As I prepare myself to write this blog entry, I cannot but think of Krishna’s words to Arjuna when the brave warrior is despairing before battle: “You have the right to work but never to the fruit of your work”.

Dharma is a big word, maybe too big for us to understand its profound implications in just one lecture, a one-week seminar, or even in a lifetime. Most of us earthlings spend our lives trying to figure out what we are doing on this spinning rock– at least those of us who are curious enough to venture beyond the realm of the senses. And the answer always seems too vague, too unattainable, or maybe too simple for our relentless thirst for fame and adventure.

If we really want to discover which path we are to take on this mysterious journey, it is better we begin by letting go off any preconceptions about our route, illusions about our travel companions, and expectations about our destination. Once we do that, we should simply start walking and try to feel whether this is the right or wrong path for us. This can only be accomplished by stepping out of our comfort zone, which means bidding farewell to big brother Logic and his sister Memory who have been influencing our decisions since time immemorial. Fearful as it may seem, there may be no other way to understand the ways of Dharma but trusting our intuition. At this point, some may argue that their intuition is desperately in need of a good tune-up, but even those should not despair as the Eternal One has graciously arranged the stars, lines of the palm, and other elements in nature as pages in the book of Creation, where avid magic readers can dexterously decipher the original purpose of our trip to planet Earth.

Once the path is known, the wise words of the Gita can lead us into an aspect of the journey which is infinite times more important than the type of path we are walking on. The Gita’s words present a direct challenge to the highest thoughts of the lower mind, defying the ego to dissolve into the inscrutable mist of destiny. We are allowed any action without reservation but not what comes out of that action. This means living the eternal present without room for dreams, hopes, or expectations, simply hopping from one moment to the next, always unaware, always expectant, always starting afresh. Could we detain the inexorable flow of time and decay if we decided to remain in one moment at all times? Is that part of Krishna’s message? Just by pondering these questions, I am already jumping ahead and demanding the fruit of work. It seems awareness is key, full awareness at all times.

Knowing your Dharma can definitely alleviate a confused and confusing mind; of this, I have no doubt. However, following Krishna’s message of living life as it comes may as well help us uncover our ultimate purpose, for one who flows without reservations will eventually be taken to that place where he is most valuable, to himself and to the rest of creation. Becoming a flow-er (or a flower for that matter) appears to me as a sure, unmistakable way of fulfilling the totality of our personal agenda without forgetting any of the debts we have contracted during previous visits and the promises we have undertaken for this one.

Does this sound as too big a leap of faith? Let’s then return to the battlefield and listen to Krishna’s words of encouragement to the warrior that lives behind our physical heart: “It does not become you to yield to this weakness. Arise with a brave heart and destroy the enemy”.


Depression: a most accurate sign showing us that we are experiencing an imbalance between the energies of matter and spirit. Are we just worried about the body and not what it is capable of manifesting? Are we pushing ourselves too much because of unconscious desires and therefore getting no results? Are we worried about doing things wrong or not being good enough? Does a child worry when he begins a new game? All answers are inside of us but deeply hidden down in the dungeons of the subconscious where others cannot see them. That part that we hide, that we even detest, is the one that will make us whole. Depression is the void left when we suppress a part of our being. Realization, recognition, and acceptance are the way to filling up the void, to healing, to wholeness.

Wit over Passion

So, it’s been a week after the national election and things are starting to calm down…at least for some. After the initial shock, we basically had two options: to accept or not to accept. Accepting any situation is at the core of any form of healing. It is also the only prerequisite if you wish to learn how to manage your emotions. Accepting doesn’t mean you agree with a situation, it is just recognition of a fact. Otherwise, you will be in denial and, being in denial, equals to continuous suffering.


Regardless of your position, you can still voice your opinion, and for that, you also have two options: You can take the path of fighting or you can take the path of expressing your ideas without animosity, belligerence, or defiance.  I have been hearing a lot of messages this week containing words such as “fight, battle, oppose, protest, etc”. If you opt for the first route, it is very likely that your opponent will grab his weapons and fight back. And remember that a war always leaves casualties no matter who the winner is.  So, again, not fighting doesn’t mean we agree with the current situation, it means that we’d rather be firm but peaceful when expressing our opinions. A good example are the many demonstrations happening daily all over the country as long as they are peaceful and respectful.


Egotistic people are not happy under constant criticism since the very nature of ego is to be liked, admired, and revered by everybody. So, nobody with a big ego is going to be happy with a 50% approval rate. And being liked by others is not something you can really force so maybe there is a chance that, with the right strategy, the scales will balance out even before the real game begins. On the other hand, a direct confrontation or provocation will likely ignite either the pride or the survival mechanism, dwindling the ego’s desire for overall acceptance and increasing the chances of a more radical stance.


This game needs to be played out with clarity, patience, astuteness, and goodwill. We should strive for a situation where everybody gains something and nobody is too badly injured. A head-to-head confrontation will result in radicalization of postures, more animosity, and even more separation.


The sun always shines after the storm but first we need to weather the storm. So, let’s be patient if we get wet. Storms are also part of life and they normally teach us much more than a peaceful, sunny day. They have the ability to provoke fear and to disturb or annoy us. So, use the storms to understand your inner self. Ask yourself why you are so afraid or so distressed or so angry. Sure you will get some invaluable lessons. Storms are great teachers despite their unfriendly countenance.

The Great Catalyst: Metaphysical aspects of the presidential election

We haven’t even had time to digest the result of yesterday’s election and there are already a million predictions, mostly ill-fated, about what is going to happen in the next four years. It seems we haven’t had enough with all the predictions made a few hours before the vote recount, or those predictions that assured us that the Brexit was a far-fetched dream.


There is a fatalistic tinge pervading all opinions expressed by those who don’t like Trump. There is, in fact, a lot of fear about the years to come. So, I guess I will be blogging a lot about this topic in the weeks and months to come, for I can tell you it is not going to be as we think and it is going to be good for all of us who are willing to flow and do our homework.


To our sheer amazement, Donald Trump has emerged as the great catalyst in the world orchestra. He has been able to survive a myriad situations that would have put any other politician not just out of the presidential race but out of politics. How could this happen? What’s so unique about him? The answer is NOTHING. He is not that special. What is special is what is going to happen through him: OUR BIG TRANSFORMATION. People are looking for change and Clinton represented just much of the same. We are unhappy, not just economically or socially but also emotionally and spiritually; we don’t know what we want yet but we know we don’t want the same. And that is the simple reading of her defeat.


Through Trump, we have already seen the real nature of millions of people all over the world. The real nature that had been buried deep inside because our cultural and religious upbringing had taught us that it was not nice to be admitted. If you voted for Trump, then, it would be fair to say that you resonate with the views, values and feelings he has shared during his campaign. So, this means that, on a daily basis, you are operating those views, values and feelings in your relationships with your family, neighbors and other beings on this planet. This is not BAD, this is simply the dark side present in all of us but normally suppressed in the dungeons of our consciousness so nobody can see it. Now that it is out, we can see how it operates and we can work on it. So, this is a good scenario as long as we do our job.


If you hate, despise, fear, or are disgusted by his opinions and values, then those are also part of your dark side; the difference is that, in this case, you don’t want to admit them in you and therefore you project them in the outside reality (person or situation). Let me give you an example: if you accuse him of hatred and you hate him, aren’t you both on the same side of the coin? So, if we can admit that we also have that dark side that we are seeing so clearly in the outside world, we will be favorably working on our evolution. So, this is also a good scenario as long as we do our job.


Mind you that working with the dark side is neither denying it (Trump’s haters) nor indulging on it (Trump’s hardcore supporters). But the dark side merits long hours of contemplation and discussion so we will leave it for another day.


In either case, we will be stirred to transform ourselves, which is nothing but the CHANGE we have been yearning for so many years.  It will be a tough ride for sure but just because we needed a rough awakening. And, a little hint, the awakening will happen when we stop trying to change the outside reality and focus on changing what we are. Only then, we will begin to see great things happening around us. Gandhi said it (“Be the change…”), we all love to quote him, and now it is time to practice it.

Be Aware of the Urban Monk

The urban monk sees himself working on his personal evolution through his daily practice. He sees himself caring for his body temple by carefully picking out his daily food. He sees himself attending workshops and seminars to learn how to live an ethical and purposeful life. He sees himself dutifully studying books and attending lectures that help him elevate his spirit. And he sees himself devotedly offering prayers and gratitude to his chosen form of divinity.


Commendable as it looks from the outside, we need to pay close attention to this urban monk since, in his zealous quest to reach the ultimate goal, s/he may unconsciously be following a self-centered path that does ultimately drive him/her to isolation and depression. In this type of spiritual delusion, the urban monk may exclusively enjoy conversations on spiritual matters, avoid most social events, despise former hobbies, and, to a certain extent, see himself as superior on his chosen way of living life. The urban monk works and lives for his spiritual path, thinking that his personal spiritual evolution is all that matters and the only path to true realization.


However, the urban monk needs to understand that this path is the path of the mountain yogi, the renunciate, the wandering mendicant, and not the path of someone still being part of society. If the urban monk is still living in society, it means that his path is still here and needs to be adjusted to the demands of living in society. How does the urban monk understand all this? It may take years of hardships and suffering and denial. Pain is the ultimate teacher when everything else has failed.


A gentler and wiser approach is to start paying attention to the breath, slowly training the mind to focus and refocus on its harmonious rhythm. We follow it as pelicans follow their leader on their beautiful flying formations. One day, the breath gently invites us to notice our senses and later on to notice our emotions, and finally to notice how we interact with the world around us.


And it is then, and only then, that the urban monk will able to understand that all those years he had spent working on his personal evolution through daily practices and workshops and prayer and study and meditation had kept him blind from what was really being requested from him. And it is then that he will be able to finally see himself intentionally listening when his attention is needed; and he will see himself uninterestedly helping when his assistance is needed; and he will see himself preaching only when his counsel is needed; and he will see himself observing his emotions before he instinctively jumps into fear, anger or judgement. He will see the world around him as the divine coliseum where the game of his own evolution is being played.


And he will finally understand. He will understand that all those years of focusing on his personal growth have led him into a state of isolation, a most peculiar form of egotism where his quest for enlightenment or happiness had blinded him from the needs of any other creature beyond himself. And he will understand that, even though he was always preaching about the world being ONE, he was continually failing at the opportunity of placing the needs of others before his own needs. He will understand that too much “personal training” leads to separation whereas too much mindfulness on daily affairs leads to communion.


And then he will focus on mindfully observing every situation he faces in life. It is only there that he can put his training to work. He will still “train” whenever he can; when he has the time; when his mindful observation advises. Training will still be there but it won’t occupy the core of his being anymore. It will be replaced by involvement in the details and messages of life and the creatures that play a role in the game of life. He will no longer be lost in the technique, in himself. Things will finally start to make sense and then he will be able to understand that growth comes only from playing in front of an audience, not from eternally rehearsing in front of a mirror.




I heard that you were everywhere but I couldn’t even see you in front of my eyes. I heard that you were all powerful but I couldn’t understand how. I heard that you have always existed but I wasn’t there to witness it. I heard that you knew everything but I could never take a class from you.


Being so indoctrinated, I have always seen you as a separate reality. I heard them talk about all being ONE but, even though I wanted to believe it, I was never able to envision it. To me, you were always outside, above, beyond that ONENESS. Above everything, ruling, overseeing, witnessing, creating lives upon lives, worlds upon worlds…but not here, not actively participating, not de facto involved in my daily meaningless tasks that feel so meaningful to me. How can you know what I feel being human even if you know everything? Can you “know” my feelings, emotions, and states of mind as I experience them personally? Isn’t that more of an experience than a knowing? If we agree that emotions are universal archetypes and feelings my very own personal reaction to them, how can you partake of my human experience if you are separate from me? But you are not. Because you cannot be.


Because I am not. Because you are.


And now I know that I am you and you are me. Not that you are in me for that would imply a separation; you are me and I am you. And now, I can understand when I hear that you are omnipresent, eternal, omnipotent, and omniscient. Because I am too, as long as I agree to transcend this burning curiosity that is such a big part of my present human condition.


Then I am

Walking the True Walk

Have you ever read The Madman by Kahlil Gibran? A part of it has been resonating in my mind all day long prompting, almost urging me to sit at my desk and observe how this post starts to breathe life.


“One day, long before many gods were born, I woke from a deep sleep and found all my masks were stolen…I ran maskless through the crowded streets shouting, “Thieves, thieves, the cursed thieves.”


Later on in the poem, the lucky madman thanks his robbers for taking away his masks as he starts to feel the warmth of the sun on his real face for the first time.  Fate is always capricious and there are people who actually are freed from their masks by some turn of events. For the rest of us, taking off our masks is a slow and methodical process that may even take several lifetimes. In any case, what is important is to understand that this may be the one piece of work that explains our existence on this planet. Not that everything else is unimportant but results kind of trivial when compared to the stature of this task.


Removing these masks equals to peeling off the many layers of fake personalities that we have been accumulating throughout the years, be it consciously or unconsciously. These insidious programs are so embedded, so ingrained in our minds that we end up believing them and acting according to their mandate. They have been nesting in our minds for so long that  identifying and exposing them (which means annihilating their power over us) requires a true detectivesque effort. The reward is, as in the case of our beloved Madman, freedom, life in truthfulness, understanding of our real nature, and consolidation of a peaceful mind and a compassionate heart.


Techniques to help us reach this balanced state run the gamut and are a staple on every single religion and philosophy of life. These techniques become extremely useful, mostly in the beginning of our quest, and offer both a foundation and a convenient lifesaver when things get too hairy. They include prayer, meditation, rituals, study of scriptures, routines such as yoga asana or tai chi, ceremonies, attendance to religious or spiritual services, spiritual cleansing, drumming, and many others.


However, as powerful as these techniques may be, they are nothing but a training for the real work and, I think, this is where many of us are getting very confused these days. You see, it is like training for the Olympics for four years but never participating in the games. Or rehearsing for the weekend play and never performing. We have become very good at religiously keeping up with our preferred technique (sometimes verging on addiction) but continue without doing the real work. Basically, we think the technique is the work. So, we need to take a good look at our relationship to it and decide whether we are using it as the means to and end or as the end itself. And if we are erroneously taking the technique for the end, what is the real end then?


Bluntly put, the real work is to really observe ourselves and start transforming everything that doesn’t belong to our personal, inner truth; beyond rules and regulations and traditions and any other external forms of indoctrination or knowledge. To delve into the dark side, the shadow, that part of us that we don’t like so much and usually try to hide from others. To acknowledge and embrace this shadow as a part of us, whether we like it or not. I said acknowledge, not indulge in it, just let it be part of your journey and things will be fine. This is the real work. A moment to moment, mindful observation of our behaviors, emotions, and reactions devoid of any charge of self-criticism, fear, or guiltiness. Do you want a clearer example? Every time an emotion such as fear, greed, anger, jealousy, envy, etc, surges, it is just an invitation to observe it and make a note of another aspect of your dark side. Remember, it has nothing to do with others, it is all about us and how we perceive reality.


Sounds too hard? Don’t worry, be MINDFUL!


  “And I have found both freedom and safety in my madness; the freedom of loneliness and the safety from being understood, for those who understand us enslave something in us.”

Winds of Karma

We cringe when we hear the word Karma.  Gloomy thoughts about past terrible deeds and fears about future pain and suffering assault our minds. We hear someone say “Oh, it was her karma”, and instantly we feel sorry for that poor soul, or fearful that one day they will say the same about us.


Karma is one of the least understood life components, at least for the average Joe. Endowed with different meanings, the word Karma is normally translated as “action” or “deed” (note here that it is “action” and not “curse” as we tend to understand it) and is usually explained according to the principle of causality (the law of cause and effect). We can also see examples of karma in other traditions such the popular “An eye for an eye” or “You reap what you sow”.


However, the ominous nature we attribute to karma is simply a misunderstanding of its original meaning and exquisite operation. Instead of seeing karma as our inevitable fate, deriving from all our bad past decisions and deeds, we can see karma as what it really represents: OPPORTUNITY.


Karma is, in fact, an opportunity, a beautiful opportunity which is presented to us every day so we can fully understand the real meaning of life and our personal lessons. We all have stuff to learn here, that’s why we pop up on this planet over and over, and will continue to do so until we have mastered “the human curriculum”. What we call enlightenment is basically the completion of this curriculum; what we call happiness is basically our voluntary commitment to fulfilling this curriculum.


That said, it is crucial to understand how it works so we can cultivate more and more of this thing called happiness. Among all the opportunities (karmic situations) we get during our life, there is one which stands out as the major component of our curriculum: it is probably the toughest but also the one that, when worked upon, will drench us with the most satisfaction. This one big assignment begins early in our life tenure, during our childhood, with an initial setup seemingly developed by family, friends, teachers and others around us. Then, the scenario repeats itself over and over and over during our lives, each time making use of different characters and settings but with the same ending. This end result will always bring suffering, making us frustrated and even depressed since we normally don’t understand why this is happening to us. Sounds familiar? Can you already identify that situation that seems to follow you wherever you go?


We live at a time when this opportunity is being recreated at a very intense and impossible to avoid pace. It is merciless, there is no place to hide, and it is making us feel stuck, trapped, and helpless. It is obvious that, for whatever reason, we need to face it now so we can integrate its message and jump over to our next assignment. We need to work on it because it is holding us down and is affecting our happiness and our evolution.


How can we identify our personal big Karma for this lifetime and work on it? We need to use something that goes beyond the study of the mind and how it works, for Karma belongs to a much higher rank, which is the meaning of life. Karma is about the essence, who we are and what we are doing here, and that is a game way beyond our petty minds (even though we can use the mind to understand part of it).


I guess there are different ways of getting to it. I use something called Karmalogy. And I am writing this post today because I have been noticing during my consultations for some months now that most of us could benefit from it. The problem is this big karma oftentimes comes in multiple layers that need to be identified and peeled off one by one until we get to the bottom of it. It does require a good deal of objectivity, patience and experience and, needless to say, it is always easier to see it in others and very difficult to see in ourselves. Once we untangle the plot, then we can start observing how it manifests in our life and take the appropriate measures to master it. Examples of this big karma include suffering from constant abuse (by different people and in different circumstances: physical, verbal, in terms of financial retribution) or constantly associating with the “wrong” people, or lacking support when mostly needed, or never being able to materialize dream projects, or being erroneously judged or blamed for things we haven’t done.


I invite you to try Karmalogy. It does work and it will help you land on the path to stopping these deceptively negative cycles and thrive in life. Karmalogy is done in one hour sessions (live or on Skype) until the person feels confident enough to identify the process and act accordingly. For more information and rates, just click on the Ayurveda section on the bar menu and then on Karmalogy and Rates links on the left side menu.

Darkness is kind but, be aware, it can also be deceiving

Namaste, my fellow tunnel captives!


As commented last week, darkness is kind but ONLY if we are able to understand it and keep in mind its true purpose. That means not allowing ourselves to become so entrapped in the shadows that we lose sight of our real life purpose and end up focusing only on our lower, selfish desires. This may represent quite a challenge as our lower nature likes to make us believe that our integrity is in danger. And in that spell of ignorance, we will do WHATEVER it takes to protect it, no matter how much damage we spread around ourselves. And the ripples from this negative wave will impact other tunnel captives, who subsequently will try to take advantage or bring others down in order to alleviate their own suffering.


I would like to reiterate that this is “the” time to focus on our hidden lessons, our surrendering to the present, our rising beyond our likes and dislikes (thank you Dida!), no matter how much unfair treatment we are presently receiving. Remember, it is never personal. Understand others may be in a similar or even more challenging position than you are. Have compassion, it is not so bad, at least you are not being vexed and crucified, are you?  Remember the darker it gets (and it can get really, really dark), the closer we are to the light and the greater the chances to learn the purpose of this situation.


This may not be the best time to help others, compassion will suffice, but, at least try to chip into the general cause by stopping the negative rippling effect and trusting those higher forces that will lead us out of the tunnel when the lesson is understood. There is no need to steal a little energy from other beings; life energy is plentiful if we just seek it with an open heart.


Smile, trust, and it will be given!

Do not weep mate, for darkness is kind

It is a familiar feeling, as familiar as unwanted. We have been here before, in this tunnel, many times. It is dark and cold and lonely. We have been in this tunnel many times before but it is different this time. Previous tunnels seemed shorter or maybe lighter; it was dark in there but we could still distinguish a faint light at the end of it: the light of hope, the end of pain, the end of suffering. At those times, we could feel the pressure but soon enough the shadows would lift up or there would be a helping hand to lead the way out of the uncertain situation.


It is different this time around: the tunnel is darker than ever before and we seem to have been stuck here for weeks, even for months for some. No light behind us, no way back; no light in front of us, nowhere to go. After patience, meditation, introspection, counseling, relaxation and countless similar techniques brought in to try not to succumb into despair, our nervous system is about to collapse. Sadness, despair, depression, and, of course, fear start crawling all over us. Fears as diverse as our personalities and stories: Fear of not being good enough, gentle enough, beautiful enough, charming enough, prosperous enough, (fill in the blank) enough. Why me?, why now?, what for?


Sleepless nights convince us of the futility of any further action. Now it is the turn of anxiety, resentment, and anger mixed with spells of overwhelming despair. And the darkness remains stout, thick, unflinching, not allowing a sliver of light to pierce through.  What is there to do?


The answer is easy albeit hard to digest for most of us:

  • “Surrender”, says the inner voice that knows everything
  • “Surrender to what?”, we yell back
  • “Surrender to the present”, the voice quietly reaffirms


As strange as it may seem, fighting our reality simply makes things worse as, in the process, we attract negative thoughts about not accepting our present situation. We are basically telling the universe we don’t agree with life, and by not agreeing with life, we switch ourselves immediately into negative mode, a place devoid of clarity and understanding. For, are we more intelligent than life itself? Every situation brings evolution, no matter how tough it is. Fighting it off will not only prove us incapable of solving the problem but will toss us into a spiraling of negativity and absolute lack of clarity to understand what is going on. Furthermore, trying to get out of it will have the same effect as that means we are still not accepting our present.


The tunnel is not about understanding it, or voicing its unfairness, or finding and exit door as soon as possible. It is not about seeking help, resorting to techniques, or pondering the meaning of life during endless nights. For, in all these situations, we are still denying our present reality.


The tunnel is about accepting our situation as it is, no matter how desperate or unfair. Admit it, there is simply nowhere to go so you’d better calm down and look at it in the eye. Our master move is simply to accept it, surrender to it, observe it quietly, with the trust that it is just another situation and that it will go away unannounced, exactly as it came in. That does not mean to give up but rather to face it with a resolute mind. Accept the darkness, the pain, the despair, the hopelessness. It is only in that empty mind and heart that we gather the clarity to understand the meaning of this tunnel and its teachings for the future. Then things will begin to make sense even if we can’t still see the light at the end of it. But wait, don’t rush. Walk slowly and live the whole experience so you don’t have to do it again.


Easier said than done? Maybe this is a good time to explore the realm of Mindfulness.