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Description

Swami Jyotirmayananda was initiated as a sannyasin in 1986. She authored the children’s book Sparkling Together and has served at Satchidananda Ashram, Yogaville in various capacities, including designing and installing displays at Yogaville’s LOTUS (Light of Truth Universal Shrine). She served as Vice President of Resident Services and as Vice President of Spiritual Development for a total of ten years. She has turned many of her watercolor paintings into greeting cards, and she currently serves as the Director of the LOTUS Center for All Faiths (LCAF).

Links

  • Lotus Center for All Faiths: https://www.yogaville.org/discover/lcaf-lotus-center-for-all-faiths/
  • Jyotima’s Watercolor Cards: https://new.iydistribution.com/catalogsearch/result/index/?cat=&q=jyotirmayananda&product_list_limit=36

Transcription

Jyotima 0:01
prevents me from getting caught up in judging conflict and opinions and all that if I focus on the mantra, I feel peaceful. The Love is right there too. They're both right there constant judgment and constant opinions of how things should be. You're not going to be at peace within yourself if you're have these. Your feelings about others, have good thoughts.

Avi 0:23
Say good words. do good deeds. Hello and welcome. So glad you're here and so glad to be joined today by Swami jyotirmoy, Nanda Swami Jyoti Ma and I have been living together now for about four years at the ashram so we spend a lot of nice time, great conversations and super pumped to have her on the podcast today. And I'd like to begin by just sharing a little bit about her BRAC background. She was initiated as a senior person in 1986. She's authored the children's book sparkling together, she has served at the ashram in various capacities, including designing and installing displays at Lotus. She served as vice president of Resident services, and as Vice President of spiritual development. For a total of 10 years. She has turned many of her watercolor paintings into greeting cards. And she currently serves as the director of LCF Lotus center for all faiths. So Swami Ji, thank you so much for taking the time to do this today. Yes, my pleasure. All right. So I want to begin by asking you about this, you have a definition of love that you used in the book, and love, it's knowing that you are special, and everyone else is special, too. So I found that very interesting as the definition of love, you are special and everyone is special. And maybe it seems obvious, but why did you choose to devote to find love like that?

Jyotima 2:09
Okay, so I'll give you a little background about this. The children's book I wrote, it's called strapping together, start by his wrestling friends, you can see it here. And then the book is about universal love. And it has is okay. If I sit tell a little bit about the book before I answer your question, of course, yeah. Okay, so I'm going to say a little bit about this book, the background. And how I got into writing a children's book, I was working with children in San Francisco. Between 1977 82 I had an after school program for kindergarten children. And they're all about age five. And I noticed how brilliant these children were, I was, at the time learning, I just got involved into yoga. So I was learning the integral of your teachings, I would pass them on to the children in terms they can understand. And I was just amazed at how at that age, the kids have all the questions and they also have all the answers. So I started this book, but working with the children basically. And what it is, I'll just read it from the back of the book. It's eight stories it depicted Bachelors of starbrite This is the outer spacey from planet Oh, and sky heart and a sister rose at planet Earth. Each story encompasses that real life challenge common to childhood experience, including self esteem, negative feelings, environmental awareness, a new home, new friends, without employed parent, the new sibling illness, Death of a pet and death my granddaughter. So kind of the gamut of what children experience we all experienced in our lives. And guided by the outer space, heroes star bride sky and Rose discovered that heartfelt Love is the main key to success when they are faced with life's various challenges. So in writing a book I really thought a lot how do I define love for children and I explored many different possibilities and I came up with love is knowing that you were special, and everyone else is special to and love shines out to our thoughts are good thoughts, words and deeds. So I think it's everything starts at home really have to develop your own self esteem, have respect. Love your own self, before you can really reach out and love others. And maybe they happen at the same time. So anyway, this is kind of the background how I got into this definition of love. And, you know, while we're at it once, I did I was working with the children. I taped some things to note of your conversations. And they have a lot to say about love. Now, would you like me to read a little bit about that? That sounds amazing, please. Yeah, this is so this is my seven years ago, basically, if I saved it. So this is on love. Okay, here's Jennifer. Keep your eyes closed. Look straight ahead. Think about the love inside you, Sarah, helping someone is another way of saying I love you. And sharing is a spirit of love. Then, Jennifer, I'm the sun because the sun is Mother Nature. And the sun is full of love. And Sara again, sometimes I take the kids to the beach. Do you know how I got more, I got the love inside of me to keep me warm. And see Aaron it God's way That boy is my brother. Cool. And God's way that bus driver is our uncle. Vanessa, I gave her house a little love. I asked how I went to the easiest part to get to the curtain and gave it a kiss. And Vanessa, again, I love everybody in the whole world and send the bad people a good wish to get better. So this kind of gives you an example of how children have this capacity at that age to understand the deep spiritual and philosophical concepts. And anyway, this is kind of a background of my working with children in San Francisco. And I also worked with children before that, and after that. And I've always been a great lover of children. And of course, adults too. So I'll be back next.

Avi 6:59
Yeah, but I want to ask you about the connection between relaxation, or maybe feeling at peace and love. I found that, like, if I really relaxed, I like let go. I feel peaceful, then the love is waiting there for me. Have you noticed anything similar to that?

Jyotima 7:24
Um, I guess so. I never thought of it that way. But I don't think any of us who were in a more relaxed state of mind, it's easier to access the lab inside of us and to share it with others.

Avi 7:41
Yeah, and I think like, well, just maybe the Gurudev emphasize peace so much. Because maybe it was a gateway to love. I mean, peace is great, but it's it almost feels like they go hand in hand together. You send love to me, it's like if I feel peaceful, the love is right there too. They're both right there.

Jyotima 8:04
Yes, yes, I would say that's definitely true. You know, starting with the peace inside, and cultivating that peace do I say to your son through your practices, and then with meditation, watching your thoughts, and when those thoughts get negative, that's not leading you to love that's not expressing love. So I think one of our big challenges is to be the constant witness to see where are the thoughts in our minds? Are we judging people? Are we having opinions about people? And I think this is what blocks that tasty boxes from loving others is by this constant judgment and constant opinions of how things should be, how the option should be how your wife should be how your work, make sure that you're, you know, you're pretty much anybody do what it's love is not going to be expressed if you're having a negative opinion about that person.

Avi 9:08
Are there any practices you use for yourself to kind of focus more on that which you control like yourself? Right? So what I hear you saying is, you know, it can be such a distraction, to be judging everything around me my environment, other people could spend my whole life doing that just judging things outside of myself. And it seems to me that that's like, a tendency to do that. Because I'm distract as a mode of distraction from myself. They really don't. The inner work is too much to really to mind my own business in a way to stay in my own lane of my person and believing that if everyone does that, the world will be a better place. We'll live in a better place. But I think all of us right fall into the trap. of this judgment of this distraction? So are there any practices you use for kind of bringing yourself back to yourself?

Jyotima 10:09
Yeah, I would say for me, practice needs to be daily, it can't be just every now and then. So I've cultivated a daily practice of prayer and meditation. And I, when I took my much initiation back in 1978, and the lesson in San Francisco, I was really enamored by our Sanskrit prayers that we have as to begin our meditations with. So I memorized all those prayers and made a vow to say them every day, you know, as long as I live, even if I don't have time to actually meditate, sit down and really observe the silence. So I have found that, that practice stemming from that balance to be helped me really to stay grounded in my own case, it's one of my tools, I would say. And of course, I also value the mantra repetition, which I do, after my prayers, and the Sanskrit prayers, and I have other prayers, I say, to actually have 20 minutes of prayers, I'd say each morning, summer, interfaith summer sand scripts, and we're from Sydney OS, and then the state focus, then I like to try to repeat my mantra as much as possible during the day. And that helps me too. prevents me from getting caught up in judging and conflict and opinions and all that if I focus on the mantra, that's a big help. But in the moment,

Avi 11:44
like within a day, when Okay, you're not not chanting mantra, or maybe you're in the food line, whatever you're walking, walking around interacting with other people. I mean, do you find yourself in situations where, like, the mind is developing a story about someone else? Some kind of critique or judgment for someone else? And, you know, do you have any tools for, for kind of dealing with those situations, like when it comes up? Like when those situations come up? In the midst of it? What What is your tendency to do? Yeah,

Jyotima 12:16
yes, that happens. It seems like, no matter who you are, in this world, whether you're like you or you're married, or you and my situation, I live with nine, other Swamis. And in a in a monastery. And so we basically get one probably okay, but things come up, like you're talking about and the day. So I think the best thing I find to do is try to resolve the complex, however big or small, as soon as possible. And don't get caught up too much in trying to solve conflicts through email. Because sometimes I think it just gets worse and better in person, again, to a person on the phone, but I think sometimes email this, I think makes things worse. So yeah, I think to resolve things as soon as possible before you go to bed that night, try to resolve any kind of conflict, even if it's just in your mind, and you have a plan. Okay, next day, I'm gonna go that person apologize for what I did. And sometimes I find, too, that, you know, I had people this happens to me too, you get accused of this then the other thing, and you kind of feel hurt and defensive. And which is so human, so natural, that I think the highest thing to do in that case is we'll find out why did that person attack me about that certain situation and try to understand that person and why they're coming from. And so if you use your mind to understand I think, de escalate any kind of conflict and, and move toward resolution basically. So anyway, that's kind of what I tried to

Avi 13:57
saying is use your mind to understand where that person is coming from that maybe is judging you harshly. Correct? Yes. How do you decide you know, which, which situations to kind of engage with and something needs to be expressed and worked out and other situations where you feel like it's just the mind running stories, my practice is just to let it go. Right, like different things come up, and some of them it's like, Okay, I'm gonna let this one go. And other ones it's like, okay, it's not so easy to let go or it doesn't feel right to let it go. This one I'm gonna have the discussion with the person trying to work it out.

Jyotima 14:39
I think that's kind of a question of choosing your battles. And sometimes it is something easy you could you let go but it kind of plays on your mind gotta start thinking about it and then you know, that are to miss. Moving on, you're still thinking about anything that you're still thinking about something to take nice resolution. So and and then Other things, you know, you could let go. You don't have to, like, kill somebody. I mean, I thought the current news, which is pretty much a horror story in many ways, but yeah, you hear about people killing each other over a parking place a fight over a parking place. You know, it's we're definitely not going to do that here at yoga build, but it's, you know, I think what happens with us in general, if we don't resolve conflicts, they mount up and they mount up, and then they explode. You explode? No. So it's really good, I think on a daily basis to kind of check, where am I at with my relationships with others, and you're not going to be at peace with your own self if you're have these, your feelings about others?

Avi 15:48
What do you think about the activity of watching the news? You mentioned this. And I think it's, it's quite interesting, right? That the news itself, or to look at it objectively, what it is, right seems to be very much weighed in the direction of the negative, right, all these things are happening in the world all the time. And yes, they're choosing certain things. Okay, this is newsworthy, right? Yes. But often, like great, great acts of kindness and good deeds. Maybe they'll fit in something there, but it gets maybe we'll maybe 5% of their time 10% of their time, right. So why would that be considered less new newsworthy, something really good? And I guess my point is like, what is the effect of exposing ourselves to information that is very negative overall. And if we're taking self care seriously, with ourselves, and what I'm, you know, like being at the ashrams like, that's what I want to be here, because it's a peaceful environment. And I realized that my environment affects me, therefore, I'm going to put myself in the most peaceful environment I can. So the environment of the news in a way. I mean, the flip side of that is like, I want to be informed, right? I know, I want to know what's going on with the world. But the other side is, how is this affecting me? And if I'm, you know, if I really want to serve and do good things, maybe all of those imprints are going in, and it's making it harder for me to be my best self connecting with love all of that. Any any reflections on that? Like a pro? Yes.

Jyotima 17:30
Very good points here. I guess kind of fallen in footsteps of streaker den who is an avid news watcher, he barely kept up and sometimes become the suds and then say, now we're gonna pray for Prime Minister rubine was assassinated in Israel. It's of course, ladies. So I kind of feel that if I'm informed with the news, all the negativity, I know what to pray for them. You know, I'm much more informed. But who needs prayers. Now, many prayers in Gaza, they need prayers in Syria, and Yemen, and Afghanistan, and Guatemala and Africa. There's so many areas in the world where people are really suffering. So I find that if I am in this country, too, so I find if I kind of know what's going on, I know more about what to pray for. And so so I you know, I certainly I tend to watch watch, sometimes even you have a TV and comment, nobody joins me, I said except myself so I'll watch abc news or David mirror with a very rtps get news coverage and you gotta get informed. And I just recently last week actually subscribed to the CNN has a news coverage called the good stuff that's all the good news. So I just started this it's nice they like you're saying Yeah, they said they broadcast stuff it's good that's happening in the morning so it's nice to know that side too. Anyway, it's a habit I have good or bad that I feel in order to love all humanity I need to know what's happening. So I'm glad to hear about that the good stuff and but you know, one time I remember I was talking to this is a brother monka speaker it is semi chitin and they asked him the same question What should we watch the news and he said, Well, the distributive keys don't watch it. So there are some things like in the news I find if it gets getting really high too too graphic I just either change the channel or close my eyes and why this is certain limit I could take you know, so I cut it off where I feel it's gonna really disturb my peace.

Avi 19:37
Yeah, it's hard for me to not feel that it is disturbing my peace in the sense and, and more specifically actually questioning my faith. Because when I hear about all these things that are happening, you know, in the world on a large negative things on a large scale. I feel like I go into the channel of things are getting worse. There's You know, there's disaster disaster situations. And, and there's a lot of concern. And when I feel concern, then my piece is disturbed. Right. So the flip side of that is, is having faith, right? And for me saying, I don't know, you know, it's very complicated, all the good things and the bad things and whatnot, I'm just a limited human being. My job, my responsibility is to have faith. And I think one of the other points in your book was, it's all for good, no matter what's happening to really believe that it's all for all that I don't really know too much. But I have this core belief that somehow it's all for good. Yeah. That's the

Jyotima 20:47
main teaching, basically, board is all your name, it's all your form. It's all your deed. It's all for good. So no matter what happens, it's going to move us in the right direction. You know, just the other day at the ashram on during group ornament that night, we had a huge rain, like him is an allowance may have ever heard ever. for three hours non stop, and obviously a set amount up to your place to Yeah, yeah. So it was only in the unknown surround area, it wasn't in Scottsdale, one or levingston is only this area, and they always got a great record of a blessing. But then the next day, you know, there's damage on the lowest road, and there's several rooms here are flooded and want to work to clean up basically. So that you look at that, Oh, well, it was greatest blessing. And that's another way of is all for good. Whatever happens. So it's hard sometimes to see when, you know, we lose this, like the people that died from COVID-19. I mean, it's hard to see how this whole pandemic is all for good. But it is what it is. and humanity is facing it in various ways. So life is a mystery. That's one thing, my dear mother. Her teachings, she didn't have too many. But this one was pretty profound life is a mystery. Don't try to understand. So sometimes at a certain point, I feel we have to just stop trying to understand why things are the way they are. Just accept them.

Avi 22:25
I love that so much. Because seems that the mind wants to understand. It wants to figure out. Yeah, but it forgets its limitation. I forget my limitation that I'm just a human mind. I can't understand the vast I can't even understand a little bit of it. Yeah, it's true. I wanted to ask you about in the story in one of the the main characters that kids sky, he makes a new friend Ben. And because he's been interacting with starbright knows from another planet. And he tells his friend Ben about it. Ben doesn't want to be friends with him anymore, because he thinks he's lying to him. And so sky is really upset, because he wants Ben to like him. And I just thought this very, like a very core feeling that maybe all of us or many of us have that we want to be liked by other people, it really, it really hurts when we're not. We don't feel that we're liked by others. So I wanted to ask about your personal experience on that. D? Do you have that tendency to, you know, want to be liked by other people? And does it is hurt? Does it make you feel hurt? Do you feel hurt if if you're not liked?

Jyotima 23:48
That's good question. I think that's we all of us, as human beings want to be liked. It's any kind of very natural. And yes, I'm gonna have to be the other day where a person was kind of not liking some, some of the ways that I approached my service here at the ashram. And not just now but for years. And so I was very hurt, because, you know, my service here at the auction is kind of the core of what I do. And so I've heard about it. And but then I went to the place of, and, and talked with another person to get sometimes you have to kind of talk with a friend when you're trying to solve something, you're hurt by somebody. And then maybe you go to a friend who maybe knows the situation, you try to resolve it. And so, what I realized is I went back to that kind of theory of try to understand why that person is judging you in that way. And, and then try to find a way to bridge the gap, find something in common with that person and talk about it or do something and then they keep on exploring other ways. To deal with the situation, but get get over the hurt as fast as possible. This is kind of what I like to do. Because it's, you know, being enough self pity is not really helping anyone.

Avi 25:19
Isn't that the truth? I feel like that that's that's like another epidemic that's going around the self pity that it's quite popular to fall into that trap of feeling. And what is that? Exactly? That feeling of self pity that I haven't been given enough? Good things in my life I deserve?

Jyotima 25:42
Are the victim you're the victim mode? Right? Yeah. Yeah. So since you're talking about the book, which I just looked at, this is published in 2004. by integral, you have a publication that is available at integral yoga, distribution, and also on amazon.com. It's also available on Amazon as an E book. So anyway, I just think I just marked it last night, I think each story has a moral and I'll be picked out the last moral in the first one. The first one is defines love is knowing that you are special, and everyone else is special to love shines out to others, by your good thoughts and words and deeds to God, it's okay with you. I'm going to just go on to each story and just read the moral and see where we go then. So okay, sure. So the second story is about what we're talking about dealing with negative feelings. And in this story, negative feelings are portrayed as like Ray cloudset, cover cover you up. They go the cloud that covers your heart. And this was the the on the other planet, if we have skateboards here. And so on the other planet, they've had zoom boards, this is way before. So they find it kind of funny. Like skateboard, zoom boards, not zoom. It's such a big deal here. So that's that word. And then there's another story called about moving, you know, so that it's hard for kids to move to another place. So that moral was the love in your heart stays with you wherever you go. So that's to help kids on they're moving to a new town set, right. And then another one is making new friends, helping hands, make a happy heart, can the idea of karma yoga for children. And then we have when somebody is ill love helps to heal. So the idea is when you focus your love on somebody that's going to help them heal. And then, in this story, that Father loses his job, which is so common father or mother, always keep hope in your heart. You're just talking about having faith in has in the world, which is kind of like going to submit challenges. And that's the record and really taught. And, and even politicians like President Clinton, President Obama, the idea of keeping hope in your heart that things will improve as time goes on. It's something that a good teaching, and then or it's the last one was super good. This is from an old song, I think every cloud has a silver lining, wait until the sun shines through.

Avi 28:47
I wrote that down is another thing I wanted to ask you about. Yeah. The patient, the practice of patience, when we're going through challenging things, I've really found that to be very, very helpful that I don't need to figure it out. Right, then in that moment, when it's hard. I can just wait. And it seems really hard to wait. But as you as you put it, the sun will will shine through. That's true. Yeah. I wanted to shift with some time that we have left and ask you about your interfaith work, you know, much in the design for Lotus and just in general, you still serve as the director of notice center for all faith. So, you know, why? Why have you chosen to focus your attention and your energy in interfaith work?

Jyotima 29:41
Yes. Well, that goes back to I guess, when I moved to San Francisco, I'm from the Bay Area, originally and for a while I live for our stuff in this little town called paradise, California, which actually a couple years ago the whole town broke down. Again, this is the the news that we get all these fires and floods. I mean, it's Like this. Anyway, while in Paradise, it was paradise and great place to live. But then I decided to move to San Francisco. I happened to get an apartment, a block away from the yoga Institute. And that's how I got involved into yoga. But at that time, I was really Samsung's goes like has all sorts of different face to explored as you know, Buddhist and Shinto, and Dallas, Jewish, and I went out to explore all these different days, supers and whatnot. And that's kind of how I got interested in interface. And I ended up with integral yoga as my base spiritual faith, basically. But I still developed the appreciation for other phase of the years. And when I got to yoga bill, I, well, actually, before I got to you, I was very interested in interfaith, the music, different religions. And so, and I was studying a Chinese instrument at the time. And so I thought, well, they, you know, interfaith is part of the integral mission. So I went down to San Francisco library and took out all these albums and made tape recordings of ritual music of different face. And when I got here, I just started sharing it with people, it's become kind of a kind of significant part of our interface service. And so just recently, on lotus.org, we got permission from sources to use this music. And now it can be downloaded for anybody who wants to use interface, which for music for a service or prayer circle, or for their own listening. It's on our website, lotus.org under Resources under interfaith aids, so I'm really happy that we, you know, accomplish that. And the other thing that happened, when I got here is Lotus was being planned, it was being discussed on what was going to be inside Lotus basically. And the downs, the lower level was supposed to be a library. And coming from more of an art background, and you know, I graduate of UC Berkeley. But, you know, I've never been a great reader. I had to read it, you know, to pass classes and all that. Did they libraries are not my thing? Aren't you see what I like? So I drew up the sketch. So why don't we make the lower level like a display with artifacts that face the Scripture, their prayers are the facts. And I just spent a lot of time on it. And then I sent over to shrieker, a deaf thinking that he would, he didn't know me that well at that time. But it's kind of a new kid on the block. So I didn't think he would do anything with it. But he liked it. This is so typical sugared up, if you like something he doesn't care where it comes from. So anyway, so I got involved in setting up the whole baseball, and Lotus, before internet. So we had to all those items, read through those items, or were ingredients collection that had been given to them. And the recipe comes not and I didn't, she was the typist, so she typed all these letters to these different organizations around the world that sent in the items. And then we, a lot of us, a lot of people worked in helping to set up and displays. And so anyway, that's how I got in it got involved. And I always like to mention that I felt one aspect of sugar that I so appreciate with this amount of trust, that sometimes we don't trust each other. And I felt disregarded. He trusted me with three other major project, even though I was kind of like the new kid on the block. So anyway, that's one thing I've always appreciated by triggering them anyways. So not a micromanager. Just the opposite end occasionally come in come at this way. How about that, but I was not micromanage at all that whole project. So anyway, that's kind of how I got involved in interface. And then we started out at Lotus central phase of which I'm now the director is like the outreach arm of Lotus. And we make sure that we celebrate the holidays of the different face here at the ashram and bring in

our own members and other people from clergy from other places to educate us more about the different faiths. And then the other thing we've done in past years I don't know if it's going to continue is attend these big conferences. Like I've attended about nine interfaith conferences in this country in Canada over the last several years, and the last one was in Toronto 2018 but 10,000 people now this is Before the pandemic, I don't know if we're ever going to get together that many people to have an interfaith conference. And now the interfaith conferences are going online. So I don't know the future of this at the conferences, but I think the whole interfaith movement has really become established. And right now, the whole direction of the movement is dealing with all the like, we call the boundaries of the world, things that are happening, like the conference in Toronto, those five days each day, one was dealt with, like, indigenous rights, climate crisis, one with the woman's rights, like, the violence in the world, each day dealt with and dealt with a different kind of topic. And so that's kind of what the interfaith movement now is doing. And for us at yoga Ville, our main cause we took on was trying to stop the Atlantic coast pipeline, we kind of approach our interface from an environmental standpoint, and dealt with that. So. So interface is getting pretty well established in the world. And I think it's going to help create more goodness, and it is already creating more goodness, people are from different faiths are working together around the world. There's a group called the United religions initiative, which we are a part of, these are cooperation circles about 400, around the world, where from a grassroots level people get together to take on issues and missions to improve the world in your area. And to learn more about their, their faith, their neighbors. So anyway, that and I do. I'm not a real big book reader, but most of the books I read are either our scriptures, the yoga sutras at the bottom of a gate or an interfaith book. And right now I'm reading a book called The faith of our neighbors. And I find that quite interesting. So anyway, that's my bottom up interface. Yeah,

Avi 37:16
I just just add him, probably many people listening have been to Lotus. And I know that many people have powerful experiences going in there. And I'm definitely not an exception to that. I went in. And I mean, I just, you mentioned goodness, I mean, I was hit with a wave of love and goodness, when I looked around at the displays, you know, and it's just, you see the truth of, of the similarity. The truth is, one paths are many. I mean, and it's to see it, they're like, you can't deny it, when you go to each section. And you look into what they're saying what they're talking about, about the truth. Like, okay, that's, that's similar there that's similar there, that's similar there. And, but it's not saying that we all have to drop our faith, either. It's saying each one has its own validity. That, you know, totally, totally be engaged with your particular faith, but also not getting into my faith is better than your faith, right? That's a trap. And that's actually how I started with the definition of love where it's like, I'm special, but you get to be special, too. So I think it's the same thing with with religions, right. So that's why it's, it's really powerful, but it seems maybe a little challenging to walk that line and not get into the trap of, of like, oh, all these religions are great, but integral Yoga is even better, because we celebrate all of them. Right? Stuff like that.

Jyotima 38:50
Yeah. Yeah, that is a trap that we definitely try to avoid. And certain religions of the years have gotten into that. I was just reading last night about in this book every now that can to in 1962. Now 1962, pope john 23rd had an Ecumenical Council. It was huge in the Catholic Church, and they switch from the head mindset of taking the Catholic faith is the Only True Faith and nobody's not gonna go to hell, basically. And so they switched over to the idea of, you know, yes, our faith is special that others are special to and try to encourage them morality and spirituality and other face and not judge them as not being correct, but their viewing. So that was that was a big change in the Catholic faith in the Catholic religion. And so, I think people that are, I think are doing with interfaces. Maybe you want to go deep and find your own spiritual core, go deep into But at the same time really respect all the other face like you put in family like you love your aunts and your uncles and the cousins and all that you want to appreciate and respect every call the other face. But don't stop from finding your own spiritual core. Absolutely. So

Avi 40:22
final question for you. I want to ask you about being an artist. Okay. When you when you practice art, what if some, if you're successful, which I would say you're successful, looking at a lot of a lot of your art, what allows you to be successful as an artist as an artist?

Jyotima 40:42
Well, when you say I'm an artist, I'm not like a renowned artist. I'm like, other than maybe some people know my art. They know my artwork, because I have these, these cards that I've developed. So my artwork in the cards, like, this is a series I did for many, many years. I just did hearts basically. So and then I got into doing Lotus was the blue one. Here's the pink one. So these are also available individually. There's so many more to you've done a ton of them. Yeah, well, yeah, I do the thing, my favorite art. This, this is an interesting one, okay, this one I did during an earthquake and, and here at Yahoo bill, or one earthquake in the last 40 years. And coming from California, then through earthquakes, it wasn't a big deal to me. But I worked with very wet paper. And the paper was trying to dry and I thought I couldn't finish this art Does anyone here like me that has an interesting story. But for me, what art is to is a real meditation. For me, it helps me to get into another world of work. I'm not worried about my resolutions I need complex I need to solve and all that. Or, you know, the latest drama at the ashram. And so, I think being successful art has not been successful in the way that you sell all your artwork, it just don't even bother to go down that road at this point. But I pass it by other people do that. So um, but you want to be successful in that you're happy with what you're doing and how you're progressing. And so when I finish that piece of art, I'm always thinking, Well, the next time I sit down, and maybe make this one a little bit different, I usually tend to work in series. So I'll make the next in the series. This way. No, the earthquake fast. You know, the watercolor, if you ever work, it doesn't look good. So I heard if I spend more than two hours of the paint, it's that's not good. So that's why I have a lot of artwork is because I think they're there they sound like oil painting, you could go on forever and spend years on it. But with watercolor, it's better to kind of get over with otherwise looks overworked. So I took a watercolor actually more of it since I've been in yoga belt. And I really enjoyed that medium. When I still are in college at UC Berkeley, I work more on big canvases, but acrylic and hold different style. And but now it's been easy for me to set up watercolor. It's, you know, fairly easy weekend to work with. I don't work really huge. So, anyway, it's fun for me and people seem to like the product. So that's, that's, that's the key is that it's fun. Yeah, usually when things are fun, something good that he has to say that used to say life is for fun. He was such a great example of a person who really enjoyed life. And I think that's something we all need to do as each day set aside a little time to enjoy life with your laughs enjoy each other, and have fun. And that's one thing I could say. But it's endemic at the ocean I feel that we're becoming closer as a young adult family. You know, with whether you live on in the community or surf the ocean, I feel it has brought us closer in ways and I think that's what it's all for good. That's one thing that's been happening that is good. So

Avi 44:24
priority of fun is an interesting one. I love that trigger. It says that this is the point and the point of it all to like even just set that intention like wow, am I having fun are things fun as like as a priority, almost as sadhana. And that sounds

Jyotima 44:40
fun. Yeah. He always wanted us to enjoy our service. Basically, our service should be enjoyable.

Avi 44:50
I'd like to close with, I think the main message from your book, which I just love, so much. So simple. is how good thoughts. Say good words. do good deeds. Amen. Amen. Nicki Swamiji Thank you. I'm Shanti pleasure. Thanks for listening. If you've enjoyed this content and think others might as well, please feel free to share and subscribe.

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