Susan of India


Welcome to My India


Susan Flint Rajkumar I have lived in India for over a decade, and have called many other parts of this world my home. I mingle with people of many different religions, skin colors, educational backgrounds, and life experiences. And I am happy to call them my friends. At age fifty, I decided to change the course of my life by taking an art class. Many things have changed, and how pleasing!

Showing Tag: "paintings" (Show all posts)

Fine Artist? Paintings and More Practice

Posted by Susan Rajkumar on Friday, June 17, 2016, In : Art 



My husband tells me that I'm no longer a beginning artist. So then why does my art look so amateur, with the strokes of a novice? Ok. Please don't answer that question. I've taken the path less traveled in terms of learning the art, and as they say, we usually are critical of our own work. My question is this: How do I get out of this slump?

I've been going through an "ugly art phase," which I confided to some friends about when they showed the preference for some journal pieces that I had ma...


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Art Summer Camp II

Posted by Susan Rena Rajkumar on Monday, October 12, 2015, In : Art 

A very brief re-cap on my life: I'm a newly converted artist. In June or July of last year, 2014, I began to paint. What sparked my enthusiasm were a number of events. I received the confidence from a Croatian spiritual man just by looking into his eyes. This may sound crazy, but each person can make h/er own conviction. Braco. This inspiration I received through his gazing sessions urged me to go out to a store and buy paint and paint brushes, and to take a painting class online. The second ...

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Art Summer Camp I

Posted by Susan Rena Rajkumar on Thursday, September 17, 2015, In : Art 
A very brief re-cap on my life: I'm a newly converted artist. In June or July of last year, 2014, I began to paint. What sparked my enthusiasm were a number of events. I received the confidence from a Croatian spiritual man just by looking into his eyes. This may sound crazy, but each person can make h/er own conviction. Braco. This inspiration I received through his gazing sessions urged me to go out to a store and buy paint and paint brushes, and to take a painting class online. The second ...

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Living the Everyday Indian Life

Posted by Susan Rena Rajkumar on Friday, August 7, 2015, In : Life in India 
The other day my neighbor came over to invite us to his father's one year death anniversary. In India, people observe death anniversaries, but usually the first year is marked with a large meal, shared with family and friends.

That special day arrived today in the morning. In India, mornings are busy. Most housewives get up early to do their pujas, their prayers, sweep and clean, make an exhaustively prepared breakfast, iron bathe and dress everyone, eat, send their family off to work and s...


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New Art

Posted by Susan Rena Rajkumar on Tuesday, July 7, 2015, In : Art 


New art is coming through me again. Finally, like one of Ray Bradbury's poems about his muse stealing down his arm and coaxing him to write; a stirring has begun again inside. Bradbury writes, "I do not write/ the other me demands emergence constantly..." Ok. I wouldn't say that my muse is constantly coaxing me into doing art or writing, but lately I've been rather productive. 
Art and writing make me happy.
I've been following an art course called 21 Secrets, which has a lovely online commun...
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Garden Update: Hurry Up to Wait

Posted by Susan Rena Rajkumar on Friday, April 17, 2015, In : Gardening 
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Here in India, most projects are subjected to the “hurry up to wait” process. We wait until the right time, when all workers, materials, and unknown variables come to the same point. And then we must hurry, as if to catch up for the waiting period. My garden is not exempt from this trope either.

I have been waiting, patiently, yes, to plant new plants in my little kitchen garden. Someone even planted a little “tomato tree,” a small fruit bearing tree that resem...


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Discipline Helps

Posted by Susan Rena Rajkumar on Wednesday, March 18, 2015, In : The Spiritual Life 


The beautiful water of the Adriatic Sea. Can't wait to get in!


Discipline helps. These days I am more inclined to slack on discipline--the kind for making art, writing, and learning new things. When it comes to spiritual discipline, though, I'm very strict to take in the right kind of thoughts, speak good words, study good scripture and teaching, and take in good spiritual food—the healing stream.

But today I will talk about more art-making. Yes, I'm working with skill development in art, wh...


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Love Effervescent

Posted by Susan Rena Rajkumar on Friday, March 13, 2015, In : The Spiritual Life 



Oh yes, my painting challenge. I didn't nearly forget. Two weeks ago I received a wonderful teaching from an Italian artist who is visiting India. He showed me how to hold my brush and how to stand up straight before an easel to paint. He showed me brushing techniques, and gave me kind encouragement.

Well, I'm very grateful, because this was my first painting lesson, aside from the lessons I received at a museum in San Francisco, California when I was 4...but that may not count. My Mother, ...


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Oh, the "ugly art..."

Posted by Susan Rena Rajkumar on Tuesday, February 24, 2015, In : Art 

These paintings have been in my plain view for a week—I had struggled with the idea that they were ugly. Ok. I can't accept this thought, but that is the thought that I've been working with. Yes, I'm on a 100 Paintings Challenge to paint 100 paintings, and yes, some of them may be ugly. But they are ugly in a "bad 80's mass production" kind of way. I took sandpaper to them to smooth off the rough bumps, and I'm going to start again on them...refining my skill development. Promise.

In other...


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Taking Rest

Posted by Susan Rena Rajkumar on Tuesday, November 4, 2014, In : Health/Long Life 
Today I am in bed taking full bed rest. This will be the routine for another 10 days, a total of two weeks. The body treatments that I am taking are from a part of ancient India that originated in the Indus River Valley, the home of the Dravidians in ancient times, before the Aryans came to India. The Dravidians developed an elaborate medical system called Siddha Vaidya (pre-vedic) that offers curative medicines, both herbal and mineral, along with many different kinds of treatments that enha...
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Skill Development Continues

Posted by Susan Rena Rajkumar on Sunday, October 19, 2014, In : Art 


Interestingly, I'm on a special path, being guided to learn art—or more specifically—painting. As some of you who read my last blog, I had mentioned how an art friend had suggested that I learn water color painting. Ok. I accepted this with some resistance, but soon gave to the “flow of the universe” and went with it. I started watching painting videos of experienced watercolor teachers. Many.

This week I decided that I wanted to overcome something from childhood. I remember my kind...


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Watercolors are in the house!

Posted by Susan Rena Rajkumar on Monday, October 13, 2014, In : Art 

Yes, I knew that it would eventually come down to this: watercolor painting is part of the “program” if I want to be an artist. Not that I've dreaded it. I've painted little pieces—1.5 X 3 inch tiny paintings. There is a resistance inside somewhere that I have to let go of if I want to “get with the program.” It's a little intimidating—so much water in watercolor—it's as if one has to be constantly aware of how much water is on the paper, and plan ahead with what one wants to do...
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Afterlife and Happiness

Posted by Susan Rena Rajkumar on Saturday, October 11, 2014, In : The Spiritual Life 
Have you ever read a book that awakened something important for you? These past few months have been markedly insightful in my personal life, especially in relationship with living and “dying.” A number of people close to me returned to God these past two years...six people. In my spiritual practice, I believe that when we return to God, it will be the best time of our life, as we reunite and become one again with our source of inspiration. And this is why a celebration is due for our hom...
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Paintings 23, 24, and 25

Posted by Susan Rena Rajkumar on Monday, October 6, 2014, In : Art 

Raj and I went to a friend’s house for lunch recently. We had bumped into each other at the grocery store and she said to me, “I went to your blog to see your paintings.” When I heard this, I nearly fell over. How kind of her to take notice of something that is dear to me; that she actually mention it speaks volumes. Feedback of the positive kind when one is learning something sometimes takes its time to show up. And then the encouragement is the real jewel. “You really ought to kee...


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22nd Painting albeit Late

Posted by Susan Rena Rajkumar on Sunday, August 31, 2014, In : Art 

Life in motion begins today. What does that mean? Today I had some thoughts that set many ideas in motion—and gave me hope for the future. Sometimes we can be bogged down with “this reality,” and for me, it happens more as a feeling, as I try hard not to keep up with current international events. Sure, the information reaches me in one way or another as I am in this world, but keep my focus on the Divine, mostly.

A few days ago a friend asked when I was going to finish my 100 painting...


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20 and 21 Paintings Completed: Is Painting Formulaic?

Posted by Susan Rena Rajkumar on Monday, July 21, 2014, In : Art 


These two panels were so much fun to paint. I couldn't contain myself from smiling and speaking out loud with positive exclamations. Last week I had watched three videos on how to paint clouds. One was in real time starting with the artist prepping the canvas until his completed version of clouds. Overall, it was about one hour, forty-five minutes. The other two videos were much shorter--fifteen minutes for one, and eight for the other. I watched them before bed, so as to go off into my dream...

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Moving Onward

Posted by Susan Rena Rajkumar on Saturday, July 19, 2014, In : Art 


Today I uploaded my three-panel artwork to my website. Yes, this is such a rewarding journey in so many ways. This brings my total up to 19 completed paintings out of 100. I won’t even speculate what it will be like when I have completed 50…Moving Onward!

Ancient art and folk art from different countries have definitely influenced me. Recently I was looking at photos of amphibians (doing research on poisonous critters from different countries) and noticed the beautiful patterns on the ...

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Skill Development

Posted by Susan Rena Rajkumar on Tuesday, July 15, 2014, In : Art 

Painting #15 Afternoon Garden, acrylic on plywood 6"X 8"


Painting #16 Sunflowers, acrylic on plywood 6"X 8"


“It’s the deep engagement that gives us results.” Per Bristow

 

Let’s talk skill development for a moment. When it comes to art, a practiced hand (or a relaxed and practiced hand) is noticeable to experienced art lovers and artists. Even no-so-experienced artists can tell or feel the difference. Yesterday I was practicing my pencil shading exercises, and noticed how I felt with ...


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More Paintings: 14 Completed Paintings

Posted by Susan Rena Rajkumar on Monday, July 14, 2014, In : Art 

 Painting #12 San Francisco Night Line


Painting # 13 Austrian Joy




Painting #14 Wallflower Wallpaper.

So much has happened since last Sunday. More paintings. I'm learning about good quality paints and the right materials, and I'm not so sure if I can get them all here in India. Last week my husband and I were at the market in Ooty, and found the art store--a shop keeper who knew what masking fluid was, and where to get it. Ahhhh...he also had fan brushes, but was recently out of them, telling me...

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3 New Paintings and Prepping for More

Posted by Susan Rena Rajkumar on Friday, July 11, 2014, In : Art 
Yesterday I completed three more new paintings. (Please see my "100 Paintings Challenge" page.) Well, I write completed, but who is to say when it is ever really complete? Maybe I learned what I needed to learn. On painting # 9, I learned a little about foreshortening the wings, about movement, and about using other colors (darker colors) for shadow.
Still, I'm practicing the new techniques, the surface treatments that I learned in the online class.
Currently I'm preparing more boards fo...
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Beginning to Paint "100 Bad Paintings" and Feeling Good

Posted by Susan Rena Rajkumar on Saturday, July 5, 2014, In : Art 

Noted for his emotional honesty, bold colors, and rough beauty in his art, Vincent van Gogh writes in his last letter to his brother, "[R]eal painters do not paint things as they are...They paint them as they themselves feel them to be." He was a man who was put through his paces in his personal life. Perhaps this is why I feel so akin to his work. He felt deeply, and showed it through his art.

What makes someone want to put a brush to a canvas? Over the past two decades, on occasion I’...


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Breaking the Silence

Posted by Susan Rena Rajkumar on Monday, March 3, 2014, In : The Spiritual Life 

Today I'm breaking the silence. I hear the whirr of the tile cutter. I’m crouched on a very short plastic stool giving myself a sponge bath. This has been the norm for the past five months, using about one gallon of water and bathing over a bucket. We’ve had a combination of different incidents affecting our water supply, the most recent being that the water pump broke, and given that my husband was away for a while, we drew the water from the well with a small bucket and a long rope. R...


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A Developing Writer: Why Write?

Posted by Susan Rena Rajkumar on Saturday, April 27, 2013, In : The Spiritual Life 

In 1972, my county built a new shiny library that was one floor, and took up a quarter of a city block in my home town. The children’s librarian Ms. Staratt had a round, friendly face, and her whole body shook with a bubbly inspiration for children’s literature. The library became a kind-of day-care-center for my sister and me during the hot summers. While growing up, we were dropped off and would spend up to six air-conditioned hours daily, reading books in the comfortable lime-green c...


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An Update and a Tiny Rant about God's Potential

Posted by Susan Rena Rajkumar on Friday, January 4, 2013, In : The Spiritual Life 
We celebrated our wedding anniversary on the 19th in separate locations. Friends brought a ca...

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My Uncle Joe II

Posted by Susan Rena Rajkumar on Monday, September 3, 2012, In : The Spiritual Life 

My Uncle Joe’s little garden is still producing beans, tomatoes, and cucumbers. I push aside feelings of longing for my husband and my India. September has come, and I am still in America. These things happen, unexpected changes to life. Actually, I view it more as fluctuation—an ability to adapt to change—like learning how to ride sidesaddle on a horse, or adapting to the motion of a camel ride—a triangular movement. Whatever it may be, right now, my journey feels different from th...


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My Uncle Joe

Posted by Susan Rena Rajkumar on Saturday, August 18, 2012, In : The Spiritual Life 

Uncle Joe, my mother’s brother, gave me a wonderful gift. He showed me how to love Nature. Many times he’d come visit us, taking my sister and me out into the woods. He taught us how to identify local plants, animal tracks and scat. Joe Clopton was a biologist who spent a lot of his time in nature. In his spare time, he’d go up to the Mendocino National Forest, to the Yolla Bollys, where he examined his surroundings, counted the population of birds, p...


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Thirtieth High School Reunion

Posted by Susan Rena Rajkumar on Tuesday, July 31, 2012, In : The Spiritual Life 

My thirtieth high school reunion was amazing. Embracing many people, I was moved to tears, speechless with awe, amused, warmed, and cajoled by friends. Although we hadn’t seen each other for sometimes even 30 years—friends that somehow I may have even forgotten their name or face—they returned to my heart with joyful memories and fond regards. Past issues melted with love and forgiveness, and forgiveness of self. Words and insights will come later on ...


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Cutting Corners

Posted by Susan Rena Rajkumar on Wednesday, October 26, 2011, In : The Spiritual Life 

The Shine

You shine behind 'India Shining,'
unnoticed by many, but not by all.
The boats cruising the backwaters
leave your unread signature,
unclogging the arteries of Kerala.
                                                           By Rajkumar Reghunathan


This week, our dear friend Babu Varghese floated into God's magical canals of the afterlife. Loyal, thoughtful, resourceful, he knew something about everything—he was an extraordinary thinker. Babu wasn't perfect, but he had a...

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Ch-ch-ch Changes!

Posted by Susan Rena Rajkumar on Tuesday, October 11, 2011, In : The Spiritual Life 
There are changes indeed. Yes, I am splitting my blog into two separate entities, because I know that the audience who was interested in what I am doing in India isn't so interested in how I experience (and how they also might enjoy) God. And I know that my friends who read my blogs about God and are really enjoying my sporadic outbursts. And so I would like to let you know that I have a new website for my blogs about God and stuff. The following website I have created is for prayer. It's bes...
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Facing Compensatory Mechanisms

Posted by Susan Rena Rajkumar on Sunday, September 11, 2011, In : The Spiritual Life 

We live in changing times. Many things are changing, even inside of ourselves. At best, we are getting stronger inside, learning from our mistakes and receiving deep spiritual insights that allow us more wisdom. And this is the time to be in action more, a time to fully experience life's wonderful gifts.

There is something that I'd like to write to you about today. It has to do with a small mechanism that is built inside of us--and this is not scientific, by the way, it's my own personal obs...


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Where is God?

Posted by Susan Rena Rajkumar on Wednesday, July 20, 2011, In : The Spiritual Life 


A friend's friend wondered where God was. Actually, he denied His existence. And instead of writing an answer in small box, I opted for the bigger venue to answer. This is just my own experience. I don't expect anyone else to understand God the way I do, because we all come from such different backgrounds and have such different experiences. But I'll tell it how it is for me, and maybe someone will relate to it; maybe it might help someone in a small way, find his way back to God...


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How Much Good is Good Enough?

Posted by Susan Rena Rajkumar on Thursday, June 2, 2011, In : The Spiritual Life 

I was asked to write about unconscious evil. But why such a subject if we are all interested in Love and Light? Because we unknowingly use it unconsciously. I only speak from my own personal spiritual experience. If you test it out for yourself, you may notice some of the same things that I'm writing about. This is a blog about spiritual healing from my insights. How much Good is good enough?

Merriam-Webster on-line dictionary has a lot to define as evil. a : morally reprehen...


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Part II Our Spritual Toolboxes

Posted by Susan Rena Rajkumar on Thursday, May 19, 2011, In : The Spiritual Life 

Being here on this earth, and living in these bodies is such a privilege, because they aren't really ours. They are on loan—like a library book, or bowling shoes, or roller skates. We must take care of them. We've been allowed to be here to learn lessons during our time on this lovely earth. And part of our task is to keep track of what we learn. And this is why we carry a tool box, because if a page gets ripped, a wheel falls off, or a shoelace breaks, we have the right tools to fix it. ...


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Our Spiritual Toolboxes

Posted by Susan Flint Rajkumar on Wednesday, May 4, 2011, In : The Spiritual Life 

How can you know what is going on inside of other people if you barely know what is going on inside of yourself? I write this at the risk of bending a few egos here and there. But it's the truth. Many times we make assumptions about people, or judgments, or assessments, And this does not necessarily mean that they are accurate—but our mind registers this as a “fact.” And I know that some of my dear readers “have it all figured out” and “know it all.” Sometimes I still know it a...
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God and the Politicos

Posted by Susan Flint Rajkumar on Wednesday, October 20, 2010, In : The Spiritual Life 

My dogs are barking up a frenzy. I had let them outside from the back porch—the safe place similar to a den or kennel—where I enclose them when life in India gets too stimulating. Today, the political candidates are working their precincts well, with the huge speaker boxes tied to small vehicles run by two-stroke engines. They look more like little rickshaws with a pickup bed in the back. Some vehicles are SUV’s with speaker towers that barely clear the electrical lines, plastered w...


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Taking Out the Trash

Posted by Susan Flint Rajkumar on Thursday, October 7, 2010, In : The Spiritual Life 

The other day I asked God to fill me up with his wisdom. This isn’t an unusual request for God. Actually, I begged like a child. Things in my life had become funny—like something needed to change. I live an Indian existence, so differently from my family in America. My values are so God focused, that sometimes the only things that I can talk about when I Skype home are gardening and healing. This is fine, but it must get boring for some who might rather have different conversations. M...


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Why Live in India?

Posted by Susan Flint Rajkumar on Friday, September 24, 2010, In : Life in India 

Dear Friends,

People write to me to tell me how they admire what I am doing, or to ask me how I do it, how do I live in India? Last night someone from France asked me what from America do I miss? These are subjects that I have written about previously, but for my new friends I will quickly recapture these questions and a few other themes.

Yes, coming to India to live full time was a very strong decision...following my man anywhere was my intention. There is a lot to be said ab...


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Our Daughter on Loan

Posted by Susan Flint Rajkumar on Wednesday, August 18, 2010, In : The Spiritual Life 


Dear friends, this past month I became a mother. A friend from high school sent me her daughter—then 17—to visit my husband and me in India for a month. We were thrilled. We worked hard to prepare our old Indian house, so that it would be in good working order for our new youngster. We put in a new bathroom, complete with a western toilet, sink and shower area. We touched up the paint, and brightened our living room with a new table cloth.

During all of this preparation, I didn’t ...


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Pasta and Indian Fish or Shrimp Curry

Posted by Susan Flint Rajkumar on Thursday, April 15, 2010, In : Fusion Cooking 
Let's Cook today! We are making a fusion food. Fusion food means that we are integrating two different cuisines, or fusing them together.  A food hybrid of sorts. Today we are cooking "Indo-Italian!" The following recipe is my favorite food to make when I begin to feel the "rice fatigue" of Indian food. I love rice, but sometimes eating rice two or three times a day for a Westerner can be too much. Today's fusion food is Pasta with Fish or Prawn Curry, which is a very rich and thick coconut s...
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For the Holy Days

Posted by Susan FLint on Friday, December 18, 2009, In : Life in India 




Sending you so much Love and Cheer for the whole year!  May you love and be loved. May you feel love and harmony in your hearts, and peace within yourself. All the best to you, your friends, and your family. Greetings from India!



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Seven Ways to Stay Constant with God: How to Develop Spiritual Strength

Posted by ©Susan Flint Rajkumar, 2016. All rights reserved. on Monday, October 26, 2009, In : The Spiritual Life 



Spiritual strength and maturity come from developing good habits during our daily living. This may sound funny to you—it did to me—that we have a “spiritual routine” during the day. The constant observance of our creator, our “unseen” helpers and guides or whomever you call on for divine guidance, cause a change in us. Depending on your source of inspiration in which you connect, will either result in developing spiritual weakness or spiritual strength.

Depending on which ...


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God's Presence, God's Present

Posted by Susan Flint Rajkumar copyright 2009. All rights reserverd. on Sunday, October 18, 2009, In : The Spiritual Life 

The other day I forgave someone for something that caused a deep sadness inside of my heart, a lingering pain, even though we had had an “everything is fine now” status for years. Afterwards, I noticed a considerable change. I was more relaxed, and felt happier (even still) than I have been. We can have an intellectual knowing of forgiveness, but when it comes down to it, the feelings and the thoughts that come from the heart are the main substance of our existence. I'd pret...


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God's Storage Units

Posted by Susan Flint Rajkumar copyright 2009. All rights reserverd. on Sunday, October 11, 2009, In : The Spiritual Life 

When the world is spinning around me with all of its hurricane-like symptoms, I remain calm. Sometimes I sit in the eye of the storm here in India, and God keeps me safe. I sing a song, recite spiritual text, and keep the other elements far away from my heart. I don't think about the “not good.” They are just symptoms. This is the kind of world that I live in, where all challenges and burdens turn around for the Good. Everything is good in my world. Even friends and family who are h...


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Grace

Posted by ©Copyright Susan Flint Rajkumar. All rights reserved. on Sunday, October 4, 2009, In : The Spiritual Life 

In 1995, the summer before my first trip to India with my university, I drove across America by myself. I was driving my grandmother's six cylinder Buick, pulling a six-foot trailer packed with my “life,” as I was planning on living in North Carolina, USA, forever. I love my country, the land, the people. They are truly unique. The idea of permanently living in North Carolina, however, shortly changed a few months later, when I traversed Indian soils. “You know, Susan, they say th...


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Sweeping

Posted by Susan Flint Rajkumar copyright 2009. All rights reserverd. on Sunday, October 4, 2009, In : The Spiritual Life 

Today I swept the yard early. It had just rained the night before. More bright yellow leaves from the star fruit tree behind our house have fallen with the water, and the wet sandy path around the house is sprinkled with purple jacaranda flowers and neem leaves. The familiar tropical scent when it rains fills me up with joy.

The sound of sweeping is the first thing that you hear early in the mornings in India. It is like a sacred movement of energy, putting one's life into order, an...


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God's Kitchen

Posted by Susan Flint Rajkumar copyright 2009. All rights reserverd. on Thursday, September 17, 2009, In : The Spiritual Life 

Today I was cooking in God's kitchen. I cook every day. This is no ordinary kitchen, it's God's kitchen.  Everything in it belongs to God, and humans have the job to apprentice with God. This kitchen is like a laboratory. It is here that we create the sweet sauce of life. In this creation we are offered free will to make whatever we please, and that includes quite a menu. With God as lead Chef in this kitchen and guardian angels as assistants, we have all kinds of tools to create at wil...


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Reading God's "Fine Print"

Posted by Susan Flint Rajkumar copyright 2009. All rights reserverd. on Friday, September 11, 2009, In : The Spiritual Life 

Oh, the delicate things of life, such as a single fine grain of sand, the loving, lingering eye contact from your beloved, the cell membrane of a flower. What do all of these things have in common? When we make time to grasp on to life's tender details, we begin to observe God's “fine print,” the reason that we are really here.

Relationships and friendships are so important. We are similar to cells and grains of sand, that we all participate and respond and react with each other. ...


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Onam, God's Gifts, and Payasam

Posted by Susan Flint Rajkumar copyright 2009. All rights reserverd. on Thursday, September 10, 2009, In : Life in India 

Tomorrow is Onam, a holiday celebrated worldwide exclusively by the people of Kerala. Onam includes all religions, and is a state holiday. This is my favorite holiday, because it reminds me of Christmas and Thanksgiving at the same time. Onam is a harvest festival that celebrates the abundance that God has given us. We give clothing or money to our family members and employees, or to people who perform services for us—such as our fisher woman, our trash collectors, and our coconut harvester...


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