By Punya Srivatsava and Jamuna Rangachari
As always, the three-day Life Positive Expo at New Delhi, gave the audience a cornucopia of healing, insights, inspiration and wisdom, say Punya Srivastava and Jamuna Rangachari
These three days were the richest days of my life, and enabled me to move from ‘almost not attending’ to a ‘lifetime commitment to attend’. Thank you LP!” said Suman Maheshwari from Gurgaon.
“I felt as if I were meeting long lost relatives,” said 41-year-old Razi Ahmed, from Delhi, “There was a sense of biradiri. I never felt I was among strangers.”
The annual Life Positive Expo in New Delhi is indeed a family reunion. The union of Life Positive readers who are linked in their quest for self-realization, and the union of souls who may have emerged from one soul family. Perhaps that explains the bonhomie, the high energy, and the quantum growth that is generated by the Delhi Life Positive Expo, year after year.
As the biggest and best of all our Expos, the three-day body-mind-spirit fest was a sublime blend of soul-stirring discourses and life-transforming workshops. The stable of committed and superb facilitators gave of their all, and participants went home armed with a rich repertoire of tools and techniques, wisdom and insights to mine through for the whole of 2015.
Inaugural address by Sister Shivani
She radiates a palpable aura of peace, calm and serenity. Her very presence is as refreshing as cool water on a hot day. But it is when she begins to speak that one can best appreciate the depth from which she operates. Sr Shivani is effortlessly and intuitively profound, yet simple. Her crystal clear perspective can shatter long-cherished illusions and jolt us into awakening. At the Expo, she spoke on the subject, From Expecting to Accepting. One gentleman shared that he was a strong believer in honesty and justice, and was uncomfortable being around people who were not. While seemingly in agreement, she launched her counter offensive. She suggested that behind every hurt or irritation, there lurks an expectation. Children, she said, were malleable. And we taught them that it was natural to expect. It is this assumption that invites pain into our lives. “Now we will have to teach our mind that it is natural to accept,” she said. Expectation, she continued, was a subtle attempt to control, which when unfulfilled, leads to pain. “When I radiate the energy that the other is the cause of the pain, then the relationship is spoilt.” Referring to the expectation that everyone should be honest, she said that since not everyone could reach the same standards, it was a recipe for discomfort. When we choose to accept, on the other hand, we would be able to stand for honesty, while at the same time, not be disturbed by the wayward conduct of others. She added, “The minute I radiate judgement, the other moves away, and when that happens, your power to influence her dissolves.” Pointing to a member of the audience clad in pink, she asked, “I like white but should I ask her to wear it when she loves pink? Maybe, some day I can ask her to wear white and she may agree because I respected her choice to wear pink.”
She urged the participants to respond to the other with love and respect. She pointed out that we forget that all of us are souls whose journeys are very different, and are therefore born with different samskaras. How then can we be like the other? Recalling the Taliban attack on school children in Peshawar in December, she said that just before their death the children had been exposed to vast quantities of anger, fear, hate and other corrosive emotions. If one of these children were to take birth in our homes, these emotions would surface, and perhaps we may judge and label them. This in turn would send the children spiralling down into a vicious cycle. Instead, could we learn to accept them? Focus on the samskara you want to increase, not on the one you want to diminish, she suggested. She urged the participants to change from, ‘I love you’ to ‘I accept you’, because without acceptance, there is no true love. “And later, we will say, to expect is unfair,” she concluded.
Ketan Shah kindles hope and wellness
After Sr Shivani’s discourse had generated sparks of empathy and introspection in the participants, many thronged to the hall where the acupressure maestro, Ketan Shah, awaited them. Most had read his book, and were eager for a firsthand experience of his expertise.
“He is the first person who told me that my son who has juvenile diabetes can lead a normal life,” said Parneet Kaur, a 39-year-old mother who had come specifically to see if she could help her son. Now, she is faithfully giving him home remedies like raw ladies finger soaked in water every day, while pressing on his relevant acupressure points. Her acidity and her husband’s sinus too have become better thanks to acupressure.
Mr Kuldeep Singh was extremely grateful to have learnt how to manage incontinence. Now, he practises the same points faithfully, and had already begun to feel much better within a week.
“As a doctor, I do not wish to keep giving medicine to people, but wish to help them become independent in healing themselves,” said Dr Malti Gupta, a retired plastic surgeon, who had come for the workshop all the way from Jaipur.
Ketan Shah taught not just acupressure but simple exercises like Swasio and spoke on other self-help techniques like oil pulling. Participants were extremely engaged, making quick notes and sharing their views with each other.
At the end of the day, everyone gave an enthusiastic thumb’s up to both Ketan Shah and Life Positive, as a platform for complete well-being.
Rohini and Tathagat typecast the audience
Rohini Singh and Tathagat Roy held each participant’s attention till the end of the day with their very interesting workshop on the Enneagram. The Enneagram, which is a compendium of personality types, is a modern synthesis of a number of ancient wisdom traditions. It presents a set of nine distinct personality types. While each person may resonate with more than one type, there will be one type that fits their personality more accurately than others from childhood itself. The workshop took off to an interesting start, when everyone was asked to go through a list of adjectives and choose the one they associated with the most at the age of 17 or 18. After this age, one takes on other people’s traits, which veil their own dominant personality type.
Based on their personality numbers, participants were grouped into nine clusters. Thereafter, each group was asked to come up to the front of the room, and describe their traits and habits, and their reactions in various emotionally charged situations. The detailed study of different personalities, their strengths and weaknesses, enabled everyone to look within and identify themselves. Furthermore, the workshop also helped understand others better, by identifying their personality type, and taught how to handle relationships at home, work and in one’s social circle.
Towards the end of this very intriguing workshop, the facilitators explained that the adjoining numbers of each personality type composed the wings of the type; for instance 8 and 1 were the wings of the 9 type. Most types lean towards one of these wings, which explains why two people of the same personality type can still be different from each other depending upon their dominating wing. The duo also described how each personality at its best strives to achieve the best qualities of its corresponding triad number, and at its lowest, reflects the functioning of the negative traits of the other triad number type.
Drawing the heat out of anger
As always, the psycho nuerobics expert, Dr BK Chandra Shekhar, was a popular draw, with his workshop on anger management. He began by outlining the root causes of anger: desire and expectations from self and others. The workshop was divided into two parts. The first one dealt with healing the negative effects of anger on the body. Dr Chandra Shekhar began by checking the energy centres and auras of each of the participants with a lecher antenna as well as physical tests. Likening our energy centres or chakras to emotional fuses, he explained that emotions can cause each of the fuses to blow and our body to switch to ‘generator mode’. To instantly energise the affected chakras and neutralise the effects of anger, Dr Chandra Shekhar taught participants how to charge water and food – water with orange frequency and food with yellow. And voila! When a participant with severely disturbed chakras drank the charged water, her chakras and her aura showed up as near perfect on the lecher and physical tests.
In the second part dealing with managing mind and boosting memory power, Dr Chandra Shekhar demonstrated the extraordinary results of empowering the intellect. Specifically to deal with anger management, he urged participants to start with acceptance and forgiveness. To forgive, we have to hand over those who have harmed us to the Lord, first visualising them enveloped in a divine green energy, just as we hand over culprits to the police in the corporeal world.
The workshop ended with a healing meditation in five steps based on the four languages of the intellect – image, colour, music and art and graphics. The participants were asked to draw up the energy from their real energy bodies and then receive divine energy in all the colours of the rainbow to replace the withdrawn energy. With enthusiastic participation, live demo, physical experimentation and tests, the workshop was, all in all, a very energising experience!
Healed and happy in Renu’s workshop
In Renu Agarwal’s masterly workshop on ThetaHealing, participants experienced their limiting beliefs and negative conditions melting away through several guided meditations during the day. She began by urging everyone to allow themselves to be human beings and not resist negative emotions. “Those around us don’t judge us, it is we ourselves who do so,” she said, pointing out that our happiness does not lie outside of us. As the day progressed, she taught how guided ThetaHealing meditations could be used to heal oneself, one’s family and home, as well as colleagues and the workplace.
Omrita Mathur from Delhi couldn’t help feeling grateful to Renu as the therapist did away with the former’s fearful conditionings with regards to her son. Using her ineffable skill of connecting with the participant’s consciousness, Renu tapped into Omrita’s past and slowly shifted her focus from fear to happiness. Ruchira Singh from Meerut, who had also volunteered for an individual healing session, said, “I could feel the vibrations travelling throughout my body and mind. I could feel the beliefs melting away, even physically, as Renu guided me through my fears. It felt like a shift of monumental proportions, which overwhelmed me to the point of tears.”
“I have been on the spiritual path for almost a decade now and having done many meditations processes under various masters. I felt that I had done decent inner work. But I was in for a pleasant shock,” shared Gurgaon-based Suman Maheshwari. “Renu’s powerful Theta meditation took us through an amazing journey during which I encountered a life-turning moment. I could ultimately forgive my late father, and I now know how light one feels when one forgives,” she added.
The ayurvedic anti-aging formula
“The three-fold formula to combat old age is ahaar (food), brahmacharya (celibacy), and nidra (sleep),” said Dr Pratap Chauhan to a rapt audience.
Explaining that ahaar in ayurveda went beyond just food to include consumption through the other senses too (sight, sound, touch and most important, the mind), Dr Chauhan nevertheless devoted the larger part of the workshop to the importance of eating right. Explaining the concept of the three doshas – vata, pitta and kapha – Dr Chauhan pointed out that the most important task to combat old age is to keep the doshas balanced. Vata, he pointed out, tended to increase in old age and it was the most important constituent to pacify in order to remain young. Vata, he said, consisted of air and space and had the quality of being dry, cold, mobile, rough, brittle and subtle. It was responsible for all the movements in the body. Since like increases and opposite decreases, he advised the audience to have moist, warm food, plentifully imbued with ghee, as well as grains. Vata could also be increased by excess travel, an overactive mind, and interestingly, by all negative feelings. He recommended a daily body massage with sesame oil to pacify vata.
Similarly, pitta and kapha too needed to be balanced. Equally important was to keep the different types of agni (fire element) strong, particularly jattar agni or digestive fire. Agni tends to dwindle as one grows older and therefore it was important to eat light food after 40, he said.
Only good digestion would ensure the most important aspect of staying young, which is to keep the dhathus (tissues) in balance. Sama dhatu, or balanced dhatu was the core of staying young, he said.
Dr Chauhan also underlined the importance of good sleep for rejuvenation, recommending the early-to-bed, and early-to-rise formula. And finally, he recommended mental detox through meditation and pranayam in order to stay young and happy.
Mr Razi Ahmed Farooqi, an occupational health and safety professional, was very impressed with his explanation of the sattvik bhojan, and said he would definitely be using this in his professional training.
Mind power to the fore
The scenes from Sunil Parekh’s workshop on Mind Power Unlimited looked straight out of a daredevil MTV show where participants were left astounded witnessing the power of the limitless mind. One such activity was piercing a syringe needle right across the forearm skin of a volunteer, who did not feel the pain at all, thanks to the constant mind conditioning. This thoroughly illustrated the impact our thoughts have on our physical body. “Becoming aware of our thoughts helps us overcome our negative unconscious thoughts and beliefs. There is a Law of Mind which says that everything that happens, happens twice – once in our minds, followed by in real time and space,” said Sunil.
He gave a presentation on principles that when applied turn one’s life abundant and successful. The first principle is to take 100 per cent responsibility for one’s life and its results instead of blaming others. “The quality of one’s inner talk determines the quality of one’s words and appearance. Having an attitude of gratitude makes life peaceful. When your conscious mind is peaceful, it identifies and seizes opportunities,” he said. The second principle is to have cent per cent clarity of what one wants in life. The next in line is to have SMART goals, followed by staying focussed on those goals. For this, he suggested various practical tips like preparing a vision board, a dream picture album, and keeping an idea pocket book handy.
Towards the end of the workshop, he performed a small guided meditation that a person could include in his routine to start and end his or her day with. “Try to develop your daily sadhana into a full-time sadhana – a state where you start seeing the Divine in everyone around, without having an iota of drama in life,” he concluded.
“It has to be the most exciting workshop I have ever attended,” said Nupur Bhatnagar, who volunteered for the needle activity, adding, “It was unnerving to see the impact of words and thoughts on the physical body. I am truly astounded by Mr Parekh’s workshop.”
Valedictory address by Sadhvi Bhagwati
“Happiness is something that can be obtained only when one understands what happiness really is,” began Sadhvi Bhagwati, of Parmarth Niketan, Rishikesh. Sadhvi was delivering the closing address of the Life Positive Expo.
“Today’s world has made happiness seem elusive and even unusual. Going to a psychiatrist has become the norm, and is the sign of a person ‘doing well’ in life. The advertising media goes overboard trying to project cars, objects and gadgets as being necessary for a happy life, while the common man or woman is left wondering what to do or pursue in their life,” she stated.
She shared a personal story of how confounded her sick grandmother was when she visited her in hospital on her first trip to the US after taking sanyas at Parmath Niketan (Sadhvi belong to an upper class American-born Jewish family living in California). She had the audience in splits as she quoted her grandmother complaining to Sadhvi’s uncle, “She looks happy all the time!”
She likened our attempt to find happiness in the outside world to a man trying to get orange juice by milking a cow. It was just as ridiculous, she pointed out, to expect happiness by chasing one object after another, be it a car, house or even something as commonplace as a bar of soap. The advertising media wants to make us discontented in order to get us to buy the products it promotes, she said.
She then beautifully narrated the story of an old lady looking for a key in the road although she had misplaced it at home. A young man tried to help till he came to know where she had misplaced it. When asked why she was looking for it here, she said there was more light outside, than in her house. This is the ideal story to show us how we are looking for happiness outside just because it ‘seems’ to be brighter, she explained. Are we all not trying to do the same kind of illogical search be it in the pursuit of objects or so-called success? How can we ever succeed when the key to happiness lies within, she queried to an enrapt audience.
We think we are the body but actually the current body is just a milestone in the journey of our soul. Within the current body, there could be other milestones like age, success or even disease. Still, these are only milestones and not our identity. We are infinite and omnipresent. We just need to see, rather recognise this to remain content and happy,” she said, in conclusion. The talk certainly left most people a wee bit higher on the spiritual path as they talked and smiled contently and yes, happily when they walked out.
A buzzing exhibition to boot!
Anu Mehta, Meta Health Master and Trainer, relieved stress illnesses at her stall. Meta Health Therapy is a multi-dimensional process that allows alignment of self with the body’s healing intelligence for total health. The volunteers at the Camp Himalayan gave an overview on the great adventure sports of the Himalayas, and many got themselves registered at the spot. Dr BK Chandra Shekhar cured thyroid, hormonal problems, prostrate, fear and phobia through his patent Sigfa Solutions. Dr Ritu Singh, instructor of ThetaHealing, and Clinical Hypnotherapy, gave personal sessions with a combination of holistic modalities. Amul Bahl propagated nature’s cure through God’s Own Store stall. Her products went on to become favourites among the visitors to the exhibition. Dr Aparna Gautam’s Nature’s Healing Naturopathy brought visitors closer to soul and nature as she promoted the advantages of naturopathy in stress and weight management, detoxification, and the good effects of hydrotherapy. Dr Seema Anand at the Elixir Shop Natural Products had on sale Strenua – a fat burner, Aglaia for chapped and dry skin, Morpheus for sleep inducement.
The volunteers at the Reiki Healing Foundation created awareness about the effects of Reiki, the science of chakras, telepathy, third eye, power of subconscious mind, and laws of attraction. Dilpreet Kaur Bedi helped connect the visitors with angels and archangels, their signs and sounds through singing, and chanting sacred mantras. Gayatrri Bhartiya, metaphysical counsellor, speaker and life coach, exhorted people to say yes to their dreams, and taught them how to find their life purpose, and to order from the cosmic kitchen, at her stall. Feng shui, reiki, pahtchee and tarot card expert Sunita Chillar offered pahtchee readings and mesmerised her audience by revealing the secrets in their birth charts. Chananda Cultural Society spread the miraculous powers of Violet Agni and practical spiritual teachings of the East and the West through the chart of the Divine Self. Sound Yoga taught visitors to relax through vibratory sound, entraining brainwaves to synchronise with the perfect resonance of the sound yoga singing bowls. Vibhaa Ravee at the Aumtaara stall promoted her spiritual workshops, awareness talks, healing therapies and spiritual readings. SAAOL Health and Research Foundation created awareness about the causes of lifestyle diseases and ways to transit from allopathy to alternative therapies. Shahnaz Husain’s stall displayed herbal and ayurvedic treatments that cure all skin and hair-related issues. Visitors registered for Soul Healing Miracle Programs to get training for healing, and transforming emotions with soul power.
Prana Violet Healing with its ‘no-touch, no-medicine’ mantra healed a number of the ailing public. Shrey’s Nutraceuticals and Herbals Pvt Ltd stall offered numerous products to improve health, reduce pain and inflammation, reduce depression and to manage heart problems. Astrologer and Gemologist, Abhishek Awasthi at Navgrah Jyotish Kendra stall predicted the future of the guests. Blossom Kocchar’s stall displayed aromatherapy blended curative oils and also offered benefits of CIDESCO beauty courses and diploma for better job opportunities at the Blossom Kocchar College of Creative Arts and Design.
Ashiana Nirmay, a residential project for senior citizens in Bhiwadi, attracted many a senior citizen. The Star Health Insurance stall offered various policies that offer protection for the entire family on the payment of a single premium under a single sum insured. Kent RO Systems Ltd offered guaranteed protection against waterborne diseases, and propagated the effects of pure water.
Inputs by Shalini Shekhar and Nipun Augustin Jacob.
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