Celebrating Our Colors


, , ,

It was about a week or so today that the first color of spring first burst upon us by the fence line in the backyard. The two willows which we had planted when we first moved into our new home a few years have back have grown from a foot high to at least eight feet. Both of them were proudly sporting their full blooms of pink and white flowers that stood in contrast against the still-leafless trees of the forest. At first sight, they looked very much like the light coating of the first snow of a season that paints every branch of the willows with a delicate white. 

In the week since, the March of the blooms has been held back a bit with the weather going back and forth between winter and spring like a kid trying to master their new yo-yo. As a result, the hydrangeas are lying in wait for a consistent warmup before they will set forth their colors. After a couple of initial sightings, the orange breasted blackbirds have also seemingly slowed their migration to the backyard forest from the South. It has been left to the mallard ducks to add color to the local lake with their brilliant blues shining amid the many pairs of nesting geese.

The myriad colors of the season may be delayed, but I am sure that they won’t be denied. Like the Nobel laureate Rabindranath Tagore wrote in his “Song of the Bird”

O Flame of the Forest,
	All your flower-torches are ablaze;
You have kissed our songs red with the passion of your youth.
In the spring breeze the mango-blossoms launch their messages to the unknown
	And the new leaves dream aloud all day.

It is only a matter of time that the ‘flame of the forest’ shall kindle the hearts of the birds and along with them, we shall see that  ‘the flower-torches are ablaze’. The birds’ songs will be ‘kissed red by the passion of spring’, and the ‘leaves shall dream aloud all day.’ Isn’t it wonderful that we can trust the poets of the world to remind us that we can find color in any season if we choose to let poetry into our hearts? What would our lives be like if we allowed ourselves to add more color to our lives through art, prose, theater, dance and so much more that enlivens us?

Spring is as good a time as any to add more color to our lives than we currently may be enjoying. If you need an excuse to dive headlong into more color, perhaps consider the Indian festival of colors – Holi – which falls on the full moon day (March 7/8) this year. Wear some colorful clothes, splash some virtual paint on some screens, write a verse or few of poetry with a theme of your choosing, break out some real crayons or paint brushes, share some sweets with a neighbor and more. In short, do whatever will bring a bit of lightness and playfulness to your heart. That’s what a sense of color can do for our spirit. 

It can make us feel like ‘mango-blossoms (that) launch their messages to the unknown’. Who knows — we may even pause the asking of questions and simply immerse in the colors of spring for a moment. 


P.S. Join us for our weekly gathering and conversation on twitter in #SpiritChat, Sunday March 5 at 9amET. We will share some colors with each other – bring your favorite pieces of poetry, artwork, artists, and more to share. I will bring some questions and treats. Namaste – @AjmaniK

Willow blossoms in early spring

Willow blossoms are the first to arrive with spring colors to the garden…

On Powers of Observation


, , ,

Small though it was, the bridge itself had never actually moved. I thought it had been removed by human hands because it was in relatively poor shape, but the fact was that I had just stopped seeing it. I had assumed that it was gone, and in its place was a relatively small stretch of water which I could just as easily jump move for walk around to get to the other side of the embankment.

All of that changed this morning, after six odd months of getting my shoes wet while navigating the stretch of water. The bridge reappeared in my awareness, where it had always remained, slightly hidden beneath the overgrowth. It hadn’t been touched by human hands, because some of the boards were still missing and others were still broken. A few feet left long, about a foot wide, just enough to support one human’s or deee’s crossing at a time, over an invisible body of water.

My delight at meeting this old friend was instant. It wasn’t that the friend had walked away from me. I had just stopped noticing my friend by thinking that it had disappeared from where I thought it once used to be – over that same patch of water which I was now regularly jumping over or walking around. It was a beautiful reunion today, as I walked through the tall grasses, stepped on the first of the boards gently, and slowly crossed over the few feet that held me as surely they always had in the past.

Once on the other side, I looked back and said thank you for reappearing, for giving me space to explore alternate pathways to the other side. It felt like a reunion with a long lost friend who I had stopped observing because I was too busy or distracted, or because I made the assumption that they did not want to be seen by me any more. The power of observation works in many different ways, doesn’t it?

Have you have ever experienced the sense that you have been observing certain things differently within you on your walk of life? Which observations tend to come from wisdom, and which ones come from assumptions? How has the power of observation affected your relationships with others?


As I was leaving for home, the Sun started emerging from behind the clouds above the tree line in the distance and I realized that like the bridge, the divine rarely move away from us – it is we who shift our heart’s focus of observation. The good news is that it remains within our powers to shift our focus back to divine awareness, whenever we so choose to observe it again.

P.S. Join us for our weekly gathering and conversation, Sunday Feb 26 at 9amET / 2pmGMT on twitter in #SpiritChat. We will discuss our powers of observation among friends who are with us in our journeys. Namaste – AjmaniK

The Power of Acceptance


, , , ,

I am sitting in the downstairs window, bathing in brilliant morning light on a beautiful mid-February day. The two puppies are on the bench beside me, watching me write this as I pause to take a sip of my tea, wondering why their morning ‘cookies’ haven’t showed up yet. Earlier, I had been sitting in the upstairs window that overlooks the water, marveling at the thin sheet of ice still covering part of the channel that feeds the rest of the lake. I could hear the call of a goose through the closed window as he was probably laying claim to his nesting space for the season.

The conversation this morning, from the moment I woke up, started with the topic of ‘resistance’ and gradually shifted to ‘acceptance’ and then to ‘manifestation.’ When resistance came up, the engineer in was immediately drawn to the electrical analogy of voltage, current and power. As the conversation proceeded, I was reminded that it is the ‘night of Shiva’ – Shivaratri – a celebration of the power of manifestation of the One who is considered the greatest practitioner of Yoga in Hindu tradition. The belief is that Shiva’s ‘masculine’ power remains latent until and unless it is enabled and activated by Shakti, the divine ‘feminine.’ This activation happens on Shivaratri – the ‘ratri’ or night of Shiva. But I digress.

How is such activation of potential made possible in Nature? Using the electrical analogy, for a given amount t of voltage or unmanifesed potential, the lower the inner resistance, the greater the flow of current, or manifested potential. Manifestation ia inversely proportional to resistance. In spiritual terms, when the ‘Shiva’ within us lowers our resistance by accepting that the activation energy of Shakti is necessary to manifest our potential, the divine current flows naturally. Without acceptance, which is a lowering of resistance, our potential is bound and remains in a static, dormant, partly or fully frozen state, for all of time.

What may happen within us when we decrease our level of undue resistance? It is said that acceptance manifests divine current as life-force that literally moves us, accelerating us on our journey towards our ultimate goal in life.

Where does resistance come from? How does it accumulate over time? Could it be because we question, even protest so many things in our lives that we have very little control of? We question why, when and where we were born, and even of whom? We ask why we had a certain upbringing, traditions, schooling, set of friends and family, and so on. We ask why certain loved ones and relationships and friendships are no more. The resistance accumulates over life and times.

And yet, if we would turn resistance into acceptance, we could enable the current of life in this moment to flow and empower us. How do we turn towards acceptance? Perhaps we can begin with a decision to look at our past with a different perspective, with greater empathy, loving kindness, maybe even forgiveness and more. There are techniques and guides who can help us make this turn, lighten our past loads and help us create new pathways of increased acceptance in our hearts. We may need to seek, to ask, to be receptive.

Yes, all of this will take some work, but change and new flow is rarely if ever possible without some effort, is it? True, meaningful, sustainable and transformative acceptance requires all the power we can muster and the help and cooperation of all those who are able and willing to empower us. Don’t you think so? The result is that the more the current flows within us, the more power for good we shall manifest through our divine potential. With complete acceptance, Shiva and Shakti will become One within us, and a new cycle of creation will begin.

The infinite possibilities of the infinite await. Will we accept?


Join us for our weekly gathering and twitter chat, Sunday, Feb 19 at 9amET / 2pmGMT / 730pm India in #SpiritChat, as we celebrate acceptance. Namaste ~ AjmaniK

Nature teaches us so much about acceptance, doesn’t it?

Knowing our Inner Child by @merryb923


, , ,

I was so grateful to have the opportunity recently to peruse some of my childhood moments captured on a giant camcorder from the 80s & 90s, and videos of my parents and grandparents in the 60s and 70s. There were many fascinating things about these videos, watching with my young nieces, they were so excited to see all the “olden time things” (from the 90’s!)🤣

Another thing then dawned on me, and my nieces agreed, “Auntie looks so different, but she acts the same!” I haven’t always been like this, I evolved into this person. Imagine, I have evolved into being the same as I was as a child, and I love that!

This got me thinking, how much of life is about learning, and how much is about unlearning? I wonder how much of ourselves gets lost as we navigate our lives and the world around us. I wonder how many people never find themselves again. 

A lot of what we truly are is evident in our childhood, that innocent, non-forged version of ourselves that came into this world free of cultural norms, prejudices, and shame. I was happy to find that my self exploration brought me back to the wild, weird, enthusiastic child I saw in those videos. Is this something to aspire to? What are some positive child-like qualities we admire and what are some we would rather outgrow? 

Explore with me this Sunday at our #spiritchat gathering. I look forward to hosting again! 

I attached a picture of myself and my siblings in the mid 80s. I’m the little one, and this picture says a thousand words ❤️


It is my honor to guest host another #spiritchat and have the chance to give back to a community that has given so much to me the past decade++ The impact to my life is simply immeasurable. Thank you all and I’ll see you Sunday, Feb 12 at 9amET in the twitter chat!

Meredith (bottom right) with her siblings at age…

Let The Music Play


, , ,

It has been at least five years, and I remember the feeling like it was yesterday. During one of my morning walks on a fisherman’s trail by the river, I came around a bend and stepped into a clearing that was filled with hundreds of daisies. It was a clear blue-sky kind of day and there was a spring-like warmth in the air accompanied by the soft gurgling of the river as it flowed lightly. I paused, and did something I had never done before, and have rarely done since.

I took off my light jacket, and lay done on the grass, among all of the daises, face pointed towards the heavens, arms stretched out by my side, letting it all flow through me. I will never forget the coolness of the grass, the softness of the flowers, the sunshine smiling at me and the feeling of the sounds of the vibration of the earth’s hum as it held me softly. It was as safe a moment and space, an opening of the heart, that I ever remember experiencing in nature. The music of the earth and the waters, and the stillness of the sky made it feel like all the senses had come awake simultaneously.

After laying in the clearing for a few minutes, it seemed like all the sounds of the birds, the river, the breeze and the earth had merged into the one wordless harmony of celestial music. I am sure that you have had experiences with natural or man-made music that affect your heart in a way that words cannot describe. We all know that the vibrations created by music can affect our moods and emotions, and transport us to places that transcend our ordinary planes of daily experiences, don’t we? Imagine a state or states of existence where we have developed the ability to be constantly attuned to the celestial or divine music that plays continuously within us.

What would our life feel like if we were to primarily live in a state of higher vibration than we currently do? How do we develop the ability to spend most, if not all of our waking, working, resting hours in tune with that music which helps us live and love our best life?

Yes. It may takes practice, even a lot of practice, to live in that state of attunement with divine music. What do we get in return for all that practice? In my experience, once we have laid down in that field where we have felt embraced by the universe and all her elements, we never forget that state of superconscious joy.

If and when higher bliss is experienced within, we cannot then wait to wake up and walk, sing, write, meditate or practice whatever it is that brings us closer to our natural state of higher vibration, can we?

I invite you to practice to listen to the music play. We can surely all hear it and heart it, can’t we?


P.S. Join us for our weekly twitter chat, Sunday, Feb 5 at 9am ET / 2pm GMT in #Spiritchat. Bring some of your favorite music to share. I will bring some questions. Namaste – @AjmaniK

Sunrise on the Caribbean… the playing of celestial music…

Invitations of Spring


, , , ,

It’s 10am Saturday morning and I have been up for at least four hours, absorbing all the energy flowing around and within me, from near and from 7500 miles away. This same routine has been going on for the past few days, and the energy has taken on a special frequency since the Indian ‘Spring’ festival of Basant Panchami was celebrated on January 26. Spring in the middle of winter in the Northern hemisphere, you say?

We are almost five weeks into winter, seven weeks from Spring. If we lean our hearts a little, and let our mind wander a week forward, we will be halfway there. In some ways, the festival is an invitation to the Spring that is imminent. Yes, winter may still have some questions to ask of us, but so what?

The better question to perhaps ask is — What does Spring mean to you and your heart? The calendar is simply a time-keeper, isn’t it? If we orient our energy towards the feeling that Spring engenders within us, will we not instantly evoke Spring, or any of our favorite seasons at our heart’s behest?

Over the past few days, particularly since I received and accepted Spring’s ‘early’ invitation to play, my schedule has been pleasantly ‘disrupted’ by my attendance at an online festival of ‘music and meditation’ every morning. As a result, I can feel that my internal energy has been shifting daily, slowly but steadily towards warmth, renewal and a harmony that is the hallmark of Spring for me.

As I finish writing, the Sun has literally made its way through the heavily overcast skies, the wind has been becalmed by a shift, the reflections of the trees in the pond are becoming sharper by the minute, and the geese are slowly arriving for the day. I am sensing another invitation to sing, to meditate, to raise awareness of what lies in the heart.

It surely feels like an invitation from spring to me. I guess that winter without will have to wait. Have you received any invitations of body, mind and heart lately? If so, what have you done with them?


P.S. I invite you to join our weekly twitter chat and gathering, Sunday Jan 29 at 9am ET / 2pm GMT / 730pm India in Spiritchat over tea and cookies. Namaste – AjmaniK

P.P.S The second phase of the ‘Spring festival’ of ‘music and meditation’ hosted by Heartfulness India will run from Feb 1-3 2023 at 7amET / Noon GMT / 530pm India. You are invited to attend the Free live sessions at https://hfn.link/youtube ~ Namaste.

Spring invites us in its own subtle ways… to reflect on body, mind and heart…

Embracing Uncertainty by @merryb923


, , , , ,

A new year has just begun – I love a new beginning. What is a new beginning anyway? They are everywhere, all around us… they’re little opportunities just waiting for us to grab them. And let’s be honest, we never know exactly how anything will pan out. Very rarely do things end up being the way we expected. That’s the beauty of life- we forge new paths to find the unexpected, not to seek the familiar.

Sometimes the unexpected can surprise us, present a new opportunity – like meeting someone who will change our lives for the better. Sometimes it can disappoint us, derailing us from the life we had planned. While we can’t predict the outcome, we can learn to embrace the opportunity, take the journey, and figure out where the path leads.

The journey begins with a decision, those big decisions tend to stand out. I recently decided to change careers, and I saw a path laid out before me. I have often seen these paths and sometimes I chose not to walk them. But I looked at this path and it was beautiful, inviting, but also, long. I’ve already taken a few steps, and so far it’s exciting. I know there may be some rough patches, but I’ll embrace them, too. I have decided to embrace uncertainty. 

Join me at #spiritchat this week to discuss some paths we have traveled, the beauty we have found in uncertainty, and limiting beliefs we’ve had to overcome to embark on our journeys.  



It is my honor to guest host another #spiritchat and have the chance to give back to a community that has given so much to me the past decade++ There are no words to express the appreciation I have for Kumud and everyone here. The impact to my life is simply immeasurable. Thank you all and I’ll see you Sunday, Jan 22 at 9amET in the twitter chat!

White Mountains, New Hampshire
(photo by Meredith B.)

The Heart of Service


, , ,

As best as I can surmise, today’s twenty minute stint was perhaps my shortest weekly walk on the trail in quite a while. The weather front was turning rain to sleet, which meant that it was cold, blustery, pellets were coming at me sideways from all directions and it was as grey and foreboding feeling as winter can be imagined.

And yet I wasn’t deterred because it is these weekly walks that have become my inspiration for the ideas that turn into the weekly blog post which I often write after the walk. The clarity, lightness and simplicity that flow from walking in solitude and observing the dynamics of flora and fauna creates a portal through which the thoughts flow into words on the page.

At the start of today’s walk, I set the intention to invite feelings and memories related to ‘service’ into the heart. Swami Vivekananda talked about the notion of ‘service as duty’ and how we often engage in service as a means to fulfill our sense of duty. In 12th grade, we actually had a ‘subject’ called SUPW — socially useful productive work — which was on the schedule for one hour a week. As a teenager, I used to often scoff at the idea that one could do any meaningful ‘service’ in one hour a week. As is often the case, I was wrong. It was during SUPW that I discovered the work of organizations like UNICEF, and gained some awareness of how privileged my life was as compared to millions of children around the world.

As I walked the trail around the pond on the soggy grass, skirting temporary lakelets created by yesterday’s heavy rains, I remembered my ‘service’ projects in engineering school. The Saturday morning hours set aside to meet the requirements of volunteer hours for the National Service Scheme (NSS) brought familiarity with the Red Cross, learning about blood donations and such. However, the sense of ‘service as duty’ remained.

It wasn’t until my visit to a ‘nursing home for disabled children’ on an NSS Saturday that my heart towards service finally shifted. The hands-on and heart-filling experiences of seeing, listening, simply sitting and walking with those with life-long impairments, mostly children of my age and below, was transformational. The heart-shift meant that I couldn’t wait for Saturday mornings to arrive so that I could go visit the home and spend time with those that I had formed mini-friendships with. Service transformed from a sense of ‘duty’ to a sense of ‘doing good’ — over time, the one benefiting most from the ‘goodness’ was actually me.

At the halfway mark on the trail, where the wind had died down because the path was flanked by thickets of trees, I took a pause and reflected on my experiences with service through SUPW and the NSS. It is said that there are no small acts of kindness, and I am convinced that it was those small acts of giving that opened my heart and mind to the power of small acts of service. To paraphrase Swami Vivekananda, the world doesn’t need our help — we need the world in order to exercise our ability to serve. Our heart needs the world, so that it can feel the joy of serving and eventually arrive at a state where we feel that service becomes a privilege, not mere duty.

It is said that in the midst of our serving, when our heart is fully immersed, we become observers of the One who is truly serving and the One who is truly being served. Service thus becomes the unifier of people.

We realize that the day’s walk is over, the storm has becalmed us and it is time to return home to warm up with a cup of green tea and share our heart of service with the world.

Thank you for serving. Namaste.


P.S. Join us for our weekly twitter chat with the #SpiritChat community on Sunday, Jan 15 at 9amET / 2pmGMT. We will pause to remember Martin Luther King, Jr and discuss the topic of ‘heart of service’. Namaste – @AjmaniK

The heart of the rose has a unique aptitude for service…

On Setting Intentions


, , , , ,

Intention is important in the sense that it can give a sense of purpose, of meaning, of direction to our actions. At the start of every New Year, or month, or week, or day, or hour, we can set an intention for whatever time-interval we choose in the future. The New Year is perhaps the most popular time to set intentions and goals, make plans, and define how we may want our life to look at the end of the year, or maybe even at different points in the year.

And yet, setting an intention by itself is often not enough in itself. Preparation is also needed, because our intent is going to inevitably run into obstacles. What are we going to at the first significant hurdle, which will most probably be internal — fear, uncertainty, doubt — not external. We can prepare ahead by using the learnings from past hurdles that maybe heavily distracted us from our intentions or even stopped us cold.

Preparation is one key to success in fulfilling our intention, no matter how we may define ‘success’.

Imagine setting an intention to climb Mt Everest without any preparation? Or even intending to go for a simple morning walk, say a few times a week for the next week or month. You wouldn’t need much preparation in fair weather, but what if you woke up to wintry weather with sleet and frost like I did today? If I hadn’t prepared well enough by wearing adequate layers of clothing, with gloves, with a warm hat, proper shoes to navigate the slippery and wet trails, I probably would have gotten to the trailhead, parked my car, looked at all the obstacles including the heavy overcast skies and said — Nah, I’ll skip today and go back home to my tea. Maybe tomorrow!

And yet, I walked because I had learnt from past years how to prepare for such weather. As I set out on the now familiar trail, I sis meet some new obstacles in the form of fallen tree branches, water channels formed by melting snow, and so on. Preparation helped, but if I had guidance from someone who had recently walked the trail, I could have saved time and energy, and even some risk, on my walk. Can you imagine how Tenzing would have fared on Mt Everest without the expert guidance of Sherpa Norgay?

Preparation multiplied with proper guidance can help create an environment where our intentions have even greater chances of success.

What else may be needed to succeed with our newly set (or even ongoing) intentions? We can perhaps use simplicity in the setting of our intentions to create meaningful successes, which then in turn create confidence, build resilience within to set new intentions that stretch us even more than before.

What role may flexibility play in our journey with our intentions? What else can you think of and share with us — practices that have worked for you in setting, fulfilling your intentions?

Is there a specific, singular, over-arching intention that guides all other intentions that you may have set for your spiritual journey?


Join us for our weekly gathering and twitter conversation in #SpiritChat, Sunday January 8nat 9amET / 2pmGMT / 730pm India. We will discuss intentions and more. Namaste ~ @AjmaniK

My Friday walk with Nature often helps me set intention(s) for the week ahead…

Celebrating New Energy


, , ,

We are down to the last but one day of the year and after a week of fiendishly cold weather and ice-storms and travel havoc over the Christmas weekend a few days ago, it seems borderline criminal that I am walking the dogs in sixty degree weather. The skies are getting overcast and heavy enough with the promise of imminent rain, but it isn’t lost on me that the rate of change of the weather has been anything but dramatic over the past few days.

I would say that these patterns are abnormal, and would even dare say that I would prefer a ‘normal’ winter with its energy of snow and some icy days — but perhaps this is the ‘new’ normal — and we better adapt to it, and fast. The human body does have the ability to adapt quickly, but it has its limits to withstand environmental shocks and such, as we found out during the pandemic. Humans learn that living a full life is about maintaining a good energy balance, keeping harmony between the inner and the outer, discovering new facets of the diamonds that they are, softening their sharp edges as they journey, and more.

As we step into another New Year as deemed by completion of yet another revolution around our life-sustaining star, a lot of us can perhaps feel an infusion of, an immersion into, or even a surge of new energy in one or more layers of our existence on planet earth. I felt this newness of energy on the day after the winter solstice as I asked for permission of the waters, and then gently walked into a cenote in the Yucatán peninsula. It is hard to describe the feeling of freedom when a non-swimmer like me actually floats on his back and looks up at the high-noon Sun filling one with light — for a moment I thought I was seeing stars in the daytime — except that it was all a beautiful melding of the elements playing their celestial harmony within my heart.

Like at least some of you, I am looking forward to the New Year as an opportunity for new darings, new experiments, new ventures, new rediscoveries of what lies within, and more. Resolutions are not my thing. They never were. I can’t explain why. Maybe I am simply too content to know and feel the new energy that is continuously flowing my way, often ‘on request,’ glowing my path as I learn to soar and fly with my fellow travelers and guides.

How about you, dear reader and traveler? How does your energy level feel as you come into the New Year? Is there a sense of newness, of an elevated potential of being, or…? I invite you to consider, maybe even ask someone to help you reflect — they may point you to tools, practices and opportunities that you haven’t considered yet?

No matter which direction you move in, I wish you the best of the New Year’s energy. May it work to energize all those life areas that need harmony and integration, and suffuse more life within your life. May the new energy help you and me remember the directive of “That Thou Art” — the energy without is the energy within — the old and the new are One.


P.S. Join us for our weekly twitter chat, Sunday January 1 2023 at 9amET / 2pmGMT / 730pm India, as we celebrate the energy of the New Year in Spiritchat. – @AjmaniK

The energy of a new dawn brings the goodness of Hope