Life by Choice Anupama Garg

Category Archives: Meditation

Friday September 16th Lunar Eclipse- Anupama Garg

On Friday September 16th planet Earth will experience a Lunar Eclipse; which is the last eclipse of this year. Normally, new moons are for beginnings and full moons are for realizing the full potential and concluding them. This September, the new moon and the full moon are both eclipses and an opportune time to sort our self in whichever area it is required. I believe being honest to one’s self and self sorting leads to sorting in all that is around us.

This period can be used to transform all negativity into positivity, letting go of all that is detrimental to our self be it ego, resentment, jealously, anger and all emotions that fuel degeneration. It is a time where we can take constructive steps to restructure our life for the better. It is also a time where our negative thoughts and actions can be severely destructive; we have to be aware and honest to our self. Remember the truth sets us free….Choose to see it. It is a period where we can make amendments and choose a better life or destroy it further. This period will aid us to see certain truths which we have shied away from accepting. We may feel raw and bare, but trust that this is an amazing time for growth and regeneration. 

Believe that the Universe is seeking the best for us but needs our constructive co-operation. Think and act in accordance to this and it will create our TRUTH.

 We need to meditate, introspect and journey inwards to understand our self.

Affirmation: I am honest to myself and I am positive that my thoughts and actions will allow grace to flow in all areas of my life, illuminating it.


MEDITATION: bringing the mind home.

“Modern man is too impatient and wants to master the art of meditation immediately. “~Swami Rama

” Rule you mind or it will rule you”- Buddha

 Benefits and Technique

 The word meditation is derived from two letter word meditari (to think about, contemplate) and mederi (to heal). At its root lies the concept that meditation is not just a spiritual practice, but equally important for a healthy mind and body. Although meditation practitioners have known the benefits of meditation since ancient times, it is only now that scientific research is beginning to prove that meditation has a positive effect on us on a physiological level.  Meditation is a course of action to train the mind as fitness methodologies are a course of action to train the body. However we need to be very clear that mind-body is intertwined. The fundamental premise in integrative medicine is the fact that mind and emotions play an important role in our health. Hippocrates, the father of modern medicine taught that good health depends on a balance of body, mind and environment.

Research on the processes and effects of meditation is a growing subfield of neurological research. Using magnetic imaging (MRI), Harvard researchers found that meditation produced physiological changes in the brain’s gray matter. A research was conducted at Massachusetts General Hospital by researchers from Harvard University and published in 2011 which documented the physical changes in the brain as a result of mindfulness. Some areas in the brains of the study participants thickened after eight weeks of practice and they reported reduced stress after the period. MRI scans revealed decreased gray matter in the amygdalae and increased gray matter in the hippocampus. The amygdalae are the parts of the brain that help the body deal with anxiety and stress. The hippocampus, which demonstrated an increase in gray-matter density, is the area of the brain that controls memory, learning, self-awareness, introspection and compassion. It has been concluded that meditation builds brain cells, increases gray matter and allows the brain to slow responses to stress, providing better concentration, learning and memory.

Various findings seem to show that training the mind through meditation can have an enormously significant impact on the function of the brain. It demonstrates that emotional tendencies can be altered, and destructive tendencies can be reduced significantly.

In eastern philosophy, the goal of meditation is no goal. It is simply to be present. The eventual benefit of meditation is liberation of the mind from attachment to things it cannot control, such as external circumstances. The liberated, or “Self Realized,” practitioner no longer pointlessly follows desires or clings to experiences, but instead maintains a calm mind and sense of inner balance.

Meditation is therapeutic and a way of understanding ourselves which reveals life in a new perspective resulting in self transformation and expansion as an individual.

However, it is only, practice which will eventually yields results and it’s mandatory to be regular and consistent to harvest the benefits.

It’s impossible for a beginner to sit for hours and think of nothing or have an “empty mind.” There are various meditation techniques.  One of the easiest ways to begin meditating is by focusing on the breath —

Simple meditation for beginners

  1. Sit or lie comfortably.
  2. Close your eyes.
  3. Breathe naturally without making any effort to control your breath
  4. Focus your attention on the movement of breath. Bring your awareness to your nostrils, throat, chest, shoulders, rib cage and belly observing the process of breathing. Make no effort to control your breath; simply focus your attention. If your mind wanders, bring your attention back to your breath. Maintain this meditation practice for 3-5 minutes to start, and then attempt it for longer periods.

Anupama Garg



KALIYUG with its opportunities..


Where vision is one year, cultivate flowers,

Where vision is ten years, cultivate trees,

Where vision is eternity, cultivate people.

According to the Hindu mythology we are living in the fourth age or Kaliyug. There are four such ages (Mahayuga)-namely, the Satyuga or golden age, the Treta yuga in which dharma decreased by one fourth, the Duapara yuga, , in which dharma decreased by one half, and the present Kaliyug, in which righteousness exists to the extent of one- fourth only. This is the age in which the prevalent chaos will lead mankind to look for solutions to overcome it .Today we are standing at a point where life is questioning us to present it with an answer to what is it to live completely .It is an age which is offering to mankind an opportunity to elevate itself to new levels of consciousness. Today all around us we see people questioning “Is this life”? If we have started questioning we will find the answer too. The material success at a young age is acting as a catalyst towards finding the answer. There are far too many young people who are now professionally successful at a young age and the taste of success also brings along with it the question “What now?” It also brings in the realization that life has to be more than this. Material success no doubt is an aspect which cannot be negated but there is also a very important aspect of spiritual growth without which life can never blossom fully. Life is inside out and what you are inside determines the quality of your overall life. After, a deep night comes the dawn with soft rays of light and a promising new day full of new possibilities and hope.

Each of the above mentioned ages has its appropriate shastra,or scripture which was designed to meet the requirements of the men of each age .The Hindu shastra’s are classed into Shruti, Smriti , Purana which were the respective shastras for Satyug, Treta and Duapar .Shruti is that  which “has been heard”.Smiriti is “that which is remembered” and the third Shastra of the Duapara yuga is contained in Puranas. They by way of myth and story convey in an exoteric manner the doctrines of the Vedas to the declining intelligence and spirituality of the men in third age .The specific shastra for the Kaliyuga is the “Tantra”.It is a way of life that denies and negates no aspect of life. It is a path which uses the present state of humanity as an opportunity to enlightenment. There is no need to struggle for abstinence but to use everything as energy to propel you forward on your path to understand life in totality. It brings about the understanding that the entire creation is an extension of the self or the self is a part of the larger picture. Tantra harmonizes Monoism and Dualism. Its purpose is to give liberation to the individual by a method through which monistic truth is reached through the dualistic world. Neither is denied its place in the scheme of this cosmic play. Shiva has therefore said “In the world some desire non-dualistic, others dualistic knowledge, but those who have known my Truth have passed beyond Dualism and Non dualism.”

Practical application of this philosophy is the need of today.

More and more people all over the world are drawn towards the ancient spiritual practices which lend a deeper meaning to life and make the suffering a step towards enlightenment. We are experiencing the heights of material development and the accompanying price also has to be paid. This is an essential process for a higher goal .Every mistake has its significance in this process. The knowledge of a living tree does mean only the knowledge of its, roots, trunk, branches, leaves, flowers, seeds etc. A comprehensive knowledge involves and transcends this to seek and get an experience of the life which is immanent in the seed. Unless the knowledge of this truth is attained, the truth of life will never be known.

Kaliyug is a time in which all things are being cast, shredded, experimented, combined and recombined either to perish or to emerge rejuvenated and changed for a fresh existence. The future progression of humanity is in our hands. Spiritualism is emerging from the secret schools and ascetic retreats and seeking its place in the present mainstream life. It is in the process of rediscovering and reorganizing itself to enable humanity to attain its full potential. The observant can view modern times as a large conscious effort of nature to create opportunity, so that the whole mankind and no longer only the favored few are free to develop themselves to their full capacity. At present the material and economic aim may be predominant, but hidden within waits a higher impulse to be realized.

A man is born as a master of the internal and the external circumstances and not as a slave to them. He only has to realize his divinity to understand the divine play and blissfully enjoy it. However today wherever we look we are confronted by confused and dissatisfied humans.  In my workshops I very often come across individuals who behind the veil of great success are actually full of fear. Inspite of all the material growth the fact remains that there has to be something alongside which gives a sense of deeper purpose for our existence

The greater the suffering the bigger is the opportunity. VictorE.Frankl was professor of Neurology and Psychiatry at the University of Vienna Medical School and was an inmate at Auschwitz ,Dachau and other concentration camps .He has written in his book ,Man’s search for meaning that “Inspite of all the enforced physical and mental primitiveness of the life in a concentration camp ,it was possible for spiritual life to deepen. Sensitive people who were used to a rich intellectual life may have suffered much pain(they were often of a delicate constitution),but the damage to their inner selves was less .They were able to retreat from their terrible surroundings to a life of inner riches and spiritual freedom .Only in this way can one explain the apparent paradox that some prisoners of a less hardy makeup often seemed to survive camp life better than did those of robust nature.”We see here that intensification of inner life helped the prisoner find a refuge even in such terrible conditions of psychic and physical stress.

Today we observe increasing number of people moving towards spiritualism. An apparent shift is visible with various television channels dedicated to cater to the need of society. More and more self help books are on the bestseller list. The concept that spirituality is for the old is being replaced by the concept the earlier the better. We as living organisms hold memories inherited from our ancestors. Rupert Sheldrake a former Research Fellow of Royal society and a scholar of Clare College, Cambridge explained the principle which he terms as “Morphic Resonance”. It says, things of the same form (morph) resonate with each other and exchange information. The emphasis of morphic resonance is on living organisms and was explained by the hundredth monkey phenomenon. It indicates that living organisms of the same form learn as a body. An unspecified number of monkeys were washing sweet potatoes in the sea. We assume the number was ninety nine but soon as one more monkey added to make the number hundred, by evening everyone was doing it .The addition of the hundredth monkey apparently carried the number across some threshold. The hundredth monkey phenomenon clearly shows that if an act is done collectively by a form pushing it through a kind of critical mass, it comes naturally and easily to the balance and automatically is passed on to the next generation.

Spirituality has been an integral   part of our ancient civilization and was practiced as a way of life. The history of the inner life of India has been the history of her saints and sages. There were four aspects to human life in the Hindu culture-Brahmacharya, Grahasta, Vanaprastha and Sanyas. Brahmacharya was a stage of acquiring various disciplines required for attaining the highest knowledge. Next was the householder’s life where the individual enjoyed his life of action, responsibility and procreation. It was preparation for transcending this worldly life after living it fully.Vanaprastha was a stage of spiritual discipline where the individual steadily gave up worldly connections and advanced towards total renunciation or Sanayas .Hence the entire objective of life was a process towards preparation and then realization of the self. We see that a rigorous form of penance was conducted by our saints and sadhaks making the ground absolutely fertile for us. They spent years in solitude following a rigorous form of practice to attain enlightenment. With a past like that and the prevalent conditions we are well equipped already for the final leap. With little effort enlightenment can be our state of being.





“Your task is not to seek for love, but merely to seek and find all the barriers within yourself that you have built against it.”

Love is too profound a subject to be written on and has inspired great art and poetry. It is the fundamental need of every human being and can be as intriguing and as simple as we make it for ourselves . 

 Love that flows from self completion does not seek but gives resulting from an overflow. A person who is capable of truly loving anybody else is primary a person who loves himself. The concept of completion is beautifully explained in Hindu mythology explaining the concept of Shiv and Shakti which symbolize the masculine and feminine energies complementing each other. The form of Ardhanarishvara is the half male (Shiv) and half female (Shakti) form in unison and complementing each other. The realization and harmonious balance of both these aspects within a human being lead to realization of complete human potential. This human state when achieved is not seeking but giving which is intrinsic to the awareness. Giving from that state comes naturally and affects all that surrounds such an individual.Self awareness leads to the understanding of the underlying unity of the entire creation enabling us to respect and revere the space of every aspect of creation .This is how I perceive the unconditional love within my limited perception.

At a more tangible level, the great stories of love leave us wondering of that ultimate love which we seem to lack!! We all desire that ultimate love and face disappointments in our relationships when we compare it to that eternal love!! Is it not fascinating that great love stories are made of unrequited love?

 Let us first ask a relevant question…… “Am I capable to give another human unconditional love?”  Expecting respect and love, without any material benefits, from a child for whom we have done everything possible, is still an expectation. So as I see there is some expectation in personal love. Love without responsibility is incomplete and expectation is natural. Friendship remains the most important ingredient of  love, be it with family, lovers or friends.

Love grows if we give it wings, space and deep roots. Paradoxally love holds by setting one free . It is natural to face disappointments in love as each of us act according to our level of consciousness. There may be persons who disappoint us but that is fine, the universe is too big to cling. If we are not valued and the relationship seems a burden, learn to move on. Letting go maybe the growth opportunity required by the other to propel to a higher meaning of love and leave us with some valuable lessons. Pain in love is like purifying fire and should not deter us from forming new associations. Change is natural to the universe and as we grow so does our understanding of love.  Our growth may result in out growing relationships or redefining the platform of interaction in certain relationships. Such changes should be welcomed and we as individuals need to be open to new bonds which could be more fulfilling and meaningful.At times moving on helps us in realising our worth !!

We as individuals have our personal definitions of love and if someone does not love us according to our definition it does not essentially mean that the person does not love us. Our love should be able to accommodate that. Different people touch and evoke different levels of depth and relatedness. Love is not always about the other, it could also be what we evoke in an individual.

All relationships have to be worked on. Anything precious has to be handled with extreme care and continuous effort is required for its upkeep. Love has to transcend into actions where we are conscious of the “We” beyond the “I”.

 Harmony within us will be represented in the relationships that we value. It is important to note that we have to grow to be worthy of what we are seeking. Similarly persons deserving our love remain in our lives, rest depart as teachers, leaving us with valuable lessons. Lost relationships should leave no traces of resentment as they contribute to our growth.

Love Yourself

“Not only do self love and love for others go hand in hand but ultimately they are indistinguishable

 Loving our self means attending to our self as a whole. Our requirement as a human being is at various levels. We need to attend to our physical, mental, emotional and spiritual aspects. Till we leave any of these aspects unattended, our love for ourselves is incomplete.

Physical care includes nurturing our physical self. The physical body is the temple wherein the divine resides. Do we want the temple to be clean and healthy or dilapidated and abused? Regular physical exercise, proper meal times and healthy food are important to maintain optimum physical fitness. Exercise boosts up our energy levels and gives us a natural high. It keeps us fit and energetic. A nutritional diet and timely meals are important to provide us with the essential fuel. The type of food that we eat is also reflected in our physical states. We don’t have to totally give up things but moderation has to be exercised. If we cannot take care of our own body no one else will. It will help to contemplate that it is our body that remains with us till our last breath. Our body and mind are intertwined.

Are we attentive to absorb inputs, which are positive for our mental well being? We should be fully aware of our thought process. Any thought patterns which lead us to an unresourceful state should not be indulged in. We are what our thoughts are. It is mandatory to keep company of people who help us to grow mentally and have a positive influence on us. The friends that we keep, the discussions that we have, the books we read, the television programs we watch, effect our mind. If we choose to take in garbage then garbage comes out through our words and actions. Nature has given us minds and what we fill our minds with, is our choice. Our mind should remain open to learning. A positive mindset leads to positive emotions and positive actions. Our mental state controls our emotions. If we think positive we will feel good.

We should acknowledge and recognize our full range of emotions without feeling ashamed. It is however important how we handle our emotions. We should not dissipate our energy in an unresourceful state. Repression is not the answer, channelization is. Certain emotions like anger and grief can be channelized to produce amazing results. How we exhibit our emotions can create or destroy our life and can bind or break relationships. We cannot control all situations or people but we surely can control our thoughts, emotions and our response. Our interpretation and response to a situation can create us or destroy us. A cluttered mind and ruffled emotional state leads to actions which we may regret later. Every challenge we face can help us grow if we make a choice to grow and learn. Whether we become better or bitter is a choice we make. We are the solution to all our problems. Our actions our guided by our emotional states. Our actions define who we are.

 Spiritual understanding of our self is the core of our existence. Without attending to our spiritual growth, life can never be beautiful and complete. Putting it most simply, spirituality is the understanding of self. The day we know ourselves completely, all that is worth knowing will be known. The day we understand our self we will have the ability to understand all that we as humans need to understand.

In life, it is always about the self. It is one thing that is always in our own control. Taking responsibility of ourselves and nurturing our self is mandatory for a fulfilling life. All aspects integrate to design who we are. Love is centric; we can only love others truly when we first love our self truly. If we shape our self to someone whom we can truly love and respect, external validation becomes insignificant. However if we can love and respect our self, everyone else will too.








Control Anger before it controls you.

Control Anger before it controls you

“How much more grievous are the consequences of anger than the causes of it”. Marcus Aurelius
Anger is a normal human emotion. The problem lies when it gets out of control and turns destructive for ourselves and others.Fire consumes our body when we die but uncontrolled anger consumes our entire being while we are living.We all have at some point experienced the consequences of anger.The consequences are more often worse than the reason which caused the anger.Anger is a secondary emotion arising from frustation,fear or hurt.It is important how we handle it.We also need to clearly understand the cause of anger to identify the core emotion.
We should control anger before it controls us and all we are left with is regret. Anger has never been a solution to any problem. It may however further worsen the situation. It is an established fact that most murders are not premeditated acts but crimes committed in moments of frenzy. Suppressing anger and nursing grudges is as bad as uncontrolled expression of anger. Both ways are equally damaging. Suppression is sometime bound to ignite like dry wood. It does equal damage to our physical and mental health. It becomes a matter of concern the day we feel we are helpless when anger strikes us. Uncontrolled anger can create problems for us at work, in our personal relationships and reduces the overall quality of life. Anger is accompanied by physiological and biological changes within our body. When we get angry our heart rate and blood pressure go up. There is an increase in levels of hormones like adrenaline and generating energy strong enough for vigorous action.A frequent or continued state takes it toll on our health. Anger is strongly linked to health problems like high blood pressure, heart problems, arthritis, depression to name a few.It is not difficult to combat this problem the day we decide to work on it.Some simple and practical steps can be tried.
1. Communication:       Putting our point across firmly but without losing our cool is an effective way to show our displeasure. Screaming, using foul language is a display of your inability to handle your own self. Whenever you are angry think——-. What are you going to gain by it? How is the other person going to lose by it? Our physical anger brings dishonor to ourselves and our mental anger disturbs our thinking. To communicate choose a time when the anger churning up has passed away so that you can think and behave rationally. Choose your words carefully and listen carefully to what the other person has to say.
2. Cognitive restructuring:     It simply means to change the way we think. Most of the times even a justified anger in no time, can get out of bounds. Our thinking tends to become exaggerated and a small issue may seem too big. It is important to be realistic without over dramatizing a situation. It may be a sticky situation but it is not the end of the world. Direct your thinking to find a solution rather than wasteful thinking of the problem. Sometimes the solution may only lie in facing and handling the situation. Face it and keep telling yourself that anger will not make things better.
3. Meditation: Regular meditation helps to ease our anger and over a period of time we may actually do away with anger. Inculcate meditation as an everyday part of your lifestyle and see the amazing change in your attitude.
4. Change in environment: Immediate solution to rising anger can be immediately removing yourself from the cause .Then shift your focus to something entirely different, or engage yourself in a physical activity like a brisk walk, take deep breaths counting backwards from 100 to 0 etc.
Learn to be assertive not aggressive. Your external response as well as your internal physiological changes accompanied with anger need to be calmed. There will always be provocations but the wise know that anger is no solution. Anger can be directed to a constructive task. MADD (mothers against drunk driving) was formed by a mother who lost a teenage son to drunk driving. She directed her anger and grief to make the society aware of the hazards of driving after drinking. Direction of anger to a constructive cause helps to unleash the anger without suppression or destruction.

Work Life Balance

Thursday, 4 August 2011

                                      WORK LIFE BALANCE
Alarm…Rise… Rush…coffee and a quick bite…Battling with a traffic jam…work like a machine. maybe just sitting on the desk the whole day, clicking the mouse…battle with the traffic jam…more chores…conclude the night flicking the television .maybe watching something which may not even interest  …exhausted and sleep. Does it sound familiar? IS THIS WHAT YOU CALL LIVING?
1. Accomplishment at work gives you material wealth and recognition.
2. Neglect of self can lead to lifestyle diseases.
3. Productivity and creativity are possible if one is physically and mentally healthy.
4. Emotional nourishment comes from meaningful personal relationships. We all need     love and appreciation regardless of degrees or nationalities. If you do not invest time and attention to relationships, you will have none when you need them.
5. If we cannot take responsibility of our lives no one will. Find ways not excuses, it  is your LIFE.
1. Do you take care of your health….Exercise, eat healthy and sleep well.
2. How is your family front?
3. Have you cultivated friends who can stand with you at the time you require support?
4. Have you ever sat and thought that what is it that you want in life?
5. Is your life what you want it to be?
6. Are you happy with the present state of affairs?
7. If not…………………….
    what is it that you should start doing?
    what is it that you should stop doing?
    what are the things which I need to reduce?
    what are things that I need to do more frequently?
8. Are you really serious to strike a balance?
9. Are you ready to bring about the changes however big to strike a balance in your life?
  Body and mind are interdependent. Invest in yourself. Take out time for yourself, pursue   your personal interest,seek some solitude each day.This is a non negotiable Rule.
  Be aware of your goals and clear in your priorities. Keep a journal if it helps and keep   updating it regularly
   You cannot do everything. Practice delegation at work and at home. Let others contribute.
5. TIME NEVER COMES BACK… not waste it.
  Move away from people and activities that add no value to your life. Recognize distractions, passive activities like watching television aimlessly or spending excess time on the net and eliminate them for activities that contribute to the quality of your life.
    Schedule activities that you enjoy doing with family and friends.
    Thoughts…Attitude..Choices..Actions..Life. Meditate.
Work life balance for each person is different and also varies at different stages and age in life. An individual starting his career will have a different set of priorities than a person who has retired. A married person with children will have to make different choices for the right balance than a person who is single .Our priorities play a dominant role in striking our work life balance .The demands of your work have to be met along with a healthy self, a fulfilling family life and friends.
For a balanced approach success and achievement has to be viewed in respect to self, work, family and society .Your physical and mental health, your development and your personal relationships jeopardised when the balance is not right. It is important to be clearly aware of what you are losing and whether the gains are worth all that loss.
Anupama Garg

The power of positive thoughts.



Whatever the mind of a man can conceive and believe, the mind can achieve.
–  Napoleon Hill
The events about to happen have already taken place in the minds of those who would bring them about. It is most essential to understand the power of mind for our thoughts have the power to make us or break us. Our thoughts either give us the resolve to take action or weaken our drive. We create our own misery or happiness depending on our thought process. Research has shown that thoughts are electromagnetic,biochemical signals that carry messages across our brain cells. Every time a thought goes along a particular route, its reception becomes easier as the path is more and more defined.The more we entertain a thought the fact that the thought will materialize becomes more prominent. By thought we throw energy. The way clay is molded by physical hands to produce a pot similarly our thought forms when held long enough with volition(will) result in taking shape as per our visualization. We can improve the quality of our lives and cultivate it as per our will through our thoughts. Thought is a force by which we can neutralize,or let stand or enhance the probability of future events.
It is important to begin thinking positively if we want positive synchronicities to occur. Cosmos is the living feedback machine which shows us, through positive and negative synchronicities how so called accidental events in life are often a consequence of our own mental and emotional process. It is important to think positively and consistently never ceasing our efforts to fill our minds with constructive thoughts. Constructive vision and determination can change almost anything in our life.
We are the architects of our  own lives and direct our lives. Every thought with enough intensity is fueled by force. If we are not cautious of our thought process our thoughts will create a life which may not essentially be our choice. We should have absolute clarity in how and what we want in life and so will it be.
There is a link between our thoughts, emotions and actions. By changing the focus of our thoughts we can instantly change how we feel thereby effecting our actions. Entertaining positive thoughts take us to resourceful states and entertaining negative thoughts suck us into a vortex of gloom. In an ironic way we attract exactly what we fear most. We create our own hell by negative thinking. We can create heaven by being conscious and aware of our thoughts and not letting negative thoughts strip is of our power Negative thinking destroys our ability to act in the right spirit.
An individual who entertains negative thoughts will have a persona which will emit vibrations which will generate a sense of gloom and create an atmosphere laden with heaviness around himself. On the contrary an individual with positive disposition will emanate positivity and create an atmosphere of lightness and vibrancy around himself.  The law is that we attract what we give. The choice is ours to make.
Experience the power of positive thoughts in your life and allow space for miracles to happen.
Anupama Garg