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I hope to enhance people's understanding of the Rasas and of Rasa Sadhana by talking a little about my life and my sadhana. I also hope to receive some comments on this website and this blog that may inspire me to write more. People that like to give comments on this blog or website, please use the Contact form.

Sunday, February 26, 2006

Car breakdown laughter 

Ram Ram,

Last night I was returning from Holland when my car broke down somewhere along the highway. The waterpump had collapsed, so the on-road repair service could do nothing. I had to have the car brought back to Belgium by truck, at a rather high cost. Small setbacks like that are an excellent way for excercising Rasa Sadhana, remaining in a happy mood, whatever happens.

It struck me how a wide variety of unpleasant Rasas stood ready at my disposal : anger at my car and the water pump; disgust at myself as I was somewhat overdue in bringing the car in for maintenance; sadness at losing quite some time and even more money; fear about how much more money the repair would cost and how I would manage my work without a car for a few days...

I was looking at all these unhappy options standing on the side of the highway with the cold wind blowing by and had a great laugh. The repair man looked at me as if I had gone crazy, asking if I was feeling alright. It was probably not the sort of response he usually gets when delivering such bad news.

Anyhow, how could anybody be angry at a car or a waterpump ? And what use would it be to feel disgusted at my own little carelessness, except in making myself promise to be more respectful towards my car in the future and then leave it at that ? What would be the cost of feeling sad about the money I lost through this event ? And would not having no car for a few days give me the perfect excuse for a nice and quiet time spend at home, maybe writing a bit or whatever ? Sure, it would be a little impractical but that would be just for the next few days, not at that moment when I was standing there alongside the road. Try as I might, I simply could not find any valid reasons for being unhappy.

I drove home in the truck and the driver proved to be a really nice old man. He soon told me how he used to be a carpenter 25 years ago and then fell off some floors of a building and broke his hip. Since then he had to settle for this job, day in day out bringing home people and cars with some bad luck. He rather enjoyed it he said, meeting plenty of nice people. I enjoyed the way he told his story and realized that I am a really lucky man with an unbroken hip and a rather interesting job by comparision. We actually had a great time and departed somewhat as friends.

I am not saying that during the trip no tentative negative thought related to this event came looking around the corners of my happiness. It is only natural that they do. But just a little kind smile at their inherent stupidity was enough to make them disappear.

Ram Ram,

Peter

Thursday, February 23, 2006

Forgiveness 

Ram Ram,

An essential part of Anger Sadhana is of course forgiveness. Without it, it is impossible to let the anger go.

Think back about some rather bad thing you did to somebody yourself. Did you actually want to do that bad thing for itself, or did you do it because you felt you had to do it ? Like it was part of your duty or dharma, or the only way out of some trouble, in self-defense maybe ? Maybe you even feel that you did it in a state in which you were not yourself, taken over by some part of your illusionary you, the you defined by your position as a friend, a mother, somebody trying to boost a career, somebody affraid,... ? Whatever excuses you might find, the main conclusion is that you did not really want to do that bad thing, but felt like you had to or could not help doing it.

Same goes for all people that did bad things to you. They simply could not help it. That does tell you how much of a grip you will allow them to have on you in the future, but it also allows you to forgive their errors, even in advance.

Ram Ram,

Peter

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Anger Sadhana and Naughty Children 

Ram Ram,

I have a 7 year-old son and might say that he is the person most able to challenge my Anger Sadhana. So it seems good to give a little more attention to this subject.

First, it is always possible to put up a little angry act, without really feeling it. I mostly use that when the occasion calls for him to really rapidly pay attention to me, like when he is just being too playful on a hectic street. Then a short well-played shout of anger does get his attention, especially since I do not use it often. One more reason not to abuse the playing-at-being-angry game is that the use of such harsh sounds does have its effect on my biochemistry.

Second, I am far from defenseless because there is always the option of punishment. Children with developing ego's can be really really sweet and also really tough. My son is able to exploit any weakness, especially if it not only gets him what he wants, but also allows him to show off his "power" to his friends. Then it is absolutely required to be firm. So I will warn him that if he continues his misbehaviour, this or that will be the punishment and if he does not comply the punishment is exactly what he gets.

The fact that this punishment is pronounced without a show of anger actually is very efficient, because he knows I have not done it out of any emotional turmoil, just by playing my role as a father. So it is easier to accept for him as a just decision, because I have not punished him to satisfy my anger. So he usually will not get angry about it himself and the matter can be closed easily, lesson learned. And he will also take the punishment game more seriously because he cannot expect me to drop the punishment after cooling down, since I obviously decided upon it with a clear head.

So far the communicative aspects. Of course, a father naturally develops expectations towards his son. When these expectations are not met, anger or also sadness naturally develop inside, which is the basic reason why my son is such a challenge to my Rasa Sadhana. However, what can I expect of my son that I would not expect of anybody else ? And what is there to expect of anybody ? His life holds its own challenges. Loving my son also means not to expect perfection. As a father, I can help him to achieve some level of perfection, that is all. As long as I do my job as a father well, how fast he develops is his own decision and karma also.

While that help may sometimes need to take the form of firmness, it does not require anger, so neither my son nor me require any anger in our relationship. We are in fact a lot better off without it. I think he is really starting to understand that I love him so much that his mistakes never touch that love, while at the same time this love also forces me to play my role as a father with any firmness needed. It is a subtle thing for a seven-year old to understand, but sure some understanding and also appreciation is there. We make a hell of a team really.

Ram Ram,

Peter

Monday, February 13, 2006

Laziness and Disgust 

Ram Ram,

Sometimes we naturally feel very active (rajasic) or very peaceful and quiet (satvic). But sometimes we also feel lazy (tamasic). This may come from simple tiredness, but often also because of overeating or eating tamasic foods - foods that are difficult to digest.

When this bodily feeling overtakes us, it may cause us to neglect our duties and that is one of the main causes of Disgust, of dissatisfaction with ourself. If we are just tired after a long day of work, then of course we need to rest and laziness is quite acceptable to us. Likewise when this lack of energy is caused by some illness. But when it comes in a less natural way, like after the midday meal, then we really need to be careful not to fall into the trap of dissatisfaction. This is especially true since the depressive state that is caused by it often leads to an indulgence in bad habits, which often increase the Tamas dosha.

To avoid the Disgust Rasa, refrain from overeating and from eating foods that make you feel lazy. When it happens anyhow, the Tamas dosha can only be overcome or burned by action (Rajas). Maybe you can select some more pleasant tasks to do at that moment, that do not demand too much mental energy. Select tasks that you can do in good company maybe. Tasks that require some walking are also good, but avoid disturbing your digestion by too extreme physical work. If post-midday meal depression would seem like a rather chronical problem to you, consider changing your daily routine so that it includes some time for things you really like doing, like hobbys, just after the midday meal. Just one hour or so will do.

One more trick against any Tamas - and especially if due to digestion issues - eat about 2 cubic centimetre of fresh Ginger. You can take some water along if you dislike the pungent taste. Other hot spices might also do, but ginger has the added advantage of being heating, but not drying.

Yes, sometimes Rasa Sadhana comes down to really simple, down-to-earth things. Easy to tackle really...

Ram Ram,

Peter

Saturday, February 11, 2006

Shanti night 

Ram Ram,

It is late at night, silence reigns. I can hear it. Experiencing some calmness before sleep - it is a treasure. The day has been challenging, entertaining and fruitful. A good basis for peace in my heart at this moment. I reach out to it, cannot get enough of it - not enough of nothingness, what a joke - peace does have its depts.

Dreamless sleep lies in wait for me, the blissful annihilation of all that I think myself to be. Who to thank for that wonderful idea ?

Well, goodnight all,

Ram Ram,

Peter

Thursday, February 09, 2006

Welcome to my weblog 

Ram Ram dear visitors,

This is my first weblog here, pretty exciting.

For today, let me just say that the sun is shining, this weblog is functioning, life is good so the Rasa of Joy becomes a natural attribute. More later - duty calls - and the one who does not take care of his duties should rightly experience the Fear Rasa, something which I cannot accept because of my Sadhana of that Rasa - so duty time it is.

Ram Ram,

Peter

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9 RASAS ?

LOVE - Shringara
beauty - devotion
JOY - Hasya
humor - sarcasm
WONDER - Adbhuta
mystery - curiosity
COURAGE - Veera
confidence - pride
PEACE - Shanta
relaxation - calmness
SADNESS - Karuna
compassion - pity
ANGER - Raudra
irritation - violence
FEAR - Bhayanaka
anxiety - worry
DISGUST -Vibhatsa
depression - self pity
The Yoga of Nine Emotions, by Peter Marchand, based on the teachings of Harish Johari
Read more in the book :
"The Yoga of the Nine Emotions"

 

 
 

Emotion in art - Hinduism, Yoga and Religion - Body and Mind - Neurotransmitters - Rasa Sadhana - Moodfoods & Emotional Health - Bhakti Yoga - True Compassion.

 
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