Experience Bliss

Why Do Good People Suffer?

Before you continue reading the rest of this article, I would like to invite you to ask yourself this question “why do good people suffer?” and then pause for a moment. Allow the answer to emerge from within you. The answer you get is what you believe. 

When I was around the age of 13, I was diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes with a dangerously high sugar level of 700+. I remember that after my soccer practice, my Dad came into the classroom to ask the teacher for a leave, as I needed to be hospitalized for a few days. At the time, I had no idea about the intensity of my “sickness”, and I was just happy that I would get a holiday from school for a few days.

The first two days in the hospital weren’t too bad; just a few pricks of the needle didn’t bother me. Although, I did enjoy all the attention I was getting as my friends came to visit and brought me flowers. Of course, in addition to their flowers each friend and family brought me a piece of their advice, and said they would not offer me chocolates again. 

However, one guest decided to bring me a book called “Why do good people suffer?” Up to that point, I had no idea that I was suffering, or was going to suffer in anyway. But, since I was only 13 years old and was enjoying my time away from school, I really did not pay much attention to that book. In fact, even today, decades later I never read it. Why didn’t I read it? Because I did not need to, since my friends, family, society, and religion all gave me the same answer. Karma. 

Today, I want to shed some light on this question “why do good people suffer”, not based on any religious views or other peoples opinions, but based on my introspection, or inner reflection. 

I was raised with the belief that either we enjoy or suffer based on our karmic deeds. It’s that simple, do good, and good will return to you. But what happens when you have no idea why you were born with a disability, or you become sick for no reason? The answer your religion will give you might be something like “it’s residue from the past life”. Can that be proven or is it just an answer to satisfy oneself?

The truth is that very few people have experienced their past lives in states of meditation or dreams, so for a majority of the people, they have accepted a reason for this suffering which they cannot prove. 
Another perspective of Karma is that it’s not designed to punish the soul based on its negative actions. It simply teaches the soul that some actions can cause pain and suffering; and in the future, the soul should choose to act positively. Through the lessons taught by negative karma, one can gain wisdom, and cultivate love, compassion, and a sense of unity.

Again, this is also just a perspective, which cannot be proven until one goes into deep meditation. Therefore, if you have decided to accept a philosophy of karma, I would like to invite you to adopt a different philosophy, at least one that serves you. 

The reason I’m inviting you to change your belief about why people suffer is because if you believe that you are suffering due to negative karma, you will experience a victim mindset. You will blame karma for the situations of life, and will take very little action. In addition, you may harbor negative thoughts about yourself and life in general. 

So, when you experience an unfavorable situation, instead of asking the question “why did this happen to me?” which often the answer will almost always be “karma”, ask yourself these questions:
- What can I learn from this situation?
- What is trying to emerge from me?
- Who can I become based on what I learn from this situation? 

And the most powerful questions that I ask myself are:
- How can I turn these wounds into wisdom?
- What suppressed emotions are surfacing? 

If you ask yourself the above questions, you will rise above the victim mindset, and you will seek to find the blessing in your pain. Remember, fate is what happens to you, but your destiny is what you make of it. 

Today, at the age of 36, my body is still diabetic and my vision is low. But, I have never been happier, simply because I changed my beliefs and started asking the question “Why Not Me?” instead of “Why Me?”

As I conclude, I would like to share a quick example of this belief. Most people would consider my situation (low-vision) as a tragedy. But, after I surrendered to the Universe, I realized that it is more of a gift. I have gained such profound experiences in the past 6 years, that if I had a choice I would maintain the low-vision, simply for my consciousness to keep expanding, as well as actually feeling and “recognizing” the grace in my life. Whenever I do feel low or helpless, I ask myself, is it better to walk alone in the light, or walk with the Divine in the dark?

Ultimately, how you feel and the rate at which you heal depends on what you believe is the reason for your challenge. From now onwards, I invite you to search for the blessing and wisdom that the challenge has brought into your life.

Why Did Shirdi Sai Baba Push Me Away?

For those of you who personally know me or who have read a few of my articles would know that I always share my experiences, miracles, interactions (dream and awake) especially about Shridi Sai Baba.

I was raised in a very religious family. The temple in our house looked like a shop where we displayed all the deities as statues, pictures, and calendars, along with their holy books. As a young child this was extremely confusing for me, as I did not know whom to pray to. So, I was taught that I should pray to all of them. Like an obedient child after my shower every morning, I paid my respects by touching the pictures without any intention, simply not to disrespect any of the deities.

Once I started encountering challenges in life, I was encouraged to pray more. Chanting, singing, reading the holy texts, and visiting temples became mandatory, because I must please the deities, and in turn they would bless me and “forgive” my sins.

However, this did not satisfy me because I did not feel the blessings pouring down upon me. And when I would ask my parents or Gurus why not, they would say have faith and patience. It seemed to me that they did not know the answer, and were just stalling me. So, I wanted to talk to God directly. No one in my family had ever communicated with God directly, it was always through some deity or Guru. I felt a resonance with Shirdi Sai Baba, so I figured that He would be my bridge to God.

This was the first time in my life I felt that I was communicating with God. I did not chant His name or read His scriptures back to Him. All I did was talk to Him as if I was speaking with my father or my best friend. I poured my heart out to Him, and questioned every belief that I was raised with. It was only a matter of days later that I started receiving my answers. The biggest misconception I had was that I was being punished for my partial vision loss. I was visited in a dream by Krishna and Shirdi Sai Baba, and was told that I had to go through these challenges, and that they were holding my hand at every step of the way. This was extremely comforting and insightful. Since then, I have had numerous interactions with beings of higher consciousness and gained insights that have transformed my life.

However, today I want to share with you something a little different, although, this may not resonate with the belief system that you were raised with. Therefore, please understand that my intention is never to change your belief, but to simply offer you another perspective.

Even though my connection with Shirdi Sai Baba is very strong, for a short period of time, I felt that he was pushing me away from him. I could not understand why. Without a doubt he was always on my mind, but I did not get any attractions of cravings to read his Holy text or to chant his name. Although, I would always bow down in front of his statue, there wasn’t a feeling that I was bowing down to God. It was more like greeting my best friend or father. In fact, very few people know this, but I even have a nickname for him, I refer to him as “Babz”.

Initially, my parents would become upset about this because I was so called “dis-respecting” their Shirdi Sai Baba, or should I say my “Babz”. But, consider this for a moment, don’t we have nicknames for the friends and family that we love? Overtime, I guess they realized this, and now my mom also sometimes calls Shridi Sai Baba, Babz, our Babz.

So, why was my “Babz” pushing me away from him, or was this only my perception? After all, who could answer that question besides my Babz? As I meditated on this, the answer I received was “Don’t seek me outside of you.”

Now, many of us believe or say that we believe that God is within us? But allow me to ask you this question, do you truly believe that in every part of your being, or is in just in your head? For me, at that time, “God is within me” was only cognitive, meaning just in my head.

I realized that this was the reason that Shirdi Sai Baba, or my Babz was pushing me away. He wanted me to discover him within myself, truly within my being, not simply in my head. As this happened, I remembered one of his quotes which said “either I AM in you, or you are in you”. This gave me another realization that if I wanted to fully experience Shridi Sai Baba, “I” or who I believe “I” am must get out of the way.

From that day onwards, the way I started to pray was completely different. I would not pray for blessings or grace to come from outside of me, or any higher power. Instead, I would pray for the strength to get out of the way and be receptive to guidance. Now, I feel that I’m becoming a better instrument of the Divine each day, while allowing the music to play through me. Of course, although the musician (the Divine) is perfect, this instrument (myself) isn’t. This means that I have a tremendous amount of inner work to do, in order to become a graceful instrument for the Divine.

As I discussed earlier in this article, my intention is not to change your belief. However, I invite you to discover this level of consciousness for yourself. If you continue to believe that God is outside of you, then you will also believe that happiness, peace, and grace our outside of you. When you believe that God or Divinity is within you, then everything that you believe that the Divine represents, such as bliss, grace, forgiveness, etc. will be created from within you.

So, Shirdi Sai Baba did push me away, but it was for me to discover Him within myself. Today he is so deep within me there is absolutely no separation. This has offered me so much inner peace, clarity, strength, and courage to speak the truth regardless of what people may think of me. This feeling is what I truly call Freedom.

“Lord, make me an instrument of your peace; where there is hatred, let me sow love; where there is injury, pardon; where there is doubt, faith; where there is despair, hope; where there is darkness, light; and where there is sadness, joy.” – St. Francis of Assisi

The Gratitude Walk

One of the greatest benefits of being a Mind Transformation Coach is that in order to help my clients transform their lives I must have the courage to transform my own life first. This means that I must explore the depths within my being and test out any tools and techniques on myself before sharing them.

I am silently, yet constantly exploring these depths, and I’ve noticed that the deeper I go, the more fascinated I become about myself. Instead of this leading to arrogance of knowledge, it leads to humility, and a sense of wonder. Because the more I learn, the more I realize how little I know, and this sets me off on an even deeper journey of self-discovery and exploration.

I do not share many of these insights in my articles because they are fairly deep, although I do share the simple ones, which the readers can adopt into their lives.

Recently, my dreams have been guiding me towards exploring the idea of oneness. I do not know the reason for this, but whenever I get a message in my dreams, I always follow it. So, as I set off on my early morning walk, I set my intention on oneness, even though I had no idea what it was. I simply walked with my highest level of mindfulness or awareness for three days. That’s for about an hour each day, I did not walk for three days straight.

By the third day, as I embodied the sense of mindful walking, it triggered a sense of gratitude and oneness for all that I could perceive. I noticed that my level of awareness was raised to such a point, which would be so difficult to describe in words. The only way I could express it is through the words of the Persian poet Rumi where he writes, “witness the blessing dropping their blossoms around you”.

This experience was so wonderful that I simply wanted to hold on to it as my consciousness kept on shifting from the experiencer to the experience and back. Whenever I would experience 100% presence, my mind would jump back into experiencer-mode. For example, as I looked at the blade of grass near the bench I was about to sit on, I felt a sense of oneness with the grass, there seemed to be no separation. I realized that the grass, air, earth, sunshine, the people passing by, the singing of the birds, the sounds of the traffic, and everything else that was happening at that very moment was one with me. The moment that I acknowledge this oneness with creation, I bounced out of experience-mode to experiencer-mode, where I was now the witness of this creation. I started to enjoy this fascination and started to play around with this idea of experiencer and experience.

This was very similar to my experiences of meditation and lucid dreaming where I am a witness to my thoughts, emotions, body, and dream interactions. This is why witnessing is expressed in terms of the meditator being the sky, and the thoughts and emotions being the clouds. The meditator experiences oneself as the sky, simply without judgment observing the clouds passing by. However, the difference is that now, I was not experiencing this in a state of meditation or dreams, but in wakefulness, or could I say almost full-wakefulness?

I would like to share a technique that you could easily adopt so that you can experience a sense of oneness that is right for you. For the next three days, I would like to invite you to make a commitment to yourself – it’s called the “Gratitude Walk”.

Set aside 15-20 minutes for the next three days, preferably at the same time each day. Also choose to walk down the same road each day. Before you start your walk, set an intention that you will walk with “absolute gratitude and mindfulness”. This intention will program your mind to focus on your intention for the next 15-20 minutes. As you walk, observe life around you with a sense of wonder and gratitude. You will suddenly notice objects, places, trees, etc. that you’ve never noticed before, even though you’ve walked on that path many times.

For example, as I walked with mindfulness and gratitude, I noticed fire hydrants that I had never seen. As I passed by these fire hydrants, I felt a sense of gratitude. After all, if there is ever a fire in a building; the fire hydrant would be responsible for saving so many lives. All I could say was “Thank you fire hydrant”. In the same manner, there was so much more that I noticed during this walk, which I was never grateful for before.

Ultimately, whether you experience a similar sense of oneness like I did or not, you will benefit from the positive energy that you gain from the Gratitude Walk. Although, I am sure that if you continue this practice of the Gratitude Walk for a few weeks, you will have an experience that is far beyond your imagination, yet just right for you.

Finally, I would like to empower you with the powerful words of Rumi – “wear gratitude like a cloak, and it will feed every corner of your life”.

Passion & Purpose Talk

It was an honor to be invited to the English Speech Contest of the University students in Taiwan, which was hosted by the Rotary Club of Taipei at the Taipei European School. 

I gave a 40-minute inspirational talk to the students and guests about how to “Create a Life of Passion & Purpose”. I had a wonderful time presenting my talk as well as a thought-provoking Q&A session with the audience.

Interview in the Taipei Times

I’m in the News!

Two weeks ago, I was interviewed by the Taipei Times newspaper about the Mind Transformation Coaching that I offer my clients. 

I also share some of my story as well as some wisdom. 

Click here to read the web article, or you can always pick up the Taipei Times of Apr. 26. 2016 “A Prophet in the Making”.

Positivity Workshop for Carrefour

I had a Fantastic time today conducting my Leadership workshop for the Executive Committee of Carrefour in Taiwan. 

The topic of my workshop was “Be Super Positive. Master Your Thoughts, Emotions, and Energy. Become a Better Leader”.

Talk at Skal International

It was a pleasure and honor to be invited by Skal International to give a talk at their luncheon today. The title of my talk was “Experience a Life of Fulfillment” where I shared 5 key virtues that we can cultivate to experience fulfillment. I had a wonderful time speaking to over 60 members from the top global tourism industry. A special Thank you to Skal International, and I look forward to speaking again at your future events.

About Skal -Skål is a professional organisation of tourism leaders around the world, promoting global tourism and friendship. It is the only international group uniting all branches of the travel and tourism industry. Its members, the industry's managers and executives, meet at local, national, regional and international levels to discuss and pursue topics of common interest. 

Discover Your Super Powers

I am fan of Super Hero movies like Spiderman, Batman, Superman, etc. and I always wondered that if I had a super power what would it be? Would it be the ability to fly like Superman, or crush a building in the palm of my hand like the Incredible Hulk?
But then I would be shaken back into reality and realize that I’m only human.

Today, I would like to share a secret with you. The truth is that I loved how it felt when I believed that I had super powers, so I started referring to myself as Super Dino! Slowly, but surely I realized that if your mind can conceive it, and your heart can believe it, then you can achieve it.

Through this conviction, I noticed that it became easier for me to handle my challenges. Like a deer, I was gracefully and easily jumping over all my obstacles.

However, one day, the belief about Super Dino was really put to the test, when life decided to play a game with me.

About five years ago, I started to lose my vision very rapidly due to bleeding inside my eyes. It was as if it was raining blood inside my eyes. I was terrified. So as I visited my doctor, he said I would need multiple surgeries, if not I would become blind and walk with a cane.

So, two days before my first eye surgery, the doctor was briefing me about the preparation procedures. He said to me “Dino, 24 hours before the surgery you will need to take an injection”.

So I responded to the doctor, “sure, no problem, would I take it on my arm:
He was silent for a moment and then said “No Dino, directly in your eye”.
That very moment, I felt chills run down my spine.
The Super Dino within me flew away so fast that my head was spinning, and I felt empty and helpless. But since I had no choice; I accepted what the doctor advised, and promised to come in for the injection the next day.

The next 24 hours were some of my most difficult moments. It seemed as though a black cloud of fear was upon me, destroying my peace of mind. I could not sleep because I kept imagining the injection piercing into my eye. As if a needle was popping a balloon. Even though, I was only required to take that injection once, imagining it over and over again was almost as good as taking multiple injections.

The next day I arrived at the clinic and waited for the nurse to call my name. I could not figure out whether I wanted time to slow down or speed up. But I was pretty sure that I wanted time to stop. Unfortunately, Super Dino wasn’t gifted with the super power to stop time.

As I waited, I could no longer bare the self-torture, so I completely gave up. I surrendered to the Universe. I trusted that some higher power would take care of me. At least, this thought whether true or false, generated a feeling of peace within me.  Finally, my name was called and the nurse escorted me into the room.

As I entered the room, I saw it waiting for me – the execution chair. The only difference was that I was receiving a healing injection, and not a lethal one.

As I sat down, a nurse held down both my hands in a very compassionate manner, and then put a clip into my eye to keep it open. As the doctor injected my eye, my world turned into slow motion. The injection got closer, closer, and closer.

Super Dino was back – bold, brave, and bulletproof.

After that day, I had multiple eye surgeries, but I did not experience any fear. So I asked myself, are Super Heroes fearless?

I realized that Super Heroes do experience fear, but in spite of the fear they cultivate the courage to take action, because their purpose is far greater than who they are. Super Heroes use their fear to fuel their courage. And they also have faith that there is some force that will support them.

Now this force may be grace, or good luck, you may not know what to call it, but you have definitely experienced it, haven’t you?

In my case, living a life with low-vision takes an immense amount of courage and faith. Courage to ask people to help me cross the street or hold my hand in a dark room. In addition, it also requires faith that people will actually help me, or faith that when I walk with my cane I will be guided in the right direction. I like to call this force of faith, “Dino’s Angels”. As I know, without a doubt that these angels come whenever I call, and they will catch me if I fall. Which reminds me of a quote by Wayne Dyer where he says “If you knew who walked beside you at all times, on the path that you have chosen, you could never experience fear or doubt again.” I believe that this is a path that I have chosen for my spiritual development, and I have all the Universal support that I need.

When you cultivate faith, you give up control, and believe that everything is happening through divine will, and “there are NO mistakes in your life”. Once you believe this, you will not complain about the present moment, your mind will not regret the past, nor have any anxiety about the future. You will also believe that every situation is a gift from the Universe. Ultimately, this will clear all the stress from your body, as well as quiet your mind.

Through my experience, I want to remind you that you were born with these two gifts – courage and faith. When you were a baby you had the courage to cry for what you needed, and had faith that your mother would give it to you. However, as you grew up, through your challenges, you slowly lost this courage and faith.

The truth is that without courage and faith, even Superman cannot fly. So today, I invite you to re-discover and unwrap these gifts of faith and courage, and share it with the world. Because when you reach a place of darkness in your life and feel confused, courage and faith will be that shining light to guide your way.

I truly believe that what the world needs today are more people who can inspire others through their experiences, faith, and courage. Therefore, I encourage you to unleash your dormant super powers of courage faith, because you never know who you may inspire today.

“Faith is to believe what you do not see; the reward of this faith is to see what you believe.” – Saint Augustine

At the Rotary Club of Taipei

It was truly an honor and pleasure to be invited by the Rotary Club of Taipei as a motivational Guest Speaker, today. The topic of my talk was “Be Super Positive – Master your Thoughts, Emotions, and Energy”. 

It was a wonderful opportunity to meet some very interesting people and share our ideas. A special Thank You to the Rotary Club, and I look forward to speaking again at your future events.

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