Secret of Breathing – Deepen Your Stillness (2 minutes read)

I took a deep breath and listened to the old brag of my heart. I am, I am, I am.

Recently I had a secret plan to surprise a friend of mine who is an MBA grad by visiting him after a very long time. He is currently working in a well reputed corporate firm. I didn’t inform him about my visit and went to his place in South Bombay. After he came home from his work he saw me and smiled happily but he was very tired and was not as much excited to see much as he always used to be.

I asked him, “What a cold reaction you gave after seeing me, just a small smile?”

He replied, “Hey nothing like that! I’m very happy to see you. Just had a very hectic and tiring day at work. Yeah! So a lot of things are going on in my mind. Comfort and luxury is all good but the price for this is, a lot of stress and indeed, a lot of struggle to meet the deadlines!”

He asked me to teach him meditation and after practicing he told me how rejuvenated, refreshed and energised he felt. His tiredness vanished away! This was one situation which I witnessed.

Handling the Inner Demon:

The other day, as I was researching about some of the popular ailments, I was surprised to see the results. Anxiety disorders, clinical depression, mental conflicts, insomnia and stress had topped the chart and needless to say almost 97% of the population some or the other time faces these ailments.

But folks we don’t need to worry as every problem has a solution! Here the most helpful and reliable solution is Meditation. Well, wait! wait! I know some of you get scared even to hear about the word meditation but let me make it very simple for you today! You don’t need to rush to the Himalayas, seclude yourself or go to a meditation retreat to practice Meditation.

Meditation, as mystical as it may sound, is simply one of the best way to be closer to your own Self. Yes! Your True Self!
How often do we observe our body? Now you will say that when you wear your clothes, you always do glance yourself, you look into the mirror and that is how you look at your self all the time. But do you really observe yourself or just see how your clothes are beautifying your body? Yes! You do look great in that Cooper Jeans and Hilfiger Shirt no doubt! But we do this just to glorify our external self. Do you ever turn inward and observe your inner self, feelings and emotions?

The observation!

When you close your eyes and look inside, you actually feel your body in a subtler way, you also feel some minute movements and sometimes your body’s vibration. You can also feel the pain, the discomfort, the stiffness and if you are lucky enough even the bliss in certain parts of your body.

Initially by just focusing on your breath if you sit quietly for sometime simultaneously you start feeling the stillness and steadiness in the body. Breath is very directly connected to how the mental fluctuations happen. I don’t know whether science has explored this but practically speaking in our experience it is very much there!

If you sit still the breath becomes deep and slow, the more still your body becomes, the less you breath. If you bring your whole system to a certain level of stillness, not being in a hyper ventilated state, then your perception goes on increasing. You will naturally evolve into perceiving higher and better things.

Now you’ll say, “Prarthana all this sounds great! But it’s difficult, how will I achieve this?”

Many people have told me that feeling the touch of our breath is very difficult. I don’t think it’s difficult at all. This means you have not given enough importance to your breath. Observe and feel how the touch of the air you inhale is cooler and how the touch of the air you exhale is a bit warmer inside your nostrils. Once you focus on the incoming and outgoing breath you can witness a small miracle happening in yourself. You start feeling absolute calmness inside.

Inhalation and exhalation is the very Dharma of our body.

When you are absolutely still, you can feel that the conflicts in your mind are decreasing and your body becoming absolutely blissful.

Go more inward!

Your Belly expands and contracts with each incoming breath and outgoing breath. As you are aware of each in and out going breath the pace of your breath starts slowing down gradually. Here awareness is the key. Sometimes it may happen that your mind starts wondering in different directions and thoughts. But again you have to bring your awareness on the breath. Ask yourself a few times, “Am I Here?”

Then focus on each and every part of your body with every inhalation and exhalation. Relax it completely as you exhale. As your awareness is steady on breath you can experience that the mind starts getting quite peaceful and there is reduction in the intensity of your thoughts. You also start feeling lightness of limbs and you experience as if you are floating above.
When you withdraw your senses from the external, you are then tuned into the internal sound and can hear the breath. If the mind wanders, let it do so. Slowly and gradually bring it back. Treat it as if you are treating a baby.

Now does that sounds difficult? I don’t think so. We all can easily do it. We just have to become aware and become a witness of our thoughts, our feelings and our emotions. And this is how you feel calm and peaceful inside.
Feelings come and go like clouds in a windy sky. Conscious breathing is my anchor. ~Thich Nhat Hanh

It takes minimum 20 minutes to go in this relaxed state. I think we all deserve at least this much time for ourselves and to work on our well being, don’t we? Once you start practicing this regularly, you will automatically concentrate on the breath every moment of your life, all the time and without putting any extra effort!

You can make the body so pleasurable that just sitting here and Breathing is a million time more than anything than you have known – just to sit here and Breath

Yes! You are Breathing! Click here to read another short article on Breathing by me.

With lots of love,
-Prarthana Khot
Special thanks to Kushal Pagare and Anushka Pawar for editing this article.

Picture credits: BoodhaDoodles.com

Drop Your Intentions

A strong tendency to keep doing something, whether important or unimportant, becomes an impediment to meditation. Doing starts first with an intention and then translates into action. Though intention springs from the Being, when it becomes doing it doesn’t let you settle down. All intentions, good or bad, trivial or important, need to be dropped for meditation to happen.

Vijay: But isn’t dropping all intentions itself an intention?

Sri Sri: Yes, but that intention is the last and necessary intention. Dropping the intentions is not an act – just the intention to drop the intentions itself serves the purpose. Dropping all intentions even for a moment brings you in touch with your Self – that instant meditation happens.

While you sit for meditation you have to let the world be the way it is. The repetition of meditation is to habituate our system to be able to stop and start activity at will. The ability to do this consciously is a very precious skill.

By Sri Sri Ravi Shankar

How do I earn?

Hey. Hope you’re wonderful today. Full of creativity, energy and focus.

You and I work for the world you know!

Hard work or Smart work?

Working smart means having fun with your work!

This is very very easy if you understand it deeply.

Create a system or a passive income source which will give you a lot of freedom, independence and money just by doing something that you love doing the most. How?

Start a microbusiness.

You don’t need a lot of money, resources and place to start your own business. Break such beliefs. You just need a strong purpose and willpower.

I’m 19 and I earn in thousands per month by doing things which interests me ie. teaching Yoga and spending time with kids. Earlier, 2 years back I had only 2 student and now their are more than 100. (I did this without marketing it transfered with the word of mouth). Focus on giving more. Know that customer is God and be totally honest and transparent with them. In business honesty has the most power than you can ever imagine.

Start with whatever you have right now. Don’t wait to learn you’ll eventually learn on the way but only if you start somewhere and stick to it.

Follow these simple steps.

  1. Find out your passion. Find out what you love doing the most.
  2. How can your passion create value in the lives of the people? Think consciously.
  3. Find out a product, service or a skill which you can sell. It should have utility.
  4. Search customers who are willing to buy your product.
  5. You need a source from where you can transfer money easily. Example: PayPal and Paytm.

Earlier this was way too hard, time consuming and modes of payments were also very less but with the advancement of technology you can easily find customers and market your product at a very low cost. You can earn money just by sitting at home or travelling across the world by using social networking platforms like YouTube and Blogging platforms such as WordPress and Blogger. (I’m not sponsoring these tools. I personally use them and want you to use them wisely too).

Find a suitable area of convergence.

It’s not enough to just find your passion. Your passion could be anything like sleeping or eating pizza/burgers. If such things don’t provide value to what people really want they are useless. They don’t need or care about what you want to proved them, provide what they need. Or else your business will never grow. It won’t even provide enough returns let alone growing. So you need to create value out of your passion.

Intersect your passion and what people need the most.

Earn from the Internet:

Selling handmade cards and bouquets.

Blogging by creating useful content. (I do this and trust me it has a lot of scope.) Once you create useful content your stats will grow and you can monitize your blog later. Here investments are low and the returns are high but it all depends on your skills and writing. I don’t want to monitize my blog just want to share whatever I’ve learnt. So even if you fail you’ll have a lot of knowledge and experience about such platforms which will definitely prove beneficial.

Making use of affiliate links.

Selling products on Amazon.

Starting a YouTube channel.

Writings and selling E books.

Buying and selling books.

Marketing on social networking sites.

Handling social media accounts.

The list can go on and on and on. (More about them in other posts).

Conclusion :

  1. Transfer your skill. Understand what problems people are facing and sell a solution.
  2. Add value get freedom. Most important thing is how much value you are adding with your product or service.

More value = More success

Passion + skill + usefulness = Success

Growth is important. Even if you fail you’ll have a lot of experience to look at. Get up again. The bigger the problem the greater will be your growth. You’ll definitely succeed if you stick to your aim and find every possible way to achieve it. Don’t stop here. Learn and take your business to a Macro level.

Thanks for reading till here. Here’s something more:

Insider secret: If you just run behind money you’ll never be able to chase it. Learn what to love to do and give your 100% to be a pro in it and money will run behind you. There are no limits. Just keep improving your product and skills to the best possibility. Is there any end line for this? And yes you don’t need a college degree or a lot of money to do what you want, there are many sources you can learn from. All that you have is enough, in fact more than enough. Just go for it. Get out of your comfort zone. More than passion well all need a strong will power and patience. Do with an amazing purpose in your heart and success will follow.

Inspiration works 100 times better than motivation

Mark Zuckerberg did not think about how much he’ll earn while creating Facebook and I guess nor did Jeff Bezos think about money while making Amazon. They just wanted to find solution to the problems they where facing.

So the goal should not be money. Goal should not be fame. Goal should not be power and luxury. Goal should be learning as much as we can and becoming a pro of our field. Then everything follows.

Thank you for reading! Hope to serve you’ll more.

I so wish the best for you.

Copyrights are with Aarya Life, Prarthana Khot

Why do we light a lamp?

“In Indian Culture, Why Do We…” under the guidance of Swamini Vimalananda Radhika Krishna Kumar

In almost every Indian home a lamp is lit daily before the altar of the Lord. In some houses it is lit at dawn, in some, twice a day – at dawn and dusk – and in a few it is maintained continuously (Akhanda Deepa). All auspicious functions commence with the lighting of the lamp, which is often maintained right through the occasion.

Light symbolizes knowledge, and darkness, ignorance. The Lord is the “Knowledge Principle” (Chaitanya) who is the source, the enlivener and the illuminator of all knowledge. Hence light is worshiped as the Lord himself.

Knowledge removes ignorance just as light removes darkness. Also knowledge is a lasting inner wealth by which all outer achievement can be accomplished. Hence we light the lamp to bow down to knowledge as the greatest of all forms of wealth.

Why not light a bulb or tube light? That too would remove darkness. But the traditional oil lamp has a further spiritual significance. The oil or ghee in the lamp symbolizes our vaasanas or negative tendencies and the wick, the ego. When lit by spiritual knowledge, the vaasanas get slowly exhausted and the ego too finally perishes. The flame of a lamp always burns upwards. Similarly we should acquire such knowledge as to take us towards higher ideals.

Whilst lighting the lamp we thus pray:
Deepajyothi parabrahma
Deepa sarva tamopahaha
Deepena saadhyate saram
Sandhyaa deepo namostute

I prostrate to the dawn/dusk lamp; whose light is the Knowledge Principle (the Supreme Lord), which removes the darkness of ignorance and by which all can be achieved in life.

Copyright: Central Chinmaya Mission Trust, Chinmaya Mission UK, www.chinmayauk.org
Photos copyrights with Aarya Life, Prarthana Khot

Conscious Immortality

I thank my Guruji, Rajesh Narayan for sending such beautiful wisdom in my inbox. I keenly wait for this beautiful knowledge every morning

Q. Yoga means union. But the union of what with which?

A. Exactly. Yoga implies division – union of one with another. Who is to be united with whom? You are the seeker seeking union with something. That something is apart from you. Your self is intimate to you. You are aware of the Self. Seek it and be it. That will expand as Infinity. Then there will be no question of yoga etc. Whose is viyoga (apart from yoga)? Find it. [Talk 211] ‘Stoppage of mental activities’ is applicable to all systems of yoga. The methods differ. So long as there is an effort made towards that goal, it is called yoga. The effort is the yoga. The cessation can be brought about in so many ways:

(i) By questing the mind itself. When the mind is sought, its activities cease automatically. This is the method of jnana. The pure mind is the Self.

(ii) Looking for the source of the mind is another method. The source may be said to be God or Self or Consciousness. 

(iii) Concentrating upon one thought, makes all other thoughts to disappear. Finally, that thought also disappears. [Talk 191] – Conscious Immortality

Why did the Sages keep Hatha Yoga a secret?

Yogam Param Gopyam – Sage Patanjali

“Hatha yoga is the science of using the body to prepare oneself for the ultimate possibility.”

Anything that is sacred is kept a secret! In ancient times, Hatha Yogic techniques were kept secret and we’re never written down or exposed to public view. They were passed on from teacher or a guru to disciple by word of their mouth. In this way there was a clear understanding of their meaning and aim. Through personal experience, realised Yogis and Sages were able to guide sincere aspirants along the correct path, removing any confusion, misunderstanding and excessive intellectual contemplation.

Why is it kept secret? It is like a seed and seed sprout in secrecy. You put the seed under the ground and cover it with mud, then the seed sprouts and becomes a tree.

The ancient science of yoga which is kept secret grows and resonates within you. Any secret that you keep to yourself does not leave you but it takes you deeper to the subconscious layers.

The knowledge is given to another person, a disciple saying, ‘Keep it to yourself, it is yours, let it grow.’

This is the ancient way of doing it. Spiritual journey is considered very sacred, very personal and yet a matter of pride because it is sacred.

I am incapable of being depressed, otherwise I would be depressed looking at the way Hatha Yoga is being practiced around the world and people thinking that is what it is. The practice as you see it – the mechanics of it, is simply of the body. You have to breath life into it, otherwise it will not become alive. This is why traditionally, there has been so much stress on a live Guru – to make it alive. The Yogic system is a suitable manipulation of your system to allow it to rise to a different level. Yoga means that which allows you to attain to your higher nature. Every asana, every mudra, every way of breathing – everything – is focused towards this.

Images : isha.sadhguru. org
Reference : Swami Satyananda Saraswati, Sri Sri Ravi Shankar and Patanjali Yoga Sutras

Yoga does have a dark side.

You know, we yoga fantastics tout the benefits of yoga like it is going out of style. For most of us, it is because yoga has so profoundly changed our lives that we want to shout about it from the rooftops.

Some of us actually do shout!

But the truth is, yoga does have a dark side. There are some legitimate reasons why someone may want to consider avoiding starting or maintaining a practice. In order to save you from any pain or suffering, here is a reason you should skip the practice.

1) It will ruin chilli cheese fries.

2) It will put down your late nights.

3) Love Drama? Skip Yoga.

4) It will make you have to take responsibility.

5) It will suck the fun out of judging people.

6) It will ruin your wardrobe.

7) It will make you cry in public.

8) It will make you feel your feelings.

9) It will open your hips, shoulders and of course your heart and mind.

10) It will ruin your relationship with anything that is Self Destructive.

Experienced!

I hope you got it :p

-Prarthana Khot

Photo Credits: Yoga Oxford

Why you should forgive? (2mins read)

“Forgiveness is not an occasional act, it is a constant act.”

– Martin Luther King Jr.

All through life people will hurt and betray you. Let the Universe deal with them. To be wounded is trivial, unless you persist on nursing its memory forever. Forgive them not just because they need it, but because you need it.

Inner forgiveness is also vital. I realized that the one person I needed to ask for forgiveness from the most is ‘Myself‘. Every time you recall a weakness, mistake or a flaw within you, tell yourself “It’s OK.” We are all creatures of God collectively on a continuous path of Evolution. Learn to absolve yourself daily so that you no longer perceive those shortcomings. Our thoughts matter, and profoundly impacts the world around us.

Can you envisage a world filled with people willing both to forgive and ready to accept an apology graciously? The largesse of human spirit, humility and love could resolve any problem plaguing the world. Forgiveness would be our generation’s greatest contribution to healing an angry and damaged world.

Every time you forgive others and yourself, the Universe changes! Every time you reach out and heal a heart with love, the Cosmos transforms! Every act of loving kindness, mercy, compassion and service alters the energy of the planet. And in this process of Loving and Forgiving, nothing will ever be the same again.

Love! Do what makes you feel good!

You are Breathing!

But are you aware?


There is no doubt that breath control is the means for mind control because the mind, like breath, is a part of air; because the nature of mobility is common to both; because the place of origin is the same for both; and because when one of them is controlled, the other gets controlled. ~Ramana Maharishi

Just observe your breathe because breathe is the string which has tied us with our ultimate creation within us. Keep watching your breathe in each and every moment. Just observe how your breath is functioning in different moments and situations in your day to day life.

Just observe How it’s working when you are in anger?

How’s it’s working when you are in intimacy?

How it’s working when you are in love?

How it’s working when you are in sleep?

How it’s working when you are meditating?

How it’s working when you are eating?

How it’s working when you are walking, running or doing any physical activity?

You will notice that your life is just ticking away without even asking your permission. Its not waiting for us at all. Slowly you will understand that all this life we have been wasting our life energies in striving for false desires.

Believe me friends then your realisation will sprout. You will clearly understand that what you want to do with your life energies. I am sure your every step will be towards your ultimate liberation. You will find that the divine is just within you and you were just freaking wasting your time. So please observe your breathe very keenly.

Just Breath

Ducks Quack, Eagles soar

Brilliant article, just couldn’t resist sharing from HBC Lagos
Ducks Quack, Eagles Soar

I was waiting in line for a ride at the airport in Dubai. When a cab pulled up, the first thing I noticed was that the taxi was polished to a bright shine. Smartly dressed in a white shirt, black tie, and freshly pressed black slacks, the cab driver jumped out and rounded the car to open the back passenger door for me.

He handed me a laminated card and said: ‘I’m Abdul, your driver. While I’m loading your bags in the trunk I’d like you to read my mission statement.’
Taken aback, I read the card. It said: Abdul’s Mission Statement:

To get my customers to their destination in the quickest, safest and cheapest way possible in a friendly environment.

This blew me away. Especially when I noticed that the inside of the cab matched the outside. Spotlessly clean!
As he slid behind the wheel, Abdul said, ‘Would you like a cup of coffee? I have a thermos of regular and one of decaf.’
I said jokingly, ‘No, I’d prefer a soft drink.’
Abdul smiled and said, ‘No problem. I have a cooler up front with regular and Diet Coke, lassi, water and orange juice.’
Almost stuttering, I said, ‘I’ll take a Lassi.’
Handing me my drink, Abdul said, ‘If you’d like something to read, I have The NST , Star and Sun Today.’
As they were pulling away, Abdul handed me another laminated card, ‘These are the stations I get and the music they play, if you’d like to listen to the radio.’
And as if that weren’t enough, Abdul told me that he had the air conditioning on and asked if the temperature was comfortable for me.
Then he advised me of the best route to my destination for that time of day. He also let me know that he’d be happy to chat and tell me about some of the sights or, if I preferred, to leave me with my own thoughts.
‘Tell me, Abdul ,’ I was amazed and asked him, ‘have you always served customers like this?’
Abdul smiled into the rear view mirror. “No, not always. In fact, it’s only been in the last two years. My first five years driving, I spent most of my time complaining like all the rest of the cabbies do. Then I heard about POWER OF CHOICE one day.”
Power of choice is that you can be a duck or an eagle.
‘If you get up in the morning expecting to have a bad day, you’ll rarely disappoint yourself. Stop complaining!’
Don’t be a duck. Be an eagle. Ducks quack and complain. Eagles soar above the crowd.’
‘That hit me. really hard’ said Abdul.

‘It is about me. I was always quacking and complaining, so I decided to change my attitude and become an eagle. I looked around at the other cabs and their drivers. The cabs were dirty, the drivers were unfriendly, and the customers were unhappy. So I decided to make some changes, slowly … a few at a time. When my customers responded well, I did more.’
‘I take it that it has paid off for you,’ I said.
‘It sure has,’ Abdul replied. ‘My first year as an eagle, I doubled my income from the previous year. This year I’ll probably quadruple it. My customers call me for appointments on my cell phone or leave a message on it.’
Abdul made a different choice. He decided to stop quacking like a duck and start soaring like an eagle.

Start becoming an eagle today

one small step every week

next week

And next

And….

A great Thought..
You don’t die if you fall in water, you die only if you don’t swim.”
Thats the Real Meaning of Life.

Improve yourself and your skills in a different way.

Be an eagle, not a Duck.
Lets keep improving.