This image shows Haripriya Suraj & Suraj Manjunath, the authors of When Spirit Meets Science
personal, when spirit meets science

Happy Birthday, Dear Soulmate!

When I looked into your eyes for the first time, I felt like you were so very familiar…

As I looked deeper, I sensed safety, warmth, gentleness, depth, strength, and stability.

You are a perfect embodiment of the Divine Masculine.

When we got talking, I realized I must have known you for eternity…

For never in my life have I spoken at such length to someone I barely knew.

And I know I haven’t stopped talking since that beautiful evening we met…

Thank you for being so patient with my rambling stories!

Thank you for loving and accepting me for who I am.

On this special day, I would like to take a moment to celebrate who you are –

Highly intelligent, in every sense of the world

Super-Skilled Surgeon

Wizard of Science & Finance

Devoted Son, Committed Husband, and Doting Father

Witty, Loving, Kind

Human Being with Elevated Consciousness

And my Soul Mentor in Unconditional Love…

Thank you for being a part of my journey.

Love you always! Happy birthday!

Haripriya

this image shows a happy family in an article in tv shows that heal by Haripriya Suraj on When Spirit Meets Science
entertainment that heals, personal

Movies & TV Shows That Heal: Modern Family

While a lot of content on television can throw sensitive people off balance, there is also some great high vibrational content that has the potential to bring joy, laughter, and healing to our lives!

Being a sensitive person, I have never been a big fan of television. Covid forced us to remain indoors for so long. During the extended lockdowns, my husband Suraj inspired me to drop my bias against television and introduced me to some great content. As a result, I have begun to enjoy some daily ‘productive’ TV time!

I have to acknowledge that each movie or show we have watched so far has brought healing in some form – to myself, my marriage, my relationship with my children, my role as a healer, and my existence as a human being.

In this post, I would like to reflect on a television series called ‘Modern Family.’ We have been watching it on Disney Hotstar. It has a total of eleven seasons and we just completed watching nine seasons.

This show tracks the journey of three families who are related.

One is what we would label a ‘conventional family’- with a father, mother, and three children. The parents get married and bear children at the ‘perfect age’ (by worldly standards).

The second one is a non-conventional family – with same-sex parents and one child.

The third family is also somewhat non-conventional. There is a huge age gap between husband and wife, and they are from different cultures. The wife has a young son from a previous marriage. The husband has two adult children from his previous marriage (they are part of the first two families). This couple has another baby together and the husband becomes a father again at 60 plus years of age!

The show traces the journey of these three families, as separate entities as well as a combined unit. Each family has its own set of strengths as well as challenges. Each character has managed to touch upon the depths of what it means to be human.

Joy, laughter, togetherness, playfulness

Sadness, fear, envy, anger, competition

Frustration, helplessness

Love, romance, sexuality

Almost all emotions and aspects of life have been captured with a dash of humour and lightness. Like everyone else, the families experience the routine ups and downs of life. But no matter what unfolds between them or around them, one element always remains intact – love.

Core Learnings From This Series

  1. Life is easier when we don’t take it too seriously
  2. All of us are broken in some ways and that’s OK!
  3. It is safe to feel and express (appropriately) different emotions
  4. Everyone is operating on different timelines and comparison between people is futile. Depending on our life’s circumstances, we may reach certain milestones early in life and others late.
  5. Love is the essence of life. As long as there is love, there is hope. Without love, the world would be ‘dead.’

Considering that this show has its roots in western culture, some aspects of it may not appeal to the sensibilities of an eastern audience.

Initially, I could not relate to certain parts of the show either. However, I put culture aside and decided to take only the value the show offered on a human level. And it does offer huge value!

Kudos to the team that created this series and to all the actors who have put up a brilliant performance. Thanks to each of you, my evenings are filled with lightness and laughter!

this image shows a girl child who is safe and protected in a blog post by Haripriya Suraj on protecting the divine feminine
divine feminine divine masculine, healthy sexuality, when spirit meets science

Protecting The Beautiful Divine Feminine

Ever since my daughter came into my life, I have felt inspired to take up the cause of the ‘girl child.’

I believe every woman is an embodiment of the Divine Feminine – creative, nurturing, soft yet strong. Unless the Divine Feminine is on par with the Divine Masculine, the world will always remain in a state of imbalance.

If she has to be on par, the least she needs is a safe world.

Unless the primary needs of safety and security are met, how can she ever blossom? A lot of her energy shall be spent watching out for predators who may view her with hunger, or worse still turn her into their prey.

My heart goes out to all the little girls( and women) who do not experience safety and security, not just in the outside world, but even within the walls of their own home. Child sexual abuse is not uncommon at all. I wish we could rescue each girl child who is a victim of abuse and keep her safe. I wish we could do something so the innocence of the Young Divine Feminine remains untouched.

What would it take to create a safe world for the Divine Feminine?

Is awareness sufficient? Is sensitisation the answer?

Yes, these are great first steps, to begin with.

But are they enough?

Unlike perpetrators of sexual crimes, many others may be trained to be respectful to women on the outside but the world within them speaks a different story. Just putting on a facade of respectfulness while one’s inner world is consumed by confusion, suppression or lust isn’t the solution either.

Can we go deeper than just training to behave in a socially acceptable manner?

Can we create an inner shift that fosters a more sacred connection to one’s own sexuality?

When sex is viewed and practiced as a sacred act, it evolves to something more than fulfilling primal urges with random mates, who may not be interested or worse still when it is forced upon them (as in abuse).

Sacred sexuality is about a respectful partnership between two souls, who put their creative energies to use in a conscious manner.

Such a goal may seem too far-fetched to achieve in the imperfect problem-filled world we live in. Who has the time for all this when there are so many more pressing issues to address?

In truth, several of these more pressing issues will also be resolved when the Divine Feminine is allowed to blossom to her highest potential in a safe world. The wisdom she brings has the potential to heal many of the world’s troubles.

We may not have the time to work on such seemingly big goals but change always starts from within.

For change to be lasting and effective, it must occur at the level of collective human consciousness.

For this to happen, at least those of us who have the time and inclination can begin to practice and teach these concepts. As more and more of us start living it, we kickstart the process of evolution of consciousness.

We, humans, are blessed with impressive intelligence. And we always have a choice as to how we wish to use it – to nourish or to destroy. Let’s choose to use it to create a better planet!

Note: The Divine Feminine Energy is not restricted to women, though it is naturally the primary energy operating in many of them. Men also have a component of the Divine Feminine energy in them. However, in the context of this particular article, the word ‘Divine Feminine’ refers primarily to women.

Mindful eating in a blog by Haripriya Suraj in When Spirit Meets Science
energy medicine, modern medicine, personal, reiki, science, when spirit meets science

Life Lessons in Mindful-Scientific Eating

Thanks to Reiki, I took to the practice of ‘mindful eating’ quite effortlessly and practiced it for years. Reiki helped me tune in to my body completely, knowing exactly how much I ought to feed it and when to stop.

Of late though, the responsibilities of parenting a young child have thrown me off track. I have not been practicing mindful eating and my body has been acting up. I have been trying to schedule my meals around my little one’s nap times so I can enjoy eating in silence. This need to enjoy solitude at any cost has taken a toll on my body. I have had episodes of acid reflux and have needed to pop antacids to soothe my tummy.

My husband Suraj, who has been observing my lifestyle for a while now, brought my attention to the fact that my eating habits have become less than ideal – both from the scientific as well as energetic perspective.

Some points that came forth from the discussion include –

Eating Small and Frequent Meals – I had gotten into the habit of allowing myself to go hungry until my baby slept. The hidden unconscious agenda behind this was that I could relish huge meals at one go (without needing to attend to anything else). I was helped to understand that this strategy isn’t working in my favour and that smaller, more frequent meals are best for the tummy. Eating up to 80% of the stomach’s capacity at a given meal time and leaving some room was recommended to me.

Relaxed and Mindful Eating – As I reflected on Suraj’s observations and suggestions, I also realized I had been eating in a state of hurry and worry. I was constantly anxious to finish eating before my little one could wake up. Add to this the fact that I was gulping down large meals, anyone looking would think I was deprived of food! From an energetic perspective, anxiety isn’t the best energy to put into your body while you nourish it with food.

I am so grateful these insights were brought into my awareness.

I recently resumed the practice of ‘mindful-scientific’ eating. Since I was very mindful, I noticed initially that every time I got ready to eat, my hands tensed up in preparation to grab and my tongue salivated at the mere sight of food on the plate. I realized I must have been approaching meal times in this unconscious manner for the last year or so.

When I became aware of the way my system was responding to food, I took a deep breath and told myself that I have all the food I need. I told myself I will be alright even if my little one wakes up in the middle of my meal. I stopped eating when my stomach was 80% full and ended the meal with a word of gratitude. My tummy feels light now and so does my mind.

Very often, we are unable to see our own blind spots. It is OK for others around us – family and friends- to show us the light!

energy medicine, inner child, when spirit meets science

Did Santa Knock? Merry Christmas!

2007 was a year of several breakthroughs for me. So, it came as no surprise when the Christmas of that year felt extra special too!

I spent the Christmas of 2007 sauntering in the gardens of St John’s Hospital. The hospital had a beautiful giant crib set up to welcome Baby Jesus. My husband Suraj (then fiance) worked there at that time. Knowing my love for Christmas, he offered to show me around the hospital that was all decked up for the festive season.

My inner child felt excited to be present in that bright and colourful space of health and healing. I soaked up all the good vibes floating around.

As I walked around, a huge decorative star on one of the hospital buildings caught my attention. It had the message ” Peace on Earth” engraved on it.

A wave of peace literally washed over me when I read those words.

Being there in that divine space felt like the best Christmas present I could ever get that year! I often travel back in time to that day in 2007 and my body still warms up in joy and peace.

It’s 2021 now and Christmas is here again.

Life’s circumstances have changed. I have a lot more responsibility now. With two beautiful and active children running around the house, I am so happy but also often exhausted. Besides, a messy house with books and toys strewn all over, leaves me feeling grumpy! To make matters worse, a woman I had employed to help with housekeeping had to quit her job.

I recently appointed another young woman to help me around the house.

She spends a couple of hours here every morning. She walks in flashing a big bright smile and goes about her work with a spring in her step. All instructions I give her are received well and she executes them with sincerity. I thought she was being extra nice to me because I am her new employer. However, I soon realised she is equally nice to everyone. When I hear her talking to family on the phone, she sends out the same sweet vibes.

My grumpy moods heal just by listening to her phone conversations! To me, these kind of people who heal simply through their presence are human angels.

I often wished I would find a house help who would work with a smile on her face and my wish has been granted this Christmas. My inner child would like to believe Santa was the force behind this!

Merry Christmas!

divine feminine, divine masculine, haripriya suraj, suraj manjunath, when spirit meets science
energy medicine, personal, when spirit meets science

A Letter From The Divine Feminine To The Divine Masculine

The Feminine and Masculine Energies are an integral part of life. When they are in sync, life comes into greater balance.

In New Age circles, we refer to these energies as the Divine Feminine and Divine Masculine.

The Divine Masculine is symbolic of action, rationality, precision, thinking, providing, planning and strategising.

The Divine Feminine is symbolic of being, intuiting, creating, feeling, nurturing, and flowing with life.

Both of these energies exist within us and all around us. It is perfectly normal for us to be more inclined towards one of these energies. However, it is also good to embrace the opposite energy when required. This way we tap into different strengths and come into greater wholeness within ourselves.

I have always been more inclined to the Divine Feminine. I had very little connection to the Divine Masculine until I met my partner Suraj.

He introduced the Divine Masculine component to me, simply by being who he was.

Initially, it seemed like we were polar opposites and I often wondered how we ended up together! But today, I see that these polar energies are not really opposing but complementary in nature. The Masculine and Feminine bring different strengths and each of them is needed in different scenarios.

Our journey began in December 2007, when we met for the first time, and has been ongoing. I am grateful for all the growth that has been made possible through the years.

On this note, the Divine Feminine in me feels inspired to write a note to acknowledge the Divine Masculine in in my own self, in Suraj and in all the men and women around me who embody it-

Dear Divine Masculine,

Thank you for coming to meet me exactly where I am, as an equal.

Thank you for revealing your strengths to me and for helping me find them within my own self.

Thank you for teaching me how to engage in fruitful thinking and analysis.

Thank you for being a provider, for planning life with care and precision, and for showing me how to do the same.

Thank you for encouraging me to play a nurturer’s role fully, while not hesitating to take on the same role yourself when required.

Thank you for showing me how to banish irrational fear and thought through the power of rationality.

Thank you for being my mirror and for triggering me in different ways so I could grow in areas that felt most uncomfortable to me.

Thank you for holding space for me when hormones wreak havoc in my physical body and I sink into depths of darkness.

Thank you for supporting my creative power and creations and for cheering me on to become better and better.

Thank you for loving and accepting me as I am, – dreamy, feely, and flowy…

Together, let us blend our strengths.

Together, let us explore the depths of unconditional love.

This image shows medicine/surgery in a blog post on Modern Medicine authored by Haripriya Suraj and Suraj Manjunath
modern medicine, science, when spirit meets science

Modern Medicine : A Science And An Art

Everyone knows modern medicine is rooted in science but did you know that it is also an art?

I didn’t until I met Suraj and we co-authored the book ‘When Spirit Meets Science.’

This post is an extract from the chapter ‘Medicine Calling’ in the book ‘When Spirit Meets Science.’

It highlights the principles upon which modern medical practice is based.

So what makes medicine a science and an art?

  1. Medical training enables one to gain firsthand experience of the scientific method. From dissection of the human body in the first year to the delivery of babies in the final year, plenty is available for a medical student to see, experience and learn hands on.
  2. The treatments offered are largely evidence based and scientifically proven.
  3. The benefits as well as potential side effects of every medicine/treatment are well documented. There is no sugar coating.
  4. The skill of a clinician lies in making a reasonable accurate diagnosis and offering a suitable treatment plan for an individual patient.
  5. A treatment is offered only when its benefits to the patient far outweigh the risks that it poses – and this often requires clinical judgment.
  6. Medicine is a combination of science and art. Diseases are as complex as the human body and their diganoses and treatment can be quite challenging. Every treatment is offered in context, after evaluating the benefits and risks.
  7. Finally, medicine is so much more than just treating a disease. It also involves interaction with human beings, which means interpersonal skills, empathy, ability to build a rapport with patients are part of the job too.

I always look for the Yin and Yang in every scenario. I believe both components are essential to complete the circle of life. To me, the science in medicine is the Yang while the art is the Yin!

energy medicine, modern medicine, reiki, science, Spirit, when spirit meets science

What Happens When Spirit Meets Science?

Science is working wonders in our lives today. Travel back in time to your childhood and compare the role that science played back then to what it does today. Now go back further to when your parents and grandparents were children. What was the role of science during those times?

It is a known fact that scientific advancement has been happening in leaps and bounds. Human intelligence has been working hard to create marvel after marvel. Isn’t that amazing?

The world of Spirit has existed since time immemorial too. Different people resonate with different spiritual paths. Many paths include a quest into realms that lie outside the concrete physical world. This apart, spirituality also includes elements of love, compassion, peace, oneness, service and the like. New age spirituality, often has concepts of energy medicine blended in and places much emphasis on wellness, mindfulness, self-love, emotional well being and a whole range of such concepts.

Is there a need for the world of spirit to meet the world of science?

Not necessarily. They both can exist independently and progress perfectly well.

But….they can also choose to meet.

Let’s explore what could happen if they do choose to meet.

  1. Life could be more well rounded. While science is primarily based on logic and rational thought, spirituality is rooted in philosophy and intuition. When we embrace both these aspects within ourselves, we find a whole new level of strength and wisdom. We know which strength of ours to apply in different scenarios and make the most of both sides of our brain.
  2. Healing sciences may become more holistic and focus on healing body, mind, and soul. For instance, modern medicine is rooted in the science of evidence based practice. This brings structure, strength, and precision to modern medical treatments. Intuitive therapies like Reiki focus more on going with the flow and staying flexible. This brings in subtler elements of softness and self-care to help maintain overall well being. I often recall times when popping paracetamol brought down a viral fever and helped me feel comfortable, while Reiki helped me relax deeply and give myself space and time to heal.
  3. Human intelligence can take on a whole new definition. EQ receives as much importance as IQ. Apart from applying our classical intelligence to create breakthroughs in the outer world, we also nurture our emotional intelligence and create many inner breakthroughs. We may go deeper into our human experience and live life more fully.

Making spirit meet science is not a lofty unattainable goal destined for a future time. Its principles are simple and can be easily practiced in our day-to-day lives. It is all about embracing logic as well as magic and knowing what to choose when!

This is an image of Infant Jesus in a blog post by Haripriya Suraj on spiritual growth in her blog When Spirit Meets Science
personal, Spirit

Light Of Baby Jesus

The Infant Jesus Shrine in Bangalore has been one of my favourite places to visit right from the time that I was fifteen. Thursdays are considered sacred. People from different religions and walks of life visit the shrine every Thursday to light candles and pray.

Candles of varied colours are available to purchase. I have always felt drawn to the yellow ones and pick them without fail!

Over the years, my relationship with this beautiful space has evolved in different ways.

As a teenager, my primary focus was on coping with studies and exams. I mostly went to the shrine to summon divine support for academic accomplishment.

Thereafter, I asked for help with relationship challenges.

In 2007, I bumped into my soul partner Suraj and felt an instant connection with him. On the same day, I visited the shrine and spent time in meditation. I asked to be shown if my gut feeling about Suraj was accurate and requested divine grace to help this relationship go forward if it was for the highest good.

Some years later, I found myself there again, praying for strength to cope with pregnancy loss.

I have to admit that being in that space has helped me find immense strength to overcome different challenges in life. I am so very grateful for this.

Over the last few years though, there has been a shift.

I continue to visit the shrine to this day but find that I have nothing to ask for.

All I want to do now is meditate with yellow candles and bask in the lovely peaceful energy that engulfs the space,

All I want do is connect with the Christ Light of Baby Jesus.

To me, this Light represents joy, innocence, warmth, love and peace, and some other things that I cannot explain logically but feel within me when I meditate there.

When I look back on life, I feel grateful I was supported through my ups and downs, and that even the most challenging moments brought forth some wonderful lessons and gifts.

Since 2007, Reiki and other spiritual practices have helped me build inner strength. I now feel so deeply connected to the Force of Life that I don’t feel the need anymore to ask the Divine for anything.

I trust that when I am in the flow of life, living in accordance with my soul’s purpose and doing all I can to become better each day, everything I need (and not necessarily want) shall come to me.

When I meditate with my yellow candles before Infant Jesus today, I feel an inexplicable sense of peace, contentment and gratitude, to the point that I find myself in tears at times.

I am not sure if my connection with the shrine will evolve further over the years. But no matter what, this gem of a place will always hold a special place in my heart!

Wellness vs Illness, Haripriya Suraj, When Spirit Meets Science
energy medicine, modern medicine, reiki, science, when spirit meets science

Wellness vs Illness

Being a wellness practitioner, I am often asked by clients and also by family and friends to cure their physical ailments through Reiki. They hope beyond hope that I can do something to bring their thyroid levels back to normal, to help blood sugar stabilise or even to make cancer dissolve.

When I tell them I can teach them about wellness or support them through Reiki sessions, but not perform medical miracles, some of them look at me like something is wrong with me. I can almost read their mind saying – “What kind of a Reiki practitioner are you if you cannot do any of this?”

I may be a Reiki practitioner but Reiki is not some form of magic! It is not a quick fix for illness or for any problem. And it is certainly not something I can do to make a problem vanish from another person’s life. We are each responsible for our own lives.

Reiki is a way of life that empowers people to create physical, mental, emotional and spiritual wellbeing.

Reiki takes work. Being well in body, mind and spirit may play a role in helping to prevent certain illnesses and also to cope well if at all illness strikes. But if an illness has already set in, wellness therapy like Reiki alone cannot manage it.

For a long time, I had a hard time telling people that there is a difference between wellness and illness. I often felt judged for recommending that someone must seek medical assistance for illness.

While there are plenty of anecdotal accounts of miraculous medical healings and they are certainly inspiring, they are not the same as ‘evidence.’ Evidence is when a particular therapy is proven to have a specific effect on a specific condition, and is accepted as a fact worldwide.

Being married to a cancer surgeon and co-authoring the book ‘When Spirit Meets Science’ with him has helped me clearly understand the difference between anecdote and evidence. This work has helped me appreciate the amount of effort that goes into conventional medical research before treatments are certified and offered to the world. As explained in the book, the principles of evidence based medicine can be easily applied to ‘alternative’ therapies too. Therefore, until we have a more solid scientific backing, I prefer to call wellness therapies complementary or supportive treatment.

Over the years, I have learned to drop the fear of judgment and to not hesitate to tell someone that they need medical evaluation. They are welcome to ask for Reiki but they must also take medical support if required.

Finally, I believe wellness therapies like Reiki offer enough value in themselves and don’t need a medical tag to certify their worth ( unless someone wants to test its efficacy in treating physical illnesses).

A Reiki session can help to relax the body, still the mind and calm the emotions. It can also help one experience the richness of their inner spiritual world. I believe these aspects are also essential components of any healing process. Reiki is always open to anyone who is interested in adopting a holistic approach to healing.