Friday, August 26, 2011

Hit Me Over the Head with Something

I know I said before that I have every reason to believe in the Hindu faith and pantheon. Evidence appeared in the past that has guided me towards this path, and although I wouldn't consider myself a true practitioner of Hinduism yet, I am deeply sympathetic towards Hindu thoughts and beliefs.

However, there is still a part of me that yearns for something more...more evidence of the Gods' influence in my life, or solid proof of their existence. Something that would be so blatantly obvious, that I would know my beliefs to be true, that my path is the right one, and that they have a plan for me. Something that would be so miraculous that it would be...supernatural, and fill me with the Gods' love.

I guess I sort of know why such things don't happen for everyone. After all, if one faith, one path is proven above all others, then freedom of religion and faith becomes irrelevant. I'm of the opinion that people should believe what they want to believe, therefore if a faith was "proven" to be real it would open the road to religious persecution. I know I certainly don't want to push my beliefs on anyone else.

Still, I crave some sort of acknowledgement. Something that will prove to me the Gods are listening. I know it will most likely never happen, but I can dream, can't I? Maybe I ask too much here, but I just want to put out there, in case they are listening, that I want to be wowed. Who knows, maybe it will happen for me. Even if it doesn't, though, I'll keep an eye out for other signs.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

On Confidence

I'm not sure what's been causing this, but I've grown more...bold in my everyday life recently. I know one significant way I've grown bolder happened recently when I basically had to stand up for myself to one of my best friends. While I won't go into details here, I will say that it took almost all of my willpower to do so. Ever since then, I've been thinking about the concept of confidence, that is how much I should believe in myself and how I should express such esteem.

For some reason I can't seem to figure out how to tread the middle path when it comes to self-esteem. I don't want to have the lows of self-esteem in the past, as during those times it took all my energy just to get up in the morning. At the same time, if I have too much self-esteem I turn into a jerk, or so I believe at any rate...there have been times I have been mean or a jerk, which I understand everyone is at some point in their lives, although as far as I can remember I've never been one intentionally. Still, I can't help but think that those times were the result of my having too much self-esteem.

Maybe that's not the case, but I still have a tendency to split this issue in two. However, as I've mentioned before, either side seems fraught with the delusion of independent existence, that is, believing myself to be that "beautiful and unique snowflake" I've mentioned in one of my early blog posts - whether I believe myself to be ultimate good or ultimate evil it ends up fueling the same type of delusion.

Finding just the right amount of self-confidence seems to be the key. But I can't seem to figure it out...I usually identify myself as a soft-hearted person, so I guess one reason is I'm afraid I'll turn into something I'm not? I don't know. I don't want to become so hardened to the world that I lose my soul. Yet at the same time I can't stay so soft-hearted that everything brings me down.

Why am I so blind to the Middle Path? I keep seeking it yet all I find is a vacillation between one extreme or the other. I need guidance...

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Doing it Wrong?

Something tells me I've done something horribly wrong recently, either by accident or ineptitude...I won't share specifics on here, but suffice it to say I'm feeling rather anxious and jumpy at the moment.

I know we're supposed to live in the present moment and enjoy it, but sometimes, it's hard to do, especially when the topic of karma comes up. I also know we're not perfect, but sometimes in real life that doesn't matter if the accidental transgression was serious enough. It can be hard to stay calm when the prospect of having done a wrong action by accident hangs over your head like the Sword of Damocles.

I might be working myself into a tizzy for nothing, or maybe I'm right to feel this way because I truly did something wrong. Either way, it can be unbearable at times to wait in suspense for the consequences. I've always been afraid of the rules of karma and their hidden math because at times in my past, my ineptitude resulted in some horrible things happening to me. Intent never seems to matter - no matter your disposition, even if one is ignorant of the consequences of one's actions, the action itself makes you feel the full backlash.

That is why I'm always afraid of doing something wrong, even by accident. I always judge and scrutinize my actions when it comes to other people, because I'm so cautious when it comes to karma. It's hard to live in the present when you're constantly monitoring your karmic future, but I'm too sensitive to the pains of life to just let the chips fall where they may.

I guess all I can do right now though is hope for the best...and try to keep the worst happening from dominating my mind. It's easier said than done.

Friday, August 12, 2011

Why I'm Into Ganesha

For this post on Light Club, I'm going to go into a rather personal topic. This topic is why the Hindu deity of Ganesha appeals to me and why I've been chanting Ganesha mantras. No one has specifically asked me why, but I figured I'd wrote my thoughts down in case the question ever comes up.

One answer for those who are familiar with Ganesha mythology might be obvious, considering my desire to be a writer: in some myths Ganesha is recognized as the patron of writers. Supposedly, according to one tale, Ganesha was charged with transcribing the Mahabharata (I think; please correct me if I'm wrong), and in order to continue writing after his pen broke he broke off one of his tusks. That sort of dedication to writing is something I strive to emulate, although I don't know if I've reached that point yet. However, I only discovered this fact after I started chanting the mantras.

So what compelled me to do so in the first place, and why Ganesha? There are a few more reasons behind this decision. Since Ganesha is also purported to be the Lord of Beginnings, I thought it would make sense, since I wish to go down the path of Hinduism and yoga, to start with Ganesha.

But I believe the biggest reason I was seeking Ganesha was because, I think, I was still in the process of seeking acceptance of myself. To explain: as I have stated before in this blog, before I started along the path of Hinduism and yoga, I was trying to find a way to validate my existence, get outside evidence that I deserve to exist, because at the time I thought I didn't deserve to. Ganesha appealed to me then because of his popularity and his...exoticism, for lack of a better term. I thought that if I could gain the acceptance of Ganesha, who is worshipped by so many and has an appearance that to me at the time seemed to embody the concept of the "other," the higher power that is higher in authority than my own humanity (or lack thereof), that I would finally have the evidence I sought.

Eventually, though, after the MY2011 conference, I realized that I wasn't really seeking Ganesha's acceptance; rather, I was seeking a way for me to accept myself. There were obstacles in the way of my self-acceptance...and maybe Ganesha removed them for me. Or perhaps he inspired me to remove them myself. Either way, I finally saw that my own self-persecution was at the source of many of the evils I was seeking to control.

I guess it took until just now to realize that it was Ganesha who got me to see myself for who I really am. For that, I am indebted to Ganesha...or maybe I am indebted to myself. I'm not sure. Perhaps the truth is that Ganesha was the vehicle for me to finally start believing in myself?

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

The Universe Has a Good Sense of Humor After All

So last weekend I was having a rough time. However, I appear to have bounced back. As evidence of that I submit the following: today I did 20 minutes of Sun Salutation yoga on my own. No one prompting me, I just up and did it. I know to an experienced yoga practitioner that's not much, but to me this was huge. I wasn't sure why I was so inspired to do this. Maybe it was truly divine inspiration?

After performing the yoga and chanting the Ganesha mantra for 10 minutes, I posted to Twitter what I had just done. I also added that this wasn't exactly normal behavior for me. A few minutes later, someone following me on Twitter who happened to have the exact same real world name as I did (well, I don't know his middle name but you get the idea) replied with the following:

"Hey other [name withheld]. I just spent twenty minutes practicing teaching yoga. Maybe you could hear."

I could not stop laughing when I read that.

I'm not quite sure what else I can say about this. This yoga session was a milestone for me, yes, but I think the real thing I could take away here is that sometimes, the universe can genuinely make you laugh in a good, spirited way. I know I sometimes think the universe is overtly hostile. Well, consider that belief to be altered somewhat: sometimes the universe can be playful and happy, too.