Confession Of A Devoted Husband

Devoted Husband

I have worn two wedding bands for more than a dozen years. The rings seldom get noticed, but when I am asked about them, I respond, “I have two wives,” an answer that is met with a chuckle, a groan, or a weird look.

Recently, after leaving a business meeting, I stopped in the hallway to check text messages on my phone. As I was typing, a stranger paused and inquired, “Why are you wearing two wedding bands?” “I have two wives,” I said. This time there was no chuckle or groan. “No, really,” he said. “Why?”

I explained that I’d lost my father in 1999, shortly before the turn of the century, something he was really looking forward to experiencing. As we were saying our final farewells at his funeral, my mother, his wife of 50-plus years, removed his wedding band and handed it to me. Surprised, I placed the gold band on my left middle finger, next to my wedding band. There it has remained.

I told the stranger that I wear my father’s wedding band to honor my father and my parents’ marriage. I also wear it to remind myself to be the son, brother, husband, and dad that my father wanted me to be. I am now 60 years old and have been married for 30 years.

The stranger nodded and, without a word, turned and walked down the stairs to the parking lot. I returned to my mobile phone and messages. Out of the corner of my eye, I noticed the stranger walking back toward me. He said, “Sir, you know, I have my father’s wedding band in my sock drawer at home, and beginning today, I am going to start wearing it.” I silently nodded, and the stranger quietly turned and walked back down to the parking lot. And I smiled.

Credit: This is a story by Patrick Cooney carried in “Inspiring Stories” section of the Reader’s Digest.

You may also like: A Sure Sign Of Spiritual Progress

No CommentsAdd a Comment »
 

Ten Unusual Ways To Do Yoga

Yoga In Sunset

Yoga is not just what you do on the mat. In fact the yoga done on the mat is a very small part of yoga. Here are some things that are also yoga:

1. Be kind – Every thought and action of a yogi is done with the idea of not hurting anybody and providing solace to those who are suffering. Kindness is the essence of yoga. This is not just in actions but also in thoughts.

2. Stay clean – The idea of cleanliness is integral to yoga. It is not just external cleanliness but internal cleanliness too. Internal cleanliness refers to the cleanliness of thoughts and emotions and clarity of mind. This level of cleanliness comes with practice, discipline, and self-control.

3. Do not envy – Satisfaction is a key aspect of an yogic life. As our yoga deepens our heart expands. This is when we realize that happiness is not in things but in relationships and love. We then grow to enjoy other’s prosperity and jealousy departs from our life.

4. Fast – Discipline and self-control are a key aspect of yoga. At the heart of yoga is the ability to have control over thoughts, and one way to get this is to stop feeding the senses. Fasting is one way to gain control over senses. When done without force and with humility it becomes yoga.

5. Pray – Surrender to the Divine is the essence of yoga, and prayer is an integral part of this. When our every thought and action is surrendered to the Divine then our every breath becomes a prayer, and we become instruments of the Divine.

6. Do not waste energy – Negative thoughts and negative emotions are a huge drain on our conscious energy. The beauty of yoga is that it slowly takes us away from the negative and pushes us into light. We can help the process by stepping away from things that feed our negative cycles.

7. Maintain a day of silence – So much harm is done when we speak carelessly. Instead of love we cause hurt. Instead of healing we cause suffering. This is why it is important to gain control over our tongues. One way to do this is by periodically observing a day of silence. As we silence our tongue, we gain better control over our thoughts and our emotions.

8. Laugh- A yogi lives life lightly and laughs easily. When you surrender your worries to the Divine then all that is left to do is to experience the joy inherent in each moment. The laughter that is without malice and rancor comes from being in such a place.

9. Watch a sunset – When we watch a sunset or a beautiful scene, our ego-identity dissolves for a moment. At that moment we touch an inner silence and we experience yoga. This is why yogis love to climb mountains or walk through forests because it gives them opportunity to experience yoga.

10. Humility- The essence of yoga is humility. When we silence our ego identity we understand the contribution others make to our success and our well-being. In addition we are able to conserve our energy as we stop spending it on furthering our ego’s agenda. This allows us to channel our freed up energy into building connections and doing creative work.

When we allow yoga to overflow from the mat and into our lives, it slowly turns our life around. Instead of being petty and vain we become comforters and healers. Instead of takers we become givers. Instead of running after success we run after meaning, and success follows. Rather than spending our energy in worry and waste we become masters of the moment. In sum our lives become worth living.

You may also like: Top 10 Excuses For Not Doing Yoga

Credits:This has been written by Raj Shah and edited by Ketna Shah.

No CommentsAdd a Comment »
 

The Power Of Touch

A remarkable story on the power of loving touch and skin-to-skin contact.

Related: The Power Of Mother’s Love

No CommentsAdd a Comment »
 

What Does Enlightenment Produce?

Enlightenment Produce

A disciple to the Master, “What kind of a person does Enlightenment produce?”

Said the Master:

“To be public-spirited and belong to no party,
to move without being bound to any given course,
to take things as they come,
have no remorse for the past,
no anxiety for the future,
to move when pushed,
to come when dragged,
to be like a mighty gale,
like a feather in the wind,
like weeds floating on a river,
like a mill-stone meekly grinding,
to love all creation equally
as heaven and earth are equal to all
— such is the product of Enlightenment.”

The above is from Anthony De Mello’s book, “One Minute Wisdom”. The process of enlightenment washes away the ego. With this goes regret and anxiety. The enlightened individual overflows with love and compassion, but acts only on a deeper Divine impulse, so is not bound by any preconceived notion or ego driven will.

“According to Vedanta, there are only two symptoms of enlightenment, just two indications that a transformation is taking place within you toward a higher consciousness. The first symptom is that you stop worrying. Things don’t bother you anymore. You become light-hearted and full of joy. The second symptom is that you encounter more and more meaningful coincidences in your life, more and more synchronicities. And this accelerates to the point where you actually experience the miraculous.”- Deepak Chopra

Related: What is God?

No CommentsAdd a Comment »
 

Six Reason Why Yoga Helps Us Age Gracefully

Aging Gracefully Through Yoga

Yoga simply is the best technology available to humans that helps with our aging process. Here are six reasons why:

1. Improves mobility and flexibility – Yoga increases circulation in joints by flexing and stretching surrounding muscles. The gentle motions of yoga also help with gradual opening up of stiff joints. The net result is that there is remarkable improvement in mobility and flexibility that can be seen in as few as 12 weeks of regular practice.

2. Helps with balance- Falls are a significant cause of mortality amongst seniors. Most yoga postures are designed to improve balance. This improves confidence and reduces incidents related to falls.

3. Works wonders with memory – Yoga and meditation have been shown to reduce aging related shrinkage of the brain. Areas associated with memory and decision making in the brain not only stop shrinking, but also they can actually grow in size. Measurable results can be obtained in as less as 8 weeks of regular practice.

4. Reduces mental rigidity – Another critical aspect of yoga is that it has been shown to shrink the amygdala of the brain. This is the region of the brain associated with stress. This means yoga makes us less prone to trigger stress response. As we de-stress our outlook opens up and we become more amenable to reason and less rigid and inflexible.

5. Increases quality of life – Yoga improves sleep and we wake up fresh. Plummeting stress levels due to yoga has a wonderful impact on our lives. Mood improves and we become cheerful and less grumpy. We begin to notice sunrises and sunsets. Love makes a comeback in our life and we are able to mend fences and relationships.

6. Elongates life – People with lower stress levels who have strong social connections and who are active and happy are known to live longer. Doing yoga regularly allows us to not only live longer, it makes it worthwhile to do so.

Yoga will not prevent aging. But if you have aged at an accelerated pace it will reverse some of it. And it will definitely slow down the aging process. Since it is not just the seniors who age, all of us do, yoga is for all.

You may also like: The Mustard Seed

Credits:This has been written by Raj Shah and edited by Ketna Shah.

No CommentsAdd a Comment »