Thursday, June 30, 2016

Save the cheerleader, Save the world

I’ve always been haunted by that line from the tv series “Heroes”.

“Is it possible for an ordinary person to really change the world?”, I often ask myself.

BK Jayanti Kirpalani, UE-Middle East Director of Brahma Kumaris explains in this interview at COP21, Paris that it is indeed possible.

video from Climate Home

She asserts that everything starts with the individual.  She links what’s happening in the world to an internal dissonance in human beings.  

At the moment, the consumerism we are seeing even in the developing world sometimes is really as if there’s hundreds of planets that we can take from and we can’t- there’s a limit.  And so when you turn inwards and connect with the happiness and joy that’s within,  then your lifestyle becomes a very simple one and so you don’t need so much from outside but there’s a spirit of generosity and care which you share with others.

The interviewer, surprise with Kirpalani’s stand asks, “Is that the message that you bring to COP21 which is actually a negotiation between governments of states. So, you are trying to give a novel message which is more about personal evolution right?"

Definitely, because we believe that everything starts with the individual and if even a minority group has a powerful voice then they are able to impact the leaders and the majority and so there can then be worldwide change.

"You are speaking about the personal development and the personal action on our self.  In just one sentence, what would you recommend to any human being on earth?"

“Make a conscious choice knowing that your decision about what you buy, what you eat, what you wear, what you do is going to have an impact on your carbon footprint and is going to set a trend and an example for others to follow also.”     

If you want to hear more from BK Jayanti, you are warmly invited to this event.

Thursday, June 23, 2016

Are you ready for The Big One?

Kobe, Japan- January 17, 1995, Amidst the rubble, the Indian community huddled together in an evacuation center.  They were thirsty, hungry and afraid.

The Situation

At 5:46 in the morning,  a 7.2 magnitude earthquake hit the city. Kobe was in shambles- 150,000 buildings were ruined, 1 km of the Hanshin Expressway collapsed, 120 of the 150 quays in the port were destroyed, and fires raged.  It was difficult for help to come in immediately because of the massive destruction.  (In fact, the 45 minute car ride to Kobe from Osaka became a 12 hour journey.)

Moreover, there were no electricity and drinking water.  Every hour, aftershocks could be felt.  Every aftershock, there were loud screaming, dogs barking and people running out from their makeshift shelter to the devasted streets covered in their quilts and blankets.  The whole day, the people of Kobe froze in the middle of winter- uncertain of their fate.

Calm amidst the quake

Inside the evacuation center, there was an Indian lady in white sari who kept her calm in the midst of the turbulence.  Rajni Daulatram, Brahma Kumaris coordinator for Philippines and Japan was simply observing the situation and meditating.

"Why are you so calm?", asked some people in the community.

"My consciousness is I am an eternal soul. The soul doesn't die. If anything happens- only this body dies.", she answered.

"How can you be so stable?", they prodded.

"I have been practicing meditation everyday for 20 years.  I have trained my mind to be calm."

"What is meditation?", they continued to query.

"Meditation is the practice of being the king of the mind.  It also allows one to declutter all the wastes so the mind can think clearly. Like right now, it is not necessary to worry or question why this is happening.  Of what use is that?"

"Can you teach us how to meditate?", they asked.

"I've been inviting you to come to our center for years and it's only now that you want to learn?  Meditation is not a pill that you can take which will instantly make you feel good.  It requires practice.", she gently explained.

"Please teach us", they pleaded.

So, she did.

How to meditate

"First, stop complaining in your mind.  Put a halt to all your questions."

"Then, remember who you are. I am a peaceful soul and experience that peace."

"Finally, send good wishes to nature because nature helped us survive this calamity."

So, on that fateday day of January 17,1995 the Indian lady in white sari taught meditation to the community in the middle of the rubble and the aftershocks.

The Invitation

Manila, Philippines- June 2016, 21 years after the Kobe earthquake, amidst preparations for an impending earthquake in Manila, Daulatram invites the public to learn and experience meditation on July 20, Wednesday, 2:30-5:00pm at SMX Convention Center, SM Aura.

She advises,  "It is good that the Philippine government released earthquake safety tips and reminded the citizens to be prepared.  However, preparation for such a calamity must be two-fold: spiritual and physical."

She explains, "Earthquakes happen unexpectedly, you only have some few seconds to respond.  If you are not spritually prepared, you will be scared and confused.  However, if you can keep your mind calm and alert, you will be able to do what is necessary at the right time."

"A daily meditation practice allows one to accumulate peaceful energy which is very useful in times of crisis", she stressed. 

Do you want to learn how to be spiritually prepared?

*This is a repost from this blog.


Tuesday, June 14, 2016

I have 3 questions for you

Does facebook send you notifications?

Do your friends tell you to check your e-mail?
image from

Do you get out of the busyness of the city once in awhile?

If you answer no to any of the questions above, I would like to invite you to unplug for awhile and join me and renowned journalist Emmie Velarde to "Silent Conversations with the One" on June 16, Thursday 6:30 p.m. at the Brahma Kumaris Makati Center.

It will be an evening of guided meditations and quiet reflection.

P.S.  This event is especially for social media practitioners (like you and me) who acknowledge the need to take a break from technology and get in touch with their inner selves.

P.S.S. Please disregard the questions above, just wanna know if there are 'antisocial' social media practitioners out there (like me). Hope to see you there!  For other events around the globe, please check this link.

Tuesday, June 7, 2016


image from jenniferalyce

The secret of 
The happiness
Of doing nothing
Has alluded me- of late

Until I encountered Yin (yoga)
And never mind the complexities”
My teacher says

“Just relax
Let go of any tension
Simply stay grounded” 
Another teacher admonishes

And as we assume another asana (pose)
She gently reminds
“Sometimes it’s tough
Just breathe through it”

On the day of the full moon
Almost all my patients launched a protest 
And screamed their lungs out
Hour after each hour

“Breathe and never mind the complexities”
I remind myself

Then, I need to put a project to a halt
In the meantime at least
Until I finish the paper works 
And more volunteers show up

“Relax and let go of any tensions”, I chant
“Stay grounded and things will flow”

A plan needs to be rescheduled
Out of nowhere 
Something unexpected pops up
Everything is now in disarray

“Sometimes, it’s tough
Breathe through it”, I told myself

When I decided to be gentle 
With myself and with life
The teachers showed up
Saying the same thing in oh-so-different-ways 

“Just focus on the breathing
Focus on your energy and never mind the rest”

P.S.  Special thanks to my yin yoga teachers Roxanne & Bea for being great in what they do and for gently coaching me towards yin.