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.

This image shows the birth of a safe world form girls and women in a blog post by Haripriya Suraj in When Spirit Meets Science
healthy sexuality, personal, safe world, when spirit meets science, women's safety

Healthy Sexuality, Safe World

Becoming a mother to a little daughter last year made me very joyful. At the same time, it also brought in a tremendous amount of fear and paranoia. Being a woman myself, I have never been as concerned about my safety in this world as much as I feel for my daughter. These feelings of concern for my baby girl soon extended to include the entire female population.

Every time I picked up my daughter and saw the innocence in her eyes, it began to remind me of the atrocities that have been committed against the female, primary among them, being sexual abuse and assault. Old stories of sexual violence against women reported in the media began to haunt me day and night. I began to feel bitter and resentful and asked questions like-

  1. What kind of an ugly world are we living in?
  2. Is the female an object of pleasure to be used by a male?
  3. What kind of beastly people are the men who have abused and tortured women to satisfy their own primal urges?

Being on the spiritual path, I have always found solace in the philosophy that we create our own reality. However, applying the same philosophy after the arrival of my daughter, particularly to the issue of women’s safety, has been challenging. I still believe we create our own reality. But that doesn’t mean we should be blind to the darkness in the world. On the path of spiritual healing, when something begins to bother us more than it should, it is viewed as a sign that

Something related to the problem needs to be healed within our consciousness – meaning we need to view the situation from a higher perspective and make peace with it in body, mind and spirit.

OR

We have a practical role to play in doing something about the situation rather than waste time and energy in endless worry and anxiety.

While the former was my insight, the latter was shared by my husband Suraj. This was indeed an aha moment for me! I believe both these insights hold valid in my case. Often, we get so caught up in our own thinking, we fail to see problems from other perspectives. In such moments, our family and friends play the role of wisdom bearers and step in to show us the light.

The questions I am now asking have shifted to –

  1. Can I accept that good, bad and ugly coexist in the current world?
  2. How can I do my bit to make the world a safer place for women and also for men?
  3. Can I start by sensitising my own son and help him understand the meaning of healthy sexuality in age appropriate ways?
  4. How can I help create more awareness around matters of healthy sexuality and respectful partnerships between men and women?

While I often dream of a world that is beautiful and peaceful in all ways, I understand we also need to be practical and deal with the reality that is currently in front of us.

Rather than drowning in darkness, I now choose to bring in the Light in little ways and thereafter surrender my efforts to the Universe. I trust the world is becoming a safer place and that the future will certainly see the birth of a new paradigm where healthy, respectful and sacred partnerships are the norm.

This is a diwali image in a blog post on Diwali, spirituality and science by Haripriya Suraj
personal, Spirit, when spirit meets science

Happy Diwali : Choosing The Light

The much-awaited Festival of Lights, Diwali, is here!

I love Diwali for the fact that it brings in so much Light – LITERALLY!

The abundance of lamps lit everywhere invites feelings of warmth, love and togetherness.

Diwali reminds me of the constant inner work we do on the spiritual path to transform the darkness within our consciousness and to align with light. As more and more amongst us choose light, the more refined the collective consciousness becomes. As consciousness is elevated, the world becomes a more loving and peaceful place to live in.

In the field of science, every new discovery, invention, medical treatment and technological advancement that has made the world we live in today better and safer than the previous centuries is symbolic of light.

Both spirituality and science are double-edged swords. They can be used to heal and uplift or to destroy. Knowing how to apply their principles and harness their resources for the highest and greatest good of self and the world is key.

Light and darkness are present in every sphere of life. What we choose is up to us…

This Diwali, let us pledge to choose Light and to make the world a happier place to live in.

Wishing you and your dear ones a happy, prosperous and blessed Diwali!

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 of Haripriya Suraj & Suraj Manjunath - When Spirit Meets Science
mindfulness

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!