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Thursday, December 12, 2013

Being in the Present

Workshop on Being in the Present
Kharghar Jalvayu Vihar Phase 2
December 8, 2013

     Group Discussions Topics:
     1. Relevance of Ego in Being Present
     2. Ego – Absence of Ego v/s Freedom from Ego
     3. Living in Present vs Being Absent
     4. Flowing in Life vs. Drifting in Life
     5. Being Stressed vs. Being Present
     6. Sanyaasa vs Presence

Topic 1
Relevance of Ego in Being Present
Jyoti, Ramdas, Lata, Samir, Uma

Ego = I. It is a measure of how I perceive myself and the world changes my experience of reality. Ego projects distorted opinions onto reality.  Ego can be good or bad .... it can be hindrance for individuals in  institutions and in families.

Ego can be integrated with Presence through six practices – awareness, acceptance, responsibility, assertiveness, living with purpose, and living with integrity.

Awareness and acceptance of strengths and weaknesses, mistakes etc.  
Responsibility and assertiveness helps in choosing our actions and reaching important goals. 

Goals are Dharma, Artha Kaama and Moksha. Purposeful life involves Living, Learning, Loving and Letting Go. The ultimate purpose is Moksha.  

Integrity makes you whole and free from conflict. You integrate your likes with Dharma... i.e. what is right. What you think, say and do are aligned so there is no inner conflict.

Topic 2
Ego – Absence of Ego v/s Freedom from Ego
Sadhana, Subramaniam, Kala, Hema, Pushpa, Kasturi

There can only be high or low ego.... absence of ego is not possible. For a jnaani who is fulfilled, we can say there is no ego (issues).  For a person with low self esteem, the ineffective ego can  appear as an egoless state. Lack of knowledge, and dependence on others can appear as egolessness when it is actually very low self esteem.

Freedom from ego is not absence of ego but the ability to manage ego. We achieve this when we come out of our own position, disassociate from material world (status)  and participate freely in the interaction. Freedom from ego comes when we are willing to accept and respect the other’s opinion and individuality.
Topic 3
Living in Present vs Being Absent
Nandini, Sujit, Apurva, Kartyayani, Subramaniam

Living in present means focusing on one thing at a time. It means that we focus on the moment and stay on target to achieve the goal. We act with all our energy using our resources optimally until the goal is reached. We are aware of, adapt to, and accept realities. We understand our purpose, and utilize our potential fully. We plan with purpose and choose our goals.

Living in absence means to be mentally disconnected. Wdisconnected. We waste time, energy, potential and focs. We lose opportunity to utilize the moment.

How is this connected to Vedanta? The goal is here and no w. Liberation is the awareness that our nature is free from limitations.... that we are free from our limiting conditions here and now. We are present to what we really are.

Topic 4
Flowing in Life vs. Drifting in Life
Geeta, Meenakshi, Rajalakshmi, Vijayalakshmi, Sandhya, Lalita, Mansukhani

Flowing = Glowing. Drifting = Darkness
Flowing is liking flying on Autopilot... unmanned.

Flowing is like the river which has a purpose -  the need to reach the sea. It able to skirt around obstacles, go over the rocks with its force that does not stop until it reaches the sea.  On the other hand drifting is like pollen scattered in the breeze... most of it gets wasted over unfertile territory and is lost.

Flowing involves a natural awareness that things and beings possess to reach their destination. What we need is to focus on awareness and be aware where we are not awareful.
Flowing involves the ability to accept situations and to keep going without giving up. One needs to know where to accept, what to accept and how much to accept.

The river not only is able to reach the sea, but also polishes and rounds off the rocks in its path. Likewise we can not only flow on in life but enhance the lives of people who cross our path.
Flowing means being responsible -  saying “I want to” instead of “I have to”.

Growing together  involves a minimum common program where our goals are integrated with the others around us. Six aspects of being present are themselves integrated with each other ....each aspect is complete only when the other five are present. 

Asking for guidance is part of awareness.

Acceptance is part of the flow of life. 

Assertion is important to reach our goals.Assertion is different from stubbornness which prevents one from growth..

Oneness is a purpose. For reaching Moksha, one needs not do anything.... it is already present waiting to be discovered.  Following the path of dharma helps us to come to oneness. Flowing involves growing together, enhancing and improving ourselves in all areas without hurting others.

Integrity follows from the previous five aspects. Integrity involves having the courage to say ‘No’ and the humility to say ‘sorry’.

Flowing involves making a impact on others and the environment... fulfilling our responsibilities to the planet.  Some wisdom words from one of our quieter members: Follow elders for they follow dharma. Follow it and pass it down to posterity.
Topic 5
Being Stressed vs. Being Present
Radhakrishnan, Srinivasan, Selvaraj, Srinivasaraghavan, Giridharagopalan

We want to be present. But when we step out, we react to environment. When in the class, we are well, all is well. But there are many issues outside due to which we are stressed.

How to manage stress? Plan for future. Learn from Past. Be present.

What causes stress? Two sources.... one is self inflicted and the other is external.  Stress is due to lack of ability to face the world... inability to fulfil goals. We get stressed when children do what we do not want them to do. Stress can be avoided by reasonable goals. Learn from others skills. When stress gets unmanageable, we can delegate and pass it on. We can set limits based on our capacity. We need to be part of the group and enjoy the harmony rather than being one up against them.

Stress cannot be avoided.... only minimized. Stress has a positive side... Stress is stimulant. It can make you achieve, and make you fight back. Our strength is related to our belief systems.

How is ego related to stress? Presence is the ability to deal with the situation. Inability to deal creates stress. Freedom from ego allows us to enjoy presence and be free from stress.

Topic 6
Sanyaasa vs Presence
Shankarnarayan, Leela, Kharche, Parvez, Krishna

Sanyasa attitude born from knowledge. With knowledge, the Jnani enjoys  a healthy functional ego. The ego being fulfilled, the jnani can work for welfare of community and is a role model for others.

Karma ... is action .... doing material or spiritual activity. Karma can involve good karma, or bad karma.

Karma usually involves attachment. Karma yoga – means doing your karma with no expectation of guarantee with respect to results. You work to fulfil desires but do not depend on the end results. 

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