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The Gift Of Getting Older

September 24th, 2017

I started in the marital arts at a very young age. While I was excited to learn karate, I was more drawn to the energy surrounding it. What do I mean by energy? There was a peace and quiet confidence to those I met who were involved in the martial arts. I couldn’t explain it at the time. All I knew is I wanted what they had.

Being involved in the arts, I was fortunate to have instructors, teachers and mentors who relied heavily on meditation. Over the course of the years I started meditation and getting deeper into philosophy. The art of thinking and the art of letting go. I can honestly say that mediation had saved my life on several occasions. And without going into specifics, I credit meditation for my longevity as a mental health worker. Spending 20 years as a crisis counselor, I did in fact see some pretty awful things. Pain and death became the daily experience. Then when working in the prison system as a chaplain, I encountered some of the worst traits that a human being could have. Meditation allowed me a vessel to empty the chamber so to speak, and start fresh again the next day.

So this morning on my daily run, I was meditating. For those who are unfamiliar of meditating, you can meditate anytime, anywhere. Today as I silenced the mind, I did stay with one particular thought. Just how amazing it is to get older. At 52, I feel as though I am in the best place in my life. There are certain realizations that have come to me with age. Not everyone has these same realizations, but for me, growing older offers freedom.

As I ran, the door of consciousness opened up. This is what I have learned as I have gotten older.

1. Yes there are physical limitations getting older. But, the real limitation I see people my age have his their attitude. Staying up beat in a negative situation almost always breeds a positive result. That so shall we think. So shall we create.

2. Money often complicates things. While I have enjoyed tremendous financial success, when I lost everything in my mid 30′s, I somehow grew to become happier. When the money is gone you learn a lot about yourself. Money provides options. It does not buy happiness.

3. While your sex drive begins to taper off, true intimacy settles in. Learning to connect through other deeper channels can really solidify a relationship. It becomes more spiritual and emotional. Having that soul level connection to mirror life back to you is priceless. To be open and trust this feedback is an opportunity for accelerated growth.

4. Profound sense of freedom. Knowing who you are and not comprising your belief system has become a thing of the past. Yes your circle may become smaller. But you will feel enriched, supported and loved by those who still remain.

I could go on and on about the beauty of the aging transformation, but it will be different for everyone. The body gives us signals. We should pay attention to them. I am speaking of behaviors that some engage in to appear and act like they’re 30 years younger. While we all want to be liked, self validation looks beautiful on you. And while I hate the phrase “act your age”. {Age is just a number.} Going to great lengths to be accepted is unappealing at any age. By all means dress the way you want to dress. Dance if you feel like dancing. But be you. Don’t run from your age. Embrace it. The profound lesson I have learned is that I do not need anyone’s permission to be happy. And for that reason alone, the price of aging is worth the ticket.

By dreading getting old, we are in fact going to feel old. I’m excited about this gift. Fear fades, love increases and getting to know and accept who I really am is magical. Don’t bring fear into your future. Wear your scares like badges, and no one can touch you.

Age. It’s a gift many are denied. Learn to be thankful and appreciate the ride.

‘At the Feet of the Master’: The Maiden Book Written by J Krishnamurti in His Young Age, an Analysis

September 24th, 2017

AT THE FEET OF THE MASTER.

J.Krishnamurti was adopted in his youth by Madame Annie Besant, the then President of The Theosophical Society, the International Organisation with its head quarters at Adyar, Chennai (the then Madras) Dr Besant and other leaders of the organisation proclaimed that J.K would soon be the World Teacher, whose coming the Theosophists had been proclaiming for a long time.

The three declared objectives of the Theosophical Society were:

To form a Universal Brotherhood of Humanity without distinction of race, creed, sex, caste or colour;

To encourage the study of comparative Religion, Philosophy and Science.

To investigate unexplained laws of Nature and the powers latent in man.

He was a student of Theosophy and other schools of thought till 1922. In 1922, J.K underwent some mystic experiences and some years later he dissolved the Order with a huge following and gave up all the money and the huge property collected by the Order. In a historic rather the prophetic talk in 1929 he categorically declared “Religious organisations cannot lead man to truth and his only concern to set man absolutely, unconditionally free.”

Thus the years up to 1922 were his learning years and the years in between 1922 to 1929 were becoming years (though he never believed in becoming) He attained total wisdom in 1929 and the years after 1929 to 1986 were His propagating years. There is some difference in the contents of his teaching during the two periods (before attainment of total wisdom and after attaining the same). “At the feet of the master” is a small book like Tirukural preaching how to follow the footsteps of the Master scripted in the first decade of 20th century first published in 1910.

In his foreword itself, he makes it clear that those were not his words but those of the master who taught him. A man who wishes to succeed must do exactly what was told. one must do what He says, attending to every word, taking every hint.

For this pathway, four qualifications are needed;.

1. Discrimination 2. Desirelessness 3. Good conduct and 4. Love

1. Discrimination:

The first of these qualifications is Discrimination;

The discrimination between the real and the unreal.which leads men to enter the path.,This path is to be followed at every step until the end. The really important thing is the knowledge of God’s plan for man. Because a man knows this he is on God’s side.

The person who knows to discriminate will be able to find the difference between the physical body and himself. He is different from even the mental body. He is able to differentiate between what is to do and what not to do.

He is able to discriminate between the important and the unimportant. He distinguishes the useful from the useless and also between the more useful from the less useful.

One must distinguish between truth and falsehood. He must learn to be true all through, in thought, word and deed. He must be true in action. He must discriminate between selfish and the unselfish.

Learn to distinguish the God in everyone and everything. You can help your brother through that which you have in common with him and that is the Divine Life.

2. Desirelessness.

A person who has mastered the art of discrimination already knows that the things which most man desire, such as wealth and power are not worth having and when this is really felt, all desire for them ceases.

When all desires for self are gone, there may still be a desire to see the result of one’s work. One must do right for the sake of the right, not in the hope of reward.

One should not desire for psychic powers. One must guard against certain small desires too which are common in daily life.

Another common desire which one must sternly repress is the wish to meddle in others’ business. One should learn the virtue of silence and should talk only when absolutely needed.

3. Good Conduct

The six points of conduct which are specially required are given by the Master as:

1. Self-control as to the mind

2. Self-control in action

3. Tolerance

4. Cheerfulness

5. One-pointedness

6. Confidence

We are a spark of God’s own fire, and God, who is Almighty, is in us, and because of that there is nothing we cannot do if we will.

4. LOVE

Of all the qualifications, Love is the most important. It forces man to acquire all the rest. It is indeed the will to be one with God. Because He is Love, one would become one with Him when he is filled with perfect unselfishness and Love.

The three sins against love are gossip, cruelty and superstition and against them one must watch ceaselessly.

The wisdom which enables one to help, the will which directs the wisdom, the love which directs his will are the qualifications of those who wish to enrol themselves to serve Him.

In conclusion, it may be stated though this is the maiden writing of J.Krishnamurti, it contains some teachings he spread till 1986.

Though the book is small in size, the contents are very rich. Though it was recorded during a period when English writing was making inroads in India as against Sanskrit and Tamil which were timelessly old, the contents are at par with classical writings.

Finally the beauty of the teachings can be realised in full when the entire book is studied not leaving even a single word as advised by J.Krishnamurti himself.