Anandway: Blog

Roadmaps to joy!

Who is a volunteer?

Sri Sri Ravishankar

Who is a volunteer? One who comes to help, without being asked to help; one who is self-motivated, inspired, becomes a volunteer.

There is the possibility of the inspirational motivation going down in a volunteer, which could bring frustration.

Usually volunteers come from the space of demand rather than humility – this dilutes the quality.

Another slack that could happen to a volunteer is that they could slip away from commitment, thinking there is no 'boss' – "If I like it, I do it; if I don't like it, I don't!" It is like the steering wheel of a car – if all the tires say they do not need steering, then the car cannot run smoothly. If you want to construct a building, you have to accept the authority of the structural engineer.

All these can only be overcome by being more grounded in spiritual knowledge. A volunteer devoid of spiritual dimension is utterly weak.

1) A volunteer needs to stick to his commitment.

2) The integrity in a volunteer comes from spiritual practices.

3) The authority needs to be acknowledged.

4) The strength of a volunteer comes from the challenges he is ready to willingly face.

5) A volunteer moves beyond boundaries as he finds he is capable of doing so many things he never ever thought of doing.

6) A true volunteer does not expect appreciation or reward.

7) A volunteer has such a joy – that joy, itself, comes as the reward.

8) If a volunteer thinks he is obliging somebody, he is thoroughly mistaken. He is 'volunteering' because he derives so much joy out of it.

The joy is immediate – it does not come on the first of every month in the form of a salary!

When a volunteer realizes this, he is filled with gratitude.

When a volunteer waivers from within, the support system is knowledge and good friends.

Meditation practice can promote cortical plasticity in adults in areas important for cognitive and emotional processing and well-being

People who meditate grow bigger brains than those who don’t.

Researchers at Harvard, Yale, and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology have found the first evidence that meditation can alter the physical structure of our brains. Brain scans they conducted reveal that experienced meditators boasted increased thickness in parts of the brain that deal with attention and processing sensory input.

In one area of gray matter, the thickening turns out to be more pronounced in older than in younger people. That’s intriguing because those sections of the human cortex, or thinking cap, normally get thinner as we age.

“Our data suggest that meditation practice can promote cortical plasticity in adults in areas important for cognitive and emotional processing and well-being,” says Sara Lazar, leader of the study and a psychologist at Harvard Medical School. “These findings are consistent with other studies that demonstrated increased thickness of music areas in the brains of musicians, and visual and motor areas in the brains of jugglers. In other words, the structure of an adult brain can change in response to repeated practice.”

More: Harvard Gazette

2012 New year’s message

Sri Sri Ravishankar’s New Year Message

Q:What should all Sadhak's focus on for the coming year?

Sri Sri: A better world, or seva focused on a world, a better society and in the personal life, conviction, strong faith that all is well, all good is going to happen to me.

You’ve heard that the Mayan's calendar this is the last year and the doomsday is going to come, something like that, there are lot of movies about it. I am telling you nothing like that is going to happen. The world is going to continue,

According to the Vedic calendar this year from March is called 'Nanda' means happiness, the year of happiness. First comes happiness and the year that follows is called 'Victory'. So you'll be happy and victorious so don't worry. And resolve to do some good work in he society, spread knowledge, you'll see by the end of next year, more and more people will turn into spirituality, into humanism. All those engaging in terrorism will be cornered, people in violence their strength will reduce, this will happen, and you are part of that happening

How can I achieve the ultimate bliss

Q: Dear Guruji, when and how can I achieve the ultimate bliss?

Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: No chance (laughter). No way. Forget about it. Are you ready to forget it? Then you got it NOW. Your mind is anxious for “ultimate happiness, ultimate bliss, one day I want to achieve...”

The first step toward the higher state of consciousness

Giving too much importance to sensory objects leads to greed; giving too much importance to the senses leads to lust; and giving too much importance to the mind and its desires leads to delusion.

We hold on to the concepts of the mind and want things to happen in a certain way. Thus, the concepts in our mind impede us from perceiving the infinite consciousness that is a part of us.

This is not to say that the senses or the mind are bad. But we must learn to discriminate between things and be aware of what is happening at all times; that is when clarity dawns on us. This is the first step toward the higher state of consciousness.

~ Sri Sri Ravi Shankar

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