Background and Motivation
You met a friend, and you are discussing spirituality, and you now want to share with them about Om Swami ji. You know they have a short attention span (just like all of us), and you need to crisply share with them. What will you share with them?
In the Walk the Dragon program, one of the participants, John asked Om Swami ji, what is that one message you want to be known for? He shared as an example like how Maharaj-ji (Neem Karoli Baba) said – Love Everyone, Serve Everyone, Feed People, Remember God.
Swami ji shared one theme (shared below) and said maybe the group can discuss it more.
In the business literature names such as The HP way, or The IBM Way, are popular ways to express the culture and working ethos of the collective group. So, the Om Swami Way is an attempt to provide what I took away as Om Swami ji’s teachings, or what he inspires us to do. They are more apt to be called inspiration, because he follows all of them himself, and thus inspires us to follow the path.
Feel free to share your views as it may be personalized one for each, but to me these are the core of the Om Swami Way.
For each of the virtues, Swami ji has written many detailed blogs and videos, and so please search for them on os.me and read those. This is just a ultra short summary.
5 Things that make The Om Swami Way
1) Kindness – Being kind to all living beings is at the center of his sharing. Do you realize that we hurt others the most by our words? So, through our words, actions and thoughts we should practice kindness to all (including ourselves). If we must follow him, and be inspired by him, then we must practice kindness. Even better he has given us Black Lotus app, where we can log your daily kindness acts.
He says “A random act of kindness needn’t always be a material offering. Even a word of encouragement, a compliment, a helping hand can be equally, if not more, profound. Make such acts a habit and Nature will reciprocate in kind.”
2) Truthfulness – This is at the core of many practices, whether it is compassion, to be equanimous, or to get Siddhi’s. He is the biggest example on this path. I believe “When you speak the truth, what you speak becomes the truth.”
He says “Truth is the only long-term anchor of a good life. It redeems you. In fact, the path of truth is the only path of salvation. For, truth is liberation. It is the only end.”
Sympathy is more powerful than truth. Merely knowing and stating the truth is not enough. One must evaluate the five positions of truth, as shared by Gautham Buddha/Tathagat (in Majjhima Nikaya, Abhaya Sutta) and its appropriate time (sixth consideration) before saying it.
These are, if it is factual, if it is true, if it is beneficial, if it is endearing and if it is agreeable. Here is a short form table based on his discourse.
3) Happiness – This is the virtue or message Om Swami ji had shared in Walk the Dragon that is central to his life lessons. Whatever the external circumstances, we choose how to react to it, and while pain is inevitable, suffering is optional. Recently, he shared, if you are flexible, and take it easy, you will remain happy.
He says – “You think, speak and act in a manner that fosters happiness and you’ll be increasingly happy” and “I don’t think there’s any more to happiness than noble actions, gratitude and contentment.”
4) Discipline – If there is one common denominator in the lives of the greatest who lived on the planet, they all lived a life of discipline. He is the greatest example of how to lead a disciplined life, and value each second of his life. This is something I have taken the most inspiration from him.
He says “Let’s be honest, to maintain self-discipline requires a constant supply of motivation and self-control. Mindfulness alone doesn’t cut it, you’ve to have the will to act on your intention.”
5) Mindfulness – In one of my earliest meeting, he shared – “Ravi if you can be mindful, your journey and growth on the path will be 10 times easier.” That was the time, I didn’t even know what mindfulness meant. Overtime, I started creating a gap between stimulus and response, and observing words, thoughts and actions. This one simple yet very powerful practice is something that has helped me the most.
The above table on how to speak the truth, is really an example of mindful speaking. What all one should consider before speaking the truth. If one can practice this for 6 weeks then this becomes an habit, says Swami ji.
If there is an one liner from Swami ji, it would be – Live. Love. Laugh. Give.
So, there you have it. Kindness, Truthfulness, Happiness, Discipline and Mindfulness.
The yoga of self-transformation is the most important, for making any lasting changes, says Swami ji. To me, the above 5 qualities are the one to work on oneself. In fact as some of you shared, if one begins with only one and perfects that, the rest automatically come.
Go ahead and share what are the things that make the Om Swami Way for you.
ps [ update on 23-June-2021]: Just saw a video released where Swami Ji answered a question very close to this. Here is a link https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u5z2_FBgej8
Disclaimer – My apologies to Swami ji and Divine Mother for any mistakes. It is not possible to describe all the virtues which Swami ji has or inspires us for, as they are infinite in number. हरि अनंत हरि कथा अनंता। कहहिं सुनहिं बहुबिधि सब संता॥ [Hari Anant Harikatha Ananta, Kahahi Sunahi Bahubidhi Sab Santa] – Meaning – Infinite is Sri Hari and infinite are His stories; each saint sings and hears them in different ways.
pps: Here is a summary of some more thoughts, and what all of you have shared as the Om Swami Way
Love is Om Swami. Unalloyed, unconditional love and compassion for all.
There is no single path. Discover your own truth, walk your own path.
Smile a lot, preferably molar to molar – take what you do seriously; don’t take yourself too seriously
Read well, and eat healthy
Being the best version that you can be
In any situation, you should behave in a manner that befits you
Have non-negotiable principles in life, adhere to them, come what may
Give as much as you can. Selfless.