Under the benevolent gaze of Mother Nature, the Life Positive Fest unfolded learnings, healings, and insights, while fomenting connections and sparking joy
The annual Life Positive Expo in Delhi, now the Life Positive Fest, took place in an altogether new venue this year; in the sublime ambience of Zorba The Buddha – an esoteric place cocooned serenely in the outskirts of the capital. The verdant lawns, cowdung paved floors, thatched canopies, ponds lively with paddling ducks, trees lined with beautiful paper lanterns – everything seemed to guide you towards Mother Nature's ever inviting embrace. Participants couldn't resist soaking in the serenity of the ambience as they took their tea cups to sit by the ponds, or relax their feet on the cooling lawns. This was further complemented by the invigorating discourses by our two guest speakers and six dynamic workshops, spread through March 24th, 25th and 26th. One of the participants, Delhi-based Gauri Hajela, described her experience in these words: “The beautiful resource people, the learning, and the kindred spirits were the best part of the LP fest. The arrangements and the ambience were excellent too.” Read on for a detailed report of the scintillating fest.
Inaugural address by Swami Lalitananda Giri
“My Guru asked me to create a balance between my heart and my head, 30 years back. I asked him, 'Do I have to reduce my head?'. He answered, 'No, just increase this.' (pointing to the heart),” recalled Yogoda Satsang Society's Swami Lalitananda Giri during his inaugural discourse on 'Balancing the left and the right brain'. Swami Ishwarananda, the original speaker, was unfor tunately unable to attend the event, and therefore gave us the opportunity to listen to the Swami expound eloquently on what turned out to be his signature discourse. Most of us by now are aware that the left brain governs our logical and analytical side while the right one presides over the emotional and creative part. “A harmonious balance between the two hemispheres, or the head and the heart, enables a person to lead a harmonious life,” he reiterated, adding that emotional intelligence is crucial to attain a holistically successful life. To achieve that balance, left-brained people need to develop intuition and perception of emotions in themselves and others, while right-brain people need to build their analytical muscles by performing logicenhancing activities. He enlivened his discourse with apt stories. One man, he said, was offered a job that paid him a higher salary which logically seemed a better option, but the nature of the job and the politics of the work place helped him recognise the folly of only following the head. On the other hand, a young woman ruined her life by choosing to marry a dissipated young man despite the many admonitions of her family because she was in love with him. Her mistake? Only following the heart! “When there is a connection between the two hemispheres, we are in a 'flow'. That is the state in which unconditional love flows through us,” he explained. Swamiji then dwelt on the significance of Kriya Yog in energising the respective chakras (anahata for the heart and ajna for the head) to create the needed balance.
The Sound of Breath by Partha Gupta
Partha's eclectic workshop on 'breath' set the tone of the fest. Literally like a breath of fresh air, he swept away conventional definitions of spiritual terminology such as meditation, yoga, soul, and so on – and recreated them anew taking us all back to basics. It was akin to sitting in my first tuition class in the ninth standard and relearning the basic fundamentals of mathematics. Partha explained that spirit was behind the energy of thought. Spirit means freedom from rules and doing your own thing. Being spiritual is being intensely sensitive to life, being deeply conscious of the many miracles of life which are always manifesting around us. He urged everyone to ponder over the question, “Is there enough spirit in my thoughts?”, in order to manifest a life of our dreams. “Spirit becomes matter when there is enough energy,” he said. He shared an instance where he received a phone call from a young man who was about to commit suicide and thought of making his last call to him. He had finished his studies and was looking for a job since quite a long time. After months of job hunting,
he got depressed and thought of ending his life. Partha suggested that he jog 30 minutes twice a day with a promise to do it religiously. After a month, a completely changed man stood at Partha's door. “I saw that in his depression, he was not breathing properly. Hence, jogging. Once his breathing improved, he became a changed man,” said Partha. The workshop was interspersed with many breathing exercises wherein he facilitated the process of bringing the frequency of your breath to match that of your Higher Self, following which you can heal your body and mind.
Empowerment with Angels by Roshani Shenazz Nadirshah
Roshani’s Shenazz’s workshop introduced participants to the warm and fuzzy world of angels. Which of us isn’t better for the knowledge that we are not alone in this excruciatingly difficult world, but are supported and guided by these messengers of God? Her first task was to dissipate the myths about angels, such as that they emerge from Christian theology. She clarified that they are non-sectarian beings of light who have been existing long before Planet Earth came to be, and whose essential role was to make our lives easier, provided we ask for help. Any cry for help to any deity or form of divinity would suffice to draw their attention, she reassured us. However, before we rush to the conclusion that our lives are going to be taken care of by angels and we have nothing harder to do than crook a finger to summon them, she clarified that our destiny is created by our karma (our past thoughts, words and deeds), and the angels have no power to change our karma. Nevertheless, we can use their wisdom and presence to learn the lessons each karmic challenge affords us and thereby release our karma. We were also introduced to some of the major archetypes in the angelic kingdom and participants were asked to identify the ones they felt aligned to, which would indicate who their guardian angels were. Apart from correlating the law of karma with the angelic world, she also brought in the chakra system, integrating the colours invested with each angel with the colours of the different chakras. Interspersing the gyan were powerful meditations that healed and uplifted. All in all, it was not just a delightful workshop but one that added necessary depth to the subject.
Releasing Trapped Emotions by Suzy Singh
In an effective and compelling workshop, Suzy Singh, a gifted transpersonal therapist, introduced us to a self-created technique called Homa, that can help us work through the emotional impasses that swamp our lives with pain and illness. She explained that we often repress our negative feelings and thoughts along with the belief systems that drive them. Through her Homa technique she helped participants identify and neutralise negative beliefs and also use the fire breath to eliminate the emotional
charge of past trauma. Each participant was asked to recall incidents which ‘triggered’ them in any upsetting manner. As the session progressed, participants discovered that the situations which made them unhappy had a root cause hidden in their earlier experiences. Suzy enabled the participants to find this causal wound and heal it internally through first making them identify the founding belief, and then re-inscribing it with a positive one.
first-time participant said that she felt lighter as the workshop allowed her to express emotions that she had been blocking since years. The workshop transpired into an emotionally and psychologically enthralling experience as participants recounted moving instances from the past and declared to themselves that it was indeed okay to experience one’s feelings without fear of judgement and guilt. Life Positive Foundation will hold further workshops by her on May 12th, 26th, and on June 3rd-4th, 2017. To register contact firstname.lastname@example.org
Acupressure for Total Wellness by Ketan Shah
“The reason behind health problems is the communication gap between body and mind,” said star facilitator and renowned acupressure therapist Ketan Shah as he commenced with his one-day workshop on Acupressure for Total Wellness on the second day of the LP fest. As always his workshop was abrim with handy tips for ailments ranging from acidity, high blood pressure and diabetes to cervical spondylosis. The workshop segued from the theoretical aspects of acupressure to a study of various organs and their corresponding acupressure points, as well as the related emotions which trigger the onset of ailments that get manifested in the physical body. The most beneficial aspect of the workshop was the series of 'on the spot demos' that he and his two very efficient assistants performed on participants after the study of each organ and corresponding ailments. Mr Shah also shared a number of easy home remedies for various issues, and introduced participants to the powerful benefits of oil-pulling. The practice consists of washing the mouth with a teaspoonful of til oil first thing every morning until the oil gets converted into white froth. This apparently detoxfies the system powerfully. However, for this writer, the most significant takeaway from his workshop were these words: “We cannot retain the taste of any dish in our mouth for more than 60 seconds. And yet, for those 60 seconds of sensory pleasure on a mere six inches of tongue, we let go of our awareness and give in to indulgence, and assault our digestive system.”
Panel Discussion: The Promise of Alternative Therapies
Following the workshops on the second day, facilitators Ketan Shah, Roshani Shenazz, Partha Gupta and Suzy Singh enlightened the audience about the increasing scope of alternative medicine in a highly informative panel discussion chaired by Editor-in- Chief Suma Varughese. Through his experience with the increasing acceptance of acupressure among his clients Ketan Shah was of the opinion that, “alternative medicine is gaining momentum in our times”. Roshani Shenazz seconded the opinion, adding that their true nomenclature should be complementary medication, and not alternative. Suzy Singh pinpointed the chief difference between mainstream and holistic therapies by affirming that where allopathy focussed on disease management and instant cures, alternative medicine aimed to eradicate the root cause behind physical as well as psychological manifestations. She recounted her experience with a comatose patient whose condition was deemed incurable by the hospital doctors, but who recovered successfully through her ability to connect with his soul and work through the conditioning that held up his healing. Partha Gupta also reflected on the appropriateness of the term ‘alternative’ while dealing with forms of medicine other than biomedicine. He said that we need to understand that these healing therapies have been around since time immemorial and it is only recently that we have re-discovered them. In that sense, they are not alternative but given to us through generations. All the panelists conceded that alternative therapies should not be seen as a competition to allopathic medication as both of them have an important role to fulfill. The goal should rather be to move towards a coexistence of alternative as well as allopathic forms of healing.
Uncovering the Hidden Potentials of our Mind by Dr BK Chandrashekhar
To describe BK Chandrashekar’s workshop as a spiritual and scientific rollercoaster would be no mistake. From the beginning of the workshop till its end, Dr Chandrashekar held the attention of all the participants with a curiosity and zeal that did not dwindle even for a second. With numerous gizmos that measured people’s stress level to checking the condition of the seven chakras of the body, Dr Chandrashekhar brought home the point that by rightfully channelling the power of your mind you can surpass all mental as well as physical obstacles. Through his SIGFA technique (where SIGFA stands for Spiritual Incorporeal God Father Almighty) he explained that, “Our body is the replica of the cosmos.” He illuminated the participants on how to increase the power of intellect to harness this divine energy fully. According to him, the brain andmind are two different entities where the former is a storage device that contains the precious super-conscious brain and the mind is the conscious brain which, like a desktop in a computer, displays whatever we record through our experiences. Through a guided session of group meditation, he taught the participants on how to communicate with the divine energy and unlock the powers of the superconscious brain. His workshop transformed into a spiritual experiment laboratory as he demonstrated various techniques to make the mind resonate at frequencies of different colours and their impact on our bodies. After the workshop, many participants signed up for his workshop in Manali and promised to use the meditation technique in their everyday lives.
Past-life Regression by Blossom Furtado
Workshops on Past-life Regression always attract a bevy of curious enthusiasts, and the one held on the third day of the Fest was no exception. Participants gathered in Blossom Furtado's workshop with curiosity and the facilitator didn't disappoint. Blossom's effervescent style of holding the space endeared her to many. The day started by establishing the fact that all of us are 'immortal spiritual beings having a temporary human experience'. Blossom then went on to explain the working of the mind and its various facets. According to her, the subconscious mind is the one that undergoes regression under hypnosis, and it is the very terrain that holds the memories and imprints which form the conduits to one's present thoughts and behaviour. Memories locked in the subconscious mind are further classified as modern and primitive. Apparently, modern memories consist of the information that gets accumulated the moment one takes one’s first breath which is also the moment when the soul and mind fuse with the body. The primitive memory is the storehouse of all the past lives that we have journeyed through, and the conscious mind has no access to this faculty. “The role of PLR is to improve the current life of a person and help him or her evolve spiritually,” maintained Blossom. She reiterated that to achieve spiritual growth, one has to improve his or her relationship with the self, with one's parents and to learn to be okay with rejection. The root cause of any disharmony in all these aspects can be identified by regressing to the past – it can be a few years back, or one's childhood, or to any of the past lives. She conducted a few guided navigations wherein many of the participants went back in their past and could identify the signal their subconscious mind was sending to them.
Valedictory address by Dr Sriram Gajula
In an invigorating and captivating speech, Dr Sriram addressed a room full of audience on the idea of treating nature as our guru. From romantic poetry to Shakespearean sonnets, his examples and analogies enchanted and enlightened. Dr Sriram drew his listeners’ attention to the miniscule details of life that often go unnoticed. He urged them to extend their imagination and envision the world through the eyes of a mosquito. Illustrating how deftly nature had equipped the little pest to do its job by providing it with sensors to detect the presence of humans and giving it a certain chemical that prevented its victim’s blood from coagulating, he asked, “If a mosquito can be looked after so well, will we not be looked after?” He emphasised that in nature there is a space carved for everyone, and it is the divine Creator’s excellence that shines out in each detail and care with which our world is designed. He likened the relation between the Divine and nature to that of the dance and the dancer. Just as the dance disappears without the dancer, similarly nature can only manifest the Creator’s magnificence. Without the Divine, there would no nature. When asked about the purpose of human life, Dr Sriram, with a smile escaping his face, gave the conclusive remark that sums up the mantra of the Expo as he said, “The purpose of life is to live.”
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