Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Creating healthy boundaries

Disclaimer: My travels have given me immense opportunities to do sadhna, visit holy people and places, enjoy various cultures and lifestyles, learn the difficulties of life throughout, learn the diversities of spirituality, keenly observe other seekers on various paths and also observe seekers of my own path, meet many “old” connections, in the process observe and learn my own shortcomings, and most of what I write comes from exposure to people and diversities of spirituality and personal experiences I gain from them.  I try to always write only things that spring out of personal experiences because that is what gives me the authority and freedom of expression with confidence.  Whatever I read, if I wish to experience it, I immediately set out and almost all the time there are experiences related to it.  That makes things more convincing and the expressions set forth out of conviction.  Since every individual’s experiences are different, I keep the personal ones to myself and write more about the general ones that may help someone else.  These are all my personal views, and it is perfectly fine whether agreed to or not. I am not keen on debating differences, but this article is for those who can resonate with it but choosing to imbibe is purely the reader's personal choice. i attribute all my travels and learnings and sharing as my Guru's divine blessings. All gratitude to Him.

The travels to locations where there are saints, sanyasis, seekers, devotees, etc, show up a lot of things.  Of course, we are not to judge upon them, but few things that seekers should be careful of on the path.

If you have a Guru who has given you deeksha, there is no need for another deeksha for spiritual evolvement.  It is okay to learn from all but Guru is always the one who has initiated you. Everything is not spiritually spiritual.  You got to be alert always everywhere, especially when it comes to people clad as Gurus.  You need not introduce yourself and your Guru everywhere to every stranger you meet.  I have witnessed seekers do it, who then get stuck up in conversations with aspirants of other Gurus, striking up debates.  Vulnerable ones proudly introduce themselves as practioners of so-and-so and then get trapped with offers to join their cult or practices or become victims of unwanted competitions or situations. Unknowingly, you may be attempted to be controlled by others too. 


I have seen spiritual people behind the scenes talking bad about other Gurus, condemning, criticizing, blaming, and getting angry if someone opposes what they think.  There are two facets in many areas. Out there, there are people always on the watch for vulnerable devotees or seekers.  Many approach always talking good things, spiritual things, helpful things, but be careful when they start digging into what you do, they want to know you date of birth, they want to know what you do for a living, profession, etc, etc.  When I face similar situations, I act as though I don’t know anything spiritual and allow them to feel superior in all matters. Never picked out my wallet to flaunt my Guru’s photo.  Many times show that I do not have time to wait or insist to continue with something more important to me.  Never gave impressed looks even when they told something great nor been interested to know their practices or ideas.  Not contributed to their talks or other gossips.  Most times, kept a strict silence in any unwanted conversations not defending on any spiritual subjects, no matter how foolish it all seemed to be.  Never shared personal spiritual experiences with anyone nor been amused or sad with their making fun or gossip about other spiritual persons because these expressions only mean your interest in the subject and their views.  Many times walked away from such situations and people where an uncomfortable talk was on any negative aspect of spirituality or any Guru.

It is important to remember that a genuine spiritual person may be interested in knowing about your practice, your Guru, and your experiences, but then that is it; if there are probes further into anything else, it is safer to stop the conversation.  If there are comments or remarks or advices or suggestions or opinions coming from the other end, there is no need to buy them or accept them.  It is then high time to cut off.  It is not required that you share all your experiences with others, even if you are doing it with good intentions.  Reasons are many.  They may be opposed or ridiculed or even some kind of fear or guilt may be instilled into you.  Then, you yourself will start doubting your own genuine experiences and then noone can save you.  Also, it might be attempts to fix traps for you by understanding your weaknesses and loopholes that can be now lured with something to suit your requirements. Genuine people may guide you but then it is important to be non-arrogant from within to discriminate if the feedbacks resonate to the highest truth, if not, just drop things then and there.  The best is a polite bye with a genuine smile. Share things only when you intuitively know where you should. It is 

Creating healthy boundaries are important.  When I started blogging three years back I had a very tough time managing things, couple of times closing it down and deleting facebook accounts.  But then, I was told that praise and insults are part of the game.  True, but then that doesn’t mean you jump into dirt because dirt and clean things are also part of duality.  That is where healthy boundaries helped a lot.  You have all the right to keep your own preferences of your choice, including silence, aloofness, meetings, replies.  Most of the time people get distressed because they fall into unwanted troubles while trying to please everyone.  It is impossible to do that.  Not a single soul has achieved that, not even the greatest Masters and Avatars.  So, why become one?

Seekers of the same guru or religion or practice, does not mean that all have  pure intentions within them.  It is better to be cautious than to go blind over external appearances and actions and behaviors.  I have seen it takes no time for a seeker to not only become a Guru, but to begin collecting disciples too, that too from their own Guru-Bandhus.  It all begins with external divine actions, behaviors, 
Appearances can be deceptive
thoughts, expressions, intelligence, presentations, emotions and their experiences.  You not only create boundaries for others, but also for yourself.  Do not allow yourself to fall flat on other’s experiences or divinity.  Even if someone is genuinely spiritual or evolved, it is not required that you go jump shake hands with them and sit for a conversation or strike a great bonding. No.  In fact, these are the people you should stay even more far because there are all chances of you falling head-over-heals.  I have had many such incidents out of which I speak.  Many have fallen flat for me, until they met me, got involved with me, and then literally fell flat on the nose.  This is because we all have attach glorious imaginations to personalities.  We imagine certain people to be certain way because we are inspired or charmed by them, but that need not be the truth at all.  I have had glorious expectations from many spiritual seekers who were more evolved but none met my expectations because they were all different in their own ways – different from my expectations yet genuine.  So, I learnt that my personal boundaries are not just for others but for myself also.

Moreover, why are discussions needed?  If the need is very genuine then also there must be boundaries.  Boundaries does not mean a blockage of your love or concern for others.  It only means that though you accept all and are involved with all, you have still set good boundaries for yourself.  I have seen many getting fully involved in the name of unconditional love and before they realize they have fallen into conditional love which then may take lifetimes to become unconditional.  More karmic traps.  More attachments and aversions.  This is where Baba’s teaching “Learn to say NO with confidence” came handy because then I would get too worried about hurting someone who was adamant and selfish, arrogantly refusing to respect my boundaries and spaces with all kinds of unwanted means to get me convinced.  Beware of such ones who are controlling. However, there would be no need to solve such issues, if you hadn't got into it itself in the first case.

So many times I was confused, dazzled, hurt by the verbal and emotional attacks that came when I began writing blog, poetry, creating music, sketching and all the stuff I always had a flair to do.  Only later did I realize that what was shot at me were more of arrows dipped in jealously solution to create fear and guilt.  It came from people of darkness who wore the garb of light and that is when I restricted working with boundaries, for myself and for others. This happened because i thought everything spiritual means glorious, pure, and divine and experiences proved that even the spiritual world is not exempt from duality. When you do learn to restrict yourself in the journey and build healthy boundaries, things can get worse, because now you could be labelled as egoistic or selfish or someone who looks down upon others or feel that you feel you are too evolved.  In fact, there is nothing much to bother about this if you know your intentions are pure and that you mean no bad to anyone and that you accept them by understanding why they do what they do. Moreover, I personally do not feel am evolved at all because a fully evolved person has the ability handle anyone in any state, maybe even without any limitations.  
I am certainly not of that stature, I still am learning stuff. We all are, as seekers. While learning, we just take precautions, that is all, to avoid unnecessary pitfalls and distractions. But yet, this all depends on how seriously you want to tread the journey. This helped me in not falling into traps laid by disguised seekers who become Gurus or may try to demean you in any way.  i even recently met people who were trapped under such situations, even much after the Guru's instructions not to fall for anything that glitters. The false prophets cannot be put at fault. There were there before, they are there now and they will continue to be. It is the approacher who is blamed because noone can intrude into you unless you give your permission. When boundaries are not laid properly there are all chances you may unknowingly walk into someone unwanted person’s boundary or unknowingly invite someone unwanted into your boundary.  Once you have a Guru, there is actually no need to get involved with someone else’s spiritual experiences or stories or promises.  These simple boundaries safeguard you.  Mind you, again, these boundaries don’t make you judgmental uncompassionate, but it gives you wider options to send love and light to them without personal involvement.  These are just measures for seekers on the path, who are learning yet on the path, and to avoid unwanted entanglements and unwanted situations.  This saves your energies and does not keep defocussing you all the time with unwanted attention and distractions on the path.  You are able to help more with distances. If people get offended by your boundaries, you cannot be blamed for that, it is simply that they do not respect your privacy and your preferences.  When they do not, there would not arise a need to waste your energies trying to convince or please them. Keep away from all dramas that try to convince you that they have right to interfere into your private space, because  that only calls for more entanglements. 

Refuse to fall into guilt-ridden traps like someone asking you what kind of a seeker you are when you can't give attention to them or their problem.  Their problem becomes your problem only when you feel you are the doer. Point them to the doer - the Divine, the Guru. Guide them, if needed, but refrain doing someone else's work yourself.  If a cunning child comes running to you to do their homework, you have two options. Either you feel pity or emotional or responsible and do the work for the child or you guide on how best to do the homework as per the requirement of the teacher.  If things go beyond your control, you simply direct them to their teacher than become the teacher yourself :) In that case, schools and teachers (Gurus and ashrams) wouldn't have come up, anyone could teach anything, but it's not so.  Do not be over concerned if anyone you try to help do not want it your way but want it their way.  You can only take the horse to the well but not make it drink water. You do not hold responsibility for other's journey unless you have taken up the responsibility. If you take up, then it surely does become your responsibility, both in terms of dealing with the actions and the consequences - the karma. So there is nothing to feel sad about or guilty about if you are not able to help someone who want it their way. I fail to understand how can someone who has not understood the Guru's teaching itself, understand the disciple's words or actions.  Hence, best is to only guide and point back to the path but rest lies in their own freewill. 

At the same time, respect other's boundaries, their Gurus, their practices, and their ways of life. Never try to convert anyone into your beliefs or practices or your Guru. Following certain paths are not just about superiority and following the best, but it is a serious matter in terms of a number of things of every person's life journeys.  If someone comes and asks out of their very own interest it is a different thing, but never show superiority of your Guru or your own practice in competition with others, nor there is anything to be impressed or depressed when other's flaunt superiority in their beliefs.  Know that what they all follow is also right, but it is to the best of their inclinations and life patterns. What they follow is best for them and what you follow is best for you. Taking an additional deeksha or mantra or practice will not speed progress. Learning from all Mahatmas and Saints and improving your life with their teachings is fine, but not required to make another Guru with an initiation. There is no path that is greater or lesser. Greater and lesser results of evolution comes from one's own intensity in following the path.


The path is certainly not easy, but why make it even harder by being careless and trying to impress or please everyone?  Those who try to please others very easily fall into the trap of control-freaks, who know how to control and manipulate you through your weakness.  There is no need to share your weaknesses with anyone, whoever it may be, for this will go against you if they wish to manipulate you or control you.  Keep everything at the Guru’s feet, at the Lord’s feet and follow spiritual practices.  Whatever has to come will come in the time, but before the results come, a lot of hurdles will come.  These are the tests that are often hurled at aspirants at every step.  So, being alert and watchful and observant and learning is very important on this path.  Observant of everything but remarking nothing, only understanding and learning from them. Choose from them which is good for you and discard the rest and move ahead. This is a great way of learning practising detachment to people and outcomes yet loving unconditionally.

Divine Love and Light.

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