Random Reflections and Spiritual Thoughts
Have you found your why, your calling, your mission, the vision for the future that pulls you out of bed every morning excited to start the day? There is no better feeling than the clarity that comes with living true to your purpose.
Here is an eclectic collection of the transformational wisdom, inspirational stories and reflective blog from Shanti Gowans, that relate purpose and meditation to life. It will give you immense clarity about where you are now on the scale of evolution in consciousness, and cause you to question many fundamental truths about life that may be preventing you from fully expressing universal greatness.
Sacred truths and authentic spiritual rituals and practices are fading rapidly from our world. The contemporary explosion of interest in spirituality and religion has been exploited and commercialised in this era of individualism and rendered superficial with an emphasis on immediate rewards. The truly spiritual and sacred practices have atrophied to the point of being almost extinguished… unless we act. Here is an invitation to take your mission seriously and become the custodian of the future, to re-discover and practice profoundly sacred rituals that will revive and renew sacred-spiritual wisdom.Shanti Gowans presents enlightening, timeless, wisdom for the spiritual aspirant. Shanti’s advocacy on self-actualisation, self-reliance, and non-denominational spirituality will expand your own feeling-contemplation, even as they might challenge you. Read them in order, or at random. These messages are timeless and will reach you when you need them most. As you read, think about which of these messages were you meant to encounter today.
When it comes to doing good things for others,
stop at nothing.
The good you do is not lost,
even though you may forget it.
Bring all the great blessings of your life
into the present,
in your thoughts today…
Some people add so much beauty
to being human.
Wake each morning
with deep gratitude
for empty moments given to dreams,
and for the throughtful people
who help those dreams come true.
And to those people who have the gift of finding joy
here, there and everywhere,
and leaving it behind when they go.
Our roles as mentors and teachers have changed.
It isn’t always appropriate
to advise on the norms and perspectives of the past,
such as teaching women how to be docile,
and every day how to please their man.
But think about the wisdom we have gleaned from being wrong.
We have learnt to establish independence
and empower everyone
to find balance
to live a truly satisfying life
in everyday spirituality.
When you face your fear,
you transform it.
Don’t try to solve the world’s problems.
Don’t try to figure out what you are going to do
about the challenges in your life.
Let go of judgements.
Stay in the now.
Be with the moment.
Open your awareness
to a borderless vastness of well-being.
Spend time in the giving, living silence.
Give yourself the gift of real peace.
The path to success is not always straight.
Sometimes, whether willing or not,
you have to go sideways, even backwards,
to reach your goal.
means having the strength to accept
that you will make mistakes sometimes,
and that setbacks
can be part of the journey to success.
Mistakes and failures can open doors
to new opportunities.
What thoughts are to the mind,
feelings are to your body.
Your body thinks in feelings.
Breathing slowly and calmly
International Women’s Day…
It’s always international women’s day with us.
In our organisation, women are empowered 24/7.
Life is exciting for itself alone.
Loving what hurts
is the hardest thing you will ever have to do.
It requires you to confront your own ego,
to expand your sense of fairness, comfort and safety,
to forgive yourself out of your temporary ideas of
You vs. Me, Us vs. Them, He vs. She,
to let go of expectation and regrets,
to choose being kind over being right.
From this place, empty of you and others,
to even exist at all
is an act of love and gratitude in itself.
Love, in its purest form,
is unconditional by default.
The hardest thing that love will ever ask of you
it to understand, accept and even love
a person, issue, set of circumstances,
or even your own darkness or shadow
that has caused you
pain, hurt or distress.
Loving an enemy
is the most redeeming, alchemical power of love.
It goes so far and so deep
that you cannot truly experience love
at its fullest,
unless you let it touch, change
and transform you in this way.
is only one single magic,
a single power,
a single salvation.
It is called loving.
Time and death cannot wear it away.
Open your eyes.
You cannot be what you cannot see.
Correlation does not prove causation.
Foundational practices are those which nurture our being
so as to develop in us the necessary spiritual force
and neurological entrainment for success
in higher practices.
These are not confined to the meditation seat,
but span the entirety of our daily lives.
Live a life of self-love, peace and empowerment.
Transform the way you think about yourself,
and your life experiences
and step into the powerful, extraordinary, lovable person
Attraction is passive.
Attention is active.
Words are containers for power,
and we need to decide what kind of power
we want our words to carry.
Words can increase or decrease our level of joy,
affect the outcome of our search
and have a positive or negative effect on our future.
Words are like a movie screen
that reveals what we have been thinking
and the attitudes we carry.
You can immediately take control
of your mental, emotional and physical states
by using words that nourish and empower.
Speak love and faith, not fear.
Our world is going through rapid change.
As individual consciousness expands,
it shapes creativity, collaboration,
competence and compassion.
This, in turn, leads to
greater potential, capacities,
resonance and harmony
and in the relations within and among
groups and societies.
Workplace, employee engagement
and marketplace advantage also soar.
The human soul on fire
is capable of anything.
Follow your gut.
Rekindle your inner flame.
Cease and desist thinking
that you are not good enough.
Embrace your heart.
Love yourself more.
You can manifest miracles.
You cannot control everything.
Sometimes you just need to relax
and have faith that things will work out.
Do not underestimate the importance of relaxation.
Let go a little
and just let life happen.
The people that come into and out of our lives
contribute specific notes.
Some help us hear when there is a passage of music
that we’re playing in our heads for too long,
or one that doesn’t harmonise with the other sections.
The friction of tumbling against another human being,
filled with their own stories of love and loss
helps us uncover the most truth about who we are,
who we want to be, what we desire, what we love.
Each random passerby
lives a life as vivid and complex as our own,
populated with their own ambitions, friends, routines, worries
and inherited craziness,
an epic story that continues invisibly around us,
a web sprawling here, there and everywhere,
with elaborate passageways to thousands of other lives
that we never knew existed,
in which we might appear only once,
as an extra in the background,
as a blur of traffic passing on the street,
in a lighted window in the dark…
Even though we might spend a life
devoted to understanding ourselves better,
it’s when we interact with others
that we realise that
People are our greatest teachers.
To really improve your life and the world
starts by showing up
and not checking out.
Show up for yourself,
your family, your job, your community,
and be present.
The great aim of education
is not to amass vast quantities of facts.
It is to take what we know
and use it to shape our lives
and impact the lives of others.
What is one idea that you would like to put into action,
starting right now?
We hang onto our anger, our hurt, our pain, our wounds
becasue we believe that if we hold on long enough,
somehow we will change the past.
However pain does not live in the past,
it invites itself into the present,
constricting our thoughts and behaviour
and we neglect what we can change.
When we lose our preoccupation with our pain story
we develop confidence and optimism
to let ourselves walk into the next phase of our life.
Put aside judgement.
Anger is like a hot coal
that burns the person holding it.
Irrespective of the ‘story’
everyone is equal to their life.
We all come to this realisation
from a place of clarity,
from which we honour and respect
We can offer one another what is truly helpful:
How is your heart today?
Does love and devotion.
engender a bond
Those tasks that have to be done,
that you really don’t want to do
won’t just disappear.
The longer you wait to begin,
the more they feel like thorns in your side,
consuming your joy.
Save yourself time, and pain
and do ‘the worst’ first.
Sometimes they are the ‘worst’
because you are looking at them in their entirety.
Breaking large tasks into smaller pieces
makes the smaller crumbs easier to scoop up and finish.
Once they are off your list
you will be better able to focus on
the remainder of what else you need to do
and be a lot less stressed.
You are a masterpiece in the making
an ever-changing journey
of endings and beginnings.
Every phase in this work of art, love and life
that you are here to create
has an initial period of creative incubation,
a space of possibility between heartbeats,
a hopeful pause
between an expired version of you
and the renewal that awaits.
We all show up in the world uniquely,
but we are not separate.
Choosing acts of love
is how we nourish each other and ourselves.
Smiling to a person,
patting a dog,
paying someone a genuine compliment,
cooking a nourishing meal for a friend
there are so many ways we express love in the world.
These also happen to be the foundation
upon which you express love to yourself.
When you make a decision
you often burn a bridge.
This can be scary,
because you cut off options…
but so can standing still.
It can also be liberating,
because you choose direction.
We live in a noisy world,
with people telling us what to do
and how to live.
But the fact is, nobody knows.
You are the ultimate authority
of your inner and outer world
Your soul speaks to you daily.
Trust yourself to
Grow with soul.
Do not take anything personally.
You can be a ripe, delicious, juiciest mango in the world,
and there’s still going to be somebody
who hates mangoes.
Not everyone will like your art.
Not everyone will read your book.
Not everyone will want to be coached by you.
Not everyone will fall in love with you.
None of that changes your inherent worth
as a lovely fruit of a human being.
Another person’s opinion of you, or your work
does not change who you are at your core.
The only opinion that really matters is your own.
Don’t be afraid to give your love away.
Love is not meant to be hoarded.
Love doesn’t run out or get all used up.
We never protect ourselves, or make life better
by holding tightly to our love.
Loosen your grip.
Put your technology away.
Drop your judgement,
and allow your heart to get involved.
It wants to choose the thrill, the vulnerability, the self-abandonment.
Every time we choose to give love away,
our capacity for it grows exponentially.
Don’t close your heart off to being tender,
or even to loving someone who doesn’t love you.
Intentionally experience empathy.
Feel sad when you see people hurting.
Laugh, even when you’re supposed to be quiet.
Ask yourself the hard questions and listen for the answers.
Choose to know love deeply.
Love wants to change you,
to strip away bitterness, judgement and prejudice
and exchange them for understanding, compassion and joy.
It wants to tear down the walls of insecurity, hurt and fear
and morph us into a creation
where love begets love.
Just close your eyes…
or keep them open
and breathe the moments in…
slowly and deliberately.
Don’t hold love back.
When you no longer want to lie to yourself,
you will discover that your story
is not sweet, harmonious or invented.
It tastes of the folly, bewilderment, madness and dream
that arises out of a deeper story contained within it.
Its themes underlie your most significant moments,
and the burning truths between your lines.
Your life is the greatest story
your soul will ever tell.
It is the background narrative
to everything you will experience in this lifetime.
Walking meditation teaches that
each major life creation
is a series of small, committed actions.
You just get up
and take one step after another,
until your path…your journey…your life…your world
You don’t have to know how your story ends.
You don’t even have to know how it will come to life…
All you need to know is that
you are worthy,
and ready enough to create it.
It’s time to claim your freedom
and create yourself anew
without the tales that dismiss your soul
and keep you small, or hurt, or fearful.
Surround yourself with people who
believe in your dreams,
encourage your ideas,
support your ambitions
and bring out the best from within you.
We can’t regret the things that are out of our control,
our mistakes, our weaknesses or imperfections,
or our raw and messy beautiful humanity.
We do regret the chances not taken,
the potential not used,
the talents not developed,
the love not attempted,
our creativity unexpressed,
the untold stories of aliveness
burning in our hearts.
But can we regret falling
if it comes as a result of flying?
Get over what you have lost
in the fires of your life.
Use all the ashes
to create your masterpiece.
Chasing what we think we want,
many days are spent in distress and anxiety.
Yet when we rest in our own space of patience,
what we need flows to us, without pain.
From this we can understand that
what we want also wants us,
is looking for us, and attracting us.
The universe has selected you specifically
to bring the great work of your life into the world.
What would your life be like
if you could forgive everyone,
all the time,
even future transgressions?
Forgiving is a powerful force for self-liberation.
And while sometimes remembering
is what keeps us from repeating past mistakes,
we can still forgive while remembering.
Forgiveness is the single, most empowering action
if you truly want to eliminate stress and pain.
The gratitude that emerges as a result
can truly transform your life.
If you live with the belief
that you need to pile up money
to be safe and secure,
you can earn millions of dollars
and still be insecure and unhappy.
Are money problems
really thinking problems?
By applying the principles of alignment and flow,
you begin to realise that you already have all the security
you wanted money to give you in the first place.
You also notice that it is a lot easier to make money from this position.
A clear mind is in the flow
of creating what it wants and needs,
Success is a concept – an illusion.
Without a “story” we are always successful,
wherever we are.
There is great happiness in knowing one’s direction.
Even if you have not started along the road,
simply knowing which road to follow in life
is great elation.
When there is confusion in anything
there is frustration…
and then the spread of even more confusion in the mind.
Once confusion is cleared up
it provides the inner platform
to be creative in how to apply what you know.
And this is when things become fun and exciting…
even an adventure in how far you can take things.
You get new wings to creatively direct your life.
Have unwavering trust in your own unconscious.
Remain calm, serene,
and in command of yourself,
so that you can explore
the adventure and privilege of being you.
When we race through our lives,
living lives of habituation,
unaware of our daily choices and responses,
we live mindlessly.
We become like zombies
and lose consciousness of the preciousness of life.
Mindfulness and Heartfulness
helps to bring life back into balance
without sacrificing success
in an increasingly demanding world.
Healing doesn’t mean
that the damage never existed.
Healing is when the damage
no longer controls our lives.
It allows us to come out of our past
and into the present
to celebrate life.
Knowing that some broken pieces of you
will never be the same again
you don’t let that stop you from
believing again, after losing all hope,
starting over, after hitting rock bottom,
and loving again with all of your being.
This is the value in healing
Striving for perfection
can sometimes make you feel
accomplished, and in control.
The problem is that the drive to be perfect
often weighs down your health,
peace of mind and relationships.
It places a great strain on your life.
is about progress
A Zen master taught his students about focus, using a target board.
One day, he told his students that he wanted to demonstrate
something connected with the technique of shooting an arrow.
He got them to cover his eyes before shooting his arrow.
He missed the target.
He wanted his students to know this:
If you want to be successful in life, don’t forget the target.
You have to keep an eye on the target,
otherwise you may miss favourable opportunities in life.
Perception, thoughts, feelings and emotions
will come and go.
What remains constant
Wisdom is an ideal state of
intellectual and ethical excellence
which can be achieved by human beings
through entirely human means.
Choicest blessing that you have the strength
to face the challenges of life with confidence
and the wisdom to chose your battles carefully.
Success isn’t one big life-changing moment.
It’s a path, a journey, a habit,
and a few simple disciplines, practised every day.
Set your goals. Create a plan.
Train yourself to take action again and again.
Correct the course along the way where necessary.
Face your fears and continue to press on.
Celebrate your progress, however small.
Be grateful for all you have right now
and have already achieved.
Choicest blessing that you have the strength
to face the challenges of life with confidence
and the wisdom to chose your battles carefully.
What are your disciplines of success?
Paramahansa Ramakrishna reminded us
that you can’t change the direction of the wind,
but you can adjust your sails to reach your destination.
The pessimist complains about the wind.
The optimist expects it to change.
The realist adjusts the sails.
Perception binds us to the world
whereas mindfulness liberates us
from the tendency to get attached to things.
As meditation becomes established
into the states of absorption,
calmness and insight arise.
To withdraw the mind
from automatic responses
is training the mind.
This leads to a perfect state
of equanimity and awareness.
True education fosters human values.
Wisdom is an ideal state of intellectual and ethical perfection
which can be achieved by human beings,
through purely human means.
A young couple moved into a new neighbourhood. The next morning at the breakfast table the young woman sees her neighbour hanging the wash outside. “That laundry is not very clean”, she said. “She doesn’t know how to wash, perhaps she should use different laundry soap”. Her husband looked on, but remained silent. Every time her neighbour would hang her wash to dry, the young woman would make similar comments. About a month later, the woman was surprised to see a nice clean wash on the neighbour’s line and said to her husband, “Look, she has learned how to wash cleanly. I wonder who taught her to do that”. The husband quietly said, “I got up early this morning and cleaned the windows!”
What is seen is not what is.
Through the practice of tranquillity on Shanti Yoga
you will come to understand and accept
the principle of impermanence
and see how you erroneously view things as permanent
through the application of the senses
Life consists of moments
that appear and disappear
This is the truth of impermanence.
Yet we want to believe in the continuity of our lives,
so that we can say, “Yes, I exist!”
We try to escape the cruel fact
that impermanence constantly cuts off our lives.
Unconsciously our minds decorate time
with many ornaments
in order to make our lives more secure and meaningful.
We develop remarkable civilisations
of culture, politics, beauty and pleasure.
We create intellectual disciplines,
such as history, economics, science, philosophy or psychology
and then we believe that they make life meaningful.
Perhaps we believe that a spiritual life can help us find meaning.
So we create ideas such as
God, Buddha, universal energy, the last judgement, paradise after death,
theology, mythology or morality and ethics,
and then we try to depend on them to make us feel that life is worth living.
All beings in the universe
appear and disappear
in a moment.
expresses the functioning of moment,
or the appearance and disappearance of all beings
as a moment.
You already exist within the domain of impermanence,
together with everyone and everything in the cosmic universe.
To live a life of peace and harmony,
first we have to see in a proper way.
Then we have to think in a proper way.
To see in a proper way
is to see the true nature of time and things.
Nothing is permanent.
as you really are,
with joyful, open eyes.
Thinking in a proper way
is not to understand your life
through your intellect.
It is to contemplate deeply
how to live every day
based on wisdom.
Then we can liberate ourselves
through the activities
of speech, conduct, livelihood, effort,
having a calm mind based on meditation,
and concentrating the human life force.
Everything in modern life is moving quickly
Finding it hard to keep up with the dizzy tempo
and the bewildering, quick changes of time
doesn’t feel good.
We feel uncomfortable, upset or sad
and want to escape.
So we cover our eyes,
turn our mind away from our dissatisfaction
and live lives based on having pleasure.
Yet something is missing.
The exploration of suffering
and how to be free from dissatisfaction and suffering
is a big topic in Buddhism,
and the subject of the historical Buddha’s first teaching.
In the Four Noble Truths,
Buddha explained the nature of suffering
the cause of suffering and the end of suffering,
and then taught a way to be free from suffering
called the Eightfold Noble Path.
Reality is beautiful.
The scale of our lives
is larger than we can imagine.
We can experience this when we
grow love that is stronger
than anger or fear.
It’s not your story that keep you trapped,
it’s not telling it… i.e. accepting it,
It is so much harder
to carry the burden of pain, shame, and guilt
than it is to set it all free.
When we live in a culture of emotional repression,
judgement, fear, bullying, prejudice, discrimination
and a lack of imagination and courage
stop us from living differently and doing better.
When we get down on ourselves,
we think that art, creativity, authenticiy, freedom and healing
are limited to a chosen few.
The dreadful “stuckness” and hopelessness
we sometimes experience in life
comes from the habits of
comparing, competing, criticising,
and from waiting and denying
Sharing parts of yourself that appear to be taboo,
unconventional, rebellious, off the wall, or intimate…
sharing your mistakes, failures
and experiences of trauma and emotional pain
lights a tranformative fire in the dark
and invites an aching world to connect
with the counsel of our hearts.
so that we feel, reveal and heal.
We can grow beyond
the woundedness, shame and self-limiting beliefs,
and live the possibility for what has felt impossible for so long.
With both collapse and utopia looming in consciousness,
the urgent message about what time it is on the planet,
and for us,
is to evolve or die.
Ordinary people such as you and me
are the heroes that are being called for
in this challenging time.
Our deep, inner work is crucial
for catalising the whole-system-change needed,
and it’s a moral imperative that we stay positively oriented
and gounded in trust and gratitude.
Changes that suddenly shift our world,
or changes that we initiate
present their challenges in all our lives.
Everywhere you look,
you perceive the challenges of life.
What can keep us balanced
and even joyful
amidst the threats of disaster and
the myriad challenges that face us
causing us to lose hope
and become overcome by fear?
Hold onto the knowledge and faith
in the loving benevolence of the universe,
which is consistently organising itself
for your continued growth.
Look for the gift
and the learning it represents immediately,
instead of waiting 20 years
to realise that the calamity that befell you
was necessary for your next step
in your evolution.
in the creation of a world
of pure light and love.
Cultivating this perspective
enables you to navigate the difficult times in which we live
with joy, love and confidence.
Much of our illness in society is self induced.
Our habits, including our habits of mind,
are literally killing us.
We say we want to change,
but more often than not
we don;t change our unbeneficial habits.
Put your health first in 2019.
Think in terms
of the day’s resolutions,
not the year’s.
Beneficial habits established today,
and this month
pave the way for a healthy year.
Let’s work together
on a healthy, happy 2019.
Air is the breath of life,
water the drink
and earth the food of life.
The green earth is the meadow we graze in,
the ground we are shaped from,
the daily bread that keeps body and soul together.
and nature will preserve us.
We are homo sapiens.
Born of the earth,
made from the soil,
with the breath of all green things
kindled by the divine fire within us.
Protected by our kin,
as biological beings
we have physical and social needs.
The oceans flow through our veins,
nourishing the sacred matter from the law of love.
For our spiritual needs to be met,
there is no single, right way that works.
The most powerful survival principal of life