This is an image of a market showing good vibes in a post by Haripriya Suraj on When Spirit Meets Science
energy medicine, when spirit meets science

Bengaluru Diaries: The Magic & Logic of Good Vibes

A Sunday evening walk through the streets of Malleshwaram, a bustling locality in our city Bengaluru (Bangalore), turned out to be a soul-stirring experience. Malleshwaram, is one among a handful of localities, that has kept up with the times yet retains the sweet charm of old Bengaluru.

Being a sensitive person, I rarely enjoy crowded and noisy environments. However, the experience at Malleshwaram always feels different.

Fresh flowers, fruits and vegetables are stocked in abundance in every nook and corner. The roads are lined with carts and vendors of all kinds, with everything from simple hairbands to elaborate clothing and footwear being made available to shoppers. The smell of freshly ground coffee powder wafts through the air while friends are seen bonding over chai (tea).

As a bonus, with Diwali (Indian Festival of Lights) around the corner, the shops are now brightly lit and seem to be offering a warm welcome to customers.

Despite being amidst hundreds of people that evening, I felt surprisingly peaceful and refreshed at the end of the walk.

I did some energy analysis and attributed the good vibes in the air to the fresh flowers, fruits and vegetables. These are considered to be ‘high prana’, meaning their quotient of life force energy continues to be high for quite some time after they are harvested. Logically speaking, there’s something about farm-fresh produce that gives many of us a good feeling. When the streets are occupied by as many flowers, fruits and vegetables as humans, the denser human energy is likely to be balanced by the lighter vibes stemming from the former.

My husband Suraj attributed this good feel to the fact that it may feel refreshing to see many humans together, after the Covid scenario severed our connection with the outside world for more than a year. I agree with this viewpoint too for we humans have an innate need for love and connection.

Humans apart, when you also have colourful and nourishing vegetables, fruits and flowers for company, any place can transform into ‘Paradise on Earth!’ I feel grateful for the abundance of goodness on this beautiful planet.

This is an image showing unconditional love in a blog post on love by Haripriya Suraj in the blog When Spirit Meets Science
self love

Love Is All That Matters

Have you ever noticed that adversity softens the heart spontaneously?

Be it a family member diagnosed with a serious illness, a friend that lost a loved one, a sick puppy on the roadside or a neighbour whose marriage broke down, crises make us put differences aside and reach out to others in love and compassion. Often, we also feel the pain and suffering of fellow human beings, almost as if they were our own.

I wonder what blocks the flow of love during the more routine phases of life.

Is it the unrealistic expectations we place on ourselves or others?

Is it the reluctance to accept that we are human and imperfect?

Is it the inability to acknowledge our difficult emotions and vulnerabilities?

Is it perceived differences and attitudes of ‘them vs us?’

Or a combination of several factors?

No matter what, as long as we still have some capacity to feel love and compassion, everything is not lost.

Healing the heart is seen as a significant milestone on the spiritual path.

Unconditional love is an experience many yearn for.

In truth, unconditional love is the only kind of love that exists.

Unconditional is the nature of love itself.

However, as humans, we have created the concept of ‘conditional love.’ This can feel safer and comfortable to many of us. Experiencing unconditional love requires us to accept people as they are, flaws and differences being part of the package. This isn’t always easy considering the kind of conditioning and baggage many of us carry.

Sharing unconditional love with self may be a good starting point. Being unconditional with ourselves can make it easier to offer the same to others.

This can be taken further by extending unconditional love to the people closest to us.

For instance, can you love your spouse or romantic partner unconditionally, despite the differences between the two of you? Can you accept her or him with all their flaws and quirks?

What about your children, if you have any?

Please note that while the experience of unconditional love is a wonderful milestone to work towards, it does not imply that one has to put up with unreasonable or abusive behaviour. If you have to be firm and draw boundaries in a relationship, it must be done without hesitation. In cases of abuse, external help may need to be sought. Even if you love an abusive person unconditionally, if they do not mend their behaviour, they may have to be let go of. All of this is the logical aspect of life and is the sane thing to do.

But wherever applicable, unconditional love is a state that all of us deserve to experience in our lifetime.

In the presence of unconditional love, differences pale into insignificance, rigid boundaries dissolve, hearts unite, minds come into peace and life flows with ease.

Does anything else matter if love can be primary?

Love is all that matters!

This is an image of Haripriya Suraj & Suraj Manjunath - When Spirit Meets Science

Life Lessons Over Chocolate

The wisdom life offers in every moment is never-ending.

An evening out with my husband Suraj brought forth two important lessons.

More Is Not Necessarily Better Than Less

When eaten mindfully, two small pieces of chocolate bring as much pleasure as one giant bar! After a sumptuous dinner, Suraj and I felt we ought not to put more pressure on our tummies by indulging in a plateful of dessert. The Cafe honoured our request and served us just two pieces of chocolate. While it appeared hilarious to have this teensy quantity of chocolate served on a plate and I couldn’t stop laughing about it, the truth is that we relished every bite of it! It inspired us to eat the little we had mindfully. The same wisdom of mindfulness can be applied to several areas of life where more is not necessarily better than less.

Time Can Be Created

Unless you consciously create time for your relationships, you will never find it. In today’s fast-paced world, where we always have bills to pay, calls to take, emails to reply to, homes to maintain, children to look after and a hundred other things on our daily to-do list, it may feel impossible to find time for the people who matter most. Relationships, like plants, can stop growing unless you make an effort to nurture them. Time is an illusion. If you really want to, you can certainly ‘create(not find) quality time with your loved ones.

And what better way to connect than over some chocolate!

This is an image showing healing in a post by Haripriya Suraj in the blog 'When Spirit Meets Science.'
energy medicine, personal, reiki

The Healing Energy Of Young Children

My little toddler is a bundle of energy and knows how to keep everyone on their toes! Her activity is not just restricted to the day but spills over to the nights too.

She often wakes up around 3 a.m. and stays up and about till the break of dawn. This is the time when my energy is lowest and I can barely open my eyes, forget the possibility of playing with an energetic one-year-old!

My husband, being a surgeon, is more accustomed to erratic sleeping hours and most often steps in to do the night shifts with the little one. However, if he has surgery scheduled for early the next morning, I take over so he can get some quality sleep.

Recently, on one such night, my toddler was cranky when she woke up. She did not want to play but wanted to be held instead. I had barely had two hours of sleep and I spent the rest of the night holding her. This went on until 5:30 a.m. By this time, my eyes were heavy and I realised I couldn’t keep them open any longer. I put her back in her crib assuming she would be ready to go back to sleep too. However, she stood up and began sobbing. My heart melted, for it was apparent she was in some sort of distress. I lifted her out of the crib and put her beside me on my bed.

It was 6 a.m. already and I knew I just had some time left for a snooze. I was certain I would wake up feeling cranky and a bad day would follow.

As I drifted into slumber, I could feel my little angel’s warmth enveloping me. I am not sure how exactly to describe the experience but it almost felt like a Reiki session in progress. I felt a soft sweet energy flowing from her to me. The negative loop in my head soon stopped playing. And I fell into deep slumber.

I woke up 45 minutes later and saw my little daughter fast asleep beside me.

I knew something had shifted within me from having her beside me. I woke up feeling as recharged as I would be after my six hours of sleep. My worries about having a bad day had transformed into positive anticipation and I looked forward to the goodness the day could bring. And yes, I did have a great day!

I have no idea what the logic to this experience could be. But I personally feel some magic unfolded in those minutes. I was holding her for several hours prior and do so every single day, but those few minutes stood out in some way.

Young children are pure souls. Their energy is light and uncontaminated. I feel some of her purity rubbed off on me and healed my grumpiness.

I am grateful for the sweet energy young children bring into this world. I believe they are the closest representation of divine love and purity.

This is an image of geometric solids in a blog post on holistic educztion in When Spirit Meets Science by Haripriya Suraj
holistic education, when spirit meets science

Montessori: Education for Body, Mind & Soul

As a child, playing ‘teacher’ was my favourite pastime. I could spend hours pretending to be a teacher and teaching an imaginary class full of children.

Little did I know at the time that this was my soul’s calling playing out.

I explored different career options in science as well as business management but soon realised that none of them resonated with me.

My passion lay in work that was creative and nurturing.

Working with children felt right. A year later Reiki healing and writing also came into the picture.

I felt drawn to work with young children under six years of age. In 2006, I enrolled in an Early Childhood Educator Training Program and was placed in a reputed kindergarten school after completing the training.

Interacting with little children every day felt fulfilling and I began to thoroughly enjoy my work!

Along the way, I realised that Early Childhood Education offered some non-conventional models of learning too, such as Montessori and Waldorf. The Montessori approach to education appealed to me in particular.

Here in India, ‘Montessori’ is often confused with ‘day care.’ Until my training, I was under the same impression too! But once I stepped into the school environment, a whole new world opened up before my eyes.

I understood that ‘Montessori’ was not ‘day care’ but a whole system of education. It is based on the groundbreaking work done by Dr. Maria Montessori, the first female physician of Italy.

Montessori is education, not just for the mind, but for the body and spirit too.

It is a way of life for children.

One of the key characteristics of the Montessori approach is that children are not ‘taught’ in a conventional sense but are allowed to learn.

Each child is allowed to grow and develop in their own time. This is based on the premise that nature has programmed children to achieve specific milestones at specific ages and our job as adults is to facilitate the process of learning and development appropriate to each stage.

This is in stark contrast to how many of us were educated as children, where concepts were almost pushed down our throats irrespective of whether we had the capacity to absorb them or not. All we had to do was digest the content placed before us and thereafter reproduce it on paper. This is not to say that approach was wrong. It was the best known at that time and I am grateful for the opportunity to be literate. However, today, we have more holistic approaches to education where the overall development of the child is the focus and learning is not just a checklist of lessons to be ticked off as done.

As compared to traditional classrooms, where children are mostly confined to their desks, a Montessori workspace allows children some ‘Freedom Of Movement’ as they learn. It is not natural or realistic for children (especially younger ones) to sit still on a chair for hours. Almost the entire world knows this to be true! Yet we suppress their natural need for movement and push them hard to sit still.

Contrary to what one may expect, a Montessori environment is a peaceful space where children work in silence, despite enjoying freedom of movement. I was astonished the first time I witnessed this silence! It felt like a miracle – two to six years olds working like busy bees in absolute silence. It was refreshing, to say the least. The fact that they are inspired to learn rather than forced to is the secret behind this silence!

I feel the Montessori approach to education is very healing, not just to children but to the teachers (adults) working with them too. There are several well-established institutes offering rigorous Montessori training to teachers and I respect each of them. However, my personal opinion is that this system deserves to have more joyful training programs in place. Trainee teachers must experience firsthand the joy of teaching the Montessori way. Unfortunately, almost all Montessori training programs I have come across make the training process harder than it needs to be. Their opinion is that high standards of perfection and rigour are necessary to prepare one to be a Montessori teacher. I personally do not feel this is the case. The flipside to overly rigorous training is that the joyful essence of the methodology is lost in the process. One cannot train in pain and then expect to create a joyful classroom for children. The happier the teacher is, the more likely she or he is to pass on that joy to the little ones. Several talented teachers feel discouraged by the challenges posed by Montessori training and give up on their dream of working in a Montessori environment.

It is my intention that a peaceful and joyful system of Montessori teacher training takes birth so more people who feel inspired to work with children heed their soul’s calling and make a difference in the lives of future generations.

This is an image of Haripriya Suraj on When Spirit Meets Science
energy medicine, personal, when spirit meets science

Energy That Heals The Soul

Rolling hills, coffee plantations, sprawling paddy fields, orange and silver oak trees, crystal clear streams and varieties of birds and insects! My short holiday to Coorg – one of the most beautiful locations in our state – was a feast to the soul and senses.

My ‘sensing mode’ is always on and I automatically tune in to the energy of a given place. I see how the energy dynamics of different places can help enrich my growth and well-being.

So it was with Coorg. On the day of our departure from there, I spent some time in solitude, contemplating on and integrating the energy I had been surrounded by during the time spent there.

And here’s what came up-

Mama Earth is so beautiful. Those of us living in cities rarely have the privilege to experience Earth in all her glory. It felt wonderful to see acres and acres of lush green trees. The greenery was soothing to the eyes and healing to the soul.

The air was clean and pure and it felt refreshing to breathe.

While the sounds of crickets served as a gentle bedtime lullaby, waking up to the melody of a hundred birds chirping helped to welcome the day with joy and gratitude.

In today’s world, connecting with nature often means taking the support of science in some way. It requires an automobile to reach the wilderness. Once there, it also requires a solid roof over the head and some electricity and water to experience a decent stay. Science is a huge part of our lives now and I feel grateful for the many things it has made possible for the world. At the same time, I also believe we must be responsible and utilise resources mindfully.

Coming to the human interactions, the staff at the resort were Angels in disguise. They were gentle and kind and went about their duties with a smile. The logic to this is that they have been trained to serve in this manner. But unless one has some passion for this kind of work and also some innate skill, I personally feel they cannot thrive in the service industry. These souls are surrounded by all kinds of energies throughout the day – some guests are polite, some can be rude and others can be unreasonably demanding. It requires a certain spirit to continue to do one’s best under pressure and to stay sane along the way.

I relaxed into the gracious warmth offered by the staff and allowed myself to receive completely. I also consciously returned the same energy back to them in the form of smiles, appreciation and gratitude. They may have just been executing the job they were paid to do. But at the end of the day, everyone is human.

Warmth, love and human connection keep the world going.

This is an image that depicts soul mates and twin flames in an article by Haripriya Suraj -When Spirit Meets Science

Soul Mates & Twin Flames

Soul Mates and Twin Flames are common buzz words in New Age circles.

While there are varied definitions to these terms, the most commonly accepted ones are-

Soul Mates are souls with whom we share a warm and loving relationship. These relationships are generally smooth and easy and help partners grow together in joy. Soul Mates may share common interests and bond through their similarities. There is a deep understanding between partners and the relationship is most often peaceful.

Twin Flame relationships are also based on love but it isn’t the kind of love that comes easy. It is love that must manage to stay alive through challenges. This is seen as a more intense relationship in which partners act as triggers and mirrors to each other. If you share a close relationship with someone who triggers you in areas you are most sensitive about and also mirrors back to you your vulnerabilities, they could be labeled a ‘Twin Flame.’ The relationship is based on strong attraction and great tension at the same time!

On the surface, it can seem like twin flame partners are very different from one another, almost opposites one could say. But if they can manage to bring their opposing forces together, it can give birth to a whole new paradigm; a paradigm in which their seemingly opposing energies transform into one complementary force. This combined energy holds the potential for deeper growth and evolution within the partnership.

The Twin Flame relationship is seen as a roller coaster ride that has the potential to crash yet manages to go steady and eventually witnesses the blossoming of unconditional love.

Soul Mates and Twin Flames can also be non-romantic partnerships, such as those we share with parents, siblings, friends or co-workers. However, very often, they are romantic in nature. It is a known fact that the people we are most intimate with are also the ones we are more likely to clash with!

At times, soul mate and twin flame partnerships can also serve a larger purpose, meaning their growth together proves to be rewarding not just to their relationship but also to many others in the world.

It is important to note that the concepts of Soul Mates and Twin Flames are fluid. They represent the dynamic of a relationship and are not static labels that define a relationship. A given relationship can be based on the soul mate dynamic at times and the twin flame dynamic at other times. However, it may lean more towards one or the other dynamic.

These labels are meant to help us understand the energy dynamics that may be playing out in our partnerships. It is important not to get too caught up in definitions and put the people we love in boxes. These concepts are meant to help us become aware of areas of growth and inspire us to create better quality relationships.

I trust this article will inspire you to experience a deeper connection with the Soul Mates and Twin Flames in your life!