DESIKA'S BLOG Ancient Wisdom for Modern Living

Breathing and Visualization Techniques for Self-Healing

In yOga (see sanskrit transliteration scheme), prANAyAma (control of life-force through breath) is an important and ancient conglomeration of techniques to promote physical, mental and spiritual well-being. In this article, I will discuss simple breathing and visualization techniques, I often use to heal myself of minor ailments like headaches and pains or when I am stressed from dealing with day-to-day issues. Learning and becoming comfortable with these techniques beforehand is better, so you can use them right away when you are in need. CAUTION: This breathing technique or any other technique is not a substitute for proper medical care. This,...

How I Failed to Give Up Coffee

I am sure that there are articles written about how to give up coffee, but I am going to talk about how I failed to give up coffee. 🙂 My son just loved the title—he should, since he suggested it. 🙂 As you may know, I am from Southern India where drinking coffee, several times a day, is the norm. While growing up there, all our family members drank two or more cups of coffee, the size of Starbuck’s Grande. When we visited friends or relatives they would offer coffee as well, and out of courtesy we had to drink....

Detachment Versus Indifference

One of the main ingredients of spiritual practices is to be detached from the objective world. What is detachment really? How is that different from indifference or apathy ? A couple of years ago in my Babaji’s kriyA yOga (See sanskrit transliteration scheme) initiation class, we were doing an exercise on the identifying of emotions and becoming detached from them. Exercise was that the teacher would say a word and we would write the feelings that come to us on a piece of paper and label them appropriately as anger, happiness, joy, detachment, etc. The word was money. I wrote...

Surrender

Have you ever noticed yourself getting annoyed by loud screaming of children playing around you? Have you ever got startled by the sudden flare up of a car alarm and got annoyed when it continued to blow? Have you ever gotten scared of the prospect of failure in the projects you are working on? May be that you are searching for a job and you are not getting any leads and that is frustrating you? You might say that these feelings were caused by noisy children, loud sudden noise, the tight job market and so on. You may have noticed...

The Power of Presence

One of the readers asked me, “Why should we be present? What does that mean? How does that affect our lives?” Volumes have been written on and much talked about this subject. In this article, I will elaborate my own understanding of the subject. What does living in this Present moment or Now mean? Aren’t we all living in the now? We say things like, “I want this now. I need to leave for an appointment now.” And, what is so special about it? That which cannot be captured by our minds (or thoughts) is Presence, Existence or living in...

Ways to Attract Abundance and Whatever You Want into Your Life

(Approximately 2800 words) Abundance means different things to different people. For one it may be money, for another it may be health. I define abundance as having all material enjoyments—health, money, cars—in a balanced, detached way, having a grounding that does not make you greedy and selfish and helps you evolve and work for the greater good. In my earlier article, Ask, and Ye Shall Receive, I discussed what you should do when you were faced with a life situation that needed to be changed. It may be a work situation that needed a change—may be you were not recognized...

Hindu Views on Creationism and Evolution

Universe is an Illusion brahman is Real Universe is brahman — Adi SankarAcArya (sanskrit Transliteration scheme) In my earlier article, “On Gurus and Disciples,” I briefly discussed a model for the creation of the universe(s). In this article, I will take a deeper look at this model. A Model for Creation In this section, I will discuss my understanding of the Hindu model of creation. brahman According to Hinduism (originally known as sanAtana dharma or Eternal Way of Life), all the perceptible and imperceptible universes come from a single source that is, simultaneously, everything (infinite) and nothing (void) (it is...

Ask, and Ye Shall Receive

Most often it so happens that we don’t get the appreciation or receive what is rightfully ours. I will take the example of work-life here, since most of us spend a lot of time at work trying to make a living. You work hard. You dedicate yourself to work. You want not only your success, but also the whole of your company’s. You work overtime—nights and weekends. You meet all your deadlines, deliver high quality results. It is time for your annual review. You step into your boss’s office. He (used for convenience, you could substitute ‘she’, if you like)...

Being a Better Team Player

In the article, Being a Better Leader, I talked about qualities one should develop to become a better leader. In this article, I will discuss the qualities one should develop for being a better team player. As you read, you will realize that most of the qualities are common to both a leader and a team member, though with a slightly different emphasis. It is no coincidence, for a leader is also a member of the organization which is a larger team. Be compassionate—Be understanding of other person’s feelings. Be kind and encouraging toward your coworkers and your supervisors. Yes,...

Being a Better Leader

In my career spanning the last 13+ years, I have had opportunities to work with and observe some great and some not so great managers. I have gathered some insights into how to and how not to be a team leader. Though I have not, myself, been a manager of a team, I have managed projects, cross-functionally, with people from different groups reporting to me on the status of the projects we were working on. I believe that managing people is not rocket science. It takes heart to be a good leader. One of my recent managers has been the...

Why and How I Started This Blog

For as long as I can remember, I have had the Writer’s Itch. I have been an avid reader for as long as I can remember. While I was growing up in India, I used to write poetry in my native languages of Telugu, Hindi and also in English. I filled up one journal after another. However, I got distracted with getting an engineering degree and proceeding further with graduate studies to get my Ph.D. Even after I got my Ph.D., I realized that I still felt empty. Something was missing. In order to find out what was missing, I...