By Jamuna Rangachari December 2006 Kambiz Naficy left the exciting fields of international finance and information technology to become a well-known meditation teacher and corporate trainer. No matter where I looked, I could not find a person who was truly inner-directed, and creating success from inside-out Kambiz Naficy is a meditation master and published Persian poet who left a successful career in international finance and computers to teach the art of joyful and stress-free living through deep relaxation, energetic breathing, hypnotherapy and meditation. Naficy has trained in Transcendental Meditation at Maharishi International University at Fairfield, Iowa, and studied ancient Indian scriptures and meditation practices deeply. He is struck with its parallels with atomic theory and NLP. He was recently in Delhi for a corporate stress management seminar and personal meditation workshop. Excerpts from an interview with him over email: Have you been interested in spirituality from an early age?I was born in the mystical land of Persia. When I was a little boy, my father often recited the poetry of Rumi and Hafez; I would listen intensely because I loved my father and the wisdom of that poetry. My own nature was a philosophical one. I remember being six or seven years old and distinguished adults would find themselves sharing problems with me and asking a little boy’s opinion about life issues. We lived in a house having a big garden with lots of berry trees and crows. Throughout my younger days, when I strolled through that garden, an invisible Presence would speak to me in whispers. In those days, I called Him ‘my invisible friend.’ Much later, I found that the Presence was my soul, the witness, pure consciousness. What would you describe as the turning point in your life, which made you change the course of your life?I was in my 30s, had already earned multiple graduate degrees, and worked in Wall Street; I had my own company, a BMW, and expensive clothes. Then I began to outgrow my old way of life, mainly because I looked around and found that all the leaders that I admired were themselves full of fear and worries; their marriages were a mess, their children lacking love, and their energies managed through drugs. No matter where I looked, I could not find a person who was truly inner-directed, and creating success from inside-out. The disillusionment and lack of deep meaning in the apparent reality weakened my will. I decided to sell my computer firm and many extras in my life; I bought several white kurta pajamas and moved out to Maharishi International University in Iowa. There I spent two years in near silence, studying the Gita and Upanishads. Would you describe Maharishi Mahesh Yogi and TM as the key influences that guided your inner journey?TM was the beginning of my journey. Through mantra repetition and Maharishi’s video tapes, I learnt to concentrate my mind. After 18 months of deep silence, Maharishi Mahesh Yogi gave us his Siddha initiation and to my surprise, while reciting Patanjali’s sutras, my body floated above the floor. At that instance, I realized that there is much more to wisdom than university education. After two years, I left for India and met with Satya Sai Baba, Sri Karunimaya, and Swami Hari Harananda. Interestingly, all three told me that they were my guides, but not my guru – my guru was a little boy of eight who had not lived in the body for centuries. The first time I heard this from Sai Baba, I was stunned as the image of my invisible childhood friend glowed before my eyes. During this period, I discovered Babaji and Kriya Yoga and right at that time, Swami Hari Harananda (www.Kriya.org) appeared in my life and initiated me in Babaji’s Kriya Yoga. Who or what are the greatest inspirations in your life?Within the visible world, my two greatest inspirations are Mahatma Gandhi and Mother Teresa. Within the quantum world, I consider Babaji and my invisible friend as my greatest sources of joy and inspiration. Have Rumi and other Persian / Sufi poets and philosophers had an influence on your personal philosophy?Yes, Rumi, Hafez, and Saadi were all high yogis. They were at different levels of connectedness with the God force (Shakti), though. Rumi was a poet of inspiration, while Hafez was a poet in perspiration. Rumi constantly bathed in the light of the God force, uttering poetry in unbroken trances, much like the state of samadhi. Hafez sometimes cried out in longing for the God that had temporarily forsaken him. What are the influences of NLP and quantum physics on your journey?Patanjali often points to samskaras (subconscious negative tendencies beyond our control), as obstacles in the way of enlightenment. Neuro Linguistic Programming is a fast and effective way to re-programme negative, unconscious mental habits. NLP exercises transform our negative mental tendencies into positive thought patterns. NLP is founded on three main principles:o The subconscious mind recognises no difference between utter, present-moment reality and optimal reality as you wish to visualise it.o The subconscious mind processes pictures, symbols, and imagery faster than verbal commands (words).o The subconscious mind does not care whether you feed it negative or positive thoughts or images. Whatever thought or image you consciously choose, the subconscious mind will immediately obey and it will manifest that notion in your daily life – ‘you are what you think’. Quantum physics is the doorway to the invisible world of Brahman (the God force). The ancient Vedas and Rumi’s poetry hint at the fact that beyond the smallest of the material particles (atoms), there exists a self-aware, loving, and infinitely intelligent light. This divine light is no other than the God force or Brahman. Modern particle physics laboratories are conducting experiments based on the findings of physicists like Einstein and Bohr; scientists are now discovering that beyond the atom all Newtonian or classical laws of nature (such as gravity) break down. Secondly, subtle human intentions and thoughts influence the dance of the atom so that the outcome of any quantum or life experiment depends on the perception or thoughts of the scientist or observer. What all of the above means is that the human race can co-create with God. A true yogi is one who can ‘create from inside out’, once he or she learns how to cooperate and collaborate with the invisible waves of nature. Do you think it is practical to live on the material plane, with spiritual goals?The quantum world is the spiritual dimension, the very Source of all creation. Once you understand and experience the light that shines beneath the atom, you are instantly filled with love, light, and spirit. Once you learn how to influence the dance of the atom, you can influence and collaborate with the very building block of the material plane (the atom). What are the simple techniques or guidelines one can adopt in everyday life that lead us to a higher level of existence?There is an old spiritual saying, ‘God only comes when YOU are not there.’ What this means is that the selfish feeling of ‘I’ as a solid, visible body is an illusion that stops the seeker from experiencing God. Beyond your solid body, you are surrounded by five other invisible, energy layers, the sixth of which is your soul (atman). All of the following will help you directly experience higher states of consciousness:o Choosing love over fear at any decision pointo Selfless service to societyo Daily prayero Daily meditationo Observing silence and enjoying ‘sweet solitude’ in nature or in a private place of worship where you want to spend time with God alone. How can corporations benefit from spirituality?A corporate organization’s greatest asset is its human resources. Managers and employees are humans with souls and nervous systems that need to be refreshed and replenished. A person who does not want to manage stress is like a driver who does not want to stop at the gas station – sooner or later your life-engine will stop! Through The Joy of Life organization, we have taught the human resources of large corporations, techniques of emotional intelligence, meditation, relaxing breathing, NLP, concentration of the mind, and managing the present moment. What is the mission of the Joy of Living organization?Our mission is to create joy and success in the lives of individuals and management teams worldwide through personal empowerment that is based on the teaching of ancient principles of joyful living, integrated with modern holistic sciences and management techniques. Today, we see tremendous strife in the world but at another level, many people are seeking inner peace. What are your views on this paradox?The world population, more than ever before, is split between those who want to manipulate through external power (fear-based), and those who lead through authentic power (based on love and mutual respect). This deep rift is actually necessary and is being brought about by Shakti or the God force. I believe that the age of ignorance is falling apart; and those who understand the world of invisible, divine energies (the Source) are learning to dance through life. Those who want to hammer away on the physical dimension will eventually break their own bodies. Is there anything else that you would like to share with our readers?Go into silence and hear the ‘silent voice’ within. Understand what it is that you really want in life. Focus your mind, concentrate, and visualise success everyday when you awaken. Take a few steps each day toward your goal without being distracted. Refresh your energies through spiritual practice. When you become successful, give something back to humanity. Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org; www.joyoflivingorg.com
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