Radical Coaching… learning together in friendship

There have been a number of coincidences which are clarifying for me what is life is inviting me into. Almost seducing me into. 😉 At least 6 to 7 specific signs – all in the space of a month.

The session with the Association of Mumbai Coaches was intriguing. I never cease to be amazed by how and how much silence opens up the unknown, an intimacy with what is-  and our ability to see that which is obvious, yet hidden. It slows us down. One of the participants at the end said it was a meditative experience. And I realised, yes, it was a conversation with loving silence.

Just before this session I met a young, bright and wise being with whom I have been having morning conversations, which are like creative meditations for a few weeks now. A jugalbandi (co-creation), a flow of ideas, a birthing of something simple, beautiful, effortless. Friendship, coaching and learning together in which the line between the coach and the learner is there when it is, and also falls away as we experience a seamlessness.

A few months back, I participated in a beautiful journey of “Being at full potential” led by my beings who are now friends & colleagues, Sujith & Mark. There were many things that were valuable but what stood out was how might we work from Being. And also the journey of “Certification to Success”- the fact that we don’t just do an event and certify but also walk with the people to take them to implementation and success for 3 to 4 months.  With organisations, with leaders, with entrepreneurs and more.  They, we have a beautiful assessment that looks at the leader and the organisation from the Being lens grounded in eastern wisdom of the Panchakoshas and more.

One morning I was inspired to offer a Radical Coaching journey of 9 evening sessions of 90 minutes each on the Zoom web platform. This enables people to access from wherever they are in small doses some taste of my emerging lifework and for me also to learn.

Recently, a CEO friend who is a creative coach himself and a connector of possibilities & people, a bit like me – invited his friends who are CXOs, authors and an expat also to an evening to have a taste of what he felt was my unique approach. I have had the joy of learning and coaching together with him.

There were some beautiful insights I had during the session.

One of the participants who is a friend asked, ‘What is radical coaching as different from normal coaching?’ And I started looking at it closely. And from the experiences I am having I am attempting to share.

1. Honouring and Questioning hard-wired principles :

In the beautiful ODA-CFL (Organisation Development Alternatives – Coach for Life) program, I visited some of the simple and profound perspectives. In one way or another they had been a part of practice and coaching – and yet there were some that got deepened. e.g. Staying with what can be appreciated. Not advising and problem-solving for the client. Coaching is different from Consulting or Therapy. And more.

I realised that the way I coached honoured the essence of each of them but not always the form. The spirit not the letter. For example,

– Making eye contact : Traditional Coaching wisdom says the coach must maintain eye contact with the client. And while that is valid, knowing when not to maintain eye contact to give clients the space to meet themselves in the privacy of their own being is vital. Sometimes eye contact is intrusive, sometimes it brings a much needed connection and sometimes not making eye contact enables a much needed disconnection.

– Evoking, not advising : Certainly rescuing the client by problem solving and advising is not good coaching. And yet, I have found myself hold that ‘should’ lightly and consciously, lest it become a rigid concept. When a coach is in seamless flow with the client, inside that oneness and being space, what seems like an insight may come from the coach’s speaking. The idea is not to be present and sense is there an ‘invitation’ to reveal. Is what is coming not from a need to rescue and fix but a genuine voice of loving truth.

I have found there are four fundamental skills (which are also attitudes and states of being ultimately) that a coach needs to master:

  • Deep Listening
  • Authentic Speaking
  • Questioning from Wonder
  • Spacious Silence

This is the science but the art is how and when to use each of these and the simultaneity of their presence.

  1. Mirrors and Vulnerability :

In the session with the friends of the CEO coach who I have walked with closely, one of the participants volunteered to be coached. My coaching process that is held lightly in the background involves:

  • Diving deep : Using questions and silence
  • Revealing clarity: Harvesting what has emerged in the initial 10-15 minutes
  • Learning Together: Here the coach reveals how the issue which has emerged is somehow alive or has been faced in his/her life. The mirroring with vulnerability opens up a beautiful space for learning together.
  • Helicopter the process: Now we step out of the content and learn from the ‘how’ of the coaching/learning process- what worked and how.

It was quite interesting as I allowed and this friend welcomed deep long silences, he started accessing deeper layers of his issue. We moved from the general to the specific, from a 1000 feet to 10 feet to see the texture of the terrain. And when that was seen, a lot of clarity happened.

What was a revelation for me was that by the end of that half hour of intense reflective process each of the 14 people in the room were touched. Each person saw a connection to what is alive in his life – the answering to an inner calling, the dealing with the question of your money or your life! And a lot else.

Out of this was born the possibility of group coaching and learning together. If there were 3 to 4 people and each was willing to learn, each would somehow also coach. While there would be one person holding the space, inviting inquiry, allowing silence, multiple mirrors would reveal layers of reality. And this synergy would also help the journeying together supporting each other. The coach then is the life, the presence that is palpable in the togetherness.

  1. Listening, Silence and Wonder :

It is interesting that the word LISTEN and the word SILENT are made from the same letters. And the word ENLIST is also hidden in both. Of course this can be dismissed as a coincidence. And yet, the profound connection between the two and also how that enables an enlisting into what is true and valuable happens.

Earlier this week, a friend reached out to me who was grappling with finding deeper meaning in his work. I met him early at my favorite Joshua café walkable from my home. And I was all set to demonstrate and experience together with him the beauty and power of these skills and the process.

Guess what, that day I had to learn to let go of my sacred process. And simply be with where my friend was. He spoke and shared from his depths. I would occasionally ask a simple question and a deeper layer of his pain would emerge. By the time we ended, he had revealed aspects of his life that were intimate and had not been stated initially.

He had felt safe. As I listened, he listened to himself. As we were silent together, something from inside opened up. We were left in a state of wonder, even gratitude.

What helped me was the fact that I was Observing myself, him and the whole space and let go of my attachment to follow any process- even my own which had always worked magically. What was happening was too real to be captured by any structure and yet there was an underlying rhythm, a silent grace that was palpable. We were both left nourished.

One of the mantras I have learnt is: Observe, Observe, Observe. Another one is Accept, deeply honour and meet what is arising. Precisely where and how it is.

  1. Real, raw, alive :

One of the aspects of what I call radical coaching is that it is not really ‘Coaching’ in the way it is normally understood. It is a real, raw conversation with life. With truth and love. The life that is here in the relationship. To allow the togetherness to shape what is wanting to happen. To be patient, to be courageous, to not hurry to a clichéd response but wait for that voice to arise that is ever-fresh. To trust, to meet another in places that I may not have met myself but am willing to be naked. Perhaps that is place of real power because it is utterly vulnerable. It cannot be predicted, owned, orchestrated or manufactured.

There is an appreciation here and a willingness of a braveheart to encounter that which has not been seen, heard, felt. That which we want to avoid, resist, deny is now here. The lost child, the wounded adult wanting a shade under the tree of your heart. Without knowing how it may be provided, you walk the first walk every time- familiar in the depths of your soul and yet paradoxically unknown in this blessed moment with another.

  1. Designing to leverage the (friend-)client’s ecosystem :

This morning I was sitting with a friend, a potential client and I after two previous conversations, I had gathered that he wanted to focus on 4 to 5 areas. As the clarity emerged, we saw how everything in interwoven. And its all about our relationship with oneself. There is the inner world and the outer. Though they are one, they appear different.

In as much as the shifts inside him can bring forth a shift in the outer, sometimes small shifts in the ecosystem of the client- his work colleagues, his family, the design of his life, time and physical space can bring forth a shift in him. So we spoke about one of his clients and how he could be more effective there by building a heart connection, having a difficult conversation gently, honestly, sensitively.

We have heard of triple loop learning. The first loop is the content/ problem-solving approach. The second loop looks at the values/ assumptions beneath. The third loop looks at and operates from Being/ Presence. I am seeing that perhaps there is a fourth loop which looks at the larger whole. There is Self-awareness and there is a Collaborative awareness in the relationship between a Coach and Client. I am speaking of Ecosystem Awareness. So we are also working with the ecology of vital relationships in a Coach’s life- his work, his family, friends. Sometimes a small shift in the outer enables a leap in the inner. That requires us to go beyond the inner and outer to the innermost. That which is aware of even Being.

The Barrett 7 levels of Consciousness model enables us to look at the whole. You may like to do a 4 min free and powerful Personal Values Assessment  to get a glimpse of its power.

I use my community & multiple resources to serve him and his ecosystem. As we see how intricately life is speaking and listening to itself, some powerful connections happen. We begin to also see how there are two aspects: Evolution (includes healing, learning, etc- all located in time and space- the manifest world) and then there is awakening to the timeless nature of our being, freedom from suffering and the illusion of separation.

I like to also design my fee in a way that it is truly listening to the reality of my client. And bring in the spirit of gifting which includes a monetary transaction but also goes beyond into many intangible aspects. A penny dropped and he signed up for a month of engagement. And I was left with a lot of learning.

 

Paradoxes & Edges in Coaching

I have been coaching people and developing facilitators & leaders for the last 20+ years. In formal and informal ways. There are real questions that are alive in my heart. And how challenging can paradoxes be for many of us- until we see that they can be delicious. I love to explore the edges because they take me into the unknown which has a freshness.

Let me pose some questions for you, dear reader, to reflect on. This post is coming into being as I have been invited by the Association of Mumbai Coaches (AMC) to conduct a session – on the internet (Zoom) and then in-person. I felt it would be good to spark some thinking and even feeling & being.

Have any of these questions crossed your mind? And what would be your response to them?

1. What is the boundary between being a friend and being a coach- we end up learning from each other in a friendship, is there space for coaching here?

2. Does Coaching have anything to do with healing? What is the distinction with Mentoring? Do you see the connections with teaching, loving, with sport?

3. What is the role of the heart, the body and breath in coaching? How about spirit? What are the essential skills, states of being of a Coach?

4. Is Clarity always an ally in coaching? What are its limits and shadows?

I mention some examples from my recent coaching conversations with names modified to honor confidentiality.

Some of the paradoxes I have encountered in coaching that you may like to reflect on are:

The fundamental Paradox:

Learning or Coaching

Needless to say, any coach would agree that we need to learn as we coach. It is not easy to have a beginner’s mind since the title of a coach comes with its baggage and at times an ego also. How comfortable are we, as coaches to be honest and vulnerable? Truly learning together is rare. I remember once I was caught in my tracks when a participant in a program I was facilitating pointed to how I was not listening. I had taught him deep listening. It was a humbling moment. How would you respond? We often teach what we most need to learn, is it not?

Yesterday I was coaching a wonderful lady, Anita who was grappling with a newly recruited senior manager reporting to her delivering much below what she was expected to. 3 to 4 on a scale of 10 is what she said. Anita’s senior and her team said that this new recruit must be asked to leave. Anita, however wanted to give her a chance. As we navigated the territory, what became apparent was that there was a need for Anita to awaken the coach in herself – that was her learning edge – to make her new team member shine. The shift from simply managing to coaching. And my challenge was to enable her to be a coach. To learn to shift in my own life and work to bring in he being of a Coach vs. just a problem solver, quick-fixer etc. Life and relationships are such a mirror to discover ourselves, to learn as we coach. Anita saw the hidden blessing in this adversity and decided to take on the challenge of shifting her new team member from 3 to 8. Even if the shift happened to 6, there would be a precious journey for both and in turn for me as I coach Anita.

I am reminded of an earlier blog post,  The Zen Story of 4 horses- When learning & teaching gets difficult …

Other Paradoxes & Edges:

Witnessing or Engaging

I often ask this question: Do you feel its more important to engage deeply or witness.  I guess we know the “right” answer is ‘both’. And yet, have you noticed if you are able to be engaged in a detached way or do you get caught in the story of the client. I have noticed times when there is a state of flow and the question of witnessing or engaging falls away as it all seems to be unfolding almost on its own. Have you noticed this? And equally noticed the fragmented state when the flow is absent.

Clarity & Vulnerability

On two occasions I coached people who coach others – professionally- they both who held the view that Clarity is vital. And when I asked the question, “Is clarity opposed to confusion? Is confusion inappropriate?” The answer was ‘Yes’ in both cases. As we looked deeper, we discovered that profound clarity welcomes confusion, a sign of being on the edge of the unknown. And great revelations happen only with our willingness to not know. And stay with that difficult uncertain moment which we normally fill up by talking. A good question to reflect on is: How much at ease are you with confusion when it arises not only in the client, but inside you – and can we be vulnerable about our feelings?

Another senior leader I was coaching a few days back, Sunita had this challenge of a team member, Deepali’s capability on the face of it. But as we explored deeper we saw Deepali grapple with low self-worth. And there was clearly a need to make her feel safe. In the course of the conversation, Sunita felt that she could be vulnerable and share some of her challenges in the past.

As we stayed with it, and looked inside the situation and ourselves, it was apparent that there was a vulnerability in the present situation itself. While Deepali needed to learn to perform more effectively, Sunita needed to enable performance. Both were challenged. It was seen that if Sunita gathered clarity and courage to honestly share her own struggle in inspiring Deepali, the two could together look at it. And Deepali may even be able to share ways in which she could be enabled, thus enabling Sunita!

I had once written about Standing on the edge of another’s awkwardness without invading or avoiding. Standing there, truly helpless in a way, we mirror the other’s helplessness and often something beautiful is seen freshly if we can sit there in what may seem like a fire.

Leading or following

The fundamental wisdom of Coaching is to allow the client to take the lead, to not advice but evoke, to not rescue but enable. And I ask, have you tasted a place where the separation between the coach and the client vanishes and sometimes you speak from that oneness- as neither and both. What may appear to be advice may actually be a revelation that is expressing itself through you. Its about timing, presence and letting go of all ‘shoulds’.

Structure or free-flow

Structure always helps to keep the session in track and yet, it can sometimes constrict the flow. Do you tend to follow structure or prefer free flow and honoring what is emerging. How do you decide? I find that holding and embracing this paradox helps me to offer the best to the client and also come away nourished.

With the recent Coach for Life certification that was gifted to me, I am learning to honor and see the beauty of structure so that both flow and structure can be in harmony.

What are the other paradoxes that you have encountered?

Two last questions worth reflecting on are

  1. What has been that one wonderful Coaching-Learning aha! moment that has stayed with you?
  2. What is the one challenge (possibly recurring) that you encounter (it could also be a positive leap that you would like to make, not necessarily a difficulty)?

Fellow-coaches, I would love to hear your reflections that arise and any insights that you have had. Do leave your thoughts, feelings & any questions in the comments on this post (button at top of the post next to the title) – it will help us create the session together. I look forward to our Zoom session today and then the one in-person on 15th April 2017.

 

 

 

The Tao Programs- Our Ordinary & Sacred Journeys

More than 20 years back  (in Aug 1996) I took the plunge from the Corporate world into the world of Human Potential, Learning, Leadership, Consciousness, and more – out of a single insight- we live such a small fraction of the life that we are given. I was reading Autobiography of  a Yogi – Paramhansa Yogananda – the book which was more recently gifted to everyone who came To Steve Jobs funeral. Went through a series of experiences including having the Bach Flower remedy Wild oat which clarifies one’s purpose. I must also thank Naresh Purushottam and the Bullet Proof manager program I attended! And Swami Sukhbodhananda and the Life Program which inspired me to get into this field.

I spoke to my boss then in the ITC Packaging Division, Chittu Dar and he told me about his cousin Arun Wakhlu in Pune who had this organization – Pragati Learning , now Pragati Leadership. I shifted from Chennai to Pune in a few weeks. The first evening Arun asked me to anchor a session since he had to leave for an HRD Network meeting – I enjoyed so much and the participants were touched. I knew I had come home. And very soon the deeper sanctum sanctorum of this home that I discovered was working with facilitators, coaches, healers, fellow-travelers in this field- to learn together with them, to create together with them.

I anchored the program “Empowered Trainer” which we rechristened in Pragati to “Inspiring Facilitator”.  When I moved on from partnering with Pragati in early 2000, to give birth to Eternale Learning with my then wife, Prativa,  I got this name, Tao of facilitation, thanks to Sekhar Chandrasekhar, my dear friend. Inspired by the brilliant book, Tao of Leadership- John Heider from Esalen. A book I must have gifted to at least a 100 people! 😉

The Tao of facilitation touched many lives deeply for more than a decade – starting with my own and in the last few years started morphing into other themes which were announced on Facebook. Here are some of them:

Tao of the heart-song
https://www.facebook.com/events/1194467267232716/
(Jun 2016)
– with daniel eagles, arjun & rohit
Tao- this loving reality
.. the truth of courage & friendship
https://www.facebook.com/events/1034215566645411/
(Feb 2016)

– with arjun som, rohit, daniel
 
Tao of Reality 
… the verge of learning, leadership & loving
https://www.facebook.com/events/1352489664776852/
(Dec 2015)

– with rohit sasvehalli & arjun som
 
Tao of Loving 
… the tenderness of real relationships
https://www.facebook.com/events/497454523757826/
(Nov 2015)

– with rhea d’souza, arjun
 
Tao of the Deep Masculine
… the simplicity of being real 
https://www.facebook.com/events/579332925539922/
(July 2015) 

– with manish srivastava
 
Tao of facilitation
.. the art of learning & coaching together 
https://www.facebook.com/events/1495096664099684/
(Nov 2014) 

– started with sorabh but he left after first day!
– and this was the toughest one- i was so broken in this! – wish he had been there.. but all participants held me..
 
Tao of Co-creating
…the joy of learning & coaching community 
https://www.facebook.com/events/396287230481748/
 
Tao of Coming Home
.. Learning, Loving & Living Together 
https://www.facebook.com/events/178371992366851/
(Nov 2013)
Tao of the deep masculine
(Aug 2013) – with abhishek thakore
Tao of Co-coaching
… the joy of learning together 
(Dec 2012) 

– with rohit & shiva!!!

 

Have had the blessing of co-creating Tao programs many many gifted souls apart from the above- Raj Mali, GD, Anuradha Ramesh (Usha), Sangeeta Bhagwat, Nithya Shanti, Saraswathi Vasudevan, Dola Dasgupta, Pramod Tripahi and others.

The lives of many people- starting with myself have been deeply touched.  Many have requested that we return to the vintage Tao of facilitation. The one that is around the corner – plan to announce it and conduct in June 2017

Tao of Coaching Leadership … the joy of learning & leading together

More as it all unfolds. This had to be shared.

 

 

 

 

 

 

5 Super-Simple Tips to go from Internet Zombie to Internet Zen Dude

Aalif always writes very well.
I love his view of reality. It also comes with a comic twist.
And this is a subject close to my heart.
What addicts us can also release us into Zen.

I have spoken on fb about how wsap can be a new-world sadhana.
Do have a look and also you may want to
check out
6 apps to stop smart phone addiction:
http://www.inc.com/jeremy-goldman/6-apps-to-stop-your-smartphone-addiction.html

superaalifragilistic

Working on the internet is like being in a crowded bazaar, protected by glass from the noise, but feeling the energy of the busyness and chaos; catching the screaming confusion of others who have been in this bazaar for too long, some who have forgotten the way out.

It’s a fast world, the internet — time here runs faster than seconds, it zips by in clicks. For even a second is sometimes too long to wait for a page to load, or a video to buffer. The internet is the domain of restless fingers and ceaseless thinking and darting eyes. And in losing myself in it, I become another arm of the million-armed monster who is restless, hyper-active mentally and a ghost-like zombie in the real world.

A strong reason for this is the electro-magnetic radiation aka dirty electricity which your body picks up. According to Dr Lance Macleod-Lutchin

View original post 624 more words

Tools for Empaths

Sangeeta Bhagwat is a very dear friend. At this point in my life, I am seeing how I pick up people’s energies. And felt this blog post of her is useful for me. And perhaps for some of you.

——

The requests for guidance with managing waves of emotions and sometimes inexplicable overwhelm have been rising in recent times.  Energetically sensitive people feel affected by the collective ener…

Source: Tools for Empaths

The Inner, the Outer & the Innermost – Rajesh Dalal

It will be 2 years in Feb. since my dear dear friend Rajesh Dalal, one of the finest mentors on the pathless path to truth passed on. Fortunately I had recorded some of the conversations with him. Thankfully, my dear friend Rohit Sasvehalli was also inspired and made some podcasts from the recordings. And finally, Vishal Pipariya, another precious one transcribed this one recently. I am sure many of you will enjoy the beauty and subtlety of this pointing to truth.

——————–

RAJESH DALAL: You are saying basically that, because now you are functioning from sheer necessity outwardly and highest energy put inwardly, and in either case the operation does not depend on the limitations of the outer function. The operation, is an operation that does not depend on the limitations of the outer function.

SPEAKER 2: Can you elaborate this little bit?

RAJESH DALAL: The ending of the self is an entirety, the factor which is preventing the ending of the self is not outside of you, so nothing that you do outside is going to prevent that.

SPEAKER 2: Prevent the ending of the self?

RAJESH DALAL: In fact the ending of the self does not even require time.

SPEAKER 2: Yea it is here and now.

RAJESH DALAL: It is here. It is giving total energy to something. You may need certain amount of time to build up that energy. Because we have lived in such a mechanical way and in such a habitual way.

SPEAKER 2: It’s clearing the past.

SPEAKER 3: As in clearing certain barriers. But even that real is not necessary.

SPEAKER 2: I understand, yea.

RAJESH DALAL: Really speaking. It is just summoning your total seriousness in the now and facing that factor which is blocking everything. You touch it, then it is finished. So, in that sense whatever you are doing, whatever job you are doing, however well you are looking after, not well looking after, if you have a few hours in a day of quality time. You are not tired. Good enough. So your central intent can be actually pursued irrespective of this. Now, what is it that you are not able to pursue? What you love to do. In the outer! What you love to do in the inner you can always do.

SPEAKER 2: Being and doing are not aligned. If I were to do something…

RAJESH DALAL: So what you want to do outwardly. Sometimes, certain kind of situations take place where you can’t do what you want to do outwardly. I would personally say that wherever such a situation arises, it only means that you had not given your total energy to your love. If you give your total energy to your love, from that very energy you will know how to sustain your life.

SPEAKER 2: And that’s what I really feel you know that I am right now tethered to the post because of my own doubt.

RAJESH DALAL: But if your wife and your children were also like you.

SPEAKER 2: No, I have articulated this with them.

RAJESH DALAL: No, if they are moving with you in the same flow of uncertainty, then nothing matters.

SPEAKER 2: Then nothing matters yea, I understand that.

RAJESH DALAL: Then you can live on a footpath.

SPEAKER 2: I know that, in fact that’s one of the other point which I would pick up time permitting, as to what has happened is over the last two years I have moved at a very brisk pace but unfortunately my wife has not been able to keep pace with me. She has started reading Krishnamurti, etc. but obviously you know her intent. She…

RAJESH DALAL: Her intensity, everything is different.

SPEAKER 2: Intensity is different and also in terms of priority Krishnamurti books are not priority. Maybe because I have given her, she is influenced and therefore she is reading.

RAJESH DALAL: Heyyy. You have to find a way not through the book, through your being, through your watching what is happening to her, out of your love for her, so that she actually discovers the energy and the freedom that you have discovered. From there when you touch something, it will start operating. Then if she wants to read Krishnamurti she will read, if she doesn’t want to read, she will not read. Why should she read Krishnamurti?

SPEAKER 2: Yea, I understand that.

RAJESH DALAL: She must live, and in that living if Krishnamurti is to be a part of her life and in most probability it will be because if you are the activator of that energy and she knows that your energy was activated through this source, she’ll naturally go to that source. You don’t have to do, you don’t even have to suggest to her.

SPEAKER 2: As things stand, it’s a slow process you know because we are not congruent in many ways.

RAJESH DALAL: No no no, you don’t have to make it a slow process.

SPEAKER 2: No, I am not saying…

RAJESH DALAL: If you are, in fact let me tell you one thing. In my view, your wife and your relationship with your wife and your relationship with your children is your highest teacher of Krishnamurti today. Highest!

(Long Pause.)

RAJESH DALAL: Because, there the whole thing you can’t escape. The nature of the self operating there and the remnant reactions which are arising here, you can’t escape.

SPEAKER 3: Rajesh, I have a question. You know like, you made a very powerful point that what you are doing in the inner and what you are doing in the outer, are in some sense not related you are saying? That’s what I heard. You can always find time…

RAJESH DALAL: I know but let me put it this way. There is an outer, there is an inner and there is an innermost. It is about the innermost.

SPEAKER 3: Okkk

RAJESH DALAL: The innermost is not related to the inner and the outer. The inner and the outer are extremely linked.

SPEAKER 3 & SPEAKER 2: So what is the difference between the inner and innermost?

RAJESH DALAL: The innermost. I don’t know if in your reading of Krishnamurti you have been touched by that. Pause. See we always approach life through problems and solving problems. Even when you love to do something, in that love there is no problem. When you love something, there is no problem. But, how to do that love in this world becomes a problem.

SPEAKER 3: Deep Laugh

RAJESH DALAL: I have a wife who I love. But now how to do that in the middle of this world, in the middle of my conditionings. Other things are there. My conditionings exist. Her conditionings exist. And the world is terribly restrictive. How to make this love flower? So, the innermost has two dimensions to it. One is the dimension of learning about the inner and the outer in relationship, on a moment to moment basis, which is part of the work. And the other dimension is, asking the impossible question. And being rooted in that impossible question and not rooted in the inner or the outer or in that relationship. Inner exists, the outer exists. Love exists. Your love for the person, your love for what you want to do. Not to be rooted in any of this. Yet they are all there and you are doing that.

SPEAKER 3: And, the impossible questions. There are many impossible questions. But the main impossible question that you are talking about is?

RAJESH DALAL: All of them are one. There is only one impossible question. And that is…Can be asked in many ways. What is truth? What is love? What is beauty? What is absolute? Is there an absolute?

SPEAKER 3: And this is impossible because it’s?

RAJESH DALAL: The mind cannot grasp it. And yet the mind must demand it. And it can’t be demanded with the eye of greed or with the eye of the self.

SPEAKER 2: You are saying it’s beyond the eye so only when the eye ceases that, I can inquire about this?

RAJESH DALAL: Yea, but you can’t wait till the eye ceases to inquire into that. It’s a very, standing on edge question.

SPEAKER 2: When I say the eye ceases, there are two ceasing right? One is my total energy and attention in the moment will result in the eclipsing of the eye at least in that moment right? And then there is only that consciousness which is operating right?

RAJESH DALAL: But that is operating in the world. This impossible question and its operations are somewhat like, see this awareness. I am aware of this or I am not aware of this. It’s a kind of awareness of awareness, and a whole question of what is the source of all awareness? It’s questions of that order. There are no practical value whatsoever.

SPEAKER 3: What has no practical value?

RAJESH DALAL: These questions. The impossible question has no practical value. It means it is unconnected to any practical value. The world will not even understand you, whereas the intelligence of watching the self, the world will see and it’ll bow to it.

The Inner, the Outer & the Innermost- Podcast

Shams of Tabriz’s 40 Rules of life & love

This book touched me deeply. Thanks to Sayani who brought this to me. Thanks Arjun. Love you.

Treasure within

sufi
Rule 1

How we see God is a direct reflection of how we see ourselves. If God brings to mind mostly fear and blame, it means there is too much fear and blame welled inside us. If we see God as full of love and compassion, so are we.

Rule 2

The path to the Truth is a labour of the heart, not of the head. Make your heart your primary guide! Not your mind. Meet, challenge and ultimately prevail over your nafs with your heart. Knowing your ego will lead you to the knowledge of God.

Rule 3

You can study God through everything and everyone in the universe, because God is not confined in a mosque, synagogue or church. But if you are still in need of knowing where exactly His abode is, there is only one place to look for him: in the heart of a true…

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