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Reflections

Aberrations (Modern Feminism)

These thoughts are unedited and free – flowing. Thus, this piece may seem abrupt.In scriptures we see Brahma as the Creator energy. You will note that he never destroys. He never kills. Is he seen as ever giving a curse? Yet, you see the Goddess – the quintessential Mother and she comes to us in all forms. She kills, protects, nurtures……  This is how the meaning unfolds to me – Brahm is the potential. It manifests itself into two main categories – Male and Female. We see both have 3 properties – Create (Brahma / Parvati), Protect (Any and all Goddess forms / Vishnu) and Destroy (Shiva / Kali, Durga).Which aspect becomes active depends on what the devotee wants and which aspect the devotee invokes. In social situations this is how I apply it. Both Men and Women have the power to create, nurture, protect and destroy (all according to dharma). Which aspect in men and women is dominant depends on what society expects of them. Each aspect has its place and its time. To actively suppress one and encourage the other is unnatural. Each individual must be allowed to express (or not) each aspect of its personality as it comes naturally to her / him. It’s the active suppression that leads to reactions and aberrations. For centuries, women were refused support by families when they tried to express themselves in ways other than maintaining homes. When a woman was not satisfied by maintaining a home and wanted to express herself in larger magnitude, she was not allowed. This suppression led to an aberration – today’s feminism that doesn’t allow her to freely express her maternal home maker side. Hopefully, in time after swinging in extremes we will find a place of quiet contentment and free expression in the middle path.For centuries, men too have suppressed their nurturing selves. They have been mocked for responding to natural beauty, for showing empathy…… for acknowledging their emotions and therefore they have been mocked essentially for looking inward. In some ways I believe the true victims all these centuries have been men. They have been actively deprived of opportunities to look within and to develop the nurturing aspect which is so essential for creation. Even as a protector a man is taught to protect by using authority like an Asura. He is not taught to be Vishnu – Vishnu who comes to Bhu Devi’s assistance in the shape of a Varaha and gently lifts her on his tusks ensuring no harm comes to her. Vishnu who only takes the role of a Guru when she asks him questions. Vishnu who is ever smiling and uses his wit to tackle the Asuras. Vishnu who asks “Where do I put my third step O Bali!” giving Bali a chance to achieve greatness with his answer. He is NEVER imposing his will. Always standing by and only interfering when Adharma crosses a boundary / limit. It is therefore no surprise that SO many men in our society are now lost and behave like Asuras. They suffer from an aberration caused by telling them “raising children is a woman’s job. you just earn the money.” They have been deprived of the opportunity that raising a child presents – Becoming better versions of ourselves.

Reflections

Daily Meditation Challenge

My Guru once pointed out that my only problem in life is Pramaad (Laziness – lack of discipline). There has always been a resistance in me to initiate movement even towards that which I desire the most. The need to stay inert has always been stronger than desire to achieve and accomplish. As a result even though I LOVE meditating I have never developed a habit to meditate.

Tomorrow morning that changes. You see I realized something. Not meditating requires activity. If I want inertia, if I want to be lazy, I should meditate. What can be lazier than closing my eyes and finding beauty within!

Yes I know what you are thinking and don’t say it. THIS is what I am telling my mind and THIS is what I will believe for the next 21 days.

Now, I promised to daily experience compassion, love and beauty with Unmukt, so he and I shall do this together for 21 days.

Pray for me people.

Reflections

Messages from Jasper

Because Nature is the best Muse and Teacher

Reflections

Grace

Beauty Compassion and Love cannot be explained, only experienced. This is where we started our reflective journey. Last week we joined my sister, her husband, a friend of hers and my parents for a vacation of 4 days. During this trip Beauty Compassion and Love amalgamated to present themselves as Grace.

My sister Somu often spoke of Bow Lake in Canada as a mystical place of stillness where all thoughts cease. Last time I visited Bo lake with her was in November 2017. During that trip I experienced no such stillness and attributed it to traveling with my toddler son Unmukt. Therefore, this time when someone expressed hope of a similar experience my knee jerk response was “I doubt it since we are traveling with this loud one.” A few moments later the highway began running parallel to waters of Bow River and despite utter chaos in the car I found my mind still. It lasted for a minute till the water was visible. After that every time waters of Bow became visible my mind stilled.

I understood it as Bhagwati’s grace. Lovingly she was reminding me that the stillness within is ever present unaffected by the chaotic cacophony around us. It simply waits for us to be felt. That evening she sent me another message through my little one.

Unmukt asked for the story of Kanakdhara Stotram as we waited to be served at Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise. At the end of the story he wanted to hear the stotra. Since I don’t have it memorized my father pulled it up on YouTube. The video had Lakshmi’s image and Unmukt asked “Why does Devi hold the Lotus?”

Mother holds a Lotus flower to remind us that just as a Lotus is born in muddy waters but never immerses in it so should we live in the Sansara (world). Never immersed always floating above it spreading the fragrance of our essence.

Practical Mindful Parenting Tips

5 Mindfulness Exercises (Games) for Toddlers

As a young adult I bought into the idea that children are natural Mindfulness Experts. Today as a mother to 3 yr old Scorpion 🦂 child I know that’s not true. Mindfulness is a habit we need to develop. Earlier we start easier it gets. Over time I have tried many methods to encourage Mindfulness in him and his friends. Following are our favorite Mindfulness games.

1) Beauty Game – Ask your toddler to point out 5 beautiful things he or she sees whenever you are outside the house. Take turns at finding beauty and you will be amazed at some of the things your little one finds beautiful.

Advanced version – Depending on how far along your child’s language skills are, you can even ask “why do you find xyz beautiful”? It makes for some interesting conversations.

2) I 👁 Spy – This has quickly become a favorite precursor to bedtime. I Spy is a guessing game in which each person takes turn at spying an object. Others have to guess the object. We can ask questions like “Which part of the room is it in?” “What color is it?” Is it living or non living?

Often we spy objects that have been around forever but went unnoticed.

3) What do you hear? Unmukt hates taking naps so in the afternoon when he is tired we like to cuddle in the sofa, read books and play this game. We close our eyes and describe what we hear. Sometimes his imagination goes in overdrive and he will tell me a Dinosaur 🦕 🦖 story based on the sounds he heard.

4) The Breathing Game – This is less Mindfulness and more a precursor to Pranayam. We inhale deeply and then blow at each other’s hair. To win he has to exhale longer than me.

5) I touch – In this game I count to myself all the things Unmukt is touching as he sits in bed or sofa with me. Next I say to him – You are touching 10 things right now. Can you tell me which things? For every correct answer he gets a sticker. Next I ask him “How many things is mumma touching?” He never gets it right because the kid is bad at math. But, it’s a good game for developing counting skills, increasing vocabulary and even identifying body parts.