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I went to a social gathering recently of the non yogi type with my Om necklace and I had quite a few people asking me “Are you 30 years old because your necklace says 3 – 0.”

“Thank you for asking. I am not 30 years old. I bought this necklace from my recent trip to Bali in early March of this year and it is a sign of Om, the Universal sound,” as I said and smiled warmly.

Then one of the girls said, ”Om, That’s interesting. No pun intended…”

I laughed and we went on talking about life in general, and living life.

After that night, I went home and reflected my journey thus far with “Om.” My thoughts brought me back three years ago when I was going through my 200 hours of yoga teacher training and why “Om” and chanting became an intricate part of my yoga practice.

One of our mentors, who falls under the Iyengar lineage, had us not only chant “Om” but also chant a gazillion invocations and another gazillion Patanjali sutras for twenty minutes before we start our physical asana practice. In the beginning, I dreaded these chants and sometimes I even felt restless as we went through the songs.

“What’s the point of chanting?” as I asked my friend who had previously attended the yoga teacher training.

She said, “For what it’s worth, just explore the sounds and vibrations in your body when you chant.”

For the first month of chanting, I thought it was useless and that we should just skip all of the “Num, num, yum, yum” sounding vowels as none of it made sense to me. I even tried to avoid my mentor’s classes because I just did not like chanting.

For me, chanting Sanskirt was not only hard to enunciate, but I couldn’t understand any of the meanings behind what I was chanting for. There is translation right below each chant, but I was also too lazy to look into the meaning so I never really took the time to understand what I was chanting to.

Worst part was that our mentor highly suggested us chanting as a part of our finals before graduating as a yoga teacher.

“Oh did I dread chanting…” I thought to myself. I kicked and fought chanting, in silence, the whole way through my yoga teacher training.

Something happened during the third month of the teachers training. When we finish chanting The Invocation to Patanjali with “Hari Om – my salutations to Thee,” my mind felt at ease. I felt like a sense of relief, a soothing energy that flowed from the top of my head, down my heart, and permeated to my entire body.

I felt whole and centered – one heart, one soul, one mind, one body, and all together as one. There was nothing to be attached to. The list of what I wanted – new car, new gadgets, new clothes, more money, etc, all went out of the window. I felt lighter, less stressed, blissful, content, and happy just where I am. I don’t need to keep up with “The Jones” and I didn’t need to have million dollars to be happy. I was no longer suffering from perpetual wants and needs of material things.

Instead, I am thankful for what I have in life. My family is in good health. I am in good health. I also have some amazing friends, teachers, and many more amazing people who I will meet along the way.

Was there something in your life that you did not enjoy doing in the beginning but somehow you stuck with it, and now it is a part of your life? I love to hear from you about your story as well.

“Hari Om. Nameste” – my salutation to Thee. I see the divine in you, and you see the divine in me.

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Live.Love.Journey.

Let’s pretend for a moment that you are a millionaire. How would you feel? Would you think you might be happier if you had a million dollars? Perhaps some of us are not happy with being a millionaire by today’s monetary standards. Instead, “I want to be a Billionaire so freakin bad…” according to a song from a popular pop artist.

Last night, I felt like a millionaire. I had $1.8 million cash on hand. No joke! “No”, I was not in Vegas, and “No” I was not trafficking drugs. I pulled the money straight from an ATM machine. For a brief moment, I felt like I was on the top of the world. I felt financially secured and happy. I felt like I didn’t have to worry about money for a long time. I was in heaven. “Yes,” that was my ego mind thinking.

I also thought about how I could serve and help people with that money. I started to dream of doing endless philanthropy work, serving those that are in need and reaching out to different parts of the world one person at a time. A wealthy person once told me that, “Money is nothing more than a form of energy. You can always receive and give more energy than one will ever need.”

Some people believe that money is scarce so they hoard money. They believe that they will never have enough money so they keep trying to fill this bottomless pit with their desire and ambition for money. There is term in Chinese called, “The Hungry Ghost.” This Hungry Ghost has a stomach that is enlarged like a huge terracotta drum with a neck as thin as a needle. The ghost has a ferocious appetite, but he can barely swallow anything down his thin needle neck. He suffers much as his life never seems fulfilling and he constantly wants more and more. He is perpetually hungry.

Money is more like oxygen. There isn’t a lack of money as if there is a lack of oxygen. Air will always be there as long as take care of our mother earth. Money will be there as long as we take care of ourselves – mentally, spiritually, physically, and serving others. I choose to live in a world of abundance, not scarcity.

Yes I did have $1.8 million last night, although I’m down to $1.2 million today. How did I spend $600K in one day you ask? I went out with my friends and had a few nice meals through out the day. I had filled up the empty gas tank in my rented Honda scooter. I had bought an Om symbol t-shirt from a yoga boutique shop. I also had a 1.5 hour Esalen massage, the kind without happy endings thank you very much.

By the way, $1.8 million in Bali Rupee is roughly about $200 USD. My point is that we can all feel like millionaires by feeling contempt, and grateful even without the money. Money is important to survive. How we serve with that money I believe is even more important.

Use this energy well, my friends.

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Live.Love.Journey!