Ajay A Kalra

Blog Ajay Kalra March 6, 2022
  • How To Act Without Desire?
    All our actions stem from desire. Even the desire to be desireless is a desire. It is almost impossible to practice Krishna’s advice to Arjuna in the Bhagavad Gita, ‘nishkama karma’, desireless action.“The cause for human suffering is desire.” says BuddhaYet, desire and action is fused together.Is it possible to...
  • Joy Of Missing Out
    Sitting here in a mountain village in Dharamshala, I wonder what must be happening back in Mumbai, the city I have lived most of my life. People rushing to offices, trains running one after the other, street vendors shouting to sell their wares, corporate executives grabbing a quick bite between...
  • How To Deal With People We Don’t Like?
    There was a time when I used to try to like everybody.If someone made me uncomfortable and I disliked that person, I would feel equally uncomfortable for not liking that person. I had this ideal “I must like and love all.” Perhaps my interest in spirituality had something to do...
  • What Does A Thought Do?
    We spend our entire life thinking. What to do? What not to do? What to say? What not to say? Figuring ourselves and our life with thoughts. But have we ever thought about thought?What is a thought? Where does it come from? What does it do? What is it made...
  • The Effort To Be Effortless
    “Let Go”“Be Natural”“Do Nothing”“Be As You Are”“Be Spontaneous”These dictums are the essence of most spiritual teachings. Deep. Profound. Valid. The only problem is, how does one do it? As soon as you "try" to be natural, it becomes unnatural. When we make an attempt to be spontaneous, it becomes rehearsed. And...
  • Do Self-Help Techniques Really Work?
    In my quest for self-discovery I have dabbled with a number of self-help techniques. Psychoanalysis, past life regression, psychodrama, inner child healing, body wisdom, family constellations, landmark forum, process work, group relation conference, interplay, gestalt, emotional freedom technique, cathartic writing, transactional analysis, dream interpretation, narrative therapy. No wonder someone once...
  • What is Success?
    I. ConditioningMost of us have grown up on a diet of achievement, ambition and success. We were rewarded for coming first. Recognised for getting the highest marks. Celebrated for outdoing others. The conditioning ‘our worth is based on the trophy in our hands and what others think of us’ has...
  • The Myth of Reaction Vs Response
    “Don’t react, respond.”Most of us would have heard this. And most of us would have made a mental note, to make a conscious choice whenever we are faced with a difficult situation in the future. But how can we assess whether our behaviour is a reaction or a response?The common...
  • Silence: Language of the Soul
    It's been a while since I have written. My Heart needed Silence. But then Silence cannot be written. It can only be experienced. Or shared through Presence.Being alone, not lonely. Being one, not conflicted. Just being, not doing.We live in a culture that celebrates doing, achieving and becoming. If one...
  • 2021: The Year My Calling Found Me
    “Until you find your core, you will be lost.” said a counsellor to me once. “It is that one thing that you do, and only you can do it, in the way you do.” she continued. I heard her patiently. It made me wonder, what was my core? My unique...
  • Suffering, Surrender & Grace: Part 2
    All suffering stems from our mistaken belief that we are a person. An individual with a past and future. This identity seeks to fulfil itself through ambition, status, power, fame and acquisition. It wants to be loved, respected and wanted. When it gets what it wants, it is satisfied momentarily....
  • Suffering, Surrender & Grace: Part 1
    “I am feeling choked, abandoned, sad and lonely. Uncared, unloved and unvalued. Been crying and finding it difficult to breathe.” read a whatsapp message to me on a Sunday afternoon. “What should I do?” It was from someone I knew. A recent relationship that seemed to have a promising start,...
  • The Art of Relating
    Many years ago I was initiated into spirituality through an Art Of Living program. There I got my first taste of ananda. Sitting still, meditating, chanting, singing devotional songs I was soaked in the Bliss of Being. A mind free from thoughts, desires and fears, reflected the radiance of True Self....
  • The Pursuit Of Love
    We all want to be loved. And love. The longing for warmth, touch and care that only love can provide. When we come across someone who loves us, it feels as though a deep yearning in our soul is fulfilled. From the barren desolate terrain of being by ourself, we...
  • The Head, Heart & Soul Of Decision Making
    “Should I follow my head or heart?” is a common question. We are always looking at ways to make the right decisions. Whether at work or relationships. Whether small day to day decisions — what to eat, what to wear — or big life altering decisions — what to do,...
  • The Virtue Of Love & Freedom
    “Study hard.”“Do not lie.”“Be kind to others.”“Be grateful for what you have.”These are some statements I heard as a child. They were spoken by well-meaning adults trying to make me virtuous. Helping my little self, develop a moral compass of right and wrong.Often I did not know why I must...
  • Miss Panero & The Fountain Pen
    I remember the first time I was given a pen for writing. I was excited. It was a fountain pen and one had to fill ink in it by pulling the small knob attached at the end of the plastic tube. The ink flowed into the tube using the suction...
  • What Makes Us Fall In Love
    What Makes Us Fall In Love…And Remain In Love
    I am not the best person to talk about love. Particularly the romantic sort of love. I have blundered all along when it comes to receiving and giving love. But perhaps for that very reason I am qualified to talk about it. So here we go, 3 insights into what...
  • What is Spirituality
    What is Spirituality, Mindfulness and Mental Health?
    Recently I was part of a panel discussion on Spirituality and Mental Health on the occasion of World Mental Health Day. It was a good discussion. Before the discussion, I was given a list of questions that were likely to be asked. However since we were five panelists and had...
  • What Wo(men) Want
    What Women Want
    “Can you write an article on the male perspective on women? It should be spicy, enjoyable, funny…not serious stuff.”That was the brief that I got for this article from the editor. My first thought was, is it possible to offer a male perspective on women. After all, there are all...
  • Memories of Yesterday
    135 /6 Usha Sadan: Memories of Yesterday
    I am just back from 135 / 6 Usha Sadan. It is the place where I grew up. Where most of my past memories reside. There is no one there now. Bare, empty, freshly painted; the house is in the market looking for its next owner.As I moved around the...
  • What Is Yoga
    What Is Yoga?
    Over the years I have come to be known as a Yoga teacher, even though I do not teach asanas and pranayama. So I thought it would be a good idea to write an article on my understanding of Yoga, what I do and how the two are related to...
  • The Problem Of Being Spiritual
    The Problem Of Being Spiritual
    Imagine you were looking for something.Something of great value. You looked in different places. You spoke to different people. You read many books. Hoping you will find what you are looking for in some place, person or thing.But what if, what you are looking for is You.Then your very act...
  • That Was My Wife
    That Was My Wife
    He was tall, well-built and had a habit of saying “Tension nahi leney ka, araam sey karo!”I was at the taxi stand near Pune Railway station. I needed to reach Mumbai as early as possible. Luckily for me I found a taxi that was already filled with passengers. Only one...
  • Lets Talk About Sex
    Lets Talk About Sex
    When I thought of writing this article, it wasn’t about sex. It was about self-judgment. But when I delved deeper into my motivation for writing it, I realized it was self-judgment of my past sexual behaviour. It also occurred to me that most people shy away from talking about sex....
  • Does God Exist
    Does God Exist?
    Recently someone reached out to me for counselling. He had lost a family member during the Covid wave. It was an untimely death as the person was in her thirties. The entire family had been praying for her recovery. After a prolonged stay at the hospital she died. The family...
  • I Am Not The Body. I Have A Body.
    I Am Not The Body. I Have A Body.
    “I hated myself for not being a few inches taller. It’s difficult for me to accept how guys and their mothers rejected me on the basis of my height during all those matrimonial meets.”“I lived a fairy tale life until for the first time I was called fat. People said...
  • Expressing The Unexpressed
    Expressing The Unexpressed: Stream Of Consciousness Writing
    There are two worlds.The outer world of actions and events. And the inner world of thoughts and feelings. Most of us are focused on how to make our life better by doing something in the outer world. Rarely do we pay attention to our inner world. Even if we do,...
  • 156 Days Of Surrender
    156 Days Of Surrender: Living By Grace
    On 3rd August, 2020 I began the Mindful Living classes. I had no idea what I would be teaching. There was just an intense desire to make a meaningful difference in the lives of others. The only thing I had in mind was the topic for the first month. Know...
  • A Letter Of Gratitude
    A Letter Of Gratitude To Life, My Guru
    Dear Life,Today is Guru Purnima. It is the day when the disciple pays homage to his Guru. Since my Guru is none other than you, I would like to express my gratitude to you on this auspicious occasion.First and foremost I am grateful for giving me life itself. All my...
  • Relating Without Labels
    Relating Without Labels: Why Labels Kill Relationships
    “Look at other brother’s, how much they love their sisters.” said my mother to me, when my relationship with my sister was strained. It made me feel guilty. My inner critic said “You are not a good brother!”. This was not the first time my mother highlighted my inadequacy as...
  • Setting Boundaries
    Setting Boundaries: Reclaiming Our Power In Relationships
    “Be a man and take a stand!”Someone said to me many years back. “If I take a stand everything will be destroyed.” I responded to that person. As I said it, I could feel the cold grip of fear in my heart. Without getting into the details of this story,...
  • Ask & Share
    Ask & Share: The Building Blocks Of Relationship
    “What to do?”One of my biggest confusion has been, what to do when something disturbs me in a relationship. Should I keep quiet and resolve the disturbance on my own? Should I tell the other person what is bothering me? Should I catch a plane to the Himalayas and live in...
  • Doing Nothing
    Doing Nothing: Spring Comes Grass Grows
    Have you ever tried to do nothing?Just existing, without any outcome in mind. A rare individual would say “yes”. Most of us are constantly doing something, with the intent of achieving something. If we are not doing something, we are either depressed or have rich parents willing to indulge our...
  • The Sensation
    The Sensation
    I can feel it right now. A dark hole in the pit of my stomach. An empty void that makes me feel I am Unloved. Unwanted. Unworthy. Alone. That something is terribly wrong with me. This emotion is not new to me. It has accompanied me since childhood. Writing about...
  • God Loves Fun
    God Loves Fun: Divine Hide and Seek
    God was bored one day. There was no one to talk, play or get angry with. She was the only One. As she gazed at her divinely manicured fingernails, she wondered what could she do to have some fun. Suddenly an idea struck her! Her face lit up to match...
  • Our Search For Meaning
    Our Search For Meaning: My Journey From Accountancy To Yoga
    I recently updated my Linkedin profile after a gap of many years. As I was going through my career trajectory of two decades, from my first job as a financial auditor to now, I reflected on what this journey meant for me. As soon as I thought of this, the...
  • Finding Your True Self
    Finding Your True Self: Identity to Awareness
    “I love myself”When you say that, are you one person or are you two? Because it implies two. One is the lover and the other is the loved. So are you “I”, the subject that loves. Or are you “myself”, the object that is loved.The purpose of asking you this...
  • Things Happen
    Why Things Happen The Way They Do?
    Our suffering in life is not because of what happened. It is our inability to accept what happened.We did not expect our loved ones to betray us. We did not expect to be humiliated by people in power. We did not expect to lose our job. We did not expect...
  • Mother
    Mother
    Some years back I attended a creative writing workshop. As an assignment, all the participants were asked to write on “Mother”. This is what I wrote.Happy Mother’s Day! It was sunny that day. Or so I imagine. Perhaps it was raining.What was significant about that day was, that it was the...
  • Four Motivations
    Four Motivations: Why We Do What We Do?
    Pause. Take a moment. Ask yourself “Why am I reading this article?” The purpose of making you do this is not to make you realise that you can make better use of your time elsewhere, but to make you aware of your motivation. We are constantly doing things but rarely...
  • Mental Codes
    Mental Codes: We are what we believe
    “Doing well in life decides my self-worth.”“Live in the present moment.”“Follow your feelings.”“Do not postpone.”These are some of the beliefs that have had a profound impact on my life. Each of these beliefs was operational at different times in my life. Like a software program they influenced my thinking and...
  • Selfishness
    Selfishness: Why it is healthy to acknowledge and express our needs
    “Don’t be selfish!” we would have heard this statement at some point of time in our life. We are taught since a young age to share, be kind and considerate to others. It’s part of our education to live in a society. Sometimes this conditioning to be selfless can prove...
  • Attention
    Attention: The most valuable thing you have
    What is the most valuable thing you have? Is it your wealth? Is it your talent? Is it your relationship? Is it your self-confidence? What is it?I have to come to realize the most valuable thing I have is my attention. Where I put my attention becomes the experience of...
  • Will Power & Surrender
    Will Power & Surrender: Are not different from each other
    There is something that I have been struggling with lately. What is the role of Will Power in spiritual growth? And how does one reconcile it to Surrender?The purpose of spirituality is to transcend our identification with the body and mind. This identification is called the ego. It makes us...
  • Love & Respect
    Love & Respect: Why love cannot last without respect
    We all long for love. But there is another need which is equally strong. Respect. What if someone loved you but did not respect you. Would that be acceptable? Most people would ask why would someone who loves me not respect me? And isn’t love and respect part of each...
  • Swabhava & Swadharma
    Swabhava & Swadharma: Why Self-Knowledge is necessary for Self-Expression
    “Know Thyself” is an ancient Greek maxim. There is nothing more powerful than self-knowledge. Yet there is nothing more lacking in the world. Humans have conquered the moon, deciphered the speed of light and connected the globe with the internet. But ask any person who they are, they will most...
  • Why & What If
    Why & What If
    I had two friends in the past, Why & What If I had two friends in the past One was Why And the other was What If Whenever I experienced pain I would ask Why He would always give me a reasonable reason And sometimes when he couldn’t It was...
  • Inner Authority
    Inner Authority: Why we cannot grow under the protection of others
    All my life I have struggled with authority. Parents, grandparents, teachers, seniors, bosses, self-help teachers, and Gurus. I sought their acceptance and security. And then, after some time I found their authority unfair and oppressive. I have seen this pattern repeat innumerable times. This time I decided to write about...
  • Sentimental Love: Why romantic love does not last…and what does
    Who can forget the feeling when we first fall in love. We feel special. We feel the other person is special. We felt our future together is special. When we think of that special someone our face lights up. We feel cared, understood and wanted. A warmth envelops our heart...
  • Forgiveness: Why I don’t know how to forgive
    I have never understood how to forgive others. Don’t get me wrong. I see the value of forgiveness. I just do not understand how it is done. Let me explain. Just like most human beings, I have been hurt a number of times. Not that I have kept a count but...
  • yin & yang
    Yin & Yang: How to balance your masculine and feminine energies
    My experiences with self-discipline and self-care. We all have feminine and masculine energies in us. It does not matter whether we are male or female. In Chinese philosophy, Yin refers to the female energy and Yang refers to the male energy. Masculine Energy This is the energy of conquest, power,...