Managing your Emotions during Difficulties with human Relations – 27 Oct 15

Not every difficulty that we face in life is one of a financial nature. In yesterday’s blog, my main thought was rather on problems with business and money but of course there are issues that sometimes seem even worse than any money problem can ever be: problems in your relation with other people, your friends, family and most of all your partner. How should we handle these?

First of all, the same concept applies: calm down before you do anything. It is obvious that a dispute, a disagreement or an argument with someone you love can leave you completely unsettled. You may feel fully enraged or devastated, you may be in tears or shaking all over. You can feel right or regret what you have done but for any further thought or action you have to calm down and clear your head!

This doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t feel sorry towards the other one or feel wronged by him anymore! It means that you recognize your feeling and know where it comes from. Make an analysis: what exactly is the trigger of those feelings? Something the other one said? Something you did? What made you feel the way you do? Is it an action or just a thought or worry of yours?

I am myself an emotional person but while this may seem too much a process of the mind for some people, I believe we sometimes need to take this way in order to find out what the issue is. If I am so much in emotion that I cannot clearly recognize why I am feeling these emotions, my actions may reflect that.

The most stupid crimes are committed because people cannot control their anger. Afterwards, they often don’t even exactly know why they reacted the way they did. They were angry – but with a clear mind, they know themselves that their anger never justified their actions. That it was caused by an inner pain or injury which the other one may not even be responsible for.

So once you know why you feel the way you do, you can work on the solution of the problem.

If it is something you did wrong and you are sorry for, I believe it is never too late to apologize. You cannot expect the other one to accept your apology under every circumstances – but for yourself, you can take this step and make it clear to you that you did it. Even if not, you have tried and can move on!

If the other one did you wrong, you now have the chance to find out what you would like to do about it. You can explain the other one your feelings or you can take a decision on what to do next. It is the chance for you to act according to your deeper feelings, not only the momentary anger.

In the end, no matter what happens, the message is practically the same: whatever the problem, it won’t make the whole world break down. Be calm and find out what you can do about it!

Don’t attempt to take another Person’s Responsibility – 24 Oct 13

I yesterday told you how my family was not invited to a friend’s house warming party and how I decided to nevertheless be happy about this, even though it initially hurt. The story was not over though at that point – let me tell you about the anger, confusion and other feelings it caused.

Everybody knows I am an expressive person and don’t keep things in my heart for long. After our emotions and feelings about this incident had settled, two days later, I posted this story and my feelings on facebook. I never disclose anybody’s identity and I kept this policy also in this case, simply expressing the conclusion that I had taken for my own emotions.

A friend of ours and relative of the host who had not invited us was angry about the post. By writing this on facebook however and sending my atheism to hell with his words – and facebook right along with it – he disclosed the identity of the host which I absolutely didn’t want to. So I removed the comment and called him to clear the matter.

To make things short, our friend, who as a relative had taken part at the program, told me I had taken the lack of an invitation in a wrong way, it was only a small house with not much space, we would anyway not enjoy the religious ceremony and the food would be hot, so not enjoyable for us and that we would have received an invitation for a more private meal together a few days later.

The host of that party finally called me as well – a week later to wish me a happy birthday – and gave a very different statement in an attempt of an explanation. She said she had not invited anybody but informed everyone of the date. A strange statement – how would your guests know when to come? Did everyone just turn up at the same time by chance? Anyway, this friend also accepted the mistake and apologized in the end. Interestingly however, this person denied ever having said something about calling us later or the other excuses we had heard of.

Now it was clear that our friend was trying to make up and fix something that not he but his relative had done. Had anybody wanted to invite us a few days later, they could have called us on the same day! We were just one phone call away! In several talks I had with this friend, I told him that one cannot take the responsibility for his whole family! There is no way for you to do that because they are individuals who take their own decisions and they may be opposite to what you would decide! I told him that all my brothers and my wife have to take responsibility for their actions themselves!

My friend had lied to me. A strange feeling. I felt bad first about not getting invited, then about being attacked for expressing myself on facebook and then about being lied to.

Nevertheless, I do not keep any hard feelings for this friend and the whole story won’t change anything in our friendship. Why? Because I see why he did it. He was trying to make me feel better and did not want any bitterness to remain in between me and his relatives. It was an attempt out of his good heart, out of friendship and love. This is his nature, I know – he wants to take responsibility for the actions of others. But if someone else eats, your stomach doesn’t fill. If someone else does something wrong, it is not up to you to fix the problem! Why do you take the mistakes of others on your shoulders? I would have appreciated if he had said ‘I don’t know why you were not invited’ instead of trying to take another person’s responsibility – but in the end, a friendship is not based on the condition that the other one has to be invited.

I cleared the matter by telling him that it is not a big issue. I wrote about it on social media and here for my own observation and expression of feelings. Our ideas may be different about such things but I know he has love, friendship and good wishes in his heart – so I love him like before.

Appreciation, Abuse and Warnings after writing about Sri Sri Ravi Shankar – 22 Feb 13

The whole week’s diary entries have been impacted by Sri Sri Ravi Shankar, his alleged mobile phone charging powers and the consequences of my article about them. I thought I should share the reactions of different people on my blog entries with you, it might be interesting.

Of course there was the usual angry response from Sri Sri Ravi Shankar’s followers and members of the Art of Living foundation. The extreme response is mostly rather abusive and not very entertaining, in a language that I don’t use in my blog and which I thus won’t repeat here. Let’s just say that you can let your imagination run wild and think of any insult, they have most probably used it for me in the past four days. The funny thing is that this is people who like meditation, who want to find peace and balance and whose guru tells them himself that they should not say anything bad or think anything bad about anybody…

Well, but that has happened each time that I wrote about some fake guru and exposed their cheating behavior. It is not very surprising and the normal behavior, comparable to a scared, cornered animal. Being confronted with the way that they have been cheated by their guru, those followers try to use attack as a defense but not in a very skilled way!

There are other and more moderate reactions however, too. One person who has used the breathing techniques that Sri Sri Ravi Shankar teaches and who has obviously felt benefit from it, tried to find an explanation for his guru to say such nonsense. He seemed to be himself confused about the question why someone would write such nonsense or even say it in a lecture and so he concluded that the people in the lecture, which was held in a rural area, were ‘simple-minded’ and ‘of low intelligence’ and expected a guru to tell such stories.

It is actually quite funny to explain the story in this way. It is a careful way of saying: the audience is stupid, that’s why he has to fool them. Really? Is this what an enlightened person is supposed to do? For one, you should never assume that the person in front of you is stupid. Furthermore, you are not supposed to tell people whatever they want to hear just so that you get what you want! An honest person will never act in this way! If people even did expect this from Sri Sri Ravi Shankar, why would he just make something up to please them?

No, I think you cannot use this as an explanation or excuse for him. I believe that there is probably someone whose job it is to just note down or record every lecture and then make another webpage, another article out of it, without this being further reviewed. He did say it, it was published and when they noticed that not everyone believes him to be all knowing and omnipresent or a divine, enlightened being, they took it down again.

There were however also lots of comments of support from readers and friends, people who have been disappointed by the organization themselves and others who were surprised as they thought him to be more serious and real. There have also been friends who got worried about me writing like this, as his organization is quite big and has lots of money and that he could have some kind of influence and could harm me.

I thank you all friends for your support but you don’t need to worry about me. I know I am not alone when I write about cheating gurus, when I expose scandals or just collect information about wrongdoers, hypocrites and scam religious leaders. There are hundreds and thousands of people more who are not happy with them, who know it is wrong and who are there to support. They may not be as outspoken but they are there and this is something that not only I know, those gurus know it, too!

Ego and Perfectionism – a dangerous Combination – 7 Dec 12

Yesterday I said that criticism is never well perceived by people with ego problems. It is obvious – any kind of criticism, be that with good intention or not, means that there is something wrong with who they are or what they have done. Their ego is not able to accept this and they will get angry and won’t change anything. Especially when this ego is paired with perfectionism, a person will have the biggest problems with even a small piece of criticism.

A perfectionist who does not have ego-problems may not have as much of a problem if someone points out a mistake in his work. It will still sting – because it means his work was not perfect – but he will go and change that detail to make the complete work as perfect as possible. In the end, he may even be thankful to the person who pointed it out because that made it possible for him to be perfect, at least in his own eyes.

The definition of perfect means that it has reached the highest level of being good. If something is called perfect, it means it could not have been better. A perfectionist tries to reach this level with his work. He will practice again and again until he reaches there or he will closely examine every piece of his work, correct it, modify it and go in detail to make sure it really is perfect. A small piece of imperfection will disturb him.

A regular perfectionist also knows that nobody is perfect and that perfection, although it is by definition the point where you reach the limit, actually has no limits. There is always something that could be better. You play the guitar perfectly but then there suddenly is a player who plays even better than you! You create a perfect piece of art but then you see another piece of art, just like yours, into which the artist added an element that could have improved your work, too! Perfection in itself has a contradiction: it is the limit, the best, but at the same time there is always something even better.

The perfectionist knows this and is caught in the conflict of wanting to be perfect while knowing that there always be someone or something a little bit more perfect than him.

When ego crawls into the mind of a perfectionist, the situation changes. Ego makes him believe that he is perfect. This is the point where this person becomes an explosive danger for his surroundings and especially to each person who dares criticizing or questioning any of his actions or results of his work.

In that case, the inner conflict of the perfectionist with the fear ‘oh, did I miss something?’ clashes the thought of the ego ‘This cannot be, I have thought it all through!’ and the result is a direct attack: ‘If you know it better, do it yourself the next time!’ or ‘Okay, I just destroy it all and then you can see how you want to do it!’ or something along those lines. The perfectionist will regret this later while the ego keeps on shouting in his head ‘I was right, I am perfect!’

For everyone who finds himself in that situation, I have one advice: control your ego. Whenever you hear someone criticize you and you feel the blood rushing to your head, remind yourself that this is the ego pumping up your blood pressure and making your ears ring. You don’t need to get that excited about it! Take a moment, consider what the other one is saying and then reply. If you are in mid-conversation and it would look funny to just remain silent while you calm yourself, simply excuse yourself for a moment. You don’t want to regret anything later, so think first.

Work on controlling your ego and know that nobody is perfect. Nobody expects you to be, either. Just be you.

What does a Baby feel? Watching the Development of natural Emotions – 23 Feb 12

When our small Apra is lying on the bed or in my arms, I often watch her every move. When she is awake, I talk to her and she follows me with her eyes and even replies with little noises. Sometimes she opens her mouth as though she also had something to say. When she is asleep, I watch how her expression changes from one to the other in no time at all. One moment I see her frowning, which then turns into a small whimper or even a cry. That is however quickly over and she is back to a plain face expression until she grins broadly and gives a beautiful smile. While watching her, I often wonder what is going on in her mind.

When she has her eyes open and looks around, her expressions are sometimes a clear reaction to what she sees, feels or hears. Of course the reason for her crying is either hunger, a wet diaper, some gas in her belly or a wish to be taken onto the arms. But what is the reason for her laugh? What is the reason for her frown? What does she think? I sometimes think I can see her taking in new information, learning, finding out new things about the world that she is in. I try to make her laugh and often succeed, each time happy that I could have been the reason.

When she sleeps, I wonder even more what is going on in her mind. What could be her dream? She has not seen much, so what is it that she dreams and smiles about? When she starts crying all of a sudden, it seems that in her dreams something bad must have happened – but what could that be? And in the next moment everything is fine again.

Our little one really does not have much information or input to laugh or cry about. Happiness, sadness, anger and all other emotions that she is going through are just natural. They are natural and they are right now developing, in the same way as her mind is developing and her body is developing – and her body is definitely developing! She already outgrew her first clothes!

And a proof that Apra is learning quickly is that Ammaji already trained her for peeing. Ammaji picks her up from time to time, opens her pants and diaper and hold her in a certain position. Then she makes the hissing sound of peeing and usually the water starts flowing right away.

We are having a wonderful time watching the development of our daughter and I am again and again amazed watching her. I will share my amazement from time to time with you in this way.

Human Psychology – Aggressive Reaction when feeling guilty – 15 Dec 11

I am an open person and I generally express my opinion and my views freely, be that in a discussion or also when I write my diary. I tell what I see in my surroundings and I clearly say it when I approve or disapprove of something. This means that you can often hear me express appreciation but you also notice when I believe something is not right.

This actually happens with many topics, be that religion, superstition and all the fake magic which is created around it, be that questions of relationships and love, be that differences in culture or also general behavior like smoking, vegetarianism or awareness of nature and environment. And very often when I express something that is in any way negative, someone reacts very strongly. That reaction can either be an attack and aggressiveness towards me or people feel mortally offended and stop every interaction. I feel strange with both reactions, even if I can understand why people react like this.

It is very logical if seen from a psychological point of view. We have a saying in Hindi: ‘Chor ki Dadhi mein Tinka’. Literally translated this means ‘a speck in the beard of a thief’. It is a sentence of a story and you can best understand what it means with this small example: you sit in a room with ten men and all have beards. You know one of them is a thief but not which one. You only need to say ‘There is a speck in the beard of the thief’ and of all ten men, the thief will grab his beard to see where it is.

So whenever you speak about an issue and criticize something that is morally wrong or when you point out a mistake that people commonly make, it is just natural that someone, who did exactly that, would react strongly. It is a sign that he or she knows what you are talking about and has acted in the way you criticize. Sometimes the other one really freaks out about the fact that you dare say that!

This actually mostly happens with topics that the other person feels guilty about. If they did not feel guilty, they could just agree with you and your viewpoint or calmly reply and add something to the discussion. Instead they go in full and complete denial and attack you for attacking them – even though it was never your intention to attack them!

I have noticed this behavior in Indian people when I speak about India and I have noticed this with western people when I speak about the west. I have had this reaction from smokers when I talked to them about addiction and from meat-eaters when I mentioned cruel animal slaughter. Again, it is a normal psychological process and reaction.

This does not mean however that you cannot change it! This reaction and attitude is not right. When you feel that you have a strong reaction about someone’s criticism, first think about the reason why it is like that. If it is simply because that person’s opinion is true and right, accept it as it is. Don’t feel accused just because you have done the same thing that is being talked about. Accept it honestly when something is wrong. Leave your guilt behind and enter a conversation without it. Your talk with others will be much more fruitful! Maybe it can lead to you changing a bad habit or doing something for changing a bad situation. It will definitely bring awareness if you are open to think in a different way!

Unknown Enemy publishes fake Experience and Stories about us – 29 Jul 11

You might say that this is ‘Part Two’ to one of my previous diary entries. Here you can read the first part, if you have not yet or if you don’t remember the entry in which I wrote that there might be many people who see me as an enemy and who would like to write bad about me. Two days ago I came across a website, a blog, which made me re-read that article.

I had written that diary post on 4th May 2011, after I had seen some insulting remarks on social network profiles of followers of a guru. I had just recently written a blog post about that guru so it was not surprising to me that they would write such things. I nevertheless dedicated a diary entry to telling you all about it, telling that there are many people who might write weird things about me, my family and work. I said you could always find out whether that was an angry response of a follower to one of my posts by looking at the date when he wrote that. Was it written and posted before or after my blog post about his guru?

Well, the blog that I found and which made me write this diary entry today is exactly that. It is a website which is said to have the aim to write against fake swamis but until now there are only two small articles and they are both about me and our Ashram.

When I read that, I of course followed my own advice and had a look at the date. The author of those posts wanted to be clever and outsmart the internet. He or she posted as article dates ‘4th and 5th January 2010’ to show that the blog was written in that time. Whoever has written this blog is not a technical person though and does not understand that the online world is very open and clear. On the first glance it might look as though this blog was written in 2010 but with just one more look on it, it becomes clear that it is not.

This person is using a blogspot blog, powered by google, which makes it easy for everyone to create his own blog. The URL structure of each article tells when it was written. In that blog, the URL look like this: ***.blogspot.com/2011/05/***.html
That means this was written in May 2011.

When I clicked on the author profile to see whether there was more information, I was not surprised to see that there is no name or identity. You can see clearly however that the account was created in May 2011. What a coincidence, right at the same time that I wrote my article! Surely not written in 2010, then. The internet does not lie.

So we can be sure that these articles were written by an angry follower. As to its contents, there is really not much creative about them. The author obviously could not think of anything himself to write and so he picked one of my sentences of the diary of 4th May:

“Maybe they write about sex parties and orgies during our chakra dance party or that we actually run a brothel at our Ashram.”

Both complete articles are about chakra dance parties and indulgence in open sex parties at the Ashram which that person reportedly experienced there. We had to laugh a bit reading this description of the Ashram which is just ridiculous for anybody who has ever been to our Ashram or properly read information on our website about it.

Apart from that, the writer pities the children at our orphanage – which we don’t have. It is a primary school! If you had been to the Ashram and seen our children, you would have noticed that the children come in the morning for their school classes and leave again in the afternoon or early evening to go home to their families. Even those few who live at the Ashram, as their parents have no possibility to raise them, go to see their family on holidays and get visited by them. If you write an article about someone, you should at least get your information right!

Just creating a blog and writing two articles is not enough if you want to get heard. You need to promote, to advertise and put effort into it. That page has no importance online which you can see by the fact that we have discovered it only now. It seems as though the author lost interest when nobody read his articles but I believe he could be reading this right now and thinking of writing a bit more or promoting his page better.

Be that as it may, my friends know who I am and whoever reads our website seriously is not going to be fooled by such articles. I am thinking however about reporting this to Google as a violation of our copyright as the website is using pictures of a Chakra Dance Party which we gave in Copenhagen and which are our property, found on our website. The writer pretends that they are pictures of a dance party at the Ashram – again a sign that he has no idea what he is talking about.

I certainly don’t want to give the complete URL or link in this article as I don’t want to give this person unnecessary importance. If any of you is really interested to see that website, though, just send me an email to info@jaisiyaram.com and I will send you the link in private.

Are you ready to buy Alcohol and Cigarettes for your Teenager? – 19 Jul 11

When people talk about the lack of respect in teenagers, as I did yesterday, they often in the same sentence also mention that teenagers nowadays drink and smoke, outside in the street in front of everyone’s eyes. It is very concerning when you see how a young child gets drunk. How do you feel when you take a walk and you see an 11-year-old child smoking at the bus stop?

Maybe you feel sorry or maybe you don’t feel and think anything because it is not your child. Maybe you think ‘Where are his parents?’ and walk on. Imagine that was your child. What would be your reaction? What would you feel? It may not be your child but it is someone else’s child. It could be yours, too! Maybe your child also drinks and smokes and just takes care not to do it in front of you.

You know how the smoke of the cigarette harms the lungs of this child. You know, when you see teenagers drink, that the young liver is damaged by the alcohol. You cannot do anything because it is not your child. You pass by and go away. As a parent you pray that this may never happen with your children. But they are also someone’s children.

Working with people, I see the problems that parents have with their teenagers. When their 14-year-old son comes home in the afternoon and seems to be drunk. When parents have found cigarettes hidden on the balcony of the 13-year-old daughter.

Of course all parents have given lessons to their children many times and they and their children know it is bad. But the children see their elders drink and smoke themselves. They know you would be angry if you knew and that’s why they hide it from you.

When you teach them, it may be difficult for them to learn. They are not as good in learning as they are in following your example. It is easier if you give them an example. Children want to be adult and they want to do what the older people around them do. You can be sure, if you give a lecture to your child about not smoking or drinking while you have a glass of alcohol on your table and a cigarette in hand, it does not work. As a parent, you first need to set those values for yourself which you want to give as guidelines to your children.

Maybe parents who cannot set a good and clear example give their children a rule like ‘You can drink one beer, not more’ or ‘You can smoke one cigarette a day’. Do you think this is really effective? If you allow one bottle of beer or one cigarette, you already give them a permission to do everything. For them the way is clear, they know what to do. They surely tell you ‘Of course I only smoke one cigarette per day’ but the reality looks different. Whenever you will see them smoking, they will tell you that this is the first one on that day. You are not in the position to say anything then. You may have allowed soft alcohol or only a bit but your children will find their way.

This is however not the end of this story! Things have got much worse already. Imagine the following situation: your 13-year-old son wants to go to a party with his friends. They want to drink alcohol and they tell you that but they cannot buy alcohol for the party because it is not allowed by law. Now they are standing there and ask you to help them. I have seen parents who then accompany their children, go to the supermarket with them and buy alcohol. Their children don’t only want to have beer though, they want to have vodka! And so this child, who would not even have been able to buy beer, gets very strong alcohol to go to a party. What are you doing to your child? You have given birth to this child and you know this child’s liver is still developing to its full function. Now tell me, if you allow this, why should your child not go for binge drinking with a group of friends? Why would your child not drink until he falls unconscious and has to go to hospital?

When I saw this, I got tears in my eyes and I thought how a mother can do that? I felt very sad but what can I do? I feel helpless, seeing those situations in this society. I only can get sad, express my pain in these words and ask parents to set their values. Do not destroy the body of a child whom you have brought to this world. There are even parents who smoke and drink while they are pregnant. They don’t have the slightest feeling or sensitivity towards this topic and these children get those habits already with the mother’s milk.

This all happens on the name of freedom and parents explain me that they have to be modern and go with time. I will never approve this and don’t think any parents should do this to their children. I don’t mind if people say I am not modern, I can accept that, but I would never do this to my children.

Unfortunately this topic also is a very difficult one as it is very much accepted in today’s society. Just like yesterday’s topic, this way of thinking just doesn’t fit to my values. When I wrote yesterday that teenagers lack respect when they talk to their parents, I did not receive much response or feedback. It is because it is acceptable and normal for parents today. The society has also accepted alcohol and smoking. It is normal that young people do that. It will not however make me stop talking about it. I bring my pain out in this way, even if people prefer to close their eyes and go on how it is. It is not the right way.