like to try to transcend their limits, let me know...we can support our discipline together.

Laughing Adventure of the Week (LAW):
Two toddlers went into their parents’ bathroom and spotted their father’s weight scale in the corner...
“Whatever you do,” said the first tot to the second, “don’t step on it.”
“Why not?,” asked the second.
“Because,” replied the first, “every time Pa steps on it, he screams!”

more and More and MORE Satsanga:

-Parenting with Happiness Retreat with Vilasiniji, Dhirenji and myself --- for all ages --- Feb 12-14 in Grayslake, Illinois --- video (https://www.facebook.com/ChinmayaMission.Yamunotri/videos/1061915893860796/?pnref=story)

-The Universal Guru Within Retreat with Dhirenji and myself --- for young adults (discourses are also for adults/youth) --- Feb 19-21 in Willowbrook, Illinois --- website (http://mychinmaya.org/chyk/retreatdetails.html)

Since the winter of 2011, 144 seekers from 38 cities and 6 countries have explored Bharat and Trinidad like never before, through our 5 Chinmaya Inspiration Yatra-s (CIY). All of the yatri-s who journeyed to Bharat have also journeyed to the Chinmaya Organization for Rural Development (CORD) in Siruvani. Feeling the struggle of the villagers, feeling the selflessness of the volunteers, the CHYKs from our CIY I/II/III have raised nearly $70,000 USD for CORD Siruvani without ANY significant donations from an Acharya nor Centre. They have INDEPENDENTLY reached deep into themselves to reach far for support. i am levelled by their efforts. i am proud of their success. And now as we celebrate the 100th Birthday of our inspiration, Pujya Swami Chinmayananda, all of us yatri-s have set an aspiration to complete raising $100,000 USD for CORD. How...

-Sacrifice and Service Retreat with Devji, Ginaji, Sachinji and myself --- for all ages --- Mar 18-20 in Grand Bend, Ontario --- event (https://www.facebook.com/events/1518209861842432/)

Finally and most importantly, as we celebrate the Republic Day of India, our Pujya Swami Tejomayananda is celebrated by the Government of India with one of the highest civilian honours - the Padma Bhushan award.

"Self-perfection alone can pave the way for world perfection. In our own redemption lies world redemption." ~ Swami Chinmayananda

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Re: Viveka & Vichara - weekly contemplation from Acharya Vivekji

Postby AcharyaVivek » Fri Feb 12, 2016 3:30 am

Namah Te from Saint Louis!

i hope this message finds all my fellow seekers infinitely, constantly and unconditionally Joyous!

i am sitting at a kitchen table, drinking a fresh cup of black coffee, watching two children engage in imaginary games, thinking of all of you and enjoying winter.

ENJOYING WINTER??? Yes, enjoying winter...

There is so much art in winter. Let's take a slow walk together through the museum of winter, with our E-Vichara...

E-Vichara (January 25, 2016) --- A Winter Wonderland

-Winter is harsh - intense heat is annoying, intense cold is painful - winter creates a condition of precariousness encouraging us to be more proactive (i.e. warming one's car), more aware (i.e. walking carefully), more disciplined (i.e. not complaining, not criticizing, not crying)

-Winter is uniform - when a neighbourhood is covered in snow, big houses and small houses evolve to just be houses - when a downtown is covered in snow, better physiques and worse physiques disappear underneath hats and boots, coats and gloves

-Winter is fresh - stepping outside for the first time in the day one breathes in energy - feeling outside for the first time in the day one invokes toughness

-Winter is clear - the pinks of the sunrise and the purples of the sunset are accentuated by the cold air holding the clouds still - the light of the stars and moon is brighter in winter, as if these celestial bodies are closer to us allowing us to see their smiles more fully

-Winter is soft - sitting inside near a window, observing winter unfold outside, the mind becomes quiet as if one is watching a movie - the snowflakes falling down and around us are ever in motion yet we never really feel them

-Winter is quiet - as we walk on the snow or even just stand outside, the snow absorbs all of the noise of the world - experiencing winter, our gratitude for all the seasons grows

Winter is alright...

Reflection Adventure of the Week (RAW):
You know what i am going write (hahaha!)...try to experience all the sights and sounds of winter described in our E-Vichara.

Laughing Adventure of the Week (LAW):
Nicky: Now that I have a new baby brother, my parents say we have to move.

Ricky: What’s the use, he’ll follow you anywhere.

MORE Satsanga:
In 2014 we organized our first Understanding Marriage Retreat. We explored all of the steps of a Vedic Vivaha and how this trains us for the Joy of Change!
In 2015 we organized our second Understanding Marriage Retreat. We explored a special section of Shrimad Bhagavad Gita's Chapter 3 and how this trains us for the Joy of Giving!
In 2016 we are organizing our third Understanding Marriage Retreat. We are going to explore a unique section of Shrimad Bhagavad Gita's Chapter 9 to train us for the Joy of Harmony!
Just as an attorney, a realtor, etc. need to engage in Continued Professional Development (CPD) to keep up with their professions, i feel every seeker revolving around marriage should engage in annual training on the vision of marriage...

-Understanding Marriage Retreat: The Joy of Harmony with Vilasiniji, Shailajaji and myself --- for those married/unmarried between 25-55 (with childcare) --- Mar 24-27 in Orlando, Florida --- website (http://www.chinmayaorlando.org/)

Finally, Sheela/i have been happily vegan (or as Indians pronounce this, vagan hahaha!) for a couple of weeks now. Actually, many of you have emailed me sharing you are taking up the cause (vegan is not consuming any animal products for someone had asked if we can still eat soy sauce hahaha!) too. Awesome...

"Live, live in the present. Think not of the past or the future. If one attains this state of dispassion, one's mind will get fixed upon God." ~ Swami Tapovanam

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Re: Viveka & Vichara - weekly contemplation from Acharya Vivekji

Postby AcharyaVivek » Wed Feb 24, 2016 11:40 pm

Namah Te from Milwaukee!

i hope this message finds all my fellow seekers infinitely, constantly and unconditionally Joyous!

When Hanumanji meets Sitaji, He calls Her janani (mother).
When Sitaji meets Hanumanji, She calls Him suta (son).

Our shastra-s (constitutions) are the source of knowledge that guide us to be well (sam) connected (bandhah) to our relatives rather than be well (sam) bound (bandhah) by our relatives.

When a mother and son meet for the very first time, what does a mother say to her son? Let's listen to this most precious dialogue through our E-Vichara...

E-Vichara (February 8, 2016) --- The Parental Powers - Part 1

-Sitaji, moved by Hanumanji's sacrifice and service, feels overwhelmed with gratitude and blesses Hanumanji with the ashta (eight) siddhi (phenomenal powers) - being able to manipulate one's body for battle is super, being able to manipulate one's mind for family is sadhana

-Vashitvam (the power to control) - philosophy: possible only through love - practice: remember God for He/She is the original Parent and this encourages us to rise to love rather than fall to attachment

-Ishitvam (the power to rule) - philosophy: possible only through leadership - practice: regular self-development for to evoke a healthy behaviour first we have to invoke the same behaviour

-Prakamya (the power to transcend) - philosophy: possible only through adaptability - practice: consciously connect for a child is always changing in all ways and the more mature personality has to adapt in order to continue to be supportive

-Prapti (the power to fulfill) - philosophy: possible only through effort - practice: arise earlier for we can work smarter/harder in the morning and when we try our best we are freed of any regrets of the past, anxieties of the future and excitements of the present

-Situations become problems and problems become crises when we limit our vision of religion to a country or time or person - practice mind over matter without exception

We shall complete our study of The Parental Powers in the next E-Vichara.

Reflection Adventure of the Week (RAW): Fast from a drink or food that you consume immoderately. And every time you feel the pang of the drink or food remember to practice mind over matter...without exception.

Laughing Adventure of the Week (LAW): One of the kids in my neighbourhood is so foolish…he got stranded on the escalator during a power failure!

Satsanga Adventure of the Week (SAW): For the first time ever, Chinmaya Mission Pittsburgh is hosting a Bhajan Competition! Saptaswara is a festival to inspire people of all ages to study, practice and love singing for the Higher. This unique program will be from Sat Sep 3 - Sun Sep 4 in Pittsburgh. Please see the attached poster for more details.

The most transformative years of my life have been from August 2005 to September 2007 when i had the blessing to study Vedanta at Sandeepany Sadhanalaya. This year you have the same opportunity. Chinmaya Mission Trinidad is facilitating a Residential Vedanta Course led by Pujya Swami Prakashananda beginning on Tue Nov 1 for approximately two years. Do not pass over this life saving and life making chance...for more details visit - http://www.cmtt.info/get-involved/Residential-Vedanta-Course-2016--2018.

And with the past E-Vichara, we have passed 100,000 views on the Chinmaya International Foundation - Discussion Forum...awesome...and thank you...

"He who reigns supreme as a master of himself alone becomes a servant of light unto others." ~ Swami Chinmayananda

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Re: Viveka & Vichara - weekly contemplation from Acharya Vivekji

Postby AcharyaVivek » Tue Mar 08, 2016 5:38 pm

Namah Te dear All,

i hope this message finds all my fellow seekers infinitely, constantly and unconditionally Joyous!

When Hanumanji meets Sitaji, He calls Her janani (mother).
When Sitaji meets Hanumanji, She calls Him suta (son).

Our shastra-s (constitutions) are the source of knowledge that guide us to be well (sam) connected (bandhah) to our relatives rather than be well (sam) bound (bandhah) by our relatives.

When a mother and son meet for the very first time, what does a mother say to her son? Let's continue to listen to this most precious dialogue through our E-Vichara...


E-Vichara (February 22, 2016) --- The Parental Powers - Part 2

-Sitaji, moved by Hanumanji's sacrifice and service, feels overwhelmed with gratitude and blesses Hanumanji with the ashta (eight) siddhi (phenomenal powers) - being able to manipulate one's body for battle is super, being able to manipulate one's mind for family is sadhana

-Laghima (the power to be light) - philosophy: possible only through joy - practice: create space for when we clean, organize and plan our cars, closets, computers, etc. we will be able to do the same with our mind, specifically letting go of useless thoughts

-Garima (the power to be heavy) - philosophy: possible only through confidence - practice: stop blaming for when we accept the outcomes of our decisions we come to accept our decisions, encouraging us to not be shaken by success, failure and every emotion in between

-Mahima (the power to be large) - philosophy: possible only through attitude - practice: think positive for what precedes creation is a thought of creation, what precedes destruction is a thought of destruction thus believing we can fulfill our responsibilities helps us to fulfill our responsibilities

-Anima (the power to be small) - philosophy: possible only through humility - practice: admit mistakes for this simple acknowledgement conveys one is ready to listen, one is ready to learn, one loves

-Situations become problems and problems become crises when we limit our vision of religion to a country or time or person - practice mind over matter without exception

Reflection Adventure of the Week (RAW): Clean, organize and plan your car. When finished, be fully aware of the difference in how you feel about your car.

Laughing Adventure of the Week (LAW): Hillbilly Bob bought his first cellular phone and decided to try it out. He hopped into his pickup truck and when he reached the freeway he dialled his wife, Hillbilly Mae. “Hey honey,” said Hillbilly Bob proudly into his new cell phone, “I’m on the freeway!”

“You better be careful,” his wife cautioned him. “I just heard on the radio that there's one nut driving the wrong way.”

“One nut,” exclaimed Hillbilly Bob. “Are you kiddin’ me? There’s hundreds of ‘em!”

Satsanga Adventure of the Week (SAW): Many years ago i engaged in a transformative experience involving one week of sadhana 'locked' in a room by myself. And in my travels i meet many people who engage in a few days of sadhana called vipassana (a pseudo silence retreat directed along the lines of Buddhism). Aspiring to create an ideal environment for sincere seekers, i invite you to join me from Apr 27-May 1 in Pittsburgh for SILENCE. A demanding (100 hours of COMPLETE silence) and authoritative (directed along the lines of SANATANA DHARMA) Retreat to learn to live for more than pleasures, possessions and positions...to learn to love Peace. Those who are serious about this Retreat are welcome to register through --- http://goo.gl/forms/ABdoDpRhe7 . Note: for those who need assistance with the registration fee, simply ask for help and this will be waiting for you.

Want to up the ante in regards to self development? Learn...Serve...Grow...YEP! The Chinmaya Yuva Kendra of the West (CHYK West) is delighted to announce the plans for the 3rd Youth Empowerment Program (YEP) outside of India. YEP America 2016 will be a holistic course for Young Adults seeking to be more than the mundane, seeking an extraordinary vision. How? First, 60 days of studying our Scriptures in the presence of inspiring Acharya-s. Second, 300 days of service in a engaging environment with like minded seekers all over the country. YEP America 2016 will commence on Jun 06 and conclude on Jul 27 at Chinmaya Mangalam in Corsicana, Texas. Please check out the following website for more details including contact information for those wishing to apply and/or have questions --- YEP America 2016 (https://www.chykwest.com/yep/)

As for Residential Vedanta Course in Trinidad i wrote about in the past E-Vichara, i personally know 10 CHYKs who have applied for this...i am excited for them...i am proud of them.

Finally, everywhere i go more people are sharing with me that they are trying out being vegetarian! And the vegetarians are trying out being vegan!!! Hence a Facebook Group has been created to support these disciplines --- Chinmaya Veganmaya (https://www.facebook.com/groups/578445052310860/)

"Think that 'I am only the instrument in the Lord's hands and my reward is in the mere fact that I am being used by Him in His lila'." ~ Swami Chinmayananda

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Re: Viveka & Vichara - weekly contemplation from Acharya Vivekji

Postby AcharyaVivek » Mon Mar 28, 2016 7:53 pm

Namah Te from Tampa!

i hope this message finds all my fellow seekers infinitely, constantly and unconditionally Joyous!

When i was growing up, i was always aware of other kids who would get into trouble because they used the s-word...the b-word…the f-word!

While i am growing within, i am now aware of other seekers who get into trouble because they use the s-word…the b-word…the f-word!

To make sure no one gets into trouble, we need to openly discuss these weakening words through the empowering words of our E-Vichara

E-Vichara (March 7, 2016) --- Vedantic Swear Words

-In Vedanta the a-word is "I'm alright" - being a good person creates ordinary goodness whereas striving to be the best person creates extraordinary goodness

-In Vedanta the b-word is "But" - Vedanta is the science of all we want (prosperity) and all we need (Peace) thus what possible pursuit, what possible excuse could take priority to engaging this most fundamental science

-In Vedanta the c-word is "Studying is too complicated" - on account of our extroversion we only know objective sciences (i.e. history, medicine, cooking, etc.) and when we try to 'change direction' by studying the subjective science (i.e. your Self) we are too conditioned to open our minds

-In Vedanta the d-word is "Practicing is difficult" - every field is impractical when not practiced and every field becomes practical when we begin (i.e. the habit of not going to the gym growing into the habit of going to the gym, the indiscipline of being impatient evolving to the discipline of being patient)

-In Vedanta the f-word is "I forgot" - when we go to restaurants we like we remember their menus, when we read books we like we remember their characters and so "I forgot) is camouflage for 'I am not interested'

-In Vedanta the s-word is "The scriptures are just a story" - every day documentation intentions, formats and standards change (i.e. in Vedic culture philosophers/scientists/inventors, etc. did not 'own' their findings for they belonged to humanity whereas today many researchers try to 'own' as much as possible) and to use today as a standard to measure yesterday is illogical

Reflection Adventure of the Week (RAW): Be mindful to apologize to all those you swear at, including yourself.

Laughing Adventure of the Week (LAW): My home town is so small our zip code is a fraction!

Satsanga Adventure of the Week (SAW): Pujya Guruji Swami Tejomayananda is coming to North America...nay Swamiji is coming to Niagara for the 5th time in 7 years!!! Join us from Fri Jun 17 - Sat Jun 18 for Right Thinking, Joyful Living. This may be the 'final' time Swamiji comes to North America / Niagara so no excuses. Request the time off from work, book your hotel and let us revel in satsanga together. More details will soon be in the following link --- http://www.chinmayaniagara.org/specialevents.htm

"The heroism of the seeker is in rejecting the whisperings of immediate happiness and living nobly, fulfilling one's larger duties." ~ Swami Chinmayananda

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Re: Viveka & Vichara - weekly contemplation from Acharya Vivekji

Postby AcharyaVivek » Mon Apr 04, 2016 4:28 pm

Namah Te dear All,

i hope this message finds all my fellow seekers infinitely, constantly and unconditionally Joyous!

A RAW i often share with students is to visualize that everyone they make eye contact with can read their mind...

Imagine!

Well Disney Pixar has done much of the imagining for us in a wonderful, powerful insightful movie called Inside Out. Let us feel out our feelings through our E-Vichara...

Special E-Vichara (March 21, 2016) --- The Inside Out on INSIDE OUT

-Our experiences are what create our vasana-s (personality blueprint) - the impact of an experience (positive, negative, etc.) determines the weight (light, medium, heavy, etc.) of the vasana

-Our vasana-s direct the flow of our desires, thoughts and actions - put differently, the unconscious manifests as the subconscious which manifests as the conscious

-Understanding and appreciating how deep our personality is we have no right to judge others nor ourselves - understanding and appreciating how deep our personality is we have to be ever conscious to be able to purify the subconscious which will then refine the unconscious

-Whatever we focus on becomes interesting - whatever we decide is interesting we focus on

-If we genuinely focus on others we will engage in self development to be able to smile more - we can only share what we have

-What the waking mind is exposed to becomes the content for the dreaming mind - when the body dies, the details of what caused the mind to change in that embodiment is forgotten, yet the changed mind lives on in a new embodiment

-Every one is trying to be happy forever yet no one is trying to be happy today - if one is happy for every moment one is happy forever

-A mother's mind is presented as being predominantly sad, is this true - a father's mind is presented as being predominantly angry, is this true

-When our interests change, the value of our memories change accordingly - hence a most efficient means to forgetting about pain and sorrow is to create new memories of comfort and joy

-Emotions are simply thoughts which we empower and then come to believe are more than just thoughts - evidence of this is how facts and opinions are continuously being interchanged

-When we are young we have a great capacity to imagine yet are unable to engage in abstract thoughts - as we age our great capacity should shift from being able to imagine to being able to engage in abstract thoughts

-As long as we have a body we will have a mind, as long as we have a mind we will have thoughts - directing the ego to identify with Awareness we transcend the limits of the body, mind, thoughts, all

The mind is most complex isn't it...

Reflection Adventure of the Week (RAW): Determine which emotion (anger, disgust, fear, joy or sadness) dominates you.

Laughing Adventure of the Week (LAW): My home town is so small we only have one Yellow Page!

Satsanga Adventure of the Week (SAW): In the E-Vichara (November 30, 2015) --- The Phala of 2015 is the Karma of 2016, i had shared that podcasts on how to live Vedanta would be shared beginning on Jan 13. Well we are 80 days late...apologies...and now we are ready. Please check out the following link where 1 or 2 podcasts will be uploaded for each E-Vichara (beginning with this one) all focused on how to actually, practically, systematically live what we are all learning. And remember to spread the word! --- Live Vedanta podcasts (https://www.chykwest.com/live-vedanta/)

In the E-Vichara (January 11, 2016) --- WWW? - Part 1, i had asked all of you to join all 144 of our Chinmaya Inspiration Yatri-s to raise $40,000 to complete raising $100,000 for the Chinmaya Organization Rural for Development for Pujya Swami Chinmayananda's 100th Birthday. At CM Niagara's Annual Family Retreat a couple of weeks ago we raised $40,000 to reach our aspiration...gratitude to Gurudev...gratitude to our Yatri-s...gratitude to all of you.

"The universe is a university to educate the soul." ~ Swami Chinmayananda

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Re: Viveka & Vichara - weekly contemplation from Acharya Vivekji

Postby AcharyaVivek » Sat Apr 30, 2016 7:08 pm

Namah Te from the SILENCE Retreat (we are in hour 68 of 100)!

i hope this message finds all my fellow seekers infinitely, constantly and unconditionally Joyous!

Thousands of seekers around the world were offered the opportunity to be part of this unique Retreat. In the end, 18 peaceful warriors from 8 cities and 3 countries are here fighting their way through avidya with the weapon of nididhyasana...

An idea of what was shared with them before the Retreat:

-i am not going to share many details with all of you before the Retreat as i do not want to condition your experience.
-each day there will be approximately 12 hours (4 X 3 hour periods) of intense contemplation/reflection practice. The intensity is in you will not be able to move, you will not be able to speak, etc.
-you will come, live and go as a monk. As such there will be NO charge for the Retreat. You may offer whatever you want post the Retreat. And what is written on the poster is only to encourage the interest of serious seekers.
-no altar (this includes all religious icons i.e. japa mala, etc.)
-no reading materials (at all)
-no writing materials (at all)
-no electronics (anything you need to bring can stay in your car - this includes phones)
-no valuables (anything you need to bring can stay in your car and/or be given to me in faith - this includes jewellery, car keys, etc.)
-no food
-no comfort zones
-no fear...


If one studies the lives of all the greats, secular and certainly sacred, they were not born great. They evolved from ordinary to extraordinary! And this evolution was often catalyzed by being with themselves. Let us chart the path we need to take to grow from good to great through our E-Vichara...

E-Vichara (April 4, 2016) --- Evolution Creates the Revolution

-Exploration is wanting to know about all one can experience (i.e. finding out what cuisine is specific to a city, etc.) - this is a natural direction (strongly seen in infants, children, etc.) as our sense organs and mind are created extrovert

-Observation is wanting to learn from all one is experiencing - an observer is mindful that more powerful than the experience is how the experience can change the experiencer (i.e. reading an obituary column, an observer would think about the trajectory of their own life)

-Introspection is wanting to understand and appreciate who the experiencer of experiences is fully (i.e. who is actually reading this sentence right now) - when one introspects there is a shift in focus from pursuing objective sciences (what is the jagat - multiverse) to the subjective science (what is the jiva - i)

-Reflection is wanting help to navigate the unknown territory of the mind, intellect, memory, ego - help in the form of a scripture and guide exposes a seeker to their purpose, their potential and by reflection, doubts on these matters are purged

-Contemplation is wanting to practice living one's purpose and so one's potential - this highest vocation is the means to raise one's identity from dependent (endless verbs) to Independent (one noun)

-Meditation is not wanting, for Meditation is not a verb, Meditation is a noun - our nature is infinite, constant, unconditional Joy (hence my above daily prayer for all) and this is felt when we let of becoming and start Being...

When we initiate the evolution in our inner world we simultaneously initiate the revolution in our outer world. Where are you in your evolution? i say, let the R-EVOLUTION begin!

Reflection Adventure of the Week (RAW): Tomorrow morning take 1 full hour to eat 1 full banana (this is what i just did before writing this E-Vichara).

Laughing Adventure of the Week (LAW): How is losing money in a pay phone like a football game? If you don’t get the quarterback, you hit the receiver.

Satsanga Adventure of the Week (SAW):
Reading the following short article from The Washington Post on the cost-benefit analysis of contemplation. Note the way the world uses the word meditation, Vedanta uses the word contemplation. And note, i am not endorsing nor opposing any organization's contemplation techniques. i only endorse contemplation techniques derived from the scriptures --- Changing One's Vision Changes One's Sight (https://www.washingtonpost.com/posteverything/wp/2016/04/06/how-meditating-in-a-tiny-iowa-town-helped-me-recover-from-war/?hpid=hp_regional-hp-cards_no-name%3Ahomepage%2Fcard)

Seats 7-8 / Row 26 / Section 123 at the BB&T Center in Fort Lauderdale on Fri Apr 8
Seats 19-20 / Row 16 / Section 324 at the American Airlines Arena in Miami on Sat Apr 9
Seats 5-6 / Row X / Section 317 at the Amalie Arena in Tampa Bay on Mon Apr 11
Seats Floor (!!!) / Row 14 / Section F6 at the Jacksonville Veterans Arena in Jacksonville on Wed Apr 13
Seats 13-14 / Row 28 / Section 122 at the Air Canada Center in Toronto on Tue May 10
Seats 4-5 / Row 32 / Section 103 at the Air Canada Center in Toronto on Wed May 11
The month of Pearl Jam has begun...please check out the following picture to 'feel' what concert culture is all about --- The 7th Member of Pearl Jam (https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=929857137135615&set=p.929857137135615&type=3&theater)

"When an individual develops his subtle discrimination enough to recognize the depth of life's weaknesses, he develops a pressing urgency from liberation." ~ Swami Chinmayananda

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Re: Viveka & Vichara - weekly contemplation from Acharya Vivekji

Postby AcharyaVivek » Thu Jun 02, 2016 5:52 pm

Namah Te from the deepest depths of my heart 'where' our Swami Chinmayananda (Gurudev) lives...

i hope this message finds all my fellow bhakta-s infinitely, constantly and unconditionally Joyous!

"The spirit of advaita is not to keep away from anything, but to keep in tune with everything." ~ Gurudev

Our Gurudev lived freely amongst we the bound. And His leadership was His teaching...

For all the less fortunate seekers like myself who were unable to see Gurudev, i think He lived like Shrimad Bhagavad Gita's Chapter 5 Verse 10. ??? Dedicated to Gurudev, we try to understand how He lived in our E-Vichara...

E-Vichara (April 18, 2016) --- Like a Lotus

-Dvaita (duality) does not teach us how to live in dvaita nor does vishishta advaita (modified non-duality) - only advaita (non-duality) teaches us how to live in dvaita

-Brahmanyadhaya karmani (Divinely dedicated to responsibilities) - perfectionism is a disguise for doership whereas one who lives each experience solely for self development creates the best

-sangam tyaktva karoti yah (dependence renounced, a seeker performs) - one who has nothing to gain is one who has nothing to lose, said differently, such a being is fearless

-lipyate na sa papena (tainted not, a seeker from sin) - sin is feeling separate, sin is feeling small, and one who is not dependent on actions quietens thoughts, quietens desires, quietens propensities

-padmapatram ivambhasa (a lotus's leaf in water) - if one lives each moment in a meaningful way one will never ever be shaken

-Using one's eyes (sight) one is lost in duality, using one's mind (vision) one is vigilant in unity - keeping one's eyes on the functional (names / forms) and one's vision on the fundamental (Existence / Awareness) is being liberated while living

Pujya Swami Tejomayananda's thoughts on Gurudev's 100th Birth Anniversary this Sunday, May 8 2016 is attached:

Reflection Adventure of the Week (RAW): Think deeply about Gurudev's contribution to humanity, contribution to you.

Laughing Adventure of the Week (LAW):
Chemist: The medicine you are asking for is related to stress. We cannot give this medicine with a doctor's prescription.

Student: Madame, please treat my report card as a prescription.

Satsanga Adventure of the Week (SAW): "Youth are not useless, they are used less. They are not careless, they are cared less." ~ Gurudev Aspiring to fight this neglect, join us and spread the word for:
Fri May 27 - Mon May 30 --- Los Angeles --- Young Adults (17-40) Retreat on Finding Your Balance --- Retreat Registration (https://chinmayala.org/civicrm/event/info?id=309)
Mon Aug 22 - Fri Aug 26 --- Washington DC --- Youth (13-16) Camp on Developing through Difficulties --- to be shared soon

Fri Aug 26 - Sun Aug 28 --- Washington DC --- Young Adults (17-40) Retreat on MEDITATION --- to be shared soon

"The Infinite and the Eternal is not 'there' and at 'some other time'. It is here and now." ~ Gurudev

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Re: Viveka & Vichara - weekly contemplation from Acharya Vivekji

Postby AcharyaVivek » Thu Jun 02, 2016 5:58 pm

Namah Te dear All,

i hope this message finds all my fellow seekers infinitely, constantly and unconditionally Joyous!

This past month has been filled with unique speaking engagements:
London Police Department on Being Calm in the Chaos
Western Medical School on Making Sense of Stress
Namaste Radio on Inspiration
Sringeri Bharatiya Vidya Foundation on Relevance of Sanatana Dharma to Western Youth
Kerala Hindus of North America on Mind Your Dharma

And though each of these outreach opportunities were different, what i shared was not. My observation: whether one is interacting with a child or a committee or a corporation, all face the same problems. And this simple truth teaches us that our problems are within not without. Being aware that we create our problems we are empowered to be responsible to uncreate our problems. Aspiring to offer more light on our problem is the challenge of our E-Vichara...

E-Vichara (May 2, 2016) --- From Serenity to Mediocrity

-Supreme - Our nature is Existence-Awareness-Joy which is immune to death-ignorance-sorrow - just as the svadharma of sugar is unchanging so too our Svadharma is unchanging which makes a relationship between Existence and death, Awareness and ignorance, Joy and sorrow, impossible

-separate - Existence-Awareness-Joy is One and not knowing (a-vidya) our nature we believe we are separate (dvaita) - the primary expressions of separation are 'I am doing' implying you are not and 'I am deserving' implying you are not

-small - proof that our nature is Infinite is the innate and perpetual feeling to need to complete ourselves - when we feel 'small' countless enemies (i.e. insecurities, doubts, faithlessness, etc.) emerge to envelop us

-sad - desires for pleasures, possessions and positions only make us more desirous only make us more sad - sociologists have shared we should not shop when we are sad for what we buy does not satisfy us rather makes us more frustrated

-stress - when we are in balance with our equipments (body, mind, intellect), and our experiences (time, money, people) we are healthy - our equipments and experiences are limited yet our expectations of these are limitless hence the imbalance, the weakness, the stress

-stuck - if positivity brings positivity then negativity breeds negativity - no mantra, no karma, no upasana can create the Infinite, only dharma (responsible living) can guide us past being stuck, being stressed, being sad, being small, being separate to being Supreme...

Reflection Adventure of the Week (RAW): Please read the following short article from The New York Times 'proving' what we have reflected on in this E-Vichara --- Working for Greed (http://www.nytimes.com/2014/01/05/business/you-cant-take-it-with-you-but-you-still-want-more.html?hp&_r=2)

Laughing Adventure of the Week (LAW):
Examiner: Tell me the name of the bird.

Student: I can't sir.

Examiner: You should know by looking at it's legs. Tell me what is your name?

Student: Sir, you tell me by looking at my legs.

Satsanga Adventure of the Week (SAW): Nothing for these weeks. Stay tuned for the next E-Vichara which will share a FULL program for Youth/Young Adult development.

"Man dissipates all his energies by trying to solve specific problems without handling the fundamental. Be spiritual." ~ Swami Chinmayananda

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Re: Viveka & Vichara - weekly contemplation from Acharya Vivekji

Postby AcharyaVivek » Thu Jun 02, 2016 6:10 pm

Namah Te from Los Angeles!

i hope this message finds all my fellow seekers infinitely, constantly and unconditionally Joyous!

When i was growing up my parents would take my sisters and i to Mandir-s inside and outside of Niagara. As a child i noted that the average age of those at these Mandir-s was ~ 50. Fast forward 25 years, i now speak at Mandir-s around the World. As a young adult i note that the average age of those at these Mandir-s is now ~ 55.

Does this mean if we fast forward another 25 years the average age of Mandir goers will be ~ 60? Are Mandir-s just for the 'retired'...?

i am sure the same trend is manifesting in churches, mosques and temples. In fact the area of Chinmaya Mission demanding the most strengthening is our Youth and Young Adult programs.

On January 13, 2008 i began serving Sanatana Dharma through Advaita Vedanta through Chinmaya Mission. i was 26 and empathized with the young, hence i focused most of my efforts on working with them, working on them. Over the years responsibilities with marriage / parents, Niagara / London and Pittsburgh / Cleveland has pulled my efforts towards adults and administration.

Pujya Swami Chinmayananda believed in the youth, had faith in the youth, trusted the youth. And so on His 100th Jayanti i resolved to rededicate myself to working with youth, working on youth. What will this rededication look like? Let's see through our E-Vichara...

E-Vichara (May 16, 2016) --- Youth Alone Can

-Page - thousands of our youth are dependent on Facebook which often is a catalyst to being distracted, suffering from the fear of missing out (FOMO), etc. - i am in the process of creating a Junior Chinmaya Yuva Kendra (JCHYK) Facebook Page which will be filled with regular inspiration and insight i hopes to make this powerful online forum less social and more spiritual (the link will be shared in the next E-Vichara)

-Camps - thousands of our youth are enrolled in religious classes yet too many of them have become desensitized to the classes and / or newcomers are intimidated by their lack of understanding, lack of experience, etc. - every August in Washington DC i will facilitate a week long Youth (ages 13-17) Camp focused on understanding and experiencing Sanatana Dharma (2014 - Heroes: Past, Present and Potential / 2015 - Decoding Dharma / 2016 (August 22-26) - CONFIDENCE: In One Self, In One's Faith)

-Yatra-s - thousands of our youth travel to Bharat, to the Caribbean, to their home countries as tourists engaging in pleasures / possessions thereby missing out on exploring simple living, high thinking - a yatra is an outward expression of an inward journey and there are many opportunities to be part of The Chinmaya Inspiration Yatra-s (VI to Canada from September 9-18 [http://www.chinmayaniagara.org/specialevents.htm] for ages 17-40 / VII to Trinidad from November 18-27 [http://www.chinmayaniagara.org/specialevents.htm] for ages 17-40 / VIII to America from December 16-25 [poster to be released] for ages 17 and older)

-Course - thousands of our youth do not have access to authentic opportunities to study our scriptures and / or want to study more than they are on 'Sundays' and if there is a No Child Left Behind Act for secular schooling even more important is a No Child Left Behind Plan for sacred schooling - if the young are not coming to religion then religion must be brought to the young hence the aspiration to create a virtual gurukula (the Moha Mudgara [The Hammer to Fear] Course will commence on September 1 from 07.30p-09.00p EST and registration details will be shared in July [with the following disciplines])
---Groups who have been given permission by their local Centre can be part of our Course
---Groups need a minimum 5 students to be part of our Course --- anyone high school aged and older can be part of a Group
---Groups need to have their audio and video working and on --- everyone seeing everyone is inspiring and creates a sense of equality
---Every student should have their own copy of the text --- by reading ahead and making notes mananam is encouraged
---Pets, laptops, tablets, phones, eating, any potential distraction will not be tolerated --- to engage in a subjective science demands a higher dimension of focus
---The only connection to the Class should be through our Coordinator/me via Zoom --- alternative connections are lower in quality and lower the incentive to attend the class live
---The only condition for which a Class can be recorded is if the student does so while present in Class and does not share this with anyone --- to study a subjective science, context is important and shared recordings does not account for this
---If a student misses a Class, the content is still in the text --- request other students to make notes for you
---The maximum number of Groups that will be part of our Course is 40
---Study Group Coordinators discuss these disciplines with your Group --- clarity creates conviction and conviction creates confidence

-Satsanga-s - thousands of our youth do not have access to role-models who not only guide them from above as teachers but also guide them close by as friends - every month i visit Cleveland/London/Niagara/Pittsburgh i will create time to interact with the youth in those Centres and am imposing the same requirement for any Centre wishing to invite me to engage adults

-Training - thousands of our youth are taught by teachers who do not have the same traditions and this gap inhibits relationship building, a decisive factor for learning a faith based subject - every August in Pittsburgh i will facilitate a weekend Seva Training with the Saturday focused on working with Kids Teachers / Adult Coordinators and the Sunday focused on working with Youth Teachers / Young-Adult Coordinators (August 13-14 [the Sunday training is open to ALL youth / young-adults in addition to Teachers / Coordinators to make the training more thorough and comprehensive as the longer term plan is to develop a youth based Curriculum / Guide for Teachers / Parents])

Please join me in supporting those who are not careless rather are cared less. We need this...for youth alone can...

Reflection Adventure of the Week (RAW): Reflect on one personality who believed in you the most when you were young. Now step away from the screen you are looking at and go and meet them, go and call them, go and share with them how grateful you are for them...

Laughing Adventure of the Week (LAW): What did the Hindu say to the veggie-dog vendor? Make me 'one' with everything.

Satsanga Adventure of the Week (SAW): Do you really need more than the above!

"Catch them young, and give them your love. Inspire them to lead a higher life of noble values and self-dedicated service. You can then be sure of the nation's glorious present and a brighter future." ~ Swami Chinmayananda

Inspire-Love-Be,

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Re: Viveka & Vichara - weekly contemplation from Acharya Vivekji

Postby AcharyaVivek » Wed Jun 22, 2016 11:25 pm

Namah Te dear Seekers,

i hope this message finds all of you infinitely, constantly and unconditionally Joyous!

In October 2015 i shared thoughts on Finding Your Balance in the context of 100 devi-s who gathered in Raleigh.

In May of 2016 i shared thoughts on Finding Your Balance in the context of 50 young adults who gathered in Los Angeles.

Finding Your Balance...a most precious subject. So what causes us to be imbalanced? Why the guna-s (characteristics of the finite) of course! Guna-s...let's study Shrimad Bhagavad Gita's Chapter 14 Verse 12 through the lens of our E-Vichara...

E-Vichara (May 30, 2016) --- To Compare is To Implode

-aggressive - the guna-s are ropes which pull us to think, speak and act in specific ways - the guna of rajas propels us to be extrovert for we seek completion through pleasures, possessions and positions

-compare - one of the gates to hell is greed, a vice most of us associate with possessions - yet if we think more honestly most of us are not greedy for possessions rather we are greedy for positions (i.e. attention, recognition, etc.) hence the incessant tendency to compare ourselves with others and others with ourselves

-create - though external perfection is impossible, if we compare we are hypnotized to create an image of others that is imperfect and an image of ourselves that is perfect - by observing the quality / quantity of thoughts that erupt when we compare we would also observe the defeating mind games we end up playing with ourselves

-act - the most powerful force is a thought for a thought precedes tactile creation / destruction - having an insincere image of oneself one has to continuously act to protect and promote that fabrication

-tire - hell is a condition where there is no rest - the more mentally tired we become, the more intellectually tired we become, the more indiscriminately we live

-long - the guna of rajas tricks us into believing completion can be discovered in articles, beings and circumstances hence the aggression in our vision, the aggression in our lifestyle - a rajasik personality can never introspect, can never feel Peace

Reflection Adventure of the Week (RAW): Turn your cell phone OFF for 12 hours a day.

Laughing Adventure of the Week (LAW): What is red and smells like blue paint? Red paint.

Satsanga Adventure of the Week (SAW): As promised our Junior Chinmaya Yuva Kendra (JCHYK) Facebook Page has been created. i request ALL who have Facebook Accounts, please 'Like' the Page to create momentum --- JCHYK Page (https://www.facebook.com/Junior-Chinmaya-Yuva-Kendra-West-705672716238464/). And we have also created a Junior Chinmaya Yuva Kendra (JCHYK) Facebook Group --- JCHYK Group (https://www.facebook.com/groups/1323275351021641/?ref=group_browse_new). i request ONLY youth (ages 13-16) and parent's of youth be part of / active in this Group so there is no dilution of focus.

And for all our young adults (ages 17-40), join us from Fri Aug 26 - Sun Aug 28 in Washington DC for a most practical Retreat on building self-esteem through Vedanta --- From Ordinary to Extraordinary (https://www.chykwest.com/dcretreat2016/)

"Rich in a faith born of understanding, learn to smile away your sorrows. Be unaffected by the play of sattva, rajas and tamas." ~ Swami Chinmayananda

Inspire-Love-Be,

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Re: Viveka & Vichara - weekly contemplation from Acharya Vivekji

Postby AcharyaVivek » Sun Jun 26, 2016 10:15 am

Namah Te dear Seekers,

i hope this message finds all of you infinitely, constantly and unconditionally Joyous!

If we are extrovert we will compare. If we compare we will create. If we create we will act. If we act we will tire. If we tire we will long...and long...and long...

Unless we are immersed in calmness (nitya sattva staha). Calmness in vision, calmness in lifestyle. And despite believing this we do not live this...

Sat-tva is the expression of Sat (the ART [Absolute-Relative-Tactile] of Sat is Existence-Truth-Nobility). And only when we hear, feel and see someone who knows and lives the vision of Existence-Truth-Nobility does our belief evolve to faith. This 'someone' we call a Sadguru.

Some days ago i was able to serve Pujya Guruji Swami Tejomayananda. This experience was intensely demanding. This experience was indescribably rewarding. Aspiring to share insights into those cherished memories i write our E-Vichara...


E-Vichara (June 13, 2016) --- Serving One's Sadguru

-Serving One's Sadguru demands being prepared - a Sadguru can reveal Enlightenment and so a disciple should envision every move of their Sadguru, freeing them from worldly work (i.e. driving, laundry, etc.), enabling them for spiritual work (i.e. teaching, guiding, etc.)

-Serving One's Sadguru demands being disciplined - a Sadguru's presence is immeasurably precious and so a disciple should be willing and able to sacrifice the functional (i.e. sleep, food, etc.) to focus on the fundamental (i.e. listening, observing, etc.)

-Serving One's Sadguru demands being vigilant - a Sadguru acts out of fulfillment as compared to acting for fulfillment and so a disciple should be ready to do whatever is needed (i.e. organize, chant, etc.) to facilitate this flow of Love

-Serving One's Sadguru demands being balanced - a Sadguru can destroy the ego and so a disciple should be aware that any insult, any inquisition, any indifference is solely to transform the i to I

-Serving One's Sadguru demands being cheerful - a Sadguru's beauty is not rooted in form/name rather is rooted in Joy and so a disciple should be respectful of the crowds of devotees who interact with the Sadguru in varied ways

-Serving One's Sadguru demands being humble - a Sadguru's tapas (asceticism) is the sole source of pleasure, possession, position, Peace and so a disciple should be ever calm physically, ever quiet mentally, ever still intellectually to recognize one's insignificance...

Aishvarya (joyous), dharma (responsible), yasha (revered), shriya (virtuous), vairagya (independent) and jnana (wise). This is the nature of Bhagavan. If one thinks carefully, a Sadguru encourages us to be God...

Reflection Adventure of the Week (RAW): Beginning on Mon Jun 27 and ending on Wed Jul 13, everyday post a Reflection Adventure of the Day (RAD) on my Facebook Wall in the same format i use.

Laughing Adventure of the Week (LAW): I used to think the brain was the most important organ. Then I thought, look what's telling me that!

Satsanga Adventure of the Week (SAW): Did the above thoughts engage you? If yes, join us from Sat Jul 16 - Wed Jul 20 in Pittsburgh for Pujya Swami Tejomayananda's Maha Jnana Yajna on Rama Gita - an epic dialogue on faith between Bhagavan Rama as the Sadguru and Shri Lakshmana as the shishya. This rare occasion includes celebrating Guru Purnima on Tue Jul 19. Please check out the following link for more details and check out any excuses to not come --- Pujya Swami Tejomayananda's Maha Jnana Yajna (http://chinmayamissionpittsburgh.org/index.php?id=home)

Finally, His Infinite Presence (HIP) Tour II begins tomorrow. Last year Sheela/i explored Western Canada, driving from Niagara Falls, Ontario to Whitehorse, Yukon and back over 25 days. This year we will be driving from Niagara Falls, Ontario to Saint John's, Newfoundland and back over 17 days. During this period i will not send any E-Vichara-s, post any RADs, use any social media. This will be a intense period of sadhana (running, reading and researching) to encourage samadhi (Realization)...

With this, i leave you all with a parting RAD:
Reflection Adventure of the Day (RAD): "Until you have it all, you won't be free. Society, you're a crazy breed. I hope you're not lonely without me." ~ Eddie Vedder

See you all virtually on Jul 14 and physically on Jul 16...

"If you do not have the right knowledge, the experience is useless!" ~ Swami Chinmayananda

Inspire-Love-Be,

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Re: Viveka & Vichara - weekly contemplation from Acharya Vivekji

Postby AcharyaVivek » Mon Jul 25, 2016 5:51 pm

Namah Te from Corsicana (it is 115F as i write!)!

i hope this message finds all my fellow seekers infinitely, constantly and unconditionally Joyous!

Innocent partiers killed in Orlando...
Innocent travellers killed in Istanbul...
Innocent civilians killed in Baghdad...
Innocent officers killed in Dallas...
Innocent tourists killed in Nice...
The list is endless.....

Why??? Why are people killing people..........

We fear that which is different. Some people fear those of a different orientation, of a different ethnicity, of a different religion. Are these differences worth fearing each other, worth hating each other, worth killing each other? i know they are not.

Earlier this year an animated children's movie about animals was released. That is if you watched the movie with your eyes. If you watched the movie with your intellect you would have realized this was a visual message for humanity about the unity of creation. Please join me in letting go of superficiality, in holding on to roots, through our E-Vichara...

Special E-Vichara (July 25, 2016) --- Zootopia

-Complacency is recognizing who one is and choosing not to grow - acceptance is recognizing who one is and working to grow

-The typical person likes the fruit that comes from effort and not the effort - the conflict of 'knowing when to quit' only applies to those who do not love what they do

-If we do not try to be happier how will we know how happy we can be - by trying we keep making new mistakes in other words we keep learning

-A fine line exists between self-criticism which is objective and self-deprecation which is subjective - by remembering tomorrow is another day we inhibit ourselves from getting stuck in the past

-There is nothing to fear but fear itself - as long as we hold fear thoughts we will be afraid and the moment we release fear thoughts we will be able to focus on what is in front of us

-We only fear that which is different, hence we do not fear ourselves at all - our fear of death, ignorance and sorrow reveals that our nature is Existence-Awareness-Joy

-Living by the belief of duality (dvaita) we will be lead by our eyes - depending on sight we will only see differences and so we will believe we all cannot get along

-Living by the belief of Unity (advaita) we will be lead by our intellect - depending on vision one will see differences as functional, one will see Oneness as fundamental and so we will believe we all can get along

-In the biological classification framework of life / domain / kingdom / phylum / class / order / family / genus / species, by moving left our perspective of a being deepens and by moving right our perspective of a being surfaces - in the Vedantik classification framework of Life / forms / names by moving left our perspective of a being deepens and by moving right our perspective of a being surfaces

-Acharya Shankara defines maya as forms / names and as long as one gives maya reality, one will never think one is important, one will never think one should/can change - doubting oneself is on account of not understanding oneself and this often leads to aggression

-No one consciously chooses their colour, gender, age, etc. hence any judgement towards these factors is baseless, is base - by understanding the role of our Spirit (Atman) and our inclinations (vasana-s) we come to accept everyone, we come to appreciate everyone's nature is Divine

-By looking within we come to realize change starts with oneself - Self Knowledge is a catalyst for educating antagonists

His Infinite Presence (HIP) Tour II was as transformative as last year. We listened to discourses, we observed animals in the wild, we invoked national pride. Over the past 2 years we have travelled across Canada for 40 days, driving 18,000 kilometres and loved the experience! Hence we would strongly encourage all of you to create time to engage in such road-trips. For HIP Tour III next year we are hoping to explore Washington and Oregon.

Reflection Adventure of the Week (RAW): The past month Sheela/i have been blessed to be with Pujya Swami Tejomayananda for what feels like many weeks, many many days, many many many hours! A message we understood from Guruji overtly and covertly is the need to understand the vision of Pujya Swami Chinmayananda more. An ideal way to do so is reading the Chinmaya Birth Centenary Celebration Series by Mananam (check Featured Categories --- http://www.chinmayapublication.com/). And so beginning on Sep 22 (1st day of Autumn [in North America]) Sheela/i have decided to read an edition (in order) every season. Within 3 years we would have read all 12 editions (by the end of this year the final edition will be released) and would have served our Guru-shishya-parampara in a most important way - acharya upasanam (striving to 'see' what the Guru 'sees'). Now if you would like to join our 'book club' let us know. We can inspire each other! And keep in mind we have to follow the same order and timeline without any excuses (even if we have already read some of the editions). For this week, go out and buy the 1st edition - He Did It.

Laughing Adventure of the Week (LAW):
An atheist, a crossfitter and a vegan walk into a restaurant.

I know because they told me!

Satsanga Adventure of the Week (SAW): Elaborating on the opportunities shared in a recent E-Vichara (May 16, 2016) --- Youth Alone Can, dedicated to serving the young. Please read, please register, please SPREAD THE WORD about these valuable opportunities for self development!

Aug 13 in Pittsburgh --- Annual Seva Training for present/potential teachers, coordinators and volunteers focussing on application, creativity and efficiency --- http://chinmayamissionpittsburgh.org

Aug 14 in Pittsburgh --- Youth Seva Training for youth/young adults and those who work with the young focussing on understanding, engagement and sensitivity --- http://chinmayamissionpittsburgh.org

Aug 22-26 in Washington DC --- Youth Camp focussing on CONFIDENCE: In One's Self, In One's Faith --- http://jchykdc.wix.com/augustdccamp2016

Aug 26-28 in Washington DC --- Young Adults Retreat focussing on From Ordinary to Extraordinary: Building Self-Esteem --- https://www.chykwest.com/dcretreat2016/

Sep 9-18 in Canada --- Young Adults Yatra focussing on exploring satsanga in the Rocky Mountains --- http://www.chinmayaniagara.org/specialevents.htm

Nov 18-27 in Trinidad --- Young Adults Yatra focussing on exploring satsanga in and around the Ashram --- http://www.chinmayaniagara.org/specialevents.htm

"It is easy to develop the intellect, but it is difficult to develop the heart." ~ Swami Chinmayananda

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