Faith in Life is all you need to create miracles.
Miracles don’t happen in Life because we visit Godmen, tie talismans or practice religious rituals. They happen when we have faith in Life’s ability to pull us out of any abyss that it may have pushed us into. And they always happen only when you need them and when you know__and believe__that they will happen.
It’s so simple. You and I were born without our asking for it. We have gone through, and continue to go through, Life’s design without really a choice. Trust that the same design which created us and brought us to where we are, will show us the way forward too! Know that if you have been created, you will be provided for and taken care of. Yes, our rational side may have us well believe that some of Life’s events are our own doing. Like when you drink and drive and crash your car__it was indeed your own irresponsible choice. Just as when you have an affair outside of your marriage. But there are times when the cosmic design__what some observers call ‘Time’ or ‘Kaal’(in Hindi)__weaves a pattern that never really can be understood. Whatever you do, things just don’t work out. You work hard. But you don’t get a break. You are honest. And yet you get labeled a cheat. You have never had any ruinous habits. But you are diagnosed with terminal illness. These are all the times when you will be frustrated, burned out and be very, very angry with Life. These are also exactly the times when you must keep the faith__in Life and in yourself.
|Picture Courtesy: Internet|
Let’s learn from someone who has been there, seen Life, survived and won. Lance Armstrong. He is an American former professional road racing cyclist who survived testicular cancer. “During our lives we experience so many setbacks, and fight such a hand-to-hand battle with failure, head down in the rain, just trying to stay upright and to have a little hope. I have always kept the faith by knowing that pain is temporary. It may last a minute, or an hour, or a day, or a year, but eventually it will subside and something else will take its place. If I quit, however, it lasts forever,” he writes in his autobiography, It’s Not About the Bike: My Journey Back to Life. In October 1996, just when Lance was beginning to emerge on the international cycling circuit, he was diagnosed as having testicular cancer with a tumor that had metastasized to his brain and lungs. His cancer treatments included brain and testicular surgery and extensive chemotherapy, and his prognosis was originally poor. But his faith brought him back from the brink.
Whatever you and I are going through__our stories may differ, from enormous debt to a relationship crisis to a health challenge to a business failure to a mid-Life career challenge to the loss of a dear one to a legal quagmire to a tainted reputation, but the pain is the same__is Life’s way of testing us. Almost always, at first it looks difficult and well nigh impossible to face it. But in the end, it will all be fine. Because even if the problem has not gone away, your ability to deal with it has improved greatly. And, of course, you have learned, often unwittingly, the power of keeping the faith! When you reach that point of completely giving yourself up to Life, miracles always happen!
Intelligent living is all about letting go and living in complete surrender to Life!
Know that we are all custodians of this opportunity and energy called Life. We didn’t ask to be born. This Life is a gift we got. So, if we were given the gift of Life without our asking for it, please understand that we will also get all that we need to live it fully.
This is the truth, the reality of Life. When we seek material things__money, power, position, fame__we are looking a gift horse in the mouth. We have been given a Merc but we are asking why is the upholstery not of a pastel shade, why is there no bar inside, why is a DVD player not fixed in the rear side of the car? By wanting, we are being ungrateful beneficiaries. Instead, surrender to Life. Be the way you were before you were born. You__and I__may not remember it, but we were totally at the mercy of Life before and when we were born. For the first few years of our Life, we stayed that way. But as we started getting educated, we started wanting. When each want was initially fulfilled by our parents, we started wanting more. There, the miracles stopped. And our challenges began. So, to attract miracles into your Life, just surrender. Just tell Life that you are in command and I am a humble follower. That I will accept and enjoy anything that you will give me.
Those of us who have surrendered and seen the miracles in our lives will appreciate this perspective from experience. Those who find this logic difficult to understand, need to just observe Life around them closely and they will see that everything__everything__in this Universe is created only on this principle. When we lose something and we grieve its loss, it’s because of this wanting in us. In fact, grief itself is a sign that we are out of the surrender mode and are in the want mode. Jalaluddin Rumi, the Persian mystic says,”Don’t grieve over anything that you have lost. It will come back in another form.” That coming back, the miracle, can be created by you, when you drop your grief and surrender to Life!
When you have faith, you need to keep the focus on the outcome you want.
All of us claim we have faith. Either in ourselves or in a Higher Energy. Yet we continuously worry? Why? Why worry when you have faith? A common, deceptive, reasoning is that ‘I know I will succeed. But you know, what if….’ So the ‘what if’ scenario that we paint leads us to a Plan B, Plan B is not what we want, but ‘may have to live with’ and so, we worry, we pine, we lament and we live in depression. This is so ironical.
A large mass of humanity flocks to places of worship, professing faith, and yet the same mass of humanity worries, imagining ‘worst-case’ or ‘what if’ scenarios? When you stray from a position of faith, you have strayed from the outcome you want. Period. Let’s attempt to look at this slightly differently. You have a situation. Let us say you are out of job. And you need a new job. You are getting offers. But you need a specific one. That which meets your financial and geo-specific needs. You have faith. And you know you will get it. But you work on a Plan B because of a ‘what if I don’t get it’ scenario that keeps emerging in your mind! Plan B is to accept a high-paying but lacklustre job profile__something that will not give you joy at all. Now, why did you start thinking of a Plan B? Because you want to ensure you have ‘cash’ to survive, to run you family. Think different. Think believing that you will get what you want and what will make you happy. Think knowing that sooner than later this offer will come. Think keeping the focus on what you want. Not on what you will have to settle for.
Now, Life’s designs play out in their own timeframe. Life knows no timelines, no deadlines. So, keeping the focus, will not only help you stay anchored to your faith but will also help you stay peaceful. Faith works miracles, we all have heard this before. But know also that faith works miracles only when you continue to keep the faith. You can’t kid Life. You can’t say I have the Faith, but keep thinking of a Plan B. Then you are being hypocritical. And Life doesn’t like us when we are hypocrites. You either have the faith. Or you don’t have it. If you have it, keep the focus. Keep fear, worry and Plan Bs out. At the same time, be willing to accept what Life gives you. Don’t let your wanting a certain outcome consume you. This willingness to accept what comes your way is what makes the difference. Remember that Life has only one plan for each of us. That plan will play out, in its own way, in its own time. And you__and I__can’t resist that plan. The more we resist, the more we try to outsmart Life, the more grief, more suffering we allow into our lives.
Michael Josephson, 72, an American lawyer and ethics champion, reminds us, “What you allow, you encourage.” This is so true of the Law of Attraction. You allow worries of ‘what if’ scenarios to take over your Life, you encourage what you don’t want to be the outcome. Instead, when you allow faith, when you remain rooted to your faith in your subconscious, you encourage an outcome you want. Now, you decide. Plan A or Plan B? Your pick!
Miracles happen to you only because you need them – and not because you prayed harder or that you deserve them over someone else!
In continuation of my post yesterday on Shirdi Sai Baba, some readers pinged me wanting to know more about the miracles he is known to have created and continues to create in the lives of his followers. Well, the miracles Baba created in his lifetime are well documented and I don’t wish to enlist them here one more time. However, let me share my personal perspective on miracles here.
First, let’s get a better understanding of what is a miracle. The truth is that you are a miracle. I am a miracle. This moment, and your ability to read this post, is a miracle – you are educated, you have a laptop or a PC or a mobile device, have internet connectivity and, above all, have vision (eyesight), which is why you are able to read this post! Isn’t that a miracle? There are millions who don’t have any such luck! You and I are miracles – because, think about it, else, we may well have been created as the swine that gives the flu than be created as the human being that receives the flu! But we are all so obsessed with the rat race that we run, earning-a-living, that we don’t consider any of these as miracles. We simply take everything that we have for granted and keep pining for what we don’t have!
Deepak Chopra, in his beautiful book, ‘Why is God Laughing?’, says that miracles happen when mind-body-soul are in alignment. He says there are three levels of mind-body-soul alignment and hence three types of miracles are possible. At the most basic level of mind-body-soul alignment, he says we can BUY whatever we want to. And that is a miracle. Believe me, the ability to BUY something with money is a miracle. I have, through the years of my family’s financial strife, and the several spells of pennilessness we have been through, known what it means when you can’t afford to BUY even groceries for everyday survival. At the second level of mind-body-soul alignment, says Chopra, when you WISH for something, it often happens. For instance, if on a hot summer afternoon, you wished for a cold lemonade or beer and a friend passing by decides to drop in with some cans for you. This may have happened, in our own ways, at least once in our lives. Chopra says that whenever this must have happened, our mind-body-soul may well have been in alignment. If that alignment can be consistent, at that level, more of what you WISH happens to you or comes to you! At the third, and perhaps highest, level of mind-body-soul alignment, says Chopra, you can actually CREATE whatever you think of or visualize. This means you can CREATE an object or an event or a situation. And this is what the Himalayan Masters (please read Swami Rama’s ‘Living with the Himalayan Masters’ for a better understanding) or Shirdi Sai Baba or Swami Sathya Sai Baba were capable of. In the name of rationality, the less spiritually evolved folks, dismiss this ability to CREATE miracles as “cheap magic”. Fine, so be it. To each one, their own. To me, Chopra’s reasoning is both powerful and true.
So, how does one attract miracles into one’s Life? Is it by praying to someone like Baba or to a Higher Energy? Or is it by following rituals or tantric practices? Actually, if you can just let go of this view that you need to do something about your Life, your mind-body-soul will reach a basic level of alignment for you to be able to attract miracles into your Life. Again, let me reiterate that the most profound miracle of them all is the fact that you are human and are alive. But if you want more “apparent” miracles to happen to you, please let go! You will then attract the right people, the right opportunities and the right energies. Which means you will get the job you want, the companion you have been longing for, the wealth and assets you wanted and everything that you once thought was beyond your reach. So, the password for attracting miracles into your Life is “Let Go!”.
This is where Shirdi Sai Baba, or any of the world’s greatest teachers, comes in. He teaches Faith and Patience; and in championing Sab Ka Maalik Ek (There’s only one Creator for all of us; one Higher Energy!), he invokes in us the spirit to let go! “Let Go!” means to simply stop wanting to control your Life. It means to live with the awareness that this lifetime, from your birth till your death, is nothing but a series of pre-ordained experiences. Unless you go through all the experiences, your lifetime will not be complete. Letting go, therefore, means to let Life take over and you simply (learn to) accept whatever comes your way. This is how your mind-body-soul get aligned in a special, natural, sub-conscious manner. Then you will notice how things happen to you. You will realize that the miracles in your Life are coming to you, happening to you, not because you have prayed harder or that you deserve them over someone else – they are there simply because you need them and because you have “Let Go!”
As you start a New Year, gift yourself mindfulness.
Mindfulness is not an impractical, difficult to do, practice if you understand the concept clearly. It is the ability to just stay engaged in the moment. Because Life is happening only in the present.
After last night’s revelry, it’s possible you slept late and woke up late too. But while you may have woken up, you may not be awake in the true sense. Mindfulness is being awake to the miracle of what’s happening to you in the present.
But the mind is cruel. It doesn’t easily listen to what you want it to do. It slips back into guilt or grief about the past or begins to worry for the future. When you are stuck in the past or peering into the future you are forgetting to look at what is. You are then forgetful, not mindful!
The Vietnamese Master Thich Naht Hahn, also called ‘Thay’ by his followers, helps us with a simple, 3-step process to become mindful. Whenever your mind strays, which is ever so often, bring it back by:
2. Focusing on your breathing
3. Going about whatever you are doing slowly
Let’s say your mind starts thinking of an important commitment you have to keep, say, an EMI is to be paid. And you don’t have the money nor visibility for the money. As you dwell on what you don’t have, the money in this case, you will start worrying. And soon worry will breed insecurity. Instead, the moment your mind starts to worry, smile, focus on your breathing and bring your attention to what needs to get done to raise the money required to pay the EMI. Mindfulness may not take your problem away. But will help you see a solution instead of simply worrying about a problem. And only a solution can solve a problem, not worrying!
If you like the idea, put it into practice by declaring one day of the week, starting this year, your Mindfulness Day. Spend the entire day doing everything only within the framework of the 3 steps that Thay recommends. Whatever you do, from waking up, brushing your teeth, sipping your coffee, reading the papers, looking out the window, watching a movie, having sex, taking an evening walk, drinking wine, whatever, do it mindfully. Review how you feel at the end of the day. And you will find that it would have been the most beautiful day of your Life. Make sure you have a Mindfulness Day, each week. Over weeks, you will want to make your entire week have Mindfulness Days only!
This doesn’t mean you don’t pursue goals. That you don’t remain aggressive. That you abstain from something.
It only means quit brooding and quit worrying. This will be the best gift you can give yourself this New Year! That’s when you will discover the miracle in Mindfulness.
When you really get this practice embedded in the way you live, you will have a really Happy, because it is Mindful, New Year!