ShivTalwar's blog

Educate to Build One Humanity

Thank you Ontario; you welcomed me. This post is for you! My life in the old country qualifies me to say that diversity can either be a boon or a curse. It enriches if people can see their common thread enabling celebration of mutual differences in its light. Otherwise, it is a curse of strong “us” vs “them” identities eternally jostling, conflicting and even rioting. We can’t close our eyes; news are full of it. Fearful of our openness and multiculturalism being hijacked to fragment us, I humbly suggest that Ontario systematically incorporate meaningful teaching of our common ground into our curricula.
Canada is in support of the principles outlined in the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR).

Developing a Culture of Health

This idea is about wellness or healthy living. According to a recent national study in the Journal of the American Medical Association, “The prevalence of stress in primary care is high; 60% to 80% of visits may have a stress-related component” [1, references at the end]. Ontario findings may be no different.
Stress is a behavioral problem.

Weaving Global Harmony and Oneness into Education

Prophets, sages, seers and philosophers of all traditions are spiritual scientists. They deliberate upon great questions of existence and our place in the universe, such as: “Where did this infinitely diverse universe come from? Who am I? How do I relate with the universe?” “What is my purpose in life?” etc. The spiritual scientists arrive at an unseen reality, called spirit, underlying the universe. Although in itself invisible, the spirit is immensely visible by its effects. It is the common ground of diverse beings in the universe of the inanimate and the animate.

On Becoming Spiritual

Becoming spiritual is creating the capacity of subtle perception. Subtle perception is the attribute of relaxed mind free of stress. Patanjali’s term for stress is Klesha; according to him the summit of spiritual (self) realization is achievable only at the total uprooting of Klesas.

Do Scientific Methods Apply to Spirituality?

Spirit is all inclusive and unitive. Matter on the other hand is all exclusive and separative. Spirit is infinitely subtle and totally imperceptible to the senses or sense related instrumentation while matter on the other hand is susceptible to sense perception and sense related instrumentation. On the surface it seems that the methods that apply to the study of science are not applicable to the study of the spirit.

But let us examine closely what is entailed in the study of spirituality and being spiritual.

Spiritual Education for Deepening Your Faith

The journey of human life starts with a sense of inadequacy and helplessness. What is the origin of the baby’s sense of inadequacy and helplessness? Is it justified? Of course, it is justified. The baby identifies with its body and the body is not developed for the physical activity required to satisfy its needs that the baby is perfectly equipped to feel.

On Compassion

On January 13, 2010 I posted on my facebook page a quote from J. Krishnamurty. I present below the quote and the ensuing responses as relevant background to the question of compassion.

"The mind can pursue sensations, desires, but it cannot pursue love. Love must come to the mind. And, when once love is there, it has no division as sensuous and divine: it is love. That is the extraordinary thing about love: it is the only quality that brings a total comprehension of the whole of existence.” ~~ Jiddu Krishnamurti

Deep Breathing and Meditative Insights

I would like to refer to Patanjali’s yoga sutra and its eight fold path to the inner world: yama (ethical behavior), niyama (personal observations), asana (stable posture), pranayama (conscious breathing as opposed to autonomic), pratyahara (inward direction of perceptive senses), dharna (settling on an object or subject), dhyana (focusing attention on it), samadhi (maintenance of uninterrupted focus). First five components of this eightfold path are external in nature and the last three are internal perhaps because of the intimate coupling of the external with the internal.

Deep Breathing and Emotional Intelligence

It is matter of common observation to note that stress makes us breathe fast and shallow. Conversely, we breathe deep and slow when we are relatively relaxed.
Babies breathe deep soon after they are born. They have relatively little stress. Anybody who sees a baby breathe while asleep can observe its abdomen rise on inhalation and fall on exhalation. This is the symptom of deep diaphragmatic breathing. Subsequent growing pains start to stress the infants replacing the natural rhythm of deep and slow breathing with fast and a shallow pattern.

Local Mandates and Global Problems

World religious leaders in their summit in Winnipeg on June 21-23 adopted a joint statement calling upon the G8/G20 leaders meeting on June 25-27 “to take courageous and concrete actions” in addressing global poverty, environment, peace and security. No doubt these are grave problems facing humanity today. They beg addressing with the utmost urgency. Although calling for bold and inspired leadership in addressing global problems is noble, I wonder about its realism. Why?

The Truths of Science and Spirituality

Spirituality searches for the truth and so does science. Thus, they unite in their purpose but we must admit that they differ in their scope. The tools at the disposal of humanity for the search for truth (valid knowledge) in any domain are just three: our senses, logic and testimony of other seekers within our particular scope. The problem lies in the fact that none of the available tools is perfect.

The Purpose of Human Life

A discussion of the purpose of human life must be based on a consideration of the structural makeup of a human being. This makeup defines human life, its working and its purpose.

Transcending Sense Perception

Our senses make us perceive the world as a mindless aggregation of individual beings, animate and inanimate. Ordinarily, this perception dominates the state of the human mind and prevents us from noticing the common threads that connect us. If we do not educate to reach beyond our minds, we will get bogged down in the domain of duality and multiplicity and there will not be any appreciation of our shared humanity.

Human problems of Global Proportions

In a recent address in Ottawa, Bill Clinton identified inter-religious relations and environmental exploitation as major problems facing humankind today. He appealed to world religions to find common ground to work together in resolving these problems. The author of this blog argues that the task appropriately belongs to our educational institutions and not to the religious institutions.

Light dispels Darkness: Facing Global Problems

The light of core spirituality shows us the way of facing problems of global proportions which humanity is facing today. Modern advances in science and technology have quickly shrunk the world into a global village with all its potential and all its challenges, but our minds are still fixed in the eras when we lived separately and disconnectedly in our own geographical pockets. Our recent global living environment requires a matching global mindset and our core spirituality offers such a mindset.

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