Mumbai opportunityhttps://indianexpress.com/article/opinion/columns/mumbai-26-11-terror-attack-5475349/

Mumbai opportunity

Healing of the wounds of 26/11 will begin with forgiveness.

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26/11 Attack Anniversary LIVE: 10 years after 26/11 attack, recounting inspiring stories. (File photo)

There are only two emotions — fear and love. Everything painful, toxic and life-damaging comes from fear, whereas all pleasurable, beautiful, expansive and life-supporting emotions come from love. Fear constricts, limits and distorts, while love expands, opens us to infinite possibilities and leads us on the path of truth, happiness and wholeness.

When our emotions are filled with anger, hostility and revenge, we create pain and suffering for ourselves and attract similar qualities from those around us. By transforming our fears into love, we radiate peace, understanding and compassion and our world becomes filled with love. When we project love, we will receive love. All fear is in the mind, the heart knows only love. Begin to think with your heart and love with your mind, transforming your fears into love.

To experience emotional wholeness, we must take responsibility for our emotions. Emotions are a choice. When we blame others for how we feel, we give them power over us. Take responsibility and take back your power. The Upanishads tell us Aham Brahmasmi, I am the Totality. And yet, so much of the time we choose to live in limitations. As the poet Rumi said, “Why live in prison when the door is wide open?”

Everything in life can be seen as a problem, or an opportunity for growth. When we stay focused on the problem, we remain stuck in the same habits and concepts, repeating the same mistakes. Albert Einstein said, “We can never solve a problem at the level at which it was created.” We have to look for the opportunity to rise above the problem. As horrific as the 26/11 Mumbai attack was, we have to look for the opportunity. It is understandable to feel angry and seek revenge but that lowers us to the level of the terrorists and is never the solution. What can we learn from this act, why did it happen, what changes need to be made?

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All healing begins with forgiveness. If we don’t forgive, we are always the ones who suffer. When we don’t forgive, we feed the other person with our energy. Forgiveness is all about you. Forgiveness is the door to your emotional freedom. The first step in forgiveness is to separate the person from the act. We can never forgive acts such as murder, rape, terrorism but it’s always possible to forgive the person who committed the act. Start with understanding how much pain, how much confusion must this person have been suffering to commit this act? No happy, healthy person commits heinous crimes. Can we feel some compassion for this person? By forgiveness I’m not suggesting that the person should go unpunished. Whether by the judicial system or ultimately by the laws of karma, everyone should face the consequences of their crimes. However, forgiveness gives us back the ability to live, love and celebrate life once more.

Ultimately, everything is a reflection of the collective consciousness of the world. Nothing exists in isolation and we all contribute, even if only in a small way, to everything that happens in the world. If the collective consciousness is fear based, we will continue to live in a world of war, terrorism, greed and suffering. It’s up to each one of us, we are the change we want to see.

Critical mass is a term borrowed from nuclear physics, which states that when a certain number of items or in this case people, adopt a similar way of thinking and acting, that way of thinking and acting is automatically adopted by the whole community. The author and visionary, Deepak Chopra, who I have had the honour of working with for the past 30-plus years, says that if one billion people shift their thinking from fear to love, we can raise the collective consciousness of the entire population of the world to one of peace, harmony and joy.

One billion people, that’s the population of India. For thousands of years, India has led the world in many ways, particularly spiritual. Now, perhaps, is India’s greatest opportunity. If the whole Indian population changed its thoughts, words and deeds to reflect love, understanding and compassion, even for one day, we could just maybe change the world — forever.

Gabriel has been practising and teaching meditation and Vedic philosophy for 40 years. He currently lives in
southern California