Category Archives: Universal Wisdom

India and Deepok: Words and Thoughts

Two of my favorite people, they have a lot of wisdom to share.  India Arie’s music is honest, humble, and universal.  Deepok Chopra’s message is as well.  Listening to India’s music, and reading Deepok’s lessons will help even the most desperate person begin the search for peace.  And while their words and thoughts aren’t the first, the last, or the only, they both understand how interconnected humans are with their words, thoughts, feelings, and actions, and they are both living out their purposes in this incarnation.


Words- India.Arie

Dark future ahead of me/That’s what they say/I’d be starving if I ate all the lies they fed/Cause I’ve been redeemed from your anguish and pain/A miracle child I’m floating on a cloud/Cause the words that come from your mouth/You’re the first to hear/Speak words of beauty and you will be there/No matter what anybody says/What matters the most is what you think of yourself


So you act/so you feel/so you are


I love him in every way/that a woman can love a man/from personal to universal/but most of all its unconditional


I’ve been tryin’ to get down/to the Heart of the Matter/Because the flesh will get weak/And the ashes will scatter/So I’m thinkin’ about forgiveness/Forgiveness/Even if you don’t love me anymore


I believe that/Love is synonymous /With heaven/Such a sensual bliss/The way you touch me/Makes this life so good /A reward at the/End of the long road


I wanna go to a place where I am nothing and everything/That exists between here and nowhere/I wanna go to a place where time has no consequences oh yeah/The sky opens to my prayers


Thoughts- Deepok Chopra

People expend a lot of subtle energy in pushing down thoughts they don’t want to face. Denial and repression seem appealing as short-term solutions. What you don’t think about may go away. But there’s a sticky quality to bad thoughts – which are any thoughts that make you feel guilty, ashamed, humiliated, or distressed.  And denial only makes the pain worse over time.  Delay also makes it harder to release old, stuck energies when you finally decide that they must be confronted.
If you choose to push bad thoughts out of sight, that’s your decision.  The danger comes when you begin to believe that certain thoughts are forbidden as if by a law of outside force.  When that happens, the power of no has convinced you that your mind is your enemy.  Many people, including trained psychotherapists, are threatened by the “shadow”, a name give to the forbidden zone of the mind where dangerous urges lurk.  Under the spell of no, you fear your shadow and believe that you should never go near it.

From the soul’s perspective, the mind has no boundaries. If you feel that it is forbidden to look at your rage, fear, jealousy, desperation, and feelings of vengeance, you are resorting to a false sense of self. Specifically, you are dividing yourself into good and bad impulses. The paradox is that your good side can never ultimately win, because the bad side will constantly fight to be released. An inner struggle ensues. You wind up living in a state of underground warfare. Instead of trying to be good all the time, try to win your freedom. When the mind is free, thoughts come and go spontaneously. Whether good or bad, you don’t hold on to them. As long as the mind is allowed to flow, no thought is dangerous, and therefore nothing is forbidden.

  • See the difference between having a “bad” thought and acting on it.
  • Don’t identify with your thoughts. They aren’t you; they are passing events in the mind.
  • Resist the urge to demonize. Judgment makes illicit impulses stick around.
  • Learn the value of acceptance.
  • Don’t condemn others for their thoughts.
  • Don’t set up a false ideal of yourself. See clearly that every kind of thought, mood, and sensation exists in your makeup.
  • Celebrate the diversity of your mind. A mind that is free to think any way it wants should be appreciated, not suppressed.
  • If you were taught that God will hate you for sinful thoughts, try to detach yourself from this perspective. Holding a judgmental God responsible for your own self-judgment is a delusion.
  • Don’t fixate on being right all the time. Being right is just a disguise for making other people wrong. In the shadows, you secretly fear that something is wrong with you, which is why you fight so hard to appear infallible–you think it makes you good.
  • When you are tempted to control your mind, stand back and realize that task is impossible to begin with. Even the most disciplined mind has a way of breaking out of its chains.



Why Is Humility So Underrated?

Insight often arises from simultaneously holding two seemingly contradictory notions — and then allowing a deeper understanding to develop. Take, for example, David R. Hawkins’ idea that, “A universal characteristic of genius is humility.” Generally we don’t equate genius with being humble. If anything, we expect the opposite, and are pleasantly surprised when we find a counterexample. But this presumption is actually relatively modern. The writer Elizabeth Gilbert talksabout how ancient Romans believed that a genius was actually an invisible, divine entity who would assist a person in a creative work. In effect, this view positions a person as an instrument of their work, as opposed to the supreme creator of it; built-in to this perspective was a way of fostering humility within the gift of extraordinary capability.

In today’s increasingly connected world, humility becomes relevant not only for us as individuals, but also for groups. A recent study at Carnegie Mellon University showed that collective intelligence had little to do with the IQs of individuals in that group. So even if you bring together the smartest people, there is no guarantee of better team performance; in fact, it’s been shown that team outcomes have much more to do with how skillfully people collaborate. Individual motivations for actively engaging in a group effort lie at the heart of effective collaboration. Such motivation is rooted in how much value we ascribe outside of ourselves. A key aspect of this is humility: it motivates a right-sized assessment of our own abilities and an awareness of our limitations. A self-view that recognizes its limitations is vital in order for real synergy to occur. This is what allows us to be receptive to other people’s contributions, knowing that they often augment our own. In a group, the more that people are rooted in a mindset of humility, the greater the potential synergy.

It works in the other direction as well: the more we experience synergy, the more we recognize our interdependence, and the more likely we are to reinforce a sense of self-value that is real. An inflated self-valuation is clearly problematic, but so is a faltering sense of self-worth; both extremes feed into an insecurity that becomes more vested in proving value rather than simply adding it.

A conscious humility, one in which we accurately know our boundaries, makes us explicitly aware of what we do have to offer. This appreciation of our abilities is important, and yet, there’s a significant distinction between strengthening a known and limited self — and growing beyond it. As columnist David Brooks recently articulated in his encouraging survey of recent psychological research on humility, “Self-affirmation is about being proud and powerful and in control. Self-transcendence is about being engaged in activities in which the self is melded into a task or a relationship.” Viewed in this light, the problem isn’t in having a sense of self, but rather in being identified with its limitations, and therefore being unable to go beyond them. When we have a static and inflexible identity, what we experience becomes filtered and severely reduced. A repeated affirmation of this limited self is ego — and its fuel is habituated thought. We are what we think.

To soften the boundaries of identity, we must first become aware of our thoughts, and then recognize how certain thought patterns color our perception. It’s a flavor of what psychologists call inattentional blindness. In the classic Invisible Gorilla experiment, study participants are asked to watch a group of people pass a ball around. As they watch the video, a man in a gorilla suit walks across the screen, and yet half of the people don’t notice it. There is a similar but subtler inattentional blindness at the level of our thoughts, and this is where deepening in awareness is crucial. It allows us to tune in to the totality of our dynamic present experience. We then have more conscious choices in what we engage with and a greater freedom to choose our own responses — internal and external.

While thoughts may be hard to tune in to in a vacuum, in reality, the mind and body are inextricably connected. What we actually sense on the body-level tends to be much more tangible. Sensations within the body tug us firmly back into the moment and serve as a proxy for mindfulness. When someone says something that we perceive as a threat to our ego, we can actually sensitize ourselves to the physical sensations associated with that emotion. Anxiety often translates to a sinking feeling in the pit of the stomach, and with anger we feel red-hot. It all happens in a split second. But if we are mindful of our thoughts and sensations, we then have a lever to stop the flow of previously subconscious reactivity, and we actually discover space.

Perhaps that’s what humility really comes down to — space around our perception of the world, as well as our own selves. Space to hold conflicting information, take in other people’s views and, to borrow Bruce Lee’s words, take the shape of the container we find ourselves in. Humility gives us permission to withhold conclusion and realize that what we are is always still emerging. And this is good.

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