How much effect does your environment make?

I think it is common knowlege that your environment makes a huge impact on who you are. This is an interesting idea for me to contemplate these days as I have been placed in a completely new environment unlike any other I have ever been in before. I mean, yes, I´ve lived in India for four years but that was quite different because I was surrounded by peers who had grown up as Sikhs and was living in a Sikh state. I have yet to meet a Sikh here in Buenos Aires. I know a few and am in contact with them through email but we have yet to meet up.

I am observing myself and how I am changing here. The language is a huge thing that has changed. The culture here is very open, friendly but sometimes too much (it is very common for men to whistle at you on the street or say things like ¨how beautiful!¨) which you just have to ignore. PDA is widely accepted, I mean I come from the states and I am surprised a lot by the make-out seshes people have on the subway and in the streets.

Anywhoo back to my point,

It is my belief that if someone is able to maintain a practice or personal charasteristic despite being in an environment that does not necessarily support it, might even condem it, then the person can know they are a truely ¨whatever they are doing¨ or truly believe in xyz etc….

I mean in soooo many cases, people live a certain way, good or bad, because that is the environment they are in, what about you? What things are you doing  just because it is what your environment (society, culture, friends, family, job, etc.) is telling you to do/ be? If you don´t agree with me, I´d be interested to hear what you have to say on this topic.

I am keeping a journal and documenting things I am realizing and how I am feeling throughout this whole process. I am very interested to go back and read it after my program and see my progression of change. Sometimes I lament choosing to study International Studies only, like I shoulda double majored in Psychology or something, the people and the brain are just so facinating…

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10 thoughts on “How much effect does your environment make?

  1. Environment does affect.
    Yesterday I was so doomed and feeling unaccepted. But, I had to do my practice in an hour(I am a beginner in Kundalini Yoga). I then, read various posts in your blog.
    Started feeling happy. Watched the ‘sadhna video’ by SSS which you have shared in one of the posts. Related to the fact that its okay to be crazy, to be in a bad mood, to feel low, to feel hatred…because, its all about befriending who we are already.
    I had long been thinking of going to a gurudwara of Dasam Guru and do JAAPs for whole day. Yesterday, that thought was reinforced. I resolved to do that on the coming weekend.
    I appreciate the idea of keeping journal. Writing the day’s happenings is very helpful. It even helps to stay attentive and keeps the memory sharp.

  2. @Prateek Singh, Waheguru! Thank you for sharing this. It is reassuring to see that others also go through hard times, even people who seem so composed and perfect on the outside. It has been inspiring for me to read about great teachers in the past, Gandhi’s autobiography is a great read as is studying the life of Buddha and albert einstein. Yeah, SSS knew what was up. Yeah, we are all human, and have automatic natural emotional states and we just need to learn how to channel them/ deal with them/ accept them it’s natural and normal! Just some people choose to let those emotional and animalistic feelings drive them. That is the difference between living a conscious life, and no one is perfect at it! Yes, keeping a journal is a great practice, it is good to just allow yourself to write whatever comes into your head with no judgement.
    @Ishwara, waheguru thank you! You have inspired me too!

  3. This has inspired me to start writing again the happenings of the day.
    I too, am thoroughly impressed by Albert Einstein and Buddha. Growing up in here in India, I was given strong respect for Gandhi as a child. I would like to mention it changed when I read Osho’s various talks about Gandhi. According to him, Gandhi was a bit on cunning side. As he states,” Gandhi was a businessman”. The incidents he talks about perfectly hint at that.

    i have been going through your blog much since the last two days. I have read that you did a course on the life on Gandhi. I have not read his autobiography. But, my memory is pointing at something. If he has talked about his sins very much, it can be owed to exaggerating. I heard and feel also that when a person starts talking about his sins, he ends up enjoying it. It’s so much of an ego push.

    I would mention again that I am not sure if Gandhi has done so in his a.biography. Apologies if it isn’t so.
    It was my third comment on your posts and rater a different one, because, it highlights the negative points. There are no hard feelings anyone or for your views. Mine was just another perspective.
    Sat Nam

    • Yes, what you say is entirely likely. There are so many possibilities for neurosis, and too much of a good thing is not always good. Must take everything with a grain of salt…

  4. Hi Gurunam!
    What do you advise to a person who is about to complete his first 120 days of KY..
    Yes, I am that person. 😛

    It was the sikh community in U.S. that really inspired me start with KY. Since, we do not have any KY thing over here. I am very hungry for precious KY advices, be it the changes in lifestyle or how to continue the GOOD feeling throughout the day or how one can one be attuned to it.

    Thanks. Your reply would be appreciated.

    • Hello Prateek Singh,

      Congratulations! That is very exciting. I would say you could celebrate the day! Maybe do something nice for yourself, take a walk, do a special meditation, take a hukham, write and reflect on your experience of how KY has impacted your life and your projections for the future. There are many online resources that you can utilize if you are wanting to find other KY resources on the 3ho website, and this part might be of interest to you http://www.3ho.org/ikyta/

      As for how you can continue to feel that “good” feeling, just keep up with your practice. Of course when you are living with a sangat and practicing yoga with others your experience can be a lot more profound and you can feel happier and more inspired but the real challenge comes when you are outside of that support system and must maintain your own practice. One of Yogi Bhajan’s main mantras was “keep up”. Also you can find many lectures by him on youtube and of other KY teachers on youtube which can be inspiring to watch when you need a little “pick me up” with your personal practice.

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