I recall a discussion with a colleague in late 2007 about retirement. He was preparing to make that transition in a couple of years. Unfortunately, the stock market started to slide when he was about a year away from retirement.
The market crashed on September 29, 2008. The decline continued and, by the end of 2008, Dow was down to 8,776. Naturally this dramatic decline in the market created serious challenges for people who were close to retirement and had most of their pension in stocks.
We have now entered August of 2017. August and September have historically been the worst months for stocks. This year, increasing international tensions and the potential for a serious conflict between U.S. and North Korea will add further uncertainties to the financial markets.
Although no one can predict the future, it is important that businesses educate their employees on the basics of risk management when it comes to their financial portfolios. HR departments can and should play an important role in preparing their employees to weather all types of market conditions. Ultimately, we are all responsible for educating ourselves on how to best navigate through turbulent and challenging times.
Mira Prabhu is one of the most gifted Indian writers who used to live in Manhattan. Her writing is brilliant, eloquent, deeply insightful, and imbued with the authentic flavors of Indian mysticism. I should also add that Mira’s writings are a lot of fun to read and captivate the reader.
As a little girl growing up in the vibrant heart of south India, I overheard my father warn a friend that a certain woman whom he referred to by name—a stranger to me—was so clever she could even “draw blood out of a stone.”
My father—a charismatic and handsome fellow gifted with a silver tongue—caught my attention with his vivid language. How I burned to meet this sorceress who could coax a crimson stream of blood out of ungiving stone! What other supernatural gifts must she possess? I wondered dreamily.
Soon after, the whole family attended a wedding in the community. In the crush of adults milling about, I heard someone greet a formidable woman—dressed in a resplendent peacock-blue silk sari bordered with gold—with the name my father had used for the woman with the magical ability. Greatly excited, I ran up to this wondrous creature on sturdy little legs…
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Lasting happiness and peace are an inside job…Mira Prabhu
…is all it takes to blast open the mind and to prove to us, from the inside where it counts, that what we take for reality, as revealed to us via the five senses and our limited finite mind, is just a thin covering over an Absolute reality simply staggering in its intricate beauty and vast complexity.
As a child growing up in south India, I used to catch strangely disorienting fevers that incapacitated me for a couple of days. I would fall into a heavy sleep at night, then wake up to find myself floating above my body; what would hold my ethereal body from floating away, was, believe it or not, the thin cotton top of the mosquito net we always slept under! I would look down with a gasp of surprised terror to see my sleeping body below, and the next second I would be back within…
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From the very gifted and insightful mystic writer from Arunachala, Mira Prabhu. Thank you Mira.
Anyone who has grown up in a traditional community knows that one is strongly urged to never speak about the skeletons rattling around in both individual and community closets. As for me, I was so open with strangers right from the get go that my conformist mother would warn me to hush. “Your big mouth will get you into trouble,” she’d say sternly. “There’s no need to tell everyone how you think or feel. If you continue like this, no one will marry you.” I would snigger, thrilled at the thought that this innate habit of frank communication would repel prospective partners who didn’t appreciate honesty. Life had thrown enough chains on me already—why on earth would I want one more?
My mother was wrong. My wildness drew people to me. But I had seen too much already to be dazzled by the usual courtship rituals and already horrified by what…
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The Sage of Arunachala, Sri Ramana Maharshi, gave us the purest teachings.
If we look at the devotees of Sri Ramana, we see that they were some of the greatest yogis and jnanis of their day.
Many of them were world class poets and scholars. But they led quiet, unpretentious, and humble lives fully content in the grace of Bhagavan Ramana.
In outward appearance, Sri Ramana appeared as an ordinary sadhu sitting quietly on the rocks of Arunachala, and wandering the holy hill at times.
The yogis of the highest wisdom upon meeting him recognized him instantly as the king of yogis, serene and content, whose very presence was the blessing they had been seeking.
The message of Sri Ramana is simple and echoes the Upanishads.
Part II by Mira Prabhu
Did I go from being a neurotic worrier to a goddess radiating mega-rays of tranquillity in a few short weeks? Sorry, but this ain’t no fairy tale. The sad truth is that I was born with a depressive gene: to see a glass as half-full instead of half-empty can still often be for me a true labor of Hercules. But by putting a positive spin on my life, my fears shrank, my vision cleared, and I could move forward with increasing confidence. Still, there were many times since that I found myself embroiled in situations so dark I could not find a single reason to be grateful.
One such nightmare saw me trapped me in a guesthouse in Rishikesh during the Neelkanth Mahadev temple festival that annually draws close to half a million rambunctious rural devotees down from their villages to worship Lord Shiva. The temple is surrounded by dense forest…
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