Thursday, December 29, 2011

Bhagavad Gita Discussion: Intro and Chapter 1

Hello again, readers!

I certainly hope the idea of discussing the Bhagavad Gita in this blog will stir some interest in you. I mentioned why I wished to do so in the previous couple of posts, so read those if you want to know why I am doing this. The format of this discussion will be simple: after I read a chapter, I will post my impressions of it in a blog post, and after you read it you can post comments in the Comments section of each post. Blogger has set up a convenient format that way. :-) Perhaps at a later date I will give these posts their own page in this blog, but for now, please enjoy this discussion. Oh, important note: I'm using the Swami Dayananda Saraswati translation for this discussion. I heard it's a great translation.


Bhagavad Gita Chapter 1 Discussion: "Arjuna's Sorrow"

The first thing that comes to mind after I read this chapter is its purpose: to me, at least, this chapter serves as plot exposition more than anything else. I certainly find that handy in this case, not having read the rest of the Mahabharata. However, it certainly provides a great literary context for the purpose of the Bhagavad Gita: what better time to have the meaning of life taught to you than at the moment before partaking in an activity (in this case, battle) that will most likely lead to your death? I know I certainly would need a pep talk of that magnitude before I did anything so dangerous. The Bhagavad Gita is more than a pep talk, of course, but from a literary standpoint, it certainly entices one to read further.

That said, Arjuna's plight is one that I can somewhat sympathize with: I'm no soldier, but I know that feeling of paralysis that can overcome a person when doing the right thing is either unclear, or appearing impossible. It's the classic "damned if you do, damned if you don't" scenario. Either way, there will be conflict, and consequences. When confronted with such choices, it's hard, at least for someone like me, to not feel some apprehension and hesitation. Again, I'm not one who fights battles like Arjuna, but I still fight battles every day, of a very different sort. For everyday people like myself, it could be said we fight wars every day.

That's about all I can think of to say on this chapter for now...again, at least to me it seems like plot exposition, but maybe you readers can pick up on something I might have missed. Arjuna's dilemma is definitely something I've picked up on, but maybe there's something else? Feel free to comment, readers.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

New Focus

Okay. In light of my blog being too negative and/or stale as of late - this is not only my own criticism, but the criticism of certain others - I'm going to give this blog a new focus. Prior to now, the Light Club blog has been a write-whatever-I-feel-like blog, and that has been both good and bad, in the sense that both my best and worst writing has wound up here. Somehow I figured maybe that's why it's become so stale and little more than a place for my meltdowns as of late. Regardless of whether or not my blog has become too negative or stale, a little extra focus on a particular topic never hurt anybody...or any blog, in this case.

So, with that in mind, I'm hoping to focus this blog to be more specific on my experiences with yoga, the Hindu faith, and its associated topics. I know I've talked about as much in some of the posts on here already, but what I mean precisely in this case is: if it doesn't have to do with the aforementioned topics, it's not getting posted here. I figure this should make the blog more interesting to my readers than the random thought-dump it has been.

It's often said that writers are their own worst critics. Regardless, though, I've managed to criticize myself constructively in this case, and that's why I'm doing what I'm doing now with this blog. This blog needs less randomness and more actual content.

In that regard, I do have one question I wish to ask my readers, in regards to this new direction, and I hope this will spark some participation: one idea I had in regards to this new focus is to do a discussion of the Bhagavad Gita on this blog, that is, read a chapter and then discuss said chapter in my blog. How would this be received by my readers? I'm no expert on the Bhagavad Gita, or Hinduism in general for that matter...I don't want to come across as an authority figure when I don't have the credentials. Would talking about the Bhagavad Gita on my blog bring participation, indifference, or ire? Please let me know what you think, as it will give me guidance on how to go about this, if at all.

Anyway, I hope you will appreciate this new focus of my blog. I know I certainly will. Namaste.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Wanting More

I feel like I'm finally starting to respect myself. I have flaws, this
we all know, but I have good qualities I want to nourish. The point of
that statement is that maybe since I have more self-respect, I can
finally work on effectively helping others...but I don't know what
would be the best way... Oftentimes in my day-to-day interactions my
social anxiety gets in the way. That's the main reason why I've failed
in those jobs I've taken that required mostly customer service. Still,
I know there
has to be a better way for me to help my fellow human being...I know
I've helped promote the Art of Living organization through that one
piece I did for Elephant Journal. So perhaps writing is that answer,
but I've sort of run dry in that area...

I also seem to want more in a spiritual aspect, as in wanting to
advance further. I'm not sure what that entails, or even what that

The bottom line is that I feel a different sort of emptiness than I
have before. This is a more positive emptiness, but it's still a
ravenous spiritual hunger, for lack of a better term. I want more love
from Ganesha! I want more love from God! But what would that be, even?
What would constitute that need I just expressed?

Hah, I was just talking about helping others and already I said I want
more for myself. It's another sort of confusion I face...the struggle
in myself between selfishness and selflessness. I don't know what I
want more of, precisely. But at least I know what I want isn't so
material anymore. And I also figured out that helping others can help
me get what I want as well. I guess that's progress.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

The Origins of Bliss

For the past couple of days, I've been doing hour-long meditation
sessions. These sessions involve the Art of Living's Sudarshan Kriya
I've been taught, as well as chanting the Ganesha mantra "Om Gam
Ganapataye Namaha" for 216 repetitions (or two malas, one mala being
108 repetitions if I remember correctly). And I think they are
starting to pay off...

Today I felt like a million dollars...I felt, as one of my friends
described when she felt similarly, as a vessel to be filled with love.
I never felt this good for this long before...nothing seemed to be
able to faze me. Although that is perhaps because I am better able to
shut disturbances out of my mind. I know a better thing to do would be
to confront what upsets me (for example, political issues), but in the
meantime, everyday things that would have upset me just seemed
to...fade away. I feel so good right now it's like I'll spontaneously
combust or something!

I'm not entirely sure why I feel this good...perhaps I have gained
Ganesha's attention somehow. Maybe even the other Gods. But whatever
is the cause...I hope I can replicate it. I feel the want for more of
this spiritual energy. I want to progress, evolve, whatever you want
to call it...maybe it's a selfish desire, but I could want far worse
things. I feel so alive, and I want to imbibe in and then share that

My friend told me later that this newfound bliss is here because I've
discovered that I myself can be a source of joy for myself, and that
I've discovered I can tap into this source whenever I want. I'm...not
so sure...I think it'll be a while before I truly can tap into this
internal source on demand. Furthermore, if it truly came from within,
how come I had to call upon Ganesha to bring it out? It's still a bit
confusing to me...

All I know is that meditation has become fun and blissful for me. It
is now something I feel motivated to do for my spiritual wealth.