| Great StoryTelling Network Newsletter
Volume 15, Issue 7 – 15 August 2019
Once again, I am sorry that this newsletter is late. I had some stuff to sort out. I’m sharing two stories I wrote which I hope you will enjoy reading.
[Note: This story was first published in CLARITY (15 July 2019). It is published here with permission.]
When my aunt was diagnosed with cancer, one thing struck me as odd. Convinced that she’d lived a fulfilled life, she was resigned to her fate and said, “My doctor told me that if you get cancer, you’re just unlucky.” I wanted to tell her about the many people I’d met who’d gone into remission and, miraculously, lived long and healthy lives. However, I stayed silent because I knew better than to challenge her. My aunt died within 24 months of making that statement.
Since then, I’ve wondered about all this. Do we make our own luck? Does our mind have anything to do with it? Or are we victims of our circumstances and environment? It all came back to me about three weeks ago when HH SwamiGuru and I discussed optimising the power of our subconscious mind. The scientific basis of our discussion was based on a book by Dr. Bruce Lipton called ‘The Biology of Belief’. A former professor of medicine at Stanford University, Dr. Lipton explained the results of his research in an interview published in Awareness Magazine. 1
The basic premise is this – we are not victims of our genes. Just because you have a family history of developing cancer does not mean that you’ll develop it. You control your genome rather than being controlled by it. “When we change our perception or beliefs,” said Dr. Lipton in the same interview, “we send totally different messages to our cells, causing a reprogramming of their expression.” This is epigenetics.
AT A CELLULAR LEVEL
What this means is that the cell membrane monitors the condition of the environment and then sends signals to the genes to engage cellular mechanisms. These, in turn, provide for the cell’s survival and growth.
What interferes with this survival is stress. When the cell membrane receives information that the environment is stressful, the cell adopts a defensive protection posture. The body’s energy resources are diverted to systems that provide protection instead of survival or growth.
Stress information can come to the cell from the two separate minds that create the body’s controlling central voice – the conscious mind and the subconscious mind.
40 V 40 MILLION
The subconscious mind acts on autopilot mode, as though it’s a record-playback machine. The insidious part of this mechanism is that the subconscious behaviours are programmed to engage without the control of the conscious mind. It cannot discern if a subconscious behavioural programme is good or bad. Consequently, you rarely observe these behaviours or know how they are engaged. The moment your consciousness lapses, such as in the case of being asleep, the subconscious mind will automatically engage and play its previously-recorded, experience-based programmes.
How did our subconscious mind become programmed with all that data in the first place? According to Dr. Lipton, it happens during the first six years of life when our brains operate predominantly in delta and theta EEG frequencies. This, he said, is the hypnagogic state during which a child’s programming happens by observing parents, siblings, peers, teachers and his environment. The child also downloads beliefs relating to its Self. Whatever the child is told – that he is sickly and stupid, or lovely and successful – is downloaded as fact into the child’s subconscious mind. These acquired beliefs constitute the central voice that controls the fate of the body’s cellular community.
REPROGRAMMING FOR SUPER-LEARNING
The first is to become fully conscious of what we’re doing, i.e., to practice mindfulness. We do this by regularly meditating to help us achieve the necessary clarity of mind.
The second step is a 7-week voluntary programme that ‘enables a rapid and profound reprogramming of limiting subconscious beliefs.’ It starts with cleansing the body and mind from inside out. With a clean slate, we then rewrite the programme in our subconscious minds and, thereby, release the limiting perceptions, beliefs and self-sabotaging behaviours.
What makes this entire process special is that, with the support of HH SwamiGuru, the super-learning here becomes magical. The possibilities are endless for not only do you achieve realisation of the Self, you become liberated. Living that liberated life brings with it experiences beyond your imagination, joy and happiness. This is the science of making miracles.
[Note: This story was first published in CLARITY (15 August 2019). It is published here with permission.]
The scene is familiar: It’s Sunday evening and a family of four come into a restaurant for dinner. The waitress shows them to a table and before they even sit down, all four of them – father, mother, son and daughter – place their phones on the table. Orders are placed and while waiting for the food to arrive, they are glued to their phones.
Maybe, there’ll be some respite when the food arrives. Maybe, they’ll put away their phones for a while. Maybe, they’ll even look at each other for a moment.
When the plates of fried rice, fried vegetables and steamed fish are placed in front of them, all four people adjust their positions. Having to use their hands for something other than holding their electronic gadgets, they scramble to prop their phones against glasses. Soon, they’re entertained by watching the programme on their phones uninterrupted as they shove food into their mouths. Once they finish, the father takes a 30-second break to pay the bill and the family leaves the restaurant.
This complete disconnect with life is echoed by Dr. Swagata Roy during a recent panel discussion at 7C Life RealiZation Centre called ‘Cyberworld’s Psychological Impact: The Unknown Reality’. This educator and life observer recounts a story of giving an assignment to her students to write three words about what the internet means to them. Of all the answers, the one that stirkes her as odd is when one young man wrote, ‘Disconnect. Disconnect. Disconnect.’ Worried about him, she guessed that he must have been so bothered by what happened on Facebook. “When I spoke with him,” she elaborates, “he explained, ‘I have contacts, but we’re not connected.’”
CONTACT V CONNECTION
A journalist asked the monk, “Sir, in your last lecture, you told us about jogajog (contact) and sanjog (connection). It’s really confusing. Can you please elaborate on this?”
The monk smiled and replied with a question: “Are you from New York?”
“Yes,” said the journalist.
“Who is at home?”
Although he felt that the monk was avoiding answering his question, he still said, “Mother has expired. Father is there. Three brothers and one sister. All married.”
“Do you talk to your father?”
Frowning, the journalist stared at the monk.
The persistent monk then asked, “When did you talk to him last?”
Pursing his lips, the journalist said, “Perhaps, a month ago.”
“Do your brothers and sisters meet often? When did you last meet as a family?”
Sighing, the journalist said, “Christmas. Two years ago.”
“How many days did you all stay together? How long did you spend with your father, just sitting beside him? Did you have your meals together? Did you ask how your father was? Did you ask him how he passed his days after his mother’s death?”
Tears began to flow from the journalist’s eyes.
The monk held the hand of the journalist and said, “Don’t be embarrassed, upset or sad. I am sorry if I have hurt you unknowingly. But this is basically the answer to your question about contact and connection. You have contact with your father, but you don’t have a connection with him. You are not connected to him. Connection is between heart and heart. Sitting together, sharing meals and caring for each other, touching, shaking hands, having eye contact, spending some time together.”
The journalist wiped his tears away and said, “Thanks for teaching me a fine and unforgettable lesson.”
“Being connected to one another is not only to understand one another, but to empathise with the other person,” said our second panellist, Professor Dato’ Dr. Andrew Mohanraj. “The cornerstone of being connected is to show empathy to the other human being. And when you do that, it enriches both your life and the life of the person connected to you.” Also, once we appreciate the fact that everyone is somehow interconnected, life is far more meaningful.
So, what is empathy? The dictionary definition states that it’s the ability to understand and share the feelings of another person. HH SwamiGuru elaborates on this by saying that, “Every single person in this world has the same goal of being appreciated. That’s what they look for, consciously or unconsciously. In everything that we do, we seek an endorsement unknowingly. When we receive it, we feel good. Empathy paves the way for this to happen successfully each time.” He shares some examples of empathy which include sitting with someone and praying with them in their times of trouble, holding someone’s hand when they feel alone or simply being there for someone.
The last word on this subject belongs to HH SwamiGuru who adds, “When you do something for someone with empathy, there is a bond created that results in their appreciation or their acknowledgement of what you do. That closes the loop created in the heart. [You already have contact and contentment.] Empathy leads to appreciation which leads to contentment.” And that, really, is all we need to find our happiness in life.
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