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Showing posts from 2020

2020 Year End Reflections

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As we are getting closer to the new year, it's time for year-end reflections. What a year this has been, unforgettable in many ways. Since we all are stuck at home with minimal distractions, I tried to take advantage of it. Listed below are some projects I worked on this year - Published Get Motivated coloring book - Volume 5 of The Art of Now - Color Me series. Took part in #The100DayProject - Looking forward to sharing details in an upcoming project with all the artwork created. Started sharing reflections from experiences and learnings in the Reflections Along The Way Podcast. Completed studying the book Self-Unfoldment with a great group of people. While reflecting on what the most important lesson was this year, I always came back to the thought - We are all connected . For most of my life, I had an attitude that I am the creator of my destiny, that I could achieve whatever I set as my goal as. It never really struck me that everything is not in my control and that

To Be A Butterfly

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While painting some butterflies, I was reminded of a beautiful quote by Maya Angelou. We delight in the beauty of the butterfly, but rarely admit the changes it has gone through to achieve that beauty. For a butterfly to be so beautiful, it had to go through an enduring process of transformation from a caterpillar. So too, when we go through difficult situations, we can look at them as opportunities to transform ourselves, to be stronger, and emerge out from the other side as a beautiful butterfly to enjoy the freedom to fly. It also teaches us that there is a right time for everything, that we can't force something to be before its time. If we were to cut open the cocoon and try to free the butterfly before it emerges out on its own, the butterfly will not survive, as its wings wouldn't be strong enough to enable it to fly. This week I was reading  Yours Forever: Life and Letters of Swami Chinmayananda . In  it is mentioned a favorite example that Swami Chinmayananda uses to e

Self-Unfoldment By Swami Chinmayananda

I've been contemplating how I began studying Vedanta . I am so grateful that it started with the Foundation Vedanta Course as it was structured very systematically and logically. That is very similar to the content in the book Self-Unfoldment by Swami Chinmayananda . As Swami Chinmayananda unfolds the teaching through the book, he reveals the path for our inner unfoldment. Below are reflections based on this book from the Reflections Along The Way Podcast . The episodes are numbered sequentially to make it easy to follow along with the book. I recommend that you listen to them in order, to get a proper understanding. And if it interests you further, I suggest you get a copy of the book to study along. Listen here or anywhere else you get your podcasts.

When My Mind is Fluttering

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Sometimes I am super focused and feel like I have been very efficient. At other times, I’m very confused, unable to pick what to focus on as I always seem to have plenty of choices to keep me inspired. It’s such an irony. My family used to make fun of me when I was a kid because I used to get bored very easily. Now I’m never bored, which is also a cause of agitation at times like yesterday when I felt like I had too many choices :-) I have a pile of books in my library to read. I spent about a half-hour trying to decide which book to pick. I decided to take a break from that to create a collage to represent the state of my mind. By the end of it, I had more clarity on which book to read. Sometimes all you might need is to close your eyes and try to observe your breath. These are some things that help me when I need to clear my mind - Creating some art Coloring/Doodling Playing with my dog Getting some fresh air Listening to podcasts Having an honest conversation with a friend Organi

We Are All In This Together

When I was coloring a mandala from the Limitless book yesterday, the significance of the symbolism struck me, especially with the experience we are going through with the Covid-19 pandemic. Mandala symbolically represents how the whole universe is connected in many cultures. And we wonder how that could be with the world being so large and seemingly so disconnected most of the time. But this experience that the whole world is going through together shows us how deeply connected we are. This is the first time in my lifetime, where all of us are going through the same experience irrespective of where we live. The health of the world is dependent on the health of each nation. The health of the nation is dependent on the health of the communities we live in. The health of the community is dependent on the health of each individual. Similarly, each individual is responsible for the health of their communities, nations, and the health of the world. We need to remember that our actions will

Mandala With 108 Names Of Swami Chinmayananda

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As I continue to study Vedanta , I am beginning to understand the traditions of the culture that I was born into. A teacher plays an important role in one's life. In Hindu culture, the Teacher or the Guru is given utmost and the highest respect as he/she passes on the knowledge that one wouldn't have otherwise. Having that highest regard and faith towards the Guru enables the student to learn in a focused way. I have been fortunate to have many teachers in my life who have greatly inspired and taught me invaluable things in various fields. Lately, I found myself learning a lot from Swami Chinmayananda and other gurus from Chinmaya Mission . My eternal gratitude to this great master. I've recently learned about Shri Chinmaya Ashtottara Shata Namavali , a hymn of 108 Names in praise of Swami Chinmayananda. While reflecting on the meaning of the hymn , I found myself painting this mandala.

9 Words To Motivate You

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Some days we wake up energetic to do a lot. On Other days the motivation isn't there for some reason or the other. At least that's what happens to me once in a while. What motivates me on those days is to look at my pinboard, which has words that inspire me. It helps me a great deal to think about what those words mean to me. There is an instant shift in my thinking and energy flows in to keep me going. I find it extremely beneficial to surround myself with things and artwork that are meaningful to me. What started as one artwork while doing something in vintage style turned into a series of 9 motivational words that inspire me - Believe, Love, Create, Focus, Inspire, Learn, Practice, Persist, Seek. Believe Believing in what we are doing is the first and the most important step towards achieving any goal. All of our actions are driven by what we believe in. Hence it is important to determine or come to an intelligent conclusion about what we believe. The actions stemming out o

The Nine Blessings

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I feel so amazed whenever I finish creating a piece of art. It seems surreal to see the canvas filled up with something that didn't exist before. It is astonishing to realize that this came to life with a thought that just popped into the mind expressing itself via this medium. Art can be so contemplative. There is always something to create as inspiration is everywhere. Last month I bought a bunch of canvasses to paint on because they were on sale :-) I unwrapped those to kick off with this painting titled 'The Nine Blessings.' This artwork is inspired by the 2nd verse of Adi Sankaracarya's Vivekacudamani, where he explains the nine rare blessings of a highly evolved human being. Verse 2 of Vivekacūdāmani जन्तूनां नरजन्म दुर्लभमतः पुंस्त्वं ततो विप्रता तस्माद्वैदिकधर्ममार्गपरता विद्वत्त्वमस्मात्परम् आत्मानात्मविवेचनं स्वनुभवो ब्रह्मात्मना संस्थितिः मुक्तिर्नो शतजन्मकोटिसुकृतैः पुण्यैर्विना लभ्यते jantūnāṃ narajanma durlabhamataḥ puṃstvaṃ tato vipratā tasmādvaid