Categories
Creative Life Emotional Revolution

The Path and the Forest


Two brave knights enter the forest on their horses. The marked path is their guide. They want to cross the forest to get to the palace of the king on the other side where great riches are awaiting them. At the start of the journey both of them have the same goal, during the crossing everything changes for one of them. He begins to listen to the creatures of the forest, and lured by them he adventures himself into it to never return. The other knight, who follows the path, oblivious to the wild beauty laments the insanity that captured his fellow man. His life safe and protected by the path, he knows what’s behind and what’s ahead. His life known to him. The other has entered a world of magic and wonderment, his life has become an unexpected adventure full of suffering beauty…

Two archetypes of our world can be found in these two stories. One focused, practical, afraid of risk, surprises and pain at the cost of a life of routine and lack of real wonderment for a known goal that probably will never be attained. The other a wandering existence, full of adventures and encounters, magic and beauty, sensations and suffering for an unknown future, in which the moment becomes king and queen. In these two archetypes we all live, as the yin and yang of our existence. Some will hold with all their strength and will the path to secure their lives, others will let themselves be seduced by a world of imagination to feel the meaning of life. Between the two, we wander.

Categories
Emotional Revolution

Listening


To Listen: give one’s attention to a sound… (Oxford Dictionary)

Coming back home from dinner with some friends, I started to reflect whether I have been listening. Slowly, painfully, gradually I have become aware in the last years about my deficiency in listening to others. Part of this awareness is this self-reflection on my actions: did I put enough attention on what my friend was saying? Did I interrupt too many times? Did I talk too long? – so this is what I was doing on my ride back home…then I thought that perhaps the act of listening goes beyond sound, beyond words. Listening to someone else’s gestures, facial expressions, their actions, their pauses, their absences, the empty spaces. At the end, isn’t listening about the expression of emotions? Isn’t deeper listening the ability of putting our attention on other’s emotions, their palpitations?

Many spiritual practices, including yoga, see vibration as the final nature of the universe, all is vibration. As when Siddhartha listens to the river and learns to listen to the universe in Hesse’s novel, perhaps the act of listening is the ability to “give one’s attention to this vibration”, including, but far not only, the words of my friends.

Categories
Emotional Revolution

The “yeses”, the “noses”, and the “maybes”…who we really are

So many voices in our heads. So many “yeses”, “noses”, “maybes” at the same time. Desires, whims, restrictions, principles, habits at the same time. Of all these who are we? In yoga, as in other hindu traditions there are the chakras. Overly simplifying, they are energy centres, which nature and effect is interpreted in many ways. Each of the chakras is related to different dimensions of our being – our connection with the Earth, sexuality, creativity, ego, love, imagination, divinity, etc. These we may say affect our behaviour. What we eventually do may be closely related with the state of these chakras, that is, with how the energy is channeled along them. So it is said that when our more terrenal whims for food or sex are dominating us it is because the lower chakras are unbalanced with the rest, dominating, for example, our connection with love or ethical principles. As when someone prefers to eat the last piece instead of giving it to someone else, or sex takes only place completely separated from its close connection with love or even divinity – both happening just for the direct pleasure to the ego.

Who are we then? I believe we are all and one. The chakras are all connected, thus the balance or unbalance. We are not one or all, but all and one. We’re and we’re not the person that eats the last piece of cake. For on the one hand we have eaten it, but on the other if given the chance of awareness of the consequences of eating it – for example, a person that has eaten less will feel given an unfair part of the cake – we may probably stop eating it and give it to that person.

Understanding our being as only being one of them, that is the one who eats the piece of cake, can give place to what is often felt as unfair judgement of the person – “you ARE so selfish, for you ate much more cake than others did”. Understanding our being as all of them, can give place to the impossibility of judging behaviour – “never mind he ate the last piece of cake, it is not HIS fault, he didn’t realise others didn’t eat as much.” Understanding our being as one and all at the same time allows to a non-judgement of the person and evaluation of the behaviour, and therefore to the possibility of its future correction by us – “It was a bad thing that he ate the last piece of cake, I hope that now he knows the consequence of it, others didn’t eat as much, I am sure next time he will think about it”. We are not our behaviours, or even our thoughts of it. They form part of us, but they are not us.

We are responsible of the decisions we take, deciding for the “yes” instead of the “no”, but those decisions are not us, any person judging our being for our behaviour is, I believe, making a mistake. That doesn’t mean he is stupid, he is just making a mistake that can be corrected if given the opportunity to do so.

Categories
Creative Life Emotional Revolution

Do you think your brain is only logic and reason…?

If you do, you must perhaps turn around and have a look at your actions, at what you do and how you react to different situations. You are up for a surprise. For the brain is much more than that (or as I like to think, we – body, mind, heart and soul – are much more than that)

Have a look at his video:

…and for entertaining reading you have this great book by Daniel Pink:

Categories
Emotional Revolution Network World

The awareness of love

One week ago I was saying goodbye to people that just a week before I haven’t even met, though it felt like I was saying farewell to people I knew for years. For a week (18-24 July) I was in what my eyes and my heart saw and felt as paradise. It was the Ängsbacka’s Yoga Festival 2011 in Sweden. If you would have asked me about it before December 2010, I would have looked at you with open eyes in surprise and remain silent trying to guess what you were saying. Thanks to someone who helped me open a big crack more my door of awareness I now can say that this was the best week of my life.

There, together with 300 more people, I practiced yoga from 7 am, discovered new spiritual paths, made friends I can call brothers and sisters, ate amazing food, sung beautiful bhajans, danced like crazy, I had a collective tantric orgasm, and felt the energy we all share and that connects us all, love. Then in the middle of all this, a person in Norway full of hate killed dozens of people, many of them children and teenagers. At the same time I became aware of the power of love, of what we can build together, I felt how destructive hate can be. Then there is cynicism. That feeling that tells you that change is not possible, that thinking of love as a positive force that can make change real is naive, that the real thing is violence and hate, that we need to be prepared for the worse.

I stopped being cynic, for I became aware of things that changed my way of looking. I became aware that together we can make our world better. I became aware that the connection between all human beings, all life on Earth and the Earth itself is so strong and powerful, so beautiful that there is hope for a better future, not a one which we are slaves of a hierarchic machine of domination, addicted to technology that’s distracting from our feelings we don’t want to have because they may be painful. I became aware of love, the energy that connects us, brings us together, bind us as one. I really felt it all around my body. Our world needs a change, but it won’t come with domination, imposition or convincing. It will come from those that change as persons capable of be the change. As my teacher of teachers said, “be the change you want to see in the world”. In my case, the first step was to become aware of love, start loving myself to be able to love others dearly.

I would like to leave you with some wise Og Mandino’s words that I hope will guide my life…

“Beginning today, treat everyone you meet as if they were going to be dead by midnight. Extend to them all the care, kindness, and understanding you can muster, and do it with no thought of any reward. Your life will never be the same again.”

Categories
Emotional Revolution Network World

A different world

OK. Tomorrow I am leaving for Sweden for a 10 days “connecting trip” (in all senses!). Let me just share with you a thought, a feeling. I think, I feel we are witnessing a big transformation of our world. We are going from a world dominated by hierarchical institutions, where trust was put on the organisations with “expertise” to manage our affairs to a world governed by networks of individuals and communities where trust is put on those that can offer at every moment the best of themselves (of ourselves!), a world where every one of us can aspire to be and be the change we want to see in the world like the great Ghandi said…Do you aspire to be?

Categories
Emotional Revolution me

From grey London to multicolour Yoga

So, here I am in London once more, but, as it has been my life in the last year and a half, only for a few days. On Sunday I am going to Sweden for a Yoga Festival in Ängsbacka, which this year’s theme is “Connect with yourself – connect with others”. Coincidences do no exist. Connection has been the theme of my past year and a half, so it is very appropriate that I finish a period of great transformation in my life with a 7-day yoga/mediation/singing/community festival in the middle of the Swedish woods…

Categories
Creative Life Emotional Revolution Network World

Awakening: the power of love

“The cultural transformation from the love of power to the power of love is the drama of our time.”

Waking the Global Heart: Humanity’s Rite of Passage from the Love of Power to the Power of Love, Anodea Judith

Categories
Emotional Revolution

Osama, Obama and the ideology of hate


Something is really wrong when the bare fact of the death of a human being creates so much joy in so many people.

As many other people in human history, Osama bin Laden was driven by an ideology that caused much sorrow. He followed a revengeful, violent ideology, an ideology that springs up from pain. In this ideology hate dominates our interpretation of the world, anyone that hurts us is hated, anyone that’s different than us is hated. Revenge is its driven force. Justice becomes revenge. But he is not the only one. Unfortunately it’s an ideology shared by too many people. Bin Laden’s death proves how alive it is.

This ideology of hate is the opposite of ahimsa or non-violence. Non-violence means that ANY act of violence is negative, we cannot feel rejoice from it. As I interpreted, this doesn’t mean that in some situations there might be violence coming from us, but we should feel sorry, regret it as a painful act. The ideology of hate (or asuu) tells us that violence is good and necessary against someone (or something) that has hurt us. When I hear or read all that joy talking about Bin Laden’s death, when I hear that the President of the most powerful country of the planet, the person who was elected with some much hope to bring a different view to the world said of Bin Laden’s death that “justice has been done” I am reminded of how powerful the ideology of hate is. This brings me sorrow.

PS: And in another galaxy far, far away…”Obi-Wan Kenobi Is Dead, Vader Says

Categories
Emotional Revolution

Empathy (‘in feeling’)

empathy: “The ability to understand and share the feelings of another.”
from Greek empatheia (from em- ‘in’ + pathos ‘feeling’)

This is an ability I didn’t understand until very recently. Then, thanks to someone who was very close to me and who had an amazing empathy, everything came to me, first as a blow and then a gradual, increasing understanding. In our rationalising world is not an ability easy to develop, though I believe it’s becoming a very important one to go through our lives. In this blog, I talked before about empathy here. I said

This sums up what empathy is: I am here with you, I give you hope, and accompany in your feeling.

At first, when we don’t know how to feel it, we may be afraid of our empathy, for it makes us vulnerable to the bad feelings of others, and we naturally avoid feeling bad. But empathy is not ‘feeling bad with another’, it is just ‘feeling with another’. Yes, feeling with her the sorrow when someone she loved died or her pain when she is sick, but also feeling with her the joy of making love, or when she passes a difficult exam. Empathy is part of a life attitude of openness necessary to get both the ugly and the beauty of our world, if we close ourselves to the former, we close ourselves to the latter. The best two TED talks I’ve seen so far show us amazingly what I mean: “The power of vulnerability” and “I should have a daughter…“.

There are also two very recommendable videos from TED and RSA talking about empathy from two different perspectives, the girl in you and our civilisation.