Monday, October 18, 2010

Being spiritual Vs. religious

How is spirituality different from religion? How do you differentiate a person who is religious versus spiritual? Why is spirituality important to me?

It gives me inner strength, it allows me to be part of something bigger than me. It quietens my heart and puts the life around me into perspective. It makes me want to look at things which are otherwise unworthy to look at. It makes me want to go on in life. It gives me okay to be depressed, yet not worried about being depressed.

It makes me comfortable being silly. It helps me to lay down the various masks I wear in life. It takes the pressure off of my shoulder to perform, please and impress.

It helps me to be wanting to help others selflessly. It lets me make friends without hidden agendas. It helps me to pay attention to the details, making me more creative and artistic.

It allows me to love sinners with a compassionate heart, makes me more accepting than demanding. It gives me the power to listen, pay attention and show grace to others.

It slows me down.

It makes me want to give up the desire to change the world and develops a new desire in me - to make a difference in at least one person's life. It helps me fight materialism and greed.

It makes my thoughts deep. It accepts the mystical nature human mind. It helps me to see the wonder of God's life in me. It humbles me and allows me to receive forgiveness and extend that forgiveness to others.

It kills self righteousness and the need to be right always, lifting a heavy burden from my shoulder. It embraces freedom and resists bondage fervently.

It gently teaches us to handle our freedom.

It's desire is for Truth. It puts emotions into perspective. It answers the question, "why is there emotions?". It removes the fear to be vulnerable and weak. It knows that strength comes from weakness. It makes us want to be surrendered rather than committed and dedicated.

It deals with the narcissism in me, in an unconscious way.

It endures pain and see suffering from a different angle. It helps me to be peace with those million unanswered questions in my heart. It fills my heart with peace, love and hope.

Saturday, July 31, 2010

Some thoughts on women, and men too.

I think it is in Don Miller’s ‘Blue Like Jazz’ that he talks about how he loved to visit Home Depot.

I remember the first time I went to Home Depot. I was shocked to see the vast selection of different things. I remembered my Uncle telling me that Home Depot has everything we need to build a home. This was when I first came to this country. Since that day I was intrigued by Home Depot in the back of my mind but I never visited that place because there was no need to do so. I was living in an apartment and every time a light bulb burns out I would call their maintenance phone number. So, why would I go to Home Depot? After few more years, once I wanted to buy a tool and I went to Home Depot which was located less than 1/2 mile away from my apartment.

I entered this huge store and looked around with amazement. I felt like I was looking for a coin lost in an ocean. I went to the first aisle. It was an aisle for screws. "One whole aisle for just screws?" I thought to myself. I looked at the tall shelves on the both sides of the aisle filled with stacks of different types of screws. No, I didn’t become philosophical about American consumerism or anything. I wondered how someone would pick the right screw from this. Are they going to try each one of them to see which one fits? It took me few more years to figure out there is a 'size' for each screw. So if you know the size, you can just go to the box which labeled with that particular size.

But still, if I am missing a screw for something at home, how would I know the size of that screw? Should I measure? If so, how? Well, I still don't know. I don't know the use for 90% things in Home Depot. But I still love visiting Home Depot. I don't know why. I like looking at the various tools and such. When my wife calls me to go shopping with her at Kohls or JC Penny, I always wish if she was calling me to go to Home Depot instead. Or Lowes Or Best Buy. I always get a head ache when I visit stores like JC Penny. I don't like that section for perfumes. I can't stand that intense smell from people trying out different perfumes. I never liked the smell of any lady perfumes. May be it’s not made to impress men like me. I like one men's perfume. It's called 'Obsession'. No, I am not obsessed with it either.

In my office, we have a 4 member team including me. The other three are women. I work closely with them all the time. Each time I go for a meeting or something, I go with women and I come back with women. Sometimes I wonder if I started talking like women. So I remind myself to behave like men and I would change the way I talk and the way I walk. I also thought what others might think seeing me always working with only women. So sometimes when my teammates come to call me to go for a meeting or something, I would act busy so that they would leave and I can walk to the meeting room just by myself.

I deliberately tried to make some men friends just to prove to others that I talk to men too. I would go to some men's cubicles and try to start a conversation. Unfortunately, it usually ends in one or two minutes. I always wondered why. I learned some techniques to start a conversation with men. I would start by saying how crappy iPhone 4 really is and how I hate Steve Jobs arrogance. One day I went to this new guy and was about to break a conversation by saying the antenna problems of iPhone4 and how arrogantly Mr. Jobs said "Do not hold it like that". Then I immediately (luckily) noticed an iPhone on his desk and changed the topic.

I read the 'Science/Technology' section of Google News every day. So that I can keep myself up to date with what is happening in the tech world. Since I know nothing about Sports or beer, tech news is the only thing I can use to converse with men. Oh wait, I know two beer brands - bud light and bud wiser. I have seen those trucks.

With men, I always have to make things up. With women, things are much easier. I talk about how I put my kids to sleep at night, how funny my 4 year old is. And they tell stories about their kids, diet, cooking, vacation plans, movies and then of course office rumors. And I love that. When they share rumors, I try hard to hide my enthusiasm to listen. After all, I am a man. I shouldn't show any interest to listen to lady gossips. The only problem is that they whisper when they share rumors. Unfortunately they don't know that others would listen more attentively when they hear whisper voce. I think I should tell them to say it in a normal voice.

People say women are complicated and hard to understand. Well, I disagree. At least from my experience, men are complicated and are hard to understand. Because most of the time, they say something and mean something else. They act a lot. They act they are bold, all-knowing and all that. I know it because I act all the time. When I go to the car dealer I act like I know everything about cars. I am ego-centric. If I invest my ego into something, I will defend it till my death even if I know that I was wrong. Women have no issue to accept that they made a mistake and they say sorry very easily without any struggle. But for me, to apologize to someone is like eating a spoiled burrito.

Women (mostly) speak their heart out. And with them, I can speak my heart out too. Life is easy. I don't have to keep up with the latest NFL news and all that crap.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

'Commitment' to the Bible

Bible, as we see it today came into existence after the invention of printing press. I checked Wikipedia and the first printing press was assembled by Gutenberg around 1440, which means the book form of the Bible (as we see it today) wasn't widely available for nearly 1500 years since the time of Jesus.

How did people live during that time? They didn't have the 'Message' version and no one 'amplified' it for them. Could it be that they lived from the LIFE of Christ in them? Could it be that they depended on the revelations God gave them through various means?

It's also interesting to see that Jesus or any Apostles never ever put a 'should' on people to 'spend time on the word' every day. None of the first century churches boasted about 'being committed to the Word'.

In the Bible itself, (John chapter 5), this words of Jesus are recorded: "You diligently study the Scriptures because you think that by them you possess eternal life. These are the Scriptures that testify about me, yet you refuse to come to me to have life. "

Pharisees of Jesus's time were 'committed to the Word', but they missed the whole point. There is no LIFE found in Scriptures. Scriptures only point to the one who has LIFE.

And we are to eat from the tree of LIFE, not from the other tree.