One calming word

Written by Suraj Shah, inspired by greatness.

What one word will always fill you with calm?

We live in a busy world, with much to do, many people to see, multiple personalities to deal with and of course money to make.

In itself all that can be the cause of enough stress, but adding on the curve-balls that life throws us (health issues, someone close to us passing away, a fire at home, etc), it can really knock the wind out of us.

We get frazzled, overwhelmed, panicky and desperate.  We struggle to breathe, to think clearly, to talk or perhaps even eat.

During an overwhelmingly turbulent day, just one word is all it may take to bring peace to our minds.

The power of just one word

My friend Sharan (her name means ‘shelter’) recently introduced me to a marvellous word from the Sikh tradition:

“Waheguru” (pronounced waa-hee-gu-ru)

One way to translate it is if we break it down: “Wahe” means wonderful, awe inspiring Divine Force, “Gu” means spiritual darkness and “Ru” is the ray of light, brought to eliminate the darkness.  So “Waheguru” translates to “A Divine Light eliminating spiritual darkness”.

From my perspective, this one word takes on multiple additional meanings which all contribute to calmness:

  • One God (i.e. I see God in everything): God is within me and in everything around me – I have nothing to fear or lose.
  • Wonderful Lord: A deep appreciation for the qualities and virtues of God.  It is an affirmation of sorts, like reciting “Amen!”  This genuine appreciation of virtues would help to cultivate these same qualities within me.
  • Surrendering thoughts, words and actions to Guru: The fortunate position that this moment presents me with is all down to the compassion of a great being.  So let me bow to his greatness, let go of my negative emotions, and appropriately respond to the situation I’m in.

“Waheguru” is a word that my friend recites daily, in the morning and the evening, commuting to work and back home, and any other opportunity that she gets.  Her grandma even uses it as a greeting towards other people.  Many others in her community do the same.  You may consider it a relaxing soothing meditation mantra (YouTube link).

This one word “Waheguru” could set you up for the day, give you bouts of strength and equanimity throughout the day, helps you reintegrate with family life after work, and then helps leave all the problems of the day behind as you gently drift off to sleep.  How wonderful indeed!

There are numerous phrases from other faiths, religions and traditions that bring about a similar sense of balance and peace.

What is your one word or phrase that consistently brings an immediate calm to any turbulent day?

On Google+, share your one calming word as well as your own thoughts on the above.

Surrender yourself to a different high

Written by Suraj Shah.

You’ll see the sky is clear, you’ll find you’re free from fear,
The peace you feel is real, and your life is again filled with zeal.

When you’re struggling in life, facing so much pain and strife,
When you’re filled with despair, feeling that life is beyond repair,
Let me show you a way to cope, so you need not resort to dope,
Simply look up to the sky, surrendering yourself to a different high.

You’ll see clouds glowing bright, but holding back the daylight,
You’ll see clouds moving slow, with no real place to go,
You’ll see clouds hide the sun, trying hard to stop the fun,
You’ll see clouds span the sky, mostly low but sometimes high.

You see, we often think we’re stuck, in tonnes of nasty muck,
We may think we’re out of luck, and that no-one gives a ____,
But look up just once more, so we can get right to the core,
The clouds that were once overhead, you’ll see something else instead.

The day’s doom and gloom, that once made you run to your room,
Has completely cleared away, to brighten up your precious day.
You’ll see the sky is clear, you’ll find you’re free from fear,
The peace you feel is real, and your life is again filled with zeal.

Then when you look back at me, I’ll ask “what did you see?”
You’ll say “there lies the key, to overcome life’s misery.”
What was once there is now no more, so no need to still feel sore,
Troubles in life come and go, that’s really all you need to know.

(Photo courtesy of Newsbie Pix)

Tame the rioter within

Written by Suraj Shah.

I believe London is ready to tame the rioter within.

London’s blazin’, London’s streets gone crazy,
There’s only madness and mayhem about.
Why do these fierce Londoners riot and loot,
What makes them scream and shout?

It turns out that London merely reflects you and I,
We must go deep within to discover the true cause.
When we find the reason that London’s been looted,
Bet you half-a-penny it’ll be worth a grand applause.

What is it that we’re looking for, in our day to day,
What is it that we’re striving for and why?
It’s time now for that moment of truth to reveal itself,
Now ask yourself: “Are we living a smacking big lie?”

Put yourself for a moment in the rioter’s shoes,
Why did they trash, smash, loot and steal?
Damaging and claiming what was not theirs,
Thinking that this will bring them to an even keel.

What was the cause of their anger, the root of their greed,
Rising of their ego, and dodging what is true?
Had they simply forgotten who they are at their core?
Perhaps they are not so different from me and you.

You see, we all have a rioter, buried deep inside,
Bringing about mass mayhem yet trying to hide,
Causing so much friction in our day to day lives,
Many ups and downs, like the rise and fall of the tide.

Not content with what we have, so we go out to get more,
Things don’t go our way, so we shout and we cause hurt,
Desperately wanting to be seen, screaming out “I am here!”,
Trying to dodge the truth, so we cover each other with dirt.

It’s time to claim back the power from the rioter within,
Look directly in the eye and say “I ain’t doin’ this no more.”
Living the simple path of friendship, joy, care and calm,
From this moment forward I’m only working from my core.

Can we do it, I ask, can we transform our foundation?
Can we be better, act better and shed our old skin?
I know we can be calmer, certainly have more care,
I believe London is ready to tame the rioter within.