One day when 19 year old Amy Purdy went home early from work, she thought she had the flu, but little did she know that she had bacterial meningitis. In less than 24 hours she found herself in the hospital on life support with a less than 2% chance for survival.
In two and half months at the hospital she lost her spleen, her kidneys, the hearing in her left ear, and both her feet below the knee. Incredibly when she finally went home, she felt the worst was over. But when she received her new feet she felt completely overwhelmed at the prospect of wearing these big, bulky, and ugly feet for the rest of her life. Her legs were so painful and so confining that she felt completely defeated.
But then a thought entered her mind: If her life were a book and she the author, how would she want the story to go? She then imagined herself snowboarding down a mountain, feeling the wind against her face. Her journey from a disabled person with no kideneys barely able to walk to a world champion, gold medal winning snowboarder is incredible and worth watching. Along the way she had to surmount extreme challenges including re-inventing her legs and getting a kidney transplant.
She has now learnt a strong lesson, that the obstacles we face can do one of two things: they can either confine us or they can force us to get creative. She now sees borders as where the actual reality ends and where imagination and the story begins. Are you ready to push off these borders and let your story begin?
Amy Purdy Web site
Challenged Athletes Foundation
Amy Purdy Facebook Page
- The ups and downs of emotions within the self-centered nature.
- The first hump of no-return. Complete willingness, without reservation, to give life to serve the higher will.
- Battle between God-centered nature and self-centered nature.
- First peak-experience: A glimpse of inner peace.
- Longer and longer plateaus of inner peace.
- Complete inner peace.
- Continuation of growth on a steadily upward path.
It is indeed rare for a saint to draw out the course of her spiritual journey. We are lucky that the saint known as Peace Pilgrim did just that for our benefit. Peace Pilgrim gave up all her possessions and even her name and dedicated her life to the service of others. (A full account of her life is provided here.)
She was a “Karma Yogi” of the highest order. The definition of Karma Yoga is to live a life of selfless service dedicated to others, while completely surrendered to the Higher Will. While Peace Pilgrim’s chart of her spiritual journey reflects her own experience, but we believe this applies to most spiritual journeys and hence is of deeper significance to all of us.
The graph is from the book “Peace Pilgrim Her Life and Work in Her Own Words”.
The Saint Who Walked Her Talk
A Test Of A Pilgrim
Peace Pilgrim’s Near Death Experience
|Fearful and Hostile
||Fearless and Loving
|Ignorance and doubt
||Truth and deeper knowledge
|Creates drama and turmoil
||Thrives in silence and peace
We all have both the ego-self and the higher-self. But for most the ego-self is the primary way we express our consciousness. So the choice is ours. Do we want to spend the rest of our lives with the ego-self or instead move towards the higher-self? The journey out of the ego-self and into the higher-self is yoga. Do you want to make this journey?
Credits:This has been written by Raj Shah and edited by Ketna Shah.
The Biggest Addiction Of Them All
The Poison Within
Robyn O’Brien was as far away from being a foodie as you can imagine. She had four picky kids to feed and the last thing she wanted to worry about was some hippie notion of what constituted safe food. She figured that if it was on the grocery store shelf it was safe. She was adamant on not hearing anything otherwise. She thought, “Do not tell me what to eat, and please do not tell me what to feed my kids!”
But one morning all this changed on her breakfast table. A breakfast of waffles, yoghurt, and scrambled eggs was being served when her youngest kid got a food allergy reaction. Robyn had never heard of a food allergy before and no idea what to do as she rushed her child with a puffed up face to the pediatrician. When things settled down she was determined to find out more.
What she dug up was not pretty. She learnt that we were becoming allergic to our own food because they contain unfamiliar proteins and chemicals. A primary source of these is due to the genetically modification of our food crops. She found a direct linkage between the introduction of genetically modified (GMO) crops and the increased incidence of allergies. Genetically engineered food started getting introduced in our food supply in the 1990’s and between 1997 and 2002 the incidence of peanut allergy has tripled. While governments around the world have not allowed tampering of food supply using GMO, the US has taken a different approach. It has found creative ways of allowing these into the food supply without any human trials or studies. Things have gone so bad that 1 in 17 kids below the age of three has a food allergy and healthcare costs in the US as a percentage of GDP are the highest in the world. So also the incidence of cancer in the US is the highest in the world. (This should also serve as a warning to those developing nations that are opening up their countries to allow GMO crops.)
How do you change your diet to consume healthy food? Her mantra is “Do one thing”. Rather than taking on wholesale changes that may be unsustainable, she favors introducing change slowly one thing at a time. Are you ready to get onto the “healthy eating” bandwagon? If so what is the “one thing” you plan to change first? If you have already commenced your journey let us know how it is going?
Robyn O’Brien Website
Robyn O’Brien Facebook Page
A young Yogananda was learning at the feet of his master, the venerable sage, Sri Yukteswar. They were located close to the river Ganges and the place was infested with mosquitoes.
One day as Yogananda sat near his guru, a mosquito buzzed about and finally settled on his thighs. As its dug its needle into his thighs, Yogananda automatically raised his hands to strike it down. Then Patanjali’s aphorism on ahimsa (non-violence) entered Yogananda’s mind and he hesitated. (2.35: “In the presence of one who is firmly established in non-violence, there is no hostility towards any living creature.”)
Seeing what was happening Sri Yukteswar asked him, “Why don’t you finish the job?”
“Master! Do you advocate taking life?” Yogananda responded.
“No, but in your mind you had already struck the deathblow.”
“I don’t understand.” Yogananda protested.
Sri Yukteswar explained, “By ahimsa Patanjali meant removal of the desire to kill. The world is inconveniently arranged for a literal practice of ahimsa. Man may be compelled to exterminate harmful creatures. However he is not under a similar compulsion to feel anger or animosity. All forms of life have equal right to breathe this air.”
Yogananda has included this exchange between him and his guru in his book “Autobiography of a Yogi”. He did so because he wanted to highlight the valuable lesson of ahimsa that he had learnt from his guru that day. Ahimsa is not the mere outward renunciation of physical violence. More important is the inward renunciation of any desire to cause any harm to any living creature, human or otherwise.
Credits: This exchange can be found in the Autobiography Of A Yogi.
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