The Obama balm

When Barack Obama gave his acceptance speech, tears rolled down the cheeks of many a supporter – both, American and otherwise. In fact, many hearing him in Mumbai, were moist-eyed too. What was the connection between an American aansoo and an Indian one? Which of the words he uttered, what part of his speech, and what thoughts that he articulated, managed to appeal to people from Greenland to Girgaum? Was it the hope that held out of a new world order, or just the fact that he had fulfilled the hope of every African-American? The operative word here is ‘hope’. It is this hope that caused that gush of energy inside every hopeful’s heart.

Hope is more powerful than the best of medicines. In fact, every therapy is built on a foundation of hope. When you take a pill for a headache, you do it with the hope that the pain will vanish. When you study for your exam, you do it in the hope that you will pass and do well in life. We hold onto hope, because many successful stories have been wrought around it.

It is common to find an insulin-dependent diabetic asking "Doctor, is it true that once on insulin, always on insulin?" Or a HIV-positive patient looking skywards and asking, "Oh God, why me?" We can hope for a patient to get well only if we zealously guard his hope to survive, to surmount.

This column too revolves around hope. When people write in with their prayer requests, they do it with the hope that I will publish them and also hope that people will pray for them in the Connect-Ticket group. And it is this very same hope that has weaved magic in the form of people getting well just through people's prayers.

Let’s take this hope trip a bit further. I invite you to tell me your success stories. If you have conquered diabetes, tell me how you did it. If you've won over cancer, let me know. Or AIDS, epilepsy, liver cirrhosis, Parkinson's, Alzheimer's... any ailment known to man. Success stories like these will act as a tonic to many a tired soul. My aim is to keep hopes alive – to tell the success stories of people who are fighting against all odds. One hope leads to another, and who knows one success story may lead to another too.

Solutions can be got in a myriad ways. To think that only medicines can cure a person is a fallacy. A senior citizen in an old age home doesn't need medicines for treatment; he/she just needs a patient listener. A person with bitter experiences in life just needs to meet one Samaritan to bring about an attitudinal shift. Solutions therefore, can come from anywhere.

It is essential that we do this exercise, especially since our hope for a bright future seems to be getting bleaker in the wealth-depleting and MNS-challenged world we live today. The need of the hour is to connect to each other at a soul level, where we genuinely pray and wish for each other's happiness. The results are miraculous.

Barack Obama said just that, and the people saw in him the hope that they have been nurturing for a very long time. Now, whether he actually fulfils that hope will have to be seen.

Countering the countdown

Recession! Meltdown! Countdown! Doom! All that we get to hear these days are these words and their assorted synonyms, isn’t it? There is a distinctive air of bewilderment all around, as everybody seems to have simply no answer to the plummeting financial markets and their eroding net worths. Suddenly, they are finding themselves out of balance and out of sync…as if their centre of gravity has been yanked out of position. But come to think of it: this situation makes for a fascinating study of energy movements, doesn’t it?

We all have heard the age-old wisdom: life has its ups and downs. What goes up must come down. There is always light after dark. And so on. All these clich├ęs however, point to only one thing: the movement of energy. If you understand it, managing a financial crisis like the present one, becomes easier.

When stress levels of the kind we are seeing today hit, the first impact on people is that they become off-centred. In other words, their centre of gravity (CoG) shifts. When that happens, it hampers energy movements in the body. Then, every chakra or energy centre in the body, does not receive adequate amounts of energy, and in turn, starts to malfunction. The chakra system is a study in itself and it will not be possible to explain it in entirety in this column, but simply put, these chakras are connected to the endocrine glands, which release hormones in the body. When the root chakra or Mooladhara (the last chakra located at the base of the spine) gets affected, the primary symptom that arises is fear and the stress hormone released is adrenaline and cortisol. And that is what we are seeing today everywhere – a fear about the future.

So is there a solution? Well, there always is. All you need to do is set right the energy flow.

Interestingly, CoG has various definitions. The layman’s definition is “it’s an imaginary point where the total weight of a material body may be thought to be concentrated”. We learnt this in school. In sports, it’s defined as ‘the point at which the whole weight of an object can be considered to act and, therefore, at which all parts of an object are in balance”. And in military terms (a concept developed by Carl von Clausewitz, a Prussian military theorist), CoG is defined as "those characteristics, capabilities, or locations from which a military force derives its freedom of action, physical strength, or will to fight." Thus, the center of gravity is usually seen as the "source of strength".

Therefore, in the current scenario as well, much can be set right by just setting right your centre of gravity, and thereby your energy flow. In other words, by setting right your ‘source of strength’.


  • Watch your posture: Make sure you walk straight, that your weight falls uniformly on both feet, your spine is erect and shoulders are broad. This will ensure your energy is flowing down your spine to all your major chakras. One way to check if your posture is wrong is to check your footwear and check the way the sole has been worn out.
  • Exercise: Exercise replaces those "fear hormones" in your body with hormones that promote strength and power for longer periods of time.
  • Trust in the future: A brain imaging study at the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) has discovered that the fear-processing circuitry in the human brain appears to be short-circuited by the brain chemical oxytocin, sometimes referred to as the "trust" hormone. Oxytocin quells the brain's fear hub, the amygdala (and its associated brainstem relay stations), in response to fearful stimuli. So, a good affirmation to mentally repeat is – This too shall pass.

It pays to concentrate on setting right energy movements first, and then pondering over the symptoms, instead of the other way round.

Lose control to gain control

All around us, we see people striving to gain control. The trust vote, the politics in parliament, the terror attacks – all attempts at gaining control. Parents try their best to control their kids, trying to prolong the day when they know their kids will stop being under their control. It’s a very tricky proposition: when should one lose control and when should one retain it.

The strategy that works best in today’s times at least, is to lose control to gain control.

The age-old concept of being in control doesn’t work anymore. What are we in control of? Can we control the terrorist who is thinking of planting a bomb in a nearby bicycle? Can we control the mosquitoes that suck our blood all night? Can we do anything to prevent the cars on the road from losing control and banging against us? Can we control the Kosi river? Can we control global superpowers from playing politics in Georgia? Why, can we control our next moment?

Well, we can’t. The more we think of controlling things, the more we are out of control. It is a misnomer to think that we are in control. We are not. When are we in control? What are we trying to control? Well, from an energy point of view, being in control of a situation means being in control of the energy that is causing that situation.

Think about it: the only thing under our control is our breath. Our breathing determines the quality and quantity of energy that flows within us and that is what we are, rather what we should, be in control of.

When a baby cries its lungs out, the mother finds herself increasingly out of control of the situation. In other words, the energy that the child is generating is way too high for the mommy to handle. If she has to calm the child, she should first reduce the energy created (by diverting the child’s attention); and then try to distribute the energy that has already got generated (by giving it other activities to do). I know this is easier said than done, and only a harrowed mother will know what it is like to manage a wailing kid, but from an energy point of view, it helps to tackle a situation from this perspective.

When the energy in us flows smoothly, the energy around us will automatically smoothen. When that happens, the events that happen in our life will be in accordance with this harmonising energy flow. In other words, things will automatically be “under control” without you consciously doing it. As many a spiritual master would say – “things happen with silken smoothness”.

You don’t need spiritual masters to certify that. We experience it so many times: there are days when everything just falls into place. Everything happens smoothly, on time, without any stress. On other days, every little chore is a struggle. How does that happen? It’s all a matter of energy, of frequency. As long as you are in control of that, everything else automatically falls into place.

What’s your energy level?

Is there any way to know what is the level of your energy? Do you know how much energy you are consuming, how much you are wasting, and how much you need? Whether the energy you exude is positive or negative? Simple observation will give you the answers.

Watch the door: Have you observed how people open doors, especially when going from one room to the other. Some swing the door open regardless of whether anyone is there on the other side; some others open it so cautiously, just enough to let their bodies pass; some, on opening the door, don’t bother to see whether anyone is following them; while still others would open the door to a comfortable extent, and also check if anyone is following them and keep the door open to let that person enter.
The way you open the door shows how much energy you are demanding for yourself at that point in time. Have you noticed that angry people swing the door open wildly and bang the door shut? And the good-mood ones are invariably gentle with the doors! Well, that’s because you involuntarily behave the way your energy demands you to.

Watch the food and water: The canteen is a very good laboratory if you want to study energy patterns. Notice how much food you take in your plate and how you eat it. Do you take a plateful and waste virtually the entire lot? Or do you take a plateful and eat it all? Are you one of those who takes a little and nibbles over it for hours? Or are you the I’ll-take-just-enough-and-finish-it-all kinds
Similarly, observe how you drink water. Do you fill the glass full, drink 80 per cent and throw out the rest? Do you fill 20 per cent, drink it, again fill 20 per cent and go on that way? Or do you drink the entire glassful?

The way you bathe: Observe the way you bathe. If you have a bucket bath, do you leave water behind in the bucket when you finish? When you wash your hands at the basin, how much water do you use? And what is the force of the water?

Loose lying clothes: If clothes are lying loosely in your house, watch whether you are prompted to pick it up and fold it away? Or do you just let them be.

All these are symptoms for you to judge your energy flow. In the ‘door experiment’, you are dealing with the space element. Your action determines how much of the ‘space element’ you are consuming and needing at that point. Roughly put, the more wild your behaviour with the door, the more mismanaged your energy is.
Food and water denote the water element. The amount of water you consume will vary according to your moods and energy requirement. Have you noticed, the days when you are chirpy, you tend to be more conscious of wastage of any kind?

Energy can be understood through symptoms. In lay lingo, we call it ‘shagun’ or indications. Since energy can be seen only with people possessing auric sight ie the ability to see auras, and most people are not blessed with that. Hence, lay people can sense energy and understand its movements by watching what’s happening in and around them.

Why do we get 'gut' feelings?

Do you know why we get 'gut' feelings? Why not 'thigh' feelings or 'little toe' feelings? We use many phrases and terminologies without understanding why we do so. The language of the subconscious may sound complex, but is really very simple to understand.

The answer lies in understanding the language of the chakras or the subtle energy centres that can be found in our aura. Knowledge about them is most comprehensively found in yoga, formalised by the physician-sage Patanjali about 3,000 years ago. Patanjali described a subtle energetic system within each of us that is comprised of seven vital energy centres or chakras and three interconnecting parallel channels or nadis. These centres each govern specific aspects of our physical, psychological and spiritual being. Their state of balance is the key to the health of the various body systems that they govern. In other words, imbalance, damage or blockage of these centres will lead to ailments in the physical, psychological or spiritual aspect of our being that the affected centre deals with. The third chakra in our subtle energy system is called "nabhi" or "Manipur" chakra. Its physical location is at about the level of the navel. It looks after several important aspects of our being. Physically, it deals with our organs of digestion (such as the stomach and intestines), psychologically it deals with our sense of satisfaction and spiritually it deals both with our "prosperity", "generosity" as well as with our "dharma" or our innate sense of right and wrong. Often that "Gut Feeling" is our being sensitive to the state of the nabhi chakra. Remember the last time you had a good meal, leaned back in your chair and patted your stomach in satisfaction? You're actually touching your nabhi chakra because that is the centre that, amongst other things deals with satisfaction, particularly in relation to food. Another important aspect of the chakras is that each of them has a sound attached to it. In other words, uttering a particular sound repeatedly helps in healing that particular chakra. The nabhi chakra's sound is 'ah', pronounced as "aah". Now you know, why you say "Ah, lovely food" when you eat a hearty meal, and not "eee, lovely food"!Similarly, sinking feelings are also associated with the nabhi chakra. You get to feel it when a relationship goes awry. Likewise, have you ever thought about doing something but deep down in your belly somewhere it didn't feel like the right thing to do? That again is our Nabhi telling us what's right and wrong.The point here is that there are far too many things that we unconsciously do without realising the reason for doing them. As the ancients have said, nothing is a coincidence. There is always some underlying, hidden meaning somewhere in the universe. It makes for a fascinating exploratory journey.

Energy and the geometric path

Cardiac patients are advised to eat green vegetables, go for walks in the park, and meditate. They are told that these three activities are good for their heart. Right? Have you wondered why?

Spiritualists have an explanation for this. Green is the colour of the heart chakra. When a patient develops a cardiac ailment, spiritual therapists would diagnose it as a heart chakra malfunction. Chakras are spinning energy centres that are located along the spine in the aura of a human being. These chakras are connected to the endocrine system, which in turn produces hormones. Spiritualists believe that the chakras (seven major and 144 minor ones located all over the body) should be kept healthy for the individual to live a healthy life.
Green vegetables not only provide the nutrients, it also helps to heal the chakra. The longer one ‘sees’ green colour, the more beneficial it is to the heart. That explains the logic of visiting the park.
Coming to meditation, do you know why we sit cross-legged in the padmasan or ardha-padmasan posture while meditating? Well, in that posture, the body is shaped as an equilateral triangle. Each of the three corners or angles in such a triangle, as we know, is 60 degrees. If you were to bisect the three angles, the point at which they intersect at the centre is the point where the energy in the triangle will be concentrated. If you notice, that position coincides with the location of the heart! In other words, meditation helps to concentrate energy in the heart and make it healthy.
Mathematics, science and spirituality are very closely linked. Spiritualists have always used the power of geometric designs and diagrams as amplifiers to boost the generation of energy. Yantras fall in this category. For most, geometry is a boring subject studied in school. For others, it is the sacred path to the Ultimate. For still others, it is a science that when applied outside of the realm of pure abstraction (mathematical theory), is both predictive and creative. They feel that through the use of geometry, functional forces can be directed such as geomagnetic or electro-magnetic fields.
Temples use geometry in a huge way – be it in the yantras that are embedded in the temple walls to amplify the energy, or the rangoli that uses geometric patterns. In every spiritual tradition, there is a path written in geometry. The Sufi, in their dance; the Hebrew in their Cabbalah; the Egyptian in their structures and sciences; the Greek in their brotherhoods, philosophy and universities; the Rosicrucian, the Mason, the Hindu, the Native American… they all honour and employ geometry both as a science and a mystical path.
The more we explore the universe and the way it functions, the more we realise how closely interlinked everything is. How science and spirituality talk of the same thing in different styles. It’s quite fascinating that the ancients were so advanced in their thinking and philosophies that the current generations’ findings seem like mere pebbles in the water in comparison.

The art of being simple

  • Do you lead your life on your terms, or do you just allow your life to lead you?
  • Do you feel trapped without the trappings of a upper middle-class lifestyle?
  • Do you find television soap operas dictating how much and when you should spend time with your family?
  • Have you experienced the 'freedom' of being without a mobile phone?
  • Do you feel lost and left out when your friends' excitedly discuss about the latest gadgets that they have, that you don't?

If you tick 'yes' to any or all of this, don't worry, you are not alone. Most of us live this complex life. So much so, that we have forgotten how to be simple. We get stuck with jobs that we can't leave because of some or the other loan on our heads. We fall for marketers' tricks, buy more (often on credit) and then spend the rest of our lives, trying to earn to support our 'lifestyle'.

So, is there a way out?

Yes. If you're already addicted to conspicuous consumption, it will take some getting used to. But it IS possible to own your own life if you are determined to do it. How? Simplify!! Being simple is an art not many are able to master. The trouble with simple living is that, though it can be joyful, rich, and creative, it isn't simple. And the definition of simplicity is also quite warped.

The term "downshifting" is often used to describe the act of moving from a lifestyle of frenetic consumption towards a lifestyle based on voluntary simplicity. Many simplicity gurus urge us to become tightfisted as the true path to a simple life. But voluntary simplicity and frugality are not really the same thing. Frugality is a vehicle for achieving simplicity, but voluntary simplicity is about freedom. It's about owning your own life. Frugality is to live with less of what money can buy. Voluntary simplicity is to want less.

This revelation allows us to be content in our work or to change that work when it no longer satisfies. It permits us to spend less time acquiring things and more time acquiring experiences, insights, and relationships. It encourages us to lend a helping hand in our community, whenever the need arises, because we can make the time to do it. It gives us freedom and control of our lives.

Try this simple exercise
So, going simple really worth it? Try this. Make a list of the ten activities you enjoy most. Then make another list of the ten activities that occupy most of your time. Compare the two lists. This little self test may be all you need to convince you to jump off the merry-go-round. As Confucious had said: "Life is really simple. We insist on making it complicated."

Why do we go to temples?

Why do we go to temples? Or churches, mosques? What is there in those structures that benefits us? God or the Higher Consciousness is omnipresent, isn't He? Let us take temples as a case in point for this discussion. Why, then, do we have to visit temples every week?

If you ask anybody these questions, the answers often will be very subjective. "I get a lot of peace in a temple", "My parents have asked me to go there", "It's supposed to be good" - these are the common answers you are likely to receive.
But probe them further - why do you feel peaceful there? You can feel peaceful even in your bathroom, isn't it? Why do we sing bhajans? What is a mantra and why are they recited? Why is there a tall dome above the main idol in a temple? Why do we show the aarti? Questions and more questions which do not find answers easily.
That's because the correct answers have not been passed over from generation to generation. Information has got lost; as a result, we do things simply because they have been told to us, and without understanding why we do them.
A temple is the focus for all aspects of everyday life in the community - religious, cultural, educational and social. It is also the place where one can transcend the world of man. Hindus believe that their lives are merely stages in the progression to ultimate enlightenment. The temple is a place where it is believed that God may be approached and where divine knowledge can be discovered. All aspects of the temple - the principles of design and construction, the forms of its architecture and decoration, and the rituals performed - focus on the goal of enlightenment and liberation. And all of these are determined by ancient texts or shastras.
The temple is also an embodiment of the concept of energy which I have been mentioning. When we pray - it could be in the form of reciting mantras, or singing bhajans, or meditating - a surge of energy is created. In a temple, the intention of all devotees is common - to be united with God. When so many people think of a common goal and then take steps to create positivity, there is a lot of positive energy generated.
Positive energy is light and tends to rise. The purpose of a temple is to store this energy and hence the dome or vimana of the temple is constructed to do precisely that. Also, notice that the entrance to the garba griha or the sanctum sanctorum is low. All this is an effort to prevent the energy so generated, from escaping. The aarti is again a ritual which whips up energy. The camphor and ghee have particular properties which expedite the process.
The temple bell, which does the function of a doorbell - you are supposed to be ringing the bell before entering the abode of God - actually is a device which when rung creates vibrations to prevent the energy in the temple from remaining static. Even in our houses, it is advised to clap at the corners or in unfrequented areas like the attic. This is to keep the energy moving. Cobwebs trap energy. That's the reason we are advised to clean them up. Incense does the same function, or increasing and activating energy. The dhoop available in the market, is also used for this job.
These same principles apply to other religious institutions as well. The effort is to increase positivity and retain it in order for the devotees to gain benefit from it. When you go to a energy-charged temple, the energy washes you and you come out cleaned. Let's put it this way. We have a bath to remove our physical impurities. A temple is also like a bathroom: it's used to remove our spiritual impurities.

The mesmerising dance of energy

What is common in the energy pattern of Crawford market, CST station and Siddhivinayak temple? If you are an energy-watcher like me, all these three locations are wonderful laboratories to learn about energy movements.

Crawford market is an amazing place. If you happen to walk through the maze of streets there, the most noticeable factor is the distinct loss of order. People spill out of every lane, tripping over the myriad bikes and cycles parked on every inch of space on the sides of the roads; pavements are non-existent; cars and buses tear through the little remaining space expecting you to walk on the huge mounds of stinking garbage piled up right in the middle of the road. Oblivious of this hodgepodge are the shopkeepers and hawkers who trade their wares dispassionately!
CST station also falls in the same category. Though not a shopping area, it is a smorgasbord of commuters. All of them enter the station with one eye fixed on the train indicators, oblivious of whom they bang into when searching for their train. A push here, a shove there doesn’t matter. Catching the train is.
Siddhivinayak temple has its own frequency. The garba graha where people take darshan is a vortex of energy. Every devotee who comes into that space gets sucked into it, spinning and moving the way the energy moves there. It’s a mesmerizing dance of devotion.
In all these three areas, normal rules of civilized behaviour don’t work. Everything is maaf. Sab chalta hai. People cross each other’s path with disdain, but no one complains. Things are not perfect, but it’s fine. Men and women brush against each other here, but there is no complaint of harassment. The same situation would not be fine, in say a Malabar Hill. Or even areas located off these places. There, the rules of the game apply. But in high energy zones like the three I’ve mentioned, it’s a different equation at play.
Why do different places prompt differential behavioural patterns in us? The answer lies in the fact that when the main reason – or in energy terms, the ‘presiding energy’ – is very strong, nothing else matters. Many take the concept of ‘God’ as the presiding energy. They are then ready to do anything to partake in that energy. Ask those who don’t mind inflicting physical harm on themselves during Moharram, or standing in a queue for 10 hours to get a darshan, to vouch for that.
In the case of the places I have mentioned, the energy there is so high, that ‘trivialities’ like logistics, traffic, comfort, etc., don’t matter. Crawford market is a haven for the bargain hunter. The motivation is to get goods at dirt cheap rates. CST station is the starting point of the central railway. The commuter can get a place to sit in the train here, and that is motivation enough! And Siddhivinayak temple is believed to be a powerful temple. A visit here can grant you your wishes.Energy becomes big if you concentrate on it, if you give it importance. A classic example is pain, which increases the more you think about it. That’s why it is advised to divert your mind in order to reduce pain. Similarly, the little things of life look larger if we concentrate too much on them. It is better to look out for bigger motivations, bigger ‘presiding energies’ to give us direction and to dwarf little inconsequential worries.

It's a healing crisis

Parag who was taking "holistic" treatment for sinusitis, found his condition worsening after taking the treatment. Running nose, terrible bouts of sneezing, headaches.... He did what anyone in his place would do...curse the healer and dump the treatment.

But what Parag didn't realise was that the worsening of his condition may actually be an indication that his body is getting healed. All he had to do was to bear with it for a day or two, and he would have recovered. Alas, Parag had been an impatient patient.
In healing terminology, such an aggravation of symptoms is called a healing crisis. It commonly occurs with holistic healing therapies like homeopathy, ayurveda, touch healing, etc. These therapies treat the whole body, and not specific organs. For instance, a treatment for headache would involve treating the entire body and not just the head.
Now, what is a healing crisis and how does it occur?
A healing crisis occurs when the body starts to cleanse itself by eliminating its stored waste. It sets the stage for regeneration whereby old tissues are replaced by new ones. Our body's inherent desire is to remain healthy, but it may have to go through this elimination process to achieve good health.
But before it achieves that, there are some adverse reactions that it may have to contend with. The symptoms may be identical to the disease; only this time, the disease is being removed, not suppressed. Sometimes the discomfort felt during a healing crisis may be of greater intensity than what was felt during the disease period. This may explain why there may be a brief flare-up in one's condition.
Reactions could include skin eruptions, nausea, headache, sleepiness, unusual fatigue, diarrhoea, head or chest cold, ear infections, boils, or any other way the body uses to loosen and eliminate toxins. The crisis usually lasts three days - but if the energy of the patient is low, it may last for a week or more.
Don't worry, a healing crisis is not as scary as it sounds. The best way to tackle it is to drink a lot of juices, and water, to help eliminate the toxins, and take plenty of rest - mental, as well as physical.
It is very important for the therapist to explain to the patient what a healing crisis is all about. And the patient too needs to be in touch with the healer when undergoing a crisis. Needless misunderstandings can thus be avoided. Sometimes, an aggravation of the disease may also result from wrong treatment, or excessive dosage of medicines. So, it's very important to contact your healer/doctor immediately and stay in constant touch with him/her.
Healing crises do not occur only with humans. Nations, relationships, issues... too undergo them. For instance, cricket underwent a healing crisis with the matchfixing scandal. Remember the "elimination" process the game went through, how skeletons tumbled out of the cupboard, and how everybody associated with cricket vomited out the sordid goings-on? Well, that's what a healing crisis is all about.

Hey, that's my territory!

Have you seen train commuters booking their "seats" by placing a bag or handkerchief on them? Have you seen employees fighting with their colleagues over trivial issues like storage space? "Hey that's my shelf, okay!" - heard statements like that? Or have you seen strangers step back when you go too close to them? Have you noticed how corporates fight with each other to expand and maintain their markets? And how about this - our politicians holding on to their chairs. Surely, you must be tired of watching that. What is corporate warfare all about, where each one is trying hard to secure and protect one's position in the hierarchy?

The name of the game is territory management. Much of our waking hours, we are constantly guarding our territory. It could be our house - ensuring that no one enters it without permission; or norms of decency - ensuring that we are dressed properly; or self-discipline - taking care that we do not behave in a manner that could harm others; or respect - ensuring that we don't insult anybody and that nobody insults us; or business - making sure your market is not captured by your competitor; or position - preventing your colleagues from getting promoted ahead of you...The list goes on. You may study marketing management, financial management or whatever. But what runs through all these management concepts is territory management.
How do we determine our territory? What's a comfortable territory to have? Obviously that differs from situation to situation. A king may have a lot of territory to rule over but if he is henpecked, he does not have much room to manoeuvre, isn't it?
We have always determined success or failure by the amount of territory we possess. The larger the territory, the more powerful we are. And we decide rewards and punishment also on the basis of territory. If an employee gets promoted, he gets more power to wield - thereby, more territory to operate in.
Punishment is all about limiting territory. When a school teacher punishes a student by asking him to stand outside the class and not move an inch, he is limiting the student's territory. A prisoner in a jail is someone who has lost his territory for a specified period of time. (However, today's prisoners like our underworld dons enjoy their territories irrespective of being in jail. But that's another story).
Why humans? Even animals do the same thing. Have you seen dogs barking away when another dog enters its territory? It's the unwritten rule that animals follow and take care not to violate. Did you know that a fly does not fly more than hundred feet away from where it was born? That's its territory.
Unfortunately, we take only our physical territory into consideration. What we don't realise is that if we expand our mental horizons, much of these physical restrictions will cease to matter. We all need space - mental and physical. That's the reason we feel uncomfortable in crowded places; why we go for picnics to be one with nature, or meditate.
The best way to counter this physical claustrophobia is to create as much space as possible:
* Try to make your house look big: use light colours and mirrors. Manage the available space well.
* In your workplace if you are facing a wall, put up a picture of a scenery which gives a feeling of distance and space. For eg. a sunset.
* Be open to ideas, concepts. That way you will be creating mental space.
* Learn to forgive. That's creating emotional space.* And last, but not the least, practice meditation. That creates spiritual space, to which there is no limit. You could make the universe your territory.

Heal with salt

We in Mumbai are really lucky to have the sea near us, never mind the fear of the tsunami. The sea is a very powerful healer. Rock salt or seawater salt is a powerful energetic purifier, used by Wise Ones for millennia to cleanse spaces, objects, and people of negativity. Salt water, so like the salinity of our own tears and blood, is also a great reminder of our primal connection to the ocean, the original mother of all life on this planet.

Rock salt has the power of neutralizing negative energy. Now you know why the 'nazar utharo' ritual utilizes salt. It can be used to 'clean' yourself and your house. You don't actually have to visit the ocean to perform this simple ritual of cleansing and renewal: adding half a cup of rock salt to your bathwater will work just as well. But if you're fortunate enough to have the seaside nearby, so much the better! Let the power of salt water - and your own intention - wash away anything you wish to release, so you can experience the sense of starting anew. Here's what you can do:

By the sea:
1. Stand in the ocean, as deep as is safe or right for you. Bring to mind any feelings or past events that you wish to release or wash away.
2. Use your hands to scoop seawater up to pour over your head. Then scoop up more water to place on your forehead, your throat, your heart center, and any other part of your body that you feel needs the loving energy of renewal. As you do all of
this, visualize the sea water, so ancient and mysterious, acting as a cleansing agent, washing away the past just as your tears help to wash away stress.
3. If weather and waves permit, you may want to totally immerse yourself in the ocean and allow the gentle rocking of the waves to soothe you. When you stand back up, give thanks for the power of the sea and allow yourself to feel a sense of beginning anew.

When having a shower
1. Prepare a large bowl of warm water with 2 tablespoons of seasalt dissolved in it, and take this with you to the shower.
2. Stand in the shower. Bring to mind any feelings or past events that you wish to release or wash away.
3. Use your hands to scoop some salt water up and gently pour it over your head. Then scoop up more water to place on your forehead, your throat, your heart center, and any other part of your body that you feel needs the loving energy of renewal, visualising it all the while as a cleansing agent.
4. You may wish to rinse off with fresh warm water.
5. When you emerge from the shower, allow yourself to feel a sense of beginning anew.

For the house
When you mop your house, add a fistful of rock salt to the water. It reduces the negativity in the house.You can also keep rock salt water in a ceramic or glass bowl and keep in an undisturbed corner of the house. Make sure you change this water everyday.

Is it ok to say no?

We all face situations where we don't want to do a particular job, but are unable to say 'no' to it. For e.g. Your boss asks you to work overtime and you have made plans for that evening. Or you have just bought a new book and your friend wants to borrow it. Or someone asks you out and you don't want to go out with that person.
If you repeatedly find yourself acquiescing or agreeing to these types of requests and feeling unhappy about it, you might want to look at some reasons why you say "yes" when you prefer to say "no".

Well, it could be that you might fear the loss of the relationship or be afraid of damaging the relationship in some way. So you end up treating the relationship as fragile and dependent on your constant compliance.
Or you, like so many people, may be feeling guilty about saying ‘no’ since you have been taught to go out of your way to avoid hurting people's feelings. So you end up feeling responsible for the other person's feelings as if their happiness depends on your agreeing. This takes away their right to be responsible for their own feelings.
Or you might be feeling you are a bad person if you refuse - selfish and self-centred. You have been taught the virtue of self-sacrifice and self-denial. So you end up being more concerned and more considerate of others than you are of yourself. The classic martyrdom syndrome.
Or you may feel flattered at being asked. It makes you feel important and you're afraid if you say no this time you'll never be asked again.
These are examples of emotional hooks that can interfere with your freedom of action.
The result of this inability often has detrimental results. We feel drained of our energy and frustration builds up internally. This has a bearing on our behaviour towards our loved ones. From a cosmic energy point of view, this inability to say "no" hampers the flow of energy in us and creates "energy blocks".
So, how does one say "no" without sounding offensive? Despite the messages many of us get when growing up about being accommodating and going out of our way for others, it is important to realize that there is something healthy about taking care of your Self. It is different from being selfish. You have a right to say "no" and feel good about it. As you attend to your own feelings and needs, you will have a lot more willingness to say "yes" at other times.

Want to try this?
Often, when we pay our bills, there is an element of reluctance and grudge while doing so. We want the service to be perfect, but when it’s time to pay the bill, all hell breaks loose. We get irritated, angry and frustrated.
Energy gyaan: This behaviour attaches a negativity to that money we are paying for the service. This negativity increases with every successive bill payment, until it assumes monstrous proportions and destroys our relation with that service. Translated, this could mean bad service, foul-tempered servicemen, faulty equipment, and what not. To avoid this, try this technique: Next time you pay your bill, write on it "Thank you for your service". And mentally be grateful for whoever has given you that service. This changes the energy pattern between you and that particular service. A better energy flow will automatically bring about more riches. Try it out.

How fast does thought travel?

Do you know what happens when a thought emerges from your mind? Where does it go, and at what speed? Do you have any control over it? Can you ensure that it reaches the person for whom you intended it?

Thought is very powerful. In fact, today, we are experiencing ‘thought pollution’ more than any other form of pollution. If our thoughts were to be pure, we would not have atmospheric pollution at all!
Have you observed a great thought at work? Take for instance, the laws of science, or the teachings of a saint, or education itself. How is it that these lessons, laws, experiments and philosophies that have been espoused eons ago by gifted people, continue to be followed centuries later? This raises the question: Can a thought be replicated?
Thoughts are like the ripples that are produced when a stone is thrown in water: they move in all directions from a common centre, just like the rays from the sun. A thought uses the fifth element known as space or ether to travel – air, fire, water and earth are the other four elements. Its intensity lessens according to the distance traversed because of the friction caused by other thought waves that come in its path. That explains the concept of ‘distraction’ wherein a random thought floating in the ether obstructs the flow of ‘your’ thought.
These thought waves have other qualities that differ from the waves on the water. They have the property of reproducing themselves – more so like sound waves. Just as a note of the violin will cause the thin glass to vibrate and ‘sing’, so will a strong thought tend to awaken similar vibrations in minds attuned to receive it.
Many of the ‘stray thoughts’ that come to us are vibrations of some strong thought sent out by someone somewhere. But unless our minds are attuned to receive it, the thought will not likely affect us.
Thoughts also set levels. That is why continuous thinking of lofty and noble thoughts make our minds acquire a certain keynote that corresponds to the character of the thoughts we have been thinking. And, this keynote once established, will enable us to catch the vibrations of other minds keyed to the same thought. On the other hand, start thinking ‘low’ and ‘base’, and you will soon be echoing the low order of thought emanating from the minds of the thousands thinking along the same lines. Telepathy or Extra Sensory Perception (ESP) deals with working with the power of thought as also working with it. Telepathy, along with psychokinesis forms the main branches of parapsychological research. It’s a fascinating subject: spare a thought to think about it!

The Blank Page

My neighbour’s kid, Manthan, has a wild imagination. Nothing surprising about that though: every six-year-old possesses one. The other day, I had a fascinating conversation with him about horses and his school bus. It started with him talking about how he travels in his school bus, about how his school friend Nirmitee beats him, and how when she does that, he summons his white horse to take him home. “I take Nirmitee also on my horse; she sits behind me,” explained Manthan. I nodded approvingly. What happens after that, I asked him. “Then my horse takes me home, clickety-click, clickety-click, and then on reaching my building, it goes up the stairs to the terrace and jumps from there back to the ground,” Manthan went on, his eyes ‘seeing’ the entire drama taking place. I was all eyes and ears. “Really?” I exclaimed. “Yes,” the tot nodded, and then went on to explain how once Shaktiman came out of the blue and rescued them all. “Whoosh! Like that!” Manthan explained, gesticulating wildly. He saw me sufficiently impressed, and decided to end his story, and ran back home.

This story is a week old now. Yesterday, I asked Manthan whether I could borrow his horse to go to my workplace. “No, no, I’ve locked it away,” he replied, and summarily dismissed any more enquiries from me. The wild imagination was nowhere in view now. Probably, like his horse, his imagination too was firmly locked somewhere in his subconscious only to be released in little bursts, and importantly when he chooses to do so.
In a way, Manthan’s mind is like a blank page. He paints whenever and whatever he wants in it, and rubs it off when he finishes enjoying it, only to paint another picture the next time he feels like. Life is simple. All he keeps ready is his blank page. That is why children are fascinating, and that is also the reason why it is important to be child-like.
You also started your life similarly, like Manthan; your mind too was a blank page once upon a time. Non-sticky, easily erasable, and leaving no marks behind. As you grew older, you started curbing your imaginations and started worrying about criticisms. Then you added a healthy dosage of social programming, peer pressure, and voila, you created a mindset that completely took you away from where you were as a child.
Your mind got blocked. Suddenly, many things didn’t seem possible, unlike Manthan who didn’t think for a moment about logic in his white horse story. You progressively became inhibited, and unable to simply let go and think of everything as impossible.Using your mind as a blank page gives you the chance to create new goals, and to reach for new heights to convert those impossibilities into possibilities. You can use it to think wild as also to erase any negative thoughts, feelings, or opinions. And you can change your blank page at any time. Remember, your God-given imagination is there for you to use to create the business and personal life you want.

Kitty Kitty Bang Bang!

  • My building maintenance contractor, A R Reddy, has two teenage sons – one is studying MBA and the other is in college. Both help out their father in handling the cement and bricks, checking out tiles, making quotations, handling labourers who at times can get quite irresponsible, and myriad other work. The elder son does all this despite a pressing schedule at his management institute. And Reddy is very proud to see his son handling both the roles with aplomb. And he has only good words and thoughts for his sons. “They see me working hard, and go out of their way to help out. I feel proud,” says Reddy.
  • Rahul Jain’s house is a veritable vortex of negative talk whenever the Indian cricket team is playing. He simply hates the team and feels it is useless regardless of the T20 win, record-holders like Tendulkar and company, etc. He claps when an Indian player gets out. Well, each one is entitled to his or her opinion. But when criticism gets venomous, it can only cause harm.

    These are not random examples. We harbour feelings – positive and negative – towards virtually everything in life. Rarely are we neutral towards anything. We wrongfully think that being human is about having an opinion and passing judgements. The point, however, is that every thought that we generate towards someone or something gets added to the energy kitty of that person/entity towards which the thought is directed.

    It is a misnomer to assume that what we think about someone will not affect that person. Energy doesn’t operate on the basis of space or time. Your thought gets ‘added’ to the fifth element – ether – where all thoughts are ‘recorded’. That is why you are advised to speak, think and hear good things (remember the three monkeys?)

    Each thought gets added to the ether and manifests itself at some point in your future. Now, whether that ‘some point’ is two minutes, two hours, two years, or even two generations, cannot be said. That’s why we hear people saying “Pichle paapon ka phal hai” (These are results of past sins).

    Reddy’s energy contribution for his son is positive. Every positive thought of his will get added to his son’s energy kitty. At the same time, it will also heal and replenish Reddy himself. In the case of Rahul, his negative talk will drain him, make him embittered, listless, and prone to only look at the negative side of every situation. Moreover, the opportunities that his country will offer him will also be limited. A sheer case of how much you give is how you much you take. And the more Rahuls there are, it is definitely not going to help the country’s cause much.

    This energy theory works on the same line as prayers. A prayer is a conscious donation of energy in lieu of a person needing it. When you say your two lines of prayer, or invest your five minutes in prayerful thought, you are essentially transferring some universal energy into that person’s life or energy kitty. The more such ‘donations’ of energy, the faster that person’s prayer request gets answered.

    So, pay attention to your thoughts and the words you utter. They play a big role in shaping your energy body.

Fractals and the universe

Recently, a musical programme was held to raise funds for a eleven year-old boy, Anuj, who had recently undergone a bone marrow transplant surgery at the Tata Memorial Hospital, Mumbai; the marrow was donated by 13 year-old sister, Shivani. This musical show was attended by about 400 people, which included the deputy mayor of Mumbai.
What was amazing was that all these people had taken out time to be there for one family – the Chaurasiyas. They empathized with them, understanding how difficult it must have been for Sanjay Chaurasiya – a paanwala in Banaras – and his wife to see their son, Anuj, and daughter Shivani go through this trauma. This coupled with the fact that they have to raise Rs 10 lakh for the operation.
The music band, Ecstacy, that performed there, did so free of cost. The musicians not only didn’t take money, but instead contributed money towards the cause. The sheer thought of mobilizing the collective consciousness of the citizens of Mumbai is also a daunting task – something that was done admirably by the group called Youth For People.
A closer observation of how this was made possible revealed an intrinsic mosaic of small events – a group member happening to meet someone who knew of the music band which in turn resulted in this show being organized. Then, again, someone knew the deputy mayor, who liked the cause, and in turn pledged her support to help the boy. There was a gentleman who came up on stage and said “Mr Chaurasiya, Anuj has become part of our family and we will do our best to make him well.” How did all this happen – something that was unthinkable just a few months back when Anuj’s father was wondering how he is going to cope with the situation he was facing. Why did these unseen people who till now had no clue about Anuj and his condition, suddenly come together? Was it coincidence or an orchestrated plan from the Divine?

Energy Gyaan: Energy has this wonderful ability of opening up channels. Surely, you must have heard the age-old adage - ‘When one door closes, another door opens’. The more you move the energy, the more channels it opens. Translated, it means the more you explore possibilities, the more possibilities emerge. If you sit back resigned and say ‘nothing is possible’ – well, nothing will be possible.
Universal energy behaves like fractal art – the visual depiction of complex mathematical equations. For those who have never seen fractal art, check the internet for examples of it. When you try to work on fractal art, it behaves just like the universal energy – new magnificent designs burst open with every click of the mouse.
Anuj’s case was like fractal art. With every click and attempt made by scores of people working for his betterment, more channels are opening up and more possibilities are emerging. His case just shows how beautifully this universe works. How there is nothing called a hopeless case. How something will always emerge out of every seemingly hopeless situation. For that to happen, all you got to do is make a positive move, and the universe does the rest by opening up the channels.

All in a day's work

It’s amazing how much one can learn about energy movements by just watching and talking to people. Two experiences in the past two hours had me thinking, and learning.
Today morning, I boarded a taxi driven by a genial Muslim gentleman who seemed to be in his late sixties. A casual chat ensued, and I got to know that he was a cabbie since 1968. “Is this your taxi?” I asked him. “Nahi saab, it belongs to one of four brothers who between them own 50 taxis in Mumbai!” he said, and quickly added, “You know what, I have three houses in Mumbai, and a 2000-sq ft place in Mumbra. I also own a shop there. I have managed to invest and buy wisely, and if I want, I can sit at home and live on the interest and rent.”
Then why don’t you, I asked. “Because if I decide to do that, illnesses will take over, and my life will be all about going from one doctor to the other. Aadmi ko khaali nahin baitna chahiye, kuch na kuch karte rehna chahiye,” he said, sagely, before proceeding to admonish a younger taxi-driver for trying to overtake wrongly.
Energy gyaan: Keep the energy moving. The point is not about what you have achieved in life and then resting on those laurels. Excellence and achievement is a continuous process because principles of energy management doesn’t recognise achievement as a reason to stop work. Keep going and the energy will continue to flow.

About half hour back, as I was about to pen this column, a young college student barged into my cabin. She looked nervous, and requested a minute of my time. She was holding a thick encyclopaedia in her hands and furiously proceeded to convince me to buy it. Within a minute, she had made her sales pitch – “Sir, Rs 1500 ka book, I will give you for Rs 300. The book has answers to every question,” she implored. The book did look interesting and three hundred bucks was a good price as well. However, what was more interesting was this girl’s attitude.
“I have come from Goa, sir, as part of a group of management students. Selling this book is part of our project and I will get a certificate if I manage to sell 15 books,” she explained in halting English before switching over to a more comfortable Hindi. “How did you manage to enter this building? Were you not stopped at the entrance?” I asked, a bit incredulous considering the tight security visitors have to encounter. “I just said I am a management student and managed to come in,” she said, her face breaking into a mischievous grin. And once in, she happened to start off proceedings with me. As simple as that.
Here’s a girl who hails from a small-time management institute in Goa, comes to a megapolis like Mumbai for her project, chooses an ocean of an office that is The Times of India building as her first stop, and despite her nervousness and lack of communication skills, manages to ultimately sell quite a few of the books she had carried with her.
Energy gyaan: Make your move boldly and firmly, and the energy will automatically adjust itself according to your situation. Just the way that the people in a crowded train compartment adjust themselves when more people get in, energy has its way of catering to and allowing for different situations to unfold.

Are you an outrageous dreamer?

We live in times when we can't imagine lives without emails, or the cellphone. Webcam, Global Positioning System (GPS), SMS - words and features such as these have become so commonplace. However, 15 years back, would you have ever imagined in your wildest dreams that you would be able to chat with people through the computer, that the word 'online' would become so matter-of-fact, and that being touch with total strangers across the world would become so easy? Having said that, these feats would not have been possible if those people who invented them didn't dream that such things are possible. Dreaming of things that seem impossible to achieve. So, are you an outrageous dreamer?

Life operates according to universal laws, which, if you tap into them, will transport you home like a mighty stallion. Life gives us not what we struggle for, but what we allow. You can come to the ocean with a thimble, a bucket, or a tanker, and you will take with you the volume of the container you brought.
Outrageous goals are valuable because they expand your belief system and carve wider neural pathways in your brain, by which your good may be delivered to you. Even if you do not achieve your highest goal immediately, you will attain far more than you would have if you entertained a smaller dream. "I used to shoot for the moon, and I hit the mountains; now I shoot for the stars, and I'm hitting the moon."
The only dreams worth entertaining are those that are far greater than the life we are already living. We hurt ourselves not by what we ask for, but by what we settle for.
When choosing a goal, be sure it is outrageous. If it is something you have already done, or think you may be able to do, you are thinking too small. Worthy dreams stretch us beyond our history and challenge our limits, calling us to live larger than we thought we were.
It is possible to achieve so-called impossible dreams. Remember, we use only six per cent of our brains to do all the functions that we have been doing till now. Imagine, if that becomes 10 per cent, or more. The possibilities are limitless, isn't it?

The write way

The other day, my friend Pankaj told me of his grand decision to "get back to studies". "Yaar, have to something beyond this nine-to-five rut, you know," he said. Promptly he enrolled himself for a correspondence course, bought some books, burnt the midnight oil, and sat down to write his paper. Then, the unimaginable happened. He just could not write more than 5 sentences at a time! His wrists ached, his fingers became immovable, and he got cramps in the middle of his palms. After every two minutes, he was forced to rest, massage his palms, and then attempt again. By the time, he completed two pages, the exam got over.
Pankaj's is not an isolated case: most of those who work only with computers in their offices - as is Pankaj - are facing this situation. In all fairness, the computer is an extremely convenient tool. It does away with most of the challenges that writing on paper pose - erasing, dirtiness, cancellation, wastage of paper, et al. For media personnel, the computer is a boon. Editing and writing has never been more easy. However, silently, the computer has taken its toll. Ask those who spend virtually their entire working hours staring at the monitor and they'll tell you how "drained out" they feel at the end of the day. Blame it on the radiation - that big energy-guzzler - that the computer emits. Not to speak of the damage inflicted on the bones of the fingers and wrists due to the constant banging of the keyboard.So, what do we do? Let's face it: we can't do away with the computer, it has become part of our lives. However, what we can do is to control its usage rather than it controlling us. This means restricting the number of hours we use it, using radiation protection screens, wearing protective spectacles, taking walks or at least rest after a period of continuous computer work, keeping the brightness and contrast levels low, and not gazing at the computer all 12 hours of the working day.Then comes the most important part - getting in touch with our writing skills. The computer can never replace handwriting. An email does not convey the same emotions that a handwritten letter conveys. An e-card is a distant cousin of a hand-made card. Whenever we write something, it helps the brain to register faster. The computer cannot do that. Hence, it is imperative that we don't lose touch with the art and science of writing.Moreover, writing employs the usage of the thumb and the forefinger. According to acupressure, the thumb represents the element 'fire' which in turn stands for 'thirst, hugner as also pain'. The index finger represents the element 'air' which stands for knowledge, expansion and concentration'. When the pen is held between both these fingers, the latter get massaged and in turn, it is believed that these aspects of our life get benefitted. A good technique to do this would be to consciously write every day. You could start off with half-a-page a day, then go on to a page and more after that. Please note, this exercise should be done at one shot, not piecemeal. Try diary or journal writing; it helps you get in touch with yourself and simultaneously also helps in doing this exercise. So, happy writing!

Can you read my palm?

  • "Hmmm....You will get married this year. Your hand says so."
  • "That rash streak of your head line is what has caused your problem."
  • "Saturn is heavily weighing down on you."

You are sure to hear sentences like these if you visit your friendly neighbourhood palmist. Call it nonsense or pure science, palmistry has since time immemorial, been that all-time favourite pastime. Whether it is the roadside palmist, or the "professional" one having addresses in shady hotels, or the rookie, this science has all the elements of drama, suspense and intrigue. Also, loads of fiction, if you happen to show your hand to the wrong person!
Palmistry is the best way to become famous, and to attract the opposite sex without angering them! "Oh, you can read hands? How lovely! Can you read mine?" This is one of the most-oft-heard exclamations encountered by a palmist. Be it at a wedding, a college canteen, or a picnic, people are prepared to throw open their lives in front of total strangers - all for that thrill that palmistry provides.
Undoubtedly, the interest in palmistry and the credit to simplifying it goes to Cheiro, an extraordinary palmist, astrologer and numerologist. His books are available at every roadside bookstall. Cheiro, (whose real name was Count Louis Hammon) in his book, 'Cheiro's Language of Hand' credits the science of palmistry to the ancient Hindus. He also goes on to defend palmistry and presents facts and arguments in favour of it. There are, of course, many who pooh-pooh the system. Sciences like palmistry, numerology, physiognomy, graphology, etc., find a mention in the Vedas. If there's something that dates back that long, it should be explored completely before dismissing it. And these sciences require study, practice, observation, deduction and of course, loads of patience. We have no right to dismiss something without studying it fully. I believe that in cases of wrong predictions, the palmist - not palmistry - should be blamed. Every palmist's capability is different and accordingly, so will be his/her prediction. If you happen to meet a dud, well, that's just your luck.
Explaining palmistry in a jiffy is impossible. My intention is solely to kindle your interest in these sciences because if you want to become a good therapist, knowledge of all these sciences helps a lot.
The lines on our palm - barring the main lines - keep changing with time. For instance, if you have a health issue, it will be indicated on the palm. Attend to it. The line will vanish if the ailment is healed. Your palm, your fingers, or even the shape of your hand - there are seven varieties - can tell a lot about your personality and aptitude. Palmistry helps in choosing careers, partners, employees, employers, and also the time for doing things; basically, it helps to understand people. Of course, popularity comes as a bonus.
So start off by buying one of Cheiro's books on palmistry. There are, of course, books by others too. From then onwards, it's a process of discovery. Mastering these sciences is an ongoing process: your knowledge will largely depend on how much you read on the subject, and of course, how much you practise it.

Type rest of the post here

The power of your navel

When a child is born and its umbilical cord is cut, medical science till late assumed that the importance of the navel ended there. It’s only now that stem cell research has come about and storing stem cells at birth is hugely useful in curing ailments that may spring up later in that person’s life. But spiritualists have always stressed on the navel being a hugely important centre of the body. In fact, the most important centre. And this philosophy has been stressed across different cultures.
All the regions of the body are important, but the most important and also the most abused is the navel or solar plexus. It is here that your emotions are stored (now you know why you felt a pull at your navel when you experienced a break-up or loss in a relationship). It gives us the sense of generosity, complete satisfaction and contentment. That explains why you pat your navel when you eat to your heart’s satisfaction.

The navel region or solar plexus is associated with many important organs like kidneys, stomach, small intestine, large intestine, pancreas, gall bladder and liver. This is the region where digestion of our food intake takes place. In the vertebral column this relates to the lumbar region. The navel plays the most important role in development of the body from the very beginning of life even at the embryonic stage. It balances all forces and is the centre of physical gravity while sitting, standing, walking, running or in any other posture. It can be considered as centre of life and plays the most important part in the harmony of body, mind and soul.
What do you normally do when you get a stomach ache or suffer from indigestion? Pop a pill, probably. Or if the pain persists, you'd probably go to your family doctor who would give you more colourful pills, advise you to take a few tests, see a specialist and wait. In many instances the pain might vanish, but it may also return making life miserable for you.
According to ayurveda, many problems of the intestines can be solved by simply "adjusting" the nabhi (navel). The Nabhi chakra is the controlling centre for all the organs below the diaphragm. This centre shifts upward or downward if you lift heavy objects or when you experience severe gastric problems.
According to acupressurists, the upward shifting of the solar plexus leads to constipation and downward shifting leads to diarrhoea. It's important to rectify the problem immediately as it can damage the digestive track; prolonged constipation can even lead to cancer.
The easiest way of doing it is to lie down flat on the ground, hands by the side, and ask someone to check the levels of your toes. If the chakra has ‘shifted’, the toes will not be at the same level. Ask your partner to ‘pull up’ the toe that appears shorter, so that both are back at the same level. While doing so, you will feel a tug at your navel. This simple exercise if done everyday can cure most ailments related to the abdominal region. It will also help you to remain ‘balanced’ in life.

Do you know your threshold limit?

If you have operated a digital camera, you will be familiar with the zoom control. When you operate this lever, the LCD screen on the back of the camera displays the zoom panel - a little white bar that shows the wide angle and telephoto zoom levels. There is also a vertical line inside this bar that indicates the extent to which you can zoom. If you zoom beyond this white line, the image will pixelate, you are advised. In other words, you are told not to cross the threshold limit. Energy also functions on the same principle. Whenever you generate energy, make sure you know its threshold limit.

There is a threshold limit to everything – love, money, patience (that we know!), anger, etc. – basically, every form in which energy manifests itself. For instance, you may love someone immensely, but you need to know that too much or too little love can get suffocating. This suffocation is the ‘pixelation’ of that energy. Similarly, when you cook a dish, there is a threshold limit to the amount of time you can keep it on the gas. Heat it more than it should, and you get a burnt dish. Just the way a digital camera produces good images if you take cognisance of the pixelation limits, energy gets generated well if you know where to draw the line.
The threshold limits in energy may differ according to the situation and the person concerned. For instance, a close friend may offer a higher threshold limit than a stranger. At the same time, if that close friend is angry, your threshold limit reduces. When you call up a friend at 2 am, you wonder whether you are crossing your threshold limit. With a stranger, you may not call at all. That’s again a case of threshold limits.
The intuitive judging of this limit is an important lesson in the art of energy management because the crossing of limits has a destructive impact - just the way your pressure cooker bursts if it is heated beyond its threshold limit. Or the way your car veers out of control if you speed it beyond its threshold limit.
Relationships, particularly, often break down because both parties do not understand this principle. Knowing when to stop demanding space and at the same time when to claim your space is the formula to having a successful relationship. It is an intuitive process, but one that is necessary to keep in mind and master if you want your relationship to survive.So, the next time you plan to generate energy in any form – be it taking up a new job, or a course, or starting a relationship, or joining a gym, keep in mind the threshold limit – like that little white line on the zoom bar of the digital camera. And intuitively figure out what the threshold limit of that particular activity would be. If you do happen to cross that limit, the world won’t come crashing down, but yes, you will get a bad picture.

Maintaining your energy audit

It is the greatest folly to think that we can live without anybody’s help. For you, just this act of reading this column requires you to be grateful to a number of people – my computer, the makers of the computer, the electricity, the wires, the printer, this newspaper, and a host of other nameless beings, apart from your body organs that help you read, your house, your newspaper vendor, etc. The fact is that we can never exist alone: we are interdependent. We are dependent on multiple forces to help us live.

Having said that, it is impossible to keep a track of who has helped you, and who you have helped during the day. When you take a favour from someone, you are in essence taking energy from that person. Similarly, when you help someone, you are donating energy to that person. In other words, this constant giving and taking of energy takes place throughout the day. But if you were to create a balance sheet to monitor this debit and credit of energy, it would be highly impossible to do so because firstly, it cannot be quantified, and secondly, the seamless flow of energy prevents us from maintaining any kind of account.

It can therefore happen that you end up taking more energy than you have given. This leads to an imbalance in energy. However, since the universe always exists in a state of balance, it has its own ways of correcting these imbalances. Which is why the age-old wisdom of ‘keeping only those things that are yours’ makes a lot of sense. What is not yours will be automatically taken away from you. That’s the universal principle in action.

A technique to voluntarily correct energy imbalances is by donation. Normally, we associate donation only in terms of money. But that need not be the case. Donation can be through hugs, paying compliments, saying thank you, giving time, service, giving a gift, prayer, etc. A good technique would be to assign a task for yourself to donate energy in any of these forms constantly throughout the day. A good question to ask yourself would be – ‘what has been my contribution today?’

Donation is voluntary giving away of energy. When you do that, you are consciously creating a situation whereby there is a positive energy imbalance which means that the energy you have donated is more than the energy you have received. This imbalance will prompt the universe to fill up that energy vacuum.

In other words, the more you donate consciously, the more the universe will give you. ‘Tum ek paisa doge, woh dus lakh dega’ – that Hindi song made so famous by beggars, now sounds logical, doesn’t it? Well, it works on this principle.