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  Spirituality - spirituality - what is it?

- by Girija Naiksatam

What most people know as an aura is actually just an energy field around us. Everybody is made up of a set of electrons and atoms that radiate energy. When it comes to living beings like humans, this energy is affected by the kind of things that we indulge in (food, drink, thought) and surround ourselves with (external experiences). Want to learn how to read your aura? Follow these simple steps.

Step 1: To view an aura you need to first position your subject against the right background. Opt for something light in colour such as a clean, light coloured wall. Make sure that the lighting in the room is just enough. It should not be too bright or too dark. Regular home lighting is sufficient.

Step 2: It is recommended that the subject wears garments that are relatively simple and plain coloured. The more the patterns/colours, the more difficult it will get for you to read the energy field.

Step 3: Most people think that it’s necessary for the subject to be sitting still in a meditative state, and this isn’t true. However, they do need to sit still in a relaxed position for you to get a good reading.

Step 4: Start by gazing at your subject and allowing your eyes to relax. You can concentrate on one particular part of the person’s body, usually the forehead, to make it easier. After a while you’ll notice a thin haze around the outline of the body, almost as if there were a fine layer of light.

Step 5: Usually, most people claim to see a neutral white or a pale blue aura during their first few readings. You might also notice that the aura disappears when you blink you eyes or if the person moves. All of these are nothing but teething problems. Over time, when you learn to fix your gaze, you’ll actually begin to see the dominant as well as muddy colours in the aura.

Step 6: Your subject will always want to know more about the reading, so alongside practicing, get educated about what different colours of the aura. You can refer a book or the internet for the same. Once you become thorough with the procedure, you’ll be able to read and interpret in no time.



- by Girija Naiksatam

Wabi-Sabi' is the Japanese philosophy that is today practiced by many people across the globe.
Although the words have no literal translation in English (would directly translate to ‘tranquility- withering'), largely the Wabi-Sabi thought says that nothing lasts, nothing is over and nothing is perfect. As a result it primarily sees beauty in imperfection, finding completeness in that which is incomplete and so on.

Although most of the principles are set for primary use in design, over the years, they have found their way as an ideology for a more harmonious way of life. Here is more about some of these tenets:

Simplify: Simplicity and harmony is at the core of the Wabi-Sabi principles. It is believed that when you choose simplicity, you automatically choose happiness. To make this happen, we must hold close the things, people, memories that make us happy and at the same time minimize our dependency on material possessions (that propagate greed and divert our focus from the simple joys of life).

Stay grounded: If you're always trying hard not to get carried away by the things that surround you, Wabi -Sabi suggests you need some help from Mother Earth. The key lies in altering your lifestyle to tune it to a more grounded and natural approach. An example: if you're redecorating your house, opt for tones and fabrics that are more Earthy than flashy. You'll be surprised to see how much of an influence a tiny portion of the Earth element has on you.

Keep the positivity: Make sure you keep a good dose of positivity by your side! Because there will always be times when things might not go the way you want them to. Instead of spending too much time in afterthought, why not focus on what you've learned in the process? It is said that the sooner we adopt a positive outlook; the faster things will start looking up for us. Even things as simple as wearing your favourite colour on a dull day, can lift your mood.

Say goodbye to the clutter: The same way a cluttered desk can interfere with smooth thinking; unnecessary elements around you can interfere with you getting the most out of life. So do a quick check on habits, people, possessions that you surround yourself with and only keep the ones that are most necessary and good for you.

Find your ritual: Drawing from the ancient belief of practicing rituals in our homes, Wabi-Sabi believes that each of us has a set of activities and habits that score high on our happiness quotient. Believe it or not, these are very distinct for each one of us. It is up to us to find out what works best and indulge in these as much as possible to calm us down and keep us going.


- by Girija Naiksatam

Tao is one of the most ancient Chinese philosophies that still hold relevance in the modern world. Although Tao refers to the teachings as a path to be followed, in implementation it is often seen as a set of doctrines that guides us towards a better existence. Here are the nine pillars that this ancient belief stands on:

1. Letting Go: The Taoists believe that if we learn to let go, stop resisting and simply trust and surrender to the Life Force (Chi), it will enrich our body and mind. This Life Force supports us to effortlessly realize who we truly are; individually and creatively.

2. A Fine Balance: The second principle believes that there are several sides to the life force such as the female negative, the male creative and the stabilizing. All of these are related to our day to day habits of fitness, hygiene, food etc. and in turn help restore the balance (the Yin and Yang) in our life.

3. Acceptance and Simplicity: One of the prime beliefs of the Tao, this two stage process starts with a full acceptance of one’s own body and mind and then accepting everything on the outside as being a manifestation of the Chi. This elementary attitude helps in keeping us more centered and peaceful.

4. Living a Holistic Life: To have lived a good life, is to have been grounded in body, mind and soul, believe the Taoists. Hence they suggest practices of meditation (neigong) and exercise (quigong) to synchronize all three parts of our existence and achieve a ‘whole body enlightenment’ or a centered existence that’s focused on all the right things.

5. Integrity and Virtue: After the two main pillars of mediation and exercise, comes the third pillar, the sense of integrity and virtue (de). As per ancient Tao principles, these three pillars help individuals to cultivate their personality and realize their full potential.

6. Controlling the Sexual Self: Our self, claims Tao, has 2 sexual sides to it. One is the calm and formless spirit, while the other, the androgynously driven sexual body. Maintaining a balance between these two is often one of the most difficult tasks and once we comprehend our own sexual volatility better, only then can we empower ourselves to grow spiritually.

7. Internal Alchemy: One of the most revolutionary practices of the Tao - meditative process of Internal Alchemy (neidan gong) believes that each body is made up of three main forces, the sexual essence, breath and the spirit with better judgment. Regular practice of this meditation is said to speed up internal change, letting the force of better judgment blossom.

8: Living and Eternal Life: Taosists also have a rule book to attain Immortality. However, this immortality has to do with spiritual rebirth and building a consciousness that will grow and remain alive even after death. It is believed that immortality of the soul is a gift given only to those who are considered most worthy of contributing towards the present.

9. Living a Spontaneous Existence: To reach the pinnacle of one’s existence the soul aims to reach its destiny and finds itself on a higher spiritual plane that will allow it to meet its maker. To get there, one must open the doors to spontaneity and learn and discover new things by allowing every moment to unfold as it is.


- by Girija Naiksatam

We are all well aware of the powers of Feng Shui and how we can make it work for our benefit, as far as objects are concerned. Here’s taking that knowledge a step ahead by finding out how Feng Shui comes together with plants to bring luck and happiness to our home.

1. Balacing the Chi: Feng Shui places a lot of importance on plants being a part of one’s home; they are said to represent and balance the life force or the ‘Chi’. Depending on the kind of plants you have, the elements and energy in your house could change, for the better or for worse.

2. Keep the thorns out: It is said that thorny plants shouldn’t be placed anywhere inside the house. Instead, place them in a window or a balcony. Since they are built with a protective shield, they can survive well outside. The same can be said about bonsai plants that are believed to adversely affect growth if placed inside the house.

3. Flowers for fortune: Take care of the flowers that bloom in your house and pay attention to them regularly. While blooming flowers are good for your home, dried flowers are said to bring misfortune. Hence, throw them away as soon as they wilt. Instead, opt for artificial flowers that look realistic and stay for much longer.

4. Fruits and fertility: Feng Shui believes that even fruits have special powers and can influence our life. Old beliefs say that if a married couple wishes to have a child, they should place a basket of fruits in their bedroom. Fruits such as pomegranates are considered as a symbol of fertility.

5. Plants for your home: Every plant is said to work beneficially for the home. Some of the popular ones are the Money plant and the Bamboo plant. Money plant, when placed near the door of your home is said to bring in money and luck. The Bamboo plant on the other hand is said to ward off evil spirits and attract positivity.


- by Girija Naiksatam

In recent times, there have been quite a few new additions to the scope of spirituality. Numerology is just one of them. Numerology essentially refers to the study and meanings of the number associated with a person. The number necessarily has to be a single digit and is drawn from the date of birth. To determine your own life number, write down your birth date numbers with the month, day and year. For example, if you were born on January 15, 1980, you would write 01 + 15 + 1980. Be sure to write the year, in this case, as "1980" versus simply "80." The sum total of your numbers then becomes 1 + 15 + 18 (1 + 9 + 8 + 0) = 34 = 3 + 4 = 7.

Hence, the life number is 7. Now that you have learnt how to derive your life number, lets take a quick look at the significance of numbers from 1 – 9.

Life Number 1: Number 1 reflects positive energy, strong will and leadership qualities. This number also indicates a strong balance between both the physical and mental. As a consequence, these people often spearhead new ventures. This number is represented by the Sun.

Life Number 2: Ruled by the powers of balance, duality and kindness, number 2 people often intermingle with others for the purpose of partnerships. They have a very strong sense of judgment and often urge others to counter their indecision. They are represented by the Moon.

Life Number 3: A number denoting success, reward and mirth, the number 3 often talks of accomplishments in most undertakings. This number also goes hand in hand with creativity, versatility and the pursuit of imagination. It is represented by Mars.

Life Number 4: Strongly associated with stability, number 4 people seek to be grounded about most things in life. They exhibit traits related to solidity, warmth, calm, endurance and homeliness. They are represented by Mercury.

Life Number 5: Travel and adventure is what the Number 5’s are associated with. Along with this comes much impulsiveness and constant change. Producing vibes that are erratic but exciting, these people defend chaos and question the system. They are represented by Jupiter.

Life Number 6: Number 6 represents love, sincerity and truth. Harbingers of calm, number 6 people choose compassion and diplomacy over all else. They have a knack for striking a perfect balance between the mental and the physical and thus rank higher on the spiritual plane. Number 6 is represented by planet Venus.

Life Number 7: Of all the number signs, the Number 7’s are shrouded in mystery. The people born under this number are said to be academically inclined with deep insights and a keen interest in what lies beyond. They are represented by Saturn.

Life Number 8: 8 is the number of ambition and success. Number 8 people are natural authoritarians and easily lead by example. Honor, dignity and reputation are important to them and they make natural celebrities, politicians, and business tycoons.

Life Number 9: Number nines are very idealistic in their approach, loving and caring, patient and extremely understanding. They are highly connected to Spirit, are peace loving and do well as a healer, spiritual guru, psychic, an educator or in some medical profession.



Confession is one of the best ways of spiritual cleansing. Here is how you can make it a part of your spiritual regime for a life much brighter, happier and a little more divine.

Who do you confess to: Confession isn't bound to a priest or a church. Very often, the act of confession happens with someone who you're close to; or someone who can keep your secrets. If you're very brave, you can even confess to the person that you have harmed. The important thing is to know you have done wrong.

Confess your own: When confessing, remember that you're apologizing and setting forward the mistakes that you have made. So, don't try to make them seem valid by providing justifications for your behavior. Put aside the 'but she said/did' approach to provide clarifications for your behavior.

• Be truthful: Often, our faults seem a lot worse when we hear them out loud for the first time. But that doesn't mean that we cheat and underplay them, make things up or tell half truth. Be honest, confess about the whole deal and come clean. It'll help you attain peace.

Keep pleasantries away: Contrary to popular belief, when confessing to a padri or an official, try to keep the pleasantries and the jokes minimal. Although, you may think that this is a good way to break the ice, from a religious point of view, confession is a very serious act and must be done sincerely to be truly forgiven.

Confess and learn: Confession is just one of the first steps of redemption and hence one must be careful enough not repeat the same mistakes again. This will imply that you are truly apologetic for the blunders that you have made in the past, have repented and are taking efforts not to repeat them.

From the dark forest to the flame of truth

As the auspicious and the fun filled festival of Holi approaches us, most of us feel the need to eradicate the darkness of our hearts and replace it with the blazing energy and light of truth. Here are 5 simple tips to help you stay spiritually nourished and enjoy the true fervour of this colourful festival:

1. Forgive and forget
That’s what the pious festival of Holi is all about. Forgive those who may have hurt you in the past and embrace them with unbiased affection. The intensity of peace unleashed in your heart by forgiving a friend will leave you surprised.

2. Eat healthy
To deprive ourselves of healthy and nutritious food issues in unfitness, weakness, sickness—true alike in the natural and the spiritual. Thus, pay attention to your diet. Only if you are fit physically, you will be able to concentrate on your souls needs.

3. Stay away from addictions
Indulging in addictions of any sort dulls our mind and makes us unaware of our souls presence and its inclinations. Feel the spiritual charge by staying away from addictions.

4. Read Inspirational writings
One who absorbs enlightening words and truthful writings, no longer finds the mundane, ruthless words sweet to his/her taste. Begin your day with empowering words to keep you mind nourished with spiritual power, then read newspapers, reports, novels and all that you must. Make an effort to not read words that pollute your mind with negative or dangerous thoughts.

5. Avoid arguments
Fights and arguments exude negative energy that creates obstacles for spiritual growth. So stay away from arguments and fights of any sort and gather all your positive energy to spiritually nourish yourselves.

Have a spiritually empowering Holi!

Give Yourself A Spiritual Makeover!

Juhi Dua

All of us go through smooth patches in life and some rough ones. Getting perturbed, blaming others, and slipping into a state of depression only make the situation worse. These five spiritual tricks can give you a complete mental makeover and ensure you handle all times of crisis calmly.

1. Believe in the Karmic cycle
Everything in life doesn’t have a quick-fix solution. There are things pre-destined for everyone depending on their karma. The rule is simple -- what you put in the universe will come back to you. So if you haven’t done any wrong, the rough patch in life is superficial and will do no harm to you. In fact, it will prove to be a boon in disguise. But if you have caused harm to anyone, the karmic cycle will bring trouble your way. So mean well for all and all will stay well in your life.

2. Keep your conscience clear
Your heart and mind dim with hope when something inside you tells you that you deserved this punishment. This happens when you have indulged in deeds against the clearance of your conscience. So it’s best not to do what may stain your conscience and burden yourself with thoughts of self-blame.

3. Confess and accept
Spare yourself the pains of self-denial. In case you are at fault, simply accept your mistakes and make attempts to reform them. Disguising your mistakes will only guide you to repeat them. Once you openly accept your mistakes, you will sail through the bad times smoothly with your eyes focused on a better future.

4. Don’t burn in the throes of revenge
Desire to take revenge is negative and it will obviously fill you with more negative energy, so quit it. Remember, the Karmic wheel will punish the deserving. You don’t need to fret over it.

5. Indulge in activities you love
Playing the guitar, reading a book, going on jungle trails, spending time in your favorite place of worship and so on – the activity that makes you happy could extend towards you the most spiritual experience you have ever had.


Tanya Munshi

You need not trek up to the Himalayas and sit in complete isolation to attain nirvana. If you want to relax and control your mind, you can do it in your room, at work, where ever you wish. Just a little bit of patience and practice is all it takes. Here are some tips to help you sharpen your meditation skills that will in the longer run you in taming your mind.

Preparation And Timing
To meditate, you need to be alert, energetic, and awake to be able to concentrate.
Mediation should be performed on an empty stomach. Or have something light like a cup of tea and a biscuit just before. At least this will prevent your stomach from growling and won’t distract you during meditation. Avoid eating anything heavy to prevent sluggishness during meditation.
Always sit in the early morning hours, right after waking up and brushing your teeth. The ideal time for meditation is before breakfast in the morning or before dinner in the evening.
Fix a time for meditation daily. Disciplines such as fixed timings also prove beneficial for meditation. Choosing a time when no one is going to disturb you also helps. Make it a point to meditate at the same time and place everyday.
It is very important to sit straight. Sluggishness and slouching won’t help even if you religiously sit down for meditation every day.
If the traditional padmasana pose is not possible then sit in the usual crossed legged position, with your hands resting on your knees and your back straight.
Practice And Patience
Be regular with your meditation. If you did not get the time to mediate in the morning, then try and compensate it in the evening.
You can even meditate during stressful times at work or class. All you need to do is close your eyes and concentrate on slow, deep breathing.
Remember, your mind WILL wander during meditation. But it is a part of the meditation process. Whenever you find your mind wavering, slowly bring it back to concentrate on your breathing. This will sharpen your concentration and meditation abilities.
Be patient with yourself, even if you cannot concentrate immediately. But don’t stop your mediation; practice it daily.




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