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For over 50 years Didi Sudesh has been an outstanding lecturer, teacher and broadcaster on meditation and spirituality. She has been invited to address international conferences, co-ordinate workshops and run seminars in over 80 countries.
She has the unique ability of crossing cultural differences, serving as a bridge between East and West. Born in North India in 1942, her ambition since early childhood has been to follow a spiritual path and serve humanity. Her teaching abilities were evident from childhood, when unique circumstances made her headmistress of a girl’s school at the age of 16. She is the European Director of the Brahma Kumaris, based in Germany.
What does it mean to cope?
Around the world people are trying to cope with the challenge of insecurity whether it is their job, homes, relationships, food shortages, redundancy, crime, and more.
The world seems to be in a state of chaos – financial, political, environmental and social - how can we make sense of what’s going on around us?
I liken the situation to the idea of a seed that has grown into a tree but is now turning into a jungle. People are often afraid in a jungle and feel swamped by the situations they now find themselves in. These days, honest values are disappearing in every arena of the world.
In politics, few policies are followed with a true heart. Environmental pollution is the consequence of our inner pollution. All kinds of internal upheavals arise from reacting with anger and violence, etc. Someone may not be expressing violence in a physical way, but they might get upset and react with jealousy, hatred and revenge. This creates tension in the atmosphere. When minds are full of tension and negativity, communication between people is spoilt. Negative feelings create vibrations which spread into our environment. Today, our relationships often share little or no love, respect or acceptance. Wealth is also energy and when it is influenced by greed and possessiveness, it creates selfishness. This in turn gives way to corruption and blocks the flow in financial interactions resulting in suffering such as in the fear of loss.
More often than not, we cannot choose the situation in which we find ourselves. So, what can we do when we find ourselves in the midst of upheaval?
Because things are happening so fast, without any warning, we need to have inner stability and self respect. To maintain our inner peace and clarity of mind it is necessary to be the ‘detached observer’. Allowing mental upheavals to influence us means our power to discern and decide gets clouded. Instead of thinking of solutions we concentrate on the problem. When we are confused it is even more important to connect ourselves with our inner qualities, inner peace and spiritual strength. It is like imagining light when it is dark or cool air when the weather is hot. A spiritual state is like being naturally connected with the values and powers of the original self, such as wisdom, peace, clarity, truth, love, stability and happiness. These inner virtues generate protective vibrations around me, which spread and influence situations and my environment as well.
A friend said to me recently: “I’ve got so many people depending on me for support – how can I help them when I am struggling myself? What sort of advice would you give to her?”
The most important support I can give is to help people become aware of their own inner potential. It is said “God helps those who help themselves”. When I am dependent on others it creates ties and demands that can eventually cause tension in any relationship. The Brahma Kumaris have a motto: “Give good wishes and have pure feelings for all.” I can always help others if I have the inner qualities of true love, good wishes and respect. They will feel the vibrations of these feelings even when they don’t realise where they are coming from and the subtle connection helps. It is important never to feel guilty about not being able to help someone physically. Life is like a tree - it passes through different seasons. In winter time, there is no fruit, there are no leaves, but from the seed the tree will still bear leaves and fruit in the following season. The good wishes that people receive may actually help them to become independent in time. Later they may value what they received at a time of need.
When you have faced difficult times in your own life, what has helped you most – and perhaps also, what have you learned from the experience?
I have faith that each challenge comes as a lesson, to show me that I have hidden, unused values and these are opportunities to express them. With meditation and practice of Raja Yoga I become aware that life is valuable - like a diamond. A diamond becomes a diamond when it is able to take pressure. That pressure reminds me to maintain self-respect. This world is a field of action like a stage. The diamond life is like a life of a hero. A hero has to face many challenges and has the opportunity to express what he has learned through his skills, abilities and potential and yet remain a detached observer and perform his role as an actor on the stage.
Nothing ever remains the same – situations and life constantly change. Sometimes we feel unsuccessful in our efforts in life but, looking back, we can always learn from difficult situations and put those lessons into practice in the future to bring success. I have faith that the future is bright.
Another aspect Raja Yoga teaches is to connect with the true self. Maintaining the awareness that I am a soul, a living energy, an eternal being of light, I can develop a relationship with the Supreme Soul. Whenever any difficulty comes, I then have the feeling that I am under His canopy of protection. Life is a constant examination and I need to learn more and more to be qualified, to pass the examination with honour. So then difficulties are not felt as difficulties. In this way, we can easily come through anything.
Raja Yoga Meditation as practiced by the Brahma Kumaris World Spiritual University is a perfect tool to bring about change in our awareness and attitude. Come and experience for yourself the benefits of meditation by visiting www.bkwsu.org/uk or telephoning 020 8727 3350 for more details and information on courses and programmes.
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