By Life Positive April 2010 Over 150 delegates from all over india and even abroad converged at Delhi during the life positive expo 2010 for a heady exposure to innumerable mind- and life-expanding ideas and experiences L to R: Swami Sukhabodhananda lights the inaugural lamp as Life Positive’s Aditya Ahluwalia, DR Kaarthikeyan and Suma Varughese look on. Smt Jaya Row deconstructs desire. Swami Tejomayananda on transformation. Mr Madhavan Nambiar, secretary of civil aviation, inaugurates the exhibition Space of infinite possibilitiesUsha Gopalakrishnan an 80- year-old retired school teacher from Kerala remarked with deep satisfaction. “I have enjoyed myself thoroughly and am so happy to see so many people interested in these matters. It convinces me that the world is not degenerating, as I had thought.Anu Mishra, a 38-year-old psychotherapist from Delhi, said earnestly. “Often I would doubt if my faith in goodness and compassion was practical. After the Expo, I have no doubts about it at all.”Sampriti Mukerjee from Jamshedpur has the unique status of having attended every Expo since its inception. “The Expo keeps me on a positive high the whole year through,” she explains. “It touches areas of my life that are normally not touched and helps me live more awarefully. It particularly helps me work on my relationships.”The potpourrie of workshops, discourses and the services and products available at the Expo, blitzkrieged the mind with fresh possibilities, life-expanding ideas and tips. “The most important purpose in life is meditation,” declared Maa Gyan Suveera firmly in her Self-healing workshop, offering a unique form of meditation, CI Plus, which she conceived herself. “Whenever you are angry, take a pillow, wrap it around your face and scream as loudly as you can,” advised G.L. Sampoorna in her Heal Yourself workshop. “If you roll your tongue and touch it to your roof, you will find thoughts diminish because all thoughts are accompanied by imperceptible tongue movements,” informed Swami Sukhabodhananda, in his discourse on clarity and vision in life. Learnings were to be had at every turn, even as delegates bonded and blended into a large and happy Life Positive family. A report on the workshops and discourses at the Expo. Vedantic evenings Swami SukhabodhanandaLiving in balancePeels of laughter rent the air as Swami Sukhabodhananda launched into a discourse that deftly mingled transcendental humour with nuggets of Vedantic wisdom, in the inaugural discourse on Vision and clarity in life at the LP Expo. Before the discourse, the Swamiji inaugurated the lamp along with Life Positive chairman Mr Aditya Ahluwalia, Life Positive Foundation chairman, DR Kaarthikeyan and Life Positive’s editor-in-chief, Suma Varughese. “Can we see fact as fact and fiction as fiction?” asked Swamiji robustly, illustrating the point by inquiring, “If Bhimsen Joshi sings the bhairavi raag and a buffalo does not appreciate it, is the problem with Bhimsen Joshi or with the buffalo? If your boss calls you an idiot, are you an idiot?” adding drolly, “And if you are, then you should just accept it as a statement of fact.” Our central problem, Swamiji said, was that we amplify situations and facts by investing them with an overload of fears, worries, resistances and regrets. “Our mind is not an abiding mind, it is a spinning mind,” he explained, illustrating his point with a joke about a 50-year-old man who is asked the time by a young man with whom he shares a compartment on a journey from Chennai to Delhi. Fretfully, the man begins to imagine that this would lead to an intimacy which might bring the young man in contact with his daughter. “Right now I am telling you that you cannot marry my daughter,” said the anxious father. Absurd as it was, he made a telling point. Who does not get a small bump in the skin and amplify it into cancer, or embroider an innocuous quarrel with a spouse into lasting alienation and divorce? Urging us to make the mind into a friend through meditation, he gave a profound insight into the art of being balanced. Explaining that we have needs that may appear in opposition, he said that the art of life was all about learning to balance them so that instead of annulling each other they could strengthen the other. For example, he said, we have a need for security which goes hand in hand with a need for adventure and for venturing into the unknown. “Address these needs from a space of goodness and by being principle-oriented,” he said. Participants streamed out marvelling at Swamiji’s piercing clarity and depth. Swami Tejomayananda Transformation before technique Swamiji launched into his talk on Vedanta’s transformational tools by questioning its very premise. “The subject makes it appear as if technique leads to transformation but I declare that transformation comes first and only then do the tools appear.” He illustrated his point with numerous examples. One was of Mahatma Gandhi being thrown out of a first-class compartment in a South African railway station, which brought about his transformation into a freedom fighter. Yet another was Sant Tulsidas, who was so consumed with lust for his wife that he swam a river in spate to get to her during the monsoon. Her words that if he could desire God as much as he desired her flesh, he would get enlightened, stung him into transformation. “Many may have been thrown out of railway compartments or been chastised by their wives. But why did these two transform?” he asked answering that transformation is a happening over which we have not much control. What we can do, however, he explained, is to prepare for it. He elaborated that we can transform ourselves into better people through our five senses and thinking and perceiving faculties. By eating right food, by being with right people, by listening to right things, by reading good literature, by spending each day in a productive way: all these habits can help us prepare for transformation. Smt. Jaya Row Desire: a mass weapon of destruction“Desire is a strategy of the thinking mind to fill an inner emptiness,” stated Smt Jaya Row in her commemorative discourse on the last day of the LP Expo on the subject, Desire: Friend or foe. Her characteristic Vedantic capacity to penetrate to the root of the problem was evident in almost every word in this wonderfully insightful analysis of desire. She added, “We have fulfilled innumerable desires from the time we have been born, but has the inner emptiness ever been filled or even reduced? Why is that? Because the emptiness is illusory.” We wrongly believe we are empty when in actual fact we are fullness itself, paripurna in Vedantic terms. The question then becomes one of how to gain knowledge of this fullness. Reflecting that unfulfilled desire kept the mind in a state of agitation, she defined happiness as the cessation of mental agitation. After outlining a number of negative consequences of desire such as bondage, destruction of relationships, and so on, she summed up pithily, “Desire is a weapon of mass distraction and destruction.” Standing the law of attraction theory on its head, she declared, “Rise above desire and the object of the desire will come to you.” She added, “The truth is you get what you deserve and not what you desire.” How can we deserve? By service and sacrifice.” Another technique is to outgrow desire. She pointed out that we no longer crave for playthings because we have outgrown them. In the same way, we must learn to outgrow the playthings with which we adults surround ourselves. Moving on to solutions to the problem, she proposed strategies at managing it with the intellect. When the intellect has power over desire, then lust and craving convert into ambition and aspiration. The ultimate weapon against desire is spiritual knowledge and she urged those present to fulfil material ambitions to be sure, but also to feed the soul with regular spiritual practice. She concluded with a formula for happiness: Happiness is equal to desires fulfilled divided by desires harboured. We can either increase the number of desires fulfilled or decrease the number of desires harboured. Eventually, the denominator needs to be reduced for lasting happiness and when the number of desires harboured becomes nil, happiness becomes infinite. On this uplifting note the Expo came to an end. Learning, healing, growing Past-life regression In search of our past selves“Why should we do PLR?” asked Dr Newton, rhetorically, adding, “PLR helps you to complete unfinished business and unresolved issues. To live in the present you need to understand and let go of the past.” With this promise, Dr Kondaveti launched into his one-day workshop on past-life therapy. Participants were familiarised with the concepts of karma and reincarnation. “We are students who come to Planet Earth to learn our lessons and also to have fun,” said Dr Newton. From infant souls we progress as we grow in wisdom to the level of the transcendental soul who is here to help others grow, and the Infinite soul, an avatar of consciousness. Asked to operate from their heart chakras participants were made to connect with their neighbours and intuitively guess each other’s past lives, which many did with uncanny accuracy. One participant intuited, for instance, that his partner was a badminton player and a Bharat Natyam dancer. The fitting finale was a session where participants were invited to visit a positive past-life and integrate the skills and talents from that life into the current. Many emerged as artists, musicians and healers. NLP Perceptions create reality Consider this: The five human
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