On Integrity and Forgiveness

  Integrity has always been a quality I value  most and that I try to keep as much as I can.  In the past couple of weeks, however I feel like I have been tested on it. We all have values in which we base our moral guidelines or honour codes we follow. Ideally as we become more conscious, we discover these truths, guidelines or honour codes as they appear more from within, from our spirit, and less from social conditions. To me integrity means adhering to these guidelines no matter what. Each time we discover one of these sacred truths we make a commitment with ourselves,  with our spirit and each time we fail we are only failing and damaging our most important relationship, the one with our spirit. In the Ashtanga Yoga  tradition these guidelines come in the form of what we call Yamas and Niyamas. Also that's why the concept of Sadhana is crucial to success in any spiritual practice. The commitment of daily practice no matter what is, again,  done with our spirit. One of these truths I try to follow is seeing all beings as one and loving all unconditionally. And this is the one I'm usually tested the most on. See, the thing is, it is very easy to say we love all and one. Sounds great as an idea. But in the real world,  when we feel betrayed by someone we love the easiest reaction is anger or hatred. The problem here is that this goes against the sacred truth that we are all one and thus we should love each other the same, without conditions. And whenever we get angry at someone or pretend hating someone, we are just hurting ourselves. Here is where forgiveness comes in to save the day. It is not easy though, because forgiving means opening up again to being hurt. Becoming vulnerable. We are so silly that we don't realise that after forgiveness being hurt is just a possibility but without it hurting and suffering become constants. [caption id="attachment_209" align="alignright" width="336"] "Forgiveness is the fragrance that the violet sheds on the heel that has crushed it." - Mark Twain[/caption] Forgiving someone doesn't mean coming back to a failed relationship or hanging out with someone that may or may not hurt you no matter what. Forgiving happens and stays within. It is self love and self respect healing you from inside. It has taken me…

The Spiritual Seeker: The Ultimate Rebel

Spirituality is the unending hunger for finding who we really and truly are. One day some of us realise that we’ve been believing a lie. A lie constructed by the thoughts of who we are, the ideas of who others think we are, the way we want to portray ourselves. The way society wants us to be, etc… We’ve been living in a cell and all of a sudden something appears,  a tiny crack in the wall that lets us see a tiny part of the real universe outside. And so, spirituality awakens. We realise there’s something else and we want the truth. All of it! Spirituality is first manifested as rebellion. We rebel against all false ideas, conditions and misconceptions of who we really are, against rules, society and everything that limits us and keeps us from awakening our awareness and expanding our consciousness. Then it becomes a quest, a constant search for truth and Self. We become spiritual seekers. Spirituality is an internal battle, and the biggest fight is always against ourselves. Rebelling against imposed ideas, others and society is easy. But questioning yourself your ideas of truth, love and happiness is a whole different beast and it really hurts. Standing against yourself, the people you love and care for is not easy. You have to choose between the truth or being complacent. And either way it’s going to hurt. Because once you’ve had a little taste of the truth, even the  littlest compromise  will burn you from inside. Your blood will become molten rock as your heart screams at you, calling you a liar, a hypocrite. But even this is not as painful as living in the lie, locked inside that prison of ignorance and unawareness. Now there is no other option; we have to break free. And thus, we become outcasts, misfits, hermits, the crazy ones. The others won’t like us. They will feel threatened as we stand against everything they are and they believe in, everything we were and we believed in. They will laugh at us, ridicule us, attack us and even criminalise us. We travel far trying to find others like us, we walk unchartered territories drawing our own path and creating new realities, new ways of living. Not because we don’t want part of humanity, but because we know there’s nothing human about the current disconnected paradigm. We want humanity not society, community not…

Believe Again

Last night I found this post  while scrolling through my Facebook newsfeed:  The story  itself is quite impressive : “For 12 hours, two herds of wild South African elephants slowly made their way through the Zululand bush until they reached the house of late author Lawrence Anthony, the conservationist who saved their lives.” However, what really caught my attention were the comments by the poster and her friends. Incredulity, to say the least was the common denominator. And this level of disbelief resumes many of the faults I find with our modern life. Science and progress (And I’ am in no way against either of them) have blessed us with longer life expectancy, worldwide easy travel and communication, freedom of information and many other gifts. The price we have paid though, has been a disconnection with our true essence and with the world. As we see the Universe each time more as something we can quantify, measure, predict and explain; our lives have become disenchanted and demystified. Some skeptics may believe this is for the better. I beg to differ. The world around us is full of magic and miracles. Life itself is a great mystery. Love is the greatest force in the Universe and there aren’t any quarks or neutrinos or elusive Higgs Boson particles around to account for it. Yet, who hasn’t felt Love? Rationalism and Scientific progress played a key role in the development of our culture, but now we need to learn that our mind does not have to be in antagonism with our spirit. It is time to combine all this knowledge with our innermost feelings. What good is the best smartphone if you have no one to talk, email or text to? We need to connect again. First of all with our own bodies, then our true selves and then with each other and the whole Universe to which we belong. The key is believing. Our mind will always try to trick us into not believing. That’s exactly it’s function: to process the information received by the senses about the world around us. But the mind knows nothing about that which the senses don’t perceive and we and the Universe are made up of much more than what the senses can perceive. We need to reprogram and reboot. We need to slow our minds down, open our hearts and believe again. Love and Happiness, Mannu…